Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Bops are a magical creation similar to golemns or homunculi that were created by an ancient twisted sorcerer to serve as guards and watchmen over his lair and treasures.

After his death, a team of delvers sacked the lair and with heavy looses, finally defeated the guardians and then proceeded to loot the place clean.

That would have been the end of it, but during the looting, the party's mage found the sorcerer's spellbook. It contained instructions on how to create more of the insidious fiends.

The mage then made copies and sold the spell to other sorcerers and bopclowns spread, until they became the scourge to delvers that they are today.

Bops are usually deployed to guard or block access to specific areas, and can remain deflated and dormant for many centuries, long after their original purpose has long since eroded away. For that reason they can be found almost anywhere. When disturbed, they inflate with incredible speed, ready to block trespassers and would-be robbers.

Most are created with a password or are tuned to a biothaumatical signature that allows a person to step past the creatures without incident. Most bops do not attack directly, but anyone not cleared are simply blocked from moving forward. It is only when attacked that the construct displays its true powers.

Anytime the creature is attacked, it immediately responds with equal force back upon its attacker. The harder you hit it, the harder it responds. In addition, most are impervious to blunt weapons and many simply deflate if attacked from a distance. 

Rumours persist of a much more insidious version of the creature, captured here in a grainy iconograph found on the dessicated corpse of some unlucky adventurer.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Portraits of Vanishing Tribes

What group will your party meet?

Fight Milk: Fight like a Crow!

Fight milk is an alchemical mixture popular with fighters looking for an easy, quick boost.

It requires no special magical preparation and consists only of alcohol, milk and crow's eggs making it easy for fighters to brew their own batches. Many taverns and guild halls catering to warriors will usually have a few bottles for sale stashed away.

The concoction provides an immediate powerful boost to the person's aggression and strength that lasts for 1D4 hours (give or take a few hours depending on the person's endurance and/or capacity for alcohol).

Once the bonus has worn off however, it comes with a terrible hangover that lasts anywhere up to a whole day (2D10 hour) where in the person is barely functional and comes with massive penalties to almost ALL rolls. A failure of any role during this time is accompanied by a bout of projectile vomiting lasting D6 minutes in which the character cannot perform any actions whatsoever.

Told you I'd be doing a lot of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' stuff. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Vali: Fall of the Gods

Vali: Fall of Gods, by Rasmus Berggreen. Has there ever been a rule system that can handle giant beasts like this? (see also, Shadow of the Collosss and Golden Axe: Beast Rider).

Interesting concept, but let's be clear ...NOT what people wanted in a Golden Axe game.

This game however, was one hundred and six degrees of pure awesome.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Gates of Gath

Image Source and Explanation.
Behind it, the hill drops away down in a long slope to the valley floor and the the river that flows past the five cities to the sea. But the road itself ends here, between two standing pillars of warped granite, twisted and bent like outstretched wings, or the arms of a criminal condemned to the wheel.

The village of Gath lies not two miles from the gate, but the locals rarely speak them and have no apparent history or lore surrounding them. If asked, they simply shrug and answer, "They have always been there", but keen observers will note that local children never play on the hill, and sheppard never let their flocks linger.

No cults are know to worship the stones and no rituals are performed between its walls. Curiously, despite its relative proximity to the Spire there is not a single mention of the gates in the entire library which is considered to be one of the most complete collections of magical lore in the southlands. The only clue lies in a thick volume detailing the history of the region, where several pages have been ripped out, often at the start of a section detailing some great calamity.

To correct this oversite, there is currently an expiation at the site, lead by Scholar Brussic of the Spire. They were expected back two days ago but other travelers from the area speak of severe storms in the valley, which may have delayed their return somewhat.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Now that's a Delve! Krubera Cave

The Megalohelm

Link to youtube of MST3K movie
This was a standard issue pot helm until one day a bored soldier tacked an unconvincing tin bat ear on either side. With that small change and suddenly that soldier began to rocket through the ranks, until finally becoming the powerful Warlord who lead his armies into one of the most infamous defeats that it has gone down in history as The One Sided War.

The helm disappeared for many ages, until reappearing in recent times on the head of Gorbash the Grotesque, the notorious right hand of the Dark Sorceress Tiffany. After his humiliating death, it has been worn by a number of would-be conquerors, despots and mad emperors.

The effect of the helm is more psychological than magical, but may actually be more powerful because of it. While sporting the helm, the wearer believes themselves to be much more powerful and charismatic than they actually are, but people who look upon the wearer usually take them to be rather ridiculous, and therefore slightly less powerful than they appear to be.

This megalomaniac behavior grows over time and always as a natural reflection of the wearer's actual personality: strong and dominant people will become bullies, intellectuals will become cold and superior, hippies will become obnoxious, people who believe themselves to be attractive will become leering and vulgar, hipsters will remain hipsters,and god help you all if the character believes themselves to be funny.

In game terms, the helm is actually a detriment to any charisma roles that effect other people. However, the helm also supplies a bonus to the wearer whenever they are the target of a charisma roll. In addition, it also provides powerful protection against spells of persuasion charm and domination.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Sense of Place

io9 has a brief recap of National Geographic Traveller's photo contest. Be sure to go to the original page as well for even more photos. 

HiLowBrow does Kirby

I came into my appreciation for Jack Kirby's work late in life, and I'll always regret not appreciating how good, how perfectly this artwork is in its medium. Big, blocky and exagerated, it dynamically captured the magic that comic books bring; of turning art into action.
So I'm thrilled that HiLowBrow is doing a restrospective of Kirby's Fourth World books, my personal favourite. That level of mythology and storytelling is almost infinitely deep. No matter how deep you delved into every character, plot and setting , and you know that Kirby would be eagerly waiting to show you another story...  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spell Puppets

image from: Buttonbag Sockpuppets
Spell puppets were developed by the formost master of muppetomancy, Henso of Foz. While initially dismissed as ludricrous by the wizards of the Second and a Half Sorcerarium, the puppets proved so useful to Henso that many of the others soon adopted their use, even if it was only a hastely drawn face on a paper bag hidden away between the pages of some massive tome.

The rituals used to create a spell puppet is very similar to that of a scroll or a wand. The spell is imbued into the puppet where it can then be recast simply by slipping the puppet over the hand and recieiting the incantion. The advantage that was discovered in using puppets rather than a scroll or a wand, is that by creating a ritual with the puppet; by moving it in a certain way and/or by recieting the spell in a different voice, the power of the spell can be augmented without added penalty or danger to the caster.

Experienced muppetomancers can even imbue multiple spells into a single puppets. Some of the more famous puppets even begin to take on, if not a true sentience, then some eldrich version of intellience.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A good delver must have the right instincts for sensing when something is not right. Those instints cannot be taught and they must be good from that very first moment. A delver with bad instincts is rarely more than a corpse.

A crying child, all alone definitely does not fit. These hell-spawn lure curious adventurers by weeping loudly. They are then found sitting in a corner, head in their arms and crying for their mother. Between sobs they will tell a tale of abduction, torture and fear, ever luring the kind-hearted fool ever closer.

Be warned, for I have seen this very horror with my own eyes; when the doomed soul gets close enough, the child-thing sits up and opens its eyes ... by the gods in the heavens, its terrible, terrible eyes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Grappling Gun!

Grappling Gun!
No matter where, no matter the system, adventurers throughout the multiverse agree that the coolest item ever created is the grappling gun. Simply by having a grappling gun in their possession doubles all reaction roles towards any character that does not own a grappling gun (this is why no one is cooler than Batman. Batman owns more grappling guns than anyone else, ever).

Properties of all Grappling Guns:
-It does not matter how small or lightweight the grappling gun is, it will support the weight of a fully laden adventurer  plus one damsel/dude in distress without strain.

-Grappling guns will always find purchase no matter what direction it is fired, and will automatically retract at the touch of a button with no snarling.

-100' of line, give or take.

Comicbook Maps

And in a similar vein, some great old school comic books maps. Has anyone ever set a dungeon crawl in the Batcave? from Wired

Incredible Mines

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Early Erol Otus Art

from the early days of 'The Dragon' magazine. Gakked from 2 Warps to Neptune.. 

Codpiece of Sir Jonad du Longlake, the Chaste.

Sir Longlake was the most beautiful and renowned dragonslayer of his age. His charm made him a popular guest at court and many a noblewoman would invite Sir Jonad to guard their estates while their husbands were away. In addition to hs beauty, charms and martial prowess he was said to posses other qualities, including one that earn him the nickname, Longlance.

Then, on a Quest to slay the Great Serpent of Veel, Sir Jonad was said to have a vision, one that caused him to give up dragonslaying and take vows with the Church of Prudent Vestial to become a true Paladin. When the news of his taking the tonsure got out, several noble maidens took vows at the Nunnery of Pafian and at least one threw herself into the Stone River. 

Unfortunately, Sir Jonad's quest ended when he faced the dreaded Vampire of Fartingdale armed with nothing but the a copy of the Book of Prude and an antiorgastic relic said to contain the pubic bone of Saint Hymen. 

When the sun rose the next morning, Sir Jonad's part entered Fartindale to search for the brave paladin, but all they ever found was his codpiece. It was returned to Manroot Abbey where it joined other sacred relics in the Great Hall of Abstinence. 

Many years later however, the codpiece is said to have disappeared. Rumours of its location have surfaced from time to time, each accompanied by tales of a great knight, unbeatable in battle, a master of charm and class, and as chaste as the newly fallen snow.

To wear the codpiece is to gain great prowess in battle and incredible charm that will stir members of the normally desired sex into an a bacchanalian frenzy. Unfortunately, removing the codpiece negates all bonuses, permanently, and creates an instantaneous negative reaction in anyone who was previous aroused. So much so that the unfortunate character will be forced to flee the area or face a slew of jealous husbands, partners and homicidally enraged family members.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Giant Earthworm

Linkage for more!
Giant earthworms are harmless enough to delvers and are actually a good source of protien and nourishment when supplies start getting low.

It is that quality that makes the giant earthworm dangerous. Their incredible nutritional value means that where you find giant earthworms, you find other hunters as well.

The Dire Giant Earthworm is another creature altogether. Imagine a slavering, slimey beast that only becomes two slavering, slimey beasts whenever you cut it in half....

Thursday, July 10, 2014

French Discworld

Slow day at work, so I spent the day going down the Internet wormhole. Here is what I found.

NPC: Sweet Dee

Sweet Dee is bar wench who was once accused of witchcraft. Rescued from the Inquisitors and the fire by her brother and stepfather, who bribed the Inquisitors for her freedom. In return, they made Sweet Dee their indentured servent to serve in their tavern known as the 'Rickety Cricket'.

Dee approaches patrons with a forced jovality and terrible, often racist jokes (particularly those aimed at Dwarves). She will spend more time with those she thinks are attractive, or wealthy in the hopes of finding someone who will free her from her servitude.

Be warned; though she tries to be a good person, in reality she is selfish, greedy and more than a little prejudiced againt the elderly and especially dwarves. She will not hestitate to uses others for her own ends and has a firely, sometimes violent temper.

She is also a surprisingly enough, an actual witch and her powers are steadily growing. Crossing her can result in terrible curses, mostly notibly turning a young cleric who had a crush on her, tricking him to give up his faith and turned him into a quivering wreck of a human being.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Square Disks

These bizarre artifacts are often found in great quantities around certain ancient ruins.

No one is sure what they where used for, what they were made from or how they got the name of 'disc'. Some denizens of the deep dark places use them as currency, though they rarely have any value on the surface and are primarily seen as cheap curious.

For that reason, it not uncommon to see these strewn about the lairs and strongholds of experience delver where they are used as coasters or bookmarks or stuffed into bags, ready to be used on the next adventure.

One mage however claimed that she has found another use for them. Syber Pentiam, the Immemorial Benefice of Magics at the Second Lyceum of Magic, wrote a treatise claiming that if the right spells were used in conjunction with a disc, that it might be possible to record documents, images and even sounds. Her work progressed right up to the point where she attempted to save her self onto a string of nearly two thousand of the objects, wired together in some weird configuration.

When the ritual was completed Pentiam had disappeared. Unfortunately, in her zeal, she never instructed anyone else on her experiments and her notes were too incomplete and arcane for any of the other mages to decipher. For fear that her experiment was a success, the Lyceum has sealed off the room where the apparatus and the discs remain to this very day. The Second Lyceum has posted a substantial reward for anyone who might dare follow in Pentiam's footsteps, and allow their consciousness to enter the apparatus and learn its secrets.

Space Babe and International Game of Throne Covers

My page views doubled a few weeks ago, proving once again that the internet is all about boobs and cats. In honour of this effect, I present space1970: July's Space Babe ... the magnificent Virgina Hey who has stared in Mad Max and Farscape. To tie this into gaming ... just think of the NPC she would make!

and for a little extra awesome in your morning, a gallery of international Song of Ice and Fire Covers. Why is this stuff always so much better than the stuff we get?