Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bestiary: D is for Dragons

An effort to force myself to finish the Bestiary for the Mountain at the End of the World. Stats are for the GROG, so base AC is 0 ascending and base attack is 10 + HD ascending. Morale would be 7 or 8 + WIS modifier, if you don't feel like assigning it by fiat (you should assign it by fiat).


Dragons are ancient and powerful creatures, each unique in their own right. Only a handful currently live, not more than twenty. Imagine you take the inventor of a deeply oppressive pseudoscience, make them both an aristocrat and the head of a vast and powerful organization devoted to the extractive accumulation of wealth, and put them in charge of a major intelligence service at the height of its power and madness and a band of slave-taking pillagers, which happen to be the same thing. That's a dragon, or at least that's all the dragons that are known to exist. They're emphatically very bad and very dangerous people. And that's without going into their several tons of coiled serpentine muscle, iridium scales, and unequaled arcane power.

A baby dragon is called a kobold. Hatched in great clutches of over a hundred, they are treated more as a disposable labor force than like children by their parents—sent out on longships from Iolund, frozen island home of the dragons, to capture slaves and treasure from the Pyrenican and Escautian coasts and sometimes further inland. If a kobold ever managed to hoard enough treasure and power, one could presumably become a dragon themselves. The dragons, however, take care to avoid letting this happen; kobolds that perform too well for too long at their roles are ritualistically eaten, to return their power to their draconic parent. Dragons aren't fond of competition.

Not all kobolds are horrible draconic minions. Some, albeit few, flee or are exiled from their island home and make their way to other parts of the civilized lands to attempt to live out their lives in peace. The dragon-clans of course take advantage of this, and emplace spies pretending to be these "free kobolds" in numbers at least equal to the genuine articles.


HD 6 HP 61 Size Huge AC 15 (iridium scales, as plate + shield) Immune to fire damage (both holy/consecrated and unholy/natural)
Init +5 Speed 50' Fly 120'
Strength 20 +5 Dexterity 10 +0 
Intelligence 20 +5 Wisdom 20 +5
STR Attack 21 melee bite or claw swipe 2d8+5
Special tail sweep 1d8+5 hits all in rear arc, roll Dexterity for half, knocked prone on failure
Special see wind-up attacks
Speaks Common, Scale, High Charter, Imperial Court Obsequience, at least three other languages

This is a minimum stat block for a dragon. This is the weakest, smallest dragon on Iolund, or maybe a rogue exile found on the Mountain. This is a sickly dragon with a shitty, depleted clan of kobolds who all the other dragons make fun of. Put bigger numbers and more bells and whistles on stronger dragons appropriately.

Iridium Scales: Dragons have metallic scales that are harder and more dense than steel, granting them AC as plate + shield (+10). They're also immune to fire damage and draconic poison.

Unequaled Arcane Power: Dragons are spellcasters with a level, MD, and known spells equal to their HD.

Ablative Saves: If a dragon fails a roll to resist an effect, it can choose to succeed instead and take 20 damage.  Alternatively, it can take 10 damage and suffer from half the effect if that makes sense. 

Wind-Up Attacks: Each round in combat, the dragon will either telegraph a wind-up attack, or perform a wind-up attack that was telegraphed on their last turn. It can't telegraph the same wind-up attack that it performed last turn. This doesn't take an action.
  1. Poison Fire Breath. 50' cone of 4d6 natural fire damage, roll Dexterity for half. Targets that breathe within the area also roll Strength or take 2d6 poison damage per round until a Strength roll is passed.
  2. Smoke Exhalation. As fog cast with 5 MD.
  3. Wing Beat. Unsecured objects/creatures smaller than the dragon will be blown to end of 50' cone. Clears fog.
  4. Pounce. Dragon attempts to grapple target.
Goblinpope wrote some good things here on how to run a dragon (which i stole most of the above abilities from) and LaTorra has some here, but I don't see why they can't have big stats too.


HD 1 HP 4 Size Small AC 4, 1 E (kobold scales +1 AC, leather or padded armor) or 6, 3 E (with wooden round shield) Immune to 5 points of fire damage (both holy/consecrated and unholy/natural) from each event
Init +1 Speed 30'
Strength 10 +0 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 10 +0 Wisdom 10 +0
STR Attack 11 melee waraxe 1d10 (no shield) or 11 melee seax 1d6 warblade (-1 difficulty and +1 damage vs humanoids) (with shield)
Speaks Common, Scale
Equipment waraxe or seax knife and wooden round shield (50% chance each), leather or padded armor (50% chance each), 2d10 sp in coins and looted jewelry. More skilled kobolds often wear mail shirts and iron spangenhelms into battle.

Kobold Scales: While not nearly as tough as dragon scale, kobolds' scaly bodies still afford them +1 AC and decrease fire damage taken by 5 points.

Warsong Berserker Skalds and Runepriest Skull Scientists (Playing a Kobold)

When kobolds rise above the raider-minion milieu of their brethren, they do so as Warsong Berserker Skalds or Runepriest Skull Scientists. Raiding parties will usually be led by one or the other, and especially successful ones will usually contain multiples of both at various (sub-4th) levels.

You can't play as a kobold if your party befriends the kobolds. They're bastards, they're not going to help you. You can play as a kobold if your party befriends a group of kobold refugees who have forsaken their paranoid spymaster dragon parents and escaped to the Mountain. Reroll Dexterity. You have Kobold Scales. You probably weigh about 60 pounds (this will be important later).

Warsong Berserker Skald

Starting Equipment: Mail shirt (4 AC 2 E), iron spangenhelm with looping eye mask and horns if you feel like it (1 AC 1 E), wooden round shield (2 AC 2 E), waraxe (medium headsplitter 1d10), shortspear (medium brace 1d8), kobold-sized straight sword (light warblade 1d6), drinking horn, frozen leg of mutton (5 rations), 6 torches.

Fire Breath: You can breathe fire in a 15' cone, dealing [HD] d6 natural fire damage with a Dexterity roll for half. You can do this at most every other round.
At third level, the area of your fire breath increases to a 30' cone.

Warsong: Your singing in battle emboldens your allies and intimidates your enemies. While you are singing, you and all allies within earshot get a bonus to STR Attack, Dex Attack, and rolls against fear—and enemies take difficulty on attack rolls—equal to your HD. Speaking short phrases doesn't end your song, and you are assumed to be singing at all times in combat unless you say otherwise (for example, when attempting to be stealthy).

Berserk: At second level, you can fly into a bloodthirsty frenzy in combat. At the beginning of your turn or in response to receiving damage, you can choose to enter a rage. While in a rage, you can make one additional attack per round, halve all damage taken, and are immune to nonlethal damage and pain, fear, or other negative mind-affecting abilities, but cannot take any defensive, curative, or tactical actions. When combat is over, you must roll Wisdom to end your rage or continue fighting, attacking your allies. You can re-roll Wisdom once each round to end your rage. Record all damage prevented through use of this ability—when your rage ends, you take all of it at once.

Frightful Presence: At second level, you are such an intimidating presence on the battlefield that enemies flee before your mighty blows. When you down an opponent you can immediately make an intimidate special attack without spending an action. Whenever you attempt to intimidate opponents, they have +2 difficulty on their Wisdom roll.
At fourth level, the terror of facing you overwhelms ordinary opponents. Enemies that you have not personally attacked and who are not immune to fear must roll Wisdom to attack you in melee combat.

Hypnotic Song: At third level, you can recite poetry so beautiful that it holds your audience captive. Listeners must roll Wisdom or become distracted and sit listening peacefully until and unless a direct threat to them presents itself. If you attempt this in combat, you must sing for 1 round per HD of the target with the highest HD before the recital takes effect. If anyone other than the targets takes a directly threatening action during that time (parrying is OK, attacking isn't) it automatically fails.
At fourth level, your recital can instead lull listeners into a restful sleep. Targets that fail their Wisdom roll lie prone and fall into a natural slumber, if you wish.

Dragonform: At fourth level, you attain the bare minimum of potential to become a dragon. You grow massive, scaly wings (Fly speed 60'), your scales harden (+1 AC), and your tail lengthens (no mechanical effect). If you amass a hoard of pure gold equal to ten times your body weight, anoint it with the captured soul of an angel, throw the thing you love most into a volcano, and do one other suitably awesome and terrible thing, you will fall into a nightmarish coma for 1d6+6 weeks the next time you sleep and awaken as a dragon. Your draconic parent, whoever they are, will do their best to prevent this. Expect assassins, raiding parties, a full assault from your clan, and eventually your parent's appearance in person, in that order, once you gain this ability.

Runepriest Skull Scientist

Starting Equipment: Leather armor (2 AC 1 E), iron skullcap (1 AC 1 E), sacrificial dagger (light close quarter 1d6), dragonborn whip (light chain reach 1d6), small hammer (light improvised crushing 1d4), skull-measuring calipers (as tongs), scrimshaw chisel, skull with your spells scrimshawed on it and a candle stuck on top, 20 candles, flint and steel and tinderbox, frozen side of pork (10 rations).

Spellcaster: This is a wizard school. Your perks are kobold scales and dragonform. Your drawback is that nobody trusts you, you probably have some shitty beliefs to work through, and your dragon parent will try to eat you if you reach fourth level. You are a spellcaster and a white mage, though your seals are draconic rune-stones rather than sun-sigils. You know one spell from the warmind scrivener list and one spell from the witch list OR this list. At second and third, you can choose which list to roll on for your new spell. If you choose the skull wizard list at any level, roll 1d6 at first level, 1d8 at second level, and 1d10 at third level. At fourth level, pick four spells from any combination of the preceding lists.

1. Poison Breath. You can breathe poison in a 15' cone, poisoning everything that breathes within the area and fails a Strength roll for 1d6 damage per round until a Strength roll is passed. You can do this at most every other round and are immune to draconic poison.
At third level, the area of your poison breath increases to a 30' cone and the damage increases to 2d6.
2. Know Skull. You can identify any skull, knowing its species, sex, approximate age (both at time of death and currently), whether or not it was a spellcaster, and if it was, how many MD it had at time of death and how many it could hold at maximum. Requires ten minutes of examination with your calipers and excited muttering.
3. Scribe Rune. You can create and dismiss permanent, inert glowing draconic runes with an action which shed light as a candle. You can also imbue spells into your runes, which go off targeting the rune or the reader (your choice at the time the rune is placed) when read or touched (also your choice at the time the rune is placed), destroying the rune. MD invested in rune-spells do not return to your pool until the spell is triggered or the rune dismissed.

Dragonform: At fourth level, you attain the bare minimum of potential to become a dragon. You grow massive, scaly wings (Fly speed 60'), your scales harden (+1 AC), and your tail lengthens (no mechanical effect). If you amass a hoard of pure gold equal to ten times your body weight, anoint it with the captured soul of an angel, throw the thing you love most into a volcano, and do one other suitably awesome and terrible thing, you will fall into a nightmarish coma for 1d6+6 weeks the next time you sleep and awaken as a dragon. Your draconic parent, whoever they are, will do their best to prevent this. Expect assassins, raiding parties, a full assault from your clan, and eventually your parent's appearance in person, in that order, once you gain this ability.


HD 1 HP 5 Size Medium AC 2 (false scales) Immune to 5 points of fire damage (both holy/consecrated and unholy/natural) from each event
Init +0 Speed 30' Fly 30'
Strength 12 +1 Dexterity 10 +0 
Intelligence 10 +0 Wisdom 10 +0
STR Attack 12 melee greataxe 2d8+2 headsplitter
Speaks Common, Scale, former languages
Equipment greataxe (heavy headsplitter melee 2d8), tattered rags

Dragonborn are the results of fell experiments performed on captive subjects by dragons and runepriest skull scientists. The above stat block was probably a hobgoblin before its transformation. They are driven into combat before kobold armies, hissing and shrieking, determined to free themselves through death in battle.

False Scales: A dragonborn has had their skin toughened and heavy steel scales affixed to it through obscene alchemical processes. These grant them +2 AC and the same resistance to fire that kobolds have.

False Breath: A dragonborn has had their flesh infused with dark magic in an effort to mimic the breath weapon of their creators. They can spew forth a 15' cone of poisonous liquid flame and acrid smoke, dealing 1d6 natural fire damage with a Dexterity roll for half and causing targets hit that have exposed skin and a circulatory system to roll Strength or be poisoned for 1d6 damage per round until they succeed at a Strength roll. The dragonborn can do this at most once every other round, and suffers 1d6 damage themselves each time. Dragonborn are not immune to draconic poison.

Tatterdemalion Wings: A dragonborn has tattered, frankenstein-esque wings clumsily stitched to their shoulders, and new muscles grafted to their bodies to control them. They have a fly speed of 30' and really shitty maneuverability. They can fly for a maximum number of rounds equal to their Strength, at which points they must rest for an hour before flying again.

Experiments (Playing a Dragonborn)

Dragonborn are even more likely to flee Iolund if given the chance, though precious few chances exist. Those that make it out are seen as tragic figures, their monstrous transformation preventing them from returning to the lives they once had, even if said life was not destroyed by the same raid that captured them.

You can play a dragonborn if your party aids a number of dragonborn in escaping a draconic raiding party, you want a tragic backstory, and the rest of your party is cool with it. Choose another species first, and apply all of their modifiers and rerolls. Then reroll Strength again, and reroll Dexterity and take the lower result. You have false scales, false breath, and tatterdemalion wings. As a dragonborn you advance in whatever classes you would normally have access to, or the kobold classes. If you choose a kobold class you don't get dragonform at fourth level but your creator clan will come after you anyway, although the dragon itself probably won't bother to show up.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Bestiary: C is for Cave Beasts & Companions

This'll be a short one, just the essentials. You need stats for dogs and horses, and I need to write the words "spiderwolf" and "cave pigeon, giant".

An effort to force myself to finish the Bestiary for the Mountain at the End of the World. Stats are for the GROG, so base AC is 0 ascending and base attack is 10 + HD ascending. Morale would be 7 or 8 + WIS modifier, if you don't feel like assigning it by fiat.


Dogs are a perversion of the canine form, one of nature’s great servants turned to serve mankind. Every dog burns with an internal fire, as can be seen in the smoke that issues from their panting mouths. They are the ultimate scavengers, capable of sustaining themselves on meat, vegetables, fruit wood, coal, oil, or any other digestible or flammable substance. Many families keep dogs as companions, especially those who reside in areas such as the Mountain where the forests are too dangerous to log—besides the security that a well-trained guard dog provides, their body temperature is sufficient to heat a small home through the winter.

Famous Nose: Dogs can track targets across long distances by smell, and ignore difficulty on rolls to detect things that have a scent. Wolves and other doglike beasts can too.

Internal Flame: Dogs never take damage from normal cold weather, and confer this benefit to companions of their size or smaller so long as they remain in close contact—riding or being carried by the dog and sleeping snug up against it, for example. Non-dog animals of similar size and nature (wolves, hyenas, jackals, coyotes, et cetera) don't possess this ability.

Dog, Common Working

HD 1 HP 4 Size Small AC 2 (unarmored)
Init +2 Speed 40'
Strength 10 +0 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 2 -4 Wisdom 12 +1
STR Attack 11 melee bite 1d4
Speaks Arqot, excitedly and happily

Working dogs weigh about 20 to 50 pounds, and are common throughout the few bastions of civilization on the Mountain. These stats can also be used for doglike animals like coyotes, dingoes, hyenas, and jackals.

Dog, War

HD 2 HP 10 Size Medium AC 2 (unarmored)
Init +2 Speed 40'
Strength 12 +1 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 2 -4 Wisdom 12 +1
STR Attack 13 melee bite 1d6+1
Speaks Arqot, boldly and brashly

War dogs are nearly the size of a hobgoblin. They are large enough for small characters like goblins to ride.

Takedown: When a war dog hits with a bite attack, they can make a free combat maneuver to trip their target.

Hill Wolf

HD 2 HP 10 Size Medium AC 4 (unarmored)
Init +4 Speed 40'
Strength 12 +1 Dexterity 14 +2 
Intelligence 2 -4 Wisdom 14 +2
STR Attack 13 melee bite 1d6+1
Speaks Serumic, cruelly and hungrily

Wolves, red in tooth and claw, are one of the favored beasts of the natural element of blood. They have been innoculated against Arqot, and the sound of it sends them into a slavering frenzy in which they will attack those they hear speak it heedless of their own safety. Wolves use pack tactics when fighting, seeking to encircle their opponents and drag them to the ground before moving in for the kill.

Takedown: When a hill wolf hits with a bite attack, they can make a free combat maneuver to trip their target.

Photophobia: Hill wolves roll Wisdom to enter areas of bright light. If they fail, they cannot enter and lurk on its boundaries, staring with palpable fury. They can try again once every minute. Those brave enough to charge torchbearers are canny enough to wrestle them to the ground and snuff out the light so their packmates can approach.


HD 2 HP 10 Size Medium AC 6 (spider chitin, as leather)
Init +4 Speed 50' Climb 50'
Strength 12 +1 Dexterity 16 +3 
Intelligence 2 -4 Wisdom 12 +1
STR Attack 13 melee bite 1d6+1 + roll Strength or poison 1d6/round until Strength roll passed
Speaks Serumic, Skittering, in an alien and predatory manner

Terrifying combinations of arachnid and beast, spiderwolves are agile, skittering abominations with all the cunning of a wolf married to the patience—and venom—of a man-sized monstrous spider. They can be found on the upper slopes of the Mountain as well as inside and beneath it, but sometimes venture lower into the foothills. It’s not unheard of for spiderwolves to join ordinary wolf packs on occasion, a frightening prospect for those who make it their business to hunt wolves.

Chitinous Pelt: Spiderwolves are protected by sturdy chitin as well as thick ruffs of fur, giving them +2 AC.


Horses were one of the first species to be domesticated in the civilized lands, and nature has fully cast them out. There is no part of a horse made of anything natural; no ash and no fish, certainly, but also no bone nor blood. Their skeleton is composed of a gelatinous cartilage and their veins filled with oil. When they burn—because they are so very flammable—they leave no ashes, just a puddle of horrible, melted cartilaginous glue.

Horsehide: Horses have tough, leathery skin that grants them +2 AC.

Oil in the Blood: Horses are filled with oil, and very susceptible to ignition. If an attack or other effect normally has a chance to ignite targets, horses automatically catch fire. Even when taking fire damage that does not normally carry a chance of ignition, they must roll Dexterity or burst into flame for 1d6 damage per round until extinguished. They bleed oil when cut, and can be healed 1d6 HP (horse points) by forcing them to drink a pint of oil.

Pony, Ass, or Burro

HD 1 HP 5 Size Medium AC 3 (horsehide, as leather)
Init +1 Speed 40'
Strength 12 +1 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 2 -4 Wisdom 10 +0
STR Attack 12 melee kick 1d6+1
Speaks No languages

Ponies, asses, and burros are all common pack animals, and large enough to serve as a mount for a small creature like a goblin. A pony, ass, or burro can carry about 200 pounds before it starts staggering around like an idiot or just gives up and lies down.

Horse, Light or Mule

HD 2 HP 13 Size Large AC 4 (horsehide, as leather)
Init +2 Speed 60' (light horse) or 40' (mule)
Strength 14 +2 Dexterity 14 +2 
Intelligence 2 -4 Wisdom 10 +0
STR Attack 14 melee kick 1d6+2
Speaks No languages

Light horses are commonly bred for speed and beauty, and can carry about 400 pounds. Mules are slower but make much better working animals, and can carry around 600 pounds. Either can drag five times their carrying limit.

Horse, Heavy

HD 3 HP 25 Size Large AC 3 (horsehide, as leather)
Init +1 Speed 50'
Strength 18 +4 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 2 -4 Wisdom 10 +0
STR Attack 17 melee kick or trample 1d6+4
Speaks No languages

Heavy horses are excellent workers, strong and slow to tire. They can carry 450 pounds easily, 900 pounds at maximum, or drag just over two tons.

Cave Pigeon, Giant

HD 4 HP 34 Size Large AC 0 (unarmored)
Init +0 Speed 30' Fly 60'
Strength 18 +4 Dexterity 14 +2 
Intelligence 1 -4 Wisdom 6 -2
STR Attack 18 bite 2d6+4
Speaks The birds are an enigma, you cannot speak with them 

Giant cave pigeons stalk the internal caverns and tunnels of the Mountain, using their steel-hard beaks to chip away at the stone and form their filthy burrow-nests. They are large, aggressive, and invariably hostile.

Blindsense: The underdeveloped eyes of a cave pigeon register only the presence or absence of light, but they have developed other senses to compensate. They suffer no penalties from being blind, but are only aware of creatures within 60 feet.

Cave Pike, Giant

HD 2 HP 34 Size Medium AC 2 (fish scale, as leather)
Init +0 Swim 60'
Strength 14 +2 Dexterity 14 +2 
Intelligence 1 -4 Wisdom 6 -2
STR Attack 14 bite 1d8+2
Speaks Hadeal, clumsily and stupidly

The terror of Mountain fisherfolk, giant cave pike are ill-tempered beasts that will happily capsize a rowboat or dinghy to get at the meat inside. Those who have ventured into the Mountain itself tell that the pale specimens which live in the subterranean rivers and lakes beneath it are even larger and more malicious.

Fish Scales: Giant cave pike scales are tough and slippery, giving them +2 AC.


HD 6 HP 57 Size Huge AC 4 (tough hide or scales, as leather)
Init +2 Speed 40' Fly 60', if winged
Strength 20 +5 Dexterity 12 +1
Intelligence 10 +0 Wisdom 12 +1
STR Attack 21 talon, claw, or hoof 1d8+5
STR Attack 21 bite or gore 2d6+5 (if able)
Speaks Varies, see below

Chimerae are strange beasts, seemingly cobbled together from parts of others. Their origin is unknown—some think them a terror born of the natural world, others that they are the experiments of mad wizards. Chimerae vary dramatically in form, but some combinations breed true and have created well-known subspecies: Gryphons, hippogryphs, sphinges, manticores, owlbears, pegasi, and “true” chimerae.

Tough: Chimerae have either thick leathery hides or scales, granting them +2 AC.

Chimerae Generation

d6 What form is its body?
  1. Body of a bear, upright, with feathered and taloned winglike arms..
  2. Body of a horse, feathered wings.
  3. Body of a cheetah, leathery bat-wings.
  4. Body of a lion, feathered wings.
  5. Body of a lion, scaled bat-wings.
  6. Body of a lion with the forelimbs and chest of an eagle, feathered wings.

d8 And what of its head?
  1. Head of a goblinoid.
  2. Head of an orc.
  3. Head of a lion.
  4. Head of a horse.
  5. Head of an eagle.
  6. Head of an owl.
  7. Head of a bull.
  8. Three heads—one draconic, one leonine, and one goat.
Chimerae with wings can fly.

Chimerae with draconic, eagle, lion, or owl heads have bite attacks, and chimerae with bull or goat heads have gore attacks. Chimerae with three heads can make three attacks with no additional difficulty for making multiple attacks in a round. Chimerae with draconic heads can also breathe fire after visibly "winding up" for 1 round (sharp inhalation, torches gutter and candles and lamps blow out, etc), dealing 4d6 natural fire damage in a 50 foot cone with a Dexterity roll for half—in rounds where the chimerae winds up or breathes fire, the draconic head cannot also make a bite attack. 

Chimerae with humanoid (goblinoid or orcish) heads speak Common, and chimerae with draconic heads speak Scale. The intelligence of chimerae vary as widely as their forms do; some are incredibly wise, and others no more than hungry beasts.

Bestiary: B is for Beastman (races & classes & monsters, oh my)

An effort to force myself to finish the Bestiary for the Mountain at the End of the World. Stats are for the GROG, so base AC is 0 ascending and base attack is 10 + HD ascending. Morale would be 7 + CHA modifier, if you don't feel like assigning it by fiat.

Those of these that have a class associated with them are playable, if the players have built a solid enough relationship with their cultures to justify it.

A lot of things in here are stolen from other blogs, particularly crab man builders and ratmen.


'Beastman' is a catch-all term for sentient humanoids found on, in, or under the Mountain that are not present in the civilized lands of the Old World and thus not, at least by most, considered 'human'. Many of them are just as smart, sophisticated, and ethical as 'humans' despite this, though perhaps in different ways.

Alpaca Men

HD 1 HP 4 Size Small AC 3 (leather)
Init +1 Speed 30'
Strength 10 +0 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 10 +0 Charisma 10 +0
STR Attack 11 melee shortspear 1d8 brace
DEX Attack 12 range 30' shortspear 1d8
Speaks Their own language, but some have learned a smattering of Common
Equipment 3 shortspears (medium brace 1d8, throw 30'), leather armor (AC 2 E 1), 2d10 intricately painted wooden beads worth 1 sp each

Alpaca men are goblin-sized, but have long necks that bring their heads nearly to eye level for a hobgoblin or orc. They live in small, single-family dwelling clusters woven from their own wool—of which they produce a prodigious amount. Their homesteads are distributed throughout their alpine territory, semi-nomadic and often camouflaged as a defensive strategy against the much more numerous, larger, and more violent llamafolk polity present in the same area with which they are constantly at war. They are prone to paranoia and machismo.

Surefooted: Alpaca men can move at full speed without rolling Dexterity on sloped or broken ground.

Wool Coat: Unless recently sheared, alpaca men take half damage from cold effects, always count as having protective equipment against cold weather, and treat temperate or warmer weather as dangerously hot.

Spit: Alpaca men can spit up a sticky mass of spittle and chewed grass as a ranged attack within 30'. If the attack hits, their target is blind until they spend a full round clearing the mess from their eyes. Alpaca men can't use this ability while hungry, and must eat between each use.

Beaded Knights (Playing an Alpaca Man)

The beaded knights of the alpaca men (a reclusive order of militant rangers, cultural heroes, so named because they weave wooden and metal beads into their coats to form a sort of permanent armor) are known to intentionally consume poison as a part of their training. This both grants them improved resistance to it, and causes their spittle to carry blinding toxins for a much greater effect in combat--it also shortens their lifespans dramatically, but few beaded knights survive long enough in their service for this to concern them.

You can play a beaded knight if your party befriends the alpaca men, perhaps by defending them from a llamafolk raid or helping them recover some familial artifact that was stolen in a previous attack. Reroll Dexterity.

Starting Equipment:
Hundreds of wooden and metal beads woven into coat (4 AC 0 E), shortbow (heavy bow, 1d6) with 20 arrows, 2 copper hand axes (light headsplitter melee, 1d6, throw 10'), snow goggles, rucksack, long and hooded wool cloak with scrub grass woven through it, waterskin, 4 rations of dried ryegrass hay.

Bead Armor
You know the exact methods necessary to weave small beads of wood and metal through your wool coat to grant you protection without the bulk or encumbrance of armor. You have +4 AC, which does not stack with worn armor.

Poison Eater
Throughout your training as a beaded knight, you subjected yourself to increasing doses of poison. You probably won't live past five years (where alpaca men normally live twenty) but suffer only half the penalties or damage of any poison introduced into your system, and your spit blinds living things for 1 hour even after cleared from their eyes unless immune to poison.

At second level, your skill at overland travel and navigation allows you to effectively lead a party through even the roughest terrain. When travelling, your entire party moves at full speed over rough, sloped, or broken ground and half speed through normally impassable terrain.

At second level, you can use continual movement in combat to throw off your enemies and strike from unexpected directions. When you move at least 30 feet in a combat round, your attacks deal an extra +1d6 damage and you get +2 AC until the beginning of your next turn.
At fourth level, this damage increases by an additional +1d6.

At third level, long exposure to high altitudes and Mountain air has strengthened your system even despite the poison coursing through your veins.Your heart rate is slower, your lung capacity is greater, and your blood is better able to transfer oxygen. You get +2 Strength.

At third level, you have an almost supernatural ability to disappear into natural terrain. Whenever out of doors and not directly observed, you can disappear completely without spending an action. You can reappear at any time in any place you could conceivably have reached during the time you were vanished.

Perfect Shot
At fourth level, you attain a level of marksmanship that defies explanation. Once per combat, you can make a ranged attack that automatically critically hits within double your weapon's range. Declare this before making the attack. Outside of combat, you can use this ability to do anything one could conceivably do with a trick shot.


HD 1 HP 6 Size Medium AC 3 (layered hide armor)
Init +0 Speed 30'
Strength 14 +2 Dexterity 10 +0 
Intelligence 8 -1 Charisma 12 +1
STR Attack 13 melee stone axe 1d10+4 headsplitter
Speaks Their own language, but some have learned a smattering of Common
Equipment Stone axe (medium headsplitter melee 1d10), layered hide armor (AC 3 E 3), looted trinket worth 3d10 sp

As alpaca men, but nearly double the height—five feet tall at the shoulder, just over eight in total—and much stronger. Llamafolk live in fortified villages organized around a warlord-matriarch, but often range far from their homes in raiding parties. Contact with organized llamafolk has been almost universally hostile, but individual ones can often be negotiated with.


As llamafolk, but no Wool Coat or Spit abilities. Instead, goatmen have horns and hooves (light crushing melee 1d6) and can see into the souls of those that meet their horizontally-pupilled gaze. This is mostly useful for creeping people out but also means it's practically impossible to lie to them.

Goatmen live in permanent clan-gatherings, easily recognizable from afar by their pointed thatch towerhuts and sturdy palisades. Their villages are generally closed to outsiders, but interaction outside of that varies based on the attitudes of the clan in question.

Since my orcs are people, these are my "orcs". Llamafolk live high on the Mountain, goatmen live in the foothills and plains around it.

Bat Men

HD 1 HP 3 Size Small AC 2 (unarmored)
Init +1 Speed 30' Fly 30'
Strength 8 -1 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 12 +1 Charisma 10 +0
STR Attack 10 melee shortspear 1d8-1 brace
DEX Attack 12 range 30' blowgun 1 damage + roll Strength or 1d6 poison per round until pass Strength roll
Speaks Arqot, in click, pulse, and chatter
Equipment shortspear (medium brace melee 1d8, throw 30'), blowgun, 20 poisoned darts

Bat men are nocturnal denizens of the upper layers of Mountain caverns, occasionally venturing onto the surface to hunt. They organize themselves into loose semi-nomadic tribal structures of up to a hundred individuals, moving from cavern to cavern as they exhaust the local wildlife. They have been known to hunt humans when they intrude on their territory, and are widely regarded as monsters although not all contact has been violent.

Echolocation: Bat men navigate by emitting clicking, chirping noises and listening for the echoes. They do not count as blind when interacting with solid objects within 60 feet of them, but are blind in areas of magical silence and have trouble navigating wide-open spaces.

Since my goblins are also people, these are (some of) my "goblins". These ones can fly but do less wonky/dangerous "goblin" shit.

Crab Men

HD 1 HP 7 Size Medium AC 6 (crab shell, as plate)
Init -1 Speed 20'
Strength 16 +3 Dexterity 8 -1 
Intelligence 6 -2 Charisma 10 +0
STR Attack 14 (15 if warrior) melee crab pincer 1d8+3 crushing
Speaks Skittering
Equipment String necklace with 1d20 shells on it, on a 20 it instead has one ornate shell from a rare and magical small crustacean

Crab men inhabit the coastal and littoral zones of the Mountain, in cave-villages bored into stone cliffs and sea floors. They are organized into three castes; hunters, builders, and shamans—each caste has a suite of trademark invocations, taught to them by shamanic caste-keepers. Check the caste system bit below, all crab men should probably have at least an A template in their caste.

Crab Body: Crab men have thick shells that grant them armor as plate (+7 AC) and giant crab pincers (medium crushing melee 1d8). Also, they're slow.

Caste System (Playing a Crab Man)

Hunters learn charms to hide them and allow them to set ambushes for their prey or turn their shells and pincers as hard and sharp as steel, and double as warriors when the cave-village needs protection. Builders learn castings to bore new burrows out of solid stone, and create permanent portals between villages known as waystones. Shamans learn whatever they can, imbuing the appropriate powers into other crab men according to their caste, and have access to some powers exclusive to them in the event of matters facing a cave-village that defy solving through the typical actions of hunters and builders.

You can play a crab man if your party befriends the crab men, perhaps by destroying all caches of butter and lemons in the nearby outposts of "civilization", or by gifting to them a great volume of jewelry. Crab men love jewelry. Big heavy necklaces to hang precariously from their eye stalks and delicate tiaras to balance atop their shells. Reroll Strength and then add 2 to the higher roll, then reroll Dexterity and Intelligence and take the lower of each.

Starting Equipment: Nothing. Maybe a couple shells.

I guess crab men are a wizard school. Your perk is that you have a crab shell and crab claws, and your drawback is that you're slow as hell and have shitty Dexterity and Intelligence.

You can pick hunter, builder, or shaman. If you're a hunter or builder, you only gain your caste's cantrips and spells—they were imbued into your crab-ichor by a shaman when you were but a hatchling. If you're a shaman, roll your cantrips and spells randomly and also gain the following ability: 

As a crab man shaman, you can imbue your spells and cantrips into un-caste-ed crab men at will, turning them into either a hunter or a builder. In addition, you can transfer any spell you know (whether it's a crab man spell or not) along with 1 MD to any target (caste-ed, crab man, or otherwise) with a touch. In this case, the MD and spell return to you at dawn the next day regardless of whether they have been expended or not.

Roll a d8 three times if you're a shaman, rerolling duplicates, otherwise just take your caste's.
1-hunter. Find Fish. You know the rough direction and distance of the largest fish within 1 kilometer.
2-hunter. Purge Poison. Target previously living thing becomes safe to eat, at least for crab men. You  can only use this on something that is very recently (within the last minute or so) deceased.
3-hunter. Crab of Violence. Count your STR Attack as 1 higher when attacking with your pincers.
4-builder. Snibb Snibb. Something you're touching is snipped as if with one of your pincers.
5-builder. Soften Stone. You can soften solid stone enough to snip through it, removing any damage reduction from up to a 5 foot cube of stone for 1 hour. It takes one crab-hour of labor to clear a 5 foot cube.
6-builder. Crab of Purpose. You can harden crude tools to function as well as their forged iron counterparts as long as you yourself are using them. 
7-shaman. Control Currents. Water in a 5 foot radius around you lies still and unable to move on its own. Cancels the effects of currents, rapids, fast-flowing rivers and streams, undertow, et cetera.
8-shaman. Crab of Knowledge. You can fully identify all properties of any magical effect or artefact by drinking saltwater that it has been immersed in.

Crab Spells
If you're a hunter or builder, you get spells from your caste in order—#1 & #2 at first level, #3 at second level, #4 at third level, and your emblem spell at fourth level.

If you're a shaman, flip a coin for hunter or builder at each level (once for each spell at first level). You learn the shaman emblem spell at fourth level instead of either caste's.

Yes this is less spells than a normal wizard but whatever, they're good spells I promise. Also you can still learn new spells like a normal wizard, it'll just make other crab men think you're weird, especially if you're not a shaman.

Hunter 1. Trapdoor Crab
R: self T: self D: instantaneous
You camouflage yourself into nearby terrain. You cannot be noticed without magic as long as you do not move. If you make an attack or similar action from this state, enemies are considered surprised.

Hunter 2. Leap
R: self T: self D: instantaneous
You almost-instantly leap a distance equal to your speed. If you collide with something, both you and it take [sum] damage with a Dexterity roll for half, and the object you collided with is forced back 5 feet. Casting this spell doesn't take an action, but can only be done once per round. 

Hunter 3. Pistol Crab
R: touch T: creature D: [dice] hoursThe target touched grows a giant crab-pincer over their main hand. If they already have pincers, it's a medium spike weapon that does one additional die of damage, and can be used in melee or snapped to deal damage up to 10 feet away with concussive force. If they don't already have pincers, it's a normal crab man pincer (medium crushing melee 1d8, scale die up or down depending on size difference from medium or small). You can target yourself with this spell.

Hunter 4. Envenom
R: touch T: object or creature D: [dice] minutes
You imbue a touched object with powerful venom. Your pincer is a natural choice, but you could also use it to poison food, a touched target, et cetera. This acts as a poison that deals [sum] damage.

Hunter Emblem. Giant Enemy Crab
R: touch T: arthropod D: [dice] hours
The arthropod touched doubles in size, and its carapace hardens into steel. As enlarge plus its HP is doubled, any claws or pincers it has are affected as though by pistol crab, and all effects normally associated with steel armor and weapons. It also gains a weak point that can be attacked for massive damage—receiving a critical hit automatically ends the spell.

Builder 1. Crabricate
R: n/a T: your inventory D: permanent
You produce [sum] slots of low-quality shell, coral, or stone tools out of thin air. Each will break after one use.

Builder 2. Molt
R: touch T: creature D: instantaneous
The target touched quickly sheds its skin or carapace and grows a new one, healing [sum] HP. The old skin or carapace remains, sloughed off.

Builder 3. Crab Spike
R: [dice] * 5 feet T: line D: instantaneous
You produce a bipointed staple of shell, coral, or stone that punches forth with enough force to rivet steel. If used as an attack, roll an attack roll against the first target in line, dealing [sum]+[dice] damage. If it misses the first target or deals enough damage to reduce them to 0 HP, roll an attack against the next target in line for any damage not yet assigned, &c, &c. If targeted to restrain rather than wound, the staple deals no damage but pins them on a successful attack roll and has 10 AC and 10 HP, or can be burst with a Strength check at 10 difficulty. You can also use it to staple things together.

Builder 4. Encrustacean
R: touch T: creature or object D: permanent
The touched target turns into a crab, of approximately the same mass as it originally was. This gives life and the ability to speak Skittering, but not undue intelligence, to inanimate objects, and can affect targets of up to your size. Unwilling targets roll Charisma to resist.

Builder Emblem. Crabworks
R: sight T: [sum] 10 foot cubes D: concentration, then instantaneous
You reshape the target area of terrain to your liking. This is slow, taking an hour of concentration to reach full effect as land slowly slides into place, etc. You can't use this ability to create or destroy mass, but you can change densities within reason—for example to create sturdy tunnels or expand an boulder into a foamy mass that fills the area.

Shaman Emblem. Crab World
R: sight T: [dice] mile radius centered around point D: [dice] * [sum] days
Weather and nonmagical beasts within the area bend themselves to your will, within their natural limits. In addition, any creatures within the area become gradually more crablike, as if affected by an encrustacean spell that takes effect slowly over the first week of the spell's effect or the first week they spend within the spell's area while it is active. If they spend the entire week within the spell's area while it remains active, the effects are permanent and persist beyond the duration of the spell.


HD 3 HP 19 Size Medium AC 3 (tough hide, as hide armor)
Init +0 Speed 20' Swim 60'
Strength 14 +2 Dexterity 14 +2 
Intelligence 2 -4 Charisma 6 -2
STR Attack 15 bite 1d8+2
Speaks No language, but sing in something that sounds like Common although unintelligible

Fishmaid is a misnomer, for they are neither fish nor maid. More like manatees with a maw of fierce jagged teeth. So named because, while sunning themselves on a rock, they look almost like a comely woman as long as you're a sailor who's been on a ship for the past four months and are looking at them through dense fog. Fishmaids are omnivores, but will happily sink a rowboat or fishing launch and feast on the tender humans inside if the opportunity presents itself. They are not sapient.

Tough Hide: Fishmaids have thick, leathery hides that grant them +3 AC.

Siren Song: Fishmaids "sing" while sunning themselves. The song sounds like sultry crooning, though no words can be made out. Any who hear it roll Intelligence or are convinced that it is actually sung by an intelligent being, unless they've rolled successfully against it before.


HD 1 HP 6 Size Medium AC 0 (unarmored)
Init +0 Speed 20'
Strength 10 +0 Dexterity 8 -1 
Intelligence 8 -1 Charisma 12 +1
STR Attack 11 melee fungal slam 1d4 + spores, see ability text
DEX Attack 10 range 10' spores, see ability text
Speaks Decay

Mushroom people. I don't know how else to say it, they're mushroom people. Live in the deepest caverns under the Mountain that have been breached so far. Generally nonhostile, but capable of defending themselves. Don't understand flesh-creatures or the surface world very well. Myconids don't need to sleep, and can subsist on dirt and rotting wood or flesh.

Fungal Vision: Myconids can see as well in dim light as humans do in sunlight. Bright light hurts them, causing 1 damage per minute of exposure.

Fungal Body: Myconids get an additional 2 HP per level/HD. They take double damage from fire.

Spores: Myconids have spores. They can apply these spores to their unarmed melee attacks, project them as a ranged attack with a range of 10 feet, or release them in a 5-foot radius cloud as an action or in response to taking damage. Spores affect only creatures with flesh or flesh-like bodies (like plans and fungi), are resisted by rolling Strength with the myconid's HD as difficulty, and last one hour unless otherwise specified. All myconids have the following types of spores, some may have more.

  1. Rapport. Allows telepathic communication with the myconid while touching it or any surface coated with rapport spores that it is also touching.
  2. Psychedelic. Produces vivid, colorful hallucinations—easy to distinguish from reality, but distracting nonetheless. Applies difficulty equal to the myconid's HD to all d20 rolls.
  3. Endothermic. Freezes when exposed to light, causing 1 damage per round exposed to dim light, 1d4 per round exposed to torch or lantern light, 1d8 per round exposed to brighter light, and 2d6 per round exposed to sunlight. Each application can deal maximum total damage equal to the myconid's HD times ten before being completely burnt out.
  4. Luminescent. Provides dim light in a 5 foot radius.

Fruiting Bodies (Playing a Myconid)

Some myconids have the capability to produce even more fantastic spore effects. While most of these will be found in key roles or at the head of a myconid family-culture, if they needed to send a body out of their caverns, this is who they would choose to send.

You can play a myconid if your party befriends the myconids. It's actually quite easy to befriend the myconids; just don't burn them with your torches and lanterns. The hard part is getting to them in the first place, and then getting back out again. Reroll Charisma, then reroll Dexterity and Intelligence and take the lower result for each. Also note that you're slow and don't need to (and can't) sleep or really eat.

Fruiting Body
You produce budding fungal children each day as long as you are well-fed, to a maximum of your HD. If removed from your body, they wither and die within 24 hours, but if eaten before then they heal 1d8 HP and count as a ration. If planted and allowed to mature in mostly moist, nutrient-rich substrate, they will grow into a new myconid within one year. You have no compunctions about eating your children, or allowing others to do so.

At second level, you can produce potent toxic spores in addition to your standard types. This acts as a poison that deals 1d6 damage per HD.

At third level, you can produce spores that link with subjects' neural systems and cause fatigue and apathy in addition to your standard types. If the subject fails their Strength roll to resist the spores, they are stunned for 1 round, then fatigued for 1 hour and suffer 2 difficulty on all d20 rolls. If they pass their roll, they are still fatigued for the duration.

At fourth level, you can produce spores that invade and colonize the neural functions of dead creatures. If the subject fails their Strength roll to resist the spores (yes they get one even though they're dead), they are animated as a fungal zombie under your control. Arthropod corpses don't get to roll. Fungal zombies have their original Strength, half their original Dexterity, 2 (-4) Intelligence and Charisma, move a maximum of 20' per round, and attack as 1 HD creatures. Fungal zombies last until destroyed or released (see below), not one hour.

You can control a number of fungal zombies equal to your level—if you pass this limit, any additional ones (you can choose which) succumb back to death—which follow commands spoken by you in Decay or through your Rapport spores. Once a creature has been animated as a fungal zombie once, it can't be reanimated again. Fungal zombies are fungus, not undead, though they certainly appear undead.

Rock Leeches

HD 1 HP 4 Size Medium AC 5 (leech-hide, as scale) Half damage from sharp things and fire
Init +5 Speed 40' Swim 40'
Strength 10 +0 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 6 -2 Charisma 10 +0
DEX Attack 12 melee slashers 1d6+1 spike, heals for damage dealt
Speaks Hadeal, Serumic

Rock leeches are terrible semihumanoid beasts, with flat eyeless faces pierced only by nostril- and ear-slits and yawning, horrible maws of needle-teeth. Their skin is tough like rhinoceros hide and wet like an oilslick, and their hands end in bundles of razor-sharp claws like broken glass. They seem to have some level of intelligence but little in the way of culture, lying in wait in wet caves along underground rivers to snare passers-by and drain them of their blood.

Leech-hides and leech-glass (their slashers, cut right from their hands) are very valuable. Leech-hide dustcoats count as hide armor and convey their benefit in halving sharp and fire damage. Leech-glass weapons have the spike property in addition to their normal ones, though it's difficult to fashion a leech-glass blade into anything larger than a knife.

Slashers: Rock leech slashers are made of preternaturally sharp glasslike material, shot through with thousands of narrow channels that drain blood from their victims and feed it directly back into their systems. Slashers are light spike melee weapons that deal 1d6 base damage and heal the leech for damage dealt. A rock leech doesn't need to eat if it has healed at least 1 HP through slasher damage that day. This can be hazardous if used to drain the blood of a creature suffering from poison or a malady, etc. Slashers aren't much good for grasping or fiddling, add 2 difficulty to rolls involving fine manual dexterity.

Leechsense: Rock leeches are blind, but their sensitivity to sound and smell allow them to hunt very well in the darkness. They take no penalties for being blind in melee combat, but must locate prey through other senses outside of melee range.

Riverine: You're amphibious and have a swim speed. Saltwater (or touching a large volume of salt in general) leeches (ha, ha) the water right out of your blood, dealing you 1 damage per round of exposure.

Leech Hide: A rock leech's slick, tough hide provides natural armor as scale (+4 AC) and halves damage taken from sharp things and fire. It also blends in with dark stone, adding 4 difficulty to rolls made to notice them while hiding.

Fast Movement: Rock leeches are fast-moving predators, with a +4 bonus to initiative and 40' land speed.

Rock Lampreys

HD 2 HP 13 Size Medium AC 7 (lithodermis, as plate) Half damage from physical sources and fire
Init +0 Speed 30' Swim 30'
Strength 14 +2 Dexterity 10 +0 
Intelligence 6 -2 Charisma 12 +1
STR Attack 14 melee slashers 1d6+2 spike, heals for damage dealt
Speaks Hadeal, Serumic

Rock lampreys are a more muscular, hardier breed of rock leech, often acting as the 'alpha' of rock leech hunting groups. Some who have delved deep under the Mountain tell nightmarish tales of entire rock lamprey villages far below the earth. We hope those stories are not reliable.

Crafting armor out of rock lamprey lithodermis is, unfortunately, nearly impossible—it brittles and cracks soon after one is skinned. If one managed to do so somehow, it would be formidable protection indeed.

Slashers: As rock leech.

Leechsense: As rock leech.

Riverine: As rock leech.

Lithodermis: A rock lamprey's hide is hard and knobbed over with stony growths, granting it armor as plate (+7 AC) and halving damage taken from all physical trauma (including falling) as well as fire. It also blends in with dark stone, adding 4 difficulty to rolls made to notice them while hiding.

Leech-Stalkers (Playing a Rock Leech)

You can play a rock leech if your party befriends the rock leeches. I'm not sure how one would befriend the rock leeches, and I'm even less sure that it's a good idea to do so even if you do figure out how, but hey. The option is there. Pick a race. Rock leeches get Leech Hide, Fast Movement, and reroll Dexterity. Rock lampreys get Lithodermis and reroll Strength. Both races get Slashers, Leechsense, Riverine, and reroll Intelligence, taking the lower result, then subtract 2.

You don't get anything at first level. Being a leech is enough.

Leech Dance
At second level, you can perform a swaying dance as an action to hypnotize your prey. If they're looking at you, they roll Intelligence or are stunned for 1 round.

Hunting Sense
At second level, your leech-sense expands to give you a clear mental picture of the surrounding 10 feet. You don't count as blind when interacting with things within that range. You still can't see color or read printed text.
At third level, it expands again to 30 feet.
At fourth level, it expands finally to 60 feet.

At third level, wounds caused by your slashers bleed for 1 damage per round until bandaged or cauterized due to anticoagulant gel coating the blades. This stacks if you hit something multiple times.

Leech Ambush
At third level, your skin blends in even more perfectly with the rock. As long as you're in dim or no light, rocky terrain, and not being actively observed, you can disappear completely. You can't be seen again until you move.

Cliff Leech
At fourth level, you can scale stone walls as easily as you walk or swim. Gain a climb speed equal to your land speed.

At fourth level, your slashers develop into crashers, gigantic tangles of broken leech-glass surrounding your fists like morningstar heads. These are light spike melee weapons that deal 2d6 base damage, with all the other properties of your slashers. Add 4 difficulty to rolls involving fine manual dexterity.


These have a dungeon now!

HD 1 HP 2 Size Tiny AC 0 (unarmored)
Init -1 Speed 30'
Strength 6 -2 Dexterity 12 +1 
Intelligence 6 -2 Charisma 6 -2
STR Attack 9 melee ratman poke-stick 1d4-2 improvised reach + roll Strength or contract Ratspite
DEX Attack 12 melee ratman shiv 1d2+1 improvised close quarter throatcutter
Speaks Chew and Decay, poorly, but they understand every language
Equipment 50% chance of ratman poke-stick (medium improvised reach 1d4) or shiv (light improvised close quarter throatcutter 1d2), something else both stupid and poorly-conceived, maybe a shiny pebble

Ratmen are little things that live anywhere there is dark. They can be found under the Mountain, but some live in the sewers and cellars of civilized towns on it as well. They breed like, well, rats. They are at war with the bat men. They have always been at war with the bat men. They are much weaker than the bat men, but there are so many more of them. They are winning the war. They have never lost a war. It is impossible to win a war against the ratmen.

Rat Ingenuity: Ratmen can build anything out of anything. It won't necessarily work, but they can do it.

Ratsight: Ratmen can see as well in dim light as humans can see in sunlight.

Photophobia: Ratmen roll Charisma to enter areas of bright light, or again if anyone holding a light source spends an action to brandish it threateningly. If they fail, they run screeching and hollering to its edge and lurk there. They can try again once every minute. Ratmen who are forced into bright light despite a failed roll are helpless; they throw down their weapon, piss themselves, curl up into a ball, and sob uncontrollably (at least until an opportunity for escape presents itself). Under no circumstances will they approach within 60' of a large light source (such as a bonfire, or a pile of burning furniture). They dislike attacking lightbearers in melee, and will only attack them if no other attractive options present themselves.

You can't play a ratman, but you can probably play many ratmen. Use this for ratman names.

My goblins are people, so these are my goblins. These are the ones that do all the stupid goblin shit.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

NO LIGHT NO WARMTH: Oiled Paladin (Class: Specialist)

Somewhere towards the southern edge of the tetrahedral world, an expedition gathers...

This is for deus ex parabola's edge-climb campaign thingy, not GROG or the Mountain.

EDIT 2020-08-05: Defiance Dice are d4s now. They were too damn good.

Class: Oiled Paladin (Blue Heretic)

The Blue Heretics hate this shit. Hierarchy? Theology?? In the days when the g_ds still deigned to speak with us there was no Church. Maybe if the world wasn't filled with cowards and sluts and other products of church-ery, the g_ds would still be around.

You're a follower of the Blue Heresy and you're damned proud of it. Let the priests in their cathedrals rail against you, for here at the edge of the world you are beyond the pathetic reach of their Church. You oil your body and wear your mask proudly, for it marks you as one who is—above all else—not afraid.

This is how you should play every character with a link to the divine, but it's especially how you should play an oiled paladin.

Tenets of the Blue Heretics, in order of importance.
  1. Never give in to cowardice. You can retreat from a fight, but only if you make it clear to whatever you are retreating from that you could destroy them but are simply choosing not to.
  2. Never let yourself be governed by another. If you do something for someone, it is because you wish to, not because you were commanded. Disobey direct orders, or rationalize them as actually your idea and perform them with your own flair.
  3. Be disrespectful, drink in public, fraternize with prostitutes and tax collectors, throw garbage at rich people. If someone tells you to do these things, immediately become super polite and bougie just to screw with them.
  4. Don't carry more of anything than you need. Share your booze, food and money with the beggars of the street.
  5. Communicate through a medium-to-high yell at all times, especially when talking to people who can't beat you up.

If you take off your mask or break a tenet, you lose all your DD and can't use any Oiled Paladin class features except oiled and extra attack per round until you put your mask back on and do at least three of: Get good and drunk, yell at someone, start a fight that could have been avoided, eat a solid meal, get a good night's sleep.

For every template of this class you have, you gain +1 HRTS or SAVE (your choice at each template). You use the specialist to-hit progression, increasing by +1 at templates B and D.

Starting Items: A blue mask (see image), simple but revealing workman's clothing (probably jorts and a cropped denim jacket), hatchet and hammer (both light weapons), sheath of 10 eighteen-inch iron spike nails, skin of scented oil, pint flask of hard liquor, and one piece of gear rolled randomly from the list at the end. You can't fumble with blunt or chopping weapons, like cudgels, maces, staves, axes, hammers, and machetes. You can't wear armor unless you have training or templates in another class that lets you.
Skills: 1. Mockery and Invective, 2. Labor, 3. Posturing.

A: Defiance, Oiled, +1 DD
B: Resolute Fury, +1 DD
C: Harangue, Extra Attack Per Round, +1 DD
D: Absolute Resolve, From Hell's Heart, +1 DD

A: Defiance
You have a pool of Defiance Dice, or DD, which are d4s equal to the number of oiled paladin templates you have. You can roll any number of these when you roll a d20, and add them to the result. DD that come up a result less than or equal to the number of DD you rolled are expended until you get a good long rest, otherwise they return to your pool.

A: Oiled
While conscious, oiled up, and wearing your mask, you are protected as if by clothing appropriate to the environment and leather armor. If you receive training or templates in a class that lets you wear better armor you can do so, but you consider it at least a slight indignity and it won't stack, you just take the higher AC.

B: Resolute Fury
You can roll and expend any number of DD to enter a resolute fury for [best] minutes, gaining a [best] bonus to all rolls related to mobility or resistance, causing your fists and feet to count as light weapons that deal an additional [best] damage, and rendering you immune to pain, fear, and other negative mind-affecting abilities for the duration. While in a fury, you must roll SKLL to avoid doing things that are bold, heroic, and utterly foolhardy, and ignore [best] slots of exhaustion but gain [lowest] slots of exhaustion after your fury ends. You can attempt to roll SKLL once per round without spending an action to end your fury before its duration.

C: Harangue
You can roll and expend any number of DD to spew a stream of inspiring invective for [best] minutes. Allies that can hear you gain a [best] bonus on rolls against fear or intimidation and ignore [best] damage from each attack for the duration, and enemies that can hear you must check Morale when the haranguing starts.

D: Absolute Resolve
When you have at least one DD, you can roll and expend all DD you currently have to do one thing that's probably impossible but not completely out of the question to save your own life or the life of one of your party members. Break out of unbreakable bonds, end up clinging to the cliff face thirty meters down after a nasty fall, step into the way of a killing blow meant for your ally, et cetera. Gain [lowest] slots of exhaustion after the effect resolves.

D: From Hell's Heart
When an attack drops you to 0 or lower HP, you get a free attack against whatever made it.


  1. Workman's rucksack. Plenty of hooks and loops and pockets.
  2. Kukri. Heavy axe-like machete/dagger intended for chopping. Medium weapon that takes up space like a light weapon.
  3. Tin of smoked tea and insulated thermos. Thermos keeps temperature for most of a day. 1 slot each.
  4. 100' rope and rope-clips. 2 slots.
  5. Tongs. Counts as light weapon.
  6. Flask of expensive brandy. By far the nicest anyone you meet will have ever had, unless they're fabulously rich, and even then they'll admit it's pretty good. 1/3rd of a slot.
  7. Overengineered buckler with a lantern hook and plenty of spikes. Light weapon, +1 AC, can hold a lantern, 1 slot.
  8. Lightweight wok. Very well designed, could serve as a light shield if you put straps on it, or a sled or a bucket or something. Only takes up 1 slot as long as it's tied down properly.
  9. Sturdy pair of leather gloves. Nearly fireproof.
  10. 20 hand-rolled cigarillos. Roll a d20 per cigarillo when smoked, you keep them all mixed together, it's more exciting that way: 1-10 tobacco, 11-19 mild psychedelic, 20 explodes (both literally and mechanically) for 1d6 damage to the smoker per 20 rolled with no save. 1/3rd of a slot.
  11. Small statue of a cat covered with gold leaf. 1 slot.
  12. Very nice silk brocade cloak and braided chain to affix it. +1 on reaction rolls. 1 slot.
  13. 3 ornately carved jade knives. Not especially effective as weapons. 1 slot total.
  14. Bottle of liquid soap, useful for getting all the old oil off you, as antifreeze, for cleaning just about anything, greasing something, etc. 1/3rd of a slot.
  15. Trick ring containing one dose of extremely deadly poison.
  16. Big bowl-shaped straw hat.
  17. Gigantic wooden collar. Bite ring holds it in place, can't talk while wearing it. +1 AC, 1 slot.
  18. Calligraphy set. Several colors of ink, pens, brushes, et cetera. 1 slot.
  19. 3 javelins. Light weapons, 1 slot total.
  20. Something weird. Roll 1d4:
    1. Skeleton key. Made of bone, capped with a mouse skull, whispers in the dark. Can break off in any lock to unlock it, once closed that container can never be unlocked again.
    2. Rusted iron crossbow bolt. Stained with old blood and always warm. If embedded in flesh, the target flies into a rage and won't stop fighting until subdued.
    3. Crude map scratched on a piece of tree bark. Always depicts the surrounding 444', but difficult to navigate by since it doesn't compress distances logically, highlights terrain features of little import, and sometimes doesn't show ones of great import.
    4. Scrap of a torn banner. Shows the symbol of whatever organization the viewer is most afraid of. When you look at it, it's solid black, of course—you're not afraid of anything.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Tao of GLOG

I'm gonna print this out and frame it.
The GLOG that can be written is not the true GLOG.

The GLOG is empty; when utilized, it is not filled up. So deep! It seems to be the source of all things. It blunts the sharpness, unravels the knots, dims the glare, mixes the dusts. 

The highest goodness resembles water. Water greatly benefits myriad things without contention, it stays in places that people dislike. Therefore it is similar to the GLOG.

The GLOG is like a flood; it can flow to the left or to the right; the myriad things depend on it for life, but it never stops; it achieves its work, but does not take credit; it clothes and feeds myriad things, but does not rule over them.

The GLOG that is spoken out of the mouth is bland and without flavor. Look at it, it cannot be seen; listen to it, it cannot be heard; use it, it cannot be exhausted.

The GLOG is constant in non-action, yet there is nothing it does not do.

When mechanics are lackluster, the players are simple and honest. When mechanics are scrutinizing, the players are shrewd and crafty.

~Lao Tzu, probably

OSR discord user deus ex parabola and I have been passing the same damn edited Tao quote back and forth so I figured it was time to mine the text for a few more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Bestiary: A is for Angel

An effort to force myself to finish the Bestiary for the Mountain at the End of the World. Stats are for the GROG, so base AC is 0 ascending and base attack is 10 + level ascending.


Angels are spirits of sun and fire. Most angels are comprised of two parts; the divine soul—a fire elemental—and the celestial body, often an armature or suit of blessed armor but sometimes a device of more sophisticated and less explicable holiness.

No form of angel is ever damaged by fire, either consecrated or natural.

pretend it's a toy cathedral or something


HD 1 HP 4 Size Small AC 4 
Init +4 Speed 30' Climb 30'
Strength 10 +0 Dexterity 14 +2 
Intelligence 6 -2 Wisdom 14 +2
STR Attack 11 melee ivory teeth 1d6
Speaks Angelfire, Arqot

Dogs are sometimes held to be angels, but not all dogs and especially not all dogmen are close to and of the sun. Dogs-spider are not true angels either, born in crypts as others of their specii, but grown fat on the flesh of the holy dead. They consume all of their benevolence and wisdom and take some measure of it into themselves, leaving the corpse-saints ragged and malicious in their tombs.

Dogs-spider have furnaces for hearts and smoke for blood and they need coal or bone or ash or oil or soot or corpseflesh to stoke their flames. They have the voice of a screaming choir emitted in short, sharp barks, and four long, multiply-jointed legs that terminate in iron spikes. Their canine faces (not masks, no) are carved from ivory and sanctified bone, and if pulled off reveal their brains like a thousand knotted worms all alight with holy fire.

Dog-spider bites are not venomous, but their drool can heal physical traumas if smeared across the wound or bruise (heals 1d6 damage, loses potency when the dog-spider dies). They can extrude silk, stronger than any rope and imbued with divine power, but the method by which they do so is extremely gross.

Dogs-spider want to heal the sick, protect the downtrodden, and teach the inquisitive, but also want to chase sticks and burn things and eat and shit and roll around in the ashes.

which orbs of light are good and which ones are bad? who knows

Lantern Archon

HD 1 HP 4 Size Tiny AC 3 
Init +3 Fly 60'
Strength -- Dexterity 10 +0 
Intelligence 8 -1 Wisdom 17 +3
DEX Attack 10 60' range light ray 1d6 holy fire
Speaks Angelfire

Lanterns archon are commonly confused with torches sprite and share many traits, but where a torch sprite is created from a once-living soul, a lantern archon is a true angelic being (albeit the least among them). They are generally helpful, if you can communicate with them. If you somehow acquire a guardian angel, it's probably one of these.

Body of Light: Lanterns archon take no physical damage from weapons. They can be extinguished by anything that would extinguish a brazier-sized fire; a bucket of water or sand, a fireproof blanket, et cetera.

they don't have to be this impressive

Fire Elemental

I'm not writing stats for these just use something else but it's made out of fire now
Wisdom 16 +3 minimum
Speaks Angelfire, plus Common, Ember, and Old Tongue if it's older

Fires elemental are the core truth of an angel, the same way that a person would have a soul. They manifest physically as a mass of fire or force, which can be of any form as they will. 

Smaller and younger fires elemental often manifest in humanoid or doglike shapes, and move with the speed of flame racing up a strip of paper. Bigger and older ones shift through strange and indescribable forms that scratch at half-buried ancestral memories, shades of great adversaries past. They move ponderously, but strike with the force of an explosion.

Fire Magic: Fires elemental can cast one or more of burning hands, fireball, firebolt and/or wall of fire as a white mage of the same level. Bigger and older fire elementals can cast more spells.

Body of Fire: Any creature touching a fire elemental or attacking it with a melee weapon takes 1d6 holy fire damage. Bigger and older fire elementals also cause 1d6 holy fire damage per round to things that end their turn next to them.

surprisingly hard to find a good hound archon image anyway imagine this but dead and burning

Hound Archon (Dog-Golem, Sword Archon)

HD 4 HP 26 Size Medium AC 6 
Init +4 Speed 30'
Strength 15 +2 Dexterity 14 +2 
Intelligence 10 +0 Wisdom 15 +2
STR Attack 16 melee angelic greatsword 2d8+3 (+1 and ignores 1 AC vs humanoids)
Speaks Angelfire, Common, Ember, Old Tongue, Arqot

Hounds archon are one of the lesser creations of the angels, born when they need soldiers. They are formed from the skin of a dogman stretched over an armature of brass and iron, packed with coals, and animated by a lesser fire elemental or lantern archon. 

Hounds archon are armed with iron greatswords and frequently wear armor to supplement their natural resistance to blows. A hound archon in half-plate has AC 12 and Speed 20'.

Metal Bones: Hounds archon have +2 AC on account of their metal skeleton.

this picture is for both kinds of real angels

Ophan (Wheel, Chariot, Throne)

Arnold already did this really well so just use his
Speaks Angelfire, Common, Ember, Old Tongue

Ophanim, also known as Wheels, Chariots, or Thrones, are a lower form of “true” angel. Manifested as a whirling collection of between one and six eye-studded golden wheels wreathed in holy fire; ghostly wings of light might be visible in and around the angel’s body. Ophanim are tasked with judging mortal souls, and they tend to be single-minded in this goal.

Seraph (Archangel, Power)

HD 7 HP 87 Size Large AC 10
Init +10 Speed 30' Fly 60'
Strength 27 +8 Dexterity 19 +4 
Intelligence 19 +4 Wisdom 23 +6
STR Attack 25 melee angelic greatsword 2d8+8 + 3d6 holy fire (held in one hand)
Speaks All languages (gift of tongues)

Seraphim are at the highest level in the angelic hierarchy, the trusted hands of the sun. Each is unique, granted its own set of powers and trusted with a certain domain of the sun’s concerns to look after. Most Seraphim, at least those which mortal eyes can bear to look upon, have the appearance of a confluence of wings, arms, hands, and eyes. They also sometimes appear as towering six-winged humanoid figures with golden skin. 

Divine Innocence: Any creature that can see the Seraph and attempts to attack it must roll Wisdom to do so. This ability only functions while the Seraph is at full HP.

Divine Power: Seraphim can cast spells as a white mage of the same level. Their MD are never expended.

1d20 Domains Archangelic

  1. War. Carries a gleaming shield granting a +7 AC and allowing it to reflect targeted spells that are resisted by it against a target of its choice, suffering none of the effects.
  2. Fate. While in the angel’s presence, rolls of 7 count as natural 20s, and rolls of 4 or 13 count as natural 1s. Only the positive side of this ability affects angels. 
  3. Dawn. The angel shines like the sun, casting bright light in an unlimited radius. Looking at it blinds sighted creatures for 1d6 minutes.
  4. Fire. The angel is surrounded by a nimbus of intense flame, dealing 6d6 holy fire damage to all creatures that enter or begin their turn in a 10-foot radius around it. Things that touch it directly and aren’t immune to holy fire are immediately destroyed. The angel leaves footprints of molten earth where it walks.
  5. Wisdom. The angel automatically succeeds at Wisdom rolls, and can make any rolls associated with actions before deciding whether or not to take them.
  6. Sanctuary. Combat, attack rolls, and damage (except BATTLEFIRE) are impossible in the angel’s presence.
  7. Death. Living creatures that touch the angel roll Strength or die. Creatures that succeed are immune to death until dawn the next day. Plants and wood are destroyed.
  8. Light. Creatures and objects that touch the angel are permanently enchanted to glow like a torch.
  9. Mercy. No creature in the angel’s presence can feel pain.
  10. Wrath. Creatures that begin their turn in the angel’s presence roll Wisdom or attack something. If there are no targets within range of any of their attacks, they target themselves.
  11. Grace. Attacks against the angel automatically miss, and it takes no damage from effects that allow a Dexterity roll for partial effect.
  12. Purity. Creatures in the angel’s presence are cured of any poisons, diseases, drug effects, curses, or other maladies, and can't be affected by any of those so long as they remain in its presence. They can still be wounded, catch fire, fall unconscious, and die.
  13. Salvation. Creatures that die in the angel’s presence disappear in a cloud of golden sparks, and reawaken the next day at dawn in the last place they rested, with full HP. Their equipment stays where they fell, and they have vivid white scars showing the manner of their demise.
  14. Retribution. Any creature damaging the angel immediately takes the same damage. If the damage was caused by a weapon, that weapon also gains a notch. Indirect damage (causing a large object to fall on the angel, et cetera) doesn't cause damage to the instigator, but ranged attacks and attack spells do.
  15. Jubilation. All creatures within a 70 foot radius of the angel are filled with divine confidence, immune to fear effects, and count all their stats as 7 higher for d20 rolls.
  16. Condemnation. At the beginning of each of the angel’s turns, it selects one target that it can see to be the target of its condemnation. Until the beginning of its next turn, all attacks against that target that hit are critical hits. The angel will always select the target it believes to be most wicked and evil.
  17. Silence. Nothing in the angel’s presence makes any sound at all. Spellcasting and speech are impossible.
  18. Industry. In the angel’s presence, workers’ contributions to a work or process are multiplied tenfold.
  19. Devastation. A 70 foot radius around the angel is continually aflame, dealing 1d6 holy fire damage to all who enter or begin their turn within the area. Within the radius, buildings crumble and vegetation is burned to the ground. Nothing can grow or be built there for at least a decade.
  20. Containment. The angel is accompanied by a solid orb of sunlight 10 feet in diameter, which floats perpetually above its head. Any creature the angel touches rolls Wisdom or collapses as its soul is instantaneously and permanently confined to the orb. The orb has 77 HP, and destroying it will return the souls to their bodies if the bodies still exist. It contains many souls already.