Friday, May 22, 2020


OSR discord user Corgifan2 later clarified that this was due to the GM's misunderstanding of a rule and they should only have made 21 attacks

so, someone posted this in the OSR discord and i was incensed to find the mass effect d20hack i remember having written, because there's no way it could be as bad as apparently, the one that was officially released

well, i did find it

it is from 2012

it is real bad but it actually might be better than the system described above

so i am thus compelled to post it, in an effort to erase any respect and/or community goodwill i might have accrued thus far

it lives in several google docs (because that is how i did things at the time how i still do things, tbh) and it is written in the extremely tedious format of a child (i guess a 20 year old?) trying to emulate the extremely specific rules text of D&D 3.5e and also Magic the Gathering (because that is how i did things at the time. i think i have actually stopped doing this, mostly,. hopefully, thankfully)

i think the word "may" appears 33,000 times in total across t hese documents

okay enough self-deprecation ,sorry HERE'S THE GAME

it is probably runnable, it looks fairly complete for what it is
i do not recommend anyone do this, but who knows
if you have played the "official" mass effect d20 game please let me know if it's better or worse, lmao

"Core Rules"
Species (EDIT: forgot these)
Powers (i think these go with the classes)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Mountain: The Rat Warrens (Dungeon)

In an effort to codify more of the Mountain at the End of the World's setting and hopefully end up with something that can actually be played, I drew a rough point-map (forgive my preschool-grade block printing)...

clicc for big

...and as a result, I was able to start working on the dungeon levels. That meant trying to write a one-page dungeon, realizing I was broadly incapable and blowing it up to 3 pages, settling on a layout, fumbling around trying to place stuff in various programs before deciding I'd just do it in photoshop, and, well, finally producing...

The Rat Warrens. This is the "western" rat warrens on the map, under the New City, and is an "introductory" level to the megadungeon that is the Mountain. I'm not going to pretend it's another Tomb of the Serpent Kings, but I think it does an okay job of teaching some basic dungeoncrawling lessons - carry lots of light, talk to everything, combat has consequences, it's okay to run from fights, et cetera.

It's meant to be played with the GROG and The Mountain at the End of the World Player's Handbook, but (like any OSR-y D&D-y thing) it can be adjusted with fairly little effort to pretty much any other system that you're familiar with. Of note I guess is that it doesn't include morale stats (I just use a Charisma roll) so maybe have morale be 7 +/- CHA mod (which gives ratmen 5 morale and feels appropriate) or assign it by fiat or something.

Adjusting it for a different setting is also pretty simple:
hobgoblins = humans i guess, maybe elves or dwarves or what have you
ratmen, bat men = goblins, kobolds, or just leave them as-is
elves (rooms 10-15 are ancient elf tombs but the assumption is none of the PCs know what the fuck is an elf, in case that wasn't clear) = ancient evil snake people or some other sinister long-dead empire

This dungeon is free (of course), but if anyone ends up playing it, I would certainly appreciate some feedback--or if you really enjoy it, a couple bucks thrown in my ko-fi.

I'm pretty happy with & proud of the Rat Warrens, and I hope to produce the rest of the Mountain levels in more or less this format over time. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

NO LIGHT NO WARMTH: Giant Spider II: Eightlegged Boogaloo

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.

The original flavor GIANT SPIDER AAAAAA is cool, but it's a little weird for actual play probably. This started out as an attempt to "balance" it, but giant spiders are... resistant to balancing. They just have Too Many Legs.

Giant Spider (Class: ...Fighter? Specialist?)

You are a giant spider, about the size of a large dog, bigger than a human if you include all your legs but rather smaller than one if you don't. You can't wear armor or clothing or use tools unless they were designed for giant spiders, can't talk (but you can dance expressively to get simple points across), and don't have an inventory besides your spider backpack and spider harness.

Skills: 1. Ballooning 2. Architecture 3. Craft Brewing

Starting Equipment: Spider backpack, spider harness, between 2 and 10 eyes, one other piece of spider gear (see below).

A: Chelicerae, Spinneret, Ambush Predator, Too Many Legs
B: +2 Adaptations
C: +2 Adaptations
D: +1 Adaptation, Choose 1 Adaptation

A: Chelicerae
You've got fucking terrifying spider fangs. They have little claws on the end that you can use to pick stuff up and perform delicate manipulation, but not enough range of motion to use tools. They are a medium weapon that deal 1d8 damage. When you reduce something to 0 or lower HP with your chelicerae you can decide whether it's dead or just paralyzed for a while. If it matters, your damage is dealt mostly through venom and doesn't really fuck up bodies visibly unless you look at their insides.

A: Spinneret
You can produce shitty little cobwebs. You can use it like a sort of glue or binding, but not like a rope... yet.

A: Ambush Predator
Instead of sleeping, you lower your metabolic rate to a state that approximates sleep but during which you are still aware of your surroundings and from which you can wake instantly. While in this state, you don't require food. If you do this for eight-ish hours, you require only half rations that day.

A: Too Many Legs
You've got eight of them. You can climb (without rolling) anything a normal-size spider could, at your normal movement speed. You can climb (with a roll) anything else like a monkey. You can't climb icy things unless you've got little spider boots or spider gloves or your feet will get cold and you'll die. You can identify which category climbable things fall under by looking at them. IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT THOSE LONG HAIRY LEGS ARE A LITTLE SEXY ACTUALLY 😳


Every time you gain an Adaptation, roll on this table. Each entry will specify if it stacks or if you need to reroll if you already have it or whatever.

  1. Mimicry. You can disguise yourself as anything else of approximately large-dog-to-human-size. Observers will believe you are that thing as long as they didn't see you start mimicking it. They get to roll SKLL to see through the mimicry every time they are presented with evidence you are not that thing (for example, if you move and the thing you're mimicking doesn't normally move like a giant spider). If you get this adaptation a second time, you can create puppet out of cobwebs and debris that approximates the form and movement of any creature that you could mimic. You can move the puppet much more realistically like a non-giant-spider than you can move yourself; observers only get to roll SKLL to recognize it as a puppet if there's enough light for them to examine it closely or see your puppet-strings. If you get this adaptation a third time, reroll it.
  2. Venom. Your chelicerae deal damage as a heavy weapon and can harm ghosts and the undead. If you get this adaptation a second time, they deal 2d8 damage and someone else can spend an hour (during which neither you nor they can do anything else) to extract one dose of venom from them. Extracted venom can be applied to a weapon to increase its damage die size by one for the first successful attack made with it, and lasts one day before losing potency. If you get this adaptation a third time, reroll it.
  3. Web. You can produce super-strong spider webbing at a rate of about 10 feet per combat round (100 feet per minute). You decide whether it's sticky or not each time you start producing webbing. You can't get stuck in your own web, and whenever something else touches it you are instantly aware of it as long as you're also touching that web. If you get this adaptation a second time, your sticky webbing can catch things like spells, ghosts, light, and abstract social constructs. If you get this adaptation a third time, reroll it.
  4. Spider Sense. You get +2 INIT and are aware of anything that moves within 30' of you and is in contact with at least one surface that you are also in contact with. If you get this adaptation a second time, you get another +2 INIT, the radius of your spider sense increases to 60', and when you are surprised you (the player) can say "my spider senses are tingling" to instead surprise whatever surprised you. If you get this adaptation a third time, reroll it.
  5. Too Many Eyes. You can see in dim light as well as normal people can in daylight. Light sources count as producing twice the radius of light for you. If you get this adaptation a second time, reroll it.
  6. Chitin. You get +2 AC, and look bigger and more intimidating. If you get this adaptation a second or third time, you get another +2 AC. If you get this adaptation a fourth time, reroll it.
  7. Bristles. You grow thick ruffs of spider-fur and count as having appropriate clothing for any environment. If combined with actual spider-clothing for that environment, you don't have to worry about its effects at all. If you get this adaptation a second time, your spider-fur grows thick, barbed bristles that deal 1d8 damage to anything that hits you with an unarmed attack or natural weapon, and you can lose their benefit for the rest of the day to fire them at anything within 10' as a ranged attack to deal 1d8 damage and give them -2 to all rolls until they spend a minute picking bristles out of their eyes/face/hands/etc. If you get this adaptation a third time, reroll it.
  8. Powerful Legs. Choose one. If you get this adaptation a second time, choose the other one. If you get this adaptation a third time, reroll it.
    1. You get +2 MOVE and can jump 20' vertically or 40' horizontally once per round without spending an action. If you land next to (or on top of) something, it rolls morale. 
    2. You get +2 MOVE and your movement speed increases to 60'. If you charge right at something and end up next to (or on top of) it, it rolls morale.

Spider Gear

  1. Spider Backpack. Holds 6 slots of gear, counts as normal/slow inventory, can be accessed by spider legs.
  2. Spider Harness. Holds 3 slots of gear, counts as fast inventory, can be accessed by spider legs.
  3. Spider Saddle. Lets you carry someone around while climbing, without having to bundle them up in a web cocoon and maybe eat them later. 2 slots since it gets in the way of your spider backpack. Carrying a person takes up 6 slots, which is generous tbh. You have to have enough slots for all of their gear as well.
  4. Spider Bow and 8 Spider Arrows. Held with your front two legs, drawn with your chelicerae. You can't move in the same turn as you fire it. Otherwise like a longbow, but can't be used by a non-spider. 2 slots for the bow, 1 slot for all the arrows.
  5. Steel Leg Sheaths. Two of them, for your front-most legs. Count as medium weapons and crowbars. You climb at half speed while wearing them. 1 slot each.
  6. Small Cocooned Monkey. Very scared, not fond of you. Counts as three rations if you eat it. 2 slots.
  7. Cage of Live Squirrels. Also very scared, also not fond of you. Has three squirrels in it, can probably fit about six if you really pack them in there. Each squirrel counts as a ration if you eat them. 2 slots.
  8. Spider Businesswear. Designed for spiders, woven from normal silk (not spider silk!), very high quality. +1 Reaction when wearing it and worth 88 gp. 2 slots if carried, no slots if worn.
  9. Pair of Spider Manacles. Each an eight-foot length of chain with four cuffs on it. 1 slot each, 2 slots in total.
  10. Bird-Killer Injection. Created by spider alchemists, difficult to administer to yourself without help. Deals 1d8 damage to you and causes your chelicerae to secrete a substance that dissolves calcium (bone, shell, chitin, etc) for one hour. Normal bones and such take about an hour to completely dissolve, fragile structures like hollow bird bones and insect wings dissolve instantly. While active, your chelicerae damage is increased by one die size, and things with hollow bones roll DC 18 HRTS when struck or have their bones dissolve. 3 doses, 1/3 of a slot each, 1 slot in total.
  11. Spider Boots. Protects your feet from cold things, sharp things, acid, et cetera. Climb at half speed while wearing them, but lets you climb on ice as if it were stone (you can't do this normally). 2 slots in total.
  12. Spider Gloves. Exactly identical to the above.
  13. Spider Armor. Metal plates riveted to your chitin. AC as Leather, 2 slots since it gets in the way of your spider backpack, can't be removed.
  14. Spider Mask. A cunning device that exactly resembles a human face, made out of only spider silk, wooden reinforcements, and a latex mask of a human face.
  15. Spider Passport. Required for entry into the fabled Spider Kingdom. Will produce respect if shown to other giant spiders.
  16. Spider Lantern. Constructed in such a way that, when thrown, it bursts into flaming strands which cling to objects and creatures within 10' and deal 1d8 fire damage until extinguished or scraped off. Casts light as a lantern, 1 slot, can be affixed to your spider harness for chelicerae-free operation.
  17. Spider Furs. Black and white, very intimidating. Appropriate clothing for giant spiders in cold weather. 3 slots if carried, 1 slot if worn.
  18. Spider Switchblades. Imagine some awful combination of hypodermic syringe and dental reconstruction device. Unfolds from your chelicerae to give you reach on your bite attacks, but you can't use them to manipulate objects. 2 slots if carried, no slots if worn.
  19. Extra Leg. Steel, with spider silk "tendons" pulled by your chelicerae, which you can't use to bite or manipulate objects while doing so. Acts like a single leg sheath if attached near the front of your carapace, but doesn't slow your climbing. 2 slots if carried, no slots if worn.
  20. A mysterious spider artifact. Roll on the following table:
    1. KILL SPIDER AAAH, an ancient heavy sword of Chardun and Adamant. Single-edged blade, scrawled with ancient runes. He likes music and screams in terror when he sees a spider. 2 slots.
    2. Razor Web Grenade. Eight pins, each taking an action to pull (yes you can hold it out and have other people pull them too). Throwable, deals Xd8 damage to everything within X * 5' with a DC 8 MOVE roll for half, where X is the number of pins you bothered to pull before throwing it. 1 slot.
    3. Eight Spiky Iron Spiders. Attach these to your own ass and turn your silk into a dire flail. 1 slot if carried, no slots if worn.
    4. Star Shadow Spider Amulet. Allows the holder to walk into any shadow and emerge from any other shadow within line of sight. Each time it is used, has an X-in-8 chance of trapping the holder inside of itself and crumbling to dust, where X is the number of times it's been used already. Made of starmetal, set with black gemstones, worth 888 gp. 1 slot if carried, no slots if worn.