Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wizard Wednesday: Ur of the Iron Fist

Ur is from Carcosa. Ur got something wrong and now Ur is stuck here. Ur is not particularly troubled by this.

Ur is a yellow man. Ur, like all yellow men, does not sleep, but instead can enter a state of torpor for 1d10 hours, during which he cannot die. Ur can talk to men in their dreams if Ur knows the man's name.

Ur has a metal hand. Ur likes to hit people with it. Ur loves the sound it makes when it smacks against a skull. Ur made his hand better and now it can shoot a laser; it deals 1d20 damage! Ur can't find any batteries here so it only has three shots left.

Ur is a sorcerer. Ur sacrifices men, women, and children to control horrible things from beyond time and sanity. Ur is okay with this. Ur messed it up once and lost something important. Ur can't remember what it was.

Ur has one minion left called Fred. Fred has thirty hit points because Fred is very big. Fred is invisible and silent. Fred eats people and they become invisible and silent too; Ur likes how they just disappear. Fred is acidic on the inside so people who Fred eats take 1d8 points of damage every turn. Ur has a powder that will make Fred not invisible, but Ur forgot where he put it.

Ur talks to Fred a lot, but isn't sure if Fred can understand. Ur is scared of Fred, but Fred cannot hurt Ur. Ur does not always remember this.

Ur would like to summon more monsters and open a portal back to Carcosa, but Ur needs red and green and orange men for that. Ur is rather peeved that there only seems to be jale men around here. Ur laughs at them; they think Ur is stupid but the jale men do not even know what color jale is.

Ur thinks that maybe dyeing people will work well enough. Ur will pay a lot for red and green and orange dye, and for people to dye. Ur likes that the people he will dye are people that will die. Ur thinks this a fantastic joke. Ur wants to shoot his laser at people who don't laugh at it, but that's why Ur's batteries are almost empty.

Adventure Hooks
  1. The PCs have found a fantastical technological item. Ur can fix it, but he's going to charge in slaves.
  2. Ur wanders into town and starts trying to buy slaves and dye. He doesn't understand why all the jale men are screaming. It's very rude.
  3. The sky burns with letters made of fire, 200 feet tall. They spell out 'UR WILL PAY A FORTUNE FOR A TWINKIE'. Pretty soon the entire continent will erupt in people trying to find Ur and trying to figure out what a twinkie is.
  4. A band of barbarians have started dressing like Ur, complete with his stupid helmet. They go around punching people with metal gauntlets. Ur thinks they are pretty cool. Maybe these guys find and punch the PCs, or maybe they are paid by someone to find out what the heck is going on.
  5. People have started growing tiny holes in their bodies, through which the darkness and cold of space seeps through; without help they slowly freeze to death. The disease seems to have started when the yellow stranger came through town, riding on an enormous centipede. Ask Ur and he can tell you it's actually incredibly common on Carcosa, and the cure is drinking onion juice. Ur drinks a glass every day, but not to keep away the disease; he just likes the taste.
  6. The PCs find that gold is suddenly worthless; every peasant seems to have pocketfuls of the stuff. The economy is crashing and everywhere men set their brothers in shackles and march them to a terrible metal mountain, where Ur has finally fixed his matter transfigurer.

Fun fact: I have never seen Heavy Metal, but this guy looks pretty cool regardless.

On Orcs

An army is a terrible thing. Wherever it goes, an army needs to eat, and what it eats is everything. The soldiers will ride out to pillage and plunder. They take food, water, fodder, women, money, stealing what they can and killing if they want. The grass is trampled, the trees are chopped down for firewood, the ground is polluted with latrines. When moving the medieval army would leave a wasteland of ten or more miles in it's wake. This process was necessary, but it was also intentional; this was the damaged inflicted upon the enemy. The misery thus caused vastly exceeded the horrors of the battlefield. 

But one day the army will return home. The soldier will find his family waiting for him with open arms, eager to see his wealth and his scars. The man will put down his sword and pick up his scythe. He can stop being a soldier.

But some armies don't come home. Some march for long days under strange skies. Each day their hearts grow more and more callous. Each day the sun dries and blisters their skin, until it turns a dull, leathery grey. Each day they forget a little more about their home, and one day they will forget it all. These wretches, who burn and kill and don't remember why, these men have become Orcs.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Wizard Wednesday: Grandmother Um

From this...
Grandmother Um scares children and insults adults. But there exists a mystery about her that attracts rumor and gossip. Is she needlessly rude because she is horrible, or has the world committed some injustice upon her? Much speculation exists as to what exactly goes on in her hut in the woods. The woods are very dangerous, filled with wolves and fouler things, but she always makes the journey to town safely.

Grandmother Um is much fiercer then the beasts in the forest; she is firecer then any beast in the world. In truth she is a demon, disguised by a set of magical clothing. The more she wears, the more man shaped she appears. As she discards them she reveals her true form, a sea of hair and eyes and limbs.

... to this.
Each of Grandmother Um's clothes grants her a magic power.
Each piece she removes restores part of her demonic form.

Her brass rimmed Glasses

While wearing her glasses, Grandmother Um can see through lies.
Grandmother Um takes off her glasses 'to see you better deary.' Her body bursts into eyes, opening across her flesh like wounds. She can see through darkness, and can no longer be surprised.

Her delicate silk Gloves

While wearing her gloves, Grandmother Um's touch rots wood and rusts metal.
Grandmother Um will take off her gloves 'because my nails itch.' Her hands and feet grow into claws, long and terrible. They cut like swords, and she attacks with both every turn.

Her great fur Coat

While wearing her coat, Grandmother Um doesn't make a sound.
Grandmother Um takes of her coat since 'it's much too heavy.' Free from it's weight, she stands up straight, a full eight feet, and is overgrown by hair. Her hands gain reach like a spear and her hide becomes tough as leather.

Her red checkered Headscarf

While wearing her headscarf, Grandmother Um can change her voice to whatever she pleases.
Grandmother Um will take off her headscarf because 'it hurts my jaw.' Her head becomes a crocodile snout, her throat lined with backwards facing teeth. If she catches your arm she won't let go; you remain grappled, and your friends have a 50% chance of hitting you instead of her. Ripping your hand out leaves it as so many ribbons of flesh, ruined forever.

That mouth? It belongs to a TURTLE. A bloody freaking turtle.

Adventure Hooks

  1. The PCs find one of Grandmother Um's pieces of clothing. She wants it back, and soon she will find them.
  2. Grandmother Um hides in a cave. She asks the PCs to find and return her clothing; she enjoys her life in the village. If they do, she promises to serve them for a day, whichever day they want.
  3. The PCs must defeat a monster that far exceeds them in power. If they could trick it into wearing Grandmother Um's clothing, it would become a simple human. The trick is getting Um to part with her clothing.
  4. The PCs find Grandmother Um sitting in the Goblin Market. She offers to sell you her clothes, extolling the virtues of each. A freely agreed upon sale is the only way she can remove them. Afterwards she will be very grateful to the PCs, and won't harm them, or indeed anyone at the market. The next day her trail of destruction and devastation will be clear and easily followed.
  5. Grandmother Um's clothing is scattered through the dungeon. She has cast it off, for the wearer is cursed to obey the words of the wizard Zaibon. Help her kill him and she'll teach the PCs how to remove it. But first she'll mock them for being fool enough to put it on. If anyone mentions that she wore them first, the offer is retracted.
  6. The PCs befriend a monster. It tells you that Grandmother Um makes magic clothes which can hide it's form and let it walk as a man.
Edit: It seems I am really bad at knowing what a Wednesday is.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wizard Wednesday: Xamir the Faceless

Xamir is never seen without the white rag that covers his face. He sleeps with it, he talks with it, he eats and drinks with it. When questioned as to how he eats and drinks with it, Xamir seems perplexed as to why anyone would be fascinated by basic bodily functions.

Even in bright light, you can't see his eyes. He doesn't have any. When he takes a drag on a cigarette, the smoke comes out the eye holes of his white rag. If he took the rag off you would see that his head ended with his face.

Xamir styles himself as a bottle wizard. Are you in need of magma? Acid? Oil? He is a hollow man who can transport any of these in abundance. For things living, he wears a cast iron mask, which locks around his head. His prices are exorbitant, but his services are unique.

Xamir is currently filled to the brim with,
  1. Flesh Eating Beetles
  2. Tawny Port
  3. Tar
  4. The Elixir of Youth
  5. Mercury
  6. Holy Water
  7. Dragon Piss
  8. Molten Iron
If you stab Xamir you will not actually hurt him, but his insides will splash everywhere. He has enough magical bandage on his person to recover from five such wounds, but after that he will leak. If dealt over 30 damage with slashing weapons, Xamir will be reduced to ribbons, unable to move but not dead. He will curse the party as they leave.

If you truly need to kill Xamir, you must find his lair. Inside will be a man shaped glass bottle, contained a person flayed of everything but his face. This is Xamir's real body.

Adventure Hooks
  1. The PCs meet a drunk(?) Xamir inside of a bar. He boasts of his wizardly prowess and how valuable his cargo is. He will soon pass out into a stupor.
  2. Someone hires the PCs to find and cut Xamir into precisely measured ribbons. These will be fashioned into unbreakable shackles.
  3. Xamir is expected to meet in high society. Extremely busy, he hires you to buy or craft a suitable mask.
  4. The PCs are hired to find Xamir and invite him to their employers home. Xamir is currently carrying a valuable cargo, and is  being hunted by a party intent on taking it and killing him. If unopposed, they will succeed. Xamir will mistake the PCs for these hunters.
  5. The PCs return home grumbling about how much loot they couldn't carry out of the dungeon. Xamir overhears and offer's his services (for a modest fee).
  6. The PCs hear about a bag of holding in nearby dungeon. It is actually Xamir. He can't make such a thing, but is willing to teach you his craft (but only when he's between gigs).

Sometime after the PCs first meet Xamir, he will have advanced in his craft. A zipper by his chin allows his whole body to split in half, and instead of being merely hollow, his insides are now a portal that links to some far off place. Currently that's
  1. A Distant Swamp
  2. A Begemmed Mine
  3. His Lair
  4. The Bottom of the Sea
  5. A pocket dimension, inside a tiny Dead World
  6. Hell
Meet him again, and he can now swap between three such places with the use of a magic sliding ring, which he constantly seems to drop.