31 August 2021

3d100 Positive Traits

Here's a table to quickly make up competent characters. Just choose or roll for three traits and let your imagination do the rest.

From here.

3AthleticAnimal TrainerAnimal Handling
11CleverBarber-SurgeonAxe Murder
13CunningBeggarBlunt Weapons
14DeceitfulBlack MarketeerBotany
23FastCon ArtistChariot Driving
25FierceCookClose Quarters Combat
30FurtiveDrug DealerDisguise
31GourmetDrunkardDeep Diving
33HardyFaith HealerDuelling
35HelpfulFalse ProphetEscaping
38InconscpicousFortune TellerExotic Weapons
58QuietMartial ArtistKickboxing
59ResilientMercenaryKnife Fighting
63SagaciousMonk/NunLong-Distance Running
67ShiftyPlague DoctorMusic
73SociablePrisonerPole Weapons
74SpitefulProstituteRanged Weapons
76SpunkyRat CatcherRunecraft
83StrongSoldierSiege Weapons
86SultryStalkerSleight of Hand
89TenatiousStreet MagicianStick Fighting
91ToughTax CollectorSurvival
99WiseVagrantUnarmed Combat
100ZealousWet NurseWrestling

29 July 2021

Elemental Powers: Air, Fire, Water

Continuing from the previous post, here are the other three classic elements.

From Avatar: The Last Airbender.
I still haven't actually watched it.

All aeromancers have good stamina and singing voices, though whether that's an aspect of their powers or the result of the many breathing exercises needed to master them is up for debate.

d66Air Powers
11You don't need to breathe and can actually keep breathing out, with up to a gale-force strength.
12Slowly float or walk in the air.
13Dash while in the air, performing double jumps and impossible feats of acrobacy.
14Call winds that will quickly carry you and your companions over long distances. Needs a lot of space to take off and land, not enough control for combat flight.
15Build up pressure, then release it for a massive jump. Jumping between buildings is easy, jumping over a building takes a little while.
16Build up pressure, then release it for a shock wave that sends everything around you flying.
21Empower your voice, letting you speak like through a megaphone or scream with a sonic boom that shatters glass and eardrums.
22Manipulate the air in your vocal cords, mimicking voices or sounds.
23Still the air in a small area, damping all sounds or creating outright zones of silence.
24Stop the air in a small area, creating invisible walls and cages, or holding a creature in place.
25The winds carry sounds far further for you, letting you whisper or listen at range.
26Manipulate the air friction of anything you see, slowing or speeding up its movements and falls.
31Your strikes can project slashing winds.
32Push the air to create a strong directional blast of wind.
33Pull the air around anything you see to hurl it in a direction of your choice. Works better on lighter objects.
34Manipulate air around thrown weapons, directing them around corners and attacking from far further away.
35Surround yourself with swirling winds, deflecting ranged attacks and confounding nearby foes.
36Surround yourself with slashing winds, inflicting a thousand minor cuts on anyone nearby.
41Surround yourself with a tornado. Very long build-up.
42Sense air movements within a room. Precise enough to dodge a blow from behind or fight blinded. Your range expands greatly when you sit down and meditate.
43Call a wind that grows stronger over time, up to a hurricane-force after half an hour. The wind power resets if you change its direction.
44Discorporate into wind for a single heartbeat, pretty much teleporting a short distance. Very disorienting when spammed.
45Force air out of an area no bigger than 3 m in diameter, creating a bubble of vacuum.
46Change the temperature within a small area. The change slows down as you go further from normal temperature, but no real limit until you kill yourself with it.
51Cause a rapid spike or drop in the air pressure, resulting in vertigo, fainting, or even blood vessel ruptures.
52Selectively heat up the air around you, blurring your movements and creating distracting mirages.
53Create elemental-like constructs from wind.
54Form an orb of pressurized air that can be thrown and then triggered like a concussive grenade.
55Filter gases and pollution from air. Also enhances your smell, as you can concentrate it and push it in your nose.
56With a touch, induce rapid oxidation in materials.
61Hyperoxigenate the air in a room, which can help some, but works as a poison for most.
62Attune to a town-sized area over several days, gaining control over temperature, pressure, the winds, ...
63Hold your breath to become as light as a feather.
64The wind lightens your steps. Run as fast as a horse and across twigs, fresh snow, or the surface of water.
65Move as silently and invisibly as a breeze. Any strenuous action (such as attacking) will break this trance-like state.
66For a single breath, you can move with inhuman haste, though it will leave you winded.

Also from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

All pyromancers possess a certain level of resistance to fire and heat, from never getting sunstroke to swimming in plasma.

d66Fire Powers
11Direct and move flames. The larger and hotter they are, the more tenuous your control.
12Throw explosive fireballs.
13Breathe fire in a wide cone.
14Shoot sticky flames from your palms, like a flamethrower.
15Spit globs of fire and make them sticky or explosive at will.
16Any fire you concentrate on burns faster, hotter, stronger.
21Heat vision, in both senses of the word. You can see in infrared and shoot heat rays from your eyes.
22Create a miniature sun. It moves at a snail's pace, but burns pretty much anything.
23Surround yourself in a great aura of flames.
24Sweat superheated plasma at will, coating yourself in flames.
25Fire jet flight.
26Teleport by stepping into a flame and emerging from another within 100 m.
31Create elemental-like constructs from fire.
32Create smoke-clones. They cannot deal damage and pop when touched, but you can have a lot of them.
33Conjure a weapon (blade, bow) made of fire.
34Touch an object to imbue it with fire. It can be triggered at will to explode.
35Touch a weapon to infuse it with fire, coating it in searing flames.
36Anything you stare at will go up in flames. Takes longer for less flammable things.
41You have flame for hair and bleed superheated plasma.
42You can raise the temperature of your body enough that your touch will melt metal.
43The more heat and fire is nearby, the faster and stronger you are.
44Make nearby fires emit excessive smoke. Move the smoke as you will.
45Transform into a huge fire bird. You can fly and burn stuff, but are very vulnerable to dousing.
46Form an ember in your hand that can be thrown like a grenade.
51Cause walls of flames to erupt from the ground.
52Concentrate on creatures or objects to grant them fire immunity.
53Snuff out any fire in sight at will.
54Conjure many slow-moving orbs of fire. They will home in on enemies at a walking pace.
55Explode, then reform from the flames. Very exhausting to spam.
56When you touch a flame, you can see and speak from other fires within 1 km.
61Sense heat within a city block, the higher the temperature the clearer the awareness. Body heat is barely perceptible.
62Absorb fire and concentrate it in your cupped hands, then release a devastating plasma beam.
63Call a pillar of plasma from the sky. Has a long wind-up, but extreme destructive power.
64Loop fires, letting them burn indefinitely without requiring further fuel. It's very exhausting to loop many or big fires.
65Consume flammable materials to fuel your inner flame. As long as it burns bright, you don't need to eat and sleep, and never run out of stamina.
66As long as you stand in flames, you feel no pain nor fear nor hesitation. All mind-affecting or emotional effects are burned from your mind.

From Naruto.

All hydromancers are quite adept at swimming and diving.

d66Water Powers
11Move and direct water with concentration. It still has the surface strength of water, though, so no grabbing people with water-tentacles.
12Strengthen the surface tension of water, until it works like an elastic film that lets things bounce off of the surface and traps creatures who were underwater.
13Breathe water and swim as fast as a motorboat.
14Walk or surf on the surface of water, faster than a car can go.
15Any surface you can see and concentrate on will start leaking water.
16With a single glance, you can fill a creature's lungs with water.
21Annihilate water with a touch. This is an instant, clean removal that leaves behind only vacuum.
22Raise or lower temperature of water within eyesight. You may not affect steam or ice.
23Breathe superheated steam.
24Create elemental-like constructs from water.
25Manipulate the viscosity of water, making it air-like, solid, sticky or slippery.
26Touch the surface of water to raise waves. Anything from a ripple to a sudden tsunami is possible, depending on the size of the body of water.
31Purify water with a touch. Touching a bleeding wound turns all of the victim's blood to water.
32Create whirlpools. Pretty useless unless you have a big body of water, then you can ride in a huge waterspout and throw people around.
33You regenerate rapidly by absorbing water. Regrowing a limb would take half a swimming pool.
34Sense all water within a city block. The cleaner it is, the clearer your vision of it. Blood is faint but noticeable when you concentrate.
35Stomp the ground to trigger the sudden eruption of a new geyser. Cannot be used multiple times in one location as it greatly strains the ground water reserves.
36Transform into water at will. You are nigh-invulnerable and can flow even up the walls, but cannot talk or see. You may only turn back if all your water is in liquid state and together.
41Transform into fog at will, but only for a few seconds at a time.
42Generate fog. The more damp the environment, the denser the fog and wider your area of effect. You can see through the fog, unlike you enemies.
43A 100 m radius around you is always affected by a rain of your choice, from drizzle to torrential rain or sleet. You cannot stop the rain completely, though.
44Open a portal to the Plane of Water, no wider than 1 m in diameter.
45Drink unlimited amounts of water with no ill effect, then vomit it back up at will.
46Constantly draw and absorb any water-based fluids within 10 m. Stronger when you concentrate, enough to harm people through dessication.
51Shoot a short beam of high-pressure water from your palms, like a water jet cutter.
52Control a slowly floating orb of water, 3 m in diameter. It falls apart when you can't see it or lose concentration and nothing stops people from walking/swimming out of it.
53Call or banish storms. Takes a while, though.
54Leave behind an after-image of water. Basically when you punch somebody, they get punched again by a splash of water, plus your movements are blurred, but rather loud with all the splashing.
55Create walls and simple objects out of ice. Requires water or humidity, so cannot be used in dry and hot environments.
56Cover yourself in a power armour of ice. Requires water or humidity, so cannot be used in dry and hot environments.
61Cause a mini-blizzard in a 10 m radius around yourself, blasting everything with snow and ice.
62Flash-freeze all water within 10 m radius. Won't directly kill anything bigger than a mouse, but will chill creatures to the bone and likely trap them in ice.
63Form a hailstone, then shoot it out. Depending on how long you keep growing it, it can be anything from a tiny grain through bullet to a cannonball.
64Your senses are greatly enhanced while underwater, allowing you to hear infra- and ultrasound, track by scent, or see clearly even in dark waters.
65Scry through reflections, displaying any other reflection on the same body of water. For example, when you touch a lake, you can make it reflect what is happening on the other shore.
66Your deviant hydrokinesis works better on bodily fluids than clean water. You may puppet a creature around, or painfully extract blood through your victims' pores.


25 July 2021

Elemental Powers: Earth

I like elemental powers. They have a strong theme, inbuilt factions and intuitive interactions. However, all too often they are boiled down to shoot fire, shoot ice, superstrength and flight/telekinesis. Not bad powers on their own, but why should every hydromancer shoot ice? That shouldn't even be the primary use of water manipulation!

I think powers should be diverse and distinct. When you have three hydromancers where one controls water, one ice and one steam, they are already more interesting thanks to their unique styles. Specialized, limited powers are more fun that all-encompassing ones, especially when those are still used only to shoot ice in the end.

Anyway, rant over, have some earth powers. The rest are hopefully coming soon.

From Naruto.

d50 Earth Powers

All geomancers have a great sense of direction, as if their understanding of the earth energy flows granted them an intuitive knack for geography.

  1. Slowly levitate unworked earth-based materials within eyesight.
  2. Move metals with concentration. Choose one metal that you have much better control over.
  3. Create elemental-like constructs from an earth-based material (sand, stone, metal, clay, ...; choose one).
  4. Create stationary tentacle-minions that can grapple or throw rocks at your enemies.
  5. Animate statues with a touch.
  6. Call a huge magma golem. It takes a while to arrive, clawing its way up from deep within the earth.
  7. Grow blades of glass from anywhere on your body at will.
  8. Grow metallic scales when attacked. The more brutal the assault, the stronger the scales.
  9. Surround yourself with a small sandstorm, blinding and harming your foes. Also works with glass shards.
  10. Transform into sand. You may fire sandblasts and heal by absorbing sand. However, you lose control of any wet sand and may only turn back if all your sand is dry and together.
  11. Transform into living metal and even reshape your form at will, but you move as if in slow motion.
  12. Transform into night-invulnerable but immobile diamond form. Prone to suddenly form-lock you when spammed.
  13. Surf on sand, faster than a car can go.
  14. Touch two pieces of metal to fuse them.
  15. Call an earthquake. Normally, this shakes the room and creates small cracks or fissures. However, you may meditate for hours to bring about a city-wide earthquake.
  16. Stomp the ground to crack-open a deep rift. Also works when you kick a wall.
  17. Sense tremors of the earth within a city block. Footsteps require deep concentration to hear.
  18. Understanding of geomantic energies allows you to build structures imbued with preternatural hardness and beauty.
  19. By raising menhirs and dolmens at certain places, you can alter the flow of geomantic energies and bring great fertility to a region, or make it barren.
  20. Feng shui mastery allows you to make any structure into a confounding labyrinth. People will get lost even in a two-room apartment. Stops working when the structure is damaged.
  21. Tend to a feng shui garden. If you die, get buried there and not a single stone is amiss, you come back to life. You also don't age and need to eat or sleep in your garden.
  22. Raise or lower ground, creating pillars and pits. Cooldown depends on how big the change is.
  23. Conjure crystal spikes shooting up from the ground.
  24. Grow a crystal shell around yourself or anyone you touch.
  25. Discorporate and meld with the ground to possess a small area, moving the earth within as you wish. You may not move beyond the area without releasing your control, though.
  26. Fall unconscious and possess a new body formed of earth-based materials. You cannot go too far from your real body.
  27. Sink your arm into the ground to grow a gigantic stone arm from somewhere you can see.
  28. Petrification/fossilization/crystallization through touch.
  29. Tunnel through soil and unworked stone at a walking pace, closing the tunel behind you.
  30. Shape an earth-based material (sand, stone, glass, clay, ...; choose one) into weapons and armour, imbuing them with increased strength.
  31. Construct a rough "mecha" around yourself from boulders and rocks.
  32. Breathe out massive clouds of dust.
  33. Projectile vomit asphalt.
  34. Spit big globs of magma.
  35. Absorb soil to grow in size and power, shed it to return to human form.
  36. Absorb metal to fill in injuries and replace missing body parts. Your metal prosthetics work normally, yet keep their hardness. You may even slowly reshape them.
  37. Minor geokinesis allows you to pick up and throw boulders with ease.
  38. Transmute soil into morass and sand to quicksand. The change is much slower for bigger areas. You can walk on such terrains with ease.
  39. Transmute metals (though only about 10 cm3 per day before you start feeling faint) and knead them like clay.
  40. Transmute earth to sharp but fragile crystal.
  41. Rearrange earth on a large scale. Rough walls and structures take hours, new hills and cave systems take days.
  42. Your strength and durability is greatly increased as long as you have skin contact with natural earth (no worked stone or metal).
  43. With a touch, start an explosive growth in bones - but only dead bones, or more specifically calcium. Can be delayed.
  44. Induce rapid erosion with a touch, turning stone to sand and soil to dust.
  45. Annihilate metal with a touch.
  46. Explosively shatter any glass or crystal with a glance.
  47. Touch an object to make it either repel or attract metal for a short while.
  48. Raise the gravity in an area no more than 5 m across severalfold.
  49. You have gemstone eyes that cannot be harmed, unbreakable metal bones, or perfect porcelain teeth. Pretty minor as far as powers go.
  50. Your skin is cold and marble-like, your wounds crack rather than bleed. You feel no pain and mundane damage is non-lethal for you.


Also from Naruto.

15 June 2021

Regional Trouble

Maybe your PCs have been all around the neighbourhood and it's time to spice things up a little. Or maybe you're looking for a way to seed your world with brewing conflicts and problems to be solved.

Either roll on the table when needed, or drop a bunch of d20s on your world map. Where they landed, that trouble starts brewing. Or it might not come about just yet, but there are omens and portents aplenty.

From here.

d20 Natural Disasters and Man-Made Messes

  1. Drought: Start tracking water skins, as in a desert. If not resolved soon, will lead to famine. Water levels might be so low that river trade is crippled. Can the PCs persuade a local god or a coven of witches to bring back rain?
  2. Famine: Might be caused by drought, locust swarms, blight... Cost of food soars, taverns are closed. Bandits everywhere, but they want your rations, not gold. Services and goods can be cheaply bought with a meal, but not with money. Have you heard that you can buy food cheaply and in bulk just over this dangerous (d4) forest/desert/swamp/mountain range? We shall reward you handsomely if you can bring back enough for the town.
  3. Flood/Tsunami: Water everywhere, houses and crops are ruined, survivors are gathering in tent towns up on hills. A boat is a must, aquatic monsters are now a common encounter. A local wizard tower or fortress might be compromised; an ideal time for a heist!
  4. Sinkhole: A megadungeon or a part of the Underdark has partially caved in. Lots of unusual riches are suddenly up for grabs, but also lots of unsettling threats are set free.
  5. Earthquake: Houses collapse and ground breaks up. Might result in a sinkhole or a flood. On the plus side, whatever was the most secure, most impregnable building in town is now sporting large cracks in its walls and many of its guards have been injured or killed. What was it guarding?
  6. Wildfire: How did it start? Can the PCs evacuate the town in time, or divert the fire? And where will all the druids and witches and trolls go when their home is reduced to ashes?
  7. Volcanic eruption: Thankfully you were far enough to avoid the blast of overheated ash, but there is something wrong with this eruption. It's (d4) a greater demon starting to break free of its prison after a thousand years/an army of fire elementals there to take our forests because their nation is starving/an ascension of a lesser volcanic goddess, she has so much more planned now that she can/a female dragon in labour, her newly laid and extremely valuable eggs will now be safely resting somewhere deep in the volcanic caves.
  8. Tornado/Hurricane: This one is probably better as an imminent threat. Can you get to safety before the wind drops a hut on your head or sweeps you away to Kansas? Afterwards, many structures will need to be rebuilt. Maybe the PCs can lend a hand and leave their touch on the town?
  9. Blizzard: The winter this year is colder and darker and longer than any other you remember. Wild animals are starving and coming closer and closer to the town. The roads are nearly impassable, who will brave the blizzard to bring food and medicine?
  10. Meteor: Whatever the most imposing or important structure nearby was, it has been hit by a shooting star. Some people say it's the star-gods coming for their chosen, some that it's an invasion. Others just see a huge chunk of starmetal up for grabs.
  11. Plague: Bring out your dead! Make it some really weird, magical disease, as that would probably be more fun to play than 2020: The Campaign.
  12. Terrorist attacks: Someone is blowing stuff up, or releasing wights in the streets, or laced the water supplies with potions. People are afraid. Martial law might have been declared. Is a cult involved? Or mind control? Lots of opportunities for investigating or bodyguarding.
  13. Witch hunt: The Church is out for blood and any magic-user might be at risk. People are disappearing in the middle of the night and the stakes are already built. Black market in magic blooms. Wizards will offer their services cheaply or for free, if you can just hide them. What triggered this, anyway? And how to stop it before the resident archmage notices and goes to war against the Church?
  14. War: There's always a war on. Except now, it has reached right here. If the PCs are in a town, it is now under siege and they cannot leave. There might be a forceful draft, a spy scare, or a supply shortage that could be solved by someone sneaking out through the old tunnels. If the PCs are out of town, the villages are looted or burned, enemy forces patrol the roads, and if they don't shoot you on sight, they would pay handsomely for information about city defenses.
  15. Crusade/Jihad: Equally likely to be two different religions or two factions of the same religion, but the other side is clearly heretical. Otherwise treat this as a combination of a war and a witch hunt against clerics. Are the PCs religious?
  16. Coup d'état: The king's twin brother has emerged with a claim to the throne! Or the ancient elven conspiracy has finally decided it's time they start ruling over the lesser races in the open! In any case, powerful factions are moving against each other and they need allies. Old allegiances are doubted and new ones sworn. There's a great opportunity to quickly rise to wealth and power, if you can pick the right side.
  17. Civil unrest: The hoi polloi have had enough of the upper classes. There are mobs and looting in the streets. Nobles and the rich are either driven out of town, or outright lynched. Maybe you can use all this chaos as a distraction for your misdeeds. Maybe you can be richly rewarded for helping a noble protect their property, and/or escape with their life. Maybe you can find a way to stir this up into a full-on revolution, because why not?
  18. Criminality: The Thief Guild has collapsed; or the most powerful crime lord is old or dead; or there is a new player in town who wants in on the illicit trades and is ready to spill blood over it. One way or another, this is going to be a big old mess.
  19. Monsters: The monsters are coming out of the dark woods and deep caves, towards the town. The military is overextended, the roads are unsafe and the villagers scared. Lots of monster-hunting and escort contracts. But why have the monsters left their cosy lairs? Are they running away from something worse?
  20. Roll on the Weird Troubles table below.


d6 Weird Troubles

  1. Behemoth: It is huge. It is coming from the (d4) sea/mountains/wilderness/underground. It is not openly hostile yet, but its path will lead it directly through the town in just a few days.
  2. Necromantic outbreak: Corpses rise mere minutes after death. Ghosts appear even in daylight. The graveyards are crawling with all kinds of things that should be dead. Is there a metaphysical imbalance to be righted? Is someone doing it intentionally? Does this herald something else?
  3. Eternal night: The Sun has set one day and then didn't rise in the morning. Mass hysteria. Doomsday cults get an influx of members. Is this a localized event?
  4. Thaumic fallout: It's raining random animals, houses are gaining extra rooms and body horror is ubiquitous. If there was no overt magical incident, then (d4) the ley lines are going haywire/there is a covert wizarding war/the government is experimenting on us/something is coming.
  5. Alchemical spill: A massive amount of toxic and mutagenic waste has leaked into the environment. Clean water is at premium. The sewers are crawling with mutant crocodiles and worse. There's noxious fog and acid rain. The public at large wants some answers. Who is responsible?
  6. Portal: A massive rift to another dimension has opened. If it's full of hostiles and dangers, that's bad. If not, that's still bad, because now everybody will call dibs on the new land and resources. Things will be busy around here.