26 March 2020

Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold

Do you need to name a place your players happened upon? A new location for your mapping efforts? An inspiration for a sword & sandals adventure?

To get the brain juices flowing, here are some pictures that were chilling in my folders for a quite a bit of time:

22 March 2020

Augmentations, Bionics, Bodymods, Cybernetic Implants

When delving through a zombie-infested underground lab in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, you might come upon still-operational auto-doc bodymod station. Or you could kill a gang leader in the cyberpunk ghetto and butcher their body for implants. Or maybe your space ship was hijacked by transhumans who wish to augment you beyond your obsolete baseline humanity.
Monocle by yvanquinet
These are simple, minimalistic bionics, so each implant is assumed to have an internal power source, barring any special limits noted in their description. There are also no prices listed, as I like games with randomized, scavenged resources more than ones where you can buy your way to min-maxing. Everything should be more or less compatible with any sci-fi OSR, though you might find some GLOG-specific terms.

In any case, two checks are required when installing a bodymod. A surgery check vs Int by the surgeon (there's hope you won't be operating on yourself), getting bonuses from proper skills, tools, or access to an auto-doc. If this check fails, roll on the Failed Implants table instead of the main table of bionics. The recipient then rolls a Con Save to prevent post-surgery complications, taking -1 penalty for each bodymod they already have installed. If this check fails, the augmentation works normally but the body does not properly recover. The recipient takes 1d6 Con damage that can only be healed with another surgery or permanent drug regime.
Clone World by OmeN2501
d12 Failed Implants
  1. Bugged augmentation: It's not working and it's spreading! Save every day, or another implant of yours will stop working until repaired.
  2. Visual debilitator: At least it wasn't an IQ enhancement that got this badly botched. You cannot see beyond 10 m.
  3. Bionic deformity: A combination of poor surgical installation and unpleasant scarring has lead to the catastrophe you now call your face. Take -2 to Reaction rolls unless covered.
  4. Electrical drain: A malfunctioning implant that doesn't perform any useful function, but still draws on your energy reserves. When you use any other implant, it has a 1-in-6 chance of failing due to insufficient power. Tough luck if you have bionic limbs.
  5. Overstimulator: One implant backwards, two crossed wires and four burned-out capacitors later you started falling on your face and writhing around at the least convenient times. Every time you take damage, Save or loose your next action.
  6. Self-locking thumbs: They hold tight and don't let go (even when you'd rather they did). It takes you a full round to drop anything or release your grip. On the other hand, you cannot be disarmed.
  7. Squeaky joints: Your movements are annoyingly loud. Grants -4 Stealth.
  8. Voice disruptor: Something went wrong with your throat implants and now you only screech and make robotic noises instead of speaking.
  9. Endocrine enervator: A failing pharmaceutical implant makes you constantly fatigued. You don't recover Fatigue during daily rest, only stimulants or extended rest will help.
  10. Leaky implant: Whatever was this bionic supposed to do, it's instead leaking toxic fluids into your bloodstream. Unsurprisingly, that's not good for your health. Take -4 to Save vs poisons and diseases.
  11. Expired sealant: Bionics should be waterproof, but this one is pretty obviously not. When you are exposed to water (even rain will do) take 1 damage per round as the implant short-circuits and electrocutes you.
  12. Self-destruct system: Either you're mad, or you didn't know. Now there's a bomb in you head. You can be careful not to trigger it, but what if a hacker shows up?
Dermal plating.
d130 Bionics
  1. Prosthetic limb: A simple replacement limb capable of full range of motions and sensations. To think that in the not-so-distant past of the 21st century, this would seem like a small miracle!
  2. Cosmetic bodymod: Video-tattoos, reskins or body reconfiguration, even pseudo-animal features for the really weird fads.
  3. Optical array: Your corneas have been enhanced with an Advanced Visual Aids display. Roll for 2 settings (d10): 1) infrared vision, 2) ultraviolet vision, 3) night vision, 4) powerful zoom, 5) microscope magnification, 6) light-adaptive (protects from flashes and bright light), 7) polarised (removes reflections from glass or water), 8) x-ray vision, 9) augmented reality (including navigation, digital clock, etc.), 10) targeting cross-hair (+2 to hit).
  4. Holo-eye: One of your eyes has been replaced with a holographic projector. The projection field covers one cubic meter and cannot project farther than about 10 m.
  5. Eye-cam: One of your eyes has been replaced with a camera linked to the datasphere. Everything you see is stored in the Cloud.
  6. Finger camera: Less overt than the eye-cam and lets you see around a corner.
  7. Finger knives: Self-sharpening surgical scalpels slide out of your fingertips. You can perform a back-alley surgery at any time, or attack for d6 damage.
  8. Finger injector: A syringe under your fingernail can deliver all sorts of fun chemicals. The ampoule in your palm must be replaced after each use.
  9. Finger laser: Not of the damaging kind. It can be used as a pointer, or to measure distance.
  10. Finger hack: It used to be necessary to smuggle a flash drive through security. Now you just stick your finger into a port and start uploading malware or downloading data.
  11. Security multi-tool: Everything you could need to jimmy a lock or jam a camera, hidden in your wrist and fingers.
  12. Detachable hand: Your cybernetic hand can be detached and remote-controlled. Even better with some more augmentations packed into it.
  13. Monofilament garotte: A nanofibre wire is hidden in one of your fingers. A creature you choke in a grapple must Save each round to avoid decapitation.
  14. Palm paralyser: A creature you touch must Save or be paralysed for d4 minutes. The device will then slowly charge up over the next short rest.
  15. Electroshock emitter: Your touch can deal d12 electric damage, or short-circuit most electronics. The device will then slowly charge up over the next short rest.
  16. Force emitter: Release a kinetic blast from your palm. The target must Save or be knocked back 10 m. The device will then slowly charge up over the next short rest.
  17. EMP discharger: Release a short-range, directed EMP blast from your palm. The device will then slowly charge up over the next short rest.
  18. EMP shielding: Subdermal shielding lattice protects your implants from electromagnetic pulses.
  19. Subdermal mesh: Thin wires of plasteel were woven under you skin. Reduce physical damage taken by 1 point.
  20. Dermal plating: Skin-coloured plates of implanted plasteel make you look less human than many androids, but offer excellent protection. Grants Def as plate mail.
  21. Bionic arms: A whole limb of metal and synthetic flesh. Grants +2 Strength.
  22. Bionic legs: A whole limb of metal and synthetic flesh. Grants +2 Dexterity.
  23. Bionic heart: It never falters. Grants +2 Constitution.
  24. Cerebral booster: A cocktail of drugs constantly drips into your brain, making your synapses faster than ever. The side effects are better not even mentioned. Grants +2 Intelligence.
  25. Synaptic reinforcement: An implant monitoring your brain activity will release hormonal countermeasures whenever your determination might be compromised. Grants +2 Will.
  26. Penile erector: No more embarrassing failures or unwanted wood. Now you're in control. Grants +2 Charisma.
  27. Breast implants: Bigger, firmer, shapely, or even more of them. Grants +2 Charisma.
  28. Adrenaline pump: Intravenous injector hidden in your chest can deliver a dose of pure adrenaline when you need it. Treat your Str and Dex as 18 for a round at the cost of 1 Fatigue.
  29. Battle module: Bionic processors and databanks loaded with martial arts combat programs are integrated into your nervous system. Grants +2 to hit and Def.
  30. Matrix backdoor: Implanted into the base of your skull, this receiver lets you easily link yourself directly to the datasphere, no VR set or other interface necessary. Note that while your brain is immune to malware, your bionics might not be, and there are also memetic hazards to avoid.
  31. Kinetic shock absorber: The bones of your legs were reinforced and equipped with inertia dampers. Take no damage from falls, if you can land on your feet.
  32. Electromagnetic sensor: A simple passive EM sensor will alert you to all unshielded electronics within 10 m.
  33. Polygraphic sensor: Complex physiological sensors in the tips of your fingers allow you to detect lies of anyone you're touching.
  34. Air current sensor: Multiple microsensors in your skin grant you a +4 bonus to sense invisible creatures, secret doors and other sources of movement or draught within 10 m, but only when you skin is exposed.
  35. Tremor sensor: Implants in your feet locate the sources of tremors as faint as light steps or silenced machinery within 10 m. Double the range in water.
  36. Hyper-elastic ankle tendons: Bands of synthetic flesh reinforce your feet. Increases Movement by 50%.
  37. Visage module: Malleable synth-flesh allows for quick reformation of facial structure. Also includes polymorphic synth-hair and an iris shifter. Gain advantage on disguise checks.
  38. Twitch-mask: Neural impulses firing through your facial muscles cause constant twitching that is specially designed to befuddle face recognition software. It's also illegal as hell and makes you look unhinged.
  39. Poker face: Impulse barriers on your nerves allow you to turn off your facial expressions. Gain +4 to bluffing and against interrogation, but others will quickly figure out that something is wrong with your (e)motionless face.
  40. Aim stabilizer: Chrome clasps lock your joints in place for steady aim. Gain +4 to hit with ranged weapons if you take a round to aim and lock. Can stay completely still indefinitely.
  41. Pentaceps: The quartet of knee joint extensors gain the assistance of a synthetic fifth. Gain +4 to jump checks and double your jump range.
  42. Dopamine pump: Intravenous injector hidden in your head can deliver a dose of pure dopamine when you need it. Gain +4 to any Stress-related check at the cost of 1 Fatigue.
  43. Integrated commlink: Implanted earphone, subvocal microphone and a corneal screen linked to the datasphere allow you to always stay in touch.
  44. Integrated radio: A tiny receiver with a frequency selection is installed in your skull, the antenna interwoven into the spine. Archaic, but still useful to listen in on retro-gangs and under-equipped survivors.
  45. Intravenous port: Standardized ampoules can be prepared for later free use of medication or drugs.
  46. Motorized treads: This rather extravagant augmentation replaces your legs below the knee with a pair of tiny tank treads. You can move as fast as a car, but lack all of the normal protections and safety features of driving a vehicle.
  47. Gun rack: A special platform was fused to your shoulder bones and connected to your spine. You can use it to carry a shoulder-mounted heavy ranged weapon of your choice (rocket launchers, machine guns or laser cannons are common).
  48. Implanted weapon: One of your forearms has a light or medium weapon of your choice hidden inside (mostly duralloy claws or a ray gun).
  49. Prosthetic weapon: One of your arms was replaced with a heavy weapon of your choice (current favourites are a chainsaw, a flamethrower, or a grenade launcher).
  50. Force modulator: Microemitters in your skin synchronize your phase frequencies with the standardized band for force emissions. Walk through force fields unimpeded.
  51. Voice modulator: Your vocal cords were partially replaced with cybernetics, allowing you to mimic voices or replay other sounds.
  52. Voice amplifier: Empower your voice to boom loud enough to be heard over a noisy town square or a quiet mountain valley. You may also scream, taking 1d6 damage from the strain, but brittle object within 10 m cone will be shattered, and affected creatures must Save vs being deafened and stunned for the same number of rounds.
  53. Subsonic box: A pair of subwoofers installed in your back xx
  54. Cortical node: A small medical implant used for synchronization of other augmentations. Halve the penalty to the post-augmentation recovery check for all subsequent bodymods.
  55. Biomonitor: All your medical signs are constantly monitored. Any medical or surgical intervention on your body is done with an advantage.
  56. Databank port: A tiny socket in your skull lets you insert a miniaturized databank. One slot in your Memory becomes unavailable for knowledge learned normally, instead accessing the information on your currently installed databank. Alternately, you may save your sensory input on the databank, simulating an eidetic memory.
  57. Skillsoft port: A tiny socket in your skull lets you insert a neurocognitive chip. One slot in your Memory becomes unavailable for knowledge learned normally, instead accessing the skill on your easily swappable chip. The really fun chips are not easy to come by, though.
  58. Drone control unit: With a transmitter stuck in your brain, you can control a single drone as a free action, or multiple drones if you do nothing else.
  59. Rearwatch: Several covert cameras in your skull grant you a 360° vision without alerting others that you can see them.
  60. Spiked heel: You have a retractable plasteel spike hidden in your heel. It is strong enough to sink itself into concrete, or deal d10 damage to a creature you step on.
  61. Spring heel: Flexiweave cords in your legs thrum with tension. You can discharge them to jump 10x further than normal, and they will tense up again over the next a short rest. You should be careful about the landing, though.
  62. Camo-pseudoskin: Reactive camouflage will render you nigh-invisible as long as you remain still. Unless you cover your skin, that is.
  63. Reflec-pseudoskin: Scintillating replacement skin will turn away lasers and other ray-based attacks with a 4-in-6 chance.
  64. Enviro-pseudoskin: Durable skin replacement lets you ignore hot, cold, noxious or slightly caustic environments, and even vacuum. Extreme heat or strong acid will get through, though, and you should probably secure an oxygen supply if you wish to expose yourself to such places.
  65. Air filtration: Fine tracheal filters purify your air to prevent toxic atmosphere, dust storms, combat gases or nanite swarms from harming your lungs.
  66. Internal oxygen supply: An oxygen tank linked to your lungs can hold up to 30 minutes worth of air. A ventilation subsystem will refill it over a short rest.
  67. Internal storage: A cavity hidden in your body grants you 2 extra inventory slots.
  68. Utility toolset: Hammer, pliers, screwdriver and more are stored in an artificial arm.
  69. Pedal mufflers: Silencer implants in your feet let you walk without a sound. Grants +4 Stealth.
  70. Wireless eyes: Your eyes can be taken out of their sockets without loosing visual feed.
  71. Ethanol burner: With this handy stomach extension, a shot of hard liquor will serve as a ration. You also can't get drunk unless you turn this augmentation off.
  72. Rapid fire finger flexors: Your synthetic finger tendons twitch with anticipation. Make +1 ranged attack per round and type like a madman.
  73. Thermal dissipation: Internal cooling system linked to an aluminium heat sink on your back makes you immune to hot weather and halves fire damage taken.
  74. Sensory dulling: A simple neural control unit lets you switch off any of your senses at will.
  75. Smoke generator: Open your mouth and fill a 10 m radius with thick smoke from the exhaust installed under your tongue. A new cartridge must be inserted after use.
  76. Toxin exhaler: With a spray hidden under your tongue, a selection of substances can be delivered to your foes with just a breath. Remember not to breathe in. A new cartridge must be inserted after use.
  77. Blood filtration: A set of microfilters in your aorta quickly removes most toxic substances from your bloodstream. Gain +4 to Save vs poisons and intoxication.
  78. Platelet cloning system: Replacing your bone marrow with bioengineered stem cells, your blood is now oversupplied with platelets. Grants immunity to bleeding.
  79. Leukocyte breeding system: Replacing your bone marrow with bioengineered stem cells, your blood is now oversupplied with leukocytes. Gain +4 to Save vs viral and bacterial diseases.
  80. Counter-nanites: A cloud of defensive nanites makes it easier to survive in environments contaminated with cyber-plagues. Gain +4 to Save vs nanite-based diseases.
  81. Cranial flashlight: When you want night vision but cannot afford it.
  82. Integrated dosimeter: Lets you know the exact dosage of radiation you are currently exposed to. It's good to know when you're already dead.
  83. Radiation purger: A system of advanced piezomechanical filters implanted throughout your body allows you to partially purge yourself of absorbed radiation. Gain +4 to Save vs radiation.
  84. Olfactory enhancement: Why would someone enhance their nose when bioscans and drones with face recognition exist is a good question, yet this bodymod is still quite popular. Grants scent.
  85. Power armour interface: A thought-link interface allows for much finer control over the good old full metal jacket than a basic HUD. Gain advantage on all rolls while in power armour.
  86. Telescoping arms: Extendable replacements for your arm bones covered in elastic synth-flesh increase your reach to 3 m.
  87. Goo shooter: A dispenser hidden in your forearm can spray a so-called "pink goo". The goo quickly expands into a sticky containment foam and takes hours to degrade on its own. A new cartridge must be inserted after use.
  88. Grapple shooter: A miniaturized grappling hook along with 10 m of monofilament rope and a winch are concealed in your forearm.
  89. Cyber-tentacles: Four 3 m long cybernetic tentacles were welded to your spine. They are not dextrous enough to wield weapons, but are strong enough to support your weight.
  90. Remote controller: Compatible with anything from garage doors and holovision to hovercars and hacked battledroids.
  91. Stasis field generator: A fist-sized supertech capsule welded to the inside of your ribcage lets you lock your body in a nulltime field. You are immobile and inviolable for exactly 57 minutes, after which the generator needs an hour on a cable charger.
  92. Force field generator: Microemitters in your skin can cover your body in a thin sheet of protective energy. Once activated, it will completely negate the next attack to connect with you, and then slowly recharge over the next short rest.
  93. Digestive assistance: You have been outfitted with three synthetic stomachs and industrial-grade intestines. Any organic matter is digestible to you.
  94. Recycler unit: Careful re-routing of sweat glands and an upgrade to your urinary bladder allow you to survive without water for as long as without food.
  95. Nutrient tank: Intravenous feeder with a week of liquefied rations stored for emergency situations.
  96. Alarm system: A motion-detecting alarm system will notice any and all movement within a 20 m radius, and will silently alert you. Mostly useful when alone or sleeping.
  97. Electromagnetic manipulators: Powerful electromagnets in your palms allow you to attract metal items, or to stick to metallic surfaces.
  98. Integrated defibrillator: When reduced to 0 or less hp, get back to your feet with 1 hp on your next turn. Cannot be used more than once per day without electrocuting yourself.
  99. Wired reflexes: A series of independent microcontrollers implanted in each of your main muscle groups lets you react before your brain is even aware of any danger. Gain +4 to initiative and never loose your Dex bonus to Def.
  100. Black brain-box: Your skull has been converted into a duralloy safebox for your brain, including a cryo module that will keep it viable should the blood supply be cut. Unless you are completely disintegrated, you can live again once someone plugs your brain-box into a replacement body.
  101. Pain editor: A simple switch in your brain lets you turn pain on and off at will.
  102. Hydraulic legs: Ugly but strong. You never take Fatigue from long marching and gain +2 Inventory slots.
  103. Anti-psi lattice: A carefully laid out pattern of hyperfolded wiring in your skull prevents any thoughts from getting in or out. You are immune to psionics, but also cannot use thought-link interfaces or any psychic powers of your own.
  104. Pheromone repellent: Your sweat has been biochemically altered. Insects and most animals now need a successful Save to approach you.
  105. LDV audio receiver: A laser in your fingertip is used for non-contact vibration measurements of distant surfaces. Basically, you can hear what you point at. Neat!
  106. Implanted microcomputer: Everything you would want from a computer, directly in your brain. Be really, really careful about malware.
  107. Repair nanites: Unless you outright die, the nanites in your bloodstream will quickly patch you up. Minor injuries or missing fingers will be repaired in a day, while a whole limb might take a week.
  108. Locator matrix: A forearm display that offers not only geographical information, but also a compass, maps, tracking, coordinates of your present location, your velocity and altitude, the time of the day and more.
  109. Audio analyser: Record and replay what you hear, filter out background noise, amplify quiet sounds and muffle loud ones, even interpret ultrasound. Plus you get sweet robo-ears in chromed retro design.
  110. Emergency life support: Internal medical systems will keep your body going even through mortal injuries. You only die at -10 hp.
  111. Sleep regulator: You no longer experience the negative effects of sleep deprivation, but must still sleep is you want the benefits of a daily rest.
  112. Signal jammer: Interference resonator causes all tech communications within 10 m fail. This includes commlinks, remote controllers and more.
  113. Scanner scrambler: Interference resonator prevents scanners from probing your body. Useful for hiding illegal implants, except it's obvious you have something to hide.
  114. Adaptive fingerprints: Small-scale skin replacement will allow you to change your fingerprints to any of the templates stored in its database.
  115. Fortified feet: People wanted to be cool and walk barefoot like their ancestors. People were too used to their comfort to just walk barefoot. Now those people have hardened pseudoskin feet that are immune to scrapes, sores, wetness, cold, fire, electricity, blades, bullets and nanite-based disintegration.
  116. Anti-emotion implant: Who needs them, anyway? You are immune to both negative and beneficial emotional effects.
  117. Gyroscopic stabilizer: A whirling gyro in your chest keeps you from falling over. You cannot loose balance.
  118. Parabolic audio: Your ears may now look funny, but you can hear clearly from great distances.
  119. Skeletal bracing: Coating your bone structure in duralloy makes you heavy and hard to destroy. Halves all bludgeoning damage taken and prevents loosing a limb or having a bone broken due to an injury.
  120. Redundant organs: Several spare synth-flesh systems have been added to your body. Gain +1 HD to maximum hp.
  121. Phase engine: Excitation of your biodynamic field causes a dimensional leap, momentarily placing you out of phase with this universe. You will be translucent and intangible for 1d6 rounds, and then need an hour on a cable charger.
  122. Flux relocator: A quantum computer in your brain floods the local subspace with calculations complex enough to collapse your probability field, teleporting you to a random empty space within 10 m. The sudden space-folding is however very taxing on your bodily integrity, causing d6 damage on use.
  123. Gravity normalizer: Subdermal grav-mesh equalizes the effects of increased gravity or inertia on your body. High g will cause no damage or discomfort.
  124. Gravity harness: Subdermal grav-mesh adjusts your personal gravity field to your preferences. Walk on walls, fall like a feather.
  125. Antigrav array: Strong subdermal grav-mesh allows for a controlled flight, even if slow and clumsy.
  126. Rocket legs: They are clunky and more bulky than your natural legs. They need refuelling after about 10 minutes of use. The flight is hazardously fast and very loud. It's still very cool, though.
  127. Helping hands: A harness bearing two extra cybernetic arms. Linked directly to your neural cortex, they can be operated as easily as your own hands.
  128. Mnemonic enhancement: Nanogrowths reinforce your neural patterns into unalterable rigidity. Gain perfect recall and immunity to memory-altering effects (both amnestic drugs and psionic powers).
  129. Cybersymbiont: Integrated AI offers witty remarks and takes over when you cannot act (unconscious, paralysed, frozen with fear, etc). You can use all your implants and linked tech even while helpless.
  130. Full body conversion: Nothing but your brain remains from your old organic body. Change your race to a cyborg race-as-class, which I have yet to write.

One way to interpret full body conversion.
Cyborg by disse86

16 March 2020

IVAN: Aslona Release

It's been a while since I mentioned starting the work on a new quest line featuring the civil war in Aslona, but we finally finished and tested everything. Explore five new locations, meet new NPCs, fight new monsters, and enjoy various other new bits and bobs.

Download the release here.
Meeting Harvan Black-cloak, the rebel leader, ...

...and Efra Peredivall, the lord regent of Aslona.

  • Add Aslona!
  • Add many new sound effects.
  • Add some new monsters, items, artifacts, materials and crafting recipes.
  • Change structure of quests. Petrus now takes the encrypted scroll and gives you some alone time. If you chat with him again, you will receive the GC quest, or you can find other people to chat for other quests.
  • Add new ROOM_OWNED_AREA type for generic owned rooms. Uses code similar to the Cathedral or Decos' house.
  • Hotness can now be used to define materials that deal fire damage on contact, just like Acidicity for acidic materials.
  • Use GitHub app for LGTM.
  • Cats can be tamed with fishes.
  • Orcs have black blood.
  • Lobh-se is a bit more fun.
  • Make amulets easily recognizable by color.
  • Land mines can now be sometimes defused if you levitate over and pick them up.
  • Willpower now protects against some hostile magic.
  • Add autopick regex.
  • Add an option to show info about gods, displaying their last reaction to prayer.
  • Better 'F1' command in menus.
    • Some items now have descriptions.
    • Better help for crafting actions.
    • New help for config options.
  • Add options to start with no pet and to use health descriptions.
  • Add alternate door traps.
  • Prevent very dumb creatures from using wands.
  • You cannot unequip locked chastity belt.
  • Update README and add MANUAL.
  • A wise player can look at an enemy for a rough estimation of their health.
  • Add day/night cycle to all above-ground locations.
  • Enable weather effects for more above-ground locations.
  • Let monsters also benefit from Detecting status effect.
  • Coffins now generate with grave goods and do something when you steal from them.
  • Hammers are good with the undead.
  • Some monsters now have different diets.

  • Decos no longer lets you steal from him.
  • You can no longer leave the Black Market through walls.
  • Slightly nerf Black Market.
  • Display Willpower in wizard mode secrets.
  • Running in wilderness now correctly takes stamina.
  • Fix some quest messages not being saved as already displayed.
  • Reveal gas traps when you step on them.
  • Fix several places where panic immunity or disease immunity was not respected.
  • Fix several crafting bugs, hopefully preventing crashes.
  • Fix Terra not offering priestly services after you killed Lobh-se.
  • Spill more water over a burning player when they pray to Silva, so there's a better chance to be extinguished.
  • Prevent long strings in config options from overflowing when displayed.
  • Prevent building features in owned rooms.
  • Explosive liquids can no longer be used to douse flames.
  • Wands of webbing were not causing hostility.
  • Fix horns of fear causing panic without checking the panic resistance of the victim.
  • Remove redundant messages from auto map notes.
  • Fix sitting on fountains and drinking from non-water fountains.
  • Fix AI not using equipped zappable items.
  • Make taming/possessing more powerful creatures scale correctly.
  • Fix a bug where boots were not correctly considered for kicking effects.
  • Fix teleport lock from non-equipment sources never timing out.
  • Assorted minor fixes and balancing.

  • A new main quest will see you trying to bring peace back to the kingdom of Aslona, currently in the middle of a civil war.
  • Add five new locations.
  • Player can now have a ship to sail the oceans of worldmap. This also means that they can now bring pets that would normally be unable to cross the ocean with them.
  • Moving over the ocean is slightly slower than on dry land.
Itsy bitsy golden spider.

15 March 2020

7DRL 2020: More Reviews

A few more 7DRLs I played! This year has brought us a number of very lovely games.
Me as I arrived on the final floor...

...and me as I'm about to get killed,
while the boss has a single hit point left. :(
You are a precog sent on a mission to exterminate the source of slimes infesting the sewers. The game is quick, short and fun. You are given just the right amount of special abilities and unique enemies to test your tactical prowess.

What is different about it, though? It offers an interesting take on combat with no random rolls, making your every action a consumable resource. You see how much damage will each of your attacks deal and they are expended with use, so you need to collect new attacks to stay effective in a fight. You see how many defensive moves (Armour, Teleport or Revenge) you have left, so you can plan on when to take a hit and when to run away to find a new defense. You also see how many hit points the enemies have and what move will they take next, so you can consider your every step with complete knowledge.

As you delve deeper, you even get special commands for managing your resources - you will be able to stash powerful attacks for later, discard unwanted techniques or swap defensive moves depending on which you want. This gives you great control over the flow of combat, and you need to use these abilities cleverly to have a good shot at winning the boss fight.

Preparing for the boss is very important. Trying to fight all the slimes on the upper floors is nothing but a slow death of attrition. You need to build up some reserves, not spend all your resources before you even get to the final floor. I eventually ended up running through the five floors of the dungeon avoiding as many fights as I could, collecting some attacks, defenses and special techniques along the way, and conserving my powers for the final floor.

Once there, the real challenge begins. You have to combine all of your moves in a way that will get rid of the boss before it can flood you with the newly spawned slimes. All the tools are at your disposal, and it's great fun trying to figure out your next, most effective action.
Robots mining with landmines.
Typical bullet hell situation.
Cardinal Gun Prospector 
You are a droid prospecting for gold in a monster-ridden cavern. You will find various types of guns and equip up to four of them to fight nicely distinct enemies in a turn-based bullet hell. You have unlimited ammo, but can only move and shoot in cardinal directions, which makes positioning interesting when combating some of the more tricky monsters or navigating the deviously designed treasure rooms. You will also be constantly low on fuel, which can only be replenished by pushing further. The game captures the edge-of-your-seat gameplay of many shoot 'em ups quite well, despite being turn-based.

I don't have anything more to say except that you should try this one. It's good and short enough you can't even complain about wasting your time.
Yup, no way to survive this.
Super Normal 7 Day Roguelike
A very traditional Broughlike that seems to be intended as a mobile game, given its dimensions and mouse/touch controls. It may be ASCII, but it looks very nice and even has a soundtrack and sound effects.

Everything dies in a single hit, you included, so the game consist of figuring out how to survive the small floors using the limited abilities you are given. Even though there are only three types of enemies, it can get quite challenging with fireballs flying around and hordes of kobolds chasing you. Hilariously, the enemies are extremely prone to friendly fire, so you can bait them to slaughter themselves.

It could probably make a good coffee-break game, or something to play when you need to clear your mind.

Is that chest worth walking over the spikes?

Simple but well-polished dungeon crawler with a nice old-school feel.

You start as a skeleton who reclaimed its humanity with a potion of resurrection, and delve into the catacombs below your cemetery. You collect food, coins and extra hearts from defeated enemies and destroyed furniture. You have fun.

A few floors down, food started to become a problem for me, though you can stay ahead of the damage starving deals with hearts and healing potions for a while. And even if you die to starvation, you only return to your skeleton form and can eventually find another potion of resurrection. Skeleton doesn't need to eat, but I don't think it cannot have more than a single heart, which would be a big problem against some of the later, sturdier enemies.

I had to return to an early shop to buy the potion of resurrection.
Most enemies die in a single hit, but you should take care of your rather limited health. A little trick - you can walk into wall to skip a turn, letting the monsters come to you. Many creatures also have little quirks that distinguish them from other monsters - bats move randomly and unpredictably, zombies knock you back, etc. The rare 2 HP monsters can be a real problem, as they will always get a hit on you unless you can lure them through some trap first, softening them up.

Certain floors also have special effects - there is one where all monsters leave behind little flames when killed, forcing you to wait or take damage; another where invulnerable ghosts will appear and chase you for a little while before disappearing. There is also the occasional shop floor.

I like how you can skip some floors with a key, or take a peek
at a treasure room before you even know how to get there.
Though obviously based on pre-made rooms, the dungeon generation is quite fun. Some treasure rooms require that you find a key, some have a trap in the entrance to make you pay with blood for anything gained. With the way you move between screens, you can often see where you are going and what waits for you in a room before finding the entrance, letting you make an informed choice to take it or leave it. You will also soon learn the general pattern of level generation, allowing you to make rather accurate guesses where the downstairs should be, so you can skip most of the level and just go down.

Which brings me to the only downside of the game - it's too big. It's really fun for a while, but eventually the monsters and rooms are all the same over and over again. I reached level 67 before the game unfortunately crashed on me, and I would have loved to see some final boss around level 50, if not a bit sooner. I'm not sure if there even is a boss, but all that said, the game is good and is worth a try.

This golem tried to knock me out of the map, killing the game itself!
Edit: Apparently, Catacombs are endless. I would still like to see a boss instead.

10 March 2020

7DRL 2020: Ember Deep

Ember Deep is a mind-bending yet curiously traditional* roguelike with deep tactical gameplay. You will travel through time to cooperate with yourself, overcome impossible odds and eventually save your brother from poor planning. Unless the very same kills you first.

It can be played in browser, but for me at least that was really slow. If you download it, however, it runs just fine.

You didn't expect there to be three of me, you stupid monster!
The game looks beautiful - the isometric view, the terrain with animations and different elevation, the music - they just work well together. It somewhat reminds me of HyperRogue, likely because of the strange geometries. In addition to squares and hexes, the game uses warped pentagonal tiles that make for quite unusual aesthetics. They also make for quite unusual movement and positioning, though surprisingly I never found myself disoriented.

The tutorial might have contributed here. Yes, the game has a full-fledged tutorial and even two "challenges" that let you train your time-travelling tactics. And I recommend training for a bit, as the game really doesn't hold back once you start playing for real. You will immediately be swarmed by powerful enemies**. The game gives you the tools to survive, but if you don't know how to use them...

...and hexes. The game really can't make up its mind. ;)
You will find the occasional piece of equipment, like magic staves imbued with spells or new weapons, but that's not the kind of tools I meant. Your biggest asset and the main draw of the game is chronomancy. Time travel is hard to grasp and implement in a game, so of course it's popular for 7DRLs to try. I remember for example Time to Die or The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows*** from previous years, and they each had a unique take on the player manipulating time. And no, I don't think the time-related abilities in ToME4 or Caves of Qud really count.

Anyway, Ember Deep gives you the power to rewind time. And there is no cost or limit to it, you are limited only by your own tactical acumen. And by the presence of your own time-clones, I guess, as you might end up with a crowd of yourselves that makes it hard to navigate the narrow passages. Remember how I mentioned poor planning? I often trap myself with time-clones, leaving me no escape route from the monsters. The other times, I die because I forgot to place a time anchor and now my situation is already beyond screwed. (Un)surprisingly, you need a lot of foresight for time travel.

Basically, you can place time anchors and "pre-record" your actions, then jump back in time and do something else, as many times as you wish. Even your other abilities complement and encourage time-travelling shenanigans, like Defy that makes you stand your ground, decreasing the damage taken and drawing aggro. You can make several scapegoats from your past selves and then slip by the monster hoard, or outflank the monster focused on your defiant self with several other selves and beat it to pulp. It's weird and entertaining and engaging, and the changing grids make it all that much more cool.

All in all, it's wonderful to see that the dev managed to balance unlimited time travel in a way that leaves the game a challenge. Contributing to that, of course, are the monsters. Each of them is different in a way, with varied behaviour and abilities. While you can slaughter some of the weaker enemies with nothing but careful positioning, you will soon encounter beasts like the ravagian trask, who is nigh unbeatable without chronomancy tricks. Then you descend another level and chronolisks will start to use some form of chronomancy against you - don't ask me how that works, my head hurts just thinking about it. And there are other monsters I know nothing about, as I just cut my losses and legged it out of there when they showed up, leaving my past selves to deal with them.

Nothing to see here but a massive horde of monsters.
BTW, there were some bugs and exploits, but the dev is already working on fixing them. I'm glad I could make the game harder for you all. :) I should also mention that the dev requested this mini-review, and now it's getting longer than any of my previous ones, so here is a TLDR:

It's a good game, very good one. I hope to see more of it.

*) That's a compliment, if you were unsure.
**) Once again, that's good in my book.
***) Best name ever!

7 March 2020

7DRL 2020: Mini-Reviews

The last week was this year's Seven Day Roguelike Challenge, which I didn't have time to partake in, unfortunately.

However, I do have a bit of time to try out some of the cool little games that people submitted. Many of them are even playable directly in the browser, so you really have no excuse not to check them out, too.
The submission button overlapping the game window is annoying.
Beneath Faelin Wood
You are a shape-shifting druid delving in the caves beneath your forest to rescue another druid.

First of all, the game is beautiful. It was made by the same people as Haque, and it has similarly amazing art.

Second of all, there's a lot to find in this game. There are multiple animal forms with different abilities. There are NPCs with side quests and dialogue trees. There is item crafting. There is music and cutscenes.

This seems like a more or less finished game, and you should go play it yourselves, as I don't think I have seen more than a sliver of it.

the strigoi
You fell down a random hole to the very bottom of a dungeon and found the fabled Orb of Zot! Unfortunately, the fall left you severely wounded. You can only hope to get out before your blood attracts monsters that you are too weak to defend against.

This game makes you unable to fight, so your only option is to run and hide. You will have to carefully navigate the small levels, trying to avoid the monsters while constantly dripping with blood that acts as a monster lure. You will cower in fear as monsters stalk around the corner, praying that you don't draw its attention. You will dive in water to wash off the scent. You will sprint towards the stairs with monsters just behind your back. There will be many evocative messages describing your horrible injuries and the hideous monsters.

Maybe you will get up a few floors before the monsters tear you apart.

Facing monsters with a fireball ready.
This time with a more wizardly outfit.

You are a runecaster, a mage capable of crafting their own spells from six elemental runes. You got lost in a dungeon and seek the portal rune that would let you return back home.

The spell mixing is very fun. You can prepare up to three runes for casting - the number, element and order of runes all matter for the resulting spell. For example, three fires would cast a short range, powerful explosion; mana and two fires would make a fireball that can be thrown over the whole room; while mana, fire, mana would create a single target fiery projectile. It might seem easy to fry all the early game monsters, but just a few floors down, monsters resistant to some elements or with other tricks start to appear, so don't become complacent too quickly!

Me wanna play with your innards!

Baby World Eaters
Iä! Iä! Me eat hoomans to fill me belly full!

You control a baby Cthulhu as they invade small, randomly generated towns and try to trap fleeing civilians to eat them, while avoiding unintentionally slaughtering their idiotic cultists. The cute abomination cannot be damaged and kills everything in a single hit, but their time in this world is limited and everyone moves at the same speed, so you need to make sure they can corner the humans swiftly. If any civilians survive when the time is up, papa Cthulhu will be angry and the little eldritch horror will go to the bed hungry. :(

And I'm dead again...
There are SLIMES in this DUNGEON
This little Broughlike has you survive against magical slimes. Each colour of slimes has a different special power, and as you die in a single hit, you need to take great care to avoid them. On the other hand, you will be able to steal magic crystals that allow you to use the slimes' powers against them!

The game is quick and fun. Unfortunately, it seems that you can get trapped by the blue slimes in a way that prevents anyone from taking another turn, forcing you to reload. Fortunately, the game is short enough that restarting doesn't hurt too badly.

4 March 2020

Icelandic Magical Staves

Here are a few Icelandic magical staves used for folk magic.

The sigils can be used by anyone, but they are not common knowledge and will more often than not be kept secret by those who wish to retain the advantage such magic offers. Some are carved on actual staves, but others are inscribed on any item you would like to to enchant, or on small wooden talismans or coins for ease of use. One item can only bear a single magical sigil, and the effects of multiple talismans do not stack.

Also don't forget that while the sigils are generally not illegal, the local government might not take it kindly when you're abusing magic.

by Anne Mathiasz
d20 Magical Sigils
  1. Að unni: Must be carved on a talisman along with your name and the name of a person you wish to charm. Then slip the talisman in your target's pocket and you'll get +4 bonus to all Charisma checks against them.
  2. Angurgapi: This sigil wards off liquids. It is often carved on the ends of barrels to prevent leaking. A room covered in Angurgapi could make water float like in zero g.
  3. Brýnslustafir: When carved on a whetstone, any blade sharpened with it gains +1 damage for a day.
  4. Draugstafur: Any item bearing this sigil acts as a lure for undead. They will sense it from several hundred feet away and get pulled in, though intelligent undead may recognize what's going on.
  5. Draumstafir: If you draw this sigil on your forehead before going to sleep, you will enter the Dreamlands.
  6. Dreprún: All bovine, cervid and similar animals must Save vs fear or be unable to approach the sigil. Carved into boundary stones, it is often used in place of a pen fence.
  7. Feingur: A sigil ensuring fertility, easy birth and healthy offspring. Can be used both on animals and humans, but has to be either branded or tattooed.
  8. Gapaldur & Ginfaxi: Two sigils carved into the soles of shoes taken by force or deception from a great warrior. Gapaldur is placed under the heel of the right foot and protects from being pushed or knocked back. Ginfaxi is placed under the toes of the left foot and grants advantage on attempts to bullrush or knock down your foes.
  9. Hólastafur: This sigil must be inscribed on a coin taken from a buried treasure. When placed on its edge, it will start rolling towards the nearest path leading deeper, such as shafts or stairs down in a dungeon.
  10. Kaupaloki: Grants +4 bonus when haggling. Even a rumour of using this sigil is enough for the merchants to stop doing any business with you and maybe send a thug or few to have a little talk.
  11. Lásabrjótur: Touching this talisman to a lock will shatter both the lock and the talisman with a loud crack, though magic locks get a Save.
  12. Lukkustafir: A weapon inscribed with this sigil can store critical hits for later. Only one critical hit can be stored at a time, and only actual attacks can be stored, no swinging at air.
  13. Máladeilan: Grants +4 bonus in legal and bureaucratic interactions if carved on a gold coin and carried in your left pocket.
  14. Skelkunarstafur: Anyone who carries a talisman with this sigil on their person will automatically fail all Saves vs fear.
  15. Stafur gegn galdri: This sigil cannot be crossed by magic (supernatural creatures, enchanted items, spellcasters) unless they succeed on a Save. Must be anointed with innocent blood before taking effect.
  16. Tóustefna: All canines must Save vs fear or be unable to approach the sigil. Often carved into travelling staves as a protection from wolves and wild dogs.
  17. Vatnahlífir: Grants +4 bonus to Save vs drowning if a talisman with the sigil is held under your tongue.
  18. Vegvísir: When carved on a lit lantern, it will guide you through rough weather or darkness of the night. You cannot get lost unless your lantern goes out.
  19. Veiðistafur: When carved on a fishing rod, it allows you to always catch at least 1d4 rations worth of fish in any river or pond.
  20. Þjófastafur: Carved on a dowsing rod, it will detect stolen items, but only if used by an (ex-)thief.

And finally a bonus magic item:

The "corpse breeches" are trousers made from the flayed skin of a dead man inscribed with Nábrókarstafur. They can only be created from the skin of a man who agreed to this before his death. The wearer of nábrók can reach into the scrotum of the trousers at any time and pull out a handful of coins. The coins seem normal, but wizards will sense faint magic in them and if ever touched by sunlight, they will crumble to dust.

Once put on, the nábrók cannot be taken off unless someone else agrees to wear them. If the wearer dies while still wearing the trousers, their soul will be unable to leave their body and they will slowly transform into a draugr. Their mind will be overcome with greed, and they will spend the nights looking for treasures and hoarding them in their burial mound.