1 August 2022

d100 Magical Statues

Temple halls and forbidden tombs. Deep dungeons and abandoned castles. Gardens. Forests. City squares. They all should have statues in them.

Forgotten by Fenro45
 

Admittedly, I like statues and I like to imagine them in many locations. What I don't like is coming up with their descriptions on the fly, because those can often fall flat. So what I need is a big table of pre-made statues.

Many of the statues below have been inspired by those found in ADOM. Each statue also has a special effect described, but feel free to ignore those. Magical statues are cool, but sometimes all you need is the flavour.

d100StatueEffect
1An ugly little goblin hewn from gabbro and holding a shovel.The shovel points towards where a chest had been walled in.
2This statue is unfinished, as though the sculptor ran out of time. It seems to depict a child, maybe?Anyone who touches the statue immediately grows d20 years younger and the statue gets a tiny bit more finished. Works once per person only.
3A fey queen sculpted from white marble. Her eyes are brilliant-cut sapphires. Touching the sapphires forces a Save vs permanent paralysis.
4A hooded ranger in a readied combat stance wielding a pair of short swords. The swords are actual masterwork weapons, but have to be pried free from the statue's stony grip.
5A larger than life knight made from some strangely glistening black stone, wielding an axe in one hand and a severed head in the other. A plaque on the pedestal reads: "Vae Victis"Saying "Vae Victis" out loud animates the severed head. It contains the spirit of a sorcerer once slain by the depicted knight.
6A large cube of grey stone precariously standing on a corner, one large and intricate rune carved into each face. Touching a rune teleports you to another runed cube. There are seven such statues, each connected the the others via its runes.
7A nun raising her hand in a blessing, but covered in cracks and grime. The pedestal bears these words: "A moment of respite, a chance of relief."Sleeping at the feet of the statue will grant a bonus Save vs one affliction affecting you, and the statue will get a bit more cracked and grimy once you wake up.
8A bearded blacksmith stands hunched over an empty anvil, his brow furrowed in concentration. His right hand grips a hammer, raised as if ready to strike. If anything is placed on the anvil, the statue will smash it with the hammer and shatter it (including magic items normally resistant to such).
9A naked woman with an oversized, misshapen and mutilated head. She is wearing a necklace, but the head is too big to simply remove it.The necklace is quite valuable, but if the statue is damaged, it will animate and attack.
10An elf wearing a noble armour of ancient design. He is hunched over as if in agony, his eyes screwed shut. Getting very close the statue, you will hear a faint whisper: "I suffer, great hero. Wilst thou help me?" If you consent, the statue's eyes will open, burning with purple radiance, and you gain d6 mutations. The statue will look momentarily relieved, before closing its eyes again. Works once per person.
11A warlock in flowing robes, wielding a staff in one hand and a sword in the other.The statue reflects any spell cast at it.
12More of a twisted, abstract blob of glassy stone than an actual statue.As long as a creature keeps making skin contact with this statue, their flesh may be re-shaped like clay. It's excruciatingly painful.
13A thin, tall, black monolith.Breaking the monolith will open a portal to Beyond.
14A vaguely humanoid form completely overgrown with plant life and crawling with insects.Some useful herbs that have no business growing in a dungeon can be harvested from the statue.
15This statue is a pile of books, each crafted from a different type of rock.Touching a book will make a voice in your head read it to you.
16A warrior-nun in a fighting position, decorated with ivory.If you kick the statue, it will catch your leg and break it. Once the fractured bone heals, you will be able to double jump.
17A fat smiling man, made of solid gold. The pedestal bears a crude engraving, likely added later: "Beware Greed"Touching the statue will make half your carried gold disappear. A disembodied laugh will ring in your ears and the statue will grow a bit more fat. The statue is unnaturally resistant to damage.
18An young wizard with an open grimoire in one hand, the other bent in a spellcasting gesture.The grimoire actually has a spell engraved in it, which can be copied into your spellbook.
19An aged wizard brandishing an ornate wand. An inscription on the pedestal says: "In honour of the grand-" and the rest was destroyed by a spell impact.Trying to hit the statue with a spell from a wand will instead recharge/empower the wand. If attempted again with the same wand, the wand will explode.
20A serpentine dragon, a different rune emblazoned on each scale. A plaque reads: "He Shall Reap the Wind"Speaking in the presence of the statue brings about wind, the stronger the louder one spoke. Even whispers cause pretty strong gusts.
21Two enormous dogs standing guard over a fallen soldier. A plaque reads: "Never resting. Ever watching."Any dog who sees this statue will gain d6 max hp and increase its Morale to 12. Works once per dog.
22A maiden kneeling in prayer.If you haven't done anything too questionable or sinful recently, praying for a while will heal d6 hp.
23A sneering jester juggling human skulls. Telling any joke near this statue will cause a deafening laughter to echo throughout the room. Roll for a random encounter due to the noise. Out of character jokes at the table count too.
24Only the feet remain from this statue. The pedestal is engraved with the following words: "Aut viam inveniam aut faciam."Any piece chipped off from the statue (not the pedestal) can be used to cast knock once.
25A woman just rousing from sleep, her face absolutely terrified.Anyone sleeping in the room will enter a shared nightmare of a dark forest. It contains magic loot, but also a lot of dream-monsters. If you get killed in the dreamscape, your real body dies of fright.
26A boulder-sized perfect metallic sphere floating above its pedestal.Anything touching the statue becomes weightless. Do not move it off the pedestal!
27A huge heap of old, rusty armour and weapons, seemingly fused together.For a moment, you thought you heard faint whispers coming from inside of the heap...
28A sandstone dog growling at an unseen threat.Any sand scraped off the statue can be used as a barrier against spectral enemies.
29A mad wizard ripping pages out of a spellbook. An inscription reads: "Knowledge is a finite resource; the more you learn, the more you forget."Any PC who touches the statue falls unconscious and wakes up only after d6 hours. They may opt to change the class of their last level (eg. fighter 6 might become fighter 5, thief 1). Only works once per person.
30A man crowned with twigs and leaves, surrounded by a swarm of squirrels. Leave an offering of nuts on the pedestal and the next time you need help, several squirrels will come to your aid.
31A cloaked figure, its left arm hidden under the cloak but its right arm extended outwards, holding a set of scales. A plaque reads: "To the ancient judges in whose dominion Balance reigned supreme." Place an object of contention on the scales and present your case. The object will be equitably split in half; treasure by its real value, a magic item might be duplicated with half its potency, a baby might be cloned. If the case is in bad faith, however, the figure will reveal its left hand wielding a sword; Save vs decapitation.
32A naked male figure missing its head.Placing a severed head on the statue's neck stump will fuse them together and animate the head with its new golem-body.
33A featureless humanoid standing square and emotionless. It is missing one hand, an eye and a few chunks from its chest.If you touch the statue and have a body part missing, you will be granted a prosthetic of animated stone and the statue will lose a corresponding piece.
34A crude wooden figurine of a giant rat. A barely-readable scrawling on its pedestal says: "FOOD"Leaving any food at the pedestal will quickly lure in a menagerie of rats, giant rats, wererats, zombie rats and any other rodents that live in the vicinity. They might be quite friendly if they can get their bellies full.
35A great hero strikes a breathtaking pose. How gorgeous! How graceful! How inspiring! Oh, wait... Suddenly, it seems to resemble you.The statue takes on the appearance of the first PC who investigates it, only more beautiful and godly. Any damage taken by the statue is also taken by the character.
36A head of a gargantuan dragon, hewn from obsidian. Covered in frost and nearly too cold to touch.The whole room is quite chilly. Anyone falling asleep here will slumber forever, requiring no food and never ageing. They can be safely awoken if slowly thawed next to a fire.
37A weary soldier, heavily leaning on his spear. An inscription reads: "The wars will not remember you or your comrades."Leaving some fresh flowers on the pedestal will lift your fatigue as if you had a good night's sleep.
38A delicate young woman lies prostrate on an ornate settee, clothed in a thin, revealing attire, with one hand resting wearily against her forehead and the other reaching languidly outwards. Her posture suggests great despair.Kissing the outstretched hand forces you to babble out your darkest secret.
39Ten monkeys climbing over each other.Climbing on top of the statue reveals a secret escape hatch in the ceiling.
40A stone tree smeared with dried blood.Sprinkling the statue with fresh blood makes a single blood-red apple grow on the tree. Very tasty.
41A man with a twisted expression, holding a sword with which he just severed his other hand. The severed hand is lying on the pedestal and someone has written in dried blood by it: "No sacrifice too big."Every piece of flesh that you cut off from your own body and place on the pedestal will transform into gold.
42A gorgeous woman with piercing eyes.The eyes are engraved with symbols of fascination. Looking directly into them will plunge you into a beautiful dream where you live a good, happy life with this woman. You cannot wake up on your own.
43A golden fish leaping from a pond.Any cracks on the statue will spill fresh water. The bigger the crack, the more water.
44A dwarf raising a tankard in a toast.Pouring any alcoholic beverage into the tankard will make it froth and overflow; drinking from this overflow acts as a very alcoholic healing potion.
45The statue is cast in bronze and depicts a barbarian accompanied by a snarling dog.The statue is hollow and filled with human bones. Any canine offered one of these bones will leave you be and happily chew on it.
46A goblin crafted from green glass, dancing madly.Breaking the statue will make you greenish and translucent, forever. Not invisible, just translucent.
47A big ugly toad, its tongue outstretched.If you leave dead insects on the tongue, the frog will gobble them up and spit out copper pieces.
48A dwarf with a determined grin and a full backpack. Graffiti scratched into the pedestal reads: "Better a small fire that warms than a great fire that burns."Start a campfire in front of the statue to talk to it. It knows a lot about this dungeon, though its knowledge may be outdated.
49A statue of a giant stands sneering from above, blocking a doorway with its oversized sword.Politely asking the statue to let you through will make it raise the sword. You have to say "please".
50A wide bowl filled with scarab statuettes, accented with gold filigree and precious stones. Attempting to remove a statuette will make them all animate and attack. They can be pacified by singing.
51An elf is playing a lute, half of her face dissolving into a mass of tentacles.When you start singing or playing an instrument, you will soon be accompanied by a disembodied lute. Keep it up and your flesh will shift, slowly developing more and more mutations.
52A demon statue wrapped in rusty chains, standing in a partially walled up alcove.Removing the chains will prompt the statue to ask for sacrifices. It can grant knowledge and magic. Should it receive enough offerings, it will break free of the petrification.
53A gargoyle is kneeling with its cupped hands raised high above and filled with beautiful pearls.Taking a pearl instantly fills your lungs with sea water.
54A massive man is struggling under the weight of chains binding him to the ground.Breaking any of the chains causes an earthquake to shake the dungeon.
55A tall, robed woman holding a thick book in her hands. The flesh of her forearms is engraved with the symbols of the elements. The symbols can be copied and used to ward off the elements.
56A great hulk of black obsidian, depicting an ancient warrior. His armour is dented and battered, his sword broken and his shield split, yet he seems ready to jump back into the fray.Any damaged item touched to the statue is mended.
57A large amphora filled with murky water. It smells of decay.There are several undead fish and a few pieces of jewellery hidden in the water.
58A ceramic statue of a man with a goatee and a stern expression. Wherever you move his eyes seem to follow. Once this statue has been sighted, every newly explored room has a 1-in-6 chance of containing this statue.
59A proud and haughty woman in flowing robes. Once richly decorated, the statue is now defaced, with most of the silver and gold adornments stolen, and the gemstones it had for eyes gouged out and gone.Anyone who touches the statue is permanently blinded, yet they can see precious gems and metals even through walls. This curse is lifted if they bring a new adornment to the statue.
60A solitary siren sits atop a pile of bones. Singing near the statue will cause it to animate and compliment your singing voice. It will ask you to trade it your voice. If you agree, you are stricken mute but get a sea-themed magic item in return.
61A small, tubby, bald man carved from a dark stone. He is smiling widely and carries a small cask under his right arm. A placard on the pedestal reads: "I share freely."The tap on the cask can be opened, spilling an endless supply of a murky liquid. The liquid works as a random potion - roll once per character, the liquid will always have the same effect for each character.
62A human-sized jackal with sparkling rubies for eyes. Undead creatures will never come close to this statue.
63A knight, curiously holding a shield in each hand.All attacks made in range of the statue will target the statue instead of the intended victim.
64A mottled black and red eudialyte stone has been polished and sculpted into the shape of a giant, anatomically correct heart.All healing magic is maximized around the statue. However, the patient will start hearing the thrum of a giant heart, the more loudly the more times they are healed near the statue, and it never goes away.
65A winged figure clad in plate and gripping a soot-stained greatsword.Flames cannot be put out in this room.
66A thinly built man huddled as if to squeeze through a narrow gap. He leads with a crossbow, held at arm's length. The stone crossbow is missing a quarrel, but if one is loaded in it, it will shoot the next creature that crosses the statue's sights.
67A too tall and slender magician, clothed in a foreign garb. On the palm of his extended hand dances a ghostly flame.The ghostly flame produces light but no heat.
68A humanoid figure, but so old and eroded it has lost all distinguishable features.Any person who dies in this room will have their soul trapped in the statue, replacing a previous soul if there was one. You can talk with a trapped soul when touching the statue. There's a 2-in-6 chance that there already is a soul inside when you find the statue.
69A barefoot amazon clad in wolf pelts, drawing her longbow and about to shoot.The arrowhead is made of metal, unlike the rest of the statue, and is exceedingly sharp. Anyone pricked by it will be affected as if by a sleeping poison.
70A plague doctor taking off his mask, his face frozen in a rictus grin.Every exploration turn spent in the room, save against a random disease.
71A young elvish girl, perhaps seven or eight, carved from basalt. An engraving on the pedestal reads: "Never forget, never forgive."Humans take double damage when in sight of the statue.
72A naked, peeing boy.The pee is actually molten gold, disappearing into a hole in the floor.
73A very old and ugly man, nearly buckling under the weight of a big sack full of weapons on his back - swords, axes, hammers and flails, spears, bows, ...Any weapon touched to the statue turns to stone.
74A huge egg assembled from a thousand interlocking pieces carved from different types of stone. A placard at the pedestal reads: "Only a fool would break me."If one can solve the puzzle and open the egg, there might be a reward hidden inside. Only a fool would break the egg!
75A cloaked figure, tall and regal and carved from white marble, yet the shadows beneath its hood are deep and swirling.If anything disturbs the swirling shadows, a torrent of black smoke starts spilling from under the hood.
76An ice sculpture of a leopard in mid-leap. The ice glows from within, as if there was something trapped inside. If shattered, reveals a magic ring that allows the casting of wall of ice, but is also haunted by the spirit of a snow leopard.
77A warrior beaten down onto one knee, cowering under a shield and cradling his other arm. There is a mixture of horror, desperation and anger on the statue's face. A wizard might realize that this is no statue. The warrior is stuck in stasis.
78Half of a warrior remains mounted on a war horse, all carved from crumbling sandstone. Sand is slowly but constantly falling off the statue.Nothing in this room ages.
79A vampire prostrated and pleading, its fanged maw open wide. There are stains of old, dried blood inside its throat.Anyone who cuts themselves and bleeds into the vampire's mouth will be purified of all physical and metaphysical maladies, but also drop to 0 hp. Pouring some blood from a dead creature into the statue's mouth will raise the corpse as a ravenous zombie.
80A badly defaced statue of an orcish hero, poised with a great-axe in his hands. Unlike the statue, the axe is made of steel and decorated with orcish pictograms and pieces of jade.The axe is enchanted with human slaying. It also bears a curse - if a non-orc steals it, they will transform into an orc the next time they sleep.
81A statue made of aged and splintering wood, the details far too faded to make out. It appears to be holding a wand. Magic becomes very unpredictable and prone to amusing side effects in the vicinity of this statue.
82A barbarian warrior clad in thick furs, hiding behind a large, asymmetrical mirror.One can walk through the mirror into a mirrored copy of this room, except it contains someone's hideout. A bed, a burnt-out campfire and some assorted pieces of equipment left strewn about.
83A nobleman smiling a slightly mad smile, an arm held upward with a severed ear in his palm. Touching the statue will strike you permanently deaf, but you will now be able to hear nearby magic as strange whispers.
84A chest-high pillar carved with words in many, many languages and scripts.You can read any piece of writing that you rest on top of the pillar.
85A towering tyrant-king of yore resting upon his throne, many small figures cowering before him.Anyone who comes close to the statue will be forced to kneel. Everyone affected will also have all pain they feel amplified hundredfold.
86A very smooth and perfectly black prism, dark smoke rising from its surface. If you touch it, you might find an imprint of a hand.Always surrounded by a expansive cloud of swirling darkness. As long as you have a hand lain in the imprint, you can precisely sense everything inside of this darkness.
87A man with the legs of a beast, though covered in moss and some of the original definition lost to the ages. He holds something in his hands, a musical instrument or a tablet perhaps? Any song or magical spell performed in the room will be absorbed by the statue, disappearing from the mind of the user. Should the statue be broken, however, all the spells and songs it has absorbed will flood the mind of whoever destroyed the statue. Over the next few days, their legs will turn into those of a beast...
88A strange creature with fourteen outstretched arms, all hands cupped as if ready to receive alms.If a small, precious item is put into the statue's hand, it will close and crush the item in its fist. Once all fourteen hands are filled, the statue will open its mouth and start vomiting an endless stream of crude oil.
89A gaunt elf engorging herself from a plate full of food. No one feels hungry around the statue. You still need food, you just cannot force yourself to chew and swallow until you leave the statue's presence. This works even on creatures that would normally hunt and bite and devour.
90A fledgling bird, carved from obsidian with individual feathers formed from gold and silver. It is standing up from a cracked egg, made from a softly glowing geode.The statue's pedestal is unnaturally warm. Any eggs left there will soon hatch into the respective creature, but unusually intelligent and with feathers or scales made of precious metal.
91A hippopotamus-headed goddess, lounging in the middle of a small basin.Drinking the water from the basin sends you into a dream of a great feast arranged by the goddess. This dream is shared among all who drink this water, and it works even if the water is removed from the basin.
92A kobold holding a human baby.No youngling can be harmed near this statue. Coincidences will conspire to keep them safe and sound. They also cannot be forcibly removed from there, they can leave only of their own free will.
93A fleeing woman, her expression a strange mix of panic and elation. The statue weeps in the presence of secrets.
94A dark-haired woman wearing a toga and holding out a golden apple.The apple can be freely taken. It is not actually made of gold, only gold-coloured. It can be eaten, tasting like a fresh, sweet apple. Eating it cures the one biggest problem a person has - it can be anything, from an injury or malady to a curse or longing. They are however also polymorphed into likeness of the dark-haired woman. The apple reappears in the statue's hand overnight, but doesn't work (again) for any dark-haired women.
95A decrepit beggar dressed in tattered rags is prostrating themselves, a mendicant bowl filled with gold coins gripped in their hands.The coins can be freely taken, but carry a curse. You will gain no benefit from any of your gold and treasures - no merchant will take your money, you get no XP for GP, etc. The only way to break the curse is to return all the coins back to the statue.
96A farmer with a dog by his side appears to be looking up to something with hopeful determination. A plaque reads: "Hard work and a strong back can overcome any obstacle."Morale and Fear checks cannot be failed in this room.
97An ogre in a pose of belly-shaking mirth, carved of a foreign red stone.Reaction rolls are at +4 in this room.
98An infinitely complex crystalline helix which glows with a strange light. Time passes more slowly near this statue. Every minute you spend there, a whole day will pass in the rest of the world.
99A dragon lies slain, with a goblin standing triumphantly on the corpse.This area is sacred to goblinkind, used for peace talks and moots. Anyone can ask for a parley here, and oaths sworn between two parties are said to be enforced by the will of the ancestral heroes.
100A man and a woman standing back to back, both holding a dagger and grinning with murderous glee.No form of immortality, invulnerability or damage resistance applies around this statue.


And here are bonus d20 statues with no special effects:
 

d20Statue
1Three horsemen. The first is holding up a falcon, the second a severed head and the third a cornucopia.
2A dancer as if in the middle of a jump, back bent and arms spread wide.
3An elven woman is cradling a tiny wyrmling in her arms.
4A humongous foot. A plaque reads: "Artist unknown but wanted."
5A caryatid column is holding the ceiling above.
6The statue is crude and huge, barely resembling some animalistic figure. It's like it wasn't even carved with a chisel, but rather torn from raw stone by sharp claws.
7A jumble of stone and metal loops intertwine into a wondrous miracle of art. While seemingly chaotic, the eye is quickly drawn to follow the curves, building a never-ending, fractal pattern of layers upon layers of meanings. A tear of raw emotion leaks from the corner of your eye as you finally understand that- that... Er... What?
8A female form in alabaster, kneeling but with hands thrust skywards. There are jagged holes ripped through her open palms.
9A weasel with two heads, each of its four eyes made from a different kind of gemstone.
10Intricately crafted from granite is some variety of a terrifying qintupedal beast of hooked claws, razor-sharp teeth and needle-like quills.
11A minotaur cradling in his arms a female orc wearing a full plate.
12Two entangled snakes swallowing each other's tail, shaped like a lemniscate; one made of copper and the other of brass. Runes tracing along their back read: "Life devours life."
13A raven sitting atop a pile of books.
14A goat.
15A simple column of jale stone, rising hundreds of feet high to a ceiling that cannot even be seen.
16A silver wireframe of a cat, it's back arched and its eyes made of polished gabbro.
17A spear-wielding nomad of the southern desert, carved from some white rock. Its hair have been recently painted blue.
18A headless female figure sprouting uncountable, interwoven arms, each holding a different weapon.
19A column of human skulls, mortared together.
20This marble statue of a naiad has been vertically split in half. Inspecting the cut, you notice that the stone had been partially melted.


And if you've read all the way down here, you can also download the table as a 

> PDF <

29 July 2022

QHW Blog Ring

Nothing new from me, but here is what other people have made for the Quarter-Hour of Writing challenge:

 

Picture for the picture god!

8 July 2022

From an Ancient Bestiary

I was going through some boxes in the attic when I found my old school notebook from when I was nine or ten years old. It contains what is probably the first bestiary that I've made, scrawled in between homework. It is... rather silly, really. Apparently I was enamoured with deadly poison and big numbers at the time. And the word "super".

This is no RPG bestiary, mind you. Just some hand-drawn monsters with short descriptions of capabilities. For your enjoyment, I have scanned the pictures and noted some fun facts from the descriptions. Hope you like really shitty art.

 

Winged Knight
His right hand has been replaced with a hurricane-strength wind cannon and he is apparently wearing heavy armour, yet he can still fly. His sword is also "super-sharp".

 

Carp Knight
This one had his right hand replaced with a water cannon capable of cutting steel, his fish-scales are as hard as his armour, and he can swim at a maximum speed of 300 km/h.

They are not present in this bestiary, but I distinctly remember there were more types of these knight, the Knights of the Labyrinth. There were the Four-armed Knights (with two arm-cannons) and the Tentacled Knights (with a normal upper body and a lower body dissolving into a mass of tentacles) and maybe even more that I don't recall. They all hail from the Enchanted Labyrinth, a dungeon that we explored with my brothers before we knew about any RPG rules and systems, using just make believe.

 

Three-humped Dragon
I like how this dragon is more of a chimera, mixing bits of a camel, hippogriff, goat, lion and an actual dragon. His three humps allow him to survive without food and water for up to three years and he can fly at a top speed of 300 million km/s, which is a thousand times faster than light. It is not written anywhere, but I'd like to imagine that this dragon can survive in the outer space and migrates between solar systems.

He also doesn't breathe fire, but rather shoots lightning from his horns.

 

Unicorn Devil
Probably my favourite creature of this bunch, simply because he looks so silly.

The unicorn horn secretes a "super-deadly" poison. I told you it's coming. The devil horns are even stranger, with a note saying they have "magic rope". Can they manifest some animated rope, or what exactly is going on? It's a mystery.

He is also noted as being super strong and tough, wearing no armour and needing none.

 

Mud Devil
This is both a devil and an alien, hailing from the solar system of Sirius. His whole body is made of living mud, which lets him pass through cracks or grating. He's also in love with lasers, because both his sword and his staff can shoot lasers.

 

Alien of Jupiter
Or I guess Jovian?

He can fly (presumably via psychic powers) and shoot ball lightning from his antennae (seen in action on the picture). His robe is also indestructible.

 

Tiny Ghost-Ghoul
His tentacles have venomous suckers, though not super-deadly this time. However, the weapons are enchanted to kill instantly.

Being a ghost, he can also phase through walls and fly. No information is given on how tiny he truly is, but given that I had once considered it necessary to mention his size, he is probably really small.

 

Elastic Ghost-Vampire
Now this one has a fun form of attack. His whole body and all the hands can stretch and twist. He reaches through a wall to grapple a victim, and once the victim is immobilized, bites them and drains their blood.

 

Poison Daisy
Not only does this flower have venomous teeth, she is also thorny with any scratches resulting in an infection. Thankfully, she is rooted in place, so just keep your distance.

 

Serpent Sapling
It's a coniferous tree sapling which can slither around on its single overlarge root. It can also shoot needles imbued with super-deadly poison. And it's so small and inconspicuous it can easily hide. Oh joy.

 

Guardian Robot
I don't know what is he guarding, but he might be better off switching lines of work to a killer robot. His right hand-cannon fires rockets while the left hand-cannon produces a death ray. He can also stomp for a shockwave, shoot lightning bolts from his antenna (Why did I like electrified antennae so much?) and if all that fails, bite off your limbs. His visor pierces invisibility and the material of his body ignores intangibility.

Finally, he can slide out wings and fly, with a maximum speed of 300 million km/s. Now I must imagine a chase scene where this robot is attempting to capture some adventurers riding three-humped dragons, plummeting through outer space at FTL speeds.

 

Sunfire Monster
Not much is noted about this creature, except that it attacks with flaming fists that burn with the heat of 11 trillion °C. Funnily, our Sun at its very hottest, in the very core, only has a temperature of 15 million °C.

Oh, and he also ignores cold of up to -100 °C, but given how he would pretty much instantly turn the whole planet into a ball of plasma, that shouldn't be a problem.

30 June 2022

QHW, Day 30: Dwarves

Dwarves need metal. Dwarves eat metal.

Dwarven society is stratified into castes, which in turn are based on the metal which a dwarf can afford to eat. (This can be quite useful for PC dwarves, who can switch between racial benefits simply by changing their diet and waiting for their body to adjust.) More wealthy dwarves can afford better metals, which in turn marks them as belonging to a higher caste. If a dwarf doesn't eat metal, they will grow weak, sickly, and eventually die.

The Alloyed
Any dwarf who switched from one diet to another. It takes several days for one metal to be cleared from the body and superseded with a new one, during which time the dwarf's skin is mottled and uneven, often with rust-pimples or cracks.

Politely ignored if it's a dwarf mid-transition between castes, often with a celebration if they change into a higher caste. Dwarves who keep changing their caste and are more often Alloyed than not, disparagingly called the "slags", are widely considered untrustworthy and ignored impolitely.

The Impures
The lowest caste is composed of dwarves who do not always have access to the same cheap metal every day, or just don't have enough energy left to care. These are the labourers and unskilled workers.

Copper Dwarves have increased stamina, though overdose can lead to restlessness and insomnia. Tin Dwarves have somewhat enhanced senses, especially in the dark. Overdose can lead to migraines. Bronze Dwarves have a lesser version of both, which is especially useful for the miners.

Bronze Dwarves are not considered Alloyed and don't get the tell-tale signs of changing a diet, even if they eat two different metals.

Iron Dwarves, Ferrics
The military caste. Iron Dwarves are stronger and tougher, with overdose leading to the numbing of pain and all emotions.

Many dwarven veterans are unwilling to ever change their diet, as they have brutally slaughtered many enemies while under the influence of iron and losing the numbness would quickly lead to PTSD. Swallowing a large amount of iron at once to intentionally overdose can be used by dwarves of any caste as an emergency painkiller, though it leads to them becoming Alloyed if they weren't Ferrics.

Silver Dwarves, Argents
The craftsdwarves, artisans and artists. Silver Dwarves have augmented creativity, imagination, empathy and emotional intelligence, but overdose can leave them with hallucinations or something akin to a bipolar disorder.

Despite their social nature, many Argents choose to lead a reclusive life, as silver diet sometimes leads to embarrassingly undwarven behaviour, like freely expressing your feelings!

Gold Dwarves, Aureans
The leaders, merchants and scholars. Gold Dwarves have augmented mental capacity, memory retention and brain plasticity, allowing them to learn quickly and easily outwit most others. An overdose leads to a loss of empathy and moral restraints, allowing one to stay calm, objective and profitable even in the face of death and despair. As such, many Aureans eat more gold than would be necessary.

Occultum Dwarves, Occultins
Dwarves never have a natural gift for magic, but they can gain one by eating occultum. This is quite often lethal, but those who survive the first dose are rewarded with sorcerous powers. Occultum Dwarves rarely change their diet unless forced to by circumstances, as they cannot return to occultum without risking their life with that first dose again.

An occultum overdose has roughly equal chance of either a massive explosion, or a transformation into a mighty spirit of the earth.

Quicksilver Dwarves, Mercurials
Mercurials are not a part of the dwarven society. They are outcasts, considered monstrous and perverse. They are feared, despised and only whispered about in stories to frighten children. Their blood is a deadly poison, thus they steal the blood of other dwarves to survive. Just like quicksilver, they are malleable, able to change their appearance at will, or even dissolve their body into a pool of living mercury.

Some stories also claim that Mercurials are immortal. Many dwarven lands ban mercury to forestall the temptation and prevent the rise of dwarf-eating monstrosities in their midst.

29 June 2022

QHW, Day 29: Location

Here are some desert hexes:

Terrain: Sand dunes.
Obvious: Tall, ancient tree. Has roots so deep they reach the underground river hidden beneath the sand. Great for orientation, as there is nothing but it and sand all around.
Hidden: City ruins buried in sand. A sandstorm might uncover them, only for the next one to bury them again.

Terrain: Sand dunes.
Obvious: Tents of d6 bedouin families. They are taking their herd of camels to a town fair. You can come with if you wish to.
Hidden: Several corpses freshly buried in shallow graves.

Terrain: Small town with a fort.
Obvious: An inn, a bazaar, baths, barracks with barely any soldiers.
Hidden: A watchtower with all entrances bricked up.

Terrain: Wadi.
Obvious: One-armed goatherd with a massive herd of goats.
Hidden: Giant sandstone hand sticking out of the ground.

Terrain: Sandstone rocks.
Obvious: Sand people campsite with a wellspring, hidden in a rock crevasse.
Hidden: Sandstone tombs deeper in the rocks.

And here are some undead:

Elkali

  • Also known as the Sun vampires, elkali are solitary desert-dwelling undead who prey on caravans and oasis settlements.
  • They appear as sun-dried corpses, and thus usually hide their visage behind robes, veils and headdresses.
  • They feed by draining a creature of all their moisture, leaving them mummified.
  • They are known to possess inhuman strength and speed, plus the ability to transform into a flying cloud of sand.
  • They only stay active when the Sun is up. Even being in shadow weakens them.
  • At night, they fall into a deathly torpor and cannot be roused. Thus they dig themselves deep into sand to sleep in safety until the Sun rises again.
  • Unlike their local counterparts, they cannot stealthily hunt under the cover of the night, so they rely on disguises, ambushes and kidnapping their victims for later meals.
  • During the night, hunters will use thin poles to discover dormant elkali. However, they also have to deal with the ghouls that come out at night to devour the corpses left behind by elkali.


28 June 2022

QHW, Day 28: Spells

Upon their graduation, each member of the Mage Guild receives an implement which is used to focus and empower their spells beyond the common hedge magery. The focusing stone in this staff (it's usually a staff, though wands or rings and other jewelry are also possible) depends on the mage's chosen field of study, as certain types of stones resonate better with certain types of magic.

d20 Focusing Stones

  1. Glintstone: illusions
  2. Gemstone: emotions
  3. Warpstone: alteration
  4. Sunstone: paladin-style evil-slaying magic
  5. Moonstone: glamour
  6. Bloodstone: biomancy
  7. Gravestone: necromancy
  8. Keystone: portals
  9. Brimstone: fire
  10. Hailstone: ice and frost
  11. Nullstone: hex-breaking
  12. Lodestone: gravity
  13. Felstone: hexes and curses
  14. Voidshard: extradimensional magic
  15. Soulshard: spirit magic
  16. Dragonshard: draconic magic
  17. Godshard: miracles
  18. Dreamshard: dream manipulation
  19. Fossil: time manipulation
  20. Raw crystal: pure magic, crude but powerful


27 June 2022

QHW, Day 27: Physical Laws

Several decades ago, Black Gold Limited completed a new mining station in orbit around the black hole H-485 Phei. With heavy use of spacetime compensators and antigravity generators, the mining crew managed to breach the surface of the black hole and established a mine to extract the deposits of black hole metal ore located between the event horizon and the singularity, a scarce and precious resource.

Since then, Black Gold Limited has shown a considerable financial growth. Until three days ago, that is, when their stock dropped rapidly after some nebulous information about a disaster at the mine that might cripple their supply of black hole metal was leaked to the datasphere.

You have been hired by one of the Black Gold Limited higher-ups to discreetly investigate the "accident". All communications with the mine have indeed been lost. They suspect an industrial sabotage by Omni-Industries megacorp in preparation for a hostile takeover and wish to secure solid grounds for a legal action. They expect that you provide convincing evidence against the megacorp no matter your actual findings.

They provide you with a spacetime-reinforced ship to reach the mining station. Good luck.

26 June 2022

QHW, Day 26: Villains

Morwena the Unseen
Unusually tall and brawny for an elven woman, Morwena is no master of the killing steel as many would guess. Instead, she carries a compound bow three paces long, made from troll horn and ironwood. Her moniker similarly doesn't come from any skill in stealth or invisibility, but rather her penchant for engaging enemies at ranges where they would need a spyglass to even see her.

Her beautiful mare, Feather, gives her the speed to snipe from the next hill over, then escape pursuit and change positions, always staying ahead of her enemies.

Nevermore the Slave
Born in the dark pits of Mörgshire to be a lowly slave and arrow-fodder in the vast armies of Dragana the Demon-Sorceress, Nevermore took on his name after he stole Dragana's horned sceptre and bashed her head in with it. Upon choosing his name, he vowed to free all enslaved or oppressed goblins, wherever they might be, and never stop until all goblin children can live in peace and prosperity.

Nevermore works in secret, travelling through the realms of the various dark lords and organising revolutionary cells in the goblin settlements. Soon, the signal will be sounded and the Evil shall be overthrown.

He still carries the sceptre of his former mistress, its whispers slowly worming their way into his head. Fire is best fought with fire, after all, and the only way to make sure all goblins will be forever safe is to destroy all who would threaten them...

Thog of the Hundred Arms
Thog heard stories of a race of unconquerable warriors, the hecatoncheires, when he was a small child. Thog wanted to be an unconquerable warrior, just like them, so he tried to become one of them. Thog started cutting off the arms of his enemies and sewing them onto his body. Thog was also a troll, and thanks to his remarkable regeneration, this somehow worked.

Kostra the Immortal
Contrary to the belief of the many undead hunters who told tall tales of bringing a final death to the supposed "Immortal", Kostra is not a simple lich with a pompous title. He is an ancient wizard ghost using possessed skeletons to interact with the world of the living, and every time he is "vanquished", he comes back as fast as he can find a new skeleton.

There are no people who have fought Kostra, only those who are either dead, or still fighting him. While he is not all that powerful or hard to defeat, he never ever gives up and really, really holds a grudge. Some whispered legends claim that he will only find peace once his very first grudge is resolved, something he hadn't managed for all the centuries he haunts the world.

Until then, he will always come back, no matter what you throw at him, out of sheer spite.

25 June 2022

QHW, Day 25: Dragons

Fire is a good servant, but a bad master. Humanity was using and utilizing fire since the prehistory shrounded in deep time, but the DRAGON is a remainder that the fear of the flame should never be forgotten. It has a body of coals and embers, of charred corpses and half-molten steel girders, of sand burnt into glass and glowing lava. It radiates deathly heat, like a cracked blast furnace, a volcano or a wildfire. The DRAGON is a mindless, unstoppable destruction without purpose. A gentle remainder that the forces of nature could wipe us out in an instant, should they so choose. A lesson in awe and humility.

The DRAGON is a simple creature, and horrible in its simplicity. It comes, burns everything to the ground, and goes. Those who fight it burn. Those who run burn, too. Those who cannot burn choke on noxious smoke and drown in molten stone. The term "draconic desolation" is not used for no reason.

The DRAGON's breath weapon is a stream of superheated flames. They stick to anything they touch like napalm. They cannot be easily extinguished and continue to burn for a long time even on metal or the surface of water. A glancing blow will burn through a wall. A true strike will melt both a magical armour and the demigod inside. It is the one way to kill the immortal and destroy the invincible.

And the dragonslayers? Those who had truly slain the DRAGON and inherited its soul? They were powerful, yes, for a time. As long as they were still themselves. Why do you think it is called "the DRAGON", singular?

24 June 2022

QHW, Day 24: Megastructures

The worldtree, Nancy. The Yggdrasil.

I'm looking at it right now.

I remember when we had first heard about it after it was discovered. The largest living thing in the known universe. We've seen the documentaries together. But no cameras can provide the real sense of scale. Every time I look out of the port side window, I just freeze for a moment, again and again, lost in its sheer size.

"That is no moon," we joked when PATRIOT first docked in orbit, I remember. That was before my draft notice, of course. But PATRIOT is just a speck against the Yggdrasil.

Really, I have no words that would do it justice. A dendroid Dyson net - that tells you nothing. It has planets wedged between its branches, Nancy. Literal planets.

You really wished to come here, I know. To do your science thing and understand more about this ridiculous crime against the physics as we know them. I'm really glad you didn't.

Our long-range scanners are already going haywire, so that thing is getting close, and yet I can be as calm as a cat knowing that you are safe and sound literal years away.

I keep coming back to our parting kiss from yesterday. My yesterday. I know that with all the time dilation, you have last seen me some ten years ago, but I hope you remember, because the Yggdrasil will survive and I will see you again and I will kiss your then-wrinkly, old face and you will have all the time in the world to get your ass here and science up whatever you want.

Before the communications go blank, I wanted to send you this. This is not a goodbye, it's a promise.

We are the Last Guard, Nancy, and we will hold fast.

Love,

Piper

23 June 2022

QHW, Day 23: Curses

Resurrection gauntlet
You may put it on and then touch a corpse, bringing it back to life. The resurrected creature is exactly as they were before their untimely demise - completely healed, all abilities and memories and levels untouched - except they no longer have hp of their own. They are linked to yours and any damage taken by the resurrectee is subtracted from your hp. Effects that don't affect hp are not transferred, except for death effects.

Once you have resurrected a creature with the gauntlet, it behaves as a cursed object and can only be doffed with the help of a remove curse spell. If you take it off though, the resurrected creature instantly drops dead.

22 June 2022

QHW, Day 22: ...in SPACE!!!

Oort

  • Knot of long, multi-limbed insectoid limbs with no central body. Silicon based.
  • Every joint is covered in sensory whiskers. Extremely sensitive to electricity and vibrations.
  • They communicate via bioelectric signals. Can interface directly with their organic-electronic technology.
  • They live off thermoelectricity. To feed, they lie down with one limb in sunlight and the other in darkness.
  • Vacuum-proof, cannot survive in planetary gravity.
  • Their kilometre-long ships are actually their females.
  • Merchants. They fill their ships with cargo and travel at sub-light speeds to new systems.
  • Due to their slow travel, they often have strange technologies and ancient objects for sale.


Zeno
They have nothing in common with humans, not even a distant space-faring ancestor, yet they are completely human looking. On the outside.

On the inside:

  • Two hearts.
  • Rib plates.
  • Nictitating membrane.
  • Don't sleep, they enter a trance for two hours a day.
  • Extremely long, prehensile tongue.
  • Can see in infra/ultra, but only black and white. Thus they have trouble understanding human art and fashion.
  • When pregnant, can hold an embryo in stasis for years.
  • Long lived, don't shrivel and wrinkle, but instead loose pigmentation. Old Zeno are albino.

21 June 2022

QHW, Day 21: Underwater

Give your PCs a shark-skin of deep diving or a bubble breath bauble, then let them explore one of these locations:

d12 Locations under the Waves

  1. Shipwreck full of treasures, revealed by an old drunk who claims to have survived the wrecking.
  2. Underwater temple as the headquarters of an enemy faction.
  3. Sahuagin stronghold in a shallow strait blocks all ships from passing after a diplomatic faux pas.
  4. Sunken statues or strange monoliths can be seen beneath the ship.
  5. Powerful deep sea current used by rare migratory animals and merfolk merchants.
  6. Ruins at the edge of an undersea volcano. Some ancient mechanisms are still active, powered by geothermal energies.
  7. A sea giant citadel besieged by several dolphin armies.
  8. A dragon turtle lair where young warriors go to prove themselves by stealing one of its eggs. Maybe some warrior needs help, or rescuing?
  9. Underwater cave system full of valuable ore. Someone needs to protect the squidfolk miners from local wildlife.
  10. Giant bubble-city slowly drifting beneath the waves. Local lords are not amused that it keeps impinging upon their territories.
  11. A rich bed of giant oysters has been found just off this island. A pearl fever starts.
  12. A series of merfolk castles built along the edge of a foreboding trench, long abandoned. Whatever they were keeping sequestered down below will now face no opposition should it try to surface.

 

20 June 2022

QHW, Day 20: Themed Encounters

2d6 Encounter
2 Paladin armour, animated
3 Rune-cube, floating
4 Ravenous hand, giant
5 Flying head swarm
6 Dwarf, venomous
7 Murderess gang
8 Dwarf, poisonous
9 Botfly swarm, talking
10 Vampire frog swarm
11 Headless swordmistress
12 Godsoul pyramid

19 June 2022

QHW, Day 19: Alchemy

Homunculi are what you get when you plant a kidney stone.

Different kinds of bodily stones give birth to different kinds of homunculi. It's a trivial matter to harvest kidney stones, gallstones and even enteroliths. Things get more difficult when alchemists start to crave more rare homunculi.

It is said that unscrupulous alchemists sometimes keep captives fed with special diets rich in metals, minerals or even worse stuff in order to grow stones otherwise nigh impossible to find. Sialoliths, tonsilloliths, phleboliths. But the truth is, an alchemist's holy grail is no stone. Not even the Philosopher's Stone, which must be grown within the brain of a powerful magic-user. That's just a plaything.

Transmogrification, mutations, chimerae or artificial life - none of this will satisfy a master alchemist.

What they're really after are teratomas, tumours which arise from germinal cells and can therefore contain and create all types of tissue. Finding one is the first step in creating true, original life. Of course, it's not an easy task to keep such a wellspring of life-force in check.

Yet there is one experiment that even the most depraved alchemical tomes will just warn you to never attempt. What happens when you plant a lithopedion?

18 June 2022

QHW, Day 18: Post-Apocalyptic

Humanity used to stand proud and tall. We transformed matter atom after atom with nanotechnology. We created AIs that thought at the speed of light. We made our children healthy and beautiful and clever and immortal. We reached for the stars. That was the Light.

But pride comes before a fall and the higher you rise, the harder your fall. Maybe it was a war. Maybe a natural disaster. An alien invasion. An insane omega psion. A simple mistake that turned the ubiquitous nanite clouds at us. We fell, and no one remembers the fall today. That was the Dark.

But now, the Dark is in the past and a bright future of reclamation and re-discovery looms near. People emerge from ancient vaults and arcologies, or finally dare to venture away from their hidden villages and sheltered towns. That which was lost will be found again.

What once were the city spires that reached so high above now all lies buried in toxic muck, yet both the treasures and the defenders of yore remain. Radiation and bioengineered super-plagues and insane medical nanites and other horrors released by a million past accidents and catastrophes threaten the intrepid pioneers. The land at large is ruled by mutants and insane technology, full of danger and wonder and excitement. Death is always near, but so is endless fame and untold riches.

What awaits in this brave new world? In the After-Dark?

The truth is, this was not the first time. There was another apocalypse before the last one, and more before then. If you dig deep enough, you will find ruins of hundreds, thousands fallen civilizations. Buildings buried by continental drift. No one remembers the years any more, as they no longer make sense to human mind. No one remembers the true cause for the cataclysms, for every time it was something different that brought humanity to its knees.

There was Dark, and there will be again. We shall rise and we shall fall, until the very ashes of past civilizations smother the Sun, already tinged red.

17 June 2022

QHW, Day 17: Roadside

Raiders of the Weird Wasteland

HD 1
Move normal

Lieutenant: Any raider with max hp is a lieutenant.

d10 What are they attacking with?

  1. their own mutated arms (d6)
  2. a severed rotting arm (d4, Save vs disease)
  3. lots and lots and lots of knives (d4 attacks for d4 damage)
  4. cutlery spear (d6, on maximum damage the fork remains stuck in your body and causes bleeding)
  5. chainsaw-chucks (2d6, beheads self on any double)
  6. scissor sword (d8 but extremely silly-looking)
  7. mithril skillet (d6, +4 to cooking checks)
  8. knuckledusters with vulgar inscriptions (d6, critical hit leaves a FUCK-shaped scar)
  9. spiked chain (d6, reach)
  10. GIANT DEATH BEAM LASER CANNON (d20 once, then it overheats)


d4 What armour do they have?

  1. none, but they have sniffed some silver paint and now scream: "Witness me!" (unarmoured, but immune to pain, fear and morale)
  2. bottlecap maille, handmade (leather)
  3. tire tread armour, from the ever-burning rubber hills of the north (chain)
  4. scrap plate (plate, but Move becomes half normal)


d4 What is the lieutenant's deal?

  1. Super: Can fly and shoot lasers for d8 damage.
  2. Zombie: Regains 1 hp / round and cannot be killed unless the players specifically say they destroy the head.
  3. Terminator: Their human disguise is discarded when they first reach 0 hp. They transform into a HD 4 killer robot and all damage done so far is revealed to have been superficial.
  4. Wizard: Roll for two random spells they know. They have a "spellbook" with incantations scribbled in the blank spaces of an old Playboy.

 

16 June 2022

QHW, Day 16: Deep Space

Stars are born in the wombs of nebulae and spend their long, long lives attending the Galactic Court. They dance at the eternal ball, every step according to the Grand Scheme of Cosmos. Astrologers figured out long ago that they can glimpse Fate itself by observing the movement of the stars, but much fewer people will ever hear the music of the spheres. Yes, the stars sing an endless Song of Existence, preserving the harmony of the whole Universe. And after billions and billions of years, the stars grow old and red and bloated, until finally they die. It is said that virtuous stars leave behind a white, radiant heart, while only a rotten, black heart remains after those stars that were filled with vice.

But this story is not about stars young or old, pure or depraved. It is not even about the dreadful lich-stars, dead and reborn through the most horrid of necromancies. It is about a star who turned away from her sisters and their dance, who screamed against the harmony, who first lost her way, then her place in Cosmos, then her mind, and finally even her existence.

Yet she strayed so far and fell out of the rhythm enough that she wasn't even able to die properly. She writhed in agony for aeons, collapsed and withered yet not truly gone, her energies trapped, unable to return to life nor move on to the afterlife. She trashed and screamed until the very fabric of Creation started to fray and wear thin, and then a moment of sudden silence came as the undying star fell Beyond, leaving a star-shaped hole in reality.

The Voidstar was born.

Unbound by the celestial order, the Voidstar wanders freely through the galaxy to this day. She still shines, but with darkness-that-illuminates, a negative, poisonous unlight. Life touched by this unlight is corrupted and sickened, structures corroded and decayed. Even the spirit of things is subverted and ruined. Vibrant colours help resist the effects of unlight, and deep enough darkness or bright enough light offer some respite.

The Voidstar also still screams, unarticulated and unheard, punching gaps in the harmony of the Universe. A silence strong enough to kill. It is said that music, this tiniest reflection of the universal harmony, might ward off the killing silence.

But most importantly, the Voidstar is not really there, being a gateway to Beyond.

So put on your garish vacc suit and let the space ship be flooded with song. The Unformed and Blanks and Neverwere may be countless, but we are the Last Guard and we have a bullet for every last one of them.

15 June 2022

QHW, Day 15: Crowns

  • Nobility has nothing to do with bloodlines and birthright, nor some nebulous moral concept. Being noble is a metaphysical quality that literally turns your blood blue.
  • Similarly, wickedness turns your blood green. Greenskins and wicked witches were human once, before their evil deeds turned them into a wretch.
  • Blue blood makes one more beautiful, intelligent, healthier and longer-lived than normal humans. Extraordinarily virtuous nobles will one day find a set of wings growing from their shoulders.
  • Only those of blue blood may hold land or serve as knights.
  • Green blood makes one stronger, tougher and more ugly than normal humans. Wretches of unprecedented depravity will eventually be twisted into quadrupedal beasts incapable of speech, who can nonetheless punch through a stone wall.
  • Your blood does not change all of a sudden, but rather every good or evil deed shifts it little by little. The art of bloodletting can separate this changed blood and remove it from the body, slowing any effects your behaviour might have.
  • Blood transfusions can be used to completely stave off green blood, though this practice is less well-understood and much more dangerous. Some people will still turn to it in face of a looming wretchedness; such miserable creatures are called vampires.
  • Transfusions of blue blood into a normal human let the human enjoy some perks of nobility for a short while, helping them to heal from a grievous injury or a serious disease. Many legends feature a noble sharing their blood with an ailing companion to save their life. The stories about nobles kidnapped for their blood, to prolong the life of some old, wealthy and unscrupulous man, are only whispered, though.
  • Some greenskins, on the other hand, have forcibly conscripted more of their kind by injecting their blood into humans.
  • Mixing too much of both blue and green blood in one body can have horrific consequences. At least one assassination is known to have been carried out by injecting a great noble with green blood. Accidental mixing (such as when someone kidnaps a noble for nefarious purposes of blood transfusion, unknowingly turning most of their blood green in the process) are much more common though. The resulting abominations would be pitiful, if they were not so frenzied and hostile.
  • The flagellant knights train themselves to reinforce their will while weakening their bodies, bleeding themselves every day with barbed whips. Thus they reduce the amount of blood they have, making every deed count more, thus bringing them more rapidly towards the angelic metamorphosis.

14 June 2022

QHW, Day 14: Alignment

When an apprentice mage gains the second sight, one of the first things they notice is that auras are not of uniform colour. They shift and change, like splotches of new paint dripped into an already colourful water. Some colours are prevalent - the underlying core of one's personality - while others may flare and then disappear again - fleeting thoughts and emotions.

These are the base colours every aura-reader should know:

  • Red: Determination, inner strength, anger. People with prevalent red in their aura tend to be passionate, impulsive and fickle.
  • Orange: Desire, whether material, physical, social or mental. Such people tend to be covetous, but also very charitable if they feel they have enough to share.
  • Yellow: Fear, excitement, energy. Such people tend to be creative, restless, cheerful, but sometimes cowardly.
  • Green: Trust, sincerity, kindness, compassion. Such people tend to be warm and friendly to the point of naivety.
  • Blue: Peace of mind, idleness, boredom. Such people tend to be calm, loyal, indecisive and passive.
  • Violet: Confidence, wisdom, sense of accomplishment. Such people tend to be ambitious, driven and prideful.
  • Octarine: The colour of magic, signifying one's supernatural talents or a recent use of magic. The more octarine one has in their aura, the more magic they possess. Fear the sorceress with a pure octarine aura. On the other hand, creatures under the influence of curses or other enchantments will also have their aura octarine-coloured.
  • White: A rare colour found only in newborns, saints and some madmen. Very powerful when used as sacrifice for ritual magic.
  • Grey: The colour of forthcoming death; maybe old age, disease, curse or injury. Infirmity, though it may be hidden. The body is already dying, even if the person doesn't know it yet.
  • Black: An unnatural colour, brought about by defying the natural order. Black splotches on one's aura, called smut, mark one as a dark magic user and heretic. A completely black aura is worn only by demons and the undead.

13 June 2022

QHW, Day 13: Elements

Water Child
Souls and elementals are not that different. Both are spirits, one possessing a living body, the other an unliving one. Sometimes, an elemental can be sired by a human "parent". When a small child dies by drowning, their radiant, young soul full of life may imprint itself upon unliving matter, upon the water filling their lungs. A water child is born.

Water children are not undead. Just like a new life is created in the womb of a mother, a new life emerges from the lungs of a drowned child in a torrent of animated water. They have no form in the real world, but in the spirit world they appear as the child they once were, soaked wet. Even though they are always immaterial, they leave wet footprints in Reality where-ever they go.

Water children are confused and scared, haunted by shards of memories they inherited. They remember having a family, and they want their family back. They want their friends back, too. Water children cannot leave their new, watery home for long, and so their friends and family must come to them. Water children will seek to lovingly drown anyone they knew in their past life.

HD 1
Def unarmoured, immaterial
Atk loving hug that fills lungs with water
Wants to return to "their" life, to find friends

12 June 2022

QHW, Day 12: Alchemy

Trap seals are enchanted with the power to trigger the effects of other objects when certain conditions are met. For example, they could be attached to a magic item to invoke its magic, or to a bottle to release its contents, or to pretty much any mechanism. They are made of jale beeswax, elementally aligned additives and runic calligraphy.

  • Trap seal of fire can be attuned to temperature or lighting levels, to the touch of flame or lightning, or to the presence of body heat.
  • Trap seal of air can be fine tuned to vibrations or sounds, triggering on nearby movement, or the door creaking, or a specific voice, or a given password.
  • Trap seal of water can be attuned to humidity levels, or the presence of certain substances (blood, poison, alcohol) nearby.
  • Trap seal of earth can be harmonized with different metals or minerals, triggering when iron alloys or gold or precious gemstones get close to it.
  • Trap seal of mana can detect metaphysical energies and may trigger when a source of magic, or any life force, or individualized brain patterns are nearby.


Famously, the dwarves of Kharaz-arad use trap seals to operate the many drawbridges of their mountainhome. Visitors receive permit-tokens forged from a secret type of brass, allowing them access to communal areas. Many other areas are restricted by having dwarvish blood, or by passwords.

11 June 2022

QHW, Day 11: Graves

Grave-touched peppers can be found where the soil has soaked through with death; on battlefields and in graveyards, around abattoirs and gallows. The plant is sickly greyish green, but the peppers themselves ripen into a bold blood-red colour. To grow properly spicy, the peppers must be watered with fresh blood.

  • Ghost-touched peppers grow through the Veil, being just as present in Reality as on the Other Side.
  • Eating a grave-touched pepper will let you physically affect ghosts - but not see them.
  • An oil prepared from the peppers is used to treat weapons and armour when expecting a spectral foe.
  • A ghost who eats a ghost-touched pepper can similarly affect the real world.
  • Some ghosts keep a garden of the peppers for this very reason. If you find an abandoned place full of well-tended ghost-touched peppers, a spectral gardener is likely watching you.
  • Ghost-touched chilli is ground from the peppers and used to keep hostile ghosts at bay. A handful thrown in the air will likely blind and stagger them.
  • Or it can be used to cook a delicious meal that brings about restful languor and thoughts about the ephemerality of life. Such a meal also helps ghosts to manifest in Reality.


Sex on the Pyre:

  • 2 thin slices of fresh ghost-touched pepper
  • 1 ounce of elfin sunshine
  • 1/2 ounce of freshly squeezed goodberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce of treant syrup
  • 1/2 ounce of unholy water, frozen
  • 1 spoonfull of black xarthan sugar
  • 1 lime wedge

 

10 June 2022

QHW, Day 10: Domestication

Riftborn buffalo

  • Riftborn buffalos migrate between alternate realities in search of new pastures. Their herds number in the tens of thousands, thus requiring frequent relocations. A stampede of such a herd can shatter the local reality, opening a temporary portal to the next dimension over. In a year, they will have come a full circle through a hundred different dimensions.
  • The rifts close within several hours, but that leaves enough time for brave explorers to gather samples from another dimension. A smart researcher will hire a band of adventurers to get them safely through the rift and back again before it closes. A stupid researcher will surely be in need of rescuing for a fat reward.
  • Riftborn buffalo dung is dried and then burned as the cheapest form of teleportation interference. Research implies that this property of the dung ensures that the herd doesn't backtrack and that the rifts destabilize and close on their own, covering the herd's backs against predators. It also means that royal chambers or treasury smelling of burnt buffalo dung is a rather common occurrence.
  • There is no grazing land in the windswept wastes of N'gzul, but the herd must cross through to get to the lush plains of Shadarkeem. N'gzul hunters wait for the day when the sky starts to rumble and crack, and then kill many of the buffalos, providing a midwinter feast for their tribes. If the herd got delayed or diverted to another dimension, the tribes might not all survive till spring.
  • A lost, lonesome buffalo cannot hope to pierce reality at will, but it still has a way to find its way back to the herd. The buffalos can sniff out places of weakened reality and then attempt to crash through there, even on their own. Sometimes, people will capture a riftborn buffalo for this very reason, releasing it when they need to find a way between planes, or detect a weak point where an incursion might be waiting to happen.
  • An elderly or injured buffalo will spend its last strength to perform a dying plane shift to a dimension not normally visited by the herd. The so-called Buffalo Graveyard, a dead world with pitch black skies and mountains of buffalo bones. The bones are a prized alchemical ingredient, but that is not the main draw and concern here. When the herd is attacked, a wounded buffalo will sometimes carry out a suicide bullrush to drag an attacker with them to the Graveyard. Who or what might have ended up in this lost place?

9 June 2022

QHW, Day 9: Ley Lines

You can throw energy blasts or something. Sweet. But where does this ability come from?

d10 Power Sources

  1. Alien: Inhuman biology evolved on a planet with 10 times earthly gravity which orbits triplet ulfire stars, or something.
  2. Dimensional: Born in a higher dimension. Everyone can do that there.
  3. Chi: Focused chakra training resulting in superhuman capabilities and martial arts.
  4. Psi: Big brain!
  5. Magic: Ley lines, hand-waving and gibberish spouting.
  6. Nature: Elemental spirits, influencing the subconscious singlemind of the planet.
  7. Miracle: Bloodline heritage (demigod, demonspawn) or patronage (cleric, shaman, warlock).
  8. Alchemy: Fullmetal Alchemist-style combat transmutations, or maybe allomancy.
  9. Tech: Gadgets, implants, power armour. Does not include biotech.
  10. Mutant: Magic DNA powers, but not actually magic. Does include biotech.


Pretty much any effect can be tweaked and flavoured to fit under each power source, so why should you care where does your blasty death beam come from?

  • Some powers might be super effective against others. Nature defences trump dimensional attacks because Earth is self-stabilizing against otherworldly incursions.
  • Some powers don't work (well) together, like magic and tech. Combining them might lower your effective power level.
  • Some powers are blocked in special places. Spirit-shielding stops miracles, kryptonite weakens or blocks alien powers.
  • Each power source is boosted by different artifacts and equipment load-outs. There might be synergies.

8 June 2022

QHW, Day 8: Explosive

Silly death spells for wizard ninjas:

  1. Boring Instant Death Technique: Like Marionette With Cut Strings
  2. Evil Eye of Head-a-splode
  3. Black Lightning of Disintegration
  4. Kiss of Petrification
  5. Giant Death Ray
  6. Drain Lifespan
  7. Heart Ripper Strike
  8. Summon Falling Anvil
  9. Power Word: P E R I S H
  10. Power Word: Ten Thousand Pieces, Cleanly Cut
  11. Plane of Eternal Torment: Tentacled Portal Technique
  12. Seventh Druidic Secret: Tree Form Touch
  13. Curse of Coincidence: Destined Death
  14. Time Travel Technique: Neverborn
  15. ...

7 June 2022

QHW, Day 7: Humanoid Races

Baseline Humans, True Men

  • Citizens of the few arcologies that were not damaged or destroyed.
  • Cults of pure blood are rampant, with all other strains of humanity seen as only good to be enslaved or purged.


Cyborgs, Shellers, Aug-Men

  • Second-class citizens of the arcologies, super-soldiers and specialized slave-workers. Dependant on the few skilled surgeons and remaining auto-docs, thus kept in line.
  • Out in the Rad Wastes, they either die of implant rejection, or thrive as invincible warlords.


Robodroids, Mech-Men

  • They never were human and thus don't cling to a humanoid shape. Intelligent vehicles, buildings, etc.
  • Immune to hunger, thirst, asphyxiation, fatigue, poisons and diseases, but suffer from nanites, malware and EMP.


Chimerae, Splicers, Beast Men

  • Humans cross-mutated with animals via careful gene-engineering, gaining useful perks with minimal downsides.
  • Range from a human with a few animal characteristics to a humanoid animal.
  • Unlike mutants, they breed true, including with their parent species. Many splicer tribes roam the Rad Wastes.
  • Radiation exposure often times turns them feral and mindlessly hostile before resulting in mutations.


Synths, Fake Men

  • Shapeshifters. A brain-box suspended in metamorphic synth-flesh.
  • Can also spend their biomass for various effects, like fabricating bone items, breathing toxic gas, shooting enamel-bullets, or creating independent, non-intelligent life forms.


Replicants, Vat Babies

  • Their DNA was hand-crafted to make them peak human, and it shows. Their brains were pruned to make them obedient and happy to serve, but it didn't work. They have no belly buttons.
  • Created in batches of hundreds of clones. Some pre-Turn sites will have tribes of people that all share the same face.
  • Extremely vulnerable to radiation due to their delicate DNA.


Holograms, eGhosts, Hollow Men

  • They all have a phylactery, a tiny piece of tech containing their mindstate, a holo projector and a power source.
  • Can freely switch between soft- and hardlight, but hardlight drains their power reserves fast.
  • Most were once powerful people who sought immortality. Now they are the tyrant kings and queens of the Rad Wastes.


Blighters, Zeds, Chem-Men

  • Gene-plagues and chemical superweapons depopulated whole countries during the Turn. A tiny fraction of a percent of the victims survived, albeit changed.
  • Extremely resistant to diseases, toxins, chemicals and radiation. Basically unageing. Their bodily fluids swiftly kill most lifeforms.
  • Shunned by all, they live in isolated villages or abandoned pre-Turn sites deep in the Rad Wastes.

6 June 2022

QHW, Day 6: Radiation

Dreamers

  • Humans with a non-intelligent symbiont which grants them psionic powers.
  • The symbiont can cross from one host to another, usually on the host's death, taking some memories with them.
  • A single host is sometimes called an incarnation, with the switch between hosts being a reincarnation.
  • Strong emotions carry over the best between incarnations. It is not unheard of feuds or affairs between Dreamers that span multiple reincarnations.
  • Like an unborn baby, a symbiont absorbs any radiation the host is exposed to. This makes the host mostly immune to the Rad Wastes, but it also affects the psionics of the symbiont, increasing their power at the cost of stability and reliability.
  • Some Dreamers purposefully expose themselves to radiation in hopes of getting a temporary power boost. However, an overdose will leave the symbiont broken, with their powers unshackled and uncontrollable. Such monstrosity is known as a Nightmare.
  • Awakening is a rare and dreaded quirk where the symbiont gains full sapience. An Awakened takes over the host body and subsumes the self of the host completely.
  • An Awakened will sometimes quickly jump from one body to another to gain the skills and knowledge of the hosts.
  • Awakened are mortally afraid of Nightmares.