Monday, June 19, 2017

GLOG Class: Noise Wizard

I've gotten to play a few sessions with +Arnold K. from over at Goblin Punch recently and it has been great. My first character died so I am rolling up a new one, a Noise Wizard specifically. Arnold hadn't translated the class into his GLOG format yet, so I offered to do it for him! (Pretty much all of this post was written by Arnold, I just converted everything).

Noise Wizard

Restriction: Instrument Casting

Noise wizards can only cast spells if they have their instrument in hand and are making a lot of noise with it, and yes that means they can't really sneak effectively while casting. The instrument can be anything (1d6 instruments: 1) penny whistle 2) bongo drum 3) nyckelharpa 4) tambourine 5) hurdy gurdy 6) tuba), but once it is chosen you cannot cast spells with any other instrument.


Countersong: A noise wizard can attempt to fight noise with louder noise. In order to do so they must ready an action to make a lot of noise to drown out the incoming noise (for example: command spells, harpy's songs, advice that you'll never make as a musician). This requires a strength check if you are playing a percussion instrument, a dexterity check if playing a stringed instrument, and a constitution check if playing a wind instrument (this tests if they bang loud enough/ strum fast enough/ blow hard enough). 

Subtle Ear: Noise wizards also have a really good sense of hearing (for now). They are twice as likely to succeed at listening at a door.

Spell List:

  1. Sawtooth noise
  2. Accompaniment
  3. Stupid mouth
  4. Song of death/Song of life
  5. Gaping noise
  6. Brown noise
  7. Comprehend speech
  8. God ear
  9. Deafen
  10. Song of captivation
  11. Song of silence
  12. Rapturous noise

Legendary Spells:

14. Face melting solo


  1. Gain 1 trauma
  2. Take 1d6 damage
  3. Random mutation for 1d6 rounds, then make a save; permanent if you fail. 
  4. For the rest of the day you cannot hear anything that could also hear you.
  5. Deaf for 1d6 rounds
  6. You loose control, the music takes over, for 1d6 rounds you just make a lot of noise and everyone in the area must make a wisdom check to concentrate on what they are doing, other wise they must clap their hands over their ears and do nothing for the duration.


Noise wizards' dooms are a mix between finally making it big on the Plane of Music and going deaf, just like Beethoven did.
  1. You are invited to play a concert on the Plane of Music, a gate of sound opens and you are compelled to enter it and play, its your big chance! Your companions are stuck with your physical body which is feverishly playing your instrument until you return after 24 hours. Most noise wizards will have warned their companions of this eventuality. When you back to you are 0 HP from exhaustion and have a hat full of 3d6 silver. You can no longer hear laughter or screams.
  2. The Celestial Conductor has come for you, they saw you on the Plane of Music and simply must have you. They want you to join the Obsequious Orchestra and play for the Authority until judgement day (or at least until he leaves his tea party). You have to fight them to remain on this plane, but if you win you can never hear the words of a pious man again nor the whisper of a lover, and when judgement comes you wont hear the bells tolling and you'll miss out on paradise.
  3. You've gone completely deaf beyond magical means of healing. All of your spells now have 1-in-6 chance to fail, growing by 1 for each month of life after this. But you can still hear the music, it haunts you...
The best way to defeat your ultimate doom is to travel to Heaven and finish your fight with the Celestial Conductor and take their baton. Only this will return your hearing, and you'll have a baton with which to command the Obsequious Orchestra with.

Alternatively you go to Hell can find a Satan and challenge them to a music duel. Your instrument against their flaming fiddle. If you win the Satan will live in your head and hear for you, telling your brain everything they hear exactly as they hear it (probably).

Spell Descriptions:

R: 0
T: Self
D: [dice]*hour
There is an invisible orchestra following you everywhere you go.  They play constantly, loudly, and appropriately.  They play ominous music during ominous moments, sexy music during sex, etc.  Additionally, they will accompany you if you play your instrument, making your performance extra awesome and giving listeners a -1*[dice] penalty on any saving throws made to resist your magical music.

Brown Noise
R: 20'
T: All creatures
D: 0
All who hear this discordant arpeggio must save immediately or shit their pants.  This is accompanied by intestinal distress that prevents them from doing anything for the next [dice] turns except move.  Obviously, this only works on targets capable of shitting themselves.  Creatures who have heard the brown noise before get +4 on this save.

If at least 2 casting dice are invested this may optionally be projected as a 50' cone.

Comprehend speech
R: 0
T: Self
D: [dice]*hour
This allows you to comprehend any language you hear, and respond verbally.  No effect on written language.  This is not real understanding, just a temporary translator-thing.

R: 50'
T: 1 creature
D: permanent or [dice]*hour
If the target fails a save, it goes deaf.  This is a curse, not a physical affect.  If this spell is reversed, it has three uses.  First, it can be used to cure magical (cursed) deafness.  Secondly, it can be used to temporarily grant hearing to things that cannot normally hear (such as golems), which incidentally makes them susceptible to sound-based magic for 1 hour.  Thirdly, if it is used on a creature than can already hear, noises will loom large and inescapable in their minds, making them better able to enjoy music, as well as giving them a -1*[dice] penalty to save against sound-based magic for the duration.  No matter how this spell is used, unwilling targets get a save.

Face melting solo
R: 20'
T: Everything
D: Concentration
Does [sum] fire damage and on each subsequent turn the damage increases by +1d6 and repeats (this stacks). If more than 4 dice are invested this can instead be cast as a 50' cone.

Gaping noise
R: 20'
T: Everything
D: 0
All containers and portals are opened, as long as those things aren't locked or tightly secured (tied shut with rope counts as tightly secured).  This has no effect on things such as belts, but it does affect pockets, luggage, zippers, doors, windows, and portcullises.  This spell cannot open minds.  If 2 casting dice are invested it also opens locks (including things like shackles), and if 3 dice are invested it triggers all traps in the area.

God ear
R: 0
T: Self
D: [dice]*minute
Your sense of hearing expands to godlike proportions.  You can hear muffins being digested in your belly.  You can hear moss growing on the other side of a stone wall.  It's all very disorienting, which is why you're helpless for the duration.

Beginning with near things and then moving outwards, your DM will describe [dice]*d6 interesting sounds, such as a goblin's dice clattering in the next room, followed by the a derro's mad muttering in the room beyond that.  The effect is barely comprehensible to mortal ears, however, and it is always possible that a sound might be missed in the tumult (and also because sometimes your DM will forget that there is a waterwheel in room 36, so be cool).

Rapturous noise
R: 20'
T: All creatures
D: 0
Everyone who fails a save is overcome by ecstasy for [sum] rounds.  While suffering from orgasmic pleasure, creatures cannot take any directly harmful actions, such as attacking with a weapon or casting a disabling spell, nor can they speak anything that isn't complimentary or pleasant.  Affected creatures could still pull a lever or run for help, though, since that is not directly harmful.  Creatures who have heard the Rapturous Noise before get +4 to their save.  If at least 3 dice are invested its effects can optionally be projected as a 50' cone.

Sawtooth Noise
R: 20'
T: All creatures
D: 0
Everyone takes [dice]*1d8 slashing damage, save for half.  Creatures who have heard the Sawtooth Noise before get +4 to their save.  If this spell has at least 2 casting dice invested in it it can optionally be projected as a 50' cone.

Song of captivation
R: 50'
T: [sum] targeted creatures
D: Concentration
Creatures that you select will turn their undivided attention to you for 1 round.  If they fail a save, their attention will remain on you for as long as you play, and will not take any actions except to listen quietly.  They get +4 to this save if there is combat or clear hostility in the situation.  This spell does not make them any less alert, it just makes them look in your direction and pay attention to you.  Regardless, the spell is broken as soon as something obviously suspicious or important happens. They will not move from their spots.  If you at least 2 casting dice targets will follow you for as long as you continue playing while remaining in their midst (no running off ahead--you must stay surrounded).

Song of death/Song of life
R: 50'
T: [sum] targeted creatures
D: Concentration
When cast as Song of Death creatures that you select take [dice] damage per turn, no save.  Undead creatures are instead healed by this song.

When cast as Song of Life creatures that you select heal [dice] damage per turn.  However this spell cannot heal pre-existing wounds, so if you were at half HP when the song started, you will not heal above that.  Additionally, anyone listening to this song is protected against death magic and level drain, and gets +2*[dice] to save against such things.  If this spell targets undead creatures, they instead take [dice] damage per turn, no save.  If at least 2 casting dice are invested targets get an additional+2*[dice] to save against death effects and level drain.

Song of silence
R: 10'*[dice]
T: Everything
D: Concentration
You play anti-music, generating anti-sound.  This cancels out all sounds within range.

Stupid mouth
R: 50'
T: 1 creature
D: 1 minute*[dice]
If the target fails a save, it will be unable to speak except in the worst way possible.  Every phrase will be misspoken, every intent subverted.  They will insult the most important person in the room in an offhand way, speak the most embarrassing secrets (others' and their own), and generally be a colossal ass.  They always have the option of shutting up, however, and most people will indeed shut up as soon as they realize something is wrong with their mouth.  Spellcasters suffering from this spell will have a 50% chance of failing their spellcasting (the action fails, but they don't lose the spell—it's not a fumble).

If tat least 2 casting dice are invested the target will have no choice but to babble nonstop for the spell's duration, and an affected spellcaster will fail all of their spells.

The greatest and best song in the world
R: 50'
T: 1 creature
D: Concentration
No save. The caster and the target are locked in a duel, every round dealing [dice]*1d12 to the target and half damage to the caster each round. This damage is double when targeting demons.

One time use. If the caster survives they can continue to cast the spell, but only ever with a maximum of 2 casting dice invested, now called "Tribute to the greatest and best song in the world" and they will talk about that one time they cast it and how cool it was and how it really didn't sound much like this but you get the idea.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Random God Generator, or Who Dat God?

Okay, so we have a nice simple system for simulating economics in Ánemos. It's easy. We have a random Spirit Generator, also easy. Let's create a system for another piece of the Weird Mythic Fantasy pie, the Gods.

This is a series of tables meant to flesh out the god of an island that your party may be visiting that you didn't have time to write out. These generation categories go in order of importance, and they are designed to also answer questions about the populous that worships them. Another design goal is to produce super weird results that will kick your brain stems out of creative inertia (at least that's the goal).

Some cools ideas are here too.

More Important:


This is to distinguish the God from Spirits, their interests and scope of influence are simply very different. Think about it like the two tribes of Norse gods, the Vanir and the Aesir. The Vanir are more interested in the affairs of humans, the Aesir are manifestations of the forces of nature. Gods in Ánemos are concerned with human affairs: philosophy, drama, agriculture, writing, knowledge, etc. the Spirits on the other hand are the ID of the natural world.

(Borrowed some ideas from here)

Roll twice:

Taboos for the faithful:

Roll a few times on this, really as many as you need to make the religion sufficiently distinct. Some results may not make sense as written, for example: The Faithful...must or the home. Thats okay. Re-rolls are encouraged.

Manifests As:

Now to create some flavor for the god, something you can tell your PCs to make them go "They worship a whaaat?"

Now you have a basic body plan and size, lets give the god some sort of strange detail, ideally based upon their domain. This is the time to throw in that weird trait you have been thinking of but never seems to fit, its a god, it can do what ever it wants! Below are some examples I thought up.

This may be helpful if you roll "mineral" as body plan


Whats the point of having a god if you can't pray to them and they sometimes listen and do something crazy? Unfortunately (fortunately?) not all gods are created equal (might have something to do with the belief in them...). If the god can grant Moderate Boons, they can grant Minor Boons too of course. Try and stick with the domain of the god generated to give you some ideas. Think of this as a "power rating" of sorts, more powerful gods can grant greater boons.

Roll 2d6, drop the lowest.
(1-2) Minor Boon: Simple things, no heavy divine intervention here. Easing child birth (fertility domain), blessing the faithful with deep and restful sleep (sleep domain), wiping away painful memories (ignorance domain), giving a glimpse of the weather in the coming week (prophecy domain), etc.

(2-4) Moderate Boon: More significant intervention now, the faithful are truly lucky to be given one of these boons. Gifting a great week of feasts that strengthen and encourage the faithful (hedonism domain), favorable winds bring exotic traders (mercantilism domain), their long-eye spies an enemy form afar and warms the faithful (watchfulness domain), those that would wreak vengeance are given aid in the form of poisoned arrows (vengeance domain), etc.

(5-6) Major Boon: Fear ye all who oppose them, for their god is on their side... Direction on how to build a magical ship (travel domain), lending their strength to an army on the march (war domain), to hide their believers behind a bank of fog for a season to avoid their enemies (secrets domain), lending their deep intellect to aid in some great undertaking (science), etc.

Fanaticism rating:

Rolled randomly as a sliding scale, I want little islands of super fanatics and big islands of agnostics. This may indicate the "trajectory" the god and its believers are on, ie a "weak" god (one that can only grant minor boons) that has fanatic believers may in a few generations be able to start granting moderate boons as they wax in power.

This can also describe how strictly they follow the taboos of their religion.

Simply roll 1d10: 1 being casual/passive believers, 10 being fanatic believers.

Less Important:

Patron of this profession and this class:

The god you are generating should have people that tend to really like them. These are those people.
(The profession table I stole and altered from +Arnold K. from his GLOG system)

Roll once on each:

Favored Weapon:

I always liked how the gods in WotC's mythos always have a favored weapon, and that their clerics always have them. Its good flavor. This could also be used to deduce how this culture wages war.

Sacred Plant or Animal:

So you have a pretty good idea of what the god is all about, what are its two major symbols? These aren't critical, but I like the flavor of having a deity of being interested in a certain animal, so those animals just overrun the island because no one can touch them or something.

Here is a d100 animal table from here, reproduced with my fancy Excel color editing prowess and a d100 plant tables that I wrote (note on the plant table, it was really hard to choose a set of plants I felt were universally recognizable, throw anything out that doesn't fit in with your setting's ecology!).

Roll once on each.

Favors this trade good:

Roll on the trade table! As stated above, the gods' primary concern are civilized ones, so they tend to favor a specific good that their island produces. This generally gives respect to those that practice these trades as well.

Example God:

Alright, we have all the tools we need, lets walk through the steps and see what kind of god we get!
Domain: Peace, Justice
Taboos: The faithful must at dawn buy/sell feelings (anywhere).
Manifests as: Small, serpentine peacock
Boons: Minor
Fanaticism rating: Level 7 fanatics
Patron profession: Lumberjack
Patron class: Rogue
Favored weapon: Garrote
Sacred animal: Skunk
Sacred plant: Moss
Favored trade good: Alchemicals

This is the god Pagóni, Lady of the Serene Isle. Every morning her followers wake and weep or laugh or smile or frown or grimace or gawf or... into vials. They then take to the streets to barter and trade their emotions with one and other. Pagóni oversees this serenely, gentle floating on the morning sea breeze, her people once again safe from their own emotional burdens. All is ordered, everyone is calm and only feels what they paid for that morning. This is Pagóni's blessing, and her people love her for it.

Her temple is high on the Isle's mountain in a damp cave covered in moss with the music of water dully echoing on the soft walls. The woodsmen of  the Isle pray to her to be anointed with the musk of the sacred albino skunks, and their axe and saw strokes are sure and measured.

But all is not always well in the Serene Isle, and when enemies come to the Calm Folk, the footpads take to the night and strangle them gently in the dark, their callousness and hate and emotional flux is not welcome on the Serene Isle...


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Throwing Meat on Bones: Designing Settlements

In my Ánemos game most of the party is from the same place, Nános. The founding principle of this campaign was to try out some of the ideas about romantic fantasy and long term adventures with months of domestic time that +Joseph Manola writes about at his excellent blog. A hugely important part of this is the players home, and in this campaign that's the Grandsire's Enclave (the analog for the home village in a vanilla RPG).

I have been working on some options for the party to make decisions about how to invest in their home while they are out adventuring (because they were kind of exiled for kind of inviting a practitioner of a Sun Cult to Nános and kind of murder the Grandsire with mirrors), so when they finally return home they will have a lot of cool options. I read a post a few weeks(months?) about building up your village and it was good... but of course when I started this post I couldn't find it so I wrote my own rules. Here is that original post form the superb +Mateo Diaz Torres over at gloomtrain.

There have been other hacks like this, and this is loosely modeled on those (specifically Pathfinder's Settlement mechanics introduced for the Kingmaker Adventure Path), but also on some spreadsheets I made for my Vindjord game a few years ago that were similarly intended, but the system was never used. Taking a cue from some of these hacks I am giving the Enclave stats like a character :
  • Military: Used when raising an army, or when doing auto-resolution of conflicts when the PCs are away or when withstanding an attack
  • Agriculture: Used to figure out the population cap of the Settlement
  • Culture: Used to see if the settlement is able to help a PC to research something, or used to see if the settlement and the party get any morale bonuses for that month
  • Trade: Used to figure out the monthly income as well as famous-ness of settlement
All of the buildings provide modifiers to these stats and some unlock abilities like ship building or increasing the max value of an item available for sale in the settlement. Many of the buildings might require a special artisan to run them, so if the party finds a talented smith in their travels they could invite them to set up shop in their Enclave.

So here is a table with some options that the PCs can invest in (assume that each building or improvement takes a month to build):

The filled in slots are what has been built at the start of play, consider doing the same with your own.

I have instituted a cyclical time constraint on the players, with roughly half the year being unsuitable for sea travel, and therefore adventuring (that's what you get with a world of islands and a monsoon season). The thought is they will return home for the Season of Storms and play house for a few months (of course through descriptive montage) and build up the Enclave, then go adventure again once the weather clears. My group is currently half way through their first Season of the Sun, so they haven't interacted with any of this yet.

I'll keep you all posted with what my group thinks!

The Math

So here is what I have cooked up, with examples from the Enclave (examples will make some more sense if you read this post about Automata)

  • All Settlment Stats start at 4. This base score increases as the population grows (every exponential increase), the minimum number of inhabitants for a settlement is only like 30-40.
    • The Enclave started at 36 (6^2), and the base score will increase to 6 once they hit 216 (6^3).
  • Stat bonuses use the standard 5e spread, so a score of 10 means a +0 bonus, and a score of 6 means a -2 bonus.
  • For a monthly settlement income roll 1d20+Trade Modifier, this determines how good trade was this month. Apply the adjusted rate to the basic rate (money/population) and add it to the coffers.
    • The rate  I am using is 10 money/Circle (units of 6 Automata)
    • I am not letting my PCs use the Enclave's income for themselves, they must reinvest in the community, until they have a glorious military coup. 
  • The total population possible (as opposed to the realized population, you should keep track of how many peasants die) should be calculated as r* Agriculture score. 
    • So the rate for the Enclave is the constant 5.166 (I back calculated this rate for my game based off of how many people I said live in the settlement from the first session). Meaning that at their current Agriculture score of 6 there can be a total of 5.166*6=31 Circles supported (with rounding of course).
  • At the beginning of each month roll a morale check for the settlement, 1d20+Culture bonus. The result determines if they are in good spirits and gives them a bonus to all other rolls for that month. Its hard to get anything done when there hasn't been a good feat lately or a new book at the library.
  • Culture bonuses are also used to see if any traveling artists/ musicians/ scientists/ alchemists/ etc stop by for a while and applied to PC research checks at home.
  • Military rolls are opposed 1d20+Military bonus checks, the magnitude of winning/losing determines how big the victory/defeat was. Should be super back of the envelope calculation to determine the invading force's bonus, and only used when the PCs are away.
That's all of the hard and fast math I have figured out so far, but it seems like its enough to run with it. I like that the town income is separate from the PC's but they can spring some of their own cash if they really want to build a better smithy so they can finally buy better weapons. I have also given the PCs a map of the island to draw on as they build it up so they have some more concrete idea of where the ranch will go, and just where to put the garden.

***Note: this really intended for lower level characters investing in their home town, it's not really intended to scale to a metropolis or domain level simulation. You absolutely should not do this with every place they visit, it's a waste of valuable DM planning time***