Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zenobia


And we finish A to Z April BARELY under the wire, with moments to spare, here on the West Coast of the United States! We ran behind for the second half of the month, but we made it! It's not much of a triumph, but one must take victories where one can find them.

Here at the end, we present a character for use in ROLF! games, either set in ancient times or using John Kendirck Bangs' Houseboat on the River Styx setting.It's the ROLF! version of Zenobia, one of L.L. Hundal's favorite historical figures. She's been bugging me to put her in an Battle Scenario, to which I've always responded, "do it yourself."

Now that Zenobia has stats, maybe Ms. Hundal will be inspired. Perhaps she could even bring back another of her favorite historical figures, Amelia Earhart, had have them team up to do battle against evil.

Zenobia (Female)
Brawn 28 (includes +1 Hat bonus), Body 16, Brains 8
   Traits: Busty, Nimble
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Castrate, Disarm, Debate Philosophy, Disembowel, Dodge, Seduce, Strike Pose
   Important Items Worn/Wielded: Egyptian-style Bikini Armor (barely covers nakedness, absorbs 2 points of damage). Imperial Crown (Hat, gives +1 Brawn bonus when worn). Sword (Medium Melee Weapon, deals 3 points of damage).

Or if one of you out there has a great idea for a Battle Scenario featuring Zenobia, feel free to share it with us. We may put it in a product and you will be able to say that you're a published game designer!


Y is for You vs. Me: The Rollplaying Game


As the second-to-last post in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, we represent a ROLF! variant by L.L. Hundal.


YOU vs. ME: A ROLLPLAYING GAME POWERED BY ROLF!
Designed by L.L. Hundal * Edited by Steve Miller
Copyright Steve Miller 2013. All Rights Reserved.

About This Game
You vs. Me is a quick-playing game for two players. They each make a character based on the other player, trade them with each other, and then have the characters beat each other up until one is dead. If you have a friend you don't mind losing, try playing this game with them when you have nothing better to do.

What You Need to Play
You need a friend, four six-sided dice, two sheets of paper, and something to write with. At the very least, you  will also need a copy of ROLF!: Old Skool (which can be downloaded free of charge by clicking here). 

How to Play
First you create characters, then you trade the characters with each other, and then you fight the characters. Just like I mentioned above. 

Create Characters
Consider the friend sitting across the table from you. Then consider what he or she would be like as a ROLF! character. Then start creating.
   Each character has three Attributes, like any other ROLF! character--Brawn, Body, and Brains. The basic function of these Attributes are described in the ROLF! rules, but they are generated differently in the You vs. Me variant.
   1. Assign Attribute  Ratings: Rate your friend's Brawn score between 6 and 30; the Body score between 4 and 20, and the Brains between 2 and 10. You do not need to maximize the Attribute. Unspent points are not used for anything but instead go the way of a European or African country's national debt--they just vanish.
   2. Pick Traits: Characters have a number of Traits equal to half their Brains Attribute score. Traits are listed in the ROLF! rule books and supplements; you may use any Trait that has been introduced into the game or you can create new ones. If you create new Traits, make sure you send it to us, so we have something to post on the blog. Remember that you are picking Traits that you think your friend possesses.
   3. Pick Battle Maneuvers. Battle Maneuvers  are listed in the ROLF! rule books and supplements; you may use any Battle Maneuver that has been introduced into the game. You can also make up new ones if you don't think any that exist accurately capture the talents of your friend if he or she were to become a violent brute, but keep in mind that the existing Battle Maneuvers were created by professional game designers and carefully play-tested and balanced against the rest of the ROLF! game. If you're not careful, you may unbalance the intricate--oh, who am I kidding? Just make up Battle Maneuvers that you think are fun, funny, or capture the essence of your friend--that's what I do. And, sure, I play-test.... most of the time.. Designing for ROLF! isn't rocket-science... but you do have to be mindful of the dice mechanics and how modifiers work in the system.
   4. Create Equipment: Each character has two items that can be used as weapons, You should pick things you associate with your friend. One item deals 2 points of damage and the other deals 4 points of damage.Both are melee weapons. There are no ranged weapons in You vs. Me.

Trade Characters
Pass the character you've created to your friend and let him or her absorb the impression you have of them while you do the same with the character your friend created based on their perception of you. Consult the ROLF! rules if there are Traits and Battle Maneuvers you are not familiar with.. or make your friend explain them to you.

Fight
By "fight" I mean the characters fight. If you or your friend are offended by the character that was created, one or both of you need to get over yourselves and realize that this is all for fun... or maybe consider making some changes in your lives. That might mean getting other friends, although more likely it means doing a little soul-searching and self-evaluating to understand why your friend views your the way he or she does.
   The fights in You vs. Me continue until one character is defeated. Combat and damage work just like they do in the standard ROLF! game. Each player has their own pair of six-sided dice to roll Attribute Checks and Combat Maneuvers with.

Afterword
The idea for You vs. Me has its genesis in Steve Miller and I making each other as ROLF! characters for Apocalypse Not (The Final Final Battle), together with a bizarre little Battle Scenario. We both agreed that we captured one another quite well, and there were no hurt feelings. Then again, we are both comfortable with the fact that we are dorky jerks.
   The rules here were play-tested with my long-suffering girlfriend. We are still living together.
   I hope you have fun with this ROLF! variant. Please send us any new Traits or Battle Maneuvers you may come up with. We need content for the blog.


X is for XXX

Long-time NUELOW Games fans and followers know that we've been including "mature content" in our game products since the earliest days. We've not often made a big deal out of it, because we just include what seems right for the game we're doing.

So when comic book publisher got lots of attention and praise for turning a Golden Age superhero gay, it annoyed Steve Miller, because we'd been there and done that in ROLF! products. And when L.L. Hundal read that a certain RPG publisher was being praised for creating the "ultimate inclusive RPG" because they'd included some homosexual characters in a supplement, she virtually trembled with righteous indignation because we put that stuff in our core rulebooks... and no one's ever bestowed us with outrageously hyperbolic praise. She was so irritated that she wrote a string of feats she labeled "Feats of Diversity and Ultimateness."

Those feats, first presented on this very blog, have now been revised and included with a bunch of others in our latest OGL Modern supplement--Modern Basics: Feats of an Adult Nature. You can read more about the product by clicking on that link.. and if you order one after using that link, you'll receive a small discount on the already low price.


We hope you will enjoy making your game more socially relevant and intellectually challenging with sex-related feats. Lord knows we're looking forward to watching the accolades and award nominations roll in!

Continuing that effort, here are a couple of "mature" feats and a talent tree that will add some artistic value and intellectual heft to your OGL d20 System game. (And we're also doing this as part of the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. All material in this post is presented under the Open Gaming License.)

Anything With a Pulse [General, Social] (By L.L. Hundal)
Your character will have sex with (and can seduce) just about any sentient creature.
   Prerequisite: Adventuresome feat, No Shame feat, Sexual Prowess feat
  Benefit: The character can lay down with just about anything, anywhere. The feat can only be used on sexually mature creatures with Intelligence of 3 or higher. The character makes a Bluff check (or Seduce skill check if you are using the skill introduced in Feats of Seduction and Subterfuge) with the target's Will save as the DC. If the target is of a human or demi-human race, the Will save is made with a -2 penalty, because the character is just that sexy. If the target is humanoid but is somehow significantly different in appearance from the character, the Will save is made with no modifier. If the target is of a completely different physical build, the Will save is made with a +4 bonus.

Dubious Gender [General] (By Steve Miller)
Either through a quirk of genetics or careful personal grooming, it's hard to tell if your character is a man or a woman.
   Prerequisite: Charisma 12.
  Benefit: +2 bonus to all Bluff and Disguise skill checks.

Porn Star Talent Tree (By L.L. Hundal)
This talent tree is available to all OGL Modern hero classes.
   Friends in Weird Places: +4 bonus to all Streetwise checks
   Dual Identity: You have a porn star name under which you enjoy a +2 bonus to renown and a +4 to Bluff or Seduction skill checks designed to bed NPCs while visiting game conventions, biker bars and strip clubs. If you use your real name, you remain relatively anonymous.
   Bonus Feat: You gain Adventuresome, Anything with a Pulse, Concentration, Focused, Staying Power, or Wardrobe Malfunction. You must meet all prerequisites before selecting the feat.



Monday, April 29, 2013

W is for Wizard's Bane



Here's another entry in the A to Z April Blogging Challenge... we've been running behind since around 4/15, but we may still may cross the finish-line in a timely fashion! Like most other posts in this series, the material here is presented under the Open Gaming License. If you chose to reproduce it, please give acknowledgement and copyright credit to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.

 Wizard's Bane (By Steve Miller) 
These small white flowers grow in clumps on rocks, fallen trees, or mossy hills. They are a hardy plant that spreads rapidly, especially in moist and shadowed environments.
   The wizard's bane plant was developed by the decree of King Nazekennezor of Reylar following the infidelity of his first queen with his court wizard. Initially, they were merely planted around the castle and capitol city to make life hard for any arcane spellcasters in the area, but when Nazekeneezor's grandson Neylhir the Brash lost the first campaign against the Wizard-Kings of Harth, the wizard's bane plants were heavily seeded in the border region. Agents were even sent deep into Harth territory to secretly put the plant in forests so it could spread like a weed.
   The wizard's bane flower saps arcane magic from the area around them--in fact, the plant is partially nourished by magic--making spells less effective or completely useless. When the plant was introduced into Harth, the Wizard-Kings found they had to first abandon entire magic academies and send in non-spellusing workers to destroy the plants, because the area became so overgrown and choked by them.

OGL d20 Stats
Wizard's bane flowers grow in clumps of 2d10+10. They suppress arcane magic within a radius equal to 1-foot per flower. When an arcane spellcaster is within the area of effect of wizard's bane, all 0 through 2nd-level spells fail automatically and all other spells are treated as if cast at three levels lower than the caster's actual level.

V is for Vulmea's Cutlass


Still working our way through the alphabet in hopes of running out of letters before April runs out of days. Here's another item for use in OGL d20 System games. It's being released under the Open Gaming License, so please acknowledge and give copyright credit to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller if you choose to reproduce it.

Vulmea's Cutless (By Steve Miller; Black Vulmea created by Robert E. Howard)
The original maker of this famous sword, which was the last weapon known to be wielded by the infamous pirate Black Vulmea during the late 16th century during his final adventures in the New World before returning home to Ireland and disappearing into what is assumed to be a life of leisure and anonymity bought with his stolen treasure.
     Of German make, with a wickedly serrated cutting edge and a baskethilt engraved with indecipherable symbols and vaguely demonic-looking faces, the weapon reportedly cuts through skin and bone as if it were soft butter and grants its wielder combat prowess of which the mighty hero Siegfried would be envious.Legend holds that, after miraculously escaping certain death during the raid that led to the destruction of Hoodoo Jim's stronghold on the Colombian coast, he gifted the sword to Mason Brightsmith, the son of a former shipmate who had been abducted and held prisoner by Hoodoo Jim. The young Brightsmith felt he had experienced enough adventure of an entire lifetime, so the sword was relegated to being a conversation piece as it hung on display in the family home.

d20 System Statistics
Vulmea's Cutlass appears to be a +2 sword (base slashing damage 1d8; crit 19-20/x2) with the following unique properties:
   1. As the wielder becomes fatigued in combat, the sword's more powerful enchantments are activated. When the wielder is reduced to 50% or less of his starting hit points, the sword's magical bonus is increased to +4.
   2. If the wielder is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, he immediately regains 2d6 hit points. The sword returns to its +2 base attack and damage bonus.
   3. If owner of the sword is ever killed while carrying or wielding the sword, he is instantly transported to a safe location 2d6 miles from the place of his "death," restored to full health and free of any conditions or attribute damage that he may have suffered during the events that led to his demise. He has a strong urge to pass the sword onto someone else who might benefit from it. In fact, the sword no longer grants any bonus to that particular character ever again.

OpenD6 System Statistics

Vulmea's Cutlass is an enchanted sword(slashing damage STR+1+1D) with the following properties:
   1. As the wielder becomes fatigued in combat, the sword's more powerful enchantments are activated. When the wielder is Wounded Twice, the sword grants the wielder a +1D bonus to his Melee Combat skill, while the sword's damage  magical bonus is increased to 1+D2.).
   2. If the wielder is Incapacitated, he is immediately healed to Wounded. He loses the bonus to his Melee Combat skill and the sword returns to its base damage of STR+1+1D.
   3. If owner of the sword is ever killed while carrying or wielding the sword, he is instantly transported to a safe location 2d6 miles from the place of his "death," restored to full health and free of any conditions or attribute damage that he may have suffered during the events that led to his demise. He has a strong urge to pass the sword onto someone else who might benefit from it. In fact, the sword no longer grants any bonus to that particular character ever again.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

U is for Undergarments of Temptation



I don't know if we'll get through the alphabet before the month runs out, but here's another magic item for use in your RPG games. This one is usable for the d20 System. It's presented under the Open Gaming License, and the entirety of this post is Open Gaming Content. Please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Ganes.

  Undergarments of Temptation (By L.L. Hundal)
These items appear on first glance to be ordinary panties, boxers, briefs, undershirts, bras--whatever bit of underwear you can think of. When worn, they begin to radiate faint enchantment magic. When visible to onlookers--for example because the wearer's pants are drooping or of a low-rise style, or the wearer's top is unbuttoned or low-cut, or because the underwear is worn on the outside instead of under other clothing--they have the following effects:
    1. Anyone seeing the character's undergarments of temptation must roll a Will save (DC18). If the saving throw fails, the wearer gains a +4 enhancement bonus to all Charisma-based skill checks involving those individuals, because they think the wearer is just that cool and sexy.
   2. If the wearer directs attention at a specific person who failed the Will save mentioned above, the target is considered to be under the effects of a charm monster spell.
    3. If creatures successfully save against the undergarments of temptation, the wearer suffers a -4 penalty to all Intelligence- and Charisma-based actions directed at them, because they think he or she must be some sort of simpleton who can't dress themselves properly.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

T is for the Terrorist Talent Tree


Psychotic dipshits who like to murder innocent people and claim they're doing it for a cause have been front and center in American news sources again, thanks to the Brothers Dumb and Dumber and their killing spree in and around Boston, MA.

As usual, I've seen blather about how we have to reach out to terrorists with empathy in order to understand the source of their rage and/or address whatever made them kill. Yeah... just like the way we have to show empathy to a rapist and seek to understand why he does what he does.

While I may feel that there is absolutely no reason to feel any empathy for any terrorist whatsoever, I am willing to lend a hand to those who do want to "walk a mile in their shoes." Roleplaying games are a great medium for exploring such tings safely, as you are with friends and around a snack-laden table in a private house.

To that end, I present a talent tree and some feats usable in the creation of Muslim terrorists of all stripes, Basque separatists of the ETA, Irish drunkards of the IRA, or Friends of the U.S. President formerly of the Weather Underground. This talent tree will let you create a character who is the ultimate asshole, where the term "hero" is applied in purely a game mechanical sense.

Everything in this post is presented under the Open Gaming License. If you chose to reproduce this material, give credit and copyright acknowledgement to Steve Miller and NUELOW Games.

THE TERRORIST TALENT TREE (By Steve Miller)
The terrorist talent tree is open to all hero classes, but it is most suitable for tough heroes and dedicated heroes. Most smart heroes are excluded form this talent tree as they won't meet the prerequisites.
   Undying Enemy: Pick an outrageously broad category of people to hate, such as Christians, Spaniards, Stock Brokers, Homosexuals, the Lefthanded, or Redheads. The hero gains a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls against these vile people, while gaining a +4 competency bonus on all skill checks specifically made in efforts to kill them.
   Prerequisite: Int 10 or lower, Wis 9 or lower. Allegiance to a terrorist organization or movement.
   False Allegiance: Pick an allegiance related to the category selected under Undying Enemy. You gain a +4 bonus to Bluff skill checks when interacting with those who have the same allegiance. The hero does actually change allegiances when picking this talent.
   Prerequisite: Undying Enemy.
   Bonus Feat: The hero gains Alertness, Cautious, Confident, Fanatic, or Misogynist. The hero must meet all prerequisites before he can gain a feat.
   Coward's Strike: The hero excels at attacking unsuspecting targets, but is otherwise a loser in battle. When attacking characters who are flat-footed or otherwise unable to properly defend themselves, a confirmed critical hit results in an instant kill. The hero suffers a -2 adjustment to attack and damage rolls made against characters who are ready to defend themselves.
   Too Dumb to Die: When reduced to 0 or fewer hit points in combat,or at risk of going on conscious due to conditions, the hero roll an Int check against DC12.. If the check is successful, the hero immediately regains 2d6 hit points, or is able to ignore the threatening condition for a number of rounds equal to his Con bonus.
   Prerequisite: Int 10 or lower, Wis 9 or lower.
 

NEW FEATS
Feats fit for terrorists and similar trash.

Fanatic [General]
The hero is filled with hatred toward those who don't believe as he or she does.
Prerequisite: 10 INT Maximum
Benefit: When faced with people who don't believe as he or she does, the hero gains a +2 Will save.to resist any suggestions they make, no matter how reasonable.  The hero also gains a +1 bonus to all Bluff and Intimidate skill checks involving these non-believers, but suffers a -1 to all Diplomacy checks involving them.
Special: The hero can designated a Chosen Enemy every three levels; this must be a stupidly broad category, such as "Americans," "Muslims," "Faries," or "Gwyneth Paltrow Fans." The character gains a +2 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made against these vile beings!


Misogynist [Social]
You hate women and you want to demean and hurt them whenever possible.
Prerequisite: Int 11 or lower, Wis 10 or lower.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to all attack and damage rolls against female characters.
Special: If your Int or Wis scores are ever raised above the maximum allowed, you lose the benefits granted by this feat.

Friday, April 26, 2013

S is for Sin-Eater and Spirit Armor


It's plain to see that for NUELOW Games one of the preferred iterations of the OGL d20 is the OGL Modern--otherwise, we probably wouldn't have released these products. With that in mind, here's a talent tree for use with your OGL Modern Games. This material is presented under the Open Gaming License. If you choose to reproduce it, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to Steve Miller and NUELOW Games.

Sin-Eater: A Talent Tree for Dedicated Heroes (By Steve Miller)
This dedicated hero has the mystical ability to absorb the power of evil spirits and turn it to his advantage.
   Spirit Sense: When the character enters a structure or other defined area, where an evil spirit or restless ghost is present, he receives a Will save (rolled secretly by the GM).. If successful, he knows "something is wrong" and cannot be surprised or caught flat-footed by spirits or mortal enemies
   Transfer Condition: By sharing a brief meal with a character who is poisoned or suffering from a condition, the dedicated hero transfers the condition onto himself; this takes 3 rounds and the ritual meal must not be interrupted by attacks or the participants performing other actions. The character from whom the condition was transferred is restored to normal status and fully healed if applicable.
   The dedicated hero suffers from the effect of the condition for one round, but can then make a Fortitude save (DC12) to neutralize it. If the saving throw fails, the Sin Eater is now subject to the condition unless cured through normal means.
   This talent can only be used on poisons and the following conditions: Ability Damaged, Blinded, Confused, Deafened, and Sickened.
   Transfer Curse: The dedicated hero can transfer magical curses from their target characters by sharing a meal with them. This ritual meal takes 30 minutes and cannot be interrupted by combat or other skill use. At the end of the 30 minutes, the cursed characters are immediately liberated from the ill effects of the curses, and the dedicated hero is now subject to them.
   The dedicated hero suffers from the effects of transferred curses for one round. He may then roll a Will save (DC15) to neutralize them. If all the characters from whom curses were transferred were under the same effect, only one roll is needed, but if there was more than one kind of curse, the dedicated hero must roll once for each kind.  
   If the dedicated hero is absorbing a curse from a structure, the Will save is made against a DC18.
   If the Will save fails, the dedicated hero is subject to the curses transferred until they are removed through magical means.
   Prerequisite: Transfer Condition
and from a building or other defined area, by 
   Bonus Feat: The hero gains one of the following as a bonus feat: Alertness, Focused, Ghost Spotter, Ghost Whisperer, or Spirit Armor. All prerequisites must still be met to gain the feat.
   Consume Sin: By eating a meal in a place haunted by an evil spirit or ghost, the dedocated hero absorbs some of the creature's power, weakening it while empowering himself. The effectiveness of this ritual depends on how long the hero spends performing it. The effects are cumulative.

Time Spent on Meal    Penalty to Ghost/Spirit   Bonus for Hero
3 rounds                     -1 to attack rolls             +1 to Defense vs. ghosts
15 minutes                 -1 to attack rolls and       +1 to Defense and saving
                                   saving throws                  throws
30 minutes                  -2 to attack rolls,            +2 to saving throws and skill
                                  saving throws, and            checks
                                  skill checks
1 hour                        -2 to attack rolls,             +4 to attack rolls
                                  -10 hit points                     and skill checks, +10 hit points

While consuming the ritual meal, the hero cannot engage in combat or perform actions other than engaging other characters or creatures in conversation. If the hero suffers damage or other disruptions, he can make a Concentration check to maintain the inner calm necessary to successfully absorb the ghost's evil. If the hero is interrupted or chooses to stop the ritual, the benefits gained at the last achieved benchmark are gained. (If a hero decides to attack a ghost after 50 minutes, the creature has all the penalties up to the 30-minute mark while the hero has all the benefits).
   The penalties and benefits remain until the ghost targeted with the ritual is destroyed or otherwise laid to rest, or the next sunrise. If the dedicated hero should be killed before either event, his soul rises as a restless, destructive and hate-filled ghost.

New Feat
GMs who incorporate this feat into their games should add it to the list of bonus feats for the dedicated hero.

Spirit Armor [General]
Your spirit fortifies your body against assaults by incorporeal creatures and spirits.
   Prerequisite: Wisdom 17, Focused.
   Benefit: The hero gains +4 to Defense and +2 to Fort saves against physical attacks made by incorporeal beings.
   Prerequisite: Focused

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Q is for Quest Stones


Here's another entry in the A to Z April Blogging Challenge--will we make it to the end of the alphabet before the month runs out? Does anyone care? Today's offering is presented in its entirety under the Open Gaming License. If you chose to reproduce it, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to Steve
Miller and NUELOW Games.

Quest Stones (By Steve Miller)
The fist-sized, basalt stones are engraved with the marks of the sorcerers and wizards who originally created them. Commonly used in the ancient Kingdom of Lodareno, they would be given to messengers and hirelings dispatched for specific missions. So long as the minion stayed on task, he would receive magical aid, but if he strayed from his assigned purpose, a dire curse would fall upon him. Once the assigned task is successfully completed, the stone loses all magic.
   Caches of these stones are occasionally recovered by explorers and tomb robbers venturing into the crypts of Lodareno. Modern arcane researchers have yet to uncover the means by which the stones were created, so each discovered cache becomes a highly sought commodity for government and criminal organizations alike who want to insure extra dedication and loyalty among operatives.

OGL d20 System Stats
The magic of a quest stone takes effect when a character accepts it as part of an agreement to perform a task for a superior or an employer in exchange for payment or other reward. So long as the character works toward his assigned goal, he enjoys a +1 bonus to all skill checks, attack rolls, and saving throws.
   If the character spends more than a day on activities not related to his assigned duty, he loses the previously described bonus and is subject to a -2 penalty to all skill checks, attack rolls, and saving throws. Once the character returns to his assigned task, the penalties are lifted, but he must remain focused for another full day before the bonus is restored.
   Discarding the stone does not lift its effect upon the character; only the completion of the task, formal release from it by the person who assigned it, or a dispel magic cast at a 24th level effectiveness can do that.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

P is for Paula's Apron Strings


And we continue to design our way through the alphabet here at NUELOW Games, as part of our bumbling, stumbling unofficial participation in the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. This post is presented under the Open Gaming License, with the text under the header "OGL d20 System Game Rules" being Open Gaming content. Enjoy!

Paula's Apron Strings (By Steve Miller)
Paula Noreville was one of America's premiere coven leaders of the 1950s and early 1960s. From behind the facade of the perfect housewife, she led her band of witches and warlocks to victory against dark forces time and again. But for all the good she did, Paula was a domineering woman whose kind smiles and mom-and-apple-pie attitude also concealed a pathological need to have absolute control over everyone in her life.
   Paula dominated her coven and family with clever and sugar-coated psychological manipulation and the occasional application of an oven mitt-covered iron fist. As her children grew into adulthood, rebelled against her, and eventually struck out on their own, she resorted to magic in order to guarantee they would never be far from her control.
   Using the strings from her favorite apron, Paula created two unique magic items, one for each of her children. They consist of two matched sets of three-inch light blue strips of cloth cut from the apron's strings and enchanted. She hid one string in each of her children's homes and whenever she held its counterpart, the child was compelled to return home to Paula, no matter where they might be in the world.
   Paula was eventually murdered by her son after, presumably, he discovered how she had been interfering with his life. His own family had been killed shortly in a car crash after his wife decided to follow him on one of his sudden trips back to his childhood home.

OGL d20 and OpenD6 System Rules
Paula's Apron Strings consists of a matched set of two light blue strips of cloth, each 2 inches in length, They radiate faint Summoning and Necromantic magic. The user hides one of the strings in the home of the target. When he or she holds the counterpart and concentrates on the target for a full two minutes, the target is filled with an overwhelming need to the user's home and to help him or her with whatever challenges that might be facing her.
   The target can ignore the urge, but for each day of not making an effort to travel to the user, the target suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to all skill checks and attack rolls. The progression of the penalty can be stopped for a single day by target phoning or writing and sending a letter to the user, but existing penalties are not removed and it continues to grow the next day.
   The only way to be released from the bond of Paula's Apron Strings is for the target to find the one in his home and return it to the user who hid it there. The user need not willingly accept it from the target, but he or she is free of the magic once this step has been taken.

Drawback: The target of Paula's Apron Strings gradually comes to loathe the user. After being compelled three times, he or she holds a level of resentment equal to a character that has been misused while under the influence of a charm person spell. After six times, the target so dislikes the user that only the Apron Strings can even make him or her think about the user. After 12 times, the target so hates the user that a small provocation will cause him or her to become violent toward the user.

O is for Ot's Armband of Faithfulness


Here's another magic item for use in your RPG games. It's published under this license, and everything in this post (except the graphic) is Open Gaming Content. Please give acknowledgement to Steve Miller and NUELOW Games if you decide to republish it,.

Ot's Armband of Faithfulness (By Steve Miller)
Three of these delicate gold armband are known to exist, each engraved with the symbol of Ott, They were created by Mongolian shamans during the years 800-1300. C.E. Ott is the Mongolian goddess of marriage and fire, and these items are reported to make the bond of marriage unbreakable between a husband and wife. Once one spouse makes a gift of an armband of faithfulnesss, neither of them can betray the other without dire consequences.
   One of these items was originally been owned by Borte, the wife and true love Temujin, the Mongol emperor known as Genghis Khan. Legend holds that she insisted it be used to bond her and Temujin together after she was abducted and raped by members of the Merkit tribe, because she wanted to know her husband would never doubt her love and faithfulness to him. Although Temujin never doubted her, he acquiessed to her demand.

OGL d20 System Game Mechanics
Once an armband of faithfulness is exchanged between duly married partners, the giver and receiver are both subject to a powerful curse that can only be lifted by the goddess Ot herself. The curse manifests itself in two different ways:
   The recipient feels a compulsion to wear the armband at all times and could be said to feel naked without it. If the character should ever attempt to betray his or her spouse, all skill checks or saving throws involved are subject to a -4 penalty. When the betrayal is complete, any characters actively taking part in the action must roll a successful Will save (DC23) or be filled with a homicidal rage that only subsides when the recipient is dead. If the save is successful. the characters are filled with disgust and loathing for the recipient.
   The giver suffers no ill effects until he or she commits an act of betrayal against the Recipient. The moment the act is complete, the character immediately bursts into fire that cannot be extinguished, suffering 6d6 points of damage. The character continues to burn for three more rounds, suffering 4d6 points of damage, 2d6 points of damage, and finally 1d6 points of damage. If the character drops below 0 hit points, his or her body dissolves into a fine ash from which no resurrection is possible. If the character lives, he or she is horribly disfigured and crippled, immediately suffering a 10-point reduction to Strength, Dex, and Charisma attribute scores (to a minimum of 1).

OpenD6 System Game Mechanics
Once an armband of faithfulness is exchanged between duly married partners, the giver and receiver are both subject to a powerful curse that can only be lifted by the goddess Ot herself. The curse manifests itself in two different ways:
   The recipient feels a compulsion to wear the armband at all times and could be said to feel naked without it. If the character should ever attempt to betray his or her spouse, all difficulty levels are adjusted by +8. When the betrayal is complete, any characters actively taking part in the action must roll a successful Willpower check against a difficulty 23 or be filled with a homicidal rage that only subsides when the recipient is dead. If the save is successful. the characters are filled with disgust and loathing for the recipient.
   The giver suffers no ill effects until he or she commits an act of betrayal against the Recipient. The moment the act is complete, the character immediately bursts into fire that cannot be extinguished, suffering 6d6 points of damage. The character continues to burn for three more rounds, suffering 4d6 points of damage, 2d6 points of damage, and finally 1d6 points of damage. If the character drops below 0 hit points, his or her body dissolves into a fine ash from which no resurrection is possible. If the character lives, he or she is horribly disfigured and crippled, with Strength, Dexterity, and Attractiveness (if used) immediately being reduced to 1D each.

Monday, April 22, 2013

N is for Nadia's Needle


We're limping along with the A to Z April Blogging Challenge here at NUELOW Games. If we get to Z before the end of the month, I think we will have done good, given what's going on. That said, here's N (a little late, but here it is!) This item is presented under this license and everything in the post, except the illo and the paragraph labeled "The History of Nadia's Needle", is Open Gaming Content.
   This item is usable for any RPG that features magic items.

Nadia's Needle (By Steve Miller)
This item is a small sewing needle with an inch of silvery thread  run through the eye. It radiates faint magic of an indeterminate nature, which has caused many treasure seekers to overlook it while looting this or that hoard, or to discard it when it appears to be useless.
   However, this item, a camel can literally pass through the eye of the needle.When stuck into a flat surface--such as a door, wall, or floor--the needle becomes the center of a faintly glowing blue circle with a 7-foot in diameter. It is invisible to anyone further than 6 inches away from it. The circle is actually a short-range dimensional portal that allows up to four living beings (along with any gear that will fit through the opening) to pass through to the area on the other side before it closes. The needle stays embedded in the original surface, and the portal ceases to exist immediately after the needle is removed or the fourth living creature passes through it.
   The Needle is also rumored to have a second use--the ability to close portals to the City of Silver Towers, home to a pantheon of evil gods. This has not been confirmed, however.

The Background of Nadia's Needle
The true origin of Nadia's Needle is unknown. It draws its modern name from its most recently known owner, Nadia Tokareva. She was a young Soviet agent active in Germany during World War II who used the Needle as part of efforts to help those hunted by Nazis to escape to safety. Later, as the Cold War came into effect and she came to understand how tyrannical the Soviet government was, she became a double agent for the Western powers and helped people escape from East Germany and elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain. Nadia vanished without a trace in 1962 after reporting to a contact in the CIA that she was setting out to investigate what she believed to be a secret military facility codenamed Silver Tower.

Friday, April 19, 2013

M is for Mary Jane



 Today's entry in the A to Z April Blogging Challenge celebrates the the legalization of pot in Washington State. While no one here at NUELOW Games actually smokes the Whacky Weed (although apparently L.L is apparently one of the slang terms for marijuana), we don't mind those who do. So long as they treat their habits like drunks treat theirs and stay the hell away from their cars while high/stoned/bombed/whatever.

So here's a pre-generated character for use in a ROLF! battle scenario--Mary Jane, the Mistress of Mellow.  (A perfect foe for her would be the Tee-totaler featured in ROLF!: St. Patty vs. The Snake.)

Mary Jane, the Mistress of Mellow (By L.L. Hundal)
The mysterious dark-tressed Mary Jane has been a tireless crusader for the right to get high and mellow whenever and whereever ever since she first appeared in a cloud of sweet-smelling smoke and her green-and-yellow superhero outfit in Seattle's Pioneer Square. Her greatest foes are Buzzkill, Frigid Fanny, and the Tee-totaler.

Mary Jane (Female)
(aka Mary Jo Verde)
Brawn 21, Body 15, Brains 7
Traits: Busty, Martial Arts Master, Nimble
Combat Maneuvers:  Basic Attack, Furious Fists, Disarm, Dodge, Strike Pose, Spelling (After Me, Mellow Haze).
Important Items Worn/Wielded: Superhero Outfit (Armor. Absorbs up to 2 points of damage).

New Spelling
Mellow Haze: The Speller causes a pale green gas to form over the battle area. All characters must roll Brawn ATT checks or lose the will to fight. Unless attacked, they will leave the battle area in search of something to snack on. Characters so effected are removed from the battle scenario and considered defeated.

(This post is  Copyright 2013 NUELOW Games and Steve Miller, but permission is granted for duplication for personal use,)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

L is for Lich Lantern


Continuing our RPG design trek through the alphabet, here's another entry in the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. The entirety of this post is Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. Please give copyright acknowledgement to Steve Miller if you chose to reproduce the content.
   Although nominally designed for d20-based RPGs, this item is easily adapted to other games,.

The Lich Lantern (By Steve Miller)
Looted from within a labyrinth of tombs beneath a temple so ancient no one remembers the gods it was devoted to, this item is a storm lantern made from fused bones inset with glass that has a slight green tint. A sputtering black candle burns within, seeming to always be on the verge of going out yet never doing so. In other words, it always shines with a pale green light that can only be dowsed by covering it with a thick cloth or putting it inside a box. It radiates powerful necromantic and abjuration magic.
   The Lich Latern has the following effects:
   1/ All invisible creatures within the 20-foot radius of the lantern's light become visible.
   2. Ghosts and other non-corporeal beings lose any damage reduction, spell resistance, and abilities tied to being non-corporeal  while within the 20-foot radius of the lantern's light; these beings essentially briefly become corporeal..
    3. If the latched face covering on the lantern is opened while turned toward a ghost or other non-corporeal spirit, the creature must roll a Will save (DC 24) or be sucked into the lantern. The candle burns a little brighter for each entity so captured, and the person carrying the lantern gains a +1 bonus to Armor Class (or Defense Rating) for each spirit trapped.
    4. By spinning the lantern while spirits are trapped inside, the character causes it to send forth a burst of energy that harms all undead creatures within the 20-foot radius of the lamp's light. The damage is 1d6 for each ghost or spirit trapped in the lantern. This use destroys the trapped creatures.

Drawback
The Lich Lantern is actually a lich's phylactery or soul cage. The spirit of a powerful and deeply evil necromancer slumbers within, having retreated into the item when the adventurers who first recovered the lantern destroyed his undead body. If the person carrying the lantern ever has more than five ghosts or spirits trapped within it at once, he or she must instantly roll a Will save (DC 24) or be possessed by the lich. The bearer's spirit is then trapped in the phylactery.

K is for Kissing Booth


We fell down on the A to Z Blogging Challenge this week, but today we play catch-up! Everything in the paragraph under "Kissing Booth OGL d20 Stats" is Open Gaming Content and published under this license. Please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to Steve Miller.
   While the game stats for this item are nominally for d20-based games, it can easily be adapted to any system.

The Kissing Booth (By Steve Miller)
Located at the end of a carnival midway or near the entrance to a circus tent, this small, wooden structure has a bright red, heart-shaped front. Through the opening in it, you can see either a very beautiful man or woman, Below the opening is a sign that reads "One Kiss, One Copper Piece." The person within the booth calls out to passerbys who seem homely, lonely, or are themselves handsome, encouraging them to come brighten both their days with a kiss. "And all the money goes to the local orphanage," the person promises. The kisser will chat up the kissee both before and after the kiss, asking about their occupation and where they're from and complimenting them on their appearance, dress, and so forth.
  While its absolutely true that the money taken in at the booth will be donated to the local orphans, the Kissing Booth is also a means by which the operator's seek to rob wealthy attendees of the event where it is found.
   The Kissing Booth is operated by half-elf Callum Ceptor and his four associates, two very comely human men and women. They travel from carnival to carnival and are known and well-liked by other traveling entetainers and circus folik, who have no idea Callum is a thief. He is believed to be a retired adventurer who is spending his money on charity and eccentricity. (Callum actually is an adventurer, but he's  not exactly retired; he has simply found a means of getting richer that doesn't involve a constant threat of death. His companions are low-level rogues with a great deal of skill in Bluff and other personal interaction skills.)

Kissing Booth OGL d20 System Stats
The GM should roll a secret Spell Resistance check for the character being kissed (DC20). If the save fails, the person in the booth gains the ability to shapeshift into a perfect copy of the character for 24 hours. In additional, the kisser gains brief and limited telepathic powers that lets him or her know the subject's recent thoughts--hence the questions and compliments before and after the kiss, as they give the kisser information about where the target lives, how wealthy they might be, and so on. Then, while the target continues to enjoy the show, the kisser leads to his place of residence with some compatriots to steal any valuables they can find.


Friday, April 12, 2013

J is for Jester's Regalia


Today's Blogging Challenge entry is a collection of magic items for the d20 System. All text in this post is Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. If you wish to reuse this material, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.

The Jester's Regalia (By Steve Miller)
The Jester's Regalia was created for Berlan, the renegade son of King Erlash the Third of Reyla. The young man wanted to spend his life singing and dancing rather than leading armies and royal courts, and he commissioned some of the realms finest magic craftsmen to create a unique costume for him that would enhance his abilities as an entertainer.
   The outfit that was created for him has been named the Jester's Regalia by historians, as Berlan spent time performing as a roaming jester and comedian in the neighboring kingdom of Desilain after fleeing from his father's court.  It is crafted from the finest silks and linens and is bright purple, green, and gold in color. Small bells along the seams of the cap and the tunic's arms tinkle when the character moves.
   Berlan's career in show business ended abruptly when he was murdered and dismembered by a troupe of wandering minstrels who were envious of his rapidly growing fame. To hide their crime, they scattered the elements of the Jester's Regalia throughout the lands they traveled through. While individual pieces have since been reported in the possession of this collector or that adventurer, no one has ever managed to gather all give pieces together since Berlan's demise.

D20 System Stats
Each of the five pieces that make up the Jester's Regelia give the wearer a specific bonus.

   Jester's Cap: When worn, grants the character a +2 bonus to all Charisma-based skills, as well as a +2 bonus to Disguise checks as part of it hides the wearer's face and provides a slight magical distortion to his or her voice--making it more high pitched.
   Jester's Gloves: When worn, grants the character a +4 to Sleight of Hand skill checks.
   Jester's Shoes: When worn, grants the character a +4 bonus to Climb skill checks.
   Jester's Tights: When worn, grants the character a +2 bonus to Tumble skill checks.
   Jester's Tunic: When worn, grants that character a +2 enhancement bonus to armor class or defense rating..

   When all five pieces are worn together, the character  gains the fascinate ability, and can cast the following spells twice per day as if he or she is a 15th level caster: animate rope, dancing lights, ghost sound, mass charm monster, prestidigitation, sculpt sound, suggestion, tiny hut, zone of silence.

   Drawback: Unfortunately, the Jester's Regalia carries a potentially lethal downside, one that was inserted into the item during the creation process by an agent of King Erlash III who wanted to stop his son from embarrassing himself and the royal family. Whenever a character with 5 or more ranks in any Perform skill watches anyone perform in the entire Jester's Regalia, there is a 10% chance that character will be filled with an instant dislike and disgust for the performer. If the affected character fails a Will save (DC20) that dislike turns into a homicidal rage that prompts the character to instantly attack the performer. The dislike and/or rage remains until the effected character is subjected to remove curse cast at 20th level.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I is for Icing Death and Twinkler


Another day, another entry in the A to Z April Blogging Challenge from NUELOW Games! Today, we offer a couple of magical items with stats for OGL d20 System games, OpenD6 Games, and ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game. Everything under the headers OGL d20 System Stats and OpenD6 System Stats is Open Game content, and is published under this license.

Icing Death and Twinkler (By Steve Miller)
Worldstrider and dealer of curiosities Tanner P. Valentine became fascinated with a certain Drow adventurer from a distant world. Discovering the drow was quite famous, Valentine decided to market miniature replicas of his famous matched magical swords in the form of cake knives. He named his products Icing Death and Twinkler and he marketed them through the Planestrider chain of interdimensional rest-stops. They were only on the market for a brief time before Drow, admirers, friends and enemies of the famous adventurer alike, decended on stores carrying them and destroyed the items and the stores itself. The Drow's friends felt they were an insult to him, and the Drow's enemies felt they were an insult to them--that such powerful weapons and their owner would be trivilized in such a way filled everyone who knew the Drow with indignation or fury. (And then there were the lawyers who filed suit on behalf of the Drow and his trademarkable image....)
  As for Tanner P. Valentine, he still has to give both Worldstrider reststops and Drow enclaves a wide berth. He still has a few cake knife sets he is willing to quietly sell to interested parties he meets.

D20 System Stats
Icing Death and Twinkler are matched cake knives with curved blades and ornate black handles. If used as weapons, they function as +1 daggers. They were mass-produced in elven magic item sweatshops and they are therefor not safe to use to actually cut cake. If they are used to cut cake (or any other food substance), there is a 33% chance that the magical energies leaking from the knives will poison the food. In such a case, any who eat it must roll a DC 15 Fort save or be sickened for 1d6 hours, suffering a -2 penalty to all attack rolls and skill checks.

OpenD6 System Stats
Icing Death and Twinkler are matched cake knives with curved blades and ornate black handles. They are mildly enchanted and deal STR+2 when used as weapons. They were mass-produced in elven magic item sweatshops and they are therefore not safe to use to actually cut cake. If they are used to cut cake (or any other food substance), there is a 33% chance that the magical energies leaking from the knives will poison the food. In such a case, any who eat it must roll a Strength check against a target number of 12 or suffer a -1D penalty to all rolls for 1D6 hours.

ROLF! System Stats
Icing Death and Twinkler are small melee weapons that carry a dangerous enchantment. They inflict 1 point of damage that ignore armor and 1 point of regular damage.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

H is for the Higgs-Bozo Particle Generator


Today's offering in the A to Z April Blogging Challenge is by Dave Mendez and Steve Miller. It features stats for OGL d20 System games and  NUELOW Games's ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game. (The paragraph labeled "OGL d20 System Stats" is Open Gaming Content and may be republished under the terms of the Open Gaming License.)

 Higgs-Bozo Particle Generator (By Steve Miller and Dave Mendez)
This device is a 3x3x3 smooth black cube that weighs 100 pounds. A large red button is located at the direct center on one of its sides. When pressed, the cube hums briefly and the smell of cotton candy and sawdust and stale sweat wafts momentarily through the air.
    The Higgs-Bozo Particle Generator emits an energy field that weakens Hell Harlequins and Killer Klowns within a 60-ft radius. Once the button is pushed, the generator remains active for 24 hours, unless damaged. It requires 10 hours to recharge between each use.

OGL d20 System Stats
Hell Harlequins and Killer Klowns suffer a -2 penalty to all attack rolls and saving throws while within range of an active Higgs-Bozo Particle Generator.
    The particle generator has 50 hit points and a damage reduction of 5/+1. It stops working after suffering 25 hit points of damage, but can still be repaired. It is damaged beyond repair after suffering 40 hit points of damage.

 ROLF! System Stats
Hell Harlequins and Killer Klowns suffer one point of damage that ignores armor for each round they are near an active Higgs-Bozo Particle Generator.
    The particle generator has 20 Brawn points and it can only be damaged by weapons or combat maneuvers that ignore armor. It stops working after it has taken 10 Brawn points.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

G is for Ghost Spotter and Ghost Whisperer


Today's offering for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge is another pair of ghost-related d20 System feats from Dave Mendez and Steve Miller. All text in this post is Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. If you wish to reuse this material, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.

GHOST SPOTTER [General]
You can see things that otherwise can only be heard by captured by electronic photography/videography.
   Prerequisites: Wisdom 15.
   Benefit: With a brief moment of concentration and a sucessful Spot check (DC 10), the character can see ghosts with the naked eye. The higher the skill roll total, the clearer the character can the ghosts. This can be two-edged sword, as the sight of particularly gruesome ghosts may force a Fear check
Special:

GHOST WHISPERER [General]
You have a knack for convincing ghosts to "move on" or otherwise behave.
   Prerequisite: Charisma 15, Diplomacy 2 ranks, Ghost Spotter
   Benefit: The character gains a +4 bonus to Bargain and Diplomacy checks when speaking to ghosts and other incorporeal beings.

Monday, April 8, 2013

F is for the Fount of All Wisdom



Continuing the A to Z April Blogging Challenge with another tidbit for use in your OGL d20 System RPG sessions. All text in this post is Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. If you wish to reuse this material, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.

The Fount of All Wisdom (By Steve Miller)
On a windswept plateau, high in the mountains that marked the northeastern border of the falled kingdom of Reylar stands a decaying, sprawling complex of temples. These buildings are so ancient that not even Reylar's earliest historians knew who built them or the names of the gods who smile down at explorers from wallcarving and giant statues. The only facts known is that Reylar's first Warrior-King rose to power with wealth and magical artifacts gained from the catacombs and hidden temples in the maze-like tunnels beneath the structures, and that for centuries that followed, adventurers who braved the wilderness and scaled the forbidding mountains also returned with great wealth.

Although the main treasure troves of the ruins have long since been emptied, occasional small rewards can be had by those who explore them, mostly in the form of gear recovered from the bodies of less skilled explorers. Such trinkets are not why modern adventurers and explorers make the long and deadly journey to reach the ruins--the come in search of the legendary Fount of All Wisdom,.Reportedly located deep within the tunnel complex below the ruins, those who drink from it gain wisdom possessed by the gods themselves. But gaining such insight carries with it possible price--the weak-minded are unable to handle divine wisdom and they are driven hoplessly mad.

OGL d20 System Rules
The Fount of Wisdom consists of a large marble basin and three life-sized, highly detailed statues of human females--one representing a young girl, one representing a full-grown woman, and one representing an old woman--pouring neverending streams of crystal clear water from tilted goblets in their hands.

Each character can drink four times from the fount in a lifetime--once from each individual stream and once from the basin. The proper order to drink is from the basin, from the young girl, from the full-grown woman, and finally the old woman. Drinking out of order counts as one of the four time, but it gives no benefit other than slaking a character's thirst. When used in the proper sequence, characters can gain random benefits (or drawbacks) as described on the following tables. Each table is keyed to a d6 roll. Benefits and drawbacks are permanent, unless otherwise noted, and they stack with other results from using the fount.

Effects of the Basin
1. No effect.
2. Survival becomes a permanent class skill.
3. Listen becomes a permanent class skill.
4. Sense Motive becomes a permanent class skill.
5. +1 to Wisdom attribute.
6. +1 to Strength or Constitution attribute; player's choice.

Effects of the Young Girl
1. Character becomes 2d6 years younger, with any appropriate age-based attribute adjustments 
     occurring instantly.
2. Roll again on Effects of Basin table. If result has already occurred, no effect.
3. +2 permanent bonus to Listen skill checks.
4. +2 permanent bonus to Sense Movie skill checks.
5. +2 permanent bonus to Handle Animal skill checks.
6. +1 to Wisdom attribute.

Effects of the Grown Woman
1.Character loses 1d3 Charisma attribute points, round up.
2. Roll again on the Effects of the Basin table. If the result has already occurred, no effect.
3. +1 permanent bonus to Listen checks.
4. +1 permanent bonus to Sense Motive checks.
5. +2 permanent bonus to Spot checks.
6. +2 to Wisdom attribute.

Effects of the Old Woman
1. The character is subject to a permanent confusion spell effect. Only a healing artifact or a god itself can
     restore the character to normal.
2. Roll on the Effects of the Grown Woman table, If the result has already occurred, no effect.
3. Roll on the Effects of the Basin table. If the result has already occurred, no effect.
4. Whenever the character rolls a successful critical attack, he must roll a Will save (DC30) or fall victim to the effects of the hideous laughter spell (as if cast by a 20th level caster),.
5. The character instantly ages 2d6 years, with any modifiers to attributes applied immediately.
6. +4 to Wisdom attribute.

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Ectoplasmic Dominator and Dampener


Today's A to Z April Blogging Challenge offers a couple of feats that fit in nicely with the horror feats presented here a couple of weeks ago.

A thanks goes to Dave Mendez, a long time friend of NUELOW Games, for his contribution today. If you want to contribute something as we work our way through the alphabet with RPG tidbits, email us at stevemillermail@gmail.com.

All text in this post is Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. If you wish to reuse this material, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.


Ectoplasmic Dominator (By Steve Miller)
Incorporeal beings are weaker when attempting to attack you. This ability comes from your brave spirit that ensures you're not afraid of ghosts.
   Benefit: You gain a Defense Rating or Armor Class bonus of +2, and a +2 bonus to Fortitude and Will saves against attacks made by incorporeal beings.

Ectoplasmic Dampener (By Dave Mendez)
Incorporeal beings are slightly weaker when you are nearby due to your grounded personality.
   Prerequisite: Ectoplasmic Dominator, character level 5+.
   Benefit: The character and all allied creatures within 15 feet gain a +2 bonus to Defense Rating or Armor Class, and a +2 bonus to Fortitude and Will saves against attacks made by incorporeal beings/ These bonuses stack with all others.


(If you like those feats, you might also like our ghost-centric Advanced Class, the Ghostmaster. Click here to check it out (and perhaps even buy your own copy).

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Direscents


Today's entry in the "A to Z Blogging Challenge" is a bit of a cheat. It's a description of magical plants that's been revised from a piece written a decade ago. (There may be a second, all-original item posted later too, and if you want to participate, send an item to stevemillermail@gmail.com.)


All text in this post is considered Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. If you wish to reuse this material, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.



Direscents (By Steve Miller)

Direscent plants are a genus of deadly, flowering vines often found in the vicinity of alchemist's laboratories, sorcerer's homes, and certain temples devoted to gods whose portfolios include aspects relating to unspoiled wildernesses.

The origin of these plants is disputed, with some records claiming the direscent varieties are the result of a magical botany experiment gone wrong, while others hold them to be the creation of the goddess Fahlarene, the Guardian of Wild Places. Even the most dedicated scholars have been unable to discern the truth, Fahlarene as usual can't be bothered with petty questions from scholars and other civilized folk, so it is not likely that the true origin of direscents will ever be known to mortals.

The plants are recognzied by their large pitcher-shaped flowers and broad pollen fronds hanging from the center of the flowers. (Picture a flower somewhere between a lily and a tulip.) On average, there are 1d6 blooming flowers within each square foot of direscent patch. The plant's magical origins first became suspected when people noticed these flowers bloomed on bimonthly cycles, even through winter, if the beds were kept exposed to the sun. In fact, many towns planted direscents without knowing the dangers because they wanted flowering plants in their gardens or along their fences all winter. Still, the plant's hardiness aside, the dangers from the flowers lie in the pollen fronds.

All the direscent varieties have a dark green, ground crawling stalk with waxen leaves similar in shape to a cloven hoof. The stalks crawl along like ivy, sometimes covering the exterior of a tower, hanging over roof edges, and creating a curtain of vines, etc. These stalks are tough, and require at least 3 points of slashing damage to sever them. Even if severed, direscents root where they fall, if possible, and they can spread and carpet whole areas.

Further, any human or humanoid skin (any flesh without scales, a thick hide, or heavy fur protection) that comes into contact with the oily leaves or stalks of a direscent becomes irritated and breaks out in a rash. While not fatal, if left untreated by washing with soap or treating with a cure disease, the affected skin breaks out into minor blood boils and the afflicted person suffers a high fever (onset time 1d8 hours, lasting for 2d12 hours; 1d4 points of subdual damage during affliction).

Lastly, the oils on direscent leaves and stalks have a deteriorating effect on leather. While leather gloves can be used to protect one's hands from their effects, the oils react with the curing agents in leather products and render the leather rotted and useless within 48 hours of contact. Leather armor lasts slightly longer, but within 96 hours, said armor is likewise rotted at any point of contact with the plants' oils.

Three primary varieties of direscents exist, known by color and by various colloquial names assigned by their effects. Note that direct contact with the plants shakes loose the pollen in a 10-foot diameter cloud in that round and the cloud expands an additional 10 feet in each direction the following round. Also, if wind or other forces are used to shake pollen loose, the pollen's most dangerous effects are only viable within 25 feet of release from the plant. Any pollen drifting farther away from the plant is too widely spread to cause more than a mild skin irritant without any measurable game effects.

Orange Direscent / "Flamebloom": While most direscents do not compound their effects, the orange flower does. If exposed to the pollen from less than a dozen flamebloom, the living being must make a Fortitude Save at DC 14 or fall comatose for 2d12 hours. However, if a being comes into contact with pollen from more than 12 orange flowers, the Fortitude DC becomes 18; if successful, the victim suffers the comatose fever as above, but if it fails, the victim's skin erupts in flames. The pollen and skin oils react violently and inflict 1d8 points of fire damage. GMs can mitigate or expand this damage depending on the amount of skin exposure on a victim (deal with clothing and exposed skin using the Cover rules).

Red Direscent / "Stenchrose": This flower is the most dangerous of the direscents, as any living flesh that comes into contact with its pollen has its pheromones and base scent grossly magnified. While most humans would only notice a rise in the person's normal body odor, anything with a sensitive nose -- such as those creatures having the Scent feat -- would be able to detect or track this person easily. Hiding and other attempts at remaining unnoticed are reduced by half, and any attempts to track said victim increase by 50% as well. The person's scent remains escalated for 3d12 hours, even after immersion in water. The only antidote to this is an alcohol bath, which can wash away the pollen-impregnated skin oils. For quick on-the-road fixes, it takes the contents of three full wineskins to totally wash away the pollen on a Medium-size humanoid.

Purple Direscent / "Mage-bane": The pollen of the purple direscent immediately acts as an allergen upon any physical contact (Fortitude save at DC 12 or the victim is treated as being stunned, due to sneezing, coughing, watering eyes, etc. for 2d4 minutes) but also has hidden dangers for any spellcasters, divine or arcane. Exposure to the mage-bane pollen also forces a Fortitude save at DC 14 to avoid blindness and severe itching for 2d4 hours.

Beyond these effects, the hidden danger is that if this second save is successful, the first spell cast by the victim causes the pollen to conduct the energies away from the casting and disrupt the spell. Any spell cast within 3d12 hours of exposure has a 50% chance of total failure versus normal spell activity. This fine pollen can be washed away by alcohol, like the red direscent pollen above. (Some wizards are said to be cultivating black direscents to increase the lethality of the purple bloom's pollen, hoping to make magic feedback on the caster or force any active magic to be disrupted by the pollen. Luckily, such plants are only rumors, not yet reality.)

Cultivating Direscent Plants

Characters who wish to cultivate direscent plants have to harvest and transport their own plants. Few merchants carry actual direscent seeds or live plants, as followers of Fahrlarene have been known to curse those who do as these nature priests hold the plants sacred.

Direscent plants grow low to the ground and spread in patches, like strawberries. They can survive in virtually any climate where there is at least one inch of precipitation per year and plenty of sunshine. The grow best in mineral-rich soil, but have been known to take root anywhere they receive direct sunlight for at least two hours every day.

While direscent plants bloom all year, their stalks only grow during the warm months. Careful cultivation can expand a direscent patch by 10 square feet per growing season in arctic climes; 25 square feet per growing season in temperate climes; 50 square feet per growing season in subtropical and tropical climes; and five square feet per growing season in a desert environment.

The growth of the plants can be hastened by druids or through the use of appropriate magic and skills. Direscents respond to such activities as normal plants would.

Direscent Pollen as a Weapon

The glass vials that are used to collect and store direscent pollen can be used as grenadelike weapons. In larger cities, arms-merchants who cater to adventurers or less-than-honorable fighting men and women sell vials of direscent pollen for use as ranged weapons. The vials have the same range as a throwing dagger. They typically sell for 100 gp each. The potency of the pollen fades after six months unless magically prepared or treated. Still, one vial, depending on the rarity of direscents in the area, could sell for much more than the price given above.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Cudgel of Peace




Here's today's entry in our month-long A to Z Blogging Challenge series. If you want to participate by providing an item of your creation,, drop us an email at stevemillermail@gmail.com with your own original creations.

All text in this post is considered Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. If you wish to reuse this material, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.


The Cudgel of Peace (By L.L. Hundal)
The kingdom of Reylar had for most of its long and bloody history been ruled by the Warrior-Priests of Vom, God of war and wealth, and they had made the kingdom rich through raids and conquest. But when several neighboring lands united their forces and conducted a unified invasion of Reylar, the final chapter of the kingdom's bloody history was written.

As the last of his temples were consumed by fire, a weeping Vom found refuge in the simple home Shim, godess of agriculture and the seasons, She convinced the broken god to turn what had been the symbol of his priesthood's power into a tool that would ensure the survival of the remaining Reylar by turning them from the path of war and revenge to one of peace and cooperation. This created perhaps some of the strangest "cursed" weapons to ever come into existence.

OGL d20 and OpenD6 System Stats
A cudgel of peace appears to be a flame-blackened club that is filigreed with gold and platinum that provides a +4 bonus to attack and damage rolls when wielded. However, the moment its wielder chooses a target to attack, all creatures within a 30-foot radius must roll Will saves with -2 penalties or fall victim to an effect similar to a permanent  charm monster spell  Creatures so effected view everyone under the spell as their dearest friends and allies and will under no circumstance continue to fight against them.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Bridget's Whip


It's April 2, so here's B for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. (NUELOW Games isn't an official participant, but we're playing along anyway!)

Here's another artifact for use in OGL d20 and OpenD6 system games. If you want to participate, drop us an email at stevemillermail@gmail.com with your own original creations.

All text in this post is considered Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. If you wish to reuse this material, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.



Bridget's Whip (By Steve Miller)
Lady Bridget of Fairwater Crossing was an evil and twisted woman who enjoyed inflicting pain almost as much as she enjoyed being subjected to it. The day she beat a maid who was much-loved among the other servants to death, the rest of the staff put an end to her as well. Whether she died shrieking or laughing, none could say, but as the butler struck the killing blow with the silver-covered handle of her bullwhip he thought he saw insane glee in her eyes.

The servants looted the house of its valuables and scattered to the four winds. The butler kept the whip and eventually became infamous as a particularly brutal leader of a gang of bandits. The end he eventually came to was very similar to that of Lady Bridget--he was slain by his own underlings after they got tired of taking the brunt of his sadistic ways. Almost every person who has possessed Bridget's Whip over the decades has some to a similar violent end.

OGL d20 and OpenD6 System Stats
This black and silver bullwhip radiates magic and appears to give a +2 bonus to damage. In truth, the weapon deals double damage on a successful hit (roll normal whip damage and multiply the result by two). In addition, whenever the whip inflicts maximum damage, it inflicts such a deep and terrible gash that the target loses 1 hit point per round following until he receives first aid or magical healing.

Drawbacks: Whenever a character wields Bridget's Whip, he or she must roll a Will save with a Difficulty of 15. If the saving throw fails, the character immediately becomes a gleeful sadistic maniac who goes out of his or her way to torment helpless people and animals. Whenever he or she encounters a character who is higher level, that character must roll a Will check with a Difficulty of 18. If the check fails, the higher level character will become dedicated to destroying the wielder of the whip

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Amaterasu's Cloak


Although we're not an official participant in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, we here at NUELOW Games will nonetheless partipate by posting a different item for use in d20 System, d6 System, or ROLF! RPGs every Monday - Saturday this month, or until we run out of letters in the alphabet. (If you want to participate, drop us an email at stevemillermail@gmail.com with your own original creations.)

All text in this post is considered Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. If you wish to reuse this material, please give credit and copyright acknowledgement to NUELOW Games and Steve Miller.

Amaterasu's Cloak (Design by Steve Miller)
Reported to having been spun on the loom of the sun goddess Amaterasu, this cloak of fine golden threads, and rich red and orange silks was first discovered floating on a sea in the aftermath of a wild winter storm. When draped over the shoulders of a medium-sized humanoid, it gives the wearer the ability to channel the power of the sun itself.

D20 System and D6 System Stats
This artifact has two effects that each can be activated by the wearer once per day through an act of will. (One former owner was known to say "Here Comes the Sun" when activating the cloak, but that was just a personal flourish.)
:
Effect 1: Radiate sunlight, illuminating up to 120 feet area around him or her. Creatures who are weakened or harmed by sunlight suffer as if they are exposed to the actual sun. This effect lasts for three hours or until dismissed by the wearer.

Effect 2: Radiate intense heat that deals 4d6 points of damage to creatures within melee range, 2d6 points of damage to creatures within a 10 feet radius, and 1d6 points of damage to creatures more than 15 feet away but within 25 feet. Easily flammable objects and substances catch fire within 15 feet of the wearer's location.

Drawbacks: As soon as the character wears the cloak, he or she begins to suffer from night blindness. All attacks and detail-oriented actions at night are subject to a +4 modifier to difficulty ratings in both the D20 System and D6 Systems. Even if the character stops using the cloak, the night blindness persists until he or she personally returns to cloak to its rightful owner--Amaterasu herself.