Thursday, December 31, 2015

Twelve Days of Christmas -- Christmas Pudding (for d20 System Games)

Continuing with the Christmas celebration. The text in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced accordingly. Copyright 2015 by Steve Miller.

Made with mysterious ingredients and with highly secretive methods, these miraculous food items take several hours to prepare and must be kept in ceramic or tin containers for 1d6+6 months before consumed by those they were prepared for--friends, family, or members of an adventuring party. Each Christmas Pudding contains 12 portions, and a character who eats a portion gains a +1 bonus to morale checks and Fortitude saves for 8 hours.
   The recipe for Christmas Puddings can only be obtained through dangerous quests (or from grandmothers). They can be purchased in many village stores around holiday times for 2d6gp each. They can be carried and stored like standard adventuring rations once obtained--but they are really a dish best served at feasts and holidays.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Twelve Days of Christmas--Jingle Bells

The Twelve Days of Christmas continue with another magic item for d20 System games (such as Pathfinder or d20 Modern). The text in this post is released under the Open Game License. Copyright 2015 by Steve Miller

This item is a pair of small bells joined together on a bright red leather strap radiates enchantment magic, and when shaken, they emit a soft, harmonious ringing sound.
   As a standard action, the user can shake the bells. All creatures, save the user, within 20 feet must roll Will saves (DC15) or be filled with a sense of good cheer and fellowship toward each other. Hostilities instantly cease and the creatures will join together in singing songs and enjoying each other's company. If anyone attacks a creature under the enchantment of the jingle bells, all affected creatures turn on the attacker.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Twelve Days of Christmas -- The Little Drummer Boy's Drum (for the d20 System)

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, NUELOW Games brings to you... the Little Drummer Boy's Drum. All text in this post is presented under the Open Game License, and it may be reproduced in accordance with it. Copyright 2015 by Steve Miller.

The Little Drummer Boy's Drum (aka The Drum of Bethlehem)
Art by William Morris Hunt
This item appears to all inspection to be a well-used and extremely well-made tabor-style snare drum. It does not appear to be magical, but attempts to break or destroy it fail. The word "Bethlehem" is painted onto the drum's head in Aramaic script.
   Powers: When a character with 5 or more ranks in Perform (drim) plays it, he or she gains a +10 bonus to any related skill checks. If the performance is done using the Little Drummer Boy's Drumsticks, the bonus increases to +15. Additionally, the performer  can designate one target within 60 feet to be subjected to an affect similar to a sleep spell. The target receives a Will save equal to the character's Perform (drum) skill check. If the saving throw fails, the target falls into a magical slumber that lasts a number of hours equal to the character's total Perform (drum) skill. (The first power--the bonus to the Peform skill--is evident to both the user and those witnessing the performance, The second power is only evident if an identify spell, or similar means, is used to examine the drum while it is being played with the Little Drummer Boy's Drumsticks.
   Drawback: None.
   Method of Destruction: The Little Drummer Boy's Drum loses all enchantment if its head is pierced with one of the Little Drummer Boy's Drumsticks. It can then be destroyed without problem.
   Special Note: Despite its name, this drum is not the one that legend holds was present in the manger where Jesus Christ spent his first few nights on Earth. It was created in 1612 by Maltorn MacRae, a Scottish wizard who had come into possession of the Little Drummer Boy's Drumsticks and desperately wanted a drum worthy of those precious items. If someone should damage the Drum, it can be repaired using MacRae's original enchantments... if his book describing them can be located.

If you found this item interesting or useful, please support NUELOW Games by buying some of our products. You can see our catalog at RPGNow by clicking here.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Twelve Days of Christmas --The Little Drummer Boy's Drumsticks (for d20 System)

It's the fourth day of Christmas, and here's another tidbit for use in your d20 System games. As usual, all text in this post is released under the Open Game License.

The Little Drummer Boy's Drumsticks (aka the Drumsticks of Bethlehem)
These appear to be a set of well-used drumsticks carved from oak wood. When they are checked for magical aura (though the use of spells, devices, or abilities), they radiate faint abjuration magic or a divine nature.
   Powers: Reported to have been touched by the Christ Child and his mother days after his brith, these drumsticks are a single artifact in two parts. When separated, they have no apparent magical function. Each stick radiates magic, is seemingly indestructible, and can used as improvised piercing weapon that deals 1d2 points of damage. While the item can be considered an enchanted weapon at +1 level, it does not grant bonuses to hit or damage.
  When the sticks are carried by the same person, he or she gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws. He or she gains a +6 bonus to all Perform (drums) skill checks when using the Drumsticks of Bethlehem. Once per day, the character may designate a target and cast a sleep spell upon it while playing the drums using the drumsticks.
   Drawbacks: Whenever carrying the Drumsticks of Bethlehem, the character must roll a Will save (DC18) whenever idle, or near a cute baby. If the save fails, he or she is gripped by an urge to start using the drumsticks on any available surface. If there is a snare drum available, the save is against DC24).
   Destruction: The Drumsticks of Bethlehem can only be destroyed by being tossed into the fires of Hell itself.

If you found this material interesting or amusing, please support NUELOW Games by getting one or more of our offerings through RPGNow.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Twelve Days of Christmas -- Selfless

On the third day of Christmas, we have another feat for you! The text is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2015 by Steve Miller.

You are ready to support those in need.
   Benefit: Give up one of your character's actions. Designate another player. The character under that player's control gains a +4 bonus to the next d20 roll made. You may use this ability as many times each round as you have actions.
   Special: When this feat is chosen, gain 2 character points that must be spent on skills immediately.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Twelve Days of Christmas -- Naughty or Nice Feat (for d20 System games)

One the second day of Christmas, NUELOW brings to you... a feat that lets characters emulate Santa's ability to tell the Naughty from the Nice!

You can tell someone's good or evil by just looking at them.
   Prerequisite: Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12
   Benefit: As a standard action, you may look at a living person or being and immediately know if they have good or evil intentions toward you, your allies, or innocent beings. (This does not necessarily reflect their alignment--although it is revealed if the d20 System variant includes the alignment mechanic--but rather what the moral ramifications of their immediately past or near-future actions will be. You may use this ability a number of times each day equal to your Wisdom bonus.  
   Targets must have Intelligence and Wisdom scores of at least 4 for the ability of this feat to be effective. Spells and abilities that prevent scrying or other divination magic or spell-like and supernatural powers also impede this feat. The target appears "nice" when studied.
   Special: This feat is considered a "minor power feat" for the purposes to acquiring superpower talents.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Twelve Days of Christmas -- The Tidings of Comfort and Joy Feat (d20 System)

Happy Christmas from NUELOW Games everyone! Here's a feat to go with the season that's suitable for any d20 System game. The following text is presented under the Open Game License. Copyright 2015 by Steve Miller.

You spread joy and cheer.
   Prerequisite: Wisdom 12, Charisma 14
   Benefit: Take a full round action to make a Concentration check (DC8). For the duration of the next encounter, all other PCs and allied NPCs present when you make the check gain a +2 bonus to all saving throws and morale checks.
   Special: The bonus is increased to +4 for present PCs and NPCs who join together and sing a Christmas carol (or other campaign-setting appropriate song of a similar nature) while the skill check is being made. Skills checks of Perform (sing) (DC4) are needed to stay on key.

If you found that feat amusing or useful, support NUELOW Games by buying some of our other d20 System releases at RPGNow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Power of the Spirits (a d20 System feat and talent tree)

Here's a feat and a talent tree that you can use to add some spellcasting and mysticism to a d20 Modern campaign without adding full-blown spellcasting classes. (It's designed to model Lady Satan as she appears after she gained her mystical powers, as seen the forthcoming NUELOW Games book Lady Satan 1944.)

The rest of this post is presented under the Open Game License. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller.

You hear voices. You're not crazy... it's the Spirits revealing secrets to you.
   Requirement: Cha 14, Wis 14
   Benefit: Take a full round action to make a Concentration check (DC8). If successful, add 1/2 of the result as a bonus to your next Bluff, Gather Information, Intimidation, Research, Search, or Spot skill check. (The spirits are assisting you with whispers at the back of your mind.)
   Special: This feat is a prerequisite for talents from the Spirit Channeler talent tree.

You can call upon nature spirits, spirits of the dead, and other incorporeal beings for advice and assistance. Some of the assistance comes at a cost.
   In the mechanics of the game, this means you can cast spells at will. The traits that give you the ability to cast spells replace any material components of the spell, and negates any armor penalty. Other aspects and restrictions remain the same. Your character level is used in place of caster level when required.
   Elemental Attunement: When this talent is chosen, specify an Elemental school of magic (air, earth, fire, or water). You may cast a number of 0- or 1st-level spells equal to your Wisdom bonus each day. These spells are added to any amount of spells you can cast from class benefits, feats. or other traits. You may select this talent up to four times, with a different elemental school specified.
   Prerequisite: Spiritualist feat
   The View from Beyond: You may cast a number of 0- 1st-, or 2nd-level spells from the Divination school equal to your Wisdom bonus each day. These spells are added to any amount of spells you can cast from class benefits, feats. or other traits.
   Prerequisite: Spiritualist feat
   The Power of Life and Death: When this talent is chosen, specify either the Healing or Necromancy schools of magic. You may cast a number of 0- or 1st-level spells equal to your Wisdom bonus each day. These spells are added to any amount of spells you can cast from class benefits, feats. or other traits. You may select this twice, with a different elemental school specified each time.
   Prerequisite: Spiritualist feat.
   Summon Spirit: Take a full round action to make a Concentration skill check (DC12). If successful, you summon forth a poltergeist that will do your bidding for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom and Charisma bonuses combined.
   The poltergeist manifests next to you. Commands are issued mentally, and there is theoretically no limit to the range of which they can be issued to the spirit. Once the time is up, the poltergeist returns from whence it came unless you have taken no action other than commanding it. In this case, you may continue to command it, but the creature receives a Will save at the beginning of every other round (against the Concentration result that originally brought it forth). Once the spirit is free, there is a 50% chance it attacks you in anger over having been forced to stay. Otherwise, it departs. You can also command it to return to the spirit realm at any point before it breaks loose of your control.
   Prerequisite: One trait from the Spirit Channeler talent tree
   The Price of Power: You may cast a number of spells of any level equal to your Wisdom bonus each day. These spells are added to any amount of spells you can cast from class benefits, feats, or other traits. Every time you cast a spell gained from this train, you lose a number of XP equal to 100 times the spell level. This is the price the spirits exact for their assistance.
   When using this talent, you can't lose more XP than the absolute minimum of your current level. You cannot use this trait if the XP cost would cause you to lose a level.
   Prerequisite: One trait from the Spirit Channeler talent tree.

If you found this post interesting or useful, check out NUELOW Games's OGL d20 System supplements at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. Please support my blog posts by supporting my my actual publishing operation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Return to Egypt with NUELOW Games!

NUELOW Games has just released its third Egyptian-themed comics/rpg hybrid book. Titled Terrors of Egypt, it has tales that span the ages from the Old Kingdoms through modern day. Vengeful mummies, strange curses, and unknowable mysteries... this one has it all!

Art by Cesar Lopez
The main attraction of the book is "The Mummy Khafre". It's the tale of one of the many "horror-mood" characters that Alan Hewetson created for Skywald's magazines in the mid-1970s... and her story has now been collected in one place for the first time ever. I'm sure you'll agree, after reading this story that Khafre is a worthy addition to our line-up of female characters... and that she may even give the Sorceress of Zoom or the Queen of Evil a run for their money when it comes to nastiness.

You can click here to see previews or to get your own copy of Terrors of Egypt (which features art by Cesar Lopez, Ricardo Villamonte, Xavier Villanova, and Norman Nodel). It also has a fun add-on to d20 System character creation that lets you determine a character's sign under the Egyptian zodiac.

One tidbit that I briefly considered for the book, but ultimately rejected, were rules that let you randomly determine a character's exact birth date. So they don't go completely to waste, I'm posting them here (modified so the don't rely on the material in Terrors of Egypt, as the original version did).

Everything in this post from this point forward if released under the Open Game License.

Random Character Birthday Generator
Copyright ©2015 Steve Miller

   Step One: Determine month of birth by rolling 1d12. The result is the month in which the character was born.
   Step Two: Roll 1d6. Record the result.
   Step Three: If the d6 roll was 1-2, roll 1d12 to determine the birth date; 3-4, roll 2d12-1 to determine the birth date; 5-6 roll 3d12-2 to determine the birth date. If a result of 3d12-2 puts you outside the number of days in the month, the birthday is on the last day of the month.

Available Now!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

d20 System Feat: Chosen

When writing fiction or designing and developing roleplaying game, oftentimes what seems like a great idea at the start is replaced by something far better. Such is the case with the feat presented below. It was part of an early approach I took to adapting the story of Lady Satan 1974 to the d20 System, but I ultimately axed it because much better ideas presented themselves as the project evolved. If you find this feat interesting or useful, you should check out the book by clicking here!

The following is released under the Open Game License. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller. It is fully compatible with the d20 System magic rules from Feats of Mysticism and Magic and other NUELOW Games OGL d20 System releases.

Art by Pablo Marcos. From Lady Satan 1974,

You have a special relationship with a powerful supernatural creature—an angel, demon, or perhaps even a god.
    Benefit: Once per week, you may call upon your supernatural patron to grant you a chance to change fate. You may re-roll a single d20 roll. You must accept the second result.
    You gain a +4 bonus to skill checks relating to rites and rituations involved with your patron, and any summoning and ward spells you cast function as if cast at one level higher than your caster level.
    Special: If the character is killed, he or she may make a final Will save (DC18). If successful, the character continues to exist as a disembodied spirit on the mortal plane instead of moving onto the afterlife, with the full blessing of his or her patron. The character gains the Disembodied template, if in use. If not, the character exists formless near the location of his or her demise until a suitable living vessel comes along. The character may attempt to possess the being. The target receives a Will save (DC12+your character level) to resist. If the target is injured or somehow emotionally vulnerable or frightened, the Will save is DC8+your character level.