Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Christmas Rangers!

Here's a Christmas brainstorm! Maybe someday, we'll flesh this concept out with game stats and more!

From their secret headquarters somewhere on the North Pole, the Christmas Rangers stand ready to assist Santa when those who are particular naughty try to ruin Christmas for others, or when the forces of evil try to target Santa directly (such as agents of the Martian Diktat, Americans for Freedom from Religion, or the Iranian Republican Guard), they leap into action, wielding supernatural powers and clad in hi-tech battle armor.
   The Christmas Rangers wear colored armor from which they derive their individual names and which matches the powers they wield. The armor fully encases the wearer so their race is concealed, and it is styled in such a way that it hides the wearer's sex so each Christmas Ranger is a representative of all of humanity.
   Thanks to their armor, all Christmas Rangers can fly as fast as Santa's reindeer, can fire multi-colored, powerful laser beams from their wrists, and have strength that rivals that of the legends such as Sampson, Herakles, and Chuck Norris. The powers of the individual Rangers are as follows:

   The Green Ranger: The power to cause Christmas trees to manifest, as well as to heal those who are injured or sick.
   The Gold Ranger: The power to inspire generosity of spirit in even the most self-centered and greedy person, as well as bolster the confidence and sense of community of all people of good will.
   The Red Ranger: The power to tell the naughty from the nice, as well as to reinvigorate the tired and fill those who feel defeated with renewed strength and purpose.
    White Ranger: The power to cause snow to fall in the nearby area in even the hottest of climates, as well as the ability to freeze enemies in their tracks and to muffle sound.

The White Ranger, unmasked.

Happy Christmas from NUELOW Games!

Happy Christmas to someone who never gets any Christmas well-wishes--Allah!

Our biggest desire is a worldwide ceasefire, because Santa is up in his sleigh!

"Merry Christmas, Allah!"

Harpy Feather of Caroling

This is a magic item that is simple to create and fun for the entire adventuring party. All actions described must be taken by the characters who will ultimately wear the Harpy Feather of Caroling.

First, one has to acquire a harpy feather. Any feather will do, but it must take taken from a live harpy... and the harpy must be alive after the feather has been acquired.

Second, the feather must be taken to the Grove of Yule where the Spirit of Christmas must be asked to bless it. This can be done on the night of the 24th into the 25th of every month of the year. Characters must enter the grove unarmed.

Third, the feather must be mounted in a setting and put on a necklace (Craft [jewelry] DC7). The setting and necklace can be made of any permanent material, and may be created by a third party, but the assembly must be performed by the character who will be the owner and wearer of the Harpy Feather of Caroling.

Once the item is complete, whenever the character wears it, he or she will unfailingly remember the lyrics to any uplifting or joyful song that he or she has read or heard at any point in her life. The item also grants a +10 bonus to Perform (singing) skill checks when such songs are sung by the character.

The Harpy Feather of Caroling radiates faint Enchantment magic, but it never works for any person but the intended wearer... unless that wearer gifts it to another person out of kindness and love, Then the magic transfers.

(The preceding text is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. Copyright Steve Miller 2016.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

You won't find more Christmas action this side of 'Die Hard'!

For some different Christmas action this Holiday Season, you need to get yourself A Christmas Box from NUELOW Games! It's got comics and battle scenarios featuring NUELOW stars Jill Trent & Daisy Smythe, the Black Cat, and Judy of the Jungle; it's got Santa and his daughter Sugar Plum, Jesus Christ, Martians, Bill Clinton, and many more, all battling with the Spirit of Christmas in their hearts; it's got a collection of horror-themed short stories; and the core rulebook for ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters....

Basically, it's everything you need to have a different sort of gaming experience with the family and loved ones this Christmas, and to otherwise entertain yourself while you are waiting up for Santa to bring the presents. (You can even ask Santa if he wants to play himself and join you for a ROLF! battle or two!)

Click here to get A Christmas Box--which features 8 fantabulous NUELOW Games Christmas-themed releases for a super-low price!

Random Superhero Background/Origin Tables

Do you want to play a superhero character but are having a hard time coming up with an origin story/background? Use the following random tables to help jump-start your imagination. (This material is system free, and it's presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it.)

How did the Hero Get His or Her Powers?
Roll 1d12. Consult the Table.
1. Rocketed to Earth from an Alien Planet
2. Learned Mysticism from Tibetan Monks
3. Learned to Unlock the Full Potential of Your Mind and Body from Secret Cult of Mystics
4. Scientific Accident
5. Industrial Accident
6. Purposeful Scientitic Experimentation
7. Inventions of Your Own Design
8. Inventions Stolen from Evil-doers or Alien Beings
9. Blessed or Cursed by a god.
10. Born into a lost/hidden civilization that you left behind.
11. You're a Ghost or Some Other Kind of Supernatural Being
12. You're Just a Person Who Has a Unique Set of Skills, a Passion for Justice, and a Cool Costume.

What is the Hero's Sex?
Roll 1d12. Consult the table
1-4. Male
5-7. Female
8-10. Alien (roll an additional 1d6 to determine superficial sexual characterisitcs; 1-2 Male, 3-4 Female, 5-6 Shapeshifter with no specific sex.)
11-12. Android (use the tables in NUELOW's Dynamic Man for additional details

What is the Hero's Gender?
(You can also use this table to determine sexual orientation.)
Roll 1d12. Consult the table.
1-4. Male
5-8. Female
10-11. Fluid/Bisexual
12. Asexual.

What is the Hero's Race?
You can use the table in this post ("d20 System Racial Templates") to determine that. You can ignore the game mechanics if you are using a different game system than the one it was intended for, or if they don't fit with the character generation system used in your game.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas is almost here!

Are you excited yet? Here at NUELOW Games, we're counting the minutes until we find out whether Santa thinks we've been naughty or nice! (This year, L.L. Hundal went to hand-deliver our wish lists, since we think there was probably a mistake last year.)

Meanwhile, here's a Christmas song to get you into the spirit and/or pass some of those very, VERY long minutes!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Calm Animals Minor Power and the Command Animal Superpower Talent Tree

It's time for another addition to the growing NUELOW Games d20 Superpowers System. This time out, we present powers intended to allow for the creation of superheroes who communicate with animals like Aquaman.  The minor power feat Calm Animals can serve as a prerequisite for most superpowers from the various talent trees presented on this blog and in many of our RPG/Comics hybrid products, but it is also the only way a character can gain access to the Command Animal Superpower Talents. That is a departure from how most of the superpower talent trees we've presented have worked so far, because we are building a system where strange combinations of powers are possible, just like with some comic book heroes and villains.

CALM ANIMALS [Minor Power Feat]
You have the power to soothe even the most savage beast.
   Benefit: By taking a full round action and making a successful Charisma check (DC12), the character turns creatures with Intelligence scores of 1-2 friendly towards him and neutral toward allied characters. He can influence a number creatures equal to his Charisma bonus. The creatures remain calmed for the duration of the encounter with them, or until they are attacked by the character or his allies.
   Targeted creatures must be within 30 feet of the character, and they must be able to see him under normal visibility conditions.
   Special: When selecting this feat, you gain a +4 bonus to Handle Animal skill checks. Ranks in the Animal Empathy or Handle Animal skills are added as a bonus to the Charisma check when using the Calm Animal power.
The Calm Animal Minor Power in action.
You have a special talent for communicating with types of animals and directing them to following your instructions, no matter how wild and savage they might be.
   Command Amphibians: From frogs to salamanders, you may calm amphibians as described under the Calm Animals Minor Power and telepathically issue simple one- or two-word commands to them, such as having them attack a foe, carry an object, guard an entryway, or let you ride them. You may affect a number of amphibious animals equal to five times your Charisma bonus.
   Prerequisite: Calm Animals Minor Power feat
   Command Birds: From finches to vultures, you may calm birds as described under the Calm Animals Minor Power and telepathically issue simple one- or two-word commands to them, such as having them attack a foe, carry an object, guard an entryway, and so forth. You may affect a number of birds equal to five times your Charisma bonus.
   Prerequisite: Calm Animals Minor Power feat
   Command Fish: From angelfish to sharks, you may calm fish as described under the Calm Animals Minor Power and telepathically issue simple one- or two-word commands to them, such as having them attack a foe, carry an object, guard an entryway, or let you ride them. You may affect a number of fish equal to five times your Charisma bonus.
   Prerequisite: Calm Animals Minor Power feat
   Command Mammals: From apes to zebras, you may calm mammals as described under the Calm Animals Minor Power and telepathically issue simple one- or two-word commands to them, such as having them attack a foe, carry an object, guard an entryway, or let you ride them. You may affect a number of mammalian animals equal to five times your Charisma bonus.
   Prerequisite: Calm Animals Minor Power feat
   Command Reptiles: From crocodiles to turtles, you may calm reptiles as described under the Calm Animals Minor Power and telepathically issue simple one- or two-word commands to them, such as having them attack a foe, carry an object, guard an entryway, or let you ride them. You may affect a number of reptilian animals equal to five times your Charisma bonus.
   Prerequisite: Calm Animals Minor Power feat
   Superior Command Animals: Pick an animal type (amphibian, bird, fish, mammal, or reptile). You may command a number of that type of animal up to 20 times your Charisma bonus, within a 60-foot radius of your location in the manner described in the Command Animal Talents.
   Prerequisite: A Command Animal talent that matches the designated animal for Superior Command Animal.

Santa has the Calm Animal minor power, as well as Command Mammals,
Superior Command Animals (Mammals), and a few other powers!

Friday, December 16, 2016

If you liked 'Rogue One'...

... we think you'll also enjoy Gene Fawcette's Tara: Marauder of the Spacelanes. It tells of the exciting adventures of Tara and her crew of outlaws, as they battle evil and corruption throughout space.

Cover art for Tara by Alex Schomburg
  This book brimming with swashbuckling space action can be found at DriveThruComics, RPGNow, and DriveThruRPG. In addition to the great comics, the book contains ROLF! game stats or Tara and her crew, and d20 System and OpenD6 game stats for Tara's weapon of choice--the atom sword. (Yeah... light sabres may be cool and all, but are they atom sword cool?!)

Friday, December 9, 2016

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen & A Christmas Western by R.E. Howard

Enjoy some Christmas music and an early short story by Robert E. Howard (written and published when he was still in high school). It's a Very Western Christmas today at NUELOW Games!

By Robert E. Howard

Chapter 1
Red Ghallinan was a gunman. Not a trade to be proud of, perhaps, but Red was proud of it. Proud of his skill with a gun, proud of the notches on the long blue barrel of his heavy .45s. Red was a wiry, medium-sized man with a cruel, thin lipped mouth and close-set, shifty eyes. He was bow-legged from much riding, and, with his slouching walk and hard face he was, indeed, an unprepossessing figure. Red’s mind and soul were as warped as his exterior. His insister reputation caused men to strive to avoid offending him but at the same tome to cut him off from the fellowship of people. No man, good or bad, cares to chum with a killer. Even the outlaws hated him and feared him too much to admit him to their gang, so he was a lone wolf. But a lone wolf may sometimes be more feared than the whole pack.
   Let us not blame Red too much. He was born and reared in an environment of evil. His father and his father’s father had been rustlers and gun-fighters. Until he was a grown man, Red knew nothing but crime as a legitimate way of making a living and by the time he learned that a man may earn a sufficient livelihood and still remain within the law he was too set in his ways to change. So it was not altogether his fault that he was a gunfighter. Rather, it was the fault of those unscrupulous politicians and mine-owners who hired him to kill their enemies. For that was the way Red lived. He was a born gun-fighter. The killer instinct burned strongly in him—the heritage of Cain. He had never seen the man who surpassed him or even equalled him in the speed of the draw or in swift, straight shooting. These qualities together with the cold nerve and reckless bravery that goes with red hair, made him much in demand with rich men who had enemies. So he did a large business.
    But the forefront of the law began to come into Idaho and Red saw with hate the first sign of that organization which had driven him out of Texas a few years before—the vigilantes. Red’s jobs became fewer and fewer for he feared to kill unless he could make it appear self-defense.
    At last it reached a point where Red was faced with the alternative of moving on or going to work. So he rode over to miner’s cabin and announced his intention of buying the miner’s claim. The miner, after one skittish glance at Red’s guns, sold his claim for fifty dollars, signed the deed and left the country precipitately.
    Red worked the claim for a few days and then quit in disgust. He had not gotten one ounce of gold dust. This was due, partly to his distaste for work, partly to his ignorance of placer mining and mostly to the poorness of the claim.
     He was standing in the front door of the saloon of the mining town, when the stage-coach drove in and a passenger alit.
    He was a well built, frank-appearing young fellow and Red hated him instinctively. Hated him for his cleanliness, for his open, honest, pleasant face, because he was everything that Red was not.
    The newcomer was very friendly and very soon the whole town knew his antecedents. His name was Hal Sharon, a tenderfoot from the east, who had come to Idaho with the hopes of striking a bonanza and going home wealthy. Of course there was a girl in the case, though Hal said little on that point. He had a few hundred dollars and wanted to buy a good claim. At this Red took a new interest in the young man.
    Red bought drinks and lauded his claim. Sharon proved singularly trustful. He did not ask to see the claim but took Red’s word for it. A trustfulness that would have touched a less hardened man than Red.
    One or two men, angered at the deliberate swindle, tried to warn Hal but a cold glance from Red caused them to change their minds. Hal bought Red’s claim for five hundred dollars.
    He toiled unceasingly all fall and early winter, barely making enough to keep him in food and clothes, while Red lived in the little town and sneered at his uncomplaining efforts. As winter deepened, everywhere the miners stopped work and came to town to live until the snow should have melted and the ground thawed out in the spring. Only Hal Sharon stayed at his claim, working on in the cold and snow, spurred on by the thought of riches—and a girl.

It was a little over three weeks until Christmas when, one cold night Red Ghallinan sat by the stove in the saloon and listened to the blizzard outside. He though to Sharon, doubtless shivering in his cabin up on the slopes, and he sneered. He listened idly to the talk of the miners and cow-punchers who were discussing the coming festivals, a dance and so on.
    Christmas meant nothing to Red. Though the one bright spot I his life had been one Christmas years ago when Red was a ragged waif, shivering on the snow covered streets of Kansas City.
    He had passed a great church and, attracted by the warmth, had entered timidly. The people had sung, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!” and when the congregation exited, an old, white haired woman had seen the boy and had taken him home and fed him and clothed him. Red had lived in her home as one of the family until spring, but when the wild geese began to fly north and the trees began to bud, the wanderlust got into the boy’s blood and he ran away and came back to his native Texas prairies. But that was years ago and Red never thought of it now.
    The door flew open and a furred and muffled figure strode in. It was Sharon—his hands shoved deep in his coat pockets.
    Instantly Red was on his feet, hand twisting just above a gun. But Hal took no notice of him. He pushed his way to the bar.
    “Boys,” he said: “I named my claim the Golden Hope, and it was a true name! Boys, I’ve struck it rich!”
    And he threw a double handful of nuggets and gold-dust on the bar.


Christmas Eve Red stood in the door of an eating house and watched Sharon coming down the slope, whistling merrily. He had a right to be merry. He was already worth twelve thousand dollars and had not exhausted his claim by half. Red watched with hate in his eyes. Ever since the night that Sharon had thrown his first gold on the bar, his hatred of the man had grown. Hal’s fortune seemed a personal injury to Red. Had he not worked like a slave on that claim without getting a pound of gold? And here this stranger had come and gotten rich off the same claim! Thousands to him, a measly five hundred to Red. To Red’s warped mind this assumed monstrous proportions—an outrage. He hated Sharon as he had never hated a man before. And since with him to hate was to kill, he determined to kill Hal Sharon. With a curse he reached for a gun when a thought stayed his hand. The Vigilantes! They would get him sure if he killed Sharon openly. A cunning light came to his eyes and he turned and strode away toward the unpretentious boarding house where he stayed.
    Hal Sharon walked into a saloon.
    “Seen Ghallinan lately?” he asked.
    The bartender shook his head.
    Hal tossed a bulging buck-sack on the bar, and said: “Give that to him when you see him. It’s got about a thousand dollars worth of gold-dust in it.”
    The bartender gasped. “What! You giving Red a thousand bucks after he tried to swindle you? Yes, it is safe here. Ain’t a galoot in camp touch anything belonging to a gun-fighter. But say—“
    “Well,” answered Hal, “I don’t think he got enough for his claim; he practically gave it to me. And anyway, “ he laughed over his shoulder, “It’s Christmas!”

Chapter 2
Morning in the mountains. The highest peaks touched with a delicate pink. The stars paling as the darkness grew grey. Light on the peaks, shadow still in the valleys, as if the paint brush of the Master had but passed lightly over the land, coloring openly the highest places, the places nearest to Him. Now the light-legions began to invade the valleys, driving before them the darkness; the light on the peaks grew stronger, the snow beginning to cast back the light. But as yet no sun. The king had sent his courtiers before him but he himself had not appeared.
    In a certain valley, smoke curled from the chimney of a rude log cabin. High on the hillside, a man gave a grunt of satisfaction. The man lay in a hollow, from which he had scraped the drifted snow. Ever since the first hint of dawn, he had lain there, watching the cabin. A heavy rifle lay beneath his arm.
    Down in the valley, the cabin door swung wide and a man stepped out. The watcher on the hill saw that it was the man he had come to kill.
    Hal Sharon threw his arms wide and laughed aloud in the sheer joy of living. Up on the hill, Red Ghallinan watched the man over the sights of a Sharpe .50 rifle. For the first time he noticed what a magnificent figure the young man was. Tall, strong, handsome, with the glow of health on his cheek.
    For some reason Red was not getting the enjoyment he thought he would. He shook his shoulders impatiently. His finger tightened on the trigger—suddenly Hal broke into song; the words floated clearly to Red.
    “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!”
    Where had he heard that song before? Suddenly a mist floated across Red Ghallinan’s eyes; the rifle slipped unnoticed from his hands, He drew his hand across his eyes and looked toward the east. There, alone hung one great star and as he looked, over the shoulder of a great mountain came the great sun.
    “Gawd!” gulped Red, why—it is Christmas!”

If you enjoyed that story, written by Robert E. Howard when he was just a teenager, you'll love the westerns he wrote when his skills were at their sharpest. Check out The Last Ride from NUELOW Games.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Oh Tannenbaum... in the Style of Rammstein
(plus something for your d20 Modern game)

Psychostick and NUELOW Games want to help jumpstart your Christmas Spirit with this Rammstein parody. Or... maybe not. You be the judge!

(Our resident Christmas Aficionado, L.L. Hundal, said. "Are you kidding me?!" when she first started watching. Then she began to laugh. Christmas Cheer Unlocked!)

The Members of Pyschostick wish you a happy Christmas!

And speaking of Christmas Cheer, here's something that's offered for you enjoyment under the Open Game license.

Bobble Hat of Christmas Good Will (for d20 System games)
This unique artifact radiates a faint magic aura from December 1 to January 5. During this time, it causes the wearer to radiate cheerful Christmas energy--but there is a price to pay should he or she abuse the status as an incarnation of the Christmas Spirit.
     d20 System Game Mechanics: Grants the wearer a +2 bonus to all Charisma-based skill checks. In addition, the wearer gains a +1 supernatural modifier to AC/DR and a 1 point per die of damage dealt by an attack, because those that would harm the character are hesitant to do so. If the wearer uses Bluff or Diplomacy skills to defraud or cause trouble for another person, all benefits of the Bobble Hat of Christmas Good Will are lost and the character comes under a curse that results in a -4 penalty to all Charisma-based skill checks. The only way the curse can be removed is through the power of a god, or by the character giving a Christmas gift to his most hated enemy, as well as giving away the Bobble Hat of Christmas Good Will to a more worthy owner.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Eggnog of Power and Oy to the World!

Every December. the Spirit of Christmas roams the land, touching bottles, cartons, and jugs of eggnog, imbuing them with magic of the Holiday Season beyond that which the beverage already possesses. This article describes this special eggnog in terms of the d20 System and how you can bring it to your game.

Whenever a character comes into possession of a container full of eggnog during the Holiday Season, the GM rolls 1d100. On a result of 100, the eggnog has been touched by the Spirit of Christmas and is just super-tasty.
   But! If the eggnog has been enhanced by the Spirit of Christmas, the GM rolls 1d6 to discover what magic powers are granted those who drink a cup of it. Upon rolling, the GM consults the following list:
   1. Eggnog of Cheer that grants +2 bonus to morale checks and +2 bonus to Charisma-based skill checks.

   2. Eggnog of Might that grants +1 to melee and unarmed attack rolls and damage, and a +2 bonus to all Strength-based skill checks.
   3. Eggnog of Fortitude that grants a +2 bonus to all Fortitude saves and Constitution-based skill checks.
   4. Eggnog of Christmas Harmony that makes everyone within a 60-foot roll a Will save (DC30) or lose all desire to fight, but instead join together and sing Christmas songs. If one person is attacked (say by someone who has made a successful Will save), then all those under the influence of Christmas Cheer will turn upon the attacker.
   5. Eggnog of Christmas Partying that grants a +4 bonus to all Perform (Dance) and Perform (Sing) skill checks, as well as the ability to point out that someone is standing underneath a sprig of mistletoe without being slapped or kicked in the groin.
   6. Eggnog of Generosity that fills consumers with the desire to bring happiness and security to others in this Christmas season. They can do anything from donate to charities to taking the fight to the mobbed-up slumlords.

A typical container of eggnog contains 8 cups and a character must drink at least one cup to benefit from the Christmas magic. The affect lasts for 24 hours and cannot be dispelled by anything short of the power of a god.
   Once a container of Eggnog of Power has been opened, it spoils within 1d10 days. If a character drinks spoiled eggnog, he or she must roll a Fortitude Save (DC18) or become very ill, suffering -4 to all attack rolls and skill checks for 24 hours. If the save is successful, the penalty is only -2.

(The preceding text is released under the Open Game License. Copyright 2016 Steve Miller )

And here's some multicultural Christmas music that'll get almost everyone into a proper mood!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Welcome to December 2016!

Christmas time is near, and you're going to find lots of Christmas weirdness here... because it's our favorite time of year!

We're kicking off a month-long Christmas celebration here at NUELOW Games with this great little adaptation of one of Steve Miller's favorite Christmas tunes!