Saturday, June 1, 2019

Bessie Love and the Magical Mystery Chairs

We recently revealed how Bessie Love secretly battled occult forces between starring in movies during the 1920s and 1930s. This time around, we're going to cover something she learned during her cultist-busting career: Hidden, often in plain sight, throughout the world are a surprising number of magical chairs. Some were purposefully constructed and enchanted, others became magically charged by absorbing intense spiritual energies for many years.

Love brought two magic chairs into her own home, one was a gift from a sorceress who was an ally in her fight against evil, the other was seized from a cult leader. The first chair, which stood in the corner of her sitting room, grants the person sitting in it the ability to instantly know what is on up to 100 written pages by just touching them; and the other chair, which she kept in her library, makes the person in it more able to see through lies while being more adept at telling them.

The rest of the text in this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced according to its terms. Copyright Steve Miller 2019.

MAGICAL MYSTERY CHAIRS (for d20 System Games)
The GM can use the following tables to randomly generate magical chairs. Players can discover the enchantments of the chairs through whatever means are available in the campaign, except for those listed under WHAT CURSE DOES THE CHAIR BESTOW? Any curses should be discovered when they are inflicted.

1-7.  No
9.     Yes. Roll twice on WHAT BENEFIT DOES THE CHAIR GRANT?
10.   Yes. Roll once on WHAT BENEFIT DOES THE CHAR GRANT? and
*The GM can check this table whenever the characters search a room furnished with one or more chairs using methods that can detect magical auras.

1. As a full round action, absorb the information in up to 100 pages
    touched while seated in the chair. The character must be able to
    read the language, even if he or she isn't actually reading the
    text. The book or pages not need to be leafed through. The GM
    may require Knowledge skill checks or Intelligence checks for
    the character to comprehend the information if the text covers
    obscure or advanced subjects. Texts longer than 100 pages may
    be divided up and absorbed at different times, but loose pages
    must be placed in different stacks, and books must be opened
    to the point from which absorption is to take place.
    The chair's power can be used once every 12 hours.
2. +4 to all Knowledge skill checks while seated.
3. +4 to all Craft skill checks while seated.
4. +6 to Bluff skill checks while seated.
5. +6 to Sense Motive skill checks while seated.
6. Detect Poison and Neutralize Poison at 12th-level effectiveness
    while seated in the chair.
7. True Seeing as spell-like ability for 12 minutes once per hour while
    seated. (12th level effectiveness.)
8. The character does not age, require rest or sustenance while seated in the chair.
9. Brings a being back to life that has been dead less than 24 hours.
    The corpse must be relatively intact with no vital parts missing.
    The being is restored to life with fully healed.
10. Roll again on this table, ignoring and re-rolling additional
      rolls of 10. Additionally, roll once on WHAT CURSE DOES

1. -1 to all saving throws.
2. -1 to all attack rolls.
3. -1 to all saving throws and attack rolls.
4. -2 to all skill checks.
5. The sitter's butt goes numb and can only walk with a
    weird waddle. 1/2 movement rate, -4 to all Acrobatics,
    Balance, Climb, Run, and Tumble skill checks.
6. Suffer 1 point of extra damage per hit or damage dice.
7. While seated the character believes he or she telepathically
    "hears" the thoughts of another character in the room.
     The thoughts indicate the character is planning to betray the
     seated character, or is otherwise allied with an enemy of
     the party. The seated character can focus his or
    attention on someone else in the rool and "hear" that
    individual's thoughts as well. They will likewise be
    hostile or threatening. This is just an delusion caused by
    the chair. It ends once the character leaves the chair.
8. While seated, he character believes that he or she can see
     the true demonic form of another random character in
     the room. This is just a delusion created by the chair, and
     the character who appears to be a shapeshifted demon
     is determined randomly each time someone sits in
     the chair
     The character who sat in the chair believes he or she has gained
     that advantage.
10. Roll two more times on this table, ignoring additional
      rolls of 10.
*Unless otherwise noted, all curses are permanent until the character who sat in the chair is subjected to a Remove Curse, cast at a 12-level or better effectiveness.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Feats for the Awakened (Blessings in Disguise: Part Two)

This post continues the rules for playing characters whose souls contain the remains of dead angels. You can read Part One here. (All text in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 Steve Miller.)

Awakened characters may choose from the following feats whenever they gain feats from level advancement, as a way of modeling their increasing ability to tap into the angelic energies that reside within them. They may also choose to substitute any bonus feats earned with ones from this section. They must still meet all pre-requisites before choosing a feat.

Alertness, Animal Affinity, Attentive, Blind Fight, Builder, Calm Animals, Confident, Faithful, Focused, Foresight, Fortune Telling, Great Fortitude, Guide, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Naughty or Nice, Nimble, Stealthy, Toughness, True Love,

These feats are available only to Awakened characters who meet the prerequisites. It may be chosen under any circumstance that the character selects a feat.

Divine Magic [Awakened]
You channel the divine spark in your soul into spells.
   Prerequisite: Awakened, Wisdom 12
   Benefit: The character may, at will, cast a number of 0-level Acolyte spells equal to his or her Wisdom bonus per day. The caster level is equal to the character's total level. No material components are needed.
   The character also gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws made to resist divine magic and divine spell-like effects.

Enhanced Divine Magic [Awakened]
You can draw more effectively on the divine energy to create more powerful effects.
   Prerequsite: Divine Magic feat
   Benefit: The character may, at will, cast a number of 1st- and 2nd-level Acolyte spells equal to his or her Wisdom bonus per day. The caster level is equal to the character's total level. No material components are needed.

Improved Divine Magic [Awakened]
You are able to create minor miracles.
   Prerequisite: Enhanced Divine Magic feat, Wisdom 14
   Benefit: The character may, at will, cast a number of 3rd- 4th-, and 5th-level Acolyte spells equal to his or her Wisdom bonus per day. The caster level is equal to the character's total level. No material components are needed.

Sense Awakened [Awakened]
You can sense when you are near another Awakened.
    Prerequisite: Awakened trait
   Benefit: When you are within 60 feet of another Awakened, the GM tells you you feel as though something is "off" or as if "someone just walked over your grave" or some other statement to show you are sensing something unusual. Upon making a successful Spot skill check (DC15), you can identify the source of your unease--another Awakened. If the Awakened is out of your line of sight, you know exactly where he or she is. (The sense of unease ends as soon as you recognise the other Awakened.)
    The sense of unease also ends if the Spot check reveals some other threat or mystery that draws your attention.
    Note: GMs may or may not be calling your attention to another Awakened. Sometimes, it's something entirely different that's going on. Whichever is the case, the sense that something is wrong is dispelled once your attention is caught by something in the area.

Illo by Bonksn

Sense Outsider [Awakened]
 Beings from planes beyond those inhabited by mortals venture into it with some regularity, usually disguised in mortal form. You can sense when you are near such creatures.
    Prerequisite: Awakened trait
   Benefit: When you are within 15 feet and line-of-sight of an extra-planar being that is shapeshifted into a less conspicuous form, you can see an aura of shifting colors around its body. By taking a full round action to study the creature and the GM rolling a successful Spot skill check (DC12), you are able to tell if the being is from one of the Upper, Lower, or Elemental Planes of existence. You are also able to spot shapeshifted beings native to the Realm of Fairies, including the Witchkind, although with such beings, you will not be able to discern what plane they are from.

Wings of an Angels [Awakened]
Mystic wings will slow your fall, preventing you from harm to some extent.
   Prerequisite: Awakened, Divine Magic feat
   Benefit: After the first 20 feet of free-fall, incorporeal, translucent wings appear on the character's back, and his or her fall is slowed. Falling damage is reduced by half when the character hits the ground (minimum damage 1 point).

More to come--such as Talents--in Part Three. (Meanwhile, if you found this content interesting and useful, consider getting one or more of our actual products at DriveThruRPG. It will encourage to make more.)

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Awakened: Blessings in Disguise (Part One)

This is the first post in a series that gives rules for playing characters whose souls are part angel, the Awakened. This one lays part of the groundwork, and the next posts will elaborate on the concept with more details on the types of angels, as well as feats and talents that further define the Awakened and their supernatural powers.
   All text in this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 by Steve Miller.

By Steve Miller
The Awakened is a mortal being who carries within them a literal spark of the Divine.
   The devestation suffered among the Heavenly Host was severe, as the forces loyal to God did battle with those who had joined Satan in rebellion. Hundreds of angels fell in battle, but since immortal beings cannot truly die, the physical form of a slain angel shattered and its spiritual essense dispersed into the mortal realm where fragments of angelic essense merged with the souls the beings that existed there.
   Souls so infused with angelic essense are mostly like any others: They go through many, many lives, some of which are unremarkable except in small ways, others which change the course of history or reshape the way humans perceive the world and other beings around them, but that part of them which originated in Heaven remains dormant.
   But then, through chance or Divine Providence, an event shocks the slumbering spark into wakefulness... and the mortal being finds him- or herself able to call upon supernatural abilities usually reserved only for the servants of gods. How powerful the mortal becomes, and whether these gifts become a blessing or a curse to the world is entirely up to the individual... because whether it was Fate or Grand Design that brought the hidden to the fore, mortals still possess the great gift of Free Will. Nonetheless, once Awakened, the being's life will be changed, because others will be drawn to the power.

Most people live their whole lives with the angelic part of their soul remaining dormant. There are only three ways it becomes activated:
   * Fail a saving throw while wearing the Angel's Face and Left Hand of God
   * Be reduced to -5 or fewer hit points
   * Be subjected to mind-effecting magic or mind-effecting spell-like effect from an Outsider
   (With the GM's permission, any of these events can have taken place before play starts and be part of the character's backstory.)

   Once Awakened, the player rolls randomly on the following table to see what type of angelic remnant the character now gains power from. This dictates the benefit gained.

1d10    Angelic Remnant in Character's Soul
1          Astral Deva: +1 magical bonus to all melee attack and damage rolls.
2          Cherub: All Knowledge skills become permanent class skills.
            If Cherub is rolled  twice, the character gains the Educated feat
            as a bonus.)
3          Planetar: Gain detect deceit as a spell-like ability. It may be used
            a number of times per day equal to the character's Wisdom bonus.
4          Potestatim: Gain cure light wounds and cause light wounds as
            spell-like abilities, with the caster effectiveness equal to the
            character's level.
5          Seraphim: Gain protection from evil as a spell-like ability, with the
            caster effectiveness equal to the character's level. It may be used a
            number of times per day equal to the character's Wisdom bonus.
6          Solar: Gain a +1 magical bonus to all ranged attack and damage
7         Thronas: Gain a +2 bonus to all Bluff and Sense Motive skill checks.
8         Virtues: All Perform skills become permanent class skills.
           If Virtues is rolled twice, the character gains the Creative feat
           as a bonus, as well as a +2 bonus to all Bluff skill checks.
9         Zashmahls: All Craft skills become permanent class skills.
           If Zashmahls is rolled twice, the character gains the Creative feat
           as a bonus.
10       Roll two more times on this table, ignoring and rerolling results of 10.
           The character's soul contains the remnants of two angels, and the
           character gains both benefits. Unless otherwise is noted, if the same
           result is rolled twice, the indicated bonus is doubled.
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Friday, April 5, 2019

The Angel's Face and the Left Hand of God

The Angel's Face and the Left Hand of God are a pair of artifacts of unknown origin. They have appeared and disappeared throughout history, often facilitating the rise of a powerful religious figure or causing his or her downfall. Their first known appearance on Earth was in Ancient Egypt.
   Apart, the items appear to be faintly enchanted with some kind of preservative magic. When brought together, they begin to radiate stronger magic, but their true powers are only revealed when worn together by a single user. (The artifacts must be worn by the same user, at the same time, to function.)

This smooth, silvery mask is of a face with cherubic features, and it's hard to tell if it's supposed to resemble and male or female. It radiates faint abjuration magic if it examined with means designed to reveal enchantments.
   If a human or demihuman character who isn't an Immortal, Outsider or Undead holds it up to their face, the mask immediately attaches itself. It can only be removed if the character remains absolutely calm and takes no actions for six rounds other than to clear their minds of all thoughts. One the seventh round, the character must roll a successful Will Save (DC22). If successful, the mas falls off. The only other reason the mask detaches itself is upon the death of the character.
   If an Immortal, Outsider, or Undead tries to use the Angel's Face, the mask immediately becomes inert and seemingly non-magical for one month.

Benefits and Powers Gained While Wearing the Angel's Face:
   * Saving Throws of a 20th level Cleric, Priest, or Dedicated Hero (or similar class in use in the campaign). If the character's regular saving throws are greater, he or she uses them instead.
   * True Seeing as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to the character's Wisdom bonus.
   * +2 bonus to all rolls made to see through illusions (when the True Seeing ability isn't being used).
   * +4 bonus to all saving throws made to resist mind-effecting magic.
Drawbacks to Wearing the Angel's Face:
   *The mouth on the Angel's Face has an opening so small that the wearer is only able to consume liquids through a straw.
   *Whenever the True Seeing spell-like ability is invoked, the GM secretly rolls percentile dice to see if the character becomes a vessel for a god. If 001 is rolled, the GM rolls a d10 against the following table to see what god has taken hold of the character's mortal form.

   1. Anubis        2. Athena
   3. Baal            4. Hades
   5. Isis              6. Odin
   7. Set               8. Shiva
   9. Thor          10. Zeus

The god remains in control of the character for 1d10+10 hours, or until the god willingly departs or the character's body is destroyed. During this time, the god can wield any and all powers the GM and the rules-set believes are fitting. The GM should consider telling the player what the god's agenda is and jointly run the character with him or her during this time of possession, allowing the player to make most decisions while the GM primarily adjudicates to what level the god uses his or her powers in the mortal realm.
   When the god leaves the character's body, the character must roll a successful Fortitude save (DC 18) or be reduced to 1 hit point and falls into a coma that lasts 1d6+1 hours. Whether the save is successful or not, the mask falls from the character's face and remains inert and seeming non-magical for one month.

This is a fingerless, left-hand leather glove with straps that fasten around the wearer's wrist, with metal studs on each knuckle. It radiates faint alteration and divine magic if it examined with means designed to reveal enchantments.

Benefits and Powers Gained While Wearing the Left Hand of God:
   * +2 to unarmed attacks
   * +4 divine damage inflicted with each successful unarmed strike (with left-hand only, if a two-handed fighting style is used).
   * When touching a character with the gloved left hand, restore up to 3d6+4 hit points. Unwilling targets may roll Will saves to resist (DC12). This is a full-round action, and the power may be used a number of times per day equal to the wearer's Wisdom bonus.
   * When touching a character with the gloved left hand, inflict 1d6+6 hit points of divine damage. The target receives a Fortitude save (DC18) and if it is successful, the target only suffers half damage. If used in combat, the wearer must roll a successful touch attack. This is a full round action, and the power may be used a number of times per day equal to the wearer's Wisdom bonus.

Drawbacks to Wearing the Left Hand of God
   * The wearer must roll a Fortitude save (DC19) when using the gloves touch powers, whether to heal or harm. If the saving throw fails, the character loses 1d3+1 hit points and is briefly disoriented and is unable to act on the following round.

The photo illustrating this post is of actress Rebecca Rose. It's a still from The Jester 2, and it has nothing to do with the magic items described in the post other than being the source of inspiration for them.

All text in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 Steve Miller.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

d20 System Feats for the Believer!

Your belief in a higher power is unshakable... and it may even be stronger than the cleric who leads the gathering of faithful you worship with. You do not wear the cloth, because you have been called to serve in a different way. But you know that your god watches over you and smiles upon your deeds. You know, because you have experienced miracles and you know that your faith has seen you through situations where non-believers would have perished.

Here are a couple of d20 System feats for characters who have strong faith in higher powers, but who are not priests, clerics, or some other religious leader. In fact, these feats are specifically not for classes that have access to divine spells. Instead, they are for the lay-person.
   Like most of the material we create for d20 System games, d20 Modern and compatible games is premiere in our minds, but this material is easily adapted to StarFinder and any other game that uses the d20 System as its core engine.
   The rest of this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 Steve Miller.

FAITHFUL [General, Dedicated Hero]
Sometimes, your faith in greater powers is rewarded.
   Prerequisite: Intelligence 11, Wisdom 13
   Benefit: State a religion your character believes in, firmly. When something goes terribly wrong--such as failing a crucial skill check, fail a life-or-death saving throw (and circumstances are such that you know it), or similar event--your character's deeply held faith may cause the greater powers in the universe to take notice and intervene on your behalf. Invoke this feat immediately after the failed roll. You may reroll it with a +4 bonus. If the second roll succeeds, something miraculous happens that allows the character to recover from the failure.
   This feat may be used a number of times equal to the character's Wisdom bonus each game session.
   Special: Clerics and other characters who gain spells from supernatural beings may not select this feat; the greater powers in the universe already give them plenty in return for their faith. If a character with this feat gains the ability to cast divine spells or gains wizard spells through deals with powerful beings, all benefits from this feat are lost

MARTYR [General, Dedicated Hero]
You suffer for your faith, knowing that you will be rewarded.
   Prerequisite: Faithful
   Benefit: As your character looses hit points from damage suffered while fighting for (or otherwise working toward) a cause he or she believes in, extra reserves of energy born from the deeply held knowledge that you are sacrificing for a greater cause.
   The benefits from this feat depend on how many hit points the character has lost. The benefits to do stack; the replace one another as the character is injured.
   Down Between 10% and 25% of full hit point total: +1 bonus to all saving throws and skill checks.
   Down Between 25%  and 50% of full hit point total: +2 bonus to all attack rolls and saving throws.
   Down Between 50% and 75% of full hit point total: +4 bonus to all saving throws and AC/DR.
   Down Between 75% and 100%: +4 bonus to all saving throws, regain 2d6 hit points for each successful saving throw rolled.
   Negative Hit Points, Between -1 and -10: Roll a Fortitude saving throw. If successful, regain 2d6 hit points. If the character's hit point total is still a negative number, the character is unconcious but stable.
   Negative Hit Points, Below -10: The character finds him- or herself engulfed in a bright light. He or she is given the choice to move onto the reward for dying in the service of the deeply held convictions and beliefs, or remain in the mortal realm of pain and suffering, as a disembodied spirit but with the ability to fight on. If the character rejects the reward, he or she immediately gains the Disembodied template.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Secret Life of Bessie Love

In 1915, 17-year-old Juanita Horton's family was struggling to make ends meet, so her mother told her to go down to Biograph Studios to see if they'd give her work as an actress. Producer and director D.W. Griffith seized on her good looks and talent, and after a few bit parts, Juanita was on her way to stardom under the stagename Bessie Love.

But unbeknowst to the adoring movie-going public, Bessie Love was far more than just another Hollywood star... she was also the mysterious masked adventuress known as the Love Bug!

In the very early morning of September 3 of 1924, Bessie Love was awakened by frantic knocking at her door. Outside, in the swirling fog, was an elderly woman with a small suitcase. She thrust the case at Bessie and said, "You have been chosen."
   Before Bessie could react, the woman retreated into the fog and vanished. The confused actress took the suitcase into the sitting room and opened it. Inside was a strange bejeweled costume consisting of a mask, a curious-looking headdress, a backless leotard, and matching shoes. As she touched the mask, her mind was filled with images of and facts about an ancient order of mystics locked in an eternal battle with a demonic cult bent on bringing about literal Hell on Earth. The "costume" was in truth ancient ceremonial garb and mystically powered armor that assisted the wearer in her fight against demons... and Bessie had been chosen to carry on the fight. The vision had told her all she needed to know, as well as the powers of the outfit... and from that day forward, she split her time between acting and combatting mystical evils where she found them throughout Southern California.
   For the next year-and-a-half, newspapers carried reports of a mystery woman who fought crime and brought secret cults to light by defeating them. After rescuing children that had been slated for sacrifice to a dark god on February 14, 1926, she encountered a newspaper reporter who wanted to know her name. "Call me the Love Bug," was her swift, unthinking reply. The name stuck.
   As the 1930s dawned, Bessie found it increasingly difficult to balance her life as a Hollywood star with that of a cult-busting mystery woman. She eventually committed herself full-time to the battle against evil and left her glamorous life as an actress behind.

   By the mid-1930s, Bessie had relocated to England in order to learn more about the original creators of her magical gear and to stem the rising demonic tides at their source. Over the next decade, she faced evil mystics all over Europe and she found allies in the secret magical order The Daughters of Burdick. She still appeared in the occasional movie, but more often than not, her accepting roles was to bring her into the orbit of suspected cultists or other evil-minded people.
   In 1950, at the age of 52, Bessie decided she was getting to old for the physical demands of life as the Love Bug. She began searching for a replacement, a young woman to whom she could give the armor as it had once been given to her. Once that had been accomplished, she returned to acting full time.

The rest of this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 Steve Miller.
   The Love Bug's powers are derived entirely from her mystical armor, which radiates faint magic of an indeterminant type if such is detected for. The entire outfit must be worn for any of the powers to function. It is described below in terms of the d20 System roleplaying game rules.
   The Jewel-lined Domino Mask: This is a black mask, the edges of which are lined with tiny diamonds. It only covers the area around the wearer's eyes. Once per day, as a standard action, the wearer can invoke the spell-like ability of true seeing. The effect is just like the spell of the same name, as if cast by a 12th-level caster, but with a duration equal to twice the wearer's Wisdom bonus in minutes.
   The Bejeweled Headdress: Two jewel-encrusted insect-like anttenae rise from this tight-fitting headcover. It provides the wearer with a +4 bonus to all saving throws to resist mind-affecting magic and spell-like effects. In addition, once per day, as a standard action, the wearer can invoke the spell-like ability of telepathy. This ability functions as if cast by a 12th-level caster, but with a duration equal to twice the wearer's Wisdom bonus in minutes.
   The Bejewled Leotard: The jewels covering this tight-fitting garment are arranged in the patterns of Atlantean sigils of protection. It grants the wearer a +2 bonus to AC/DR, as well as a +2 bonus to Fortitude and Reflex saving throws. These bonuses stack with other similar bonuses.
   The Bejeweled Shoes: The wearer's base movement rate is increased by 10. The shoes also provide a +4 bonus to all movement and balance-related skill checks.
   As previously mentioned, for any of the powers to function, all four pieces of the set must be worn. If the wearer enters an area where magic is suppressed or otherwise doesn't usually work, the powers don't function, but they return immediately upon leaving that area. If dispel magic is cast at the wearer, she must make a successful saving throw (DC12), or the armor ceases to function for a number of minutes equal to the level of the person who cast dispel magic.
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Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Creations of Hannah Blythe

In 1927, elementalist Hannah Blythe and her fellow members in the Crooked Circle found themsevles in a pitched battle against a cult bent on calling forth the Storm God's destructive water spirits and lay waste to the city of Long Beach, California. Using techniques she learned from an ancient Atlantean tome, she created several magic items to help her fight the Circle's waterborn enemies.
   The items were the Bathing Suit of Proection, the Swim Cap of Illusion, the Water Wings of Strength and Diving, and the Water Shoes of Swimming.

The rest of this post is released under the Open Game License. The material may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 Steve Miller.

All of Hannah's creation appear to be normal articles of clothing--even if the bathing suit has curious designs upon it. (An Arcane Lore or Spell Craft skill check (DC18) will allow a character to recognize the designs as Atlantiean runes of power.)
   The enchantments on the items crated by Hannah Blythe are powered by Atlantean runes, which are plainly visible on the bathing suit, but are hidden inside the cap, the shoes, and the water wings. If the runes are damaged or altered, the items lose their magic. If spells or items are used to inspect Anna's creations, they radiate faint water elemental magic, with a subtle touch of something indistinct.
   Bathing Suit of Protection: When worn without any other articles of clothing on the torso, the wearer is immune to natural cold temperatures or from getting cold from being wet. The Bathing Suit of Protection also grants a +1 bonus to AC or DR, +1 bonus to most saving throws, and a +4 bonus to saving throws made to resist water- and cold-based spell-effects and spell-like abilities.
   Swim Cap of Illusion: By uttering the command word ("cerracao") while wearing the yellow flower-adorned swim cap, the wearer becomes shouded in an illusion that helps her blend into the surroundings. The illusion depends on where the character is; if she is swimming in the ocean, she may like moolight glinting on the surface, or a bloom of jellyfish, and if she's on shore, she may appear like a bush, or a closed parasol on a stand. The illusion lasts five minutes, or until the wearer dismisses it by saying the command word again or makes an attack. If the character remains still, the illusion is perfect and no-one notices her, except those creatures with immunity to magical illusions (floating with the current in the ocean counts as remaining still). If the character moves, those within line of sight may roll a Will saving throw (DC15) to see through the illusion.
   Water Shoes of Swimming: The wearer gains a +6 bonus to all Swim skill checks. This bonus stacks will all other bonuses. In addition, the characer may walk or run at normal movement rate across muddy ground or in water that's up to knee deep.
   Water Wings of Strength and Diving: The wearer's Strength is increased by 2. By saying the command word ("afundar"), the water wings allows the wearer to dive and swim underwater at twice the normal movement rate.

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Monday, February 25, 2019

The Power of Twins

In fantastic fiction (and perhaps even in reality?) twins share bonds far more powerful than other siblings. This feat attempts to model that. (All text in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 by Steve Miller.)

IDENTICAL TWIN [General, Character Creation Only]
You have an identical twin brother or sister.
Benefit: You gain several benefits from this feat.
   Twin: To use the benefits of this feat, you must create a second character--your primary character's twin. This second character has the same Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution attributes as the primary one, but you generate the Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma attributes according to the rules for character creation. You and your twin are basically physically identical, although more intellectual and ephemeral trains may be vastly different. Personal grooming and style may also make them appear differently, but Disguise skill checks or a make-over can make the characters apparent copies of each other. Classes/professions, skills, feats... all of those may be very different between the two characters. Both must have the Identical Twin feat.
   As the campaign is played, your twin gains XP at 1/2 the rate your primary character does. You may go back and forth between playing the characters, as described below under Trading Places.
   Sense Your Twin: You may detect the direction of your twin if he or she is alive, on the same plane as you, and you succeed in an Know Direction skill check against DC15 (or a Wisdom attribute check if you do not have that skill). In addition, you may know if your twin is in extreme pain or mental anguish. A failure on this check gives no information. You may retry once per round as a standard action.
   Dream Message: One every other night, you may send a dream message to your twin. As you are going to sleep, you must think about your twin and roll a successful Concentration skill check against a DC11 (or a successful Intelligence attribute check if you not have that skill). You appear in your twins dreams, and you may give him or her a message of any length. Your twin remembers every detail of the message when he or she awakens. If your twin is awake when you send the message, they will receive it the next time they fall asleep. If you fail the skill check, you must wait two nights before trying again. Your twin may send you messages the same way.
   Dream Visit: Once every four nights, you and your twin may communicate in dreams. Both characters must think of their twin as they are falling asleep and roll a successful Concentration skill check against DC13 (or a successful Intelligence attribute check for a Twin without the skill). If both characters make successful rolls, they share a hyper-realistic dream in which they are at some location where they both felt safe and happy. They may converse as if awake, and each twin remembers the dream clearly when he or she wakes up. If only one twin makes a successful roll, the communication is one-way. The twin with the successful roll may impart information to his or her twin (which will be remembered when the twin awakens) but nothing is gained in return. If both twins fail the roll, no communication is established, and four nights must pass before another attempt can be made. This ability only works if the twins are on the same plane.
   Trading Places: You may make arrangements to meet your twin somewhere that makes sense for adventure in progress (GM's call). The twin now becomes the primary character. The swap can be made in secret if the twins have made an effort to keep their physical appearances similar.
   Severed Bond: If your twin is killed, you must make a Will saving throw (DC12). If the save fails, you suffer a -2 penalty to all skill checks and attack rolls until you get a good night's sleep because you feel like something is wrong. When you sleep, you have a dream in which your twin tells you goodbye and you see a clear vision of his or her fate, including who was responsible for the death if the twin knows. You loose the Twin feat and may select one of the following in its place: Alertness, Danger Sense, Headstrong, LuckySelfless, Vengeful (or another feat by GM permission). Your character must qualify for any feat selected.
   If it is your primary character that is killed, you may bring the twin into the game as described under Trading Places.
   Special: You may only take this feat as a starting feat during character creation.

Friday, January 25, 2019

OGL Modern: The Weaponized Smirk

A feat, for the d20 System, presented under the Open Game License. Copyright Steve Miller 2019.

WEAPONIZED SMIRK [General, Social]
Your smile can drive stupid people crazy.
   Prerequisite: Charisma 12, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 13
   Benefit: On any round your character has initiative, instead of attacking, you may roll a Charisma abiility check with the character's Charisma and Wisdom bonuses both added to the result.
Hostile characters must roll Will saves with a target number equal to your total modified Charisma check, or become completely flustered with anger over the "disrespect" shown by the seemingly unimpressed target of their hostility. They suffer a -2 penalty to all skill checks, attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws for the remainder of the encounter.
   Special: Weaponized Smirk can be triggered against characters who are hostile toward the smirker even if they aren't present for the initial encounter but are merely shown a picture of the smirking character. Such characters must roll a Will save against the original modified Charisma check with a +4 bonus or suffer the penalties described above for 2d20 hours.
Whenever a character who failed the first Will save against Weaponized Smirk sees a picture of the smirking character, or is otherwise reminded of the encounter or exposure, another Will save must be rolled with a +6 bonus. If the saving throw fails, the character suffers the penalties described above.
Once a successful Will save has been made against the smirk., the hostile character is immune to future smirking, and he or she recognizes that it was stupid to react to it in the first place.