Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Feats for Feet!

Here are some feats for characters who light on their feet! (The text in this post is released under the Open Game License and it may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2020 Steve Miller.)

BACKWARDS AND IN HEELS [Ninja Cutie, Sister of Bastet]
Not only do high heels not slow you down, they make you deadlier!
   Prerequisite: 3rd level, Dex 14, Cha 14
   Benefit: When wearing high heels, except for stiletto heels, the character gains a +2 bonus to all the following skills: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Jump, Move Silently, and Perform (dance).

BACKWARDS AND IN STILETTO HEELS
[Ninja Cutie, Sister of Bastet]
Whether you have them on your feet or in your hands, you make stiletto-heeled shoes as dangerous as the knife they are named for.
   Prerequisite: Backwards and in Heels feat
   Benefit: When wearing stilettos, you gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidation skill checks. Additionally, you wield a stiletto as a melee weapon that deals a based damage of 1d6 points.
   Special: When this feat is selected, the character automatically gains Exotic Melee Weapon Proficiency (stiletto heel shoe) as a bonus feat. Additionally, the character can wield two stiletto-heeled shoes at once without any penalties if she possesses the Two-Weapons Fighting feat.


… BUT DON'T FALL DOWN [General]
You're hard to knock and keep off your feet..
   Prerequisite: Dexterity 15 
   Benefit:  If you fail an attribute check to resist a trip attempt, you may roll a Reflex saving throw (DC14) to avoid being tripped. Further, standing up from a prone position is a free action.
   Normal: Standing is normally a move-equivalent action.

DANCING QUEEN [Fast Hero, Bard, Fighter, Rogue]
You can dance, you can fight!
   Prerequisite: Perform [dance] 2 ranks
   Benefit: The character practices mixed martial arts. Add 1/2 of the character's ranks (round down) in the Perform [dance] skill to all melee attack rolls.

FEETS DON'T FAIL ME NOW [General]

Running away is something you're good at.
   Prerequisite: Run, Dexterity 13
   Benefit: You are not subject to attacks of opportunity, nor flanking attacks, nor loss of Dexterity bonuses, when retreating from melee combat or other situations where they might occur, so long as you are moving at your base speed or higher.

Friday, May 22, 2020

A new release, now at DriveThruRPG!

It's been a while since we've produced an actual product. That changes today! For A Song and a Dance is now available at DriveThruRPG, and it can be yours for... well, whatever you feel like paying for it.


The content of the product was all inspired by popular music and Christmas songs. Much of it originally appeared here on the blog, but it has been revised to a greater or lesser degree based on feedback from readers or the players in L.L. Hundal's game group.

Here's a list of the songs and artists that inspired the material in For a Song and a Dance, along with the type and amount of content they gave rise to:

Clothes of the Dead by Bongos, Bass, and Bob: Radom Tables to Generate Clothes Found in Thrift Stores.
Daddy Cool by Boney M: One Talent Tree (Five Talents)
Dancing Queen by Abba: One Feat
Dude Looks Like a Lady by Aerosmith: One Feat
I'll Be There by The Escape Club: One Character Template
Jingle Bells: One Magic Item
Little Drummer Boy: One Artifact, Two Magic Items
Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley: One Talent Tree (Four Talents)
Safety Dance by Men Without Hats: Two Feats
Sharped Dressed Man by ZZ Top: Six Artifacts
Simply Irresistible by Robert Palmer: One Feat
We Three Kings: One Feat, One Magic Item

And, just because, here are videos for some of those great songs that we've not yet featured here on the blog...

Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady":

Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible":


and finally...

The Escape Club's immortal "I'll Be There":

Please check out For a Song and a Dance at DriveThruRPG... and let us know what you think of it. We'll be here.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Who Killed the Young Housewife?

Hannah Brymann had seemed to all to be the perfect wife--happily staying at home and hosting gatherings for the friends and neighbors. Everyone claims to have loved her... but someone must be lying, because someone murdered her.

It's been a while, but here's another one of our Random Murder Mysteries. The idea is that you roll an eight-sided die against the tables below to randomly generate the outline of a murder mystery for the player characters in your roleplaying game campaign to solve. Some of the main results have sub-results that must also be generated. (If some results don't seem to match, you can either re-roll, or use them to deepen the mystery... or make the murderer seem more insane or evil.


WHERE WAS SHE FOUND?
   1. In the backyard.
   2. In the master bedroom.
   3. In the dining room.
   4. In the kitchen.
   5. In the garage.
   6. In the bathroom.
   7. In the trunk of her car.
   8. Stuffed into the yard waste recycling bin.


HOW WAS SHE DRESSED?
   1-2. What she commonly wore around the house.
   3-4. Exercise clothes.
   5-6. Clothes for working in the yard.
   7. Underwear and dressing gown..
   8. A bath towel.


HOW WAS SHE KILLED?
   1. Hanged.
   2. Drowned in the bath tub (1-6); in the pool (7-8).
   3. Strangled with a power cord (1-2); blinds cord (3-4); scarf (5-7); bed sheet (8).
   4. Head bashed in with a (1-3) meat tenderizer; (4-6) hammer; (7-8) silver candlestick.
   5. Suffocated with a throw pillow.
   6. Throat slit.
   7. Run over with her car.
   8. Stabbed 1-8 times.


WHO KILLED HER?
   1. Her Husband.
   2. Her Mother-in-Law.
   3. The Postman.
   4. The Poolboy
   5. The Pastor.
   6. The Police Officer.
   7. Her Ex (1-4) Boyfriend; (5-6) Girlfriend; (7-8) Husband.
   8. Her Estranged Step-Sister.


WHY WAS SHE KILLED?
   1. Revenge. (Roll on the Dark Secrets table.)
   2. Jealousy.
   3. So she wouldn't reveal killer's secret. (Roll on Dark Secrets table.)
   4. So her soul could be married to a demon in a paranormal shotgun-style wedding.
   5. She rebuffed the murderer's sexual advances.
   6. She was the latest victim of a serial killer. Another victim will die in 1-8 days.
   7. Revenge for her husband's betraying a (1-3) drug cartel; (4-5) demonic cult; (6-8) secret assassins guild.
   8. She was blackmailing the killer with pictures of kinky sex acts. (If the Husband was indicated as the killer, he is being framed by the actual killer. Roll again on the Who Killed Her table to see who it is. Ignore and reroll additional results of 1.)


WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET?
   1-3. The Young Housewife had been given a new identity after testifying against a mob hitman who was sent to prison for the rest of his life. She was recognized by the killer, and he killed her for the bounty the mob put on her.
   4-5. The killer and the Young Housewife were members of the same cult devoted to serving and worshipping a demonic entity. She wanted to leave the cult behind.
   6-7. The Young Housewife and the killer were con-artist partners, and she was supposed to rob her husband of all his money. She truly fell in love with him, and she wanted nothing more to do with the killer. (If the Husband is the killer, he murdered her in a fit of rage, and is framing her partner for her death. Roll on the Who Killed Her table to determine who the partner in the con was.)
   8. The Young Housewife was raised and trained to be an assassin and agent for an international cabal, but she wanted to leave that life behind. The killer was sent to eliminate her... and will target investigators when they start snooping around.

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If you found this post useful and entertaining, check out Murder Most Random, a collection of 12 random murder mystery outline generators. Sales will encourage us to make more... as would comments on this post. For example, is there a generic type of person you'd like to see made a murder victim? Let us know!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Necklace of Harmonia (for the d20 System)

We now return to the secretive world of the Amazons with a description of the legendary Necklace of Harmonia. It has been lost to the Amazons for millennia, and if player characters come into possession of it, they might gain them as powerful allies or deadly enemies.


THE NECKLACE OF HARMONIA
The Necklace of Harmonia was given by the goddess Harmonia as a gift to an Amazon who fell in love with an outside male, Cadmus, the first king of the ancient Grecian city-state of Thebes, and left her people behind to be with him. The necklace was meant to bring her health and happiness and for a time it did... but she was eventually assassinated by a cult of sorcerers in revenge for Cadmus slaying the water dragon they worshipped. They stole the necklace, and, although Cadmus had every member of the cult and their families hunted down and killed, it was never recovered.
   The Necklace of Harmonia has for centuries been a much-sought after treasure, because it is rumored give any woman who wears it eternal youth, beauty, and good fortune. However, the reality has been quite different for those who have found themselves in possession of it: They have come to swift and brutal ends, or have vanished without a trace... and the necklace has always gone missing again.
   The Necklace of Harmonia is crafted from gem-encrusted gold and shaped like two serpents with their tails intertwined and whose bodies are draped around the wearer's neck, with their heads meeting below the jugular notch. If inspected with detect magic, it radiates faint transmutation and abjuration magic.



Powers of the Necklace of Harmonia
The rest of the text in this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms.
   Standard Powers: A female who ages in the fashion similar to that of a typical human wears the Necklace of Harmonia for at least 8 hours every day from one full moon to the next sees her physical age gradually reverse itself a year. The continues until she is physically 27 years old. She remains this age until she stops wearing the Necklace of Harmonia for the time between two full moons, at which point she begins to age normally again.
   A female who wears the Necklace of Harmonia as described above, gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws and initiative rolls, as well as a +4 bonus to all Charisma-based skill checks.
   Amazon-Specific Powers: When worn by an Amazon, the Necklace also grants immunity to attribute- and level-draining attacks, spells, and spell-like effects from any creature who isn't a literal god--a divine being with the ability to grant spells to followers and so on.
   For Amazons who possess the True Love feat, the saving throw and initiative roll bonuses are extended to the identified object of her affection. Additionally, that person will age more slowly so long as the Amazon wears the Necklace of Harmonia, aging only 1 year for every 10 that pass. (To activate this effect, the Amazon must offer a prayer to Harmonia under a full moon. The target must be aware of the Amazon's desire and willing to have his life extended.)



   Drawbacks: For an Amazons, there are no drawbacks to the Necklace of Harmonia, so long she does not blaspheme against Harmonia or Harmonia's parents, intentionally betrays an Amazon or Consort, or intentionally betrays someone she has said she loves and who has been a loyal lover and friend to her in return. In such a circumstance, the Amazon loses all benefits from the Necklace and is immediately subjected to a curse that imposes a -4 enhancement penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks. The curse remains in effect until the Amazon atones for her transgressions and begs forgiveness from both Harmonia and the person she betrayed.
   When a non-Amazon wears the Necklace of Harmonia, she must roll a successful Fortitude save (DC18) or lose the benefits of the Necklace. Additionally, she is subjected to a -2 penalty to all Charisma checks, as well as automatic Hostile reactions from NPCs in any situation that might warrant it. These curses remain until she prays to Harmonia for forgiveness and passes the Necklace onto another person, or until she gives the Necklace to a representative of the Amazons. No matter what, she will never enjoy the benefits of the Necklace ever again.
   If a non-Amazon who is gaining benefit from the Necklace of Harmonia intentionally betrays someone she has said she loves and who has been a loyal lover, she loses all benefits of the Necklace and immediately ages 1d20 years. Every hour thereafter, she must roll a successful Fortitude save (DC22) or age 1d20+10 years.
   This rapid aging persists until the woman atones for her transgressions and gains forgiveness from the person she betrayed. If the aging is stopped before she dies, the woman still remains aged. If not stopped, the aging continues, causing the body to rapidly decay and eventually turn to dust.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

In Observation of April 1st...

A d20 System feat like no other....

MOE OPTIONS [General]
When you wake up in the morning, you are blessed with a supernatural benefit granted by the Three Great Spirits of Nyuk-Nyuk-Nyuk.
   Benefit: Roll 1d6 once per day and consult the table below. The character gains the indicated benefit until he or she goes to sleep that night or is dropped below 0 hit points.
   1-2. Damage reduction 10 for injuries suffered from unarmed attacks and blunt weapons.
   3-4. Successful unarmed attacks deal no damage, but instead you poke the opponent in the eyes, blinding them for 1d2+1 rounds.
   5-6. When in the company of at least two other PCs, the character may force all opponents to make Will saves (DC5+your character level) at the beginning of an encounter. Those who fail the saves are confused for 1d2+1 rounds. This is a standard action.


(All text in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2020 by Steve Miller.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Bessie Love and the Magic Mirror

Although she is now all but forgotten, Bessie Love was a celebrated movie star and household name during the 1920s. Her most important role, however, was that of a crusader of against supernatural evil--the Love Bug!
   From 1925 through 1950, Bessie faced off against cultists, lycanthropes, vampires, elder gods, and evil sorcerers and witches. The full extent of the debt the world owes her will probably never be known, but one of her more dangerous encounters took place in 1928 when she squared off against a wizard who was trying to enchant massive amounts of people by embedding spells in motion pictures.
    As Bessie (in Love Bug guise) broke into the wizard's lair, she came upon a magic mirror that drew her into a pocket dimension behind the glass where she had to defeat an exact copy of herself, or forever be trapped while the copy of her took over her life in the outside world. Bessie was victorious, and not only did she free herself from the mirror realm, but 17 other men and women who had fallen victim to the mirror's magic over the past two centuries... and several of those liberated helped her slay the wizard and set his magic films ablaze.
   Bessie took the mirror as a souvenir, and it hung in her home until she passed away in 1986. It was not present when the executor took control of her estate and it was presumed stolen. The mirror remains missing. (In truth, the mirror was taken by an angel that had been trapped in the mirror and who was freed along with the others when Bessie Love broke the enchantment on it by defeating her mirrored foe.)


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Here's some RPG content (good for just about any version of D&D) inspired by Bessie's adventures, as has become our habit in these quarterly posts. The rest of the text in this post is released under the Open Game License, and it may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2020 Steve Miller.

RANDOM MAGIC MIRROR GENERATOR
Use these tables to generate magic mirrors in treasure hoards or the lairs of villains. Roll 1d6 against the tables below

MIRROR TYPE
   1. Handheld
   2-4. Wall Mirror
   5-6. Full-length Mirror

MIRROR ENCHANTMENT
   1-2. Reflection answers one question per day (as legend lore spell).
   3. Reflections of items in front of it, no further than three feet away, seem to glow if they are magical (as detect magic, three times per day).
   4. The reflection shows the true form of a being concealed behind an illusion, or in a different from due to natural, spell-based, or item-based shapeshifting or polymorphing abilities. If the being is a natural shapeshifter, but is presently in the primary form (such as a lycanthrope in her human shape), the reflection shows secondary shape.
   5. A demonic (1-3) or angelic (4-6) trapped in the mirror can, once per day, unerringly reveal the location and condition of a single person. The request has to be specific--"Where is the six-fingered man who killed my father?" or "Where is the fairest person in the land?".
   6. Anyone who sees his or her reflection in the mirror without saying a password is immediately sucked into a pocket dimension behind the glass. Here, they must fight exact copies of themselves, except the duplicates are utterly ruthless and irredeemably evil. If the duplicate wins, the real character is trapped in the pocket dimension while the mirror-spawned copy takes his or place in the world. If the real character wins, he or she is given the option by the powerful spirit (demonic 1-3, angelic 4-6) to either release those trapped in the mirror or to become its new master and enjoy eternal life and youth so long as at least one person is trapped in the mirror every 50 years.
   The mirror functions like result #4 for the master, as its enchantments are powered by a spirit trapped inside it.



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Random Childhood Generator (for the d20 System)

If you to add a little more substance to player character backgrounds, add this to the character generation process in your d20 System games, immediately after the character's stats, and have the players roll 1d8s against the tables below. It gives players starting points for coming up with details, and it gives each character slightly different attributes at the beginning, beyond those outlined in the standard rules.

RANDOM CHARACTER CHILDHOOD GENERATOR


WHERE DID YOU SPEND YOUR CHILDHOOD? (Roll 1d8)
   1. In a traveling circus/carnival. (Gain 2 ranks in Acrobatics or Bluff or Sense Motive.)
   2. On the family farm, or on the family fishing boat. (Gain Endurance as a bonus feat )
   3. Traveling with your family as seasonal farmhands or temporary laborers. (Gain +1 Strength or +1 Constitution.)
   4. Helping around the family autoshop (Gain 2 ranks in Repair or Cautious as a bonus feat.)
   5. In a small town, with your loving middle-class parents. (Gain 2 ranks in a Craft or Perform skill of your choice
   6. With abusive, violent parents. (Gain Endurance or Stealthy as a bonus feat)
   7. With Con Artist parents. (Gain Trustworthy as a bonus feat).
   8. In a monastery or boarding school, as the child of teachers there. (Gain Educated or Studious as a bonus feat.)

HOW DID YOUR ADVENTURING CAREER START? (Roll 1d8)
   1-2. Ran away from home.
   3. Fell in with a bad crowd that came to a bad end.
   4-5. Your parents vanished mysteriously.
   6. You fell in love with someone your parents couldn't stand and eloped with him or her.
   7-8. You joined the army (or some other armed group that wields authority in many places), and the experiences you had made it so you feel like you can't go home again.

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(The text is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. Copyright Steve Miller 2020)