On the Religious Fanboy

Like this, only with a HUGE sword
Should you get rid of clerics in your game?

This question is a unique intersection of crucial information in the campaign.

Are they known gods? New gods? Should they have a selection of Judeo-christian inspired cleric spells? Does their existence explain away literally any mystery in the campaign? Are they not gods, but just powerful humans? Do they dictate right and wrong?

Are you going to have an alignment conversation?!?

On Gods and Superheroes

In the upper right is a picture of Yahweh, the israelite god of weather (or possibly divine winds) and war. He is a holy warrior, riding a chariot, wielding a honking huge sword and slaying the enemies of the country. His army is a host of stars and planets that smash his enemies. At various times he was associated as married to Anat or Asherah. Eventually, as we all know, he took the place of El, becoming a single god, shedding his pantheon containing thousands.

This guy, you see to your left, it the avatar of America. He is a patriotic warrior, wielding a shield and riding a steel horse. He leaps into battle against the enemies of America, smashing them with the stars and stripes of his shield, torn from the woman he loves, a man out of time, he struggles to find how the values of america fit into a hostile future—

Clerics were (and always have been!) the comic fanboys of their nations.

They gather in comic book shop temples, gather at huge comic-cons to worship, and war endlessly online with members of other faiths. Can Superman beat Batman? Is the new DC line awesome or terrible? Will the new new DC line be terrible or awesome? (Protip: Don't get hopes up.)

People have always been talking and telling stories about characters that are greater then men are. Is a god popular? Then his legend changes, with a heel/face turn, or perhaps the opposite when they fall out of fashion.

Time passes, and these stories get co-opted by societies, changing as the societies themselves change. Superman goes from being an alien in a human costume to an alien who is a man that puts on an alien costume. Iron man becomes alcoholic in the 70's. Someone important dies. And then they come back to life.

What's popular is what resonates. What resonates is what hero, what myth, represents the struggle of the people.

That's what the cleric is doing. He's reading the latest issue and arguing over it with the other members of the clergy. The higher ups are crafting new stories and tales and altering the old ones for new people in changing times.

The interaction with the pantheon is much the same. A fan of Captain America doesn't disbelieve in Thor. Thor and Cap hang out together all the time. Sometimes they are on the same side, and sometimes they fight. What's important is that you're a fan of Marvel and not those crappy DC heroes.

Clerics in the Game


The above is a perspective that makes the idea of cleric more palatable. And really, that's what we are talking about every time this comes up. Gods, clerics, and holy spells cause logistical problems. If you can heal, cure disease, and resurrect, then do leaders die? Are their epidemics? Does each god have a portfolio? Is that a lot of extra work? Are gods, gods or just beings on a power-level beyond characters? Does Healing magic just waste everyone's time, devaluing hit points as a resource and shoehorning in a character "because we need a healer"? Are armored spellcasters really a good idea?

These are a lot of annoying work-heavy questions for elf-games.

In the games I create, I've eliminated clerics entirely. I also tend to design spellcasters as needing to be much more focused, leading to a "Healing caster" niche for some. Having an unarmored healing caster class as one of over a dozen different specialties means that someone only takes it when they are actually interested in taking the healing role. Other games contain no healing class.

It's possible I'm understating the problems with the cleric. How do the common people react when every god can perform miracles on the street? Open access to an entire spell list? Turn undead neutralizing a whole class of monsters which become overwhelming otherwise? How about their paucity in fantasy literature?

If anyone is already formulating an argument for why clerics should be in the game; you know, stop. Clearly a lot of these problems have been surmounted. Someone wants to play a cleric in 5e, I just hand them the deity list, along with the convenient "additional deity specific" spells. It works. That plus spending hit dice during a rest plus being in the Forgotten Realms addresses most of the points against clerics made above. But the fact that changes were made, shows that it was a fairly common issue for groups to come up against.

Really, the problem isn't surprising, considering the entire class is a reaction to a single player, running around an ancient castle playing as a vampire, causing everyone grief. Nearly half a century later and we're still dealing with the fallout from that.

Get rid of clerics or change them if you want. It can only do the game good.


Hack & Slash 

On Innovation in the Old School Renaissance II

As you look over these items, some of which won multiple awards, keep in mind the number of people who aren't even exposed to this way of thinking. Excepting of course that which trickles down to the larger releases seen by the public at large.

It's good to have the industry leaders chasing your avant garde curve.

Posts of Singular Utility


Rob walks us through the creation of the feudal system he uses for the Majestic Wonderlands. Getting these kinds of things down and in print is an important aspect of the usefulness of blogs, and i love reading about the creative process of other people.

Pierce talks about elves. Your brain melts.

Another interesting development in 2015 is that kellri began posting to the blog again after a six year hiatus, though the content is much less earnest then it was in the past.

It is no joke how good this interview about Fire is between Dungeon Smash and Patrick

Alex had created the rapidly expanding and useful face generator as a super useful tool for role-playing games. There's almost half-a-dozen artists already and it takes just a few minutes to join and get started making your own faces. Of course you could use the millions of faces the generator already makes in your games, I suppose, if you were into pure, unadulterated, utility. This definitely gets my vote for best new automated role-playing game tool of 2015.

Among the erratic, yet consistently good stream from blog of holding, we got one page Spelljammer rules which is totally useful, both as an artifact and as an examination of a process on how to simplify something.

Dyson Logos is creating an artifact of power.

Releases in 2015

Last year started with an amazing release, Strange Stars by Trey Causey. It is kind of a revolutionary setting book, providing an entire universe of interplanetary adventure in about 20 full color pages. It was a good start to the year.

James Spahn's White Star came out to some glowing reviews, and some not.

Kabuki Kisers release this year was Castle Gargantua, the "Largest" (Sic) megadungeon ever released. It uses preset rooms, along with random generation, to allow your characters to move through the dungeon on a snakes and laddersesque board to generate a functional fascinating fun megadungeon crawl.

Richard Leblanc's released several important volumes last year, Creature Compendium and B/X Psionics. Richard spent some time with Steve Marsh talking with him about how psionics was originally envisioned for Basic/Expert, and then he spent approximately forever playtesting it. Personally, I'm super excited about B/X.

Yoon-Suin finally saw the light of day and it was glorious. What a strange renaissance to have. Both unannounced projects and the ones we know about years in advance that we long for meet our high expectations.

Petty Gods, that long maligned, oft forgotten albatross was finally released. 400 pages of instant at-the-table goodness. It's a pretty amazing work, available free or at cost for the print version.  There were various grumblings about how some of the gods weren't serious enough, but only by those people who are completely ignorant of the origins of the hobby.

The second amazing release from Chris Kultilk, Fever Dreaming Marlinko was released continuing to expand on our glimpses of the marvelous Hill Cantons. We expand into urban territory and tiger wrestling. Tiger wrestling. Just saying that again. Wrestling tigers.

Kevin Crawford release a free design guide to classic TSR layout and style If you're looking to emulate early works such as Basic/Expert or old modules, this is a fantastic resource, It comes with an indesign source file making it even faster to layout your work.

Wonder and Wickedness is possibly one of the most important spell systems ever published. It is a replacement for magic in a fantasy setting and does so by creating a magic system that is actually magical. No, not magical like Blackleaf hanging herself because she learned real magic, but magical in that it makes spell-casters feel like dabblers in the actual arcane.

If you're not into Vacant Ritual Assembly you should be. It's a Lamentations of the Flame Princess zine put together by the people you figured out were actually cool after you discovered that the people you thought were cool, weren't. I mean, who doesn't need more information on the culture and magical powers of the flesh-sewing of the Oolai people? Issues 2-5 came out in 2015!

John M. Slater of Nod fame continues his prodigious output with two versions of Bloody Basic, The Mother Goose Edition focused on fairy tales and The Sinew and Steel edition focusing on brave knights, storming castles, jousts, and other medieval events.

KDJ of Echelon Game Design continues quixotic task of collected every character option in pathfinder. It is a layout puzzle to challenge the ages: How do you take a four page wide graph of all the feats related to unarmed strike and fit them in a book legibly?

There were more releases that I'm less familiar with, Dark Albion: The Rose War (), an alternate historical setting by Pundit, Inventory v.1 a 70+ page book of illustrated items. Zzarchov's Gem Prison of Zardax which received high praise.

Oh. Although it wasn't released in 2015, Red and Pleasant Land did manage to snag 4 Ennies in a year a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons was released. Much to some people's chagrin.

This isn't a release, but Wizards of the Coast shuttered their forums. Much of the talk was how it was about time, but there was an incredible amount of content on those boards. Some of it was saved, but much was lost. Time marches on.

Conclusions

I was playing Dungeons & Dragons like I do several times a week, and one of the players said "I look on the beach for anything that has washed ashore." I picked up my ipad, entered "things on beach" as osrsearch, and within seconds got a list of 100 things you find washed up on the beach.

Here is what I know. I am involved in several games every week. There is so much good, new, material that the games I'm playing are more fun then ever. Dungeons & Dragons and old school type games get played and they are changing and better than ever.

Look over the last two posts. That's just this year.

If you're telling yourself there's no innovation in the old school, or that the old school renaissance is dying, then a 3000 word list of all the products and development in the last 12 months isn't going to change your mind. As to why, you'll just have to ask yourself that.


Hack & Slash 

On Innovation in the Old School Renaissance

The Old School of the Future! (source)
The Old School Renaissance is dead, right?

The blogosphere is drying up, no one is writing anything new, the end times are neigh! The gaming explosion is dead.

Well, not so much.

Let's ignore the fact that the 5th edition launch, a monstrosity somehow combining the best parts of 4th edition with a Basic/Expert shell had the largest launch of any Dungeons and Dragons edition ever.

What has the Old School Renaissance and the blogosphere been doing in 2015? Let's take a look:

Blogs of Note


The Patreon supported Alexandrian posted "Don't prep plots! the principles of Role Playing Game Villainy" not one week into 2015.  This kind of refinement of ideas and analysis turning into concrete tools you can use at the table continues all year long at the Alexandrian. This includes posts such as The Art of Rulings, discussing in depth the process of making rulings at the table. The essay was started in 2011, but the extensive essays on parts two through six were all published between October and November of 2015. The series is a practical and academic look at what actually occurs at the table during a role-playing game, and is a good example of why role playing games aren't Magical Tea Parties.

He also produced a number of adventures posted up on the blog, including, The Lost Laboratories of Arn  A radical expansion of two one-page dungeons that he prepared for his players, but was never used. It's stated up for his personal simplified 3rd edition, making it trivial to convert. He also produced numerous full adventures, remixes, and expansions of adventures for a variety of systems, Star Wars, Trail of Cuthulu and the Strange.

There's also the standard insights and useful advice always found on his blog. Most notable in 2015 is the exhaustive analysis and dissection in his manifesto on Railroading.

The Alexandrian is over a decade old and was one of my personal portals into the online community. It recently has experienced a resurgence in creative content. This is due to people giving him money. It is totally bonkers how that works. That said, this format is producing blog posts, where his Kickstarter met with less success.

Ok, ok, you say. Of course Jason produced some awesome stuff in 2015. He's been doing it for a decade. Telling you the Alexandrian has good content is low-hanging fruit. You're probably saying to yourself, "That isn't innovation! That's analysis and categorization!" Fine.

Let's talk about Centerra!

This year was the most prolific year by Goblin Punch author +Arnold K. There is no writer who's work I find more exciting. Every place and thing he describes has a reality to it and yet remains eminently gameable.

I don't think there's ever been a setting outside my own I gave much of a damn about, but I dream of the day Centerra gets released.

So what did Arnold do in 2015? Highlights include his work on class design, In fact, his whole suite of classes are designed to tackle unique problems and make them gameable, from the  Bug Collector, a class that has catch and release spells based on terrain to the rat master a class based around disposable minions, to the Hierodule a class based around pacifism, to Duet classes for two players like Brute/Rider and Dog/Master designed to be played by two people. Nothing innovative there, eh?

No, wait. I'm not doing a good job of communicating the value of his work.

How can I make you believe? He's revamping undead. Read this from the Shade revamping:

"Non-magical, non-holy damage cannot reduce a shade below 1 HP.  When they are at 1 HP, they look like a person-shaped hole in the universe and speak like a windstorm (full of wordless sound and fury)."

It's all like that. Every word of every post.

What's the other big news of 2015? Multiplexer writing Dungeonocomics at Critical Hits. This series is filled with the most thought provoking and creative essays on the Dungeons and Dragons gestalt. If you're not reading it, you should be.

Most non-old school games I've played in are a pastiche of tropes about medieval society. Never something creative, rarely original, and mostly pseudo-medieval dressing as a backdrop between set-piece battles, which also usually aren't very interesting.

Real history is fsking hypnotic and bizarre. We need more of that in our games, but that's kind of hard to implement, what with the magic and all. Enter Dungeonomics, which examines what actually happens to the pearl market on the supply curve of evil to how a tontine would function in a magical, adventurer rich world. Who's behind those quest-givers and what are their real motivations? Cargo cults and how Murder hobos are natural risk assessment machines. Murder hobo insurance, flying castles, scams, wealth distribution, price ceilings, and more!

It is some mind-blowing fantastic writing going on over there.

Drama in 2015


So, what was the drama in 2015?

Gnome Stew, wrote one of their most telling articles in years, reaffirming for me, at least, that I wasn't wrong about removing them from my feed. I wasn't getting any useful gaming content, and what they had for me was social drama content. Pretty simply, I don't feel like a creep, because, I'm not! James Raggi had a much more thorough and eloquent response.

That's not all, because the escapist doubled down on letting us know they were sexist discriminatory frat boys with money, but the really interesting part is the personal experience of being a creative who works with them.

As an aside, even when restricted to chromosomes gender isn't binary. It's made up of a bunch of different systems, all of which are made from gooey non-binary flesh which produce people. So Brandon Morse's claim is doubly ignorant, both of science fact and his attitude towards gender. In physical reality gender is a spectrum, so if that isn't something you're comfortable with, you're going to have a bad time.

As long as we're discussing 2015 drama, let's not forget the invention of the term "Sealioning". This particular drama is interesting because it's about public and private spaces. A blog, the internet, facebook, twitter, these are all public spaces as public as a town square. But because of their presentation to us, many people feel that isn't the case. If I make a public statement, well, then, people have the right to hold me accountable for it, no matter what I think they should or shouldn't do. A lot of this clears right up when you start to respect spaces as they actually are, rather than how you wish them to be. (Obviously this leads into Twitter taking a cultural stance in 2016, but we're talking about last year, sooo. . . )

Another worrying piece of early year drama, what's OK for us to read? Because if you talk about the wrong person or the wrong game, you get their negative traits transferred to you! This is how James Raggi became a Nazi. Or not.

Oh, and we aren't going to get through this section without mentioning the enormity of Ken "Whit" Whitman, who bilked kickstarter backers of out of over 140,000$, bought a new car, went on vacation, and then lied to backers over and over again as campaign after campaign failed to deliver, continuing his decade long habit of stealing from the gaming community.

Speaking of kickstarters, Far West? It's too late to join the pool, but it's good reading.

There was also a fair bit of drama with the Gygax family this year. From a lawsuit against Gygax magazine, causing both brothers to cease their association with it and cessation of publication, to vague non-answers from Gail Gygax about the status of the Gygax Memorial fund. Why is it so hard to get the memorial built? Where's the money Gail? The news isn't good.

If we just let people lie to us, they will continue to lie to us. Hold people accountable!

Join us for part 2 tomorrow, when we look at posts of singular utility and actual product releases of 2015!


Hack & Slash 

On What the Future Holds

I don't usually talk about personal things.

But I'm not gone and things are changing, so I'm going to.

2015 is, thankfully, behind us. Cancer, car wrecks, breakups, custody battles, moving, delays, hospitalization, injuries, and crisis after crisis made it one hell of a year. Yes, all that happened. I really lived life in a deeply intense way for the last 12 months.

But the good news is 2015 is finished. I am healthy, stable emotionally and financially, and somehow am still managing to game twice a week.  I played Hackmaster on Saturday with one group and started a Risk: Legacy game on Sunday with another. All of the changes were positive ones for everyone involved, and moving forward we are all happier and healthier. That list above of tragedies are experiences that are essential to the human experience. I am gloriously alive for experiencing them.

Near the end of the year, I was doing some paid writing for publishers, both Role Playing Game related and not (I am a writer after all) which cut deeply into my blogging time. My schedule has also changed, and I have my daughter during my previous writing days which has caused me to have to adjust my schedule.

I have a million things I want to write about. But before we do that, let's talk about the future and money.

I run what I consider a fairly successful Patreon. The way I'm going to manage that is going to change, but to find out how, let's look at how it was managed last year.

It 2015, my net income from Patreon was $ 2,154.51 
This is minus credit card fees and the cut Patreon gets.

My Patreon related expenses for the year were as follows.
I paid out $238.02 to other Patreon Creators.
I paid $168 to Cancer Research (and owe another 47$ to make it 10%—I've been preoccupied)
I paid $2,652 to Artists, Writers, and other Creators. Those articles not by me in Hack & Slash compendiums? Those people got paid .05$ a word. I'm proud of that. Artists did art. Writers wrote words.

So, what I'm communicating here, is that Patreon enabled that to happen. It made blog posts happen. It made artists and writers get paid. No Patreon? Then the work of 2015 wouldn't have happened. The 300 blog posts since I started the Patreon wouldn't have happened.

The point is that the idea behind Patron is not to extract money. It allows me to be a conduit of creativity that creates products and helps creators who are not me get a fraction of what their talent is worth. Those things, in spite of life, are going to burst from their creative womb, stronger for their tribulations and see the light of day.

But as the Patreon become more successful, my style of posting became more problematic. Sometimes I spend six hours on a post, but it ends up being 5,000 words. Should I split it into two parts? What about 750 word top 10 lists? Are those 30$ of my writing? Am I upsetting the public?

I want to be clear, these aren't questions of self-doubt, they are honest examinations of work, its value, and how I desire to interact with my audience. It's important to consider the way people interact with media. 1,500 words is perfect for a blog post. Longer and someone doesn't finish, or clicks save and never gets around to reading it. But I want to write posts that are longer than that, so by splitting them up and putting them under Patreon as two posts am I doing a bad thing?

What about quality? I did some online "office hour" hangouts which were fun, but editing for 8 hours is not. Should I put up the unedited, 90 minute hangout, or take the time to edit it down to a tight 22 minute piece of entertainment? Is one a disservice to me? To my viewers?

So here is what I would like to happen this year:
  • I would like to continue to engage with creative people and continue producing and encouraging the production of high quality content. 
  • I would like to write and have longer more in-depth articles (4,000-8,000 word articles) be Patreon Supported in ~1,500 word chunks, while shorter pieces would be free. 
  • I would like to talk to and hire someone about editing 60-90 minutes of video two to four times a month. I'd pay you, because f*&k working for exposure, but I can't afford full professional rates. If you know someone who dabbles, would like some extra pocket money, and is reliable, put them in touch with me.
Well, that's the stuff I'd like to see that I can do something about. I've got in-progress art for Perdition, and several people with manuscripts that I'm told will see the light of day. I hope to see all that too. The nice thing about the way I work (as opposed to kickstarter) is I'm not disappointing anyone with a moving deadline. 

If this sounds awesome, go chip in on the Patreon. If you can't right now, take some time to share work that makes you happy and thank those that allow these free things to be posted to the public.

We'll see you very soon, with more posts!


Hack & Slash 

On Mordor, Where the Jock Orcs Lie

I've been running around Mordor and everything is fine.

Shadow of Mordor allows you to play a zombie(?) bonded with the forger of the rings of power as a wraith and run around and kill orcs. A lot of orcs.

Yes. Celebrimbor. He's your wraith buddy. Gollum shows up also. Ah, the joys of licensed property. I think if they released a game, and had no tie-ins, people would complain. For me, seeing stuff like that yanks me right out of the game. It is the exact same thing with putting Drizzt into a computer game or module.

I wonder, are people daft? Let me try this another way. Do you know anyone in your actual life, who would encounter a known NPC of a licensed property, like Elminster or Drizzt, in a module or computer game, who would react by going "How cool!" It's the Dungeon Masters Non-Player Character on maximum overdrive.

Maybe I just don't know those people. Maybe it's a thing. I don't like it.

That's not even what we're talking about today. We're talking about lousy orcs.

The Orc and the Jock

So, what does the orc do all day?

The orc depicted in the game are visually designed after Peter Jackson's orcs from the films, not the "squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes; in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types" of Tolkien's myth. They appear comforting visually—not disturbingly like asians.

But the game involves you running around orc dominated areas. You spend a lot of time observing orcs as you sneak around. What does the orc do all day?

Apparently his best impression of that guy who beat you up in high school, with a healthy dose of being a sh^&bird.

That's not to say there isn't a high degree of creativity and menace in individual orcs. Each can be promoted if they kill you, and they independently engage in power struggles and get promoted all on their own. Some random orc that got in a lucky stab on you can end up a warchief. And once promoted, they all gain certain personality traits. Some rhyme or sing, others are cowards, and still other braggarts. This is by far the best part of the game.

But for the most part, you're sneaking about listening to orcs. What do orcs do? They drink (grog which you can poison to make them fight each other), they brag, they piss, and they pick on "pinkskins".

So if you're not interacting with the orcs, they act just like stereotypical jocks picking on nerds. Is this because the game is written by programmers? PERHAPS. Whatever the reason, the braggadocio comes off as false. (I'd like to say as an aside, I'm talking only about their actions while you're in stealth. When you actually engage them and the captains, they say some neat things and act in some cool ways.)

But what is the solution? It is a problem that goes beyond this gam, and extends into the entire realm of evil and disposable bad guys. How do you have disposable bad guys? Aren't they people too?

Tolkien himself even struggled with this, revisioning the origin of the orcs over and over, struggling to come up with something that made sense. Even by the time of his death, he had failed to come up with a satisfactory solution.

The question is, what does evil look like when it isn't being evil? All too often our conceptions of evil have more to do with our own psychological fears and failings then actual representations of evil. Personally, I spent a lot of time around people who acted somewhat similarly to the orcs in Mordor (though not quite as craven or cruel) and the conception leaves me feeling less like the orcs are evil, and more like my protagonist is a social reject, which I cannot imagine was the intent.

Not everyone was unpopular/unhappy in high school/college.

What does real, palpable, detects as glowing purple evil do on its day off?

Evil on Vacation

The problem, is, of course, subjective morality. No one, besides the deranged, actually believes that they are committing acts of evil. Even the most unstable acts done by people are simply rational responses from their perspective. What does real, vicious, evil do when nobody is looking?

Well, here are some ideas on that front:


  • Evil doesn't create. It can only corrupt or destroy. 
  • Evil is external and inimical to this plane or force of reality (which still leads to the question of how they spend their free time.)
  • Natural unstoppable forces that care nothing for human concerns or morality (earthquakes or old ones)
  • They are extremists regarding race or outlook. (Nobody cries when you kill a Nazi or Dalek/space nazi)
  • Living weapons (which then give ground to explore what it is a living weapon does in free time)


The whole point is to have faceless mooks you can murder without consequence. But is that of value? Philosophically, what is the problem with accepting that the people you are killing are, you know, actually people?

Probably that probe is a little complex for blowing off steam during a game of some sort, but it doesn't have to be. Gnolls can have little gnoll babies and be hostile to humans. And then you can kill the gnolls. And even they have their own culture, you don't have to respect them. But you don't have to take the extra step and justify them as being irredeemably evil. You could just, you know, be ok with being a murdering douchebag.

One of the changes I've noticed since implementing On the Non-Player Character in all of my games is that some groups and players will leverage social skills to move through the dungeon/adventure instead of combat. It provides another mechanical cog that allows the players to interact with the world in a meaningful way. Literally, due to it being a mechanical objective interface for social conflict, players can leverage that power and talk the bad guy into at the very least not being hostile to the party.

It doesn't stop the bad guys from being jerks, of course, and sometimes they end up being killed anyway, for very good reasons like "I want your magic item." and "Well, I guess you are worth some experience."


Hack & Slash 

On the Doctor's Craft

And what the doctor will tell you when you get your disease. The cures will certainly be better than the ones that the Alchemist provides, right?


1) Extensive bloodletting should result in a complete recovery.
1-2. Something distracts the Chirugeon and he leaves the leeches on too long. You die from blood loss.
3-4. Bloodletting just weakens you, allowing the disease to progress. Advance it one stage.
5-6. The bad humors are all expressed in your blood, and after a week of feeling sickly, your good blood fights off the infection. You are cured!

2) A clyster infused with peppers, oil, and vinegar should be given thrice daily for the period of two weeks.
1-2: The disease is no better or worse, and now you are bleeding anally.
3-4: The disease is cured, although some damage must have occurred, because you've lost bowel control. Perhaps it will return.
5-6: The disease is cured and you've never felt better in your life.

3) The disease is spiritual, and as such, will continue to haunt you. The cure is deglove your own face and then to take the face of another and exchange them.
1: The disease isn't cured, because the face of the person you used was more wicked than yours.
2-3: The disease is cured, but the new face transplant doesn't hold, and you have no face. This causes you to lose 6 Charisma (minimum 3) and without eyelids or lips, your face dries out quite frequently. Your vision is clouded, everything is treated as if it is in dim light.
4-6: Success! it will take some time, however to get used to your new face.

4) The disease has rooted in a specific limb, and amputation and debridement of the limb is the only cure. (Determine the limb randomly). In many cases, once the disease root has been cleansed, the limb can be re-attached with hardly any loss in function.
1: Sadly, the wrong limb was accidentally amputated and it is not able to be reattached.
2-3: The correct limb was amputated and the disease cured, however it is unable to be reattached.
4-5: The disease is cured and the limb reattached, however, it just will never seem to work the same way again. Permanently lose 1 point of Physique.
6: The disease is cured and the limb is reattached flawlessly.

5) Pressure in the brain is preventing you from healing correctly. It should be a simple task to repair, a simple matter of trepanation.
1: The drill went in too far. You still have the disease. Roll once on the Critical Ruin: Mental Damage and Illness Table.
2-3: Your brain might have been nicked. The disease is cured and you need to roll once on the Critical Ruin: Social Anxiety table.
4-5: Success, but the bone removed was ruined. It might be a good idea to wear a helmet for a while.
6: Success! The disease is cured.

6) Onion and Leek, mixed with bull gall and left to sit will create a poultice that will cure the disease.
1-2: Though ineffective, no harm comes to you.
3-6: The poultice turns black and you are free of the disease.

7) Your humors have calcified into hard stones and lodged themselves in your bladders. We'll start by removing the stones in your torso, then, using these S-shaped picks, we'll work through the urethra to get the stones to the entrance of the bladder, and we'll extract them surgically via anal incision
1: Disaster! You still have the disease, and you lose 2 points of Physique permanently from the damage to your torso and groin. Also, bowel control is a distant memory.
2-6: Although painful, the wicked looking stones are removed. Your disease is cured.

8) The only cure available is the consumption of a human heart in front of its dying host.
1-6: It works. Gain 5 Wickedness.


Hack & Slash 

On the Alchemical Cure

Continuing the theme of yesterday, If you contact an Alchemist to cure you disease, roll 1d8 for the cure on the table below.


1. Collect 4 pigs, and allow them to be heavily infested with intestinal parasites and tapeworms. When the pigs are starving and feverish, You must boil a haggis of the worms and pig flesh in your own blood, then consume it.
1: You didn't boil the haggis long enough and the worms survived. The disease is now running rampant and you are infested with tapeworms.
2-4: You eat the mixture, but throw it up before it can do much good. Reduce the disease by 1 stage.
5-6: Success! The disease is cured! You still feel ill and feverish for 24 hours

2.Fecal transplantation is the cure. You must collect the fecal matter of a vegetarian and soak it in milk in the light of the moon overnight. Once complete, you pack the mixture in your mouth and ears for 12 hours.
1: Apparently that wasn't really a vegetarian. The cure fails.
2-3: The experience was so disturbing that it changes you. Roll once on the Critical Ruin: Social Anxiety table. Your disease is cured.
4-6: The mixture is surprisingly palatable and tastes minty! The disease is cured.

3.Bees have been know to be an effective remedy. The three step process involves inserting the affected organs into hives of agitated bees, then coating the badly stung arms in honey, then letting ants eat the honey off of the limb.
1-2: The cure is useless and painful!
3: It does cure the disease, but you gain a terrible phobia of beeeeees.
4-6: Cured!

4.Eyeball fluid is the only cure. The alchemist simply injects a needle into your open eyeball, and extracts some small few drams of jell. Once done, this is soaked into roots, which are then chewed to alleviate the disease. The eye even eventually heals. . . usually.
1: The cure fails and you are now blind in one eye. You have another eye to try again.
2-4: The cure works, but your eye is forever ruined. Your poor depth perception makes all ranged melee and spell attacks penalized.
5-6: The cure works, and in a matter of days vision returns to your eye.

5.The infection can only be burned out. Rot grubs, infused with burning elixir are left to burrow into your arm. They will burn out any sign of the disease and then, once cured, will be killed by the very elixir before they reach your heart and kill you.
1: The disease is cured! Sadly the rot grubs eat your heart before they die.
2-3: The disease is cured! But the damage they did to your internal organs permanently reduces your Physique by 2.
4-5: The disease is cured. Several charred lumps are expelled from your body.

6.The only cure is hydrocephalicy. The alchemist begins injecting first your joints and then your brain with purified, infused water. Though there is a risk of vivid hallucinations, the procedure is guaranteed to work.
1: The procedure doesn't work. The disease advances to the next stage.
2-4: The pressure from the fluid on the brain gives you vivid hallucinations and forces you to roll 1d6 on the Critical Ruin: Mental Damage and Illness table.
5-6: The cure works, with the only side effect being a mild ache in your joints before it rains.

7.The antidote for this particular disease is a virulent poison. However the poison only acts on the disease, having no negative effect on the imbiber. Usually.
1: The disease isn't cured, but the poison sure works on you.
2-3: The disease is cured, but you are also affected by the poison.
4-5: The disease is cured, and you experience no ill effects from the poison.

8.Smelted human hearts have been effective in treating this disease. Cutting the heart out of a dead body and burying it in most grave dirt for two weeks, then digging it up and eating it will cure the disease.
1: Your original disease is cured! But the rotten heart gives you another disease.
2-3: Although disgusting, it remains somewhat effective. The disease regresses one stage.
4-6: Smelted heart is somewhat tasty! The disease is cured, and you wonder what other delicious meats can be smelted.

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