2017/11/06

OSR: Attack the Sheet, Part 2

The ideas in the last post were pretty gameable. These ones are the leftovers, the silly ideas that didn't quite make the cut.


Nicholas Stathopoulos

Lumpers

Attacks: Backstory, Class
A big grey block of Stone. Not just stone, Stone, the ur-stone, the very quintessence of graniteness. It's not quite like any stone in the world; every stone in the world is like it. Lumpers are from the primordial chaos before Creation. Everyone thinks the primordial chaos was... chaotic. It wasn't, not quite. It was just perfectly uniform. Creation disordered it, and the Lumpers want to put it back in its proper state.

It drifts towards you like a submarine. The ground below it shifts. Plants become straight and even; wood grain whips into rail-straight lines, the wind stops gusting, the light stops flickering. The world becomes orderly, plasticity, like a cheap 3D animation.

Each round a character is within 20' of a Lumper, one of the following effects occurs. If the effect cannot occur (because all the effects have already taken place), move on to the next effect on the list or roll again.

1. One of the character's ability scores becomes 10.
2. One of the character's levels become Fighter.
3. The character's gender becomes male.
4. The character's species becomes human. If there's a half-option (orc to half-orc, etc.), they shift to that first.
5. One of the character's parents dies.
6. The character's hair or eyes become brown.
7. The character's height becomes 6'.
8. The character's weight becomes 170 lbs.
9. The character becomes right handed.
10. The character's weapon or signature item is replaced with a standard longsword.
11. The character's armour or clothing is replaced with generic chainmail.
13. The character's backstory is reduced in complexity. Ask another player to relate the backstory in one or two sentences. Then simplify that further. This keeps going until the character has no backstory.
14. The character's total wealth becomes the nearest multiple of 10 (10gp, 100gp, 1,000gp) etc.
15. The character's outlook on life becomes focused on greed, treasure, and personal glory.
16. The character loses their last name, or a title.
17. A unique or mysterious or weird item the character has vanishes in a poof of smoke.
18. The character was wronged by a powerful figure from their past. The person who wronged them becomes more and more vaudevillian each time this result is rolled.
19. 10 years of the character's memories vanish. Very significant details might remain, but everything else vanish.
20. The character's horse becomes a generic brown horse. If they don't have a horse, they have one now.

Once the Lumper has made someone into their proper state, it will move on and trouble them no further. The Lumpers are doing a first pass over Creation; they'll come back and convert everyone from Human Male Fighters to generic Animals next time 'round.

You can chase off Lumpers by howling and hollering, or showing it art, bright colours, or secrets. They also dislike books.

Splitters

Attacks: Backstory, Class
A prismatic scintillating waveform of liquid light, like a tapeworm ate a whole rave and then had a seizure. That's the closest you're going to get to a description; the Splitters change too fast to properly catalogue. Splitters are also from the Primordial Chaos before Creation, but they think Creation is just lovely. Problem is,  it doesn't go far enough.

It flies towards you like a missile seen from the wrong end of a set of binoculars - slow/fast and strangely out of perspective. The glow is warm and comforting and eases your worried mind.

Each round a character is within 20' of a Splitter, one of the following effects occurs. If the effect cannot occur (because all the effects have already taken place), move on to the next effect on the list or roll again.

1. One of the character's eyes becomes an unusual colour.

2. The character develops an unusual scar or birthmark.
3. About 1/4 of the character's hair becomes brightly coloured and sticks out in a tuft.
4. The character's weapon becomes something completely unusual and unique, like a mace-a-marang or a triple-bladed sword-spoon. It doesn't do anything different, but nobody else can use it.
5. The character is visited by a mysterious divine/infernal/mundane messenger who gives them a very important mission/declares that they are the Chosen One and then vanishes/dies.
6. Add or subtract 1d4 to a random ability score.
7. The character's species changes. They become a half-something (roll randomly). The next time this is rolled, the other half changes. Further rolls produce quarterings, eightings, etc.
8. Roll on a mutation table of your choice, except make the result beautiful or really badass.
9. The character's backstory gains new depth. The other players can add details and new ideas, as interpreted by the GM.
10. The character's name gains an apostrophe.
11. The character gains another name or title.
12. The character's armour or clothing becomes fashionable, more revealing, and utterly impractical.
13. The character gains a belt strapped to a random limb. 
14. The character gains a very annoying wise-cracking sidekick with a high-pitched voice. If the group already has an annoying sidekick with a high-pitched voice, roll again - only one per group.
15. The character's gender or sexual orientation become something titillating, scandalous, or unusual.
16. The character gains a unique item, like a book of poems written by a dying genius, or a lock of hair from a goddess. They keep accumulating these.
17. The character becomes The Best at a given skill. Their actual ability or skill roll doesn't change, but the character is absolutely convinced that they are The Best at it. Any success reinforces this notion; any failure leads to angst-filled rants and coverups.
18. The character's wealth is either multiplied by 17.4 or by 0.
19. One of the character's class levels changes to a different random class. If kept up indefinitely, they won't have 2 levels in the same class.
20. The character gains some divine/infernal/royal lineage. The more ridiculously convoluted the better.

A Splitter will only move on when everyone nearby is sufficiently unique.

You can chase off Splitters by doing math or being obstinately boring, stupid, or just shouting. They are sensitive souls.

7 comments:

  1. "Gains an apostrophe" my word, this is far too accurate. Can you attempt to cure excessive exposure to Lumpers/Splitters via exposure to the other? Would this go horribly wrong? Am I going to do it anyway?

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    1. "Cure" is probably the wrong word, like curing drowning by fire.

      Anyway, I think the ideal setting for these guys is the same dungeon, within sprinting distance. An afflicted character can sprint back and forth to try and cancel out the worst of the effects.

      "Oh fuck, we're both princesses now?"
      "Yup."
      "We can't /both/ be princesses. You go sprint back to the Lumper and see if you can fix it."
      ...
      "So the good news is, I'm not a princess anymore. Bad news, I'm a prince. I think."
      "Aww hell."

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  2. I'm far too tempted to throw these at parties with characters who are either too unique or too bland. On one hand it'd be a gross misuse of GM powers that limits player creativity - on the other hand, sometimes they need a good whack the back of the head.

    I love the idea of attacking the nature of the characters, by the way. I made a little list of things other than HP to attack after the last post, and "backstory" and "class" are definitely going on it now.

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  3. Great monsters for a one-shot or tournament dungeon.

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  4. Lumpers actually a quite horrifying. Imagine forgetting ten years of life in a blink.

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  5. Some recurring villains in my last campaign were cultists who wanted to realaign the Cosmos so hyper-Lawful that it'd be nothing but undifferentiated particles in exact equilibrium, at the point where things effectively circle back to Chaos. If they come back I think they'll try to summon a Lumper.

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    Replies
    1. Alternatively, have the gods of hyper-unlawfulness show up to "thank" the PCs. Things are great at first, but then Splitters keep escaping and roaming the countryside. A Protagonist in every village; a lost crown in ever cookpot!

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