Friday, September 13, 2019

Twelve Re-Imagined Treasures...

Better late than never, right?
In the course of refreshing the blog here and getting things set up for the near future, I noticed Glaucus' Reimagining the Dragon Jam over at It sounded like a fun challenge. Basically, you took the name of one of the items from an old issue of Dragon magazine and re-imagined it as a fresh new item without looking back at the original. There was even a handy random generator at Perchance to help find suitably evocative names to re-imagine. So I used the generator to put together a set of twelve names of items to re-imagine for the jam. I set myself a time limit and went down the list and wrote up a dozen new items based upon those names. I went back and spell-checked the text. Then I pulled it all into a pdf and added a spot illustration and slapped together a cover. Then it sat. And sat.
I got busy on other projects and lost track of the deadline for the jam...
...and well, yeah...I missed the deadline for the jam.
Hopefully that's not too big a deal.
It was a fun challenge and a good, micro-project to help me get back into the swing of things.
So if you are at all interested, the Twelve Items thingy is over at

Now, on to other things...

Monday, August 26, 2019

Treatise of the Three Spheres (Grimoires of Wermspittle)

The cover is composed of three heavily-hinged cast-iron panels with a thick Bruthem-Leather interior-lining. A sculpted lock in the form of a grotesquely leering pseudo-satyr bars access to the Treatise by any impudent would-be perusers incapable of overcoming a simple Lock spell.

It is rumored that the lock attempts to bite anyone attempting to open the Treatise by any other means, or if their attempt to overcome the Lock spell fails. It is rumored that the thing's bite might be poisonous, vampiric or both...or something worse.

The entire Treatise weighs just over 800 pounds and is roughly 1' by 3/4' by 11" thick. It has 150 hit-points, is immune to acid, fire and most forms of corrosion, and it permanently radiates a Triple-Shadow.

[Treatise of the Three Spheres; Level 6, INT 17, EGO 21, AC 3, HP 150,  ---]

Known Risks
Heavy, awkward and has a tendency to increase in encumbrance over time when carried about. Initiative is reduced by -1, Encumbrance is doubled and/or Movement is halved, and all healing takes twice as long as normal for anyone involved in transporting the Treatise. This effect is well documented, so few who are in the know ever attempt to move the Treatise and most scholars will insist on studying it right where it was found, which can often lead to all manner of headaches and trouble for those involved in keeping said scholars safe and undisturbed.

Despite being extremely troublesome to move, the Treatise has a tendency to disappear from wherever it has been located after 1d4 days despite any and every effort to anchor it or keep in from shifting to a new location.

Suspected Rewards
The Treatise is the only known/recorded source for the means to gain access (Attunement or otherwise) to a set of three Otherplanar Regions listed as Allrakallim, Ruttillon, and Vattej. No one is quite sure if these are distinct Planes unto themselves, or sub-regions of some obscure plane(s), or something else like perhaps some sort of nested or linked set or Demiplanes.

Anyone able to settle the academic disputes and scholarly conjecture surrounding this rare tome might find themselves faced with quite a good deal of acclaim and recognition within those rarefied circles that ponder and obsess over such matters...and no doubt gain a few enemies as well since providing definitive facts often tend to explode pet theories and can derail careers built upon opinion and conjecture based solely on second-hand accounts...

The Treatise is completely impervious to all known forms of Divination and all Location Determining are anyone directly involved in the study of the text for as long as they keep reading.

So far no one authority agrees as to what language(s) were used in the transcribing of this Treatise. Few have ever been able to get very far in studying the thing without recourse to one or more spells.

The first actual spell encountered in the Treatise appears to be some sort of Summoning that draws the attention of 3d6 Thysanurians for some reason...and failure to decipher/translate this spell seems to prevent would-be readers progressing any further. Successfully copying the spell is a complicated and time-consuming process that more often than not takes longer than the time allowed, for this reason some impatient academics have resorted to simply casting the summons and hoping their hired mercenaries and defenders can handle the onslaught of Thysanurians while they attempt to delve deeper into the mysteries of this cryptic Treatise. So far most such attempts for which there are any surviving records seem to have failed for one reason or another...

Friday, August 23, 2019

Oculent (Wermspittle)

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
Friedrich Nietzsche

No. Enc.: 1d3 (1d6)
Alignment: Neutral (Cruel Tendencies...)
Movement: 90' (Float/Guided Levitation)
Armor Class: 6 (Scalemail)
Hit Dice: 1d4+2 (Some individuals advance as spellcasters)
Attacks: 1 (Area Effect or Ranged with a focus on one target)
Damage: 1d4 or by effect/spell
Save: F4 Except No Save versus magical Fear effects.
Morale: 10 (Extremely susceptible to magical Fear...)

Special: Cast Detect Magic, Read MagicDetect Invisibility and Telekinesis* at will. Oculent communicate via a limited form of telepathy**. Must succeed on a Save to learn each new spell gained if advancing in level as a spellcaster (failure means loss of spell). They also require double the usual XP to progress in any spellcasting class (Except Cleric). Most Oculents will not or cannot cast Dispel Magic

* Oculent Telekinesis is limited to 1/2 pound per HD/Level.
** Oculent Telepathy limited to 10' range and requires a written language known to both parties. They cannot communicate with illiterates...

Oculents will sometimes offer to serve as a Servant/Hireling, Familiar or even Companion Creature, depending upon Reaction Roll, how they are approached/treated, terms offered, any spells used etc.

Rugose and vaguely angular in outline, the Oculent are smallish beings (averaging 1' in diameter per every 3 HD/Levels) with a pronounced innate ability for Detecting and Reading Magic which leads many of them to become spellcasters of one sort or another, but never Clerics.

Oculent tend to be shy and retiring sorts, scholarly introverts who delight in poring over old scrolls, ancient tomes and paging through musty grimoires in the pursuit of magical lore and the chance to attempt to learn another spell, ritual or formula. Unfortunately for them, the Oculent tend to struggle in truly comprehending the things they read oh so easily; despite being capable of clearly reading nearly any magical text, they require a great deal of contemplation, study and practice to learn even the most basic children's cantrip. It is for this reason that some Oculents swallow their pride and take up the responsibilities of an acolyte, disciple or even familiar, depending on the egocentric demands and proclivities of whomever they deem a suitable master, mentor or teacher.

Oculent are ambitious yet patient sorts. Some have lingered in magical service to their 'masters' for decades, serving in placid silence, never revealing the full extent of their abilities or knowledge (or opinions), and unobtrusively learning all they can no matter how minor, worthless or deprecated it might be for their 'masters.'

Not especially brave nor entirely forthright in their dealings, the Oculent are often disregarded as weak, cowardly and nearly useless creatures best suited for use as Familiar (granting their masters the ability to Detect/Read Magic at will and sometimes other abilities determined by negotiation), or as a disciple that pretty much just turns pages on command or who oversees the cataloging and indexing one's scroll collection.

Despite lacking any limbs and having poor depth perception, Oculents hear extremely well and are fairly quick studies when it comes to learning written languages...they just struggle with the process of mastering and imprinting spells upon their weirdly structured brains. One wonders just what might transpire were the Oculent to ever begin to develop their own unique form of spellcasting instead of continuing to struggle with the approaches and canonical corpus everyone else takes for granted...

Any Oculent who learns Comprehend Languages is not long for anyone else's service...