25 January 2018

Spell Consultation

A fire spell might be consulted to learn whether a strange material is flammable. An ice spell might be consulted to learn how much longer winter will last. A bewitch spell might give advice about improving social status with the local elite. A knock spell might explain something about the workings of a door rather than merely opening it.
This consultation is not a simple siphoning of information from an ancient text the spellcaster has memorized. The spell manifests as an incorporeal, transparent personality visible only to the caster, who appears to be speaking to himself, in his own voice and in another, strange voice that he thinks fits the personality of the spell. He is not doing this for comfort, fun, or drama; it's a necessary result of the consultation. To avoid appearing even more insane and eccentric than casters usually appear, many prefer to find somewhere private when consulting a spell. Time constraints often prevent this, of course.
The spells translate their thoughts into words, but they don't translate the spell's manner of thought. Their perspectives might sometimes be a bit cryptic, overcomplicated, or simplistic.
When commanding a knock spell, a caster who asks, "Tell me about this door," might be told, "This portal wants greasy disease to flow." This might be a warning about a poisonous doorknob or it might be a hint about applying oil to the keyhole. Hopefully, the caster will continue the conversation if the answer is not clear.
(I probably stole this idea from somewhere, somehow. I have no idea. I've been reading everything OSR, all the time.)


Instead of allowing a spell to have its usual effect, a spellcaster may expend the spell to speak aloud to a manifestation of the spell. The spell is an expert on relevant information. Only the caster will be able to see or hear the manifestation. Those nearby will hear the words the spell is speaking coming from the caster's lips, as if he is speaking nonsense to himself.
If you use a standard OSR D&D sort of thing, this effect increases with spellcaster level. [Level]x10 = # of minutes the conversation may last.
If you use GLOG, use: [sum]x10 = # of minutes the conversation may last.

22 January 2018

Character Generation in a Bottle

6 sets of 3d6 each. These dice are 5mm. Put them in a tiny container. Dump them out. Now you have a character.
(The regular size d6 is for reference.)

16 January 2018


Brownies look like people, but are only the size of a hand and have sharply pointed ears. They dress in tights, ruffles, and billows which always match the colors of their immediate surroundings.

Brownies are shy of humans and rarely speak with them, though they socialize with each other every night just before dawn. They only use clichés, metaphors, similes, stories, riddles, and sayings (old and new) to communicate. Their speech might sound like babble at first, but it is mostly understandable by anyone who understands local culture.
A brownie will usually hide in unused parts of a house such as an attic, hole in the wall, or under floorboards. Some households leave a room, often small and impractical for a human, empty in order to attract a brownie for their home.
Brownies like to help with chores, but only when they're certain they won't be seen, usually late at night. They get rid of pests, clean shoes, sharpen blades, patch clothing, and the like. Brownies occasionally move things around in a room so they can secretly watch the search for them and silently laugh.
A brownie will leave her home for another if she is not given gifts of food. They only eat rich, sweet, or dairy foods. If the food is referred to as a payment instead of as a gift, the house's brownie will leave.
Any who live in a house that does not have a brownie will be plagued by mean pranks by other brownies who live nearby.
Brownies can be convinced to join the party to care for gear, if given a place to hide and reason to vacate their current home.
AC 13 HD 1 Attacks: 1 (Bite 1) Move at normal speed.

11 January 2018

Bogey Owl

The Bogey Owl is sometimes summoned when a person awakes in surprise but does not immediately discover what caused the awakening. It is also summoned when a person is startled awake by a nightmare.

It is a shadow, but it's also feathers and eyes and a beak walking on humanoid feet. It travels alongside the one who summoned it, like a normal shadow, but it is actually a second shadow, in a different place, not properly adjusted for light, not perfectly connected to the host.
The owl will be banished when there is no light to give it form. It won't disappear until the person who summoned it is in complete darkness.
The Bogey Owl is harmless except its malevolent appearance which may lead to dangerous behavior in those who fear it or seek to harm it. Causing fear is its favorite thing to do in the same way that doing heroin is a heroin addict's favorite thing to do. It's like a need, but it isn't actually necessary for the Bogey Owl's survival.
It has no stats because it's not corporeal.

08 January 2018

Scrivener Class and Village Scrivenery

Scrivener Class

Whenever a scrivener completes their duty or dies, scrivener duty is assigned by lot to a family. That family must choose a member to take on the profession for three years.
A scrivener generally copies the same book many times before moving on to another one, leading some Scriveners to acquire incidental knowledge of spellcraft or other Outsider arts.
Scriveners are usually well educated, though they hide this fact from everyone they can, afraid of city-stigma. Some manage to learn very little, which sometimes enables them to not slip further in social status than they already have.
Many scriveners feel it is necessary to leave the village, often before they've even finished their three years of scrivening. Villagers resent the sense of superiority they generally assume scriveners have. The stereotype tends to hold true. Scriveners know more than anyone else and readily sense the ignorance of all around them.

A scrivener can only cast spells from a single school of magic, chosen at random when the character is generated. (I recommend Wonders & Wickedness, Marvels & Malisons, Theorems and Thaumaturgy, and The Complete Vivimancer. These books each contain wonderful options for spell schools.)
Scriveners know every detail of certain subjects. They each start with 2 lore and gain one lore per level up to 6 lore. (See *Lore** below.) A successful check means that the scrivener knows something about the subject being examined, if they could have reasonably learned about it from a book. Starting at level 3, they may choose a book they own to memorize. This will result in -1 to lore checks (low numbers are better) on that subject (minimum result of 1.)
  • Scriveners know one extra language.
  • Scriveners can copy one book in a week.
  • Scriveners can write one spell scroll per day at level 3.
  • Any text the Scrivener has copied 10 times or more (up to the Scrivener's level) is memorized. This will result in -1 to lore checks related to the subject (minimum result of 1.)
All stats are the same as magic users. Equipment Restrictions are the same as Magic-user. Spells per level are the same as a Cleric.


Roll 1d6 to use the Lore skill. If a Scrivener has 2 lore, rolling a 1 or 2 is a successful Lore check.
When using lore on an artifact, a successful check will detect whether an artifact contains magic. A second successful lore check on an artifact will allow the player to choose to learn either:
  1. Whether the item is cursed.
  2. What the item's primary effect is.
A successful lore check can provide an understanding of the significance of décor in dungeons.
Lore also allows a character to cast spells from scrolls and wands despite lack of magical ability if the character has an intelligence of at least 11. A lore check must be made each time any such item is used.


The library was intended as a place in which villagers might read any book for free before it is sold to bookstores in the outside world, but few understand this. Most believe the "rental" of such books to be expensive and do not use the library. Most folk call it the Scrivenery, which is what it has become.
The library is maintained by scriveners who copy the most basic books on every subject except the subjects the Village Council has banned. They only copy books that are very likely to sell as an export item outside of the village.