Saturday, January 8, 2022

here's some epic level monsters and powers i've used

How to challenge high level characters, piloted by players I've been playing with for a decade who know me and my tactics intimately? By level 20, they were handily taking down monsters with 500+ hitpoints and extravagant amounts of armor class and damage potential. In the Temple of Demogorgon, I put in a hechatonchieres which was meant to be too scary for them to fight. They focused fire and took it down without a casualty.

At the same time I've been playing a lot of Slay the Spire this year. The game has a lot of great monster mechanics that play with your powers in really interesting ways, and makes even normal combats scary enough to kill you under the right circumstances. So many good powers which really fuck with your tactics and interact in so many interesting ways with your cards and powers, allowing an infinity of tactics, and an infinity of ways to fuck up. So I made a list of similar powers of my own. Most of these did not allow saving throws or other soft mitigation, and instead became hard boundaries that players were forced to navigate.

1. Gain Strength each round -- damage increases linearly at the start of each monster turn. Even a weak monster can quickly become a serious threat.

2. Gain an extra attack each round -- very similar to the above, though it interacts differently with player abilities.

3. Gain an extra attack for each action taken by an enemy in its vicinity on the preceding round -- players who shrug and hope for the best quickly pay the price

4. Deal additional damage as the target's hitpoints decrease

5. When it deals damage, it is attached to you and moves with you. If you detach from the monster by any means, take additional damage

6. When an attacker deals damage to the monster, the attacker takes retribution damage 

7. For every two points of damage dealt the target, each ally takes 1 psychic damage -- a really rough deterrent that interacts in interesting ways with persistent hazards

8. When the monster deals damage, an equal amount is dealt to the character with the lowest hitpoints -- a very rude power

9. Every time a magic item is used near the creature, it gains hitpoints

10. When the monster deals damage, the target loses a spell slot of a random level

11. When the monster deals damage, it dispels a magical effect on the target

12. Every time a spell is cast near the creature, another spell slot of a lower level must be expended

13. Whenever an attacker misses the target by a certain amount, it can counter-attack for free 

14. When an attacker kills a monster, that attacker's next source of damage is reduced to 0

15. At half health, the monster splits into two monsters of equal health

16. The monster ignores the first instance of damage dealt to it each round

17. AOE effect causes targets to deal half damage and move at half speed

18. Immune to all magic and magical weaponry

19. Turn incorporeal and teleport long distances for free

20. High regeneration

Some examples of stat-blocks for monsters they've killed:

GUARDIAN APE

Giant white ape 30 feet tall, stained with blood down his mouth and chest, with bones littering the ground around him. He's sleeping peacefully and makes perception checks at disadvantage until woken. 

HP 600, AC 24, Move 90, and an additional 90 as a bonus action. He can jump, bound, and leap the full 90 feet.

Magic absorption: Any spell cast in the ape's presence causes the caster to lose another spell-slot of a lower level of the target's choice.

Berserk: The ape attacks with advantage, and all attacks against it are made with advantage. At the end of his turn he gains a +4 bonus to damage with all attacks. This stacks and lasts for ten minutes.

When reduced to 300 HP, divine light rains from the sky. First story ceilings collapse, buildings are ruined.  All magic effects on the ape are dispelled. All enemies have one magic effect removed from them. Also, all enemies must make a Con save DC 24 or take 6d6 radiant damage. Furthermore, the guardian ape is surrounded with divine light, which persists until the end of the player's NEXT turn. For every 2 points of damage dealt it, every ally of that character within 300' takes 1 psychic damage, even if they are out of line of effect. After this effect ceases, the rain will repeat at the beginning of every other turn.

ATTACKS:

3 punches +16 for 7d8+16 damage. This can punch through walls and buildings.

Grab, bite, and throw +16 for 21d8+54 damage and get tossed up to 100' in a direction of the ape's choosing (off a cliff)

2 CRIMSON SCORPIONS 

They are the size of mack trucks and sing an anarchic, disharmonious, wordless duet.

HP 300, AC 26, Move 40

Each time a scorpion is dealt damage, its attacker takes 2d8 psychic damage

It makes Strength based checks at +20

Attacks:

Claw/Claw/Tail +16 : 4d12+10 and grab/4d12+10 and grab/2d8+10 and Con DC 23 or 10d10 poison damage and forget 1d4 prepared spells, chosen at random

Spray bubbling green poison in a 90' cone (Recharge 5/6): Dex DC 23 or 14d8 poison damage and have all magical effects on you dispelled, on success take half damage and no dispel

KATANA-WIELDING MONKEYS

There are 3d20 of them.

HP 45, AC 17, Move 60

2 attacks +12 for 1d8+6 damage

They may use an action to pray for strength, gaining a stacking +4 damage bonus that lasts for ten minutes. 

SER YHARNAM THE RED

A knight in armor made of tempered cardinal feathers, wielding a greatsword made of bluejay and blackbird wings, and wielding a greatshield emblazoned with a mouse and seven stars. His longbow has a bright red bowstring.

HP 300 AC 26, or 30 when using his shield

Undead and no longer sentient, but implacable and fights intelligently

All saves vs magic are made with +18

Every time a magic item is used within 300' of him, he heals 100 hitpoints (no maximum)

If an attacker misses him by 5 or more, he may immediately counter-attack. He can do this any number of times per round, but he can't counter melee attacks with his bow, or long-ranged attacks with his sword.

Attacks 4 times per round with greatsword or longbow: +15 2d8+10

When he hits a target with his longbow, they must make an Int DC 23 saving throw or lose a random spell slot

FLAGELLANT MONKS

Dead monks hanging from the walls and ceilings, they carry whips with broken stone shards tied to them, their robes hang in tatters, the skin on their backs is hanging off them in bloody strips and the congealed blood which runs out their backs is sticking to the walls and ceilings like a slime and sending down tendrils to puppet their heads and hands like sick marionettes.

5 of them

HP 120 AC 21

Move 30, can walk on walls and ceilings

Undead

When reduced to 60 or fewer hitpoints, they fall from the blood slime that holds them, and are no longer able to walk on walls and ceilings. The blood slime becomes an independent monster with as many hitpoints as the flagellant monk was reduced to. i.e. If an attack reduces a monk to 61 or above to 60 hitpoints, a 60 hp blood slime spawns. If an attack reduces a monk from 61 or above to 1 hitpoint, a 1 hp blood slime spawns.

Flagellant whip +16, 3d8+10 and take +5 damage from subsequent attacks from flagellant whips 

or spit congealed blood up to 60': All in a 15' radius must make a Dex save DC 24 or be slowed as the spell, and may continue to save at the end of each turn. Monks and blood slimes are immune to this.

BLOOD SLIME

HP = whatever hitpoints the flagellant monk was reduced to. AC 21

Move 30, can walk on walls and ceilings

When a blood slime is killed, it explodes congealed blood every, slowing targets in a 15' radius just like the blood spit above. Monks and blood slimes are immune to this.

Bludgeon +10, 8d8+15 damage 


Thursday, January 6, 2022

what have we been up to? (2021 round-up)

 Well that's a very big question!

They were in Hell for a long time, in the Temple of Demogorgon. They went all through it and completed a long puzzle in the depths of the temple that let them speak with the Archbishop Gorgrudoch. They killed him for the Crown of Golden Death and rode the Golden Throne in the Nave of Hethradiah down to the Secret Cathedral of Demogorgon and fought the Archbishop Aggreal (there are two archbishops, just like Demogorgon has two heads. Demogorgon keeps his identity secret, his name is forbidden -- Sad Ed the Bard made the mistake once of uttering his name inside his temple, and He responded by striking Sad Ed blind and deaf and summoning a swarm of nalfeshnee to tear them apart. Each nalfeshnee is able to summon another nalfeshnee. This led to a very long, chaotic battle as my players realized that the nalfeshnee chain of summons could be infinitely long, and to this day they refer to Demogorgon as "The Sinister Scorpion" to protect themselves from his ire), and after reaching for the Skoros Orb in the black vault behind the statue of Demogorgon, discovered that the corrupt demonic flesh of the colossus the temple was carved into had grown around the orb and created a Skoros Orb Beholder. So then they fought a deranged and gigantic beholder which shot swords at them and froze them in ice blocks and made them love it and oriented their gravity away from it and manifested demons and shot disintegration lasers and sprayed blue slime and gamma rays. Then after they killed it they threw the corpse of the Archbishop Aggreal into the pit where the skeletons of all the past archbishops were kept, and departed hell with the Hell Soul of the Skoros Orb.

Then they tracked their nemeses, the Deadboyz, to a little town in the Goblin Wastes called Belroun. The Deadboyz had the remaining piece of the Skoros Orb. This was a dusty western town with tumbleweeds and a brothel and a saloon and a witch and a ghost seller and an old church to Nito I mean Otin the Gravelord, underneath the church was catacombs where was interred all the dead who fell in Belroun's rebellion against the monarchy of Orostranthy. This resulted in a long skeleton-themed dungeon crawl that was semi-procedural, well at least semi-random, where they fought eye-bats and bone golems and fought a gigantic skeleton in a pit of green slime as well as an enchanted suit of armor, which they killed by disintegrating the stairs under it and causing it to topple into the slime, and also at the same time coincidentally revealing the entrance into the Deadboyz' secret hideout. (This was actually a coincidence, they did actually on accident and completely coincidentally target with disintegrate the exact square in the entire dungeon that hid the entrance to the Deadboyz' hideout).

So then there was a long stand-off and slow battle with Blank the Wizard and Axen Great the Thief. My favorite part was, after the dust had settled and Blank had been killed and then reincarnated himself in the body of the soulless child he kept tied to his belt at all times and teleported away to safety somewhere, and Axen Great was trapped in a force cage, and the players had dispatched the time-eating fire elemental that gained an additional attack each round for every action used in its vicinity, the players decided to investigate the obviously trap-filled hallway packed with furniture just outside the room where they did battle. I don't remember why they did this, they knew it was definitely trapped. But each end of this hallway had a combination tumbler lock, so they figured something fucked up would happen if they forced the lock, and decided to carefully pick it instead. They were correct, but unfortunately for them the secret was that the locks were decoys and the door had a secret password that had to be spoken aloud ("There's a great treasure around the corner"), so even picking them caused both doors to close and lock and fire to spray from the ceiling, igniting the furniture that was packed with gunpowder, thereby causing the hallway to explode and collapse. Dirtface the Barbarian did some quick thinking and took shelter in his extradimensional pocket dimension, and we had to figure out on the fly whether force from outside could affect the pocket dimension after the door was closed. Anyway he survived, and they looted the third piece of the Skoros Orb from Blank's room, where it was protected by a death rune that constantly radiates 100 damage that ticks twice per round. I think they used an antimagic field.

Then they got nervous about combining the three pieces of the Skoros Orb, because in the course of their adventure they figured out that it got its mighty power by summoning the ancient SKYCANCER and trapping it in the orb and concentrating its power into a single point. The problem being that the Skycancer's influence seems to corrupt the orb's mightiest power, a single Wish granted to the holder. So they went to some libraries and looked up old pictures and accounts of it, learning that in the old days it was a horrible demon the size of a storm that flapped around and ate entire cities at once. They talked to the Purple Dragon Terrifex, who once battled the Skycancer in the freezing skies over the arctic Kraal, and did not win. And then they spoke to the time-stopped wizard Yote, who helped create the Skoros Orb 2000 years past, and tricked him into giving them the Rite of Purification, which was meant to force the Skycancer out of the orb and purify its use. "Would that, like, would the Skycancer then be like, free and stuff?" "Yeah!" said Yote. They set him on fire and put him back in his stasis.

Satisfied that the orb wouldn't immediately kill them after recombining it, they proceeded to the Seat of the Skoros Orb, a pearlescent structure of coralescent magic in the depths of the Shattered Labyrinths of Illith Varn, and there placed the three orb pieces, which combined into the true Skoros Orb (Corrupted), which nevertheless has a ton of mighty powers. Among them, the ability to conjure magical fogs, maintain concentration on spells even if the caster falls unconscious, decrease the casting time of all spells to a single bonus action, not to mention the nine unique spells of the Skoros Orb, and a +3 bonus to attacks and difficulty checks... Jaime the Wizard immediately went mad with power and has not let hold of it since.

But they found themselves locked in the depths of the labyrinths, unable to teleport out until the orb witnessed the sky a final time. So once again they made the long trek up, through the Temple of Aameul, through the flooded swamps of the Demon of Song, and into the scorched ex-headquarters of the wizard Malagon of the Cruelest Eye, and there found themselves ambushed by Malagon himself, and his two compatriots, Kaviel the Strange and Ser Senedar the White, once the three generals of the dead Illith Varn, and they demanded the party hand over the Skoros Orb. Sad Ed the Bard made a good effort to break their morale but failed his final Charisma check, and the party was forced to do battle with all three generals at once in the heart of Malagon's headquarters. So this was awesome. Malagon was creating disintegration webs and Kaviel was wielding his massive uchigatana and casting Fire 3 and Thunder 3 and Senedar, an aged warrior wielding a white katana, was carving everyone up. But ultimately, the team was able to mind control Kaviel into eviscerating Malagon, and killed Senedar where he kneeled, and victorious, made their way to the surface, where they found their camp under attack by The Sky Witch Queen Jupiter Volaris, atop her mount, the Green Dragon Corvenon, Son of Valathex.

Another boss battle. This is basically the boss rush section of the megadungeon, okay? Anyone they didn't deal with earlier comes back to steal the Skoros Orb from them. So they go rushing into camp and the Sky Witch is conjuring lightning from the sky and Corvenon is breathing gas that's transporting them into the world of dreams and the Sky Witch is putting curses on them and camp is a mess and their allies are hiding in tents and the woods and stuff, and the knight Vlawyn the Ket is pinned to the ground by a wind spell, and there's a mighty storm and pouring rain that's keeping them from moving at full speed, and the Sky Witch casts a spell that makes Malachai the Dwarf shoot straight up into the sky at a rate of 400' a round, but the team has a good idea, and Sad Ed gets up next to the Sky Witch and uses his magic crimson ring that causes him to switch places with the wearer of its twin crimson ring, luckily worn by Malachai the Dwarf, who then decapitates the Sky Witch and slaughters Corvenon. The storm ends, the dust settles, they bring their dead compatriots back to the life, and the party realizes that the Sky Witch left behind her Flying Fortress.

"Just a quick look around to make sure it's safe. We cleared pretty much everything the first time through, but I think we missed a couple rooms"

They go inside and immediately fight a Titanite Demon in the room they missed. They find the World Map in the witch's bedroom, with a mic that connects straight the Saliflax the Fire Elemental who drives the fortress. They discover that the fortress can't land, as it's been cleaved from the earth until the end of time, and if ever it does touch land, it will never be able to fly again. They break the news to Saliflax that they killed his boss, which he's sad about, but he gets over it quick because he's a Fire Elemental and they work through their feelings faster. And then they come across a gigantic painting in the ballroom of a stone building on top of a snowy mountain. They never got the chance to fuck with it before, since previously this room was the site of a masquerade put on by wind spirits, who had all been killed by another, more evil, more powerful spirit the players accidentally/on purpose released. Anyway Dirtface the Barbarian, who's played as much Dark Souls as me, gets excited and goes up to it. It's like thirty feet tall.

"Does it draw me in?"

"No... SMH"

"Is there anything on its frame or like underneath it?"

"No? There's nothing there"

"Hmm... I touch the picture"

"Oh, it tries to draw you in"

Very excited, the whole team gets drawn into... THE PAINTED MONASTERY OF ST LLOYD THE MONSTER.

Cue, a mixture of Aramis, Ariandel, Senpou Temple, and Sunken Valley. A frozen monastery on a mountain-top guarded by katana wielding monkeys and two crimson scorpions singing an anarchic, unharmonious song. In the depths of the monastery, the former monks, corrupted into dragon-like abominations by the blood they had injected into themselves, which they had harvested from St Lloyd himself, now locked away in the monastery's inner sanctum. Mosquito men, mimics, alligator men, undead monks controlled puppet-like by the blood they had shed in self flagellation. A sane and uncorrupted monk, who murdered his abominable brothers, and locked himself in a cell in penitence. A thirty foot guardian ape protected by divine radiance. A long-bearded monkey master and his family of golden monkeys. A corrupting disease settling into the bodies of all who dwelt here. A headless, rotten undead dragon, sitting on a snow-covered bridge. Talk of the original monastery, a Monastery of the Black Wind, where this painting was made to hold the abominable Saint Lloyd, who is said to have come across a wounded Divine Being in the wastes, and mingled its blood with his own, thus becoming Sainted. They were told that Saint Lloyd guards the only way out of the painting.

Me: "You could also cast Gate or Plane Shift to leave any time you want."

Them: "That's Okay"

Proceeds to teleport the undead dragon off its bridge and cast Meteor Swarm on it from afar as it flails helplessly in the snow 600' below until it dies.

They're level 23. We're having fun!

Monday, August 16, 2021

should the game world act the way the players want it to?

 Consider a pretty common scenario: players meet a monster and want to manipulate it into doing something. They have a spell or ability and are trying to use it in an unusual or counterintuitive way to achieve a result the DM does not expect. When does it do what the player wants it to?

A few things I keep in mind for this decision:

1. It's fun and rewarding for player to have agency and get a result they want

2. Players make sense of things differently than the DM might make sense of things

3. DM's job is also to create an appropriately challenging experience. Denying a result will make an experience that feels more challenging, whether fairly or not

4. A world that works consistently and in a way that matches our reality will reward lateral and creative thinking, thus creating a more engaging game

5. In fantasy, there are physics that have no analogue to real life, and cannot be modeled through common sense.

6. In real life, sometimes the world behaves in ways that don't make sense to us, because we don't see the whole picture. This is true in video games as well -- we hope that our new spell or gun will work in some way, or that physics will interact together in a particular way, but in fact they do not. 

7. Sometimes the player simply has a bad idea

8. Sometimes, the DM might have an unconscious or difficult to articulate reason for why something shouldn't work the way a player wants. In my experience I've sometimes found that reasons might lie in barely perceived interactions with other game mechanics. Sometimes there are other reasons.

9. The DM might want to provide a certain aesthetic experience that resists something working the way the player wants it to. 

10. When the DM doesn't allow the world to act in the way the player wants, the player may feel as though the world is intractable or unresponsive, or that the DM is being hard-headed or stubborn instead of reasonable, particular if the reason doesn't make sense to the player

11. A world that feels intractable to the player is probably the worst possible outcome. The greatest strength of role playing games is complete freedom of imagination, so a break-down in that aspect is really undesirable. As game narrows in tractability, it becomes less and less engaging, until player will disengage and do the next most interesting thing to them, or if nothing is available, find a way to cope with the situation. 

12. A tool that can be used here is the relationship between player and DM. If DM can communicate that they realize that the outcome may be disappointing, or any other variation of what is going on for them in the moment which maintains the emotional connection, this can really ameliorate some of the bad outcomes. 

With that in mind, I tend away from automatic "yes" and maybe hew a little too close to automatic "no." It's been helpful for me to experiment with playing games that are really built around collaboration and lateral problem solving, like White Hack. In 5e D&D, players are so powerful that I tend toward no. I wonder if this could be improved on my part?? On the other hand, see point 8 above.

Makes me wanna play more White Hack.

Friday, August 6, 2021

THE ICE PALACE

 When you go into the Ice Palace the first thing you see in the ice encrusted first chamber are these statues of kings. They’re about twice as big as you are and sitting on thrones made of ice. The floor here is slick with ice and the color of a white sky about to snow. You can’t see yourself in it. There’s a door between the kings all frozen over with a sheet of thick ice. It’s formed a thick crust and you can barely see the cracks where the door fits to the icy walls. You can see your breath steaming out from your scarf. But when you draw the golden scepter with the ruby at the end and swing it like a club at the door the gout of bright fire that pours out makes the ice give way in slabs of ice that slide to the floor leaving streaks of cold water that run underneath your feet, making the floor even more slippery. The door is decorated with gold traceries that form symbols you’ve seen before, in the other palaces. The door opens inwards when you push it with your palm, and you can find yourself in the long hallway covered in dark ice which shines like crystal and glass in your cool light pouring from the lamp fixed to your belt. 

neural network swamp of monsters

 Nick made like a neural network or something and plugged a few of my posts into it and sent me the results. I don't really know what's happening here or how it's able to do this but it seems like he's made a captured demon or spirit and has taught it how to write in my style and is making it make up scenarios. Check this shit out.

THRICE CURSED PRISON GENERATOR

1 Three men chained together - some prisoners standing around in chains (d6) with a couple guards directing them. 2 In a stone vat the size of a kid’s tub (but deeper) is a pink jelly, suspended in there are electric eels. 3 Many prisoners in a complex queue from door to door which forms a maze - movement in this room is difficult because there are so many people. 4 A large crowd of people milling about and shouting at each other. They all look unhappy. There's no sign of any guards or orderlies here. 5 The same as 4 but there's one guard who looks like he has lost his mind. He keeps trying to hit everyone with a stick. 6 All the prisoners have been stripped naked except for their shackles. Their clothes were taken away by the guards before they left. 7 A small group of prisoners are being fed through an opening into another room where they're put on display. 8 A huge crowd of people watching a fight between two guys wearing boxing gloves. One guy punches really hard while the other blocks it. 9 Two groups of people, both dressed very differently, are arguing. Some of the women are carrying babies and toddlers. 10 There's a big building full of people sitting down, waiting to be processed. 11 People are lying face-down on tables that are covered up by sheets. 12 An enormous open space filled with hundreds of people all facing outwards towards a central area. At first glance, it seems to be a giant arena. But when you get closer you can see that most of these people aren't staring at anything; they're just looking blankly ahead. 13 Men are chained hand-to-hand to a wall in a long row. Each man is holding onto the chain of the next prisoner. 14 A group of men working together, digging something out of the ground.

"Also here: d4+3 knights, d6+1 guards, 2d20 slaves. They are all loyal to Pallid Gross. The only way to escape is to kill everyone else and make it look like an accident. "

44 A huge stone room with a gigantic statue of some god or other. It's made by stacking up thousands of small stones. 45 A man is chained to the wall. He has no clothes on. 46 The walls are covered in graffiti and blood. 47 There are two rooms, each containing 3 prisoners. One prisoner is chained to the wall in each. 48 Two men are sitting in chairs facing each other across a table. 49 The floor is strewn with broken glass. 50 This building is full of doors, each leading to another room. 51 In a large open space there are tables and chairs lined up. 52 Several dozen men are gathered together in a crowd. 53 All the prisoners have been stripped naked except for their shackles.

Pretty good and accurate but could be weirder, so he moved on to:


AFTER THE SKOROS ORB IS RECOMBINED: The Skoros Orb Beholder can be challenged in the chapel, and must be beaten down before the party can proceed to the next level. Connections to: The Purple Dragon. Level Three. Level Four: The Tower of Life, the Pit of Death, and the Great Maze. LEVEL FOUR A vast maze, full of death traps, and a few living creatures. A tower of light, filled with angels, and a pit of darkness, filled with devils. The home of the Blue God, who is mostly nice, but can be very mean. BOSS: THE BLUE GOD: A chaotic god, whose power comes from the three aspects of his being: Light, Dark, and Chaos. He doesn't like to fight. But he will if you challenge him. A small dragon, a little more powerful than a regular one. He's a bit of an asshole, and likes to play tricks on the PCs. Connections to: The Pit of the Damned. Level Five. THE PIT OF THE DAMNED: A bottomless pit, filled with the souls of the damned, who are imprisoned by the evil gods of Hell. The place is the home of a powerful demon, who has been trapped there for centuries. The Tower of Life: The tower is a prison, and the only way out is to defeat its guardian, the Angel of Life, who can be found at the top. Once the angel is killed, the prisoners may escape. The Tower of Life is connected to the Pit of the Damned by the Bridge of Souls. BOSS: THE ANGEL OF LIFE: A big armored guy, who looks really happy most of the time. The Tower of the Damned: The tower is a prison, and the only way out is to defeat its guardian, the Devil of Death, who can be found at the top. Once the devil is killed, the prisoners may escape. The Tower of the Damned is connected to the Pit of the Damned by the Bridge of Souls. THE GREAT MAZE: A maze, full of monsters. A huge room, with a staircase leading up to a door that leads to the outside world. A hidden chamber, where a great deal of treasure is kept. Connected to the Pit of the Damned by the Stairway of the Dead. BOSSES: THE DEVIL OF DEATH: A fiend, who is always in pain, and who can cast 9th level spells. THE MONSTER KING: A giant monster, a combination of many different types of beasts, with the heads and bodies of each type of beast. It's covered in spikes, and breathes acid, fire, lightning, and poison. Its eyes glow red when it's angry. Connections to: The Great Maze, the Tower of Life, the Pit of Death. THE STAIRWAY TO THE DEAD: A secret passage, which connects the Great Maze to the Pit of the Damned and the Tower of the Damned. The entrance is disguised as a statue, and is guarded by the statues of two dead people. THE TOWER OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS: A temple, full of candles, in which the Blue God dwells. A lot of powerful magic. Evil angels and devils, who are also the guardians of the tower. BOSSES: THE ANGELS: High-level demons, who have been banished to Hell. They're all pretty nice, but they'll still try to kill you. Some of them can use magic. The Devils: Low-level devils, who were sent here by the gods to keep an eye on the Tower of Light and Darkness. They are not very bright, but they will fight to protect their home. THE BLUE GOD: A chaotic god, whose power comes from the three aspects of his being: Light, Dark, and Chaos. He doesn't like to fight. But he will if you challenge him. Connections to: The Tower of Life, the Great Maze, the Tower of the Damned. Level Five. Level Six: The Temple of the Gods, and the Throne of the King of Hell. LEVEL SIX A series of temples, full of gods. A throne, with the body of a man, who is the king of the devils. A lot of powerful spells. BOSS: THE GODS: All the gods of the Pantheon, except for the Blue God.

HERES ANOTHER ONE

WHAT IS THE DEEPEST HISTORY OF THIS PLACE? The history of the place goes back much further than any of us have lived. It is a kind of nexus, center point, and crossroads of many different worlds, realities, and planes. The mountains of hunger were once a great ocean, and the seas of blood were once a vast desert. This land was the birthplace of the gods, and the home of the Titans and the Giants. The gods created the Earth and the heavens, and the first humans. The Great War between the Gods and the Titans destroyed the world, and the survivors fled to the stars. A long time passed. Eventually, the gods and the Titans reconciled, and the Gods returned, and the world was remade, and a new order arose. All things changed. In the distant future, the gods will destroy the world again. But this time, they must come to the aid of the human race. The Shatterstone of Ice, the Palace of the Sun, and the Tower of the Dead: As the sun rises over the horizon, the tower appears as if it is made of ice, with the palace at its base, and the shattered stone at the top. When the sun sets, the tower disappears and the palace and the broken stone reappear. A hundred years ago, three young men of the village of Rethnor set out to explore the nearby ruins and dungeons of the castle. They found the entrance to a hidden passage and descended into a dark tunnel, where the light of their torches revealed a large chamber filled with statues. There was also a strange altar, and a door. The three explorers searched the room, but could find nothing else of note. One of them, however, noticed that the floor beneath the altar had a peculiar quality to it, as if there was a hole in the ground. He approached the altar, and cast a spell of detection upon the area, which showed a number of tunnels, some blocked off by doors, others leading to other rooms. The explorer opened the closest one to see a staircase descending into the darkness. The second and third explorers, who had been searching the rest of the chamber, joined him at the bottom of the stairs. Together they explored the passages and found more chambers, and eventually came upon the room that had been discovered earlier. Here, the walls and floors were covered in runes, and the air was thick with the scent of sulfur and decay. The explorers did not venture farther. Instead, they retreated to the secret stairway, and climbed back up. The next morning, the two remaining explorers went back down the stairwell and continued exploring the ruined castle. The first adventurer, now sickly and weak, decided that he would not risk the dangers of the dungeon again. The other, however, felt drawn to continue his explorations. He followed the other adventurer's torchlight through a doorway, and emerged in another hallway, whereupon he saw the figure of a woman standing before him. She was tall, beautiful, and clad all in white. Her hair flowed like molten gold, and her eyes seemed to glow from within.

AND ANOTHER -- for this one he says he would let it generate, and then he would write something weird to balance out the generic fantasy stuff, and let it continue

WHAT HAPPENED EVEN BEFORE THAT?? Well, before all this, there were some people who lived in the mountains, and they made a deal with spirits of the air to live in peace and prosperity. The spirit of the mountain gave them a great gift: immortality. But the price of this bargain was that their children would be born with wings, and fly away to join the rest of the birds. So the mountain became known as the Mountain of Wings, and it was a place where all kinds of creatures could come together without fear of harm. It was a very nice place. The mountain also granted its inhabitants the power of flight, so that they might travel anywhere. But the mountain hid a terrible secret: the true creator of all reality was buried there, tormented and shrieking. His name was Uldru, and he hated everything. He had created the world, but it wasn't perfect. There had to be a balance between good things and bad things. Everything needed to have the proper amount of both. It did not. And so he set about exterminating the gods. First, he took the god of love and replaced it with the god of death, who was just as cruel and capricious as the original. Then he took the goddess of beauty and replaced her with the goddess of ugliness, which was just as ugly and horrible as the first. He castrated the god of war and named him Peace. He dismembered the goddess of wealth and named her Desperation. He burned the land with fire and blighted the seas with disease. All this was done by his own hand, and for his own amusement, and Uldru laughed and laughed until the tears flowed from his eyes and his belly ached. Then he went back to sleep. What happened next? The gods of the pantheon began to realize what had transpired. They gathered together and decided to confront the evil one. The god of love was called upon to destroy Uldru, but the god of death refused to help him. Instead, the god of death told the other gods that if they wanted to defeat Uldru, then they must find a way to bring about the destruction of the world. They agreed. And so they reached into the heavens and pulled out the sun, and it fell to earth and was destroyed by the god of war. This left only the moon, and the moon was too small, and the gods couldn't get enough force from it to do the job. They caged the moon and ridiculed it, and stabbed it thousands of times. Then they flew out to the stars to begin the search for a new home, but they were afraid that the universe had ended. The god of war cried and begged the others not to leave, but the others ignored his pleas. They found a planet in a distant system and settled there. They began to have children, and the children began murdering the gods. The god of love was the last to die. When he realized that his children were killing the other gods, he tried to stop them. But his children killed him, and his body exploded like a bomb, leaving nothing but pieces of bone. The gods fled to another star to escape the wrath of their children, but the child-gods followed. And the children hunted the gods across the universe, destroying them wherever they could find them. The children finally caught up with the gods in the outermost reaches of the galaxy and slaughtered them. Only the god of love's bones remained, floating in space, alone. And there are no more gods of any kind in the universe.
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THIS GALAXY?? It is known as the Galaxy of Light. There are many worlds within it, and each has its own name. Each world's name is a horrifying obscenity, and to learn any one of these names would cause insanity and suicide. And there is a man here, a being who calls himself The Dreamer, who claims to have been born on this world. He says he can show you the true nature of reality, and the true names of the gods. The truth is far worse: he is a demon of the deepest darkness, whose power knows no bounds, and the knowledge of which could destroy all of creation. He is also a liar and a thief, and will steal your soul. THE DREAMER HAS SPOKEN TO ME. I AM NOT SURE WHAT HE WANTS FROM ME, BUT I KNOW THAT IF ANYONE CAN SHOW ME THE TRUTH, IT MUST BE HIM. AND SO I HAVE COME WITH YOU, MY FRIEND, FOR A TIME. AFTERWORD: I am a bit late to the party, but this book was originally intended as an expansion of my story, 'The Lost Gods of the Universe'. It started out as just that, and then grew to be something horrifying and cursed, which I regret. The main reason for the change was because the original was already written, so it was much easier to just start over with the same characters and setting. In the end, the result was a very different work from what I had planned.

Then Nick wrote three sentences of a fake article about google inventing a gun and it made this


 Then he fed it a porno review that was originally this


and it wrote this

He also uses a vibrator inside her cunt, which causes another orgasmic explosion. It ends with him fucking her mouth while he continues to torture her tits with electricity, making sure that there will be no recovery from this session! * * * I am not going to lie... I was pretty excited about this one. I have always wanted to try Device Bondage, so I jumped at the chance to review it. But as much fun as I thought it would be, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. So what went wrong? Let's start with the good stuff. When you think bondage porn, you probably don't picture a girl tied upside down on top of a metal frame. That alone makes this video worth watching. And let me tell you, Brooke did look amazing hanging upside down like that. Plus, I really liked how they used the whole frame to hold her legs together. This made it difficult for The Pope to do anything other than fuck her pussy or her ass. And if you know me personally, you'll already know that I love getting both of those holes pounded hard. There were times where Brooke looked so damn cute hanging there, just waiting for The Pope to come over and give her a proper pounding. Then again, sometimes she looked downright miserable. Sometimes she was crying because of pain, or fear, or even pleasure. All of these things added to the overall experience, but none of them seemed very realistic. Now, onto the bad part. First off, the sex itself wasn't too great. Sure, it was hot, but it lacked something special. Maybe it was because she was so tight that it felt like every thrust barely got into her. Or maybe it was the fact that the only positions they tried were missionary and cowgirl (which is fine). Either way, I found myself struggling to get fully aroused. Also, the sounds were pretty distracting. You could hear everything from moaning to screaming during the entire thing. Not exactly what I had pictured in my mind when reading the description. Lastly, the ending left me wanting more. Yes, I loved the last scene, with her being fucked in her mouth by The Pope while he tortured her tits with electricity, but it ended before my eyes exploded in ecstasy. Again, I mean, I'm a guy who loves seeing girls get fucked in the face. But I still want to see the actual climax. Not some fake orgasm from a vibrator inserted into her cunt. At least it was kind of sexy, though. So now we're back to the question: Was Device Bondage worth the money? Well, the answer is yes. It is definitely entertaining. If you are looking for some bondage porn to put on your device of choice, then this is the right one. However, I wouldn't recommend buying this unless you are okay with the price tag. If you are willing to pay $10, then go ahead and pick it up. If you are willing to spend more, then wait until the price drops. Overall, Device Bondage is a decent purchase, and I would definitely consider picking up the next installment. * * * If you enjoyed this review, then please take the time to check out our website. We have many more reviews, as well as articles on topics such as BDSM and Fetish. Please feel free to comment, and let us know what you think. It iz awl! This is the first episode of the new series 'The Adventures Of Bunnies & Burrows' which follows the adventures of two bunny rabbits, Bubbles and Bloo. They are joined on their journey by a little white mouse named Paws. Together they must overcome the trials of life, and learn to be brave and true friends. In this episode Bubbles is feeling lonely after spending all day with her family.

Anyway that's all, thanks for coming to neural network show and tell

Thursday, July 29, 2021

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA (campaign concept / vaporware)

 Dark Lord Ganon was on the cusp of victory. The kingdom of Hyrule under his thrall, the royal family slain and scattered, and the seal to the Dark World finally broken -- the armies of Ganon had poured into Hyrule, and the Hylians were under his heel. But the boy knight Link and the surviving royal princess Zelda confronted Ganon at the entrance to the Dark World in the pinnacle of Hyrule Castle, and slew him. And in an instant, his grip on Hyrule was broken, and his armies scattered, leaderless. The people of Hyrule felt the breath of hope again.

But Link was mortally wounded, and breathed his last on the steps of Hyrule Castle. And in Ganon's death, the Triforce which he held within his breast, and which was the anchor that kept the Dark World apart from Hyrule, shattered, and the Dark World merged with Hyrule, filling the once light filled kingdom with poison swamps, cursed forests, burning mountains, and strange ruins that did not exist before. And Zelda remained trapped in the pinnacle of Hyrule Castle, held captive by the burning malice of dead Ganon's spirit.

The broken people of Hyrule try to rebuild their ruined lives, but the monsters of the Dark World bay at their doors, raiding their villages and killing them in the wilderness. The old adherents of Ganon work feverishly to find a way to resurrect him--a dark wizard has arisen, spurring Ganon's lieutenants to greater evil. What hope could remain in a ruined world such as this?

It is said that Link was buried by the last sages with the Triforce of Courage, contained within the Master Sword that was used to slay Ganon, but all who have tried to draw it from its stone have failed. And it is said that Princess Zelda holds the Triforce of Wisdom, though she is held captive beyond the reach of every hero who has tried to reach her. But the Triforce of Power, which was held within Ganon's breast, was quickly recovered by his evil servants, and hidden within the wretched dungeons which fell from the Dark World. If they could be retrieved, maybe the holders would have the power to separate once again the Dark World from the Light, and bring peace to Hyrule once again...

A SANDBOX CAMPAIGN POINTED TOWARDS DUNGEONS

So exactly how would this work? A Zelda campaign would need an open sandbox structure (like Breath of the Wild), but with a large number of menacing dungeons acting as center pieces and centers of gravity. Each dungeon would be fairly large, but by no means a megadungeon. The megadungeon would be the world itself, and the dungeons would be the sections of the megadungeon. So we need a way to lure the players to the eight dungeons--a gimmick, a story hook, and a meaningful reward.

Basically, at the center of the map is Hyrule Castle, with Ganon's Palace hovering inverted over it. Arrayed around it like spokes on a wheel are the eight dungeons. The exact location of some would be obvious, but some would be hidden, some more cleverly than others. The players would be given an accurate map of Hyrule to help navigate, but the merging of the Dark World would have deleted or replaced any number of landmarks. You might expect to come over a certain hill and see a grassy field and instead find a vast lake of blood, and where there should be a sacred temple, there would be a Palace of Darkness. Finding a village where it's supposed to be would be a relief.

Seems pretty obvious to me that the pieces of the Triforce have been hidden in these dungeons. It would make sense that Ganon's evil subjects would be pretty pleased to have the worlds merged, and would do everything they can to keep the Triforce broken. They already got their victory, except that their master is dead. As a bonus, each dungeon could contain a special power, item, or spell that fundamentally alters some basic problem that occurs in the overworld. The basics could go for some of these, like a pearl that lets you breathe underwater or a Firerod to burn flammable stuff, but I could go weird for others. Presumably, some of the dungeons would have problems that could be greatly ameliorated by these items, but since I want the game to be an open world, they wouldn't be necessary.

Link also has one third of the Triforce -- the Triforce of Courage -- but his tomb is a sacred place, either in the Temple of Time or the Lost Woods. There would need to be some test or problem to solve before you can go inside. Maybe you need a certain number of hitpoints before you can draw the Master Sword, which contains the Triforce of Courage. Or maybe you need to find and help the three Divine Beasts, or have the blessing of the last sage. Something like that.

Zelda has another third of the Triforce. You can go to Hyrule Castle to try to free her at any time, but at first this will be a challenge beyond your abilities. I imagine freeing Zelda would be a mid to late game activity, though very clever and courageous low level players might be able to make some progress before that. Freeing her would grant you a powerful ally. At this point presumably Zelda knows how to channel the power of the Triforce--this could be a versatile and powerful tool, but someone you need to protect as well. Wouldn't it be fucked up if you saved Zelda, only to have her killed by Ganon's minions?

Ganon's Palace would be the final tenth dungeon, hovering inverted over Hyrule Castle, the last remnant of the Dark World that has not fully merged with the Light. You probably need the Master Sword to proceed from Hyrule Castle into Ganon's Palace. But you know.. maybe not! Just doing an open world is fun. As for who the final boss is, well, that's a secret, but I'm sure you can imagine. Do you even need all the pieces of the Triforce to defeat it? I would say -- no, you don't. But without the Triforce, the Dark World can't be made separate again.

POWER PROGRESSION

Possibly, gaining hitpoints would be impossible from simply fighting monsters, finding treasure, and getting XP. Maybe you would need to find heart containers in the world, or defeat the dungeon boss. Would that be fun, or would that be annoying? It would be the classic Zelda incentive to search every nook and cranny -- maybe here I can find the Heart Piece I need to get another hit dice. How would this be tied to the normal level up system? Maybe you have to finish a dungeon to level up, but you can get small amounts of extra hitpoints in the overworld.

This would turn monster encounters into obstacles, rather than a situation with its own reward. Monsters would have to drop appropriate treasure to make the fight feel worth it. It's nice in D&D and other rpgs that just fighting monsters gets you XP -- it never feels like a total waste of time.

Another drawback is that in the overworld, you would need to manually hide heart containers around, rather than relying on the game's natural rhythm to change over time. That's one of the main benefits of experience points -- the game changes on its own, without you fiddling with it. If heart containers were hidden in the world, it would work to leave a dungeon, fuck around, and come back a little more powerful. Would heart containers actually level you up, or just give you more hit dice? I'm thinking they would actually level you up. In that case, we would probably need a 20 level system, whereas if you only leveled up from dungeons, a 10 level system would be fine. 

I've been enjoying White Hack. Maybe there could be a way to stretch that out into more levels and eliminate the experience system. 

And then, what if the players really prefer to just fuck around in the overworld? Isn't the whole point of an open world that you can do whatever you want and play the game? Shouldn't there be some power progression tied to that for its own sake?

RACES

Not the Breath of the Wild races!! I do not vibe with Rito, Goron, and Zora. Nothing against them in their specific context, they work well in that game. But I am not drawn to imagining my players as them.

Rather, I think it would be primarily Hylians. Maybe you could be part fairy or part monster. Part fairies are the Hylians we typically imagine with pointed ears, psychic powers, magic, glimmering light, and so on. Part monsters might have fangs, horns, vivid skin color, weird eyes, etc. There should be a big hulking character option. Maybe some moblins are trying to integrate into society. Would it be cool to play a Moblin? Maybe there should be a Goron. I don't think Kokiri should be an option, neither LOTR elves and dwarves. This is a different world from LOTR, therefore different characters to imagine being, and different archetypes to fill.

On the other hand, I know some players really get a kick out of playing distinctly non-human races. So... I don't know.

I like having different anime people of different sizes. Little fairy guys, tough dwarf guys, regular people, big hulking brutes. I'm reminded of BREAK! What ever happened to that?

CLASSES

Swordsman, archer, psychic, mage, forest dweller, ranger, beast-tamer, princess, assassin, knight, marksman, bounty hunter, trapper, bug hunter, mercenary, and so on. It's easy to imagine the world of Berserk kind of merged with this one--a savage, cruel, dark world of romantic personalities, subject to violence that should not exist in their world. Anything that fit in Berserk would fit here, easily. Clerics would channel holy power, remnants of the sacred realm that was once the Dark World. 

MONSTERS

I like the weird diversity of Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time over the austere orderliness of Breath of the Wild. So there would be the hits, but also an infinite variety of new monsters, based on whatever the DM comes up with. Bokoblins, moblins, zora, octarock, lynel, poe, stalfos, rock golems, hinox etc, but also weird little scurrying creatures and werewolves and goblins and vampires and sand worms. At the end of the day it's dungeons and dragons, and D&D works best when it's a new monster every session. 

WHAT ARE THE DUNGEONS?

This is a secret! But more based on Link to the Past than Ocarina of Time or Breath of the Wild. Rather than Temples or Divine Beasts, they would be ruins, weird horrible ruins brought from a cursed world, or once nice places inhabited by twisted demons from a mirror dimension. I like the Palaces of Link to the Past: these were maybe literal palaces of a civilization long past, but now they are used for another purpose.

Rather than being puzzle focused like Zelda, they would be filled with OSR style problems. But I always like in Ocarina how there's a central figure or gimmick that changes as the dungeon progresses. So that's something to keep in mind.

Some of them would be elementally themed. I love the Ice Palace. And I like the idea that the Dark World brought new horrible problems to Hyrule -- melting glaciers, volcanos where there shouldn't be, evil woods, etc. It would make sense that the dungeons could be at the center of some of these problems. But not all of them. There has to be variance.

Beating a dungeon causes the others to scale up in power. Maybe they absorb more power from the Triforce, or redouble their defenses, or their wizard general summons new kinds of creatures. 

As for size, I'm split on this. They would be smaller than the average level of my megadungeon for the most part -- I would want each session spent in a dungeon to feel like you're making progress. At the same time, I would want this campaign to create the Zelda game I wish existed, and most Zelda games seem to have dungeons that are just a touch too small because of the constraints of video games. Some of them, especially dungeons a little further from the start, could be pretty massive -- 50+ rooms maybe. And the final dungeon would be that big as well or a little bigger, so there's plenty of room for players to explore for the duration of the campaign. But the early dungeons might be a little small, maybe 20-30 rooms, so players wouldn't feel too discouraged, and could test their strength at low levels, and if they skip them and come back, could work through them quickly.

WHAT IS IN THE OVERWORLD?

I don't know exactly how to make this fun! Definitely there would be little towns, more along the lines of Breath of the Wild's Hateno Village than the faction cities, and more like Ocarina's Kakariko -- secrets to discover, NPCs that change depending on time of day, hidden treasure, weird little stores. Everything would be larger in scope than a video game can account for: traveling for in-game days rather than the hand-waved minutes. Fast travel might be a good idea after a certain point, to incentivize exploration into unknown areas: maybe finishing a dungeon lets you teleport to its entrance.

I don't care about "shrines," but mini-dungeons are always nice to stumble upon. 1-5 room scenarios with a little reward at the end. This could be a place to hide "heart containers" if I go that route.

Wandering NPCs to befriend, rescue, and fight! Not everyone in this version of Hyrule is nice. Maybe the old armies of Hyrule are trying to regain power, and thieves are trying to steal the Triforce for themselves, while bandits take advantage of the chaos to raid highways and villages.

I'm tempted to re-introduce the Divine Beasts, but as literal Divine Beasts: sacred creatures, manifestations of Hyrule itself, ancient, imbued with sacred power and energy. Like the Great Forest Spirit of Princess Mononoke. If you find and help them, they could grant a powerful magic spell, or some boon that really alters the course of the game.

Breath of the Wild bokoblin camps are not in the mix, for me, nor Stone Taluses, nor korok seeds, or any of that stuff. Ganon's forces would need to be reimagined entirely: there might be war-camps of beastmen and moblins, but this would be more literalized. What would it actually be like if there were a war camp of bokoblins? What would it actually be like if a hinox were guarding a mountain pass you needed to get through? Could you talk to it? Could you trick it? What would it want? 

Horses! Always need horses. Could there be other mounts? Lizards? Chocobo?

Fairy fountains! Pretty crucial. A place to recover hitpoints and be granted blessings by the ancient fairies of Hyrule. 

True to Hyrule there would be a variety of environments: icy glaciers, lightning struck mountains, deserts, dark forests, nice forests, great lakes and rivers, rolling plains, but also weird stuff dropped in from the Dark World: shining obelisks, disgusting idols, rivers of gore, forests of thorns, pyramids, swamps, and so on. But there wouldn't be a switching back and forth between worlds: it's all one place now. 

I"M RUNNING OUT OF IDEAS

Next step I'd need to make a map, a bunch of dungeon ideas, and starting getting specific. Sounds like fun!