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Showing posts from February, 2014

B/X Character Class: Harpies

Harpies by Donna Barr. Used with permission of the artist. Flying PC's can be a real hassle, because they can circumvent challenges that were planned two-dimensionally. But I think these harpies keep things pretty balanced. Let me know if I'm wrong. They are directly inspired by Paul Kidd's Lace & Steel, created in collaboration with Donna Barr. If you know Ms. Barr's work, there's no doubt the harpies were one of her contributions to the world of Middlemarch. If you don't know Donna Barr's work, then here you go, your new favorite thing: The Midnight Library. Anyway, harpies. Harpies (Lesser Harpies, Stormcrows, the Kindly Ones) Requirements : CON 9 Prime Requisite : CON Hit Dice : 1d4 Max Level : 8 Harpies have the heads and torsos of humans and the wings and bodies of large, predatory birds. Their hands emerge from the prominent joint of their wings. Although harsh and unforgiving in disposition, lesser

Satyr Sub-Classes: Marginalia

Okay, I think this is the last I have to say on satyrs . A squirrel-satyr, maybe? Satyr variations: Near-Satyrs, or Marginalia There are many variations on the satyr form. They are found throughout the world, reflecting the local fauna. In a jungle setting, one might encounter elephant, zebra, lion, or gazelle satyrs. In the frozen north: caribou and polar bear satyrs. These marginalia exist in small numbers—some may be unique—found in the wild or adopted into other communities. Most near-satyrs can be handled as cosmetic variations of either the satyr class or one of the below. These variations use the base satyr class, but changing out the natural attack, and a different advantage replacing Dazzling Music. Wolf-satyr Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, Hear Noise as thief. Cannot use these abilities if wearing more than leather armor. Bite: 1d2, 1d4, 1d6 Countenance: At level 4, a wolf-satyr's face looks increasingly lupine. Deer-satyr  Spe

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Satyrday Art

Dionysus and Satyr, Makron

Setting: The Planet Ceres

 This is a follow-up on yesterday's post on CrawlJammer and creating a fantastic version of our Solar System. Ceres, Heaven’s Garden, Jewel of the Archipelago Ceres, the miracle planet, is one of the most difficult places in the Aetheric Sea to find, lost as it is in the cosmic debris of the Archipelago. It is a pilgrimage destination for the Worlds’ richest and most desperate, because Ceres offers healing to those who have no other hope. Things grow well on Ceres. The tiny planet is covered in gigantic versions of plants recognizable from Aereth: forests of tulips; great, towering clover; cabbages like castles. The majority of the fauna is insectoid. There are intelligent races of both insects and plants. Wounds heal quickly. +1d6 of natural healing per day. If a person spends enough time on Ceres (3d6 seasonal cycles), even missing limbs will grow back. The new limb will usually have some plantlike properties (skin like bark, the occasional budding leaf

CrawlJammer and our Fantastic Solar System

Tim Callahan was kind enough to send me a pdf of his new ‘zine, CrawlJammer. It’s Space & Sorcery for Dungeon Crawl Classics . I haven’t read DCC and this ‘zine may contain mechanical elegances that I’m missing out on, but I can recommend this just for the inspiring setting. Tim’s approach to space is admirably divorced from science and complexity. Of course you can breathe in space, although the air is a bit thinner. Of course you can walk the deck of your planet-roving Viking longship—it establishes its own gravity well. Battle between ships uses the same mechanics as battles between characters. There are a few optional rules if you feel like tracking more stuff in order to create a spacier flavor. It takes place in a solar system much like the one gamers of a certain age grew up with: nine planets, including Pluto. And, obviously, they’re all inhabited. Is there anything greater than tales set in the fully-inhabitable Solar System? I’ll never forgive Science for not r

Satyr Sub-Class: Sabbat Satyr

I mentioned in the first satyr post that their reputations have suffered from the troublesome behavior of certain extreme elements within their ranks. People think that they are hedonists because of the Bacchante , or tricksters because of the Calicantsars . But the deepest, darkest suspicion people hold against satyrs is that they trade in dark magic. This is because of the Sabbat Satyrs. Sabbat Satyr Requirements : INT 13 Prime Requisite : INT Hit Dice : 1d4 Max Level : 14 Few satyrs have the academic focus necessary to become spell casters, and even when they do, many do not pursue it. This is because satyr magical talents inevitably lean towards necromancy. May wield sickles, knives, and staves. May not wear armor. Hit Progression, Spell Progression, and Save as Magic User. May not use magic armor or divine scrolls. Cannot perform Dazzling Music as other satyrs. Spells: Sabbat Satyrs cast spells from Gavin Norman’s Necromancer spell list . Ho

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Sketches by Joel Carroll


Heinrich Kley

Satyr Sub-Class: Calicantsar

These satyr-variants would be at a great advantage in a dungeon, but will face a lot of bias and persecution in town.  Calicantsar (Goblin-Satyr) Requirements : DEX 13, CHA 9 Prime Requisite : DEX Hit Dice : 1d6 Max Level : 10 A rare, subterranean off-shot of satyrkind. Calicantsars are widely reviled as tricksters and child-stealers. This reputation may or may not be earned. May use any weapons, and any armor except plate armor. Hit Progression and Save as Fighter. May not use wands or arcane/divine scrolls. Infravision. Stealthy: +1 to surprise. Dazzling Music: Beginning at first level, calicantsars can cause powerful effects in others through music. They require an instrument, and prefer pipes, cymbals, castanets, bagpipes, and lyres. Invitation to dance: One time a day per level, a satyr can perform a musical Invitation to Dance. This can be done while moving at normal speed. Instead of rolling on the normal encounter reaction

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The Damage The Damage by Nick Sheehy.

Satyrday Art

Nymphs and Satyr, William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Style as Armor: J. C. Leyendecker

J. C. Leyendecker was an illustrator in the first half of the Twentieth Century, closely associated with the image of the " Arrow Collar Man ." If you can't quite buy into the notion of " Style as Armor ," here's some inspiration:

Satyr Sub-Class: The Bacchante

These are the sorts of satyrs the Greeks and Romans loved to depict. They are usually found stumbling through the countryside in transient orgies, but they also seek out high-stakes adventures in order to more gloriously fulfill their vow of profligacy. Is... is it okay to admit how pleased I am with the phrase "vow of profligacy?" Walter Crane, Nymph Between Two Satyrs Bacchante, The Blessed Revelers Requirements : STR 13, CON 9, CHA 13 Prime Requisite : CHA Hit Dice : 1d8 Max Level : 10 Bacchante are holy figures and greatly admired in satyr communities. It is their duty to give themselves over to a state of wild revelry. May use any weapon. Cannot wear conventional armor, and rarely wear clothes. May wear animal skins equivalent to leather armor. Hit Progression and Save as Dwarf May not use magic armor, wands, or arcane/divine scrolls. Holy Debauchery: Must make a check against Wisdom to pass up offers of intoxicants or sex. If a bacchante