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/tg/ - Traditional Games

File: folly.pdf (2.75 MB, PDF)
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2.75 MB PDF
Sup /tg/, PDFAnon back again to keep this party going.


The last three are also archived at http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html under the tag "Warren's Folly".

Mega Link (contains current PDF, some supplemental material from a previous OP, and the source files):

Starting with the version after this one, I'm going to be timestamping versions of the source material archive and leaving them on Mega in perpetuity in case someone's trawling archives in two years and wants to pick something up out of this.

Last thread ended with discussion of weapons, healing, and other such combat business, so let's get back into it.
Bump for your eyeballs.
We need a recap of everything.
Also the potions aren't in the PDF.
Most of the necessary info is in the Mega link, but the main progress in the last thread can be summarized as follows:

Grace renamed to Finesse.

Low Duress healing provides temporary hit points as a boost, rather than as a buffer. Get healed before those wear off or you'll be a corpse.

Drugs stack as far as you want them to, but this will probably kill you faster than you'd expect.

High Duress Finesse character type is somewhat lacking in crunch. Real mechanical details of skills need to be worked out. Current proposed solutions are a) broad categories of skill checks buffed by Knacks (skill monkey) and b) rework core concept to transform it into more of an assassin type of character.

Cult of the Feast made canon as Potlatchers.

Example potions: https://boards.fireden.net/tg/thread/52793104/#q52856650

Related healing discussion:

Discussion of weapon and armor mechanics, in two flavors:

5e flavor

CoC flavor

Reiteration of some tech discussion from previous threads:

Some statted monsters and tactics are now in the rulebook, and there's some additional discussion around larger Horrors in https://boards.fireden.net/tg/thread/52793104/#q52835431 and its replies.

Notably, consensus is that only humanoids follow the stat calculation rules, but Horrors can just have whatever stats are appropriate without regard for the math.
Dumping potions
Unstable Concoction: "This is by far the easiest potion for the blightmage to craft being able to be crafted even in combat and will serve as the blightmage's main way of dealing damage" Does ??(affected by lore) damage in a 5-foot radius from where it lands, crafted with a minor action but can't be thrown in the same turn it is created.

Potion of Iron Skin: "the target's skin becomes warped and becomes as hard as iron, perhaps harder given how weak iron seems to be in the Maze" Gives an ally damage resistance based upon the blightmage's Lore for the duration of an encounter.

Healing Poultice, low duress, mundane, alchemy
"Heals allies for a small amount, must be directly applied to wound the target." Heals an amount of hp determined by your Lore stat over the course of 30 minutes.

Ichor drought, ?? duress, magical, alchemy
"Made using the blood of a horrible creature, this alchemical creation provides inhuman strength and/or Finesse (DM's choice revealed upon the creation of the item) at the cost of sanity."
+1d4+2 Might and/or Finesse -1d4 Will +1d6 duress (duress increase is after the resistance modification due to the decrease of the target's Will)

Elixir of the Maze, ?? duress, magical, alchemy
"This feat of alchemy is particularly dangerous as it opens one's mind to the Maze and everything that entails" the user imediately undergoes a personal psychological encounter roll on the random table reroll if the result is "nothing" then the user reacts to the outcome as normal but with a +(Blightmage's Lore modifier) bonus on all duress related checks for being somewhat prepared for the experience.
Some discussion about settlements:


Corpse Titan concept:

Details on Dodge and Parry as used in CoC:


Some additional archive reading is probably necessary. Sorry for the spotty summary, but the last thread was 4 days long and I wasn't awake for all of it.
Final one.
Cartographer's stimulant (name needs good flavor), any duress, unknown if magical or mundane, alchemy
"This drug refined from several herbs only found in the Maze is very popular amoung Cartographers, perhaps due to its unmatched ability to get someone out of trouble" one batch of ingredients creates one dose of Cartographer's stimulant for each Cartographer in the group and a batch only counts as one alchemical item towards the maximum amount of potions a blightmage can have active at once. When used the target's base speed increases dramatically and they are uneffected by attacks of opportunity this speed increase is equal to the target's duress*modifier(to be determined later)+10*(blightmage's Lore modifier) for X minutes.

>Unstable Concoction

Oh, I missed that one, and that's really cool. Like one of those liquid bombs where you set off a chemical reaction by mixing two reagents. Neat.
As far as our skill/finesse class goes, here are my thoughts:

Low duress: ranger character who excelles at traveling through and surviving the maze, using skills taught by early settlers of the maze, and nomadic tribes who wander it.

High Duress: character that allows itself to be changed physically by the maze to gain powers and strength. Mutations of the body, often immitating horrors, grant viscious and heightend abilities.

Low duress would gain benefits to navigation, scavenging and survival. Their weapons would mostly be simple technologically, possibly even made during their travels, but require skilled training to use, i.e. long bows.

High duress can choose mutations of various severity to adopt for a short time, likely at a cost of duress or hit points upon reverting. More mutations can be stacked at a time as one advances, ranging from simple dark vision to growing tentacled whip-limbs.

If this idea recieves support, I'll begin laying out crunch.

That was the original concept I had laid out, but I'd love to see some crunch to see how it plays out. I originally meant it as a rogue, but the currently rather sparse skill system makes that less-than-perfect, so I'd like to see your take on it.
I like it.
Alright let me give it a go. All numbers are rough ideas or placeholders, as are most names.
Also, I might swap out "Forerunner" for "Wayfinder".

>Level Headed, duress <80
Keeping the lessons of the maze in mind is crucial to surviving it: The mazeborn gets a bonus to skill checks when under low duress.
For every 10 duress under 80, the Mazeborn gets a 5% bonus to skill checks involving perception, navigation, identifying things native to the maze, and scavenging for basic food and supplies.
[maybe lower the cap, but increase the scaling?]

>Resourceful, Duress <80
Mazeborn excel at finding the hidden uses of what the enviornment provides. Slain creatures may be harvested for useful components. Roll a 1d4 per size category above tiny (tiny=none, small=1d4, medium=2d4 etc.). This number is equal to the amount of rations, arrows, or other basic items which may be obtained as appropriate for the source.
Eating horrors, or other humans, can provide ill effects, both physically and psychologically, and any rations made from them add 2 duress, and have a 10% chance of poisoning the consumer.
[crafting seems fitting, but difficult to keep simplistic. Maybe materials can be made into basic weapons/items during a rest?]

>Stick to the Shadows
Early hunters quickly learned that the key to overcoming the dark was embracing it. Mazeborn gain an automatic 30% bonus towards any checks involving stealth, and can add 15% to a group stealth check.
In addition, striking an unwary opponent grants damage bonuses. Attacks made against an enemy who is unaware of the Mazeborn gain an additional 15% chance to hit, and use double finess damage [or an extra damage die] if hit. This damage can only be applied once per enemy, per encounter.

>Vital Strike, Duress <60
Dealing with horrors has given you a good idea of how best to harm them.
An attack made against an enemy which is grappled, knocked prone, or otherwise incapacitated deals extra finess damage.
There might also be room for maneuvers, but I won't go into that until I'm sure it's a good idea. Example:
Trip/Blind: Requires appropriate target of [limbs/eyes] Maneuvers take a [Duress based] accuracy penalty. If the attack is succesful, weapon die value is subtracted from opponent's [movement speed/accuracy and perception] for that turn, instead of used as damage. Modifier damage still applies.

Not sure if this should be ommited, be available to everyone, or given to/shared with Warriors.
>Low Duress healing provides temporary hit points as a boost, rather than as a buffer. Get healed before those wear off or you'll be a corpse.
Is this to say that if a Mazeborn receives magic healing to give him +5 temp HP and he is wounded down to 6HP he will be left with 1HP and if he is left with 4HP he will die?
10 hp + 5 temp hp = 15 hp
Take 13 damage -> 2 hp
Later, temp hp wears off: -5 hp
2 - 5 = -3, aka dead

Temp hp can be used as a stimulant, or to buy time to stabilize someone, but not as a shield.
Rolling for changing this
>Initiative determines the turn order in a round of combat, and by default is determined by the Finesse score of each participant, with the highest score going first.

Into this
Initiative determines the turn order in a round of combat, and by default is determined by the Finesse score of each participant
with the highest score going first.
because it will add some variety to the combat order
The total distance a character can move over flat ground in a single action is given by
Might × Finesse . 10

I think this should be (Might x Finesse / 10) + 10
because it gives the average score 12*12 = 144 /10 = 14.4 feet a realistic bonus into 24.4feet / round.
the might or finesse based character will get (18*14 / 10) +10 = 35.2
It keeps the average around 25 - 35 feet instead of 15 - 25feet.
Just to clarify will the classes be leveling up during the campaign or will all ability gains be duress based?
Becuase I'm looking to write up some class progression based off of the lore from the last 4 threads.
And what is the difference between Corruptors and Chirurgeon class wise?
Will you decide if you want to be a Chirurgeon upon character creation or will you pick it up as an archetype or will you shift between Corruptor class and Chirurgeon class as your duress increases?

>1.decide upon class creation
I'm not against this one but it means that if your a low duress build and you suffer high duress 80-100 you will be nearly useless ability-wise, same goes for high duress builds during an ambush, if they're at low-med duress during a 2 round ambush they won't be in combat long enough to gain duress and become an effective mage.

>2.pick up as an archetype
It's similar to the above type but It just means you can have a few encounters as a generic blightmage before you and your group decide what kind of paths have worked for them and what build they will take.

>3.shift between classes as duress changes
This seems fairly crunchy and would be abhorred by players new to tabletop simply because they don't want to have to recalculate their atkmod spellmod ability-mod differently every time they're hit with a duress change. Changing between classes seems very useful and should be considered in conjunction with the 2nd option above so it can be avoided by players who hate crunch and embraced by players who can handle the crunch.
Combining 2 and 3 we have the following:

Starting either a skill tree system where you can take a level in either Corruptor or Chirurgeon when you level up so you can go 70% Corruptor and still have some Chirurgeon abilities for use at low duress or you could go 50/50 and have a wide pool of moderately useful abilities that are always available.

Or we could take this approach

You are a Blightmage and your current skill set is determined by your duress. After going up from 40 duress into >60 (or 50) threshold you can use the Corruptor abilities but lose you Chirurgeon abilities, and going down from 80+ duress into <60 (or 50) you will lose your Corruptor abilities and gain Chirurgeon abilities. You will also have a few abilities that are both high and low duress that are Blightmage abilities and will always be available no matter what duress you are at.

Just throwing ideas out but these seem like reasonable routes to take.
I'd need to double check that it would work with everything, but I think the different "subclasses" are just flavor names. I think different abilities just work at different duress levels.
The choice of play style will probably come in with class-specific knacks, which favor one build over another.
I vote for the second method described.

Other than "no hp gain", we haven't actually talked about level ups. Knacks should be gained, and many abilities should scale in effectiveness.
I would move the threshold for both to be 40-60 and higher and lower than than would be high and low duress, but other than that it looks good.
On duress, when a cartographer's duress would exceed 100 they must make a duress check (will+misc. modifiers) vs duress (before the possible duress increase) if they succeed their duress remains unchanged, if they fail they increase their duress as normal and roll on the insanity chart (somebody made this basically you roll a d8 and gain the corresponding detrimental condition). If a Cartographer's duress exceeds 100+ their Will they become lost to the Maze and become truely becoming a Mad Cartographer over the course of X rounds (varies based upon how much their current duress exceeds 100+Will) with their Charm stat being decreased by 6 and are treated as being threatened, additionally all fellow cartographers gain 3d8 for seeing this horrible occurrence.
What is this?

It's a dark fantasy setting.
Yeah, but is it some big "/tg/ makes a system" thing that actually took off, or is it some guy taking suggestions for his own system, or what?

The former. First thread was called something like "Okay, /tg/, let's make a badass system" or whatever, and it's been relatively active for the last week or so.
I gave a draft of the insanity effects in the last thread for reference
And there should be a Knack that allows a player character to make a duress check with a selected stat + misc
>When playing a high duress warrior I will use this to make my duress checks with Might instead of will, and when playing Blightmage will use Lore instead of Will.
This allows high duress builds a smaller amount of survivability, about +6 to duress check which is only giving a 6% higher chance, but can be used to greatest effect when you roll low will (6) and have high Charm (18 / 21) and instead get a 13% increase to duress checks.
I'd say that alchemy materials can be found this way and by scavenging for useful herbs, but as for crafting we should have basic supplies and materials ex. Food, water, wood, metal, cloth, alchemical herbs, monster crafting materials (hides, bones and stuff), expressed in value amounts. Crafting items would require tools, materials, and a safe place to work.

> in-depth crafting system
> tabletop death simulator
> current year
It's not meant to be in depth on the resources side, you use a quantitative amount of a resource or multiple different resources to make stuff. Differing materials will have differing quality. Quality of materials will only increase how good the result is. That will be easy to do with our d100 system as we can have slightly better resources craft slightly better items. This way we can craft items without too much hassle.

But why are we crafting items in the first place?
Read the post I replied to.

That doesn't answer the question, it just proposes a crafting system to justify the existence of a Knack.

But why are we crafting things in the first place? I'm not saying it can't be put in there, or even that it shouldn't, but it needs to have more motivation than "crafting systems exist in other games, we should have one".
It's a TRAIT of a class, and it can be expanded upon with being able to find resources randomly in the Maze and other people being able to get resources through other means. Furthermore, gathering interesting materials from the Maze is a large part of what a Cartographer is in the setting; it only makes sense for us to be able to use these materials in crafting.

Traits are not mechanically or practically different from Knacks, so don't ALL CAPS about it.

> it only makes sense for us to be able to use these materials in crafting

It actively does not. Your job is to go and fetch them for your betters, not burn your whole supply for medkits.

In any case, you're continuing to just say things that are justified if we assume that a crafting system exists, but not actually justifying the effort it will take to develop such a system.

What is your vision for the crafting system that justifies its creation, development, and maintenance? How does it fit the theme of the setting? I'm just looking for the "why", not all the consequences if we just accept that there's a crafting system.
Your job is learning about what these materials do and documenting that and the phenomenon that you experience in the Maze and if you use the stuff you find in the Maze in order to help you survive it and get your information to your superiors they might be a bit grumpy about it but they will not get too angry because you came back alive with knowledge on the Maze. The Maze is harsh, and crafting items gives you ways to survive through your own wit, which is right in line with the setting.
From a game-philosophy stand point, >>52893133 is on the right track.
At it's simplest, "crafting" is needed to give both the Mazeborn and the Chiurgeon a good chunck of abilities. Our wizard needs some potions, and our hunter-survivor needs to be able to live off the land.
If we want to reduce it to it's most basic form, then potion materials can be limited per day, but otherwise ignored. 'Scavenging' can just be gathering basic materials such as ammo, camp supplies, and food from creatures as the occasional plant.
That said, exploration is a big aspect of the setting, so some sort of crafting is very fitting.
If this is agreed upon, we can start hashing out rules, likely based around value and materials.
I would suggest simple items allowed to be crafted during rests. Weapons could require recipies such as "sword: short handle, 1 big sharp or 20 little sharps + base, and binding (glue, rope, screws etc.) to create weapons that function, but with a modifier depending on ingredients used: Wood/Bone = -2, Stone/raw metal = -1 and so on.
Armor probably should not be allowed, but shields or cloaks seem feasible. Perhaps reinforcing plates, which add X to the armor value, but not above a total value of 4-(craft modifier).
We could give enemies basic loot tables to determine resources gained (based on size or species) and allow players to collect materials.


You killed the enemy. You get 1d4 per-size worth of supplies.
During a rest, try and make a thing. You spend supplies up to the value of the object (withing reason/DM approval) and roll a skill check. You can increase your odds by using more supplies. Success gives you an Object -1.
The first one seems like what I had thought of. Could items crafted out of monster materials have slightly random and unique effects as you get farther in the Maze depending upon what monster they are made of if they are of sufficient quality. There should also be a guy outside of the Maze that could make that stuff for you.

> unironically suggesting tabletop Minecraft

You're proposing like 10 mechanics and hundreds of variations of crafting goop, but why? What possible reason do you have to be building swords in the middle of your adventure and away from town?

Enemies already have loot, in the form of weapons, armor, drugs, whatever. Why do they also need trash in their pockets that you can turn into a wooden sword?


Scavenging makes perfect sense, and the rules for that are obvious and well-trodden ground. Crafting for medicine and drugs and so on has been discussed to some degree, but it's also difficult to reconcile the idea of crafting things like that in the field with the breakdown of technology in the Maze (not to mention the size of the equipment necessary to craft such things).

> outside of the Maze

There isn't an outside of the Maze. Once you're in, you're in forever. You're never getting back to the surface.
Oops, there is a hub though, I meant in that. We really need a discription of the entrance of the Maze I find it hard to visualize it.
I think "The Maze" loosely refers to the deeper, unsettled areas of Warren's Folly, but you are correct.

Have you been reading the thread? Most enemies are horrendous monsters and a weird, semi-hostile hellscape of bullshit. You won't exactly be looting bandits and orc camps.

I actually wrote both of the things you're relpying to, trying to show the spectrum of crafting depth we might have. One of the central themes of this setting (as I understand it) is exploration and survival. To me, that says "basic wilderness crafting". It doesn't need to be crazy, but it should absolutely exist, especially for the examples listed above.
If you have scavanging rules to suggest, or port in, I'd be happy to hear them. They'd save me a lot of time trying to reinvent the wheel. I'm just making suggestions here.

Lastly, if anything the technological breakdown REQUIRES crafting.
>Well, your trust gun just imploded. I guess you're without a weapon until we get back to town... Wherever that is.

Thank you for the support, and I'm a fan of it too, but it might be a bit complicated for standard PC play. That style of crafting should be reserved for in-town artisans, or downtime activities.
Warren's Gate is the main settlement, and our current 'Hub'.
The entrance to the maze is when you go underground, everything else is just settlements inside the maze
Keep in mind that these aren't well armed or well supllied adventurers. These are prisoners, exiled into a wasteland and told not to come back without something valuable. The environment isn't exactly giving you gear as you go, either.
Crafting is needed for three reasons:
>Give classes a unique/specialized function
>Allow for the use of resources for BASIC equipment and gear in the beginning, and maybe some higher grade material use later on.
>Invest the players in the environment. Make stuff matter. Otherwise players are better off running away 24/7, even from simple things.

I don't want to bog the game down as a crafting simulator, but it has an important function in the setting.

Like in real life, if you're poor and ill-equipped, you ally yourself with a faction who will keep you at least basically equipped in exchange for the work you're doing for them. Half a dozen factions make that a viable route.

You're also not the only 4-6 dumbasses who are doing what you're doing, so yeah, looting the setting equivalent of bandit camps is probably on the table, since you don't have a prison plane without some rebellious dummies.

The whole bit is that it's not *just* shitty wasteland (I mean, it is all shitty, but it's not *just* wasteland). It's more like Australia. Vast swaths of unlivable bullshit where everything wants you dead, and here and there some towns where you can do some trade and get supplies.

Players are probably better off running away in a lot of situations. That's the nature of horror. Most things will just kill you, because that's what they do.


>Well, your trust gun just imploded. I guess you're without a weapon until we get back to town... Wherever that is.

If you aren't prepared with another option for the known failure of technology, you deserve to die unarmed. If you don't know about it, yet, this is how you learn the hard lesson (or die, maybe).

>I don't want to bog the game down as a crafting simulator

>I would suggest simple items allowed to be crafted during rests. Weapons could require recipies such as "sword: short handle, 1 big sharp or 20 little sharps + base, and binding (glue, rope, screws etc.) to create weapons that function, but with a modifier depending on ingredients used: Wood/Bone = -2, Stone/raw metal = -1 and so on.

The same person wrote both of these thoughts down.

In the particular case of the Chirurgeon, it makes perfect sense to gather some ingredients here and there, develop recipes and whatnot, and then figure out a way to get access to a lab so you can create some things because science is effort and that's what you do.

What does not make sense is on one hand to live in a world where you have to MacGyver your own sword together, but also somehow be carrying around an alchemical lab with you to create your potions on the fly.

Survival means planning, and it means overplanning. You didn't bring enough poultices? I guess you're dead. Forgot your mundane weapons at the whorehouse? I guess you're dead.

I'm all for improvised weapons, but a crafting sim is just the opposite of survival horror. It's bad for everyone playing because it prevents the primary goal of everyone involved: Keep the game moving.
Alright, I'll concede that there are differing opinions.
I post a lot of ideas more for brainstorming than anything else, so while I'm happy we now have a discussion I'd like to see something come of it. I think
>Basic Ammo
Need a system in place, of whatever complexity or simplicity.
Everything else was just spitballing.

I'd love to hear your take on it, mechanically speaking, but I'd hate to have nothing as far as enviornmental use is concerned.

Food was discussed in a previous thread, and basically all food causes at least a small amount of Duress gain because everything is tainted by the Maze. If you didn't buy rations in town, best case scenario is you eating the corpse of a Maze creature of some kind, which I would assume basically cooks the same way as all meat, but will bring additional Duress penalties.

Another anon proposed that basic reagents can be jury-rigged into something minimally useful, like a splash attack or a minor unstable potion of some kind, which seems viable. Determining what such-and-such cave lichen does when you put it in water is going to be up to your Lore and your GM, but that information should be permanent so you can actually learn things about your environment.

More useful potions and drugs are probably gonna require a lab, but there's also a good deal that a Chirurgeon can do with healing items and plant life that an untrained person can't do. They're field medics, after all. Anyone can use a first aid kit with some level of success, but a professional is going to know what they're doing when they treat wounds and set limbs and such.

Crafting ammunition is probably gonna be a pain unless:

1. You are a professional (fletcher, gunsmith)
2. You have access to the necessary equipment (foundry, workshop, whatever)
3. Your weapon of choice is a sling or just a rock

These all fall under the class of "supplies", and if you're trying to survive you'll probably want to pack extra rather than hoping you find enough refuse on the ground to make your own. Opportunities to find such things are going to be entirely up to the GM putting in that sort of fiddly work, whereas buying supplies is just something you do in town.

so, aside from importing it, what passes for wood in the deeps?

fuel for cooking?

lumber for building?

is all the cordage made from the sinew of subterranean beasts?
where do fiber-products come in?

what is the typical greetings for 2 neutral parties crossing paths in the deeps?

are there any mines?

these are small details, but they are something which might lend solidity to things beyond fluff and crunch.

>Crafting ammunition is probably gonna be a pain unless:
>1. You are a professional (fletcher, gunsmith)

typically, all a gunner needs at this tech level (IIRC) is some lead, a small basic kit, some spare time, and a modest campfire

I think the generally agreed upon notion for Warren's Gate at least is that most things are run on gas piped in from the Surface (probably some number of quests could be hung off of investigating something or other wrong with that system.

As far as building materials, I don't know that there *is* much other than the imported stuff, unless you like living in caves and carved out mushrooms. One anon suggested that Surface stone have some moderately protective effect so that technology could work in a building constructed from it, which might motivate caravans and trade just to set up deeper waypoints where civilized folk could make a living.

Mining could be entertaining, especially if the Maze reacts to such efforts by closing up as soon as the miners go to sleep (or over time, to gaslight them into thinking their progress is too slow).

There's been little concrete discussion about what resources are available in the depths of the Maze, but that'd be useful to hash out. There has been even less discussion about social dynamics and slang and such.
>carved out mushrooms.
can the mushroom be cut and dried and stacked like the Plump-Helmet shrooms of Dwarf fortress? that can be a wood supply.

>fun aside, perhaps mush-wood is not as tough as it's above-ground counterparts.
>a sturdy log cabin might hold the monsters a bay
>mush-wood only slows them down

where do these plants get their nutrients?
if they can grow large enough to be made into shelters then you might have also have deposits of Sphagnum or some analogous plant that can handle near-total darkness and possibly Peat as a fuel source.(good luck drying it out though)

>"not a bad job, cutting peat. nice and safe, and it always needs doin' if people want to stay warm and lit"

some intrepid man discovered a way to rapidly turn cloth strips into rope through a mechanical process without it fraying. gatherers wander the edge of the cloth-garden collecting cloth. this cloth is carried far enough towards the Gate that machines can work and from there is converted into rope and heavy cordage.
(still no ideas about thread, light cordage, or etc.)

if the underground is as sapient and motile as that then perhaps there are those adept in planning a mine so as to coax as much material out of the ground as possible BEFORE it closes up on them. the most skilled of these men become quarry-planners.

"keep safe stone-walker"
I imagine people would want to say something to reassure each other of their sanity. Probably one of a few question and response phrases.
Farewells might be something like "Good crossing to you", or "keep on your path"

Damn, dubs anon, this is great stuff.


I really like the idea of a sanity check as a greeting. Very cool idea.
>Damn, dubs anon, this is great stuff.
I blame both my ADD and it's obsession with random ass'd facts
my engineering degree

what other smallish setting problems are there to cover?

how are most crops and livestock grown in the absence of light?
vitamin deficiencies are dealt with how?
Expanding upon this, if one doesn't respond in kind it is assumed that they have gone insane.
Obviously, this has resulted in a fair amount of problems as if you find an insane person the proper measure is either running away or killing them immediately so they don't rapidly spread duress.
The Maze provides in interesting ways. It's influence has resulted in a particular grain that can be grown only in the Maze ... some people swear that it has spoken to them. Livestock has been abandoned as the Maze easily corrupts them and turns them into horrors ... chickens are mysteriously unaffected though.

Not sure. How do dwarves deal with it? Some amount of food can be imported from the Surface, but I have to imagine that the bulk of available replenishable foodstuffs comprise mushrooms and meat from the less terrible beasties of the Maze. All you really need for cultivation then is shit (or peat, really) and enough people to hunt down the setting equivalent of small game.

Livestock is an interesting question. I have to imagine most Surface livestock are quickly rendered nonproductive and probably barren by the available feed and the environment. Maybe there's something that can be domesticated to produce some kind of food. Might help with the lack of particularly useful fiber sources, too.

On that last topic, it's also quite likely that there's some sort of flax analogue that might lend itself to the purpose.

The stuff the other anon brought up could definitely use a dedicated look, as well. In particular, what are the realistic limitations of manufacturing given what's already established about available resources? Specifically with regard to production of things like weapons and ammunition, and to a lesser degree things like armor, clothes, and consumables.

On at least the last bit, the overall technical limit isn't too bad (most of alchemy is just glass, heat, and reagents, after all), but there's a serious weight and complexity concern when it comes to taking things on the road.

It might be worthwhile to expand that discussion of livestock to also include options for both mounts and work animals, especially for hauling.
Good stuff. There is also a fair bit of trade between the Folly and the surface, which might be the only source of certain amenities.

>Blood Moss
Grows, seemingly from nothing, on spilt blood and corpses. Larger concentrations seem to glow a deep red, almost pulsing.
Can be used as effective kindling if dried, but inhaling too much smoke can lead to halucinations.

>Tangle stalks
Carnivorous flora which grow in caverns. When they bloom, they slowly send out tendrils of thin sticky lines capable of snaring small creatures, who trap themselves by squirming. This prey is then drawn closer, and absoarbed through a net of roots. Although easy for larger creatures to break free, the filaments are surprisingly strong if harvested.

Somewhere between a beetle and a six legged turtle, these creatures eat various mushrooms, then hide in their shells to digest, seeming like rocks. Their soft underbellies and legs are vulnerable, and rich in protein, but their hard shells are difficult to work with. Their skittish temperament makes domestication possible, if slow.
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>It might be worthwhile to expand that discussion of livestock to also include options for both mounts and work animals, especially for hauling.

perhaps insects of abnormal size?
or shall we dig about on our various monster files for something to fit the roles?

lately I hear the word Alchemy and I think of a certain book called "The Lies of Locke Lamora" where alchemy is the name for the most common "magic" out there aside from hiring a bonded mage(which costs the GDP of a large township to hire for more than a week at a time)

but with it you could breed oranges that bear fruit that tastes of and intoxicates like fine brandy. genetic manipulations of some animals are a part of that too on some pretty absurd levels.

>In particular, what are the realistic limitations of manufacturing given what's already established about available resources?
things that require careful or mass production are still common even in the deeps because the capacity exists at the gate. so boxes of matches, lead ball munitions, nails, wire, other small knickknacks are common everyplace with even a tenuous connection to The Gate because they are simple and useful enough to warrant importing the mass production equipment.

the further out you go the more people will depend on artisan crafts, so in and around the gate you might see clothes made from material mass-loomed in a textile mill as you go out further and further you'll see more in the way of homespun cloths from your flax or hemp analogue. this does NOT mean that quality goes down per-se BUT instead, for a certain level of quality the price just goes up. a smith can make you nails, but for the same quality as you'd get near to a factory you'd pay more per nail.

this all means that you might have a non-fixed price mechanic. the further out you go the more certain things cost(or rather, the higher the effective value of the thing).
>chickens are mysteriously unaffected though.
and no matter where you go in the maze, a rooster always crows at around the same time, or rather it crows for about the same hour every day(also ROSTERS CAN GO FUCK THEMSELVES #ShittyNeighborhoodBirds)

>Not sure. How do dwarves deal with it?
usually by either stealing it from the surface, making light to grow the plants, by eating things in the mines that grant the vitamins by non-usual means, or FUCK OFF, IT"S MAGIC.
the 3rd option is probably the best, but it leads to the duress from food issue. perhaps someone in the slaughterhouse asked nicely enough "to meet the chef" and learned how to raise vitamin rich foodstuffs.

>and enough people to hunt down the setting equivalent of small game.
not sufficient, large game is needed to feed larger communities. small game gets hunted as a primary foodstuff it gets scarce, requiring further manpower to hunt sufficiently.
that said you COULD still make it a thing, and IIRC lots of cultures applaud children contributing.
>"you should see Our Millie and her little sling, she's put meat in our stew-pot 3 times this week. and the trade she gets for the bones and fur and entrails bought her some new shoes and a short bow.

but a lot of meat will still need to come from larger game animals, that leads into the idea that most villages have teams of people specializing in taking out and dragging home large game animals. every settlement that likes to eat meat having a team of professional delvers makes for a neat idea. rivalries over territory, stumbling into traps or obstacles left for hunting, coming toe to toe with a team of good hunters

>material resources
by the by, people can and WILL loot EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING. every bent nail, leftover sundered fragments of armor, shattered sword components, every splinter of wood. because material must now be either imported or saved and importing costs LOTS of value.
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an idea I posted in a previous thread regarding bard-like abilities, consider communication. you can do sounds, Drums or Bells depending on your involved distances. with musically inclined individuals taking watches atop towers listening for the beat of drums(for those of you familliar with Anne McCafferey's Dragonriders of Pern books this is what I'm getting at) morse Code and whatnot

furthermore, you'll see more things made from bone further in(assuming the majority of creatures HAVE skeletons) spear and arrow heads, armor components, awls, handles, spoons, containers, forks, etc. because it can serve purpose as wood or even metal under certain circumstances.
bonemeal makes a fantastic fertilizer, jellies(think Jell-O) are made from bone and are a FANTASTIC dietary source of calcium, bone can burn(hotter than most soft-woods) with proper air-flow, it's renewable and easy to carve.

>blood moss
it's good. and offers a trap to any who are new to the maze, AND makes for a good non-lethal weapon(a torch made by wrapping the moss in an enclosed space), your attackers are less able to attack if they are hallucinating.

with regards to my earlier comments about small game hunting, this would be something that every small-game hunter would cultivate as well as any village with a granary or similar food storage structure

make the shell inexplicably light for it's toughness and you have another material for a gifted craftsman to make heavy or clever use of. especially if they ARE capable of domestication as a meat animal.

This thread has reached mythic levels of interesting mechanics and materials.

If this is where crafting is going, I rescind my opinions on the shittiness of crafting as a mechanic.
I'm trying to figure out useful animals for food and burden, but I might be overthinking it.
Carnivores (i.e. us) need a good amount of meat
Herbivores need lots of plants
Plants (mostly) need sunlight and/or lots of soil nutrients. We're all in a giant dead cave.
Do we need to invent an ecosystem here?

Lets say, for the sake of convinience, that the maze isn't totally barren, and there are some tough crops which inexplicably manage to grow. They're unfit for human consumption, and would probably drive us crazy even if we could eat them.
This now allows: Small seed eating rodents, Small vermin, and Medium Grazers.
Perhaps these medium grazers are capable of providing X use, or giving us Y as a usable foodstuff.
Maybe they are lizards, whose regrowing tails are tough, but edible, and who can be kept placated with enough grasses and certain mushrooms.
Maybe they're deer-like creatures which reproduce by budding, and the 'buds' are just pure meat if taken early enough.
Maybe they're just weird chicken-like bats.
Maybe they're just amorphous gel-blobs, who can be fried like eggs.

In particular, I'm thoroughly into the idea of cultivation and using the flora and fauna to your advantage rather than trying to recreate the comforts of the Surface from whatever you can find. Really interesting possibilities there.


Extremophile plants are definitely a real thing, and fungi will pretty much grow anywhere there's carbon. What are the consequences for a grazing species that's primarily fungivorous?

This also gives a somewhat amusing explanation for why wild animals in fantasy games are so hostile. Ours are just out of their gourds on hallucination plants and such.

I like the idea of large bugs (chorugs) as the generic pack animal, even if they're not edible. It supports the the cultivation of whatever their food is in settlements (probably some kind of plant). I'm picturing something like a horse-sized Hercules beetle (square-cube law be damned).

Living jellies are a staple of fantasy settings, too, and if they're made of actual gelatin then that gives a fairly renewable source of protein assuming they reproduce in the usual mitotic way. Even in a glorified prison colony, corpses have to go somewhere.

Imagining the polypdeer gives me a pleasant feeling in the back of my brain.
My solution for basic level food:
Fruit bearing fungus stalks which grow like ferns. They are easy as fuck to grow, just jam an existing stalk into the ground somewhere, and their fruits produce juicy clusters, like an inverted pomegranite. They don't seem to need anything other than a physical connection to the groud of the cave, and won't drop fruit unless it's plucked.
The catch is that, while fit for human consumption, once you start eating them you can't stop. Withdrawl will kill you, and if you eat too much for too long, that'll kill you too. After driving you crazy.
It's a staple crop in societies, as it can be safely fed to livestock, used in small amounts for daily consumption, and exported to the surface (Think of Dune's addictive spices).
Now we have something to sustain our ecosystem, which does not necessarily make agriculture simplistic, gives us a steady export, and a reason for people to be unable to leave. It acts as a good intermediary for other animals. Hell, it might even be the source of all mutated creatures.

Rolling with all my might for the wondrous Mazefruit. The plot hooks that could be built off that thing alone (corrupt WISE higher-ups importing it to turn whole Surface towns into drug-addled Cartographer applicants, criminal element synthesizing drugs out of it, a Maze town that mysteriously went crazy and wiped itself out, etc.)
>My take on the vermin, uncreatively named "Vermin".
Apart from size, color and basic shape, vermin are almost all unique. They are no larger than a human head, with black fur or scales, and grey-beige flesh. They tend to be round, terrestrial with around 4 legs, and a single head in the front,. Some are 6 legged, serpentine and fuzzy, with sharp beaks and antennae. Others have two bird like legs and large ears, with a stumpy mouth surrounded by feelers. All of them eat mushrooms and fruits, although some have been known to eat small insects or meat bites. Some are hostile, some are nearly domestic, but most simply scurry away from other creatures. The myriad of features makes classifying them nearly impossible, but identifying them as "Vermin" at a glance is simple enough.

Oh, and that might give us a good background for how the Mazecaps got to be the way they are.
I'm all for these crazy ideas, but keep this is mind for any new creatures. To survive, expecially in the maze, they need to be
>Fast, to stay away from any horrors
>Defensive, to keep horror from eating them
>Strong, in which case they probably ARE horrors.

Beyond that, just make sure that their presence won't make life in Warren's Folly *too* easy.

Same with plants, I suppose. Consider what they need, what they produce, and how scarce they are.

Edible plants and animals could probably be up to GM discretion. If you want to play a hardcore survival game, make food scarce and use some TBD mechanics to keep your players on edge. If you want the horror to come from the monsters and the weirdness alone, making food more of an afterthought is probably okay (since bookkeeping sucks the horror out of stuff if it isn't an ingrained part of your game). Depends on the way you want to run the game.
Heh, rerolling for Polypdeer and (careful) Slime ranching.

I like the role for Chorugs as pack animals rather than food sources.
When I wrote it, I imagined them as mostly beetle-like, with six legs, radially positioned. They are low to the ground, and their 'wing' segments can fold around them if they tuck their legs in, disguising/protecting them. Bridles would bind these, preventing Chorugs from hunkering down during use. Each leg (thicker and fleshier than a beetle's) ends in a foot with three splayed toes, allowing for travel over rough terrain. The head has long, reaching, vertically oriented mandibles (ala Hercules beetle) which are primarily used for grasping and scooping into the mouth, which sits "sideways" in the middle of it's face, with round harmless teeth, and three small eyes on each side. While normally extended, the mandibles can fold back and retract to cover the mouth, adding to it's disguise.
I really like the idea of using slimes as organic disposals and renewable food sources. These are captured slimes in pits and wells, who would be hostile if they weren't so well fed and contained. They'd be a good source of proteins and calcium (as that one anon said) from dissolved creatures, and if treated properly, the slimes' digestion could even purify most foods. It also allows settlements a functional food source, while denying pc's an easy meal out in the Maze.
Can we have a quick recap of what new stuff is being accepted?
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back from my evening stroll with an idea based on mongolian and Scythians short-bows.

and I always try for this level of detail in crafting, it makes me a boring person in a lot of cases.

so far, the maze sounds short in resources. HUMANS ARE RESOURCEFUL.

then on my evening stroll I remembered that humans have replaced wood historically. they have done this through the use of COMPOSITE MATERIALS.
this is more than just fiberglass. the most common composites out there are cement and plywood/laminate wood
bows, in places that typically don't have wood were composites made from animal horn and bone; layered, glued, clamped, and then carved to shape.
>That's it. I'm sick of all this "Masterwork composite shortbow" bullshit that's going on in the d20 system right now. horse-bows deserve much better than that. Much, much better than that...
all you need for clamping is a big pile of rocks, all you need for the reinforcement material is really just about anything.
>woven patches of bone and/or leather and/or local fibers placed over a simple carved stone form(don't forget to grease it!)
>pour on glue made from any really good available source
>place top-form(GREASE IT HEAVILY)
>add a big pile of rocks
>come back the next day or the next and extract your new bow-blank, shield, breast-plate, etc.
glues have been made from a LOT of things, most usefully here, insect and animal byproducts.
the crafters in these materials would be the new "village blacksmith" trope.

>Do we need to invent an ecosystem here?

>Do we need to invent an ecosystem here?

start at the bottom
we cannot have these under normal processes INSTEAD we start with algae.
the caves are damp in most places yes?
algae building on top of itself over stone makes a layer of soil(and serves to fix the carbon-dioxide generated by living beings in the maze)
this soil being mostly comprised of decaying algae is ripe for fungal developments rich in phosphates, nitrates, and other useful materials(i.e. not even close to barren)

now fungal life don't give no shits bout your normal need of sunlight if the rich fertilizer is present
>no seeds for eating
perhaps we can go halfsies and have a "fungus" with seeds or seed pods (fruiting bodies?)
this would grant a place for small creatures to flourish
>but we could skip to small and medium grazer animals
all of the mycovores (fungivores?) can serve as a source for materials (internal or external skeletons?) bone, shell, skins, intestines, and meat can come from these sources

>harvesting meat from animals without butchery
this is good, but not as useful as butchery

>friable gel-blobs
sounds tasty actually...

>What are the consequences for a grazing species that's primarily fungivorous?
a lack of digestion-available vitamins available in the meat.

>(square-cube law be damned)
indeed, though that WOULDN'T fuck over a beetle that size if it wasn't an insect as we define them on earth or if the maze has a higher than average oxygen concentration, or if they are equipped with efficient book-lungs, or if they don't use Chitin as an exo-skeletal support material, or...

that said I prefer Chorugs to be mastiff-sized at most.

>Imagining the polypdeer gives me a pleasant feeling in the back of my brain.
...and I thought I was odd for fetishizing "having a clean and well-ordered work-space"...

thats some good applications.

lets not make it THAT easy to cultivate
Just got off work. Are you guys still taking lore and faction ideas? I had an idea at work today you guys might be able to use.

I'll check when I get home and write something up if you all a 're interested. Also, is that whole 8 fixation still in place?
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I feel like we need some broad categories.

though perhaps what we have is that all "vermin", if given time grow, end up as the terror inspiring monsters that wonder the labrynth.

you forgot "good at hiding"

how many ambush predators do you think live in this place?
cephalopods cling to rock, chromatophors matching their color and texture perfectly until something small and edible comes by.
lizards and snakes lay in wait to strike at range, or fire an adhesive tongue.
great ogre spiders wait, silent and still, ready to cast nets upon the unsuspecting.
or trapdoor spiders
bombardier beetles spraying caustic, scalding, poison.
when in doubt, look to nature for creative ways to kill stuff and start mix-n-matching(it's why my handle is monotreeme, a GM should be capable of slapping together some weird shit like the platypus or the echidna and make them work)


>I like the role for Chorugs as pack animals rather than food sources
why not let them be both?

I like a longer ovate shape for chorugs but thats just me.

>Are you guys still taking lore and faction ideas?
I'm discussing ecosystems and physical object crafting.
for me this is the fun part.

8 fixation is still in, can't hurt to have more lore to bounce things off of.
I'll be trying to synthesize some of this new material into a new version of the rulebook, just working out how to structure it with some of the mechanical updates.
If it's neat and it fits, go for it.
The 8 thing is a subconscious tick in the maze, not a outward obsession, but yes, it's still a thing.
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just never let your slimes get out of control...
and always keep the salt handy if it gets too uppity.
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careful of ambush predators...
Just wanted to say that I really appreciate your input. I wasn't being sarcastic, I really was trying to build support, I was just worried that it would get the same reception as a crafting system...

Make Blood Moss the algae? Or is that a separate thing?

If we scale down >>52902917 's fruits, that could fit the seeding fungus niche.

Chorugs can be changed. I'm just set on; turtle-beetle, rock shell plates, broader legs and feet with toes, slow but strong. Everything else is variable. Unless we just want to make them literal giants beetles. Let's go with large dog in height (4ft?) but proportionally wider. Obloid makes sense.
>Why not both?
Do you eat horses?! Wait, you do sometimes? Oh, alright then.

In my head, Vermin were critters generated by the maze, bouncing genetic randomness off of eachother and filling in any ecological gaps along the way. [I may have also been trying to make potentially "cute" horrors. Shame on me.] their role in the maze can be changed as well.

And yeah, slime farming +1
Deer-Polyps was just brainstorming, but I do actually like the concept of a swift creature using budding as "safer" reproduction. Maybe it just carries it's eggs around on it's back and... Now I'm thinking of Suriname toads. Welp, if ever there was a setting for that nightmare of a creature, this is it.
Holy shit, how has nobody suggested Mimics yet?
Too 'normal'?

Anon with all the salt about crafting here. I could easily have been less of a dick about it, and that's my bad. I have just had bad experiences with people making homebrew crafting mechanics that tend way too much toward the tedium of a Minecraft grid. This is fine when you're playing a video game, but in a collaborative storytelling setting it really grinds everything to a halt. The more organic system that's developing here is way more fluid and thematically appropriate, so I'm very much interested. I don't want to drive people with ideas off, so I apologize.


> Suriname toads
You god damn monster! And on dubs, too!
It seems like we're developing some 'zones' within our setting.
Boring. Nothing to see here
>Upper levels
Home of the Gate, and most settlements.
>Middle lands
Where our weird but rule bound ecosystem takes place, but fewer settlements exist as tech begins to fail.
>Deeper reaches
We're off the map here. Anyone living here is crazy, dead, or both.

Does our ecosystem extend all the way through? Should there be any 'laws' once we get into weirdsville?
Do the worse parts of the maze show up as pockets, or progress linearly as you go down/out?

There was some discussion about weird locations (in the Lovecraftian sense) when environmental Duress was worked out, sort of enclaves of dense Mazestuff badness jutting out of the landscape (or leading down into it). There has also been a lot of implied talk about "depths", though what this means in an infinite maze is anyone's guess.

Given that, it seem plausible that in general the weirdness progresses linearly (or maybe logarithmically) as distance from the Surface increases, with some near-Surface areas where the weirdness spikes due to some bad thing having set up shop.

Let's 1-up it. Possible horror?
Serpentine lizard with large jaws. It crawls around on all surfaces, slinking in the shadows. Dozens of odd bulges protrude from it's long back, seeming to wriggle occasionally. Injuring it too much may release the spawn, which form a frenzied swarm of leech-like creatures. It may even throw it's own eggs at you, attatching it's parasitic young.

Of course, that's implying that the regular toad isn't terrifying enough to be a horror on it's own. Which it is.
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>I wasn't being sarcastic,
didn't mean to sound like I was biting off heads.
do recall that CAPSLOCK is also a sign of enthusiasm.
also, about which topic?

>Make Blood Moss the algae?
perhaps that was just a theoretical evolutionary series, whats to say that the chain doesn't start with a non-photosynthetic moss or lichen instead. blood moss also does good because it means that a butcher can cultivate it as a trade-good as a hallucinogen or as a tinder-box component, all he needs is a shallow trough full of viscera.

>Do you eat horses?!
always meant to try.
also dog, sheep, lamb, pho, porcupine(dont ask), and kangaroo.

I was getting at them with ambush predators, but a mimic is nothing if not the king of ambush 'preds

I think he meant me and misidentified salt when it was the sugar-high of crafting creation.

>Suriname toads
>You god damn monster! And on dubs, too!
agreed, they are the nightmare fuel of nightmare fuel

>Should there be any 'laws' once we get into weirdsville?
model it like most civilizations.
the further you get from larger communities the less official law there is.
in this setting we can also add that the deeper you go the less law there is as well.
"Weirdsville" might have law or it may just have a certain level of acceptable morality but outside of that or past a certain depth there might as well be no law at all

a place like this I don't doubt there could be an influx of criminals, it's like Australia except that if the criminals are literally incapable of leaving without dying, and the fauna is even MORE lethal.

some points of the ecosystem probably extend all the way up and all the way down others only start past a certain depth
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real question here...
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...how is this setting for demons and more magical monsters?
We're more Dead-Space and Amnesia right now, and less DOOM or Diablo.
As long as they fit the theme of mind fuckery and horror, I don't see why not.
There's much less overt "magic" in this setting. Many of the creatures and places inside are the result of the Maze's reality warping influence.
Remember that when people can't eat a substance the glutton can eat it without harm. This can be changed for some outright deadly goods but the idea is that gluttons will always be chewing on something so it makes sense that they pick an inedible crop out of a cave wall and begin chewing on it while they travel.
Alright, this took a lot longer then expected. I'll dump this and I need to crash. I'll pop back tomorrow and touch base. Be ready, I'm no linguist and have always had trouble getting ideas on paper.
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The Knights of White Satin

What a surprise it was when the messengers first arrived. The songs they sung, the praise they heaped upon their kings glory and reputation. For King Sebastionople Custezus had a most prophetic dream! A dream of conquest and faith that has lead him and his finest legion to this dismal, downtrodden place!

Eight days, eight days it did take for all to make it down. The men filled Warren's Folly near to bursting so packed were her streets. Each was armed in full war attire, spears were long and swords were sharp. but, most curiously, was the glossy satin tabards all of them wore. Beaming with pride when asked all they would answer was, "All will be as our King foretold! In time he will bring you this news!"

And so at last, so too did their king descend, resplendant in his full battle regalia. Fair of face and broad of shoulder he stroad to the fore of his amassed, gleaming legion and gave a rousing speech that captivated all present. He spoke of his dream, where he would lead a host below ground. Where they would strike at the heart of darkness and bring an age of prosperity to the lost and damned. Ending his speech with a mount of his warhorse he turned one last time to his men and bellowed, "So long as these tabards, pure as driven snow, stay untainted, so too will our purpose!"

And so he lead 1,000 noble souls from Folly's gate. Into the darkness to fates unknown...

It would be a time before news of the knights would rise. 16 months would pass before a group of cartographers would stumble upon a man crazed and starving, grasping to his breast a shredded cloth as white as death. Upon return all they could get out of him made little sense. Claiming to have only been gone for a mere 2 months he spoke of how his king had slept less and less. Pushing his men deeper and deeper without rest. It was this that saw his battlegroup stranded, having overslept and left behind. In an attempt to regroup they'd pushed ahead but cut off from supplies the city began to take it's toll. So with great reluctance they voted to turn back.

It was not long after they begun to see attacks from a beast none even among the most seasoned cartographers could recall seeing. A tall, lithe thing in the shape of a man. It however moved in a lanky serpentine fashion and attacked with loud crunching arcs that seemed impossibly flexible as if bones meant nothing. It wiped out a full 64 men before screeching back off into the darkness again. Of the few that remained, only he'd survived to be found. The next day when he was to be questioned again, he had hung himself. A note left showed his grieve at failing in his kings quest.

Unfortunately this would mark the first of many encounters of what is assumed to be the remnants of King Custezus legion. What happened is an enigma, for each knight met is as distorted and corrupt as the last. Even stranger is that they have all been notedly hostile to ALL life within the city, including each other. Man or beast, horror or monster they will lash out with all the fury they can muster. Tho it has been seen that they will cooperate against a common foe, but, as soon as they strike it down they are sure to fall upon each other. There has even been witnesses to at least three attpemting to challenge the hunger itself, to obvious outcome...


And what of the King? So proud and fair? Any knight met with a shred of sanity or wit about them are noted to only repeat something about a 'Crownless King'. Who, or what, this is has yet to surface. Tho the implications are terrible to consider, for all have mentioned one common trait. Each has had, no matter their appearance, a tabard as white and pure as death itself...
So yeah. These guys are basically a mosh pit of the Farron Legion(Ds3), Heide knights(Ds2), and the church hunters(BB). A group of good intentioned warriors corrupted by what they fight to the point they will turn on even each other. So they tend to be solitary. That, and it's implied that the ones who held out longest got it the worst, like the church hunters. For anyone who's played monster hunter, think of them like Deviljho minus the hunger.
I like it! Maybe this post will achieve the eight.
Seems pretty good rerolling for this
This is fucking terrifying.
Also good.

Moderately busy work day, today, but I'm gonna try to get caught up with the progress we've made today so we can have a new edition of our source book.

The Knights of White Satin (haw haw) are in. Creepy images from this thread will probably get added here and there. I'll be adding a new chapter to the setting part about the environment, trade with the Surface, etc. I'll try to add in more of the material from previous threads as I can confirm it.
Further on chickens, the vast majority of chickens you see are egg laying hens. If you make the mistake of attackin a chicken a massive amount of chickens will chase you and peck you to death, although if you get far enough away from the dead chicken you will no longer be chased. While this might seem whimsical, this is no laughing matter as chickens appear all throughout the Maze due to their apparent immunity to its corruption and might impede a Cartographer's escape or progress. Furthermore, there are no chicken beastfolk or vermin. Blightmages are currently trying to determine the reason why chickens are uncorrupted by the Maze, however they have yet to find any results.
Knight anon back as promised. It seems you guys liked it. Awesome. An internet to the one who can guess the song I heard that sparked this idea. Ten if you can name the person who sung it.

If you guys need inspiration for mechanics or lore have you heard of a game called symbaroum? I'll post it if I still have it. Also, there is a manga called "made in abyss" that could be useful. Once you get passed the early chapters and cutesy art it gets into the setting and how it fucks everyone.


That "haw haw" wasn't for nothing.
I'd like to work out some details of the monetary system, if anyone's got a good historical perspective on currency.

The coin of the Surface might (*might*) be usable in Warren's Gate, but it's highly unlikely that it would have any kind of use outside of city centers and secure trading posts.

Given the broad strokes we have about how society is structured in the Maze, how likely are they to develop a currency? Or is trade more material than that because of the focus on cultivation and tangible over theoretical value?

I could imagine some simple token currency made of Surface materials like wood chits or stone tabs of some sort, but I can't see anyone actually carrying such a thing around.

Alternatively, since the players are likely forced conscripts, perhaps they have a stipend or trust of some sort managed by WISE or the Underground Express. Do work, get money, oh, but we'll be holding onto your money. This lets us abstract the details of monetary trade within cities, but leaves trading in the depths as a barter system (which seems realistic given its relative technological progress).

The CoC way involves the calculation of Wealth based on background, and this gives a measure of the sort of buying power and possessions you can reasonably expect to utilize, but this seems like a bad fit for the setting.

If the overseeing organization is corrupt, we could have a Tom Nook situation. When you were first sent to the Maze, they funded your basic equipment, and now you owe them. But, magnanimous folk that they are, they're more than willing to extend your line of credit in exchange for some work. And honestly, is there any greater horror than being indebted to creditors?
I'd say at first coins of the Surface, commonly known to the people of the Folly as Sunlit (something), were used, but eventually the town grew and coins were lost so they became rather scarce and aren't the most common currency nowadays, however, they are still widely accepted although their value is much higher comparative to the surface. Furthermore, all true Sunlit (something) (those made above and brought here) glow with a radiant light which increases in brightness the farther you go into the Maze.
As for the more commonly used currency I don't know.
I'd say that at first they send you in with barely anything to see if you can survive the horrors of the Maze then fund your basic equipment, otherwise they would be wagting a lot of resources.

> otherwise they would be wagting a lot of resources

That's why they keep all the money in their bank. If you die, they just keep it, anyway.

I don't follow why the coins would be more valuable if they were lost, unless they're made of something that's useful in the Maze. Currency is only useful if it's available to facilitate trade.

For instance, in our world, you can't buy a house with an ancient gold coin just because there aren't very many of them. You have to get it appraised, find a buyer, and convert that asset into the coin of the realm. You sort of bought the house with the coin, but really you traded the coin for usable money that you then bought the house with.

Also, why do they glow in the Maze? Was glowing a thing they did on the Surface? The Surface is mundane, remember, so magical money is highly unlikely.
Their glow is a result of the Maze; they don't glow on the surface. Their glow makes them useful as blightmages have developed a device that determines how deep you are in the Maze using them, furthermore, their brilliant glow deters minor horrors. Most people who obtain these gold coins either sell them to blightmages as they will pay a lot for them or use them to keep horrors at bay, the problems that prevent their use as currency is their extremely rarity and the fact that people will kill to get their hands on them.

If that's the case, what's stopping a savvy merchant from importing a bunch of whatever the coins are made of, melting it down, and crashing the market with everything from glowing armor to glowing toothpicks?

The idea of vague depthfinder item is sort of compelling for delving, though.
Because the effect is removed if the coins are melted down and reforged.


If it's an intrinsic property of the coin, then that's a magic coin. Why does the Maze care about Surface money?

Equally, why can't that same merchant import the material in bulk, then mint his own coins if the fact of its "coinness" is the relevant factor?

To expand, it's fine if it's a magic coin because magic amulets are a thing. It just doesn't make sense that ordinary Surface money is also conveniently useful in the Maze, but paradoxically not being imported by the cartful by the wealthy and powerful organizations running the underground operation.
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>how likely are they to develop a currency?
not likely.

they might use a common item like nails, matches, or slugs of pure usable metal(like pic related 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce slugs of pure copper) but it's more likely that you'll have to trade for goods based on perceived value at the depth you are in the warren(bartering). so you trade ITEMS at the values they hold in the equipment document.

the surface might even just abandon the concept of paying with currency and just trade directly, materials for warren-goods

>I'd say that at first they send you in with barely anything to see if you can survive the horrors of the Maze then fund your basic equipment
similar set-ups have worked in the past.
"go out and settle, we'll give you a bunch of basic tools. Don't Die, and remember to pay us back!"
The coins are solely ancient ones and the specific composition of them is unknown and different from modern coins, they also look radically different. It's glow comes from both the composition and the design of the coin, with the specific alloy it is made out of having a fainter glow than the coin.

All right, what properties of the composition and design of the coin give it these effects?

We've managed to justify domesticated slimes and dog-sized beetles, hardy plant life and food for settlers.

What makes these coins work this way? Why do ancient coins from the mundane Surface interact with the mystical Maze this way?
So, do the humans know that the Maze is infinitely vast?

I mean, can anyone know if a place is infinite? It continues as far as anyone's ever traveled into it, and then some, but there's no proof about its extent.
We don't know, it's a mystery as is the reason behind many of the Maze's effects and having a specific reason behind why the Maze works the way it does detracts from the feel of the setting.
However, for the sake of argument it could be that the magic of the Maze goes through the metal of the coin in a very specific way because of its composition which causes the coin to naturally generate a glowing aura of light and hope. The particular design of the coin helps this as well.

> a glowing aura of light and hope

I mean, that's just a non-starter.
The whole setting gives me a significant Black Company vibe, especially the part of the series concerning the Glittering Plain. Probably some interesting plots to be gained out of treating the Maze as a nexus of the planes (but all the other planes are also shitty).
I guess maybe there's someone who realized that it's infinite somehow, but nobody believed them because clearly they're just insane.

One peculiar hunter to be wary of in the mazes depths is predatory marble statues. Named after the late cartographer that documented them as a means to prove his sanity. These ambush predators possess a single fleshy eye in the center of their chest with which they can cast a baleful gaze that turns organic material to stone.

In truth, the eye is the actual horror. They encase themselves in stone as a combination of armor and camouflage. Tho they can manipulate any stone, marble seems the most malleable. Many are the fool's lost because they thought them slow lumbering beasts.

Worst of all is how they will take pieces of their petrified victims to repair themselves. Older Pygmalions can easily possess multiple limbs and heads, proving their potency from a long harsh life.
I'm sorry, but I am going to have to argue against glowing surface coinage.

What I would say is that the Ministry issues paper notes as currency to their prisoners (regardless of actual currency system) which are backed by material value, but actually worthless if lost. This lets the ministry regulate settlement accepted money.

Once you get further away from the Gate and nearby settlements, something more tangible definitely needs to be used, with an inherent value and some difficulty in obtaining. Or they only accept trade and barter down there.
Maze metal coins of mysterious origin.
Small round gemstones found within the bodies of horrors.
Assortment of basic gemstones, or precious metals in small chunks.
Bone chips or teeth. Non human.
Dormant plant endo-spores, which can be grown in the right conditions.
Chuncks of maze ore, one of the few reliable materials in the Folly.
Tiny petrified nautilid shell fossils. Stone, but lightweight.
Old curreny of the origional settlers/colonists, no longer produced.
So, you as prisoners are indebted, but given some support. After proving yourselves useful, of course.

Remember that as "employees" of the Guild, any and all artifacts or objects of value that you discover is technically their property. You are allowed to keep "personal affects" and "tools of the trade", as long as they aren't too interesting to WISE. Until your debt/sentence is payed (if ever) they own you, but they also support you.

This means that it would help to have maze-money (if we have that) whose value is unrecognized by the Ministry.

Otherwise we just go full on trade commerce.
this actually encourages rogues. that chose to simply not pay off things(and wander off and die) as well as bounty hunters(or overseers) that go kill the rogues that stop producing value, returning their targets equipment for re-use with another con. because unlike Australia once you go in for too long you cannot come out again a bounty hunter has a unique position for HUGE payoffs in a very relative sense. because even cheap surface goods have a a pretty damn big trade-value markup in the sub-surface

this combined with the teams of pro-hunters I theorized last night(>>52901100). this means that you can actually populate a LOT of the place with one-offs, crazies, men with purpose.

this leads to the question "what is the fastest build time we can get for characters/NPCs" because the lower that time the more NPCs you can populate the deeps with.

>I'm sorry, but I am going to have to argue against glowing surface coinage.

>What I would say is that the Ministry issues paper notes as currency to their prisoners
the company script concept. it works in small scale(the larger settlements near The Gate), but not as well for large circulation when regulation is as difficult as it is in the warren. the deeps are too big, travel is too difficult, and the company cannot just send a group of armed enforcers to bust heads and break counterfeit presses(because once you go in you can't come back).

>proposed currencies
these work, and I am reminded of the currency in Horizon; Zero Dawn which is both money and a vital crafting ingredient for the entirety of the game

>Maze Metal Coins
variable value based on how close you are to The Gate, no fixed value not good for currency
good so long as they can be reliably found(if only in small quantities)
>bone chips and teeth(and animal byproducts)
have potential, but they have the opposite problem of Maze-metal coins because as you get closer to The Gate they decrease in value
>to be con't

To the point about generating lots of NPCs:

It's probably feasible to generate a table of motivations, a table of occupations, and maybe a table of flavor details.

From that, you generate an NPC with the following algorithm:

1. Roll Stats (15d8, grouped in 3s)
3. Choose race (1d10 in intervals of 2)
2. Choose class (1d10 in intervals of 2, or just choose optimum based on stats)
4. Roll occupation
5. Roll motivation
6. Roll for 3 flavor details
7. Generate name

I might be able to script something to add to the PDF build process to do that work automatically, so that the invocation in LaTeX is just \randomNPC or something like that, and it will generate a new randomized NPC for each invocation whenever the document is regenerated. It could pretty easily be ported to a command line tool, as well, allowing GMs to generate a few dozen NPCs to populate their adventures without having to stat them all by hand.
>dormant food growing seeds
this is really good, but it depends on shelf life of the growth setup
>chunks of ore
has a lot of potential if it has a roughly equivalent value in the eyes of smiths throughout the sub-surface
>petrified shells
worked with Wampum shells till someone figured out how to flood the market.
>old currency
if it's no longer produced and cannot be replaced it runs into a problem there with not refreshing the actual currency items.
a paper currency note has a projected lifespan of only around 18 or 20 months before it's too degraded to be usable.
coins have 25-30 years but even they wear to nothing in circulation

it's more complicated, but like an apocalypse, currency just doesn't work as well as direct trade.


especially since in these tables you can pick and chose and cut out the rando-rolls

>coding random generators
is there a limit to your awesome dude?

can you set it to freeze certain aspects like
>generate random
>but require it keep the occupation as head-hunter or prospector
>and/or lock the race to human or slug etc.
Rolled 5, 7 = 12 (2d10)

I'd say we should have a few set NPCs to start people out with, it other than that it looks mostly fine except we have 6 classes now.

Yeah, actually, locking elements should be doable.

Some of the logic is already there for monster stat blocks, where a lot of things have default values unless you set them, so I could set the defaults to be random, but if you set anything explicitly then it would be locked in future compilations of the document.

For the command-line version, it's pretty straightforward to just pass things as arguments if you want to just generate a block for something specific.


Oh, duh, good point. Make that 1d6 or 1d12 in increments of 2 for classes. In code it'll just be "pick something randomly from this array", but I figured establishing a physical algorithm would be good for GMs who want to work something out in reality.

I'll update the PDF now with some of the new setting material and whatever else I can get in, and then I'll try to get a start on the NPC generator.

This would be a good time for people to throw out setting-appropriate occupations and motivations, along with any flavor stuff you like.

This stuff is probably pretty free-form, so as long as it's not totally at odds with the setting, it can probably fit in.

Occupations can be as little as a word or two. Motivations can be a short sentence. Flavor stuff should probably be complete thoughts, because the notion is that we're going to be stringing them together one after another to fill in some details of a character.
Rolled 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 5, 8, 5, 7, 8, 1, 3, 3, 7 = 65 (15d8)

Rolling for stats now.
We could also have the reason why you're in the Maze such as " heard wonderous rumors about the Maze" and "it was either go to the Folly or be executed"
Also, for monsters, go ahead and Google the Bobbitt worm and tell me that thing isn't a denizen of the Maze.
8 Might
10 Lore
18-1=17 Will
16+3=19 Finesse
13-2=11 Charm
Combined with what we have above we have a Glutton First, however, Glutton is highly anti-synergistic with both the class and stats so I'll go with Beastman instead.
Forgive my stupidity, we have 6 classes now?
Wandering Warrior

Oh, no, you're right, it is 5, one for each attribute.
Seeing as it's hard for me to follow the conversation topic I'm gonna just keep posting weird monster ideas I come up with.

"Sigh" Wrens

This notably larger variant of the common wrench has only been encountered deep into the maze. They are know for their darker plumage and greatly atrophied wingspan. Primarily insectivores, they have adapted (or mutated) to consume fungus and meats.

Their most noteworthy trait is the sound they make. Research has found it to resemble a humans yawn or sigh, from which they earned their name. This yawn has shown a strange ability to mesmerize and attract creatures of all shapes. Dedicated reseachers have made it a habit of deafening themselves to prevent distortion of their reality to study these creatures.

Do they make this noise to keep predators docile, or perhaps bring prey to them? Some have even suggested it's to bring both together so that they can collect easy carrion. While discovered that suitably loud sounds can drown out their cries, such as a horn or engine, it is only suggested in dire situations. Because halting their sound will only draw the attention of everything that was affected, and maybe even those who aren't.
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I feel as though these could have an unique combat mechanic where, when they're threatened, they try to summon a terrifyingly powerful horror that's more than capable of TPKing parties, just like the Qurupeco in Monster Hunter. Pic related.
The true irony that you bring that up and I've mentioned that my prior monster would function as a deviljho. I'm noting a pattern here.

But yeah, it's the fact that it can snare you and force you to head towards it. You don't know what else could be doing the same and can Lynn hope you or someone else can break the hold. Unfortunately the only way to make the whole party immune is to make more noise. Now whatever it's got might also be free and you're announcing yourselves to it. Also note this only works on certain things. It might not affect horrors.

I figure the difficulty would be affected by either how many are "singing" or distance from source.
Got sidetracked looking into options for generating NPCs, but I'm working on the PDF now.

For anyone interested, I think my intention is going to be to build up an NPC as a data structure. The structure will be equipped with two pretty-print options, one for CLI, and one that'll spit out LaTeX for the PDF.

For the occupations, motivations, and flavor details, I'm imagining a map of some sort from a short descriptive key like "bounty hunter" or "likes horse meat" to extended descriptions that will be written in the output. If you've got any ideas for those, providing them in a format like "short key: full text" will be helpful while I work on that structure. This'll make it easier to lock in more elements of an NPC, and it'll let people make their own lists to generate additional NPCs.

If we've got any ASCII artists, I can stick that in as a header for the CLI option, if you like.

If things don't pick up in a bit, I'll get this archived and start a new thread up tomorrow once I've got some more of this stuff into print. Then I'll get started on NPC generators.
Just a thought: if this setting has guns, then it must also have gunpowder.
Are explosives something we should work out as potential weapons? Our time period gives black power grenades as a possibility. How does it interact with the deeper maze?
At the very least, being loud as fuck would discourage over-use, but they would be powerful weapons.
Does gunpowder itself not work well in the maze? Does it lose it's explosive property?
for the record, gunpowder doesn't really explode, it just burns very rapidly.

as I understand things, the deeper maze is a moist place.
>"Keep your powder dry"
so it may just be a matter of pervasive dampness but I don't see gunpowder being particularly reliable even before you factor the arcane fuckery of the deep-maze.

the implication I got was that it was just complicated machinery that was effected, but not chemistry.
that said, there are other explosive options. TNT, Nitroglycerin, and nitro-based explosives like dynamite would probably be better options.

hell, I'm wondering if there is something in the deeps volatile and flammable enough for a FAE detonation and how such could be used...
I don't think the moistness should be a problem because then we would have to explain why mushroom people are still flammable while in a damp maze.
Thinking up a list of names for the spell that can temporaily halt or slow The Hunger.

Torpefy - antonym

What would the cost for this spell be?
It could deal cold damage to the player, it could throw the player back against a wall as the momentum from The Hunger is transferred to them. eg. If they use the spell to stop the hunger from moving for 60 seconds they will be launched in a direction away from the hunger as they receive its kinetic energy.

This should be purely physical setbacks because the players will likely receive an amount of duress upon encountering the creature.
It's already been said that the best way to prevent the hunger from getting you is to stay healthy and sane as it focuses weak and dying targets. The spell should focus on the Cartographers getting time to run away a fair distance and heal themselves so that they aren't targeted by the hunger any more so damage is a poor choice and so would be freezing yourself in place.
>In addition to a special state of mind, most spells also require another focusing agent. A talisman such as a doll, a plant, a tooth, or a scrap of cloth that has something to do with the spell.

This could be used as a way to give people a smaller duress intake upon using a spell. If they have a focus or component for the spell it will be easier to cast because the 'maze hoodoo' is channeled through the focus instead of the character's mind.
This should only be a small durability item depending on the number of encounters the players will face.

So the spell should focus on increasing player speed? Should this scale off of how close the hunger is because the idea of a the hunger's spell was so that it's focus was the hunger and couldn't be used unless it was against the hunger. Should we just do away with the concept of a hunger spell entirely?
Yeah it should focus on increasing player speed might also provide healing, there is one other option for a cost though; permanent/temporary ability damage.
Spell name, Faithful? or Blightmage?, high duress
"This spell uses the target's own body to heal them and give them a significant boost of speed in order to escape the hungry." Each target takes 1d4?Might and 1d4 Grace damage (the caster can target themselves and after the spell expires all targets have -2 in all stats until they have recovered from their loss in body mass. To cast this spell you need one focus charge an the focus must relate to the hunger. Target heals an amount related to the hunger's distance from the target and gains move speed relative to the hunger's distance from the target. You are literally using the target's body as fuel for them to GTFO.
A Sunlit Medallion is an example of a focus can be used an infinite number of times as a focus but only when dealing with spells that decrease a target's duress of increase their stats (has hope keyword) and would not be able to be used with this spell, best for faithful. Its counterpart is a shadow medallion which is made out of mazemetal and emits an eerie purple glow it's natural color is a dull silvery gray.
last bump for the night, will be back in 10hours.
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Gulpers are twelve feet tall with arms past their knees, glassy red eyes, and toothy mouths. They have no internal organs, including bones or brains, and their mouths don't go anywhere.

Once they spot a victim they'll stalk it for days, always a few hundred yards away. They try to stay concealed but they're not smart enough to do it effectively. Hints of green behind rocks when you turn around. Red eyes watching from the dark all night, never moving.

When they finally attack they pantomime eating the victim alive, pulling and chewing them apart while the meat just falls out of their mouths. They keep on mutilating and chewing until there's nothing left big enough to pick up and put back in their mouths.

Then they wander and wait for a new victim.
While I'm mulling over a few more monster ideas I just want to check. Are we excluding any particular creatures? Anything we don't want to include as it's to standard or doesn't really fit the tone? Thoughts?

Right now I'm working on Mother MayFly, basically a baba yaga stand in, and trolls. Small, tailed, with big noses, they cannot touch iron of any kind but are master metalworkers and may have a climate affecting ability that amplifies as their numbers increase.
Creatures like this are why the Maze is so dangerous, sure if you're in a group it won't be too much trouble it's still a threat but what isn't in the Maze. However, if you find yourself alone or running few on fellow Cartographers in the Maze (and outside of the Folly) you're a dead man. Having a party is essential in the Maze preferably a very diverse party because you need what everyone provides to help you in the Maze otherwise you'll fall prey to the horrors.
I really like the sound of Gulpers, although I'm unsure about the stalking behavior. It's creepy, but that shouldn't be the only reason. Perhaps it mimicks it's targets from a distance until they eat, and then it attempts to eat them. They could even be connected to the potlach, or gluttons.
As far as other monsters, just try to keep to the theme of "wrongness" and being twisted creatures. Try and keep stuff more unnatural, and less outright magical. Actual 'magic' isn't a thing, instead everything twists, or gets twisted by, the influence of the maze. That's why we have "Horrors" and not just monsters.

Rolling hard no on glowing medallions.
I'm not sure about this. The Hunger is a force of nature, basically a small, mobile black hole. Tying any spells directly to it seems to downplay this fact.
That said, adrenaline at a cost seems fitting for a potion or spell
I disagree with 'arcane focuses'. All magic comes from the maze, so an artifact could be used, but one of the main themes of this setting is that magic is costly, and changes you for the worse, mind and body. Your "focus" is that tooth that just fell out.
In addition, surface stuff has no special properties. The setting isn't "surface vs. Maze" or "light vs. Dark". If anything it's "mundane vs. Vast reality warping terror".
I don't know if this is the same anon who suggested glowing surface coins earlier, but that's not what this setting is about.

Welcome to Warren's Folly. You don't get nice things.
Hmm. It's gonna be rough for me. I have a tendency to make my creatures fantastical but I rely on "magic" to justify these traits. I'll dwell on this a bit.

I had an idea to run by you lot. We have horrors, things terrible and high lethality. What if we include a higher category, lets call them abominations, things t are more akin to nature disasters. The hunger is a good fit for this group. However, I'd rather limit it to a small group.so I thought we could make one to match each stat. Hunger might be a good t for might.


Horror is a broad category, like the eldritch things in Lovecraft. An investigator might be able to fend off a byakhee if they're lucky and well-armed, but a manifestation of Nyarlathotep will wipe out a town.

When designing a Horror, remember that you don't have to justify their abilities in the same way that you do with traditional monsters. They occupy the same plane as the players, but they don't seem to "fit". It's not magical, in that they still seem to obey some natural laws. It's more like the universe they're taking laws from is at an angle to ours.

Think about the monster you see in a bunch of Japanese horror movies, that ghost-faced kid who walks around on walls with their joints all out of place. That thing still occupies space in and interacts with the world in the way you'd expect, but there's something deeply wrong with how it moves. It's too strong, too fast, and just unsettling to conceive of.

An ideal Horror will make your skin crawl as your mind tries to make sense of it, tries to fit it into the comfortable categories of nature you've come to expect.

A normal D&D monster is "thing we have in our world, plus magic", but a Horror is "thing that should not be".
I'd prefer if the Hunger is left statless. It's meant to be an invulnerable juggernaut.

Definitely. It might be possible to fight it off, or at least get away from it, but there's no situation in which fighting it head-on is going to end in a victory.

If a Cartographer lives long enough, they'll gain a lot of power from the influence of the Maze. This power comes at a cost, and the Hunger is the ultimate embodiment of that cost.

The right move is going to be to run away more often than not. D&D situations where your task amounts to "kill all the not-kobolds" are going to be nonexistent unless they're used to trick players into feeling secure in their power.
No no, I agree whole heartedly. I was merely suggesting we have other entities of the same threat level. The stat connection is a superficial thing. Something to ensure each is very, very different from everything else. They don't actually need to be stated out.

We've done something similar in how each race and class fits better with a certain stat. Just taken to the absolute extreme.
More entities? Yes.
Calling them abominations? Maybe not. Maybe don't even name then as a group: leave it undetermined if there is any connection.
Hunger as a stat block? No.
1:1 match between core stats and more abominations? Eh...

Keeping stuff purposefully vague plays well with the unknowable-ness of the maze. Let's not say "and these are the level 2 monsters...", but we can make it clear that they are even further from the realm of normal.
Hounds of Tindalos are a good example of something occupying our world, but at odds with its very nature.

What about monsters/places/events with really weird rules?
Mainly, I like the idea of making DM's ask a bunch of seemingly random questions to unnerve the players.
>"Going to rest for the night? Okay, who here sleeps on their side?"
>"You continue down into the...wait, which foot do you lead with?"
>"Would you say that your outfit matches well with your skin tone? Just asking."
>"Is anyone in the party left handed?"
>"You're carrying how many bullets? What's that divided by 3?"
Followed by the DM writing down something or making rolls for no reason.
Is it a pointless dick move? Yes. Will it create a fitting sense of unease and caution? Also yes.

On a more serious note, if there is anything in the maze that funtions on weird rules like this, it would be good to hide them with other, seemingly pointless questions.
On a personal note, if this setting does nothing but show more people how great weird fiction is, I'll consider it a success.

I mean, GMs should *always* be asking these questions, regardless of the setting. :D
Bringing up the "rumor system" again.
On occasion, DM's should roll 2 dice: 1 for the information, and 1 for the source. The information can be whatever the DM wants of course, but rolling helps keep it from looking like a plot hook. It also allows lore to be sprinkled in without seeming like exposition. Triggers could be: >Spending time in a town.
>Going to sleep (dreams, whispers, memories etc)
>Reading something in the maze (which can, somehow, give different results for people)
The sources can be called in to question as well. That old man in your camp who told you a story vanishes when you aren't looking. That children's song just won't get out of your head (sung by creepy twin girls, of course). You could SWEAR that you wrote something different in your notes.
Is it good information? Is it overheard fantasies and madness? Is it the whisperings of the Maze itself? Is it a plot line in disguise? Leave the players guessing.
>Weird fiction done well
>Good horror setting for DMs
>Permanently scarred Players
This is my trifecta
I hope this doesn't sound like I'm disagreeing with you. You seem to already have a good direction planned out.
Maybe they should be tied to the antithesis of the stat?
>No matter how ____ you are, it won't help against this.
>The Hunger doesn't care how strong you are. It eats you anyway.
>Whisps don't care if you can resist the trauma of the maze: everyone needs to rest sometimes.
>Dreamstalkers don't care how fast you are, they haunt(hunt?) you in your dreams
Something to that effect, using existing horrors as examples.
Alternatively, imagine what something would look like with infinite ____.
Infinite charm: the shackled king
Infinite lore: probably a reality warping god
Infinite might: Hunger. There is not fighting back.

I think that what that anon is getting at is that that provides an interesting way to brainstorm 5 really powerful entities, but that's just one of the numerous ways to make them horrific and weird, and that they can be thought of in terms of a related stat shouldn't really drive their characterization.

It's a useful way to add context to the development of an entity, but by no means should we limit ourselves to five, or treat the stat connection as something inherent rather than an interesting jumping off point.

Otherwise it turns into http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ColorCodedCharacters
everythings already been done someplace, at some time in the past. that said it means we have free reign to steal ideas from other places. here I am diggin' away at other media for ideas that might work with the setting.

okay. so, do we have creatures that do these gimmicks yet?
>a creature that draws in the weak and the sick as a pro-active scavenger

>docile, even pleasant until triggered.
>triggering may be direct touch, observation, making noise
>once triggered it's nigh unstoppable
>it should be killable in the warren version, but enough of a hassle that any who know about it simply avoid triggering it.

>small pack-hunting swarms of creatures

>my personal favorite SCP
>sharp edged plants anyone?(as opposed to points like thornes)
>or would that be too easy to exploit for players/settlements

>the "weeping angel"
>holds still till you look away/stop observing it.
>perhaps a non-violent one? hides by holding really still and only moves away?

>giant invisible spiders spinning razor-wire webs?
>unseen creatures in the deep plucking a musical lure?
>couple of ways to take this idea and re-shape it to fit.

or am I just being dumb?

There's some really good writing on SCPs, so there's probably some neat stuff to be mined from there, at least for ideas. Probably some tweaking for setting, but some of the better ones definitely fit the theme of transmundane flora and fauna.

Keep in mind when adapting things like this that it's good for horror to keep the sentience of any creature (or plant) vague and unknown. The motivations and worldview of these things are not just unusual, but utterly alien. Traditional predator-prey dynamics aren't necessary to the ecosystem, because the rules of the Surface can't be mapped to whatever rules exist in the Maze. A Horror could raze a town and consume every resident, and the naturalists in the setting could take this as hunting behavior. The reality might be that the creature wasn't even aware of the lesser beings as food, or even alive.

If you can convince players to draw erroneous conclusions (either through game mechanics, or even better as a foil to metagaming) you can keep them on edge more effectively when you upend their expectations.

It's also important that there be no reasonable way that a group of players could cultivate, automate, or otherwise mechanize the process of dealing with "useful" Horrors, otherwise you'll end up in the D&D trap where a party gets bogged down crashing an economy because a world of magic lets you grow infinite goldberries when your RAW aren't specific enough.

The edged plants could be exploitable, for instance, if holding an edge is a property of the plant. In that case, it requires someone clever to learn how to cultivate and preserve them, and bang, infinite swords.

If, on the other hand, the "wrongness" of the plant goes deeper, and the edge of the plant is due to something akin to muscle flexion, such that being severed from the plant removes the usefulness, there's no reasonable path to exploit.
Just got on break and caught up. Work makes this a pain to keep up with.

Both of you guys have the right idea. It's somethings that have no direct or even vague connection except the stat connection. But, as you said, this does not need to be obvious or the main theme. It's just a base from which to jump off. These are entities that are so far removed from the players that they can only run or hope it is preoccupied.

As was said with the Hunger. It is such an unstoppable juggernaut that might means nothing. But, would that in a way not make that then the pinnacle of might? That's how we should go about making such a creature.

I'll use my one idea to illustrate. I'll write something up for mother mayfly later when I get home.
>There's some really good writing on SCPs
the trick is digging through all the bad ones

>Probably some tweaking for setting
and by that we mean a LOT of tweaking

>keep the sentience of any creature (or plant) vague and unknown.
the best SCPs know how to be vague JUUUUST RIGHT...

>It's also important that there be no reasonable way that a group of players could cultivate, automate, or otherwise mechanize the process of dealing with "useful" Horrors, otherwise you'll end up in the D&D trap where a party gets bogged down crashing an economy because a world of magic lets you grow infinite goldberries when your RAW aren't specific enough.
indeed, thus my concerns for the blade-wood grove

>and the edge of the plant is due to something akin to muscle flexion, such that being severed from the plant removes the usefulness, there's no reasonable path to exploit.
perhaps it's internal pressures, drying the leaves takes away the sharpness, as does being separated from the plant for more than a minute or two.

>Work makes this a pain to keep up with.
don't bitch, at least you have a job.
aint nobody hiring engineers out here.
Until then;


Believed to be the fate of mundane rats having lived for countless generations in the maze, skulks have dominated the upper levels and filled a "necessary" niche of the ecosystem. Standing around three feet at the shoulder and averaging 100lbs, these bipedal rodents hunt in packs mainly in s were and cramped dark streets. Able to run as easily on all fours as two and being fully capable of climbing and hanging with their tails they will harry victims into well coordinated traps.

The most disturbing part is just how coordinated they can be. A newly assembled" hassle" of skulks have show the teamwork necessary to bring down far larger groups in near pitch black. Using stealth and speed to pick off one or two at a time. Worst of all is the fact that skulks do not need to sustain themselves, they simply kill to kill.

How they do this is hotly debated among WISE and the guild. Some claim they possess rudimentary language verbal and body. Others claim they can share each other's senses. Some, the most radical, even claim that they might well have telepathy or a gestalt hive mind. Whatever it is, be wary of large dim swathes of land. Who can know what waits...

So yeah. Here's a beastie that's basically a rat/wolf/xenomorph. Figured it would make a good early game core monster that has a broad range of adaptability. I've got a plan for variants, but I gotta get back to work. Let me know what you think
What's your field? I'm in north Jersey and my place always need people, engineers or not
BS in mechanical, south texas regional
I am somewhat hampered by my loathing of large cities(they do things to my nerves)
Have you looked at our whisps? They provide confort to the weary, but also lull them to sleep and drain them of their vitality. They eventually rob victim's souls, occasionally spawning new whisps.

Small critters is good. We should look into that. Re-work vermin? Make a new species? One of the other good parts is the horror-aspect of keeping victims alive and paralyzed.
Maybe flesh-termites, which turn people into walking nests, controlling gross motor skills and walking them back to the main colony. Larger creatures could be used as actual mobile colonies.

Triggered crazies are fun. Make their trigger randomized upon creation for more fun. Take a look at Gulpers.

Blade furns as natural protection for settlements? Fire resistant, but can corrode. Edges wither and shrivel once removed or killed. Maybe stick that onto Tangle plants: pull creatures in until the shred themselves on the leaves by squirming. Blood moss grows, and feeds the main plant.

Weeping angel style. Maybe combine with the trigger creature for maximum fuckery. Or make a statue type thing (see 'Gallery of Statues', and 'Pygmalion' earlier in the thread).

I also like the idea of a regenerating horror (Chimera SCP? It's been a while). It can be 'killed', but will reform in a randomized time (likely out of sight of the players, the first few times), forcing the party to flee or capture it. Maybe give it an occasional hydra's head effect: creature throws itself recklessly against opponent because it can only reproduce during reformation.
We have Mimicries (name needs work) from the Ampitheater location. Communal fliers that collect and spread sounds. It would also be fun if they could somewhat copy faces to show. They would have three 'modes'
Often displayed during nesting. Used to spread information around to each other, it is an indirect cocophany from which the occasional useful thing can be picked out. Music can also be shared, but the nature of its expression makes it sound dischordant. This state can range from beautiful, like the tuning of instruments at a performance, or chaotic and turbulent.
Occurs after targeting a creature, usually to subdue a threat. A flock surrounds it's prey, flying around in a perimeter, resembling sardines in their formation. A loud, direct, constant barrage of the most unnerving, hysterical sounds the creatures know is hurled in an endless chorus at the target(s), attempting to drive them away, or drive them insane.
This occurs when the Mimiciries are alone or few in number, observing a potential threat without disturbing it, or collecting new sounds. This is also the behavior displayed after targets are reduced into gibbering wrecks. They may attempt to "trade" sounds, sentences or music, although their criteria is impossible to determine, and may have the effect of sending them into a swarm instead. It is suggested that they loathe being given something they have heard before, so new music or secrets are the best bet.
The Mimicries then remember the maddened noises to be weaponized against the next threat. By testing sounds against prey, and taking noises from their insane victims, they specialize in finding the perfect noises to drive someone away, or insane.
While not necessarily 'hunters', they extract sounds from their prey, and often leave it mentally broken or traumatized. They can be passive, even docile, although no one has quite figured out how to reliably use them.
Some combination of owls and bats. Wing claws, feathers, radar ears and one large central eye. Their chests have octopus-like color changing abilities, despite being feathered, used to share information, or display particularly disturbing images during swarms, mainly of the faces of their previous victims.
Their mouth is unseen, and how they make sounds, or if they even eat, is unknown.
>Have you looked at our whisps?
have not actually looked at anything past economics, basic premise, and interesting alternate crafting materials/processes...I caught a glimpse of the wisps a couple of days ago.

mostly I'm just throwing out ideas for stuff I think might fit.

>how high are the ceilings in the bigger spaces?

>perhaps a direct antithesis to the wisps

a change of face on the typical blob-monster

>a good gimmick for some beastie to irritate players with

>a good concept, if overdone in some media...
>careful in the deeps or he may harvest you....

>a bit horrifying
>sounds almost right as an exceptionally rare but naturally occurring stone in the deeps
>to the right sort of collector anyway...

>a distinctively unpleasant creature to feature

>good for a gimmick or as an occasionally recurrent natural formation
>but underground, there isn't any wind...
Make it that their entire undersides can change color to avoid making them look like teletubbies. Communal nesting might have some interesting visual effects to go along with the sound sharing. Maybe they actually subsist on new sounds, which is why they share with each other, and why they get pissed if they are given something "stale" or "bad".
If someone can go through the proposed mutations in the last thread and synthesize them into something I can use based on the mechanics we've worked out, that'd be pretty fantastic. Things are a bit spread out and it's difficult to gather, balance, and format stuff piecemeal.
As the anon who came up with most of the mutations, I'd be more than happy to consolidate and reorganize them over the course of the next day or so.
That said, I'd like a few concrete answers to make a baseline.
Do class skills increase with levels? Do we have levels?
What is an average amount of damage for a single normal attack?
What is an appropriate duress penalty for an action, such as transformation?
What are the cuttoffs from low-mid-high duress?

I am a fan of a set "abberant form" of several preselected abilities and temp hp. Individual abilities can also be toggled a slight cost.

> Do class skills increase with levels? Do we have levels?

How leveling works hasn't been established.

XP-based leveling is probably a bit too granular, and it's difficult to judge how much to award for non-combat encounters (or running away, for that matter).

CoC has a use-based system, so that between adventures you gain points in skills you managed to use successfully, but the lack of explicit skills makes that less doable. It's a better fit thematically, but not mechanically.

Given these thoughts, it might be prudent to spend some time hashing out the details of character progression. We know that Duress plays a role in the sorts of abilities that a character will be using, but how do the discover new ones? We may have to devise our own system unless there's a setting out there with something we can steal.

Just to throw something at the wall, categorize Knacks according to a dominant ability. If a player uses a Knack successfully during one "chunk" (in CoC, this is usually in between smallish adventures, or during any extended downtime), they can choose one Knack with the same dominant ability at the end of the chunk.

This lets players train into a variety of Knacks according to their taste and the way they play their character. Will probably need an escape-hatch option for players who want to crosstrain into Knacks with dominant abilities they don't already have an associated Knack for.

> What is an average amount of damage for a single normal attack?

Exact mechanics haven't been worked out for weapon damage, but probably something like 1d8 (average 4.5) damage for small to medium weapons, and 2d8 (average 9) damage for large weapons. Things like damage bonuses haven't been worked out, and the natural weapons of various Horrors are certain to be more deadly. The Carrion Crow in the PDF has an example of a low-level Horror, and it does 1d8.


> What is an appropriate duress penalty for an action, such as transformation?

Depends on the "weirdness" of the action. Transforming yourself will have an unsettling effect on yourself and any other sentients who witness it, so likely in the 5-20 range depending on how drastic the transformation is, with something worse for something like a total transformation.

> What are the cuttoffs from low-mid-high duress?

Low range could plausibly be 6-36, mid range 37-67, and high range above that.

Related to the last two points, it would make sense that Duress gains due to "weirdness" should be lessened depending on the personal Duress level. Bizarre transformations and ineffable magics are less horrifying as you become inured to the effects of the Maze, and we don't want people going insane every third turn. Open to all discussion of how that calculation should work out.
There's some additional discussion about how attacks could work in terms of how hits are determined starting around https://boards.fireden.net/tg/thread/52793104/#q52865834
New PDF version.

Notable additions:

1. Specced out healing poultice and unstable concoction for Chirurgeon. Speculative mechanics include degrees of success and failure, variable consequences, and temporary hit points.
2. Liberally stole turn structure and some combat rules from CoC.
3. Cult of the Feast -> Potlatchers (would love some additional/new flavor for this to bring in some more of the real lore of the tradition)
4. Expanded some location descriptions, added some additional framing and structure to the setting section.
5. Improved description and mechanics of established combat actions (see commentary on Parry, also)
6. Knights of White Satin, because damn, dude put a lot of work into that. (Copied directly, but will probably need to be edited further for canon reasons).
7. Un-uglied the quotes.

To prevent some of the awkward circumlocutions I used in the latest version, I'd like to propose the following classifications for success/failure.

Normal - within 10 (inclusive) of the target roll
Decisive - between 11 and 20 (inclusive) under/over
Critical - greater than 20 under/over

Source link:


Let me know if that file gives anyone any trouble. I just generated a UTC timestamp, but the separators might be misread by some filesystem or other.

I'll probably set up an anonymous git account somewhere or other so I can just post links to diffs after I have the NPC generation stuff worked out.
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I'm a moron and forgot to post the PDF.
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>because damn, dude put a lot of work into that.

Oh. Uh, hmm. I'm blushing here. Good to see you guys like them that much
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But yeah, I'm just getting home and have a full day tomorrow. That write up will have to wait.

However. I forgot I played around in paint a little last night and doodle some stuff. I was thinking of what the "deep god(s)" symbol could look like. Let me know, until then good night!
Bump. I have the night to work on WF so I'll be on in 2hrs.
Not this anon but I'll expand on bells and other bardic focus-types in 12hours. I'll mainly just be listing the mechanics for the bells of Sabriel and possibly flavoring these for drums or some other tunnel instrument.
This looks really great, anon. It's nice to see everything coming together.

That said, it's a bit light for all the things we've been discussing. We've had a lot of good stuff in these threads, and I'm afraid to see it get forgotten.
Could we set up a pastebin or something, and then put anything usable in there to be sorted?

I'm trying to stick to the rule where new things have to get rolled in, so there's a lot that gets discussed that doesn't necessarily make it in.

If there's something obvious missing, just post it and I'll add it. I also haven't added much from this thread, yet, because a lot of it is still in flux.
Looking thru and it's looking great. However The Knight section seems kind of weird. You took the first chunk of the story and made it a quote? Also you missed two bits of dialog;

>And so he lead 1,000 noble souls from Folly's gate. Into the darkness to fates unknown...

>And what of the King? So proud and fair? Any knight met with a shred of sanity or wit about them are noted to only repeat something about a 'Crownless King'. Who, or what, this is has yet to surface. Tho the implications are terrible to consider, for all have mentioned one common trait. Each has had, no matter their appearance, a tabard as white and pure as death itself...

If you want a quote the first bit might work better. And its a shame not to include that last bit. I figured made it vague enough that hopefully GMs would see potential for a plot hook.

It read like a shift in tense and voice, which made the first chunk sound like a firsthand report, and the second part like a historical record. It also gave an opportunity to allow for the possibility that others had joined the Knights on the force of their fervor alone.

I probably just missed the last bit or forgot to copy and paste.
Bump so this doesn't fall off the end.
Ah. As I said, I'm no writer.

I'm happy to restructure it if you had something else in mind, it just seemed kinda cool. :D
No no. After a reread I definitely think you have the right of it. I'd just make sure the rest gets in
Thread is archived on http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html and on fireden. I'm gonna spend some time working on the NPC generator. If motivated people want to start another thread before I do, just make sure to post the latest source dump


and archived thread links. Use "Warren's Folly" as the subject of the thread. I have it in my 4Chan X filters to it'll show up at the top of my index regardless of what page it's on.
Mutanon here with an update. I'm still working out some mechanics, but this is the concept so far:
Abberant form made of 3 major traits; disturbing
7 Major forms made of 3 minor traits; obvious
21 minor traits, which can be toggled and concealed

There will be Duress cuttoffs determining usage, probably 30-60-90, and increasing costs.
@ 30, can use 1 minor form
@ 60, can use 1 major form, small cost
@90, can use Abberant form, larger cost

Mouth mutation (major)
>ferocious roar
>bite attack
>feeding - heal ability

Feral senses
>Dark vision/ranged accuracy bonus
>surprise bonus/limited blindsight (spidey senses)

Crude extra limbs (act as free hands OR give the bonus)
>grapple free hand
>bash attack

Limb warping
>Movement speed
>reach on mele attacks
>Claw attack

Bone Growth
>armor bonus
>damages when grappled (either way)
>stab attack

>Camouflage/Stealth bonus
>Dodge bonus
>Squeeze for grapples and tight spaces

>Ranged bile shot
>Infection (melee extra damage)
>Acid splash when damaged

The actual expression of each ability is left up to the player, as long as it is fitting and follows the mechanics.

I'd really like to get it up to 8 sets of 3, but I'm having trouble with the last Major group.
Mad Cartographer creator here,
going to work on statting out some more threats.
But just wanted to clarify with you all something first, jut how does attacking work?

How does Might play into it?
Do we roll our weapon damage dice, for example 1d8 and then add something based on our might?

Maybe a weapon has a damage dice, for example a d8, and you get to roll a number of d8 based on your tens number, then add a bonus to the final result equal to your ones number?

So if i'm rolling for damage, and i'm swinging a dagger (lets say it does d6 damage)
My Might is 15, pretty good. So I roll 1d6, adding 5 to the result, and thats my damage.

Or maybe I have an incredible Might of 23.
So i roll 2d6 and add 3 to the result.

What do you guys think?

Mechanics for attacking haven't been solidified.

I proposed that each weapon type has a base hit chance, with Knacks allowing players to increase the effective hit chance.

An unarmed attack would have a 50% hit chance, while a basic weapon like a sword might have 25%, and a skilled weapon like a rapier might have 20%.

For damage, a reasonable method might be this:

For ranged weapons, damage is entirely determined by the damage listed for the weapon (barring special abilities or something).

For melee weapons, add or subtract one or more dice of damage according to the following:

Might <= 6 : -1 die
Might >= 18 < 24 : +1 die
Might = 24 : +2 dice

where the damage for each die is whatever the weapon's damage die is.

Finesse weapons could use a similar setup with Finesse as the skill of note.

As a follow-on, we could do something like CoC. There, the sum of your STR and SIZ determines you damage bonus as follows:

STR + SIZ Bonus
2 to 12 -1D6
13 to 16 -1D4
17 to 24 0
25 to 32 +1D4
33 to 40 +1D6

We could potentially do something similar with some calculation based on Might and Finesse to describe a combination of skill and strength.
I dislike the idea of fixed wide brackets for how many dice you throw.
A PC with 7 Might and a PC with 17 Might doing the exact same amount of damage just feels wrong.

I think finesse should come into play as to how often you hit, though I like your idea of certain weapons having different chances to hit.

Is size a factor in player characters? I assumed that all playable races were of roughly the same size.

It's not, that's just how CoC does it because they have size as an attribute. We'd want to work something out that uses the ones we have if we go that way.

I don't know that Finesse should affect weapon hit chance much. Being dexterous might be useful, but it doesn't make you inherently better at swordplay. I could see a bonus on parry attempts, maybe. Finesse also determines your Dodge chance in the latest version of the PDF.
Ok, when a player that's attacking with a sword rolls 1d100, what is he rolling against?
If he rolls a 30 what does he add to that?

In the system I proposed, your goal is to roll lower than your attack chance. So if you're a Wandering Warrior wielding a sword with a base hit chance of 25%, and you have a knack which increases your hit chance with swords by 10%, you want to roll under 35 for a successful hit.

Going with PDFAnon's bit about critical successes and such, that would mean that rolling lower than 15 would be a critical success on that attack roll, whatever that means for the system.

How does this sound?

Each weapon has a base hit chance, with Knacks allowing players to increase the effective hit chance.
You need to roll the given hit chance or below to succeed.

If you roll 20 or more under the target number, you get a critical strike, which is a severe wound, adding some amount of your Might to the damage.
I think either an extra damage die based on your Might, scaling up and your might does,
such as:
4 to 8 = d4
9 to 13 = d6
14 to 18 = d8
19 to 23 = d10
24 = d12

Or perhaps you just add half your might rounded down to the damage.

Either way, I think crits against the player should have some lasting effect. Maybe an injury that has to be treated somehow?
or perhaps a fixed amount, like half your might rounded down.

That sounds pretty agreeable. I'd lean toward the additional damage die version, myself.

I also might say additional dice rather than larger dice after a point, if only because a critical strike with higher Might should probably have higher minimum damage than 1. If you're really strong, I'd expect a big hit to do more absolute damage than a big hit from someone noticeably weaker.

Failing that, maybe have either a negative die or no bonus die for Might below a certain level.
Okay, so something like
4 to 8 might = d4
9 to 13 might = d6
14 to 18 might =2d4
19 to 23 might = 2d6
24 might = ?? maybe 4d4?

Having trouble with this one.

On second thought, this is a lot of bookkeeping, so I think I'll change my opinion to the half-Might rounded down option.

It seems to work alright, adding 5 - 8 damage for the majority of players based on average Might.

What do you think of being able to modify your attacks. Maybe subtracting your finesse from an attack roll to roll under much easier, but reducing the damage, or maybe adding your Might to the roll to make it harder to hit, but letting you deal more damage?

Maybe if we add Knacks that allow players to use these measured, precise strikes or all out attacks?

Anything to avoid the "I roll to hit until it's dead" trap that some games have.

Yeah, I was getting a similar thought while thinking about how Finesse interacts with attack rolls. I think combat maneuvers that shift and rebalance the effect of attributes on attacks and damage sound like a good fit. Nothing 4e-like that you can only do once an encounter, or whatever, just stuff like stances and unusual attacks to give more options that just swinging until dead.
Should they be Knacks that enable you to do it or any player is allowed to?
Maybe class abilities?

I feel like it should be enhanced by Knacks, not enabled.
So maybe a knack will allow you to perform the same precision strike as everyone else, but while they cannot crit, you can.

Maybe certain classes will be geared towards using these? like the Scourge (high duress warrior) can potentially cause bleeding with the all out attack. Still adding Might to the hit roll to make hitting harder, but if they hit, they get an added effect?

I feel like we're getting somewhere with this, any ideas?
Ranna, the smallest bell, the sleepbringer. This bell forces a will check against everyone in earshot including the ringer (60foot radius). If they fail (depending on the fail margin) they fall asleep/ become exhausted and very tired. On a success, they just become calmer and more relaxed (like a successful charm check or weaker charm person spell). Everyone outside of a 40foot radius makes the save with advantage.

Mosrael, the second, a harsh, rowdy bell, the waker. This bell whose sound is a seesaw, will force a will/sanity check on the ringer while it heals and decreases duress on selected listeners. They have to roll above their duress or take a debuff of some kind, maybe roll on the sanity table?

Kibeth, the walker, a bell of several sounds, a difficult and contrary bell. It can give freedom of movement to one of the Dead, or walk them through the next gate.

Dyrim, a musical bell, of clear and pretty tone. Dyrim can return the voice that the Dead have so often lost, but Dyrim can also still a tongue that moves too freely.

Belgaer, another tricksome bell that seeks to ring of its own accord. The thinking bell, the bell most necromancers scorn. It can restore independent thought, memory and all the patterns of a living person, or slipping in a careless hand, erase them.

Saraneth, the deepest, lowest bell. The sound of strength, the binder, the bell that shackles the Dead to the wielder's will.

Astarael, the Sorrowful. The banisher, the final bell. Properly rung, it casts everyone who hears it far into Death. Everyone, including the ringer.
Redoing this from Mosarael onward. I just posted early because we were at page 10.
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Another note, the bells vary in volume (radius) as they increase in size. Ranna, the smallest bell, is 60ft with advantage when 40ft away. (this can be made smaller) We might also consider another penalty for repeated use of 1 or more bells, excluding the penalties for ringing one.

>Kibeth, the walker, a bell of several sounds, a difficult and contrary bell. It can give freedom of movement to one of the Dead, or walk them further into death.
It forces a will/sanity check on everyone in 65ft radius (if more than 45ft away make it with advantage), if they fail they have the condition 'fear' and can't willingly walk toward the ringer, the ringer also makes the save, if they fail the DM controls their character and will walk them toward the closest hazard or just a bad position (toward an enemy, away from the enemy, falling prone, into a chasm.etc)

>Dyrim, a musical bell, of clear and pretty tone. Dyrim can return the voice that the Dead have so often lost, but Dyrim can also still a tongue that moves too freely.
Can give the 'speak with dead' spell advantage. A successful lore check or will check can prevent sound from escaping an area for a time. Can be used to give advantage when intimidating a person and (other charming or voice related things)

>Belgaer, another tricksome bell that seeks to ring of its own accord. The thinking bell, the bell most necromancers scorn. It can restore independent thought, memory and all the patterns of a living person, or slipping in a careless hand erase them.
I'm not sure how to flavor this one, maybe it can increase duress resistance, or allow a monster to be reasoned with?

Adding to Mosrael lore from last post. (maybe make it a physical penalty)
>Mosrael, the second, a harsh, rowdy bell, the waker. The bell whose sound is a seesaw, throwing the ringer further into Death, as it brings the listener into Life.

Cont in next post.
>Saraneth, the deepest, lowest bell. The sound of strength, the binder, the bell that shackles the Dead to the wielder's will.
Acts like a moderate pseudo-soulbinder ability where they can paralyze make horrors with a will save, but if the ringer fails the will save they are also paralyzed. Instead of paralyzing could slow down a huge creature.

>Astarael, the Sorrowful. The banisher, the final bell. Properly rung, it casts everyone who hears it far into Death. Everyone, including the ringer.
This is also a hard one to balance and flavor. It forces a high DC will save for everyone in 60feet, on a failed save the enemy takes large damage and high duress, on a successful save they take less damage and duress. The ringer will always take large damage and duress. This could also be re-done so that they take damage and duress based on the amount they fail the will save by.

These bells could function as an artifact that the explorers find, or a unique spell focus to a mid-level Big Bad. I think every time a bell is rung, the ringer takes 5 duress damage, they can ring a number of bells equal to their lore or will /4 until they start taking 20 duress per bell-ring. Hell, these could even be used as a basis for some of the spells that a SoulBinder or Haunted class can do. For lore reasons it could be that the Soulbinder uses their voice and sound to convey their spells and abilities (Verbal) and the bells are an enhancer to this talent of theirs, the focus for a Haunted could be a drum they made or a flute that allows their magic to focus, it could even be whistling.
It seems like a cool flavor that magic can be focused around sound in the maze, and because a lot of creatures are blind because of the darkness magic conveyed through sound will be naturally useful.

Just throwing ideas around, feel free to give feedback on the bell/music magic ideas.
Adding to this, if you attempt to draw a bell with only one hand you must make a Finesse save equal to your Might x 2. I'm not sure how to set the DC for this one, the idea is that drawing a bell one-handed can cause it to ring without a target which can turn the effect onto the ringer if they fail a Finesse save to stifle the bell.
It seems like a cool flavor that magic can be focused around sound in the maze, and because a lot of creatures are blind because of the darkness, magic THAT IS conveyed through sound will be naturally useful.
Spelling correction there
I dunno if Abhorsen fits the setting at the class level, really. The tech level is right, and there are some definite parallels in the flavor, but the meat of it just doesn't work in my head.

It suffers from the same thing that the glowing coins did. Either the power of the bells originates on the Surface, in which case the Surface isn't mundane, anymore; or the bells have anti-Maze powers due to the Maze, which seems at odds with the Maze wanting to kill you.

As an artifact or something, I could see that being interesting, but it seems like an unusually Surface-y artifact to be found in the Maze.
This is from the Abhorsen series, I love those books
I don't want for the abhorson class to be ham-fisted into the setting because as you said its doesn't fit at all. I'm just suggesting a kind of arcane focus or artifact that a soulbinder can use to boost their powers. Like, bells are a magical item that are found to be in the possession of an artifact seller after the party's soulbinder goes looking for "Something that helps me deal with spirits" and the merchant only has 1 or 2 bells for a large price but he says he sent someone to find the others in [this direction] and now we have a plot hook where we can introduce new settings and encounters.

>The party journeys into the titans demesne looking for a skilled cartographer/soulbinder that went missing and the merchant hasn't heard from them for a few weeks. They find their corpse with 2 more bells (in their inner pocket) that they were using. They follow the trail to a hive/nest/menagerie of carrion crows that are collecting shiney things (the bells) and have the rest of the bells and some other useful loot for the other members of the party.
I'm so happy this thing is still going. Now to read all the shit that's happened in the last week
Everything in the Maze was once a normal living creature before being twisted by the Maze; the shackled king was once a man and now after being twisted by the Maze can even charm horrors; the hunger was once a particularly powerful Glutton before being twisted into its current form by the Maze and being driven insane by infinite hunger becoming an embodiment Hunger itself and so on.
Is this true?
I thought most of the Maze stuff was just home-grown nightmare fuel. A lot of it is surface corrupted things, but I don't think all of it.
It isn't strictly false, I just posed an idea and I don't think it contrasts with anything said before.
Who says the home-grown stuff wasn't corrupted by the Maze as well?
perhaps bells can be made in the maze, but True Bells can only be found.
additionally, we could depart from free-magic a little by not making the bells all be death and undead related.

really I just want for there to be bards of a sort in game. a thread or two ago I suggested stringed instruments resonating with dangers of the maze. BUT you could also say something like "many mages prefer using sound to channel their power more carefully" and bridge some gaps

I liked the idea of using drum and drum towers for distance communication.
...drums, drums in the deep. "We cannot get out...We cannot get out. They are coming."
I think the Haunted acting as Bards/Channelers is feasible. Using sounds as a form of interacting with the maze could work, with tuning forks or bells acting as tools for certain rituals.

Drums are definitely cool, and likely another method usable by the Haunted. Can horrors hear the drums? They may attract more attention than might be wanted.
Mutanon here with an update. Mechanics are open for tweaking, and 1 more major group of 3 would be nice.

You may only have one mutation type active at a time. The actual expression of any mutation is up to the player, as long as it follows the mechanics and is fitting.

Minor Mutations
>30-60 duress required
>Costs a bonus action to form or dismiss each
>Gain 2 temp duress
>Can be hidden (easy check)
>Can have up to 2, but not within the same major group.

Major Mutation
>60-90 Duress required
>Action to form and revert (any time)
>Choose 1 full major group
>Gain 10 temp HP and 6 temp Duress
>Action: consume recently deceased small or larger creature for 2d4 health points: half penalties from feeding.
>Can be hidden (hard)
>When reverting, lose temp hp and duress, gain 1d8 personal duress
>Every hour in-form, gain 1d4 duress and make a sanity check.

Abberant Form
Functions the same as Major Mutation, with the following changes
>You must have at least 90 duress
>3 full major groups at once
>You gain 30 temp hp, and 10 temp duress (not exceeding the maximum)
>Form costs 2 hp per turn as upkeep.
>Feeding regains 4d4 hp, must be medium or larger (small=half)
>No penalties from eating flesh
>Disturbing form, cannot be hidden
>Any time you gain or lose duress as a result of this feature, so does anyone who can see you (does not stack).
Mutations, Continued

Major Mutation Group
>3 minor mutations

Warped Maw
>ferocious roar - AoE Fear? Penalty?
>bite attack - 1d6 + might pierce Grapple auto hits
>Tongue Whip - 15 ft. Grab

Feral senses
>Dark vision/ranged accuracy bonus
>Scent/Hearing/Tracking - 20% bonus
>Surprise bonus/limited blindsight (spidey senses)

Crude Extra Limbs (act as free hands OR give the bonus)
>grapple - 20% bonus
>bash attack - 1d10 + might bash

Limb warping
>Movement speed + 15 ft
>reach on melee attacks + 5ft
>Claw attack - 1d6 + finesse slash

Bone Growth
>Armor bonus - DR=5 or DR + 2
>Spikes = 1d4 auto piercing damage when grappled/grappling
>Stab attack - 1d10 + might pierce

>Camouflage/Stealth bonus + 20%
>Dodge bonus +20%
>Squeeze for grapples and tight spaces

>Bile shot - 1d4 acid, 30ft range
>Infection - deal +2 melee damage
>Acid blood splash - melee attackers take 1d6 acid damage
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Another idea is that the artisans from the maze can make crafted bells as a simple focus for Haunted-class players. And that the magical bells from above are very rare and can only be found as a rare artifact award or were crafted by a mad deep-dwelling artisan who ripped the cave magic from his surroundings and imbued them within the bells. This way they can function as an arcane focus with bonuses and still retain some level of mystique because you can't just purchase them, you have to devote an amount of time for them.
combine that with a stigma against these sorts of musical instruments(and a lesser unease around mundane instruments of the same types) as "playin' wit forces what men shouldn't".

might make for a fun dynamic

Well, between these four, this is the best progress for our class.

Low duress = Wayfinder
High duress = Abberant

Finesse and utility focused.

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