March 05, 2015

A Question of Gall

A gall is an amazing thing. Formed by a plant when a parasitic wasp injects an irritant into it, they take a huge variety of forms. Check this out.

That lights me up. So many gameable possibilities! I smell a series coming on!

The Enclave Devil

The walls between the planes are not so much thick as antithetical to one another. Like oil and water, or oil and fire, they either remain unmixed or destroy each other on contact. Extraplanar intrusions will be inexorably drawn back to their origins, like a balloon held underwater. However, there are beings in other worlds who take great interest in the possibilities of other planes. The devils, aggressive thoughtforms, and rogue engrams of the outer spheres puncture normal space and inject it with pieces of themselves to open the way for future conquest. Succubi, incubi, dark rituals, each acts to change the world to match elsewhere, or encyst a piece of one plane in another. The enclave devil is not a singular type of creature, but a multitude of beings. Each plane develops its own more or less stable shape, although most are humanoid. They are vectors for alien planes, driven to scratch out galleries and tunnels that have both mystical significance and act to thin the walls between worlds. Enclave devils also directly scratch at the barrier between the planes, creating breaches through which other extraplanar beings can move freely.

Enclave Devil Forms
  1. Worm-centaur
  2. Scuttling, emaciated thing
  3. Bulbous glutton
  4. Cobweb thing, composed of diaphanous webs
  5. Eyes and teeth whirling in the air
  6. Red-skinned humanoid. Blank, eggshell face
  7. Humanoid with exoskeleton like an insect
  8. Shadow person
  9. A muscular man with the head of a star-nosed mole
  10. A floating array of glittering sigils

Enclave Devil: Init +4; Atk extraplanar claws +0 melee (1d6, ignores non-magical armor); AC 13; HD 1d8; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP may scratch through any barrier, 1’x1’x1’ per hour; SV Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +1; AL based on home plane.

The Planar Ram

An enclave devil is comparatively weak, and on its home plane it lacks the ability to cross to another. Aggressive dimensions make use of a carrier organisms to insert enclave devils and other creatures into other planes. Planar rams usually break through in areas of intense magical energy, such as dungeons or wizard towers. They have also been known to break through deep underground, allowing enclave devils to cut extraplanar catacombs undisturbed for years before the inevitable breach. The results are rarely positive for the plane they have invaded.
Planar Ram Forms
  1. Enormous, almost immobile, square humanoid, body dominated by wooden door
  2. Streamlined, aquatic shape, enormous maw opens portal
  3. Skeletal figure with an exposed ribcage opens to the beyond
  4. A thin ring of stretched skin and bone
  5. Floating multidimensional shape bends space around it to create a portal
  6. A mystical circle slowly rotates on a flat surface, it’s mandala-like designs spin when it open a portal within itself
  7. Bulbuous, faintly pulsing organ attached to nearly surfaces with ropey sinew. A large valve acts as a portal
  8. Tall, thin humanoid made of cracked earth. Hollow. Inverts pieces of its anatomy to reveal a portal within
  9. An animate bronze statue, many-limbed. It carries on its back a portal ring
  10. A floating tear in space, causing the air around it to howl

Planar Ram: Init +0; Atk limbs+0 melee (1d6), portal explosion +2 ranged (1d8); AC 15; HD 3d8; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP Planar radiation (characters within 5’ take 1 damage per round due to the otherworldly energies it radiates); SV Fort +2, Ref -1, Will +2; AL based on home plane.


A witchfly is a fist-sized insect that looks like a cross between a wasp and a stick insect. Found in temperate swamps, they go through a relatively normal life cycle that undergoes major changes when intelligent humanoids are closeby. A female will seek out a sleeping humanoid and deposit 1d6 eggs under the scalp. Each egg release a substance which forms a growth on the skull called a witchgall. The hair falls out from around the spot, then a hollow, round knob of bone grows. The space fills with elastic brain tissue, making it the perfect home for the creatures. The witchfly eggs feed on the neural impulses and cerebrospinal fluid, growing faster and larger in the presence of magic. Once an egg is large enough the larval witchflies will burrow free, either breaking out of the skull and flittering away, an agonizing process at best, or eat its way deeper into the brain.

A wizard inflicted with witchgalls can tap into the increased brain mass to better cast their spells. They add +1 to their spell rolls and saving throws to resist the effects of spells cast against them while inflicted with a witchgall. However, the galls also leave them more open to the warping effects of magic, add +1 to corruption rolls. These effects are cumulative for each witchgall inflicted upon the character, to a maximum of +5. To determine if a witchgall breaks open secretly roll a d10 for each when a PC casts a spell. On a 1 the egg has hatched. The PC must make a DC17 Fort save. If they succeed they take 1d6 damage as the insect burrows out of the skull. If they fail they take 1d10 damage and permanently lose 1d3 Intelligence as the insect chews its way deeper into the brain.

Effects of having a witchfly wrapped around your medulla
1-5: nothing
6: You have a compulsion to seek out and consume worms and vermin.
7: You no longer blink. You no longer need to blink.
8: You now sleep, 1: 4 hours a day, 2: 12 hour a day.
9: You gain 2d6 inches in height over the next two weeks as your pituitary goes into overdrive.
10: Whatever god the witchflies belong whispers to you in the dark hours. Making demands. It has plans, so many plans.

January 06, 2015


Did you miss me? The last year has been a whirlwind, but I start a new job soon which should give me a little more breathing space for things like running (and playing!) more games. Never mind Secret Santicore, which I did lots of layout work for. There is so much good stuff this year, it's going to blow your mind! It just has to work its way through a final editing pass and then it will be out in the wild, raiding campsites and eating tourists. And now, a little new content for the Jungles of And, west of Ig and full of nasty critters.

The jungles of And burst with life. Fifty creatures vie for every inch. The glittering scale wing, air grouper, and howling gribbon all compete to survive among the green canyons. Buzzing in the dappled light are dozens of wasps in variegated hues and all sizes.

The folk of And turn this riot to their own ends. Local hunters carry long-barreled air-powered fusils they call waspgonnes. Each is a work of art, hand-tooled from tropical hardwood, sinew, and polished chitin. Waspgonnes use a small bellows to fire a large wasp at their target. The weapon is pressurized, a glass jar containing a wasp is loaded into the firing chamber of the waspgonne, which draws the insect into the firing chamber, and the weapon is ready to fire whenever the trigger is squeezed. Activating the weapon accelerates the wasp along the barrel at whatever the hunter is aiming at. The flight and ensuing impact enrages the insect, which furiously bites and stings whatever it strikes. The wasp is not expected to survive, but the damage it inflicts is usually sufficient to dispatch a target. A waspgonne is also almost silent, only a quiet hiss announces its use.

Hunters raise the insects in mesh cages beside their lodges. Before an excursion the cages are flooded with woodsmoke allowing the wasps to be collected. Note: only females have stingers. Their wings are clipped and then they are sealed into individual glass jars. The hunters carry these jars in belts and bandoliers.

a waspgonne
Insects used for a waspgonne include the biter, stinger, libertine, and redeater. A biter is any small calibre wasp without venom. A stinger has a deadly venom. A libertine is smaller wasp with unclipped wings. The hunter makes an initial shot with a pheremone packet, then fires the libertine which will inexorably seek out the packet. The redeater is any oversized or especially vicious wasp. There are other, stranger types of wasp used by the most experienced hunters like the gall wasp, paper tiger, and black ghost, but they are rarely used.

A Waspgonne has the range of a longbow and must be wielded with both hands. The bellows takes 5 minutes to fill, and is good for 10 shots once charged. Wasp jars save at -2 due to their fragility, should the occasion arise.

Almost all waspgonnes are one-off pieces built by hunters, but they may be talked into selling an older piece for 60 gp. Wasps cost 5 gp, but are rarely for sale.

Wasp Ammunition
Biter (1d6)
Stinger (1d6 + poison, CON save or 1d4 damage for 1d6 rounds)
Redeater (1d8)
Pheremone packet (0, lasts 3 rounds, +5 to-hit with Libertines)
Libertine (1d4)