Author Archives: callmesalticidae

Grit & Flesh

“Grit and Flesh” is something that other systems have already experimented with, and I like how it looks. The Mountain at the End of the World has gotten rid of a couple of stats, and I sort of like how that looks, too.

Here’s what I’m thinking: Get rid of Constitution and replace it with Flesh. Grit can come along, too, but Flesh is the important part. Whenever you would roll Constitution, instead you roll Flesh—but when you take damage to Flesh, then you’re going to have a lower bonus.

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Languages in Thaumerica

Every character in Thaumerica knows two languages by default: (1) the native language of their home region and (2) Westerling Sign.

In Upper Thaumerica, the main regional languages are Eastronian (Eastron), Lakese (Lake Countries), Southlandish (Southlands), and Westerling Speech (The West). You can probably guess where most of these regions lie in relation to each other. Each language has its dialects, but those dialects are mutually intelligible.

Westerling Sign (not to be confused with Westerling Speech) is a trade sign language from the West. Everyone in Upper Thaumerica knows it at least well enough to ask about the quality of goods and haggle over prices with strange merchants in the market square, and if you don’t have any other language in common then you can at least converse in Westerling Sign. Because it requires the use of your hands, Westerling Sign is not just a common language but an inherently de-escalatory one. You must sheathe your sword and put down your shield in order to free up your hands, which is why it is actually the preferred language in some places.

Most Thaumerican languages use geographic directions (north, east, south, west) much more than, and sometimes entirely in place of, egocentric directions (forward, right, backward, left).

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GLOG Class: Re-Animator

You take what nobody wants or needs anymore (bits of dead bodies), weld them to what has never lived, and create something functional, something greater than the sum of its parts. You may call yourself as a necromancer inventor, or a deadhead, or an osso-mechanic, but people in your occupation are mostly referred to as re-animators.

Technically speaking, you are a kind of wizard, though you and the wizards would both prefer to ignore this. Wizards blow themselves up or get turned into a frog too often for your liking, and wizards are horrified by your monstrosities jealous that you have never even come close to blowing up or getting turned into a frog.

There is another kind of necromancer, the sort that raises spirits and commands the dead and explodes corpses (what is it with wizards and explosions?!?). This is not what you do, though some historian of magic has surely traced the relationship between your schools and who it was that first dispensed with spirit-calling in favor of necro-engineering.

Nowadays, re-animators are more common than necromancers, at least in the Lake Countries. In Quillsylvania, their art is distrusted but not outright banned (the necromancers cannot claim as much), and they occupy a place of prestige in Buckeye, which has long been sympathetic to those whose clever minds are called by others “mad.” As yet, there has been no ‘mortechnological revolution,’ but the re-animators are continuing to refine their art and some of them see, however distant it may be, the glimmer of a day when their work has revolutionized the world.

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20 Potions + Potency Rules, Variants, Withdrawal Rules

Up till now I’ve been content to use Arnold K.’s Alchemy and Oozes PDF as is, because it’s got an even hundred potions and that’s enough for most purposes, but I’m working on a “junkie alchemist” class and need a set of potions whose effects can not just be made shorter or longer but stronger or weaker, and which have withdrawal effects to boot.

Potency: Some potions are stronger than others. If a potion grants a flat numerical effect, then lesser potency will halve the effect and greater potency will double the effect. If the potion involves a die roll, then lesser potency will downgrade the die (e.g. 1d6 to 1d4) and greater potency will upgrade the die (e.g. 1d6 to 1d8).

Downgrading and upgrading: If a die is downgraded from 1d2 then it becomes 1, and if it is downgraded from 1 then it becomes 0. If a die is upgraded from 1d12 then it becomes 1d12+1d2, then 1d12+1d4, and so on.

Variants: For the sake of being condensed, a lot of potions have just been listed as a variant rather than given their own entry. Assume that they work the same as the base potion except where specified otherwise.

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GLOG Class: Swordsinger

Some say that the pen is mightier than the sword. While this is not strictly true, it serves well as a metaphor. With a pen, you can make as many swords as you want, because swords are songs and vice versa. Given time, tunes will harden to blades and poorly-crafted blades may evaporate into a droning hum. In a pinch, you can whistle yourself a dagger if you know what you’re doing.

It is accepted by most swordsingers that their art was taught, not invented, but it is unclear who is responsible. Some say that it was a tool of the gods, granted so that their chosen warriors would always have a weapon on hand. Others believe that it was bequeathed to mortals by Hell, whose devils stole the secret before their fall (or that they were cast out from the presence of the gods because they stole it).

In any case, swordsingers aren’t wizards. This is just the way things are.

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“AU Tom Riddle” Collection

I have a series of AU Tom Riddle fanfics on Archive of Our Own, and I used to maintain a collection of AU Tom Riddles by other authors in the description. AO3 reduced the character limit at some point, so not only can I not add stories, I can’t even edit the description now without having to remove some. Because some of the stories in my list aren’t on AO3, I’m just going to move the list over here and link to it. Continue reading