Monday, September 14, 2020

Miscellany of Myth

 Dan of Throne of Salt fame periodically publishes excerpts from his slush pile, tidbits of inspirations and lore for games. These are some of the most useful blogposts for my own creativity, so I thought I would try to ape the style, even at risk of falling short of the quality.

  1. A green dragon stokes war in order to sell chlorine gas (a byproduct of its breath) to both sides.
  2. The silent Candy Sirens are said to have an irresistible allure which can only be broken by tricking them into opening their mouths, revealing their rotting, rancid teeth.
  3. A Call of Cthulhu character's backstory: finding the names of eldritch texts in an Appendix N and going down the rabbit hole.
  4. Two goblins sharing a cigarette and sitting around.
  5. Mine Rowdy- a class
  6. The Hellcrawl has a long table of random encounters, with a numerical bonus to the roll equal to how settled the area is. Some wilderness encounters add features that permanently lodge in that hex, like a farmstead or gold claim. These increase the settlement score of nearby areas.
  7. a horse with salmon scales, slimy white slugs hiding in scarlet robes, blue molds that eat and replace ligaments, an ape shaped like an octopus, fuzzy insects whose touch cause swelling and who hibernate in darkness.
  8. A fruit tree that magically calls dying creatures to it to fertilize the soil.
  9. One culture teaches spiders to weave clothing by getting them to wrap wicker models. Thereby, the society gets spiderweb fabric armor
  10. A gunsmith who heats metal with a bronze bull forge
  11. Dogheaded men come to the old retired archeologist in town. No one knows why
  12. Battering rams are required to be kept in all homes that share a block with the temple in case the doors are barricaded.
  13. A small tent securely staked; it just barely conceals a terribly deep hole.
  14. It is holy to kill while sleeping. Some say that all sleepwalkers are of the same faith, regardless of their waking professions.
  15. Front half rhinoceros, back half deer with sliding orb hooves.
  16. A batskin lens that reveals transmutations and illusions.
  17. Everything a wizard owns is cursed after they die.
  18. A titan defended Earth from the moon until it was banished to hide under Saturn's aegis, taking with it those few acolytes who had not betrayed it. Some now wish to absolve it and allow its return, in order to put an end to envy, lycanthropy, dementia, libertinity, and/or menstrual pains.
  19. a sunken ship full of sarcophagi
  20. the taram, an instrument with strings running between at least three "branches" of a stick. Said to have originally been made from antlers.
  21. A book on Numerology deflects from accusations by claiming "for every charlatan there are a hundred dedicated numerologists." What if instead of a demographic claim this was a military organizational prescription?
  22. In early D&D, "ogre magi" is a language all its own. What other racial-classial languages are there? 
  23. Dragonflies are so named because they too keep hordes
  24. "Virus, virus, leaping light/ blooming buds of subtle blight/ What immortal voice or hand/ could birth you with a cold command?"
  25. Frogs with turtle shells
  26. "An evil sought/ is evil bought"
  27. "The fey arrayed in ciclatoun"
  28. A type of thread visible only to fools.
  29. An 18th-century Quaker mystic has three coffins in a mausoleum. The first is gold and has the inscription "to keep the wolf from the door." Opening it releases poison gas. The second is silver and says "to keep the fox hungry." It leads to his sanctum. This is, to him, a perfectly sensible reference both to an early founder of Quakerism and a desire to live an ascetic, uncomfortable lifestyle. The third coffin is made of iron and is inscribed "To keep the oath to the hound." Opening this coffin startles an omen of bats, and leads down into a cave.
  30. Leopards are just shadows of other large cats, just as ninja are simply shadows of men.
  31. A leper's scale, suckling at the breast of creation, became the first dragon.
  32. "She wove snakes into her hair, and spat venom."
  33. Worshipers of a liberator-god. They keep slaves who worship the same god.
  34. A god whose holy symbol is "anything hot enough to sear flesh"
  35. Police officers wearing neon vests with no-smoking signs.
  36. You purchase tickets to shows by the act, and get radically different impressions of the same story based on which acts you buy into.
  37. The lord of a distant city that was once ravaged by necromancy writes polite letters of protests whenever they hear you have cast such a spell.
  38. The opulent Xanadu of Citizen Kane, but its owner was the Biblical Cain.
  39. Excerpts from a “missing” Dr. Seuss book that proves horrifying.
  40. A dream: In a city of stone and gaslight, the Spider-Man temporarily loses most of his powers and now is merely a very good climber. At one point, he proceeds through the winding sewers, which are medieval and catacomb-like, to his workshop, where he weaves his costume out of his own spider silk. However, a criminal has found the workshop and broken a window so Parker can see something askew, turn, and be surprised to find him.
  41. An adventure set during the coexistence of Neanderthal with contemporary humans.
  42. A spell to cover the target in chitinous armor, protective but heavy and slow.
  43. a spell- Diet of Worms, through which you devour worms that clump about you in the morning to spit them onto your foes later in the day.
  44. First level spell- summon the Devil
  45. Cloudstuff, collected and concentrated, makes for amazing fabric. It is light, good in water, and shines in dim light.
  46. A near-future Risk-like game set on the African continent, with a secret agenda to teach players about the basics of African geography.
  47. Veterans of war all have a language in common.
  48. an ancient coliseum with amazing and otherwise extinct clades of plants growing in its lowest tunnels. These plants are the most valued of treasure, guarded by the descendants of the beasts and gladiators who fought for the amusement of crowds.
  49. A PC's motivation: they fought on the wrong side of a war and can never return home unless they buy amnesty for a terrible sum.
  50. A Call of Cthulhu adventure set just before the death of Koresh Teed in the Koreshan Unity.
  51. Mission: slipping the royal foodtaster a ring of poison immunity.
  52. One-shot: the meeting of Soviet and American astronauts in the International Space Station is interrupted by some terrible horror.
  53. 40% of the human population are aging, jaded veteran clones.
  54. Bahl’s Menacing Mantras: A book of dread lore in an ancient language that, when translated, gives a permanent +2 to intelligence, but when crafting a scheme or plot the user has an INT% chance to introduce unnecessary convolutions.
  55. A Litany for Forgiving Strangers: "All people are flawed/' We will be hurt by the flaws of others./ They would be elsewhere, had they the strength./ All people are flawed."

d20 Cyberpunk Gun Convolutions (every gun has at least one)
  1. Needs wi-fi connection
  2. Needs constant app update on your dataslate
  3. Planned obsolescence
  4. Very fragile
  5. You license it monthly
  6. Micro-transactions
  7. Trial period scumming
  8. Weird novelty features like an 8x prestige COD player’s weapon of choice
  9. Requires cybernetics for some function
  10. Remote controlled
  11. Obtrusively obvious abilities
  12. Needs to cool down all the time
  13. Genetically tied to someone else
  14. Trigger made for complex trigger bot
  15. Covered in inconvenient blades
  16. Fancy minimalist design that makes it impossible to figure out
  17. BIG
  18. Throws out upbeat phrases in an obscure language
  19. Safety sensor prevents it from targeting humans.
  20. Only fires 9 AM to 5 PM

1 comment:

  1. A gun that only fires between 9AM and 5PM—good indication it originated as a stolen weapon from a police or security force. At least you don't need to pay the licensing fee anymore. But I heard that if you turn the gun's airplane mode on then change it to the European time zone you can circumvent the timelock.