Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gigacrawler: How Did This Happen?

Here we have a Gigacrawler PC or possibly more than one stumbling into some kind of situation. (Click to enlarge the situation, click twice to enlarge twice). This situation is the direct result of 4 spells being cast and one martial arts technique having been employed.

Your task: say what those spells were and what that technique was.

The spells and kung fu moves must be new. If you're a real pal, spells need failure results and difficulty levels.

All this stuff will be added to the finished game, of course.


bombshelter13 said...

Zak, I gotta know, do you draw these Gigacrawler images all yourself? They're fantastic.

If so, please, give me the art geek dump: What are your weapons as choice, as far as the type of pens you use (I'm going to assume this is done in pen and ink, I could be mistaken)? Do you work directly from ink, or do you do it in pencil first?

Zak Sabbath said...


I do these myself. If you want to know more:

I go directly to ink

Roger G-S said...

The martial artist (left) and mage (right) have encountered a sorcerer.

The sorcerer had Otus' Ocularia prepared, and arrived on the scene at its warning. The mage responded with Transmogrification to frog shape. The sorcerer saved, retaining consciousness, and cast first Baudrillard's Simulacrity, then the Magnificent Moi Meme. The prosthetic lass is preparing to unleash the Cobalt Arm Propulsive on the Ocularia.

Otus' Ocularia
Diff: 14 Duration: 24 hrs Range: 10m

The caster causes 2d4 semi-sentient tentacles to appear on a surface, each tipped with an eye. Anything novel is reported to the mind of the caster if he or she remains within one kilometer of the Ocularia. Each tentacle has 1+1 hit die, armor class 5, and no attack. Each tentacle killed causes 1 hp damage to the caster. Failure: The tentacles spring from your body.

Diff: 18 Duration: Permanent Range: 20m

This variant of an age-old sorcerous standby transforms a target into another being of the same general class (carbon-based life, machine, sorcerous construct, etc.) Hit dice/level and hit points remain the same, and mass is conserved. The target gets two saves: one to avoid the whole effect; if that fails, he or she saves again to retain his or her former consciousness, including knowledge, personality and spells. Otherwise all of this is submerged beneath the personality of the new creature. Failure: You are partly transmogrified to the creature.

Baudrillard's Simulacrity
Diff: 19 Duration: Permanent Range: 30m

This potent spell of transformation causes the target to move one step down the hierarchy of representations. To explain: a Platonic archetype will become a material object or being; a being will become a sentient android duplicate; an android, a mannequin; a mannequin or statue, a painting (or video) of itself; a two-dimensional image will become an image of an image and so on. Failure: The target moves one step up the ladder of representation.

The Magnificent Moi Meme (no circumflex)
Diff: 15 Duration: 1 hr Range: 0

2d4 miniature (1/10th mass) memetic duplicates of the caster spring into being and carry out his or her orders. Their personality is that of the caster, which may be a disadvantage. They will have 1/5 the hit points and do 1/5 the damage. Without a job, they become broody and troublesome. Failure: The mini-beings are disobedient and act with the worst aspects of the caster's personality.

Cobalt Arm Propulsive

This maneuver can only be carried out with one or more prosthetic arms. By sliding and vibrating the neuro-interface, the arms are induced to gyrate and vibrate with sheer menace. Each arm does +2 damage, and if it downs an opponent, may attack another, as many times as possible until all engaged opponents are down.

Anonymous said...


Sean said...

Long time lurker, first post...Here goes.

Dark haired adventurer is a technomage, the blonde is an explorer/martial artist/jack of all trades type. They are following the trail of a megalomaniacal AI seeking to subjugate the disparate machine spirits of the Gigastructure. There are three previously cast spells:

Machine Guide (cast by technomage and failed)
Diff: 16 Duration: variable Range: 10m
This spell attempts to summon a machine spirit which will take the most convenient form to give helpful and pertinent advice to the summoner. Spell lasts until 3 pieces of advice have been given to the caster.
Failure: The machine spirit will loudly and rudely give good advice...after the caster has already acted, usually with an "I told you so" attitude.

Shadow Simulacrum (cast by technomage on explorer, succeeded)
Diff: 18 Duration: 1 hour Range: Touch
This spell will summon a shadow duplicate of the target that will perform the same actions with the same chance of success (attacks, searches, spellcasting, etc.) If there are no shadows available then the spell will automatically fail with no effect.
Failure: A shadow duplicate of the target will immediately appear and attack the caster.

Summon Baleful Watcher (cast by AI, succeeded)
Diff: 16 Duration: 8 hours Range: 5m
Summons a Baleful Watcher. This creature resembles a black amorphous slug with multiple eyestalks. The caster designates targets to the watcher, from extremely broad (everyone you see) to very specific (dark haired female humanoids). The watcher, upon seeing the designated target(s), will commence casting d6 nuisance spells upon them. These spells will do little to no direct damage, but may hinder and/or annoy the target. Some examples include animating surrounding wires, binding the target to speak only truth, causing lubricant to ooze from the floor and walls, etc. The watcher anchors itself to a spot on the wall/floor/ceiling until killed or until the summoning ends.

The adventurers enter the room and encounter an Aether frog. These semi-corporeal creatures are known and feared throughout the Gigastructure as voracious devourers of any variety of energy. They ignore living creatures unless said creatures contain cybernetics, which contain power cores that are a delicacy to the frogs. When killed by any sort of piercing or slashing attack, d6 Aether frog spawn emerge from the corpse and begin their own search for energy. Unfortunately for the duo, they encountered the Baleful Watcher at the same time, who cast Expose Cybernetic Enhancements on the pair. This drove the Aether frog into a frenzy, causing it to attack. The explorer (and her Shadow Simulacrum) used the Martial Arts move Sonic Thrust on the frog, not realizing the disastrous results...

Expose Cybernetic Enhancements (cast by Baleful Watcher, succeeded)
Diff: 15 (+1 per target past first) Duration: 10 min Range: 10m
Used mostly as a means to detect AI infiltration, this spell exposes to all present any cybernetic enhancements possessed by the target(s), regardless of methods of concealment.
Failure: Conceals all cybernetics, including shielding from further castings of this spell, for 1 hour.

Sonic Thrust
This move is a devastating single attack requiring the full concentration of the Martial Artist. It uses all available attacks for the combat round, as well as forfeiting any defense for the remainder of the round. A Concentration (or Gigacrawler equivalent) check must be made, and the attack must hit. If the attack succeeds, the Martial Artist strikes the target with a pointed finger strike. The speed of the thrust creates a miniature sonic boom, granting the move its name. The attack deals double damage +d6 sonic damage to the target. A critical will deal quadruple damage +2d6 sonic damage. If the Concentration check fails or the attack misses, the Martial Artist is exhausted and vulnerable to counterattack. No active defense is allowed, and the attacker receives +2 to hit and damage.

Zak Sabbath said...

Nice! come back any time. I would suggest that expose enhancements causes the flesh around the metal to corrode away slowly rather than just magically appearing. I also suggest the machine guide is a kind of sentient virus that crawls from machine to machine within the gigastructure, rather than having its own form.

Adam Thornton said...

I disagree.

The key to the scene is the windowsill: bottle of lotion, coffee mug, cosmetics bottles. That gives us both whose room this is, and the scale.

The two dolls, foreground, peevish because their owner has grown up and considers herself too old and mature for them, have gone In Search Of The Unknown (B1). They, of course, were created with the well-known ritual spells common at the larger toymakers, namely "Create Minor Golem" -- L5, takes a couple months, can easy be horizontally scaled. You will note the doll on the left wears a Hello Kitty barette, marking her as having been produced by Sanrio.

Unfortunately, just about the first thing they did was shatter the Chaos Toads' terrarium, in hopes that the Toads would come join them on their quest (the dolls are clever, but hopelessly naive about the real world). With room to expand, the Toads used their innate magical power of Fractal Replication (if cast by a human, this is about L19, but Chaos Toads, well, pretty much, that's their schtick: if they've got room to expand, they split and swarm fractally). The effect of this is that the character's Physique is split into usually either two or three parts, and the original character dies, but is left with two (or three) smaller versions or "shards"; this replication can occur recursively all the way down to Physique 1 if desired. This is not a very popular spell, because the reverse, Merge Shards, is L22, and depends on the cooperation of the merged shards. Since mages tend to be pretty ego-driven, most casters' shards don't particularly want to be subsumed again. Small Chaos Toads, of course, can eat and eat and eat to build their Physique over time, until they reproduce by fractally splitting. [0]

At about the same time, they came around the corner of the bathroom and encountered The Transgressive Shower. This is the thing with the stalks and the eyeballs. It's sentient, and this one has been programmed with Low-Grade Contingency (factory installed, L4, also an assembly-line spell for commercial goods) to only reveal itself when in the presence of one or more approximately-human females under the apparent age of 25 and no one over the apparent age of 40; otherwise it appears as a normal showerhead. This is how the room's owner was attempting to conceal the Transgressive Shower from her mother. The Shower can dispense fluids such as hot water and soap, as well as a much wider variety. It is an excellent massaging showerhead as well as a truly magnificent masturbation device. They're really popular in certain demographics, including Just-Discovered-They-Were-Naughty Girls like the room's inhabitant.

The funding model is straightforward but diabolical: you get one for free, but the contract allows the webcam in each tentacle's eye to broadcast an "anonymized" version of what it sees to the Shower's servers. The subscription fees to TransgressiveShowerCam more than cover production and installation costs. The stealth controls are also included, and are generally pretty effective.

Of course, the "anonymization" puts a black bar over your eyes, but does nothing to conceal the tattoo of Godzilla on your left breast, or the mole on your labia, so its effectiveness is pretty dubious.

Fourth Spell and Martial Art in next post due to length limits.

Adam Thornton said...

(and also the footnote from the previous entry)

Descending from the ceiling, because of all the hullabaloo, is the Wicked Stepmother. This is yet another magical consumer device, which features Low-Grade Contingency to cloak itself (in this case, as an ordinary light fixture). You see, the room inhabitant's mom is not a stupid woman. The Wicked Stepmother has noticed both the Chaos Toads and The Transgressive Shower, and someone is in a whole lot of trouble when she gets home.

The Stepmother is deploying Neural Gridlock (L 16): if the (sentient) target misses its save, it is paralyzed until eye contact is broken for more than three seconds. The Stepmother not only transmits what it sees back to its master (or in this case, mistress), but has the power to freeze wrongdoers in their tracks. This isn't too effective if there is more than one wrongdoer, since a friend can just cover the eyes of the victim for a few seconds, but in the roles in which the Wicked Stepmother is employed, it's often pretty effective. (Deploying Stepmothers in pairs in order to catch both the transgressing child and his/her paramour is also a common tactic.)

The Physique 1 toadlets are employing a martial arts tactic known as Koch Kontagion. A creature capable of Fractal Replication, which is of Physique 1--and thus incapable of splitting further--can instead launch itself onto a target and dissolve on impact into a slimy goo. If this goo is not cleaned off within about an hour (soap and water, or rubbing alcohol, will do the trick, which is why Chaos Toads aren't actually terribly dangerous pets), the target will be infected with Fractal Replication, and within the next half of its expected lifespan (so, if it got on, say, a 5-year-old dog with a life expectancy of 10 years, sometime in the next two and a half years), the target will feel an irresistible urge to split into fractal shards. This technique is also called Benoit Bukkake.


[0] If the Axiom of Choice exists in your universe, the L20 version of the spell allows a caster to create a full-size (but half Physique) shard.

Adam Thornton said...

P.S. Yes, I realize that the entry guidelines mean that I'm implicitly assuming that the PCs are animated Barbie-or-other dolls abandoned by their owner. C'mon, it beats "well, you all meet in a tavern."

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Seth S. said...

The Crawlers had been tracking down the 'kitty' cyborg for nearly a week by now. Having found her, everything seemed to happen at once.

The froggy adventurer cast Miniature Multitude:
Duration: 1d3 rounds
ML: 18
Range: Self

The caster becomes up to d8 exact duplicates. Each duplicate gets an action and is exactly the same as the original, however, mass is preserved and distributed equally among the copies. So if there are 8 copies, each copy has 1/8 the height, weight, physique and any other stat related to size. At the end of the spells duration each duplicate will be pulled to the caster's original space and fuse with the other clones. Any KOd copy will not return and must be recovered by the caster. Any copy that is not recovered for any reason results in a loss of the casters mass along with the reduction in physique, height, weight, etc. There is also no way to fuse early and the caster must always wait until the spell wears off. The caster gains any experience and memories the clones did upon fusing.
Failure means the caster still divides but has no choice in the number of copies. Also, all clones accept one are considered insane for the duration of the spell and are controlled by the GM.

The adventurer with many eyestalks unleashed his kung fu and used
Gaze of the Watchful Hawk:
Tensing the delicate muscles around the eye, the user gains incredibly clarity on and focus on one particular target within line of sight. Against this target, the user gains a +1 on hitting the target with a melee attacks, dodging the target's melee attacks, and telling if the target is lying for the duration of the combat, or for five minutes. The target gains no bonus from partial cover to the user, and can not use a stealth check to hide from the user. The user can gain a further bonus for each extra eye they have beyond 2, but this bonus stops at +3

will post more in a bit

Seth S. said...

The 'kitty' cyborg is actually trying to send some signal of warning to her friends through the hall on the other side of the room so she casts Neon Scribe, and succeeds.
Neon Scribe:
duration:d100 minutes
range: a 5x5 ft area within 30 ft
The caster is able to create whatever symbol or lettering within the area that they like, but after they make their decision they are unable to alter it except by other means. The caster can dismiss the symbols whenever they like, otherwise the marks will fade at the end of the spell as normal. Whatever is drawn appears in bright neon letter.
Failure means some type of neon symbol appears on the caster for the spells duration and cannot be removed in anyway. This symbol can be anything and is up to GM discretion. For extra fun the symbol can be drawn on the real life player as well.

more coming in a bit

Seth S. said...

The white haired cyborg cast Shade's Hiding Place but failed
Shade's Hiding Place:
duration:1d4 hours
range: touch
The caster becomes one with the target's shadow for the duration of the spell. It is impossible to tell that the caster is fused to the shadow except by magical means and if the target is somehow unaware of the caster at the time they won't even be aware the fusion had taken place. The caster can remain within the shadow and is aware of the surroundings as normal, but they are completely dependent on where the host travels. The caster must leave the shadow at anytime and will be expelled when the spell wears off.
Failure means the casters shadow is ripped from their body and must be reclaimed. (GM discretion, perhaps as a separate quest?) Until this is done the caster takes a -d6 to willpower, 1d8 damage, and of course has no shadow, so that's weird.

The environment had already been previously altered by a spell, however, this area has become infected with the magic and is now a Circe Anomaly. Originally the spell was a teleportation spell known as Grave's Calling. Since the spell has infected reality, a portal has been created to the destination of the original Grave's Calling. In this case its a dead city that appears as some sort of massive desk world with giant bottles, lamps, pencils, etc.
Grave's Calling
range: self with up to four passengers
They are teleported to the nearest dead city in some sort of relatively safe location (not inside a wall, but there still could by psychokinetic cannibals)
Failure means all those transported land somewhere in between the dead city and there starting point and with a 30% chance of not being in some sort of not safe location or fused together.

Seth S. said...

@Adam Thornton

Nice post about the Chaos Toads, I'll have to make more of a point to read the comments thoroughly before posting, but for now i guess there's two variations on basically the same spell. Haha, oh well.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

The one fighting off the tentacles (Kiimnit) has just used the martial arts technique "Blind as a Bat", which entails splintering a wooden baseball bat so that the shards blind your enemy/ies.

She's a mage of some kind, and has also used the spell Transference of the Flesh on the one with the toads jumping at her (Laernel (Lair-knell)).

Transference of the Flesh:

ML: 15

Duration: 2d12d10 hours

Range: Ten miles

This spell causes the desired implants to transfer from the caster to the target or the other way around.

Failure causes 2d20 damage to the target and caster, as the swap was imperfect. There's the possibility of anything from it simply not working to having your arms on backwards. This is permanent, and cannot be altered except with drastic surgery.

Laernel is fighting an extraordinarily confused (As evidenced by the fact that it's shaped like a giant frog) doppelganger. She used the spell "Turn Back" on him, which is why he has toadlings crawling from his skin - he was casting the spell "Sick of Your own Company" (ML: 13 Duration: 2 days, if it fails, you actually do have undead clones of yourself crawling out of your skin.), which makes you hallucinate that multiple copies of yourself are crawling out of you, dead.

Turn Back:

ML: 10

Duration: Instantaneous

If cast on another person when they are casting a spell, the spell will choose a random target, including themselves or the original. If it fails, the spell automatically targets the caster.

Laernel is currently using the spell "Living the Dream".

Living the Dream:

ML: 5

Duration: d4 hours

This spell sends the caster into a deep sleep, and causes anything they dream about to become real. However, the GM may, at any point during the duration of the spell, roll to determine if they are still able to control their dream.