September 29, 2019

Eldritch GLOG, Or: A Distraction From Actual Shit I Should Be Writing

I made a quick GLOG-ish hack. Probably should be working on my actual hack, Nuclear Ooze, but one of my players wanted to play Call of Cthulhu and was shocked by how much ungodly bloat there was. (Also I object to Lovecraft on grounds of how much of a racist bastard he was). So I made this, Nidus, or the Eldritch Guide to Gaming (EGG). It's pretty unpolished and unplaytestes, but it's free and seems like it'll run.

It's cobbled together from the corpses of GLOG, ItO, and CoC, so you should check those games out if you like any of this one. Also, I stole the madness section pretty much wholesale from Spwack's system so check his stuff out, it's all really good.

Also, about mental illnesses: These are not meant to be jokes or taken lightly out of context of the game. Plenty of people in my life (including me) are affected by mental illness, so I'm not trying to belittle them or their struggles. But this is a game about insanity-inducing monsters. If you have any suggestions about how they've been handled or how to handle them better, please let me know.

If you have any suggestions or problems with any of it, let me know, actually.

September 28, 2019

Lunar Vampires

The Moon is dead, but there is life on and in it. Deep under the surface where the polyp-trees stretch their paralyzed branches and release reified madness in mercury drops to the sky, beneath the caverns and hollows made when the ground shifted and made room for lunar slugs and beetle-bears, there are deposits of a strange, hard material like ceramic but somehow more pliable. This is where the dead lie, the terrible secrets of eons past that have been buried under ash and layers of strange decay.

The deposits, if you were to exhume them (and exhuming them is what it would be, for you would be digging up tombs and coffins), would be ovoid, like squashed spheres of white plastic. Sometimes they'd have crushed and bent articulated legs. There are doorways and openings. They are huge, a few more than a mile across. You'd see the tracks they dig through the strata as they so slowly gravitate towards each others, at a geological pace. They grow into each other like mitosis in reverse. Inside, they are dark, deactivated, fractal, and incomprehensible. They each served myriad purposes, once.

This is the main arena of dungeon-delving on the Moon. Or at least the most ripe for plunder; a latticeman doesn't have much to offer adventurers than a pile of slimy spacesuits and some rotted bones. But the vampire catacombs are jam-packed: filled with strange equipment, surgical labs, esoteric weapons, and of course, vampires.

Lunar vampires aren't stereotypical eastern European counts. In fact, they look like slightly-shriveled, dead versions of your friends. Sometimes literally. There's a 25% chance that one of the vampires you fight or interact with is a doppelganger of someone you know. There's a 1% chance it looks like you. They actually come from a different version or timeline of the Moon and Earth. It doesn't really matter; they're stuck here now, just like you. They look utterly human externally, but they wear strange elastic jumpsuits, and arcane bits of machinery cover them occasionally. They look like extras from a 60s-70s scifi television show, and their tombs are built to match, all formica and plastic and curves.

Their bones are black carbon, scintillating with strange elements. Their blood is thick and greenish, more like sap than blood. It carries the vampiric germ; anyone who drinks it, or is fed it, or is injected with it in one of the ancient surgical machines will become a thrall-vampire in 1 week, unless their blood is cleansed before that. Vampires have blunt, human teeth. Biting does the same damage as a human does, unless they use tongue. Their tongues are coated in microscopic saw teeth that rip flesh with horrifying ease, and they use these terrible appendages like sponges to soak up blood. They are inhumanly strong, and magnificently hard to kill. Vampire wars were once fought with vibroblades and sonic canons that could disassemble you at a molecular level.

They once created a race of Renfields out of conquered people, enslaved on their millenia-long conquest of the universe. The DNA slurried and combined and restructured, extruded and recombined with more and more victims. Slowly creating the space ghouls that now wander these white, darkened corridors, maintaining the slow workings of their kidnapper-masters. Renfields are diminutive, like hunched men. Their translucent flesh displays their glasslike bones and pumping lymph. (The vampires removed the Renfields' need for blood so as to not eat their own slaves.) Renfields won't harm adventurers, prefering to lure them into traps or their sleeping masters.


Extremely sharp. Does 1d8+1 damage. Has 50 charges in its tenebrovoltaic battery. Using one charge activates the vibration motor, causing an additional 1d8 of damage, sawing through limbs like butter and leaving heavily bleeding, ragged stumps.

Molecular Disassembly Canon
A mass of tubes and wires with a series of Nixie tube-like glass bells underneath, filled with Sonic Ooze. Must be fed blood weekly, or the ooze dies. Firing it causes an electric shock to agitate the oozes, which send out a metasonic vibration through the tubes. Does d12 damage, exploding on a 1 or 12.


Lunar Vampire
HD 3 ATK 12 DEF as leather MV 16’, 6’ fly once per day Tongue 2d6 Bite or Weapon 1d6/1d6 Save 8 Int 10, 15 if recently fed Morale 4
Emaciated, near-feral, and weak. Shadows of the dread cosmic vampires they once spawned from. Crave blood all the time, made mad by their hunger. Must be decapitated, have their hearts ripped out or staked, or be burned. Want to eat flesh and regain their opulence.
Vampiric: Regains 1d4 hp whenever it drinks blood.

HD 2 ATK 14 DEF as leather MV 18’ Thorns 1d6 Tendrils 1d6/1d6 Save 8 Int 16 Morale 3
Ancient vampires whose flesh has finally dissolved away from hunger. Bendy and thorned. Heads look like skulls made of wicker mixed with rose blossoms. They bathe in blood to grow back flesh. Can only be burned, or utterly dismembered. Want to become whole again.
Regeneration: When bled on, gain 1 hp.

HD 1 ATK 10 DEF unarmored MV 12' Bite 1d4 Save 6 Int 8 Morale 6
Translucent, jellylike. Born from vats in the cellships, reconstituted collected biomass. They eat flesh too, but don't hunt; they'll eat whatever's left after their masters finish. Want to faithfully serve the vampires.
Translucent: Advantage on stealth rolls while in dim light or darkness.

September 26, 2019

Dwarves and Orichalcum

The old dwarf across from you in the cramped booth hacks and spits and laughs, his craggy face marred with evenly-spaced scarification, his wide teeth black and coated in rasps. His lips are red with dripped rust. Eyes bulging and thick with veins like knots of twine. He leans forward and swigs from the mug of alcohol you procured for him, stuff used for sterilizing medical equipment, laced with belladonna and morphine.

“Sure, I can show you into ol’ Mound 378. I can even get you to the tomb-forges outside her jurisdiction. But I’ll need something more encouraging than this tepid shit.” He swirls the mug for emphasis. His words seem hollow, the human dialect alien to his tongue even after all these years exiled from his kind. The singular pronouns especially strike dull from his mouth.

He drinks the rest of the booze in one gulp, then sighs. A wind like that off of a rusted scrapyard blows across your face.

You ask him his price.

Another harsh laugh. He fingers the scars up and down his face. “A trice more than you can afford, deary.” He quiets and thinks for a moment. The levity falls from his face like a dropped mask.

“On further reflection, maybe I can get you in. But you’ll have to do me a favor or three...”


Many people have written about the Folk Underneath. I’m not the first, nor will I be the last. My account is not comprehensive, but it is more accurate than others. Those “scholars” have studied the dwerro from afar, using unsubstantiated reports from drug-addled silk merchants and half-dead adventurers. They say that dwarves are living golems (a ridiculous prospect, since any golemist worth their salt know that golems exemplify unlife). Others claim they are born spontaneously from the rock, or were shaped from it by a god. That dwarves are magical mole-people who can grab anyone at any time. That they are little men who enjoy engineering and alcohol. That dwarves are a branch of humanity, like Neanderthals or the mooncalf quadrupeds that the halflings of the Bhyru Plains cultivate and ride. That dwarves don't exist.

These claims are ridiculous.

(Although the Hermit of Mount Whimsy got it pretty close)

They grew deep in the earth, from life much different than that of the surface. Their flesh provides no nutrition for predators of the surface. A beast may starve to death with a belly full of dwarf.

They eat metal. Their skills as miners and engineers come from necessity, the same way early humanity became hunters and gatherers. Dwarvish cuisine is boles of wires and slabs of foil in divergent hues, layers of brass and silver and iron with heavy corners. Supplemented with bacterial mats and fungal blooms and huge eyeless fish. They consume the empty calories to extract the rare trace metals in them, like vitamins.

Common folk think there are three types of dwarf. White Dwarves, impetuous and quick, Black Dwarves, stolid and reliable, and Red Dwarves, slow and thoughtful. These are actually just the stages of dwarvish life. They start off pale and alabaster-white like milky babies. Their flesh cleaves, not tears. The metal a dwarf eats begins to stain their skin and muscles with molecules of iron and bismuth, gold and aluminum. They turn shiny and gunmetal grey. Eventually their metabolism slows down and the metal suffusing their flesh rusts, turning their skins rich russet hues.

Each person in a dwarf city is a cog or wheel in a greater machine, working together for the betterment of the community at the detriment of anything else. The concept of communism sprung forth from the savant minds of dwarven leaders. They work together intrinsically, nascent fixation on community like underground honeybees of alien flesh. They don’t understand philosophy, individualism, and religion is regarded as a thoughtvirus, punishable by jailtime or even mutilation. Their god is the great god Efficiency, blind and dumb.

Each city is governed by a conclave of 188 councilors or ministers who dictate each aspect of life. Thoughtcrime, neuro-atypical dwarves, seditionists, and possible demiurges are exiled, stricken from dwarvish thought, scarred with the parallel mark that lets all dwarves know this one has been made undwarf. They regard the exiles as humans, or at best thick halflings. Exiled dwarves make up most of the "adventurer" dwarves of the surface, but sometimes truethread dwarves come up and act as if they were exiled, deep-cover operatives to jealously guards the autonomy of dwarfdom.

Dwarves don’t take baths, because their biology fights off what germs their high-proof liquor doesn’t kill. It isn’t efficient to waste time cleaning yourself when there’s work to be done. They’re also terrified of water, because their skeletons are made of metal.

A strange reaction occurs within the gut of a dwarf. The minerals they eat dissolve and discorporate into molecules, which suffuse their body. Over time, the molecules settle and join with the fractal hooks and spurs of the dwarvish skeleton, forming crystal-laticed structures of alloyed metal. Quicksilver joins to lead, lead joins to gold, gold joins to iron, forming a new material found nowhere else naturally on earth. Refined and worked, it is stronger than steel, lighter than aluminum, more powerful than uranium. Orichalcum.

Dwarves use orichalcum in everything they make. Weapons, work-machines, architecture. A bar of orichalcum is worth a small kingdom on the surface, and many a would-be thief has met their end at the brutally efficient defenses of the mound-cities. They will wait a century or two until all the flesh has fallen off of the bones of a fallen dwarf, then smelt them into raw material to be reused later.

“That’s a really nice warhammer.”

“Thanks, it was my grandfather.”


If you’re a dwarf in a GLOG campaign, use these stats when rolling your character:

Perk: you can eat metal along with rations to gain health. The type of metal corresponds with the ration; eating 5 copper is the same as 1 ration, while 1 gp is like a feast. You can’t suffer heavy metal poisoning.

Downside: your skeleton is metal. You’re much heavier than you look. People trying to lift you suffer a -2 penalty, and you sink immediately in water. Those who know about the secrets of orichalcum might try to murder you for your valuable bones.

Rerolled Stat: Strength

Anyway, it's taken me like 2 weeks to write this. Couldn't get it to sound right, and I'm still not sure it does. I'll link the other GLOG writers who've made awesome dwarves once I can find their pages.