Trilobites

Here is an old article that I never published for Koru. It focuses on an optional humanoid race evolved from Trilobites (which are the most numerous wild animal on Island World.

Even though it’s a bit rough, and likely will change a lot when the final book goes it, it’s worth checking out!

The Trilobite folk are bipedal humanoids who share an ancestry with the most common arthropods on Koru. While there are three varieties, each with some major distinctions, they all a set of hard, segmented plates going down from the top of their heads down their backs and along their short tails. While they have lost most of their ancestors’  many limbs they have kept the ability to roll up into a hard, armored ball for defence and mobility.

Trilobite_spines

There are three “types” of Trilobite-folk. All three are Amphibious, have Natural Armor (of varying degrees) and can roll up into an Armor Ball.

1. Deep: these are the ones who most resemble their ancestors: they are shorter than other humanoids (roughly 3 to 4 feet tall) and have four sets of limbs. They can assume a bipedal stance by standing on two sets of “legs”. Their insect-like hands are completely unable to use tools or weapons designed for human hands, but their hard chitinous armor allows them to naturally replicate just about any basic tool. Their Natural Armor is the toughest (Plate Armor). A choice for players who wish to be very non-human and alien.

2. Tidal: Their Natural Armor holds the middle ground in terms of hardness (Chain Mail). A choice for players who wish to be unique but still relate-able to near-humans, like Dwarves, Gnomes or Halflings.

3. Shallow: the most human-like of this folk. Their dorsal armor is slimmer and more flexible, allowing them greater mobility at the cost of less protection. While they still possess two sets of arms, the lower pair are almost completely vestigial: too small and weak to perform any arduous tasks beyond lifting small objects. Their faces are almost completely human except for their segmented irises and their mouths which, while closed, look small, but while opened completely split open the lower halves of their faces into long mandibles and maxilla “fingers”. Their hands, are slimmer and more flexible, allowing them to use human tools. Their Natural Armor is the least hard (Leather Armor). A good choice for players wanting to be very nearly human but visually different with minor differences to set themselves apart, like Elves, Half-Elves or Half-Orcs.

People of the Tides

As with the slow movement of the moons and tides, these people have profound ideologies around peaceful and deliberate lives. They rarely act hastily or without some deliberation beforehand.

Plate-VII-Ordovician-Trilobites

Stats

Labyrinth Lord (or OSR game of choice)

As Dwarves, except replace their racial abilities with the following:

Their unique physique prevents them from being able to use weapons, armor or tools made for human use. However their limbs function perfectly for most tools needed for hammering, cutting, digging or scraping (they do not need tools for most tasks).

Armored Shell: Trilobites have a natural AC of 5 from the tough shells on their backs.

Amphibious: Trilobites can breathe equally well underwater as above land. However prolonged exposure to a dry environment will have consequences on their health. Reduce each of their saving throws by 1 for each entire day spent away from a body of water large enough for them to be fully immersed.

Armor Ball: Trilobites may roll up into a tough ball. This form makes them nearly invulnerable (Armor class of 4) and their movement speed of 150′(50′). However they cannot perform any actions except rolling around and smashing into things (attack as a war hammer, dealing 1d6 damage).

Dungeon World

Coming soon

trilobites_fossil

Status of the Lounge

After the A to Z Challenge, which was fun but quite demanding (but less so than I expected), I decided to take a break for a little while.

I also got really tired of social media and fora (message boards) and I’m trying to quit them to be more productive. My goal right now is to finish some RPG products (modules, mostly) and sell them on online PDF game distributors.

The following projects have completed first drafts and are being assembled into second drafts:

Conquerors of the Cosmos

This is an adventure module for Crimson Dragon Slayer. It is an homage to certain media from the 1980s: stuff like HeMan, Thundarr and Sectaurs. Right now it is a bit linear, so I’m working on making it more like a point crawl. This will hopefully get published through Korthalis.

The Warlock’s Curse

The title logo of this project is the featured image for this post. A 5e and Dungeon World compatible module set in Fantasy Romania. A lot of Ravenloft and Castlevania themes here. Included will be the Hydra Tome: a self-contained generator for unique and cool hydras.

King of the Grey Isles

The focus of my contribution to the A to Z Challenge. This will be a location-based adventure for 5e and Dungeon World. Gothic and Weird Horror, but very open-ended.

Island World

A Dungeon World hack long in the making. Was originally going to be focused on the aboriginal people of the Pacific ocean, but due to cultural sensitivity controversies over the last few years, I’m reluctant to do so anymore. The peoples in this book will definitely be non-white islander types but I won’t be naming names very much out of fear of being blacklisted or worse.

I will be creating art for all of these. My time that would have been spent on pointlessly browsing the internet will be used to develop these products. I’ll occasionally advertise their progress here on the Lounge.

Please stay tuned! Conquerors of the Cosmos is first in line because I’ve made promises to Venger that I’d get it done sooner than later. It’s been a year in the works: progress has been slow with a new baby in the home.

Y is for Yeuthania #atozchallenge

The third member of the Maidens (the other two being Cadaveria and Necrotia). Yeuthania is a powerful Necromancer who, like many others, is drawn to the potent arcane nature of the Grey Isles.

She is responsible for the creation, empowerment, maintenance and upkeep of the Isles’ many abominations, such as the Ettin and the Wights serving the Janissary. Yeuthania spends most of her time among the ruins or the crypts under the palace. Occasionally she captures one of the Lemures for her morbid experiments.

This woman is insatiably curious; ever exploring, observing and experimenting. In another age she would have made a fine scientist, albeit a cruel and heartless one.

She is frequently at odds with Cadaveria and her coven: their realms of sorcery often conflict and they often dispute over who gets access to the unholy sites ripe with magic at rare parts of the month or year.

What is Yeuthania’s relationship with the Grey King?

  1. Wife: her marriage to the Grim Monarch was arranged; the Clerics of the the Dark Light wished for a union of their order with House Grey Isle. She couldn’t care less about the King, but has always been thrilled to have complete freedom to pursue her morbid research. She has a vested interest in protecting the Grey Isles from intruders; the place is a veritable goldmine for those of her kind.
  2. Sister: she is the King’s twin. Resentful of being denied the crown by virtue of her gender, she has kept herself occupied by study of the dark arts. Occasionally she aids the enemies of the Grey Isles because she wants her brother to fail. She would be pleased if he died and would assist any conspiracy to remove him from the throne (as long as she can take it for herself once the blood has been washed away).
  3. Mistress: Yeuthania was the first of the King’s secret lovers. In reality, she used the King to access his incredible library; she wanted to learn necromantic rituals to resurrect a deceased loved one (lover? husband? child?). In time she actually grew to care for the man, but as irony would have it, her new feelings of affection were too late: he had become smitten with another (possibly Cadaveria, if the nature of her relationship to the King is a Mistress as well). Regardless, she was eventually able to distract her love-sickness with study and ritual.
  4. Daughter: Yeuthania resents her family immensely when the King and Queen split. It felt like a betrayal. For years she has been secretly taking control of all Undead creatures on or around the Grey Isles. She is the true Lady now: the King and Queen are entirely delusional about their sense of control. Ultimately, the Isles have chosen those two as rulers and Yeuthania might one day find herself betrayed by the very land that gave her such potent magic…

Yeuthania Zombies

The necromancer’s trademark creation is a formidable minion. It resembles a grey, ash-coated corpse of a drowned being bearing a single glowing rune on it’s forehead. Its eyes are smoky black pits.

These Zombies can extend their arms to over 10 feet away and their  grip is bitterly cold and strong.

As they pursue their quarry, they always maintain a closing proximity; no matter how fast or far their targets flee, when they look back they’ll find the monsters just as close (or closer). They bend reality in this way through fierce necromantic sorcery.

Yeuthania Zombies feed via a long, hollow tube that extends from the grotesque hole that passes for a mouth in its face. They have the life-draining abilities of a Vampire.

Such Zombies have the regenerative properties of a Troll and can only be permanently destroyed by total immersion into the Lake surrounding the Grey Isles.