Sunday, September 25, 2016

Numeneric Thoughts: Flying Things

Some of the things that fly in the Ninth World:

  • There is a winged creature with feathers, webbed feet and a large circular mouth. This so-called suckler bird likes to land on large pieces of shiney metal and glass and suck the debris off it.  A large flock of them can clean all the windows in a good sized town in a day. The young, however, have been know to attach to eyeglasses, mostly just frightening the wearer.
  • Numenera hunters near Beoth reported disturbing some sort of nest before leaving town.  A week later small flying disks appeared, cutting through timbers of local buildings. The residents were able to take shelter in stone buildings after one resident was killed, but are scared to go outside.
  • There is a four-legged animal in the Wyr river valley that can spread its limbs and glide.  The 3 foot creature has generally been content with swooping down and grabbing live food from the river, but recently it has taken to snatching livestock and small animals in settlements near the river.
  • Stirthal is home to a "wandering spirit from the sky". When someone is hurt on the streets of the town, a bright red machine drops out of the sky and works to repair their wounds. It seems to speak a foriegn language of clicks, chirps, and screeches. After it completes, it flies off into the sky and disappears again. 
  • There is an insect swarm in the Pytharon Empire that has been attacking those carrying numenera recovered from a local ruin. The victims are found dissected with not a drip of blood nearby.
  • There is a large animal in the Salted Marshes that can take to the air despite its large size.  Travelers said they have seen it as a bright streak in the sky at night.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Numenera Thoughts: The Sky

A few thoughts concerning the sky in the Ninth World:
  • A man in Uxphon has found a Numenera in the mountains. For 10 shins he will let you point it at the sky on a dark night where is shows large invisible cities floating in the sky.
  • In Navarene, several people have found objects left behind by a lumbering automaton that rambles quickly across the land. Friends and neighbors described the objects as large eggs. One witness said that when activated they glow crimson. A short time after, those that had the object were found burnt to death after a bright flash from the sky.
  • A large forest of trees stands outside of Dobrin, metallic with large metal leaves that point toward the sky.  On the first day of summer and the first day of winter, the sky above them pops and crackles with lightning. Anything above the forest is burnt into dust.
  • Near Mt Jaspar there is a machine in the sky that flies from a fixed spot out past the Deeplight and back every week, as if on an invisible cable. At night its light flicker and during the day it casts an unnatural shadow on the ground. No one know what the bronze-colored machine does.
  • In Draolis, there has been recent reports of small red spheres falling from the sky. A day after landing, a purplish worm-like creature, perhaps 12 cm in lenght wriggles out and crawls into the ground. All attempts to catch one of the worms has been useless, since the worms seems to be able to just "melt" right though anything.
  • In the forest south of Sere Marica a bright spot of light appears in the sky, seeming to originate from a source of the beam in the woods. No one has been able to discover where it comes from or what it does.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Numeneric Thoughts: More Trees

A few more thoughts related to trees in the Ninth World:

  • There is a remote village, south of the Cloudcrystal Sky Fields, where the trees seems to change color randomly. When the trees turn red, the residents close up their houses and refuse to go outside.
  • Just outside of Hamuth, there is an strange old man who grows a garden of trees. If you go near the trees at night, the trees will glow and chitter, and the old man comes out and chases you off with a numenera that gives off a blinding bright light.
  • A guide in Bodrov warned me just the other day that if I get lost in the Westwood to seek out trees with triangle leaves. He says if you tap them, they produce clear water suitable to drink with an odd smells that keeps danger away,
  • In Charmonde, wealthier citizens started planting a new fractal-leaved tree that were all the rage. There is a uproar at the moment: the trees are slowly moving a few inches each night and seem to all be leaving the city.
  • Numenera hunters in the Ba-Adenu Forest are looking for a quivering orange tree worth its weight in gold. If planted as a seedling on a grave, it will grow faces of the dead in the bark and they talk, seeming knowing things that only the dead below should know.
  • In the barren lands around Hidden Naresh, a rare tree of stone grows. When it flowers and fruits, the resulting stone apples seem to stay toasty and warm forever. Just don't drop them -- if they crack open anyone nearby is turned to stone. Maybe they even start to grow into a new tree.
  • There is a legend of peoples that wander in the plains of a man who collects the dead. He drives a wagon made of living flesh pulled by 8 stout walking trees.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Numeneric Thoughts: Trees

A few thoughts related to trees in the Ninth World:

  • In the Westwood, there is a tree that grows square paper-like leaves with holes in them. When you place one of the leaves in a slot in the trunk, the leaves change color randomly and the tree make artificial beeping noises. 
  • In Navarene, 3 hours walk south of the Amber Monolith, there is a tree that grows a new trunk each year, always in a slightly different direction, straight, always exactly the same length, 17 meters. The locals reckon  that it is 78 years old, since there are 78 trunks coming out in random directs. It is running out of space for new trunks.
  • There is a tree that grows straight up near Stirthal with no visible leaves or branches. It is so impossibly tall that the top is no longer visible. The local loggers *really* want to cut is down, but the there is no telling which way would fall
  • In the Beyond, near White Lake, there are rumors of a tree whose leaves sing when the breeze blows a certain way. A local seer claims that the music allows him to see the future.
  • There is a forest in the middle of the plains that grows with red trunks, limbs, and branches with purple leaves. Animals never go there. Plants do not grow near the trees. Travelers are told not to stop there, for many have disappeared.
  • Druisians recently been cut off from trade. The wagon leads have passed back stories of trees near the trails moving to block their path.
  • Half way between Far Brohn and Aian, there is a village called Pittance. There the priest claims that the village is protected from a great danger by a huge tree that grows near the center of town. The tree has recently started to die and misfortunes are befalling the inhabitants near the edge of town.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Fixing Necromancers

Necromancers are great, except when you're in a party with one with a hoard of undead. 25 Minutes after initiative starts you get to take your turn after all of the skeletons and zombies have done their thing. For this reason, I limit a player to one PC + 2 other combatants in most cases. Sure, you can have 10 zombies following you around, but only two are fighting, because we're not all waiting on the rest to do something.

The problem with this rule is that is really pulls the rug out from under the necromancer. I don't really want to do that. So here is my rewrite to Animate Dead to help fix the problem. The CR derivation used in this new "At Higher Levels" is meant to balance the raw CR increase with the action economy. Time will tell if I got it right.

Replace the "At Higher Levels" text of Animate Dead with this text:

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you animate or reassert control over stronger undead creatures as given in the table. Each of the creatures must come from a different set of remains as noted in the table.

3Bones / Corpse of a Sm / Med CreatureSkeleton / Zombie (CR 1/4)
4Charred RemainsShadow (CR 1/2)
5Remains of a Disease VictimGhoul (CR 1)
6Bones / Corpse of a Large CreatureMinitaur Skeleton  / Ogre Zombie (CR 2)
7Unmarked graveWill-O-Wisp(CR 2)
8Corpse / Bones of a Full Spellcaster (Cleric, Wizard, etc)Mummy (CR 3)
9Corpse / Skeleton in their own ArmorHelmed Horror (CR 4)