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Man has not populated the world of Carcosa with the monsters of his imagination. Instead, the monsters of Carcosa infect the nightmares of men. Nor has man imagined mythological spirits and projected them upon his surroundings, later refining his mythologies with philosophy and theology. The world of Carcosa is fraught with the likes of the Old Ones and their spawn, the legacy of the fallen Snake-Men, and sorcery. The terrors of empirical reality render utterly unnecessary the pretense of imagined horrors.
Men typically spend their days in the struggle to acquire the necessities of survival and in servility to their emperors, hierarchs, and gods. Adventurers are a rare breed, and with them lie any hope for a long-range change to mankind’s unenviable predicament.
Welcome to Carcosa.
[[Character Creation|Char Gen]]
[[Carcosa In Images|Carcosa Mood Board]]
#Playing The Game
#The Wicked & The Divine
//“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”//
0. Character develops horrid pustules on his face. These pustules do not heal and impose a -1 penalty to Charisma.
0. Character’s skin on one random portion of his body appears to melt. Like wax, it flows and reforms into odd puddles and shapes. This is an ongoing, constant motion that itches constantly and repulses others. Determine location randomly (1d6): (1) face; (2) arms; (3) legs; (4) torso; (5) hands; (6) feet.
0. One of the character’s legs grows 1d6”. Character now walks with an odd gait.
0. Eyes affected. Roll 1d4: (1) eyes glow with unearthly color; (2) eyes gain light sensitivity (-1 to all rolls in daylight); (3) character gains infravision (sees heat signatures at range of 100’); (4) eyes become large and unblinking, like a fish.
0. Character develops painful lesions on his chest and legs and open sores on his hands and feet that do not heal.
0. Ears mutate. Roll 1d5: (1) ears become pointed; (2) ears fall off (character still hears normally); (3) ears enlarge and look like an elephant’s; (4) ears elongate and look like a donkey’s (character also gains braying laugh); (5) ears shrivel and fold back.
0. Chills. Character shakes constantly and cannot remain quiet due to chattering teeth.
0. Character’s facial appearance is permanently disfigured according to the magic that was summoned. If fire magic was used, his eyebrows are scorched and his skin glows red; if cold magic was used, his skin is pasty white and his lips are blue. If ambiguous magic was used, his appearance grows gaunt and he permanently loses 5 pounds.
0. Character’s hair is suffused with dark energy. Roll 1d4: (1) hair turns bone white; (2) hair turns pitch black; (3) hair falls out completely; (4) hair sticks straight up.
0. Character passes out. He is unconscious for 1d6 hours or until awakened by vigorous means.
0. Febrile. Character slowly weakens over 1d4 months, suffering a -1 penalty to Strength for each month.
0. A duplicate of the character’s face grows on his back. It looks just like his normal face. The eyes, nose, and mouth can be operated independently.
0. Consumption. Character’s body feeds on its own mass. Character loses 2d10 pounds in one month and suffers a -1 penalty to Stamina.
0. Corpulence. Character gains 6d12 pounds in one month. The weight gain imposes a -1 penalty to Agility, and the character’s speed is reduced by 5’.
0. Character crackles with energy of a type associated with the spells he most commonly casts. The energy could manifest as flames, lightning, cold waves, etc.
0. Character’s height changes by 1d20-10 inches. There is no change in weight; the character’s body grows thin and tall or short and fat.
0. Demonic taint. Roll 1d3: (1) character’s fingers elongate into claws, and he gains an attack for 1d6 damage; (2) character’s feet transform into cloven hoofs; (3) character’s legs become goat-like.
0. Character’s skin changes to an unearthly shade. Roll 1d8: (1) albino; (2) pitch black; (3) clear; (4) shimmering quality; (5) deep blue; (6) malevolent yellow; (7) ashen and pallid; (8) texture and color of fishy scales; (9) thick bear-like fur; (10) reptilian scales.
0. Small horns grow on the character’s forehead. This appears as a ridge-like, simian forehead for the first month; then buds for the second month; goat horns after the third month; and finally, bull horns after six months.
0. Character’s tongue forks and his nostrils narrow to slits. The character is able to smell with his tongue like a snake.
0. A sliver of soul energy is claimed by a demon lord. Character experiences unearthly pain, suffering 3d6 damage, a permanent -2 penalty to all ability scores, and an additional -2 penalty to Wisdom.
0. Decay. Character’s flesh falls off in zombie-like chunks. Character loses 1d4 hp per day. Only magical healing can stave off the decay.
0. Character’s head becomes bestial in a painful overnight transformation. Roll 1d6: (1) snake; (2) goat; (3) bull; (4) rat; (5) insect; (6) fish.
0. Character’s limbs are replaced by suckered tentacles. One limb is replaced at random each month for four months. At the end of four months, it is impossible to hide the character’s inhuman nature.
0. Small tentacles grow around the character’s mouth and ears. The tentacles are maggot-sized at first, but grow at rate of 1” per month to a mature length of 12”.
0. Third eye. Roll 1d4 for location: (1) middle of forehead; (2) palm of hand; (3) chest; (4) back of head.
0. Fingers on one hand fuse while the thumb enlarges. After one week, the hand has transformed into a crab claw. Character gains a natural attack for 1d6 damage and can no longer grasp normal weapons and objects.
0. Character grows a tail over 1d7 days. Roll 1d6: (1) scorpion tail that can attack for 1d4 damage plus poison (DC 10 Fort save or target loses 1d4 Str permanently); (2) scaly snake tail; (3) forked demon tail (grants +1 Agility); (4) fleshy tail ending in a useable third hand; (5) fused cartilaginous links ending in spiked stump that can attack for 1d6 damage; (6) bushy horse’s tail.
0. Bodily transformation. Roll 1d6: (1) character grows scales across his entire body; (2) character grows gills; (3) character sprouts feathers; (4) character develops webbed toes and feet.
0. Character grows a beak in place of his mouth. Transformation starts as a puckering of the lips that slowly turns into a full-fledged bird or squid beak over the next 1d12 months. Character gains a bite attack for 1d3 damage.
This is a collection of house rules I’ve assembled over the years to help the game run smoothly.
* The terms of success and failure must be known before dice hit the table. All rolls must be made in front of everyone (this is so I don't subconsciously go back on what I say).
* When you succeed at a roll, take the wheel and tell us how it happened in glorious detail. This includes combat.
* Be radically transparent and communicate your character’s intentions to the group. Even if your character is a lone wolf or secretly plotting against the party, it connects the real-life people who play this game and gets everyone involved in the story.
* Assume you can do anything until conflict emerges.
* In combat: make a decision before it's your turn to act and go ahead and roll the dice. When attacking, go ahead and roll damage as well.
* Tell us what your character is doing and why he/she is doing it, not what you are rolling to do it.
//Wrong: I want to roll a perception test to inspect that man.//
//Correct: Lani eyes the man for markings or excessive hair to see if he’s the werewolf we’ve been hunting for.//
#Shields Shall Be Splintered
Any time you take damage while holding a shield, you can opt to have your shield absorb the force of the blow and shatter. Creative applications can be made to make this work against magical attacks.
Any character may attempt to make an intelligence check to pull out obscure lore to help them. The player first cites the lore, how it helps them out, and a DC is assigned by how far-fetched it is and how well it fits into the Carcosa tone. On a success, the lore becomes truth in the universe; on a fail, it's false but your character still believes it.
#Let It Ride
It means that the result of any roll counts. There are no retries, unless the intent or goal of the task changes. This is both for the sake of the player (the GM can not make you repeat a task until it fails) and for a good speed of play.
Consider carefully how much to pool into your roll, you only get one attempt.
#Helmets, Gauntlets, & Boots
Mostly there to make you look cool, but if an opponent happens to land a critical hit on your helmet, there’s a 90% chance it will be destroyed in place of your eyes or your brain. Same applies to gauntlet/hands, boots/feet, etc.
You can carry one turtle-sized object for every point you have in Strength. Every object carried over this limit adds +1 to DCs for Strength and Dexterity checks and saving throws. This doesn't apply to tools, sorcerer's books, spell component bags, worn clothing/armor, water/food, anything held in your character's hands (e.g. weapons and bags full of stuff) and anything else your character is just assumed to always be carrying.
When you roll a 1 on an attack roll: if your weapon is not metal, it breaks. If your weapon is metal, it has a 50% chance of breaking. If your weapon has strength of note, 1/6 chance of breaking. If your weapon is an god-quarrel or other ancient piece of technology, it explodes in your hand.
When the group performs an action that relies on each other’s success (e.g. sneaking past a kobold camp), only the character most likely to fail based on the fiction shall roll.
When characters die, their friends can do a big sendoff and buy their XP from them by purchasing drink, food, singers/dancers, statues, fancy tombs and stuff of that nature.
If your character dies, I will offer you the chance play the DM for a session or two.
//Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.//
“Blood aids great sorcery,” quoth the mummy, and it was right. The spellburn mechanic allows a magic-user to harness more magical energies if she is willing to make mortal sacrifice: offer part of her soul to a demon, foster a demi-god’s greedy growth by leeching her strength, or even burn the very life energy in her own cells.
Spellburning allows a sorcerer to burn ability score points to increase their spellcasting ability.
0. First, declare the patron you're calling upon for help. (e.g. demon, Old One, spawn of the Black Goat, etc.)
0. Every ability point burned adds +1 to a spellcasting roll. You must burn points before rolling. (If a spellcaster burns a total of 20 points, their next spell is considered an automatic crit.) Ability point burns can be regained during rest, 1 point per short rest and 3 points per long rest.
0. Roll on this table.
1 The wizard sacrifices one pound of flesh per spell level, which he must carve from his own body with a knife that is holy to a powerful outsider.
2 The wizard must spill his own blood – one tablespoon per spell level.
3 The wizard swears an oath to a minor demi-god, who aids him in his time of need but curses him with weakness until the oath is fulfilled.
4 The wizard cuts off one of his fingertips.
5 The wizard must yank out his hair and burn it.
6 The wizard magically enervates his body in order to fuel the spell.
7 The wizard promises his soul to serve a powerful demon in the afterlife.
8 The wizard agrees to aid followers of a patron saint.
9 The wizard uses a hot iron to brand a supernatural symbol on his arm or torso.
10 The wizard must tattoo a mystical symbol on his cheek, forehead, or hand.
11 The wizard must pull out a fingernail and burn it with incense.
12 The wizard must speak aloud his own true name, weakening himself as a result.
13 The wizard develops a bleeding sore that will not heal until he pays back the aid of the power that as-
14 The wizard must notch his ear in acknowledgment of each time he has been aided.
15 The wizard is required to ritually scarify his back, chest, or biceps with the symbol of a powerful super-natural creature.
16 The wizard sees maggots drip from his sleeves. When not wearing a shirt, nothing happens and his torso appears normal.
17 The wizard starts to itch! He has strange, un-controllable itches and scratches constantly.
18 The wizard develops an odd tic: he twitches
19 The wizard begins muttering under his breath, repeating the name of the entity that aided him. He can't stop.
20 The wizard must cut his cheeks and let the blood flow down his face.
21 The wizard must place his hand into an open flame.
22 The wizard must sacrifice one of his most favored possessions.
23 The wizard must walk on one leg for the remainder of the day.
24 Roll again twice.
##Making a Character
Character creation is exactly how it is in the Player's Handbook with a few minor revisions:
0. Pick a Carcosan [[race|races]].
0. Your character's //Bond// must involve how your life was ruined by the malign Bone Sorcerer and how you plan to take your revenge (as soon as you get out of this cell...)
0. When picking a background, consider how it applies to [[living in Carcosa|About Carcosa]].
0. Consider your [[alignment|Old Ones]].
0. Want a mutation? [[By all means|Mutation]].
0. [[Roll your sign.]]
0. High intelligence? You might be [[psionic|Psionics]].
0. Pick a [[name|Character Name]].
0. If you want, roll a backup character for when your main one dies. >:D
# Starting Equipment
With the exception of background starting equipment and tools needed to perform your class skills, roll on these tables for starting equipment. Don't worry about starting gold.
1- Loincloth made from dried leaves
2- Rattan Armor (11 + dex mod)
3- Mothwing Hide (12 + dex mod)
4- Mutant animal pelt (11 + dex mod)
5- Padded fungi armor (11 + dex mod)
6- Beetle Horn Mail (14 + dex mod, max 2)
7- Dinosaur Scale Armour (14 + dex mod, max 2)
8- Mail of Ceramic Discs (13 + dex mod, max 2)
9- Suit made from old-world garbage (16, 13+ str)
10- Bamboo Mail (13 + dex mod, max 2)
11- Bone Scale Mail (13 + dex mod, max 2)
12- Mail made from thousands of teeth (14 + dex mod, max 2)
13- Giant Insect Chitin Plates (15 + dex mod, max 2)
14- Brightly Colored Breast Plate (14 + dex mod, max 2)
15- Giant Centipede Carapace (15, 14+ str)
16- Tortoise Shell Mail (16, 15+ str)
17- Trilobite Plate (17, 15+ str)
18- Living suit of tough Meat-like Plates, screams when taking damage (17, 15+ str)
19- Mirror Armor (16m 13+ str)
20- Gutted Battle Robot with Crude Leather Straps (18, 15+ str)
1-5 - Spear or Club made from giant insect mandibles
6-9 - Dinosaur Bone Sword, Hammer, Flail or Scythe.
10-12 - Bamboo bow and bone arrows
13 - Sling and small skulls
14 - Whip
15 - Giant Tooth Warhammer
16- Bronze Trident
17 - Blowgun
18 - Bloody sickle
19- Ancient Ceramic Staff (two-handed)
20- Random god-quarrel with 3d6 charges.
1 - 5 poorly made torches (only burn 4 or 5 turns each)
2 - 45’ of rope made of human hair
3 - skin full of brackish water
4 - cool necklace of animal fangs and claws
5 - stick of red ochre (choose another color if you’re red)
6 - flea-ridden cloak
7 - a gourd full of some putrid alcoholic beverage
8 - alien crystal boots
9 - three doses of hallucinogenic mushrooms
10 - a dozen small lumpy purple pear-like fruits wrapped in a bit of weaseloid fur (maybe enough for two or three small meals)
11 - a chunk of flint and a small bit of alien metal that works almost as well as steel would
12 - the skull of your brother (long story)
13 - a rotten old pterodactyl egg (makes a great stink bomb)
14 - a largish lump of low grade gold (worth d100gp if buyer can be found)
15 - Grey Alien Computer Access Medallion (looks like you wear it to the disco)
16 - a sealed clay pot containing a few hundred deathmaggots (don’t fall while carrying!)
17 - pet lizardwolf (2 HD, armor as leather, loyal unto death)
18 - a small sphere (2” diameter) made of a hard translucent substance, origin unknown
19 - wooden flute
20 - net (designed for fishing but maybe could hold a monster)
21 - 7’ length of stout iron chain
22 - Zardoz mask
23 - riding lizard
24 - lantern holding some sort of slug-like bio-luminescent lifeform
25 - small bag filled with fine white sand
26 - the right hand of an unknown stone statue
27 - a bunch of dried witchroot
28 - dowsing rod
29 - 9’ pole of fibrous fungal matter
30 - partially functional head of an ancient, insane robot
Random Shield or Helmet (Pick one or the other):
Shield (+2 AC, [[Will Shatter|House Rules]])
1- Moon-shaped Shield
2- Large Wicker Shield
3- Turtle Shell Buckler
4- Giant Petrified Mushroom
5- Dinosaur Scale Shield
6- Panel from an alien spaceship
7- Animal hide shield
8- Large Petrified Reptile Formed into a Shield
9- Shield made from the shell of a giant insect
10- Round metal shield marked with unknown runes
Hemlet (Absorbs face-altering [[critical hits|Crit Table]])
1- Turtle Shell Helm
2- Huge Bronze Dome with goggles
3- Hide helm with antlers attacked
4- Dinosaur Skull
5- Greco-Roman Fur Mohawk Helmet
6- Ancient Gas Mask
7- Iron helm with viking horns and a skull design
9- Bronze pointed cone.
9- The gutted head of a robot
10- Dried Head of a giant fish
##Carcosa In Images
##So, you want to be a Sorcerer?
Those who delve into the arts of sorcery devised ages ago by the extinct Snake-Men are called Sorcerers. They can perform sorcerous spell or rituals by making connections with the Old Ones and their spawn, and choosing to bind a tiny fraction of their power to bend to their will. Sorcery is extremely dangerous and the most dire rituals require sacrifices–it's believed that all Sorcerers go mad eventually. Sorcerers will travel hundreds of miles for a single component (in the fiction, “the purple fungus that swells only in the Cracks of Dslath,” for example). Many rituals can be performed only in a specific place and/or time. Other rituals can be used to banish, invoke, torment, inquire, or imprison chaotic entities. Performing rituals is often deadily for the Sorcerer and all of his/her friends.
//Note: when I use the word sorcerer in these texts, I really just mean any class who uses magic. (e.i. wizards, warlocks, actual sorcerers)//
#Keep Magic Weird
Magic-users have been touched by chaos and have some abnormality or scar to show for it. Every spell manifests differently depending on who is casting it, when you learn a new spell roll on the <a href='https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6ozclopowjDT2lGY295U205N1k'>Magic Manifestation</a> table to see how it is cast uniquely to you. In Carcosa, magic is more horror than science; be sure to be descriptive with how you're making magic happen. (Please note: this table comes from a game that isn't 100% compatible with D&D 5e. We'll interpret mechanical changes on the spot.)
//Mad Mel consumed a mouthful of sand and drew a pyramid in his mind. All the candles in the keep went out as he ingested the magical mushrooms...//
When preparing spells during a long rest, the sorcerer is performing vile rituals that would make most folks puke all their guts out. During such a rest, the sorcerer must describe what they're doing to regain their spells, and if the non-magical members of the party don't react strongly then the ritual has failed.
Every time a sorcerer casts a spell of any kind, letting their body momentarily become a conduit for The Old Ones, they make a spellcasting check:
//1d20 + prof bonus + spellcasting modifier against a DC of 10 + 2x spell level//
Success – Spell is casted as intended.
Failed – Spell is casted but a twist is invoked! (e.g. you summon your animal, but it's one level down on the food chain) You also forget the spell.
Crit - Spell explodes either doubling the intended effect or doubling the range (you pick).
Natural 1 - Your connection with the Old Ones has gone too far and you take a [[corruption|Magical Corruption]]. (If you're a divine caster, you take a disapproval instead.)
The sorcerer may make creative applications or reverse effects with their spells at a modified DC.
//The Whisperlord uses a fireball spell to ignite the grass trail, trapping their enemies.//
Sorcerers may make dark pacts to [[Spellburn]].
If your Intelligence is high enough you might have a chance to possess rare mind powers known as psionics.
Your character's intelligence modifier determines the % chance of being psionic. A wisdom/charisma score of 16+ adds +2% to your chances, cumulative. The highest chance one could possibly have is 8%.
If you somehow, miraculously, are born with psionic powers (crazier things have happened, ask me about it) pick one power from this list:
0. Mind blast
0. Charm person
0. Bend one common element (metal, fire)
You get to use your powers level/3, rounded up, times before a long rest.
#Life On Carcosa
Mankind is acutely aware of the fact that man does not stand at the apex of anything. The Old Ones, the Space Aliens, some of the spawn of Shub-Niggurath, etc. all excel man in power and in intellect, as did the extinct Snake-Men. The oppressive historical weight of these entities’ domination of long geological ages before mankind’s relatively recent creation weighs down humanity, sapping ambition and replacing it with fatalism. Further, the knowledge that other intelligences long before contemporary times have already created technologies far in advance of man’s has stunted scientific progress. Stealing such technologies is easier than inventing them.
Men have but two tools that give them any chance of shaping their fate: The double-edged sword of sorcery allows an elite of mankind to exercise various levels of uncertain control over inhuman entities, but usually at the price of the Sorcerers’ dehumanization. Sorcery is largely the ground upon which the different races of Carcosa regard one another with suspicion or outright hostility. This is not an unreasoning prejudice, for outsiders might be Sorcerers seeking sacrifices for their rituals. A small minority of Sorcerers is lawful and do not prey on men, instead using their sorcerous knowledge solely to banish forces inimical to mankind. A less ambivalent tool is the technology of the The Lost Race. By fortunate and improbable coincidence, the ancient technology of the Lost Race is easily used by men. These tools and weaponry can put sufficient power in man’s possession to give mankind hope, even if a forlorn one, against the [[Old Ones|Old Ones]] and their spawn.
#A Brief History of Carcosa
##Questions about Carcosa
#What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
You're either for the [[Old Ones]] (Chaos) or against them (Law). If you try to avoid them, you're Neutral.
#Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Caravans can be spotted on the road, they will trade with you for common wares. If you're friendly with a citadel or village, you can barter with their people.
#Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted?
You are unlikely to find anyone in the region who knows how to produce plate mail, let alone the metal you would need to produce it. More likely, you'll come across tinkerers who modify old materials to make new armor, like mail from the shells of giant insects.
#Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
Sorcerers are too busy harvesting each other for fuel for their spells to be forming guilds. In addition, most sorcerers are hated by society, driving them to hermitism.
#Where can I hire mercenaries?
Most villages have some informal standing militia. Most men and women have some sort of fighting experience, for a little money it won't be hard to find people willing to hold your torches or have an adventure.
#Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
Most people consider magic wicked. You are best to hide any sorcerous tendencies you may have. On the other hand, no villagers are likely to complain about a person carrying a weapon: it’s rough out there.
#Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
They're secret, aren't they?
#What is there to eat around here?
In Invak people subsist off the meats and eggs of the various lizards that make their home in the wastes, along with mushrooms and all sorts of strange roots. There is nothing good to eat anywhere.
##Do You Worship The Great Old Ones?
Yes, I pray nightly for their awakenings - //Your alignment is Chaotic.//
No, I stay far away from the Outer Gods - //Your alignment is Neutral.//
No, I actively oppose the Old Ones - //Your alignment is Lawful.//
#My Cleric's Religion
Obviously, if you are a chaotic cleric you worship one of the Old One's. The most influencial force of chaos on Carcosa is The Black Goat (Shub-Niggurath), but other's exist including Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth and Cthulhu, as well as some minor chaos lords such as The Crawling God or The Cloud-Thing.
Lawful Clerics stand in direct opposition to the Old Ones. Being essentially anti-chaos, most do not necessarily take a patron. But if you'd still like to worship a lawful god, you can take influence from the Greyhawk gods in the back of the PHB or one of the [[constellations|Roll your sign.]].
The extremely unlikely Neutral Cleric could take the work of the fallen Snake Men or the Lost Race from even further back as patrons.
Most Carcosians are never given personal names and die without a marker. Petty lords and tribal chieftains are given overblown titles to be identifiable over the rest of the common lot. Adventurers, being a rare breed, carry a tiny glimmer of hope for humanity and therefore deserve a stirring title.
Heart That Sees in the Dark
Inestimable Overseer of the Sun
Flower of Splendor
Utter Will of the Tranquil God
Tyrant by Whom All See
Brightest Shield of the Waves
Jade Superior of Many Colors
Pool of the Cunning Sceptor
Overlord/Overlady upon the Implacable Throne
Sun of Splendor of All of the Gatherer
Masterful Autocrat of All
Shimmering Commander of Many Colors of Glory of Lords of Glory
Clear Brightness of the Morn of Many Shades
##Races of Carcosa
//The choices listed here correlate to the races listed in the Player's Handbook. I do not have a Carcosa-version of Halfings (Kenku? Deep Ones?) or Gnomes (dog-people?) if you'd like to create one by all means do it!//
Humans were revived from primordial ooze by the Snake-men to be used as fuel for their malign sorceries. When freed, they took up torch and sword to fight back against the terrors of the wasteland.
Humans come in a wide variety of appearances and mutations are not uncommon. About 50% of humans on Carcosa have some sort of dramatic physical characteristic that sets them apart, e.g. slimey skin, feathers, worms as hair.
<img src='http://i.imgur.com/rrKRUXc.jpg'><img src='http://i.imgur.com/aa1yXaA.jpg'><img src='http://i.imgur.com/cXWCHW2.jpg'><img src='http://i.imgur.com/1ulZnwP.jpg'>
This specices of human was created without any protection from the elements. They feel constant, white-hot pain and it has turned them into a wild people. The clans of Bloody Men are usually nightmarish raiders who live nomadically by the fires of razed villages, selling their captives to evil sorcerers to be used in rituals. They are known to be quick to anger and are treated with suspicion by other races, who often become defensive knowing a fight is soon to follow.
An ancient race of builders created these creatures by trapping lost souls in automatons built of earth and stone. They are hardy, stubborn folk. They live long lives but suffer from short memory. The soul-fires in their bodies burn hot and bright for all to see and are one of the most prized treasures in all of Carcosa. Many sorcerers seek the fires to power their towers and aid in their dark rituals, therefore most Firebellies remain in hiding.
The Firebellies who have spent their whole long lives under the earth have flesh of hardended dirt, covered in glowing fungi and are host to worms (Mountain Dwarves in PBH). The kind who live above ground in the black forests of Carcosa grow vegetation on their brown skin and sport beards of thick moss (Hill Dwarves in PBH).
In the times before, the Lost Race created super bio-chemical weapons, the Titans, that ultimately scorched the world and lead to the sickness of all life. When the Titans eventually slayed each other, they exploded into hundreds of thousands of pieces, and these pieces were forced to walk the planet they helped destroy as a broken people. In contemporary times, the surviving hundreds are known as Titan-Spawn.
Titan-Spawn are forlorn and stoic. They have a broad perspective on the world, having had lived long lives. They cannot reproduce. They tend to hide away from the world, possibly from guilt, in swamps and forests. When in anger, their eyes fill with fire–an indictator of their ancient powers. Many Titan-Spawn believe that others of their kind are one in the same, and they take up adventures searching for their wandering brothers and sisters so they may be whole again. When encountered by the other races, they are respected for their vast wisdom and neverending grace.
There are a variety of Titan-Spawn, but the most common are the Astral Titan Spawn (High Elf in PHB), the Swamp Titan-Spawn (Wood Elf), and the Dark Titan-Spawn (Dark Elf).
The Astral Titan-Spawn have skin that reflects the texture and movements of the stars. They have white hair and are said to be a beautiful people.
The Swamp Titan-Spawn have skin resembling tree bark and leafed branches emerging from their temples. They are agile and have keen senses.
The Dark Titan-Spawn have radioactive skin that rejects light. The chemical effect causes sickness in eyes that stare upon them too long. They are distrusted by some and disliked by all.
Created with a mutation that left their bodies invisible, with only their bones opaque, Bone men/women are shunned and regarded with disgust and fear from all people. Under the assumption of a dark pact history (or possibly because they remind others of death), Bone men/women are thought to be wicked, bad luck, and are often blamed for strange events. It is not uncommon for them to be attacked outright by strangers. They are known for their extensive intelligence and affinity for sorcery.
For thousands of years the civilizations of the Snake Men and Women were mighty upon the planet of Carcosa. They delved deeply into the arcane mysteries and laid the foundations of the systematic practice of sorcery. From primordial ooze, the Snake Men bred the various races of humans to be sacrifices efficacious for their sorcery. At the height of their powers, the Snake-Men destroyed themselves by releasing ultratelluric forces impossible to control.
Some Snake Men still exist. They remain in hiding or under clever disguise, waiting for the day where they regain the power of their former glory.
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At the end of a hazardous adventure, it's good for the soul to blow some of that hard-earned treasure on strong drink, good meat to sing, break stuff, get in fist-fights, and lament for fallen friends under the black stars.
The party earns xp for every round of drinks consumed. Each character RPs how they are partying and then attempts to roll a d20 under a related ability score and add proficencies if applicable. If lamenting for a fallen friend, roll twice and take the lower number.
The character who rolled the lowest number may select a boon from below. Any character who rolled >= their ability score must roll on a table most dire, the <a href='#mishaps'>Carousing mishaps</a> below. (If nobody failed, the character with the highest number must roll.)
The winning character may take part in a Boast. If said character is not the type to boast, he/she can have a friend Boast on their behalf. They may declare to complete a great deed during their next adventure, //e.g. slaying the Deep One in the crystal caves and mounting it's head on the tavern walls//. The deed must be specific and detailed. Any action taken to //complete// the deed is given an advantage (e.g. the stab to slay the Deep One), whereas any action taken that diverts from the deed is given a disadvantage.
#I'm Your Biggest Fan
Someone thinks you're really cool and wants to hold your torch for you. Roll a random hireling that will follow you around for free until 1d6 rests. Alternatively, you can make friends with an animal.
You make a friend in this village/citadel that you can call upon for help in the future.
Looks like you scored big, roll a random loot.
#I Know A Secret...
All that drinking and rubbing shoulders has finally paid off. You know a secret. One of two kinds of secret, to be precise: either a piece of useful lore about an ancient technology or magic item you find //or// an embarrassing fact about an NPC. Mechanically: You may astound your party’s condescending wizard by pulling this lore or rumor out of your ass at any time.
You've heard a rumor about the hidden location of that thing you've always wanted, only one adventure away in some dangerous location.
Pick a character and make them roll on the mishaps table below.
0. Make a fool of yourself in public. Gain no XP. Roll Charisma check or gain reputation in this town as a drunken lout.
0. Random pub brawl. Whole party faces number of brawlers = # of PCs. Resolve as normal combat but overcarousing PC is at -2 for being drunk.
0. Minor misunderstanding with local authorities. Roll Charisma check. Success indicates a fine of 2d6 x 25gp. Failure or (inability to pay fine) indicates d6 days in the pokey.
0. Romantic entanglement. Roll Wisdom check to avoid nuptials. Otherwise 1-3 scorned lover, 4-6 angered parents.
0. Gambling losses. Roll the dice as if you caroused again to see how much you lose. (No additional XP for the second carousing roll.)
0. Gain local reputation as the life of a party. Unless a Charisma check is failed, all future carousing in this burg costs double due to barflies and other parasites.
0. Insult local person of rank. A successful Charisma check indicates the personage is amenable to some sort of apology and reparations.
0. You couldn’t really see the rash in the candlelight. Roll Constitution check to avoid venereal disease.
0. New tattoo. 1-3 it’s actually pretty cool 4 it’s lame 5 it could have been badass, but something is goofed up or misspelled 0. it says something insulting, crude or stupid in an unknown language.
0. Beaten and robbed. Lose all your personal effects and reduced to half hit points.
0. Gambling binge. Lose all your gold, gems, jewelry. Roll Wisdom check for each magic item in your possession. Failure indicates it’s gone.
0. Hangover from hell. First day of adventuring is at -2 to-hit and saves. Casters must roll Int check with each spell to avoid mishap.
0. Target of lewd advances turns out to be a witch. Save versus polymorph or you’re literally a swine.
0. One of us! One of us! You’re not sure how it happened, but you’ve been initiated into some sort of secret society or weird cult. Did you really make out with an emu of was that just the drugs? Roll Int check to remember the signs and passes.
0. Invest all your spare cash (50% chance all gems and jewelry, too) in some smooth-tongued merchant’s scheme. 1-4 it’s bogus 5 it’s bogus and Johnny Law thinks you’re in on it 6 actual money making opportunity returns d% profits in 3d4 months.
0. Wake up stark naked in a random local temple. 1-3 the clerics are majorly pissed off 4-6 they smile and thank you for stopping by.
0. Major misunderstanding with local authorities. Imprisoned until fines and bribes totaling d6 x 1,000gp paid. All weapons, armor, and magic items confiscated.
0. Despite your best efforts, you fall head over heels for your latest dalliance. 75% chance your beloved is already married.
0. When in a drunken stupor you asked the old ones to get you out of some stupid mess. Turns out they heard you! Now as repayment for saving your sorry ass, you’re under the effects of a quest spell.
0. The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire! Accidentally start a conflagration. Roll d6 twice. 1-2 burn down your favorite inn 3-4 some other den of ill repute is reduced to ash 5-6 a big chunk of town goes up in smoke. 1-2 no one knows it was you 3-4 your fellow carousers know you did it 5 someone else knows, perhaps a blackmailer 6 everybody knows.
0. Insult Local Person of Rank (roll on subtable below).
0. 2 thieves set upon PC while s/he is alone. Resolve as normal combat but PC is at -2 for being drunk.
0. You've joined a local organization--you remember the passwords and secret signs
0. You wake up with a strange pool with a random mutation.
0. You've somehow replaced the local ruler and now have a new set of responsibilities.
0. A really lame hirling thinks your cool and now he/she's going to follow you around.
There are no gold pieces or minted coins. The main //economy// in Carcosa is based around drinkable water, salted meats, and the occasional livestock in a bartering system.
To barter with a stranger, a character makes a Charisma check (representing their collected resources and haggling ability) against a DC that represents the worth of the trade and the stranger's willingness to trade. Additional treasures (unusual gems, ancient technologies, metal scraps) can be offered to add a bonus to the roll. You can also add your <a href="#water">water supply</a> to your roll, but if it lands on a 1 it descends a level.
DC 5 - rocks with holes in them, d2 water supply.
DC 10 - mundane equipment, d4 water supply.
DC 15 - non-metal weapons/armor, d6 water supply.
DC 20 - metal weapons/armor, d8 water supply.
DC 25 - spellbooks, d10 water supply.
DC 30 - functional ancient technology (e.g. godquarrel), d12 water supply.
On a success, the character can afford what they want. On a fail, pick from the following:
0. Trader demands more. If you have <a href="#water">water</a>, deplete it to a d2.
0. Offer up your clothes/armor and weapon.
0. Hard labor,
The party's collective resources is represented by a Resource die. It begins as a d2 and ascends in this order: d2-d3-d4-d6
Whenever the party rests, effectively eating and drinking water from their skins, roll the water die. On a 1, the die is lowered a step.
A haggler may tap their resources to buy things with a Charisma check, adding in a roll from their Resource die. Treasures like unusual gems or ancient technology gives an advantage. On a success, the character acquires what they were after. On a fail, the character acquires what they were after but the wealth dice decends one step.
If the party's die goes below a 1d4, they cannot properly rest until they've found food and water.
* Jug of water =
Helmets, gauntlets, leggings, boots etc. etc. are destroyed in place of the body parts on a critical hit. Otherwise...
#% Die Roll Hit Location
01-02 Head, frontal Brain penetrated
03-04 Neck, frontal Voicebox ruined, total voice loss.
05-06 Wrist Hand severed
07-08 Chest or back Impalement, weapon stuck there 3d10
09-10 Side 1d5 ribs broken
11-15 Leg Major artery cut
16-20 Arm Major artery cut
21-25 Foot, rear Achilles tendon cut, fall immediately
26-30 Fingers 1d5 severed
31-32 Toes 1d5 severed
33-34 Face Eye ruined or torn out
35-36 Forehead Gashed, blood in eyes
37-38 Crotch/chest Genitals/breasts torn off, immediate shock induced coma
39-40 Head, side Ear taken off, 50% hearing loss, -2 charisma
41-42 Buttocks Buttock torn off, fall, shock induced coma
43-44 Head, general Stunned
45-46 Head, general Stunned
47-48 Head, general Minor concussion, Stunned
49-50 Head, general Moderate concussion, unconscious 1d6 rounds
51-55 Head, general Major skull fracture, unconscious 2d10 minutes, amnesia: 1-60 lasts 2d12 hours
56-60 Neck, frontal Throat cut, death in 1d3 minutes
61-65 Arm Torn off (roll % for how much, starting at wrist)
66-70 Leg Torn off (roll % for how much, starting at wrist), fall
71-75 Chest Heart pierced
76-80 Back, lower Spine ruined, roll d6: 1. 100% paralyzed 2. Left side paralyzed 3. Right side 4. Waist up 5. Waist down 6. Death in one minute
81-85 Face Both eyes ruined or torn out (permanent), unable to fight for 1d10 rounds, permanently blinded
86-90 Face Nose ruined, -6 cha, stunned, breathing problems (-2 on con checks involving endurance), bad speech prblems for 1d12 months (relearning to speak properly)
91-94 Head, general Nothing apparent, later problems when brain hemmorhages in 1d10 days, 50/50 chance of death or permanent insanity
95 Guts ripped out 20% chance of tangling feet, die in 1d10 minutes
96 Head, top Skull caved in, major brain damage, all mental faculties permanently halved, 50-100% memory destroyed, -8 cha
97 Chest Lung punctured, internal damage, halve str & con (permanent)
98 Neck Head torn off, immediate death
99 Body Split in twain, immediate death
100 Head Entire head pulped and splattered over wide area, irrevocable death Total
#Mutation Table d100
01–04 1–4 limbs turn into tentacles.
05–09 1–8 additional eyes open on random parts of the body.
10–14 1–4 additional mouths open on random parts of the body.
15–19 Fungoid growths all over body.
20–24 Frog tongue.
25–28 Legs fused together into a worm-like lower body.
29–32 Snake-like jaws wide enough to engulf a human head.
33–36 Adverse to sunlight (−1 to hit and saving throws).
37–40 Amphibious, but can be out of water only 1–6 hours at a
time, or lose 1 HD per 2 hours.
41–44 Venomous bite/nails/skin (equal chance of each).
45–49 Eyes become unblinking and bulging.
50–53 Eyes melt away (1 die damage and blindness).
54–58 Body becomes semi-gelatinous (second time with this
mutation, become a puddle of slime).
59–63 Vile odor (can never surprise anything with a nose).
64–67 Teeth become sharp like a carnivore’s (1 die damage with bite).
68–72 Cannibal/man-eater: can digest only human flesh.
73–77 Tongue turns into tentacle.
78–80 Breath Weapon (fire, poison gas, sleep gas, etc)
81-83 Spit Weapon (spits green slime, puddings, etc)
84–86 Acid Blood (destroys weapons, etc)
87–91 Become a lumpy, misshapen semi-humanoid (half movement).
92–96 Skin transparent: Charisma -4.
97–98 Wounds take twice as long to heal. (Hit die is halved)
99 Excudes poisonous mist.
00 Regeneration (rapid healing, destroyed body parts grow back).
##Roll Your Sign
0.0. Slug King
0.0. Burning Tree
0.0. Bloody Foot
0.0. Bone Club
0.0. Dead Thief
0.0. Pierced Shield
0.0. Traitor's Head
0.0. Rattled Saber
0.0. Broken Flute
##The League of Eyes
//Monks and Paladins// in Carcosa may choose to join the League of Eyes. Anyone can join the League if they are lawful, are not a Bone Man, are not psionic, have no mutations and are willing to swear a dire oath never to use a sorcerous ritual not sanctioned by the order.
Double-click this passage to edit it.
This is a work in progress, and will remain as such until someone obtains Divine spells.
When Divine casters call upon their patrons for a miracle, they make a prayer check. Calling on your god for help too often can lead to disfavor. Roll a d20, on a 20 your god grants you a miracle related to your chosen spell, sometimes doubling the effect or making it do unknowable things. On anything higher than a 1, your prayer is answered and your chosen spell is casted as normal.
Every spell cast from then on recedes on the following dice chain:
If a 1 is ever rolled, your patron will smite you where you stand.