Sunday, February 14, 2021

Reverse Owlbear Stew

This is Owlbear Stew, but in reverse. Fighters gain Murder Dice and are unreliable drama-queens that can cut your face off with the broken hilt of a sword and sheer willpower. Mages are useful in orthogonal ways, and generally a lot more sensible. Use the Owlbear Stew generator and rules, but replace the class traits with these:

A - Violence, Begets Violence, 1 MD, +2 stat
B - 2 MD, +1 technique, +2 stat
C - 3 MD, +1 technique, +2 stat
D - 4 MD, +1 technique, +4 stat

Fighters cannot level up unless they have suffered a major defeat, or permanently give up something of importance to them.

Murder Dice - MD are d6s, and are expended on a 4-6. 1 MD is restored after any fight ends (even a mock one), all MD restored after winning a real fight. If all MD rolled a 1s, the Fighter suffers a Misstep, taking 1d6 damage and suffering a reasonable effect, such as being disarmed, knocked prone, or something similar. If three MD show the same value, the Fighter suffers a Tragedy (TBD).

Violence - Deals [sum]+[dice] damage, ignoring worn armour. Does not require an ordinary weapon, does not require an attack roll (and therefore can't be used for Gambits). Can split MD between multiple targets if in range. If used with a magic weapon, ignores all numeric bonuses.

Begets Violence - Reduce the damage from an attack. If rolled before the attack, reduce damage by [sum]. If rolled after the attack, reduce damage by [highest]. If damage is reduced below 1, the attack also misses.

Techniques - Usually deal [sum] damage, with a rider based on [dice].

1d30 Techniques
  1. Spine-Shattering Hammer - [sum] damage, if any MD show a 6, target breaks a random limb
  2. Vorpal Fingernail - [sum] damage, any MD can be set to 6 instead of being rolled
  3. Reaper Takes the Grain - [sum] necrotic damage, if this kills the target, no MD are expended
  4. Agonising Spasm - [sum]/2 damage, for the next [dice] rounds they take d6 damage before any action
  5. Army of One - Deal [dice] damage to [sum] targets in range
  6. Bull Tosses His Horns - [sum]/2 damage, move target [highest]+[dice] spaces in any direction
  7. Monkey's Tail - [sum]/2 damage, steal [dice] items from target
  8. Cut the Wind - [sum] damage to any target within [dice] x standard movement. Can split damage between targets within range
  9. Beast Within - requires you to fight with absolutely no restraint for [dice] rounds, deal [sum]x[dice] damage
  10. Eyes Always Lie - [sum] damage, but if the target reduces the damage or for any other reason, abandon this technique and do something different
  11. Midnight Stance - Leave behind your shadow for [dice] rounds, teleport back to it at any point
  12. Mountain Stance - For [sum] rounds, or until you move, take 1d4 damage instead of an attack
  13. Stifle Chakra - [sum]/2 damage, reduce MD by [dice] for [sum] rounds (Magic Dice or Murder Dice, or any other kind of mana)
  14. Dirty Trick - [sum] damage, target is (d4): 1. Blind 2. Deaf, 3. Prone, 4. Mute for [dice] rounds
  15. Ascending Dragon Prana - [sum] fire damage, you heal [dice] HP
  16. Thunderstorm Strike - [sum] lightning damage, then [dice] bludgeoning damage to a target behind
  17. Glacial Bite - [sum] ice damage, [dice] limbs of target are encased in ice until an action is taken to break it
  18. Eight Trigrams of Destruction - [sum] damage to anything, including spells and ghosts
  19. Final Breath - If the target has less than [sum]x2 HP remaining, they die immediately. If they survive, you take [sum]/2 and suffer a Misstep
  20. Aegis Mark - [sum] damage, if they attack anyone other than you for [dice] rounds, you can make a free attack against them
  21. Falling Hawk - If you have not moved or taken any action for at least [lowest] rounds, strike for [highest]x[lowest]x[dice]
  22. Open The Way - Deals no damage, target takes x[highest] damage from the next attack to hit them
  23. Ten Thousand Punches - [sum] damage, take 1 damage to use this technique at any time, especially if you just used it
  24. Consider The Lotus - [sum] damage, add 1 MD to this technique for each XP you sacrifice
  25. Chaos Blade - [sum] damage, add 1 MD to this technique for every double or 6 rolled. If you have rolled doubles or 6 with this technique, Save vs. Mutation/Madness at the end of combat
  26. Negatom Pulse - Everything within [sum] steps of you is pulled adjacent to you and takes [highest] damage
  27. Puncture - Target bleeds for [dice]d4 damage at the end of each round unless they stop the bleeding
  28. The Massacre of Kym-Orth - [sum] slashing damage to everything in front of you, save for half
  29. Song of Iron - [sum] body-parts become indestructible for [dice] rounds
  30. Discipline the Foolish - [sum] targets in range must save or be disarmed/tripped (their choice)

Mages cannot level up unless they spend some time in an interesting location.

Mages gain two permanent magic items at every level. One is rolled on any random magic item list (I recommend the Arcana or Artefact lists from Finders Keepers), one would be suitable as loot from the current interesting location. If the player takes Mage levels as part of character creation, they can optionally choose the type of interesting location for each level.

Mages also choose one magic item per level to Enhance. They can choose one of their items gained from levelling, something they have found, something they have made, or save it for a later time. Enhanced magic items are stronger and stranger in the hands of the Mage than they are to anyone else. They often have an alternative use, or are stronger at a price.