Disabuser | Psychic weapon

Psychic weapons do not originate on the material plane and may only be wielded through the use of telekinesis or telekinesis-like abilities. These objects are relics of an ancient society of outsiders whose name and origin have been lost to time. The secret to their creation is obscure. 

When inert, a weapon of this kind is effectively invisible and vibrates outside the range of tactile sensation. It will only be perceived dimly on a roll of 1-in-6 as a sort of greasy mist phenomena that could easily be mistaken for dust motes obscuring a watery eye.

Psychic weapons may be "gripped" through telekinesis and wielded like standard melee weapons. Most have a definite shape -- sword-like blades, cylinders, blocks and pincers are not uncommon. They deal magical damage and are +1, +2 or +3 vs ethereal creatures and undead. Magically resistant characters or monsters take a percentage of the total damage of each successful hit equivalent to (100) minus their resistance. Thus a demon with 60% magic resistance would take 40% from each hit delivered by a psychic weapon. 

While they are being wielded, psychic weapons give off visible light that resembles heat lightning playing across a curving arc of mist or cloud. A prepared combatant can thus perceive a weapon's movement and anticipate its assaults to some degree.

Disabuser is a psychic object shaped like a cloud of innumerable pyramidal caltrops. It is typically used to sweep the area before its wielder in brutal aerial assaults that bear a passing resemblance to the flight of a panicked flock of birds. The punishing cloud may contract to three feet in diameter or grow as wide as nine feet per the wielder's will. Any target caught in its path takes 4d6 points of magical damage and must check vs CON to avoid temporary (1d3 rounds) paralysis. Range equivalent to user's INT in feet.


Music Mix | Sleep of Reason (pt 1)

M├Ądchen Amick (Twin Peaks, 1990)

Anders Ilar, "Cries of the Wilderness"

We™, "Tombs And Tombs Only"

COIL, "Algerian Basses"


Paperbacks | The Lore of the Unicorn by Odell Shepard

Picked this up the other day  -- at one of the last two used book shops in this area. It's a really depressing development. At one time not too many years ago, we had a total of eight shops in the tri-city area. And some of them were quite extensive. Not much overlap of content either -- each shop had its own particular flavors and clientele. It's a fucking bummer, to say the least.

So The Lore of the Unicorn (1930) is an exploration of the unicorn as a mythic figure throughout history. Not very far off from the approach seen in Frazer's Golden Bough, Robert Graves' White Goddess or the work of Joseph Campbell. 

It's interesting to see the underpinnings of the whole virgin/unicorn relationship laid out so clearly. Shepard explains that maidens (typically beautiful and always chaste) were thought to attract the unicorn, so naturally the idea developed that you could use a virgin girl to entrap one of the beasts. It's said they're drawn by the scent of innocence and so will lay their heads down on the lap of the girl, opening up that sweet coup de grace for the huntsmen hidden -- one assumes -- behind the trunks of trees with sharp knives ready to hack into the unicorn's neck in hopes of severing a major artery. Lurid stuff, folks.


Dragonizing the Unicorn

A few facts about unicorns...

  • All female unicorns are ideal in proportions and heartbreakingly beautiful, rarely in bad health, and of Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral alignment.
  • All male unicorns are twisted freaks -- often aborted by their mothers before they reach term. They will have random deformities, extra limbs and seeping infections and are typically of poor temperament. Intellectually they range from the bestial to the genius, but are always of Evil bent.
  • Female unicorns reproduce asexually several times during their long lifespans.
  • Male unicorns can produce viable offspring with humanoids. These half-breeds exhibit two to three distinctly unicornic physical traits but otherwise resemble their mothers.
  • Females may live for two-thousand years or more. Significant periods of maiden unicorn population die-off mark the ends of ages.
  • Males sometimes achieve immortality through demonic pacts, but often die young due to their violent lifestyles.

Anime | Space Adventure Cobra DVD coming March 2014

For the uninitiated: Cobra is the space-age, blonde-mulleted badass depicted in the DVD cover below. And that thing where his left hand should be is the Psycho-Gun, the Excalibur to his Arthur. He's been the basis for two Japanese TV series, a couple OVAs* and a full-length feature. This DVD release looks like a pretty packaging of the character's original (1982-83) exploits. GGMLK wants.

*Original Video Animation (OVA) is a distinctly Japanese home-video film format.


Music Video | "Second Bad Vilbel" by Autechre

This 1995 vid introduced me to the larger world of electronic music -- at least beyond what I was seeing in those damned Columbia House Records catalogs. Compare this composition to the Imminent Starvation track I posted earlier from 1999.

Music Video | "Sabrina" by Einst├╝rzende Neubauten

A modern minotaur having a private moment.

Music Video | "Mindphaser" by Front Line Assembly

Classic classic classic cyberpunk video from FLA straight outta 1992. Did I mention it was classic? Lots of imagery borrowed from Japanese mech classic Gunhed (1989).

Music | "The Choke" by Skinny Puppy

Best track from Bites (1985). One of the band's strongest albums. "Shadow!"

Music | "Lost Highway (Exit)" by Imminent Starvation

Brutal, crunching rhythm with some surprisingly subtle touches. I love the ghostly chorus. I wonder if this is what Mad Max road rages to.


Condition Summary | Revised and Expanded for Old School Play from 3.x SRD

Note: Some conditions familiar to 3.x players are not included here for practical or aesthetic reasons.

Victim of an age-old fey prank, the character and his clothing have been ornamented with gaudy, eye-catching gems of various size and shape, old Yule sweaters, rusty bells, small toys, candy and other gewgaws. They can be removed (often painfully in the case of those in contact with skin or hair) but it is time-consuming work. While some of the fairy-dazzle may appear to be valuable, as soon as a single bit of it is passed in trade or in payment the whole lot will vanish into a brown-green mist (commonly known as fairy-flatch for its distinctly acrid odor). The work of bedazzling an adventurer is often done under the cover of darkness while the unsuspecting fool character is fast asleep.

The character's mind and body have been possessed by an angry incorporeal spirit. He attacks without hesitation for the next 3d10 rounds. If all his foes are dead he will continue to fight and turn his ferocity on his allies until his berserk fury has expired. All his attacks and damage receive a +2 bonus and he saves as character 1d6 levels higher than his current experience level. When his fury has passed, the character will be effectively stunned (entirely withdrawn) for 2d10 rounds. Related: STUNNED

The character cannot see. He takes a -2 penalty to Armor Class, loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and moves at half speed. All activities that rely on vision automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) to the blinded character. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them. Related: DEAFENED

The character is frozen in fear and can take no actions. A cowering character takes a -2 penalty to Armor Class and loses her Dexterity bonus (if any). Related: FRIGHTENED

The character's body has been twisted and deformed into an unrecognizable, cartilaginous horror of rank meat and burbling brown fluid-sacs. Without magic there's not really any coming back from this, per se.* Can't carry weapons, cast spells, eat, sleep or regain grip on reality. Related: INSANE 

The creature is unable to act normally; it can take no actions, but has no penalty to AC. A dazed condition typically lasts 1 round. Related: STUNNED

The character’s hit points are reduced to zero HP. The character’s spirit is drawn downward into the Underworld. Dead characters cannot benefit from normal or magical healing, but they can be restored to life via magic. A dead body decays normally unless magically preserved. Related: DYING; STABLE; UNCONSCIOUS

A deafened character cannot hear. She takes a -4 penalty on initiative checks and has a 20% chance of spell failure when casting spells with verbal components. Characters who remain deafened for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them. Related: BLINDED

The character's spirit has been touched by corruption flowing from an occult source. This will be obvious to all other character's in the game, as though his defilement was plainly stamped on his forehead for all to see. Most neutral and lawful characters will actively avoid traffic with him, and he will not be permitted to enter any lawful shrine or temple.

Under the particular effects of a magical or non-magical ailment. In some cases curable through the ministrations of a witch or hedge-wizard, other times through the intervention of a priest or miracle-worker, and sometimes not at all.

The character is thoroughly intoxicated and performs all actions with a -1d30 penalty for the next 1d3 hours. Additionally the referee may acquire DEX checks for activities that are normally hand-waved such as Not Peeing On Yourself and General Continence; Avoiding Making Sexual Advances at the Wives of Patrons, etc. Additionally, all drunk characters will spend their money freely, finishing out their drunken spell with 1d10% (round up to the nearest) of all coins they carried on their person.

A dying character is within ten points of zero HP and is losing HP continuously due to wounding, poisoning or some magical effect. Related: DEAD; STABLE; UNCONSCIOUS

Energy Drained
The character gains one or more negative levels, which might permanently drain the character’s levels. If the subject has at least as many negative levels as Hit Dice, he dies. Each negative level gives a creature the following penalties: -1 penalty on all rolls; loss of 1 HD; and -1 to effective level (for determining the power, duration and other details of spells or special abilities). In addition, a magic-user loses one spell or spell slot from the highest spell level castable.

A fatigued character can neither run nor charge and takes a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. Doing anything that would normally cause fatigue causes the fatigued character to become exhausted. After 8 hours of complete rest, fatigued characters are no longer fatigued.

Frightened / Panicked
A frightened or panicked character flees from the source of his fear as best he can. If unable to flee, he may fight. The affected character takes a -2 penalty on all rolls. He can use special abilities, including spells, to flee. He will use these or any other methods available to make possible his escape.

A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise completely at an opponent’s mercy. Melee attacks against a helpless target get a +4 bonus (equivalent to attacking a prone target). Ranged attacks gets no special bonus against helpless targets.

As a full-round action, a character can use his weapon to deliver a coup de grace to a helpless foe. The attacker automatically hits and scores a critical hit. If the defender survives, he must make a saving throw (using his best save for this roll) vs death with all coup de grace damage being applied as a penalty to this throw. Related: PRONE

The character has no physical body. All incorporeal creatures are immune to non-magical attacks. They can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, spells, spell-like effects, or supernatural effects.

The character is utterly out of his mind and has only limited awareness of his immediate environment. He will be affected by visions (2d30% of these will be completely accurate descriptions of near- or far-future events). Some insane characters can be compelled to reveal these visions by an Augur or Diviner of at least third level.

Visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents’ DEX bonuses to AC (if any).

Experiencing gastronomic distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is movement once per turn.

A paralyzed character is frozen in place and unable to move or act, though he can take purely mental actions. A winged creature flying in the air at the time that it becomes paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls. A paralyzed swimmer can’t swim and may drown. Paralyzed characters can be magically quickened.

A petrified character has been turned to stone and is considered unconscious. If a petrified character cracks or breaks, but the broken pieces are joined with the body as he returns to flesh, he is unharmed. If the character’s petrified body is incomplete when it returns to flesh, the body is likewise incomplete and there may be permanent hit point loss and/or debilitation. Crystallized characters can communicate telepathically within a fluctuating radius of 3d30 yards. Petrified or crystallized characters who are magically quickened do not revert to flesh; rather they take on the properties of autonomous stone golems.

The character is on the ground. An attacker who is prone has a -4 penalty on melee attack rolls and cannot use a ranged weapon (except for a crossbow). A defender who is prone gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks, but takes a -4 penalty to AC against melee attacks. Related: HELPLESS

The character is under a charm of enduring power that can only be broken when specific circumstances are met. These circumstances are determined at the time of the binding. Additional geases may also be found in the terms of the enchantment, so that those attempting to remove a binding may just find themselves contractually and spiritually bound within its invisible web.

A character who was dying but who has stopped losing hit points. The character is no longer dying, but is still unconscious.
If the character has become stable because of aid from another character, then the character no longer loses hit points. He has a 10% chance each turn of becoming conscious. 
If the character became stable on his own and hasn’t had help, he is still at risk of losing hit points. Each turn, he has a 10% chance of becoming conscious. Failure indicates that he loses 1 hit point. 

The character has come under the effect of medicinal herbs or agencies. Utterly useless in melee for 1d6 turns. All personal rations consumed after one turn; may attempt to buy, beg or steal more.

A stunned creature drops everything held, can’t take actions, takes a -2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). The ramifications of this condition could also cover stupefaction, delirium and fascination. Related: DAZED

Affected by a turn undead attempt. Turned undead flee for 1 turn by the best and fastest means available to them. If they cannot flee, they cower. Related: COWERING

The character is knocked out and helpless. Related: DYING; HELPLESS

*Thanks to Dan Harmon and Rick and Morty.

[Trailer] Knights of Badassdom

So after two years this film is finally going to get a digital release on the 11th (next Tuesday). Color me stoked!


Music VD | Contracted in Sweden

"In Your Eyes" by Kate Boy

"If I Had a Heart" by Fever Ray

"Fountain" by iamamiwhoami