Monday, 12 March 2018

Rose-Maidens and Myconid Composters - cultures in Ynn.

As a dryad is to a tree, these creatures are to beds of roses.
The appear roughly humanoid, with a  thick thorny stem in place of their torso and legs. Their arms are formed by intertwined leafy branches, and each one has a single large rose in place of a head; whatever sensory organs they have are nestled between the stamen.
The rose maidens can walk about on their roots. They talk in high, soft voices; where the human voice is a cello, a rose-maiden’s voice is a flute.
They are as intelligent as humans. They maintain the sites of particular beauty in the garden, brushing away dirt and litter and polishing stone and metal. Like the Myconid Composters, they have their own culture.
Their mannerisms are elegant. Despite their manual labour, they behave more like refined artistic types; poets or musicians perhaps. Everything beautiful must be preserved, everything ugly must be destroyed.
They sing as they work, producing melodies too subtle for the human ear to properly register. They sing when they fight, too. Eerie droning choirs.
Their songs hit strange resonant frequencies in the plants around them. By combining frequencies, their harmonies can produce supernatural-seeming effects.
These songs are also how they train plants to grow in particular patterns. Their homes - elegant bowers of living wood and leaves = are made in this way, as are those few tools they use.
HD 4, HP 9, Armour as leather, two claws (+6, d6), saves as MU 4..
Their eerie droning songs are disconcerting. 1-in-10 chance per rose-maiden present for any character casting a spell to instead do nothing that round. The same applies to other actions requiring concentration, such as first aid or aiming.
Twice per day, they can cast each of the following: Animate Plants, Speak With Plants, Pass Through Plants, Hold Plant. Spellcasting is only possible if more than one rose-maiden casts that round; a single rose maiden’s spells fail if somebody isn’t casting alongside her.

Myconid Composters
Lumpen fungoid proletariat of the gardens. Four foot high vaguely humanoid masses of mycelium with raisin-like sensory organs studded into their puffball-heads.
Their purpose is to gather dead, broken and dirty things, and pile them up in their great steaming compost-mounds to rot down. More composters sprout from the mass periodically, which is also used to fertilize the garden.
Myconids have huge nests in the depths of the gardens. Great rotting heaps of compost, with propped-up cavities within where they live. They don’t sleep, or eat, but instead replenish themselves by thrusting the mycelium roots from their hands and feet into the decaying mass that makes up their home.
Their consciousness is not as separated as other beings. Myconids can fuse together, letting the mycelium threads that make up their neural networks intertwine. Their consciousnesses merge, their personalities blurr together, they share memories The longer they’re fused, the more completely thei sentiences meld together. They can split apart again, and when they do they retain all the memories they once shared. Myconids greet one another by shaking hands, blurring conciousnesses enough to exchange information. Knowledge ripples through their culture rapidly, their personalities exist in a fluid pool.
They are extraordinarily  vulnerable to memetic corruption.
They wear dungarees and battered straw hats, and speak with regional British accents; Cockney or Cornish or Welsh. Stolid and practical, and single-mindedly dedicated to creating the best compost they can. PCs look compostable, too, they’ve got all those nutrients...
HD 3, HP 12 Armour as leather, gardening tools (+0, d8), Save as cleric 3..
Can fuse with another Myconid. The two combine into a single being with all the knowledge both possessed.. Combine the HP totals of both, up to the maximum 12.
Instead of attacking, the Composter can squirt spores from the top of its head, that do one of the following:
à Heal all fungi d4 hp.
à All non-fungi save vs poison or take d4 damage.
à Form a new Myconid with d4 HP, at the cost of that many HP from the donor.

Ynnian Chess Sets

Chess Set
Constructed from living stone, the chess set is made from earth elementals carved into shape and bound to a particular role.
Each chess set behaves like a miniature knightly court. They engage in courtly politics and romance, war chivalrously with other chess sets or factions in the gardens, and embark on quixotic quests.

Each chess set refers to itself by a different name; the Red Court, the White Order, the Ivory Palace and so forth. Their customs are often bizarre but are at least vaguely similar to those of an Arthurian romance. Hospitality, duty, courage, self-sacrifice, and glory are lauded. Cowardice, treachery and unsportsmanlike behaviour is roundly condemned.
All pieces of the chess set are forbidden by custom from romance with those outside their class (save for the King and Queen). None the less, the set pursues tangled webs of romance with a dedicated fervour. They are keen to involve outsiders- even PCs - in these affairs. A chess-piece lover is a loyal companion, if slighted or betrayed they and their court become an implacable enemy.

A chess set cannot be properly destroyed without great effort. If even a few shards of stone remain, the whole set will slowly regenerate. ‘Dead’ members return as if from nowhere within an hour, so long as they are unobserved. As such, although a set may take casualties, those replenish quickly, and soon the set will be back up to full strength.
In truth, the set is not 16 creatures, but a single creature with 16 bodies, play acting at different roles, like a human with a puppet on each hand. What one of the set knows, they all know. What one feels, they all feel.
Any mind-affecting effects that successfully effect one chess-piece affect them all.

1 Rook, 1 Knight, 1 Bishop and 4 pawns are male (those on the king's side). The other half are female.

Position is everything in fights with a chess set. Those pieces close to one another support one another well, and they jump on isolated PCs and beat them into a pulp.
Even if you don’t normally use miniatures, get a chess set out for the fight to track where everybody is.
For the purposes of the fight, treat ‘adjacent’ as being ‘within about 3 meters’.

All chess pieces:
Immune to backstabs and other attacks that target vulnerable anatomy.  Immune to poison and sickness.
Half damage from sharp weapons, fire. Double damage from blunt weapons, cold, electricity.
All affected by mental effects that affect at least 1 chess piece.
If the king is taken out of action, the rest all fall inert until the king recovers.

If unobserved, all chess pieces (even those destroyed, transformed, put somewhere else) return to full strength within an hour and come back together.

The supposed ruler of the chess court. A stone elemental carved into the form of an old man in robes and an ornate crown. Slow, indecisive but potent. Think of Emperor Palpatine, if he was chivalrous rather than a baddy.
HD 5, HP 20, Armour as Chain + Shield, Smash (+5, d10), saves as fighter 5.
Instead of attacking, can grant up to 5 pawns, 2 rooks or 3 bishops/knights to make an extra attack. Cannot do this if engaged in combat himself.
Moves at half speed.

The real power behind the court. Somewhere between a cunning second-in-command and an unstoppable crusading warrior-queen. Think of a beautiful female Darth Vader, carved from stone.
HD 11, HP 40, Armour as Plate, Smash (+11, d10), saves as thief 11.
Can make a Smash attack against every enemy adjacent. 
Moves at double speed.

Stolid, defensive types. Tasked with holding and maintaining territory. Hold grudges with quiet fervour.
 Carved from elemental stone to resemble a warrior in plate, behind a huge shield, features blocky and square. The helmet features the distinctive crenulation of the traditional chess-piece.
HD 9, HP 32, Armour as Plate plus  Shield, Smash (+9, d10), saves as fighter 9.
Grants its AC to any adjacent chess-pieces.
Can make a free Smash attack against anybody who attacks a non-rook chess piece when the rook could have been targeted instead.
The dashing cavaliers of the court. Impetuous, touchy about their honour even for chess-pieces. Carved to resemble plate-armoured knights, in helmets with a heraldic crest shaped like a horse.
HD 5, HP 20, Armour as Chain, Smash (+5, d10), saves as fighter 5.
Can pass through walls, shield-walls, and other barriers as if they weren’t there.
Double damage when attacking from behind.

The clergy of the court. Solemn. Prone to blessing things in battle. Politically astute, but prone to hidden passions. Carved to resemble robed figures in tall bishops-mitres.
HD 5, HP 20, Armour as Chain, Smash (+5, d10), saves as cleric 5.
Add d10 to the damage done by adjacent chess-pieces.
Moves at double speed..

The rank and file warriors of the court. Servile, courteous. Not very clever. Apologise a lot.
Carved to resemble little people with bulbous heads, a bit like the toadstools in Mario.
HD 3, HP 12, Armour as Chain, Smash (+3, d10), saves as thief 3.
Moves at half speed..

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

One roll fights

Combat takes too long sometimes. I like the danger of it, don't like how you immediately leap into initiative and fight it out tactically blow-by-blow. It breaks the flow.
Here's an alternate system, based on a comment I read on /tg/ and some musings I've been musing for a while.

Ignore all your combat scores on your sheet. We aren't using that stuff. Instead:
First, work out the 'combat power' of each side.

For players:

  • d6
  • +1 if you outnumber the enemy at all. Or +2 if you outnumber them 2-to-1, +3 if you outnumber them 3-to-1, etc.
  • +1 per fighter-classed PC properly equipped on your side.
  • +1 per PC with one or more combat-relevant magic items (such as magic swords)
  • +1 for each spell caster PC who casts a combat-relevant spell (such as a fireball) during the fight.
  • +1 for each of the following advantages your side has: cover, high ground, formation that can't be flanked, surprise, superior firepower, poison, monsters are cornered, traps, monsters don't care about killing you, monsters can't meaningfully threaten you. Or similar.
For monsters:
  • d6
  • plus the hit-dice of the highest hit-diced monster present.
  • +1 if they outnumber you at all. Or +2 if they outnumber you 2-to-1, etc
  • +1 for each of the following advantages their side has: cover, high ground, formation that can't be flanked, surprise, superior firepower, traps, fighting in their own lair, regeneration or replenishing numbers, fearless, instant-death or otherwise OP attacks (turn to stone, dominate, baleful polymorph, paralysis on touch), PCs are cornered, fighting in conditions the PCs aren't adapted to but the monsters are (underwater, pitch darkness, narrow crawls), immune or highly resistant to the PCs tactics (such as resistant to non-silver weapons, etherealness, etc). Or similar.
The side that rolls highest wins. Ties are treated as a draw.
(note, the D6 roll adds uncertainty, but mostly the flat modifiers are enough that you can reliably guess who should win, and often the result is a foregone conclusion).
If the PCs win:
  • The monsters are defeated: slain by the PCs or taken prisoner, whatever makes sense. 
  • If the PCs lack any means to meaningfully harm the monsters (such as silver vs werewolves), the monster is instead driven off and might return.
  • Each PC makes a Save vs Combat. Unarmored PCs use their worst save, armored use their best. If passed, the PC is fine. If failed, they take exactly as much damage as the d20 rolled. 
  • Weird consequences other than damage (infection, level drain, curses, turning to stone) requires a second combat save to avoid it: instead of armour, you get to use your best save if you used an appropriate countermeasure (a mirror vs medusa gaze, etc), otherwise your worst.
On a draw:
  • The monsters are driven off but can return, and the PCs likewise are forced to withdraw.
  • Each PC makes a Save vs Combat. Unarmored PCs use their worst save, armored use their best. If passed, the PC is fine. If failed, they take exactly as much damage as the d20 rolled.
  • Weird consequences other than damage (infection, level drain, curses, turning to stone) requires a second combat save to avoid it: instead of armor, you get to use your best save if you used an appropriate countermeasure (a mirror vs medusa gaze, etc), otherwise your worst.
If the PCs lose:
  • Each PC makes a Save vs Combat. Unarmored PCs use their worst save, armored use their best. If passed the PC escapes, if failed they are killed.
  • Surviving PCs flee or are driven off and take d20 damage in the process. 
  • Weird consequences other than damage (infection, level drain, curses, turning to stone) requires a second combat save to avoid it: instead of armor, you get to use your best save if you used an appropriate countermeasure (a mirror vs medusa gaze, etc), otherwise your worst.
Example fight 1:
Our party (Black Alice the Magic User, Ser Tristam the Fighter armed with Blackrazor the magic sword, Sister Paula the cleric and Desperate Dave the thief with a pair of loaded pistols) encounters a pair of zombies as wandering monsters. Paula casts Turn Undead, Alice casts magic missile, and both Paula and Tristram block the corridor to protect the squishies behind them. 

The party get d6+8 combat strength (Outnumber 2:1. 1 fighter. 1 magic weapon. 2 spells cast. 2 tactical advantages - unflankable and superior firepower). They roll a total of 11.
The monsters get d6+3 combat strength (2 HD, 1 tactical advantage - fearless). They roll a total of 5.
The PCs win. The zombies are killed and their bodies burned.
Everybody rolls their Combat saves. For Alice and Dave who are unarmoured, this is their worst saves - 16 and 15 respectively. Tristram and Paula are armoured, so they get their best saves - 12 and 10.
Alice rolls 17, and is fine.
Dave rolls 13, and takes 13 damage - he's slain in the fight.
Tristram rolls 13 and is fine.
Paula rolls 4, and is hurt but survives.

Example fight 2:
Our party (Black Alice the Magi User, Ser Tristram the Fighter armed with Blackrazor the magic sword, and Sister Paula the cleric) are camping when their camp is attacked by a swarm of 9 wraiths! They struggle out of their tents, but Alice has no prepared spells, and Tristram isn't in his armour, although he still has his sword. Paula, since she was on watch, is armoured and casts Turn Undead again.

The party get d6+3 combat strength (1 fighter. 1 magic weapon. 1 spell. 1 tactical advantage - cover). They roll 9!
The monsters get d6+12 combat strength (outnumber 3-1. 4 hit-dice. 5 tactical advantages - fearless, fighting in the dark, ethereal, surprise, level-drain). They roll 14!

The PCs are defeated and flee their camp.
Alice fails her first combat save and is instantly slain.
Tristram passes his first combat save, meaning he merely takes d20 damage. He rolls a 17, only has 14 HP, and dies as well.
Paula passes her first combat save because she has armor on! She takes a mere d20 damage, rolls a 3 and somehow still survives! She then fails her second combat save (against the level drain - although her holy icon was brandished hopefully, even her best save was not enough to save her). She takes level drain, reducing her to level 2.
Alice and Tristram  never escape the camp. Paula is now fleeing blindly into the woods, having suffered level drain and badly injured. Maybe she will survive until sunrise. Maybe.

And, there you go. Fast, brutal combat resolved in a single round, without fiddly shit. Mostly the winner is determined by tactical advantages: if you want to win, first outmaneuvre your foe. No idea how this would actually go down in play, but I want to try it.

Edit 1: I think I want to put a gap in between 'calculate which side wins the fight' and 'see if you die'. This lets you a) cast a spell or use an item or panic and do something smart to swing a losing fight to a draw or a win and b) if you're losing cast a get-out-of-jail-free card like teleportation away (which I might allow you to save as if it was a draw if you had a free escape).

Edit 2: Obviously, this is intended as a framework to hang stuff off with room for improv and special rules for monsters, and PCs doing cool shit for bonuses and stuff, not a rigid flowchart.

Edit 3: that said 'well, you did a fight, and the dice say you die' is kind of intentional. Fast and brutal. Don't fight if you can't run the numbers and be confident of a win. 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

More Stuff From Ynn

Some of this is locations, some of this is details you tack onto a location as a modifier. 

An ornamental folly, looming over the tree-tops.  Constructed of wood and brick,  and overgrown with ivy. There’s a doorway ajar on the ground floor, and shuttered windows further up the tower. The tower can, therefore, be entered through the main door or at any floor if you climb to a window.
There are d6+2 floors. Each floor is around 20 feet wide, with a curving wooden staircase leading to the floors above and below.
The interior is dusty, cobwebby and falling apart. Wallpaper peels from the walls, the carpet is mouldy, and water pools by the shutters. In addition, for each floor, roll d12 to see what else is there:
1. Nothing
2. Treasure (roll on page xx)
3. An encounter! Something lives here, roll on page xx.
4. An encounter! Something is also exploring, roll on page xx.
5. Furniture, slowly falling apart.
6. A bookshelf. If searched, there’s a 1-in-6 chance that among them is a spellbook with a single random 1st-level spell.
7. Birds nests, with eggs and the occasional hatchling squawking away.
8. Dense cobwebs, making vision and movement hard.
9. A skeleton, chained to the wall.
10. Stored food, enough rations to feed a party of 10 for a week, perfectly preserved.
The top floor, however, will have something unique, instead of the normal contents. Roll a d8 twice for what.
1. A huge brass bell.
2. A telescope
3. A camera obscura.
4. A treasure-horde. Roll for treasure 3 times. Add the number of floors in the tower to the location’s depth for this roll.
5. A magician’s library. Among other more mundane works, there are spellbooks containing d12 1st level spells, d10 second level spells, d8 3rd level spells and d6 4th level spells, d4 5th level spells, and a single spell of  level 6+.
6. An encounter! A powerful monster lives here. Roll for encounters, adding the number of floors to the location’s depth for this roll.
7. A booby-trap! One of the floor-boards is actually a pressure-plate, and will cause a flurry of metal darts to shoot from the cracks in the floorboards; everybody takes d4 damage if they don’t pass a Save vs Breath Weapons.
8. A half-finished clockwork-powered flying machine.


A neat formal garden, with gravestones evenly spaced every seven feet or so. Lilies and roses growing here, moss obscuring the detailing on the elegant art-nouveau headstones.
If you dig a grave up, roll a d6 to see what’s in it:
1. Just a skeleton.
2. Nothing but dirt.
3. An animate skeleton, which is unhappy its rest has been disturbed.
4. An animate skeleton, which is so unhappy that it gives an angry scream, causing d6 more to rise from nearby graves.
5. Treasure (roll on page xx)
6. Nothing but dust.
Animate skeletons have AC as leather,  1 HD, 4 HP, claws (+0, d6), saves as fighter 1.  Undead. They can talk, and are flamboyant and verbose in their exaggerated emotions. If damaged but not killed, they can use their action to reassemble themselves, healing all damage.
At night, the skeletons emerge from their graves. There will be d20+1 of them hanging about. Roll a d8 for what they’re doing:
1. Playing Boules.
2. Playing music; ribcage xylophones and thighbone flutes.
3. Having a formal debate over the theological implications of their continued existence.
4. Tending to the gardens. They may be wearing straw hats and dungarees.
5. Playing in a poker tournament. They gamble with teeth. The losers are near-toothless, the winner has teeth jammed all over their skull.
6. Observing the moon through a telescope, and taking detailed maps.
7. Wailing and shaking and apologizing for their sins.
8. Scrimshawing each other.

This is an area of lawn and flowerbeds, once artfully arranged to hide the presence of a large number of steam-pipes. Now, the flowers have died back and the turf has split, revealing hissing, clanking iron pipes. They’re fitted with pressure valves and outlets. Turn the tap on and steam shoots out of the outlet, scalding everything in its path (90° arc, 10 feet out) for 2d4 damage. Save vs Breath Weapons negates; if you’re expecting the steam roll twice and take the better result.
If the steam-pipes are damaged, the same happens from the  rent in the metal. Then, each round thereafter, it gets worse: pressurized steam starts to rip bits of metal from the damage. The range increases by 10 feet, and the damage steps up a dice size (2d6’s, then 2d8s, etc.).
All sorts of things might damage the pipe. Experiments to see what’s in it,  stray missiles, very heavy things falling on them. If in doubt, roll a d6, and on a 1 or 2 the pipe is busted.
After the first time the steam pipes are encountered, the pipes might carry something else. Roll a d6 for what’s in the pipes:
1. Steam
2. Acid
3. Quick-lime
4. Molten Tar
5. Boiling Water
6. Boiling Oil
Regardless of what’s in the pipes, the damage stays the same.

Cliff Garden
This garden is planted on a large vertical wall, as if the ground was rotated ninety degrees. Grass, flowers, and little trees all grow normally, poking out from the cliff and then bending to grow upwards.
The cliff section is suspended over a yawning abyss. There’s no visible bottom, it just fades into mist. Fall in, and you’re just gone. The trip is one way, there is no return. Flying will stop you falling in, but won’t save you once you’ve fallen; the pull of the abyss is too strong, it’s like being dragged underwater by a riptide.
The turf is soft enough that you can make handholds just by thrusting your hands and feet in, or else you can grab onto plants, roots and other bits of garden. It’s perfectly safe as nothing goes wrong. However, something might go wrong if:
à You take damage.
à You make an attack.
à You try to ‘run’ or otherwise move fast.
à Something surprises you.
à You need to use both hands for a task.
Add up the total of your Strength, Dexterity and Constitution. This value is your grip. Every time something might go wrong, roll a d20., and deduct the result from your grip. Deduct any damage you suffer from the total as well. When your grip hits 0, you fall. There’s a round for you to be caught before it’s too late, and after that you’ve dropped off the gardens and into the abyss.
If a full exploration turn passes without your grip worsening, it resets to its starting value.
Using specialist climbing gear, magic or similar might increase your grip strength, at the GM’s discretion.

Mushroom Beds
A number of beds of bare earth, under large iron rooves to keep the sunlight off them. The rooves are ten feet off the ground. There’s plenty of room under there, or you can walk over the rooves.  The mushroom beds are packed with mycelium threads under  the dirt, and various exotic fruiting bodies.
Roll a d8 for what the fruiting bodies actually look like:
1. Slightly luminous, delicate pink mushrooms.
2. Wide, flabby grey toadstools.
3. Slender black slimy mushrooms.
4. Vivid yellow puffballs.
5. Dark blue fronds.
6. Tiny white clusters of mushrooms.
7. Broad red toadstools.
8. Huge, flaky white puffballs.
Disturbing the mushroom beds , by treading on them for example, causes them to release spores. Everybody nearby must make a Save vs Poison, or suffer the following effects (roll d8 for what).
1. D4 damage, as the spores cause the lungs to fill and the host to choke.
2. D6 damage to dexterity as the spores cause tremors and twitches.
3. D6 damage to wisdom, as the spores cause geometric hallucinations.
4. D6 damage to constitution, as the spores cause sweats and vomiting.
5. D6 damage to charisma, as the spores cause the skin to crack and discolour.
6. D6 damage to intelligence, as the spores induce delirium.
7. D6 damage to strength, as the spores cause muscles to seize up.
8. Loss of one level, as the spores cause lethargy and dull the senses.
The effects will repeat each turn for d6 turns. After the second time, the victim’s skin gets all lumpy and bulges can be seen in their flesh. After the third time, mushrooms start to emerge from under their fingernails and out of their orifices. After the fourth time, and thereafter, more and more mushrooms grow from cracks in their skin.
The infection progresses until cured (with a cure disease, delay poison or similar spell), the infection runs its course, or the victim dies.

Each appearance of mushrooms will always release spores with the same effects. So, for example, in every location visited, dark blue fronds might  always produce hallucinogenic spores.

Mask Gallery

A long wall, hung with various masks, each surrounded by a picture frame. There’s one of each mask. The masks present, and what happens when you wear them, are:
à The Reaper. Ivory, a human skull. Stylized. The wearer deals 3 more damage whenever they deal damage, and suffers 3 more damage whenever damage is done to them. Small animals, insects and so on tend to lie down and die peacefully around them.
à The child. Round porcelain, brightly painted. Reduced to level 1, never gain levels (the levels come back when the mask comes off). 19-in-20 chance to ignore any effect that would kill or remove the character. Become innocent and naive.
à The black goat. Horn and black velvet, and glass eyes. The wearer gets +3 charisma and +3 constitution. They always fail any saves to resist mind control and emotional manipulation. They find genteel civilization tiresome, and long to run into the woods where they can rut and fight and spill blood beneath the moon.
à The bloody-faced man. Crudely made from wood, painted red. Human teeth in the mouth. +3 to hit. 200 XP every time the wearer takes the heart from somebody or something they killed. Halve all XP from treasure.
à The Flame. Stylized red and orange fire on silk. The wearer is immune to damage from fire, but takes double damage from other non-physical sources such as acid, lightning etc. They are consumed by an urge to commit grand and exotic acts of arson.
à The Harlequin. Delicately patterned white and black porcelain, with gold inlay. The wearer can sneak as if they were a thief/specialist/expert of their level, or if they were already a class that gets a chance to hide,  double their chance. Whenever a random victim is chosen for a trap, curse or similar, instead the Harlequin is the victim. Their life takes on an air of ineffable tragedy.
à The Crow-doctor. Black-painted wood with glass lenses over the eyes. +5 to saves vs poison and sickness. Can ‘transfer’ hit points to a patient being treated, taking 1 damage for each point of healing the patient receives. -3 Charisma, -3 Strength.  The wearer starts to see other people in a cold, clinical light, they’re things to fix, not really people like the doctor is.
à The warlock. Ugly carved wood, with exaggerated facial-features and big sharp teeth. The wearer can memorize an extra spell of any level they can cast. Reaction rolls when they’re present are at -3.
à The prisoner. A steel face plate, with bolts and a grille over the eyes. +2 AC, -1 initiative, +1 chance to be surprised. The wearer seems subtly grotesque, everybody is sure that whatever’s under the mask must be horrific.
Take a total of the wearer’s charisma and constitution scores: this is their sense of self. Each day that the mask is worn, reduce that sense of self by 1. When their sense of self is half its starting value, the mask begins to take over. If they ever act in a way that goes against the mask’s archetype, they can gain no XP for the next day. If their sense of self becomes 0, the mask takes over entirely, and they become an NPC
Removing a mask is difficult and dangerous. Make a Save vs Magic to do so, or else the mask is stuck fast to the wearer’s face and can’t be removed. Regardless of if the save is passed or failed, the attempt is incredibly painful; the wearer takes d4 damage, plus one more per day the mask’s been worn.
The Mask Gallery will only be found once per expedition. Thereafter, treat this result as ‘lawn’ instead.

Incubation Beds
These flowerbeds are studded with glass pipes carrying faintly luminous green oil. The oil pools and collects in glass orbs, and seeps out through crystalline thuribles.
There’s a warm, soft green haze in the air. It smells of mint and pepper. The air thrums and tingles with vitality.
The flowers grow vigorously. They’re far bigger than elsewhere; beds of tulips are large enough to form a canopy of bright petals over your heads.
In the incubation beds, healing is doubled. Each turn, injured characters heal 1 HP without even needing treatment.
Those healed here tend to heal oddly. Whenever a character benefits from the effects of the Incubation Beds,  they roll for Ynnian Alterations.

 Splicing Vats
Concealed behind a hedge, there are the splicing vats. Towering glass-and-steel edifices, the splicing vats let you combine disparate living things to produce the various marvellous hybrids of the gardens.
The vats are two stories tall, glass tubes like a md scientist might grow clones in. There’s all manner of tubes and pipes going in and out. The whole thing is filled with a slightly cloudy pinkish or greenish liquid.
There’s a hatch in the front, latched shut, bit enough for a person to crawl through. There’s another little inlet valve, just big enough to poke your finger into. There’s a control panel, too, a brass and black-iron plate with various unmarked buttons on it.
Using the Vats properly is difficult. The correct method works like this:
1. Open the hatch, drain the fluid, and put the new test subject to be spliced into the vat.
2. Press the correct button, to fill the vat with amniotic fluid.
3. Introduce some genetic matter into the little inlet valve. Blood works fine, sap works fine, flesh works fine. Eggs and seeds will do, too. Anything that’s living biomass.
4.  Procedure A, B, C or D is selected, depending on the intended result. Perhaps al combination. Perhaps this is repeated.
5. The hatch is opened, and the newly modified creature comes out.
A. This procedure passes subtle traits from the donated genetic material onto the subject. So, put in a human’s DNA, and a human subject’s face might warp to look like them. Put in a tiger’s DNA, and a plant’s leaves develop tiger-stripes. ‘A’ stands for ‘Appearance’
B. This procedure morphs the  subject into a half-and-half hybrid with the introduced DNA. So, put in an owl and a bear, select ‘B’ and get an owlbear. Put in a human and a butterfly, and get a pixie. ‘B’ stands for ‘Blend’.
C. This procedure gives the subject a noteworthy trait from the genetic material introduced. Human DNA makes the subject sentient like a human. Spider DNA lets them spin webs. Bat DNA gives the echolocation. Mushroom DNA makes them spew reproductive spores. Elephant DNA makes them grow a trunk and tusks. ‘C’ stands for ‘capabilities’.
D. This procedure makes the effects of any previous stuff done to the subject inheritable. ‘D’ stands for ‘DNA;
Of course, players will probably get this wrong.
à If they put genetic material into the tank in step 1, rather than a whole being, the  vats produce a helpless foetus that dies when removed from the vats.
à If they put another living thing through the hatch in stage 3, any button press produces a horrible cronenbergian mishmash monster.
à If there’s no amniotic fluid added in stage 2, then each alteration causes horrible wounds. D20 damage, maybe.
As a GM, you will have to homebrew some rules if the players do this to each other. Have fun with that!

Vivisection Theatre
This is a semi-circular amphitheatre, with stone steps as seats and a platform in the middle that acts as the stage. All are overgrown with moss and ferns.
On the stage itself, there’s a metal surgical table, with restraints at either end for wrists, ankles and the head. Other apparatus is scattered about - lamps, clamps, pumps and so on, but these delicate devices have rusted into total uselessness.
This was, once, an important place. There’s treasure here, scattered among the seats. Roll for it to see what.

Electrodyne Thicket
Here, the plants grow thick and tangled, vines and creepers growing over a hemispherical wire cage.
The outside of the cage is a mess of vegetation. The inside is remarkable clear. Smooth concrete floor, and no plants. There’s a hum in the air, and the smell of ozone.
In the dead centre, set in the floor, there’s a strange machine. About the size of a human head made of interlocking concentric rings of black stone that whirl around each other like some strange planetarium.
Once every turn, the device gives out a great burst of electricity. Arcs of lightning are flung from it, striking the cage and earthing themselves. Anything inside is struck and takes the brunt of the shock, hence the lack of vegetation.
Getting zapped deals 2d6 damage. There’s an extra d6 damage if metal armour is worn. There’s an extra d6 damage for each hand holding a metal item, like a lantern or sword. There’s an extra d6 damage if you’re carrying metal treasure (such as jewellery or coins).  No save unless you can somehow dodge lightning. Everybody inside the cage is struck.
If removed from the cage, it arcs to the closes big metal thing (bigger than a person). Everything living in the way is struck by the electricity. It’s not bolted down or anything; put it in a metal box and you’ve got a pretty good bomb.

This is a wide marquee, with a wooden slatted roof and open sides. Inside, there are various tables and chairs, suit able for a garden party, and several large wine barrels piled up.
There are 2d6barrels, each well preserved but unmarked, and a further 2d20 wine bottles. The wine within is near-unique, hundreds if not thousands of years old and made by inhumanly talented vintners. Each bottle is worth 100silver on the market, each battel 1000.
If a whole bottle of wine is drunk while still in Ynn, the drinker instantly becomes drunk, and gains the following benefit permanently (roll d12):
1. +1 maximum HP.
2. +I Strength.
3. +1 Dexterity.
4. +1 Constitution.
5. +1 Intelligence.
6. +1 Wisdom.
7. +1 Charisma.
8. +1 to saves vs Paralysis.
9. +1 to saves vs Poison.
10. +1 to saves vs Breath Weapons.
11. +1 to saves vs Devices.
12. +1 to saves vs Magic.
You can only gain each bonus once: if you drink the same wine again, all you get is even drunker. Drinking the wine outside of Ynn confers no benefit save a particularly aesthetic sort of inebriation.
Ruins of Ynn
This far out, things start  to fall apart. The arcane machinery underpinning the gardens run haywire, causing things to lose their normal structure.
The default for an area of Ynnian Ruins is an expanse of flowerbeds and lawns.  There are great cracks in the ground, and collapsed blocks of stone and concrete where greater structures once existed.
To generate a map of the area, drop a bunch of dice on a sheet of paper, and note down what dice landed where. The dice rolled gives a feature.
1. A huge block of stone, the same shape as the dice that rolled it.
2. A deep pit. 10 feet per side on the dice that rolled it.
3. A wide chasm, 5 feet long per side on the dice that rolled it.
4. A tangle of barbed wire and rose thorns. Moving through deals 1 damage a round. 5 feet across per side on the dice that rolled it.
5. A column of baroquely coiled stone., with a wide platform at the top.
6. A row of collapsed columns; as many as the number of sides on the dice that rolled this.
7. A pool of corrosive, spitting liquid. Each round of exposure deals d6 damage, 2d6 for complete immersion. 1 foot across for each side on the dice that rolled it.
8. A pile of rubble.
9. A fallen statue, 20 feet high.
10. A mass of gears emerging from the soil, still slowly churning. Get caught in the gears and take d6 damage a round.
11. A long, hollow pipe leading into the ground, with dirty water at the bottom.
12. A huge tree, a redwood as tall as a 6-story building.
13. A set of railway tracks twisted into a pretzel-knot.
14. The smashed, scorched remains of a horse-drawn carriage.
15. A ladder leading up into the sky. Tall enough you can’t see the top, it just fades into the misty heights.
16. A row of metal girders emerging from the ground like teeth.
17. A single huge stone hand, as big as an elephant.
18. An elegant arch-bridge made of rusted metal.
19. A cluster of blinking eyes studded into the ground.
20. A huge mouth, wide enough to swallow a person, set in the ground. It’s hungry. Anybody going near enough for it to bite gets attacked (+0 to hit, d20 damage, if the damage is even you’re sucked into the mouth and it starts chewing for d20 damage a round.
Anything else. An iron lamp-post with a lit lantern at the end.
The ruins here shift. Each turn, remove one of the features. Take a new dice without looking, and drop it onto the map. The new feature emerges in whatever way makes most sense; stone blocks fall from the sky, perhaps, and chasms open up like mouths. Alternatively, the thing just fades in when nobody is looking - that statue was always there, how did you not notice?
Maybe do this a few times in a turn to weird-up the place even more.

Trying to map this place makes your head hurt. The angles and distances change when you aren’t looking. Go much further than this, and you suspect reality will start to fall apart entirely.

Explorers from the real world have scrawled graffiti across a wall here.
If there’s some threat inherent to the location, the graffiti warns about it. If there’s something valuable that could be salvaged inherent to the location, the graffiti points it out. In addition, roll three d20s for what else the graffiti says - each piece is in a different hand.
1. [Xandu The Mighty/Roderick/Black Alice/Alokraihne Valentinez/Big Dave/Eleanor of Cym/The Black Rat] woz here
2. A religious symbol (such as a crucifix, ankh, or similar)
3. ‘Don’t drink the water’ (often good advice).
4. ‘Drink the water’ (often dangerous advice).
5. ‘The flowers are parasites’.
6. ‘The door closes in 24 hours;,
7. ‘Days are twice as long’.
8. ‘If I never return, tell my wife/husband I love them’ [dated at least a century ago]
9. ‘Turn back now, before it’s too late!’
10. ‘Ignore the other graffiti, it’s perfectly safe’ (probably not true).
11. ‘There are other doors out! Have faith!’ (true)
12. ‘I want to go home’ (an understandable sentiment.
13. ‘Don’t trust the Shining Ones’ (refers to the decadant-feral sidhe)
14. ‘Deeper in, there are more doors leading to other places’ (true)
15. ‘This is where we came in. Remember this place.’
16. ‘[Gug/Van Moldus/Jeremiah/Alice/Torven/The Princess] died here’.
17. ‘The Masks are all cursed, except for the Child’s Mask’. (refers to the Mask Gallery - actually, all the masks are cused).
18. ‘Take heed, traveller! Another way out lies beyond the bellt-ower!’ (there are other ways out, but the exact route to them varies).
19. ‘I hate trees’ (an understandable sentiment)
20. ‘Beware the Vats!;

Dead Explorers
The corpses of d6 explorers. They are (roll d6):
1. Still warm.
2. Fresh enough that they’ve not been nibbled on.
3. Partly eaten.
4. Decaying and squishy.
5. Desiccated and shrivelled.
6. Bare skeletons.
Roll a d10 for what sort of adventurer each was, and what’s on the body if they try and loot it.
1. A thief. Leather armour, dagger, lock-picks, rope.
2. A ranger. Leather armour, hand axe, 12 arrows, longbow, grappling hook, rope,.
3. A knight. Plate armour, shield, longsword.
4. A priest. Chainmail, mace, holy symbol, holy book.
5. An assassin. Dagger, crossbow, 10 bolts garrotte, disguise kit.
6. A soldier. Chainmail, pike, entrenching tools, shield.
7. A magician. Staff, and a spellbook with d6 random spells.
8. An alchemist. Knife, vial of contact poison (save or die), vial of acid.
9. An exorcist. Plate armour, vial of holy water, hammer.
10. Bounty hunter. Crossbow, 10 bolts, shackles, hand axe, steel-trap.
Plus 2d10 silver pieces, and roll for treasure.
If there is a threat inherent to the location, then that is the obvious cause of death. Otherwise, roll d6 for what the corpses are doing:
1. Hung by the neck from tree branches.
2. Sat in iron chairs at a patio table, as if having a meal.
3. Impaled on wooden spikes.
4. Laid out respectfully on the ground, as if for a funeral.
5. Sealed in glass coffins.
6. Spread-eagled, pinned to the ground by the hands and feet to prevent rising,  with an exotic orchid growing from the mouth.

The ground here trembles gently, and emits deep rumbling, as if something under the earth

Bracken and bamboo grows over absolutely everything here. You need to hack through it to see whatever’s underneath.

Silver Filigree
Scattered among the plants here are delicate art-neuveau curlicues made from silver. These are not sculptures, they’re plants from a different form of life - the mineral life that grows deep below the earths veins on a geological timescale. Most are somewhat tarnished by now, and several have moss or lichen growing on them.
Harvesting the Filigree is a relatively simple matter. Just dig them up and wipe the dirt off. Together, they’re worth about the same as 100 silver coins, multiplied by the area’s depth.

Glass Tubes
The location is criss-crossed with dark tubes that weave in and out of the ground, coil around terrain features and entangle with the vegetation. 
The tubes carry some sort of fluid apparently important to the machinery that keeps this place going. An iridescent fluid, refracting brilliant colours like a peacock feather or oil on water, the consistency of shower-gel. It smells and tastes like absinthe. Get it on your skin and you need to Save vs Magic or else roll for Ynnian Alterations. Drink it, and there’s no save.

Steel Frames

Jutting from the ground here are huge steel girders, big enough to be the structural supports for some weirdly curved skyscraper. Twisted and bent in odd ways, like the hand of god wrung the tower like a towel, and then everything but the girders war removed, leaving only the metal frame.

There’s standing water here, between knee and waist deep. Plants and structures emerge from the water, algae clinging to them by the water-line. It smells stagnant.
Humans need to wade, smaller things to swim. Halve movement speeds.

There has been a fire here. There’s a thin layer of ash on the ground, trees are scorched, vegetation reduced to skeletal charred remains that crumble under your touch.
Structures are weakened. 1-in-6 chance that the charred structure collapses at the worst possible moment if you venture onto/into it.

Everything here is covered in a layer of frost that twinkles in the light. Water has a layer of ice several inches thick. The source of the cold is inexplicable.
1 damage per turn if you linger here, unless you’re warming up by a fire, indoors or wrapped up in cold-weather gear.

Music filters through the area softly. Like droning church organs, whale--song, Theremins attempting Gregorian chants. The source is a set of gold tubes, six inches thick, emerging from the ground, hidden behind greenery.
Listening to the music  promises to grant the listener Ynnian insight., although filtered through synesthetic psychadelia Each turn spent doing nothing but listen allows the listener to ask the GM a single question. The GM rolls a d10 to determine the list of possible answers, and then picks the most appropriate one.
1. Crimson, Violet, Turquoise, Viridian, Azure, Black, White, Grey,
2. Spider, Butterfly, Slug, Wasp, Dragonfly, Maggot, Ant
3. Wind, Rain, Snow, Sunshine, Thunder, Fog, Clouds.
4. Fox, Crow, Horse, Rabbit, Pheasant, Sheep, Mole, Frog
5. Eye, Mouth, Finger, Foot, Neck, Hand, Leg
6. Gold, Silver, Bronze, Iron, Lead, Chrome, Steel
7. King, Queen, Castle, Bishop, Knight, Pawn
8. Swords, Wands, Coins, Cups, Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, Clubs
9. Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Wood, Metal
10. Poet, Soldier, Thief, Farmer, Princess, Priest, Witch, Hangman, Moneylender

This whole location is inside a single giant glasshouse. The climate is slightly warmer and more humid than normal, it’s misty and stifling. You’re protected from outside sources.

Sidhe Skeletons
The skeletons of some of the sidhe, d4 of them.
A sidhe’s bones are made of perfect alabaster. Each bone is thin and delicate; a thigh-hone is the width of a human finger, ribs are wire-thin., the skull no thicker than cardboard. The creature’s frame is taller than a human. The proportions are perfectly symmetrical. Even in death, the bones scattered and fell into patterns that are aesthetically balanced.
To a collector, each bone in the sidhe’s skeleton is worth an average of ten gold. There are 250 bones in the body.

Clockwork Parts
The structures here (be they fences, buildings, trees or the floor) have clockwork built into them. The wheels and gears turn slowly, producing ta steady polyrhythmic ticking.

The whole location is upside-down; it is built and grows on the ceiling  over a yawning abyss.  Trees grow downw, with roots in place of branches, grass hangs limply.
The abyss has no visible bottom, it just fades into mist. Fall in, and you’re just gone. The trip is one way, there is no return. Flying will stop you falling in, but won’t save you once you’ve fallen; the pull of the abyss is too strong, it’s like being dragged underwater by a riptide.
Maybe you can cling to the trees and other structures here, if there are any. Otherwise, you need to navigate by hanging onto plants, roots and other bits of garden, like doing monkey-bars. It’s perfectly safe as nothing goes wrong. However, something might go wrong if:
à You take damage.
à You make an attack.
à You try to ‘run’ or otherwise move fast.
à Something surprises you.
à You need to use both hands for a task.
Add up the total of your Strength, Dexterity and Constitution. This value is your grip. Every time something might go wrong, roll a d20., and deduct the result from your grip. Deduct any damage you suffer from the total as well. When your grip hits 0, you fall. There’s a round for you to be caught before it’s too late, and after that you’ve dropped off the gardens and into the abyss.
If a full exploration turn passes without your grip worsening, it resets to its starting value.
Using specialist climbing gear, magic or similar might increase your grip strength, at the GM’s discretion.
You can’t Go Deeper without crossing the location, but you can Go Back to where you just came from.

Like an Inverted location, this one is suspended over the yawning abyss. The location is made up of floating islands of turf and concrete that hang suspended in mid-air, unmoving.
There are no bridges between the islands. Maybe you can jump, or put your own bridge across.
Falling into the abyss is just like in Inverted locations or Cliff Gardens. You have 1 round to rescue yourself or be rescued, and then you’re gone forever.
You can’t Go Deeper without crossing the location, but you can Go Back to where you just came from.

This location is split into sections by chasms leading to the yawning abyss.  Huge cracks in the ground lead to the misty nowhere that seems to lie beneath the Gardens. The chasms are wide enough to jump across, most of the time. Unless something goes wrong.
If you fall in, you have a round to rescue yourself or be rescued, as ever.
There could be a whole other world at the bottom of the misty abyss. Perhaps it is wonderful down there. Nobody knows for sure ; nobody ever comes  back.

This location wants to eat you. The loam itself is hungry.
It can’t see, but it can dimly hear and senses vibrations. If you make much noise or cause much vibration in the ground, it will try to take a bite. A mouth - made of loam and clay but with white ivory teeth - opens up by the victim’s feet.
Roll to hit at +0 to see if the attack hits (bonuses for shields don’t count here). A hit deals d12 damage and clamps the mouth onto the character’s body. It chews for d12 damage each round thereafter until the character either dies (and is swallowed) or pulls free.
Causing a mouth pain causes it to let go of whatever’s in it. Anything that causes 5 or more damage in one go will do this, as will anything spicy (like horseradish or chilli), any fire, or particularly pointy things  (like caltrops). The mouth spits out whatever’s in it, and seals up to resemble blank turf once more.
Any number of mouths can try eating people at once, but only one mouth per person. If you aren’t on the ground (up a tree or on a fence for example), the mouths can’t get you.
Speaking doesn’t trigger a mouth, but walking might and running, fighting or other strenuous activity certainly does. Walking carefully has a 50% chance to provoke a mouth. Thieves and other stealthy characters get their normal chance at stealth as an extra save to avoid attracting the mouths no matter what they’re doing, so long as they try to do so stealthily.

This section of garden has all the plants made of meat, bone and gristle rather than vegetable matter.
Trees are pillars of bone, with rib-like or hand-like  branches and leaves that are flaps of red skin.  Grass is instead long strips of soft flesh like on the inside of the throat. Flowers made of delicately folded mucus-membranes sit on the end of cartilage stems. Here and there, an eyeball peers out of the soil, blinking placidly, or  set of fleshy fingers grasps at your ankles.
It smells like an abattoir or a hospital. The meat is all edible, if you cook it, but even then eating it causes you to roll for Ynnian Alterations.

There’s a subtle mental-field over this location. The location feels nice. Like you belong here naturally. Leaving would be wrong.
Each turn spent here heals 1 point of damage. If your attributes have been damaged, they can be healed in the same way. It’s comfortable and your pain is soothed while you’re here.
When you leave, that feels wrong. When you leave, you lose any healing you gained here. The damage comes right back. On top of that, you take  d10 damage to Charisma from just how harrowing the experience is.
GM’s, don’t spring the loss of healing and charisma damage on your players unexpectedly. When they first mention leaving the location, tell them what the consequences of leaving will be, and let them agonize over what to do.