Monday 22 January 2018

Getting Hit By Trains: subway tunnels in Esoteric Enterprises.

Subway tunnels are likely to be  as narrow as the builders can make them. For those with a single track, this is probably means being about ten to twelve feet wide and about as high.  Where there are two or three tracks, the width is doubled or tripled,  but the height stays the same.
Most such tunnels are likely to have concrete walls and ceilings, or brick in the oldest examples. The floor has the familiar metal rails laid on wooden slabs, laid on gravel or shingles. There is no lighting. Every 200 feet or so, there’s a little niche in the walls, allowing maintenance crew to get out of the way of trains as they go past.

Every turn, there’s a 2-in-6 chance for each track that a train comes along. You get a minute’s warning (6 rounds) if you’re listening,  for it, or 30 seconds (3 rounds) if you’re not. The train goes too fast to run away from: one second it’s out of sight, the next it’s hit you.
Getting hit by a train does 3d10 damage at the point of impact, and then d10 damage each round thereafter as you’re dragged along. Getting out from under the train will require something impressive.

In single-track tunnels, the  train pretty much fills the whole  cross-section of the tunnel. You can’t step to the side and shelter against the wall. You don’t get a save to jump out of the way; there’s nowhere to jump to.
If you can get to one of those niches in the wall, you’re safe. At the point that a train is coming, the next niche is d20 x 10 feet away.  At a sprint (combat speed) you might be able to make it there, or you might not. Sprint in the wrong direction, though, and before you get there, the train hits.
You could lie between the rails and hope it passes over you. That probably succeeds. For each section of subway, when the players first try this, roll a d6. On a 1, the model of train that runs on this track doesn’t have enough clearance for lying between the tracks to save you, and instead everybody under there gets hit and dragged along.

For two or three-track subway tunnels, roll a d6 for each to see which tracks have a train on them that turn. If all of them have a train that turn, then all three arrive simultaneously and, as with single-track tunnels, there’s no room to get out of the way. Otherwise, stepping out of the way onto a track without a train on it is a trivial matter.
Just for fun, you might want to randomly determine which direction the train is coming from when it hits you, and so which direction your mangled carcass ends up going in. People being hit by trains in unusual circumstances (such as heavily armed individuals, or ones dressed in weird culty robes) might increase the party’s unwanted attention score by 1, too.

In abandoned subway tunnels, of course, you don’t have to worry about any of this.
Encounters in subway tunnels are incredibly rare: roll once every five turns. Most of what you encounter will be small, incorporeal, or otherwise able to avoid Death By Train. 

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Chronological Aberrations

A monster I made for Esoteric Enterprises. Kind of vicious and hard to deal with unless the party have specific magic or start just throwing their treasure at it as improvised weapons.

Chronological Aberration
This creature has been set a few milliseconds perpendicular to the normal flow of time.  The Aberration is visible only as an empty space that is uncomfortable to concentrate on; without magic it is near-impossible to perceive directly. Where it goes, the flow of time proceeds oddly and in jitters. Clocks nearby go wrong, machinery stutters and glitches up.
When viewed by those likewise outside of the normal flow of time (or to True Sight), it appears as a child-sized blowfly, hanging in the air as if hovering.
It’s not really interested in you, unless you irritate it first.
Chronological Aberration: 6 flesh (6 dice), 4 grit (4 dice). AC 9. Saves 5+. Chronospheric Syphon (+0, d20 years aging). Never gets a save against time-related magic.  Immune to physical damage (including fire, electricity, weapons and most magic) unless that damage is dealt by something made of Gold. 
Gold, due to its lack of corrosion, is unusually time-stable and it interacts with things made of gold as if  were physically present.
It’s mere presence has a 3-in-6 chance to dispel any Permenance-d effect. Likewise, it’s presence has a 1-in-6 chance to dispel a Contingency-d effect and an additional 1-in-6 chance to set the effect off as soon as the encounter starts.
Characters under the effects of
Time Stop can attack it freely, but it can also act in each round that the time stopped character does. If time stop is cast on it,  rather than freezing it in time, the first casting instead brings it into the main time-stream for d4+1 rounds. Characters affected by Hurl Through Time can likewise act against it each round until they pop back into existence, just as if both they and it were present normally.
Characters under the effect of Haste  are outside the time-stream just enough to see and interact with it as if it were physical.
Against those outside the main time-stream, its attacks merely deal d4 damage.
If Senescence or similar is cast on it, it deals 1 damage to flesh for each year the Aberration would be aged.