Fever-Induced Ideas

Though Gen Con was awesome, I now have the worst Con Crud ever.

A surprising number of people have told me they’ve enjoyed my flu- and fatigue-induced ramblings over the years, and wanted me to go ahead and write something in this state. Mostly I don’t have the energy – a few quick posts are actually still tiring right now – but with a fresh dose of Dayquil and some bouillon in my system I can make a quick run at some stream-of-semi-consciousness ideas. These are undeveloped and (basically) unedited.

The Spell Warrens – An ancient labyrinth that is actually the fallen spellbook of a dead god or titan. Its corridors and passages are literally the letters of the forgotten deity’s spells. Walking them evokes some of that ancient magic, so the Fireball Chambers are well-known for creating fiery apparitions (fire elementals and fire-themed haunts), and the Shield Halls create force shields that may protect someone for days, or may crush them or suffocate them.
Despite being centuries old and having no living creatures within, the Spell Warrens remain popular adventuring destination. Spellcasters occasionally find walking the dangerous corridors gives them powerful insights into lost magics, and non-casters are occasionally gifted with sorcerous ability. And legend claims there are “secret pages” no one has ever found, containing spells known only to the gods themselves…

Necrovirus — A sentient, undead disease. It spreads like the flu, keeps its hosts alive for a few days to infect more people, and forms a hivemind with itself as it spreads to more bodies. So yes, being bitten by a zombie turns you into a zombie eventually, but that’s not the REAL threat. OTOH, it is also a disease that can infect and destroy other undead, so if a bargain can be struck with it…

Vapor Golem — created with magic bellows, pressurized jars, and wind tunnels shaped into sigils, it’s a golem of gasses, most likely poisons gaseous, that is to an air elemental as a stone golem is to an earth elemental.

Expedition to the Peak Barriers – An adventure for a hard sci-fi campaign that finds an enormous stone structure floating in deep space. The object prevents accurate observations of a star at the edge of the galaxy, and is thus known as the Peak Barrier. This turns out to be a pocket dimension created by a sorcerer from another reality long ago. The sci-fi PCs get to deal with weird fantasy defenses and creatures left over, as well as legendary technologies from precursor civilizations that also sent expeditions here, though none ever returned.

Undead Wood – Wagons and ships made of planks from undead trees, that can move themselves. Mortwood, or black oak, or something.

Rod of Ordinariness – A magic device that can cause any one of 100 or so typical, uninteresting effects. Like cooling nearby beverages, saying “fuck” in 20 different languages, or making bland meals salty. It cycles through these powers at a regular and predictable rate.

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on August 7, 2015, in Game Design and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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