Monthly Archives: April 2016

Tarnation Bestiary – Gulchers

Gulchers are a form of undead for the Guns of Tarnation Microsetting. You can use this description for any appropriate undead, most likely ghouls, ghasts, and minor vampires.

Gulchers are undead that appear to be gaunt, dirty, badly-tended humans, often dressed in patched and worn prairie clothing, though they can also have the appearance of drovers, gunfolk, miners, merchants, gunfolk, and native people can also become gulchers. Most have sallow skin, yellowed, crooked teeth, stringy hair, and sullen or bloodshot eyes. A few appear jaundiced.

Gulchers are most often normal people who went through a time of despair, tribulation, hunger, and pestilence, and died. But they didn’t notice. Things had been so bad, for so long, than dying would be a relief, and gulchers just don’t expect anything to get better.

As long as a gulcher is unaware it has become an undead, it goes about the dreary and colorless motions of living a life. It eats, if food is available, lies in bed and doesn’t realize it never sleeps, sucks down duststorms and doesn’t realize it should choke. In this state, the gulcher doesn’t detect as a black hat and isn’t affected by powers that only effect undead, but it also isn’t immune to fear and emotion effects, and takes the penalties for being shaken at all times (though this is more a dreary lack of verve than true fear).

All this changes if the gulcher is made aware of its state. The easiest way to do this is to deal piercing or slashing damage to it – gulchers have thick, black blood and realize the horrible truth of their state if they see their own tarlike vitae. Evidence of their lifeless existence, lack of food, lack of sleep, and so on, can also be used to convince a gulcher it is no longer living with a DC 15 Diplomacy check. Once it knows that even the peace of the grave is denied it, a gulcher is slowly consumed with a desire to make everyone and everything as pained and hopeless as it’s own existence.

It’s not unknown for entire towns to become gulchers, often during thunderdusts, droughts, and locust plagues. Sometimes one or two take the gray journey, and their desire to cause misery slowly kill off everyone else in town. Othertimes a real bad situation takes out near everyone most all at once. And sometimes, a drakul, ghul, black spirit, or other bigtime black hat decided to take over a town as a base of operation, and intentionally nurses the despair that causes god-fearin’ folk to become the things other folk fear.

In very rare cases, gulchers perform a useful service, such as toiling at a mostly-played out mine that would be pointless for living creatures to port the food and water needed to operate, operating rickety barges on distant rivers with little traffic, or slowly clearing stones from areas that might, in a few decades, be worthwhile farmlands. Of course, these gulchers are also likely to be angered by the sight of anyone doing better than they, and may drown passengers, or dump scorpions into their sleeping blankets.

Akashic Reset #Spelltweets

Akashic Reset, Med 6, Psy 7. As akashic form ()A), but you can only assume the form of how you were last round, only undoing a single round of physical changes.
#Spelltweets are quick, untested new spells created with minor but meaningful changes to existing spells.

Chakra Block #Microfeats

Chakra Block
You can briefly cut off a foe’s access to their own mystic powers.
Prereq: Dex 13, Wis 13, Stunning Fist, Improved Unarmed Strike, ki pool.
Benefit: When you have a chakra open (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures) you may make an unarmed attack that blocks your target’s access to their own chakras, limiting their access to their own mystic powers. You must declare that you are using this feat before you make your attack roll (thus, a failed attack roll ruins the attempt). A foe damaged by your unarmed attack to make a Fortitude saving throw (DC = to the DC to open the highest level chakra you have open), in addition to dealing damage normally. A defender who fails this saving throw is cut off from one power source of your choice – arcane magic, divine magic, psychic magic, or innate magic (supernatural and spell-like abilities) for a number of rounds equal to the number of chakras you have open. Spells and abilities already activated continue to function, but no new spells or abilities drawn from that source can be used by the target for the duration.
This counts against your maximum uses of Stunning Fist for the day.

#Microfeats are quick sketches of rules I am considering for possible use in a 3pp Pathfinder-compatible product, which may be altered, adjusted, or never make it into a final product.