Saturday, April 20, 2024

What shall we do with a drunken Tarfeather Bird?

TARFEATHER BIRD (#23/31, #114/365) [OOTP IV]

SKILL: 8

STAMINA: 6

ATTACKS: 1

WEAPON: Large Bite or Tarspit (see below)

ARMOUR: Light

DAMAGE MODIFIER: None

HABITAT: Sea, Sea-shore, Caves

NUMBER ENCOUNTERED: 4-24

TYPE: Bird

REACTION: Unfriendly

INTELLIGENCE: Low

The TARFEATHER BIRD, also known as the Oilbird, is a peculiar avian from the islands of the Western Ocean, in particular, Fish Island, Skull Island, the Gorblimey Rocks, Kestrel Island and, of course, Tarfeather Island itself. Here it lives in large colonies, roosting along rocky sea-shores and cliff-caves, while feeding on big fish, caught on the wing out at sea. Thought to be distantly related to the Giant Stormbird of the Eelsea, the Tarfeather Bird is a sizeable creature, well over a metre in height with a four-metre wingspan. It is covered in a thick but drab plumage of dark grey to black feathers that glisten with an oily water-repellent secretion, hence the creature's name.

When attacking, the Tarfeather Bird will lash out with its curved beak, and spit a gobbet of burning pitch, stored in a large throat pouch. Every Attack Round, roll one die; on a roll of 1 or 2, the Tarfeather Bird's opponent has been burnt for a further 1 STAMINA point of damage. This may also cause anything flammable to start burning. It is thought the creature's breath weapon, and its overall appearance are derived from the schools of especially oily fish that it consumes. Regardless, the Chaos Pirates of the Blood Islands in particular appreciate the Tarfeather Bird's attributes and encourage colonies of them to roost near their anchorages and sea forts (which is not difficult given the creature's predilection for sugarcane grog). The noisy birds double as both an alarm system and a deterrent to intruders, and dead birds also find service as useable torches due to their flammable nature. A dead Tarfeather Bird used as a torch in this manner burns twice as brightly as a regular torch and for twice as long, but requires two hands to hold.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Yet More Exotic Plants from the Island of Mishna

(Just finishing up the last few entries from Creatures of Mishna by Benjamin Quinton-Bottley for the Titan Herbal Addendum!)

SLIME ALGAE (#21/30, #112/365) [TTHA]

Appearance: This is a disgusting green slime-like algae that grows in damp mats on cavern walls and floors.
 
Distribution: The Core Caves on the island of Mishna, and possibly similar subterranean locations on other islands of the Black Ocean as well.
 
Effects: Slime Algae is surprisingly edible, once dried out in the sun. A dried mat of Slime Algae counts as one meal's worth of Provisions but only weighs half as much (so someone carrying up to their full allowance of Provisions could carry double that if all Provisions were comprised of Slime Algae mats).
 
Cost: City 5gp, Town 4gp, Village 3gp (per mat)
 
Availability: Common

Further Notes: Slime Algae is the favoured food of Cave Hogs (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 8), and theorized as a possible reason that Cave Hog Steaks taste so good.

SEA LETTUCE (#22/30, #113/365) [TTHA]

Appearance: This is an underwater plant that grows in bunched clumps comprising of ragged translucent light-green leaves.
 
Distribution: Found at the bottom of the coral atolls and seas around the Island of Mishna, and likely other islands in the Black Ocean as well.
 
Effects: Sea Lettuce is considered a food by many underwater denizens, such as Coral Mermaids (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 9), and the Poctopus (see Creatures of Mishna, pp. 13-14). It can also be eaten by land-dwellers but is difficult to harvest and thus rare and expensive. Like Slime Algae (see p. XX), once dried out in the sun, a bunch of Sea Lettuce counts as one meal's worth of Provisions but only weighs half as much (so someone carrying up to their full allowance of Provisions could carry double that if all Provisions were comprised of Sea Lettuce bunches).
 
Cost: City 7gp, Town 4gp, Village 3gp (per bunch)
 
Availability: Rare

Thursday, April 18, 2024

"But I don't want to go on the cart!" "Oh, don't be such a baby!"

CART-DRIVER (#20/30, #111/365) [POT]

SKILL: 6

STAMINA : 9

ATTACKS: 1

WEAPON: See below

ARMOUR: See below

DAMAGE MODIFIER: None

HABITAT: Towns, Plains, Forests, Wilderness, Desert

NUMBER ENCOUNTERED: 1-3

TYPE: Humanoid

REACTION: Friendly-Neutral

INTELLIGENCE: High

CART-DRIVERS perform a vital function in the world of Titan, transporting goods by land via the use of their wheeled vehicles, which may be pushed by themselves or drawn by one or more Draft Animals. They may be carrying trade goods, barrels of ale, or bundles of fresh produce for the market, or just passengers, ferried from one distant destination to another. Given their potential proclivities to roam far and wide, Cart-Drivers are a diverse group of people. To find out what they're like, what vehicle they have, and what it is carrying, roll on the following series of tables.

Die Roll Weapon Type

1 Handaxe

2 Club

3 Whip

4 Blackjack

5 Dagger

6 Shortsword

Die Roll Special Gear

1 Nothing

2 Leather Jack

3 Crossbow

4 Matchlock Blunderbuss

5 Leather Cuirass

6 A nice broad-brimmed hat!

Die Roll Vehicle

1-2 Cart (any 1-2 Draft Animals)

3 Uncovered Wagon (any 1-4 Draft Animals)

4 Covered Wagon (any 1-4 Draft Animals)

5 Coach (only 2-4 Horses or Ponies as Draft Animals)

6 Barrow (no Draft Animal roll required, cannot carry Passengers)

Die Roll Draft Animal (roll or choose depending on Habitat type)

1 Donkey

2 Mule

3 Horse

4 Pony

5 Water Buffalo, Desert Bison or Oxen

6 Camel

Die Roll Vehicle Contents

1 1-6 Passengers (roll again on Habitat type to determine who they are)

2-3 Food or Drink (see Encyclopedia Arcana, pp. 53-54)

4-5 Other trade goods (see Encyclopedia Arcana, p. 72)

6 Illicit Contraband (Roll again ignoring a 6; food, drink or goods are being smuggled, but passengers may be (roll): 1-3 being kidnapped 4-6 travelling in secrecy)

A Cart-Driver can be found in any town or settlement across Titan, as well as on the road through generally favourable terrain such as plains, hills and forests. In drier wilderness and desert areas, mules, donkeys, desert bison and camels will be the primary draft animals used. The land routes of some of the great trading corridors wandering over the three continents are typically thick with Cart-Drivers of all stripes - long merchant caravans, semi-nomadic bands of traders, and lone operators - all hauling cargo from one outpost to another. Particularly famous cart-routes include:

  • Allansia: Salamonis to Zengis, via Fang, Chalice and Stonebridge
  • Allansia: Zengis to Fangthane, via Sardath
  • Old World: Pollua to Royal Lendle, via Chalannabrad and Crystal City
  • Old World: Gummport to Arkleton
  • Khul: Kalagar to Ximoran, via Ashkyos and Djiretta
  • Khul: Tancred's March from Gorak to Kelther, via Kazan

New Special Skill

Handle Vehicle (Movement)

This Special Skill bestows the ability to handle - ride, steer and maintain - a particular class of vehicle, whether on land or sea or in the air. The classes are as follows:

  • Small Boat (e.g. rowing boat).
  • Large Boat (e.g. fishing boat, barge)
  • Ship (e.g. galleon)
  • Cart/Coach/Wagon
  • Chariot
  • Balloon/Airship
Each must be possessed separately before a Hero can fully control the whole range of vehicles, but the Director may allow a modified chance of, say, a Hero skilled in handling a coach being able to handle a chariot in a race or in battle.

New Rules

Vehicles in Advanced Fighting Fantasy

Blacksand provided comprehensive details on different kinds of boats and ships for your Advanced Fighting Fantasy game, and more information is presented below about various sorts of land vehicles that may be used by the Cart-Driver as described above. 

Barrow

VEHICLE STAMINA: 1

VEHICLE WEAPONS: None

VEHICLE ARMOUR: None

Base Movement: 4

Encumbrance: 20 items

CREW: 1 (STAMINA X1/8)

This is a simple cart with one or two wheels that is usually pushed by a single Cart-Driver. It does not generally carry passengers, only goods.

Cart

VEHICLE STAMINA: 2

VEHICLE WEAPONS: None

VEHICLE ARMOUR: None

Base Movement: 6

Encumbrance: 40 items or 1-6 Passengers

CREW: 1-3 (STAMINA X1/4)

This is a two-wheeled vehicle drawn behind one or more Draft Animals, and unsurprisingly perhaps, the most common choice of vehicle for a Cart-Driver.

Coach

VEHICLE STAMINA: 4

VEHICLE WEAPONS: None

VEHICLE ARMOUR: Light

Base Movement: 8

Encumbrance: 30 items or 1-6 Passengers

CREW: 1-3

This is a fast four-wheeled travelling vehicle, usually used for transporting passengers quickly to their destination, but sometimes will carry goods as well. It is usually covered, though some coaches can have removable covers.

Wagon, Uncovered

VEHICLE STAMINA: 3

VEHICLE WEAPONS: None

VEHICLE ARMOUR: None

Base Movement: 6

Encumbrance: 50 items and 1-6 Passengers

CREW: 1-3

This is a large four-wheeled cart, often pulled by several Draft Animals, that can carry a lot of cargo and some Passengers as well.

Wagon, Covered

VEHICLE STAMINA: 4

VEHICLE WEAPONS: None

VEHICLE ARMOUR: Light

Base Movement: 6

Encumbrance: 60 items and 1-6 Passengers

CREW: 1-3

This is a wagon with a cover protecting the contents from the weather. It may be a permanent cover, transforming the wagon into a virtual house on wheels, or a temporary cover that can be removed if needed.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Behold! A means of avoiding parasitic infestation!

The Helmet of Ut-Napishtim (#19/31, #110/365) [EA:V2] (Artefact)

A stout-looking helmet, made of bronze in an archaic design. Ut-Napishtim was a historical figure from southern Irritaria in ancient times, who was called the Keeper of the Waters of Retribution. His helmet has been constructed by a magical being of high potency, and prevents its wearer from being stricken with illness, parasites or disease. Anyone wearing the Helmet of Ut-Napishtim is immune to the attacks of parasitical creatures such as Flesh Grubs, Death Maggots or Brain-eaters. In addition, they are immune to any poison or disease, and any kind of mind attack. They can however be attacked normally in combat with weapons and spells. Legend has it that the helmet lies in the Tomb of Ut-Napishtim, buried somewhere in the vicinity of the Rivers of the Dead on the Eastern Rim of the Inland Sea, and that the crypts there were infested with Acid Balls.

Not available to buy

Monday, April 15, 2024

I am all the Sith! [Orb]

SITH ORB (#18/31, #109/365) [OOTP IV]

SKILL: 10

STAMINA: 10

ATTACKS: 4

WEAPON: Large Claw

ARMOUR: Medium

DAMAGE MODIFIER: +1 to Damage Roll

HABITAT:Dungeons, Ruins, Caves, Towns, Towns (sewers)

NUMBER ENCOUNTERED: 1

TYPE: Monster

REACTION: Hostile

INTELLIGENCE: Average

Life on Titan was created by the gods using the Magical Clay of Throff (see Encyclopedia Arcana: Volume 1, pp. 148-149), and some of the weirder life-forms of Titan appear to be strange leftovers from this process. For example, how else do we explain the profusion of bizarre spherical or globular entities such as Eye Stingers, Diadrones, and Walking Mouths, that resemble nothing else upon Titan? To this list we can add plenty of others, such as the Acid Ball (presented elsewhere in this volume) and the SITH ORB! This terrible beast resembles an armoured sphere, jet black in colour and ferocious of temperament. The Sith Orb floats through the air, levitating at will, and attacking foes by lunging out with up to four claw-tipped tentacular arms. It has a single large blueish purple eye and under this is a slash of a mouth packed with gnashing teeth.

Sith Orbs make excellent guards, requiring minimal sustenance, and are often used to watch over treasure vaults, temples and tombs, especially in the region of the Inland Sea of southern Khul. Here, particularly within the warlike city-state of Kish and its surrounding territories, they are deployed as a last-ditch defence against some of the more rapacious pirates and buccaneers that sail these seas of blood. Despite their name, it is unknown what association the Sith Orb has with the Snake Demon Sith, but the fact the cursed Dead City is nearby to Kish would suggest there may be some link to the Demonic Pit.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

More exotic plants from the distant island of Mishna

(Have enjoyed reading Creatures of Mishna by Benjamin Quinton-Bottley for the database project, and thought I'd stat up some more plants while the memories are still fresh.)

LOST WEED (#14/30, #105/365) [TTHA]

Appearance: This is a creeping water weed, that grows in bunches of green circular leaves.
 
Distribution: Found only in the Lake of the Lost, on the island of Mishna.
 
Effects: Two bunches of Lost Weed can be combined with a chunk of Core Fungi (see p. XX) and a harvested vine from a Monster Plant (see p. XX) to make Rhino Treats (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 20), which can be used to placate and tame both the regular Rhinoceros (see Return to the Pit, p. 154) and the rarer Black Rhino of Mishna (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 20). In addition, Lost Weed itself is a favourite food of the Thorny Frog (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 15), and can be used to tame these creatures as well.
 
Cost: City 3gp, Town 2gp, Village 1gp (per bunch)
 
Availability: Common
 
Further Notes: Lost Weed may be related to River Bloodweed (see The Titan Herbal, p. 57)

CORE FUNGI (#15/30, #106/365) [TTHA]

Appearance: This is a smooth round puffball-like fungus that is usually a pale yellow to bright gold in colour.
 
Distribution: The Core Caves on the island of Mishna, and possibly similar subterranean locations on other islands of the Black Ocean as well.
 
Effects: A chunk of Core Fungi can be combined with two bunches of Lost Weed (see p. XX) and a harvested vine from a Monster Plant (see p. XX) to make Rhino Treats (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 20), which can be used to placate and tame both the regular Rhinoceros (see Return to the Pit, p. 154) and the rarer Black Rhino of Mishna (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 20).
 
Cost: City 5gp, Town 3gp, Village 3gp (per chunk)
 
Availability: Uncommon
 
Further Notes: Core Fungi is sometimes eaten by Cave Hogs (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 8) and may be related to the Giant Puffball (see The Titan Herbal, p. 54). 

GLITTER GRASS (#16/30, #107/365) [TTHA]

Appearance: This is a longish type of grass plant, with pinkish-purple glittering leaves.
 
Distribution: Plains and deserts on the island of Mishna, possibly other islands of the Black Ocean as well.
 
Effects: Glitter Grass is the favoured food of several creatures on this island, such as the Mishnan Unicorn (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 16) and the Uni-Sheep (see Creatures of Mishna, pp. 16-17). A clump of Glitter Grass can be used to attract their attention, and may be offered to make the creature react in a more friendly way towards the holder. It is unknown if Glitter Grass has a similar effect on continental Unicorns (see Beyond the Pit, pp. 148-149) or the Black Unicorn.
 
Cost: City 10gp, Town 15gp, Village 20gp (per clump)
 
Availability: Uncommon
 
Further Notes: Glitter Grass may be related to Sleeping Grass (see The Titan Herbal, p. 60), found elsewhere across Titan, but lacks its soporific effects. 

LAVA SEED (#17/30, #108/365) [TTHA]

Appearance: This is a small glowing red-orange seed, similar to an acorn but smaller in size.
 
Distribution: The lava pits of the active volcano Mount Vona, tallest of the Spine Mountains on the island of Mishna, possibly other volcanic islands of the Black Ocean as well.
 
Effects: The lava pits of Mount Vona have strange magical properties, and one of these is the occasional production of these mysterious seeds, found right at the edge of pools of lava. The Lava Seed (see also Creatures of Mishna, p. 20), inflicts 1-6 STAMINA damage if swallowed, but then causes the swallower's skin to harden like living rock, though it burns to the touch. The imbiber has the equivalent of Heavy Armour, takes no damage from heat or fire, and inflicts 1 STAMINA damage on anyone who hits the swallower with an unarmed or natural attack. The armour lasts for one hour before crumbling away. Given these effects, it is possible that Lava Seeds are somehow involved in the creation of Lava Ogres (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 11).
 
Cost: City 35gp, Town 45gp, Village 55gp (per seed)
 
Availability: Very Rare
 
Further Notes: The Lava Seed is thought to be a component in the crafting of magical Lava Spheres by Dwarven Enchanters.

Friday, April 12, 2024

"Feeeeed me!"

MONSTER PLANT (#13/30, #104/365) [TTHA]

Appearance: This is a bizarre humanoid plant-monster with a bear-like body, a beaked feeding apparatus, six long thorny vines growing from its dorsal surface, and an extended prehensile tail. It is many different shades of green in coloration.
 
Distribution: Jungles on the island of Mishna, possibly other islands of the Black Ocean as well.
 
Effects: The Monster Plant is a type of carnivorous plant creature that uses its vines and tail to pull prey towards its beaked mouth (for more information, see Creatures of Mishna, p. 13). A harvested vine can be combined with Lost Weed (see p. XX) and Core Fungi (see p. XX) to make Rhino Treats (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 20), which can be used to placate and tame both the regular Rhinoceros (see Return to the Pit, p. 154) and the rarer Black Rhino of Mishna (see Creatures of Mishna, p. 20).
 
In addition, the Monster Plant will release a huge cloud of foul-smelling pollen when threatened. This can be collected in sachets and hurled at an opponent in battle. If it hits its target, the victim must lose 1 STAMINA and 2 SKILL points as the pollen confuses their brain and senses, unless they are wearing Nose Filters. The effects of successive pollen strikes are not cumulative, and a good sleep will restore any lost SKILL points.
 
Cost: City 5gp, Town 10gp, Village 15gp (per vine, or sachet of pollen)
 
Availability: Rare
 
Further Notes: The Monster Plant may be related to the similar shambling creature called the Giant Slime Beast (see The Titan Herbal, p. 60), that is native to the swamps of Khul.