Category Archives: Hubris Campaign Setting

New Hubris Class- The Klind Exile (Race as Class) and a New Hubris Video Review

hubris-cover

A New Video

Ben Milton has just released a video review of Hubris for those who are curious about it and want more info!  A very heartfelt thanks to Ben (and all others) for the kind words and praise for Hubris!

DriveThru link here!

A New Class

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Hubris specific class post.  When I was writing the Klind enemies, I had envisioned an exile type class, but cut it due to the book already being fucking huge and I wanted to move it forward.

Here it is!

The Klind Exile

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Behold the hideous Klind (art by Jeremy Duncan)

Here’s the PDF: The Klind Exile

You hail from the Blighted Sands (Hubris, pg 60) from the Klind Empire.  Your people worship the Serpentine God of Depravity, Set (Hubris, pg 211) and you hail from his lineage.  You are no priest of Set (Hubris, pg 304), but your face is snake-like, your body sculpted and lithe, your long arms end in slender lengthened fingers, almost like spider legs.

You are considered unnatural by your people.  You were born with the ability to use a gift that is not yours, rivaling those of the Sex Prophets or the Flesh Weavers.  You are feared and shunned by your people, hated and persecuted.

You have struggled for years, living in brutal conditions, surviving off the scraps you can find.  Well no more.  You have killed one considered your “better” and stolen their Bio-Organic Armor (Hubris, pg 304) and have left Klind to forge a better life.

Servants of the Empire hunt you, wishing to wipe your existence from the world of Hubris.  You can never stop; you can never rest.  You have no people you can call your own. You are forever alone; forever exiled.

 

 

Hit Points: 1d8

 

Weapon Training: A Klind Exile is trained in the use of bolas*, crossbow, dagger, dart, hand crossbow*, kukri, shortbow, short sword, throwing knives, and spiked chain*. Klind Exiles tend to wear light or no armor as it impedes their ability to invoke passion or weave flesh (see below).  Their bio-organic armor does not affect their roll.
*Weapons in the Hubris campaign setting (see equipment, pg 54).

 

Alignment: The very essence of the Klind and of Set is suffused with chaos.  While you may be exiled from your people, the chaos courses through your veins.

 

Lithe and Agile: Klind are lithe and agile creatures, full of grace and ease.  All Agility-based tests (not attacks) and Reflex saves are rolled one step higher on the die ladder.  Klind Exiles also have the Move Silently and Backstab skill of a Thief (DCC, pg 38) of equal level and alignment.

 

Ample Survivor: A Klind Exile has learned to survive on their wits and ability to be quick with a blade.  When fighting with simple blades (i.e., throwing blades, daggers, and the kukri), the Klind Exile is treated as if they have a 16 in Agility for the purpose of two-weapon fighting (DCC, pg 94).  The Klind is quick to act, when fighting with this type of weapon they add their Luck modifier (if positive) to their Initiative roll).

 

Claws: A Klind retractable razor-sharp claws that deal 1d6 damage. A Klind is never considered unarmed.

 

Abhorrent Creature: You have somehow have been blessed, or cursed, depending on your point of view, with a small amount of ability to use the alluring abilities of the Sex Prophet (Hubris, pg 302) or weave the flesh of others, same as the Klind Flesh Weavers (Hubris, pg 303).  This is seen as an affront to the will of Set and the hierarchy of the Klind themselves.

 

A player makes this choice at first level.  Once made it cannot be undone.

 

The Prophet: A Klind Exile that has the ability of the Prophet can summon forth intense emotions of passion and lust in those around them.  The Klind Exile must roll a 1d20+Personality Modifier+Klind Exile level and consult the able below.

 

Waves of Passion
1 Lost, failure, and gain a haggard, disgusting appearance (i.e., moles, lanky, fragile hair, liver spots, hunched over, etc.) for 24 hours.  All Personality rolls are made two steps lower on the die ladder for the duration.
2-11 Lost.  Failure.
12-13 A touched target must succeed a Will save (DC 8+ Klind Exile level) or become overcome with emotions of passion and lust.  They are unable to concentrate and suffer -2 to all attacks and save rolls for 1d3 rounds.  Those that critically fail their save fall to the ground and are helpless for double the duration.
14-15 A touched target must succeed a Will save (DC 8+ Klind Exile level) or become overcome with emotions of passion and lust.  They are unable to concentrate and make all attacks and save rolls one step lower on the die ladder for 1d6 rounds.  Those that critically fail their save fall to the ground and are helpless for double the duration.
16-17 You release a wave of passion and lust in a 5’ radius.  Any in the area must succeed a Will save (DC 8+ Klind Exile level) or become overcome by the emotions.  They are unable to concentrate and make all attacks and save rolls one step lower on the die ladder for 1d6 rounds.   Those that critically fail their save fall to the ground and are helpless for double the duration.
18-19 You release a wave of passion and lust in a 10’ radius.  Any in the area must succeed a Will save (DC 8+ Klind Exile level) or become overcome by the emotions.  They are unable to concentrate and make all attacks and save rolls one step lower on the die ladder for 1d6 rounds.  Each target affected heals you for 1 HP.  You cannot go over your maximum hit points.  Those that critically fail their save fall to the ground and are helpless for double the duration.
20-21 You release a wave of passion and lust in a 15’ radius.  Any in the area must succeed a Will save (DC 8+ Klind Exile level) or become overcome by the emotions.  They are unable to concentrate and make all attacks and save rolls one step lower on the die ladder for 2d8 rounds.  Each target affected heals you for 1 HP.  You cannot go over your maximum.   Those that critically fail their save fall to the ground and are helpless for double the duration and heal you for 2 HP.
22+ You release a wave of passion and lust in a 30’ radius.  Any in the area must succeed a Will save (DC 8+ Klind Exile level) or become overcome by the emotions.  They are unable to concentrate and make all attacks and save rolls one step lower on the die ladder for 2d8 rounds.  Each target affected heals you for 1 HP.  You cannot go over your maximum.   Those that critically fail their save fall to the ground and are helpless for double the duration and heal you for 2 HP.

 

 

The Weaver: A Klind Exile that has the ability of the Weaver is able to manipulate the flesh of others to horrifying effect.   The Klind Exile must roll a 1d20+Personality Modifier+Klind Exile level and consult the able below.

 

Flesh Meld
1 Lost, failure, your flesh melts, taking on a waxy, plagued appearance (as if you’ve been scarred from a bad burn).  You suffer a permanent -1 to Personality for each occurrence.
2-11 Lost.  Failure.
12-13 You can touch a target causing their eyes and mouth to stretch, making it extremely difficult to see or speak.  They suffer -2 to notice rolls, ranged attacks, and persuasion rolls.  This lasts for 1d3 rounds.  The target is allowed a Fort save (DC 8+Klind Exile’s level) to avoid this.
14-15 You can touch a target, causing their flesh to become rubbery and painful, often forming bubbling boils, and hanging off the body. On a failed save the target suffers –3 to all rolls.   This effect lasts for 1d4 rounds.  The target is allowed a Fort save (DC 8+Klind Exile’s level) to avoid this.
16-17 You can cause the flesh of up to two targets in a 10’ radius to become rubbery and painful, often forming bubbling boils, and hanging off the body. On a failed save the target rolls all physical rolls one step lower on the die ladder. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to your level.  The targets are allowed a Fort save (DC 8+Klind Exile’s level) to avoid this.
18-19 You are able to cause the flesh of one target within 15’ to meld together. Their legs fuse together and their hands become large balls of blistered flesh. They must make a DC 12 Agility test or fall prone. Their movement is reduced to 10’. They drop whatever items they are holding and are unable to use their hands. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your level.  The target is allowed a Fort save (DC 8+Klind Exile’s level) to avoid this.
20-21 You are able to cause the flesh of two targets to meld together.  The targets can be no further than 20’ away from you.  Their legs fuse together and their hands become large balls of blistered flesh. They must make a DC 14 Agility test or fall prone. Their movement is reduced to 10’. They drop whatever items they are holding and are unable to use their hands. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to your level.  The targets are allowed a Fort save (DC 8+Klind Exile’s level) to avoid this.
22+ You can touch the target and shape their flesh in minute detail.  You can cause the target’s
eyeballs to seal, nose and mouth to become covered with skin growth, etc. A target can last a number of rounds equal to their Stamina score before needing to make a DC 16 Fort save. A failed save means the target has died from suffocation. The player can come up with other amusing situations and the Judge and the player can discuss the outcome.  This last for a number of rounds equal to your level.  The target is allowed a Fort save (DC 8+Klind Exile’s level) to avoid this.

 

 

Damaged Bio-Organic Armor (Type I): You stole another Klinds bio-organic armor before fleeing your homeland.  In the scuffle to relieve the Klind of their armor, it was damaged and cannot be repaired.  The armor grants +3 to AC, suffers -0 to check penalty and has a d8 Fumble Die.

 

When taking damage, make a Luck roll.  If successful, you ignore 1 point of damage (even magical).  At night when sleeping in your armor, make a Luck roll.  If successful, the armor heals you, restoring 1 HP per hour.  While in the suit you do not need to consume more than 2 cups of water every 8 hours.  You can see in low-light in a 30’ radius, and can breathe in a sandstorm up to 1 hour.

 

Hunted: You are a mistake that should be cleansed from Hubris.  A small detachment of Klind is attempting to track you to bring you back to Klind, so you may be sacrificed on the altar to Set.  Even if you kill the ones after you, you know there will always be more.  This is your curse to bare.

 

 

 

Klind Exile Table
Level Attack Crit Die/Table Action Die Ref Fort Will
1 +0 1d10/II 1d20 +1 +1 +0
2 +1 1d12/II 1d20 +1 +1 +0
3 +2 1d14/II 1d20 +2 +1 +1
4 +2 1d16/II 1d20 +2 +2 +1
5 +3 1d20/II 1d20 +3 +2 +1
6 +4 1d24/II 1d20+1d14 +4 +2 +2
7 +4 1d30/II 1d20+1d16 +4 +3 +2
8 +5 1d30+2/II 1d20+1d20 +5 +3 +2
9 +5 1d30+4/II 1d20+1d20 +5 +3 +3
10 +6 D130+6/II 1d20+1d20 +6 +4 +3

 

 

 

Starting Gold
2d12 3d12+500 3d12+2,000

 

 

 

Class Damage

 

This is the damage a Klind Exile does if the group is using the optional damage rules outlined in Hubris, pg 50.

 

Klind Exile Class Damage
Light Medium Heavy
1d4 1d6 1d6

 

 

 

Info on the Klind

 

Taken from Hubris, pg 66.

 

The Klind are a race of humanoids devoted to their serpentine god, Set. They seek to dominate Hubris and bring all into Set’s fold, either through conquest, corruption, or as a suitable sacrifice.
For over 300 years the Klind have schemed, fought, and plagued Hubris. Most people of Hubris have only heard of the Klind whispered as frightening tales, from the safety of their homes or taverns. The true visage of a Klind, armored in their bio-organic suits, with bizarre and dangerous weapons, marching ceaselessly across the territories of Hubris in search of slaves and sacrifices is not something that can be accurately captured in story.
The capital of the empire is built around the Great Ziggurat of Depravity where sacrifices of the pitiful and unworthy are made to satiate the hunger of Set. The Venomous Red Scales are the elite guard to the High Priest of Set. These terrifying warriors police the streets, gather those suitable for sacrifice, and carry out the High Priest’s wishes. While risky and dangerous, outsiders still come to Klind to trade or search for treasures in the Blighted Sands.

 


Hubris Session 3- Exploring Undra the Great Spire

It’s been awhile since we’ve continued our monthly Hubris game as we took three sessions to playtest the first draft of my first Hubris module.   The playtest was quite a bit of fun and the group had a great time fighting orcs on a train!

Aside: Hubris PDF and POD here.

Players

Angie- Human Thistle Druid- level 1.  Named Ageo.

Nate- Avarian Trickster- level 1.  Named Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch.

Tyler- Mutant (squishy, oddly-shaped body, flamingo legs, and ant colony in his veins that he can release once per day as an attack)- level 1.  Named “Ant” Squishy.

Jamie- Human Cleric  (follower of Set)- level 1.  Named Spike.

Not Present This Session

Kevin- Human Thief- level 1.  Named Herr Schmierkase (means cottage cheese in German)

Emma- Half Demon- level 1

Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1.  Named Willow

Strolling Through the Grand Bazaar

I decided to draw a picture of how I saw Undra in my mind to help orient the players.  I have MAD art skillz.

IMG_3160

We kicked off our session this session with the group standing on the first level of the Grand Bazaar, taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells.  The group decided that the first priority was to figure out what the scroll found on the body of the beastmen they killed last session said.  They debated just going to the top level of Undra and turning over the piece of paper to the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun, but figured they wouldn’t be able to find out what it means.

They decided to mill around the bazaar and see if anyone could translate the document, or at least recommend someone who could.

IMG_3159

Example layout of the Grand Bazaar

Spike, cleric of Set, noticed an ancient looking woman in drab clothing making exquisite sculptures.  He recognized her necklace (that of an open book) as the holy symbol of the God of the Terrible Whisper.  Spike approached the old woman and struck up a conversation with her.

Mama

“I’m actually only 40 years old!”

Spike and the old woman talked about the fickle love of their gods- Spire referring to the serpentine-like scars over his eyes for gaining Set’s disapproval.  The old woman laughed and showed him the start of a clubbed/deformed hand and said, “I have angered my god many times…  I am actually only 40 years old!”

Spike began inquiring about a sculpture on a shelf behind the old woman; it was of the Four Gorgons of Desire- four female humanoid bodies all merging together onto one serpentine body.  Spike noticed the same elegant script as found on the letter.

The woman looked at a piece of paper and read the translation, “Beware the serpents, for all wait in the dark, ready to strike.”

Spike asked if she was able to translate the language.

“No.  I do not know it.”

“Where might we get something translated?”

She coughed and spat a large phlegm ball, “Go to Junk Town.  Top level.  You’ll find a dilapidated library for the God of the Terrible Whisper.  Inside you’ll find The Watcher.  You’ll know him when you see him.  He can help you.”

The group thanked her for her time, tipped her some copper pieces and went on their way.

Ageo, the Thistle Druid, tried to haggle with an old hag for some healing potions, but instead was offered a thick bubbling black liquid that the woman claimed to be rejuvenating potions.  Ageo asked what they did.

“Why they keep you alive silly girl!  Would you believe that I am 190 years old?!  And I’m a HUMAN!”

Witch

Ageo got the hell out of dodge and the group decided it was time to venture down into Junk Town.

The group took the elevators down to the top level of Junk Town and were amazed by the amount of clutter, refuse, and junk piled in the area.  Large tubes poked through the ceiling, dumping garbage at a steady stream.  Some tubes went through the level, disappearing into the floor to drop their contents on another level of Junk Town.

Ant Squishy used his hound dog ability to see if he could detect any nearby mutants.  After a few seconds he felt four mutants nearby.  He walked up to the first one- a lithe cloaked female and attempted to strike up a conversation.

“Do you know where the Watcher is?”

“Wwwhhhat do you want with meeeee?”

The woman turned and revealed a slender serpentine face, extremely long arms with spider leg-like fingers.  She was filthy and looked hungry.

The group talked to her for a few minutes, eventually she said they needed to go on a sky bridge to another district.  There they would find the library they were seeking.

Serpent

Ageo gave her four copper pieces for the info and the group turned to leave.  I had Angie make a Luck roll- she failed.  Unfortunately, other hungry scavengers in the area noticed Ageo’s generosity and decided to take the coins from the woman.

The group turned and told the group of men to leave the woman be.  The braggarts, no doubt bolstered by their numbers, decided it would be a good idea to mug the party instead.  With the distraction, the woman disappeared into the junk piles.

Crimshaw decided to transform from his Avarian form into a human one.  Bones snapped and popped, poking through his flesh, as mucus-like fluid oozed from his flesh.  All the bandits were horrified and nauseated at this sight.  Ageo pulled out her bone spear and gutted the first thug while Ant Squishy released his ant horde on a thug.  Spike channeled the wrath of Set and bellowed “Bow!” and pointed his finger down.  Three of the four remaining thugs did so.  The fourth made a run for it, disappearing around a large pile of junk.  With a final shriek, the man being attacked by Ant Squishy’s ants died.  The group made their way towards the land bridge, while Ageo stayed behind to completely castrate all the other men so they would think twice about their actions against women.

IMG_3158

Sample map for Junk Town

Aside: I’m taking a page of Vornheim’s book on generating city territory as needed.  I wanted to have a sample floor ready for my players to explore Junk Town.  What I decided for Undra is that some floors wouldn’t be completely delved out into a cavernous hollow.  Instead they would be delved into large “rooms.”  So I created a chart (see below) that would tell me what the shape of the room is.  Then simply connect them via passages or sky bridges.  

District Shape
Roll 1d6 Result
1 Triangle
2 Square
3 Circle
4 Rectangle
5 Diamond
6 Pentagon

The group made their way into the next district and found the library in the distance.  The group entered the old building, which was a large pillar of rocked connecting the floor to the ceiling of the district.  Inside was a monk of the God of the Terrible Whisper, sorting through books that were still in decent conditions from those that needed repair and replacement.

Spike asked after the Watcher.  The monk was hesitant to give out such info, but a few coins for the cause of repairing such important books, loosened his tongue.  “Go through this archway to the central chamber.  There you’ll find many of my order repairing these books.  The Watcher is in there.”

I then asked each of the group to create a quick story based on an emotional aspect (I used my Bonds thinger).  I gave them a few minutes and then asked them for their story.

The group made their way into a large central room, torches in brackets with eeirie cool blue light illuminating the area.  Several monks bent over desks scribbling away, repairing books.  In the far end of the room, the light faded, but a large shape could be seen.

The group entered the room and then the sound of heavy pages being flipped filled the room.  A soft, but strong voice began speaking.  It summarized a challenging time for Ant Squishy, where is arrogance nearly cost him everything… Then it spoke of the alienating feeling Ageo has with others, not sure they understand the importance of nature and its balance… Crimshaw caused the death of a comrade due to his greed and (at the time) lack of skills… and finally Spike was worried about not being worth of Set and that his god would abandon him, or worse, punish him…  All the while, the pages kept flipping.  The figure stood, massive, and covered in shadow.  The figure began walking towards the group, the sound of heavy bare feet slapping against the rock floor.

Coming into the light was The Watcher.

Monster 11

“All these stories are in the annuals of time… One simply has to know where to read.  What do you need of me?”

And that’s where we left off.  It was a fun (albeit short) session.  We will be playing again at the end of May.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the players interact with The Watcher and more delving into Junk Town.

The group is torn between staying in Undra and finding work and coins (i.e., hunting beastmen, picking up other odd jobs, etc), getting the scroll translated by The Watcher (or someone else), or saying screw all and packing up and heading to Razar in the Unsettled Expanse (because several in the group wants to go hunt fucking dinosaurs!).


Hubris Review Round Up!

Occupations

Entrails Reader and Conspiracy Theorist Occupations by David Lewis Johnson

For older review click here, here, and here.

Aside: If you’re interested in DIY RPG Productions apparel, you can find that here!

Hubris has been out for a couple months now, both PDF and POD and a few more reviews have come out in that time.  If you’re still on the fence about nabbing Hubris, these may answer some of your questions about the setting.  Here are a few questions answered here.

Edit: I’m a total jerk and forgot to include Christopher Helton’s great review of Hubris!  I am a bad person.

Murder Machine 1

Murder Machine Action shot by Jeremy Duncan

Erik Tenkar has done a piece on the book.  Here’s a snippet, “I’ve reviewed part of this book and it is simply amazing. Solid 5 star reviews on RPGNow”.

Sophia Brandt did a great review of the book not too long ago.

Noism did a mini review of the book over at Monsters and Manuals.

Canyons of the Howling Red Rock

Canyons of the Howling Red Rock with a Red Colossus by Angie Groves

And finally two new reviews have popped up on Drivethru/RPG Now.

One be a Derek H

In addition to all the previous reviews there is one high point for Hubris- it may have the best section on gods found within all Dungeon Crawl Classics supplements. Other sources provide plenty of wizard patrons and few have paid any attention to clerics and their gods. Hubris not only provides some new examples of the divine, it adds a new spell-like mechanic for calling directly upon them for a miracle. Another high point is the few pages devoted to wizard spell books and how they reflect their master and their master’s patron, if any.

This setting skeleton is just about perfect for a DIY Judge who wants ideas and generators rather than concrete examples. It isn’t a six star product, but it does deserve a five.

And here is another review by an anonymous reviewer:

I suck at writing reviews. I keep trying to start and other than saying “This book is amazing” I struggle to put the words together to express my opinions. Usually because I don’t think I’m critical enough of a product. There’s no way, for example, that a book can be this good…no offense intended to Mike Evans, but nothing is perfect, there are always areas to improve…especially when you’re talking about a monster tome the size of Hubris, and also a company’s first product release? Come on. I’m sure there was tons that could have been done better with Santa is Dead, but I have the luxury of that product not getting scrutinized year round and being viewed through the lens of a christmas farce (although it’s truly anything but, thanks to the amazing talents of Evey Lockhart and team).

But there is nothing bad I can say about Hubris, other than maybe I want more out of it, but I’ve no time to play it. That’s not Mike’s fault though, that’s my own…so even that isn’t a problem with the product in any way, shape, or form.

This is a hefty book that you need to physically have at the table. Not because you need to flip back and forth and reference it constantly, but because you’ll want to. You’ll want to turn to a random page and pull out a detail and use it. You’ll want to throw your players into the middle of this world and set them loose upon a place that yearns to destroy them…no, to change them, to warp them until they are as twisted and infected by the cruelty that permeates this massive landscape.

There are terrible things here, wonderful in their awfulness, and this place begs to be explored in its entirety. Which may be an impossible task; but you’ll find yourself coming back to it again and again, as I have, looking for inspiration.

I just wish I had something critical to say. Maybe when I’ve finally run it, and finished it, and can say “There wasn’t enough in this book”, but I honestly doubt that will happen.

Which is a shame, because if the bar is set this high by Mike Evans, what hope do I have of putting out something better?

Impheadfinal

Even the demon imps that kill your character and eat eyeballs have a good time in Hubris!  Art by Wayne Snyder


Hubris Print on Demand is Now Available! As is New DIY RPG Productions Apparel Page

hubris-cover

HUUUUBRRIIIIISSSSSS!

Hubris is FINALLY out on POD on both Drivethru and Lulu (although Lulu is softcover only)!  I am thrilled the Hubris is finally out and done!

I want to thank everyone for their excitement, support, and interest in my book!  This project has taken six years of my life to write, but it was a fun challenge and I’ve learned quite a large amount about creating RPG books, project managing, etc.

This isn’t the end for Hubris by any means.  I currently have a 3rd level adventure in playtesting that will be released this year (hopefully) as well as a supplement in the future.  Also, there are other DIY RPG Productions works coming out this year and next.

I’ve also created a DIY RPG Productions Apparel page if anyone wants to buy a t-shirt, coffee mug, etc.!


Cthulhu- Invoke the Name Mechanics for Hubris and DCC

The other day I did a blog post about Illithids and how I would run them in my Hubris campaign (or DCC in general).

I wanted to create Invoke the Name rules (found in Hubris: A Visceral World of Adventure).  The basic jist is once per day a cleric can speak the name of their god, channeling immense power with just that one word.  The cleric rolls 1d20+Personality Modifier+level and consults the table.

cthulhu

Behold the Great Cthulhu

 

Here’s the PDF version: cthulhu-invoke-the-name

cthulhu-invoke-the-name-page-1

 

invoke-the-name-1

A person loses their mind from the terrible corrupting power of Cthulhu

cthulhu-invoke-the-name-page-2

 

idol

The holy symbol for a Cleric of Cthulhu


Thoughts on Illithids for Dungeon Crawl Classics and Hubris

 

Cody Mazza asked if I would post a Discussion of the Day over on G+ about Mindflayers (he also did a blog post about them).  There are many good comments about how people handle them, but it got me thinking about what I would do if I inserted Illithids into my Hubris (or a Dungeon Crawl Classics) game.

Illithids

mind-flayer

I think of Illithids as beings from the native plane that worshiped Chaos (were they elves that fell too far down the well in their magical experimentation, were they humans that dabbled with powers no human should meddle with or are they a long-forgotten race now obliterated from history?).  In their pursuit and devotion of Chaos, they broke through the barrier and touched it.  These beings tapped into this unlimited power (perhaps even leaving the native plane for thousands of years) and harnessed it, learning dark and nefarious secrets of the cosmos.  This grand knowledge and power came with a terrible price, however.  By feasting on Chaos, their bodies were altered, becoming vile, twisted, and evil.

Thus the Illithid was born.

Illithids are Chaos junkies.  They feast on it.  Without it they are nothing, reduced to a weakened pathetic creature.  Going too long without feasting on Chaos will permanently reduce an Illithid into a Husk.

Through their exploration of Chaos, the Illithids touched the consciousness of the great Cthulhu and were cowed, becoming devoted servants of this great being.

Illithids feast on humanoid brains because they lack a sense of self.  They have hideous intelligence, but without the sense of self, they become apathetic and listless.  When an Illithid consumes the brains of a target, their personality reemerges and they become motivated and devious.  An Illithid also gains all knowledge and memories of their victim while full from their “feast”.  An Illithid usually consumes one humanoid brain every two weeks, but can go up to a month before they begin to succumb to the ravages of starvation.

Illithids are corruptors.  Everything they touch becomes slimy, covered in stringy bits of ectoplasm and sticky mucous.  Spend too long in the company of an Illithid and this corrupting influence will begin to manifest physically and mentally on an individual.  Slaves of Illithids often lose their minds within a few short weeks and eventually become loyal thralls to their masters.

ood

An Illithis Slave: once a human, now a monster

They have no fashion, instead wearing cobbled together clothing they find in ancient armories or taken from their victims.  Somehow this cobbled together aesthetic gives the illusion of fashion to the Illithids eneimes.

Illithid’s are covetous and easily jealous of the belongings and achievements of others.  This is reflected in their society.  Illithids constantly scheme, backstab, and attempt to thwart one another in an attempt to gain power, notoriety, and knowledge.  There is only one way to climb the ladder in Illithid society: murder.

Illithids are cunning and rarely attack head on, instead using trickery, illusions, slaves, or beasts in their stead.  However, should an Illithid attack, they are not to be underestimated.  They are powerful spell casters and have the ability to blast a target with psychic energy, stunning and disorientating them.

Illithid

mind-flayer2

Decide whether the Illithid is an Arcane or Divine caster.

Divine casters are worshippers of Cthulhu and use clerical spells and add a Cthulhu-style bend to them them.

Consider the rank you want for the Illithid and consult the tables below.

Illithid Statistics by Rank

Rank

HD AC Initiative Attack Modifier Action Die Fort Reflex Will Claws Damage Target DCs for Special Attacks
1 1-2 9-13 +1 +1 to +3 1d20 +1 +2 +4 1d3 8-12
2 3-5 10-14 +3 +3 to +6 1d20 +2 +4 +6 1d4 12-14
3 5-7 13-16 +5 +5 to +10 1d24 +4 +6 +9 1d6 14-18
4 7-10 15-20 +7 +8 to +15 2d20 +5 +7 +9 1d8 18-20
5 10-20 17-22 +10 +12 to +18 2d24 +7 +9 +13 2d6

22-24

 

 

Illithid Rank

Abilities

1 Low-light vision 30’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+2 check)
2 Low-light vision 50’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+5 check)
3 Low-light vision 60’, darkvision 30’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+7 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 1 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 2-3 HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.  Targets of 4+ HD are immune to this effect.
4 Low-light vision 80’, darkvision 50’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+12 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 2 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 3-4 HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.  Targets of 5+ HD are immune to this effect.
5 Low-light vision 120’, darkvision 60’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+18 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 4 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 5+ HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.

 

 

Illithid Caster

Rank Arcane Spell Level Arcane Spells Known Cleric Spell Level Divine Spells Known
1 2 3 1 4
2 3 6 2 7
3 4 9 3 10
4 5 12 4 12
5 5 16 5 14

 

 

Illithid Rank Immunities
1 Half damage from non-magical weapons
2 Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 2 HD or less.
3 Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 3HD or less.
4 Immune to weapons of +2 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures 4 HD or less.
5 Immune to weapons of +3 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures 5 HD or less.

 

 

Illithid Mindblast
Check Result Effect
1 Mindblown.  Roll 1d8: Headache- 1-5) stunned for 1d5 rounds; 6) Hemorrhage- suffer 2d6 damage; 7) Migraine- fall unconscious for 1d8 hours; 8) Scanner- Brain explodes.  Killed instantly.
2-11 Mind-numb.  Can’t use ability again for 1 hour.
12-13 The Illithid blasts a target within 30’ with psychic energy for 3d6 damage.  Target can make a Will save for half damage.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 2d5 rounds.
14-15 The Illithid blasts a target within 60’ with psychic energy for 3d6 damage and stunned for 1d4 rounds.  Target can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 2d4 rounds.
16-17 The Illithid blasts a target within 90’ with psychic energy for 5d6 damage and stunned for 1d4 rounds.  Target can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d8 rounds.
18-19 The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 5d6 damage and stunned for 2d3 rounds or blast two targets within 5’ of one another for 3d6 damage and stunning them for 1d4 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d6 rounds.
20-21 The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 6d6 damage and stunned for 2d5 rounds or blast two targets within 10’ of one another for 4d6 damage and stunning them for 2d3 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d5 rounds.
22+ The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 7d6 damage and stunned for 3d3 rounds or blast three targets within 15’ of one another for 4d6 damage and stunning them for 2d3 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d3 rounds.

 


Battling Beastmen and Arrival at Undra, the Great Spire- Hubris Season 2

This week my group and I continued our adventures in Hubris.

Players

Angie- Human Thistle Druid- level 1.  Named Ageo.

Nate- Avarian Trickster- level 1.  Named Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch.

Tyler- Mutant (squishy, oddly-shaped body, flamingo legs, and ant colony in his veins that he can release once per day as an attack)- level 1.  Named “Ant” Squishy.

Kevin- Human Thief- level 1.  Named Herr Schmierkase (means cottage cheese in German)

Jamie- Human Cleric  (follower of Set)- level 1.  Named Spike.

Not Present This Session

Emma- Half Demon- level 1

Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1.  Named Willow

Aside: Art pictured is from the Hubris campaign setting unless indicated in the caption.

labeled-map

We began the session by recapping Herr Schmierkase‘s failed scouting attempt on a fort occupied by vicious beastmen, being discovered, and then the group running pell mell away (watch the video below), finally losing them, and hiding and making camp.

Battle!

The session stared with the group continuing to make their way to Undra, when the sounds of combat greeted their ears.  The group decided to do some recon before charging into battle.

Ageo used her Animal Shape ability to transform into a hawk.  She rolled her manifestation and rolled a four.  Every time she uses this ability, roots shoot up from the ground burrow into her flesh, tearing it away.  Globs of clear liquid oozed from the wounds, as her skin fell away, falling loosely to the ground, revealing a hawk.

Ageo soared into the sky and saw twelve beastmen attacking a band of humans.  Bodies littered the ground, a cart was overturned, and only six men were left fighting. Ageo sped back to the ground, transformed back into her normal form, and relayed the information to the group.

The group got close to the battle and observed the humans being overwhelmed and slaughtered.  Five beastmen resembled anthropomorphic hyenas and one was human-shaped with the head of a fly and large wings on its back.  This one had a wicked-looking halberd and was sucking the brains of a man with its pseudotrachea.

Herr Schmierkase used his thiefy ability to sneak up on an unsuspecting beastman and fire a crossbow bolt through his head, blowing the creature’s brains out.

Spike, a worshiper of Set, attempted to sneak up on a beastman that was gnawing on a dead humans leg failed miserably and was attacked by the creature.  Jame was viciously stabbed by the creature and its comrade, dropping to zero HP before combat even really began.

With Spike getting the group discovered, battle ensued and was pretty brutal. Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch was attacked by the fly beastman, nearly gutting him with his halberd and put him at 1 HP remaining while Ageo and “Ant” Squishy were dropped below 3/4 of their HP.

The combination of attacks from the group and human NPCs eventually overwhelmed the beastmen and they were slaughtered.

A health potion was used on Spike to revive him as well as Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch and “Ant” Squishy.  After regaining his senses, Spike prayed to Set for the blessing of healing to restore Ageo to full health.

While the group caught a breath and the human survivors looked over their dead and righted their toppled cart, “Ant” Squishy set to looting the bodies.  A few pouches of gold, silver, and copper, some wicked-looking jagged short swords, the badass halberd, and a crumpled rolled up parchment were taken from the bodies.

The parchment was unrolled, revealing an elegantly written script that none of the group immediately recognized.  Atop the scroll was a strange image (see below). Crimshaw of the 7th Clutchlooked over the script and, while he was  unable to read it, he recognized the language.  It was an ancient language used by a cult, the Black Serpent.  He had heard the cult had been spreading throughout northern Hubris and was known for its reverence of snakes, but he heard rumors it got its start on the southern continent.

medusa

The Mark of the Four Gorgons- Not from Hubris

New Allies

Wandering up from the group of humans was a bald man with a braided beard and wearing a black leather skirt.  He introduced himself as Fabian, the leader of the band.  He thanked them for their help, for surely they would have been killed by the Beastmen.  The group accepted the thanks, and showed Fabian the scroll.

Fabian spit on the ground at the sight of the image atop the page.  “That is the symbol of the Four Gorgons of Desire!  They are hideous creatures that rule from Xynath, the Shattered Keep.  The keep used to be a monastery for the monks and priests of the God of the Terrible Whisper, but the Four Gorgons and their beastmen overran it, slaughtered everyone inside, and have used it as a stronghold ever since.  They lay siege to the human territories of Undra, slaughtering us wherever they find us.”

gorgons

The Four Gorgons of Desire- art by David Lewis Johnson

The group agreed to travel with the remaining humans to Undra.  Fabian presented Ageo with a small sack as way of thanks for their help in saving their lives.  Within the sack was 50 gold, some torches, a smoke bomb, a glue flask, and a small metal ball, much like a cannon ball, and a metal crown (constructed of the same metal).

Fabian pointed at the metal objects, “We found the crown and ball on a skeleton in the Unsettled Expanse, near the Metallic Fortress of End Times.  Closest we ever got to that place.  We’re not sure what it does, or if it is even magical.  Figured you may have more luck with it.”

Ageo tried it on, forgetting that to wear anything metal is to cut herself off from nature.  She felt her powers leave her (heh… she’ll remember not to do that anymore- which got me no small amounts of dirty looks from my wife).

Undra, the Great Spire

The group could see the  massive 2,000′ high boulder even from a distance.  As they got closer, they were awed by this wonder.  Patios, bridges, ladders, windows, and outcroppings were all delved into the outside of the boulder.

The group funneled through a shanty town of settlers outside the spire.  Tents, rickety wooden structures, and hovels lined the road.  A large gate barred access to the recesses of Undra, several guards moved through the crowds, collecting taxes, inspecting goods, moving beggars along.  The guards were wearing leather skirts with golden leather breast plates, an emblem of a sun setting behind the canyons on it, and a helmet with a black crest on top.  They were armed with shields, short swords, and a short spear.

guard

The Royal Guard of the Setting Sun.  Elite soldiers of Undra.  Picture not in Hubris

 

As the group made it to the gate, they were greeted by a Praetorian.  His armor was similar to the other guards, but his helmet was gold with a red crest.  After exchanging greetings and asking their business in the Great Spire, the group poked Fabian to explain what happened and how they all met.

The Praetorian was highly impressed that the group risked themselves for strangers.  He waived the 5g each entry fee to the spire and allowed them to pass. “Ant” Squishy asked where the group should go in this monstrous city.  “Take the lift up to the 249th floor of the spire.  That is the start of the Grand Bazaar.  You’ll find any supplies you need.  You’ll also be able to find someone to translate that scroll for you.  If you’re looking for work, head to the top level and visit the headquarters of my order, the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun.  We are always looking for brave souls willing to fight against the beastmen.

The group bid the Praetorian farewell and boarded the lift.  The smell of sweat, refuse, and sounds of daily toil were found on the first levels.  Insufficient lighting made it impossible to see very far.  As the group rose higher, the smell of garbage still hung in the air, but torches and lanterns could be seen delved into the lift’s walls, and outside on the inhabited area.  Fabian pointed at an area, “that’s Junk Town.  Shady lot lives there.  Won’t find anything good with those rabble.  Elevator doesn’t even stop on these floors.  You have to crawl down from the higher floors.”

The lift slowly continues to go up and torches and lanterns become more prevalent.  Eventually the group starts seeing glowing orbs on the wall, like little bits of sun.  The group begins seeing large delved structures and houses.  It is clear that these are the residences of nobles and the wealthy.  After a long ride up, the sounds of garbled noise of thousands of voices echoes through the elevator shaft.  The lift stops and the group sees a huge reflective pool in front of them, the ceiling magically enchanted look as if it were the sky (a gorgeous blue) with the sun high above.  People are swimming.  Tents and structures of every kind, some dilapidated and poor, others extravagant with bright vibrant canvas, or delved into the walls.  Other vendors built atop of one another.  The group starred at this huge market. Fabian chuckled, “Welcome first timers, to the Grand Bazaar.

We ended here and gave out experience.  The group (most of them) are just under halfway to level 2 (and they are chomping at the bit for that).

It was a fun session, albeit short (only two hours).

Before we parted I asked the group what they wanted to do next session.  Here was the vote:

  • Explore the Bazaar.
  • Investigating Four Gorgons of Desire and get scroll translated.
  • Resupply.
  • Gain info on Unsettled Expanse and see if its somewhere worth going.
  • Root around Junk Town.  See if there is some fun (and profit) to be had there.

Info on Undra (from Hubris, pg 84)

The metropolis of Undra has been a work in progress for millennia, with artisans constantly delving out and shaping the monstrous 2,000’ high boulder in which the city was created. Most citizens of Undra do not know the history of when their great city was founded, nor do any of those who live throughout Hubris. That information is carefully guarded in the secret Halls of the Imprisoned Queen, which lies in the depths of the earth, below the very foundries and base of the city.

The warm weather of Undra is more hospitable and welcoming than the other areas of Hubris, allowing people to wear light flowing robes or togas, rather than bulky clothing for warmth.

The Grand Bazaar makes up roughly one quarter of Undra, almost reaching the top echelon of the spire. The bazaar sells almost anything one can imagine from around the world, and some things, merchants have even claimed, from worlds beyond.

The top level of Undra is home to the nobles, the Offices of the High Merchant who oversees the Grand Bazaar, the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun, and the Palace of the Searing Sun, where Queen Valandria rules her court. The people of Undra consider her a goddess of the sun as she is always first and last to be touched by its warmth on Hubris.

The poor live on the lower levels, mostly in Junk Town. These vagrants, lowlifes, and ne’er-do-wells sell illegal and discarded objects that they find in the refuse heaps that gather in their areas.

Undra has been at war with the Four Gorgons and their beastmen armies for 5 years.

indigo_populations

This is not in Hubris.  I found this piece when I first started the concept phase/flushing out Hubris and it really inspired me to create a massive city.  Undra was the result.