I'm digging Ngama Ngama. She's sort of a meta-demon, which is cool. Maybe I'll write a meta-demon next.
Ngama Ngama is definitely an African name, too, which implies an interesting story without telling it. Was she promoted from Africa duty to the New World? Or demoted? It must have been in the Aztecs heyday. Maybe she was hell's ambassador, to teach them all the different summons they would need when they were desperate. And when Cortez came a knocking, you got a lot of desperate Aztecs.
The fact that Hell reassigned an African devil instead of creating one perfectly suited to the job also speaks volumes. Go to Comment
He has many names. He usually picks whatever name he thinks will be most appealing to you. Sometimes that name is James.
You don't summon James. He appears to his enemies. Devil-hunters, clergy, and those who are thinking about thinking about betraying Hell.
He appears as whatever type of person he thinks is most soothing or trustworthy. Maybe a bearded old professor type, with ruddy cheeks and laugh lines around the mouth. Kind eyes twinkle above a faded sweater. He might have a warm laugh and smell faintly of cinnamon.
He will approach you in a public space and start a conversation. Something innocuous. After a minute, he might introduce the subject of devils. Probably to your surprise.
James is an apologist. He makes no attempt to disguise the facts. Yes, he knows you are hunting devils. He knows this because he is one of the devils you are hunting. He's here to talk, if you're willing to listen.
If you're in a restaurant, he'll apologize and say he lost his wallet. Could you buy him a cup of coffee? This creates the illusion of normalcy and weakness, as well as the small social contract of indebtedness. If you refuse, he'll just order a glass of water, but only after he confirms with the waitress that there is no charge.
He might cough a few times. Just to be clear that you are not dealing with any sort of soul-sucking, skull-crushing hellspawn. He'll apologize about that, too.
And then James will ask you questions. How much do you know about hell? Do you know about the ancient contracts Hell has with this world? Do you know what humanity would stand to lose if all devilry were wiped from the world with a single blow? Do you know how many times Hell has saved the Earth from oblivion? Hell depends on Earth just as much as the opposite is true.
The Devils don't give humans anything the humans don't ask for. It's a lot of effort to learn the summons, and a lot of conviction to actually perform some of them. The little girl that had her parents killed? She always had that power. She knew where her dad's gun was kept. Hell didn't drive her to that. All Hell does is facilitate human nature. If you want to eliminate evil, look next door, not under your feet.
James can tell if you are being swayed by his arguments, or if you are resistant to the idea completely. He might visit again, if he feels that your might be more receptive next time.
If you attack him, he'll bleed and appear to die as easily as a normal human. This of course, is completely false. Only with the most drastic of measures can you see the small, nebulous thing that slips away after the false body falls to the ground.
It's tough to estimate what sort of demon James is, simply because you never see more than a friendly face and a corpse, but just think of this: He has survived countless encounters with people who would destroy a demon in an instant if they could. Some of these people have destroyed many demons, and many of them have dedicated themselves entirely to that purpose. What sort of power or subtlety must he possess to elude these deadly foes so completely?
These are the same questions that other demons ask themselves. James scares the shit out them. Go to Comment
(1) I feel like this should be focused on the Spousey elements of an NPC. There are already other NPC generators out there. Most DMs already have a favorite. I would focus on what a spouse generator can do that other random tables haven't already done. Looks and (especially) Fertility are off to a good start, but it'd be cool to see Love, Faithfulness, Cultural Similarity, Age Difference, mabye Family Cohesion, etc. Maybe you could wrangle stuff in there like Trust or Loyalty, but I'd rather just base on Love and Faithfulness.
(2) If a 6 in Fertility = a sure thing, that means that there are a lot of couples that don't have any kids. If this is pseudo-medieval setting, that's probably too low.
Cultural Similarity (d12): 1 = married a person from a far away place that doesn't even speak your language, 12 = married your cousin from across the street. Maybe 5/6 could be husband/wife marrying below their status.
I'd say Fertility (d10-2) = number of children a middle aged couple has had. A roll of 1 = one of them is barren, 2 = childless by choice. Modify by age category so that teenagers don't have 8 kids (although they could have, like, four? Maybe?) Adjust for childhood mortality if you want to be cynical.
I'd say Love (d8): 1 = outright hatred, 2 = dislike, 4/5 = Love is one-sided (Husband/wife), 7 = honeymoon phase, 8 marital bliss. Adjust for age, if you want to be cynical.
MORE LIKE THE RING OF THE EPIC BADASS! I can think of like, 28374 uses for this thing. So can everyone, I'm sure.
The bit about it being loose is sort of awkward though. If it's meant to balance the potentially game-breaking power of the ring, my players would just tie it to their fingers or something. If I used this, I'd make it an activation power, so the PC wouldn't be immune to all traps forever. Or a pair of rings. NO! A giant helmet that looks like a loaf of bread with rocketman fins on the top or a giant eagle face or something.
Damn, that's cool!
P.S. I feel like this is the perfect use of the 100-word submission concept. Just a great little idea, stripped down and presented in its most usable form. Go to Comment
Is it called "The Conqueror Worm" by Richard Corben? I'd never heard of it, but it looks pretty awesome. Dark Horse makes good stuff. I think I might buy it. Thank you for waving that morsel under my nose. Go to Comment
82. Village was destroyed by a giant mammoth-centaur that called his or her name at the time. 83. Once met the Prince of All Cats, and received his blessing. 84. Is the evil twin. Has killed the good twin. Or was that vice versa? 85. Has anterograde amnesia. Cannot remember anything that happened after being struck by lightning. 86. Is being possessed by a friendly ghost. 87. Is being possessed by a friendly ghost from the future. Has difficulty not revealing the future. 88. Due to an ancient, failed resurrection scheme, is actually a genetic clone of an ancient, evil wizard. 89. Gay and out. 90. Transgendered but it's a secret. 91. Bisexual and NOT a nymphomaniac. Actually sorta vanilla between the sheets. Serial monogamist. 92. Dragosexual. 93. Training forever for a contest they've already lost. Kinda sad, really. 94. Pretends to be single. Has a crazy spouse living in the attic. 95. Has a fetish for a culture across the globe. Dress, speech, manners. Think of an otaku prince in Camelot. 96. Militant athiest. Makes fun of clerics. Suffers from several curses bestowed by disgruntled clerics. 97. Addicted to licking toads. 98. Owns a sacred scroll of kung fu. Trains daily. Looks for opportunities to use. Fails consistently. 99. Older sibling jealous of younger, perfect sibling, who is the savior of the world according to prophecy. 100. Terrified of lists. If a ruler, they will outlaw them at the first opportunity. Go to Comment
It's a site that that does exactly that. You enter all the details, and then anyone can click a button and generate a result in an eyeblink. This becomes more useful the more die rolls are required. Go to Comment
82. Once met a god in the guise of an old man/woman. Truth or hallucination. Either way, very religious.
83. Is from an ancient bloodline of Very Bad People. Trying make up for family name. Or are they?
84. Is prophesied to kill one parent and marry the other (a la Oedipus).
85. Crippled best friend in a moment of jealousy. Has regretted it every since.
86. Gave up birthright in order to experience poverty.
87. Anterograde amnesia from traumatic event. Cannot form new memories. Still thinks they're 21.
88. Holds to the key to a locked city, sealed away because of a plague.
89. Gay/bisexual/queer and proud of it. Despised by the major religion & fundamentalists everywhere.
90. Is the evil twin. Has killed the good twin. Or was that vice versa? No one is sure.
91. Despite being a good, honest person, was recently prophesied to destroy the world. Conflicted.
92. Has assumed power under a lie. Maybe a bastard impersonating another sibling.
93. Spent 40 years asleep as a result of a poison/curse. Might be aged or unaged, whichever is cooler.
94. Has sailed farther than almost anyone else. Tells unbelievable stories. (Think Marco Polo).
95. Has a fetish for a different culture. Dress, speech, manners. Think of an otaku prince in Camelot.
96. Militant atheist. Makes fun of clerics. Suffers from several curses bestowed by disgruntled clerics.
97. Killed the last unicorn.
98. Is part of a hostage exchange between warring royalty. If killed under any circumstances, war results.
99. Pretending to be insane while planning to murder man who has married mother.
100. loves one of the "bad guys". Think Romeo and Juliet. (But maybe dwarves and elves or something) Go to Comment
I like the idea of a grenade that blows up emotions. And that the cure is also emotional. That's what sets this apart from being, say, just another anti-love potion. Because SURPRISE: grenade! Go to Comment
@Dozus: Well, for starters, a brothel is full of whores. The people inside are usually a lot friendlier, too. I guess you just have to ask.
And thanks, I'm glad you liked Garashino. The were-sharks are there just to contrast with the elegant veneer of the city--to put some teeth beneath the silk, and show that there are worse things in Garashino than bank fraud and embezzling. Also to give the sub something somewhat unexpected. I know what you mean, though. They're a dissonant chord, but they also show what you'll find if you snoop around the hidden parts of the city (depending on which rumor is true). Go to Comment
The PCs are setting up camp at the end of their first day of walking through the Esh-Inel Mountains, when they hear in the distance a low rumbling, like thunder. It grows progressively louder until it echoes off the mountainous bowls around them, then dies away again. At its worst the ground starts trembling. It happens every day at this time, and it is the noise of the Great Carts on the dwarfish underways returning home after a day mining, laden with many tons of ore.