Evil trees are a staple of fantasy, from Old Man Willow in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to the ominous forest of Walt Disney's Snow White. There's just something intimidating about an ancient, gnarled "widowmaker" of a tree. Go to Comment
Renik seems a decently conceived villainous ganglord, but he didn't feel very credible to me. I suspect that Renik's world is a lot more "cosmopolitan" than some fantasy worlds, much like the way that 1st Edition AD&D Greyhawk was presented.
Details that I would have liked to see expanded include the following:
Renik is a half-elf. Are people of mixed descent common in the city?
What sort of adventurers were his parents? Are we talking about great heroes or ruthless tomb robbers?
Apparently, Renik's the sort of charming sociopath that casually uses those around him: While charm and deception work for a while in romantic dealings, such a man's reputation will eventually catch up with him. The idea of his being the most eligible bachelor in the city seems hard to swallow.
How does he treat those around him? A kingpin of the local criminal world, he may have a lot of power, but does he actually trust anyone?
Who are his enemies, and what are they doing to undermine him? Go to Comment
The Spiffy Sorcerer’s Stovepipe of Serpent Summoning
First devised by a sharply-dressed mage who wanted to ensure that his well-groomed apprentices would not fall asleep while on duty, this elegant headgear resembles a tall hat appropriate for evening wear. In good light, one can make out the traditional stars, moons, and astrological signs associated with magician’s headgear.
These elegant hats have two enchantments placed upon them: The first prevents the wearer from removing it for more than a few moments. While the hat’s wearer is able to easily remove it to bow to a passing gentlewoman, for instance, he will find it magically leaps back onto his head a few seconds later. A convoluted phrase in ancient Sallvian will temporarily disable this curse, enabling the wearer to take the hat off.
The more powerful ability of these strange hats is the power to summon serpents. Whenever someone wearing one of these hats begins to fall asleep, an annoyed snake is summoned within the hat. These snakes may linger for several minutes, which generally brings the wearer to full alertness. The snake’s size and species appear to be randomly chosen, but poisonous specimens appear to be rare. Go to Comment
Several decades ago, an unusual form of headgear became briefly popular among students at several of the continent’s universities. Crafted from the skins of the vicious black-furred “Troll Rats” that infest the cities every summer, these stuffed hats resemble nothing more that a heap of rats perched haphazardly upon the students’ heads. Worn with long, striped scarves, they soon became symbols for the arrogant and unscholarly students that attended the land’s great centres of learning. While no self-respecting student would normally be caught dead in such an unfashionable item today, they have become iconic among players and entertainers portraying dissolute students. Go to Comment
This warm hat of brightly-colored striped wool is knitted with fuzzy ear flaps, several small, dangling pom-poms, and sturdy cords for tying it under the wearer’s chin. It also has a pair of solid moose antlers firmly attached to it. The antlers are not particularly large for their kind, weighing only 8 pounds, and are covered with downy fuzz.
Those donning the Antlered Adornment of Anglerune (and tying the cords under their chin) will activate its unusual enchantment: The hat’s cumbersome antlers will attach themselves to the wearer’s head and his (or her) skull and neck will thicken and reshape itself to handle the shock of using the antlers in combat. While the hat grants no special skill at using the antlers in combat, regular practice quickly brings proficiency, even as the constant shocks to the brain shave off IQ points.
According to legends about the hat and its antlered creator, Anglerune Elkskull, continual use will eventually cause the changes to become permanent, causing the wearer’s head to grow antlers of his own. Few wearers have been so enamored of the hat that they wanted to test the theory, but such antlers are supposedly needed if one hopes to craft another such magical item. Go to Comment
No, make it subtly addictive... Even away from the desert, the denizens of the Tunis wastes wear their hats, dripping coolant wherever they go. They feel strangely ill and uncomfortable without them, but couldn't exactly say why. Go to Comment
In a few of the more conservative cities of the continent, professional courtesans or other women of ill-repute are required by the local sumptuary laws to wear hennin-styled hats while in public. These pointed hats are similar to the classic “princess” hats of medieval paintings. While the statute is widely flouted by those courtesans whose noble patrons shelter them from the attentions of the authorities, the more common prostitutes will never be seen without the required hat.
Unfortunately, these hats bear a distinct resemblance to the hats traditionally worn by wizards, witches, and some dwarves and gnomes. Visitors that wear such headgear may find themselves the subject of some extremely strange rumors. Go to Comment
She is an amusing NPC and clearly presented, not an easy thing to do with someone as "layered" as she is. Tachyon Alice is particularly Shadowrun specific, as presented, but she hits all the Shadowrun "buttons"...
"A jacker"... cynical, tough, and fantastic. Go to Comment
On the isolated isle of Harp Rock, the ancient liche Dalan Bahngrin continues the magical researches that occupied him while he was alive. Not a seeker of worldly power, nor of wealth, the ancient undead labors patiently at his endless magical studies. He prefers the solitude and privacy to be found on the storm-tossed island, where no man disturbs him. Occasionally, however, the undead magus requires something from the lands of men. His needs may be as modest as a few drams of quicksilver or as elaborate as a score of expendable slaves, but he prefers to fetch items from the mainland himself, rather than send the undead servants that attend his few needs on the island.
Dalan Bahngrin’s vessel is a decayed wreck, drawn from the briny mire and enmeshed in a field of magical power. A sickly reddish glow of unnatural magic plays over its hull. The ancient barque’s sails long gone, phosphorescent sheets of ectoplasmic residue flicker in their place. Phantoms of the ancient crew haul upon the lines and shout commands with voices that can barely be heard by the living.
The villagers that work the sea know that master of the burning ship will not be gainsaid. Whatever his demands, however strange or unreasonable, they must be obeyed, for his anger is as terrible as is his chilling visage. He offers gold and jewels to those who serve him well, but few accept, for all men know that to accept the gifts of the dead draws a man closer to death itself. Go to Comment
I particularly like the prospect of demons cursed with lycanthropy and bound to serve their Howler Demon tormentors: That'll rattle jaded players!
The Howlers are a good idea, but could use some more information: How do they differ from big werewolves? What demonic features do they carry? How long does their lycanthropy take to set in? What is their tie to the moon and how does it impact them? This alternate origin for werewolves has a lot of appeal.
There are a few errors in your text that you will want to eliminate. Go to Comment
Don't remove Sid from the post, just abbreviate his section and add a link to his sub.
Once the idea "leaked" to other mages, the idea of bags of holding that could be accessed other ways would become a subject of aggressive magical research, so there might be a number of other mages trying to investigate the properties of Sid's bags.
"I checked to see if it tied in to the extradimensional creature known as 'the Devourer', but came up blank. Nonetheless, there is something odd about those bags," said the magus... Go to Comment
Like the others, I want more about the ever-stylish Augustus Sardius Rex III! The extradimensional pockets themselves aren't as interesting as their creator. While some more information about the capabilities and limitations of the pockets would be good, I'd like to see them lead off a scroll of fashionable magical apparel. After all, why should today's adventurers be deprived of Everclean material and Dragon Proof (tm) robes? Go to Comment