Monday 23 December 2019

Secret Santicorn 2019: 2 GLOG CLASSES

I entered the OSR discord secret Santicorn and was drawn Sherlock Hole of The Mimic's Nest. Their request was as follows:
Either a Jazz Bard (if Jazz is your thing) or something steampunk-y for a GLOG game- maybe an aviator class
Now, I don't run GLOG (I am, however, a public shill for its progenitor, Arnold Kemp), nor am I massively into jazz: nonetheless, I thought this would be a fun challenge.

Aesthetically though, I think I'm getting decopunk/ diesel punk vibes... apologies in advance Sherlock, Merry Christmas!


You've seen their type before: always getting described as "handsome" or "dashing" regardless of their gender, in a tight fitting leather aviation suit, complete with goggles and flight cap. You've watched the facility with which they elide from one social situation to another. You've seen all the things that those others have seen, yet you don't swoon nor do you fawn over them; you have, however, seen something different in them... something that could be useful to you...

The classic aviator is something of  an exotic cocktail: part swashbuckler, part pilot, part engineer and part socialite. What holds this weird melange together is their obsession with flight (powered or otherwise), an obsession that borders on the maniacal.

Aviator A:  Up, up and away 1;  a nose for the money
Aviator B:  It's a quick fix but it'll do the trick; random neurosis;
Aviator C:  Up, up and away 2; le grand projet;
Aviator D:  Aviation Overclock; the cracks are showing;

Hit Dice: d6
Starting Equipment: Leather aviation suit (as leather armour), goggles, switchblade, vintage weapon (an antique sabre or pistol from a bygone age)
Skills (d3): Tinker, "noble" (see below), navigation
  • Up, Up and Away 1! You're not just a pilot, you're a damned good one: maybe one of the best, though the old brass at the academy didn't see you that way. Your talent extends not only to aerial manoeuvres in all manner of aircraft (dirigibles, biplanes, gyrocpters) but also in the ability to get any aircraft off the ground, no matter how unfamiliar. Usually this takes 1d4 rounds, though the DM may add additional modifiers for exotic aircraft like saucers or spelljammer ships.
  • A nose for the money: whether it's through your own background among the upper classes or purely through your brazen chutzpah, you are more than comfortable at large social gatherings of the ruling elite. Furthermore, you are able to identify 1d3 of the wealthiest and most credulous individuals (per fifty people present) at such gatherings. How this plays out is down to you and your DM, but usually the aviator uses this talent to raise funds for new aviation projects, much of which ends up getting spent on adventuring...
  • It's a quick fix but it'll do the trick: by gathering random materials you are able to repair any aircraft and get it airborne again in a jiffy. Roll a d12: this is the number of turns you think it will hold itself together, though the DM may decide it conks out 1d4 turns earlier than anticipated. Additionally, you may make impromptu repairs to non-aeronautic mechanical or electronic devices using improvised materials: the quick fix in this case will only last 1d6 rounds.
  • Random Neurosis: Holding all the disparate pieces of yourself together - engineer, pilot, socialite, swashbuckler - requires a great deal of organisation and discipline, and over time this will manifest in one of the following (1d4) neurotic disorders:
    1. Addiction: You are addicted to a substance or activity (it must be physically harmful and/or resource depleting, but otherwise it's up to you) and must indulge that vice regularly (again, you may want to look into addiction rules elsewhere) or be penalised on all rolls (roll at disadvantage, or -4, whichever suits your game)
    2. Obsessive Compulsion: similar to addiction, but you must perform a series of actions (can take up to one turn) whenever changing environments (i.e going from wilderness to dungeon, dungeon to town, water to air etc.) or face similar penalties to the above.
    3. Phobia: You are irrationally afraid of an otherwise innocuous creature (moths, mice, mussels) or object (buttons, bottles, braces) and must save vs spells when coming within 10 feet or be turned as though undead.
    4. Unspecified Social Disorder: You are only able to maintain your normal level of Charisma and social grace for 1d3 hours per day, after which you become withdrawn and irritable, charisma counting as 50% its listed level.
  • Up, Up and Away 2!  You are now so familiar with the principles of aeronautics that your power to pilot anything extends to magical or otherwise non-mechanised aircraft, including flying creatures (assuming they are non-hostile).  Also, you get to re-roll failed flight manoeuvre rolls or something...
  • Le Grand Projet The sky really is the limit when you're an aviator, and this manifests as a desire to make things bigger - and better - than ever before. You have a vision of a new mode of aerial transport, be it more luxurious or more accessible, bigger and better or faster and fleeter: you've seen the future... and it's sea planes. Or hovercraft gyrocpters. Or horizontal take-off helicopters. WHatever it may be, you're sinking 90% of all your treasure into this project.  What this means:
    1. Prior to embarking on any adventure, you possess one new prototype of your experimental vehicle.
    2. This vehicel is subject to the quick fix, but it'll do the trick restrictions above. If  safely landed, it can be repaired as per Quick fix, but will require 1d6 turns to get air-worthy again.
    3. Every time the vehicle is successfully returned home, you improve its airworthiness by 1d12, and may add one additional modification.
    4. You must bring one of your investors with you on each adventure, probably someone you buttered-up using nose for the money. If they don't make it back alive, lose a level as a consequence of the damage to your reputation.
  • Aviation Overclock: To paraphrase the ability of Arnold K's Kludger class: With a round of work, you rig an [functioning aircraft] to operate at a higher level.  [Options include: increase the aircraft's speed by a factor of two; allow it to leave the atmosphere/ land on water/ hover etc. alternatively,] weapons deal double damage, pulleys require half as much force to use.  At the end of each round of use, [the whole aircraft] has a 4-in-6 chance of [catastrophically malfunctioning: engine failure etc.].
  • The Cracks are Showing: Aw man, it is tough at the top. All you really want to do is to be up in the air, breaking new records - not down here on earth, breaking bank accounts and hearts. People are whispering about you, saying that you're losing it... but you'll show them! Hop in the spruce moose and take a flight to crazy town. One of the following effects now apply:
    1. It's a conspiracy I tell you! You believe a particular enemy type (goblins, kobolds, freemasons etc.) is more powerful than they actually are, and that they are actively sabotaging your aviation career. Your DM will provide disinformation concerning that enemy, along with accurate information: it is up to you what you do with it, but your character completely believes it. Just remember: just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you.
    2. Messiah complex/ naughty boy/girl You believe yourself to be the reincarnation of the last messiah . Some think it's just a harmless eccentricity, others actually believe it, but behind the sniggers the establishment might actually be concerned about it. Congratulations! Church Militant (if your campaign world has one) now hates you! Your patrons divide into believers and non-believers, with believers withdrawing funds, but new believers being twice as generous. All future donors are effectively cultists.
    3. They're up there... somewhere! You've seen some crazy shit in your time, but there's one place (pick one: the moon, mars, the elemental plane of dust etc.) that you haven't visited yet. What's more, you believe the residents of this place are speaking to you through your dreams. Henceforth, your grand projet  will be focused on devising an effective means of travelling to said place (rocket boosters, wormholes, extra-planar qunatum jiggery pokery) so you can make contact with its residents and ask them why they speak to you continuously. 
    4. Gremlins Every time your aircraft undergoes some kind of mechanical failure or fails a manoeuvre roll, your character is convinced that it's due to the interference of gremlins, and will abandon piloting the vehicle (another PC must take over) in order to fight them. They will appear real to the aviator but invisible to all other PCs, stats as per goblin but also can cast minor illusion and teleport at will, summon another gremlin at the end of each round, and will teleport away after three rounds of combat. ANy gremlin not directly threatened will attempt to dismantle the aircraft. If all gremlins are killed - and only if all gremlins are killed - the bodies will becomes visible to all the other PCs/
It's a bit of a mess, and most of the abilities are more... campaign oriented than actionable at a tactical level (I apologise for this, got caught up in the concept) but hope you can find something gameable amongst the mire of misery, Sherlock!


Who doesn't love bards? And everybody loves jazz... it's a winning combination!
The concept for this bard was provided by Lexi's GLOG bard over at A Blasted, Cratered Land. In short, Lexi's bards are sonic wizards, possessing music dice instead of magic dice. You should probably get your head round Lexi's post before reading any further.

Like the aviator, the jazz bard is a bit of a hodge-podge, at least in terms of aesthetics: while the aviator would be very at home in the jazz age, the most iconic jazz bards would be more congruous with the 40s and 50s than the 1920s (I'm thinking Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davies, Thelonius Monk, Charles Mingus rather than Artie Shaw and Louis Armstrong), but the diesel punk church is broad, and covers a multitude of sins, so enjoy it.

Jazz Bard A:  Jazz Music is Magic Marmite , virtuoso, 2 music dice,  1 standard,
Jazz Bard B:  +1 standard. +1 music dice, improvise, That Cat is High
Jazz Bard C:  +1 standard. +1 music dice, The Ghost of Smoky Joe
Jazz Bard D:  +1 standard. +1 music dice, Epic Solo

Hit Dice: d6
Starting Equipment: A sharp suit (+1 to reaction rolls if clean, -1 when worn for more than one week) and a killer instrument in a well-worn case. A cudgel, switchblade, or set of brass knuckles for self defence. A pack of smokes and a flask of whisky.
Skills (d3): Perform (instrument/vocal), streetwise,

  • Jazz Music is Magic Marmite as per music is magic, with the following caveat: unless the victims opinions about jazz are already apparent, there is a 50% chance they will really hate jazz and the music's magic will have the reverse effect to that intended.
  • Virtuoso You're not just a good musician, you're an outstanding musician. Though  commoners are unlikely to distinguish between you and a busker, the trained ear recognises your virtuosity.  You should decide what instrument you use. (in game terms, you automatically learn any magic song upon hearing it, though you will play it back in jazz form, suffering the same penalties as above). You start knowing 2 songs from any genre but also...
  • Jazz Standard you choose any standard - a more intense version of the bard song - from the list below. Please note: you know all the standards already, but as a virtuoso, you are only willing to perform them in public once you have mastered them, which is achieved by levelling up. Killing goblins makes you good at the trumpet, didn't you know that?
  • Music dice you have two music dice, which function a little like magic dice, and receive an additional die at each level.
  • Improvise the ability to improvise is the mark of any great jazz musician, but by second level you have taken it to hitherto unexplored levels. By expending additional music dice, you may perform the following magical jazz effects when performing:
    • Change of flavour: you can modulate the key or change tempo to produce additional effects with your song or standard after playing for one round, producing a music is magic effect over the top of your existing musical effect. 
    • Mash up: If you have been playing for two rounds, you may introduce motifs and riffs from another song or standard, effectively playing two songs at the same time. magical effects stack even if they don't usually.
    • Fascinate: after three rounds of improvisation, you may also elect to fascinate one person, as per the spell (save vs. magic/jazz), and one person each round thereafter, for a as long as you are improvising.
  • That cat is high You gain an addiction to alcohol or drugs, suffering the same effects as the aviator, above.
  • The Ghost of Smoky Joe Your playing is now so sick, you even attract the undead. Now, whenever you hit intensity four for any spell, you summon the ghost of another undead jazz musician, who really wants to jam! See rules for jazz-bard parties below.
  • Epic Solo At fourth level, as long as you are performing a jazz standard and are improvising, you may perform an epic solo. This increases the intensity of any song or standard being played by one without expending music dice, and extends the fascinate function of the improvised solo to anyone within ear shot. This effect only lasts for as long as you are playing, and may only be used once/day.
Lexi's Music Rules (from this post:

You have MD (Music Dice) equal to your Bard level plus one. Songs begin at 1 Intensity, and as you play a song, you have 3 chances (one each round) to expend any number of MD to try to boost the Intensity (this doesn't take an extra action, it's part of playing the song). To do so, roll the MD you're using. If one or more of your MD show a 4-6, boost the song and increase its dice by 1, then expend the die. Any dice that roll 1-3 are returned to your pool. If you roll a 1, there's a Bad Vibe, which might end the song entirely. MD return on a short rest.
Bad Vibes1. Burnout. You can't sing this song for the rest of the day, and have to stop immediately.2. Hoarse. Lose your ability to sing above a whisper. Until you spend a day recuperating, no one besides you can hear your songs. [If you don't sing, then this bad vibe effects your instrument (below)]
3. Snapped. Your instrument breaks and is unusable until you spend a short rest repairing it.[Jazz singers use the entry above]
4. Lost The Tune. Invert the effect of the song this round, then it ends.5. Voice Crack. Anyone listening can voluntarily ignore the effects of the song, and any further songs you [perform], until the end of the day.6. Earworm. You can't [perform]any other songs for the rest of the day.
When you take damage the song decreases in Intensity by 1 die, unless you have other Bards backing you up and covering for you. If this brings it to 0, the song ends. Taking actions that would interrupt the song end it entirely.
Additional Bards playing the same song can expend MD to nullify Bad Vibes. Bards can join in on any song a Bard with the same Genre is playing whether or not they know it, but they can't boost it unless they know it too, just salvage it.
Jazz Standards:
I neglected to include these in the original post, so here goes: hopefully they give the class a bit more of the flavour I was going for,

  • Anthropology Only affects humanoids. Intensity 1: enemies regress one level of technology for the duration of the tune: early modern humans will regress to early medieval and will be unable to operate their flintlocks, for example; 2: as before, but they will regress to their earliest manifestation of their culture i.e. dark age orcs will devolve into early palaeolithic orcs (probably little difference); 3. While the song continues, enemies will devolve into an early intelligent ancestor of their species: humans will become australopithicenes, lizard-folk semi-intelligent bipedal skinks etc. 4. In a weird, Cronenburg-esque Altered States moment, all enemies exposed to the music will transform into formless primordial goo, reverting to their original form as soon as the music stops.
  • Bitches Brew Intensity 1: performer can identify a potion by smell 2. Performer can identify a potion by sight. 3: Can triple the duration, intensity or effect of any potion within audio range.  4: The performer is able to transform magical potions into other forms, providing they have previously ingested that potion. The new potion must be imbibed before the bard stops playing music or it will revert to its original form.
  • Blue Monk When the bard starts playing, all allies within earshot manifest temporary, monk like powers. 1: Blues Magic Goblin Punch - unarmed attacks count as magical weapons. Additionally, against enemies of equal hit dice they do triple damage, for some weird reason (although when the bard starts playing, everyone can swap melee partners, which is fun); 2. Flurry of blows: if the allies made any unarmed attacks during the melee phase of combat, they get to make an additional unarmed attack at the end of the round once all other actions by all combatants have been resolved. 3. Blue Monk's Windwalk: allies hearing this tune at intensity 3 move at double speed and can run across water (they must niot finish the round on top of water). 4. All allies within earshot (excluding the jazz bard) are now invisible, until the tune finishes.
  • Four Brothers Three illusory projections of the performer materialise within the immediate vicinity of the bard: they mirror the bards actions but are otherwise incapable of acting. Any successful attack targeted at the bard has a 99% chance of hitting one of the duplicates instead, whereupon it is destroyed. This chance reduces by 33% for each duplicate destroyed. At intensity two, the performer may move one of the duplicates independently as a separate character, to act as decoy. At intensity 3 they may move a second duplicate in this manner. At intensity four they may move all three duplicates as seperate characters, and may switch places with any of them at the end of each round (as per teleport).
  • Milestones The effect takes place when the song is brought to an end by the performer, it cannot take effect if interrupted. Intensity 1: teleport performer and one ally to a previously visited location up to one mile away; 2 teleport performer and one ally to a previously visited location up to ten miles away; 3 as before but location can be any distance as long as the performer has visited it before and it is on this plane;  4: as before but location can be one the ally has visited before, on any plane, even if the bard has never been there.
  • Moaning Sends a number of allies equal to intensity into a bloody rage for duration of tune; each gains 1HD temporary hit points, bonuses to melee attack, and immunity to fear/ mind control etc.
  • Round Midnight Intensity 1: all enemies save vs. spells or slowed; 2: save vs. spells or slowed and affected by "feeblemind"; 3: as before but further save or suffer sleep; 4: enemies within earshot sent to sleep, no save.
  • So What  For the duration of this tune, all allies within earshot may simply "shrug off " one attack, spell or other malicious action against them a number of times equal to the intensity of the standard.
  • Take Five  Intensity 1: one person within earshot is paralysed for duration of tune. 2 = 2 people, 3 = 3 etc.
  • The Sidewinder The effect of this tune only manifests when the performer chooses to stop playing: at intensity 1, a magic missile that somehow resembles both the drink and the serpent of the same name hurtles towards a chiosen target, hitting automatically for 1d6+1 damage with no save. An extra missile is generated for each level of intensity: it's pretty much the same as magic missile, but the performer has to play for a multitude of rounds to get the most powerful effect.

Jazz Bards in a Party of All Bards
So I'm running out of time to think of some full rules for how a party of all bards might work, and it doesn't look like Lexi's on it yet, but a jazz bard in a band of "squares" is a pretty standard real-world occurrence, so I think it's fun to think about... I'm imagining a synth player in a vaporwave band suddenly smashing out a jazz piano solo on her key-tar (or gitboard...) and incurring the wrath of her bandmates...

An All Jazz-Bard Band
Again, I really need to post this as I am already way past the deadline, but one feature of jazz ensembles is the musicians making room for other performers to improvise: the obvious mechanic would be each additional performer raises the intensity by one, but that's a little bit bland... I'd love to hear your thoughts...

This needs to get posted: Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays, Sherlock Hole!

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