Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Semiurge's Reviews Movies: 3



I like horror movies, please rec your favourites in the comments. If you don't I'll feel like a goober for asking for them.

It's time for that annual event that everyone's been waiting for:

The Endless

Ah, the horror potential of time loops! Realized by only an enlightened few!

Shin Godzilla

Such a good movie. Scary, heart-lifting, very funny, Anno does it again! MFW baka gaijins try to make a kaiju movie. OH wowza zowza but they're big dumb action flicks X^D <= SHUT UP. They're not even good at that.

The Human Race

Love me a good battle royale, and this is a good battle royale. Doesn't pull punches. Semper fi.


Anyone else think John Cusack looks like Nicholas Cage? This is like the Oculus before Oculus, and I preferred it to Oculus.


Extremely comfy. Strangers trapped in giant, enigmatic murder-machine experience social breakdown. You ever get the feeling people have forgotten how to make good movies?

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A lot of the scenes where Freddy's chasing people are just goofy. I liked some of it but a lot of this movie is like when people say a work's foundational to a genre or whatever and then you watch it but don't enjoy it as much as more recent stuff because the more recent stuff refined what it invented.

The surreal/dreamlike effects and killings were the best part. Gotta have surreality in horror, but not boring surreality like Suspiria.

The Blob (1988)

Practical effects are so much better than CGI. Every MCU Ready Player 1 CGI garbage shitfest should be deleted, all those responsible burned. Bring back practical effects. Remember what they did to the Thing prequel? It was also named the Thing. They're doing a remake too apparently. Propagation of bad art should be criminalized.

I liked this movie.

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover

A movie that feels like a stage play, about the male fantasy of women being crazy into guys who eat alone at restaurants.

Albert Spica is a solid basis for an ogre.

Sumptuous stuff. Lotta fucking.

A Dark Song

Joseph Solomon is a solid basis for a wizard. Kind of works towards a higher purpose, but in a selfish, petty, fucked-up way.

The diagrams and movements within it and so on are inspirational for a symbolic/ritual dungeon.

Mildly creepy movie, best when it's two people stuck in a shitty situation together being alternately shitty and empathetic to each other.

Two Pigeons

Lanklets, when will they learn? The movie. I like to think I'm too paranoid for someone to be able to pull this on me. If you were the sort of person to go into every movie thinking "but, like, uh, what does this say about Capitalism?" then you might come away with something like "seeking personal revenge for being economically exploited will at best probably just take out a low-level, replaceable, rise-and-grind sap while leaving the system and conditions in place to make a million more as bad off as you".

These Final Hours

Great movie, brutal movie. A series of kicks in the teeth. Personal mortality is one thing, but total human extinction is another. Is all comfort of legacy and family ultimately cope? This one got me to cry.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

D6x6 Funky Fortune-Tellers

Click button below to get your fortune-teller:

Generator automator here:

D6This fortune-teller is
1 a disgraced former advisor to a noble family.
2 a traveller who spends most of their time helping farmers time their plantings.
3 a scholar who studied too deeply into esoteric lore.
4 the prodigal heir of a future-obsessed cult.
5 a gifted hermit who survives on donations from petitioners.
6a crazed victim of ominous visions, sorting truth from hallucination.

D6A distinctive feature of this fortune-teller is
1 that they've got opals in place of eyeballs.
2 that they've got constellations tattooed across their skin.
3 that they've pierced all the soft parts of their bodies with sewing needles.
4 their emaciated frame, with bones poking from skin in fortuitous shapes.
5 their hair, a cloud-like shroud of billowing white.
6that their tongue is a light-eating black.

D6This fortune-teller tells fortunes
1 by casting the hair of a child who's never before been shorn into the air and analyzing how it drifts and falls.
2 by trapping rats in a barrel then waiting for them to starve and eat each other. The future becomes clear in the rats' mutually-spilled guts.
3 by studying the movement of stars in their reflection on an obsidian mirror.
4 by roasting shellfish in a fire and seeing how they split open.
5 by spilling the mingled blood of their petitioner and themself into a bowl of water and seeing how it swirls and dilutes.
6by sleeping with their head on a pillow stuffed with bones, and communing with the dead in their dreams.

D6This fortune-teller is best at foretelling
1 danger and disasters.
2 love, betrayal, births, the fates of close friends and family, and other such intimate connections.
3 the weather, the behaviour of crowds, and similar ambient, emergent, environmental conditions.
4 the patterns and cycles of history, things which happened before and will happen again.
5 great rises and falls in status and wealth.
6the obstacles that will be faced on journeys.

D6This fortune-teller's long-term aim
1 is to raise their distant descendants to sovereign power.
2 is to prevent a distantly-upcoming atrocity, by any means necessary.
3 is reducing chaotic anomalies in the weave of fate.
4 is to bring utter ruin to a rival.
5 is to attain a comfortable sinecure for which nothing much is expected of them.
6is to fulfill a messianic prophecy.

D6Another petitioner who's come to see this fortune-teller is
1 an expectant mother cursed by a witch and seeking reassurance.
2 a starving artist certain they won't be appreciated in their own lifetime, and equally certain they'll be celebrated after their death.
3 a deeply-indebted gambler who wants to use the fortune-teller to get a big win.
4 a zeitgeist in disguise seeking to discover and punish the violation of causality.
5 a skeptic aiming to prove that the fortune-teller a fake.
6an assassin couching their request about the success of their murderous mission in euphemistic terms.

Monday, July 19, 2021

How to Re-Colonize D&D in 7 Easy Steps

There's been a lot of smart, insightful, upstanding, loquacious, thick-hipped and big-dicked people posting about colonialism in D&D, and how to un-colonize the game. Maybe you followed all their advice and were left wondering: "Hey, where'd all my colonizing go?! What am I supposed to do now, get in a polycule with the orcs and donate all my gold to an orphangae!? In the game?!".

If so, this post is for you. Here's 7 easy steps to get the 'colon' back in 'colonialism', and the 'colonialism' back in Dungeons & Dragons (& Colonialism):

Step 1:

Everyone has to wear one of these things:

Not the British man, the thing on the British man's head. Some call it a pith helmet, others an English safari hat. Tough luck on the Euro Cup there, eh limeys? Viva Italia.

Anyways this is the most important step as it will get everyone in the proper frame of mind.

Step 2:

Enemies in the game must be "people" - in the sense that they are sentient and form relatively organized societies (though still savage relative to your characters' society) - else there will be no sport in killing them and nothing of value to liberate from their holdings. Their skin colour should be different from both your characters' and your own. To minimize ethical issues, I recommend using Italians.

Step 3:

When intra-group chatter quiets down, chip in with a cool catchphrase like "Deus vult!" or "nits make lice!". Something that shows you're 'with it' and irreverent of progressive orthodoxy. Everyone will think you're really cool every time you say it.

If you are playing over discord or some other online service, consider making your avatar a Pepe, or Groyper, or Apu.

Step 4:

Arrange the worldbuilding such that the religion of your player characters is objectively correct, and that the savage pagans worship demons, fallen angels, false idols, etc. Make the religion have a bad afterlife for non-believers so that you're justified for extreme ends to convert them.

Step 5:

If you must go No. 2 during a game, use a squat toilet. If you do not have a squat toilet, squat upon whichever toilet you possess. This will deepen the feeling of being in an exotic vista, and is better for your ass.

Step 6:

Race is old hat. We've now got many more biological categories in which to sort and valuate people. For each of the 16,777,216 possible combinations of 3D6 attributes rolled in order, assign a haplogroup and cranial dimensions.

Step 7:

Get billions of dollars of funding from the United States of America. This is the second most important step in modern colonialism, and probably the most difficult. I'm not even sure how you'd get the USA to go against its national interest like this. Maybe try privatized espionage and blackmail, or getting a base of evangelical support. Disproportionate influence over media and academia might help too.

Anyways, these are 7 easy steps to re-colonize your Dungeons & Dragons games.

Disclaimer: Please do the opposite of all of these*.

* Except for the squat toilet one.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

D20x5 Haunted Houses

Click the button below to get a haunted house:

Generator automator here:

More ghost stuff:

D20This haunted house is 
1 a stately manor in the countryside, its fields and hedges overgrown and given to the thorns.
2 a looming tower house that bristles with balistraria.
3 a slumlord’s luxurious penthouse straddling decrepit apartments.
4 a merchant’s tackily ostentatious imitation of an aristocratic villa.
5 poised on the lip of an eroding sea cliff.
6 accessible only by the barest trace of a dirt road sidewinding up a mountain.
7 also a hunting lodge used by an exclusive gentleman’s fellowship.
8 the former winter palace of a deposed regime.
9 built up around an enormous, dying oak.
10 infested with mold growing in patches like human silhouettes.
11 full of secret compartments, passages, and boltholes.
12 haphazard, built up according to dozens of plans over decades.
13 arranged like a pentagram.
14 at the centre of a once-flourishing vineyard which has fallen on hard times as its produce has turned sour.
15 stood on a shoal, connected briefly to land when the tide’s lowest.
16 a converted monastery, sold by the abbot after its reputation was ruined by scandal.
17 built in an unfashionably archaic style.
18 cut off from its surroundings by a lofty wrought iron fence.
19 sprawling out from itself like chyme from spilled guts. It’s the product of a deep folie à deux shared between the house’s commissioner and architect, who believed they were drawing the house out of some cosmic cyst rather than having it constructed according to their designs.
20a plantation house where biting swamp-flies sing.

D20This house is haunted 
1 by the ghosts of a maid and the bastard child forced on her by the master of the house.
2 by a ghost that appears as a tangle of heads and limbs: the gestalt spirit of the victims of a serial killer dismembered and buried beneath the house.
3 by the spirit of the house itself, awakened and soured by disrepair and abuse.
4 by a porcine demon of sadism invited in by a previous owner.
5 by the dryad whose tree was butchered for its floorboards.
6 by a wealthy yet untalented painter tormented by their failure to attain recognition for their work in life and posthumously.
7 by the guests of an orgy held at the house, who all contracted the same wasting disease.
8 by the moaning, tongueless ghost of a rival of the master of the house, who in life was imprisoned within and tormented for their amusement.
9 by the patriarch of a clan of giants that was driven from the area by the humans that settled it.
10 by the shadow of a god carried along with a looted idol presented in the house like a mere sculpture.
11 by a chef so obsessed with making the perfect meal that they fattened and seasoned and cooked themself.
12 by a mathematician who stumbled on a theorem no mortal mind could hold in its totality and survive.
13 by a fictional character from a novel that an inhabitant of the house read and obsessed over and imagined with such intensity that they were born into a sort of un-life.
14 by the ghost of a bloodthirsty warrior maimed in battle, who grew old and died consumed by thoughts of the carnage they could never return to.
15 by the ghost of someone wrongly executed on the testimony of a prior owner of the house.
16 by a wizard who had a lab in it, and blasted themself somewhere between life and death in an experiment.
17 by a spectral cat who attained diabolic potency after smothering nine infants.
18 by the hungry ghost of an abusive alcoholic, compelled to thirst for blood and filth as much as their drink of choice.
19 by the ghost of a world that could have been, a timeline whose juncture point is centred in the house. It would have been a brighter time, but now turns sicklier the further it gets from could-have-being.
20by a curse of despair placed long ago on the house’s family. The curse has glutted on the souls of so many suicides over the generations that it’s swollen with power and developed a malign sentience.

D20An uncanny feature of this haunted house 
1 is that it’s bigger on the inside that it is on the outside.
2 is that its furniture rearranges itself in inconvenient ways when not observed.
3 is that the mirrors within it act as portals to a flipped version of the house where some things that are closed or hidden are opened and revealed.
4 is that rooms don’t connect with each other the way its layout suggests they should. A closet might open to a dining room.
5 is that scratching and whispers can be heard coming from within the walls, but if checked there’s nothing visible there.
6 is that damaged furniture and parts of its structure will slowly mend with tumourous growths.
7 is that phantasmal scenes of emotional events that occurred in rooms in the past can be glimpsed repeating over and over again.
8 is that portraits within weep black ichor and mutter cruel obscenities.
9 is that by some nostalgic enchantment parts of the house remind you of your own childhood home.
10 is that pain suffered within doesn’t feel right, less immediate and more an empathetic reverie.
11 is that stuff brought in from outside it breaks more often, rusts even when cared for, burns out more swiftly, and generally falls to entropy much faster.
12 is that its condition is tied to the condition of the surrounding area. Damage to it will bring widespread desolation.
13 is that shadows within seem to come alive with a malign intelligence to play tricks on you.
14 is that people trying to leave it often find the path twisting back towards it.
15 is that throughout it there’s a cloying corpse-stench with no apparent source.
16 is that animals panic at its threshold, and die of fear if dragged within.
17 is that you can hear whispers of deceased loved ones sometimes, though whether the whispers are really them or some malign entities impersonating them can’t be known for sure.
18 is that while within you have a constant feeling of being watched.
19 is that impossible vistas can be seen through its windows.
20is that it’s far colder within than it should be, and lights are dimmer.

D20Despite its reputation, you might still enter this haunted house 
1 because a local mover-and-shaker’s kid was seen going in but never came out.
2 because it’s valuable real estate and some people are willing to pay an awful lot to see it rendered safe for habitation.
3 because a nefarious necromancer is conducting a rite to bring it under their power.
4 because its haunting threatens to sink the whole area into the underworld.
5 because you might be able to bind the haunting spirit as a servitor.
6 because the ectoplasm that could be harvested from it is a precious commodity.
7 as a step in a larger ritual related to death and time.
8 to test an eccentric inventor’s experimental anti-ghost armament.
9 to use it as a conduit to speak with a dead person who’s passed beyond the threshold that more convenient magic can access.
10 to prove that you’re fearless in order to qualify for bigger, better-paying jobs.
11 because an obsessive skeptic wants to disprove the supernatural using the house as an example, and is offering a tremendous reward for the service.
12 because its existence contradicts theological orthodoxy regarding existence after death.
13 because it could be used as a lens to astrally project across worlds.
14 because the place itself can be read as a spellbook containing necromantic magic.
15 because a particular object within anchors the haunting, and if taken out it would become a potent magic item.
16 because if you take care of it a secret society of morticians and gravediggers will owe you a major favour.
17 because banishing the haunting would be like removing the force creating a vacuum, only instead of air rushing back in to fill the void it’ll be lively energies that could be channeled for miraculous healing.
18 because a great treasure is rumoured to be hidden within its attic or walls or floors.
19 because you’ve got a bad case of the hiccups and only getting really spooked will cure it.
20because an elderly priest wants it exorcised and is paying well for the task, as they’re too old to do it.

D20A complication you might face with this haunted house 
1 is that a rival crew is planning to enter it too.
2 is that the haunting spirit’s power waxes and wanes with the moon.
3 is that someone who entered it before you was driven violently insane by the experience, and feels as though the place is their territory alone.
4 is that if the haunting ends the place will rapidly crumble to dust.
5 is that the place has attracted a clutch of corporeal undead comforted by its ambience.
6 is that the haunting can reach beyond the house through people and things connected to it.
7 is that an angry mob is being riled up and will soon converge on it.
8 is that a handful of soothsayers have set up a cordon around it after all foreseeing the same doom related to the house.
9 is that lingering the place dramatically increases your chances of returning as a ghost after death.
10 is that the whole thing is an elaborate Scooby-Doo-esque hoax.
11 is that a group of fraudulent exorcists claim to have already removed the haunting, and are pressing for a reward.
12 is that hurricane-level bad weather is converging on its location.
13 is that fear and other such psychological disturbances make it much easier for the haunting spirit to possess someone.
14 is that a squad of paladins has been dispatched to take care of it, and their methods will be ruinous and indiscriminate.
15 is that the haunting spirit bucks or even inverts common superstitions meant to deal with its kind, like lines of salt.
16 is that locals are terrified of the haunting, and will be quick to turn on intruders if they seem to provoke it. They might even go so far as to sacrifice people to the house if desperate enough.
17 is that the haunting spirit is attracted to, and can be bribed with, living blood, yet is poisoned by blood from the dead.
18 is that a small cult has sprung up that worships the haunting as a god. If not prevented this worship could empower the haunting and make it much worse as it metamorphoses into something new.
19 is that an important government official is visiting the area, and if news of the haunting’s full danger reaches them it would be very embarrassing.
20is that someone is trying to cover up a murder by blaming the haunting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

D20x5 Demon Lords

Click the button below to get a demon lord:

Table automator here:

For your regular old rank-and-file demons, try this:

D20This demon lord’s full title is 
1 High Hamartiarch Hgsseemtchaz.
2 Tyrant Most Terrible Kanzer’eqweq.
3 Sugjhelo, Miasmic Marshal of the Midnight Winds.
4 Ghovghurdur, the President of Pustulent Prurience.
5 Mozmazyab, the Emperor of Elementary Evils.
6 Dza-Durmud-Dza, the Mad Marquis of Malice.
7 Addajjalmalal, the Sultan of Unsightly Sins.
8 Iaiofazak, the Egregious Earl.
9 Bubaragaga, the Chaetognathous Chancellor.
10 Wurpurjub, Chief Engineer of Extinctions.
11 Kolduravmij the Baleful Baron.
12 Shujakvor, Minister of Miserable Misfortunes.
13 Ubzaalalalaal the Sinister Seneschal.
14 Loordrafhghalian, Lady of Loss.
15 Vakshu-Rakazur, Count of Uncountable Cruelties.
16 Troedrujorm, Archon of Atrocity.
17 Pyrgolorox, Duke of Direst Despair.
18 The Unspeakable One
19 Hlar-Ram’Clon, the Ordurial Optimate.
20Juckuhud, the Dreadful Doctor of Doom.

D20This demon lord rules 
1 a hell of septic meat infested by swarms of parasites.
2 a hell of self-consuming, pointless, polluting industry full of choking smog and spilling molten metal.
3 a hell of oceanic depths without a surface and hungry leviathans circling around the edge of visibility.
4 a vast, barren, lonely hell of grey dust and lightless void.
5 a hell that takes the form of a psychedelic nightmare jungle where animal, plant, and stone merge and mutate and everything is predatory and poisonous.
6 a hell like a metropolis falling into ruin, built to be hostile to humanity in layout and aesthetics.
7 a hell like a moldering library, smothered in silence, every book a scathing insult of its reader or a mind-numbing history of atrocities.
8 a hell like an endless carnival where all the fun’s at your expense.
9 a hell constructed from the memories of those who enter, twisted and recontextualized to spoil the good and hammer in the worst.
10 a hell of crypt-halls and crematoria-stacks where you have to wade through putrescence up to your shins.
11 a hell of slime and sewage, of prying tentacles and peering eyes.
12 a hell of kangaroo courts and Kafka-esque bureaucracy.
13 a hell of countless stacked cages stocked with exotic torture devices.
14 a hell of uncertain illusions that torment your mind before your body.
15 a hell that snakes through time, making you relive your greatest regrets again and again and again or traps you in an endless looping despair.
16 a hell like a padded, decrepit asylum where the damned are convinced that the mortal world and goodness itself are delusions.
17 a hell that’s a fleet of insane, Boschian vehicles that race and crash so fast that everything else appears only as a dull blur.
18 a hell like an inverted mountain where twisted antipodes of monasteries and sacred hermits dwell.
19 a hell that’s a desert of burning salt where cyclopean ruins offer only greater agonies in the seeming respite of their shadows.
20a rusty abattoir-hell washed in rivers of blood where damned souls are stitched into the skins of swine and cattle and butchered endlessly.

D20Among its peers, this demon lord 
1 is one who scrabbled its way up from the least sort to the highest through sheer viciousness.
2 is unusually repentant for its nature, though no less dangerous.
3 is a bored, jaded, and decadent eccentric.
4 is seen as being in a weak position, and so is besieged on all sides.
5 is seen as pretentious, and unworthy of the title of ‘lord’.
6 is an unpredictable wild card who keeps allegiance with no one.
7 is known for putting on a buffoonish front while being an insidious mastermind behind the scenes.
8 is infamous for eating its predecessor up whole.
9 is a young firebrand, kicking over ancient plots to clear the way for their own machinations.
10 is a relative unknown, shrouded in dire mysteries.
11 is a patsy installed into power by a yet-greater lord.
12 is a warrior who takes what they want through brute strength, and demeans indirect intrigues.
13 is a nihilistic philosopher who preaches a transcendent meaning in evil.
14 is a vanguard against enemies of the infernal, one who seizes new territories and new souls.
15 is mocked as a risk-averse coward.
16 is shaking things up in a petty attempt to avenge an insult.
17 is renowned for its dreadful wisdom and impartial stance.
18 is feared for the punishments it inflicts on its enemies and its damned, which are enough to make even the hell-born quail.
19 is rumoured to collude with powerful mortals, angels, and stranger beings as though they were equals.
20is considered old-school, inflexible, in need of replacement for the sake of propriety.

D20In the mortal world, this demon lord 
1 is guiding a serial killer through their dreams, influencing them to commit their murders in locations that will create a sigil to summon the demon lord.
2 has sired a number of cambions, and drives them to fight to the death to decide its true heir.
3 has won the soul and service of a humiliated king who sought diabolical patronage to reclaim lost holdings.
4 is nurturing a conspiracy to cover up abuses within the church.
5 distributes cursed treasures to entrap the fallible within its designs.
6 is manipulating an inquisition to uproot a rival.
7 is inciting a gold rush that will lead to desperation, enslavement, and eventually a mine being dug right into the underworld.
8 has seized a lich’s phylactery, and compels their obedience by threatening an eternity of damnation.
9 is playing all sides of a civil war to escalate it and create a hell on earth.
10 plans to assassinate a necromancer who’s keeping souls from perdition by binding them to corpses.
11 plans to usurp patronage of a cult from a slightly more benevolent nature spirit by plunging the cult into desperate times so they’ll turn to the desperate measure of consorting with the demon lord.
12 has sent its most loyal servants to act as wizards’ familiars, and nudge their masters into unknowingly coordinated and ultimately catastrophic action.
13 has taught a league of assassins a fiendish technique that condemns those it’s used to kill to the demon lord’s hell.
14 has been colluding with a coven of night hags to spread a plague of supernatural nightmares that make their victims terribly vulnerable to demonic possession.
15 has kicked off a soul-buying pyramid scheme by promising those who’ve made a pact with it clemency if they can make demonic deals with others, and if those others go on to make deals too.
16 is in a distressed scramble to silence an occultist who’s discovered its true name.
17 has been seeking agents to enact loopholes in a deal that a clever mortal managed to get the better of it with.
18 has occluded a true miracle-worker by seeding the region with a mob of false prophets.
19 has commanded the monks of a monastery its corrupted to produce and distribute copies of a diabolical grimoire.
20has been whispering in the ears of oracles to lead would-be heroes astray.

D20This demon lord’s true form 
1 is a discordant song of anti-beauty that disfigures and deranges those who hear it.
2 immolates the eyes of those who see it.
3 is a serpentine shadow that darkens cities with its passing.
4 is an inchoate, discorporate spirit that must possess a vessel to act on the world, yet gradually warps its vessel to the point of uselessness.
5 is pathetic, tiny, and locust-like. The demon lord wraps itself in transformations and illusions to appear impressive.
6 is an aged salesman, indistinguishable from any mortal save for millennia of experience tempting people into deals they really shouldn’t make.
7 is a black sun gouting filth and rays of agony into the world.
8 is a scrawny humanoid body bowed by the weight of its head, a chimeric bouquet of maws of lions, crocodiles, hyenas, and jackals.
9 is a swarm of eels writhing within a beautiful, empty skin.
10 is a gargantuan, eyeless vulture plucked clean of feathers. Similarly eyeless, toothless faces moan nestled in its wrinkles.
11 is dozens of elongated arms and hands dripping gore, reaching out from the hood and sleeves of a tattered cloak.
12 is a bottomless pit from which distant bellows boom.
13 is an angelic figure clad in golden, bejewelled armour. Buboes and boils bulge from the armour’s joints.
14 resembles a pile of human bodies that vivisect and rearrange themselves into new, offensive forms with every movement.
15 is a grotesquely fat bull with cracked horns and a bloody muzzle. Its voice sounds like crying infants.
16 is a porcelain giant that’s been shattered to pieces. The pieces are connected and dragged about by a mass of worms.
17 is a titan of dung compelled to forever consume and defecate itself.
18 is a labyrinth constructed of living scorpions and wasps and all other stinging creatures.
19 is a withered tree sprouting toxic fruits. Its boughs that would reach upwards have been snapped, and instead dangle.
20is a stagnant, stinking ocean that stretches beyond the horizon. Rotting hulks churn its waters.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

D20x5 Shocking Shields

Click button below, get your shield:

Generator automator found here:

D20This shield is 
1 a scutum.
2 a kite shield.
3 a buckler.
4 a clipeus.
5 a heater shield.
6 a parma.
7 a targe.
8 a pavise.
9 a renntartsche.
10 shaped like a sunburst.
11 shaped like a figure-eight.
12 shaped like a diamond.
13 shaped like a pentagram.
14 shaped like a spiral.
15 a bouche shield.
16 a rondache.
17 shaped like a coffin lid.
18 shaped like a hexagon.
19 shaped like a tower.
20shaped like an oval.

D20This shield is made 
1 from the salt once licked by Audhumla in Ginnungagap.
2 with a section of shell from the great turtle that holds the world on its back.
3 from a huge alabaster dish on which ambrosia was once served to titans.
4 from a forcefield laced with enchantments of permanency.
5 from a quilt stitched with a mother’s love.
6 out of a diamandoid window pried off a crashed starship.
7 from the black metal occlusium, mined only on the dark side of the moon.
8 from a piece of the bronze carapace of a wrecked golem.
9 from air and dust stilled absolutely in time.
10 from the hide of a shishi.
11 from the iris of a beholder’s central eye.
12 out of a leaf of the Tree of Life, in brilliant autumnal colours.
13 from a wheel that fell off the sun’s chariot.
14 stone cooled from magma from the core of the world.
15 from children’s self-conception of invincibility channeled into oakwood from a treehouse.
16 out of vellum from an albino calf printed with prayers of protection.
17 from a vortex of water siphoned from the maw of Charybdis.
18 out of a giant’s calvaria.
19 from one of Jormungandr’s colossal scales.
20a knot caught in the threads of the Fates.

D20This shield has 
1 a hideous roaring face on its front.
2 withered trophies from past bearers’ kills dangling from its rim.
3 deep rents from a monster’s claw across its face.
4 many layers of worn heraldry painted over each other.
5 an anti-arrow curtain hanging off the bottom.
6 the names of its previous bearers inscribed on its inner rim.
7 a unique musical tone when it’s struck.
8 an uncharacteristically reflective surface. Things reflected in it have uncanny details added or missing.
9 a thin coating of copper to disguise its more fantastical makeup, though it’s been scratched, dented, and worn with use and time.
10 zodiac symbols arranged around its outer rim that move with the heavens.
11 scenes of peaceful, everyday life painted on the inside.
12 a razor-sharp rim.
13 an intricate demon-binding sigil embossed on it.
14 a grip decorated with colourful beads.
15 a beatific face beaming on its front.
16 a shimmering halo form around it in direct light.
17 a strong scent of blood and smoke that always follows it.
18 a glamour on it that lets its bearer disguise it as another shield-shaped object when not in use.
19 a organic pattern growing across it like spiralling roots.
20shadows and sparks burst forth from it when struck.

D20This shield can 
1 cancel out magic it blocks. Spells fizzle out, and magic weapons become mundane for 1d6 rounds.
2 be anchored in the ground to extend a 10’ x 10’ wall of a similar substance as itself around its rim. The wall crumbles to dust if the shield is moved.
3 be used to charge with the force of a battering ram.
4 be thrown with the damage and range of a +1 javelin, rebounding back to the bearer’s grip afterwards. The shield can be ricocheted to strike around corners and cover and so on.
5 be animated to act as a floating platform that can carry up to 1,000 pounds, and cannot move more than 30’ from its bearer or more than 10’ above a surface.
6 deflect ranged attacks toward a new target with a successful block.
7 be animated to defend its bearer autonomously, freeing up a hand.
8 make it impossible to target anyone standing behind its bearer with ranged attacks or spells while their guard is up.
9 be made 100x lighter or heavier at its bearer’s whim. Be careful when using this to enhance bashing with it - it could break your arm if your timing’s off.
10 allow its bearer to transform into a turtle, a crab, or any other shelled thing for up to an hour once per day, becoming their shell in the process.
11 render its bearer immobile and invulnerable as steel so long as they remain perfectly still, not even breathing.
12 grant mystical insights into those its bearer fights, growing in depth and breadth the more blows it blocks.
13 be commanded to become a hole into an endless, empty void.
14 let its bearer teleport up to 20 feet, but only to block an attack aimed at another.
15 shatter non-magical weapons it blocks.
16 nullify any damage from an incoming attack once per day.
17 be commanded to spin like a buzzsaw.
18 creating illusory warriors to backup its bearer, who are tuned to fit their arms, armour, and appearance with the bearer’s other companions.l
19 inflict terror on someone it’s pointed at, requiring them to test morale to be able to approach its bearer.
20add its AC bonus to any roll that could be construed as protecting from an attack (saves, etc.).

D20This shield is best known for 
1 being borne by a champion who singlehandedly defended a metropolis from an invading horde of locust-men.
2 stalling a demonic incursion into a dwarven fortress long enough for the place to be sealed forevermore.
3 saving a warrior from the flames of the carmine wyrm Galeringkothrax.
4 being wielded by a god in mythic times, and then bestowed on their greatest follower.
5 bashing in the skull of the tyrant Pydon.
6 a comedic song about it that describes how the shield changed hands a hundred times in the same war. It’s quite a long song, and many consider a night spent drinking great only if they can get through the entire thing. 
7 being used to carry the body of a famous, nameless martyr to their grave.
8 its apparent preference for underdogs, with it often disappearing inexplicably from the possession of continual victors.
9 being the tool of choice of a pacifistic hero.
10 being forged to seal a pact of mutual protection between humanity and a race of the deep earth, which humanity is said to have betrayed.
11 having been carried to the land of the dead and back.
12 being corrupted from its original pure intent by a blackguard.
13 belonging to the inventor of the tetsudon formation.
14 nothing, it’s an enigma with no apparent history.
15 having been traded to a wizard to serve as the invincible bedstone of their magic mill.
16 being the legendary ancestor of a clan of martial artists, who claim to have inherited its peerless durability.
17 its ancient and intense rivalry with a magic lance. Each is said to be the only thing that can damage or turn aside the other.
18 never having been used in battle before. It was created purely to be a symbol of peace.
19 being stolen from a place of honour in a soldiers’ afterlife. The shield is hounded by the shades of armies past and the priesthood of the gods who maintain that afterlife.
20miraculously falling in such a way that it protected the children of a long-gone royal family while their palace collapsed around them due to an earthquake.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

D20x5 Astounding Alternate Histories

BCE & CE are cope. They're the same years as BC and AD. Accept Jesus Christ as your calendrical lord & saviour.

Click the button below for your very own alternate history. Astoundingness not guaranteed.

Table randomizer generator here:

D20This alternate history diverges during
1 the Paleolithic (3,300,000-11,650 years ago).
2 the Neolithic (12,000-6,500 years ago).
3 the Bronze Age (5,300-3,200 years ago).
4 the Iron Age (3,200-1,500 years ago).
5 the Middle Ages (1,500-500 years ago).
6 the time of the Mongol Empire (1206-1380).
7 the Renaissance (15th-16th centuries).
8 the Mamluk dynasties (1250-1517).
9 the Victorian era (1815-1914).
10 the Romantic era (1770-1815).
11 Classical Antiquity (480 BC-476 AD).
12 the reign of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1603-1605).
13 the life of Jesus Christ (0-33 AD).
14 the campaigns of Alexander the Great (336-323 BC)
15 the Industrial Age (1760-1970).
16 the Machine Age (1880-1945).
17 the World Wars or their interwar period.
18 the Three Kingdoms period (220-265 AD).
19 the recent past (2000-present).
20the Cold War (1947-1991).

D20The cause of this alternate history's divergence was
1 a minor religion in our history becoming dominant over others.
2 a pandemic.
3 an anachronistic technological innovation.
4 a natural disaster.
5 the different outcome of a war.
6 an economic collapse.
7 a breakthrough in animal or plant domestication.
8 an alliance between two powers.
9 the discovery of a vital resource.
10 the untimely death of a vital historical figure - not necessarily a famous or even known one.
11 a ruler making a better decision than they did in our history.
12 the beginning of a golden age.
13 a shift in climate.
14 a political revolution.
15 a sudden evolutionary leap.
16 a cultural exchange.
17 a philosophical innovation.
18 unclear, the result of emergence from microscopic initial differences from our history.
19 the non-occurence of a catastrophe.
20Alien Space Bats (i.e. some truly weird shit).

D20The regional epicenter of this alternate history's divergence was
1 East Asia.
2 South Asia.
3 the Fertile Crescent.
4 North America.
5 North Africa.
6 Central America.
7 South America.
8 Northern Europe.
9 Southest Asia.
10 Australia.
11 Central Asia.
12 the Middle East.
13 Central Africa.
14 Southern Europe.
15 Southern Africa.
16 Eastern Africa.
17 Western Africa.
18 Western Europe.
19 Eastern Europe.
20the Arabian peninsula.

D20The ultimate result of this alternate history's divergence
1 is a relative dystopia.
2 is a relative utopia.
3 is world domination by a tyrannical hegemon.
4 is human extinction.
5 is a state of international tension that makes the Cold War seem like a sunny summer day by comparison.
6 is a world that's scientifically well ahead of our own.
7 is a heavily balkanized international anarchy.
8 is that humanity has been subordinated to a post-human intelligence.
9 is a global monoculture starved for new art and lifeways.
10 is the formation of a shadowy one-world government akin to the Illuminati.
11 is nothing in particular, just people going about their lives as always.
12 is a ruined Earth where humanity survives in enclosed, self-sustaining arcologies.
13 is a war that really did end all wars, resulting in permanent though not always pleasant peace.
14 is an endless cycle of repeating the same patterns over centuries, positive-feedback loops becoming inevitable.
15 is a world in slow decline as rare elements run dry, with no replacements forthcoming.
16 is a world in booming recovery after an international calamity.
17 is something almost identical to our own history on the surface, against all odds, with disturbing differences on closer inspection.
18 is an apocalyptic death cult seizing power and attempting to immanentize the eschaton.
19 is the creation of superweapons that make nukes look like firecrackers dividing the world into an archipelago of isolationist city-states.
20is a stagnant, ultra-conservative world ruled by a global aristocracy.

D20This alternate history can be accessed
1 through a magic mirror that exists in both realities, and reflects the other.
2 with a tome that overwrites parts of reality with the alternate history when read.
3 with a psychoactive drug that causes you to mentally "paraincarnate" as someone in it.
4 through an obscure tabletop roleplaying game made by an eccentric recluse, which will catapult players into it.
5 by a simulation running on a quantum computer, the strange physics making the simulation identical to the alternate history's reality.
6 by a caste of psychic mutant "dimension-walkers".
7 by passing through a wormhole in near Earth orbit.
8 through the blast site of a tachyon bomb test.
9 in a manner of speaking by being infected by a memetic virus transmitted by an exceptionally detailed series of forum posts about the alternate history. The infected start to perceive the world as the alternate history's.
10 only during moments of strange celestial conjunctions spoken of by mad prophets.
11 by petitioning a nightgaunt to fly you outside the boundaries of reality.
12 with a paratime-travel machine that can be made with easily-acquired parts, such as those found in a microwave. The instructions were released online, to much discord.
13 by a misty, mystical island that drifts between realities.
14 if you run afoul of a mafia based around a ethnic group which exists only in that alternate history. They dispose of people by dumping them there.
15 with the help of an ornery clique of dissident academics who've researched the shards of it that have emerged in our history through ontological subduction.
16 by catching a disease going around that puts you in a coma, but manifests your dreaming self as a phantom in the alternate history.
17 by getting an in with the shady government agency that's stabilized a gateway to it, and is now trying to exploit it for temporal power.
18 through a portal in a cave at the spot where proto-humanity first stepped down from the trees in both histories.
19 with a set of magic rings that can be stolen from the safe deposit box of one Digory Kirke, which will take you to a forest containing pools that act as portals to many worlds.
20through a horrific "unfolded" building that exists simultaneously in both histories. It was created when two people in both histories solved a hyperspatial equation at the same time. The building is haunted by monsters made from similarly "unfolded" people.