Tuesday, 4 December 2018

To Hurtle Through Hell

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To business, then...

"Hell" is an old-fashioned term we got from cults and clerics, these days used as a general name for any plane or dimension that is either inhospitable or actively opposed to life as we know it.

There is one particular hell, a constant hungry battleground of writhing demonic flesh, which sits in a particular cosmic alignment with the prime material plane. Thanks to this proximity, it turns out that travelling via this hell results in journeys being shortened to the point of near-instantaneous travel.

Once can, with enough momentum, pop into hell and spring back out again at almost any location on Earth in a matter of seconds - assuming the detour can be survived.

your shortcut
The portals for performing this maneuver require a specific spell. They must be conjured immediately, sustained for exactly as long as they are being used and no longer, and be opened in quick succession - point of entry then point of exit.

The travel between the portals is messy, to say the least. If the traveler is not quick, they will be eaten or impaled or absorbed or flagellated or diced or sliced or gods knows what. Even if they are quick, something else's gore will likely get mixed up in the proceedings. Wizards still show up to parties drenched in demon blood.

sorry I'm late, lads, traffic's a nightmare
Spell: Hellhole. Creates a series of sphincter-like portals that form a detour through a hell dimension, then hurtles the caster through them at great speed.

Instantaneously appear at another general location on the material plane (must be on said plane to start with). You arrive covered in demonic gore, 1 in 6 chance there's a useful organ or piece of bone/horn stuck to you. Save vs spells or die on the way.

the point of exit
This rudimentary use of the hell dimension for travel was solely the purview of daredevil warlocks, until the development of the helldozer.

By the same logic of design that powers astral ships or golden barges, but to those as a sawn-off shotgun is to a sniper rifle. A helldozer is a transport craft which insulates its driver, passengers and cargo from the demonic onslaught as it plows onward towards its destination, throwing itself through an alchemically generated hellhole, propelled by a controlled cosmic explosion.

A dwarvish construction built on human recklessness, it is bulky, graceless and painfully slow when not blasting through dimensions, but as reliable as it needs to be. A helldozer that has its tusk-like prow stained deeply with ichor is a worthy one - a clean prow means the craft is untested. Of course, either way it's a risk - but sometimes you just need to get where you're going.
you laugh but this is actually fairly close. I'm sure there's a Games Workshop model that'd work
Helldozer: Roll 1d20 to hurtle through hell as with the effect of Hellhole but without the save: stranded in hell on a 1. Roll with advantage but no modifiers if you have a skilled pilot.

Price of a very nice warship, encumbrance of ~10 adventurers. Moves at half movement speed on land, any terrain. Anything on the helldozer's exterior when travelling through hell is lost unless the pilot rolls at least one 19+ (and wants to not lose the thing in question).

Extras: Bits o' Demon

Among the gore, guts and shredded miscellania your wizard or helldozer is coated in upon exiting the hellhole (1d20):

1: Small intestine, as rope
2: Meat chunk, as ration
3: Tooth, as dagger
4: Schpleenus, as flask of oil
5: Gigagizzard, as vial of poison
6: Suspicious meat chunk, as ration, save vs indigestion
7: Eyeball, a functioning replacement
8: Cursed eyeball, a functioning replacement with darkvision, save vs possession
9: Horn, as shortsword
10: Skin flap, +1 AC cloak, rotting smell
11: Grognad, ages you 1d20 years if ingested
12: Hairy scale, grow lustrous and enviable purple hair (d4: head/face/body/all) if ingested
13: Mumgristle, silent while chewing it: no voice, no clanking armour, nothin' (max 1 hour)
14: Pongle-giblets, you conduct lightning harmlessly while wearing them as a necklace (humans are put off by the smell, felines find it endearing)
15: Pupuukus, a blob of goo enough to coat one person, slimes or oozes think they are also slime and leave them be (wash off within a day or permanently gain slime-like qualities)
16: Slipworm, an extremely docile parasite - too big for your gut but for 1HP of your energy per day you can wear it as clothing, AC as plate with a fashionably meaty appearance
17: Vantoplaque, gunky paste that hardens and adheres over skin, make armour with it (as chain, cracks irreparably if critically hit)
18: Negablubber, completely inflammable, coat something up to people-size in it to make it utterly impervious to heat for 1 hour
19: Gongulary gland, huff the gas contained within to see invisible things (permanent, one use, the whites of your eyes go purple)
20: Phallus, as greatsword

1 comment:

Spwack said...

"Bits o' Demon" has so much good content on it's own that it's practically a second blogpost! It feels like Chr- oh yeah.