Thursday, March 17, 2011

d30 Potion Containers Besides a 1 oz. Flask

You know, I always picture a flat-bottomed flask, or a round bottom flask, of more like 12 oz. Or 16, if this orange juice bottle beside me is to be believed.

d30 Potion Containers Besides a 1 oz. Flask
1) Intravenous drip bag (but you can bust it open and drink it)
2) Snortable powder (go ahead and extrapolate to all the recreational drugs here)
3) Hypo-spray
4) The Old Fart's Clever Air-Bulb Invention (or Pepe Le Pew atomizer)
5) Candy (say, Pop Rocks--or chewing gum)
6) Pharmaceutical pill capsule or little paper pouch of grains
7) An ingenious replica of a dove's egg
8) Pop-top aluminum can
9) Bladder or other organ sac
10) Lick-and-stick tattoo
11) Eye drops, ear drops or inhaler
12) Wax cylinder (to drink) or scented candle (to burn)
13) Laser pointer to the eye
14) Whole body of a tiny bird (or mouse)
15) Pickle or other queer fruit
16) Ear funnel (for warm oil )
17) The Very Eucharistic Host of the Body of Mazirian the Magician
18) Subcutaneous microchip
19) Skin (or face) cream
20) Hair tonic
21) Lipstick (I hear ladies use lip gloss or something nowadays)
22) Dissolving square of film (on the tongue, or one of those fortune-telling fish)
23) Just stuff a bee in your ear
24) A tiny tornado in a glass cube that spins in your palm (that's from Bravestarr, ep. 26)
25) Blow smoke in a soap bubble and then eat it
26) Spice flakes (take with food)
27) Magical cheese
28) Spores of a puffball fungus
29) Muscular pink earsmoke released by the breaking of a chicken bone
30) Deep whiff of a nosegay

And, the inevitable: a suppository. I do apologize.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Etymonday: Crannogs and Conlangers

First, let me say Hail and Welcome to my new Thralls! I hope I can occasionally write something of some interest to you.

A now, a flash from the past:


(source) (I hated this game so much, but you know I'm going to buy it again.)

Re-reading A Game of Thrones I encountered this word 'crannog' which I guess I never looked up last time, because I didn't have any idea what it meant. (Here's the American Heritage version, via Wordnik: An ancient Irish dwelling or fort built on an artificial island in a lake or marsh.) So, no surprise it's an Irish Gaelic word, a welcome addition to the small family of Gaelic words in English: crag, leprechaun, shamrock, whiskey, bog, gob, brogue, cairn, loch, phoney, smithereens, and apparently, spunk. Go here and here for more.

While perusing the wikilands for infos about the HBO Game of Thrones production, my wife learned that a Dothraki language has been created. This, along with the event with the creators of Klingon and Na'vi we went to down to the college, prompts me to share with you all something that likely comes as no surprise: I have tried my hand at making up languages.

First, it was some Elven, back in '89. Inspired by The Lord of the Rings, yes, but also the Elven words in the Dragonlance Chronicles. I remember one from those books, shalafi, but all I remember from my own is the possessive suffix, -ki. All my notes from those days are long gone, he said through a sniffle.

In the Nine-Tays I wanted to write a noble-savage type books about orcs--I wanted to call it "soft-science fiction" because it would be all anthropological. Yeah, I'm kind of embarrassed for me too. Call it confessional time. Anyway, the lead was named Gorak Nannak-klu, the nannak-klu being the Orcish for "demon-heart" and the Gorak just sounding cool, despite being a real-world name. Google wasn't a thing back then. As for the language I origianlly wanted it to have creole prototype grammar (for the minimum work for me) but I also wanted it to have infixing, so then I gave up.

Not that I think that's very interesting. What I am interested in is YOUR made up languages. What languages have you made up? How long before you realized it was a huge Tolkien-esque diversion from anything useful in playing the game it was probably intended for? How deep are you in conlang? What do you know about the Language Creation Society? I promise not to ignore your comments this time!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hot Elf Dude Welcomes You To The OSR


For an explanation of what's going on with this post, try here at the Underdark Gazette.
Meanwhile, a d30 Table:
d30 Unnatural Character Origins
  1. I'm from a planet where everyone has my super-power
  2. I'm from Middle America in the '80s
  3. I used to be a turtle
  4. I'm you, but from the future
  5. I'm your father, but from Earth 11 where all the genders are reversed
  6. I feel asleep a thousand years ago
  7. My home planet exploded
  8. I was born of the love of a moonbeam for a dewdrop
  9. I woke up in a vat of goo
  10. I started life as a gray cube found on a dusty shelf
  11. My parallel universe collapsed with this one but somehow I'm still here
  12. I was raised by snakes
  13. I'm evolved from a simian species from the literature of your choice
  14. I'm evolved from an insectoid species from the comic book of your choice
  15. This is actually just my larval form
  16. This isn't my body and I want my body back
  17. This isn't my body and its owner wants it back
  18. I'm a super-intelligent gorilla brain--I just took this body because I liked it
  19. I'll be a god again once I find my trusty whatsit
  20. My father is the Sky God and he will acknowledge me just as soon as he sees how great I am
  21. I'm a stone robot
  22. I change shape every 28 days, but it's not really my call
  23. I'm a freakishly intelligent squirrel
  24. I'm a figure from an enchanted painting
  25. I'm a snow wife
  26. I'm a mermaid who sprouted legs (I might have a debt with the Octopus Lady)
  27. I used to be a toy
  28. I haven't always been a toy
  29. I may look like an elf but I'm a flower quickened by starseed
  30. In my village we all breed like Mogwais so it's hard to tell us apart