Friday, October 20, 2017

Hex Location: Balete of the Forgotten Datus

Not mine. Owned by Lakad Pilipinas

A balete (banyan) tree, its strangler roots enclosing an area 25 feet across. Its leaves and roots tower above, forming a canopy that can shield from sun and rain. (The latter less so.) The area covered by the balete is sacred ground - all Utang (Prayer) checks made within the area have their DCs reduced by 5 because of this. 

Long-dead datus have been meticulously exhumed, washed, wrapped in silk, and placed in large porcelain jars along with their jewelry and possessions. The jars were then "reburied" by leaving it under the younger strangling roots for the balete to slowly subsume. Now, the people who practiced this tradition are gone and the deeds of their once-glorious datus have long been forgotten. But the balete remains, as do three of the jars. If the jars can somehow be unrooted, treat the entirety as CR 4 Treasure Hoard. (Roll only on Gems or Art Objects, and Magic Items columns.)

(If used as part of COCKAMANIA:  The datus remember an earlier form of the cock festival and might speak of it, assuming of course that the dead are somehow allowed to speak.)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hex Location: Banana Grove

Image source.

A cluster of wild-growing banana stalks, each with bunches of fruit ripe for the picking. They can serve as daily rations for 1d4+1 days before going bad. As uncultivated specimens, the bananas are filled with large seeds that are hard to chew and bitter if broken, so eating the fruits is a very involved process of sucking out the flesh and spitting out the seeds. Alternatively, they make for effective soup thickening agents if stewed.

If the banana grove is discovered at night, there is a 30% chance that the lower limbs of a hunting manananggal can be found here. They are camouflaged quite well as immature banana stalks, requiring a DC 18 Wisdom (Perception) check to spot. The manananggal will give away anything it can to have its limbs back before sunrise.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Town of Sabungan

(Part 1 of COCKAMANIA!!)

The town of Sabungan is a well known destination for people who wish to bet on cockfights. Lying on a bend of the Oryang River, Sabungan becomes a floodplain during the monsoon rains, which people take advantage of by developing canals and irrigation systems for growing rice. It is also because of these floods that Sabungan’s homes are elevated on posts, perching them high above the ground like the cocks that they adore.

Source: WikiPilipinas
And adore these cocks they do, with a gusto that other people may reserve for their lovers. Or perhaps it is not erotic, but narcissistic: The Sabungan man bathes his cock and feeds it with expensive meats and grain. He strokes it, he brushes it, he fluffs it, he speaks to it in low voices. He compares it constantly with others’ cocks. The more a person loves himself, the more attention he tends to give to his cock. Some babaylan even say that the cock is actually one of man’s souls. It is his spirit of pride, and when it dies in the ring (for cockfighting is indeed a lethal sport), he loses a part of himself and must raise it anew to be whole again.

This cock fever is shared by the rest of Sabungan, as well as most of the people who come here to gamble. Everywhere, sculptures of cocks by expert goldsmiths and woodcarvers decorate houses and street markers. Instead of a marketplace, the town center is a great cock fighting arena. It is a great amphitheater of bamboo and wood, raised above the ground by stone pillars that were quarried near the haunted wood before it was haunted. This arena is suitably grandiose that, when people talk of Sabungan, they usually refer to the arena instead of the town.

Monster Monday: The Kapre

(You can find a fee pdf of this writeup over at Nosfecatu's Patreon page! This is pretty much identical, except that one references OGL spells. This one does not. I am unsure which format I prefer right now.)

The kapre is a forest giant with an affinity for trees. It is known to lair within the branches of older ones, but even the branches of younger trees are somehow able to withstand its great weight without snapping. It is also capable of moving through trees as if they were the smoke of its famed cigar. Despite its appearance as an unkempt, cigar-smoking giant, the kapre has the emotional intelligence (and relative lack of malice) of a child.

The cigar of the kapre allows it to exhale its fey smoke. Through it, the giant has access to magics that deceive the senses and mire the mind. It is also unique – at least one kapre’s “cigar” is actually a pipe, for example – and it never burns out while the kapre is alive. Some even speculate that the pipe is an extension of the kapre’s spirit, and that the kapre will die if it is ever unlit. Regardless, the cigar is a sought-after item by both eccentric collectors and those who just relish the thought of smoking it.

The kapre has a protecting nature, but not a sharing one. It will keep every branch of its favorite trees safe, but it will take a lot of convincing to get it to share their fruits. It is also known for its fondness for children, for his emotional temperament is closes to that of a child. If understood, the kapre can become a sort of immortal guardian figure to them. Unfortunately, the parents of children tend to mistake the kapre for a common, child-eating ogre. If deprived of those it wants to protect, the kapre can enter a destructive tantrum that can level villages.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monster Monday: The Tianak

I've actually written about the tianak before, back in 4th Edition. (See Asuang: Shapechanging Horrors.) It's been 7 years though, so I figured it's about time to update this undead infant for 5th Edition rules. I like to think that tianaks are wonderful 1st level threats - they're easy to kill, yes, but good luck convincing people that killing something that for all intents and purposes looks like a baby.

So, for today's (delayed) #MonsterMonday, here is the tianak as it appears in Meilakanjan!

Part of #RPGSEA.

(You can find a fee pdf of this writeup over at Nosfecatu's Patreon page!)