Belching Snakes

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We were driving in the car recently and my son asks, "what would happen if snake came out of your mouth every time you burped?"

I think a normal parent would have reacted much differently than I did.

"What kind of snake?" I ask.

"Well, if you burp once, a spitting cobra comes out. If you burp twice, a king cobra comes out."

"What happens with the cobras when they are out?"

"The cobras will do whatever you say or just follow you around for a while."

"If you burp a lot, do you get a lot of cobras?

"No, you can only get three cobras no matter how many times you burp."

"What if I burp three times?"

"Nothing. One burp is a spitting cobra, two burps are a king cobra."

Thus we have the belching snakes spell for Swords & Wizardry or your favorite retro-clone.

Belching Snakes

Spell Level: Cleric, 2rd Level, Druid, 3rd Level
Range: 30 feet (after the snakes appear)
Duration: 1 hour

The caster begins belching loudly in bursts of one or two belches. If the caster belches once, a spitting cobra appears. If the caster makes a two belch burst, a king cobra appears. The snakes follow commands, but wander off at the end of the spell. If killed, they disappear into nothingness.

Spitting Cobra: HD 1; AC 5[14]; Atk 1 bite (1hp); Move 16; Save 17; AL N; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Spit poison, 30' range (Save with +2 bonus to roll or go blind for 2d8 turns).
King Cobra: HD 2; AC 5[14]; Atk 1 bite (2hp + poison); Move 16; Save 16; AL N; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Lethal poison.

Section 1 to 14 of the OGL are here

Section 15 of the OGL for this article:

15. COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document
© 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, John D. Rateliff, Thomas Reid, James Wyatt, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules
, © 2008, Matthew J. Finch
Monster Compendium: 0e, © 2008, Matthew J. Finch
Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author:
Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and
Skip Williams.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 2, © 2010, Paizo Publishing,
LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Graeme
Davis, Crystal Frasier, Joshua J. Frost, Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge,
James Jacobs, Steve Kenson, Hal MacLean, Martin Mason, Rob
McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, Sean K Reynolds,
F. Wesley Schneider, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Russ Taylor,
and Greg A. Vaughan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte
Cook, and Skip Williams.
Monstrosities, © 2012, Matthew J. Finch
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rules, © 2008-2012, Matthew J. Finch
Belching Snakes,  ©2015, Sycarion Diversions, Authors John Payne and Jasper Payne

The Question This Geek Dad Has Been Waiting to Hear

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So Dad, when can I play D&D with you?

I leave the table up the entire two weeks with the guys' maps, dice, pencils, and the module I am running. He plays a lot near the table, but has only recently asked me about it. I think part of this was prompted by the raucous laughter that woke him up last Saturday.

For those that do not know, my son is hard of hearing. It takes a very loud sound to wake him up normally, much less when he is recovering from ear surgery with packing, stitches, and cotton plugging up one of his ears. His bedroom is a floor up and in the opposite side of the house. He sleeps in a loft six foot from the floor. For all intents and purposes, he should not have heard us.

Anyway, he came downstairs and asked me what was so funny. I explained to him the following scene:

In a cave, there is a giant punching a bunch of noisy statues. Each statue is shouting "THIS IS THE WRONG WAY, TURN BACK!" There are 1000 bats in the cave swirling around the giant.

He (pointing to one of the players) is pretending to be a 7 foot tall orc-like creature on a huge horse. They are charging down a flight of stairs into the cave. Behind him is a bear running as fast as he can. Behind the bear is a suit of armor (pointing at a second player) that can walk and talk on its own. Behind the suit of armor is a priest kind of guy (pointing at a third player) that is not sure why he is running in.

He started laughing and that struck me so funny that I was in tears from laughing so hard. After a moment to collect myself, I turn to the guys and ask, "You've charged into this maelstrom, guns blazing. What do you do?"

The character on the horse says, "Can we sneak past the giant?"

My son laughs again.

It was a week later when he asked me the question. He was looking at the table full of dice and maps. I'm sure he remembers me laughing so hard.

I ask, "Was it funny when the guy charged in on a horse with a bear running behind him?"

"Yes," he said, "but it was funnier when he wanted to sneak past the giant thing."

I think I've got a future DM on my hands.

A New Race, For Fun

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Some time ago, I mentioned on G+ that my son wants to play n intelligent dolphin in a game. This dolphin is not part of an undersea adventure, but travels on land and interacts with "hobbits", "scientists", and "regular people".

Since he was three, he has associated the word "howert" with dolphins. It has been the sound they make when attempting English, it has represented various superpowers, and finally has come to mean the name that they call themselves in their language.

So, here is my write-up for Swords & Wizardry:

The Howerters

Limited Telekinesis: Howerters have no arms or legs, but can manipulate objects as if they had arms and legs. Regardless of STRENGTH score, they do not gain bonuses to hit or damage using melee weapons.

Yes, they can use rings.

Levitation and Limited Flight: Howerters do not make contact with the ground unless they choose (or die). They levitate at a height to have eye level at 5 feet, but can levitate as high as 8 feet for CONSTITUTION/2 rounds a day. In any situation that requires a roll for aerial piloting or maneuvering, they gain a +4 bonus or improve the maneuverability by one class.

Avoid Traps: Howerters will not set off any trap that depends on weight or pressure plates. They will also be immune to tripwires. This is due to the fact that they hover as movement. As they have limited movement through three-dimensional space, they gain bonuses to avoiding other traps as determined by the referee.

Magic Sleeve: Howerters wear an article of clothing they call a sleeve. It prevents them from drying out through their adventures on land and negates the need to be underwater. Howerters cannot wear any armor other than their magic sleeve.

The sleeve provides a +/- 3 bonus to armor (between chain mail and leather), but no other special protections. It is not airtight and does not prevent touch-based attacks.

Swimmers: Howerters can remove the sleeve in water and swim as normal dolphins.

Classes: Player-Character howerters may be Magic-Users, Thieves, or Magic-User/Thieves. In the Thief class, a Howerter may advance with no maximum level limit. A Howerter that is solely a Thief takes no advantage of any XP bonus due to a high Dexterity. Howerters advancing in more than one class are limited to 9th level Magic-User (10th with an Intelligence of 18).

In campaign worlds with psionics, a Howerter has no maximum level limit in any psionic class. In worlds with Illusionists, they may reach a maximum of 12th level.

Non-player howerters can be clerics. If the referee decides to allow them as PCs, they may advance to 10th level. (11th level with a Wisdom of 18).

Personality: Howerters, like their cousins the dolphins, are very intelligent and curious. They are fearless explorers that are excited about discovering new creatures, locations, magic items, or anything else new. They can get bored quickly, but will rarely make rash decisions.

They are aware of their startling appearance and usually handle it with self-deprecating humor. Unless Chaotic in alignment, they get along with any species they come in contact with. They tend to be outgoing and gregarious. They are slow to make deep friendships, but once made, they are loyal to the point of death.