Wednesday, July 14, 2021

GLOG Class: GRETCH SOULS

 "Well done, Skeleton!"

In both GLOG and Dark Souls you will spend much of your time getting killed by things that are much bigger and meaner than you. This superficial likeness can mean only one thing, one fact of cosmological convergence:

Dark Souls is emo GLOG.

From the Dark Souls wiki. Unedited. I said, unedited.

THE GRETCH SOUL
(All GLOGgery is based on the  Many Rats on a Stick edition by Skreples)

A: Undead, Souls, Dodge Roll, Messages

B: Unlocks when you have 9 other templates and with your approval. Choose: Link Cycle or Break Cycle.

Starting equipment: sword, old cuirass (as leather), warm clay flask (heal 1d4, refill when resting at fire), torch.

Starting skills: Ruins, Firemaking

Undead: With each level you gain 1 max HP instead of 2. You start with half your Constitution instead of Constitution-4.

When you would normally die, you turn to ash, lose a class template and emerge from the mists around the last fire you personally lit. You lose templates in the reverse order that you gained them.

If you lose template A, you become a mindless undead (your character is lost).

The last template you lost remains at your place of death, hidden in your ashy remains, where you can find it again.

Souls: When you kill a creature that has at least double your max HP, you draw a great soul from its remains. You might also (very rarely) find great souls as loot.

There is a cool magical lady who is helping you on your quest. She speaks in mysterious solemn phrasings but you get the impression she doesn't have a lot to do and just likes you.

She'll follow you around at a safe distance, always staying out of danger. When you kneel and touch her hand, she can use her lady-of-the-lake-ishness to give you templates of other classes in exchange for great souls you've collected.

The template she offers depends on her mood. Every day, the magical lady has a random mood from the magical lady table. If you don't like the template she offers, you can try to hang on to your great soul for a day and see how things change.

The magical lady...

  1. ...is eating baked sweets that a raven has brought her. They look tasty. (Thief)
  2. ...plays with a white fox. She laughs, but you feel cold. (Hunter)
  3. ...has found a grave of old, and is putting flowers on it. (Knight)
  4. ...is listening to a conch shell to see if she hears the sea. You hear nothing. (Drowned Wizard)
  5. ...has found a nice spot to look at the clouds. It's windy. Her hair waves. (White Hand Wizard)
  6. ...is making a pot of soup over a small fire. It's warm, at least. (Fighter)
  7. ...is lighting candles at a dilapidated shrine. So that's who does it. (Pyromancer)
  8. ... contemplates an old skull. She looks at you the same way. (Tomb Ranger)

Dodge Roll: the bread and butter of your survival tactics. Once per round, you can move 5ft immediately, even to avoid an enemy attack. For every template you have above 2nd, you can do this one more time per round. If you are under any fear effect, the direction of this ability is random (1d8).

Messages: At any place, you can search for 10 minutes to find [templates] messages left by other sorry souls. The messages are composed by arranging any of the following parts:

Well done

Monster

Chest

Skeleton

Keep trying

And

Vision of

Jump

Ahead

But

If only I had a

Liar

Nothing

Hurray for

Ambush

Treasure

Try

Sadness

Duo

Therefore


Break Cycle: End your game. Start a new one in a non-GLOG system.

Link Cycle: End your game. Start a new one in a different GLOG hack.





4 comments:

  1. All the important parts of the souls experience

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  2. While it's got a lot of stuff that I like, I think some of the things kind of miss the point of the Souls experience.

    For one thing, the random nature of acquiring templates. Seems like it takes decision making out of the hands of the players, more than it needs to. Sure, you can bank large souls for later, but that's barely better. One of the big draws about Souls games is the build-making potential. Random templates are in keeping with OSR, sure, but it's not Souls-ian.

    On another point, losing templates themselves upon death is also not true to Souls games. Your lowercase-s souls - the XP and currency - are lost upon death, but any abilities (read: templates) gained through your magical lady are already invested in yourself. You can die as many times as you want in the Souls games, you won't get any worse at swinging a sword.

    One of the ways that the random undead mobs worked in Souls was that you weren't just dealing with dreglings all the time. There were plenty of skilled, dangerous undead running around. In GLOG terms, none of those enemies seemed to have lost their templates.

    If it were up to me, I'd decouple Undeath from the templates entirely, and treat it as an additional state that any character can acquire if the right conditions are met. The original intent with GLOG was that, beyond the four template abilities, all powers or added stuff had to be acquiered elsewhere, instead of being obtained automatically. Because while the templates were your character growing into their archetype, other things were add-ons, to be claimed by adventuring.

    Undeath, in this mode, is a curse a character with any GLOG class can obtain. Probably as a result of dying for the first time, and the player elects to return as an undead rather than rolling up a new character.

    I'd also decouple the magical lady from the character themselves. There's a whole bunch of magical ladies out there, though the PC may find themselves happening to run into the same one often. They know how to turn great souls into templates as normal, but the player chooses which. Though to add variety, you might restrict what templates a magical lady can grant (from a short list). So one magical lady might be able to grant only martial templates, another only "good guy" templates (paladins, "clerics", etc). If you want to go outside that magical lady's wheelhouse, you either need to find another magical lady, or find a way to teach the magical lady new tricks. The latter via adventuring to find artifacts, like a holy book/relic of a saint, or a torch lit by primordial flame, or some disgusting, dripping mass of oily flesh pulled from the darkest abyss.

    (I do genuinely enjoy the bit about randomly rolling to see what the magical lady is doing when you stumble upon here, though.)

    As for the cost of undeath, you might take direct inspiration from Souls and make souls XP and currency both. Alternatively, create some sort of Sanity stat, that goes down by one each time you die, but which is restored upon retrieving the "souls" you left behind. This stat can be increased by offering greater souls to the magical lady, giving another thing to spend those one. If it ever bottoms out, you go hollow and hand in your character sheet. None of this actually makes your character any less of a threat, mind, if they become a hollowed NPC. Which can be pretty inconvenient for the rest of the party, if your old character became a high level badass that suddenly lusts for their souls.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry if the above seems overly critical. I don't mean to crap on your work.

      If I may sum up my feelings, I think we have a different perspective about what it means to translate Dark Souls into GLOG.

      Your post seems centered on transplanting the Souls experience into the class. It sees being a Souls undead as just another option among many standard GLOG classes, and doesn't go beyond that.

      I came from the direction of making Souls-like mechanics a core facet of the world the characters inhabit. Undead aren't a class, but just something a person can become because that's how the campaign setting works. Undeath, in the Souls sense, is a natural law. As are, essentially, the presence of magical ladies, the ability to claim souls, leaving messages, and dodge rolling. It's no more a class-specific mechanic than the ability to sit in chairs.

      That's where I'm coming from. Using GLOG with a bunch of setting rules layered on top of it, to simulate what it would be like to adventure in a Souls-like universe.

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    2. I can hardly believe that this is probably not a joke. I think you should probably have written some kind of blogpost, not an obscenely long comment.

      Delete