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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

[Blogosphere][Gaming] Gardens of Delight- (updated)

While I have cut away a few of the blogs that either didn't speak to me as I well as I had hoped, or those whose degrees of inactivity were simply of too great a period for my hope to sustain further interest, I am subscribed to-, and read 35 or so in number.
Your humour, interests, passions, and rants often inspire my commentary (however tangential or insipid) and more than occasionally, I find myself creatively inspired.

Reading Ryan's Save vs. Poison, today, I was inspired to define Blue Lotus flower in gaming terms in a comment.
--Here I present it, and a few other botanicals (over the course of the day) in Urutsk gaming terms:

* Blue Lotus-
:: is both a vasodilator (good for the menfolks) and a relaxant.

Usage: Smoked, or ingested decoction/infusion.
Critical Test: Health at +2 to overcome effects; otherwise (45 minutes - Physique score) duration per dose.

-1 on Initiative
-1 on Certitude, Reasoning, and Balance Tests
+1 per die damage suffered from Edged weapons due to increased blood flow
+2 on Leverage and Constitution Tests
+1 on Resolve, and any sort of 'creativity' Tests

:: Blue Lotus flower, by itself, is a mild relaxant and generally improves the mood of the smoker or imbiber, without having a deleterious narcotic effect. It is also used in an aphrodisiacal application (and often in conjunction with other preparations) for males due to the increased blood flow that it enables.
:: When used in conjunction with other botanicals, increases their overall effect by roughly 20%, largely through the vasodilation action.
:: The smoke is a slightly musty and rather dense affair, while the teas or wines made with the leaves have a pleasant, if herbal taste.

25 dct per 1.5 oz. of dried flowers

* Five-frond-
:: is a moderate relaxant, and a mild hallucinogen.

Usage: Ingested (also as decoction/infusion), or Smoked.
Critical Test: Health to overcome effects; otherwise (45 minutes - Physique score) duration per dose, although the potency of the plant may impose a higher Threshold, or increase the duration. Ingesting the plant requires 2 to 3x the normal amount to be smoked, but does impose a 22 or higher Threshold, and depending on the amount ingested, can extend the duration of the effect for hours.

-2 on Initiative
-2 on Reasoning, and Balance Tests
+1 on Certitude Tests and Experience Critical Tests
+2 on Resolve, and any sort of 'creativity' Tests

:: Five-frond is a medicinal plant with multifarious applications, raging from pain-reliever to diuretic, as well as calming the digestive tract and increasing appetite. It is also used in many spiritual applications, whether directly ingested or inhaled, or in incense.
:: Virtually every Human ethnicity and Humanoid tribe uses Five-frond in some capacity, from the simple recreational relaxant, to the complex alchemical concoction.
:: It has an extremely low toxicity level to its effective dosage strength, and it is virtually impossible to suffer physical toxicity effects. However, even mild dosages of highly potent plants can induce a profound and varied array of psychological effects upon the user. These may be benign or even beneficial, or may be a terrifying and nightmarish mishmash of confused images and deep-seated fears represented in iconic plays of the imagination. In general, the less experience one has with this plant's effects, the more extreme the effect (one way or the other), while habitual users (recreational or shamanic) often feel they gain deep insights through the use.

5 cct per 1 oz. of commercially grown and cultivated dried vegetative buds (ubiquitous growth throughout Urutsk's temperate or warmer climes, or cultivated indoors in Arctic northern climates. The Black Crown has enormous hot-house production fields under Black Glass enclosures in the vast undisturbed frozen north.), otherwise, free.

* Hkraff Leaf-
:: acts as a vasoconstrictor, a stimulant, and a relaxant, based on speed of intake.

Usage: Chewed, Smoked, or Snorted.
Critical Test: Health with 22 Threshold to overcome effects; otherwise (30 minutes - Physique score) duration per dose.

-1 on Certitude, Reasoning if dosage missed, until next dosage
-1 per die damage suffered from Edged weapons due to decreased blood flow
+1 on Resolve (-1, instead, if dosage is missed)

:: Hkraff is an unusual botanical in that it offers very little benefit (or perceived benefit), until the addict is under its sway.
:: While it can be used as a stimulant, by taking in small, sharp breaths (or bumps of it nasally), if longer draws of the smoke are inhaled, it instead acts as a whole body relaxant.
:: The third usage, most popular with work crews, soldiers, and long-haul merchants, is that of a slow-release 'chew' placed between gums and lip, usually of the lower palate, with the toxic juices produced in the saliva, spat out.

:: Ingesting dried Hkraff leaf, will act as a purgative within (1d4 + Constitution) minutes.
:: Eating the green plant has limited nutritional value, but is most often prescribed medicinally to act as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory.

:: Those who have become chemically dependant upon Hkraff find themselves increasingly more irritable as the span between dosages increases. If the individual is a highly irritable or nervous one before Hkraff usage, the intensity of their mood will only increase as the supply in their system decreases. This fact alone makes 'kicking the habit' especially unpleasant for the afflicted.

:: The first time, and every time thereafter that Hkraff is taken into the system in an non-purgative or low-dose medicinal application, the individual must make an unmodified Health Critical Test, or become addicted.
:: Treating Hkraff addiction is generally best accomplished through the use of Catnip or Five-frond, with the substitute gradually increased and the Hkraff gradually reduced and finally eliminated entirely.

5 ct per 3 oz. of dried leaves, shredded

* Klahs-
:: is a powerful medicinal with strong hallucinogenic effects.

Usage: Ingested (pill formulation) or Insinuated (via needle or actual syringe).
Critical Test: Health with 25 Threshold to overcome effects; otherwise (3d6 days - Physique score) duration per dose.

+1 on Initiative
+1 on Certitude, Reasoning, and Balance Tests
-3 on Leverage and Constitution Tests

:: Klahs is a rare compound formed of three different fungi (one subterranean, and two high-altitude lichen). The formulation is difficult to achieve due to the rapid decomposition of the fungus.
:: When administered through insinuation, the subject begins to feel the psychogenic effects within the hour if the resistance Threshold is not met or exceeded. This results in what seem to be optical illusions and auditory hallucinations. In reality, these symptoms are cursory Psychic effects as the subject's brain is being altered, and new neural connections are being formed. At the end of the first (few) doses, the subject becomes increasingly synesthetic (experiencing multiple sense feedback to stimuli, such as hearing light, or smelling colour, etc.).
:: After roughly seven successful treatments (as the formulation rapidly breaks down and must be prepared every other day or so), the subject gains 1d3 beneficial mental aberrations, and 1 detrimental physical aberration (the total value of which is not to exceed 2,400 points, if the construction method is employed). Ingested formulations require roughly two to three times the number of doses to achieve the same results, although the first few will produce considerable, and long-lasting hallucinations along with the synesthetic effects.
:: When the initial treatment has run its course, the subject will find that the beneficial aberrations must be maintained through future daily doses. Without this regimen, the beneficial aberrations rapidly diminish, and they are left with a feeling of psychic vacancy, as well as an exaggerated awareness of their gained detrimental aberration, effectively raising the Threshold of all actions by a cumulative +1 per day. Should no further doses be received for over one month, the subject usually either dies, or takes their own life.
:: If doses are administered again after a span without it being in the subject's system, it will take up to three days for full restoration of the beneficial aberrations, with the least powerful of them being restored first, and so on.

:: The above listed modifiers are essentially permanent, once the Klahs has effected aberration.

1,500 to 4,500 ct per dose, based on availability of the insinuated formulation, or one-third that price for the pill form.

* Shaz-
:: is both a vasoconstrictor and a euphoric relaxant.

Usage: Ingested brew.
Critical Test: Health to overcome effects; otherwise (45 minutes - Physique score) duration per dose.

-1 on Initiative
-1 on Certitude, Reasoning, and Balance Tests
-1 per die damage suffered from Edged weapons due to decreased blood flow
+1 on Leverage and Constitution Tests
+1 on Resolve

:: Shaz is a fermented drink made from the roots and stalks of the Ylurn plant. It has a bitter, smoky flavour, and produces a thick 'head' of foam at the top of the mug.

:: Shaz has many different names, and uncounted local variations, including additional ingredients and varying potency. It is only slightly alcoholic in content, as the fermentation of the vegetative matter catalyses a secondary process which prevents wholesale conversion of sugars. The effect is relatively similar to alcohol inebriation, but with the added euphoria found in more exotic botanicals.
:: Shaz and its derivative blends are the usual first offering in make-peace meetings between potential rival groups.

:: Shaz is easily as psychologically 'addictive' as alcohol-abuse, but is less likely to result in morose imbibers. Sadly, it is equally impairing to motor-skills as well as the imbiber's judgement.

5 dct per 20 fl.oz. serving