When scholars speak of dimensions, they are often referring to the Plane of Fire or the realms of gods. To the arduous planar student, however, and the few adventurers with gumption enough to escape it, a whole utterly unique universe thrives in a nearly paralleled array of very special demiplanes. Depth and height are the only laws governing existence in these strange miniworlds, and the minds of most mortals struggle to grasp their place in Ludolog, the 2-Bit Dimension.
Creatures have their field of vision reduced to a width of 5 feet that stretches out in front of, behind, below, and above them, providing detail within their normal range of vision. There is no “left” or “right” or any sides that are not distant, different miniworlds within Ludolog (accessible only through the Nexus; see below)—there isn’t a single true curve in the 2-Bit Dimension.
- This simplification of the mind incurs a -10 penalty to Perception checks, and creatures see everything within Ludolog as large, rigid squares utterly devoid of curves.
- Targets of ranged attacks receive a +2 cover bonus to AC for every creature between them and their attacker.
- A creature may choose to volley a ranged attack at a -3 penalty to the roll, reducing the weapon’s range by half (but ignoring cover bonuses from line of sight).
There is only the vertical—in the simplest terms, the world is like a side-scrolling video game or ant farm. Creatures can move up, down, backwards, and forwards, but not left or right [be prepared for jokes about railroading, but don’t worry—I’ve got you covered in next week’s article! -MM]. Gravity behaves strangely in Ludolog and traversing the vertical is far easier in the miniworlds than elsewhere.
- Creatures gain an automatic vertical jump height equal to ½ their base speed and automatic horizontal jump distance equal to ⅔ base speed.
- Running jumps gain an automatic +5 foot bonus to vertical height and +10 foot bonus to horizontal distance.
- Creatures receive a pound special attack. This melee touch attack must be made at the end of a jump, dealing 1d8 points of bludgeoning damage per 10 feet traveled (and an additional amount of damage equal to the attacker’s Strength modifier).
- Creatures can fall 40 feet before taking any falling damage, but take 4d8 points of bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet traveled beyond 50 feet.
- There is one single 5-ft.-wide line in each mini-world; on each side of it there is a wall of force 5 feet across that fades at the beginning of a creature’s next turn after it is pressed against with a DC 10 Strength check. After another 5-ft.-wide line there is a completely impassable wall of force, and any attempts made to move through this permeable line treat it as difficult terrain and creatures that fail a DC 10 Strength check (made at the beginning of each turn) become staggered until the end of their turn.
Fortunately most of the miniworlds are filled with platforms, chutes, ladders, and numerous other means to ascend and descend with relative safety, and there are no ill effects from rising to great altitudes.
Death in Ludolog
The peculiar effects of the 2-Bit Dimension twist and warp the essence of any souls within, making mortality rather fickle. This is extremely fortunate, as there are many dangers within Ludolog that can instantly kill creatures (instadeath effects).
- The instant a PC enters the 2-Bit Dimension and every 24 hours afterward, they gain a number of “Lives” (or, if singular, “Life”) equal to ½ hit dice (minimum 1). These lives do not carry over from day to day and refresh as a sorcerer’s spells; non-PC creatures do not gain lives.
- Every time a creature is slain in Ludolog, they lose one Life and appear in a safe square 200 feet behind the location in which they died (though some miniworlds have specific areas where a creature’s mortality is restored by a Life).
- A creature that is slain when it possesses no Lives dies normally and cannot be resurrected.
- When a permanently dead creature would refresh their Lives, they may choose to take 2 permanent levels to have their mortality returned, gaining back their normal count of Lives – 1.
Miniworlds and the Nexus
All of the miniworlds within Ludolog extend from the Nexus, like the spokes of a massive wheel. Breaching these invisible walls is supremely difficult and not advised.
- Each miniworld is contained within several enormous walls of force (CL 21st) that cover and contain the entirety of the demiplane’s sides (restricting the dimensions of the miniature plane).
- Creatures within 100 feet of a breach in a wall of a miniworld must make a DC 40 Fortitude save or die instantly.
- Any exposure to the stuff between the miniworlds results in immediate death without a DC 40 Fortitude save each round.
- The average lateral distance between miniworlds in Ludolog is 10d10 x 1,000 feet. This increment of distance fluctuates and changes every minute.
- Teleportation magic to take a creature outside of a miniworld is impossible; these spells only function normally in the Nexus.
Stay tuned throughout January as we kick off the new year with some old school gaming here on the AaWBlog!