Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nine Knots

Why should the skulkers and scholars get all the love?  Here are some tools for your rangers and sailors:
  1. Ackley's Map - This knot records a 3-dimensional map of an area.  Folks with exceptional dexterity can make one surreptitiously, one-handed, as they traverse the place they're mapping.
  2. Decoy Snare - Resembles a small varmint and either helps in securing game or secures bigger game.
  3. Wet Cinch - Moisture will cause this to tighten
  4. Wet Release - Moisture will cause this to release completely
  5. Hour Hitch - The weight of the rope will cause this to release in one hour, also a half hour variant.
  6. Hour Cinch - Will tighten and pull up slack in an hour.  Constriction strong enough to suffocate or crush creatures smaller than man-size.
  7. Songbird - Releases on a particular whistle note.
  8. Knassi Stopper - The Knassi learned knots that certain animals hate to cross.  By stringing them in lengths of rope they could effectively make fences to channel or keep out bear, wolves, deer, etc. Different knots for each creature.  Requires twice the amount of rope you would need for the distance you want fenced.
  9. Brinley's Script - This knot is meant to inconspicuously leave messages.  Depending on how it'is tied it can mean several standard small messages: danger ahead, go north, watch for orcs, etc.
  10. Corliss Loop - This will let a weight slowly and evenly down a vertical rope.  Allows a person to descend without climbing or being lowered, and thus remain alert and ready.  Good for invalids.
Okay, that's more than nine but I just go ape for that alliteration, baby! ;)


  1. Ha! Clever angle. That knot board reminds me of my Boy Scout days.

  2. Very nice! I could see these being the contents of a valuable book, along the lines of, "spend a month studying this book and your Ranger will have mastered these knots."

  3. Thanks, all.

    @Trey: I missed out on Boy Scouts, did a watered down religious version of it. I don't remember doing any knots, but I love them.

    @Christopher: My thoughts exactly, have that nice npc that your players decided not to murder teach a ranger one of these. That would work best for the special ones like 1 or 8. A lot of the rest would be better to have as tools to choose from, so I dig your idea of putting them all in one book.

    @The Rubberduck: I'm glad, maybe your players can find an npc tied up in one. I forgot, I was thinking that a pc could have a chance of learning these by examining an existing one.

  4. These are really brilliant - one of the things I come here for, that nobody else is doing. Copying for future reference...

  5. I love this image! Where did you find it? Very beautiful and descriptive… would love to use / purchase the rights to use it for a project of mine.

    Let me know!!! thank you :)

  6. Hey, I went back and looked at the original and apparently I got it from Open Clip Art. It is in the public domain so you can use it as you please. It is on this page:


  7. What other sorts of techniques do you think would be good for having this sort of supernatural application of a normal skill available for? Firemaking seems like a good possibility, trapmaking is another--though very similar to knotmaking (and overlapping with it in some cases), maybe construction of shelters? It seems like there's no reason you could have the concept extend to skills that don't involve crafting, but I'm drawing a bit of a blank with that.

    I think this general idea has a lot of potential and would be worth further development.

    (Long time reader, finally decided to comment on a few posts that really resonated with me.)

  8. And thank you for commenting. I love knowing that someone has actually read something I posted up here. I spent a little time thinking about answers for each of your comments. Might answer through the day.

    For this one, I think the key for me was not making a normal skill magical, but finding something in the real world that has so much detail to it that it seems arcane and magical to me. Like tattoos, fireworks with all the various spinning types and types of bursts, recipes, etc. The first two I've done things for, the latter is basically alchemy or spell research. Some other things with cool detail (for me) sign language, martial arts moves, yoga postures, signal flags, heraldry, butterfly species, ancient systems of writing, runes, origami, music, hobo signs, cats cradle (probably too much like knots) etc.

    I have a draft of rune magic somewhere but got hung up on making it different enough magic to make it relevant. Martial arts moves are another thing I've thought a lot about an never quite got satisfactory. I think right now, the two that seem ripe for some exploration are folk runes, just forget the historical ones and imagine fun runes that you carve on to a surface, and origami.

    D&D was always a reason for me as a kid to explore some of these trivial things that interested me.