Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Wenches & Witches (d100 Carousing Table)

Story time:

We were rolling up characters with DOOMSLAKERS, the homebrew OSR ruleset included in the excellent Black Pudding zine. The optional d8 tables for hair/eye colour each have the same entry for rolling an 8: roll again, but on the other table. This, plus an entry on 7 to roll twice and combine colours, makes for more variety and some interesting or unusual combinations.

Thing is, Clarice the Silent's player (Clarice is a Medusa, one of the many brilliant classes from Black Pudding) was having a string of luck. She rolled an 8 - ok, refer to the other table. Then a 7... ok, roll twice... another 8, refer to the other table... and so on.

It wasn't a glaring flaw; we had a laugh about it, and we could've just rolled a d6 instead if we wanted to stop the madness, but it did get me thinking. That kind of chain-reaction rolling might not be ideal when you're a GM trying to cook up content on the fly, but if there's no real time pressure and you're willing to see where the dice take you, it can be fun. The compounding randomness creates a little rollercoaster ride of twists and turns as you watch an ever more bizarre final result come into view.

Y'know where that might work great? On a carousing table.
working title for this table was briefly No Sleep For Witches
I've been doing this blog for the better part of a year and I’ve yet to make a carousing table? For shame. This one is mildly seasonally flavoured but not to the extent that it's an All Hallows Eve exclusive.

The table assumes your party starts the night in a tavern in town, and goes from there, the fun being figuring out how you got where you ended up - standard carousing stuff. This won't do anything that's utterly terrible to your character, it's all in good jest. I’d just make players roll on this at the end of a quest if they wanted to level up.

I didn't include any specific costs, as game economies vary substantially and some folk use gold-for-XP, etc. For magic effects, assume they wear off with reasonable comedic timing.

Roll on the d4 tables when referred by bolded text. You might be sent to table after table - keeping rolling until the overall result is suitably wacky. Add to the d4 tables (making them a d6, d8, whatever), using specific examples from your game's world to make it more interesting: “Someone” could be a specific player character or favourite NPC, etc.

Happy Hallowe’en!

You wake up...
01: You've lost your favourite item. If the GM's nice, you can find it somewhere.
02: Slumped on the bar, drooling, half a tankard in one hand.
03: Slumped on the bar, wearing something.
04: On the floor in a pool of something.
05: Someplace, unscathed.
06: Someplace, in a compromising position.
07: Someplace, with a wench.
08: Someplace, with someone.
09: Someplace with someone and you're both bewitched.
10: Someplace with someone and you're both wearing the same thing.
11: Where you expected to be, but you're bewitched.
12: Where you expected to be, but you're in a compromising position.
13: Where you expected to be, but with a wench.
14: Where you expected to be, but in a pool of something.
15: A bed, alone and comfortable - not your own bed though, someone else's.
16: Nearby your coin purse, which you soon find out is somewhere.
17: Someplace, but your clothes are somewhere and you're wearing something else.
18: Someplace, with your weapon somewhere.
19: Someplace, in a pool of something.
20: In a compromising position, wearing something, half your money is somewhere nearby.
21: Someplace, with someone else, and they're in a compromising position.
22: Still in the tavern, with a bunch of random strangers all wearing the same thing.
23: Where you expected to be, but you've got a potion in one hand.
24: Where you expected to be, but you're under the effects of a potion.
25: Where you expected to be, but someone else is there and they just drank a potion.
26: Someplace, with someone, lying in a pool of something and wearing something.
27: Where you expected to be, but you're bewitched and under the effects of a potion.
28: Where you expected to be, with copious amounts of your favourite food.
29: Someplace, with copious amounts of your favourite food, in a compromising position.
30: Still in the tavern, but everyone else in there with you is bewitched.
31: Still in the tavern, things appear normal. All the ale is now spiked with some kind of potion.
32: On the tavern roof.
33: On the tavern roof, bewitched.
34: On the tavern roof with someone, one of you (flip a coin) is in a compromising position.
35: On the tavern roof, with a lucky find.
36: Someplace, and you're blindfolded. It's tight and tricky to get off without help.
37: Where you expected to be, bewitched and with a lucky find.
38: Still in the tavern, with someone, both under the effects of a potion (different ones).
39: Still in the tavern, you and a bunch of random strangers are all piled up in a snoring heap.
40: Out on the street, wearing something.
41: Out on the street, in a compromising position.
42: Out on the street, bewitched.
43: Out on the street, under the effects of a potion.
44: Out on the street, a lucky find clutched in one hand.
45: Out on the street in a pool of something.
46: Someplace with a bunch of strangers, and you're all wearing the same thing.
47: Still in the tavern, and the tavern is now owned by someone.
48: Still in the tavern, but the tavern owner is wearing something.
49: Still in the tavern, but the tavern owner is bewitched.
50: Still in the tavern, in a compromising position.
51: Still in the tavern, in a pool of something.
52: In bed with a skull.
53: In bed with a dead bat.
54: In bed with a live frog.
55: In bed with a pumpkin on your head.
56: In a graveyard, resting comfortably on the ground outside.
57: In a graveyard, in an empty grave.
58: In a graveyard, in a coffin with someone.
59: In a graveyard, in a coffin with a week-old corpse.
60: In a graveyard, in a coffin with someone spooky.
61: Still in the tavern, with a wooden leg in your grasp.
62: Someplace, and you have a tattoo (player to your left/right, flip a coin, decides what of).
63: Still in the tavern, and everyone's naked except for pumpkins on their heads.
64: In someone's bed, and they're in yours.
65: Everything's dark and cramped. You're at the tavern, in a barrel behind the bar.
66: Someplace, holding a potion bottle (don't roll for this one!) containing 6d6 bats.
67: In bed, holding a note in someone's handwriting; a recipe you both came up with.
68: Someplace, inside a giant pumpkin, naked.
69: Nice.
70: A wench is in your bed, and you're on the floor.
71: A wench is trying to wake you up before someone spooky gets home.
72: You and a wench are alone in the tavern.
73: You and someone spooky are alone in the tavern.
74: You and a wench are alone in the tavern, and they're someone spooky.
75: Someplace with someone spooky happily asleep on top of you.
76: In bed with a wench, but your belongings are somewhere.
77: In a dark alley, being poked and prodded awake by someone spooky.
78: A tune in your head. You, someone and someone spooky all decided to start a band.
79: You're wearing something, and so is literally everyone else in town.
80: In bed with a wench, and they're bewitched.
81: In bed with a wench, you're both bewitched (same effect). Someone spooky is there.
82: In bed with a wench, in a pool of something.
83: In bed with someone and a wench.
84: In bed with someone spooky.
85: In bed with a witch.
86: In bed with someone spooky, and you're in a compromising position.
87: In someone spooky's bed, and they're in a compromising position.
88: In bed with two wenches, both much larger than yourself. Hard to get out from betwixt.
89: Someplace with someone spooky, and they're wearing something.
90: Someplace, your money somewhere, in a compromising position, in a pool of something.
91: In a witch's house. They've tucked you into bed and are sleeping in the spare room.
92: In a witch's house. They've made you a potion.
93: In a witch's house. You're in a compromising position.
94: In a witch's house. You're bewitched.
95: In a witch's house. There's a wench there with you, too.
96: In a witch's house, someone spooky is there too. You're all wearing the same thing.
97: Up a tree. You made a lucky find last night, and you're also bewitched.
98: Someplace. You have the recipe for a potion scribbled on one hand.
99: You made a lucky find. Also, roll again.
00: Best night ever. Roll again, but you're still super fucking drunk.

1: the character of the player to your left/right (flip a coin)
2: a local shopkeep, barkeep, renowned NPC, etc
3: a wench
4: a witch!

Someone Spooky...
1: a vampire (or jiangshi)
2: a werewolf (or were-something)
3: a ghost
4: a witch!

1: the rooms upstairs at the tavern
2: the town square
3: someone's home or quarters
4: just outside of town

1: hanging outside in full view of all the town
2: stashed away in a boudoir
3: in a pile of muck by the roadside
4: up your butt

1: nothing
2: someone else’s clothes
3: fancy finery
4: a spooky costume

1: turned into a frog
2: turned invisible
3: in love with someone
4: body-swapped with someone

A Pool Of...
1: vomit
2: ale
3: expensive wine
4: a potion

1: levitation
2: virility
3: makes you bewitched
4: hallucinations

Compromising Positions...
1: handcuffed
2: blindfolded
3: gagged
4: with someone fast asleep on top of you, wearing something

Lucky Finds...
1: cool weapon
2: a potion, labelled
3: some money, not much
4: something inexpensive that someone really wants

Wenches... (here used as a gender-neutral term. Roll 2d6 for relative attractiveness out of 10)
1: wearing something
2: in a compromising position
3: not aligning with your usual proclivities
4: of a race rare to your game's setting

1: classic, green skin, pointy hat, broomstick nearby
2: sultry, vampy, sexy goth look
3: utterly normal in appearance, you haven't realised they're a witch
4: a wench (and a witch also, clearly)

If the result involves somebody else and their attitude towards you is unclear:
1: Miffed
2: Fairly indifferent, to be honest
3: Pleasant enough
4: Friendly
5: Amorous
6: Deeply intrigued

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Away With the Faeries (a racial mechanic)

A mechanic for fantasy campaigns in which mortals venture into faerie-land to do their adventuring.

Each player character has an Attunement number from 1-6, with 1 being the average mundane human and 6 being someone almost completely lost to the faeries.

Attunement starts at 1 for humans and orcs, 2 for other races and wizards, 3 for Elves, and 4 for actual faeries. (The GM could even have players roll 1d4 and select a race/class based on their result.)

With each full day spent in the fey realm, all player characters gain 1 Attunement. With each month spent outside it, they lose 1. Some faerie magics such as resurrections or "blessings" from powerful sources can also increase Attunement by 1.

In place of Reaction rolls in faerie-land, players must roll 1d6 under their Attunement. The fae courts value etiquette in their own alien manner, and a good first impression can be vital.

If Attunement ever reaches 7, the character can never leave the fey realm.

If Attunement ever reaches 0, the character forgets faeries ever existed, and can never find their way back to faerie-land again.

Optional Rule: Roll-over Attunement in place of reaction rolls when in the mundane world. On a failure, the character is thought to be drunk, ensorcelled, or mad.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Witch's List (an adventure)

A short autumnal sidequest for your fantasy game.

Hilda the witch hasn’t been at home for a week, grumbles the baker, and the townsfolk are growing restless with lack of potions and poultices. You ‘venturing types, maybe go up the hill to her cottage and see what’s to be done?

A fat toad sits on the porch of the old cottage, smoking a pipe. He holds an empty leather pouch, and keeps a roll of parchment under his little bulk as if he were a paperweight. On the parchment is scrawled a note: “Away for a spell! Take care of yourselves x”, along with a brief to-do list and promise of reward to “any sweetheart willing to take the time”.

To-Do List:
- weed the garden
- clean the chimney
- check on the mousetraps

For each task completed, the toad’s pouch fills with thick gold coins.

The Cottage

The witch’s little cottage is a ramshackle affair of red brick, timber and thatch, lit by black candles and dented brass lamps. There are drying herbs hanging from low wooden beams and thick dusty glass is shoved into misshapen window frames.

There is a cauldron by the hearth, and on a tall and crooked set of shelves there are books full of scrawlings and notes, along with recipes to conjure up all sorts of goodies.

Useful Finds on the Bookshelf

1: Gardener’s notes: how to bake conkers into a 2d4 flail (breaks on a nat 1), and notes on dealing with weeds (they love bad or dirty jokes, so distract ‘em as you whack ‘em).
2: A cauldron recipe. Heat eye of newt and wing of bat in mother’s milk or virgin’s blood to make a potion that restores health but causes deep confusion.
3: Recipe. Snap a few twig-men into a porridge of grass grown over a pauper’s grave, and the concoction will make any plants grow a month in a minute (and not stop until they die).
4: A tincture of strained Gant’s root and a few common dried herbs cures vomiting, or any ailment caused by a ghost (other than a haunting, although it will still piss that ghost right off).
5: Stand in the cauldron and run the rolling pin around the rim, recite the incantation and give it a little kick (1st level spell cost equivalent or some pixie dust), and the cauldron flies, piloted by the caster.
6: An empty brown paper package of Rat-B-Gone: “You’ll never need mousetraps again!”.
7: A concoction made of ground chestnuts, spices and goat’s milk not only tastes divine, but with a little magic (1st level spell cost equivalent) it can restore rotten food to a fresh and edible state, as if it were just out the oven.
8: A reminder scrawled on a scrap, “Note to self: refill Gordon’s bottle”. Found with the scrap is a baby’s bottle with dried goat’s blood clearly caked on the inside.

The Garden

The garden has one old, gnarled chestnut tree, leaves yellowing or fallen. A good rummage in the brown leaf litter finds you 1d4 conkers, which are decent throwing weapons.

There is evidence that a goat lived here, but no longer. A trail of hoofprints leads back into town, where the nanny is chewing on a young widow’s laundry line.

To one side, by a hedgerow, is an allotment. Turnips are planted in a row, with spiked and choking weeds growing between them. The weeds are a 3HD monster, afraid of fire but not weak to it. A ribald or terrible pun will stun it for a round in fits of susurrating laughter, but that trick has less chance of working each time it is tried (certain, then 1-in-6, then 2-in-6, etc.)

The Chimney

A tricksy sprite called Gordon lives in the chimney, and rubs soot anywhere and everywhere he goes.

He is immune to fire, and a devil to deal with – go to the bottom of the chimney and he’ll climb to the top, go to the top and he’ll hide at the bottom. Quick hands might just nab him, assuming you can get at him first.

He acts like a petulant child if told to leave (“Won’t!”), but might be persuaded to come out of his own accord by a pretty face or the promise of fresh blood to drink. Only once he’s out can the flue be swept.

The Basement

Rickety wooden steps lead down into the stone basement, easy to take one at a time but save vs tripping if you try to rush or flee. There is no light down here.

Giant steel traps with pointed teeth lay in wait. These are the “mousetraps”, animated golems the witch keeps as pets. Act like friendly dogs, but will messily devour a helpless animal if left alone with it. Everything seems to be in order down here – thanks for checking on them.

Also in the basement are two barrels, one empty and one full of good wine, as well as a sack of dried pasta and a few cuts of cured meat.

Hilda the Witch

Hilda was looking for her black cat Quentin, who got lost in a nearby wood. She returns in a day, thanks you for your time and offers a magic potion as payment (an acid that dissolves only glass and hair).

If she's happy with your efforts, she may become smitten with the most eligible party member, and offer them and them alone to stay for a nightcap (and the rest! If something comes of the relationship, the character may now level up as a Witch*).

Extras: Things Left Lying About the Cottage

1: A copper owl with a hollow, stoppered interior. It flies to fetch water from wherever the nearest source is, but does not guarantee clean water, isn’t fast and is only small.
2: Wellies that leave no footprints in mud.
3: An umbrella. Like all umbrellas that lay gathering dust for 8 years, it has grown an eye and a very long tongue, and can follow basic commands from anyone magically able.
4: Onions that cause whoever cuts them to be unable to wield weaponry for a week. (They drop any held weapon as if burned, and weep until the thing is taken from their sight. Every time.)
5: Soap that cures magical afflictions of the skin, removes unwanted tattoos and smells of figs.
6: A scarf that can hold a weapon or tool and wield it according to its wearer’s will, though with very little deftness or finesse.

Extras: Colour Palette

Having a colour palette in your notes is a good idea for running any adventure. If you ever want to describe the colour of something to the players, force yourself to use an option from the list.

1: Black or grey
2: Rich orange
3: Warm brown
4: Deep red
5: Gold or yellow
6: Dull green

* I'd use the class from the excellent Black Pudding zine, but there are several OSR takes on a witch class out there.

EDIT: thought of something to add

Extras: Smells

There are three main locations: the basement, the cottage, and the garden. Each has a subtle but distinctive smell.

Basement: cold stone, dust, damp
Cottage: old wood, fragrant herbs, something tasty cooked here recently
Garden: petrichor, compost, dew on grass

When the players move from one to the other, describe the "scene transition" briefly by the difference in smell.

eg: "you leave the comforting smells of the upstairs room behind and descend into the dank of the basement"; "you head back out into the garden, the fresh, earthy scent of it once again filling your lungs"

Beyond this, specific items or areas can stand out due to their smells: the sooty, burnt-wood chimney flue, the faint acrid tang of the rat poison bag.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Dead Gods Make Little Deserts (an adventure)

When a young god struck his brother in the eye with a meteor, the dead godling fell from the stars to grace our plane. His guts turned to dust, spilled from his mouth, and collected into small dunes. All who dwell in the little desert know its origins.

Use this as a hex on your map if you'd like. Put it somewhere incongruous.

can you tell I've been playing dragon quest? any other fantasy desert image would've done just fine
Qal Chadora

Most simply avoid the little desert, being as it is small enough to skirt around with little delay to a journey. The few who explore it perish or leave empty handed. There is, however, one single settlement at its borders.

The free state of Qal Chadora is constructed entirely of tents. A campsite formed then grew, expanded, combined, favela-like, into a single entity. Even those who've lived here all their lives don't know every in and out, but there is generally an atmosphere of calm and community. The people grow comfortably wealthy on trade, but have no desire for more than a life of leisure.

Construct your Qal Chadora from the following tables. If you're ever unclear on how many people might be in a given area, roll 2d4-2.

Around the Next Corner
1-2: A living space.
3-4: A purple curtain (visitors will be told this denotes a private area).
5-6: A merchant's tent.
7: A ladder, corridor, tunnel or bridge.
8: An opening to the outside.

Living Spaces
1: Bunks and hammocks, hostel-esque communal sleeping space. Lights kept dim red at all hours.
2: Kitchen, tagines on stone ovens steaming, vents open to the sky above. Smells of roasting meats and spices: cardamom, cinnamon, aniseed and thyme.
3: Bunches of dried herbs stored hanging from tassels in the ceiling, jars and bunches. Marjoram, cumin, paprika. 2 in 6 chance of a magic spice that gives visions of dead ancestors.
4: This area is for children, bright coloured wooden toys and little cushioned stools.
5: This area, the children have made their den. They wield wooden sickles and demand a toll in candy.
6: Young men make flatbreads, stacked to one side for a later meal. Chickens roam free.
7: A lounge, bright cushions of various shapes litter the floor. A hookah and tea set in the centre.
8: A library. Searching all day finds any reasonable book, plus a 1st-level cleric spell.

Behind A Purple Curtain
1: A large and plush sleeping chamber, silks and velvets. Wooden chests store undergarments of impressive construction.
2: Private kitchen. Cupboards full of cured meat, silver utensils, good wine.
3: Walk-in wardrobe. Pretty much any item of clothing or disguise the players search for can be found here. One fake moustache is made of iron, allows elementals to understand the wearer, and cannot be removed.
4: Sheriff's office. The lawkeeper is themselves busy with 1: sex, 2: drugs, 3: food, 4: an actual thief, for once.
5: An alchemist's study. Potions are unlabelled. 1: healing, 2: invisibility, 3: scorpion venom, 4: tequila, 5: instant hat, 6: causes vomiting, vomit becomes dog.
6: Orgy room. Mattress-like flooring, many cushions. Outfits and implements provided.
7: Armoury. All the basic weapons, with silver variants too.
8: Empty tent, but for someone bound and gagged. Claims they are a regent from a nearby land, kidnapped and held to ransom by bandits.

Merchant Tents
1: Selling everyday products of the little desert to outsiders at inflated prices. Spices, souvenir toys, the prickly pears of cactus-folk.
2: Trades in oddities from afar. Will buy magic items at good prices.
3: Nomad trader from elsewhere in the world. Accent, clothes and wares are all incongruous.
4: A tavern. Mostly wine and stronger spirits. Scented smoke thick in the air.
5: This merchant has closed up shop, and leaves tonight for a nearby city. Might want to hire bodyguards.
6: A brothel. While the deed is done behind purple curtains, this lounge allows patrons to meet and mingle with the staff.
7: A druggist's. Medicine, feeble healing potions, powdered bone cure-alls. The fun stuff too.
8: A fabric trader. One of these famous Qal Chadoran tents can be yours.

Just Outside the Doorway
1: A lively herb garden, trellises and plant pots.
2: A well.
3: A fountain.
4: A date palm in a little courtyard, towering over all nearby tents.
5: A chicken coop.
6: A goat tied to a stake, eyeing the tent fabric hungrily.
7: Old folks playing board games.
8: Just desert, dunes as far as the eye can see (but no further than that, it's only little).

As for the desert itself? Sand, scrub and arid heat, year-round despite the seasons.

Fateful Encounters in the Little Desert (2d4)

2: Wild earwig, stat as a horse
3: A parch-bird, giant vulture with a blunt beak that steals your waterskin on a successful attack.
4: Cactoids. Peaceful, slow.
5: The sounds of war-drums. A band of barbarian Twigs over the next dune.
6: A Twig scout. If she sees you, she'll report back to the warband only if you look worth stealing from.
7: Sandbarons. Hollow and haunted clay men, full of sand that spills out in a whirlwind where their legs would be. The whirlwind attack deals more damage with each hit they take as more sand escapes.
8: A skeleton, died of thirst.

The skeleton carries:
1: Twig clothing.
2: a magic wand, has a little lantern in the tip that never goes out, can float alongside the wielder when not in use
3: a coin from a nearby empire
4: a book containing a spell that ferments grape juice into wine over minutes.
the monster manual-est pic I could find of what is tbh quite a cute and nonthreatening insect
The Twigs

Raiders of the desert sands, the Twigs are a motley barbarian tribe who keep giant earwigs just as easterners might horses. The docile creatures are surprisingly easy to train and ride.

If you have traversed the dunes, you have likely seen a caravan of them, and even if not then you have no doubt heard their war-drums on the wind. (use a clave or something - a short, repetitive, memorable musical phrase that can be clapped out or drummed on your gaming table.)

Stat a Twig and their mount as a horse and rider w/ spear/lance, if the horse had pincers (3d4 damage, nasty but avoidable if you stay in front). 1 in 6 earwigs can spurt a foul stench from betwixt the pincers, save or lose a round to retching.

Looting a Twig:
1: small jar of god brains, worth 1 gold
2: small jar of plant jelly, tasty
3: a cactoid's prickly pear
4: just the waterskin

God's Head

All that remains of a deity without disciples. Like so many sacred places, it has been repurposed - the Twigs use the hollow of the ear as a stables (while they are nomadic, the earwigs like a secure place to spawn and rest).

It should be easy enough to sneak in and take a look around while the Twigs are out on a raid or patrol, and some wealthy benefactor may well have hired you to such an end.

i am, 'ow you say... "not an artist"
The Entranceway

The walls within the god's body are akin to bone, or perhaps stone. To call them flesh would be a blasphemous understatement.

Thick, wiry black hairs make progress slightly slower, but not difficult. If they are hacked away, the Twigs will surely notice upon their return.

The Drum Chamber

Wherein sits the great war drum. The drummers of the Twig warbands are also their navigators, and while their people hold no religion the drummers fulfil a motivational role, akin to spiritual leaders.

If someone plays the rhythm overheard on the desert winds on this drum, the secret door to the inner chambers opens.

The Lesser Chambers

One stores weaponry, and has supplies of water and dried foods for the Twigs, and jars of agar and fruit syrups for their steeds. One concoction smells particularly strongly - by the label it is meant for "hatchlings only". (It is made of a particular peach. If players eat it, they grow 1d4 years younger per spoonful.)

In the next is a small forge, with smoke exhausted through a drilled-out chimney and thence the dead god's tear ducts. The hammer and anvil are made of god-stuff, and the weapons they forge can 1: spin like a compass and point to the nearest extraplanar item, 2: eat lightning, 3: start fires that only burn ghosts, 4: kill one immortal being before turning to dust.

In the third, larger chamber, earwigs are saddled and fitted for riding.

The Inner Chambers

Earwig eggs and larvae are kept in a giant snail's shell. The females are highly maternal, and the Twigs leave them to tend to their young without supervision, except to bring food.

If the inner chambers are entered by someone who does not smell like they brought food, the females become territorial and attack. When fed they relax, and ignore any intruders as long as the young are not approached.

The Brain

God brains are a valuable commodity, worth their weight in gold to wizardly-inclined traders. They also stink, appropriately enough, to high heaven.

Mining for 10 minutes nets one 10 gold's worth of grey matter, and there's enough left to do this 1d10 times. Heady cosmic visions come from such proximity to a god's mind, even a dead one; save or take 1d12 damage (cannot be reduced in any way).

The Other Facial Features

The remaining eyeball is glassy and grey, lifeless since ages past. Perhaps it is a trick of the moonlight, but by night, its gaze always appears to be fixed on a particular star.

The meteor is worthless space rock to mortals of this plane, but a cheap source of 1: repairs, 2: fuel, 3: rations, 4: ammunition for a spacefaring race.

The nostrils provide another entrance to the brain, bypassing the barbarians' stables, but they are clogged up thick with briar-like hair. If burned out, the head cavity is filled with smoke, and any earwigs within die.

The god's teeth, when planted in sand, grow into little castles under the next new moon. Each castle contains:
1: A treasure with a terrible curse.
2: A polite, middle-class family, startled at your entry, their dinner interrupted.
3: A painting with a star-map on the back.
4: Frogs dressed in the livery of a royal court, from page boys to dukes. Just normal frogs.
5: A star princess, trapped there for ages.
6: A tunnel and a staircase leading down, down to goblin town.
7: A ghost who can teach you how to speak to ink. Tell words to rearrange on the page, etc.
8: Just a fuck ton of skulls. It's completely full of skulls.
9: The castle is also a starship, cosy and retro but fully functional.
10: Nothing. Guess you have a castle now.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

The Unofficial Bestiary

I haven't done a monster list on here yet, have I? Here are some of the monsters I've made up for my games. You may recognise names or descriptions from previous posts.

There aren't stats because:
- I run them in systems where monsters don't need stat blocks, like Graverobbers
- I run them in systems like T&T where monster stats take about a second to come up with
- I run them in 5e or OSR games where there are great monster manuals I can recycle stats from

Having said that, some of these are statted up for 5th edition with all kinds of cool powers in the Graverobber's Guide to Slimes, which is a free download on my Gumroad store.

the order might seem arbitrary, but it's basically in order of HD/Challenge Rating/fuck-you-up-ness

Spirits that wear long robes, concealing wicked grins. They disturb resting-places, or anything neatly ordered and organised.

Animated bags with little feet. They love to steal things and fill themselves up, but the extra weight makes it hard for them to escape unnoticed.

cave crabs
Crustaceans with rocky shells. They inadvertently scratch walls and leave fragments as they clumsily stumble around. Their rock quickly crumbles to mildly explosive sand once removed.

Little bulbous frog-things with two legs, a mouth and not much else. They are the intermediary stage between trollspawn and a fully grown adult troll.

vulture dogs
Hunting hounds with skinless faces and hollow eyes. They can teleport short distances and hunt in packs. They can eat meat or blood, however old or rotten.

Dwarfish critters, one for every day of the week. They delight in killing, each preferring a different weapon to his brothers. Disarming them causes a tantrum of confusion.

Scabby, blobby oozes of blood. They carry the skull from their previous life as a shield. Sometimes they have ribs and organs that they throw, or a brain that makes them weirdly smart.

Dark holes in the air; the shapes of tall, robed figures cut out of reality. They fling magic and scream at the living, flitting about at great speed but unable to leave the ground.

dog-headed men
As described. Muscular and determined, they never bark. Often used as thralls by some higher power, they are incapable of interesting ideas themselves.

Pallid undead halflings, they despise attention and would much prefer to silently burgle sacred sites and loot corpses.

Hollow folks filled with sandstorms that spill out of them below the waist. Fighting them risks freeing yet more sand and strengthening their attacks, but when all the sand is out they die.

Giant stone coffins that open by splitting down the middle. The huge skeleton inside holds each half and uses them as weapons and shields.

Humanoid, with blank white masks. Silent, mobile and strong, summoned to exact death. They move like something much quicker has been given a human body and is making the best of it.

moon maidens
Diaphanous figures from the astral sea. They sing in voices like wind from the void, are bitterly cold to the touch, and consume lightning.

Huge and writhing beasts of bone. They turn their foes into the same with eye-beams and then consume them to add to their mass.

hermit slimes
Invertebrates that use discarded armour as their shells. They favour magic armour, and often try to move into a new home before its current occupant is fully deceased.

seahorse cavalry
Little critters whose mounts can hover on land as well as swim. They do everything in groups and corral slimes as underlings.

goo girls
Slimes that assume the appearance of women. They aren’t generally evil.

scorpion women
Skilled infiltrators. Highly venomous, their insatiable greed most often betrays their inhumanity.

the boogeyman
He can eat anything at all, so long as it’s been lost. Crunch, munch, crunch, munch, here comes the boogeyman!

"classic" monsters I like to use fairly often:
skeletons, oozes, mimics, dinosaurs, mermaids