Wednesday, December 6, 2023

d100 - What Works Are On That Bookshelf?

One bit of Set Dressing that I often find myself scrambling to embellish are Bookshelves. I will place them frequently but am often at a loss when the Players inevitably decide they would like to examine the contents. So, I whipped up a quick table to help with this.

I am not sure a mere Hundred will keep my more bibliophilic tables occupied for exceptionally long, so this might eventually metamorphose into something a little more robust, like a series of Spark Tables for creating Titled Tomes by the Ton. I must admit, being able to simply generate Spines by the Shelf-full via a quick click is a pretty tempting prospect. We will see.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

d100 - Weird and Whimsical Wants for Fickle Fey

When it comes to Encounters with the Fair Folk, it’s always handy to have some idea of what they might want from Mortals in exchange for Goods or Services that only their Marvelous Magics might provide. Here is a table with a Hundred Ideas, many might appear to be Impossible at first glance, but the creativity and ingenuity of Players sometimes surprises. Others might be more akin to Errands foisted on Fools, but what sort would try to bargain with the Fey in the first place? 😊

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Dolmenwood Dozen

Recently I embarked on a little self-imposed Challenge. With some of the previews of the Dolmenwood Materials available to Backers, I noticed that the Monster descriptions had a Lair Chance. I always loved this but figured it might be a bit tricky for some Referees to come up with some of these “on the fly” as it were, should it be the result of a Random Encounter or such. So, over the last several days, I resolved to put together a quick Lair/Dungeon/Adventure Location for some of these Monsters on a Daily Basis.

I often find myself slapping together a quick Dungeon or Site-Based Adventure at the last minute (usually when I’ve been procrastinating on Prep and have a Game coming up in a few hours!) and sometimes a time constraint actually helps get the ideas flowing. It can be a little stressful (in a good way!), but I find that the process of “Discovering” a place through creating it helps me focus a little more on the lens I need for conveying this to Players. By leaving the stocking largely up to Random Rolls, I’m also letting myself “Experience Surprise” and forcing myself to brush away some of those accumulated cobwebs that might be clogging up the parts of my brain I use for Improvisation and Providing Descriptions. Sometimes it helps put me in a frame of mind that ends up being very similar to the act of Play itself, or I stumble across interesting and inspiring ideas I never would have considered or would have cast aside with a more leisurely approach.

So here are the fruits of this little experiment: A Dozen One Page Dungeons, Lairs, Points of Interest, or other Adventure Sites for Dolmenwood, all compiled together in a convenient document. If you’re a Player in a Dolmenwood game, you might want to avert your eyes in case your Referee decides to use one of these! For each, I tried to limit myself to around twenty minutes or so for each to replicate that “left it to the last minute” experience. Of course, there are some that necessitated breaks or other interruptions during their creation (I didn’t exactly click a stopwatch on each!), and as I was compiling them together I couldn’t help doing a little bit more editing or expanding once I found some free real-estate by consolidating the formatting. I’ve also included a bonus: A Peek into the Production Process for these that might help other Referees who want to give this a try. The end result of this little Project is available below:

Saturday, November 18, 2023

d100 - Wondrous Wands & Ensorcelled Staffs

When it comes to Wands and Staffs, I have always preferred the ones that are a bit more unique than just the standard “single purpose” Spell-Slot-Saver. Like most Magical Things, I love it when they have a little bit of Lore or Background associated with them and tend to tailor their Powers and Abilities to this when I can. Another feature I enjoy is when they present the occasional tough choice in terms of Charges. As a finite source of Magic, they are a terrific opportunity to introduce Magics that are not found in the typical Tomes and Lists without worrying about these finding their way into a Wizard’s Grimoire for use in perpetuity (unlike Scrolls or enemy Spellbooks, depending on Transcription permissiveness). A considerable number of the Powers below lean into this more than a little.

The Encircled Numbers are included as an optional guideline of sorts. I tend to avoid Wands and Staffs that serve as just a “one-trick-pony” and enjoy when they open up some additional choices to the user. They could represent the Charge Cost for a given Effect (useful for cultivating careful usage or difficult decisions). Charged Items are one of the few places I do not mind Usage Die as much, because of the unpredictability they create with unquantifiable things (and multiple, successive rolls can be nail-biting!). As another option, these could instead represent a minimum Character Level to evoke a particularly powerful ability if you enjoy it when Magical Items “grow” with a particular character over time. The “Zeroes” might even provide for use by other Character Types (it is always fun to give them a spot of Magic now and then), or only be available provided the Wand still contains charges.

The inset Reaction Table is just another little wrinkle that came to mind whilst I was working on this one. Making Magical Items occasionally more volatile in this way memorializes some of the great fun we had with things like Potion Miscibility in the past. It did unfortunately lead to some slightly less interesting entries to accommodate it, but I figure since those are a third of the “Name of the Game,” they are worth sacrificing a few extra rows.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

d100 - Magical Robes & Raiment

Time to polish off another Magic Item Post! These are always really fun to produce and this time we’re focusing a little bit more on remarkable robes and other grand garments. While some might be more useful to a particular Character Type or Class, the form they can take is always adjustable should it make more sense to gird those heroes in something less ostentatious like a Tunic or Tabard.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

d100 - Benevolent Blessings & Gainful Growth

Serving as a bit of an “opposite” to my Magical Mishaps & Calamitous Curses table, the following entries are geared more toward those “good things” that can befall or be bestowed upon a Character. Some games even completely eschew conventional “Level Based” advancement for these types of boons acquired through Play. I hear it referred to sometimes as “Diegetic Advancement” or “Foreground Growth” and it has always been a pretty major part of my games.

I felt it might be useful to have some ideas at hand for when this might come up. Whether it’s due to Praying at/Restoring a mysterious Lost Shrine, a cavalier quaff from a Magical Pool, honoring a Bargain with the Fickle but Fair Folk, or even as the object and reward of a bespoken Quest to seek out a specific ability, it’s unconventional improvements like these that can really make a Character more memorable over time.

As always, feel free to season the Durations or Potency of these to your taste or table. Some were written as more ephemeral in nature but could easily be made permanent instead if that is to your liking. Others might work better if they were limited somewhat or come with a Price or perhaps a Risk. For additional ideas, I do sometimes just peruse my Magic Item tables and think of ways to apply some of those abilities to a Character directly, instead of an item.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

d100 - Tells for the Impavid Potion Taster

Magical Potions and Dweomered Draughts are a time-honored tradition in these games. I like to provide some minor Clues to their Function to occasionally reward the very brave that dare to take a sip to test them (or the Hapless Hireling convinced to Guinea Pig).

Here are a hundred ideas for some hints for some common and not so common Elixirs. These, coupled with consistent Potion Colors, Smells, and even Flavors, can sometimes make this process a bit of a game in itself for when a suitable Specialist or amenable Alchemist is unavailable. I usually make the effects of these tentative tastes very temporary, and relatively benign. I suppose if one squints, this table could also be repurposed for the side-effects of drugs or other intoxicants as well.



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