Tuesday, August 2, 2022

d100 - Instigative Scenery & Interactive Décor

Sometimes when I’m stocking a Dungeon room or Indoor Encounter Area, I like to woolgather a bit about what might make an Encounter that takes place in this area more interesting or exciting. My rooms are seldom swept-bare or sparse affairs, but I’ve found it incredibly productive to sprinkle in some more proactive and even downright tempting descriptions into my set dressing from time to time. The way I see it, Adventurers are canny/competent folks and would always have an eye out for any kind of advantage they could eke out of the mise en scène, so to help get those ingenious juices flowing, I’ll sometimes embellish props with little hints like this. Just a suspicious soupçon here and there is sometimes all it takes to get that mindset established, and then the players end up embracing the frangibility in the fiction and start striving to exploit their surroundings.

These casual clues can sometimes make for much more dynamic and unpredictable combats but be fully forewarned that some Referee Rulings might be necessary to adjudicate these. When in doubt, I tend to clarify the actions the players are taking and ask questions about their goals and intensions to close any gaps, but sometimes a little bit of random chance can make a cunning plan or novel approach that much more exciting and engaging. Repurposing an X-in-6 or Reaction Roll can always work in a pinch, but even if it fails, the players have altered the environment in some significant way generally, and that can further inform the situation in intriguing ways.

Naturally, this sort of thing could be considered fair game for foes as well, but as with any potential Hazard or Trap, I find they tend to work a bit better when adequately telegraphed rather than sprung on the utterly unsuspecting. Sometimes this even leads to a race to see which side gets to avail themselves of the fight-shifting feature first.

Friday, July 29, 2022

d100 - Magic Gloves & Gauntlets

AAnother in my little series of Magic Item posts, this one is devoted to helpful Handwear. Though they’re not nearly as represented in the standard treasure lists as other garments (outside the occasional pair providing Ogre Power). Be it Glove or Gauntlet, rather than just applying a Magical bonus or malus, like most Magical Treasures, I often prefer them to serve as creative solutions to potential problems the players may face.

See also: Magic Blades, Magic Shields, Magic Bows, Magic Footwear, and Magic Cloaks & Capes.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

d100 - Where Is The Key For This Locked Door?

Locked Doors or Containers are a time-honored obstacle to exploration and discovery. They present an opportunity for the clever Thief to fiddle with their tools to flex their percentiles, the Fighter to muscle things open with a sturdy d6, or the Magic User to unleash a mighty Knock. If only there were another way?

The presence of a Lock implies the existence of a Key. Here are a Hundred places where that pesky unlocker might live. Much like my previous posts on Secret or Stuck Doors, some imply a puzzle or a skosh of Set Dressing as well. Some of the particularly tricky ones might be worthy of rewarding the Players with a passe-partout.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Marvelous Mushrooms - Generator

Just a quick post sharing a generator I needed to build out for Perchance: Marvelous Mushrooms & Tantalizing Toadstools. Since this one can requires a few rolls, I like to make those a little faster with a generator that can collate content in a click.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

d100 – My Magic Cannot...

An interesting conversation on Twitter about ways to make Magic weilded by Magic-Users a little less reliable for a more distinctive and wonderous feel (somewhat like the Taboo System I use for Clerics) got me thinking, and before I knew it I had the makings of a Table. I had some semi-similar things (like my recent Flaws & Foibles or perhaps my Magical Mishaps & Calamitous Curses), but nothing that quite fit the bill.

Personifying the Magic made it a little easier to produce some of these entries, feel free to season that bit to taste. I’m not quite sure how I’d use them (Maybe in exchange for more Casting Ability? Perhaps every Magic User specializes or has their own personal connections?) but I’d probably try to make them meaningful in terms of interpretation.

Sure seems like several of the recent tables have been a bit Caster-centric. I really need to polish up a few more of my Fighter-friendly tables at some point 😊.

Monday, June 13, 2022

d100 - Introductions for Newly Minted PCs In Medias Res

Sometimes one finds oneself in a situation where there is an immediate need to Introduce a new PC to a Party whilst the adventure is currently in progress. Their character falls, and after the comforting clatter of dice, they have made a new one: But by what means do they get ushered into play?

Here is a table that might supply a skosh of inspiration or at least some “starting points” for these sticky situations where there’s need for a Sudden Entrance, Stage Left. Like most of my tables, it might need a bit of strategic tailoring to the specific situation and taste. Remember the Trick behind all those seemingly stray Capital Letters: Capitalized Words can always be freely substituted/specified/adjusted to fit.

I’m afraid that most of these might impinge on Player Agency a bit, but I’ve always felt that a player character’s Prologue was fairer game for such things, and it’s a small price to pay for being able to leap back into the action I suppose. I’ve tried to shy away from some of the ones I’ve seen used that put the Character or Player in some of the more uncomfortable spots, and leaning into a bit of mystery and unanswered questions to flesh out in play is never a bad thing in my book. One could even just have them roll (or even select!) an entry that strikes them as that final step of creating their new character. A bit of brief, hopefully actionable backstory never hurt anyone, and who knows where it could lead? 😊

Several of these entries are ones I’ve found myself having to use in the past, some even served as Session/Campaign Starters in their own right or Premises for One-Shot Games, so I’m sure there might be a bit of additional hidden utility in this table if one approaches it from other angles.

Monday, June 6, 2022

d100 - Atypical Scrolls of Protection & Assorted Aegides

Those Scrolls of Protection are a type of Magic Item that fills me with fond memories. Being usable by anyone (provided they can read them aloud), they really scratch a particular itch for me: They provide the ability to put Magic and Wonder in the hands of Classes that don’t normally have the capability to tangibly access this aspect of play. An athaumic Fighter, unfurling that fluttering page of parchment to have that chance to harness some Magic occasionally is a very fun thing. I also enjoy how they generally serve as timely “bacon-savers” of the highest degree: They are an excellent example of a specific Tool, that when used in the proper circumstances, can really make a world of difference.

Sadly, the standard safeguards provided, while eminently useful, are still somewhat limited in scope in terms of what they protect against: enigmatic Elementals, leering Lycanthropes, the ubiquitous Undead, and of course the extremely handy Protection from Magic. I’ve always enjoyed sprinkling in a few more interesting and somewhat more situationally convenient ones in Hoards here and there.

Along with a Hundred new and novel circumstances, substances, or adversaries to ward against, I’ve included some Scroll Descriptions that could easily be used with other, more conventional Spell Scrolls. Given the accessible nature of Scrolls of Protection, I suppose that quite a few of my Scroll Substitutions could also be just as applicable for these as well since they are generally “single-use” items and might invoke a more “Protective Talisman” feel.

The general Rules for employment, area, and effect for them still apply (though some of these might require a bit of creative interpretation from time to time...that’s part of the fun!). These Magic Items are an excellent example of one of the few occasions I find things like “Usage Die” to be more suitable than the standard method. Rather than the Referee rolling to establish a “set” Duration in Secret, the tension of rolling every Turn to witness that defensive “Forcefield” flicker and fade is much more unpredictable and fun. The d8 or d6 is probably as high as I’d go most of the time, but for some of the things these protect against I’d potentially consider a Check taking place every Hour, or even every Day to occasionally make them truly marvelous and memorable.

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