Saturday, May 20, 2023

d100 - Dodgy Dogs & Wholesome Hounds

In my many years of running these games, several peculiar patterns have emerged. One is a certain fondness some Players seem to demonstrate for acquiring “Pets.” Whether it’s the Ranger with their loyal Animal Companion, a Paladin's peerless Mount, the Witch with their fantastic Familiar, or even the well-trained “key-retrieving” Rodent, some Players just can’t seem to get enough of obtaining a mini-menagerie to accompany them on their Adventures.

Like Horses and Mules, I tend to like to make these Animals Memorable, and by far one of the most frequent of these are Canines. Dangling the prospect of Dogs in front of Players nearly always gets a taker, and some more canny ones even like to acquire them in advance of Adventure (they even show up in some Hireling Generators like this one). So, in order to have an appropriately interesting Kennel to cull from, I decided to put together a table of Hundred Hounds to ensure that I had plenty of inspiration for a distinguishing feature or so.

At some point down the road, I might go into more detail with how I handle these Pets in my games. For Dogs, it’s usually a question of Training (Watchdog, Hunting, Tracking, War, Service, Herding/Harrying, and Work types are all some options that have come up before). These tend to dictate some of the capabilities an acquired canine might possess or be able to learn via Downtime gold expenditure and Time with an Animal Trainer Specialist. Much like how I handle Henchmen/Hirelings, they aren’t automatons to be ordered about generally, and I’m not terribly fond of them turning into just another series of Combat Rolls either.

But this can wait for another time, for now hopefully this list of 100 Compelling Canines will at least provide some inspiration for making those Mutts more Memorable in your games:

Thursday, May 18, 2023

d100 - Tells for Magical Treasures

One of the ways some Referees handle Magic Item Identification is by imbuing the Items themselves with tiny Clues or Hints to their function. Whether this by materials, decorations, or other semi-wonderous properties, it can sometimes give the Players a little bit of an idea as to what these enchanted objects might do.

I’m quite fond of this approach, and it ties in with my philosophy of making Magical Treasures more memorable and exciting. In my mind “Generic Magic” is a bit of an oxymoron.

So here is a d100 Table with some Potential Properties as well as at least three “Tells” that can be used to spruce up the occasional Wand, Staff, Sword, or other Mystical Implement. I’ve tried to stick with some of the more common Magical Features here for broader utility and hopefully inspire some ways of making these Treasures a bit more Interesting and even encourage particular approaches as part of Experimentation/Testing or Other Means to figure out how they function.

See also: Jewelry Generator, Flaws & Foibles, Monster Parts for Magical Reagents/Research, and of course other posts with the [magic item] label.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

d100 – What Is Cold Iron Anyway?

Another Referee had a question concerning the nature of Cold Iron, and naturally, I felt the best way to answer this might be another d100 Table. As a mostly “poetic term” there seems to be a lot of room for interpretation on what it consists of, how it’s made, or where it’s from. I suppose this is another one of those Random Tables that could be used as grist for the Rumor Mill, a source for potential Adventure, or even just some Lore to sprinkle about. Might also serve a bit of ancillary duty for the origins of other Weapons of a Magical Nature or some potential Creation Methods now that I squint at it.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Deity Generator

Been having a bit of fun combining some of the d100 Tables I’ve put together over the years to repurpose them in interesting ways. I find that by looking at them sideways sometimes, they have much more utility beyond their original intended purpose. One that continues to produce pleasing results for me is this Deity Generator I whipped up a little while back.

As I’ve previously mentioned in my Holy Taboo post, I like to handle Deity Disfavor a bit more tangibly in my games, and I tend to avoid more monotheistic approaches to Religion in these games. Instead of just “one God/Goddess/Source” of Spells, Clerics depend on a Pantheon of distinctive Beings, each granting a particular Prayer:

The results that this Generator spits out sometimes have that lovely tendency of establishing unforeseen connections, and even do a little bit more heavy lifting sometimes to flesh out a particular faith or motivation. Sometimes the incongruencies do require a little bit of fiddling to fit together of course, but such contradictions often make for something much more interesting in the long run.

The Generator is embedded below, for somewhat serviceable faiths on demand with a quick click:

It might be interesting to adapt this to generate full-fledged Pantheons, with their own names, internal relationships (who doesn’t love a bit of divine internecine squabbling and conflict), and maybe even some “closest Shrine” details as a bit of an Adventure Hook. Then, when a Cleric Player starts looking in askance about their Religion, a simple button push can spit out their first eight Spells and their respective Sources.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

d100 - Magic Armors

Felt it was time for another Magic Item Post! This time I decided to focus a little more on Armor (even though we already have Helms, Gauntlets, Boots, etc.) I have endeavored where possible to keep these relatively applicable to the variety of Types typically found in these games, so most should work out well with whatever your Adventurer’s gird themselves with, be this Leather, Chain, Plate, or even more atypical forms of protection.

Monday, April 17, 2023

d100 - Carousing Consequences & Complications

Carousing as a means to gamble for Experience via Coin Spent is a pretty popular part of some Games, serving to slightly decorate the Core Advancement Loop with a little Risk. While I don’t generally use this mechanism for every Campaign, it can still be quite fun to think about what sort of shenanigans may result from these antics.

The aftermath of this merrymaking is the focus of today’s table. Some results are perhaps a bit unfavorable, while others might be beneficial. Quite a few have longer lasting repercussions or could be said to require a bit of the “Hair of the Dog” to redress on the following morning or in days to come. Occasionally an entry might result in a Choice for a dollop of welcome Agency during these hazy times. Interpreting these more as springboards, rather than foregone conclusions can sometimes help, and a brief vignette concerning the “Hows” and “Whys” of a given situation could always occur with more Player Input. Generally though, part of the “Gamble” though is surrendering some of this Agency in exchange for Advancement.

Romantic Entanglements seem to be more of a Season To Taste sort of thing for most Tables, so I generally try to tread lightly. But a few have crept in here, I’m sure. These sorts of situations tend toward more amusing than serious, however.

For the most part, I’ve kept things purposefully “PG” so as not to blur any Lines or immodestly ignore any Veils, but should your Table agree to get up to other rowdiness of a more risqué or racy nature feel free to use these as launchpads perhaps.

Friday, March 31, 2023

d100 - Strange Sculptures & Ensorcelled Statuary

One of my favorite “Standbys” should those “Special” Results rear their head when Stocking are Statues. A skosh of art provides an excellent opportunity for conveying Setting and Theme, usually featuring a dollop of Lore for lagniappe. Some Players might find themselves a bit wary around those stoic sculptures however, with all the Gargoyles, Caryatid Columns, Golems, and Living Statues standing about in these games.

So sometimes it helps to include some more standard ones within your Set Dressing, while still others can serve as a Puzzle, Hazard, or Trick in their own right. A few might even be unbelievably valuable Treasures, should the Players find a way to extract and transport them to safety. I will always enjoy the ones that end up being utilized by the Players in creative ways to solve problems of course, but sometimes they become a delicious way to perplex or confound, consuming limited Resources and precious Time in dangerous environments.

So should you need to decorate a Dungeon or pastoral Plinth with something a little Special, this table of one Hundred ideas will hopefully help!



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