Tuesday, March 2, 2021

d100 Jewelry Generator

I always tend to try to apply a little additional detail to treasures I place. Nothing pleases me more than seeing a Player wrestle with a difficult decision between pawning or proudly sporting an interesting adornment. I find that adding a smidgen of embellishment to these baubles can not only help make them more memorable, but it can sometimes help encourage these situations.

So I put together a table to help with those hanker-worthy hoards. Here are a hundred ideas for dressing up different types of jewelry and other assorted precious objects to sprinkle within those glittering heaps of treasure:

If you’d like to view some sample output, or prefer digital tools, here is an online generator I whipped up as well:

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

d100 Magic Shields

Sometimes a simple numerical bonus just doesn’t seem sufficiently Magical to me or my Players, so to serve as a convenient companion to a prior table (d100 Magic Blades) here is one with One Hundred Ensorcelled Shields!

Monday, February 1, 2021

One Hundred Holy Taboos

Most older editions keep the tenants of Alignment, Clergy, and Religion almost maddeningly vague. This tends to have a somewhat homogenizing effect on Clerics, often leaning into some somewhat uninspiring implications of monotheism.

I prefer Pantheons & Polytheism for my Holy Wonder-Workers, and one easy way I’ve found to encourage this in games of the Older School is to assign each Spell in the Cleric Spell List a different Deity: so the Prayer Resist Cold is granted by Aldor the Unfeeling, while if one recites the Hymn that grants Light one finds oneself beseeching Eyeless Labha for aid. Each God or Daemon, Spirit or Numen, Totem or Tutelary grants a different Prayer (you can even start small with just 8 apiece and have this gradually grow over time...you have that whole first level after all 😊). Eight seems to be a pretty good number of petty Gods to begin with, and the less they like each other, the better generally.

Each of these divine beings, however, tends to ask for something in return as a show of dedication, faith, or furtherance of their sometimes-inscrutable causes. These can take the form of Taboos that must be followed or deeds that must be performed prior to petitioning them again. I find it seems to work better to work “backwards” rather than apply the proscription up front, and it is certainly sometimes more interesting if it has to inform behavior after the fact.

Sometimes the strictures are fairly finite (do the thing and you’ve appeased them), other times they can last a little longer. One good rule of thumb might be continued compliance for 1 day per level of the Prayer granted perhaps. Break Taboo? This might prevent selection of that spell until proper atonement is performed, or a level is gained. I tend to skin the Edged Weapon Prohibition common to all Clerics as the Taboo that allows them to Turn Undead.

So here is a table of One Hundred to get you started. I sometimes generate these on the fly during play with the Cleric making a note for the future (but sometimes Faith is more fluid and fickler, and what worked once is no longer enough, etc.). It is interesting how the accumulated Taboos can sometimes somewhat contradict, requiring some clever interpretation or tough choices.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

One Hundred Holy Symbols

Here is a quick table for if you ever get put on the spot having to come up with a Holy Symbol or other assorted religious iconography. It can be fun sometimes to “work backwards” when establishing what a given ideology stands for based on its symbolism. Always arm Acolytes accordingly and give those Clerics something specific to clutch!

Friday, January 8, 2021

One Hundred Grimoires

With the defeat of every Wicked Wizard the party dutifully begins rifling through any present worldly possessions, but the savvy Magic-User will invariably turn their avaricious eyes to any tomes or codices.

It’s understandable: In some versions of the game, acquisition of these mystical texts becomes the primary way in which Magic Users expand their repertoires. When situating these Spellbooks in their respective shelves or happy hoards, considerable time and care may be given to enumerating what they contain, but sometimes only a cursory effort is devoted to describing the lore-full librams themselves.

As an unabashed bibliophile, I figured it might be fun if there were more to these tempting tomes and grandiloquent grimoires than just rattling off an iterative Table of Contents! Here are a hundred ideas for embellishing these Books a bit above and beyond just the exciting new sorceries a caster can sear into their skull:

Similar to my d100 tables for Unusual Magic Swords and Unconventional Potions, there’s a bit of potential here for the kind of creative problem solving I like to encourage in my Players. It could also be amusing to make a roll on this table part of Character Generation for new Magic Users to give them something distinctive and help foster the feeling that magic is wonderful and weird.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

One Hundred Magic Missiles

Magic Missile is a popular first level spell in virtually all editions, but I have always found it to grow a little monotonous over time. I often encourage my players to come up with a “signature” look and feel for their sorcerous projectiles. Just a little bit of ornamentation and embellishment over the frightfully dull “glowing arrow” default.

Since it always hits (except in that wonderfully quirky Holmes), and engenders no Saving Throw it’s a wonderful candidate for “Never Name Your Spell” in the hands of wicked Wizards and malevolent Magic Users. But how should one describe it to preserve this mystery?

Here is a d100 Table to help. A hundred entries that you can roll or choose from to give our old stand-by a bit of a makeover. These should usually be treated as strictly cosmetic of course (unless you think it would be fun not to), with the actual evocation behaving as we have grown to expect over the years. After all, 1d6+1 can be re-skinned in uncounted ways.

Friday, November 13, 2020

More Mountain Hexes IV

It is Friday! Here are five more Mountain Hexes! (part of my Wilderness Hexes project). We have made it to 40, so I might take a detour into the Swamps for a chance of scenery.

Browse the hexes tag on this blog for more.

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