Tuesday, July 20, 2021

d100 Familiar Features

Familiars are fun. For my games I generally allow a Magic User that wishes to begin play with one to simply to drop a die from their starting 3d6x10 for gold. This die serves double duty as the Familiar’s HP.

Usually they’re treated as fairly mundane animals/pets (unless the Magic User has a First Level Spell Feature that applies to them), maybe a little more clever (smart as a Chimpanzee is generally a good guideline), but usually they’re just a bit of flavor, or potentailly a useful tool that might be useful situationally to solve a very specific problem. Since they’re hard to replace and fragile though, this makes them fairly bad fits as scouts and trap-springers, so I often caution the players to be careful with them.

But sometimes and in some settings it’s more interseting to give them some special abilities.

So here’s a list of One Hundred Familiar Features for inspiration. Perhaps the Magic User uses Magic Reasearch to unlock these secrets (time and money), or maybe they gain new features in play. I suppose you could even have one unlock randomly every few levels the Familiar survives as a tacit encouragement to be careful with those little critters.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Monster Miens by Type

Here is a table with some Monster Miens, inspired by the lovely Troika! Method of attaching a tiny table to the denizens of adventures in order to give them a little personality. While I adore the ones that are bespoke for each individual creature, I figured it might be useful to have something like this in a slightly more generic form.

It uses the d12, because that die seems unloved and rather lonely. It is ostensibly arranged to work alongside the standard 2d6 Reaction Roll if you wish (although those results will be weighed accordingly). Still mulling over a more extensive “d36” one that directly interfaces directly with some of the dice metadata for that lovely table.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Updated Quick Equipment & Encumbrance Sheet

Here’s a bit of a blast from the past. I decided to give a little refresh to my old Quick Equipment & Encumbrance Sheet because it’s still turning out to be useful for various games I’m running.

As before, the chief purpose is to cut down on the time-consuming “Shopping Trip” portion of Character Generation, but still preserve some player choice in how they outfit their characters that goes a bit beyond the more comprehensive “kits.” There are some tricky choices baked in, but I if you wanted to speed things up even more, you can always just have the players roll 6d12 (but I’ve found this tends to lead to a lot of table time spent “swapping” sometimes). With a few quick checkmarks/highlighters the adventurers are ready to go, with all of their Equipment on a single handy sheet.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

d100 Terrible Toxins & Vile Venoms

Despite the ubiquitous presence of Poisons (my inner pedant nearly always perks up to mention that these are more accurately referred to as Venoms when it comes to monster attacks) I have never been terribly fond of just inflicting Hit Point Damage, a persistent (and often conveniently disremembered) penalty to rolls, or even that sainted staple of old-school play: Instant Death for these types of attacks.

Those may still occasionally appear as consequences, but I typically prefer these types of harm to linger a bit longer, create interesting challenges for the characters to overcome, and introduce another delicious layer of tension to the situation. For particularly dastardly critters, these sometimes can occur even on a “successful” Saving Throw.

I suppose some of the more physiologically improbable entries could serve as Calamitous Curses as well in a pinch, and I heartily encourage providing options for miraculous cures and treatments (driven by adventure generally of course). Perhaps some of these Herbs & Plants might be just what the Cunning Folk ordered?

So as promised during some of my d100 Encounter Activities, I went ahead and put together a table with One Hundred sometimes squicky ideas for giving these types of attacks a little more bite.

This table comes with a Content Warning for what I feel might qualify as mild Body Horror, because it is surprisingly tricky to explore these kinds of effects without a soupçon of the gruesome.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

d100 Equipment with Coin, Weight, Slot Encumbrance

Below is a d100 table to speed up generating Equipment and calculating Encumbrance. There seem to be three primary measurements favored these days Coins, Pounds, and “Slots.” Encumbrance Tracking is a highly subjective process, that varies from table to table of course. I’ve always been partial to coins (making it an even more “universal” unit that dovetails with spending and advancement) but do sometimes need to adjudicate raw weight (in pounds) and enjoy the occasional abstract “slot” based system as well.

So, I’ve endeavored to provide a tool that attempts to conveniently relate these different methods. As a bonus, if you find yourself in need of a random piece of equipment, it might be useful for generating that with a quick d100.

Should you notice anything glaringly out of line, please feel free to let me know!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Wilderness Encounter Vignette Tables

Here’s something a little different! In my pursuit of repurposing/recycling those Procedural Rolls to have them do “double-duty” I came up with some tables for what I have nicknamed “Wilderness Encounter Vignettes.” These are almost a bit like TROIKA! Miens to flavor an Encounter Area or Place.

Basically, the intent is to leverage some metadata from some of those 2d6 rolls we frequently make for things like Surprise, Encounter Distance, and Reaction Rolls in the form of d66 (or d36, or d6xd6) tables that provide a little additional dressing to “set a stage” so to speak. Just use two different colored dice for these rolls (or pick one of the two entries if you prefer) and consult the table for the general character of the region. You could even trigger these types of descriptions on a “failed” Wandering Monster check, or to just quickly generate some minor details to add to a Campsite or Journey to make things a little more memorable. You could even use these to create some Landmarks to aid the Players with future Navigation.

These are getting a more granular breakdown than my typical Wilderness Hexes Terrain types but could easily be used in conjunction with them. I will be adding more Terrains as the mood strikes me (maybe for a total of 15-20), but until then I hope you find them useful.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

d100 Magic Bows

Here are another hundred ideas for slaying those sometimes un-inspiring “only plus” possessing weapons. This time I decided to take aim at those Magical Bows.

See also: d100 Magic Blades and d100 Magic Shields.

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.

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