Thursday, December 21, 2023

d100 - Infernal Features & Tiefling Traits

The following table contains a Hundred Ideas for unusual features that might be possessed by Tieflings or those of uniquely Fantastic Bloodlines. Though it may be a bit skewed toward those Cambion Characters, if you are a fan of making your Elfs “Weird” or in need of a quick Mutation Table, I suppose this might work in a pinch for those purposes as well. Some are mostly cosmetic, others might be a bit of a drawback or introduce challenges, a few lucky ones are beneficial, but most will probably lend a bit of an uncanny air to these Characters. I’ve always been a little bit bitter about that “false d100” table in Planescape (you know the ones: they use the two d10s...but consolidate the entries and lack a healthy hundred!) so I finally decided to rectify this. Do not fear, for a more Angelic Counterpart has already been added to the pile for a future post at some point.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

d100 - Magical Rings

Who doesn’t love a good Magical Ring? Compact and convenient (for those with Fingers or other places to wear them), here are a hundred additional ideas to make this Treasures more than mere Trinkets. I am always eager to embellish them a little bit. If you enjoy this too, there might be some inspiring ideas for this in my Jewelry Generator or even on my table for Magic Item Tells.

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.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

d100 - Troubadour Tales & Bardic Ballads

The travelling Troubadour is a wonderful way to dispense Rumors and Information. Sometimes they even find themselves within Party Rosters as a Class or Character Type. But what are all those tales and tunes about?

Here’s a quick d100 Table to determine the subject matter and performance styles of some of the stories or serenades a Party may find themselves hearing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

d100 – Demi-Planes & Pocket Realms

I’ve always been quite fond of placing Magical Portals leading to other Places and Planes in my games. During the Higher Levels of Play (usually post-Domain Tier) Planar Adventuring can be very enjoyable and sometimes necessary to accomplish certain things. It often reignites some of the excitement of the Dungeon Tier: Travel is often hampered or restricted in some way and those precious Resources begin to matter once more. The Environment might be more Hostile or inimical to life from the Prime. Wonder and Danger can lurk around every corner/with every jaunt.

But these Planes need not all be such monolithic and grand places to peregrinate to. I’m very fond of the highly specific, smaller places (some might be only every be explored briefly or may only be a few “Hexes” across in terms of scope) often sought out to achieve very specific goals or tasks, or inadvertently stumbled upon on the way to somewhere more substantial or through misadventure.

Here are a Hundred Ideas for these smaller Planes to sprinkle within your cosmological framework. These could be destinations for those Mysterious Magical Gates, or even only possible to visit in less conventional ways. Some even beg me to be flesh them out further into more fully-fledged Troika-like Spheres! It can be quite perplexing and mysterious how these Places end up working in terms of their wider implications, but I tend not to break my brain over such things and leave that as an exercise for the Players to unravel 😊.

Friday, August 18, 2023

d100 – Magical Marginalia

Often coming as a Surprise, by default in some earlier presentations (like B/X) transcribing Spells from captured Enemy Spellbooks isn’t part of the Rules. This omission might seem a little strange (because it would quickly become more codified and taken for granted later) and sometimes stand out as a bit of a Proud Nail in terms of Spell Acquisition. Although a lot of Referees endeavor to graft this onto their games anyway, I always try to make sure that these types of Treasures have other interesting content, above and beyond a lovely list of new Spells a Magic User can add to their Repertoire to make them still worth lugging back to safety for later, more thorough examinations.

Here’s a table that expands upon this a bit. By placing a little lagniappe in these ledgers, they sometimes become useful Treasures in their own right, or at the very least become more memorable to the Players. Building a Library is a fruitful Downtime Activity that some Magic Users choose to pursue after all, and often this can add some intrinsic Value to an otherwise non-descript Spellbook. Sometimes these might still require that requisite Read Magic to decipher their function of course, but I love the idea of Spellbooks that contain more than just Spells: Functioning as a Workbook/Journal/Commonplace Book for the owner as well, conveying a little personality or odd habits/interests that they might have possessed.

Monday, August 14, 2023

d100 - Rumored Renown for when Reputation Precedes

Frequently, it might be useful to festoon an NPC with Fame or Infamy to create a more compelling Character. Whether it’s a Denizen’s Deeds or Distinguishing Traits, when the Players have heard “of” someone prior to encountering them, it can often make for more interesting interactions. Here are a hundred ideas for what the Gossip Mongers and Rumor Mill might have to offer about a particular personage.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

d100 - Dwarf Dweomercraft

Quite frequently, I encounter Referees unsatisfied with the perceived lack of certain Character Options or Abilities that occur when using a presentation that features Demihuman as Class. One of the often lamented “missing” archetypes is that of the Dwarf Cleric. I’m not really sure what cemented this particular combination as so essential in so many minds, but it’s definitely a frequent flier. I tend to see the Cleric Class, with its Piety, Proscriptions, and Prayers to be an incredibly Human convention and practice. Rather than just lazily grafting this onto another People wholesale and making them so much less distinctive in the process, my preference has generally been to try and invent something new instead.

The Dwarf in most of my games is much less Gimli and much more Rumpelstiltskin (and more mercurial rather than dour), but another persistent approach is to render them utterly a-magical. Spells are something that just doesn’t work for them or incompatible with their make up/nature (usually rationalized by their superior Saving Throws). But this has always been a bit at odds with the more Fairy Tale/Folkloric Model I tend to render them in. I’m stuck with the nagging suspicion that they should be Magical, but in their own singularly Dwarfin Fashion.

Ideas for giving this kind of Magic its own feel and flavor is the subject of this particular d100 table: these could be innate Magical Knacks, granted as the Dwarf becomes more experienced, acquired through Play/Adventure as a form of Character Growth (“Seek out Old Bleezlebottom if you’d like to learn the Ways of Water!”), or even something to sprinkle on flavor-wise to give other forms of Fey something fun once in awhile. The character of Magic performed by a Dwarf should differ from their Human Magic-User/Cleric and Elfin counterparts.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

d100 - Rumored Remedies for Curses/Energy Drain

Frustratingly for some participants, within the standard rules for B/X and in other early presentations, there simply isn’t really a way to ameliorate those tragic Levels Lost due to Energy Drain outside of further Adventuring. Interestingly, Experience lost to something like a Cursed Scroll is easily addressed through the application of the Remove Curse Spell, but there isn’t a counterpart for undoing the impact of having one’s neck wrung by a wrathful Wraith or being slapped by a screaming Spectre. This makes for a particular type of attack that ends up being very frightening to Players. It’s one of the few things that creates a bit of ludic bleed when a Monster ends up attacking the very act of Play itself (Rust Monsters and their insatiable hunger for Wonderous Weapons tend to do this too: they’re not necessarily formidable foes but it’s what they do to the Character Sheet that creates more lasting impacts!)

Later versions of the game tend to solve this problem by adding another Spell to Cleric’s Repertoires (Restoration), but this tends to make the loss a little more perfunctory, just a temporary set-back at most, until the Players are able to obtain the services or pray for this Miracle by themselves. This salves some of the sting considerably, but it does almost become a bit more like a Curse in this way.

Sentimental softie that I am, I’ve nearly always provided provisions for regaining this Loss in another way, usually following the rubric of “Rumored Cures.” As I was compiling a list of these, I realized that many of could do a bit of double duty for particularly pernicious Curses as well (the kinds in Fairy Tales, that often require strangely specific Deeds to undo). Some might be more akin to tales of Old Wives or Local Superstitions but I do try to ensure that if my Players end up chasing Wild Geese, there’s at least something in it for them. In these cases, the hope is that there is always Treasure, Fame, and Information to be gained on Adventure after all!

Here are a Hundred potential avenues for alleviation. Maybe they work automatically or perhaps they simply give the afflicted a new Saving Throw chance to remove the condition in question. I tend to leave that more mechanical stuff up to the individual Table and Referee.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Spoor & Sign or Tracks & Traces by Type

Proponents of Overloaded Encounter/Hazard Die might sometimes find themselves in a bit of a bind or at a loss for some of those Telegraphing Traces, Perilous Percepts, and Obvious Omens when these results deign to show their face on the die. It seems frightfully easy for some of these to become rather “samey” over time after all, and while an adjunct roll on the Encounter Table might provide some additional raw ingredients, wouldn’t it be lovely to have some convenient and more specific things to pull from as well?

One of the hidden drawbacks and sneaky pitfalls of these Overloaded Encounter/Hazard Dice is how they do require this sort of spontaneous improvisation or increase in cognitive load on occasion. I find they tend to Rob Prep Peter to Pay Play Paul in a way: You’ve reduced some of the scutwork associated with preparing interesting situations or granularly tracking resources and deferred this to the dice, but one needs to be fast on their feet interpreting what may sometimes be repetitive or slightly incoherent results. Scribbling an adjunct column to your Encounter Tables ahead of time for these Tracks/Traces is another option of course.

These were some of the things on my mind when I started plinking away at a d100 table for these types of Creature Clues. Very quickly however, I realized that genericizing them in this way left a lot to be desired. Different Denizens leave distinctive tells in their wake, so I decided to take the approach I used in my Monster Miens tables: Discrete d12s for broader Encounters by “Type Classification” to hammer the results into something a little more contextual.

These are semi-weighted: Lower results (or using a single, smaller-faced die) are intended to produce the more ephemeral and temporary types of spoor, whilst higher ones (perhaps with a modifier, such as d6+6) will tend toward the more durable sign. One could just as well give that lonely d12 a little love though, it seems to be relegated for so few tasks and is quite pleasing to set in motion.

Another option that I’ve availed myself of before is using my Encounter Activity Tables in a slightly different way. Instead of rolling on the table to find out what a particular Monster is “up to” right now, I’ve used them more like a window into the past: This is what the Monster was doing here a relatively short time ago. I’m often able to glean a few interesting details this way to set a better scene and I’m always happy when I can re-use tables a bit outside their intended purpose!

Hope these provide a little inspiration or at the very least cut down on some of the repeat results that might be occurring!

Sunday, July 9, 2023

d100 - Some Cities & Settlements

When painstakingly placing a happy Haven or convenient Village somewhere in a World, I often find myself needing a few things. Names are nearly always necessary, but I also like to think a little bit about what sorts of Resources might have informed the establishment of the place. Especially as a Campaign might shift more toward the Domain Tier, it becomes pretty handy to have some ready ideas for the useful Imports/Exports or other features that might be present and play a larger role. Some entries are obvious Natural Resources, but I like to sprinkle in some less tangible Cultural Resources as well from time to time to keep things interesting. These can inform Rumors, serve as a source of Adventure, and answer those pesky Player questions that crop up from time to time: Where can we find the best quality Falcons? Where is a Sage that has made this obscure topic their life’s work? Where can we sell all these ingots of Tin for a tidy profit?

I’ve also included a handy-dandy generator that I spun up to test out the Naming Stems as well below!

Saturday, June 24, 2023

d100 - Curious Quaffs & Local Libations

Recently inspired to finally polish off this Table off by a recent post from the I Cast Light Blog, I’ve often found myself needing some descriptors the rinse my palette after devoting adequate attention to the Foodways of a particular place. Even the venerable B2: Keep On The Borderlands has a Tavern, and provides us with prices for Ale, Small Beer, Wine, and Honey Mead should our Adventurers wish to kick back with a beverage after a frightful forray into the Caves.

What is drunk, in the pursuit of becoming drunk can speak volumes about a place, and should you need to provide a little more decoration for Carousing Events, Portable Potables as Treasure, or even some ways to make some Magical Potions more distinctive and a tad more memorable, I hope this Random Table can help.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

d100 - Why Does This Dungeon Remain Un-Plundered?

Inspired by a request from another Referee, here is a century of entries that can be used to explain why a the location attached to a Dungeon or other Site-Based Adventure hasn't been completely looted by others prior to the Players catching wind of it. Some of these might serve additional duties as Rumors, Hooks, or other forms of Gossip when asking around about potential Treasure Sites. I suppose if you’re looking for a “Theme” for a Dungeon, you might be able to glean that sort of thing from a few of these as well.

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!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

d100 - Marvelous Mules & Distinctive Donkeys

Appearing on most Equipment Lists, the Trusty Mule sometimes stoically accompanies our Adventures into the strangest of places. Helping them haul their gear and buoy those hopes for retrieving those glittering hoards. Just as with my prior table on Horses, I do prefer to give these precious Pack Animals a little more attention than just a perfunctory price of thirty gold pieces

So, should you find yourself needing some additional Equine Embellishments: here are a Hundred potential Traits for these brave beasts of burden (though I’m sure some of the Names/Entries on the prior table above might apply as well). I know we’ve certainly had some memorable Mules at my tables over the years.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

d100 – So You Didn’t Make It Out Of The Wilds...

The Mythic Overworld can be a dangerous and daunting place. Here’s a companion Table to my “So You Didn’t Make It Out Of The Dungeon?” Hundred, focusing a little more on how those Wild Places might mutate or have a chance to change those who spend a little too long within Her Clutches. Most are akin to Curses, potentially ameliorated by Magic (boring!) or further Adventure (better!). I suppose several could also serve as stand-ins for Magical Mishaps, Consequences for slaking one’s thirst in a Magical Spring, interfering with a Shrine to Local Lesser Deities, the various bewitchments of the Fickle Fair-Folk, those Torments inflicted by vengeful Druids or Wicked Witches, and so forth.

My prior, more Dungeon-centric Table, surprisingly finds far more use as a source of oft-repeated Rumors, wary Warnings, or even the occasional unbidden and potentially Portentous Nightmare. These results could also serve a similar purpose: Eagerly falling from the mouths of those who know better than to stray too far from the safety of Civilization.

I’ve encountered a few of these “Roll-To-Return” Tables that are usually used in conjunction with Open Table/Stable Play. These Sessions are intended to end within a Haven/Settlement in order to facilitate and sustain a shifting Cast of Characters. Most of the time the worst result on these is Death, but I tend to prefer having the experience change a Character in a meaningful way instead, perhaps after taking them “out of commission” for a commensurate amount of time. Sometimes the “Luck of the Draw” means these drawbacks might even end up being boons in the right hands.

Monday, March 6, 2023

d100 - Magical Pools, Fountains, or Springs

In the NOTES FOR THE DUNGEON MASTER section of B1 – In Search of the Unknown, one of the pieces of lovely advice Mike Carr recommends is “A room of mysterious pools” and ever since seeing how Players interact with these in those very early games, I’ve endeavored to try to include them in my Dungeons, Hex Crawls, and other places where they might present themselves.

Sometimes beneficial, other times baleful, they occasionally result in Character Improvement outside of the standard scope of the rules, but this reward is seldom without Risk. Experienced Players are sometimes rightfully suspicious of these, so I make sure to have some “non-magical” water features crop up from time to time as well. Things seldom aren’t as they seem in the Mythic Underworld however, so the ones found in Dungeons or other Dangerous Places are often the most interesting in terms of their effects. They are always an excellent choice for those “Special” results that crop up during Random Room Stocking.

As with all my tables, these entries can be tailored to taste: perhaps you would prefer to add a Saving Throw to mitigate harmful effects (or even make Failing a Save a requirement for benefiting from the positive ones, that’s always fun!) or more randomness to the chances of applying the effect or durations intimated here. Decide if they are a “Single Use” or what could potentially occur on subsequent sips. Some become more akin to “Tools” that might be creatively used to solve problems or address challenges. Others make for memorable and more persistent changes to the Characters themselves. As with Traps and other Hazards, it’s often prudent to try to telegraph things a bit if possible, and some of these entries have that sort of minor detail included. Occasionally it might be possible to divine the nature or properties of these mysterious reservoirs in other ways (I particularly enjoy planting Rumors associated with them, and imparting the local denizens with more specific knowledge about their effects is always grand), but sometimes it’s down to just the joy of adjudicating experimentation on the Players’ part.

More potential options can always be found by re-purposing some of my other tables: Unconvetional Potions is one I sometimes use for these, and Magical Mishaps & Calamitous Curses sometimes is a good fit as well. Maybe they grant the Character daily use of a Convenient Cantrip or have side-effects akin to my Herb & Plant Generator? Being able to “Re-skin/Re-use” my prior prep in this way is something I often like to do.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

d100 - Handy Hallways & Curious Corridors

When designing Dungeons, Referees often spend plenty of time developing descriptions and dressing for Rooms and Larger Areas, but sometimes the connections between these places can receive a little less love. Here are a hundred potential tidbits for those occasionally under-distinguished Corridors. This table could be useful for communicating an overarching “theme” of construction, or just serve as a spur should further descriptions be warranted when prompted. While I wouldn’t necessarily roll anew for each Happy Hallway, a periodic shift in description can sometimes go a long way to make a place feel more alive or lived in. I suppose in a more mysterious and Mythic Underworld, these sorts of sudden shifts would be right at home.

A gentle word of warning though: Should your table consist of canny and cautious players, sometimes any attention given to these Poor Passageways (no matter how minor!) is viewed with utmost suspicion, and while none of these entries were designed to telegraph Traps or feature intrinsic Hazards, I’m sure that some prudent Players might decide otherwise and expend valuable time investigating or exploring when presented with features like these. Should this lead to additional Resource Consumption, or even a Wandering Monster’s appearance from dawdling in Dangerous Places...that would be another matter.

For additional Dungeon Brainfood, qq.v.:

Friday, February 10, 2023

d100 - Magical Waterskins, Canteens, or Flasks

Another table in my series on adding a bit of Magic to some of the more mundane items that Adventurers might cross paths with (more under the [magic items] label). For whatever reason, I always tend to envision Water/Wineskins as more akin to a Bota rather than their larger counterparts, but I suppose most of the entries might be adaptable for various other means of transporting Liquids.

Friday, February 3, 2023

d100 - Henchperson Habits & Follower Foibles

Sometimes those Hirelings and Henchmen receive little more than their measly helping of Hit Points and an Armor Class. If we are lucky, we might assign them an appellation. Here are one hundred little eccentricities and affectations that might make them a little bit more memorable should they stick around for more than a session or so. Just as I sometimes do for sentient Magic Swords, I enjoy assigning each companion a number from one to twenty (lower numbers increase the frequency), and should this number come up on a die roll, I endeavor to remember to quip or mention the habit.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

d100 - Magical Bags, Backpacks, Pouches, or Purses

Continuing my series on less traditional Magical Items, this table deals primarily with personal Containers. Backpacks, Sacks, and those ubiquitous Belt Pouches are pretty common accoutrements, though I’m sure these special features could be applied to other things with a little creative ingenuity.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

d100 - Magical Ropes & Restraints

Here are a Hundred ideas for tying some Magical Effects to your Ropes, Restraints, Cables, and Cordage of all kinds. Sometimes the even most mundane piece of Equipment deserves a little dressing up 😊

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