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.:



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