Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cultural Peculiarities of the Isolated City-State



d12
1. Restricted food supply: grain-based currency, garbage of aristocrats fed to middle class, scraps thereof foisted upon proletariat, underclass conditioned to consume the dead
2. Autocrat selected via biannual lottery, must live in shack outside city walls, forfeit all property, depend upon alms, otherwise all-powerful
3. Lacquer deceased, pose, display in the home, public areas, awaiting prophesied resurrection event, entire amphitheaters taken up by ex-season ticket holders, a huge pain in the ass, clergy searches for alternatives acceptable to the gods
4. Due to proximity of colossal bee hives, symbiotic relationship via lush city-wide flower gardens, honey works its way into every sickeningly sweet food/beverage, people starting to look a bit bee-ish, security swarms hold visitors at bay until cleared by human sentries
5. Ruling class composed of cultured, sophisticated, well-dressed giants, half-, quarter-, eighth-giants compose other social classes, dependent upon all-human labor pool who, while seemingly wretched, do not wish to be free
6. Formalized polyamory practiced universally, visitors must take on multiple marriage partners for entry, divorces granted only via costly litigation
7. Daily mandatory physical fitness regimen practiced at dawn, above average strength, constitution commonplace, high-protein herd beast-based diet, well-fed classes exceedingly muscular, body dysmorphia runs rampant
8. Most disputes settled at the grand Table of Adjudication by proxy champions using tactical board games
9. Involuntary, boundless levity in approach to all things, no matter how dire, all conversation framed as hilarious "bits", great effusions of genuine or feigned laughter the glue that holds society together
10. Death penalty banned after reign of Joluu the Beheader, crimes high and low punished by banishment of varying length, nearby Exile City provides sleazy accommodations, crime-based economy
11. Coral-walled city built upon foundations of risen capitol of extinct, paleogean mermanoid civilization, shoddy stairways, ladders allow access to structures once entered by swimming, fortified royal district considered unassailable, caves beneath still flooded with ancient waters, inhabited by weird Cambrian life-forms including giant arthropod food source
12. Populace obsessed with wrestling, training commences upon discharge from daily toil, a ring on every corner, huge bronze belt buckles display level of mastery, victories at neighborhood, district, city-wide levels, binge drinking is the number two activity

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Yeah but THESE Hellhounds....



d12

1. Actually from the biblical Hell, on mission to Campaign World in Satan's service, seeks expert murderhobos for important jobs in ancient Judea
2. Carries cask of Hell's Libation on collar, St. Bernard-like, able to restore damaged demonic entities to full fighting strength if imbibed, mortals who sample the brew must make a saving throw or burst into flames, those able to stop, drop, and roll in time rendered permanently insane
3. Perpetually smoldering hide, even if cured, but provides superior protection from elements natural and eldritch, stinks a good deal though
4. Lap dog of Hell: very cuddly, affectionate, if current master killed uses preternatural cuteness to establish bond w/nearest available new master, asbestos safety gear required for human handling
5. Retriever: seeks and fetches specific magic items required by dark master, specializes in live capture of sought individuals, noted for minimally damaging soft bite
6. Giant hell-dachshund: bred to rid caves of owlbears, other dungeon megafauna
7. Trans-planar sled team: haul terrible outer entities about from sphere to sphere tirelessly, remain motionless awaiting commands, may only be released from harness by powerful magic, will obey any being to board their sled
8. Spell-sniffing: toxic saliva nullifies memorized spells, treats magic-users as per chew-toys
9. Monster-herder: immune to many forms of monster attack, round up and distribute to chosen locales various dungeon creatures, keeps the hobgoblins out of gnoll territory, etc.
10. Worse than rabies: infected by sorcerer-created virulence that results in mad frenzy of wanton mayhem, much hideous frothing, seeping, transmissible across many species, known to have depopulated several dungeons
11. Thief-seeking: automatically detect thieves in territory, stalks, kills without mercy, piles in heap before master's door
12.  Headless: luminous sensillae in chest detects quarry across planes of existence, effortlessly breaches interdimensional veil, emits brain-scrambling ray, opens iris-like to imprison prey in body cavity

Saturday, April 18, 2015

So Your Character is a JACKASS....

Optional rule for D&Dish RPGs: If when rolling 3d6 for the Charisma stat one rolls any three matching numbers on the dice (1-1-1, 2-2-2, etc.), the player must make a saving throw or their character is a JACKASS and must roll on the table below. Of course, a JACKASS with an exceptional Charisma score represents a monumental threat to both the adventuring party and the campaign world they share, and should only be run by a very responsible and cooperative player. A JACKASS may be of any class or alignment.

Note: Unless my math is faulty (always a strong chance), this provision will produce the chance of a JACKASS only 1 in 36 times, which, as we all know, grossly under-represents the real-world ratio of JACKASS to non-JACKASS.

d12
1. Rigid, seemingly arbitrary, occasionally bizarre personal code of conduct cited, chapter and verse, at every opportunity, especially where party's course of action may be affected
2. Goes on at great length about every ache, pain, lingering symptoms of STDs, quality and frequency of bodily functions, reportage pauses for important party business, resumes at every lull
3. Concocts delightful, gently disrespectful nicknames for everyone, persists well beyond period where this might be mildly amusing, comes up with fresh ones, even more insulting, if ordered to desist
4. Whether in the saloon, general store, magic shop, armor showroom, etc., always the first to offer to pick up the tab but, whoops, seems to have left gold pieces in other pantaloons (once again)
5. Considers self master of elocution, never passes up opportunity to lampoon less graceful speech of others, will immediately, thoughtlessly perform imitation of anyone met with unusual regional accent, foreign language, right to their face, somehow believes this endearing, finds self hilarious
7. Always belching and farting, finds self hilarious
8. Strident belief in equality, everyone equally inferior to self, subject certain no one can detect true feelings
9. Seems perfectly charming at first but before long everyone (except subject) realizes s/he doesn't give the tiniest crap about anyone else
10. All empathy reserved for personal use only, can't help laughing, taking inappropriate pleasure when others fall down, get injured in embarrassing ways, suffer humiliations, etc.
11. Gives appearance of pleasant affability until party secures sizable treasure, instantly transforms to irrational greed-hound incapable of understanding why s/he should't be entitled to choices items, lion's share
12. "Just being honest", never fails to announce newly discovered foibles of those around, tells it like it is with shocking lack of sensitivity, values own ideas highly, those of others, not so much, unless undeniably good, in which case they are swiftly, not-so-subtly appropriated

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Zealots in the Underworld

The Executioner of Nul, The Mindless One, following
hostile takeover of cult by Kwanju, an ambitious young
Underworld godling on the rise.

d12
1. Witnesses for the Mindless One demonstrate the serenity of mindlessness in their somber processions, pause to perform complimentary Rite of Lobotomization upon request
2. Flagellants of the Worm Sultan roam at random, armed w/weird ritual punitive flogging devices, deliver brutal beatings to any infidels they meet, enchanted hand-held searchlight-like device reveals religious affiliation of any in its crimson beam
3.  Devotees of the Slime Lords, caked in layers of semi-translucent goo in various stages of drying, implore strangers to bathe in levitating hot tub filled to brim w/Divine Mucus to receive subcutaneous revelations, permanently softens human skin, only continuous reapplication prevents lethal slough
4. Wandering monks of the Beggar God, looking well-fed, clothed, healthier than one might imagine, demand alms, extremely persistent until offered something of value, no matter how modest, which they deliver ASAP to deity's legendary Sacred Hoard
5. Listless acolytes of the Goddess of Malaise may only take action on single day each week, rest of the time they wallow in lethargic condition of holy indolence
6. Levitating monks of Oblivion on tour of sacred holes, pits, chasms, abysses, emit deafening Mantra of Spontaneous Meditation if opposed, induces involuntary state of total relaxation, possible dangerous self-reflection
7. Worshipers of the Feral God eschew technological progress, set out on monkeywrenching campaigns, destroy all but the simplest tools, machines, destabilize bridges, undermine structures, kill dwarfs on sight
8. Forlorn cultists of the Extinct Beetle Pantheon on gloomy ghost-led tour of ancient ruined sites, obsessed with nostalgia for a time they never knew
9. Celebrants of the Rites of Mayhem run amok, venerate chaos deity w/random acts of senselessness, violence, vandalism, set to receive eternal reward if killed while promulgating confusion, terror
10. Tedious positivity spews forth ceaselessly from adherents of the Church of Gleeful Hopelessness, clerics laugh off reality of incomprehensible universe w/variety of delight-inducing enchantments, made available for purchase as part of ministry
11. Robber God's greed-enhanced thief-priests may not accept donations, instead case establishments for future B&E, plan & execute daring, complex heists, steal and hold for ransom towering jewel-encrusted statuary dedicated to rival deities
12. Idiotic humanoids bamboozled by lich in convincing god-drag believe their master best served by killing things and taking stuff, rival clan of idiotic humanoids declared heretics for failure to correctly interpret lich's mad screeds stand by to ambush, loot, and destroy original group

Monday, April 6, 2015

Reaction Table: Underworld Godling


+1 to rolls for acts known to undermine the surface world status quo, well-crafted flattery, bowing, scraping, grovelling, sacrificing blood and/or treasure
-1 to rolls for acts known to support Law and Order, murderhobo activity with negative effect on godling's bottom line, ill-conceived introductory banter, slaying of valued worshipers 

d12
1. How dare you approach my Eminence!? I will effect your utter destruction this instant!
2. Adventurers again? I grant you a moment to fall upon your swords before I devour you all body and soul.
3. Priests, awaken and notify the Famished One for tonight we dine! Anoint this rabble in oils and lavish them with spices.
4. Behold, your minds surrender instantly to my irresistible will. Slay one another for my amusement.
5. Perhaps you'd just like to yield up your golden treasures and get the hell out of here. Oh, wait, leave your hirelings as well, they look just barely fit for consumption.
6. You may worship me but briefly, then remove yourselves from my sight forever. After you deposit your golden treasures in the proper sacrificial receptacle.
7. Report at once to the priesthood for indoctrination, worthy supplicants.
8. Welcome to my domain, wanderers. Rest and recover your strength in my holy radiance. But first you must eat of my flesh. 
9. Your wounds shall be healed! Now begone, fools, resume your wanton spree for my ongoing gratification.
10. Prepare yourself, charming mammals, for an involuntary download of cosmic insight you will find enlightening. . .if your tiny minds are not rent asunder!
11. Revolting mortals, I grant you a single boon, but if I ever smell your filthy little souls again you will crawl before me like worms.
12. You shall be my champions! Stand by for Mass Geas!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Jolly Terrors in the Underworld

d12
1. Titanic evil worm, wicked hearts beating visibly beneath skin w/unprecedented elation, just deposited clutch of eggs beneath Imperial Capitol City, life cycle complete, looks forward to brief, comfortable retirement, sweet oblivion
2. Giant amoeboid in state as close to ecstasy as it can achieve, positively stuffed with entire clan of puny humanoids, partially digested, tiny armaments, loincloths, coins excreted continuously, couldn't possibly pass another thing through semi-permeable cell wall
3. Lich with uncharacteristic spring in otherwise rickety step, whistles merry tune from previous age, en route w/hideous undead entourage to collect winnings after winning bet with dragon
4. Several huge, stupid humanoids stagger, howl with euphoric laughter, pass around sack filled w/psychoactive mushrooms, could at any moment enter cascading psychotic frenzy (which they also enjoy)
5. Evil cave cetacean revels in handy victory in public debate against the Lord of the Cavern Clams in front of Underworld VIPs including long-shot love interest, consultant job offers should be rolling in, considering options, risk averse
6. Gleeful floating eyeball zips to and fro, finally cured of chaos-rot by The Colossal Surgeon, able to once again to enjoy simple pleasures of pain-free levitation
7. Nothing can spoil the mood of the wingless dragon, bloated and slithering at sub-normal speed, has swallowed entirety of rival dragon's golden hoard for transportation back to lair
8. Towering Frankenstein, poorly assembled from cave giant parts, laughs and frolics, final revenge upon creator a complete success, pulverized body dangles like a rag doll from enormous fist
9. Intelligent dinosaur chokes back tears of joy, moved deeply by discovery of time rift leading to Age of Reptiles, temporarily sets aside customary hostility toward all mammals while concocting plan
10. Gigantic ambulatory brain pulsates w/weird delight, just acquired particularly juicy tidbit of cosmic insight from ingested Yeti lama, consuming a human brain after such rare pleasure could only disappoint
11. Massive ape in golden, gem-encrusted war harness, smeared in gore, brains, swollen w/pride, heads back to quarters in company of equally pleased trainers, handlers, after incredible victory in arena, lust for battle completely sated for first time in short, brutal existence
12. Mummified monarch of extinct beetle civilization, pleased as punch w/accidental revivification by sorcerer now in belly, announces resumption of global empire at top of regal voice, issues orders to passersby as they occur to her, temporarily magnanimous toward inferior beings

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Quests by Imperial Command, Unreasonable

Yours is not to reason why.

d12
1. Retrieve the heads of three wicked monarchs after first winning their favor
2. Deliver food, mail, to the Chained Demon Indestructible incarcerated somewhere at the bottom of thought-pacified local dungeon as per unholy pact made by foolish ancestors
3. Reverse climate change on shoestring budget by kidnapping high level wizards necessary as physical components for curative incantation, gas bombs provided
4. Establish relations w/planet-size outer being, present huge golden idol, void-proof viking longship to be launched to distant Gray Galaxy via enchanted trebuchet
5. Carefully collect all huge, strangely attractive eggs of unknown origin that materialized overnight in every grain field, orchard, garden in and around Imperial Capitol City, defeat any who attempt to keep one for themselves
6. Return giant book to proper shelf in trans-cosmic library via handheld dimensional portal device, avoid all contact with The Librarian, in fact, don't even look at it
7. March beyond the edge of the campaign map, report back with findings, captives, samples of goods/resources, prospects for colonization, alternately, determine precise nature of the World's End
8. There is only one way to save the far-flung Allied Islands in this time of imminent calamity: the mega-megalodon must be tamed/used as troop transport
9. Disguise selves as demons, plant bomb at base of recently discovered Stairway to Hell, must pass through the Demi-Hell Casino half way down
10. Proceed through ocean-bottom whirlpool, return with news from the other side of the world
11. Plug the troublesome hole in reality with heap of gold from specific ancient hoard melted into cork-shape, dragon fire required
12. Sorcerer-cabal announces sudden cosmological breakthrough, reveals structural weakness in planar schema: travel to Hell's ninth level, use relic to detach cosmic moorings, set adrift in void away from more popular planes of existence

Friday, March 27, 2015

Reaction Table: High Level Cleric of Law Required to Raise Dead Associate(s)

+1 to rolls for service to deity or proxies above and beyond call of duty, sizable donation, proper obeisances paid
-1 to rolls for known blasphemies, heresies, blatant deviations from deity's behavioral guidelines, murderhobotry

d12
1. Inquiry results in partial corporeal manifestation of deity for brief, terrifying in-person, finger-wagging rebuke, assurances that any further inquiry will trigger cosmic unpleasantness
2. Cleric issues scathing indictment of PC's dubious conduct, satirical praise for agent of dead PCs destruction, assembled clergy share damn good laugh at party's expense
3. The answer is no but offers services of promising acolyte as replacement for fallen PC (actually a hyper-competent secret operative with agenda no doubt at odds with that of adventurers)
4. Currently unable to provide resurrection but will pay handsomely for opportunity to probe dead PC's innards for divination purposes
5. Sorry, too busy serving actual devotees at the moment, party advised to seek alternate reanimation from jolly necromancer around the bend
6. Deity consulted, plea rejected on technicality, try again in 1d6 weeks, body must be preserved somehow
7. Stacks of paperwork required including full financial disclosure, please allow 1d6 days for processing, body may be stored beneath temple in refrigerated morgue for exorbitant usage charge
8. Revivification approved but on hold until completion of  Pain-in-the-Ass Assignment (see subtable) in addition to standard fees
9. It's a go but due to trade embargo holy herbs and spices required for execution of miracle outrageously overpriced, itemized bill includes fees for candles, incense, ceremonial vestment cleaning, sacrificial animals
(50% chance of Pain-in-the-Ass Assignment, see subtable)
10. Oh very well, but be warned: restored life subject to instant divine revocation without warning should individual violate strict, seemingly arbitrary moral code
11. Subject revived but must swear to wear gaudy insignia of deity, proselytize faith at every opportunity, conduct affairs public and private as paragon of deity's virtues
12. All fees waived but fine print of work order reveals deity now and forever in full possession of the revivified soul, player agency permanently diminished

(Subtable) Pain-in-the-Ass Assignments from the Temple of Law
Note: Temples often farm out tasks to adventurer-types due to behavioral restrictions imposed on clergy by divinity, Temple will deny any involvement and offer no aid in the event of capture, incarceration, execution
d12
1. Retrieve holy object believed stolen by rival Temple of Law and stashed in their treasury
2. Secure support of high level official using Amulet of Involuntary Religious Conversion
3. Assassinate Evil High Priest of Secret Chaos Temple in the Unsavory District across the way
4. Serve notice for Crimes Against the Deity to regional potentate and return with monetary sacrifice
5. Introduce unknown compound into the water supply of neighboring city
6. Dispose of Cursed Object by insinuating it into the possession of rival Temple of Law
7. Provide armed escort for undercover operatives en route to Underworld Chaos Temple
8. Sabotage rival temple's unduly popular annual fete by inciting riot, delivering biting insect swarm
9. Emancipate captive from Old Imperial Dungeon and replace with mindless simulacra w/minimum of bloodshed
10. Perform heretical acts required for fulfillment of prophecy, get out of town forever
11. Collect overdue offerings from wilderness mission dedicated to "civilizing" the "barbarians"
12. Kidnap and beat to w/in inch of life particularly outspoken critic of religion, deliver warning that if satirical public comments continue, party will return to finish the job, make it look like divine retribution

Monday, March 23, 2015

Reaction Table: The Big City Shopkeeper

Note: a mild-to-moderate contempt for customers of any stripe is assumed

+1 to rolls if adventurers are known regional heroes, bothered to take a bath and put on some clean clothes upon entering big city
-1 to rolls for blood-spattered raiment, menacing aspect, dubious associates, bristling with weaponry, carrying empty sacks

d12
1. Fancy sign on door reads "No Adventurer Scum Admitted", incredibly muscular lackeys guard entrance, owner brandishes death ray amulet
2. Refuses to sell, pulls shades, bustles around looking for "gone fishing" sign, lights fuse to rooftop pyrotechnic that summons constabulary
3. Ignores adventurers until unavoidable, pretends to be out of items in plain sight, opens negotiations at three times standard prices
4. Hides cases with high quality items, demands double standard prices and if that's a problem, there's the door
5. Uses enchanted ring to charm first customer through the door, speaks only to charmed individual, issues entirely plausible reasons for price gouging, low grade merchandise
6. Supercilious proprietor activates personal imp to hover over customers, monitor their activities most intrusively, insists upon searching adventurers prior to departure
7. Fallen on hard times, prices slashed but goods noticeably mass-produced crap assembled by exploited foreign humanoid workers, the hilt on that broadsword is already coming unwrapped, battle ax head just fell off despite gentle handling, you're going to have to pay for that
8. Pours complimentary booze for patrons, tall one for self, pricing erratic
9. Begins dickering as soon as someone enters establishment and stops only upon their exit
10. UPSELL, UPSELL, UPSELL, today's special buy: questionable potions from overseas
11. Rolls out the red carpet, issues profuse, undue flattery, opens concealed door to secret sales floor featuring "the good stuff", hints at availability of rare/enchanted items, perspires visibly the whole time, can't wait for the adventurers to leave
12.  Generally polite, accommodating, but pushes recently acquired treasure map to local dungeon of certain death way out of adventurers' league, neglects to mention hive of terror-monsters within

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Knights Gone Rogue in the Underworld: What Happened?

Table One: What Happened?
d12
1. Blackballed from admittance to holy order due to excess of personality, hunts evil alone but unquenchable thirst for companionship persists
2. Exiled from the realm after framed for petty crime by sorcerer, clinically depressed but channeling suicidal ideations into one-knight war against chaos
3. Stripped of rank by usurper after refusing to participate in bloody purge, quests for mythic Death Ray of Redemption believed incorporated into statuary in Underworld chaos temple
4. Court-martialed for treason after sparing the life of defeated cephalopod wizard, death sentence commuted following pledge to throw away life battling Underworld horrors
5. Fled civilization after unbelievably attractive werewolf went public over illicit love affair, contracted incurable lycanthropy in the process, took to the Underworld to forever avoid direct moonlight
6. Brain damaged in heroic melee with hostile colossus totally out of her league, decision-making now highly erratic, pursues the fungus-wizard famous for regeneration magic
7. Adventuring companions grew weary of sanctimony: beaten, poisoned, back-stabbed, stripped of goods, thought dead, deposited in remote Underworld zone, sworn to find/punish turncoats believed on extended treasure-hunt
8. Lost mind after messing around with alien intelligence enhancing device, occasionally brilliant from out of nowhere, mostly incoherent, holy mission/delusional compulsion to locate, destroy as-yet unknown relic of evil, will attempt to eliminate any magic item found to be on the safe side
9. Betrayed by secretly evil wizard, teleported to center of earth, slowly making way back to surface while gathering strength, dubious allies, for eventual assault on wizard's HQ
10. Face burned off by dragon, now masked hero of the Underworld, known to rescue youths of evil but draws line at grown ups
11. Disgraced after drunken, murderous spree at Imperial casino, can never show face in the big city again, seeks atonement via evil-bashing
12. Hung around with crew of murderhobos too long, it rubbed off resulting in unforgivable acts, deity furious, knight sent below to atone with non-stop violence against cults of evil

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Xenolinguistics: Means of Communication



For when you wish to make chats with alien entities a huge pain in the ass.

d12
1.  Intermittent flashes from single luminous eyeball, may induce seizures in humans of meager constitution
2. Batting of eyelids in elaborate semaphore, only the fullest, lushest human eyelashes intelligible 
3. Color-streaked vomitus spewed in expressive arcs and patterns
4. Rhythmic rattling of ostentatious jewelry
5. Clatter of mandibles modified by drumming on carapace with golden ritual mallets of various sizes
6. Emits/inhales gas capable of transmitting huge amounts of chemically-encoded information, mildly poisonous to humans
7. Standard verbal but statements must be bookended with single sustained high note sung for not less than 60 excruciating seconds, questions require full performance of The Song of Inquiry
8. Grotesque facial contortions bear most of the burden, but sub-verbal grunts and moans add that extra layer of subtlety
9. Entity only comprehends three-dimensional information, requires sculpture, model making to get the gist
10.  Telepathic exchange, images only, humans incapable of filtering out stray thoughts (frequently sexual/violent/lame in nature) and may inadvertently cause grievous offence
11. Beings fire quills back and forth on fibrous tethers loaded with chemical messages, human targets sometimes able to get the drift before perishing of quill wounds
12. Exchange brief text-based messages transmitted and received by claw-held devices, tone of messages frequently misinterpreted sometimes leading to permanent enmity/lethal duels, formerly capable of speech but vocal cords now considered vestigial

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

YEAH, but THIS Manticore...

d12
1. Will spare anyone willing to endure a lengthy reading of it's original poetry
2. Worshiped as (evil) deity by pride of sentient lions w/subtly human-like faces
3. Poison from variant scorpion-like tail acts as healing potion when administered in tiny doses, full stinger injection induces "death by healing" as tissues of victim redouble grotesquely until appalling cellular crash
4. Savage fangs, throat-rending claws and everything but eats only cake, swoons if presented one of surpassing quality
5. Looking to extract bribes of gold, jewels, must amass fortune to pay off blood debt to dragon
6. Ravishingly beautiful human face, desperately wants a kiss, if you kiss it w/sincere empathy it will (80%) transmute into original identity of ancient monarch, or (20%) bite your face off
7. Overwhelming instinct to protect children, everyone else can go to hell
8. Lusts for wizard flesh, blood, and spell-laden brains
9. Reads a lot, has awesome library, a master of trivia, spellbinding raconteur, at some point in conversation spine-covered tail lashes out, taking it upon itself to initiate lethal mayhem
10. Recently elected representative of dungeon guardians in wage talks with Dungeon Overlord, anticipates imminent assassination
11. Under blackmail threat by troll who witnessed illicit tryst between manticore and Dungeon Overlord's significant other, now must hunt for insatiable troll mouths as well as own
12. Has waited patiently for uncounted years for arrival of prophesied champion who will ride manticore into battle

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What the Well-Dressed Dragon is Wearing this Season

d12
1. Pictogram tattoos covering wing-membranes depicting self-congratulatory episodes from dragon's career, small army of tattoo artists often imprisoned nearby
2. Sealed, tinted goggles, nostril plugs linked by tubes to air tanks on back ostensibly for extreme high altitude exploration missions, but look so cool they've caught on
3. False fangs of titan ivory, elaborately scrimshawed w/various symbols of death/power, must be removed for comprehensible speech
4. Stylish, if frequently unnecessary, bejeweled eye patch
5. Timeless elegance of simple necklace of paladin skulls
6. Cast-iron wrecking ball on tail-extending prosthetic in variety of pleasing/spiky shapes
7. Claws painted in baroque detail by kidnapped artist who, by way of Stockholm syndrome/strange simpatico, has become dragon's only true friend
8. Grand Pope-style hat, encrusted with shiny bits, affixed to jaw by strap, size indicates expansiveness of lair
9. Woven gold body-stocking gives the luxurious feel of sleeping atop heap of riches w/out all the disorderly mess
10. Decorative body harness of giant reptile leather, polished steel plates situated over vital areas add protective value to otherwise encumbering get-up
11. It's all about epaulets this season
12. Offensive overdose of highly objectionable dinosaur-musk cologne, completely eradicates tell-tale dragon stench, but at what cost?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mere Hours Remain



Lulu is running a half-price sale on hardcovers that ends today, and I really should have mentioned this sooner (though I found out late in the game anyway), but for heaven's sake anybody who might enjoy a handsome hardcover copy of the Dungeon Dozen book should JUMP AT THIS CHANCE! AT ONCE! LINK BELOW!

Enter coupon code HC50 on the checkout page to get the discount.


In related news, production work has begun on the Dungeon Dozen Volume Two, which is exciting for me, but a long slog lies ahead, so I won't be mentioning it much until we begin closing on on completion.

Also, if you haven't yet, make sure you check out my new all-monster blog, They Stalk the Underworld.

Thanks!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Name That Barbarian!



d12
1. Bloodlips of the Depleted Hills
2. Hazmax the Arch-decapitator
3. Groat Yanbrine, warrior of the Undesirable Valley
4. Ahk Thunderbowels of the Marginlands
5. Howling Yowk, Registered Berserk
6. Ogle-Eye the Wasteland Observer
7. Moag the Spleen Collector
8. Calambur, Last Son of Starvation Hollow
9. Khoog of Wretchland, King-throttler
10. Quatrox the Remorseless, Slayer of Fools
11. Ugos Cleaverhand, Bastard Son of the Axe God
12. Bear-No-One-Understands

Sunday, October 5, 2014

DANGER: New Blog Approaching Your Perimeter



Hey folks, I'm not abandoning the Dozen anytime soon, but to keep things fresh for myself I've started a new blog to share and warehouse my ever-growing list of dubious creatures and malevolent entities, including many of the weirdos and creeps hinted-at in various Dungeon Dozen entries. Please check it out.

http://theystalktheunderworld.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Downtime Activities: The Puny Humanoids

d12
1. Devoted to religious pursuits, review of pictogram scriptures for nightly ritual quiz, crafting of graven images, shrieking out extremely unpleasant prayers, weeding out heretics
2. Training for Ironskull event in All-Humanoid Olympiad
3. Giant spider baiting, great fun for all but the lowest caste members who must do the dirty work
4. Aimless tunneling for fun/relaxation, sometimes to intentionally undermine lairs of rivals, leisure tunnels wind their way around the Underworld w/out rhyme or reason
5. Always seeking new/improved cruelties, hand-crafting of novel implements of war/torture
6. Semi-lethal pranks and practical jokes, fluid tribal hierarchy determined by quality, wickedness, hilarity, complexity of these Rube Goldberg machines of pain and humiliation
7. Occupied 24/7 w/reproduction-related activities, impenetrably weird rituals re: same
8. Composition and performance of intricately structured/interminable drum-odes to Chaos
9. The minute they're off duty it's straight to the opium den for long stretches of euphoric languor
10. Plotting total annihilation of medium-size humanoids, brewing up/weaponizing bacterial contagions in filthy laboratories, stockpiling arms, designing/installing death traps in enemy territory
11. Designing/installing pits/snares/deadfalls for dungeon fauna then doing terrible things to them
12. Under direction of ambitious shaman, entirety of tribe engaged in highly organized cataloging of dungeon creatures, habits, descriptions, towards eventual publication as monster manual, publisher lined up in Imperial Capitol City who feels they'll have a best-seller on their tiny, twisted hands, advance copies of the work-in-progress of extreme value

Monday, September 8, 2014

So You Got Captured by the Evil Humanoids...

How careless of you!

d12
1. Regain senses in Underworld slave market in the marked-down/slightly damaged section
2. Live-shipped via slug-drawn sledge to Monster Chow manufacturing facility for processing
3. Tossed in prison cells with lavish food service of surpassing quality, pleasant, stress-free living, attention paid to health, personal hygiene until sufficiently fattened for sale to well-to-do cannibal gourmet
4. Party manacled together into chain gang labor force, must shovel their way out of hopelessly clogged ancient Underworld sewer to have sentences commuted to mere execution
5. Placed in long queue of traitors, cowards, and outlanders to be catapulted into vast Underworld quagmire loaded w/all manner of ooze, slime, pudding, jelly
6. Awaken already in remarkably airy belly of titanic horror-beast worshiped by humanoids
7. Sent to re-education camp for deep immersion reprogramming, to be accepted as humanoid tribe members of child status following successful brain-washing
8. Used as pawns in arms-for-hostages exchange w/agents of corrupt local potentate
9. Human targets: it's kind of like skeet shooting for humanoid archery/spear training
10. Paralysis drug slowly begins to wear off upon deposit into huge food bowl of giant chained abomination
11. Strapped in to elaborate torture devices but due to staffing issues, you'll be serviced one-at-a-time, humanoids don't really want to know anything
12.  Sold to travelling Underworld circus, sink-or-swim training in various death-defying stunts to begin immediately

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Evil Humanoids: The Bitter Truth about Reproduction

d12
1. When biological alarm clock sounds off they go mad, rip themselves in half while laughing maniacally, each half grows into new humanoid
2. They're sloughing off microscopic zygotes all the time, everywhere they go, immediately enter Darwinian struggle for survival, competing viciously w/single-celled organisms, then insects, then small animals until only the hardiest/most ruthless reach full size
3. Release clouds of spores onto dead human bodies upon which humanoids feed/grow like a fungal bloom
4. Nasal cavities occasionally become stuffed up, blow larval humanoids out their noses
5. Steal human children, subject them to rigorous reprogramming, mutagenic baths
6. Random individuals suddenly stricken, swell to gross immensity before exploding, releasing 2d6 fully formed humanoids, immediately ready for action
7. Amputated parts, if watered regularly, grow into new individuals, donors, however, do not regenerate
8. Exposure to rays of harvest moon triggers budding, takes full season to complete during which they must be protected from harm
9. Powdered essence of humanoid sprinkled onto food of another creature initiates parasitic pregnancy in stomach w/predictably gruesome outcome
10. Singular bubbling cauldron in secret location deep in the Underworld, filled w/primordial soup from the dawn of time, spews forth new humanoids by the dozen
11. At the end of humanoid's life cycle head erupts into dandelion-like flower, releases hundreds of seeds into the wind to grow upon tilled soil in lieu of intended crops
12. Annual unholy ritual begins featuring incessant dancing, cacophony of drums, crazed chanting, copious bloodletting, imbibing of mind-bending intoxicants, entirety of population swept up in riotous bacchanal, how, no humanoid can say but by the next day population has increased by 33%  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Disgorged Contents of the Giant Snake's Stomach

d12
1. Partially digested magic-user, scorched over 75% of body, hand still clutches wand of fireballs, zero charges remaining, other ex-members of adventuring party incinerated nearby
2. Recently swallowed pellets of Giant Snake Chow, embossed Underworld dwarf maker's mark still legible
3. Entire royal wedding party of dungeon pixies, many small treasures of jewelry among the ruins of resplendent garments, decorations, undamaged scroll contains elaborate map indicating table seating arrangements, menu choices for over 100 guests
4. Formerly enchanted suit of plate armor, crushed flat, occupant's whereabouts unknown but a nude paladin stalks the dungeon somewhere in the vicinity
5. Untapped cask of the finest spirits, crumpled bodies of two humanoids who died thirsty, bitter ghosts manifest to lodge complaints about this final indignity
6. Shoe box size all-terrain excursion vehicle, heavily damaged, occupied by tiny alien explorers w/nothing but terrible things to say about the campaign world via wee universal translation device
7. Hollowed-out giant mouse, body cavity filled w/lethal snake poison
8. Troll busy pulling self together after humiliating surprise attack
9. Black pudding w/ossified exterior, apparently some kind of defense mechanism, slowly cracks open to resume oozing about once danger has passed
10. Hollowed-out giant mouse, body cavity filled w/semi-reliable powder of monster control  
11. Entire chain-gang of puny humanoids, devoured like so many sausages, a terrible fate but arguably better than that Underworld dwarf labor-camp
12. Imp enjoyed stomach acid bath, fell fast asleep, yawns, stretches, resumes previously scheduled wicked mayhem