OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Who's the Law in this Town?


d12
1. Constabulary of the Lord: clerics of state religion use detection magic, blunt instruments to maintain adherence to byzantine regulations, raid establishments offering forbidden bills of fare, come through windows at night to enforce sexual mores, it's horrible
2. Law enforcement province of single noble family, once-honorable lineage degraded into rabble of hoodlums, corruption/graft old and deep, arrest aristocrats in showy fashion from time to time just to send a message
3.Biggest jerks in town spend months training for annual brawl to determine who wears the badge of station, losers form posse, arbitrary justice-by-mob, beat-downs/summary executions issued as mood takes them
4. Trial by Democracy: all citizens authorized to make arrests, do so enthusiastically, entire population must participate in grueling schedule of rigidly timed weekly trials in Colosseum of Law, no one eats until docket is cleared
5. Money changers/lenders hire private armies, everybody else hires bodyguards, disputes settled by proxy fights or at gaming tables
6. Masked crime-fighter w/incredible fighting skills/selection of magic items patrols rooftops, frequently silhouetted against moon, empowered to enforce quirky personal interpretation of law
7. Children on patrol: according to city constitution, only those who haven't yet reached their majority may adjudicate disputes, operate outside of law
8. Hired monsters from nearby dungeon environment patrol streets, ensure close to 100% compliance with curfew, otherwise its a free-for-all, city council has appointed special commission to look at alternatives
9. Seer-detectives levitate in lotus position, monitor events w/clairvoyance, dispatch troops as needed from central Dome of Contemplation (the one with the giant rotating eyeball on top)
10. Highly trained justice hounds sniff out wrong-doing unerringly, bay at criminals in their lairs like treed raccoons, handler goons do the rest
11. Ancient sage hobbles around adjudicating disputes Hammurabi-like, citizens heed unquestioningly all wisdom dispensed even when completely bizarre
12. Tribunal of Idiots: cultural quirk passed down from time immemorial that everyone just accepts, tries cases by instinct alone, non-evidential hearings involve much staring into eyes to know intent, idiotic utterances interpreted by highly influential class of fool-augurs

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bumpkins of Evil

No one remembers why they made a town here.

d12
1. Bachelor farmer: wears an evil sword, solitary for too long in isolated vale, speaks aloud to not-quite-visible swarms of evil spirits 24/7, they seem to answer or maybe that's just the wind, likes to cook pies, poison wells, abduct the odd lone traveler for a long, scary conversation
2. Travelling salesman acts as advance virgin scout for small town vampire w/particular tastes, hand cart loaded with grain sacks, hard tack, dried exotic fruits, pemmican, hand tools, goblin cocaine
3. Swamp-dwelling weirdo gone half-Gollum but with scads of friends (all amphibians), incredibly stealthy, hunts humans for sport, informs quarry of impending demise via beautifully written letter delivered by wide-mouth frog
4. Hunter-gatherers (of Evil) go about their routines, take time out to don terrifying devil masks for random acts of vandalism, murder, enhanced by nightly consumption of psychedelic liquor
5. Country doctor must murder two innocents for every life saved on his portable operating table
6. Escaped criminal from the big city feigns rusticity, lives alone in off-grid tiny house, receives shipments of imported wines, cheese from salesman (2, above), suspects all of being assassins, favors preemptive strike
7. Expert angler: towering legend in River Town, lands record lunkers like nothin', can't buy a drink, seduces spouses of fellow anglers w/swagger, impressive mustachio, secret bait: live fairies
8. Rustic in furs w/90% incomprehensible dialect of common tongue seems friendly enough until you figure out that he's talking about his contract with the Devil, can get you insider deal
9. Self-created zealot in filthy toga proselytizes relentlessly for religion she made up herself, involves much blood sacrifice/lewdness, bacchanalia scheduled for this Saturday, if no one shows up this time there will be hell to pay
10. Ex-local hero, former warrior gone to lard, never leaves tavern, despises foreigners with immeasurable passion, makes up rumors to incite whatever dim-witted crowds might be interested in hate crime
11. Fur-trapper had to strike terrible bargain w/forest cannibals for operational permissions: surrounding forest now loaded with man-traps of dungeon-style lethality
12. Pedestrian, crazed: he's walked this earth for untold years, maybe immortal, never sits down, barely slows down to bestow his curse (see subtable) then strides on

Curse of the Crazed Pedestrian
d6
1. Everything tastes like iron rations
2. Release repulsive stench upon romantic arousal
3. Develop bunions that resemble campaign world celebrities
4. Followed by hideous bald ravens who squawk a lot
5. New allergy to gold: enter anaphylactic shock if gold w/in 5 feet
6. Sudden, inescapable urge to drop everything, begin from scratch new class/profession regardless of suitability

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Superheroes (and/or Villains) of the Underworld

The mighty Truthcleaver, founding member
 of the Beetle Society of Justice (deceased)
To whom do the peoples of the Underworld turn when mere strength-at-arms cannot avail them and the godlings are willfully deaf to their pleas?

d12
1. The Beetle Society of Justice: ghosts of strongest, fastest, wisest, most powerful heroes of extinct civilization manifest on occasion to right egregious wrongs (as determined by their incomprehensible reckoning)
2. Dr. Fang, noted subterranean travelling surgeon, in times of weirdness adopts alter ego as masked hero Unknown Vampire, vampire powers enhanced by proprietary blood additive, must chug from flask before going into action, cones of stupefacto-vision from eyes, exacts terrible price for services rendered
3. Blackstreak, The World's Fastest Pudding
4. The subterranean humanoid fighting tag team of Stronghand and Musclefist, twin survivors of sorcerous experiment intended to produce living forklifts, killed all other subjects, bestowed upon twins giant, mighty hands, developed new hand-centric martial art under tutelage of mystic fungoid guru
5. PlaneShift, the trans-cosmic humanoid, floats above ground nude but for cape, luminous translucent green body, calls in monstrous assistance from other planes using enchanted Folio of Fiends
6. The Ultimate Humanoid, born w/advanced mind, accumulated vast wealth as child via brilliant pyramid scheme to finance secret sanctum/laboratory, armored costume, multipurpose ray guns, novel super-inventions with every appearance
7. Mimic Lord appears wherever needed in guise of mundane object, takes on vague human-like form to punch bad guys, personality issues, alter ego: shipping crate, sometimes barrel
8. Eye of Vengeance: floating ocular orb w/blasting eye stalks, bound by psychic link to tiny feral humanoid girl w/deep-seated anger issues
9. Chaosface: ex-gladiator w/prehensile chin-tentacles, killed in action but can't seem to stay dead, maybe when he gets his karma straight he can finally rest
10. Stone Patrol: team of humanoid warriors petrified by gorgon then subject to experimental spell of reversal, still made of stone but move freely, incredibly strong, hard to damage
11. Scavenger King: by quirk of birth subterranean humanoid possesses psionic ability to call and command Underworld vermin, like Aquaman but gross
12. Wyrm Lass: teenage subterranean humanoid in appearance, actually ancient red dragon following polymorph-gone-weird, retains full powers and abilities of dragon, alter ego as scullery maid for Underworld aristocrat

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Earning a Living in the Megadungeon

"Do you have anything for a thief, a reaver, a slayer?"


Many exciting opportunities available now (elves and dwarfs need not apply)!

d12
1. Taskmaster position open for dungeon excavation crew, must work well with humanoids, sadistic streak preferred, ruthlessness required
2. Professional sycophant desired for Lich's entourage, talent for fawning praise required, ability to offer light, innocuous critiques that simultaneously buoy the ego, many perks including luxurious quarters, use/abuse of servants, personal zombie-borne palanquin
3. Short-term position for egg tender needed by travelling dragon, duties include insuring/monitoring health and safety, dissuading predators/thieves by any means necessary, candidates must submit to extreme vetting, detect alignment
4. On-the-job training available for torturer's apprentice, see Chief Interrogator, Subterranean Bureau of Investigation, Government level, some knowledge of the limits of humanoid endurance/psychological frailties required
5. Long-term positions for treasure guardians, pays out handsomely after 100 year stint, potions of longevity provided, must demonstrate martial talents, ability to withstand long periods of tedium, trial by combat to decide final assignments, assorted stimulants, room and board provided
6. Live-in chef/au pair wanted by well-to-do cannibal gourmets, looking for inventive use of ingredients, must be flexible, outside-the-box thinker, unhampered by taboos, squeamishness
7. Expert trap disablers needed on the Crypt level, pays in cash daily, must survive practicum, excellent climbing skills a plus, commision on treasures harvested
8. Sessile vampire of means hiring radical phlebotomists for procurement of necessities, candidates should bring sample specimen to interview for evaluation, must submit to charm
9. Up-and-coming cult seeks charismatic representatives for promotional drive, fluency in multiple languages, real or feigned zeal required, pays percentage of offerings gathered
10. Artisans, laborers needed by Sub-Overlord for completion of self-aggrandizing statuary installation, apply on the Monuments level, you'll work harder than you ever imagined possible on three hot meals of dungeon gruel, four hours liberty per day
11. Ooze abatement specialist needed on the River level, top of the line protective gear including jellyfish leather work togs, self-cleaning goggles, experimental breathing apparatus provided
12. Work from home (see Underworld Accommodations)! Assemble arrows, bolts, other projectiles in spare time for subterranean humanoid arms manufacturer, pays by the gross, be your own boss!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Spot an Elf in Mixed Company

Is she or isn't she?

Roll several times, start profiling.

d12
1. Ears aren't always pointy, but tend toward the unusual
2. Friendships and social circles lack diversity, also: tight pants
3. They smell like candy
4. Statements in conversation often twice as long as they need to be, loaded with crafty yet totally unnecessary poetic flourishes
5. You get the feeling they keep forgetting your name on purpose
6. Sometimes they're really good at archery, but they're always really good at something
7. Always orders off-menu, never picks up the tab, noticeably tipsy after first round but never gets drunker
8. A certain indefinable snootiness about their manner plus really bad avant garde hairstyles
9. Frequently laughing, big and boisterous, but never tell or seem to get jokes
10. A weird combination of physical beauty and total unsexiness
11. Never freak out no matter how much you provoke them
12. They see right through your bullshit

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Gods Must Be Jerks


The party cleric receives fresh instructions from Church High Command (delivered via dream, vision, automatic writing, temple courier, church circular, etc.).

d12 
1. New dietary restriction forbids the consumption of iron rations, hard tack, or any preserved comestible
2. Clergy forbidden to touch filthy money, theologians busy crafting work-arounds, until they meet w/success, time to hire porters
3. Afterlife cancelled, souls of the faithful to be kept in cosmic cold storage unit until required for next universe
4. After due consideration, human face deemed vulgar, cleric must hand-craft a mask for complete, permanent concealment of features modeled after grotesque visage of deity 
5. Corruption of clergy by wizard magic (including enchanted items) now forbidden, same goes for priestly magic cast by other faiths, only church-sanctioned proprietary protection from evil, etc may be enjoyed
6. New interpretation of god's plan indicates (totally reasonable) phasing out of humanity, sexual mores further restricted: iron underpants issued, reproduction forbidden
7. God no longer interested in this dimension, will be away for extended period, divine apprentice to act as interim deity, stand by for barrage of executive orders (roll 2 more times)
8. Scriptures edited/amended again: mostly trivial but orders issued to return to temple for re-education before end of fiscal year
9. New sensory organ distributed to clergy via automatic update: radar dish grows from pineal gland, vision declared deceptive/wicked, eyes offend, you know what to do
10. After colossal church-wide technical screw up, all clergy must go on all fours to demonstrate proper contrition for period of seven days starting now
11. Good news for once! Distinction between bludgeoning vs. stabbing always questionable, go ahead and spill blood after all, previous commandment rescinded, mace exchange program at all regional temples
12. More good news! Church High Command announces successful prototype of hand-held holy symbol launchers for long-range undead disruption, volunteers needed for field testing

Monday, July 3, 2017

Latest Scientific Breakthrough of the Subterranean Humanoids

"For the most part, I try to ignore their prayers, but on
occasion, if it gives me some amusement, I grant them
the opposite." -Xoltec, Spider God of Mt. Impossible


d12
1. New dietary supplement* cultivates massive deposits of body fat, superhuman intelligence
2. Effects of all known potions can now be delivered via enchanted daggers (e.g., dagger of healing which cures wounds should target survive a successful hit)
3. Turns out clothing is number one factor in aging process, future bright for extremely long, totally nude lifespans
4. Cheap tin whistles key to controlling oozes, puddings, slimes, and jellies, certain pieces of sheet music now worth vast sums
5. Witches' ashes, when mixed into unguent w/radioactive powder harvested from crushed seeds of common undervegetable, imparts psychic powers when applied topically to exposed brain tissue, brain surgery techniques lag hopelessly behind the promise of this finding
6. Rare apple-shaped fungal caps delicious, only mildly intoxicating, incredibly addictive, the upper crust of subterranean society already lost to daily consumption
7. Giant subterranean worms, previously considered mindless, will perform complex mathematical computations reflexively when presented w/interesting problem, scrawl out equations on floors w/ hideous mouth parts, return immediately to compulsive tunneling
8. Novel combination of acupuncture techniques produce 100% effective mind control, research subjects both cheerful & obedient, report total satisfaction w/lives of total subservience 
9. Giant spider dung, when harvested from specimens conditioned to steady diet of fire bomb beetles, an easily detonated high explosive of stupendous efficacy
10. For some as-yet-unknown reason, exposure to sunlight imparts sanity upon the mad, lunacy upon the lucid, yet another reason to distrust, fear, and loath everything about the (horrible) surface world
11. According to a recent study, prayer does indeed work wonders, but only when one pleads (ad nauseam, another important finding) for the inverse of desired outcome
12. As it happens, certified idiots are capable of memorizing larger number of spells than geniuses, but require extensive guidance in their use (see entry 8, above)

*It's made of people

Saturday, July 1, 2017

So You Touched the Glyph of Monsters...


Similar to the traditional glyph of warding (if arguably much more irresponsible), the glyph of monsters spell was discovered on a prehuman stele by the late sorcerer Galgolus of Ixmere and subsequently transcribed by his sole surviving apprentice (who had been out sick that day).

d12
1. Puny humanoids erupt from thin air in a continuous stream, armed to the teeth, drunk with battle-lust, continue to appear until numbers exhausted (10d12 total), if victorious they maintain a perpetual vigil over the inscribed object to the extent of their lifespans, set up for long term habitation, assert selves as new dungeon faction
2. Inscribed object transmutes into alligator size reptilian shape w/giant mouth: hisses, lashes tail as warning display, if unheeded lunges w/jaws agape then flesh-rending death roll, reverts to original form when everyone is either gone or dead
3. Dimensional portal explodes into view, swirling Steve Ditko space beyond, giant invisible pudding oozes through to dissolve all that lives near, then moves on to terrorize the surrounding area
4. Millions of venomous spiders materialize around inscribed object, settle into form of single giant spider, very hard to kill by traditional means, gets progressively smaller as constituent parts destroyed, each time it hits scads of individual spiders go scrambling all over target, getting under armor, biting like hell
5. Tapeworm of the Gods surges through manhole sized portal, violently, speedily draining the juice from any hit, disappears when present company dispersed
6. Ogre-sized, roughly human shape of earth & stone bursts from nearest surface, issues withering verbal abuse to all within range, preternaturally aware of foibles, personal failings, after thorough dressing-down, pummels all with massive fists until satisfied inscribed object secure, then crumbles into heap
7. Jet black giant ape appears in smoky flash: seizes, rends humans limb from limb w/giant hands, incredible strength, applies lethal pro wrestling moves to any who stick around, terminates self with sleeper hold upon victory
8. Levitating blob w/tentacle array arrives via localized reality-breach, large central semi-sympathetic human-like eye, radiates crackling electricity 10' radius, semi-accurate lightning bolts from eye fly about willy-nilly, levitation glands in body cavity may be harvested, deflates in 30 minutes
9. Sudden explosive fungal bloom fills 10' cube, smothering anyone within range, abruptly takes on shape of giant bear w/scimitar-sized claws, deals w/survivors then lies down and festers
10. Powerful demon with excellent manners emerges from gate to talk things over and/or kill everyone present, then seeks out original caster for light torture, stern talking to
11. Following a rainbow explosion, anthropoid embodiment of excellent prismatic spray steps forth accompanied, inexplicably, by thunderous syncopated drumming, emits lethal bands of light from each graceful jazz hands-like gesture, can only damage itself via mirrors, initiates random reign of terror if victorious
12. Whosoever touches the glyph becomes a monster (see subtable, below)

So You Became a Monster...
d6
1. Mouth transmutes into that of great white shark, eyes become lifeless, like a doll's eyes, singular urge: bite everyone to death
2. Outer husk splits, sloughs off, human-shaped jelly of remarkable speed leaps upon nearest living target for suffocation/digestion, caustic bile spews from mouth hole in constant fountain
3. Grow to 17' tall, commensurate strength, involuntary huge beaming/crazy smile, emit nonstop terrible giggling, pick up those nearby, chew on heads
4. Skin becomes nearly impervious blue chitin, tongue grows into spring-loaded spear supplied w/ lethal venom by huge unsightly glands in neck
5. Nervous system leaps from body (which crumples into lifeless heap), dances around wildly, delivers potent dose of electricity on contact, able to extend self indefinitely in many directions at once
6. Muscles instantly swell to absurd proportions, head shrinks down to tiny nub, beats the hell out of all and sundry while screaming threats/obscenities in high pitched version of original voice

Notes: In each case the former PC viciously attacks all within range, monstrous condition permanent until reversed by a successful dispel magic

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Just About to Overrun the Wilderness Outpost



d12
1. An army of tiny children's skeletons
2. Puny humanoids, joyous following a particularly fecund nesting season, unconsciously obey biological imperative to control population by flinging themselves into poorly considered battle
3. Disgruntled cavemen, furious over desecration of hunting grounds by intruders from civilization, muster while awaiting arrival of shaman w/titanic mastodon under holy hypnosis
4. Unprecedented gathering of slimes, oozes, puddings, jellies attracted by arrival at outpost of adventurers bearing unknown relic stolen from the Underworld
5. Company of particularly mighty barbarians rendered 100% obedient from inhalation of malign, immortal, sentient gas cloud from adjacent dimension, trapped by cosmic incident, profoundly bored, seeks entertainment via toying w/humans, engineering perpetual mayhem
6. Witch demands return of artifact stolen while on sabbatical, permanent thunderstorm positioned over outpost in otherwise cloudless sky, horde of previously-harmless forest creatures stand by to go over the walls, outpost leader orders all known adventurers hauled in for questioning, light torture
7. Following brutal exile from the Big City, entirety of metropolitan underclass, well-armed after picking over recent battlefield en route, demand entry/succor or desperate/hopeless battle
8. Refugees from neighboring, even more poorly funded, recently overrun outpost, forced into encampment outside the walls at the mercy of wandering monsters during prolonged vetting period, have had just about enough of this treatment
9. One million snakes as per Serpent God's orders, deliver cold vengeance: dissed by outpost leader when only 2nd level, Serpent God forgets nothing, forgives never
10. As feared, bandit clans finally united under highly ambitious, charismatic barbarian who systematically beat the shit out of each petty bandit lord one by one until they swore fealty, now strongholds, forts, keeps, castles must stand and deliver
11. Six-person crew of crashed spaceship seek sheltered spot to repair escape craft, near-invulnerable in powered armor, death rays mow down men-at-arms at will, zero regard for human life, just not interested
12. Half of outposts' own forces attack from within, subject to destructive madness after consuming delicious experimental food product purchased from subterranean humanoids
  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Street Wildlife in the Big City

City gardens overrun by gnomes. Citizens advised to
avoid eye-contact, report sightings to Imperial 
Ministry of Pest Control.


Wildlife abatement workers wanted!

d12
1. Bald ravens w/elongated necks roost near saloons, swoop in like vultures to exploit lethal outbreaks of mayhem
2. Disgruntled ex-familiars form gang, launch crime wave featuring collective spell casting, use identity theft to rent tenement dwelling for collective use
3. Tiny swine stampede between trash heaps, overwhelm lone drunks w/numbers, stripped to the bone in minutes
4. Everybody hates sewer apes
5. Load of exotic wood for aristocrat's vanity gazebo project brings species of buzzsaw-faced termites, sound like tiny belt sanders at midnight, sudden building collapses all over town
6. Hateful squirrels spit caustic saliva on passersby, vandalize public spaces w/artistically-placed excrement
7. Anthropomorphic giant rats walk on two legs, run protection rackets, beat the shit out of teamsters to steal sacks of grain, wear hats
8. Plague of gorgeous toucan-like birds perch wherever the hell they want, help themselves to fruit vender's wares, defend their personal space w/hatchet-like beak attacks
9. Body lice abandon their hosts at midnight, get together in the streets for social mixers in their millions
10. Rumor birds mimic human speech, hang around the swanky parts of town, widely disseminate only the juiciest gossip
11. Alley jaguars, exceedingly rare, make effort to only take wicked children, urban-camo fur sought after by fashionistas
12. Nude, hirsute, semi-intelligent gnomes actually boon to city gardens, work their magic by night, record yields consumed in feeding frenzy just prior to harvest

Friday, June 23, 2017

Rumors, Fake

By policy, the Emperor Lich spews forth falsehoods at every opportunity

d12
1. The emperor's policy quadrupling anti-monster spending the only thing that keeps borderlands from falling to the forces of chaos (f)
2. The jolly wizard's tower under construction just beyond the end of the ancient road is a good place to shelter on your way to the dungeon (f)
3. Local adventuring gear purveyor carries items of word-class craftsmanship, prices considered competitive empire-wide (f)
4. Iron rations deemed excellent for long term consumption by Imperial Ministry of Comestibles (f)
5. Local sword smith is so damn good even his most humble wares equivalent to magic weapons, each tested on genuine, semi-impervious demon skin (f)
6. Don't be fooled by dungeon sorcerer: he's always shirtless, sometimes pantsless, overdeveloped thews lumpy & veiny, crisscrossed with scars, misty with sweat, square-cut black mane, carries a two-handed sword that is actually a wand (f)
7. The bandit lord is a fiercely independent free spirit and friend to the common man, not at all in the thrall of obscure Underworld godling (f)
8. The old gods are stone dead now, their temples to be raised, church coffers forfeit, thanks to heroic intervention by new official state deity (f)
9. All the seers, mystics, shamans, priests, soothsayers, mediums, psychics had the same dream last night: terrifying visions of nightmare future society shared by human, elf, orc, halfling, goblin, giant, dragon and dwarf in peace and equality (f)
10. Huge shipment of potions from overseas alchemists consortium due any day now on under-protected ship travelling incognito (f)
11. Subterranean humanoid psychics tampered with local adventurers' guild elections, newly installed puppet guild overlord immediately tightens rules and regulations governing Underworld Exploration License-holders (f)
12. The nearby dungeon is ideally suited for fledgling adventurers just setting out to make their fortunes (f)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

City of the Subterranean Humanoids: Breaking News

"If we ever hope to destroy our enemies utterly, we must
unite as a people. The ban on political assassinations, though
unpopular in certain quarters, can only help in our progress
 towards a more civil discourse in city-state government"
- Supreme Overlord Kurobulon II
d12
1. Exchange student program with Science Fungoids off to difficult start, Cathedral of Inquiry quarantined after explosive fungal bloom, intelligentsia 90% wiped out, sudden vacuum in academia creates opportunity for sophists, charlatans, crackpots
2. Rich vampires in town with load of treasure for an unknown purpose, lodging with aristocrats, heavy security presence, surface human trafficking assures populace of relative safety from random attack
3. Contact lost with sister city near the Reverse Waterfall, under siege by blind antler men offended by some unknown transgression, sages, interpreters struggle to figure out what the hell is going on
4. New status symbol: re-educated stone boys on sale for exorbitant fees from sorcerer's firm, so far they remain cheerful and obedient, crafts guild cannot keep up with fancy palanquin orders, moribund anthracite coal (stone boy chow) market spikes
5. Lava festival at public Flow Park in full swing despite unexplained boom in fire lizard population, safety assured by city government, attendance encouraged, freelance explorers needed to probe dormant tubes
6. Dignitaries in town representing The Other Subterranean Humanoids pretend to bargain in good faith, peace process facilitated by impartial interlocutors chosen from popular chaos cults with vested interest in ongoing conflict
7. Franchise temple of the Mindless God sacked by adventurer scum from the surface world, all passes revoked, visiting surface folk detained for interrogation, travel ban enacted, citizens advised to submit to mental probe on demand from cult officials
8. Newly tamed giant pill bugs comprise city waste management program, rumor has it rogue bugs tunneled throughout city (breaching private residences, vaults, tombs), uptick in missing humanoid cases
9. City-wide megadance scheduled for next week, streets/neighborhoods organize routine with one another, rehearsals underway at all hours, Supreme Overlord to observe entire population in synchronized action from vantage point atop winged platform, foreigners in town encouraged to participate, but must shell out gold on ludicrous outfits
10. Food trend sweeps city from the upper class on down: rare cave mollusks imported from Steam Vents, served on the half-shell, mild hallucinogenic properties provoke unwanted enlightenment in soldier classes, government cracks down but many rich folks are already addicted
11. Burning of the dead once again mandatory after swarm of undead emerged from popular bottomless pit burial site, new taxes levied to finance ambitious pit cap project
12. Time-honored practice of political assassination outlawed following ascension of charismatic sorcerer to Supreme Overlord station, rival assassins guilds unite in protest, threaten to assassinate indiscriminately until tradition restored, bureaucrats bemoan this softening of the culture while laying off food tasters, doubles, anti-assassination specialists

Monday, June 12, 2017

THEY CAN'T HANDLE DEMOCRACY

A voter declines to participate in exit poll. 

The subterranean humanoids, burned by generations of rule by an increasingly insane super-rich aristocracy, decide to give democracy a whirl.

Supreme Overlord Election Results
d12
1. The most physically attractive candidate wins by keeping mouth shut, relying on pure sex appeal
2. Witch with strong maternal instincts convinces populace of need for guidance from an authority beyond the petty concerns of clan and faction, proposes defense updates including impenetrable dome of darkness, will bolster fecundity with new emphasis on loosening sexual mores, swinging bacchanals
3. Huge lump of alien fungus capable of speech and convincing mimicry of intelligence, bio-logarithms generate semi-impenetrable yet competent-sounding pronouncements, responses, voters approve of extreme outsider status
4. The General runs on a platform of prejudice, hostility, aggression, greed, immediate war with neighbors to bolster short term economic concerns, will put languid, decadent population back to work or on the march
5. Wizard from the surface world offers favorable trade agreement with human empires, import novel goods, foodstuffs, slaves, favorable export deal for Underspirits, wicked Underworld arms, highly addictive , ultimately lethal smokable fungi crop
6. Blowhard with 18 Charisma runs on pure bullshit, intimidation, rages against false intellectual tyranny of the smarty-pants class, knows how to handle aristocrats, private army: ostensibly bodyguards but straight up goons poised for Night of the Long Knives-style action
7. High priest of the Worm Sultan makes a hell of an impression with live endorsement appearance by the godling itself
8. The Master Inquisitor of Nul the Mindless God sways the vote with demonstrations of the blessings of mindlessness, economic boon of massive construction contracts paid for entirely by cult monies (fabulous temple to be installed in center of subterranean city following demolition of temples to rival gods)
9. Zealot of obscure godling of the downtrodden fans flames of class resentment, within hours of election mass decapitation of the rich begins, very loosely organized redistribution of wealth follows
10. Traditionalist candidate promises a return to hard-ass asceticism/ultra-violence of the good old days, "a cuirass and sword for every child", each morning begun by marching up and down the square
11. Familiar old aristocrat wins by a landslide of "better the devil we know" sentiment
12. Roll twice more: popular vote goes to first result, electoral college goes to second, both sides immediately activate assassins and attempt simultaneous purge

The Opposition Reacts
d6
1-2. Multiple assassins activated to be followed by bloody purge
2. Factions left out in the cold engineer immediate civil disobedience to be followed by bloody rioting
3. Public smear campaign, dirt dredged up (or made up) and spilled all over the public square, legal case made for impeachment
5. Temporary shocked paralysis, impotent hand-wringing
6. Consumed by in-fighting, recriminations, murderous self-destruction inevitable

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Dragon has a Powerful Hankering

Once a dragon gets an idea in its head, the notion will see fruition even if it takes a thousand years.
Even if it has to seek out and employ wretched human adventurers.

d12
1. Got a sudden taste for pork and its going to take a lot, like all of it in the realm delivered quickly no matter the cost, when sated see subtable below
2. Needs a change of pace from all the hoarding, looking to hire temporary treasure guardians (subject to extreme vetting by freelance sorcerers), will depart to unexplored territories with human cartographers, scribes, away team housed in dragon-portable trailer
3. Not in it for the money anymore: ego-stroking and fawning veneration, that's what really matters, seeks silver-tongued devils for several full time positions
4. Would feel much better knowing world-famous Anti-dragon Relic, heirloom of royal family, was safely locked away or better yet tossed into a volcano
5. Wants a gigantic castle designed with dragon accessibility in mind for once and a fabulous view, close to urban center, never mind the cost, that's what giant piles of gold are for
6. Lusts after fashion-forward cape and bejeweled harness by the hippest designer in the big city
7. After severe withering following conflict with now-deceased magic-user, must have prosthetic forefoot, preferably mecha, of the finest craftsmanship and up to rigorous aesthetic standard, already hoarding raw materials
8. Fascinated by dolphins as romanticized by visiting sage, envisions forging bonds of brotherhood in common fight against wretched humans, must book temporary lodgings seaside (by proxy)
9. Hoard overload must be reduced if it is going to fit into the fashionable new off-grid tiny lair, will trade gold for gems, low-end magical trinkets & large collection of weird taxidermy for sale
10. In order to traverse the cold vacuum of space, a little-known draconic biological imperative that only afflicts the truly ancient, requires carefully designed space helmet or custom ensorcellment to that effect
11. Needs something to break out of lingering miserable mood, that thing is a heroic dose of sea serpent venom which dragons metabolize like alcohol
12. Yearns for restoration of lost youth, assembling interdisciplinary team, needs ancient stela from lost city, pages from volume in the Forbidden Library, rare ingredients available only deep beneath the Mountains of Mourning, liquefied lich or vampire

The Dragon's Next Craving
d6
1. The stinkiest cheeses in the land
2. Steak and kidney pie, writ large
3. BBQ potentates, like so many chicken wings
4. Pickled dudes
5. Sweagledactyl (like turducken, but swan/eagle/pterosaur)
6. Back to straight up virgins

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Cultural Quirks of the Subterranean Humanoids

It's grim.

d12
1. An artsy bunch: when not engaged in standard mayhem they stay busy crafting hideous decorative objects in all media from any available materials, some produce skillful depictions of skulls, implements of war, terrifying monsters that clutter every wall and horizontal surface, others extemporize hateful lyrics to relentlessly unpleasant newly improvised tunes
2. Practice daily ritual bath in vat filled with tiny filth-eating insects, renders humanoids fresh and clean, feels funky
3. Money composed of gold caltrops, silver axe heads, copper projectile points, IOUs written in blood, secured by suicide pledge
4. By ancient treaty, each city ruled by council of elders from neighboring city that hates their guts
5. When indebted, they say thank you by murdering someone you hate
6. Coming of age ritual involves getting lost in the wilderness for 1d6+2 years, if caught before this time elapses: summary execution
7. Potentate recently ordered use of perishable Underfruit as legal tender to bolster short term spending
8. Excellent, highly productive builders but saddled with aesthetic sensibilities of honeybees, its all endless stacks of hexagonal cells
9. It takes a village to ensure that all the children are properly pre-traumatized to prepare for hardass martial lifestyle
10. Casual eugenics program starting to pay off, population down but healthy, muscular, just-brainy-enough, and thirsty for conquest
11. Just short of death sentence: conscription into Literary Corps, forced to learn to read for lifetime of hellish scholarship
12. Mores hammer home the point: life sucks, death will be awesome, but no one is allowed to die until they perform 12 services to the state

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Atop the Tallest Peak



d12
1. Peak sheared off, set aside, columns inserted, peak replaced creating roofed space, ruined city within, Samson-like fellow among weird occupants, if so moved could single-handedly bring the whole thing down
2. Lair of the Lethal Guru, first attained peace, then total enlightenment, followed swiftly by cosmic psychopathy, welcomes pilgrims, murders them one-by-one like slasher movie killer
3. Heap of massive stone platonic solids in roughly conical arrangement, gaps infested with giant bacteria, fed upon by bat-winged aero-trolls, great danger, no treasure
4. Colossal stone easy chair, stack of unfinished scriptures (incomprehensible god-jottings, doodles, diagrams), tree trunk-size Stylus of Revelation retains powerful enchantments
5. Nesting site of giant mountain vulture flock, great communal nests woven from thorny brush protrude from all sides, dishonored remains of famous adventurers await proper burial within, to approach peak one must first pass through the toxic vulture shit zone
6. Playground of the Ice Children: delighted laughter audible on approach, fun comes to instant halt upon arrival of intruders, upon closer examination the swing set is made of frozen people!
7. The Ancient Ones replaced summit with monumental rotating gun turret w/single barrel, fires ray of enlightenment, single charge remaining, range limited only by the curvature of the earth, worshipped by gun cultists who must undertake pilgrimage to bask in its awesomeness
8. Titanic stone tyrannosaurus head symbolizes monotheistic deity once universally venerated, interminable peace and harmony ended by judicious detonation of neutron bomb by early mammal terrorists, mummified reptile clergy still at their posts
9. The Forbidden Library: operated by wizard cult, near-complete collection including prehistoric stone texts,send forth invisible servants to acquire newly published works/to reclaim overdue materials, borrowing privileges granted following completion of pain-in-the-ass quest
10. Peak honeycombed with thousands of Tombs of Horrors, final destination for wizards and liches of the highest station for most of known history, permanent encampment of building contractors forever installing or refurbishing, random funeral parties
11. Vast vault now occupied by giant cuttlefish made of magical silver in a pool filled with its own digestive fluids, must absorb nutrition transdermally, only uses human-like mouth to dispense semi-reliable prophesies with which to lure visitors poolside
12. Extinct caldera carved into stadium wherein paleogean giants held their Olympic-style games, secret hoard of giant-size platinum, gold, electrum, silver, and copper medals rumored stashed somewhere inside, roar of phantasmal crowd audible for miles around, ever-present danger of giant ghost jocks

Monday, June 5, 2017

More Darwinian Struggle in the Underworld



They will not rest until their enemy is defeated utterly!

d12
1. Cabal of necromancers in need of constant supply of fresh corpses versus popular new cult with business ties to sepulcher builders guild, dedicated to elaborate funerary practises and secure interment for future resurrection event
2. Legitimate royal line of subterranean humanoids versus Subterranean Humanoids for a Democratic Society following failed purge
3. Cerebral puddings versus mindless yet strangely united slimes, oozes, and jellies for prime feeding grounds
4. Formal rivals of nearly forgotten pantheon versus upstart neo-godlings, evil high priests on both sides work overtime on conscription, mass bamboozlements, seizing loot for war chests
5. Subterranean humanoid adults versus their own children following declaration of independence by new generation born with next-wave evolutionary features including advanced enlightenment, blank stare, soulless eyes, astonishing viciousness
6. Levitating gold-eaters intruding from adjacent sphere versus tabulator giants (huge, musclebound, terrific at math but otherwise mentally negligible) with controlling interest in Underworld Mint
7. Colossal semi-intelligent naked cave buffalo versus giant talking sword beaked hummingbirds over animus incurred over the course of long symbiotic relationship
8. Private waste management firms of the subterranean humanoids versus one another for gigs
9. Trans-planar sentients' League of Beautification versus mutant humanoids' Union of Vandals
10. Cult of the Terror God versus itself in schism over interpretation of scripture, specifically proper cultivation of fear in day-to-day dealings with others
11. Giant cave crustaceans versus giant cave mollusks, just another outbreak of hostilities fueled by their eternal natural enmity
12. Evil wizard obsessed with monster ecology versus evil wizard obsessed with fiendish traps, puzzles, and riddles, minions/allies/dupes make proxy war on one another, invisible stalkers everywhere  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Found in the High Level Merchant's Spell Book

d12
1. Charm of the Impulse Buy
2. Proxion's Resolve Softener
3. The Ninth Eighth
4. Glung's Margin Widener
5. Pitiless Eye of the Assayer
6. Phantasmal Loss
7. Invisible Shill
8. Illusion of Rarity
9. Destabilize Currency
10. Rancor of the Duped
11. Besmirch Competitor
12. Excellent Ray of Penury (reversible)

Monday, November 7, 2016

THE HOME STRETCH

The Operation Unfathomable Kickstarter campaign winds down this week, with a mere three days remaining.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

We've added several intriguing stretch goals into the mix, most notably for readers of this blog a special art-free preview edition of The Dungeon Dozen 2, a collection of all the tables published here since the release of the first book (just under 200 tables).

Drawing by me, cover design by Trey Causey

I SAID CHECK IT OUT!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Incomprehensible Activities of Beetle Ghosts


Yet another table excerpted from OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE
KICKSTARTER LIVE  <-----click!
Note: as you no doubt realize, I'm duty bound to beat this drum for awhile.

d12
1. Ghost couples sway back and forth in ritual slow dance accompanied by ethereal power ballads
2. Spectral tour guide blathers on endlessly, indicating areas of interest indistinguishable from run-of-the-mill Underworld features, phantasmal tour group oohs and ahs
3. Funeral procession departs from area bearing countless tiny coffins of indeterminate provenance, disappears into the distance
4. Ghost crowd sits around poking and staring at claw-held slate rectangles
5. Raucous beetle ghost banquet in full effect, table, chairs, victuals invisible to onlookers
6. Beetle cowboys astride incorporeal saddle-sailed dimetrodons coax pack of naked cavemen ghosts down the passage
7. Beetle warriors struggle mightily against invisible giant monster, look embarrassed if interrupted then disappear
8. Ghost crowd watches reenactment of execution using decapitation scissors, a clear precursor to modern Nul cult practices
9. Beetle politician gives some kind of rousing stump speech, met with light applause, seeming disinterest by crowd
10. Beetle ghosts remain silent and invisible until party draws near then suddenly appear claws raised, screeching out ferociously, take in reactions for a moment, then emit peals of terrible insect laughter
11. Beetle ghosts in lab coats dissect (intangible) human shape on slab, drop bits into jars, seem to be having jolly good time
12. Amid a sudden cacophony of screaming invisible fans, ghost beetle-driven horseless chariots race by, vying for position until one chariot careens into the wall, crashing spectacularly, crowd hushes, but then the driver steps from the wreckage claw upraised in defiance, crowd again goes wild, and scene