Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Come Up and Look at my Etchings



HYPE ALERT


FOR SALE: actual physical drawings, many of which appear in The Dungeon Dozen tome and various other publications. Wealthy collectors of esoterica and outsider art speculators take note!

This one is already sold!


MY OBJECTIVES
1. Shrink the heaps of drawings sitting idly around the home laboratory and spilling over into disputed territories
2. Replace said heaps with sacks of cash

HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Follow the link over there on the left to my Etsy store
2. Convert your unwanted cash into ORIGINAL WEIRD DUNGEON ART
3. Receive art in the mail, you frame, you stash, you foist upon loved ones as unwanted gifts, you do whatever it is one does with drawings. I stack them up in heaps, which is no good to anybody.

Gone too!

ALSO
Enjoy a 10% discount when you enter the coupon code
NERDBONUS at checkout.

This is only an experiment, so ACT NOW before I come to my senses and pull the plug on this thing.



Friday, February 26, 2016

THERE AREN'T ANY DWARFS EITHER

Dour, taciturn, tired
 
Random stand-ins for Thorin and Company for those insufferable hipster campaign worlds that just have to be different

d12
1. Petite, dainty, jolly, exceptionally skilled little female warriors able to leap around as if on wires, insatiable lust for thrills, males of the species useless drones who never leave home on distant isle, unflappable sunny disposition grants immunity to fear, confusion, contempt for ostentatious displays of wealth, compelled by biology to return to isle for procreation when level limit reached
2. Chimp-sized apes with long luxurious beards, servitor species created for skilled manual labor by extinct masters (construction, blacksmithy, cooking, childcare), bonus to strength, sub-normal wisdom, suggestible, must make saving throw to resist direct orders from trusted companions
3. Short, bald, slight humanoids with huge, impeccable mustachios, masters of fashion, haberdashery, footwear design, disguise, minor illusion, able to create improvised stylish equipment to tackle unique challenges (bungee cord suspenders, parachute hats, suction-cup shoes, etc.)
4. Highly intellectual spell-casting potted plants w/anthropomorphic Venus flytrap-like mouths, each come with own nano-cephalic hominoid personal valet/bodyguard
5. Wee human forklifts with huge hands and arms, originally created by Underworld sorcerer for sale to freight/shipping companies, able to crush goblin (or appropriate replacement) skulls in their bare hands, vocabulary consists of 3d6+2 randomly selected nouns and verbs
6. Humanoid hedgehogs: exceptionally dexterous little hands, form defensive ball of spines when threatened and roll like hell, predatory monsters always choose other victims first, so damn cute humans must overcome strong aversion to attack them even when they're acting like complete bastards
7. Small, buff people with great big eyes, prominent ears, permanently flared nostrils, plus variety of other weird sensory apparatus protruding from oversize heads, 1d3 extra senses (as detect magic, clairvoyance, clairaudience, ESP,  etc.)
8. Diminutive blue-skinned speed freaks: constantly in search of ingredients to brew their cherished vitality juice (lethal to humans, reeks like a hot sewer, served in elaborate ritual six times daily), super-human movement rate, will die if they fall asleep
9. Adorable skunk people: release various defensive chemical sprays (as sleep, charm person, corrosive acid, standard offensive stench, etc.), learn to mimic familiar odors as they gain experience
10. Puny yet impressive warriors who never take off their helmets, affixed at top secret coming-of-age ritual never witnessed by humans, helmet design indicates clan/personal monster totem, complete badasses totally lacking concept of humor, despise frivolity of any kind, liable to leap into action when fellow adventurers argue over course of action
11. Hairless humanoid rodents, necrotic bacterial load in saliva, able to squeeze into any space smaller than their heads (and they're pretty narrow), always flee from snakes of any size, secretly eat humans
12. Four foot tall Cthulhus

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dungeon Extinction Events

d12
1. Puny humanoids on level one, driven by obsessive trap-mania of master thief-assassin clan boss, built so many deadly traps all the other denizens are dead, many of their own killed daily just getting from here to there
2. Normally fecund medium size humanoids on level two rendered permanently sterile by exposure to gas released capriciously by sorcerer from level four, population facing oblivion with characteristic savagery
3. Giant snakes lay about in messy heaps, victims of newly arrived giant rats w/toxic, mutated body chemistry, garden variety giant rats already wiped out, reeking snake carcasses attracting, subsequently poisoning other dungeon vermin/scavengers
4. Everything that breathes (especially the sorcerer) on level four dead after experimental fireball fusillade spell ate up all the oxygen
5. Once-teeming skeletons on the tomb level, already dead, come unglued due to highly transmissible undead virus attacking their eldritch connective tissues, picked up from visiting cosmopolitan lich, bones lie about in random heaps, some still animate, impotent but for the ability to provoke heebie jeebies,
6. All entrances to level five sealed by custom hold portal spells, monsters make war of frustration upon one another, trolls doing well at the moment, chaos cultists still have ace up their sleeve
7. Level six recently visited by That Other Adventuring Party via teleportation, carnage everywhere, treasure no where, vulgar graffiti viciously lampoons PCs
8. Level seven subject to catastrophic flooding event precipitated by meandering cthonic worm discovering underground lake, black pudding population enjoying the change of pace, everything else floating face down
9. Sudden rise in lava levels in the fire caverns accompanied by release of lethal volcanic gas brought an end to production at the dwarf foundry, their giant iron guardians waist deep in cooling lava, magic swords sticking out of the flow here and there
10. Extra-planar entity, duties to its irresponsible summoner fulfilled, steadily clear-cuts the fungus forest in feeding frenzy, seems insatiable, entire mini-ecosystem in tailspin
11.Dwarf insurgents detonated experimental explosive device on mine level, eldritch fallout results in neutron bomb-like effect, everything dead, treasures intact, as are the vampires in their secret crypt, no one should go in there for like fifty years
12. The dragon had a paranoid melt-down after recent treasure inventory showed significant stock shrinkage, roams about issuing accusations followed almost immediately by fiery breath, claw-claw-bite, only the really stupid monsters left but they're next

Sunday, February 21, 2016

THERE ARE NO ORCS IN THIS WORLD

Services no longer required


Random replacements for campaign worlds with less than average Tolkien influence but still need something to fill that handy "destroy on sight with impunity" niche.

d12
1. The Encrusted: a fungus whose life cycle favors war-torn nations, battlefields strewn with bodies, releases spore clouds on entire communities, subtle at first, affects minds of potentates with delusions of conquest, shroom-covered commoners become single minded implements of war
2. The Beheaded: re-animated by malice, lust for revenge against execution-happy Lawful dynasties lording it over humanity for epochs, controlled with specific spell set by cabal of wizards who feel strongly they should be in charge of everything
3. Green Bastards: bark-covered, extremely thorny war pawns of the Earth God dedicated to extermination of human nuisance, nurseries hidden in vast, aggressively expanding forest known as The Green Hell
4. Antihumans: products of draconian selective breeding program for war-like traits, eradication of pity, mercy, followed by ruthless training on Skinnerian Isle by brainiac master caste with long-term world domination scheme, contingency plan includes remote activated poison implants in case they get out of control
5. Mesomorphs: demon-brewed clones of Arnold Schwarzenegger train for ten years in the Dungeon of Free Weights before murder genes activated by potion injection, unleashed in bands to become agents of mayhem in the world
6.  The Extruded: formed of space age polymers in very rough human shape and given semblance of life in factory of Chaos at the bottom of megadungeon, hard to kill
7. Virus men: one day you catch cold, the next you're a fanatic in army of destruction incapable of seeing the irony in wiping out its own host, otherwise retain full intellectual capabilities
8. Anthropomorphic army wasps: seize humans, sting with soporific venom, lay eggs on living hosts incarcerated in paper dungeon nests, will one day succeed in human domestication but until then it is war
9. Underworlders: dwellers of the world below, like humans covered with black spiny hair, spider-like faces, tunnel up from below for raiding, cherish human-crafted goods, foodstuffs, issue frequent calls for the surrender of humanity, issue tracts detailing scientific proof that humans designed by creator as service caste
10. Menace from Another Sphere: Space helmets conceal Portuguese Man-o-war-like gasbag heads, robes obscure hundreds of black tendrils that paralyze, poison, and sting like hell
11. Crashlanders: descendants of marooned soldiery from space, rayguns ran out of juice generations ago, foment conflict as unconscious biological imperative, w/out guiding hand of evil space emperor lack direction other than make babies, make war
12. Homo Superior: brighter, tougher, just plain better than us = they must be destroyed

Monday, February 15, 2016

THERE ARE NO ELVES IN THIS WORLD

Image unrelated to post, but totally a teaser for my upcoming Underworld adventure book OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE to be published this year by the Hydra Cooperative

Emergency elf replacements for that special snowflake campaign schema.

d12
1. Amphibious humanoids with huge, complex frilly gills fanning around absorbing oxygen from air, uncanny marksmen w/water-bladder propelled harpoon guns, more variations on the trident than pole arms in medieval Europe, Namor-like contempt for all things terrestrial
2. Transplanar refugees: originally from kinder, gentler universe destroyed by evil from without, brilliant, beautiful people with perfect hair who prefer to be nude but for utility harness, dedicated to science, learning, sorcery
3. Spawn of the demigods: divine blood diluted down to bare minimum over generations of miscegeny, set apart from mundane humanity by unmistakable hubris, minor league super-human abilities counterbalanced by fatal flaws
4. Noble Sasquatches, cousins to humanity, equally intelligent yet totally lacking in angst, ennui, ambition and evil impulses, relaxed and completely at home on the planet, kind, generous, yet utterly badass when so moved, druid-like spell abilities
5. Gold-eaters: immortal race cursed with gold-based metabolism, grow more potent in battle/the mystic arts as they consume ever greater quantities of wealth, some adventurers kill on sight
6. Homo Superior: tall, slender, extended fore brains w/protruding shark-like third eye, psychic, practitioners of esoteric kung-fu, evolved in hidden enclaves away from feared/pitied standard issue humans
7. Better-than-human androids from the future marooned on primitive campaign world after time travel-induced-cosmic paradox wounded the fabric of the universe, rendering time exclusively one-way henceforth
8. Slender anthropoidal dinosaurs with heads like pachycephalosaurus, geniuses of math-magic, never leave home without slide rule, abacus, and sword
9. Near-immortal androgynous humanoids created by dead god prior to assassination: all identical but of such radiant, staggering beauty humans can be easily charmed into bamboozlement by their presence, good thing they wear heavily armored war-burkas
10. Tall, imposing robed figures with impala heads, flaming eyes, practitioners of obscure magics but more than capable with signature glowing shamshirs, never condescend to actually speak to humans, communicate via nods, looks, posture and/or lengthy written correspondence, pursue their own inscrutable aims that at times run parallel to those of parties of dungeoneers
11. Shadow people: sub-species of humanity cursed to always appear in bad lighting, live in secret among the humans in bunkers beneath secret alleys, palace basements, must master one art form before permitted to pursue martial and eldritch training, compelled by their very DNA commemorate battles/exploits with representative sculpture, origami, painting, epic poem, etc.
12. Earthbound ghosts from pre-human ancestor species that can do magic when incorporeal, make war when materialized, must commit to one form daily

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Undisclosed Side Effects of the Haste Spell

d12
1. Instant haste addiction: can't stop thinking about how awesome it was, inclined to beg, borrow, steal, make nuisance of self, just to taste that sweet speedy sensation again
2. Following spell duration, subjected to sudden uncontrollable twitches, tics, and a debilitating stutter for 1d12 turns, -2 to everything, spell casting impossible
3. Mild heart attack: character sweats profusely, feels disturbing chest pressure, able to convince self its only indigestion, back in action after 1d6 turns, save vs. fatal infarction if ever again hasted
4. Mini-stroke: character must lie down for 1d6 turns, certain its just a passing spell, but then believes self to be alright, save vs. lethal brain hemorrhage if ever again hasted
5. Life-threatening nose bleed: slow to clot, supernaturally profuse, must be firmly compressed with hand for 1d6 turns or risk bleeding to death
6. Effects of concussion from speed-jostled brains, future degenerative neurological condition assured
7. Post-haste mental effects similar to coming out of anesthesia, delirium, hysterical laughter, sudden weeping, suggestibility for 1d6 turns of role playing excitement
8. Continues to talk at double speed/pitch for the duration of game session
9. Slow spell effect for a period equal to that of the hasting
10. One full round of supremely violent vomiting instantly upon inception of spell duration
11. If you thought the sweat of fear smelled bad, brace yourself for that singular haste stank, predatory monsters can smell it a mile off
12. Drop stone dead on your birthday in 1d12 years time

Friday, September 4, 2015

Other Hobbies of the Dungeon Overlord

d12
1. Obsession w/personal hygiene spawns intense interest in design, installation of running water, advanced plumbing, drinking fountains, already magnificent, continuously improved lavatory facilities available throughout complex
2. Tinkers w/time-keeping mechanisms, environs decorated w/baroque, hideous glockenspiel clocks, hourglasses, incredible watch collection in secret treasure room, dungeon dressing includes ubiquitous tick-tocks, startling cuckoos
3. Cultivates enormous ant farm for research, exploitation, touching select dungeon walls renders them transparent for ant observation, harvests ant bi-products from egg chamber for processing into vitality tablets, lumbering hulk charged to insert deceased minions/adventurers via chute w/attached wood-chipper
4. Enthusiastic about clothing design, focus on cutting edge high-collared capes, chic damage-proof fabrics, dressing dummies everywhere, frequent visits by purveyors, taste-makers from the Big City
5. Solvent-reeking studio space filled w/huge naturalistic paintings of evil perversity, a fortune in the finest art supplies, enchanted paintbrushes enhance creative process/induce involuntary automatic painting episode lasting 2d12 hours if grasped, captive models housed in menagerie until called upon for often-lethal duties
6. Driven by eldritch dietary theory, cultivates underground garden employing novel thanatosynthesis principle, all manner of weird purple veggies, rigid adherence to experimental diet yields certain weight loss, explosive gastrointestinal distress
7. Developing child-rearing techniques to ensure evil outcomes, tykes suitable for eventual world-domination, relies heavily on impressive baited maze, hideous au pair species created to oversee tests, maintain kidnapped subjects, beneficiaries of unsavory Stockholm Syndrome
8. Master of supernatural forgery: sends fake letters and disinformation to regional potentates to sow entertaining mayhem, issues disturbing missives to adventurers ostensibly from spouses, children, parents, etc. delivered via dungeon-spanning mail service
9. Amateur dramatist stages productions in lavish theater area, secretly plagiarizes brilliant antediluvian bard after discovering oeurve beneath tomb, actors' guild refuses to furnish additional players following several tragic incidents, open auditions ongoing
10. Produces highly ambitious, totally obscene designs for mosaics then painstakingly implemented on walls, floors, ceilings, by industrious, jovial, talkative slave-creatures
11.  Numerous self-luminous cases around dungeon display fully painted miniatures collection, loaded with anti-theft enchantments, hobby room filled by enormous games table with miniatures war game already in progress against extremely patient vampire opponent
12. Occasional cacophonies resound throughout dungeon, traceable to reeking jam room loaded with drums, lutes and things, wind-instruments, bong collection

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Monumental Sculpture in the Underworld


Dressing for Underworld chambers of above-average vastness.

d12
1. Fertility temple of the Extinct Beetle civilization, tremendous iron ovipositor descends from ceiling, huge chromed eggs arranged in maze on sunken floor, seemingly obvious path as viewed from elevated entrance leads to death trap, obfuscated by optical illusion
2. Gigantic 3D sculpture of unknown rune-shape, encrusted w/gleaming semi-precious gemstones, laborious crowbarring required to harvest, if vandalized bitter semi-human ghost of designer materializes, expresses outrage at top of phantasmal lungs
3. Towering bas relief of three-headed dragon stands in human-like pose of utter superiority, heads aimed at spot just before chamber exit between legs but fired off its last blast of lightning ages ago, clever cave giant hides keys in different mouth each day
4. Marble-hewn memorial depicts squad of non-human warriors, noble aspect despite really weird noses, googly eyes, marching towards unknown doom, clutch corroded steel weapons in stone hands, glow dimly if restored, enchanted to destroy monsters now extinct
5. Pack of stone humanoids led on chains by poorly wrought eyeball-and-tentacle outer being like one of those professional dog-walkers 
6. Walk-in replica of pre-human skull with museum displays inside explaining functions, inherent weaknesses of spongy model brain in an unknown language
7. Vast upthrust inhuman fist of polished marble clutching countless tiny humans, surrounded by heaps of tiny humans in various states of brokenness, a real bummer 
8. Huge miniature keep on one side of cavern, shining model citadel on the other, expeditionary force of 6" statues of monster soldiery halfway across chamber
9. 30' tall lightning bug sculpture illuminates cavern with liquid chemicals in abdominal tank, translucent crystal belly may be breached, huge pain in the ass, readily-weaponized fluid sears flesh upon contact 
10. Giant-sized bronze sculpture of caveman in Yuri Gagarin-style spacesuit donning helmet, exudes Classical nobility, an admirable, incredibly ancient, work 
11. Cyclopean, hyper-realistic representation of terrifying, super-badass demons bowing down in unmistakable supplication on either side of gaping passage
12. Titanic three-toed boot stamping on stylized human face (forever)

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