Wednesday, September 26, 2018

How can We Destroy this Campaign World?


d12
1. You must trick a bard into strumming the Chords of Fate on the Lute of Annihilation
2. Legends tell of thermonuclear weapons beneath megadungeon, lich w/launch codes clearly doesn't give a shit
3. Constant use of magic provokes ecological catastrophe, point of no return long since reached, according to interdisciplinary team of research soothsayers: death spiral for earthly life set to begin after 2d100 further spells cast so choose wisely
4. Giant plug at bottom of World Ocean may be pulled, requires multi-godling strength, there is a certain girdle
5. By swinging the Sword of Living Time PCs might cleave through their most powerful foes, but incidentally slice through Law of Cause/Effect, universe rendered entirely incomprehensible, put away your dice kids
6. Demon-fire Boomerang of Infinite Explosions does it's thing against the forces of chaos but then keeps on going
7. Knocking off godling X creates power vacuum, sphere of influence to be subsumed by godling Y and Z, who hate each other's guts, resultant kaiju-type god war wrecks everything
8. Magic helmet grants awesome psychic/intellectual powers, also transmits signal to Blind Idiot Space Gods that its grazing time on this world
9. Each lich can only be permanently destroyed by unique arcane method, several equally likely possibilities present themselves, but at least one of them destroys the world instead, as the lich explains up front
10. That ent aristocrat was a huge jerk and deserved what he got, but incident was straw that broke camel's back, a state of total war exists between animal & plant kingdoms
11. Seemingly plain, pathetic prisoner hangs on deep dungeon wall w/the other wretched ones, but actually Angel of Thermonuclear Purification under ancient enchantment, makes reasonable argument for release by pointing out intolerable evils in world he could annihilate
12. When you stab demon-lord in face w/Sword of Renewal all evil dies, rays of sunshine break through gloomy skies, hobbits emerge from hiding in their millions, congratulations, everything is boring now

Thursday, September 20, 2018

On the Clearance Rack



Esoteric items on offer from the local purveyor of dungeoneering equipment. Caveat Emptor!

d12
1. Experimental 50' rope that doubles as fast-burning fuse
2. Water purification tablets of unknown provenance, introduced in sufficient quantities, dungeon pools roil w/fizz utterly toxic to native life
3. Lightweight suction cup/sturdy tubes/mesh arrangement designed to provide sleeping area well above vermin-trodden dungeon floors
4. Semi-translucent suit of jellyfish leather, proof against attacks by most slimes, jellies, oozes, puddings, and other caustic agents
5. Moonstone compass always points toward nearest route to surface, by always I of course mean 62% of the time
6. Twelve implausibly large self-adhesive false mustaches for 1 silver penny
7. Dungeon mood ring changes colors as spells depleted, damage accumulates
8. One-man stretcher with wheels on one end, thick leather girdle on the other for hands-free hauling
9. Hazmat-like suit of cunningly woven garlic fibers for head-to-toe vampire protection
10. Man-harness w/50' leash, fully retractable via fishing reel-style apparatus clipped to belt
11. 10 lb. sack of charcoal briquettes w/lantern-like oven for small dungeon BBQ/emergency warming station
12. All-purpose human replica stuffed dummy, comes fully clothed w/choice of wig, 120 lbs, semi-useless instructions (filled with charming syntax/grammar/translation errors) for use as poor-man's mirror image, transported easily using one-man stretcher (see entry 8)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

In the Dungeon Garbage Pits

It piles up down there.


For when the adventurers take a moment out of their busy schedules for a bit of dumpster-diving, dungeon-style.

d12
1. Skulls, skulls, skulls
2. Decrepit ogre vagrant sleeps one off in shelter made from abundant stacks of pre-cut dungeon masonry
3. Crates and crates of ceramic bottles, all but a handful drained of imported fizzy energy beverage favored by puny humanoids, each worth 5 copper pieces if returned to big city distributor
4. Heaps of dented, punctured cans of anti-fungal concoction w/manufacturer's label, if residue painstakingly collected, enough to ruin a myconid's day
5. Barrels of fungal bits trimmed from unsightly outbreak blooms by dungeon maintenance crew breaking down into slurry of the foulest shit ever
6. Stack of crates filled with shards shattered wine bottles of shockingly posh, tasteful vintage
7. Jumble of oversize humanoid armor beyond repair/reclamation, chest plates burnt, pitted by dragon fire, bits of mail encrusted w/caustic pudding/ooze/slime, rent helmets, vambraces/greaves chewed to uselessness
8. Mothballed fleet of automatic dungeon go-carts gone to rust & rot under rotting tarpaulins, magic batteries utterly depleted, designed for single passenger + small payload to scoot around 10' corridors
9. Swarm of micro-puddings not looking for trouble but violently unwilling to share kitchen scraps
10. Box full of recently forbidden books earmarked for burning but nobody's gotten around to it yet
11. 1000 experimental monster-fodder sausages way past their sell-by date
12. Battering ram customized for dungeon use, declared obsolete since the sentient factions settled their differences

Thursday, September 13, 2018

There Are No Dragons in this World



Alternate apex monsters for those occasions when it will be Dungeons & Whatever.

d12
1. Super-powered, hyper-muscular demigods tower over regular humans, world carved into ever-shifting tapestry of fiefdoms each w/demigod patron, driven to amass most fabulous treasures of the world, constant wars of item-specific acquisition
2. Eleven immortal tortoises left over from Dawn Times vary in size from colossal to stupendously huge, each guards single site of ancient power/megadungeon, communicate telepathically w/one another, breath atomic fire but once/century but it's a thermonuclear doozy
3. Giant winged dogs of regal bearing occupy mountaintops, run gamut from benevolent to diabolical, understand human tongues but communicate exclusively in complex language of whines, howls, whimpers, woofs, hoard/bury treasures  according to their own incomprehensible urges
4. Kong-sized royal apes in their heyday, titles of nobility represent full range/relative political power (see Subtable, below), recognize their own system of territories at odds with human political map, build vast walls to hamper human activities
5. Genius giant levitating koi, extended fins billow about majestically, sage-like wisdom sometimes available, more frequently destructive rays emit from toothless maws, bones made of gravity-defying gold
6. Profusion of uniquely inhuman chaos godlings emerge from spawning grounds in the Underworld, employ mind control powers to secure flocks of worshipers, amass wealth, make war upon each other
7. Numerous sea serpents ranging in size from tiny to enormous, intellect develops over slow growth cycle, control all sea trade/warfare, extort vast fortunes in gems from human sea powers for unknown purposes
8. Magic users warp/mutate as they grow in power, eventually becoming insane, terrifying chaos monsters alone in their depopulated towers w/all their unspendable money
9. Perpetually famished segmented swine grow to great serpentine immensity, dwell singly in vast territories due to enormous caloric requirements, despise humankind but obsessed w/human culinary achievements, descend upon farms lands/cities w/indiscriminate gluttony, every part of bodies worth a fortune
10. Giant war-bots left over from prior civilization stand inert like part of the landscape until monkeyed with by sorcery, spell variants abound, none perfect yet, several now accidentally rendered autonomous, fight one another on sight, essentially made out of treasure
11. Godzilla sized race of mantids once ruled the Earth, but got old/sleepy, awaken once in a while to go on killing sprees then mate, numbers remain stable due to murderous nature of coupling, lay single egg atop pile of treasure to be consumed by hatchling, guard jealously for length of gestation: 100 years
12. No creature on earth can hope to match the ferocity of titanic steel-furred earthquake shrews, insatiable appetites keep purple worm population to acceptable minimum, gut loaded with treasures, burrow w/lightning speed, show up unexpectedly, highly articulate, excellent senses of humor, but can only talk for a moment before feeding must commence

Subtable: Sample Royal Apes
Roll d6 for each column, adjust for gender as desired

1. Duke                  1. Klang                    
2. Viscount             2. Grak
3. Prince                 3. Urkk
4. Baron                 4. Chok
5. King                   5. Spang
6. Marquess           6. Chung

Friday, September 7, 2018

Effects of Monster Derangement Syndrome

Perfectly healthy Blind Antler Man
from Operation Unfathomable
Widespread, atypical, highly disruptive monster behaviors and altered states of consciousness result from unknown spores/germs/curse/damnation/deranging gas/etc. disseminated throughout the dungeon. Generate additional side effects as required by rolling again.

d12
1. Population drawn inexorably to dungeon pools, subterranean rivers, lakes, etc. by sudden compulsion to immerse/cleanse themselves, battles break out for control of waters between terrestrial factions & aquatic denizens
2. Delusions of grandeur fill dungeon with would-be field marshals, captains of industry, messiahs, avatars of various godlings, all simultaneously vying for admiration, esteem, worship of one another
3. Manic obsession w/cleanliness has overtaken sentient dungeon occupants, watch as they busily scrub, sweep, mop, dust, polish, chemically cleanse walls, floors, doors, pits, traps, bringing an unprecedented sparkle & freshness to dungeon environment
4. Irrational edginess expresses itself in loud, pointless squabbles among allies, rules lawyering, totally unnecessary acts of violence, mayhem, prickly servitors put out by master's typical commands, surly dungeon noblesse heap meaningless punishment upon underlings, even non-intelligent inhabitants seem grumpy as hell
5. For period of 1d6 hours, dungeon dwellers fuction at half their normal intelligence, foggy minded, forgetful, and twice as credulous
6. Even the most chaotic overtaken by uncontrollable urge to restructure dungeon society into extremely orderly new arrangement, binding documents drafted by wisest undead, ratified by representatives of every faction, strong anti-adventurer measures among first acts of new ruling body
7. Monsters find human beings irresistibly charming/lovable, make best attempts to roughly woo adventurers into warm friendship, offer food & drink, betray secrets of rival factions, provide insider dungeon information in effort to secure long-term relationships
8. Weird catatonia takes hold, creatures stagger around zombie-like, drool copiously, no longer able to control bodily functions, show zero interest in adventurers, 1 in 6 chance of snapping out of it en masse per ten minutes
9. Sensory abilities temporarily enhanced exponentially, literally seeing through walls, hearing things a mile away, cannot be surprised, attempts at stealth (even at professional level) useless
10. Outbreak of insatiable hunger w/side order of cannibalism-of-convenience, but more than willing to eat anything/one
11. Denizens giddy w/wild-eyed, sweaty, artificially-induced self confidence, will take any risk secure in the knowledge of inevitable victory, positive can-do attitude of evil
12. For period of 1d6 hours, dungeon dwellers function at exponentially enhanced level of intelligence, Algonquin Round Tables of giants theoretically solve world's problems while exceptionally gifted puny humanoids pursue their predilections with a preternatural acuity soon to vanish, formerly dumb brutes take opportunity to comment on foibles of so-called intelligent species

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Structures Still Standing in the Ruined Underworld City

Stand by for enlightenment!

d12
1.  Gymnasium of the Ancients: single colossal room like torture chamber writ large, engines of anguish in row after row, scattered free weights, less recognizable contraptions, all seemingly designed to invoke misery, swampy due to leaky roof, self-contained ecosystem, two factions of rat-sized mutant bacteria devour one another, locked in evolutionary race for supremacy
2. Posh dwelling, protected from apocalypse by powerful enchantment, three stories, luxuriously appointed, totally refinished dungeon basement, occupied by cranky matriarch-lich, officious, hidebound, family fortune dwindles but still deposits quarterly tax payments in special receptacle on outskirts of property overflowing with gold
3. Commercial bakery w/surprising level of automation, pressurized tanks still hold liquid creme filling, leaks slightly from valves, still edible, powerful hallucinogen, troop of lesser subterranean apes housed within developing religion around ritual imbibing of creme filling
4. Manufacturing plant beneath concrete bunker contains all necessary parts to construct working hovertank should requisite extremely costly research be completed/smoke-breathing sub-dragon be evicted
5. Control sphere atop impervious ceramic tower powered for 1d6 x 10 minutes if emergency generator at base can be activated, if so, spinning knobs, pressing buttons, flicking switches in correct sequence triggers nuclear strike on other side of continent from concealed silos
6. Warehouse building loaded with iron tools of every stripe, packaged construction materials, troop of hardhat/safety glasses-wearing, wrench-wielding lesser subterranean apes develope culture based around these mysterious objects & their presumed spiritual significance
7. Tiny single story dwelling & once impeccable garden, protected from catastrophe by some godling's petty whim, inside one short, bent human skeleton, 1000 cat skeletons, after years untold, still smells  like cat piss, no treasure
8.  Heavily shielded apothecary's steel door yet to be breached, security cabinets hold pills, powders, liquids of every conceivable medicinal purpose, 85% anti-anxiety pills
9. Partially buried by rubble from adjacent tower, grand marketplace remarkably well preserved, stalls now occupied by vendors of evil, high-level sorcerers teleport in for shopping sprees
10. Ink bottle & stylus-strewn office, heap of ledgers set ablaze just prior to catastrophe, multiple safes, coffers, lock-boxes, chests, all emptied of loot by fleeing accountants, used as way-station by travelers (2 in 6 chance of often jumpy/paranoid itinerants), sealed bins hold rations, effervescent water bubbles up from exposed pipe, mildly radioactive
11. Swanky family dome: surface levels emptied of loot long ago, grim scene of lethal post-catastrophe family-on-family violence discernible from archaeological evidence, fully stocked wine cellar still holds collection of black, viscous, utterly lethal poisons, several deceased subterranean apes clutching half-empty bottles
12. Former ballroom, perpetually thumping sound system intact, powered by depleted chaos batteries, elite subterranean ape shamans make pilgrimages to receive divine revelations from looping selection of remixes, hypnotic light show

Monday, September 3, 2018

There's Gotta Be Another Way to the Next Dungeon Level

"Must everything be a pain in the ass in this place?"
d12
1. Subterranean ravine, rushing water below, other side featureless stone, series of incredibly narrow switchbacks hewn into wall below, must go mountain goat-style, ravine subject to distracting pterodactyl infestation
2. Small room with no floor, after obscene number of golden coins deposited into slot in corridor pressurized air blasts from below, works as per feather fall, return trip air blasts as per levitate, costs 1d4 times as much
3. Giant in sumo wrestler's diaper w/Mardi Gras papier mache head greets you as you approach vast aperture in floor leading to next level, negotiates round trip passage rate, picks up PCs in groups of two, passes them to giant on ledge below who passes to next giant down and so on, final giant deposits group on next level and wishes them well, they take long meal breaks during which they cannot be bothered
4. Giant worm bridge spans chasm, enter through mouth, exit to stairway down via cloaca, enterprising worm-trainer sells bucket loads of worm chow from reeking barrels to sprinkle along the way, worm is telepathic but dog-like intellect precludes stimulating conversation
5. When activated from wall panel using proper key, stair opens accordion-like from wall of otherwise empty shaft, automatically retracts in 10 minutes, different key needed for return trip
6. Chasm spanned by single zip line to opening on lower level, hand-winch apparatus ensures agonizing, slow return
7. Shaft with ladder rungs that`appear two at a time from wall, retract when released, next set emerges, takes forever, no room for error
8. Laundry chute of the Godlings: quick descent, pain-in-the-ass return, must contend with laundry beast
9. Standard stair guarded by hugely bloated, bored demon w/road sign-sized axe, stack of notebooks, in repose on heap of disembodied heads, demands some kind of entertainment to "look the other way", notes fondness for synchronized dance but quick table read of his latest one act play guarantees safe return
10. Must take small boat across placid, fog-shrouded subterranean lake, after ten minutes eels rise to surface, issue reasonable advice in re abandoning dungeon mission, come ashore at site identical to one left behind, except one level down
11. Engraving in wall near open pit instructs you to yell "Coming down!", response from below in unknown language sounds positive yet somehow evil, ladder put in place on ledge from darkness below
12. Fire house pole descends in center of dressing room w/disturbingly large hauberks, helmets, polearms on racks nearby, large brass bell hangs near pole hoping to be struck

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Where Do You Get Potions in a Dry Town?

Knock three times and whisper "Basilisk"


d12
1. Import Emporium down by the docks sells healing potions by the crate from dodgy overseas manufacturer, 50% failure rate, 5% toxicity rate, employee must vouch for you
2. See the obese gnome under the giant toadstool near sewage treatment facility, he's got the good stuff
3. Street vendor specializing in doodads, knickknacks, tchotchkes, also has small behind-the-counter selection, he wears a really tall fez
4. When the third house on the left on Ambush Alley flies the green flag, that means potions are in stock, all customers probed by wand of sheriff detection before entry
5. Leave a detailed message plus small bag of gold under the giant trash bin behind the tavern, return & check for an unmarked crate just before sunrise
6. My good friend the street alchemist is a little eccentric: you must engage him in unarmed combat before he'll sell you anything, it's usually non-lethal
7. You can try the Forest Lady. She lives in a shack outside the city walls just inside the edge of the woods, a pack of wolf-dogs live around there too. She might be a witch.
8. No, no, what you want to do is leave your money in a sack at the edge of Nearby Swamp with a detailed note. When you come back the next morning there should be a giant frog waiting for you. It will open its mouth and reveal your purchase. No, really.
9. The lady who plays the double-necked lute at the tavern knows a guy who knows this other dude
10. If the levitating monk in the park senses you've made a substantial donation to his temple, he will indicate with his eyes where to go
11. There's a hidden tree house in the forest that has what you need, but you have to bribe the password out of somebody because, well, they have a lot of lightning strikes right in that area
12. If you go to the town square and shout "Basilisk!" at the top of your lungs, eventually someone will approach you (see subtable below)

Subtable: Who Approaches You When You Scream Out "Basilisk!" In the Town Square
d6
1. Flim-flam artist aims to hose you out of your gold, promises speedy return w/the goods, slithers off forever
2. Actual potion dealer with long heavy coat loaded w/the goods, so sketchy, paranoid, speaks only in code
3. Street creep eager to act as unauthorized middle-man steps in quickly, mark-up 200%, zooms off to intercept dude from entry 2
4. Mendicant w/menacing build had a weird dream about a basilisk last night, wants to discuss
5. Constabulary looking for a quick bribe (80%) or recreational beat-down (20%)
6. Barbarian fresh from ill-fated adventure featuring a basilisk would rather you not say that word

Friday, August 31, 2018

Which Gladiator Shall You Face?

Typical.


d12
1. Started off as highly trained warrior princess until kingdom fell to evil empire, captured, much misery later winds up in arena, now rippled muscles like steel bands, stabs, slashes, bludgeons, pummels, chokes, grapples with balletic grace, impeccable technique, fighters marvel at her number of attacks per round
2. Upward thrust tusks of a boar, drools copiously, otherwise tall, lanky, lean, slender, muscle tone like beef jerky, seemingly puny arms imbued w/incredible strength, hurls great stones as giant then moves in for improbably huge cleaver attack
3. Former paladin destroyed by booze, heresy, wears custom tabard emblazoned w/inverted holy symbol but otherwise equipped as filthy knight, spits at gods before each combat, spews curses so poisonous even the sailors raise eyebrows, targets opponent's crotch whenever possible
4. Eye-patched, hook-handed, peg-legged disgraced sea captain, veteran of 1000 combats, tops fan list in "hope they die" category but never does, crowd boos/throws garbage upon appearance, developed original one-handed-harpoon-based martial art, very flashy & intimidating pre-combat display
5. War pope of forbidden religion comes wrapped in red & black vestments, extra-tall hat, pair of holy water sprinklers, goes sleeveless to show off guns
6. Surgeon killed Imperator's son during routine procedure, thrown into arena for speedy end but instead excelled, much better at killing than medicine, fights w/long scalpel, extensive knowledge of nerve clusters, blood vessels, vulnerable anatomical zones
7. Deranged chef fights w/all manner of kitchen gear, saucepans, fillet knife, rolling pin, claims bodies of fallen opponents as condition of fight contract, transforms them into unique culinary creations, devours them w/thrill seeking foodies while watching other combats from box seats
8. Former town constable tried for corruption, given gladiatorial career option, unbroken winning streak due to proprietary dirty fighting techniques of hometown cops
9. The gladiator w/the broken neck, head hangs loosely, lolls from shoulder to shoulder, so distracting it gives all but most experienced warriors momentary pause, more than enough for highly successful sneak attack, moves extremely well for man w/broken neck
10. The Fruit of Order: one of several nearly identical holy executioners who enter arena out of sense of duty to cull population of ne'er-do-wells, dedicated to proposition that humankind must be exterminated in rigorously lawful, state-sponsored fashion, arena combats problematic, but not bad for a start, unfair advantage: holy sword slipped through security
11. The Mesa of Muscle AKA The Human Plateau, hugest man on record, bull neck, massive arms, head-popping hands, unarmed but for length of thick knotted rope used to disarm even sure-handed warriors w/uncanny skill, moves in for signature rib-crushing bear hug
12. Driven by unquenchable death-wish, unrecognizable, amnesiac dragon-burn victim just keeps winning, as if scar tissue were invulnerable to normal weapons, signature battle cry like Yoko Ono


Friday, August 24, 2018

More Domesticated Dungeon Creatures


Actually enjoys wearing this

Available in exclusive speakeasy boutiques in the Big City or from scattered and secretive breeders who run illicit creature mills in the countryside, domesticated dungeon creatures offer a variety of perks (and drawbacks) for the career-delver. Long sneered at by adventurers of the old guard as an unnecessary crutch, these specialized creatures are much sought-after by fashion conscious murderhobos of today.  As a result, they are frequently expensive as hell.

d12
1. Liberal applications of costly ant musk secures loyalty of six-pack of chihuahua sized ants, disproportionately strong, ferocious fighters, trained to respond to three commands: kill, carry, run, refuse to take food or water upon purchase, die 2d4 days later
2. Perpetually famished shovel-tusked dungeon swine, capable of digesting most matter, useful for light tunneling, chewing through doors, chests, lock boxes, etc, dog-like intellect
3. Black pterodactyls bond voluntarily with human hosts who offer a shoulder to perch on and provide ample corpses for feasting, can squawk out a few words in most dungeon languages, sometimes at random
4. Heavily armored, dungeon armadillos like nothing more than to delouse reeking human adventurers, frustrate the efforts & chase off dungeon vermin, good-natured, insectivorous, when hand reared believe themselves to be human, enjoy little hats/outfits when provided
5. Compact dungeon cows produce ample highly nutritive "milk" for lengthy subterranean sojourns, capable of living off lichen, moss, mold, fungus
6. Rope tail monkeys sport 50' long prehensile tails, scramble off to advantageous moorings as needed, mighty hands lock in unfailing grip, capable of supporting full-sized human in full gear, 1 in 6 chance of going berserk, attacking everyone for every hour spent without using tail, eat special fruit preserve rations, also quite costly
7. Decorative land lobsters assume attractive/majestic positions atop helms, sense air with hyper-sensitive antennae, detect evil/magic as per spells once each then dies, it's amazing what they charge for a satchel of lobster chow
8. Cyclops owls warn their masters of distant threats using telescopic vision, emit various screeches for different types of danger, downside: you must carry/maintain large supply of living mice
9. Glow-bats provide mobile illumination as per flying torch, must consume/metabolize one gold piece every five minutes of active duty
10. Eye mites must be introduced directly to the optic nerve, where they nestle into permanent occupancy, in exchange for small amount of optic fluid they provide once daily intrusive visions of what's on the other side of the door
11. Rice puddings: lumpy, fist-sized white masses w/curiously dry exterior, not unpleasant to the touch, scour the body human body of delicious filth each rest period then hide in boot, refreshing, rejuvenating, heals minor wounds once daily
12. Surgeon spiders use anesthetic venom, skilled fangs & spinnerets to heal light wounds twice each day in exchange for a non-disabling (but still lightly injurious) meal of bodily fluids, like to hang out on host's head on the lookout for major trouble, in which case they will flee (caveat emptor!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

So Now You're Famous



Swollen with loot and experience levels from countless adventures, the party has achieved pseudo-medieval fame. Visiting civilization has become a pain in the ass.

d12
1. Small children gather to follow party around town, relentless, scatter momentarily if rebuked only to regroup, plead for demonstrations of legendary powers, displays of famous swords, spare silver pieces, right there in harm's way when the old arch-villain launches ambush
2. Romantic prospects gather at the Ol' Tavern, throw selves at party members, circulate claims of love children/vows of betrothal/preexisting marital arrangements, discarded paramours of these loyal fans wait in the wings, fomenting vengeance
3. Grifters, con men, shysters attracted like magnets, duel one another in the streets for privilege of taking a crack at screwing over adventurers
4. New, exorbitant adventuring tax proposed, ratified in record time by ever-corrupt city government, shadowy revenue agents rumored to be high-level badasses
5. Hounded by speed-painting pseudo-medieval paparazzi, operate under the influence of cheap potions of haste, criminal charges filed if irritated adventurer damages expensive art supplies, crappy portraits showing up all over the market place, sell like hotcakes
6. Word  travels to nearby planes of existence, stokes interest of petty gods & demons looking to strike bargains with local muscle to enact their earthly ambitions
7. Assassins, repo agents of monstrous clients duel one another in the streets for first crack at the adventurers
8. Imposters ape adventurers signature looks, look just like popular portraits (see entry 5), commit petty offenses, scams throughout city, law enforcement issue polite requests for voluntary surrender while waiting for super-tough special forces to muster for arrest if necessary
9. Old friends, relatives of dubious provenance come out of the woodwork for taste of adventurers' largesse, cite time-honored tradition of hospitality, whine loudly, publicly, embarrassingly if spurned
10. Invitations to public appearances, high society functions proliferate, inevitable atmosphere of condescending snootiness, feel like zoo animals for entertainment of noblesse, especially party barbarian
11. Adventurers heaped with fake adulation, fake respect, fake courtesy, fake friendship, underlying resentment palpable
12. Adventurers pursued for endorsement of various products, guilds, mystery religions, ideologies, fighting schools, etc, lucrative yet humiliating, no XP

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Yes, But Why is this Dungeon Unstable?

Typical Dungeon Control panel

See yesterday's THIS DUNGEON IS UNSTABLE

d12
1. Uptick in giant tunneling worm activity since humanoids discovered they are unfailingly attracted to a singular drum beat
2. Earth Elemental Civil War enters its 33rd generation, inches ever closer to the surface
3. Inevitable primordial superstructure failure now cascading out of control, level 11 recently smashed into level 12, rage, displacement, intra-dungeon warfare heating up even as the place crumbles
4. Pitch, yaw, and roll controls for keeping dungeon level have fallen into the hands of the mischievous puny humanoids, location of Dungeon Control Room known only to them
5. Colony of colossal paleogean dragons hibernating together between crust and mantle finally beginning to stir, still yawning, stretching, discussing approaches to ruination of campaign world
6. Huge, grotesquely muscled trans-dimensional warriors gated in to replace unreliable humanoid forces turned out to be unexpectedly dense, difficult to dispel, underpinnings strained to breaking upon sudden arrival of incalculable weight, dungeon being drawn core-ward
7. Microscopic dungeon mites multiplied exponentially due to unforeseen side effect of experimental death gas released by sorcerer on level 9, masses of mites now visible to naked eye, eating everything
8. That kaiju egg beneath the dungeon, hatching for the past several decades, enters final stage
9. Semi-sentient tectonic plate now responding to directions given by deranged sorcerer who's learned to speak Tectonese
10. Sudden shift in subterranean natural laws due to magic feedback, underground waterfall now goes up, catastrophic erosion underway
11. Artificial intelligence responsible for dungeon upkeep has gone off the rails HAL 9000-style
12. For centuries the industrious humanoids have waged an economic struggle against their employer-oppressors and now by policy only do shoddy work with the cheapest possible materials

Saturday, August 18, 2018

THIS DUNGEON IS UNSTABLE!

This used to be the way out.
For use when the dungeon itself becomes structurally unsound.
Roll d6 once/turn, roll below on a 1-2.

d12
1. Menacing rumbles, distant sound of stone grinding upon stone, ominous cracking, crumbling from walls, floors, ceiling, adventurers get away with a warning this time
2. Subtle shifting causes doors to jam, must be smashed but doing so results in possibly injurious door jamb collapse
3. Loose flagstone underfoot, intermittent tremors create slip-and-fall situation for adventurers/ambulatory monsters, 1-in-6 chance of spectacular wipe-out when attempting anything strenuous; oozes, jellies, puddings, and slimes don't care
4. Sudden fissure opens up in middle of chamber, corridor, cavern (see Sudden Fissure sub-table)
5. Entire wall suddenly collapses, reveals adjacent dungeon area (or previously unknown dungeon area)
6. Noticeable trickle from ceiling, disturbing water flow on either side of corridors, stairs a nightmare of cascading waters, dungeon pools, cisterns, streams swell, rise above their embankments, water beasts seem pleased with increasing access, remember scores to settle with terrestrial denizens
7. Ceiling tiles, stalagmites, chunks of masonry drop at random, equal chance to smash friend or foe
8. Like a thing alive, column/statue/stalagmite/etc. suddenly topples like its aiming for adventurers, will defy laws of physics to come down upon chosen target
9. Intense tremor causes room'/chamber/corridor to roll, pitch, & yaw wildly for 1 minute, comes to rest in awkward position, may cut off access to adjacent dungeon areas
10. Major seismic disturbance: PCs, monsters, set decorations tossed around for ten minutes, again, the oozes don't really mind
11. As per entry 10, but non-stop shaky-cam sequence until dungeon evacuation
12. Sudden catastrophic super-tremor for full turn: free-fall alternates with injurious slamming against floor and ceiling 2d4 times, even the oozes seem to hate this one

Sudden Fissure sub-table
d6
1. pit: 3d6 feet wide, 1d12x10 feet deep
2. pit, semi-bottomless, eventually fall up out of a well in dungeon in adjacent dimension
3. opens into chamber full of one million terrified bats
4. as per entry 1 plus copious poof of toxic gas
5. as per entry 4 plus surrounding floor cracks 20 feet in all directions, will collapse in 10 seconds
6. Satan (or local equivalent) rears up from below, wreathed in flame, howling with laughter

Monday, August 13, 2018

Mementos on Display in the Dungeon Overlord's Sanctum

Unrelated pic of a man-ape demigod from
Odious Uplands


d12
1. Collection of severed heads, various states of decomposition, lacquered, mounted at eye level, arrangement leads through sanctum to bed/sarcophagus like seductive trail of rose petals (of evil)
2. Giant stone coin takes up whole corner of chamber, currency of extinct weird titan civilization, used in previous epoch by evil sorcerer as down payment to Industrious Humanoids on dungeon construction, stolen back after murderous double-cross (as explained on informational plaque) 
3. Patch of living turf, grass, decorative plants from Overlord's once-bucolic native land (now a blasted hellscape), bathed in magical sunlight, lovingly tended with nice set of garden tools
4. Cheap trophy from adolescence for Best Eviscerator in conspicuously empty trophy case
5. Bleached dragon skull with mother's fabulous magic sword still embedded in cheek, bits of mother still present between teeth, converted to hold candles as per chandelier, suspended above dining table 
6. Entire party of adventurers taxidermied in group action pose on raised dais w/dramatic lighting
7. Bathysphere from adjacent dimension, alien conditions maintained within, occasionally weird faces press up against the foggy porthole, used to be great conversation piece, now Overlord drapes guests' cloaks over it
8. Overlord bronzed own hand, hung it on the wall after it was severed in unholy pact with famous demon (later replaced with animatronic prosthetic)
9. Chunk of frozen lightning on pedestal, gift from over-amorous sorcerer acquaintance
10. Enshrined in display case: rod and whip from evil father's child rearing kit
11. Bodies of all dungeon pets preserved in walk-in freezer, organized in chronological order, get more horrible as time goes on
12. Painstakingly detailed kill diary records history of Overlord's many, many murders, diagrams and hand-scrawled illustrations throughout, left out openly on coffee table to invite perusal

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Dying Utterances, The Wizard

He will not be missed


Battered ruthlessly by the adventurers after losing initiative, the wizard goes down, writhes momentarily in an expanding pool of hit points on the spattered dungeon floor, takes in what must be a final breath, then gestures feebly for you to come closer and heed these final words....

d12
1. "The scroll...teleport coordinates to secret lair...they are trapped....save them...CHOKE"
2. "You must find my daughter...and destroy her before its too late....GAK!"
3. "My turncoat henchman has the keys to the dungeon....URRKKH!"
4. "Do not sell this ring under any circumstances! YOU MUSTN'T....blearghhh..."
5. "They will come for me now....THE DOORWAY! THE DOORWAY! uhhhhh....hhh"
6. "Harvest my brain and take it to the Tower of Science. They will reward you.....(shudder)"
7. "Fools! I was actually Lawful Good...hack...sputter"
8. "The open volume on the pedastal...close it quickly...don't look-k-k-kkkkhhhh"
9. "I'm sure you can't wait to search my body...well go ahead, thieves (explodes)."
10. "Excellent, excellent, the change comes over me now...immortality is mine (eyes turn red)."
11. "I've set my spell book to self destruct unless you answer its three pain-in-the-ass riddles....heh heh...eh...h"
12. "I must tell you (wheeze),,,the demon's (gasp) name..(cough)...his name is...(death rattle)"

Monday, August 6, 2018

Not Actively Trying to Kill You in the Swamp



d12
1. Polite leeches attempt to strike bargain, claim to provide healing of minor wounds in exchange for small blood meals
2. The Bathing Folk loll about listlessly up to their necks in the muck, fish with toes, only say stupid things
3. Methane powered rocket shrimp explode from surface at high velocity when started, then come down gracefully aided by spiraling propeller tails
4. Plumber gnomes wear hip waders, run pipes to and fro beneath the surface to channel mucks, mires, bogwaters, sloughs about for a purpose only they know
5. Hypo-lilies dissuade unwanted approaches with sudden spinning, strobing prismatic emissions
6. There is a protected cove to which a star descends from the heavens each morning to sleep, stars know well and can tell of the past, present, and future with equal alacrity
7. Hidden colony of gastronomes convinced the diverse bounty of the swamp provides greatest culinary adventure
8. Society of intelligent parasites occupies a great burrow, await the return of their ages-gone host, a colossal primordial crocodile, in the meantime they've developed agriculture
9. Sessile in maturity, thousand-tongued frogs are all that stand between biting fly-induced intolerable misery and certain death by biting fly
10. Bog horses: giant catfish follow a predictable daily migratory pattern, don't mind or notice human-sized creatures hopping on board
11. Swamp penguins of stark green and white fling themselves down muddy embankments, spear fish/fight off threats with one of three distinct beak shapes: fauchard, glaive, glaive-guissarme
12. The Mother of All Ducks

Friday, August 3, 2018

(Mostly) Harmless Denizens of the Weird Forest



In the strange lands devoid of squirrel, chipmunk, bunny, mole, vole, mouse, deer, moose, fox, or raccoon.

d12
1. Arboreal armadillos scramble up and down treetrunks with impossible nimbleness
2. Tiny forest pachyderms trumpet and stampede to little effect
3. Wingless pixies swing around from tree to tree like tiny Tarzans
4. Semi-boneless cats slither around swiftly with nominal aid from adorable vestigial paws
5. Tree cucumbers extrude their stomachs rudely, like getting licked by a horse
6. Mouse-sized shell-less turtles in their hordes nibble indiscriminately on this and that, move in concert like flock of birds
7. Brightly hued nectar sipping honey bats abide in their tree-top hives, behavior guided by their noble queen
8. In the fall and winter huge fuzzy cuddly caterpillars gnaw down great oaks beaver-like, in the spring and summer huge kite-winged firefly moths illuminate the wood
9. Monkey-wrench apes descend nightly to obsessively disassemble anything wrought by human hands (including unstitching garments, uncorking wine), then laugh about it until just before dawn
10. Arm-length mantises keep a respectful distance while munching the heads off of wingless pixies, at night they play their wings like violins
11. Forest clams mimic tree fungus until prey animals perch on their open shells, also known to throw surprise muscle punches at humans who get too close/screw up their action
12. Rat-sized stink pigs contentedly oink, reek while scavenging, harbor perverse affection for iron rations

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I Didn't Know Elves Could Do That



Random Elf Powers
d12
1. Following a full 10 minutes of uninterrupted meditation, able to levitate 6" off ground in lotus position
2. Charm up to 1d4 squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies, mice, moles, voles, shrews, or hamsters (saving throw applies) once daily
3. Glean adequate nutrition from diet of rough vegetation as per grazing herbivore due to 1d4 extra stomachs
4. Adept at semi-useless slight of hand skills i.e. the old coin in the ear trick
5. Command human children once daily (saving throw applies)
6. Start small fires using only dry kindling and their mind
7. Speak with bugs despite their almost complete lack of anything interesting to say
8. Take on convincing human personae as per method actor, but must stay in character all the time like Daniel Day Lewis until insufferable
9. Appear to win arguments with humans using bewildering elf logic
10. When available, able to ride dolphins like Sea World act
11. Change skin, eye, hair color overnight at whim, may also grow super-long beard overnight for dumb laughs
12. Never have to visit the privy

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Dungeon Management, Poor

"I don't know where the god damn secret entrance is."


d12
1. Dungeon Overlord has lost master set of keys, now accidentally locked in on level 10 with other denizens, becoming increasingly irritated with one another
2. Approved leave of absence for significant portion of minions just before wave of dungeon plague sweeps over the remainder
3. Following minion insurrection, pressed into duty new humanoid forces difficult to distinguish from one another, turns out half were carrying offspring and need to lie down quite a bit at this point and not too keen on staffing guard rooms
4. Logistical snafu prevents shipment of minion chow from arriving on time, cannibalism now openly discussed
5. Trap equipment failure on level nine due to lax, negligent upkeep, mechanisms jammed with dead adventurers, important security measure now compromised
6. Key dungeon staff embroiled in clique-war, Overlord attempts to intervene but ends up killing scads of them in frenzy of retribution
7. Lackluster hiring practices leads to sub-par magical support services, unreliable non-board certified sorcery
8. Citing incompetence, dragon on level 8 declares itself the new Overlord, demands abdication, has been secretly bribing denizens for months now
9. Failure to allocate necessary funds for weird tadpole extermination weeks ago results in psychedelic giant frog infestation on all levels in pools, streams, basins, etc.
10. Waste materials piling up all over the place after accidental release of experimental caustic war gas destroyed all the omniverous sewer monsters, up to 3 feet deep in some 10 feet-wide corridors
11. Decision to pursue rumored location of powerful relic in previously unknown "11th level", instead delved too deeply and released a horror currently depopulating the dungeon
12. Drunken boasting at annual Dungeon Overlord conference inadvertently reveals location of ingenious secret entrance, now circulated far and wide among scoundrels, ne'er-do-wells, villains, and ultimately adventurers

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dragon Behaviors, Other



d12
1. Compose works of dragon music for human choir, generally variations on the mind-bending reptilian dirges of their forebears, but vary wildly to the trained ear, human critics characterize these works as "unbearable dragon rackets"
2. Coin stacking to incredible heights, gigantic teetering coin castles reflect incredible skill, knocking them over: not recommended
3. Activate instinctual, introspective psychological self-analysis, painstakingly rewire mental arrangement to achieve ultimate draconic serenity over course of decades, abide forever at peace with universe, can only be attempted once hoarding instinct has been spectacularly fulfilled
4.  Craft epic-length seductive mating dances of astonishing complexity, inscrutable to humans, express full range of reptilian emotions, plumb the alien depths of the draconic condition, lots of subtle wing movements
5. Human husbandry: breed human slaves for various pleasing physical traits like prize roosters ("Look at the plumage on that one"), enthusiastic in attempts to attain/maintain misguided theoretical "ideal" conditions for thriving human population ("How charming, they're forming one of their little heirarchies")
6. Write trashy novels inscribed in ancient draconic cuneiform on huge clay tablets with claw-held stylus, devoted to genre work, tales loaded with dragon sex, violence, objectionable humanoid stereotyping
7. Devote selves to martial art of fine-tuning breath weapon: super-fine beams of tremendous range, extra broad cones for short range, machine gun pulse discharges, controlled bursts of lesser destructive power but increased times/day
8. Create claw-hewn sculptures: monumental in scope, jagged, severe, always abstract but give off unmistakeable totalitarian vibe
9. Hobby brewing of virgin blood-based potables, hoard recipes, virgins like gold
10. Pursuit of advanced mathematics, erect colossal abacuses, kidnap, enslave teams of talented human mathematicians (such as there are), eventually able to perform dimension doortime stop, gate, etc. by completing mental equations
11. Attain complete mastery of bodies at cellular level though meditations lasting years, achieve near-immortality, unlock ability to outmatch cephalopods at camouflage, color strobing, artistic rearrangements of scaly epidermis
12. Some dragons keep pets