Monday, April 28, 2014

Aloof in the Underworld

Underworld entities that couldn't care less about you or your interests.

1. Bouldermen: great rocks cursed w/startling intelligence, telepathic, sessile, ambitious long-term planners but must wait for forces of nature/incredibly strong creatures to effect travel, if smashed become intelligent heap of stones
2. Uurx the Impervious, immortal giant w/thick, lustrous coat of crimson fur, the softest, coziest, cuddliest imaginable, cannot be harmed physically or by magic, totally non-violent, roams the Underworld in search of non-existent mate
3. The Invisible Spectators: loiter near lairs of lethal monsters and terrors hoping for adventurers to happen by for a dust-up, issue rousing applause during melee (always supporting the monsters) but admire fierce combatants, in event of TPK they respectfully return uneaten portions of bodies to surface
4. Pure intellect embodied in colossal fungal bloom filling vast chamber, essentially death-proof, pulsates a good deal, automatically seizes the minds of any sentient beings w/in 150' but readily discards as boring/pointless, powerful telepathic broadcast just makes very rude comments in very loud psychic voice
5. Time bats flick back and forth in timestream, hover hummingbird-like, no interest in surroundings whatsoever, brain-scrambling trans-dimensional echolocation accompanies random arrival/departure.
6. Semi-divine giant black cave swallows w/feathers like plate armor swoop in, issue stunning wing-buffets, pin adventurers w/preternaturally mighty feet, seize all coils of rope (prefer 50'), gently release and its off to improve the nest
7. The Demi-material Horde: cast out of native dimension, indistinct humanoid shadows armed to the teeth w/shadow weapons, drill constantly, await arrival of sorcerer-messiah to make them fully material at which point they will destroy everything
8. The cold fires: levitating balls of blue flame roam the Underworld collecting information, will trade rumor for rumor which they dispense w/dispassionate objectivity, if proffered rumor seems lame, off they go on their way
9. Dejected deity, giant-size human w/head cradled in hands, blazing halo, gleaming platinum lute broken and cast aside, from time to time shakes tremendous fist at cold uncaring cosmos but otherwise unwilling to share feelings, acid tears endanger any nearby
10. Gigantic cave urchins extend their neurotoxin-pumping quills whenever approached by anything, an uncontrollable reflex, so no one ever gets close enough to hear their whispered poetry
11. The miles-long eyeless serpent keeps most of its mass down a bottomless pit, titanic head lolls about mouth agape, probably a good idea to throw some food in there as one passes by, many Underworld residents toss in their dead
12. Diseased demon-lord wracked by chills, exploding boils, streams foul oily sweat, projectile vomits poison at random intervals but still unbelievably powerful, must eat of divine flesh for cure, unless you've got some you may wish to get the hell out the way

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Underworld Agents of Mayhem

1. Thrill-seeking daredevil humanoid in crash helmet sets the bar high for observing rivals w/wild rodeo-like ride on back of feral titano-swine
2. Gung the world's most muscular giant, dressed in wrestling singlet, carries variety of exercise boulders in huge net, stops any who cross his path to impress them with feats of strength, hair-trigger temper
3. Evil dwarf engineering team on union-mandated binge-drinking break, have huge section of cavern wall removed, installing duct-work, entire section of Underworld taped off as construction zone
4. Ingenious, hard-working humanoid pyromaniacs search for new and interesting targets for spectacular arson, train of bearers haul accelerants, black powder, range of colorful pyrotechnics
5. Utterly exhausted dragon in advanced state of decrepitude, scales dropping, toothless, flames diminished to parody of former potency, devoid of hoard after unfortunate string of gambling failures, looking for a suitable place to shuffle off mortal coil, followed at safe distance by variety of assassins, vengeance-takers in heated debate
6. No one has ever seen an angel looking quite this deranged, dragging a huge flaming sword, howling with grief one second, raging the next, emitting peals of mirthless laughter the one after that
7. Trolls on a bender stagger about bellowing nonsense, bellies bloated to gross immensity, mouths occluded by froth/foam, black eyes closed to slits, out of booze, politely inquire about more wine from any they meet
8. Ogre wranglers on Underworld ape hunt haul cart w/steel cage already loaded w/berserk four-armed albino chimps, offer apes for sale, insanely cruel ape training kit included
9. Wandering collection of confused/hostile beings from across time, recently freed from stony imprisonment when ancient medusa sisters senselessly murdered one another over the love of a surface man, also recently de-stoned
10. Subterranean barbarians engage in ritual brawl before mass marriage ceremony unites survivors in clan merger
11. Swarm of rabid bats on tour of Underworld, biting everything they see for no good reason, leaving confusion/misery in their wake
12. Powerful sorcerer on verge of (wildly incorrect) Darwin-like breakthrough catalogs Underworld finches via invisibility and night-vision binoculars, laden w/valuable/interesting gear, protected by ferocious bound demon, also invisible

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wretches of the Underworld

1. Subsistence bat farmers, rig elaborate nets around ceiling, scurry off to low tunnels when threatened, hosts to many highly transmissible malignancies
2. The talentless humanoids, living embodiments of incompetence, but incredibly physically resilient, extremely hard to kill
3. Impoverished ex-nobility of Subterranean Metropolis, stripped of station by usurper of superior evil power, raiment in tatters, on verge of starvation, abandoned by all but the most broken underlings
4. Herds of humanoids earmarked for mass sacrifice to incomprehensible outer entity, migrate toward unholy site, subject to perpetual brain-dampening rays projected by mysterious levitating eyes
5. Emaciated humanoids w/giant shoulder bags, downcast and forlorn, the dung-collectors go about their unending labors for an unknown purpose
6. Failed soldiery of some dark lord or other, arms abandoned on battlefield, rueful rudderless wanderers lacking aims, undeserving of pleasures
7. The slug hunters, almost perfect natural camouflage in Underworld environment, must forage constantly, feed continuously, mutter philosophically
8. Flightless vulture-men, long curved necks, incisors protrude beak-like, hairless, reek of gore/decay, pick up party's trail, follow at safe distance, consume fruits of adventurers' labor
9. The eaters of stone, bloated gray humanoids with little to fear, unpalatable to most predators they chew and digest unceasingly, inadvertently creating new connections between subterranean realms
10. Slime harvesters, scaly human-like creatures w/wee tiny heads and little ambition, armed with pole-spatulas and earthenware jars, probe stagnant pools mirthlessly, trade their accumulations to powerful ooze-wizard for valueless tokens, trinkets, arcane bamboozlement
11. Mutinied hirelings, torchbearers, hangers-on, lost, out of provisions, contemplating cannibalism, former employers' possessions divided among them, sarong-clad bearer wears blood-spattered wizard's hat
12. The whipping boys, bred by beings of utmost evil for spontaneous expressions of cruelty, population buoyed by unfortunate fecundity

Monday, April 21, 2014

Unfortunate Side-effects of Invisibility

1. Permanent invisible head
2. Subject forevermore appears in unflattering lighting
3. Remains 90% transparent when again visible, on the plus side immune to laser attack
4. Emits dim radiance for 1d12 hours after spell wears off
5. Visage obscured by pixelated static, never quite returns to original resolution
6. Ghastly flop sweat, exudes uncharacteristic stench, quite noticeable up to 15' away
7. Following spell's duration, reflection no longer appears in mirrors, pools, etc.
8. Everything tastes terrible for 1d12 days
9. When again visible, subject appears as hideous revenant for 1d12 hours
10. Voice becomes incredibly loud, booming even at a whisper, for duration of spell
11. Eyes remain invisible for 1d12 hours but see invisible things
12. Unanticipated relapse at a time and place of the referee's choosing

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hidden Inside the Giant Egg

1. Encysted sorcerer in final stage of metamorphosis into lich, would hate to be bothered at this sensitive time
2. Tremendous mosquito-thing tasked by forgotten gods to drink blood of currently popular deities upon completion of gestation
3. The Yolk of Resurrection, proper dosage unknown, overdose creates murderous abomination
4. Fetal demigod, half-man, half-dinosaur w/Armageddon-triggering agenda that must wait until conclusion of season of drunken carousing and attainment of full dino-size
5. Great flock of demon blackbirds, if released will fly to stratosphere and cause indefinite eclipse
6. Highly explosive, entirely unstable chemical fluid, enough to blow up a castle, must be handled with extreme care
7. 10,000 semi-intelligent poisonous serpents currently busy with cannibalizing one another but eager to expand ambitions
8. Inert reptilian Chrononaut floating in amniotic fluid w/helpful information from antediluvian lords re: imminent return of pre-human civilization
9. Dragon made entirely of smoke, speeds off to awaken alarming number of previously unknown dragons
10. Breaking shell reveals mystic portal to much more terrible campaign world
11. Huge telepathic infant tortoise with complete knowledge of world history, talent for predicting future events but only after feasting upon human flesh
12. Campaign world-threatening sentient storm compressed, imprisoned in semi-impervious shell by joint effort of recognized pantheon, more than ready to burst onto the scene

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What Today's Well-dressed Sorcerer is Wearing: Raiment

1. Simple white toga, necklace of fresh flowers, self-affixed bracers of living snakes
2. Head-to-toe mummy-like wrappings, bandages cured in healing potion for automatic first aid
3. Faux-Napoleonic general's uniform, writhing squid epaulets, outrageously huge bicorne hat w/golden comet pin, festooned w/medals, ribbons commemorating sorcerous achievements
4. Underworld-camouflage jumpsuit, bandoleers of spell-components in flasks
5. Dragon-skin vest, g-string, thigh-high black leather boots
6. Fuzzy Huxtable-style sweater, knee-length, embroidered w/stars, planets, secured by think leather girdle w/huge bronze sun buckle
7.  Full length red and yellow robes in wicked fire design, bound minor elementals provide SPFX: high-collared cape of cold fire
8. Tunic of scintillant copper feathers from rare semi-impervious flightless giant bird
9. Owlbear skin cape w/optional beaked hood, black leotard underneath
10. Male: super long beard-as-garment, female: hairdo-as-garment, both belted at waist, sculpted into position w/flame-retardant gel
11. Skin-tight snakeskin spandex body-suit, long scarf of the fluffiest white fur, black rubber gloves
12. Bathrobe and slippers, shoulder holster for pipe, smoking supplies

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Today's Well-dressed Sorcerer is Wearing: Headgear

1. Black cranial dome secured by stout leather chinstrap w/large, ever-flapping bat wings, swell to giant size upon command for one emergency flight per day
2. Animate turban capable of lashing out in anger, holding weapon/objects, fully unraveling into snake-like servitor creature
3. Transparent dome-style space helmet, tubes connect to backpack tank w/compressed/enslaved air elemental providing inexhaustible oxygen supply
4. Miniature step pyramid built permanently atop scalp, if spattered w/blood tiny portal opens into diminutive plane of Hell, minimally capable wee demons emerge to do bidding
5. Silver skullcap w/ever-spinning, 100% locally accurate orrery atop
6. Best available crash-test helmet from 21st century Earth, crafted of space-age polymers that provide immunity to psychic intrusion due to previously unknown quirk of psy-chemistry
7. The Wig of 1000 Hairdos: changes hair style, color, length upon command, baseline do: huge greasy pompadour
8. Tank-like gun turret atop rounded cone hat, capable of independent targeting, limited ammunition, must be manned by 3 imp crew for full functionality, imp chow/ammo prohibitively expensive to all but the most pecunious
9. Silver skullcap w/spectacular working Tesla coil, discharges full-strength lightning bolt once per day, unlimited taser-like zaps at targets w/in 10'
10. Blue-black standard wizard hat w/fully animated 3-D outer space display, stars, planets, comets, galaxies set to their inexorable courses
11. Elaborate, roughly conical headdress made entirely of detachable daggers balanced for throwing
12. Head-portable spell component garden and small mammal familiar terrarium

Monday, April 14, 2014

So You Threw your Drink in the Barbarian's Face...

1. After moment's silent pause, throws drink in your face, laughs mightily
2. No immediate effect, days later fur loincloth cleaning bill arrives via carrier raven
3. Grunts, wipes self, sees a clean patch of skin for the first time in many months, test-sniffs armpits, slips off for long-overdue bath
4. You have just initiated a mandatory drinking competition ending only w/near lethal alcohol poisoning
5. Barbarian leans back, hands behind head, smiling, secure in the knowledge that, according to tribal beliefs, you shall surely perish on your next dungeon expedition
6. You just proposed marriage to barbarian's youngest child (irrevocable)
7. Barbarian immediately leaves in abject humiliation, weeping slightly due to triggered childhood trauma
8. Picks up your smallest companion, proceeds to use as human towel
9. Utters terrifying war howl, beats self around face, neck, chest, kicks up a real froth going on at length, hoping you'll just run away, failing this, reluctantly attacks
10. Retrieves nearest keg, cask, barrel or bottle, proceeds to bludgeon you insensible
11. Raises small metal object to lips, soundlessly blows, previously unseen wolf appears to rip your throat out
12. Laughs, extends hand as if in congratulations for providing such amusement, then kicks you in the crotch while producing battle-axe w/head the size of a coffee table

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Freelance Dungeon Missions: Higher Level

1. Impersonate summoned zombie horde, stagger into depths, gain access to semi-indestructible necromancer's sanctum, exterminate unholy offspring, inject villain w/sterilizing serum to prevent future abominations
2. Seal chaos-breech detected on level 8, scroll containing Zzanzz's Hermetic Hyper-cube included, material component required: life-essences of 100 enemies of humankind, man-portable essence-extractor unit provided
3. Conquer deathtrap-filled hallway connecting dungeon level to unknown subterranean wilderness, 10,000 gp budget for project
4. Administer eldritch/chemical agent to dormant caldera on lava level, get the hell out, but not before locating and warning double agent lich, possibly polymorphed somewhere in the dungeon
5. Escort testy Imperial specialist VIPs to site of recent archaeological discovery on level 7, set up/maintain defensible perimeter for duration of dig, orders dictate they must not be stopped no matter how stupid their schemes appear
6. Serve notice to dragon of inheritance and noble title in Imperial Capitol City due to puzzling proviso in deceased aristocrat's final orders
7. Return cursed treasure stolen by previous adventurers to cache of gleeful underworld deity all set to begin new curse-free phase of existence
8. Find and secure subterranean route between known dungeons for strategic use, Imperial cartographer provided
9. Infiltrate Underworld cult as faux-lay members (arcane prophylactics against mind-control provided), determine threat level, gather intelligence for coming military intervention, discretely assassinate traitorous surface folk
10. Ambush and destroy dungeon expedition of regional hero now believed to be enemy of the state, en route to site of powerful relic on level 9
11. Deliver NPC, body loaded w/arcane explosives, transcosmic toxins, for sacrifice to The Famished God
12. Oversee/provide security for top secret corridor-widening project to free neutral dragon no longer able to leave chamber after decades-long growth spurt

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Freelance Dungeon Missions: Mid-Level

1. Locate, bargain w/uniquely colossal troll, believed sessile, fills entirety of chamber, for specimen of living flesh
2. Assassinate arms dealer in trade partnership w/Underworld forces while en route to subterranean shipping company HQ
3. Exchange tiny abomination incarcerated in enchanted vessel, captured familiar of dungeon sorcerer, for living brain of court vizier, embodied in earth golem's mass, currently under mental control
4. Spike shut all three doors leading to level four, monitor, do not release other adventurers trapped w/in no matter what they say
5. Release plague-infested fleas on dungeon level five, anti-flea garments provided
6. Enter crypts, festoon w/holy symbols of every conceivable stripe until its like Christmas morning in there, anoint w/variety of blessed oils, ignite plethora of incenses, re-seal until further notice
7. Enter crypts, introduce experimental new undead-eating predatory ape species, re-seal until further notice, must see to care and gruesome feeding of caged creatures until deployment
8. Make full study of dimensional anomaly detected on dungeon level four, one daring PC secret "volunteer" to cross inter-dimensional barrier and return, outcome to be determined THUSLY
9. Scatter lair w/items implicating undesirable cult/nation/organization, awaken ancient dragon, get the hell out
10. PCs made Imperial Notaries, proceed to vampire lair, obtain signature for divorce papers from unnamed aristocrat
11. Hew giant cables w/loaned enchanted ax, shut down power to evil dwarf foundry, steal specimen of new alloy
12. Annual Imperial Dungeon Graffiti Challenge

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Friday, April 4, 2014

The Evil Sorcerer's Greatest Weakness

1. Dedicated to Underworld booze (see Subtable below), has a stiff one at the customary hour then keeps right on having them, gets meaner as the night wears on, fiddles threateningly w/pair of live fireballs like Captain Queeg
2. Irresistible passion for wagering: deep debts to several dragons, must make saving throw to avoid juicy bets offered, maintains permanent dimensional gate to 1970's Las Vegas, solid gold 2d6 necklace gives luck bonus to sorcerer when 7-12 rolled in combat
3. Following recent personality breakthrough, maintains jam-packed social calendar, obsessed w/gaining and maintaining new acquaintances, retains personal dance instructor, eschews current evil spell research in favor of voluminous correspondence
4. Considers self grand gourmet, really packing on the extra lbs., so concerned w/freshness of ingredients has converted good portion of spell component garden to artisanal produce, lair infested w/dangerous yeasty pastry-oozes, wears chef hat emblazoned w/stars, planets
5. Adrenalin junky: forever dropping everything to scale tasty peaks w/no magical precautions, loves cliff diving, wears fake mustachio as regional chariot racing champion, habitually taunts gods/demons
6. The ladies/gents: maintains multiple relationships, several housed secretly in various areas of lair, always juggling, intruding adventurers secondary concern at best
7. Bad with money: great at manipulating underpinnings of reality, can't make a decent investment to save life, semi-indestructible trans-dimensional repo-men en route to lair
8. Compulsive hoarding: lair jam-packed w/teetering piles of collectibles/dubious impulse purchases, dead familiars buried under heaps of arcana/decaying trash, whole place stinks to high heaven, difficulty retaining staff
9. Extreme vanity: employs entourage of stylists, hair & makeup experts, tailors, designers of evil,  many weird enchanted mirrors throughout lair, several rooms in complex dedicated to wardrobe, collection of magical haberdashery
10. Total disregard for personal hygiene, combined w/deleterious physical effects of meddling w/forces beyond comprehension, very unpleasant personal aroma, teeth scattered about where they fell, streaked and torn wizardly raiment
11. Crippling assassination paranoia: spends preponderance of time concocting anti-assassination spells, charms, talismans, dismissed/wrongfully executed staff w/any talent,competence, prefers to be surrounded by trustworthy idiots, skeletons, zombies, extremely jumpy, trigger happy
12. Enfeebling lassitude: years of wrestling w/cosmic forces wear a body out, lacks strength to lift hand from side w/out powerful stimulants, hauled by servitors on travel couch, faints a lot

Underworld Booze Subtable
1-2. Cave Lightning straight from the home distillery
3-4. Coffin Varnish, brewed by trolls, temporarily arrests regeneration
5-6. Jolly, flavorless lichen ale, one must throw back continuous stream of the stuff to catch/maintain buzz
7-8. Pit juice on the rocks, collected from glands of demon magically chained to wall
9-10. Devil's Slough & soda, several cases in collection, according to markings over 10,000 years old
11-12. Hellwater, straight, 12 ounces of catoblepas milk chaser to minimize internal combustion

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When Two Sorcerers Love Each Other Very Much

Sorcerer's Offspring Table
1. Levitating infant that spits up lightning bolts, skin glows within 20' of magic items
2. Two-headed chimera w/each parent's head, one breathes fire, the other emits blasts withering criticism
3. Huge, black stone-skinned manticore that has her mother's eyes
4. Child seems standard-issue until titanic growth spurt kicks in, approaches Godzilla-size by adulthood
5. Head replaced by unknown sensory array, 3 brains in chest cavity loaded w/psychic powers
6. Tyke has requisite talent, charisma, burning ambition to become World Autocrat, plans afoot by grammar school
7. Medusoid w/advanced aesthetic sense but little regard for human life, driven by need to create works of art for the ages featuring zillions of people turned to stone
8. Born as full-grown adult, head filled with contents of both parental spell books
9. Sea serpent of preternatural fecundity, escapes from parents at earliest opportunity for nearest body of water, immediately begins laying clutch after clutch of eggs
10. Bat-winged serpent w/father's smile, flammable blood disorder
11. Mist-child seems to dissipate immediately but actually congeals later into parricidal doppelganger
12. Duodecaplets

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Emergency Underworld Set Pieces

1. Magma-powered demon foundry w/open lava trenches, random steam venting, giant pipes and tubes, demons in mechanized work suits, enslaved super-dense core-dwarfs who go supernova when they die releasing hundreds of dwarf-spores
2. Lord of the Underswamp's fortress, built atop back of titanic amphibious whale, inert but vivified in times of great need, obeys fortress' ruler but only controllable w/unbroken concentration
3. Scale replica of campaign map in 5' hexes, phantasmal representations of evil forces deployed to play out nightmare scenario, wee armies reorganize to launch full scale assault on interlopers
4. Vast, treasure-strewn hall w/colossal disembodied human eye hovering at peak of arched ceiling of mirrors, reflected ocular beams blast friend or foe indiscriminately, multiple parties from variant time streams arrive for simultaneous looting
5. Dinosaur weighing station of the giant subterranean herdsmen, even after generations of husbandry dinosaurs remain only modestly domesticated
6. Sorcerer's lair carved out on, around, and between fossilized bones of cyclopean ur-dragon whose unfathomable consciousness splintered into many and varied spiritual manifestations both malevolent and benign
7. Subterranean dictator's bastion at heart of death-trap filled maze, currently besieged by two distinct evil factions in revolt, human wave tactics failing against fiendish traps, suffering massive casualties
8. Enormous chamber carved into lush welcoming facility for interdimensional arrival of blind idiot space god, towering chalice half-filled with requisite sacrificial fluids, billboard-size unholy symbols crafted from bones, hundreds of cultists in non-stop Busby Berkeley musical number w/bloodletting
9. Lowest level of dungeon a giant bowl-shaped chamber at the bottom of which is the Black Hole to the Eleventh Sphere, divided into concentric rings w/increasing gravitational pull towards center
10. Tumbling dodecahedron room with random gravity shift from plane to plane, meditation chamber of the Dungeon Overlord
11. Space-mad sorcerer's underground rocket propulsion laboratory: tanks loaded w/explosive fuels, proving ground w/ready-to-launch prototypes aimed at miles-long shafts, moth-balled manned-projectile launchers, experimental elevators of varied speed and power, mummified brains of past geniuses magically probed for insights
12.Active nesting site of enormous chthonic worms, half-stupefied brood-mothers lay coffin-size eggs by the hundreds, random hatching, drone-worms deposit heaps of half-dead prey for famished hatchlings, this is where you hide the really awesome treasure