Luke Swadling got asked for a table of 4e wild magic effects....
(The table's in this format, top to bottom:
Wild magic effect
Spell backfires, caster takes 3d8 psychic damage.
Spell backfires, caster and targets in 2 square range take 1d6 psychic damage.
Spell backfires, targets in 4 square range see caster as a horrible demon until end of encounter (save ends).
Spell diverts to nearest ally (if harmful) or nearest enemy (if beneficial).
Spell changes descriptor and energy type, or gains one (DM's choice).
Spell has minimum effect per die, or only half effect (as appropriate).
Spell shrinks, affects only half area, or only half effect (as appropriate).
Spell affects a random target in 10-square range.
Spell functions for half duration, or only half effect (as appropriate).
Spell recharges, caster must cast same spell again next round.
It starts raining in a 5-square radius from caster until end of encounter.
Spell appears as glowing specks of light instead of normal appearance.
Ghostly faces and images fill area of spell, and swoop through and around targets.
Spell is replaced by spell from another class (same level, attack/utility/frequency).
Spell summons tiny (6"x6", 100 per 5' square) critters (frogs/bunnies, etc) through spell area until end of encounter.
Caster's clothes shift rapidly each round to a different race/gender until end of encounter (save ends).
Someone far away with same name as target is affected instead.
All targets in 5-square radius slide 2 squares directly away from caster.
Caster and target switch places after spell is cast.
Target's skin becomes a random colour for 101 days (d8: 1- yellow; 2- orange; 3- red; 4- purple; 5- blue; 6- green; 7- ice white; 8- jet black).
Target's hair (50% chance for either) grows or shrinks at 6" per round for next d4 hours.
Spell triples existing area, or affects all targets in 4-square radius.
All creatures in 6-square radius gain fly speed 6 until end of encounter.
All targets in 6-square radius turn to iron and gain resist all 10 until end of encounter (save ends).
Caster becomes magnetic (metal weapons gain +4 to attack rolls) until end of encounter.
Poltergeist activity' within 10 squares until end of encounter (doors open and close, machines function, etc).
Caster becomes surrounded by thick swarm of butterflies, 2 square radius becomes difficult terrain until end of encounter.
A random nearby object permanently comes to life and becomes an animated object (creature).
All creatures in 10-square range can understand and speak to animals for 10 minutes.
All dead bodies within 10 squares animate as a Decrepit Skeleton (d10 if no dead bodies are visible).
Caster's spells recharge (as extended rest).
Caster learns hp thresholds (maximum/current) of all creatures in 10-square radius,
All creatures in 6-square range use a healing surge.
All creatures in 6-square range gain a save against ongoing effects.
DM gives the player a hint about an upcoming encounter.
1 gold coin falls into every square in 6-square range each round until end of encounter.
All targets in 5-square radius slide 2 squares directly towards caster.
Caster grows 1 age category (50% chance of either) older or younger until end of encounter.
Shifting and swirling tattoos appear on caster's body for 1 hour.
Caster emanates shadowy tendrils until end of encounter, +10 to Intimidate checks.
Animals within 10 squares will not attack caster for 1 minute until provoked.
Caster teleports 1d6 squares in a random direction each round until end of encounter (save ends).
All writing with 10 square range is erased (magical writings not affected).
All liquids within 10 squares become (50% chance of either) very sweet or very bitter.
Creatures within 10 squares become (25% chance of any) angry/ calm/ despairing/ inspired until end of encounter (save ends).
Temperature within 10-square range (50% chance of either) rises or falls to very uncomfortable levels until end of encounter.
All physical damage within 5-square range increases by 1[W] each attack until end of encounter.
Two random compatible creatures within 10 square range fall in love (save ends).
Caster gains glimpses of close future, +4 to AC and all Defenses until end of encounter.
Pleasant smell fills a 10-square range until end of encounter.
Caster gets a sudden craving for an exotic and strange food (save ends).
Caster becomes dehydrated and takes 1 damage per minute until they drink.
Caster's pockets and bags all tear at seams and spill contents into nearby squares.
Target must speak backwards for 1 minute (save ends).
Flower petals fall from sky in 4-square radius for 1 minute.
All speech in 20 square range is silenced and appears as visible text bubbles over speaker's head for 1 minute.
Luck reversal- all rolls of 1 become a critical, and rolls of 20 become a failure, for 1 minute.
Caster becomes silenced, and cannot speak or cast spells for 1 minute (save ends).
Food sources within 10 squares become cooked to caster's liking.
Spell functions as a free action, caster can continue to act.
(50% chance of either) Caster's or target's feet double in size,splitting shoes if necessary. -5 on Acrobatics, Athletics and Sneak checks until end of encounter.
(50% chance of either) Caster's or target's nose doubles in size until end of encounter. -5 on Bluff checks to disguise, and -5 on Intimidate checks.
(50% chance of either) Caster or target must speak in a high-pitched squeaky voice until end of encounter.
Caster's skin becomes (50% chance of either) very scaly (giving +1 natural armour) or very smooth (+5 to escape from grabs or restraints) for 1 hour.
Cupcakes start sprouting on plants within 5 squares, spoil within an hour if not eaten.
Caster becomes invisible and blinded for 1 hour or until damage is taken.
Caster's face gains heavy clown makeup for 1 hour. +5 to Bluff checks.
Caster's mind is opened to secrets. +5 to Arcana and Dungeoneering checks for 1 hour.
Caster understands remarkably. +5 to Insight and Perception checks for 1 hour.
Caster gains remarkable recall. +5 to History and Nature checks for 1 hour.
Caster becomes very sneaky. +5 to Stealth and Thievery checks for 1 hour.
Caster gains use of a feat they choose for 1 hour.
Caster swaps one feat for another feat (both chosen by the DM) for 1 hour.
Target drops all held items.
Dead wood within 10 squares begins to grow rapidly for 1 hour.
Living (not creature) things within 10 squares of the caster wither for 1 hour.
All creatures within 5 squares gain 1 action point.
Time halts, caster can take a full round of actions, all effects take effect in next round.
All spilled blood within 10 squares turns to water for 1 hour.
Creatures forming an encounter equal to the party's level arrive.
All money within 4 squares is teleported to the lair of the nearest dragon.
An earthquake strikes the area, and all creatures on the ground take a +10 vs Fortitude attack. Success means they become prone.
Caster becomes petrified for 1 hour.
Insects in a 20-square radius suddenly hate the caster.
All flame sources (torches, candles, etc) in the open within 10 squares ignite.
Footprints, object disturbance and sounds indicate a large invisible monster somewhere within 20 squares until end of encounter.
All flame sources within 10 squares are blown out,
All targets within 10 squares take a +10 vs Will attack or become weakened until end of encounter (save ends).
All targets within 10 squares become slowed until end of encounter (save ends).
Water within 10 squares of the caster becomes alcoholic.
One mundane item within 10 squares becomes a magical item of the caster's level (DM's choice).
Target's next roll will be a natural 20.
Target and caster exchange scores for next attack, Defence, or skill check.
Caster's next roll will be a natural 20.
Caster can add +1d6 or subtract -1d6 from next Wild Magic roll (caster's choice).
An ally turns up unexpectedly, to the caster's benefit.
All spilled blood within 10 squares turns to boiled lollies for 1 hour.
Caster's childhood toy is teleported to hand.
Caster gains resist 5 All and +4 to all Defences until end of encounter,
Spell functions at maximum effect, or for double duration, as appropriate.
Here's Jasper Gein's.
As Mechanus turns, with clockwork regularity the Modrons spill forth from their home plane and march inexorably across the great expanse of the multiverse. Though many perish during the course of their journey, a few survive. One such Modron was separated from the mass of single minded pilgrims and became lost in the howling caves of Pandemonim. The poor creature eventually escaped, though it can be argued that it departed,well, barmy. Its body and mind scoured first clean then pitted and scratched by the ceaseless punishing winds driven by chaotic and evil energies. When it finally crawled it's way up from the depths it's mind was haunted by loneliness and the maddening sounds of petitioners lost somewhere in the darkness but forever out of reach. No longer a part of the collective Modron mind, this fellow has come to the conclusion that the only way to bring true order to the multiverse and thus silence the horrors of Pandemonium lingering within it's mind, it must bring about total destruction of the Planes and everything in them. Str 16, Con 14, Dex 13, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 10 Initiative +4 Senses Perception +3; vision AC 17 Fortitude 19 Reflex 18 Will 17 Modrons have the Construct type, though they are living creatures. They do not need to eat, sleep or breathe. Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Skills Acrobatics +4, Arcana +9, Athletics +6, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering +3, Endurance +5, Heal +3, History +9, Insight +3, Intimidate +3, Nature +3, Perception +3, Religion +4, Stealth +4, Streetwise +3, Thievery +4 As a standard at will power, the modron may attack with an equipped weapon that can be wielded in one hand. The maddened outcast modron has modified itself based on strange devices found on some alternate plane. It has the following abilities associated with them: Rocket powered This modron has been fitted with crude rockets where it's wings perhaps used to be. When shifting, it is considered to be flying but must land after it's shift. Flamethrower: In place of it's right hand is a flamethrower which is either a true flamethrower with a pressurized tank and release valve, or it could be a magical device in part or completely, meant to mimic the look of a device the modron saw but did not understand how to replicate. As a standard, at will power it may fire a gout of flame from this weapon. +10 vs reflex, 1d6 + 4 fire damage As a standard encounter power, the modron may unleash a cone of flame and sticky fuel and attempt to engulf a target. Close blast 4, +10 vs reflex, 1d8 + 4 fire damage, save again vs 1d4 fire damage for 2 more rounds of persistent fire damage.
SAGE Request: I would like a Game. A fictional game, something to be played within the fictional world. That is-- as Avatar: The Last Airbender has Pai-Sho, & Star Wars has Sabbac & that holo-chess game, as Tekumel has Den-Den & Cerebus has Diamondback-- I'd like you to make a fictional game for me. I don't care if it is a board game or a card game or a dice game! Just please make up rules that are theoretically fun & theoretically balanced. Extra points for faux-history, such how the game came to be, or what the significance of certain pieces are. Extra points for suggestions on playing it in the real world-- how to substitute chess pieces or tarot cards or whatever for the fictional game's pieces.
The Games of the Sea of Grass:
The wide steppe of the Sea of Grass is a crossroads of empires, trade and a few tribes of nomads and hill folk that live in a tense state of peace interrupted by frequent violence over blood debts, land rights and livestock theft. The people are independent, sticking to their clans and their confederations, guarding their traditional territories by the point of a spear or arrow.
Dotting the steppes are a few large towns and cities along the trade routes, here the tribes trade with one another and the outside world in a relative calm as violence in the city is strictly forbidden by religious taboos and long-held traditions (though ambushes of people leaving the cities are not unheard of, and duels of honor are frequently fought close to the gates). Of note in these cities are the renowned livestock auctions and the variety of other goods for sale.
Field of Glory – originating with the hill tribes, push is a game played with a set of runic chips and a set of large boards designed to mimic their ancient style of hoplite combat. Each chip represents a soldier, with the strength and valor of the soldier represented by the particular rune, and the boards the field of battle.
Players each pull twelve chips from the bag, setting two aside without looking at them. They then examine the rest of the chips and arrange them in an advantageous manner, with the goal of eliminating all of his opponent’s soldiers. When a victor emerges, he takes all of the chips that were set aside and is read his fortune from them.
Real Life Play – The game is best played on a long table where two players may sit opposite one another (in the alternate version up to four players may join). Other than that you will need a standard deck of playing cards. The field of play should be marked as a 10x30 grid, with spaces large enough to accommodate the playing cards.
Players arrange themselves so they are sitting directly across from one another (a board with four players should resemble a large plus sign).
Cards are shuffled, then dealt. Players are each dealt 12 cards.
Players set aside two of these cards without looking at them.
Players examine remaining cards and arrange them in 10x10 portion of the grid in front of them in formations.
At the beginning players move their formations as a whole. Formations advance forward at one square per round until the two formations are only two spaces apart.
Once armies are two spaces apart normal play begins, each player taking a turn consisting of a move and an attack phase:
Move: a soldier may move one space either horizontally or vertically, a player may also choose to swap the positions of two adjacent cards.
Attack: a soldier may attack an enemy either horizontally or vertically adjacent, this soldier need not be the one that moved.
Resolution: Compare the value of the cards (making note of any suit bonus or penalty), ties go to the attacker.
Play continues until all but one player’s soldiers are eliminated.
Players are each dealt twelve cards face down from the deck, two are immediately set aside. Players may then look at the remainder of their cards and then arrange them into rows and columns on their board face down. The goal is to clear the board of your opponent’s cards.
Table 1: Attack and Defense
Card Point Values: Number cards are equal to their value (minimum 1), face cards are rated as follows: Jack – 11, Queen – 12, King – 13, Ace – 1.
For some, perhaps the most important part of the game is the revelation of the fortune. When the final player remains he reveals the hidden cards that he captured from his opponents. Rather than provide an exhaustive list of the possible fortunes, here’s a handy table.
Player will have great luck in battle
Something the player has planned/built will prosper
Player will be lucky in love/friendship
Player will be lucky financially
Player will be very lucky
Consider scaling the effect based on the frequency of a rune (for example if a player gets 2 clubs for his fortune, he’d be less lucky than if he’d received four clubs).
Note: It wasn’t until this was play-tested that my victim noted that this was essentially Stratego combined with a memory game.
The Market Chance – An auction can be a thrilling event as bidders battle it out against one another and the house to try and get the best deal. As the great livestock auctions of the Grass Sea grew many of the farmers and traders that were waiting for that new goat or rug would band together to waste their earnings in games of chance. It wasn’t long before some added to the standard dice games, giving the auctioneers a little something to do at night.
The Market Chance is a typical example of such games, players bid on numbers (each bid adding to the pot for that number) that might appear on a roll of the die. The winner receives the pot under his number, while the rest goes to the house (variants have the winner taking more or less). Depending on the auctioneer, some numbers may be considered special or sacred, and when the die rolls those the house takes the whole pot (or the pot is divided evenly). This usually works out to rolls of 2 and 12 sending everything to the house, and 3 and 11 dividing everything equally amongst players (including the house).
Playing the game: The game is best played with at least five people, four people bidding against one another and the fifth acting as the house. The players will need 2 six-sided dice, money and
either a notepad or writing tablet to keep track of bids.
1.Draw a table on your writing tablet with the numbers 2-12, mark off any special numbers since players may not bid on them. Try to use a pen for this and a pencil for bids.
In sequence start bidding on numbers, keeping track of bids with a mark (going up in single coin increments for simple tracking).
Roll dice, make a big show of it.
Repeat until everyone but the house is broke.
Players take turn acting as auctioneer.
Require each player put one coin initially into each pot (save the special numbers) to juice bidding.
Change special numbers (getting rid of 6-8 for example).
Different dice or a single die
Gert did this...
Bill Spytma got a request for a floating location...
Ferros, the floating village, a hamlet of Ignius.
A few hundred years ago, and for unknown reasons, the volcano Ignius broke off from the surface of the world. Mid eruption, the great, burning mountain cracked and the land around it shuddered like an immense beast shaking an insect off its back. It turned, midair, drifting slowly, and rotating until upside-down. Then it stayed there, magma pouring out of it, downward like a fountain.
Spewing like blood from multiple wounds the lava continuously pours to this day. Bits and pieces of the volcano broke off and went skyward as well.
Eventually, the underside (now upside/surface) of Ignius was colonized via teleporting wizards and giant bird riders. In time, great chains were forged, bridges of a sort, that connected stones large enough for habitation to Ignius itself so that they wouldn’t drift farther away and out into unknown places. One such stone is now the village of Ferros. A humble village on one such floating stone island. Most of the people that have found themselves there are or were running from something. They’ve come there to start anew.
Ruled by- Town Mayor with a Citizen’s Council.
Policed by- Town Militia Patrols.
Water supply- Rainwater as well as naturally occurring pools.
Mayor- Winsel Dare, An old Soldier, often redeyed and drunk. He’s seen too much. He holds some secret about Ferros that he hints at, but won’t reveal.
Town Militia- Brighton Hughes, Burger Ross, Tarn Eversed, and Rickity Mole, 4 to 10 men in charge of keeping the town safe. They fight off fire elementals, salamanders, etc. As well as giant birds and flying lizards from time to time.
Blacksmith- Kur, just Kur, human, not very well liked by the dwarves, as he already had an established forge set up and running by the time they arrived.
Head Gardener- Evony Mewler, a woman of indeterminate age, to which she credits the vegetables from her gardens. She has a somewhat aristocratic air about her, either from a nobler upbringing or from a sense of superiority to those around her. She inherited the land on which she lives and farms from her father, claiming that her family was the first to colonize Ferros. A “fact” in which she thinks should grant her special treatment and rights above other citizens.
Solemn Devotee to the Air God(dess)- Winjer Corbin, a quiet, middle aged man devoted to
maintaining the shrine of the Air Deity on Ferros. He gives homage to it each day as he believes it allows Ferros to stay in the sky. Winjer also has near daily disagreements with Vera Gindlestrup. It doesn’t help that he is secretly in love with her.
Priestess of the Hammer and Flame- Vera Gindlestrup, a loud, brash woman, full of swagger. She maintains a small shrine/forge to the God of Flame and Iron, seeing the stone, heat and metal running like veins through the little floating island as a testament to the power and existence of her deity. She regularly has loud, heated arguments with Winjer over which deity holds true sway there on Ferros.
Prospector- Rickard the Lucky, an older man with a stooped back and missing a few fingers and teeth. What skin his beard doesn’t cover is scarred from a lifetime of hard work and near death experiences in various mines around the world. He claims to have a nose for ore. Occasionally, the dwarves let him drink with them.
Inn Keeper- Badger Freem, a Gnome with a great long beard that nearly drags the floor. It’s mostly grey with a long strip of black that still runs straight as an arrow down the middle of it.
Badger runs the Iron Mug Inn and maintains a small orchard just behind it, catering to visitors and townsfolk alike.
Dwarven Overseer- Pick Brasshand of House/Clan Ironeye. Pick is head of the dwarven enclave at the edge of town. He speaks and acts as representative of Clan Ironeye on Ferros. As such, all the other dwarves here are either in the clan or employed by it. He is young by dwarven standards, and somewhat wiry of frame, though his beard is full and runs a gamut of colors from strawberry blonde to red and black. The fingers on both of his hands are covered in brass rings (a familial affectation). Pick gets along with most members of the town; though only by doing everything he can to hide his disdain for them. He only one he genuinely likes is Rickard and invites him to The Nees to drink and gamble on a regular basis. He’s sure that his clan sent him here, to Ferros specifically to find something hidden deep below the surface, but he’s still unsure as to what it is.
Dwaven Miners- Orri Steelbeard, Rank Stoneskin, Damascene Hammerfall and Neery the Anvil are just a few of the other dwarves on Ferros under the watchful eye of Pick. There four also regularly attend services at The Glorious House of the Father of Iron and Flame, with the sure impression that it belongs to the Dwarven God of Crafting. Locations/Buildings Blacksmith- Kur repairs and crafts whatever implements the town needs to go about its business. He is also a competent weaponsmith and has crafted a small number of weapons from the pure iron found on Ferros. He’s only able to buy from human prospectors though, as the dwarves refuse to sell to him. The fire in his forge never seems to go out, even in the middle of the night when he’s long since gone to bed.
Temple of the Uplifting Winds- A small shrine dedicated to an Elemental Deity of Air and Flight. It is a humble, structure consisting of pillars holding up a roof with open air instead of walls.
The Glorious House of the Father of Iron and Flame- Ferros’ other shrine, dedicated to a Deity of Fire and Iron, and Crafting. The house is made of dark stone taken from Ferros itself, mound-like. Entrants must duck their heads as they enter the darkness of the half buried shrine. Sermons are conducted in near darkness with smoldering braziers burning in each corner of the heat filled room, they tend to be loud affairs as Vera must yell to be heard over the near constant “tink, tink, tink” of a hammer striking an anvil sound seeming to come from the very walls themselves.
The Nees’ – A series of short, ugly buildings with great long chimneys jutting up from them like spikes pointing toward the heavens. The ore dug up from below is refined here before being put to use of shipped out. It is also the center of all dwarven activity on Ferros. They live, eat, sleep and work there when not digging and mining in the tunnels running through Ferros.
The Iron Mug- The town inn and tavern. Locals gather here to gossip, drink and celebrate. Occasionally, visitors stay here; prospectors trying to decide if it’s worth the “digging fee” to mine in Ferros, sight-seers visiting the (relatively) quiet little village or the occasional trader. The “house drink”, Iron Apple Cider, is strong and bubbly and made from apples growing in the inn’s backyard. Various Houses, the largest of which is owned by Evony Mewler, nearly a mansion (and she wishes it was). The rest all humble seeming.
The Greens-A large series of gardens- Maintained by a few homeowners, owned and overseen by Evony Mewler. The vegetables grown here are large and healthy thanks to the rich volcanic soil in which they grow. Some whisper that more than just “heathy vegetables” are grown in some patches of The Greens.
Ferros Forest- A small patch of woodland as well, very gentle farmed once a year. The wood from which is considered very exotic and valuable. They call it Sky-Oak and Sky-Ash. Whether it’s any different from normal oak and ash, no one really knows. Occasionally, loggers will spot movement and patches of odd colored fur in the distance between the densely packed trees and briars that grow between them. What the fur belongs to though, none can say for certain.
The Nests- One patch of cliff-face on the side of Ferros is pockmarked with bird’s nests. The nests are farmed by town residents with rope and grapples.
The tunnels beneath the village. There is a section where some of the miners do not go. They can’t say why, they just don’t.
The chains that hold the floating stone islands together with Ignius. Who built them and how? Many believe it was the dwarves that did so, but the dwarves are mum on the matter.
The pure iron taken from the mines, is it anything special, does it possess any qualities that make it any better than iron mined anywhere else. The same question can be asked about the sky-oak and sky-ash that are taken from Ferros’ small forest and the fruits and vegetables grown in its gardens and orchards.
Ferros was one of the first floating islands to be colonized after Ignius. It has survived in one incarnation or another for the last few hundred years, despite once being nearly wiped out from a violent, mass attack of giant predatory birds. Twice per year, when Ferros drifts close enough to a highly elevated point on the surface, they engage in trade via long, dangerous bridges and ladders stretched down to the ground. The mines beneath the surface contain very pure concentrations of iron and occasionally other metals and jewels as well. Wood from the surface is also considered a rare resource for woodworkers from all over the world and sells for a much higher price than its ground grown variety. The extra money gained from these trades is almost immediately spent on whatever trade goods the village needs, which also come at an inflated rate due to the dangerous travel merchants must engage in to reach the village. From all the mining in the few hundred years, the land beneath the village is riddled with tunnels. They run in multiple directions criss-crossing and wrapping around one another. A few years ago though, something unfortunate happened to the dwarven miners directly below the village proper. As a result, the dwarves refuse to mine that area any further; they refuse to speak of what happened as well. Human prospectors will go there from time to time, but in most cases they never return, and if they do, they come back different, changed, not quite right.
Tom Roberts provided some "awkward npc interactions"...
OK so I freely admit not giving you a proper table here. Mostly because I can’t imagine all these interactions being equally likely in all settings. Though they do all pretty much share the idea that the party is ‘In town’, or at least surrounded by a significant number of NPCs who can initiate, observe and/or judge the interaction (and the PC). They range from the everyday, believable stuff to the preposterously bizarre encounter. I’d say pick up to a dozen that strike your fancy for an area and time and plug them into a simple d100 table like this (possibly combining slots for those that you would like to see happen.) What is a Preposterous, vs. Unlikely vs. Believable encounter is up to you.
01-02- Preposterous Encounter
03-06- Unlikely Encounter
07-12- Unlikely Encounter
13-24- Believable Encounter
25-37- Believable Encounter
38-50- Believable Encounter
51-63- Believable Encounter
64-76- Believable Encounter
77-89- Believable Encounter
90-94- Unlikely Encounter
95-98- Unlikely Encounter
99-00- Preposterous Encounter
2 Dozen (plus 1) Awkward NPC interactions
1 The PC(s) come across a Mind Flayer performing…a version of oral sex on up to 4 females (age and race at your discretion). There are two scenarios here. In one, the Illithid has acquired a taste for brains in the heady hormone mix of ‘afterglow’ and is preparing a meal, possibly to share with friends. In the second the Illithid has been dominated by a coven of witches/enchantresses and is being forced to perform these acts. It’s also worth noting that each scenario could lead into the other simply by reversing victim and victimizer, so the participants in this encounter could re-appear, but with an evolution of poetic justice to the second version.
2 NPC declares undying love for PC who barely recalls them. Maybe a shopkeeper’s offspring, maybe a beggar previously rescued, maybe the person responsible for making their magic items but definitely ‘supporting cast’.
3 NPC Shopkeeper hurries out from back and behind store counter to greet PC’s when they enter. Unfortunately his fly is open and penis is exposed. For added effect crotch of pants can be wet and/or shop can be place where PC’s usually buy meals/rations.
4 NPC has booger hanging from nostril. Or food in teeth/beard. Most awkward is probably if female NPC has food stuck in beard. Or perhaps other things (You’ve seen ‘Something about Mary’ right?)
5 Drunken case of mistaken identity for person who cheated with significant other of NPC. (“You! You worthless mangy son of a goat ridden whore! You took my Lulubelle away from me! I’ll kill you!” for instance.) How capable NPC is of carrying out his threats is in the DM’s hands.
6 Random left field question from passerby NPC. They expect a serious (and usually quick) answer. (I.e. Have you ever had a Fudge nut bar? They’re delicious, you should (or) aren’t they? OR Do you know what I got for my birthday? My period!)
7 Important message is trusted to starry-eyed, hero worshipping youngster. Message is for someone with, but other than, the Hero.
8 (Barely) Adolescent Male attacks PCs for wiping out his family/tribe/clan. Not a planned attack, or armed, or one with a hope in hell of working. But definitely public. I’m thinking here about that last goblin youth who, returning home from a hunting trip, finds his entire tribe/clan wiped out and all their earthly possessions stolen or destroyed. Maybe he’s right that it’s the PCs, maybe he’s not. But it doesn’t much matter at the moment does it?
9 A lone PC discovers they have been Pick-pocketed of all coin (but other objects that may be valuable) upon arriving to pay for something they have already used (like lunch, or a healing potion).
10. While deep in negotiations with NPC(s), hand out small notes to all PCs that read “You smell a fart. It’s not yours. Give this note back to the DM after you read it.” Alternately you could have one note read that the fart IS that PC’s.
11. PC sneezes and sprays a noticeable wad of phlegm/mucus onto NPC’s backside, who seems to not notice.
12. Trip over nothing. (Or was it something invisible?!?) Hands (or face) land in ‘difficult’ terrain. Remember the different height of various races when deciding to go for a teen comedy or america's funniest home videos type moment.
13. Walk into door/lamppost/other obvious obstruction without somehow seeing it during conversation. If NPC does this they continue with conversation as best they can, trying to pretend nothing happened. If PC collides with lamppost, have NPC either burst into laughter or be overcome with concern for character and their obvious, sudden, intermittent blindness.
14. For reasons unknown one’s belt/suspenders/buttons etc. fail and pants suddenly drop.
15. A child tugs on PC’s pants and says ‘Mom/Dad?’ From waist down PC totally looks like Mom/Dad, Child can provide little more help than this. Parent may be grateful, oblivious or actively suspicious if/when their child is returned. If PC tries to just walk away, kid sets up an awful racket of wailing and weeping and public spectacle.
16. NPC mistakes PC for someone else and gives them a big bear hug, from behind. Probably giving an apology when they realize their mistake. Though perhaps its cover to pick-pocket them, perhaps they slip them a note (Meet me at the old graveyard, an hour past sunset. Come alone!)
17. NPC who actually knows PC approaches them and begins conversation. PC either doesn’t remember them at all, if you’re feeling merciful/PC makes an INT check, simply can’t recall their name.
18. An offer of “Black Lotus. The Best” to the party Paladin/LG Cleric or, alternately the member able to resist anything but temptation, but loud enough for (at least one) other party member to hear.
19. NPC vomits on PC’s shoes. (“Why? Well, maybe he’s drunk, maybe he’s sick, maybe he’s cursed. But he HAS made a mess of your shoes.)
20 NPC at other table in Tavern/restaurant is (apparently) having (non-whispered) conversation with himself. Or an invisible spirit. Or someone on the other end of a heckuva bunch of Sending spells. Are they planning the King’s Assassination? A Heist? A treasure hunt? Or the way to keep the Thalens from taking over?
21 Wild-eyed vagrant NPC shouts “May the Curse of The Rats be upon you!” (Why the PC should be victimized with the Curse of the Rats, along with what the Curse does, if anything, are left in the hands of the DM and the oh-so-suggestible-sometimes Players)
22 PCs are drawn into discussion between a novice adventuring group and the gate guards as to the authenticity/believability of the adventurer’s story. (“We are but humble Sheepherders, herding our sheep when we were set upon by brigands. So we defended ourselves from the Brigands with our staves and cudgels, slaying some and driving off the rest. But the bandits killed or took all our sheep, so left with almost nothing we were forced to loot their bodies in order have something to sell here in town so we and our families would not starve. Also we were nervous about running around out there with nothing but clubs and staves. We would like to sell the many weapons the brigands did have though. And that is why I am dressed in the spiked black plate of the notorious blackguard Serjen, though I am not him. May we enter the town now?” This is one from my own gaming experiences, but you will surely have tales that would be…hard to credit when they happen to someone else. Some of them may even be true.)
23. Ex-Significant Other of one of the PC’s is in the business the party enters. Not necessarily a PC present at the moment (s)he’s encountered. The Ex is not exactly talking them up, though they seem to be unaware of the PC(s) being around. (i.e.-“Turn over. Turn over. It’s all he ever said! Even when I could get him to go in the right way he was never any damn good!”)
24. An Authority figure from the PC’s childhood (Uncle, Former Master, Schoolteacher etc.) spotted coming out of a whorehouse, or the like (perhaps climbing from (or even in!) a window in front of the PCs, most likely in a state of near-to-complete undress.) They notice the PC(s), but not until after they’ve been noticed themselves.
25. Wake up in your own bed with someone (who wasn’t there when you went to sleep) spooning you. This person might be a stranger, or drunk, or both. (Try it with two male PCs and see how quickly they quote ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’ (or not).)This dungeon is courtesy of Telecanter...
John Jentilman owns the Two Moon Tavern, a cheerful if simple establishment. Always an odd sort, he constantly complains about rats in the cellar of the tavern. After coaxing the party's into helping he ushers them through the iron cellar door . . . and locks it behind them.
Trapped in a bare room with a well in the center of the floor. They must seek a way out of their predicament. (Well leads to 1)
Wandering Monsters 2-3 1d6 Dollfolk 4-5 1d6 Forsaken 6-7 Titch (if not encountered, see 17) 8-9 Giant Beetle 10-12 The Gulo Cometh a The Course. A track is carved in the stone floor. The Gulo is here: a ghoul bear collared with a chain leading to a bolt that runs in this track. This hairless, white thing is ravenous, on a 1 in 20 it breaks the chain trying to reach food, 1 in 6 if on one of the wooden bridges. Its chain can be heard scraping in the track from far away. Gulo: HD 5; AC 7; Atk 2 claws (1d3), 1 bite (1d6); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 5/240
b Slow, muddy river. This gives the whole area a ripe, earthy smell. It can be accessed by tearing up one of the bridges.
c Seven foot tall, crude pottery statue in the shape of a rat. Completely blocks passage to 8. Is filled with dead rats.
d The Beached Behemoth. A humongous grub lodged in the river's course blocking water flow. It has huge oozing wounds next to the passages leading from the West, as if something has hacked its flesh off. Touching or harming it draws Dollfolk (see 15).
e Following this dry river bed for several hours leads to a gully above ground.
1 Two straw dummies of giant rats a what appears to be a straw cloak & hood on the floor. Used to feed it, the Gulo will not attack anyone wearing this.
2 Door barricaded from inside. Two warriors have just returned from a failed foray to 15, one mortally wounded (treat as party level +1).
3 Giant straw rats tied to posts, peppered with arrows. Closer inspection reveals humans inside, one alive.
4 The floor is a foot below door level & completely covered in a writhing carpet of blind baby mice.
5 Each wall has two alcoves at face height with wooden doors rigged to open at the same time. One of these contains a Dollfolk (see 15)
6 A perfect model of the Two Moons. Customers are replaced with posed, giant straw rats. Stairs are false.
7 Filled with the effects of victims past; 1700 gp in gods and coins, a battered suit of plate, & a medallion of ESP which, when used, will overwhelm the wearer with the anguished thoughts of the intelligent Behemoth (see d).
8 The Ark. Carved from black basalt, this room appears to be of much older construction. An empty, canoe-shaped, glass vessel is surrounded by Invisible, intangible spheres floating at chest-height. Each is filled with a colony of a different social insect: bees, ants, wasps, termites, etc. Disturbing a colony will result in the insects producing a unified hum of a perfect musical note. In order this produces a scale (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si(Do)). Different musical sequences may have different effects but the following causes the glass vessel to rise up, float, & respond to mental movement commands: Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.
9 The Undersky. Miles in all directions of dark abyss. Luminescence from far, far below looks like stars.
11 A model of a rat cobbled together from rotting chunks of meat on an iron framework.
12 Trapdoor in ceiling. Opening dumps tiny, blind mice. A passage leads to 13. 13 The Forsaken. 10 Men, women, & children left to die under the tavern who have lost their minds & become savage. Armed with axes, knives, & swords (treat as berserkers). Trapdoor in ceiling leads to 12. 14 Empty
15 Lair of the Dollfolk. Six inch humans, perfectly proportioned. Ivory white with huge coal black eyes & knives (treat as kobolds). They treat the Behemoth as a god; anyone approaching or touching it will be attacked suicidally. 1d6 appearing each round.
16 Mud Labyrinth. Mud gets thicker & deeper as the spiral progresses. At the center a sinkhole acts as quicksand.
17 One of the few places unreachable by the Gulo, a small boy with an iron rat mask bolted onto his head hides here.
d20 Strange and Prophetic Dreams, by MathiasSteve Collins got a request for some help on integrating different kinds of elves into a campaign...
1: You are in a tavern common room, but it is the size of a
cathedral. Candlelit tables packed with patrons who seem oddly
familiar stretch to the limits of vision. You see someone important
at one of the tables, someone who you desperately need to tell
something. Before you can reach them, the dream ends.
2: You are in a hall full of hanging silk sheets. They obscure
everything around you and make it impossible to see just what kind of
environment you are really in. As you crash through one of the
sheets, you come face to face with your mother. You then realize that
your mother has been dead for years. Intuitively, you also grasp that
this simulacrum means you dire harm.
3: You are in (the last dungeon the party explored.) As you near (one
of its most notable features,) you realize that you have forgotten
something extremely important- the rest of your friends will die if
you do not get to them in time. That's when the minotaur shows up...
4: You are in your childhood home, but it is abandoned and derelict.
Sifting through the debris, you come upon several objects which were
once important to you. You begin to search frantically for something
you really want to find, but no matter how much you look and how many
other relics of childhood you find, the one you want remains elusive.
As you search, the house begins to fall down around you and blow away
until you are standing alone on a flat plain.
5: You are standing on a rocky precipice above a valley. The valley
is covered in impenetrable fog, but you can hear the sounds of a
mighty battle roaring below. You suddenly have insight into what has
been troubling you recently, and the imagery of the hidden battle
helps you overcome your inner turmoil. Then someone pushes you from
behind and you find yourself falling eternally until you wake up
covered in cold sweat.
6: You are driving a cart through the forest, trying to get to the
next village. You desperately need to, because you need to get the
cart repaired. You also have to take a loaf of bread to your sick
brother for reasons that escape you. You then realize that something
isn't right- the cart is starting to go backwards and is getting
faster. You wrestle with the controls furiously, finally managing to
stop before you hit a tree. You hop off to see what is the matter,
and notice that the wheels are on fire.
7: You have a date with someone you really like and you are looking
forward to it immensely. As you are getting ready, you notice you
have worms coming out of your skin, and the more you pull at them the
more you wreck your skin until you have horrible gashes all over.
They aren't bloody, they are just sort of dry and torn and very itchy.
You get to the date and find that it isn't at all who you were
8: You are climbing a mountain with your best friend. As you reach
up for the next handhold, you realize you completely neglected to
bring supplies of any kind. You attempt to mention this to your
friend, but he or she is nowhere to be seen. You cling to the cliff
for hours, to afraid to move forward or back. Eventually, night
9: You are trudging home in the snow. There are footprints ahead of
you and you are trying to step in them, but they are growing
alternatively bigger or smaller and are coming in stranger and
stranger shapes you find difficult to match with your foot. Finally,
you reach your house, but it is on very high stilts and the only way
to get to it is by climbing a rickety staircase which sways in the
wind. Once you get inside, the stairway falls away and you are
10: You win the lottery. You have oodles of gold and everybody wants
to be your friend. You spend lavishly and soon have everything you
want, but then someone informs you of some bad news. It seems you won
a much smaller sum than your previously thought (hundreds instead of
millions) and now you have to give back all that stuff you bought.
People you owe money are hunting you and your friends desert you.
11: You are exploring a strange dungeon. You find a magnificent
treasure chamber filled with wealth, but getting to it requires that
you crawl through a claustrophobic space which requires a
spine-bending switchback. You negotiate in and out of the chamber
several times, but then you find yourself stuck.
12: You take your horse into town to buy some provisions. As you
exit the store, you find that your horse has been stolen! You got to
the local constable to report the matter, and he tells you that he has
a likely suspect. He leads you to a bad part of town to a large,
half-timbre house. He then begins to tear down the broad side of the
structure with his bare hands. He soon reveals a warehouse sized room
within, and the middle of it is an orc at a desk. You watch
dumbfounded as the constable approaches and begins beating up the orc
as it pleads innocence.
13: You find yourself in a castle undercroft. It is clearly ancient
beyond reckoning, and the floor and ceiling is made of irregularly
shaped stones crumbling together. Amidst the stonework, you spot
other objects which have been used in the masonry, including books,
turtle shells, whetstones, bottles, keys, and even a few skulls. You
wander through torchlit halls for hours, trying to find someone.
Eventually, you find a stairway leading upward. As you approach it,
you hear a growl coming from behind you…
14: You are alone in a foreign city, trying to find your way back to
the inn you are staying at. There are many street signs, some of them
appearing to be in languages you recognize, but you can’t read any of
them. You hear music coming from every window, including many
familiar songs, but no one will open their doors when you knock.
15: You are put on trial for a crime you are not sure if you
committed. Reams of evidence are presented against you and numerous
people close to you are brought up to testify. Finally you are given
a chance to speak on your behalf. This is made difficult by the fact
that you must hold on to an enormous wriggling fish which you really
don’t want to drop. Eventually, you drop the fish and are found
16: You sit in a field, watching the clouds above you play out
fantastic shows depicting dragons fighting mermaids and other
impossibly amazing tales. Smiling, you look down at the grass and see
your worst enemy’s face outlined in neon colors there. You scream and
17: You are at a party in a decadent manor house. You are in
disguise, for if you are discovered, you will be killed. You spot the
person you are looking for, but they too are in disguise. Suddenly, a
pair of assassins (or are they? They are in disguise, so you can’t be
sure!) make their move. You grab your mark and make for the nearest
exit. You then find yourself on a balcony overlooking a ditch filled
with thorn bushes. What do you do?
18: You work at a pickled eel stand. The work is boring, but they pay
is… well, paltry. Worse, the line of people is always full,
stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see. Each of them
has a highly specific order and wants theirs now. You try to make
everyone happy, but you inevitably fail and gain their ire.
Eventually you quit in frustration, causing an angry mob to chase you.
19: You are at a table playing some kind of strange game involving
paper, maps, dice, and heaps of salty food and sugary beverages. You
look down at the table and see a small pewter reproduction of
yourself. Someone at the other side of the table sits behind a
screen. You gather that this person is of great significance. They
are telling you that the little pewter you has been pricked by a
poison needle trap and is dying. You plead and plead with the man
behind the screen, but he disregards you, citing numerous precedents
and arcane rules. The small you is taken from the table and cast into
20: Roll twice and combine elements of both fantasies into one surreal
The above dreams have been written assuming you intend simply to read
off the dream descriptions as a means of providing some flavor and
possible foreshadowing during down time. However, if you wish to play
the above dreams out as scenarios in which the player is free to act,
these sub-charts are to use to help inject some more of the whimsy,
terror, and pathos commonly encountered in dreams.
You try to do something, but... (d10)
1. You move inordinately slowly, as if immersed in water. Your blows
have no effect.
2. You move in reverse.
3. You are suddenly much stronger than you thought, able to
effortlessly destroy people and objects without even intending to.
4. You action has the opposite effect of what you intended.
5. You are naked, or only wearing undergarments.
6. You can fly.
7. Suddenly you are falling.
8. It begins to snow.
9. You find that you are much too late.
10. You wake up.
You encounter someone... (d10)
1. One of your parents.
2. A childhood friend.
3. Someone close to you who has died.
4. An old lover.
5. Your current lover/partner/spouse (roll again if single.)
6. A friend.
7. A teacher or mentor.
8. An old enemy.
9. A beloved pet.
10. Someone who looks like someone else on this chart (roll again.)
They mean you harm.
You find an object... (d10)
1. Cherished childhood toy.
2. Cherished possession of a loved one.
3. A letter you can't read, but you know it contains bad news.
4. A device which seems to be a combination of mundane objects, having
no apparent use or function.
5. An anachronistic piece of technology.
6. Something useful to your current predicament (a boat in a rising
flood, a parachute if falling, etc.)
7. A toilet.
8. Something you are currently searching for in waking life (which may
overlap with any of the above.)
9. A great quantity of money.
10. A random magic item. You still have it when you wake up.
I'm Steve Collins, your Secret Arneson, and here's my shot at your nature-of-elves request. My experience with Pathfinder is extremely limited (maybe a convention game or two) but since there isn't a single stat here, you should be able to use what you like without much trouble. As you mentioned, I haven't much of a clue about your campaign. Since what's presented here is based on the whacked-out and improbable theory of a disreputable sage, Rhung the Rusticated, it could well be partially or entirely untrue, as suits your needs. Proving or disproving nutty old Rhung's research -- or discovering his final fate -- might make decent adventure hooks for the right players. If, as he posits, elves are essentially an alien race, is the standard cosmology linking them to the element of air flawed, incomplete or dead wrong? It's this sort of question that got Rhung summarily kicked out of respectable scholarship. Anyway, hope this does something for ya, and Happy SAGE! --Steve
Perhaps the most provocative explanation of the origins of sky elves and wood elves can be found in Rhung’s Eleven Theses on the Elven.
Rhung, also known as Rhung the Rusticated or simply Rhung the Wrong, was much-discredited in his time, a laughingstock among other sages and scholars.
The first two Theses are written in Common, but Elvish increasingly predominates from the Third Thesis onward as Rhung’s mastery of the language steadily increases. As a result, in order to read Rhung’s controversial Eleventh Thesis, concerning the Origins of the Elfish Species, the reader must be able to read the Elves' language fluently.
Rhung was rumoured to be researching his Twelfth Thesis in forests haunted by wood elves when he disappeared over two hundred years ago. His reputation has scarce improved since.
A rough, unscholarly translation of Rhung’s Eleventh Thesis has been distributed as a pamphlet from time to time. An excerpt:
“After my unfortunate and entirely unjustified expulsion from the university, I continued my researches into the nature of elfkind. While certain of my esteemed colleagues have engaged in defamatory campaign against myself and my work, it is the elves who have been the least helpful in my researches, several of whom have not only obstructed my investigations, but even attempted violence upon myself and my assistants…
“The wood elf predates man, and can, I now reveal, be traced directly to the high elf, also known as the air or sky elf. It is my conviction, secured with the evidence I have summarized herein, that the sky elves are interlopers from another world, and indeed that the floating islands they inhabit are in fact ensorcelled pieces, meteorites, if you will, of this world, which no longer exists in any other coherent form. The cause of this world’s destruction, and even its name, are as yet unknown to me.
“The sky elves, for reasons at which I can only guess, seeded many forests with a creature created by strange sorcery, what we know as the wood elf, a physically similar but completely distinct race. The sky elves’ other experiments, alien magic some call fey, also often make their homes in these elf-haunted woods.
“The two races, despite their shared name and history, do not appear to have any formal relationship. The creators appear to have left their creations to fend for themselves. Are the wood elves some sort of advance scouts or parasites designed to colonize our world? A failed experiment? A discarded slave race? Further research is required.
“What is known is that despite their romantic depiction in some folk tales, the wood elves are a cunning, dirty race of tricksters, thieves and assassins which infest many of the realms’ forests. They are gaunt, savage, and quick to rob or swindle any men they may encounter.”
Greuma Witch of the Western Wood
While her earliest origins are unclear, Greuma appeared in the Western Wood some sixty years ago, becoming a notorious fortune teller and purveyor of charms, curses, and cures. It is rumored she is betrothed to demons, and has somehow cowed the great spirit of the Western Wood to do her bidding. Her nickname, “Nana Tooth” comes from her odd disposition toward accepting freshly pulled teeth from those who have offended her or are too poor to afford her services. Exactly what she does with those teeth is unknown. There is a legend that once she was a maiden of great beauty who became unfortunately involved in a squabble between two lustful, rival gods. It is said she is a beauty still, but rarely reveals the fact to visitors, preferring to stay disguised as a wretched hag.
The Western Wood
The Western Wood is approximately thirty miles on each side, and squats at the edge of the Marshes of Mung. Its trees are deciduous, and draped in gray moss and withered vines. The wood is haunted by a strange breed of centaur (appearing as half antlered, shaggy-bearded men and half stag) possessed of a cruel and violent sense of humor. It is known they pay homage to Greuma. Other creatures lurking in the wood include great bears with striped black and white fur, a mobile and carnivorous mound of lichen (treat as Black Pudding), and a tribe of shadows that only come out at night to perform their strange rituals of undeath.
The Mossy Mound
Greuma lives beneath a great mossy mound of earth raised up by her pet Wood Spirit. While only thirty feet across, those entering the mound find they are in a much larger space, and it can actually be a bit confusing to find one’s way around its maze of earthen tunnels and chambers. Vines and roots hang from the ceilings, mushrooms and salt crystals sprout from the floor, and bats, moths, and fairy lights drift, flap, and flutter through the air at all times. Entering the cave-like entrance at the front of the mound results in entering a random tunnel anywhere within the mound.
1. Greuma’s Abode – This is the largest chamber in the mound. The air here is filled with colored smokes, incense, and drifting fairy lights. Greuma sits in the center of the chamber, chanting over a burning brazier, a steaming pot of unknown concoction, and a dimly glowing crystal ball. A huge pile of what appears to be firewood in one corner is actually the Spirit of the Western Wood (treat as an intelligent Wood Golem).
2. Gallery of Teeth – This long chamber is filled with strings of teeth hanging from the ceiling, like popcorn strung out for Christmas. Strange fungi sprout from the floor here.
3. Greuma’s Larder – This is where Greuma keeps her salted meat and casks of ale. Everything here is surprisingly normal and of high quality. Where she gets it all from is a mystery.
4. Heart of the Western Wood – This small chamber is choked with vines and roots hanging over a bubbling hot spring. From here, Greuma can view anything happening in the world above up to 99 miles away.
5. Greuma’s Vault – This trapped and concealed chamber is where Greuma keeps her wealth, which is considerable, as well as a few potent and dangerous items of magical manufacture.
6. Altar of Darkness – This chamber has a altar at one end flanked by two great black obelisks.
Here is where Greuma performs her vilest rituals and ceremonies.
7. Greuma’s Laboratory – This is where Greuma concocts and stores her many potions, poultices,
elixirs, and unguents. Wooden racks and tables fill the chamber, lined with all manner of bottles, phials, bones, dried and stuffed animals, bundles of herbs, jars of body parts, and so on.
Aaaaaand Patrick WR did this...