Wednesday, September 23, 2015

6 Random Dungeon Rooms IV

1. You enter a large cavernous room. In the center of the room you find a recently slain saber-tooth tiger. As you glance around the room you notice dozens of cave paintings. Each one depicts wild animals hunting or vermin scuttering. Interacting with any of the cave paintings has a 50% chance of the painting fading away and that animal appearing in the center of the room ready to attack.

                                                         d6 Random Cave Paintings
                                                         1. Giant Spider
                                                         2. Boar
                                                         3. Black Bear
                                                         4. Wolf
                                                         5. Giant Scorpion
                                                         6. Mountain Lion

2. In the center of this cave is a large black obelisk with dozens of pieces of metal clinging to it. The obelisk is the center of a strong magnetic field. As one approaches the obelisk they feel the magnetic pull growing stronger. First unattended objects are slung towards the obelisk, then weapons are torn from your grasp, and finally large pieces of metal like armor are pulled towards the obelisk.

  • Within 50' of the Obelisk small metal objects like coins, necklaces, buckles, etc are flung towards the Obelisk. Unattended object receive no save. If an object is attended then the user can make a strength attribute check to retain possession each round.
  • Within 25' of the Obelisk all metal objects weighing under 10lbs are pulled towards the structure. A strength attribute check at -2 is needed to retain possession each round.
  • Within 10' the pull becomes the strongest. Any metal object under 50lbs is pulled towards it. All strength attribute checks to maintain possession is done at a -6. Adventurers wearing metal armor might be flung onto the obelisk while still in their armor. 
  • Removing an object or yourself from the Obelisk requires a strength roll at -8.

3. This room appears to have been an infirmary. Rotted beds, stands, and medical tools lies in disrepair. There are eighteen beds with nine to each side of the room. Fours of the beds still have moldering linens. As you examine the bedding you notice they appear to cover up a humanoid body with a bloated stomach. Once one of the linens has been removed from the body you discover a dead human female who was pregnant. Immediately the stomach burst open and an undead stillborn fetus lunges out. Once one fetus has been disturb the remaining three burst forward. Treat these fetus as ghouls with 1/2 the HD.

4. In this dungeon room is a sarcophagus and a summoning circle. Anyone who breaks the plane of the circle must save vs spell. Failure has the victim swap places with the Mummy that is inside the sarcophagus. The Mummy immediately attacks and all damage dealt to it is transferred to the victim inside the sarcophagus until that person is dead or escapes. The sarcophagus is sealed tight; a remove trap or open door check at -2 is required to pry it open.

5. At the end of this corridor is a circular vault door. The door is crafted to appear as a demons face. As you investigate the door you find a dial lock with the infernal alphabet instead of numbers. To gain entrance beyond this door one must spell out the name of a specific demon lord associated with this dungeon.

6. You enter a subterranean garden. This roughly circular cavernous room is easily a couple hundred feet in diameter. A unique fungus growth lines the ceiling walls emitting a dim light that is able to sustain surface flora. This area of the dungeon has recently been taken over by a cave druid who has been collecting exotic species of the plants and animals. He has built a large greenhouse in the center of this garden, there he keeps his most prized possessions. Unfortunately, some flora and fauna that exist in the garden is aggressive and have been known to kill unaware trespassers .
     d6 Random Garden Encounters

  1. Swarm of Flies
  2. Strangle Weed
  3. Shambling Mound
  4. 20' Patch of Yellow Mold
  5. Nest of 3d12 Stirges
  6. Man-Eating Fiendish Ape stalks the group.

I have a pdf compilation of the Random Dungeon Room series on rpgnow. Link provided below
50 Random Dungeon Rooms

Sunday, September 20, 2015

10 Variant Ghouls

10 Variant Ghouls

Ghouls are former humans who have risen from the dead with the taste for flesh. This iconic undead has been the ban of adventuring parties for decades. Any encounter with a Ghoul has the potential to turn extremely deadly. Their signature paralysis attacks can have devastating consequences.

The baseline Ghoul is from Labyrinth Lord, which is a retro-clone of B/X D&D. Your typical ghoul is 2HD with three attacks(bite, claw, claw). Each successful attack requires a save vs paralysis or you become paralyzed for 2d4 turns. So essentially you are paralyzed for 20 to 80 rounds and are totally screwed if the rest of the party don't save your hide. The paralysis can be removed early if a cure light wounds spell is cast on the victim. If you are killed by a Ghoul you also rise as one 24 hours later if your corpse hasn't been blessed. If you are an elf or larger then a medium sized humanoid you are resistant to the ghoul paralysis ability.

There is already a variant of the Ghoul called the Ghast. The Ghast is a stronger version with increased HD, better AC, stronger bite/claw/claw, and can paralyze you for 2d4 turns. Also elves aren't immune to the paralysis. In addition to being superior they also have the stench special ability that requires anyone within 10' to save vs poison or become horribly sick which translates into a -2 to attack rolls.

Below are slight mechanical variations of the typical Ghoul.

Spitting: This ghoul lacks the ability to paralyze you with its melee attacks, instead it has an elongated tongue that can spit a glob of vile saliva that paralyzes on contact. The range is 30' and the saliva does no damage, but requires a save vs paralysis to avoid being paralyzed for 2d4 turns.

Pustule: This ghoul is covered in hundreds of blisters filled with pungent pus. This ghoul does not paralyze through melee attacks instead any attack against it ruptures its blisters of pus. Everyone within 5' radius must save vs paralysis or be paralyzed for 2d4 turns.

Suppressive: Instead of physically paralyzing you the touch of this ghoul suppresses segments of your brain. Save vs paralysis or forget a random class ability for 2d4 turns. Fighters forget how use a specific weapon, thieves don't remember how to backstab, casters can't recall a specific spell, etc. The DM should adjudicate how and what is suppressed.

Atrophy: Instead of paralyzing with their attacks, these ghouls reduce movement speed by 10' each successful attack without a save. Each hit causes your muscles and joints to stiffen. Once your movement is reduced to zero you are automatically paralyzed for 2d4 turns. If your typical movement is 90' then it would require 9 hits to paralyze you.

Waning: Instead of paralyzing you with its attacks this ghouls touch rapidly ages you. Each successful hit ages you 2d4 years if a save vs. death is not made. You gain all the physical aliments of aging but non of the mental benefits.

Remorseful: The human consciousness hasn't fully dissolved from this ghoul. Whenever faced with combat this ghoul must make a morale check each round. Upon success his savage side takes control and he attacks as any normal ghoul would. If this ghoul fails he questions his degenerative state and turns on his pack, attacking them while screaming for anyone to put an end to his existence. If there is no pack to be attacked this ghoul will fall to its kneels and ask for release from this cursed world.

Quick Animation: Normally someone slain by a ghoul will be reborn as one in 24 hours. This type of ghouls infectious attacks quickly animates the dead in mere minutes with random results. After their victim has been slain they quickly animate as an random corporeal undead in 2d4 rounds.

                                               d4 Random Undead
                                               1. Zombie
                                               2. Ghoul
                                               3. Ghast
                                               4. Variant Ghoul

Planar: This ghoul died where the prime material and a random outer plane bleed into each other. It is constantly shifting between planes with no control of the translocation. There is a 50% chance each round that the ghoul will shift to the outer plane. While on the outer plane there is a 50% chance each round that the ghoul will shift back to the prime material plane. Whenever it shifts back it is randomly placed within 30' of its original location.

Deliberate: This cunning ghoul can focus on a particular weak spot. By forgoing two of its claw attacks this ghoul can attack with a precise bite. The focused bite is at +2 to attack, 2d6 damage, and the paralysis save is made with a -2.

Flickering: For some reason this ghouls paralysis is very unstable. Once a victim is paralyzed it is only paralyzed on odd rounds. On even rounds the paralysis diminishes enough for the victim to take an action.


I hope everyone can steal an idea or two from this list. For more variant undead please check out the links below.

10 Variant Skeletons
10 Variant Wights
20 Variant Zombies

Also I have a Creature Spotlight on the Lovecraftian Ghoul from Labyrinth Lords Realms of Crawling Chaos supplement.

Lovecraftian Ghoul

If you enjoy my blog please consider joining this site. I have more articles on variants, new monsters, random encounters, creature spotlights, new items, etc on the way.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

10 Variant Skeletons

10 Variant Skeletons

Presented below are 10 variant skeletons for OSR Dungeons & Dragons. They are based off the Labyrinth Lord version of the Skeleton. Like all undead Skeletons can be turned by clerics and are immune to mind-affecting abilities. These variants add a small mechanical component which can be a nice change of pace from your typical encounter. As with anything you should adjust the experience if needed.

If a player has access to the animate dead spell you might let them create these variants by finding an exotic component to use with that spell.

1. Brittle: Upon being hit the skeleton explodes into hundreds of pieces of bone. Everyone within 10' of the skeleton take damage equal to the hit points of the skeleton. If the skeleton had 5 hit points everyone takes that damage.

2. Savage: This skeleton has two claw attacks that does 1d6 points of damage. If both claws hits in the same round it rends for additional 1d6 damage.

3. Frenzy: Once combat begins this skeleton descends into a frenzy of brute fury. Each round the skeleton is active in combat its damage increases by 1 Die. In round 1 it does 1d6, round 2 2d6, round 3 3d6,etc. The damage resets to 1d6 if the skeleton is not engaged in combat for 1 round.

4. Armor-Plated: This skeleton has had metal plates fused onto its bony frame. For each plate fused onto the skeleton it grants  +1 to armor class and 5 hit points. Each 5 points of damage the skeleton takes one metal plate is destroyed and its armor class is reduced by -1.

5. Cackling: This skeleton emits a loud maddening cackle. Those within 30' find it hard to concentrate. All acts of concentration like spell-casting, thief skills, etc require a wisdom check to maintain your train of thought.

6. Unholy: This skeleton bones are pitch black and swirl with negative energy. This skeleton is immune to all damage except positive energy. Holy water, cure spells, potions of healing etc can be used to harm this skeleton.

7. Tar: This skeleton is covered in tar. Any hit by a melee weapon has the potential to be stuck to the skeleton. Any successful hit requires a strength attribute check or be stuck to the skeletons body.

8. Host: The rib cage of this skeleton is fused together to form an intricate prison. Small creatures can be housed inside the rib cage. If attacked in combat the rib cage has 50% chance of shattering and releasing what is inside.
                                             d4 Random Rib Cage Inhabitant
                                                1. 1d6+2 Crawling Hands
                                                2. 1d4+1 Homunculus
                                                3. 2d6 Zombie Pixies
                                                4. 1d4 Mummified Cats

9. Psychic: The cracks of this skeleton skull reveals a pulsating cranium. This skeleton has a semblance of intelligence and attacks with a psychic blast with a range of 30'. Because of its degenerative state the psychic blast is random and unpredictable.
                                             d4 Random Psychic Blast
                                              1, Save or be Confused(as per the spell) for 1d4 rounds
                                              2. 2d6 Psychic Damage
                                              3. 1d4 Wisdom Drain
                                              4. Your mental attributes switch place with your physical attributes for                                                       1 turn.

10. Candy Cane: This skeletons bony frame is coated in peppermint candy. The sweet aroma is hard to resist. All within 5' of the skeleton must save or use your action to consume pieces of this skeleton. Each bite you must save vs poison. Failure means your next 1d4+1 rounds you are nauseated and can't act. Each bite regardless of success or failure rots 1d4 teeth. They fall out 1 turn later.

If you enjoyed these variants I also have blog post on variant zombies and wights. The links are below. I hope to have a variants of all the main undead eventually. So if you like what you see please consider following my blog!

20 Variant Zombies
10 Variant Wights

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

50 Random Mundane Items V

50 Random Mundane Items V

From useless junk to items of immense value. Mundane objects to replace your typical treasure find of simple coins and gems.

1. Warped Quaterstaff
2. Rusty Manacles
3. Brass Tongs
4. Eagle-Shaped Electrum Letter Opener
5. Nigh-Blue Silk Robe
6. Block of Aged-Cheese
7. Copper Coat Button
8. Bouquet of Dead Roses
9. Mithril Key
10. Vial of Gold Dust
11. Silver and Gold Tooth
12. Zinc Rod
13. Box of Volcanic Ash
14. Dozen Silver Spoons
15. Calligraphy Kit
16. Beaver-Skin Boots
17. Bag of Malachite Powder
18. Bison Fur Cloak
19. Belt of Shriveled Halfling Hands
20. Velvet Pouch with a set of Playing Cards
21. Barrel of Olive Oil
22. Elk Thighbone
23. Solid Gold Idol
24. Dire Bear Pelt
25. Brass Peacock with Ruby Eyes.
26. Miniature Clockwork Dog
27. Pair of Drake-Skin Gloves
28. Cobra-Shaped Earrings
29. Plush Orcus Toy
30. Onyx Comb
31. Jar of Dried Seeds
32. Vial of Orc Sweat
33. Hollowed Unicorn Horn
34. War Drums made of Bamboo and Dragon-Skin
35. Deer Antlers
36. Stone Tablet etched with the True Name of a Demon
37. Severed Finger with a Jade Ring
38. Plague Doctor's Mask
39. Portrait of a Naked Elven Maiden
40. Coral Ring
41. Jagged Wooden Beam
42. Book with Lumberjack Poems
43. Dented Tin Crown
44. Tome of Goblin Art
45. Wax Sealed Jewelry Box
46. Tortoise-Shelled Snuffbox
47. 10 Sheets of Vellum
48. Small Wooden Mermaid Statue
49. Ivory Finger
50. Bowl of Sugar Cubes.

Links to Part I - IV
Mundane Items I
Mundane Items II
Mundane Items III
Mundane Items IV

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

6 Random Dungeon Rooms III

1. You enter a large chamber that appears to be a trophy room. A dozen platforms house wire framed mannequins. Each mannequin is sporting an ornate armor of different sorts. Each armor is well polished and hasn't been affected by the pasting of time. However, half the suits of armor are cursed. Donned armor that is cursed cannot be removed unless a remove curse spell is cast on the recipient.

                                                d4 Random Armors              
                                                1. Scale Mail                          
                                                2. Chain Mail                         
                                                3. Plate Mail                           
                                                4. Banded Mail                       

                                                 d4 Curses
1. Brittle: The armor shatters if a natural 20 is rolled against it. Scraps of metal embed into the wearers skin as the suit shatters. For each +1 to armor class the suit grants roll 1d4 points of damage. 
2. Missile Attraction: Each missile fired within 60' of the wearer is redirected towards him. Arrows and bolts seem to find the least protected areas of the wearer. Resolve rolls as if the wearer has no armor. 
3. Lethargic: The armor is rigid and stiff. Your movement is reduced to one quarter and you attack once every other round. 
4. Beacon: All random monster encounters are doubled while the armor is worn. 

2. The floor of this room is made of ice. Its extremely difficult to move across. Any movement requires a Dexterity attribute check or fall prone. In the center of this sheet of ice you notice a figure buried 10' deep. It appears as a skeletal warrior dressed in ancient armor. If you pass over the spot where the warrior is buried you hear a voice in your head. It pleads for you to free him. You must save vs spell to resist the urge to excavate the icy floor. The skeletal warrior is actually a Death Knight trapped for centuries by the forces of good.

3. This room has two dozen wax statues. Half of them depict what appears to be adventurers. The other half are unsculptured statues that vaguely resembles a humanoid form. As your move around the room the unsculptured wax statues begin to animate and attack. Once a statue has killed someone its features are sculpted into their resemblance and it becomes an inanimate object.

4. A lone statue in this room resembles a maiden. Her eyes slowly drip a watery substance that is sweet to the tongue. The liquid detects as magical and if a bowl/vial is placed underneath it will fill it in about 24 hours. The liquid functions as a magical potion. The potion that is created during those 24 hours is random.
                                                    d6 Potions
                                                    1. Delusion
                                                    2. Healing
                                                    3. Heroism
                                                    4. Extra-Healing
                                                    5. Clairaudience
                                                    6. Clairvoyance

5. In this room you find four dead bodies. Upon closer inspection of the decaying bodies you notice purple colored maggots feeding on the corpses. These maggots feed on residual psychic memories from the dead. If a maggot is eaten the consumer will receive a random piece of information about the corpses life. The more maggots consumed the more insight you gain.

6. The ceiling of this room has large rusty metal nozzles that drip a soapy substance on the floor below. The floor is extremely slippery and movement is reduced by half as you must tread carefully. As movement is detected below the nozzles release human sized bubbles. Any bubble that touches a target envelopes them and they begin to suffocate. The bubbles have an AC10 and 1 HP. If someone is enveloped inside a bubble when attacked they suffer the same damage.

I have a pdf compilation of the Random Dungeon Room series on rpgnow. Link provided below
50 Random Dungeon Rooms

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hive Mind of Giant Killer Bees

I was recently thinking about Giant Killer Bees and the thought of a hive mind special ability seemed to fit thematically. I remember running across the hive mind traits in D&D 3.X and like the concept of a collaborative intelligence. The concept of the shared consciousness is intriguing. So I took a look at the Giant Killer Bee in Labyrinth Lord and decided to create a hive mind trait.

The hive mind trait would allow the queen and workers to collaborate together. The queen would mentally give commands that would augment the battlefield. The worker bees would enter combat in a synergistic fashion.

Giant Killer Bees in Labyrinth Lord are low level foes with the ability to kill you in round. They are extremely deadly. Below are your basic stat for a Giant Killer Bee and the Queen.

Giant Killer Bee [AL: N, MV 150'(30'), AC 7 HD: 1d4 hps, #AT: 1 (sting), DG 1d3 (poison), SV F1]

-Killer Bees attack with their stinger. Once the stinger hits it breaks offs. The victim must save vs. poison or die. If the save is successful the stinger must still be removed or the victim takes 1 point of damage each round. The victim must spend one round to remove the stinger. The bee after losing its stinger dies one round later.

-The Queen is a 2HD creature and does not lose her stinger when she attacks.

Hive Mind
The Hive Mind traits allows Killer Bees to issue commands that augments other bees in the colony. One bee is needed to issue the command for that round. Once issued all other bees are affected. The bee that prompts the command cannot perform an action for the round. Only one command can be in effect if initiated by a standard killer bee. The colony of bees have multiple command options that they can issue. The queen can issue two commands each round and has a couple of additional commands only she can use.

Any command with (Q) can only be issued by the queen. All command work within a 60' radius.

-Coordinated Attack: All bees that are adjacent to each other gain a +1 to attack rolls.

-Mend: (Q) The Queen can have all bees converge on her to mend her wounds. Each bees heals 1 hit point to the Queen.

-Indomitable: Any bee under a charm or mind influence ability can make a save to break free.

-Agonizing: All stinger attacks that don't kill their opponent is more potent. Instead of doing 1 damage a round it does 2 instead.

-Restrain: To preserve their numbers all bee stinger attacks for the round don't break off. The poison has a reduced potency and only does 1d4 points of damage instead of death.

-Transfer(Q): The queen can transfer any damage dealt to her to any adjacent bee.

-Pheromone Discharge: Each bees releases a pheromones in a 5' radius. Opponent within that radius must save or be nauseated. You lose your attack for 1 round.

-Hatch(Q): All unhatched eggs hatch this round. The following round newly born bees attack. Due to their premature birth they die at the end of that round.

-Swarm: All bees attack one target.

-Tenacity: The colonies willpower is increased. Morale is 12 instead of 9.

-Embed: All successful stinger attacks this round require 2 rounds to remove.

-Potent Poison: All stinger attacks this round save at a -1.

-Concentrated Pheromone(Q): A concentrated pheromone targets one person. The targeted individual must make a save vs poison. Failure requires them to move as quickly as possible to the queen.

New Items

Bee Antitoxin: If you drink this vial of antitoxin you are immune to bee poison for 1 turn.

Swarm Repellent: This scented oil once rub on your body repels insect swarms. Against the giant variety they must make a save vs. poison to enter combat against you. The repellents duration is 6 turns.

Helm of the Hive Mind: This helm is created from a preserved beehive husk. It can be used by Rangers and Druids. The helm has the ability to control the hive mind of Giant Killer Bees.

  • All Killer Bees won't attack wearer
  • You can command all Killer Bees and Queen in a 60' radius
  • You can issue two commands per round as the Queen.