Wednesday, October 28, 2015

10 Variant Wraiths

10 Variant Wraiths

Wraiths are incorporeal undead born of evil and darkness. These undead appear as black vaguely shaped human clouds with fiery red eyes. Wraiths are level draining undead who shun natural light and dwell in the dark places of evil. Presented below are variants of your typical wraith. The baseline for the wraith is Labyrinth Lord, which is a retro-clone of B/X D&D and 1e AD&D. These variants are easily compatible with any OSR D&D based game.

The typical wraith requires a +1 or better weapon to be hit. Silver weapons also do damage to them but only half. The touch of a wraith does 1d6 points of damage and drains one level or hit die. Those reduced to zero levels or hit die are killed. They reappear as a wraith in 24 hours. Like most undead wraiths are immune to mind-influencing spells like charms, sleep, etc.

The variant presented below add or subtract from the baseline wraith. With any alteration you may need to adjust experience.

1.  Collective: Instead of rising as a wraith in 24 hours those slain by their energy draining ability have their life essence absorbed into the wraith. For each HD of those slain the wraith gains a +1 to hit points, attack rolls, and damage rolls. A 4th level victim would grant the wraith a +4 to hit points, attack rolls, and damage rolls. These temporary bonuses last for 6 turns.

2. Visage: This wraiths facial feature constantly shift. Each round it takes on the appearance of fellow comrade of yours. Each time you attack you must save vs spell or become confused as per the confusion spell.

3. Calamity: This wraith feeds on failure. All those within 30' of the wraith who fails a roll empowers the wraith. The wraith gains 1d4 temporary hit points for each roll that results in failure. The size and shape of the wraith slightly pulses and grows with each miss.

4. Misfortune: This wraith has the uncanny ability to determine the fortune of those around it. It has predetermined outcomes that can change the course of battle. Before combat roll a d20 for each HD of the wraith. Typical wraith is 4HD. Those four rolls can replace any roll during the encounter. Once a roll has been used it is discarded. High roll might replace a wraiths attack roll. A low roll can also replace an opponents attack roll, saving throw, damage roll, etc.

5. Encroaching: By simply passing through a victims body the wraith drains levels as unnatural darkness courses through. The wraith doesn't need to attack its opponent, it simply moves through their body. The opponent must make a system shock roll check. Upon failure they lose 1 level or hit die. This replaces the energy drain touch. The wraith can move through as many opponents in a round as long as it doesn't exceed its movement rate.

6. Shadow: This wraith can forgo its attack to animate an opponents shadow. The victim must make a save vs death or have their shadow animate. The opponents shadow is treated as the creature of the same name. The shadow immediately attacks the victim until slain. The shadow attacks upon entering combat and uses the wraith initiative as its own.

7. Reversal: This wraith has strong ties to the negative elemental plane. It has an aura of 60' that reverses any positive energy. All healing spells are reversed while cast within this aura. This also applies to magical items like potions of healing.

8. Possessing: This wraith can attempt to possess an opponents body. The opponent must save vs. death or be possessed by the wraith. The victims skin tone quickly becomes pale and its eye turn fiery red. The wraith can now be hit by non-magical weapons but all damage is split between the wraith and the body possessed. The wraith can deliver its energy draining attack through its host.

9. Replicating: This wraith once slain is reborn as two wraiths one round later. These wraiths have 2HD and no level drain ability.

10. Prismatic: Created by an untimely death due to a prismatic wall this wraith has merged with that spell to create a constantly shifting humanoid cloud of various colors. This wraith generate a 5' radius aura similar to the prismatic wall spell. All those within 5' of the wraith are subject to its effects. Each time the wraith is hit in combat its colors shift randomly. The color of the wraiths body will match the color that currently is in effect.

D12 Random Prismatic Colors

1-2:  Red: Stops non-magical ranged weapons. Deals 10 points of fire damage for those within 5' of the wraith.
3-4: Orange: Stops magical ranged weapons. Deals 20 points of damage for those within 5' of the wraith.
5-6: Yellow: Stops poisons, gases, and petrification effects. Deals 40 points of damage for those within 5' of the wraith.
7-8: Green: Stops breath weapons. Those within 5' must save vs poison or die.
9-10: Blue: Stops divination and mental attacks. Those within 5' must save vs petrification or be turned to stone.
11: Indigo: Stops all spells. Those within 5' of the wraith must save vs spell or become insane.
12: Violet: Those within 5' must save vs spell or be sent to another plane of existence.

If you enjoy these undead variants I have more entries on my blog. Below is links to other variant undead creature. If you enjoy this series of articles then please consider subscribing to my blog as the plan is to create variants for all of the baseline undead creatures.

10 Variant Ghouls
10 Variant Skeletons
10 Variant Wights
20 Variant Zombies

Sunday, October 25, 2015

6 Random Dungeon Rooms V

6 Random Dungeon Rooms V

1. You enter a 20x20 chamber with a nondescript stone throne in the center of the room. Anyone who sits on the throne has to make a dexterity attribute check as the throne collapses on itself. As the throne begins to crumble its pieces fly down a chute directly below it. The chute is 20' deep and ends in a 10x10 room filled with debris. Lurking in this pile of debris are two giant centipedes that immediately attack once their domain has been disturbed.

2. As you enter this cavern you notice thousands of purple mushrooms of various sizes. From tiny to the size of trees. You immediately spot humanoids wandering aimlessly in the mushroom field with no cloths on and not a care in the world. In the center of the cavern by a pond is a roughly put together shack.
     If you approach any of the humanoids they stare at you with a euphoric smiles and mumble about finding their happy place. If you approach the wooden shack you meet an old man who offers you a hit of cultivated purple mushrooms. He promises they will take all your fears away. The purple mushroom has euphoric properties and potential for addiction. Anyone who takes a hit of the mushroom receive a 1d4 bonus to all attack, damage, saving throw rolls. The also take a 1d4 penalty to intelligence and wisdom. The effect last 1d4 hours.
     At the end of the duration you must make a constitution check or become addicted. Once addicted you require another hit and this time the old man is charging a price. Each subsequent addiction check is at cumulative -2. When the negative equals your constitution score you are hopelessly addicted and wander the mushroom fields as a thrall to the old man.
     The old man has the ability to control the purples mushrooms and animate them to protect his domain.

3. A stone pillar sits in the middle of this room. It is covered in hundreds of glyphs. Once touched you must save vs spell or all the glyphs slither off the pillar onto your body. Your body is covered in hundreds of tattoo like glyphs and you shine with a dim blue light. You have become the Keeper of the Dungeon. You know the location of all doors, secrets door, and levels. You can bypass any obstacles with a mere touch. However you are cursed to remain in the dungeon for eternity or until you find a willing subject to accept the mantle of the Keeper.

4. This cavernous room is filled with hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites made of brittle crystal. The slightest sound causes them to burst into hundreds of shards. Amongst the crystal formations are a couple of bodies of dwarven miners. They have been dead for days and their bodies are littered with crystals that punctured their mortal frames. If any sound is made that is slightly higher then a whisper the nearest formation shatters into hundreds of shards that deal 2d4 damage and has a 75% chance of causing another formation to shatter in a chain reaction. Utmost precaution is needed to cross this cavernous room. Hiding in this field of crystals are 4 shadows that quietly wait for trespassers.

5. This room appears to be a barrack room of some sort. Dozens of pristine beds reside in this room. Their bedding in perfect condition and undisturbed. Sleeping in one of the bed has the potential for disaster. The sheets are poisoned and anyone touching them requires a save vs poison. Upon failure they collapse onto the bed in a deep slumber. They regain no hit points for their forced rest and lose 1 hit point per hour sleeping. After 24 hours another save is permitted to break the slumber. A remove poison is needed to rouse the sleeping.

6. This cavernous room is freezing and the floor is coated with frost. This room has wicked winds that howl and batter any exposed flesh. A river of slush cuts through the center of the room. Any exposed flesh takes 1 point of damage each round in this room. Any ranged missile attack has 50% chance of failing due to the brutal winds. Spells such as obscuring mist and stinking cloud are uncontrollable and quickly move in random directions.
     After a round or so upon entering the cavern you hear a plea for help coming from the river. Upon approach you find a band of rival adventurers tied up and close to death. A gang of 6 dretches hover around them preparing for dinner. Once combat is initiated they release their stinking clouds in frantic display of chaos.

     Random Dungeon Rooms is a continuation of a series of modular dungeon rooms that can easily be placed while you are designing your fun house of death. Links follow below with the prior 4 entries in the series. The goal is to post one entry a month and upon getting 100 rooms I will compile them into a pdf and print on demand book. If you enjoy my blog please consider subscribing.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Steam Beast

Steam Beast

No. Enc: 1 (2d4)
Alignment: Chaos
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 7
Attack: 2 (2 Claws)
Damage: 1d6/1d6
Save: F7
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: VII
XP: 1490

     Steam Beast are an amalgam of two minor elementals fused together in a reinforced glass apparatus originating from the Inner Planes. At the heart of this beast are a minor water and fire elemental who has merged into one being with conflicting stability. Steam Beast are rumored to have been created by the Efreet in the City of Brass to be used as guardians but quickly fell out of favor since they have a tendency to attack their owners when combat ensues. The are typically found guarding important places or roaming the Inner Planes in packs.


  • Steam Beast attack with 2 claws that do 1d6 damage. If both claw attacks hit they rend for additional 1d6 damage.  
  • Once every 1d4 rounds the Steam Beast can let loose a concentrated blast of boiling steam in a direct line. The blast damage is equal to the Steam Beast current hit points. A save vs. breath weapon will reduced damage by half. The blast has a range of 60'
  • When slain the Steam Beast will burst into hundreds of shards of heated glass doing 2d6 points of damage in a 30' radius. 
  • Each round there is a chance that a Steam Beast will lose control of itself and randomly attack anyone within range. At the end of each round total up all damage dealt to the Steam Beast. Roll a percentile dice based on total damage. If rolled under the damage total the Steam Beast enters into a rage and randomly attacks anyone within range including other Steam Beast or allies. 
  • Steam Beast are immune to fire damage.
Adventure Seeds

1. The group needs to acquire a ring of fire resistance. They have a trip to a fiery place up coming. Rumor has it that the creator of the Steam Beast left a ring inside the creature glass chassis. 

2. A Clan of Fire Giants unleashed a pack of Steam Beat on local town to cause havoc and panic before their main assault.

3. In the Fire Marshes of Abu-tar lies a barrow mound that houses the tomb of a great Efreeti lord. Rumors of great treasures have surfaced. The tomb is currently guarded by 4 Steam Beast who are sworn to protect their master final resting place.

For more monsters check out my new monster index. It has new monsters and variants created with OSR D&D in mind. I am hoping that I am able to create a hundred or so new monsters/variants over the course of the next couple of years. Then I plan to go back and edit them. The eventually goal is to compile them into a pdf and hardcover book. If you enjoy my work please consider joining my blog!

New Monster Index

artwork by Joanna Ballendorf
owned by Steven Marella

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

50 Random Mundane Items VI

50 Random Mundane Items VI

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

1. Polished Ram Horn
2. Ornately Carved Hat Stand
3. Brass Tea Kettle
4. Torn Sun Hat
5. Steel Flagon with a Floral Design
6. Wicker Elephant Barding
7. White Aba trimmed with Gold
8. Hairpin Dart
9. Fake Emerald Brooch
10. Vial of Arsenic
11. Knuckle-Bone Bracelet
12. Velvet-Lined Jade Box
13. Cask of Rum
14. Gold Totem Mask
15. Red Coral Necklace
16. Folding Paper Fan
17. Miniature Silver Gong
18. Bronze Chain Belt
19. Cotton Kimono with Spider Embroidery
20. Strip of Parchment with a Fable written on it.
21. Tapestry of a Renowned Saint
22. 25 Glass Beads
23. Letter of Credit to a General Store (100gp credit)
24. Thick Fur Corset
25. Silver Belt Bucket in the shape of a Goldfish
26. Bamboo Umbrella
27. Troll Skull Helm
28. Black Silk Pouch with Crushed Pearls
29. Cloak Pin made of Amber
30. Jade Statuette of a Tiger
31. Golden Disc studded with Tiny Diamonds
32. Sand-filled Lizardskin Sack
33. Multi-Colored Glass Heart
34. Bagpipe with Intricate Snake Figures
35. Platinum and Ebony Flute
36. Alligator Skin Valise
37. Jug of Sour Wine
38. Stone Bottle with Lavender Oil
39. Blank Papyrus Scroll
40. Ceramic Mask with Golden Circles
41. Bolt of Purple Silk
42. Coiled Aluminum Tubing
43. Broken Chastity Belt
44. Sheep Hide Pillow
45. Porcelain Chamber Pot
46. Bag of Dried Humanoid Tongues
47. Emerald Encrusted Holy Symbol
48. Tarnished Mithril Crown
49. Case of Needles and Syringes
50. Painting of a Sphinx smoking a Pipe

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Random Urban Encounters

Random Urban Encounters

D6 Urban Encounters
  1. City Trouble (Potential Combat Encounters)
  2. Street People (Various NPCs)
  3. Building Scenery 
  4. Marketplace Finds
  5. Event
  6. Adventure Seed

D12 City Trouble

  1. Escaped zoo animal
  2. Rat Infestation 
  3. Mongrelmen from the sewers
  4. Corrupt guards demanding a payment. 
  5. Colony of zombie cats
  6. Pack of feral dogs
  7. Gang of juvenile pick pockets 
  8. Cultist abducting new recruits
  9. Murder with a pattern. Serial killer on the prowl
  10. Otyugh in a refuse pile
  11. Escaped Lepers who were under quarantine.
  12. Band of goblins disguised as beggars

D12 Street People

  1. Street Performer
  2. Knight & Squire
  3. Noble & Entourage
  4. Guard Patrol (1d4 +1)
  5. Con Artist
  6. Street Gang (2d4 +1)
  7. Merchant
  8. City Crier
  9. Priest on a Soap Box Preaching
  10. Jester and Mimes
  11. Tax Collector
  12. Intoxicated Civilian

D12 Building Scenery

  1. Lucky Lou's Brothel
  2. Tiny Tim Watering Hole
  3. Museum of Curiosities 
  4. Orphanage of Lost Souls
  5. Blue Balls Inn & Tavern
  6. Mineral Spring Bathhouse
  7. Statue of the Matron of Charity
  8. Opium Den
  9. Zazzles Exotic Animal Market
  10. Polluted Koi Pond
  11. Boarded Up House
  12. Wishing Fountain

D12 Marketplace Finds

  1. Human Sized Terracotta Soldier
  2. Three-Headed Cat who speaks Infernal
  3. Clockwork Pigeon 
  4. Gem with a Trapped Soul
  5. Lich Phylactery
  6. Red Dragon Egg
  7. Laser Rifle with No Battery Cell 
  8. Farmers Almanac from Five Years in the Future
  9. Deed to a Haunted Mansion
  10. Treasure Map to an Ancient Tomb
  11. Book on Demon True Names
  12. Mystery Chest that no one can open but is actually a mimic.

D12 Events
  1. Tavern Brawl spills onto the streets.
  2. Merchant cries. "Help! Thief!"
  3. Smoke rises. Building is on fire
  4. Wine festival at the park
  5. Excitement. Gladiator bout tonight.
  6. From up above, the contents of a chamber pot spills on you.
  7. Two Swordsmen attract a crowd as they duel to the death.
  8. A Magic-Users summon spell has gone wild and a random creature from another dimension has emerged. 
  9. Dock workers are rioting for better wages.
  10. Crowd gathers for a public execution.
  11. Midnight market begins to be setup
  12. Caravan of slave traders have arrived

D12 Adventure Seeds

  1. A corrupt politician hires the group to bribe four members of the council. He wishes to sway a key vote in his favor. Some of these bribes require more then a monetary solution.
  2. The thieves guild has released dozens of wild animals from the city zoo to create a distraction for a grand heist.
  3. Prominent member of a noble house was caught in a humiliating situation last night. You are hired to eliminate all witnesses and evidence.
  4. An animal hoarder is paying 1gp to 15gp to collect exotic species of rats. His wishlist includes shadow rats, dire rats, cranium rats, purple whisker rats, venom rats, etc
  5. The most prominent religious figure in the region is visiting. You are hired to escort and protect his holiness.
  6. A Gladiator has been rumored to be throwing his bouts. A bookie wants him eliminated after some major financial losses. 
  7. Refugees from a distant war have begun to flood the city.
  8. City is under a severe drought. Water has become a precious commodity.
  9. The public park has become home to hundreds of homeless. They have setup a slum village of tents. Recently a caretaker has gone missing while tending to the less well off.
  10. The City Bank has been committing usury. Charging enormous interest rates on money with the intent to confiscate property and homes. A quarter of the city has come under control of the bank and citizens are being forced into poverty.
  11. A gang of ghast has taken over the city tannery. The stench of the place hides their odor and provides them the perfect location for apprehensions.
  12. A merchant ship has recently docked with no crew. 

If you like these simple encounters tables, check out...

Random Wilderness Encounters
Random Sewer Encounters

If you enjoy random encounters, monsters, variants, etc. please consider joining my blog for the latest post.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

12 Strange Occurrences

12 Strange Occurrences 

1. As your delving into the dungeon you enter a room. The room is a newly decorated infants room.

2. As your walking down the wilderness path your feet start to hurt. As you explore the area you notice your previous footprints have nails hammered in them.

3. The local lake water has turned black. Thousands of dead fish float on the surface. Hundreds of dead fish litter the shore.

4. You meet a man who believes he has already died and the world around him is Hell.

5. A woman claims her husband and family are imposters. They were replaced by Dopplegangers and she fears for her life.

6. A man came to town claiming he is the Holy Shepherd. The apocalypse draws near and he is to lead the town to a sacred site beyond the mountains. His charisma has enticed the local population.

7. You come across a village where the entire population is north of 50 years old. They claim they have been sterile for quite awhile.

8. Every time you pass a child they stare at you intently. If questioned they don't know why.

9. A recent newborn came out of the womb with adult intelligence and speaks three languages fluently.

10. In the local forest a blue orb floats in the middle of a secluded glade. All those who look upon it become fascinated. They stay there for days mesmerized by its sight. Some have even died from dehydration for staring too long.

11. In the cellars of a local town resident a brick wall recently crumbled. Behind the brick wall is a red door. No one know how or why it is there but all attempts to open it have failed.

12. While camping you hear the sounds of crickets. As you listen closely it sounds as if they are staying your name.