Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Random Dungeon Graffiti

Random Dungeon Graffiti

     Dungeon graffiti can be used to mark a room, foreshadow a future threat, add some cryptic messages, or simply add a touch of flavor to an empty room. Graffiti can be found in any room throughout the dungeon. A corridor may have the signature of a great adventurer who has passed through. Another option is the dungeon lobby. The entrance hall might have the ritual where every explorer leaves a saying and/or marks their names.

Presented below are tables to help inspire signatures, phrases, languages, etc.

Table 1: Language
Table 2: Written In
Table 3: Phrases/Sayings/Messages
Table 4: Name Markings/Signatures

D12 Random Language

  1. Common
2. Undercommon
3. Dwarven
4. Elven
5. Halfling
6. Gnome
7. Giant
8. Drow
9. Goblin
10. Abyssal
11. Infernal
12. Draconic

D8 Written In..

1. Graphite
2. Ink
3. Chalk
4. Paint
5. Blood
6. Feces
7. Charcoal
8. Unknown Substance

D20 Random Graffiti Phrases/Sayings/Messages

1.  Trust the lies, not the truth
2. I’ll protect you from all the things I have seen.
3. Sometimes whispers can make you mad.
4. Turn back! There is no treasure here!
5. Beware of things that are slimy and green.
6. I came in with many friends, I left with none.
7. Only the dead have seen the end.
8. Beware for your shadow may betray you.
9. I found a chest and it took my arm.
10. Who knew there is a darker version of elves.
11. Fame and fortune they said…..
12. This is a prison not a dungeon
13. Saying goodbye is always bittersweet.
14. Follow the blood trail….
15. A statue shouldn’t weep.
16. Beware of the wizard who lost his life.
17. I meet a man who was not what he claimed.
18. Don’t stare at the paintings too long.  
19. Be very quiet. Words travel very far.
20. Burn the dead if not they shall rise again.

D20 Name Markings/Signatures

1. Zalabar the Wicked
2. Sir Truman
3. Xenoth the Undying
4. Peg Leg Suzy
5. The Great Karagarn
6. Hampton Wick
7. Corwynn the Blissful Elf
8. Crimson Knight
9. Zog the Dwarf Eater
10. Electrum Mage
11. One Eye Reny
12. Alabaster Shuh
13. Gomgar Blackbeard
14. Crescent Merchant Company
15. Barkin Sinclair
16. Frisky Lorraine
17. Czar of Pumpernick Village
18. Attila
19. Dinky the Donkey
20. Lady Godiva

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

10 Variant Shadows

10 Variant Shadows

     10 Variant Shadows is the continuation of my undead variant series. Although depending on editions Shadows may or may not be undead. In Classic D&D Shadows are not undead, but in AD&D 1E/2E Shadows are undead. Since I started gaming with AD&D I have always considered Shadows to be undead and have included them as part of the undead variant series.

     The Shadows presented below are based off the Labyrinth Lord rule set. Since LL is based off B/X D&D the Shadows in this edition are not undead. The main highlights combat wise are Shadows are incorporeal creatures which requires a magic weapon to harm them, they are unaffected by mind-affecting spells, and are sneaky bastards who surprise on a roll 1-5 on D6 roll. The iconic ability is their attack. Shadows do 1d4 points of damage and also drain 1 point of strength. If you are drained of all your strength then your character dies and permanently transforms into a Shadow. Strength that is drained is returned after 8 turns. Also since Shadows in LL are not undead they can't be turned.

     As with any adjustment to a creatures abilities you may need to adjust experience.


1. Converging: These Shadows have the ability to converge into a mass of darkness. Once 8HD(typically 4 Shadows) worth of Shadows have converged on one spot they transforms into a Shadow Demon. Once the Shadow Demon is reduced to zero hit points the convergence has ended and the four shadows separate. This ability can only be used once per day. Stats for a Shadow Demon can be found in the AD&D Fiend Folio or Swords & Wizardry Tome of Horrors. Below are the Shadow Demons entry from the S&W SRD.

Demon, Shadow

This creature resembles a living shadow of inky darkness. Large bat-like wings protrude from its form. Shadow demons are the incorporeal form of a demon trapped in the form of a shadow as punishment for some wrongdoing. If anything can release a demon trapped in shadow form, only the dukes, princes, and lords of the Abyss know such secrets. As a result of their new form, shadow demons are especially malign and ill-tempered. In shadows and darkness, a shadow demon surprises foes on a roll of 1-5 on 1d6. Shadow demons are powerless in natural sunlight, and avoid it at all costs. Once per minute, a shadow demon can move at six times its normal speed. Shadow demons can cast darkness, fear and magic jar (1/week).

Shadow Demon: HD 7; AC 4 [15]; Atk 2 claws (1d6), bite (1d8); Move 15 (flying); Save 9; AL C; CL/XP 12/2000; Special: Incorporeal, spells, immunity to electricity and poison, shadow blend, sunlight powerlessness, telepathy 100 ft.

2. Tenebrous: This Shadow can choose to touch an object instead of inflicting its normal damage and drain. Upon a successful touch attack that object turns into an incorporeal shadow version for 1d4 turns and is not usable for corporeal beings. A Shadow will typically target weapons and armor to reduce the effectiveness of their opponents.

3. Extinguishing: All light sources within 60' is extinguished. Torches and Lanterns cease to function as darkness envelopes them. Magical light is snuff out. Also the touch of this Shadow has the ability to sever infravision. Any time a Shadow successfully attacks an adventurer who possesses infravision they lose that ability for 1 turn.

4.  Manipulating: This Shadow can spend its action manipulating its opponents own shadow. The Shadow can use the opponents shadow to deliver an attack. This ability has a range of 60'.

5. Lingering: The draining ability of this Shadow continues to linger for an additional round. If the Shadow successfully attacks you take the normal 1d4 points of damage plus 1 strength drain. On the following round you take an additional point of strength drain as the festering darkness permeates your wounds.

6. Merging: This Shadow has the ability to merge with their foes upon a successful attack. Opponents take the standard damage and drain but also need to make a save vs death. Upon failure the shadow has merged with their opponent and they take on a dark nimbus as their features also become pale. Each round they are merged with the shadow they rapidly lose strength. Merged opponents take 1d4 points of strength drain each round. Opponents can make a death saving each round to break free of its grasp.

7. Devouring: This Shadow gains increased power for each point of damage dealt and strength that is drained. Every point that an opponent loses to the Shadows touch it gains temporary hit point equal to damage inflicted and +1 to attack rolls. The bonuses are cumulative. As the Shadow drains vitality it appearance becomes more menacing. These bonuses last for 1 turn.

8. Bolt: These Shadows have the ability to shoot a bolt of darkness at their foes. This bolt has a range of 60'. On the chart below are various effects the bolt might produce. Randomly roll or pick anyone that suits your needs.

D4 Random Bolt Effects

Bolt of Negative Energy that does 2d4 points of damage
This Bolt of Darkness explodes into shadow webbing. This function like the web spell but any creature stranded in the shadow webbing loses 1 point of strength each round they are entangled.
This bolt drains 1d4 points of strength.
This bolt functions as the slow spell. Attack and movement is reduced by half. Spells can only be cast every other round. Last 3 turns.

9. Vigor: This Shadow doesn't drain strength but actually provides increased vigor to their opponents. For every successful hit their opponent gains 1d4 strength. Muscles and mass quickly expand. Once their opponents strength score becomes twice their base they die as internal organs and bone structure collapses from their rapid growth in mass. If not slain the additional strength gain wears off in 8 turns.

10. Silhouette: This Shadow has the ability to take on the appearance of its opponents shadow. Upon a successful hit foes take the typical damage and drain but also needs to make a death saving throw. Upon failure the opponents own shadow fades away and the Shadow itself takes on the opponents features. All damage done to this Shadow is now split between itself and its opponent.

For more variant undead check out my new monster index. The link is provided below.

New Monster Index

Celestial Bow of Radiance

Celestial Bow of Radiance

The Celestial Bows of Radiance are crafted by master artisans on the Seven Heavens of the Outer Planes. Created to be used by its Angel protectors to quickly heal or restore injured comrades during their eternal battle with the fiends of the lower planes. These long bows create arrows of pure positive energy that is used to target fellow allies.

The bow is fired at a fellow ally and an attack roll is required. The AC of a willing subject is 9 modified by any cover penalties if in the thick of battle. If fired within 10' of a friendly target no roll is required. Upon success the bow uses charges to bestow curative effects. The Celestial Bow has 7 charges. The user can expend charges to perform various healing function as indicated from the chart below.

1 Charge
Cure Light Wounds
2 Charges
3 Charges
Cure Disease
3 Charges
Remove Curse
4 Charges
Cure Serious Wounds
4 Charges
Neutralize Poison
5 Charges
Cure Critical Wounds
7 Charges
Raise Dead

If all seven charges are exhausted the bow erupts into radiant light and is destroyed. The bow can replenish charges by casting any of the spells on the table into the bow. The appropriate spell will replenish that many charges. For example a cure critical wound spell cast by a cleric will replenish five charges. The bow can never have more then seven charges at a time.

The only combat ability of the Celestial Bow is that a cure spell can be used to harm undead and creatures from the lower planes(demons, devils, etc). The damage normally cured would be converted to positive energy damage. A cure light wounds charge would inflict 1d6+1 points of damage.

artwork by Joanna Ballendorf
owned by Steven Marella

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chaos Ooze

Chaos Ooze
No. Enc: 1 (0)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: Variable (see below)
Hit Dice: 8
Attack: Variable(see below)
Damage: Variable(see below)
Save: F5
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: VIIx2
XP: 3560

Chaos Oozes hail from the Plane of Chaos and spread to the Material Plane through planar breaches. These mindless creatures are an amalgam of various material consisting of flesh, metals, slimes, debris, etc. They constantly shift from minute to minute creating a random set of circumstances each round in combat. A typically Chaos Ooze are 12' long and can weigh a couple thousand pounds.

They scour dungeons collecting any material they encounter. Whole sections of a dungeon complex have been known to be wiped clean as the Chaos Ooze assimilates furniture, tools, statues, weapons, liquids, etc. The Chaos Ooze will engulf any inanimate material and slowly absorb it to sustain its form and provide nutrients. Chaos Oozes prefers to slay any living prey before feeding off them. Depending on the mass and consistency of the material being consumed it can take anywhere from a couple rounds to a couple of days. A slain Chaos Ooze body can be searched for treasure. During its travels it may have consumed coins, gems, magic items, mundane items etc.


  • Variable Defense: The configuration of the Chaos Ooze changes each round. Sometimes plates of metal will cover a substantial part of the ooze while other rounds less durable material will cover a significant portion of the oozes body. Each round roll 1d6 on the fluctuation chart below, that will determine its armor class each round.
  • Variable Attacks: The Chaos Ooze can attack with up to six pseudopods each round dealing anywhere from 1d4 to 1d20 points of damage. Each round roll two 1d6s to determine number of attacks and damage dealt. See the fluctuation chart below
  • Variable Resistance: The configuration of the Chaos Oozes body is ever changing. Each round it gains and loses resistances depending on which elements are dominate. Roll 1d6 on the fluctuation chart below.
  • Engulf: The Chaos Ooze can choose to engulf an opponent instead of making any attacks this round. The Chaos Ooze simply needs to move over its opponent to occupy its space. The opponent may make a dexterity check to move out of the way. If a dexterity check is failed then the victim is engulfed and takes 2d6 points damage as its body begins to be ripped apart and meld into the Chaos Oozes form. Each round a trapped victim may make a strength check to break free.

Fluctuation Chart

Immune to Slashing Damage
Immune to Piercing Damage
Immune to Blunt Damage
Immune to Fire and Acid
Immune to Cold and Electricity
Immune to Spells

  For example at the beginning of a round you roll 5d6 to determine the Chaos Oozes current arrangement. It could have an AC of 7, 6 attacks that do 1d10 points of damage and immune to slashing damage. The following round the creature will have a new arrangement.

Adventure Seeds

A planar rift to the Plane of Chaos has recently appeared in the nearby wilderness. The local sage Abigar has created a device to close the rift. He hires the adventuring group to perform this task. Unfortunately a Chaos Ooze lurks outside the breach waiting for any prey to encroach on its new territory.
A wizard hoping to specialize in chaos magic wants the group to capture a Chaos Ooze alive. He wishes to dissect and analyze its highly morphic nature to gather greater insight into the very nature of chaos itself.
A powerful nobleman’s son recently went on an exploration in a dark dungeon. Only one person from his party survived. The survivor mentioned they were killed by a mutating ooze. He believes the nobleman’s son body was absorbed into the ooze. The nobleman hopes to have his son resurrected, but needs some piece of his body to do so. He is hoping the adventurers can help with this quandary

Chaos Ooze was written for Labyrinth Lord and is compatible with any OSR D&D game.

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For more monsters and variants check out the link below.
New Monster Index

artwork by Joanna Ballendorf
owned by Steven Marella

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10 Variant Mummies

10 Variant Mummies

10 Variant Mummies is the continuation of a set of articles that add or maybe subtract abilities to your typical undead encounter. If you have players who have been playing for a number of years they might know every ability a standard undead creature has. Presented below are 10 variant of your standard theme. The baseline is Labyrinth Lord which is a retro-clone of B/X D&D/AD&D.

Your typical Mummy abilities are: Immune to mind affecting-abilities, can only be harmed by magical weapons, spells, and fire-based attacks, and mummy rot. When a mummy hits in combat you contract mommy rot that prevents you from receiving any magical healing. You also only heal at 1/10th your normal rate. Mummies are 5HD undead.

1. Turn Reversal: Anytime a cleric attempts to turn this Mummy it backfires and the turn attempt reflects back at the group. Have the cleric roll his normal turn undead and compare the results to the parties HD. This essentially becomes a turn living roll.

2. Cobra: This mummies pet cobra was buried in his tomb. Over time it has wrapped around its body and has merged with his form. This fused cobra adds 1HD to the mummy and gives it an additional bite attack for 1d3 points of damage and requires a save vs poison or be killed in 1d10 turns. Also the Cobras head can spit poison which requires a save vs poison or be blinded.

3. Dehydrating: In addition to contracting mummy rot each hit by this Mummy also causes dehydration. Water from your body quickly evaporates and you find yourself frantically searching for water. On your next round you must spend your action quenching your thirst.

4. Mummification: Touch of this Mummy imparts strands of dusty linens to wrap around your body and quickly begin the mummification process. Over the course of three rounds you are quickly transformed into a mummy. This replaces mummy rot.

Round 1.
Your body quickly becomes entangled in wrappings. Your movement is reduced by ½ and all rolls are at -2. You can attempt a Strength Check to break free.
Round 2.
You fall to the floor immobile and can’t perform any actions except to break free. Strength Check with a -2 penalty.
Round 3.
Your character dies and the mummification process is complete.

5. Sandstorm: This Mummy can spend it action transforming into a cloud of scorching sand that fills a 30' radius. Everyone within this radius takes fire damage equal to 1/2 the Mummies hit points. While in this sandstorm visibility is reduced to 5' and the Mummy is immune to all attacks except wind based spells that can disperse it. At the end of the round the Mummy can reform anywhere within this 30' radius. This ability can be used once every other round. 

6. Scarab Host: This Mummies body host thousands of beetles that swarm in and out of its wrapping. It can spend an action pulling back its dusty linens and releasing a swarm of beetles onto the battlefield. Treat these beetles as an insect swarm. 

7. Cursed: The touch of this Mummy inflicts a random curse when it hits you in combat. Roll on the curse table below for a random effect or choose your own. A character can only be cursed once. A remove curse spell will end its effect. This replaces mummy rot.

You suffer from rapid aging. Each round you age 1 year.
All damage dealt to you is maxed
All damage dice you roll is treated as if you rolled a 1.
You lose 1 level per round. If reduced to zero levels you die.
You sure are a bleeder. Each time you take damage you continue to bleed for 1 hit point each round until cured by magical healing. This effect is cumulative.
Traitor. You immediately turn on your party.

8. Locust Aura: This Mummy is surrounded by thousands of locust in a 60' radius. Visibility and perception based checks are reduced 1/2 and any ability requiring concentration is impossible such as spell casting. 

9. Razor: This Mummy linens are made out of thin razor sharp sheets of metal. Any unarmed strike against the Mummy deals 1d4 points of damage to the attacker. Also the Mummy can spend an action to perform a whirlwind attack and have its metal sheets extend out in a 10' radius in swirl of death. The Mummy rolls an attack for each opponent within 10' and deals 3d4 points of slashing damage.

10. Canopic Armor: The body of this Mummy is encased in canopic limestone with hieroglyphic designs. Only its head is exposed. The Canopic armor provides a +2 bonus to armor and an additional 20 hit points. Each hit against the Mummy shatters the canopic armor dealing 1d4 points of damage to those within 5' as shards explode. Once all 20 hits points of the armor is destroyed the Mummies body is revealed and it loses its +2 bonus to armor class. 

If you enjoy variant undead check out the links below.

20 Variant Zombies

If you like the Cursed Variant and want more curse ideas. Check out the link below

20 Random Curses

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