Sunday, January 31, 2016

20 Town Crier Proclamations

20 Town Crier Proclamations

The group has recently arrived in town and a man is pacing down the street ringing a bell. Once he has gathered everyone attention he issues a proclamation on behalf of the ruling body. Another option are messages left on the town bulletin board. Presented below are 20 proclamations. A lot of these were inspired or taken from weird US State laws.

1. On behalf of the Baron all citizens are invited to witness the beheading of Xavier Minner. He has committed grand treason against our benevolent lord.

2. All urination in the town river is suspended for one week.

3. The town has enacted a strict curfew. All resident must be in door before sundown. All those violating the law shall be arrested and flog.

4. Due to the rise of witchcraft, we ask all citizens to please put down any black cats by weeks end.

5. Fornication in the town garden is strictly prohibited.

6. Bounty has been issued for goblins! Recent caravans raids have played havoc on trade. Each goblin scalp turned in will be rewarded with 5 gold coins and a free meal at the Frisky Rabbit Tavern.

7. Beginning next harvest all taxes will increase tenfold. Failure to pay your taxes on time will result in forfeit of land and imprisonment.

8. We regret to inform you Miss Tolly has passed away. She leaves behind her husband Moe and their son Tommy. Please offer your condolences to the family.

9. Winter Festival Parade will begin on Main Street at noon. All resident are forbidden from emptying their chamber pots onto the street during the parade.

10. Due to an infestation of mice on our grain supply, the town is rewarding 1 copper piece per tail turn in.

11. It is illegal for eight dogs to occupy the same block.

12. Due to an increase in carriage accidents, we have outlawed falling asleep or being intoxicated while riding a horse.

13. Prayer service begins at midnight. Please bring appropriate sacrifices to the Temple of Mephistopheles.

14. The penalty for jumping off a building is death.

15. Cats must have a permit signed by the Lord to congregate in a group of three or more on public property. Thank You.

16. The Carnival will arrive in town tonight. Please refrain from feeding the chimpanzees.

17. Being barefoot is allowed around friends and acquaintances, but outlawed among strangers.

18. All wives are not allowed to cut their own hair without their husband permission.

19. The town has outlawed catching fish with your bare hands.

20. Bathing is prohibited during winter.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

50 Random Mundane Items IX

50 Random Mundane Items IX

From useless junk to items of immense value. Mundane objects to replace your typical treasure find of simple coins and gems. There are items considered art objects mixed in. When I finish this series I'll sort them into a separate table.

1. Lead Statuette of two Worms Entwined
2. Wool Mittens
3. Crystal Bobeche Chandelier
4. Fox Fur Sporran
5. Pouch with Mulberry Powder
6. Sock Puppet
7. Marble Cutting Block
8. Satin Sheets
9. Troglodyte-Skin Belt
10. Jade Grasshopper Statuette
11. Kelp Cloak
12. Ivory Scrimshaw Pendant
13. Snail Shell Bracelet
14. Turtle Shell Helm
15. Flint Short Sword
16. Chunk of Raw Platinum
17. Rectangular Wicker Shield with Monkey Motif
18. Elephant Tusk
19. Web Shaped Porcelain Dish
20. Bottle of Pear Brandy
21. Petrified Hamster
22. Origami Butterfly
23. Bone Smoking Pipe
24. Puppeteer Booth
25. Hobnail Boots
26. Silent Whistle
27. Fishing Rod
28. Alchemist Formula Book
29. Hourglass filled with Emerald Dust
30. Bronze Skinning Knife
31. Metal Hip Flask with Skull Shaped Stopper
32. Black Smock
33. Wooden Dwarven Alphabet Blocks
34. Tablet with strange Ideograms
35. Feather Duster
36. Model Sailing Boat
37. Alabaster Vase with Insect Motif
38. Gold Collar studded with Topaz Chips
39. Rubber Ducky
40. Pouch filled with Halfling Jerky
41. Graphite Votive Figure
42. Kilt of Silver Scales
43. Fur Coat encrusted with Bloodstones
44. Topiary Hedgehog
45. Outdated Almanac
46. Blood Soaked Journal
47. Silk Scarf tasseled with Tiny Beads
48. Rolled Up Portrait of an Old Woman and a Dozen Cats
49. Bronze Codpiece
50. Black Eye Patch

Linked below are an additional 400 mundane items. 
Random Mundane Items
Random Mundane Items II
Random Mundane Items III
Random Mundane Items IV
Random Mundane Items V
Random Mundane Items VI
Random Mundane Items VII
Random Mundane Items VIII
20 Random Treasure Parcels

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Observer Orb

No. Enc: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60 (20')
               Fly: 150 (50')
Armor Class: 0
Hit Dice: 3
Attack: See Below
Damage: none
Save: F3
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: None
XP: 205

Observer Orbs were originally created by the Hourglass Mage as his personal spies. Hundreds of them would monitor the City of Silence collecting information. At the end of his reign he passed the knowledge of their creation to a cabal of Cybermancer. Eventually that lore found its way onto the Prime Material Plane and can be found in a rare formula book that holds the blueprints of their creation.

Observer Orbs are 2' in diameter, made of metal plates of various colors and hues. Inside it's metallic frame is a collection of brain matter that stores information. Four appendages with lenses at their ends are attached to the main body. The Observer Orb main purpose is to record visual imagery for their creators. One lens is used to record visual data, while the other three are used for defensive purposes. The Observer Orb houses years of recorded visuals that can be playback in a holographic scene. Only its creator can access the stored imagery.

There are rumors of psychically endowed individual who possess the ability to hack into the Observer Orbs memory bank. Observer Orbs go to great lengths to avoid combat.

  • Observer Orbs are immune to mind-affecting abilities like sleep and charm spells.
  • Observer Orbs have infravison 60', can see invisible creatures, can't be flanked, immune to back stabs, and cannot be surprised. 
  • Any spell that targets an Observer Orb has 50% chance of being reflected back at the caster.
  • Observer Orbs has four appendages that end in lenses. One lens is used to record visual data. The other three have defensive purposes. The Observer Orb can use all three defensive lenses during its turn. The range on the lenses is 60'. Listed below the effects of the lenses. 

Observer Orb Lenses
Lens 1
Used to record visual data. It can record decades of imagery. Can create a miniature holographic video of a scene or event.
Lens 2
This lens fires a beam of white light directly into eyes of its opponent. Save vs. petrify or be blinded for 1d4+1 rounds.
Lens 3
This lens fire a beam of red energy towards an opponent. Save vs. paralyze or be stunned for 1d4+1 rounds.
Lens 4
This lens fire a beam of violet energy towards an opponent. Save vs. spell or be confused as per the spell for 1d4+1 rounds.

Adventure Seeds
The group is travelling through a large town and begin to notice these strange orbs following their every movement. Any attempt to confront them has the Observer Orbs quickly retreat only to reappear again from a distance away.
A great event took place years ago. It was documented by an Observer Orb. You are hired to find a psychic and that particular Observer Orb to unravel the mysteries of that day.
The City of Silence is located on a demiplane. The sky is always black and the city is a cold fortress of steel and iron. Speech is outlawed and thousands of Observer Orbs patrol the streets waiting to report the breaking of the law.

For more monster, check out my new monster index below. Also four monsters from this blog is collected in a free pdf.

New Monster Index

Beast Folio Vol. 1

artwork by Joanna Ballendorf
owned by Steven Marella

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

10 Variant Spectres

10 Variant Spectres

     Spectres are incorporeal undead who appear as they did in life. Evidence from a violent death is apparent on their ghostly body. From a throat being slit to grisly sword wound across the chest. The Spectre is one of the iconic undead originally appearing in the D&D Whitebox. They have been represented in all editions of Dungeons & Dragons. The variant Spectres presented below are based off the Labyrinth Lord rule set. Labyrinth Lord is a retro-clone of B/X D&D and AD&D 1st Edition.

The typical Spectre is a 6HD undead with an incorporeal body that is immune to non-magical weapons. They are also immune to mind-affecting abilities and their dreaded attack deal 1d8 points of damage and drains two levels/HD of experience. Victims drained to zero level or HD are slain. In 24 hours the unfortunate victim rises as a Spectre under the control of the one who killed him.

Presented below are variations of your typical Spectre. As with any alteration to a monster you should adjust experience as needed.


1. Hangman: This Spectre was killed by hanging. An noose is predominately hung around its head and the connecting rope wraps around its body. The Spectre can make a ranged attack with his noose. The range is 30' and resolved as a normal attack roll. On a successful hit the noose wraps around the opponents neck and each round the victim loses 1 level of experience. The rope is tethered to the Spectre and each HD/Level drained also heals the Spectre. The Spectre heals a number of hit points equal to the HD of the creature/character(1d8 for a monster, 1d4 for magic-user, etc). The victim can make a strength check to break free of the noose. Also attacks against the rope tethering to the victim can sever the connection by dealing dealing 5 points of the damage. The rope and noose are also incorporeal and require a magic weapon or spell to damage.

2. Quartered: This Spectre limbs are not attached to his main body. His legs and arms hover a few inches from his ghostly shape. This Spectre death was due to quartering. His limbs are able to move up to 60' from his main body. The Spectre is able to make four attacks, two with his arms and two with his legs. His two arms do 1d8 points of damage and drains 1 level. His two legs do 1d8 points of damage and no drain. His 6HD are separated between his four limbs and main body. The main body has 2HD and each limb has 1HD. To fully destroy this undead you must slay all limbs and body. The main body has no ability to attack.

3. Immolation: This Spectre was killed by fire and its body has a wreath of black flame that envelopes it. The mere touch of this Spectre transfer a portion of the black flame to engulf its victim, slowly burning their life away. On a successful attack the damage is 1d8 and each successive round the black flame continues to linger. Round 2 is 1d6 damage, round 3 is 1d4 damage, and round 4 results in a level loss. Casting a cure spell on the victim will halt the successive damage and potential level drain. This replaces the Spectre normal attack.

4. Cloud: This Spectre can spend a round to turn itself into a 10x10 cloud of darkness. The Spectre movement is reduced by 1/2 and it loses its standard attack. However, the spectre can simply move its cloud body to engulf victims and can affect anyone within its movement range. Anyone inside the cloud takes 1 level of energy drain each round.

5. Suicide: This Spectre cause of death was by suicide. The touch of the Spectre causes the victim to self mutilate himself. The touch of this Spectre does 1d4 points of charisma damage and the victim must make a save vs death. Failure results into a random act of self mutilation. After a self mutilation has occurred the victim must make a system shock roll or fall unconscious for 1d6 turns. Use the chart below for some inspiration. Also if the victims charisma is reduced to zero he commits suicide.

1D4 Self Mutilations
Spend the round pulling all your hair out. Take 1d4 points of damage and bleed for 1 point of damage each round after until bandaged or cured.
Spend the round gouging one of your eyes out. Perception based rolls are reduced to ½ and all attack rolls are at a -2. Take 1d6 points of damage and bleed for 2 hit points for each round after until bandaged or cured.
You set yourself ablaze using torches, alchemist oils, lanterns, etc. You continue to burn until extinguished.
You attack yourself with the most effective way possible. Sword to the gut, a fireball centered on you, etc.

6. Soul: This Spectre has a dark red gem that floats where its heart would have been. For each level drained the red gem burns brightly. All those within 30' must make a save vs spell or be blinded for 1 round. If 6HD or levels are drained the red gem absorbs the Spectres body. One round later the gem explodes and the Spectre is reborn as a Ghost.

7. Reflective: This Spectre glares at you intently. You must make a save vs death or the Spectre dark form replicates your own. All damage inflicted upon the Spectre this round is transferred to the victim instead.

8. Void: This Spectre body houses an extra-dimensional space that absorbs spells and weapons. Any weapon attack against the Spectre forces the attacker to make a strength check or have their weapon absorbed into the Spectre body. The Spectre also has a 50% chance of absorbing a spell cast upon it. Upon the Spectre death the extra-dimensional space is destroyed and all contents are spilled out. Any spell that was absorbed has it effect take place once the Spectre is destroyed as if it was delayed. Magic missile would be harmless, but a fireball could spell disaster.

9. Kinetic: This Spectre body is surrounded by kinetic force field that causes a backlash against any physical force. All physical attacks reverberates back at the attacker dealing the same amount damage inflicted upon the Spectre. When the Spectre attacks the victim must also make a strength check or be flung 15' away and knocked prone as a strong kinetic force pushes them away.

10. Hex: This Spectre was killed by a witch's curse granting it the ability to mutter hexes at its foes. In place of a normal attack the Spectre hexes an opponent instead. The victim must save vs death or be subjected with a random curse. Roll on chart below or devise your own. The curse last for one turn.
1D4 Hexes

Unable to receive curative magic
You speak in tongues. Companions cannot understand what you are saying and spell casting is impossible.
The next wound you take becomes infected causing an additonal 1 point of constitution damage per round until the hex duration ends. Cure disease ends this effect early.
Your fingernails grow six inches and curl. You are unable to grip your weapons.

If you enjoy variant undead check out the links below.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

6 Random Dungeon Rooms VIII

6 Random Dungeon Rooms VIII

1. This 10x10 area is a dungeon cross road, with exit and entrances to the south, east, west, and north. The 10x10 floor is a pressure plate and if the area exceeds more then 300 lbs it sinks down about six inches. Underneath the dungeon tiles is a reservoir of a glue like substance. The substance is pushed through the cracks of the tiles, creating a strong adhesive that causes anyone in the 10x10 area to be stuck in a sticky mess. A dexterity check is allowed to escape to one of the adjoining corridors.
     Once stuck only a universal solvent will dissolve the glue. After 1 hours the glue softens and the room resets. Once the floor descends this alerts the local humanoid tribe of intruders who quickly dash towards the cross road with crossbows loaded to easily pick off trespassers.

2. This room has an ornate bronze plaque that hangs from the door or the walls. This plaque has a superimposed face of demonic origins. The plaque houses a sentient demonic soul who whispers to be released from the plaque and be free from its eternal prison. The plaque can cast dominate person 3 times per day. Once it has successfully dominated a victim it forces them to approach the plaque and kiss it. Once the kiss has been performed the victim and the demonic soul trade places.
     The demon now possesses the victims body while the victim takes the place of the face on the plaque. The only way to release the victim from the plaque is to find someone to kiss the plaque once again, this time without the benefits of dominate person.

3. This large chamber houses dozens upon dozens of chest high pedestals. On top of each pedestal is a head. The majority of the heads are made of stone or wax, with the exception of a half dozen severed human heads. Once an adventurer has examined one of the severed heads it begins to animate and fly up from the pedestal. All remaining severed heads do the same thing and begin to attack. The stone and wax heads begin to animate and cackle with laughter that echoes throughout the chamber. The intense cackling imposes -2 penalty to all attack rolls, disrupts spell casting due to lack of concentration, etc.
     Treat the flying severed heads as zombies with their movement replaced by a fly speed and their slam replaced by a bite. Once all the severed heads are destroyed the wax and stone heads return to normal.

4. This room is 10x10 with shelves along each of the walls and a lone hammer sitting on a bottom shelf. The shelves house thousands of glass vials, containers, jars, etc. A chain with a large bronze bell hangs in the middle of the room. Once someone has entered the room the hammer animates and quickly darts towards the bell. The interloper has one round to prevent the hammer from hitting the bell. If it does the bell causes all the glass to shatter in the room doing 6d6 points of damage from the glass shards and 1d6 points of bleed damage until healed.

5. This 80' corridor is 5' wide and circular. The corridor flickers with lights that changes each round. From white to grey to black. You hear agonizing screams coming from the corridor. Anyone entering the corridor must make a save. A successful save means you can proceed with your normal movement. Failure you take 1d6 points of wisdom damage as horrifying voices assault your mind and sanity. It also stops you in your tracks and prevents movement until the following round. Each round in the corridor requires a save.
     If your wisdom is reduced to zero you die and your body is quickly absorbed into the corridor. There are rumors that a set of helmets exist in the dungeon that will protect you from the strange voices.

6. This room is 20x20 with metal doors equaling the number of PCs in the party. The metal doors are black with no blemishes or markings. A large turn dial is set in the center of each door. The number combo to open the door corresponds to each of the player characters date of birth. Once the combo has been figured out the black metal door slides up revealing a glass pod. Inside the glass pod is a clone of the player character in suspended animation. The secret of that mystery is up to you...

The Random Dungeon Room series is meant to be modular and help generate ideas for when you are creating your own dungeon. The rooms can be placed in a section of your dungeon with ease and hopefully provides some inspiration. I tend to write with OSR Dungeons & Dragons in mind, but most of the stuff is easily converted to other rule sets. If you enjoy this series consider subscribing to my blog for future articles.

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

5 Magic Items

5 Magic Items

1. Dream Candle: This white candle has black crescent moons that dot its cylinder body. The candle burns for 4 hours. It reduces rest time from 8 hours to 4 hours while lit. All benefits from an 8 hour rest is received in half the time including hit points regained, spell memorized, etc. To receive the benefit from this quickened rest you must be within 30' of the candle and not leave its radius at any point during that time. Upon completion of the rest the candle is destroyed.

2. Rabbit's Foot: This lucky charm is connected to a silver ring and usually worn on a necklace, but can be attached to a belt or other objects. The wearer of the Rabbit's Foot can alter any die by 1 after a dice has been rolled. The wearer can affect anyone within 30' of himself including allies and enemies. The wearer can alter a die roll twice per day.

3. Jar of Vampiric Oil: This concoction of vampire ichor, sweat, and other bodily liquids is formed into a thick oily residue. The Oil can be coated onto a melee weapon. The next 1d3 successful attacks deal normal damage to their opponent while half of that damage is transferred back to the wielder as healing or temporary hit points. The coating will remain active for 1d3 turns or until all successful attacks have been used. Hit points gained above the wielder max will disappear after 1 turn. Coating a weapon in Vampiric Oil consumes one action and each jar has one application.

4. Potion of Ectoplasmic Armor: This purple concoction is made of a supernatural viscous substance of spiritual energy. Once consumed an ectoplasmic armor will wrap around and cover the body, providing a random armor bonus. The size and shape is determined by the chart below. The weight of the armor is 1/10th of normal weight, can be used by any character class, doesn't hinder spellcasting, and last 1d4+1 turns. However, any natural 20 rolled against the wearer will shatter the armor and end its effects.

           Armor Type
Studded Leather
Scale Mail
Chain Mail
Banded Mail
Plate Mail

5. Witch Bottle: This mason jar is filled with nails, broken glass, and other sharp objects. The user of the bottle must fill the remaining air space with their own urine. The bottle is then buried in the soil. The user will be immune to the next harmful spell cast against him as long as he remains within 5 miles of where the bottle is buried. The witch bottle will shatter and be destroyed once those conditions are meet.

artwork by Joanna Ballendorf
owned by Steven Marella

Sunday, January 3, 2016

20 Random Treasure Parcels

Treasure Parcels

20 Random Treasure Parcels

Easy to use Treasure Parcels to help populate a room, a chest, items found on a devious monster, etc. There are 20 parcels to choose from. A mixture of mundane items, coins, art objects, gems, minor magic items, etc. Many of the parcel have a collection theme while others are more haphazard.

1. Two Shadow Puppets, Puppeteer Booth, Ball of Cotton String, Pouch with 10 Copper Pieces, and a Tin Cup.

2. Ivory Scroll Case, Scroll of Burning Hands, Scroll of Knock, Quill Pen, Glass Ink Pot, Six Sheets of Blank Parchment, and a Blank Spell book.

3. Brass Thumbscrew, Rusted Saw, Bag of Dried Human Ears, Bucket of Nails, Iron Hammer, Leather Book on Torture Techniques, and a Teak Wood Cross(humanoid size).

4. Alembic, Formula Book, Vial of Vitriol, Ceramic Mortar and Pestle, Copper Retort, Lead Ingot, and Mahogany Chest with 1,000 Lead Coins.

5. Baby Rattle Shaped like a Pig, Red Stocking with Coal, Riding Stick-Horse, Corn Husk Rag Doll, and Agar Wood Toy Boat.

6. Gold Holy Symbol, Bottle of Holy Water, Prayer Book of Hymns, and a Silver Religious Box with 3 Scrolls of Cure Light Wounds.

7. Silk Slippers, Silk Shirt, Embroidered Robe, Box with Sewing Needles and Threads, Pouch with 4 Bloodstones(10gp each), and 34 Silver Pieces.

8. Jar of Dried Seeds, Mahogany Quarterstaff, Pouch filled with Wolfsbane, Blowgun, Bamboo Dart Quiver, and 18 Darts.

9. Coral Ring, Black Pearl(300gps), Sea Shell Helm, Small Brass Sextant, and a Lock Box with 88gps.

10. Pair of Bronze Cymbals, 2 Panpipes, Brass Hunting Horn, Bag with a dozen Satyr Hooves, and a Vial of Gold Dust.

11.  Crowbar, 6 Sheets of Honey Paper, Glass Cutter Ring, Thieves Tools, Signet Ring, Bag of Caltrops, and a Skeleton Key.

12. Quilted Cloth Cloak, 4 Wooden Sparring Swords, Pouch of Tobacco, Bottle of Pear Brandy, Roll of Gauze, and 2 Sets of Light Trousers.

13. Live Slug in a Glass Container, Vial of Vampire Blood, Mummified Kitten, Ivory Box with Eagle Feathers, Obsidian Cylinder, and Book about Magical Components.

14. Ceramic Imp Statue, Marble Bust of a Gold Dragon, Slab of Malachite(250gps), 125 gold pieces, and a Wand of Light.

15. Cypress Tree in Burlap, Bag of Fertilizer, Garden Hoe, Lead Watering Pot, and a +1 Magical Sickle.

16. Polished Human Skull with Jade Eyes, Snakeskin Gloves, Tarot Deck, Necklace of Finger Bones, and a Scroll of Animate Dead.

17. Book of Goblin Poems, Peacock Feather Tiara, Copper Tea Kettle, Bag of Mint Tea Leaves, and a Bone Dagger.

18. Canopic Jar, Silver Ankh, Oil Painting of an Oasis, 100 Ancient Gold Coins(worth x2 value), and Clay Offering Tablet.

19. Kilt of Silver Scales, Bagpipes made of Sheepskin, Ornate Claymore, Copper Laced Chainmail Necklace, and Coin Purse with 16cps.

20. Bracelet of Snake Fangs, Primitive War Drums, Pair of Drum Sticks, Kobold Skull Goblet with War Paint, +1 Magical Spear, and a Fur Cloak.