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An Array of Specimens Tagged as Random Tables

Close Encounters with Humankind


If it’s not clear yet, I’ve been raiding some unfinished tables (and by ‘tables’ I mean the giant spreadsheets I start putting together like “oh I should make a wilderness travel table… okay so I’ll need a table of human encounters and a table of creature encounters and a table for the scenery and a table for interesting plants and then I’ll need to do the same thing for swamps and mountains and…”).


SO HERE’S SOME PEOPLE YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER IN YOUR TRAVELS!


d20Along the Road You Meet..
1d4 Travellers.
22d4 Bandits, led by:
1. Insane prophet wearing the skins of beasts.
2. Wizard who knows 5 random spells.
3. Musically-voiced troubadour who swaggers the fuck around.
4. Conjoined-twin priestess of filth and fire, arms coated in poisonous pitch.
5. A pretty little pale-faced girl.
6. A naked man wielding a greathammer, staunchly silent from within his gorgeously painted wooden demon tribal mask.
3An envoy:
1. Replete with standard bearer, courtesan assassin, two arquebusiers in fabulous silk breeches, a towering eunuch wielding mace and dagger, and a superbly eloquent emissary with sharp, tapering nails.
2. Five serpent-tongued albinos in deep-hooded velvet robes that smell strongly of mice.
3. Comprised of a sole emissary of enormously morbid girth, dripping as much jewellery as sweat.
4. Three arbalesters wearing black-stained sallet and bevor, following a pair of porcelain-armoured knights, their helmets shaped like fat smiling faces, holding a great banner between them on pikes. The glyph-surrounded face in the banner speaks as the fabric ruffles and rolls.
Travelling:
1. On foot.
2. On domesticated Powder Deer, the leader/leaders riding Husbands.
3. On palanquin carried on the backs of blind monks.
4. By the charity of strangers.
4A game hunter house, the whole extended family bedecked in fine armour and filigreed weapons, accompanied by nervous Pets driving the carriages or running alongside wielding nets and spears and chains.
Some creatures will be killed for the thrill of the hunt, others captured for the arenas.
5d6 Merchants.
6A solitary warrior wandering the land.
72d6 Mercenaries, currently:
1. On their way home from a successful employment.
2. Infested with something awful from exploring where they shouldn't.
3. Looking for employment.
4. Dragging themselves away from catastrophe.
8An absurdly enthusiastic botanist and his long-suffering companion.
9A displaced hermit.
10A small cadre of intellectuals (d4+2) on their way to study/explore/harvest the nearest suitable thing.
Accompanied by:
1. d6 Mercenaries.
2. Bickering Maleficar siblings.
3. Two nervous students per intellectual, armed with braces of wheellock pistols, spears, and packs overflowing with notebooks and specimen jars.
4. A lithe, rough-faced duellist with flowing red hair, her body tattooed with the names of every person she's ever killed, a poison-throwing beauty, a scarred and disgraced ex-general, armed with crossbow pike and sorrow, and a kindly old traveller they picked up along the way; a member of the Endless Dark Murder Cult who will ensure they never make it back from the wilderness.
11An army on the march.
12A hunting party, five men armed with spears, bows, ropes and traps, accompanied by a favoured daughter and a lazy son.
13A priest on a holy mission.
14A travelling poet and assassin.
15d6 Merchant caravans + d6 Mercenaries per caravan.
16The ragged survivors of some terrible catastrophe:
1. A crazed marauder raid.
2. A sudden epidemic of beautiful floral infection.
3. Excavations that an unearthed and awoke an ancient slime.
4. The downfall of a would-be sorcerer who stole a Wizard’s tome and started reading.
17A feverish migration of the faithful to the site of some obscure religious celebration.
18d8 mould-covered fungus-controlled wretches making their way back to civilised lands to fruit. They're filthy but rather cheerful, eager to make friends.
19A maniacally self-assured and self-appointed duke looking for conscripts into his glorious army. So far he has a pock-faced teenage boy wearing absurdly good armour, a particularly angry swan, and an old man who looks to be at death's door who never talks. He rides on the shoulders of a naked farmhand with the proportions and mental capacity of a troll, drooling around the golden gag bridle between his teeth.
202d6+4 trappers and a silk-draped procurer who is more capable than he looks, seated next to his current flame, leading a caravan of wheeled cages looking to capture beasts for exhibition and sale.
Despised by the great game hunter houses.
d6If It's Not Clear How They're Travelling..
1On foot.
2On nearly-dead horses.
3On warpigs.
4In a crude carriage pulled by somnambulant humans in a permanent drug-induced sleep.
5In stag-drawn chariots.
6In a caravan train powered by a truly stupendous amount of rats running in the oversized wheels of the fore-carriage.

8 comments



Take Me To Your Leader


Following on from Use Protection, who the hell is in charge here?

TownCityd20 Government
1_A self-interested baron more concerned with baking than matters of state.
_1A beautiful queen breeding moderately intelligent crustaceans in the waterlogged rooms of her castle.
22An enigmatic priest and his frantically charismatic cultists.
3_A raving one-eyed fat woman with a shockingly strong grip and uncanny spitting aim. It's easier just to let her be in charge.
_3A hall of conversing paintings.
44A sketchy shaman type who lives out in the woods. Constant envoys are sent to obtain and carry his verdicts/edicts.
5_A war council of marauders who decided they'd rather live in the town than sack it. They're surprisingly effective rulers.
_5A beloved penitent beggar queen who becomes a beast at night and hunts through the streets.
66A stern mother and her five golden-haired boys.
7_A rabid black-garbed man with a ponderously protruding posterior and a spittle-soaked hatred for the mundane.
87A cabal of wizards, possibly amalgamated into a single mass.
_8The orphaned 9-year-old end of an illustrious heritage, in a beautiful delicate pink bouffant lace dress.
99A cheerfully portly ruddy-cheeked burgomeister wearing the most impressive Jacobean ruff, accompanied by two stern-faced puffy lapdogs (who are also wearing ruffs).
10_An immense pimple-faced man in fine ill-fitting clothes of beautiful colours. He's been known to eat flies. Is actually a whole bunch of frogs in a man suit.
_10A fragile blue-skinned woman with a failing voice who holds council with a menagerie of beasts around her column-arched circular chambers. Drifting ice crystals form in your breath within her presence.
1111A beautiful effete man with eyelashes as long as fingers, blood blister red lips and a hairless cranium. He has a penchant for jellied exotic birds and likes his men scarred.
12_A retired thief queen, settling into small-town life with a harem of fawning rogue boys.
_12Three crones and dancing oracle twins in a gazebo-topped tower. The twins' eyes roll about their heads in a drug-addled blissful delirium and their skin has the hue of pearls without the shine; off-white with a surface illusion of translucency.
1313A sweet-tongued woman wearing jewellery made from the bones of her unfaithful lovers.
It's hard to be faithful when she’s addicted to jealousy and can drive you sweating into the arms of another with a careful turn of phrase.
1414A twin who fears the return of their sibling.
15_The sister founders of the town, now fused together in a fungal mass contained within a guarded stone cellar.
_15An androgynous youth in a pale ruby throne, marionette strings tied all about their body leading to silver bells hanging about the chamber, a warning to everyone should they ever move.
1616A moist-eyed girl with a musical voice kept in an elaborately carved enclosed wooden palanquin. The shadows obscure everything but her face.
17_Old Jenny Finger-Biter, drifting cheek-deep in a green-brick pool in the centre of town. Sure she gnaws off people's fingers in their sleep, but she's so wise.
_17A particularly large pale barrel-bodied Regent Fish, carried around by sopping wet courtiers, it can only speak while gasping in the open air.
1818A five-sibling council; two of them incestuous, one of them nervous and strange, one of them seductively generous, and one of them studious and aloof. All are scheming against the others, none realise all the others are faerie changelings that long ago replaced the originals.
19_The Marble Fawn, a melancholic anthropomorphic albino deer, probably cursed.
If asked about it his body shakes and he softly says with eyes closed, “witches”.
2019A blind man taking council in his shit-drenched bird room.
_20A dramatic turquoise baboon with a golden seed of intelligence planted within its skull growing golden shoots and leaves from its nose and ears.

No comments yet, tell me what you really think



Use Protection


It doesn’t pay to be defenseless out here, so who comes out to play when this town/city is under siege?

(Alternatively, throw them into armies for a bit of fun.)

 

TownCityd20 Special Protection
11Trained beasts with amazing outfits.
_2Alchemical horrors released from orb-like receptacles suspended along the streets.
23World-weary Watch that become crazed murder party animals when they drink from their special flasks. Then they have the most fun, everything else is just a come-down.
3_Rag-tag militia that smear faeces on their terrible weapons and hurl horrified-looking frogs who've had their orifices sealed shut, bloated with hallucinogenic gas.
_4Ceramic suits of armour full of yellow slime animated by the will of quadriplegic telepaths on stalking animal-limbed ceramic thrones.
45A stolen unit of lobotomised harvest soldiers, bearing lanterns full of Mondmilch.
5_A lusty troupe from a particularly violent burlesque school.
_6Gaily dressed ribald arquebusiers, accompanied by nervous squires carrying beautifully obscene painted pavise shields to protect them during their nonchalant mode of jocular assault.
67Wax soldiers animated by the black wicks burning from the backs of their heads.
7_Elderly shapeshifters trading protection for having someone to talk to.
88A Flesh Crafter sect and their creations abominable and beautiful.
_9Swarms of little girls with sharp knives who climb like spiders, with powdered white faces and brilliant pink painted lips spreading like a rash over their chins.
910Discrete poison-throwers that look just like everybody else.
10_A lone sorceress who lives in a towering mud-brick spire covered in drooping, determined flowers.
_11Fat, reconstituting giant mud spiders powered by clockwork orbs at their hearts, crawling out from beneath lifting pavement stones.
1112Beautiful sombre women in robes like a procession of Mother Marys, swinging rosary-like strings of censer balls full of smouldering narcotics.
12_Red beehives goaded into a frenzied madness by their keepers, stung to death in the process.
_13Purposely-stunted dwarfish entertainers riding on the backs of crazed beasts heavily pregnant with parasitic jellies. Wagers are taken on the outcome and chaos.
1314A Plague Priest colony swinging and swaying their bodies to ring the crusty bells hanging from their rotting wrappings.
1415Noxious green gases expelled from towering grotesque corals doused in water, sapping the fluid from anyone who didn't recently swallow a tiny squid.
15_Really unsettling malnourished figures wearing fly masks, slowly shifting their feet in incongruously marshy patches of land around the perimeter of the town, constantly wreathed in grey fog.
_16A rain of exploding, dividing frogs launched from bulbous pitted mortars. They reform from the chunks, getting smaller and smaller, getting into all your cracks.
When it's over they're cleaned up by ravenous herons with surgically-implanted copper bellies full of green stomach acid bubbling behind foggy glass viewing portals.
1617Ever-so-vaguely humanoid flesh-warped pink pigs wearing dented plates of armour and wielding shoddy halberds and hammers, squealing in fear and challenge.
17_Rumour holds that if a particular old man is injured, the town cats will metamorphose into vengeance-bound yellow-eyed black slavering beasts the size of cows.
They always get him drunk and push him to the front line.
_18The walls of the city are hollow, stone wall and walkways wrapped around a ceramic shell exposed on the exterior side. Expansive black puddings and violet jellies kept alive by food shoved through hatches slide and squeeze through them, released when necessary by watchman that bring heavy hammers crashing down on the ceramic exterior wall.
1819Twelve crows with golden nails driven into their chests by five cursed old women. Each crow drags d20 mindless spirits with them, eaten from corpses.
If a crow is killed its spirits dissolve - if the nail is removed while it still lives the spirits roam uncontrolled and vengeful - if an old woman is killed so are three crows.
The final old woman is a failsafe lest the others are all killed, in which case the twelve golden nails break free and plunge into her eyes, and she becomes a giant golden-feathered crow beast with glorious wings sweeping over four ragged arms and a headstone crown, crawling with restless spirits like lice.
19_The people are all infested by some manner of fungus, thin-stemmed fruiting bodies sprouting out from around their eyes.
It doesn't bother them much apart from imbuing them with a tremendous sense of community spirit, but when murdered they tend to explode in a cloud of invasive spores.
2020Grenadiers riding in chariots drawn by packs of armoured hairless baboons painted in the colours of the particular Grenadier House, each with their own alchemical recipe.
Turning base metal to gold still escapes them, but they're getting pretty close to that universal solvent.

One comment



Hogwarts Can’t Save You Now


With Thoth’mora taking his dead twin sister’s head to gain the knowledge within, I figured it was probably a good time to actually finish the spell research rules I’ve been vaguely thinking about since I first made the Maleficar rules.

 

The LotFP spell research rules require you to take a wild guess at how long it will take and spend that much money before the Referee makes a random roll to find out how long it will actually take, and if you didn’t guess high enough you lose all your money and waste all your time and get nothing. Oh and if someone interrupts you to bring in a tray of tea and biscuits you also lose everything and have to start again.

Which is BORING.

 

So, here’s what I’ll be doing.

 

[Basic things to know about my magic system first: Spells are not memorised, you get a random amount of spell points to use each day called Cataclysm, spells use an amount of Cataclysm equal to their level, and when you try to use more spell points than you have left you make a 3d6 Cast the Bones roll to figure out if it works, or how badly things go wrong.]

 

  • The basic time required to learn a new spell is FOUR WEEKS, regardless of spell level.
  • This can be done while adventuring, not an issue, because Maleficar are sketchy weirdos who would be thinking about this shit like all the time, waking up at odd hours, stopping suddenly in caves with looks of “of COURSE!” on their faces, and also forcing the whole party to take a month of downtime every time the wizard wants to learn a spell is super, numbingly boring.
  • You get one shot to learn each spell, no second chances honey.
  • Roll 3d6 + your level, vs. 3d6 + spell level, and look up the variance on the table below.

Now unless you roll quite low, you’re pretty much always going to learn the spell, we’re just finding out how well you’re able to use it and what additional things you might have to do to cast it.

 

Before rolling, you can do things to vary your chances.

  • STUDY MORE/LESS;
    If you spend 1-3 weeks less than normal, re-roll your highest dice and take the lower result for each week you dropped.
    [Why would you want to do that? Well maybe an army of demon-possessed plague rats is on the march and you’d really like to learn Cloudkill before they get here.]
    If you spend 1-3 weeks more than normal, re-roll your lowest dice and take the higher result for each additional week.
  • THROW MONEY AT THE PROBLEM;
    Spending 100sp per level of the spell on experimental components and research material and good drugs will allow you to re-roll any dice with a result lower than the opposing roll’s lowest dice, and take the higher result. Spending double that amount will also allow you to roll an extra d6 if you end up with any doubles.
    You’re likely to only find sufficient quantities of that kind of thing in cities or freakish communes though, so even though you can research spells out in the wild, it’s still easier in the comforts of home.
  • STEAL SOMEONE ELSE’S;
    If you possess a deciphered version of the spell, remove the highest dice from the opposing roll.
    [Quick additional rule because if someone wants to walk around with Maleficar skulls hanging off them I’m good with that: If you have a deciphered version of a spell in a spellbook or skull or otherwise, but haven’t actually spent the time to learn it yet, you can cast it while reading from its source if you Cast the Bones.]
  • BE INDUCTED INTO THE MYSTERIES;
    If you undertake a journey/perform some esoteric ritual specific to the magic you are trying to learn, as per Tom’s ideas on magic, you may re-roll each dice of the opposing roll, and leave the lower result.

 

3d6 + Maleficar level vs. 3d6 + Spell level
VarianceResult
Beyond +12(as below, plus)
The spell may be cast spontaneously, it seeps from your very being, no word or motion is necessary, no time.
You are permanently marked by small manifestations or physical anomalies relating to the nature of the spell.
up to +12(as below, plus)
Casting only requires half as much Cataclysm, rounded up.
up to +9The incantation is absorbed within your brain, you can cast it from memory.
up to +6You require access to your spellbook, casting takes an extra Round.
down to -6(as above, plus)
There are additional requirements to cast the spell. Match the numbers on your dice to the Demands of the Void table. Demands are only duplicated if you rolled a double or triple.
down to -9(as above, plus)
There is a complication in learning the spell, match your roll to the Thaumaturgic Complication table.
down to -12You fail to comprehend the spell, and open the way to something else. The next time you cast a spell of any kind make a Cast the Bones roll with a penalty equal to the level of the spell you were attempting to learn.
beyond -12(as above, plus)
Your ineptitude causes a zone of arcane madness and manifestation for d6 days, with 6 being permanent.
100' radius per level of the spell you were attempting to learn.

 

 

Demands of the Void
Result(Individual Dice Results)
1-2The spell drains additional Cataclysm, equal to the number on the dice.
3-4The spell requires a specific component.
5-6There must be ritual.

 

 

Thaumaturgic Complication
Result(Sum of Dice Results)
14-18The spell has an Abyssal Side-Effect.
11-13Pockets of black bile open within your mind, roll on Insanity table.
8-10Your flesh is corrupted, roll on Transmutation table.
3-7Part of your body fucking tears itself off, grows extra bits, and wishes your death. It might attack you now, or it might plot your downfall in the shadows. Roll on Body Horror table.

 

 

d20Component
1An inscribed Fetish.
2A raven's wing.
3Finger bone of a peacefully dead man.
4The honey-preserved macerated flesh of the Mellified Priests of the Viridescent Ziggurat.
5The written sentiment of another from time past.
6A Bog's Head Hawkmoth caught beneath a full moon.
(Sickly dark green, the back of their heads resemble the mortifying face of a man left to decay in the waters of a bog, strands hang like muck-covered lichen.
They squeak like scheming mice.)
7The fresh entrails of a toad.
8A clump of diseased blood-red moss.
9Dried tentacles of the oily grey-skinned spawn of the leviathan.
10The hair of a harlot.
11A copper piece once held by a priestess.
12Nacreous Milk of the Antelope.
13Mushrooms sprouted from a corpse.
14The ashy pollen of the Widow's Blossom.
15Burning pages of poetry.
16The legs of a Blue-Bloat Bore Grub, dug from the limbs of an Ash Spider Collossum.
17Three rotten sparrow's eggs.
18The tattooed paw of a Bloodmouth monkey.
19The neutralised honey-thick semen of a Jewelled Mound of Ur.
20A sleeping rat.

 

 

d20Ritual
1Your bare feet covered by water, steam rising from your mouth and nostrils.
2A fistful of hair torn from your head, thrown upon a flame.
3A steady rhythm drummed against something resonant, continuing after you've stopped.
4Obscene symbols drawn in concentric circles around you.
5You must be naked to cast the spell, not a thread touching your body.
6You must swallow a living creature whole.
7Flagellation.
8A shivering, shaking dance in a mentally-induced fever.
9Hot wax poured upon your head, running down your face.
10The tips of your fingers slit, wrists pressed together and brought to your face to mark a circle of blood.
11Your mouth filled with dirt, exhuming the incantation.
12Let no sentient creature enter your sight, let your eyes never close.
13Plunge your hands beneath the soil, let the worms twist their bodies about your fingers.
14Drink the blood of another.
15Intermittent regurgitation, the pool of vomit churning into a swirling spire that streams back into your mouth at the culmination of the spell.
16A spider held on the tongue, swallowed after casting.
17Urinate in the dust and dirt, take the acidic taste upon the tip of your tongue, spit the final word.
18Take the knife to your belly, spill your vitals, the wound will close when the casting is done.
(Unless you rolled maximum damage, which means you cut too deep, the wound remains.)
19Hold your hand in the flame of a candle until the casting is done.
20No blood may be spilt in your presence while the incantation is performed. Make a Cast the Bones roll for every wound you witness.

 

…which means there’s going to be different wizards casting the same spell in different ways, maybe even with slightly different effects, questing around for that particular component they need, asking the Fighter if they can borrow a pint of blood, dancing and spitting.

 

It’s going to be great.


3 comments



Welcome to Scenic Whereverthefuck, if you lived here, you’d be caught up in drama by now.


In my short, sharp review of Scenic Dunnsmouth at the end of the last post, I listed what I felt were its shortfalls when I was running it, chief of which was the lack of inter-NPC relationships.

Well instead of crying about it, what I did was start working on my own town generator using a set-up method inspired by Scenic Dunnsmouth, and it’s done now.

 

What you do is this:

 

  • Roll 20d6, 1d4, and a couple of d12‘s if you feel like it (I threw them in for flavour as an afterthought, like a final dash of paprika). Either do it on a big piece of paper or take a photo that you can pretty-up using a future box.
  • Remove any d6 that has a result lower than the d4, so that you end up with something like below (click on the pictures to make them bigger and better).

[Edit: Originally the idea of removing d6‘s lower than the d4 was to vary the size of the town, but I think a better use of it would be to vary how many groups have a Common Curiosity, to lower the chance of having an overwhelming amount of things going on at the same time. So, roll 10 + d10 d6‘s, and that’s the variable town size. Then, re-roll each lot of d6‘s with a result equal to or higher than the d4 and look up the result on the Common Curiosity table.]

 

  • Each d6 is somebody’s house!
  • Mark where all of the dice landed, then re-roll each lot of d6‘s that have the same number and look up the result on the Common Curiosity table below.
  • Re-roll the d4 on the table corresponding to its number for the most significant/interesting feature of the town. The group that matches its original number is the most closely associated with it.
  • Look up the result of the d12‘s on the Other Features of Interest table.
  • Then roll on Who’s In Charge Here? to find out who’s in charge here.

 

Re-roll d6'sCommon Curiosity
1Ostracised from the community, more than happy to help ruin the plans of others for good or bad.
2Were once caught in a compromising position with a well-bred member of large livestock. It brings everyone else great joy to ensure they never live it down.
3Have a surprisingly large assortment of goods for trade or sale.
4Incredibly friendly, attempting to summon an earth-shaking terror using an underground shrine they found, need help recovering the innocuous missing pieces.
5Fervent devotees to a known religion.
6Protectors of an ancient and terrible secret.
7Cannibals.
8Members of the same bloodline.
9Addicted to a strange and wonderful new drug they have discovered.
10Under the influence of a sentient plant growing in the area, its form depends on the number of homes affected:
1-2 Discoloured patches on the skin, small hidden sprouts.
3-5 Root clusters in the darkness at the back of their throats, speaking for them, a fledgling mother plant beginning to grow in the area.
6+ A large, established plant, protected by those given over more wholly to its symbiosis.
11Insect cult. If six or more homes are affected, a shrine containing a physical manifestation of their worship exists in the area.
12Aggressive/distrustful towards outsiders.
13Dress like demons and prance around burning pyres when the moon is full.
14Militant nudists.
15Share a psychic connection to one another that allows them to simultaneously experience everything that happens to each individual member, and grants them terrifying powers of the mind when their number exceeds fourteen.
16Extremely welcoming towards outsiders.
17Enthusiastic practitioners of a strange pastime.
18Speak in a dialect not used for centuries.
19Organic body-horror replacements from a fallen star in the hills. They smell of thyme and their flesh is all-too pliable.
20Will attempt to burn Magic-Users and Clerics like witches.
21Capture children of all ages as offering to the toad beast in the woods for the protection of the town. The sacrifices sleep curled within amber pus-filled holes in the hardened skin of its belly until they emerge as misshapen and fantastic children of the fae.
The rest of the town is oblivious.
22Their windows are dark and they do not answer their doors.
23Share a competitive rivalry over something quaint.
(Hunting, baking, growing large vegetables, needlework, gardening, offering sacrifices to their abhorrent god, etc.)
24Are afflicted by a terrible, undocumented ailment.
25Wash their dead in the creek and bury them beneath the silt, returning in a week's time to retrieve their bare, yellowed bones.
26Form the militia of the Blue Palm, adept in the use of paralytic poisons derived from local flowers.
27Incredibly eager to marry-off/apprentice their sons and daughters, will go to great lengths to prove the superiority of their children over their neighbour's.
28Summoned a melting pyramid-headed lady of unspeakable lust and terror as a plaything and instead became her emotional puppets. She can't hurt them but is trying damned hard to make them hurt themselves, she can't leave this plane of existence until they are all dead. She resides in secret at the home nearest to the centre of the group and she hates it here.
29Esoteric horticultural society, with a 3 in 6 chance of having access to any rare plant you care to mention and a high likelihood of losing their minds over any specimens of your own you'd like to share.
30+Recently welcomed the offspring of their god into the womb of a blushing bride on her wedding night, we're all terribly proud.

Read the rest…


4 comments



A Tale of Sixteen Piglets


Here’s the other request I fulfilled for His Abysmal Jolliness, Secret Santicore.

 

 

The Request:

 

A random encounter which includes an ogre, a maiden, and a standing stone.

 

 

The next time you’re in a town near some woods, or in a town near a town near some woods, you start hearing things.

The main thing to take away from all this talk is that High-Father Flagellus, a priest of your chosen important religion, is missing his daughter. He claims she was taken from her room during the night a week ago, and the weak-minded fools of the town will do nothing to help. He has reason to believe she was taken to the woods, but when he tried to go there himself was turned back not only by the animals dwelling there but by the very woods themselves.

In payment for returning his daughter he will pay a handsome sum siphoned from the tithing box, as well as a massive IOU from the church.

 

 

The Talk About Town
1d10
1I do a bit of bird watching in my spare time, relaxes the soul you see. But this last week I swear they've been flying from all directions in a steady line straight into those woods, it's the damndest thing I ever saw.
2That crazy old woman that lives up by the woods keeps complaining she can hear screams echoing out at night. I told her that's just age catching up with her and she just tuts and shoos me away from the house. I love winding her up!
3Old Otis Bronte swore he'd dealt with his rat problem but three days ago a swarm of the furry brutes poured out of his grain silo. They let the other farms alone and ran into the woods though so no harm done I guess. Strange thing though, every now and then you'll see little packs of vermin coming in from the countryside, straight towards the woods..
4There's a grave in them woods with no name. Y'see years ago a woodcutter's wife carried on with a merchant that used to pass through, and every time he came he'd bring her a new trinket. Golden necklaces that would serve as well as a breastplate, rings cut from solid ruby, earrings made of the bones of saints! Well one day the woodcutter finds these treasures hidden beneath the stair, and he knows he's been dishonoured, and he spits and he waits. He waits until the next time the merchant passes through, who comes to meet the wife as usual, in the woods when the moon is full, and when their lips meet the trees themselves shake and all the trinkets rain down from the branches above their heads. Well the wife looks back up in time to see the woodcutter step out of the dark and bury his axe sternum-deep through her lover's head, and when she tries to run finds herself caught up in a snare with a slit throat. The woodcutter he buries them right there with all their pretties, and marks the spot with a bit o' half-buried sawn-off log.
Folks say they never did see him again, and to the best o' my knowledge he'd still be in them woods, still full o' bloodlust after all these years; only reason I haven't sought out the grave meself y'see.
5Don't tell anyone I told you but Marcy over at the dairy? Well butter ain't the only thing she gets paid to churn if you know what I mean.
6Virgil's sow had a litter of 16 piglets, the biggest litter we've ever seen. Well he was proud as punch as you might expect but a few nights back someone done stole them. Questions have been made about town of course but everyone's come up squeaky clean.
7High-Father Flagellus claims his daughter Meredith was taken from her room during the night one week ago, he claims he heard noises trailing off towards the woods and he couldn't catch up with them. No one has helped him thus far because it's more likely Meredith ran away to get out from under that calloused thumb of his. Silly old sod made a big song and dance of going into the woods himself though and came out screaming that the woods were possessed, says the animals forced him out!
8There's little men what live in the woods, guardians of it they are! You just mind not to scare them off if you go traipsing about in there.
9I heard the Father's daughter ran away with a farm boy to live a life of sin, but not into no woods that's for certain! Old Flagellus just can't handle the fact his precious little girl's turned harlot.
10I was once chased out of those woods by a giant stag of smouldering coal, with burning yellow eyes and the bodies of children hanging from its antlers. Mark my words High-Father Flagellus isn't crazy, there's evil in those woods, and I wouldn't face it again for the world.

 

Once the players decide to enter the woods, finding the clearing at the centre won’t prove too hard if they follow the rat packs and other animals running purposely through them, or keep track of birds flying overhead.

The woods are pretty big though.

 

 

Random Encounters in the Woods
1d10
1A rope trap that yanks you feet-first up between the branches of a tree, bumping into a hornet's nest as you go.
2A veritable plague of rats swarms around your feet in the same direction, uninterested in you for now but if they're attacked or stepped on that will soon change.
3A soft ethereal singing floats through the woods, it sounds like all that is pure and good.
4A huge female bear rears up and roars behind the players, showering them in spittle. Blood is on her claws but she actually just wants the players to get out of the way and if they do so quickly enough she'll pass by without attacking, followed by three adorable cubs of decreasing sizes.
5A small group of rats run straight over a patch of brown leaves that is actually a pit trap full of hallucinogenic puffball mushrooms. Any player that falls in spends the next d10 Turns believing they're a mole with a furious need to dig.
6A one-eyed owl hoots mournfully from an overhead branch and flies off in the direction everything else has been going. Expect a Gnoblin ambush in the form of disembodied insults, thrown stones, and fresh defecation lying along your path.
7You momentarily see a strange furry little face off to your right, but whatever it was quickly scatters off through the undergrowth.
8You find a piece of half-buried sawn-off log. That crazy townie was right! Well, maybe:
1. You dig into a large chamber of a jumping bull ant colony.
2. There's just bones here. Child bones.
3. You find strange looking charms and totems, real voodoo shit, as well as a note in a bottle pronouncing a curse upon the black heart of you who would seek to disturb the dead.
4. He was totally right.
9A line trap that triggers drawn-back bramble bushes to slap everyone square in the face, giving you lots of nasty little cuts.
10Branches break nearby and you see a deranged looking woodsman with a twig-strewn beard and wild eyes wielding an axe. He isn't the murderous woodcutter from the story though just a poor man that lives near the woods. Unfortunately, he can't speak very well and has an extremely nervous disposition that is likely to be mistaken for aggression.

 

CIRCLE OF PROTECTION

 

Just outside the clearing the players will be faced with a ring of vermin and woodland creatures 10′ deep blocking their path. How they get past this is a matter for themselves.

For their part the animals will start trying to scare the players away once they get within 30′, becoming violent if necessary, but will not pursue the players if they make it into the clearing.

 

The Ring of Woodland Critters

 

Within immediate reach of the players there will be:

d100/2 rats

d20 Bunnies

d20 Squirrels

d10 Foxes

d8 Owls

d6 Deer + 1 Stag

d4 Badgers

 

As well as various finches, sparrows, and other birds and tiny animals that are really cute. Voles and shit.

 

THE CLEARING

 

In the centre of the clearing is a ring of four standing stones surrounding a boulder, all faintly inscribed with what appears to be an obscure, ancient, and absurd language. Imagine symbols carved by a dyslexic bird with its beak; like that.

But before any of that, what the players will notice is the ogre.

Misshapen and grotesque, its teeth are large and overly-numerous, crowding each other out from its jaw. Its gnarled limbs look as if it matured while confined to a box; joints veer off at awful angles and horrendous knots bulge from its muscles, a stunted degenerate third hand protrudes from its humped shoulder and the hands it does have are marred by stiff, useless extra digits near to its wrists.

Oh and it’s suspended over the boulder, its arms and legs tied to the standing stones as if it were about to be drawn and quartered. Infected-looking welts and gashes criss-cross its stained yellow skin and streaks through the dirt around its eyes make it look as if it has been weeping.

 

THE CAST

 

The Ogre

Has no name because it has never had need of one. It has learnt rudimentary language from overheard conversations around campfires and the pleading of wayward travellers before it eats them. It will weep and sob and beg the players to free it, all it knows is that it was tricked and trapped by the nasty furry goblins and dragged here, where the lady brings it pain every night.

 

Meredith, the Maiden

Meredith has tired of the strict life she is forced to lead under her father’s roof, she wants something more. Goddess of the woods would do for now, and after that we’ll see about the rest of this wretched land. Meredith plans to raise the ancient Boar God of the Wood when the celestial alignment is right, using the ogre as womb and being the first living being present, for the Great Boar to imprint on as mother.

Of course she won’t tell the players this, thank heavens they’re here! She’ll tell them she was kidnapped by this terrible ogre and she only just escaped thanks to the help of these friendly little forest folk, who then tied the ogre up to prevent it from harming anyone further. She would very much appreciate it if the players could go find some men to deal with the ogre, she’ll wait here until they return to make sure it doesn’t escape.

If the players leave she’ll send a group of Gnoblins to kill them before they reach town, if pressed to leave with them she will assent but set a Gnoblin ambush, and if they try to kill the ogre then and there it is on, she needs that thing.

 

The Gnoblins

Funny furry little man-things of the woods, no higher than your knee, mystical beings somewhere between a Gnome and a Goblin. They live in burrows beneath the clearing, accessible by openings between the roots of a mighty oak at its perimeter.

The Gnoblins first set eyes on Meredith on one of her walks by the woods, one of the few liberties allowed by her father. They took her seeming innocence and fondness for the woods as a sign that she was to be the mother of the Great Boar, due so soon to be reborn. Of course when they appeared to her and spoke of all this the fair Meredith managed to convince them of a “better” way.
The players probably won’t even realise the Gnoblins can speak; Meredith warned them not to talk to any strangers and for the most part they’ll just sit around and stare, unless Meredith tells them to do something or the players try to free the ogre. If Meredith isn’t around though and you’re really funny the Gnoblins will tell you everything you could ever want to know about the Boar God.

The Gnoblins aren’t evil, they just want to see the Great Boar reborn so that the woods can live on, and Meredith is ever so convincing.

Of course, when you make them angry is when the teeth come out.

 

THE BIRTH

 

Every day when the sun begins to dip Meredith takes out her bramble whip and sings softly as she begins to flay the ogre with it, invariably building up in ferocity until the moon reaches its peak and she screams at it, “Squeal! Squeal like a stuck pig!”.

In a small cavern directly beneath the standing stones the Gnoblins have piled the still-squeaking sixteen stolen piglets. When the celestial alignment is right and the ogre lets out its thunderous squeal into the night, the lifeforce of the piglets will be drawn up through the glowing standing stones and into its belly which will swell and tear and release the fully-grown majesty of the Great Boar once more into the woods.

 

What Time Is It?

  • From midnight to morning Meredith sleeps in the burrows with the Gnoblins, with only a few sleepy looking Gnoblins on watch.
  • In the middle of the day she’s probably off picking berries and other wholesome activities.
  • In the afternoon she sometimes likes to dance around the sobbing ogre with the Gnoblins. They form a ring and wear flowers in their hair.
  • In the evening she cuts a fresh bramble whip for the night’s torture training.
  • When the players arrive the celestial alignment is due to occur that night, what are the odds?

 

The Consequences of Your Actions

  • If the Great Boar imprints on Meredith as its mother she will use its divine power and influence to extend the woods and, in time, lead an army of murderous woodland creatures across the countryside.
  • If the Great Boar is reborn but Meredith is not around, all will be well. The Gnoblins will rejoice at the return of their king and the woods will remain at peace with the surrounding settlements. Although they’ll probably still be pretty mad if you killed Meredith.
  • If the Great Boar is not reborn at all the forest will wither and die at an alarming rate, followed by streams of feral starving animals pouring into the surrounding towns.
  • If nothing else, Virgil would be really happy if you brought his piglets back alive.

 

Want it in PDF along with a buttload of other free stuff? Download it here love.


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I’ll Have Yer Finest


We’ve been visiting brewhouses an awful lot.

 

 

d20BrewhouseWhat's on Tap?
1The Blind MonkMilk of the Rat
2The Pink-Gilled SwineHarlot's Spit
3The Crow With Two NecksBlack Fever
4The Inverted PathThree Goats Pale
5Crooked HouseChymist's Old Familiar
6The Fruiting BoarGrikksmarc's Fucken Porter
7The Golden HartRotworm Imperial Stout
8The Old Severed HeadPiss of the Living Saint
9Strangler's PalmMolden Ale
10The Black HiveAlbumuth's Back Sweat
11The Sunken DepthsThe Black Goat of the Woods
12The Hanging HarbingerBog Witch Kiss
13House of the Purple HazeHair of the Fog
14The Soft White UnderbellyMidwife's Regret
15That Red BitchAngry Squall
16The Jaundiced EyeHeaven's Gate
17House of Saints and MadmenThe Turning Worm
18Rue MorgueNag's Head
19Black BaltimoreLost Coppers
20The Fading LightMaidenhead Pale

 

 

d20Top Shelf
1Drowning Locust
2A bitter spirit called Regret
3Blue Blood Worm
(There's more worm than alcohol in your glass.
Look, just drink it.)
4Rite of Passage
5The Stag's Own Seed
6Opal Smoke
(An opal, a glass of salt water, clouds of smoke filling your glass when they meet.)
7Blood of the Nightshade
8Red Spiced Rum
9Fresh from the Fish
(It swims around the jar in blues and violets, staring at you from its bulbous protruding black eyes when they scoop it out and force it to vomit into your glass.)
10Hog Fat
11Scarlet Wine
12Song of a Dead Dreamer
13Black Egg Yolk
14Toad Skin Gin
15Paraplectic Slug
(Huge and porous, steeped in alcoholic dregs, fermented within its body, hold it to your lips and suck.)
16Primordium
17The Hairy Lime
(Fungally infested, internally liquefied, best to swallow it whole.)
18Somnificus Lac Morte
19The Sour Death
20The Thing in a Bottle
(It sits in the bottle, too large now to fit through the neck, its urine swirls about at chest height, it blinks at you and doesn't seem to mind, things would seem different if it was on the other side of the glass. The urine is green and luminescent, vaguely viscous like an oil, it is sweet and stronger than the finest distilled spirits. The hard part is getting it into the bottle in the first place.)

 

 

d12Brewhouse Encounters
1Drunk local steps back into you during an enthused story and takes offence. FIGHT!
2Angus Blackhand (left hand is a blackened claw), Thief lvl 1, Sleight of Hand 3 in 6, bumps into you and tries to lift some shinies from your person.
3Olga Applebottom, whore overdue for retirement, has taken an aggressive shine to you. She's somewhat of a fixture here, don't insult the locals.
4Smoke with us!
5Drunken ridicule.
6Free drink! Roll 2d6:
2-5. Have you ever been rohypnolled by a swan?
6-8. That's not beer, that's urine.
9-12. Hey that's not bad.
7Mistaken for someone else. Reaction roll.
8Cryptic warning from a stranger.
9You step on a cat's tail. The cat belongs to a gnarly old sword-whore. They don't look pleased.
10Invited to join a game.
11Pretty thing asks you to buy them a drink.
12Overhear rumour.

 

 

Yeah I know rolling dice is hard, click the link below for automated results, drag it to your bookmark bar and keep it for later, do whatever.

 

INSTANT BREWHOUSE


2 comments



Random Acts of Kindness


Let’s talk about random generators.

 

First of All +Joshua Macy made an excellent little Chrome extension called Roll M that allows you to roll on anything that looks like a table within your browser.

Now, while rolling on tables is neat and all, the thing that makes me really excited about it is that it also works with groups of images. Something I raved about at length but Zak didn’t get what it was meant to do and asked me to illustrate. With pleasure.

 

I’ve already talked about how easy it is to make visual encounter boards with Pinterest. Well now let’s blow those socks off.

First download Roll M. The link was back up there hurry up.

Yes, you will need Chrome.

Now head over to this Pandaemonium board I made full of art and miniatures. I’ll probably add more later shut up I’ve been busy. These are the things your players are going to start running into because fuck it.

 

Roberto-Ferri-Le-delizie-infrante-olio-su-tela

 

Okay now click on the icon Roll M put on your toolbar (that’d be the white square with five orange dots) and then move your mouse cursor over the Pinterest board.

Notice how it highlights things in blue? It’s showing you the areas you can select for rolling! What you want to do is get it to highlight in a wrapper around all the images, so just move your cursor into the margin between a few images… and click.

 

INSTANT VISUAL ENCOUNTER RESULT.

 

And unlike my d20 Ostentatious Fashions board I didn’t even need to number them! So useful. Image too small? That’s okay just click on it.

 

 

For Another Thing +Benjamin Eisenhofer told me about a little program called Inspiration Pad Pro (there are dodgy-looking blue links to download the free desktop version, it’s fine trust me).

While it requires a little bit of learning on your part, if you can get your head around the process you’ll be able to build and save tables that you can run through the program to generate random results, even putting in conditional sub-tables (if result is “You Grow a New Dealy” generate “Oh God Where?!” etc.) if that takes your fancy.

 

 

And now for the mewling thing that has been keeping me up all night, every night.

 

 

After having made a couple of automated random generators of my own, and thinking about Brendan’s wish for an easy way to automate things, I decided to make a random generator template.

It is called Choose Your Own Generator.

With this generator you can input your own entries for up to 7 tables and generate random results right there on the webpage without ever having to touch a scrap of code, even choosing the display of the results and how many you generate at once.

 

Well Paolo Greco, being an amazing man, wrote a little javascript bookmarklet that he could run on the page in order to collect the data from the tables and turn them into a link that generates a pop-up result every time you click it.

So I turned that into a button on the page, so that you don’t have to get your soft hands soiled with javascript.

And then I modified it to also pick up the display option.

And then, as wonderful as this was by itself, I wanted more.

 

So I started teaching myself how to use databases and got three-quarters deep into a working archive page before I was talking to Paolo and he advised me that he actually deals with databases for a living, and graciously oversaw the final stages of what I had begun.

 

So what does this mean for you? It means The Seventh Order of the Random Generator, a public archive of bookmarklet random generator links created and submitted through Choose Your Own Generator.

 

It means a bevy of random generator links that aside from being used on the archive page, can be DRAGGED TO YOUR BOOKMARK BAR AND KEPT FOREVER, that can be COPIED AND TURNED INTO BLOG POST LINKS. The code is entirely contained in the link, once you have it, you don’t even need to be connected to the internet to use it, it just pops-up from whatever page it was run from.

 

So enjoy, make some freaking generators already.

 

I need some sleep.


One comment



Mystical Migrations of the Mythical Menagerie


Aside from handling word slaves in the last Secret Santicore, I also fulfilled a couple of requests.

Here’s an orphan one that I rescued.

 

The Request:

 

Nature on the move. A table of magnificent and/or terrifying migrations. Would ideally contain:

 

1. What the creatures are

2. What sort of impact this migration has on the world

3. Who hunts and/or preys upon the migration

 

20/50/100 your choice Santicore!

 

 

Nature on the MoveThe Impact of Life
d20
1The Many-Faced or Dividing Leopard Worm
A creeping mass of black-spotted yellow fur, voids gaping within the bunched mess of a head, bristling teeth like oily black quills. 15ft long tails thicker than your thigh drag behind the bulk before splitting away, hair separating, contracting and slithering with a mouth all their own.
Skinwalkers take the pelts as barbaric armour. The venom delivered by the caterpillar-like hairs that stand on end along their backs causes muscle spasms that can last for days. Older worms can eject hairs right out of their backs when threatened. The fibres alone contain enough venom to incapacitate ten burly men; if you take the pelt with the venom glands intact and keep them alive it will last indefinitely.
The worm mass doesn't really divide, it is made up of individuals moving together like a brood of Spitfire Grubs, but their faces do, split into even quarters bristling with quill teeth to better drag you down their gullets.
Beyond defence and hunger related deaths and cripplings, the only thing left to mark their passing are the flimsy abandoned silk nests spun around large trees just within the woods, temporary shelter for a few days' hunting before continuing their journey.
Due to the hairs woven amongst the silk, the only thing you'll earn by collecting it is a week of convulsions.
2Spiders of Gushmora
Exquisite neglect creeps in like rising waters, stranded wisps hanging from flowers turn to phantasmal curtains of translucent silk, undulating in the wind.
The brood mothers can only walk upon silken threads, and so a tide of their thousand children spills out before them, draping webbed paths over grasslands and trees until their spinnerets run dry and their bodies break, replaced by siblings birthed during the journey.
The Korhari Silk-Weavers follow the migration, gathering silk with long, pointed implements of bronze to be fed onto spinning wheels nestled within their gaily painted wagons, ornate and many-coloured behind a sea of white.
The few months spent following the spiders will provide them with everything they need for the rest of the year, producing fine Korhari silks to be sold to the highest bidder. Killing any kind of spider before a Korhari is invitation to violence.
Absorbed by the ravenous hunger of the journey, the passing of the Spiders of Gushmora effects near-extinction upon insect populations caught in their path.
In the weeks preceding the arrival of the migration, many animals will flee to other hunting grounds. First you notice that the birds no longer sing in the morning, then the rodents disappear from your larder, you hear predators padding away in the night. Many plant species will take months to recover with nothing left to spread their seed.

The bite of the Spiders of Gushmora causes an accelerated rot, swollen wounds burst and spill decomposing flesh with an iridescent sheen much like the spider's exoskeleton, all fuchsia, purples and black. When the swollen boils appear across their chest and arms the victim will know they endured the amputation of their leg for nothing.
Korhari assassins often travel ahead of the migration, ending those they find preparing to defend their lands.
3Ignis Fatuus Floris
Ethereal points of blue light float through the sunless dark, dancing on the wind. When the luminous seeds settle they sprout dark-stemmed flowers topped with thick bulbs, scored like a spiralling vortex. The feathery pink petals that sprout astride the spiral flutter in the breeze, until a strong enough wind blows in from the right direction and the pods violently ejaculate the next generation of seeds into the air in an unfurling explosion, one step closer to their destination.
The Moulting Priests of the Seeping Dissonance seek to destroy the Ignis Fatuus Floris, why they will not say.
They have been within reach of the flowers only twice, causing them to explode into an errant wind, thwarting the priests but setting the flowers back on their journey.
For the species to survive the flowers must survive. When the seeds first enter the soil they excrete a toxin that causes all plant life in the immediate area to wither away, eliminating any competition for the nutrients needed to grow.
Unfortunately for the flower, the same toxin that kills flora causes intense hypnagogic hallucinations in fauna. If their needle-like thorns fail to deter wanderers or thrill-seeking boars hoping for a transcendent experience, the damaged flowers exude a chemical warning that causes the remaining flowers to disperse their seed into the nearest wind, regardless of direction.
4Eels of the Nighted Depths
None know where they come from or where they go, only the swarm of oil-slick flesh that undulates over the land, toothless, wrinkled maws stretching wide to consume creatures twice their size, slipping onward while the hapless beasts howl from within their stretched flesh, slowly succumbing to digestion.
Apothecaries and Dabblers of the Black Arts lust for the flesh of the abyssopelagic nightmares. A piece of their blubbery leathered skin will buy a week's debauchery, their rock-hard sightless eyes would fetch an honest man's yearly wage, for a living intact specimen your very heart's darkest desire would be fulfilled.
Upturned ecosystems, lost pets, lost loves, insane bearded men kicking down your door demanding to know which direction the eels went.
5The Periphery
As people walk there seems to be a shadow not their own moving beside them, seen in their peripheral vision and absent when they turn.
As the phenomena ceases in one settlement it emerges in another, trailing across the land until the reports finally cease after several months.
The Scholars of the Seventh Seal seek any and all information pertaining to what they call The Periphery. Shared knowledge will be rewarded, false informers will never be found.
A lingering feeling amalgamated of dread and rapture, the subtly unnerving presence of the Scholars weeks after the event.
6Xanthous Locust
It begins with bands of gregarious wingless nymphs, a hopping carpet of bronze-tarnished mandibles, but when their density reaches fever pitch a flavescent metamorphosis takes place that sees their carapace harden into grotesque studded plates of rich yellow armour, glittering wings unfurling in the light.
Their omnivorous plague migration sweeps over vegetation and flesh, a flying wall of hooked limbs and eager squirming labial palps.
Communities with Forewarning often plant large crops of Mandrake before the oncoming swarm, a fragrance irresistible to the locusts, tearing roots from the ground after gorging upon the leaves and flowers. While it will not kill them, ingesting Mandrake renders the locusts lethargic and uninterested in pursuing further sustenance for at least a day.
At night roosting locusts may be caught up in nets and baskets. Fried Xanthous Locust is said to be an unsurpassed delicacy.
Devastated crops and shrubberies, flesh chewed straight from the bone while you're still screaming and flailing, an abundantly delicious crunchy food source for those smarter than you.
7Fog Walkers of the Broken Isle
Magnificent striding things on slender multi-jointed limbs, symbiotic creatures hanging from their shaggy pelts with bright eyes and wicked little hands. The mottled fur of the creatures makes them nothing more than mossy discolouration among the grey coats of the Walker's short, stocky bodies until they move with alarming speed.
The fog that seems to have carried away from the Broken Isle to surround the Walker's body is in reality a cloud of minuscule insects, feeding on the blood of the creatures before being sucked into the Walker's facial ducts for nourishment. What sustains the creatures is as yet unknown.
Too sure-footed and strong of limb to be cut down from the ground, Companies of Landsharpuniere carefully select Walkers to bring down with harpoon and rope, protected by pikemen and foot soldiers from shrieking creatures in descent.
The Fog Walkers always seem to be accompanied by grey skies and light rain, as if their very presence had seeded the clouds.
Vegetative growth after the rain is strong but somehow subtly wrong, vaguely reminiscent of the Broken Isle if you stare long enough.
8Abysslodira
Clacking pyramidal shells amble out of the sea encrusted with lustrous blue barnacles, their long hibernation in the depths at an end. Tortoise-like creatures the size of absurdly large wolves on a slow plod through whatever falls in their path.
When confronted by another creature their small hard skulls raise high on startling long necks, pudgy grey skin stretching tight and regarding the stranger through glassy white eyes. If they perceive danger their head and limbs retract completely within nigh-impenetrable shells until the threat has passed, if there is no threat they renew their slow plod straight through you, smooth featureless faces rotating to stare all the while as you fall to the side.
Various Birds land on the Abysslodira as they walk, dislodging barnacles from their shells with surprising ease and feasting where they land. The parasite they have eaten will cause the birds to fly without rest to the nearest suitable body of water, plunging into its depths to drown and decay, birthing a strange algae-like ooze from their feathered corpses.
Undeterrable from their path, the Abysslodira will plod over mountains and through battles with the same measured lackadaisical step until a cavalry charge causes them to drop to the ground, a wave of horses breaking over their blue-jewelled shells.
Towns that find themselves host to the migration of the Abysslodira would be best advised to clear all obstruction and make them feel welcome, because it will take weeks for them to move out of the streets if some slight offence or threat causes them to retreat into their shells.

The algal bloom bears a semi-sentience that sees it infect water supplies and drown animals before moving on to sample the next set of organisms it finds again and again before finally being swept back out to sea.
9Caustic Sludge Crabs
A plague of black carapaces spills from the protection of the Moldenwood in order to reach the Hollow Sea to spawn, crawling over the land in a blanket like a swarm of mites over a corpse.
Within the woods the crabs are without predators, rock hard shells containing their liquid flesh, in the open air birds swoop amongst them in an attempt to carry away lone crabs before being dragged down amongst the swarm.
Albino Ibis close a nictitating membrane of the same unhealthy pink as their wrinkled faces over their eyes to ward off snapping claws as they descend. After escaping with a crab they will lay it on a hard surface and peck a hole in the armour of its belly to expose the oily sludge beneath. Caustic to most creatures, the Ibis dilute it with their own vomit before sucking it up through long, curved beaks.
Little will stand in the way of the crab migration. Anything caught in their path will be pulled beneath by claws too numerous to count, bones picked clean in their wake, and a smashed crab will easily melt through armour with its spilled liquid flesh.
10Diasporea
The stranger moves towards you in slow, gliding steps, their body hunched inside a great coat covered in dry leaves and sticks and rotting plant matter. Metal trinkets and bones hang from the gnarled branches extending from their head like horns. A powdery whisper accompanies them as they move closer, and a low thrumming voice like rain asks where your dead grow.
Light washes over the stranger’s coat as they move into the glow of your lantern, and you see the gaps amidst the sticks and filth. You see fungal sinew strung inside, like the forest floor caught in a web. A thick mass of lichen veil hangs in the hooded space below the stranger’s antlers, and ever more unexpected mounds and wooden horns are illuminated across their back. Small stout yellow round-capped mushrooms in jagged rows beneath its throat and chest quiver and begin to thrum against wood and bone, forming the words that politely ask again, “Where do your dead grow?”

Colonies of fungus and mould that cobble debris together to gain a locomotive form. They will talk to you, they’ll even trade, but they have no empathy. They won’t understand why you’re so upset that they dug up your daughter, pulled her corpse apart, and placed the pieces amongst their body. Fragile but hard to kill permanently, and the spores that erupt from them in times of stress end up everywhere, and your flesh is ever so fertile.
The Diasporea have no predators or prey, only those ignorant enough to try to kill them then scream in horror at the release of their infectious spores.
If you're savvy enough you may find yourself in possession of time-lost artefacts at the cost of a dead dog or an ancestor's corpse.
11Cancerslugs
As long as a man, putrescent yellow flesh glistening under thick layers of mucus as they emerge from swamps during the wet season, smelling of stale semen and broken drought.
Generally placid, violent in short sharp bursts that you never expect. Their wounds bubble out in pink masses of vivid new flesh, deflating into yellow normality over the coming days.
The Flesh Crafters continue to obtain samples of slug mucus for experimentation, but since the successful capture and confinement of a live specimen within their labs six years ago have shown no interest in further capture, in fact they show an aversion verging on disgust at the thought.
Gold-Banded Broodsac Larvae attempt to invade the slugs, carried as sporocysts until they develop into Broodsacs as the slugs near settled areas or forests. The Broodsacs push into the slug's eyestalks and secrete chemicals that induce a compulsive need to climb the tallest thing it can find; an ancient tree, a belltower overlooking the town square. At its height the Broodsacs squirm and pulsate, golden Rorschachs glinting in the open sky until a bird of prey descends to tear it from the slug's head, the next stage of its life cycle begun.
With the majority of its brain torn out the slug will fall to the earth, impacting in a disintegrating shower of yellow flesh bubbling regeneration even in death.
Sudden maddening irritations befall bare skin exposed to the thick mucus trails left in their wake, progressing into lesions and worse. Those unlucky enough to discover an allergy will spend the rest of their lives swaddled in cloth to hide the horror they have become.
12Powder Deer
Herds of them, white fur so pure it nearly glows. The female of the species, and the herd is almost entirely female, bear branching antlers as fragile as glass, shattered and disintegrating on impact. Semi-parasitic young hang from their backs, pink pupal piles of them with pliant manipulable bones that curl around their brood sisters and into their mother's fur.
Monolithic among the herd is the Husband, black furred with a compact, upright body like a giraffe, its powerful chest supporting the thick, muscled neck that stretches up to a magnificent head crowned by twisting spires of horn as tall as its body, piercing the sky.
Packs of Predatory Beasts try their luck harrying the migration, but lone predators would never dare. Before they disintegrate completely the Deer's shattered antlers fracture into splinters, leaving wounds full of powdered glass where they pierce the flesh.
In dire situations the Husband tramps through the herd like an icebreaker, all discordant howling and rage, any shred of self-preservation lost. If the Husband perishes another Powder Deer will undergo a transmutation to take its place, but such things take time.
Their powdered antlers fertilise the growth of both bacteria and vegetation. Lush foliage and crops sprout where there has been conflict, but any wounds contaminated by the earth or even the plants themselves are likely to fester within mere hours.
13Copulatorum
Less a migration than a minor incursion, men and women bearing the faint scent of carnal knowledge arrive at secluded cabins, farms, taverns, palaces. The method of their approach and petition for solace varies, but invariably ends in an enticement to lay with them.
Where their advances are rejected they leave with apology. Where accepted, people report seeing either a heavily pregnant woman or an obscenely obese man with a pendulous gut leaving in the small hours of the morning, while inside the homes are all torn flesh and a madness of blood and bile.
Respected and Disregarded Organisations are all in consensus that the reports are utter fallacy, only lone eccentrics and outright lunatics seek out incidents of Copulatorum, though not all for the same reasons.
Jilted lovers, subsequent suspicious deaths, absurd stories and hangings.
14Bowelbird
Flocks of inky black birds with eyes like fresh-spilt blood alight on rooftops and concentric patterns in fields, named for a habit of digging amongst entrails after a slaughter, the Bowelbird is possessed with a desire for objects of the colour red, not gore.
At each rest they erect crimson piles of thievery in ensanguined cairns, incomprehensible shrines which will be destroyed by various breeds of Simian if they happen across them, reproachful shrieks echoing through the trees.
Carcasses strewn open, crimson veils carried away, roses a-snatched mid-courting.
Something much more were the cairns altogether allowed to stand.
15Ulcerate Vermis
Loathsome grey masses emerge from the sewers and water systems of the cities, slopping and rolling clumps of tentacles that make their way to the nearest patch of bare earth beyond the city walls, seemingly melting into the dirt.
The majority of their migration takes place beneath the ground, but when it begins to rain they will emerge through shifting clumps of dirt, tumbling and running chaotically across the land amid the spattering drops.
Apathetic Gastronomes savour them as a delicacy, and Various Unseemly Bookish-Types would rather like to get their hands on a specimen.
The light touch of a tentacle when you get too close to them opens a painless ulcer in your skin that will heal within a few days, but while it persists you remain mildly irritated over nothing. They often evade capture simply because those around them are too busy arguing over meaningless drivel.
16Nightshade
Unseen in the light of day, slinking through the night, melting into shelter when something is near. Beneath a tree you raise your head to the night sky to find a dark shadow towering over the leaves, staring down at you with furtive reflective orbs.
One-Eyed Stygian Herbbalists have an unwholesome interest in the movements of the Nightshade.
Unearthly beautiful blossoms unfurling their shimmering black petals in the morning light provide the only marker that a Nightshade ever passed.
17The Crawling Rot
They emerge from their burrows, decaying with splitting flesh in the sunlight, undergoing regenerative transmorphosis throughout the night, an ever-shifting parade of warped flesh and cancerous disease.
Every Being With a Sense of the Sanctity of Their Own Existence or Self-Preservation will avoid the Crawling Rot at any cost, even the carrion vermin know better than to meddle with their flesh.
You will know their passing by the rotting remnants of shed antlers, teeth, eyestalks and splitting jaws, twisted arms, segmented legs, tentacles and gore, you will know them by the smell.
18Somnolent Broodmite
Transportation is what they need; human, animal, they don't mind. The anaesthetic saliva of their bite renders the host unaware as the mites enter their body through holes bored in the legs, populating through the body, consuming everything non-vital to their needs over time. Somnambulance is induced when they reach the brain, carrying the Broodmites towards their desire.
If they absolutely must be stopped, a human host will speak with others, but it won't make sense, like a lover waking you in the middle of the night during a dream.
For the most part no one will ever know that the Somnolent Broodmites have passed, but some may find the target of their hunt or planned thievery suddenly split apart by their attack, spilling piles of bloody mites in search of new transportation.
19Jewelled Mounds of Ur
Shambling masses of flesh little more than a delivery system for the rose-tinted crystals sprouting in clusters from their skin, hobbling on pairs of bony arms like crutches and cloven-footed hind legs.
They travel towards the Valley of the Nine Streams and the anchored egg sacs already laid by their females within the sapphire waters. When they reach the stream's edge their unheard voices raise in a harmonic reverberation, bursting their fragile crystals over the water, releasing pink seed to fertilise the eggs. After this release the males will die, their corpses waiting food for their unhatched young.
Uneducated Would-Be Jewel Thieves have sometimes killed Mounds in order to dislodge the giant crystals from their flesh, only to be rewarded with a burst of honey-thick semen for their troubles. The Mound's seed also happens to hold remarkable mutagenic potential, a property that makes it rather valuable to certain other parties.
Apart from theft-related mishaps, fish and amphibians that spawn from the Nine Streams during the same period are abundant in number and girth, even if their flesh does taste unnaturally salty, and their entrails form strange patterns amidst too-many bones.
20Ash Spider Colossum
Spread fractal shadows beneath them as they pass, light clouds of dust motes shaking free from segmented legs that stab the earth with every step, stretching straight up to lightly suspended plateau bodies bearing black monoliths that scratch the sky like lightning-struck trees.
Shivering Bare-Fleshed Zealots worship the Ash Spiders as gods, climbing to their backs to partake in an endless liturgy amongst the monoliths.
Blue-Bloat Bore Grubs infest the colossal limbs, burrowing tunnels as they feed.
Zealots crawl over the Spider's legs as they walk, digging out melon-sized grubs to gorge on succulent blue flesh.
Madness sprouts in their wake, a religious fervour erupting in settlements that drives the afflicted to scale their new gods and worship at their peaks, replenishing the ranks of Zealots that have climbed within grasping mouths, food for the gods.

 

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Victim de Fashion


Some people are much more fancy than others, and when your players meet them you don’t want to be caught with your pants down saying, “um, they’re wearing like, a big, hat..”

So tables.

 

d20Ostentatious Fashions
1A thousand pearl-drop spiders, trying to cocoon them, repairing tears as they walk.
2The lengthy feathers of one hundred birds plucked during their mating dance, splayed out in absurd plumes of colour from all the best parts.
3A hanging gorget of lorica plumata, flimsy golden scales dangling over the naked breast, filmy silk underwear covering their modesty, leggings and loose sleeves sewn from the hides of Dividing Leopard Worms, venom milked from the (majority of the) defensive hairs for safety.
4A brass monkey cage strapped to their back, extending above their head, anchored by an elaborately embroidered corset. The monkey has honey-coloured fur and void-black eyes, shrieking at you with a crimson void of a mouth. Monkey spit and shit stains their shoulders and they seem not to care.
5Overlapping copper plates like a flower blooming up around their chest, face powdered with dabs of orange spices like an explosive spray of pollen.
6An intricate set of leg armour carved from dark wood, with shingled shins and sickeningly colourful fungus growing from the backs of their thighs, bobbing fruiting bodies dusting spores in their wake as they walk.
7Constrictive bands of silver polished to blinding, prickling with long randomly jutting spikes that necessitate dramatically raised arms and tiptoeing in a constant pose of ballet absurdity.
8A floor-length black loincloth and naked skin dripped with malleable lava flows of resinous wax, the shimmering carapaces of entombed beetles and spiders visible through the translucent surface like veins of amber.
9Deep purple robes open to expose flashes of naked skin, their oversized length smeared with muck and trailing silver chains leashed to a trio of albino monkeys with crimson script dyed in bands around their fur.
10An eight-arch crown covered in vivid living fungus, probably crawling with insects, body draped in an apron of gold-dusted hanging lichen.
11Prodigious weight held within a beaten copper plackart, absurdly round, plates of powdered breast jutting over its girth like balconies of naked flesh. Severely tapered legs sprout from the glittering ball covered in gauzy white ruched fabric, laced at intervals to form tiers of billowing pouches.
12Night-dark fabric stitched together with exposed golden thread, weeping purple fruits impaled upon a collar of iron spikes extending above their head in a storm cloud of buzzing insects.
13Half mask of horns, horns on the eyes horns on the temples horns horns horns. Lips painted lifeblood red and limbs wrapped all about with rich red velvet string, pale flesh bulging between the lines.
14All puffed pantaloons and slashed sleeves, ruffled and pouchy in fabrics cut and dyed in resemblance of a cacophonous bouquet, a placid black bone china mask obscuring their face.
15Ochre-painted naked skin but for a collar bearing five vertical spikes that support a black veil draped over their head.
16The remains of two boars sewn into a kind of shawl, their rearing heads mounted on the shoulders, grotesque open tusked maws like screaming epaulettes, the outer foreleg of each sewn into a sleeve, their spines joining together, fused with thread, tails dangling salaciously about the wearer's glittering posterior, bedecked in a gown of clingy gold chainmail.
17An elaborately decorated bustle sprouting from their hips, overlapping organic spiralled layers of silk making it look like an absurd voluptuous cocoon. And it is, carefully chosen so as to hatch a swarm of butterflies at the perfect moment of the night for maximum visual effect.
18A big boofy bell-skirted dress made entirely of glass, it has to be lowered over her head by a team of sweating steady-handed attendants. The refraction of the angled glass means you never really get a good look at her tits, the moment you think you see a nipple it jumps six inches to the left.
19Luscious bunched wrappings of fabric in violet hues around their legs and hips, framing a ceramic paunch of a belly plate, bone white and hanging over their groin, full of holes like a pot belly hive.
20They kneel upon a small podium carried on the backs of two long-haired goats, wearing a girdle of hair that obscures their legs and tumbles down the goat's sides, fusing them together.
Gold-dipped goat hooves line the lower back of their tight-stitched black leather bodysuit, each successive row showing more trembling leg up to their shoulder blades.
They pout red lips and ring sulky bells hanging from the goat's curved horns as they pass you by.

 

“But Logan, what about cults, gangs, and social clubs, sometimes they dress alike!”

 

Got you covered.

 

 

d20Cabalistic Aesthetics
1Little finger removed from left hand and kept in a velvet-lined box where no one will ever find it.
2Big puffed shoulders, one of them much larger, a tumour of coiled fabric. Sleek clinging moist drapery.
3Esoteric symbology tattooed in black around their jawline and up to their lower lip, a solid black circle on their throat.
4The whites of their eyes dyed a startling shade of violet, skin vigilantly powdered deathly pale.
5Neck and throat painted bronze, stopping severely at the jawline.
6Eyelids are painted metallic black and bear an inverted white triangle.
7Sleek muscled limbs and a belly hanging in cellulite neglect. It's almost impressive in its absurdity.
8A stubby off-white candle attached to the back of their hand by a mess of melted wax, lit at times appointed by their inscrutable religion.
9An elaborate plaster chest-piece hanging from their neck, baroque floral sculpting like a painting's frame.
10Ritual scarification of a flower opening in the centre of their chest.
11Left arm dyed blue with the distilled pigment of the crushed petals of the lotus.
[Stolen from one of my favourite little details in Vornheim]
12Bottom lip split in the middle and cauterised to leave an ever-drooling gully of perfect pink flesh.
13Eyelid removed from right eye, carrying a small glass jar of water with a brush attached to the lid to moisten their exposed eyeball.
14A small orange bird attached to their left shoulder by a golden chain, singing coded messages to each other.
15Oil of vitriol burned into the nape of their neck in a perfect bare hand print, fuck knows who did it, the hand prints are all the same.
16They all have a stocky little black dog strapped to their chest, like a baby harness, it hangs there with its legs sticking out, limp paws hanging, staring at you through a porcelain doll mask, a low humming growl resonating from its ribcage.
17Hands dip-died red past the wrist, nails tapered and lacquered black, copious amounts of white fabric.
18Golden needles like quills bristling from the back of their necks.
19A large sickly green poison dart frog, crawling over their face, attached to a delicate brass chain threaded between their ears, forehead, and nose by a circlet around its foot.
20Fields of tiny oil-black mushrooms grow from the inner sides of their arms, constantly held slightly aloft from their body so as not to damage them, looking eery as fuck.

 

And hey, if you prefer visual aids over words, you can roll on this d20 Pinterest board I made instead.

 

RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel (b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen) Portrait of Maria Serra Pallavicino 1606

 

Speaking of, Pinterest seems like a remarkably overlooked game tool, especially if you’re playing online.

 

Starting a new campaign or introducing new players and want to quickly convey the feel you’re going for? Throw a bunch of inspiration pictures on a Pinterest board and send everyone a link. Jeff Russell’s a sharp one so he’s already doing that here.

 

Prefer visual encounter tables to written ones? Number a board like I did with the fashions, and if you do want to know their stats or make other notes about them, you can put that shit in the image description below it!

 

The only real drawback of Pinterest is that you can’t reorder the images, and just when you think you’ve ordered them by adding them in sequence, it shows them in different orders at different resolutions. But pfft, whatever.

 

For your convenience there’s a whole lot more fashion compiled here, as well as a board more specifically tailored to Weavers of the Dark Arts.

 

Special fashion assistant thanks to my lady Rose with her fecund imagination and good looks.


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