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An Array of Specimens Tagged as Random Tables

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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This Place is Crawling with Tables


It all started when I found the old AD&D Lankhmar supplement, which features this gorgeous map right here:

See all those white boxes? The supplement contains neighbourhood geomorphs that you randomly insert when the players move off the main streets and into the ‘burbs, and even suggests changing the geomorph if the players don’t go back there for a while to make the city feel more alive. I know, it’s wonderful.

 

Around this time I was also having chats with the also wonderful Jeremy Duncan about mapping Cörpathium and his own Galbaruc, and the trouble of figuring out how much is too much, what to nail down and what to keep loose. Because as pretty as the above map is, forget that.

 

Really what I want is to capture the sprawling mutability of cities like Viriconium and Ambergris, something you experience by running around in it rather than poring over a lavishly drawn map, with just enough grounding to make it work as a game.

 

 

OKAY SO WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST SMART GUY?

 

Map your main streets. That gives you a framework, points of reference, clever/punny street names for players to remember. Everything else though? Doesn’t matter until it matters.

 

When your players want/need off a main street drop a d4 and a d6 (try to use a d6 with sharp corners, you need that random bounce). If the numbers match, there aren’t any reachable exits.

 

Otherwise, treat the d4 as the player’s position on the street, facing the way you are. The number is how many alleys they can see, and the points of the dice show the rough direction they’re in. Add them clockwise from whatever point is closest to the d6.

If there are 4 alleys put the 4th wherever.

You might prefer to drop the dice directly onto the map instead, do whatever makes you happy, I’m not your mother.

 

There’s also this roughly where the d6 landed:

 

1.  Someone left their door open

2.  Public house

3.  Sewer entrance

4.  Way to climb onto building

5.  Lesser street

6.  Intersecting lesser street

 

So if you rolled like below, there’s four reachable alleys; one back off in the direction of the 2, one ahead in the direction of the 1, one directly off to the right thanks to the 3, and another one wherever takes your fancy. The d6 came up as a 5, so there’s a lesser street leading away back on the left side of the main street.

 

 Okay so now we’re running around in alleys, fun!

 

Every time the players enter an alley, drop the d4 and d6 again and generate the exits like before, using the tables below. If the numbers are the same, there’s a complication.

 

 

AlleyCrawling
d4Points of Diced6
1Alley.1Back door.
2Alley.2Darkened nook.
3Alley.3Boarded-over alley.
4Alley.4Way to climb onto building.
5Reachable window.
6Alley complication.

 

 

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The Fogwalk


If for some reason the players ever decide to leave the joys of the Rookery, here’s its closest neighbour.

 

The Fogwalk, a borough of seaside views, commerce and depravity.

 

 

 

Sights, Smells, etc.

  • Smells of salt, sweet fish, tarred wood and a lingering hangover.
  • Moss grows around the docks and on the walls of nearby buildings. At night it glows a bright bioluminescent blue.
  • The morning mist rolling in from the Hollow Sea to swirl about your ankles thins out through the day and returns at night.

Buildings:

  • Strong black stone along the shore, towers raised up against the Hollow Sea, wide doors to admit cargo and release machines of war.
  • Mixtures of stone and jettied wood the further you get from the sea.

Building: d6 storeys, d6 sub-levels (3-6 no sub-level).

Occupants: d10 per storey, 0 = currently unoccupied.

 

 

Activity

 

Morning:

Dockhands going to work, fish buyers with baskets, men with knotted arms and sharp knives removing barnacles from the docks.
Encounter chance 1 in 6 per hour
Overhear Rumour on a 6
Chance of Godless: 20%/Turn

 

Noon:
Cargo unloaded, goods being shipped out and haggled for, Neophytic Sisters of the Cathedral of Lost Virtue waiting to lead more discerning seafarers back to the Cathedral and away from the Plaza of Earthly Lust.
Encounter chance 1 in 6 per hour
Overhear Rumour on 6
Chance of Godless: 20%/Turn

 

Night:
Workers leaving, others arriving to unload the night cargo, revellers of the Plaza, Godless night watch.
-2 to reaction rolls unless inside the Plaza
Encounter chance 1 in 6 per hour
Overhear Rumour on 5-6
Chance of Godless: 30%/Turn

 

 

Facts

  • Murder Loot: d100 sp. Carrying Curio on a double.
  • Dock Trade: They may be the most powerful trading company in the Dockmaw, but Haugroten & Sons are far from alone. Organisations like the Hollow Sea Co. and Leviathon Cargo Cult maintain a presence on the Dockmaw’s boards, generally hiring mercenary dockhands job-to-job. Many speculate that Haugroten & Sons allow their competition to persist merely to avoid boredom.

 

 

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Drink Me


Not every potion will make you shrink, Alice.

 

 

Unexpected Side-Effect of Consuming this Unknown Substance
d20
1Random Mutation.
2Your skin turns a mottled purple, like a spreading rash, over time it loses its elasticity and grows more than it should, forming wrinkled folds.
3You hear hundreds of voices talking over each other in your head for the next d4 Turns. The thoughts of the people around you are in there somewhere.
4It was full of the eggs of some parasitic insect. The next time you're in a crowd of people make an Intelligence check to resist the urge to embrace the nearest person in an open-mouthed kiss as you regurgitate larvae down their throat to start the next development cycle. They need to be passed on three times to reach maturity. If you resist, the larvae will die and pass out of your system.
5Everything but your circulatory system seems to dissolve into invisibility. You can see things crawling through the space where your flesh should be.
6Your mind goes into overdrive, flooded with possibilities. For the next hour gain a d6 bonus to each knowledge check, save, and to-hit roll. After an hour you lose consciousness for d4 Turns, with a 20% chance of gaining a random Insanity, and a 10% chance of gaining permanent knowledge of a new spell, regardless of class.
7Your gender changes, but not very well.
8You reek of rotting meat for the next d4 days.
9For the next d4 days any wounds that don't kill you outright heal d6hp/Round, flesh knitting before the eyes of your bewildered foes. When the effect ends there is a percentage chance equal to hp healed that your old wounds continue healing at an accelerated rate, developing bulbous cancerous growths. If they are allowed to grow to the size of a fist they will contain a luminous green gem like a cluster of bubbles.
10You develop extreme photosensitivity for the next 2d4 days; spending more than an hour in direct sunlight causes steam to rise from your broiling skin, I wouldn't push it.
11The bones in your arms become soft and elasticised for d4 Turns, hanging down below your knees. They still function but it's hard to move anything but your hands, you kind of need to swing them in the right direction.
12Scent of Fear. For the next day you exude pheromones that trigger danger signals, that mark you as an alpha predator. Animals will not attack you unless desperate, you gain appropriate bonuses to intimidation, and intelligent beings attacking you in melee must make an Intelligence check to swallow their panic.
13Fertile Fields. Small plants and fungus sprout from your skin, it's fucking painful. Soon your back and shoulders look like rainforest undergrowth.
14You start seeing a cherub with bored-out black hole eyes floating around you, but it doesn't exist for anyone else. The more you talk to it the more it is able to interact with reality.
15Your teeth blacken and fall from your shrunken gums, your tongue burns as it splits like a dividing worm and stretches to twice its original length.
16Neurons fire and multiply like catastrophic culture in a Petri dish, latent telesthesia manifests and small puckered holes open around your skull, venting thin vaporous streams. For d4 days you are able to implant irresistible mental suggestion or alter memory and perception in others simply by rolling under your Intelligence; if you wish to force them do something unthinkable or open an imploding pocket of nothingness inside their grey matter they may save vs. Poison.
When the duration ends the subsiding electrical fever will cause a deterioration that permanently decreases your Intelligence by double the duration. In your heightened mental state you know this will happen. You also know that the only way to prevent the cerebral decay is to consume the brain of someone who trusts you implicitly.
17Nothing special, you are just intoxicated, but it is a very good intoxication.
18Your organs liquefy and leak out but you don't mind, because they are being replaced by new ones, new ones that are alive all by themselves and whisper within the cavities of your flesh and heal you and will never let you die, no matter how many times you are mangled and torn apart, no matter how much your mind begins to slip away from you, no matter how hard you cry and beg for it to all just end, they will never let you die.
19Spilt bodily fluids take on an ethereal phosphorescent glow, marking trails and inciting awkward copulatory conversations. They are also highly flammable. Putting out a match on your tongue would conflagrate your head.
20A Cure for Unhealthy Bibliophilic Tendencies. Touching books causes your skin to crawl, a burning itch that swells up from the palms of your hands, reading more than a few lines brings tears of near pure salt to your eyes, and soon the musty smell alone of a time-worn tome causes you to spill your stomach across the floor.

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The Rookery of Van Möldus


What better place to start in the greatest city of the new and ancient world than in a slum as a nobody?

 

This is the Rookery of Van Möldus, a borough of Cörpathium that you could probably use as a city all to itself if you really wanted to.

 

 

 

Sights, Smells, etc.

  • Cold and damp, smells of fish rot and stinging salt.
  • Makeshift shelters crowd alleys and cul-de-sacs.
  • Purplish barnacles grow on buildings and side-walks, finding more nourishment in the squalor than the sea. They’ll attach to people if they stay still for long enough.

Buildings:

  • Decrepit worn stone and rotting wood, roofs leak and wind whistles through the walls.
  • Mostly two or three jettied stories, a mixture of stone and wood, many with basements that reach below sea level.
  • No windows face the Hollow Sea, they only look inwards upon Cörpathium.
  • No Deicidium.

Building: d4 storeys, d6 sub-levels (5-6 no sub-level).

Occupants: d10 x2 per storey, 0 = currently unoccupied.

 

 

 

Activity

 

Morning:
Drunks waking in the street with barnacles clinging to their flesh, the occasional fog-bloated corpse, beggars and waremongers drifting off to Möldenghast Blvd, men dumping buckets of barnacles recently removed from the Dockmaw.
-2 to reaction rolls
Encounter chance 1 in 6 per hour
Overhear Rumour on a 6
Chance of Godless: 1%/Turn

 

(Unless someone is already running screaming to get them, Chance of Godless is rolled per Turn while something is happening in the open that shouldn’t be. Since there is no Deicidium in the Rookery and no one really cares about it chances are low, and there’s every possibility that even if they do show up, they’ll leave you to it. More on that later.)

 

Noon:
Idle cutthroats, strangers slinking between houses and alleys.
-2 to reaction rolls
Encounter chance 1 in 6 per hour
Overhear Rumour on 6
Chance of Godless: 2%/Turn

 

Night:
Unaffiliated whores in doorways, drunks spilling from makeshift brewhouses, crumpled bodies thrown from fight dens, knives flashing in the dark.
-4 to reaction rolls
Encounter chance 2 in 6 per hour
Overhear Rumour on a 6
Chance of Godless: N/A

 

 

 

Facts

  • Murder Loot: d100 cp (even) /10 sp (odd). Carrying Curio on a double.
  • Barnacles: If the purple-hued barnacle Cthalamus Siren, commonly known as Siren of the Slums is consumed, save vs. Poison. Failure results in an overwhelming desire to walk into the sea which lasts for d8 days.
  • Rats: Can’t help but eat the barnacles, subsequently drowning themselves without fail. Other boroughs tend to herd any infestations towards the Rookery.
  • Crime & Violence: Those who dwell within the Rookery rarely turn on each other unless cheated, insulted, or involved in rivalry. Cutpursing is reserved for those who live in neighbouring boroughs.
  • Family Van Möldus: Own near every building worth owning in the Rookery. Lodging houses, Our Lady Sacculina, The Foetid Babe, The Cuckoo’s Nest, all pay rent into the hands of Van Möldus.

 

 

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Does This Look Infected?


So you’re sloshing about in hot muck swinging knives around, sounds like a germ orgy to me.

 

I love the theory of the Humours and the batshit insanity that is medical history, so what started as a list of medical services in Cörpathium turned into four tables of available cures from the major practitioners and the side effects of their failure, as well as a table of Infections and Diseases for them to cure. Because your 3rd Level Cleric isn’t always going to be around you know.

 

After any encounter where you take a flesh wound, roll under your Constitution. If you fail you have contracted an Infection, which probably won’t slow you down too much but it’ll be really icky. If you roll an ultimate-fail 20 that’s not infected, you’ve gone and caught yourself a Disease.

Once you have an Infection or Disease you can stop rolling, anything else that tries to get inside you just gets eaten up by the established bacteria.

 

 

Infections -– 4d4 hours to manifest
d12
1Your skin grows raw and red and sprouts enormous blood blisters that swell to the size of a small apple before popping in arcs of putrid plasma, over and over again like boiling mud baths.
2Pus weeps from your throat and crusts into barnacle-like lesions on your neck, causing intense pain if you speak anything but lies.
3A crater-like pox mars the flesh around the wound and creeps up your neck. The vinegary stench grows when you are under stress or heightened excitement and puffs of yellow vapour vent from the pox. Save vs. Poison or suffer the effects of Confusion.
4The wound will not heal properly; rather than closing, small bunches of fleshy tendrils emerge from the cloven flesh, like the fingers of babies.
5Thick black tears leak from your eyes, clouding your vision, and you find that after you have wiped them away, when your fingers are stained black with oil, your eyelids cling together every time you blink, your hands stiffen, like fingertrap lockjaw.
6The skin around the wound hardens and crusts in blackening shards like a burning tree, then begins its creeping spread. +1 AC for the first week is pretty great, but then your joints begin to stiffen, walking becomes a chore, you'd rather lay down in the dirt, bury your fingers and breathe in the muck..
7Your organs grind and groan like a wounded animal. Every d8 hours you will spend d2 Turns in agony while you pass a grotesque opalescent kidney stone. After you've stopped crying you can sell it as a spell component.
8The sound of dogs barking inflicts searing pain upon your bowels, you break out in fragrant pink boils in the sun, you have an overwhelming craving for all manner of crawling insects.
9Every d6 hours you disgorge a surging mass of green bile that continues to bubble and churn after it has left your throat.
10Gob Rot. Your gums fester and peel back, you swallow parts of your tongue as it begins to putrefy, teeth drool out of your mouth while you speak.
11Swollen boils sprout from your skin, oddly puckered like an anus. If they are still present after a week, the next time you are amongst a large group of people they unfurl like glistening mucus-coated blossoms of skin, violently jettisoning flesh spores into the air.
12Fibrous purple fronds curl out from your skin, interwoven and fragile, ever-growing. It would be beautiful if they weren't siphoning off your blood supply.

 

 

 

Diseases -– 4d8 hours to manifest, roll cure chance twice and take the lowest
d12
1Sticky, caustic sweat beads from your pores. It burns those that touch you like watered-down acid and corrodes anything exposed to your skin within d4 Turns.
2Tendrils of skin sprout in patches, softly swaying and bulbous at their tips. A fluid bubbles from them like snail slime trying to scare away a predator, the same consistency, the scent of compost. It is a sympathetic narcotic, every time someone takes the slime upon their tongue in order to explore the feculent gardens of their mind in search of lost inspirations, you lose yourself in the same experience.
3The flesh around the wound becomes spongy, pliant, it exudes the scent of fuchsia. Synaesthesia ravages your psyche, and pulling away clumps of your deteriorating body makes the most deliriously beautiful music.
4Leprous Crawl. Your flesh sloughs, a bicep one moment and a sack of atrophied muscle hanging from bone in a skin bag the next. But that's not what bothers you, it's when it comes back. Creeping up the bone, tendons attaching, muscle re-adhering, the sucking sounds within your skin. It never rebuilds the same way and your skin is starting to smell of rot.
Re-roll Strength each time.
5Your belly distends, swollen with bacteria and gas. During any physical exertion roll under Constitution to control the horrendous flatulence brimming for release.

Week Two: The bloated skin of your belly is a roadmap of stretch marks, the next failed roll will see your stomach split and spilt.
6Clothing has to be peeled away, you sweat like mucus, everyone seems to walk too fast for you.

Day Two: Veins pulse beneath translucent skin, you wonder if your legs are beginning to atrophy, you know you're being neurotic but you're so tired, everyone else is so fast.

Day Three: The flesh of your legs has jellied, you can see bone through blueish muck in the shape of a thigh, the translucent skin has spread up to your ribs.

Day Four: Your legs collapse, lost all integrity. You might survive another day before it reaches your brain.
7You wholeheartedly believe that tiny men with the faces of carrion birds pull themselves from your yellow blisters to whisper the secrets of the cosmos to you.

Day Two: They teach you a random 9th Level Spell. When you cast it you don't realise that nothing happened, that you were mumbling gibberish, you believe yourself all-powerful. They promise you so much more.

Day Three: Your companions must die, they know too much, the carrion told you so.
8Fingers, fingers everywhere. They start as bony nubs but they emerge soon enough, calloused, without fingernails, twitching and catching on things.
9Your skin is pocked with holes like the back of a pregnant frog. Fleshy nodules emerge to squirt thin streams of noxious green fluid before retreating back inside your skin. It isn't an infestation, it is your own flesh, and it is growing larger.
10Resinous Influenza. It's not the bleary leaking eyes that bother you, nor the deep-bone ache or even the delirious shakes. It's the absurd amount of mucus that you expel every time you sneeze and the fact that it sets like resin almost as soon as it touches your exposed skin.
Your face begins to look like a grotesque melted mask and that is not a good look for anyone.
11The Worm of Entropy grows within your bowels, emerging from your body at night to raise up and taste the air. Not an invader, grown from your own flesh.

Week One: Whenever you come into contact with a new person/entity make a Reaction Roll for yourself to figure out how you feel about them. Any time a group comes to consensus there is a 2 in 6 chance that you outright dissent.

Week Two: Strength and Constitution decrease by d4 each. At night you have the uncomfortable sensation of being watched.

Week Three: Your body suffers 2d4 minor Mutations. The worm is more bold now, and can be seen slipping from various orifices so that it can peer out at you.

Week Four: Your flesh loses its integrity, collapsing into a gibbering pile of sentient filth from which the worm emerges, laughing sludge sloughing from it's many-hued flanks. It is transmution made flesh, save vs. Hysterical Weeping.
12It starts with a dry itch, dustings of dead flakes falling from your skin as you scratch like chronic dandruff, turning strangely polychromatic as it settles.

Week Two: It's in the flesh now, your skin has almost entirely itched away and you're scratching canals into the muscle beneath. It doesn't even look like flesh and blood anymore, just polychromatic granularity like a bathbomb.

Week Three: Your hands have been ground away so you rub your itching limbs together as best you can, grinding biceps over your torso, crushing your chin against your chest.

Week Four: Without anything left to scratch it with, you find that your flesh slowly regrows, but the moment your limbs build back into moveable stumps..

The polychromous decay is a powerful spell component and many of those who contract its disease end up as limbless torsos in a Maleficar's basement, unable to scream through dust-filled lungs, forever regenerating porous dusty flesh only to have it scraped away.

 

And now for the fun part! Roll randomly for a cure depending on your contacts and budget. If a cure works I doubt I’d establish it as the ongoing remedy for that condition though, this is an age of experimentation.

Since a large part of these working is a placebo effect, players should get bonuses to the chance of success if they can demonstrate that they truly believe in their authenticity. If someone collected the components for their own eel blood and crab egg enema I would give them some god damn bonuses.

 

Continue onwards for the cures or head straight to Penny Pamphlets to download everything in a spreadsheet.

 

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How to Make Friends and Imagine People


While there may be plenty of NPC generators already in existence, I wanted one specifically for Cörpathium that I could use to make all of the characters ever. So, I made one?

 

Since the tables would be unforgivably ugly if I had to reformat them to fit here, head to Penny Pamphlets or click this link to download the NPC Birthing Sac in spreadsheet form. With the amount of tables I use, I’m really finding spreadsheets to be the best thing in the world. Instead of having multiple PDFs or text documents open I can have one spreadsheet with all of the pages I might need, and I can even freeze the headings so that no matter where I scroll I can still see the table name and number. For something absolutely free and easy to use download LibreOffice.

 

[Edit: everything besides the doubles and triples tables is now also automated here.]

 

Since my idea of fun does not include a cross-referenced 500 entry table of “Tempestuous, Has Kind Eyes”, “Will Betray You, Smells Like Cinnamon”, and “Hooked Nose, Was Once Bitten By a Sheep”, my generator has you drop a handful of dice for vague descriptors of different character aspects, then take a reaction roll and a random name and imagine the rest. I mean really, we can figure out if they have a weakness for cherry pie and fast women later.

 

 

Okay Shut Up Now and Tell Me How to Use This Thing

 

Step One: Every dice has its own table, so scoop all of them into your hot little womb of a hand and roll. If there are any doubles or triples re-roll them on those tables.

 

Step Two: I have made names for every race in Cörpathium. Every god damn one. Roll d100 once for a full name and occupation or a few times to mix it up. Add an elaborate title if you feel like it.

 

[There aren’t any demi-humans in Cörpathium, but there are four major ethnicities. The Moors are steeped in mysticism and have near pure-black skin, like polished ebony, with pupil-less white eyes and rich silk clothing dripping with jewellery. Urgoths/Saxons are the pale mongrel children of might-as-well-be-Europe. Francs are like their more effete olive-skinned cousins. The Morgen are pale to the point of ethereality with epicanthic eyes and bullshit Lovecraftian names, when born they’re anointed to the sect of one of their hundred gods instead of taking a family name. Anything deeper about their cultures can be made up mid-game I don’t got that kinda time.]

 

Step Three: Make a reaction roll. Some of the original rolls should be interpreted with this in mind.

 

Step Four: It’s alive.

 

 

OKAY LET’S MAKE OURSELVES A GIN & TONIC AND BIRTH SOME NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS

 

NPC #1:

3 (Franc), 6 (Old Female), 6 (Inconsistently), 5 (Alluring), 9 (Tall and Fat), 12 (Fame), 13 (Storyteller), re-rolled double (Hides their blindness well), reaction roll 10

 

Penelope Clairval is a Francish Cook, and while she may be pushing her sixties her constant food-tasting and activity has kept her tall frame plump, and her clean tight apron frames her pot belly in a way that you find oddly and compulsively attractive. She’s extremely happy to have you here but occasionally has spats of frustration while she’s running around the kitchen regaling you with stories of  her culinary endeavours and how they’ll make her famous throughout all Cörpathium some day. You’d never guess that she’s blind and finds her way around the kitchen by smell and memory alone.

 

 

NPC #2:

1 (Moor), 2 (Young Male), 6 (Inconsistently), 10 (Utterly Absurd), 3 (Rotund), 3 (Power), 20 (Plans/Destiny), re-rolled double (Pathological liar), reaction roll 8

 

Harbungur Uruman, the Pastel Lord, is a young Moorish boy currently prenticed to the Sewerkeepers, where he is able to access nearly-closed pathways that the older and larger men cannot. He wears clothes too large for his portly little frame, likely passed down from his father, but the jewellery hanging from every available space is decidedly un-Moorish; things either washed into the sewers or long-forgotten, shimmering and strange. He found something down there in the places no one else can reach, something he believes will one day make him a lord of Cörpathium. He doesn’t know how to react to you, he isn’t sure if he can use you, and sways mid-conversation between joviality and disdain. Everything he tells you is a lie, and his young mind still has trouble keeping track of which lies are being told to who.

 

 

NPC #3:

4 (Morgen), 1 (Old Male), 1 (Overtly), 3 (Squalid), 2 (Impish), 8 (Sociopathy), 4 (Body Language), two re-rolled doubles (Unexpectedly knowledgeable, Overly perfumed), reaction roll 5

 

Cul-Ragaroth Magog is a near-decrepit Morgen Narcotic Chymist, the filth-stained vestments covering his bent, shrunken body are little better than burn-marked rag and he despises you, something he communicates quite clearly through venomous words and unmistakably malevolent movements. Persistence pays off though, because if you can talk your way around his hate and the overpowering scent of rose-water he uses to mask his chemical experimentation, you’ll discover that he knows about everything.

 

 

HELLS YES THAT WORKED EXACTLY LIKE I HOPED LET’S MAKE ALL OF THE CHARACTERS


9 comments



Playing With Someone Else’s Toys: Monsterparts


Pearce Shea of Games With Others has been known to blurt out pretty, clever little things that make me squeal with glee.

The latest is Monsterparts, a game of children facing down the nightmare apocalypse while their parents fuss over toast and the morning paper.

 

Yes, I know you want to play it, we all do. Here are some extra Special Things and Secrets.

 

 

Special Things
1d20(d4 uses each)
1Box with the Body of your Goldfish (One Use Only)
Its ghost can swim through the streams of time, up to 5 days into the past or future. If you whisper a 3 word message into its mouth, when the ghost arrives it will flop to the floor and blow a big wet bubble that releases the message when it pops.
2Mum's Perfume
Spraying it in a bad thing's face will paralyse them for d2 Turns with a coughing fit.
3Cousin Judith's Crayons
Judith is such a good drawer, she told you if you use these crayons maybe you'll be as good as her some day. Anything drawn with the crayons lifts itself up and becomes real for a Turn.
4Old Yo-Yo
When you're lost will lead you in the right direction if you Walk the Dog.
5Ugly Knitted Sweater from Grandma
Will absorb an attack and wound the bad thing that tried to hurt you.
6Grandpa's Flashlight
Will punch a hole right through the blackest nightmare.
7Battered old Blankie
+3 AC when wrapped around you.
8Nudie Magazine from Dad's Shed (Truant Only)
Can be used to bribe tough/cool/bad kids for information or help.
9Baby Winklefoot's Book of Bedtime Stories (Studious Only)
When read, will force any bad thing that hears it to sink back into the earth to sleep for a Turn.
10Tin Soldier
Will defend you with the strength of a Tough kid to the death or the end of 3 Rounds, whichever comes first.
11Dead Girl's Diary
If you say nice things about the girl who owned it, will reveal helpful information.
12Magic Decoder Ring
Helps you read things you can't understand.
13Ninja Mask
When worn, you roll two damage dice.
14Tarnished Spyglass
Reveals the true form of anything you look at.
15Busted Walkie-Talkie
Hisses and spits with static when bad things are near. Can be used to shout a single word at one of your friends wherever they are d4 times before it stops working altogether.
16Big Fat Wad of Trading Cards
You've been collecting these things forever. When laid out on the ground they form a barrier that bad things can't cross. 30' worth.
17Lucky Underpants
It's hard to bring someone down when they're wearing their lucky underpants. When you're in a bad place or being chased, there's a 50% chance each Round that your EP aren't reduced.
18Imaginary Friend
They can get into places you can't to unlock doors or steal things or scope it out.
How? Uh, because they're imaginary?
19Ballerina Music Box
While it's playing, bad things can't come within 30' of you for a Turn. During that time you can't lose EP and can rest or eat if you need to.
20Cereal Box Harmonica
Calls any neighbourhood dogs in the area to come to your aid.

 

 

Secrets
1d20
1When you look at your shadow it seems to run in the direction of old Mr. Broomhower's house. He used to be an explorer or a doctor or a librarian or something and he never opens the gate that surrounds his huge dilapidated home.
2You've seen that kid Dale from Mrs. Corrigan's class eating dirt and bugs. He keeps getting fatter and fatter, no one else seems to notice.
3The run-down Joke Shop in town has been doing a lot more business lately, but children never go there, only adults. It stays open at all hours of the night.
4Old Mrs. Rumfeld never closes her doors or windows anymore, and at night the house is full of green light.
5The Principal is organising a school excursion to the abandoned coal mine, but it's been boarded up for years. Your mum just told you she sent in your permission slip.
6Mrs. Russell hasn't stopped smiling since her husband died. Even while she's crying, she never stops smiling.
7Plain Jane Richards brought a box of kittens to school for show-and-tell, she says her cat Miffy gave birth to them last night. Your dad ran over Miffy last week.
8Words form in your cereal every morning. You've been writing them down and they seem to be a warning about something that is going to happen today, but it won't say what until tomorrow.
9Birds have stopped perching in the big tree in the middle of the park. The old men that feed the ducks just stand there staring up at the tree.
10Pink fungus is growing around the janitor's closet at school. The janitor hasn't been to work in a week and the fungus is starting to spread.
11The Haversham's have no eyes, just bored out holes where they ought to be. They've been hosting dinner parties all week and their guests always leave without eyes. Your mum just got off the phone to Mrs. Haversham, you've all been invited over for dinner.
12All the people eating at the diner have grey oily bubbles that curve out from the back of their heads. Soon you can see the bubbles all the time. Soon they never leave the diner.
13Joey McNeil keeps telling everyone about the presents his grandfather has been bringing him, but Joey's grandfather died three years ago..
14Amy's parents send her to school with nothing but jelly cups for lunch. She always has more than she can eat and is happy to share. She's starting to look a bit like jelly herself.
15The Peterson's dog looks more scruffy than it used to, like its fur doesn't fit right, and during the day it's always sitting in the middle of their porch. It looks like it's smiling.
16Chris Matthews has always been a big mouth liar but he says he was hiding in the park and saw Alice's dad swallow Doctor Phillips then lie there like a huge pregnant lady. But you saw both of them today and they didn't look swallowed or pregnant to you. They do seem weird though, and your dad says you have to see Doctor Phillips this weekend to get a tetanus shot.
17The church is having extra services on Tuesdays now, but they don't allow kids. The old ladies glare at you as they leave.
18Your dad has been staying up all night at his computer. When you watch him strange colours dance all over his face while he stares at the screen, not even typing. If you move to look at the monitor it's just a blue screen.
19While you're watching TV the weatherman starts to cry and outside it starts to rain.
20Black frogs keep swimming up from the pipes and into the toilet whenever you try to go to the bathroom. When you went over to Tim's house they nearly filled the bowl.

4 comments



Cunning Linguists


Every Magic-User develops their own method of writing magical formulae, like some kind of sorcerous cipher, preventing their knowledge from being read by the plebeian unworthy.

Every other Magic-User knows the spell Read Magic, which they can cast and read anything they want.

 

Wait what? When did deciphering a madman’s work become such a throwaway bit of bag of tricks nonsense? If I was a wizard my spellbook would be overflowing with false passages and curses and traps like some kind of nightmare word labyrinth of doom, not presenting itself on a podium for the next first-day-of-magic-school Johnny that comes along. Read MY magic? I fucking think not.

So sure, Read Magic allows you to read magical writings, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to read it right.

 

When Reading Magic, save vs. Magic. Your Referee will probably apply penalties or bonuses depending on what you’re trying to read, and you can apply bonuses by concentrating really hard and using additional Cataclysm points before rolling. The number by which you succeed or fail is applied as a bonus or penalty to the 3d6 roll your Referee now makes in seeecret.

 

 

3d6Cunning Linguists
14-18Success
11-13Success/Librarian's Lament
8-10Librarian's Lament
5-7Chaos Reigns
1-4Tome of Terror

 

Librarian's Lament
1d20(d10 if the writing isn't in a book)
1You birth a wriggling pink rat with a young version of your own face out of your mouth. It scrambles away and out of sight. It will grow to about the size of a pug, it develops translucent flaps of skin to glide on, it keeps showing up to foil your plans.
2Tiny hideous mouths split open over the surface of the object and begin to scream.
3Cold pink mist swells up from the object and wafts out in a 30' radius, save vs. Poison or lie down to sleep in a blanket of fog.
4You read the writing as something utterly different, you have no reason to believe that it isn't right. If it is a spell, the first time you try to cast it a Chaos Reigns roll is triggered.
5The object bearing the writing bursts into flame like a pile of magnesium.
6Your eyes snap open wide and fill with churning pink clouds, black at the edges like a storm, dim flashes of light perceivable in their midst.
You find yourself blind, groping in lurid darkness, until your eyes settle back on the page. Your eyes are permanently ensorcelled, unable to see anything but writing, but able to decipher any written language or cipher without aid of any kind.
You may find that there is a kind of poetry in the fibre of the world itself, but learning to read that will take some time.
7Get up from the table, go to the nearest bookshelf, close your eyes, pull down a book, flip to a random page, scan down and read the first few lines that catch your eye. For the next 2d4 days save vs. Magic whenever you want to start a conversation or cast a spell, if you fail the only words to come out are those lines over and over again.
8Vow of Poverty. You just cursed yourself. Precious metals and gems rot within your presence, visibly deteriorating every day, leaving nothing but discoloured muck after a week of being within 15' of you.
9Five trails of gently floating green lights appear, wafting into your lungs as they reach you. The lights are leading demoniac hounds with the hands of men and voices of children to you from various directions.
Every 8 hours roll a d4 per remaining hound, on a 4 they have come to collect you.
10Your nearest companion compulsively stabs you with whatever blade is closest to hand. A copper serpent slithers from the wound and into your hands, its blood-slicked scales are carven with arcane knowledge.
(Hand the player the Magic-User spell list, they gain any spells they can legibly write down within 10 seconds. To cast the spell they must ingest a number of copper coins equal to spell level. The spells use Cataclysm as normal but do not need to be written in a spellbook or memorised.)
After 10 seconds the serpent will strike out at whoever is holding it, pumping black venom into their veins if its fangs find flesh.
11Heat emanates from the page and you absent-mindedly place your hand against it to feel the warmth.
The ink burns into your skin like a tattoo.
The first lie you tell will become true, and the writing on your hand will change to remind you of that for all time.
12The book's cover grows course and hairy, legs sprout from the spine and it leaps from your hands, running across the room and up the wall. It points a strange cloaca at you from the base of its spine and expels clumps of bright green mildew at you that burns the skin, flapping away to the other side of the room if you get too close.
13The edges of the book slice your fingers open before it drops to the floor, leaving tiny rows of perfect bloodless papercuts.
They will never heal, and from this moment forth you will bleed prose.
It is not for me to know what secrets may be found in your blood.
14The book decomposes into hundreds of tiny paper mite crabs, they swarm over your arms, digging into your flesh, searching for orifices.
If more than 50% of them find their way inside you, gain a spell of a random level, but you can no longer eat anything other than paper, mumbling incoherent script when you are hungry.
15The page splits horizontally and unfolds, then vertically and unfolds, then horizontally.. again and again until the page is 15' wide. In the centre is a sketched doorway, the handle is so realistic you feel that you could reach out and grab it. If you open the door roll 1d6. The door leads you..
1. Into the chambers of a disrobed person of note who does not take kindly to the intrusion.
2. Into a room piled high with glittering treasures. Anything you take will immediately adhere into your skin, and it will take part of you with it if torn away. Opening the door will lead you back into the room where the book lay.
3. Into the lair of a great black serpent, slumbering after feeding. Shapes like hands push out the skin of its distended belly and you hear far-off whimpering. If it wakes, its yellow cut-glass eyes flash with hate and it will regurgitate its meal before attacking, bathing them in a hot flush of digestive juices that melt their limbs and prevent escape. Otherwise, it intends to digest them slow, they may yet survive, you have but to release them.. (Within the snake's belly is: 1-2. The person who originally wrote the words. 3. A buxom lass sacrificed to the serpent, sacrificed for consorting with devils. 4. A foolhardy adventurer brought here in search of a sacrificial hoard, collected over centuries. 5-6. A mewling litter of children, they imprint on the first person they see as their mother with animal intelligence, they are stronger and more agile than they look)
4. Into a dimly lit subterranean room, connected by secret stair to the lavish home above. Yellow wax drips from walls and altars, icy fingers caress your spine as the light flickers over strange stains, a hand-written tome rests on a dais, dedicated to the glory of the Yellow Queen.
5. Back where you just came from. You watch yourself move towards the book, attempting to read its secrets, watching it unfurl into a doorway, stepping inside.. The more you allow things to progress as they were the more of you there are, watching yourself watching yourself in neverending sequence until you stop yourself from reading the book, at which point every you that stepped through the doorway is un-happened, sucked back out of reality in pockets of agony.
6. Into your chrysalis deep below the earth. There you will sleep for years to come, until the changes are complete, until your terrible maniacal glory can be loosed upon the world.
16The book shrieks and tears itself in half, blood falls to the floor instead of paper fragments, the missing half regrows, the books tear themselves in half, blood falls to the floor...
The books continue to replicate in this way until there are several hundred, shrieking in a pool of blood.
The blood tastes like learning.
17Tendrils snap out from the crease of the book, penetrating your chest and belly, churning as some drain and others pump.
Your organs liquefy and drain out with your blood, and in its place your body fills with fluid like liquid golden light.
You glow like a pinkish-gold beacon, and take a -5 penalty to saves vs. Magic, but cannot be poisoned and gain a d4 bonus to Cast the Bones and Conduit of the Cosmos rolls.
18You read the words aloud and all who hear them age d20 years. Save vs. Magic, if you fail you continue to read. Repeat.
Anyone who reaches the age of 90 during this time falls apart like disintegrating paper.
19Violet light flashes from the pages, in your temporary blindness you can hear the resonance of your own thoughts. When you look back at the book you are staring at your own placid face, when you cry out it is the face in the book that opens its mouth and screams, not the featureless mess of words plastered around your swollen eyes.
20The pages of the book begin to flip back, growing faster, pulling at the air around you, the flurry of paper flipping between the covers of the book consists of more pages than the book could possibly have contained.
The pull at the air around you grows stronger, small objects begin to lift from the floor and disappear between the pages, your feet begin to shift..

 

Read the rest…


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Paws for Effect


Sometimes in games as in life there are going to be cats, and those cats needs names.

So here’s a d100 table! Roll once for a complete name, roll twice to mix it up, roll twice in reverse, just keep rolling until you have all of the cats.

 

 

What Is This Kitty Called?

d100
1CanklesFarnsworth51BabelBarbsmith
2Hook-EaredPickens52BlackNancy
3GinnyRathbone53RawkusGrikksmarc
4CardinalPickles54RupertWigglesworth
5ButtCrumpet55ItchyLeperflesh
6PuffyHampshire56BorisRanklefoot
7SilkyStraussgard57VeraWrinkleface
8BrownPumpkinickle58FleabitGrumbleguts
9SharpieLittlethroat59TonyFoamspittle
10DelftPondarker60MisterMilktooth
11BlackenFiretitts61HubertHaagendaas
12LittleArsehole62PreciousMangle
13VodooHaaskikur63GregorKittenpants
14PillowPudding64TalbotRumplestein
15ButterKnuckles65GummyDewclaw
16SirCreamyclaws66GafferRawhide
17FluffyTinklebottom67TwinkleButternuffer
18WretchedSwallowtail68MarvinMusklord
19ScabbyFleckenhole69NittieMattfur
20ScruffyMcTavish70ToughyMcknickers
21AnchovyBrughelbraun71RowenaRufflebottom
22FlakySandtongue72TinaFurlips
23One-EyedNipples73MarciGloomhouse
24Pinkythe Conceiver74Marquisde Rumph
25Mad EyeDockbane75PrincessPillowpush
26MuffinSoftycheeks76MarthaPoot
27PimpleViscossi77PussywillowFartlord
28PouchySaagenbutt78CreampuffOnionbreath
29UglyBalls79DeonSugarcrust
30PuslordStitchface80CherryDemonsplooge
31ColinNeedlenose81SneakyWrinklecreeps
32PossumHangnail82Brushbottlethe Third
33Clawdthe Cat83ViscousWhiscous
34MittensBabysmother84Stabbythe Tabby
35IronshodPhillips85CommitmentIssues
36AbsentAbsent86HobbleGobble
37ChudDeBalzac87BlessedMilkiface
38MadameNeglect88ScrumpleRavagelord
39WhiskyWaxlips89SpittyLincoln
40RotgutMorrigan90Round4th Duke of Cuddles
41FuckfaceMalone91LavenderBestfriend
42KittenSaltywhiskers92FatfaceMcNeill
43ScreechyShitfur93ButterballsO'Malley
44AlanGrosgard94SandyRatlover
45TheodoreYellowstain95DiscoGlitterhammer
46Geraldthe Shitcunt96ShelbySloane
47JonesyBlacktongue97Ladythe Indecent
48BellafurKrakenbush98MilkeyeHurtsville
49ThornyNotail99CottonmouthPoundcake
50AmmoniaPotbelly100SprinklesHellduke

 

Download the table from Penny Pamphlets.

Combine with Goblin Punch’s Catbooks for maximum cat action.

Also here’s a curse:

 

Curse of a Thousand Cats!

 

You can suddenly see cats everywhere you go, but nobody else seems to notice. They appear to be friendly, mewing and milling about, rubbing up your legs with a friendly pur. All the time. If you threaten one it will hiss and run away while the others sit and stare. That night you will wake up with hundreds of them piled upon your chest. If you accept this without too much fuss they will hop down and pur while they groom themselves on your bedroom floor. If you struggle they will suffocate and crush you under their fluffy bottoms.

If you continue to threaten them after this, or if your original threats were too violent, their fur turns black and static and they will gut you in the street. Onlookers will stare in amazement as you scream and claw at the air while chunks of flesh are torn away and your innards spill onto your feet.

 

Preparing this curse requires a pot of new milk, catswort grown on a spinster’s grave, nine furballs of varying age and density, and at least twelve cats need to be present of their own free will during the four hour ritual. A ball of yarn is soaked in the concoction for the duration of the ritual and thrown at the intended victim.


4 comments