Great drama is at the core of the Gaming Experience. The character’s can’t be fighting the destruction of the world every session (though that can be fun), but there is great fulfilment in the climatic scenes of a campaign or long term adventure. Every climax is not seen in terms of violence (though it is very common). The personal stories of PC’s and NPC’s should also have meaningful expression in adventure climaxes. Yet all Climaxes in a campaign have similarities.
Treasure is both the bane and boon of gaming campaigns. The purpose of all this was to bring up some more obvious, but often overlooked, types of treasure. The focus too often is on gold, gems, and magic items when the fun could be enriched by recognizing some awkward, but just as valuable, alternate items. Don’t pass up that ornately carved throne gathering dust in the lair of ogres. Don’t pass up that odd colored flower that your character has never seen. Take it all with you. You never know what you might get for it.
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I am always giving advice to various gamers on various game forums. I am constantly giving the same advice over and over again (cut/ paste repeat). Once a year I think about the advice and put together The List.
The ochre sands stretch for miles around. Something kicks up the dust. It’s a yak. A desert-yak. It ambles slowly, nuzzling the ground for the low-growing shrubs. The ranger freezes. “Stay very still,” he warns. “Don’t move at all.” “What is it?” you ask, breathlessly. “It’s the most dangerous creature in the whole Ocadian desert. And it’s about to eat that yak…”
“Man, that is an incredible likeness.”
“What’s that stuff growing on that statue?”
“The better question, what is that statue doing out here?”
The Magma Borer is a large creature native to the extreme world of Crematoria. Scientists and planetologists have yet to be able to explain so many things about the planet and the unknown lifeform that made it possible.
Your adventurers can name this one, if they survive. The last thing they will hear is: “ppppooockt-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t” before their eyes and ears start bleeding and their body become black and blue… battered by something unseen and untouched.
Dragons, being huge and meaty, are the ideal habitat for countless unpleasant parasites.
This tree has a somewhat unclear bush-like appearance. But so far, nothing special. The actual reason why is it called after medusas, is his power to deter any hostile creatures, and to be sure, all creatures
These mites fly silently and are small enough to be nearly invisible to the naked eye. If it was not for light, no one would know they were there. These creatures absorb and re-emmit light, turning dim to bright, and bright to blinding.
Globs are a partially amorphous life-form of the shape-changing kind.
The Black Ones are a paranoid’s nightmare. They can take over any single body, or be hiding nearly anywhere. They can see as well in the dark as the light. They can hear nearly any sound, like the faintest heartbeat 10 paces away. They are totally alien, with motivations and drives that are nearly incomprehensable to humans. And the worst part is, they are here and you don’t know it.
Think of any bizzare life-form, WHATEVER life-form that lives a not-so-standard way. Not the way common sense would expect it. Make it in some way logical or not, just forget the boring everyday logic.
Checkerboards on floors of dungeons… is there any greater bane to adventurers?
The Hand are assassins and spys of legend. Each member has super human abilities and skills. They have been known to breach the tighest security. They have been implicated in hundreds of deaths, though no proof of foul play has been found for many of them. However, things are not always what they seem… especially when an Orb is around.
The Silver Stars are the premiere healing organization in the Known World. They possess powerful healing magics and tangible medical skills. However, things are often not what they would seem, especially when a secret Orb of Corvus involved.
Choke horrors are nightmarish creatures that give the most knowledgeable and adventurous pause. They are tall gangly bipedal creatures that have four whip like appendages instead of arms.
To kill a Unicorn is to bring bad luck and the hatred of nature itself down upon the foolish. It is said that the mate of a unicorn that is murdered will turn horrible in it’s pain and anger, turning against nature to hunt and kill the murderer of it’s mate. It turns dark and soulless and seeks nothing but the death of it’s enemy.
A legend tells of a people living deep in the desert, they appear at first as ordinary human beings, sometimes impersonating someone familiar to the PCs, before causing their features to disappear, leaving a blank, smooth sheet of skin where their face should be.