Often times in when alchemy is thought of, we think medieval times with wizards and sorcerers. What if such things existed in modern days such as today? What if the focus of alchemy is common knowledge is can be used for favorite drinks? What if you have a soda machine that can create soda with special properties? The varieties is endless, though good taste is limited. What kind of concoctions can you create?
A magical stave with two distinct uses. One end is a healing stick, which can heal some quite serious diseases, the other half can be used to inflict those diseases on other people.
To Dougles Nye money is power, a powerful wizard only newly into lich-hood
Originally the son of servants to a noble family, yet he found that life humiliating. "How could anyone stand to serve another?" he often wondered. His father, was a greedy man who offered an explanation one day “It’s all for the coin, every demanding, humiliating thing. It’s for the coin, boy."
So when Dougles began developing the potential for magic, he found a way out of a life of servitude. Learning magic though stolen books, he made his escape. Taking the all the possessions of the lord’s vaults with him. He set out to gain as much money as possible.
His gifts for magic allowed him many advantages other merchants could only dream of. Capitalized on the use of deviation magic, allowing him to always having what the city he is in needs most, whether that is wheat or weapons, poison or drug doesn’t matter to him.
Some would say he follows war, disease, famine, and political strife like a vulture looking for a nice carcass to claim. What they don’t know is he has a hand in the conflict he supposedly follows. Assassinating ruler to incite wars, casting spells that decimating crops, acting as an information broker to both sides in a conflict. Dougles is known as a man who can get what you need to some, to other a monster who capitalizes on the suffering of others.
The lich know as Dougles Nye, prefers the title ”The Merchant of Death” for that shows just how much power money has earned him.
A typical wand with offensive capabilities (magic missiles, fire, fireball, lightning bolt) that was either damaged in combat or made just under par. When the wand is discharged, there is a 1 in 4 chance that it fires an additional 1d6 charges simultaneously or in rapid succession. Wands that shoot fire may incinerate innocents and friendlies, or burn whole buildings and even villages down. Those which shoot fireballs have a considerable radius, and lightning bolts that bounce upon contact with ground and stone can cause catastrophic random collateral damage. Those who have paid large sums for such a device may go seeking a refund, possibly even retribution.
Bag on a Stick
Very simple gag but a great one, since it can be used multiple times over, even in the same adventure. Great for tribal natives gone restless and humanoids, but anyone can have set this up. Just what the header says, a simple bag over a stick stuck in the ground or floor.
As GM you can place the bag on a stick anywhere, in a floor crack the heroes have passed before, outdoors in a clearing or path, or at the edge of the PCs' encampment the following morning, what have you. Place anything on the stick - a coiled yellow viper angered by the bag removal, mini crossbow w/poison, transdermal hallucinatory drug dusted on the bag, yellow mold colony, an NPC ally's head, a weapon, scroll tube or satchel, what have you.
The idea is to build tension and/or stall for time/distract the party. Provided it's used properly, you'll be amazed at how paranoid players will get from this simple gag.
In a room the PCs find a decomposing body half in and half out of a mirror, the result of an attemp to create a [Mirror Golem] that went horribly wrong.
The more you dominate your life to a god or goddess, the more you gain magical powers from him or her, but the big stuff does not come easily. Most worshippers have only the weakest of spells.
The bloated corpse of a decaying gigantic creature is necromatically enhanced and fused with an undercarriage for use as a grisly and terrifying airship. The methane gas from tissue decay keeps it buoyant in atmosphere, but it can be even more flammable than hydrogen if it escapes...
The PCs accidently start a fire and are caught by the local law enforcement. Since it was accidental, the punishment for the PCs is to fight the fire. Providing they can put it out before it burns down the town, they will not face any further punishment.
"If the Eyes are the windows to the soul, then his soul was burning in Hell."
The Lost March is a large collection of elephant rafts. The lost march never reached its destination and instead was pulled out to sea. The elephants on the raft eventually starved to death, littering the large wooden carpet with their bones and bird picked hides. While sailors with an eye for gold can salvage the tusks of the bull elephant for a hefty price, the raft is haunted by the spectral ghosts of the pod of elephants and they appear after nightfall and attack and kill anyone trespassing on their raft
Whale's Jaw is a crumbling stone monument that was once in the form of a skeletal whale. Many years have past since the construction of Whale's Jaw and these days all that can be seen in the "jaw" jutting from the earth as if it is yearning for a final glimpse of sunlight before taking a plunge into the earth.
All around The Jaw are remains of oddly formed and weathered structures. They seem to have been smoothed and tumbled by severe rain or ocean currents. Most say it is just another Wonder of The World, a mystery we will never know the answer to, but some know differently... I know differently...
It was common belief in medieval times that goods and property could only be affected by the Fair Folk, the faeries, if it was acquired unlawfully or unfairly.
A magical weapon which the third time it is used will turn on it\'s owner, killing or badly wounding him or her.
In ancient China, women bind their feet for cosmetic reasons, resulting in them not able to walk without help and walking in a shuffling gait.
Possibly this can be modified such that people do it for less stupid reasons.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a racist remark since I'm Chinese myself and hence entitled to freely judge Chinese customs. NOT sexist either since I'm female as well.
This really comes from an ancient Chinese novel. Imagine during the PCs' travels, they come to a place where the gender roles are completely reversed. What adventures will the PCs encounter in such a place?
A healing potion which if drank by males (or women in male clothing) causes a short term (1 d6 hours) urge to dress in girl's clothing due to the high levels of estrogen in it.
Consider the idea of spontaneous genesis of life, as used to be belived. What strange kinds of life might arise from modern substances? What kind of vermin would a landfill produce, or an oil spill on the ocean?
A sentiment weapon that is very impressionable in terms of what is right and wrong, akin to a child. Currently, being ownerless, it is not very powerful. However, once it has found an owner, it can provide significant boosts to the wielder in an area or areas the wielder most desire. What adventures will this sentiment weapon go through? How will it develop itself in terms of power and personality?
A ghost is haunting someone with a secret-it\'s not that he murdered the person that became a ghost, it\'s that he went into hiding with a new identity to avoid being murdered, whilst the ghost wants him to join her in the afterlife. The ghost is getting stronger and more dangerous each day. Enter the PCs.
These magical boots empower the wearer with several abilities at once. Wondrous leaping, water-walking, and even flying! Yet the boots possess an insidious curse upon them as well. A deep and almost unfathomable (by others) feeling of listlessness, boredom, and even apathy affects the boots' wearer at all times whenever they are donned. Magic will not dispel the effects.
And so while the wearer of the boots can perform great feats of action during combat or at other opportune times and key moments, they'll never really want to do so, complaining "Meh, what's the point of it all anyway?" or "I would fly up and save us all guys, but sigh, maybe uhm, soonish, mkay? Bit bored by this whole burning tower at the moment."
Naturally the boots wearer's fellow PCs will grow quickly frustrated with this arrangement. There have been numerous occasions when one angry PC literally tears off the boots from his companion's feet in anger, and dons them in turn, only to immediately suffer from the same effects.
The solution lies in constantly "motivating" the boots' wearer with successful rolls, involving threats, flattery, fiery speeches, or even bribery.