Not all of the 30 Lists have been NPCs, and thus have not benefitted from a splendid codex such as MoonHunter’s the 30 Codex which puts all those lists of NPCs in one handy place. These other 30s have a wider base, ranging from 30 natural disasters, 30 thieves’ plots, to collections of books and such.
To be admitted to this Codex, a submission must have 30 sub-entries and cannot be NPCs, those go to the other codex. This codex is for lists of 30 items, 30 locations, 30 plot ideas, and the like.
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Codex101+ Scenes in the Modern Western City By: MoonHunter ( Locations ) City - Any
Everytime you look at something in The City, there is something going on behind it. It is a moment caught in the tangles of time of some other persons life. It is those little moments that make The City seem so alive.
The City is many things to many people. If you are bookish, it is a library of stories, each person in the city a story being told. In the tradition of Beachcombing 101, I am looking for an eventual 101 things that could happen in the city. These are the small random and colorful things that could only happen in The City. They are odd things the GM puts in the descriptions around the GM that have little to nothing to do with the characters, generally speaking.
1) A juggler performing on the street.
2) A street preacher loudly making a public sermon on a soapbox. He is a man of the local religion’s cloth and will not stop preaching for anything less than the drastic.
3) Someone handing out flyers for a band.
4) Tour group passes by.
5) A woman carrying a stack of books trips in front of the PC/PCs and falls over, scattering her books everywhere.
6) A pack of somewhat domestic dogs running as their ancestors did. A few moments before, you might of seen the massive cat they are chasing.
7) A piece of glass falls out from a tall building. It shatters on the street and there are many people nursing cuts.
8) Two cars in a fender bender. They are actually off to the side of the road with the police being quite civilized to each other.
9) A teacher" with about 12 young children following behind her like duckling. Each one is hanging on to the rope with handles that the teacher has with her.
10) A bunch of people wearing cowboy hats and pieces of western apparel walking down the street laughing and having a good time. Some might be drinking, even this early in the morning.
11) A pankour pack come tumbling out of an alley. They bounce off a couple of things heading across the street. Quite a sight to see. A few minutes later a straggler come huffing and puffing behind them.
12) Several kids jumping into large snow drifts from a second story window.
13) A residential street is blocked off by yellow tape and barriers. They are setting up for a block party. Some of the kids are starting early.
14) A bunch of people in office casual wear, using lots of electronics while walking (blackberries, laptops, gps, and cells), are heading down the street.
15) A police tactical team is pouring out of their vans. A few other officers seem to be getting out barriers and things from their car.
16) Two kids playing wireless videogames are staring at each other from across the street.
17) A beautiful girl, dressed to the nines, talking on her cell phone.
18) A Phone Company Truck is blocking off traffic and setting up to go down a manhole cover.
19) A hot dog vending car rolls by. The proprietor is singing (quite well) as he strolls by.
20) A bunch of guys are carrying thing into and out of a good sized truck into an building.
21) A bunch of people dressed up in the local team’s colors are walking together.
... and down the street are people wearing the "oppositions" colors.
22) Firemen wrapping up hoses and gear. The building behind them has water sliding down its front steps in a slow dribble.
23) The mail man is facing down a dog. He has a mace can.
24) An artist is hawking painting from has parked van.
25) A pack of guys in suits, pour out of a bar.
26) A homeless guy with a cardboard sign is standing in the intersection.
27) A man with camera seems to be intently focused on something down the street.
28) Steaming coming up from the manhole covers on the street.
29) Bored looking Buddhist monks wait for a bus.
30) A somewhat lanky kid takes a tumble from his skateboard after trying some trick. The crowd seems indifferent. Someone in the back applauds.
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30 Bardic Tales By: Silveressa ( Items ) Art and Music - Non-Magical
A collection of 30 bardic tales you may hear sung in the local tavern or empresses' court, complete with bardic verse excerpts from all 30 tales themselves.
Many of these tales can also be used as quick plug in adventures for Gm's looking for a side quest. (And let the players exploits be turned into the song by a near by bard perhaps?)
Every bard has in their repertoire tales of valor, romance, tragedy, and humor. These are thirty of perhaps the most famous ballads recounted across the lands.
1. The Valiant Valador
The legend of heroic knight Valador, who sought the hand of a fair noble maiden, and rode off to battle against a dragon to prove his worth. While typical of such tales the knight was indeed victorious and returned with the somewhat smallish head of the terrifying beast, and was proclaimed worthy to marry the princess and inherit the kingdom. The ending however is more tragic, as it recounts the kingdom being plagued by two greater, more fearsome dragons that destroyed the castle and its occupants in vengeance for the slaying of their young hatchling.
Snatches of this tale can often be heard sung during long overland marches by soldiers and mercenaries. "Valador the valiant! Valador the bold! Valador the courageous who slayed the dragon cold!"
2. The Clumsy Emperor
This historical favorite is told more cautiously in the emperors' lands, for fear of the retribution that comes with openly mocking the nobility's ancestors. The tale itself concerns an arrogant emperor who received a pair of cursed dancing shoes as a wedding gift that gave him two left feet. Aside from the embarrassment upon the ballroom floor that evening, he was forever remembered for his clumsy gait and inability to climb stairs without stumbling.
Some bards will reenact his amusing walk and dance during the tale, to the joyous glee of the audience, the catchy lyrics whistled and hummed by townsfolk to timid to sing it openly. "He was dancing as if possessed by chaos; he was dancing like a ship caught within a storm, but after that fateful day his dancing wasn't quite the norm!"
3. Love Knows no Boundaries
A touching lesbian romance, recounting the chance meeting of a ranger and a priestess at a small towns harvest festival. It tells of their blossoming love during the following winter as they struggled to protect the hamlet from vicious goblins, hungry predators and a small epidemic.
While of mixed popularity among the more conservative crowds, it has become a favorite of independent women and perverse men across the land; both appreciating the tale for very different reasons. "Ones caress like silk, the others touch like fire, between them sparked a burning desire. Days turned to weeks and their friendship did grow, evolving into a love more pure then hinterlands snow. United through conflict on the side of the just, during the cold winter nights they tenderly satisfied their heated lust. United as one, heart body and soul, they each were the half of a sacred whole."
4. The Three Wishes Of The Blackthorn Guards
Another fun story recounting the wishes three Blackthorn gate guards made over lunch upon releasing the genie trapped in their newly opened bottle of rum. With there being three men surrounding the container the genie saw fit to grant each one a single wish, the tale recounting how the first man wished for a island all to himself and to be surrounded by lovely ladies willing to cater to his every whim and the wonders he soon began to experience after the genie teleported him to his paradise.
The second man is said to have wished for a quiet hunting cabin in the middle of the woods, where he was free to live peacefully and enjoy the wilderness far away from the noise and crime of the city, with several verses of the wondrous forest he appeared in and the great bounty that awaited him.
The recollection ends on an amusing note with the third mans wish, their sergeant and commanding officer, who while cursing them for their abandonment of the city and the kingdoms pride, smiled gleefully and wished them both back on duty after lunch.
This tale is often accompanied with fast banjo or fiddle music thorough out, the tune carrying far and wide by the boisterous voices of off duty guards. "One wish made for pleasure, one made for self gain, and wouldn't ya know it that bastard sage, he wishes em both, right back again!
5. Sharwyn's Last Desire
The sad, mournful yarn of young bard Sharwyn, whose voice was said to be more beautiful then any heard since. It recalls her tragic torture and eventual death at the hands of empire soldiers, and the majestic silver oak tree the goddess Lelune erected to mark her passing.
Often accompanied with silver chimes, this tale of sorrow can often elicit tears from even the most stalwart of listeners. "A drink of burning liquid silver stole her voice and seared her very soul, left violated, bleeding, and alone, her lips seared black as coal..."
6. The Rise And Fall of the Drasguard Empire
A fast paced saga tells of the ancient empire of Drasguards' rise to power, from the unlikely romance between a dragon and a sacrificed maiden, to the glory days of the kingdom and the brief time when men stood at the side of dragons as brothers before the fear and jealousy of rival kingdoms brought about their downfall.
Best told with a pounding drum beat, the epic odyssey also sounds nearly as good on a tambourine, the lilting lyrics carrying a thunderous rhythm. "A dragons scales never tarnish, even as a dragon's life fades, and still the kingdoms spires rose to the sky as if daring the gods to come and try to knock the towers from on high and drag the city to the depths below..."
7. The Scorpion Sword
The valiant legend of the famed Scorpion Sword, the blade forged from the bodies of desert scorpions and given a life of its own. While carried by bandits and desert tyrants for centuries and the subject of many a campfire tale, no other retelling quite captures the horror and overwhelming sense of doom those on the wrong end of this blade felt as this one.
Often sung in a deep baritone with rattles and thumb cymbals signifying the scorpions clawed grasps, it is not soon forgotten by any present. "Death and burning shimmer gloom, the hiss of agony fills the room as the scorpion blade strikes true burning the soldiers armor through and though, a poison so vile it eats the soul, melting the flesh and dissolving him whole!"
8. Ballad of the Blind Maiden
The tragic song of a beautiful young maiden, blinded by her cruel father when she was caught spying though a keyhole on his nightly meeting with members of the thieves guild. Despite the loss of her sight she went on to sing of the beauties of the world as she could still perceive them, though sound, scent and touch. Eventually she was sold into slavery to a traveling merchant, who made small fortune off her haunting voice and moving lyrics, the girls' entire existence spent in near poverty.
Its chorus has been known to stick in the minds of listeners for many days after hearing the mournful melody. "I used to sit and watch the days go by, the blue birds sing and the lovers sigh, all these things I’d sit and watch beyond my door, all these things I’ll see never more. Alone now I sit and listen to birds like I always had; only now, all of their songs are sad…"
9. Love Blooms on the Battlefield
The inspiring romance between a solider fighting desperately for survival on a war torn field, and the timid healer woman who saves his life by striking down an enemy warrior from behind before he can land the final blow upon the hero. Surprised and grateful the soldier struggles between his obligation to his kingdom and feelings for the young waif, eventually retiring from the battlefield to become a war surgeon and saving the lives of his comrades in arms.
The cheery song has been said to inspire hope and renewed vigor to those facing difficult conflict. "The healer and warrior, life giver and taker at their core, once separated by their duties now united forever more."
10. A Salty Sea Wench
An amusing parable about a beautiful wench of the docksides, who would promise sailors the night of their life, then get them drunk and run away with their coin purse, leaving them in a run down inn snuggled next to whatever unconscious beggar or half starved animal she could find in a near by alley.
The song often is accompanied by harmonica, and everyone listening downing a shot of hard liquors every time the lass in the tale seduces yet another man. This last tale of the evening continues until the bard, and his audience are too drunk to sing the chorus coherently, which is usually something along the lines of: "Remember lads and lasses, hang to your purses tight this dark and rainy night, or ye just might find, fates been unkind, and yer in fer a fright, when ya wake in yer bed at first light!"
11. Black Water Be My Lover
The harrowing account of a wealthy man who was seduced by the black sea, forsaking all his worldly possessions to sail its frigid waters. Despite pirate attacks, sea serpent sightings, and a mutiny, the hero never gives up his love affair with the sea. The tale ends with him still said to be riding the endless ocean waves atop a ragged clipper ship held together by the strength of his love alone. A popular song often sung by sailors when setting out on a lengthy voyage: "Black water be my lover, black water be my bride, black water keeps me sailing true, black water by my side."
12. Days of old
A admittedly bawdy drinking song concerning the "days of old when knights were bold" often with amusing variations on what had not yet come to pass or no longer was, such as "In days of old, when knights were bold, and toilets not yet invented, people dropped their load aside the road, and walked away contended." And of course the ever popular: "In days of old, when knights were bold, and tavern wenches not particular, you'd line them all against the wall, and screw'em while drinking liquor!"
While not a song ever to be heard in a kings court room, it's wildly popular in the soldiers barracks and run down taverns bards oftentimes find themselves playing at.
13. Great Deal, What A Steal
A cautionary anecdote of a swindler called Jack who sold a none too bright young man a set of thin iron armor he convinced him was magically durable and worth every gold piece the man possessed. Unfortunately for the huckster, the witless mans much brighter (and stronger) brother was drinking in the tavern across the street, and upon hearing from his brother about this "great deal" paid a painful visit to the charlatan, and bent the breast plate over his unsuspecting head.
On an energetic night many of the crowd can be heard to loudly join in singing the along with: "Great deal! What a Steal! A brother's fortune taken for real! Careful Jack, better watch your back or, the touch of vengeance you'll surely feel!"
14. Forget Me Not
An inspiring narrative guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face who's ever forgotten something of great importance. It recounts a absent minded scholars furious note taking on the proper way to host a wedding ceremony for her daughter, only to forget to attend her daughters wedding entirely, being so lost in the planning of it.
Rumors abound of those who hear the song being able to recall events and pieces of their past long forgotten if they whistle the ditty. "Once was forgotten now remembered forever more, around your finger tie a string, then you'll never forget a thing, you wear it just like a ring..."
15. Funeral Dirge
A sober but ofttimes necessary duty bards find themselves called upon to perform when a valued member of society kicks the proverbial bucket and their family and friends wish to see them fondly remembered in favorable prose. Using a simple and generic template the bard can often adjust this tale to speak of a person's appearance, occupation and positive qualities while sounding quite original. If used too often in a single area however the bard may find themselves facing accusing looks and admonishment for stealing another person's memoir ballad for their own needs.
In its most basic form the tale is often recounted to the soft strumming a harpsichord or guitar, this easily adaptable composition having a simple stand alone quality that gives it wide appeal. "Once alive, never more a beautiful woman long before, a woman of courage a woman of care, a woman with flowing golden hair, now at last she rests her face, at long last taking her rightful place, above the clouds and birds flying high, never a chance to say goodbye..."
16. Lost child Annabelle
A heart warming tale of the lost child Annabelle, who vanished during a bandit raid on a small village and was feared lost forever. She later returned as a wandering healer clothed in a simple blouse and short black skirt, treating the sick and infirm. The tale tales goes on to recount her miraculous rescue year ago by a young monk who showed her the secrets of herbal healing and art of unarmed martial combat. Upon her return to her former village she raised a homegrown militia against the bandits plaguing the country side and restored peace to the land once more.
Her tale is often recounted by village militias when rising up to overthrow injustice and pretty tyrants, being said to make them immune to fear and routing as long as it was carried on the lips of even a single fighter. "Annabelle the beautiful, face smeared with bits of dirt, she returned and showed the bandits the meaning of hurt, bare handed, sandal footed, an wearing naught but blouse and skirt!"
17. Crystal Dreams
A conflicting fable attributed to an insane bard of ages long past, it evokes a sense of wonderment and fear as it recounts a travelers experience of becoming lost within their dreams after a night of intense drug use, dreaming backwards all the way to not only their birth, but the very dawn of creation itself.
Fast paced frantic violin or guitar music accompanies this piece, which is the closest thing to bardic death metal many fantasy dwellers will thankfully ever hear. "Crimson sky, burning earth, longing to die before my birth, yet sill my mind it carries on, singing this endless fantasy song, as I sail these crystal dreams without hope."
18. Grandma's Ghost
A moving holiday folk tale of a grandmother's ghost that returns to bake her grandchildren cookies, and reward them with festival treats and presents one last time. An extremely popular song played during festivals celebrating the dead and ancestors long past.
This soft piece is usually accompanied with a gentle flute or ocarina. "Her form pale as the fingers of fog on a cold winters morn, the grandmother began her final sojourn, bringing wonder a plenty for children resting upon beds of hay. It t'was the last time they'd see her on that warm festival day..."
19. Running Wild
A rollicking adventure of a young girl raised by wolves, who grew to adulthood never knowing the sound of human voices or the comforts of civilization. When captured by well meaning rangers and returned to town she quickly came into conflict with the locals and easily offended the more timid country girls. In the end the woman ran back to her animal brethren and affectionate lover, the moral of the song being to live true to ones self even if society doesn't agree.
Sung in a lilting faced paced tune nearly any instrument is suitable, although the fiddle is considered the original composers choice. "Run though the fields and run through the trees scattering the butterflies in the fall breeze, you know where to wander, and have everywhere to see, always and forever, the need to be free!"
20. A farmers Fortune
The pleasing, hopeful song of Farmer Ned, a well meaning but ultimately poor farmer who discovers a buried chest of gold when plowing his field one spring morning. Finding himself much richer then he really feels comfortable being, he donates the money around town, disguising himself as the kingdoms tax collector and giving out refunds.
Popular with everyone in the dirt grubbing professions, numerous non bards can be heard to sing this tale horribly off key as they go about their daily chores. "An Ned knew quick he'd lose his head, a farmer give'n away gold would get shot stone dead, so under the cap of tax collector he hid his head, laughing as everyone watched his approach with dread on that gray spring morning!"
While rarely believed as true, the fable does inspire common folk to look for other ways to apply their natural gifts at making a living rather then the plainly obvious. "The fake diamonds were plain as the nose on his face, Magnar's rage boiling over in disgrace, how dare these nobles try to slip such a farce by! A foul smelling lie as ever t'was smelt, Magnar's fist quickly raised a big welt upon the fair man eye, the dandy noble could do not but cry and leave the shop with nary a reply, leaving poor Magnar to growl and wonder why."
22. A Humble beginning
A grand reminiscence of lowly peasant Elroy Earnest, who by luck slipped in a pile of horse manure and jostled young prince Fenthick, causing him to fall to the side of curb just in time to miss being trampled by a runaway carriage. In a dramatic turn of events, (often accompanied by the loud wailing of a kazoo or accordion to the annoyance of many listeners) Thinking the hapless commoner had pushed him out of the way and thus saved his life, Fenthick knighted the terrified chap on the spot, and Sir Earnest (as he came to be known) went onto become a champion of the people, saving many a unfortunate soul from the unfair retribution of those holding a higher social title.
Widely frowned upon by nobility far and wide as a song encouraging commoners to attempt to rise in social status to their ranks; most royalty unofficially blacklist any bard who is heard recounting this parable from ever singing in the high courts again. Sadly this has made the tune all the more popular among the peasantry and poorly skilled bards who know they'll never have the skill to play for the royal houses anyway. "Earnest the just was never full of pride, known and loved by commoners far and wide! He'd take a stand, or fight a duel quite grand at any peasants' behest, no matter your standing he'd bend an ear and carefully hear your humble request!"
23. Can Ye Hear Me Now?
One of the more humorous recitals in any bards' tome, this song recalls the amusing misadventures of the mostly deaf wandering cleric Floyd Thursby, who was said to heal people of numerous maladies they didn't even have, and insist on helping commoners with their chores despite their insistence to the contrary. Given his lack of hearing most of the lyrics revolve around the amusing misinterpreting of simple chores such as mishearing a request to "feed the geese" as an plea to "breed my niece."
Adored by large crowds, they are often heard joining in with the yelled (often at the top of their lungs) chorus lines of "Thursby was kind, yes it true, his heart was pure but his ears full of glue! Around the farm even the animals would yell, from the goats to the sheep to the fat old sow, Thursby m'boy can ya hear me? Can ya hear me now? No? By the gods' dear man, yer deaf as plow!"
24. Sounds of the City
Enjoyed among the rural areas and small villages, this raucous song describes life in the noisy metropolitan areas, often with impromptu sound effects and copious amounts of embellishment, leading many back woods hicks to believe streets are paved with gold and there's a pretty willing woman on every corner, and a cut purse in every alley.
Usually accompanied by a banjo the faced paced lyrics are often enough inspire many a drunken farmers' son to run away for an ill fated adventure in the municipality. "Tis a loud and great fun romp in the city, gold bricks under yer feet and the girls so pretty! They look so fine and are so will'n, yet around the corner lurks a black hearted thief, ready ta make a killin!"
25. Over The Edge
A terrifying war song sometimes versed at full pitch by barbarian warriors and Valkyrie alike on the fields of battle, inspiring them to a fearless rage against their enemies. In the hands of a skilled bard with a set of well tuned bag pipes this powerful musical piece has been known to drive crowds to bloody riot, and cause deadly bar room brawls to erupt in otherwise peaceful taverns.
Due to its destructive nature many bards prefer to keep this composition in reserve to pay back stingy hostels and ungrateful dukedoms that attempt to short them the agreed upon payment. "I embraced oblivion, and now I pay the price, gambling with the reaper and death loaded the dice! Grinning as it nears, the sharpest axes wedge, running with my arms outstretched, screaming over the edge! Revel in their pain and laugh at their cries, with every swing of the blade another coward dies! Pound my fists against their flesh and rip out their hair, I am a walking living hell, none can meet my stare!"
26. Prison Break
A rebellious tale if ever there was one, this ambitious tune speaks of a innocent man unjustly imprisoned for crimes he didn't commit, sentenced to the Black Wall Hole, the most infamous dungeon around. Refusing to be broken by the grueling prison conditions he bravely planed and executed a brilliant escape plan using little more then a stack of red candles and straight razor to fake an outbreak of the red plague, causing a riot long enough for dozens of inmates to make their escape.
Revered by the common folk as a heroic tale, it is equally reviled by everyone of higher social standing and often laughed at as an outright fabrication to hide the truth of a real outbreak of the red plague within the prison walls.
Regardless of its truth, imprisoned bards are known to sing this tale endlessly until their voices give out, legend holding that every time the song is sung in full while within captivity a growing curse of bad luck falls upon the jail. "T'was no prison made that could hold this man for long; he knew true as true he was innocent of any wrong! Crafty as a fox, and quicker than a snake, he plotted and planned for a daring jail break!"
27. The Loyal Dog
Beloved by dog owners everywhere, this cheery fantasy tells of a talking collie dog that saved her owner from certain death after a case of river blindness rendered him all but helpless. Never leaving the man's side, the dog acted as his eyes through a harsh and brutal winter, even starving itself at times to ensure the young lad had enough to eat, keeping him from frostbite with her body warmth, and from despair with her gentle seductive voice.
Traditionally accompanied by maraca and chimes, this melody is also been played with flute and cello to dramatic effect. "She saved her master from disaster as only a loyal companion should. Mans best friend, 'til the end, she cared for him as only a lover could!
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30 Beers By: Murometz ( Articles ) Campaign - Gaming - In General
Food of the gods.
1. Groemdeggers Stout
black as death, thick as stone
This is the dwarven grand-daddy of dark ales. No other stouts need apply. At least according to Groemdeggers Breweries, a well-known brand throughout the lands. Quips abound among tavern-goers about this thickest of brews. One can stir it with a spoon for example, so rich and yeasty is the beer. Elves look upon this stuff in revulsion, humans tolerate it, halflings can appreciate it, but only dwarves can truly savor this dark stew! What all dwarves know however, that many others dont, is that so rich in nutrients, starches, and proteins is Groemdeggers Stout, that it can offer a starving dwarf the same nutrition as a buttered loaf of rye bread, and indeed, many dwarves quaff it for breakfast.
2. Ale of the Dales
A common type of beer, the ‘Ale of the Dales’ is the popular way of asking for the house brew at a tavern or inn, rather than drinking beer that was made by the brewers guild. Ale of the Dales runs the gammut from terrible to terribly good, and it is usually very inexpensive.
4. Stella’s Blessing
This lager is special in that it is raised from seed to barrel by a civic minded Loru Valsharris who has adopted the human name Stella. This goddess of the grain maintains a large palatial estate that is overrun with plantlife, wild growing grains, and a mill/brewery in the middle. She has since learned the intricacies of brewing and the value of gold. She has no use for gold other than what it can do for her, but she takes great pride in brewing what is considered the best beer in the kingdom. The only way to get this beer is to travel to her estate and purchase it.
5. Cowhead Double
Cowhead double has a special place in having one of the more convoluted and unsavory fermentation processes. Cowhead is taken in a half fermented stage, while it is still a slurry of water and mash and it is feed to ruminant livestock most commonly cattle. The brew is allowed to spend only so long in the stomach of the cow. Once this is done, the cow is forced to vomit up the liquid where it is strained and mixed with a larger batch of beer that is almost done.
6. Fruits O’ Labor, Lambic Ales
Created by capricious gnomes, and fitting their somewhere-between-dwarves-and-halflings niche, These light, cloudy ales are flavored with fruit, adding a refreshing flavor of tart sweetness to the concoctions. Any and all fruit are used, but particularly popular are gooseberries, quinces, raspberries, and pears. Gnomish Lambic ales are well-known and liked, though beer connoisseurs would never be caught alive drinking the stuff. Fruit in beer? Pshaaww!
7. Giant’s Brew
The giants of old were known for many things, chief among them was their fierce and potent beer. This beer was made from the sheaves of grain grown in high and distant places, fermented in dark vales and barreled in wooden barrels the size of a cottage. The old barrels are long since gone, and the brewers among the giants have since retreated from the world to practice their craft well away from the spears and arrows of upstart humans. Giant’s brew has a full and robust flavor, and no matter how much is drunk will not leave a hang over,
8. Goblin Piss
While many beers are called Goblin piss, there is only one that is the real deal. This local brew is indeed made by goblins, but contains no actual urine. It is a pilsner type beer with an almost sweet taste to it. The goblins who brew it tend to keep the name so they can keep selling their other more appealing and expensive sounding brew to greedy humans and keeping the good stuff to themselves. The goblin taste for this beer has given rise to the expression ‘Happier than a goblin drinking piss’
9. Caravanissary Stout
This thick yeasty beer is one of the strongest of the human made beers, and it is considered semi-dehydrated. Drinking the thick concoction is a sure way to get a sour stomach. The correct method of drinking Caravanissary is to mix the thick brew with at least an equal part of water, and then adding a crushed wedge of some sort of citrus fruit. Oranges and limes are the most common, but it is in vogue in the southern reaches to use the grapefruit.
10. Fog-King’s Mist
Also called, "Possum’s Brew", "Oekkelstagg’s Juice", "Cloudspit", and "Foggymoot", this rare mixture is brewed by the Tribe-of-Possums dwarves, amidst their fog-shrouded fens. The recipe is unknown to the outside world, but the cloud-white ale is one of the most sought after and expensive brews in existence! Pity the ghost-face dwarves of the Possum Tribe do not sell it, nor do they barter with the stuff, but simply brew it for themselves.
11. Haraleven White
This white ale is a specialty of halfling make. Predominantly made of white wheat it is a full bodied beer that is best with a pouch pf pipeweed and a bowl of thick stew. The local brewer of known for having his daughters, all seven of them, deliver his Haraleven by walking donkeys laden with kegs to the various inns and taverns in the area.
12. St. Aviel Ale
This ale has been brewed for centuries at the St. Aviel monastery. The monks there, long devoted pious living, scribery, and the fruits of the harvest. During the feast of Aviel, the monks will don themselves with garlands of flowering hopps and carry about hogsheads of their famous ale, pouring a cup for anyone with a parched throat. St. Aviel was sainted for ending the constant fighting between humans and orcs by bringing them together and getting them drunk to the point that fighting is pointless.
13. Kobold Dragonhead
This beer is unique in that it lasts for a very long time compared to other beers. Once in a keg, a beer’s lifespan in measured in a few weeks in the best of conditions, days in the worst. Dragonhead will oddly enough keep for years in good conditions, and weeks in poor. The secret is that the kobolds who brew this beer have the ill fortune of being around fire breathing dragons. The gouts of flame have the side effect of pasteurizing the beer, provided the beer isnt boiled off, and the kegs aren’t burned.
14. Elven Wheat-Wine
It is commonly known that elves hate beer. As an experiment, an elven vintner attempted to make wine from wheat, as it contained everything needed to make an alcoholic beverage. Several attempts later, he had added the various other ingredients and created elven wheat wine. This ‘beer’ is considered to be one of the worst beers ever to be poured. It has a sharp smell, and after sitting so long it has gone completely flat, and the taste is a mix of sour and wheat. The brew is foul enough that not even a half-drunk ogre would drink it.
15. The Beer of Life
Most beer is brewed from wheat, barley, or other common grains. The Beer of Life is brewed from the Amaranth seed. These seeds are much smaller than most food grade grains, and the plant requires a good deal of work to cultivate. The beer that is brewed from amaranth mash and certain hops is known to have restorative qualities for those who drink it. The taste is both smooth, rich, and pleasurable to drink. This beer is frequently counterfeited with rice beers with a spike of coloring by beer mongers looking to make a quick profit over an unsuspecting customer.
16. The Enchanter’s Decanter of Ale
This ale is produced from one source, a magical decanter. Some decades ago, a hedonistic mage enchanted the decanter to produced ale when it was poured, seldom producing more than two gallons of brew a day. The ale is always crisp and fresh, the head thick and frothy. The mage in question spent more than two years searching for the perfect ale for his magical decanter to produce. Upon his demise, the decanter was given as a gift to the proprietor of the tavern where the mage first struck upon the idea to enchant the decanter.
17. Honey Cream Stout
This luxurious lager is made from milk sugars, extra hops, and honey. The resultant beer is considered to be one of the finest, especially if you listen to the guild beermongers. The beer is made by the silken hands of virgins and delivered by the most buxom of maidens, sloshing and frothy to the taverns and inns. The recipe is old and quite good, property of a whore’s guild guildmaster who has since struck a deal with the brewers guild to make this beer and split the profits.
18. Vonbow’s Pale Ale
This beer is a regular in Vonbows parish. The ale is well known and respected for it’s flavor, which is described as ‘wise’. The ale is brewed in a traditional fashion, but is seasoned with cloves, nutmeg and several other secret spices. It should be drunk only in moderation as it causes some of the worst hangovers known to man.
19. Ol’ Paps Blue Ribbon
This beer claims the honor of having won the blue ribbon for the best beer for the last forty years in the area. It is really a terrible beer, from poor taste to low quality production. Some patrons have found pieces of grain, chaff, and other debris in their tankards of this beer. The secret behind old Paps’ success is that there is no other brewery within two days travel of his. Twice other brewers have ventured to set up shop only to run into difficulty, theft, arson, and such. Old Paps says that is just the lord protectin his own.
This beer is brewed in the southern swamplands, where rice and wheat compete for the flat land. The resultant beer is made from a mix of the two grains and has a flavor that depends on the heaviness of mixture for or against one of the grains. Dry years tend to be wheaty, while wet one are more favored towards rice. The beer gets it’s name from the current brewmaster’s grandfather. He would say that the beer wasn’t ready until his old Redhound dog would drink it. The dog had a nose on him and wouldn’t take a sop of beer until it was just right.
This rather putrid brew, concocted by monks whos abbey sits beside a damp catacomb of wind-caves, have after years of experimentation, combined their two best products, cheese and bear. It was not a huge stretch really. The brewing vats were in the caves next to hanging cheese. Eventually an enterprising monk, deposited curds and bacteria cultures into the bubbling hops and yeast, and cheese beer was born. Foamy, occasionally slippery on the palate, and reeking of donkey hoof, Cheese Ale is as mentioned, an acquired taste. Of course, many demi-humans over the years, have managed to acquire just that taste.
22. Ixian Malt
This dark beer, brewed under the auspices of Ixia, of the Silver Forge, is known for it’s complex and smokey taste. The irony is that Ixia, being the rather matronly and stern goddess that she is, generally disdains the consumption of alcohol, and has long since barred her clergy from consuming even a drop of the beer they brew.
23. Yakspyll’s Finest, Millet Beer
A primitive, fermented beverage, no longer popular in civilized society, millet beer was just that. This rather light yet bitter lager can now be found among the leper colonies of Yakspyll, as these folk survive on the millet crop, and drown their sorrows in its froth. Only the seediest joints stock this poorly brewed swill, or Lepers Ambrosia, as only the poorest of tavern-goers ever order it. "Last-Chance Ale" is another common name for Yakspyll.
Basically another version of the legendary Time-Wine, this stuff is rare and often kept aside by brewers and innkeepers alike, saved for those particuar occasions where the delayed inebriation was desired. Shady types have their own insidious uses for Time-Beer, to be sure.
25. Snowmelt, Ice-Beer
Like its cousins the Ice-wines, these sophisticated lagers are brewed from hop berries that have been flash-frozen while still on the vine. The result is a crisp, sweet, and concentrated flavor, most suitable to after dinner beer-drinking, and as an accompaniment to dessert. The undisputed masters of both Ice wine and beer production are the Grugachi, the wood-ylves of the Slanting Pines.
26. Hrvassk, Wet-Bread
An odious mix to many, a delicacy and staple to others, this lead-gray beer with the consistency and flavor of stale bread left in water for many hours, is low-alcohol and lacto- fermented, possessing a taste reminiscent of burnt malt. Among the steppe barbarians, Hrvassk is also a popular base for summer soups. Raw, aromatic vegetables and herbs are chopped finely and poured into bowls of Hrvassk, eaten chilled.
27. Pepper Peete’s Wicked-Pernicious
Pepper Peete was a well-known saloon owner, famous for winning the Brewers Guild sponsored, Kingdoms Best competition, which was held only once every three years, to ensure and preserve the gravitas of the event. Pepper Peete won an unprecedented three times in a nine-year period, with his now ubiquitous, Wicked-Pernicious Maltless Ale. Considered top-shelf stuff in taverns across the lands, Pepper Peete is said to be working on his next award-winning brew, Falling-Moose-Timber. As his namesake implies, Peete is fond of adding black pepper cloves to his beer, during the mash-turning process.
28. Dead Butterfly
A powerful concoction to be sure, brewed by the satyrs of Badgers Drift, this muddy, chartreuse ale, packs a wallop. Along with the usual hops, barley, and water, the satyrs imbue and steep wild roots and herbs into the mix, such as Wormwood and Angelika Root, and even add crushed butterfly dust of the species, speckled mad-jester. The combined effects of these wild ingredients, imbues the ale with hallucinogenic properties. Dead Butterfly is favored by starving artists, bohemians, and explorers of worlds beyond the doors of perception.
29. St. Psymyon’s Pilsner
St. Psymyon had the fanciful sobriquet, Psymyon of the Drunken Wolves. His legacy, his beer, was the basis of a fanciful legend. St. Psymyon was a hermit who lived in the wilds and brewed his own ales. One day, a pack of hungry wolves surrounded the defenseless holy-man, and surely would have torn him to pieces, were it not for a miracle. St Psymyon offered them the only thing he had to give besides his own flesh. His skin of ale. It was said that the wolves drank long and deep that night, and danced and howled with Psymyon beneath the pale moon. Now many hundreds of years later, St. Psymyons Pilsner, "Wolfs Love" in the colloquial tongue, is a pilsner brewed in the classic abbey tradition, with the recipe of St. Psymyon himself as a guide. Though unproven, many believe a wolf will never attack a man drunk on St. Psymyons Pilsner.
30. Dispater’s Mark
Give the devil his due, he makes a fine and bloody brew!
Dispaters Mark is the local brew of Discord, a city of the Nine Hells, ruled by Dispater himself. Deep, blood-red, or as some call it, Incarnadine Ink, this beer, technically a brown-ale, is one of the few exports which the Nine Hells has to offer. Brewed by colonies of horned-devils, and transported topside via the Gates of Adimox, countless barrels of dead-oak, are carted upon diabolic-looking wagons, pulled by hell-kine, once every year at winter’s solctice. The barrels are delivered to anonymous designated contacts (unsavory merchants) and then dispersed among distributors and innkeepers. Only the most cosmopolitan cities carry the Dispaters Mark brand. Though possessing a superb taste, Dispaters Mark does leave a brutal headache as a calling card, the following day.
MuroMax Productions holiday tribute to Magus of the Citadel and his cheese&wine; works.
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30 Bottles of Wine By: Magus of the Citadel ( Items ) Potion - Heroic
No nose, hardly any body, a terrible wine, really.
Wine is an old beverage, only younger than beer and water in terms of human history. Wine only needs fruit, water, and yeast, as well as a little time to ferment. Raw wine, that hasnt been aged is called grappa and is usually very cheap to get, and is also of poor quality. Most wines derive their name from the location where they are grown, such as Porte, Burgundy, and Marsala. While it is a common notion that wine is only made of grapes, wine can be made of any sugar laden fruit, and in the southern United States wine can be found made from strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and less than commonly known grapes such as the muscadine and scuppernog.
Some Thoughts on Race and Wine
Humans are likely to be the most prodigious producers of wine, being the race most commonly associated with mass agriculture. Most of the wine for sale or in circulation will be human made. Elves would make better wines, having greater experience, delicate senses, but would always fall behind humans in that their wine is produced via hortaculture rather than agriculture. They let the grapes grow where they will, rather than creating vinyards. Dwarves, long time ale and beer drinkers would remain so, grapes dont grow well in mountainous terrain. Orcs and goblins would likely have wine as well, but rather than organized efforts, each clan, tribe, or band would have a few members who know how to make some stout home-brew.
Quick Wine Basics
The standard wine bottle (really a rather modern notion) is just shy of 1/5th of a gallon, or one liter. The dimple in the bottom of the bottle is called the punt and has been given a variety of reasons for existing ranging from the technique used to blow glass bottles, to strengthing the bottle, to being used a guide by servants, pointing with a thumb inside of the punt.
Piccolo - quarter-liter
Demi - half liter
Standard - 1 liter
Magnum - 1.5 liter
Double-Magnum 3 liters
Imperial - 6 liters
Sovereign - 25 liters
There are a large variety of other bottle sizes, such as the 20 liter Solomon, the 12 liter Balthazar, and the 9 liter Salmanazar. All of these bottle sizes are named for biblical kings and such, and would fit rather awkwardly in a standard genre fantasy game. As such, I only included the generic named sizes. The Demi and Piccolo (half and small, respectively) are easy enough to rename into another in game language. A Demi could be a Halflinger, or a Hobbit, and the Piccolo could be a Kobolder or some-such.
This is a very popular wine, formost coming from the Ermengarde valley in Nahalast perfecture. It is a ripe and full bodied wine that is best served slightly chilled. This wine is seen as a status symbol of sorts among the gentry and the nobility, and serves as the baseline of what is acceptable in polite company, and what is plebian wine.
The elves cultivate grapes in the open meadows of the Ferginwaithe forest, and ferment a potent wine from from it. This wine is special in that the entire process is handled, from picking to bottling, entirely by the elfin women of the forest. The grapes, renowned for their dusky color produce a sweet and slightly musky pink wine.
3. Turhin Red
Turhin is a very cheap wine, made from whatever grapes are left from the pickings in the Turhino river vinyards. This includes the grapes that were rejected for other wines, wild grapes, and anything else that might be dumped into the mixture. Given the size of the region, a large amount of this wine is made every year, and sold only in wooden casks. Generally it is sold to taverns, brothels, and slum hostels and is of uniformly poor quality.
4. Creustold Red
This wine, made from the fermented juices of the creuse, a fist sized red citrus fruit, is known for its strong citrus taste and palate cleansing ability. This wine can cut through the most persistant fish oils, overly spiced cuisines, and the like. It is seldom consumed by itself, but it popular on fish, served with runny cheeses, or taken as an eye-opener first thing in the morning.
5. Daidaugh Wildwine
An expensive wine with a complex taste, Daidaugh is made only from wild grapes found growing around the druidic copse at Daidaugh Hill. Very few bottles are made and most are consumed by the druids themselves, but the few that are sold command a hefty price on the market due to scarcity.
6. d’lil Auflaque
Elves are not known for making cheap wines, and d’lil Auflaque is as close as they get. This wine is a mixture of whatever is left from the casking and bottling for the year. It is blended, usually spiced with a blend of aromatic herbs, and bottled. It isnt a bad wine, but it is considered sub-par, even when compared to some human vintages.
This wine is generally reviled by elves and friends of the forest as it is aged in oaken barrels made from treefolk. The wine itself is mellow and nutty. It is an expensive wine since the winery only has a few barrels that can properly age the wine. The rest of the wine, which is similar in taste sells much cheaper and is simple Rhoh Red.
This blood red wine is made by the orcs of the Lynnian steppe from the fruit of the Ada tree, a fruit much like a pomegranite, but somewhat larger. The wine itself is almost syrupy in consistancy, and slightly adhesive. Orcs drink it in large amounts, and sometimes use it as a flammable weapon, throwing burning bladders of the wine at wooden defences and squads of human infantry. If cut with water, Adat makes a palatable beverage.
This wine is grown along the Pol river in the Keethian highlands, an area of fog and damp mornings. The vinters are a majority half-elven, and have preserved a blend of human industry and elfin pragmaticism to produce a several dozen acres of vinyard. These large pearl red grapes make for a delicate and savory wine, and bottled in a round-shaped bottle, a distinctive vintage. The wine commands a high price, but is generally considered a top vintage that isnt among the super-rare varieties.
10. Rast-Apple Cider
Ciders are all made from apples or pears, but are essentially still wines. Rast-Apple cider, made from a peculiar golden apple is a popular if expensive beverage. It is good for easing illness of the stomach and gut as well as never leaving a hang-over. To ensure that the cider is legitimate, a single seed is left in the bottom of the bottle.
From the time it is planted till the time it is vinted, Chetherlerorm is never touched by human hands. The vinyards at Lerorm, on the Chether river are run by a guild of magi, and they have bound elemental spirits and dryads to tend the vinyard and work the grape presses. As such, the grapes are unspoiled by human contaimination, and it isnt until the first drop falls on the tongue that it is touched by a human. Unfortunately, this wine is onyl expensive due to it’s mystique and status, and as a wine it is rather lacking in character.
12. Ilta Lynath
Often called the wine of bards, Ilta Lynath is made with extra potency, and after quaffing several glasses, even the most lead-tongued bumbler feels moved to sing and recite epic poetry. While the elves generally record this in their multi-volume books of prose, most human ramblings are quickly forgotten or become popular tavern songs. The wine itself is a passably good red wine with a smooth velvet finish and a warm citrus aftertaste.
13. Darkim Black
A red wine so rich and opulent that it is almost black in color, Darkim is the preferred wine of tieflings and darkling kindred. The grapes are watered with a mixture of blood and water, and fertilized with ground bone. The plants are thick and lush, the wine is fragrant and a pleasure to drink. In most regions, Darkim is considered an illegal good and is confiscated and destroyed, and Darkim vinyards tend to be put to the torch when they are found.
14. Lajoga Gold
Made from the Lajoga fruit, a golden raspberry shaped fruit the size of a pear, this wine is a local treat made by the halflings who live around Lajinduin and Hillscaer. The wine is very sweet and has a lingering aftertaste. Halflings drink it by the pint, while in human communities it’s cut with red wine, making a pink brew that is called Harlot’s Kiss. It is mainly cut thusly because there is plenty of mediocre red wine to be had, and not much Lajoga Gold makes it out of the halfling clachans.
The bellfounders of Eoro have long sponsored a winery to supply them with good wine. The Eoro region is rather known for it’s puritanical stance on alcohol, and have banned for profit wine and beer making. the Bellmakers guild has sponsored the winery, and the wine made isnt sold, but is a perk of being part of the Bellfounder’s guild. At the current time, of the guild’s 700 members, only 3 are actually involved in making bells.
16. T’puuli Hastras
A sacred wine, the elves only make seven bottles of it a year. The vintage is made exclusively by a single master vinter, each given as a gift to an elfin lord or lady. The wine is considered the height of wine-making and in the rare instances when a bottle reaches the open market, the price is astounding. This has happened twice before, the first time the bottle sold for close to 3200 pieces of gold, and dissappeared into a lord’s wine cellar. The second time, the bottle was sold, stolen, resold, and then six dozen bottles of counterfeit was discovered.
This white wine comes exclusively from the Mosant region, where it is grown and vinted by the monks of San Toor. This wine has a light floral flavor and a heady bouquet, and is popular among elfin-blooded, mercantile elites, and troubadors. Artowkr depicting the excesses of the upper crust frequently have Mosant depicted in it’s recognizable square glass bottle.
18. Kalakhammer honeywine
One of the few wines vinted by dwarves, Kalakhammer is made from honey, cardamon, and blueberries. The pale blue beverage has a potent spicy flavor and is more of an experiment among the Kalakhammer clans than a major consumable. They export most of the wine, the principle buyers being jaded humans looking for something different.
Empero wine comes in both red and white, and is generally only found in sovereign sized bottles. Vinted centuries ago, this wine is most commonly found in burial crypts, and the semi-preserved ruins of old Empire cities. It was a popular wine of the day, but the recipe, and likely the grapes that went into it, have been lost to time and decay. A single bottle of red can cost as much as a good warhorse, the white is slightly cheaper as more bottles of white have soured than the red.
This goblin-vinted wine is quite foul, both in scent and in taste. Popular only among goblins and the most desperate of the poor, it is potent, and can be used for cleaning wounds. It has a second use that is largely kept secret, marinading tough meat in the wine makes it tender and imparts a special savory flavor. The nobles who live close to goblins often eat meat soaked in goblin wine, all the time not knowing what their chef does to make even the rankest cut of meat palatable.
This wine is made along the boundaries of the Tirwaithe forest, and is frequently traded with the elves who live there. The humans of the region adopted the name the elves called the wine, Shujhinrae, without knowing it’s meaning. Later on, it was discovered that Shujhinrae is really Shu j’hinrae, or s**t wine. The wine has greatly improved since then, but the locals cannot expell themselves or their wine of the name.
This uncommon wine is only found in piccolo sized bottles, as it is vinted by the faeries of the Suingmc Clique. It is made from a variety of fruits, the most common being blueberries, wild grapes, and milkweed pods. The wine itself is a milky purple color and slightly thick. The taste is strongly floral with a mildly bitter aftertaste. The main reason the wine is popular is that consuming an entire bottle will leave the drinker in a semi-conscious hallucinogenic stupor. After this, they are afflicted with a certain manic energy and creative urge. this is caused, in speculation, by the dust from the fairies wings that falls in the wine.
23. Engarban Red
A fairly common red wine, Engarban is known for coming only in double-magnum sized bottles. It is a decent quality wine, with a citrus-woodsy flavor and goes quite well with most red meats. It is a common practice for less affluent middle and low ranking nobles to refill expensive bottles of wine with Engarban, since it is cheaper and is fairly good.
24. Khyashma Blue
This potent blue wine is made from the delicious but highly poisonous Khyashma Baharavaush berry. While the berries, and the wine are lethal to humans and goblinoids, it is considered a delicacy among the fey. On occasion, the fey will ‘forget’ that this blue wine is indeed poisonous to humans and their ilk. The flavor is deep and mellow, with a floral aftertaste.
Made from the ‘apples’ of a desert cactus, this dry white wine is commonly found in arid regions and near trade routes that pass through nomad territory. Bottled in whatever is at hand, most vinters authenticate their bottles by dropping a desert sand scorpion into the bottle before corking it. This has the side effect of making the wine lethally poisonous for about 24 to 48 hours, until the alcohol breaks down the poison in the scorpion. Counterfeiters will put regular scorpions in white wine and try to pass it off as Lyetincha.
26. Old Warback
This passable red wine has been grown for made for close to three centuries. The guild that manages the vinyard, presses, and aging are old military families, their sons having traditionally served in the King’s Army for several years before retiring to the vinyards. Warback is given to the soldiers of the army in lieu of paying taxes to the crown, and being soldiers themselves, they make sure the wine is good enough to drink and enjoy. It falls short for connesiurs, but most soldiers lack a certain snobbishness when it comes to wine.
27. Ashold Firewine
The Ashold province has a number of semi-active volcanoes and fumarole fields. This produces a constant fall of ash across a good part of the province, fertile soil for the hardy grapes that grow there. The so-called firewine usually has herbs and oils added to it to give it a spicy flavor. Without this treatment, it is a rather sour red wine.
Also known as Green Forest Wine, Elm-Aleril is made predominantly from juniper berries and white grapes. it has a distinct light green color and a spicy taste but finishes clean. This is the most common elfin wine that humans ever encounter, and is plentiful enough that it can be purchased at a high, but not astronomical price.
29. Criton Double-Wine
Criton, fermented from the large white grapes common to Critonshire, has a simple floral flavor but is a rather watery and weak wine. To make up for this, the venters will ferment the wine, distill it into brandy, and then mix it with a water-undistilled wine mixture. This double-wine, as it is termed is a decent white wine, but varies highly from batch to batch. One bottle can be great, the next suited only for washing fungus off of feat.
This wine is vinted in massive 1000 gallon vats, and is borderline unconsumable by humans. The grape juice is spiked with pure grain spirits, powdered sulfer, ground bone, and several other repulsive ingredients. Left to ferment for several weeks, the vats when complete are drained into wagon mounted tanks and taken to the sole consumer of Mebelche, a massive red dragon. After drinking the tank of idragon-wone/i, the beast belches repeatedly, spewing fire about. It later passes into a comfortable stupor and sleeps for several days. Rather than slaying the dragon in it’s sleep, the community that vints the wine instead has a pet dragon for their defence. If they die or flee, no more dragon wine for the dragon.
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30 Campaign Starters By: Dossta ( Plots ) Coincidence - Encounter
Due to the nature of tabletop RPGs, a campaign will often start with a random group of strangers. Here are some ways to get them adventuring together, without resorting to the old Tavern trope.
A new campaign starts, and it’s time to form a cohesive adventuring party from a group of complete strangers. If coordinating with the players to create some sort of shared background is undesirable or impossible, it is up to the GM to put them in circumstances that demand cooperation. The trope of The Tavern and the Mysterious Stranger is standard fare by now; most experienced players have encountered this at least once, and most new players have at least heard of it. While meeting in a tavern is not necessarily bad, there are tons of other ways to throw a more or less random group of people together for an adventure.
Here are a few suggestions, some gleaned from various message boards, some are my own ideas. Several of these require GM fiat, but I tried to focus on scenarios which can be played by characters of any background. I’m sure you’ve seen (or played!) some of these before, so if you have any other ideas to help expand this list please feel free to do so. How you keep a group together after the first adventure is, of course, up to you, but many of these plots will provide the characters with either a common enemy or a common goal that you can build off.
1. Pirates! -- The characters are all passengers aboard an ocean liner when the ship is attacked by pirates. If they fail to repel the attack, they are captured and stowed in the holds of the pirate ship, locked in manacles. Do they try to escape and claim the ship as their own? Or do they wait to see where their captors are taking them?
2. Caravan Guards -- PCs are hired individually to serve as caravan guards for a trip (though some alternatively might be paying passengers). The caravan is attacked en route to its destination.
3. Prison Break -- PCs are captured individually and brought to a common dungeon. The reasons vary -- perhaps they were all found to be in violation of the city’s stringent weapons laws, or were practicing magic without belonging to a guild. Perhaps all of their names were scrawled on an incriminating note that was found on a dead body. Maybe their names are all the interrogators could get from the Evil Cultist that the authorities have locked in the dungeon. Or perhaps no reason is given at all *evil laugh*. Regardless, they must use each other’s strengths to escape
4. Parole -- PCs are captured individually or in pre-existing subgroups and are put in prison (see Prison Break for reasons), and either can’t escape or are not offered the chance. The King offers them all parole in exchange for services rendered.
5. Time Skip -- Players are all children growing up in the same village. Time skip 10 years forward and they are all meeting back up in the village.
6. Three Hour Tour -- Players are all passengers on a frigate that is shipwrecked. They must work together to survive until help arrives, or until they have devised some means of escape (the island shouldn’t be too far off shore)
7. The Chosen One(s) -- Players are approached by members of an influential faith, and their presence is “requested” at the temple. The players share certain qualities that mark them as potential “chosen ones” for an ancient prophecy, but the church cannot decide which one of them it may be. The players must undergo a group test/quest etc to determine which of them (if any) is the true Child of Prophecy.
8. Draftees -- A horde of hobgoblins is descending on the land, and the King has drafted every capable man (and woman) of the kingdom to meet the new threat. The PCs are placed together in a squad with an NPC commander who dies minutes after they enter the field.
9. Slave Uprising -- The players are all slaves in transit to their new master’s complex. One (or several) of them see an opportunity to escape, and they must work together to make good on it.
10. Royal Ball -- The PCs are all of noble blood and of marriageable age. They meet at the coronation ball of the new prince, where they are expected to greet other young nobles and make connections (either future business or marriage prospects). During the ball, armed radicals attack.
11. Waylaid by Weather -- The skies open and drench each PC as he/she travels the road to Harlandale for various reasons. They all take shelter in the same abandoned stone monastery at the side of the road (the only shelter around for several miles’ journey). The monastery may or may not be haunted.
12. Friendly Competition -- The players are all competitors in some sort of contest (perhaps a tournament put on by the King). Regardless of their performance, an NPC tops them in the standings, but the crowd suspects that he is cheating.
13. 28 Days Later -- The players are in the town of Faraway when a deadly plague hits, and they spend several miserable days (weeks?) in a delirious fever. When they come back to their senses, they find that they are the only survivors. They now all have a mutual immunity to the deadly plague.
14. Corporate Summit -- The PCs are all representatives of different guilds that are coming together to negotiate a contract. During the meeting they are attacked by a rogue guild (or anarchist party) who does not want the negotiations to be successful.
15. Field Work -- The PCs are all students at a university. They are called together by a mutual professor who wants to do some field work and needs some extra hands. Whether the professor survives the mission or not is up to the GM.
16. University Mishap -- After years of adventuring school, the PCs have all finally graduated. While attending a graduation party put on by a mutual acquaintance, the PCs play a drunken prank (described in hilarious detail by the GM) on another NPC student (the self-important, whiny, cowardly rich boy who has insulted each of the PCs at one point or another during their college careers). Unfortunately, the NPC is extremely well-connected. After a short trial, they are convicted and offered either prison or banishment.
17. Mining Operation -- After several months/years of hard labor in the mines of a repressive King, the sentences of the various PCs have been fulfilled and they are being released on the same day. With parting shots and/or whippings, of course.
18. The Odd Family -- PCs meet at an extended family reunion, and are perhaps members of various important branches within the family. When a mutual VIP relative is killed under suspicious circumstances at the party, the PCs are chosen by their respective houses to investigate and uphold the family honor.
19. Living Golems -- A powerful wizard had lived in comfort by enchanting many slaves, of which the PCs are several. When he dies unexpectedly, the PCs “wake” from their enchantment in the middle of the wizard’s tower, with almost no recollection of their arrival their or of their service to the wizard except nightmares which they all share. See Escape From the Tower for more.
20. Hazing Ritual -- The characters are all prospective members of a group (university, cult, explorer’s guild, etc). Part of the hazing ritual to determine who is worthy involves dropping all the prospectives (NPCs included) into a labyrinth/dungeon and seeing who makes it out alive. PCs get the opportunity to see several NPCs offed in various gruesome ways before meeting, to underline the idea that their best chance of survival lies with each other.
21. Mighty MacGuffin -- A legendary MacGuffin has been found by some field researchers, and it must be brought back to the King. Various powers (religious, royal, guild, etc) are interested in the success of this mission, and send the PCs along as representatives to make sure the job gets done. It would be a shame if an outside party managed to pilfer the MacGuffin before they arrived . . .
22. Dawn of the Dead -- Zombies are attacking the village and the temple (or tavern) is the only safe place to be. They must last out the night as the zombies close in around them.
23. Mini Mayhem -- An insane wizard is experimenting with the effects of extreme miniaturization, and the characters are his subjects. They wake to find themselves in an eerily empty town, where everything is constructed of strange materials. At some point, the wizard will reach down into the model town and pick one of them up for closer examination, and they realize that they have been shrunken down to about a hand-height. Escaping will require the ingenuity and cooperation of all.
24. Divine Interference -- A minor deity of mischief (or perhaps a lesser demon/imp) is bored, and has decided to toy with a group of more-or-less random mortals. The could be teleported to a common location (perhaps while some of them are engaged in. . . private business), or each handed a note (seemingly from someone that the PC knows and would trust) that tells them to meet at a specified place a few days hence.
25. Revolutionary Task Force -- The oppressive government of the Land of Faraway is opposed by the popular Revolutionary Front, to which the PCs all belong. Obeying some subtle signal (perhaps the wording on a poster advertising the upcoming gladiator matches), they all meet at a secret cell outside of the city. There, one of the leaders of the revolution forges a task force (which naturally includes the PCs, and perhaps one or two NPCs that can die mid-operation) to infiltrate an important government building and recover intelligence regarding troop movements.
26. Scouts for the Penal Colony -- The PCs are all founding members of a new penal colony, established on the outskirts of civilization. They are chosen by random lot to go on an extended scouting mission through the unknown, looking for likely farming areas, potential mining sites and unforeseen hazards.
27. A Series of Tubes -- The PCs are all visitors to Panera City during a coup by the Baron’s military tactician. In order to prevent tidings of his illegal usurpation of power to reach neighboring cities (and thus come to the attention of the King prematurely), the new Overlord is sweeping the city, arresting any foreigners they find and killing all those who resist. Each PC has been warned of the coming guard by sympathetic locals and has had time to flee into the sewers, where he/she will undoubtedly meet other political refugees.
28. Trine -- The characters have all been exposed to an ancient artifact that has the unwanted effect of binding their souls together. The players must find a way to undo the curse. In the meantime, the PCs cannot travel further than 100 ft from any other member of the group. Furthermore, a character’s death will weaken the collective soul significantly (if the party was 3 members, the power/health of the remaining two party members is reduced by 1/3). However, if the remaining party members survive the encounter, they can revive the fallen member with a lengthy ritual. All remaining members must participate for it to work.
29. Guilty Until Proven Innocent -- The PCs all happen to be in the marketplace when a man falls from the second story window of the tavern with a knife in his back. As the people closest to the scene of the crime, the PCs are dragged in front of the local magistrate as suspects of murder. They are probably not imprisoned, but may want to help with the investigation to help clear their names.
30. Misidentified Mishap -- The characters may or may not be seasoned bounty hunters, but none of them can resist the (ridiculously) large reward offered for the capture (not the death) of a famous outlaw. Trouble is, no one knows exactly what he looks like. While rumor-hunting in the local city, each PC is given a list of physical characteristics to look for -- characteristics that vaguely matches the description of a different PC! For example: “He’s a tall man in a red coat with blonde hair”. If the GM is really good, one or two of the traits should match several of the other PCs. If the intended party is mixed gender, make sure that the villain’s name is ambiguous (e.g. The Viper), and have some of the clues point to a man, and some to a woman. Set the PCs loose in the last known location of the outlaw (the one point on which all the rumors agree) and see if they can recognize their mistake before things get out of hand.
31. Voyager -- The party is comprised of prisoners of war, dangerous convicts and political prisoners, all sentenced to exile from Her Magesty's kingdom. Having recently come into possession of Telportia, a fortress of tremendous strategic importance, Her Grace has decreed that all exiles be sent through one of the unexplored portals. If the party returns successfully from wherever the portal leads, they will be given amnesty and rich rewards (enough to motivate those who have no other ties to the place). To aid them, they are given a "homing" compass of some sorts and a few provisions. Could start an epic travelling campaign -- a journey through exotic lands and legendary locales -- with the goal of returning home.
32. Set in Stone -- The characters are all victims of fate, turned to stone by a wayward spell in a crowded market place. They are reanimated several hundred years later, and find that the world they knew is gone. They must band together to survive in their new environment (political, natural, or otherwise). Alternatively, they could all be the victims of a common enemy, or perhaps they triggered a trap on their very first adventure (a feint on the GM's part).
33. Extraterrestrial Lab Rats -- Each PC has been abducted by aliens in the recent past, waking up to find him or herself irrevocably changed in some manner. Now news reports are coming in about others who have suffered the same fate. Will the character seek out the fellow victims, or will the government round them all up for an experiment of its own?
34. The Enemy of My Enemy -- The city has lately borne witness to a spree of vicious murders. While drunk with his own success, the serial killer has gotten a bit cocky and left a list of his intended future victims at the scene of the last crime. Each of the characters' names appear on that list, and the authorities bring them in for questioning (and possibly protection). If the GM can set it up so that a common contact or friend of the PCs has also recently been murdered, so much the better.
35. Lottery of Doom -- Each year the kingdom holds a lottery to choose victims for an unfortunate faith. This could be anything from being sacrificed to a rampaging dragon, venerated as idols in the national religion (to be sacrificed bloodily at the end of the year), to being selected for a series of deadly games to entertain the populace. Needless to say, the party members are this year's lucky winners!
36. Evil Has Trimphed -- The evil cultists have won! All of the party members have been sacrificed to the cults' Dark God, and have been reanimated as super-intelligent undead servants. While they still have limited free will, each PC will be compelled to do the cultists' will unless they find a way to break the effective geas.
37. Transporter Accident -- Through some technical glitch, all party members have been phased mostly out of existence. They can speak to and touch each other, but everything else is immaterial to them. They can walk through walls, etc, but can't eat/drink anything they weren't already carrying. No one else can see them and they are all presumed dead. If they can't find a way to become solid again, they will die of thirst within a few days. Could be done in a fantasy setting, just make it a wizard's experiment gone bezerk, zapping passersby out of the material plane.
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30 Cheeses By: Magus of the Citadel ( Items ) Other - Non-Magical
Life is like a cheese, it starts off milk, then it curdles, and then it ages and you hope for the best.
1. Calobit White
Calobit White is a popular cheese coming from the dairylands of Calobit county in the Lairdlands. This cheese is a thick and soft white cheese that if found in large 80 pound wheels sealed in a peculiar mixture of beeswax and stone dye. The cheese tends to spoil after three to four weeks and takes on a rancid smell and very runny texture. Most people of Calobit eat this sort of cheese with large amounts of meade and bushels of honey steamed apples.
2. Denibug Black-Rind
This gourmet cheese is very hard and grates rather than slices, it also has a strange smell though the taste makes up for this. Made in hanging bladders cut from sheep’s stomach, this cheese gets it’s name from the rotting container it is aged in. Once the bladder falls, the cheese is considered ripe. What most nobles do not know is that Denibug is actually an Orcish cheese that was picked up by several local cheesemakers.
3. Kofocus Cheese
This cheese is a hard and crumbly cheese that smells vaguely of wet feet. Popular among dwarves and especially gnomes, it is made of goat’s milk and takes roughly three months to age properly. Once aged, it takes exposure to either high heat or standing water to cause the cheese to spoil. Both races favor it with hard ciders and beers, and it is the cause of the dwarves legendary halitosis.
4. Relanu Dry Cheese
This rare cheese is favored by dwarven lords and nobles, but after being aged in an ice cavern for nearly a year, the cheese is so dry that it crumbles like dust when rubbed between the fingers. They like to roll joints of meat in a crusting of the cheese dust and wash the rest down with great gulps of black stout and Old Liverbeard’s ale. This cheese is also popular among human nobles who like to use it as a pungent topping for blander meats like white boar and fish.
5. Copinudi Red Cheese
This cheese is made by the clerics of the Goddess of Love and lust, milked from the Temple’s herd and processed and aged exclusively by the temple maidens. This cheese is impregnated with essence of roses, pomegranate, and raspberry, giving it a pinkish red color and a sophisticated and sometimes sour taste. According to the clerics of the goddess, this cheese can only be appreciated when eaten off of the naked body of a comely woman.
6. Jujavelu Cheese
A semi-hard and salty cheese, Jujavelu is so popular among goblins and orcs that it is also called Goblin Cheese, which generally makes it one of the cheapest cheeses that can be purchased from a well stocked cheesemonger. Goblins generally eat the cheese with live insects such as grasshoppers and roaches and goblin made jujavelu sometimes even has crushed insects in it. Caveat emptor!
7. Harageh Aged Special
This cheese commands exorbitant prices when even a small wheel of it appears, but this is not without reason, this is a very potent and almost magical cheese. It is an age defier, eating a serving of the cheese is able to erase a year from a character’s age, amking them younger. The cheese is also imperishable, it cannot spoil or go bad, and some speculate that it cannot be digested either. After eating this hard and nasty tasting cheese, the eater is afflicted with sour stomach and chronic constipation for a month.
8. Vaxuzin Green
This brine packed cheese is made in the Vaxuziny Marshes, where almost any sort of milk is curdled with brine and blended with a variety of herbs and botanicals from the marshes. The resultant feta like cheese is soft and crumbly and depending on the seasoning, can have a variety of flavors. The most common flavor is a woodsy pickled flavor that lends itself well to smoked meats and dark lagers.
9. Duxiture Corpse Cheese
One of the less savory cheeses, Duxiture is popular among necromancers and those who deal with the dead. This cheese uses large amounts of rendered human fat as well as milk fat in the curing process. The cheese has a wet and sloughing consistancy that many liken to vomit, and the smell isnt much better. Necromancers and others who are constantly surrounded by death and the undead find that the cheese has a mellow flavor. Others find that even a taste of the cheese induces violent nausea and stomach cramps.
10. Tinydisy Pixie Cheese
This tiny cheese, rarely found in anything larger than a coin sized wheel, is considered a delicacy among delicacies. The cheese is made by pixies who steal the milk from the mouth’s of nursing infants and baby animals. This is allowed to cure wrapped in a flower petal and then is savored by the pixies when the weather is bad. The cheese has a wonderful taste, and eating a wheel fills the eater with a sense of contentment and motherly love. As can be expected, it commands an exorbitant price.
11. Rookshy Cheese
Rookshy is an uncommon cheese and an acquired taste, indeed most connisours of Rookshy were introduced to the cheese before learning what it was and how it was made. It is generally made like any common cheese, but rather than wax, the wheels are rolled in a mixture of rook guano and sawdust. This thick casing allows protects the cheese from being exposed to air, and some say that it gives the cheese it’s exquisite and mellow flavor.
12. Orightough Stout
Originally named after the explorer who brought this ogrish cheese back from the Ogre lands, it was soon known as being ‘alright and tough’ which eventually became Orightough. These cheese has a long shelf life, but is bland, hard, and is rather mealy when warm. Most consider it an emergency food, for eating after the horses and the dogs have been eaten and the only choice is Orightough or other humans. Ogres claim that Orightough goes very well with humanflesh, and oddly enough humans make it better than ogre cheesemakers.
13. Lichild Demi-Cheese
A fanciful name given to a cheese only recently redicovered. The recipe for making the cheese was found in the ruins of a lich’s lair and one of the survivors returned with the recipe and started making the cheese rather than venture back into the underground crypt again. The cheese is rather plain in texture but shines when heated and served in fondue.
14. Tidrather Plant-Cheese
Tidrather is a common druidic cheese that is rendered from the seeds of a plant rather than the flesh of an animal. The cheese is very similar in texture and color to common cheeses, but the taste is decidely ‘beany’ and it is not popular. The cheese doesnt go bad, and can be ground down to a powder and added to flour to make a stout loaf of bread or fortify a weak stew. When eaten by itself, the cheese is also oily.
15. Sirisach Hard
This cheese is one of the few true elven cheeses and as such is ripened over a period of six years at the bare minimum and can cost as much as a horse would. It has many tiny holes in it, slices easily, and goes well with fruits, light wine, and white meats. It is a good quality cheese, but the elven process for making it is only old, not superior, and with more modern applications Sirisach could be made and ripened in less than six months. this knock off, or imposter cheese is called Half-Sirisach and is derided by elves as being impatient and impulsive.
16. Ardelmath Curdle
Made of sheepsmilk and treated with a variety of secret ingredients, Ardelmath is a soft and velvety cheese. It is noticable for the purplish-green veins that run through the cheese that give the cheese it’s pungent flavor and it’s danger. The veins in the cheese are poisonous to humans and eating large amounts of Ardelmath is highly discouraged. Some are drawn to the thrill of the cheese, plus the closer one cuts to a vein, the better the cheese tastes. The philosopher Malthus of Iorod attempted to describe the taste of the vein itself after eating it. He was going to die from a strange illness and sought to add to knowledge and after swooning for several minutes he spoke ‘It tastes like…arrrrghhh’ and died.
17. Stawaright Greatcheese
Stawaright is made from the milk of celestial bison and winged buffalos and can only be gathered on rare occasions. This cheese is immaculately white and has a very pleasant and soothing flavor, and quickly fills even the most empty belly. The cheese has been purported to have healing powers and restorative properties, generally driving the price of the cheese into the area where only the landed nobility can afford it. It is frequently immitated by fraudulent cheesemongers, beware any Stawaright being sold at half price, chances are it is just a common cheese injected with a healing potion.
18. Beydard Cheese
Another of the rare Elven cheeses, Beydard is a soft and runny cheese made in small wheels and hung from the branches of their great trees. The cheese is ripened by the sun and the pollen of the trees and each wheel carries the taste of the trees and sun. It is best served with either strong red wine, or used to make luxurious sauces for exotic meats such as infernal boar, dire stoat, or the manxsome steaks of manticores. Elves seldom sell this cheese, instead giving it as gifts.
19. Waringem Shorthorn
This is a very rare cheese as it is made from the milk of minotauresses, and they only use this cheese as a way to preserve their milk for their children when winter comes and the children are still very young. The fact that humans consider the cheese to be very tasty and offer to buy it borders on offensive to the minotaurs, as do any efforts to set up creameries to make Waringem. As can be expected, minotaurs take a sour look at humans wanting to milk their cows.
20. Tassamas Gray
This cheese has less than positive origins, as it’s creation hails from the nether realms where demons delight in delicacies and exotic meals. Tassamas is created from the milk of tainted livestock, and when possible, the milk taken from nursing mothers. The cheese that is produced is a buttery soft cheese with a slightly smokey flavor that is the color of slate. The cheese radiates taint, and any food put close to it spoils rapidly. Demons consider this a good tihng since clean and wholesome food is generally repulsive to them.
21. Ghaundbur Cheese
The most famous of the halfling cheeses, Ghaundbur is a very versatile cheese, it can be served with bread and fruit, consumed with light wines or any ales, can be easily melted for dips and sauces, and is considered an all round good cheese. It is rather hard to get ahold of since halflings generally consume about 95% of what they make, and some communities consume more than they can produce and halflings tend to deal with their own before others.
22. Cooghque Fey Cheese
This cheese is considered an elfin cheese, though it is nothing of the sort. The cheese is the product of a 130 year old recipe that makes a decent cheese and mixes a mildly euphoric and hallucinogenic herb into it. When eaten, this cheese causes the eater to become very mellow and relaxed at which point they generally start to see visions, hear phantom sounds and the like. Many consider Cooghque to be the only cheese that can be eaten with absinthe.
23. Zishkal Cheese
This cheese is considered a diamond in the rough, as it is made as a common cheese, but is wrapped in a liner filled with alchemical agents and then buried at least eight feet in the earth. After a year, the cheese is dug up, rinsed, and allowed to finish aging for another year in a dry cave. Those who eat this expensive cheese find their bodies more resistant to injury, though some excessive eaters find their extremities starting to loose sensation as they become more and more durable. The effect of this cheese is of limited duration, so to keep this natural armor like ability, a constant supply will be needed.
24. Cleesthon Cheese
Made exclusivly at the Cleesthon Monastary, this cheese has been made for generations by the cheesecrafters of the monastary. Given the strict vows of chastity and celibacy, many monks go years without ever laying eyes on a woman. As such, with the monastary being built on an old holy place, the cheese has taken on an aspect of the monks. Anyone eating the cheese finds themselves aching and ready for romantic trysts with women. Impotent men will eat the cheese, ignoring the pedestrian flavor, while women who eat the cheese find it disconcerting at the very least.
25. Verunden Mushroom Cheese
This cheese is common among races that live underground. To make the cheese, milk is gathered from their available livestock and mixed with copious amounts of mushroom juice. The resultant mixture can be encouraged to curdle into a thick and syrupy cheese. The cheese itself retains a syrup liek texture, though those that have less mushroom juice tend to be more solid. The cheese is excellent for making reductions and sauces, though most underground dwellers find it just a plain runny cheese.
26. Koofhin Horse Cheese
Made from the milk of mares, this cheese is a bitter and hard cheese that is best consumed after being soaked in beer or ale. Koofhin does have a high protein content and is good for long distance rations. A border delicacy involves broiling a piece of boar loin slathered in Koofhin and arrowgrass seed. Most folk consider Koofhin to be a barbarian cheese and generally avoid it.
27. Brimorest Cheese
Found in the sprawling slums of sewers of great cities, Brimorest is made from one of the least appealing of animals, giant rats. Brood rats are raised in Brimorest where their fast breeding is used to raise meat rats, and the milk is gathered to make wheel of this rank yellow cheese. Considering the diet of the giant rats, this cheese has an unpleasant taste that can only be appreciated by the very hungry. The only dush made using this cheese involves boiling several meat rats in a stew pot and serving then resultant meaty broth with a slab of crusty bread with melted Brimorest on it. This is generally served in prisons, gaols, dungeons, and other places where real food isnt required, only calories and protein.
28. Moconi Cheese
Also known as Giant’s Cheese, this cheese is made from the milk of greatkine, cattle that are thrice the stature of common cattle. The resultant cheese is easily produced in large amounts and has a good enough flavor that it is palatable. Moconi is used to drizzle over rice, pasta, and grains for a sauce, or used as a dipping cheese. It is very soft, and spoils rather quickly.
29. Lyret Sea Cheese
This cheese is only found in northern and arctic climates as it is gathered from the teats of small to medium sized whales. The Lyret people use sea songs to placate the great mammals long enough for divers to milk them and escape. The milk is then curdled and packed in brine and ice to make a hard and brittle cheese. This very fatty cheese has a very high calorie content and can keep a man on his feet for days before his strength begins to fade from hunger.
30. Robol Cheese
this lumpy cheese is related to the bleu cheeses, and is also known as Goblin Snot Cheese since it is made by goblins and has the consistancy of a sinus infection. Robol can be cured a second time, being wrung in cheesecloth and left to age for a few weeks where it renders an edible cheese. Goblins find this processed cheese to be flat and lacking in flavor, while most humans find Robol to be both rancid and acidic.
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30 Curses By: valadaar ( Articles ) Campaign - Gaming - In General
30 Minor Curses
Here follows a list of 30 curses, some merely embarrassing or awkward, other dangerous and possibly deadly. A generator can be found here
Curses should not be easy to lift, for these ones a minor quest or repentance of some sort should be used instead of a quick fix spell.
Curses should also fit the offense against the being delivering the curse. These ones are more appropriate for generally non-offencive creatures such as the Folk, Gypsy fortune-tellers and the like. They do not fit in an ancient tomb of a Witch King (I think this is the seed for a later submission…)
That said, here they are:
Subject cannot stand the sight of blood. They will need to check their willpower or faint. Warrior types may find this a little disabling.
Subject’s teeth begin to rot and will start dropping out one by one. Due to the appearance and smell, the subject will likely have impacts to social-related attributes and skills. Obviously Seduction would be a problem.
The joints and tendons in the victims hands become more flexible and soft. As a result, the hands cannot apply much strength to any task. Similarly, complicated actions such as spellcasting may also suffer penalties.
One of the subject’s eyes will drift to random locations on the subject’s skull. It will seriously affect depth perception and coordination unless one of the eyes are closed. On the plus side, it may allow for rear-vision, etc, but it will seriously affect how other people view the subject.
For those who need a table, you can use the following:
D6 roll Location
1 Top of skull
2 Right-side (in front of ear)
3 Back of skull
4 Left-side (in front of ear)
5 Under chin
6 Center of forehead
One or more of the target’s teeth begins to grow continually. If it is extracted, another tooth will suffer the same fare. It will keep getting longer and longer until the curse is lifted. Growth rate and number of teeth depend on strength of curse.
Items carried will randomly disappear and reappear in unexpected places,usually on the victims person. Generally, it will add time to retrieve small items, especially spell components.
Victim smells like fresh food - usually meat to animals. Increases the likelihood of hostile animal encounters. Domesticated animals will mob the character looking for food.
8. Stilt Legs
Victim’s lower legs lengthen significantly, increasing height by several inches. Victim may find they can walk/run faster, but they will look odd and be more vulnerable to tripping, and broken legs.
Subjects eyelids become completely transparent. Subject may have difficulty sleeping without use of masks, or completely dark rooms. Others will find the subject weird and unnerving.
10. Dog Nose
Subject sense of smell is greatly increased. (Optionally the subject’s nose can appear as a real dog nose) However, they never become ‘used’ to any odor, including their own. Given the state of hygiene in most fantasy worlds, they may find this rather unpleasant.
Whenever the subject attempts to lie, regardless of the intent, reason or situation, they will develop a lisp.
Victim steadily gets heavier. This change is not visible, they simply become denser and denser. Eventually the Victim will be unable to move. If the curse is not lifted eventually they will be so heavy that they will not be able to breath. Weight increase stops with their death.
Subject cannot speak without studding his conversation with rude, mean spirited insults. The speaker cannot hear these, but all others can.
14. Accidental Arsonist
Wherever subject goes, if a fire can escape, it will. Drapes will drift into candles, campfires will shoot embers into dry grass, etc. Subject will need to go someplace non-flammable to escape the effects.
Any foodstuff touched by the subject, even with gloves or utensils will spoil immediately. They can be fed by others though, or if they can manage to feed themselves without using their hands.
16. The Longing of Long Falls
The victim is drawn to places of great heights - cliffs, bottomless pits and the like. In their mind these places call for them to join them, to cast themselves within. Not a sure thing, but these places will always be dangerous to the curse bearer. One day his willpower may fail.
No matter what the subject says, the subject will always add a little tick or gesture which will lead the listener to doubt what is said. "No! I did not kill the watchman!" (wink wink!)
Every morning, a different limb or the head of the subject will transform into that of a randomly determined animal. Size of the limb will be appropriate for the affected being and generally will not seriously affect walking speed or strength.
Wherever the victim goes, small bursts of telekinetic energy will cause small items to occasionally fall off shelves or other surfaces. The more powerful the curse, the stronger and more frequent the pushing.
Subject cannot abide water touching their skin - it will cause significant pain, but no damage. Subject would need to make a very difficult willpower check to do immerse themselves in water, and an even greater one to avoid screaming.
Victims hearing is changed such that loud sounds get louder, and quiet sounds become quieter. Anything that they can hear is painfully loud. Anything below a whisper is completely unheard. This is purely in the mind - they will only be deafened by sounds loud enough to do that without the curse in place.
22. Keyed Narcolepsy
Subject will suddenly drop into a deep sleep whenever a specific key phrase or event occurs (generally decided upon by whoever applied the curse.)
Victim loses the ability to count above 2 and cannot re-learn this skill until the curse is lifted. This will even extend to their ability to judge odds in a battle.
"Run? Why? There’s only two of them!"
The opposite of Accidental Arsonist, small flames will go out when the subject comes near, and larger flames will decrease in intensity.
The affected individual loses the brain’s ability to invert the image projected by the eyes, so as a result, everything appears upsidedown. This will have pretty serious affects on the subject’ coordination.
26. Corrosive Touch *
Most objects touched by the victim will be slowly be corroded, rusted or otherwise weathered. This affect is not strong enough to inflict damage in combat, but weapons, armor, clothing or other items in close contact to the victim will degrade over time. The effect does not continue when contact is broken.
Subject’s hair will begin growing at a greatly accelerated rate, about 1/2" per day. What makes things more annoying is that it becomes terribly difficult to cut, enough that magic is required.
28. Roving Food Allergies
Each day, a different common foodstuff will trigger food allergy symptoms. Specific reaction can be hives, gastrointestinal distress or swelling. Dangerous effects do not occur, but every meal is playing Russian Roulette.
29. Magius Haywire
Wherever the subject goes, Magic items (like wands, etc) have a tendency to go off spontaneously. Very powerful items with limited usage are less likely to activate then common, minor ones. Subject had best avoid magic shops.
Those carried by the subject are the most likely to be activated.
Victim appears to be able to hear normally, except with respect to sounds that they make. This leads to over-loud conversation, and overconfidence when attempting to move with stealth.
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30 Disasters! By: Scrasamax ( Plots ) Event - Encounter
What happens? Are you kidding me?
1. Deep Impact
With a screaming roar, a giant ball of flame roars overhead to smash into the ground about a mile from the PCs. They are soon showered with debris, sand, shattered wood and the like. There is a minor chance of being injured, easily negated by taking shelter. A meteorite has fallen and blasted a 100 foot wide hole in the earth. There is nothing magical about the impact or event.
2. Blue Crush
The water seems to recede, as if something was drawing it away from the shore. A few turns later, a wall of water 12 feet high rolls over the beach causing a great deal of damage, washing anything not bolted down away and toppling any structure made of anything weaker than stone. PCs are jostled, take minor to moderate damage and can lose items in the surge of water.
3. Close Encounters of the Planar Kind
A large object appears in the sky, moves in a strange fashion and vanishes after abducting a lone PC. The PC is later returned unharmed, but has several traits changed on his character sheet, no memory of the event and continually has strange dreams about goblins in space wearing lab coats and holding glowing wands.
4. Ground Zero
As the PCs approach a major city, the city is destroyed by a massive explosion that knocks the PCs off of their feet. A cloud of smoke and fire rises into the air to blow away normal clouds. Rain falls black as pitch and strange mutations occur in surviving people and animals. Those mages and their experiments…
5. Wyrmfang Spill
A wagon ahead of the PCs has an accident (breaks a wheel, horses spook, orcs attack and kill the driver) and it’s contents are spilled. a strange green cloud spills from the damaged wagon, plants quickly wither and die and animals in the area of the cloud sicken and also die in a few agonizing minutes.
The master Golemist in town has gone off the deep end and is now certifiably insane. This insanity has trickled down into his creations, but thankfully he suffers from a peaceful dementia and now instead of rampaging and killing, his golemic creations wander about looking for dance partners. No music and a 1200 pound dance partner made of glass make for an interesting match…and flattened feet. Defying the golems makes them sullen and weepy.
7. I, Golem
The youngest member of the PC party gains a new henchman, a 12 foot golem made of granite, carved to look like a monsterous and formidable man of war. The golem, now masterless heard of a prophecy about a young hero and by it’s limited logic, said PC is the hero and the golem must protect him. Rather than becoming a deadly and brutal engine of war, the PC gains a two ton nanny with all the grace and composure of a 4000 pound slab of stone. Certainly handy when the orcs show up looking for blood, but a real pain with said PC decides to go about on private matters.
8. Hang Ten!
It starts as a rumble, then a deafening roar as the entire side of a mountain falls in a deadly shower of boulders and clouds of debris. Thankfully the PCs are not caught in the fall, but it just happens that the mountain pass is possibly closed…forever. For more adventure, the path beneath the PCs feet collapses, and they are left to ride what debris they can find on a break-neck race to the bottom.
The ground heaves and shudders, startling animals, waking sleepers, sending birds screaming from the trees. Devastation is more visible in town as the local tower has fallen, several homes and destroyed and there is a chance of a fire, almost 100% if the quake hits in the evening time when everyone has their lanterns and candles lit. No noxious vapors steam out of the earth, no demons emerge, no strange magic effects start happening.
10. Red Skies
The PC on night watch notices a red glow, and in a matter of minutes, the PCs are being threatened by a raging wildfire. Trees explode into flame, the heat sucks breathable air away and water quickly evaporates in the inferno. You wake up, the forest is on fire.
11. Neptune’s Revenge
As the PCs are walking/riding along side the river, they notice it is rising visibly. A combination of massive rainfall upstream and a dam rupture will fill the river’s floodplain with water 15 feet deep in a matter of a few minutes. While it wouldn’t be the wall of water from a tsunami, once the water arrives, it will be many hours if not days or weeks before it subsides.
The bad storm takes a really bad twist, winds kick up to incredible speed, ripping thatch houses apart and flining debris around pell-mell. Then, the rain, hail, wind and lightning all stop. A muted roar announces the presence of the tornado as it marches relentlessly across the earth for a few miles of sheer destruction. Well mage…can you counterspell that thing?
13. Time Runs Out
In the distance, a mountain bulges and explodes in silent fury, creating a pillar of fire and ash that blots out the sun. A moment later, the pressure wave arrives, shaking trees and making ears pop. The volcano, long thought dead, has blown itself apart, creating a cloud of superheated ash, glass and poisonous vapors, rivers of water ash slurry called lahars, and ashfall measured in feet. In a few years, local plant harvests will be double the yield, but until rain comes, it is a no-man’s land of fluffy ash and death.
14. Operation Black
While strolling through the market of a major city, the PCs are knocked off of their feet and caught in a stampede of panicked people. A group of local radicals have set off an explosive weapon (keg of gunpowder, a vial of dragon’s bile, jar of demonic-nether-gas) in protest of the current ruling power. Guards take anyone not local into custody, there is looting and violence aplenty. The point of contention between the parties should in no real way involve the PCs, something like the cost of grain for millers outside the city, hunting rights of the commoners, or something equally inane and bizarre.
15. Three Hour Tour
The PCs, whilst traveling a short distance by ship, wreck and are marooned on a deserted island. Rather than being in the middle of the ocean, they are about 5 or 6 miles from the coast and in a few days or weeks they will be rescued if they haven’t found a way to get off of the island themselves.
16. Snakes on a Frigate
Whilst traveling on a long voyage, the PCs discover that a large number of (insert dangerous animal) have been released on the ship for the purpose of killing a certain passenger despite being protected by soldiers and mercenaries.
17. I Hate Monkeys!
Hoots and hollers fill the forest air around the PCs and a band of large primates charge out of the foliage armed with branches, boat paddles, and even a real weapon or two. After battling the berzerker gorillas (should be a good challenge) the PCs discover the corpse of a druid, the monkey’s master. The cause of death is accidental, the man choked on a piece of food and then his monkeys were left to fend for themselves and protect his body.
While on an ocean crossing or other suitable deep water crossing, the PCs ship is attacked by a large kraken. Crewmen perish, the ship is damaged, but the monste is driven away after valiant combat and calamari is on the menu in the galley.
19. OMFG GIANT SPIDERS!
A wizard’s giant growth potion has been lost, it was spilled by the drunken mage on night. A sack of spider eggs absorbed the potion and as the spiders hatched they grew to frighteningly large size. Currently the size of a large housecat or dog, each generation will increase in size until the arachnids overrun the area and eat all of the humans. Time to get to squishing some bugs, though in the PCs favor, the spiders are not dangerously poisonous.
20. The Zombie Strain
A necromancer made a big big big mistake, creating a highly contagious version of the animate dead spell. Rather than creating a self replenishing army of dead under his control, the zombies spread their affliction to the living by fluid exchange. While not majorly dangerous themselves, the PCs will be infected and only have a few days at the most before succumbing to the infection and becoming a zombie themselves…unless there is a cure!
21. The Body Filchers
The PCs discover a village where all of the locals act very strange, almost wooden in their movements. A quick round of ‘sleuthing’ and they can discover that a potent spirit of the local forest has been abducting the locals and growing plant replicas of them to protect the forest and eliminate the danger of humans. The filched bleed amber treesap and are terrified of fire, axes, and leaf eating insects.
22. The Tower Inferno
Gala and fetes are things of courtly grace and splendor, events of decorum and etiquette. The stately tedium is interrupted by a fire spreading quickly through the palace, and the PCs are involved to help put out the flames and rescue important or self-important people from the blazing wreckage.
The PCs encounter a village where there are no women, only men and boys working in the fields, they take no notice of the fact that there are no women. The women of the village no reside in the grand palatial estate of the Hypnotist, though none of the locals know him as anything other than the Good Father at the church. The Hypnotist (stroke oiled mustache) will try to enthrall the PCs to become his hounds of war and fight his un-enchanted foes hidding in the Wherever Hills.
24. Village of the Werewolves
The PCs are besieged by wolves under the light of the full moon, the next village they come too some days later is wary of the PCs and seems to know them despite it being their first trip to said village. The entire village is afflicted with lycanthropy and several villagers were slain by the PCs or severly injured by them. Attempts to ‘cure’ them will be met with derision and potential violence.
25. Out of the Storm
A bolt of lighting falls during a heavy downpour, flashroasting one of the PC’s mounts, fusing it’s metal barding together and instantly killing the poor creature.
26. France! To Arms!
A night by the river turns strange as the ground is quickly covered by a thick carpet of frogs and toads of all different sizes. Anything edible the amphibians eat, including each other, travel is done on a slick of frog blood and gore, and the smell after a few hours is quickly nauseating.
27. Who turned off the lights?
One morning the sun doesnt rise. No reason is to be given, other than a faint smile or a fiendish chuckle.
28. Dead in the Pasture
The PC’s mounts perish during the night for no apparent reason. The next village has been hit with the same affliction some days before and there is not a horse, ox, cow, or any toher critter over 1000 pounds in wieght to be found for miles. After a week or so, the effect ends and animals can enter the area again and not perish.
29. Fly Hollow
Traveling, the PCs find the ruins of a town, complete with macabre skeletons and dried out corpses. A steady drone fills the air and the sky is darkened by the wings of millions of black biting flies. This town has been forever cursed.
30. What’s that Smell
more fun with fire, instead of a forest or palace, the city itself has been caught up in a firestorm. Leaping from roof to roof, the flames will devour half of the city by morning, if only the PCs can make it to the river before the heat and smoke overcome them.
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30 Divine Concepts By: Murometz ( Systems ) Societal/ Cultural - Defining
After Buddha died, his shadow was still shown for centuries in a cave—a tremendous, gruesome shadow. God is dead; but given the way of man, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we—we still have to vanquish his shadow, too.
"Yeah, yeah, I get it… god of war, god of love, ok, its always the same, only the names and rituals change."
Thirty takes on less common, unusual, bizarre, and sometimes incomprehensible approaches to the divine.
1. Whats a god?
When the races witnessed a lightning bolt strike a tree and set fire to it for the first time, they did not look above and cower and wonder in awe and fear, and ponder what greater power may dwell above them. These people were missing that gene. No amount of natural phenomenon would sway them to look to a greater power for an explanation.
There is no concept of worship or religion here. There is not even an understanding of what a higher power may be. Divinity, worship, and gods are three words missing from the languages of the world. The races of this realm are self-sufficient and pragmatic, exploring the mysteries of their world through a more scientific, empirical approach, slowly but eventually understanding the science behind the magic.
Nor, furthermore, do they seek salvation or an afterlife of any kind, believing unequivocally, that they live, and then they die, their bodies decomposing and feeding the next wave of life.
2. As Below, so Below
A nearly impenetrable haze and thick-laden atmosphere surround this world, making it nigh impossible to see the sun and stars. Here the races evolved a bit differently. They did not have the great firmament to gaze upon. They did not have the night skies to decipher and stare at in bewilderment and dread.
Instead the people of this world looked below to reach enlightenment. The oceans of the realms function here as the skies and heavens do in most orthodox worlds.
It is below the endless, raging deep, where the races believe the gods come from. The Oceans are the great mystery, not the skies above, and the realm of the gods can be found in the great unknown below the surface, in some eerie benthic realm of cold and darkness. Many subtle and some profound nuances exist in this world, and in other ways it is not unlike other worlds with intricate, omnipresent pantheons.
3. I’m divine, how about you?
On this bizarre world, there are no "original" gods. Somehow, the races of this realm, evolved themselves to such a point, that occasionally individuals here are born with the divine seed! In fact, many sages speculate that all lifeforms here, have the potential to achieve godhood, and many over the milleniums have done just that!
While most beings here are born, live their lives and die, like beings on most other worlds, some reach an inexplicable ‘full potential’. The specifics are really up to a particular GM, but in essence, any living being here, may achieve a kind of godhood and ascend into the firmament, to join a bizarre pantheon, in their lifetime.
Another place where the nuances of every day life and worship are quite different from the norm. Imagine knowing that you, or the sunflower-seed-spitting dolt sitting next to you at the tourney, has the latent potential to become a god!
4. Emotions are the conduit
Simply put, whatever makes you feel good, is godly/the proper worship of some god. If it seems as the ultimate hedonism, know that there are also evil gods - those who support the worst instincts, indulge in violence and killing. So be careful. The right kind of pleasure/emotions will lead you closer to divinity, and make you a better person. If you only engage in your base desires, you will be looked down by those who have higher, nobler wants.
What makes you feel good, is right to some god - bad feelings come from misbehaving. You only have to be sure, that it is "the right god" driving your feelings. Additional fun comes, when you feel ambivalent about something - the gods must be in conflict!
Why should it be only doom and gloom! You can base all kinds of nastiness on the pleasure principle.
5. Ultimate Sacrifice
People, even ordinary folk can call on the aid of gods - but the helping god will be paid on the spot, usually by draining the caller’s life force. (The form may vary by deity and purpose - sanity, anyone? Priests devoted to that god will seem to ‘pay’ less.) You want a miracle, you get it.
Priests in general are those who can get away with more. But calling for any real favor will get the person hurt - calling for big favors is the same as "Save my tribe, oh lord, and take me as your willing sacrifice.".
(Special thanks to Cheka)
6. They will save us! (But have not yet been born)
Gods do not exist… yet. But we know they are coming. And when they will come, they will know of all our deeds and failings. Act properly, or our future saviours will not be pleased. Thus, everyone is preparing for the Great Divine Birth.
Just need to find out what the gods will be like.
7. Personal Jesus (w/ apologies to Depeche Mode)
Here everyone has a personalized god, all their own, and existing exclusively for that person. As one can imagine there are as many personal gods in this world as there are poeple! Folks will pray to these divine patrons, knowing that the being cannot possibly be busy elsewhere. This world, in essence, is somewhat similar in style to all of those European towns, which adopt minor saints as local divinities, specifically for that town and populace. This world takes that concept even further.
Most, if not all folks here, will have small individualized shrines in their homes, and carry small idols of their respective gods.
(Oh and yes, my god is better than your god :))
8. We love our women
Regardless of any world’s beliefs, some things are indisputable. On this world, the people are convinced. Anything that can bring actual life into the world, needs to be revered and worshipped. Life springs forth from the womb. And the world has evolved thusly; the men worship the women, as there is no greater force, in nature or otherwise than the ‘Bearers of the "divine Womb". Women here are put on pedestals to say the least. They are treated like living goddesses, nurtured by entire villages, towns, and cities. To be allowed to cojoin with a living goddess, and to be chosen to sire a ‘divine seed’ is as great an honor as any man can be bestowed here, by his "goddesses" of this world. The Mother is Queen.
9. Careful what you pray for (and when!)
Everything here revolves around rituals. Worship here is not unlike worship in orthodox worlds with one major exception. Prayer has to be conducted at precisely the right moments. And only those precise moments. Otherwise dire consequences can ensue, prayers mis-answered and tragedies abounding. The priest class here is of vital importance and of highest standing. They are the Time-Keepers, knowing exactly what can be prayed for and when! Usually, the priests will base their guidance according to a complicated astrological system, not unlike the infinitely complex Hindu astrology of our world.
10. Revolving Pantheons
This world is too small for the sheer power of all deities (or they just can’t abide each other). Therefore, gods take turns in exerting their influence, at other times they are unreachable. If you need support from high on, you have to pray to the other gods, that are present - but be careful, what you ask of whom… not all gods you worship will be pleased by wrong associations. Here, most people will have several from several pantheons.
Whether they revolve by season or by year, all people know it, and religion always involves a little politicking - the priests are the greatest masters of this art.
11. By this triangle, I rule!
Some say, that there are shapes in the seemingly chaotic nature, that always arise in their perfectness and regularity. Others say, that it is these shapes that make civilization possible, and their invoking elevates Man above the Animal. All agree that Gods can only associate with the ultimate beauty, may it be so deceptively simple as geometric shapes. The most devoted to the gods will build their dwellings in their shapes. At the very least, the shape should play an important role in your life.
The Pythagoreans were amateurs. Here the geometry itself is sacred.
12. Secret Names
There is a name publicly known, to designate the deity. But for praying, people use the secret name of their god(s), a name they have chosen themselves, or learned from others (typically, it is passed on in a family). And they better protect it, if others make use of the name, they can:
a) call for favors for themselves - and gods don’t grant many of those!
b) revoke any boons and blessings to the former users of that name
c) possibly anger the power in question!
It is customary to devise intricate rituals with hidden meanings, to appear distinct enough to the god(s). Also, the longer a name is used, the easier the contact becomes. (This works equally well with monotheism - one common god invoked by many names.)
13. Gods for everything. Everything
A few scattered cultures see the divine all around them. The astral plain is filled with gods just as others are, but instead of a small and mighty pantheon, there are billions of gods - a god for every single thing that exists. Every stone, every blade of grass, every grain of sand - all are protected by the divine. How else, they reason, could they sustain existence? Devotion is thus diverse and somewhat vague, as it is difficult to pin down an individual deity to worship. The number of gods, however, makes them no less divine or important.
14. I believe we’ll need some gods!
You know, life is a mess. It’s all hopeless chaos without any sense of direction. Are we just to wander around aimlessly from birth to death? No, we will invent ourselves gods: great, powerful beings, that are far wiser than we are, and will lead us to greatness, and add more order and happiness to the universe. And there shall be wise men who will make the contact easier for the common man.
Yes, we have made them, why should that make them less real? If you think of it, it is. Do not fear, if a god becomes troublesome, it can be eliminated by simply not believing in him. What is made can be unmade.
15. Look, a flashlight! Worship me!
We are all familair with this one, are we not? A technologically, intellectually and/or spiritually advanced race, impresses the native inhabitants of any given world, to such a degree, that the "newcomers" with their "mysterious objects", "alien" minds, and bizarre "powers", begin to be worshiped by the populace, and are mistaken for actual gods.
16. Hostile Takeover
This world started like many others, along with a pantheon of native gods, but a cataclysmic event changed all of that. Here, an alien pantheon of gods, from worlds and realities unknown, came and usurped the gods of these people, imprisoning, banishing, or even destroying them outright. Confusion reigns below, but eventually the new "gods" make themselves known to the populace. Reactions vary greatly. Some take to worshiping the newcomers, some cling to their old, perhaps now non-existent gods. Those priests and certain mages that derive their powers from above, will have little choice though, if they wish their flow of magic to not abandon them.
Perhaps a campaign built around the ‘search’ for the old gods? Regardless, it would certainly make for a dynamic world.
17. Ghost-Gods (Honor thy Grandpa!)
Anscestor worship taken to an extreme. The dead are gods. And the only god is Death. Those that ‘pass’ become his demi-gods. The living are well aware of their reality and indeed worship countless generations of deceased relatives! No guard dogs necessary in these homes. Spirits are always afoot. In fact, one can’t escape their gods. There are more and more every passing generation. And they like to bicker, just like your real-life relatives. These ones however can also grant boons to their living kin, courtesy of the one god, Father Death.
Careful tracking of family trees in this world is a crucial facet of life. Honor thine old-folk! You will soon be praying to them.
18. Oh, they’re real alright! See that guy over there?
A slight but reverberating nuance exists in this world. On other worlds, there are always found a few who do not believe in the gods, but that isn’t an option here. The gods exist! They make their existence and appearance quite known, and walk the earth from time to time, involving themselves much more with the affairs of Man, then gods do on other, more orthodox worlds. It would not be impossible for example, to encounter a god during any random PC adventure. What influence on events any given deity will have in these cases is something for a GM to decide.
19. Rubix Cube(tm)
These people spend their lives searching for the true nature of their god(s). Only if they find out enough about their mysterious deities, may they pass on in peace/be reborn/whatever. God is a mystery….BUT, if you solve it, you shall be rewarded.
A part of their religion is designed to confuse and mislead people, to not make them get to the answer so easily, Everyone is miserable with life, more or less… everyone searches for the secret god… and those, who find him, are unable to explain to others, how they solved the Great Divine Secret!
20. Knowledge, then worship
The philosophers cannot deny the existence of gods, and have long ago realized that all that exists had to have been created by someone. The question, then, is who? What are their names? How should they be worshiped? Is there but one god or many? What exactly is a god? The philosophers ask these questions as they have for generations and, until they can come up with proper answers, will refuse to worship. When it comes to something as important as the worship of creators, they reason, why attempt anything that is less than certain? Thus they debate and think endlessly, hoping someone will produce a universal theory that answers any and all questions on the divine.
21. Deeds, not words
God is in all things material, and therefore he sees whatever people do in the material world… and that is what matters, what you really do - materialism, taken to a divine extreme! There will be various economical systems tried, and differing religions/worldviews on how to manage your property.
Prayers are all nice, but to approach a god you have to actually DO something. Gods do all the really hard work (they run the universe after all), and mortals shouldn’t stay behind!
Some of the worshipers periodically rebuild and destroy their temples, again and again. Most create worthy offerings, and consecrate their products to their chosen patrons. No matter the approach: words alone never work.
From a moral point of view, the droves may keep on babbling, but it is the true substance, the real things, that count. It does not matter what you say: only what you do. That is, what differs good from evil. (Note: may have a special fate for the slackers.)
22. Return to Nothing
Nothing you were, and you will return to nothingness. It was the supreme being(s), that shaped you of inert matter, and gave you life, to dwell, if briefly, in this world. You should not waste this gift of life. And remember, those who control chance and fate, can prolong your life, or shorten it. They can also hinder you from taking your life prematurely, and make it very unpleasant.
There are many ways to blessed life. And there is nothingness.
23. Time keeps on ticking (w/Apologies to Steve Miller Band)
The Gods are just a little moment, maybe even a fraction of a second behind the people of this world, in the flow of time. That means, they are not "here", at this particular moment, though they are ever-present. (And yes, there are dozens of libraries of sophisms on this topic.) To actually communicate with the gods in any way, you need to leave them a message behind - you can’t simply talk to them, it must be a physical object. And the longer the message stays around, goes the common wisdom, the more likely the gods will notice it - hence, temples and shrines are very popular, but praying is an unknown concept. The question of how they can grant your wishes is even more complicated.
The people are a) building a perfect mind (supercomputer) to take care of all their needs and solve all of their problems or b) they have it already, and now they only have to wait until the solutions to all their problems are computed.
25. Who needs whom?
It is a theological maxim that mankind needs the gods. But do the gods need mankind? In this world, yes they do. The gods are sustained by worship; it is for them food, energy, life. For a god to be forgotten, its shrines abandoned and prayers unsaid, is to kill it. Thus, while mortals depend on various gods for their needs, the gods compete too for worship and rely on it. If a god is forgotten by all mortals, it fades away into the void. The system of religion, then, is mutual.
26. "Please, can I help you?"
The gods were punished by a greater power (possibly the creator god). They are bound to wander the earth, trying to attract genuine worshippers, until they amass a certain number, or the chief deity decides. Only then can that particular god return to the "heavens". In the meantime, they all walk the earth, weakened, desperate… and quite un-godlike.
27. Fear the Gods
Gods are very dangerous creatures, sometimes friendly, mostly not. Temples are the way to make contact with them… if not easier, then at least it is concentrated in one place. Were it not for the temples, gods could be running amok among the people!
Therefore, mortals have to keep the gods close to temples, entertained and worshipped. It doesn’t make the worst of them any better, and there is no guarantee some won’t go on trips now and then. Still, there have to be priests that are hardy men, able to survive the rigors of their position, get a sufficient number of worshippers to make the gods feel important enough, and mediate the contact between mortals and immortals. They are the diplomats, and defenders of mortals. The gods are miserable bastards, deal with it (and don’t say it out loud).
28. Gods inside the shadow
The big difference is that people believe that the gods are hidden in, or watching them from, their own shadows. The shadow is the basic factor to wrap things around. Think of the impact on worshipping, rituals, phrases etc.
- "The gods are with us, the sun is high."
- conversely, a godless place is one without shadows; unclear shadows mean a weak presence… be afraid.
- "You can’t run from your shadow. You may be able to avoid it at times, but it is always there, always." - a play on divinity, but also on conscience.
- Vampires and similar creatures are the ultimate evil.
- and so on, and so on.
29. They gave us the children
Children are a gift, and here it is more true than anywhere else. The higher powers send down the offspring, and it is the duty of the people to take care of it - for it is the divine, that is manifested most clearly in them. For gods, in all their glory, are close to mortals in their moods, and tendencies, and small children can be as fickle and unpredictable, destructive even. Parents have to be careful to recognize, which gods are reflected in a child most, and act accordingly. In turn, deities are indirectly identified from the children’s behavior.
Note: raising children, and raising them well are of a great cultural importance.
30. It’s okay that I take this gold
The god are not much active in this world, but they are really hyperactive in the world after. And boy, they do judge harshly. There are legends spun about many famous dead, and their ordeals and punishments on the other side. No deed is left out, so it is said and believed.
Worship is basically explaining away anything objectionable, the rituals can easily turn into litanies on your good intentions, or the bad intentions of the victim of your deeds. Offerings are always a tricky balance, between good form and avoiding to look like bribes. Wars are fought as everywhere, but at least they are more often declared.
Further Divine Concepts (which weren’t fully conceptualized):
- Literal idol worship - idols don’t represent gods, they ARE gods
- This world is a ‘recruiting ground’ for another, much greater and more amazing world. The gods get to choose who to take with them - and who stays behind, or will just be ‘dropped’. So worship your chosen god properly, and he may take you with them. (The UFO sect option.)
- in this world, the gods come in precise, opposite pairs. So if you want something from one, you have to weaken his opposite, so your chosen can get stronger. Go figure.
- in this world, it is easy to worship multiple gods, even profitable… but all know that after death, the gods will take the souls of their followers, meaning that they will take a respective part of their soul… tearing it apart. There you’d have priests all too willing to offer help to anyone, and people extremely careful to not accept it, once they have chosen one. The more you accept the help of a certain god, the more of your soul belongs to him, that’s the deal. Afterwards, that ‘parts’ may be put together and reincarnated, but most want to stay a whole person.
Honorary mentions to val and Cheka!
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30 Dragon Flavours By: crucifiction ( Lifeforms ) Intelligent Species - Any
A list of thirty different dragon flavours, in no particular order, just waiting for your campaign to give them life. (although I really wanted to, you will find no "Tandoori Dragon" or "Barbecue Dragon" or "Egg Salad Dragon" here. Not that kind of 'flavour')
1. Red Dragon
The most covetous of all dragons. Beware their hoards. They obsess over gold and gems and attract kobolds and other minions. Their lairs are often under mountains in giant cave systems.
2. Bone Dragon
It lacks scales, it lacks breath, it lacks sight and hearing and taste, but it makes a formidable guardian, for its bones are bound with an unbreakable magic charm, and it still hungers for flesh, though it knows not why.
3. Prehistoric Dragon
What a neanderthal is to humankind, the prehistoric dragon is to living, present-day dragons. Their bones are thicker and inlaid with a denser magic, making them very strong, though so too was every other living thing in their day. The skull and bones of the jaw are particularly thick, giving them a very stupid appearance, and the size of their brains definitely shows that they were much more stupid than today's elegant dragon race.
4. Sea Dragon
Its wings are much more membranous than a regular dragon's, with its hind legs joined to its tail for more efficient swimming. Its spine has floppy protrusions which look much like seaweed, and it uses this to hide in thick forests of kelp on the sea floor. Its hoard is made up of treasure stolen from merchant ships, which it keeps in deep sea caves beneath volcanic islands.
5. Primordial Dragon
These dragons are the god-kings of all dragon kind, who created the dragons, and their ilk - the wyverns and kobolds, at the beginning of time. They are cosmic beings made of pure light, and their breath weapon is the fusion which powers stars.
6. Ancestor Dragon
At some point in your family line, a dragon has blessed your bloodline. The ancestor dragon is a protector spirit which will come when called and aid you in battle. Its strength lies not in physical prowess, being that it is small, but in its trickster nature, and its passion for protection.
7. Guard Dragon
A young dragon may be captivated by a wizard, at which point it can be chained to a post and its aging can be magically slowed down. Being an intelligent species, the wizard can teach it which guests to burn and which not to. Over time, the dragon's behaviour changes as they become more inclined to trust the wizard. Young dragons are incredibly vulnerable in this way.
8. Gladiator Dragon
Dragons are a violent breed, but gladiator dragons are particularly bloodthirsty. They have great big beefy front legs, and their hind legs and tail are whiplike. Their wings are incredibly prehensile, and can be used to stab as well as swipe successfully. They often dig huge burrows in sand dunes and kidnap intelligent creatures to entertain them by fighting. If a creature shows prowess, the gladiator dragon will fight them itself. Its pride can be its downfall.
9. Berserker Dragon
These are a proud, calm race of dragons whose bloodthirsty nature comes out after witnessing scenes of violence. They are sent into a frenzy, which often damages their hides to the point from which they will not heal. Many berserker dragons attract hordes of kobolds to their nests, at which point it is only a matter of time before two kobolds kill each other in front of the dragon.
10. Mammalian Dragon
One of the most terrifying natural beasts to see, the mammalian dragon is covered in fur, boasts retractable claws, and four massive sabre teeth, two on the upper jaw and two on the lower. Their faces are often thought to look like a bear crossed with a tiger. They are often decorated with black stripes over red fur. They are considerably weaker than their more draconic cousins, lacking scales or a thick hide. Their tails are more likely to be lost, making flight much harder. Their tails look very much like a leopard's tail. The most terrifying part of the mammalian dragon, however, is its similarity to bats. They tend to roost upside down from a cliff overhang, usually, and their droppings are just like guano. They are known for playing with their prey before eating it, bones and all.
11. Space Dragon
A close cousin of the space whale, space dragons fly through the spaces between worlds, whether that's an extradimensional plane of existence or simply the void between planet, moon, and star. They are sleek, and coloured like the void. Their breath weapon is a laser which can fire with precision at a foot-wide location on a planet's surface.
12. World Dragon
A world dragon may just be a specific space dragon, or it may be the entirety of existence. Like a world turtle, the world dragon holds the world on its back. It may be small enough to fit on a planet, in which case it's an "Island Dragon", where its back is mountains and trees and tiny people will live there, and perhaps burrow into the dragon to borrow its magic. Or, it may encompass the entire world, and the people who live on the world dragon will not know that they live on a dragon.
13. Archer Dragon
Despite its name, the archer dragon is not a warrior capable with a bow. The "archer" part of its name references its fighting style, which is very catlike. The archer dragon is slender, with wings which are practically useless. It arches its back right up, and hisses and spits acid saliva on its foes.
14. Prismatic Dragon
The prismatic dragon is one of the most dangerous dragons around. Its body is a kind of solar battery. Any light source close enough to illuminate the prismatic dragon will power the prismatic dragon (note: the light source is not used up by this process). When powered, the prismatic dragon physically exists, but is also vulnerable to physical attack. Its breath weapon can only be used when it is powered, and its breath type is literally light. Its light can cut through anything. Therefore, the only method of defeating the prismatic dragon is to control when it is given a light source. Despite being powered by light, prismatic dragons actually are most calm in darkness. Being powered is actually a form of frenzy.
15. Woolly Dragon
The tamest of all dragons, woolly dragons a rare form of mammalian dragon which grow wool. This wool is highly prized by the intelligent species for its cosmetic appeal, raw value, and strength. Dragon wool shirts are fire resistant, and they breathe like Egyptian cotton.
16. Funnel Web Spider Dragon
From a southern continent (Astralis), the funnel web spider dragon is a small - about the size of an elephant - eight-legged dragon which makes a hole in the ground in which it waits for prey to pass. When the prey passes, it pops the lid of the hole open and springs out to battle. It is usually quick enough to poison the prey with its fangs, through which pass its poison "breath" weapon. It then spits poison from its fangs all over the victim's body, which congeals into a sticky substance, inside which they rot. Sometimes, the victim has not yet died.
17. Ice Dragon
Nobody has ever seen this dragon move. They were first encountered when an expedition went north to the frozen tundra. The expedition brought three of them back. They are essentially sculptures, but renown wizards have discovered a magical heartbeat within. But still, nobody has ever seen one of them move.
18. Wraith Dragon
The wraith dragon flies not with wings, but with shadow. Only its head, neck, forelegs, and torso - all jet black - are visible. Behind this, its body is a cloud of dusty shade, which propels it forward incredibly quickly. It sees only in auras, and it will attempt to devour the soul of any who call themselves Good.
19. Nomadic Dragon
These are a vicious breed, but they are not particularly deadly. They are smaller than average, and they have no single hoard. Instead, they find a cave or burrow of some description, and if they can capture a merchant vessel or steal an entire bank vault, they will do so to fill their hoard. They will then sleep for a season on their little pile, all the while attracting kobolds. However, at the end of a season, the nomadic dragon will become stir crazy and will leave its hoard behind in its entirety to start fresh somewhere new. The oldest nomadic dragons will often return to previous hoards and slaughter the kobolds who live there, adding their corpses to the hoard and attracting fresh minions. They are vicious because they are always so eager to build up a massive hoard, but then leave behind a tiny one.
20. Earshatter Dragon
The earshatter dragon's roar can be heard all throughout the land. It acts like a rooster, waking all people every morning. Those who wish to stop it from disrupting life further - and unlife, for its roar is known to wake the dead (literally) - must leave as soon as it wakes them from a distance, and should travel to the dragon's location, if they can figure out where it is, and destroy the dragon before it calls again. Anything within a ten kilometre radius of the dragon's screech will die upon hearing it, and will be raised at the next call to swarm to the dragon's location to serve its interests.
21. Shell Dragon
Shell dragons are protected by a tortoise-like shell. Their legs are very short. They are less similar to tortoises, however, and more similar to beetles. It is a rare occurrence, but when they are in dire stress, the shell dragon can unfurl its shell and a great pair of magical wings will sprout forth, and they will buzz into the sky.
22. Golem Dragon
A magically animated dragon, made by a wizard. It is incapable of flight, and it is nowhere near as elegantly complex as a real dragon. They are only as strong as the material they are made from, and their structure has none of the magical defences. Thus, the limited consciousness they do have is often all the weaker for their envy of real dragons. They are also being constantly worked on as wizards attempt to perfectly replicate the beauty of a real dragon.
23. Demonic Dragon
Dragons can be tempted just like any other intelligent creature. Only the most cunning of demons will attempt to barter for the soul of a dragon, but sometimes they are successful, and the dragon will enter into a contract with a demon. Whatever the demon's plans, the dragon is now held by its sway. Its horns will grow by feet in length, its teeth will become edged and hooked, and it will ignore any and all gold. Its prize is converts for the demon's power in the surface world. Its hoard can only be made up of the skulls of corrupted, demonised humans.
24. Salt Dragon
This dragon lives by the sea, and frequently crumbles into the sea. Wind will erode it, as will waves, and rock. After just a few years in the sea, its soul can attract enough salt to reform and rise to the surface. It is the terror and bane of fishing boats and port towns.
25. Sewer Dragon
When civilisation first broke out, many dragons eggs found their way into central hubs. Most of these eggs would be broken, but a few worked their way into the sewers. The descendants of these are the sewer dragons. They are smaller, and rely less on their sense of smell to hunt. In fact, they are entirely visual. Like toads, they simply lie in wait to leap forward when prey shows up. They often live entirely cannibalistic lives.
26. Ballistic Dragon
The ballistic dragon sprays bone chips from its throat rather than having a classic breath weapon. These spray with incredibly speed, as single chips, bursts of three, or fully automatic fire.
27. The Sorrow Serpent
This dragon sits on outcroppings of rock on wide rivers and in shallow seas. As sailors pass, it roars. This roar expresses itself as a song which affects intelligent species in different ways. In humans, it elicits feelings of deep sorrow. In elves, it elicits a primal rage. In dwarves and halflings, it elicits hunger.
28. Ant-Eater Dragon
Though it does not eat ants, it certainly has a similar biology to an ant-eater. It feels about with a long tongue. Its mouth can not actually open more than enough to allow its tongue out. It is entirely blind, and it smells only when its tongue is sticking out. The tongue is actually cylindrical, with a sharp tooth ring on the end. This stabs into its prey and begins to suck out their meat and blood.
29. Pen Dragon
The pen dragon's claws extrude a thick black ink which sinks into any surface. It is referred to as "the historian of dragonkind", but the majority of its language is individualistic. That is, each individual pen dragon's mind thinks about words differently. No two dragons write alike, and no two dragons can read each other's language. It is difficult, but not impossible, to decipher the text of a pen dragon, which can often hold incredibly useful information about an area, if you can get a high vantage point to read it from.
30. Tandoori Dragon
The main ingredient of tandoori dragon is, obviously, about three tonnes of dragon meat. Smaller amounts are easier to cook, but the dragon's flesh will spoil before you get through it all otherwise. Place the meat inside your tandoor oven once prepared with its seasoning. Cook for one year, or until it is the right colour. The meat is incredibly heat resistant, so we recommend building your tandoor oven somewhere with easy access to magma.
Thanks for reading! I really hope you've enjoyed this one. :)
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30 Dragon-Related Plots and Encounters By: Dossta ( Plots ) Coincidence - Encounter
Dragons are truly awesome creatures. Too awesome in a lot of ways, really. Because of their power, their magnificence and their near-immortal lifespans, a GM might hesitate to include one in a campaign as anything other than an end boss. Here are 30 non-traditional ways to bring these wonderful beasts into your own campaign.
Dragons are truly awesome creatures. Too awesome in a lot of ways, really. Because of their power, their magnificence and their near-immortal lifespans, a GM might hesitate to include one in a campaign as anything other than an end boss. As a long-time dragon lover, I found this to be a real shame and strove to come up with ways that even low-level parties can encounter and experience dragons for themselves. Here, then, are 30 non-traditional ways to bring these wonderful beasts into your own campaign. Please feel free to add your own, and let the dragons rise again!
1. Dangerous Tenant: A local official suspects that the resident sorceress is a dragon in disguise. Though she has lived in the town for several years, the locals have become uncomfortable in her presence -- attributing all sorts of misfortunes to her. These include a recent drought, several attacks by an unidentified wild animal, and a burglary from the local manor. The official would like to see her evicted quietly before things come to a boil, but is too much of a coward to bring it up with her himself.
2. The Beggar: Sometime during the PCs’ travels, they come across a beggar, ship-wrecked sailor, old blind woman, starving child, etc. who asks for their help. Of course, this person is really a good dragon in disguise, and is judging the party by their actions. If they act charitably, the dragon will remember the deed and possibly reward them later. If not . . . well, the dragon will remember that, too.
3. Battle in the Skies: The party is travelling through an open field when an ear-splitting roar shakes the earth. Looking up, they see two dragons in the sky engaged in deadly combat. They are both too focused on their enemy to pay any heed to lesser creatures like the PCs. After a few minutes, one of the dragons gets the upper hand and deals what appears to be a death blow to the other. The loser falls to the earth somewhere in the forest near the party while the other flies off. Do the PCs go to investigate?
4. Roadblock: The players have been tasked with retrieving an archaeological treasure for a wealthy patron. They are given a map to the location, supplies and the best intelligence available about the hazards they will face. Unfortunately, the intelligence is a little out-dated and they arrive to find a dragon curled up for a snooze around (or simply near) the entrance. They will either have to fight the dragon (unlikely), sneak around it without waking it up, or find another way in. Variation: have the dragon lying across the road through some dangerous terrain (mountain pass, best road through the swamp, etc). Going back to find a different road will add weeks to their traveling time, but sneaking around will probably involve climbing or braving some other hazardous terrain.
5. Cat and Mouse: With a loud crack of its wings, a dragon that had been hiding in the clouds descends upon the unsuspecting village. It’s a young beast, though still powerful, and is intent on chasing the villagers and their livestock for a bit of sport. Within a few minutes, any villager that has been foolish enough to run has been killed, and all that remain have hidden inside their houses. The dragon will then go to work on the livestock near town, having a long, leisurely meal while watching the town with one eye. Anyone who emerges from their hiding place will be set upon instantly. The dragon will leave only when its hunger has been sated and the village has begun to bore him. The focus for the PCs will probably be to remain hidden, though you can put extra pressure on the party by assigning them some time-critical mission outside the village. Alternatively, the dragon could begin torching random houses if it gets bored enough.
6. Dragon, RUN! The PCs have either royally pissed a dragon off, or happen to be in exactly the wrong place when a dragon makes its monthly hunting foray into the woods. If hunting, the beast will chase any game large enough to provide at least a mouthful or two of nourishment, including the party members. The PCs will have to do everything it takes to survive -- distracting the hungry beast with other prey (possibly the party horses), hiding in the brush and splitting up are some things they might try. The dragon may respond to diplomacy, but it is very hungry and therefore more inclined to eat any captured prey.
7. Impending Doom: While sharing a drink in the local inn, a terrified farm boy bursts through the door, babbling hysterically about a dragon that is walking up the road towards the village. The dragon is intent on a bit of sport, and is flaming a house here or there as he makes his leisurely way towards the village. The innkeeper and several of the other men stand up, and declare that they will try to draw the dragon off. They will press the PCs for help with either distracting the dragon long enough for the people to evacuate, or diverting the dragon from the village entirely. If the PCs refused, they will be asked to at least remain behind and help with the evacuation.
8. Dance For Me: So the worst has happened: the party has been cornered by an old, powerful dragon that could rend them limb from limb. However, the dragon announces that killing them would be a “waste” as it would only provide him with a few moments of entertainment at best. Instead, the dragon promises to spare their lives if they can entertain him instead for a time. Just about anything will do -- riddles from the wizard, a gladiatorial match between the fighters, songs from the bard -- almost any craft or hobby that the PCs possess can be used as a performance. If the party fails to perform or does so horribly, the dragon can pick off the offending party members (a bad fate for an NPC or two). Too many poor performances could result in a total party kill.
9. A Last Request: The PCs have come across a dragon that is gravely injured, and will die soon if not helped. Depending on the personality of the dragon, it may try to beg, threaten or bargain with them for healing. Or, it may ask them to complete one last, important task in the dragon’s stead. This could be carrying out the dragon’s revenge, completing a quest that the dragon had been sworn to do, returning something to its mate, caring for its now-orphaned young, etc.
10. Babysitting: The players have found themselves entrusted with the big responsibility of caring for a clutch of dragon wyrmlings. This could be a temporary arrangement, perhaps as a favor to a good dragon parent whose presence is in dire need elsewhere. The PCs will have to provide sufficient food, entertainment and protection for the wyrmlings while the dragon is gone. If things get out of hand, the younglings could go on a rampage or get into all sorts of mischief -- perhaps trashing the PCs’ digs while they are at it. When momma dragon returns, she will want a full account of everything that happened, and will be very upset if her young were mistreated. If this is a permanent arrangement, however, the PCs will have to find some way to accommodate the orphaned wyrmlings while they adventure (and keep them from being speared by overly-nervous townsfolk).
11. The Enemy of My Enemy: The PCs come across a dragon and a hero engaged in mortal combat. Do they jump in on either side to help? Run away? Watch for awhile before continuing on their way? If the player characters stand around to watch for too long, the combatants may notice them and start competing with each other to get the heroes to join their cause: “Puny humans! Help me kill this miserable man and I will reward you with one thing from my hoard.” “You there! Help me slay this dragon and I shall introduce you to the Duke!”
12. Natural Disaster: The players have arrived at their destination only to find it in smoking ruins. The dragon responsible for the devastation can be seen high in the sky, flying away to the East. Any survivors will be desperate for help in the rebuilding, and worried about the fate of a town a day’s ride away -- the dragon looked like it was heading in that direction, after all. This can be treated as a natural disaster; watch out for looters, rioting, shortages of all kinds of goods, the spread of disease, and possible arrival of peacekeeping troops by His Majesty’s order. The fate of the PCs’ patron or original quest objective (if any) is left up to the GM.
13. Treasure Map: A man in the local tavern is showing off a map that leads to an abandoned or unguarded dragon’s hoard (or so he claims). If pressed, he will admit that he got the map from another chap but was too frightened or superstitious to go and claim the treasure for himself. No one else in the tavern is interested in buying a map to the “cursed” or “fool’s” gold, but he will gladly sell it to the PCs for the right price.
14. Stolen Goods: What a deal! While shopping for magic items in the big city, the PCs find a vendor who will sell them several unique or powerful items at bargain-basement prices. The merchant has a habit of nervously scanning the sky. If asked, he’ll mutter something about bad weather ruining his stock. The merchant will be almost too willing to negotiate on the price of some of the treasure. If the PCs eventually cave into their greed and buy his stock, they will wake the next day to find the merchant gone (left town as soon as they were out of sight). And no wonder: the characters have come into possession of items recently stolen from a dragon’s hoard -- and the dragon will want them back.
15. Horrid Gossip: During their travels, the PCs come upon a dragon sunbathing on a nearby rock. The dragon is feeling either bored or lonely this morning, and will attempt to engage the PCs in small talk. Should the PCs refuse, the dragon will react with anger and attempt to knock them out in one way or another (possibly with a breath weapon or spell), and the PCs that succumb to the attack will wake to find themselves buried up to the neck in soil, gravel, sand. There they shall remain until rescue comes, or until the dragon’s taste for gossip is sated. Weather they talk to it willingly or not, the PCs may be able to get a lot of valuable information out of the dragon, if they are clever. After all, one never can predict what a dragon knows.
16. Captive Dragon: While walking through the city, the PCs come upon an impressively large carnival that is drawing a huge crowd of onlookers. The main attraction is a young adult dragon that has been chained to the massive center post of the tent. Muzzled, wings clipped, and de-clawed, it is thoroughly incapacitated. The Master of Ceremonies is showing off by walking up and down the dragon’s back, while spinning a tale of the dragon’s heinous deeds and subsequent capture by a hero of the realm. A hawker is selling tomatoes and other rotten fruit to throw at the beast, though some of the crowd has taken to throwing stones.
17. Juvenile Delinquent: About a day’s ride outside of the nearest town, the party witnesses a young dragon wyrmling (about the size of a horse) preying on a shepherd’s flock. Those with keen eyes will notice the poor boy cowering under a large boulder near the side of the road. The dragon is obviously too young to have left the nest on its own, though there is no sign of it’s mother anywhere nearby. Do the PCs kill or drive the wyrmling off, and risk possible retribution from its mother at a later date? Do they try to help the shepherd escape, or just stand by to observe?
18. Best Laid Plans: A dragon’s schemes are often elaborate and can take centuries to come to fruition. Unfortunately, the meddling PCs have unwittingly disrupted the well-laid plans of a (now-angry) adult dragon. They must find a way to appease the beast before earning it’s eternal enmity. Depending on how paranoid the dragon is, it may even believe that the PCs are spies or mercenaries acting on the behalf of its most hated enemy. It’s likely to send it’s goons after the PCs long before trying to approach them itself.
19. Family History: Though many dragons are schemers or hoarders, this particular wyrm is a watcher. It has been clandestinely following the deeds of a particular bloodline of mortals for centuries, and has decided to get in contact with the current generation for reasons of its own. Unfortunately for the PCs, the current heir to the bloodline is a party member and the dragon is demanding an audience. It won’t take no for an answer. While the dragon will avoid harming the targeted PC at all costs, it cares very little for the rest of the party and won’t hesitate to brush them out of the way if necessary. On the bright side, the dragon is very happy to answer any questions that the PC has about his/her ancestry in exchange for a highly intimate interview about his/her life. It may answer other story-related questions as well.
20. A Clutch of Trouble: During their adventures, the PCs come across an abandoned or untended clutch of dragon eggs. Those versed in dragon lore recognize that they belong to a species that often leaves its young to fend for themselves. As they watch, the first of the eggs start rocking, and sharp little reptilian beaks begin to shatter the shells with loud popping sounds. If the PCs stick around to watch, the young wyrmlings will stumble out of the shells and take a few minutes to steady themselves (and wait for a few of their fellows to hatch) before immediately setting upon the PCs as the nearest source of food. The PCs will have to fend off additional hungry wyrmlings until the whole clutch is either destroyed or driven off. For harder combat, have the characters discover the clutch after all of the wyrmlings are already out of their shell, so that all of them can attack simultaneously.
21. "Dragon" Bandits: While passing through a small village, the party is approached by a desperate group of villagers, who plead with the party to rid them of a dragon in the hills. It has been terrorizing them for months, demanding tributes of food and drink, pretty girls and treasure be placed on a nearby hillside every month on the night of the new moon. If the party investigates, they will find that the dragon first came in the night several months ago with great noise and fire, and burnt down several houses. The next morning a note of demands was found tacked to the town well. There’s just one suspicious part: none of the villagers have every actually *seen* the dragon in question. Eventually, the party will discover that the whole thing is an elaborate ruse pulled by a group of bandits camped out in the hills. Their leader is a wizard who is capable of creating lots of smoke, fire and several illusory effects. The group has been living comfortably off the tributes of food and drink, and the kidnapped village girls are held in a central tent for the pleasure of all.
22. Sacrificial Lambs: After a night of drinking and carousing in the local tavern, the whole party wakes to find themselves tied to a stake in a field. The villagers that drugged them plan to use them as the annual sacrifice to a dragon that has been terrorizing the village for a decade. The PCs have until sunset to figure out a way to escape. Introducing them to the young village maids that would have been offered up (if the PCs hadn’t come along) would be a nice touch. They could hang garlands around the characters’ necks in thanks.
23. A Dangerous Secret: The party has discovered that a prominent political figure is a dragon in disguise -- a secret that the dragon would very much like to keep. The dragon may bribe or threaten them to keep her secret safe, and will become their eternal enemy if she is exposed. Will the PCs blackmail her into doing something for them (garnering her anger), pledge to keep her secret freely to avoid her displeasure, or attempt to report her to the authorities? What happens if her secret is exposed and the PCs had nothing to do with it?
24. Draconian Heist: One evening, the PCs spot a dragon perched on the roof of a large manor house, obviously trying to remain incognito. It’s concentrating very hard on something within the house, and doesn’t notice them. If the PCs choose to investigate, they risk angering the dragon but will likely foil its plans. If not, the next day will bring tidings of a cunning robbery at the manor that involved several valuable works of art. The owner of the manor will be very interested in retrieving said pieces and bringing the thief to justice.
25. Gotta Catch 'Em All: The party has developed a reputation for handling dangerous beasts, and has been hired by a rich patron to retrieve a dragon wyrmling for his private collection. The wyrmling must arrive subdued and relatively undamaged for the party to receive their award. He will provide them with tips on where the desired species of dragon may be found, and will outfit them for the mission as best he can. The GM may either have them find a clutch of unhatched dragon eggs (risky, because you can’t be sure what species they are unless they are guarded), or a real, live wyrmling several months/years out of the shell (knock it out, DON’T kill it).
26. Dragon's Tears: The PCs have been tasked with retrieving a difficult spell component -- a dragon’s tear. They must track down a dragon, find some way to make it cry, then collect the tear. Some dragons may cry freely for the party after they have performed a task or quest for it in turn, but others feel no grief at all. Tears of laughter, or tears elicited by onions may be the only recourse in these cases.
27. Substitute Kids: A dragon mother lost her hatchlings in a recent accident, and has become delirious with grief. To cope, she has kidnapped several village children and is raising them as “her” children in her lair. Of course, this does not sit well with the townsfolk. They have pooled together their limited resources and are seeking a group of professionals to conduct a rescue mission.
28. Deal With The Devil: One of the PC’s ancestors owed a dragon a debt (or so the dragon claims), and that dragon has come to collect. The dragon will expect the PC to know all about his great-great-great-great grandfather King Reginald the II, and will react with disbelief and/or outrage if the PC claims no knowledge. He will pompously display the original contract (signed in blood), that clearly shows that the dragon is entitled to a king’s ransom in gold and jewels every 500 years for past services rendered by the dragon. Close inspection of the document will reveal one or several loopholes, however (the debt is only owed as long as the King’s descendants remained on the throne, the debt actually belongs to whomever holds the throne currently, the dragon hasn’t exactly upheld his end of the deal faithfully, the contract is a forgery, etc, etc)
29. You Touched My Prize Whatzit! During their travels, the PCs have unwittingly disturbed a dragon hoard. Dragons often have very unusual tastes, so be creative with the hoard -- a great library full of rare texts; an ancient forest, carefully tended by the beast for centuries; a beach blanketed in sands gathered from every corner of the world; a secluded village of “lesser” creatures that have been hand-picked (read: kidnapped) by the dragon for some desired trait (town of lost nobles, anyone?). Now that the PCs have blundered across the hoard, the dragon will seek to either drive them away or demand compensation for any damage that they have caused.
30. A Dragon in Debt: The party has discovered evidence that one of the PC’s ancestors performed a great service to a dragon in need, which left the dragon beholden to that PC’s family line until the debt was repaid. The dragon could be of great service to the party on exactly one occasion if the PC decides to call in the old debt, though pissing it off by asking too much would be most unwise. If it is an evil dragon, perhaps the PC should think twice before entrusting it with any sensitive task. Alternatively, the party could discover that one of the PC’s relatives is trying to call in the debt for himself.
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30 Fountains of Youth By: Pieh ( Locations ) City - Any
"Are you crazy? There ain’t no such thing. It’s all fairy tales for the stupid and desperate. Even if it were, they all say it’s cursed or something. Get back to work."
The legend of the Fountain of Youth refuses to die, as old age and death fail to leave our mind. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it existed? And if it was out there, wouldn’t you want to find it? Deep inside, you know you would.
But some legends contain a warning: The Fountain is not for everyone. Maybe you shouldn’t attempt to fool your fate…
1. The Fountain of Rebirth
The basin of this fountain is carved out of the stone belly of a pregnant woman.
When you drink from it, you die. But then your immortal soul immediately enters an unborn child and you are reborn again.
2. The Fountain of Your Youth
This fountain shows an image of a father weeping surrounded by children, his tears flow into the basin you are about to drink from.
Summons any and all children you might have produced to your exact location.
3. The Necromancer’s Youth
A fountain built out of the flesh and bones of 100 children.
Heeldrix the Vile uses it to renew his failing flesh every 20 years.
4. Cliff-side Fountain
A fountain carved into the side of an ocean-facing cliff. For it to work you need to be there right when a wake hits and cling on long enough to drink from it.
This one actually works, but is incredibly hard to find.
5. The Fountain of Yout
A rickety shack contains this mystery fountain guarded by Old Yout of the next town over. He will let you see if for a copper.
6. The Fountain of You
A mirrored basin. You look in and see a giant reflection of yourself, but there is no water. You feel inspired.
7. The Full Fountain of Youth
Your typical fountain of youth blessed by the gods, you need to drink ALL of the water from it after a heavy rainstorm for it to work.
8. The Full Fountain of Youth #2
Your typical fountain of youth blessed by the gods, you have to EAT it. Yes, all of it. And yes, it is made of stone.
9. The Fountain of Lost Youth
This royal fountain inhabits the halls of the King of Seeduul. His first-born song died young, and now everyone who drinks from the fountain gains his appearance, if only in illusion.
10. The Fountain of Baby Fat
A fountain surrounded by carving of chubby children.
You drink it and over the course of an hour gain back all the baby fat you though you had lost for good. If you weren’t chubby, your weight is adjusted back to what it was once.
11. The Cure
A simple stone basin in the middle of town. Every Monday morning the adults drink from it for reasons unknown to outsiders and younger children.
It is the ultimate hangover cure. More importantly, it grants the immune system of a child… can get over most diseases and stay up late at night, if you don’t mind the acne.
12. The Fountain of Mental Youth
This lopsided plaster contraption barely passes for a fountain.
When you drink from it, your mind is reverted to that of yourself at age four.
13. Fountain of Truth
Look at yourself through the merciless eyes of your childhood self. Did you become what you wanted? Do you have what you dream of? Most people end up with a depression.
14. Fountain only for Youth
Finely carved smiling faces of children and young people adorn this fountain with a strong flow.
It can be only used by the youth, to make them a bit younger. Sorry grandpa.
15. Fountain of Ages
A delicate fountain with many, many levels (over a hundred) and a beautiful, complicated design.
It will shift the drinker’s age depending from where the water is taken from. One could end up as a baby or a corpse…. choose wisely.
16. The Real Fountain of Youth
A chocolate fountain, without any special powers. Because children love chocolate.
17. The Phoenix Fountain
It is dominated by an exquisite statue depicting the mythical phoenix.
Drinking from it will allow the statue of the Phoenix to be reborn. Watch for the flames.
18. The Fountain of Bathing
A deep fountain cut into living rock. The pictures show old people going towards it and young people from it,
You have to submerge yourself completely in it. Other application (like drinking) will renew only parts of your body, which may be very damaging to your health.
19. The Fountain of Home
This fountain seems little visited, a gentle wind plays with the trees that stand around it.
It will transport you to where you lived, when you were young.
20. The Fountain of Becoming Young
It would look nice, were it not for the obscene words written all over it.
When drinking, nothing seems to happen. But the drinker is actually becoming younger now, at a quite fast rate. He needs to wait a few months close to the fountain and drink regularly, or the effect will reverse.
21. The Destroyed Fountain
You come upon a place with the ruins of a fountain, there is no water.
But that is no problem, all you have to do is imagine the fountain and drink from it in your mind… the power is still there.
22. The Destroyed Fountain #2
You come upon a place with the ruins of a fountain, there is no water.
It is too late.
23. The Fountain of Feeding Youth
A simple fountain that constantly bubbles forth milk from an unknown source.
The milk is granted many nutrients essential to a growing body by the magic stone is comes from.
24. The Fountain of Cheese
Similar to the above fountain, but the milk has ceased flowing and is now a sharp-tasting white cheese.
25. The Fountain of Youthful Energy
A bright and shiny steel fountain that spews carbonated liquid high into the air.
Grants you the ability to stay awake for 8-hours straight (regardless of previous napping time) while experiencing severe twitching. Followed by a debilitating crash where you sleep for 12-hours.
26. The Fountain of Life
Completely submerging a dead body in this fountain will temporarily bring the person back to life, but only for a long as they are fully submerged.
27. The Fountain of Mid-Life Crisis
Any man who drinks from this fountain will experience the most cliche and extreme mid-life crisis ever.
They will immediately go buy the fastest, shiniest vehicle (or horse) they can, then cruise around and try to pick up young women. It has a corresponding effect on females.
28. The Fountain of Given Youth
A simple, but finely crafted stonework, the central piece resembles a sundial.
The effect works only during a special constellation of the moon, once every few years. The moonlight falls in a beam through the whole sundial and the whole water surface begins to glow. Then, the drinker will be able to wish for someone else’s youth to return.
29. The Item of Youth
Spinning cogwheels are painted all around this perfectly preserved fountain, in some impossible continuous system.
The water of this fountain can be used to wash away old age from any item, it has no effect on anything alive. For most items this means any damage may be restored; but missing pieces will result in a smaller restored item, or no repair at all. Applying too much water may result in too much restoration, like falling apart into the components it was made of.
30. The Maddening Fountain of Youth
A grotesque behemoth of horrid green stone vomits forth black filth into massive malformed hands below that then spills onto the ground; turning the nearby earth into a landscape of disturbingly mutant vegetation.
Anyone who dares catch even a brief scent of the black filth will be driven to madness as the cries of every abruptly ended youth life invade their soft mortal mind and rend their sanity asunder.
"Pieh and manfred hope you have gained some enlightenment as to just how hard it is to find a proper Fountain of Youth, and will think twice before your next attempt. Each of these has been tested by countless minions so that we may know their exact effects. Please note: No Piehs or manfreds of any importance were harmed during the making of this submission.
And, please, add some more."
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30 Halfling Gifts (For Services Rendered) By: Murometz ( Articles ) Resource - Gaming - In General
Save/Help the Halflings! They offer rewards. Material and otherwise.
2. Halfling Mail. A magical suit of Halfling chainmail. Only a handful number of these suits are made by the Halfling smiths each year. Fine mesh links, combining the sturdiness of dwarven mail, with an elven aesthetic. The human-sized version of the chainmail suit they offer the PCs is an even rarer version of this armor. The armor itself does not offer any magical defense or abilities in combat. The armor’s magic lies in the fact that to the wearer or owner, donned or doffed, the armor weighs 1/8th what it normally would. A great boon for armor wearing big people!
3. Magic Flower. A magical lily flower, that never wilts, even if untouched by the sun’s rays, and never watered. In fact it doesn’t even need soil to thrive. At all times, unless burned or frozen, this lovely flower will remain in a perpetual state of perfect bloom.
4. Magical Sack. A rucksack, moldy and moth-eaten in appearance. When any inanimate, non-magical object, pumpkin-sized or smaller and weighing twenty pounds or less is placed inside the sack, the sack magically transforms into a cloak to fit the wearer perfectly. The item will take on the shape of a plain, iron clasp. Any number of small objects can be placed inside, but no more than twenty pounds. Each additional object after the first, will transform into a decorative plain, iron stud, along the cloak’s edge. The powerful illusion lasts until the cloak is removed, at which time it will revert back into a moldy sack holding whatever objects were originally placed inside its confines.
5. Talon Trails. Because Halflings love to travel, and find ways to make travel faster and easier, they have a set of Talon Trails they give the PCs as well.
6. Skull Cup. An old drinking cup of halfling chieftains. Carved from the now-shined skull of a particularly cantankerous gnoll war-leader of yore. If anyone gets drunk, drinking from this bone-cup, they will become able to perfectly understand and communicate in the language of gnolls. This only works if the drinker is considerably inebriated, and only if the alcohol in question was drunk from the cup. While the fluency in the gnollish tongue achieved by the drinker is supreme, a state of drunkeness yet persists, while one is so enlightened.
8. Never-Ending Loaf of Bread. A Halfling gag gift. It is a two-foot-long loaf of crisp-crusted bread, with a soft and lightly buttery center. However, the ends of the loaf have been removed. Said to be able to feed a full-grown warrior for an entire day, they typically neglect to mention that they mean a Halfling Warrior.
9. Ale of Ye-Be-Ginger. A magical brew, a light and bubbly tonic. It is quite delicious, and the Halflings will urge you to drink your fill. After a few mugs or so, you will start to notice your scalp is itchy, and you may not notice that your hair has turned a complete reddish-orange and you have begun to sprout freckles.
10. Belt of Infinite Girth. Halflings don't like having to loosen their belts in the middle of a meal, so some genius created this magical pant-holder-upper. This small leather belt expands to fit the wearer and will remain ever-snug, and continue to hold your pants up, regardless of how much weight you gain or lose.
11. Portable Burrow. A three-foot-wide wooden door, painted a garish baby blue and light green. There is a brass knocker and a single metal hinge. When the hinge is screwed or nailed in place, the door will always open to an extra-dimensional space. The space is big enough fit ten full-grown humans side-by-side, but not even one height-wise.
13. Part of the Family. Family and ancestry has always been an important part of halfling culture, and most halflings find the topic of genetics and ancestry absolutely fascinating, and something they are indeed quite proud of. They enjoy, especially, telling others of their family history, putting the links of genetics and marriage together to date their bloodline back to the first halfling to ever come up with pipeweed. It is therefore a great honour when the Halfling Elders declare that the PCs will officially be entered into the family tree.
14. Storytelling. Old Tom Barumbar, most ancient of halflings is going to tell the story of The Beginning. It is indeed rare that outsiders, not to mention big-folk are allowed to hear this story. Only the eldest tells this tale. And with the death of the eldest it passed on to the next. Old Tom Barumbars face is wizened and weary, he is a very old halfling indeed; his forehead is deeply wrinkled and he has large bags under his eyes. He is bald and has white, excessively long eyebrows that reach down to his cheeks. A thin, white mustache also hangs down past his chin on either side of his mouth. But his eyes glow with deep knowledge and warmth.
"Where the Halflings Came From. Long, long ago, when the world was still young there were no halflings at all. (Amazed cries from the audience.) There were only the big folk, the pointed-eared, the snouted ones and a small folk as well. And this story goes about this small folk..."
15. Llama Rights. Rights to some Llama grazing land. The Halflings love their Llamas, the animals providing the halflings with milk, warm wool, and eventually meat. To the halflings the Llama is near sacred. They offer PCs several of the ungulates with a patch of grazing land to boot.
16. Magic Bolas. This primitive looking "weapon", basically leather balls on long rope, automatically entangles any target, dwarf-sized or smaller when hurled. Additionally, the bolas can multiply the number of its balls, anywhere from two to six, at the wielder's whim.
17. Weird, Rubbery Chewing Candy? The halflings have invented chewing gum, though few outside the community are aware of this fact. The PCs are the first to be given a batch of the sweet, saliva-inducing snack. It comes witha warning. Don't swallow! Will the PCs introduce this tasty novelty to the public at large, at the next Duke's feast?
18. Trained Owl. This large-eyed creature, of the spotted variety, is a perfectly trained avian companion. The bird's needs are few. A hood for day-time snoozing, and not much else. It catches its own food by night. While not trained to attack, the owl is otherwise helpful in every way to its new owner. Or as helpful as an owl can be, that is.
19. Ladle of Stirring A flexible black soup ladle, made of an unknown material. When whirled about it any repetitive fashion it will, upon release, continue the motion until grasped once more. The force required to stop the ladle is very little, mostly anything more than the resistance of thick broth will end its movement.
20. Aunt Hepperfuss' Secret Oatmeal Cookie Recipe The famed Halfling delicacy known as Aunt Hepperfuss' Oatmeal Cookies is a treat enjoyed by everyone that isn't allergic to oatmeal (But even they enjoy it, they just end up in too much pain to express the joy). The secret recipe is passed on to the PCs as a great reward. Your players might wonder what the heck good the relatively simple recipe it, but it has long been sought by the royal chefs in many kingdoms. Do you reveal the secret, and gain a one-time large monetary reward? Or live up to the Halfling's trust and use it only on special occasions?
21. Aunt Hepperfuss' Cookie Platter This magical yellow plate, of heavy ceramic material, will keep cookies warm for as long as they remain in contact with the tray. Aunt Hepperfuss has a few of these lying around that have become magical due to just how awesome her cookies taste.
22. A Truly Lucky Rabbit's Foot. A tiny mummified hare's foot, preserved with halfling know-how and a wee bit of magic. This little fetish is rarely given to strangers by the halflings. The hare's foot actually does bring "good luck" to the PC who leaves it dangling from his/her belt. GMs can use appropriate roll bonuses as they see fit, during times of stress.
23. Chili Judges. A position judging the annual chili cookoff. Halflings love a good meal, and what better excuse to gather the village together and party than a cooking competition? All the judges get a large jar of the prize-taking chili.
24. Halfling Racing Pony. The halflings present the PC with a pony from their stables. It is called Fortunate Stew and actually won a race yesteryear. Lilli Buckwater, a young halfling girl, has lovingly painted the mane pink and calls it "my little pony". She will be very dismayed when she discover that her pony has been gifted away.
25. Field Flower Circlet. The PCs are gifted with a circlet of flowers from the field, hand picked and made by the young halfling maids. According to halfling custom this honor is only bestowed upon great heroes or the man a halfling girl intends to marry, and the flower circlet gift is most certainly accompanied by a feast for heroes.
26. A Parcel of Land Being an earthy people close to the land, there are few greater gifts a halfling community can bestow than land itself. The land itself is a small parcel, certainly not enough to build a fortress, keep, or even a smallish tower on, but a person could have a comfortable home that has soil around it that is very fine for growing tobacco, lentils and potatoes, and carrots.
27. Halfling Truffles A delicacy among delicacies, these truffles are rooted from the roots that grow above halfling burrows. They are rare and hard to find, as the burrow in question must have been unoccupied for some time, but not so long that it collapses or fills with water or some other such mess. The truffles command a healthy price on the market, and are magically delicious when served in wine reduction sauces, or sliced paper thin over greens or pasta.
28. A Ring Fetched from the River Being curious by nature and frequently living in areas of river flood plains, it is not uncommon for halflings to find things that they would not be expected to have. The ring has a minor to moderate enchantment, and came from a burial mound that has been forgotten by man and eroded away by the river.
29. Man Servant While not prone to adventuring, the halflings are a study people, and they take friendship deadly serious. Another great boon that a hero can gain is a halfling man servant. A stout back-man, the halfling can keep leather oiled, armor polished, it good for sneaking about and nicking things, and perhaps best of all, has a nose for foraging and a hand for cooking. Rather than another night of iron rations, a good man servant has a pinch of salt in a pouch, a sling shot rabbit and some wild peas for a nice dinner. Not inn-fair food, but a far cry from unleavened bread, jerked meat, or another pound of salt cured fish.
30. A Book The Halflings love a good tale, and so as to not forget them, there are invariably halflings who pen down their stories, and their records and other such information. The books are made with care, illuminated texts that while often monochrome, are done with an attention to detail that would make an elfin scribe take note. The book may be a McGuffin, or a thing of personal value, or something that can be pawned off to the book buyers at the next big township.
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30 Halfling Holidays By: axlerowes ( Systems ) Societal/ Cultural - Specific
Time is measured for most by the events that are both constant and special. "How many Christmas's ago was that?" It should be no different for Halflings.
Herein is complied a list Holidays celebrated by the Halflings (also referred to as Hobbits) of the Nili Sea and perhaps else where. This list is structured chronologically, though some holidays are celebrated on calendar days while others are celebrated at different times depending on other events. I hope this will give you sense not only of the Halfling life style but also of their values.
1) New Years Day: First Day of Spring
It is considered good luck on this day to give a gift to everyone you will work with or depend on during the following. Not receiving a gift or not giving gift to somebody you have worked with is a jaw dropping slight. As you can imagine this network can extend to dozens of people and thus the gifts can take many forms 6155. Hobbits often start accumulating gifts for next New Years on the second day of spring.
2) Cushion Day-12th day of spring
It is customary on this day that the weavers, knitters and shepherds bring out cushions for trade. This trade day has expanded in many shires to be a general exchange of cushions among friends and family. The cushions can be embroidered and elaborate or small bean bags that accompany other gifts. Those Halflings that don’t get into the holiday spirit are known as hard asses. They are routinely given the “uncomfortable” chair or least comfortable chair at Tea and cake services in the following weeks.
3) Ogre Day: 18th day of spring
This day is meant celebrate the salvation of a Halfling community through hospitality. Long ago a Halfling shire was beset by a group angry hungry Ogres. The community was saved when the Halflings laid out a great table of cheese, beer and smoking weed for the Ogres. The Ogres took to the food with great zeal while the Halflings entertained them with song and dance. The Ogres ate, drank, smoked and had an overall good time. The soporific effect of beer, cheese and smoking weed soon place all the Ogres into a deep sleep. The industrious Halflings tied the Ogres legs together and dragged them into the woods. The legend states that the Halflings then made a great ruckus by pounding out an infectious rhythm on the empty kegs. The Ogres awoke with start and head in all directions after the little Halflings. The Ogres strength was so great and the Halfling knots so clever that Ogres tore each other apart when they ran to the four winds. In the Modern version of the Holiday all the single Halflings dress up as Ogres by wearing masks over their eyes and walking around on stilts. They travel in a pack to houses/holes of married Halflings and “demand” food and drink. The party continuous all day as they move from house to house. At the last house on their route, the single Halflings are paired up and their stilts are tied together. A dance contest proceeds, spurred on by the local drum core. The last couple standing is declared King and Queen of Ogre day.
4) Spring Holeless Day: 30th day of spring
The Halflings of the West Celebrate four holeless days during the year: one for each season. On these days all Halflings leave their holes at dawn and do not return until dawn of the next day. The rationales are various and include such folk wisdom as the necessity of airing out the hole to avoiding a seasonal imbalance of humors. Indeed many Halflings see these Holeless days are purely hygienic exercises. Any one familiar with the ways of Halflings know that leisure is their principle industry, and thus defined holidays may seem superfluous. The designers of spring Holeless day seem to be aware of this irony, and rather than being a day of rest Spring Holeless day is a day of labor. Namely spring Holeless day is the day that plants from the nurseries are placed in gardens, and the day the often-procrastinated spring planting is finished. In fact if you were to venture into Halfling Shire on Spring Holeless day you will no doubt wonder if you are not actually among a clan of little beardless dwarves. For on this day Halflings will be laboring from the hottest hour of midday in sweltering sun until the darkest hour of the night by torchlight.
5) Flower Counting Day: 36th day of spring (or there about):
On this day the Halflings march out of their holes armed with ribbon, chalk and slate. They descend into the forests and gardens and begin to count the flowers and buds that will soon become fruits. During that time if Halflings see a bud or flower that think is particularly promising he or she may tie a ribbon to its stem, thus claiming it for harvest time. The day ends when the tallies are brought to the winery or distillery, and the Halfling are rewarded with drink and food. Also customary on this day is that very young Halfling gather and count wild flowers. They bring the flowers to their parents and the parents count the flowers. If the count is accurate (or even if it isn’t) the young Halflings are reward with sweet drink or candy.
6) Carnival: Mid-spring (or whenever they get to it):
The festival of meat has always been a controversial holiday among the Halflings of the Nili Sea. This holiday, which lasts at least a week, centers around the preparing and enjoying of meat dishes by Halfling shepherds and herders and the sharing of these dishes with other Halflings through out the village or neighboring village. The controversy arises that because this holiday is a lot of work and descends from a legend that states that the Halfling farmers gave up their fields to make room for the goat, sheep and cattle. The farmers then, to be good hosts, provide music and games for the shepherds. The distinction of who is a Shepard and who is a farmer is not always clear and many a long standing Halfling feud has been started over who is responsible for what during the carnival. What further spur potential disputes is the tradition of Nim. For on this holiday it is the custom of young Halflings who have neither land nor heard to steal things from the farmers and herders. At the end of Carnival all the Nims come forward and in front of a large audience relate their tales of theft. The tales are meant to be amusing and to show that the Nimming was all in good fun. A trophy or reward for the best Nimmer is to be handed out at the end of the night based on the response of the crowd to the story. But it has also become tradition that the reward be stolen before the end of the night, and that Halfling, the one who stole the trophy is considered the best Nimmer in the village.
7) Festival of Candles: Sometime between the End of Carnival and the Calendar Day
The Festival of Candles is regional market day at which those that work in Tallow gather to sell their wares and discuss Trade. A minor festival relative to other regional market festivals such as Feather Week or the Brewer’s Ball, the low attendance is made up for the by enthusiasm of the candle and soap aficionados, the diversity of the foreign merchants who attend and the importance of Festival in the popular calendar. The Festival of Candles of course conducts its business at night, with many of the displays of candle art being purely aesthetics. The tallow artwork has moved beyond your typical wax tower and Halfling artist will create lovely wax sculptures of dragons or of whole village scenes. The only requirement is that some part of the sculpture must have at least one wick and must burn. The most elaborate works have multiple wicks, and the flames become part of the display. Also for sale at these festivals scented unscented soaps. Halfling soap is considered quite the luxury in the rest of the world and merchants come from all the known nations. In the popular calendar the Festival is also seen as the start of the warm season, which means the taverns stay open later and wearing loser more airy clothing is considered tasteful.
8) Apology Day: Ten days after the end of Carnival
On this day it is tradition that the Halflings from Landed Legacies invite several Halfling known to be having an argument over to their house for at least three meals, a game of cards, sticks or ring toss, and several good pints of bitters. Halfling feuds, while bloodless, can make gatherings quite awkward and nobody likes the eye rolling and huffing. The idea on these occasions is to remind the Halflings that they are part of community, and that they should get along. Even if there are no feuds in the village it is still expected that the Halflings of greater means host parties and games during which Halflings of different trades and families get together enjoy each other and food.
9) Borrower’s Night/Calendar Day Eve: Night before the Summer Solstice.
The night before the summer solstice is when the Halfling seers, farmers, astrologers, priests and elder gather together to correct their calendars for the following year, and make predictions about the weather based upon the celestial alignment. One year, long since forgotten, the elders complained that they could not see the stars for all the torches and firelight throughout the village, and it was decreed that on the Eve of Calendar Day that all light be extinguished in the village except for the oil lamps or candles used by the scholars. This exquisite darkness gave rise to another Halfling tradition: the nocturnal and anonymous repatriation of borrowed goods. It is well known that Halflings are great procrastinators, very polite and very generous. This trifecta of traits has led to the phenomena that Halfling closets and sheds are filled with “borrowed items”. The darkness of Calendar Day Eve led some to see this as opportunity to “remove that large unsightly bucket from their shed, that I borrowed 11 months ago from my cousin, who has grown insufferable since his ram one first prize at sheering day last year” without an awkward apology or conversation. Thus on the Eve of Calendar day, Borrower’s Night, the shire’s shadows come alive with Halflings move stealthily from hole to hole quietly placing items on door steps or in garden sheds.
10) Calendar Day: Summer Solstice (or there about)
On the first day of summer those scholars and elders charged with keeping track of the days issue a new calendar based on astrological measurements made the night before. However, if on the proceeding evening the sky was overcast or somehow obscured the elders just re-issue the calendar from the previous year. If Calendar Day Eve was cloudy for several years in a row than the elders often find that they are several days away from the solstice, and sometimes have to reschedule Calendar day and reset the Calendar several days. This can mean a rescheduling of birthdays or other holidays, and quite a bit of work. Why don’t they reset the Calendar annually on a clear night regardless of the exact day? Only a Halfling can answer this.
11) Feather Week: Second or Third week of summer
Where as most holidays are observed and celebrated locally, Feather Week is a national holiday celebrated by the Halfling nations along the Nili Sea. During Feather Week bird enthusiasts from all over country gather to exchange goods, information and participate in bird sport. There are four primary activities during Feather week: egg parties, bird sport, bird auctions and dance parties. First there are the egg parties. An egg party is an early morning picnic held deep in the brush and undergrowth. The table and chairs are often set up among such dense undergrowth that they are almost invisible to a passerby. The participants arrive at a prepared place before dawn carrying with them dishes of boiled eggs and egg pies. They then sit in the deep undergrowth while the air is still cool and listen to the morning songs of the birds nesting nearby while they eat. So dense in the underbrush are they that often they can’t see the other participants for all the leaves in their face. This particular facet of the holiday has it roots in the Halfling traditions of gathering wild eggs. While most eggs are from domesticated bird at present, the Halfling cultural identity is still associated with gathering practices. It is a faux pas to bring children to these parties, as the point is to enjoy the sounds of nature and food. The second activity is bird sport. Here Halfling Avian Fanciers enter trained birds into contest such a pigeon racing, falconry and depending on the taste of the host village, cock fighting. While participation in these events is limited to a small group of enthusiasts, they are very popular with spectators. Also during this time there is the bird market or bird auction in which traders from all civilized races come to trade breeds of birds. Lastly there are the dances, being that Halflings rarely travel, Feather Weeks is a time for Halflings separated by great distances to get together, reaffirm bonds, swap recipes, arrange marriages and enjoy a good meal. These dances are the center of social activity during Feather Week. The dances (there are traditionally six in all during the week) are combinations of dinners and music festivals, which the host village puts on for the visiting birders.
12) Walking Day: (Third or forth week of summer-weather permitting)
On walking the oldest Halflings (invitations are sent out by the oldest Halfling and most of the participants are either widows or never married) in the village gather at dawn for a large breakfast in the middle of town. The breakfast is served at long rectangular table laid out east to west. The oldest Halfling sits and the eastern head of the table and western head is left empty as reminder of absent friends. This first meal is served by Halfling women believed to be beyond child bearing years, but not yet old enough for walking day. After that meal they move to the edge of town for a second breakfast served by those families that live at the edge of the shire. Following second breakfast, each senior hair foot picks up a walking stick, a cold lunch for later and the groups starts shuffling out. Their goal is to walk the perimeter of the whole shire, making note of problems and changes. At the end of the walk the hungry and tired elders return to their holes were traditionally their family has prepared a large meal in their honor and the gathered family listens to the seniors report regarding the state of the shire. It is no secret that this holiday was invented mainly to redirect or avoid the complaints of the older generations. Often when a senior hobbit starts to assail one or more middle aged Halfling with observations about how “ ‘this never would have been cooked in my day….’, or ‘what is farmer Nutt thinking planting flax between the river and his pig stalls?’ the middle aged Halfling can simply reply “Walking Day”. (As in wait for walking day)
13) Summer Holeless Day: Midsummer
Summer Holeless day occurs during the leanest months of the year, when last year’s grain harvest is getting thin and berry and vegetable crops are susceptible to draught. It also occurs during the hottest part of the year, and perhaps for this reason Summer Holeless day is has little in common with its three counter parts. The Summer Hole-less day is a celebration of inactivity that achieves a delicious level of collective sloth. On the day prior, a few Halflings will set up tents or awnings by a river or another body of water. At midnight, when the air is starting to cool the entire shire will leave their holes and head for the tents. Equipment is often light, canvas squares, cots and the occasional fishing pole. The next day is spent napping and fishing. At night there is drinking and either a large fish fry or fish steamer is set up so that the days catch can be communally cooked with the least amount of effort. The goal of the summer holeless day is to move as little as possible when the suns up and once the sun is down movement should be made in pursuit of delightful dishes or tender affections.
14) Hide and Seek Week: Sometime after Summer Holeless day:
Let us compare Halfling hide and seek with Elven hide and seek. Elven hide and seek is a wonderful game played by groups of polyamorus young lovers on summer afternoons in and around the old growth forests that the elves inhabit. Elven hide and seek is enhanced by their spell abilities and their keen senses. When the hobbits picked up hide and seek is unknown, but tradition holds without a doubt that it was borrowed from the elves. Unfortunately a particular combination of hobbit qualities causes the game to take on quite a different form than the Elven version. So different is the game that hobbit elders had to insist that it only be played once a year. Hobbit hide seek was complicated by three factors, first hobbits are masters of stealth, even losing themselves at times, second they detest going even several hours without food and finally they are uniquely talented procrastinators. The typical Halfling hide seek game goes like this, first the seeker will be determined by some other game (such as sticks), then the hiders will prepare some food and comforts to take them while they hide: this can take several days. Once prepared those to be sought will inform the seeker that they are going to take to hiding. Once the last of the players has informed the seeker that they are departing, the seeker will give the hiders a grace period of what ever seems appropriate to him or her and when he or she is ready they will start looking. Finding a hobbit that doesn’t want to found is no easy task and it can take some time. The longest game in memory lasted 27 years when Grevis Jarbar, who had been assumed dead, was found finding under the corner booth at a seaside bar in the human port city of Parna’s Mouth. In that particular game teh last hobbit to found during was rewarded with a pint of bitters from every participant. Grevis is reported as saying upon being discovered “it was well worth wait” and he looks forward to the next game. This is why Halflings only play this game once a year. More often then not the game is played with defined boundaries, but rarely is any tavern considered out of bounds.
15) Holed-up day/Tal-pack: Last day of summer
Though yet to be explained, it is a widely accepted that Halflings share a common ancestry with the evil giant races. Some of the inexplicable facts that support this conclusion are that the languages of fire giants, hill giants and frost giants all share a common grammar and have similar vocabularies with the native hobbit tongue. Furthermore, close inspections of the giant ear and dentia reveals scaled up versions of the Halfling anatomy. So perhaps this shared origin explains Tal-pack. Tal-pack is marked on every Halfling calendar of record and is considered sacred many Halfling elders. Even those Halflings that don’t hold to spiritual trappings of the holiday ascribe to the common wisdom that continued observance keeps people polite. The traditions of Tal-Pack demand that while the sun is up on Tal-pack no Halfling found outside his home may refuse combat. The day before (Tal-Pack eve) a circle is drawn in the center of town and a pile of leather straps is left along side the circle. Any Halflings wishing to engage in combat are to travel to the center circle, tie their left ankles to each other and fight to the death with knives or small axes. No challenge can be refused and all combat is to the death. At least that is the idea, in reality the Halflings just stay inside all day. Modern Halflings consider it incredibly bad taste to be seen wandering around the village on Tal-pack, and those that do go out try to steer clear of others’ windows. A stranger wandering into a hobbit shire on Tal-pack day will be hard (harder than normal) pressed to coax a hobbit from his/her hole.
16) Fall: Any time before winter but most often early autumn, though there may be several falls each year and each may last several days.
Fall is for many Halfling’s an important right of passage. Gathering of dry wood and the cutting down small trees accounts for most of the fuel wood used by hobbits during the year. But eventually a Halfling community’s need for lumber, both for fuel and as building material becomes so great that a shire needs to fall a tree. The falling of a large oak or pine can be a great undertaking for a village, and it generally falls upon teams of Halfling men to take down one of these large trees and then lumber it appropriately. So appreciative is the shire that they generally refrain from other work while the great tree is being felled and lumbered. Drink stands are setup near the workers, though safely away from the tree, and older men and women bring out their wetting stones to keep axes and saws sharp. Fall is also an important holiday for some Halfling men, because it is considered a great moment in a Halfling’s life when he is consider too old to participate in a Fall. This newly senior Halfling is rewarded a walking stick from the new lumber and custom dictates that this neo-geriatric Halfling stand and around the laborers drinking or smoking the whole time. But this aged Halfling is “forbidden” from doing any labor. Some middle aged hobbits campaign all year to be excluded from the next fall.
17) An early Night: 2nd day of Autumn:
Hobbits didn’t always live in holes they say, but once lived in wooden homes. That is until a series of great fires that destroyed several shires. The given reasons for these fires vary from shire to shire. One tradition states that some overly active hobbit spent much to much time in his field, workshop or pub (it varies from story to story) and not enough time in his home. Because of this lax attitude a spark escape his fireplace or from a mislaid pipe and started small fire. The fire going unnoticed cause the hobbit was away at his labors soon consumed the whole town and all the crops in the field (this story always takes place in autumn). The other story is that a great black dragon came to the shire annually and set the village on fire with his acidic breath. Until one year some forward thinking hobbits started living in holes, which were partially immune to his lethal fly by. The modern holiday is celebrated in autumn before the harvest and starts when the wardens-usually young hobbits that weren’t doing anything useful anyway-come through the village and announce it is time go home. A good warden will do this before noon. Some villages have the wardens dress as dragons and burn a model house in effigy, but that is a lot of work often isn’t worth the trouble. Particularly since nobody is around to watch it.
18) Rock in a Hole Day: Directly following the grass harvests:
Every one is aware of the Halfling game of rock in a hole. (Not to be confused with Stone in a Hole, which is a school of Halfling Hole design where by the Hobbit Hole is centered on a large rough cut or uncut stone.) Rock in a hole or pebble in a hole begins when a group of Halflings descends on field with brightly colored round stones and various sticks. After the field is surveyed by the Halflings and an existing hole in the field is selected, the Halfling participants will try to knock their stones into the hole using their sticks. The goal is to perform this task with the least number of strokes. As any regular observer of Halfling behavior will attest rock in a hole is played all year long, so why have a special day for it? The attested reason is that freshly cut hay field is the perfect place for Rock in a Hole. And since most Halfling were slacking off to play anyway most town councils thought it best “to just go ahead and make it a holiday”.
19) Autumn Holeless Day: Varies from town to town depending on the dominant crop.
The Autumn Holeless day is the hardest working day of the Halfling year. On this day every Halfling that can works to bring or store the last of the fall harvest. This time and trappings of this day vary depending on what the dominant crop is but the day often includes communal processing of part of the foodstuffs being harvested. This could be a cider pressing or a sweet corn roast, but aside from the bending labor this day is always associated with a signature dish made from the region’s primary crop.
THE SEASON: The end of the Autumn Holeless day marks the beginning of the time when Halflings celebrate at least one Holiday a week. They refer to this time as THE SEASON. It starts at the end of the harvest and continues on into early winter.
20)THE SEASON: First Feast or Bread Feast:
Three days after Autumn Holeless day is the Halfling harvest feast. The traditional dish at first feast is fruit bread. These are dense cakes of wheat flour sweetened with fruit juice and made with purées of autumn fruits. These feast are usually organized and provided for by wealthier residents who have access to ovens and space enough to accommodate a score of guests.
21)THE SEASON: Second Feast or Bird Feast: Three Days after Bread Feast
An Old Elven Jokes goes: If you have four Dwarves you have two have political parties, if you have four Orcs you have two war parties, and if you have four Halflings you have two dinner parties. For some Halfling party planning is war, and Bird Feats has become the crown jewel of the war trophies. One would think that sophistication of Halfling avian husbandry would make this feast a simple meal centered on local geese or hens, and indeed it was until the Party Mongers decide to make Bird Feast the personification of one-ups-menship. These days the “proper” Bird Feast centers around exotic birds, and the uber-hosts of lore have brought up live Ozpecks for roasting, made Ospreg edible by placing them in stew or had a brined Needle Egret shipped for far away. The cruel menus read like a list of exotic birds 5032 . The Holy Grail of the Bird Feast is of course the Roc, but as of yet no one has managed to serve up that mega-foul. Wealthy Halflings hosts will pay an adventurer good money for bringing them an exotic bird to serve up for Bird Feast.
22) THE SEASON: The Third Feast or Mock Feast: Three Days after Bird Feast
The Mock Feast is the Holiest of Halfling Days (even Holier than Holed up day); this day is dedicated to the Halfling Goddess of Hearth and Home. If you were to enter an observant Hobbit Shire at Dawn on the day of the Mock Feast you would already see Halflings hard at work. Cook fires are being lit under giant cauldrons, the ovens are being fired up and the sounds of scraping and clanging perfuse the morning hours. Soon the air is alive with the odors fresh bread, steaming spices and savory meats, and as the sun climbs higher in the sky the entire shire begins to gather together. Tables enough are set up so that each resident of the shire has a place to sit and unglazed ceramic plates and goblets, made special for this occasion, are placed on the tables. At noon all the Halflings sit in front of empty plates as the intensity of the cooking smells reaches it peak. But no food is served. If you were to look in the ovens you would find them bare, the cauldrons contain only boiling water and the clanging and scraping were nothing more than Halfling going through the motion of food preparations. They Halflings say the smells are a miracle sent from the Goddess, and the more savory and delicious the smells the better the following year will be. After an hour at their table, the Halflings clears their places throwing the goblets and plates away and return to their Holes to break fast on cold food (usually left ovens from the previous two feasts).
23) THE SEASON: Mother’s Day: Three days after the Mock Feast
On this day Halfling men and childless women pay tribute to the mother’s in their lives. Those paying tribute to their mother will present her with a bag of glass of ceramic beads. And on mother’s day the Mother can ask one request from the gift barer per bead in the bag (generally 8 beads is considered tactful). Yet often Halflings busy this time of year, such as brewers, will have a cousin, brother or hireling do deliver his beads and carry out his mother’s request. One famous example of this is when Jonnab Peppertuck sent his mother a bag of 12 glass beads in the care of a stone skinned giant.
24) THE SEASON: The Brewer’s Ball: Three days after Mother’s Day
The Brewer’s Ball is regional market day when Tavern Owners and Brewers (both local and foreign) get together to agree to distribution deals, delivery schedules and to sample new brews. A Brewer’s Ball worth its hops will never have less than 30 beers 5497. The Brewers also vote on the best brew at the Ball and placing a Blue Ribbon on the winning keg. At nightfall there is usually a dance or concert, or some form of entertainment designed to draw in brewers and tavern owners from farther away. The Ball can last several days often-leading right into the Beer Feast. It is of note that many Halflings consider The Brewer’s Ball to be cursed, because without fail the Ball is cursed with horrendous weather. The commonly held explanation for this curse is that beer taps are only open to vendors and brewers during the Ball.
25) THE SEASON: The Fourth Feast or Beer Feast: Three days after the Brewer's Ball.
If the Brewer’s Ball is cursed than the Beer Feast is blessed. No Halfling has ever described Beer Feast as anything but beautiful. They say as soon as the kegs are tapped “the sky clears up and bird start singing”. (This retrospective view may be due to the amount of beer consumed during the Feast) The biggest Beer Feast occurs at the sight of the Brewer’s Ball, but even the smallest shire has one. There are only three rules for Beer Feast: bring your own mug, drinkers wear green, vendors wear red. The unwritten rule of Beer Feast is that everyone sings.
26) THE SEASON: Counting Day: Five days after the Beer Feast
Halflings love their extended families and genealogy is a popular hobby among Halflings. The compared to other intelligent species the Halfling tend to be literate and informed. The result is that Halflings are fastidious record keepers with regard to their family line. On counting day the head of a family will gather his relative together and update the family tree (which is often literally a tree with names carved into it. In larger Shire’s counting day will also serve as a census day, in which the population of the shire is determined. If the Halflings have government elections for sheriff and mayor are held on counting, with the head of the family representing the interests of his/her entire clan.
27) THE SEASON: The Honey Festival: Sometime between the Beer Feast and The Hunters’ Feast
The Honey Festival was once a regional market Festival like the Brewer’s Ball or the Festival of Candles, but in recent decades trade in honey and beeswax has declined. As a result the Honey Festival as become another local feast day. The signature events of the Honey Festival prayer dance, in which Halfling dress up like Bees, do elaborate dance and chant which is believed to increase the number of hives around the village. The dance is directed by one or more Bee Sheriffs. These are members of the shire who have an uncanny ability to command insects and have done this most profitably by commanding bees. Next there is a buffet style meal with honey cakes, sweetened teas and mead. Finally there is candle light dance, where the participants hold beeswax candles (cleaner burning than a Tallow Candle) and dance on into the night.
28)THE SEASON: The Fifth Feast or The Hunters’ Feast: Five days after Counting Day
The Hunter’s Feast is another vestigial Halfling tradition, similar to a tradition practiced by Frost Giants. In the Frost Giant version a member of the Frost Giant tribe is taken out to the hunting ground killed and eaten by his tribe. The Frost Giants believe that they are telling any local gods that they are not being hypocrites by eating the local animals, and that any local deity should not deny them game. During the Halflings’ Hunters’ Feast, a group of males (at least one from each local clan) get dress up in armor and war paint. (Often they don’t have armor, so they make costumes that look like armor.) They make Halfling sized doll out of wax and straw, and head out into the woods with wine, liquor, fire wood, spears and maybe a couple of goats. The males get drunk, sing songs, stab the doll a couple of times, toss it on the fire and then roast goat. Many foreigners have stumbled onto these Feasts and been shocked to see a group renowned for their docile behavior and hospitality acting like murderous savages. But some Halflings believe that the ritual of the Hunters’ feast is essential for gaining favor of the nature Goddess during the coming year, and without the feast wild game and fruit would become scarce.
29) THE SEASON: The Toy Fair: Three days after the Hunters’ Feast
Winter can be rough on Halfling children and rougher on their parents. With Children often confined to the indoors because of cold weather or long nights, it can be a challenge to entertain them. The Toy Festival was designed to remedy this by providing each Halfling child with a new toy that can be played with indoors. While this Holiday may seem simple when compared to others, it serves as the climax of the season and Halfling children look forward to this day all year. Generally the whole shire is decorated with colored ribbon and brightly painted wooden sculptures, and in the morning all the children are gathered together for a breakfast of jam and fresh bread. Then the village elders come into the center of town with a wagon of toys wrapped in colored fabric. The toys have been provided by the children’s family, and wrapped up in fabric with the child’s name or mark on a wooden tag. After they hand out the toys the children are taken home where often there is large family dinner.
30) Winter Holeless Day: Winter Solstice:
The Winter Holeless day is spent in revelry, with bonfires, songs, snowball fights, ice-skating and open bars. At night the whole town with gather around several fires for warmth and take turns telling stories and making music until everyone falls asleep.
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30 Horses By: Scrasamax ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Any
God forbid that I should go to any Heaven where there are no horses.
- R. B. Cunninghame-Graham
Each of the 30 horse breeds detailed below are entirely fictional, each extrapolated from a previously existing Location within the Citadel Archives.
1. Aviansian Firemane
Hailing from the desert land of Aviansis, the Fireman is considered to be one of the most exceptional of horse breeds. Most of the breed are a bright bay color which sun-bleaches out to a softer red color. The mane and tail are most commonly affected which gives this lean-built horse breed it’s name. Firemanes have narrow faces, large ears and nostrils, and are spirited and dangerous to inexperienced riders. The Fireman, being a thin-skinned desert horse, is vulnerable to colder temperatures and do not do well in cooler climates. Firemane stallions are considered valuable as adding a stallion to another breed almost always improves the breed in question.
2. The Awans Pony
The Awans pony is only found in the vicinity of the village of Awanggis in the Great Grass Sea. The ponies were once domesticated by the natives, but as the Awani adapted, they left the saddle and never returned, their ponies were left at first in pastures and then turned out into the wild. They are noticable for the fact that all Awans Ponies have blue eyes and rather than whinny as most horses do, they produce more of an Aaaa-Whhhhaaaa bleating sound. Currently there are fewer than 200 Awans ponies left in the wild and at the current rate of depredation, the remnants of Awanggis’ ponies will die out within the next ten to twenty years.
3. The Bagooran Usha
Inhabited by intelligent and vicious carnivore trees, Bagoorah is not a place many people would want to spend any amount of time. The sandbars and shelves around the island play host to one of the stranger members of the equine family, the Ushas. These horses have largely abandoned the dry land in favor of wading in the ocean. They have adapted to this by being able to close their noses and ears to salt water, enhanced ability to excrete salt from their bodies, and an increased ability to swim. While retaining hooves, Ushas have vestigial digits branching from the cannonbone that support membranes made of skin that act as small flippers for the ushas. They will sun and frolic on the beach, and foals are had on the sand, but for the most part the ushas prefer the water.
4. The Gray Mearas
In folk lore, the horses of the gods are called the mearas, though the Gray Mearas is a much more terrestrial beast. Traced back to a trio of stallions, the Gray Mearas breed is known for being healthy, unpredictable, and long lived. Most Gray Mearas horses live around 50 years or longer. As individuals, the Mearas are territorial and demanding, be it for attention, mating, or food. The breed, as mentioned, can be traced back to three stallions that survived crossing a desert wracked by violent storms and saturated in divine essence. While their riders perished, the horse fled and survived to breed with mares in the wild, producing the strong and powerful Gray Mearas breed. Most trainers consider the breed to be unable to trained to ride.
5. Destinen Woodhorse
Just as the elven knights of the Gardein Hwit were twisted by the magics of the Dark Lady, so too were their faerie steeds warped. The Destinen Woodhorse has born these warpings through their generations. While retaining the general conformation of a medium built horse, the Woodhorse often has shaggy hair, horns or antlers, an additional set of legs, and other bizarre mutations. The breed is slow to reproduce as the mares have a strong chance of being killed in the process of giving birth.
6. The Kastraad Drafter
A thick-boned and heavy horse, the Kastraad drafter is a yonug breed that has come about in the vicinity of New Pastello. As an area of new construction, muc of it stone, there was a need for a strong horse to pull the loads of stone from the nearby quarries to the site of the new township. A few stallions were imported to breed with the locally available mares and the Kastraad Drafter was soon realized. As with most drafters, the Kastraad is docile and easy to handle, it also has a rather long coat that is predominantly gray, though there are piebalds (white with large black spots) to be found among some of the herds. While no longer involved with as much stone portage, the Kastraad has found work as a plow horse, a carriage horse, and is increasingly popular among the lesser ranking knights in the area for it’s strength, level temperament, and ease of care.
7. Askharnn Highland Pony
Few breeds of horse or pony can match the Askharnn for sheer stubborn will to survive. These scruffy looking buckskin or black ponies can be found among the mountain heaths and alpine meadows. Originally breed centuries ago for use in mines, the pony is to small for adult humans to ride comfortably, though the pony itself is strong enough to carry a normal man. With hard hooves, a thick coat, and a strong stomach, the Askharnn can survive foraging in the wilds and as such, the breed has flourished in what is otherwise a grim and inhospitable place.
8. Hell’s Horse
Found in the vicinity of the forbidding forest, Hell’s Horse is a vicious and dangerous breed of horse. These horses tend to be large and heavily muscled, on par with a knight’s destrier, but with the foul temper of a dragon with a toothache. Exciteable, Hell’s Horses will constantly fight among themselves over territory, mares, and pretty much any other reason. Their exposure to a hellpit have turned them into omnivores and the horse has a strong predatory aspect. Their preferred prey is other horses, specifically those of other breeds. The numberof Hell’s Horses in existance stays rather low as attrition and few infusions of outside blood have prevented any sort of population boom. Evil warlords do favor the Hell’s Horse as being ideal for their evil mount, but capturing and breaking such a beast is a major undertaking.
9. The Akulu Desert Horse
Found among the gem-strewn wastes of the desert of diamonds, the Akulu desert horse is the main form of transport for the Akulu nomads. These magnificent horses and long and lean with the large ears and expressive eyes of other desert horses, but differ in that there is a streak of elemental blood in them. Attuned to the earth, these horses are immune to all but the most virulent of poisons and toxins and only in the most extreme circumstanced become ill. The breed is highly succeptible to suffering from cholic, and it is a leading cause of death for the breed, especially outside of the desert.
10. Chiaroscuran Carriage Horse
Once a proud and noble breed of horse, this breed has fallen onto hard times. When the city of Chiaroscuro fell to the Swollen Shadow and it’s essence permeated everything, the horses were not above it’s infectious presence. These horses are all a charcoal/slate color of gray and their eyes are a milky gray color also. The breed is all but blind, but have a highly developed sense of hearing and smell, and are sensitive to movement. Where the Sihl peoples learned to move very quickly, the horse adapted, gaining the ability to become perfectly still, and becoming almost impossible to notice in the nocturne gloom around Chiaroscure and the Umbral Fens.
11. Aaddan Cavalryhorse
Bred at the extensive stables at the city of Aadda in Kerrabar, the Aaddan cavalryhorse is an ideal mount for hussars and other light to medium cavalry. While not large and heavy enough for full plate barding and charging knights, the Aaddan is a solidly built horse with long legs and impressive endurance. Most of the Aaddans are chestnut in color with manes and tales that are slightly lighter in color, a few can also be found that are bay, or more rarely black. The Aaddan has an even temperament and is relatively low maintenance compared to more high tempered hot blooded horses.
12. Caraguisian Pacer
Bordering on being a pony, the Caraguisian Pacer is a pleasant animal bred to be an easy ride, and narrow through the body for passage through the vinyards without damaging the valuable plants. Tired of hard years in hard saddles, the Don of Caraguis worked to breed and train his ideal horse. The Pacer has a fifth pacing gate that is slower than a gallop, but as easy to ride as a trot. The horses tend to be white with large brown or black spots called skewbald and piebald respectively. Not surprisingly, the horses love to eat grapes off of the vine when no one is looking.
13. Ageosian Harness Horse
Also known as the The Givan Drafter, the Ageosian Harness Horse is found predominantly in the Givan valley and the city of Ageos. In the valley, the stout black drafters are used to pull plows and farmers wagons to and from the market, while in Ageos, the horses are closely clipped and used to pull handsome carriages and carrioles of the well off. Oddly, the Harness horse is born white, but by the end of their first year of age, the coat has turned completely black.
14. Amarian Warmblood
Beauty and white often go hand in hand with Amar and in this regard the horses are no different. Seemingly sculpted of white stone themselves, the Amarian warmblood is a large and impressive horse descended from the drafters who originally were used to haul stone in to built the palaces and porticos of Amar. In the intervening years, other horses were imported to improve the Amarian stock until an idealized horse was created. It’s draft roots are apparent in it’s large feet and stoic temper, but the horses are not good for use in war as heavy burdens on their backs tend to cause them long term problems. The Amarian was bred to pull heavy loads or carry light passengers.
15. Banhoesean Timberhorse
The island of Banhoesea is well known for the deMadden company and it’s fleet of giant ships. It is much less known that the island has it’s own breed of horse, the Timberhorse. Stout and barrel chested, these dappled gray horses are bred to be very strong for pulling timber to make ships and stone to make the walls and towers of the ever growing capital of deMaddenville. While strong, the breeders also tried to keep the size of the Timberhorse doan as much as possible to facilitate moving the animals on ship, and toreduce the amount of food that the horses would consume since almost all of Banhoesea’s food is imported, especially fodder for livestock.
16. Bizzan Lamp Horse
Found in the glowing city of Gaslight, the Bizzan horse is a blocky animal with a grey or black coat and it’s mane and tail clipped almost completely off. This has to do with the horses being used in close proximity to fire sources. Most often these horses pull the wagons of the gaslight tenders and wear appropriate blinders to keep the horses from being spooked by the sometimes irregular burps of flame from lamps being pressure checked and tested. The Bizzan can be found in the common markets as a light draft animal, a plow horse in the surrounding country, and as a carriage horse for moving stone. The cart horses tend to be several hundred pounds heavier than their city brethern, but are still the same breed.
17. Kalderien Standardbred
The quality of horses 50 years ago in Kalderien was horrid, the stables were full of the largest mix-up of horses to be found anywhere in a month’s travel. Ponies, drafters, pacers, and any other type of nag that could be found was. Following the defeat of Kalderien’s previous despot, the new lord made an effort to improve the bloodstock of the city be starting the Kalderien Studbook. To enter into the book, a stallion had to met a number of requirements based on conformation and ability. Some 30 years later, a new breed has emerged from this effort, the Kalderien Standardbred. While no dominant color has emerged, a more uniform horse has started to emerge from the surrounding stables. Endurance and confirmation are average at best, but now with more uniform horses, better plans can be made for carting costs and construction efforts.
18. The Medhar Pony
Hiding from a dragon is no small task, but being small certainly helps. The villagers of Medhar traded their drafters and carriage horses for ponies and gave up on having larger animals. The sheep herding done by dog, the ponies were left to pull the minimalist wagons of the village and the few plows left that are used to break ground for needed grain. Shaggy and chestnut or bay in color, the ponies have a good disposition and do not startle easily.
19. Payani-Quowan Horse
The massive city of Payan was built by decades upon decades of heavy human labor, the stones of each temple laid by hand. It was not until sometime later that the horse was introduced to the city-state proper. The Payans quickly adopted the horse as a parade animal and festooned the horses with religious icons, streamers, and colorful tassels for their panoply of gods. Only the wealthy own horses, and the animals are seldom used outside of parade grounds. Animal power predominantly comes from water oxen or the sweat and toil of human laborers. There is a certain irony that the fodder for the Payani-Quowan is often delivered in a wagon pulled not by horse or ox, but by a team of men in sweaty livery.
20. Shaedran Courser
Having a large military population, it was a natural thing for cavalry horses to find a home in Shaedra. Being a sort of commune, the horse owners worked together to breed a solid horse that would survive well in the sometimes hard Shaedran winters and summers. Starting with good cavalry bloodstock, the tast was not terribly difficult. The Courser is generally a tall and strong bodied bay or black horse with a deep head and a thick neck. The mane and tail are kept long so that the horse can flick away the biting flies in the summer. The Courser is an exciteable horse than runs and jumps well and with enthusiasm.
21. Lazhkmazhon Stock Horse
A small horse, the LSH were originally bred some years ago to be surefooted mountain horses. The Askharnn Mountain Pony proved to be a more versatile survivor but was ill-suited for riding. The Lazhkmazhon Stock horse came from the same starting stock as the Askharnn pony, but the breeders favored a larger faster animal. The Stock horse is a good animal, but they have chronic health problems since their highland home has no natural fodder for them and all food is imported from the south. It is not uncommon for older stock horses to be slaughtered and eaten during the Long Night rather than attempt to heal injuries or illness.
22. Lynnengaard Saddlebred and Laiden Draught
As a growing region of farming, shipping, and ranching, Lynnengaard has a healthy demand for horses. Originally one breed, the old Lynnengaard spotted horse has been expanded into two new faces. The Saddlebred finds heavy use in the east where cattle ranching is predominant. The Saddlebred is well known for it’s loud leopard appaloosa spotting and attractive conformation. The Laiden Draught is a signifigantly heavier horse more suited to the plow and carriage harness, but shares the same general profile and loud leopard appaloosa spotting.
23. The Oraburger
Found in and around the dour city of Oraburg, the Oraburger is a mediocre horse. The largest problem facing the breed is the heavy handed presence of the Society of Prophecy that considered the realm of animal husbandry to be within their domain. Stallions and mares are pared though augeries and casting fates which is done in a haphazard way that continually dilutes any good qualities to be bred into the breed and often keeps bad traits from being bred out. There is a local expression about prophets designing a horse and the animal ending up being worthless is every fashion.
24. Sodian Salt-Horse
Given the Sodian penchant for sparkly things and the color white, the Salt-Horse was specifically bred to come in only one color, white. An average carriage type horse, the Salt-Horse is most often seen pulling the wagons of the Salt Guilds and the builders of Sodius. When a large shipment of salt is made, most often the horses pulling the wagons are Salt-Horses, complete with large salt crystals tied into their manes.
25. Ozian Bloodhorse
Thick-legged and roman-nosed, most consider Ozian horses to be some of the ugliest animals to bear the name horse. Most of these animals are various shades of gray with a rare few appearing in bay. They have the heavy feet of draft horses, but have a temperamental streak that can turn these usually docile animals mean. Bloodhorses are notorious biters and will crib, or chew the wood of their stalls, if not constantly attended.
26. The Sangrealian Cavalry Horse
One of the most common horses in Sangreal, the SCH is a large bodied horse that is a coppery bay color with black manes and tails. The ideal SCH has a high arched neck and attentive ears as well as small hard hooves. The Cavalry-Horse is also noted for it’s physical agility as they were bred for fighting against the ogres from the Woses. As such, a horse needed to be able to change it’s lead quickly, stop on a dime, and spin with ease to avoid killing blows and ogrish feints. The horse does well in these tasks and when not in the field, SCH find employment on ranches with cattle and in garrisons.
27. Bosque Carriage Horse
Bred predominantly in Acton, the bosque carriage horse is known for the river valley and the Bosque people. Large and solidly made, the Bosque horse is well suited to pulling plows, carriages, wagons, fallen logs and stones. Most consider the Bosque to be a draft horse, though it lacks the larger hooves and normally docile temper. Bosque training makes these horses some of the best trained animals in all of Falhath, able to follow spoken and hand commands as easily as cracks of the whip or spurs.
28. Teknean Noble Horse
Found in the noble stables of the city of Tekne, the Noble horse is bred purely for appearance and ability to perform show dressage. Tall and greyhound lean, these horses have a high gait and carry their heads arched in what is considered proper noble style. This comes at a high price to the horse as after two or three years, this style of riding causes joint problems as all of the movements are not natural. Teknean horses are also afflicted with a large degree of inbreeding due to irresponcible line breeding stallions to their own foals.
29. Ocadian Redrunner
Few and far between, the horses bred along the rim of the Ocadian Desert share the ochre color of the sands there and the listlessness that affects domesticated animals. Though capable runners, the Redrunner must be strongly motivated to move at more than a slow walk, much like the herd animals the nomads follow. Only the scent of an ochremaw of sandbear will jar the Redrunner out of it’s complacency.
30. The Powlgraff Pacer
also claimed as the Vandergraff Harness Horse, the Powlgraff Pacer is an average horse well suited to riding or pulling light carriages and such. Coming in a variety of colors, the Powlgraffers prefer the white and bay horses while the Vandergraffers claim that the black horses are the superior of the breed. No real difference exists but is simply another point of contention between the two ‘graffs.
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30 Limitations on Magic By: Cheka Man ( Systems ) Mystical - Defining
Why are most people not users of magic? Why does magic not rule the whole world? Because...
To cast a spell, a jewel is necessary. It could be one kind of jewel only; such as amethyst in the world of Acqua or it could be many kinds of jewels, perhaps with a certain kind of jewel for each spell, with some jewels less common and more expensive to buy then others. Only the wealthy, or those willing to thieve, will be able to become users of magic, and random spell casting is certainly discouraged if not impossible, as each casting changes or outright destroys the jewel.
Magic is only possible if a certain kind of parasite has been deliberately ingested. The more of these parasites are present, the more magic can be cast and the stronger the spells are. But the stronger in magic a magic-user is, the weaker he or she is physically. Even a few of these parasites cause muscle weakness and anaemia, and too many at once can cause vomiting, partial paralysis, semi or total blindness, and death. Casting a spell kills a parasite, so battle-mages in wartime have to be particularly careful-ingest too many parasites and they will be too sick to fight, but ingest too few and their magic will run out in the middle of the battle.
Magic has a nasty side effect of causing temporary or even permanent forgetfulness- the larger the spell; the more memory will be lost. For a small spell like a ball of werelight, the only effect will be the short-term forgetting of some minor matter, but anything large will cause serious memory problems, or even total dementia. Also, even the effects of little spells add up, just as blows to the head of a boxer do. The wise mage casts spells only when needed, otherwise he or she soon becomes unwise.
Every time magic is cast, the caster is gambling with his or her sanity. Again, the larger the spell, the larger the chance that the wizard or witch will be reduced to a gibbering idiot, perhaps randomly casting dangerous spells at anyone who comes close until overpowered or just reduced to having no mind at all. Again, even little spells will add up over time, and some countries may make magic illegal for this reason. If the country has mental institutions, many of the inmates were once respected magic users who cast one spell too many.
Magic only works at sea, or at least when on or in a lake or a large river. On dry land, it does not work at all. In such a world, most spells will be woven around nautical matters such as fishing, sailing, controlling the wind or in the case of battle mages, sinking other ships. Even the most dangerous mages will be totally unable to use magic to defend themselves if attacked on land, and many may prefer to stay on board ship where they are respected for the power they wield.
Magic only works when cast by those of greatly mixed blood, not by most people. If the country is a racist one, mages may well be non-existent within it. At the other end of the scale, inter-racial pairings may be actively encouraged to birth the wizards and witches of the future. Be careful before you anger a Half-Orc in this world, he or she may be a skilled mage or witch and react with highly unpleasant spells.
Magic causes a lot of noise. Forget about using werelight to light your way home unless you want to wake up the entire street from their slumbers. Forget about trying to use a magic spell to quietly assassinate someone; the detonation will alert every guard within the area. Magic Schools can only get planning permission if placed well outside towns and cities, and battles are even noisier then normal. And if you are planning on casting any really big spell, you need lots of ear protection unless you don’t mind bursting your eardrums.
Magic interferes with gravity, causing the caster to float several feet in the air, not good if you were not expecting it. The bigger the spell, the higher you float up in the air, and the further you fall after a few minutes when the effect wears off afterwards. If you want to cast something huge and don’t want to end up as red jam and broken bones when you hit the ground, a parachute is highly recommended. Middle ranking spells are best avoided unless you are tethered to the ground, as otherwise you will fall far enough to hurt or kill but not far enough for your parachute to deploy properly.
Many magic users wear boots lined with lead to hold them down when casting small spells.
Magic staves, wands and other items, even the fingertips if these are used to cast spells, do not discharge all their magic at once. This builds up until it discharges randomly in bolts of lightning with a tendency to kill or injure people or damage or destroy property. Most countries require magic to be cast with wands or staves, and most towns and cities require such items to be handed in at the sheriff’s office or police station until the magic-user leaves the area. Carrying such items in the street is illegal and the sort of thing that quickly brings attention from law enforcement, and judges and juries are generally unsympathetic when random damage is caused, as “He/She should have known better then to walk around in public with a wand.”
Magic uses up fat reserves at an alarming rate; cast too many times without proper provisions to eat afterwards, and you can literally starve yourself to death very quickly. Most magic-users overeat on purpose, knowing that they can soon burn off their excess fat by casting a few spells. Battle mages, if they know they have a few months until a war, are encouraged to become grossly fat so they can cast many spells at the opposing army without having to become dangerously undernourished.
As with #10 except it is a magic-user’s water reserves that are used up. If in a desert or far from water it is ill-advised to cast anything at all, and if one casts too much too quickly then one can die of thirst even if ankle-deep in pure drinkable water. Cast with caution, and check that your water bottle is full.
Unless it is a sleep-spell and cast on oneself, magic causes acute insomnia for hours. Many mages and witches end up dependent on sleeping potions/pills/spells to get any sleep with the potentially dangerous complications that causes. Others become night owls, staying up all night and sleeping all day.
Magic causes itches, and once one starts scratching, it is almost impossible to stop. Mages are often recognised by their torn and leather-like skin where they have strafed it with their nails. Depending on what the GM wants, the itching could fade over time, or be permanent, with a concequent loss in skill/stamina points.
Whilst almost all rulers ban black magic, some ban even the whitest of white magic as well. It may be because of religious issues, fear of magic in general, or fear that it will change the balance of power. Such rulers have magic-users put to death or thrown into horrible prisons if captured, and some have fearsome police forces such as the Hexenjagers to rigidly enforce the anti-magic laws. It is a brave, stupid or insanely powerful magic-user who will dare cast spells here.
Here, only the clerics of the main religion of this country can cast magic, given to them by their God or Goddess. All other magic is either strictly forbidden as in #15, or just refuses to work, negated by the holy power within that land. To learn magic one must be accepted as a member of the clergy and devote one’s entire life to Holy Orders, and most would-be magic users are unable or unwilling to do that.
The bigger a spell, the more it hurts the caster. Fire magic or ice magic may cause burning or localised frostbite; other spells may cause other kinds of pain, ranging from easily bearable to totally agonizing. Magic is best avoided unless one would get in more pain from not casting a spell.
18-It hurts others
As with #17, but it hurts other people, meaning that magic is most likely as illegal as other forms of hurting people. A person hurt by your spell might either react violently himself or herself or call the police or it’s equivalent to have you arrested and brought before the courts. Here, anti-magic laws are popular and most people, most of the time, have no problem with obeying them and no sympathy for lawbreakers either.
To cast spells, body parts are needed, ranging from those of small animals to human body parts depending on the type of spell. The fresher the body part, the stronger the spell’s effect will be. Some body parts are rare and hard to find, others are highly illegal to possess. Each part will crumble to dust after a single spell.
Magic attracts the attention of those from the Netherworld. A small spell will bring shades or perhaps imps, these imps will offer their services to the caster; as long as the caster gives them what they want, they will fulfil their side of the bargain. If you try and cheat them, they bite, and their bites really hurt. Larger spells attract seriously dangerous demons that will try and offer bigger things in exchange for the caster’s soul. If rejected, they tend to accept this.
Really big spells attract demons of such a size and power that they see humans as nothing more then tasty snacks, and tend to be fatal in this life and for the caster’s spell too.
Magic causes the caster to age. Something really small, like a spark to light a fire, will take so little off that there is no real difference. A ball of werelight will slowly but steadily eat into the caster’s life-force, but only to the extent that smoking or unhealthy eating would. Larger spells may leech years from the caster’s life, visibly aging him or her, and too many of these will leave the caster as a doddering old man or even a withered corpse.
Magic cannot be wielded by any one person, no matter how wise or strong or rich they are. Two people can create magical sparks and other such tiny cantrips. Three can create a small magical cantrip. To cast things such as lightning bolts needs at least five people, and for anything big you need a whole village or more of people. This makes illegal magic hard to cast as it only takes one person to rat out the lawbreakers to law enforcement, but some cults and mafia-type organisations have enough people to cast such negative spells.
Magic causes random death. A cantrip will kill a fly or an ant; by casting enough cantrips it is possible to deal with insect swarms. Larger spells kill larger creatures, like a cat or dog, and certain spells are banned by law, as the cost is the random death of someone nearby. If there is nothing living around to die, then the spell will claim the life of the caster.
When spells are cast, they cause the caster to smell horribly for 24 hours afterwards. White magic, such as healing spells, and neutral magic, smells like too much perfume, whilst black magic causes the caster to stink like a sewer, so that all the city guards have to do to track down the culprit is to follow what their noses are telling them. No amount of cleaning or perfuming will dent this smell until it fades away of it’s own accord.
25-Dead man walking
It is not just the foul and forbidden arts of necromancy that raises the dead. Any magic, if cast within a mile of an uncremated dead body, can pool around the body and when it reaches a high enough concentration, pull the soul back into the body and ease the body’s passage to the surface. The dead body, rotten with decay, will then try and regain its former life, becoming murderous when thwarted.
Magic causes the caster to glow for 24 hours. In itself, this is not all that bad, although it may make sleeping hard, but in countries where magic has been banned, this can amount to a death sentence unless covered up with heavy cloaks. And in the summer this may attract as much attention as the glowing would.
For whatever reason, only one race can cast spells, and they have used their power to enslave the others, resulting in an apartheid state ruled by brutality. Should a member of another race somehow find out how to use magic, he or she will become a public enemy with a bounty set on his or her head.
To cast a spell, one must have a tattoo, the size of which depends on the spell. If scratched during the period when it itches, it casts the spell randomly, and each tattoo only has three spells in it. Also, a spell will not work if cast through clothing. Most magic-users only have a very few spells to cast and a very few tattoos to cast them with.
Spells take a very long time to cast, something that has been shortened dramatically with the invention of spell wheels, where the spell is written on paper, put in one of these wheels attached to a stick, and spun. Even then it takes over a hundred spins to cast the spell, so if you want to use it in a battle situation you need to spin it 99 times before the battle begins, giving you the magical equivalent of a cocked flintlock pistol.
Forget about using a fire spell to heat you up in an artic waste. Spells are bound to the climate. Fire spells can only be cast in deserts or near volcanoes, water spells on or near lakes, rivers, seas or swamps, and earth spells in mountain ranges or underground. Only air-based spells can be cast anywhere that there is air. With more complex spells, a healing spell, for example, needs to be cast in a place with plenty of plant and animal life around.
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30 Manuscripts By: Scrasamax ( Items ) Books and Scrolls - Non-Magical
A collection of 30 scrolls, manuscripts, and codices sampled from the library of Atal, the Wise Councilor.
Being a scholar, wizard, and bibliophile, the personal library of Atal the Wise Councilor is considered to be one of the largest and most extensive collections in the known world. The few known rivals include the King’s Grand Archive, and the Seven Galleries of the Papal Depository.
1. The DeHansen Diaries
by Vildam Rouge
Some scholars argue over which was real, and which was the literary creation, Robin Hood or Lisa deHansen. While there are numerous tales of the former, there are heraldic records and the diaries of the latter. The Diaries detail the campaign of a noble born woman turned rogue in her fight against the oppressive then ruling powers. Many consider the DeHansen Diaries to be a basic treatise on how to operate a forest guerilla force, as well as a primer for female equality.
2. 100 Delicacies
by Gourmand Earl D’Aconda
Within this thick tome are over 1000 recipies for 100 different delicacies, ranging from the almost tame, yet exotic Xoct’s Sauce to the expensive lotus mushroom. Within this book are no fewer than six recipes using dragon pancreas.
3. The Black Hound
by Vicholet Farbi
This book portrays a shapeshifting character named Fang who wanders from place to place, protecting children and causing all sorts of mischief and violence against oppressive monsters and evil step-parents. The book was originally for a noble child, but the parents disliked the anti-authoritarian sentiment and almost destroyed the book after its author was executed for sedition against the crown.
4. Of Grain and Swords
by Lt. Berald Grom
This thick details the importance of logistics in supporting an army in the field. Written in the military city of Wheatsword many consider this to be one of the best, if not the most concise works of supplying and army with food. Most who own a copy of the book consider it to be one of the best books to use for squishing unwanted household pests.
5. The Book of Painted Passions
by Ryzak Longhammer
This racy book is laid out in a biographical fasion of a traveler who samples prostitutes the way a sommalier samples wine. it is an obvious fiction as some of the ladies in question did not live during the same time period. Some think that Longhammer is a pseudonym adopted by a number of writers who have added to this poorly written work. Some versions, attributed to Madame Bathycolpia are much better written, but have a vastly different perspective.
6. The Thumbscrew Grimoire
This plain black leather bound book contains a number of methods of torture that range from the mundane fist in the face to the absolutely horrific and macabre. The grimoire has a blank companion book that is used to record interrogations and to make note of new and devious methods of torture.
7. The Malleable Earth
by Dannia Ghostuum
This book details the many uses of clay, ranging from the mundane shaping of plain jugs and pots to the more unusual death masks and spirit binding amulets. The author even intimates using a pottery wheel to contact the spirits of the dead, letting them help sculpt the clay.
8. The Book of Tides
by Lexani Liath
While many of the texts that deal with the Great Demon of the Ocean are surrounded with a mythos of fear and lies, the Book of Tides is considered to be one of the safest, and unfortunately least valuable books for dealing with the Lord of the Ocean and his Drowned Cults. However, it is a valuable treatise on tidal observations in a number of important harbors.
9. Rites of the Condemned
by Father Antimon D’Eralasaq
This book is the personal memoir of a holy man who made it his personal mission to tend to the inmates of one of the few true prisons in the realm. The priest preached, took confession, and gave spiritual atonement to many of the prisoners within their bleak cells. He gave many the last rites as they finally perished, be it from old age, or the gallows rope. His memoirs record a man who fought for good and right in a place that cared only for law and order.
10. The Secret Art
by Szathao Verthicuul
Penned in utmost secrecy, this work details a large number of assassin guilds and assassins. The work was done largely in secret as each of the entities in question would have handily killed Szathao in cold blood if they had a hint of what the author had in mind. Each society is detailed in lurid prose with great emphasis on their moral evil and violent deeds. A popular book among decadenti and immoralites.
11. Exile and Execution
by Mateljan, Kerke Mage
This thick book was penned by Mateljan the Kerke Mage. In this lengthy text he describes the failings of the traditional punishments of exile and execution for criminals, offering detention as a viable alternative. He explores possibilities of work gangs, prison farms, and other means of exploiting a criminal population.
12. A History of Currency and Exchange
by Greigor Hest
This 2000 page work details the history of currency from its origins in a barter society to the preiminance of gold in the modern marketplace. It also is a treatise on banking and things like credit and investment which would be almost arcane sciences to the commoner in the field. A commonly found book that is considered to be one of the least frequently read books in the world.
13. The Lucavian Manifesto
by Lord Pavisfascio
This is a continually growing work, and currently occupies six thick tomes. At the behest of the King and the ocuncil of wizards, the Lord and archivist Pavisfascio began to collect evidence, anecdotal and otherwise, of the various small items of magic that surface after the demise of powerful wizards. The Manifesto was named after the horde of the wizard Lucavi, who was a well known maker of small things that invariably caused many problems.
14. Luxurious Wood
by Moncillo, Master Craftsman
While men treasure gold and jewels, the craftsman Moncillo treasured wood, and in his book he details the values of various woods as well as the great things that can be made from them. This book is considered basic reading for any antiquarian or would be master carpenter/cabinet maker.
15. Closure and Profile
by Nerim Antietus
This slim book was penned as a tool for use by city guards and other enforcement types. It details a number of criminal archtypes as well as brief descriptions of their means and motives. While commonly distributed in some major cities, most guards consider it to be less than useful as few successful criminals follow the guidelines set in the book.
16. Against the Ogres
by Sir Agincourt Whitewing
Penned by a descentdant of the legendary first Whitewing this medium sized book is both a personal biography of the Whitewing noble family and its trials and triumphs, but also a reliable text for facing ogres in war, and how to defeat them. While some of the accounts are considered fanciful, the basic tactics and formations given are very useful when facing ogres and other suprahuman sized humanoid foes.
17. Uncommon Magic
by Lucindille Featherby
This semi-humorous work is written from the prespective of a house maid or cleaning woman to a powerful mage. While most books of magic delve into ancient lore, potent spells and lists of demon’s names, this light spirited work touches on domestic applications of magic, from enchanted feather dusters to unspillable water jugs.
18. Death and the Divine
by Provost Layton Frost
This tome is a piece by piece and step by step treatise on the inhereint dangers and pitfalls of organized faith and the dangers it encompasses. Rather than dealing with affairs of Iacon, this work delves into a religious schism that happened between tow polytheistic faiths and how it could have been avoided. The work is considered almost insulting pedantic and has been declared excommunicated in most religious areas.
19. Courting the Princess
by Anomander Stigyos
This is an older work that is heavily illuminated and illustrated in the older style of books, compared to the newer style that delves into miniscule writing and few if any illustrations. It details the courtly behaviour of a warrior princess looking to find a husband from the ranks of the mercantile nobilty, the military, and eventually from the vagabond adventurers.
20. The Blood War
by Magistrate Zind
Most consider this work about an ongoing war between vampires and a barbarian tribe to be a rather fanciful work of an overactive imagination. However, it is a rare example of hemography as all of the writting was done with blood based inks. The book is said to contain secret truths about vampire weaknesses and powers, though this remains untested.
21. To Taste the World
compilation of many authors
Compiled nearly a century ago, this mammoth set of 28 volumns was considered to be the complete record of all food recipes in the world. While many new books and recipes have been added, this collection is second to none for thoroughness. While there are very few copies, they are regularly studied by master chefs, gourmands, and epicurians.
22. The Curse of Gold
by Hypedies Bzander
This book is not a well received work as it details the dangers of gold, ranging from cursed gold to the great horrors, tragedies, and massacres from history that have been perpetrated in the name of that luminous metal. There were several other books in the series, each decrying one vice or another. Bzander claimed ascetic virtues were mandatory, and true tis belief he died penniless and hungry.
23. Dangerous Mimics
By Anjet of Kjach
This book was recovered from the body of the explorer Anjet herself, an incomplete work. in it she was exploring a nest of small squirrel like creatures and was slain by them. A great irony to a woman who survived encounters with dragons, helf fiends, and worse.
24. The DeMadden Rudders
Compilation of sea charts and captains logs
This oversize book is primarily a large collection of ships maps, also known as rudders. Each map is accompanied by a detailed decription of the various islands and things that have been encountered by ships of the maritime and mercantile power that is the DeMadden company.
25. The Book of Deeds
by Sir Inan Kruppe
This lavish tome details a number of knightly orders, as well as their various creeds, deeds, and outstanding members. The Book is considered almost a prerequisite to becoming a respected knight both in terms of martial ability, but in terms of social obligations and responcibilities.
26. The Critical Path
by Aertin the Woad
Written during a bloom of writting nearly a century ago, this work deals with how to properly critique a grimoire. During that time, almost any mage capable of writing was doing just that, creating a windfall of mediocre to poor quality tomes. The Woad spent nearly a decade dealing with these often juvenile works and attempted in her own way to help each of the new writters in perfecting their skills.
27. The Downward Path
by Mosion of Ogia
This book was penned by a legendary spelunker and scribe who spent much time voyaging into the dark places beneath the earth. Much to the surprise of all, many of these places were inhabited, as well as being homes to all sorts of strange creatures. It is assumed that Mosion eventually settled in one of these underground lands.
28. The Cunning Linguist
by Pashing Stratus
This monumental work deals with translating ancient languages as well as creating new languages and codes for mages and sages. It disects the basics of the written and spoke word, which is an invaluable tool for said scholars. possession and regular reading of the hefty work can improve a characters language skills with practice. There is a second book by the same name that was written by a priestess of Aphrodite that has nothing to do with languages.
29. The Booke of Familiar Spirites
by Scribe of Familiars
This somewhat worn and old book has been a constant companion to mages for more than an age. It was first written ages ago by a master of Familiar magics, and deals with the best way to summon and control familiars and even how to deal with them when they become too powerful or dangerous to the mage or populace in general.
30. The Wakeful Mind
by Morgan of Derekshire
This book, written some time ago by a well versed witch deals with the value of a number of plants and herbs that share the communal ability to ease the need for sleep and counter the enervation often associated with spellcasting. The book is considered to be a cause of several plant species being harvested into extinction.
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30 More Limitations on Magic By: Scrasamax ( Systems ) Mystical - Defining
30 more limitations to the practise of magic, aka Why Everyone Cant be a Magic User
1. It's Really Really Hard Magic is something like advanced calculus, superstring theory, or theraputic aromatherapy, its just hard enough that there are only a few people at a given time who can learn it. It is possible to learn about it, but still lack the necessary comprehension to execute magic. This sort of magic will be very heavy with arcane formulae, circles and wards, and elaborate rituals, gestures, and such. The number of true masters are going to be rare, possibly less than a dozen or so individuals at a given time would claim such comprehension. 2. Either You've Got it, or You Don't Magic is controlled by an impartial and arbitrary factor such as genetics, and the ability to do magic is an inherited trait. Magic ability drives breeding plans and practises, creating wizarding families that court inbreeding in the name of magical power. While there are a few rare wild magi who come out of the common populace, these individuals are outnumbered 10 to 1 by those born of magical blood. The ability to use magic is strongly tied to a certain physical trait, such as having eyes or hair that is a certain color, like redheads can only use magic, or people with purple or gray eyes can. 3. Dealing With the Devil Magic power comes only from pacts with extra-planar beings. While it is certainly possible to make pacts with Angelic forces (Good luck getting one willing to wheel and deal) or things that should not be (Good luck keeping your sanity) demonic and infernal forces are the most likely to let you have the power you want. Magi are not trusted, and for good reason. Oh and when your time is up, you're going to be a chew toy in Hell. 4. He Who Controls the Spice, Controls the World Magic cannot be performed without a certain perishable dangerous expensive hard to acquire ingredient. Perhaps only dragonspice, collected from the lairs of living dragons can induce the mental state required to perform magic. While magi are able to perform their art, they are marked by regular use of this material and without it they are powerless. Even better, while under the influence of the stuff, their perception of reality is altered and communicating with a mage is tricky at best. Most will keep just enough of the 'spice' in their system to cast magic readily, and who knows, it might be addictive... or poisonous. 5. Mitichlorians Magic ability is determined by the presence of a blood born agent/pathogen. This pathogen is not contagious, and cannot be spread, it does mean that the blood of magi is valuable... to other magi. The presence of this agent is entirely random and attempts to study it have lead many a scholar into the grips of madness. 6. Shredded Sanity Rather than causing insanity, only the insane are able to cast magic. This limits the number of people who can become magi as it is difficult to just go bonkers because you want to do magic. The specific insanity colors the magic of the magus, Paranoia manifests as violent pre-emptive strikes, catatonia and other introversions produce wards, shields, and other defensive magics. War mages are soldiers who lost their sanity on the battlefield, their battles are fought with hallucinatory foes, while they are directed around by orderlies and kept facing the real enemy. 7. Magic Power Needed Magic use is entirely dependent on localized natural resources, these confluences of ley lines, dragon nests, nodes of power, fairy glades, and such are hotly contested locations with entire armies and nations fighting over possession of ancient stone rings, access to a remote mountain peak, or hidden grotto. Outside of these areas magic is impossible. 8. Lifestyle Choices The common person cannot use magic, as they are a part of the meta-species. To perform magic, the mage must be homosexual, not contributing to the gene pool or the next generation. An alternate to this is the possiblity that a magic user must remain sexually inactive for their entire life. Magic users would look down on the filthy 'breeders', or they could run the gauntlet from asexual people who slowly become androgynous, or are decadent in their sexual display, sorceresses keeping vast harems of women for their entertainment, or sorcerors who are flamboyantly gay. Magi consider themselves outside, and superior to the common folk. 9. Props! Magic requires a prop to work, said props can be rings, wands, rods, or anything else suitable. The materials must be rare and exotic, such as precious metals, or components such as demon bone, unicorn hair or heartstrings of a dragon. This is also limited by the fact that the prop in question must resonate with the magus. A magus who loses his prop must go on a personal quest to replace it, making these items incredibly valuable to magic users, and targets for the enemies of magi. 10. Theurgy Only To be a magus, an applicant must devote themselves to the mysterious and aloof God/dess of Magic for the rest of their lives. In exchange for magical ability, the magus must devote himself to the tenets and ethos of a strange and inhuman god. These tenets could range from common (dont share secrets with non-magi, protect the church of the God of magic) to the bizarre (Must never eat fish, must never wash their feet, must kill one person a month as directed by the god, etc). Breaking a tenet or violating the ethos means suspension or outright loss of magic ability. 11. Devouring Magic This sort of magic draws vibrant living force from the world around it for power. As more and more magic is used, it creates areas of dimished magic, or even dead areas. Once an area is depleted it could take centuries or longer to be restored. Magi are rare, as those willing to ravage in the name of their art are a minority. Those who are willing to do so, are generally hunted down and killed by nature aspected folk, or commoners who would rather have green fields than dead fields and monsters to deal with. 12. Reality Check Magic bends the laws of nature and reality. Like a piece of metal, reality will spring back. Depending on the size of the spell used determines the size of the backlash. Big spells cause big backlash, a fireball could cause all the fires in an area to extinguish themselves, or could turn on the mage in question. Reality has a sense of irony, so the backlash might not be instant. A fire weilding magus might one night find himself trapped in a burning inn, or the wanton summoner might find himself the victim of another's summon spell.
1. It's Really Really Hard
Magic is something like advanced calculus, superstring theory, or theraputic aromatherapy, its just hard enough that there are only a few people at a given time who can learn it. It is possible to learn about it, but still lack the necessary comprehension to execute magic. This sort of magic will be very heavy with arcane formulae, circles and wards, and elaborate rituals, gestures, and such. The number of true masters are going to be rare, possibly less than a dozen or so individuals at a given time would claim such comprehension.
2. Either You've Got it, or You Don't
Magic is controlled by an impartial and arbitrary factor such as genetics, and the ability to do magic is an inherited trait. Magic ability drives breeding plans and practises, creating wizarding families that court inbreeding in the name of magical power. While there are a few rare wild magi who come out of the common populace, these individuals are outnumbered 10 to 1 by those born of magical blood. The ability to use magic is strongly tied to a certain physical trait, such as having eyes or hair that is a certain color, like redheads can only use magic, or people with purple or gray eyes can.
3. Dealing With the Devil
Magic power comes only from pacts with extra-planar beings. While it is certainly possible to make pacts with Angelic forces (Good luck getting one willing to wheel and deal) or things that should not be (Good luck keeping your sanity) demonic and infernal forces are the most likely to let you have the power you want. Magi are not trusted, and for good reason. Oh and when your time is up, you're going to be a chew toy in Hell.
4. He Who Controls the Spice, Controls the World
Magic cannot be performed without a certain perishable dangerous expensive hard to acquire ingredient. Perhaps only dragonspice, collected from the lairs of living dragons can induce the mental state required to perform magic. While magi are able to perform their art, they are marked by regular use of this material and without it they are powerless. Even better, while under the influence of the stuff, their perception of reality is altered and communicating with a mage is tricky at best. Most will keep just enough of the 'spice' in their system to cast magic readily, and who knows, it might be addictive... or poisonous.
Magic ability is determined by the presence of a blood born agent/pathogen. This pathogen is not contagious, and cannot be spread, it does mean that the blood of magi is valuable... to other magi. The presence of this agent is entirely random and attempts to study it have lead many a scholar into the grips of madness.
6. Shredded Sanity
Rather than causing insanity, only the insane are able to cast magic. This limits the number of people who can become magi as it is difficult to just go bonkers because you want to do magic. The specific insanity colors the magic of the magus, Paranoia manifests as violent pre-emptive strikes, catatonia and other introversions produce wards, shields, and other defensive magics. War mages are soldiers who lost their sanity on the battlefield, their battles are fought with hallucinatory foes, while they are directed around by orderlies and kept facing the real enemy.
7. Magic Power Needed
Magic use is entirely dependent on localized natural resources, these confluences of ley lines, dragon nests, nodes of power, fairy glades, and such are hotly contested locations with entire armies and nations fighting over possession of ancient stone rings, access to a remote mountain peak, or hidden grotto. Outside of these areas magic is impossible.
8. Lifestyle Choices
The common person cannot use magic, as they are a part of the meta-species. To perform magic, the mage must be homosexual, not contributing to the gene pool or the next generation. An alternate to this is the possiblity that a magic user must remain sexually inactive for their entire life. Magic users would look down on the filthy 'breeders', or they could run the gauntlet from asexual people who slowly become androgynous, or are decadent in their sexual display, sorceresses keeping vast harems of women for their entertainment, or sorcerors who are flamboyantly gay. Magi consider themselves outside, and superior to the common folk.
Magic requires a prop to work, said props can be rings, wands, rods, or anything else suitable. The materials must be rare and exotic, such as precious metals, or components such as demon bone, unicorn hair or heartstrings of a dragon. This is also limited by the fact that the prop in question must resonate with the magus. A magus who loses his prop must go on a personal quest to replace it, making these items incredibly valuable to magic users, and targets for the enemies of magi.
10. Theurgy Only
To be a magus, an applicant must devote themselves to the mysterious and aloof God/dess of Magic for the rest of their lives. In exchange for magical ability, the magus must devote himself to the tenets and ethos of a strange and inhuman god. These tenets could range from common (dont share secrets with non-magi, protect the church of the God of magic) to the bizarre (Must never eat fish, must never wash their feet, must kill one person a month as directed by the god, etc). Breaking a tenet or violating the ethos means suspension or outright loss of magic ability.
11. Devouring Magic
This sort of magic draws vibrant living force from the world around it for power. As more and more magic is used, it creates areas of dimished magic, or even dead areas. Once an area is depleted it could take centuries or longer to be restored. Magi are rare, as those willing to ravage in the name of their art are a minority. Those who are willing to do so, are generally hunted down and killed by nature aspected folk, or commoners who would rather have green fields than dead fields and monsters to deal with.
12. Reality Check
Magic bends the laws of nature and reality. Like a piece of metal, reality will spring back. Depending on the size of the spell used determines the size of the backlash. Big spells cause big backlash, a fireball could cause all the fires in an area to extinguish themselves, or could turn on the mage in question. Reality has a sense of irony, so the backlash might not be instant. A fire weilding magus might one night find himself trapped in a burning inn, or the wanton summoner might find himself the victim of another's summon spell.
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30 Orcish Gifts (For Services Rendered) By: Pieh ( Articles ) Resource - Gaming - In General
30 Orcish Ornamentations of Outlandish Awesomeness and Some Ordinarily Uninteresting Objects Overcome with Ogreish Opulence!
1. Bowl of Ticks.
One must understand the orcish culture to comprehend this “gift”. Orcs are riddled with ticks, it is a way of life for the unclean, but they feel quite differently about the parasites than we do. Orcs will often give out these stone bowls, filled with a hundred or more of the tiny blood-suckers, as house-warming gifts or birthday presents among their own kind. The orcs believe that ticks suck out all the “bad-blood” from the flesh, “purifying” the host, so to speak.
As all know, once a tick has had its fill of blood, the bloated critters simply detach and fall from the host, lazily digesting. The peculiar magic of the orcish tick bowl however, somehow urges all of the ticks to return to the bowl after feedings. In essence one can travel around with a bowl of ticks, and never lose the suckers.
2. Bitumen Mine Map
The orcs gift the PCs a crude, orcish map showing the location of a naturally occurring, long-abandoned bitumen mine deposit, somewhere in the Klawbash Mountains. For Bitumen properties and uses, see Wikipedia. The orcs may or may not forget to mention, that the mine was abandoned for a very specific reason, a sudden infestation of cantankerous dwarves.
This old broadsword, fashioned in the orcish style with a wide blade, serrated edges and countless nicks, is a formidable weapon. A great service indeed would have had to be rendered on their behalf, for the orcs to gift such a sword to PCs. The weapon has no magical attack or defense bonuses or abilities of any kind, except one. Any non-magical sword this weapon strikes, shatters upon contact with Sword-Breaker. Magical swords are thankfully unaffected.
4. The Talking Toad.
A mundane appearing creature, the size of a man’s fist, this warty, grayish toad can utter/croak several words and phrases in the Orcish tongue! How the bloody hell this toad acquired these capabilities is unknown, and the orcs aren’t talking. Suffice it to say, the PCs now own a toad, that can say the following, and the following only, in the orcish tongue:
Nresh-shart’graak-ulv—A painful death to you elf.
Gla’Brugdugyesh—I am hungrier than an ettin.
Hu’lish, Raz’Bash’Avooo?—You smell good. May I taste?
Hu-Treg! Gla’hasdummat—Quiet you! I am defecating.
5. A Bag of Teeth
A large, roughly stitched brown leather pouch. It contains the teeth of several deceased clan shamans. The orcs assure you that should you shake it in the direction of any spirits you may have angered, the orc spirits will chase them away and eat their flesh. The orcs appear dumb-founded if you mention that spirits don't have flesh.
6. Orcish War Drum of Elf Hatred
A tattered and beaten old bongo drum, it has been used to lead the murderous rhythm against many elf settlements. Whenever any being of elven blood is nearby, it beats like the heart of an orcish warrior ready for the kill. If an elf touches the drum, it will burst into flames and someone is likely to say "Well, that was unexpected."
7. A Night of Passion
The orcs grant you a night alone with one of their fair maidens. A hirsute, elderly orc-woman named Gunkrekss (Translation "Groin Crusher") takes you hand and happily leads you into a small ramshackle hut. Within she explains, in a poor representation of your language, that she is a Right of Passage for all young warriors. You do not need to do anything you don't want to with her, she doesn't look like she would say no though, and she explains that the typical night is spent playing cards while screaming wildly and hollering in pretend pain. You are suppose to stagger out of the tend in the morning, and proclaim your victory over her.
8. Ritual Scarring
The orcs offer you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get your very own Orc scars! They will cut you, burn you, and otherwise physically maim you in any pattern you desire, with a little bit of creative license. The marks can be anywhere on your body, but will forever mark you as one of their tribesman, and this is not to be undergone lightly. Once a member of a tribe, the only way out is death. However, with the scars, you will be marked as a hero of that tribe, being forever offered retreat from the structured world of men and their strange doings.
9. Ogrebumm's Blood Pie
The master orcish pastry chef, Ogrebumm, known for his oversized buttocks and excellent meat pies, offers you one of his finest foods. A raw mass of blood, meat, and uncooked dough. If you can stomach eating it, you truly have the fortitude of an orc warlord.
10. The Cleaver
A great orc cleaver of black steel. The cleaver resembles an oversized square-bladed hatchet meant for cutting and chrushing bones. It has an especially tough edge meant to withstand repeated blows against meat, bone and even metal. This is accomplished by using soft steel and a really thick blade. Orc carry these cleavers into battle smashing whatever is infront of them. The craftmanship is crude and simplistic. It is unfortunately way to big and clumsy for a normal sized human to use.
11. Stolen Cattle
Orcs love to eat meat and hate to hunt. Stealing stupid cattle from pink weaklings is much easier than running around in the woods hunting game. Stolen cattle is a great gift indeed and orcs regard it as a walking feast. If the PCs try to explain that they can not accept the herd of cattle because they will be too much trouble to travel with, and that they can not eat them all, the orcs will laugh their guts out and help the puny humans getting rid of a few before they depart. Should the PCs mention that they can not accept stolen cattle because it is wrong the orcs will first stare disbelieving at the PCs and then start laughing even more.
12. The Slave
Orcs can be lazy. Having a slave is a sign of great status. Slaves are often mistreated badly and are the bottom filth of orc hierarchy. If a slave is given as a gift it is a great honour, especially if the orc tribe is not too wealthy. The first thing the PCs are expecting to do when they receive this great gift is to abuse and beat the slave so it will understand who its new masters are.
A great orc totem staff dangling with bone fetishes, raven feathers, boar teeth, bat wings and much more. The Humaluma is one of the rarest and greatest honours a orcish clan can bestow upon outsiders. The Humaluma basicly says that that those carrying it are protected and can not be harmed. The tradition of the Humaluma is an ancient one in orcish standards and most clans respect it. There are clans that will go so far as to protect whoever carry a Humaluma, even against other orcs. But there are always some that ignore traditions.
14. The Hill of Many Heads
This is where the orcs bring back the heads of enemies after raids or battles. They throw them on the hill, hang them from the limbs of the trees, or from wooden spikes placed along the sides of the hill. This is a very holy place, and the PCs can pick a head as a good luck charm for their next battle. The orcs believe that the clans success will then rub of on the PCs.
Orcs use blood to paint symbols on their bodies before entering combat. They believe that this gives them strength, courage and other attributes depending on the symbols. This task is performed by the Shaman. The painted magical symbols are fairly simple shapes, with clear, bold lines and slightly jagged, rough edges. The more powerful shapes are more complex than the basic ones, which can be applied quickly. Some orcs that are destined for greatness or has accomplished a major feat are given permanent paint, namely tattoos. What will the PCs say when this gift presented to them?
16. Strength Potion
The Strength Potion of the orcs has two main uses. They smear the foul liquid on wounds and drink it to boost their stamina. Wounds healed this way however will leave horrible scars. The Strength Potion also have side effects when drinking it. Vision will go hazy and body control will feel remote. Movements and actions will be driven more by bestial instinct than the mind. The Strength Potion of the orcs is composed of a very strong alcohol mixed with blood, liver and a special sort of underground mushroom. It is also sweetened with honey, so much that it tastes much too sweet for a human.
17. Wand of KABOOM(!)
The orcs have kept this slim, almost effeminate magician’s wand safe under lock and key for years. The one time the tribe’s shaman experimented with the wand years ago, he blew the village saloon sky-high, burning alive a handful of his fellow orcs. The shaman was soon after roasted himself by the villagers, albeit more slowly, and over a crackling campfire.
Since that inauspicious day, the orcs have kept the wand hidden. But since the PCs deserve it, the orcs bequeath it to the adventurers for a job well-done. The wand is indeed a wand of fireballs, and a powerful one at that, but with one major drawback. It is out of charges.
18. Head-Butting Hat
This sewed, patchy, leather skull-cap with flaps, looks a little like an old-style, early twentieth century, American football helmet. Unassuming in every way, and in fact unflattering head-gear, it does have one major boon. If used for head-butting the hat becomes a formidable weapon. A hit from this leather helm carries the same wallop, as if a steel-helm was used instead. Great damage can be done to the heads and faces of adversaries, broken noses, concussions, and cracked jaws. The wearer of the helm, meanwhile, feels no pain from the hits.
19. Iron Likeness
In honor of the PCs success, the grateful orcs decide to commemorate the PCs “for all time”. They plan to erect great iron statues of the PCs, in their likeness. Thousands of iron coins and shards (nearly valueless), are smelted down and orcish sculptors begin the laborious effort of constructing statues. They insist the adventurers remain in the village as honored guests, until the masterworks are complete. At first the PCs will be flattered and more than happy to “pose and preen” for the orcish sculptors and metal-workers. But soon all becomes apparent. The orcs are talentless ironmongers (much less sculptors) and weeks turn into months, as they struggle to erect featureless, vaguely humanoid, and cigar-shaped statues, while the PCs suffer from dysentery, as “guests” of the orcs.
20. Snot Rag
A small, and very dirty, handkerchief. It is covered in grisly scars denoting the great struggles it has endured. There is a plethora of dried orc blood, boogers, and greasy smears arranged in a gruesome swirl of horrible bodily fluids. As the legends go, there are few of these diseased rags remaining, having all been burned to a crisp by sensible folk. The snot rag can nullify the threat of inhaling airborne poisons or diseases when used to cover your mouth. Extreme nausea is a side effect, but that is not as bad as crazy purple knock-out gas.
21. A Good Ole’ Fashion Fist Fight
Even Orcs can get emotional, complacent or relaxed, and when they do an allied Orc will help them by punching them in the face. While time consuming and possibly deadly, a good fist fight (without weapons) can bring an Orc back down to earth and also be a sign of status if the fight is particularly long or bloody. If the PCs seem to have had a rough time or maybe seem a little down, the Orcs will feel a lot of social pressure to do the right thing and punch them in the face.
22. A Pile of Compost (the perfect gift for the expecting mother)
Orcs don’t reproduce like most mammals, a pregnant She-Orc only carries the child for about three months and at that time she deposits the tiny fetus-like Orcling into nutrient rich dirt, such as a grave or a pile of composting material. The She-Orc then has to keep this spot (the nest) warm by sitting on it, placing warm rocks in, by hobbling a large land mammal and letting it die slowly on top or by making her nest near a hot spring. So while all of those would make great gifts, the surest best is to get the expecting mother a pile of rotting nutrient rich material.
23. A Fertile Human Woman
As much as Orc’s may love their Sisters of the Snout, no male Orc can deny the convenience and advantage of a fertile human woman. If you place your seed in her, in six months the human woman will give birth to your child. You can take a pregnant woman a viking with you, you can move her between camps, and all you have to do is feed her. Plus if you have ten fertile human women you can have ten children in six months. Even the best Orc mother would have trouble tending ten nests. It will be a half orc yes, but as the Orc saying goes “Most children weak, but not as weak as elves”.
24. A Great Axe
After all these years, still nothing else says “class” to Orcs like the gift of a great ax. As far as the Orc’s are concerned, it is never out of style, it sends a message that you respect the strength of their arm and if they don’t like it they can always hit you with it.
25-Some gold nuggets
A few nuggets of genuine gold, quarried by slaves in a mountain range long settled by Orcs. No magic, they are what they are and the PCs should be able to turn them into legal money or swap them for something of value with very little trouble.
A brewing aficionado in the party will be shocked and perhaps offended by this drink. It is not beer or anything like beer, it is a supersweet fruit juice that has been carbonate by a process that involves culturing the juice with rotting meat for three days. This not always a bad thing and some people find a good Orc Beer to the perfect thing at the end of a day. Orc certainly love the combined flavors of carrion and sugar. The product varies wildly though, it can range all the way from a drink that is so good it restores PC hit points, to a drink that tastes like rat piss and makes humans ill. If the PCs reject it the Orcs will not be happy.
The Orcs give the PCs Warg beasts to ride, wherever or not the PCs can control them enough to ride them depends on their riding skills/the GM/both.
28-An Orc Sword
The curved blades of the Orc swords are surprisingly well made and very distinctive. Carrying one of these into a town that has a history of Orc encounters could lead to some uncomfortable encounters. The PCs have likely heard the slur “Orc-F%#$er” applied to humans that carry this style of sword. Even carrying it as a trophy is often thought of as tasteless and promoting Orc culture. This may be due to the fact that Berserk Orcs will commonly leave their victims impaled on these sword during raids rather than trying to free a lodged weapon.
29-A potion that is not as it seems.
Not out of malice, but by mistake, the Orcs reward the PCs with one of the Flawed Potions.. The GM can pick one from the list or choose it randomly by throwing dice.
30-A Song of Praise
Normally reserved for tales of the deeds of the great kings and warriors amongst the Orcs, the Orcish bard could make a praise song up for the PCs. How accurate it is and how good a singer the bard is depends on how the GM is feeling at the time. But one thing is certain, the Orc just don’t sit around after a Praise Song. The freshly inspired band is likely to armor up and raid something. The PCs may want to stop this or direct it.
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30 Prophecies By: Mourngrymn ( Articles ) Resource - Game Mastering
"Prophecy today is hardly the romantic business that it used to be. The old tools of the trade, like the sword, the hair shirt, and the long fast in the wilderness, have given way to more contemporary, mundane instruments of doom --the book, the picket and the petition, the sit-in at City Hall."
- Jane Kramer
We have lists of 30 for nearly everything you can think of. Divine Concepts, Beers, Wine, Curses, and Cheese of all things. But one thing that I noticed, or lack there of, was a list of prophecies, portents, and predictions. All of which can be used in nearly every game setting to help with starting a plot, furthering a plot, bringing a group together, (Another 30 of Campaign Starters) and simply for GM torture of their players. Now I challenge each and everyone of you to create at least one prophecy to put up here.
What is a prophecy?
A prophecy is the message that has been communicated to a prophet which the prophet then communicates to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of events to come. The concept of a prophecy is found throughout all of the world's religions. To a certain degree prophecy is an integral concept within any religion. The term has found deep usage in two of the world's largest religious groups.
This does not limit it to religions however. A mad prophet that lives as a hermit on the beach, or a seer that lives in a wooden shack a few miles out of town, or even just some random person walking down the street who suddenly stands erect and begins talking in a strange sumerian voice could all be a part of the prophecy making and or telling.
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30 Rods and Staves By: Murometz ( Items ) Wand/Staff/ Arcane - Magical
...and walking sticks, and crosiers, and goads, and scepters, but no wands!
Crafted from the mummified, shriveled leg of a Minotaur prince, this staff is six-feet in length, wrist-thick, and wrapped in red-ochre hide, still slightly fuzzy to the touch. Crooked, shaped like a stretched out dog-leg, the staff tapers to a treated, cloven hoof, at one end. Though adventurers may think they have discovered a certain magic item, the Cloven-Hoof Staff, is not in fact magical. It belonged once, the leg, not the staff, to Kurmultar Snorts-Thunder, of the Falhathian Minotaurs. Such was his fury and berserk rage, that all that remained of Kurmultar, after the mighty Minotaur died in mid-battle, was one leg. That was all which was found of the prince, on the battle-field the next dawn, when the fighting had ceased. Horn-of-Plenty, the shaman, treated the leg of the hero with chemical baths, herbs and salves and finally mummified the leg, and so it became the staff of every Falhathain Prince from that day forth. A century ago or more it was lost however by the Minotaurs, and found by the were-bat thieves of the Vrisulni Clan, who still possess the staff to this day. The Vrisulni thieves have no notion of the staffs great importance to the Minotaurs, and have tossed it into a refuse-pile of other non-magical prizes, somewhere deep inside their labyrinthine wind-caves. If only the Minotaurs knew their relic was so close
A long, smooth, cedar staff, seven feet if an inch, and remarkably thin, crowned by several razor-thin wooden spikes, protrusions, appearing much like elongated pine-needles. The hand-hold for the walking-stick is just below this spike-burst, and the pole does indeed make a fine walking-stick, as well as a weapon if need be. Once per day, if the command word is spoken, the walking-stick will transform into an actual, live giant walking-stick insect, the size of a small horse, and fight for or otherwise aid the speaker! The walking stick can also transform into a normal-sized, mundane walking-stick bug, in lieu of the giant variety, in which case the owner can simply pocket the nearly two-dimensional appearing insect, until such time a wooden walking-stick is needed once more.
Greater Crosier of Rosilbeel
A larger version of the Lesser crook, the Greater Crosier of Rosilbeel the Plague-Ram, is a truly powerful weapon. With it in hand, the wielder can control any herd animal, mundane or supernatural, in great droves. Gorgons, hell-kine, and any other creature, animal or monster that is inclined by nature to herd can be controlled unerringly, by the crosiers wielder. Besides being protected by the Temple-on-the-Tundras Bison-Clan bonded-warriors, the Crosiers are doted on by a fetish-sorcerer, who tends to the safe-keeping of the mighty relics of his people.
Lesser Crosier of Rosilbeel
This shepherds crook of mahogany has been one of the holiest relics of the Bison Clans of the Great Grass Sea for centuries. They are holy crosiers of Rosilbeel the Plague-Ram, chief deity of the Bison-clans various cults. Kept behind stone inside the Temple-on-the-Tundra, the Lesser Crooks power is that with it the crosier-wielder can command any bovine creature to do anything reasonable within its power to obey the crosier-wielder, even putting itself in harms way. This involves only mundane bovine, cows, bulls, bison, antelope, and such, and not supernatural creatures such as gorgons or hell-kine.
This weapon, used by the spider-cultists of Shemoq, is a vile thing, a gnarled knob of blackened oak. If examined closely, dozens of the tiniest, scarlet spiders can be seen crawling along its length. The powers of this rod are subtle. If held out and the command word is spoken by a cultist, the tiny scarlet spider-swarm will immediately mobilize, and crawl quickly from the staff to whichever surface the wielder instructs, flesh included, and preferred. The spider-clusters bite the intended victims, almost imperceptibly, many times in succession, and quickly retreat back to the staff. Their cumulative little bites, almost flea-like and unfelt by most, will cause a heavy, lead-headed lethargy to overtake those bitten.
This creature, disguised as a plain, wooden, walking-stick, and used as such, can once per day animate, and take the form of a broom-stick like figure, sprouting spindly arms and legs of wood. This creature will serve the staff wielder faithfully, engaging in any and all tasks that it is capable of with gusto and efficiency. Though a less than stellar combatant, the stick-golem is quite useful, as long as he isnt torched, and set aflame. The Broom-stick golem staff is crafted of living-wood, a rare substance found in only the most impenetrable of jungles.
The Solitarian Staff
This staff is just a hair over six feet in length and seemingly sculpted out of pale wood by the flowing of water or the passage of many hands. The bearer of the staff, after meditating with it for at least two hours can go unnoticed for the rest of a day so long as he doesn’t leg go of the staff. This odd ability was created by a magic using hermit who wished to be left utterly alone. When he had an inkling that some snot-nosed would be heroes were assaulting his mountaintop home, he would pick up his staff, meditate and then head down to the village at the foot of the mountain and get drunk until the troublesome adventurers-upon-return had given up and gone on about their business.
The Rod of Fumigation
This short, thick, fat rod is made of brass and a peculiar green and purple wood. When the rod is extended and a command word given, a noxious cloud spews from the end of it. The effects of the gas can be metered out to three levels of dosage. The weakest dosage, which can be used almost at will causes a small area to be filled with a stinging gas like weak tear gas. The second level hits a larger area and is a very strong tear gas. The last setting covers a smaller area, but the roiling green gas is highly poisonous and can quickly cause suffocation and convulsing death. The Rod was created some years ago by a mage who was beyond the point of being tired of kobolds infesting his pantries.
Persilbridge Walking Stick
This walking stick is popular in the Persilbridge region and is commonly affected by intelligentsia and magi. The folk of Persilbridge are known for being among the most socially upstanding and magically elite, and by default, many people assume anyone bearing on of these staves has these same attributes. Some less than savory magi will further enchant this perception for their own ends. The walking stick is four feet long, comfortable in the hand, and hard enough to be used to deflect a sword for a few strikes, or disarm a dagger wielding hooligan.
The scholar LaTrayte suffered from a life long curse, he was ever chased and per sued by dogs and wolves everywhere he went. Some jested that he had been a cat in a former life, or had killed many dogs and they were just keen to return the favor. Whatever the cause of his malediction, LaTrayte created this forked rod for the sole purpose of controlling canids. While almost useless against a lycanthrope, the rod is irresistible to domesticated dogs, and even wolves find that they cannot ignore a command that wouldn’t violate their nature. A dog can be made to do almost any trick, a few words at the most, while a wolf could be commanded to go away or hunt elsewhere.
Common among goblin shamans and witch doctors, a Wathawurung is a special goblin sized stave that allows a goblin to speak in the tongues of the elements of rock, and flame. In the hands of a non-goblin, the staff causes the bearer to suffer from glossalia, speaking in tongues. Until the staff is dropped, the bearer cannot communicate with anyone, it is not obvious that the staff is the cause of the affliction. It has a minor bonus to combat uses.
Long belonging to a man of the cloth who served a second master, the bottle, Agraffe’s staff is a traditional priest’s crozier but it is hung with a bottle of wine. The bottle will slip and slosh, but some blessing keeps the wine inside from spilling out. The greatest gift, or curse, of the staff is that the bottle hanging from the crook will never truly be empty unless the bottle is broken, or the god of bounty and wine is insulted.
Rod of Suffering
This smooth black rod is tipped with a small blade, half the size of a dagger. It is ideally used by a magic user with some martial proficiency, as the rod offers no skill in attacking or blocking. The blade on the end is durable, but by itself inflicts only cursory damage. When the rod is powered by a spellcaster pumping a spell into it, it becomes something worse. With a scored hit, the rod discharges a Cause Injury spell in addition to any damage from the piercing blade. This magical attack ignores armor unless it is magical armor. The rods were used by monk-like magi who would strike exposed areas of their foes and cripple them with pain before dispatching them with necromantic spells or ritual daggers across their exposed throats.
The Shepherds Crook
A peculiar staff, of limited powers, but useful for anyone in need of a walking-stick, this plain crook of elm, was first used by shepherds of the Endless Ranges, during their long treks, with no company, except for their herds. Gifted to a particular shepherd by a particular wizard friend, the crook was later reproduced in droves by other artificers. The crooks powers are such that it will always sense, when gripped, whenever the shepherd is tired or extremely bored. When tired, a shepherd holding this staff, will receive tiny jolts of energy from the crook, and when bored, the staff will pepper the shepherds mind telepathically, with riddles, humorous anecdotes, and other thoughts, helping the far-ranging, lone-shepherd from losing his mind, or falling asleep from exhaustion at inopportune times.
Barely two feet long, this scepter is barely more than a glorified wand. It’s powers are subtle, and easily overlooked. In the hands of a woman, even the most shrewish book keeper, prim matron, or haughty debutante becomes a coy and frivolous young woman. There are no physical changes, but the old demeanor is replaced with one that is drawn to drama and intrigue, gossiping and scandal mongering. The scepter can be pulled open to reveal a lace lady’s fan.
The Mad Emperor’s Bane
This gold chased rod, set with a goose-egg star sapphire, was pulled from the clutches of a deranged emperor as he lay dying on the floor of his throne room. A kingdom’s ransom went into the making of the rod, and as such it’s powers are impressive. With a gesture, a dozen or more harem girls can be created from the rod. These girls can be as mundane or exotic as the rod’s master’s wishes. The rod has created Tsharan dancing girls, known for their double-jointed hips, Cyrackian warrior maidens reduced to coquettes, and triple-breasted fiendish women with abilities no mortal woman could imagine. Thrice a day, the rod can produce a lavish and thoroughly exotic feast. Rare game like giraffe stuffed with golden pears, dragon steak, and even fried pixies can be produced. The holder of the rod can also use the powers of the rod to cause people to ‘give in’ to their desire to take in pleasurable things, a limited form of magical persuasion. It was later found that after holding the rod long enough, the bearer becomes more and more jaded to the pleasures of life and only more and more bizarre things can stir their passions.
The Staff of Opening Ways
This large and baroque staff is chased with gold, inlaid with panels of ivory and studded with star rubies. Once carried by the hand of a semi-divine god-king, this staff exists as a piece of his now faded divine mandate. The God-King claimed that he could walk, unimpeded, from one side of his kingdom to the other. Some nobles and clerics scoffed but with the aid of this divinely fueled staff he proved himself right. With a triple knock, a stone wall will disassemble itself long enough for the bearer to pass through. Likewise, a tap will make a tree move a few steps to the side. It’s most strenuous use is to break the flow of rivers to allow the passage of the staff bearer. Some wonder if the staff if powerful enough to cross an ocean, or to even make a mountain move. Thus far, no one has attempted to use the staff in such a manner.
A type of rod rather than a specific one, War Rods are popular among martially minded clerics who wish for something with a bit more power than simple clubs, but without the mess and gore of hammers, flails and maces. These rods, usually matched sets, function for the cleric or magus based not on their strength or dexterity, but with their force of will or intelligence. These weapons seldom inflict damage as dire as a sword or mace, but a magic user can cast a spell through the rods which will affect the next foe they hit in combat. Some of the more popular spells for this are shaped fireballs, fear inducing magics, or in the case of the clerics of S’ck the god of pestilence and vermin, a spell that conjures a swarm of poisonous biting insects.
Staff of the Lamb
This iron shod staff is topped with a leering ram-like gargoyle and can be used as an excellent melee weapon. The butt is hardened iron and can take a few hard hits before deforming. Used by the suicidally fanatical troops of Togaille, the Staff of the Lamb is a mutually assured destruction weapon. In combat, the staff bearer is often among the last troops to face heavy combat and among the last to fall. If it seems that defeat is unavoidable, the soldier can activate the Staff of the Lamb, offering his last few breaths to further fuel the arcane energy stored in the weapon. There is a brilliant flash of light and a pulse of necrogenic energy blossoms out from the weapon. In a large radius all mortal life, from insects and plants to men and monsters is snuffed out by the blast. All the remains is silence and the corpses of the dead. It is not uncommon for the staff bearer to rise from this blast as a semi-coherent zombie and either carry on the fight, if anything survived, or return to bear the witness of their defeat.
Arm of the Striking Serpent
This brass clad staff is nearly eight feet long, it’s head a ball of bright citrine quartz, it’s foot a helmet cracking fist. The staff is fast and agile in the hands of a trained soldier, but its real unexpected power is that the warrior can invoke the staff to fire a blast of arcane energy at a foe. This attack is as accurate as a shotgun blast and is short ranged, but can hit multiple foes, stunning and knocking many to the ground with it’s force. The staff is used in a specific martial art that deals with fighting many opponents on level ground.
Staff of Celestial Obedience
This white and gold staff is hung with seven gold rings that jingle as the staff is carried. These staves are gifts from the celestial gods in overseeing the function of little gods, elementals, and demons in creation. Being vessels of divine will, the staff can be used as an automatic holy symbol against undead and infernal forces. When being faced by elementals, little gods, and other sub-god status spirits, the bearer of the staff is more than a cleric, but a magister of divine will. If the staff is planted in the earth and the bearer evokes the names of the celestial god that imbued him with the staff, no elemental can lay a hand on him, and in some instances, the cleric can attempt to steal control of the spirit away from an arcane summoner.
The Baron’s Walking Stick
In the swamps of Suisaidh, death isnt a skeleton clutching a scythe, or a dour faced monster waiting to eat the souls of the departed. There, death is appears like a man, his face painted white, a pipe smoldering between his lips. His breath is liquor and his laughter is loud and frightening. He is dressed as a rich man, but his manners are course and low-born, his humor suited for the tavern or the gallows. But his greatest gift is that of his walking stick, a handsome black length of wood, unassuming in even the remotest fashion. He that carry the death man’s walking stick, he is one who will never die. Knives may cut him, and fire will burn but he will be reborn from ashes in the passage of the sun and will walk again. That is, until the death man comes back for his walking stick.
Scepter of Temophis
The sacred burial scepter, the royal rod the Kings of Samatek take to their graves, is unlike the scepter of office, which they wield during their reign. The Scepter of Temophis is said to be the kings new rod, identifying him as a king, to the legions of spirits in the afterlife. The Scepter, named for the first high-priest of Samatek, is said to protect the king beyond the grave. The staff is of darkened ivory, spiraled ibex-horn, topped by a jewel the color of pigeon-blood. It has no magical powers, but its value is inestimable to the Samatek Dynasty.
Von Zygilveins Staff of Musical Globes
The Mad Composer was always seen with his fine, walking staff, with which he could amaze his friends and befoul his foes in equal measures. The staff can generate as many as seven fluid globes, each the size of a lemon, which simply emerge from the staffs tip, like soapy bubbles, and float languidly through the air, riding the currents. The floating globes are under the staff wielders complete control. He can direct their movement, sending the globes usually near the ears of chosen targets. At this point the bubbles will burst, and either beautiful music or a sound of unbearable, ear-splitting intensity will become audible only to that single target, and no one else within range.
St. Jaroffs Holy-Roller
A smooth wooden staff shaped to resemble a bakers rolling pin, St. Jaroffs Roller was named for a baker, well-known in his day, who went on to be posthumously anointed a Saint by the church. His miracle involved the baking of the Great- Pie of Sustenance, which fed and kept from starvation, six-thousand souls for nearly two years, during the historic siege of the city Jaroff called home. His second miracle was the fighting off of three ravenous wolves with naught but his rolling pin. To this day, Monks of Silpeg carry St. Jaroffs Holy-Rollers as both their staves and as symbols of faith.
Kiebr Gogo Begg’s Goad
A proper slaver-mongers goad, not unlike the Rod of Suffering in effect, this innocuous-looking implement, carved from wood of the mythical dragon-trees of Sotoril, appears as a slender wand-like item. Not unique, these goads are prized by wealthy slavers. It is said these goads are capable of inflicting pain with a touch, anything from mild discomfort to debilitating agony, and helps the obese self-styled Pasha keep his thralls in line.
A short, thick, and sturdy rod made of some dense, blue-black, metallic ore, Starfall, as it is named, was in fact crafted by the northern barbarian tribes of the tundra, forged from meteorite. It is said that the tribes witnessed an auspicious meteor shower streaking across the night sky one night, and followed the streak until they at last came upon a smoldering crater in the ground. Excavating the dense iron-like ore, the smiths of the tribes, forged this rod, as a symbol for their chieftains. And so it would be the end of the tale, if not for the fact that the vile sorcerers of a southern land, anticipated the meteor shower with their astrological scrying, and have now sent a formidable force north, to retrieve the meteorite for their own vile purposes, as their Jackal-headed god has foretold of its auspicious importance in some, upcoming dark ritual. The barbarians are not aware of this, but the metal of the Starfall Rod, is imbued with great magic.
This legendary rod, four feet of lead and iron, covered in a strange coating of moss, and thick as a tree branch, is lost somewhere in the golem-infested, sinking ruins of the Golem-Masters Keep, a once feared artificer-mage, who was finally brought low by a band of stalwart adventurers. His powerful rod remained unfound however. The rod is powered by Golem Moss, a single touch from the weapon, releasing the virulent golem-destroying substance. The Golem-Master used this rod to destroy unwanted and unruly creations and automatons.
The legendary mist-giant Bornegault, had many a weapon at his disposal. One of them was this huge oaken staff, gnarled and blackened by the ages. Sixteen feet long, and weighing in at seventy pounds, this staff cannot be wielded by most humanoids. In the hands of a giant, or someone with sufficiently-boosted strength, the wielder of Bornegaults Staff can speak the language of Treants, and is able to slay any tree-folk or their kin, treants included, with but a single strike! How this massive staff was constructed, and why this brutal weapon was ever made, are questions that cannot be answered, for they died with Bornegault centuries ago. It is said the staff is currently planted vertically in the ground, disguised amidst a patch of spruce and oak, in some dark, unexplored forest. Needless to say, agents of the tree-folk search for this vile item incessantly.
A mundane looking staff with one minor difference. A small humanoid foot of lead, only a few inches in size, is hung from a tassle along the staff’s length. This lead foot talisman, allows the wielder to traverse the mysterious Talon Trails, whispered about by sages and wizards. If removed from the staff, the lead-foot will cease to fucntion, and the staff will lose its power as well. An additonal power of the staff, enables the owner to never get lost, when traveling uncharted terrain.
The Staff of Omens
This legendary staff has long been carried by the warrior kings of Raichias. Seven feet long and made of steel, it can only be carried by someone of Raichian noble blood, a warrior of great heart, or someone with the strength of an ogre. A king can at will use the staff to mystically search for threats to his kingdom, a magical sight beyond sight. In battle, the staff is a blur of steel, able to break shields and crack helmets like ripe fruit. It’s biggest power is the ability to reset a battle. Once per engagement, the bearer of the staff can invoke it’s greatest power. The bearer must give a lusty battlecry and thrust the staff into the air. The crystal set in the heart of the staff will cast a brilliant fiery red light that covers most of the battlefield. Initiative is reset in the favor of the bearer’s allies, his warriors gain a temporary bonus to combat abilities, and his foes a negative modifier. Lesser foes must flee the immediate vicinity of the staff, while stronger ones actually lose their action for the turn. Finally, the injured and wounded warriors of the are blessed with a wave of curative magic. For some it is just enough to get them back on their feet and into the battle, others it helps to survive long enough to be treated by the healers.
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30 Ships By: Murometz ( Items ) Transports - Non-Magical
30 unique ships, for those times when you need one on the fly. The class or type of each ship is provided. Included are three odd ones from the pages of history.
A hulk is a ship that is afloat but incapable of going to see. A prison hulk is a floating prison. The Leviathan is the most infamous of them all. Floating like a great, bloated carcass, Leviathan, or the "Creaking Hell", as inmates call this huge ship-gaol, sits astride the Isthmus of the Vos-Metan, and no more heinous prison, for which there are no words vile enough, exists in all the world.
Xanavar’s Cinnamon Orchid
Shallop (Pleasure Barge)
Xanavaar, a well-known spice merchant from distant shores, is quite famous for his soirees and water-bourne pleasure cruises. Once his business is done in any given port-city, and his coin accumulated, the eccentric man will stage a celebration for his best customers, fellow merchants, and occasional members of nobility. As can be expected, the pleasure shallop cruises the bay or gulf lazily, while delicacies are served to the invited guests, performers and carnal slaves cater to the needs of the gathered, and wild tales and gossip of distant kingdoms is discussed
Zog’s Goblin Mutineers
Sailing from the filthy ports of the Dirdum Islands, Captain Zog and his crew of salt crusted goblins are among the most rank and vile of pirate scum to ever walk the salt road. Their ship is technically nameless since no one recognizes who she was before the goblins commandeered her. The ship itself is a small two master that is surprisingly fast and agile, and the goblins are able to handle the ship fairly well. Zog’s favorite tactic is to shadow ships at distance and then creep up on them when they put into a cove to take on supplies. Many a merchantman has lost it’s crew and cargo to the waves of green goblins who pour over the gunwhales with hooked cutlasses and torches to put to the sails.
A knarr is viking-like merchant ship, deeper-hulled and wider in the beam than the famous longships of war. Strohvang’s Knarr is one such ship. Strohvang is a merchant through and through, and refuses to raid or pillage, or steal. He believes only in fair trade, and despite having forty men who are abler warriros than sailors, he will avoid all conflict if possible. Strohvang’s blood-thirsty (viking-like) brethren who do raid the coasts, give the merchant a bad name and make his attempts at fair trade and barter difficult, as he is looked upon with suspicion by those he tries to deal with.
Rule of Law
A light hulled ship sporting three masts and impressive amount of canvas making her a very fast, if often temperamental ship to control. Most often this courier ship finds itself running between ports in Falhath to points west. When times grow more violent, the Rule of Law hoists the red flag and sails into battle, carrying Trinitine Paladins as marines.
Two years ago, the entire crew of this ship, down to a man, was rendered permanently invisible by some unknown, vile sorcery, somewhere amidst the fumerole atolls of the mysterious Summerhorn Archipelago. The reactions of the men were at first divergent. Some were horrified, some ecstatic (especially the wanted criminals of the crew), some scant few even went mad after only several months, unable to cope with the realization. Others suggested pooling monies and seeking wizards, and yet others partook in near instant skullduggery and even murder.
Eventually the surviving men of the Breathing Wind decided upon a life of cooperative piracy, perhaps predictably, after realizing the incredible advantage, their affliction had granted them. Before long, the Breathing Wind became one of the most famous ghost-ships on the Six Seas. As can be expected, the crewmen recognize each other by their practiced and enhanced senses of touch, smell, and hearing, have no trouble telling each other apart, and working in deadly unison
The Silver Reske
A two masted merchantman, the Silver Reske is broad hulled and has a deep draft. Built some years ago, the Reske cannot be mistaken for anything but a cargo hauler due to her less than impressive speed, deep draft, and poor manueverability. The crew of the Reske carries a mundane of green tea sold under the Aegis of the Elven Green Tea Company and many of the crewmembers have demonstratable elven heritage. Otherwise the Reske is a run-of-the-mill cargo ship.
The Thol Modhra
Most have never heard of the Orkash Empire and their dominion of the continent of Kelkivka, and there is only relic left from when their hands touched Aterrizar and that is the hulk of the Thol Modhra. At nearly 400 feet in length and having 12 decks, she is a massive ship made of a seemingly impervious black wood that has not degraded from contact with sun or seawater. In her day, she had four masts and made decent speed to transport her massive crew of nearly 1000 men and women across the Sea of Worms.
War-Galley, type: fire-ship
Fire ships are generally older ships that are no longer fit for combat. Stripped of unneeded gear these ships are packed to the gunwhales with flammables and explosives and sailed directly into the gullets of enemy formations or harbors. The later explosions and flames can make brutal work of the tar and pitch sealed hulls of wooden ships and their acres of flying canvas. The Hellburner is unique among fire ships in that she has sailed twice, and come back twice. Both times she returned, she was little more than a floating hulk without decks or masts, but the hull held and survived, like it had gone through hell and back.
The Biddle Fee
A small single masted ship, the Biddle Fee is an average trawling ship used by the coasters of Suisaidh. With a crew of seven, the Biddle Fee trawls the shallow waters of the brackish estuary, dredging up shellfish and relics from the past.
The captain of this foreboding vessel is Saltheart, a grim and mournful dwarf. One of the few dwarves on the high seas, he is a notorious figure along the treacherous coasts of the Pagan Straits, for Saltheart and his crew of one hundred able-bodied sailors, one hundred rowers and fifty myrmidons are water-borne mercenaries for hire, plying their trade at the behest of the highest bidders. The ship is named for Qysa, Salthearts beloved, his wife, who died of some horrid sea-borne disease, shortly after joining her husband on board.. Devastated, and refusing to give her a proper sea burial as advised by his men, Saltheart redesigned the lower of the three banks of the ship, to resemble a proper dwarven subterranean tomb, packing the bottom of the dromon with fresh earth and powdered soapstone, and to this day keeps her corpse preserved inside a stone sarcophagi below board. The massive figurehead of the ship, is likewise a likeness of bearded Qysa, weighing four hundred pounds and twinned on both sides of the bowsprit
Metalwave is an abandoned, yet haunted battleship of immense size, a rusted titan of iron, with a dozen cannons for guns. Abandoned after WWI, Metalwave became a ship possessed, haunted by the countless souls who perished on its decks Floating silently, excep for a low, iron-groan, Metalwave seeks out enemies that no longer exist, still ready for battle.
The Megarrazune, the brainchild of Felspan Megarrazune, is a the world’s only marine menagerie. The massive barge is host to a crew of nearly 50 men and animal handlers as three times that number in animals, ranging from the common, most often used as food stock, to the exotic, carried to lure customers aboard to spend their coin. The ship has several problems, mostly due to it’s large size and box-like construction. The Megarrazune does not travel well as it has low sides and in rough weather is prone to taking on excessive amounts of water. It also lacks a mode of propulsion, instead it is towed from harbor to harbor.
The name of an imaginary ship, sometimes mentioned by sailors. If a sailor be asked what ship he belongs to, and does not wish to tell, he will most probably reply, "The Spidireen Frigate, with nine decks and ne’er a bottom!"
Elvish Colonial Ship
It is said that the elves could make a tree grow anywhere and the Cormamin is a testament to their skill with living wood. This ship was grown from no fewer than forty living trees. Their trunks were used to form the masts and the root structures grew very rapidly to form the hull and decking of the ship. The cross-section of this ship is strong due to this intertwining of root structures, making the Cormamin a very sturdy ship. The broad and densely packed leaves of the trees do not make for the best sails so the Cormamin is not a fast ship by any means, but her crew is very much at home in it in a way that no human sailor will never be at home in the sails and rigging of a ship.
The Ship of the Sea
Created ages ago, this ship is comprised of nothing but magically held water. A smallish sloop, the Ship of the Sea is fast and nimble, but unsuited to war as she has no weapons and little room to carry marines. The heart of the ship resides in a magical compas made of sapphire and star metal, and if this object is taken more than 100 feet from the water, the ships explodes in a cascade of water. When it is brought back to water, the ship is reformed in the matter of 1D4 hours.
The Nidus Nefandus
This ship began life literally as a great whale, but as all living things do, the beast died, but washed ashore rather than sink to the bottom. A Necromancer-Lord giddily claimed the corpse and reanimated it and preserved it. While the beast served him well he was at a loss for what to do with it after sinking fishing boats and such became booring. He has his craftsmen, living and dead, fashion a sort of hybrid construction on top of the beast, part palace part ship’s quarters. The Nidus Nefandus was then born as the upper portion of the whale was plated and decked and became one of the earliest self-propelled ships. Most of the crew is undead to save on saving room by not carrying as much foodstuffs and are immune to the diseases fermenting inside the magically preserved corpse-hull.
The Glass Squid
Whatever sorceries were involved in the making of this ship, are now lost to time. The Glass Squid appears as exactly that, a forty-foot ship designed for underwater travel, constructed of some kind of indestructible glass, and shaped by some experet, alien hand into the form of a squid. This bizarre "vessel", is currenty on exhibit in Nimz’ Kunskamer Museuem of Unidentified Objects.
There are few captains quite like Cap’n Arrikan, being a man of song rather than a man of action. Arrikan is certainly no stranger to the fine points of swordsmanship, but he is in his heart, a bard. Few ships can sing sea chanties as well as the crew of the Lanterloo and the number of aspiring bards that join the crew for a short time is large. The ship carries on a good trade, and aside from her boisterously singing crew and ever-smiling captain, is much like any other cargo hauler.
The Ten-Jug Jolly
The Ten-Jug Jolly has the unsettling reputation of changing more owners over more hands of cards than any possible ship in existance. Originally belonging to a wine merchant and part time smuggler, the Ten-Jug has been hauling wine for more than two generations. She has traded hands no fewer than 26 times, once by murder, sold thrice, and lost in games of chance 23 times. Those who know of the ship consider ‘betting the Jolly’ to be a fools chance.
This ship is feared as her captain hails from the stone gazing gorgons and is half woman, half snake. The Captain, a lone and mysterious figure keeps many secrets and her face covered with a veil of gold coins. The Gorgon’s Gaze has done work as plebian as hauling loads of turnips and cotton, to serving as a privateer during times of war as well as turning pirate as the mood strikes the captain.
The fastest ship out there, state-of-the-art, a constantly tweaked and upgraded vessel, the Seven Flies belongs to the infamous bucaneers brothers, and ever-rare co-captains, Artog and Beleg Seven-Flies. Deeds of daring are synonymous with their names. Their success in running blockades stemming from the fact that the Seven-Flies brother’s grandfather, is none other than Ephril Gandess, guildmaster of the Shipbuilders Union.
Gosroff was a well-known beggar of Jantir’s streets, and a collector of obsessive proportions. Knick-knacks, oddities and junk Gosroff collected until there ws nomore room in his manor to stor it all. Gosroff took to the sea, building a himself a junk made of jumk, using hundreds of different materials, and attaching every chocka he possessed somehow to the ship. From afar, Gosroff’s Junk appears like a floating junkyard.
The Sea-Foam Rider
The Sea-Foam Rider is a longship in the Viking fashion with a single mast and oarlocks and is capable of both river and oceanic travel. Unlike viking ships, there is no dragon motif, but rather a swan’s head graces the front of the vessel and the shields hung over the sides are decorated with elven sigils and crests. But this is no ship or harpists and flute players. The crew of the Sea-Foam Rider are counted as the fairest of raiders and among the most fierce. As their white hulled ships beach and spill their cargoes of elven berzerkers and warriors and cut-ear archers, the coastal folk cower in terror. While rapine is less common, looting, pillaging and burning of villages is certainly not reduced.
In true gnomish fashion, the Volcano is a beast of spinning gears, hissing boilers, and cunningly designed cam-shafts and expansion drives. Lacking sails but sporting a thick armor hull studded with iron spikes, the Volcano seems like a fiery island out of Hell’s black seas. The Gnomish marines fight with folding arbalests, steam powered harpoon launchers, and the Volcano can spew a gout of semi-molten slag and debris from the lining of it’s furnace onto ships that venture to close. Thankfully the Volcano has poor manueverability and while is capable of frightening speed, has poor acceleration and almost no braking ability.
The Golden Goose
A monstrous, multi-decked, pompadour of a ship, the Golden Goose is that rarest of all sea-borne finds. A treasure-ship ladden with gold, heaving from the weight of the coin-chests stuffed into its hull. Originally, the Golden Goose and its cargo, was a dowry from one extravagant Pasha to another, in return for the latter’s daughter. The ship was to be sailed with pomp and circumstance as gift, but was lost at sea, and never found again. What will the PCs do exactly, with this once-in-a-lifetime discovery?
The ship of the infamous corsair, the self-styled, Pasha Das-Memsek Rakaswarry "The Boot", boards fifty rowers and fifty more men-at-arms, with a deck protected by wooden rails from arrows and stones. A primitive, poorly manueverable construction, the Pimboogledry, which means "Wife-Stealer" in the Knaga tongue, and its oiled-mustached crew of corsairs, nevertheless plies the waters of the vast Zokr River successfully, due to the highly developed tactical mind and charisma of the five hundred pound, ship-bound, Pasha.
The Clam (the real deal)
Appearing as much like a clam as a turtle, this was the world’s first submarine used for battle. Invented in 1775, it was used to attach explosive charges to ships stationed in harbors. It was 8 feet long, 6 feet tall, and 3 feet wide. It was constructed of twin wooden shells, covered in tar and reinforced with steel bands. None other than Benjamin Franklin himself, suggested bioluminescence, in providing this fascinating contraption some illumination.
Panokseon (the real deal)
These impressive and intimidating warships of pinewood were used by the Korean dynasty in the 16th century, and were the precursors of the later, more well-known, turtle ships, which were simply Panokseons with extra hulls placed as roofs atop their upper decks. Many victories were scored against Japanese forces and pirates with these multi-decked, observation-towered, flat-keeled, behemoths, which were powered by both sail and oar.
Demologos (the real deal)
Demologos was the first ever warship to be propelled by a steam engine. A wooden floating battery, designed uniquely, and built to defend New York Harbor in the War of 1812, the Demologos never saw action due to the abrupt end of the war. No other ship like it, was ever built again. A giant catamaran, her paddlewheel sandwiched between twin hulls. Each hull was an unprecedented five feet in thickness, to protect the ship against gunfire. Sixteen 32 lb guns were mounted on board , and a steam engine capable of 5.5 knots completed the behemoth. (Steampunk anyone?)
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30 Starship Air & Maintenance Duct Problems By: Silveressa ( Articles ) Resource - Gaming - In General
Cramped crawl spaces, virtually all starships have them, and usually most players ignore them. Unless a nasty alien gets loose inside the ship, even many Gms don't give them a second thought..
Here are 30 other issues that could require some crawl space access and provide an interesting sub plot.
1. Leaky Hydraulic line
This nuisance that can cause pressure drops over time and interfere with the handing of the ship or the opening/closing of cargo doors/ramps. (The fluid could also short out some electronic equipment, or drip from an overhead crawl space onto the dinner table, someone's bunk, etc...)
2. Busted Circulation fan
Normally such fans are needed to keep the air fresh and nice smelling in areas of the ship. Until it's fixed one can expect certain stuffiness to the atmosphere in the closest compartments to the broken fan, as well as a lingering odor of sweat and engine grease.
3. Animal Loose in the ducts
On their last planetary visit the crew picked up an unwanted passenger in the form of some furry creature, (better hope it's not a alien variation on the skunk) that's making a home for itself in the ducts. (Or perhaps the escaped pet of a passenger or former owner of the ship)
Until it's removed the constant skittering of the animal will likely prove distracting to those trying to sleep or concentrate, and it may chew into insulation and/or wiring to make a nest for itself, (Could be it's pregnant as well?) causing all sorts of nasty side effects. If not dealt with in a timely fashion it may also die and give the surrounding compartments the lingering (possibly overpowering) odor of a decaying body.
4. Something's Gumming up the Plumbing
A clogged coolant pipe, broken coolant pump, or malfunctioning heating coil is causing the sudden overheating or freezing of ship components. Until it's fixed the adjacent compartment is going to be several (or more) degrees hotter/colder then desired and could also lead to the problem below.
5. A Soggy Situation
Perhaps caused by the previous problem, weapon/asteroid impact, or a high g maneuver/rough landing, an old weld on a water or sewage pipe has cracked loose; causing one of the pipes to leak or gush forth its contents rapidly. (Better hope the auto shut off valve is functioning properly!)
In the short term this could prove a minor nuisance. From, water damage to ceiling tiles, shorting out lighting fixtures, or even flooding a crew compartment entirely. If it's sewage line, the unbearable stench throughout a portion of the ship could make for plenty of problems on its own.)
The long term effects can range from an outbreak of legionnaires disease, fungus eating away at insulation, the rusting of other ship components, to perhaps the even more deadly problem of the majority of the ships drinking water having just become contaminated/unrecoverable.
If the ship is more then a couple days from a convenient place to replenish their water supply things could quickly turn ugly, especially if one or more of the crew or passengers become convinced the remaining water rations will go farther if there's less mouths to drink it up.
6. You Dropped it Where?
Perhaps it's a passengers wedding ring, or the key to the armory, but it's fallen through the grating/into a vent and needs to be recovered asap. (If it happens during a turbulent landing then the item could have bounced and slid a fair ways from its original drop point.)
If combined with the animal from complication #3, (which just happens to like shiny objects) finding the item again may well take some time and effort. (Better pray those pirates don't breach the airlock before the armory key is recovered eh?)
7. Treasure hunt!
Perfect for a newly acquired ship or one with a long history; either way the crew hears a rumor the former owner/s hid a small "rainy day" safe of valuables in the ducts for use in an emergency. (Whether or not the rumor holds true or the safe contains many valuables at all, the crew is likely to poke into every crawl space crevice in search of it.)
8. Micro Hull Breach
While barely large enough to be noticeable, this small hull breach is causing a slow depressurization of the air duct and adjoining compartments. If not patched, the ships store of breathable atmosphere will eventually run out after several weeks or months.
After a battle or meteor storm dozens of these hull breeches may be prevalent in duct work running near the ships hull. (This can also be a good cause for sections of a derelict being without atmosphere despite minimal surface damage.)
9. Rattle & Clank
A nuisance more then immediate hazard, this odd rattle can be heard from various corridors and compartments echoing faintly from within the air ducts.
Noisy enough to make sleep in a quiet room difficult, and a constant distraction for those on watch, this random sound will quickly get on the crews nerves until someone delves into the ducts and locates the problem. (Likely nothing more then a loose pipe fixture or fan bolt)
10. Where There's Smoke…
A thin trail of foul smelling, smoke is trickling from the air or maintenance ducts. The source of the offending fumes could be caused by smoldering insulation, a seized fan, someone sneaking a stogie in the supply room, or the cook burning dinner in the galley. (again!) Regardless, a quick check in the ventilation system may be in order to ensure the smoke isn’t the first sign of a serious mechanical failure.
11. Lights Out
Some type of power surge keeps randomly blowing out the lights in the latrine, and according to the diagnostic it's a faulty power junction. Better hurry up, crawl around in the ducts and do a quick fix before the captain has to wipe up in the dark for a second time. On the bright side this job isn't all bad, after all those ducts *do* run over the top of the showers…
12. A Taste to Remember
Yet again those pesky food dispensers are only producing liver flavored drinks for any beverage other then water. One of the micro processors is in need of replacement before breakfast, or the morning tea & coffee will prove devastating to morale.
13. Gravitational Turbulence
Gravity on the bridge is perhaps unusually heavy, missing entirely, or even fluctuating dangerously. Tracking down and repairing this problem will probably get top priority, although fixing the issue in zero gravity could prove a bit tricky.
Some enterprising crew member or passenger, (perhaps a long time ago) set up a mini alcohol still in one of the little used maintenance crawl ways. An instant source of profit and illicit fun for those who make the discovery, constantly accessing the crawl way is sure to draw suspicion among the more watchful crew members, and the still itself an obvious explosive danger to the ship.
15. A Bug Hunt
Whether caused by a moldy sandwich dropped down an air shaft, a grain spillage in the cargo hold that dumped several pounds of grain through a floor grate, or the garbage disposal tube rupturing; a small infestation of annoying buzzing insects have taken up residence in the air vents.
Besides working their way into most compartments of the ship and being a nuisance to the entire crew, these insects have also begun to clog filters, and perhaps harvest insulation for nesting material.
16. Filter Maintenance
While admittedly a low priority on most vessels, the filters do need to be changed, especially those on fans and within air vents surrounding the kitchen.
Usually boring make work assigned to those who need to be kept busy, more then one sneaky crew member has been known to hide contraband behind a filter.
17. Love Nest
In a semi spacious intersection of the air vents a couple of the more amorous crew members (past or present) have deposited a ragged sleeping bag and a couple of pillows. This secret make out spot is sure to be of interest to any who discover it, and perfect blackmail material if they can find the habitual users.
Depending on it's proximity to regularly inhabited compartments however, the noise and/or unusual odors carried on the breeze during use may lead towards a perceptive crew member noticing something is amiss.
18. Hook Me Up
One of the recently refurbished crew quarters is in need of some entertainment upgrades. Time to run a few cables and patch them into the ships entertainment feed. (While they're running cable it'd be pretty easy to place a few micro cameras in the grates overlooking other crew quarters, and the showers if they had a mind to)
19. You Can’t Stop The Signal
What ship wouldn’t benefit from a communication system upgrade? Unfortunately a higher end com array often requires a circuit and cable upgrade to go with it. However opportunity to splice in a few extra wires for a private communication channel and to eves drop on any message sent or received by the ship, may prove too tempting for most.
20. Crowd Control
Perhaps the best non lethal way of suppressing mutiny and passenger riots is with a discreet knock out gas dispersal method. Installing these mini canisters in key air vents along with the remote control system in a way that won’t be seen during normal maintenance is a delicate, yet important task best left to the most trusted of crew members.
21. Writing On The Wall
Part of what looks like the coordinates to an unknown location is found carved on the inside of an air grate. If checked, other grates holding more of this puzzle can be found around the ship and further inside the air ducts. Whether the coordinates are a red herring, or lead to lost treasure will never be known unless all of the numbers can be found.
22. The Haunting of Maintenance Duct #13
A run down and oddly colder then usual maintenance duct, #13 is little used, running under the primary waste recyclers. Spacer legend tells that every room and corridor numbered thirteen harbors the lost spirits of the men and women who have died on the unfortunate vessel during its journeys.
This duct however seems to be the proof behind the tale, with strange apparitions and haunting noises reported by all who are unfortunate enough to be tasked with working there.
Whether caused by hallucinations from toxic fumes leaking from the waste recyclers, a real life haunting, or some pranksters holo emitter this duct is loathed by everyone who's been forced to endure it's cramped confines for more then a few minutes.
23. Duct, Duct Goose?
A product of bored maintenance crews more then anything else, this game is a variation of the kids game by a similar name. Rather then having the "goose" chase the person who is "it" around a circle of their piers, this versions involves a mad dash by the "goose" through the ducts to find and tag whoever is "it" before they reach a designated safe zone. (Other variants include one or both players having to drink a specified amount of hard liquors before beginning.)
While disruptive, somewhat dangerous, and likely to cause minor collateral damage to hardware within the ducts and vents, the game does help mechanics quickly learn the interior layout of a ship in record time.
24. Silence Please
Noise, either from the engine room, a cargo hold of terrified cattle, or the newlyweds down the hall, has made soundproofing of one or more areas a necessity.
Refurbishing vent walls with sound absorption paneling can prove a time consuming task, especially if easy access to critical components needs to still be possible.
Installing a new ladder in one of the vertical shafts sounds like an easy, if boring task to occupy an afternoon. Of course the array of pipes and wires that lurk right behind the rungs can make securing them a tricky situation where a single mistake could cause a multitude of other problems.
26. Give Me What I Want or Else!
One of the passengers has suffered some kind of mental breakdown, perhaps from drug withdrawal, or bearing witness to an atrocity onboard the ship. Now they have barricaded themselves within a section of the maintenance crawl ways and are holding a vital piece of the ship hostage.
Unless the crew can successfully negotiate with this deranged lunatic and meet their bizarre demands or disabled them entirely, something will be going terribly wrong very soon. From the toilets all back flushing into to the galley, to the primary hydraulic lines being severed, the resulting situation will be both costly and damaging.
27. Tight Fit
One of the more "robust" (as in morbidly obese) passengers attempted to hide their contraband from the next port inspection, within the air ducts. Unfortunately, due to their girth they’ve become rather firmly lodged within the vent itself.
While amusing at first, this situation has the potential to become smelly and disruptive in a hurry. Especially if the crew is slow to discover their heavy weight passenger is missing. (which will probably be when the crew notices they missed the dinner bell.)
One or more of the underage passengers have managed to gain access to the ships crawl ways and now have come up missing. Finding and returning them safely before their rich and influential parents discover they’re missing is all but critical to preserve the ship and crews reputation.
Perhaps the humidity control is malfunctioning, or the newly installed greenhouse isn't properly calibrated; whatever the reason condensation build up is becoming a problem within the ducts.
Likely to go unnoticed for some time, this will make the next maintenance job much harder due to the slippery surfaces and continual dripping. In some of the deeper parts of the system an actual fog or mist may be present, making visibility (and thus work) far more difficult.
30. Worn Out Insulation
Possibly from all the crawling about dealing with the previously listed problems, or just old age, some of the insulation lining a few of the ducts closest to the outer hull is wearing thin, requiring it to be cut apart, hauled out and replaced.
Until it's fixed a few compartments are going be hotter/colder then normal and some of the ships electronics/mechanics may ice up or overheat and fail.
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30 Swords By: Scrasamax ( Items ) Melee Weapons - Magical
30 groups of magical swords
1. Swords of the Valuhur
Reknowned for their valour and horsemanship, the Valuhur were also competent enchanters and workers of iron and steel. The reknowned swords of the Valuhur were commonly used by the Marks, the Valuhur equivalent to the gentry and lesser nobility. The swords themselves were one-handed swords with minimal development of the quillions, with horse motifs being common. A person possessing a Valuhur sword can fight from horseback with the weapon without penalty, while an accomplished rider and warrior will find the weapon to be exceptional.
2. Teven’s Blackhaft Swords
The blademaster Teven made many swords, but the finest the half-elf made were given not to kings and knights, but to a company of forestals and rangers who battled against oppressive nobles and incursions into the forested lands. Each Blackhaft sword is a one-handed sword with a modest blade, but an ornate crossguard and matching tooled leather scabbard. The swords were so named for the wooden handles made of uncommon Black Yew.
3. Avais Feminine Sword
Made in the matriarchial city of Avais, this sword is a good deal lighter than a common longsword, has no crossguard and both the blade and haft of the weapons are both curved and taper to points. In the hands of a woman, these swords are potent weapons that almost dance of their own accord. In the hands of a man, the weapons seem frail and incapable of causing harm.
4. The Blessed Blades of Laenael
Many heroes and would-be-kings traveled to the idyllic hinterlands to find the hidden lake of Laenael, a powerful and eldritch water-goddess. Those who found her grotto and survived her challenges (pure of heart, strong of arm, and resolute in courage) would recieve her blessings on their swords. Swords thus blessed were mighty weapons, being able to penetrate armor with ease, flowing between links in chain, or plates in mail. A blessed blade of Laenael can take almost any shape or size as not just humans and knights sought out the goddess’s blessing.
(Reduce effective value of armor by 50%)
5. Noble Longsword
Nobles of old were expected to lead by force and example, and few weapons worked more in this vein than the Noble Longsword. As a longsword of high quality it is already an excellent weapon, but the real power of the blade is it’s ability to give it’s wielder a greater aura of leadership and the ability to better inspire his own troops and followers. These swords were also intended to be tools, and not decorations, so few have ornamentation and most have knicked and scarred blades.
(Minor to moderate increase to noble or leader’s charisma for purposes of leadership or morale checks)
6. Calaratar’s Greatswords
The bladesmith and blademaster Calaratar believed that with a large enough sword, no shield or armor could provide enough protection. To this end, he created increasingly larger swords, the best being the Greatswords he forged. These swords measure some 48 to 60 inches in length and require greater than average strength to bear into battle. Armed with such a greatsword a warrior can call upon the power of the weapon to perform powerful cleaving attacks, such as splitting a galloping horse in half, shattering a wooden shield, or splitting an orc like a piece of firewood.
7. Glolphmulf’s Brass Swords
The gnomish charlatan wasnt the only tinker and bladesmith to make this type of magical sword, just one of the most successful. A Brass Sword is very obviously a Magic Weapon and as such commands a very hefty price. Unfortunately the Brass Sword’s enchantment serves it poorly in battle as it’s only ability is producing light equivalent to a good torch. Brass swords remain a common magic weapon, and as it is a magic weapon, the swords as a whole are able to inflict damage on foes normally immune to non-magical weapons, such as ghosts.
8. Thrannling Wicked Swords
The Thrannlings were an anomaly that no scholar has yet been able to explain as halflings are known for their jovial nature, love of food and good living. The Thrannlings were instead halflings known for their seething animosity, cutthroat tactics, and their Wicked Swords. A wicked sword is functionally a Short Sword (longsword in a halfling’s hands) with a bone handle and an animal’s fang or claw set as the pommel. A Wicked Sword causes very jagged and blood-gushing wounds and the pommel-fang can also be used as a piercing weapon.
9. Undran’s War-Cleavers
Undran spent many years working with less than optimal materials and had to compensate making blades thicker and heavier so that they were sturdy enough to survive combat. Some years later, he was introduced to steel and he combined the two indeals creating war-cleavers. These swords tend to be short, just a bit larger than short-swords, but inflict damage just like larger longswords. These sorts of blades consistantly deal heavy amounts of damage and suffer for constantly being used and abused in combat.
(A War-cleaver can make two damage checks, and pick the better of the two checks for damage inflicted by the weapon.)
10. Medelmos’ Silvered Swords
Medelmos was not a bladesmith, but he was a great swordmaster who inspired an entire school of swordplay and is considered a great influence on the art of the sword. The half-elf spent many years creating the perfect sword, a thing of symmetry and balance and great beauty. Armed with this knowledge he commissioned bladesmiths to make him swords until he found the perfect one. These blades were of the best craftsmanship, and were an exotic alloy of silver, iron, and a handful of other metals and ingredients most secret. Bearing one of these swords generally marks a character as a master of the blade.
(Minor to moderate increase to wielder’s dexterity and initiative checks, as well as being intimidating)
11. Demon Swords of Emightorm
Crafted by the hands of Emightorm, the bastard offspring of a metal loving demon and a female cultist, a demon sword is a nasty weapon. These swords were created to maim and kill with savage ease, human and demon flesh equally. These tainted blades are favored by warlords and demon hunters for their ability to inflict staggering damage, though most end up either slain by their foes, or just as evil as the foes they sought to conquer. Once a Demon Sword is taken up, it remains with a warrior until his death.
(Inflicts 50% greater damage, but is cursed, the sword cannot be removed from the bearer by less than magical means. If it is removed without magic, the bearer will hunt down the sword, knowing where it is and needing it.)
12. Arms of Night’s Reach
These swords are all ancient made and radiate an almost palpable malevolence, for they were forged and hammered by the cold hands of the undead. These longswords are of excellent make and are almost always adorned with some sort of death motif, black leather wrappings, and silver adornments. Just as a Brass sword creates light, an Arm of Night’s Reach devours it. In the presence of such a drawn blade, candles are snuffed, torches gutter, and magical light is made exhausted and wan. While bieng plunged into darkness is problematic for many races, the undead often have no problem with even absolute darkness.
13. Mosirod’s Rod-Swords
A Rod-Sword is a short sword with exceptional detailing and ornamentation, it is a ceremonial weapon, not intended for the rigours of combat. With mirror sheens, jewel inlays, and other artistic embellishments, it was rather simple to work runes and glyphs of power into the ornamentation. The Rod-Sword is generally enchanted with a single moderate strength spell or several minor ones, such as a Ducal sword that has the power to Command, or a more civilized gentleman’s sword might Cause Fear to ward off hoodlums and Detect Magic to warn of impending sorceries. The name comes from the fact that the sword emulates many basic functions of Magical Rods, as well as the name of one of the most prolific sword and rod makers, Mosirod.
14. Bishop Veskim Sword
Many believe that the sword does not belong in the hands of the clergy, but one Bishop Veskim felt very much differently. He carried a sword through his many years of service and the sword he commissioned for himself became a model for future sword-toting clerics. A Bishop Veskim sword, also known as a Veskim, or just a Bishop’s Sword can be used as a Holy Symbol when presented against a foe, repelling undead and turning ghosts. The sword can also be invoked to provide situational bonuses to banishing extraplanar entities such as ghosts, demons, and such.
15. Raredan Dragon Templar Sword
In the vein of the Brass Sword, the Dragon Templar sword is a more malicious sword with minor enchantment. The crossguard is always ornate, bedecked with dragon motifs, and usually a large red semi-precious jewel in the pommel. When drawn, the sword creates ghost sounds that if used properly can add a situational bonus to intimidation attempts. The majority of these swords are crafted in the city of Rareda by less than honorable craftsmen who like selling the expensive swords to gullible Adventurers-upon-Return.
16. Omsay Scimitar
Omsay scimitars are exceptional weapons that originate from craftsmen deep in the Omsay desert, who work forges tucked away into rock piles, drawing on the heat of sun and earth to forge their iron. The dangers of the Omsay desert arent nomadic raiders and barbarians, but hostile demons of the air and angry elementals of sand, stone, and hulking caricatures of bone. Against these supernatural foes, the scimitar deals full damage, against mundane foes, it only offers minimal improvement over a normal scimitar.
(When used against materialized spirits such elementals or demons, the sword inflicts maximum damage and ignores resistance to anything except magic. Against mundane foes, sword is basically a +1 model.)
17. Wolvanger’s Hand-and-a-Half Swords
Also known as bastard swords, these swords are fairly plain in terms of enchantment, being more accurate and inflicting more damage than common swords. What sets them apart is that they were crafted by the bladesmith Wolvanger after his exile from the northern Kingdoms. He crafted these swords and entrusted them to outlaws, criminals, and rebels who faced off against the king who exiled him. Eventually, carrying a sword with a wolf-motif, Wolvanger’s signature, became a crime in the kingdom and though he did not live to see it, the King himself would eventually be assassinated with one of his swords.
18. The Nameless Swords
It is not known where these blades, short swords with minimal crossgaurds, came from. Invariably they are found embedded point down in the earth, be it soil or stone. It seems that fate and destiny play a role in the Nameless Swords as they are always found by peasant heroes, nameless folk who rise up to protect their homes and their families. These folk tend to be devoted to more martial gods, so many suspect that these swords are semi-divine in nature. Further credence is lended by the fact that once the foe is defeated, Nameless swords tend to become brittle and shatter.
19. Samumechian Demonslayer
Two-handed swords of great size resembling sword-sized leaf spear blades, the Demonslayer swords were created to be intimidating by virtue of their size and non-traditional appearance. These swords were manufacted for the elite guards and warrior-clergy of the Samumech city-state, in which demon-summoning was disturbingly common. As few demonic entities tend to use swords or melee weapons, Demonslayers lack a crossguard or pommel, and the weapon is ill suited to sword on sword combat. The enchantment of the blade reduces the weight to less than half what it normally would be. The blade, offering no combat bonuses, is considered magical for harming creature that can only be harmed by magic or magic weapons.
20. Cuin and Schauris Swords
The Cuin and Schauris swords always come as a matched set, as their very name means Left and Right. Possessing a matched set of swords grants the wielder the ability to use both swords as if they were ambidextrous. The swords themselves are a curious side, longer and thinner than short swords, but not as long or wide as traditional long swords. If a set is seperated, neither sword’d enchantment will function correctly, and the sword is cumbersome to use as the enchantment, stretched thin, tries to coordinate with the other lost sword. If one is destroyed, the other becomes non-magical.
21. Aete-Cruciform Sword
The Aete-Cruciform sword is superficially a normal looking longsword of good quality with a gold-plated crossguard, inlaid wood handle, and bright silver finish. These swords were made for the merchant princes of the Aete Empire and traveled the world with explorers and merchantmen. The sword has a moderate level of combat enhancement, but the main enchantment is that the blade is immune to corrosion, acid, rust or almost any other enviromental agent. Thus the blades retain their edge and mirror sheen no matter how poorly they are treated, short of being reforged or shattered.
22. Heraldic Sword
The Heraldic Sword is fairly commonly among the landed gentry, baronets, and knights who ride in the field rather than administrate holdings. It is a standard cruciform sword, but is single edged for greater durability and has a stout point for piercing attacks. A heraldic sword is named for the fact that the crossguard has a decorative badge that is a representation of the wielder’s personal heraldic device. These swords have variable level of combative enchantment and range from masterwork if mundane weapons to truly magnificent magical blades. Being marked with a device, it is hard to fence a stolen Heraldic sword, and the majority are made with the intention of being passed from father to son as family heirlooms.
23. Immortal Steel of Sioughwar
Large and baroque swords complete with toothed blades and heavy decorative crossguards, the Immortal Steel swords were crafted with first an eye to form, and an afterthought to function. The craftsman Sioughwar was not a swordmaker and as such his swords ended up being too heavy to be used, and were made of softer and easier to work sweet iron rather that steel. After making several he sought out an enchanter to grant the blades both enhanced durability and to become lighter in the hand.
24. Totian Chromatic Swords
The enchantress Totia longed to serve her king, and he found her a task, providing magical enchantments for the swords of his able-bodied vassals. After this, she spent time with each of the vassals to have their weapons enchanced. Those she favored, she turned the steel of their swords a brilliant white-blue and the weapons had strong combative enhancements. Those who she had no quarrel with but did not impress her gained blades of shimmering green with minor to moderate enhancement. Those who made the mistake of offending her gained blades the color of sunlight shining through crystallized blood. Those unfortunate vassals would go on to discover that their fearsome looking ‘blood swords’ were in fact hindered magically, inflicting less damage than a regular sword.
25. Lorh’s Ensouled Swords
Few expect necromancers to create magical swords, so when the lieutenants of Lorh of the Shattered Crypt appeared with masterwork magical swords it was a cause of great consternation. Each of these longswords is made of quality iron with a bronze wire wrapped handle. Held within the sword is the soul of a once living warrior, bonded with the weapon as some of the warriors bones were burned to forge the blade. These necromantic war swords are quenched and the magic sealed with the still hot blade is thrust through the still beating heart of the warrior who so willingly (or not so willingly) spared an arm and a leg to create it.
26. Cackzkeli Lunatic Sword
A traditional Cackzkeli lunatic sword is a hand-and-a-half or full two-handed sword. The thing that sets the Lunatic sword apart from other greatswords is that the crossguard is much larger and rather than a simple or decorative bar, a lunatic sword has a pair of dagger sized single edged blades. Frequently called upon for close combat fighting, the Cackzkeli developed the Lunatic sword for using a large and heavy blade but also having the ability to attack to the sides in confined quarters. Lunatic swords generally grant their wielder a defensive bonus as simply getting too close can cause an enemy to bleed, profusely.
27. Estaugha’s Veiled Sword
The daughter of a weaponsmith, Estaugha, joined a local cult venerating blaphemous gods and heresies. She brought with her the skill of the forge and created for the cult a large number of short swords with minimal crossguards. These swords were then blessed by the priests of the cult and were granted magical powers, mostly of the combative kind. The value of the Veiled sword was that a cultist, wearing their traditional robes, could strap on the sword and carry it concealed. These swords were quickly outlawed by the local authorities and their manufacture and usage condemned by the standing Faith.
28. Grim Swords of Kuoughyer
A typical Grim sword is the same size as a normal hand-and-a-half sword, but is a bit lighter. Grim swords have little more than a vestigial crossguard, making it lighter, but more dangerous to use in a sword on sword battle. The people of the walled city of Kuoughyer used these swords, granted minor to moderate combat enhancements, to fight a nomadic people who fought with only spears and bows. Against a lightly armored man on horseback, the Grim Swords gained their name as bringers of grim tidings.
29. Huntsman’s Sword
These swords are typical longswords that have a shaped piece of antler for a handle rather than wood or steel. Most frequently found among rangers and druids, most are scavenged, the blades of swords being broken free of the handle and pommel, and then being replaced with a piece of antler instead. In the hands of a defender of the forest or a person at one with nature, the sword functions as if it has a minor to moderate combative enchantment. In other hands, the handle seems loose and uncomfortable.
30. Lucre-Steel Sword
This single-edged cruciform sword is a mainstay among mercenary captains and elite soldiers of fortune. Each is engraved and embellished, and otherwise ornamented, but the most obvious decoration is that the crossguard has a large gold piece attached to it. Under the leather wrapped handle, smaller denominations of coins are bonded to the metal. This is done to remind that the warrior in question fights not for kin or country, but for gold and nothing else. While the sword does have a minor to moderate combative enchantment, it’s real magic is in that it deadens the swordbearer’s empathy. Thus he doesnt feel pity for his enemies, nor for people who’s land he occupies by force, for coin.
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30 Things That Grow in a Dwarven Beard By: Dossta ( Systems ) Agriculture/ Husbandry - General
Dwarven beards are rich habitats for the enterprising critter.
While it's true that dwarves eat more seldomly than most races, they are hardly immune to the sudden snack attack. When mining deep underground, however, food is usually several hours away at best. Ever pragmatic, dwarven horticulturists developed several species of fauna/flora that will always be near at hand -- in the dwarf's own beard!
1. Mushrooms: Several types of edible fungi have been adapted to thrive within a dwarven beard. The most important qualification (besides taste), is discretion; beard mushrooms must blend in with the beard to avoid causing embarrassment. Most beard mushrooms are therefore long and stringy, with tiny caps. They come in a variety of natural hair colors, and have a mild and somewhat fruity taste to them.
2. Lichen: Dwarves have developed quite a taste for lichen over the millennia; it features in much of their most famous cuisine. Unlike beard mushrooms, beard lichen comes in a riot of colors -- from acid greens and yellows, to vivid pinks and reds -- and is meant to stand out, rather than blend in. Often dwarves will cultivate two or three kinds at once. Yellow/green lichens are pretty sour, while oranges have a smokey/earthy taste. Reds are very spicy, so beware!
3. Sweet Ants: Any dwarf would be proud to boast a colony of industrious sweet ants. They keep the beard clean of crumbs and other foodstuffs, clean up after themselves and are a fantastic snack. Their lower abdomens are swollen with a clear, sweet liquid that goes perfectly with a shot from the dwarf's trusty flask. Sweet ants do make combing the beards a little more time consuming, however, as the dwarf must be careful not to destroy the delicate colony that the ants have woven from sticky threads (usually towards the back of the beard).
Dwarven beards are (unfortunately) ideal places for parasites to live, being warm, dark, and with plenty of moisture and food at hand (dwarves are not the cleanest eaters, after all).
4. Fleas: The most common type of beard parasite, fleas are an almost daily nuisance for the dwarven underclass (and a big embarrassment for the rich on occasion). There's nothing really special about them. Beardfleas are usually a little hardier and more difficult to exterminate than regular dog or cat fleas, but that's about it (unless the dwarf is actually infected with undead beard fleas). Dwarves hate them with a passion, and some have active flea-phobias.
5. Orbweavers: Not all beard spiders are beneficial. Orbweavers are a particularly nasty example, due to their proclivity and the stickiness of their webbing. While generally harmless, an orbweaver infestation will spread quickly if unchecked, coating the entire beard with sticky white webbing that is near impossible to comb out. They will die out if deprived of food (usually crumbs or other beard-dwelling insects), but the dwarf will have to be fastidiously clean for months if he wants to be sure they don't come back.
6. Bittersnipes: Ahhh, ticks. A dwarf might mistake one of these slow-growing pests for a mole or wart at first, but eventually their size becomes unmanageable and they must be removed. Bittersnipes are rock-hard, difficult to remove, and disease carriers to boot. Their name derives from the dwarven tendency to experiment with many different cuisines -- once. After the first taste of bittersnipe, the dwarf is likely to be put off beard snacks for a long while.
7. Chin Crud: A particularly unsightly malady, chin crud is the common name for dwarven beard mites. A dwarf with chin crud will often believe that they have an infestation of beard fleas (judging from the insatiable itching), and will treat it thusly. Unfortunately, the mites are normally unaffected by most common flea treatments. If left unchecked, chin crud will eventually cause tufts or even whole swathes of beard to just fall out.
8. Chin Chiggers: Otherwise known as dwarven beard lice, chin chiggers are particularly prevalent in young dwarves' beards. Once a chin chigger infestation has begun, the whole house will have to be doused with scented waters in order to contain the outbreak. There are only two sure ways of getting the blighters out of your beard -- domesticated beardspiders or shaving. Unsurprisingly, most dwarves opt for the spiders.
9. Gremlins: Beard-dwelling gremlins are thankfully rare, but more than trouble enough. They're tiny things, vaguely humanoid and no more than a quarter of an inch high, with shaggy fur and small glittering eyes. Beard gremlins are malicious pranksters. They love to tie beards in knots, remove or destroy any beard decorations, cause their host's beard to dip frequently into his food, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Rumor has it that the gremlins are a curse of a fiend who the dwarves defeated centuries ago, and the treatment for them seems to bear out that claim. A minor exorcism will clear all but the worst infestations.
While some dwarves prefer purely mechanical or chemical means of caring for their beards, others prefer a more "natural" approach. The most common solution to pests is the widely-available beardspiders, but they are by no means the only creature bred to this purpose.
10. Beardlizards: most commonly available in red, white and gold, beardlizards are skittish, nocturnal reptiles that are 2 to 4 inches long. They require very little food, and will "hibernate" when deprived for too long. One beard lizards is usually enough to keep a dwarf's beard free of beardspiders (whether harmful or beneficial) and bittersnipes, but chin crud, fleas and chin chiggers generally escape their notice. Dwarves prize their beardlizards, and will often train them to show themselves at mealtimes by clinking their silverware together in exchange for a small morsel. Otherwise, the lizards are rarely seen, and are the devil's own nuisance to catch once released into a beard.
11. Sprites: When all normal remedies have failed, a dwarf will sometimes resort to making a deal with a clan of sprites to help rid him of a particularly bad or tenacious infestation. Sprites are known for their cleaning prowess, and will temporarily set up shop in a dwarf's beard if invited, though they must be paid in bread, mead and honey for the duration of their stay. They'll normally be able to clean up an infestation within a week, and will even comb, wash and lightly scent a dwarf's beard before they're through. There's just one catch: if they like your beard enough, they may just decide to stay and raise a whole family . . .
12. Sticky Toads: Sticky toads are generally less efficient than beardlizards, but some dwarves prefer their solid, calm demeanors over the lizards' flighty ones. They will cling to the hair with their sticky feet and methodically wipe each hair clean of pests with their long, agile tongues. They are actually blind, but their inability to see has sharpened their tactile senses. Like a spider, they are easily able to locate a source of vibration along any of the strands of hair currently stuck to their bodies.
13. Beardbots: They brush! They trim! They disinfect! Beardbots are the invention of a particularly gifted dwarven toymaker who had an intense chin chigger phobia. Normally about 1 inch long and powered by clockwork, the beardbots come equipped with tiny scissors, razors, brushes and steam hoses for disinfecting an area with a brief burst of heat. They will trawl up and down a dwarf's beard from root to tip and back again, snipping off split ends, brushing out the hair, and killing any pest they encounter. Problem is, they're not entirely free of defects (it's worse than you imagine), and some of them have begun to self-replicate using scraps of metal harvested from beard ornaments.
14. Jewelled Ants: Not for snacking, these ants. Jewelled ants look like tiny, mobile gemstones of various types (emerald, ruby and sapphire being the most common), and are highly efficient groomers. They will keep a beard completely clean of crumbs and foodstuffs, and will look good while doing so. Jewelled ants are also self-regulating, and will decrease their population when food is scarce. They hate non-hair environments, and will almost never venture outside of their host's beard.
15. Beardcicles: One of the odder lifeforms that the dwarves have adapted, beardcicles are tiny, almost crystalline grubs that collect water from their environment. They will keep a beard clean of excess moisture from air or sweat, greatly increasing the dwarf's comfort. After they absorb moisture, they excrete a hard, clear serum around their bodies that hardens into a very icicle-like shape. The “icicles” get longer as the grubs mature. Eventually, the beardcicles will emerge from their clear cocoon as an adult moth.
Dwarves are just as fastidious about their appearance as members of other races. True, their tastes are different, but they have used their natural affinity for minerals to great advantage when developing beard ornaments.
16. Ore: Dwarves don't metabolize metals like humans do. While a human can swallow small quantifies of silver or gold with no discernible effect (despite what some charlatans claim), dwarves' bodies actually process excess metals of all types. Normally, the excess metal goes into a dwarf's bones, making them tougher, albeit heavier. But softer metals like silver and gold are too weak to serve in this way, so instead, the dwarf's body will flush them through the dwarf's beard. If a dwarf eats gold/silver dust, he can expect gold or silver nuggets to grow dispersed throughout his beard like tiny ornaments, that grow slowly as they consume more ore. Most dwarves don't bother, as the precious metals attract unwanted attention from thieves, and can be better used elsewhere. Only the dwarven nobility regularly indulge in this practice. It is possible to coax the ore into coating the hair instead of forming nuggets, but the process is extremely labor intensive.
17. Crystals: Being a rock-dwelling race, the dwarves' diet naturally contains higher levels of silica (in fact, they often include gravel or other rocks in their food, to help wear their teeth down). As with excess ore, dwarves do not necessarily digest these minerals, excreting the extra substances instead into their skin or hair. Beard crystals form when the excess silica in their beard is primed (by dunking the beard once a day into a special liquid), and then exposed to air. This process starts a chain reaction that leeches silica from the beard, combines it with oxygen from the air, and forms hundreds of tiny crystals all throughout the beard. The color of the resulting crystal depends on the liquid that was used to prime the beard, though quartz is most common. Once started, the crystals will continue to grow until trimmed off.
18. Beardbushes: Not all dwarves' beards are created equal. Be it faulty genetics, sickness or even old age, there may come a time when a dwarf's beard loses its volume, becoming scraggly or possibly even partially bald. Toupees work to a degree, but some dwarves have found a better alternative in the beard bush. A beard bush is a non-flowering plant that grows hairlike fronds out of a central “stalk”. They come in black, brown and blonde, though a true red has yet to be developed. The dwarf anchors the bear bush in a soil pouch (concealed in what's left of his natural beard) and waters it discretely once a week or so. Unsurprisingly, the term “beardbush” has become a colloquialism for a lie or falsehood.
19. Binders: Bearing a strong resemblance to walking stick bugs carved from bone or ivory, binders are small stick-like insects that have formed a symbiotic relationship with some dwarven clans. The dwarves will feed the little bugs with bits of moss or other plant matter, and the bugs will braid or bind the dwarves' beards in intricate patterns. Their skills are hereditary, and each line of binders will weave beard strands in a slightly different pattern. For this reason, many dwarven clans have adopted the specific binding as a sort of clan symbol. Binders are solitary creatures, so no more than two or three can coexist peacefully in a single beard.
20. Moss: It is a common misconception that dwarves have no appreciation for botanical beauty. I would challenge any surface-dweller to say the same after seeing the care with which dwarves care for the mosses that adorn their beards. There are probably as many varieties of beard mosses as roses on the surface, and they are just as valued. When grown in the beard, mosses are used as vivid highlights of color, and primarily come in greens, blues and purples. Unfortunately, beard moss has fallen out of fashion among the younger dwarves, but there are still beard moss festivals and competitions for the dedicated growers.
What dwarf doesn't need a light at times? Even with their enhanced eyesight, they don't perceive color very well in pitch darkness, and sometimes they like to have a light handy for silent signals or for the comfort of guests.
21. Torch Fuzz: over the centuries, dwarves have bred a form of campfire fuzz that is content to nest in their beards. The beard-dwelling version is exceptionally lazy, and will burn with a gentle warmth rather than with a campfire's heat and light. As a result, they give off energy much more slowly than wild campfire fuzz and can go several days between meals. They won't normally light up, and must be shaken vigorously to get them to do so. The benefits to the dwarf are obvious: a beard that stays dry and warm, and gives of a moderate glow when needed. Just remember not to attach any iron trinkets to your beard – torch fuzz flee when exposed to iron.
22. Lightning Moths: For the dwarf who wants a little more zest, lightning moths are a good choice. Adult moths maintain an attachment to their cocoon all their lives, returning to it each day to hide from the light and from diurnal predators. Vendors will sell lightning moth larvae that are close to pupating, and the dwarf must simply release them into its beard and feed them bits of moss until they spin their cocoons At night, the lightning moths will emerge in search of food, and will glow in a gentle halo in the dwarf's general location, concentrated around his head. The slow, blinking glow attracts small insects, which the moths electrocute with quick bursts of static.
23. Beardlanterns: Actually a specialized breed of Veracit's furball, beardlanterns have been bred to better suit dwarven sensibilities. First, their forelegs have been strengthened and elongated, making them capable of clinging with ease to an anchor ring that has been tied within the dwarf's beard. Second, they are generally silent unless directly spoken to, only piping up if they are really hungry. A dwarf will generally keep only two or three at a time, and will try to keep only those of the same gender. Otherwise, he may very well wake up one morning with a beard full of tiny, fuzzy balls, all asking for food.
24. Glow Buttons: Not all types of beard mushroom are edible. Glow buttons are a hybridized type of subterranean fungus, that has been adapted to cling to fibrous surfaces. They look like tiny white pearls, strung all throughout the beard, and they glow softly when it is dark. They leach the nutrients they need from the beard, and absorb light to give off later. Glow buttons are generally less well received than beardlanterns, despite needing less care and feeding. For one, you can't turn them off (and marking your position in the dark is not always a brilliant idea). For two, they make grooming the beard vastly more time-consuming. Still, some wealthy dwarves love how they look, and like to pair them with beard crystals or ore so that their beards seem to perpetually glitter with wealth.
Dwarves pride themselves on always having the right tool for the job. Whether mining, crafting or adventuring, the enterprising dwarf will find these beard fauna/flora to be valuable aids.
25. Flutterswipes: Surface-dwellers are familiar with the expression “canary in a coal mine”: namely, something that will give early warning before a disaster strikes. What they don't know is that the dwarves were the originators of this practice. Flutterswipes are tiny birds that originally dwelt in caves near the surface. They make nests from their sticky, clear spittle which then harden onto the cave wall. Now flutterswipes are widely regarded as “the miner's best friend”. Once it has been coaxed to build its nest in a dwarf's beard, it will fly in and out at will, keeping the air around the dwarf mostly clear of flying pests. What's more, it will drop unconscious or dead if the subterranean gases rise to dangerous levels, giving the dwarf time to evacuate to safety. If the bird expires, all is not entirely lost – the leftover nest is a delicacy in dwarven cuisine.
26. Beardbats: Somewhat hardier than their bird counterparts, beardbats also provide an early warning system of sorts. Rather than warning of gases, however, beardbats provide a passive scanning system for weaknesses in the stone. While a dwarf's natural stone-sense is very keen, it's very possible for him to miss something if his attention is directed elsewhere. Beardbats have been trained to scan the immediate area for anomalies (weaknesses, unnatural formations like trapdoors, etc), and swoop back and forth between the dwarf and the affected area in exchange for a small treat. The rest of the time, they keep the area completely clean of flying bugs.
27. Manna Fleas: It's not that dwarves don't use magic; they just tend to be more careful and conscientious about its use, a habit they probably picked up as an apprentice when they were made to wear manna fleas. Dwarven wizards will commonly summon and bind manna fleas into an apprentice's beard, both as a test and in an effort to keep his lab clean of excess magical energies. When the apprentice is new, he or she will often waste a little energy each time they cast a spell, and the fleas will feed passively off this source. But as the apprentice grows in skill, there is less wasted energy for the fleas to consume, and they will begin to bite the apprentice instead. This is called the “scratching phase”. The apprentice is usually promoted to journeyman status when the flea bites have gotten so bad that they are noticeable around the edges of the beard, and with the promotion comes the banishment of the fleas.
First off, not all dwarven females have beards. That is usually a very clan or world-specific phenomenon. However, if your dwarven ladies sport the fuzz, they probably care for them as much as their male counterparts do (if not more). For the female dwarf with discerning tastes, here are a few of the most popular choices of beard flora/fauna.
28. Flowers: What lady doesn't like to have flowers twined in her hair? Beard “flowers” aren't actually flowers – rather, they are small clusters of leaves that bear a strong resemblance to petals and usually come in blue, white or gold. Caring for beardflowers is fairly tedious, requiring that the lady dwarf conceal a few tiny packets of earth in her beard to hold the root ball, but they require surprisingly little water or light to thrive, and can be mixed and matched according to her tastes.
29. Goldvine: For the lady with refined tastes, goldvine is a true classic. Goldvine attaches directly to the beard and requires no soil, just occasional watering as it leaches the excess minerals from a female's beard (particularly copper). The copper is then metabolized into the vine along with excess tin, zinc or aluminum to create a very passable imitation gold color. Goldvine sports delicately curving tendrils that twine the female's beard into intricate patterns, and has made it into more than one dwarven ballad of love and ladies fair.
30. Tufted Beardmice: Looking somewhat like a cross between a mouse, a chipmunk and a squirrel, tufted beardmice are gentle, playful companions that dwarven ladies just adore. There are actually several established breeds -- the Grey Swishtail, Copper Chipper and the White Lynux are among the most popular – and breeders will often compete in events that attract thousands of beardmouse enthusiasts each year. While not nesting or sleeping in the beard, tufted beardmice will ride on the dwarf's shoulder and squeak shrilly if anything alarms them. As an added bonus, they can often be handed to a noisy dwarfling to play with for awhile, though the beardmouse will always scamper back to its nest at the earliest opportunity.
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30 Tomes By: Murometz ( Items ) Books and Scrolls - Non-Magical
Hot off the Press! These are not your eldritch manuals or ancient folios of doom. These are random books, a GM can use whenever a PC reaches for a shelf, which usually happens when said GM is least expecting it. These can be found in most libraries, many private homes, and anywhere else one could expect to find a book. More than a few have some built-in plot hooklings as well, while others, like many books of our age, are plain drivel.
The Night I Slew That Priest- Kilgore Ivo.
A tome which describes in great autobiographical detail, the slaying of one wanton human cleric by one Kilgore Ivo, half-orc bounty-hunter, after he returned home to find the priest, making passionate love to the half-orcs wife. This tome can be found in some libraries, due to its historical value, as Kilgore Ivo managed to include perceptive aspects of his life and times, in between foaming rants and explicit detail of the priests slow, excruciating demise.
The Curse of Sloth- Ennis Nob
A ponderous, verbose book of commentary on the decline of civilization, written by a priest of Yaix, God of Industriousness. This book is reviled by the masses, and would probably be burned if let out of any given library. It speaks of longer workdays, shorter rest, and fewer feasts and holidays.
The Gossamer Veil and Other Tales- author unknown
This seemingly innocent collection of archaic tales and legends, has sprinkled through out its pages, veiled and coded references to several demons of antiquity, including Vephelot, Poggodin of the Three Tongues, and Hoom the Doom. What is worse, the text contains hidden passages that allow insight into the proper summoning techniques of said demons. The book does not radiate any magic of course, and unless one knew going in, what vile information could be found in its innocuous pages, this tome reads like a series of long, somewhat boring tales, of heroes and nobles of a bygone age.
Joys of Wood- Chelen Choss
An intriguing guide for any enthusiast of woodworking and carpentry. The book details thirty odd constructs one could invent, with nothing except some wood, a few simple tools, ingenuity, and elbow grease. It features helpful instruction, and illustrations of various oddities one could make with good timber. The last ten pages deal with the detailed instruction on building a wigwam entirely of wood, entitled Pitching a Tent.
Songs of Our Forefathers- various authors
A vast collection of Ogre songs, translated sloppily by some order of human monks. It tells of the Ogre Sagas, and includes such audacious titles, such as Axes Clanging, Slaughter of The Innocents, Not As Ugly As You and The Day the Dwarves Died Twice.
Standing Shores- several dozen scribes
The grim and somber recollections of many different priests, monks and scribes, who at one time or another were tasked with documenting the life and times of the soldiers stationed at the terrifying Sea-Wall of Marnonin, where for three hundred years, a small force of green, inexperienced men and women, rarely replenished or provisioned by the distant and uncaring capital, held out against the continuous onslaughts of the Sea Raiders and their Whale-ships. More than forty thousand mortalities are documented in these tragic pages, but also anecdotes of bravery and human spirit, persevering against great odds.
Ghostwalker- Gellon Sisk
A posthumous biography, written by Brother Gellon Sisk, about the brief, but exciting career and exploits of one Brother Benhir Donnat, who lived, prayed, ate and slept in cemeteries, in order, as he had said, to study and further understand the nature of ghosts, and the peculiar behavior of disturbed undead. For seven weeks, Benhir Donnat lived on cemetery grounds. He had achieved quite the celebrity status by this time, and monks of distant orders would often flock to see the Ghostwalker. On the Holy Night of week eight, many folks gaped and prayed as they watched Brother Donnat being eviscerated by a particularly unfriendly Wight, which had chosen that particular hour to emerge from the very grave Benhir was sitting on at the time. The Ghostwalker was no more, but Gellon Sisk, wrote this largely embellished tale to commemorate his friend.
What To Get A Gnome Who Has Everything- Perrin Weel, Bard-Of-Bards
A tome of jokes, japes, and anecdotes, written by the obnoxious Perrin Weel, a retired jongleur, and amateur author. Other than the often raunchy and poignant humor, one may find interesting stories of human interest and even a rough, but passable travel guide to the rustic, colloquial Low Countries.
Martyrs Lament- Dalona Radzing
A riveting but heavily religious tome, based on the life and times of the author, written in her own hand, while she was imprisoned for ten years, for commiting blasphemy in a temple of the One True Faith. Dalona wrote not of the One True Faiths hypocrisy, and not of the evil natures of the Inquisitors of the Faith, but of the wonders of her bucolic homeland, though modern scholars claimed to see the ingenious words between the words that Dalona had used, in order to mock and taunt the priesthood that punished her. Sadly, Dalona went from the Donjon to the gallows, but monks collected her journals, and released them to the public several decades later. The modern tome, long now uncontroversial, was named post-mortem.
Knuckle Roller & other games- The Mad Gnome of Aubirs Gambling Emporium
An exhaustive documentation of over three hundred card games of both chance and strategy, compiled by the Mad Gnome, a legendary gambler extraordinaire and master of a deck of cards. Besides describing the rules behind every conceivable card game, the tome offers some unique tips and insights into the world of successful card-sharking.
A sub-section deals with games of dice, twenty in all, highlighted by the Mad Gnomes favorite non-card game, the well known Knuckle Roller. Needless to say, interested and often shady parties often peruse this book, and librarians are loath to keep it in the open.
The Hutuluz Creed- Chaggor Chux, Fingers-Clutching-Throat
Written by a long-dead Hutuluz shaman, this grim tome is the voice of the Hobgoblin Nation. A proud, strong race of single-minded warriors, the Hutuluz spit in disgust on their smaller, twisted goblin cousins, and all other chaotic humanoids of chaos. This text, stolen from the hobgoblins many years ago by intrepid adventurers, lists the laws, creeds, and military strategies of the severe and forbidding race. Rewritten into common by scribes, to serve as a warning on the eternal brutal northern enemy, it now serves as fodder for the humanoid-hating demagogues, as well as an instructional guide on the misunderstood and ruthless hobgoblin war-machine. Even some human armies have come to secretly employ several of the books wisdoms, especially those that pertain to lawful and vicious tactics of army efficiency and protocol.
Shipping Lanes- group effort
Another exhaustive treatise, the driest read imaginable, describing in minute detail the shipping lanes of a mighty, sea-dependant kingdom or empire. This tome can be often found in a captains quarters or a harbormasters private collection. This book is usually amended and refined as the years go on, and is a truly colossal work. There are many pirates and smugglers, who wouldnt mind getting their hands on this treatise, though suffice it to say, this book is usually hidden from view, or kept under lock and key and well-guarded.
Devolved Remnants of True-Wyrms and Dragon-Kinde- Morkoel Rasher
A dissertation and biological guide on all the devolved remnants of true dragons, which as all know, have been extinct for thousands of years. These pages describe many huge-to-giant worms and other serpentine creatures of the nearly tamed wilds. Everything from the Dun Worm to the Vortex Snake, and from the Pog-Choy Worm to the Scabrous Wyvern, can be found here. This book is a veritable trove of information on many deplorable and hideous creatures. Interestingly, the author takes on a rather deliberate and belligerent tone, when discussing these worms, often referring to them as runts or snakelings. Morkoel Rasher was a sage, though some whisper that he was a dragon.
My Travels Among the Unwashed- Pyuss IV
An informative, if highly prejudiced and misogynistic tome. The compiled journals of one Pyuss IV, during the time before he achieved pope-hood, when he traveled the Great Grass Sea to document every tribe in that vast pathless expanse. Over a hundred different tribes are featured in these pages, though as many signs of mockery occur as do passages of insight into the myriad cultures and beliefs of the Plains Peoples.
To Raise the Scythe, to Ride the Plow- Orn the Warrior-Peasant
A somewhat esoteric, (despite the content), training manual of sorts, describing in great detail how common farmers and workers tools can be wielded with devastating effect if the proper training is undertaken. It covers the scythe, the sickle, the awl, and many other random tools, such as the odd, but effective Monks Spade 1659. Where the book becomes peculiar, is when it goes into abstract polemics of socialism, grass-roots movements, and revolutions in between sober and practical pictorial essays on the weapons of the common man. Orn himself was a past peasant hero and champion, in a largely rural and agricultural area, who dared to stand up to a conquering force, and inspire his fellows to do the same.
Merchants Companion- unknown
This book has one goal and accomplishes it simply and logically. It lists every conceivable conversion chart detailing ratios between the currencies of every known kingdom. It lists the names of every coin, the make-up and weight of said coins, and even offers charts on bartered goods-to-coin comparisons.
The Eugenic Crusade- Baravar DuCoggio
This folio details the sixty-year Eugenic Crusade of the half-orcs of Stalavance. A bloody part of history, this book, written by the Archmandrite DuCoggio himself, talks of the madness of the half-orcs, the needless slaughter, and the mysterious hybrid race of half-orc, which resulted from the devastations and selective breeding experimentation, which occurred throughout this time, spear-headed by Ogol Kance, a hulking and charismatic half-orc general.
Book O Bastards- the monks of Hops and Yeast
An aptly named book, meticulously penned by the monks of the House of Hops and Yeast, this ancient collection quite ignobly attempted to document every possible bastard born child of every noble over a four hundred year period. Over thirty thousand names and brief descriptions fill up this massive tome, as the monks seemed to include even entries of those people whose identities were yet unproven or still under suspicion. In the wrong hands, this tome could have been devastating in olden times. Nowadays, its a well-known reference classic.
One Thousand And One Uses For Tears- The Lachrymose Lady Credea
"Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh" (Luke 6.21)
One of the original Weepers, Lady Credea Gorry led a long miserable life. So much tragedy, heartbreak, and loss had befallen this noblewoman that at the age of fifty, she gave up her rights and titles, and joined The Chalice Bearers permanently. In her spare time, she penned this classic, prized by both alchemists and lovers of tragedy. It literally details a thousand and one uses for the salty drops of sadness, from homeopathic remedies to more abstract and sinister uses.
Belorvens Bears- unknown (presumably Belorven)
A mystery lovers dream, this book tells of the rather mundane tales of a ranger named Belorven, and a troupe of performing and dancing bears, which he raised and cared for. It covers many ursine facts for the species enthusiast, and goes on to describe benign training techniques, and how to generally coax the bears into compliance. What makes this book so popular, is that a legend is attached to it, one with no basis in fact, but stimualting nonetheless! It is rumored that Belorvens Bears each carried one of the small, mythical Thrar Stones painlessly embedded in their hind legs. Since Belorven only recently retired, setting his bears free into the wilderness, treasure-hunters scoop up this book like mad, in the hopes of finding clues to help identyfing these half dozen bears, as they search for them in the forests. Presently, this is a trendy and fashinable tome for someone to possess, and it can often be seen adorning the shelves and tables of the noble classes.
Haversacks Discourse on Dementia- Haversack
An egregious halfling penned this odd journal, which discusses in unecessary detail, what it meant to spend twenty years, living inside maddening walls of The City of Asylum. Other than one halflings take on madness, this manual could prove useful to those misguided few who wish to travel there.
The Rider and the Drider- Jombel
A tale of a series of recurring, romances and lurid trysts between a hapless knight and a drider, a drow creation, an accursed half-spider, half-humanoid creature. The story begins with the rider and the drider meeting on the field of battle, like two knights about to face of in a mortal struggle, but quickly devolves into graphic raunch. The two spend the next ten years passionately fornicating, despite all the taboos, hazards, and angry relatives in place. Jombel was a famous four hundred pound eunuch, known for his lascivious tales.
The Hair of Stone and Thistle- unknown (reputedly, The First Warlock)
A witches folio, reprinted and soothed for the masses. Like many other such works, it is heavily encrypted, and on the surface appears to be a collection of agricultural tips, homespun remedies, and rare herbs and minerals. Almost like an almanac, which it indeed is, but one for true witches and warlocks. One has to be proficient in the witches tongue to see the true words on the page. Though quite a few copies of this book exist, what is unknown to the general occult-loving populace is that only the original lost tome, is indeed magical and sinister in nature.
The Dreaming Pig- Lord Tuon Calarge, aka St. Calarge
Lord Tuon Calarge was a knight of good standing in his day, but when he retired to his keep, he began a career of writing childrens tales of mischief and adventure, that propelled him to sainthood. So keen were all children on Calarges books, that when the Childrens Knight passed on, his major domo, took to the writing of Calarges tales himself, in essence becoming a ghost-writer in his lieges place. The Dreaming Pig is a collection of all of Calarges stories under one cover. A copy of this can be found in most libraries and often orphanages.
The Three Mistakes of General Ifos- unknown
A moral fable, an adventure and exotic travel classic, and a tome om military strategy, this most popular of tales, tells the story of one General Ifos, a man of hubris and folly, who at the ripe old age of seventy, decided to conquer Vinviria the Unconquerable. It tells of the tragic generals death at the hands of foul sorcery. A muderous, magically animated cuirass, squeezed the life from the general, even as he wore the breastplate to battle. What the actual Three Mistakes of General Ifos were, is a popular topic of debate in the halls of universities, taverns, and guild halls. No one can agree what they were, or should have been. According to the Koligran Legions motto, the three were as follows, though this is by no means necessarily true. Only the reader himself, can draw the proper wisdom from this ancient lesson.
Engaging in a land war in Vinviria
Red Horse Hill- Tonas Undrepya
A sinister, gloomy tale, not unlike that of the Headless Horseman, this book spins the story of the infamous hill of the title, upon whose summit, the dreaded Flayed Red Horse dwelt. A creature of nightmare, it is said, that the beast is the ghost of a once-proud steed, which was abused by its owner, and at one final gruesome stage, wholly skinned alive. Nowadays, Red Horse Hill, quite a real place, draws visitors from far and wide who try to witness glimpses of the supernatural daemon. Many spooky tales have sprouted up from the legend, and this collection features them all. This book was written by the highly respected Tonas Undrepya, whose talents at writing tales of the horrific are much celebrated among the literate populace. What no one suspects however, is that Tonas Undrepya also happens to be a vampyre.
Everything You Have Ever Wanted To Know About Military Epaulets And Were Afraid To Ask-Vice Admiral Kysel Statt
A one-trick pony. If shoulder straps are your thing, this serves as your bible. If not, it looks pretty on the mantlepiece, since its written by a decorated vice admiral.
Inkdrinkers Bane- no one (rather invented by The Soiled-Pants-Man)
This gag book, another popular item to be found at noble manors, is a play on the not so funny, and ever-increasing danger all books face, as the devious and malevolent creatures, known as The Ink Drinkers make themselves known by infesting libraries and monasteries around the country. Inkdrinkers Bane is a thick, leather bound, etched and gilded blank book of crisp empty, milk-white pages. A party conversation piece, nothing more.
Wyrmfood- Ser Lotan Farx.
A riveting, autobiographical account of a bards journey among knights. Lotan, who named himself Ser Lotan Farx, had disguised himself as a paladin, in order to join the Great Wyrm Hunt. Lotan was the only survivor of the foolish expedition, and his tale is the only one to this day, which bares testimony to the muck and mire dungeon beneath the Sighing Hills.
Methods of Methodemus- various apostles of Methodemus
The man from whom the word method was derived, St. Methodemus was a rebel monk of the One True Faith. Sailing west to the golden shores of Biracra, he founded the city of Ponns, and converted hundreds of thousands of people to his cause over the next few decades. His philosophies were centered on a rigorously structured existence, revolving around daily, monthly, and annual rituals or methods. St. Methodemus was killed during the Haraconian siege of Ponns some years later and his devotees were scattered to the winds. His work remains behind.
A sample chapter:
Give, of thy Essence (Masturbate)
Pay Homage to the Sun (Fire)
The Sea (Water)
The Dirt (Earth)
The Wind (Air)
Pay Homage to Void (Death)
Give, of thy Essence
Eat NOT that which walks, crawls, swims, flies, burrows or slithers, but that which grows only above the earth.
Exercise the body, for it is an instrument that executes the Methods.
Study Thee Numbers, for they are the language of the gods.
Admonish the Enemy
Chastise the Wicked
Acknowledge thy Brother
Give, of thy essence
Eat, under cover of darkness, the blood of the white-bull, the rib-bones of the ox, the fetal goat. (This is to imply meat can be eaten after dark.)
Sleep when Midnight calls you home. Nothing good happens after Midnight.
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30 Villages By: Michael Jotne Slayer ( Locations ) City - Any
30 villages ready at the disposal of the Gamemaster.
1- Morning Glory is located in the mountains. It got it’s name for the fantastic view of the sun rising over the mountains. Morning Glory is a centre of of fur, gem and metal trade. There is an old dwarf road nearby, leading up into the mountains. Tavern gossip says that the Dwarfs are not gone, but that they keep an keen eye on local activities, looking for those who plunder Dwarf property and try to smuggle out of the mountains. These same wags also claim that this explains the recent disappearance of several miners who bragged of a "big new strike" in the hills.
2- Moonmoth has earned it’s name because of an unique event that happens at every full moon. Thousand of Moths swarm the village streets. Nobody knows where they come from, or why they appear only when the moon is full.
Some say, that Moonmoth is blessed, other’s say that it’s an entirely natural event. That the moths lay their eggs in a nearby swamp and that they only hatch and reproduce every new month. The speculations are many, but the fact is that Moonmoth has become a popular place to be at full moon. A shrine has been made in honor of this "miracle", and pilgrims come from around the lands to see it.
3- Avilstone was once a small mining and logging village, most noted for its nearby copper mines. Raw ore was smelted into ingots and then shipped down river for further distribution. But something took residence in the mines of Avilstone. Mining was quickly becoming too hazardous to be worth the profit. The village elders tried to get the attention of the authorities, but Avilstone was clearly not worth the effort of the military. As time went by more and more people left the village. The town is now assumed dead. But there are still a few hardy people left. A small community of some hunter-families that welcome any travellers into their homes.
4- Sunhill is a small, sleepy village located by the banks of a small river on a small hill. The houses are composed of whitewashed bricks. The people living there are mainly fishermen or farmers. The interesting thing though, is that Sunhill is built upon ruins, ancient beyond reckoning. Scholars come to the village to examine the remaining ruins and treasure seekers often visit to find the way into the lost catacombs, reportedly sealed long ago and filled with riches. Whether or not these catacombs really exist, the Sun-Hillers make a fair bit of coin selling "authentic" maps to credulous visitors.
5- Hergig is a "young" village settled only fifty years ago in the middle of the Herg forest. The Herg forest is an ancient stand of hoary Oaks, Maples, Birch and Chestnut. Hergig started as a logger community and slowly grew to the size of a small village. To this day the forest has a bad reputation. It is haunted, many say, and strange sounds are heard from it at foggy nights. The villagers knows that nothing ill will become them as long as they are safe within the walls when daylight fades. There is however, traffic along the road that passes trough the forest. Popular belief holds that if you stick to the road and make it trough to Hergig before nightfall, then you will be safe. Thus travellers are a common sight in the local taverna. Whishing to spend the night there before going on the next day. There are, however talk that the forest is not really haunted. People in Hergig spread the rumor to increase the profit in the taverna, and thus- the community. Nobody is willing to risk it yet though.
6- Naden was originally a small picturesque fishing village, the rights to the town was bought by an investment group headed by a charlatan that had several nobles as backers. Their plan was to was to create a port that would siphon off traffic from other ports to create more profits for themselves. To this end, the small village of Naden was bought. The local residents where forced out and re-settled in another area, and colonists where brought in to reinvigorate the place. The cartel built houses and shops to give the city a fresh look, they invested in warehouses to handle traffic surely coming their way, and they built trading caravels that would be the vanguard of their fleet. It was a total disaster. Now the town is a depressed fishing village that lives off the catch off the sea. The buildings have a run-down, ill-kept look to them, and strangers are not readily welcome here. Surly townsmen and their hard bitten wives and sullen children stare out at strangers from decaying houses.
7- Oakstone sits on the west bank of a frontier river. The river has always been a natural border to the wilderness. But thirty years ago, the local Baron founded Oakhegde in an attempt to to slowly begin colonization of the western bank. One attraction was the presence of an old stone circle, of the kind built by followers of the Old Faith long ago. The Baron, himself a follower of the Old Faith felt that this was a holy site and wanted to preserve it and make it active again. Forty families were sent there to start new lives. At first garrisoned, after a few years it seemed like people living in the wild would tolerate this settlement; some even came to trade. Then, one summer night, three years ago, the people of Oakstone vanished: traders reported the village empty. The authorities sent soldiers to investigate. They confirmed the reports: All the people were gone. There were no sign of violence or struggle, no corpses, no indication of where they had gone. Even the animals were missing. the only clues were two words carved on the tree in the village commons: "Holy" and "Site".
8- Redberry is nestled between rolling hills nearby a larger city. It has the personal touch of a small village with red brick roofs and the safety of a city. The city is famous for it’s Redberries that are used to make Pie, Cake, Wine and Jam. They sell it in the city and make a good profit in doing so. The berries only grow in that area and are very delicious and unique in their taste.
Berries are also bottled and exported to other towns farther away. Redberry is often visited by Dalme The Tinker.
9- Black Tree is is a perfectly normal village, they farm, hunt and have cattle. The only out of the ordinary element of this sleepy village is a charred, black tree in the center of it. Nobody remembers what burnt the tree and why. But everybody agrees that it must never be touched or spoken about. This strange custom is still thriving and will probably continue to do so.
10- Valbein is the native slang for whalebones and is also the name of this strange little community. The village is built in the middle of the skeletal remains of a giant whale. Why this is, no one knows. The villagers are glassmakers by trade and have a nice profit in trading in what they make. Windows, bottles and pretty much everything there is to make in glass. Part of the community are also fishermen. Most of what they need they get by trading. Travellers are always amazed by the long white beach and the small village nestled among the remains of the whale.
11- Windpeak is a village located amongst white cliffs by a large lake. The lake is windy and the currents are very strong. There are no beaches or lowlands surrounding the lake. But the people of Windpeak has found a way of harvesting the riches of the lake, small and narrow stairs have been constructed- connection the village with the lake. Here they have made a small harbor and thrive as fishermen.
12- Amlet is a quiet agricultural market and a centre for wool trade in the area. Ruled by a council of elders the village can boast having a very large amount of sheep. The sheep herds itself and are too massive in numbers for the villagers to watch over. This, however don’t seem to pose any problems as the area lacks any large predators that could pose a threat to the sheep. In addition it seems that they never wander to far away from the hills surrounding Amlet. For the children, the favorite time of the year is when Nickol Nacker visits. Amlet would be on few maps were it not for the presence of extensive ruins to the northeast. These consist of a vast circle of standing stones, with a smaller ring of megaliths inside it. The sharpness of the inner ring of stones and their resemblance to broken teeth have inspired the locals to name the structure "God’s Fangs". Despite the nickname the church does not claim the ruins, and neither they nor else seems to have any record of who built the structure and to what purpose. Scholar’s however, claim that the site might be an astrological calendar. The people of Amlet care not, all they know is that this area is remarkable for breeding and maintaining sheep.
13- Marsh Havens located in a great marsh, the "Havens" started out as a refugee camp. The marsh provided an excellent hiding place in the turmoil of war. When the war was over permanent homes had already begun to emerge. The swamp provided all the refugees needed, timber, food and shelter. As the years have gone by the "Havens" have evolved into an isolated community, sceptical of strangers, outsiders and travellers. All the huts that are not on dry land are on stilts.
14- Bek is a small village that has been growing in the presence of a large Academy. Those that live in Bek are the teachers and professors of the school. The students are quartered in the building itself. Loud, free and often superior with their opinions, Bek’ers are shunned by nearby peasant villages. Evil tounges say that there are other things going on inside the Academy than studying. Bek also boasts a large library, students are set to the task of copying books in the evenings.
15- Noall is mainly black against grey and brown hills. The huts are built with sturdy black timber with grass-roofs close to the ground. The weather in these hills can be very harsh and the soil is not very fertile.
They are mainly hunters and train falcons to help them locate game. A "Noall Falcon" is considered the best trained bird to be had and it takes years to train them. The people of Noall hate to sell their falcons that they love very much, but are forced to do so by the need for profit to continue their meagre existence. They sell each one for a great deal of money, but since it takes so much time this small community is balancing on a knife’s edge.
16- Berenwall is built in the gaping hole of a once proud defensive wall built long ago by a warrior named Beren. Someone thought that it might be a good idea to build a city where the wall was torn away because of a long forgotten war. The people who did this believed that trade would be forced to pass trough here. It never really caught on. The wall was slowly taken apart and shipped away to larger cities for materials. After a few years you could pass the thing just about anywhere. It now looks like broken teeth in the horizon. Berenwall village itself is built in the solid stone from the wall. Dark holes litter the strange homes. Berenwallers breed and train horses, and are expert riders. Young villagers often recruit themselves as scouts for a few years before they marry and settle for good. Town elders still nurture a hope that Berenwall might be put on a map one day.
17- Ford is a poor looking village with a large manor situated on the top of a hill. The people living here are all farmers and are very poor. The luxury of the manor tells the story. The major living there is ruling the small city with an iron hand. Denying the farmers to move on and taking all but what they need to survive. If asked the villagers will say that this year’s crops were bad or any other thing to excuse the looks of them and the village. If someone truly gains their trust, they might openly admit the reason of their misery, the thing is though- that the major has every right to demand whatever he taxes he desires. No matter how high.
18- Buttercup is despite it’s name an unfriendly village- windows are shuttered, people tell you to "get lost", old hags peak out of half-closed doors. Why is this- travellers might ask themselves. Well, no one knows for sure. Buttercup is a quite wealthy village, surviving on farming, making and exporting butter and breeding cattle.
The village itself, while not exactly overly pleasant to the eye is in good conditions and when nobody is looking- the people seem to be smiling and behaving naturally.
19- Thrond is situated in a sheltered valley. Here they make a meagre existence by fishing trout and hunting game. They also keep goats that wander freely in the mountains. On the hill is a gloomy ruin, nobody goes there and there are strange cries and lights there at night. People living in Thrond is a superstitious lot, and sprinkle salt across their doorway at night. Their homes are made of boulders, where the openings are filled with goat droppings and the roofs of straw.
20- Leipville has a marble walkway cutting the small gathering of wooden huts in two. The marble walkway was once part of a great road snaking the entire country. One day it simply vanished. Or so the story goes. Leipville boasts a smithy, stable and a taverna. The people there are friendly and helpful.
21- Mardi huddles on the edge of a cliff. The houses are made of stone and amazingly well crafted. It’s a mountain community and boasts the regions best mountain guides. People seeking to enter or cross the mountain range are always advised to seek out the little village of Mardi.
22- Meissen consists of nine huts clustered around a fortified coaching inn. The area around Meissen is a dangerous one. With wolves sneaking close to the house walls at night, bandits and worse. Most of the people living here have a military background and are all working at the coaching inn. The reason for Meissen to exist is the need for an inn along the road only. Most people stay here only one night and rush along the following morning. If the tavern is packed with people bar brawls are not uncommon. The location is named after the owner of this patch of land, Meissen. He is a hard man, ugly some even say. But he provides honest priced beds for travellers and good pay for those that wish to work at the Coaching in.
23- Norden is a big village that exists in the outermost northern part of the country. It is the last bastion of civilization in the northlands. Trade is very good here and Norden has the potential of becoming a town or city one day. The construction of a castle is underways and more people are moving to Norden every month. The elder locals are not to happy about this. Nordens are fiercely independent and do not wish to become to integrated with the rest of the country. Some people from neighboring villages even travel here to see it as it has always been before it’s to late. Nearby there are some hotsprings that have worked miracles on the elders in the village always. Now it seems that a noble that have recently moved to Norden claims he bought it. He is preparing to build an establishment around the springs. When people go to soothe their aching northern limbs he runs over and wants money, waving a piece of paper, clearly upset.
24- Beggars Nest is the mad idea of the leader of a larger city. His city had problems with a huge beggar population. His nifty method of dealing with this was to bury a deep pit in the country and transport all beggars there. If someone was "caught" without a home the penalty was Beggars Nest. Thieves and criminals soon followed. The beggars and other unluckies soon made makeshift homes and tunnels. Everybody condemned to live in the Beggars Nest is tattooed on their forehead to make them out and no-one is allowed outside. Those who wish are allowed to visit as any normal village though, but few dare. There is only one way up, and that goes trough a fortified "village gate" that is watched day and night.
25- Borken is a normal village with one disturbing feature, it appears to have no children. When asked, villagers simply shrug and walk away. The deal is that all children are sent to a nearby monastery at the age of two, here they stay with the monks and study until the age of fifteen. It is forbidden to speak of your children during this time. it is also not allowed to see your children. This is called "The Trial", both the children and the parents are suppose to learn from this trying time. This strange custom has led to many misunderstandings by good-intentioned visitors.
26- The New Camp is a mining society consisting of men only, located in a plain it looks like a great, gaping wound in the ground. Makeshift homes surround the mine and there are enough of them to call The New Camp a village. The people working here sign up for a year at a time to work the mines for gold. They have to surrender half of their findings to the owners of mine, guards patrol among the diggers keeping an eye on people trying to re-dig a lump of gold. Everyone is thoroughly ransacked before allowed back into the village. Some say that this resembles slave labour, but there are those who have made it big here, even when they have to surrender half their findings. The New Camp got it’s name since the first mine collapsed.
27- Adel is ruled by the famously devout Andhor family, the village of Adel sits along a branch road off the main road. Interspersed among the homes and cottages of the population are mazing shrines to all the major gods. The Andhors have spared no expense, and many of the altars in the shrines are lined with a thin layer of gold and decorated with semiprecious stones, while beautiful stained glass windows adorn the walls. The people themselves seemingly do not resent the wealth lavished on these temples, for they are paid to maintain them and they are sure they protect the village- after all, did not the last war pass the village of Adel entirely?
28- Enders is a small village a little of the mainroad along a beaten forest track. It has gardens with apple trees and produces superb Cider. The people here are welcoming and polite once they have warmed up to outsiders, which usually doesn’t take very long. The major is a fat man with apple red cheeks and a cheerful gleam in his eyes. The surrounding woodlands provide timber, herbs and berries. In the outskirts of Ender live an old hermit called Noam Splinter. Enders is otherwise the perfect Hamlet, travellers and adventurers coming this way always stays a little longer than they intended.
29- Watermist is a village on stilts built this way for defensive purposes.. There is only one bridge connecting the city with the mainland. The Village lives of the sea and has as little with the mainland as possible, they don’t even like people living on land. But they have to trade, and thus the bridge. The bridge is constructed so that it is easy to destroy it if hostile people try to enter the city. The boats they have are small sailboats that the Watermisters handle extremely well. If anyone without a warship tries to enter the city, they will surely be outmatched by the Watermisters with their small boats with bows ready. To fall into the water or take a swim also means almost certain death since the lake is the home of flesh eating fish.
30- Demlynne is a relatively young village, founded only a century ago by people fleeing unjust taxes. Demlynne is utterly unprepossesing at first glance. After a long examination, one’s opinion is confirmed. Demlynne is a collection of winding lanes along the bank of a lazy river. Cottages and homes with extensive gardens dot the area. The are has not seen war or ill-times in a man’s age. The people living here are trusty to the extreme. The houses are painted in strong colors that really don’t match at all. But the result is a cozy, dreamy village that might look as if taken from a children fairytale. The residence of the Elder is situated in the centre of the village, next to the tavern. Although officially designated a "palace," the building is a simple two-story building with a sod roof- and sometimes a goat grazing up there, if the grass has grown too long.
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30 Were-Creatures By: Murometz ( Lifeforms ) Third Kingdom - Any
Therianthropes? Lycanthropes? Animorphs? Homo-Zoological-Hybrid-Sapiens? Manimals? Take your pick.
Weaver, Recluse, Widow and Bolas are four sibling were-spiders, dwelling deep inside the heart of the Timeless Pines. Murderers of exquisite design and execution, bored killers, they are likewise sage philosophers and deep thinkers. Long ago, did four young children wander and get lost in the vast, labyrinthine forest, despite their parents urgings and reproaches. Legends claim that they were all in turn bitten, or kissed some tales relate, by the mythical Spider-Count-The-Days, a pony-sized arachnid, lairing somewhere amidst the yawning, primeval old-growth of the Timeless Pines. Waking from a seemingly endless nap, the four siblings Gremmurclye, Arault, Tyia, Rollo and Nadamanthe (Naddy), discovered to their initial horror, that they were now infected with the Counters Curse, their bodies transforming into those of were-spiders.
Savid, the Rain-Maker
Savid has lived on the sun dry steppe for as long as he can remember. His parents abandoned him when eh was still an infant and he has since been raised by the common will of the village. When he was still young he underwent the first change, taking on the thick shouldered form of a desert jackal. He grew healthy and strong, feeding on carrion and wild prey while the rest of the village grew lean and hungry. Soon, the locals started calling him the rain-maker, because sorrow followed in his path. If he stayed with a family, some of their gaunt livestock would be killed, or one of the small children ripped open and eaten. While the sorrow has distrcted the village, Savid has since weeded out the sick, the infirm, and those too old or weak to contribute to the survival of the community. While times are lean, as a whole, the village is now stronger than it was before.
Few people will ever embrace their shapeshifting condition quite and entirely as moenzander Blackwing. It has been years since Moenzander resumed a human form, instead this sorcerer has spent the years in his hybrid half man, half bat form. Living in near darkness, he has explored the realms of invisible and arcane magic. When the rare busybody *pcs* shows up, they find his tower to be a maze of chambers and odd corridors, all shrouded in complete darkness, there are not even brackets on the wall to hold torches. Despite all of this would be villainy, Moenzander has no evil design upon humanity, though he is by no means a philantropist. His area of expertise is delving into the magics of shadow, darkness, and the lore of antiquity.
Hannalitzi, the Dreaming Piper
Hannalitzi fears his own alter ego, and ignores the Black Jaguar simmering inside him, as best he can, spending his days traveling from village to village and to and from the capital, Xonqaique, the Ten-Tiered City of Broken Clouds, playing his pipes, carved from anaconda bone and cartilage, and leading the disillusioned youth in drugged revelries, celebrating the Night of Nights festival incessantly. In times of great stress or during the weeklong Blood Moon sightings, Hannalitzi prowls the obsidian-strewn Jungles of Phussh, his blood-curdling growls and groans paying homage to Qixocueli the Swindler, Father of Jaguars, Khasshkillot, Whale of Chaos and AvulVaaqa the Eviscerated Toad, Mother of Men.
Suthcundman of the Hanging Pines and Frokkerns Horn settlements, Ockrin serves as the mayor of both thorps, while living unassumingly in a third village, Flacksterd, some ten leagues distant, where he is also revered as the village wiseman, and often parents of newborn babes will go to him for his blessing and to receive a Star-Name for their child. Ockrin is an able astrologer, as well as an avid sky-watcher. It is said by the villagers that one should always take care not to bump into Goodman Wheatgate while he walks, as he is always looking up into the sky.
Amchankra, Guardian of the Emerald Garden
This dangerous woman, who dwells in Kiebr Gogo Begg’s Emerald Gardens, is a cold-hearted, emotionless slayer and guardian of said demesne. She is also the Kiebr’s deadliest and ablest assassin. By day she lazes in the nirvana of the artificially created, jungle-paradise designed by her liege and his wizards, and by night she stalks the darkness, able to shift from stunningly beautiful, exotic woman, to a ferocious, ruthless tigress. She relishes ripping to shreds anyone who dares trespass.
At her request, Kiebr Gogo-Begg, has agreed to let the lustful Amchankra, "sample" his stable of concubines at her whim, and nothing pleases Anmchankra more than "stalking" fearful pleasure slaves through her Garden of Delights.
Sebastien the Luckiest Sailor Alive
Sebastian has been a sailor since he was a 12 year old cabin boy. He has seen more wrecks and ships sunk under him than most men can even consider claiming. He claims luck has kept him alive, but it is the fact that when he falls into salt water under the light of the moon, he becomes a squid of large size. This has allowed him to simply swim/jet away from the wrecks. He is now in service to the captain of a ship who knows his secret. No longer a deck swabber or sheet hauler, Sebastien will swim out and sabotage ships by jamming their rudder chains and cutting anchor lines so ships are mooring drift into the rocks in harbors.
The Singing Dolphins of Seven Seas
An irreverent clan of were-dolphins and the entertainers of the highs seas, they are adored and almost revered by pirates and honest sailors alike. The family unit, eight members strong at one time, now down to four living members, spends their days and nights swimming the oceans, and practicing their entertainment extravaganzas. Rarely can the clan be found ashore in human form, but when they do, they can usually be found skulking around the docks and taverns of any major seaport.
In their favorite element, the ocean, the were-dolphin troubadours, cruise near or above the surface, looking for passing ships and caravels. Encountering the altruistic clan, is considered a great boon of luck among seamen, and upon spying the Singing Dolphins, crews usually stop what they are doing, and hoot and holler, anticipating the performance to come.
The were-dolphins put on quite a show. From elaborate swimming and flipping tricks, to juggling and tossing fish, to the most incredible singing voices, this side of Cilagros Opera House, they are bards in the truest sense of the term, delighting in their own performances and enjoying entertaining as its own reward.
The legends of the singing dolphins have become iconic in maritime lore. Mariners consider them blessed and fortuitous to be lucky enough to witness the aquatic troubadours hum and croon. There are murky rumors of course. Rumors describing the were-dolphins troupe as pirates and thieves, and some claims, that they serve a darker, benthic master, but this gossip is unconfirmed at best.
Abdul Tawwab, Servant of the Forgiver
Adbul grew up as many other boys in his village. Unlike them, he had no fear of scorpions or the snakes that could found in the desert. Many considered him to be blessed by the Divine as when he was stung, no welt rose on his flesh. Not even the fiery sting of the Death-bonnet scorpion affected him. He was nearly an adult the first time he changed and became a scuttling scorpion half the size of a camel. Filled with fear and self loathing, Abdul fled the village and now lives in exile. He rarely ever reverts to his human form, instead living as a giant scorpion in the desert. He has no qualms about stalking and killing anyone who threatens his village. The locals have seen the giant scorpion a few times, but are thankful it has never ventured to come into town.
Yerriltia, the Falling Talon
Long a ranger of the North woods, Yerriltia fell quite naturally into the rhythyms of being a shape shifter. The bright-eyed woman is know for her skill with a bow, lack of mercy, and keen eye. They do not know that their protector hides her weapons and clothing and during the heat of the day flies among the clouds, hunting small game and watching the world unfold beneath her. As such, Yerriltia is almost legendary for her scouting ability.
Cloobad the Hammer
Always larger and stronger than the other children, Cloobad was simply big. Most of the time, he can be found working in the smithy, hammering out great blows with his heavy hammers against heavier anvils. When he changes, he grows even larger, his muscles even thicker. In this form, a great shaggy half man half auroch, he could rival a hill giant for strength and possibly be mistaken for a wooly minotaur.
The son of a noteworthy merchant-prince, Lemick was infested with his disease, while traveling on his fathers behalf to the city of Nistvhaar, Queen of the Plains, notorious for its many Rat God cults. Bitten while visiting one of the cults bizarre red temples, Lemick was disgusted by his cursed fate, and unsurprisingly resentful of his gift. His sanity somewhat ravaged by the taint, Lemick chose to blame his father for the tragedy which befell him, and allowing himself, in this way, to take out a lifetimes worth of pent up resentment and frustration on his sire, began to plot the downfall of the mans fortune and dynastical merchant empire.
Adubal "Duber" Hykes
The self-proclaimed, Prince of Rats, and Steward of the Sewers, Duber as he is known, does rule a humble, but effective gang, lairing below the streets of the great capital of Jantir. Himself barely past puberty, Duber is a young, rambunctious, but eminently charismatic and dangerous thief, who leads his fellow infected were-rats on daring and astounding raids across all Wards. Duber has a hefty sum placed on his head by the frustrated Cityguard. Despite all their efforts, the likable Prince of Rats remains ever elusive. Unbeknownst to all, Duber carries on an affair with none other than the respectable Lady Ajasseya, she enjoying the danger and secrecy of it all and he in turn, enjoying losing his virginity.
The Great Marifana
Once a desert princess, daughter of the Raining-Tear Pasha, who was transformed into a desert wildcat, during her exploration of a forgotten desert tomb, once dedicated to Thhassalat, Mistress of Cats, and sister of Mrrrrawwr. Properly cursed with her new exquisite form, the Great Marafana found her new feline life preferable to her old one, and thus her legend was born. The Great Marifana is a beautiful Caracal cat, a paragon of the species, with the intelligence and memories of her former life
Voddermox, Son of the Polar Bear
A hermit dwelling in the icy tundra of the north, Voddermox was stalking game when a huge, hulking snow bear erupted from the frigid waters and mauled the seal-hunter. Miraculously surviving the attack, the youth was later ostracized from his tribe, and took to wandering the snow and ice of his homeland alone. Voddermox now feels closer to his bestial form than his human one, preferring to stalk the ice flows as a polar bear, distrustful and resentful of all other humans, especially foreign visitors to his domain.
Odd facial tattoos and a lilting foreign accent mark Umbadewe Talkata as a foreigner. His wrinkled sun-scorched skin is tough as leather; his dark, squinting eyes carefully survey all around him. An unwanted vagabond, Umbadewe travels from town to town, doing odd jobs when he cant find opportunities for petty thievery. Over and over, furious villagers have driven the parasitic foreigner from their town, only to hear him rant of the Murder Bird Spirit that watches over the menfolk of his line. Even Umbadewe doesnt realize what this ancestral totem really is. He has no recollection of the times when he assumed the shape of a heavy-beaked flightless bird. Clad in the form of a phorusrhacid terror bird, nearly ten feet tall, the shapeshifter hunts those who wronged him. His savage kicks and tearing beak rend his victims into bloody shreds.
Hazzit-Zoob and the village of Amaiah
At first glance a perfectly humble and average warm-clime demesne, situated along a wide, muddy river with a gentle flow, the village secret is that at least a third of its inhabitants are afflicted with crocodylothropy. They are led by an elder, named Hazzit-Zoob, who espouses devouring most travelers who pass the wretched Amaiah, but not before lulling foreign visitors into a false sense of security. The creatures are clever, and are loathe in revealing their secret with reckless abandon. There is even a good chance that some travelers passing through the village, will be left unmolested, unaware of the villagers natures. But a word of caution to the unsuspecting PC, that wakes, exits his or her guest yurt, and approaches the river bank for an early morning swim, while three or four washer women, are knee deep in the river, going about their chores. For the present time, Hazzit-Zoob is content with his rule, but soon he will plan to expand his cults influence and afflictions, among the tribes of the many villages along the banks of the Great Brown River.
Mr. Jenter (manfred-thanks)
Jenter is a man that has mastered his werewolf nature better than most. Hiring out as a guard and cook for short treks, he is known for his passion in preparing food, playing and experimenting with spices and other additions, making simple foods a little different every time - it doesn’t always work, but mostly it is good. His favourite is naturally meat, not pointed out in any way. Casual and reliable, he is a favoured companion… pity he does not hire out for longer periods, an ‘independent nature’ as he says.
It took Jenter quite a while to adapt to his condition. With all the friendliness, he makes sure to be out of civilisation around full moon, walking the woods in human or partially transformed form, rarely turning to wolf completely. His secret is the maniacal devotion to preparing food, into which he channels much of his feelings; focusing on the cooked meat, he suppresses all thoughts of other ways to process meat, or to cunsume it, or to hunt it… If fighting, he fights with the same obsession.
Jenter is _so_ above to changing into a wolf on any provocation, but if forced hard enough, he could become a violent beast beyond sanity. Control is his greatest power and weakness. The few people that got behind his defenses, and angered him sufficiently, have vanished later without a trace. Most conflicts are solved with a smile, and some cooking afterwards.
Vokoun, the King’s Man
Vokoun is one of those rare lycanthropes that has conquered his alter ego, and has firm control over his own transformations and blood lust. Originally, but no more, a Master of Hound for a prosperous King and Kingdom, Vokoun was infected with the curse during a spirited wolf hunt. Since his infection, he has spent years channeling his rage and mastering his lupine forms. He has remained, throughout it all, intensely loyal to the King, and though his hounds now dread his presence, the King saw value in having such a loyal and terrible avenger on his retinue, and anointed Vokoun, Head of the Kings Personal Guard. The werewolf takes great pride in his own appointment and does his job with relish. Vokoun further ingratiated himself to his liege, after saving the Kings life, during yet another, Royal Hunt. Vokoun’s weapon of choice is spike-studded iron mace. He eschews sword and armor, as has an unusual aversion to steel as well as the rudimentary silver, dreaded by his lycan kin.
Gjalbava and Grusilla
Grusilla is the mayor of Ynors Rest, a large village, with pretenses at being a town, one of several beside the vast Peloe Glacier. Grusilla inherited her position and her taint from her mother Gjalbava, an old, wily pagan who originally came from the Peloe¸ Glacier Towns, and became mayor after marrying the existing one, and poisoning him in his sleep with nightshade. The death was deemed a natural expiration by the town coroner, a man who spent the days and nights deep in his cups. Gjalbava put on an act of proper sorrow and dutiful composure, and it wasnt long before the town decided to appoint the brave, grieving, widow mayor in her husbands stead. Gjalbava proved to be a good leader and judge, once she seized the opportunity presented, governing rather fairly and energetically (she loved to be in charge, akin to a drug for Gjalbava), despite her own personal biases and occasional embezzlements, and in time, became a much loved figure in Ynors Rest and neighboring towns, particularly known for her cheery disposition, clever and sometimes acerbic tongue, and organization skills. Ynors Rest was prosperous, as prosperous as a small town can be, during her tenure as well, due in no small part to the discovery of amber deposits in areas of the Peloe Glacier. Grusilla for her part, despises her own mother, but bides her time, having the same plans for mom, as mom had for dad.
Sayachekal, the Pillar
The keeper of the Holy Temple of the Divine River, Sayachekal is a stocky old woman with a bulbous nose and poor eyesight. this hasnt dissuaded her from her task of keeping the temple swept and the sacrificial altars clean and presentable. It wouldn’t do for offerings to rot on golden plates. It is rare that Sayachekal shifts into her animal form, a venerable iron jawed rhinocerous. She does this during the infrequent rains to feel the water patter against her pebbly skin, or when the temple is threatened. Once, during an earthquake she assumed a monsterous half human, half rhino form and held up a corner of the building while the petitioners inside scampered for safety. Over the next two days, with nothing more than busted tree stumps for supports and her own strength she repaired the temple’s fallen pillars and sagging roof.
Merigo the Dustman
Merigo the Dustman trudges from alley to alley, the squeaking wheels of his makeshift rubbish cart advertising his presence long before he can be seen. As he makes his rounds, gathering trash from waterfront businesses, Merigos expressions can be hard to fathom: The dustmans mouth hides beneath a quivering moustache and his gaze wanders randomly.
As the moon rises, Merigo slips off to the tidal pools of the shore, there to secretly transform into a huge crustacean. Crawling among the moonlit rocks, Merigo the giant Were-lobster greedily devours trash and debris, occasionally adding an unfortunate beachcomber to his diet.
"Bully" Bulward Brashfist
The most aggressive merchant in his guilds history, "Bully" Bulward Brashfist never saw an obstacle that daunted him. In his years as a merchant, the stout-hearted trader has squared off against the Thieves’ Guild, led crews exploring new trade routes, and shattered strikes in bold confrontations. His appetites are nearly as legendary as his temper: No man has ever seen him bested in a contest of eating or drinking.
Local authorities watch the burly merchant, but he’s managed to hide his true nature. In the darkness before each dawn, Bully and his inner circle of friends and employees don boar skins, transforming into animal form. They hunt nearby forests, goring anything that crosses their path.
Tezzolo and Enyrane
Husband and wife thrice over, horse-thieves extraordinaire, this pair of passionate lovers and fighters, have had bard’s songs and tales written about them, and they aren’t even dead yet! Tezzolo and Enyrane have an ardent love-hate relationship. The duo is the stuff of legend as far as their reputations are concerned. The pair do not steal horses for profit (though the two "Robin Hoods" have in fact aquired quite a hoard the over the years of other riches.) In fact, They "free" the horses they steal and return them from wherever they came. To say there is a sizable bounty on the pair’s heads, would be quite the understatement. Yet Tezzolo and Enyrane have little trouble escaping the law time after time.
Old Dietrich has been a village elder as long as anyone can remember. Despite his grayed hair and hunched back, he can drink half the village under the table and can outwork a man a third of his age. He also has what is considered the worst temper in the county. While generally unpleasant, he is protective and loyal to a fault and more than once has been seriously injured when he spoke out when he should have held his tongue. It is a shame though, the soldiers who beat him for his insolence against the king were later found all dead except for one. The crippled soldier gibbered about a giant badger that attacked them with it’s claws, teeth, and a great stone axe.
A courtesan and dancer, few men in the capital have not heard of Hanaline of the Silver Veils. They come from miles around to watch her show at the cabaret, where she dances with inhuman flexibility. Scarcely clad in clothing, often cavorting with serpents, she appears as the almost naked goddess of lust. Feeding this appearance is that Hanaline has no qualms about taking private paying clients who want to see just how flexible she is. When the full moon rises, however, this exotic dancer takes on the shape of a giant serpent and will skulk through the dark places in the city, seeking open windows. Her human side forgotten, the serpent has a taste for eating young children, especially those still in the crib.
Vili Pommerlich, "The Bombardier"
Favorite messenger and spy of King Rupert the Mighty, Vili Pommerlich keeps his therianthropic identity a secret from all but the king himself. A hapless palace page by day, this wannabe Zorro, is in fact an undercover agent for the crown, a far-traveling emissary, and courier extraordinaire. Vili has no idea how he came upon his avian curse, unless of course he reasons, it was that time he pulled the second lever instead of the third, in the second chamber of the the Puzzleroom, inside the infamous Temple of Winged Avarice.
Nestor, the Spreader
Nestor is that rarest of souls. He carries the lycanthropic virus but is not a werewolf himself. He is immune to his own taint, yet can inflict the curse on others with a simple bite, or any other exchange of bodily fluids. Sages have studied Nestor over the years (he will accept gold from those interested in "studying" him), but have yet to settle on the nature of his singular predicament. Nestor claims he was born with this affliction, and doesnt much care if someone doesn’t believe him. Truly, he would be a fascinating soul, if not for his complete lack of wit and personality. A stupid, lazy, and crude man, Nestor goes through life without a care or a single ambition.
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30 Wizard Companions By: Michael Jotne Slayer ( Lifeforms ) Constructed - Any
Within this ancient tome are 30 companion spirits for wizards and their ilk.
1- The Worm
The helminthoid form of your familiar spirit fills you with disgust and the stench it gives off causes most creatures with a sense of smell to give you a wide berth (apart from cats, who tend to show an interest in eating the thing). It rudely subjects your efforts at sorcery to mockery. You can communicate with it telepathically, but you dont particularly like the way it thinks. On Levydays it tends to go missing and when it returns it is bloated and sluggish.
2- The Twisted
Much like a small child in figure, but it has the wizened face of a veteran alcoholic, your familiar is kind, garrulous and sociable, but with a tendency to forget even simple instructions and an irritating habit of interrupting conversations with irrelevant non sequiturs.
3- The Puppy
This creature resembles a bulbous puppy, with wrinkled skin covered in crude stitch work. It tends to weep river water from these stitches- particularly when distressed. It gets worked up about small things- rituals that take a long time, changes in diet and other such minor annoyances. It can whine and trail you about, but properly motivated it can do some fearsome magic. It likes playing catch too.
Made of pure energy, your familar usually hides in candles and other open flames. Capable of speaking in a
tiny voice, heard only when almost in your ear…
5- The Frog
The Companion resembles a wide mouthed frog, carved from bronze. It likes warmth in all forms, and also small gleaming objects. You have had to tell it off several times for snagging jewellery with its long tongue, and surreptitiously eating it. When frightened, it tends to stand stock still, which makes it appear like an ornament.
6- The Replica
Your familiar is a small homunculous that is the perfect copy of you at the time you created it. It doesn’t age, growing more perfect and beautiful as you become ravaged by time and the sorceror’s lifestyle.
7- The Abomination
The Abomination is a sulky fat dwarf with the head of a wild boar and square shaped feet. It resents its creation and its sole joy in life is to remind you of the fact. There some things it takes a particular satisfaction in loathing though: dogs, children and better made familiars amongst them.
This familiar spirit appears as a small pile of delicate bones, that can be kept in a bag and thus disguised as a fortune telling device. When called upon to assist in magic the bones form a tiny skeleton, who assists ably until the task is finished, whereupon it breaks into its component bones once more.
This creature is a brilliantly glowing ball of pearlescent light. It obeys your instructions with a reasonably competent level of understanding but has yet to exhibit anything in the way of personality.
10- The Imp
The companion spirit is a slim ebony skinned imp with the pale blue eyes and blonde hair. Whilst your familiar treats you with an almost embarrassing level of veneration its insightful remarks about the nature of of magic often make you wonder if it knows for more about the subject than it willingly divulges.
11- Ten Toes
Your familiar is a magpie with ten toes on each foot. It has an intuitive grasp of simpler spells, but fails to understand more complex ones and can get very frustrated if asked to assist with one. It treats you with respect and is generally enthusiastic. It has a high regard for individual property rights and will be very offended if someone accuses it of kleptomania.
12- The Raven
The familiar is a Raven of the old school. Loyal and able it will nevertheless fail to fulfil its true potential unless its creator is an necromancer or a dark mage. It instinctively knows the doom of anyone it spends time with, and its dry ponderings on the nature of mortality can become unnerving.
13- The Socialist
A green pipistrelle bat with tiny horns. Your familiar takes great umbrage at the excesses of the nobility, and often rants at length about how the workers of the kingdom should rise up and fight to establish a more egalitarian regime. It expects to be paid a wage of a brass penny a day and if you want it to perform a task outside of normal hours it will complain of working to live, not living to work.
This familiar takes the form of a furless cat, with a strange floral aroma to it. Whilst ugly, it doesnt provoke too much suspicion from ordinary folk - which is handy, for it insists on leading a rather independent life of its own amongst the cats of your neighbourhood. It can often be heard yowling under some window or other, chasing small creatures and fighting the biggest, meanest Tomcats it can find. You suspect it is trying to compensate for something.
15- The Beetle
This familiar is much like a large black hornet. It is quite friendly, but its creepy manners make you feel a little uncomfortable. It is an ardent haruspex, and is bad about cleaning up the mess.
16- The Naughty Boy
It is hard to make out the form of your familiar, but in the dark people can perceive a small faintly green glowing boy with a mischievous expression. Your familiar is loyal and dependable and treats you with affection. It does fancy itself as a raconteur however, and enjoys telling your acquaintances all about your latest efforts in wizardry particularly the accidents.
17- The Doll
The doll-like form of your familiar is topped off by a large pale head bearing a shock of black hair and a pair of ancient looking eyes. Whilst generally helpful and intelligent your familiars habit of communicating solely with yourself in a conspiratorial whisper puts others at their unease. People who meet your familiar tend to report the death of a friend or relation shortly afterwards.
18- The Piglet
This creature takes the form of a small pink piglet, with beady glass eyes and a slight smell of camphor about it. Loud, friendly and fond of ales, it enjoys singing as well as delving into the more obscure magical writings of magical lore. It likes you well enough, but expects you to take it out for laughs and ale every so often
19- The Second Cat
Were it not for the two delicate human hands that take the place of its front paws your familiar would look like a mundane tabby cat. It behaves in a catlike fashion and can sometimes prove hard to keep track of, which can cause problems due to its strange appearance. The familiar treats you with lukewarm regard but can warm to a person who regularly offers it tasty treats.
20- The Second Doll
This strange companion is stitched together from cloth and velvets, with rough buttons for eyes. It looks like a crude doll, and can be rather unnerving. It has a ragged voice and a foul mouth. You have no idea where it learnt its extensive vocabulary of dockside language, but you certainly encourage it to remain silent when other folk are around.
21- The Third Doll
This doll-like companion seems to be the perfect toy. With delicate china hands and face, it takes the form of a well dressed noble lady - and had the voice to match. Half amused and impish in tones, this familiar will lovingly attend you in magic that seems exciting, but has no time for long rituals or other such bores. It can be charmed with flattery and hand stitched clothing.
22- The Rat
This companion takes the form of a rat like skeleton, fused with silver and lead. The metal seems to run liquid across the bones, holding them together and acting in the place of muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin. It is not so much intelligent as cunning, and whilst not friendly, does at least acknowledge you as an equal. The familiar asks to be paid in silver coin every moon, though what it does with them, youve no idea.
23- The Sprite
The charming sprite you have created as your familiar has skin like the shoots of young plants, pale green and easily bruised. It is a helpful and optimistic creature with a particular knack for assisting with the creation of potions. It loves to doodle on spare pieces of paper, including the leaves of any grimoires you leave within its reach.
24- The Puppet!
This spirit companion looks like a puppet or doll, carved from Oak and inlaid with gem eyes. Its teeth are formed from ivory and tend to clack together when it speaks. It loves music in all its forms, and encourages you to include it in all the magic you do. Other than this, the familiar lacks much in the way of personality, provoking rather wooden conversation.
25- The Poor Thing
Your spirit companion has the form of small finch, though it lacks eyes and panics if it thinks you are about to leave it alone. Its condition often leaves it terribly depressed, and it likes to twitter maudlin songs that describe its lot in life. Earthworms cheer it up. It considers nature magic to be the epitome of the craft which could annoy you if you are not a druid or a nature wizard.
This demon companion has no obvious bodily form, rather it can be seen only in mirrors, as an amorphous grey cloud, inset with a wide tooth filled mouth. It exudes the smell of burning books, which allows you to tell where it is. It loves fire in all its forms, and whispers to you in a low voice of the beauty found in destruction. It is distant, but serves you exactly.
27- The Toad
This fetid familiar takes the form of a squat toad with brilliant jewelled eyes. It sweats a rather smelly black fluid, not unlike ink in consistency. It speaks in a deep bass voice some what at odds with its small size. Fond of flies, blotting paper and waking you up in the middle of the night, this familiar is at least rather helpful - if a little slow.
Appearing as a three foot tall foppish dandy in purple velvet with long ginger hair and straggly beard tied in a knot your familiar suffers violent mood swings and can just as easily be helpful and insightful, depressed and withdrawn or violently angry. It is lecherous towards women, craves tobacco and flatulates unrepentantly. It has an appreciation for jewellery and a gift of such will keep it happy for days on end.
29- The Fantasy
A fantastically enthusiastic and vibrant familiar full of vigour and vim. It takes the form of a small horse with wings and gives off a pleasant odour. Whilst you hone your mystic arts it will be both helpful and supportive, but if you go for a lengthy period without studying or practicing magic it will begin to drone on in an interminable fashion about how you are squandering your gift and missing out on all the glories that tend to come to more ambitious wizards.
Other wizards are often jealous of your brilliant familiar, it looks a lot like one of those long sinuous dragons you see in eastern art pieces and it enjoys curling round your chest and peering over your shoulder at your fellows, fixing them with its intelligent eyes and charismatic smile. It is astonishingly helpful and loves you.
Thanks go to Valadaar for coming up with number 4- Energy.
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30+ Burial Customs By: valadaar ( Articles ) Campaign - Game Mastering
30+ Burial Customs for building cultures
Digging more into my setting - World of Neyathis, I was thinking more about the various cultures which would populate it - I have only barely touched upon most of them so far. One of the questions which I think has many applications for roleplaying as well as how the culture thinks is how they dispose of their dead? Think the Egyptians and the value of describing this area is immediately shown.
Here is a list of 30 possible Burial customs both great and small, and I would invite you to add your own.
There is no need to simply choose one custom - you can mix and match and combine many of the following to produce unique customs for your race or culture.
Careful preservation of the dead has been practiced by many real-world cultures, and perhaps the most famous are the Egyptian mummies. Generally this involves chemical treatment of the corpse. Some of these dead have been known to arise as Bandage Beasts, to the dismay of tomb robbers.
2. Clay coating
The corpse is coated by a thick layer of clay. It is not typically fired, as the corpse would cause the clay to break, so it is left soft. The clay figure may then be painted to resemble the deceased in life. Some cultures may choose to skeletonize the corpse first and then built the deceased back up with clay. In this case, the final product is much closer to the deceased in size and so may be outfitted with the deceased clothing.
Other uses for Clay can be found here.
Those cultures closer to arctic regions or with availability of cold-inducing magics may preserve their dead by freezing.
The Melashar people, a mountain-dwelling race living close to great glaciers, have built massive ice-domes where they incorporate their dead into the icy walls, each posed peacefully with their hands crossed on the chest. Occasionally priests will converse by magic with these frozen dead.
4. Asphalt Coating
Similar to clay-coating, this substance can be an even better preservative. In Locastus, City of Mirrors, they use asphalt to coat their dead as part of the process of creating Deaders.
Alcohol, honey and other substances can be used to preserve the dead in large vessels - perhaps glass or pottery. In later times, perhaps the alcohol might be used by graverobbers for other purposes. See Buck-Ogre Rumfor one application. Some sources indicate that Alexander the Great’s corpse was preserved in honey for its journey home. This would make a sweet treat for a ghoul!
Similarly, grave robbers in Egypt were said to have found a cask of honey in a tomb, apparently still edible. After helping themselves to the rich treat, they then found hair in the jar, still attached to someone…
Perhaps the simplest means of preservation, this is common in desert regions. This can happen naturally, possibly creating The Parched. Large quantities of salt or other chemical desiccants can also be used to dehydrate the corpse, also allowing for long term preservation.
A common method of disposal of the dead, the body is burned. Some cultures will also dispose of grave goods in the fire. An excellent example of this is the viking longboat funeral. With access to magic, the cremation could be accomplished via spells of power. Disintegration might be a culture’s method of keeping the nobility, at least, from experiencing the indignity of rotting. This is also an ideal method of preventing corpses from rising as corporeal undead, but can sometimes allow for other forms of undead to arise, such as the Urn Beast.
Other cultures with access to volcanic areas may cast their dead to be consumed by lava.
Often, the ashes, or a sample thereof, are retained and placed in various containers.
9. Fed to the Power
The deceased is provided as food to some powerful flesh-eating entity.
The Maletanalu tribe of the Hanaset provide the bodies of their dead (or other undesirables, for that matter) to their crocodile totem Malitazum one-eyed. Similarly, pigs such as the Yird-Swine may be used to keep the quantities of dead on hand to a limited level.
Sometimes, lesser beasts may be retained and cultivated just for this purpose. Some cultures use pits filled with Swarm Snakes or other similar creatures for corpse disposal.
10. Dissolved in Acid
More common as a means of disposing of murder victims, societies which live near large sources of acid, such as the Acid Lakes of Neuapar, make make use of these to dispose of their dead.
Among the Neuaparians, there is a legend that their deity will take mortal form in a body which is immune to the corrosive waters of the lakes of the Thuviack Volcano. As a result, they take great pains that all of their dead are disposed of in this manner. Losing even a single corpse to them is drastically important. They will make superhuman efforts to retrieve their lost dead. Few Neuaparians will travel far, lest their corpse be lost should they die.
11. Consignment to the Sea
The deceased is disposed of by either being thrown into the sea, or perhaps placed on a boat (possibly with grave goods) and sent downriver towards the sea. This means of disposal is very common on seagoing vessels, as it is quite difficult and dangerous to try and preserve dead on long voyages for other means of burial.
12. Left to the Beasts
The deceased is taken away to some remote location and left to scavengers to dispose of. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_burial Tibetan Sky Burial is an example of this, though the process is much more elaborate then simply leaving the corpse. Some tribes of Wild Elves are known for tree-burials where the dead are tied to branches high up in a tree and left to the beasts and elements.
The corpse is divided into parts and are disposed of separately. This is often a treatment used to dispose of dead enemies of great powers. In Mythology The Egyptian god Osiris was so treated by Set.
One of the more common methods, possibly employed after various forms of preservation, the corpse is interred into the ground. Sometimes a container is used - from a simple shroud to ornate boxes of metal and wood and is placed into the ground. Afterwards the location may or may not be marked with some type of indicator. The nature of the marker, and location of burial are also factors that can vary widely by culture.
15. Plant Gravemarker
Grave sites are marked by the planting of specific plants or trees.
The Honash people use trees to mark the graves of their fallen, with specific species associated with different major clans. Those of low birth generally use Shrubs. No other marker is used - the location of specific graves is very difficult to determine except perhaps by age of the tree. There are great forests which have arisen on the sites of great battles.
16. Funeral Sacrifice
Upon death of a high-status person, others may be slain to accompany the deceased into the afterlife - often as slaves or spouses. A related custom is where the widow of the deceased would kill themselves in their husbands funeral pyre. Some cultures may only sacrifice livestock, mounts and other creatures.
17. Burial Pit
The Nestorii use great pits which are dug to great depth to dispose of their dead. The pits are sufficiently deep to prevent the smell of decay from being overpowering nearby. The Netorii do not use groundwater for drinking but resort to rain-water collection. The deep pit is symbolic of the journey to the underworld.
Normally restricted to preserved corpses, the deceased is put on display after death for a period of time. Possibly only a portion of the body is so treated, such as the head or a hand. Some cultures provide special structures for such display, while others may keep their deceased loved ones within the home for a designated time frame.
Corpse is reduced by magic to its basic minerals and forms a large crystal. (Inspired by an old Star Trek episode). These are often collected in purpose-built structures similar to ossuaries to contain the crystals.
As with the name, the dead are eaten. Depending on the cause of death there may be some circumstances where this is not carried out, especially with different levels of medical knowledge and availability of healing (mundane or magical). The Asrok carry out this practice as do The Rephatians. There can also be varying degrees - from a small symbolic portion to the entire corpse being consumed.
Through use of magic, the deceased body is transformed into some object which represents what and who they were. A common choice is a statue of the person or small portable trinkets, but it is limited only by the power of the magic and the imaginations of the survivors.
Some cultures with access to dark magic will reanimate their dead. These rituals vary in their full effect - some will bind the dead person’s spirit to the corpse while others simply animate the empty husk. The deceased may be used for combat, labor, or other purposes.
The dead are provided no special consideration apart from that needed for proper sanitation. They are simply treated as inedible garbage and disposed of by whatever means is expedient, even pitched into a nearby midden. Some times this was done to punish the dead for their transgressions in life. This practice was apparently employed by the Romans at times.
Entire cities mirroring the cities of the living are constructed to house the dead. These can simply be massive collections of tombs or even mirror images of the living city where the dead lived in life.
The culture may remove the dead from whatever location they are currently placed in. The reasons could be for practical purposes - such as making room for new dead, or ritualistic. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead day of the dead in Bolivia is a real-world example of this.
As step towards other treatments (display, burial, etc), the corpse may be stripped of all of its flesh. This may be simple butchering, left to insects/carnivorous fish,etc or simply left to rot.
Special structures are built to accommodate the bones of the dead, often where graveyards are reused or availability of burial plots are very limited. In lands where necromancy is common, these places are often highly fortified and guarded by knightly orders.
27. Grave Goods
Depending on culture and social station, one may be buried with as little as nothing, or even whole ships, chariots and other equipment.
The Empire of Nethian would convert imperial castles into giant tombs for their fallen emperors, nearly matching a Necropolis in scale. As a result, they have large numbers of oddly placed imperial castles and have started to scavenge building materials from older, more unpopular imperial tombs.
Parties are thrown to celebrate either the life or death of the deceased (depending upon how they were viewed).
The Mythyin people are normally a dry society, their religion tolerates alcohol only during wakes and birthing celebrations. It is not unheard of for murders to occur solely to prompt a wake….
29. Easy-exit Graves
Some societies and individuals are obsessively afraid of being buried alive, others may seek for their dead to arise as undead. In any case, these groups take pains to allow for easy exit of the grave.
30. Trapping the Dead
The corpse is physically bound before burial - often with chains, metal harnesses, or even cement (where available - the Romans had cement quite early in history). Other cultures might nail the corpse into the coffin, or stake it down.
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30+ Dwarven Gifts By: Cheka Man ( Items ) Other - Heroic
The Dwarves are often thought to be a greedy and miserly race, but there are times when they will give rewards to those who have genuinely earned them.
(OOC-I added the names of all those who did submissions but only mine has shown up, for some reason. The others are the following; axlerowes, Echomirage, Ancient Gamer ,Dossta , Pariah.)
1) 100 bottles of beer This is a very well made beer of the dwarves;no matter how drunk you get, there is no hangover when you wake up in the morning. It also lowers the effects of fear the more you drink (whilst still making you drunk if you drink too much of it.)
2) Extra heavy stone pillar A monument with the names of the heroic PCs and their deeds engraved on it so that generations of dwarves may remember what the PCs did for them.
3) Jewel Encrusted Goblin Skull Drinking Mug (w/ relatives that want it back "Ghdklafdi won't go to goblin heaven if he isn't buried in one piece")
The skull of some luckless Goblin, now plated with gold with rubies set in tnhe eyes;his sizeable family want it back, by force if need be, to bury respectfully with the rest of him and will try and take it from the PCs somehow.
4) Masterwork Sword of Pointiness
Depending on the level of magic in the world your PCs are gaming in, this can bwe anything from your typical +1 sword to a sword of great magical power, or one with no magic but that gives a big skill/damage bonus in battle.
5-A Glowstick that won't set underground gas alight
Underground, a spark in the wrong place at the wrong time can hit a seam of flammable methane gas and cause an explosion; at best causing injury, at worst blowing up a whole tunnel and killing everybody in it. With a glowstick, made of mori rock, thatv gives off a soft blue glow, the way can be lit without endangering everybody in the area.Many dwarven cites only allow glowsticks as a light source, for safety reasons.
With a bonus when smashing into rock due to an enchantment placed upon it by a Dwarven mage, this can break through stone doors within hours and does great damage to Earth Elementials and other such creatures of stone.
7-A golden chain
It is what it is;PCs can use it to impersonate a mayor, tie someone's hands up or just, as most no doubt will, sell it for money as soon as they get a chance.
8-A metal sheild
Not just any sheild but a Notcher , this will in a fight wreck the weapons of those who come into combat against it, leaving them useless.
9-A drawven tomb for the use of his whole family when they die
Many dwarves think that a proper burial for the dead in a tomb with grave goods is very important for comfort in the afterlife, and so to give a tomb or tomb space to PCs is seen as a great honor. Some PCs may not see it this way and be upset about a reward that is only of use after their deaths.
10-Something to keep beards clean
Dwarves being bearded, face their beards getting dirty with food or dust or even infested with lice in the worst situations, this will clean the most filthy of beards.
Almost inedible and therefore useful when everything else edible has been eaten and food is still a long way away.
12 - A pet rock.
Dwarven pet rocks are actually quite smart, can move, can warm your bed and make people you don't like stub their toes on them. They can be thrown and come back, they can guard you while you sleep and wake you up with something lovingly (and flatteringly) called 'rock music' (disharmonic yelling that could wake the dead!).
13 - A Battlegaard and Choppensmacker brand axe of the finest quality
. It comes with a service kit, a guarantee, a certificate and an agent of the company will come, perform your last rites and bury the axe with you when you die. Also, it deals 1 point of damage more than any (non-magical) weapon in its class.
14 - A stout woman.
Dwarven lasses are the most precious treasure any clan has. To be awarded one as wife is the greatest honor the dwarves can bestow. Hildegard has breasts that could wean an army, a behind where you could serve a dinner for four, never tires in bed, will make you Dwarven bread sandwiches when you go off adventuring, and forge you a new suit of armor every time you're gone.
15. Stonebeard Clasps
How do dwarves keep their beards and braids from being chopped off in battle by orc glaives and goblin scimitars? Stonebeard Clasps, that’s how. These uncommonly given items are prized by dwarves and by extension deemed worthy gifts. The clasps magic is simple and effective. Once clasped around a hanging beard, or hair braid, the clasp infuses the hair with the supposed ‘strength of stone’. Thus bladed weapons glance off harmlessly from the wearer’s beard and locks in the heat of battle.
16 - A humble home
My home, my castle - as the saying goes. With dwarves, it's literal. After all, a dwarf needs a safe home before he can consider getting himself a nice lass and some wee dwarflings. Thus the value of this gift.
The dwarves build you a solid house that could withstand the apocalypse - or half a dozen of them. Complete with siege engines on the rampart and in the tower, of course - what good is a house that can only take punishment, and dish out none?
17 - A delver buddy
Actually a miniature metal golem, the delver buddy is indispensable below the earth. He can watch your back while you dig, crawl where you cannot go, measure time without fail, store your gold nuggets for you and watch out for dangerous gasses and tremors. He also passes you tools upon request, and holds one small flask of brandy, one torch and a piece of deep mole jerky in case of emergencies.
18 - The funny tome
Dwarves value good humor, they just differ from other races in the definition of "funny". This pocket-sized booklet holds scores of dwarven jokes, tried and true. For example: "Why aren't you mining for gold today, Hrangwulf?" "Ah, I think I already have enough." is an oldie but goldie.
19 - Boomsticks
Dwarves like fire and loud entertainment. Fireworks exactly fit the bill. You get handed a huge box with crackers, rockets and flares sufficient for a lifetime of Silvesters, or blowing up a medium-sized city.
20 - A reliable ride
You get a faithful mountain pony. They can subsist on a handful of oats, resist temperatures near absolute zero, can drink more vodka than you, and handle any terrain, whether tunnel, decris or near-vertical slopes. Also, when faced with greenskins, they're of more use than an average human militia.
21 - The Ring of Friendship
A subtle steel band with dwarvish writing, the ring bears a subtle enchantment. Any dwarf will know what you did for its creator. Even dwarves born away from their home holds, in the lands of man, will recognize and honor the ring.
22 - Pimp my Ride!
Do you have a ship? A wagon? A submarine? A dragon? The dwarves will add cannons, armor, brass adornments and lots of spikes.
23-A mighty Dwarven Estate
Thankful for the PCs help, the dwarves bestow upon them the highest honor they could think of, a mighty estate in their home province. Unfortunately, the underground province was overrun by orcs and their kin some four centuries ago, but as soon as it is back in their hands, the PCs will get their rightful reward! The dwarves ceremonially enter the PC names into a huge, leather and iron bound ledger, gulfing down a goblet of beer when done.
The dwarves will hint nicely that they could use some help reclaiming their province.
24. A well-used drinking horn. This drinking horn is lined with silver and inscribed with runes proclaiming its lineage and blessing the health of the bearer. When filled with water, the horn cleanses it and suffuses it with the taste of a clear, mountain stream. When filled with alcohol, the liquor is infused with the constitution of the dwarves, fortifying the imbiber and strengthening their arm. This horn has been passed from father to son for generations of dwarves, and receiving it is a deep mark of respect. The dwarf considers you to be as good as adopted kin.
26 - An evening of culture
You get invited to a dwarven opera, a cultural happening of utmost significance. The thing takes several hours, features lots of busty dwarven women in shining plate and men in heraldry-encrusted armor, an ornate plot and music that is a cross between Wagner's Ring der Nibelungen, Hans Zimmer and power metal.
27 - Pie
Exactly that. A dwarven steynkrust-schmaus pie holds mountain goat cheese, assorted meat from the finest moles and rats, and the most fragrant mushrooms their subterranean realms can offer, all baked in a crispy crust.
28 - A body of iron! (1)
In three months, the dwarven Iron Man competition takes place, and this old dwarf you aided will run you through his training regime so that you're fit enough to compete. Compete, not win, as no surfacer could ever match the toughness of the dwarfiest dwarves.
29 - A body of iron! (2)
Your PC was grievously injured, but the dwarves can fix him, they've got the technology! Enjoy your new golem arm or enchanted eye; and if they cannot help you, they can still build an armored steam-driven wheelchair with 120mm cannons and a martini dispenser.
30. A Clan Name:
You and all your heirs shall be listed in the dwarven chronicle from now until ragnarok (2012, we run out of ink...a long time). The name shall be a combination of the elements you mastered or endured and the means in which you mastered them. For example clan Goldenseal is credited with inventing the gold coin. Clan Oxpull relieved the siege of Formidable Pass by taking wagons of supplies over the peak. You shall be known as (____________)
"Drink up my long legged friends, may your daughter's beards be full and your sons bent by their labor. For you now enjoy all the right of dwarven nobility." 31 - A job
In his enterprise, a dwarven industrialist offers you the same position his very own children started in. Which means at the very bottom. While it may seem meager, one has to consider that young dwarves line up in queues hundreds long whenever he has an open spot. Really, all he does is offer a chance to learn a craft along with the very best.
32 - Ride the thunder
You get a lifetime pass for dwarven ironclad, railroad and steam carriage transport.
33 - Relaxation
What is better than an evening at the spa, with sauna, scented candles, warm stones, thermal springs and Gudrun, who can massage so well with those stocky hands of hers? Aaaah, that's the spot!
34 - Excitement!
As honorary guests, you may take part in dwarven sports and win awesome prizes! Of course, dwarven sports are usually full contact, such as "Carry-the-pigskin-to-the-hole" and "Battle Royale" where dwarves beat each other senseless with stuffed leather bats.
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40 Thieves Guild Missions By: Nobody ( Plots ) Hired - Side-Quest
Missions for any campaign in any city of any realm. As long as crime exists, you will be able to use this submission.
This list was all designed to be done at low levels. Some things may seem harder than others, but you should realize that the Guild can offer assistance in any mission. Easier missions can be made harder with a quick complication, or with a restriction on mission parameters.
For Example, you might not be allowed to kill anybody, or you might need to stage it to look like the thieves guild had no part in the event or even that somebody else was responsible. You can always make a mission harder by adding in that the enemy knows that you are coming or even that they have been tipped off to the exact time and date.
It should be noted that almost all of these can be accomplished without any actual fighting. These were designed to help out players who too far down on the food chain to fight through every mission.
Finally, you don\‘t have to limit this list to use with a bunch of evil or lawless characters. In fact, even the shining Paladin can enjoy one of these great missions if you simply turn it around on him.
For example, the party might be the victims of number 17. Frame individual. The local authorities are investigation them for a crime, and now, they have to dodge the gaurds and other heroes while they find out who framed them and why, so they can prove their innocence.
If all else fails, you can always have a story like this running around the local news. If these missions all turn out to be just filler, then I can sleep well at night.
40 Thieves Guild Missions
1. Steal Holy Relic From Temple
2. Rig Arena Battle
3. Steal contract
4. Stop Thug in Territory
5. Break contact out of prison
6. Poison/silence Contact inside prison
7. Smuggle package into city
8. Tail informant
9. Rig Trial Results
10. Sabotage Execution
11. Get leverage on powerful individual
12. Kidnap children or spouse
13. Sabotage Election
14. Vandalize Store
15. Relay Information
16. Steal back package or information
17. Frame individual
18. Betray party
19. Spike Alchemical Brew
20. Ruin Business Name
21. Deliver Package
22. Obtain Guild Dues
23. Obtain Borrowed Money
24. Map out location
25. Get important Key
26. Discern Hidden Identity
27. Pass training course
28. Obtain Business associate
29. Pedal Stolen Merchandise
30. Steal Wanted Posters
31. Start business front
32. Mislead Authorities
33. Steal Purses
34. Out-Steal Rival Thief
35. Get Building Blue-Prints
36. Set fire to Building
37. Sow dissention in group
38. Rob supply Wagon
39. Steal the Dingus
40. Kill target
40 Thieves Guild Missions
1. Steal Holy Relic From Temple - \“There is a holy relic in a temple or church. Your job is to steal it.\” It may or may not have high material value. It could be the whimsy of an avid collector, the subject of Guild retaliation, or the subject of a bet.
2. Rig Arena Battle - Any Thieve\‘s Guild that doesn\‘t have a hand in the Arena isn\‘t doing it\‘s job, and this time, they are backing a particular contestant. They could have been hired to rig the fight, or maybe they sponsored a contestant to win them a particularly valuable prize. Whatever the reason, you can bet that they are betting heavily on the outcome. Don\‘t screw this one up.
3. Steal contract - Somebody has been contracted to do some work for a rival. Your job is to steal that contract so that we can fill it and put this guy out of business. More often than not, the Guild is hired to help out against the rival of a local business owner, but sometimes the Guild has a direct stake in the theft. The Contract should be unique and nearly impossible to duplicate to insure that another isn\‘t just made for the rival. Order lists are the most frequent documentation, but this mission could apply to any number of documents.
4. Stop Thug in Territory - \“Somebody outside the Guild has been going around and demanding protection money in our territory. Protection that we are already offering. Rub them out.\” This could either be the work or a niave upstart, or that of a rival guild. If the latter, then this could turn into more of a diplomacy mission than anything else. The last thing anybody wants is a guild war.
5. Break contact out of prison - \“Your job is to break a \“guest\” of ours out of prison.\” This mission may have been contracted with the guild or the VIP may have valuable information for the Guild at a price. He may just be a valued member of the Guild.
6. Poison/silence Contact inside prison - The reasons why the Guild would want somebody on the inside rubbed out are nearly endless. Suffice it to say that there are more than enough reasons. The only question is whether you are already on the inside, or whether you have to get inside to do it. It might be simpler. Bribing a few guards can go a long way.
7. Smuggle package into city - \“We have a particularly important package that we need. The only problem is that the local authorities have been cracking down on smuggling and our last guy got nabbed.\” The package could be information, it could be drugs, it could be a person. It could be as small as a letter or as large as a caravan of illegal goods.
8. Tail informant - \“Somebody has some information that we want. Unfortunately for them, we don\‘t feel like paying them for it. Find out who they are talking to, and how to get your hands on it.\”
9. Rig Trial Results - The reasons for rigging a trial are nearly endless. Mabe it\‘s an investigation that needs to stay quiet. Maybe the Guild wants to frame somebody, maybe the Guild wants to keep somebody out of jail. The most important part about this mission is how a trial actually works in your system. Democracy isn\‘t the only form of government, and your trial may want to reflect that.
10. Sabotage Execution - The Guild needs to postpone an execution. Your their man for the job. Maybe they need information from somebody before they die. Maybe they will use the extra time to spring him from the block. Maybe the Guild is simply sending a message to the community and the target doesn\‘t matter.
11. Get leverage on powerful individual - \“We want to make a new \“friend\”. We need you to find out how we can do that. Find out anything you can about him that will make him make him more friendly.\” This could be somebody who has been causing the Guild trouble, or perhaps this is somebody that the Guild wants in their pocket.
12. Kidnap children or spouse - \“The term \“Leverage\” just doesn\‘t cut it in this thieves\’ Guild mission. You know what to do.\”
13. Sabotage Election - \“The Guild has been keeping their eye on a particular office. We don\‘t want it going to just anybody.\” This mission might be to ensure the office goes to a sponsored or pocketed candidate, or possibly that it doesn\‘t go to somebody who has proven particularly troublsome to the Guild. This isn\‘t always a public office either. This might be ensuring a position within public office, but just as likely this could be securing an office inside another Guild, or even the Thieves\’ Guild itself. Just remember that voting could very well happen behind closed doors between only a handfull of people.
14. Vandalize Store - \“Somebody forgot to pay their \“protection\” money. We don\‘t wnat to stop future business dealings between them and us, we just want to remind them that we are still here.\”
15. Relay Information - This could be as simple as distributing a password to members of the Guild, or as complicated as memorizing (and destroying) a note in a dead drop location, and relaying it to a guarded source who is already being wathced heavily
16. Steal back package or information - \“A rival guild has taken something of ours. Get it back\” This could be a contract or ship list, a valuable item, or a running contest between guilds. Don\‘t forget the possibility of lifting some valuable evidence in a bust.
17. Frame individual - \“Sometimes bad things happen to good people. This man was wrongfully accused of a crime. I mean, he did it, but it was wrong that he was accused of it.\” Your job is to cover up an incident and make it look like somebody else did it. The crime may have yet gone unreported, or the investigation might be well underway. Either way, the clues planted should make a big difference in the case.
18. Betray party - This could be a test of loyalty requiring that you betray an existing party, or it might be your job to take out one that already exists by joining on an adventure. Regardless, it is recommended that the party be strong enough that subterfuge must be used to play on people\‘s suspiciouns of eachother to take them down.
19. Spike Alchemical Brew - Nothing wrecks a good potion like a good poisonous or addictive additive. This could be to ruin a rival alchemist\‘s name, poison a specific person (while also hitting many others)or form narcotic addictions to recovering patients in a healing ward.
20. Ruin business name - \“In any line of work, reputation is everything. Ruin that and ruin them\”. This could be an intimidation tactic, an attempt at eliminating a rival business, or simply a hired job.
21. Deliver Package - \“We need you to get this to an important person. It might seem simple, but if it gets intercepted somehow, then things could go horribly wrong. Don\‘t mess this up\” This could be as simple as putting a letter in a dead-drop lcation, or as complicated as getting it to a person in custody.
22. Obtain Guild Dues - \“We are going to give you a bit more freedom with this one. We don\‘t care how you get our dues, but get them.\” This could be protection money, or it could be a Guild member who hasn\‘t been paying his share to the Guild. The amount should always be small however.
23. Obtain Borrowed Money - Similar to Obtaining Guild Dues except that in this mission, the amount owed is substantially more. This could be a Gambling debt, somebody who has taken out a large business loan, or just somebody who has been consistently avoided attempts to collect guild dues for an extended period of time.
24. Map out location - \“We just need you to do a little light recon for this one. We can get in and out, but we need to know what to expect. That\‘s where you come in.\” This could be the mapping of a dungeon, the mapping of a new building, or even the mapping out of catacombs or a vault. This may require several trips, but it doesn\‘t need to be in secret.
25. Get important Key - \“This is our Key Vault. Here we store all the keys of the entire city. At least, every one that we have managed to aquire. As you can see, this space right here is empty\” The key could be locked up somewhere, or it could be stored on a person. Safes and vaults aren\‘t the only things that the Guild might want access to either. Even if it isn\‘t a specific mission, the PCs might find themselves rewarded for aquiring keys that the Guild doesn\‘t already have.
26. Discern Hidden Identity - \“We have developed an interest in a certain individual. Unfortunately, we know nothing about him. Not even his real name. It\‘s your job to find out who he is. We can work on exploiting him later\” This could be a revolutionary leader, a local hero, a mysterious guild leader, or simply an anonomous contact. The Guild may or may not have anything against them. The Guild just likes to keep their friends close and their enemies closer.
27. Pass training course - Although not the prefered method of testing a member (or potential member) it can be very good at testing the skills of a thief while eliminating the possiblility of cheating. Generally cheating is encouraged, but sometimes, like in the case of what could be an undercover detective, it comes in handy at showing the guild what is fact and what is fiction. Regardless, no training course should be without its set of traps, obstacles, and rival thieves to test your wits and skills.
28. Obtain Business associate - \“The Guild has been thinking about expanding into a new area. We are putting you in charge of making sure it happens\”. The Guild may or may not already have a person in mind. Regardless, this is a mostly diplomatic mission, although, other foms of persuasion are certainly options
29. Pedal Stolen Merchandise - \“The Guild specializes in trading \“exotic\” goods, and right now our inventory is getting a little full. We need you to offload some of our merchandise to make room for new stock, for a good price of course\”. The Guild may have a specific item that they are having trouble selling, or they might just have to many thieves and not enough vendors on the streets. Either way, some of the stuff being sold is inevitably hot, and closer inspection will reveal cold, but stolen merchandise as well.
30. Steal Wanted Posters - \“Somebody put up a bounty that we don\‘t approve of. Until we can \“convince\” the right people that the bounty is fake, we need you to make sure that nobody else sees it.\”
31. Start business front - \“The Guild may specialize in underground activity, but we also have a lot of legitimate investments as well. Without those, there would be no underground activity\”. The Guild may sponser the business, paying for the purchase or rent of a building as well as initial stock and investments, for a majority cut of the money later. The Guild could also simply offer protection for the business on the condition that they are allowed to cook the books to balance out their other transactions.
32. Mislead Authorities - \“We don\‘t like the way this is going to look if the Authorities look too deep into the matter. We have a large number of assets that could be confiscated, as well as some valuable members and assosciates that might be implicated. Throw the investigation off course.\” The investigation may not even have anything to do with the Guild, they could simply be getting caught in some much deserved crossfire
33. Steal Purses - This is really more of a fail-safe mission. Guild members can always go back to thier roots by cutting purses for some quick cash. Really, this can be applied to any number of general purpose theft.
34. Out-steal rival thief \“We are going to test you against another promising Guild Member. Bring back more valuable stuff than him, or forever live in his shadow.\” The more arrogant the rival thief is, the more players will want to win this one. Depending on his personality, the rival may or may not cheat. They could try to lock a door behind you to delay your progress, or simply take money from their own personal reserve to add to thier claim
35. Get Building Blue-Prints \“We need you to obtain the blue-prints for a \“potential business endeavor\”. We don\‘t want a run-of-the-mill building layout either. We need the original architectural blueprints for this one, complete with any hidden locations or additional changes to the original structure.\” These could be stored in a city run office, or they could be held in a security vault.
36. Set fire to Building This could be an attempt to shut down a business, a stab at another Guild, an attempt to destroy valuable evidence in a building or even a murder.
37. Sow dissention in group We have been having a problem with a group of people. We can\‘t outright kill them, so we want to split them up.\” This could be a group as small as a party, or as large as a nationwide organization. For whatever reason, the Guild can\‘t just start choppong off leaders. This mission might take longer than normal, but the ability to forge signatures would be a very nice skill for a mission like this.
38. Rob supply Wagon You could be robbing the wagon in order to gain a specific item, or simply robbing it because it has a lot of valuable merchandise. It might aso be an indirect, and profitable attempt at shutting down a business owner.
39. Steal the dingus \“We have had our eye on a particularly valuable item for some time. So far you are the only person who is both skilled and reckless enough to go in after it.\” I left this till near the end because it is the most obvious thieves guild mission. But if I left it off, it really wouldn\‘t be a thieves guild would it?
40. Kill target As the last mission listed, I can breath a sigh of relief. I think that this one is pretty self-explanatory. Good luck.
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Beachcombing 101 By: Murometz ( Locations ) Area - Water
Beachcombing and coast-hugging, fantasy style. Animal, mineral, and vegetable. Sea-Junk. Flotsam and jetsam. Encounters and other oddities.
A walk along the beach. A sail along the shore. Sea-Junk and other oddities, and surprises, both mundane and otherwise. This 30 works somewhat better along desolate stretches of shoreline, rather than beaches of civilized, heavily populated kingdoms. This can also be useful any time the PCs visit an island, or are aboard a ship, exploring a coastline.
Message in a bottle An old bottle, with either an intricate model of a ship or a romantic letter or even a map rolled-up inside the bottles protective confines.
Mermaid Bracers These washed-up, leathery armbands, are actually made of some kind of fish-scale, upon closer examination. In fact, they were made from the scales of a mermaids tail, by a particularly odious wizard. Morbid and usable, but in no way magical are the bracers.
Gems? Countless mounds of washed up smooth, sea-glass pebbles and beans of every imaginable color, perfectly suitable as beads for necklaces, bracelets, and rings.
Whale Vomit Gray Amber or more appropriately, Ambergris, these waxy chunks and sometimes blocks, are the bile and intestinal secretions of whales, and are quite valuable, despite their unimpressive appearance. The substance is prized by those aware of its properties and potential uses.
Grindaknivur A rare whaling knife used by the infamous whalers of the Targovhul Isles, far to the north. A knife sporting a wicked, twelve-inch blade, of exquisite craftsmanship, the haft and sheath made of walrus ivory, the Grindaknivur is traditionally used by the Targovhuls to sever the spinal cords of pilot whales.
Amber Long-prized in many cultures for its beauty and mystery, amber shards may often be found along stretches of coastline, hardened resin, sometimes holding insects or other oddities within its transparent confines.
Soup Crabs and Ghost Crabs Soup crabs are just that, delectable little blue-black crabs, known for their succulent meat, and often used in local stews and hot-pots. Tragically, the soup crabs are not themselves aware of their own humiliating appellation, and thus snip feverishly with bony claws at the grasping fingers of those looking to harvest them for dinner. Ghost Crabs on the other hand are rather sedate, and not as cantankerous as their better-tasting cousins. Their lone oddity lies in the fact that their shells are wholly transparent, giving them a ghost-like appearance and their names.
Rock Formations These wave-and-wind eroded masterpieces of nature, form archways and natural bridges, along coastlines. Impressive structures of sea-stone, lapped by the foaming surf, could be simply a pleasant visual, or serve as the perfect locale for some sea-deity cult to stage their ceremonial rituals and sacrifices to the sea. Alternately, the PCs may come across a noble’s wedding, being held atop the rock. These mystical structures can also serve as lairs for mermaids and sirens. Hidden sea-caves can sometimes be found carved into these mineral edifices. If nothing else, a great place for contemplation.
Leviathan The near perfectly preserved skeletal frame of an unidentifiable ocean creature of impressive size. Gulls feed on the clinging gristle, in a joyous ruckus. From a distance it can be mistaken for the hull of a wreckage.
Wreckage Husk The remains of an old rotting hulk, some long-destroyed ship’s skeletal frame, from a bygone age. This ship last plied the waves nary a millennium ago.
Seal-King A corrugated iron crown, calcified and salt-encrusted, the symbol of some once-proud sovereign, of some once-proud kingdom, has somehow nestled its way around the washed-up skull of a seal or walrus. An eerie visual upon the sands, caused by pure serendipity. Perhaps it can be interpreted as a prophecy or omen by the PCs.
Shell-Midden A huge dump, a massive pile of thousands of mollusk shells, hundreds of years old. This was once a refuse deposit of a shore-dwelling tribe of aboriginals. Powdered, these can be used to make dyes.
Playing Dead A strange, seemingly dried-out and dead, grayish sea anemone, this creature is actually a nasty predator, a distant cousin of the Dungeon Anemone,whose death-like appearance, is a camouflage. It lies motionless on the beach, but upon anyones approach, the anemone lashes out with its paralyzing feelers, looking to then slowly digest its meal, by releasing acidic enzymes upon the flesh of its victim. The creature is the size of a small mule.
Brain Coral Dead coral, peppering the beach, in cauliflower-like clumps. Used as an ingredient in many alchemical concoctions, if powdered.
Jelly Everywhere! Sailors know these slimy jellies by their scientific name, Velella velella. Velella live offshore and have a triangular, clear sail-like membrane, which is set in a northwest to southeast direction. In the southern hemisphere, their sails are reversed. As long as the winds blow gently, Velella stay offshore. When winds are strong, Velella lose their tacking ability, begin spinning, and are swept onto beaches by the thousands.
Agates Semi-precious stones, in all shapes and sizes, smooth, like the glass beads of the beach, but more valuable to those that find them, these lustrous, translucent stones, are among the true treasures of the coast, along with amber.
Nautilus Shell (of Doom) A shell of considerable size. Even at first glance it seems a thing from uncharted depths. Inside this shell is bound the spirit of Lalbazagkhul the Harbinger, a spectre bound by magic. If the nautilus is held to ones ear, a vile, muted whispering can be heard, not unlike the actual sound of the sea one may normally hear. This eldred phylactery radiates magic and holds the essence of the Mad Prophet. Will the PCs listen to his prophecies? The longer one listens to the whispers of Lalbazagkhul, the quicker a particuarly morbid dementia sets upon the listener’s mind. One will feel an uncontrollable urge to somehow free the Harbinger, and will fully be convinced of the madman’s apocalyptic predictions and visions of the future.
Fossil Fossilized stones and shells of mollusks, such as clams and snails, and occasionally whale bones, fish teeth, and turtle shells, as well as harder to recognize, ancient imprints of creatures long extinct.
Freirdrackers Ligan A Ligan refers to ‘goods’ which have been stored and hidden, but marked by a buoy, allowing the owner of the Ligan’s contents to retrieve the "stuff" at some later date. Freirdracker was an infamous rapscallion and pirate, and old sailor songs speak of the man’s Ligan, laden with valuables of course. The PCs notice a floating buoy off-shore, along a lonely stretch of coastline, on some uninhabited island they are currently exploring. A small flag, purple, green, and white, the colors of Feirdracker, bobs barely a foot above the water, indicating the buoy. Could this be the long-lost Ligan of the legend himelf, floating in the water?!
Driftwood (Frogger) The coast is littered with drifting logs, of all shapes and sizes. If the tide is close, it takes only about an inch of water to float and roll a log, a potentially unpredictable hazard to the beachcomber.
Drowned A still figure of a beautiful, raven-haired woman, freshly drowned, only now starting to turn blue, lays upon the sand, gentle waves lapping and washing over her form intermittently. Logic dictates she has washed ashore and died only recently. Such a shame.
Captain’s Log This water-proof sailor’s sack, holds the journal of one, Captain Jona Widebealm, an adventurer’s adventurer, if ever there was one!
Mermaid Purses As they are called for their shapes and resemblence to a Actually, these are the egg-cluster casings of skates and rays, washed ashore. These alien looking "pouches" have a bizarre appearence when seen by beachcombers drying out in the sun. Many alchemical virtues are ascribed to thess oddities of nature.
Glass-Floats Though a somewhat more modern contraption, these floating fish-traps can be found among glass-blowing socities. Simply hemp-secured globes, they can often be seen simply floating off-shore, soemtimes filled with oddities.
Ghost-Nets A fisherman’s legend, ghost nets are semi-sentient fishing nets, somehow imbued with necromantic magic. No one is sure as to the bizarre nature of this sentience, but sages put forth a theory that the suffering of those creatures caught inside these huge, floating and often forgotten nets, effect the hempen web in some unknown sinsiter fashion. Ghost nets lurk along shorelines, waiting for lone swimmers, then move in insidiously, looking to grasp, clutch, and ultimately drown its victim. These creatures, are rightfully feared by fishermen and sailors alike.
Baby Sea-Turtle Hatching An eruption of small brownish lumps from the sands surprise beachcombers, as dozens of newborn turtles begin to scurry and scramble to the reach sea.
Marching Barnacles A single member of a peculiar species, usually found in clusters, this little creature is quickly marching across the sands, oblivious to all other stimuli, having been somehow separated from its fellows. If followed casually, perhaps this fellow can lead the Pcs to a true bonanza. Beach cliffs, where clusters of these fascinating creatures abound!
Lonesome Boatswain Even beaches may be haunted. This forlorn creature is the ghost of the boatswain of an erstwhile, infamous pirate’s galleon. His life was not unusual in any way, except for the fact that his heart had been broken countless times in his life, and so wrapped in sorrow and angst was he when swept from board one fine day during a strom, disappearing into the waves (it was rumored he committed suicide, but no one was sure), that his spirit remained behind, wracked with pangs of unfulfilled longing and desire to be loved.
He now wanders the coasts and beaches as a ghost, and has become a well-known sailor’s yarn. If encountered, the Boatswain appears as an immaterial apparition, intent on finding love, in any shape, way or form. If someone ever truly falls in love with this ghost, a near impossibility to be sure, his spirit would at last know peace, and flee the material world happily and forever.
Skinny-Dippers Nearing a calm pool of tidal water, the PCs can see a group of naked bathers, their clothes tossed about the sands. They will either wave, and invite the PCs to swim with them with suggestive comments, or stare in embarasment, surprised to be discovered. Of course, taking their swimmers’ clothes may prove a tempting prank for a mischievous PC.
Cultists of the Watery Doom The PCs come upon a clutch of Ma-O the Water Deamon cultists, praying in the shallows, waist-deep in frothy cold-water. These men and women do not take kindly to having their ritual interrupted. Before turning irrevocably hostile, the cultists will give a one-time offer to the PCs. Convert! they scream, allow Ma-O’s holy waters to wash into your lungs, so ye remember where ye came from!
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Sorcery Springs Geyser Basin By: Cheka Man ( Locations ) Area - Swamp
The Sorcery Springs Geyser Basin is a place of bubbling magical water, as every individual spring or pool has it’s own magical power. It is a place of great wonder and for the careless, great danger too.
The Sorcery Springs are a unique place, where an underground river, itself heated by magma deep below, flows through a clathrate, giving the water random powers as it bubbles up through the earth and out in a myriad of geysers, hot springs and fumaroles. In the past people used to visit it to gather potions at random and were not always as careful and thoughtful as they should be.
Some suffered horrendous thermal burns and died or were left horribly injured as a result, others used the magical water they gathered for evil or gathered water from the wrong springs by mistake. Geysers were fouled with sticks and rocks and rubbish jammed into their vents, causing the water to be fouled and acquire different and sometimes nasty magical properties. Wizards in the region found their power and income marginalized, as noone would buy their potions anymore. Something clearly had to be done and the leading wizards met with the royal officials and Queen Amber herself to work out a solution.
Some of the more conservative and environmentalist wizards wanted the area sealed off to the general public totally, but the Queen was against that. Many of the springs had good or neutral rather then evil effects and besides, the Queen was not willing to lose her popularity in the region to satisfy a few crusty old mages.
On the other hand public safety was at stake, as the magical water was not only very hot at source but could easily be slipped into peoples drinks. So she had a group of royal Rangers taken from her forests and sent to guard the springs and to seal them off for a month whilst boardwalks were constructed and the springs themselves were tested for the effects of the waters within them.
That way the most dangerous could be kept out of reach of the public, who were to be allowed in to view all of the springs and take waters from a few of them-for a fee. Rules were written for the safety of the public and the springs alike and the rangers were to enforce them.
Despite the best efforts of the rangers however, accidents, poaching and the occasional act of vandalism still happens, but it is far less then it used to be and the Springs are generally kept safe for future generations.
OOC-So what effects do the geysers, pools, hot springs and fumaroles have, both positive and negative? What names do they have? This is where you come in. I want you to submit scrolls like with the Islands thread-Im hoping to get 20 scrolls by this time next year. I will add several of my own of course.
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Talon Trails By: Strolen ( Locations ) TransWorld - Any
As long as any can remember, these certain paths allowed one to travel up to and over 20 extra miles a day by using them. One moment one was deep along a small trail, the next he would find himself 20 or more miles farther down the path without realizing it. All was fine until recently. Reports returned talking of the failure of these areas which revealed miles of ancient paths. The protection hiding them has finally failed. Will it release monsters of ages past or reveal magic of unknown worth?
In the land of Kolist near the city of Huwan there are little traveled hunting paths that very few know about. These paths have been used safely by the king’s most trusted as well as anybody else who may have stumbled on them. They have been there for an untold amount of time and have been used through recent memory. The importance of these trails lies in the nature of their magical properties. These certain paths allowed one to travel, instantly and safely, up to and over 20 extra miles a day, depending on the set of trails. One moment one was deep along a small trail, the next he would find himself 20 or more miles farther down the path without any obvious indications. These paths have always been stable and predictable and were named the Talon Trails after the ranger who first discovered them. Those that were magically attuned could exactly predict when the transition through the magic would take place by a slight discomfort. All was fine until recently. Reports came back that the magic is gone and a set of ancient, overgrown paths now fill the void that was once skipped. In many cases, the paths end into a fully overgrown forest.
These newly appeared, ancient trails have spurred a mystery in the area and, in some cases, seemed to have released some danger into the surrounding lands.
All the Talon Trail’s are actually homes of wizards of long past. The city of Huwan used to be central to a large area where wizards had permanent residence and studied together. The Talon Trail is actually just a result of powerful protection spells cast to hide their domains from the ignorant. Anywhere in the radius of the wizard’s home, regardless of the direction traveled, if one walked into the protection spell the person would be deposited on the entire opposite side of the wizard’s home which could span a diameter of five to fifty miles depending on their power. The quickness of the trail just turned into a convenient side effect of the protection that is now known as a Talon Trail.
Most(?) of the wizards are now long dead and the some magic is finally fading. Now that the magic is gone there can be any number of big nasties that were once encased in this wall of protection but are now free. These same walls that kept things out may very well have been keeping things in. The actual wizard’s home may still be encased in greater magic than their first wall of defense so it might be ages till their actual home will ever be revealed. Nobody may even know that their are wizard citadels revealed as they will continue to be hidden. Some may be able to deduce that more is hidden by finding smaller Talon Trails inside the original.
Scattered evidence somewhere within the protection will give an idea of what could be found; old ruins, small overgrown villages, hidden caves/tunnels, or obvious areas of old usage. There is great magic treasure and great danger to be found inside the broken spheres of protection for any brave enough to explore.
1)Hired to investigate the trail and the surrounding area to see if it is safe to use this trail at all.
2)A message is too important to wait and it needs to be delivered quickly. They are sent to deliver it with all possible speed and going through the old Talon Trails is still the fastest route.
3)Monsters have started terrorizing villages where nobody knew or had ever discovered a Talon Trail. The wizard that was there was a weaker one and had to resort to using monsters instead of more powerful magic to protect his inner sanctum. Maybe a villager or two know what it was but never told anybody. Now that they know what is in it perhaps opens up some investigation of the larger of the Talan Trails.
4)One of the wizards yet lives or one that has found lore of these places and the falling of the protection is something he has been waiting for. It is now a race between the elder wizard and the characters to find what was protected inside and to keep each other from getting there first.
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The 30 By: MoonHunter ( NPCs ) Extras - Combative
The 30: The thirty miscellaneous people who are part of some group. These are drop and play personalities for a given group.
The 30 is an exercise in character creation. Each member is part of a group or organization or professional archetype.
Each of these characters is basically the same (in terms of skills and mechanics) with some minor differences
. They are provided here as a quick grab for a group member’s personality and chrome.
Okay, you can do all the people in a given place at a given time. What is important is that they are basic characters to fill out a place and have some dramatic connections between them and dramatic hooks for the players to latch on to.
Each character will be listed by its archetype or personality hook (in bold), and one to three lines of description. See the submissions in this group for examples.
Note: If the profession is a lonely one, i.e. there will only be one or such in a given place, then listing individual types is appropriate. Kings and Barkeeps are examples of these.
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