A group of Mages sought to create an Elixir of Fertility, to deal with the Curse of the Empty Cradle. After acquiring such things as the 'ahem' vigor of a war deity, and the 'ahem' blessing of a forest goddess, the mages almost created the cure. Instead, the vessel of Divine Virility was spilled, and instead of curing sterility, infused the ancient hill with life. The temple and alter rose, becoming a demonic force of life essence and the fecundity of nature.
The Dodge DynaMax is a rare care, coming at exactly the wrong time in history. The End of the muscle car era was nigh, and the market was already filled out with GTOs, Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles, Novas and a dozen other high performance poor handling vehicles. The DynaMax had a plan to dominate the market with a combination of factory turbochargers and a complex eight speed gearbox. The machine was planned to triumph over the human driver element. What ended up happening was excess costs and mechanical issues saw the turbochargers removed and replaced with a conventional supercharger, and the eight speed transmission ended up being the bane of the car's existence. More DynaMaxes were destroyed or totalled by transmission failures than anything else. The car remains an ugly and ambitious reminder of a day gone by
The Langdon Ballistics company has a short and muddled past of producing shoddy and cheap weapons. Stocks are made of orange plastic with black paint coverings, and metal components of the weapons they make are typically low cost alloys. Their most famous weapon is the L-12 Scatter Rifle, a fairly high power large bore shotgun. It is easily recognized by its orange stock and pronounced ammo clip.
The Lord of the Flies, the Muscimancer has studied magics that summon, control and otherwise deal with flies. The Fly Mage is an unwholesome character, also likely to have magics of disease, rot and pestilence up his sleeves. After fighting through his swarms of flies and his loyal acolytes and slaves, the Muscimancer reveals his final power, transforming into a giant half man half fly hybrid. He can fly, acid vomit, as well as continue to use spells, wield weaponry and command his swarms.
A group of humans living in a mountainous area have spent generations mining, drinking home made liquor, and generally not spreading the gene pool around enough. The end result is a sub-race of humans who no longer have necks, rather their heads protrude from the upper portion of the torso between the shoulders. They have beards, and lacking the ability to turn their heads, can only see what they are directly facing. They are simple and to the point, and direct to the point of bluntness.
The Lost March is a large collection of elephant rafts. The lost march never reached its destination and instead was pulled out to sea. The elephants on the raft eventually starved to death, littering the large wooden carpet with their bones and bird picked hides. While sailors with an eye for gold can salvage the tusks of the bull elephant for a hefty price, the raft is haunted by the spectral ghosts of the pod of elephants and they appear after nightfall and attack and kill anyone trespassing on their raft
The Mad Pope is a wandering mercenary. He is very well deranged as he considers himself to be the pontiff of the dominant faith. His robes are tattered, his mitre has seen better days and there are surely lice in his long ratty beard. What sets him apart from most addle-pated would be holy men is that he has armor under his robes and carries a large crossbow and several one-handed swords. While many would discout him as just another lunatic, for some reason, he inspires others around him and has demonstrated the ability to lay on hands and heal the wounded.
The apples of a certain tree, when allowed to dry on their own, all have the appearance of shriveled human skulls.
A typical iron ore mine, the Irongate was closed some years ago and the entrance was closed off with a heavy gate of oak and thick iron bands, the Irongate. The mine itself was abandoned because it was a breeding ground for dire rats and many of the miners suffered from giant rodent bites as well as diseases from said bites. The mines are haunted by the ghosts of the men who died in dire rat swarms, adding to the mine's unpleasant character.
A loose and ragged band of berzerkers, barbarians, criminals and vagabonds, the Blood Wolves have all come together to a dual purpose. Each of the Wolves are beholden and worship the same patron Little God, the Crimson Slashing Jaw. They are also a semi-cohesive mercenary force for hire. Their rates are low, and their morals are non-existant.
A military organization, the Stalkers are a hunting/mining militia that are known for wearing full body shrouds that easily hide them in snow and other slushy terrain. The lightly armored warriors are known for the speed, stealth, and the vicious wounds inflicted by their hunting hatchets. Many of the Stalkers keep crop-eared warhounds with them, both for hunting, companionship, and in war.
Most large mammals, such as elephants, rhinos, and their modern ilk are ill-suited for domestication, but that doesnt exclude their use as engines of war. Rather than raise and train the Mammoth from birth, Mammoth Handlers instead capture the wild Mammoths at a young to juvenile age and train them for war. These animals are draped in armor and are unleashed as living war machines against the foes of the Mammoth Tribe.
Giant mushrooms the size of trees. The stems and parts of the caps can be used in construction, and only the gills are soft enough to eat. An entire fungi-forest can grow in a matter of days, provided the correct conditions. Most fungus trees last about a month before collapsing, but not before a new generation sprouts to provide shade for the next spores.
The idea of using tattoos to contain magic powers is not a new one. The Ink gauntlet follows the basic premise of using rare and precious inks to inscribe spells into the skin of a mage or would be spell-imbued person. Some of these inked spells might be permanent, while others might fade after being used once, or a preset number of times.
In the days of old, before the dominance of humanity, the giants were the supreme rulers of the world and their crafts were considered to be the best. These beings venerated the god of the forge above all others and their swords and armors were the best that could be had even in the days of their decline. A hero seeking a masterwork sword might have to voyage long and hard to find a surviving giant smith or cache of rare and valuable giantcraft weapons.
Pcs learn of high power magics that allow them to banish weapons and suits of armor to some 'elsewhere' place until such time as they need it. reduces encumberances, gets fewer questions, and when the PCs get jumped by thieves in the ally, they can summon their suits of full plate armor with weapons drawn.
Lesser powers would allow them to summon their weapons from another physical place, drawing them to their hands like Luke skywalker summoning his lightsaber on Hoth.
The Macabre style of architecture is common in ancestor venerating societies, or societies that have been afflicted by a long term period of loss of life. The style is best noted for its use of a morbid and gruesome, skulls and bones, severed limbs and the like. It also alternately honors the spirits of the dead with stunning works of art, and mocks death through caricature and comedy. Macabre is the common architectural style in Ozea.
In a small, genetically isolated region it is not uncommon for the locals to have three arms. The third arm is generally a second right arm that is a good bit weaker than a normal arm and is generally held against the chest. This hird arm is most often used to carry small things, though some of the more skilled craftsmen have learned little tricks with their third arm.
What if dragon-sightings and evidence of such was treated with the same skepticism and mockery as modern UFO sightings? More for a low magic world where dragons 'dont' exist.
In an area albinos are considered to be evil mystics and locals ward themselves against them by turning their backs to them to avoid being mesmerized. Suddenly the angeliclly pale loner with white hair and violet hued-eyes is suddenly an outcast, and his companions are treated as if they have been mystically bonded into his service, and could be treated with attempts to intervene or given the same stony treatment. Expect poor quarters, no hospitality and to pay twice as much for everything.
Bag on a Stick
Very simple gag but a great one, since it can be used multiple times over, even in the same adventure. Great for tribal natives gone restless and humanoids, but anyone can have set this up. Just what the header says, a simple bag over a stick stuck in the ground or floor.
As GM you can place the bag on a stick anywhere, in a floor crack the heroes have passed before, outdoors in a clearing or path, or at the edge of the PCs' encampment the following morning, what have you. Place anything on the stick - a coiled yellow viper angered by the bag removal, mini crossbow w/poison, transdermal hallucinatory drug dusted on the bag, yellow mold colony, an NPC ally's head, a weapon, scroll tube or satchel, what have you.
The idea is to build tension and/or stall for time/distract the party. Provided it's used properly, you'll be amazed at how paranoid players will get from this simple gag.