The Iron Ship

       By: valadaar

Perhaps the product of another universe or time, this vessel appears as an early Tall ship, but is made of iron from keel to spar. The sails are a battered canvas but are nearly indestructible, but in truth do little to move the ship - the ship is able to move even with no winds.
The ship is powered by life force, requiring regular sacrifices to ‘charge’. The victims are cast in front of the vessel as it moves, it’s razor sharp bow bisecting them. The ship may initially be missing key components and the ritual to power it would also require research by would-be users.
The ship has no built in weapons aside from the bow, which can easily cut even large wooden ships in twain.

Ideas  ( Items ) | February 1, 2017 | View | UpVote 7xp

The Clockwork Rat

       By: valadaar

A weapon of war created by an extinct race, this rat appears normal but is a simulacrum - beneath it’s mangy fur is a body of bronze. Commanded by words in a lost language, wherever it goes a virulent and lethal plague follows. The cure is similarly obscure.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | February 1, 2017 | View | UpVote 5xp

The Star of Fury

       By: valadaar

A ruby of immense size, this stone was once the eye of a deity of war. When properly commanded by long lost rituals, the huge gem will rise into the sky, glowing brightly. Visible for miles, all who look upon it in its full radiance will be filled with intense homicidal rage.

Ideas  ( Items ) | January 20, 2017 | View | UpVote 4xp

The Hammer of Luun

       By: valadaar

The hammer of a war-god avatar, this massive weapon must be wielded by a giant or other supernaturally strong being. When struck against the ground, a massive seismic wave will propagate outward from the wielder subjecting all in its wake to a massive earthquake. This quake is strong enough to shatter castle walls.

Ideas  ( Items ) | January 20, 2017 | View | UpVote 4xp

Money isn't everything

       By: Clemmensen

Often valuables is counted in coins, jewelry and magic items. Surprise your players by offering them cheese, wine, cloth and art as rewards and payment.

Ideas  ( Plots ) | August 8, 2016 | View | UpVote 4xp

Staff of Salmon

       By: Clemmensen

This magic staff will summon 1D4 fresh, living salmon once a day.

Ideas  ( Items ) | July 17, 2016 | View | UpVote 4xp

Theology 101

       By: rickster

A cult's theology is binding on the god involved: it is possible for that god to believe (and see, just like Winston Smith in 1984) that other gods are mythical, or jumped-up demons, or failing older spirits, even while those gods actually exist and thrive and act in the cosmos, even while working against him.

Ideas  ( Plots ) | June 27, 2016 | View | UpVote 5xp

Theology 101

       By: rickster

A cult's theology is binding on the god involved: it is possible for that god to believe (and see, just like Winston Smith in 1984) that other gods are mythical, or jumped-up demons, or failing older spirits, even while those gods actually exist and thrive and act in the cosmos, even while working against him.

Ideas  ( Plots ) | June 27, 2016 | View | UpVote 3xp

A Game of...Saplings?

       By: rickster

(Apologies to GRRM and HBO)

A group of northerners want to bring the Old Gods back to the south. They grow cuttings from the white trees seeking the blessings of the Old Gods on the project, and when the saplings are big enough, they carve faces in them and secretly plant them in forests all over the south, to extend the 'reach' of the Old Gods.

The plan works of course, but the trees are *baby gods*, and behave as such when invoked.

Ideas  ( Plots ) | June 26, 2016 | View | UpVote 5xp

Fan Language

       By: shoehat101

Victorian Ladies used to use their decorative fans to communicate simple messages to their lovers while chaperones or husbands watched. These messages include "Yes", "No", "We've been discovered", "When can I meet you", etc. An Assassin's League of women could easily use this secret language to their advantage, sending messages to each other in hopes of reaching their target at a crowded ball.

Ideas  ( System ) | June 20, 2016 | View | UpVote 4xp

Wall of Keys

       By: Murometz

The Yugzhee, or "hedgehog-people", guard a great, secret treasure inside their giant burrowed lair. The mysterious Wall of Keys, a 12'x10', foot-thick, cold-iron, "wall", upon which, on iron hooks, hang 100 ornate iron keys of all shapes and sizes. Each key opens some heretofore un-openable barrier, door, or gate, in the particular game world of choice.

The PCs have come upon a great boon, except for the fact that the keys cease to function properly if separated from the iron wall for more than a few minutes. Higher level characters will be able to figure out how to take the wall "with them" via magic. Lower level characters will have to get creative.

Ideas  ( Items ) | March 28, 2016 | View | UpVote 5xp

The Maze

       By: sirgarberto

As far as everyone knows, the Maze has always been there; the strange pair of gates set in the side of a mountain a common feature in every painting of the area, no matter how ancient. One white, one red, nobody knows what they're made of but they resist any attempt to damage them; they’re always slightly cool to the touch no matter the weather, they have a very reflective surface, and if you look at them in a bright light, sometimes it looks as if they glow on their own.

The important thing is what’s on the other side of them, of course. The Maze itself is a strange place where the normal rules are suspended, and its own set takes their place. It’s a place filled with puzzles and riddles, monsters and traps; it’s always consistent with itself in any single run but is never the same two times around, and sometimes you could swear it has a sadistic streak, delighting in tricking the unwary adventurer.

It is a dangerous place, as so many people will rush to tell you; most people who go in never come out, and even those who do usually end up scarred for life. They also bring out with them enormous piles of riches, which is why people keep going in anyway.

Ideas  ( Dungeons ) | January 16, 2016 | View | UpVote 5xp

Mazetown

       By: sirgarberto

Mazetown stands right around the entrance to the Maze, and its whole economy depends on the people coming to visit the ever-changing and apparently sentient dungeon. They don't get all that many visitors, but the ones that do come tend to be rather generous in their spending; after all, if anything you take inside vanishes as soon as you go in, and everyone who manages to come out usually does so with fabulous treasures in tow, why not spend your coin on R&R before getting started?

Ideas  ( Locations ) | January 16, 2016 | View | UpVote 4xp

Executioners need love too!

       By: Murometz

Oazduke's Vengeful Head.

The head haunts all headsman and executioners.

A floating, bloody head, long separated from its body, is a particular legend among a very particular group of people, executioners, specifically those that chop heads from a block for a living. It was that infamous highway robber, Oazduke the Vengeful, who when finally captured and put to the axe, screamed his foul hex, seconds before his head flew off.

"You will know it is me when I'm through
A curse on your ilk and on you!
May my severed head haunt you eternal
Frightening you headsmen infernal!"

Years later, not one but two(!) weary, puffy-eyed, spooked, headsmen, haunted day and night by Oazduke's insufferable severed head, approach the party cleric in order to hire him to exorcise the ghost head once and for all.

Ideas  ( Plots ) | December 14, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

Dead Leaves

       By: Murometz

An insidious creature, most likely somehow "related" to trappers and lurkers, the Dead Leaves (for no other name exists as of yet for this foul thing), hibernates for three of the four year's seasons, deep underground. Its active time is Autumn, when trees shed their leaves, depositing colorful carpets across the ground. The terror then emerges and blends in with the surrounding leaves, perfectly camouflaged, waiting patiently for unsuspecting victims. In appearance it resembles nothing more than a ten foot square, six inch thick, layer of bright yellow, orange, and red leaves. The only hint that someone is walking on top of it, comes in the form of an unusual amplified sound of leaves crunching underfoot. Too late usually, the victims notice this additional "crunch". The Dead Leaves will then swirl and "rise" up to smother and suffocate the victim, like a colorful, malevolent, boa constrictor.

Fire, as can be imagined, is particularly effective against this creature, but one has to *know* it's there before putting it to the torch. And there's the rub. The creature is impossible to "identify" in a large patch of fallen leaves by eyesight alone.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | December 10, 2015 | View | UpVote 6xp

Mesnoi

       By: Murometz

The food that eats you back.

Creatures of nightmare, the thankfully rare Mesnoi have unique form and attributes. Only one Mesnoi at a time will ever be "encountered".

In appearance, a Mesnoi resembles a walnut-sized chunk of freshly-roasted red meat from some uncertain yet familiar, edible animal. The insidious creature camouflages itself quite appropriately whenever it can, by slowly making its way amidst feast tables and trays of roasted meats.

Once eaten by the unsuspecting, the Mesnoi sinks down to the stomach, reforming if chewed, and begins to lap up the gastric fluids, digestive juices, and bile that it craves, like a sponge.

The Mesnoi carrier will experience mild to severe stomach pains during this time.

After a few hours of this (this is the only time that the Mesnoi can be purged with magic, or other mundane means), the Mesnoi transforms into its true form inside its victim, that of a miniature, once more walnut-sized, pot-bellied, devil-horned, snake-tailed imp. This horrid little creature then begins to chew and eat its way out of the victim from the inside out with its tiny, razor-sharp teeth, like a rat forced to do so via torture.

The victim almost always dies a slow, agonizing death. That much is certain. The devilish imp then exits its victim and begins its seventy two hour existence of mischief and malevolence, until it once more turns back into a hunk of roasted meat with the movement capabilities of a snail.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | December 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 6xp

Two Minerals

       By: Murometz

Yupiorite

Also called "pale-yellow witch" by alchemists, this mineral is known to possess a peculiar attribute. When found, a Yupiorite will appear the palest yellow. Rather than crystalline in structure, Yupiorite occurs in weird, smooth, ovaline shapes, as if already carved by skilled hands to serve as ring or necklace ornaments. Yupiorite somehow detects and reacts to mood. When the wearer of the gem is content, calm, and happy, the stone will remain the palest yellow. As the person gets more excited, angry, or otherwise stimulated, the mineral will darken progressively to a dark corn-yellow in color. Why the gem reacts this way to sentient mood swings, is still debated by gemologists and alchemists alike.

It is said that the Elven Halls of Vala-Aluduwy are resplendent with wall-sized mirrors of pure Yupiorite, showing plainly and ironically, the emotions of everyone present, despite the Elven love of restraint and stoicism.

Aragdulose

"Cave-grass" or "cave-pine" is a deep forest green in color, rare and often mistaken for other minerals, though otherwise mundane. Crystals form into tiny, ultra-thin, needle-like clusters by the hundreds of thousands, creating vast dark green bursts and structures, resembling evergreen conifers, if viewed by any sort of light. Despite its ephemeral shape, Aragdulose is only second to a diamond in hardness.

Dwarves are said to keep these mineral "trees" in their homes, putting them up during festive family holidays, leaving presents beneath them, for kin to open.

Ideas  ( Items ) | December 2, 2015 | View | UpVote 6xp

Corpse Herders

       By: Murometz

The Jiangsi was the name of an undead being in Chinese folklore and mythology. Usually translated as zombie or vampire for Western palates, the Jiangsi was really neither. They appeared as simply risen, fresh corpses. They moved (peculiarly!) by hopping rather than walking, and sought out the living to suck the Qilife force from their victims.

Perhaps significantly more interesting than the Jiangsi itself, was the lore surrounding them. "Zombie wranglers", or "Corpse Herders", usually Daoist priests, were men tasked with delivering these undead beings back to their respective home towns. Tradition in China placed great importance and emphasis on the return of the dead to their homes and families, and thus the corpse herders came to be. By using magick words and talismans they would animate the dead, and by placing specially inscribed parchments of paper over the Jiangsi heads and faces, the corpse herders would be able to control the hopping corpses. Then like pied pipers, they would lead processions of subdued undead, across many miles, rhythmically chanting and ringing tiny bells.

Special inns were built across China to house these undead caravans, as the zombies could only travel by evening and night, the sun anathema to them. Rows of doors opening to barely a closet-space, lined the walls of these special establishments. Behind these doors, the corpses would be stored upright while the corpse herders rested in rooms.

The Jiangsi under the control of a corpse herder were quite harmless, merely hopping after him, silently and without complaint, for weeks and months. If however, the magicked parchment would somehow be removed from their faces, the creatures would immediately seek living humans to kill. Their thirst for Qi was unquenchable.

The job of a corpse herder was an interesting one to say the least.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | December 2, 2015 | View | UpVote 5xp

White Raccoon Lodge

       By: Skull

In a new town for the first time, the White Raccoon Lodge looks like a comfortable place to spend the night. The owner, however, makes sure to explain to you that there is a curfew after sundown and the door will be locked... from the outside. "We don't want anyone being caught out on the streets after dark," he says.

Now that you think of it, all the doors in this small town did have a crossbar on the outside rather than the inside... You wonder what goes on at night...

Ideas  ( Locations ) | November 29, 2015 | View | UpVote 5xp

Castoria, Land of Shattered Stars

       By: Veretrix

Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.

By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.

Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).

To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.

To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.

When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.

What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | August 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

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Morbidium

       By: Scrasamax

An alloy of iron and iridescent meteoric metal, also known as shadesteel. Weapons forged of this metal cause gangreneous infections almost instantly and sometimes the victims becomes a shambling zombie after death. The material is very vulnerable to fresh water which will cause it to corrode and eventually melt in a period of hours to days.

Ideas  ( Items ) | May 11, 2006 | View | UpVote 2xp


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