Monday, January 26, 2015

Random 1d30 Table: What's in the Burial Urn?

Did this as part of a contribution to Gmilk's metadungeon community project and thought I would also post it here:

What's in the Burial Urn? (1d30)

1. Desiccated organs.

2. Mummy cat; if removed from jar, will attack [HD 2, AC 7 [10], Atk 2/1 (2 claws or 1 bite), Dmg 1d6/1d6/1d6 + Save vs. Paralysis]

3. Mummified dog head too large to be removed through urn opening. Will open eyes and bark or snarl if poked or prodded. If urn is smashed, the head will immediately turn to dust.

4. Dried Chick Peas.

5. Pomegranate seeds covering a bronzed statue of a hideous beast with the body of a wolfhound and six snarling, snake-like heads. If removed from the urn, it will spring to life and attack the PCs unless its command word is spoken. Its command word is carved on its underbelly in ancient Arkanian ("umamanan", roughly translated as "holy bastard, heel!"). If brought under command, it will serve its owner until the statue is destroyed [HD 9, AC 5, Atk 2/6 (claws / 6 bites), Dmg 1d6/1d8 per bite + Save vs. Poison]

6. Desiccated mummy cat; inside the cat is a desiccated mummy mouse; inside the mummy mouse is a mummy flea (treat as rot grub + Save vs. Paralysis or be paralyzed within 1d6 turns).

7. Dried figs. Eating at least 3 figs grants 1d4 hit point recovery; eating more than 6 figs results in 1d6 hit point loss.

8. Mice skulls. Some have been engraved with strange symbols. At the bottom of the urn is a small scrap of parchment with the rules to a game resembling zonk.

9. Teleportation urn. Anyone opening the urn will be immediately teleported to the Minor Plane of Ash & Woe, where the remains of the cremated dead swirl and wail in the winds of desiccation.

10. 1,245 sp, covered in Yellow Mold.

11. The entire urn is filled with an infinite coiled strand of goblin finger bones linked with thin copper wire. The urn can never be emptied and will accept nothing but the strand of bones.

12. Empty; the urn continually emits extremely loud moans and groans of sexual ecstasy unless filled to the brim and stoppered.

13. 3 baby skeletons. Will animate and crawl out of urn, wailing and crying out for mama [1/2 HP, AC 11, Atk 0].

14. 1d30 zombie asps [HD 1d6hp; AC 5[14]; Atk 1 bite (1hp + lethal poison + disease]

15. Mummified Hand of Anvec the Damned; will immediately leap out of urn and attempt to meld to the top or back of the head of a character. If successful (75% chance), it will act as a symbiotic parasite, granting its host a +3 INT bonus and the ability to Animate Dead and Speak with Dead at will. After 1d12 days, the PC suffers a permanent alignment shift to Chaotic and is compelled to seek out the remaining parts of Anvec that might be scattered through the realms. The hand can only be removed by a cleric of at least 20th level casting Remove Curse or a 18th level magic user casting Symbol of Death directly on the Hand. If a magic user attempts the removal, there is a 15% chance that the hand will suddenly shift location at the last second.

16. Empty, but looking directly into the urn results in overwhelming feelings of nausea and despair. PC must make a Save vs. Sanity or suffer a –3 to WIS for 1d8 days.

17. Dried pumpkin seeds. Buried in the seeds is an oblong tri-dimensional communicator with a half-full battery. Turning it on sends a distress signal to the planet Abbith, where the metallic brains keep Nyarlthotep imprisoned in a kingdom under the ice.

18. Beams of Continual Light burst forth from the urn's mouth.

19. 1d20 Hands of Glory packed in olive oil.

20. Giant Bee Honey. 1 spoonful grants 1d8 hp recovery if Save vs. Poison is successful; otherwise, 1d8 hp poisoning effect.

21. 25 feet of tightly packed, rotted hemp rope. If removed from urn, it will act as a strangle vine and attempt to entangle and choke the nearest PC. Can only be harmed by magical or silver weapons [HD 4, AC 6[13], Atk. 3 (1d6) + strangulation].

22. Face-up gorgon head. Save vs. Paralysis or permanently turn to stone.

23. A post-apocalyptic bottle city; this one, in fact, completely inhabited by weird mutants.

24. Finely ground mealworm flour. 1 serving of hardtack made with this flour serves as an extended iron ration; the PC does not feel hunger and has no need to eat for two weeks. However, PCs also suffer –3 to all CON checks during this time.

25. Semi-dehydrated hibernating rot grubs. Dousing them with water awakens them.

26. The entire inside of the urn is inscribed with a now-useless Arkanian summoning spell for Dramonloteltpish, a demon prince who was supposedly destroyed in some minor and now forgotten war.

27. Empty, but is an Urn of Holding, capable of holding up to 500 incorporeal undead (phantoms, ghosts, shadows, etc.).

28. Empty, but a familiar voice continually calls out "Can you hear me? Are you there? Somebody help me! Help! Please!" every time the urn is open.

29. The PC opening the urn is immediately reduced to 1/32 normal size and sucked into the urn, which then self-stoppers; the PC retains a shrunken size if removed from the urn until a 12th level cleric or magic user casts Remove Curse on the PC.

30. Dried raspberries.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Four Alchemist Recipes for Your OSR Game

Four Alchemist Recipes for Your OSR Game

I've been surfing Wikipedia this morning and came up with a few useful things that I twisted for gaming.

For pricing, I've followed the Swords & Wizardry guideline that the price of creation is 50 gp per day of formulation. I've then added in a 450 gp mark-up for the market price. Obviously, you may want to adjust this for your own campaigns.

The following is considered Open Game Content:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How About Another Community Project?

Hacking Clue Through the Ages

The adventurers stumble upon a decrepit four-story mansion that has been divided into four 1-floor apartment suites with similar floor plans. Stairs in the middle of the first apartment lead to the upper stories. The registered residents of floors 1, 2, & 3 are familiar with each other, but tend to keep to their separate floors. What will they find?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Petty Gods: The Man Who Would Not Rest, a Tale of a Servant of the Jale God

The Man Who Would Not Rest: A Tale of a Servant of the Jale God

In those days, an astonishing event occurred in a small village far beyond the boundaries of Walthamthorp. A man, who no one knew was a secret worshiper of the Jale God, died. His body was interred into the earth with the normal rites of his clan, with much rejoicing and feasting on the part of his wife and kindred, as is the nature of such celebrations in certain parts of the realm.

The morning after his burial, his wife awoke to find the man laying in the bed next to her. He immediately rolled over on the terrified woman and had his satisfaction with her despite her struggles, after which he wordlessly rose and left the room. The wife leapt from the bed to follow him, but when she left the bed chambers she found the door still barred and he was nowhere in their small house.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Adventure: The Prisoners of the Mudshot Depths

The Prisoners of the Mudshot Depths:

An Adventure for Delving Deeper or other Original Edition-type rules

The text of the following post is considered Open Game Content:

map by Dave's Mapper using tiles by Dyson Logos and edited by verhaden

Prisoners of the Mudshot Depths
An Unsuitable Adventure for Low-Level Characters
totally unplaytested and probably will result in a TPK

PCs start in Area 1. Each PC has been captured and is being held for ransom. They wear no armor, but are dressed in rough homespun cloth. They are bound, gagged, and blindfolded. They do not know each other.

Petty Gods: 6 Folk Beliefs to Invoke the Jale God

6 Folk Beliefs to Invoke the Jale God

Many folks say that the Jale God can be compelled to respond to ordinary folk. Here's a few ways.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Petty Gods: Side Effects of a Vision from the Jale God

Side Effects of a Vision from the Jale God
Receving a message from the Jale God is a horrible and humbling experience. Humanoid minds cannot deal with the extreme psionic pressures of such a visit and must purge the stress in some physical form.

Roll 2d6: One for the main side effects table and one for the appropriate subtable.

All effects last for 1d8 days and cause –2 to all DEX & CON checks plus loss of –3 hp per day (recoverable).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas Bookface

Bookface had a very nice Christmas!

Petty Gods: The 2 Men of Gorsham, A Tale of a Servant of the Jale God

The 2 Men of Gorsham: A Tale of a Servant of the Jale God

A servant of the Jale God was working in his fields when two men from Gorsham came along the path by his land-hold and waived him over. The man stopped his hoeing and went to talk to the strangers.

"We understand that somewhere around here in this village is a witch-woman who can satisfy our needs," one of them said. They meant, of course, that they were looking for someone like those who reside in the pleasure districts of larger towns.

The farmer decided to play a little joke on the men and directed them to a small hut a little way down the road. "That's where I usually go when I'm looking to get that sort of satisfaction," the farmer said. "They might play tough at first and try to get more than you're willing to pay, but if you stick to it you'll get what you're looking for."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quick Note on the RSS Feed

I've noticed that many of the hits to this blog are originating from RSS mills that scrape content from RSS feeds and repost them online.

To prevent this, I'm switching the RSS feed from "full posts" to "short". Hopefully this will be a temporary measure. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but the content scrappers are scum of the earth.

I hope you continue to follow the blog and find what I post worth reading!

Petty Gods: 6 Invocations of the Jale God Translated from Cursed Scrolls

6 Invocations of the Jale God Translated from Cursed Scrolls

A burning, a brightness, a suffering rage
Encompass the essence of my soul!
Bring forth the unlighted void
And draw the knife across my eyes
So that I may see what you reveal.

Sing of the unlit fire and the empty gullet!
Hear me oh Unnameable One!
In this your will be done,
This your servant begs!
Take this meager sacrifice,
Eviscerate this flesh, this blood, this bone—
Reveal yourself to your true servant!


Jale before time, oh hear me, your servant!
All bends and breaks to your immutable will
Leaving nothing but words unspoken on wind—
Enable me to hear your voice in the void!

Repent! Repent, unbelievers!
Let your ignorance disappear!
The day is retreating
And darker night is blooming!
The Unspeakable One is rising
And soon will draw neigh;
Cower! Watch in anticipation!
At midnight comes the cry.

See that your torches are extinguished
Douse them in water, fill not your lamps!
Look: your destruction is coming,
The wages of the way of flesh.
The great divorce is at hand,
The gates stand chained before you.
Bow down, you dogs of the earth!
The Unnameable One is at hand!

Our death and our destruction,
Our release from these frail bonds:
Arise, unlit scythe of moon
Above this darkened mortal coil!
With heads downcast and hands prostrated
With this heart upon this altar
We plead oh great and dirty god
To see this day of great destruction!
Loosen your spite upon the earth
And let us forever reside with thee!

Bleeding heart
Rendered flesh
Within Your bonds
Let all enmesh

We beseech you, oh Great Unspeakable One:
Take us with you when you return
From the unknowing void thou crept!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Petty Gods: The Farmer from Kinbrect, a Tale of the Jale God

The Farmer from Kinbrect: A Tale of the Jale God

Once long ago, the Jale God was walking the earth while other gods engaged in settling grievances among themselves. To remain forgotten by the other gods and avoid their enmity, he travelled the lands as a ruddy laborer, relying on those he met for his daily sustenance. He traded a day in the field for a warm meal or sometimes a hunk of bread and a place to sleep. Many times he was beaten and robbed of his cloak or sandals, and these souls he remembered for later repayment. Yet never did the Jale God forget the farmer from Kinbrect.

Far on the outskirts of this great city lived a farmer and his wife, working the land for a meager subsistence with barely enough to pay field-fealty to the king. They had no children and worked the land themselves, occasionally hiring a passing traveller to help for part of the day in exchange for the evening meal.

The Jale God spent a day there, working in the fields digging up root vegetables and cabbages until an hour after dark. Then the wife called him and the husband into their small one-room hovel to eat the evening meal. The woman set a half loaf of rough bread, a few boiled shallots and burdock roots, and a bowl of beans seasoned with bear fat on the table. After saying the traditional mealtime prayers, they began to eat.

It was an excellent meal, but because there was not much food, the Jale God did not eat his fill. He wanted to keep up his appearance as a poor, considerate workman. Yet the husband and wife ate lightly, too, and when they were done eating, half of the beans remained. This the woman put in an earthen pot, covered with a light cheesecloth, and secured with a bit of twine. The cheesecloth was of a loose, rough weave, and so the delicious smell of the beans filled the hut and continued to stir the Jale God's hunger.

As it was extremely dark and that part of the country had been plagued by bandits of late, the husband insisted that the hired hand spend the night. However, they only had one bed, so the Jale God slept on one side, the husband slept in the middle, and the wife slept on the other side.

In the middle of the night there came the noise of many horses galloping nearby and the shouts and cries of many drunken men. The man jumped up from the bed and exclaimed "It's those bandits! I know it! I must save this season's field offering or the king will take our fields and turn us out!" Then he grabbed his axe near the door and ran into the night barefoot.

As soon as the husband was gone, the wife rolled over and pressed her slim body against the worker's back. "Stranger," she whispered, licking his ear, "now's your chance!" Without a second thought, the Jale God rose and finished eating the beans.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Petty Gods: The Fireside Visitor, A Tale of the Jale God

The Fireside Visitor: A Tale of the Jale God

Once, a young man and his son were on their way to the market square to sell their cart of vegetables. They did not reach the village before night fall and were forced to spend the night in the forest in a small clearing beside the path.

The man built a fire and after a dinner of roasted squash they curled up in their thin blankets beneath the cart and fell asleep.

In the middle of the night, the young man woke up with the urgent need to void. As he stood, he noticed a large, monkey-like creature with wings sitting by the dying coals of the fire, rubbing its hands and occasionally turning a potato in the ashes.

"Who are you?" the man demanded, his bowels now quivering in fear.

"I am no one worth remembering come morning," the creature replied. "I only want to roast this potato; it has been a long time since I ate a warm meal. Allow me this small favor and I will leave you alone."

"Oh creature," said the man, "do not harm me! Please, warm yourself by this fire and leave your potato to its business. But why eat only a potato? I can offer you more than a potato! See, here in this cart I have beets, yams, onions, carrots, cabbage, and more."

The creature looked contemptuously at the cart. "Where do you think I got this potato?" he asked.

The man's fear turned to anger at mention of this theft. He was about to give voice to his displeasure when the rumbling in his bowels became unavoidable. "Oh great creature," he said, "I am pleased that my meager harvest has found your favor. Please, help yourself of what you may. I must attend myself over there in those bushes. Will you still be here when I return?"

The creature smiled, nodded its consent and pointed past the bushes. "You will find a small, clear-running stream a little way beyond the bushes; be sure to wash your hands before you come back."

The man went and attended to his toilet but in his haste did not visit the stream as the creature instructed. When he arrived back at the clearing he noticed the creature had put a few sticks on the coals and the fire was flaring higher. The creature looked at him and said, "You did not visit the stream! Go, wash your filthy hands so that we may share this potato!"

The man dutifully returned to the bushes and found the stream exactly where the creature had said. He dipped his hands in the moonlit water and rubbed them together once, twice, three times as custom dictated before standing and returning to the clearing. As he grew closer, he noticed the creature had thrown a few logs on the fire, and the flames now danced at a respectable height.

The creature reached into the fire and pulled out the potato. He motioned the man to sit near the fire, broke the potato in half, and handed part to the man. "Eat of the work of your hands," said the creature.

"And of the work of this fire," said the man, completing the ancient mealtime prayer.

The creature and the man ate in silence. When they were done, the creature stood and began to clap its hands and stomp its feet. The man watched, terrified. The creature began to chant "Iä! Jaash im raa! Iä! Jaash im raa! Iä! Jaash im raa!" in a rough, weird tune, dancing awkwardly around the flames.

At this sight, the man's blood ran cold, for long ago when he was a boy he had heard the chant of the Jale God seeping through the night. He stood and ran to where his son lay sleeping the beneath the cart, but found only an empty blanket.

"My son! My son! What have you done with my son!?!" the man wailed, dashing to the fire and brandishing a firebrand at the creature.

The creature immediately stopped its ministrations and shook its head. "I asked you where you thought I got that potato," he said. Then he flapped his wings and was gone.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Petty Gods: Three Old Stories of Followers of the Jale God

Three Old Stories of Followers of the Jale God

Hildagrum the Blindress

Hildagrum resisted the Jale God in various guises. One time, she saw ten bandits being transported to the gallows in a cart. Instead of lamenting their wickedness, they acted like animals, hooting and hollering and jumping about. Although no one else saw anything out of the ordinary when they glanced at the criminals, Hildagrum saw a multitude of spirits and devils prodding and poking the men, making them curse and blasphemy. Having compassion for the men, Hildagrum climbed into the cart beside them, stabbed each one six times through both eyes, and spat in the wounds. In this way, the Jale God gained twenty new eyes to look out upon the world.

Nurvoc, a devout man of great piety, was an elementalist and master of a great landholding. Earth, wind, fire, and water were subject to him; he drove away plaguing spirits, unmuted dumb tongues, restored health to the putrid, and, on occasion and for the right price, resurrected the dead. He could walk on water, sleep on flames, and subsist on nothing but damp dirt for months at a time. Once, he was riding in a horse of flame, sweeping through the air above a city when he chanced to look down at the streets below him. The streets were broiling with devils and demons and spirits fighting among themselves, battling for control of various city boroughs. With a loud voice, he invoked the One Name of the Jale God and commanded the factions to settle their dispute and wipe the city from the face of the earth; to this day, nothing will grow in the Fields of Barrensburg.

Fladehem the Reluctant
One day, the Jale God transformed himself into a little barn swallow, which fluttered about Fladehem the Blacksmith and tweeted so sweetly that he was drawn away from his labors at the forge. Fladehem stripped himself of his clothes and threw himself on a hedge of briars and nettles, mangling his body so terribly that streams of blood ran down his body and pooled at his feet. Not to be stopped, the Jale God transformed into a buxom wench and attempted to help Fladehem tend to his wounds; Fladehem pierced through the illusion with a red-hot bar of steel and burned the body in his forge. When a town elder beheld the grinning skull in the forge when he came to collect a pair of hinges for his stable door, Fladehem was strung up in a gibbet for three days and harangued by packs of young boys throwing stones. In despair, he called out to the gods for relief; the Jale God answered in the form of a hawk which disemboweled Fladehem as he hung above the village green. As he died, Fladehem saw through the Jale God's veil once again and laughed, and all heard him proclaim "Iä! Jaash im raa!"

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Beloved Servant: A Tale of the Jale God

The Beloved Servant: A Tale of the Jale God

There is a story now freely told concerning something that once visited a particular cemetery of a well-known kingdom.

The story is that one day, early in the pre-dawn hours, a groundskeeper named Karst (employed to keep rabble from sleeping on graves and desecrating monuments) and his friend, a member of the city guard, were surprised in the midst of their nightly banter by a tall, wan figure spider-crawling down a wall and landing close beside them. This figure darted along the path toward the heart of the cemetery towards a grave that has long been rumored to be that of a favored servant of the Jale God. As it ran, the figure made a clackling sound, like a horse with a loose shoe covering rough ground.

Too terrified to watch or follow this figure, Karst and his friend fled, not stopping until they were some distance away. Karst refused to return to his post, but his friend, being of the guard and full of bravado, went back to where the figure had appeared to them. He returned carrying a small cloth which in look and substance was like a damp cobweb. The men brought this item to the village elders, who in council examined it.

As the elders poked and prodded the cloth, it suddenly swelled in size and shape and engulfed the room in thick choking strands like smoke; the groundskeeper and his friends escaped at the last moment by jumping out of a window. Screams and thrashing could be heard from inside the meeting room, drawing curious townspeople from nearby buildings.

Once the sounds stopped, the groundskeeper and his friend looked in the window from which they had escaped. There, in the center of the room, surrounded by the mangled bodies of the village elders, was the gravestone of the Jale God's beloved servant.

The guardsman died the next day, his hands covered in putrid boils and his tongue rotted in his mouth. The groundskeeper escaped reprisal and became a drunkard and was the first teller of this tale, repeating its performance for a half-copper of rotgut ale.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Petty Gods: A Tale of a Jale God Cultist

A Tale of a Jale God Cultist

A hobgoblin, a bugbear, and a cultist of the Jale God are sitting in a tavern across from a brothel. They are sipping their mead when they see a bugbear across the street walk into the house of ill repute. “Fnarl!” the bugbear curses. “It’s terrible to see a bugbear give into human temptation!” he says, shaking his head.

“If it bothers you so much, why don’t you go over there and stop him?” asks the hobgoblin.

The bugbear shakes his head and says, “Well, that’s my cousin Merl; he’s the toughest of our warband. If I interfere, he’ll whip me good.”

The other two nod their heads in understanding, and drink more mead.

A short while later, they see a hobgoblin walk into the brothel. “Pfaughl!,” exclaims the hobgoblin. “It’s a smear on the name of hobgoblins everywhere to see one of us spend our ration on a used handmaiden!”

“If it bothers you so much, why don’t you go over there and say something?” asks the bugbear. “Certainly you need to stop him before he nearly kills some poor girl.”

The hobgoblin nods his head and starts to rise, but then thinks better of it and sits back down. “You know,” he says, “I think that was my unit leader, Firl. If he sees me, he’ll know I’ve been drinking and then I’ll have to pull discipline duty for the third time this week.”

The other two nod knowingly, and the cultist pats the hobgoblin on the back and orders another round.

A few drinks later, they see the high priest of the Jale God enter the brothel. The hobgoblin and the bugbear turn to the cultist, who sighs wistfully and says “It’s nice to see the doxies, who have been used and abused and discarded by the likes of you two, have time to seek absolution from the Jale God.”

The bugbear and the hobgoblin beat the cultist senseless and steal his sandals. The Jale God laughs.