Friday, January 3, 2014

An Alphabet of Stupid Dungeon Things / Hello this is blog

I've been running D&D fairly consistently over the last year or so and I've encountered a certain problem: Most of my good ideas are weird humanoids. I have considerably more trouble with tricks, traps, and basically everything that isn't weird humanoids. So the other day, in the interest of getting myself thinking in new directions, I challenged myself to make a fairly large list of interesting things that aren't weird humanoids.

I'm proud of my list. It gets strongest as of H, although I was getting tired and a little lazy near the end. I like a number of the ideas and will probably integrate a few of them into the Caves of Chaos reskin/remix/cannibal orgy I'm prepping. At least once I forgot not to make a humanoid. And a couple of the entries are a little samey. Oh well.

Without any further ado...

The ABCs of Stupid Dungeon Things

·        A is for ASPS – This living snake, if inserted into one’s throat, allows you to speak the language of snakes – but no other language until you remove it. You can understand the language by sticking the snake in your ear. It wriggles around, so make a Dex check each time or risk thrashing damage as you pull it out.
·        B is for BEANS – Grows beanstalks superfast. These can't all be winners ok.
·        C is for CUBES – This cubic room has exits in opposite directions (eg the south door brings you out the north exit; you fall out of the top exit, and must climb out of the bottom)
·        D is for DICTIONARY – This gobbledigook dictionary replaces your knowledge of language with gibberish. You will not become aware of its effects until you try to speak. Thereafter, every time you speak, there is a % chance equal to the number of minutes spent studying the book that you will speak nonsense instead of a word crucial to what you are trying to communicate. The effects are permanent until the curse is removed. The player must keep track of which words have been lost, as the same words fail each time.
·        E is for ELECTRICITY – An electric train runs along rails along this crown. It is not in any way special, but it is extremely valuable.
·        F is for FALLING DAMAGE – This portable pit keeps anything within in a suspended state of falling. The angle at which any object within entered determines the velocity and trajectory of its exit from the hole’s next location. The hole only functions when stuck to a surface.
·        G is for GEESE – This wooden goose, when placed in water, is absolutely fascinating. Make a DC 13 Will save or be inexplicably transfixed by its magnificence.
·        H is for HERALDRY – The coat of arms engraved on this wall predicts the fortunes of prominent noble houses. If presented with the sigil of a house, it will alter to tell its future.
·        I is for ILL-TEMPER – This room is alive and it doesn’t like you, but will tolerate you. Unless you are mean to it.
·        J is for JIGS – this fay flute, when played right, incites fay to dance. When played wrong, it turns them into bloodthirsty beasts until the music stops plus 1d4 turns. While in this form, they will viciously tear apart the flute’s player, followed by any bystander and finally, lacking anything else to destroy, will turn against each other.
·        K is for KNOCKING – The dandy, Golimer, has enchanted a secret knock. Used upon any wooden door, it leads to Golimer’s hideout. Therein lies a series of devilish traps and safeguards, but great treasures and a luxuriant hearth beyond.
·        L is for LONGEVITY – The walls of this cave echo an ancient spell of no-aging. Within dwell many elderly souls hanging on the precipice of death. They are cowardly souls who fear death and refuse to leave the cave, but some still have earthly treasures to bestow on any who can settle their final affairs.
·        M is for MUSIC – This sheet music teaches a song that, if performed correctly, seduces simple locks (such as padlocks) and entices them to open. An excellent singer may open more complex locks. No matter the lock, if the singer fails to perform adequately the lock will tighten and become abnormally resistant to opening.
·        N is for NESTS – This room is full of rectangular stone bricks. These are actually beetles, withdrawn in their shells. Their eggs look like gold coins. The beetles are intensely protective of their young. They sometimes stack themselves into walls, stairs, or other structures, and secrete a substance similar to mortar.
·        O is for OPULENCE – This beautiful manor was recently erected by some snotty nouveau-riche and has since been the site of an ever-growing party. Any crude material (such as dirt or cloth) brought within its walls turns to gold, gemstone, and other riches. Unfortunately, the effect works both ways, and will turn vulgar any valuable thing brought without (this includes the gold with which you entered, which will turn to copper or worse).
·        P is for PINK – The monster in the room is terrible and deadly. But it cannot see pink things.
·        Q is for QUINTESSENCE – Shortly before his death, a famous alchemist managed to distill a single, tiny vial of the animating principle. It is the very stuff of life, and a single drop is enough to give breath to anything. Fearing what might become of the vial after his passing, he sealed his lab away in a mountain, protected by wards designed to turn away (or destroy) only the most virtuous and knowledgeable alchemists. He now resides in the Longevity Cave.
·        R is for ROLLER SKATES – How did these roller skates get in a dungeon? How do they work? Are they magical? No, they are roller skates. Move speed x2 and you can do tricks once you’ve had some practice.
·        S is for (ideas I immediately rejected for being too “done”: SERPENTS, SCEPTERS, SORCERERS, STEALTH, SPELLS) STARS – This glass orb contains a shrunken star. It sheds incredible amounts of light and if used to illuminate should probably be kept in something relatively dark or you’ll quickly go blind. The orb is made of normal glass, enchanted to contain the heat and gravity of the star. The star will return to its original size if the orb is broken.
·        T is for TRACKING – This sneaky predator leaves tracks identical to those of local big game. It then burrows, covers itself in leaves, or otherwise conceals itself awaiting the next hunter or predator…
·        U is for UGLY – This little necklace renders horrible the face of any humanoid wearing it, by the standards of the wearer. However, the necklace will not make the wearer appear as a member of another race – simply a particularly hideous example of their own.
·        V is for VITRIOL – Whenever anyone fails a check in this dungeon, the walls themselves scream insults. This applies equally to PCs as well as the place’s denizens. The dungeon does not usually give too much detail about who it is insulting, although it is more likely to mention what task it is they failed at.
·        W is for WINTER – This wintry hexcrawl region? It snows shards of glass.
·        X is for XAVIER – Xavier is the name of this child-prodigy painter who wants to come on your quest with you. He has run away from home to do it. If he survives, the painting he makes will fetch a nice price and improve your reputation considerably – as well as his. If he dies, his beast of a father (who trains attack dogs) will hunt you the fuck down.
·        Y is for YOLK – This hen lays normal-looking eggs. The yolks are liquid gold. If the hen is fertilized, the next batch of eggs will grow into normal-looking chickens that lay golden eggs.

·        Z is for ZIPPERS – This zipper can be affixed to any surface 5’ thick or under, creating a hole that can be zipped or unzipped at will. Once affixed, the zipper can no longer be removed, except by magical means. Removing the zipper makes permanent the hole in whatever state it was and strips the object itself of its power.

Wait a second did I just start a blog?

Apparently I did. What to expect from it? In the next few weeks/months, an emphasis on gameable content because I'm trying to fight my tendency to let my love for systems and theory and houseruling get in the way of my making playable adventures.

From me you can expect:

  • Stats for those brick beetles
  • Some monsters I've written including: Craplings, Scummers, Lantern-Fay, Memetic Trouble Sprites, Page Golems, and Clod Giants
  • Some setting fluff for the DCC Campaign I'm running. It's 2 sessions in and I've yet to do any serious world building. I'll try to keep this interesting. I think posting it here will give me incentive not to make it too boring.
    • Expect a long post about the Storm Dragon Kazarin-Ozthemoth Who Strikes Like Lightning, who commands clouds, roars thunder, and insists on being called by her whole name.
    • Also I'm on a fairy bent lately, so some whimsical fairy nonsense/political intrigue is in the offing.
  • Content from my Caves of Chaos remix/whatever, which from the looks of it will differ enough from B2 to not cause any copyright issues.
  • Drawings. Some silly, some hopefully decent. Also the occasional map.
  • Oh sometimes I'll post houserules and theory. I'll try to fight the urge, I swear.
  • More stupid alphabet lists? I'm thinking I could do some more focused ones.... an alphabet of non-humanoid monstrosities, of magic treasures, of enchanted weapons that don't just give +X, of traps? Passover is coming soonish - maybe a Hebrew alphabet of cruel Old Testament Dungeon Things? Lamedh is for Lamb's-Blood-On-Your-Door-Or-God-Will-Kill-Your-First-Born? Pe is for Plagues, 10 of them? Actually that list sounds really good. Expect that one.

That's it for this post. Thanks for reading? How do you end one of these?

Like this, I suppose.

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