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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Reflections on an Evil Sorcerer

So I'm thinking about the campaign I've been talking about lately, which I think I'll be calling Isabelle of the Black Hills.

So Isabelle's looking for the asshole sorcerer who capture her parents' souls. She's slowly making moves towards the steading of some sorcerer who may or may not be her man.

At the beginning of her last game, I asked her what Mortimer looks like. This is because I was debating giving her a chance to face him that very same session.

Now I'm trying to decide whether the guy on this island isn't someone else entirely.

In response to my first post about this campaign, Nate Lumpkin of the oh-so excellent Swamp of Monsters compared Isabelle to a character out of a Studio Ghibli movie or an Ursula Le Guin story. I haven't read Le Guin, but if the comparison is apt, and judging from the tone of Beyond the Wall and Other Stories, I really should.

Actually, holy shit, maybe I should adapt Isabelle to Beyond the Wall. How did I miss this before? That game is perfect for this.

Anyway, Ghibli. I'm definitely feeling that in the way the kid's playing so far. Her character is frail and avoids combat. She's determined and resourceful. Ok, so maybe she poisoned a pool. I can't make everything honobono or it's less special. Those guys were assholes anyway. But there's something great in the way she's been exploring her friendship with Uzen. There's something rare and special about that. And there's the same kind of beauty, the menace of long and dangerous journey, but also this precious glimmer of hope.

There's a certain type of character in Miyazaki films that I adore. They're antagonists - sometimes they're straight up bad guys - but they get these wonderful moments where you totally get them. They're assholes, but they're human assholes.

The best example I can come up with is Lady Eboshi. Forget Ashitaka; San's boring; Lady Eboshi is without question my favourite character in Princess Mononoke. Yeah, she's tearing the forest apart. Yeah, she's killing nature gods. She's also got a population of hundreds of alienated women, lepers, and incompetent men, all of whom have their own lives and virtues, and all of whom depend on her. She owns that burden and carries it masterfully. She's also a complete and total badass.

There are others, too. In my mind, Spirited Away's Zeniba or No-Face fills this roll. In Ponyo it's Ponyo's father. In Howl's, it's the Witch of the Wastes. They're doing bad things, but they have reasons for doing it, which to them are very important and not necessarily malevolent in nature.

Back to the mystery Sorcerer. He can be an Eboshi.

Uhhhhg she's the best how can I begin to even
Like, rather than just being that jerk Mortimer and blowing some shit up and flying away or whatever Mortimer's favourite escape tactic is, he can be some grumpy old man who's been causing some serious changes around here. He's unbalancing the island, he's calling shots in Gem and leading Olmen into a dangerous and destructive campaign. And Isabelle's getting caught up in all that. But when she meets him, he doesn't have to pull out the blasting spells.

He could invite her to tea.

Maybe he'll put her friends in cages to keep the ambiguity up, he might even use magic to force her into the chair, but he'll sit with her and talk to her and counsel her on her quest. Maybe he'll even teach her a spell or two. And then he'll send her on her way, because he's not her man and none of this has anything to do with her.

Maybe he'll be a woman. He could be Zeniba. I did say, "...or Sorceress."

Every time. This scene makes me cry every. Single. Time.

From a gaming perspective it feels good too. It teaches the kid she can't trust me to lead her in the right direction - that the most obvious path leads to danger, violence, and disappointment. The kindly old Sorceress (okay, yeah, it's a woman now. Decided.) is a consolation prize but she won't always be there either. The kid has to ask questions and look carefully with her own eyes to find Mortimer. She has to get there herself.

God, I love this game.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Playing D&D with a 12 year-old: Part 2

So I'm babysitting again. The kid's in bed and we just wrapped up a 2-hour D&D session. A report is in order.

This is the folder she made for her character sheet and handouts. The best.

So, last session Isabelle the Sorceress of the Black Hills got caught sneaking around in the caves of some barracuda-men when they apprehended her familiar pixie, Tito.

This session began with a parlay. She told the leader of the barracuda-men that she had been sent under duress by the Kenku to distract them while they hatched some sinister further south along the island. She was banking on them hating the kenku as much as the kenku hated them - and she was right. The leader screams out "KEENKUUUUUUU!" and quickly assembles a party to apprehend them. BUT, he also ties up Isabelle and leaves her behind under watch by two guards. Tito remains caught up in a net.

Isabelle tries to get her captors to sample the fluid in the vial she's carrying (a deadly poison, meant to sabotage their sacred pool). They think about it, but hesitate (she couldn't come up with a good enough bluff). So they hold on to the vial. Then she threatens them with dark magic, but these aren't so easily impressed and ask for a display of her power. All she has left is her magic shield. They sample it by punching her in the stomach, and she fails her con roll and doubles over. (I forgot to give her a substantial bonus for this roll due to the shield. My bad. Oh well.) So she waits for a while, and then starts telling kenku jokes. This gets them. She gets them riled up on kenku-hate, and proposes they go out and prank some stinkin' crow-mask-wearers. They're like YEAAAHHHHHH and bring her along, though her arms are still bound.

Along the way they ask her what kind of prank they're going to pull. She says she's not sure. Barracuda-men aren't very intelligent, and can't think of anything either. So they stop to think about it for a minute. They sit down on a rock near the edge of a cliff (they've been following the shoreline south) to work out a game plan.

While the barracuda-folk argue, Isabelle hears a rustling in the nearby brush. Looking over, she sees a single kenku peering out at her. He's a younger fellow, looks to be adolescent, with long, lanky limbs. (This encounter was planned. I'll discuss it later.)

This was fun. The kid at this point turns sideways and shows me how she signs for him to come over.

He points out the two guards, and draws a finger across his throat.

She nods vigorously.

At this point, the guards as Isabelle what she's doing. She says she's doing a funny dance for Tito, or he might get agitated and break out into fairy-hives. They want nothing to do with that noise and carry on their conversation.

She looks back. The kenku is forming letters with his hands.

D - I - S - T - R - A - C - T

(We were still doing this all in pantomime, by the way.)

Isabelle turns to her captors and starts cracking kenku jokes again. They're eating it up, and laughing riotously until one of their throats gets sliced open. Before the other can react, he's pushed off the cliff into the water. (He can swim, but he's less likely to be able to climb 50 feet back up.) The kenku cuts Isabelle's bonds and introduces himself as Uzen. 

Uzen says he's been separated from a landing party that stopped for supplies and got lost. This happens a lot to kenku, he explains, owing to an ancient curse on their tribe. Isabelle asks him to come along and help him poison the barracuda-men's pool. He hates those guys and is super into this plan.

The kid asks, "can I get the poison back?"



"Roll this die."


"On a 4-6, the guy who fell in the water had it."




2. Celebration. She grabs the vial and makes tracks back to the barracuda cave.

They sneak in and poison the pool. Then they get out of there. The kid feels a little bad. They get out and Uzen starts hooing and bragging and celebrating. She tells him to shut it before I roll wandering monsters. 

Then Isabelle notices the kenku ships are gone. She asks Uzen where they are.

"Oh, they left. I think the plan was to ditch you here. Anyway, they're probably lost by now. Who knows when they'll be back."

Together they head towards a town on the south side of the island, coming across some stray brown robes and a narrowly avoiding a run-in with the returning barracuda-men.

They arrive at the gates of a town called Olmen. Isabelle suspects these people might not like the oh-so-sketchy kenku and tells Uzen to wear the robes over his head as a disguise. He looks like this.

The perfect disguise.

So of course the town guard are like "that is most clearly a kenku why are you travelling with this sketchball." They demand a steep entry fee. Having no coin to spare, the party gets in on a promise to serve the Warlord of the town in exchange for a night's rest in the stables.

The next morning, the oddball group is brought before the Warlord. Isabelle introduces herself, and tells him of her quest to save her parents' souls from the sorcerer Mortimer. The Warlord remarks that a mysterious sorcerer has taken up with Ulmen's ancestral enemies, the people of Gem. Perhaps it is Mortimer. Drawing the girl's attention to a map of the island, he shows how it is bisected by a great canyon. The fertile and fielded eastern half is ruled by Olmen; the hilly and mineral-rich west, by Gem. The only bridge between the two sides is heavily guarded by troops from both towns. Gem has been bullying Olmen lately, refusing to pay for grain and pumping up the price of weapons. Yet their guard on the bridge has also been relaxed of late. The Warlord hopes to tip the scales by seizing a Gemish fort just beyond the bridge. This would secure the bridge and increase his prestige, and also allow him to charge heavier fees for hunting rights in the east. He wants Isabelle and her ragtag friends to fight for him, and offers them food, drink, and access to the (rather modestly stocked) armoury.

Isabelle accepts, although she has her doubts as to whether this shady spellcaster is the one she's looking for. 

We're running out of time, so she RPs a friendly meal with Uzen, and takes some time to get to know him better. Among her interests are getting him to take off that mask, but it quickly becomes apparent that any discussion regarding the mask is taboo.

The evening ends with the kid chatting my ear off with her plans about how she's going to take over this fortress with a minimum of violence while I try to get her to go get her PJs on and go to sleep.


Playing with this kid is really fascinating. It presents a lot of unique challenges and interesting surprises.

First, there's the matter of Uzen, who I sort of railroaded in.* Actually, let's talk about railroading in general. I've done a lot of things in this game that feel uncomfortably close to railroading - so far it's been like, "ok, you want this. That brings you here, where you run into these guys, who take you here, and ask you to do X, so you do, and then you meet a guy and go to this place, where another dude tells you that you should do Y. Do you do Y? Cool." So, I don't know, is that what a railroad is? Some people will probably say yes. Other people will probably say no, or insult me and tell me to get off the internet, or talk about something else entirely. So I don't know.

Point being I decided before this session that the first time I would roll a random encounter outside the barracuda caves, it would be Uzen. He didn't have to join Isabelle, but I wanted to give her the option. My reasoning for this was actually to prevent railroading and leave more room for decision-making and emergent situations. It works like this:

In an RPG, your ability to exercise agency is proportional to the amount of fictional power you have. Eg. a bound and imprisoned character has very few possible courses of action available to them, unless they have a way of breaking out of their bounds. This principle became especially pronounced when Isabelle was literally bound and imprisoned, and doing her any favours felt like fudging, which I abhor. Her getting out means nothing if she didn't orchestrate her escape.

(Like, the pranking ploy felt weak but she rolled well. I don't think I should have let her roll. Oopsie.)

Uzen was intended as a way of giving her access to more moving parts. He didn't have to help her out. He wouldn't have if she hadn't asked him, he would have quietly shuffled back into the woods. He was a quantum ogre, but hopefully he'll have been the only one.

Another thought I'm having is that D&D is actually designed for an incremental increase in agency. A first-level character has few ways to alter the world around them: A fighter can't kill many dudes; a thief can't pick many locks; a wizard can't blow many things up. You can't take over the town because most of the guards are loyal to the current leader and can kill you in an instant. Not so much when the party's level 5. As characters gain levels they also become more capable of asserting their agency. At lower levels you often have to stay on the rails because they're the safest way through the world.

So yeah, Uzen's an extension of these ideas. Tito too - he can cast charm person once a day. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to give her a little more firepower.

Another cool thing about the kid is she's not so into violence. A lot of my players seem to love it when I get into really gnarly descriptions of how they eviscerate their foes when they hit 0 HP. It's trying to come up with a hundred grisly deaths and feels pointless. The kid winced at the description of cutting the barracuda's throat. It wasn't a victory to her, but a necessary evil.

Which brings me to my biggest concern with this game: Death.

In a solo game, dying means game over. Your character is done, roll a new one. This strikes me as a huge shame is this style of play offers a rare opportunity to really explore a character's goals and motivations. Isabelle is all about saving her parents. I don't need to tempt her with riches or power, she handed me the very point of this campaign. The campaign is Isabelle.

So if Isabelle dies, the campaign dies.

I don't want to shortchange her. I don't want to balance every encounter, and I don't want to fudge dice when she makes bad decisions. If Isabelle saves her parents, it'll be because she earned it.

The kid knows 0 hp = death. She avoids combat like the plague. Even with Uzen she'd rather hide than fight. I love that.

But D&D can be cruel. Surprise attack and missed traps happen and bad decisions do get made. These things can off even the most prepared character mercilessly quickly. And the kid's still learning the ropes. So forgive me if I want to soften the blow a little. Here's my thinking:

I have a rule in my DCC game: hitting 0 HP means the enemy gets to do whatever they want to you. Disarm you, knock you out, capture you, sacrifice you to their dark god, turn you into a newt, etc. Or kill you, if that's what they want. 0 HP doesn't necessarily mean death - but it does mean total loss of agency, at least for a while.

I'll be adopting that rule in this game, with the following addition:

3 strikes and you're out.

What this means is the first two time you hit 0 HP, you will not die. You'll be abducted, or frozen for 1000 years (with all the terrible changes that entails), or transported halfway across the world. There will be major fictional setbacks, but the campaign will not end.

After that, anything goes. 0 HP means the enemy gets what they want. If that's your death, then that's what happens.

The kid will be aware of this. We'll tally strikes on her character sheets. And if she hits two, she'll know the next time means business.

I'm out of steam. That's me for the night. Thanks for reading.

*It has come to my attention that there's a controversy going on in RPG world as to what a sandbox is and what a plot is and what a railroad is. Kindly leave me the fuck out of that.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I just ran one of the best D&D sessions of my life and the only player was 12 years old

I wanted to accompany this post with some thoughts about how running this short session (it only lasted an hour) really got me thinking in new ways about DMing. But the report is long enough as-is and I'm getting sleepy, so that will come tomorrow.

She also asked me for rules to run games. I sent her S&W Core but it's virtually nothing like what we actually played, so there might be a kid-friendly D&D hack forthcoming.

Sometimes I babysit a 12 year-old who lives nearby. She's an extremely creative person with an artist for a mother and a neurosurgeon for a father. She regularly shows me the comics and drawings she's working on, the 50 pages of Harry Potter / Twilight concept mashup fiction she's typed up in the past week (this is not an exaggeration she seriously did that), or tells me her latest idea for a surprisingly gritty manga. So naturally I've been trying to pique her curiosity about RPGs. Today I succeeded.

So after I casually mentioned D&D for the umpteenth time she asked me how it works. I tell her that you've got a person who provides a situation and invents the world the action takes place in, you've got players who describe how they're going to navigate that situation, and you've got dice you roll to decide what happens if it's not immediately obvious.

HER: So, the Dungeon Master says something like, "you're in a room and the walls start to slide together and crush you?"
ME: That's right. And you say something like, "I try to push them apart with my arms." And you roll some dice and compare them to your Strength to see if it works.
HER: Or if the character's not very strong you could jam something hard in between?

She was grokking it before I could even finish explaining it. We had to walk her dog, so we took it by my place so I could run in and grab my dice and a copy of the Dungeon Dozen. On the way there, she tried her hand at DMing diceless. I woke up on a deserted island, stole a hot-air balloon, killed a wyvern with nothing but rope while the balloon crashed, escaped a river full of piranhas, and knocked out a tiger before nailing myself in the head with my own rock and blacking out.

Back at her house we set to chargen. I asked her what kind of character she wanted to play. She said, "a vampire! No, a werewolf!" I quietly searched my mind for an easy way to houserule those, but ended up not having to: "No! A sorceress!" She said. We rolled ability scores down the line and I told her she could switch two if she liked. She ended up switching her 16 Wisdom (which I called Awareness to keep things uncomplicated) and her 10 Intelligence. I decided to give her a base HP value of 6+Con, which ended up being 6.

HER: What happens if I run out of HP? Do I faint? [She's a big Pokemon fan.]
ME: You die.
HER: Oh! [she thinks for a moment.] Is 6 HP a lot?
ME: It's decent. You'll still be pretty fragile.
HER: I'll have to be really careful.

I told her to name her character. She told me her name was Isabelle and while I was flipping through the Dungeon Dozen for the table of Magic-User backgrounds she told me she was orphaned when an enemy Sorcerer slew her parents and stole their souls, and that she had vowed an oath to rescue their souls from him. The Sorcerer's name is Mortimer.

Like, Jesus, I didn't even have to ask.

So I showed her this map I doodled on the Metro this morning and told her she lives on this island.

She told me that she lives in the Black Hills because they sound cool, but that Mortimer lives on another island. So much for that then.

We rolled for her spells. She got Light and Magic Shield. I decided she could cast each of them once a day, since she was playing solo and I didn't feel like explaining spell slots quite yet.

I figured it was about time to get started but was worried her wizard was too squishy. I told her she could have a pet. It turned out to be a pixie named Tito. Why not. And so we started.

Several days out to sea Isabelle and Tito were running out of water on their little dingy and had a while to go before reaching the island where Mortimer was living. Before long she began to see the bows of ships through the waves. The flags and design indicated a number of ships from a variety of countries. Bringing the boat up alongside, she saw that the ships were manned by strange folk wearing bird masks (Patrick Stuart's Kenku). Reaction roll 6. They called over and asked where she was going. She said she sought a Sorcerer, but lied about whom as she suspected these may be loyal to him.

They offered to provide her with food, drink, and safe passage to a nearby island where a Sorcerer dwells, in exchange for a small service. They cast down a rope ladder. Before climbing up, she warned them that she was a powerful magician and would curse them with dark magic if they tried to harm her or her companion. Her oration was delightfully Vancian. I had her roll d20 + Charisma (the whole score) over 21. (This is equivalent to rolling under Charisma, but I prefer high rolls = better results.) She succeeded and the masked men were duly impressed. Loading her up with food and water, they told her a foul tribe of barracuda men live on the same island as the sorcerer. Their terms were that she sneak into the barracuda men's lair and poison their sacred well. She agreed, the terms were set, and the expedition set off.

A couple days later they arrived at the cave where the barracuda men dwelt. I flipped through my notebook and found a half-finished dungeon called "ghoul hole." Easy reskin, why not.

This is where she really shined. Entering the dungeon, she found herself in dark, winding tunnel. She picked up a rock and tossed it about 20 feet in, listening carefully and readying herself for an attack. (She would continue to do this every 20 feet or so, and I would continue rolling 4s and 5s on every damn wandering monster roll.)

HER: While I walk, I check the floor, walls, and ceiling for traps.

This without my ever even mentioning traps. A natural!

She comes to a room with a straw floor with two chests on the far end. She says she jumps in, just past where the straw meets the floor. I draw a diagram of the room and ask her to indicate where she lands. Right on a pit trap hidden beneath the straw. (I think she suspected there was a trip wire?) The floor gives way. I tell her to make a saving throw 1d20 + Dex mod. She just scrapes by with a 15.

She sends Tito to check out what's below. He identifies the location of two more pit traps, a pile of animal pelts, and a corridor going who knows where.

She had Tito pile up the pelts and climbed into the lower room. Exploring further, she found herself at the bottom of a ditch. She sent Tito up to scout, and he spotted a barracuda man on guard. Unfortunately it spotted him too and sprinted over to the edge of the pit. Reaction 6. It starts asking questions.

Isabelle says she came to worn them that evil Kenku were heading upriver to with vile plans for the barracuda men. She claimed to have barely escaped their clutches, and knew nothing more of their devices. Another excellent Charisma roll. The guard went to fetch his superior. She sent Tito to spy.

She hears a scuffle, and a priestly-looking fellow draped in barnacles, tattered robes and broken shells arrives with Tito trapped a net. "We caught your little spyyyy" he gurgles.

As if on cue, her dad gets home. To be continued.

Spoiler: She's hooked.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

dZocchi Weird Flora

'So I just submitted this madness to the Seventh Order of the Random Generator.

It uses all of the Zocchi dice to make a really weird plant for your game.

EDIT: I forgot that one of its alchemical properties begins with "if consumed whole and through the anus..." so I guess this is apparently NSFW. I made these tables a while ago.

Ok here are the tables it's based off of:

dEverything weird plants

d3 - Attitude
1.      Predatory
2.      Evasive
3.      Defensive
d4 – Growth
1.      Tall
2.      Expansive
3.      Deep
4.      Parasitic
d5 – Appearance
1.      Normal for its type
2.      Brightly coloured, psychedelic
3.      Colourless, appears dead
4.      Particularly lush, damp
5.      Bulbous, sickly
d6 – Mobility
1.      None whatsoever
2.      Creeps slowly, following the sun or moon
3.      Walks
4.      Prehensile leaves/branches
5.      Dances alluringly
6.      Can get up and fucking run
d7 – Senses
1.      Sensitive to light
2.      Sensitive to loud noises
3.      Reacts to being cut or plucked
4.      Enjoys being sung to
5.      Avoids humanoids
6.      Smells magic
7.      Changes its appearance indicating incoming weather patterns
d8 - Plant type
1.      Flower
2.      Tree – desiduous
3.      Tree – fruit-bearing
4.      Tree – evergreen
5.      Moss/lichen
6.      Shrub
7.      Vegetable
8.      Vine
d10 – Smell
1.      Sweet and sugary
2.      Salty and metallic
3.      Like a rotting corpse
4.      Fresh and minty
5.      Musty and wet
6.      Peppery
7.      Slightly sour
8.      Odourless
9.      Reeks of excrement
10.   Savoury, like freshly-cooked meat
d12 – Primary visual aspect (leaves, buds, petals, fruit) shape
1.      Bulbous, bell-shaped
2.      Spade-like
3.      Wet, droopy
4.      Thin, narrow, sharp
5.      Wide, bowl-like
6.      Semitransparent
7.      Round, flat
8.      Square
9.      Spherical
10.   Fan-shaped or conical
11.   Star-shaped with five points
12.   Long, curved
d14 – Texture
1.      Fuzzy
2.      Bumpy
3.      Soft
4.      Solid, brittle
5.      Very solid, hard to break
6.      Fibrous
7.      Rough, like sandpaper
8.      Smooth
9.      Spongy
10.   Covered in tiny, razor-sharp serrations
11.   Large, protruding spikes
12.   Furry and sticks like a burr
13.   Sticky
14.   Dry, bark-like
d16 – Colour/Pattern (Roll for primary colour, and then determine whether there is a pattern (50% chance). If there is, roll a d7 for the pattern and a second time for the secondary colour)
1.      Bright red/polka dots
2.      Dark Green/Stripes
3.      White/Speckles
4.      Silver/Uneven patches
5.      Orange/Cloudy
6.      Yellow/Bumps
7.      Deep red/spots
8.      Dull brown
9.      Lush green
10.   Purple
11.   Deep, rich blue
12.   Pure black, no pattern, do not roll for secondary colour
13.   Creamy golden white
14.   Light green
15.   Bright, neon pink
16.   Sickly greenish yellow
d20 – Locals use it …
1.      For consumption in ceremonial rites
2.      In potpouri
3.      To make tea
4.      to be gathered as part of a coming-of-age ritual
5.      As a staple food
6.      As a delicacy eaten in celebration of the chieftain’s birthday
7.      To fashion bowls and baskets
8.      To show off as a status symbol
9.      To throw at criminals during public humiliations
10.   As a ward against demons/evil spirits/witches
11.   As sacrifice to their god(s)
12.   As currency
13.   To make paints
14.   To decorate their homes
15.   To adorn important religious objects
16.   As a traditional offering of peace after a period of war
17.   To make paper
18.   For its alchemical application
19.   For medical purposes unrelated to its alchemical application; it probably doesn’t work
20.   To flavour their meals
d24 – Alchemical applications
1.      If smoked, it fortifies the spirit against fear and protects it from the touch of incorporeal foes
2.      If drunk in a warm tea, it separates mind from body and allows the user to visit another plane of existence
3.      If burned in incense, it intoxicates forest spirits and draws them near
4.      If mashed into an ointment, its odour drives away the undead
5.      If eaten whole, they who consumed it turns invisible for a time
6.      If flash-heated in water and salt, its otherwise harmless juices become a potent acid that burns through objects as green slime
7.      If strained and rubbed under the nose, the user may see augurs signaling things to come in the next year
8.      If juiced and boiled down, it produces a resin that can be used to stick any two objects together. They will be nearly impossible to separate once it dries
9.      If mixed with another weird plant and mashed into a chunky goop, eating it will cause fiery indigestion that purges the body of disease
10.   If carried as a good luck charm, it the carrier is impervious to illusions until the plant rots
11.   If burned slowly over the course of a few days, the ashes may be spread on one’s body to make oneself invisible to demons
12.   When chopped up it releases a mist, the inhalation of which causes gibbering madness and severe impairment of the motor functions
13.   If consumed whole and through the anus, it provides an exhilarating high that strengthens the muscles and increases stamina
14.   If used to plug one’s ears, mixed with a few sprigs of common grass, the user is immune to mind-control
15.   As long ones chews it, they are capable of speaking the language of snakes
16.   Bottled and buried for a month with a few flakes of gold, it produces a noxious gas the inhalation of which induces a terrible flu
17.   If stuffed into the mouth of a fresh corpse before burial, the body will rise as a zombie
18.   One may anoint oneself with its oils to pass through barriers
19.   If touched, it kills instantly
20.   If cooked into a soup with hot peppers, the eater will excrete pure gold
21.   Objects bathed in a mixture from the plant’s juices become stronger and more solid – it is dangerous for living beings to attempt this as their skeleton will fuse together
22.   If burned, the smoke will change colour when disturbed by the words of a liar
23.   The plant’s seeds may be placed within a small doll to give it life
24.   Its roots hold a record of the past – if these are eaten, one gains some of the plant’s memories
d30 – Special
1.      Its leaves are like swords and it can use them as such
2.      Grabbing and thrashing
3.      It creates seductive displays to attract and trap living pray
4.      It can shoot spines
5.      Its leaves/fruit/branches/chunks of itself can detach and attack you
6.      It is home to an army of killer bees
7.      It’s sentient
8.      It can shimmer hypnotically to hold you in place
9.      It hides underground and jumps up to surprise you
10.   Little humanoids grow from it
11.   It can hyperaccelerate its growth to entrap and overgrow enemies
12.   It fires out seeds – if these make their way into your mouth, they will plant in your brain and begin to grow
13.   It secretes a white, viscous fluid that hardens and sticks rapidly
14.   It secretes toxic gas
15.   It has no special power of its own, but is defended by an extraplanar entity that will manifest when danger is near
16.   It is made by a wizard; its pollen bestows a geas. The plant’s leaves/petals will turn to gold and fall off if the quest is completed
17.   Its bark/surface/patterning rearranges into various magical runes
18.   It releases a cloud of spores that cause living beings to become violent and attack one another
19.   It drops little explosives
20.   It secretes a highly flammable oil and can set off sparks; the plant itself is immune to fire
21.   Its roots dig down and hollow out underground chambers, which acts as pit traps
22.   Rather than releasing carbon at night, it collects it in sacs that grow along its surface. It can pop these when threatened
23.   Just your average, everyday carnivorous plant
24.   Herbivorous plant – its roots dig down and start eating other plants
25.   When the wind blows through its leaves, it sings a magical song
26.   It changes its appearance to predict the weather
27.   It messes with compasses and rearranges plants around it to get travelers lost, then continues to mislead to hide the fact that they are going around in circles
28.   It protects from harm any travelers who camp near it
29.   It lets out innocuous white noise, making it difficult to hear other creatures nearby

30.   The whole plant is actually the elaborate camouflage of some other creature