Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Ten Random Urban Encounters

Featuring three guest entries by my wonderful partner <3 <3

Another 10 entries forthcoming.

  1. 🏊 A body washes up in the canal. It’s someone the PCs have previously met, but are not particularly attached to. Cause of death: internal organs have turned into clay.
  2. πŸ’°Wealthy patrician is at the city gates comforting a weeping horde of his clients, saying he'll return from exile once he clears these trumped up charges brought by those Senate populists.
  3. πŸ’‚ Local priesthood (plump, greased hair, purple and white voluminous robes, tall black hats) emerge and offer ritual blessings, which are an augury spell that contingently activates at a time of the GM’s choosing. These are made in exchange for (roll 1d3):
    1 - five silver pieces, which the recipient puts in a pentagonal arrangement on an embroidered cloth the priests carry
    2 - a thimbleful of blood and some skin scraped from inside the recipient’s cheek.
    3 - all of a person’s head and body hair. The priests are followed by obsequious barber-acolytes with gleaming razors, portable privacy screens, and bags of already-collected hair.
  4. 🐈 Party comes across an important local shrine which has been taken over by a clan of feral cats. The locals are frightened -- they see it as a bad omen. If anyone approaches the shrine, the cats rise on their hind legs and say, in high-pitched unison, "Nenji demands an offering'. The party can appease the cats by offering them an item and making a DC 20 Charisma check to convince them of its worth; success means the cats will accept the offering and leave. Locals will reward successful dispersal of the cats.
  5. πŸ”₯ Workers building a new public bath have accidentally excavated the true source of the hot spring’s heat: a ten-foot-wide superheated featureless metal orb. Once unearthed, it floats randomly through the air, melting/igniting whatever it touches. Destroying the orb opens a permanent portal to the City of Brass.
  6. πŸ‘ΆThe party is waylaid by a distressed woman who says that cultists have snatched her newborn baby because they believe it is the avatar of their obscure deity. She is too afraid to confront them because, despite being crazy and inept, they are extremely devoted and fanatical.
  7. πŸ‘† An enormous, levitating palanquin stops next to the party, bystanders whisper that it’s Madame Gorgon’s carriage and make a wary retreat. A hand, big enough to crush a skull and wearing an onyx ring the size of a bar of soap, emerges and beckons the party inside. The Madame isn’t really a gorgon -- she was only called that as a kid due to her freakish size and countenance. She is hiring adventurers to retrieve her magical sword, which was stolen and taken into a dungeon too cramped for her to follow.
  8. πŸ—― The party passes a well. There is anguished shouting coming from it. None of the local people on the street are reacting to the shouting. A passing child sees the players taking notice and says “ignore it -- it'll stop soon. It’s always like that in the mornings.”
  9. 🐞 Hundreds of small brightly coloured beetles all of the one species, fly in and land on surfaces near the party, following them indoors, if possible. They’re a local species, but this isn’t normal swarming season for them, nor are they swarming anywhere else.
  10. πŸ’ͺ Annual holiday where people fistfight to settle the previous year’s grievances. Results of duels are legally binding. No armour, weapons, or spells allowed; fights are non-lethal but “accidents” can occur; there is a thriving black market in stimulants. A scrawny, wheezing youth spots the party and begs they hide him from an absurdly muscular man following him, intent on starting a duel.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Random Minotaur Variants

Someone on G+ asked for minotaur variants, so I wrote some, then figured they were OK enough to post here.

The obvious difficulty with minotaurs is that mythology kinda only had one of them. While I could have looked up how other fantasy worlds treat them -- Krynn, Dominaria, Azeroth --  that sounded terribly dull.

So, here are 6 random abilities (written for 5th edition) to give to minotaurs who stick to the classics: having horns, living in labyrinths, and eating people.

  1. This minotaur has a spatial rift hovering between its horns. You cannot meaningfully see through its luminescent surface, but it transmits sound, poorly. As a bonus action, the minotaur can cause an eldritch blast (+5 to hit, 120 ft., 1d10 force damage) to emanate from the rift. The rift persists after death, as long as the skull and horns remain intact. Touching the rift teleports you to a random location within the dungeon (4 in 6 chance), continent (1 in 6), or to a random plane (1 in 6). The destination changes over every 10 minutes.
  2. This minotaur has ritually eaten the flesh of an adventurer and absorbed its prowess. Roll a d8. On a 1-6 it has a random Fighting Style from the six available to the Fighter class. On a 7-8 it has 1d6 Sneak Attack and adds double its proficiency bonus to Stealth checks (for a total of +4). It wields the fallen adventurer's weapons. It has another ration of smoked human flesh that if eaten, bestows the same combat knowledge for 1 day. The ration detects as transmutation magic.
  3. This minotaur can telekinetically move loose rocks, unmortared bricks and the like. It rearranges its section of the labyrinth to confuse its prey, but may use its powers to aid the party if they offer sufficient tribute. As an action, it can move a quantity of stone that fits within a 10 ft cube, up to 30ft. Creatures hit by the slow-moving rocks take 1d6 bludgeoning damage, Dexterity DC 13 negates.
  4. This minotaur hears/smells around corners (blindsense 30 ft.) and throws vials of webbing (as the giant spider ability, and the vials are designed to ricochet off walls without breaking. Its horns are poisoned (one dose, as giant spider venom). Its giant spider farm is nearby. They are docile and affectionate.
  5. This minotaur shaman has ritually cut off its horns (no gore attack). It can cast bane, blindness/deafness, and lesser restoration. It has no spell slots, and instead casts spells by bloodletting itself with the horns (inflicting 1d6 damage/spell level). The horns function as a pair of +1 daggers. PCs who loot the horns can cast the above spells the same way. This requires attuning to the daggers. Bloodletting damage cannot be magically healed or recovered with Hit Dice, and goes away only with a long rest, though the obviously-deliberate cuts will show for at least a week. Higher level PCs may discover new spells that can be cast with the horns.
  6. This minotaur has necromantic powers, but only over cows. In combat this means it can animate armor that's predominantly leather, as the animate objects spell except it can affect worn/carried items. Animated armor worn by the PCs will tear itself off and begin attacking them. The minotaur also has a side gig resurrecting nearby farmers' cattle that perish from drought or disease.