Wednesday, September 30, 2020

6 Animal Friends

I've seen a few comments around about the OSR being too grim.  And while I feel like I am good at coming up with creepy ideas more in tune with the spirit of early fairy tales or a savage, swords and sorcery type world, I'm completely sympathetic to someone that wants to just escape this rough ol' world a bit when they play.  So, for those of you that want something more cute or fun, I promise to try and keep you in mind with my posts too.  With that in mind, here are six animal companions for your players to find, tame, or buy:

6 Animal Friends

1. Blossom Moths - These moths the size of a fingernail are white on top and various colorful shades on bottom.  They perch on their owner in the dozens as a clump that looks something like a white mum.  When a stranger approaches, they burst into flight and flutter around their owner's head in all their color.

2. Long Fox - Two yards long or more, these creatures prefer to curl and clamber around their owner.  At a simple command, they will fluff up their silky-soft fur to its utmost, protecting their owner from even magic cold.

3. A Troupe of Hamsters - This dozen or so hamsters are found living in a keg fitted with straps to be carried on their owner's back.  The keg smells of sawdust and has a tiny door from which, when asked "Hey, what happened here?", the hamsters will trot out in little paper costumes and reenact whatever event happened in this location most recently.

4. Scout Gecko - Call its name, point to a room, and salute and this gecko will salute back, crawl ahead on walls and ceiling, and chirp when everything is clear.

5. Probable Pup - What is your favorite breed of puppy?   What a happy coincidence, that's the breed of this pup!  A single pup in your hands when scritching its belly or letting it gnaw your finger, when you set it down on the ground it blossoms into hundreds of pups loping and tumbling in every direction.  A roiling mass of pups covers the floor, but only where a pup wouldn't be hurt, so dangerous spots-- chute traps, trigger stones, snares, rotten flooring-- become quite obvious. 

6. Golden Joke Frog - A tiny green frog will drop a coin from it's mouth once a session when told a joke.  Rumor has it, it will drop two coins for each joke if you've given it a cute hat to wear.

Monday, September 28, 2020

I Know What You Did and I Follow

If the caster makes a mask of the face of someone slain, for as long as they wear it, they will know which direction to take to find the killer.

It's said that the cruel lich of the North, Two-Thumbs-Digging, mistakenly performed this ritual on someone they had killed themselves and spent their last days paranoid, confused, and traveling in circles.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Serendipty XXIX

  When I go looking for images I need I often find cool things I never expected to find. These images are all in the public domain:


Friday, September 25, 2020

The Traveling Shrine

The Traveling Shrine of Anyavati - A teak box as long as a tall man that is a shrine to a forgotten saint.  The front has several horn windows through which a small body can be seen.  It is difficult to see through the yellowish windows whether the body is that of a child or a tiny woman.  Both corners on the back of the box has a tumpline of braided black hair attached.  If two holy men carry the box using these tumplines anyone touching the shrine will be unharmed be demons, foul spirits, or undead.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Brass Sash

Brass Sash

A sash of heavy linen with thin sheets of brass sewn into the front and back.  Inscribe that brass with the names of friends and hirelings who have perished in your sight to have a better chance of escaping their fate (+1 hit points for each name).

Monday, September 21, 2020

NPCs as Treasure

Rescuing someone in a dungeon may lead to them offering you a reward.  It may lead to players having a local contact for information and interactions in the future.  But what if the person rescued was so talented the reward they offered was like a magic item?

The Royal Jeweler - I can make a brass automaton that mimics the movement of a real creature so truly it can pass as that creature!  Come to me in the future and I will make one for you.  Whatever creature you wish as long as it is no bigger than a small dog. 

The Wise Woman - Take me to some dread place you will enter and I will ask my ancestors about it.  Then I will give you a walnut that will roll toward treasure, an acorn that will roll toward lost friends, and a maple samara that will flutter back to the exit.

The Mad Hermit - I have gathered foul herbs enough to slather three of you so you will appear dead to the dead and beast to the beasts and foul impertinent to gentlefolk and scholars.

That's the idea anyway.  I want it to be a kind of one time service, not something the players would go back to again and again.  So it needs to be unique and powerful enough that the NPC can only afford it once.  But also want it to function as another tool in the Player's adventuring toolbox.  Something they will keep in mind for future heists or schemes.  So it can't be a straight up reward, like if the wise woman gave the three seed to them and they would work in the next dungeon with no further help from her.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Serendipity XXVIII

 When I go looking for images I need I often find cool things I never expected to find. These images are all in the public domain:


Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Sum of your Sins

Alejandra the Shepherdess spoke with animals and could heal them with a touch and the peasants prayed to her because of it.  When she died they put her in a simple cave and sang songs and danced for the animals that had gathered from miles around.  A rumor is a lie people want to be true and a rumor sprung up that she'd been courted by a prince who sent a coffer heavy with gems as a dowry.  Some seek to profane her humble cave in quest of those gems and the animals have taken up to try and keep them out and drive them out and stop them. 

On entering the cave, a wave of rats will threaten and gnash their teeth.  If these are overcome a group of small dogs comes biting and barking.  Any rats that have been killed will be joined to the bodies of the dogs and now lively again and biting.  Then a couple boars will come to drive away the unwanted.  Any dogs slain will writhe and yap from the shoulders of the boar as if joined in birth and rats slain will be there too.  And finally a great old bull will come spinning and kicking and goring with great horns.  And any boars slain will jut from its shoulders, tusks flaring, and any dogs slain will jut from the back of the bull, all along its sides , and any rats slain will be peppered about like fruit from a briar, grasping anything it touches and trampling it and rendering it asunder and this is the sum of your sins.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Six Magic Treasures for the Roguish


Six Magic Treasures for the Roguish

1d6 magic items for rogues:

  1. Demurest Cap When seen by someone who knows the wearer by name, they appear to be wearing a coarse, lace veil. Anyone else will see the random face of another person.

  2. Aromatic Sash – This sash emits a strong smell of perfume when worn. Turned inside out, emits a strong smell of burning smoke.

  3. Rogue’s Wardrobe – A simple, hooded robe. Inside are four small pockets and one small brass ring sewn to a cord. If the ring is placed in these pockets, the wearer’s clothes under the robe will be changed, depending on the pocket, to those typical of a pilgrim, cleric, merchant, or lesser noble.

  4. Quick Slippers – The wearer of these simple slippers can move through crowds unimpeded, walking or running, the crowd will part as if not there.

  5. Portly Vest – The wearer appears jollily fat. If thin enough, they can use the fake belly to hide a pack or carried goods.

  6. Barber’s Bag – A linen bag of small, white ribbons. When tied in the hair, each will result in a different length and look of the hair.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

6 Treasures that Change at Sunset

I went to buy groceries in my N95 mask.  Had to wipe ash off the windshield of my truck.  The sun was just a red circle in a grey sky.  Felt like I was on Tatooine.  Here are some more magic items.  The fourth is more a novelty, that might serve as a hard to find but valuable treasure item.  The rest might be good for schemes.

    6 Treasures that Change at Sunset

  1. Mukade A boxwood comb rubbed with camellia oil. At night it turns to razor-edged obsidian.

  2. Humbling Leaf – Ornate comb of solid gold, at night it turns to simple boxwood.

  3. Pilgrim’s Comfort – A simple gourd canteen. Water filled in the day becomes wine at night.

  4. Royal Harem Candles – Fat candles infused with perfumes, invisible by day.

  5. Nightsman’s Box – A simple pine box with leather-hinged lid. Opening after sunset reveals it’s nighttime contents, after dawn, its daytime contents

  6. Telecanter’s Frugal Reader – A heavy, burlap-bound book. Each night its contents will change to a copy of another book nearby.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Reclusive Coffer

Reclusive Coffer - A small strongbox carved from a single oak burl that has a brass badge inscribed Plant me here, Harvest me there.  If buried, anywhere the burier digs they will find the coffer.  Each day it is left buried it is more likely to start whispering "Do you have need of me?" to each passerby. 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Baker's Quittance

The Baker's Quittance - A lead coin the size of an open palm.  If it is baked in a loaf with a name whispered over it, the person named will forever see the coin as solid gold.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Phoenix Breviary

Phoenix Breviary - A hand-size book bound in what appears to be black ostrich hide.  Its pages are empty.  Placed in a fire, the book will be unharmed and reveal the canonical hours of a banned cult for as long as it is surrounded by flame.  Anything written in it will disappear until revealed similarly.  Plenty of room in the margins or endpapers to add notes and maps.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Iron Poem and the Green Song

 The Iron Poem 

A silk vest in sea green and yellow made loose and light to be worn over armor.  When it gets wet it becomes as hard as a chain shirt while staying just as light as silk.

The Green Song

A long chain shirt masterly crafted with a pattern of large shell-shaped rings and smaller connecting circles.  When wet it becomes a white silk shirt with a silver pattern embroidered exactly like the pattern of the rings.

Known in stories as the Twins, these were meant to be worn together.  Once worn by a great pirate captain, they have been long separated and lost.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Concubine Wind Puppet

Concubine Wind Puppet

An especially ornate sari with a small ivory peg sewn to one end.  The peg is meant to be pressed into soft earth to anchor it.  If caught in the wind, this cloth billows into a lifelike person able to gesture and converse.  It is likely to know about the history and geography of the location it was found in.  Stories say they can be found in male, female, and ambiguous representations, though all beautiful and exquisitely ornamented.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Hello From the Great Dystopia

It's almost three years since I last posted.  It has been almost that long since I last played D&D.  Part of the reason is the lockdown, but also the two couples that were my core players recently had babies.  They are occupied with that cool adventure right now, otherwise I think I would have tried starting back up virtually.

I'm feeling pretty socially isolated and just wonder if there are any folks from the DIY gaming community still out there gaming and posting.  If so, I'm curious to here what platforms you are using to game and how it's going.  I'd also be interested if anyone has a good list of creative gamers still blogging (I never kept a blog roll). 

Anyway, I hope you are well and finding some joy in creating and gaming with others.