Category Archives: Tables & Miscallaneous

d30 Books you Find in the Wizard’s Study

On January 1st, I had this idea: what if, every day, I posted one entry of a table on twitter? It’s such a minuscule thing that it should be easy to find time for it, and the limitations of twitter would prevent the entries from getting out of hand. The way I figured it, if I kept it up for a month, I could produce a d30 table with barely any effort at all; and by the end of the year I could have 12d30 tables! So every day of this past month, I’ve been tweeting with the hashtag #d30WizardBooks.

  1. “On Navigation of, and the Reliability of Perceptions Within, Non-Euclidean Space”
  2. “Putting out the Fireball: How to Assert Your Will Without Resorting to Evocations”
  3. “Beings of the Outer Planes IX: Demons, Devils, And Determining the Difference.”
  4. “Touring the Imbibularium: A Catalogue of All Known Elixirs, Poultices, Potions, and Tinctures.”
  5. “Dissection or Vivisection: Why the Moral Outcry of Lesser Minds is Stifling Your Mastery of the Cosmos”
  6. “A Hat as Tall as You Deserve: Uses for Extra-Dimensional Spaces in Fashion”
  7. “On the Relative Benefits of Living, Unliving, Monstrous and Constructed Minions”
  8. “Ditching the Love Potion: How to Use Charm Spells to Improve Your Sex Life.”
  9. “Going Where Only Gods Have Been Before: Creating New Life in Your Vats to Improve Your Sex Life.”
  10. “Check Your Beard: A Practical Guide to Avoiding Otherworldly Parasites While Traveling the Cosmos.”
  11. “Free Labor: A Guide to Selecting the Right Candidate for Apprenticeship”
  12. “Rare Spell Components and Where to Find Them.”
  13. “Shaming The Petty Gods Who Scorn You: A Study in Emulating Clerical Magics”
  14. “Correctly Conjugating Conjurations: A Coda for those Circumspect of Catastrophe”
  15. “Accurately Articulating Abjurations: Acquiring an Appropriate Accent”
  16. “How to Make Servitors & Influence People.”
  17. “How to Keep Insects Away from your Apparatuses to Prevent Unwanted Abominations”
  18. “Prolix Prose. Obfuscating Spellcasting Vocalizations by Employing A Needlessly Arcane Lexicon”
  19. “A Brief Study in the Practice of Law for Those Who Intend to Deal with Devils”
  20. “Ditch the Ball! Cubes, Pyramids, Spirals, and Other Amusing Shapes for Flaming Evocation”
  21. “Who Needs Resurrections? 300 Necromancy Spells to Put Clerics to Shame”
  22. “When You’ve got More Spell Slots than Enemies to Crush: 1000 Little Spells to Enhance your Life.”
  23. “Finding your Familiar: Contrasting the Benefits of Ravens, Felines, Toads, Salamanders, and Other Common Choices.”
  24. “When Devils Won’t Deal: How to Trick Celestial Beings”
  25. “Dumbing it Down for the Meat-Shields: A Primer for Engaging in Pleasant Conversation with your Adventuring Companions.”
  26. “Choosing the Material that’s Right for YOUR Golem.”
  27. “Stars, Moons, & Other Shapes That Will Never Go Out of Style”
  28. “Half the Storage Costs, All the Soul: Using Halfling Sacrifices for your Dark Rituals”
  29. “A Practical Guide to Time Manipulation.” Written by: “You, Twenty Years from Now.”
  30. “Dealing with Anti-Magic Fields: Martial Arts for a Wizardly Physique.”

As it turns out, the process is kind of a bummer. Spreading the creative work out over such a large period of time actually made it more difficult to come up with individual table entries. It just took too much time to get into the right headspace each day. Then it was always a struggle to come up with something fresh, without accidentally repeating an idea I’d forgotten about because I wrote it weeks previously. It was also difficult to avoid just making jokes, which is pretty much what I ended up doing.

I’m dubious as to whether I want to continue this project. The first month was certainly a failed experiment in my view, but I do have some thoughts on how to improve the experience. Moving the daily posting over to Google+, where there are more cool people than there are on twitter might help. It could also be fun to just embrace the comedic nature of the thing and go with full-on joke themes in the future.

Anyway, enjoy your bonus post! I’ll get back to discussing Cleric magic on Sunday.

Santicore 2015: Dwarves’ Beards: What are they for?

mybeardDuring last year’s Secret Santicore, I was asked to come up for uses that Dwarves might have for their beards. (Beyond simply being super stylish). Nearly a year after the fact, my entry just popped up on the Santicore blog, and I thought I’d share it here.

Dear Santicore,

Dwarves’ beards: what are they for? A serious question. I would like a table of useful spelunking skills which a dwarf might be trained to accomplish using only their beard. Ideally starting dwarven characters would be able to roll up one bonus skill on it. Thank you!

— F.W.

For centuries, the dwarves of the Copper Keep have practiced the art of Beardcraft. When a young dwarf’s chin hairs first reach 6” (usually around 8 months), they are presented to the Beardmasters. These bearers of beardly secrets study every aspect of the child’s whiskers: from texture, to thickness, to curl, to pull-strength, and even color. From this, they determine which style the child’s beard is best suited to. The process of treating and grooming the beard is begun immediately, and the young dwarf grows up learning how to maintain and style their beard. Only recently has this practice begun to spread out from the Copper Keep, as a new generation of Beardmasters travel to other dwarven strongholds to share their dignified craft.

1. Rope Beard: In a private ritual each nameday, the dwarf carefully trims their beard from everywhere but their chin. This hair is then treated and braided into the chin hair, lengthening it. The resulting rope is 1’ long for every 2 years of the Dwarf’s life. It is normally worn draped around the dwarf’s shoulders like a scarf. It does not count against the dwarf’s encumbrance limit.

2. Food Catching Beard: The dwarf’s whiskers cling to every crumb of bread, string of meat, and dab of sauce that doesn’t make it into the dwarf’s mouth. At the end of the day, a good shake produces a tidy little pile of edibles ready for consumption. Any rations that the the dwarf purchases will last 50% longer than they normally would.

3. Junk Beard: A messy, unkempt kind of beard often adopted by dwarfs who consistently fail to maintain a more refined style. It is used to store a variety of small, occasionally useful doo-dads. By rummaging through their beard for 1 minute, the dwarf has a 2-in- 6 chance of producing any mundane object of small size and negligible value that they’re looking for: a pair of shears, a spool of twine, a chisel, etc.

4. Disarming Beard: A tangled mesh of wiry hair, slightly sticky to the touch, and tough as strands of steel. When the dwarf is the target of a critical fumble, the fumbler must save versus Paralysis or their weapon becomes caught in the dwarf’s beard. With a practiced jerk of the head, the dwarf can easily send the captured weapon flying away, safely out of reach.

5. Grappling Beard: A soft, voluminous beard, woven into dozens of large loops. With a deft tug of the chin, the dwarf can wrap these loops around an opponent and tighten them. Such dwarfs are skilled wrestlers, using their beards to get a grip on arms or necks. The character grapples as though they are one level higher than they are.

6. Climbing Beard: A tightly braided beard, wrapped around the body as a simple harness. Hooks and spikes dangle from strands of hair in easy reach of hands and feet. Dwarfs with such a beard receive +1 to any climbing related checks.

7. Falling Beard: Soft hair woven into a kind of checkerboard quilt shape, adorned with bits of cloth. Often these are scraps of old clothing donated by friends and loved ones. If the dwarf ever falls from a significant height, their beard will open up like a parachute, and the fall should be treated as though it were 10’ shorter than it actually was. If for some reason the dwarf wishes to fall at full speed, they must make a conscious effort to do so by holding their beard down as they fall.

8. Bramble Beard: A massive bristly bush of hair spreading in every direction, leaving only a few facial features visible. Best suited to dwarfs who are short, even by their race’s diminutive standard. By simply squatting down and squinting their eyes, a Bramble Bearded dwarf becomes nearly indistinguishable from a common tumbleweed.

9. Beard of Lights: A curly beard, with dozens of small upturned strands treated with oil and wax. A Beard of Lights is often chosen for those whose beard grows more quickly than is easily manageable. The upturned tips can be lit, and the fully lit beard serves as a light source equivalent to a torch for up to 6 hours a day.

10. Stonesense Beard: Sometimes mistaken for magic, the Stonesense Beard requires a dwarf of extreme patience and focus to master properly. By pressing their face to a stone surface, the Dwarf can slowly wriggle their beard hairs into the imperceptible cracks and channels in the stone by precisely vibrating their body. The process takes an hour of intense concentration before the beard is fully in place. Once the process is complete, the dwarf can feel even the most minute vibrations traveling through the stone. They can describe any room adjacent to the stone surface they’re connected to, including any creatures or treasure within those chambers.

When the dwarf wishes to extract themselves, they may either spend 10 quiet minutes delicately vibrating their body in reverse, or they may simply tear themselves free of the stone, loudly crumbling it, and leaving a crater roughly 3’x3’x1’ in the surface.

11. Nesting Beard: A wispy funnel of a beard, shaped and scented to be an attractive nest for a particular animal. There are four common animals that these beards are typically made for, based on how the dwarf’s own natural musk resonates with the required scent. Roll to determine which creature nests in your beard:

i. A canary. Will usually remain quiet, but will tweet in a wild panic if there is poison gas in the room. These canaries are particularly sensitive, and can even detect poison gasses that have not yet been released into the air.

ii. A squirrel. A helpful creature that will happily retrieve any small, squirrel-sized objects the dwarf can point to within their line of sight.

iii. A carrier pigeon. Can be sent to any location the dwarf has personally visited within 1 week’s travel distance. It takes 1d8 hours for the pigeon to reach its destination, and the same amount of time to return.

iv. A beaver. Can be directed by the dwarf to gnaw small holes in wooden objects, chew through ropes, etc.

12. Smoking Beard: A wild cascade of hair, meticulously groomed to appear untamed and ferocious. The whole thing is oiled and treated with incense. When the tips of the beard are lit they produce very little light, but a great deal of black, foul-smelling smoke. The smoking beard creates a hellish image of the dwarf, and any foe fighting them takes a penalty of one on their morale checks so long as the beard is lit. There is no limit to how often or long the beard may be lit, but there are natural consequences for being the source of so much smoke.

13. Beard Sack: Easily mistaken for any common dwarf beard, the Beard Sack is a layered style, with a loose outer layer obscuring a tightly woven satchel hidden beneath, with its opening just under the dwarf’s chin. This storage space grants one additional point of encumbrance ability for the dwarf, and anything stored within is considered hidden. Only a thorough search will reveal these hidden items. Such a search would be deeply offensive to any dwarf, and in respectable communities such poor treatment by the authorities may cause civil unrest.

14. Poison Straining Beard: Thick whiskers hang down over the dwarf’s lips, treated with cleansing tinctures. The dwarf can sip any substance safely, and determine with a few smacks of their lips whether it is poison or not. If it is poison, the dwarf can describe the poison’s effects in perfect detail.

15. Bestial Kinship Beard: A layered beard, scented with a subtle, gamey musk, and curving back slightly between the knees. Animals perceive the dwarf as a powerful but temperate creature. The dwarf gains a +1 bonus to reaction rolls made with natural creatures.

16. Beard Art: Only the most malleable of beards is suited to beard art. It is a rare gift, much prized by the beardmasters. The hair is treated with gels, and the dwarf is trained in the art of grooming their beard into the most spectacular shapes and sculptures. Such a beard grants a +1 to reaction rolls with anyone who has an appreciation for the finer things.

17. Sifting Beard: A single looping braid, supporting a lattice of sifting strands. The almost impossibly intricate lattice separates objects based on weight and density. It takes 1 minute to sift through a 1’ cube of detritus. The beard will separate the stones from the metals, and the coppers from the gold pieces. The beard must be dry to function properly, and cannot sift through mud or water.

18. Sleeping Beard: The hair is conditioned for maximum softness on one side, and for insulation and water resistance on the other. It can be used as a rudimentary one-dwarf shelter in time of need.

19. Steel Wool Beard: A coarse beard, treated with polishing oils. Any metal treasure with artistic value (such as a fancy sword, jewelry, a gold watch, ancient coins, etc.) has its value increased by 10% after the masterful cleaning and polishing it receives at the hands of a dwarf with a steel wool beard.

20. Utili-Beard: The beard is knotted and tied with four small tools hanging from it. The expert tying of the beard keeps these tools always within arm’s reach, but never in the way. Any one-handed object can be hung from the utili-beard: a hammer, a hacksaw, a sword, etc. The dwarf may switch between these four objects freely, without taking any penalties that might normally be incurred for switching a new object into the character’s hand.

d100 Reasons the Wizard is more than they Seem

Buff WizardThere’s a world of difference between being a mere “Magic User” and being a Wizard. A Magic User has retained their humanity. They’ve learned to force some spells into their brain, but they’ve yet to completely abandon everything of love and decency in the pursuit of greater magical powers.

Being a Wizard takes more than gaining levels in a class. It requires a disregard for decorum, ethics, or even one’s own safety. Any Wizard your party encounters out in the wide world will have the standard accouterments of a Magic User, that is true. But they’ve also made deals with creatures whose mere description could strike a man blind with fear. They’ve subjected their bodies and their souls to experiments no sane person would wish upon their worst enemies. They’ve learned truths mortal man was not meant to know, taken apart their own minds and reassembled them from scratch, and have grown bored with puzzles that lesser men could spend their whole lives deciphering.

There’s more going on there than a d4 hit die and a list of spells.

So if your party encounters a Wizard, roll a few times on this table. Note that all of these are meant to be taken as inherent powers that the Wizard has. Any wizard of such significant experience likely has a number of magical oddments secreted about their person as well.

  1. Phenomenal physical strength. This Wizard can hurl great boulders or punch through stone walls with their bare hands.
  2. This Wizard’s head is bald, and covered with dozens of eyes. Not only can they see in every direction, but each eye can emit a beam of burning light at whatever it looks at, dealing 1d4 damage.
  3. If standing in water of at least waist-depth, the Wizard can suffer no wounds. They draw vitality from the water, and have an effective fast healing of 100.
  4. The Wizard’s arms can stretch out, as though they were made of some elastic material. They can reach up to 100′ away from their bodies, bend their arms in any direction they require, and do not lose any of their strength regardless of how far their arm is from their body.
  5. Rather than carbon monoxide, this Wizard exhales a poison gas to which they are immune. In the open this effect is mild and not worth mentioning. However, if a character is in an enclosed space with the Wizard for longer than 1d4 rounds, they must begin making a save versus Poison each round. Each failure results in a temporary -1d4 to a random ability score.
  6. By manipulating the fabric of time itself, the wizard has managed to create a bubble in which future technology can exist. The Wizard may carry any number of future oddities: a gun, a smartphone, a drone, lightweight bulletproof armor, etc. If the Wizard dies, all this technology will realign with its proper time frame. From our perspective, it will simply disappear.
  7. The Wizard cannot die a natural death, and will live until some mortal harm befalls them. They may now have already lived for centuries, or even millennia.
  8. The blood of the Wizard has been replaced by a pressurized gas that ignites when it contacts the air. Any puncturing or piercing wound against the wizard will result in a gout of flame. A 30′ cone, dealing damage equal to the Wizard’s remaining health to anyone within its area. Save versus Breath for half damage.
  9. The Wizard’s skin cannot be cut by any means, unless they are willing. It may still be bludgeoned, but it will not break. Slashing or piercing weapons deal a greatly reduced amount of damage because of this.
  10. Gravity does not appear to affect this Wizard. They drift, keeping near the ground by a mechanism from which they can easily detach if they wish to float freely. They have become skilled at bouncing off of walls, leaping out of range, and otherwise using this affliction to their best advantage.
  11. After performing more squats than you could ever fathom in a time-stopped pocket dimension, this Wizard can now leap up to 100′ in the air. Regardless of how high they fall from, they will never suffer any damage from a fall. Even if they were to fall from orbit, assuming they had some way of surviving entry through the atmosphere.
  12. The Wizard can cast spells “by ear,” as it were. If they have an empty spell slot of sufficiently high level, and they see a spell cast, then that spell will appear in their empty spell slot. They can cast it as normal, or keep it until later to inscribe into their spellbook without any difficulty.
  13. By looking at a person, this Wizard gains an intimate understanding of that person’s religion, probably knowing even more about it than they do. The Wizard often uses this to impersonate deities and prophets. A few hours after losing sight of a person, knowledge of that person’s religion fades.
  14. The Wizard is accompanied by a (1. Close Friend, 2. Lover, 3. Devoted Vassal, 4. Magically bonded slave) who is a (1. Minotaur, 2.Succubus, 3. Horned Devil, 4. Giant, 5. Dinosaur, 6. Dragon)
  15. The Wizard has absolute mastery-level experience in a completely unrelated career, which they spent decades in prior to pursuing the mystic arts. (1. Sailing, 2. Politics, 3. Fine Arts, 4. Natural Philosophy, 5. History, 6. Engineering, 7. Beast Taming, 8. Metalcrafting)
  16. Sleep is completely unnecessary for this Wizard, and they are filled with a nervous energy that makes even their downtime insanely productive. This has allowed them to train a second class without impacting their Wizardly pursuits. They get all the benefits of their second class, which has roughly half the number of levels that they have in the Magic User class. (1. Cleric 2-3. Fighter 4-5. Specialist 6. Something weird. Like one of the custom classes on this site.)
  17. The Wizard’s speech has a magical charge, making any command they utter have the force of a Command spell.
  18. Magic Missile scrolls are tattooed up and down each of the Wizard’s digits. They are able to cast the spell 10 times per day without expending any of their spell slots on memorizing it.
  19. The Wizard has already undergone 99% of the process required to become a lich. Their phylactery already exists, and the only thing left is for them to die. They’re in no hurry to do it, but when they do die, they’ll just be reborn as a lich.
  20. The Wizard’s beard is not made of normal hair, but of (1. Tentacles, 2. Snakes, 3. Insectile Legs, 4. Ooze, 5. Fire, 6. Prehensile Hair). There are 1d4 tendrils from here which are long enough to make attacks. If the Wizard is of a feminine persuasion, then instead of a beard this effect sprouts from her (1. Underarms, 2. Bush, 3. she just has a beard anyway, 4. She has this instead of boobs) Under no circumstances may head hair be used.
  21. The Wizard is (1. Resistant by half, 2. Immune, 3. Absorbs half, 4. Absorbs fully.) any damage which might reasonably be attributed to (1. Fire, 2. Cold, 3. Acid, 4. Electricity).
  22. By suffusing their body with the ectoplasm of numerous spectral infants, the Wizard is able to turn their body incorporeal at will.
  23. The Wizard’s appearance is fungible. They can alter it to resemble any human they choose, or create an entirely new appearance for themselves out of scratch.
  24. Under numerous aliases, this Wizard controls numerous organizations. Everything from local governments of seemingly unimportant towns, to big city guilds, to organized crime, to mercenary bands.
  25. The Wizard exudes pheromones with similar effect to a Charm Person spell. Anyone who can smell them must save.
  26. From their sleeve the Wizard can pull any nonmagical, nonspecific object that would fit in a sleeve. So for example, they can pull out a watch to check the time, but cannot pull out a magical watch that stops time, or your father’s watch that you just said you’d pay a fortune to have back.
  27. The Wizard has eithera 16′ long prehensile penis that can entangle and compress victims to death; or they have a pair of acid-filled tits which can spray in a 15′ cone at will. Which one the Wizard has is irrespective of their gender.
  28. The pores of the Wizard ooze a kind of gooey oil which makes them incredibly slippery. The Wizard uses this to slid around as though on skates, escape any bonds ever put on them, and to swim with incredible speed.
  29. Environmental concerns are of no concern to this Wizard. They can breathe under water, self-heat themselves in a blizzard, and self-cool themselves inside a volcano. This safety from the elements includes any magically imposed environments, but does not protect them from area of effect spells.
  30. A gem is embeded into the Wizard’s tongue. If they stick out their tongue while standing in a brightly lit area, a prism of color will refract out of the gem. This light eill envelope and contain everything in a 15′ square. The square may be placed anywhere within 20′ of the Wizard’s location.
  31. Any (1-2. Man, 3-4. Woman) encountered by the Wizard will instantly fall in love with them. There is no save involved, and they will wish only good things for the Wizard, seeking their approval. Any creature without gender is immune to this effect.
  32. The secret of human construction is known to the Wizard. Over the course of about a week, they are able to fully construct an adult human from component elements. These humans are independent, but obviously most of them accept that they owe some notable debt to their creator, and choose to serve the Wizard. Several of these will accompany the Wizard.
  33. There are actually 2d2 Wizard’s minds contained within this single body, shared due to some catastrophe while traveling the outer planes. Each of the minds possesses a full spell list, ready to cast. The body can only cast one spell at a time, probably.
  34. The Wizard is able to run as fast as a galloping horse, and never tires of their exertion in this regard.
  35. The Wizard is able to move objects telekinetically, without any limit on how frequently or how long they can do so. They can move up to (1. 10lb, 2-4. 80lb, 5-6. 200lb), (1. Slowly, but with great precision. 2. Slowly and clumsily, 3-5. With great speed, but still clumsily 6. With great speed and precision)
  36. The Wizard’s hands can be detached, and will then animate to act as the Wizard’s servitors, with the ability to fly. New hands will grow on the Wizard’s stumps after about 1 turn. The detached hands will wither and die after 1d6 turns.
  37. The Wizard is possessed of Superman-style Super-Breath. Hurricane force winds as cold as a blizzard. They can do this as often as they’re able to get a really deep, satisfying breath. So, at most, every 2d4 rounds, and never if they’re exhausted from heavy physical activity.
  38. The Wizard has an Omega Gaze. They may use it once per 10 minute turn, and it will follow its target until it strikes them without fail. The beams deal 2d12 damage, but a save versus Device will reduce the damage by half.
  39. A powerful creature owes the Wizard a favor, and will come to their aide when summoned (1. Djinn, 2. Vampire, 3. A titanic intelligent lion 4. An elder dragon.)
  40. Like an ioun stone, a tiny door orbits their bodies. At will they may use their hands to pull the door wide enough to step through. It leads into a pocket dimension where they store numerous weapons and treasures. Many of these can easily be removed merely by reaching into the door while it is in its miniaturized state, so that the Wizard is never truly unarmed.
  41. Stones speak to the Wizard, and respond to his questions. They cannot act on the Wizard’s behalf, but they know much of what happens around them.
  42. The Wizard knows they are in a game, and is annoyed that they’ve accidentally wandered onto the main stage. They know all of the rules of the game, and would like to extricate themselves from the spotlight as soon as possible so they can go back to whatever they do when no one is imagining them. Considers it an insult to speak to characters, and will speak only to players and to the referee directly.
  43. For a brief moment the Wizard achieved godhood a few years ago. They were knocked back down to earth by a pantheon unwilling to accept such a pompous little mortal into their midst; but they retained one minor vestige of their divinity (1. Invulnerability to hit point damage, 2. They know everything that more than five people in the world know. 3. The ability to shape their environment to suit their will 4. The ability to un-make anyone who blasphemes them in their presence.)
  44. This Wizard has already evolved beyond their physical form, but are still muddling about in their physical bodies. Death would release them to achieve some higher form of existence. Flip a coin to determine if the Wizard knows this.
  45. Each time the Wizard says a character’s full name, they gain 1 point of power over that character. This information is kept secret, though players might notice the creepily deliberate way their names are being repeated. At will, the Wizard may activate this power. Each point of power deals 1 point of damage, and if a character is killed in this way, they become an undead servant of the wizard. They fully retain their faculties, but must obey the wizard’s commands as their body slowly rots. The Wizard must know a name before they can speak it, and when spoken, it must be audible to the target in order to count. After a day, if they are unused, points of power fade away.
  46. The Wizard may bilocate. While doing so, they exist fully in two different places at once. If one is destroyed, it does not matter, because the other is no less of the whole. When the two instances of the Wizard come together, they may combine, and thus the single Wizard will have lived a pair of simultaneous experiences.
  47. Fire obeys the Wizard, and will spread in the direction they indicate. It may also take on shapes, flare, smoke, or smoulder at the Wizard’s behest.
  48. The body of the Wizard is like a magical sponge. It draws all mystic energy into itself. While in the presence of this Wizard, no magic items or magic spells will work, save those that the Wizard is channeling their own energies into.
  49. The Wizard is posessed of many of the properties of spiders. They are able to spin webs from their fingertips. climb walls, move with great speed and agility, are much strong than they ought to be, and have incredibly accute senses. This Wizard is spider-man, is what I’m saying.
  50. No creature can bring itself to act violently against the Wizard, for any reason. If the Wizard acts violently first, then whomever in the area has the strongest save versus Magic may attempt a save. If they succeed, then they can act violently, and whomever has the next weakest save versus Magic may attempt a similar save. So on and so forth, until someone fails a save, at which point no one else may attempt one.
  51. This Wizard stands 9′ tall, with the strength and constitution of a weight lifter. They’re an imposing figure, with the maximum hit points that they could possibly have given their level and hit dice.
  52. Anybody with any manner of noble pedigree believes they have fond memories of this Wizard. Upon seeing this Wizard for the first time they will remember when the Wizard used to perform little tricks for them, and when they stood up to an angry parent on the noble child’s behalf. These memories will never fade, and The Wizard finds it quite easy to get any favor they need from the upper classes.
  53. The name of this Wizard is very powerful. They dare never let anyone know it, for if someone knows their name, they become immune to the Wizard’s magic.
  54. This Wizard tricked and slew god’s own messenger. They stole the throat of this semi-divine creature, and now a tinge of blue and white glows beneath the skin of their neck when they speak. Everything they say is completely captivating. Every joke riotously funny, every speech moving, every poem will move an audience to tears. Their words always have the best possible effect that was intended.
  55. They have vision which (1. Freezes people in place, 2. Turns people to stone, 3. Turns people into their mind-slaves 4. Switches souls with the target). The effect can be avoided with a save versus Magic. This ability may be used (1. Every round, 2-3. Every 3rd round, 4-6. 1d6 times per day)
  56. The Wizard’s feet never touch the ground. They fly everywhere effortlessly.
  57. The wizard is able to grow to the size of a titan (20-30′ tall), or to the size of an insect at will.
  58. The Wizard is permanently able to speak with (1. Plants 2. Animals 3. All languages of the common races 4. The dead). To the Wizard, being able to speak to these things has become second nature.
  59. Every race sees the Wizard as a member of their own race. Be they human, house cat, goblin, dragon, giant, or anything else.
  60. This Wizard is able to transform into a (1. Lion, 2. Eagle, 3. Hammerhead Shark 4. Ladybug 5. Iguana 6. King Cobra) at will.
  61. This Wizard can transform into a pool of liquid at will. They can move around so long as they are going downhill, or on a more-or-less even surface. The puddle can also shape itself however it chooses. So it can become a thin strand to slid across a tightrope, so long as that tightrope doesn’t go up.
  62. Wherever they are, the Wizard always seems to have a fine manse just over the horizon. This manse won’t be there unless the Wizard is approaching or occupying it, however. Each manse is different, filled with fine luxuries, accoutrements, and servants, all of which are real and could potentially be removed from the premises before the manse ceases to exist again.
  63. The Wizard can breathe just like a dragon can. Roll to determine the type of dragon their breath emulates: (1. Red, 2. Black, 3. Blue, 4. White, 5. Green, 6. Something really weird).
  64. Each morning the Wizard removes a book from under their pillow. The book is always different, describing whatever new challenges the Wizard may face that day. It does not describe what will happen, only what is in the Wizard’s path. The information in these books looks very much like the referee’s notes, and the character sheets of any characters present at the session.
  65. This Wizard is permanently invisible, and must wear full-body coverings to appear visible.
  66. All (1. Ravens, 2. Frogs, 3. Porcine Creatures, 4. Spiders 5. Human children 6. Moles 7. Chickens 8. Ferrets) will obey the Wizard’s mental commands.
  67. The Wizard may travel up to 2 miles with every step they take if they so wish.
  68. The Wizard’s saliva is a pleasant narcotic. Their body produces it in perfect amounts to keep them high, and if they want they can spare some spit now and again for other people. They are a really, really good kisser.
  69. A serpent of exceeding wisdom lives inside the Wizard’s butt. It tells them things. Amazing things.
  70. The Wizard has a low-level mind read active at all times, allowing them to sense the surface thoughts of everyone around them.
  71. This Wizard has so many kinds of vision up in their eyes. X-Ray vision. Night vision. Far-vision. Micro-vision. So many visions.
  72. This Wizard is currently living through this day for the third time. They can avoid 2d4 mistakes. Anytime the referee feels that the Wizard has made a mistake, they can reverse time to when that mistake was made, and make a different choice.
  73. Randomly determine a member of the party. Secretly, the Wizard is that character’s parent.
  74. If someone looks into the Wizard’s eyes, they are incapable of telling a lie.
  75. The Wizard is an absolute master of seduction, is exceptionally good at sex, and knows how to make just about anybody feel appreciated and respected the morning after as the Wizard takes their leave. There’s nothing magical about this, they’re just a really amazing lay.
  76. The Wizard currently carries a magic item of world-altering significance. The sort of thing that might serve as the Mcguffin for a huge adventure. The Wizard had no plans to use this item today, and may never have intended to use it. They might intend only to study it, or even to destroy it, but if the day goes poorly enough for them…
  77. Accepting employment contracts from this Wizard is a trap. It places the employee under a nearly unbreakable spell of servitude which can only be broken if the Wizard can be tricked into saying  “eleven.”
  78. The Wizard is currently astral-projecting themselves from an unknown location. They’ve been doing so for so long that their spirit has grown a new physical body around itself, and they’ve forgotten where their true body is. If their current body is killed, they will be snapped back to their actual body’s current location. Note that their current body need look nothing like their true body, and they may even be a different age, gender, or species.
  79. At will, the Wizard can place themselves, and anyone within 60′, inside of a pocket dimension. This dimension lasts for as long as anyone is inside of it, and looks exactly like whatever area was in a 60′ radius of the Wizard when the pocket was created.
  80. 10 tiny polyps grow on the Wizard’s body. If cut off and cast to the ground, these instantly grow into naked, burly warriors ready to defend the Wizard with their lives.
  81. The Wizard has adhesive spit. It’s remarkably sticky, instantly hardening, and tough enough to hold the short side of a brick to a wall.
  82. The Wizard has acidic urine. They can only use it if they’ve had enough water, but it’ll melt pretty much anything.
  83. The Wizard has explosive poop. It detonates roughly 20 seconds after it is excreted, and thus must be thrown quickly to avoid self-harm.
  84. The Wizard has a 4-in-6 chance to have the perfect potion for any situation on their belt. These are never general potions, like healing potions or Giant’s Growth potions. These are bizarrely specific. Stuff like “Potion of Manacle Breaking,” “Tincture of odorless farts,”
    and “Shark repellent.”
  85. This Wizard has business cards which they hand out to everyone they meet. If anything interesting is said within “earshot” of the card, it appears in a little notebook the Wizard carries, which they read through each morning over coffee.
  86. A large portion of this Wizard’s brain has been replaced with a crystalline structure from another world. The crystals are hyper-logical, and view the world through a vastly different lens. The Wizard themselves still displays emotion, as their brain is not completely gone, but the crystals provide them with lightning-fast thinking when processing logic or mathematics, as well as a perfect photographic memory.
  87. The Wizard has fused themselves with a water elemental. Their body appears just like any normal example of their race, but objects pass harmlessly through it, leaving only ripples behind. They may move and act with all of the abilities you would expect from a water elemental.
  88. With a wave of the hand this Wizard may reinvigorate the life in items made from wood. Any within his presence will begin to grow branches and sprout leaves, becoming unsuitable for whatever purpose they originally had. The Wizard’s own equipment is made of metal, bone, ceramic, etc so as to avoid this becoming an issue.
  89. This Wizard cannot be affected by foreign substances. Poisons have no impact, but neither do intoxicants. The Wizard was quite fond of a night of boozy revelry prior to this alteration, and views it as a poor trade.
  90. The wizard has rearranged their own internal anatomy. They are immune to critical hits, sneak attacks, and any form of non-magical medicine.
  91. Whoever kills this Wizard is actually the one who dies, for when this Wizard is killed, their mind transfers into the body of their killer. The only thing this Wizard really fears is death by accident or old age.
  92. If this wizard touches you, your skin will display a black spot. Anyone who sees this spot will know you are marked for death and that no one can be prosecuted for killing you. No judge will convict them, and indeed, they will be entitled to all of your property for doing the world a favor by getting rid of you.
  93. At will, this Wizard may ignite their index finger as if it were a sparkler. They can then write and draw in mid air, and the images will not disappear until they snap their fingers.
  94. The fey folk once danced for weeks while this Wizard played a jig on the pipes which nearly exhausted them to the point of death. But the fey were satisfied, and as a gift they gave the Wizard tremendous luck. Any rolls made in relation to the Wizard must be rolled twice, and the result more beneficial to the Wizard is taken. This goes for attack and damage rolls made by OR against the Wizard, as well as rolls on random tables, ability or skill checks, and any other kind of roll that might occur.
  95. Any body of drinking water which touches this Wizard’s lips is turned to a sweet wine.
  96. Any damage dealt to this Wizard by the direct action of an individual is also dealt to that individual. So if you deal 4 points of damage by stabbing this Wizard, you take 4 points of stabbing damage yourself. If, on the other hand, you tie the Wizard to a chair inside of a building, and then light the building on fire, you will take no damage. Just don’t be dumb and push the wizard into the fire once it’s started blazing.
  97. This Wizard can control the weather with simple gestures of their hands, guiding the wind to blow in a given direction with a given amount of force, calling down rain or hail, and even bolts of lightning once a storm has really gotten going.
  98. This Wizard eight long tentacular arms, ending in normal human hands, growing from their back parallel to their spine.
  99. The Wizard has partially fused themselves with a creature they were experimenting on. They’ve taken on some of the physical attributes of this creature, as well as gained some of its talents. (1. Hare, 2. Tortoise, 3. Falcon, 4. Bear, 5. Dog, 6. Iguana.)
  100. The Wizard “bounces” as if they are made of rubber in a cartoon. Weapons bounce off of them, they can shoot themselves high into the sky by “cannon balling” at the ground. A fall can never hurt them. They can even attack and deal serious damage by bouncing themselves at an enemy.

d100 Pieces of Technological Junk

TNG Dr Pulaski with a medical tricorder
Dr. Pulaski is infinitely superior to Dr. Crusher. Suck it nerds.

As you are now probably well aware, ORWA, is set in a post-apocalypse. Most people in this world are lucky to own anything as technologically advanced as a sword, much less something electronic. They are surrounded by the remnants of a an advanced civilization’s technology, but all of it is useless.

Rarely, though, a piece of technology is mostly intact. It still doesn’t actually work, but with some luck and elbow grease, a technologically savvy PC could make it work. So what technology might be of interest to an adventurer? Here’s a d100 table for tech that I thought might be interesting to see the players make use of in play.

My rule for repairing any of this junk is based on a new skill called Technology. The skill becomes available at a 1-in-6 chance once players join a secretive cabal of technologists. A successful Technology check (requiring one week of game time) grants 1d4 uses of the repaired device before it breaks and needs to be repaired again. Additional Technology checks can be stacked, and each successful check adds 1d4 uses to the device. If a Technology check is failed, the device is completely broken and becomes useless.

  1. Autograpple Harness. A belt with back support, and straps around the legs. A pair of cables are launched from each hip to gracefully pull the wearer to the top of any structure as a single move action.
  2. A micro drone qudcopter equipped with a camera. Moves relatively quietly, and transmits footage back to a monitor in real time. Too small to carry anything heavier than a pencil.
  3. A blender. One of those nice ones that can blend fuckin’ anything.
  4. Exoskeletal carrying legs and back support. Allows a character to triple their carrying capacity. Prevents stealth, but otherwise does not hinder movement.
  5. A consumer grade 3D printer. Accepts verbal description of objects to be created. The items produced are of a sort of brittle plastic. You’d have a hard time snapping an object in your hands, but it’s still not well suited to heavy duty work.
  6. A 4 legged pack robot, the size of a large dog. Capable of carrying a load equivalent to what 4 hirelings could carry.
  7. A pair of large goggles, tinted green. When worn they give the wearer a Heads Up Display. A variety of information is shown, including the AC of anyone the character looks at.
  8. A handheld scanner which can identify any medical issues and suggest a proper course of treatment after 1 turn of activity. Increases the efficacy of any non-magical healing by 50%.
  9. A classic 1980s vintage camero. Neon yellow, covered in dings and dents and missing the passenger side door, but otherwise mostly intact.
  10. A deep blue motorcycle in the style of the one from Akira. You’re probably nowhere near as skilled in riding it, but it’s actually in pretty good condition aside from some chipped paint.
  11. A nail gun, which someone else has modified with a small compressed air tank. The gun is not a functional weapon, but does allow for deploying nails quickly and quietly.
  12. A harness with large, glowing-red plates at several key support points around the body. When activated, these plates generate a personal anti-gravity field, making the wearer act as though they are in a zero G environment.
  13. A really fancy Nikon digital camera, complete with monopod and a lens that probably cost more than a car when it was new.
  14. A nice, 88-key electric keyboard. Has a number of instrument sounds pre-loaded, including acoustic guitar, grand piano, and harpsichord.
  15. A solid body, V-2 style electric guitar. The amp is built into the body, thanks to microamp technologies that will be invented in 2214.
  16. An honest-to goodness, Back to the Future-style hoverboard.
  17. One of those real-life “hoverboards.” The kind that has wheels, and rotates on an axis between your feet.
  18. A laptop PC. Repairing it involves completely reformatting the drive due to data corruption. It’s a reasonably powerful machine, probably meant for gaming. If only you had any of those…
  19. A tower PC. It is a low grade machine, but its software and operating system are intact. It may contain valuable information from the pre-apocalypse.
  20. A flashlight. A nice heavy one. The handle can be unfolded into a tiny tripod, and the head is hinged so the light can be angled perpendicular to the handle.
  21. A standing vacuum cleaner with attached bag. Part of repairing it is strapping a car battery to it for power.
  22. A laserjet printer with a built in scanner. Can duplicate any document you feed into it, or print from an attached computer.
  23. A Creative Zen brand MP3 player. Filled with terabytes worth of music: (1. Country, 2. Rap, 3. Novelty, 4. Pop, 5. Classic Rock, 6. Nu Metal, 7. Folk, 8. Jazz, 9. Inane Podcasts, 10. Whatever the technologist’s player enjoys.)
  24. A Segway.
  25. A nice, heavy-duty quadcopter. Can carry a single encumbering item.
  26. An Kindle with an advanced X-Ray scanner. When left on top of a book for 1 turn, the Kindle can actually scan each individual page automatically, and digitize the book without ever opening the cover.
  27. A magnetic deflector shield which resembles nothing so much as a complete set of sports padding. Helmet, elbows, knees, and palms. When active, it deflects high-velocity metal objects such as swords, arrows, or bullets, granting a +1 to AC. Can be worn in conjunction with other armors, but provides no protection against non-metal attacks.
  28. A jetpack.
  29. A water purifying filter. Effectively removes any non-magical contaminants, including poison.
  30. A full space suit.
  31. A military grade gas mask.
  32. A handheld synthrope dispenser. The dispenser contains a compressed material which is sprayed out of a tiny nozzle, and solidifies into a rope-like substance on contact with air. Heated sections of the rope become powerfully adhesive, and will remain stuck once they cool. Synthrope dissolves within 6 hours.
  33. A telescoping 15′ pole. Can be retracted down to about 2′ in length.
  34. A megaphone.
  35. A Roomba.
  36. A large shoulder-mounted net-cannon, which attaches to the body via a series of padded straps. Cannon works like a T-Shirt cannon, but fires weighted netting up to 30′ away, requiring a save versus Breath to avoid becoming entangled.
  37. A clothes washing machine.
  38. A clothes drying machine.
  39. Augmented Reality goggles, allowing the wearer to experience the world around them in a completely different way. Everyone looks like they’re smiling, the grass is always green, and rampaging monsters look like giant kittens who just want your love and attention.
  40. An electron microscope, allowing any object to be examined for even the most minute details.
  41. A video game console, with 4-6 games found nearby.
  42. Image editing software. When installed onto a computer, can be used to manipulate photographs.
  43. The Fing LongerAudio editing software. When installed onto a computer, can be used to manipulate recorded audio.
  44. A pair of helmets connected by a thick bundle of wires. When activated, two living brains can effectively switch places.
  45. A Fing-Longer.
  46. A modern police taser. Twin prongs on cables which fires up to 10′. On a successful hit, target is immobilized for 1 turn. Weapon can only be fired once without resetting, and is ineffective against characters with an armor bonus greater than 2.
  47. A small device fitted into the ear, which produces sounds by vibrating the muscles around your ear, and sends sound by interpreting your brainwaves. Allows for completely silent audio communication.
  48. An RC car.
  49. An RC plane.
  50. A model rocket.
  51. Stealth camouflage. Turns the wearer effectively invisible, with only a slight warping of the space around them possibly revealing their presence. Camo may be damaged by heavy impacts, or by extended exposure to water.
  52. A weapon scope which digitally tags any target it passes over. Tagged targets may continue to be tracked even if they pass out of sight. May tag up to 8 individuals at a time.
  53. Night vision goggles.
  54. Heat vision goggles.
  55. X-Ray specs. Functions exactly like real ones don’t. Allows you to see through as much as you want to see through.
  56. A hair dryer.
  57. A large pod. If a person spends one night sleeping in it, the pod will take samples of their blood, their brainwaves, their appearance, etc. When they leave, the pod will seal up and begin to hum. 1 month later, a clone will emerge. Roll 1d6: 1-2: Horribly disfiguringly mutated, 3-4: Roll 1d4 Metamorphica mutations, 5-6: Identical clone.
  58. Electric shears, like those used by a barber.
  59. A teleportation pad. Can be made to function perfectly, but only one is ever found at a time. In order to retrieve the other pad, you must use the teleported blindly, being transported to an unknown location. The second pad, having not been repaired, will break the moment your group comes through. It must then be hauled back to base manually for its own repairs.
  60. A heating dish, like the one you might have had in your first apartment.
  61. A device which emits a high frequency tone when activated. Each instance of this device is set to produce a different kind of tone, each of which has a different effect. 1, Attracts dogs, 2. Attracts bats, 3. Makes anyone who hears it poop, 4.  Makes anyone who hears it irritable and prone to angry outbursts.
  62. Rocket Boots. The design of these is poor compared to a proper jetpack. They allow the wearer to move at extremely high velocities, which can make for effective charge attacks or escape attempts. But, there is a 2-in-6 chance with each use that the wearer will go completely off course.
  63. A high quality video camera.
  64. A high speed video camera, suitable for recording thousands of frames per second.
  65.  A phenomenal, DJ-quality sound system. Can be used in conjunction with any sound-producing electronics, or with the included microphone.
  66. A 4-wheeled ATV.
  67. A freestanding lamp.
  68. A small translator robot, little more than a disk with a face on it. The robot has a simplistic, but friendly personality. Has an effective 6-in-6 language skill and will happily translate anything you need. Hesitates any time it is asked to translate rudeness.
  69. A hotplate.
  70. A leaf blower.
  71. An electric fan. (1. Free standing, 2. Desk Size, 3. Box Fan, 4. Heavy duty.)
  72. An electric wheelchair.
  73. A bug zapper
  74. An exoskeletal structure which fits around the hand like a glove. Confers immense crush and grip strength on the hand, allowing it to hold on on to a ledge indefinitely, or bend swords or gun barrels.
  75. A toaster
  76. A microwave.
  77. A lawn sprinkler of whatever style you prefer. (Highly effective when used with gasoline!)
  78. A forklift.
  79. A programmable robotic arm. Has no sensors, but can be instructed to perform a set of potions when prompts are given. Roll 1d4 to determine size: (1. Half human size. 2. Human size. 3. Three-times human sized. 4. Construction sized.)
  80. 30′ of liquid sensing wire wrapped in absorbent rope. If any fluid touches the rope, an alarm will go off immediately.
  81. A backpack sized water-compression tank. Capable of compressing water down to 25% of its normal size.
  82. A handheld laser-cutting tool. Able to slice a 4′ line through just about any material within the space of a turn. Does so with almost complete silence.
  83. A 6″ tall robot which moves on treads, and manipulates objects with two tiny pincer arms. Is intelligent enough to accept simple verbal commands.
  84. A sewing machine.
  85. A gambling machine. (1. Video Poker, 2. Slots, 3. A claw machine 4. A coin push machine.)
  86. A moderately heavy-duty water pump, capable of pushing about 20 gallons per minute.
  87. An air compressor.
  88. A V-chip which can be programmed with certain information, then installed into a person. Any time that person would reveal or express the indicated information by any means, they fail to do so. Instead, they use some replacement information. So instead of saying “Virgil is planning to kill you,” they say “I enjoy sexually molesting stuffed toys.” Or something like that.
  89. A personal holographic projection device. Always a pre-rendered recording to be emitted in life-size above it, appearing for all intents and purposes identical to reality.
  90. A chainsaw.
  91. An electric drill.
  92. A functioning AI, trapped in a device that is not connected to anything. Treat this as an NPC, who who will probably be grateful for being released, but will also doubtless be someone maladjusted from their long isolation.
  93. A hangglider, constructed of the highly advanced lightweight materials that make such a device feasible.
  94. A helmet which can be connected to a computer via a bundle of wires. When a person is wearing the helmet, their skull will be destroyed and their brain dissected. The entirety of their consciousness will then be uploaded to the computer they are connected to.
  95. A personal sized submarine, capable of holding only a single person.
  96. A heavy backpack with a hose-like extension. When activated, the extension emits a kind of “tractor beam,” capable of pulling objects towards it. The weight limit of the beam is equal to the weight of whomever is wearing the device.
  97. An auto-follow spotlight equipped with repulsortech. Once a target is identified the light can fly through the air to follow them wherever they go.
  98. A cryogenic freezing tube. Can be set for any length of time.
  99. An earthquake machine. When mounted to a hardpoint (such as a support beam), a weighted rod will begin to shift back and forth. Microcomputers will calculate the reaction reaction to this movement, and adjust the movement of the rod to match a structure’s frequency. 1 watch after the device is in put in place, it will be able to produce violent shaking within the building after 1 turn of buildup. This is unlikely to destroy the building, but is almost certain to disrupt any loose objects, and frighten any people.
  100. An ultralight helicopter.

d100 Results of Drug-Addled Engineering

Rick and Morty Dot Com, Forever and EverAn engineer locks herself in a room with her tools, a ton of miscellaneous parts, and a fucking mountain of drugs. A week later she walks out holding __________ in her hands.

Any attempt to modify these devices after you come down from your high is completely fruitless. They are impossibly complex, relying entirely on drug-addled logic. You don’t have any idea how they work, let alone how to change the way they work.

I should note that this table was requested by one of my players, who plays an engineer with a drug problem.

  1. Goggles which replace everyone’s heads with emoticons.
  2. Goggles that make anyone under 12 years old invisible to the wearer.
  3. Goggles that monitor conversations for context clues. If you hear someone’s name, then the goggles heard the name as well, and will remember it. From now on, any time you see that person, their name will be displayed above their heads.
  4. A grenade which opens a hole to some eldritch place of tentacles, eyes, and eye-tentacles.
  5. A grenade filled with compacted birthday party accoutrements. Baloons, confetti, streamers, and cake will all explode outward when the grenade is thrown. There’s even a banner which attaches itself to the nearest wall.
  6. A sort of implosion grenade. When detonated, it compresses everything in a 10′ radius into a 2′ square cardboard box.
  7. Subdermal telescoping dick elongator. Produce painful, 1′ erections at will!
  8. Subdermal LEDs, allowing the engineer to produce glowing dots of red, blue, or green in a 5×5 grid on the center of their chest.
  9. Subdermal laser pointer installed beneath the finger, allowing the character to point much further away than they would normally be able to!
  10. A palm-size box with a digital monitor. Pressing a button causes it to display a random number between 1 and 10,000
  11. A palm-sized box with a speaker. Pressing a button causes one of a number of random sounds to play. There are several bird calls, shouted profanities, brief clips of synthetic music, and farts.
  12. A palm-sized box with a speaker on it. Pressing a button causes the box to wait for 10 minutes, then emit an ear-splittingly loud tone for 1 hour.
  13. Shoes which light up with every step you take.
  14. Shoes with a button on the side of them. When the button is pressed, the shoes cause the wearer to begin dancing–at least below the waist. Roll to determine the type of dance the shoe is capable of: 1. Tap, 2. Salsa, 3. Ballroom, 4. Ballet.
  15. Shoes which, when the heels are tapped together, produce a row of 4 wheels down the center of the sole. Rollerblades triple your movement rate over smoothly paved areas, although you may be forced to make saves versus Wipeout whenever you are struck, or the referee judges the terrain is unfavorable.
  16. A buttplug, attached via a wire to a wrist-mounted screen. This screen shows details of your body temperature, as well as numerical representations of your health, fatigue, etc. Essentially, this device allows you to view parts of your character sheet within the game world.
  17. A buttplug that vibrates.
  18. A buttplug with a button on it. If the button is pushed while the plug is in someone’s butt, it will attune to that person. If the button is pushed while not in their butt, and they are within 1 mile of the buttplug, it will turn to point in their direction.
  19. A 4×4 steel crate with mechanisms haphazardly welded all over it. Anyone kept inside of it for 3 hours will have their height modified by 1d4 – 3 inches.
  20. A 4×4 steel crate with mechanisms haphazardly welded all over it. Things placed inside of it are teleported to an unknown location. At least you think they’re teleported. That’s what the screen says is happening. From your perspective they just sorta…disappear.
  21. A 4×4 steel crate with mechanisms haphazardly welded all over it. Objects appear in it occasionally. Never anything very useful, just random crap. it’s unclear where it comes from.
  22. A pen that explodes when clicked three times.
  23. A pair of pens. Any motion made with the red one is duplicated by the blue one. By moving the red one, the blue pen can be made to stand up and write, however some part of the blue pen must always be resting on a surface. It doesn’t levitate or fly.
  24. A pen that will write in different colors based on the emotion the writer is feeling when they use it. Lies, notably, appear in a shade of pink.
  25. A device which can be fitted into the ear. Everything the wearer hears is autotuned.
  26. A device which can be fitted into the ear. Replaces some words with other words. The device is easily programmable by the user, allowing them to determine which words will be replaced, and which words they will be replaced by.
  27. A device which can be fitted into the ear. If a pin drops within a mile, you’ll hear it. It’s a pin-drop-detector, and it monitors the environment for pin-drop vibrations, and amplifies them accordingly.
  28. The engineer removed their fingernails, and replaced them with tiny monitors, each of which picks up a different television station.
  29. The engineer removed their fingernails, and replaced them with synthetic fingernails which grow and retract at will, up to 8″ in length!
  30. The engineer removed their fingernails, and replaced them with tiny percussion plates, allowing the force of a light punch to be delivered with the flick of a finger.
  31. A printer that produces maps of entirely fictional places.
  32. A printer that produces bad, but always unique, poetry.
  33. A printer with a microphone duct taped to the side of it. If a picture or mental image is described into the microphone, the printer will produce ASCII art of the thing you described.
  34. A glove which can be fired off of your hand up to 20′ with good accuracy. The glove has no substantial weight. Being struck by it is more offensive and annoying than it is harmful.
  35. A glove which cannot drop what it’s holding. It will move your fingers and hand for you if it feels something leaving its grip. You’ve actually got to hold down a safety button on the glove to do so much as set down a glass of water. Throwing or dropping an item in combat is next to impossible.
  36. A pair of gloves with 80mm computer fans mounted on the palms. It’s meant to work as a stabilizer for the rocket boots you plan to build later.
  37. A box on a strap, meant to be worn tightly against the throat. Makes the wearer sound like a robot.
  38. A box on a strap, meant to be worn tightly against the throat. Automatically performs a tracheotomy if it detects any evidence of throat or tongue swelling.
  39. A box on a strap, meant to be worn tightly against the throat. Whenever a randomly determined party member says “Bad [engineer’s name]!) you get an electric shock that prevents any activity for 1 round. You can’t seem to figure out how to get it off.
  40. A room-sized device of impossible complexity. Insert your finger into a hole, and 30 minutes of intense activity later, a small card will drop out of a slot. The card produces the perfect insult that will absolutely devastate you emotionally if ever directed at you.
  41. A room-sized device of impossible complexity. Insert your finger into a hole, and 30 minutes of intense activity later, a small card will drop out of a slot.The card lists everything you’ve eaten for the last week.
  42. A room-sized device of impossible complexity. Insert your finger into a hole, and 30 minutes of intense activity later, a small card will drop out of a slot. The card describes a random thing you’ve forgotten. Something like the name of your childhood friend’s pet mouse, or the combination to a toy diary you owned when you were eight.
  43. A head-mounted camera which creates 3D models of environments. Can be hooked up to software to create google-maps style walkthroughs.
  44. A head mounted camera that intelligently identifies moments that would make for good “Fail” videos. The device then automatically uploads them to youtube.
  45. A head mounted camera that saves instances of violence to a publicly accessible server. This way the public can determine whether or not your actions were justified, and you can be held accountable for them.
  46. A flashlight with a fleshlight hidden inside of it.
  47. An X-Ray flashlight. When directed at a person their insides become visible. The light also gives them a tumor that will kill them in 10 + 1d20 years.
  48. A flashlight with “strobe” and “disco” settings. The handle can be unfolded into a tripod.
  49. A gun that shoots good feelings. Makes people happy.
  50. A very small gun which fires a massive caliber of bullet. It deals a fuckton of damage if it hits (3d12), but the kick of it deals 1d8 damage to the wielder. Any time the gun is fired, it is sent flying out of the wielders hand and will need to be searched for to recover it.
  51. A gun which fires bullets in slow motion. It’s unclear how this is accomplished. Possibly via temporal manipulation, localized around the projectile. The bullet comes out of the barrel at a speed of about 1′ per minute, and goes forwards until it hits something. When it does finally hit something, it does so with all the force it would have had if it was firing normally.
  52. A hand held scanner attached to a briefcase-sized box. If you spend a few minutes thoroughly scanning a person, they will be digitized and displayed on a monitor mounted on the box. 20 buttons display different emotes for that animation.
  53. A hand held scanner attached to a briefcase-sized box. When an object is scanned, the box spends a few moments whirring before producing an origami copy of whatever was scanned.
  54. A hand held scanner attached to a briefcase-sized box. When a person is scanned, a screen on the box displays a list of their allergies.
  55. A heavy mechanical backpack. Adjusting the various knobs and levers on it allows you to produce several varieties of fountain drinks.
  56. A heavy mechanical backpack. When activated, it creates a 10′ air-conditioned bubble around the wearer. Ambient temperature is reduced by 10-20 degrees within the bubble.
  57. A heavy mechanical backpack. By turning a crank, you provide power to an extendible helicopter blade that pops out of the top. For every 10 minutes you crank, you create 1 minute of airborne time. A charge lasts for 1 day before it dissipates.
  58. A U-Shaped electronic headpiece which requires the wearer to shave their head. While wearing it, the wearer instantaneously knows the answer to any mathematical equation they read.
  59. A U-Shaped electronic headpiece which requires the wearer to shave their head. The device pumps the wearer’s brain full of confidence chemicals. They are immune to fear, but also to retreat. The device cannot be removed in less than 10 minutes without causing brain damage.
  60. A U-Shaped electronic headpiece which requires the wearer to shave their head. Allows the wearer to be sexually attracted to anyone or anything they want to be.
  61. A chair, covered in electrodes and leather straps to hold someone down. When a switch is flipped, whomever is sitting in it is affected by a brief, but intense, electrical shock. They pass out, and when they awaken, they have a new personality trait. (Roll this from one of the “On the NPC” tables, or just make it up if you don’t own that book for some reason).
  62. An all-terrain wheelchair. The treads move very slowly, but effectively cross most terrain.
  63. An egg-shaped chair which emits a low-level psychic radiation. Anyone within 100′ of the chair will feel a strong impulse to kill whomever is sitting in it. The moment that person leaves the chair, the impulse will end.
  64. A briefcase which contains random, non-functional parts duct taped all over the inside of it. The engineer is quite proud of their brilliant invention.
  65. A briefcase which contains a yellow light that shines into the faces of anyone who opens it. If the light touches your face, you must save versus Magic or be impressed with the value of the contents.
  66. A briefcase which can be quickly unfolded into plastic armor. The armor grants +1 to the wearer’s armor score.
  67. A coffin-like pod that will freeze anyone who gets inside of it. They are unharmed by the process, but will remain in cryogenic stasis for 1d1000 years. There is no way to extract them without killing them.
  68. A coffin-like pod. Anyone who sleeps in it will experience their dreams much more vividly, and remain in their dream world for 1d6 days worth of time.
  69. A coffin-like pod which gives a new accent to anyone who sleeps in it.
  70. An 8′ tall tesla coil. Anyone who approaches within 10′ of it is zapped 5 seconds back in time.
  71. A 8′ tall tesla coil. Anyone who approaches within 10′ is painfully electrocuted to death. A second zap produces an exact duplicate of the dead character, with identical memories to the previous one, except for any memories of the first character’s grizley death.
  72. A 2′ tall tesla coil which functions as a kind of thought-sink. Anything that you think while touching the coil doesn’t actually go through your brain, it’s diverted through the coil. Thus, nothing you think while touching the coil can be remembered later. Nor can it be read out of you by a telepath.
  73. A 15′ length of wire with exposed ends. If two people each hold one end of the wire, then they will feel one another’s level of hunger, as well as any particular food cravings the other has.
  74. A 15′ length of wire with a flat copper tab on one end, and a 3.5mm plug on the other. If you put the tab on a substance, and you put the plug in your mouth, then you will be able to taste whatever the tab is touching. You don’t actually get any sustenance from this exercise, but it does allow you to taste things from 15′ away!
  75. A 15′ length of wire with an USB connection at one end, and a drill bit at the other end. If the USB end is plugged into a computer and the drill bit is placed against your head, the bit will automatically drill into your brain. Once it is firmly in place, your neural pathways will automatically be transferred into the computer, and then erased from their original location. This process only works in a single direction.
  76. A drinking straw that filters whatever is drank through it. It cannot filter out poisons, but it will purify water that is contaminated by dirt, feces, or heavy metals.
  77. A drinking straw which makes anything drank through it taste exactly like a strawberry soda.
  78. A straw which somehow resonates with the skeletal structure of most camels. If rested on top of such a creature, it will spend a moment calibrating itself, then shatter several of the camel’s vertebrae.
  79. A game controller that partially plays for you when you hold it. Using it makes you much better at video games. The equivalent of having a 6-in-6 skill.
  80. A game controller with a 3′ long antennae. When you point it at a person, there is a 1% chance of that person being susceptible to control by this device. If they are, you can control them completely for 1 exploration turn before their brain re-calibrates itself to reassert control over the body.
  81. A game controller. When you hold it, you seems as though you are controlling a game. You hear sound effects, and the controller occasionally vibrates, but you can’t actually see the game. You have no idea what is happening in it.
  82. A quadcopter which has been programmed to move between 3 randomly determined locations. It will wait at each location for 17 hours before leaving to travel to the next.
  83. A quadcopter which is set up to follow its creator. Any time its creator does something, it will play an audio recording of an enthusiastic compliment. (In the creator’s own voice, of course). There’s no way to stop it from doing this without destroying it completely.
  84. A quadcopter which has been imbued with true intelligence. It decides that this place is fuckin’ bullshit, and leaves forever.
  85. A small device inserted into both nostrils. Lights are mounted on it which illuminate the wearer’s face eerily in the dark. Kinda like putting a flashlight up to your face, but wearable all the time!
  86. A small device inserted into both nostrils which allows the wearer to smell things from much further away by pointing an attached dish-gun at the thing they would like to be smelling.
  87. A small device inserted into both nostrils. Vibrates to let the wearer know when it has detected something it thinks the wearer will find funny.
  88. A humanoid robot with the personality and traits of an incredibly frail nonagenarian.
  89. A humanoid robot that is only interested in sexual gratification. It’ll fuck everything and anything but its own creator, because that’d be like fucking its own parent. Gross.
  90. A humanoid robot that tries its very best to be a homicidal psychopath. Fortunately, it is astoundingly inept at murder, and its attempts at homicide are mostly just comical.
  91. A program, on a floppy disk. Installs a virus, the only function of which is to copy itself into as many computers as possible. If it is installed on a computer, entering a complex series of keystrokes will cause it to create a dialogue that says “I’m here!” That is all the virus does.
  92. A program, on a floppy disk. When inserted into a computer, it will automatically open any files on the computer that have the word “secret” associated with them.
  93. A program, on a floppy disk. It’s 8-bit Flappy Bird.
  94. A shield which gives the wielder GPS style instructions on when to block incoming attacks. It’s pretty laggy, so it usually just tells you when you should have blocked.
  95. A shield with haptic feedback, allowing the wielder to feel the pain suffered by the shield as though they’d been struck by it themselves!
  96. A shield with a slight repulsor effect on the front, intended to make it better at blocking incoming attacks. It doesn’t, but it does allow the shield to make an effective hover-sled.
  97. A small device on a tripod which creates a light show production w/ lasers. The production responds intelligently to any music in the environment.
  98. A small device on a tripod which functions as an auto-surveyor. On an attached screen you can view measurements of the environment, as well as the number of people who entered the environment from each possible vector since it was set up.
  99. A small device on a tripod. When activated, it creates a holographic, wireframe environment by spinning really fast and projecting in all directions.
  100. (100) Roll on this table twice. Figure out how to combine the two things you rolled into one thing.

Bringing PCs Back as Cyborgs

MGS Meryl Shot, Sniper's Trap The ORWA campaign recently had its first character death. Umquat, of blessed memory, had her neck melted through by the Righteous Gaze of the Children of God. She fell to the ground a mere 15′ from the rest of the party. Even if there had been hope that she might be saved, there was no way for Umquat’s fellows to step out from their cover without sharing her fate. The dice foretold that she would gurgle and cough for 4 rounds before she was able to die, and all the party could do was watch. It was a death beautiful in its tragedy.

However, beautiful as it was, it occurred to me that there’s no reason for death to be the end of Umquat. After all, ORWA has long since moved beyond the technological limitations of its medieval beginnings. The setting has a very “Saturday Morning Sci-Fi” vibe, and characters already have the option of cybernetically enhancing themselves. Why not allow dead characters to be ‘resurrected’ through cybernetics? If fits the themes of the game perfectly.

Requirements

The body of the character to be cybernetically resurrected must first be recovered. Your friends need to get your corpse back to the safety of a haven with Internet access. (By which I mean, a haven where the party can make contact with agents of the shadowy organization known as “The Internet.”) If the majority of your body is unrecoverable for whatever reason, then there is no hope for you.

Cybernetic resurrection is also expensive. It costs all the money of the person being reincarnated. All of it. They’re able to hold on to any material goods they might own, but any liquid wealth is confiscated by The Internet to pay for the procedure. If you didn’t have very much money, or no money at all, well then you lucked out. The Internet is feeling generous that day.

The Consequences

Cybernetics are great for enhancing the natural function of your body, but they’re shit at actually replacing those functions whole cloth. And unfortunately, you’re dead, which means some part of your body is so damaged that it could no longer function at all. That part of your body had to be completely replaced with cybernetics, and those cybernetics are gonna be a whole lot worse than your original home-grown human parts were.

I use Courtney Campbell’s Table for Avoiding Death. It is a very good table. One of its many benefits is that when a character dies, the table describes precisely what their means of death was. In Umquat’s case, her neck was melted through. Other deaths include a bone shard puncturing your femoral artery, the front of your face becoming frozen enough to shatter, and dozens upon dozens more. Like I said, it’s a very good table.

When a dead character is cybernetically resurrected, the part of their body that was destroyed during the death process must be replaced by a mechanical facsimile. The drawbacks of this are entirely at the discretion of the referee. They should be significant, but not so debilitating that the player wants to retire the character. For example, this is what Umquat will have to deal with:

Umquat’s new neck is good at allowing her to breathe, speak, and control her body with electrical impulses from her brain. However, it can’t handle food or drink. Umquat must now feed herself through a tube in her stomach, using special liquid rations which cost 3x the normal rate for rations. Even in dire circumstances, she cannot eat normal food. 

Also, she has to talk in a robot voice from now on.

As a corollary to this first point: since vital life functions are now managed by machines, the cyborg is vulnerable to EMP attacks. If all electronics would be shut down for any reason, then the cyborg is immediately reduced to 0 hit points until the effect is ended. (If they already were at 0 hit points, they gain 2 pain, as per the Table for Avoiding Death).

The second major drawback to being a cyborg is the consequences of brain death. In the real world, resuscitation has to occur within minutes of death, lest the patient’s brain be irreparably damaged. In the game, even ignoring the time it takes to recover, the actual process of being cybernetically reanimated takes nearly a month to complete. It is hardly surprising that cyborgs suffer from a variety of mental derangement. Roll on the table below to determine the way in which the cyborg’s brain is damaged.

  1. Gray Fox, Grey Fox, Cyborg Ninja, Metal Gear SolidThe cyborg is sexually attracted to spherical objects. They are a sphere-sexual.
  2. One of the many technicians who worked on resuscitating the cyborg has added secret instructions into their brain. The referee should write these down on a piece of paper, and place that piece of paper in an envelope. When the instructions become relevant, the player should be allowed to open and read the instructions.
  3. The cyborg becomes obsessed with a religion–either one that they already professed, or a new one determined by whatever means seem most expedient. The cyborg follows an arcane set of rules based on their extremist interpretation of the religion, and will find some way to bring every single conversation back to their faith.
  4. The cyborg is utterly disgusted by children. Any human that has not yet gone through puberty is profoundly offensive to the cyborg.
  5. The cyborg loses impulse control. Any time that the player mentions a possible course of action, jokes about something ludicrous that their character does, or even expresses a desire for something, the cyborg will do that thing.
  6. The cyborg becomes an absolute coward. Roll 3d6 to determine a morale score using the same chart hireling loyalty is generated with. Any time a hireling’s loyalty would need to be checked, the cyborg’s morale must be checked. On failure, they have to flee for their lives.
  7. The cyborg just doesn’t see why they would ever pass up a good time. If some pleasurable activity is available, they must agree to participate. There’s no way to keep the cyborg on task during a party, or in a red light district.
  8. The pleasure center of the cyborg’s brain has withered, and they are incapable of having a good time. Worldly pleasures just hold no draw for the cyborg, and they look down on any pursuit of pleasure they witness in others.
  9. The mood of the cyborg is completely disassociated from the events occurring around them. Rather, it’s a randomly determined fact established at the start of a game session. Roll: 1. Angry, 2. Cheerful, 3. Morose, 4. Silly, 5. Lethargic, 6. Anxious
  10. The cyborg becomes incredibly miserly, and will never spend more than 10% of their total net worth in a single game session or haven turn.
  11. The cyborg finds clothing incredibly uncomfortable against their skin, and refuses ever to wear it. They must be completely naked at all time, with the exception of jewelry. Jewelry is nice.
  12. Only one hand is ever available, because the other is constantly masturbating. Constantly.
  13. The cyborg develops a kind of narcolepsy. This usually isn’t too much of a problem, as companions are around to nudge them awake. If the cyborg is ever alone, however, then one of the results on the encounter die should indicate that they have fallen asleep, and will remain asleep for 1d4 turns or until awakened. Due to the adrenaline kick, the cyborg will never fall asleep in combat.
  14. The cyborg is given to passionate, flighty affections. Anytime a new NPC is encountered and engaged in discussion, the cyborg must make a 2d6 reaction roll for themselves. If they roll a 12, then they fall desperately in love, completely forgetting whoever they were in love with previously.
  15. The cyborg believes that they are more cybernetic than they actually are. Despite any evidence to the contrary, they do not believe anything remains of their human selves. As far as they’re concerned, they don’t have anything but circuits and disks in their heads. They will often attempt to “interface” with machines, which of course never works.
  16. The cyborg’s reality is almost entirely different than our own. Everything they see appears more colorful and simplistic than it actually is. Instead of people they see anthropomorphic animals, instead of blood and death they see silly slapstick comedy.
  17. The cyborg believes they are trapped at a certain age. They have all of the adult faculties and experience of their true age, but will act as though they’re doing an impression of a person of a different age. Roll to determine what age they think they are: 1. Four, 2. Nine, 3. Sixteen, 4. Ninety
  18. The cyborg becomes a serial doodler of graphic vulgarities. Any time the cyborg has a few free minutes, they scrawl dicks and tits and profanities on the walls. If they ever spend any length of time waiting somewhere, it will be clear to everyone that someone was there.
  19. The cyborg suffers from a literally paralyzing fear of the dark. If they ever find themselves in an area where they cannot see their surroundings, then they freeze in place. They are completely trapped until something illuminates their surroundings.
  20. The cyborg’s internal balance is messed up. They can usually walk okay (though they do stumble more often than most people). However, any time their balance would be in question, they fail automatically.
  21. The cyborg can’t quite control their eating, and they become immensely fat as a result. The added pudge requires that any armor be specially fitted for them. Their own fat takes up a full encumbrance worth of inventory space.
  22. The cyborg develops a depraved sexual fetish that even the most tolerant individuals are disgusted by. The cyborg must make a saving throw versus Poison during each haven turn. On a failure, they spend 1d6 x 100 money pursuing their strange fetish with a wild abandon, and they lose out on any opportunity to use their haven turn more productively. They will become well known in their community for their depravity, which will affect their reputation accordingly. (If the cyborg was in the middle of training, this does not interrupt that training. The training is merely delayed).
  23. The cyborg feels disassociated from their own flesh, and begins self-mutilating as a nervous habit. Any time that is not actively spent in some task requires a save versus Paralyzation. On a failure, the cyborg deals 1 point of damage to themselves.
  24. The cyborg becomes unbearably prudish about sex. Even something as simple as casual flirtation happening within earshot will prompt the cyborg to launch into a lecture about sexual morality. The cyborg is even uncomfortable around anyone who is a parent, because they know that such a person must have had sex at some point.
  25. The cyborg loves animals, and lacks impulse control. Anytime they see an animal they will run over to pet it and coo at it, without thought to their safety or any task they were previously performing.
  26. The cyborg refuses to ever bathe again. Their stench will make parley difficult, at least with any creature that has a human sense of smell.
  27. A new skill is created for the cyborg. It doesn’t matter what, so long as it is pretty much useless. Something like whittling, guitar hero, or macramé. The cyborg becomes obsessed with this new hobby, and cannot spend their haven turns doing anything other than training in this hobby until they reach the max level of skill.
  28. The cyborg refuses to acknowledge that they are affected by weather. Heat, cold, rain, or hail, it doesn’t matter. They will not make any attempt to protect or prepare themselves for dealing with environmental conditions. This will certainly end badly anytime they have to deal with these factors.
  29. Loud noises cause the cyborg to soil themselves.
  30. The cyborg is completely incapable of ‘negative’ emotions, such as anger, sadness, resentment, jealousy, suspicion, etcetera. They are dangerously naive because of this, and are absolutely convinced that everyone and everything they meet is a good friend to them.

 

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