Tag Archives: D&D

Weird Cleric Magic: Oddities

Augustine of Hippo was kind of a douchebag

The Glory from God system as established before now stands perfectly well on its own. If the stuff that already exists is all you want to play with, that works great. But, if you’d like the magic to be a little more chaotic, you can play with these casting oddities, which add an element of risk and reward to players considering rolling more dice than they need to in order to cast a spell.

When dice are rolled to cast a spell, if any of those dice share the same face, the player must roll on the oddities table. Which number is showing doubles determines which of the tables below the player must roll on. Each set of doubles must be resolved, so if a player rolls 4 dice, and they roll two 3s and two 4s, then they must roll on both of those tables.

In the event that the player rolls triples, treat that as rolling two sets of doubles of the same number. So if a player rolls three 1s, they must roll on the 1s oddities table twice. They must likewise roll three times for quads, four times for a quintet, and so on.

There are essentially three types of oddities. Good things, bad things, and things which may be good, bad, or irrelevant depending on the specific situation in which they occur. The subtables for lower numbered doubles are weighted more in favor of bad things, and the subtables for higher numbered doubles are weighted in favor of good things.

It should be noted that the success or failure of a spell is determined before any dice are rolled on the oddities table. Nothing that happens on the oddities table can change the fact that the spell did or did not succeed. (Though it can lower or improve the spell’s efficacy if the spell did succeed).

Snake Eyes (Double 1s)

  1. You have made a deeply offensive error in your casting. Your god curses you. Roll a random curse.
  2. Your interference in this matter has come to the attention of a rival god. Your deity and this one are now struggling for influence over this place, and clerical magic from either one of them will be blocked until the contest is resolved. (1-in-6 chance each round. 50/50 chance whose god will win.)
  3. Though it may not be immediately apparent to the caster, their religious superior (currently deep in prayer) has been told by god that the cleric is a disappointment. In the coming weeks they will be called before this superior, and it will be demanded that some failing in their character be corrected.
  4. The caster briefly experiences a nirvana-like state in which they cease to exist. To others, it appears that they simply disappear. They reapper 1d4 rounds later, with no memory of what they experienced, save for a vague sense that they ultimately proved unworthy of some great gift.
  5. The caster’s appearance changes slightly, and permanently. Their nose gets a little wider, their hair changes color. They grow taller or shorter, thinner or fatter. In rare cases they may even change gender entirely. The specific alteration is decided on by the referee.
  6. A special zeal was noticed in your casting. The spell goes off as normal, and is 50% more effective than it ought to be.

Double 2s

  1. Your faith is shaken. Treat this spell as though it were one level higher for the purposes of determining which spell dice are lost.
  2. The caster realizes they have made an error, and must seek penance. (1. They must go without food for a week, suffering any penalties that entails. 2. They must self-flaggelate, dealing 1d3 damage, each morning for a week. 3. They must publicly announce their sin to their companions. All of their hirelings have their loyalty reduced by one. 4. They must spend one entire haven turn in prayer, undertaking no other activity. )
  3. The caster has been deceived! The prayer they just uttered was taught them by a demon, and is deeply offensive to god. They may not attempt to cast this spell again until they’ve spent a week in prayer learning the proper version of it.
  4. Everyone in a 30′ radius feels their hands twitch and spasm, and they drop anything they’re holding.
  5. All animals within 100′ of the caster stop whatever they’re doing and kneel down in reverence to the god whose presence they are in. They will accept no commands until a turn has passed.
  6. A nearby NPC who is neutrally or better disposed towards you is inspired by your faith. Your reaction with them increases by 1, and they want to learn about your god.

Double 3s

  1. The white hot fire of your god exceeds your own zeal. Your holy symbol becomes too hot to touch. You must either drop the holy symbol (and cannot cast until you recover it) or take 1d4 damage.
  2. The vulgar nature of your god has disgusted some NPC. Their reaction to you is lowered by one.
  3. A nearby source of water becomes holy water.
  4. Nearby plants flourish and grow into their most vibrant selves, or wither and die, whichever is more appropriate to indicate your god’s presence.
  5. Your god grants you a moment of foresight. You’re meant to step slightly to one side. Next round you have +2 AC, and if you are hit, the damage taken is halved.
  6. Guided by the wisdom of a saint, a random skill is raised to 6-in-6 until it is next used.

Double 4s

  1. You are struck blind for 1d6 turns.
  2. The caster begins speaking in tongues. They babble nonsense that occasionally brushes with religious themes at the top of their voice for the next hour, and cannot say anything else. This doesn’t prevent them from casting spells.
  3. Everything the caster says echoes loudly, as if they are speaking with a dozen voices at once. This lasts for 1d4 hours. During this time they are incapable of whispering.
  4. The cleric’s body appears to catch fire, but no harm is done to them. The fire is not hot and does not burn anything, but provides light equivalent to a large bonfire. The fire slowly dwindles to nothing over the course of 1 exploration turn.
  5. If the spell cast was beneficial, the wearer gains the mark of the god. Anyone who loves the cleric’s god will do that person favors for 1 month. Conversely, if the spell was harmful, the target gains the mark of the god inverted. Anyone who loves the god will shun this person, and pelt them with stones, for 1 month.
  6. A soft veil of light descends over the cleric’s allies. They all get a +1 benefit to whatever their next roll is.

Double 5s

  1. The power of the spell knocks you off of your feet and you land flat on your back.
  2. The target of a beneficial spell becomes notably more attractive. The target of a harmful spell becomes notably less attractive.
  3. The earth shakes with the casting of the spell, felt by people up to a mile away.
  4. Along with the spell, a bolt of lightning strikes down from the sky dealing 1d6 damage to whomever the caster wants. They are branded with some appropriate passage from the god’s holy words.
  5. The cleric is affected by the serenity of being so close to their god. Their next reaction roll gets a +1 bonus.
  6. Your faith is strengthened. Return a lost die to your pool, or add an extra one for the day if one has not yet been expended.

Boxcars (Double 6s)

  1. A lack of zeal has been noticed in your casting. The spell works as intended, but is only half as effective as it ought to be.
  2. All damage taken and dealt by anyone this round is halved.
  3. A flash of insight allows the cleric to ask the referee one yes-or-no question, and receive an honest answer. This must be done immediately, and cannot be saved for later.
  4. An angel of god comes down and participates in the combat for a single round. They’re astonishingly effective. No one sees it except the cleric, everyone else is just a little baffled as to why something completely unexpected just happened.
  5. The spell is considered one level lower for the purpose of determining which dice are removed from the dice pool.
  6. The spell goes off twice, affecting the intended target, as well as a second target indicated by the caster.

And that concludes my foray into tinkering with Clerical magic. At least until I’m able to test the system a bit, or have some new idea. I hope you enjoyed it! Next week, I’ll be presenting you with a piece I am immensely proud of: Better Magic Wands + d100 Magic Wands. This is easily one of the best things I’ve written in the last couple months, and I cannot wait to share it. If you’re interested, it’s already available on my advance feed for anyone who pledges $5/month to my Patreon campaign. Hint hint.

LotFP Class: Bangtail

BangtailLife is never kind to the bottom rung. While the well-off have the luxury of fretting over their dignity, the rest are too busy fretting over where their next meal will come from. For some, their own body is the only commodity they have that anyone will trade for. It’s a step that, once taken, cannot be taken back. Society will never see you the same way again. There is no reprieve, no climbing out of that dank pit.

But then there are those who take well to the work. Who may even enjoy it. They can’t pull themselves out of the pit any more than their less adept colleagues, but they can stake a claim in the pit. Build a life in the pit. Become the queen of the pit. To those looking in from outside, you’re just another whore. But that is their weakness, their failure to see. And that failure is the Bangtail’s opportunity.

For experience points, hit dice, and saves, the Bangtail progresses as a Specialist. The Bangtail also gains skill points, but does so at half the rate of the Specialist: two at first level, and one at each subsequent level.

Bangtails can spend their skill points on any skill available to Specialists, including Sneak Attack. In addition, there are 3 new skills available only to members of the Bangtail class. All Bangtails start with a 1-in-6 chance for each of these skills.

Bangtail-Only Skills:

Goodtime: If there is an item for sale, and the NPC selling it has any sex drive whatsoever, then the Bangtail can make a Goodtime check. On success, they spend a Watch (4hrs) alone with the seller. In exchange the price of the item is reduced by 5% per level of the Bangtail.

Goodtime checks may also be made during a Haven turn so the Bangtail may ply their trade in whatever town they are in. On a successful check, the Bangtail earns 300 money per level. This money doesn’t grant any experience.

Note: NPC sexuality or curiosity is determined by the success or failure of the check. Nobody is immune simply because they’re not into members of the Bangtail’s expressed gender.

Bedroom Talk: Whores talk. When a Bangtail indicates an NPC, they can make a Bedroom Talk roll to determine if they’ve heard anything about that person. On a successful roll, the Bangtail has heard such stories. The referee may choose from two types of information to give. Either the Bangtail has heard some detailed information about this person’s secrets, or, they have heard shameful stories about that person’s darkest desires.  The latter would certainly be useful as blackmail.

Different people respond to blackmail in different ways of course: some capitulate, others become violent, and still others gamble that no one would believe you even if you did tell. Regardless of the way the NPC reacts, the information you learned is true.

Note: Bedroom Talk checks may only ever be made once per NPC, until the Bangtail increases their base success chance.

Amorous Gymnastics: It is an occupational necessity to practice flexibility. The Bangtail, as in all aspects of their craft, has raised this skill to a form of art. A successful Amorous Gymnastics check allows a Bangtail to fit themselves into spaces that might normally be considered too small, and move freely in those spaces. Using this they could slide through the bars of a prison cell, or hide themselves inside a briefcase. The skill could also be used to escape any bonds, balance under any circumstances, or generally use their body in unusual ways, such as firing a bow with their feet.

Other Bangtail Abilities:

  • In any decently sized town, a Bangtail will be able to make contact with the local network of prostitutes within 1 Watch. This network will be able to provide a safe (if rough) place to sleep when hiding from the authorities, and will know exactly how to help you slip out of town unnoticed if need be. They can also offer a wide variety of information about the city they work in.
  • You don’t make it far as a Bangtail without learning how to avoid trouble. Once per session, when a random encounter is rolled, a Bangtail can announce that they avoid the encounter. They saw the signs of trouble coming, and directed the party away from danger. That encounter doesn’t happen.
  • Despite the skill they’re most known for, the most important skill of a Bangtail is knowing how to talk to people. Bangtails receive a +1 to all social rolls. This increases to +2 at level four, and again to +3 at level seven.

Credit to Mick Reddick for suggesting the name “Bangtail” for me, and thereby inspiring me to create an entirely new class to do justice to that amazingly evocative word.

1d100 Small Town Quirks

Thundarr The Barbarian VillageA way to spice up those bland little settlements of 1d6*100 people that are scattered through your hex maps.

  1. Within the city limits (demarcated by a ring of stones), is a criss-cross of overgrown stone pathways leading all over town. The routes are indirect, but it’s considered extremely rude to step off of the path. Outsiders might be granted a single warning, then face expulsion from the village.
  2. Every home contains the death masks of relatives who have passed. Once a year the townsfolk wear them and mingle in the square, acting out the roles of the deceased.
  3. Each home contains a “fortune flower,” whose health reflects the family’s spiritual well-being and future potential. If the flower dies the house is demolished, and everyone in the family changes their name.
  4. Disputes are settled by tossing a particular type local frog back and forth. After each catch, the person who caught the frog takes a step back. Whoever fails to catch the frog must eat it whole, which usually results in a very bad hallucinogenic trip. The rare good trip is interpreted as meaning that the other person is the truly guilty party, and must somehow have cheated in the frog toss. Thus making them doubly guilty.
  5. Anyone who spends a night in the town must first get the town’s crest branded on their cheek. It’s important to the townsfolk that they be able to recognize anyone who has walked on their town’s soil. The residents themselves don’t have the crest, because they’ll all recognize one another.
  6. Residents always wear masks when outside of their homes. Most are just burlap sacks with holes cut for the eyes, but a few are carved and painted wooden affairs. They won’t discuss why it is they do this, but it’s not because their faces look weird or anything.
  7. Every structure in the village has a name. Person names, like Sarah, John, and Amy. The townsfolk talk about the buildings as though they are people, and refer to a structure’s opinions and emotional states. They aren’t crazy, it’s just an unusual form of animism.
  8. It is considered arrogant and rude to accept food, gifts, or an invitation before first refusing it 3 times. Strangers are not exempted from this assumption. Some of the town’s youth have taken to refusing the first offer three times, and then accepting the second offer. The degree of scandal an individual villager feels about this is proportional to their age.
  9. No single home will ever host more than a single guest at a time, which includes animals. If an adventuring party wishes to stay in town, their lodgings will be divided among multiple families.
  10. No coin or work is expected of visitors for the food they eat or the bed they sleep in while in town. However, visitors are expected to pay for their hospitality by sexually pleasing the village’s elderly, ugly, and mentally deficient residents.
  11. Anybody not wearing weapons in public is considered to be insulting the townsfolk’s martial abilities. “You’re such shitty warriors, I don’t even need weapons to defend myself.” The community will attack in force to prove the outsider wrong.
  12. Villagers believe that disease is a result of social brusqueness and confrontation. They aim to be always pleasant, but mostly they’re just really passive aggressive. If anyone actually is confrontational, the ‘victim’ will usually descend into an intense coughing fit. Whether it’s psychosomatic, or just another layer of passive aggression is unclear.
  13. It is fashionable in the village for women to shave their heads. Very few women have any hair at all, and those who do keep it extremely short.
  14. Each member of the community wears a single iron manacle on their left hand, with a few links of chain dangling from it. These are keepsakes from the town’s founders, who were a band of escaped slaves that successfully fled here to escape their masters.
  15. Any dispute in town is settled with a poetry slam. Any players who are too shy to participate in an actual poetry slam around the table should be considered to have delivered a really piss-poor poem.
  16. When speaking to outsiders, every member of the community claims to be David. David is a 33 year old man who drives mules for a living. They will acknowledge contradictions, but will not concede the point. (“Yes, I clearly am a 94 year old woman. And yet I am not. I am David, a 33 year old man.”)
  17. A community of religious fanatics who believe technology has led man from the path god set him on. They use tools of stone, leather, wood, and bone. Metal objects are absolutely prohibited within the city. They will allow travelers to bury their metals outside town if they wish to enter.
  18. There is a “children’s dormitory” in town where all of the children live. Children’s names are given to them by the town’s elders, and no single adult in the village may claim any specific child as their own offspring. Most adults in the village do show extra attention to their own children, but will be punished for doing so if it is too overt.
  19. While there are visitors in town, the villagers worship whatever god their visitors worship. They will be extremely insistent on knowing what gods the PCs worship, and what the proper form of reverence is.
  20. The dreams of children are of paramount importance, and considered coded harbingers of what is to come. Each family begins the day by reverently listening to the dreams of their children. If any child has a dream that is particularly portentous, a town gathering is called and the dream is repeated for everyone to hear.
  21. Before eating, the each member of the community will ask someone nearby to give them a solid punch in the gut. It’s a practice which dates back to a time of famine, when the punch was meant to make you feel less hungry right before you ate your meager scraps of food.
  22. Once per year, the town holds a lottery. Every man, woman, and child draws lots, and whomever ‘wins’ is beaten to death by the rest of the townsfolk. Tradition holds that if this ritual is ever abandoned, disaster will befall the town.
  23. Disputes are settled through a practice called Sharo. Each participant bludgeons the other with their fists, and whichever of the two shows pain first is the loser.
  24. Children are not considered “real” until their first birthday, when it is much less likely they will die unexpectedly. On this day, they are given a name, and their mother cuts off their father’s scrotum. The father remains a member of the family as a eunuch, honored for doing his duty in fostering a healthy child, and now meant to devote himself to nothing except for that child’s care. Meanwhile, the mother remarries. Women fashion the scrotums they’ve taken into a belt of pouches, denoting their status within the community.
  25. If two village women are pregnant at the same time, they must battle to the death. Thus, children are born only to the strongest parents.
  26. A man’s livestock is his worth, and a representation of his ability to provide for a family. As such men are typically allowed to marry as many women as they have cows.
  27. All of the town’s women learn how to juggle from a young age. Juggling is a deeply ingrained part of the town’s courtship rituals, and a man will always prefer an impressive juggler over an impressive beauty.
  28. Local children may never be seen by visitors. At all. When visitors are spotted approaching the town, the children are hurried into a special windowless building. They must remain there until the visitors leave, and any visitor who sees one of the local children will be sentenced to death by stoning on the spot.
  29. Blessings and good wishes are given by spitting. The locals spit in cooking pots to pray for a good meal, they spit on their weapons to ensure a good hunt, and they spit on visitors to wish them good travels.
  30. Men and woman who don’t live in the same house with one another may only communicate by proxy, or in writing.
  31. There is an unusual flower that grows bountifully in the area, and is consumed with almost every meal. Its effects are notably similar to cocaine.
  32. Each evening the townsfolk gather in the common house to watch a new tattoo being added to one of their number. Everyone in town is covered in dozens of tattoos, and almost everyone has some skill with a needle and ink.
  33. Every single one of the townsfolk is actually some local critter that was polymorphed into a human shape by a drunken wizard. Rabbits, foxes, frogs, spiders, etc. They retain a semblance of their lower instincts, but they think and function as well as you or I. And after more than a decade, they’re very comfortable being human. They’re terrified of being found out and returned to their natural state. Any visitor that might have Dispell Magic prepared will be turned away, but they will otherwise do their best to act natural.
  34. All town activity stops abruptly at noon for a ritual dance. It is announced by a bell rung by a cripple, and everyone performs the dance wherever they happen to be standing when they hear it. The dance lasts 13 minutes.
  35. Everyone in town wears matching uniforms. A drab grey and brown tunic and breeches, skillfully hemmed. Everyone is clean shaven, with their hair in a long ponytail. Each tunic has a bright red band at chest height, which the townsfolk take pains to keep clean.
  36. A Displacer Beast wanders the town freely. The townsfolk will step out of its path if it is approaching, and allow it to wander freely in and out of their homes. They provide it with food and reverence, and in turn they believe it protects them from evil.
  37. When animals are slaughtered for their meat, it is believed that they must be made to suffer before their death. Several methods of torturous death have been devised for various animals. It is believed that eating meat that was made to experience pain will protect the consumer from suffering in their own life.
  38. There are layers upon layers of conspiracy in the town. Plots and counter plots, all with the eventual goal of bringing down the mayor and replacing him with a man of the people. Nobody seems to understand why this is ridiculous in such a small community.
  39. A unique, deck-building card game using tarot cards is insanely popular in town. Visitors will be asked to play by nearly everyone they meet.
  40. At birth, everyone is bitten by a particular local snake. If they live, they’ll have a splotchy scar from the venom. The shape of the scar is then used to determine something about their future, and the way they ought to be raised.
  41. Each structure in town is a unique color. Any new structures must be painted in a color that has not been used yet.
  42. The townsfolk touch butts with people as a greeting, the same way decent god-fearing folk shake hands or wave.
  43. The townsfolk are a group of time travelers. They became trapped here in the past, and are determined not to disrupt the timeline.
  44. The village is a nudist colony. Nobody minds if you bring weapons into town, but clothing and armor are absolutely banned from being worn.
  45. Bathing is considered unlucky. Nobody will want to be anywhere near a traveler who is “too clean.”
  46. A smithocracy. Whomever is able to make the most impressive object is elevated to be the town’s ruler.
  47. A settlement of people from a far off culture. One which is extremely out of place here. Like a Japanese village in the middle of 16th century France. They have a very good reason for being here.
  48. The mayor is a cat. The townsfolk take this as seriously as you think they ought to.
  49. The town is a secret haven for those who practice a completely innocuous, but also highly illegal religion. They live in fear of anyone associated with the dominant religion of the area.
  50. The town is run like a military fort. The people pursue their industry (farming, trading, etc.), but they also build walls, train with weapons, and have guard rotations. Their preparedness is as impressive as it is out of place.
  51. The locals place their dead in a nearby peat bog. Once the bodies are well preserved, they’re pulled out. Each body spends several years being moved around the village. Sitting in chairs, leaning against walls, etc. After a time they are finally buried beneath whatever house they originally lived in.
  52. The town uses its own internal currency.
  53. The town’s founding myth speaks of horrible giants that tortured their forebears. All doors are 5′ 11″ high. Anyone who has to duck to walk through them is unwelcome in the town and must wait outside.
  54. The town has a communal poop-pit for making Jenkams.
  55. A full kiss on the mouth is the standard greeting.
  56. Visitors are expected to provide entertainment in the evening.
  57. The town is divided into two teams, based on the town’s two founders. Everything is scored.
  58. At the center of town is a large board. The surprisingly literate townsfolk have lengthy written discussions about important matters of the day by posting messages to this board.
  59. The town has an official storyteller who spends the day walking around and observing the happenings in town. Each work day ends by gathering to hear the storyteller share what he saw that day.
  60. All visitors must wear a special hat. It’s bright pink and utterly ridiculous.
  61. Everyone in town insists that they’re all badgers in human suits. It’s an inside joke. You’d have had to be there.
  62. The town was an experiment by the church. A number of particularly pious priests and nuns were released from their vows of chastity and told to build the perfect, most godly community. Since that particular piety was the result of these folks being gay, they performed their new duties only with the utmost resentment for the act. They’ve created a town this is punishingly repressive, and even hostile towards sex.
  63. It’s one of the player’s childhood villages. In the wrong place, but otherwise exactly as it was when they were a child. If they go looking they may even be able to find themselves as a child.
  64. The town has a corporate structure, with everything being owned by the town council. The mayor directs the town’s industry, and the mayor’s directions are implemented by overseers. The townsfolk are payed a relatively small fixed amount for their labor, (minus rent).
  65. The town is a commune with no obvious hierarchy. The town’s money is pooled together in a vault, and only used when dealing with outsiders. Otherwise, everyone merely does what jobs they’re able, and is given what they need.
  66. This village is well off the beaten path, and rarely receives visitors. They haven’t gotten any news of the outside world in 20+ years.
  67. They have an intense rivalry with a neighboring town. There is very little at stake really, but emotions run high. Assassinations are not uncommon.
  68. There are two towns. One where all of the men reside, and one where all of the women reside. They’re a day’s travel apart from one another. Randomly determine which one your players have encountered.
  69. A village populated entirely by the elderly. Several other villages in the area expel their elderly and send them here, where they live together and eke out an existence as best they can. They are considered dead by the outside world.
  70. Four years ago, a plague ravaged this village. Almost overnight anyone who had gone through puberty died, leaving only children behind. The oldest kids are now about 17 years old, and they’ve been on their own for awhile. They’ve got a system worked out for themselves, but they lack a lot of necessary education, so it’s not a very good system.
  71. The townsfolk have a unique and complicated moral code involving food. It’s nearly a certainty that if they see anyone from outside their community eating, they will find some food combination, utensil use, or chewing pattern to be reprehensible.
  72. The town is highly democratic. Citizens are passionate about their civic duties, and they gather to discuss new laws weekly. Each week operates under a significantly revised legal code.
  73. The townsfolk place a high value on personal honor. Like a drunk Spaniard, or a racist’s depiction of an Asian person.
  74. The townsfolk have a completely unique language.
  75. The people in town are argumentative to the point of insanity. Play them like a living incarnation of youtube comments.
  76. The town was founded by a group of sexual deviants who just couldn’t deal with sexual repression of common society. They know how to present a “normal” face to outsiders to prevent lynch mobs from showing up, but when there’s nobody around they have a lot of orgies.
  77. Everyone in town acts very suspiciously. There’s no reason for it, it’s just the way the local dialect and customs developed.
  78. The locals are all eldritch lizardfolk wearing human skins.
  79. The village is trapped in an infinite timeloop, living the same day over and over again, but none of them realize it. Fortunately, visitors are not affected by this.
  80. Once a visitor has been welcomed within the town, they will not be allowed to leave until the omens for their departure are good.
  81. Visitors are highly prized for their stories.
  82. Visitors are highly prized for their meat
  83. The town issued a letter of secession 12 years ago, and no one has noticed yet. They firmly believe themselves to be a sovereign nation.
  84. Everyone in town wears a mirror around their neck so that people can see what they look like when they talk. They believe it prevents people from “acting with an ugly spirit.”
  85. The local noble is a dilettante for social improvement. They’ve set up this village as a model town. It’s very pretty and well manicured. The peasants are all required to attend classes each day on etiquette, history, and philosophy. The townsfolk are too exhausted after the long days of work they still have to perform to really do well in these classes, and everyone involved is just getting more and more frustrated.
  86. The townsfolk are actually a group of nobles “roughing it.” The real villagers have mostly been displaced, save a few who are there to show the nobles how things are done.
  87. Strapping large tree branches to one’s back and head has become very fashionable.
  88. Capes are fashionable. As are constant flourishes.
  89. Mustaches are so fashionable that the women wear fake ones.
  90. At first glance, the town appears to be composed entirely of women. In fact, the men of this town are excellent cross dressers. It’s a practice they began as a means of avoiding being called to war, but after 15 years this androgyny has become a way of life. Many of the actual women are entirely fed up with the practice.
  91. An experimental music collective has taken up in the town. There are nightly performances with instruments that were invented just earlier that day. Things like captured birds squeezed by leather belts, logs rhythmically rolled in mud, or tiny hammers used to tap a person’s teeth.
  92. The lands belongs to a far off noble lady who has never so much as visited. She has the whole town carving cat figurines for no real reason.
  93. The town is a haven for bandits and burglars. Everyone in town is somehow involved, even if they’re just working as farmers to maintain the illusion that it’s a normal town.
  94. A con artist impersonating the town’s distant lord has taken up residence. They’ve got the whole town catering to their whims, but they’re being careful not to push anybody too far.
  95. The townsfolk have been cursed. They are all nocturnal.
  96. The townsfolk have been cursed to age at 3x the normal rate.
  97. The townsfolk have been cursed to be incorporeal to other living creatures. They can interact with the world around them, pick up and manipulate physical objects. But if they touch another person, they will pass right through them. None of them have touched another human being in years.
  98. There was an omnipotent child terrorizing the town, forcing every adult to bend to their whims. The child is still there, and still terrorizing the townsfolk, but they somehow lost their omnipotence. They’re just a normal 11 year old kid now, and they’re terrified of what’s going to happen when everybody realizes it.
  99. The townsfolk are cursed so that each one of them believes that they have an imaginary loved one being held at knife-point nearby. Their completely fictional loved one will be killed unless they act natural.
  100. The people of the town are the dream of a wizard on the other side of the world whose mind is leaking. While the wizard sleeps, the people are entirely real, but they disappear when he is awake.

Jumping on a 2-Year Old Bandwagon: Replacing +1 Swords

maxresdefaultIn 2014 it was fashionable to post evocative alternatives to +1 swords. Gus did it. Courtney did it. Arnold did it. Errybody did it. I wasn’t blogging much at the time, but I really enjoyed reading those. I miss reading them. So I’m gonna write one.

The Mugger’s Choice:  On a natural 20, the wound dealt to the target becomes a geyser of money! 1d100 coins spray across the room, making a terrible racket. Literal blood money!

Sword of Justification: If used to slay a human or human-like creature, the Sword of Justification will cause the corpse to undergo a gruesome metamorphosis. It will contort itself into monstrous shapes, growing horns or fur, oozing black blood, and reeking of sulfur and brimstone. The specific shape will vary, but no one looking at the result will imagine it was anything but an evil creature.

Immovable Sword – There’s a switch on the hilt which locks the swords position relative to its environment. It’ll stay floating in mid air if you tell it to. Like an immovable rod, but a sword. Useful for setting impromptu traps.

Self Preservation Sword – Anytime a save v. breath is required, both wielder and sword attempt the save. (Sword saves as a 1st level fighter.) If the sword saves and the wielder do not, the wielder can make a strength check to hold on to the sword. If they succeed, the sword pulls them along with it and effectively makes their save for them. If they fail, their sword flies out of their hands.

Chewing Sword: Each miss with this sword deals 1 notch of damage to the opponent’s weapon. Standard weapons can take 6 notches before they break and become useless. Does not work against unarmed characters, or characters using natural weapons.

The No-Blade: A hilt without any blade. When the crossbar of the hilt is tapped against a material, a blade of that material grows from the hilt, and lasts for 10 minutes. All blade materials are functional, but most have quirks. Dirt blades deal 1d4 damage and only work for one hit, stone blades deal 1d6 but break on a 1, wood blades can be lit on fire to deal +1d6 damage for 3 rounds until they’ve been burned to the point of uselessness, metal blades work normally. Be creative. What do blades of grass, bone, crystal, clay, or flesh do?

Binding Blade: On a successful attack the wielder may choose for the sword to become a pair of manacles binding the humanoid target instead of dealing damage. Target may save v. magic to avoid. On a successful save, the sword does not transform, and the wielder may continue using it.

Spelltning Swo-Rod: Comes with a special lead-lined scabbard. If this weapon is drawn, then the wielder becomes the target of any spell cast within their general vicinity. Every “Cure Light Wounds” and “Fireball” will be centered on the person holding the Spelltning Swo-Rod, even if they are technically out of the spell’s range. Note that casters may not immediately catch on to this fact. The cleric may notice that their healing spell didn’t work, but they won’t instinctively know that someone else nearby was healed.

Charming Sword: On a successful hit, instead of dealing damage, the player may opt to make a new reaction roll. If the result is better than neutral, the enemy will be willing to forgive and forget the battle up to this point. If the party then resumes hostilities, their foe gains a +2 to all attack rolls due to their outrage at the bad manners of the party.

The Sword of Second Chances: The blade of this sword is the shaved finger bone of a titan, with sharp bits of steel inlaid around the edge. When it cuts an intelligent living creature, noises come from within the wounds. There’s someone behind them. They might speak, voicing their confusion over what is happening.

If the Sword of Second Chances delivers the killing blow, then the newly dead corpse will shortly be torn apart. A person will emerge, like a chicken from an egg. Within the last 25 years of your campaign world, this person died an unnatural death within 100 miles of the wielder’s current location. Whether or not they deserved it may not be immediately apparent. They’ve been stuck in the afterlife for who knows how long, and now they’ve got a second chance. Perhaps they’ll run off to find their family, perhaps they’ll join the party out of gratitude, or perhaps the players just resurrected a serial killer. Who really knows?

The Wall-Slidy Sword: When the blade is touched to a wall, the character can slide down it at a rate of 20′ per round, allowing them to reach a safe landing below. Using the sword in this capacity causes a shower of sparks to illuminate the character’s descent, and elicits screeching sound that’ll make the rest of the party want to act passive aggressively towards the wielder for a few turns. Also it may mimic the mating squawk of the Biting Leatherhorn. So watch out for those.

The Reflection Holding Blade: A wide blade polished to a mirror sheen. By use of a command word, the reflection on the blade can be frozen, causing whatever image is currently being reflected to remain visible on the blade until the reverse command word is uttered. Will eventually be made obsolete by camera phones.

The Useless Sword: Damage dealt with this weapon only lasts 24 hours. After that, wounds will slowly knit themselves back together, even to the point of reversing death or decapitation. Note that it is only wounds dealt with this particular weapon that are reversed, So if the corpse is burned after being killed with the Useless Sword, it’s not gonna un-burn itself.

The Blage of Empires: If two turns (20 minutes) are spent striking at a piece of stone, that stone will catch on fire and burn like wood. This fire can spread to other stones of similar composition, but it will not spread to wood or other typically flammable material. Nor will it spread to different types of stone. The Blage of Empires is never dulled or broken by striking at stone.

The Sword which is Not Yours – The wielder may summon a 7th level fighter in gleaming armor, who will appear from around the nearest corner or through the nearest doorway. When the fighter sees her “squire” in danger, she will hold out her hand and call for the PC to give her her sword. Once she has it, she will join the fray with wild abandon. When the danger is passed, she will thank her squire for caring for her weapon, and depart with the sword.

The Sword of Weeping Mothers: Though it appears normal, out of the corner of your eye this sword sometimes appears to, for lack of a better word, “pulse.” Any time this blade deals damage, eyes look out from the wound it opens. They appear bloodshot, and afraid. If anyone with one of these wounds drops to 4 hit points or less, the eyes bulge, trying to press out of the body, and dealing 1d3 damage. If this damage kills the target, a dozen screaming shadows rocket into the distance and fade into nothingness. Something bad happens in the nearest community. The referee is encouraged to be creative, but to be clear, we’re talking “pile of dead children” levels of bad. Whether or not the players ever know about it, it does happen.

Bit of a tone shift from the rest of these, I know.

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