Sunday, 31 March 2013

assorted oils and ointments

 Table XV: A dozen oils and ointments.
  1. Almond balm in blue enamel tin
    When smeared on face and hands, gives +2 on saves against cold damage or penalties.
  2. Bitter chrism in tiny crystal vials.
    When applied to brow, gives a +2 to saving throws vs. charm or possession.
  3. Dark oil in clay bottle for taming unruly hair. 
    If applied to the hair, reduce any Charisma reaction penalty by 1 due to grooming.
  4. Herbal paste in black pot 
    Enough blade venom to poison a single-handed blade, spearhead or five arrows or crossbow heads.  For next 1d4 hits, save or take 1d4 extra damage.
  5. Liniment in small copper bottle.
    Heals 1d4 Strength damage when rubbed into muscles (takes 1 turn).
  6. Oil with pickled spices within.
    Makes any food cooked with it most excellent.  Worth 2d6 gp to connoiseurs.
  7. Ointment in red wood jars.
    Helps soothe pain.  Each jar heals one hit point in a 24 hour period.
  8. Pungent paste in sealed clay jars.
    Negates ability to track by scent for 1d6 hours due to persistent odour of rotting violets.
  9. Sweet salve in yellow wax jar. 
    Made from royal jelly, applied all over a naked body it reduces physical age by 1 year.
  10. Unguent in white clay bottle.
    Adds +1 to Charisma for 1d8 hours when rubbed into face and hands.
  11. Urn of exotic oily scent.
    Negates bad smells and gives +1 on reaction rolls with humans and humanoids.
  12. Witches ointment in a black clay jar. 
    Whoever anoints their naked body can fly (as spell) for 1 turn.

Friday, 29 March 2013

still more unlikely treasures

Roll d12 for the loot
  1. Hauberk of gold-plated chainmail (300gp) - A steel chain shirt covering torso and shoulders in superior gold-plating which resists blades or corrosion.  Functional and aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Intricately-engraved steel breastplate fitted with silvered armour spikes (275gp) - Those attempting to grapple or constrict the wearer take 1d6 damage.  Suitable for a dwarf or small human.
  3. Jarrah-wood coffer with fifteen paper-wrapped packets of saffron (250gp) - Each packet holds  a pound of saffron (worth 15gp).  The coffer is worth 25gp and weighs 5lbs.  Weight is 20lbs.
  4. Khopesh-shaped letter opener in platinum (250gp) - Novelty item and material component.
  5. Long coat with hood made of tiger fur (250gp) - Might raise a few eyebrows... particularly if there are weretigers in the immediate vicinity.  Suitable for a human or half-orc.
  6. Maroon leather bound navigator's chronicle with star charts (250gp) - A weighty tome with star charts that if consulted against a clear night sky grant an Intelligence check to determine rough location and season.  It also contains a navigator's chronicle which if consulted for 1d4 hours prior gives a +2 bonus to any navigation checks to avoid getting lost. 
  7. Necklace of cabochon-cut aquamarines (250gp) - Low-quality stones on a silver chain. 
  8. Owlbear-fur jacket with feathered mantle collar and carved ivory buttons (250gp) - Worthy of royalty, the feathered collar and shoulders make it distinctive.  There are ten carved ivory buttons with ornate skull icons (5gp each), lost buttons decrease the garment's value.  Suitable for a human.
  9. Portrait of elven maiden smiling enigmatically (250gp) - Ornate frame and canvas weigh 10lbs.
  10. Repeating light crossbow with lever-arm action and magazine of 5 bolts (250gp) - If there are bolts in the magazine, the crossbow can be reloaded without losing an action or movement.  Loading a magazine onto the crossbow or loading a magazine with bolts takes a full round.
  11. Simple ring of white gold (225gp) - May have been a wedding band once.
  12. Tarred box containing equipment for forgery of documents (200gp) - A box holding diverse inks, quills, styli, papers, sealing waxes, seal blanks and small knives.  This grants a +2 bonus to rolls to forging documents.  Has d6+4 uses left. Weighs 6lbs.

Monday, 25 March 2013


No.App: 1 (2d4)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d4 + possible disease
Save: F1
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None

These flightless, filth-caked giant bats grow tall as bears grazing fungal forests like emaciated giant sloths.  They navigate dark areas with clicking sounds and excellent vision.  Waddling on hind legs, gorilla-esque arms and webbed fingers scoop fungi into mouths and smear filth.  Their stench is part brimstone, part latrine.  This evolved as a defence against predators and also helps nourish their food supply.  They are usually peaceful but attack if provoked.  Brutyarasa carry disease, their bite has a 10% chance of infection, a save vs. poison is needed.  Failure means death in 1d6 days.  Success leads to incapacitating sickness for 30 days, with 25% chance of death.  A cure disease spell is effective against this infection.  Brutyarasa dislike water and try to avoid it.

Friday, 15 March 2013

even more unlikely treasures

Roll d12 for the loot!
  1. Jacket made of seal fur (120gp) - Will keep wearer warm and dry in wet weather.  Selkies will not be your friend and may wish to do something about this fashion choice.
  2. Knotted rope made from giant spider silk (100gp) - This 40' rope (50' unknotted) is three times as strong as normal rope and gives a -4 penalty (-20%) to escape or breaking attempts. Weighs 4lb.
  3. Leather bound small box containing common remedies against poison (100gp) - This gives a +3 bonus on checks to treat poisoning or a new saving throw at +3 against an afflicted victim who isn't already dead yet.  Weighs 3lbs and has 1d6+4 uses.
  4. Maroon silk vest with six obsidian buttons (110gp) - The buttons are polished to a mirror-shine (worth 10gp each) and this item is sized for a large human.
  5. Neck guard of steel-backed black sharkskin with silver spikes (80gp) - Wearer gets +1 AC bonus against neck attacks (e.g. vampire bites, decapitating attacks). Anyone biting or grappling the wearer's neck takes 1d4 damage.  Suited to a human or dwarf wearer.
  6. Ornate brass signet ring in coiled serpent design with two freshwater pearls for eyes (90gp) - This ring has a poison pill compartment (empty alas) needing a pick pockets/sleight-of-hand check to use unseen.  Finding the compartment is as easy as finding a secret door.  The seal is of a reputable house of artisans.  If the eyes are removed, each is worth 10gp.  
  7. Pennant of crimson silk with white starburst edged with freshwater pearls (100gp) - There are twenty-four poor-quality freshwater pearls, each worth 1d3gp.  Removing these will ruin the pennant.
  8. Quartz-studded cloth-of-silver dancing girl's outfit (100gp) - Suitable for a human or half-elf with thirty-two pieces of poor-quality rock crystal , each worth 2gp.  Removing these will ruin the outfit.
  9. Religious text bound in supple pale leather covers (100gp) - When consulted for 1d4 hours, character gains a +1 to their next saving throw vs. death having commended their soul to a higher power for the next 24 hours  DM is encouraged to include one or more clues about mysterious holy sites that may involve a dungeon.
  10. Silvered short sword with bloodstone set in cross-piece (90gp) - Flanges on the cross-piece means the bloodstone (50gp gem) can be removed or replaced with a gem of similar size (DM's fiat).  
  11. Tiara of silver filigree with five tiger's eyes set on tines to resemble eyestalks (100gp) - Odd non-magical jewelry commissioned by odd magical people.
  12. Unholy symbol in solid gold (100gp) - Exquisite craftsmanship makes this very valuable despite only weighing 1lb.  If melted down, worth 50gp by weight.  If purified or destroyed by a good cleric, paladin or similar worthy, this act is worth 100xp.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

inns & taverns: the wool and wolf

The Wool and Wolf is a south-facing tavern famed for wine and tell-tale scratches.  Lovers know few superior locales for rendezvous.  A short ride from town on a worn track reveals the Wool and Wolf and it's stables.  Sometimes music drifts through the air.  A white lamb and black wolf nose to tail with each other adorn the red sign.  "Wool and Wolf" is etched beneath. 

The tavern is rectangular, two-storey with flat brick roof, spacious porch and vine-laden iron trellises.  Roses are grown at the corners.  At the back is a single-storey stone stable that can hold five horses in comfort.  A neat orchard of apple and cherry offers shelter.  Individual trees are decorated with strips of cloth. 

Inside reveals a former hunting lodge with beams and paneling carved with hunts and courtly love.  Trophies of wolf, bear and boar are prominent features.  Folding screens of linen over wicker conceal lovers' seats from view in dim corners and alcoves.  Three eight-seat trestles dominate the common area.  The tavern can seat another two dozen in alcoves, corners and nooks suitable for close couples.

The Wool and Wolf sells brown lambic ale, crisp cider and sweet cyser at four copper.  A silver buys strong mead or excellent kriek.  A bottle of good red wine is 2sp, an excellent red is also sold for 10gp.  Cold winter nights see mulled wine and lambswool (spiced mulled cider) served and the orchard wassailed.  A variety of food is offered.  Boar sausage, pigeon pies, honey bread and goat's cheese are available for a handful of silver.  All are expertly cooked and spiced.

The landlord Hericio is a stocky fortysomething.    His elf-locked tawny hair, silver tongue and burly frame were swooned over ten years ago.  Age and revelry took a toll.  Now eloquent and well-heeled mentor to lotharios, his youth is fondly recalled in a brewing retirement.  His bodyservant (and business partner) Plannear facilitates.  Older, fatter, bumbling yet penny-wise, Plannear keeps wealth rolling in by deals and discreet help.  Olwin and Thena, a garrulous brother and sister cook.  Four maids serve ale and clean rooms, finding suitable matches or opportunities within two years.           

The Wool and Wolf has five intimate suites for 2gp a night with warm goosedown comforters.  The common room is 5sp.  For 20gp a night, lovers of luxury can enjoy a sumptuous honeymoon suite with a banquet.  All guests get warm blankets of wolf fur.  Hericio will offer the blankets to common room guests but stays close-lipped on their origin.

A quiet trade is done for those suffering from lycanthropy.  A tour of the 'famous cellar' for two silver is offered.  Beneath the cellar is a secret door hidden in a cobwebbed hogshead with a dubiously clean front.  Opening the front of the massive barrel reveals a ladder.  Descending it reveals two rows of five cells.  Each iron-bound cell door is barred and deadbolted in the floor, all on the outside.  In each cell are silvered manacles and cot.  'Guests' are locked up, given a skin of drugged wine and locked in for the night.

Hericio and Plannear have experience in dealing with lycanthropes, their families lost to packs of werewolves.  They not only advise romantics but also werewolf hunters.  This has led to ties with certain families and churches sworn to cure or destroy lycanthropy.  This has helped the Wool and Wolf maintain respectability when scandal raises it's ugly head.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

assorted dungeon ceilings

Roll 1d12 if you're redecorating.
  1. Billowing suspended drapes lends an opulent air.  The drapes are neatly repaired canvas in strong colours and treated to resist flames.
  2. Dome with shaft of light coming down from cupola (circular hole in the top of the dome).  The cupola might rarely drip with water.
  3. Dripping ceiling with water drops splashing 1d6 party members each round with icy-cold, dirty water and staining their cloaks or shoulders.
  4. Fresco resplendent with fine artistic interpretations of maidens, heroes and the gods.  Artwork is uplifting and inspires wonder in it's viewers.
  5. Glowing cracks in the ceiling emit heat and light equal to a coal fire though light provided is greenish-white and flickering.
  6. Hooks set in the ceiling at regular intervals (d6+4 feet apart) for the suspension of objects or chains; the room may have multiple purposes.
  7. Illusion of night sky with strange stars and 1d4 moons.   Some constellations are familiar but seen from a different perspective.
  8. Kaleidoscopic mosaic that shifts in slow geometric patterns.  Distracts the weak-willed and gullible (add Wis penalty to initiative).
  9. Netting hangs in long hammocks capable of supporting bundles of items large enough to stay caught in the mesh of the net.
  10. Painted ceiling showing maps of neighbouring nations with location of dungeon at the map's centre.
  11. Racks suspended from ceiling holds selection of equipment in readiness for use.  Arms and armour may be typical, climbing gear is less so...
  12. Strange sculpture of metal and glass casts shadows of leafy boughs on the upper walls when lit by torchlight.
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