Blog Archives

Warrior Christmas

“So what does Santa do the other 363 days a year?”
“He kills people.”
“WHAT?!?”
“Well, he mostly sends Krampus and Père Fouettard for minor wetworks, but for big targets the Kringlenator does the deed himself. Knecht Ruprecht keeps the operation’s books. That naughty list doesn’t whittle itself down you know, and if you were an immortal with perfect knowledge of people’s sins, the ability to access any stronghold, instant transportation, and limitless wealth and resources, what would YOU do with it?”
“Get laid?”
“And Mrs. Claus is a hottie, to be sure. But she can also gut a man with a cookie cutter in 5 seconds flat.”
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Updated List of Very Fantasy Words

The most recent update to the Revised, Partial List of Very Fantasy Words!
Here!

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Random Game Idea: Order of the Desert Rose

The Order of the Desert Rose are poisoners and assassins second to none. As fair warning, each has an adenium flower tattoo no smaller than the palm of their hand somewhere on their body. Some of the order choose for this to be visible. Others place it in a more easily concealed location. The order has numerous contact poisons they are themselves immune to, or take the antidote daily. Thus any unwanted contact with a Desert Rose can result in death.

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Straight 18s

For many years, I secretly harbored the knowledge that I HAD rolled a character with straight 18s for a 1e D&D game. And that bothered me, because I know the odds against doing that were… huge. Beyond any reasonable chance of it happening. And yet, I remembered it happening.

But it hadn’t.

During one of my recent moves, I found the character in question — Buskirk, an elven rogue/fighter/magic-user (multiclassing and demi-humans were weird in 1e). And I made two startling discoveries.

First, he didn’t have all 18s. It was three 18s, and three 16s. Awesome, but not the same.

Second, those ability scores were rolled using a method from the 1e Unearthed Arcana, rolling 9d6 for your primary ability score *and keeping the best 3), then 8d6, then 7d6, and so on, down to 3d6. I know this because I wrote down the results of all the dice on the back of the character sheet when I first made the character. I haven’t done the math on this, but it obviously produces higher ability scores.

So, memory vs reality. I can see why I remembered it the way I did… but my instinct that there must be something wrong with such a spectacularly unlikely result (astronomical in scale) was accurate.

Memory has been shown to be spectacularly unreliable, and yet many of us cling to it as our most trusted information source.

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Updated List of Very Fantasy Words

A weekly (?) update to the Revised, Partial List of Very Fantasy Words!
Here!

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A (Revised, Partial) List of Very Fantasy Words

Real, not newly-minted, words, I almost never encounter outside a fantasy RPG or novel. Note that I intentionally don’t give definitions. If a word looks cool, go look it up! I love projects that expand people’s vocabulary.

Some of these are tied to a concept that just doesn’t come up much outside of fantasy. others are just terms that sound cool and get bolted on to fantasy to give it a more mysterious feel, or that got used in pulps and similar stories enough that they have a cachet with fantasy fans.

Newest entries are bolded.

Adamant
Analect
Argute
Aspergillum
Baleful
Barrow
Bulwark
Caer
Cantillate
Cerulean
Chiliad

Chronicle
Codex
Cozen
Croft
Cthonic
Deliquesce
Dexter
Dimunition
Disenthral
Deosil or deasil
Dour
Draff
Draught
Eerie
Effable (though ineffable is much more common)
Ensorcel
Ethereal
Famulus
Fane
Fel
Flagon
Folio
Froward
Furuncle
Geas
Glyph
Harbinger
Harrow/harrowers
Haruspex
Haversack
Hind
Imbue
Incunabulum
Inunct

Justicier
Karst
Kava
Keck
Kedge
Kef
Kith
Kurgan
Kyrie
Lanthorn
Legerdemain
Lexicon
Liripipe
Lucubration
Miscibility
Mudlark
Nacarat

Nacre
Naos
Naphtha
Narthex
Naze
Necrologue
Nephilim
Oculus
Offal
Orrery
Ossuary
Oubliette
Palimpsest
Pavonine
Periapt
Phial
Phylactery
Potable
Previse
Puissant
Querulous
Quaff
Raconteur
Realm
Reliquary
Rill
Sage
Scofflaw
Scry
Seer
Solander
Souk (or souq)
Sup
Sward
Tabor
Taciturn
Talisman
Thalassic
Thew
Tincture
Tome
Troth
Tumulus
Tunic
Umber
Umbrage
Undercroft
Uroboros
Valiant
Venerable
Wain
Weir
Welkin
Widdershins
Yale
Yeoman/Yeowoman
Ylem

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SSAI: A Fist Full of Quarters

Super-Short Adventure Ideas

Tell players to bring as many 1st level characters as they want for a special event. Create a short adventure of CR 5 to 6 encounters, but with no one monster above CR 3.

Tell the players you EXPECT them to die. even to have TPKs. But they are playing their characters as a cross between PCs in a MMORPG and an arcade game. The group has a number of total extra characters equal to twice as many encounters you’ve prepared. When someone dies, they bring in a new character (their own or someone else’s) and expend one extra life.

If you want, you can also ask them about the fictional normal people playing this fictional arcade MMORPG. Then, when they finally beat the adventure, tell them that the fictional players they discussed are now trapped in the bodies of their fictional MMORPG characters, and begin a WarQuest World campaign.

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SSAI: Change!

Super-Short Adventure Ideas

Any level PCs, but the players must never have played them before. Specifically tell them not to worry much about character backgrounds, just have a name and description with 2 visual details.
The PCs are all guarding a nobleman. Tell the players not to worry about why.
Assassins burst in… and try to kill the PCs, screaming for the nobleman to run.
The first time each PC is injured, that PC is revealed to be a doppleganger.
The doppleganger PCs literally don’t remember their past, or why they were standing around the nobleman…
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SSAI: Summoned!

Super-Short Adventure Ideas

Take 1st level characters.
They don’t have to know each other, or even be in the same kingdom.
Without warning, they are all gated to the Astral Plane, where a lantern archon cleric has summoned them (using the spell Hero Summoning I) to protect it and the rest of its lantern archon adventuring party from astral goblins (or whatever).
They only stay 3 rounds, because the lantern archon cleric is only 3rd level.
If a PC dies, they return to their home plane, uninjured.
The same PCs get summoned, 2-3 times a day, by the same lantern archon cleric. The PCs begin to realize the lantern archon summoning them is trying to save their world, and it’s not doing so well. Of course, the PCs have lots of free time to research its problems, and buy gear to help them deal with the lantern archon’s enemies when they get summoned…
Fun ensues.

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SSAI: Sharks!

Super-Short Adventure Ideas

Take 1st-4th level characters.
Put them on a map of a inn, fort, town square, or whatever.
Suddenly flood it to a depth of 4 feet.
While the PCs move to high ground, add sharks.
Explain how this happened later. For now, they must deal with sharks.
Fun ensues.

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