Thursday, June 29, 2017

50 Reasons Why The Peasants Are Revolting

1. The local ruler is putting up exorbitant taxes in order to create a massive statue of himself
2. The bastard son of the local baron is riling them up to retake the throne
3. Tax collectors are assholes
4. Someone's sister committed suicide and now people who besmirched her honor enough for her to fall into sorrow must die
5. The people want democratic rule for themselves
6. Occupying forces of a nearby liege lord aren't nice to the people in whose homes they are quartered
7. The nobles are decadent and degenerate
8. The nobles refuse to partake in any orgies or cult sacrifices what awful prudes
9. The local priests of the church call for a spiritual ascension
10. Smugglers are tired of having to avoid local officials and seek to plunge the area in chaos to smuggle their goods
11. Those aren't peasants they are foreign military forces in disguise
12. Those aren't peasants they are illusions conjured by a vile wizard
13. Those aren't peasants they are actually nobles in disguise trying to see how the lesser folk live
14. Wandering nobles have begun cutting down peasants in order to test out new swords
15. Rich merchants refuse to pay weregilds
16. Some asshole wizard ruined all the local Feng Shui
17. Usury keeps many in poverty
18. Some merchants have built a dam on the local river drying out all of the farmland
19. A foul omen rises in the sky invoking the end of days
20. New laws passed restricting the colors the peasants can wear
21. New laws passed restricting the colors the peasants can look at
22. New laws passed taxing reasonable things (land)
23. New laws passed taxing unreasonable things (salt)
24. New laws passed taxing incredibly unreasonable things (usage of sunlight by a man's plants)
25. New laws passed cutting the beards off of men
26. It hasn't rained in 3 months
27. It has kept raining for 3 months
28. It's a local tradition for the peasants to revolt, if the ruler cannot stop it they lose the mandate of heaven
29. Famine ravages the land leaving many hungry
30. Another noble is financing the rebellion so his rival can lose face in the royal court
31. Bandits want to take over and rule the region and happen to be loved by the populace
32. All the booze is gone and no-one can figure out how
33. A local town elder has been lynched on rather flimsy circumstances
34. A massive tragedy was actually fake and a wide conspiracy was kept to make people believe in it
35. Repeating dreams that all of the peasants share tell them to revolt
36. A massive bet between the peasants has gotten incredibly out of hand
37. The pope has sent in copious amounts of church militants to ensure no one fornicates or even masturbates
38. Ghosts of the deceased count beg them to kill his son so that he cannot plunge the county into despair
39. War looms and the army has begun forcibly conscripting people into service
40. The local nobility is secretly a monster
41. A noble was killed by a small boy with a rock and now nobles have begun rounding up all the rocks because they are too powerful for the common man
42. A local pie-maker is refusing to make anymore pies because his daughter's fiance chose the pies over rescuing his daughter from local bandits. Everyone loves his pies
43. Many men have returned from war and now are bored
44. Traveling Outlanders have done something terrible and are now hiding from the consequences of their actions
45. Two local sports heroes have been sentenced to prison and now their fans are joing forces to riot
46. A local tournament has been announced to see who is the strongest in the land and the first round is a massive free for all
47. The local lawman is trying to make it illegal to make sweet love your cousin
48. A wandering man spontaneously exploded and mass hysteria grips the people
49. There is no rebellion; this is merely a ruse for people to request money and supplies
50. A result of poor-breeding

Polite Lands Bestiary (Monster Description, Statistics, and Marks)


Author's Notes: Monster Statistics are given in the following notation:
HD – This refers to how many Hit Dice a monster possess and accordingly it’s bonus to hit
Def – This refers to the bonus a monster receives to its base armor class or defense rating 
Dam – This refers to how much damage a monster deals with one of its attacks
Movement – This refers to the distance/speed with which a monster moves a score of 12 being equal to an unencumbered man
Save – This refers to a monster’s chance to ignore magical or mundane effects out of 20. This would be ignorable if your system of choice does not give monster saves if not for a Save statistic of 20 meaning a monster is immune to magic.
Morale – This refers to a monster’s likelihood to flee from combat in 20. Monsters who are able to roll below their morale value remain in combat after first blood drawn, one of their number slain, and the tide turning against them. Adjust accordingly if your system of choice uses a 2d6 roll for morale.

In order of appearance on the Wilderness Anecdote and Encounter Table for the Polite Lands. (Outlanders will be detailed in later posts which will detail their outlandish kingdoms and cultures as well)

Bestiary of the Polite Lands
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Merchant
HD: 1
Def: 0
Dam: 1d6
Move: 12
Save: 7
Morale: 5

Lair:  A small wooden shack is visible in the clearing. A sign above it reads: Trading Post
Spoor: The sound of men bartering can be heard over the clearing
Tracks: Repeated footprints trace a trail easily followed
Traces1: A small lead weight lies forgotten in the clearing
Traces2: Numerous people have once through these parts
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Guard

HD: 2
Def: 4
Dam: 1d8
Move: 11
Save: 6
Morale: 9

Lair: Numerous wagons are arranged end to end forming a crude palisade here
Spoor: Soft murmurs can be heard from a distance
Tracks:  Cloven hoof prints follow gashes made by wheels
Traces1: A strip of leather lies forgotten here
Traces2: A broken horseshoe sits in a puddle here
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Lumberjack

HD: 1
Def: 1
Dam: 1d8
Move: 12
Save: 6
Morale: 8

Lair: A lumber yard buzzes with activity as men turn trees into planks
Spoor: A distant yell of timber echoes among the trees
Tracks:  Numerous bootprints accompany a dragged line
Traces1: A covering of sawdust circles a wide stump
Traces2: A pie sits, perhaps misplaced
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Hunter

HD: 1
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6 or 1d8 ranged
Move: 12
Save: 6
Morale: 6

Lair: Alongside numerous pitched tents skins are being tanned and meats are being prepared
Spoor: The smell of cooking meat afills the air
Tracks:  Numerous bootprints are followed by marks of something dragged
Traces1: A snare sits between the roots of a tree
Traces2: A broken arrow lays snapped in half
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Farmer

HD: 1
Def: 0
Dam: 1d6
Move: 12
Save: 5
Morale: 5

Lair: A cluster of a few house rises above various worked fields
Spoor: Nearby vegetation and fields show signs of maintenance and being worked upon
Tracks:  A dirt path leads towards tended fields
Traces1: A windmill slowly spins upon a hill in the distance
Traces2: A small apple tree rises up ahead
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Peasant

HD: 1
Def: 0
Dam: 1d4
Move: 12
Save: 4
Morale: 4

Lair: A village is visible in the distance
Spoor: A wooden marker points in a direction
Tracks:  A dirt road leads off into the distance
Traces1: A small burlap strip is stuck to several thorns here
Traces2: A watermill turns slowly as water runs by
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Member of the Nobility

HD: 3
Def: 4
Dam: 1d8
Move: 11
Save: 9
Morale: 12

Lair: Fortified by an iron gate and brick walls an estate is before you
Spoor: A series of flower have been planted in a pattern here
Tracks:  Well made boots passed by here a while ago
Traces1: A silver coin lies forgotten in the ground
Traces2: The smell of perfume hangs in the air

Author's Notes: These can be knights, stewards, mayors, or the landed gentry
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Member of the Priesthood

HD: 2
Def: 1
Dam: 1d6
Move: 12
Save: 10
Morale: 11

Lair: In the distance the steeple of a church rises into the sky
Spoor: Church bells softly ring in the distance
Tracks:  Well made shoes have left repeated prints here
Traces1: A small cemetery enclosed by a meager stone fence sits before you
Traces2: A small shrine sits underneath a roofed alcove
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Bandit

HD: 1
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6 or 1d6 ranged
Move: 12
Save: 6
Morale: 6

Lair: Crude encampment inside of a cave lit by few torches
Spoor: Poorly made traps now broken
Tracks:  Bootprints leading deeper into the woods
Traces1: Corpse with it's throat split, long since looted and now tucked behind a tree
Traces2: Trees with broken arrows embedded in their trunks
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Wolf

HD: 2
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6
Move: 18
Save: 7
Morale: 6

Lair: Wolf's den
Spoor: Loud howling at night
Tracks:  Numerous paw prints
Traces1: Wolfsbane growing in many places
Traces2: A Wolf carcass with it's throat torn out
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Bear

HD: 4+1
Def: 3
Dam: 1d8
Move: 9
Save: 7
Morale: 8

Lair: Large cave
Spoor: The sickly sweet stench of honey fills your nostril
Tracks:  Thick paw prints at a lumbering pace
Traces1: Thick claw marks on trees
Traces2: Broken beehive spilling its contents, both bees and honey, everywhere
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Boar

HD: 3+3
Def: 3
Dam: 3d4
Move: 15
Save: 6
Morale: 20

Death Roil: Boars fights for 2 rounds after they reach 0 hp.

Lair: A thick musky odor eminates from a damp pile of leaves
Spoor: Felled trees are cracked and brittle as if crude axes attempted to split each
Tracks:  Cloven prints mark a ragged line
Traces1: Tusk marks along the base of a tree trunk
Traces2: A twist and fall, the taste of blood fills your mouth as you spilt your lip
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Spider

HD: 2+2
Def: 4
Dam: 1d6 + save for poison 1d4 points of damage
Move: 18
Save: 4
Morale: 6

Lair: Massive funnel web amid a pair of trees
Spoor: Webs cover the trees. Webs cover the ground.
Tracks:  Many holes in the ground
Traces1: Dead fox inside of a massive web three feet above the ground
Traces2: Whisps of spider's silk hang on a tree
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Snake

HD: 6+1
Def: 4
Dam: 1d4 or 2d4 constrict
Move: 9 or 10 swimming
Save: 6
Morale: 6

Lair: Wide circles cover the trunk of a leafless tree like the bruises of a choked neck
Spoor: A low rumbeling hiss eminates from somewhere nearby
Tracks:  A wide gash like from a dragged log leads from one bed of reeds to another
Traces1: A single branch hangs broken at an odd angle from a water logged tree
Traces2: A pair of thin gossamer scales float on the surface of the mire
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Poisonous Snake

HD: 1
Def: 2
Dam: 1d3 + save for poison dealing 1d6 points of damage
Move: 12 or 13 swimming
Save: 6
Morale: 6

Lair: Numerous pocket sized holes sink deep into the mire
Spoor: Something sends ripples traveling in zigzag lines from below the surface of the mire
Tracks:  A mess of curved lines spill across the dirt
Traces1: A sheath of transparent scales hangs from a pair of cat-tails
Traces2: A smooth pebble sits atop a pile of dead cattails
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Bird

HD: 3
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6
Move: 8 or 14 flying
Save: 8
Morale: 7

Lair: A nest twice the size of a man is made up of tree branches here
Spoor: A shrill cawing is heard from above
Tracks:  none
Traces1: A large feather sits underneath a shrub
Traces2: A single heavy brach hangs broken off a tall tree
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Elk

HD: 4
Def: 2
Dam: 1d12
Move: 11
Save: 8
Morale: 13

Lair: A depression within the glen before you seems to be a resting place for something
Spoor: Numerous marks as if made by dull knives mark the trees here
Tracks:  Thick cloven hoof prints trace the ground here
Traces1: A portion of a dark horn sits embedded in a tree
Traces2: A broken piece of a dark horn lies in the dirt
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Ghost

HD: 2
Def: 0
Dam: 1d4 + 200xp drain per point of damage
Move: 0
Save: 9
Morale: 20

Lair: None
Spoor: Colors seem less vibrant here further there is no sound save for the wind
Tracks: A strain of cold air blows distinctly enough to be followed
Traces1: As you breathe out, you suddenly see your breath fog up in front of you
Traces2: A set of two indents like foot steps linger
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Wight

HD: 3
Def: 3
Dam: 1d6 + 100xp drain per point of damage
Move: 12
Save: 8
Morale: 20

Lair: Re-opened dirt grave surrounded by the 1d4 corpses of grave-robbers all desiccated
Spoor:  No sound save for the wind. Dead trees, shrubs, flowers
Tracks:  Trail of dead grass and wilted flowers
Traces1: Small animal corpse completely desiccated
Traces2: Ominous black clouds on the horizon
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Skeleton

HD: 1
Def: 3
Dam: 1d6
Move: 11
Save: 6
Morale: 20

Boney: Skeletons take half damage from non-blunt sources.

Lair: Pool of black stagnant water
Spoor: No sound save for the wind.
Tracks:  Thin foot prints half hidden in the dirt
Traces1: Children's toy ripped apart and left broken on the ground
Traces2: An eerie fog rise and hides the ground below you
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Zombie

HD: 2
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6
Move: 6
Save: 5
Morale: 20

Lair: Mound of upturned soil
Spoor: No sound save for the wind. Smell of rank upturned earth
Tracks:  Traces of damp soil all coming from a single direction
Traces1: A rotted finger caught in a thorny bush
Traces2: Dirty hand prints on several trees as if someone was using them to limp somewhere
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Krovkulak

A nearly emaciated figure reeks of rotting flesh. It stands on two legs each bent backwards rising up on it's toes like a dog.  It's two hands end in massive claws that dragging it's knuckles on the ground. Two small yellow eyes rise atop it's bald leathery skull as it snorts from it's distended snout. Saliva falls from between it's irregular teeth as it's maw spills open unleashing a wild howl.

HD: 6
Def: 4
Dam: 1d8/1d8
Move: 13
Save: 11
Morale: 14

Regeneration: Krovkulak's regenerate 1hp/round of combat unless damage is dealt by silver.

Degenerative Infection: Anyone fighting a Krovkulak in melee must save or disease 1 point of intelligence (at 0 points turns into a Krovkulak)

Lair: Deep, dark hole in the ground from which a rotting stench eminiates
Spoor: Trees seemingly ripped out of the ground and eaten
Tracks:  Trail of two foot prints and a long drag mark on either side of the prints
Traces1: A pile of broken bones drenched in noxious bile
Traces2: Numerous tall trees pulled over at a weird angle

Author's Notes: Anything can be infected with a Krovkulak's blood eventually transforming into a similar appearance.
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Cockatrice

HD: 5
Def: 4
Dam: 1d6 + save for poison 1d6
Move: 6 or 12 flying
Save: 8
Morale: 8

Lair: Poorly constructed caricature of a bird's nest twice the size of a man.
Spoor: Petrified remains of a horse seemingly torn in half
Tracks:  Claw prints of two claws followed by a thick tail
Traces1: A rock with chunks seemingly bitten out
Traces2: A few ragged, black feathers too frail to be a crow's liter the path ahead
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Huldra

HD: 4
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6
Move: 12
Save: 10
Morale: 13

Lair: A cabin stands alone in a forest glen, soft smoke rises from it's chimney
Spoor: The bark of the trees here is thick and gnarled
Tracks:  Soft steps trace a lonesome trail
Traces1: Amidst a field of flowers are the marks of several flowers cut and taken
Traces2: A few strands of long hair hang upon a low tree branch
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Carin Carrier

A grey skinned giant thrice the size of man looms ahead. Dark vapors seep from his skin and a massive stone rises high in his grasp. Upon this carin are written dark and foul sigils and words of power.

HD: 4, ATK:1
Def: 3
Dam: 1d10
Move: 12
Save: 9
Morale: 14

Lair: Massive carin stone on top of a hill. Beneath it sits the Carrier
Spoor: No sound save for the wind. A desolate hill in the distance
Tracks:  A mangled canopy of trees as if something twice their size passed through
Traces1: The remains of a man seemingly crushed by a massive hammer
Traces2: A resounding crack emanates from beyond the horizon
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Fisherman

HD: 1
Def: 1
Dam: 1d6
Move: 12 or 4 swimming
Save: 6
Morale: 8

Lair: Along the water's edge are a few houses
Spoor: A bouy floats slowly up and down
Tracks:  None
Traces1: A portion of a ripped net floats by
Traces2: Fish swim underneath the surface of the water
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Lunatic Sailor

HD: 1
Def: 2
Dam:  1d6
Move: 10 or 6 swimming
Save: 6
Morale: 13

Lair: The remains of a ship softly drifts towards you in the distance
Spoor: Baneful screams are repeated in the distance
Tracks:  None
Traces1:  A cold fog sits above the water
Traces2: For a brief moment you see two suns in the sky
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Abberant Crustacean

HD: 2
Def: 5
Dam: 1d6/1d6
Move: 10 or 10 swimming
Save: 6
Morale: 8

Lair: The tide is shallow here, revealing the apex of a coral reef rising out of the waters
Spoor: Soft popping sounds like a man cracking his knuckles can barely be heard
Tracks:  None
Traces1: A broken piece of carapace floats on the surface of the water
Traces2: The water here is murky and you can't see far down
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Lamprey

HD: 4
Def: 2
Dam: 1d8
Move: 12
Save: 6
Morale: 12
# encountered:

Slimey: Anyone who deals damage to a giant lamprey gains the Slime-Covered encumberance. Slime-Covered gives 1 point of encumberance and takes up 1 inventory slot.

Lair: Fist size baubles covered in slime cling to a rock below the water
Spoor: Slime lingers amongst the water here floating by as an emulsion
Tracks:  None
Traces1: Slime covers a rock rising out of the water
Traces2: The remains of a once large fish meekly float by
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Manowar

This bloated purple tumor sits upon many translucent tendrils and pulsates lilac fluids through its membranes. It is approximately 10 feet in diameter

HD: 4
Def: 1
Dam: 1d4/1d4 + save for poison 1d2 points of damage
Move: 5 swimming
Save: 12
Morale: 12

Poisonous Tendrils: Anyone who attempts a melee attack at a Manowar must save or otherwise come into contact with their tendrils (as being hit by their attack)

Lair: The water here seems clouded by translucent particles
Spoor: Nothing stirs in the water here
Tracks: None
Traces1: A thin translucent sack floats by the size of a fingernail
Traces2: A fish bloated to twice it's size floats by
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Drowned

HD: 2
Def: 2
Dam: 1d8 + Strength check otherwise held down
Move: 9 or 9 swimming
Save: 12
Morale: 20

Shared Death: if a Drowned start's it's turn holding down a target it may spew the waters inside of it into the mouth and nostrils of the target. If a Drowned spends 2 consecutive rounds spewing waters into a target they must save or die. Targets killed this way rise as Drowned in 1d4 turns.

Lair: The ruins of may have once been a boat or a house lies waterlogged, battered by the waves
Spoor: No sound save for the waves.
Tracks:  Sodden footsteps trail the mud here
Traces1:  A crude pyramid of small dark stones has been constructed here
Traces2:  Clouds converge overhead and begin to pour out rain
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Tortoise

HD: 4+4
Def: 7
Dam: 1d6
Move: 6 or 8 swimming
Save: 9
Morale: 9

Lair: A deluge of mud lingers across a gaping depression in the muck
Spoor: Thick black cattails hang over the waters
Tracks:  Wide claw marks repeat in a slow procession
Traces1: The wind here blows cold
Traces2: A tree has fallen over here, many of it's roots emerge from the water
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Ningen Wanderer

HD: 4
Def: 1
Dam: 1d4
Move: 4 or 12 swimming
Save: 10
Morale: 6

Pacifist: Ningen hate to enage in violence and will only fight if cornered with no other recourse.

Lair: A series of salmon and baby blue flags hang from a long spire raised above the waters
Spoor: The waters here seem warmer and more inviting
Tracks:  None
Traces1: A strip of bright cloth floats on the water
Traces2: A soft pale scale floats on the water

Author's Notes: Mermaids triple the size of a man. 
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Selkie

HD: 1
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6
Move: 12 or 16 swimming
Save: 9
Morale: 11

Deathly Kiss: Three Selkies may give up their actions for a round to attempt to kiss a target. The target must save or else fall in love with a selkie for 1d4+1 days seeking to make her happy and joyous. Selkies usually tell those so enamored by them to kill themselves

Lair: Rows of pale candles line the mouth of this sea cove, each softly waving in the wind
Spoor: The dulcet tones of youthful laughter echo from the rocky shore
Tracks:  Wet foot prints leap across many of the gray stones
Traces1: A strand of pale blond hair, wrapped around an empty sea shell slowly shifts with the tides
Traces2: Despite the setting sun, streaks of white gold shimmer out in the sea
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Squid

HD: 8
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6/1d6/1d6/1d6
Move: 3 or 5 swimming
Save: 7
Morale: 6
# encountered:

Ink Cloud: If encountered in water a Giant Squid may unleash a massive cloud of ink, those around the squid must save or become blind for 1d6 rounds.

Lair: The vast wreckage of a ship sits skewered amongst the reef below
Spoor: The waters here seem darker as if stained by some great ink blot
Tracks:  None
Traces1: A corpse floats, if inspected it bears massive circular marks
Traces2: Something stirs deep below the waters
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Dinosaur

HD: 10
Def: 6
Dam: 2d10
Move: 10 or 10 swimming
Save: 10
Morale: 10

Lair: A caldera of mud sits above the mire, a slurry of trackmarks leading up one side
Spoor: As humid fog hangs a foot above the ground, dark shapes seem to lumber in the distance
Tracks:  Gapping holes left by the passage of some massive beast, partially swept by a lengthy tail
Traces1: The stench of hot swamp gas fills your nostrils and makes your eyes water
Traces2: Beneath the thick mud, bubbles escape from some deep hotspring
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Monstrous Eel

HD: 4
Def: 3
Dam: 2d6
Move: 1 or 9 swimming
Save: 7
Morale: 6

Lair: A horrendous spiral sinks deep into the mire
Spoor: A horrendous squeel is repeated as it moves in the distance
Tracks:  A horrendous slime trail of violent trashing
Traces1: A horrendous transparent tooth sunk halfway into the mud gleams in the sunlight
Traces2: A horrendous shudder leaves your skin covered in goosebumps
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Electric Eel

HD: 2
Def: 2
Dam: 1d3 or 3d6 electricity for surrounding 10' save for half
Move: 1 or 9 swimming
Save: 8
Morale: 6
# encountered: 1d3

Lair: A spiral sinks deep into the mire, riddled with shards of glass, each a shimmering tooth in a wide maw
Spoor: The smell of ozone lingers in the air, a clean contrast to the grime elsewhere
Tracks:  A thin trail of smile
Traces1: A cracked dry patch of mud and burnt cat's tails stand strange amidst the wet mire
Traces2: Thins shards of glass shimmer from the mire
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Stirge

HD: 1+1
Def: 3
Dam: 1d3 + attaches draining 1d4 hp of blood per round
Move: 3 or 18 flying
Save: 3
Morale: 6
# encountered: 1d6

Lair: Tall pillars of dried mud with multiple exits at their zenith
Spoor: Buzzing echoes eminate
Tracks:  None
Traces1: Deep puddles of fetid water menace the path, rippling slowly
Traces2: A thin translucent wing, an ugly gossamer thing
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Krovosos

First there is the sound of heavy breathing and ripples seemingly coming from nowhere then a brief glimpse of a  mockery of man runs past you as it rakes it's claws against your chest. Looking closer you see four tendrils in place of where a man way have a mustache below a pair of glowing yellow eyes. The last glimpse is at the segmented scales which cover the skin in shades of dark brown and black.

HD: 3
Def: 1
Dam: 1d6
Move: 12
Save: 6
Morale: 10

Hunting Invisibility: Krovosos are invisible unless a viewer is 3 feet away

Lair: 1d6 blood drained corpses lay before you in the darkness of a deep hole
Spoor: Heavy breathing and quick footsteps circle and haunt
Tracks:  Hurried footprints are joined by the atavistic scramble of two hands grasping the ground alongside them
Traces1: The dim outline of a figure looks at you with thin yellow eyes, you blink and he is no longer there
Traces2: You feel as if there is something watching you from the shadows

Author's Notes: How you wish to deal with the visibility only within 3' is entirely up to you. Personally I would abandon initiative until the creature is within 3' of a character and have them then roll with a -4 penalty. If you have any other ideas let me know.
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Lurker

This giant slug raises itself on two squat forelimbs as it seeps slime from it's flesh

HD: 4
Def: 1
Dam: 1d6
Move: 5 or 7 swimming
Save: 10
Morale: 15

Salt Weakness: Contact with dry salt deals 1d8 damage per pound to a Lurker

Lair: Thick white slime drips from a gaping wound in the cliff face
Spoor: Sounds similiar to the a vomiting emminates from the cliffside shore
Tracks:  A thick trail of slime leads downwards into the cliffs
Traces1: Wisps of hot vapor rise from the bubbling ground here
Traces2: The ground here bears repeating spherical depressions
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Horseback Crab

A half-dozen eyes stare at you atop an eerily equine maw. It brays and then shuffles forward with upon it's half-dozen chitined-legs. A mane of wild hair ends in a segmented spine appearing between several chitinous plates. One massive crab-claw, double the size of other, scrapes the floor while the other smaller glistens with a silvery sheen.

HD: 3
Def: 5
Dam: 1d10/1d4 + save or paralysis for 2d6 minutes
Move: 8 or 12 swimming
Save: 11
Morale: 9

Lair: Numerous holes mark the cliff faces, the wind makes ominous sound as it passes through them
Spoor:Ragged breathing and the chittering of chitin on stone echoes among
Tracks:  A trail leads off into the cliffs below made by a mix of cloven hooves and insectile appendages
Traces1: Red immiscible ichor stains the waters here
Traces2: Numerous claw-marks repeat across the stones here

Author's Notes: These were originally going to be giant horseshoe crabs but I kept the spelling mistake because it sounded cooler. 
____________________________________________________________________


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

36 Hidden Hex Landmarks

Instructions: Roll 2 d6's each a different color. Set 1 dice to be the first value and the other to be the second value. Their combinations determines what is hidden inside a hex as described below.

Art by Sam Bosma

1,1 Sunken ruins of a once great castle now fallen, many small and shivering crabs now loot the rubble to decorate their shells. There is a 1 in 6 chance of a crab crawling into a character's pack and wanting to be adopted as a pet.
1,2 A thin membrane of glowing translucent ruby spreads out from a black ring grown from several thick roots emerging, steam rises from the membrane. Anything put through the membrane disintegrates.
1,3 An emaciated corpse is hung high from a web of gold, both eyes gouged out long ago a vicious smile emerges from parted lips. If any characters have booze it animates and begs them for a taste. If offered booze it will offer to answer questions about a characters enemies,
1,4 A singular relic statue of a hooded figure stands above a thick ring of flame, half lit by the dancing fire in front of it. Anyone trying to cross the ring of flame has to save or catch fire.
1,5 A staggering brass automaton sits bowed low by time, empty green glass jars are embedded in the carapace of its back. No monsters will approach within 10 feet of the automaton. Anyone spending over a turn near the automaton must save or disease taking 1d4 points of constitution damage.
1,6 A withered and gaunt figure clad in a black cloak sits upon a hill of skulls. Fragile fingers embrace one such skull and the figure peers deep inside as if searching for something. He offers to teach spells out of the skull of wizards.
2,1 A red skinned giant with white flowing hair, a tree rising merely to his knee searches the land bestowing the title of coward and warrior to those he meets. If a character is dubbed a coward he loses 1d4 points of charisma permanently while if a character is dubbed a warrior he gains the ability to parry as a fighter.
2,2 A singular floating person, surrounded by a circle of white salt and melted wax glowing softly. If  the circle is disturbed then the person falls to the ground and immediately ages hundreds of years turning to dust.
2,3 A segmented and dry plain of rocks is littered with fissures and concentric pools of azure water. water within these pools acts as holy water.
2,4 A half-horse half-man omen reader sits high upon a snowy peak a staff in hand, icicles in her hair. She offers to tell the fortune to any character. If they accept the next 100 times they would roll a d20 they instead go through the numbers on this list. (They can see the list and cross the top one out instead of rolling using that number as if they had rolled it)
2,5 A sleeping man sits in an alcove proximal to many hourglasses. He will speak to characters who wake him saying "In my dreams I hear the voices of my future selves who have died in times yet to come. I use that knowledge to avoid those dark futures and continue my search for peace. Please join me in slumber" Characters who sleep nearby each lose a point of trauma.
2,6 A simple silver key with a blue and white bauble in it's hilt. It can be turned to fly into the sky. If a character turns it they disappear.
3,1 A giant wicker-man constructed from dead wood and clad in moss, electricity crackles at it's joints. Anyone touching the wicker-man takes 1d6 points of damage as electricity enters their body and they have a points taken from the damage in 6 chance of automatically reducing the enxt lethal wound they take.
3,2 A cloaked figure with a wooden face and small burning eyes of white flame opens his cloak and offers knives made out of mirrors for sale for 1d4 points of wisdom. If such a knife is used to kill someone, their corpse disappears into the blade and it shatters.
3,3 Vast skeletons of monstrous serpents each now petrified are part of the landscape.
3,4 The shadows of a council on angels mark this place, the shadows remain but there are no figures to cast them.
3,5 The remains of a large ship lies broken upon the rocks here. Skeletons of sailors lie undisturbed
3,6 A leaf twice the size of a man lies here, slowly rotting.
4,1 A vast floating eye appears to hover in the distance, bloodshot and unblinking it simply watches from the sky. Characters who stare at it take 1d6 points of trauma and they have a trauma points taken from the eye in 6 chance of removing one of their own eyes and still seeing out of it.
4,2 A great flame burns here unending, a conflagration of heat rather than smoke. Anything that is lit by this fire continues to burn and is unable to be put out until it turns to ash.
4,3 A series of free standing planes of stones along a windswept plain, the air here seems dismal and sad.
4,4 A carved totem of two heads joined at the neck rises high, carved out of red stone it contrasts will all else nearby.
4,5 17 Pillars with a tapered base rise above the fungal fields here, it slowly rise high upon each pillar
4,6 Large carved heads of granite menace from the cliff-face, each has a maw of many teeth and what looks as blood spills from their maw.
5,1 A vast tree in the shape of a crossed-legged man sits and waits, it opens it's mouth and speaks slowly repeating a slow chant in an ancient language.
5,2 A gold and lead sundial stands massive in this valley. The shadow casting pyramid razor sharp.
5,3 The remains of a automaton once used for warfare lies in a state of disrepair, it's many limbs once eager to rend and ruin.
5,4 A field of wheat grows here, fair and pure and untouched from all else.
5,5 The clouds above here form spirals and sigils as it a great maze rises above here. If one studies the sigils in the clouds here (taking 20-intelligence score days) they take 1d8+1 points of trauma and gain the ability to climb rain as if it were a ladder.
5,6 The crater of a massive meteor is here still steaming a shining stone rests in it's center. Any weapon forged from the shining stone in it's center can be commanded to emit light to a 10 foot radius.
6,1 A vast and towering mushroom stands above the trees here, a series of many spore-mounds and wide caps rising above the ground.
6,2 What was once a man lies in the ground the entire left side turned to a black oil, half of a face locked in a scream. Anyone touching the oil must save or die.
6,3 Upon the ruined tower lies the massive corpse of a giant spider, it's swollen abdomen as wide as the tower itself.
6,4 A long abandoned blazing fire roars next to a anvil, three spears stand embedded in the earth next to it. If one is taken it deals 1d6 damage but if a 6 is rolled the target catches on fire.
6,5 A great iron wrought portal stands long abandoned here, the ripples of the power it once contained etched in the nearby landscape.
6,6 Two massive white wings are encased in a massive amber ingot. The amber ingot takes up 300 inventory slots and can be sold for 2000 silver in any city. 1 week after the the amber ingot is sold it is broken down to unleash the wings and now someone somewhere can fly. This displeases those above the clouds and there is a 1 in 6 chance of them declaring war on that city.

Wilderness Anecdote and Encounter Tables for the Polite Lands

The following are procedures for wilderness encounters in the polite lands.The polite lands refer to hexes that are within 2 hexes of a Settlement (a town or a city). The distribution of encounters seek to mechanically reinforce several notions:  a narrative of leaving safety into danger for monetary gain, proximity being strongly tied to normalcy, strangeness being rare and distinct, and glimpses of a living world. Every time players travel through a hex they will either encounter a monster or see the mark of one. Traveling through a hex incurs a roll on the Wilderness Anecdote Table and then a roll on a Wilderness Encounter based on the terrain type. Stats for Everything on This Page

Wilderness Anecdote Table

1 Lair of something (Roll a 1d6)
2 Spoor of something (Roll a 1d6)
3 Tracks from something (Roll a 1d6)
4 Traces 1 of something  (Roll a 1d6)
5 Traces 2 of something (Roll a 1d6)
6 Monster encounter (Roll a 1d8)


Art by Steven Belledin

Wilderness Encounters in the Polite Lands for Forests/Plains/Mountains/Hills Terrain

1-2 Kind
3-4 Normal
5 Undead
6 Weird
7 An injured _______ (Kind) or dead _______ (All Others) (Roll Again)
8 Conflict of two (Roll Twice)

Kind (1d8)

1 Traveling Merchant
2 Caravan of 1d6 Merchants and 2d10 Guards
3 1d4 Lumberjacks
4 1d4 Hunters
5 1d6 Farmers
6 1d6 Peasents
7 1d3 Members of the Nobility
8 1d3 Members of the Priesthood

Normal (1d12)

1-4 2d4+1 Bandits
5 1d6 Wolves
6 Bear
7 1d3 Boars
8 1d2 Giant Spiders
9 Giant Snake
10 1d4 Poisonous Snakes
11 Giant Bird
12 Giant Elk

Undead (1d4)

1 Ghost
2 Wight
3 1d6 Zombies
4 1d4 Skeletons

Wierd (1d8)

1-3 Traveling Outlanders (Roll on Outlanders Table)
4 Krovkulak
5 Cockatrice
6 Huldra
7 1d6 Chromatic Homunculi
8 Carin Carrier

Outlanders (1d8)

1 1d8 Nalil
2 1d4+1 Gyre Islanders
3 1d2 Hallamite Unlanders
4 1d4 Sorcerers of Ozborn
5 Knight of Lymos
6 1d4+1 Ophidians
7 Knights of the Empire of the Alabaster Crown
8 Far Distant Outlanders (Roll on  Far Distant Outlanders Table)

Far Distant Outlanders (1d6)

1 1d4+1 Cut-Throats
2 1d3 Mytikan Exorcists
3 1d6 Fasulians Janissaries
4 1d4 Thithunwan Spiral Dancers
5 1d3 Watchers in the Woods
6 Islander of the Empty Throne


Art by John Avon

Wilderness Encounters in the Polite Lands for Water Terrain

1-2 Kind
3-4 Normal
5 Undead
6 Weird
7 An injured _______ (Kind) or dead _______ (All Others) (Roll Again)
8 Conflict of two (Roll Twice)

Kind (1d4)

1 Merchant Ship
2 1d6+1 Fishermen
3 Ship carrying 1d3 Members of the Nobility
4 Ship carrying 1d3 Members of the Priesthood

Normal (1d8)

1-3 3d6 Bandits
4 1d8 Lunatic Sailors
5 1d10 Aberrant Crustaceans
6 1d2 Giant Lamprey
7 Giant Bird
8 Manowar

Undead (1d4)

1 Ghost
2 Wight
3 1d6 Zombies
4 1d4 Skeletons

Wierd (1d8)

1-3 Traveling Outlanders (Roll on Outlanders Table)
4 1d3 Drowned
5 Giant Tortoise
6 Ningen Wanderer
7 1d8 Selkies
8 Giant Squid


Art by Ron Spencer

Wilderness Encounters in the Polite Lands for Swamp Terrain

1 Kind
2-4 Normal
5 Undead
6 Weird
7 An injured _______ (Kind) or dead _______ (All Others) (Roll Again)
8 Conflict of two (Roll Twice)

Kind (1d2)

1 Merchant
2 1d3 Hunters

Normal (1d10)

1-2 Bandits
3 Giant Tortoise
4 Dinosaur
5 1d4 Monstrous Eels
6 1d3 Electric Eels
7 2d8 Stirges
8 2d4 Giant Spiders
9 1d3 Giant Snakes
10 2d6 Poisonous Snakes

Undead (1d4)

1 1d3 Ghosts
2 1d6 Wights
3 2d6 Zombies
4 1d8 Skeletons

Wierd (1d8)

1-2 Traveling Outlanders (Roll on Outlanders Table)
3 Krovkulak
4 Krovosos
5 Lurker
6 Horseback Crab

A majority of encounters will be either humans or marks of them, with 28% of anecdotes in swamps being a result of people and 48% of all other terrains in the polite lands. Marks of monstrous beings are likely to not be distinct enough from marks from regular beings and simply exist to reinforce that things exist within only 5% of encounters will be undead or creatures that are distinctly unnatural.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Introduction and Player's Guide

I spend a lot of time creating content for my Tabletop RPG sessions when I referee. I know there are many people who do the same and give away their own content to help others. I want to do the same and so I made this blog. Hopefully, you find something posted here useful.

I really want to make meaningful rules which can mechanically reinforce "immersion and themes" like an ogre causing fear in players because it has 3HD, can see in the dark, and deals 1d10 damage rather than an ogre causing fear in characters played by those players because it is "scary". I hope that makes some kind of sense.

Here are the current rules I give my players.