Oct 3, 2021

Skellimaul/Mauleton

 

The skellimaul/mauleton carry its weapon - a stone maul that looks more like a greatclub because of reasons - with great disinterest; the weapon is cursed, and the skellimaul/mauleton is (almost) forever bound to it.

Skellimauls/mauletons is a by-product of the weapon's curse; the carrier is slowly transformed into its more undead appearance as time goes by, and is controlled by the parasitic weapon.

As time goes by, the wielder of the weapon turns more and more into a skeleton, turning weaker and weaker, until one day, it is unable to handle or even lift the heavy weapon, making them both stationary. When that happens, the weapon lifts its curse; the skeleton finally drops the weapon, and is free to do whatever (running away seems to be the most likely event), and the cursed maul is left alone, waiting for a new owner.


Sep 23, 2021

A wordless adventure

 


 
 
  (Here's the last image flipped, in case you don't want to break your neck:)


Sep 14, 2021

Literal Swedish translations makes a tiny location table

  1. Perch swamp
  2. Heritage bud
  3. Children lake area
  4. Fire croft
  5. Fog home
  6. Mire bay
  7. Beauteous oath
  8. Father's croft
  9. Tranquillity home mountain
  10. Free hammering
  11. Wife reverse
  12. Bird bay
  13. Pelt swamp
  14. Pelt rapids
  15. Old string
  16. Goat mountain
  17. The stew
  18. Double cream island
  19. Green nock
  20. Shark croft
  21. Hand beer
  22. Ocean rock strait
  23. Weekend island
  24. Whole ridge
  25. Home lake
  26. Side stitch isthmus
  27. Heave island
  28. Hear village
  29. Gust end
  30. Mud live
  31. Ice branch
  32. Ice take village
  33. Hunter's know
  34. Wolverine swamp
  35. The man bed
  36. Wedge
  37. Nugget mountain
  38. Charcoal bay
  39. Cross hill
  40. Cow bay headland
  41. The king's bed
  42. Randy bad
  43. Crone island
  44. Source ridge mountain
  45. Flesh tag
  46. Stock rapids
  47. Famine
  48. Look for rapids
  49. Suffer croft
  50. Little forest
  51. Lime tree island deep
  52. Goal meadow
  53. Light water
  54. The calm
  55. Trickster headland
  56. Tall ones rode
  57. Tall stream
  58. Ransom
  59. Stomach goose
  60. Stomach smile home
  61. Thin
  62. Grind well bay
  63. Ant ridge
  64. Moon gravy
  65. Down village
  66. Northern stream construction village
  67. New maiden
  68. Sneeze eating
  69. Coin rapids
  70. Stick croft
  71. Pure current
  72. Travel island
  73. Pure iron
  74. Mother's wood
  75. The funnyness
  76. Field flow
  77. Rose eye
  78. Square bay
  79. Raw hill
  80. Shrimp isthmus
  81. Fox landing
  82. Red stream isthmus
  83. Smoke stream
  84. Red ridge flow
  85. Cairn tea
  86. Roared bay
  87. Hall town
  88. Make inlet
  89. One's croft
  90. Shout croft
  91. Tailor red village
  92. Blame mountain
  93. Battle isthmus
  94. The little wall
  95. Big pipes
  96. The large scythe
  97. Big harness village
  98. Tooth lake castle
  99. Crosswise rode
  100. Beer indweller

 

(Follow the Swedish tag for more nonsense!)

Aug 31, 2021

The Dove: ten years anniversary

Ten years ago, I mixed up characters for words, and that poem led to a collection of sci-fi poems, that told the story of a spaceship that lost its way, a religious figure of techno-faith making passengers drink rocket fuel, a really bad captain, metamorphosis - and something more, it's been a while since I read it!

And I drew some pictures, and compiled it all into a sci-fi "horror" (I'm easily scared) story - and that was ten years ago - and you can get it here if you want to (it's free).

Some pages:




(We even turned one of the pages into a song, called Lily, named after a spambot in the story.)

Aug 15, 2021

Mechanized Ex-Baron von Spindelknochen

 

The von Spindelknochen were a strange bunch. Their favourite type of punishment were beheading (so much that they built a special type of chop-off-and-then-roll-to-a-special-moat-outside-the-castle device to speed things up, known as the Head Chopper, and then they had that problem with the necromancer that kept reanimate the skulls for her army and...but that's another story).

Where was I? Oh the von Spindelknochen, yes, strange bunch. They became even stranger when they had a visitor from the future - another von Spindelknochen it turned out, only too late, as you will see - that told all about how to prolong one's life.

Because, the visitor said, you don't really want to live through these medieval times. These dark ages.

The what now, the von Spindelknochen said.

This, the visitor said. The dark ages. Cold castles, diseases, wars, primitive ways of living. The most advanced thing you'll ever encounter in your entire life is a spoon.

A what now, the von Spindelknochen replied, because the only kitchen utensils they used were knifes since you could chop things off with those, and chopping off things were something the von Spindelknochen really liked.

Exactly! the visitor exclaimed. Five hundred years from now, humanity will travel across the planet through the skies, cutting clouds in half in large metallic, birdlike machines. Don't you want to experience that? Fast forward another five hundred years and humanity is no longer living on this planet, but on Mars, Venus - even Jupiter! And where I'm from, we've even escaped death itself.

Off with his head, the von Spindelknochen ordered, and within the second the visitor's head painted a blood red elliptic path through the air - and landed perfectly on a metallic disc - much like a tray - with small legs all round, that the visitor had brought with him apparently without anyone noticing.

The small tray started running, but the von Spindelknochen soon caught up with it (it wasn't awfully fast).

Oh the irony, the visitor's head managed to say just before the von Spindelknochen tore it off the tray and threw it out the window (and it was actually reanimated a couple of years later by that same necromancer and...but that's another story).

The tray

The tray keeps any head placed on it alive and fully functioning. It's a mechanized, Keep Aliver™-tray (with the optional Spider Legs module attached).

It was ironically invented (in the future), manufactured (in the future and also in the past after the first von Spindelknochen miraculously managed to reverse engineer it) and overly overused by the von Spindelknochen, who made a tradition - at their death beds - to chop off their own head and keep it alive on one of these discs.

The disc doesn't stop ageing though, something the first generations of von Spindelknochen learned the hard way. Though still alive, they more look like a bunch of tree stumps nowadays.

Aug 7, 2021

Sourdoughing: part 2, a wizard's tower

(Read the first part here, or just follow the tag for all posts in this series)

Introduction

So for this part of the series, I'll create something small, like a wizard's tower, to have something to build on later, e.g. after the tower is completed, we can create a milieu/environment around it in close proximity, and see where that leads us i.e. to place other things, and so on and so on.

Or something like that.

I'll use my Building a wizard's tower using 1d20 and maybe some other dice post for this.

(And apologies in advance for all the times I'll misspell the word entrance.)

Alright, let's get going!


Following instructions, or Doing What The Generator Tells Me To Do

"Get a pen and paper" - alright, I'm already not following the rules. I think I'll use Google Spreadsheets instead.

"Start at the bottom" - how can I do that if I don't know how many floors there'll be? I'll just do a reverse tower. Wait, will that make it a dungeon? Is this a dungeon generator in disguise? Or maybe there's some function to reverse all cells later...hmm...maybe this is why I'm told to do it on paper... Anyway, I'll just start at the top, and do it in reverse instead.

It's already growing on me


"Keep rolling on this table until you're happy" - WILL I EVER FIND HAPPINESS har har alright enough goofing around, let's roll on this table until we're happy.

First roll (thank you, random.org, since the rest of the house is fast asleep): 16 -
Does the tower have at least one balcony?

Nope, can't say it does. It doesn't even have an altan as we say in Sweden.

Next roll: 6 - Find a die that matches the number of floors pretty good
 
Eh, ok, I'll do that. I got my 1d1 right here. Oh don't look at its flipside, or you'll lose your sanity.
Ok, now what? "Roll twice". Yes, I think I can manage that without random.org, rolling... Oh, look at that, I got a one and a one. What does that mean? "[...] connect those two floors on the outside by means of: Wooden staircase, crude and unreliable"
 
Why did I have to roll twice? It's not like you have to install two staircases when you're building in the real world; one for going up, and one for going down. This entry needs an editor, I'll get one asap, but in the meantime I'll just connect the entrance with the entrance by means of a wooden staircase, crude and unreliable.

...I'll just use the best of my imagination for this:



Ok, next roll: 11 - Add a floor on top. LARDER.
And two d6 rolls after that:
  • 5 - Broken pottery, but no food. 1 in 6 have rune inscriptions all over them
  • 6 - Lard, kept in clay pottery 
All in all, another UNEXCITING floor. I mean seriously, I know it's called a larder, but for heaven's sake, store something else in there will you. Why would a WIZARD dedicate a complete FLOOR to storing LARD of all things or wait a minute.
Wait a sentence.
Of course it could be interesting. It wouldn't be interesting if a NORMAL human being would store that amount of lard, unless they were a lard lord or lard master or whatever title you'd have in a pseudo-medievil setting (I mean, imagine if this was a normal person's tower with just two floors; you got an entrence with a staircase going around the house on the OUTSIDE, and an attic full of LARD - that's not how you start a family is all I'm saying).
But now we're dealing with a WIZARD. Wizards are crazy, there's no denying of that. I mean, the entrance floor is sound proof of that ("So... there's no second floor?" - "No no, just wrap the staircase around the tower, will you please!")

So, based on that, my imagination tells me this:



Alright, next roll: 10 - Add a floor on top. BEDROOM
Yeah, sounds about right, you don't want to walk all those stairs when you're an old sorcerer.
Oh, another d6 sub table: 6 - Moss is covering the entire floor, although the furniture is still underneath somewhere. The wizard falls asleep where ever
Sounds like a parent with young children to me! Ooh, that gives me an idea:

Nice double line breaking there, breaking all consistent layout rules


Alright, on to the next roll, or should I stop and reflect here? Maybe I'll reflect instead.

I remember writing that post, that generator, thinking one would run through it a-blazing, thirty floors in one minute, e.g. if I hadn't at least twenty entires, it wouldn't be enough. More more more. But as I use my own generator myself, I notice even the slightest - what should I call it - "insinuation" (i.e. as with the moss thing above, that made me think about why wouldn't the wizard clean that up etc etc), may or may not stall the process (for the poor reader/user) by some amount of time.

Or maybe it's because I'm blogging at the same time.
Or maybe because I'm having my first real beer in several months, and my body is all confused, and my brain can't function.

Anyway... Enough reflecting. We'll see if the editor cuts that section or not.

Next roll: 11 - LARD- are you kidding me? No, just no. I need to write an addendum to that blog post. I mean, yes, some floors could benefit from repeating, but a larder? Alright, I'll add it. I mean, one point of this series is to point out how stupid one's generators could be: 5 and 3 - Broken pottery, dry ingredients. Some of fey origin.

Alright, so maybe the wizard doesn't consider the first larder-floor to be a larder at all, but merely a "ear plug resource/golem ingredient" floor, and this floor is just a pantry? Yeah I'll just rename it to pantry:
 

 
 I have to say, imagine being a sorcerer yourself, or just a plain pig farmer, and you have been invited to a "wizard's tower" - and this is what you see? A messy bedroom and food stuff? This is why common men become fighters, or clerics; they see this tower and go "screw that".

Ok, next roll: 14 - Find a die that matches the number of floors pretty good, and roll.
Ouch, I mean, yeah it's pretty boring tower so far, so some random change could do us good, but on the other hand... I got a pretty good view of this wizard right now; it's like the reverse of the common "Oh I'm living a common normal life, but I want to become powerful and taste the dark arts yada yada", like "Oh I'm a powerful sorcerer and imps are running around my legs, let's start taking things down a notch one at a time").
Ok, I found a die, let's see what floor we'll manipulate: 2 - LARDER. Oh goody.
Another roll (d6) to see how we'll mess it up: 6 - There’s a lot of barrels here, where plants and edible things are growing. A tiny cloud is circeling the ceiling, keeping everything wet and fresh
 
Hmmm.... I don't know, oh wait, I do know. I mean, if the lard in the pottery is for golem construction, why wouldn't the things growing in the barrels also be for that? I mean, maybe it's golem hair or something... Or brains? I mean, some kind of tangled weed may be used for a golem brain? Ok, that's good enough for me:


Alright, on to next floor: 4 - Add a floor on top. STUDY.
Yeah, every wizard needs a study. What's the major theme? 2 - Books about famous paintings, and what hidden magic they contain
I get it, every first time parent are looking for that "hidden magic" about how to raise their child "correct", and this wizard obviously has something extraordinary on her hands, so a full study dedicated to dealing with that little monster makes perfect sense:


Now I'm thinking; has this little child anything to do with the golem construction thing going on in the second floor? Hmm...

Anyway, next roll: 16 - Does the tower have at least one balcony?
Nope. I should probably have given that entry the possibility to deal with "if no balcony, do this instead".

Ok, another roll: 4 - STUDY.
...yeah ok, wizard likes their books, I get it, I'll play along. What major theme this time? 4 - Books about common potions that somehow all requires birds as an ingredient (multiple beaks can be found in here as well)
So, "common potions", I reckon these are potions that all wizards know how to brew, but these require birds as an additional ingredient. Does this mean someone set our poor wizard up? Sold her bad recipes? Who would benefit from this? "Oh, a potion of heal sprained toe is just moss and fly agaric - but I'll toss in a house sparrow just for the fun of it!"
No wait, it makes perfect sense. Either our little monster/non-human child has something to do with it (i.e. scribbling all over the potion book), or someone who hates birds and want them eradicated from the area has sold these recipes to wizard.
Hmm, I kinda like that latter explaination. Birds eats worms, ergo worms hates birds, so an earthworm in disguise has sold these phony recipes to the wizard!

Nobel prize here I come


Conclusion

Will this tower do? Am I happy now, as the generator clearly asked of me to be in order to stop? I don't know, how much detail would you possibly need from a wizard's tower? I mean, I have a pretty good sense of this wizard now, even though there's only six floors:
  • The wizard communicates with sirens
  • The wizard constructs golems using lard and tangled weed
  • The wizard is in custody of a small child of non-human origin
  • The wizard is neglecting a lot of simple house chores due to the child
  • The wizard is a lousy carpenter (see: entrance)
  • A nearby earthworm is selling phony potion recipes to the wizard, hoping to eradicate all birds from the area

I mean, I'd love to explore the idea of that earthworm, or that child-like creature - but do I have the generator for that?

Only next post can tell!

Jul 31, 2021

Sourdoughing: part 0 and 1, introduction and the jars

Introduction

Something stuck in me after reading Bryce's latest review, that doesn't have anything to do with the reviewed adventure. No it was more along the lines of: instead of providing a bunch of tables, why not use them to provide something concrete instead (I'm paraphrasing and misremembering and all that, you should just read the review).

So I started to think about all the generators and tables and stuff I've written over the years, both here and on the old blog, and wondered if I couldn't try and create something with them.

I'm thinking it's like sourdoughs; you could fill up the entire fridge with them, jar after jar, but if you never use bits of them to bake something, they just sit there, idle.

(There are probably millions of better analogies than this, but you get the picture, and I'm currently making a sourdough bread, so...)

The plan

  1. Compile a list of generators/tables/etc that I've written that I may use (e.g. this post), from this blog and the old
  2. Start small and create something using one of these generators (I have this one in mind)
  3. Place whatever I create in step 2 "somewhere", and see what thematic things I got going from that, and find a generator/table for that for the surroundings
  4. Like 3, but keep expanding outwards
  5. Like 4 - no actually, exactly like 4

The goal

To have generated something "finished" entirely out of the generators/tables I've written previously. By finished I mean maybe an adventure, or a small hexmap, or a PDF/website, or I don't know - anything that doesn't contain "...and roll 1d4 for this".

 

The jars (resources)

So these are the resources I have at hand:

 

You know what, screw that. It's much easier to search for a table/generator when I need it, instead of catalogue it here beforehand.

Alright, I guess for next post I'll create a wizard's tower. Stay tuned.


Jul 15, 2021

Face monster(s)

  • Hunt in packs, but not necessarily 2 eyes + 1 mouth
  • Can temporarily form a head to gain some thinking capabilities
  • The result of embarressed giants, who have lost their face in battle


May 11, 2021

My daughter's dungeon

My six year old daughter drew this dungeon a week or so ago, after watching me doing something similar. I think it's a killer dungeon, and I think it shows that she's a great fan of monsters (e.g. she always runs the monsters when we play Castle Ravenloft, and had this to say when she saw an image of Jabba the Hutt: "He looks kind.") And she's apparently a big fan of - plumbing!

Annotated version below the map, with her own descriptions.






May 2, 2021

Sejten, a dungeon map, with some hooks

Have a vanilla dungeon map I did over the last two days, including the two smaller mountain range pictures showing the area around the lair/dungeon/slightly evil place.

(And my six year old daughter named it. No I don't think she knows who Satan is.)





Adventure hooks, or maybe rather just things I make up as I watch the image above that you may find useful to get your creativity going
  1. The bear skin rugs becomes animated for 2d6 minutes whenever someone mentions anything related to either food or weapons
  2. The rats are highly intelligent and will sell for huge amount of coins. They understand human speech but can only squeak
  3. Each painting holds a piece of a larger map on the backside, marking the birthplace of whoever built this place
  4. While sitting on any chair, time passes twice as fast
  5. Each rug acts as a time portal if the right word is spoken while standing on it (each rug has it its own word); anyone standing on the rug will travel in time but not in space for 1d6 minutes, and then return to the present:
    1. (the past) When the lair was being constructed
    2. (the past) One minute ago
    3. (the past) When the lair was controlled by a very jolly queen who loved all and everyone
    4. (the past) When the lair was controlled by a very gloomy necromancer who hated everyone, but rats most of all
    5. (the past) The very moment when the To-Be-High-Lord-Snake-King and its troops invaded the lair (then controlled by a never-to-be-seen-again tribe of very friendly, human-sized rats)
    6. (the very far future) Faulty, malfunctioning robots patrolling the halls, trying to shoot laser beams at any intruder (but not succeeding because a future dungeon party nicked all guns just days prior to our time travellers, replacing the guns with regular LED pen lights)
  6. The egg is not an egg

Apr 28, 2021

Building something using words, chaotic cursor movement and maybe some dice

I don't know what this is, but there are two ways of doing it: the LINEAR, and the CHAOTIC.


THE LINEAR WAY

  1. Roll a die and consult table INTRODUCING. This is what you're "introducing", or adding (an object, a scene, whatever). When adding a new sentence, you must connect it to what was described in the previous sentence, so that the two sentences flow naturally into each other (or chaotically, if you prefer that)

  2. Repeat 1


THE CHAOTIC WAY

  1. Roll a die and consult table CURSORY MOVEMENT. This tells you where to place your cursor (or pen, if you're doing this by hand and therefore must have incredible penmanship). Never place the cursor (or pen) in the middle of a sentence; a sentence is always isolated and untouched and locked down etc so to speak

  2. Roll a die and consult table INTRODUCING. This is what you're "introducing", or adding (an object, a scene, whatever) exactly where your cursor (or pen) is. When adding a new sentence, you must connect it to what was described in the previous sentence, so that the two sentences flow naturally into each other (or chaotically, if you prefer that; people who use pen and paper for this method would probably do it chaotically)

  3. Repeat from 1


TABLE CURSORY MOVEMENT

Place cursor (or pen)...

  1. After the first sentence
  2. In the middle of the document
  3. After the last sentence
  4. After the second sentence
  5. Where your finger lands with your eyes closed
  6. In the middle of the middle of the document, so like in the first quarter I guess

 

TABLE INTRODUCING

At the cursor (or pen), introduce by describing, using one or several sentences...

  1. A stuffed bear
  2. Stairs up
  3. Stairs down
  4. A door with writings on it
  5. Used pots and pans
  6. Shrubbery
  7. Unusual tiling
  8. A horse that's about to leave
  9. A rug, halfway rolled up
  10. A horrible landscape painting
  11. A wall
  12. A hallway, crudely lit
  13. An open knapsack
  14. An unusually small dog
  15. A locked chest
  16. Spiderwebs in the ceiling
  17. A festive hall
  18. A concealed weapon
  19. Dirt and soil
  20. Fire
  21. A bottled message
  22. A painting of a king
  23. Several chests
  24. Rats
  25. A fireplace
  26. A room with a large table
  27. Stairs up and down
  28. A person in a wet hat
  29. Water breaching in
  30. Several guards looking for something
  31. A marketplace for illegal food
  32. A pond and a toad
  33. A blind ogre
  34. A marble statue
  35. A flowerbed
  36. Someone lost
  37. An intruder
  38. A broken mirror
  39. Lots of barrels
  40. A deserter from a distant war
  41. Rope hanging down from far above
  42. Mechanical device that hums
  43. Mechanical device that clicks
  44. A sundial
  45. A window
  46. A floating creature with scales
  47. Blood
  48. A magical swirl
  49. A makeshift instrument
  50. Foreign coins
  51. Claw markings
  52. A rainfall
  53. A well, with rope hanging down
  54. A terrible yell
  55. A dog digging
  56. A scholar writing in a tome, a large list of ingredients, currently at item 56
  57. A murder of crows
  58. A crown made of wood
  59. A golem waiting for a command
  60. A gust of wind
  61. Sand
  62. An authority
  63. A false prophet
  64. A cheese wedge, disappearing
  65. Mushrooms
  66. A hidden way out
  67. A rug of unusual quality
  68. A secret
  69. A mechanical person stuck in a loop
  70. A portal too small to enter
  71. A mirror concealed as a painting
  72. A great hole in the ground
  73. Bats carrying candlesticks
  74. A mole with something attached
  75. Lots of alcohol
  76. A corner
  77. Sudden movement
  78. The passing of time
  79. Glass jars containing experiments
  80. Spoiled food
  81. Smoke
  82. A large bird, interesting
  83. Something rotten
  84. Concealed danger
  85. A crowd looking for something
  86. Out-of-place animals
  87. A chest filled with stone, hiding a trap door underneath
  88. Chanting
  89. Displacement
  90. Roots
  91. An acorn, afloat
  92. Intelligence
  93. Religious practice
  94. Slow but safe transport
  95. A slow disassembly
  96. A nest
  97. Large optical instrument
  98. Fancy clothes spread about
  99. A highly sought-after glass bauble
  100. Living vines

Apr 22, 2021

Four picture prep



 




As I upload these sketches and as I type in the title of this blog post, I start to wonder if you could use only four pictures for all things in session - that is, that's the prep for the night.

The four pictures above would then - for the whole session - all represent:
  • The adventuring party
  • Random encounters
  • Loot
  • Plot hooks
  • Room descriptions
  • NPC personality traits
  • etc
For instance, you need to roll for a random encounter. Roll a 1d4 and either just use that picture as is ("You meet a knight in a never before seen armour; the knight waves at you and greet you all with a monotonous "HELLO EARTHLINGS!"), or rip off the various pieces found in the picture ("You find animal horns and hair - lots of hair").

(Now I need to get back to work. Ta-da)

Mar 15, 2021

Lair of the Bear that doesn't care

The lair of the bear that doesn't care

it can be everywhere

because when it hibernates

it transform, its body infiltrates

nature, like a balloon it inflates

< dungeon dressing, hallways, locked gates >

< mimic's blessing, old ways, ungrates >

The bear becomes the lair

but it doesn't care, 'cause it knows

between its snoring growls,

dreams of me and you and daring do's

and foes -

nine beats per minute

 nine beats per minute

  nine beats per minute

   nine beats per minute

    nine beats per minute

   nine beats per minute

  nine beats per minute

 nine beats per minute

nine beats per minute


Bells of spring ring, a recurring familiar thing

visitor begone, system collapse, song of crushing throng

blink and shrink and shrink and blink

visitor begone, take the money and run

the lair of the bear that doesn't care

resume, time to consume -

a beautiful day in June


The lair of the bear that doesn't care

it can be everywhere

 



Jan 9, 2021

Bathroom Dungeons: The Stairway to Hell, lvl 1

Had a lot of coffee today, so I... Anyway, have a map! Follow the tag to see more in this series!

 


Jan 8, 2021

It Starts To Burn: Easy Rules for Solo Play

I was thinking about solo play the other minute, which is something that's always fascinated me (how to keep oneself interested in what I've already thought of? etc.). I have zero experience with solo play frameworks (I can't remember any at least), and since I have nothing better to do, I thought I might as well take a stab at it.

So here is my attempt. I call these framework IT STARTS TO BURN.


THE RULES

I guess nearly all game frameworks need a way to resolve conflict. Anytime there's a need to resolve an uncertain outcome, or a decision needs to be taken "objectively", roll 1d6 and and consult the following table:

  1. It starts to burn
  2. It starts to burn
  3. It starts to burn
  4. It starts to burn
  5. It starts to burn
  6. It starts to burn

 And that's it. Comment below if you want me to provide a method of how to convert this other die types.


CHARACTER GENERATION

Write something down. Unfortunately, at the moment, all characters in this framework must be called Amen Vafan (I plan to release a compendium later on with rules on how to name your character differently).


EXAMPLE PLAY

Amen Vafan

Traits: Dungeon delver, Sorceress, Very Smart

In backpack: Torch, Weapons, Rations, Stuff, Things

Attire: Pointy hat with embroidered stars, Cape with embroidered stars, Frock with embroidered skulls (with stars for eyes) - all purple

Current objective: "My rat's down there - I need to save it!!"

After my long rest at the hard, cold, stone floor, I arise again to face the never-ending hordes of skeletons and undead in this nasty tomb.

I open my backpack and indulge in some of the food I brought with me, hoping it will restore some my health.

(DIE ROLL: 3 - IT STARTS TO BURN)

Oddly enough, the cheese wedge in my hand starts to burn, and I hurry up and eat it before it burns my tongue too much. Knowing the farmer, I must say this burnt taste was sadly an improvement.

I pressed on, torch ready in hand to light my way through these dark hallways.

(DIE ROLL: 2 - IT STARTS TO BURN)

As expected, the torch is well alit and aburning and eh ailluminating my surrounding area. Unfortunately, the whole torch is burning, and I must hurry to the next intersection before my hands light up.

Some moments later, I arrive at what must've been some sort of combined armoury/library/kitchen/sleeping halls/passage to lower levels - very common in these kind of tombs.

A rat! Alas - not my rat. This one was walking upright, clad in armour, and had a foul appearance (besides being a rat). I knew not if it had yet to notice me.

(DIE ROLL: 6 - IT STARTS TO BURN)

Strangely enough, the rat's suddenly engulfed in flames - a fire rat wizard! Or rat fire wizard! It turned around and faced me with a grim look on its face, spun its little furry paws as it prepared to cast a spell and let it go at my direction.

I immediately threw myself to the left to avoid the foul magic, and landed on a combined table/bed/book case/stairs down.

(DIE ROLL: 1 - IT STARTS TO BURN)

And the combined table/bed/book case/stairs down caught fire, but at least I had avoided the spell successfully.

As a reaction, I grabbed first thing from my backpack and threw it at the fire wizard rat.

(DIE ROLL: 2 - IT STARTS TO BURN)

As the thing hit the wizard fire rat, it started burning a second time, now twice engulfed in flames, alit atwice, and could not see anymore. It stumbled off in another direction, I could not see which due to all the smoke and flames and fire, but I cared not, because to face a wizard rat fire is to surely meet one's doom.

I quickly descended the stairs to the next lower level.

(DIE ROLL: 4 - IT STARTS TO BURN)

I hurried up the descension to not burn my feet, and as I reached the stone floor on the lower level, the stair case was all alit from atop to abottom.

I pressed on, since the search for my rat was far from over...




Jan 1, 2021

Bathroom Dungeons: Ascending the Rat Tongue, level 1

 

Another dungeon done while... Anyway, have a map! Follow the tag to see more of these.

Dungeon dressing using random Swedish books, an ugly map and a couple of WHYs

There are probably hundreds or more slick, fun, useful ways of generating dungeons, and populating them for fast, great use at your table.

This is not one of those, but I'm bored, so here goes.


There's one method we practised at work one time during team building (that we never used again, probably pretty typical for team building workshops) that had you constantly ask "Why ..." five times in a row to a given statement. For instance, you start by describing a simple problem, then you ask "Why is X causing Y" or "Why are we XYZZY?", and you get an answer, and then you reiterate with another "Why are we ...." based on that answer.

This has probably been used in RPG map making before, but I wanted to try it anyway, and I wanted to infuse some strange randomness into it whole by utilising my bookshelf in the process.


But first of all, I need a map. I'm thinking simple since I don't have all night for this post:


So my main idea is this:

  1. Pick something from the map above
  2. Formulate a question on the form: "Why is X there?"
  3. Pull out a book at random from the bookshelf
  4. Flip to some random page, choose a sentence at random - that's the answer
  5. State a new question, using answer in 4
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 (maybe occasionally 3, 4 and 5) until there are three or more WHYs and answers regarding that object

 

I'll quote whatever sentence I find, but I'll need to (badly) translate them from Swedish so sorry about that.

 

STATUE IN FIRST ROOM

(book: DIKTER by Karin Boye [1942]) 

Q: Why is there a STATUE in the first room?

A: "Säg mig, dis från Kunskapsbrunnarna" --> "Tell me, haze of Wells of Knowledge" --> Because it grants access to the Wells of Knowledge through a haze

Q: Why would someone need access to the Wells of Knowledge?

A: "Jag läste i tidningen att någon var död, någon som jag kände till namnet"  --> "I read in the newspaper that someone was dead, someone I knew by name" --> Because it can answer questions about deceased people using only their names

Q: Why would someone need answers about deceased people?

A: "ty dagen är du" --> "because the day is you" --> Because it enables someone to be that person for a full day


CLOSED DOORS IN FIRST ROOM

(book: DOKTOR GLAS by Hjalmar Söderberg [1905])

Q: Why are the doors closed?

A: "Jag skulle aldrig ha väntat något sådant av honom" --> "I would never have expected something like that from him" --> Because there is a man that can't be trusted behind the doors

Q: Why can't the man be trusted?

A: "Han var ännu gråare i ansiktet än vanligt" --> "His face was paler than usual" --> Because he is dying

Q: Why is the man dying?

A: "Ljusen brunno med smutsröda lågor mot den grå gryningsdagern" --> "The candles are burning with dirt red flames against the grey dawn" --> Because he performed a ritual involving red candles that affects daylight

Q: Why did he perform that ritual?

A: "Mina sinnen vaknade först sent, vid en tidpunkt, då min vilja redan var en mans vilja" --> "My senses awoke late, at a point, when my will were already that of a man" --> Because he needed to mend his body and mind

Q: Why did he need to mend his body and mind?

A: "Vad var det för folk där?" -> "What kind of people were there?" --> Because his mind was shattered and shared between multiple persons

 

PASSAGE THAT ENDS IN WATERFILLED CAVES

(book: PETTSON FÅR JULBESÖK by Sven Nordqvist [1988])

Q: Why are the caves filled with water?

A: "Gubben gick och la sig." --> "The old man went to bed." --> Because someone fell asleep on the job preventing the caves from flooding

Q: Why did someone fall asleep while preventing the caves from flooding?

A: "Han stönade och jämrade sig medan han kravlade upp ur snön." --> "He moaned and wailed while he crawled up from the snow" --> Because he was buried in snow and started hibernating

Q: Why was he buried in snow?

A: "Han var tvungen att göra sina bästa konster för att de överhuvudtaget skulle titta på honom" --> "He had to perform his best tricks to even get them to notice him" --> Because he tried to cast great illusionary spells to impress some gods

Q: Why did he try to impress some gods?

A: "Men det var en bit att gå" --> "But it was a bit of a walk" --> Because he wanted to reach them but they were out of reach

 

PIT TRAP

(book: SAMLADE DIKTER by Edith Södergran [1949])

Q: Why is there a pit trap in the hallway?

A: "Människor, det häver sig i mitt bröst" --> "People, my chest is rising" --> Because the spikes are growing like plants in this pit

Q: Why are the spikes growing in the pit?

A: "Några sista stjärnor lysa matt" --> "Some last stars shine dull" --> Because they yearn for moonlight

Q: Why are they yearning for moonlight?

A: "Jag sörjer så som hade jag förlorat en sagokrona" --> "I mourn as lost a crown of fairytales had I" --> Because the spikes are lost ornaments to a great fairy crown


* * * *

 

Did this produce the most exciting dungeon ever in existence? Nope, but it got me thinking about things not visible on the map, which got me thinking about the map, and so on.


Using an overly simple map was intentional, and I think - if you for some strange reason decide to try this yourself - one should ask questions about the most mundane things in the map, because that gives the most flavour; I mean, I put a statue or two in there, of course they're going to indicate some special thing, so asking WHYs about them is not that very exciting. But let's say you ask WHYs about an ordinary wall, or the ceiling, or just a door frame - mundane things that NEEDS to be there anyway - what could this method bring forth?


(And my apologies to the authors above for thrashing their penmanship with my horrible translations.)