Saturday, November 27, 2021

Primeval Mountains & Hills for OSR Games

 New weekend, new table from Lands of Legends!

Mighty bad weather today here, with nature reminding us whose world this is, so I offer a d10 table with ten primeval-themed mountain & hill areas for your OSR sandbox campaign with simple stat references for your classic game of choice, wether is Old-School Essentials, Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Wizardry, or any other clone of OE, B/X, or BECMI Dungeons and Dragons.

Use them to spice up your sandbox!

These are straight from the Areas section of Lands of Legends Primeval. Check it out for hundreds more!

So here's the table:

Mountains and Hills - Primeval Areas

    1. The First Peak. Dragons this place the Last Flight. This peak is nearly impossible to reach without flying, because of its extremely steep cliffs. Even if flying, explorers will have to face the seven Greater Storm Elementals (Air Elementals with lightning bolts), bound to guard the way to the peak. At the top lies the cemetery of the First Dragons, who came here to die when their time had come. Their bones have turned to gold, but are guarded by a Wight Dragon: one of the oldest, wisest and most dangerous creatures of the world (ancient undead Black Dragon with Wight abilities, plus almost all the knowledge one can have, and a very bad temper). If the Black Dragon is slain, the golden skeletal dragons will rise to fight!

    2. The Chained Titan. Legends say that a titan is chained to the side of a mountain of this impressive range, punished by the gods for giving mortals the secret of fire and metal. Actually, the titan is a giant sculpture carved on the side of the mountain. In the caves of his eyes, the last immortal blacksmiths of the people who carved the sculpture have their ever-burning forge, creating weapons in black iron, adamant and other special metals.

    3. Rock Giants. The huge boulders that lie scattered on the flanks of this mountain are actually giants made of rock, at their larval stage. While the group travels across this area and passes near the boulders, there is 1 in 6 chance that their proximity makes a rock “hatch” and let a giant arise, attacking immediately.

    4. The Machine in the World. Throughout these mountains travelers hear a ticking noise coming from underground. Under the mountains there are ancient mechanisms and stone wheels and mills powered by lava falls. The machine moves continents, causes earthquakes and pushes tectonic plates according to the will of mysterious engineers. Gates to the machine are hidden and protected and inside there are stone golem guards. Tampering with the gears might cause enormous, violent changes in the world.

    5. Veins of Gold. A vein of wild alchemical gold runs in the heart of the mountain, occasionally emerging here and there. Those who do not realize the danger and touch or step on these outcrops must pass a Save vs Petrification or their blood will be turned into solid gold. At worst, their friends will have about 10lbs of gold as a consolation (if they manage to retrieve it).

    6. The Heavy Mountain. This mountain’s heart of molten metal increases the gravity of the surrounding environment. Anyone and anything in this area becomes gradually heavier, weighting up to twice.

    7. The First Dwarves. The roots of this mountain are inhabited by the first dwarves, stocky and uncouth beings, deformed and primitive. They are not evil, but misshapen, idiotic and violent. They have no language, but worship a grotesque boulder-god. Their skin is leathery and their bones are as hard as stone.

    8. Grey Bearhounds. A race of strong hounds lives in these mountains, used to hunting wolves and bears. These animals behave like common wild dogs, but are quite larger (the size of a dire wolf). Heroes might tame them as pets, animal companions or even mounts.

    9. The Crystal Peak. This mountain is a colossal meteorite made of crystal, partially covered by debris and rocks. At night it emanates a sick purple luminescence and during the day a disturbing buzzing can be heard from the surrounding mountains. The peak and the valleys around it are inhabited by all sorts of chimeric beasts, lured here by the crystal or possibly generated from it. Fragments of the crystal might be used to propel or channel chaotic energies in magic rituals, but for each day spent around the peak there is a cumulative 1% chance of developing some chimeric mutation.

    10. Shadowridge. The wild predators of this mountain range live a double life: during the night (whether they fall asleep or not), their bodies become ethereal and they hunt with the special abilities of shadow creatures while maintaining their shape, HD and attacks.

If you enjoy this type of content, check my other random tables posts, and my OSR stuff on DrivethruRPG: the Land of Legends series and my pwyw e-zines for Old-School Essentials: Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird and Mysteriously Missing & Merrily Met!

My next pwyw Old-School Essentials e-zine will be released next month! To find out what it'll be about, and grab it as soon as it's out, follow me on FacebookTwitter or Telegram!

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Holy Lakes and Rivers for OSR Games

New weekend, new table from Lands of Legends!

This week I offer a d10 table with ten holy-themed fresh water areas (rivers and lakes) for your OSR sandbox campaign with simple stat references for your classic game of choice, wether is Old-School Essentials, Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Wizardry, or any other clone of OE, B/X, or BECMI Dungeons and Dragons.

Use them to spice up your sandbox!

These are straight from the Areas section of Lands of Legends Holy. Check it out for hundreds more!

If you're into sandbox/hexcrawl games, I recommend you check this blog post here too, for a straightforward step-by-step guide on how to set the thing up, in a simple way that I verily appreciate and approve! Mixing those steps with the Lands of Legends tables will set you up in a blink!

Also note, the full Lands of Legends series is now available in print!
So here's the table:

Fresh Waters - Holy Areas

  1. The God in the Lake. This lake is very deep, with clean, limpid water. The bottom is full of thermal springs and as one swims down, the water fills with oxygen and heats up, becoming breathable, allowing swimming to the bottom without being crushed by the pressure. Here, in the midst of a special luminescence, is the temple of Karkinos the Crab-God, with its treasure of magic pearls guarded by colossal crabs.
  2. The Master of Algae. In this lake lives the Master of Algae, a minor deity made of algae. The whole forest of kelp is its body and it can assume the face of a bearded giant to communicate underwater. The locals honor him, and offer a flake of sulfur whenever they cross the lake. Crossing the lake without an offering may anger the god, who will entangle the ship or boat with its algae.
  3. The Blood of the Sky. Legends say that this lake was created when the sky god was injured and his blood fell on the ground, touching plants and animals. There are many awakened trees in the region and 5% of the animals have "celestial" powers.
  4. Golden Rays. This river is home to the mythical golden rays (6 HD fish). If offered their favourite food (ratfish) they jump out of the water and fly around explorers, blessing them in some way chosen by the GM. If harmed, they attempt one attack with their poisonous sting that turns victims into solid gold (Save vs Petrify).
  5. The Flooded Temple. In the midst of these waters an ancient temple lies, sacred to the Mother of Waters. The priestesses of the half sunk temple can give advice and help, but explorers have to dive and swim underwater, until get to an underground, underwater dry room which is the temple entrance.
  6. The Lake of Visions. This great lake is sacred to the neutral gods of secrets and destiny. At every full moon adventurers come here to leave offerings in the shrines around its shores, and pray in hopes of receiving a vision shown on the waters, related to some future event, interesting secret, or important issue (1/8 chance, or 1/6 if neutral, or 1/4 if neutral cleric).
  7. The Holy Tear. This lake is said to have originated from the tears of the Goddess of Mercy. Bathing in its waters heals all wounds and removes all afflictions of the body and the soul (including curses and level drain), but only once in a lifetime. If taken away, the water becomes normal.
  8. Lake of Fire. This lake is literally filled with fire! Souls of sinners are punished here for having betrayed or challenged the God of Justice and Retribution. These ethereal undead cannot leave their torment, unless their mortal spoils are removed from the bottom of the lake, where some exceptional items of Chaos might be found, guarded by their former owners and all the other spectres.
  9. Snake River. This long, winding river is sacred to all the divinities associated with snakes, with domains such as healing, strength, life and immortality, but also cunning, treachery, poison and death. Clerics and worshippers have a chance (1-2 in d6) in their lifetime of receiving a boon from their god by drinking the water of this river. Possible boons: +1d4 to an attribute, +d4 to one skill or saving throw, or a special talent, spell or unique ability.
  10. Mystic Flow. The phantasmal ships to the afterlife sail on the waters of this long river. Those of good or lawful alignment voyage upstream towards the mystic source. Those of evil or chaotic alignment go downstream towards the sea of shadows. During new moon nights the ships can be seen, with apparitions silently getting on board. On such nights one can try to communicate with the dead for the last time, if they pass a Save vs Paralysis in front of the mystery of the afterlife.

If you enjoy this type of content, check my other random tables posts, and my OSR stuff on DrivethruRPG: the Land of Legends series and my first pwyw e-zine for Old-School Essentials: Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird!

My next  pwyw Old-School Essentials e-zine, Mysteriously Missing & Merrily Met, featuring tables to figure out what's happened to your character when you missed a session, will be released next week! Grab it as soon as it's out: follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Telegram!

Friday, November 12, 2021

City Encounters for OSR Games

Staying at home this weekend, perhaps going out for an ice cream with the kids, so here's a d10 table with ten city encounters for your OSR game of choice, wether is Old-School Essentials, Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Wizardry, or any other clone of OE, B/X, or BECMI Dungeons and Dragons.

Use them to spice up your city sessions!

These are straight from the Encounters section of Lands of Legends Mundane. Check it out for hundreds more!

Civilization - Mundane Encounters

  1.  False Money. Selling an especially valuable good, explorers are rewarded with ready money, but false (pyrite instead of gold, for example). They will probably find out when they try to pay for something to another merchant, who refuses their money and threatens to report them. The fake money in their possession may cause them trouble with the law and it's impossible to find anywhere the dishonest merchant (or he will deny everything and there will be no proof of purchase).
  2. Masquerade. Following a centuries-old tradition, the city is dedicated to theater and performances for a full lunar month every year. Shows in traditional masks, disguises and costume parades invade the streets, while scammers, thieves and conspirators use masks and costumes to carry on their shady dealings. People and guards know, but no one can stop this tradition, nor wants to.
  3. The Stairs to Atlantis. At a quay by the sea (or near a lake or under the ground) a large marble stair of great antiquity has recently been found. The steps continue into the water, far beyond the point any mortal can reach. Rumors say that they lead to a mythical sunken city, but nobody knows if it's true. Now they are patrolled by a newly formed brotherhood of men in black, ready to kill if someone begins to investigate.
  4. A Weird Book. A sneaky fellow offers the group a bizarre book for a bargain price. It is an apparently useless collection of grotesque illustrations, but the price is really low. If the group investigates its provenance, or looks for a good buyer, they might meet a small and mostly harmless, even if a bit creepy, secret company: they call themselves the Gardening Society, and are a bunch of retired adventurers and bored aristocrats. They are collectors of curios and lovers of mysteries and stories of adventures, and might be a useful resource of information about the weird rumors, places and creatures of the world.
  5. A Strange Thief. Mezzatacca, an old rascal, has trained monkeys to climb the outer walls of inns at night, enter through the windows or chimneys and steal purses and shiny objects. Hearing the monkey thief while sleeping is very difficult!
  6. Dead or Alive. “Wanted” posters appear: ”Evil Enchanter and Murderous Arsonist, Adramalis Bargol, called ‘The Black’, has escaped from the Castle’s Prisons and is Wanted, Dead or Alive - Reward: 2000 Gold Pieces”. A portrait completes the poster, and the guy looks exactly like the party’s rogue (or other random PC).
  7. Communication Masters. Elegantly written scrolls appear in the main plazas of the city: “Sir Horrast and His Most Intrepid Company, Defeaters of Dragons and Smiters of Evil, Are Here to Offer Their Services to All Those in Need of Brave Arms''. Sir Horrast, his party and their followers and attendants have just taken all the rooms of the most elegant inn in town. After a while, voices spread that the head of a dragon can be seen at the inn for 5 gold pieces; hired criers advertising the Intrepid Company can be heard during market days, and bards sing of their mighty deeds.
  8. Archery Tournament. The local authority has announced that an Archery Tournament will be held in a fortnight. Competitors must pay a 10 gold entry fee, and will only be allowed to use bows and arrows lent by the local fletchers and bowyers guild. The competition includes shooting at targets, hares, breaking pottery, burning scarecrows with fire arrows, and shoot-and-climb-the-wooden-wall (with a roped arrow). The prizes are: A platinum medal (worth 1000 gold), a gold chain (100 gold pieces), and a superb pig (15 mo).
  9. The Man Who Would Be King. After the death of the rightful king, in order to avoid the turmoils and revolutions of the past, a general armistice between the city’s factions has brought to an unprecedented decision: the man or woman (roll a die to determine the appropriate sex) who accomplishes a certain, heroic task for the city (GM choice) will become guardian and promised spouse of the infant scion of the old royal family, and obtain the throne.
  10. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing. An old, disgraced and impoverished noble from a minor feud is seeking a bold and rich, young spouse: a successful adventurer would just be perfect! In exchange for conjugal duties (this is essential!) and a rich dowry (this is essential too!), the brave character that wins her “heart”, will get a feud and a small territory to rule.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Fairy Seas & Islands for OSR Games

Going for a short weekend trip to beautiful Genoa, so here's a d10 table with ten fairy seas & islands encounters for your OSR game of choice, wether is Old-School Essentials, Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Wizardry, or any other clone of OE, B/X, or BECMI Dungeons and Dragons.

These are straight from the Encounters section of Lands of Legends Fairy. Check it out for hundreds more!

Seas & Islands- Fairy Encounters

  1. The Three Swordfish. Three swordfish approach the heroes’ vessel. Their bills are real steel weapons sprouting out of their muzzles: a rapier, a sabre and a broadsword, and they are fully capable fighters. They were bloodthirsty pirates, cursed by the sea fairies to protect a thousand ships from pirates attacks. When their task is fulfilled, they’ll return to their original shape and be free from the curse. They’ll escort the heroes’ ship, and will try to trick them towards some pirate ship, as they’ve already saved 999 vessels and can’t wait to be human again.
  2. Geppetto! A terrible monster wanders these seas, a dogfish big enough to contain shipwrecked people and fish escaped from digestion. Meeting this monster probably means losing one’s ship and ending up shipwrecked and swallowed. Inside the monster a little group of people can survive and make long journeys. As described in the legends, in order to exit from the jaws of the monster, it has to regurgitate.
  3. The Island under the Sea. This island looks like a towering obsidian pillar, visible from afar. Dozens of ships and boats dock between the rocks surrounding it. On its surface is the access to a system of caves going down below the water, where an entire population lives. There are hundreds of people and it is a thriving port. The caves are dry and waterproof, well ventilated and equipped with spring water, thermal water, animals and edible plants, and even underground sources of biological light.
  4. Flying Rocks. These flying rocks were thrown by an angry titan against the wily sorcerer Brassalandro who had robbed him of the magical bag of zephyrs. The sorcerer summoned a djinn that stopped the rocks, leaving them suspended midair. Today the rocks wander slowly with the wind, and host several nests of harpies.
  5. The Reef Village. Lost in the sea there is a crescent-shaped "island" made of pure coral. The reef has grown so much that some men have cut coral "bricks" and used them to build a village of several dozens of cabins. People living in this place go fishing, use seaweed for crafting and trade with sailors, selling pearls, shells and corals in exchange for wood, rope, leather and metal tools.
  6. Pufferfish. The Gods of the Depths use the Pufferfish to lead people of the surface to their realm. These big fish can swallow a “passenger” whole, kept safe and dry inside a transparent bubble-stomach, which allows them to breathe and see the outside (air is provided by the gill system). Inside the fish, heroes can reach the luxurious mansions of the Tritons and the Sea Gods. But why are they trying to summon the heroes?
  7. Old Crabman. This old fisherman lives in a hut by the shore. He admires crabs and considers them superior to human beings in every respect. He’s ready to deliver long speeches about how the different types of crabs move, hunt, rest, mate, fight. He knows because he has been taught the crab language by the mermaids, and is willing to teach it to anyone who proves to love crabs as much as he does, by managing to fish ten different types of crabs in one week and keeping them alive.
  8. Primate Pirates! This corsair ship’s crew is made of nimble monkeys and mighty apes! Their captain is a human, a cruel old buccaneer who commands his horde thanks to a magical amulet that casts a never-ending “Charm Primates” spell and makes its bearer understood by all primates.
  9. Singing Undines. Some water elementals follow the ship and constantly hum a simple tune. If someone on the ship sings back to them, or plays a musical instrument, they push the ship, making it travel faster. As soon as the music on the ship ceases, they lose interest and disappear.
  10. Triton Hero. A triton knight in seashell armor, armed with a coral spear and riding a giant seahorse, is pursuing a sea dragon who has kidnapped the mermaid princess of this sea. He might need help and if victorious might share his triumph at the Sea King’s court.

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