Saturday, October 30, 2021

Grim Forest Areas for OSR Games (+ ANNOUNCEMENT)

Halloween is almost here, and here's a d10 table with ten forest areas 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 Areas section of Lands of Legends Grim, which is part of the Halloween Sale on DrivethruRPG. Check it out for hundreds more!

...and there's also a big ANNOUNCEMENT! Wondrous Weavings Warped & Weird is up and available as Pay What You Want at DrivethruRPG! Check it out for an alternate arcane magic system for Old-School Essentials!

Forests - Grim Areas

  1. The Dead Wood. The trees are grey and leathery, with black, swollen leaves, because they are undead. There is no undergrowth, just mold and fungi (including such monster types as random encounters). Zombi Dryads feast under the black leaves, and rumors say enormous undead Treants lurk in the most remote areas of the wood.

  2. The Evil Forest. All vegetation is evil to non-animal beings. Roll 1d6 every hour: a random character stumbles for 1d4 damage, or is stung by some poisonous vine: Save vs Poison or suffer -2 to all d20 rolls for 24 hours.

  3. The Forest of Suicide. Centuries ago, during a period of famine and war, the poorest of the villagers came to this woods one at a time and hanged themselves, to remove a mouth to feed from their families. The pain and horror of these acts haunts the place, and those who travel in the forest can meet specters, voices and new suicides hanging from tree branches. Heroes failing a Save vs Spells begin to feel the desire to commit the same act and should they fail three consecutive days will have to be physically restrained from doing it.

  4. “Help me... Please, help me...” This wood is infested with forest hyenas, treacherous and cruel animals digging burrows in the ground and among the roots of trees. They know how to imitate the human voice and utter a few words that they have learned from their victims (screaming, "help" "mercy" and so on...) and use this skill to lure explorers and assault them in a pack. A WIS roll allows one to understand there is something wrong.

  5. The Dance of the Alders. Spending the night in these woods is very dangerous. Around midnight, distant sounds of flutes and dancing lights might attract explorers to a glade where dark creatures, looking like bewitched elves, are dancing in the moonlight. The creatures invite everyone to dance with them. If a person refuses three times or fails the dance (a DEX roll), then one of the creatures will strike him, causing a terrible disease (mummy’s rot, for example). Dancing with the creatures is just exhausting: non-stop dancing until dawn, but it will not bring any other result.

  6. Fields of Asphodel. Small white flowers grow in this forest, capable of stealing the lives of explorers through their breath. Everyday travelers must pass a Save vs Death or temporarily lose 1 point of Constitution. As they lose their points, the asphodels around them become more vivid and florid.

  7. Groans from the Trees. This forest resounds with groans that seem to come from everywhere. There are no green plants, and no straight branches: all vegetation is dark, gnarled and twisted, with no fruit but only poisoned thorns. The groans come from the trees themselves. Snapping a branch or hitting the bark with a blade releases cries, blood and words: the trees are miserable men turned into plants by the ancient Witch of the Woods who lives inside the forest.

  8. Ironwood. This dark forest’s trees have deep red foliage all through the year. All the beasts living here have a 10% chance of being mutated with a partially metallified hide or carapace that grants +4 to their Armor Class and may be employed to create special armors.

  9. Crawlwood. The trees of this forest live in symbiosis with long lived giant snails: most trees grow on top of the snails’ partially flattened shells. During the night each tree crawls for about d6 feet and all the forest is slowly moving towards the same direction. The undergrowth is scarce, as it is consumed by the snails and the soil is often slippery with the slime left by the snails.

  10. Forest of Madness. Evil spirits haunt this forest: for each night spent here, one random character will hear a voice in his head ordering him to kill one of his comrades. If the character refuses to obey, he has to Save vs Spell or is forced to harm himself, continuing until restrained, dead or unconscious, or until a cleric successfully turns away the evil spirit, or until the break of dawn. Lone travelers are unaffected.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

20 Magical Mishaps for OSR Games

 Here's a d20 table with twenty Magical Mishaps 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 Mishap Table in my Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird, an alternate arcane magic system for Old-School Essentials and similar rulesets.

The cover:

The full version of Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird includes 100 results, but here's 20 that I want to share as a preview.
The full version of Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird also includes rules for when to roll a Mishap, of course.

I've written these to have effects that are not "Spell range is reduced by 10%". Who needs these? I don't. I tried to stuff the table with actual consequences and, to the best of my possibilities, with fun, interesting, problematic situations that push the game and the story on.
Hope you'll like them. Let me know in the comment section!

Magical Mishaps
Roll a d20. If the listed effect affects the target, and the intended spell didn't target a creature, the effect is applied to the caster.

  1. A complete banquet table with delicious food for 10 people appears in front of the target. Double chance of Wandering Monsters who may be attracted by the scent.
  2. The target shifts forward in time: they disappear and reappear after 1d4+1 rounds.
  3. Glowing nodules, the same as a Fire Beetle’s, grow on the caster’s palms.
  4. Tentacles grow in place of the caster’s beard. The caster can make 1 attack with the tentacles. A hit by the tentacles causes paralysis for 2d4 turns (save versus paralysis).
  5. The caster’s right hand now has the same effect of a Rust Monster’s feeler, and the caster can now eat rusted metal.
  6. The caster’s left hand now has the same effect of a Wight’s Energy Drain ability, but a creature that is slain by this effect crumbles to dust instead of becoming a Wight.
  7. The target suffers the same effects of a Tarantella’s bite (save versus poison to avoid).
  8. The caster’s tongue becomes the same as a Giant Toad’s.
  9. All of the gold carried by the caster becomes copper.
  10. All of the copper carried by the caster becomes platinum.
  11. All prepared spells disappear from the caster’s mind.
  12. The spell appears to work, but it actually only creates a magic illusion mimicking the expected effects. If the intended spell actually was an illusion, it becomes real.
  13. The target of the spell is miniaturized and trapped inside a corked glass bottle. While inside the bottle the target is immortal and impervious to all effects, but completely unable to act in any way. Opening or breaking the bottle releases the target, which returns to their normal size.
  14. The spell activates normally, but its duration is altered by a time paradox. Temporary effects become permanent (and treated as a curse), while permanent effects and consequences are reverted after 1d6 rounds. This includes cancelling damage inflicted by magic missiles, fire balls, and similar spells, which “rewind”.
  15. The caster’s shadow permanently becomes a Shadow (as per the creature) under their control.
  16. The target is teleported to the last place where they slept.
  17. The target’s left hand becomes a fully functional Spitting Cobra head.
  18. The caster (with all their equipment) becomes a Living Statue for 2d6 rounds or until its Hit Points are depleted. While transformed, the caster is unable to cast spells, but acquires all the characteristics and abilities of the Living Statue that matches their alignment (Lawful: Crystal; Neutral: Iron; Chaotic: Rock). Lost Hit Points don’t carry over when the transformation is over.
  19. The spell creates a duplicate of the caster’s body (without equipment). The caster’s mind is not duplicated, but it controls both bodies. If one body dies, the other must save versus death or die as well.
  20. The spell sends a mental image of the caster into every existing mind. Every sentient being in the universe now knows the caster’s name (followed by “the Great”) and appearance and will recognize them immediately. Even the fiercest enemy will now consider at least one round of parley when meeting such a famous person.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Grim Swamp Encounters for OSR Games

Halloween is almost here, and here's a d10 table with ten swamp 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 Grim, which is part of the Halloween Sale on DrivethruRPG. Check it out for hundreds more!

Swamps & Marshes - Grim Encounters

  1. Maidens in the Water. Ghosts of drowned women lurk in these pools. When travelers come close to their pools, one or more of these Wights grab the heroes' ankles and drag them to the bottom. If a hero gets caught by their claws, he must get rid of them fighting underwater before drowning.

  2. A Thorn in the Side. Thick bushes of curved thorns grow verdant in this desolate place. If a thorn scratches one of the heroes (Save vs Death) the tip breaks off and enters the wound. In a few hours the tip will try to crawl up to a safe place in the body (armpit, groin, abdomen, chest) and there it will begin to grow, until exploding in a tangle of thorns and tendrils and transforming the victim into another bush. Upon entering the body the tip deals 1 HP to the victim and acquires it as its own, then it "steals” the victim 1 HP every hour until he dies. Extracting the tip (or the growing bush) requires an expert healer or surgeon, and causes 1 damage to the victim for each HP of the plant.

  3. Scarecrows. In this part of the bog there are many poles stuck deep into the soil, on which creepy black crows are perched, staring around to people walking in “their” place. Digging around the poles or plucking them out, one may find that they are attached at the bottom to a carved pumpkin, like underground, upside down scarecrows. If these objects are destroyed or damaged, 1d6 horrible undead crows come out from the ground for each damaged pole. As soon as a good number of these diabolical creatures has gathered, they will attack the party.

  4. The silent death. A grey gas exhales from some pools of the marsh, remaining very low on the ground. The shortest explorers (dwarves, halflings) may feel a sour taste in their mouth and an irritation at nose and throat. If the party stops to camp, ignoring these effects, those who sit or lie down will fall asleep almost instantly and asphyxiate in five minutes, without even waking up. Only a successful Save vs Death, or noticing the immediate sleep of those who breathe the gas, can prevent this silent death.

  5. Just a Sip! Something the heroes have eaten or drunk contained the spores of some killer snail. The snails settle inside the stomach of one randomly chosen character, grow up in one day and start eating the victim from the inside, killing him in atrocious pain in 1d4+3 days. Each day of pain imposes a cumulative -1 to all rolls. After understanding the cause of the unbearable stomach ache and blood spitting, the best way to kill this parasite is to find a deadly poison and drink an abundant sip of it. After swallowing the poison, the victim must normally make the Save against it, hoping that it takes effect only against the small monsters.

  6. Bog Bodies. The bodies of those who drowned in this swamp have been preserved in a unique way, due to its particular environmental conditions. They have retained their skin and internal organs but their bones have completely dissolved. These unusual zombies can be met as peaceful corpses or wandering the swamp with a staggering, slow gait. They reduce bludgeoning weapon damage but take normal damage from cutting weapons.

  7. The Hag’s Hut. The heroes spot a hut built on top of a wooden platform. Charms made of bones, feathers and twigs hang from the roof. It is the home of an old hag, retired here after a life of mischief. If found at home (50% chance), she might be welcoming and curious about news from outside the swamp. If her house is explored while she’s outside gathering herbs or food, she’ll get angry and try to trick the characters with the story of how she was forced to leave her village when she was young because she was “wrongfully” accused of being a witch, and then she will serve a poisoned dinner. Her familiar is a fist-sized spider hidden under her clothes.

  8. Crab Spiders Pool. The heroes spot a pool whose banks are filled with soft, twitching, iridescent, fist-sized spheres. They are crab spider eggs, ready to burst and feed on the animal carcasses left nearby. Their d4 mothers are around, looking for food, and will be back in d4 hours.

  9. Festering Logs. The heroes spot a pool of mud choked with soft, rotting trunks, their mold-covered roots turned upward and emerging from the sludge. The rotting wood seems to tremble and pulsate: under the bark, the soft, rotting pulp is full of larvae of giant mosquitoes or giant robber flies, in various stages of development. Characters might take some and sell them to alchemists, or try to grow a very unusual pet.

  10. Sludge Demon. A pool of mud raises a muddy hand to grasp a character’s ankle: it’s a sludge demon, coalesced from the dirt of the pool (1d6 HD). This fat, slow, revolting abomination cannot really hold anything with its semi-liquid state, but can, and will, try to asphyxiate its preys by forcing its muddy arms and appendages through their mouths, tendrils and ears (attacks up to 4 targets, 1d6 damage, plus losing next action if it hits). It cannot really be killed as long as it has muddy soil under its feet, where it regenerates very quickly (one HD worth of HP per round). If destroyed, it will leave a long, green, jagged tongue on the ground.

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