Sunday, June 9, 2013

Murderers, Magicians, and Monsters

I like the idea of random encounters revolving around specific NPCs.

The two most civilized and prosperous islands in the Archipelago are Isle del Sol and Chateau Nocturne, but the islands between them are wild and dangerous. Perhaps the most infamous of these is Carcosa, covered with the remains of long since vanished civilizations. It is home to bandits, monsters, and wizards, many of whom are rather infamous, who sift through the ruins, searching for treasure, lost knowledge, and prey.

I plan on nesting these inside my proper wilderness encounter table, but the bandit and sorcerer tables could work in a city or town, too.

1. Masked Banditos
Roll 1d10
1. Glitter Bitch partakes in outrageous gorgeous rhinestone-studded razzledazzlery of all sorts. He delights in robbing priests, and his pepperbox gun, named Lovebite, can blind his enemies for a time. 

2. Pretty Tyrant is better dressed than you are, and he carries a whip for when Tres Chic, his pearl-handled revolver, is out of ammunition. He hates monsters above all else.

3. Murphy Bed is as big as a king-sized mattress and nearly as smart. His gun, The Blunderblast, doubles as a two-handed club. He covets gold like no other.

4. Laudanum Laura has taken every drug under the sun. Her rifle, Sweet Dreams, puts to sleep anyone it doesn't kill. Alchemists and conjurers are her favored targets.

5. Jergan is a hunched old man with a taste for tobacco. His gun, Ole Shocky, fires bolts of lightning. Though he loves wealth, books and scrolls are his favorite loot.

6. Glutinous Pete is actually some sort of slime shaped like a man. His pistol is called Fi and it always stays with its owner. Nobody knows what he wants.

7. No-hands Joan has guns strapped to her handless wrists. One is called Will and the other Testament, and together they can fire faster than thought. She claims to be saving up for prosthetics.

8. The Swan Queen  wears a coat of black feathers, and her gun, Last Argument of Queens, fires like a cannon. She pursues the Jade Crown of Arigesh with grim determination.

9. Julius Caesar thinks that he is that Julius Caesar. His gun, Et tu, is made of marble.

10. Ruby Rubal is a scarred old woman with filed teeth. Her carbine, Kissin Don't Last, doesn't make a sound when fired. She seeks revenge, though against whom and for what crime, nobody knows.

2. Corrupt Sorcerers
Roll 1d10
1. The Baron of Brass is trapped inside a brazen sarcophagus. He is carried about on a litter by 4 skeleton slaves. His grimoire is Atlas of the Damned, and it holds the secrets of the dead. He has a terrible fear of snakes.

2. Two-Toed Timmy only has his big toes still attached, but he wears a jacket made from the toes of his enemies. His spellbook is titled A Monograph on Revenge, and contains many terrible curses

3. The Duke of Sighs keeps his last breath in a bottle so he can’t die. His tome is called In Pursuit of Perpetuity, and describes much about liches and undeath. He plots against the West Wind, and plans to steal her title.

4. Jessica Spider* has the upper body of an armless woman, but the lower body of a giant spider with human hands on the ends of its limbs. Her book, titled The Chelicerata, instructs the read on how to command and summon creatures with eight legs. She did not always look this way.

5. The Panopticon has only one eye, embedded in the back of her throat. Her spellbook is On Pluriscience, a handbook on divination. She communes with the Unquiet Worms that live deep under Carcosa.

6. Adonis, the Sedusa possesses an impossibly beautiful face, and has snakes for hair. His grimoire is titled Fair in Love and War, and specializes in the manipulation of mind and emotion. Some say he is the son of Ravenous Brod, Prince of Witches.

7. The Lotus King has lotus flowers of various sprouting from his body; their pollen works as the poison/drug. His book is the Zoimancer's Enchiridion, and discusses the manipulation of life and death. He is the mortal enemy of the Summoner Arzak.

8. The Scream Angel has the head and wings of a parrot. His voice is terrible to behold, and his spellbook is titled The Wailing Choir, and contains many spells with power over sound. For reasons only known to him, he hates Beast Children and attacks them on sight.

9. Chargaster's heart is a furnace, and she must eat coal to survive. Her breath is fire, and her asbestos-lined grimoire is Balrog's Bounty, which enumerates the Powers of flame and darkness. She trades in souls and memories.

10. The Catenate wears a hood over her face and is bound in chains. Sealings and Bindings, her spellbook, contains many spells of entrapment, banishment, and imprisonment. She loves making deals and extracting promises.

*totally stolen from the comic Saga

3. Strange Beasts
Roll 1d10
1.  The Wondersquid possesses 10 tentacles* and 10 feathery wings. Its beak, when pulverized, can be used to treat many poisons

2. The Hieronymus Wyrm is a dragon-like creature that can expel beams of fiery light from its mouth. Its bones are inscribed with knowledge valuable to both sorcerers and priests.

3. The Vivacious Krull is a scaly, gorilla-like creature the size of a house. Its touch causes the sudden growth of plants, and its heart, when eaten, can cure the curse of undeath.

4. The Gallowskeeper is a giant spider that weaves silken nooses to trap and kill its prey. Anyone executed with one cannot be brought back to life.

 5. The Barbicant is a giant, flightless bird with a locust head and venomous talons. A gate built from its bones will lead to the Underworld

6. The Oneiric Hunter can turn into anything its prey has dreamed of. A newly forged weapon, quenched in its blood, can change shape according to the wishes of its owner.

 7. The Steelwolf is a wolf made of metal. Its blood cures lycanthropy in those who suffer from it, but causes the curse in those who don't

8. The Rosaceous Sarcophage is an ambulatory, flesh-eating rose bush. The smell of its blossoms are a prophylactic against all poisonous vapors and noxious odors.

9. The Ballastic Crab is a small crustacean that gathers in large numbers. If agitated, it detonates. If it can be killed before it explodes, it can be used as a grenade.

10. Querulous Dupe appears as any kind of apex predator, but the faces of all Dupes appear as the same woman. It complains quietly as it mauls its prey with small, human teeth.

*no, I do not care about the difference between tentacles and arms

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