Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Portal Effects (Any System/Table I)

When in the course of exploring strange Portals, Gates or Nexus Points, such as those encountered wandering through the Kalaramar Drifts or similar such questionable territories, adventurers will sometimes find themselves crossing the thresholds of unknown, unmarked and previously undiscovered/unexplored apertures to elsewhere. Many portals, gates and the like have been password-protected, sabotaged, or rigged with traps to deter casual or non-authorized use. Others are damaged or faulty. Some are just cranky old things with bad attitudes who dislike anyone using them without first saying at least a simple 'hello.'

Not all such portals or gates are necessarily awake, aware or even completely functional. Sometimes everything works out quite well, other times it can be disastrous. In-between those dramatic extremes, when a random portal appears, and you don't have anything else handy, there is this very deliberately un-balanced random table. You might consider giving the players the option to take a set amount of damage (like say 3d6) or roll on this table instead...
Random Portal Effects (D20)
  1. Everything that was green is now orange.
  2. Everyone within 30' suffers 2d4 damage after a tremendous thunder-clap. Save to take no damage, but be deafened for 1d6 hours.
  3. Make Save or all gear is inverted or reversed.
  4. All ferrous metals are magnetized, including the iron in your bloodstream. All magnets cause those affected to suffer 1d4/minute of exposure. Wielding, holding or carrying the weapons/armor/items affected by this change counts towards the ongoing damage.
  5. You now possess infra-red vision...unfortunately, you can no longer see in what you used to consider the normal visible spectrum. Save and this is only temporary.
  6. All gems taken through the portal are now unstable explosives causing 1d10 damage per GP value.
  7. All edible food is now toxic yellow sludge that does 1d6 on contact.
  8. All who have passed through this portal now possess twin shadows. This might just be only a cosmetic effect.
  9. Everyone passing through this portal has their hair fall out. Make a Save and it will regrow normally.
  10. All magic items requiring charges are now fully recharged.
  11. Everyone Healed to maximum hit points.
  12. All previously inert organic matter is now alive and regenerates at a rate of 1 hit point/per hour.
  13. All gunpowder passed through this portal has started to smolder...
  14. Wands start to crackle and shimmer weirdly. In 2d4 minutes they will begin to sprout tendrils and branches, leaves will uncurl, and they will quickly take root within 1d10' of the portal. There are already 1d100 similar 'Trees' in the immediate area. A careful examination will reveal 1d4 seed-pods or acorns that will be harvestable. These seeds will grow into trees that will produce (1d12) raw wands every growing season, once mature.
  15. Re-roll hit points, all results of 1=0, max. result=double points (i.e. a mage with D4 for hit dice rolls a result of '4' which would then be doubled to equal 8 hit points).
  16. Hit Die type shifts upwards to next higher Die-Type (i.e. D4 is now d6).
  17. Clerical magic above 2nd level no longer available. All clerics must Save or else be cut off from their Patron(s) for 1d100 hours.
  18. Everyone in 60' radius takes 3d4 electrical damage. A random electrical discharge will erupt from the portal every 2d10 minutes for the next 1d4 days.
  19. A Wandering Monster emerges from the opposite side of the portal simultaneous to the exit of the player characters. Roll normally for initiative.
  20. Healing potions, devices and spells are inverted.


  1. A lot of nasty stuff there. If anybody needed it, another good reason to be careful in the exploration.

  2. This is one of those just-in-case sorts of tables. Player-characters can waste a lot of resources adjusting, accommodating or abating nuisance effects, just like they need torches/lanterns in dark places, etc. Known gates have recorded passwords, effects, etc. It's those unknown, just discovered ones that can be a real pain to explore, thus deterring the ill-prepared and inadequately equipped from getting too much farther over their heads. The single most common source of traps and obstacles placed upon or around portals tends to be rival explorers...


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