Friday, July 24, 2015

In a Dark Place...[A Random Encounter Table for Bujilli]

Currently...
Bujilli has woken in a dark place. These are some of the things that might be prowling about in the darkness around him...
Here are a couple of random tables to help us find out what might be lurking out in the darkness. If multiple readers roll multiple results, we'll either average the die rolls out, or you readers can vote on a most preferred option in the comments below, or I'll just mash things together into some sort of composite situation--they don't all need to be all at once. We could probably manage two or three of some of these encounters, especially if they are things best avoided or whatever...


In the Dark (1d6) [minor things]
  1. A small cloud of luminiferous aethyr escapes from a fading aperture that will seal-over in the next three minutes...unless something happens to force it to remain open.
  2. Dozens of warped and twisted fruiting bodies flop about in slow motion as their juices form a sticky pool around the edges of a Pesthole that has been colonized by some form of yellowish fungal spores.
  3. Roll 1d30 on Damned Things Table One.
  4. There's something on the ground there. It looks round and made of metal of some sort, most likely a type of electrum, but with a silver-chased edge. Perhaps it is a type of coin? Yes. It is a Spaug Coin. Go ahead; pick it up if you dare... 
  5. Roll 1d30 on Damned things Table Two.
  6. Guess it was something more interesting after all, roll again on the next table.


What is That? (1d12) [more interesting things]
  1. Thap. thap. Thap. A small, wriggling thing resembling a half-formed embryo with over-large eyes squirms its way through a lingering cloud of displaced aethyr. Just past the agitated creature a smallish Weak Point collapses into oblivion, frustrating the tiny Flidder immensely. Where will it go now? Can it detect another Weak Point nearby? It just noticed you...
  2. Dismal, gray light streams through a small grove of petrified un-trees. You recognize a Gloomlight spell and spot the little glyph floating placidly over a small mirror-surfaced pool of some liquified yellow metal. There is a corpse lying at the edge of the pool. A morlock in green-stained chain-mail that has been rent asunder by some sort of explosive weapon from the looks of it...then you spot the Lurm who cast the Gloomlight spell. They appear to be wounded and not doing a very good job of hiding behind one of the petrified un-trees...
  3. Black ice. There is a low-lying fog swirling about your ankles and the air grows distinctly colder as you go on. The black ice gets rougher, thicker, more difficult to traverse without slipping or falling. Larger and larger masses of broken stone, rubble and architectural ruins protrude from the black ice, forming an increasingly labyrinthine terrain. In the distance you can just barely catch a glimmer of purple light and hear what sounds like some sort of weird song coming through what appears to be a Weak-Point offering a way to enter a blasted and blackened arctic region where a Quindra contemplates the probabilities of your decision...
  4. Jexilon the Jaladari floats over to you from behind a huge ruined pile of broken cyclopean masonry. With a squeal of avaricious glee they launch into a sales-pitch in a rapid succession of dialects until they find one you recognize enough to do business in--they want to sell you a Gloomswallow that they've recently captured. Jexilon discretely avoids mentioning that he has 6 Gronk mercenaries and a freelance eloi umbralist guarding the thing. Of course that turns out to be moot once the thing breaks free after casting Ectoplasmic Expulsion on  the umbralist, incapacitating them and throwing the Gronks into confusion as this unregistered beast does not recognize the efficacy of their swords as mandated by Gronk Central Command....
  5. There is a rancid, musty scent in the air. Just ahead the ground or floor appears to glint slightly as if moist with some viscous, organic nastiness. At first you might think it the black oily residue of a Loathsome Mass, but the smell is different, more pungent and there is an impression of tarry, stickiness to the wet stuff that is not at all similar to the usual oiliness you'd expect. The dull, pinkish-mauve worm-like pseudopods give it away--there is a Black Sack ahead and something--several smallish somethings--are hunkered down near what you suspect is the main mass of the Black Sack making scraping noises and muttering to one another just above the level of a cautious whisper. There are some little humanoids rubbing javelins or darts in the toxic slop surrounding the Black Sack...roll again on Table Three below to see what manner of creature they might be.
  6. A severely damaged Automaton with Flidder-flesh bonded to its frame lies neglected on a mostly flat toppled menhir of bluegreen stone. A closer look reveals it to be a Pruztian Fyter with three of its original zinn-plated limbs mostly intact, but one of its arms (the left one) having been incompletely repaired and mostly replaced with some sort of insect-limb combined with Flidder-flesh. You can hear someone arguing off in the distance. A demented Pruztian exile is exhorting his few remaining Thumbling retainers to go get him another Flidder immediately. He is running out of time. His left side is slowly turning to stone, a soft and crumbly sort of mineral with the consistency of cheese, and he is convinced that the deactivated Fyter he is trying to repair somehow can help him overcome this latest in a along succession of sorcerous insults and petty attacks by his various enemies who are all jealous of his so far unrecognized genius...
  7. More of the petrified un-trees. upon closer inspection you see that they resemble some bizarre form of tentacled coral with a central columnar body and roots to match the writhing limbs above. It's the roots that give you pause. You can sense the hundreds of tiny snapping, gnashing teeth all clicking together in all those little mouths struggling to get at your flesh well before you can actually see them. It might be prudent to avoid getting much closer...
  8. A cluster of hissing, flickering Umbral Things wearing masks made form dead people's faces caper and prance around a small gray trapezoid. suddenly the shadowy entities stop in their tracks, make some sort of arcane gesture then silently disband, each one leaving in a different direction. Their ritual failed. They abandon the trapezoidal object as worthless. The gray trapezoid is carved with twenty-eight characters that resemble Ixaxar glyphs, but are more curling and smooth, as though melted into the gray stone by some wriggling werm-thing. Incautious mishandling of this item summons a Yirgao.
  9. A small, thirty-foot long fragment of the infamous Arch of Lindraxis protrudes form a Weak-Point. A Were-Shade of Uttonj is intently studying the thing, oblivious to the Gloomshadow that is furtively swirling into place behind them. Will you intervene and attempt to warn the Were-Shade, or will you let nature take its course?
  10. At first it appears as though a sword was somehow dancing through the shadows as if by magic. then you glimpse some sort of Polyp wielding the weapon. It could be either a Monodril, or a Hexapodalite, but probably not a Type VI Abomination, since they tend to rely on spells rather that weapons...
  11. Three Skeletal Mourners, each one of their bones lovingly wound in tarnished brass wire and draped with rotten red robes carry some sort of three-spoked wooden frame at shoulder height between them. Dangling from a set of three bronze chains is a grimoire bound in some sort of mauve-tinted hide that visibly struggles to break free of the wards imposed upon it. If you look more closely, the skeletons don't seem to mind just looking, then you will notice that there are tiny red flames flickering in the skulls of these skeletons; not in their brass-lined eye-sockets, but at the center of their hollowed-out skulls and somehow partially visible to the naked eye in a most unnatural manner...oh and a small band of four Thysanurians are carefully and quietly sneaking up on the skeleton book-bearers. One of these book devouring insects is carrying a Magical Weapon that you can select from This Table.
  12. Rujjomi the Xing-Tian bone-molder and mask-maker squats in the darkness with their broad back up against a section of lichen-crusted masonry. Three dead Blemmyes lie only a scant few feet away with their mid-sections crushed into gory pulp by Rujjomi's powerful fists. These would-be assassins wear distinctive looking studded leather armor fashioned from Xing Tian hide; a deliberate insult and a sign of their master's great displeasure. These killers were sent after Rujjomi by her former patron... 


Little People? Really? (1d6)
  1. Four Nirlock children are out on their very first hunt away from the adults. One of them is quite clever and has led them all to a spot where a Black Sack was festering away in the darkness so they could all apply the poison goo to their javelins.
  2.  Zindlebarf leads the six remaining members of his tribe of kobolds now that their previous chieftain choked to death after trying to eat a chunk of Black Sack. If this stuff is so nasty, Zindlebarf has decided, it would be a good thing to scrape-up and use on their weapons.
  3. A Creeping Baby Doll has gotten mired in the rotting gunk surrounding this patch of Black Sack fungi. The broken toy cries out to you in an eerie, unsettling voice...
  4. (1d6+1) Drilg are tending to the (1d4) younglings who managed to step into this rotting fluid without realizing what they were doing. Worst family outing ever.
  5. That's not a Black Sack after all, and those aren't little people--its all a ruse by a patch of Mindslime to lure unwary victims into reach.
  6. Those aren't kobolds; they're (3d4) Pit Nibblers...but what are they doing?


4 comments:

  1. If there is a wandering monster, not too many of these seem like especially easygoing results...

    A quick thought on the writing of the entries, here and in general: the naturalistic tone and the bonus details, and occasional lack of a single clear instance, are all very useful things. The key terms are in bold for quick reference, but the extra context allows for more depth, and means more brief impressions of the wider world right there at the point of rolling, with no need for major recall or rereading of other elements. It's a worthy read in itself, doesn't significantly slow use, if at all, and brings new benefits. That's outstanding.

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    1. Still to be determined. These sorts of encounters can be as much spotting the thing's hoof-prints, or noticing the leavings after a meal, or catching a glimpse of the thing up ahead...or coming up from behind. It all depends on the roll of the dice and the current situation, and things like how cautious are the players being etc.

      I prefer to have tables worth reading, not just stripped-down 'one orc with a pointy-stick, 100 coins in a sack' sort of thing. that could be generated by a bit of code in no time. In fact, I have to get back to work on a generator based on the stuff that Logan over at Last Gasp was doing a while back; I got side-tracked by illness again. In any case, I appreciate the kind words and feel very happy that you found the table useful and fun to read. I expect to be doing a few more of these as I get farther along the rabbit hole in developing T'Zugri and a few other things...

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  2. Great charts. I rolled a 2, 5, and a 6, respectively.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Those are some interesting results...so I will draft-up a rough map and place those three entries in close proximity to the 'X' where Bujilli is at currently...and we still need a few rolls over at Episode 137 to determine some other important things, like where's Leeja and so on...

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