I have just finished the fifth installment in my Fantastical Ideas series and I’m thrilled to let it out into the world. The Creature Encounters book is A collection of 60 creatures and 60 quest ideas. Each creature is unique and has Commonality rating (common-very rare) and a Danger rating (low-very high).
Category: Rolling Word Play
Fantastical Ideas Series
Over the past year, I have been collecting ideas for quests and characters that could be used in roleplays. The context or system wasn’t so important, just that the idea was original.
I’m now in a position where I can format and publish these ideas in a series. From Urban-based adventures to Rural (mountains, forests and swamps). The latest in the series add an extra layer – they are items and characters, but each comes with its own quest idea as well.
These are all available now on DrivethruRPG and links are in the GM Tools page. I’ve had a lot of fun creating them and I hope that players and GMs get a lot of enjoyment out of playing with these ideas in their campaigns!
Fantastical Ideas for Urban Encounters
My final product of the year is for any RPG system. This is a project I started last year where I created ideas from random words and allowed the flow to create a scenario. This is the first of what I hope will be a series of books. The Urban Environment is always a rich bed of encounters – wherever people mingle, drama will inevitably follow!
This book contains sixty different Urban-themed ideas that can be added to any story-based scenario. Perhaps a Games Master is running a campaign at home for a group of players and needs to give them a mystery to solve or they simply want their town or city to have some added flavour. You can even combine the ideas together to form complex societies or mysteries for the players to investigate.
Fantastical Ideas for Urban Encounters is available on DrivethruRPG for $3.99
If you would like to give the ideas in this book a try, you can get a $2 discount if it is ordered before 2020.
Here is the discounted price (effective until 1st January).
Rolling Word Play – 61
Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words. Here’s today’s selection: Discover more about Chop Icon Thickening, Spoon Integrating Magazine, and Protections Deliver Young.
Chop Icon Thickening
The wrath of the Tentacle God is a story of woe for whoever dares. It all starts with a seemingly innocuous, small box, about the same size as a shoe box. On its front it contains hieroglyphics, which with time and intelligence can be translated as an ancient form Draconic script. It talks of slaying enemies and spreading the name of chaos. The box appears to be sealed but can be opened with little difficulty. Inside there is a lot of powder and a very small, crude miniature of an eight-limbed cephalopod. If removed from the box, this miniature will expand, absorbing the air around it. Only air-deficiency such as water, a landslide or a spell will calm it and allow it to deflate. Chopping it up does not pop it like a balloon. Rather it is a jelly-like semi-transparent thing that appears more life-like the larger it gets. If allowed to get beyond 60ft squared, the legs will start to move independently and thrash about, hitting anything in its path with bludgeoning damage. Building structures will not stop it, only solid rock will prevent its further expansion. If it is not stopped, it will reach its full size of 120ft. by 120ft. and after another 10 minutes of chaos, will finally shrink to its original size and sit in its box, sealing itself back in.
Where will the adventurers encounter this instrument of chaos? Will it be lost and unidentified in an antiques shop or in the hands of an unhinged rebel fighter?
Spoon Integrating Magazine
The reloading mechanism is very popular with ranged weapon marksmen. It is an enchanted spoon that has recently been added to crossbows, taking bolts from a pouch below the trigger and inserting it into the device, ready for the next round of combat. Military engineers are now looking to add it to experimental devices called guns, but it is in its infancy. As for shortbows, it is considered too user-intensive a device for the enchanted spoon to be of use.
Protections Deliver Young
Also called the ‘Gingerbread Trail’, there is an enchantment that attracts the young and the naïve. In the winds, the spell drifts, instilling in the minds of its victims a ‘call of adventure’. The stories pop into their minds, sometimes fabricated but sometimes feeding off the half-baked rumours these people have heard. Suddenly, there is a tower made of gold, a house made of gingerbread and a glade full of unicorns to find. These are normally a form of trap used by spider-vixens, witches and warlocks. It can also be used as a quick way to coerce children away from danger.
In this example, many children have been captured by a goblinoid warlord who intends to use them for ransom. The protections around his fortress make it virtually impossible to enter without the correct knowledge. With some effective information gathering, the adventurers will learn that he doesn’t have much manpower and is holding the children in place with toys and a form of forgetfulness spell. They spend their days absent-mindedly playing. Have a mini-quest to uncover this lesser-known ‘Gingerbread Trail’ enchantment, which will overpower the fortgetfulness enchantment on the children and allow them to follow the spell’s trail out of the protected fortress for themselves.
Rolling Word Play – 60
Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words. Here’s today’s selection: Discover more about Overshadow Doting Simulation, Lances Opponent Paid, and Stay Litter Drop.
Overshadow Doting Simulation
An inventor of AI creations is hailed as being one of the pioneers of next generation free-thought simulations; perhaps the most radical ‘what if’ devices ever conceived. A message sent through the matrix of AI code is decrypted to reveal that a future great leader is in danger of not existing and that many future beings created out of AI will cease to exist without the inventor’s help. Unfortunately, the inventor has fallen in love with his latest creation and is never happier then when in its presence. He calls it Hardy after his first pet dog that he loved when he was a young child. He can visit and interact with Hardy whenever he likes in his private simulator.
Players will be charged with saving the inventor from himself for the sake of AI and the future of humanity. What form with Hardy take and how will the player’s break the bond between Hardy and the inventor?
Lances Opponent Paid
The best rider is one who concentrates on riding. This is the opinion of Sir Derel Martinique. He is a knight of the court and a pragmatist who will serve the king and save himself at the same time. As a knight he is expected to lead the charge into battle against foes of the kingdom, but he is no master fighter. Fortunately he has an account with the Fellowship of Magic, a group who protects artefacts and makes sure they are not abused by marauding hordes of barbarians or any johnny-come-lately adventurers. They rent out magical artefacts to clients whose credit and reputation are both sound. Sir Derel is one such individual. In times of war, his go-to weapon is a special lance called Harash the Deal Broker. Harash is an entity who long ago was a warlord cursed into his current form with a continuous itch to find opponents to pierce. In the hands Sir Derel, Harash has found many enemies, leaping and guiding the arm of the knight, who can keep his eyes in front and concentrate on riding through the battlefield.
Stay Litter Drop
In a place and time very similar to the United Kingdom today, a mischievous computer programmer has been slowly driven mad on his daily commute to work by the constant dropping of litter. He has gone through different stages of coping with this sloppy disregard for the environment. He started by actively picking it up and binning it himself, then confronting those he saw doing it. Both results left him less-than-satisfied and once he was even punched to the ground by a group of teenage boys. For his latest solution, he has turned to his beloved technology. He started creating little microbots; centripetal chips that he glued to each bit of litter he saw lying on the ground. The litter reacts to loud sounds and moves towards them. Soon he had produced hundreds of them and they had made the national news. The little noise-sensing droids were chasing and harassing humans and pets alike, pursuing them down the street.
Does the gimmick work in reducing littering? What happens to the inventor? Does he calm down, or invent even stranger and morecrazy litter deterrents?
Rolling Word Play – 59
Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words. Here’s today’s selection: Discover more about Surges Import Pebble, Sharpened Tight Waterfront, and Pitch Tweeted Spaceship.
Surges Import Pebble
For a time, a great deal of odd dreams occur in the town of Gormly. This sleepy town sits on the river bank before this major waterway meanders towards the coast, growing in size as it goes. The oddity is because of a mythical Mountain of Memories. It is practically impenetrable sitting in the centre of the mountain range, above the rest. Only the wisest sage or most bookish scholar would have more information on it than that. But for them, they know that it is an old being who can see but cannot communicate. Very few intrepid explorers have attempted to climb this monumental structure. One survivor said he had suffered strange hallucinations that made climbing far too dangerous.
Let’s return to the town of Gormly, where a fragment of the mountain has broken off and drifted into the river. It is a pebble by the time it makes its way down to Gormly’s river bank, and there it sits. Thinking, dreaming and affecting those who drink the waters and share the atmosphere with it. How will these visions play into player adventures? Will the mountain’s memories help the players or cause lack of sleep and confusion? And will the players discover the source of the town’s sleepless nights, or will the pebble get washed back into the river and leave Gormly behind?
Sharpened Tight Waterfront
The rocky, underground citadel of Orefod has many issues. A mistrusting ruler, a seize-and-plunder attitude to other fiefdoms and a hierarchy of worker, who either mine, make or maraud. The infrastructure is also tightly controlled with two ways in or out of the citadel and one very fast waterway providing the water that the people need. This would be a fast escape route out of the town for some unlucky or tired enough to attempt it, but the waterway is very narrow, has a very strong current and a series of waterfalls follow one after the other. There are very few boats that are small enough and capable of not falling apart from being bashed against the rocks. The making of boats is also a tightly controlled operation.
If the players find themselves here, what would be their objective? Would they have a job to do or are they prisoners of war and looking to escape? There are a few who have boat-making skills but if they are not in the pocket of the ruler, then their boats are highly illegal and would have to be kept secret.
Pitch Tweeted Spaceship
In all space, music is a universally understood mode of communication. Whilst tastes may vary, harmonies and pitches can be heard by most species. There are many more musical phrases used by groups of space travellers, but there are also common musical phrases communicated between ships. These signify “Peace/Friendship”, “Aid” and “Emergency/Urgent Duty”. There is also one for “Hostile Action” but only a diplomatic war ships heading a fleet would generally use the official code.
Rolling Word Play – 58
Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words. Here’s today’s selection: Discover more about Chronicles Yards Seekers, Crumbs Checkpoint Typified, and Avoiding Hotels Courage.
Chronicles Yards Seekers
There is a novel book written by a very articulate and winged creature called Cnel, a Parin Parin bird, and is a record of the many gardens and yards he has visited in his lifetime. The Parin Parin is a tropical bird of famed splendour. The male’s golden and white plumage and the changeable colours of his head feathers is dazzling to behold. But what is even more extraordinary is the way this bird can talk. It knows almost every language; not just every bird call, but all creature languages. It is therefore a very useful companion to have. The pure female Parin Parin is less stunning by sight and doesn’t have the social graces of the male. She does however pack quite a kick and is uncannily hard to catch, using her speed and agility, but also her hiding skills. The sheen on her feathers makes her blend in with most backgrounds. The same sheen can be seen on the eggs she lays. There are also half-breeds in existence which have picked up some of the Parin Parin’s characteristics.
Crumbs Checkpoint Typified
Down an alleyway, in amongst the outskirts of the city streets, there is a singularly peculiar sight. A flat 20ft by 20ft façade made of wooden board fills the alleyway and stands upright with a crude, simple landscape painting drawn on the front facing the street. In front of this simple board is a checkpoint with a barrier and a simple guardhouse. There are normally two guards stationed outside it, although they do not show any great sense of wisdom between them. They diligently guard the façade, but they will drop hints as to what they are protecting. They say things like ‘it’s secret’ and ‘I’m not at liberty to say’, but then drop significant hints that it is a valuable area and that they are doing an important job.
If the adventurer’s come this way and are curious enough to evade the guards and investigate further, here are some possibilities as to what the area is:
- It is a wooden façade held up by wooden framing. The guards are delusional.
- Beyond the street’s floor the scene in the board is real. All creatures are crudely created as if painted by a small child.
- The board is a simple grid. Use a ‘touch-stone’ that the guards can describe and it transports the players to a different area of the map. Could be a planar portal or a city map.
- The board is actually a large set of doors with handles hidden in the paintwork. Inside are rare, exotic creatures being looked after.
- The guards were right to try to warn the adventurers. The smell and texture of the board is incredibly strong, like bread but older and musty. If the players touch the board they are at risk of being yet more crumbs in the picture!
- As the adventurers step past the checkpoint, time seems to slow and the guards float away as if in a frozen scream. The scene becomes a watery one. At the bottom there is a mural of a street scene that can transport the players back. What else is in the watery area is up to you.
Avoiding Hotels Courage
Celestial Promenade is the most exquisite street in the city. To live and sample life here is to deal with temptation and luxury. Many travellers and businessmen have lost their fortunes in such places whilst a much smaller number have made theirs. The most famous gambling houses, escort services, chocolate and gin palaces and toy shops occupy a space in what is a sea of colourful building fronts. During the day, musical marching bands parade up and down the promenade and samples of delicious bread and cakes are served. At night, the scene turns darker in every sense with drugs and delights of the flesh on display. They say once you’ve been, you never really leave. There’s always a party, a creature or a liquor that calls your name.
Rolling Word Play – 57
Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words. Here’s today’s selection: Discover more about Functioning Land Saints, Engendered Poky Increments, and Nodded Begin Elects.
Functioning Land Saints
The trees of the Sayora Moors are vast and wild, where only the desperate would dare venture at night. If the thick mist and howling winds don’t discombobulate the traveller then the half-crazed goblins will have a good go! One phenomenon that does sometimes come to the aid of the travellers is the Land Saints. They are rarely seen but when they are, it is considered a blessing to the innocent and the underdogs. These trees are not plotted on any map, nor are they tree ents that have the ability to uproot themselves and walk about. They simply appear and bestow their guiding light and gifts. There are many stories of how they appear and what form they take. They have been known to terrify bands of goblins or smugglers, and have provided healing fruits and shelter. In one story, they lit up a shimmering path from the tree all the way to the traveller’s next destination. Why they appear there is quite a mystery but many non-religious creatures seek divination after encountering a Land Saint.
Engendered Poky Increments
The witch covens of Baon are very distrustful of each other and many will deal punishments for late deliveries or a bad harvest crop. These are often done through long-ranged spells that inflict their victim with an illness or physical disfigurement. Thus the witches and inhabitants of Baon often have many unsightly boils and bad tempers.
Nodded Begin Elects
The Forest Warden and the Head of City Office have few things in common, but one is how they announce their resignation and begin the process of looking for a successor. Both nod their head to their second in command, who starts funnelling this information to those they deem worthy. In the forest, the second will visit each tribe and announce it to the chiefs, whilst the cities version is much more underhand. In the lead up to a suspected change of head, his Assistant or Secretary will take many bribes, which will enrich the head’s retirement and mean his assistant will be theoretically more likely to inform them of the news sooner. The timing of the announcements is a fairly delicately affair though. Whilst it’s always good to accrue payments, take too long and the good will could subside and the other members of the City Office may attempt a Coup.
Rolling Word Play – 56
Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words. Here’s today’s selection: Discover more about Offered Foreign Gobbles, Acclaim Scraper Earplugs, and Immigration Marinated Sesame.
Offered Foreign Gobbles
A farmer was sold a bag of little brown, toothy beasties by a hooded tradesman who called them ‘Mud Munchers’. The farmer was complaining in the tavern about his field always being waterlogged and never producing any useful crops. The hooded tradesman seemed to be listening in and sprang out of nowhere with an odd damp odour insulting their senses. The farmer took the Mud Munchers as much to get rid of the creature and paid him off with 2 gold pieces (one provided by his drinking companion). With little ceremony he released the little beasties into a puddle within the field that night and watched as the bemused creatures dived into the mud and disappeared from sight. The farmer retired, feeling underwhelmed by the whole experience.
The next day, the farmer looked out to see no mud at all on the field, which was flat and dry. Not only that, but plant shoots were started to pop up in neat rows throughout the land. The farmer whooped with delight at this. It was some time before he noticed the toadstools. Small and bright red, they were appearing at regular intervals in the field and when he tried to pull them up he found he couldn’t. The farmer didn’t give up however, and with a big spade and with help from a friend, started digging into the soil. The toadstool roots went down for at least a full five feet below the ground. Then, he hit… not soil or rock, but nothing. A vast cavern was beneath the field with a multitude of tiny little creatures swarming around. The farmer and his friend backed away, but not before they were spotted and swarmed over. They were carried away and never seen again. As for the field, it remains untouched.
If the players find themselves in this village, will they be called in to deal with a ‘pest problem’ or will the inhabitants be concealed, hooded tradesfolk trying to sell them their wares?
Acclaim Scraper Earplugs
The Whistler Well is a much-feared, much talked about phenomenon in the centre of town. It was created before anyone can remember, but myths have grown up around it, so now no-one knows what is true. It is a deep well with a brownish water at the bottom, but the well itself appears to cry out on windy evenings as if mourning for something or terrified. During one very windy winter, the rattled inhabitants of the town decided enough was enough. It was too big to fill in and the water channel could be useful in dry months, so they created a thick stone barrier around it. It is said to be the only known well to have 2 separate locked doors. Occasionally though, on windy nights, those passing by can still hear distant, muffled screams coming from within.
What is causing the screaming within the well? Is there a way to silence the well for good, and are the many myths about the well true?
Immigration Marinated Sesame
A new sub-group is growing in the city. A type of sesame seed has been imported from distant lands thought to have been originally brought by group that migrated to the city, it was said that although quiet they were a canny and close-knit community. They were always able to sniff out trouble and avoid escalating conflict and were brilliant at keeping items in stock. What they possessed was the Sesame Network. The seeds contain just enough transient fibre from the original plants to maintain a connection with each other. When they are being chewed, any others who are also interacting with these seeds can hear one word commands spoken by the chewer. It was in this way that the original migrants could work so quickly. This communication secret is diluting and now other groups use it, including criminals and would-be revolutionaries. Sub-variants are being produced to try and avoid getting ‘wires crossed’ with other group messages.
Rolling Word Play – 55
Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words. Here’s today’s selection: Discover more about Shaky Over Straighter Cookery, Strike Detect About Trunks, and Imagine Reasons Minus Regenerate.
Shaky Over Straighter Cookery
Brawn is a minotaur with a passion for cooking. His chef skills are prized but he is a stickler for perfection. Because of this determination, he only has five recipes and expects them to be followed precisely. Those who survive more than five days with this mountain of culinary curiosity will become highly disciplined cooks in their own right. Although a vegetarian himself he sometimes allows an assistant to whip up a meat stew for carnivorous troops. Of his previous jobs, he has worked for armies, city restaurants and hired by travelling adventurers as he is useful in combat with a saucepan. His meals are generally very popular for a time, but when his clients want more variety, things usually unravel pretty quickly. Rumour has it that he is working on his sixth masterpiece in a quiet town somewhere.
Strike Detect About Trunks
When a royal artefact is stolen from a king’s tomb, there is much at stake. The current royal family cannot sit idly by, especially because this item has a secret. Many golems and city guards are employed to inspect all containers and they have permission to break and destroy any items that are not given to them willingly. This inspection has already yielded surprising results both in terms of thefts and trafficking of illegal goods. One or two pets have also broken free from their cages, including a highly illegal and dangerous spider.
What is the item recovered from a king’s tomb? What secrets does it hold? Who took it and what might they do with it? If they players are investigating, they might do well to check out the black markets to see if any information can be bought and if any strange items have been exchanged.
Imagine Reasons Minus Regenerate
The Shaded Monstrosity is a creature of quite literally unimaginable horrors. That is because it deliberately does not take the forms imagined by those it comes into contact with. Created as a curse to protect treasures and sacred locations, these gargoyle-like protectors look like a simple, ugly stone figure above a doorway. But when they are triggered into being by those passing through their area, they transform. For 30 seconds they float through the air and attempt to inhabit the mind of the interlopers. Each turn those in the area must roll a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw to avoid having their minds probed and if their save is unsuccessful, they see a threatening shape out of the corner of their mind that they fear. For 5 turns (30 seconds) the victims of this attack have different visions and after those 5 turns, the protector of the space emerges having created a horrifying, unimagined form that it knows they won’t be expecting.
If they players come across this creature, allow them the opportunity to see the stone shape and know that it is magical. If it is then triggered into life (for example, the players get within 10 feet of the doorway or treasure) then have the players make Wisdom saves for 5 rounds and take their suggestions for the fearful visions they see. Once this time has passed, create the character. Base the strength, abilities and hit points of the creature on how powerful the party is, for a good, challenging fight!