Rolling Word Play – 12

Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words.  Here’s today’s selection.  Discover more about Goes Junior Moods, Revised Toffee and Eloquently Zapped.

Goes Junior Moods
There is something abou Merrymay Town that effects its citizens.  Why else would they cry, laugh, play and sulk just like children, despite their physical age? With this merriment comes an edge. Organisation and long-term thinking is lacking and the mood of the group can change very quickly.  Rules are often broken and a new ‘ruler’ may last 5 minutes or begin a long tyrannical reign. Expect lots of emotion, bursts of creativity and savage law.

Revised Toffee
This sweet, chewy treat was created by an entrepreneurial rogue with a flair for creative magics.  Its secret is said to be the songs played by a master bard whilst it is being made.  The magic of the music mixed with the active toffee-making, created a layer of enchanted life within the toffee mix.  The result is, whilst this charmed toffee is being chewed, the user can pick up feelings and senses that surrounded the toffee during its life up to the present time. This means, that the sights, smells, sounds, even the atmosphere of where the toffee has been will leave a trace that the perceptive toffee chewer can detect.

Eloquently Zapped
People in the religious town of Jorn have been disappearing.  The common connection between the unseen victims is that they were under the weather when last seen.  Some were known to have recently been in an argument, whilst others had become quiet and noticeably sadder than usual.  The reason for the disappearances lies with a priest known by Guthrey.  He is a contented, pleasant fellow and those in the town trust and respect him both for his pious and calm nature.   However, he so offended one powerful witch that she cursed him from afar.  When he now takes confessions from his guilt-ridden subjects, his suggested atonements (such as bathing in the river and asking for forgiveness) send them to a pocket-plane created for them to repeatedly carry out those tasks indefinitely.  Will anyone spot the pattern and stop Guthrey from doing any more accidental damage? Will the pocket plane be found with or without the Witch’s help?

Rolling Word Play – 11

Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words.  Here’s today’s selection.  Discover more about Penny Swans, Zealous Unity and Spine Frock.

Penny Swans
Three city-bound travellers find shiny pennies from unknown origin.  These curiously pretty objects have a signet carved into the coins and appear to be lucky when the travellers are able to avoid immediate dangers and make uncanny decisions.  The more time goes on, the stronger the bond between the traveller and their penny. The truth is the pennies are magical entities that cannot walk to the city themselves but using their disguised form, can manipulate other creatures to aid them on their mission.  What is the origin of this species?  What mission are they on?

Zealous Unity
The clans of Caldrin, Zarrow and Nercannel form a strained township called Clan-Arrol (Arrol is the river beside which the town is based), which ties the clans together.  If the clans were left to their own devices, they would likely form separate towns or find a semblance of peace, but their unity remains in place thanks to the conniving mind of the town mayor Wezsel Caldrin.  The incoming tax money that forms the treasury is used to run the town and to keep the peace.. at least on the surface.  The rules of ‘spreading unity and harmony’ are strict.  To get around these rules, there are many gangs in operation, all vying for a greater share of the gold and land available. However, many of the gangs are simply agencies of Wezsel Caldrin, spreading disharmony and squabbling among the clans and stopping any outright rebellions.  Will Wezsel continue to reign unchallenged?  And if not, what would the outcome be?

Spine Frock
A dress that attaches itself to the wearer. It is an attractive silk dress that feels smooth to the touch.  However, once worn it’s curse becomes apparent for it cannot be removed.  Instead it bonds with the wearer, attaching itself to them almost like an outer skin.  Once the wearer becomes attuned to the garment, they can use it to safely stretch their spine up to 6 feet and shrink by up to 2.5 feet (if the wearer is less than 5 feet tall, than the distances are halved).  

Rolling Word Play – 10

Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words.  Here’s today’s selection.  Discover more about Herbs Learn, Aura Jolly and Number Audit.

Herbs Learn
A wooden bridge between the village of Orrow and the market town of Flerin has become unsafe, keeping the villagers from trading for supplies.  Something was using the vegetation beside the bridge to whip those travelling across. It almost got old Snor the peddler, but his donkey wasn’t so lucky and fell out of sight into the dense swampy ground below.

The vegetation itself is carnivorous and is attacking those that cross the bridge. When the adventurer’s pass by, roll 1d6 for the plant’s new tactic:

1-2: Disguises themselves as beautiful flowers and fruits ready for picking. 3-4: Aggressive ambush 5-6: Low growl trap as if something lurks underneath the bridge.

Aura Jolly
A magnificent garden produces an effect part illusion-part drug, inducing the visitors to seeing happy, vivid colours when in fact it is nothing of the kind. Faeries and other fey folk wait till the visiting creatures are intoxicated, and then pounce on their prey.  But what is their end-game?  And who is the ring leader?

Number Audit
Those who know it, call it the Valley of the Five.  Whenever a group passing through number more than five or have more than five of an item (for example, five swords), one of the creatures/items disappears. If there are still more than five items or creatures, the effect will repeat.  The only way to stop this effect from recurring is to split the party and the items between them.  Why does this effect occur and where do those who have disappeared end up?

Rolling Word Play – 9

Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words.  Here’s today’s selection.  Discover more about Detect Cattle, Trap Brains and Snake Tilt.

Detect Cattle
A farmer’s cattle have all disappeared from his ranch/farmstead.  A few individuals have been found wondering outside the area, and seem completely bewildered.  A plant known as Cow Slip was used to entice the cows towards Tipper’s Dyke.  This local patch of wilderness looks oddly darker than the surroundings and objects that have fallen into the dyke have disappeared from view.

The dyke contains a wild portal going to another plane.  But where does it lead, and who deliberately enticed the cows there?

Trap Brains
A trap that contains a pit full of detached brains.  They are able to survive on a liquid solution and have grown large root-like cords to continue to drink and circulate this life-giving brine.  The living body of a creature that falls into the pit will be attacked by the other brains who will attempt to squeeze into an hole they can find and usurp the creature’s own brain.

Snake Tilt
A bridge not only provides a way across difficult terrain, it also provides a singular point of travel, which is useful if you want to stop others trespassing. The Snake Tilt Bridge connects two rocky ledges that sit above a stream of magma and is designed in a colourful, attractive way to look like a snake.  For those who understand its meaning, it is a deterrent.  A perceptive creature will see a slit in the far side of the bridge that indicates it is not connected to the far ledge.  Only the first half of the bridge is supported underneath.  A party that goes across will get to the centre without any trouble, but as soon as enough of them move past the middle, the bridge will become unbalanced and tilt into the magma stream below.

Rolling Word Play – 6

Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words.  Here’s today’s selection.  Discover more about the Silver Rams, Mason Club and Clever Pinch.

Silver Rams
Mysterious silver coins have been appearing in the forest glade beside the village or Barol.  The coin’s design is not one used by the kingdom, and simply contains the outline of a ram’s head.  The villagers have been very cautious of the objects and have not dared touch them, but just two days ago a child went missing from this area, further fuelling the villagers’ panic.

What could be dropping the coins and were they responsible for kidnapping a child?  A story begins here…

Mason Club
A magical club used to shape large rocks as if they were putty.  Wooden in appearance, it acts as a normal bludgeoning weapon except when making contact with the properties in stone.  Then, it can mould the stone.  Very useful against stone constructs such as golems and especially useful if caught in a cave-in.

Clever Pinch
There is a term, to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming.  In the case of the gnomes who dwell in hovels about the Creln Hills, they have a different saying;  A ‘clever pinch’ is a way of checking that a gnome is still in control of themselves and to prove to others that they are who they claim to be. There are creatures in the Creln Hills who like to imitate and even control the minds of simple folk who are just getting on with living.  If a gnome says something particularly clever or out-of-character, they will be expected to pinch themselves to confirm their identity.  Before now, when there has been no ‘clever pinch’, conversations have stopped abruptly and the gnome or gnome imposter attacked.

Rolling Word Play – 5

Creating Roleplay ideas based on randomly generated words.  Here’s today’s selection.  Discover more about the Scalding Regret, Flimsy Bite and Hissing Health.

Scalding Regret
A natural ingredient placed in a stew to deter or punish deal breakers.  A powerful shaman needs adventurers to complete a quest, is happy to pay and give them provisions, but asks them to drink a stew with him to honour this task.  The drink is partly made of swamp weed only found in that area.  It dries and grows hot outside of its own environment. When eaten, it remains in the body for 3 days.  If the party venture out of the swamp area within those 3 days they will suffer horrific burns internally.  They will need clerical or shamanic healing to prevent further damage.

Flimsy Bite
A potential quest. A giant eel has been sighted in the lake where the natives of the area like to fish.  There hasn’t been one seen for many generations and they are afraid to go back into the waters.  Any adventurers who take on this task will find the eel is harmless to the beings as it only eating small plankton-like creatures.  If they follow it down into the waters, they will discover a clutch of eel eggs.  If they attempt to harm or move it or its eggs, it will attempt to defend itself.  The party must make the moral decision how to bring peace in the lake.

Hissing Health
There are ways to survive the jungle of Barvu but they have consequences.  Plenty of animals want to attack others or protect themselves with toxic skin and venomous fangs.  There is a type of snake called the Vulena that if placed on the body will heal them and protect the user from venom.  But it is also a parasite.  Take it off and the host creature will bleed profusely.  The more wounds a player gets and turns to Vulena for help, the more the snakes will assimilate into the host’s body.  There is a tribe in the jungle called the Vulens that is made up of humanoid Vulena.  This is the impact of those who forget themselves and give in to the jungle.

Rolling Word Play – 4

Creating RPG ideas based on randomly generated words.  Here’s today’s selection.  Discover more about the Lying Spoon, Slim Treasure and Motionless Snow.

Lying Spoon
Anything a person eats with this piece of cutlery will disguise the taste and deceive the taster. A delicious dessert will taste fowl whilst rotting meats will taste fresh and divine.  The spoon doesn’t however protect the user from poisons or disease, so consuming dangerous products will taste healthy but will still cause harm.

Slim Treasure
The Harp of Aratras has strings made of pure gold.  They are so finely made that they act as if they are hairs from the strongest horse or silk from the largest spider.  The wooden shell of the harp is beautifully decorated but the real value in in each golden string.  When plucked by a musician proficient in playing the harp, the sound is both earthy and warm, and is so unique that there is no sound quite like it.

Motionless Snow
In the Tarpa Seas is a mist that has been created by the Tarpa Waterfalls.  Some say that the source of the spring that created these falls is magically because it cures weapons of rust when placed in its waterways.  By the time the water gets to the falls it creates a mist that stays in the air and forms a dense, unmoving cloud.  The cloud is so dense and so magical that when the weather turns cold, the ice and snow crystals appears in the air, motionless. In such weather, it becomes impregnable for sea vessels and in some instances, 10 foot diamond shapes have formed, standing impossibly on one edge.  Only direct sunlight destroys the clouds, but they reform quickly as the mist ascends again.

Rolling Word Play – 3

The Inspiration of Chance and Improvisation – Word Play

I’m starting a series where I generate Roleplay ideas based on random words. Let’s see what words I get to play with today:

Massive Analyst
This is a pill taken by a creature that is desperate for an answer that they cannot yet grasp. Many of those that have taken the pill take a long time to re-emerge from their semi-comatose state.  Some never return, lost in the midst of a mental or spiritual maze.  For most, they have returned profoundly shaken and many are never the same again. The epiphanies they bring with them are often not simple and take events in a completely different direction.

Here is a way of playing out the effects of a Massive Analyst on a d10 die roll:

1 – Utterly lost. Re-roll again the following day to see what happens next.   Add a mental quirk to your character sheet from this life-altering experience.

2-3 – Confused in the unconscious realm. You re-emerge 1d10 days later, but have lost some of your mental sharpness.  Add a condition to your character sheet to reflect this.

4-5 –   You return quickly but altered by the experience.  Add a mental quirk to your character.

6-7 – You were unaffected by the experience and were able to return quickly.  You will gain +1 to the die roll if you ever decide to retake this pill.

8-9 – You found an answer to the question.  Check with the GM to see what wisdom you gained.

10 – You had a profound epiphany.  It is greater than you could have possibly imagined!  Check with the GM for details.

 Activate Understanding
A scene of devastation. Zombie roam across an area known as the Death Zone.  They are surprisingly fast and aggressive, attacking living organisms, which either bleed out or become animated undead husks like themselves.

The source of the trouble is in a grave.  A powerful magical ring was left with the corpse of an elderly lady who died a few years ago.  She carved it and used her magics to prolong her life.  As her own energy drained away, the ring’s stored energy was still working.  As the flimsy wooden coffin in which she was buried deteriorated, the ring’s influence tainted the soil and cause an un-life in the corpses of those in the graveyard.

The town records and library will have information on an old woman who dodged death for so long (she was over 140 years old) and where she was buried.  There is also information about how to use witchcraft to change the energy flow in an item.  Using a ritual and a few key ingredients, the ring’s energy can be changed to generate a flow of peace and rest.  This is a way to finally end the reign of un-life.

Sorry Accept Patience
A society run by a zealous religious faction expects their citizens to report their own sins and the sins of others.  For those who are brought to receive their punishments, they must first ask for repentance (Sorry), accept they are wrong and sign a confession (Accept).  Having signed, they must then await punishment, which will be delivered when the religious faction deem it appropriate (Patience).  This can sometimes take several years and can even be provided in smaller installments.  The faction controls the populous in this way, with fear of punishment and of being reported for sins.

Rolling Word Play – 1

The Inspiration of Chance and Improvisation – Word Play

I’m starting a series where I generate Roleplay ideas based on random words.  Let’s see what words I get to play with today:

Relevant Salmon
A group of salmon who are dependent on a single entity for their survival.  Like a hive mind, they collect their intelligence and ‘pool’ it together into one fish, who leads the others; hopefully to salvation and safe spawning grounds.

There have been instances where a salmon has been caught and all other salmon have attacked the unsuspecting fisherperson until they dropped their catch.  Unfortunately a myth has grown up that killing the one, relevant salmon will grant you wishes.  There is no record of this being confirmed, but there are records of a single salmon being speared and the entire group instantly dying.

Drafty Chocolate
Made from cocoa beans grown in the harsh tropical caves of Hinreln, the taste mentally transports the user to those harsh, windy conditions.  The shock can be good or bad depending on the creature, but it has been proven to lower the body temperature significantly and is highly sought after by those in hot, desert climates.

Suspicious Negotiation
A term that can be applied to many situations, but the particular story to earn this title is a play, very popular in rural towns in which royalty do not reside.  The story starts with a king who rules over a peaceful nation.  In the story he sees a fey creature (the sort of creature varies with each telling) imprisoned in his city.  Fascinated, he ignores his advisors and buys the creature for himself.  The king asks it questions and using its charms and illusory powers the fey creature convinces the king that it can see into the future.  For each question the fey creature conjures up a dystopian vision which in turn feeds the king’s growing concerns.  As the story goes on, the visions get worse and the king’s paranoia alienates him from everyone around him.  The story ends with the fey creature tricking the king into being released.  It then kills then king and assumes his form.

The Inspiration of Chance and Improvisation

Dice roll tables and rolleable options can make up a great deal of the choices in Roleplaying sessions. The results of a sea voyage, chance encounters on the road to the next town, loot found in the room of a dungeon. The random element keeps things exciting. For a Games or Dungeon Master it can mean the plotline changes or lengthens, but so long as they are comfortable with that, then great.

Another crucial part of roleplay is the interactive story-telling. If you take part in a roleplay you are actively improvising. Worldly examples include the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway and Robin Williams when he was creating characters like the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin.

I am lucky enough to take part in an improvisation session every fortnight. This is good for my vocal performance work but also complements roleplaying perfectly. The sessions with Rag and Bone Arts are such fun and so good at keeping you on your toes. Not only that, but they teach collaboration. If you are not working together then the story will go nowhere or one person will dominate and the story will suffer. In one scenario you might be a shop owner only speaking in questions, the next a gang of ex-pop stars in a dystopian future under an authoritarian regime. Maybe you are trying to sell beer dregs and cat hair marketing it as the new trendy drink or perhaps you find yourself as Juliet in a modern retelling of the classic tale. Yes, we played all these scenarios out and many more!

Roleplaying is about interactive storytelling and it includes all the above ingredients.