Monday, October 29, 2018

Hex 16.23 -- The Doom of Cthedrak




I've finally finished up the first seven hexes of my Populated Hexes Patreon, albeit at a much slower pace than I would have liked. The next step is to combine all seven hexes into a single document, polish it up, add some additional stuff, and publish it. My Patreon can be found here. This hex features an orcish outpost, a nest of angry giant hornets, and an oracular spirit naga unearthing a mysterious artifact.

Friday, October 19, 2018

1d8 Weird Environmental Encounters



Can be used in almost any terrain. Roll 1d20 to determine the area affected:

1-8 sphere with radius of 1d10x10 ft).
9-13 1 subhex (assumes 1.2 mile subhexes)
14-17 1d4+1 subhexes
18-19 3d6 subhexes
20 The entire hex (assumes 6 mile hexes)

1. The land within a given area is dead and devoid of life. No plants, no animals, no insects dwell within it. Creatures with animal intelligence or lower will instinctively avoid the area; those with higher intelligence feel no such compulsion, but will lose 1 hp per day they remain within the area. There's a 1-2 in 6 chance the area affected is a perfect geometric shape other than a circle.

2. The land within is filled with crystalline life; plants and native animals are composed entirely of living crystal. There's a 1-4 in 6 chance such creatures are valuable as treasure. If so, they will be more dangerous than normal varieties.

3. The ground itself is composed of an unnusual substance, such as glass, spongy vegetable matter, living tissue, etc. There's a 1-2 in 6 chance that the plant in animal life in this area is normal, but otherwise it has adapted to its environment.

4. The area is phospherescent, glowing with a strange, eerie light at night.

5. The area is sentient, and communicates via strange and potent visions that haunt the dreams of any intelligent creatures that sleep within its borders. Druids may be able to communicate directly with the locus genii.

6. The area is radically different from the surrounding terrain. A clearing filled with small sand dunes in the middle of the forest, hundreds of miles away from the ocean, for instance.

7. The area is in constant shadow (1-4) or darkness (5-6). This is visible from the outside, although there is no apparent means of blocking out the light.

8. A strong wind blows in a consistent direction within the area. Any plant life within is twisted and bent in the direction of the winds. There's a 1-2 in 6 chance the winds are strong enough to actually impede movement, and weak or light characters may be blow over.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

1d8 Strage Environmental Magical Effects



There's a 1% chance that each hex the adventurers enter will contain some type of passive magical effect. Roll 1d20 to determine the area of effect:

1-8 sphere with radius of 1d10x10 sq. ft).
9-13 1 subhex (assumes 1.2 mile subhexes)
14-17 1d4+1 subhexes
18-19 3d6 subhexes
20 The entire hex (assumes 6 mile hexes)

Roll 1d8 to determine the effect:

1. Spells cast within the area are doubled in potency (1-3) or halved in potency (4-6).

2. Certain magics cannot be cast within the area (healing spells, fire-based spells, etc.).

3. Beasts that dwell within the area gain the ability of speech. They can speak Common 50% of the time, or whatever the predominate language of the area is the rest of the time. There's a 1 in 6 chance that any beast passing through the area gains the ability of speech; the rest of the time it takes one month of living within the area for the ability to manifest. There's a further 1-4 in 6 chance the ability fades 1d8 days after leaving the area. The ability of speech only comes with an increased intelligence 1-3 in 6 times.

4. Living beings that die a violent death within the area 1 are animated as lesser undead after 3d4 days, 2 gradually turn to stone over a period of 1d4 days, 3 are returned to life with 1 hp 1 round later, dying permantly if slain again within one day, or 4 have a tree sprout from their corpse in 1d4 turns. Corpse wood is especially sought after for use in crafting magical items.

5. Divine (1-3) or arcane (4-6) spells require extraordinary mental effort to cast. The caster must roll their primary Attribute (Wisdom or Intelligence) on 4d6 in order to successfully cast a spell. Failure indicates the spell slot is still used.

6. Undead within the area are resistant to being turned (1-4) or are turned with greater success (5-6). Clerics roll twice to both determine their chance of success and the number of HD turned (if successful), taking the lower of the two rolls in the first case, and the higher of the two in the second. Free-willed undead instinctively avoid the area.

7. The gravity in the area is strange. It is either stronger than normal, reducing movement and missile ranges by half, or less than normal, increased movement and missile ranges by 2.

8. Any spell being cast within the area has a 1-2 in 6 chance of being miscast. Use your preferred wild magic system to determine the result of miscasts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

1d8 Things to Find in Barren Hills



1. The downward slope of a hill is loose. Adventurers traveling down it have a 1-4 in 6 chance of starting a small rockslide. If the ground does shift, each must roll their Dexterity or less on 4d6 to remain standing. Failure indicates they fall and roll to the bottom of the hill, taking 1d6 points of damage.

2. A tribe of aggressive goats grazes on grass. Make a reaction roll with a -2 penalty to determine what they do. There are 3d8 goats.

3. The ruins of an ancient tower sits atop a hill. Nothing remains but a crumbling foundation, made of flat black stones, each inscribed with the same curious rune.

4. A lonely shepherd's hut. There's a 1-4 in 6 chance it is occupied by the aforementioned shepherd and her flock of sheep. Otherwise, it looks as if it hasn't been occupied for 1d6 months.

5. The remains of a great battle can be found, spread out over several hundred square yards. Bones, rusty armor and decaying weapons litter the ground. Searching for one hour will yield Treasure Type VII (using Labyrinth Lord).

6. A ring of standing stones, thirty feet in diameter, with each stone about eight feet in height and three to four feet in diameter. A flat slab of stone sits in the center of the ring, and it was once used as a sacrificial altars to dark gods. Now the ring stands abandoned, but those who enter feel a strong sense of forboding as they do.

7. Three twisted pines grow in a straight line atop a hill, running from east to west and spaced twenty feet apart. If one were to walk thirty paces west, along an imaginary line created by the trees, and dig, one would uncover a hoard of Treasure Type XIX (Labyrinth Lord).

8. A single human skeleton digs relentlessly into the side of a hill. Its shovel long since broken, the undead creature digs with worn fingers at the end of a shaft that runs in and down some fifteen feet. It ignores any attempt at communication, focusing solely on excavation. Otherwise it is a normal skeleton.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

1d8 Things to Find in the Mountains



1. Somewhere, off in the distance, the adventurers hear the low rumble of an avalanche. It lasts for 1d6 rounds before subsiding.

2. The party finds a rope bridge spanning a deep gorge. The bridge looks old and in poor condition, but it is actually quite safe. The gargoyle perched on the other side, however, does not let just anyone cross . . .

3. A peaceful alpine meadow, some three hundred yards to a side. There is a 1 in 6 chance the meadow is not what it seems.

4. An abandoned mineshaft, boarded over, with the words "Danger, goblins!" written on it in the Common tongue.

5. Embedded in the rocks on either side of a narrow pass can be seen images, impressions, fossils of animals long extinct. These fossils can be used as potent components in certain spells.

6. A dead grizzly bear, its hide pierced by what numerous small arrows. No sign can be found of the archer or archers that slew it.

7. A spring exits from a steep cliff face, forming a small waterfall that trickles down the rocks. There's a 1 in 6 chance the water is magical.

8. On a mountain peak far off in the distance the adventurers spy a pair of enormous bird-like creatures take off and land, one of them carrying what looks to be an elephant in its talons. But that's ridiculous; no bird could be *that* large.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

1d8 things to find in Grasslands



While traveling through the open plains, the adventurers stumble upon . . .

1. An abandoned sod hut, built into a low hill. It contains two rooms, the bones of its former inhabitants, and there's a 1 in 6 chance whatever did them in still lurks within.

2. A large spur of stone, fifteen feet tall and eight in diameter, stabs up through the ground. Tall enough to be visible for miles around, no moss or lichen grows on its surface. Those familiar with geology recognize it is a type of rock foreign to these parts.

3. A wooden wagon wheel, banded in black iron, and apparently completely intact. If the adventurers have a wagon it could be used as a spare.

4. A dry creekbed, running 1-3 in the same direction as the PCs are traveling or 4-6 in a different direction. After heavy rains the creek runs for 1d4 days before drying out again.

5. A small spring, surrounded by verdant grass. It's small, and will run dry after filling 1d6 waterskins.

6. A small grove of box elders can be seen for several miles away, no more than one hundred feet to a side. A lonely dryad dwells within the grove, which is populated during the summer by a flock of colorful songbirds.

7. The bones of a giant can be found, half buried in sod, with grass growing in the eye-sockets of the skull. The bones are old and fractured, having been gnawed on by coyotes and wolves.

8. The adventurers startle a covey of grouse from their nests as they pass by. 3d4+12 birds take to flight as one. Quick thinking adventurers may be able to shoot one or more, food for the evening's meal.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

1d8 things to find in the woods



Here's a quick random table:

1. A dead treant, branches brittle and bowed as if in agony. A family of raccoons has made a nest in the treant's mouth, frozen forever in a cry of agony.

2. Buried under a drift of leaves can be found the remains of an adventurer, little more than bones. The only thing of value to be found on the body is a silver ring, non-magical, but engraved with the intials ES on the inside of the band. The ring is worth around 10 gold.

3. A totally intact deer skull. This one has a third eye-socket, in the center of its forehead.

4. A small stream flows through the woods at this point, barely a foot wide and several inches deep. Running swiftly down an incline, the water plays a gentle melody on the grey, egg-shaped rocks that line the stream-bed.

5. The bark of a large oak tree has been scarred, as if by the claws of an enormous predator. The gashes are nearly fifteen feet off the ground.

6. A wooden chest, one side stove in as if by great force. 1d10 gold coins can be found nearby, if the adventurers spend a turn looking. It looks as if the chest has been opened recently, within the past day.

7. An enormous mushroom, three feet tall and a foot in diameter, grows in the shade of old crab-apple tree. Even a single bite is poisonous to eat, causing 3d4 points of damage (half on save v. poison), but those who do taste its flesh are the subject of an enlarge spell, as if cast by a 9th level magic-user.

8. An old, neglected dry laid stone wall, exactly one hundred and one feet long and two feet tall, running as straight as an arrow and covered in moss and lichen.