Wednesday, December 9, 2020

If Santa Claus is coming...

 ... to one of your projects, and NUELOW Games has four possible portraits that you can use in it!

NUELOW Stock ARt: Santa Claus cover

This new stock art collection features our usual wide-open license AND in the spirit of Santa himself, it can be yours for free. (Your can pay whatever you want for it, if you feel like giving US a Christmas present!)

Click here to see previews of and/or to download NUELOW Stock Art Collection: Santa Claus at DriveThruRPG!



Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Cursed Candy Canes

The Christmas-hating mad scientist Dr. Stephen Nicholas and his faithful assistant Holly have unleashed their latest scheme to destroy the Season of Good Will and Cheer--cursed candy canes!

Christmas Art by Richard Sala

Using ancient rituals and Atlantean magi-tech, they infused thousands of candy canes with dark magics that places those who consume them under a curse. These candy canes have been mixed in with non-cursed ones and will soon be distributed all across the United States and Canada!

Will the heroes be able to stop this evil, or will Dr. Nick and Holly finally meet their evil goal?!

(The rest of this post is released under the Open Game License, and the text may be reproduced in accordance with its terms.)

CURSED CANDY CANES
The Cursed Candy Canes can be distinguished from normal candy canes, because they emit a faint magical aura of an undeterminable type or school. Characters with a natural ability to detect magic, or those using spells or magic items to do the same, can identify the Cursed Candy Canes.
   The magic of the Cursed Candy Canes is only active from the stroke of Midnight at the beginning of December 1 to the final moment of January 5. 
    The following tables determine the size of a cursed candy cane and what effect it has on the character who consumes it. These rules are suitable for use with all d20 System games, as well as all OSR game systems.
   First, roll on "Size of Candy Cane" and then roll to determine what curse it bestows upon those who consume it.

Size of Candy Cane (Roll 1d10)
1-8. Mini Candy Cane (must be completely consumed for curse 
       to take effect)
7-10. Regular Candy Cane (only half needs to be consumed for curse 
       to take effect; can be split between two characters)

The Curses (Roll 1d10)
1.  The character can only communicate by singing Christmas songs 
      and carols.
2.  The character becomes enraged whenever he or she hears music 
     and attacks the nearest person for 1d4+2 rounds.
3.  The character's teeth begin to rot rapidly and they all fall out within
     1d6+2 days.
4.  The character can't sleep. Whenever he or she closes her eyes, terrifying 
     visons gigantic, semi-humanoid sugar plums oozing a strange, sparkling 
     substance haunts him or her.
5.  Whenever the character sees an image of Santa Claus, or someone 
     dressed in a Santa outfit, he or she is terrified and must flee the area 
     at maximum movement rate. The character remains terrified for a
     a number of rounds equal to 10 less his or her Wisdom bonus.
6.  The character must naked whenever he or she stands or passes below
     mistletoe.
7.  The character becomes semi-insubstantial, appearing ghostly and 
     translucent. The character does not need to eat or drink, is immune to 
     all harm, but cannot pass through solid matter.
8.  The character becomes a werewolf whose transformation is triggered by
     the physical presence of a decorated Christmas Tree. The transformation 
     lasts until the next sunrise.
9.  The character becomes a vampire, but needs to consume 1/2 gallon of 
     eggnog each day instead of blood. Just like a vampire's need for blood, 
     the character has an insatiable desire for eggnog. If he or she does not 
     consume enough eggnog, the character suffers a temporary loss of 
     1 point of Strength and 1 point of Intelligence until the hunger is cured.
10. The character becomes enraged whenever he or she sees a wrapped 
      wrapped Christmas present. He or she must destroy the presents. 
      The rage lasts until the presents are all destroyed. The character attacks 
      anyone who tries to prevent the destruction.

ENDING THE CURSE
A curse can be ended by a bless or remove curse spell cast upon the sufferer by a 12-level caster (or from an item or scroll with the same power-level), or if the sufferer eats 1 pound of Fruitcake over the space of 30 minutes. The curse also ends automatically at the stroke of Midnight on January 5th, the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
   (For victims of #3, the curse may feel like it becomes worse: Their teeth grow back over the next 1d6+3 days, with severe pain as the baby teeth grow, then fall out, and are replaced by a new set of adult teeth.)

It's December...


… Christmas is coming, so let's get in the Christmas Spirit with an unusual version of a favorite among the NUELOW Gang--"Little Drummer Boy", with a video that was filmed not far from the birthplace of NUELOW Games itself!




Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Three Lost Artifacts of the Amazons

This post is part of a series of posts for d20 System games. Click here for background on and character creation rules for the Amazons.

The Amazons have dwelled in extra-dimensional cities scattered across Earth for more than 10,000 years. During that time, a number of powerful artifacts left behind by the Olympians for their use have gone missing, either due to disaster, theft, or mistakes. The Amazons are eager to recover these items and store them safely in the temples they maintain in honor of the Olympians. This post describes three of them.




CRONUS' SICKLE
Amazonian legend holds that Cronus' Scythe is the last example of a weapon created to fight the Time Eaters. These monsters fed upon the very fabric of time itself and if the ancient Olympians hadn't hunted them to extinction, the Universe would have unraveled and all life doomed. 
    Cronus' Sickle was brought to Earth by the leader of the first Olympian expedition to Earth, just in case they encountered a Time Eater. It remained part of the Olympians arsenal on Earth for millenia, and when they withdrew, they left it with the Amazons in case a Time Eater should threaten them in the future.
   There were at one time thousands of these weapons, but they reportedly crumble to rusty flakes when they deal a deathblow to a Time Eater. Legend has it that there was one such scythe for every Time Eater that was known to exist No one knows if there's any truth to this, but the Amazons believe it is the last of such weapons that remains in existence.
   Cronus' Sickle went missing in November of 1944 when the Amazons were temporarily forced to abandon one of their settlements in Germany after it was discovered by Nazis.
   Cronus' Sickle has a 14-inch, curved, highly polished steel blade mounted on a 10-inch handle made of lacquered hard wood. 

Powers of Cronus' Sickle
The following are the attributes of this magical artifact.
Standard Powers: Cronus' Sickle is a +3 melee weapon that deals base 1d6 slashing damage. It is a light weapon that belongs to the Simple Weapons Proficiency group.
   When a target (that isn't a Time Eater) is struck by Chronus' Sickle for the first time in a combat, it must roll a Will Save (DC18) or be subjected to the effects of a slow spell as cast by a 20th-level caster. Each following successful strike prompts a Fortitude Save (DC12) that, if not successful, causes the target to suffer double damage, as a surge of temporal energy flows through the target and into the weapon, taking with it some of their very life force. (Immortals, Witchkind, and characters with the Fast Healing feat have a +2 bonus to the Will save.)
   If a Time Eater is struck by Cronus' Sickle, it and the Sickle are destroyed instantaneously, the Time Eater bursting into hundreds of bright specks of light that disperse in the area as they blink out of existence, while the Sickle crumbles to flakes of rust and sawdust. The wielder must roll a Fortitude Save (DC18) or be struck by a temporal energy backlash that either ages or makes the wielder younger him or her, or makes him or her younger. See the table below.

1d12 Result    Number of Years Age Changes
1                     1d6+10 years younger
2-5                  2d4+10 years younger
6                     1d4+8 years younger
7                     1d4+8 years older               
8-11                2d4+10 years older
12                   2d10+10 years older

Amazon-Specific Powers: Amazons gain a +4 bonus to resist the temporal energy backlash when destroying a Time Eater with Cronus' Sickle.





TALARA, THE WINGED SANDALS
The Talara (also known as the "Winged Sandals") is a pair of golden sandals that feature ankle straps wiith stylized, ornamental wings. They were created by an Aeromancer named Hermes who died during the final battles between Atlantis and Olympus. They were briefly in the possession of the Amazons during the Olympian evacuation of Earth, but they were lost during the chaos.
   There have been rumored sightings of Talara over the millennia, and they have usually been associated with mysterious disappearances or deaths.

Powers of the Talara
The following are the attributes of this magical artifact.
   Standard Powers: When a user finishes securing the straps around his or her ankles, he or she immediately feels almost weightless. The character is actually floating a fraction of a millimeter above the surface upon which he or she is standing or walking, and this provides a +8 bonus to Move Silently skill checks for as long as the sandals are properly fastened and worn. Additionally, the sandals provide the effects of a pass without trace spell (no saving throw) as if cast at a 20th-level effectiveness.
  If the character says "Talara" while the wearing the winged sandals with the straps secured, he or she is subjected to the effect of a fly spell (no saving throw) as if cast by a 20th-level caster. The character immediately shoots upward at maximum speed, slamming against the celling if indoors (which causes the spell effect to end, whether the character lives or dies from the sudden impact). If outside, the character continues to ascend at maximum speed until the spell duration ends, or until the character takes control by focusing his or her will (successful Will save, DC21). An attempt to control the sandals can be made each round, and once the character has control of the magic, it is as if he or she is subject to a normal fly spell. If the character is airborne when the spell's duration ends, he or she will plummet to the ground.
   Once the pass without trace and/or fly spell effects have run their duration, they cannot be invoked again until the next sunrise and the sandals are exposed to sunlight.
   Amazon-Specific Powers: Amazons need to roll a successful Will save of only DC11 to control the fly effect created by the Talara. This is in addition to, and a modification of, the benefits enjoyed by non-Amazons.




TEROTOS, THE WINGED HELMET
Terotos (also known as the Winged Helmet) is a simple, bowl-shaped helmet that is adorned with a pair of stylized wings. It is made from a silvery metal that never tarnishes. It was created by an Aeromancer named Hermes who died during the final battles between Atlantis and Olympus. It came into the possession of a line of Amazons during the Olympian evacuation of Earth, but was lost nearly 2,000 years ago when a group of Amazons on an expedition to the outside world were killed during the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii. Its current location is completely unknown, and any believed sightings have turned out to be false.

Powers of the Terotos
The following are attributes of this magical artifact.
   Standard Powers: The wearer of the Winged Helmet enjoys a +4 bonus to all Search and Spot skill checks. The wearer also enjoys the benefit of a find traps spell once per day, automatically spotting the closest trap within line-of-sight and 120 feet.
   If the character says "Terotos" while wearing the Winged Helmet, he or she is subjected to the effects of a haste spell as if cast at a 20th-level effectiveness. Once the haste effect has run its duration, it cannot be invoked again until the next sunrise and the helmet is exposed to sunlight.
   Amazon-Specific Powers: Amazons enjoy a +8 to all Search and Spot checks. The Amazon also enjoys the benefit of a find traps spell, at a 20th-level effectiveness. It can be used three times per day, and is invoked at will. The number of find traps spells available resets every sunrise and if the helmet is exposed to sunlight.

TALARA AND TEROTOS WORN TOGETHER
In addition to the benefits and effects described above, when worn together the Talara and Terotos bestow the following benefits:
   *When the word "Talara" is uttered, the wearer is subject to a normal fly spell, in complete control from the beginning and without the sudden upward launch.
   * The pass without trace remains in constant effect while the items are worn, unless ended through a powerful-enough dispel magic or an anti-magic field.
   * +4 bonus to saving throws to resist all electricity-based spells, as well as those based in the elements of air and water.

--
All text in this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

OGL Cuties: Character Creation Rules and Class

You've heard of the Netflix sensation and gift to the world's pedophiles! Maybe you've even seen it! Now, here are character creation rules inspired by it. Make Cuties! Sing and dance and twerk! Beat the living hell out of pedos! (Well, maybe or maybe not. Hopefully, you will find this post contains some interesting and fun rules, even if its creation of sparked by a truly terrible movie.)


OGL CUTIES
By Steve Miller
(with some stuff borrowed from L.L. Hundal)

OGL Cuties uses the d20 System rules and it can be applied to any variant of that game. The Cuties character class is designed with the OGL Modern rules-set in mind, but it is easily adaptable to other variants. 
   The rules here allow for the creation of child characters who have been thrust into the world of adults much earlier than most. They may not be the equal of their adult counterparts, but they have skills and abilities that set them apart from their peers--depending on the campaign, these can. (Uses for this material is to create characters who are students at an arts academy or sidekicks to superheroes. Or the campaign can focus on 11-year-old twerkers. But we like the other suggestions better, especially the superhero sidekick one. That way, the Cuties can "graduate" to the Super Hero character class.)
   All text in this post is released under the Open Game License, and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms.

CHARACTER GENERATION
The basic process for character generation is familiar to experienced d20 System players. The range of character ages are from 8 to 14, while attributes range from a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 16. Additionally, the only character class available is the Cuties Class. This class only has four levels, and characters must multi-class as they "grow up" and move on from being child performers to being adults. (Cuties characters start out "weaker" than most player characters, but they emerge into adult world stronger through their experiences.)

The Steps
1. Determine Your Character's Age.
    Roll 2d4+6. The result is your character's age in years.
2. Determine Your Character's Attributes
    Roll 2d6+4 six times. once each for Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, assigning individual results to whichever ability you wish.
3. Choose a Race.
    We are assuming Cuties are Human, but any player character race that's allowed in the campaign could conceivably be used with GM permission. (Some adjustment to Step #1 may be required, however.)
4. Select Starting Occupation (if used in rules-set)
    Cuties are limited to a choice of the following Staring Occupations: Celebrity, Creative, or Student. The age requirements are disregarded.
4. Select Starting Skills and Allocate Skill Ranks. 
   (See the Cuties class description for class skills.)
5. Select Starting Feats. 
    All Cuties have the Simple Weapons feat. Cuties also have two additional starting feats, at least one of which must be from the Cuties bonus feats list. (See the Cuties class description for details.)
6. Record Starting Hit Points
    All Cuties have at least 6 hit points when they are created at 1st level. This number may be increased by starting feats and the Constitution bonus.
7. Apply 1st-level benefits from the Cutie class (including selecting the 1st level talent).
8. Finishing Touches.
    Jot down some notes about your character's appearance, personality, likes and dislikes, family and home-life, and so on. GMs can also consider using this optional system to randomly generate the character's race.
    

THE CUTIE CLASS
Cuties are children who work in the entertainment business as performers, be they acrobats, actresses, actors, or dancers. They are destined for greatness, either onstage or offstage, bringing joy to the world and possibly fighting evils in the world.

The Cutie
Restriction: This class can only be selected at 1st level, and only as part of the Cutie character generation process.
Key Ability: Charisma or Dexterity.
Hit Die: 1d6
Action Points: Cuties gain a number of action points equal to 5 + one-half their character level, rounded down, at 1st level and every time they attain a new level in this class.
Class Skills: A Cutie's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Computer Use (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Strength), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (all, pick individual groupings separately) (Cha), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (none), and Tumble (Dex).
Also, the starting occupation the character selects can provide additional class skills to choose from.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x2.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table 1: The Cutie 
Class Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Class Features
Defense Bonus
Reputation Bonus
1st
+0
+1
+1
+0
Talent
+1
+0
2nd
+0
+1
+2
+1
Bonus feat
+1
+1
3rd
+1
+2
+2
+2
Bonus  ability points
+2
+1
4th
+1
+2
+2
+3
Bonus skill points
+2
+2

Cutie Class Features
The following are the class features of the Cutie class.
   Talent: At lst level, the Cutie gains a talent from one of the following trees. The character must meet all prerequisites before selecting the talent.
   Command Animal, Increased Speed (see the Fast Hero class), Insightful (see the Dedicated Hero class), Magical Transformation, Too Dumb To Die,
   Starting and Bonus Feats for Cuties: During character creation, the Cutie selects at least one feat from the following list. At 2nd level, the Cutie gains an addition feat from this list. The character must meet all prerequisites before selecting the feat.
Acrobatics, Alterness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Attentive,  … But Don't Fall Down, Baby Roll, Bad Idea, Calm Animals, Creative, Dancing Queen, Feets Don't Fail Me Now!, Finger Gun, Fast Healing, Ghost SpotterLucky, Nimble, Run, Stealthy, Weaponized Smirk 
   Bonus Ability Points: At 3rd level, the Cutie gains four ability points that must be immediately assigned to any of the six abilities. No more than three points may be assigned to a single ability, and no ability may be raised above 18 using these points.
   Bonus Skill Points: At 4th level, the character gains a total number of bonus skill points equal to (6 + Int modifier)x2. These skill points must be allocated to skills immediately. They can be used on skills to which points have already be assigned, or to acquire new skills. Level restrictions apply.

CUTIES 4th LEVEL AND BEYOND
As should be obvious, Cuties will need to multi-class in order to keep progressing. Standard classes that build more effectively on the Cutie class are the Charismatic Hero, Dedicated Hero, and Fast Hero from OGL Modern, or other classes that draw on Dexterity- and Charisma-based abilities, such as Bards and Rogues. (And, as mentioned above, Cuties can serve as a lead-in to a superhero campaign, as the characters graduate from being Bucky, Wonder Girl, and Robin to being Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Batman when they adopt the Super Hero character class.)







Sunday, August 23, 2020

Who Killed the Family?

Theo Botty, his wife Karen, and their beautiful little girl Siri, have been found brutally slain. It's up to the player characters to figure out who committed these heinous murders and bring them to justice. And it's up the GM to lay out the "Mystery of Who Killed the Family" by using random tables as a starting point.

Art by Frank Godwin

"Who Killed the Family?" is the latest in our Random Murder Mystery post series. Roll 1d8 against the tables below to generate an outline of a mystery adventure. (If you think results are contradictory, you can either re-roll or use the apparent contradiction as a way to deepen the mystery--or perhaps even both. For example, if the family was drowned but found in the backyard, they must either have been killed elsewhere and brought back home, or there is an even greater mystery in the method of their killing to be explored and revealed.)


WHO KILLED THE FAMILY?
Roll 1d8 on each of the following tables.

WHERE WERE THEY FOUND?
1. The Family Room
2. The Kitchen
3. The Backyard
4. The Garden Shed
5. The Campsite
6. The Park
7. The Beach
8. Roll twice on the table, rerolling additional results of 8. 
    The first result is where the bodies were found. The second 
     result is where they were actually killed.


HOW WERE THEY KILLED?
1. Poisoned
2. Shot (roll 1d6 for each family member to see how many times)
3. Throats Slit
4. Garroted
5. Bludgeoned
6. Stabbed (roll 1d6 for each family member to see how many times)
7. Roll three more times on the table, ignoring and re-rolling results of 7. 
    Each member of the family was killed in the way indicated.
8. Roll three more times. For each additional 8 that is rolled, the victim 
     was found barely alive and saved. Re-roll to determine how the victim
     was attacked. The killer will make another attempt at killing the survivor.


WHO KILLED THEM?
1. The Priest
2. The Schoolteacher
3. The Brother-in-Law
4. The Husband's Lover
5. The Wife's Lover
6. The Co-Worker
7. The Neighbor
8. Roll two more times, ignoring and re-rolling additional results of 8. 
    The first roll is the killer while the second roll is an innocent person that 
    he or she has framed for the murders. If the same killer is rolled twice, 
    he or she is a serial killer. An additional family will die every three nights 
    until the player characters put a stop to the carnage.


WHY WERE THEY KILLED?
1-2. Hatred
3. Revenge
4. As a sacrifice to an evil god. (1-4. The god is real. 5-8. The god exists 
    only in the diseased mind of the killer.)
5. As a demonstration to show others to not 1-2. leave the Cult of the Dark 
    One; 3-4. steal from the Melendez Cartel; 5-6. threaten to expose the 
    secret cabal of evil Immortals that are the true power; 7-8. try to expose 
    a ring of pedophiles that consist of very powerful and rich people.
6. To stop the parents from revealing the existence of the Alien Overlords 
     (which 1-4 are real, 5-8 exist only on the murderer's sick mind).
7-8. To end the blackmail the parents were engaging in.


--
If you liked this post, you'll love Murder Most Random, a collection of 12 different random murder mystery generators. Click here to get a copy. The more we sell, the more we're encouraged to make more!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Bessie Love and the Silver Key (for d20 System and D&D compatible games)

Film historians and lovers of silent movies remember Bessie Love as a petite and radiant star who lit up the screen every time she appeared. However, she led a secret life that few ever knew about, and even fewer could ever imagine. 

   For 25 years, from 1925 until 1950, Bessie Love traveled throughout the world, battling all manner of supernatural evil, from worshipers of the Elder Gods through vampire cults and even a few demon-possessed would-be arch mages. She performed her heroics under the code-name Love Bug, and she typically wore a set of artifacts that gave her an edge in her battles, but sometimes she relied on her charm, wit, and unfailing courage to carry her through... and a pair of large sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to hid her identity. (Click here to read about how Bessie Love became the Love Bug.)

In this post, we unveil Bessie's involvement with strange happenings that were famously fictionalized in short stories by H.P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price. (As always, we translate this material for use in d20 System games, our own way of fictionalizing the fantastic.)


BESSIE LOVE AND THE SILVER KEY
By late 1932, Bessie Love had all but abandoned her acting career and had thrown herself completely into the battle against supernatural evils. She spent a few weeks in March of 1933 doing nothing but pouring through notes and a diary that had belonged to an evil sorcerer she had defeated, and she found repeated references to a house on the outskirts of Boston, Mass. that was either haunted or the location of magical gateways to other worlds. 
   The papers chronicled Archmage Alain Cartier, who fled from France to America during the 1690s and changed their name to Carter. Over the past two hundred years, the sprawling Carter family home and estate had been the sight of many strange events, which the sorcerer attributed to residual effects from summoning performed by the Carters, or to full-fledged gateways to other dimensions and the realms of Elder Gods. Within the past ten years, the most recent heir to the family fortune, Randolph Carter, had mysteriously vanished in 1922; people residing in the house had likewise vanished or suffered mental breakdowns, including associates of the sorcerer who had gone to investigate the house; and a reading of Randolph Carter's will in 1927 had been violently interrupted by some thing.
   After reaching out to the lawyers managing Carter's estate under an alias, Bessie traveled to Boston, spent a few nights in the house, and searched it using Dimond's Compass, an artifact she had acquired during a previous adventure that points toward the most powerful magical item or source in the general vicinity. When she first started using it in the structure, she thought either the entire manse was magical or the device was not working properly. She soon realized that several of the home's doors were enchanted, and with that awareness, she was able to locate a powerful magical artifact in the master bedroom--a key that had fallen behind a set of dresser drawers in the master bedroom.
  The key was a silver skeleton key that was six inches long, with a bow nearly the size of Bessie's palm that was shaped like an oddly tangled arabesque design. Resolving to start researching how this key might connect to the magic in the house, Bessie intended to spend one more night in the Carter House. As she slept, she had a strangely vivid dream. In it, she was on a windswept cliff, gazing down upon a sprawling city of domed palaces and twisting spires. Overhead was a sky that swirled with ever-changing, vibrant colors. A robed and hooded figure stood next to her, nothing but inky shadows within the hood where his face should be, and he held the silver key she had found in his gloved left hand. He handed her the key, stating that it would unlock portals that opened to other times and dimensions, and warned her that just as she could pass through to those other places, so could the beings dwelling there come through to our realm.
   When she woke up that morning, Bessie felt certain that her dream had been caused by her finding the silver key. She took it to one of the magical doors in the house and saw the key's ward and bits reshape itself to fit the keyhole. She inserted the key, picturing in her mind the landscape she had seen while sleeping, unlocked the door, and...
   Bessie found herself looking out onto a barren plain under the colorful sky from her dream. The door she unlocked should have led to an interior room deep within the house, yet here she was, looking at an alien landscape--and the wind blowing from it drove a chill through her body.
   She closed door, certain that she now understood the workings of the silver key and the enchanted doors throughout the house: Whoever turned the key decided where the door went--or maybe caused the door to lead to one of several possible locations, and beings could come and go from that location. She felt she now had an explanation for both the "hauntings" and the mysterious disappearances that had taken place in the house.
   To test her theory, she took the key to an immense, ornately carved set of double doors at the back of the house's study. They sported detailed images of medieval peoples and a village in a forest. She turned the key, expecting to see another landscape, but instead a crowd of angry, torch-carrying men, led by an armored, axe-wielding man, burst through the door even before she had fully opened it. 
   "Tis another witch," the armored man bellowed, pursing her as she scrambled backwards and away from the door. "We have found the path to their lair of deviltry!"


   Fighting off the torch-wielding mob, and dodging wild swings of the armored man's axe, she made it back to the bedroom she was staying in--and the pistol she kept there. She shot the armored man in the chest as he lunged at her one final time--and he dissolved into a spray of colorful sparks and blinked from existence. The torch-wielding mob behind him panicked and fled back the way they came, setting drapes and bookshelves ablaze as they went. Bessie, meanwhile, gathered her things, barely escaping the Carter home as it was consumed by flames.
   Several days later, Bessie returned to the ashy wreckage that had once been a grand house, together with the attorneys for the estate. To her surprise, the ornate wooden doubles door still stood, stained with soot but otherwise untouched by fire, now tightly shut with the silver key still inserted in the lock. She bought it from the lawyers on the spot, and they were happy to not only put the troubles of the cursed house behind them, but to have some additional funds to distribute to the heirs.
   Bessie had the door and the silver key shipped to California where she teamed with psychic Dane Rudhyar to predict where the Silver Key might cause the door to open to. They identified and visited six different locations--both in the past and in the present. Bessie, however, found herself haunted by increasingly disturbing dreams, so she put the Silver Key inside a bag that made magical items inert. (Nicknamed Murphy's Pouch, it was another treasure she picked up during her adventures.) 
   When Bessie permanently relocated to England in 1935, she had the door from the Carter House installed in her home there, seemingly as just an object of art that went from the drawing room to nowhere but onto a solid wall... but if opened with the Silver Key, it was a portal to so much more.

Bessie Love
Bessie Love in 1937, posing by the door saved from the ruined Carter House


*-*-*
The rest of the text in this post is released under the Open Game License, and it may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2020 Steve Miller. 



MURPHY'S POUCH
The history of this item is unknown mostly unknown. Bessie Love recovered it Murphy's Pouch from the disintegrating body of a vampire she'd just defeated, and she named the item after him.
   Murphy's Pouch is to be a small purple felt pouch with gold-colored draw strings. It radiates faint Conjuration magic. If the pouch is opened, the magic radiation become stronger. When someone looks inside the pouch, it appears to be empty. If someone reaches into the pouch, they discover it is much larger than it appears--and the person's and arm can reach deep into an inky darkness that seems to writhe and pulsate at the pouch's bottom. Once the person pulls back, the pouch once again appears normal and empty.
   If a person is brave enough to feel around in the darkness, they will quickly grab one of the items it contains, and if the person knows what they are reach for, that particular item is found just about immediately. While the pouch was in Bessie's possession, she kept the following items in it: A folding knife with a silver blade, a fully loaded Baby Browning pistol, a vail of holy water, a vail of dried wolfsbane, a small gold cruxifix and the Silver Key.
   Using Murphy's Pouch: This item functions like a bag of holding, except it can only contain up to 12 individual items that each are no more than 5 inches in length, take up no more than 5 cubic inches of space, and which each weigh no more 5 pounds. Also, if a sharp object, or some other item, that could damage the integrity of the pouch's extra-dimension space, it vanishes without any effect. Similarly, any items beyond the maximum number of 12 that are inserted into the pouch vanish and cannot be retrieved.
   To retrieve an item from the pouch, the user must visualize it. Otherwise, a random item will be grabbed and retrieved from within the pouch.
   If player characters come into possession of Murphy's Pouch, the GM must make a list with 12 slots, numbered 2 through 12. Each item placed within it is assigned a number, and the GM should roll d26 against the table to see what object is found within if a character isn't seeking something specific. If a number is rolled to which no item is assigned, the next lowest numbered object is retrieved. When items are placed in the bag, the GM can either roll randomly to see where they are placed on the list, or he can merely fill the table in order from lowest to highest. If one item is removed and another is put into the pouch before it is returned, the most recent item takes its number on the table.
   Drawbacks: There are no drawbacks to using Murphy's Pouch, but magic items and artifacts placed within the pouch are treated as if they have ceased to exist. Any ongoing effects the items or artifacts may have been powering end. Once removed from the pouch, the items return to their normal functions.


THE SILVER KEY
The Silver Key was in the possession of a family of wizards who claimed to trace their linage back to ancient Atlantis. They have gone by many names over the millennia, but most recently, they had gone by Carter. Family legends are unclear as to whether the Key was created by a member of the family, or if it had been wrested from the grasp of an Elder God, but it had been a cornerstone of their magical efforts. For a thousand years, the skilled spellcasters and artisans of the family were famed for their explorations of other realities and their ability to build permanent doorways between this universe and others: No dimension was too remote or too alien for them to access. Although many of the extra-dimensional doorways they created could be opened through a variety of means, the Silver Key could also unlock them all.
   The last member of the Carter family to have attempted to understand and master his family's ancient practices, Randolph Carter, vanished without a trace in 1922. According to an elderly servant, he last saw him studying a large silver key, but no trace of it could be found either--until Bessie Love located it in 1933. Randolph Carter's fate remains a mystery.
   The Silver Key is, in truth, an artifact that is as old as the multiverse. It was created by the Outer God Nyarlathotep, as the dimensions were forming, so that he could travel through them easily. The Elder Gods wrested it from him and gave it to a group of their mortal servants, so that they, too, could travel between realities.
   Although the Key occasionally morphs into other shapes, depending on what being is holding it, it usually appears to be a brightly polished, silver skeleton key. It is six inches long and sports a bow roughly the size of a woman's palm, shaped like an odd tangle of arabesque characters. The key wards and bit are sharp and can be used to saw through rope or leather, or inflict shallow cuts on a person that are painful but not life threatening. It radiates a strong aura of Transmutation magic.
   Using the Silver Key: The Silver Key attunes itself to whoever holds it or keeps it on their person for longer than one round. The Silver Key allows its user to unlock gateways to other dimensions, planes of existence, and even other points in time. Such gateways are usually constructed to appear like normal doors, window shutters, or even manhole covers. When the Silver Key is used to open one of these, it instead gives access to far more remote places. (See "Enchanted Doors", below, for details.)
   A person who has been attuned to the Silver Key for six days or more can recognize an enchanted door by sight: The door will appear to glow as if it had been subjected to a detect magic spell. The further away the door takes those who pass through it, the brighter the glow. (An enchanted door that takes someone to the Council Chamber of the Ancient Immortals on Mount Fuji will not glow as bright as the one that can take characters to the City of Ulthar in the Dreamlands.)
   A character's ability to see enchanted doors is lost as soon as his or her attunement to the Silver Key ends. To become unattuned to the Silver Key, the character must either allow another person to hold it for more than a round, or place it in an extra-dimensional container like a bag of holding. The character's attunement to the Key is also lost if he travels to a different plane or dimension than where the key is.
   The Silver Key also opens any door that is secured through magical means, such as wizard lock, or with some form enchanted mechanism. It reshapes itself so that it can be inserted into any lock, and, once turned, the door opens. If the door has no lock, or is locked in a manner that does not feature a traditional keyhole, knocking on it with the Key will cause it to open. The Key has no effect if there is no enchantments securing it.
   The Key may also lets the person who is attuned to it for six days or more know where an Enchanted Door leads before opening it. The GM rolls a secret Wisdom attribute check for the character; if it is successful, the character may gain some insight about the door
   If the door leads to a single time and/or place, the character receives a mental flash of what lies beyond. If the door leads to. The player should roll a successful Wisdom attribute check to clearly understand the image. A failed roll results in a general sense of unease if some hellish place lurks on the other side.
   If the door leads to several possible places and/or times, the character sees a jumble of images in the mental flash. A Wisdom attribute check with a -2
   Drawbacks: For as long as the character is attuned to the Silver Key, he or she will have strange dreams. The first dream is always of a hooded figure who hands the character the Silver Key while issuing the following warning: "This key unlocks doors that may go to many places. The person who turns the key may determine where the doors lead. But beware. Once a door is opened, it becomes a portal that can be entered or exited. And do not pass through a door you have unlocked with the key, lest you are certain that you intend to cross the threshold with your complete body and soul--or you may lose one or both. And be aware: No mortal can pass through the Ultimate Gate intact."
   The dreams of the hooded figure occur every night. Some nights, the dreamer and the figure watch some of the worst moments of the dreamer's life unfold, with the figure saying that the Key could allow the dreamer to go back and change that moment. Other times, they witness horrible events that have yet occurred, with the figure likewise declaring that the Key could let the character stop the event from happening--if it used on the right door. On other nights, the dreams involve strange and nightmarish places and worlds that the dreamer can barely comprehend. As time wears on, the dreams even seem to start to bleed through to the person's waking hours, as he or she will sometimes seem to catch sight of the hooded figure out of the corner of his or her eye, or in distorted reflections on various surfaces, looming over his or shoulder--but the figure isn't there when the character turns to look.
   Every night the character has the Key, the GM should roll on the following table to see what dreams the character has and if his or sleep is restless enough to have an impact on the following day.

1d6      Dream/Effect
1.          A pleasing scene from the past. No effect.
2.          Visit to a strange place. No effect.
3.          Visit from a dead friend or relative with a dire message. 
             -1 to all saving throws and skill checks.
4.          Relive a horrible event from the past. -2 to all
             saving throws and skill checks.
5.          Visit to a strange, horrific realm. The hooded
            offers dire predictions about the future. -4 to all 
            saving throws and skill checks.
6.         Visions of monsters and monstrous people
            committing horrible acts. -4 to all saving throws 
            and skill checks.

For every four days the character owns the Key, +1 is added to the result of the d6 roll. A modified result of 6 or more is treated as a "6". The majority of the dreams should turn out to either be revelations of events that have happened--evil deeds that someone wants to keep hidden--or foretellings to brutality and tragedies that are coming. (The character can either learn of this through direct adventures, or through the news media. Eventually, the character will hopefully understand the he or she can act on the dreams, if he or she can tolerate them.)
   After 24 days of owning the Key, and being sent dreams, the character gains Foresight as a bonus feat.

FORESIGHT [Minor Power]
You have the ability to see a fraction of a second into the future.
   Benefit: You gain a permanent +2 adjustment to all initiative rolls.


ENCHANTED DOORS
Scattered throughout the world are enchanted doors that can be unlocked and passed through by using artifacts like the Silver Key. Some have existed since the time of Atlantis and the gods walked the Earth, others are more recent creations, such as the bulk of the ones in the Carter House.
   Enchanted doors are usually found at the end of blind alleys, corridors in buildings that serve no purpose, or on exterior or interior walls. In such cases, if the doors are opened without the Silver Key (or with whatever means the creator established for accessing the door's enchantment), the door opens onto a solid wall, or, at best, a shallow space or shelves just a few inches deep. If opened with the Key (which can open any enchanted door, always), the space behind the door instead becomes a dimensional portal that can take characters who step through it to other places, times, and even dimensions. Some enchanted doors lead to a single fixed locations, others take those who step through them to a random place.
   Although referred to as "enchanted doors", the enchantments that makes them can be placed on any item that covers an opening that allows beings to enter or exit a location, such as doors, window shutters, or drapes. The only requirement is that they must conceal what is on the other side when they are closed.
   When a character passes through an enchanted door, unless he or she is entering into another structure, there appears to be a free-standing door (or window, or whatever the door's physical component is) that more often than not appears to be surrounded by faintly glowing mist. The door remains open for 1d6+1 minutes, then the magic cuts off. Unless someone who passed through possesses the Silver Key or knows the ritual to open the door, characters are now stranded on the far side of the magical passageway. (Although the door is not visible to regular mortals if there is no physical part to it at a destination point, the bearer of the Silver Key, or a character using the true sight spell or similar abilities, can see a faintly glowing outline of the enchanted door. The Silver Key, or appropriate ritual, can still open it.)


   The physical manifestation of an enchanted door can be destroyed using whatever means destroys a non-enchanted version of the door's physical manifestation. The magic gateway, however, remains, even if it now invisible and mostly inaccessible. A person bearing the Silver Key will be able to see these now formless dimensional apertures as magic auras hovering in the air, or overlaid on walls or floors if a new structure has been built where something else once stood.  He or she can cause these to open with the Silver Key, but otherwise such dislocated magic portals typically remain inaccessible to anyone but gods. (On the days of the Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, All Hallow's Eve there is a 1% chance every hour of these portals opening at random and letting being pass back and forth for 1d6 minutes. At the exact moment of a total lunar or solar eclipses, there is also a 1% chance a gateway will open for 1d6 minutes.
   When open, such magical conduits from one place to another can be seen by all beings within a 5-foot radius of it, even those who cannot normally see. A frameless enchanted door appears like a brightly glowing streak of light on the same plane and of roughly the same size as the mundane portal it was once tied to. There is no way of telling where a disconnected enchanted door leads for anyone but a god or the owner of the Silver Key. Those stranded on the far side of a randomly opening enchanted doorway are stuck there until it opens randomly again, they find another way back to where they started from, or the Silver Key is used.

Using Enchanted Doors
We recommend that the GM should always have an adventure purpose and a destination for where an enchanted door can take characters. Nonetheless, for those who like to run adventures off-the-cuff, or who might need a little help in deciding the nature of an enchanted door, we offer this random table to determine where one might lead.

2d6     Nature of Enchanted Door
2         Passage to a demonic plane
3         Passage to an alien planet
4         Passage to the Dreamlands
5         Passage to a Home of an Elder God
6         Passage to the Past, same location
7         Passage to the Past, different location
8         Passage to the Future, same location
9         Passage to the Future, different location
10       Passage to the Home of a Great Old One
11       Passage to the Past, on an alien planet
12       Passage to 4d6 different places and times

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If you feel like this post is ending suddenly, you're right. It's not so much that this idea is fully explored, so much as this post is getting really long. Maybe what we need to do is create an actual product... perhaps it could be called "Bessie Love and the House of Doors"? Is that something anyone would liked to see?


Meanwhile, you can click here to read more about The Secret Life of Bessie Love, as well as get more ideas and magic items for use in your d20 System games!