Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Truth?! Can you handle The Truth?!

Here's a feat for the characters who know the truth is out there, and who can find it in the most unusual places by connecting dots and finding patterns that no one else can connect or see! (The material is released under Open Game License and may be reproduced accordingly... if They will allow it. Copyright 2021 Steve Miller.)

Just because they're not out to get you, doesn't mean they want to keep you from revealing the Truth!
   Benefit: Gain +2 bonus to all Bluff skill checks and Gather Information skill checks. The bonus increases to +6 on Bluff checks made when explaining why your conspiracy theories are true... because you Want To Believe.
   Special: Suffer a -2 penalty to all Sense Motive skill checks. The penalty increases to -6 when you're dealing with another character that also possesses the Conspiracy Theory feat.

Also, while we're providing links, here's an evil for the conspiracy-busting PCs to investigate and stop: THE VEGAN DEATH CONSPIRACY!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Who's at the door this Halloween?

Bring Halloween to your adventures set in modern times with these random tables!

If the player characters are at home on Halloween, either chilling or having a party, roll on DO TRICK-OR-TREATERS SHOW UP? twice per game hour between 5pm and Midnight.

1-2. Yes. Roll on the table below to see who.
3-4. Yes. Roll twice on the table below, as there are two groups, one behind the other.
5-6. Yes. Roll on the table below to see who. Roll again in 5 minutes.
7-8. Yes. Roll on the table below to see who.
9-12. No. But that means more candy for you tomorrow!

1. 1d12+1 little kids in costumes wanting candy!
2. 1-12+1 kobolds in costumes wanting candy!
3. 1d12+1 zombies sent by an enemy of the PCs, with signs around their necks reading "Happy Halloween"!
4. A vampire wanting blood!
5. A werewolf wanting flesh!
6. A demon wanting souls!
7. Death, here to collect one of the PCs (but will be happy with a couple full-sized Snickers bars)!
8. 1d12+2 robot assassins sent from the future!
9. 1d12+2 risen corpses of enemies (or grunts of enemies) the party have killed who have come seeking revenge.
10. 1d12+2 teenagers (not in costume) wanting candy!
11. 1d12+1 teenagers (in costume) wanting candy!
12. 1d12+12 little kids on costumes wanting candy!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Hushpuppies: Magical Shoes of Death for the d20 System!

The Hushpuppies are a pair of magical shoes of unknown origin. They seem harmless enough, but they are actually deadly weapons that are known to have been used to assassinate three heads-of-state, nine crime bosses, and five accordion players since their first known use in 1959.

The Hushpuppies
These magical, light brown and black soled Hush Puppy shoes radiate faint Transmutation magic. They resize themselves to the feet of any adult humanoid who wishes to wear them. 

After being worn for 48 hours straight and then removed, the Hushpuppies transforms into a pair of hellhounds that breathe poisonous gas. (For each additional 12 hours they are worn before removal, the gas becomes more deadly.)

The hellhounds have standard statistics, aside their gaseous breath weapons. Each hound can breath once per round, expelling a highly noxious cone of gas with a range of 10 feet that deals 2d6+2 points of damage; 1d6 is added to the damage roll for each additional 12 hours the soes are worn. Characters exposed to gas may roll Fortitude saving throws (DC13) to suffer only half damage. The hellhounds will attack and attempt to kill anyone who is within a 30-ft radius of where they appeared, when they appeared. Unless commanded to pursue a possible victim, they will ignore anyone who moves beyond the 30-foot radius before they attack him or her.

The person who wore the shoes is immune to the poisonous gas, but must roll a Will save (DC15) on the round he kicks off the shoes and they transform. If the save is successful, the wearer may command the hellhounds for ten minutes. If the saving thrown is unsuccessful, the wearer will eventually come under attack. If the hellhounds are still alive at the end of that time, they vanish in puffs of odoriferous smoke. A Hush Puppy shoe remains where a hellhound once stood.

(The text in this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. Click here for details. Copyright 2021 Steve Miller)

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Boxes of Doom

"The Boxes of Doom" is a series of random tables intended to spark the imagination of GMs to create an adventure of mystery, magic, and horror. The GM should roll 1d6 against the tables below to generate key elements of an adventure, and then use their imaginations to flesh out the resulting storyline. The tables contain references to certain characters and concepts that have been featured in NUELOW Games products or on this blog, such as the Sorceress of Zoom, the Amazons, and the Witchkind.

The idea for this was suggested by a horror short film by Alex Magana, "Do Not Open", which you can watch here. I think you'll find it to be time very well-spent.

What RPG rules mentioned in the post are nominally d20 System, but the post is mostly rules-free and full of ideas.

People are vanishing all across the city, and the authorities are stumped. The only common denominator between the disappearances is that the vanished individuals shared certain superficial traits and that scraps of cardboard boxes were found where they were last seen. This is being written off as a coincidence by most in law enforcement, but conspiracy theorists and online armchair detectives are seizing on that.

The truth is that the cardboard scraps are indeed the clue--the boxes are means by which a sinister attacker is causing victims to disappear.

These mysterious cardboard boxes are being left on doorsteps. If one of the boxes isn't opened within five minutes of its being found, the person who first discovered it or brought it into a home or office must roll a Will save (DC15) or feel a compulsion to open the box; anyone else who enters the room with the box must roll a Will save (DC12) or feel a similar compulsion. When the box is opened, everyone within the room (or 30 feet, if the box is still outside) are drawn into another existence. 

Samantha Cruz in "Do Not Open"

Can the victims be saved? Who is behind this evil scheme? Roll on the following tables to determine the details around which you can build an RPG adventure!

1. Young Women
2. Epidemiologists
3. Astrologers and Mystics
4. Politicians and Their Families
5. Journalists and Their Families
6. The Player Characters and Their Friends and Loved Ones

1. Revenge for past slights, real or imagined.
2. Their skills (or just their bodies) are demanded by the Sorceress of Zoom
3. Their bodies are needed to serve as vessels for demonic spirits.
4. They are prophesized to save the Enchanted Realm.
5. As #4, but only 1d6 of the victims are the actual prophesized ones. No one knows for sure. 
6. As #4, but they are prophesized to destroy the Enchanted Realm as servants of the Sorceress of Zoom.

1. A barren hellscape where they die from exposure 1d2 days after they vanish.
2. Prison cells in the Flying City of Zoom.
3. Into cages in an abandoned factory.
4. Into cells in a dank torture dungeon.
5. Into a richly appointed series of chambers in a castle in the Enchanted Realm.
6. An extra-dimension city inhabited by the Witchkind and Amazons--and they are as surprised to see the victims as the victims are to be there.

1. A would-be lover of the Sorceress of Zoom who is trying to impress her.
2. Someone they wronged--or who believes they wronged him or her.
3. A cultist hoping to curry favor with the demonic entity he or she worships.
4. A delivery driver who is hoping to unlock secret demonic powers.
5. An extra-dimensional sexual pervert looking for new and unusual victims.
6. The Master of the Enchanted Realm.

1. Secret enchantments known only to a reclusive demonlord.
2. The boxes include matter from a cursed tree. 13 of them exist.
3. Each box houses a demonic spirit that is released into the world when the victim is transported.
4. Tiny dimensional imps native to the City of Zoom that have been enslaved; they are released when the box is activated and the victims are teleported.
5. A spell that is cast on each box that the creator obtained either through theft or as a gift from the Sorceress of Zoom. Each time the creator enchants a box, he or she becomes closer to ending up wherre the victims are being transported to. The creator can use the spell a maximum of 2d6+6 times. He or she is not aware of this limit.
6. Innate magical abilities of the person creating the box, brought out by intense hatred toward the victims. Unknown to anyone but the Master of the Enchanted Realm, the creator of the boxes is part dragon.

1. The Player Characters must be transported by the boxes. They will then have to free the victims and find their way to a gate back to their world (assuming the victims are even transported to another realm).
2. The Sorceress of Zoom knows how to recover the victims. She will do so, and restore them all to life and into the Player Characters' care, so long as they catch and deliver the creator of the boxes to her.
3. The Player Characters must journey to the Enchanted Realm and secure the help of its Sorcerer Supreme.
4. The Player Characters must find the creator of the boxes and force him or her to reverse the magic.
5. As #4, except the creator of the boxes doesn't know how to reverse the magic. The Player Characters must either reverse engineer the spells themselves, or seek the help of another expert in magic. Roll on WHO IS TARGETING THEM? to see who the characters need to seek out.
6. There is no way to save the victims; the Player Characters can only avenge them and prevent others from becoming victims.


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Doppelganger Eggs

This material was inspired by Dylan Clark's horror short film "Hatched" (2021). You can watch it at the Terror Titans blog by clicking here. (Ideally, you came here from that post, as even the title of this one may be a little bit of a spoiler.)
   The game mechanics attached are for the OGL Modern variation of the d20 System, but it should be easily adaptable to most other RPGs that are out there.

Doppelganger Eggs
are one-shot magic items that were developed in ancient times by Atlantean Biomancers, and the art of creating them is now only known to the secretive Witchkind and a tribe of equally secretive doppelgangers (creatures capable of assuming the form of any humanoid creature they kill, as well as absorbing their most ingrained personality traits and skills) who work with them. By performing a complex ritual, a doppelganger is put into the egg. When the egg is cracked or hatches when the magic wears off, the doppelganger swiftly returns to his original size. It can then infiltrate the household into which the egg was smuggled (usually among other food items).
   The Atlanteans would use the eggs to unleash assassins and infiltrators on unsuspecting enemies, and that is how they are used in modern-times as well. 

Creating Doppelganger Eggs
Doppelganger Eggs are created using any eggs laid by a non-magical bird or reptile and a willing doppelganger. Two beings with knowledge of how to create Doppelganger Eggs and the ability to cast 5th-level spells and knowledge of the Transmutation and Necromantic magic schools must work together to create the Doppelganger Egg. Usually, the two spellcasters and the Doppelganger are long-time associates, if not actually friends, so all those involved trust each other to do the best possible job and to take care of each other if a client/customer tries to betray them or welch on a deal.
   The ritual must be performed in a specially constructed location with a permanent enchantment area used exclusively for the creation of Doppelganger Eggs and a small number of related magic items. Over the course of three hours of intensive spellcraft, a doppelganger and an egg are merge. By the end of the process, the egg is undetectable from similar eggs, except that it radiates a faint aura of necromantic magic if such is detected for. Up to four Doppelganger Eggs can be created at one time, and the ritual is prolonged by one hour for each Egg in addition to the first one. The makers of the Eggs can perform their ritual once per day, as it drains them to the point where they must have a full night rest before they can cast magic or perform rituals again.
   Doppelgangers that work with the Witchkind conform to the standard statistics in the rule book.

Acquiring Doppelganger Eggs
To acquire one or or more Doppelganger Egg, a character must first gain the trust of the Witchkind, and then they must be able to locate a very secretive group of artificers in their society since what they do is not exactly looked upon kindly by any authorities.
   Each Doppelganger is made to order. Upon making contact, those interested in gaining one or more Egg must provide a general description of what they want to achieve with the Egg, so the Doppelganger knows who to kill and/or replace and what to do once that has been done. A mission can be a straight-forward assassination or it can be a long-term infiltration. For a relatively simple mission, the cost to acquire an Egg requires a DC18 Wealth check (with the check increasing in difficulty by +4 for each additional Egg being ordered) with the base Wealth check being perhaps as high as DC28 for a complicated, long-term intelligence gathering mission). The price can be raised or lowered if the purchaser wants to impose specific restrictions or demands upon the Doppelgangers that aren't directly related to the mission at had (such as demanding that the location and/or assumed identity must be vacated as soon as the mission is complete). The price also increases if the purchaser wants the Witchkind and the Dopplegangers to handle the placement of the Eggs.

Using Doppelganger Eggs
Doppelganger Eggs are usually placed among innocent groceries that are brought into a household or other place where a target lives. As soon as the Egg is cracked or 48 hours pass (the duration of the magic), the Doppelganger bursts forth and swiftly returns to its full size. Any characters who witness this even must roll successful Wisdom checks (DC14) or be so startled that they will not be able to take action that round the Doppelganger appears, and the Doppelganger automatically gains initiative the following round. 
   The Doppelganger suffers a -2 penalty to all skill checks, saving throws, and attack rolls for the first six rounds after emerging from the Egg, due to the physical and mental shock of recovery. As such, it will initially try to retreat if it isn't catching potential victims completely unaware.

Friday, October 1, 2021

What happens if you say 'Bloody Mary' three times?

The urban legend is that if you say Bloody Mary by candlelight in front of a mirror three times, she appears. But what happens when she does? Use the random tables below to find out, if the PCs in your game decide they want to tempt Fate during the Halloween Season. (The table can either be used every time it's done, or used to decide a constant result.)

We've tried to make this as general a game supplement as possible. GMs will have to interpret what's here in the context of whatever RPG system they will be using this content in.


   1. A ghoul with 10 times the normal amount of hit points materializes and attacks the foolish person who summoned it, as well as anyone who tries to intervene. After the summoner is dead, the monster disappears, taking the summoner's tongue with it.
   2. An angry ghost manifests and attacks the foolish person who summon it, as well as anyone who tries to intervene. After the summoner is dead, the ghost will grant one person present (who is still alive) a wish.
   3. A powerful demon appears. It demands that anyone present answer three questions truthfully; they will be questions relating to some dark secret the person harbors, often something they wouldn't want others present to know. In return, it will reveal three secrets kept by a single other person the summoner asks about. If anyone lies to the demon, it attacks the summoner and anyone who tries to intervene. After three rounds of combat, it returns to the mirror and drags the summoner to Hell.
   4. The candles are suddenly and mysterious extinguished, but otherwise nothing seems to happen. In truth, the summoner has been magically replaced by an evil doppelganger that sets about destroying everything the summoner loves, even to the point of murdering his or her friends or family. The summoner is trapped in a mirror-space between dimensions, but can be freed if the ritual is performed again. This is only a temporary fix, though: The evil doppleganger must be captured and killed in front of a mirror before 13 hours have passed. Otherwise, the summoner shatters into a million tiny mirror shards and is dead forever.
   5. A Bloody Mary cocktail (complete with a celery stalk standing in it) appears in a skull-shaped glass. The glass dissolves into vapor once the drink has been consumed. Roll again on "HOW WAS THE BLOODY MARY?" below.
   6. Roll on "IT SEEMS LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED, BUT..." below.

(This table can also be used if characters are just ordering the cocktail.)
   1-2. It's as if the Goddess of Cocktails made it herself. Perfection!
   3-4. It's okay. You've had better.
   5. It's what you imagine fermented menstrual blood from a leprous witch with a yeast infection would taste like.
   6. It tastes great, but those who drink it start feeling sick soon after. The illness lasts for 1d6+6 hours.

Art by Bryan Baugh

   1. A massive curse has been unleashed within a 1,000-mile radius of where the ritual has been performed: Zombies are animated and killing the living, making more zombies. To stop the world from being overrun by zombies, the PCs will need to find Bloody Mary's body and put her to rest once and for all.
   2. The summoner is stalked by a shadowy figure which he or she sees peeking through windows or lurking behind him or her in reflections...but the figure can never be caught or spotted by others. There always seems to be someone moving around in the next room from the summoner, or just around the corner, but no one is ever there when it is checked. The stress disrupts the summoner's sleep, ability to concentrate and function normally. Eventually, the summoner begins to lose his or her mind. The curse can be reversed by the character performing the ritual again, causing the shadowy figure to manifest and attack. The shadowy figure has the same stats as the summoner. No one other than the summoner can hurt or be hurt by the shadowy figure.
   3. The summoner becomes a magnet for maniacs that become obsessed with him or her, believing that they are destined to be soulmates. 1d6+2 of these "admirers" begin stalking the summoner threatening those he or she really loves, trying to drive wedges between the summoner and them, and otherwise trying to force the summoner to love them and only them. The "admirers" will eventually try to kill those the summoner really cares (and even casual encounters the summoner may have) about and even the summoner. This curse continues until either the summoner or the "admirers" are dead.
   4. The summoner (and any other characters within a 30-foot radius when the ritual is performed) are transported into the world that exists beyond the mirror and in-between moments. Everything initially seems normal, but the summoner and others brought into the weird realm soon realize they are in a place where time does not appear to pass and monsters lurk everywhere. They must find their way to Bloody Mary's lair and force her to let them go home.
   5-6. A long-time friend of the summoner is brutally murdered and witnesses claim they saw the summoner casually leave the site, covered in blood. There is no other evidence, but 1d6 days later, someone else in the summoner's life is murdered. Bloody Mary reveals herself to the summoner, appearing like a haggard version of him or her, and states that people around the summoner will continue to die until he or she kills him-or herself. The only other option is to catch Bloody Mary between two mirrors and causing her reflections to implode.

For a great bit of Bloody Mary inspiration, click here to check out the short film starring Katy Ford (seen in the image at the top of this post) over at Terror Titans.

Friday, September 24, 2021

RPG Campaign Scenario Idea: To Where the Sun Rests

The other day, I remembered the Scottish band Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, a group that should have been much, MUCH bigger than they were (but I digress)... and when listening to the song that bears their name, an idea for a fantasy adventure scenario came to mind. (The main requirements for making it work is that the game world must have actual gods and other supernatural beings, and it must not be govern by real-world physics and such.

This material is far broader than what's usually posted here at the blog. It is, literally, just an idea that popped into my head, but it's for an entire campaign. If just one person out sees this as a seed for something they can create, I consider it time well spent. (The idea isn't quite suitable for my current D&D campaign, but perhaps in some future one...)

An Adventure/Campaign Idea for Fantasy RPG Settings

The Beginning
The Player Characters (PCs) are traveling through a remote part of the world when they come upon a town that is completely devoid of any life. It looks like everyone packed up their belongings, loaded them onto wagons that headed in the direction of a massive mountain range that the sun descends behind to recharge every night before it flows through the underworld to rise into the sky again for its daily journey. The gods have commanded those mountains to be off-limits to mortals, and all the religions of the world hold to that commandment.
   Searching the town may allow the PCs to find a few overlooked gold pieces and other minor valuables, but everywhere they look confirms that the citizens packed up and left, seemingly voluntarily. The answer to why all citizens in unison decided to abandon a perfectly safe and sound and seemingly prosperous town seems as if it can only be learned from the people themselves.

The Middle
The PCs can easily track the townsfolk and catch up with them; they are traveling in a massive caravan, moving slowly toward the Forbidden Mountains. Men, women, children; peasants, craftsmen, nobles; all are traveling together, working together, moving their entire community across the plains to Where the Sun Rests.
   All of the town's respected leaders began having dreams and visions a year ago, the priests foremost among them. They where instructed to lead the community to the Forbidden Mountains where their grand destiny would be revealed. A few weeks later, all the citizens were having the same dreams, and so they united in a common cause, packed up all their belongings and followed what everyone agreed had to be messages from the gods.
   The PCs can choose to join the caravan--they will be asked and invited to do so because the townsfolk will welcome the added protection as they head toward the unknown. The PCs can also form advanced scouting parties and clear out threats ahead of the group of hundreds of non-combatants that need protecting.
   The journey to the Forbidden Mountains will take many months, if not years. How frequently something exciting happens along the way is up to the GM. Time can also just pass. Soon after joining the trek, however, the PCs begin to have the same dreams that are driving the NPCs--strange, hazy images of figures beckoning them and moving toward the Forbidden Mountains. Sometimes, whispering voices say that a new world and a new destiny await beyond the mountains where the sun rests. The PCs are informed that they are among the chosen few and that a great honor has been bestowed upon them.
   Any priests, clerics, or other PCs who communicate with divine beings on a regular basis get mixed messages. Some dreams and visions guide them toward the mountains, but others direct them to turn back and to attempt to encourage the townsfolk to do the same. They similarly get mixed messages if they use their "direct channel" to whatever entity they normally communicate with.

The End
The caravan reaches the Forbidden Mountains where they witness any manner of wondrous things. Things get more dangerous and fantastic as they (or maybe just a scouting party with the PCs) head up a pass. Eventually, they reach the place where the Sun Rests but any mortals who get too close are killed instantly by the heat and supernatural energies. Eventually, gods/avatars appear, alternatively urging the group to turn back or to move forward.
   Eventually, PCs and NPCs who have close relationships with divine or other supernatural entities are brought into the presence of such beings. Here, they learn that the world has a very good likelhood of being destroyed as a side effect of a massive battle that's unfolding on other planes, between gods and demons and super-powerful beings. The citizens of the town were chosen by some of the gods to be evacuated to another world so at least some of this one will live on, but other entities either want everyone to die, or want some of the mortals from this world to have a chance to defend it and possible save it.
   The PCs have one of two choices: They can either join with the townsfolk and be evacuated and, quite literally, explore new horizons; or they and a select few of the people from the town, can stay behind and try to prevent the destruction of the current world and thus possibly save billions of lives.

I hope you at least found the preceding interesting enough a read to not feel like you wasted your time. Maybe I'll do a follow-up post with some NUELOW Games-style random story outline generators to flesh this out. I will have to see if anyone is interested in seeing more.

Meanwhile, here's the song that inspired the above. Enjoy!