Friday, March 30, 2012

d100 Peculiarity Table for Galbaruc

I made this table for my Galbaruc campaign, though with some tweaking it might work for yours.  I jotted down 106 entries, but ended up scrapping a lot of them, narrowing it down to the 50 I liked best.  My campaign only has 2 PC races in it (Humans and Vat-Spawn) so this table's for Human characters, to give them a little distinction.

These are probably not even remotely balanced.

You are Androgynous:  +4 to attempts to pass as a (nonspecific) member of the opposite sex. 
You are a Libertine: You must make a successful WIS roll to avoid Carousing if you finish an expedition with more loot than you started out with.
You are a Struldbrug.  You have immortality (barring death by violence, drowning, etc.) without eternal youth.
For some reason, (1-2) dogs (3-4) cats (5-6) birds hate you.  They’ll growl/hiss/squawk at your approach, and the GM rolls 2d6 each round you remain within 10 ft. of the animals in question, which attack on a roll of 2 even numbers.
You have a Doppelganger.  This individual is identical to you in appearance and stats, and wholeheartedly devoted to your ruin and destruction.  It will refrain from outright killing you until it feels that the you’ve undergone sufficient discomfort, loss, and humiliation.
You are a shape-shifting reptile from another plane of existence.   Your true from is undetectable by mundane means, but if it is ever compromised, you will need to devour another human to take their shape, a process requiring 48 hours in undisturbed darkness.  Your ancient enemies the (1-2) red (3-4) black scaled reptiles have their agents as well, and you will periodically receive orders from your superiors as you carry on the millennia-long struggle against your rivals,.
You may perceive oracular significance in the buzzing of insects.
Some years ago, you were a member of a secret cult.  Despite certain dire oaths to the contrary, you abandoned it.  Your former brothers and sisters are always on the lookout for the runaway.  Gain Distinctive Tattoo.
You are extraordinarily forgettable.  This can be frustrating, as you must constantly remind casual acquaintances of your identity, but it comes in handy when eyewitnesses to the robbery are describing suspects to the authorities.
You are a Gourmand.  You must make a Save vs. Spell roll at +4 difficulty to turn down the chance of experiencing a new taste.
Once per session, you may summon the spirit of an illustrious dead ancestor of yours for five minutes of consultation.
A powerful Magic-User , for some unknown reason, has taken an interest in your progress, and will act behind the scenes as a patron.  This assistance will not come without a price.
You were born with a tail.  Casual investigation has led you to believe that everyone is, and that there is a secret conspiracy of physicians and midwives to lop them off at birth, to some unguessable purpose.
You were born with a birth caul: While it remains on your person, you cannot drown.
You were baptized in the blood of the Salamander.  You take no damage from fire.
You are a musical prodigy.  You may give an unforgettable performance on any instrument, but the instrument will disintegrate or fall apart in dramatic fashion as soon as you finish playing.
True or not, you have a reputation as a colossal pervert – a sexual adventurer of the most depraved kind.  This will be met with interest and enthusiasm in some quarters, and suspicion and hostility in others.
You bear an executioner’s brand on your thumb, indicating a reprieve from the death penalty.  If found guilty for any crime in the future, you will swing for it.
You are an ordained cleric in the religion of your choice.  You possess no mystic powers, but can perform all observances, rituals, and ceremonies expected of you.  You have not been officially defrocked, but any relationship with the church hierarchy is strained, at best.   Reroll if you’re already playing a “capital C” Cleric.
Ghosts, specters, etc. are especially drawn to you.  These visitations are not always malevolent, and often take the form of pleas for aid and redress of past wrongs.
An otherworldly Insect parasite has lodged itself in the base of your spine.  You will occasionally experience strange fascinations and cravings, which you may attempt to resist with a Save vs. Spell.
You are an albino.
You are unable to grow any hair.  No eyebrows, no pubes, nothin’.   You are blessed to live in a time and place when wigs are fashionable.
You have a coin with the sigil of a Minor Demon carved into it.  You may summon this demon once to fulfill a favor, after which, the demon returns to its own plane and the coin is reduced to a worthless blackened lump of slag.
You’ve woken up from suspended animation  after d10 x100 years.  Take 1 dot in Lore, but your knowledge may be somewhat out of date.  Your speech will probably sound a bit archaic, as well.
Every time you fail your Save while Carousing,  make another Save (vs. Magic).  If you fail, you dream a monster into existence.  You (or the GM) roll up a monster using a random generator, which then blinks into existence, terrorizing the town or countryside and working its way toward you.
You have a horrible, rasping speaking voice but can sing like an angel.
You can hold your liquor like a champ.  +4 to save vs. poison when boozing it up.
You have an inch-tall horn spiraling out of your forehead.
Your physical body is the chain that keeps a monster imprisoned.   The GM will secretly roll a number on a d100.  When you’ve taken that much HP damage, (or die) the creature breaks its bonds and escapes.  Magical Healing can reverse the process, but only at a rate of 1 HP/instance.
Someone believes you to be the reincarnation of their former lover from a past life.
There is a 15% chance of switching bodies with one’s companion during sex. (particularly abandoned libertines may need to roll again to narrow it down).  You cannot re-enter (as it were) the same body after leaving it.
You have a lofty hereditary title to a place that doesn’t technically exist anymore
Attention whore: +1 to all rolls when in front of at least one non-participant  that’s paying attention.
You are a Compulsive gambler : Save vs. Spell to avoid participating in games of chance.
You were born during a thunderstorm beneath a blasted tree--  take no damage from lighting/electricity.
Through the use of drugs, ecstatic ritual, etc., you can enter a Berserk state.  +4 to hit, damage explodes on the highest 3 digits (melee) for d10 + CON modifier rounds, at the end of which, you fall unconscious for d6 rounds.  While Berserk you must make a Save vs. Spell to avoid attacking allies within 15 ft. of you.
You are the deposed Heir to an Island Prince.  Some day, you will raise an army and take back what is rightfully yours!
Your teeth have been filed to points.
You are a Eunuch, with all that implies.  Roll again if female.
You have some training as an Actor – +2 bonus to pretend to be of higher/lower social status.
You have a cheap tin talisman of Seppophis the Huntress.  +2 to attempts to find an individual.  Your pursuers have a -2 to find you.
You have in your possession a  small shard from one of the mysterious standing stones that litter the surrounding countryside.
You have no fingernails on your left hand.
Your weapon is an ancient, storied implement of great renown and prestige.  Generations of proud warriors have wielded it with glory and distinction.  It even has a name.  So your mother always insisted, and so you will tell the pawnbroker when you run out of money for gin.
You are Double jointed.  This has all kinds of fun mechanics implications that can surely be dealt with on an ad hoc basis.
Keith Richards: take a +4 bonus and R2K1 on all Saves vs. Poison when taking drugs.
You have a Holy guardian angel and it loathes you
Pugilist!  Your fists do d4 damage, R2K1.
You have a pickled punk – a tiny, two-headed fetus in a jar.  It can tell you one fact about an individual for each drop of their blood you put in its brine.  After 12 drops, the brine will be completely clouded with blood and the unfortunate creature will finally die.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Answering Jeff's 20 Campaign Questions [Galbaruc]

Questions can be found here.  Answers may change over time as the setting is further defined through play.

1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion? 

The Church of Urizen the Great Architect is the largest and most influential faith of Galbaruc and its immediate environs, but there exist numerous cults and sub-cults dedicated to a bewildering variety of saints and syncretized minor deities.  Small, ad hoc “chapels” to the numerous  aspects of Orc, Urizen’s opposite number, can be found all over the city (though hard-line Urizenites are enjoined to tear them down as soon as they’re discovered)  as well as countless temples and shrines to various foreign and indigenous gods.  Notable local deities include Yash-Kunag the Many-Toothed and Seppophis the Huntress.  Some “clerics” profess no faith or deity at all, offering their own explanations (or simple bafflement) as to the source of their wonder-working powers.   

                                                                     2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

Standard equipment is easily procured at merchant’s stalls in any of the temporary markets that open throughout the city.   Be prepared to haggle.   Anything more exotic can usually be found in the Night Market.

 3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster  I just befriended?

For that, you’ll want to talk to someone in one of the more exclusive boutiques.  Bespoke work will cost extra, but the price includes discretion.

4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
This is a matter of considerable conjecture and debate.  All magical societies and orders proclaim their own superiority in the Art, yet the names spoken of with particular reverence and dread are notable for belonging to no society at all, and remaining alive in spite of the efforts of ambitious rivals.  The Beggar-King of Galbaruc is said to be well-versed in obscure lore particular to the city itself.  Jonquil of the Pale Flame is a formidable sorceress, though secretive in her ways.  She has refused, firmly but politely, all offers from such mystical orders as would admit a mere woman to their ranks.

5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?

Venozzia the Tigress, a well-born young woman who renounced her family connections to become a mercenary captain (a position she claimed from the band's previous leader in a duel) has achieved great success of late in a series of campaigns in the Northern Wastes.  Her most notable feats to date include the sacking of  the fortified city of  Gorynych (for which the Tsar has sworn eternal enmity) and personally slaying Ghalki-Zhun, a degenerate ice-giant worshiped by the Northern Tribes as a god.

Closer to home, the current darling of the arena is Baudolino of Gra, a farmer's son from the provinces,  He has been seen to kill an ox with one blow of his fist.

    6. Who is the richest person in the land? 
In theory, that distinction belongs to the First Citizen, a personage of great magnificence and sagacity, who  may (with the consent and advice of the Senate and the Council of Ten) command the public purse.

In practice, the Merchant-Princes of Galbaruc far outstrip this worthy in wealth and splendor.  Their grand fetes, held in the glittering ballrooms of their palaces or on pleasure-barges drifting lazily along the Slanc, are unmatched in their novelty and opulence.  The wealthiest of their number is currently Kos the Ruby-Handed, an enigmatic semi-barbarian who arrived in Galbaruc but two years ago from the Cold Wastes, and whose meteoric rise in wealth and station has aroused the enmity of many of his recent peers.  He is rumored to patronize a powerful sorcerer, or a coterie of same.

7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
 (see below)

8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Poisons and diseases can be referred to clerics and physicians.  Physicans are more expensive, but Clerics will often demand payment in conversion or unpleasant tasks on their behalf.  Clerics can also deal with curses, though the method varies with the particular curse  Lycanthropy is cured via the application of silver weapons, beheading, and cremation,  There is no cure for level drain or death.  Undeath is commonly cured by beheading, immolation, and/or destruction of the heart.

9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?

The city is rife with occult societies, 'ancient' orders, secretive sects, and mystical fraternities of all descriptions.  These vary wildly in respectability, power, resources, ostentation of costume and ceremony, and actual occult knowledge.  The more accessible of these operate on two levels: the first, for casual members, lacking any facility with the Art, for whom the Order serves as a social club in which to enjoy pleasant conversation, establish political, artistic, and personal connections, and engage in elaborately staged but mystically negligible rites -- the latter featuring a great deal of theatrical pomp, consumption of fine food and drink, and other fleshly delights, enjoyed with a pleasing veneer of ritual. 
    The second level consists of an "inner circle" in which the more important business of the order is discussed, magical research presented, and rituals of genuine efficacy performed.  Magical Orders in the city are intolerant to the point of murder where unaffiliated outsiders are concerned, and any Magic-User of 3rd level or higher will be sought out for recruitment or assassination by 1d4 such societies after spending a week or more in the city. 

10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other                       expert NPC?      
These can be found in great profusion throughout the city and the surrounding countryside.  Those who make their habitation in caves, remote cottages, or nigh-inaccessible towers surrounded by treacherous, specter-haunted forests are commonly held to be more reliable and serious-minded in the pursuit of their chosen studies, though their prices and personal habits can be alarming and eccentric in the extreme,  and paying a call on one such can be perilous, time-consuming, and generally inconvenient.  Those dwelling in the city are (fairly or not) more commonly held to be mountebanks, charlatans, and crackpots.

11. Where can I hire mercenaries?
Mercenaries are plentiful, and can be readily found south of the Slanc loitering around storefronts, gambling at dice and cards in taverns, and getting involved in drunken fistfights in public thoroughfares.  They come from every corner of the earth--  from tall, pipe-smoking 'Amazons' with stone-bows at their shoulders and long knives in their sashes to scouts and trackers from the Broken Knife islands, their faces covered in spiraling tattoos and their warclubs bristling with shark teeth, to rocketeers and crossbowmen fresh from the Khanate, to musketeers, dragoons, and sword-and-dagger men.

12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law? 
Giant two-handed whale cleavers and blunderbusses are considered déclassé anywhere outside of the most disreputable quarters of the city.  Rapiers and smallswords can be worn anywhere by gentlemen of quality.  The dagger is enshrined in Galbaruci culture as the mark of a free citizen and worn openly in any setting.  Adventurers returning from expeditions are advised to have their licenses ready to produce at all times, as unlicensed adventurers face crippling fines, confiscation of loot and property, imprisonment, branding, and, for repeat offenders, death.

13. Which way to the nearest tavern? 
There are taverns, inns, coffeehouses, cabarets, bordellos, casinos, and lodging-houses (with a taproom on the ground floor) etc., throughout the city to serve clientele of all classes and tastes.  Most adventurers, being heavily-armed, shabby in appearance, and lacking in social graces, tend to frequent low, rough-and-tumble establishments where they may play at cards, dice, or competitive maiming, drink to excess, make contacts with other abandoned scum, hatch plots for unsavory escapades, gather intelligence for the commission of same, and enjoy the amorous attentions of jades, trollops, and rough trade, paid in full with gold wrenched that very evening from the hands of corpses.

14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
None at the moment, unless you count the predations of bandits and highwaymen.  Notices of wanted miscreants and their bounties can be found posted all around the city.  
15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
The Island Princes often wage (small-scale) war amongst themselves, but are advised to keep their bloodletting and intriguing in check.  Tensions are heating up with the nearby Sultanate of  Zhaibar, as its sultan sinks further into madness.

16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?

The barbaric old days of slave-gladiators are a thing of the past, disposed of in the same revolt by which Galbaruc secured her freedom.  Nowadays, the blood-thirsty mob must content themselves with spectacles involving willing participants.  The definition of "willing" is deceptively broad, including as it does eager swashbucklers, prizefighters from the provinces, indentured servants, debtors, and all animals.  Matches are fought with weapons and without, and may be to first blood, the unconsciousness of one or both parties, surrender, or death.

17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
Yes, although their very nature ensures that PCs will only become aware of their presence after blundering into their carefully-laid schemes or being approached by their representatives.

18. What is there to eat around here?

As a port city, Galbaruc has access to a great variety of seafood.  Chiles and spices are very popular.  The most popular food for the adventuring classes is generally a fish stew, made with whatever was cheap and available at the market that day, along with some grilled flatbread to sop up the leavings.  Street vendors sell a bewildering array of food, mostly starchy, meaty, and fried.

19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
(see below)

20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?

 The Prelate of the Drowned, an inhuman shape-changing sorcerer believed to dwell beneath the Bay of Maidens, is said to be responsible for all shipwrecks that occur within sight of the city walls.  He is a consort of Yash-Kunag the Many-Toothed, and thus a rival to our beloved First Citizen, and his hoard, amassed over countless centuries, is beyond counting.