Thursday, February 27, 2020

D12 Castaways, Maroons, & Shipwrecked Souls

I’m almost at 100 drafts and needed to get something out

D12 Castaways, Maroons, & Shipwrecked Souls

1. Washed up with crates of expensive wine, been too drunk the whole time to realize the gravity of their situation.

2. Happily married to siren wife. Lures in passing crews that might be too wary for her song with a story about hidden treasure.

3. Former slaves escaped from sinking vessel. They’ve made a utopian egalitarian society founded on the myth that they’re the only virtuous souls left in a drowned world.

4. Cheapskate merchant captain whose crew mutinied and went pirate. Will offer banked assets if returned to the mainland, but cheap out on that too.

5. Deliberate hermit, has gained the secret to calling down lightning from their sacred meditation. Wants to redpill you on the entrapment of material desire. Their lightning behaves as ordinary lightning once called (strikes tallest thing in area, can be grounded, etc.). The secret to calling lightning can be passed on by the hermit, but is only retained by the student so long as they keep no possessions except the clothes on their back and a beggar’s bowl.

6. Talking dolphin, exiled to shore for cannibalism. Friendly, willing to trade the best whaling and fishing spots, locations of undersea ruins, in exchange for return to the sea. Utterly sociopathic. Has been living off crabs that scuttled too close.

7. Genius shipwright. Has built a ship faster than any other on the waves by themself, using only materials found on the island. Needs a crew to actually sail it, willing to let you take it if you make them captain.

8. Vengeance-crazed whaler, believes island she’s stuck on to be her nemesis-leviathan. Waiting poised for the moment it stirs to strike the death-blow.

9. Ancient alien with crash-landed spacecraft, looks like a person with a weird forehead but this is actually only a biological probe controlled by horrific, dying true form pinned in the wreckage.

10. Beard to his knees. Falsely convicted of horrific crime and exiled long ago. Has been building up legal case this whole time, just in case. Always carries thick sheaf of bark-scratched arguments.

11. Lost imperial heir’s pleasure yacht run ashore, full of moldering luxuries. The heir was placed in a preservative stasis-slumber, guarded by feral courtiers and menagerie-pets repurposed as war-beasts.

12. Family of cheerful fish-men and their senile castaway father. Raised on fantastically misremembered stories of the world beyond their island. Want to come with you and see it all.

Special bonus #13: Juggalo Prospero (I ran out of ideas)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

D20 Other Kinds of Peasant Than “Farmer”, D20 Other Kinds of Noble Than “Rich Asshole”

Sometimes I read twitter:

(Spwack's blog here:

D20 Other Kinds of Peasant Than “Farmer”

1. Old and shiftless lackadaisiac, reluctantly fed and housed only because she can make the best wine this side of the market town. In vino veritas, knows everyone’s dirty little secrets.

2. Near-mute apiarist, speaks only through buzzing noises. Preternatural affinity for bees and beekeeping. Generous as only someone without the little human obsessions with money and status can be.

3. Stakhanovite anachronism, bigger and stouter than anyone who’s grown on a peasant’s diet should be. Helps everyone with everything until his feet can’t hold him up.

4. Pagan holdout, keeps relations copacetic with the nameless things of the field and the forest. There’s an unspoken understanding that blind eyes will be turned to lamb-blood painted on trees so long as they do their job well.

5. Childless widower, grey as his goats. Seen enough people die to know how to ease their suffering, and maybe, just once, heal them.

6. Puritanical baker. Spits in the bread of those she deems sinful.

7. Half-mad peddler hawking trash and treasures. Lost the ability to tell one from the other a while ago, can't remember which relics are the fakes.

8. Washed-out squire with an inferiority complex. Retains martial skill to match most knights.

9. Depressed cheesemaker, deep in debt to the last sort of people you'd want to be in debt to. Being pressured to poison targets with tainted cheese to pay it off.

10. Cynical swineherd, self-styled philosopher. Mocks the pretensions of people who think they're better than her pigs.

12. Militiaman, was levied off to war and came back broken. Keeps watch all night with his spear and sling. Far too eager to give his life to defend his fellows.

13. Drunkard gravedigger who's become a pariah for passing out in an open grave one too many times. Desperate for non-corpse company, tells a lot of jokes but isn't good at it.

14. Eccentric blacksmith who's become worryingly reclusive recently, requesting bizarre provisions and raving that he's forging something no human hands have matched before.

15. Narcissistic village priest straining under the psychological fracture caused by his need to be seen as a paragon worthy of guiding the community, and his sense that he deserves fine food, fine clothes, and all the other luxuries which flatter his vanity.

16. Stern gong-farmer with a hair-trigger temper. Demands decorum to match the ignominy of his profession. Scatological humour sends him into a screaming rage.

17. Potter whose latest products have been frighteningly malformed. Their sleep is disturbed, their appearance is haggard. A haunting force has insinuated itself into their work.

18. Disillusioned part-time bandit and poacher. Ashamed of what they sometimes do, but lamed by injury and struggles to feed their family by decent labour alone. Sole confidante is their mule.

19. Happy-go-lucky fisherman with a quiet faith in honest, humble living. That faith is sorely challenged by the thing she dreams of at the bottom of the pond.

20. Itinerant hunter who’s seen such sights on the dusk-dark trails. When she thinks nobody’s around she’ll whistle snippets of songs she’s overheard, songs to call rabbits to the stew-pot, songs that weave the roots and the branches.

D20 Other Kinds of Noble Than “Rich Asshole”

1. Gregarious epicurean, all worries smoothed away by the weight of gold. Wants you to join her for dinner, hear all your stories. Has the weird drugs.

2. Morosely pious second son, dragged back from the seminary after the untimely death of his older brother. Resigned to worldly concerns out of fear of his father.

3. Fiery young reformer, their family name the only thing keeping accusations of treason at bay.

4. Inveterate duellist. Quick to challenge and quicker to forgive after first blood’s been drawn. Aspires to make sword-fighting as prestigious an art form as sculpture.

5. Cloistered fantasist remaking their castle and servants in the image of their beloved fairytales.

6. Prickly champion of their minor holding. A defender of the weak and uprooter of corruption (at least within their own borders), for the sake of propping up their ego rather than sincere heroism.

7. Boisterous contender. Loves nothing more than tournaments and gambling, faints at the sight of real carnage.

8. Barefoot beggar-prince, eyes turned always to the heavens as if expecting a response any day now. Gives alms by the bushel. Dogged by courtiers imitating their asceticism.

9. Furtive scion of hidden inhuman bloodline. No innate inimicality to humanity, but will jump to hostility if discovery seems likely, from memory of persecution.

10. Ennobled by letter patent for outstanding service on the battlefield. Has ambitions to rise further still, and an appreciative eye for those who feel the same hunger. Ruthless towards rivals, unbreakably loyal to proven allies.

11. Discomforted around people, prefers the company of their horses and falcons. Interested in trophies from stranger beasts, or better yet, a live one captured.

12. Wild patron of inventors and tinkers, torn between two clients. One, a crude genius at creating engines of war. The other meek, less inspired, who designs for the convenience of common folk.

13. Supposedly a masked leper, actually a peasant in disguise who murdered a rich asshole noble and took their place. Pretty decent, notwithstanding the murder.

14. Artistic dilettante chasing a dozen muses, spending a fortune on paint only to retreat to the countryside to pen poems a month later.

15. Victim of a fitful yet terminal illness. Frantically driven to sponsor and accompany one last great adventure in their brief reprieves.

16. Matriarch of storied lineage fallen on hard times. Slowly but surely growing respect for the working people she must now rub elbows with.

17. A robot running on programs of age-old ceremony and etiquette (figuratively(?)). Has the stiffest upper lip. Would rather die in the deepest, dankest oubliette than cause offense.

18. Hopeless serial romantic. Showers whoever the object of their impossible affection is this week with gifts and favours.

19. Wide-eyed dreamer. Vociferous student of distant lands, distant times. Star-gazer and antiquarian.

20. Buys wholeheartedly into chivalry and noblesse oblige. Embarrassingly terrible at fighting. Accompanied by cynical brute retainer to keep them out of trouble.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

D100+ Winsome Wines

Click the button below to generate your wine.

Note that the generator isn’t weighted based on likelihood, and will likely produce a number of wines that don’t or can’t exist in reality as we know it.

Find the automator for the generator here:

Monday, February 3, 2020

D100+ Idolatrous Cults & The Idols They Adulate

Press the button to get a cult and the idol they worship.

You can find the generator automator here:

Friday, January 31, 2020

Objects from Bebahidari

Inspired mostly by reading this:, and this:, I’ve been thinking about worldbuilding through material culture, through the things you can see, touch, manipulate, explore, etc., rather than through exposition. More thoughts will likely follow, but for now here’s a picture of a culture painted through twenty things you might find from there:

Objects from Bebahidari (D20):

1. A hexagonal crystal bottle of heady honey-wine.

2. A steel spear decorated with hyena-mane tassels at the hilt, its head rubbed with dust to reduce its sheen. Whittled into the shaft is a crude depiction of three people in a row impaled by the spear.

3. An electrum coin bearing the face of the hero-king Hesama and the phrase “May the people rejoice” in Exarchate-script on one side, a tower crowned by a crescent moon and the phrase “May the heavens be content” on the other. Older coins contain more gold in their alloy, and most have been grievously clipped.

4. A thickly lacquered black-and-red box the size of an outstretched hand, decorated with relief images of mountains and flying bustards. The box contains a block of pressed hashish and an integrated mandoline.

5. A defaced brass astrarium metering the seven heavens, though the outer two and their corresponding kosmokrators have been pried off. The kosmokrators are represented by precious stones of different colours embedded in its mechanisms.

6.  A gold-backed hand mirror rimmed with silver hog-headed serpents. The motto "No shame but envy" has been scratched along the top of the glass.

7. A wordless preacher's book, vibrantly illustrated with key imagery of Exarchate teachings: the bestowal of the fiery sword of dominion over the earth, the crowning of the first king, and the revelation of the calendar prime among them.

8. A glass jar full of aromatically-infused butter, which releases a fresh floral scent while it melts in the heat.

9. An oblong ebony case containing silver needles and blue ink-cake.

10. A cotton bag spattered with dark stains that might be mud, might be blood. Within are oracular knucklebones engraved with astrological sigils.

11. A six-stringed lyre adorned with colourful glass beads.

12. A leopard skin and red velvet cloak with a sun-shaped collar pressed with gold leaf. The cloak is tattered with holes, and over a dozen arrowheads dangle from its hem.

13. A pewter set of teacups and accompanying kettle, stamped with daisies. They smell faintly of the spiced tea sediment speckling their bottoms.

14. A tall, cylindrical white hat, stiffened with a wicker frame. Green ribbons make a riotous trail from its peak.

15. A red granite micro-stele with a planting spike on its base. Each face is carved with a stanza of a circular prayer.

16. A hinged wooden mancala board with polished, rounded opals as pieces. The board is engraved with scenes of an army fighting donkeys, and apparently losing.

17. A deep purple veil embroidered with a star chart in gold thread.

18. A long, curved dagger. Its blade is inlaid with yellowed ivory, its horn handle carved in the form of a rearing lioness.

19. A four-chambered clay spice-pot containing enough cinnamon, berbere, cumin, and nutmeg to season a feast.

20. An ostrich-saddle and stirrups, fit for a child or a small adult. The seat reeks of urine.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

What Is The Outrageous Deformity Of This Fashionable Lapdog? & Related Miscellanea

Bonus DLC for a larger table that doesn’t exist yet.

The more obvious effort it takes to keep the dog alive, the more prestigious it is.

What is the outrageous deformity of this fashionable lapdog? (D12)

1. No limbs, 90% of its body mass is fluff. Moves like a caterpillar wrapped in cotton candy.

2. Soft-boned, must have its chest massaged at all times to stimulate the pumping of its lungs. Fed pre-chewed gruel with a golden spoon.

3. Teeth grown up and out through the lips, encasing its head in an ivory cage.

4. Grossly overmuscled tail that wags its body in a fit of yipping buffoonery at the slightest excitement.

5. Delicate stilt-legs that produce a gentle, shivering gait.

6. Born without skin. Survives only with frequently replaced, medicine-soaked bandages and sterilizing baths.

7. Constantly lolling tongue, long enough to trip it up when it runs. Perpetual choking hazard. Dog must be fed through syringe squeezed down its throat.

8. Supernumerary heads and forelimbs jutting at discomforting angles from its shoulders. Never stops barking, heads can’t stand each other.

9. Head dominated by bulging eyeballs. They fall out if it moves too quickly, and must be pushed back into their sockets by hand.

10. Looks remarkably like a housecat. Suicidally depressed from chronic pain.

11. Linked by the umbilicus to a train of identical, sequentially smaller dogs.

12. Muzzle so shortened that its face is little more than a concavity in its torso.

Lapdog-related plot hooks (D6):

1. The good reichsfreiin Grizelda von Hooppentof zu Diechenbach auf Surretz wishes for her next lapdog to have a prognathicastic jaw. Go to the orcs of the Weeping Hills, and acquire one of their murder-hounds for breeding stock!

2. A number of brutal killings have shocked the court, all by the adorable tiny paws of the victims’ lapdogs. What is driving these dogs to such violence? Is it an elaborate assassination scheme? You’re being paid to find out!

3. Duels with weapons have become terribly boorish. Duels resolved between lapdogs is the next big thing. Rig the duel between the dogs of the sorely cuckolded Herr Friedlander and the slimy svengali Herr Muellin so that Herr Friedlander can avenge his dishonour.

4. The baron believes that his young heir has been replaced by a lapdog bred in his exact image. Discover the truth, then either find the real heir or disabuse the decreasingly sane baron of his delusion.

5. The count’s lap is too large for ordinary lapdogs. Three quite expensive dogs have already suffocated sunken in its folds. Find, or make, a lapdog big enough for the count. Normal large dogs won’t do.

6. Counterfeit freak-dogs made with mutagenic toxins are saturating the market. Professional breeders will shell out to see the source shut down, the perpetrators made an example of.

So you want to sell this weird-looking lapdog:

Prices assume a silver standard.

Dog multiplier:

0.5x: Boring, mutt, common breed.

1x: Breed associated with refinement, unusual colour, deformities that could be replicated with prosthetics.

2x: Real head-turner, freakshow material.

3x: WTF is going on with this dog, how are you going to get it to the buyer before it dies, or: the dog is of credibly divine lineage.


Unscrupulous Butcher (5 copper pieces per dog HD, dog multipliers become dividers).

Aspirational Burgher (1d6 silver pieces).

Voguish Courtier (10 silver pieces, 1 gold piece if no one else at court has a dog like it).

Puppy-Obsessed Prince(ss) (3d6 gold pieces, -1D6 for every four months since the dog was born).

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Break Jesus Out Of Babylon

Been reading some theological stuff, real riveting, like if wookiepedia metastasized for two thousand years, and was written by cool mystics instead of drab nerds.

A digression on creativity: I’ve seen many people talk about their creativity like it’s a muscle. I feel it’s more of a gut: something to be fed a diverse and healthful diet, these inputs mashed apart, transmuted together to new forms, its output an intermittent and urgent interruption in other business, all in all a process managed below the level of conscious attention.


The Mythic Underworld, a realm of danger, mystery, wealth untold won by desperate gambits and the skin scraped from your teeth. What you return with (or fail to return with) from the Mythic Underworld in actual Myth is never gold. Most often it’s a person. Orpheus & Eurydice, Asu-shu-namir & Ishtar, Hunahpu & Xbalanque, Izanagi & Izanami, et cetera & etc. But who could you possibly have to get out from the Underworld who has the same emotional resonance for players as cold, hard cash? The archetypal father of a character you might’ve  rolled up only a minute ago? No. The answer to me is obvious: you have to rescue Jesus.

The year is 66 A.D. Something is terribly wrong.

Jesus Christ disappeared on the eve of His crucifixion, spirited away in the night by Roman priests who would not see their Aeon of Jupiter ended. No death, no resurrection, only decades spent at the mercy of men drunk on hubris, fixed in mortal flesh. Only a forsaken world where gospel fades to gossip.

You play as the wretched of the earth, the rubble of empire, slaves, lepers, zealots, disillusioned priests, gladiators, barbarians, and the like. Maybe you’ve heeded the good word of the few apostles who haven’t yet been hunted down, or perhaps you received a vision, or maybe you just really hate the Romans. Whatever the case, whoever you are, you’re black sheep in a dwindling flock.

Your mission is to rescue Jesus. He is held prisoner in some unwholesome hole in the earth, bound by vain and venal sorceries. Your mission is a covert one. Rome’s beastly legions stand poised to crush any credible liberators of the Liberator. Go in secret, hide among the tomb-robbers and temple-thieves, rob the treasuries, smash the idols, foster rebellion, disrupt sacrifices and grain shipments, find where Jesus is imprisoned and in the end mount a daring raid to earn salvation for all humanity.

Some dungeons you might delve are:
  • The pit below the Colosseum where grub-things feast on blood and corpses thrown down from the carnage above.
  • Diana’s sacred, twisted grove, where unblemished nymphs hunt for human flesh on deerback.
  • A cave in a cliff by the Dead Sea, guarded by ingenious mechanisms and an angel with a hundred flaming eyes. In its depths lie scrolls of precious prophecy, guidance for troubled times laid in wait millennia ago.
  • A library where tongueless slave-scribes are forced to translate their secrets and their magics for Roman perusal. Ink-stained lemures stalk the shelves, hungry for knowledge to slurp from spilled brains.
  • The ruined palace of Amalek, where the Romans gleaned the seed of their God-binding ritual, home to satyrs and jackals, whispering demons, and a legion left to guard it, driven mad to the last man.