Friday, December 23, 2022

D6x6 Disembodied Brains

Click the button below for your very own disembodied brain:

Special thanks to Spwack for the generator automator here:

D6This brain is the brain of
1a child prodigy who made great strides in fields both theoretical and applied.
2a renegade academic-turned-cult leader whose doctrine combined cutting-edge scientific discoveries with syncretic religious beliefs.
3a military scientist who headed a black budget research & development program.
4an elderly scientist who made themself a household name in popular education.
5a former pope, who strongly supported Jesuitical science.
6a filthy rich technology mogul.
D6This brain was disembodied
1in a radical medical procedure to save them from a disease that was ravaging the rest of their body.
2to escape the indignities of physical form for a life of the pure intellect.
3as an extravagant punishment by a rival, which the brain eventually turned around on them.
4because a routine scan revealed abnormal formations within it that could have represented the next step in directed human evolution.
5to serve as the key organic component of a transcendent quantum supercomputer.
6as one step in a larger, faltered process of conversion into a being of living neuro-electricity.
D6This disembodied brain can communicate
1with a mechanical speaker hooked up to its language center.
2with a saccadic keyboard controlled with its still-attached eyes.
3with the help of an interpreter who's learned how to read the ripplings of its folds.
4with its telepathic power that was unlocked by its transformation.
5by plugging a cable into the base of its interlocutor's skull, allowing direct transfer of their thoughts.
6by expanding, contracting, or rearranging the membrane of chromatophores that envelopes it.
D6This disembodied brain gets about
1by slithering on the modified remains of its spinal column like a snake.
2only by being carried by an assistant.
3by way of a neurally-controlled, motorized exosketelon originally designed to grant mobility to quadriplegics.
4by infiltrating its nerves into non-sapient animals and manipulating their musculature.
5by being pumped through a system of hydraulic tubes while suspended in nutritive fluid.
6by floating with its telekinetic power that was unlocked by its transformation.
D6This disembodied brain can interact with the world
1only through willing (or unwitting) proxies.
2with grafted cybernetic devices that can manipulate magnetic fields.
3with its advanced predictive logic, able to set up complex Rube Goldbergian series of events after a few moments of analysis.
4by using its implanted mind-computer interface to hack electronics.
5with mucal tentacles it can extrude from and retact into itself at will.
6with a pair of remotely-controlled robotic hands that crawl around at its mental direction.
D6This disembodied brain desires
1the utter annihilation of external reality, which they believe they've proven to be - hallucinatory invention of their unconscious.
2to immanentize the digital singularity, so that it may have a (self-perceived) intellectual equal.
3to rule over less-rational embodied humans in a benevolent dictatorship.
4to create a simulated paradise where the only limit on the fulfillment of human wants is computational capacity.
5to find someone who can love it based entirely on its personality.
6to liberate all people from their prisons of flesh and bone.

D6x6 Giant Radioactive Bugs

Click the button below to generate a random giant radioactive bug:

D6This giant radioactive bug is
1a rhinocerous beetle.
2a centipede.
3a bullet ant.
4a deathstalker scorpion.
5a whip scorpion.
6a camel spider.
D6This giant radioactive bug was irradiated
1by a corrupt company's improperly disposed-of nuclear waste.
2by the remnants of a cosmically-distant gamma ray burst.
3by leakage from medical x-ray devices.
4by the launch-blast of a Project Orion spaceship.
5by the meltdown of an incompetently-designed nuclear reactor.
6by a limited outbreak of tactical nuclear war.
D6This giant radioactive bug wants
1to find a nuclear site it can lay its eggs in.
2to demolish a nearby city that's broadcasting irritating signals.
3to transcend its material shell as a being of pure gamma energy.
4to usurp mammals as the dominant intelligent class of the Earth.
5to usher in an extraterrestrial queen from her cometary chrysalis.
6to follow the bidding of a child who's psychically bonded with it.
D6This giant radioactive bug can
1swiftly heal wounds with cancerous growths.
2render matter around it as brittle as styrofoam.
3lay parasitic offspring that hijack the brains of those they infest.
4induce an intense sensation of formication in anyone nearby.
5explosively molt into an even-more-gigantic super-form for a short time.
6emit a mutagenic mist from its spiracles.
D6The military aims to take care of this giant radioactive bug
1by nuking it - this will not go well.
2by irradiating and enlarging a natural predator of it - this will not go well.
3by using synthetic pheromones to lure it into enemy territory - this will not go well.
4by harvesting its altered genes and using them to create an army of hybrid humanoid-insectoid soldiers - this will not go well.
5by building an equally-giant robot to fight it - this will not go well.
6by taming it and using it as a war-beast - this will not go well.
D6This giant radioactive bug's weakness
1is being sprayed with a solution of iodine.
2is weapons made of or coated with lead.
3is attacks targetting its joints, letting its own mass help take it down.
4is recordings of old blues music.
5is large concentrations of formic or acetic acid.
6is drowning, though this requires sizeable bodies of water.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Five Tables of Medieval Dog Names, Divided Between Those For Hounds, Braches, Terriers, Greyhounds, and Greybicches, Derived From Writings Supposedly Composed by Edward, Second Duke of York


Special thanks to Spwack for the table generator here:

For your small & vicious dog, or large & gentle dog, or any such creatures in-betweene:

Friday, December 16, 2022

The Fountain of the Heavenly Waters - More Notes for Dungeon 2023


Thinking of central organizing concepts for my 2023 mega-dungeon - a framework to riff off of when I'm low on inspiration, and to give structure to what might otherwise be just a long list of disconnected rooms.

So: most of the mega-dungeon is within the lost city of Lacrimada - pretty cliché history, once-magical, advanced metropolis and all that, now fallen into ruin. The secret of Lacrimada's success is something within its depths, an ocean of raw chaos or god's blood or whatever else.

Lacrimada itself is essentially a gigantic fountain/water treatment plant, sucking up that uncanny wellspring, processing it into various outputs, dispensing it over the land and throughout the city, and recycling the water returned to it by waterfalls and canals.

The city's built around the pipes and reservoirs of this fountain, its pumps and water-wheels and relays. Traps and hazards might occur from the natural decay of chains and other machinery, build-up of pressure, chambers suddenly filling with or being emptied of water, or perhaps as purification or filtration mechanisms - the presence and nature of a monster might also be indicated by how it chewed through a filter or grate.

I'm going to have to do some reading on pre-electrical pump systems and so on for more ideas.

Lacrimada's water was the stuff of miracles: panaceas, life extension, healing any wound, etc. Stuff you should've been able to build a paradise on - and it was close to paradise for a time. However its people became obsessed with the water's process, with its and their eternal refinement over human concerns, and so doomed themselves. Aesthetically, I want the humanity of the city to be dwarfed by its infrastructure, homes clustered in the shadows of dams and aqueducts, like Blame! or Naissance dialed back into antiquity, brutalist behemoths overgrown by the damp.

Imagine the following, but instead of pleasant greenery, the buildings are covered by reeking mold, fungal filaments and mushrooms - perhaps great fields of mussels where the water flows over them.

Lacrimada's monsters too are warped by the waters - from imbibing congealed, stagnant, befouled samples of it, or as exemplars of its people's divergent ideas of perfection. Many will be hard to kill, capable of regeneration. Taking advantage of the space by knocking them off bridges into vast pits, venting them out of a disposal tube, dropping an elevator on their head, and so on may be the only way to be rid of them for good.

The party too should be able to access this unnatural healing - at serious risk, of course. For all the mutation tables people have written up, I haven't seen many get rolled on. Lacrimada should help with that - expect mutations galore. As you discover access shafts and re-activate elevators to plumb the city's depths, you should get clues on how to cook up various concoctions with its water by studying it, maybe whip up your own cargo cultic still.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

D100 Answers to the Question: Where Did This Wizard Learn Magic?

Click the button below to generate a result automatically from the table below:

Special thanks to Spwack for his table automator here:

D100 Answers to the Question: Where Did This Wizard Learn Magic?
1 From a charlatan, who was very surprised when the wizard started doing real magic somehow.
2 From an academy for battle-mages that used brutal discipline to turn human beings into living artillery pieces.
3 From their own future self, who went back in time and taught them magic in a bootstrap paradox.
4 From the ghost of a wizard who haunted a ruined tower they were dared to stay the night in.
5 From a stranger at a crossroads, in exchange for promising the stranger their firstborn child.
6 In an enchanted casino where anything could be gambled, wagering against a mage who put their knowledge of spellcasting on the line.
7 From a washed-up hedge-mage in exchange for a bottle of hooch.
8 From their parents, in a centuries-old family tradition of wizardry.
9 From a treacherous master who intended to use them as a sacrifice to their diabolical patron.
10 From a bound demon who hoped to tempt or trick the wizard into freeing it.
11 From the broadcast dreams of an eldritch entity that lay at the bottom of a crater lake, and in fact created that lake when it crash-landed on the world.
12 From the whispers of wights entombed in a nearby barrow.
13 From the very city they lived in, after gaining an interest in architecture and discovering the mystic geometry built into its streets and boroughs.
14 From an intelligent familiar whose own wizard had died, and so had grown lonely and longed for a replacement.
15 From a magic mirror that had a tutelary spirit bound within it. Unfortunately, just like their reflection is flipped, all the spells they learned from the mirror have been inverted in effect.
16 From soiled scraps of cast-away spellbooks they dug out of sewer-muck while working as a tosher.
17 From a sickly old wyrm no longer able to leave its cave, who wanted to turn the wizard into its instrument of vengeance.
18 From a grungy ascetic who swore off the pursuit of worldly power to live in the woods and eat grubs.
19 From a serpent-man sorcerer-scientist who kidnapped them and kept them for many years as a spell-slave in its underground citadel before they escaped.
20 From a dryad who kept them charmed and ensconced in her grove for a decade.
21 From a secret society of guildsmen who used magic to stoke their business, and took them in as an initiate.
22 From the Scholomance - a school of magic where the headmaster is the Devil himself. The price of attendance was the soul of the lowest-performing student of each year.
23 From a shady cult that claimed to receive their power in return for blood sacrifices to a nameless god.
24 From ultra-dimensional entities while tripping out of their mind on hallucinogens.
25 From a mermaid they caught in a fishing net, in return for her release.
26 From a night hag who liked the taste of their dreams.
27 From fragments of memory left over from another wizard's failed attempt to overwrite their mind with a copy of their own.
28 From a vampire who tutoured them in exchange for victims they procured.
29 From a grimoire they stole from a wizard's manse during their days as a rambunctious urchin.
30 From a book of folktales about wizards they compiled, deriving the real practice of magic from the stories.
31 From ethereal spirits that leaked into their head after they were trepanned.
32 From an extradimensional library they became lost in by accident.
33 From a lich interred in their family's crypt - a distant ancestor of theirs.
34 From a golem they stumbled upon, enchanted by a fallen civilization to educate its next generation in the fundamentals of magic. Soon after they encountered it, the golem exhausted its energy source and shut down.
35 From programming implanted directly in their brain when they were grown in a vat as a mass-produced servitor.
36 From observation of balefire stars in occult constellations.
37 From their study of mathematics that went so deep it transcended reality and entered the realm of magic.
38 From a monastery in the mountains which taught that knowledge of magic revealed the gods' truest designs.
39 From a once-prestigious school of magic that squandered its reputation in an ill-advised, downright hubristic venture.
40 From a cruel master who kicked apprentices who couldn't keep up with their curriculum to the curb.
41 From the meat of the Salmon of Knowledge, which they caught by complete accident.
42 From the grotesques of a carnival they ran away from home to join, who used magic to enhance their acts.
43 From an imperial eunuch who wanted them to become a sort of heir.
44 From a genie bound to a lamp they unearthed.
45 From a primordial titan, chained to a dry river-bottom and sentenced to have its kidneys eaten out by badgers every night for some crime against the divine.
46 From a lost astral traveler whose soul drifted along their path.
47 From an aboleth who mutated their brain to better handle arcane energies.
48 From a tsochari parasite hoping to groom them into a magic-bearing host.
49 From an older adventurer who wanted to make them into an expendable soldier.
50 From a grimoire inherited from their distant black sheep uncle.
51 From satyrs and maenads who they partied with on a months-long bender.
52 From clay tablets they dug up while digging a well.
53 From an intelligent sword once wielded by a legendary gish.
54 From elves who kidnapped them as a child, leaving a changeling behind in their place, in order to test methods too risky for their own long lives.
55 From a warlock who gleaned arcane secrets from their own master, and intended the wizard to be their ace in the hole with magic that didn't depend on being beholden to anyone.
56 From a living illusion made in the image of some great beauty, who believed that the wizard could someday grant them corporeality.
57 Under the wing of a royal agent tasked with investigating and neutralizing occult threats to the crown.
58 From banned texts they confiscated while working for an inquisiton.
59 From the surviving crew of a crashed spelljammer, who hoped the wizard would help them acquire the components to repair their craft so they could someday return to the stars.
60 From the personal library of a debt-ridden mage they repossessed after a few too many missed payments.
61 From a lecherous old master who shared knowledge as a pretense to try seducing them.
62 From their ex-spouse, who's one of the fair folk, and bears a grudge against them to this day.
63 From a fallen angel once tasked with teaching magical knowledge benevolently to humanity, yet became consumed by vices and now wanders the earth instructing only for its own obscure ends.
64 From the mystics of a clan of bullywugs they were taken prisoner by, whose practices they rationalized and codified.
65 From extensive tattoos they had no memory of getting, which they woke up with after a bender.
66 From a dragon so that they could serve it as an accountant of the magical items in its hoard.
67 From a devastating, enchanted plague that killed most who caught it, but awakened magical talent in some vanishing few instead.
68 From the echo-recordings of an extinct civilization of bat-people, kept repeating endlessly and with minimal degradation in exquisitely-excavated chambers.
69 From being partially assimilated into a parasitic fungal hivemind that escaped from an archmage's laboratory.
70 From the child of an old and potent magical dynasty who they tutoured in more mundane subjects.
71 From a secretly heretical priest whose studies led them to believe that magic could let them usurp the very gods.
72 From a brittle, centuries-old tome they looted from a tomb while employed as a linkboy by an adventuring party.
73 From their own memories of a past life in which they were the wizard-king of a city-state, brought to their current awareness by the experimental treatment of a controversial physician.
74 Working as an amanuensis for an elderly wizard who suffered from arthritis.
75 From a unicorn who found them abandoned as an infant in the woods, and cast them out when they reached adulthood.
76 From a spirit naga who they worshipped as a fierce guardian deity.
77 From a yugoloth scholar in return for a terrible fee, which the yugoloth worked behind the scenes to make them desperate enough to pay.
78 From a sphinx whose many riddles they were able to answer to its satisfaction.
79 As part of a bardic education, but they became disillusioned with the art and frippery of it and so reduced their magic to the purely academic. The vocal components of their spellcasting still retain a musical quality.
80 An apprenticeship under a travelling craftsman-enchanter who delighted in making magical toys and time-saving conveniences for people.
81 From a sentimental master who took them on as a replacement for their child who died as a result of their risky tutelage.
82 From an eccentric alchemist who taught that material transmutations were only ever a metaphor for transformations of the mind.
83 From a flesh golem whose brain was cobbled together from those of some of the greatest magical minds of its generation. Secretly, the golem hoped to refresh itself with the wizard's brain after they had enough time to learn and grow.
84 From an order of assassins who use magic to commit untraceable murders.
85 From a green slaad who admired the chaotic mess of their life.
86 From a family of brownies whose chores they'd always help with.
87 From a research council of purely theoretical mages, who considered their turning of magic to practical ends to be near to blasphemy.
88 From a dissociative episode wherein they also realized the artifical nature of their reality.
89 In a prison hulk, from their criminal wizard cell-mate.
90 In the vast planetary library of the Great Race of Yith, after one of their number swapped minds with them for several years.
91 From a giant sage whose tribe was wiped out, and wished to pass on their oral tradition.
92 From a circle of gnoll necromancers who advanced their art by interrogating the souls of those they devoured, dragged howling from the hereafter.
93 From a treant who dwelled at the heart of a primeval forest, who used to donate its wood to pulp for the grimoires of the greatest mages.
94 From the psychic puppet of a mindflayer who craved the unique flavours of wizard brains.
95 As part of the state exams of the magocratic nation they were born in.
96 From a squadron of modrons who predicted their actions would restore order to the multiverse to some extent.
97 From a memory-crystal encoded by ancient elves.
98 From the universe itself, after dedicating their life to meditation.
99 From a shapeshifting gnome they rescued from a hunter's trap.
100 From a charred grimoire which flew over the horizon and landed at their feet, propelled by an explosion created by its former bearer's miscast spell.