Saturday, March 26, 2016

Report: Maze of the Blue Medusa!

Read these:



In the absence of hard evidence on either side, you need to decide for yourself whose words are more credible. For my part, I find Mandy more credible because I can see Zak's great incentive to lie, but I can't see hers. I've decided to withdraw my support for Zak - through both my money and my blog - unless I can be absolutely certain that I'm not supporting the person Mandy describes. I wouldn't send someone to jail based on this level of evidence, but I'm not sending him to jail so that standard doesn't apply. The only things I know for sure about Zak are that he makes good RPG material and is unnecessarily combative online, and those things neither condemn nor exonerate him.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Things That Could Use A Red & Pleasant Landing

This is mostly something for me to come back to later.

Oz. Duh.
Phantom Tollbooth
Harry Potter. As you can probably tell from my previous post, I think this would make a great megadungeon.
Wild Things

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Wizard School Die-Drop Generator

I read the first of those seven popular books about wizard school in the 90s, I think. Never did get around to the rest. This is like that. Sort of.

To generate a wing of the school:
1. Determine the architectural style.
2. Drop a bunch of dice (d4-d12) on a piece of graph paper. Draw the rooms somewhat haphazardly. 
3. Drop dice (d4-d20) again to give the rooms complications. The Oddities sometimes alter a room and sometimes just replace the room.

  1. Pre-Romanesque, crumbling
  2. Romanesque
  3. Gothic
  4. Mannerist baroque
  5. Faux-Egyptian art deco
  6. Neoclassical in the heavy, monumental Third Reich way
  7. Brutalist
  8. Like an Edward Gordon Craig set

d4 Student quarters
  1. Griffindor student quarters
  2. Hufflepuff student quarters
  3. Ravenclaw student quarters
  4. Slitherin student quarters

d6 Facilities
  1. Stairwell
  2. Bathroom
  3. Storage
  4. Study
  5. Common room
  6. Detention hall

d8 More facilities
  1. Library
  2. Dining hall
  3. Kitchen
  4. Pantry
  5. Art studio
  6. Music studio
  7. Trophy room
  8. Gymnasium

d10 Classrooms
  1. Diabolism classroom
  2. Elementalism classroom
  3. Necromancy classroom
  4. Psychomancy classroom
  5. Spiritualism classroom
  6. Translocation classroom
  7. Vivimancy classroom
  8. Alchemy laboratory
  9. Potions laboratory
  10. Anatomy laboratory

d12 Faculty
  1. Formal hall
  2. Faculty lounge
  3. Diabolist faculty quarters
  4. Elementalist faculty quarters
  5. Necromancer faculty quarters
  6. Psychomancer faculty quarters
  7. Spiritualist faculty quarters
  8. Translocator faculty quarters
  9. Vivimancer faculty quarters
  10. Alchemist faculty quarters
  11. Herbalist faculty quarters
  12. Zoologist faculty quarters

  1. Abandoned
  2. Hidden door east or west
  3. Hidden door north or south
  4. Always locked
  5. Treasure
  6. ODDITY (roll below)
  7. Hidden door up
  9. Hidden door down
  10. ODDITY
  11. Hidden compartment
  12. ODDITY
  13. In disrepair - floor may collapse
  14. Overgrown with vines, roots, moss, flowers
  15. Always in darkness
  16. Always bathed in eerie light - no shadows
  17. Music constantly plays
  18. Completely hidden room
  19. Treasure
  20. ODDITY

  1. A teacher once cast a silence spell during detention and it is still active. No noise of any kind in this room.
  2. This wing is built sideways.
  3. Room fills up with jelly beans once a month.
  4. Site of an ancient murder. Blood is still fresh and may take the form of the murdered wizard.
  5. Door leads back into the same room you just left.
  6. Door leads to a room in another wing of the school.
  7. Intersects with a “regular” D&D party searching a dungeon for treasure.
  8. The more you walk towards something in this room, the farther away it gets. You can only get around by walking backwards.
  9. The ghosts in this room like to play practical jokes.
  10. Children become old, wizened versions of themselves and adults become children.
  11. PCs switch bodies in this room only.
  12. Gender-swapped versions of the PCs challenge them to a wizard duel.
  13. All chairs were once great wizards. Know one extra random spell while sitting. Chairs can’t be moved.
  14. To-scale cutaway model of this wing. Moving things in the model will move them in real life.
  15. Former lounge of one of the houses. Talking with the portraits will reveal one house secret.
  16. Site of a horrendous demon-summoning ritual.
  17. As above but the demon still inhabits an innocuous-looking object in the room useful to one of the PCs.
  18. Portrait of a former headmaster. Knows the password to the headmaster’s quarters.
  19. Friction in this room is drastically reduced.
  20. No gravity.
  21. The longer the PCs stay in this room, the more angry they will get with each other.
  22. Ghost of student playing hide and seek. Doesn’t realize it died hiding.
  23. Secret entrance into and out of school.
  24. Hiding goblin promises reward if it can be returned to the Goblin Bank without being seen.
  25. Houses the Debate Club: knocking someone out with it will force them to concede a point you've been arguing. 1d6 nonlethal.
  26. All doors lock until one person pays another a genuine compliment. Partially worn motto on the wall reads, “...then don't say anything at all.”
  27. Other living things in this room cannot be seen.
  28. If underground, partially flooded. If above, filled with bubbles.
  29. Zoo with only presumed extinct species.
  30. Table set with lavish feast. Harmless.
  31. The mice in this room put on moving renditions of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
  32. Staring into the mirrors of this room, anyone plotting harm against you will appear behind you in the reflection.
  33. Walking through a half-sized door in this room, you will emerge mouse-sized out of a hole in the wall elsewhere in the school. Returning through the same hole is the only way to regain your size.
  34. Houses a not-quite scale model of the solar system with the planets on tracks orbiting the sun in the center of the room, all in the correct current position. Notes on plaques for each celestial body, written as though the author had been there.
  35. PCs fall in love with the first person they see in this room. Lasts until the PC leaves.
  36. Contains a portrait of one of the PCs’ ancestors. Will berate or congratulate the PC for events in the campaign.
  37. To reach the other doors in this room, PCs must traverse the walls and ceiling on impossible Escher-style stairs. If they don't believe the stairs will work, they need to climb, but if they do believe they have no problem.
  38. Aviary with birds of every hue. Can be instructed to flock into portraits of everyone who has been through this room in the last day.
  39. Liquor cabinet has been left open. One bottle is labeled “POISON DO NOT DRINK.” It really is poison.
  40. Class frozen in time from d6 hundred years ago.
  41. Wizard diploma mill: goblins are stealing official school stationery for bullshit bird-correspondence courses “affiliated” with the school.
  42. Students arranging for a quidditch team to take the fall for a bet.
  43. A senior’s secret weed greenhouse. He is trying to breed a strain that will let you hear colors.
  44. Always raining. The impossibly high ceiling is lost in clouds. Everything is slippery.
  45. On weekdays, time in this room passes at half the rate of the outside world. On weekends, it passes at twice the rate.
  46. 3d12 crows sit perched around the room, silently judging. If anyone says anything negative about the crows, they attack. If they aren’t bribed with food, they will inform the faculty if students have been snooping where they shouldn’t.
  47. Cool upperclassmen smoking and listening to Pulp and Radiohead. Will pressure the PCs to steal a professor’s possession for entrance into the clique.
  48. Oven. A pastry baked with malice for its intended recipient will look delicious, but will poison them. A pastry baked with love will look revolting to its intended, but will taste delicious and cause them to fall in love with the baker.
  49. All set up for a black mass and human sacrifice which will begin in d4 minutes.
  50. Body farm of criminals cut from the gallows. Used for a variety of magical components and other research. Extremely cold.
  51. Butcher for the school cafeteria. Turns out the students aren’t eating quite what they thought they were.
  52. Open to the Haunted Forest, crumbling and overgrown. Roll a weird forest encounter.
  53. Dusty alchemy laboratory houses a homunculus that will serve the PCs if brought to life with enough magic energy.
  54. Disgraced sham professor hides and plots revenge against the headmaster.
  55. Fountain of Forgiveness. Drinking the water will cause the drinker to forget any offenses against them from the previous 24 hours.
  56. Gravity pulls in the direction of a random wall or ceiling.
  57. Schools of fish regularly swim through this room. Sometimes sharks.
  58. A lion and unicorn literally fighting over a crown. Can't remember why.
  59. Everything in this room carved from fluorescent geodes.
  60. Ghosts competing over whose funeral was most elaborate.
  61. Reverse Midas touch. Everything in the room is made of gold, but when touched will revert to its normal material.
  62. Full moon simulator. Werecreatures change upon entry.
  63. Stage. Ghosts ask you to reenact important scenes from your life.
  64. Room only exists during a full moon.
  65. Room entirely different every time PCs return.
  66. Upperclassmen rocking out to Slayer and arguing over what is the most metal spell they know. Won’t let you leave until you “show them something metal!”
  67. Ghost who went to school with one of the PCs’ ancestors. Knows a secret that would embarrass the PC, and wants something in return for keeping it secret.
  68. Greenhouse full of sentient, carnivorous plants. They communicate only by emitting mood-affecting volatile compounds.
  69. Grisly remains of a serial killer’s victims.
  70. A ghost with a fortune buried in the Haunted Forest outside the school. Will give the location away for what it wants. It wants to feel the warmth of human skin one last time.
  71. Aborted attempt at creating a homunculus servant lies strapped to an operating table. Will beg for death.
  72. Book on a pedestal contains the consciousness of a great wizard. It will contain the answers to questions written in it the next time PCs return.
  73. One PC leaves this room with a twin he or she didn’t have going in. Everyone now has false memories of the twin. The twin knows nearly everything about the PC except any relative’s name. If this is discovered, the twin is revealed to be a shapeshifting goblin.
  74. Artifacts from classical antiquity.
  75. Brain in a jar. It communicates by lighting a bulb attached by electrodes. It knows everything about the school up to d100+10 years ago.
  76. Something at once a serpent, chicken, and lizard that trails venom and kills with a stare. It guards the philosopher’s stone but cannot abide a cock’s crow, its own reflection, or the smell of a weasel.
  77. Forget everything that happens in this room upon leaving unless you first sleep in it.
  78. Great big one-eyed snake battling a snapping clam. Absolutely no metaphors for the struggles of adolescence here.
  79. 2d6 Rotting, repulsive, utterly hostile groundhogs. Killing them and leaving the room will force you to relive the fight. PCs can only leave when they allow the groundhogs to kill them.
  80. A mist-shrouded swamp with mangroves supporting the high ceiling. A boat will take PCs to a small island. Here, a witch will teach them voodoo in exchange for swapping an eye with one of the PCs.
  81. Site of a recent wizard duel.
  82. 15’ cube room full of 9 5’ stone cubes that begin in random positions. Every 30 seconds, they shift 5 feet in a random cardinal direction.
  83. Simple-looking door into the mind of the current headmaster, represented as endless corridors with endless rooms off of them.
  84. Gate to hell. Only a random faculty member knows the password.
  85. Tunnel leading to the dragon’s hoard at the bottom of the Goblin Bank.
  86. Room has a laugh track like a sitcom. Laughter comes from demon children trapped in the mirror who will escape if it is broken. Sometimes they may be glimpsed. They can’t wait to eat your fingers.
  87. Internally-lit skulls haunt the room and get in everyone’s business.
  88. Shadows become unpinned from their bodies in this room. The longer PCs are in the room, the less the shadows remember belonging to anyone and the more murderous they become. They know inversions of every spell their bodies knew. It takes a week to regrow a shadow, during which time PCs can’t refresh spells.
  89. King of the newts, imprisoned when he came to protest wizards’ treatment of his people.
  90. An observatory recording which stars and planets influence the appearance of which demons.
  91. The furniture is made of living snakes and sometimes moves of its own volition.
  92. Noises in this room are amplified ten times in volume.
  93. Insects wage war in this room, and both sides will attempt to win PCs’ support. If captured, they will be tried for war crimes.
  94. The exit to this room is at the top of a giant vertical snakes and ladders board. The snakes prevent any cheating. The winner gains 1,000 points for their house, let’s say.
  95. All surface thoughts can be read by everyone else in this room.
  96. The wine cellar of a long-dead faculty member. The wine is marked with spell names in dead languages. Drinking an entire bottle functions as casting from a scroll, but gets you wicked hammered.
  97. A black, featureless monolith. Silently it calls. Patiently it waits.
  98. Cats lie sleeping on every surface, and failure to sneak past will wake them. Their yowling will draw the attention of everyone in the wing. They can be negotiated with and will hide you and lie for you if you sign a contract, in mouse blood, owing them a favor.
  99. A maze, much bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside. At its center lies a void snail shell. Smashing it creates an instantaneous miniature black hole.
  100. Tomb of a powerful wizard. D20 items from The Wizard’s Inheritance. Make them powerful. Anyone who takes an item will wake up back in the tomb whenever s/he sleeps, unrested.