July RPG Blog Carnival: Githyanki Invasion 6d6

The Lich-Queen’s forces are coming to your world. Roll 6d6 and get the session started.

Inspired by the July RPG Blog Carnival

Why are they invading?

  1. Illithid Infestation
  2. Githzerai Haven
  3. Red Dragon Cabal
  4. Key crossroads World in greater planar campaign
  5. The Lich-Queen has taken offense to one of your deities
  6. Someone stole a Silver Sword and won’t return it

Githyanki Random Encounters

  1. Red Dragon Air Cav Wing
  2. Warlock Summoning Platoon
  3. Warlock Skirmish Squad
  4. Silver Sword Battalion
  5. Illithid Hunting Posse
  6. Psionic Urban Unit

 The above Githyanki are looking for a:

  1. Gate to their home
  2. Illithid or Githzarai
  3. You
  4. A place to allow red dragon steeds to graze
  5. An escaped prisoner
  6. Stolen red dragon eggs

Something from Githyanki culture that is catching on

  1. Psionics
  2. Board game (like chess but with no kings, only a single Lich-Queen who eats pieces from both sides if they travel too far)
  3. Disdain for religion
  4. Hatred of Illithid
  5. Bigotry against Githzarai
  6. Gith poetry

Something from your world that is catching on with the Githyanki

  1. A goddess
  2. A type of music
  3. A drink
  4. A drug
  5. Food
  6. A battle tactic

They’ve brought some kind of fungal infestation with them from another world that causes:

  1. Trees to spread their roots through the lower planes and become a gate to hell.
  2. Vines to choke animals to death, gain the hit points of the beasts it kills, becoming stronger and stronger until burned to the root.
  3. Vegetables glow different color based on the alignment of those nearby.
  4. Ponds to become scrying pools that show the nearest Illithid or Githyanki
  5. A usually edible vegetable to cause a character to make a save or else hallucinate for 1d6 hours, also causing you to re-roll your hit points or one stat (GM’s’ choice) depending on how you reacted to the hallucination.
  6. Causing all trees to become Treants.


Check out this design and more in the Monster Manual Heraldry collection…


Orcus vs. Doresain: wonderful art and more random encounter charts

I love it when big inter-planar powers tussle, be it the Raven Queen vs. Vecna, the Githyanki Empire vs. the Illithid Hiveminds or Orcus vs. Doresain.

I was reminded of this war when I ran across these wonderful pics on this wonderful Tumblr, Manual de Mostros:


Orcus, Príncipe demoníaco de los no-muertos

Makes me want to run a game in a war-torn world and roll some random encounters.

Lovely work, Viktor Banaks!

Ghoul Encounter

1-2 Feral Ghoul Pack

3-6 Soldiers

7-8 Ghoul-infected Locals

9-11 Blood Knights

12 Elite Ghouls


Gnoll Encounter

1-2 Gnoll youths torturing prey

3-6 Gnoll Warpack

7-8 Gnoll scouts

9-11 Murderlords

12 High Priest with Murder Altar


What are they doing?

1-2 Hunting specific prey

3-6 Occupying a strong position (Bridge, Keep, Hill, Cemetery)

7-8 Securing a planar gate

9-11 Moving to ambush the enemy

12 Looking for you!

Into the Odd: Random Expedition Generator

I’m digging Into the Odd.

This is a <Roll on Table 1.0>, made by the <Roll on Table 2.0> during the <Roll on Table 4.0>.

All that seems to remain of the <Table 2.0 Result> is a <Roll on Table 3.0> and some  <Roll on Table 2.1>.

The site was re-purposed during the <Roll on Table 4.0>.

Table 1.0, what?

  1. Crashed Warship, after a brutal exchange
  2. Observation/Research/Study Station, made to study some facet of our planet
  3. Diplomatic Post, where humans once made deals with otherworldly powers
  4. Fortress, where otherworldly powers once made war
  5. Hospital, where otherworldly powers once did what they considered healing
  6. Shrine, where otherworldly powers paid homage to powers greater than themselves

Table 2.0, who?

  1. The Silver Empire, who don’t lay siege to a whole world, only its greatest mind to take it for their queen as a prize
  2. Blue Sun Hivemind, who sicken the sun so that the environment will suit their needs
  3. Jurassics, who want to return to an era of thunder lizards of pre-history
  4. Robots, who want to understand their makers but rarely with any morality we can understand
  5. The Dolphin/Whale Alliance, who have watched us fuck up mother earth for centuries
  6. Other, Roll on Table 2.1 for more obscure shit

Table 2.1, more obscure shit

  1. Space fungus
  2. Astronauts with symbiots
  3. Altered silverbacks
  4. Altered squid
  5. Ancient religious sect
  6. Cyborg Enclave
  7. Humans with otherworldly blood
  8. Psionic enclave
  9. Vat grown monstrousities
  10. Dinosaur cult
  11. Cryogenic zombies
  12. Mirror-spawn
  13. Witch-hunter zealots
  14. Digital ghosts
  15. Summoned thing, bound to this place
  16. Former explorers, gone made
  17. Possessor spirit
  18. A cyclopean beast
  19. Techno-mummies
  20. Your favorite monster

Table 3.0, describe it

  1. Guard-beast
  2. Warrior/Hunter/Killer
  3. Scholar/Scientist/Librarian
  4. Exile
  5. Violent Teenager
  6. Prophet

Table 4.0, past epochs, ages and events that have left scars deep in the earth

  1. Second Wizard-Witch War
  2. Golem-Robot Apocalypse
  3. Revelations
  4. Ragnarok
  5. Golden Age of the Mage-Gates
  6. Jurrasic Resurgence
  7. The Post-3rd Ice Age Demi-god Feuds
  8. The Psionic Wars (often confused with the Psychic Wars)
  9. The Fall of the Space Elevators
  10. The White Plague
  11. The Flood
  12. The era of unbridled optimism, peace and tranquility that was bought with a terrible price and therefor doomed.

I rolled a few up on the train:

This is a <Fortress>, made by the <Blue Sun Empire> during the <Fall of the Space Elevators>.

All that seems to remain of the <Blue Sun Empire> is a <Exile> and some  <Psionic Enclave>.

The site was re-purposed during the <Second Wizard-Witch War>.

Nice, I pictured the Blue Sun Empire as illithids, so the psionic enclave is a nice touch. I figure it was a fortress, built like a monastery, so I’ll grab a monastery online somewhere for the map. During the Second Wizard Witch War I think it was a labor camp the wizards used to round up villages who were supporting the witches and put them to work.

I’ll make up an

This is a <Fortress (again, dammit)>, made by the <Robots> during the <Golden Age of Mage Gates>.

All that seems to remain of the <Robots> is a <Scholar> and some  < Possessor Spirits>.

The site was re-purposed during the <White Plague>.

Cool, a robot in an automated fortress, ancient and breaking down. There will be guiding markings to ancient Mage Gates on the roof. What are Mage Gates? I have no idea yet.

The fortress was a way-station to guard against the gates being used to invade earth and to study how humans react to various otherworldly stimuli…hence the possessor spirits.

During the White Plague the site was seen as a place of healing, because some possessor spirits could actually hold the plague off, so people would willingly subject themselves to possession.

I’ll grab a secure cyberpunk skyscraper of some kind as the map.


Adventurer and Salvage Union of Marsui

I had no idea what I wanted to exactly do tonight. I didn’t have any secclusia made up and hadn’t read any of the modules carefully enough to run them.

There was an old fantasy city that my buddy, Pete and I fleshed out years ago. It was a kind of fantasy-medieval New Orleans called Marsui with a Queen who had set up a system for monsters, demons and cultists to live in the city. I decided that Queen Moneille’s Law had just been over-turned in the city congress. This meant that their city-appointed watchers were pulled out and put back into the City Guard and a writ was posted declaring them monsters, declaring open season for licensed monster hunters to kick down their doors and destroy them.

Enter the Adventurer and Salvage Union. I started by calling it a guild but like the sound of union better.

I wanted a fast way to make up monsters and lots of random tables that would inspire.

Marsui Monster Creation Table

1) Wizard
2) Vampire
3) Golem
4) God Refugee

1) Fire
2) Shadow
3) Deep Sea
4) Lightning

1) Cemetary
2) Manor
3) Sewer
4) Tower

1) Poverty
2-3) Working
4) Leisure

I rolled 4d4 4 times and got the following

  • Vampire, Deep Sea, Sewer, Leisure – I named it Chton and rolled up its money.
  • Wizard, Lightning, Manor, Working – Named it Garred the Lightning Mage
  • Golem, Deep Sea, Sewer, Poverty – Corral
  • God Refugee, Fire, Sewer, Leisure – Pyre

For HD, I rolled 2d4 +2 but I think I will make it different for the different types in future games.

Monster’s Money Table

Leisure 4d20 x 100
Working 1d20 x 100
Poverty 1d20 x 10

I rolled 1d4 + 3 for Hit Dice for each monster and decided that Garred would have 3d4 +6 men at arms at his manor led by a 1st level Fighter.

City Random Encounter Table

1) Corrupt City Guard 1d8 0-level humans led by a 1st level Fighter
2) Toughs looking for their cut (1d4 0-level humans, 10% chance of a 1st level Specialist)
3) wizard’s creation gone amok (see Wizard’s Creation Table below)
4) Party of Adventures (1-2 coming back from their haul, 3-4 horning in on your haul, 5-6 setting up their own haul)
5) 2d20 0-level humans forming a mob to kill a monster in their neighborhood.
6) Monster on the run, looking to get out of here. 1-2 will pay 10d10 silver, 3-4 will offer money stashed outside of town, 5-6 will beg for help.

Wizard’s Creation Run Amok Table

1) Spiders
2) Flies
3) Octupi
4) Lobsters

1) Wolves
2) Deer
3) Possum
4) Monkeys

1) Swarm
2) 1 giant one
3) 1 humanoid, bi-pedal, creepy hands, a big mess
4) 1 herd

For some reason I also had a wizard-cursed monster table, which is what I used to make up Garred’s Pet.

Wizard-Cursed Animal

1) Alligator
2) Snake
3) Hawk
4) Ghoul

1) Fire
2) Shadow
3) Deep Sea
4) Lightning

I made a lightning snake.

Wilderness Random Encounter

1) Bandits, 1d10 + 3 0-level humans, 10% chance led by 1st level Fighter/Specialist/Cleric
2) Wizard Cursed Animal
3) Wizard Cursed village
4) Demi-human refugees, paranoid and scared
5) Adventurers on their way back from a haul 1, treasured, 2-5 wounded and in need of help, 6 on their way to a site
6) Back-story fodder from something a player had mentioned

The City Council had gotten rid of Moneille’s Law and had made it legal to hunt them. The union had existed already and was in a great position to take advantage of it. When entity’s are deemed monsters by law, the union often gets notified before anyone else knows. There were council-members who wanted to push the laws even further and make demi-humans, magic-users and even some religions monsters too.

The players all rolled up 3 characters.

I told them that wizards were always the union’s priority, so they would pick 3 to go after Garred the Sky-Mage. Their union rep informed them that the wizard had a manor out in the Overlook Ward. They asked if the city-appointed watcher was still around to answer a few questions. I thought that was smart.

Yeah, the watchers are absorbed into the city watch, so when they showed up, she was trying to get her squad in order. The rank-and-file guards didn’t like her and were giving her serious shit for having worked alongside monsters. She answered their questions and even passed along a bribe to the city guard patrolling in the area to check in on that street, a detail that would be important later.

Yeah, Garred is a paranoid jerk, always sure that some wizard was going to come take his shit. He hired a squad of men-at-arms led by a former soldier named Joshua, recently married who lived down the road from the manor. They paid a visit to the captain of the man-at-arm’s wife. She was pregnant and was overseeing the packing up of the house into crates. She said she was moving to the Pyramid Ward but that was clearly a lie as the goods were packed in dock-side shipping crates used to get stuff in ship’s hold with a ship’s name stenciled on the side.

It was interesting watching them ask around and investigate a bit with no mechanics to back that kind of thing up. I should have used the NPC Reaction Table and will do so next time.

They sent in a note to Captain Joshua, threatening the wife and when he road out like hell on a horse, that was when the fight started.

It was Mr. Aldriss the Specialist, Lafayette the Elf and Sooki the Cleric. I asked Jay why Mr. Aldriss did this for a living. He told me that it was all he was good at and he bored very easaily. I asked Joshua what Lafayette had heard about his faery otherworld homeworld from the elders in his enclave and I don’t remember what exactly he said but it brought out neat details about elves supposedly being here originally to elevate the humans to a better, elven way of being. I asked Witt what Sooki’s least favorite heresy was and he didn’t have an answer but it got him thinking and he mentioned some details about the religion, she worshipped Marsui itself. I didn’t want much of a back-story because I wasn’t sure who would live and who would die.

Key Moments:

  • Mr. Aldriss’ sneak attack was dropping mofo’s left and right and dropped the wizard.
  • Lafayette was not swayed by Garred’s Charm Person when he approached the servant’s entrance claiming to be a bard sent to entertain the troops at the behest of the captain’s wife; that would have changed everything.
  • Sooki recruited several members of the city guard to help assault the manor. They all died but they kept rifles off of her while she entered. When the city guard sergeant tried to muscle in on the haul, Sooki quoted all kinds of union by-laws at him and feeling the pressure, he backed off.
  • Sooki got dropped by a few men-at-arms but lived.

In the end, they gathered goods to sell and discussed it all with their union rep, Humberto. We all had a fun time and want to play again. That was neat and I want to make up more, more, more tables. I’d like to make a few detail tables for each type of monster. I think God Refugees will have cult members, wizard’s will have wizard-cursed beasts, vampires will have thralls and golems will have…something…maybe scholars/magic-users/engineers studying them.

Selling off a monster’s goods doesn’t earn them XP but even so, they are halfway to 1st level. They discussed keeping the wizard’s lab equipment and renting it out to magic-users rather than going for a quick buck. When real estate is on the line, the deal is the union gets to claim the real estate while everything on it is hauled by the adventurers. The union will send porters with a mule and a cart to move heavy stuff for sale.

Random Encounter Tables: Ghouls vs. Gnolls

Reading an OSR blog or two, playing Dungeon World and re-reading an old D&D campaign idea  have my head swirling with random encounter tables.  So, here they are.

The barons of the east and the city-states of the west had no idea, no inkling that they were caught in the midst of an inter-planar blood feud between the Ghoul King, exarch of Orcus and the Demon Prince of the Gnolls, Yeenoghu.

Once, long ago, Yeenoghu had held reign over the ghouls but Orcus took the hungry throne for his own exarch, taking the Hungry Legions for his own Abyssal Layers. The only ghouls left in Yeenoghu’s realm are pitiful rabble, masterless rogue packs.

The gnolls invaded the east through gates directly linked to Yeenoghu’s Realm in the abyss. They pour through, hoping to link the gates together and allow one of the rolling fortresses, a rolling city-fort built on blood and murder, into the prime continent.

The ghouls invaded through the White Kingdom, Doresain’s domain in Thanatos, an abyssal kingdom where the cities are all made of white bone and is peopled only with beasts that eat raw flesh.

At first I wanted these tables to be used with a d12 but I think they’ll be better chopped into a few d4 rolls, with 3 things the people want.

Peasant refugees are looking for the following 3 things:

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. Water
  4. Their Children
  1. Their Lord
  2. Their Priest
  3. Named Hero (Wizard or Warrior, GM’s choice)
  4. Mystical Animal Savior
  1. Anyone with a Plan
  2. Place to Pray and be heard
  3. Place to quietly die together
  4. Place to make their final stand.

Low Level Adventurers are looking for the following 3 things:

  1. Gnoll Teeth
  2. Ghoul Heads
  3. Empty castles to plunder
  4. Place to set up camp
  1. Place to sell loot
  2. Other adventurers to mug
  3. Place to settle down and retire
  4. Specific Temple (GM’s choice)
  1. Peasants to keep safe
  2. Gnoll Murder Altar to scrub clean and bless
  3. Good place to wait in ambush
  4. To finish their quest that has nothing to do with this mad war between other-planar armies of Gnolls and Ghouls

High Level Adventurers are looking for the following 3 things:

  1. Place to start a legit base of operations
  2. Vantage point to watch the gnolls and ghouls war on one another
  3. Gate outta here
  4. Powerful wizard
  1. Library
  2. Relatively safe spot to make camp
  3. Someone with authority to send them on a high level mission (“That’s what we do, right?”)
  4. Their lost Spelljamming ship
  1. M.I.A. member of their party (GM’s choice)
  2. Biggest, baddest gnoll around
  3. Biggest, baddest ghoul around
  4. Cache of holy weapons