Teleportation shouldn’t be too easy

Teleportation has always seemed too easy for me.  I’ve always thought that it was sort of a easy out and cheesy way to get around withour actually having to travel (and run into those wonderful random encounters). So why not just make it a little riskier.  Hehe.  I fully admit that much of inspiration for this came from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. You’ve got wizards ripping holes int reality just summon an insane monstrosity from an equally insane dimension so why not this concept one step further.
I wanted to keep this as rules neutral as possible. GM’s should use this as means to make the party’s life “interesting”. Wizards should know that very bad things could happen when teleporting and GM’s just shouldn’t throw this in as a surprise.
When a wizard casts a teleporation spell, he’s just creating a short cut through a forgotten dimension.  Each character (including the caster) must make a save versus Magic (Tweak to the rules you happen to be using).  If they fail then roll on the following chart:

1-The character is replaced with something else.  It may look like him and even act a little like him but it’s something evil and will abandon, kill or betray the party at it’s earliest convenience. The original character may or may not be able to rescued. If the character is some how rescued then roll 1d10+10 on this chart for any additional effects.

2-There are now two of the character.  One is the character and the other is evil as above. (Note: For a really good way to handle this see the adventure A Stranger Storm in Lamentations of the Flame Princess). The evil knows everything that good one knows.  It’s up to the party to figure out a way to deal with it.

3-There are now two of the character.  One is all the good and sensitive parts of the character’s personality, the other the dark and evil parts.  For the character ever to whole again, the party needs to figure out a way to put the halves back together. (Ref: The Enemy Within from the original Star Trek)

4-Something extra comes through with party. A hideous monster slips through with the rest of the party and attacks them immediately.

5-The character’s arrival is delayed. (Roll a d6. 1: 1d6 rounds, 2: 2d6 rounds, 3:1d6 minutes, 4: 1d6 hours, 5: 1d6 days, 6: 1d4 weeks).

6-The character gets displaced from the rest of the party in a random direction. (Roll a d6. 1: 1d6x5 feet, 2-3: 1d20 x 5 feet,  4: 1d6 x 100 feet, 5: 1d6 x 1,000 feet, 6: 1d4 miles)

7-The character has been infected with a horrible extra-dimensional parasite. The character will be fine for a few days and then start showing ill effects (strange cravings, weight loss, eating too much, always hungry). Then the character will be sick and so weak that he is bed ridden.  If the situation is not solved in another week then a ravenous creature bursts out of the characters chest and goes on a killing rampage. (Yeah, you know where I got the idea for this one.)

8-The character didn’t quite make the transition.  He and his gear is insubstantial for 1d4 hours. He is not invisible but just a ghostly apparition.

9-The character’s passing has damaged the veil between realities and left a portal open.  Many unpleasant things come pouring through.

10-The character really missed the mark. He materializes 1d6 x 10 feet above the ground and then takes falling damage.

11-The character looked into the abyss between the worlds. He permanently loses 1 point of Wisdom and gains a random insanity. There’s a good chance that the character’s hair turns white from the horror’s that he has experienced.

12-The character’s mind has been jarred by the trip. For the next 3d6 rounds, the character acts as if he is under the influence of a Confusion spell.

13-Something lashed out at the character during the trip.  The character takes 3d6 damage.  This wound leaves an odd scar that will never go away.

14-  The character loses a random item.

15- A random item the character is carrying becomes enchanted. Considering where this happened the enchantment probably won’t be a very pleasant one.

16-The character is plagued by nightmares of what he thinks he might have saw. For the next 1d8 days the character cannot get a good night’s sleep.  He is never considered rested and won’t regain spells.

17-The character is possessed by an entity. It generally hates the character and wants to go home but that doesn’t mean it won’t torment the character or cause some death and destruction while it is in this dimension.  The character may have strange dreams or wake up in strange places covered in blood.  Getting drunk til the character passes out won’t help.  If properly motivated, the entity may even help the character if the price is right and the character is willing to pay it.

18-The character suffers from hallucinations for the 1d10 days. He will hear voices or even his companions say things.  He will see things move in the shadows.  Of course, sometimes there might really be something in the shadows.

19-The character is struck blind for 1d8 days or until cured.

20-Arcane Knowledge.  Somehow the character gained the ability to cast a random 1st level wizard’s spell once a day.

Ten Dumb Things We’ve Seen on RPG Forums

Paraphrased of course.

1. Your game says I need dice. What are dice?

2. My DM says that my half-demon half-Drow paladin assassin ninja isn’t a legal character. I think he’s just being jerk. I know I say a rule somewhere. Does anybody know where?

3. My players are complaining that I’m too stingy with XP. Heck, the campaign has only been going on for a year and they’re already second level.

4. How can I make Lolth my sex slave?

5. I’m really broke. Could someone please scan the book post it on the Internet?

6. The rest of my players are mad that I give my girlfriend extra XP when she puts out. I’m afraid if I stop giving her the XP then she won’t like me anymore. What should I do?

7. So the players gave an NPC a thoroughly logical and well thought out argument. But none of them had any social skills. So I told them that they failed. They got mad but rules are rules.

8. I can’t find character generation in rule book where is it?

9. I’m working on a home brew RPG. I need play testers. (Then this person is never heard from again.)

10. I read that a katana can cut through anything. It’s true because I’m an ex-Navy SEAL ninja.

Evil Adventurers Aren’t That Different

We tried a campaign with an evil party. They did a good job at not being your average high school-screw the other character- evil, the players were totally who cares about about collateral damage and ends justify the means evil. And they were  off to save the world. I know it sounds odd. But Evil folks like the world too and dang it if somebody is going to screw it up, it’s going to be them not some tentacle faced aberration. They actually started to role play and then this little scene played out:

Evil Wizard: I just learned that there is a powerful magical artifact hidden in a Good temple.

Evil Bard: Why don’t we just ask them for it? I’m sure they want to save the world too.

Evil Cleric: No way! Remember last time. That they saved the world. Did they ask us for our artifact? NO! They just stormed the place. Killed everybody, took our artifact and anything else that wasn’t nailed down.

Evil Fighter: He’s got a point. I think they even stole the furniture. What were they going to do with that?

Where do summoned monsters come from

So where do all the summoned animals come from? This came up in our little gaming group a while back. I mean just think about the Summon Nature’s Ally spell for Druids. Is there a room somewhere filled with animals just waiting to be summoned? I bet it looks like a bizarre cross between Grand Central Station and Noah’s Ark. I can just see a group of dire badgers sipping on double mocha lattes; just waiting for their number to come up.
”So, Bob. You heard what happened to Frank the other day?”
”Wasn’t he summoned by that druid Urban Spawl-Killer?”
”Yeah, he never came back. Just like that bear the other day.”
”Joe was such a nice guy.”
”We could ask Tom the Weasel. He came back.”
”Are you kidding? Tom went bat shit insane. He keeps screaming that the Orcs are gonna get him.”
”You ever notice that most of us never come back after being summoned. And the few that do, just don’t come back right.”
”Wow. It really sucks to be us.”
”Paging! Bob the dire badger. Bob the dire badger! You’ve been summoned by Urban Sprawl-Killer. Bob please report for summoning.”

Old School @ Will Powers

Those fancy “at-will” powers in 4th Ed D&D ain’t nothing new. We had those back in the good old pure days of the One True White Box. Now it was simpler back then we didn’t mess with all those fancy Feats or “Skills” but each class had it’s own “at will” powers. Let me break it down for all you youngsters out there.

Fighter kill shit.

Thief steal shit. (There were no sissy Rogues. They were thieves. Dammit.)

Cleric heal shit.

Magic User blow up shit. (No, emo goth sorcerers. Just Wizards and we called them Magic Users.)

Now, get the hell of my lawn.

Save the Orc Children

How many have you seen this? A party of low level adventurers tear through an Orc village leaving behind dozens of orphans. I know they always say ”It’s not my problem.” or ”We needed the XP.” But what about the children. For only a few copper pieces a day, you can sponsor an Orc child like Gutgnash here. You can make sure that he’s clothed and fed. And just for the cost of few XP per level, you can assure he gets an education and a couple of class levels. So, when a crazed Orc orphan driven by revenge comes looking for blood years later; he’ll actually be worth some XP to you. It’s an invest in all our futures. Won’t you please help?

Never Let the Psycho DM . . .

…especially when the conversation starts with ”Let’s play test my new game.”
First, there were the stats. Strength, Stamina, Constitution, Health, Resilience, Body, Toughness, Dexterity, Agility, Coordination, Intelligence, Perception, Wisdom, Technological Aptitude, Magical Aptitude, Psychic Aptitude, Psionic Aptitude, Charisma, Appearance, Looks, Chutzpah, Luck, and Karma. Each had a value determined by the square root of 3d6-10.
Then the secondary stats. This was page two of the ”character sheet” and looked like a mathematical doctoral thesis. Calculating my characters base move required calculations not available on most supercomputers. Additionally, values were calculated for the physical attributes of your left and right arms as well as the right and left hemispheres of the character’s brains. By the way, Elves are right brain and dwarves are left brain. Speaking of which, then came the racial adjustments. I still can’t understand why elves needed to be in hexadecimal and dwarves were octal.

Class & Skills: No classes because they are so passé. Instead, there are ”professions”. Individual skills covered any conceivable action. Some of the better choices were Move in Armor, Fight in Armor, Draw Weapon, Draw Arrow, Move in Darkness and Accidentally Set Off Traps (I have no idea why you would need a skill to accidentally do something. Or why you would even take it.) After allocating a meager amount of skill points, it was quickly apparent that most beginning characters would more than likely fail their Walk and Chew Gum Skill roll.

Advantages and Disadvantages were determined by random rolls on a set charts based on some sort of insane combination of Tarot, IRS tax tables and logarithm tables. So my might Elf wizard had one leg, was color blind with a lazy eye and missing his front teeth. On the bright side, I had an aptitude for swordsmanship, dashing good looks (despite the missing teeth and lazy eye) and an excellent runner.
Equipment was purchased via of the random wealth and haggling table. I was luck and got Rolling in Money. Unfortunately, I forgot to get Power Haggling as a skill. So with that I ended up paying outrageous prices for poor quality armor. My low skills prevented me from things like, oh, anything a wizard would need.
After six hours of theoretical mathematics, the characters were done. My one-legged color blind Elf wizard, a hemophiliac dwarf fighter suffering from giantism, a human bard with Tourrette’s syndrome, a narcoleptic halfing rouge (this does give him a bonus to accidentally Set Off Traps) and a Half-Dragon Half-Demon Half-Drow Half-Elf babe (AKA the GM’s current S.O.) were ready for action!

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