Unique Trees, Plants, and Fungi of Panzoasia – Part I

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See also “Wondrous Metals, Minerals, and Materials of Panzoasia” and Viridantine and Calidurum – Two More Wondrous Metals of Panzoasia.

Allfruit

This tree-like bush is short and stout, standing 6 feet high, with a 2 foot thick trunk. Its leaves are round and yellowish with serrated margins, turning bright red in the autumn. The Allfruit is widely cultivated by Man-kin Halflings for its delicious, five-lobed fruit, the outer skin of which is striped yellow, purple, blue, and red. The intensely sweet pulp inside tastes like a mixture of apple, lemon, raisins, and cherries, and is a beloved pie filling. Its showy, pink and white flowers are also woven into floral crowns worn by young Man-kin women in the spring.

Fool Hares are notably fond of ripe Allfruit, causing no end of headaches for orchard owners. Thefts are such a problem that there are ongoing contests in many Man-kin communities to see who can build the best trap for the annoying creatures.

The Allfruit tree is native the Ultimate West, but has been introduced to the East as well. It requires direct sunlight, but does not do well in conditions of extreme heat, cold, or dryness.

The best-known of all Halfling songs in the Ultimate West is “Under the Allfruit Tree”, the bittersweet tale of a Halfling maid who defies her disapproving family and pledges her love to an adventurer in the shade of an Allfruit, only to have him be slain the next day fighting off a gang of Goblin raiders. After she gives birth to their baby, she takes the child every day thereafter to that same Allfruit Tree, where she sings him a song about how courageous his father was.

Coffin Pine

This strange conifer grows up to 50 feet tall, with a peculiar, wide trunk distinguished by its coffin-like hollow that is usually large enough for a full-grown human to stand inside. The bark is grayish black, and the undersides of the leaves are dull neutral gray, further contributing to the tree’s ominous appearance. Because their empty hollows might otherwise be used as hiding places by bandits and robbers, it is common for Coffin Pines that are left standing to have their trunks converted into funerary shrines – complete with a statue of the memorialized person.

Before the Reign of the Monsters, Coffin Pines were sometimes actually used to inter the dead. The corpse was placed in the hollow, which was then sealed up with wattle and daub. A crude image of the person inside would then be painted on the surface. Some of these Coffin Pine tombs still remain intact, but all are said to be haunted by angry Wraiths.

The needles of Coffin Pine are a potent medicine against intestinal worms, if brewed into a tea.

Dwarf Bread

Dwarf Bread is a lichen used both directly as a staple food by many Dwarven communities, and also as livestock feed. A colony of it somewhat resembles a mass of thick lettuce leaves, gray-violet in color. It grows naturally on bare rock, surviving well above the tree line. Terraced fields of Dwarf Bread – cultivated on stones by Dwarf-kin Halflings – are found throughout the mountainous regions of Panzoasia. Dwarf Bread tastes somewhat like toasted rye when raw, becoming sweeter when cooked (typically as a porridge). Cooked Dwarf Bread can also be fermented and distilled into a spirit resembling whiskey. Among everybody other than Dwarves and Dwarf-kin, however, the lichen has a reputation for causing vivid nightmares of being turned to stone.

Glistenwood

This short, stout deciduous tree (typically 12 feet high with a 3 foot diameter trunk) has shaggy gray bark, and heart-shaped leaves that are purplish in color. It is prized for its unique wood, which glitters like crushed mica. Typically, Glistenwood is used for statues, fine furniture, chests, and decorative accents (as it is also carves well). The wood retains its glittering quality even when stained dark colors. Glistenwood prefers to grow near waterways, on on the edge of swamps.

Wounds inflicted by the wood sting terribly, and take twice as long to heal naturally. Those who work with it must take special precautions against being stuck by splinters.

Objects and furniture made of Glistenwood are worth twice their normal values. Elves and Gnomes especially love things made from it. Dwarves aligned with the powers of Destiny (Law) have a peculiar distaste for Glistenwood, however, often going so far as to destroy objects made from it for being somehow “indecently indulgent”. Conversely, those few Dwarven who are members of the “Free Brethren” (Chaotic, but not Evil) will deliberately carry small Glistenwood carvings.

Gloamtree Fungus

This strange, tree-like fungus often occurs in forest-like colonies underground. In appearance it closely resembles a small white tree about 8 feet high – but instead of leaves its branches end in thick, disk-like pods filled with a blue-green phosphorescent jelly. A complete Gloamtree emits light equal to a torch, while a broken branch will continue to emit light equal to a candle for a week. Gloamtrees are not fixed in their locations, and their apparent roots actually enable them to move in search of nutrients (albeit very slowly). The phosphorescent jelly can also be removed from its pod, and if dissolved in alcohol will continue to shine for as long as a month. Unfortunately, all parts of the Gloamtree are extremely toxic – if eaten the consumer must immediately Save versus Poison or suffer 1d6 points of damage, and must Save again every Round thereafter, or take an additional 1d6 points of damage. A successful Save ends all further loss of Hit Points.

A branch of Gloamtree Fungus sells for 10gp outside the Underworld, if fresh. A glass globe filled with fixed Gloamtree jelly(enough to illuminate a 15’ radius with blue-green light) sells for 50 gp, and a refill of jelly costs 40 gp. Gloamtree Fungus (and Gloamtree jelly) can generally only be obtained from Dwarven merchants, who control the supply to surface-dwelling folk.

Homestead Mushroom

These giant mushrooms have woody stalks that are often hollowed out and used as temporary homes by forest-dwelling Elf-kin Halflings. In addition to providing housing, the cap of the Homestead Mushroom is delicious fried, or boiled in a stew. Even the woody stalk can be eaten if first soaked and pounded to soften it. In fact, it is usual for an Elf-kin family to actually eat the mushroom as they inhabit it!

A mature Homestead Mushroom stands 8 feet tall and just as wide. It has a white trunk, and a yellow, orange, or red cap. The mushrooms appear in the spring, usually beneath or near Zoswood trees (See “Zoswood” below), and naturally endure until Autumn (unless completely eaten). Those Elk-kin who inhabit Homestead Mushrooms in the warmer weather will often spend the winter living on the lower level of a hollowed-out Zoswood nearby.

Sword Lacquer Tree

This gnarled and bulbous tree is prized for its sap, which can be prepared into a lacquer that dries nearly as hard as bronze. The substance can also used to create armor, or even edged weapons. The sap is mostly collected by certain Elf-kin Halflings, who also create the highest quality Sword Lacquer objects. The tree is deciduous, and also noted for its small leaves, growing in rosette clusters that resemble pom-poms. Sword Lacquer trees are most common in the Ultimate East, but some can also be found in the Ultimate South and West.

Weapons made of Sword Lacquer are a quarter the weight of their metal equivalents, but cost double the normal amount. Since Sword Lacquer is not quite as hard as actual steel, however, the user suffers a -1 to hit if the weapon is edged, or a -1 on damage if the weapon is blunt (with a minimum of 1 point of damage on a successful hit). On the upside, Sword Lacquer weapons (and armor) are immune to attack from Rust Monsters, and creatures such as Black Puddings are actually repulsed by their taste.

A complete suit of Sword Lacquer Plate Armor is AC 4 [or 15], but weighs just 12 pounds (120 coins) if sized for a human. It costs 100gp. Such suits are more common in the Ultimate East and South, but are not unknown elsewhere in Panzoasia.

A Sword Lacquer Breastplate weighs grants AC 7 [or 12] and weighs only a pound (10 coins). It costs 40gp. Sword Lacquer Breastplates are especially prized by Magic Users, since they are so light and easy to wear that they do not interfere with spellcasting.

Zoswood (Beharbre)

The evergreen Zoswood has a central place in the culture of Western Elves (whose name for it is “Beharbre”). This massive and hardy tree often grows to over 300 feet in height, with a straight trunk up to 60 feet in diameter. About half the height of typical tree is trunk, and atop it grows a cloud-like canopy of twisting branches that end in seven-lobed, palmate leaves. Zoswood does not burn or rot (although its leaves will), and the living tree seems to be immune to almost every disease. Since it wood is almost as hard as stone, actually felling a Zoswood is arduous in the extreme. For all those reasons, hollowed out Zoswood trees became the primary refuges of Western Elves throughout the Reign of the Monsters. A single tree could easily house up to thirty Elves (and /or Elf-kin Halflings) – and up to a hundred could take refuge inside one in extreme emergencies.

Besides its durable wood and tolerance for being inhabited, the Zoswood has a number of other unique characteristics. In the spring it erupts in enormous, red and pink flowers that eventually give way to spiny fruit with chestnut-like seeds that are both delicious and extremely nourishing. There are several species of giant insect endemic to Zoswood forests, and even ordinary bugs that consume the sap or green leaves of the tree can grow to gigantic proportions – and acquire intelligence equal to that of a dog or horse. The enormous Gilout Moths from which Western Elves obtain their silk were bred from slightly smaller ancestors that live only on Zoswoods. Likewise, the Elven Riding Cicada is a domesticated and specially bred form of the wild Zoswood Cicada, which naturally grows to six feet in length.

The tallest Zoswoods are visited by the sky-dwelling Saganic Sylphs, and host the markets where Cloud Silver is traded for incense and scented oils. The area directly below a Zoswood is in perpetual shade, but is often populated by the similarly enormous Homestead Mushroom.

Objects made of Zoswood are extremely rare, and worth 10 times their normal value. Zoswood furniture is especially prized by Dwarves, since it will not rot from exposure to damp conditions underground. A club made of Zoswood functions exactly like a steel mace in almost every respect. Zoswood worked into a suit of plates is equivalent to Plate Mail (AC 3 [or 14]) – but at half the weight. Unfortunately, the secret to properly working Zoswood is known only to Elves – and apparently, no member of any other People has ever been able to master it. Naturally, the various Elven Communes strictly control the supply of Zoswood.

Inhabited Zoswoods: Beharbre Refuges and Communes

The original type of Beharbre Refuge created during the Reign of the Monsters consisted of a mature tree, with its heartwood hollowed out to a diameter of 20’. The removed wood was used (among other things) to construct an central spiral staircase linking up to 20 interior floors. The entrance to the tree was a carefully constructed secret door indistinguishable from the trunk. Ventilation and light shafts were bored to the exterior of every floor, the aperture of each barred with viridantine and screened with Gilout silk painted to exactly resemble the tree’s bark. Each floor had a fireplace, the flues of which emptied into a single chimney cleverly constructed like a branch of the tree. Smoke was conducted above the tree’s thick canopy, and could remain unnoticed by all but the most observant viewers below. At night, interior light was provided either by phosphorescent fungi, or by globes of magically created Continual Light.

Modern Beharbre Communes inhabited by forest-dwelling Elves follow the same general plan of a central spiral staircase vertically linking many interior floors. Nowadays, however, the main entrance will be obvious and ornamented, with carved window frames marking the apertures of the ventilation and light shafts along the tree’s trunk. The Elven occupants (each of which is considered a co-owner of the Commune) often change their sleeping arrangements from floor to floor as they form temporary romantic partnerships (couples, triads, quads, etc.). Any children born inside the Commune are considered the children of all the inhabitants, and may spend as little as one day a week on the same floor as their birth mother – or father, if his identity is certain. It is also common for the lower floors of a Beharbre Commune to inhabited by Elf-kin Halflings. The upper branches, on the other hand, will be fitted with platforms where the community’s Riding Cicadas are hitched, and Gilout caterpillars are raised for silk. If it is not filled with Homestead Mushrooms, the area around the base of the Zoswood will often be cultivated with various other kinds of ornamental (and useful) fungi. Juvenile Riding Cicadas will often be living below the surface, feeding from the Zoswood’s roots, and waiting to emerge in the summer. Generally, the Commune’s herd of riding deer (or elk) will be kept in a glade nearby, rather than within the shade of the tree.

Doubtless, the historical experience of living inside Zoswood trees is at least one reason that city-dwelling Elves of the Ultimate West show such a preference for inhabiting high towers.

(Yes, Zoswood is my version of the old “Elves-in-a-tree” trope, with man-sized cicadas.)

The Mad Scientist Class for Classic B/X Rules

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Frankenstein, pg 7

This version of the Mad Scientist class from Ghastly Affair has been reworked for use with the classic “B/X” rules, and OSR retro-clones that emulate them (such as Necrotic Gnome’s “Old School Essentials”).

MAD SCIENTIST

Those who lack vision say you are insane, but one day they too will recognize your genius! The ignorant fools of the world may say that your creations are “unnatural”, and that your pets are “abominations”. They claim that your momentous discoveries are the ranting of a deranged mind, and that the creatures you have created and trained are menaces. But you know that your work is more important than their little brains can comprehend. Muahaha!

As a Mad Scientist you start the game with either a 1st Level Mad Invention, or a 1 HD Monstrous Servant (but not both). Each Level thereafter you can either create one or more new Mad Inventions, or else gain (or advance) your Monstrous Servant(s).

Use the Mad Scientist Class to create characters inspired by such fictional characters as Victor Frankenstein (from “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”) and Doctor Moreau (from “The Island of Doctor Moreau”), or even historical figures such as Franz Mesmer and Ada Lovelace.

ABILITY REQUIREMENTS: Intelligence of at least 12.
PRIME REQUISITE(S): Intelligence
HIT DICE: d4 + Constitution Bonus, up to 9th Level.
+1 Hit Point per Level after 9th, and Constitution Bonus no longer applies.
USEABLE WEAPONS: Dagger, Staff, Club, or Crossbow. (+ Pistol and Whip, if available.)
USEABLE ARMOR: None. No shields.
ATTACKS: As Magic user
SAVING THROWS: As Magic user
ALIGNMENT: Any. Mad Scientist tend towards extreme expressions of their Alignment – rigidly Lawful, coldly Neutral, or capriciously Chaotic.
LANGUAGES: Common and Alignment. Mad Scientist often learn extinct languages.

SPECIAL ABILITIES:

Academic Credentials: You have contacts in Universities and other academic institutions, and will be allowed to see books and objects others cannot access. Of course, the traditionalists dislike you and your theories, but even they must grudgingly accept your academic achievements.

Mad Inventions: You can create Mad Inventions, which produce effects similar to the spells of Magic Users and Clerics. These Mad Inventions are rated in Levels just like ordinary spells. The total Levels of your existing Mad Inventions can never exceed your own character Level. Only you (and the people you designate) can understand how to use your Mad Inventions. They can take any appropriate physical form you like.

If you do not gain or advance a Monstrous Servant when you gain a Level, you can make a new Mad Invention instead. You can destroy an old Mad Invention if you want, so you can create a new one of a higher Level. You can never have more than one Mad Invention that creates the same effect, however.

Once created, a Mad Invention can be used a number of times equal to your Level before it breaks, is used up, or needs to be recharged. Mad Inventions are created or recharged in the downtime between adventures, and cannot be recharged while an adventure in in progress.

Mad Inventions are revealed by Detect Magic, and are affected by Dispel Magic just as if they were spells.

Monstrous Servants: You can attract, create, or train creatures to serve as guardians and helpers. The Hit Dice of Monstrous Servants you control can never exceed your own, none can have a higher Intelligence than you, and they cannot be inherently magical or planer in nature. Some ways by which a Monstrous Servant might be controlled include strange drugs, hypnotism, a brain implant, sonic waves emitted from a hand-held device, or even just the force of the Mad Scientist’s personality. If the Monstrous Servant is basically unintelligent, you have nonetheless developed special means of communicating with it and influencing its behavior. The total Hit Dice of all Monstrous Servants you command can never exceed your own character Level. If one or more asterisks are appended to a monster’s listed HD, its effective HD is raised by the number of asterisks for purposes of being a Monstrous Servant.

If you command your Monstrous Servant to do something obviously suicidal, or completely against its nature, you must make a regular 2d6 Reaction Roll. The result of the roll determines if it (or they) rebels and decides to attack you, refuses that particular command, or acquiesces.

If you do not create a new Mad Invention when you gain a Level, you can instead gain new Monstrous Servants (up to your limit), or increase the Level of an existing servant that has a character Class. You can also dismiss Monstrous Servants you no longer want, to gain more desirable ones. Monstrous Servants are generally assumed to be attracted, created, or trained in the downtime between adventures. If your GM allows it, it may be able to convert an encountered Monster of the appropriate Level into a Monstrous Servant, provided it otherwise qualifies for such status, and you can achieve a result of 12 or more on your Reaction Roll.

Laboratory: You have access to a fully-supplied Laboratory – perhaps in the University you attend, in the attic of the house you rent, in a hidden part of your family castle, or even secretly built in the city sewers. Here you make and repair your Mad Inventions, experiment with the creation of new life forms, and train your Monstrous Servants. If your Laboratory is destroyed (by an Angry Mob, for instance), to cost to replace it will be 1,000 times your own Level in gold pieces.

Scientific Knowledge: You have a base 60% chance to recall useful useful scientific knowledge applicable to your current situation, identify materials, or solve complex mathematical problems. This chance increases by 3% per Level, to a maximum of 99% at 14th Level.

WEAKNESSES:

Attracts Angry Mobs: Every month spent actively working in the same location incurs a 1 in 20 chance of an attack on your Laboratory by an Angry Mob of 2d20 ordinary humans, led by an enraged Cleric of your own Level.

Incurable Madness: You will always suffer from an incurable mental derangement or compulsion of some kind. For example, you could be subject to fits of morbid melancholy (like the fictional Victor Frankenstein), be a compulsive gambler (like the historical Ada Lovelace), or harbor strange delusions about being hundreds of years old (like the historical Count Saint Germaine). If put into a situation that might trigger your particular Madness, you must make a Save versus Spells to overcome it. If the reality of your delusions is directly challenged, you must make likewise Save versus Spells or fly into a berserk rage for 1d4 Rounds.

FOLLOWERS AT 9th LEVEL:
At 9th Level you can build a new Laboratory and attract 1d6 1st Level Students, all of them as insane – excuse me , I mean to say dedicated – as yourself. Each of them will have their own particular derangement – I’m sorry, I mean evidence of genius. Unlike those shortsighted fools at the University, your new students will be eager for instruction in your groundbreaking theories, and assist in your vital research. Your new laboratory can be elaborate as you can afford, and located in any suitably (melo)dramatic location – such as a dark castle atop a bare mountaintop, a small jungle island, or even a sprawling subterranean complex.

Experience Points

Level

Title

Hit Points

Scientific Knowledge

Maximum Mad Invention Level

0

1

Student

1d4

60%

1

3,000

2

Experimenter

2d4

63%

1

6,000

3

Intern

3d4

66%

2

12,000

4

Natural Philosopher

4d4

69%

2

24,000

5

Anatomist

5d4

72%

3

48,000

6

Chemist

6d4

75%

3

96,000

7

Physician

7d4

78%

4

192,000

8

Professor

8d4

81%

4

384,000

9

Doctor

9d4

84%

5

559,000

10

Doctor

(10th Level)

9d4 + 1

87%

5

734,000

11

Doctor

(11th Level)

9d4 +2

90%

6

909,000

12

Doctor

(12th Level)

9d4 + 3

93%

6

1,084,000

13

Doctor

(13th Level)

9d4 + 4

96%

6

1,259,000

14

Legendary Doctor

9d4 + 5

99%

6


MAD INVENTIONS BY LEVEL

For compatibility with existing “Old-School” games, the following lists utilize the Cleric and Magic User spells from “Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Cleric and Magic-User Spells”. Except where otherwise noted , adjudicate the effects of Mad Invention just like their namesake spells.

1st Level Mad Inventions
Floating Disc
Light
Darkness
Purify Food and Water
Cause Light Wounds (Mad Invention must physically touch victim.)
Shield
Ventriloquism

2nd Level Mad Inventions
Cause Fear
Charm Person
Cure Light Wounds
Magic Missile (The Mad Invention can only fire 1 missile at a time.)
Read Languages
Remove Fear
Resist Cold
Resist Fire
Sleep (Victims always receive a Saving Throw.)

3rd Level Mad Inventions
Detect Invisible
ESP (6 Turns duration)
Hold Person
Invisibility
Knock
Levitate
Locate Object
Mirror Image
Phantasmal Force
Silence 15’ Radius (Emitted by Mad Invention, and moves with it.)
Snake Charm
Speak with Animals
Web
Locate Object

4th Level Mad Inventions
Animate Dead
Cause Serious Wounds (Mad Invention must physically touch victim.)
Cure Serious Wounds
Continual Darkness
Continual Light
Cure Disease
Fire Ball (3d6 damage)
Fly
Growth of Animal
Haste
Hold Person
Infravision
Invisibility 10’ Radius
Lightning Bolt (3d6 damage)
Protection from Normal Missiles
Striking

5th Level Mad Inventions
Charm Monster
Confusion
Create Water
Dimension Door
Growth of Plants
Hallucinatory Terrain
Neutralize Poison
Polymorph Others (Only one shape per Mad Invention. 1 in 20 chance per use of a backfire, affecting the Mad Scientist instead of the target!)
Polymorph Self (Only one shape per Mad Invention.)
Speak with Plants
Wall of Fire
Wall of Ice

6th Level Mad Inventions
Cloudkill
Control Weather
Create Food
Feeblemind
Finger of Death (1 in 20 chance per use of a backfire, affecting the Mad Scientist instead of the target!)
Flesh to Stone (1 in 20 chance per use of a backfire, affecting the Mad Scientist instead of the target!)
Lower Water
Move Earth
Pass-Wall
Raise Dead (1 in 20 chance that the subject is raised as a Vampire.)
Stone to Flesh
Telekinesis
Teleport
Transmute Rock and Mud
Wall of Stone

SOME POSSIBLE FORMS FOR MAD INVENTIONS

• a white powder.
• a small clockwork.
• a luminous disk.
• a vial of perfume.
• a metal rod with a projecting wire.
• an ointment.
• an earpiece with a hanging wire.
• a rod tipped with a ball of metal mesh.
• a mask with colored lenses over the eyes.
• a helmet with strange projecting wires.
• a set of lenses set into a complex mechanism.
• a pill.
• a set of wings that unfurl from a backpack.
• a flask of liquid.
• a crystal.
• a lantern with changeable lenses, and a strange mechanism.
• a specially coated metal cone.
• an opalescent pendant.
• a bizarre gun.
• a circlet set with a crystal.
• a set of needles that connect to a chemical battery.
• a set of metal shoes and leg braces.
• a hose connected to a pack worn on the back.
• a chemical-filled contraption that straps to the arm.
• a wind-up mechanism inside a metal box.
• a set of bandages woven with metal wires, and saturated with a strange substance.

SUGGESTED MONSTROUS SERVANTS

The following lists of possible Monstrous Servants are based upon the monsters found in the “Old School Essentials Classic Fantasy Rules”. Obviously, not all Monstrous Servants can be taken onto the streets of a typical town – at least not without somehow disguising them as something normal!

NPCs who serve as Monstrous Servants are usually dimwitted Fighters or amoral Thieves. Sometimes, a twisted Dwarf, outcast Gnome, or rogue Halfling will become a Monstrous Servant. Elves, Magic users, and Clerics never submit to becoming Monstrous Servants.

1 HD Monstrous Servants
Beetle, Fire
Berserker
Ferret, Giant
Goblin
Hobgoblin
Killer Bee
Kobold
Normal Human
NPC, 1st Level
Orc
Pterasaur, Pteradactyl
Rat, Giant
Rats, Pack of Normal
Shrew, Giant
Skeleton
Stirge
Water Termite, Swamp

2 HD Monstrous Servants
Bat, Giant
Bat, Giant Vampire
Gnoll
Golem, Wood
Insect Swarm, 2 HD
Lizard Man
Neanderthal
NPC, 2nd Level
Rock Baboon (can be taught to wield regular weapons)
Shark, Bull
Snake, Spitting Cobra
Toad, Giant
Troglodyte
Water Termite, Freshwater
Wolf, Normal
Zombie

3 HD Monstrous Servants
Beetle, Oil
Beetle, Tiger
Bugbear
Crab, Giant
Fish, Giant Piranha
Hawk, Giant
Hippogriff
Insect Swarm, 3 HD
Living Stature, Crystal
NPC, 3rd Level
Robber Fly
Snake, Pit Viper
Spider, Giant Crab

4 HD Monstrous Servants
Ape, White
Bear, Black
Carcass Crawler
Giant Lizard, Draco
Giant Weasel
Insect Swarm, 4 HD
Living Stature, Iron
NPC, 4th Level
Ogre
Panther
Rhagodessa
Shark, Mako
Snake, Sea Snake
Spider, Giant Black Widow
Water Termite, Saltwater
Wold, Dire

5 HD Monstrous Servants
Bear, Grizzly
Driver Ant
Hydra, 5 Heads
Lion
NPC, 5th Level
Owl Bear
Pterasaur, Pteranodan
Scorpion, Giant
Snake, Giant Rattler

6 HD Monstrous Servants
Crocodile, Large
Fish, Giant Rockfish
Giant Lizard, Horned Cameleon
Giant Lizard, Tuatara
Hydra, 6 Heads
Leech, Giant
Living Stature, Rock
Manticore
Minotaur
NPC, 6th Level
Ochre Jelly
Rhinoceros
Sea Serpent, Lesser
Snake, Rock Python
Squid, Giant
Tiger

7 HD Monstrous Servants
Bear, Cave
Caecilia
Griffin
Hydra, 7 Heads
NPC, 7th Level
Troll
Warp Beast

8 HD Monstrous Servants
Fish, Giant Catfish
Giant, Hill
Golem, Bone
Hydra, 8 Heads
NPC, 8th Level
Octopus, Giant
Rhinoceros. Woolly
Saber-toothed Tiger
Shark, Great White
Wyvern

9 HD Monstrous Servants
Elephant
Giant, Stone
Hydra, 9 Heads

10 HD Monstrous Servants
Giant, Frost
Hydra, 10 Heads

11 HD Monstrous Servants
Black Pudding
Fish, Giant Sturgeon
Giant, Fire
Hydra, 11 Heads
Stegosaurus
Triceratops

12 HD Monstrous Servants
Golem, Amber
Hydra, 12 Heads
Titanothere

14 HD Monstrous Servants
Cyclops

Note: NPCs who function as Monstrous Servants will always be below 9th Level.

Special Note

I like to take this opportunity to give thanks to all the real-life scientists and medical professionals working to alleviate the current pandemic. All hope for the future rests with you. I salute you!

Viridantine and Calidurum – Two More Wondrous Metals of Panzoasia

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See also “Wondrous Metals, Minerals, and Materials of Panzoasia“.

Viridantine (Greenmetal)

Viridantine is a lustrous, emerald-colored metal beloved by the Elves and Fairy Folk of Panzoasia. Also called “Greenmetal”, it occurs in long veins underground, particularly beneath forested land. While Viridantine can be forged like iron, the preferred way to craft items from it involves placing a small piece of the metal in a stone mold packed with organic material (typically leaves and forest detritus, but sometimes meat), and sealing the mold with wet clay. The metal will “eat” and replace the organic matter as it grows, eventually filling the mold. The item is then removed, and polished (or sharpened). The process is not fast – growing a longsword from Greenmetal requires a full year – but it allows Elves and Fairy Folk to create metal objects without stoking fires in the forest. An object made of Viridantine is about strong as steel, and weighs the same. Viridantine does have a major disadvantage, whoever – objects made from it must be “fed” once a week, or they will deteriorate like untreated wood. A Viridantine item can be fed in three ways: by partially burying it in earth and exposing the unburied portion to sunlight from morning to dusk, by completely burying it in rich soil for a day and a night, or by rubbing the object with a pint of blood (which will be absorbed by the metal). Another weakness of Greenmetal is that it is particularly vulnerable to acid, dissolving twice as fast as iron or steel.

If an object made of Greenmetal is planted in soil and left alone, it will grow out of its shape and sprout branches and roots, eventually resembling a small and leafless tree. If buried, the object will become the seed for a new vein of Viridantine. Monsters such as Black Puddings and Grey Oozes enjoy the taste of Viridantine and will seek it out – as will Purple Worms. Since it is not ferrous, however, Viridantine is immune to attack from Rust Monsters.

As long as a Viridantine mine is not completely depleted, the remaining metal will regrow at the rate of 1 cubic foot per thousand years. If the vein is regularly tended and fed with decomposing organic matter, then the rate of regeneration is increased to 1 cubic foot per century.

Value: The same as ordinary steel.

Calidurum

This bizarre material is lusterless and dead black in color. Unlike normal metal, which tends be cool to the touch, Calidurum is always warm. Found in Fiery Purgatory and the deepest parts of the Underworld, Calidurum is hardened by extreme heat, but softens and turns purplish in ice-cold water. It melts completely and glows bright blue at -50 Fahrenheit (or -45 Celsius). Since it is actually improved by extreme temperatures that can melt ordinary metals, it is widely employed by creatures such as Saganic Salamanders and Fire Giants. They maintain special wet forges, where the Calidurum is melted in cold crucibles carved from Lithic Ice. Working Calidurum is considered extremely hazardous by the Salamanders and Fire Giants, and the “Coldsmiths” who do it are hailed for their extreme courage.

If a Calidurum object contacts a Wall of Ice (or is hit by White Dragon Breath), its owner must Save versus Breath Weapon to prevent the object from being ruined. On the other hand, a weapon made of Calidurum gains +1 to hit and damage for every 200 degrees Fahrenheit to which it is heated (maximum +5). Calidurum armor similarly heated confers a +1 bonus to AC per 200 degrees (if the occupant can withstand such temperatures). At temperatures sufficient to melt iron, Calidurum is harder than Adamant. Conversely, Calidurum weapons are -1 to hit and damage in cold temperatures, and Calidurum armor becomes -1 to AC.

Tools made of Calidurum are prized by those Dwarven smiths that work Adamant and Admantine Steel.

Value: 1,000 gp per pound.

Random CB Radio Handles from the Uncanny Highway

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Although it has actually existed in the United States since the 1940s, CB (“Citizens Band”) radio really came of age with technological advances in the late 1960s. It exploded in popularity during the 70s – especially among truckers. By the 1970s most users were identifying themselves by self-chosen names, or “handles”, rather than the assigned call signs that were technically required under the law. In fact, before 1983 it was actually illegal to use a CB without a license in the U.S. – most users simply ignored the law, which was almost never enforced. In the days before the Internet and mobile phones, CB radio was the best means for truckers (and other drivers) to keep informed about hazards and opportunities along the road. And on the Uncanny Highway, the hazards of the road can be strange indeed!

Some results on the following table give two options separated by a slash. In general, GMs and Presenters can use the first option for a male, and the second for a female. Of course, players can also use the table to decide on CB handles for their PCs.

d20, twice

You’re listening to…

1

Rubber Guy / Gal

2

Hard / Silky Hawk / Dove

3

Shadow Rider

4

Fearless Trucker

5

Flyin’ Driver

6

Lovin’ Bull / Butch

7

Christian Dave / Jane (or other name)

8

Speedy Smoker (or Toker)

9

Big Daddy / Momma

10

Fightin’ Soldier

11

Steel Roller

12

Ohio (or other state) Dog (or Doggy)

13

Mountain Man / Woman

14

Rockin’ Duck

15

Groovy Hauler

16

Swinging Hammer / Fingers

17

Smooth Eagle / Swan

18

American Racer

19

Sergeant King / Queen

20

Sweet Stallion / Bee

Random Bar Stories from the Uncanny Highway, Part Two – Tales Told by Women

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Like last week’s “Tales Told By Men”, the following conversation starters can be used to add depth and color to NPCs, or as scenario seeds for adventures along the Uncanny Highway of the 1960s and 70s.

Remember that the 1960s were very sexist times, and in many towns single women could not actually sit at a bar and order drinks. In some places, women were prohibited from even entering drinking establishments unless they were accompanied by men. Some bars banned women altogether. By the 1970s, however, most gender-segregated bars were being legally forced to end their discriminatory practices. Of course, along the Uncanny Highway one can’t even be sure that all the patrons of a bar are human!

(d12, d6) The obviously tipsy woman says:

1

d6

I just left my man because…

1

he is cheating on me with his secretary.

2

I caught him with my own sister!

3

I found out he is actually a wanted criminal.

4

he has a whole other family in another state!

5

I found his disgusting collection of “dirty magazines”.

6

he beat me up again, but for the last time.

2

d6

My best friend…

1

wants me to get involved as one of her “distributors”. Somebody else told me its a “pyramid scheme”, but I don’t know.

2

wants me to go to some weird “self-help” seminar in the city.

3

know the number of a guy in the city who helps out women who’ve got a certain kind of problem. You know what I mean.

4

just joined this commune where they share everything. I mean, everything!

5

has been acting really weird lately, like she’s been replaced with a robot or something.

6

has been missing for a week now.

3

d6

Some guy is following me, and…

1

he’s just come into this bar.

2

I don’t think he’s even human.

3

nobody else can see him.

4

I know its because of what I saw.

5

I think he’s that guy who kidnapped all those women.

6

if he keeps it up he’s going to get shot!

4

d6

My family is driving me nuts because…

1

they keep wanting me to have a baby.

2

they want me to quit my job.

3

they want me to get married to some guy I’ve never met.

4

they want me to take my children to “The Festival”. Understand, my family been doing it for a very long time, but I just don’t want to any more.

5

I won’t take in my Grandma, even though she only eats raw meat.

6

my husband won’t loan my loser brother any more money.

5

d6

My child died because

1

he was born without skin. The doctor insists the chemical factory had nothing to do with it.

2

my little boy killed her. Nobody believes me, but I know he’s evil.

3

he wandered off to that old abandoned house.

4

she ran onto the highway.

5

the Satanists killed her, and made it look like an accident.

6

some strange poison gas was released from the military base.

6

d6

I know it sounds crazy, but I think my husband might be

1

a murderer.

2

planning to kill me.

3

a Satanist.

4

an alien.

5

a Soviet agent.

6

married to another woman.

7

d6

I just saw…

1

a man forcing a woman into a car in the parking lot.

2

someone being murdered!

3

a U.F.O.!

4

a werewolf!

5

an angel.

6

my own double!

8

d6

I found Jesus…

1

in women’s prison. But I swear I didn’t put that poison my husband’s drink.

2

after my family died in a gas explosion. Like I told the police, I was out visiting friends, and still feel so guilty.

3

and stopped hooking. Well, mostly.

4

after my boyfriend shot me and left me for dead.

5

after my children went missing.

6

when he stepped out of that U.F.O.

9

d6

I’ve lost…

1

my children, and need someone to help me find them.

2

my memory. How did I get here?

3

my way. Where am I?

4

my purse, and need someone to help me out.

5

a small package wrapped in brown paper. If you find it, don’t shake it.

6

my soul.

10

d6

I know you won’t believe it, but

1

I can read your aura.

2

my dog can speak.

3

my child is the reincarnation of a soldier killed in the Second World War.

4

there’s a puddle of blood and slime in the restroom.

5

I’m actually nobility.

6

I can speak to the dead.

11

d6

It’s funny that

1

my husband actually thinks it was his idea for us to become swingers!

2

nobody believes witches are real anymore.

3

some people think women are weak, because I just killed a man with my bare hands.

4

the P.T.A. thinks I’m a bad parent, with what I know about them!

5

people don’t realize what’s buried under the trailer park.

6

no one sees that Satan is alive and well – and living in this town!

12

d6

I know I shouldn’t think this, but…

1

my kids aren’t really mine at all.

2

maybe it’s a cop that’s responsible for all those body parts they keep finding on the side of the road.

3

I suspect my pastor knows more than he’s telling about those kids who disappeared last week.

4

I don’t think the soldiers that passed through town are even American.

5

I just want to run away from my family and go somewhere, anywhere, else.

6

clowns are sexy.

Random Bar Stories from the Uncanny Highway, Part One – Tales Told by Men

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If you visit any of the fine drinking establishments that line the Uncanny Highway of U.S. Route 28, you are guaranteed to encounter a man with a story to tell. Buy him another drink, and listen as he enlightens you.

The following tables assume the same 1960s and 1970s time frame as the other entries in the “Uncanny Highway” series. Naturally, many would also make good subjects for Country & Western songs!

(d12, d6) The obviously tipsy man says:

1

d6

My wife ran off with….

1

my best friend.

2

my own brother.

3

some college kid.

4

that guy who was working on our house.

5

a biker.

6

another woman.

2

d6

My dog was killed by…

1

a speeding big-rig. I didn’t get a look at the guy. Come to think of it, I don’t remember even seeing a driver at all.

2

my own wife. After she came back from that trip, he was growling at her all the time, and wouldn’t let her pet him any more.

3

my no-good neighbor, because my ol’ boy was digging up something in the yard.

4

some wild animal. I don’t know what it was exactly, but it sure was big!

5

frickin’ Satanists. They’re everywhere around here.

6

space aliens. They cut out his eyes and drained all his blood!

3

d6

My best friend…

1

is apparently banging my wife. I think I’m gonna do something about it – after I get good and liquored up!

2

turned out to be “one of them”. You know what I mean.

3

ratted on me to the IRS. I found those gold coins buried with that skeleton on my property, so I own them, fair and square.

4

just married some foreign chick who’s apparently “allergic to sunlight”.

5

is a cop, so I can get away with anything.

6

told me about some money supposedly stashed in an abandoned house.

4

d6

I’m waiting to be arrested, ‘cause I just killed…

1

my cheating wife.

2

that bastard that’s been banging my wife.

3

my cheating wife and her bastard lover.

4

my own brother.

5

the man they sent to kill me.

6

the sheriff.

5

d6

I lost all my money…

1

in Los Vegas.

2

to my wife in the divorce.

3

to that bastard I used to be in business with.

4

to the goddamn IRS.

5

playing the ponies.

6

on a bad real estate deal.

6

d6

I lost my job because

1

some weird illegal immigrants took it. Funny thing is, I can’t even figure out what country they’re supposed to be from. They don’t speak any language I ever heard of.

2

of stupid Government regulations. We had to stop digging on that hill, but they wouldn’t tell us why.

3

someone made completely false allegations against me. I never met any of those women.

4

the boss’ wife thinks I “look like a criminal”.

5

the place got burned down. I think the boss did it for the insurance money.

6

my boss didn’t actually have any licenses or permits for what we were doing. Now, I can’t even find the bastard.

7

d6

I just made some easy money…

1

at the track.

2

burying some sacks for a guy. I didn’t ask what was inside, but they smelled really bad.

3

pouring a concrete floor for some guy who needed it done fast.

4

selling my camera and the pictures inside to a guy dressed in a black suit and sunglasses.

5

moving furniture in the middle of the night.

6

soundproofing a guy’s basement, and installing metal rings on the walls. He paid me much more than the job really costs. He also wanted a stain resistant floor that would be easy to mop up, but I don’t do floors.

8

d6

I just saw….

1

a ghost!

2

Bigfoot!

3

a U.F.O.!

3

Jesus!

4

the Devil!

5

a freakin’ tiger roaming the woods!

6

what a Federal agent look like without it’s human disguise!

9

d6

I don’t trust The Government, because…

1

I saw them packing dope in the body bags when I was in ‘Nam

2

the FBI just arrested my brother, who had nothing to do with those girls disappearing.

3

I’ve actually been aboard a U.F.O., and met the aliens. They look like you and me, but with big black eyes. You know, I could take you to meet them.

4

my pastor told me about all the Commies, International Bankers, and Radical Feminists that have infiltrated Congress.

5

when I was a cop they actually tried to recruit me into the Satanic coven that runs Washington D.C.

6

my friend whose a doctor told me the fluoride they put in the water is actually a Soviet plot to make Americans too weak to resist a takeover.

10

d6

I found Jesus…

1

in prison. That’s when I got this here tattoo.

2

on the battlefield. Let me show you my scars.

3

in the midst of my divorce. The Lord told me he would take her back home to Heaven, and he did!

4

after my wife got murdered. They never did find out who did it, and I doubt they ever will.

5

when I was getting off junk. After the bugs stopped crawling under my skin, I saw The Lord clear as day.

6

while I was banging a hooker. I think she still works the truck-stop nearby.

11

d6

I bet you…

1

can’t tell what I’ve got hidden in my shirt. Go on, guess!

2

don’t know why I’ve got this here silver bullet.

3

can’t beat me at arm-wrestling.

4

can’t guess what I’ve got in my car. It’s a doozy!

5

don’t know why that guy over there is staring at us.

6

want to know about the weird crap that’s been going on.

12

d6

I’m leaving this town, because

1

I found a good job driving delivery trucks from town to town. I could set you up too, if you can keep your mouth shut.

2

I got myself a “mail-order bride”. I swear she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve even seen. Thing is, she was raised in some weird religion that won’t let her eat salt, or have any iron in the house.

3

of all the weird murders.

4

There’s some guy who looks just like me doing some messed-up stuff, and the cops have got it in for me.

5

I know what what’s really going on with all the new construction around the old military base.

6

I just know something really bad is about to happen.

Roadside Bars of the Uncanny Highway – U.S. Route 28

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Like the other generators in the “Uncanny Highway – U.S. Route 28” series, the following tables assume a time-frame of the mid 1960s to mid 1970s.

Initial Impression of the Bar

d10

The bar is named for…

1 – 2

a woman. (“Shirley’s”, “Mother’s Bar”, “Flo’s Place”, etc.)

2 – 4

a man. (“Jake’s Roadhouse”, “Harry’s”, “Nick’s Pub”, etc.)

5

an animal. (“The Stallion”, “Eagle Inn”, “Black Cat Tavern”, etc.)

6

a local geographical feature. (“Mount George Inn”, “Black River Tavern”, “Bald Hill Bar”, etc.)

7

an occupation. (“The Miner”, “Trucker’s Tavern”, “Huntsman’s Lodge”, etc.)

8

an inanimate object (or objects). (“Cannon Club”, “Big Rig Inn”, “Five Nails”, etc.)

9

a foreign locale. (“German Inn”, “Old England Bar”, “China Saloon”, etc.)

10

another kind of business or establishment. (“Junkyard Bar”, “The Abbey Lounge”, “Factory Bar”, etc.)

d12

The bar’s sign is…

1

intact neon letter above the door

2

neon and above the door, but with 1d4 letters burned out or broken.

3

cut out letters affixed above the door.

4

cut out letters affixed above the door, with 1d4 letters missing.

5

nicely painted above the door.

6

crudely painted above the door.

7

painted directly on the front door.

8

a wooden plaque affixed to the facade.

9

a painted banner hang above the door.

10

just a painted A-frame standing outside the door.

11

lettered on the front windows.

12

apparently missing.

d12

The exterior of the building is…

1 – 2

a flat-topped brick structure.

3 – 5

a flat-topped wooden structure with clapboard siding.

6

an ordinary wooden house.

7

an ordinary brick house.

8

a faux “Tudor” (half-timber) structure.

9

a faux Polynesian (Tiki) structure.

10

faux adobe (or actual adobe in the Southwest).

11

a faux “Old West” saloon with a “boomtown” facade.

12

a railway car.

25% chance of one or two gas pumps outside building. If there are two, one will be regular gas, and the other diesel.

d12

The bar appears to attract primarily…

1 – 2

blue-collar workers.

3

bikers.

4

truckers.

5

old men.

6

Country Music fans in cowboy and cowgirl outfits.

7

college kids.

8

young singles looking for partners.

9

people of a single ethnicity (other than white American).

10

police.

11

swinging couples.

12

the gay community. (LGBT+ people, but that term didn’t exist in the 1960s or 1970s.)

d8

The condition of the building is…

1

excellent.

2 – 4

generally good.

5

poor due to neglect.

6

poor due to obvious vandalism.

7

badly weathered.

8

mostly good, but there are bullet holes in the side.

d8

The parking lot is…

1

very small, but only partially filled.

2

very small, and completely filled.

3

moderately sized, and largely empty.

4

moderately sized, and half empty.

5

moderately sized, but mostly filled.

6

large, and largely empty.

7

large, and half-filled.

8

large, half-filled, and evidently a popular trolling ground for prostitutes.

The types of vehicles in the parking lot will be consistent with the primary patrons. Motorcycles in a biker bar, pickup trucks for Country Music fans, station wagons for suburban swinging couples, etc.

 

Inside the Bar

d20

The interior décor is…

1 – 5

unremarkable / consistent with the bar’s name and exterior.

6

filled with military memorabilia.

7

filled with local memorabilia.

8

filled with music memorabilia (appropriate to primary patrons).

9

a faux Irish pub.

10

faux German.

11

faux Medieval.

12

a faux barn.

13

Viking-themed.

14

Mexican-themed.

15

filled with hunting trophies.

16

filled with fishing trophies.

17

festooned with Christmas lights.

18

nautical-themed.

19

Tiki.

20

psychedelic.

d10

The behavior of the patrons is….

1 – 4

like those of any average bar of its type.

5

rowdy and belligerent.

6

friendly and welcoming.

7

extremely unfriendly to outsiders.

8

joyless, and oddly mechanical.

9

quietly menacing.

10

the complete opposite of what one would expect.

d20

The inside smells primarily like…

1 – 8

cigarettes.

9 – 10

cooking meat.

11 – 12

deep-fry oil

13

sweat.

14

incense.

15

mold.

16

dirt.

17

body odor.

18

rotten wood.

19

dry wood.

20

nothing in particular.

d20

The floor is…

1

faux-brick linoleum (or vinyl).

2

faux-wood linoleum (or vinyl).

3

faux-stone linoleum (or vinyl).

4 – 5

patterned linoleum (or vinyl).

6

badly-cracked, faux-brick linoleum (or vinyl).

7

badly-cracked, faux-wood linoleum (or vinyl).

8

badly-cracked, faux-stone linoleum (or vinyl).

9 – 10

badly-cracked, patterned linoleum (or vinyl).

11 – 12

black and white checkerboard tiles.

13

bare concrete.

14 – 15

badly-worn wood.

16 – 17

stained wood.

18 – 19

painted wood.

20

wood parquet.

40% chance the floor is covered with sawdust.

d100

If the floor is searched, you will find…

1 – 9

nothing special besides cigarette butts and beer. (If floor is sawdust, beer will be soaked up.)

10 – 11

an especially large quantity of nut shells.

12 – 13

dead insects.

14 – 15

someone’s wallet (with d100 dollars).

16 – 17

a glob of spit, still wet. (Roll again if floor is sawdust.)

18 – 19

spattered paint. (If floor is sawdust, paint is underneath.)

20 – 21

food wrapping from a nearby eatery.

22 – 23

1d6 spent bullet casings.

24 – 25

dried blood.

26 – 27

a condom (25% chance to be used.)

28 – 29

a set of house keys.

30 – 31

a pair of panties.

32 – 33

a lady’s stocking.

34 – 35

a pair of men’s underwear.

36 – 37

a woman’s anklet.

38 – 39

a wedding ring (Equal chances to be a man’s or a woman’s.)

40 – 41

a broken necklace.

42 – 43

broken glass.

44 – 45

a lost police shield.

46 – 47

a child’s toy.

48 – 49

a store receipt (25% chance the combination of items has disturbing implications. For example: rope, plastic sheeting, duct tape, nylon stockings, a dog collar, bleach, and a set of knives.)

50 – 51

a phone number written on a napkin.

52 – 53

“Help” written on a napkin in a woman’s handwriting.

54 – 54

a business card.

55 – 56

an unexploded firecracker.

57 – 58

unused tickets for a local Amusement Park.

59 – 60

a strange occult design faintly scrawled on the floor in chalk.

61 – 62

a woman’s shoe.

63 – 64

the broken heel from a high-heeled shoe.

65 – 66

a man’s shoe or boot.

67 – 68

a severed finger. (50% either a man’s or woman’s.)

69 – 70

1d4 human teeth.

71 – 72

a small, bloody knife. (Any sawdust on the floor will be stuck to knife along with the blood.)

73 – 74

a page from a Bible, with a verse circled.

75 – 76

a page from a phone book, with a name circled.

77 – 78

a religious tract.

79 – 80

a gemstone, evidently fallen from a ring.

81 – 82

a muddy shoe-print.

83 – 84

a small puddle of urine. (If floor is sawdust, urine will be soaked up.)

85 – 86

two halves of a ripped photograph. (Equal chances to be of a man or a woman.)

87 – 88

a watch. (25% chance to be an expensive brand.)

89 – 90

a dead mouse.

91 – 92

a live mouse.

93 – 94

a crumpled break-up letter.

95 – 96

a broken pencil.

97 – 98

a chicken bone.

99 – 100

a local guidebook, with a bloody fingerprint.

 

People and Events

d8

The bartender appears to be a(n)…

1

attractive young woman, (5% chance she is also the owner.)

2

young woman, (50% chance she is also the owner.)

3

handsome, middle-aged man, (25% chance he is also the owner.)

4

middle-aged man, (75% chance he is also the owner.)

5

attractive middle-aged woman, (75% chance she is also the owner.)

6

middle-aged woman, (75% chance she is also the owner.)

7

older man, (85% chance she is also the owner.)

8

older woman, (95% chance she is also the owner.)

d100

…with…

1 – 3

one eye.

4 – 6

an obvious scar.

7 – 9

missing teeth.

10 – 12

glasses.

13 – 15

a lisp.

16 – 18

a filthy mouth.

19 – 21

a dog behind the counter.

22 – 24

a pistol on their hip.

25 – 27

notably large breasts / muscles.

28 – 30

badly dyed hair.

31 – 33

an out-of-date hairstyle.

34 – 36

unfashionable clothes.

37 – 39

a very fashionable outfit.

40 – 42

a flamboyant manner of pouring drinks.

43 – 45

a distinct lack of education.

46 – 48

an obviously high level of education.

49 – 51

strange jewelry.

52 – 54

many tattoos. (50% likely to be blue prison tattoos inked with cigarette ash and spit.)

55 – 57

a bad leg.

58 – 60

a bad attitude.

61 – 63

a sympathetic ear for all patrons

64 – 66

no interest in hearing your problems.

67 – 69

an uncanny insight into their patrons’ true desires

70 – 72

seemingly endless stories about their past.

73 – 75

a “catch phrase” that they always seem to work into any conversation.

76 – 78

extremely racist and prejudicial opinions.

79 – 81

an eagerness to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

82 – 84

strong belief in various conspiracy theories.

85 – 87

professed psychic abilities.

88 – 90

a hatred of hippies and “reds”.

91 – 93

a sympathetic view of hippies and the counterculture.

94 – 95

an encyclopedic knowledge of liquor.

96 – 97

an eagerness to share the teachings of their Guru.

98 – 99

a strangely archaic way of speaking.

100

a striking resemblance to someone famous. (10% chance they actually are that person – or their clone!)

d100

Your attention is attracted by…

1 – 11

a fight breaking among 2d4 patrons.

12 – 13

a man with a flamboyant cowboy outfit.

14 – 15

a pair of identical twins.

16 – 17

a man with a loaded pistol set in front of him.

18 – 19

a plain, small, and unassuming woman who is easily consuming more whiskey than seems possible. She has already drunk several men “under the table”.

20 – 21

a nun.

22 – 23

a beautiful woman, dressed like a high-fashion model, and wearing sunglasses. She drinks alone.

24 – 25

an artist drawing portraits.

26 – 27

a photographer taking snapshots.

28 – 29

a police detective showing someone’s photograph to patrons.

30 – 31

a nervous man who stares at everyone entering the bar.

32 – 33

a silent man in sunglasses, wearing a black suit and fedora. His briefcase in on the table or bar.

34 – 35

a man playing solitaire with an a strange set of cards.

36 – 37

a woman reading palms.

38 – 39

1d4 clown(s).

40 – 41

a Native American, dressed in a traditional outfit.

42 – 43

a group of 1d4+1 men playing “pinfinger” or “five finger fillet” with a knife and their outstretched hands.

44 – 45

a man with 1d4 obviously frightened young women.

46 – 47

a preacher (or other devotee) handing out religious tracts.

48 – 49

a young women approaching one patron after another, begging for a ride.

50 – 51

1d4 hippies.

52 – 53

a middle-aged woman looking for her husband.

54 – 55

a man with a long white beard hanging to his belly.

56 – 57

a breathtakingly beautiful woman who is collecting free drinks.

58 – 59

1d4 police who have entered the bar to make an arrest. (If the bar primarily serves LGTQ+ people, the police may be arresting the patrons. If the bar has strippers, the police may be arresting the dancers, or the owner.)

60 – 61

1 or 2 masked men with guns who suddenly burst in and demand money.

62 – 63

a dog wandering around the bar.

64 – 65

a black cat wandering around the bar.

66 – 67

a man who runs into the bar, yelling that he just encountered a U.F.O.

68 – 69

a man who runs into the bar, yelling that he just encountered a famous local ghost.

70 – 71

a strange creature briefly visible in the window.

72 – 73

a fire breaking out in the bar.

74 – 75

a section of the ceiling collapsing.

76 – 77

1d4 people in archaic outfits.

78 – 79

an obnoxious drunk stumbling into everyone and everything.

80 – 81

a man so drunk he falls off the bar stool unconscious.

82 – 83

a glowing ball of light that moves slowly across the room.

84 – 85

inexplicable banging or tapping sounds.

86 – 87

a muffled cry for help, but from no obvious source.

88 – 89

a bullet (or rock) crashing through a window.

90 – 91

a hitchhiker you’ve previously seen on the side of the road.

92 – 93

an unaccompanied child walking into the bar.

94 – 95

a woman running into the bar, screaming that she just escaped a kidnapper (or killer).

96 – 97

an African-American man with a guitar, who sits down and pours a dark powder on the ground around himself while he mutters something about keeping the “hellhounds” away.

98 – 99

a family who suddenly enters, seeking help for their broken-down automobile.

100

an automobile crashing into the bar!

Obviously out-of-place or annoying patrons will eventually be asked to leave by the Bartender.

 

Food and Drink

d6

The bar serves…

1

a unique cocktail made nowhere else.

2

a wide selection of beers, but only a small election of spirits.

3

a seemingly endless selection of alcohol.

4

especially stiff drinks.

5

watered-down drinks.

6

only local brands.

A normal 1960s or 1970s roadside bar serves 1d4 brands of beer, and 2d6 other liquors. In most bars, all the beer will be one of the big national brands. Modern-style craft beers are basically non-existent, but small regional and local brands do exist in some areas.

d6

The food is…

1

nothing but bar snacks. (Potato chips, peanuts, pretzels, popcorn, pickled eggs, etc.)

2

expensive, but high-quality.

3

both good and cheap.

4

greasy.

5

an unexpected, exotic cuisine.

6

disgustingly inedible.

 

Attractions and Amenities

d20, 1d10 times.

Other attractions and amenities include…

1

a dart board.

2

pool table(s).

3

1d6 strippers / burlesque dancers. (Mostly topless in the 1960s and 1970s, but full nude dancing exists in some places after 1969. Stripper poles aren’t introduced until 1972.)

4

a jukebox.

5

a stage for live performances.

6

a dance floor.

7

a television.

8

a pay phone.

9

a mechanical bull.

10

air hockey.

11

a foosball table.

12

a skee-ball machine.

13

various board games that can be played by patrons.

14

an electro-mechanical gun shooting game.

15

a pachinko machine.

16

pinball machine. (Or video game, after 1978.)

17

slot machine. (Or video poker, after 1979.)

18

1d4 bowling lanes.

19

a room for private parties.

20

lodgings.

There can be multiple examples of the same attraction or amenity.

d12

The bathroom is…

1 – 4

unremarkable.

5

the haunt of a local drug dealer.

6

disgustingly foul.

7

covered in graffiti.

8

surprisingly clean.

9

filled with a mysterious odor.

10

very cramped.

11

cavernously large.

12

apparently a popular spot for casual sexual encounters.

 

The Bar’s Secret

d100

The most shocking fact about this bar is…

1 – 15

only that the staff is paid “off the books”.

16 – 29

it’s Mob owned, but otherwise a regular business.

30 – 38

it serves underage patrons.

39 – 40

it has failed every health inspection, but somehow remains in business.

40 – 41

all the liquor is bootleg, but put into “legitimate” bottles.

42 – 43

it’s crawling with vermin.

44

the bartender is actually a Vampyre.

45

it is used as a hunting ground by the local Vampyres.

46

the bartender is actually a Werewolf.

47

it’s used as a hunting ground by the local Werewolves.

48 – 50

it’s haunted by the ghost of the first owner.

51 – 52

it’s haunted by the ghost of person murdered here.

53 – 54

it’s haunted by the ghost of a dog (or other pet).

55 – 56

it’s patronized by Demons and Devils.

57 – 58

it’s patronized by Angels.

59

it’s patronized by the Devil himself (or another major Infernal power). (d4: Satan is… 1 = looking to make a deal. 2 = on holiday from Hell, and just want to be left alone. 3 = drowning his sorrows from the loss of his latest love. 4 = expecting someone.)

60

it’s Death’s favorite hangout!

61

it’s used as a neutral meeting ground by the powers of Heaven and Hell.

62 – 63

the owner is a KGB agent.

64 – 66

it’s used for CIA mind-control experiments.

67

some of the drinks are actually potions that grant magical powers.

68 – 69

it’s a meeting place for Demon Hunters.

70

the local Fairy Folk meet here “after-hours”.

71 – 72

auctions of sex slaves are held here “after-hours”.

73 – 74

the basement is a way station for human trafficking.

75

the basement contains an entrance to the Underworld.

76

it’s built atop an Indian burial ground.

77

it’s actually a disguised space-ship, and the owner is an extraterrestrial.

79 – 80

many of the apparent patrons are actually ghosts.

81 – 82

its used as hunting ground for a homicidal maniac.

83 – 84

it’s a front for illegal gambling.

85 – 86

it’s a front for prostitution.

87 – 88

it’s a front for drug dealing.

89 – 90

it’s infested with vermin.

91 – 93

the meat served is actually roadkill.

94 – 95

the meat served is actually from animals not normally eaten by Americans.

96

the meat served is human flesh.

97 – 98

the small library and reading room in the back, stocked with classics and quality literature.

99 – 100

it is owned by a celebrity.

Wondrous Metals, Minerals, and Materials of Panzoasia

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Adamant (Pure): This is the hardest of all metals, found only in the depths of the Chthon under Panzoasia, and beneath the fabled Pillars of the Earth. It is mined by the deep-dwelling Saganic Gnomes, who trade it to Dwarven metal-mongers in return for foodstuffs that cannot otherwise be obtained in the Underworld. Panzoasian Adamant is an iridescent metal, shifting through a spectrum of hues according to how the light strikes its surface. It weighs twice as much as iron, and a bar of it is practically unbreakable. Accordingly, it can only be melted by the burning blood of the Hrycus goat, or in the fires of Purgatory. A weapon made of pure Adamant grants its wielder a non-magical +4 to hit and damage, while armor made from it has an Armor Class 4 points better than normal (i.e. Chain Mail of pure Adamant grants AC 1). Only the Saganic Gnomes, Saganic Salamanders, and certain Dwarven smiths know the secret of working pure Adamant.
Value: 6,000 gp per pound. Items made from pure Adamant are worth 600 times their normal value.

Adamantine Steel (Alloy): This alloy of Adamant and iron is twice as hard as normal steel. It has a faint but noticeable iridescent gleam. Weapons made of it are +1 to hit and damage, and armor made from it has an Armor Class 1 point better than normal. Admantine Steel is non-magical, however, and cannot hit creatures immune to normal weapons. Only the Saganic Gnomes, Saganic Salamanders, and certain Dwarves know the secret technique of creating items of Adamantine Steel.
Value: 1,000 gp per pound. Items made from Adamantine Steel are worth 100 times their normal value.

Cloud Silver: This wondrous metal is collected from the interior of the cloud islands that float within the legendary Vault of Air, and sometimes above Panzoasia. Only the Saganic Sylphs know how to condense the vaporous silver of the clouds into solid ingots, small amounts of which they occasionally trade to the Elves and earthbound Fae in return for scented oils and incenses. Pure Cloud Silver is effectively weightless, with neutral buoyancy in the air. An object made of cloud silver will neither fall nor rise if released from one’s grasp. If thrown, such an object will continue moving on the same plane until it comes to a stop from friction with the air, but will never fall. A Cloud Silver item about the size of a buckler can support up to a pound of ordinary earthly matter placed on top of it, before slowly falling to the ground. Pure Cloud Silver resembles terrestrial silver, but does not tarnish, is about as strong as iron, and shines in darkness with light equal to a candle. The Saganic Sylphs make all of their armor and weapons from it.
Value: 2,000 gp per ingot, which occupies the same space as 1 lb of ordinary silver. Items made from pure Cloud Silver are worth 200 times their normal value.

Cloud Steel (Alloy): This alloy of Cloud Silver is one-quarter the weight of normal steel, but just as hard. It is more reflective than normal steel, but duller than pure Cloud Silver. Like pure Cloud Silver, however, it glows in the dark. Despite containing iron, Cloud Steel is not especially damaging to Fairies, who can wear armor made of it without any discomfort. Only the Saganic Sylphs, Fairy Folk, and certain Elven smiths know the secret of creating and working with Cloud Steel.
Value: 500 gp per pound. Items made from pure Cloud Steel are worth 50 times their normal value.

Chthonic Carbuncle: This crystalline mineral runs in veins throughout the Underworld. It occurs in red, green, blue, and violet varieties, all of which shed colored light. Much of the Underworld is bathed in the weird illumination of Chthonic Carbuncle (as well as that of phosphorescent fungi). The light emitted by the blue and violet varieties of Chthonic Carbuncle also causes certain minerals to glow, a fact exploited by some subterranean natives who employ fluorescent paints and dyes. Sometimes Underworld natives will simply expose veins of the stone and allow it to glow, but chucks of Chthonic Carbuncle are also used in lanterns, held in sconces, and placed atop torchiers. A one-pound chunk will emit light equal to a torch. Unfortunately, Chthonic Carbuncle can cause strange mutations (and possibly mental derangement) in those exposed to it for prolonged periods – accounting, perhaps, for the many bizarre forms of life found in the Underworld. Just an hour’s exposure to sunlight will destroy Chthonic Carbuncle’s ability to emit light.
Value (Mineral Quality): 100 gp per pound.
Value (Gem Quality): 5,000 gp per carat.

Deep Glass: This unusually durable form of obsidian is mined by the Saganic Undines from submarine rifts in the Eternal Sea. It appearance it closely resembles frosted glass of the ordinary kind, and occurs in a full spectrum of colors. Hues of blue and green are most common, but among the Undines the most prized variety is opalescent. Deep Glass is employed extensively for weapons and armor by the Undines, who jealously keep the secret of properly shaping and polishing it. The material is just as hard as steel, but at a third of the weight. The Undines will sometimes trade items made of Deep Glass to their allies among the Human Sea Folk, in return for objects impossible to make under the water – especially weapons of Orichalcum. Unfortunately, the special quantities of Deep Glass degrade if it is not completely submerged in water for at least an hour each day, eventually becoming just as brittle as ordinary glass.
Value: 300 gp per pound. Items made from Deep Glass are worth 30 times their normal value.

Draconian Cinnabar: The dried and hardened blood of the vicious and stupid Serpentine Dragons, Draconian Cinnabar is a brilliant red pigment that is both colorfast, and completely non-toxic. It is used in paint, as a cloth dye, and as a fancy food colorant. Most of it is exported from the Empire of Aghidea, and the Kingdom of Yaribas. The color of Draconian Cinnabar is considered prestigious everywhere throughout Panzoasia – except, of course, in Bythebia (where red things are disliked).
Value: 5 gp an ounce.

Dragontite: This deep red gemstone grows in the brains of Serpentine Dragons, and must be extracted while the monster is still alive (or still in the process of dying). Widely considered the most valuable jewel of all, the raw stone can range in size from one to six carats. The secret of properly cutting and polishing Dragontite is held by certain families of Gnomish gem-cutters. The stone is a vital component of magic items involving fire, flight, or the extension of lifespans.
Value: 10,000 gp per carat.

Meteoritic Steel: Made with iron harvested from meteorites, this dull gray metal can be used to make weapons capable of harming creatures otherwise immune to normal attacks (but grants no other bonuses). Although every People of Panzoasia knows how to work it, Halfling smiths are renowned for making the highest quality items of Meteoritic Steel. Meteoritic Steel is as damaging to Fairies as ordinary pure iron.
Value: 200 gp per pound. Items made from Meteoric Steel are worth 20 times their normal value.

Orichalcum (True Copper): This beautiful metal is amber-orange in color, and shines in the dark. It never rusts or corrodes, nor can it be dissolved by acid. Like Meteoritic Iron, weapons made of Orichalcum can damage creatures normally immune to non-magical attacks. Unlike Meteoritic Steel, however, it is non-ferreous, and can be made into plate armor wearable by Fae. The secret to working Orichalcum is held by certain Human smiths of the Ultimate West, and they trade items made from it to the Saganic Undines and Fairy Folk. The richest deposits of the metal are in Ombratia and Maeland.
Value: 300 gp per pound. Items made from Orichalcum are worth 30 times their normal value.

Tezacan Obsidian: This beautiful black volcanic glass is as hard as steel, and not brittle like ordinary obsidian. It will hold an extremely fine edge, and blades made of it are +1 to damage. As its common name indicates, it is found primarily in the Triumvirate of Tezaca, and the secret of properly working it is known only there. Daggers made of Tezacan Obsidian with jade handles are symbols of social rank in the Triumvirate.
Value: 200 gp per pound. Blades made from Tezacan Obsidian are worth 20 times their normal value.

Toad Stone: This naturally smooth and round stone is from extracted the forehead of the giant Jewel Toad, and can be brown, green, or black in color. An intact Toad Stone is generally 5 to 6 carats in weight, but the stones are cut and polished into smaller, 1 carat cabochons. Toad Stone is a natural poison antidote. Simply pressing a Toad Stone to the flesh of the poisoned person allows them a second Saving Throw to avoid harm. For that purpose Toad Stones are often set into rings, or worn around the neck. Actually crushing a full carat of Toad Stone and swallowing it will instantly neutralize any poison or venom, no matter how virulent – including poisons of a magical nature.
Value: 2,000 gp per carat.

Terrabolam: There are two types of this strange mineral – a “male” variety that is glittering black in color, and a “female” that is lighter gray (but which also glitters). If a “male” and female” stone are brought close together, they will produce a flame between them sufficient to ignite any inflammable material. The richest deposits of Terrabolam stones are found the mountainous region north of Qozanistan.
Value: 100 gp per pair. (Each stone is typically100 carats.)

Lithic Ice: Mined by Dwarves in Fjaldarheim and the Storm Giant Kingdom, this is the only material that can hold the burning blood of the Hrycus goat without melting. Consequentially, it is vital to creating items of Adamant, and in the production of Adamantine Steel. It is a cloudy, translucent mineral with marbling of white, gray, and blue, and is always freezing cold to the touch. Besides its use in the manufacture of Adamantine weapons and armor, blocks of it are also used to preserve food by freezing – and in making chilled desserts!
Value: 1000 gp per pound.

The Magician Class for Classic B/X Rules

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This version of the “Magician” class from Ghastly Affair has been reworked for use with retro-clones of the classic B/X rpg rules, such as Necrotic Gnome’s “Old School Essentials”. It differs slightly from the same Class found in Ghastly Affair, to make it more suitable for use in Dark Fantasy B/X campaigns. Compared to the standard B/X Magic User, the Magician is more versatile, but the magic they employ is both riskier and more costly.

MAGICIAN

Sorcerer. Witch. Warlock. Theurgist. Conjuror. Necromancer. Whatever the name, you are a worker of wonders, and a keeper of mysteries. You might be a member of secret society pulling the strings of princes and presidents. Perhaps you are a noble-born witch who slips from her palace by night to dance naked under the moonlight. Maybe you’re a rogue scholar who owes his soul to a Demon Lord. You could even be a pious canoness who can call upon the aid of celestial beings.

As a Magician, you can utilize spells by four different means: by using Incantations, by performing Ceremonies, by creating Talismans, or by employing Pacts. The knowledge of a spell might be directly imparted by a magical being, taught by another Magician, gleaned from an ancient text, or even discovered through long hours of magical experimentation.

You will have to decide who initiated you into magic – another Magician, an occult order, or a magical being of some kind. Perhaps you accidentally summoned a Planetary Angel while pursuing an ancient work of magical philosophy; or have performed the Ritual of the Crossroads, and signed the Black Book in your blood. Maybe you even studied at one of the fabled Black Schools of the Underworld – where sorcery is taught by Infernal masters who claim the soul of every tenth scholar.

Use the Magician Class to create characters inspired by such fictional characters as Heinrich Faust (from Goethe’s “Faust”) and Carathis (from the novel “Vathek”), or historical figures such as Cagliostro and La Voisin.

ABILITY REQUIREMENTS: Intelligence and Wisdom of at least 9 each.
PRIME REQUISITE(S): Intelligence and Wisdom.
HIT DICE: d4 + Constitution Bonus, up to 9th Level.
+1 Hit Points per Level after 9th, and Constitution Bonus no longer applies.
USEABLE WEAPONS: Dagger, Staff, Club, or Crossbow. (+ Pistol, if available.)
USEABLE ARMOR: None. (Breastplate, if available). No shields.
ATTACKS: As Magic user
SAVING THROWS: As Magic user
ALIGNMENT: Any.
LANGUAGES: Common and Alignment. Magicians often learn the native languages of magical beings.

SPECIAL ABILITIES:

Esoteric Knowledge: You have a base 30% chance to correctly identify a magical being (such as a Djinni or Demon), to remember some bit of esoteric lore appropriate to your current situation, to decipher a code, or to read an inscription written in an arcane language. At the GM’s discretion this ability can be used to correctly identify a magic item. You can only roll once per subject or encounter. The chance to remember relevant Esoteric Knowledge increases by 5% per Level, to a maximum of 95%.

Use Incantation: By means of your Magical Implement (and the secret words of power) you can use any spell from the list of Incantations you know. You do not need to re-memorize or otherwise prepare Incantations before using them.

The total Levels of Incantations you can use per day is equal to your Character Level times two. However, if you reach that that total, you will fall unconscious for a full Turn. Furthermore, even after you regain consciousness you will be so exhausted that you will be unable to use Incantations, perform Ceremonies, or Employ Pacts again until you get a full night’s rest.

  • For example, if you are 4th Level Magician, you can use a total of 8 Levels worth of Incantations a day. This could be eight 1st Level spells; four 2nd Levels spells; two 1st Level spells and three 2nd Level spells; or any other combination that doesn’t exceed 8 total Levels.

Perform Ceremony: Through a lengthy series of symbolic words and actions you can create magical effects from the list of Ceremonies you know. You can even affect a target you cannot see, if you have a piece of them (or something they own). Also, spells cast as Ceremonies can be held “in-reserve”, to take effect at some later time.

Ceremonies require half an hour per Spell level to perform, and require materials with a value in gp equal to 20 times the Spell’s level squared. If you are traveling or adventuring, you will have to obtain the materials you need to perform any desired Ceremonies before you set out, unless you can somehow obtain them in the course of your travels.

Any particular Ceremony can only be performed once a day, and only one spell can be held “in reserve” at a time. If you use a Ceremony on target you cannot see, they always receive a Saving Throw (even if the spell doesn’t ordinarily allow one), and if they Save, you can never again affect them with that Ceremony.

  • For example, Wizard Lock is a 2nd Level Ceremony. It requires an hour to perform, and 80 gp worth of non-reusable materials. If you perform a Ceremony of Wizard Lock today, you will have to wait until tomorrow to use it again.
  • As a second example, if you perform the Purify Food and Water Ceremony (1st Level), it will take a half hour, and expend 20 gp of materials. At its performance, you can decide to hold the spell “in reserve” until the next time you encounter spoiled food that you need to eat. If you already have Purify Food and Water “in reserve”, its the the only spell you can have so prepared.
  • For a third example, you can perform a Ceremony to inflict a Curse on somebody whose hair, blood, or clothing you posses, even if they are currently 100 miles away. Since Curse is a 3rd Level Ceremony, it will require an hour-and-a-half to perform, and use 180 gp worth of materials. If your would-be victim saves versus Magic, you can never try to Curse them again with a Ceremony.

Create Talismans: You can create an item that grants you (or a specified person) a constant spell effect. The physical basis of a Talisman requires rare materials worth 200 times the square of the Spell’s Level in gold pieces, or else blood and body parts from magical beings with total HD equal to twice the Spell’s Level. Charging a Talisman takes 1 hour per Spell Level. A charged Talisman lasts for 30 days, and will be ruined if touched by anyone other than its intended wearer. You can only create a Talisman if you know the appropriate spell in its “Talisman” form. You can only have one charged Talisman active at a time, whether worn by you or another.

  • For example, creating a Talisman of Read Magic (allowing the wearer to automatically decipher all magical writings) is a 3rd Level Spell. It requires either materials worth 1,800 gp, or else the blood (and/or body parts) from at least 6 HD worth of magical beings (such as two Thouls, or a single White Dragon). It requires 3 hours to charge.

Employ Pact: You can make sacrifice to a being from another plane of existence, and thereby temporarily gain some of their magical power.

Each Pact you can employ is activated by a different sacrifice, imposed by the being who grants it. Roll a d4 to determine what the granting entity wants in exchange:
1 = The blood of specific creatures with total Hit Dice approximately equal to the Level of the Spell.
2 = Wealth equal to 200 gp per Spell level (the coins or items disappear into the entity’s hoard on its home plane).
3 = A point of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability) per Spell Level. (This heals back at the rate of 1 point per day).
4 = The Magician’s blood, resulting in the loss of 2 Hit Points per Spell Level

A particular Pact can only be employed once a day, but you can employ many different Pacts per day – as long as you are capable of offering all the necessary sacrifices!

• For example, you might be able to employ a 5th Level Pact enabling you to Teleport – provided you are willing to sacrifice 10 HP worth of your own blood to the abomination Yrazzin, who dwells in the void between dimensions.

WEAKNESSES:

Magical Implement: You must have and employ a specially prepared object in order to use any Incantations. If you lose your Magical Implement, you must replace it (at a cost of 1000 gp per Magician Level possessed) before you can use Incantations again. Typical Magical implements include a staff, a wand, a sword, a dagger, a book, or an inscribed pantacle.

Power Object: Your magical power is bound to an object, such as a book of magic, an inscribed ring, or the text of your contract with an Infernal being. If you do not actually carry the object on your person, you use magic as if you were one Level lower (a 1st Level Magician must carry their Power Object to use magic at all). If your Power Object is destroyed, you lose the ability to use spells until it can be replaced. Replacing a Power Object costs 5,000 gp per Level of the Magician.

FOLLOWERS AT 11th LEVEL:

At 11th Level you will attract another Magician of 1st – 3rd Level, as well as 1d12 ordinary men and women seeking to be initiated by you as 1st level Magicians. These new initiates will become the core of your support within your magical order, secret society, or coven – or else follow you to form new one.

Experience Points

Level

Title

Hit Points

Esoteric Knowledge

Maximum Levels of Incantations per Day

Maximum Spell Level Usable

0

1

Initiate, or Covener

1d4

30%

2

1

3,000

2

Practiced Initiate, or Fellow Covener

2d4

35%

4

1

6,000

3

Journeyman Magician, or Ordinary Warlock / Ordinary Witch

3d4

40%

6

2

12,000

4

Practiced Magician, or Practiced Warlock / Witch

4d4

45%

8

2

24,000

5

Adept, or Sorcerer / Sorceress

5d4

50%

10

3

48,000

6

Major Adept, or Great Sorcerer / Great Sorceress

6d4

55%

12

3

96,000

7

Thaumaturge

7d4

60%

14

4

192,000

8

Great Thaumaturge

8d4

65%

16

4

384,000

9

Master Magician,

or Master Warlock / Witch Mistress

9d4

70%

18

5

559,000

10

Past Master / Past Mistress

9d4+ 1

75%

20

5

734,000

11

Magus / Maga, or

Warlock Lord / Witch Lady

9d4+2

80%

22

6

909,000

12

Magus / Maga, or

Warlock Lord / Witch Lady

(12th Level)

9d4+ 3

85%

24

6

1,084,000

13

Magus / Maga, or

Warlock Lord / Witch Lady

(13th Level)

9d4+ 4

90%

26

6

1,259,000

14

Supreme Magus / Supreme Maga, or Witch Queen / Witch King

9d4+ 5

95%

28

6

Starting Spells for Magicians

A Magician character starts play knowing three 1st level Spells. These Spells can represent any mix of Incantations, Ceremonies, Talismans, or Pacts the Player desires. The Player of a Magician character must keep a current list of all the Spells that her PC knows, broken down by Incantations, Ceremonies, Talismans, and Pacts.

A Magician’s Grimoire

Magicians keep Grimoires that record their words of power and magical techniques, much like the spell books of “standard” Magic Users. Unlike a Magic User’s spell book, however, a Grimoire is not usually inherently magical (unless it is also the Magician’s Power Object). A Grimoire may be written in a magical cipher or arcane language, but many are actually just inscribed in Common.

Gaining More Spells as a Magician

The Magician is assumed to automatically gain 1 new Spell per Level gained, which can also be of any kind the Player desires (Incantation, Ceremony, Talisman, or Pact), and any Level the Magician can currently employ. All other Spells must be located and learned in the course of regular game play.

The same Spell may in fact be found as an Incantation, Ceremony, Talisman, or Pact, but each version must be learned separately. Magicians in Campaign that also include the “standard” spell-casting Classes can adapt spells they learn from Magic User Scrolls or spell books into Incantations, by making a successful Esoteric Knowledge roll. Likewise, a Magician can attempt to adapt a divine spell they find written on a scroll into a usable Pact, by successfully rolling their Esoteric Knowledge.

Generally, any intelligent being with inherent magical abilities is able to teach a Magician spells corresponding to its own powers. For example, an Efreet can teach the Wall of Fire spell, and a Dryad can teach Charm Person. A magical being can choose to impart a spells as an Incantation, Ceremony, Talisman, or Pact (as appropriate). Of course, most beings from other planes of existence prefer to offer any spells they teach in the form of Pacts.

MAGICIAN SPELLS BY LEVEL

The following lists utilize the Cleric and Magic User spells enumerated in the “Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Cleric and Magic-User Spells”. Game Masters can see that work to adjudicate their effects, use the equivalents from another OSR retro-clone, or refer to the original B/X books.

Note that while many Magicians spells replicate those of Clerics, such spells are “arcane”, and not “divine” in the forms used by Magicians. The “standard” and “reversed” forms of spells (such as Light and Darkness) must almost always be learned separately by Magicians.

* Indicates that a Ceremony’s effect can be held “in-reserve”.

1st LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

1st Level Incantations
Cause Fear
Darkness
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Floating Disc
Hold Portal
Light
Magic Missile
Protection from Evil
Read Languages
Read Magic
Remove Fear
Resist Cold
Resist Fire
Shield
Sleep
Ventriloquism

1st Level Ceremonies Require 30 minutes, + 20 gp worth of materials.
Charm Person *
Cause Light Wounds
Cure Light Wounds
Purify Food and Water *

1st Level TalismansRequire 200 gp of materials, or at least 2 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Purify Food and Water

1st Level Pactsd4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 1 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 200 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 1 point of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability).
4 = 2 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Cause Fear
Cause Light Wounds
Charm Person
Cure Light Wounds
Darkness
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Floating Disc
Hold Portal
Light
Magic Missile
Protection from Evil
Purify Food and Water
Read Languages
Read Magic
Remove Fear
Resist Cold
Resist Fire
Shield
Sleep
Ventriloquism

2nd LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

2nd Level Incantations
Detect Evil
Detect Invisible
ESP
Find Traps
Hold Person
Invisibility
Knock
Know Alignment
Levitate
Locate Object
Mirror Image
Phantasmal Force
Resist Fire
Silence 15’ Radius
Snake Charm
Speak with Animals
Web

2nd Level Ceremonies Require 1 hour, + 80 gp worth of materials.
Bless *
Blight *
Wizard Lock

2nd Level Talismans Require 800 gp of materials, or at least 4 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Resist Cold *
Resist Fire *

2nd Level Pactsd4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 2 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 400 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 2 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability).
4 = 4 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Bless
Blight
Detect Evil
Detect Invisible
ESP
Find Traps
Hold Person
Invisibility
Knock
Know Alignment
Levitate
Locate Object
Mirror Image
Phantasmal Force
Silence 15’ Radius
Snake Charm
Speak with Animals
Web
Wizard Lock

3rd LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

3rd Level Incantations
Dispel Magic
Fire Ball
Fly
Growth of Animal
Haste
Hold Person
Invisibility 10’ Radius
Lightning Bolt
Locate Object
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius
Protection from Normal Missiles
Striking

3rd Level CeremoniesRequire 1 ½ hours, + 180 gp worth of materials.
Cause Disease
Clairvoyance
Continual Darkness
Continual Light
Cure Disease
Curse
Infravision *
Remove Curse
Water Breathing *

3rd Level TalismansRequire 1,800 gp of materials, or at least 6 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Darkness
Light
Protection from Evil
Read Languages
Read Magic
Speak with Animals

3rd Level Pacts d4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 3 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 600 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 3 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability).
4 = 6 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Cause Disease
Clairvoyance
Continual Darkness
Continual Light
Cure Disease
Curse
Dispel Magic
Fire Ball
Fly
Growth of Animal
Haste
Hold Person
Infravision
Invisibility 10’ Radius
Lightning Bolt
Locate Object
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius
Protection from Normal Missiles
Remove Curse
Striking
Water Breathing

4th LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

4th Level Incantations
Charm Monster *
Confusion
Dimension Door
Growth of Plants
Hallucinatory Terrain
Massmorph
Neutralize Poison *
Polymorph Others
Polymorph Self
Speak with Plants
Sticks to Snakes
Wall of Fire
Wall of Ice
Wizard Eye

4th Level Ceremonies Require 2 hours, + 320 gp worth of materials.
Cause Serious Wounds
Create Water
Cure Serious Wounds
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius

4th Level TalismansRequire 3,200 gp of materials, or at least 8 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Charm Person (Constant effect)
Cure Disease (Effective Immunity)
Infravision
Remove Curse (Effective Immunity)
Water Beathing

4th Level Pactsd4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 4 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 800 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 4 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability)
4 = 8 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Cause Sr. Wounds
Charm Monster
Confusion
Create Water
Cure Serious Wounds
Dimension Door
Growth of Plants
Hallucinatory Terrain
Massmorph
Neutralize Poison
Polymorph Others
Polymorph Self
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius
Speak with Plants
Sticks to Snakes
Wall of Fire
Wall of Ice
Wizard Eye

5th LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

5th Level Incantations
Cloudkill
Feeblemind
Finger of Death
Hold Monster
Insect Plague
Magic Jar
Pass-Wall
Telekinesis
Transmute Rock and Mud
Wall of Stone

5th Level CeremoniesRequire 2 ½ hours, + 500 gp worth of materials.
Animate Dead
Commune
Conjure Elemental *
Contact Higher Plane
Create Food
Dispel Evil *
Raise Dead
Teleport *

5th Level TalismansRequire 5,000 gp of materials, or at least 10 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Neutralize Poison (Effective immunity)
Protection from Evil 10’ Radius
Speak with Plants

5th Level Pacts d4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 5 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 1,000 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 5 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability)
4 = 10 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Animate Dead
Cloudkill
Commune
Conjure Elemental
Contact Higher Plane
Create Food
Dispel Evil
Feeblemind
Finger of Death
Hold Monster
Insect Plague
Magic Jar
Pass-Wall
Raise Dead
Telekinesis
Teleport
Transmute Rock and Mud
Wall of Stone

6th LEVEL MAGICIAN SPELLS

6th Level Incantations
Anti-Magic Shell
Death Spell
Disintegrate
Geas
Lower Water
Move Earth
Part Water
Projected Image
Stone to Flesh

6th Level CeremoniesRequire 3 hours, + 720 gp worth of materials.Control Weather (Can be cast on a disant location, if the Magician has a handful of soil or rocks from it, or something belonging to a person currently there.)
Stone to Flesh *
Invisible Stalker
Reincarnation *
Remove Geas

6th Level Talismans Require 7,200 gp of materials, or at least 12 HD of slain magical creatures. Remain charged for 30 days, or until dispelled.
Create Food (Character can survive without eating as long as they wear the Talisman.)
Raise Dead (Character is automatically Raised if killed, as if the spell was immediately cast on them)
Remove Geas (Effective immunity)
Stone to Flesh (Immunity to Petrification)
Telekinesis

6th Level Pacts – d4 to determine the required sacrifice.
1 = 6 HD worth of blood from a specific creature.
2 = 1,200 gp worth of treasure.
3 = 6 points of the Magician’s Constitution (or other Ability)
4 = 12 Hit Points worth of the Magician’s blood.
Anti-Magic Shell
Control Weather
Death Spell
Disintegrate
Flesh to Stone
Geas
Invisible Stalker
Lower Water
Move Earth
Part Water
Projected Image
Remove Geas
Stone to Flesh

The Cyclops Spider – A Monster from Panzoasia

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This week I thought I would return to my B/X – BECMI Campaign word of Panzoasia, with a whimsically creepy denizen of the Underworld.

Cyclops Spider

Number Appearing: 1 (10% chance of 2 – 4 in lair)
Size: Medium (5’ long body, 10’ maximum leg spread.)
Alignment: Neutral
Morale: Average
Intelligence: 10
Move:
Walks at 1 ½ x human speed.
Climbs at 1 ½ x human speed.
Armor Class: 3 better than unarmored.
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks & Damage: Bite (1d6 + Paralyzing Venom), or shoot Blinding Light.
Special:
* Infravision: 180’
* Illuminating Eye: Equal to a Light spell, but affecting other subterranean natives as actual daylight.
* Blinding Light: 1 target with 300’ must Save versus Wands or be blinded for 1d6 Rounds.
* Paralyzing Venom: Victim must Save versus Paralyzation or be unable to move for 1 Turn.
* Climbing: can scale vertical walls, and crawl across ceilings, even if slimy or slippery.
* Move Silently: as a 9th Level Thief.
Saves: As Thief 4
Treasure: 900gp value of weapons, armor, jewelry, adventuring equipment, and various curios, + 25% chance of a random magical item.
Challenge: Four 3rd Level Characters

The Cyclops Spider is an intelligent Underworld predator perfectly adapted to hunting its subterranean prey. At first glance it simply resembles a rather colorful giant spider, but a second look will reveal the bizarre differences. Instead of the numerous eyes of “normal” giant spider, the Cyclops Spider possess a single, large one resembling that of a human – with a blue iris and bloodshot sclera. In place of a spider’s fangs the creature has a grinning mouth filled with needle-sharp teeth, and a bright pink tongue. The spider’s body is covered with hair, in a green-and-purple striped pattern. Each of its eight legs ends in a hand-like arrangement of three, segmented fingers – with which the spider can pick up and employ objects.

The Cyclops Spider is most noted for its ability to emit bright light from its single eye, on account of which it also called a Lantern Spider. This light is just as debilitating as daylight to to those subterranean creatures who are sensitive to it (such as Goblins). The creature can also focus the light from its eye into a concentrated beam capable of temporarily blinding even creatures from the surface world. While the Cyclops Spider does not build webs, its paralyzing venom and ability to emit debilitating light ensures that it can obtain its favorite food – small subterranean humanoids.

Cyclops Spiders are as intelligent as humans, and can speak the language common to all sentient arachnids as soon as they hatch. They can also learn and speak humanoid languages (including Common), which they sometimes do in order to taunt their prey. Their lair (or “parlor”) will always be in a small cavern accessible only by climbing. There they store and display the treasure they collect from their victims. They place no value on coins, however, and do not collect them. Although generally solitary, they will occasional play host to one another, at which time they will show off particularly interesting objects from their collections. Cyclops Spiders are unique among arachnids for preferring to sleep on colorful, stuffed cushions, which they obtain in their infrequent raids on the surface world.