Wednesday, March 16, 2016


by Russ Nicholson
Severed heads hang suspended over a dead pond.  Blackened tubules hang from their torn necks, twisting against the wind.  And from their mouth comes a ragged howl, a constant exhalation without any inhalation.  A chorus of the damned.

And on the mouldering dock, a slouching figure in armor.  It does not speak, but joins its brethren above in their ungodly cacophany.

HD 2  AC leather  Bite 1d6
Fly 12  Int 10  Mor 7

<Howl> If three or more vargouille spend at least an hour howling, all creatures within 3 miles must make a save or become filled with dread (-4 vs fear unless you hide or leave the area) until the next morning.  Hirelings instead make a morale check, and will also refuse to approach if they fail.  Most vargouille groups will begin howling at sundown and will not stop until sunrise.

<Scream> As the fear spell in a 30' radius, usable once very 10 minutes.  (Creatures affected by fear take 1d6 non-lethal damage each round for the next 1d6 rounds, unless they spend their entire round hiding or fleeing.)  Creatures who make their save against the scream are immune to it for the rest of the day.

<Kiss> A vargouille can kiss a corpse automatically, or kiss a creature with a successful grapple check (Treat their Str as 14 when grappling).  Corpses immediately rise as a new vargouille, but living creatures who fail a save become afflicted by a magical disease.  Vargouillism: Lose 1d6 Cha per day, can cast fear once per day by screaming, detect as evil, if Cha reaches 0 you instantly die and your head becomes a vargouille with 50% of your memories and none of your personality nor values.

<Inhabit Corpse> A vargouille can reattach itself to the corpse that it spawned from and control it normally.  Treat the corpse as an undead level 3 fighter (at a minimum) that must be targeted and destroyed separately.  Vargouilles inhabiting corpses nearly always wear helmets (which gives them AC as plate), although they cannot fly while wearing helmets.  If a vargouille's corpse is destroyed, it is forever just a flying head; it cannot inhabit any other headless corpse.

from Krull

I want a monster that never ambushes you.  With vargouilles constantly howling, they will never be a total surprise.  They prefer to have you terrified than surprised.  Plus, there's a couple of interesting tasks built into this mechanic.

  • Get rid of whatever is making that horrible noise so we can investigate this other interesting thing in the same hex.
  • Get rid of whatever is making that horrible noise so that the hirelings will come into the dungeon with us.
We need more mechanics that fuck with hirelings and morale.

I love the screaming.  I want a monster that screams more.  I imagine them as capable of speech, but much preferring to scream over everything else.  Just constant engines of blasphemous noise.  They can talk while they scream: blasphemies, insults, sexual innuendoes.

Always screaming.  What are they screaming about?

The fact that they can scream without inhalation makes sense (they don't have lungs anyway), but it does bring them into conflict with the Priests of Endless Breath (Hesayan clerics who minister from Zulin, the Prince of the Upper Air), because they have that same ability.  And so vargouilles are seen as the most blasphemous of demons, since they imitate godliness (being able to shout without inhaling) and most are fond of saying horrible things.

Personally, I think that the ear-wings look stupid.  I much prefer vargouilles who climb through the ether by twisting their tentacles.

by Ayami Kojima
I love the sad vargouilles whose bodies have been destroyed.  They're just floating heads now.  And a group of vargouilles will likely include both the armor-puppet kind (who will attack with greatswords) and the flying head kind (who will attack with screams and kisses).

I wasn't a fan of the whole paralyze-you-then-kiss-you thing that vargouilles did.  I much prefer a vargouille wrapped around your neck like a scarf, screaming its corpse-breath into your eyes while it tries to make out with you.  Much more visceral.

And I also like the idea of vargouilles puppeting their corpses while clad in plate-mail.  It's a nice fusion of undead body + demon head.  And it also means that players might be surprised when they kill some death knight-smelling motherfucker and then the head pops off, screams, and flies away.

It also means that they might make suitable mooks for something even more horrible.

It could be a lich, a demonologist, a demon, a paladin of hell who has them bound to his oaths, or even a vargouille head manufactured from a giant's head, with terrible crushing teeth and new types of screams.

Don't forget to make them scream when they die.

Russ Nicholson again

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Three Beasties


HD 12  AC chain  Bite 2d8+swallow
Mov 9  Int 3  Mor 7
Wants food, sleep

<Inhale> 60' cone.  All humanoids and loose objects are sucked into the toadiathan's mouth, and it makes a free bite attack against all of them (complete with swallow chance).  Characters with a free hand and something to plausibly grab onto can make a Str check to avoid being sucked in.  Usable every 1d4 turns.

<Barf> If the toadiathan recently sucked in a bunch of stuff with its Inhale ability, it can barf it all back out again.  (In a swamp, assume it is always inhaling enough water to use this ability.)  All humanoids in a 60' cone are knocked prone to the edge of the cone.  Str check to hold onto held objects, with a +4 bonus if the object is held with two hands.

Toadiathans are capable of hibernating for long periods of time.  They usually  bury themselves in dirt when they do this.  They are mortal enemies of froghemoths, and the two titans will invariably fight to the death when they encounter each other.  Their flesh is both poisonous (3d4 damage across 3 minutes if a save is failed, or 1d4 if successful) and an antidote for other poisons (new save allowed for all other ongoing poisons).

Hungering Shadows

HD 4  AC none  Tendrils 1d6 cold (all adjacent targets)
Mov 12  Int 1  Mor 12
Wants darkness, murder

<Shadowstuff>  Double damage from light.  Normal damage from fire.  Immune to all other damage.

<Anathema>  Perishes instantly in bright light.  Torches don't phase it, but if it is faced with a large bonfire (burning pile of furniture, flaming wagon) it will retreat someplace safe, such as deeper into the dungeon or into a chest (possibly trapped).  Can be easily defeated if you successfully chase it down with a flaming wagon.

Looks like a slithering heap of shadows or flatworms, crowned with an inky black cow skull.


HD 6  AC chain  Scream 2d6 slashing, 120' range
Fly 12  Int 14  Mor 6
Wants books, clear weather for stargazing, to never be gazed upon

<Spells> Knows 2 spells from this list, each usable 1/day: sleep, command, telekinesis, chill metal, illusion, blindness.

<Don't Look At Me> To see a moonchild is to know them, and that is destructive to their moonflesh.  Essentially, every non-moonchild has a gaze attack that is usable only against moonchildren.  If you spend a whole turn looking at a moonchild, it takes 2d6 damage (or 1d6 damage if you spend only part of your turn).  Save negates (for brevity, consider making one save for all incoming damage).  Blind characters cannot damage a moonchild in this way, and characters with only one eye deal half damage.  Characters with more than two eyes deal proportionately more damage.

Towheaded child with oversized head and milky eyes.  When you look at them, wounds erupt under your gaze.

They are born from women who looked at the moon too much while pregnant.  (Just as mooncalves are born from cows that do the same.)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Library of Asria, Part Two

If you haven't read Part One, consider doing so.

Lello Bookshop Portugal
The Guardian of the Lower Levels

Access is forbidden except to Librarians and their chosen servants.

The only known stairwell down is guarded by Poor Lucan, a giant and a historian.  In exchange for free access to the library, Poor Lucan guards the Unpolished Gate, and you will usually find him there, laying on his side with a book, a magnifying glass, and an oil lantern.  He usually wears a lose-fitting tunic on his torso and manning armor on his legs.  His trifling broom is at hand, propped up against a stack of books.

(Manning armor is giantish armor crafted to be effective while "manning", the art of fighting humans (or as some giants would say, the disgrace of fighting humans).  It's best described as platemail leggings with a boot designed for kicking and stomping and a belt of downward-pointing spikes.  Small blades run down the leg in parallel, designed to cut any ropes that may get wrapped around their legs.  AC as plate when standing, AC as unarmored when laying on his side, engrossed in a book.)

(A trifling broom is a giantish weapon designed for fighting humans.  It's a bit of a hybrid between a broom, a short trident, and a bundle of spears.  It attacks at -2 to hit but lets you make melee attacks on all adjacent creatures.  It does much less damage against creatures of your own size.  There's no reason a human couldn't use a smaller one to great effect against goblin-sized foes or teensy fairies.  Although a mundane broom is already pretty much the ideal anti-fairy weapon already.)

Poor Lucan is an excellent source of historical information, especial on human wars.  (He studies human history passionately.)  Lucan can be bribed with a barrel of mead and boar that has been roasted in honey.  In contrast, getting information out of the Librarians is a chore.

National Library of Brazil
Chores of the Librarians [d6]

1. Reconstitute these ashes into the books they once were.  The party needs to make 10 successful Int checks.  Each person can make one Int check per week.  If a person fails by more than 10, they subtract one success instead.  This takes as long as it has to.  (Roll for random city plots 1/week.)

2. Copy a forbidden book.  For your safety (and the Librarians' plausible deniability), they will first have you read from the Tome of Ten Billion Tongues.  When you read the book, you will forget the Common tongue unless you make a check.  Your chance of making this check is (Int -10)%, and if you succeed, you instead learn a new language.  If you forget Common, you will relearn it after you make 3 Int checks, attempting one each week.

3. The Librarians believe that the party has something interesting to say.  The party needs to retell all of their adventures while a scribe writes it down.  It's a good chance to force the party to do their own recap.  Producing artifacts and souvenirs of their journey assists the scribe, and reduces the amount of detail that they must go into.

4. A donation of 1d10 books will suffice.  And not just any book, but the kinds of books that you find in dungeons or foreign libraries.  Much like magic items, books are never for sale, as they are all hand-written, expensive, and usually items of pride to their owners.

5. Someone has stolen 1d4 books from the library and fled through the sewers.  Recover them.  The catch is this: the stories from the books have come to life and escaped their books.  (This is one reason why you aren't allowed to remove books from the library.)  As each story came to life, the thief discarded it in a different part of the sewer.  The stories are these: The Grass Tiger, the Heron and the Princess Who Devoured Him, the Sad Little Pumpkin (non-combat, you must cheer it up), and the Nine Angry Bakers.  Defeating each story returns it to the book.  50% chance that the thieves are dead, killed by the stories.  50% chance that you must team up with the thieves to defeat some horrible story-monster.  Each monster is best defeated by the method detailed in its book (but this requires reading a book during combat).  Except for the sad little pumpkin, which is a fucking enigma.

6. Fetch a Tome of Amnesia from a dungeon.  The book is capable of giving everyone nearby mild, retrograde amnesia.  Explain the effects, and then ask the players if they accept.  If they accept, immediately place them in a random dungeon 1d100 miles away.  Put them in an appropriate room, and "clear" the rooms leading up to it.  Add a few items to their inventory that they might have picked up in the previous rooms.  Each player has (1d12 * 10)% of their HP remaining (max 100%, people at 0 HP are unconscious and bleeding).  There are also 1d10 NPCs nearby who are either allies or enemies (equal chance of each) who have been similarly affected by the amnesia.  However, these NPCs have no knowledge of how they got here (this must be puzzled out) while the PCs remember agreeing to fetch a Tome of Amnesia, at least.

St. Florian Monastery in Austria
The True Masters

Malboaz and his Librarians are merely the caretakers of the Library.  They live on the merest crust of the Library: the lighted and airy upper towers.

In return for their care, they are allowed some benefits, and permitted to plumb a small part of the Library's depths.

The true masters of the Library are the Books themselves.  (This fact will not be surprising to anyone who has ever worked in a library.)

In the upper towers, the books are just books.  But leave a book on dark shelf long enough, feed it a steady diet of book dust, and let it forget that it was ever written.  Let it forget its purpose (because life has no purpose except what we give it) and let its neighbors begin to whisper to it.  Do this, aand see if it does not become a Book.

As humans see it, the duty of a book is to hold knowledge and then present it for inspection.  This is not true of Books, and they fail at both of these tasks.

Philosophy and law books are the governers of Bookish society.  Art books are the entertainers.  Religious books are the clergy.  And so it goes.

The interior of a Book is its mind.  And the minds of living creatures are mercurial things.  The words wander.  A condemnatory biography of a tyrant may become more laudatory, as the Book begins to take on more aspects of its subject.  The tone will drift.  Ideas wander from book to book.

Socialism is gaining strength these last few decades.  The King of Books is rightfully fearful of his paper crown.  He has surrounded himself with fighting manuals and the biographies of knights.

A Book will gradually begin to pick up the dialect of its neighbors, just as humans lose their rustic accents when they move to the big city.  They begin to sound Bookish, a particular style of writing (although no one can be said to have ever written in a Bookish style), which is comparable to the local idiom.

Even identical books (twins) can diverge drastically, if shelved among distant neighbors.

But all of these interactions are invisible to someone who stumbles upon the deep libraries.  All they will see are books on shelves, remarkable only in the thick layer of dust that blankets them.  And occasionally a book that has fallen to the floor, a hermit of Bookkind who has rejected the constant whispering of its peers.

For an adventurer, the most crucial lesson of the lower Library is to respect the books.  Burning a Book is murder (or worse than murder, since it was performed by a mongrel specie, half-flesh and half-word, and therefore tantamount to a foreign declaration of war).  Taking a book with you is kidnapping.  And reading a Book without its permission is the grossest invasion of privacy imaginable, akin to rape.

And just as any society, the Books have ways of protecting themselves.  (More on this later.)

You can join them.  There are spells that can turn a person into a book, and spells that can turn a book into a person.  But you needn't go so far if you wish to speak to a book.

Under certain conditions, the Books can manifest in living, fleshy forms.  True, some of the biographies will arrive as distorted versions of the people they portray, but they are exceptions, not the rule.

Expect to see calves that gave their hides to make vellum, and crawling squids who were harvested for their ink.  These are not ghosts, and hold nothing of the original creature.  Books are creatures of words, and this is all they know about flesh, shaped from half-remembered pain.

But above all, expect to see trees rustling towards you through the darkened halls.  Their branches scratch the ceiling with every step as they crowd in.  They speak with what they think is the language of men: the growls of lumberjacks and the barks of an axe as it strikes wood.

The Austrian National Library

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Stats as NPC wizard.
<Pseudoexistence> Only take damage from AoE effects.  Intangible except to characters under the effects of a powerful hallucinogen. If no one is perceiving them, they "pause".


Nobodies are a type of Outsider, like the Strangers (the guys described in this post).  You may find them near Strangers, or in strange places like the black stacks below the Library of Asria.

Outsiders are things from beyond the universe and even the other planes.  (Whether or not other planes exist is a source of continual discussion among scholars.  Many of the things that were thought to be other planes have been proven to be merely distant locations across the globe.)

Outsiders are beyond our natural order quite literally beyond our comprehension.  There is no single explanation that can explain them, no logical narrative that can tell their story.  They are a surrealist film, or the incoherence between Newtonian and relativistic physics.  They are a gash in the fabric of universal consistency.

from Constantine

They live by borrowing your imagination, and as such, they lack any specific appearance of their own.  They appear as a hodgepodge of people you've known before.  Your mother's hair, your father's hands.  A silly little hat you saw on a bard once, as he passed you in the street, but that you still remember vividly.

They may appear differently to different people.  When they speak, different people may even hear different things.

They cannot affect the world directly.  They are wizards (and can be very high level) but their spells cannot deal direct damage.  (No fireball, yes reverse gravity).  

You cannot affect them directly.  You can tackle them, and feel the mass of their bodies, smell the tweed of your dead brother's jacket--but then you are on the floor, grasping at dust.  Inconsistencies, small impossibilities.  Reality doesn't quite line up, as if the DM is developing a mild case of dementia.

"Your sword passes right through his body, as if he was a ghost, but then he was standing further back than you thought, so you can't reach him with your sword, and when your sword hits him, thick droplets of blood spill from his wound and bounce across the floor like marbles."

They can't be affected by anything except non-damaging spells, and things that affect an area.

So magic missile can't hurt them, but a pool of burning lantern oil can.

This is because, they don't occupy a single location, they occupy a conceptual one.  Every one sees the nobody standing in slightly different locations.  Unless a spell or attack hits all of those (closely grouped, probabilistic) locations at the same time, the nobody will take no damage.

Spells that rely on identity, but not exact location, such as suggestion work fine on them (as long as you have line of sight to all of the areas near the nobody).

Confused?  It's enough to drive your PCs insane.

Borrowed Minds

Everyone who sees (the location where) a Nobody standing around loses 1 point of Wisdom.  They regain it as soon as they are out of the Nobody's line of sight and aren't currently thinking about the Nobody.

A Nobody who wants to continue existing will probably follow you around.  You can get rid of them by closing a door between you and them and then doing something attention-getting, so that everyone stops thinking about the Nobody for a moment.

Nobodies who stop existing are "paused".  They remain in the same location until someone approaches and sees them again.  Time doesn't pass for them while they are paused.

In crowded or hectic situations (combat, raves, a busy bakery) it is easy to lose track of the Nobody.  The more you pay attention to the distractions around you, the harder it is to find the Nobody.  It isn't like seeing the hazy outline of an invisible creature.  The more you examine the room around you, the harder it is to see the Nobody.  You need to stop looking at obdurate reality and allow your imagination to speculate and then the Nobody appears.  Well, not really "appears", it was standing there the whole time.

A character in a busy situation needs to fail an Wisdom check in order to see the Nobody (because they are too good at observing the world around them).  A character who states that they are going to try to ignore the room (possibly by closing their eyes or thinking about butterflies or something) is allowed to make another Wisdom check to see the Nobody, and this check they must pass.  You can make this check once per turn.  Once you see them, you will continue to see them clearly until something else distracts you.

A Nobody can easily end this effect by drawing attention to itself (such as by speaking).


Because they don't really exist, they don't really have a mind of their own.

However, they do have a book.  Every single one of them does.  Hanging on their belt, tucked into their breast pocket, or in their hand.

This book is their mind.  Everything that is written in that book is true in their mind.  The book contains all of their knowledge, their opinions, their personality.  Everything.

They sometimes consult this book to remember/discover facts about themselves, such as whether or not they like cats, or what their name is.

Nobodies are always writing in their books.  If they didn't, they wouldn't remember what happened.  It is their memory.  If the book is changed, their minds are changed.  If it doesn't exist in the book, it doesn't exist in their mind.

The easiest way to get a hold of a Nobody's book is to wrestle it out of their hands.  This requires being able to touch a Nobody, and there is one simple method that I haven't mentioned yet.

You need to get massively fucked up on hallucinogens.  Luckily dungeons are full of mushrooms.

By the time the rest of the world starts to look unreal, the Nobody will begin to look real enough to touch.  Then, you can stab them, wrestle them, pull their hair, pinch their nipples. . . whatever.

Of course, being fucked up on hallucinogens carries its own risks.

A Nobody's book is not part of the Nobody, nor is it really a book.  It is something else entirely.

source unknown

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Library of Asria, Part One

Asria is a maze of ancient stone, a stacked city with over a hundred named levels.  But even the inhabitants do not know how many sublevels are there.  The Library of Asria exists on one of these sublevels, amid the gurgling hydraulics and pale, subterranean ivies.  

Inside the Library there are many libraries.

Melk Abbey Library

The Library is older than recorded history.  It was reclaimed after the Time of Fire and Madness, but even then, the books were scorched and damaged.  Entire wings had gone up in smoke, and millions of books were burnt beyond usability.

But the ashes were reclaimed and mixed to make mortar for new walls, and new floors.  (But no knowledge is ever destroyed, and goblin filthomancers can read fragments of the old books just by licking the floors.)

For a while, the Library was the center of power for a God of Knowledge named Mesmerane.  The cult was eventually defeated and absorbed by the Church.  The tower that housed the central shrine of Mesmerane was disassembled and rebuilt back in the Holy City of Coramont, and Mesmerane was relegated to the position of Slave-God, another satellite orbiting glorious Zulin.

With more centuries, Mesmerane has become borderline orthodox again.  Worship of him is encouraged, and once again a small shrine to Mesmerane sits in the Library of Asria.  Now that she has been tamed by the Church, Mesmerane is a popular mascot of the church.  Her symbol is a window, full of words.

Strahov Monastery Library
The Librarians

There are three kinds of librarians, although the third is the most common.

  1. A few trusted citizens of Asria may become librarians.  (The Head Librarian is very paranoid.)
  2. A few of the ash-painted savages from the lower levels are sometimes taught language and raised as librarians from early childhood, if they can be caught early enough.  (See also: the Black Stacks.)
  3. Serylites.
The blue-skinned serylites are so common in the Library and so rare elsewhere that they are synonymous with librarian in most people's minds.


They are an all-female race.  Each one is born when a woman uses the Wand of Seryl (which is basically a wand of impregnant self with serylite).  Nowadays, most librarians use the wand when they want to give birth to a daughter of their town.

Serylites born from serylites look virtually identical to each other.  After investigation, the Church has decreed that they are not sentient, but merely golems that impersonate sentience, and as such, are property, not people.  The Library of Asria is the only institution with special dispensation to keep serylites (aside from the Church, which has its own population) and all of the Library's serylites are presumed to be the property of the Head Librarian, who is still considered to be a person despite his current state.

Amazons (a digression)

Amazons are any humanoid race whose female members only have daughters.  They were (mostly) developed as a method of preserving a gene line through a predicted apocalypse.  See also: wood lemmings.

The beastmen are a male analogue to amazons (except that beastmen can impregnant a wide range of mammals with their sons, and since they mostly have access to animals, most of their suns are half-breeds).

Clementium National Library

The Head Librarian

Malboaz was once a human scholar who was in charge of the library.

When you speak of Malboaz, you must always emphasize that he was a scholar, because he always emphasized that he was a scholar.  He had nothing but contempt for wizards, who he described as "profoundly ignorant children".  (And he's mostly correct.)

It is because of him that wizards are banned from the Library of Asria.  This is strictly enforced, but few steps are taken to scan those who would enter the library.  As long as you aren't wearing a pointy hat and waving a staff you should be fine.

Malboaz has transcended.

Through a lifetime of research, he discovered a way to encapsulate his entire mind in a series of books.  And having done this, he died.

Now the entity known as Malboaz is composed of 512 large tomes.  These books are filled with numbers and cross-referencing indices.  Numbers like 0, 0, 1, 0, 52113, 98, 0, and -1.  

The books are also filled with instructions for how to create interactions between the numbers.  Here's an example:

Take the sum of boxes A1, B3, and C417 and divide that by the number in box T3/T45.  Enter the resultant number into box 55-L13.  If the resultant number is larger than the number in box 311-H616, then carry out the instructions on line 413.  Otherwise, carry out the instructions on line 1.

Malboaz the Librarian has become Malboaz the Library.

Here is how you speak to Malboaz.  You speak into a clockwork device.  It rotates quickly, so that every 1/10 of a second you are speaking into a different mouthpiece.  The sound agitates some small gears, which turn some small cranks, which then display a row of numbers.

The librarians take these numbers over to Malboaz and begin entering them into boxes, performing the calculations that will allow Malboaz to speak.  Another librarian will begin resetting the clockwork device, restoring the tension on the mainspring.

Malboaz can recognize voices as well as he could when he was alive (or perhaps better).  He can pick up on fear, doubt, menace, and confusion.

After a minute of calculation, the librarians will return with a piece of paper.  Sitting at a table behind a bust of Malboaz, the librarian will read out Malboaz's response.  Presumably, the paper has instructions for tone, because the reader often injects emotionality into their (Malboaz's) response--anger, sadness, joy.

And while each exchange of words takes a few minutes, Malboaz insists on taking time for pleasantries. If you have just arrived at the Library, he will want to know how your journey was.  If the librarians are serving tea, he will consider it rude if you don't spare a moment to thank him for the tea.

Although such interactions take a long time for use, Malboaz insists that such conversations feel natural and regular.  Because he "thinks" slower than we do, the conversation flows at a normal rate.

When people aren't speaking to him in his office, three things are occurring.

1. Librarians update his books, so that Malboaz has the "sensation" of the passage of time.

2. Librarians tell Malboaz of world events.  He still has family living in the city, and is fond of sending them gifts (always a book).  They visit him often, and he usually spends his birthdays playing games with his grandchildren.  It is his only holiday.

3. Librarians read him books, adding to his knowledge.  Or rather, they use a series of calculations to reduce a 500 page book into about 25 pages of cross-indexed material, which is then added to the "mind" of Malboaz through an extremely convoluted process.

Malboaz is extremely intelligent, perhaps the most intelligent creature in Centerra.  (If you consider him a creature.  Many don't, preferring to think of him as an elaborate encyclopedia.)  If a god and Malboaz both answer your question, and the answers disagree, I would politely thank the god for their input and go with Malboaz's answer.

(But then again, Centerran gods are hardly omniscient.)

Malboaz is friendly and very, very busy.  He enjoys cleverness.  The best way to keep him talking is to say clever things to him.  Since he has no "sensation" of time beyond what the librarians give him, feel free to take your time composing your response.  (Everyone does this; perhaps it is why Malboaz has such high standards for wit.)

His first concern is for the Library, which he considers more important than anything else on the planet.  Other things he cares about: his librarians, his family, and the Church.  Malboaz is still a religious man, and Hesayan priests still come in to preach to him, hear his confession, and give him sacrament.

There has been discussion about copying Malboaz (mostly because Malboaz wants someone to talk to, and no one is as intelligent and conversant as he is).  The biggest obstacle is that Malboaz must be "paused" while he is copied, and he is unwilling to be out of commission for that long (although he would have no sensation of the passage of time).  The Library needs him too much.

Malboaz has an brother named Auteruch, who is rarely spoken of.  Like Malboaz, Auteruch is also a collection of 512 books.  He developed book-based immortality along with Malboaz.  (It was too much work for one lifetime.) 

Auteruch is stored in the basement, in a hidden, locked, unlabeled room.  This is because Auteruch tried to betray the library (in some manner not discussed), and a power struggle between the two brothers resulted in Auteruch's imprisonment, and the deaths of at least two librarians loyal to Auteruch.

Curiously enough, Auteruch has had no sensation of being vanquished.  Without anyone to write new numbers into his boxes, he has no "awareness" of any change of affairs, nor "sensation" of the passage of time.  And it is accurate to say that time has not passed for him.  He is still frozen in that singular moment, halfway through speaking a sentence--his librarians were halfway through a calculation.
Old Library at Trinity College

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Oh My God More Magic Weapons and Gumbeasts

lpeters (Liam)


Gumbeasts are sort of like single-serving hirelings or animals.  You immerse them in water, then they swell up to their full size.  They all the commands that they hear in that first minute, and afterwards behave as commanded.  If no commands are given in that first minute, they just sort of wander around attacking things.  They lose 1 HP every 10 minutes as they either dry out or slough apart.  Feeding them a jar of grease restores 1d6+1 HP.

They're also stolen from a thing that Scrap wrote.

As a level 3 fighter.  Two fists hit for 1d6 each.  Defense as unarmored.  Only obeys orders that are suicidal (or at least highly dangerous).  Talkative.  Int 10.  Giant nose.  Brilliant yellow.

Absorbs the first person who touches it, turning them into a half-gummy centaur.  Mechanically this is identical to being on an utterly obedient horse, except that it is much cooler.  Vibrant orange.

Trappy Taffy
This is identical to a mimic, except that a player can set it like a trap.  You need to show it what shape to assume though, or else it will create a shitty looking facsimile.  Like, if it tries to turn into credenza just on the basis of your description, it will be bright pink and have five legs and a row of eyeballs or something.

Stats identical to a giant snake.  Cannot be given orders, and will instead just follow you around and attack anything that visibly threatens you.  Anything swallowed by the gummy snake takes an additional 1d6 damage, permanently loses 1 HD, and is crapped out smaller, permanently.

Magic Weapons

The Leveler
This is a sledgehammer +1.  Once per day, it can hit something and discharge both shatter and knock effects on it.  Whenever it gets a critical hit, the target takes triple damage and destroys the floor in a 10' radius.  If there is open space beneath, both the target and the wielder (usually) fall.

Chaos Mace
Whenever this mace +1 does maximum damage, roll a d20 to see what happens.

  1. +1d6 fire damage and target catches on fire.
  2. +1d6 acid damage and target permanently loses 2 AC (armor corrodes, scales flake off).
  3. +1d6 electric damage and they become magnetized (-2 AC vs metal weapons for rest of day).
  4. +1d6 ice damage and target is rooted until they can make a difficult Str check (free action 1/turn, or spend a turn making two attempts).
  5. Target takes no damage and is instead healed for 1d6+1 HP.
  6. Target must save or explode into a shower of coins (1d20 gp * remaining HP).
  7. Target must save or begin vomiting up a bee swarm (stunned one turn, swarm attacks randomly).
  8. Target must save or a random limb becomes incorporeal for 1d6 rounds (and you cannot stand on an incorporeal leg).
  9. Target must save or age 1d100-50 years (negative numbers imply youthening).
  10. If target and wielder both fail saves, they switch bodies.
  11. Chaos mace turns into a toy rubber snake until the next day.
  12. Target is sent to a random room in the dungeon / random building in the city / random hex.
  13. All weapons in 100' are turns into chaos maces for 1d6 rounds.  After this ability expires, they all turn back and the chaos mace simultaneously switches places with one of them at random.
  14. Target is sent 1d6 rounds into the future.  No save.
  15. Wielder is sent 1d6 rounds into the future.  No save.
  16. Target is cut in half.  Each half has half the HD and HP but most of the same abilities.  Any spells are split (not duplicated).
  17. Target is inverted.  Their colors are reversed (orange becomes blue, for example).  They have the opposite goals and personality that they did before (and opposite alignment, if you play with that).  Enemies become friends, etc.  Except that they'll still probably fight you, because you just hit them with a mace, friends or not.
  18. Mace teleports into a random room in the dungeon.  In that room, it puts itself in the most awkward place possible.  (In the hands of the lich, stuck halfway in a stone wall, etc.)
  19. Target must save or be charmed by you.  This is permanent.  It immediately stops fighting, swears obedience, and will refuse to harm you (though it might run away if you keep beating on it, yelling over its shoulder that it will send you money).
  20. The False God is summoned along with all of his angel-demon-clowns.  They will have a chance to argue their cases (whatever the fight is about) and introduce evidence.  The False God will then make the least just ruling possible.  The False God will disappear with a farting noise and the loser will be teleported somewhere shitty and far away.  (It is common knowledge that the False God always rules unjustly, and so instruct the PCs that they must lose the case if they want to win it.  The False God is not omniscient--far from it.)
Arrow of the Sun Killer
If shot at the sun, this arrow +1 will kill it.  Don't worry, it will be back tomorrow.  Functions as an arrow +5 vs fire creatures.

Grateful Dagger
Anything killed by by this dagger will rise 1 round later as undead (HD 1 zombie, usually).  They will follow their killer around and constantly speak their praises.  Like, if you do something impressive, they will all cheer about how impressive that one.  In unison, but not really.  They can be ordered to do anything you want, but they will not fight for you.

Blood Spear
This spear +1 does decreasing damage with each hit.  Each time it damages something, decrease the die size from d12 down to d4.  Beyond d4, it just turns into a handle.  It can be restored to full die size by stabbing the corpse of something that died in the last round, as long as that corpse has blood in it.  It can also be drunk to restore HP (as the die size) but this instantly reduces the spear to a mere handle.

This sword +1 can attack like a normal sword +1, or you can attack your enemy as if you were that enemy, using their best melee attack against them.  (Same attack bonuses, same damage, but no secondary effects beyond that like poison).  You are basically fighting dragons with dragon sword kung fu, and slashing at golems with golem fist style.  See also: Mirror Shield, below.

Magic Armor

Mirror Shield
If this shield +1 is hung on a wall, it reveals whatever is behind that wall, sort of like a window.  It doesn't actually create a window--it's a scrying effect.  

If you possess both the mimeblade and the mirror shield, two things happen.  First, a mime-like glamour covers you and whatever you are wearing, making it look like you are covered in black and white paint.  Secondly, you can create a cube of force 1/day.  (10' cube, 5d8 HP)

Electric Armor
This plate mail +1 lets you cast lighting bolt 1/day.  All lightning damage you would take is reduced by 6.  If you are ever hit by an electricity, you instantly teleport to the source, and may make a free attack against it, if applicable.  Don't stand outside during lightning storms (unless you have a ring of feather fall).

Meat Shield
This shield +1 is alive.  It looks like a set of ribs spread wide, with a small eye in the center that lets it see what is going on.  It can protect the wielder and up to one adjacent person; whenever a protected person would take damage, the meat shield instead twists into the way and takes damage instead.  It has 5d8 HP and regains it the same way any creature would (food, rest, magical healing).  It lacks a mouth, but if you talk to it somehow, it will tell you its sad story.  It was once a paladin.  Now it is just trying to make the best of a shitty situation.

source unknown

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

1d124 OSR-Style Challenges

I while ago I put out the call on G+ for some OSR-style challenges.  These are obstacles that meet the following requirements:
  • No obvious solution.  (Straight combat is always obvious.)
  • Many possible solutions.
  • Solvable via common sense (as opposed to system mastery).
  • No special tools required (no unique spells, no plot McGuffins at the bottom of a dungeon).
  • Not solvable by a specific class or ability.  
These have a lot in common with lateral thinking and thinking outside the box.  They usually require some off-label solution (something not printed on your character sheet) and therefor benefit from a ruleset that supports rulings (as well as rules), which is why I consider them OSR-style problems, although there is nothing that really limits these types of problems to OSR games.

I originally just imagined dungeon-type situations, but a lot of the suggestions involved social and moral challenges.  Overlap exists.

All of these are open for your usage, so steal away.  Credit for ideas at the bottom of the post.
  1. There's a circle of mushrooms with a girl inside it.  Everything inside the circle of mushrooms will do everything in their power to get more people inside the circle (no save).  The girl is already their thrall.
  2. There's a tiny octopus inside your stomach and it's biting you.
  3. The bad guy cannot be hurt by any weapon forged by mortal hands.
  4. This glass sphere (3' in diameter) is filled with gems and horrible undead snakes.
  5. The party needs to climb this wall. There's a field of unconsciousness halfway up. Anyone who climbs through it passes out, and then revives fully healthy as soon as they leave it.
  6. Carbuncle turtle. You need to pop the gem out of its forehead, but the turtle clams up as soon as it sees you. If it ever takes even a single point of damage, the gem crumbles into worthlessness.
  7. This good cultist sacrifices a virgin every full moon to assuage the Demon in the Pewling Pit. Stopping the sacrifices will unleash the Demon's fury on the nearby town of Wattledaub. (does this count?)
  8. The cowardly, but good, headman of Village A asks the party to stop the headstrong, but good, headman of Village B from raising a righteous revolt against the tyranny of the Knight of the Black Mace, because the Knight would probably just massacre all the villagers of A and B with his legion.
  9. This treasure chest only opens when it falls at least 1000' vertical. Alternatively, a strong giant could hammer it open or something. Contains a mattock of titans.
  10. This chest only opens when it is inside a stomach. Inside is a livingstonetree nut.
  11. An enemy wizard is immortal because she magically obliterated the possibility of her ever actually dying.
  12. The only person, who could teach you the spell you want, was turned to stone by a curse 200 years ago. The only way to break the curse is a kiss by his/her true love. Who died 180 years ago.
  13. The room is proofed against magic. The door only opens when a bowl is filled with water from a spring down the hall. The hall is long, vented to volcanic heat, so the water will evaporate before reaching the bowl.
  14. In the Chamber of the Turtle every turn you can move only half as far as you moved the last turn.
  15. The shadow-creature beckons to you from the other side of the mirror. When you peer in from the left or right you can see extra rooms, doors, people. This room/dungeon is otherwise a dead-end and you have not yet found the artifact for which you search.
  16. The door only opens when sunlight shines on it, even a tiny amount. The door is on the second floor of the dungeon. Maybe try mirrors?
  17. Visible key on the bottom of an acid lake.
  18. The sage stone only awakens when it hears the call of a paralophasaur, who have been extinct a long time. Blowing on the skull might work, if you have a skull. An imitation learned from someone who has heard one before might work. Time travel might work. Druids have ways of reviving dead species.
  19. A second Ancient Evil/Dark Lord offers PCs their aid in destroying another... but this will leave their new 'ally' in a far stronger position.
  20. There is a shrine full of murdered monks on the side of the road, just tucked back into the woods a little bit. In the back of a shrine is normal cat, locked in a cage. One monk still clinging to life tells the pcs that the cat is actually a terrible monster/demon/whatever but it was cursed. If cared for like a kitty king, it will die in 3d4 years of natural causes. If left uncared for, it will change back into a demon.  Do they take the cat? Leave it? And who was just here killing all the monks anyway?
  21. The honorable orc clans and the alcoholic hill giants are meeting to discuss a truce. IT MUST NOT HAPPEN.
  22. Ogruk the Flatulant, a hill giant bandit, is known to wear a paralophasaur skull around his nethers. His pet dire honey badgers, Cruncher and Humpy, will run away in fear when air is forcefully and repeatedly propelled through the skull (because they have learnt their lessons). However, blowing air through the skull requires an escalating series of saves to avoid collapsing with nausea (the vile stinkyness is "baked" in hard). If this happens the little bastards will rip the hapless and vomiting player to bits. Companions can carry nauseous comrades away, but they will also have to carry the skull as Cruncher and Humpy will not abandon it within sight of Ogruk's corpse. The corpse will quickly decompose and, eventually, explode attracting 1d8 + 2 other dire honey badgers whereupon a frenzied and viscous fight for dominance and mating rights will begin, ending when only 1 disappointed and confused dire honey badger remains. It will then lurk in the vicinity of the skull and attempt to mate with any living thing that passes within sight. The likely outcome is death from significant blood loss.
  23. You have to cross a mud flat to reach <your goal> before <your opposition> does. You have no boats or rafts, and no clue when the flood is coming in.
  24. Morlock books ignite when exposed to light. You must find a way to read them. Darkvision is insufficient. Possible solutions include true seeing, exploiting differences between the ink and the paper (specific heat, adhesion to another dye), transmutation into a more stable material, or the painstaking and risky process of just sitting in a dark room, feeling the letters on the page.
  25. A porcelain sculpture, 20 beautiful angels all supporting each other atop a a pinhead 20 feet on the air. (Like the brige in Shadow of the Colossus, or that thing where 20 people sit in each other's laps, in a circle). Could be solved with immovable rods, covering the floor with trapeze artist nets, or just a lot of carpentry to build supports.
  26. The ice bridge is rebuilt by the ice-tilter every evening. Every night it is covered with sticky super spider cemen(t). Every day it melts.
  27. A long underwater tunnel. Level one solution: pig bladders full of air.
  28. Two titans are blocking and important path with an immense, esoteric game of strategy. They say you can pass once the game is done. The second titan has been deliberating their third turn for 79 years.
  29. A giant glyptodon guzzles gasoline in the ghostly glen, claims it is the firewater and wants more to let you pass.
  30. A witch has is the only person with access to important/valuable knowledge. While generally reasonable and willing to negotiate, everything she truly values is terrible (or icky at best).
  31. Treasure is guarded by a huge, ferocious, and narcoleptic monster. It sleeps pretty soundly, but not that soundly.
  32. Followers of a niche cult are sincere, good, and upstanding, but their god is a mindless automaton with a chance of going berserk and murdering everything it can find.
  33. There's an enormous gem in a volcano temple. Removing it will make the volcano erupt. There's a pleasant town with famous hot sprints on the slopes of the volcano.
  34. A richly decorated temple, absolutely opulent. Just encrusted in gems, gold, statues, and other highly valuable things. But practically zero mobile wealth. And the temple is in regular, active use.
  35. A richly decorated temple, absolutely opulent. Just encrusted in rhinestone, foil, replica statues, and other beautiful but not very valuable things. The temple opens a portal hole to the Philosophical Egg of Croesus when a True Priest of the Rich Hegemon makes the proper sacrifice. The temple is abandoned as all the True Believers of the Ascenscion of the Self Through Labour and Artifice were slaughtered in the Deathcult Crusades two-hundred and two-score years ago. For some reason, the temple has not decayed since.
  36. There is a ghost pumpkin, it is so small and cute and sad. SO SAD
  37. What can change the nature of a man? Is it drugs? It's drugs. 
  38. The gate to the diamond room of diamonds is closed by diamond ghosts when intruders approach. They are blind themselves but can see through the eye of any non-sentient animal within 2 kilometers that is fly-sized or bigger.
  39. The beast's hide is impervious to all weapons, including magical ones.
  40. One thousand ultrarare jewels that self-annihilate if they touch another jewel.
  41. The monster automatically copies (no save) every spell in nearby casters' minds, and will cast them as soon as possible.
  42. The door's pneumatic workings run on saltwater. (Use the salt from preserved meats? Teleport to the sea? Use tears?)
  43. This dude! He cannot be hurt! And he has ALL THE STUFF YOU WANT BUT he can be hurt but no weapon that has not struck a death blow by the hand , fin or paw of a dumb beast
  44. Gold dust is mixed in with flour or corn or something - lots of it. The total amount of gold is actually pretty high, but nobody will take it mixed with other stuff.
  45. Speaking of flour, part of the dungeon is the hobgoblins' mill - the air of it and several rooms around it are filled with flour dust, making open flame extremely dangerous. No problem for the hobgoblins, who use darkvision anyway.
  46. The treasure is large, cumbersome, and edible (like big wheels of cheese or outsized mushrooms or slabs of rare mammoth meat), and the place is infested with things that eat that treasure (mold, rats, hyenas, whatever - preferably small and numerous enough that if the party tries to just stab every one individually, they'll have a bad time).
  47. The ogre tribe is ready to let you pass their teritory. But only if you leave one party member behind for dinner.
  48. The treasure is a new cultivar of potato, resistant to the Seven Blights of the Lean Cows.
  49. Magic tomato seeds that send a tomato stalk up to the top of the magic mountain.
  50. The Prophet of Vision: Has true sight (e.g. can see invisible, etc.) and has power over everything she can see. Is guarding something important. (So like... can only be hurt by stuff she can't see)
  51. The medusa has retreated to a room where she keeps SERIOUSLY DANGEROUS MONSTERS she has petrified. Kill her, and they will all come to life. But you can only get THAT THING YOU NEED if she is out of the way.
  52. The Tomb of Time: In these cursed tunnels, anything, or any external part of a thing, that moves faster than like a snail ages at a massively accelerated rate. Put simple, innocuous hazards like a 3m chasm or a muddy, steepish riverbank in there. Add gelatinous-cube like things, or timeless, magical beasts. Swinging a sword a few times means your arm emaciates etc. Also don't blink.
  53. Low ceiling'd cave, large pool of lava. Treasure is on the other side. Lava too hot, ceiling too low to climb over. Ropes, organic stuff, catch fire when close to lava for too long. Adding sufficient water to solidify the lava creates enough steam to liquify the people. Lava is sucky and sticky - even resist fire types likely to get stuck/drown.
  54. Any damage done to your evil double is doubly done to you. But the double has a tiny octopus in its stomach that is eating away at its insides. Your double cries in agony using your voice and prepares to throw itself in the sea to escape the pain.
  55. Halls of Forfeit: Each door requires the sacrifice of a living humanoid eye, hand, or tongue to open. Each door has a little grate so you can see what's on the other side. Each door automatically closes after 3 rounds.
  56. The Silent Grotto: The water and rocks here are arranged in beautiful, noneuclidean arrays. Any sound will cause reverberations that will destabilise, liquify or disinitegrate the source of the sound. Louder sounds are more likely to destroy themselves, tiny sounds may only cause mild damage.
  57. There is a sword in a stone that only the true king can draw, OH WAIT that whole family died because of an asshole vizier.
  58. Cross a moat filled with crocodiles.
  59. Symphony of Limbs: In a secluded chamber, The limbs of three hundred creatures play a haunting symphony on makeshift instruments of stone and bone. On a nearby throne, the Worm King schemes, writhing to the music. Anything hearing the songs will have their limbs slowly turn on them, one at a time. Enchanted limbs will do what they can, including separating themselves, to join the choir of limbs. Excess limbs in the chamber will defend from incursions, attempting to remove earmuffs and plugs and such, grabbing, tearing, bludgeoning...
  60. Mute room - no noise works in this room. Among other effects, characters (and their players) can't talk. Throw in a fight or a countdown of some kind so that they can't just take as long as they want writing conversations. And maybe something that they've gotten used to solving with a common spell.
  61. Important Quest Treasure was created in aeons past, before humanoids crawled from the dreams of animals, when Bears were Kings. Treasure can only be carried by a Bear. Bears want to keep the thing.
  62. Mud god. Stats as a level 3 fighter, can only be permanently killed by things that would kill a god. Everything he touches turns to soft, wet mud, eventually spreading to any wagon that he rides in. Bring him 200 miles to the king, who desires an exotic execution for his unfaithful, lowborn wife. The mud god is scared of fire.
  63. Only under the full moon, at midnight, will the Ghost of the Pheasant Queen of Charmingwood appear. In the ages since her life, the woods have grown older, and the stains of man and death have left their mark. At night, ten thousand undead sparrows hop, stalk, and wing through the woods. They do not accept the living in their wood, and they cannot be easily fought. They flee only natural sunlight, and will locate anything in the open in D100 seconds.
  64. A tinderwisp knows the secret to the thing, and must be taken to it. She is captive in a deep, dark place, locked in a crate. Any nearby fire will turn her to ash and smoke, dead, to be reborn in another age. Any nearby magic will release her to the winds and leylines, and she will be lost. (If fire or magic gets close, roll 1D100 - if the roll is > than the distance in yards, she is lost).
  65. The Akashic Stone: A simple stone, wrought from the fabric of time. Any who speak in its presence lose their memory, and will likely go mad. It is in a distant, dangerous place. A sage needs it to answer some question about something important for your quest.
  66. Curse Of Terror: Develop a phobia of the next thing you touch, or are currently touching.
  67. Harlequin's curse: Anything solidish (soup, but not beer) that you put in your closed mouth becomes a tiny jester or harlequin of similar size, and it is in the middle of a performance.
  68. Infernal Atrium: Any metal within these halls will turn to lava in D100 seconds. Also there is lots of fire and lava in here, and things that set wood on fire, etc.
  69. Rare and delicious honey with mild pyschedelic properties useful to magic types. Not only are the hives way up on a mountain (like these: but the bees are insanely poisonous and aggressive.
  70. Half the dungeon is in the astral plane, and successfully navigating it requires moving around and manipulating objects in both planes. Guarded by scissor-happy monks looking for your astral cord.
  71. For every five feet you walk in this tunnel, you grow five years younger. The tunnel is 200 feet long.
  72. Your blood is replaced by liquid copper. You can bleed yourself for pocket change, and it "clots" faster, but you're being slowly poisoned and are even more conductive than usual.
  73. The inhabitants of this city recognize a friendly, normal dog as their king. The politics of the city revolve around what can plausibly be claimed to be the will of the dog-king. Attempting to influence the dog-king is a capital offense.
  74. After angering a trickster god, your party's normal spokesperson is unable to make an utterance without gravely insulting the listener. There's got to be someway to break that curse...
  75. Bards.
  76. Flooded chamber filled with breathable fluid. (Torches don't work here.) You need to read some runes. The only source of light are some horrible anglerfish fuckers.
  77. King A has hired you to clear the field of suitors for Princess B, so Prince A can court her exclusively. You'll be paid handsomely once Princess B and Prince A are married. Halfway through removing the other suitors you learn Princess B and Prince A hate each other.
  78. You;re offered a job stealing sentient inanimate object out of a castle where everything is sentient (and vocal). Is it kidnapping? How can you avoid raising the alarm when the damn rugs yell at you and the chairs want to engage in debates?
  79. The map to the treasure of the Sierra Madres has been found! The finder has escaped from everyone who wants to kill her/him for it by taking sanctuary inside Doppelganger Abbey. You do have a flyer with his/her picture, though.
  80. You arrive in a city that doesn't exist on any map. The language they speak is unrecognizable by even the most intelligent of scholars. And it turns out this city has a taboo against nonverbal communication. Even an attempt at charades will result in horror, distasteful avoidance, or possible imprisonment. 
  81. You arrive in a village you had just left yesterday. Nobody recognizes you. Everybody speaks a language you can't understand. The cats look at you knowingly. Every day there is a 50% chance that one of the PCs faces becomes (1: the opposite gender, 2: smooth as an egg, 3: elven, 4: orcish, 5: genderless, 6: a mirror). At night, the moon now has glyphs inscribed on it.
  82. Get a cat down from a tree without hurting it. It's on a tiny branch, too small to support a man's weight.
  83. Cast a spell that is only castable when in freefall. (At least 6 seconds of freefall.)
  84. The Iron Kappa Golem can only (easily) be defeated by spilling the water in its head, or else defiling it.
  85. The Holy Paladin can only be defeated once he (or his armor) is defiled by sin.
  86. Catch the dungeon snipe. It's extremely alert, runs away faster than you can move, and will not set off any traps. Other dungeon monsters will not attack it. At least it's no smarter than a typical bird.
  87. The important magical thing has been eaten by a regular duck and there are lots of ducks on the lake. You need it by tomorrow night.
  88. Get the treasure from the Hall of False Memories in the Dungeon of Circles. Avoid the ghostly horde of the legion of adventurers past. They run around the dungeon screaming and waving their swords and axes. As they are phantasms, they don't set of traps. They don't really notice living creatures, stuck in their own hell, but their weapons and trampling still cut the chords of life binding the living to the false illusion of the material world.
  89. This bad buy can only be permanently killed if its corpse is ENTIRELY eaten within 24 hours of its death. Most people are unwilling to eat this bad guy.
  90. In this dungeon, fire turns into poisonous black smoke (only illuminates 5') while noise causes the crystal walls to vibrate, creating illumination.
  91. The thing you need is too heavy to move by hand, and the tunnels are too cramped to fit a bunch of people around it.
  92. That bad-good penny can only be gotten rid of if it is willingly ingested by your nemesis. The bad-good penny, while possessed, gives immunity to disease, aging, wounds and death. But every 1d100 days one person close to you dies a horribly grisly and random death (no save). When there are no people close to you left, random intelligent creatures in your vicinity start dying gruesomely. Note that your nemesis counts as someone "close to you", so they may well die before you can get them to eat the bad-good penny.
  93. An anti-gorgon must be kidnapped and returned alive. If she is ever seen, she turns to stone.
  94. The dungeon-pyramid-castle was literally built around the platinum pyrocophagus of Mu Patuti. The platinum pyrocophagus is too big to take out through any one of the tunnels. Cutting it up destroys its magic.
  95. Inside a room, on a table, there is the thing you want. Anything that enters the room is reduced in size: -50% for every foot into the room.
  96. You must get Lucifer to wear this necklace. The necklace will hide its true nature from all of Lucifer's divinations.
  97. Bad Guy can only be killed by the Child's sword. Sword can only be wielded by a child (age 11 or less). There may or may not be a few potions of youth nearby (reduce your age by 1d20 years).
  98. The demon crown must be brought across the dungeon to the Slouching Forge. The demon crown possesses anyone that wears it (no save). The demon crown is capable of teleporting atop any head within 20'. The person wearing the demon crown has laser eyes.
  99. The entrance to this dungeon is underwater, and you must not get any water into the dungeon itself. The simplest way is just to hire a bunch of villagers to drain the swamp, but there are many other solutions.
  100. In this dungeon, if two people are ever in the same room, they begin taking small amounts of psychic damage each turn. Most of the monsters are immune to psychic damage. One monster is immune to everything except psychic damage.
  101. One of these villagers is actually a master swordsman. Everyone in this village is dedicated to hiding the master swordsman's identity.
  102. You must put the One Ring someplace where no one will ever find it, despite the fact that the Ring can gradually call people to it via psychic emanations. There is no Mount Doom.
  103. An earth demon is feeding on the villagers through the ground. You need to get all of the villagers off the ground at the same time (get them all standing on furniture, or on roofs). Then the demon will emerge from the ground and you can stab it in the gonads. Evacuating the town also works.
  104. Halls of Elemental Fuckery: In this subsection of dungeon, air functions like water, water functions like air, and fire turns into bubbles, and love turns into light. If you open a door and there's just a wall of water. You go in there and swim around, and you'll need to breathe from your water flasks. Acts of love generate light.
  105. All of the surfaces of this dungeon are electrified metal. Touching them with a conductive material will shock your balls off. At the back of the dungeon is the switch to turn this off. Thick leather boots are an obvious requirement. Leather armor is a good idea if you plan to do any falling down. Water is impassable. Picking locks in leather gloves is difficult or impossible. 
  106. Transport a very large number of balloons.
  107. The bomb that will destroy your <reward> will blow up in a few minutes. There is no easy way to defuse it.
  108. Six torches and a chest in the chronomancer's treasure chamber. Chests exist in 2 dimensions. Notes/speak with dead, indicate all reality is a shadow of true 6 dimensional space time. Lights in chamber can be adjusted, casting shadows from the 2d chests that are more real than the chests themselves. Also unleashes flat vampires. By standing in the chamber and adjusting the lights, PCs can empower their shadows to fight back. 
  109. Friendly flesh golem's head is separated from its body. Body used as invincible weapon by troglodytes (they keep it on a long adamant chain). After finding head, pcs can question it to figure out the body's location (the head feels everything the body does) and re-attach. Head can't control body unless attached but won't attack anyone holding the head. 
  110. Party enters an area of reality damage. Any steeds/pack animals become anthropomorphic, can now speak and are fully sentient. They see the characters as bosom companions and will not understand why they are shunned by right thinking folk. They want to fuck normal animals. Capable of reproduction.
  111. Frozen in the ice, is a character's long dead mother. Holds important (but non vital) key in hands. If melted, will act as if nothing ever happened, cannot remember how they got in ice, etc. Will rot into skeleton mum in d12 months.
  112. When a certain magical herb is smoked, the smoke becomes solid, as long as the PC remains positive. Can be used to form ladders, keys, weapons... any solid. But stay cool or you'll make something bad out of smoke. Or it'll vanish when the rest of the party are 500 feet up.
  113. Paranoid tree requires every animal in the wood to have an identification numerical (they can all talk). Badger secret police. Paranoia caused by roots absorbing water from poison pool beneath tree. Loggers want to cut it down. 
  114. Local tribe has religiously/magically important feast coming up. The PCs are invited as honored guests, which means they get the distinction of catching and cooking the main course - a giant crawfish big enough to stuff the whole village and a few neighboring ones too. As with their smaller cousins, these guys dig small tunnels in mud banks and are pretty likely to cause awful food poisoning if you don't cook them live. And they have big grabby claws and thick armor.
  115. There is a snake that's seven miles long. It's breath is psychadelic. There is a powerful medicine in its small intestine that is only secreted while it is alive. This medicine is needed to stop a plague. Killing the snake destroys the medicine, this is known, for the medicine is spiritually linked to the living essence of the snake that's long seven miles.
  116. A dungeon, ruled by two medusae. One's gaze turns to stone. One's gaze turns inanimate matter to flesh. There is a door that disintegrates living cells. Beyond the door, something sweet. Both medusae have problems. Stone never wants to use her power. Flesh hates her sister.
  117. Race of cat people primarily recognizes things based on scent - sight is only good for telling you where things are, not what they are. Players need to track down a spectral serial killer that is visually distinct but odorless.
  118. Figure out which of these three manticores is heaviest.  They live on three adjacent hills.
  119. The king has hiccups but refuses treatment.  Scare him in a way that won't get you killed.
  120. In three days, the God of Meteors will fly 20' over the mountain top going 300 miles an hour.  He sometimes slows down to get a better look at interesting or beautiful things.  Catch him, because his power is proportionate to his velocity.
  121. A talking frog has taken a vow of silence.  You must get it to speak again.
  122. A giant has become possessed by a powerful spirit of evil.  The curse is only broken when he laughs, but now he only smiles at tragedy and schadenfreude.  (Tickling him is a dangerous, but viable option.)
  123. You learn The Artifact(TM) you need is somewhere in the elven village of Elfville. When you arrive they welcome you graciously and show you their sacred really old ElfTree(c), impervious to all magical harm and the lifeblood of the village. The tree is impressive, but not what you are looking for. After a few days in the village you discover The Artifact(TM) is in the heart of the tree, and in order to retrieve it you need to cut the tree down (not impervious to regular old axes). The elves may kill the human race, starting with you (they'll definitely kill you), if you harm their ElfTree(c).
  124. A bunch of magic pools of various liquids.  Experimentation is required to identify the properties of each one.  Good examples are water, milk, fractal wine (causes instant drunkeness), deadly poison, acid, healing potion (loses magic 10 minutes after being removed from pool), purple dye, invisibility oil, transforms copper to silver, portal to somewhere else, lamp oil, green slime, apple juice.
If you like these problems, +Joel Priddy has put together a G+ group that is collecting even more of them.  You can find it HERE.

Credit for all of these ideas belongs to: