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: http://www.espritsciencemetaphysiques.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/1200x6002.jpg) 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:


  1. Here is my ghoulish challenge:


  2. I'm a long time lurker and I've read too many of your posts. It can't be healthy. But they are inspiring. One thing that I think would be even more inspiring, is knowing some things that have inspired you. (All this inspiration.)

    So whats a book or two that you would recommend?

    What are some blog posts that have stuck in your head?

    What are some encounters/dungeons that have left you thinking?

    Songs? I know some people get inspired by music.

    Other random shit?

    Anyways, thanks for caring about this stuff. It's fascinating.

    1. Books? Go old school. Guys like Vance and Lieber were crazy inventive. New stuff like Salvatore soooometimes feels epic but it's all just the same ideas, rehashed.

      If you see a comic with a weird cover, buy it. Like, Saga is weird but good.

      Blogs: Read Courtney Campbell and the Alexandrian to understand the goals of the game. Read Patrick Stuart, Scrap Princess, and Zak S. for raw creative juices.

      But mostly just pay attention. Be a fucking idea pirate: pillage everything you come across. When you watch a movie, keep your eyes open for gameable bits (and maybe keep a notebook at hand. . . I've done that a few times). Same thing when you go for walks. Always keep in mind that D&D doesn't exist in your head, but only at the table. There are many fun ideas in the brain that aren't fun to play at the table. Your ideas must be gamable, not just cool to think about.

      Also this thing:

    2. Also, I can't recommend blogs highly enough. They have an extremely high ratio of Good Ideas to Words You Have To Read To Find The Good Ideas.

    3. Hey man, thanks. I've always founds it hard to find books without someone telling me about them. My father's a big military fiction guy, so his suggestions are typically stuck in that style.

      Have you ever thought about writing fiction? You do it to a large extent already. But your sense of fantasy is really appealing.

  3. I love the manning armor and the trifling broom, partly because I'd had a similar idea. D&D giants always have sky-high attack bonuses because being huge Just Does That in D&D (superhuman strength and lots of hit dice), but fictional giants tend to be slow and lumbering. You're fucked if they hit you, but they're easy to dodge if you're paying attention.

    And it feels like axes and clubs are not a good choice when you're trying to fight something that (relative to you) is the size of a cat and super dodgy. My thought was something like a wire broom, to smash and lacerate in a broad swath, which is pretty close to your trifling broom. Awesome!

    (I've also wondered about armor vs. giants. Like, full plate and a stout shield isn't realistically going to help much when you get whacked with a mace the size of a Buick. But if you go down that rabbithole then pretty soon you're bringing back individually indexed to-hit modifiers for every weapon vs. armor pairing, AD&D1e-style, and we're well shut of that.)

  4. Replies
    1. You might have figured it out by now, but the easiest way is through either a dice rolling site/app where you can customize your dice, or a random number generator (1-124). You could also use math to figure out how to roll "normal" D&D die to get your desired probability.

    2. 125 is 1000 base 5, roll 3d6, reroll 6s, reroll triple 5s. Basically like a d100

  5. a surprisingly non-0 number of these can be solved with a water pistol filled with cum

  6. Is the snake old? Is his skin cold?

  7. I had my friends enter a large circle of specific flowers, which were driving wolves away. They were starving in their enforced reserve. After communication with wolves they discovered they are trapped, and even secondary way though out tunels is blocked by super dense roots.
    The flower circle had magic stone in middle of few fields, and getting rid of the roots or the flowers without disrupting the magic stones was futile.
    Maybe this one could be evolved to be more like these.

  8. I've used the mushroom circle in every "intro to the OSR" game I've done and it's always great! I always play the girl as pleading pitifully with them to come save her from invisible monsters that are attacking her at first, then just grabbing them to keep them inside it. In my most recent game the Cleric went in to save her, then got hypnotized and (blatantly lying) asked the other players to come in as well. The fighter rescued her with a grappling hook which also ended up stabbing her in the leg due to a failed dex roll.