Random Troll Generator

Trolls call me moon of the dwelling-Rungnir, giant’s wealthsucker,
storm-sun’s bale, seeress’s friendly companion,
guardian of corpse-fjord, swallower of heaven wheel;
what is a troll other than that?
(Snorri Sturluson)

The Nature of Trolls

According to existing literature, trolls were originally “creatures of nature”, i.e. creatures that one could encounter in nature. And specifically, they were present in the Scandinavian landscapes, before the industrial period, before they began to travel the world and be found in the soup.

But Scandinavian languages are complex, and the origins and meaning of ‘troll’ is lost in time. For example, the prefix troll- means ‘magic’ in Swedish, as in Mozart’s Zauberflöte (‘Magic Flute’), or Trollflöjtan. At the same time, troll- means ‘giant’ in Icelandic.

Basically, trolls are bad news. Either magical or gigantic beings, they are not good. And, like the troll woman from Snorri’s poem, a troll can be, ultimately, anything.

Making Trolls

1. Size

Trolls come in various sizes, some are smaller than a human being while others are as big as a sequoia (or, perhaps, even bigger).

Roll 1d10 to find out the size of the troll, then roll the die in parentheses to get the troll’s HD; you will also find out the movement rate (MOV) of each variety; remember that humans have a MOV of 120′.

1d10 / Size

  1. Small (1d2 HD), MOV 90′
  2. Small (1d2 HD), MOV 90′
  3. Human-size (1d6 HD), MOV 120′
  4. Human-size (1d6 HD), MOV 120′
  5. Human-size (1d6 HD), MOV 120′
  6. Large (2d4+1 HD), MOV 120′
  7. Large (2d4+1 HD), MOV 120′
  8. Huge (3d4 HD), MOV 180′
  9. Huge (3d4 HD), MOV 180′
  10. Colossal (3d6+1d4 HD), MOV 240′

Note: Small and human-sized trolls are social beings and are found in groups of at least 1d6+2. The others are solitary and are usually found alone, only rarely found in very small groups.

Morale: Referees have every right to assign any morale value (ML) to their creations, but if they wish to leave it to chance, it is easy to do so: To find out their current ML value, small trolls, roll 2d6; human-sized trolls roll 1d6+6; large, huge and colossal trolls, roll 1d4+8.

2. Armor Class

Not all trolls have the same type of skin, some are as fragile as a human being, others may be as tough as a rhinoceros or even invulnerable to physical attacks.

To find out the natural armor of a troll, roll 1d6 and compare the result.

1d6 / AC

  1. AC 12
  2. AC 12
  3. AC 14
  4. AC 16
  5. AC 18
  6. AC 20

Note: AC 12 is equivalent to an unarmored human; AC 14 is equivalente to leather armor; 16 is chainmail and 18 is full plate. AC 20 is beyond full plate; it can be harder than stone or an almost immaterial substance.

3. Attacks

Trolls are aggressive creatures, intelligent enough to use weapons, but malicious enough to prefer the use of claws and teeth to tear apart the bodies of their victims.

Roll 1d8 twice to know the troll’s attack(s).

1d8 / Attack

  1. 2 claws (damage: 1d4+1d4 small; 1d6+1d6 human-size, large; 1d8+1d8 huge, 1d12+1d12 colossal)
  2. 2 claws (damage: 1d4+1d4 small; 1d6+1d6 human-size, large; 1d8+1d8 huge, 1d12+1d12 colossal)
  3. 2 claws (damage: 1d4+1d4 small; 1d6+1d6 human-size, large; 1d8+1d8 huge, 1d12+1d12 colossal)
  4. Stone mace (dmg: 1d6 small, human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d10-1 colossal)
  5. Stone mace (dmg: 1d6 small, human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d10-1 colossal)
  6. Bite (dmg: 1d4 small, 1d6 human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d8-1 colossal)
  7. Bite (dmg: 1d4 small, 1d6 human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d8-1 colossal)
  8. Bite (dmg: 1d4 small, 1d6 human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d8-1 colossal)

If you get the same attack twice, the form of attack or the damage it causes, changes like this:

Claws: The damage die goes up to the next type (1d4 becomes 1d6, 1d12 becomes 1d20, etc.) Note: If both claw attacks succeed against the same enemy in the same round, the troll will make an additional attack, tearing the flesh of its victim, causing an additional damage die equal to that of one of the claws.

Mace: The troll can make one additional attack at the end of each round, regardless of its position in the initiative queue; this extra attack is made with a -2 penalty and can only be directed at an adjacent target.

Bite: Roll a die; if the result is an odd number, the damage die goes up to the next type; if the result is an even number, the troll can make an extra attack at the end of each round, at a -4 penalty, using its inordinately large and protruding fangs.

In addition to this, trolls usually attack by throwing stones (or trees!) from a distance. More than a form of combat, these are intimidation tactics.

4. Ability Scores and Modifiers

All abilities start with a score of 12.

Roll 1d12 for each ability score you want to modify, or choose the one you prefer. The result indicates a modifier between -3 and +3; the number in parentheses is the corresponding ability score (for instance, DEX 16 has a modifier of +2).

1d12 / Modifier (Ability Score)

  1. +1 (13)
  2. +1 (13)
  3. +1 (13)
  4. +2 (16)
  5. +2 (16)
  6. +3 (18)
  7. -3 (3)
  8. -2 (5)
  9. -2 (5)
  10. -1 (8)
  11. -1 (8)
  12. -1 (8)

5. Powers

Just as trolls come in all sizes and varieties, their powers are also quite varied. Make a roll according to the table corresponding to the size of the troll to find out its powers.

Small. 1d6 / Power

  1. None
  2. Regeneration (1hp)
  3. Regeneration (1hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Metamorphosis
  6. Opportunism

Human-size. 1d8 / Power

  1. None
  2. Regeneration (1hp)
  3. Regeneration (1hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Metamorphosis
  6. Invisibility (1/day)
  7. Opportunism
  8. Roll again until you get two powers

Large. 1d10 / Power

  1. None
  2. Regeneration (1d4hp)
  3. Regeneration (1d4hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Invulnerability
  6. Invisibility (1/day)
  7. Freezing Touch
  8. Blizzard
  9. Fascination
  10. Roll again until you get two powers

Huge. 1d12 / Power

  1. None
  2. Regeneration (1d4hp)
  3. Regeneration (1d4hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Invulnerability
  6. Invisibility (2/day)
  7. Supreme Strength
  8. Blizzard
  9. Fascination
  10. Freezing Touch
  11. Howling (1d3)
  12. Roll again until you get two powers

Colossal. 1d12 / Efecto

  1. Intangibility (1/day)
  2. Regeneration (1d8hp)
  3. Regeneration (1d8hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Invulnerability
  6. Invisibility (3/day)
  7. Supreme Strength
  8. Blizzard
  9. Fascination
  10. Freezing Touch
  11. Howling (1d4)
  12. Roll again until you get two powers

Blizzard. The troll summons forth a blast of icy wind that can blow out any flames and hurl flying creatures or hold human-sized creatures back from moving.

Fascination. When contemplating this troll, the adventurer must save versus magic or be fascinated (or terrified if the monster is particularly horrible or bizarre) and won’t be able to act for one round.

Freezing Touch. The troll must succeed on an attack roll to touch its victim with its palm, causing 1d4 cold damage; the victim must also save versus paralysis or suffer a -2 penalty to his attacks and AC, due to the cold that has numbed his muscles and frozen his bones.

Howling. Once a day. The troll howls like a wolf, but the howl is much more ominous. It’s a call. Roll the die indicated in parentheses and compare the result to find out how many trolls and what kind come: 1: 1d3 small trolls; 2: 1d2 human-sized trolls; 3: 1 big troll; 4: 1 huge troll. These trolls will arrive in 1d4 rounds and must be generated with the same tables or, if you want to save time, you can assign their powers and characteristics without rolling dice.

Immateriality. The troll becomes a floating cloud of smoke, fog or vapor with a movement rate of 10′. Cannot manipulate objects or pass through solids. The troll decides when to interrupt the effect, but its maximum duration is 1 minute per HD.

Immortality. When reaching 0hp or less, the troll collapses as if it had died but does not really die; in 1d4 rounds it will recover 1hp. Additionally, if it has the power of regeneration, each round after its “resurrection” it will recover the indicated hp.

Invisibility. The troll and all its equipment become invisible for one minute per HD. It can interact normally with objects and it is possible to detect it if it makes noise.

Invulnerability. Immune to mundane weapons and damage.

Metamorphosis. Once a day for up to one hour, the troll can take one of the following forms: 1d4: 1: wooden log, 2: dog, 3: cat, 4: human.

Opportunism. This troll has an initiative advantage. This troll’s initiative roll is made with 1d8. If group initiative is used, this troll rolls its own die.

Regeneration. Each round, the troll recovers the amount of hp indicated in parentheses.

Supreme Strength. This troll has an extra bonus to its attacks equal to +1d4. This bonus is independent of the Attack Bonus it’s gained from its strength modifiers and HD. Life is unfair!

6. Distinguishing Features

Trolls come in all shapes and sizes, with very varied traits; the following table does not list all possibilities, referees can create their own. Sometimes, these traits are cosmetic, sometimes they add something special.

1d8 / Feature

  1. Tumors
  2. Multiple Heads
  3. Multiple Arms
  4. Stone Skin
  5. One Eye Sharing
  6. Clothes
  7. Arboreal
  8. Horrible Appearance

Arboreal. The troll’s skin is similar to wood; larger trolls even sprout branches and trunks on their heads and backs. If the troll has the regeneration power, it gains 1 additional hp each round.

Clothes. The troll is dressed in gaudy colors, but its clothing is ragged and misshapen. If the troll has the power of fascination, the opponent suffers a -2 penalty to his saving throw against magic. If the troll is successfully attacked, there is a 1-in-10 chance that its clothing will be torn and entangled, causing it to suffer a -1 penalty to its attacks.

Horrible Appearance. The troll is particularly ugly, so much so that all adventurers must save versus paralysis or they won’t be able to act for one round.

Multiple Arms. The troll has a total of 1d4+2 arms, allowing it to make one additional claw attack at the end of each round, without penalty, with damage equal to the general 2 claw attack. If the troll does not have the 2 claw attack, the extra arms give it a -2 defensive bonus to its AC.

Multiple Heads. The troll has 1d8+1 babbling heads, causing it severe stupidity. Its intelligence is 12 minus the number of heads (from 3 to 10), affecting its ability to save against magic. This trait replaces the INT score (step 4.)

One Eye Sharing. Two or more troll share one single eye between them. The one troll who is wearing the eye has normal stats, the rest suffer a -4 to their perception-relatd checks, including attacks.

Stone Skin. The troll has a thick and rough skin, like granite. It gains a +2 AC bonus against mêlée attacks and +4 against ranged attacks. These bonuses are in addition to those already in previous steps.

Tumors. The troll body is full of hideous, oozing tumors. If the troll has the power of regeneration, it heals only half the hp. When the troll is attacked, there is a 1-in-10 chance that a lump will burst and splatter the adventurer, dealing 1d4 acid damage (save versus breath weapons to dodge).

Henrik Ibsen ain’t afraid of no troll

Why I prefer d6 (1-in-6) checks over 3d6 or d20

I prefer 1-in-6 chance checks, sometimes modified by your attributes (a +1 STR would translate to a 2-in-6 chance, while a negative means it’s impossible for you, or else you must roll 2d6 and only succeed if both dice come up 1.)

Why? Because some of the actions are not inherently difficult or easy depending on your own physical or mental traits. The difficulty of finding a trap is about the same for everyone regardless of their stats; high intelligence doesn’t necessarily make you better at finding traps, so INT 10 and INT 18 and INT 6 have the same 1-in-6 chance of finding the trap.

Yes, sure, some have an easier time doing so, but it’s certainly due more to experience and knowledge than to intrinsic intelligence values, or simply due to good luck (i.e., chance). And this is where the flexibility of OSR comes in: Can you give me a good reason why, on this occasion, your character should have a better chance of finding a trap? Maybe you have already found another trap in the same area, you are using some tool, or you remember reading or hearing stories about this place. For this time, you have a chance of 2-in-6 or even 3-in-6.

A base chance of 1-in-6 because it gives a 16 or 17 percent chance, which is not too high but not too low either. It’s unlikely but possible, as it should. See, a group of 3 characters will have a 50-50 chance of success if all 3 make the roll, which I allow if it makes sense, but sometimes only one person can roll. If it was easy, then what would be the point? Just tell the story and avoid rolls. Decide the result by only speaking and move on.

However, if an action becomes harder or easier due to the character’s innate traits, then their range of success is modified by their attributes, so why not roll 3d6 in those cases, since those traits are based on a 3d6 roll? Because I firmly stand that we shouldn’t make a different rule when your traits alter the result than when they don’t. Let’s use the same system for both cases, when your stats are relevant and when they are not.

1d20 is basically the same as 3d6, in both cases you roll under your traits, so it only makes sense when the difficulty depends on your stats and not on the action itself, which means we should not use these (disclaimer: use whatever you like, I’m just saying.)

Games like Into the Odd rely on d20 rolls under your traits; it’s ugly but at least the game is quick and easy.

Other games, such as DCC, call for a d20 roll against a difficulty set by the referee, and a high score is sought. Depending on the circumstances, the result can be modified positively or negatively by the character’s attributes or the tools used. It is the same principle as the 1d6 system, but in the 1d6 system it is very easy to award without having to think if this action is of a standard difficulty or higher or lower. And if we take into account that the standard difficulty is, say, 12, it is actually very easy to succeed in about half of the attempts, and if more than two characters can roll, success is almost guaranteed.

Not to mention, too, that the d20 system (where this mechanic comes from) is that all the rules are the same, so climbing, hitting or seducing don’t feel like different actions to the player.

And this, the 1-in-6 checks, is the main reason I like LotFP’s system more than others. It’s not the only reason but it’s the main reason.

LotFP skills: Alchemy

A Specialist can purchase this skill as any other using skill points, but might require the study of a treatise (it’s a referee’s choice to make it easy or hard for their players).

A Magic-User acquires his first alchemy point when he reads a treatise on alchemy.

Treatises on alchemy

Treatises on alchemy are ancient, moldy volumes filled with lost knowledge. Each treatise covers a field of study (a type of formula) and takes one week to read.

  • At levels 1 to 3, an alchemist can produce one formula per week
  • At levels 4 to 6, two fórmulas
  • At levels 7 to 9, three formulas
  • At level 10 and higher, 4 formulas

Skill points on alchemy determine the chances of success in six; this roll isn’t modified by abilities.

Fields of study (formulas)

Healing

An alchemist can prepare tinctures. By drinking a tincture, an adventurer recovers hp equal to the result of a roll of one die the size of his HD; thus, a Magic-User recovers 1d4 hp, a Fighter recovers 1d8 hp, and so on.

Two tinctures can be combined to create a restorative potion. An adventurer who drinks a potion, recovers hp equal to the result of a roll of three dice the size of her HD; a Magic-User recovers 3d4 hp, a Fighter recovers 3d8 hp, and so on.

Two restorative potions can be combined to create a panacea; an adventurer who eats this paste recovers hp equal to the result of a dice roll of half his HD. A level 8 Magic-User recovers 4d4 hp, while a level 9 Specialist recovers 4d6 + 1d3 hp (four and a half dice).

Poison

An alchemist can prepare a dose of liquid poison to be ingested or a poisonous paste to be used in a weapon. The victim must make a saving throw vs. the poison or suffer 1d6 damage.

Two or three doses of poison can be combined to increase its potency, causing 2d6 or 3d6 damage.

Four doses cause a poison so potent that the victim must make a saving throw vs. death to survive; if he survives, he will still suffer 4d6 damage, which can also kill him.

Bombs

An alchemist can produce an explosive that can damage multiple targets in a circular area with a diameter of 3 meters. Each victim suffers 1d6 damage.

Two explosives can be combined to create a bomb, in a diameter of 5 meters that causes 1d6 damage to each victim.

Two bombs can be combined to create a flask of Greek fire, which produces an explosion with a diameter of 6 meters, causing 1d8 damage to each victim. All victims must make a saving throw vs. breath weapons or catch fire, suffering an additional 1d4 damage each round. These flames can be extinguished by throwing oneself to the ground and spinning like an idiot, but no other actions can be taken during that round.

Other fields

A referee might want to include further fields of study, and if that’s the case, please share!

Compunds

Oh, please! An alchemist always has the ingredients for their concoctions.

Compatibility

For games closer to B/X and percentile Thief skills, each skill point equals approximately 16%.

1d12 Magic-User Garments

All these garments can only be used by Magic-Users, and their powers are only active when worn. Unless otherwise specified, these garments don’t offer physical protection.

  1. Robe of Ice. Ice-blue silk mantle with a gold snowflake pattern that grants AC 14 (or as leather). During the winter, there’s a 1-in-6 chance that every spell casted will remain in the Magic-User’s memory. During summer, there’s a 1-in-6 chance another spell is spent without taking effect, randomly determined.
  2. Robe of Is (plural of I). This cotton robe has the Magic-User’s face stamped multiple times. Once every 24 hours, the magician can create a number of insubstantial duplicates of himself equal to his level. At will, he can choose any number of duplicates to imitate his movements and the rest, a second pattern of movements (for example, two duplicates imitate and three duplicates break-dance). There’s a 1% chance you are replaced by a duplicate.
  3. Unseelie Garments. An elegant fairy linen suit or dress. AC 16 (as mail) but it’s invisible to the human eye, so you seem to go naked, which is considered heresy and punishable by hanging.
  4. Slime Tunic. A tunic made with the most delicate fibers of the infamous green slime. The wizard gains resistance to acid, including that of other slimes, oozes and jellies.
  5. Blood Cape. Elegant crimson cape. All attacks made with regular weapons cause -1 damage. Fire and electricity attacks cause double damage (roll twice and add both results).
  6. Twilight Cloak. Red silk inside, black wool outside, very valuable even for non-Magic-Users. Once a night (between sunset and sunrise), the Magic-User can turn into a flying fox for up to one hour. In this shape, he cannot speak but can cast spells. One of his spells is replaced by the cleric’s spell “Putrefy Food and Water” (inverted Purify Food and Water), which allows him to rot the crops (an area of 100 square meters per level). If the spell is not used in bat form, it reverts to the original spell. There’s a 1% chance that you will never recover your true form.
  7. Shadow Cloak. Blacker than black, unknown fabrics. The Magic-User can make stealth rolls with a success rate of 5-in-6 but there’s a 1% chance you simply disappear.
  8. Pointed Hood of Lies. You can tell a lie and everyone who doesn’t know that it’s a lie, will be convinced that what you say is true; one hour later, they will realize it was a lie.
  9. Madcap Hat. Shaped like an amanita muscaria, blood-red and silver spots (actual silver). You can understand the language of fungi, moss, ooze, slime, jellies and smurfs, but all your charisma-based rolls (except with fungi, moss, and so on) suffer a -2 penalty because you look like an idiot.
  10. Light Mail Armor. Literally made of light, so it doesn’t weight. AC 15 (or leather +1). It illuminates like a continual light spell but you can be seen from the distance.
  11. Gloves of Strangling. These wool gloves don’t look like much, but if a Magic-User tries to strangle someone, his victim must Save vs. Poison or die. If the victim survives, the gloves will try to kill you. If you survive, the gloves will disappear, perhaps in search of the food that keeps them alive: a human life.
  12. Pixie Boots. Pixie leather boots, each toe is decorated with a pixie eye, and on each heel, one of its wings. The pixie is still alive. Initiative +1, an extra spell from the second highest level you know, or lower, but there’s a 2-in-6 chance that a pixie swarm will attack you immediately when you put the boots on, and again every 24 hours you wear them.

Pixie swarm

AC 14, HD 2, 5 hp, MOV flying 240′ (80′), walking 30′ (10′), ML 9, SAVE as Magic-User 2, #ATT 1 sword stings (1d4), Fairy dust, Tooth removal

Sword Stings: Automatically hit an opponent they are surrounding, once per turn. Most pixies are armed with swords appropriate for their size, dealing d4 damage, which represents countless small stings.

Fairy Dust: Once per turn, they can choose not to attack and concentrate on flapping their wings faster so they’ll project enough fairy dust. It works as the spell Sleep.

Cutting/Impaling Resistance: Cutting and impaling weapons do half their damage (rounded down).

Tooth Removal: A pixie swarm can remove 1d4 teeth from an sleeping in one round. Each tooth removed deals 1 hp damage.

(Pixie swarm, based on an original concept by Bruno)

Christmas theme entry | Consumerism in your OSR games

The christmas spirit is in the air, releasing its stinky pheromones that washes our brains into thoughtless consumerism. Let the spirit invade your game world with this brand-new option for your players’ characters to spend their hard-earned silver pieces on.

Elfpunk. The suspicious man in the black cloak with the weird eye is actually a barber surgeon who can medieval/cyber-improve you with “The red eye of sleep”, a magically imbued red orb the size of an eye that, when encrusted in your forehead, allows you to cast the spell Sleep once a day even if you are not a caster. 10,000 gold.

Pay for protection. The crazy old woman, “Mad Hattie”, needs 5,000 gold. If you refuse to give it to her, she will curse you. Her curses are level 5 necromantic spells.

A much needed cure. That mad old woman, “Crazy Hattie”, can remove any curse from you. It will cost you 6,000 gold only.

Combat options. Dr. Brain, actually a mi-go in disguise, but a civil one, can remove those extra bones from your hip and chest, allowing you to have an extra attack every two rounds (round 1 two attacks, one on your turn, another last; round 2 one attack on your turn; round 3 two attacks again…) It will cost you, 12,000 gold and one point of permanent Constitution.

A time for introspection. When you kill, you accumulate bad blood points equal to the monster’s or npc’s XP. When you reach 1,000 bad blood points, all your rolls are done at -1. When you reach 2,000 bad blodd points, they are done at -2. And so on. Remember that weird man in the black robes by the temple, with the scary laugh? He will relieve you of your sins… for a price. One bad blood point per 1 gold coin is erased from your name in the book of names that keep record of all your sins (and therefore these penalties).

Festive merriment. The PCs arrive in town in the middle of some festivity or another, and forced to break through with money and gossip. Each piece of useful information, rumor or clue will cost them 200 gold, modified by their charisma (a +2 grants a 20% discount; a -2 costs them 20% more).

Books. You see that lady in the long black overcoat? She sells dangerous things. Poison, thief tools, dark charms. Books. Her books, while owned, grant you a bonus to a specific action or area of knowledge. Maybe an extra +1 to saving throws versus poison or a free re-roll when a climbing roll is failed. Is she doesn’t have a book on the matter you want, she can get it, for an extra 100-500 gold, of course. 1,000 gold per book is quite reasonable, right? But there are some forbidden tomes that would cost much more than that.

Personal training. Pay a teacher and in one week, gain one skill point (LotFP skills) or 15% in a skill (B/X thief skill). Only 5,000 gold.

Liquid courage. 500 gold will get you a bottle of dwarven ale. In combat, you gain +1 to attack rolls but -1 to AC (but your AC can’t be lower than the unarmored value).

Fulfill your heart’s desire. Lovelie’s is open for business. Some work might be needed, but Lovelie’s night therapy will improve you. Whether this means you gain a permanent point in one stat, XP enough to reach your next level, the ability to never be surprised, or being irresistable to the same or the other sex, she can do it. But her services are not cheap.

If you need more option, check The Goatman’s Goblet. He has a good list!

Christmas merriment

 

The Four Humorous Goblins

[Artwork source]

The Four Humorous Goblins is either a troupe of four goblins or the whole of the four strains, whatever fits your game.

The Four Humorous Goblins – The Four Strains

Sanguine Goblin aka Hemogoblin

AC 12, HD 4, 18 hp, STR Mod +1, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, SAVE as fighter 4, #ATT 1 tentacle or 1 projectile or fusion

A bloody mass of tissue, vaguely humanoid in shape, as though someone had inverted a small person inside out.

Tentacle (mêlée, 1d6). One per round, the hemogoblin can produce a metre-long tentacle that executes a swift whip attack for 1d6 damage.

Projectile (ranged, 1d6). One per round, it can squirt acidic blood up to a distance of 10m, 20m with a -2 penalty, or 30m with a -4 penalty, for 1d6 damage.

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Fusion (grapple). Each round, the goblin and the victim roll 1d6 and add their strength modifier; the highest wins. The first to win two rounds wins. If the defender wins, the grapple ends. If the goblin wins, it enters the victim’s body through the nose, mouth and any opening it can.

Once the hemogoblin is inside the host, it will remain dormant for some time, and at the most inopportune moment, its presence will prevent the host from having full control of its body.

Mechanically, this translates into penalties to their action or salvation rolls.

And when the referee sees fit, perhaps a few weeks later, the hemoboglin will hatch: the host body will throw hundreds of tiny goblin larvae in the form of blood clots. mucus and bile, through the mouth, eyes, nose, etc., suffering a massive 6d6 damage. There’s a 5% chance one larvae survives and grows into one of the four types.

Choleric Goblin aka Sallow Man

AC 13, HD 4, 20 hp, STR Mod +3, MOV 120′ (40′), ML 11, SAVE as fighter 4, #ATT 1 or 2 punch or 1 infection

A bubbling mass of sallow muscular tissue, vaguely humanoid, as though someone had melted a person in 50 kilos of mucus.

Infection (mêlée, 1d6). With an attack roll, the goblin can touch a victim to cause severe vomiting and 1d6 damage.

In addition, the victim must save vs. Poison or will get an infection that will cause 1d6 of cumulative damage day by day (next day 1d6, next day 2d6, etc.); if the victim makes a new Saving Throw, no vomiting will occur that day and the next day it will restart with 1d6 of damage.

Punch (mêlée, 1d6). The goblin can produce one or two humanoid arms to punch.

Accelerated nervous system. It can make two punch attacks every third round (round 1: two attacks, round 2: one attack, etc.)

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Low sensibility. Todos los ataques físicos le causan -1 de daño.

Cholera. Its extreme violence grants him a +3 bonus to all STR based rolls, including attacks (but no damage).

Melancholy Goblin

AC 12, HD 4, 16 hp, STR Mod -1, DEX mod +1, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 7, SAVE as specialist 4, #ATT 1 needle or 1 whale song

A fuliginous shape, a thing difficult to focus on, as though it was a humanoid made of shadow-tissue.

Whale song (auto, 1d4 INT). As an automatic action, and up to 3 times per day, it emits a sound that resembles the song of a hunchback whale. It spikes your dreams with (m/s)adness, causing you a loss of 1d4 INT. After a long night rest, all INT is recovered, but save vs. Magic or your Alignment changes to Chaotic.

If your intelligence reaches zero, save vs. Death or you will become a babbling and drooling vegetable. Make a new character.

Needle (ranged, 1d4). Each round, this goblin can create a sharp needle that shoots like a light crossbow (ranges of 50′, 150′ and 400′).

Self awareness. Its high insight makes all its DEX based rolls get a +1 bonus. And it cannot be surprised.

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Slow nervous system. Its attacks and all STR based rolls are done at -1.

High sensibility. Weapons used against it, deal damage as though they were one bigger die size (d4 weapons cause d6 damage and so on).

Phlegmatic Goblin

AC 12, HD 4, 18 hp, INT +3, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, SAVE as magic-user 4, #ATT 1 weapon or 1 spell

Looks like a regular goblinoid, pale green skin, eyes of a sickly yellow, smart.

Weapon (mêlée or ranged). It can wield minor, small and medium mêlée weapons, short bow or light crossbow or pistol, without bonus or penalties other than its +4 granted by its HD.

Caster. It can cast 2 1st leverl and 2 2nd level spells. Randomly determine which spells it has prepared for that day, as a magic-user.

Spells known. 1st level: Charm Person, Magic Missile, Sleep; 2nd level: Phantasmal Force, Stinking Cloud, Wall of Fog

Phantasmal force. Vicious dog. AC 12, HD 2, 9 hp, STR +1, MOV 180′ (60′), ML 12, SAVE as fighter 2, #ATT 1 bite

Equanimous. In reaction roll, results between 3 and 11 are “indifferent”, while 2 and 12 are “unfriendly” and “talkative”. No extremes here.

Story Hook

PCs have been hired to lead a humorous goblin-infected person to where a healer can have a cure. You have to get there before the hemogoblin hatches. The healer is actually a barber surgeon, and the surgery can be just as bad: save vs. Death, if you fail:

  • you survive but are left with only 1 hp
  • lose one hit die worth of maximum hp (roll a die your class size)
  • lose one point of either STR, CON or INT (your choice)

The Four Humorous Goblins – The Troupe

Main NPCs

Mr. Blood. Sanguine Goblin and main comedian; Mr. Night’s assitant.
Mr. Xanthous. Choleric Goblin and MC’s bodyguard.
Mr. Night. Comedian and kidnapper.
MC (Master of Ceremonies). Phlegmatic Goblin. Leader and maker of fog (wall of fog).

What’s happening

A new circus/comedy company is in town, its members are four short men, therefore they are known as The Four Humorous Goblins.

Children started disappearing the same night the company arrived, one child every night.

The Four Humorous Goblins are secretly real humorous goblins in disguise (the phlegmatic goblin wears an actual disguise, the other three, their shape-shifting power).

Freaks, outcasts and criminal work for them, as members of the circus.

The troupe kidnaps children (adults are hard to drag to their place). The children are used to produce more goblins by infecting them with sanguine goblin cells. One they have between 6 and 10 children, they leave town and return home, where the children are infected.

They already have five children, no-one suspects of the troupe. Five more nights, and they leave, or before if they realize the PCs are investigating them.

What the PCs know

  • Children have been disappearing for some nights
  • Find them and you will be well rewarded
  • Find them and the major will drop the charges against you
  • The son of a former lover has disappeared
  • Might or might not be your child

Clues | Roll or choose one everytime PCs interact with NPCs

  1. A circus is in town, it arrived some days ago
  2. One per night, for five nights now, children have disappeared
  3. Strange people have been seen roaming the streets after midnight
  4. The Four Humorous Goblins are a comedy company that travels around the land and now it’s here
  5. The major’s son was the first to disappear, he was only 6
  6. There’s been unusual fob these alst nights
  7. All the children were abducted while they were been accompanied by their parents; all say there was fog and couln’t see who kidnapped them
  8. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, and, yeah, maybe I am, but I know what I saw: it was a monster, but it wast not a monster first, it was a man, and then it was a monsters
  9. I found the remains of a camp, not far away, between the town and the forest
  10. Madam Letti’s heard giggles and wet steps in the fog when her child was taken

It is expected that the players can figure it out by themselves, but if they don’t, once they collect three clues, send some clowns, tricksters, acrobats, bearded women, strong men and other freaks against them. This means the troupe has realised the PCs are after them, and send their henchfreaks to stop them. This should be the most obvious clue: “Oh my dog it’s the circus!”

Random circus henchfreak generator

1d8 for freak type, ability modifier

1: clown (cha +2)
2: trickster (int +2)
3: acrobat (dex +3)
4: bearded woman (any +1)
5: strong man (str +2)
6: juggler (dex +2)
7: sword eater (con +2)
8: beast master with trained baboon (wis +2)

1d6 for armor class

1-4: 12
5-6: 14

1d6 for hit dice

1: 1
2-4: 2
5: 3
6: 4

1d6 for damage (customize weapon accordingly)

1: 1d4
2-5: 1d6
5: 1d8

Trained baboon

AC 12, HD 2, 9 hp, DEX +1, MOV 120′ (40′), ML 10, SAVE as fighter 2, #ATT 1 bite or 2 claws

Lazy and relentless. The beast master will command the babon to attack a specific PC, the baboon will obey in a 3-in-6 chance, otherwise it won’t act that round. Once it acts, he will continue attacking until death.

Bite. When a bite attack is successful, it can attack the same target at a -2 difficulty (or +2 to attack) the next round; if successful, the same bonus applies again.

Armor class is based on Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Here’s how you convert AC between systems.

Bestiary | Spectral Slüg

Spectral Slüg

AC 15, HD 6, MV 120′ (40′), #AT 1 bite+Paralyze, DMG 1d8, ML 12

This omnivorous slüg the size of a truck* is practically invisible, except when it eats, when it acquires a translucent shade according to the color of what it eats, that lasts several hours. It has a 4-in-6 chance of surprising adventurers (3-in-6 for elves).

Bite. The victim must pass a Saving Throw vs. Paralysis or remain motionless until the same roll is successful, with a -1 penalty each subsequent round. By paralyzing a victim, the slüg will begin to absorb fluids from their body, causing an additional 1d4 damage each round. Additionally, each time the damage die rolls 4, the victim loses 1 permanent constitution point.

This is madness! Whenever a Magic-User or Cleric (or Elf) tries to cast a spell in the presence of the Spectral Slüg, it will summon a new Spectral Slüg.

Armor class is based on Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Here’s how you convert AC between systems.

*According to Sir James Edward Raggi IV, the umlaut indicates a colossal size.

Artwork source: AI Weirdness

Some goblins

Somewhere else I said the goblins might be corrupted halflings. But there might be different kinds of goblins, not all of them little green men. Here are couple.

Hemogoblin

AC 12, HD 4, 18 hp, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, #ATT 1 tentacle or 1 projectile or fusion, DMG 1d6 or 1d6 or special

Artwork by Yalaki

A bloody mass of tissue, vaguely humanoid in shape, as though someone had inverted a small person inside out.

Tentacle (mêlée). One per round, the hemogoblin can produce a metre-long tentacle that executes a swift whip attack for 1d6 damage.

Projectile (range). One per round, it can squirt acidic blood up to a distance of 10m, 20m with a -2 penalty, or 30m with a -4 penalty, for 1d6 damage.

Fusion. It tries to hold on to its opponent (mêlée roll; no damage). If successful, it will immobilize it for one round, and in its next action the hemogoblin will try to enter its victim through any hole it can (victim saves vs. Paralyzation to avoid it).

Once the hemogoblin is inside the host, it will remain dormant for some time, and at the most inopportune moment, its presence will prevent the host from having full control of its body.

Mechanically, this translates into penalties to their action or salvation rolls.

And when the referee sees fit, perhaps a few weeks later, the hemoboglin will hatch: the host body will throw hundreds of tiny hemogoblin larvae in the form of blood clots through the mouth, eyes, nose, etc., suffering a massive 6d6 damage.

History Hook: PCs have been hired to lead a hemoglobin-infected person to where a healer can have a cure. You have to get there before the hemogoblin hatches.

Cosmic goblin

AC 12, HD 1, 5 hp, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, #ATT 1 weapon or 1 command, DMG as weapon or special

Artwork by Yalaki

These creatures have the proportions of a human being, but their height is about one meter. Their heads are shaped like planets and are believed to come from the stars.

Weapon (range). Cosmic goblins usually carry a strange device that shoots a musical beam of silvery light at a distance of 20m, 40m with a -2 penalty, or 100m with a -4 penalty, causing 1d8 damage.

Command. One per battle, the cosmic goblin can insert a mental command into an enemy, ordering him to carry out an attack against whomever the goblin says. This action is undetectable; whoever has received the command is not aware that he has acted on the orders of the goblin, he simply does not know why he has attacked a companion (or whoever it was). To avoid this, the victim must save vs. Magic.

§

Stats are written for LotFP, where AC 12 is for no armor. This is the only adjustment you should make if you use another OSR system. All the illustrations were made by Yalaki, hire her!

1d6 Random Tables

The OSR Weapons Race is back!

The adventurers enter a room. What’s in this room? Roll one d6 and then another.

1) A clay pot

  1. 450 gold coins; 1-in-6 chance (plus your wisdom modifier if you have a valuation, appraisal or taxing background) to realise they’re fake (iron pyrite, aka the fool’s gold, i.e. worthless).
  2. White powder. Inhale and re-roll your HD. The result is your new maximum (and current) hit points. Enough powder for the entire party.
  3. A human eye comes out floating around you, it follows you everywhere, you are now only surprised in 1-in-6. If you’re an elf: sorry, no cookie for you. Also: under bright light (daylight, &c), you are dazzled, suffering a -1 to all of your rolls until you move away from the light (or wear sunglasses).
  4. Some kind of swamp gas. Save vs. Poison or fungal spores penetrate your brain and control you, enpowering your death drive. You get a -2 penalty in all your Saving Throws and your AC. When you die, small, pretty fungi sprout from your head, releasing more spores, and the cycle repeats: everyone in the area makes a Saving Throw, and so on. After a few weeks, there’s an increasing chance of encountering “fungal zombies”, marking the start of the fungal apocalypse, of which you are the sole responsibles. In less than a a year, most of the world (i.e. Europe) will have been decimated.
  5. You release a sentient and friendly flatulence. As a reward, he can guide you to a place where he knows there is an amazing treasure, but he doesn’t know what dangers might be inside: It’s the Tower of the Stargazer. If this is your second time, Uravulon Calcidius has been somehow freed and he’s very angry.
  6. Very old, very strong wine. Drink and you can see goddess Demeter. Is she real, though?

2) Nerd gadgets

  1. Astrolabe. You can determine the position of the sun or stars. If you are a Magic-User, everyday morning roll 1d6. 1: One extra spell of any level you can cast. 6: You can’t cast your highest level spells.
  2. Electric battery. You can mount it to any steel weapon, like a sword or halberd. Roll to attack. 20: Your weapon causes damage as the next better weapon (a d6 weapon deals d8 instead). 1: You suffer that damage.
  3. Shadow set. AC 12. Look like a ninja! It grants you one extra pip in Stealth, a +6 to Saving Throws vs. Poison, and +2 vs. Death. You can’t wear any armor when wearing the shadow set.
  4. A thing with a button. Push the button. A voice comes out: “To release the soul one must die. To find peace inside you must get eternal”. Save vs. Death. Once dead, you hear the same voice: What you found was eternal death. No one will ever miss you”.
  5. Strange goggles. These goggles are attached to the head and cannot be removed without permanently blind you. You have X-ray vision, you can see everyone as skeletons, but also detect hidden weapons and the like. You can no longer recognize people’s faces or general appearance.
  6. A thing with many buttons. Numerals, buttons that say VOL or CH or CC, you really don’t get it. When pointed at someone and a button is pressed, it produces 1d4 effects: 1: An extra combat action every two rounds (first round, one action; second round, two actions). 2: You can make only two actions every three rounds, i.e. round one, action; round two, action, round three, no action. 3: Your character is changed: roll up a new character. That’s you now. 4: You see everything in black and white.

3) The ancient tome

  1. You learn the language of either frogs and toads, or fungi.
  2. You learn how to breed spiders.
  3. You learn useful survival skills (+1 Bushcraft).
  4. You learn everything about the African walrus and its gestation period.
  5. You learn that you know less than you think (-1 Wisdom).
  6. The book is blank. 666 pages of nothing except numbering. If you pass page by page and read each page number (1, 2, 3… 665, 666), Satan comes to you. What does he want?

4) Mysterious scroll

  1. Strange map. It’s the map of 2019 London.
  2. Love letter a married woman you know (maybe a noble) wrote for her peasant lover. How dit it get here? More importantly: How can you take advantage?
  3. Letter dated two weeks ago: “Have any arcane tomes to trade? Bring them to me. Franz von Hatzfeld, Würzburg’s Prince-Bishop” (Better Than Any Man).
  4. It’s 30 sheets of parchment, written in an unknown language and including strange illustrations of things that should not be and unknown astronomical charts. Language rolls and any other intent to understand the content are automatically failed. If a character or player says something on the lines of: “Let’s accept that this text doesn’t mean anything at all, maybe it’s just a joke made by a troll”, his or her character gains one point of Wisdom, because that’s the truth, it doesn’t have any hidden meaning, it’s just doodles or callygraphy exercises or even a prank.
  5. Sheet music entitled “Vanilla Fantasy”. Written for theorbo, when performed the space between the musicians and the audience opens up. All listeners must make a successful Saving Throw vs. Magic or, when the music’s over, be willing to be devoured by the sky, meaning they throw themselves to the opening and disappear. Save vs. Death if you prefer.
  6. In German. Secret Language roll. If the PC already knows German, she still rolls with a +1 bonus, because it’s neither Upper nor Central Geman, but a variation of Low German. It’s a witchcraft recipe to gain 1 point in two abilities or 2 points in one ability. The character has to mix three spoons of ground thistle, mistletoe and aconitum with [successful roll] a spoon of blood of a child or [failed roll] a spoon of blood from the ripped heart of a child. Both versions of the ritual work.

5) Curiosities

  1. Three astragali. If a character rolls these, the player must roll 3d6 and replace their current Charisma value with the result of the roll. A second roll replaces Constitution, then Dexterity, then Intelligence, then Strength, then Wisdom. A seventh roll and further rolls deduct one point from all six ability scores.
  2. A skeleton holding a silver spoon. The spoon is doubly cursed. 1) While you possess it, you need double food/water rations, 2) You cannot get rid of it, it always re-appears among your possessions. It can be stolen, though.
  3. A portrait of a random PC and a man. It doesn’t seem a painting, it’s too real to be a painting. Behind there’s this note: “I wish you good luck in your adventures. Love, Abraham”. Abraham is your husband, always has been, and you don’t remember finding the picture, you always brought it with you.
  4. The most beautiful mother-of-pearl comb you have ever seen. Comb someone’s hair and it grows 5 cm per night, non-stop. When it’s long enough to headbang to the rhythm of Emperor’s “Curse you all men”, the hair will try to strangle you (Saving Throw vs. Death). If you survive the attack, you have to get rid of it, maybe removing your scalp. Cutting it doesn’t help, it grows like a hydra’s head.
  5. Voodoo doll. If you stick a pin while observing someone up to 30 metres away, make an attack roll for 1d6 damage. It works 1d4 times a day, modified by Charisma (minimum one).
  6. A crystal dagger that grants a +1 bonus against evil orcs for 1d4 damage. Too bad orcs don’t exist in this world.

6) Ancient artifacts*

  1. Bell of Valor. Gold tintinnabulum shaped like a winged phallus. If the bell is hung over the head of a sleeper, he will be visited by an angel in the form of a lion with eagle’s wings and a huge flaming sword. The dream is vague, but the effect is evident: If you go unarmoured during that day, you can wield two mêlée weapons (minor or small, 1d4 or 1d6 points of damage) during combat. You only have to make one attack roll, and if you succeed, roll two damage dice instead of one. During a round, you can renounce one of the damage dice (i.e. only use one weapon to attack) and add +1 to your AC. This must be declared at the start of the round.
  2. Bathory Heart. Eat it. Bathing in the blood of your enemies (or friends) restores your hit points. From the second time you do it, make a Saving Throw vs. Magic, if you fail: 1) You don’t get your hit points back, 2) When you level up, you won’t gain any additional hit points (except those given by your Constitution modifier; god forbid it’s a negative number), 3) The effect of the Bathory Heart dissipates.
  3. White Obsidian Pendant. It belonged to a great hero before he disappeared into the Abyss where he travelled to prevent the Pelagic Darkness from overcoming the world. Might the hero still be there, in an eternal struggle? The possessor of this pendant can travel between the realms of light and darkness: mechanically, she has both alignments: Law and Chaos. Any effect that affects one of these alignments negatively is automatically denied; any effect that affects it positively is accepted.
  4. The One Ring of Invisibility. A gold ring with a strange inscription. Language roll: You know what it says, you don’t know what language it is written in, though: “Invisibility”. The ring becomes invisible when worn.
  5. Hands of Hope and Glory. A girl’s dried and pickled left hand with a candle wick made of her hair, over a woman’s right hand that serves as a candleholder. The small hand is a closed fist with the middle finger raised, with the words: “Paint my name with their blood” tattooed. The light from this “candle” illuminates like an ordinary candle but only for the holder. Placing the lit ‘candle’ in front of a door causes the door to open automatically. When used for the fifth time, the light will spark releasing a smell of burnt mandrake and cannot be used again.
  6. The Coire Ansic. One of four relics of the Thiata Dé Danann. Boil water and stones in this cooking pot and it will produce the best soup you have ever tasted.

*These properties can be partially known with the Identify spell. For instance, you know you have to eat Bathory’s heart but you don’t know the effect until you actually eat it.

Note for referees: Use common sense. Or use weird sense. Whatever is not stated, you decide.

The Middlebrow (aka The Normalizer), a monster for LotFP

The Middlebrow (aka The Normalizer)

AC 12, HD any, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, #ATT 1 (weapon)

This creature looks like a bald human head with legs where it should have the neck and arms where it should have ears. It has green eyes, a sharp nose and thin pink lips. It would be beautiful but it only has an eyebrow and gives it a weird appearance, and this eyebrow is not above its eyes but in the space in between the natural location of eyebrows (procerus).

Its only purpose is making everything plain and normal and samey and boring. It will attack characters that are out of place or out of the norm. If a player is a stereotype of its class (or race), the Middlebrow will ignore her unless attacked.

When it’s attacked, the player must roll 3d20 to hit and choose the middle result. If two or three dice give the same result, use that.

Special: When you look at it, you feel mediocre. Make a saving throw vs magic or a random social/mental stat (Cha, Int, Wis) must be re-rolled. In this case, make the roll used to create your character (usually 3d6) but make three rolls instead; remove the best and worse results and keep the remaining one. This effect is passive and is always active.