Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Recently on G+ there has been a discussion on research of new magic user spells in the Wampus game that i try to play in every friday night, it a D&D folklore and pioneer mashup and if you havnt read about it you should. Dungeon of Signs also plays one of the mages in the same game.  Well this setting does flavor some of how i think, and i thought about it, here one of my ideas.

While its not ASE it could be used for something like that as a random table to generate ideas or as im gonna use it in my SWN as a drug trip table, because well my homegroup just found a suitcase full of narcotics

“I began my pilgrimage to far-distant countries.” — Aleister Crowley

So, The magic user in your game wants to learn some new spells and they cant find anyone to teach them. get a list from them of spells they want to learn/research up to level 5 spells.  heres a random table to help do a PbP or a single session. it makes them jump through some hoops but is fun and not just a dice roll to see if they research one and learn it and takes thinking over consumed gems and materials

I could also see this to explain or narrate a drug trip

planning the journey and research

locate and study these 1d4 items

  1. old maps of the area
  2. the rolling of pebbles in the river
  3. the flame of a candle set on the skull of a ?/
  4. barn owls hunting mice during a storm/
  5. a weaver's loom operated by a blind weaver
  6. the petal patterns in a hundred blooming roses
  7. an augury of muskrat bones and smashed grapes
  8. the rainwater collected in the leaves of the man lashing willow
  9. the tracks of an ant carrying a grain of sea salt
  10. the rust patterns in an old suit of chainmail by moonlight
  11. ashes from a defeated wizards spell book
  12. the ridges on a narwhals horn
  13. the swaying pattern of a scale measuring the weight of blood against feathers
  14. the twisted patterns of high grass after a tornado
  15. the scales of a fish caught by hand in a frozen creek
  16. the crying of 13 babies at feeding time
  17. the hypnotic pattern of a swinging battle axe suspended inches from your nose
  18. a strange pattern in the hair of a hibernating bear
  19. the tickle of swallowed live centipedes down your throat
  20. the laughter of an assassin

your studies will lead you to Gather for the journey 1d6 of these things

  1. Stout shoes repaired by a seven or less fingered cobbler
  2. 3 old friends
  3. a silken parasol owned by a widow
  4. 7 goats or a mated pair of guard goats
  5. a white sow with a velvet bonnet
  6. a jewel the size of a mockingbirds egg
  7. a talking rabbit
  8. 4 strands of hair for a jilted lover (yours)
  9. wind in a bag
  10. a caltrop that has injured a centaur
  11. a ball of twine from a phase cat
  12. a marzipan baby
  13. a new hat in a pastel color
  14. the closest blood relative of the last person you blasted with magic
  15. a seven toed cat in a waistcoat
  16. the residual essence of 13 moonbeams
  17. 4 singing frogs
  18. a bag of stolen gold
  19. a wagon made of iron and a team of oxen stout enough to pull it
  20. someone you have shot and wounded to accompany you on the journey

Once you have gathered these items you know that you must take a pilgrimage /quest

questing mages are known by the

  1. purple feather in their hat
  2. carrot in vest pocket
  3. bag of live chickens carried in the left hand
  4. pure white suit coat/ pure red for evil mages
  5. crushed glittering jewels smeared in their hair and beards with honey
  6. token of cast silver pinned to their lapel
  7. stag horns that they clash like symbols in from of them
  8. scroll of ? pinned to their back
  9. gilded turtle on a leash
  10. taberded herald ringing a cowbell

You will be headed  (compass direction) to the

  1. swamp
  2. grotto
  3. ravine
  4. barn
  5. cairn
  6. statue
  7. obelisk
  8. gate
  9. bridge
  10. waystop
  11. crossroads
  12. broken wall
  13. well
  14. shadowy rest
  15. junction
  16. outhouse
  17. lichen field
  18. hanging rock
  19. roosting place
  20. killing fields


  1. sweet salt
  2. pyrite
  3. weeping
  4. shining
  5. blubber
  6. silver bubbles
  7. splintered bones
  8. wailing cats
  9. ladders
  10. rusty sails
  11. starry sights
  12. fumes
  13. bright feathers
  14. pilfered goods
  15. gilded turtles
  16. laughing loon
  17. knowing
  18. fluorescent thought
  19. impure dreams
  20. tornados

there you will        Roll d20         for 1d? days

  1. revel
  2. meditate
  3. pound sand (in a leather bag with a wooden hammer)
  4. set up a picnic
  5. bang on a zombie skin drum
  6. walk backwards in tight circles until you pass out
  7. construct a fishing rod and “fish” in the wind
  8. pour liquor spirits on the ground from a jeweled cup at appointed times
  9. build a roaring bonfire and walk through it
  10. climb a thorny tree
  11. sit on top of a column found there
  12. dig 21 graves in a spiral pattern
  13. arrange various rocks you will find there into a shrine to magical knowlege
  14. plant a 1001 seeds of various food crops (regardless of season)
  15. kill, slaughter, and cook a large game animal or domestic,  using only your dagger
  16. construct a hut from mud and sticks
  17. paint various symbols on the landscape in bright colors, then scrub it clean
  18. bury yourself in the earth and listen to the stars, straw allowed for breathing
  19. remain motionless and naked until you see a visitor
  20. carve arcane star maps in the earth, fill the celestial points with gems

You might have 1d3 of these visitations

  1. a mute will drop off a talking sack of parsnips
  2. a   loupgarou with a banjo
  3. a carriage pulled by a giant snail, get in, reroll a new location
  4. a tornado, swept up, take damage, reroll new location
  5. a phalanx of drilling skeletons who crumble if you speak
  6. a flight of rainbow plumaged birds who  squawk from a high vantage point
  7. a comet streaks across the sky at night, its tail spells things to you
  8. a traveling group of hooded pilgrims ask to to join, new location
  9. six mourning dwarves carrying picks, shovels and a lead casket
  10. a rabble of drunken flying monkeys
  11. a questing knight, hopelessly lost
  12. a sudden violent storm, chance of lighting strike and hail damage
  13. a swarm of locusts, devouring everything green
  14. a singing cricket, with top hat and tailcoat
  15. a pack of rabid blink hyenas
  16. a lost puppy, gain a friend for life
  17. a fairy wedding party, entertain them
  18. a misanthropic old man on a mission to find someone
  19. a lone dragon flying in the distance
  20. a rabbit runs up an naps, a turtle plods on by later while the rabbit sleeps

They will/ might ask you to do something off this list

  1. journey to ? roll a new location
  2. play chess with missing pieces
  3. waltz with them in the moonlight
  4. organize and hold a feast on a set date
  5. slay the next thing you meet
  6. laugh till you cry
  7. answer a riddle
  8. plant a tree in memory of someone
  9. take tea and discuss philosophy
  10. destroy your most valued possession
  11. search (roll new location) for (things to gather table)
  12. study your spellbook for hidden writings
  13. befriend an enemy
  14. race or guide them to (new location roll)
  15. adopt pacifism in your next adventure, tell no one why
  16. build a statue in tribute to those you have slain
  17. adopt a new style of dress
  18. learn a musical instrument
  19. teach them a spell
  20. chew up a gemstone and swallow it

They might also grant you a boon or curse

Depending on how you have played this far

  1. feather of featherfall pin, one use
  2. feather of deadweight, fall like brick
  3. bottle of brandy, protection from cold
  4. bottle of brandy, burns insides with fire damage
  5. ring of find lost item
  6. ring of losing things
  7. spyglass of infravision (long range only)
  8. spyglass of poke your eye out when you look in it
  9. sack of glowing crystals (continual light)
  10. sack of coal para-elemental (pissed off)
  11. shoes of stomping (kick attack extra once per adventure
  12. shoes of wrong direction (get lost)
  13. marzipan baby, with prize inside
  14. marzipan baby, animated and crying, messy, hungry
  15. smoking jacket of spell study
  16. smoking jacket of stinking cloud
  17. bonus spell that you were not looking for
  18. migraine lose spell slot for adventure
  19. Enchanted snuff box, snorting raises a random ability score (one use)
  20. Enchanted snuff box, opening causes obscuring mist  (d6 uses)

you will then find knowledge of the spell you seek in this form

  1. Folded up in your pocket when you are looking for something else
  2. written in the wind, falling leaves, butterflies, etc.
  3. a large albino catfish will sing it to you
  4. you will be find a treasure map to it upon waking, tacked to your chest with a dagger
  5. in the smoke from the pipe of a passing dwarf, he will wink at you
  6. tattoed on the skin of a beaver, you must shave him alive
  7. rolled up on a scroll and stuffed in a bottle, will fall from sky
  8. drawing detailed star maps on a moonless night, there are words
  9. in the slithering pattern of a drunken snake, or perhaps on his scales
  10. spelled out in berries on a bush, hurry, the birds are eating them
  11. in the cast moving shadow of a red globes lantern
  12. under a rock that you trip on, scroll is large 20 lb rock
  13. in the mesmerizing stare of an old tom cat, don't blink
  14. when you go meditate at (roll location)
  15. spelled out in the ticking of a clock in a crocodiles belly
  16. printed in type only you can see in a newspaper story
  17. in a trance while out riding (do you fall off the horse)
  18. at the bottom of a large jug of wine
  19. intricately spelled out in a spider web
  20. spelled out in the ashes of a funeral pyre of an ally

Heres the link to another table of things that could happen ALTERNATIVE SPELL RESEARCH

Thoughts, always looking for ideas


  1. Nothing in particular mechanics-wise. But a few new Appendix N entries if you're interested. Focused on trippy-trips, physical or otherwise:

    Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
    Marco Polo regales Kubli Kahn with vistas of impossible cities.

    The Arabian Nightmare by Robert Irwin
    Arabian Nights + Inception (+ erotica?) Review

    Idle Days on the Yann
    The Hashish Man

    Lovecraftian Dream cycle
    Through the Gates of the Silver Key
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

    The Pastel City by M. John Harrison - A tale of bizarro post-post-apocalyptic heroism.

    Age of Fable - Browser based, gonzo mythic fantasy choose your own adventure game.

    Chrysalis Colossus - Relatively short webcomic story.

  2. wow, now i have a list of more books to look at