Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Dying Earth Monsters Part II - Deodand


          I kicked off this series by going over the enigmatic Chun the Unavoidable, a singularly horrifying character in the mythology of the Dying Earth. This article will focus on one of the most commonly appearing creatures in the setting, the vicious beastmen known as Deodand. This hungry fellows show up in nearly every story set within the world, and they are common enough that every character has seemingly heard of or had first hand experience with them. I have found some OSR-compatible stats for Deodand in White Dwarf 58, but I felt that it'd be more fun to come up with my own for both Basic & 5th Edition. The Dying earth is overrun with various beastmen, most of whom are given only this brief description:

"Gid: hybrid of man, gargoyle, whorl, leaping insect.
Deodand: wolverine, basilisk, man.
Erb: bear, man, lank-lizard, demon,
Grue: man, ocular bat, the unusual hoon.
Leucomorph: unknown
Bazil: felinodore, man, (wasp?)."




          Of the six creatures mentioned, only the Gid and the Deodand appear directly at any point, and only the Deodand is featured multiple times. (As an aside, I really love that the writers of Zork straight up stole Grue.) In our reality, deodand is an animal, person or thing responsible for a person's death, and this name is perfect for how they're seen by others. Objects of fear and dread to the non-wizardly inhabitants of the Dying Earth, Deodand are are persistent threat to anyone walking alone at night or in deep woods who is not armed with magic,


A black figure stole into her sight, creeping along the ditch. In the light of the fireflies she saw him—a Deodand, wandered from the forest, a hairless man-thing with charcoal-black skin, a handsome face, marred and made demoniac by two fangs gleaming long, sharp and white down his lip. It was clad in a leather harness, and its long slit eyes were fastened hungrily on T'sais. He sprang at her with an exulting cry.”


          Oof. Now, obviously the idea that the cast of the Dying Earth being menaced by bestial men with charcoal-black skin can construed as problematic. However, the Deodand, while similar to humans, are utterly alien in both mindset and lifestyle. They seem to simply rove the wilderness, stalking any they find and pursuing them to their homes and beyond. Deodand fear little beyond magic,


The Deodand outside had lingered, and had been watching through the iron-barred window. Now it knocked at the door.
"Who's there?" called the man in the black hood, twisting about.
"I desire the one who has entered. I hunger for her flesh," said the soft voice of the Deodand. The man in the hood spoke sharply.
"Go, before I speak a spell to burn you with fire. Never return!"
"I go," said the Deodand

          Boogey-man like in approach, the Deodand wishes nothing more than to devour anything it comes across, and speaks with the typically erudite style which define all of Vance's characters,

You have no control over the grisly appetites of your fellows?” Cugel demanded.
I have no control over my own,” responded the deodand. “Only the fact of my broken limbs prevents me from leaping at your throat.”
Do you wish to live?” asked Cugel, putting his hand significantly to sword-hilt.
To a certain extent, though with not so fervent a yearning as do true men.”


B/X Stats

HD: 3 (HP 21)
Armor: As Chain

Move: 30'

Attacks: 2 Claws, 1d4+2

Special: Berserk Rage; when a Deodand has under 50% remaining HP, it gains +1 to Attack and Damage.


5th Edition Stats

Monstrous Humanoid, Chaotic Evil
Armor Class: 13 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points: 36 (4d8 + 12)
Speed: 30 ft., Climb 30ft.
Abilities: Str 17 (+3), Dex 12 (+1), Con 16 (+3), Int 12 (+1), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 7 (-2)
Saving Throws: Str +5, Con +5
Skills: Athletics +5, Perception +3, Stealth +5.
Damage Resistances: None
Condition Immunities: None
Senses: Darkvision 120ft., passive Perception 13
Languages: Common
Challenge: 2 (450 XP)

Berserk Rage. While it has 10 or fewer HP, Deodand have advantage on attack rolls, and deal an additional +2 damage with their claw attack.

Actions

Multiattack. Deodands make two claw attacks.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 +3) slashing damage.

Monday, October 7, 2019

And what of the people there?


       
         A wild and dizzying array of cultures can exist in any fantasy setting, from savage nomadic tribes, to learned and cultivated scholars. Existing side by side and contending with one another with concerns and forces that we ourselves never had to adapt to, their solutions and ways of living can be as strange as our imaginations allow; governance by the ghosts of their ancestors, living atop the backs of great stag beetles, under the yoke of a dragon, the possibilities are endless. These groups war, intermix and render themselves anew.


          The fifth in my series on rolling up a community through tables, this entry focuses on the overall structure of the polity itself, how it conducts itself, what it values and how they interact with the world around them. It can be difficult to craft fantasy societies without resorting to either stereotyping or riffing off of real world cultures. My solution to this was to mix the overall qualities until the end result is more than simply 'Germans/French/English...but' by dint of their random nature. I specifically did not mention any kind of humanoid, such a Dwarf, Elf, etc. as to keep these tables as setting neutral as possible. To use this table, roll 4d8 and then resolve and further results with 1d4s.

d8
What is their general character?
1
Martial.
2
Mercantile.
3
Faithful.
4
Agrarian.
5
Reserved.
6
Mercantile.
7
Peaceful.
8
Decadent.


d8
How are they Governed?
1
By a monster or eldritch being, such as a(n)...1: Fiend/Celestial, 2: Aberration, 3: Dragon, 4: Undead or Spirits.
2
A noble or member of royalty.
3
A Council, perhaps of elders or potentates.
4
Anarchy, law & order has broken down, or perhaps never existed in the first place.
5
Criminals. They've overwhelmed the proper authorities, or perhaps it was their town to begin with.
6
A Cabal, such as group of...1: Spellcasters, 2: Militants, 3: Merchants, 4: Priests. The cabal may be popular or they may be despised.
7
An Oppressor, such as a...1: Nearby polity, 2: Far-away empire, 3: Tyrant, 4: Puppet governor.
8
Democratically.


d8
What are they known for?
1
Fine crafts.
2
Being the site of a great battle.
3
The grave of a great king or hero.
4
Luxurious hospitality.
5
Livestock.
6
Physical prowess, such as...1: Swimming, 2: Hunting, 3: Agility, 4: Strength.
7
Skilled warriors or soldiers.
8
Knowledge or learning.


d8
What unique customs do they hold?
1
They are bound to service or stewardship of a(n)...1: Fiend/Celestial, 2: Military Order, 3: Faith, 4: Monster.
2
These people are nomadic, whether by inclination or necessity, the community is where they are.
3
Currency does not exist here, instead "gifts" & barter are the rule.
4
Justice here is decided by...1: The mob, 2: Combat, 3: Augury, 4: Written law.
5
The people here dress themselves in strange clothes or odd adornments.
6
They dwell in an odd or otherwise unusual living space such as...1: In trees, 2: Underground, 3: On or under water, 4: An animal or some other huge beast.
7
Interactions here follow a sort of script or tradition; it is taboo to break with them.
8
Fear or hatred is held here towards...1: Spellcasters, 2: A certain faith, 3: Members of a certain race or ethnicity, 4: Outsiders


Friday, September 27, 2019

The Quiet Caravans - a Faction for Volmusia



Population: 850, split between 9 communities
Major Industries: Hide, Meat, Scrolls, Tallow
Safe, Mobile, Enchanted (Obfuscatory Illusions), Possession (Various tribes), Monsters (Dire Moles, Svirfneblin)

          Referring to a cluster of nine different tribes, allied through bonds of blood and oaths of obligation, the Quiet Caravans are essential to the movement of goods through the Mushroom Forest and the Underridge beyond. Naturally inclined towards wanderlust and trade, the deep gnomes are on at least neutral terms with every major polity of the region, with the only exception being the Cranium Rats of The Choruses' Redoubt with the more friendly Troupe settlement of Stone Teeth Town being too new for them to have even heard of. The regions prime source of candles, fresh meat and hides, their dire mole-pulled sleds are both a welcome sight for friendly communities and a tempting target for those foolish or mighty enough to rob them. As a result of their status as potential prey, as well as the relative paucity of easily obtainable food in the Mushroom Forest, the various caravans are constantly on the move and they deal only with trusted individuals for trade. It's not uncommon for only certain families with a tradition of dealing with the Svirfneblin stretching back years or decades to be allowed to approach their hidden camps without being ambushed, killed and then eaten. This wariness frustrates those who wish to engage them for the first time, but their paranoia has served them well, raids are infrequent and generally foiled before the main camp is discovered. Even when the raids are successful, the savage reprisals demanded by the murder of their fellows by the deep gnome's rigid codes of honor give their would-be victimizers pause. 

          Beyond trading and raiding, tribes support themselves through hunting, opportunistic theft or scavenging, anything to get by. Already possessing formidable skills in stealth, their proficiency with illusory magic makes them terrifyingly effective guerrilla fighters when roused. An individual caravan generally is made up of four or five extended families, with perhaps double that number of sleds and dire moles. Rarely traveling as a unified whole, the tribe will spread out over miles of whatever haunt they've chosen for themselves to forage, bringing their spoils back to the central camp for distribution only after the area has been picked clean or become too dangerous. When encamped the deep gnomes live in cylindrical tents crafted from the rib-bones and hides of their beasts of burden with the sleds (themselves made of bone and hide) acting as the foundations. Tribe members dress in mole hides, occasionally augmented with spider silk or wool traded from the surface. Dyes or other forms of artificial coloration are rare, so browns and grey predominate and any dangling or metal objects are wrapped carefully against the body to muffle any noise or reflections. Tribes are generally led by a council with membership pulled from the component families household heads.


         There are few true professions in the hard-scrabble, nomadic existence beyond that of hunter-gatherer, but there are illusion specialists known as Gloom Weavers & priests of the Wordless Lady known as Whisper Keepers. Dire moles are extremely important to the function of a tribe, useful for tearing new tunnels and pulling sleds, as well as for their milk, hides and meat. A tribe without a population of moles to draw upon will slowly find itself without the means to transport their goods, dig new tunnels or supply themselves with food and will generally be forced to in-debt themselves to a wealthier tribe for a new Labour. Tribes are governed in their dealings with one another through layers of blood relations, grudges and personal vendettas with few formalized agreements existing beyond the lives of those who swore the original oaths. Membership in a tribe is hereditary and new blood is added through marriage by capture or arrangement during one of the frequent occurrences of tribes meeting one another in the tunnels. 

         To outsiders it seems as if the Svirfneblin are as hard bargaining and ruthless with one another as they are with strangers, but that attitude only persists as long as there is no external threat to the Quiet Caravans, who will quickly band together to face threats to their way of life as a whole. On the rare occasion when deep gnomes go to war with another it's uncommon for outsiders to notice anything amiss other than the losing tribe simply disappearing, never to be spoken of again by the others. Tribes are generally similar in outlook when it comes to faith, hewing to the worship of an enigmatic deity known as the Wordless Lady, a goddess whose rites must be kept entirely secret from those outside the tribe and whom the stories about are passed on entirely through the oral lore of the tribe's Whisper Keeper. Devotions to the Wordless Lady are performed in temporary and unadorned shrines, or if available, the abandoned shrines of other deities. While primarily inhabitants of the Mushroom Forest, the deep gnomes can be encountered as far afield as the Underridge, the Cernunnokian Depths or even above ground on moonless nights in the wilds of Ingram's Tangle.

  • Gaining the trust of a caravan is very difficult to say the least, no amount of persuasion or bribes will convince a tribe to trade or sway them towards affability, only concrete deeds which either benefit or protect the tribe are considered worthy of notice.
  • It is reasonably common for the Svirfneblin of the Quiet Caravans to use their favored contacts as agents to buy goods on their behalf. Merchants on the surface may unwittingly be supplying a Quiet Caravan.
  • Given their reliance on Dire Moles for digging, meat, shelter and clothing, the Svirfneblin consider the Cranium Rats an existential threat and the recent destruction of two Caravans by the creatures has only increased this fear. They avoid the creatures whenever possible, and exterminate or drive them away when they cannot.

         Treasure & More: Beyond their mole products, the deep gnomes carry a potpourri of small and generally highly valuable items such as potions, scrolls, bolts of exotic cloth, precious stones and magical baubles. Goods which are always in demand among the Svirfneblin are foods, especially calorie dense ones, wood and any sort of metal.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Place of Commerce & Enterprise


         
         Without industry, a town is simply an assemblage of farmers, miner or hunters scratching a living out of the ground. Money and trade, whether it be in the form of coin, paper or barter, raises us up from the constraints of the local area and allows us to better ourselves beyond where we started. Intrepid merchants, willing to brave the treks between towns, or those canny enough to fill a need they see locally can easily launch themselves and their communities into wealth beyond their dreams, or their risks can ruin the fortunes of those they sought to help in the first place. While not the reason for the community's existence, it could be argued that their presence makes it worth staying there.

          The fourth in my series of tables to roll up the demographics of a community, this entry focuses on merchants, traders and professionals who populate the various areas of the world. There are undoubtedly more than a single shop in your typical community, so it will be necessary to roll on this table multiple times to give a decent spread of interesting shops and owners. As before, while it may seem bizarre on the surface that each and every shop is hiding some potentially dark secret, Referees need only choose to involve the interesting shops. General stores where the PCs simply buy a horse in a rush probably need not be rolled. These are places to provide interesting hooks with the PCs to interact with simply beyond spending their wealth.


d8
What kind of shop is this?
1
Bank, or another sort of financial institution
2
Smithy or Manufactory
3
Drover/Caravansary
4
Kiln/Glassworks
5
University or other institution of learning
6
Hospital or some sort of healer
7
A crafter such as a tailor or haberdashery
8
An artist, such as a painter, sculptor or poet. 50% Chance of having a Patron.

d8
How's the business doing?
1
Collapsing. Whether through the incompetence of the owner(s) or outside factors, the business is falling apart and is likely up to it's eyes in debt.
2
Dwindling. The flow of customers or clients has almost dried up completely, though this may be the fault of the owner, rather than the community dying.
3-5
Steady. The business is profitable, but not so much that the proprietor is well to do.
6
Busy. The day is constantly packed with things to do, people to help.
7
Growing. Customers or clients find that they have to schedule in advance to get service. The business is looking for more help.
8
Bustling. There's more work than there are hands, and any new clients will have trouble getting what they want in a timely manner


d8
Who runs the place?
1
A family business, perhaps the founder is still alive, but just as likely it has been going for several generations.
2
A number of proprietors, perhaps only a pair, but maybe as large as a board.
3
A sole owner, who may or may not have any employees.
4
A distant and far away owner, such as a merchant prince or a noble. They likely have local representatives to look after their interests.
5
The business is ran by the local government, or is an extension of a government monopoly.
6
A cooperative or group of merchants, teachers or workers run the business.
7
The ownership is contested. This certainly does not bode well for the future.
8
Ownership of the business is unclear or actively obfuscated.

d8
What is unique about it?
1
The owner is getting the majority of their stock or funding from an illegitimate source, such as from smugglers or by acting as a front.
2
The product or training that the business provides is widely considered to be somehow corrupt or scandalous in some way locally. Patronizing it marks you as someone willing to overlook that reputation.
3
The business has paid protection money to local criminals. Any harassment or theft on the premises is going to be met with serious reprisals.
4
The business or institution is famous; they could have made some legendary item or trained or saved some notable personage.
5
Due to reasons inscrutable to those on the outside, the business is only open during certain times, such as during the night or certain seasons.
6
Doing business here is bound by some custom that may not only be immediately obvious, they may only accept patronage from a certain ethnicity, social class or faith.
7
Coin is not accepted here, only barter or service.
8
The business has no set locale or storefront, they may even serve several nearby communities as well.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Elementalist - LotFP Custom Class


The Elementalist


The four elements make up the world around them; Air, Earth, Fire & Water are the building blocks of the planes themselves. Most have to weather their various manifestations, and while some can access their power indirectly through the means of summoning elementals or through the usage of particular spells, they are at best exerting a clumsy and incomplete control of them. There are those who have a greater connection; shamans who can whisper to the land, psychics who have trained in various arts, those with the blood of genies or elementals flowing in their veins or who have struck a pact with a such a creature.

Whatever the form their connection takes, these folk gain a mastery over a particular element which allows them to manipulate it as if they were born to it, shaping and twisting it around with their wills like a potter does with clay. They can call their bound element to them, banish it, command it to move, attack, shield them, or whatever else their imagination allows. Most Elementalists do not consider themselves to be using magic at all, since they are not bound by the crude strictures of ritual and observance and are able to use their powers as often as they'd like, provided that the elements are willing. The scourging that they suffer from drawing upon their abilities too often is merely a result of them being imperfect vessels, and the changes that are wrought to the most potent of them are only seen as further proof of their puissance.

Level
Experience
HP
Paralyze
Poison
Breath
Device
Magic
Backlash
Control Points
1
0
1d6
14
16
15
14
14
12
4
2
2,250
1d4
14
16
15
14
14
12
+1
3
4,500
1d4
14
16
15
14
14
12
+1
4
9,000
1d4
14
16
15
14
14
11
+1
5
18,000
1d4
11
12
14
13
12
11
+1
6
36,000
1d4
11
12
14
13
12
11
+1
7
72,000
1d4
11
12
14
13
12
10
+1
8
144,000
1d4
11
12
14
13
12
10
+1
9
288,000
1d4
9
10
12
11
10
10
+1
10
432,000
+1*
9
10
12
11
10
9
+1
11
576,000
+1*
9
10
12
11
10
9
+1
12
720,000
+1*
7
8
10
9
8
9
+1
13
864,000
+1*
7
8
10
9
8
8
+1
14
1,008,000
+1*
7
8
10
9
8
8
+1
15+
+144,000/lvl
+1*
5
6
8
7
6
8
+1
*: Constitution modifiers no longer apply.


Unlike other forms of spellcasters, the Elementalist does not have spells per day, nor do they have any sort of spellbook or have to memorize a set of particular effects. Instead the Elementalist gains points to distribute to different skills similar to the Specialist, which represent their talent influencing a particular aspect of their element. The Elementalist's skill checks function in the same way as a Specialist, with the exception that the Elementalist can choose to increase the strength of their effect by risking a greater chance of failure by rolling additional d6's. Each additional die rolled increases the magnitude of the skill roll by a step (i.e. a 1d6 becomes 2d6), each additional die rolled must also succeed or the entire effect fails. An Elementalist may choose to risk additional dice equal to 1/3 of their HD, with a minimum of 1.

Elementalists need to have their element present to use their abilities. While this is obviously not usually a problem for those bonded to Air or Earth, adherents to Fire or Water must either have a good amount of their element present, or they must use the Beckon skill to bring some into being.


The skills that the Elementalist (and only the Elementalist) has access to are:

  • Attack is used to directly strike an opponent, whether that be through the means of lashing them with razor sharp winds, or hunks of rock torn from the ground. Attacks deal 1d6 damage per die successfully risked.
  • Defend can be used to reduce incoming damage by crafting a temporary shield out of an element. The exact effects of Defend are governed by which element it is drawn from, Earth and Water defend against melee attacks, while Air and Fire help reduce the severity of ranged attacks. Each successfully risked die reduces the incoming damage by 1 point.
  • Beckon can twist the element into whatever configuration that the Elementalist is imaginative enough to achieve, as well as to bring the element into being from nothing. Each risked die allows the elementalist to bring in a cubic foot of their element, or shape the same amount to their desire. While this may have little effect in the case of air, it is possible to tear through or craft walls this way with Earth, start and direct fires with beckoned flames, or pull pure water from muddy soil. Summoned material, especially fire or water may dissipate into the environment within a few rounds unless fed or put into a vessel.
  • Resist is used to guard against the excesses of the particular element that the caster is bonded to, in essence any time that the Elementalist may suffer as a result of their element (such as suffocating from being buried alive for an Earth Elementalist) they may roll their Resist in an attempt to negate the effect. Every successfully risked die allows the Elementalist a minute of protection.

The only limit to an Elementalist's powers is known as Scourging. Backlash points are gained whenever an Elementalist chooses to enhance the magnitude of their effect beyond a single die. Each die in addition to the first adds a point to the character's current backlash pool. These points do nothing to an Elementalist until they fail an elemental skill check. Upon failure the Elementalist must test against their backlash, and if they fail they suffer the scourging as detailed in the table below. Backlash points reset after a scourging is suffered or the Elementalist rests.

Points 
accumulated
Scourging effect
1-5
Indifference. The next elemental skill check made by the character is at a -1.
6-10
Enervation. The character is stunned for 1 round.
11-15
Lashing. The Elementalist takes 1d10 damage.
16-20
Impairment. The character cannot use elemental skills for 1d4 rounds.
21-29
Transmogrification. A part of the Elementalist's body permanently changes in some way in tune with their element. Eyes are replaced by flames, teeth with gemstones, etc.
30+
Eruption. Save again. If you fail, the character explodes and everyone within 20 ft takes 1d6 points of damage.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

A Land of Bounty & Prosperity


          

          Communities and towns don't simply pop into being out of nowhere. They need things which attract people there in the first place; sources of water, stone, wood and food are all necessary to be even considered as a potential place of settlement. Residents then exploit the resource, building infrastructure and eventually building it into a local industry. The settlers pin their reputations and livelihoods on their ability to extract and sell the bounty of their land. Whether they be wise in their stewardship or fools who waste it, the drive and ambition for ever more will never truly cease.

          My third post in the demographic series, these tables aim to give the community character through the natural bounty around them. It should be assumed that every healthy community of note likely has the basics covered and that the results of this table are more emblematic of notable concentrations of resources, but that does not necessarily have to be the case. I would also like to note that every result seeks to be 'interesting' in some way. The reasons for this are simple: if the place wasn't interesting or did not have some sort of central conflict, the Referee would have little reason to go into it. There are plenty of non-spooky forests and mines without hauntings. We're not trying to talk about those. These are places for the PCs to either adventure in, or to try and claim for themselves. Short of conquering or founding towns themselves, there's little means for them to usually gain an in on the ground floor for these sorts of places. To use these tables, simply roll 4d8 and consult the results below. For smaller communities a single roll could suffice, but for larger ones it may be necessary to roll multiple times to simulate more than one basis for the local economy.


d8
Resources of the Community
1
Aquifer.
2
Non-Precious Stone or Metal.
3
Timber.
4
Range land.
5
Fishery.
6
Sap/Rubber.
7
Pelts/Game.
8
Precious Stone or Metal.


d8
Relative prosperity
1
Nearly exhausted. The community is likely dying if this is the only major resource in the area. The resource itself has nearly petered out.
2
Last legs. While there are some reserves left, it has grown increasingly clear to everyone that the good times are gone.
3
Hard times. If any one was on the precipice of leaving, they'll probably do so now.
4
Rough patch. The easy work has started to dry up; outsiders trying to make their fortune will not be welcome.
5
Business as usual. Residents have long ago developed a routine, the extraction is steady and the methods are all well known and effective.
6
Rising tides. People are rich, there's always a hunger for new laborers and the community is building for the future.
7
Flourishing. New claims are being made all of the time, the amount seems almost endless.
8
Boom Town. The amount of material they have on hand is enough to support their own needs, as well as several smaller outlying communities.



d8
General level of hazard
1
Hellish. Procuring the resource is almost more trouble than it is worth. Perhaps there are hostile beings or spirits guarding it, or it is in an area of active environmental peril.
2
Miserable. There could be aggressive or predatory creatures which lurk in the area, or it could be in a place which is unpleasant to work in, such as an area with constant inclement weather.
3-6
Normal. It is as dangerous to gather this material as it would be in real life.
7
Safe. The resource is well-managed and maintained, perhaps there is competent management, or the area itself has somehow been changed to ease the work.
8
Arcadian. It is so easy to find or secure more of the material that is is nearly worthless locally.


d8
What is unique about it?
1
The resources is contested, whether by another nearby community, or some sort of population or force which guards it.
2
While the quality of the material is objectively as high as any other location, it is widely thought of as being cursed or bringing ill-luck.
3
The material isn't naturally occurring, it is being drawn from the ruins or rubble of some previous civilization.
4
An annual ritual or sacrifice is required to keep the spirits or beings which inhabit the area satisfied. The consequences will be dire if the oblations aren't performed.
5
The resource requires a special treatment or process to be rendered safe to humanoids. This process is a closely guarded secret.
6
A guild or another similar organization controls access. Competitors can expect serious reprisals.
7
The quality of the resource from this area is renowned far and wide. It fetches an unusually high price.
8
Gathering the resource can only be done on a certain schedule. Perhaps it is underwater some of the year, or the path to access it is cut off for weeks or months on end.


Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Bastion of Law & Order


          Where do the goodly turn to when they are aggrieved? Why the proper authorities of course. Running the gamut between the sensible and the reckless, the ethical and the unseemly, the members of these organizations are ultimately united by the fact that they are all vested in the status quo. What do political games and wealth matter in the face of invasion or destruction by the terrible forces which organize outside their walls? Even the most recalcitrant servant of the public good can be convinced to help when they realize their family could be on the line as well. Though not the community itself, those are the common folk, these organizations are the mortar that binds the structure together, allowing them to present at least something of a unified front.

          To use this generator simply roll 4d8 to get a sense of what kind of organization you're dealing with; it may be necessary to roll several times for larger communities to have several political poles to define your town or city. Even outside of their use as a storytelling device, these places are useful to players as potential sources of quests or aid.


d8
What sort of place is it?
1
Barracks/Guardhouse
2
Customs House
3
Guildhall
4
Prefect/Sheriff's Office
5
Military Order
6
Noble's Court
7
Temple
8
Elder's Abode

d8
What quality is the help you can receive here?
1
The extralegal kind. Conversely it is difficult to get the help the place is ostensibly supposed to provide.
2
As one would expect of the place, but the means to gaining it is excessively bureaucratic and roundabout.
3
The place functions normally, provided that you can bribe your way in.
4
The assistance is of high quality and without strings, but only the favored may avail themselves of it. Who is among the favored is determined by the leader.
5
Low, and without much zeal. They cannot turn anyone away, regardless of social strata.
6
High, but only citizens in good standing with the community are able to use the services.
7
Average, only those of a certain class can use it, such as those of a certain ethnicity or faith.
8
Average, however it is hopelessly overworked and the waiting list is at least 1d6 weeks long.


d8
What is the leader like?
1
Short tempered and overworked, but competent and dependable.
2
Distracted and half-hearted, a product of nepotism.
3
Kind, but ineffectual and relatively powerless in their own organization.
4
Domineering and power hungry, will try to utilize players to help themselves.
5
Eccentric and slightly bizarre with a focus on a hobby entirely unrelated to their own organization.
6
Responsible and busy, a true delegator who may have other obligations.
7
Prone to risky behaviors and indulging in vice, often needs to be talked out of poor courses of actions by their underlings.
8
Gregarious, with an eye towards expansion. May try to recruit or pressure the players into helping them.

d8
What is unique about it?
1
There are no doors, banners, tapestries or decorations - the better to spot potential assassins or thieves.
2
A familiar spirit has been bound to the place. Though it cannot affect the corporeal, it can protect against other incorporeal threats as well as observe intruders and warn the residents.
3
The place was made to be as self-sufficient as possible, there are areas set aside for the cultivation of food, a well and more.
4
The building which houses the organization is one of the largest and most reinforced in town, it finds use as a citadel when the community is threatened.
5
The structure is multi-purpose and extremely important. Many members of the community often visit every day, even if they have no need for services.
6
This particular organization is important to the wider world, perhaps they are a regional headquarters, perhaps they are the site of a pilgrimage. Regardless, the organization is notably wealthier than the community around them.
7
The organization is in possession of a holy relic, such as the bones of a saint. Extraplanar entities cannot enter the building without grievous harm coming to them.
8
The stones of the place have been enchanted somehow to prevent the use of teleportation magics. No one may safely use spells such as Blink, Dimension Door or Teleport within a mile of the building.