Sunday, June 28, 2020

Let's Check out that Spooky Mansion, Gang! - a Haunted House Generator



          From a design stand-point, what's not to love about a haunted house? It's got everything, a built-in mystery, antagonist and setting, common points of reference to your players; it can be ideal for use as a one-shot or bottle episode if you're pressed for time. Any place you can possibly think of can be haunted, or used as the basis for a haunting, but it is vital that there be a reason for the ghost's actions and a reason for the players to bother exploring those reasons. Otherwise they're just random spooks in the woods.

          This set of tables seeks to give you fodder for your games in the form of several built in attributes to determine the sort of location and ghosts your haunt may feature. To use this generator simply roll 4d8 and consult the tables below.

d8
What kind of location is it?
1
A mansion, villa, château or other large, multi-roomed abode.
2
Somewhere traditionally associated with healing, such as a hospital or the temple of a god of health.
3
Site of a battle or wide-scale conflict.
4
A geographic location such as a grove, lake or cave.
5-6
Somewhere associated with death, such as a graveyard or charnel ground.
7
The entirety of a small settlement, or for larger communities, a district of the city.
8
Roll again, ignoring this result if it comes up again. In addition to it's other attributes, the location is also abandoned.


d8
What caused this place to become haunted?
1-3
A violent and senseless murder, perhaps even more than one.
4-5
The owners simply died one day, probably of old age, sickness, or misfortune. They apparently didn't get the message and just stuck around.
6
An Oath was broken at this place, and the oathbreaker is damned to haunt the site.
7
Some powerful Aberration, Dragon or another eldritch being died here. They never really left.
8
A semi-divine being, such as an Outsider or a powerful Warlock or Cleric, died here. Their soul still lurks in the area, aspecting it towards their alignment.


d8
How can the ghosts here affect mortals?
1
Violently, and with great hostility. The ghosts here will manifest and attempt to attack interlopers.
2
Undead are inevitably drawn to the place where these ghosts are trapped. The spirits can influence their behavior to carry out their wills.
3
The ghosts exist as illusions, figments and strange notions inside the minds of visitors. The spirits will attempt to ensnare those under it's influence into freeing it, or to help it move on.
4
These spirits are invisible and intangible, but they have the ability to move objects, and can do so at high enough velocity to do damage.
5
Any who come to this place are at risk of possession by the souls that dwell here, from sapient beings to animals.
6
The specters here have the ability to influence heat and cold, able to cause patches of ice or even manifest balls of flame.
7
Distant from this world, these shades can see past what mortals can. They can share their insights into the future with those that sleep within their haunt, whether the victim wishes it or not.
8
Memories and recollections are toys for these ghosts, able to replay spans of time from their subject's minds, or to cloud their thoughts and make them forget what has transpired here.


d8
What do the ghosts here desire?
1-2
Freedom! Escape! To roam the world as they will as a disembodied spirit.
3-4
Vengeance on their tormentors, whether their murderers, or those that simply wronged them in life.
5
Resolution, restitution or justice for what has been done to them.
6
Respect and deference in the form of sacrifice and worship.
7
To endlessly repeat the circumstances leading up to their deaths.
8
Slaking the various vices that they held to in life, in spite of whether or not that's still possible.


2 comments:

  1. This is great! My first set of rolls created a Colour from out of Space-ish scenario... A grove, where an ancient eldritch being died, its essence possesses humans in order to recreate the circumstances of its death...

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    Replies
    1. My favorite set of results that I got during testing was a murdered spirit from a battlefield who just wants to possess people to have fun. Dead Man's Party indeed.

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