A couple of weeks ago we looked at five books that the good people behind LOTFP had sent us for review purposes, we pretty much loved all of the modules, but if you want to find out our more detailed opinions check out the podcast episodes below:
Or if you prefer Youtube the reviews are also available over there:
In a today’s episode of the Red Dice Diaries RPG Podcast we talked a little bit about Snake Oil Salesmen, purveyors of dubious cure-alls and miracle tonics.
You can find a link to the podcast/audio version here:
Or–if you prefer–there is also a Youtube version available:
In the episode we talk about some of the potential RP benefits and texture that including such fraudulent “healers” can bring to a campaign where real magic actually exists, and why people in such a world might still be conned by these charismatic ne’er-do-wells.
If you need a quick Snake Oil Salesman in your campaign, use the madlib below and fill in the details by rolling on the provided tables to get some details on who they are and what they are selling.
In the [PLACE] you see, [NAME1][NAME2] a [DESCRIPTION1][DESCRIPTION2] wearing [DESCRIPTION 3] clothes; they are selling a tonic called [NAME2]’s [TONIC1][TONIC2] said to [EFFECT 1], but actually it is made mainly of [INGREDIENT1] and [INGREDIENT2].
restore lost hair
renew youthful looks
bestow great strength
cure all ills
act as a marital aid
prevent ailments caused by bad air
remove joint pain
the noted Doctor
the reknowned Physick
make one proof against diseases
cure skim blemishes
It is up to you as the GM as to whether the tonic has any actual effect, but a single dose can be purchased for 1D12 GP from the salesman.
Recently Hannah and I recorded a short podcast episode where we discussed the phenomenon of the Screaming Skull, a legendary tale where a person or persons requests their skull to be stored in a particular location and–when the skull is inevitably removed–it begins to scream or manifest other poltergeist-like behaviours. In the episode we talked a little about how you could use such an item/entity in your D&D game, you can check out the episode below:
Hannah identified a few recurring themes in these stories:
A wronged noblewoman loves her home, and asks to be interred there, the priesthood disapproves, and she is buried in the churchyard, she screams until her skull is back in the house.
A poorly treated slave begs to be freed so he can die in his home country, his master refuses and has him buried in a potters field. the master is haunted until he brings the skull into his home.
A Parlimentarian soldier hears what was done to cromwells body and begs his family to hide his skull in the family home so that the royalists can’t desecrate him.
A resurrectionist stole a body for study, and the skull likes to stay there.
This got us thinking about how you could change this up, giving your Screaming Skulls a little bit more flavour and–as an unashamed fan of random charts–I started hashing out a mad-lib style chart to use as a starting point for a Screaming Skull.
The basic mad-lib format goes like this:
The [verb] skull of [name] [place].
You can then roll on the table below to fill in the gaps:
For example: A roll of 6, 3 and 2 on 3D6 would give us The cackling skull of Alderley farm.
Of course you could–an probably should–substitute the place names with ones that are appropriate for your own campaign world.
Hannah has also produced a couple of additional charts to fill in some extra details regarding the skull, these can either be rolled on using 1D6 or an option that fits simply chosen.
Cause of Death
Tortured by home owner.
Murdered by “ruffians”.
Killed in action.
Murdered by a lover.
Reasons to Scream
Wants revenge on those who wronged them.
Fears desecration by enemies.
Loves the house.
Loves the family.
Atonement for sins committed in life.
Disturbed by the presence of an unbeliever.
We hope you have fun using these charts to inject a dose of skeletal cackling in your games, if you do, or you have any ideas concerning this you can always drop us a voicemail message using the Speakpipe app (link below) and you may be featured on a future episode of the podcast:
There has been a link/page on the main Red Dice Diaries blog page providing some basic information about our (at time of writing) currently running Old-school Essentials campaign Smoke & Snow, a game that began with the theme of humanity attempting to resettle a homeland their ancestors had fled ahead of a great arcanely fuelled ice-age.