Random Chart Tuesday: Snake Oil Salesmen

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].

1townMarcoWisemantallroguemismatchedrevitalisingtincturerestore lost hairvinegarvegetable matter
2villageJeanthe All-Knowingshortvagabondtheadbarecuringtonicrenew youthful lookssaltaniseed
3cityPeterthe Wisebroadeccentricopulentcalmingremedybestow great strengthtallowbrandy
4squareDavidthe Mysticrotundfigurestainedenergisingcompoundcure all illsurinefennel seeds
5marketMichaelPlentimanthinjesteroddly colouredmedicinalinfusionact as a marital aidanimal fatparsley seeds
6back alleyFribzanCurazoexcitablesalesmanfashionablesoporificpreservecure cholicmineral oilsrhubarb
7streetSalayaPinkermanfranticinventorantiquereknownedbalmprevent ailments caused by bad airpowdered stonesaffron
8plazaSamanthathe Divinesmoothherballistsecond-handworld famouscreamcure toothacheiron filingsliquorice
9gardensWilliamHennesycalculatingsagedirtyfamilyelixirremove joint painbiledrinking alcohol
10fieldCharlottethe noted Doctormercenarywise-personimmaculateancientpotioncure hangoversdungcaraway
11hamletMariannethe reknowned Physicksensationalmonkcreasedmysticalrubmake one proof against diseasesvegetable oilfenugreek
12tavernSimbalthe Sageflamboyantpriestgaudypurgativetabletscure skim blemisheschalk powderdandelion root

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.

Coinage in Our Smoke & Snow Game

As some of you may be aware, I’m going to be starting an OSE game in the next month (session 0 scheduled for the week after next as of time of writing), the game is going to be loosely based on the Colonial America time period and set in a New World of sub-arctic temperatures (think Northern Canada). Amongst the various things I’ve been considering (rules for blackpowder firearms, hex-crawls, etc) I’ve also been thinking about coinage. I’d love to be able to have something a bit more flavourful in our game but don’t want it to make things too difficult for the players or to have to draw up new cost lists for things.

Continue reading “Coinage in Our Smoke & Snow Game”

Friend or Foe Friday – Vampires in D&D

In this week’s Friend or Foe Friday–and our first episode dealing with this particular creature–we take a look at vampires, the aristocracy of the night, in D&D.

Wednesday Wisdom – Top 10 Tips for Using Language in Games

It’s the middle of the week and we’re talking about how you can use language in your games, Hannah has some top tips.

CBP Worldbuilding #2.5: Drawing more map

This is the third post using Angeline Trevina’s book 30 Days of Worldbuilding (available on Amazon), the book provides 30 prompts/exercises to help guide world-building.

This is an extension of the prompt Day 2: Draw Your Map where the author advises us to draw a map to prevent us getting lost in our world.

My initial post creating the outline of the map can be found here.

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at my Colonial Blackpowder idea for a setting.

Whilst drawing these maps I’ve been looking at a quote describing colonial America:

Colonial America was a vast land settled by Spanish, Dutch, French and English immigrants who established colonies such as St. Augustine, Florida; Jamestown, Virginia; and Roanoke in present-day North Carolina.


I really love this idea of a vast land where everything, including the terrain is writ-large, primeval and untamed by the hands of man; so I’ve been looking at some maps of America for inspiration when it comes to the placement of larger terrain features (mountains, forests, rivers and swamps).

Below is the map I currently have, although this may change in the future:

Current map for CBP setting

In the above maps the brown areas are mountains, the blue lines rives, the light green areas forests and the dark green area swamp-land.

Although I am considering removing some the northern forest area and nearby river to replace it with a desert-style area, shown below with a yellow circle:

Considered location of desert

Obviously if I was going to do this I’d remove the river and probably the forest to the south.

Hannah Hi-Jacks : Star Trek Fate

RDD RPG Podcast

I’ve been thinking about re-launching my podcast for a while, I wanted to get my wife Hannah–also a gamer–involved, along with some other friends and add some value to the podcast.

But wouldn’t you know it? I’ve not even recorded an episode and Hannah’s hi-jacked the mic to ask me some questions about using the Fate RPG system with her Star Trek games.

CBP Worldbuilding #1 : Genre & Setting

This is the first post using Angeline Trevina’s book 30 Days of Worldbuilding (available on Amazon), the book provides 30 prompts/exercises to help guide world-building.

Day 1: Genre & Setting: in the first prompt the author advises us to describe the genre of our world and write a brief description of it.

Colonial Blackpowder


Colonial Blackpowder will be a mixture of Gunpowder Fantasy and Historical Fantasy; although the campaign world I intend to create won’t be a strict re-creation of Colonial American history, it will be strongly influenced by it.


The discovery of the New World has lead to many of the Human kingdoms of the Old World sending colonists and explorers in search of new resources, they are joined by deported criminals, religious exiles fleeing persecution and others. Along with the Humans come the Uruch, a race with a once rich history of shamanic worship and legends, beaten in war by the Humans and enslaved, much of their history forgotten.

But the New World is not unoccupied, ruined Ziggurats and idols dot the mountains and jungles of the new continent, inscribed with the legends of the Eld and their Gods who came from the stars. Although most Eld left with their gods, some outcasts remain, drawing on the sustaining energies of their holy sites, energies that prove ruinous and corrupting to others.

Thieves & Stealing from the Party

In this episode I talk about something that boils my p*ss in RPGs, particularly in D&D style games, player character thieves stealing from the party.

If you want to have your say, disagree or chat about this, you can leave me a voicemail at: https://anchor.fm/the-red-dice-diaries/message

Theme tune is Exotica by Juanitos, used under Public Domain licence.