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].
|1||town||Marco||Wiseman||tall||rogue||mismatched||revitalising||tincture||restore lost hair||vinegar||vegetable matter|
|2||village||Jean||the All-Knowing||short||vagabond||theadbare||curing||tonic||renew youthful looks||salt||aniseed|
|3||city||Peter||the Wise||broad||eccentric||opulent||calming||remedy||bestow great strength||tallow||brandy|
|4||square||David||the Mystic||rotund||figure||stained||energising||compound||cure all ills||urine||fennel seeds|
|5||market||Michael||Plentiman||thin||jester||oddly coloured||medicinal||infusion||act as a marital aid||animal fat||parsley seeds|
|6||back alley||Fribzan||Curazo||excitable||salesman||fashionable||soporific||preserve||cure cholic||mineral oils||rhubarb|
|7||street||Salaya||Pinkerman||frantic||inventor||antique||reknowned||balm||prevent ailments caused by bad air||powdered stone||saffron|
|8||plaza||Samantha||the Divine||smooth||herballist||second-hand||world famous||cream||cure toothache||iron filings||liquorice|
|9||gardens||William||Hennesy||calculating||sage||dirty||family||elixir||remove joint pain||bile||drinking alcohol|
|10||field||Charlotte||the noted Doctor||mercenary||wise-person||immaculate||ancient||potion||cure hangovers||dung||caraway|
|11||hamlet||Marianne||the reknowned Physick||sensational||monk||creased||mystical||rub||make one proof against diseases||vegetable oil||fenugreek|
|12||tavern||Simbal||the Sage||flamboyant||priest||gaudy||purgative||tablets||cure skim blemishes||chalk powder||dandelion 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.