I mean, I am a Dungeon Master on AirBnB Experiences*. AirDnD is not a real thing (but it should).
If you’re not aware of AirBnB Experiences, it is a part of the global lodging marketplace that puts visitors in touch with local hosts offering food tastings, hikes, workshops, you name it. Of course, there are a few weirdos around the world who designed Dungeons & Dragons experiences as a way to share their passion for the hobby, or to try and monetise their DMing expertise**.
How do we do it? Well I’ve been running games for strangers at conventions as long as I’ve been a professional designer, so it wasn’t a big leap. If you haven’t been running games at events for twenty plus years, let me tell you what to keep in mind of when setting up your own AirDnD experience:
7 Tips to Host a Great AirDnD Experience
1. Be accessible. Even if you describe your AirDnD game as “The Most Difficult Dungeon Crawl Ever Designed”, you never know how familiar with D&D your guests will be.
Have your explanations ready. Practice them on friends if you can.
Have cheat sheets to help players who aren’t familiar with the game mechanics.
The AirBnB interface lets you contact the guests in advance, use this feature to make sure everyone is on the same page when the session starts.
2. Be prepared. Does it bear mentioning that if you want to work as a professional Dungeon Master, you need to act like a pro DM. No looking up monster stats on your phone, no “hang on, I have to check this rule” or “what does this NPC want again?”. I don’t mean you need to be a machine; just make sure you have all the necessary information in one place before the session.
Make a folder or binder with your adventure, NPCs, monsters, handouts, EVERYTHING you think you might maybe need. And then some.
Pregenerated characters are a must! Unless character creation is part of your experience, or the game you’re playing includes character generation as part of its gameplay of course.
Use Ze Internetz. Whether you have your stuff saved on Roll20, DnDBeyond, Evernote, or your own wiki, you can access it from a laptop or tablet. If you go the tech way, make sure you have a decent connection in your venue. Not a lot of ancient tunnel systems have wifi.
3. Be snazzy! Have some cool props on hand. Newcomers get confused when TRPGs don’t have some tangible element to them besides those weird dice, but even grizzled D&D vets enjoy a cool hand written scroll. Some ideas:
Handouts like a map of the area, or an encrypted letter. Use parchment sheet or a lot of tea.
If your adventure has an important magical item, you can design it from a cool object you own. Go to car boot sales and flea markets. Just don’t bring that realistic Zweihander to the pub you’re playing at.
Dungeon tiles or a battlemat and minis always look good! Also consider buying cool looking dice sets just for the experience.
Often overlooked, your Dungeon Master accessories will contribute to the experience if they look good – here’s what’s inside the DM kit picture above for example.
4. Be mindful of the time. Obviously you want to pace your session in the best possible way, given your time constraints. It’s just like a convention game really. Or any game, if you’re not a lazy DM like me… People have paid you and it’s nice to give them extra time, but bear in mind that guests often have made plans for after the game. Always agree on a schedule, especially if, two thirds into the session, you realise that you need another hour to wrap your AirDnD experience up.
5. Beware of bad venues. Find an underrated pub (that doesn’t have live music at the time you’re playing), well appointed games bar, cool community space, etc. Bonus points if you have access to a château or medieval cellar, of course. Wherever you end up playing, make sure you get in touch with the staff and book your table if necessary, and that you can play in a relatively quiet space (YMMV, but I tend to die after shouting for three hours.)
6. Be a nice guide. This isn’t directly game related, but your guests will be tourists, and they’ll appreciate pointers to places they might like (history museums and game shops jump to mind, but tips for good cafés and restaurants are always appreciated). You might be the first local they meet, so be friendly!
7. Cater to your audience. I mean, literally cater. This is something I haven’t tried yet, but some experiences on AirBnB offer food and drinks as part of the package (adjusting their price accordingly). It will obviously require that you work out something with your venue or a catering company (unless you’re a great cook as well as a pro DM, in which case you need to update your Tinder profile accordingly. Trust me.)
End of the listicle! These are the basics things to keep in mind when setting up your AirDnD experience. AirBnB also has tons of advice to help you become a great host. And I’m not going to teach you how to DM a game, right? You’re a pro after all.
* If you’re looking for my AirBnB Dungeons & Dragons experiences, here they are. I’m going to be busy and/or out of the country for the holiday season, but I’ll add some more dates in January. You can always reach out if you’d like to set up a game for a specific time and day. And if you’re in Ireland and would like to hear more about playing D&D at work, I’m just an email or phone call away.
** I know a lot of people have reservations about DMing for money, so I’ll just slay this monster in its lair once and for all. People run games for profit it all the time: getting a free convention entrance in exchange for running a game; receiving swag from publishers for organised play or playtest reports; a game designer running a demo of a game they designed on Twitch is GMing for gain. Gaming doesn’t have to be something we only do among friends.
Back in my day (you kids might now those olden times as the Stranger Things Era), finding a group of like minded nerds to gather around a table covered with dice and potato crisps wasn’t easy. And you know what? It’s not too easy nowadays either.
Where I’m from, we had local clubs. But I guess clubs aren’t a thing in this country (they’re still going strong in France). If you’re a student at a major university, you can easily join the gaming society, and you’re probably not reading this.
So how do you find a group to play Dungeons & Dragons with? You can always ask your nerdy friends if they’re into it, but chances are you would have to be the Dungeon Master — and not everyone is ready to DM, especially if they’re just starting . Do ask your mates if they don’t know of a group accepting new players. You never know.
EDIT (22/10/19): If you’re not afraid of talking D&D with randos, I’ve made these flyers that you can leave near you at the library or in coffee shops. Get them from my Itch page. And yes, Tony DiTerlizzi did me the honour or letting me use his Inktober sketch.
The FLGS is a good place to start
Back in the day, hobby shops had a corkboard where you could pin a note along the lines of “9th level Dwarf looking for adventuring party” (100 gold pieces if you can tell me where this reference comes from!). Now, things are much easier: a lot of places have organised play modules. Drop by, bring a character, and have fun. Gamers World on Jervis St hosts Adventurers League events every other Monday night, apparently. If you know D&D well enough, it’s a straightforward way to play regularly.
Wait, aren’t we nearly in 2020? We have internet to look for people without having to interact with people first! Facebook is probably the first place where you would look; there is a Dungeons & Dragons Ireland group where I’ve seen some LFG posts.
Of course, the mission of a Meetup group isn’t to find you a regular D&D table. It wouldn’t be a Meetup group otherwise. What this one does, among other things***, is “one-shot” nights in pubs. It’s easy, beginner friendly, and no one has to commit to anything more than sitting down and play for a couple of hours. (And if you’re really not enjoying yourself, I guess it’s easy to make an excuse and go home.)
I had a really good experience at the last one-shot meetup in Stoneybatter. Coming in, I saw some serious gamers, ready to play some serious D&D. I was early, and rather than commit to one of these tables, I waited and chatted with some of the other newcomers hanging about, waiting for another DM to finish his prep. Turns out it was a good move: I ended up playing with five young(er than me), mostly foreign (like me) players in a very fun, very comedy oriented game. DM Daniel ran us through a fun romp in a wizard’s tower, complete with inverse gravity rooms, that a tribe of kobolds had stuffed with traps. The night was about exploring and making mistake after hilarious mistake.
One-shot nights: best way to sample people?
I have my qualms about fifth edition D&D, one of them being that it’s too combat oriented to my taste. I was dreading having to spend the whole night going from fight to fight, counting squares and begging the healers to save my useless first level wizard. Daniel had the wisdom to wait until the end of the night to give us the option to resort to tactical violence. We had a tense fight with a dragon-like creature on top of a treasure pile. A proper heroic ending!
Among us, one guy had never played D&D before. I think he got a good impression of our hobby after our amateur antics and explosive shenanigans.
On my way back that night, I reflected on how lucky I had been to immediately find a table where everyone was on the same page. Don’t get me wrong: had I opted to sit with one of the other three DMs, I’m sure I’d have enjoyed myself too. I enjoy tactical fights (I play Gloomhaven). But I don’t think I would have mentally labelled every single participant as “would play with again”.
I think one-shot nights such as these are a great way to make D&D friends. This is what we used clubs for, back in mine youthe: to find the people we want to invite to adventure in our own basements.
* LFG: Looking For Group. An acronym used in online games when a players wants to join a party. ** FLGS: you Friendly Local Games Store. *** The D&D in Dublin Meetup group has also hosted beginner sessions, DM Club nights, and workshops for aspiring Dungeon Masters.
Only six spells for this third installment? Well, I only needed this many to complete my d66 table. The goal was to have a decent amount of weird, B/X-adjacent spells for Dungeonsnack. Maybe one of these days I’ll go over all the B/X spell lists to make a book, but not today.
The caster enchants a ball made with the gallbladder of a fox and filled with dried nettles, sulfur, and 100 GP worth of jasper powder. Once thrown, the ball catches fire for 1d6 rounds, and then explodes into a ball of elemental fire. The explosion, the size of a small house, causes 1d6 damage per caster level to anyone in it (save for half). Note that an attack roll may be required to throw the ball where it is expected to land. It is possible to try and kick it somewhere else while it is just burning, but there is a cumulative 1-in-6 chance that the Baell of Fyr will explode every time it is touched. (So yes, shooting at it is a good way to shorten the fuse, so to speak.)
>> I’m not even trying to make Fireball better. Why would I? This is just a riskier, slightly more prone to shenanigans, version of the BBQ magic we all know and love.
Duration: an hour per caster level (or less – see below) A statue, figurine, or other inanimate, tridimensional representation or a living being comes to life. It responds to the caster’s command with limited, dog like intelligence. The size of the figure isn’t relevant; it always has as many hit dice as the caster’s level. It has the non-magical abilities of the creature it represents, although flying, climbing, etc. may be impossible if the figure is to heavy. The caster may elect to project one of their five senses into the figure, perceiving what the creation does. This deprives the caster of their sense until the end of the spell. They can stop the sensory projection, but they release control of the figure, which then acts accordingly to its form and intelligence. If ordered to fight, every round of combat removes one hour from the spell’s total duration.
>> A spell inspired by Growth of Animal and Clairvoyance. Because reskinning them individually would have been boring. I like that you can use this spell on a clay pigeon for scouting purposes, and to animate the colossus of Rhodes when the Spartan orcs attack.
Duration: 1 hour The caster draws from the Earth’s bounty and forms a suit of armour around their body. Soil, stone, sand, metal, wood, roots, dead leaves… Anything grown from the ground or coming from the ground. It doesn’t have to be raw and untouched, so the caster could use an existing suit of armour or the fragments of wooden furniture. The sturdier the stuff used, the less the spell needs of it; a suit of Gaia’s Platemail made from reeds would be thick enough to make the caster look like a wicker giant. The material vanishes at the end of the spell’s duration, leaving but a trace of the finest dust. For combat purposes, the caster is treated as wearing plate armour and shield. They also strike as a fighter of their level, as their blows are fueled by nature’s fury. Every attack dealt by the caster depletes the spell, worsening their armour class by one point. If the AC is back to the caster’s original score, the spell ends.
>> This spell is Striking by way of Tenser’s Transformation.I always thought that was an underused spell.
Hold the Ley Line
The caster’s hands disappear into the quasi-dimension where magical energies live. Within the spell’s duration, they can manipulate the lines and shapes that make up an active spell. Doing so is a dangerous proposition as mortal eyes cannot see magic forces without aid. If there is indeed magic there, the caster can attempt to affect the spell they are ‘touching’. This process takes 1d6 minutes. Roll a die on the table below. The type of die rolled depends on the caster’s level: > 1st-2nd: d4 > 3rd-4th: d6 > 5th-6th: d8 > 7th and above: d10 If the caster can see the magical energies they are manipulating (because they’re somehow visible, or through the use of a spell or magical item), they roll the die twice and choose the result.
2-3. Wreck it. The spell ends, but a magical catastrophe occurs.
3-5. Feel and understand. Try again in 1d6 minutes, rolling d10 on this table.
6-7. Cut a ley line or two. The magical effect is cancelled for d6 combat rounds. On a 6, roll again for a duration in minutes. On another 6, roll again for hours. Then days, weeks, months…
8-9. Variable intensity dispel. The caster can adjust the strength, area, duration… of the spell, or dispel it entirely.
10+. Take over. The caster reprograms the spell for their own use, as if they had cast it themselves.
> This is me redoing Dispel Magic.
On the Wings of Angels
Duration: 1 hour Responding to the caster’s invocation, a cohort of invisible angles, djinn, cloud demons, or ill wind spirits come to lift them from the ground. These beings can be directed to carry the caster at great speed to a place they know, or simply away from danger. Distance isn’t relevant as the angels know many a planar shortcut. The journey always takes an hour. More intricate orders, such as “keep me afloat above the battle, but out of reach from goblin arrows” or “let us explore this cave complex”, need to be thoroughly explained and bargained for. Not all of the angels present may agree to a new command and, should the caster attempt to bribe them, their tastes and desires may be different. Epic songs and sad poems are appreciated, as is sparkly wine, intricately knit lace, and the freshly harvested livers of certain birds. Traveling to places that are difficult to reach, such a well defended fortresses or hidden demiplanes is always costly. The angels will demand something aluable to the caster (like their spell book or right hand) or almost impossible to obtain (the joy of a lost king, a pearl that grew inside a walnut, the motherfucking Runestaff).
>> This is Fly, of course, which I tried to make into a transportation spell as well.
Pact against Harm
Duration: 1 day par caster level With this spell, the caster effectively signs a contract with the lawmakers of the universe. They get immunity from one source of harm of their choice: > fire and cold > mundane weapons > harmful spells > falls and crushing > life drain > other (as agreed with the referee) The caster takes no damage from it, but everything else is slightly more dangerous to them. Add +1 to every damage die rolled against them (so 1d10+1 would be 1d10+2, but 6d6 would become 6d6+6). This spell cannot be dispelled before the end of its duration.
> This is Protection from Normal Missiles, with 50% less guarantees.
I made a thing for fifth edition D&D. It is called The Drama Module. Here is why I made it:
You know how, watching people like the cast of Critical Role bring these wonderful characters to life, you think: “how will I get my players to create cool relationships between their characters?” After all, inter character drama isn’t in the rules. What’s in the rules is mostly exploration and combat.
So my thought was: “why not add rules for character drama?”. I took advantage of the SwordDream game jam on itch.io to try and lure players into creating strong relationships between their characters.
With The Drama Module, they’ll do it because of the rules. Tell them they can have more than one instance of Inspiration, that they’ll be able to take Inspiration from another player when they need it, or to use it twice to roll 3d20 and keep the best result! Oh and tell them, they’ll get some XP for confronting, manipulating, or supporting each other. All for the low, low price of thinking about their characters as people instead of combo delivering devices.
Character development and extra powers… What’s not to like?
The Drama Module is a set of 27 cards (more if you print out some duplicates) available as a PDF from itch.io. You can get it from this handy widget:
And while you are at it, hang around and have a browse. The DreamJam attracted 63 designers from all over the world, and more importantly from across community barriers. Most of these games are free too! Collect them all!
As promised, this is the second part of the spell list for Dungeonsnack, my minimalistic adventure game system. (I guess I have no excuse to not release it now.) You can find the first part of the spell list here. Again, the goal is to have an original spell list that encourages out-of-the-box thinking for my team building sessions of Dungeons & Dragons.
What’s next? I’ll look at the lists for higher level spells, but as I have made these more flexible, I’m expecting a lot of the spells to be redundant. Also, first and second level spells are what I need for introductory games, so it may be a while.
30 Low-Level Spells for Adventure and OSR Games
1. Attune Map 2. Aura Sight 3. Battle Hymn 4. Blessing of the Fickle Saints 5. Celestial Window 6. Cloak of the Chameleon 7. Commune with Stygian Librarian 8. Crystalline Barricade 9. Djinn Guardian 10. Eldritch Surgery 11. Emberskin 12. Experience the Possible 13. Fly True, my Trusted Friend! 14. Fungal Changeling 15. Gift of the Tongue
16. Halo of the Selenites 17. Head over Heels 18. La Fontaine’s Trick 19. Mechanomancy 20. Microwave Shell 21. Mouldbane 22. Phase Shift, Offensive 23. Pylophony 24. Reflective Retreat 25. Shadow Torchbearer 26. Soul Vortex 27. Spelltrap 28. The Unwearied Wanderers 29. Toadstool Theatrics 30. Vermin Friendship
Duration: 10 minutes The caster causes a map they are holding to commune with the part of reality it represents. They can ask it one yes-or-no question per caster level. The map’s knowledge is limited to cartographical features: it doesn’t know about occupants or the history of the place (unless the map is ancient, missing pieces, or otherwise special – at the referee’s discretion). For the price of 3 questions, the caster can point to a blank space on the map. The room or area there appears, drawn as accurately as the rest of the map. There is 1-in-6 chance that each trap, secret door, or other hidden feature is represented.
>> I love locate object for dungeon delving. It took a while to find an idea for this, but I’m quite happy with the way this makes the in-world map more relevant.
Blessing of the Fickle Saints
Duration : until fully expanded (see below) The Kasinous, also known as the 36 fickle saints of chance, turn their attention onto the caster and their allies. The party gets a Blessing risk die according to the caster’s level: Δ6 if 1st to 3rd levels, Δ8 at 4th to 6th levels, Δ10 at 7th to 9th level, and Δ12 at 10th level and above.
Every round, exploration turn, or travel day, any player can roll the Blessing die and add its result to the dice roll of their choice.
On a result of 1 to 3, the die is stepped down to the next lower die (Δ12 to Δ10 to Δ8 to Δ6 to Δ4). A Δ4 that is stepped down means the blessing is expanded.
On the maximum result, the die is stepped up (Δ6 to Δ8, and so on) and the 36 saints change their mind: the Blessing die goes to the referee, who uses it as they want.
If the referee gets the maximum result, they give the Blessing die back to the players.
If the Blessing die hasn’t been used at the end of a round (in combat) or exploration turn (outside of combat) or day (in a city or wilderness environment), whoever holds it (referee or players) must give it to the other side.
* Risk dice are from Macchiato Monsters: they are noted Δninstead of dn(where n is the number of sides of the die).
>> This is obviously bless. I’ve just tried to make the spell more interesting than an improved 5% chance of hitting monsters and resisting spells.
Duration: until dispelled A spell inherited from spacefaring elven archmages. It creates a minute, airtight window to the vicinity of a distant sun. The window appears on the palm of the caster’s dominant hand, projecting a cone of light. Within their ability, the caster decides the type of sun and how close to it the portal is.
The caster chooses the colour and the range of the light (up to the caster’s level in metres).
If the caster wills it so, the window also casts radiation that is damaging to living tissue (caster level in damage per round of exposure — save to avoid).
A sentient being staring directly at the window for several hours can sometimes glimpse a secret of the universe (referee decides – a save is always needed to stay sane).
By touching their palm to a surface (an attack roll may be needed), the caster can stick the window to it. It stays there after that.
Star invasion. If the window is left unattended, there is a 1-in-6 chance every month it opens and lets something out.
>> Continual light is such a good spell for enterprising PCs, and also the first premise of the old magic-breaks-the-world conundrum. (Why isn’t everything lit by continual light items after a couple of generations?). We already have two light shedding spells, so I looked at the offensive aspect of the light spells, trying not to undermine shadow torchbearer and aura of the Selenites.
Cloak of the Chameleon
Duration: until removed The caster grants the power of camouflage to a single skin or pelt. The more exotic the skin is, the harder it is to notice the wearer (or hidden area/object) by sight or smell (the wearer make just as much noise as anyone else). Some guidelines are given below. Note that the chance of hiding is for a creature who stays very still; it is reduced by 1 or more if it is moving. At the referee’s discretion, a large pelt can be used by more than one creature. When the skin is removed, the spells ends and the skin is destroyed.
Hood of pigeon feathers: 1-in-6
Ram or billy goat skin: 2-in-6
Stallion or bull hide: 3-in-6
Polar bear or white tiger pelt: 4-in-6
Halfling scout or elf maiden skin: 5-in-6
Blink dog or displacer beast fur: 6-in-6
Lammasu or ki-rin: 7-in-6
>> This is merely a reskinned (haha) version of invisibility with a tug towards plot creation. Side note: I love that invisibility can make objects disappear permanently. I don’t think this is used often enough! Maybe because of magic-breaks-the-world again? How long does it take until cities are full of invisible doors and coffers?
Duration: permanent until destroyed This spell creates a 10 square metres surface of translucent, friable quasi-matter (the caster chooses the exact dimensions). The barricade has d6 hit points per caster level and can be destroyed by normal means. Reducing the barricade’s HP to half is enough to poke holes into it, making it porous to spells and missile attacks.
>> Basically, a more combat focus version of web. It’s not as awesome, though. I may rework or rewrite it later.
Duration: 1 turn per caster level This impressive but uncomfortable spell wreathes the caster’s skin in hot smoke and burning ash. They are immune to normal and magical fire, but everything they touch or wear have a 1-in-6 chance of melting or catching fire every minute. Also, even if the caster can breathe normally, their companions may want to stay upwind of them. Of course, stealth is out of the question in most environments (except maybe volcanoes and hellish planes).
>>This is resist fire with a bit of added texture and risk.
Experience the Possible
Duration: 1 second per caster level Casting this spell with a mere whisper, the character can glimpse into a timeline branching from reality, starting with their next action. The experience is very short, but sufficient to get an idea of whether a door is trapped, or if an interlocutor would take offense at a joke, etc. When the spell ends, the caster effectively goes back in time and must decide what to do. If they choose not to act at all, they must save or be forced to reenact the triggering action. This is why wizards have a reputation of acting strangely sometimes.
>> Without invisibility, detect invisible is useless. So I thought abut information gathering spells, keeping in mind that I have two strong ones already. I am aware that this could be used to accurately detect traps, but as it’s a one-use spell, I don’t think thieves will feel disempowered.
Head over Heels
Duration: 1 hour The target’s relationship with the floor and ceiling is inverted; also, their feet and hands swap purposes. Not only are they able to use their hands to walk, magically suspended from the ceiling, but also they can manipulate objects with their legs. If there is no ceiling, tree branches and other overhead objects can be used to walk. The spell doesn’t work if there aren’t any. It is however very difficult for them to interact with the floor and ceiling normally (just as it would be for someone else to walk on their hands while holding a sword with their toes). An unwilling target is allowed to save.
>> A silly reskin of levitation. I voluntarily glossed over its effect on gravity to let referees decide what happens when this spell is cast in places with very high ceilings.
La Fontaine’s Trick
Duration: permanent Up to one normal animal per caster level is granted the ability to speak. Roll 1d12 to know what languages the creatures know. Look at the table below: it can understand and speak the languages between (die result) and (result + caster level). The animals also gain the personality traits in brackets corresponding to the die’s result, which may influence their reaction to the characters.
1: Demonic (cruel and scheming) 2: Draconic (greedy and temperamental) 3: Goblin (cowardly and mocking) 4: Medusa (artsy and traitorous) 5: Gnoll (proud and ferocious) 6: Dwarvish (gruff and industrious) 7: Elvish (haughty and intellectual) 8: Gnomish (curious and inventive) 9: Halfling (hungry and jolly) 10: Sylvan (shy and benevolent) 11: Celestial (peaceful and judgmental) 12+: Common (talkative and nosy)
For example, a 3rd level caster who rolls a 6 to bestow speech to a group of mules would bestow them the ability to speak Dwarvish, Elvish, Gnomish, and Halfling. The animals would behave like a bunch of grumpy miners.
>> Talk with animals. A druid spell before there were even druid player characters! Again, I tried to make it more playful while covering the same area. I hope you will forget the meta/French name.
Duration: 1 hour The caster gets an innate sense of how mechanisms and complicated machines work. Their chance to detect moving parts, such as pressure plates and secret doors is twice as likely with a cursory glance (they will always detect them when looking). The caster is able to infer what (non-magical) effects pulling a lever or turning a key will trigger. They aren’t able to disarm a trap, but their description of the mechanisms should give a generous bonus to the thief’s skill roll. The caster also learns how to operate machinery, but they must make an INT check if they want to keep doing so after the spell ends.
>> I cast find traps and we can fire the party’s thief! Again, this is an attempt at broadening the applications of the spell while creating a lot of edge cases (and headaches for the referee).
The caster holds a silver mirror (worth 10 GP) in their hand. If they are hit by an attack, the mirror is destroyed and the caster disappears into the mirror dimension for 1d4 rounds. Note that the caster can also destroy the mirror. They cannot affect the material world, but they can watch it (and be seen) through reflective surfaces, including the mirror’s fragments. They are free to do whatever they like during the spell’s duration. If they wander too far away from a reflective surface however, the referee may ask for a check or save to avoid becoming lost in the mirror dimension. At the end of the spell’s duration, the caster reenters reality from the closest mirror or reflective surface.
>> Mirror image is everyone’s favourite defensive spell, even if this version is less efficient than the one I remember from AD&D. This is less efficient as a combat spell, but creative PCs can use reflective retreat to explore and bypass obstacles.
Duration: 1 hour Range: 10 metres per level This spell lets the caster open an invisible gate into the astral void, where the spirits of the dead travel. The astral currents thus released let the caster perceive the souls of sentient beings in the vicinity, even if the beings are not normally seen (i.e. invisible, or just in another room). By concentrating on one soul in particular, they can:
Know whether it has a connection to a divine or other powerful supernatural being (like clerics, warlocks, or some undead).
Borrow the soul for up to a minute per level, allowing instant communication of complex thoughts and concepts. (Touch required, save cancels.) The target’s body falls unconscious until the soul is returned.
>> As written in Moldvay and Cook, ESP is mostly useful for detecting enemies (provided you have time) and interrogate prisoners. I tried to duplicate this and add another use. Also, there should be more soul magic in D&D. Soul harvest from Wonders & Wickedness has provided much entertainment at my table!
Duration: 1 minute per caster level The caster conjures a mystical sphere of energy that automatically captures a spell cast or aimed at a point in its immediate vicinity. The spelltrap hovers and can be moved slowly as long as its caster concentrates. When the spelltrap ends, the captured spell takes effect as if cast at the spot where the trap was. Some additional details:
A spelltrap can be popped like a bubble; it has AC 0 (19), and a number of hit points equal to its caster’s level.
The caster of a spelltrap can attempt to dissipate the captured magic, effectively negating the spell. However, there is a base 1-in-6 chance that the spell is released accidentally. Add 1 to these odds if the caster of the trapped spell is of higher level, and 1 if the caster of the spelltrap doesn’t know the captured spell.
At level 3, the caster can capture their own spell if they cast it immediately after spelltrap.
At level 7, the spelltrap can be kept empty and floating for up to an hour, or until it captures a spell.
>> Replacing silence, 15ft radius is no easy task. I had to choose between its two effects: stealth and incapacitating spell casters. I went with the latter, and made it more polyvalent if not as efficient ror the purposes of killing evil cultists.
Duration: concentration (see below) The caster throws mushrooms on the ground (up to one mushroom per level); each one grows into the desired shape, up to the size of a large humanoid. The caster must concentrate on the spell to animate their fungal creations. If they stop, the theatrics crumble in 1d6 minutes. Only rare and expensive* mushrooms can accurately mimic a creature or object, but any fungus can approximate a humanoid or a door well enough to fool a casual viewer at a distance or in dim light.
* Rare and expensive: according to the setting and the referee’s discretion. If they plan to impersonate an elven queen, the caster may have to quest for the mythical royal purple milkcap, which can only be found in Farthest Faerie. Any decent alchemist will sell a dozen greenwart puffballs, good for mimicking goblinkind humanoids, for about 8 GP.
>>This is phantasmal force with a fungal twist and an opportunty for story hooks.
Duration: 10 minutes per caster level The caster is able to communicate with one type of creature commonly considered as vermin (insects, arachnids, some rodents, birds, or bats, etc.). Cooperation is not guaranteed: roll 1d10 + caster level on the monster reaction table (reproduced below). At the referee’s discretion, an offering (of food, for example) may justify another roll.
2d6Reaction 2 or less Hostile, attacks 3–5 Unfriendly, may attack 6–8 Neutral, uncertain 9–11 Indifferent, uninterested 12 or more Friendly, helpful
>> I have no idea how snake charm made it into the Greyhawk book of OD&D. Bible inspiration? Good ole orientalism crap? Did someone in the original crews run a snake themed dungeon? Will we ever know? John Peterson, we need you!
Here’s an offering for you, D&D DMs, adventure game masters, old school referees: a wounds system where your hit dice are a pool to roll from every time you get hit. Use it, hack it, mock it. It’s your call!
I’ve used these rules for a few months in Lunchtime Dungeons, but they don’t gel with my audience. Most of my players are casual gamers – they love our sessions, but they don’t interact with the mechanics as much as gaming nerds would.
This is one of the challenges of this gig: I have to constantly remind myself than, even if I want an engaging game, I’m running Dungeons & Dragons in offices for team building purposes. I’m not designing for fantasy enthusiasts and practicing gamers. Maybe I need to frame that above my desk.
Hit Dice Pool and Wounds
But you aren’t reading this to listen to me whine about game design. Here’s how the HDW system works.
For fluidity’s sake, these rules do away with damage rolls. (You can keep them if you don’t mind an extra roll, it’s really no big deal.) Below are the numbers I use, along with some weapons traits.
A modified attack roll of 20 or more is always a critical hit, and the damage is doubled. This makes even a knife a threat to moderately experienced characters, which I think if more interesting (i.e. lethal).
Your hit dice are a pool. For example, using ‘classic’ B/X D&D rules, a 3rd level fighter keeps 3d8 on their character sheet; a 7th level thief has 7d4.
Optionally, hit dice can be spent and added to attack or damage rolls. (I’ve never used this rule or fear of confusing newbies but I would with gamers.)
When you are hit, spend as many HD from your pool as you want. Roll them, add their scores, and subtract the total from the damage: if the result is more than zero, read the result on the wounds table below. Meaning: you want to beat the damage with the total of the hit dice you choose to roll. (Props to Emmy for inspiring the early version of this table with her horrible wounds rules.)
1-2: You will keep an ugly scar.
3-4: Painful blow. Save to avoid falling unconscious for 1d4 rounds.
5: Bleeding out. Roll one of your HD: you will lose it in that many turns. Keep doing this until bandaged or healed or out of HD (in which case, you die).
6-7: Lose something. Roll d6: 1. Fingers (d4); 2. Hand; 3. Nose; 4. Ear; 5. Eye; 6. Looks. Some rolls may be at a disadvantage.
8: Leg useless. Save to keep it when healed. Can’t run. Disadvantage to agility tasks.
9: Arm useless. Save to keep it when healed. Disadvantage if needing both arms or if it was the dominant hand.
10-11: Head wound. Disadvantage to all rolls. Save or lose 1 memorised spell/spell slot.
12: Dead man walking, 1 + Constitution modifier rounds to live.
13+: Vital organs destroyed, instant death.
All the HD rolled are lost until you rest or get healed (see below). When you are out of HD, read the damage directly on the table. Whatever the result, you must also save with Constitution or Wisdom or die.
Example: Holka is a 4th level dwarf. In a scuffle with a hobgoblin guard, she’s hit by a halberd and takes 8 damage. The player could roll three of her dice and have an excellent chance of shrugging the blow (the average roll for 3d8 is 13.5) but she decides to keep two in case she gets hit again. Bad idea: she rolls 2d8 and gets a total result of 3. The referee subtracts the roll from the damage (8 minus 3 is 5) and looks at the corresponding entry on the wounds table. Holka is now bleeding out. This fight had better end soon.
Other sources of damage
Spells and other non-weapon attacks do fixed damage as well. As a rule, I would use the average value: a 5d6 fireball would do 18 damage for example.
In other cases, like with fatigue, life drain, poison, and other non-wounding damage sources, I just make characters lose hit dice from their pool.
Rest and healing
With six hours of uninterrupted rest, you get your spells back and recover a number of HD equal to half your level, rounded up. In combat, magical healing recovers 1 HD per level of the caster.
Lunchtime Dungeons goes back to hit points
So I’m sticking with good ole HP and damage rolls from my games; the jury is still out about a wounds table vs. a simple roll to stay alive at zero HP. Maybe I’ll use the former in Lunchtime Dungeons and the latter in Dungeonsnack, which I’m trying to keep as minimalistic as I can. (I’m using it for demo purposes rather than full blown “team building with D&D” sessions.)
I really like the wounds system though, so I might use it in another game at some stage. In the meantime, it’s here for you to give your players a meaningful choice in combat – and see their characters lose a limb or two.
Sandbox events are important to some D&D games. In the last few weeks, I have been doing this:
Running a sandbox adventure requires to be aware of a lot of ‘fronts‘ (to borrow a term from Dungeon World): threats, factions, and other moving parts in the world. The archmage who escaped and is now looking for revenge, the bandit queen recruiting her army to march on the town, the Great Astral Conjunction.
In my office team building games, I can’t afford to be too subtle or elaborate with that stuff. Lunchtime Dungeons uses ‘session events’ to make sure something fun happens in the first 20 minutes of every hour-long session. But this requires having a random table handy for each area, or making up a specific event from a roll on my generic table:
So I’ve been experimenting with what I call the Sticky Notes Actions Procedure (or SNAP – I just came up with the name and acronym so it might not stick 😉
I divide a page of my campaign notebook, I create four areas: Here, There, Soon, and Later. The first two are for stuff happening now, the others are for stuff that is still brewing (but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have consequences in the present). This is your SNAP boar (hey actually, it’s quite catchy!).
Then, on a sticky note, I write an idea for each possible event, troublesome NPC, warring faction, environmental hazard, magical phenomenon, etc. Depending on time and inspiration, it can just be a name or short sentence, or something more detailed like a random table. Each note goes to one of the four areas.
At the table, when it’s time to check for an event, I roll d4 and look at the events in the given area. I choose or randomly determine one of these to move up in the general direction of the PCs. I interpret this move as NPC actions and other happenings in the world. The event gets closer, and I think of some warning sign or consequence to include in my session.
Later (4) is for sandbox events brewing that will take place in a while. If I get this result, I move an event to Soon and think about what ripples reach the characters. All out factions war in my photo above would probably show up as dangerous tension on the streets or a bloody skirmish close by.
Soon (3) is for things about to happen. If I get a 3 on the d4, I move the sticky note to either Here or There — whatever is more logical — and I describe how things are getting close. With Barbarians get in trouble, I’d have these NPCs act up in the background, or I’d just describe the consequences of past rowdiness. Maybe the party encounters someone with a black eye they got from a tavern brawl with the barbarians the night before.
There (2), I used for events happening now, but away from the player characters. I move the event to Here and describe how it reaches the characters. For example, the food riot that was taking place in another district is spreading and makes the PCs’ life more difficult.
Here (1) is for events exploding in the characters’ faces. I use this for stuff that has few or no warning signs: landslides, weather, monster encounters and the like.
Between sessions, you can take 5 minutes to review your SNAP board, detailing events according to what happened during the last game, adding or removing notes, etc. Of course, the notes under Here and There may be reorganised when the party changes locations. You might also want to create an entirely new board if the players decide to step through a portal or something. This way you can keep a trace of what was happening in the initial location when they left.
I realise it’s all a bit loosey-goosey, and that it relies on some improv chops. It’s the right amount of prep for me, but I guess you can detail each event in more detail if you need to — just get bigger sticky notes!
For half a century, we nerdmappers (ie, Dungeon Masters) have used graph paper for our homemade dungeon maps. I’m still happy to draw square rooms on blue grids like when I was a kid. But I have this notebook that has inserts of patterns reminiscent of Renaissance coffered ceilings, maybe. I had the idea of using these pages to draw maps, following some of the patterns, as inspiration comes.
These are the ones I’ve made so far (click for full size photos).
I have found a few benefits to this technique:
Even if the map doesn’t make much practical sense, its organic appearance makes it feel more real to the players;
These maps end up being more interesting to explore (if more difficult for the players to map);
Tactical challenges gain in complexity and interest because of all the nooks and crannies;
In a team building context, weird maps encourage teamwork, as players want to use the quirks in the architecture to their advantage;
Drawing these maps didn’t take me longer than regular ones would have (as I was following the patterns and my inspiration), and it was way more fun!
I guess I like odd but believable maps, mostly because I grew up reading Casus Belli magazine. ‘Casus’ was the most influential RPG magazine in 1980s France — and it still is nowadays, despite having needed a few necromantic rituals over the decades. One fondly remembered column was Bâtisses & artifices (Buildings & Stratagems) that described a location with detailed maps, taking pains to keep everything medieval looking. Here are a couple of examples from that time, and also a more recent one. I remember the first column explaining that all castle rooms shouldn’t be 30’x30′ squares.
And while I’m on the subject of French mapmakers, let me mention John Grümph’s Des plans sur la tomette (I’m not even attempting to translate the pun), a lovely little book of medieval maps to use in your games – you should grab it, it’s cheap and contains very little text ; and of course Guillaume Tavernier‘s masterful work. Now this is someone else who works tirelessly to make fantasy middle ages look more interesting!
Do you draw quirky maps? I’d love to see them (and maybe steal them for my games 😉 Share links in the comments!
Edit (24 May): Mystery solved!
I’ve been asked by several of you where did the notebook came from. And my answer was “I don’t know” — I’d picked it up on a rubbish pile when the Fumbally Exchange was moving this winter. Turns out Helen had put it on a different pile (the donations one) but it ended up there in the confusion. Now JammerJun found it on the Laurence King Publishing website (I’d searched there, but there is nothing on their UK site). The US site seems to have more choice than the German one.
I extracted 200 of the 300+ abilities contained in Lunchtime Dungeons to use as a generic table of powers and perks. I plan to use them with a classless, d20-and-d6 version of the system that I’m thinking would work better at events. In the meantime, I’m putting this out in case some of you would have a use for it.
System notes LT means once per (lunch time) session DEF is Armour Class Easy: treat as advantage Hard: treat as disadvantage Hit dice are a pool that you spend to roll against damage or to activate powers. Most abilities should translate if you just roll your hit die type to heal or lose hit points.
Adrenaline: feats of strength are Easy for you, but while your adrenaline is on, everything else is Hard
Alchemy: make one potion every week (working at camp, you can adventure normally). Roll for the potion
Animal feature. You have antlers, claws, hooves, fangs, a tail, or something. Get an extra attack (4 damage)
Appraisal. You can always tell the market value of an item, and may have an idea of the powers of a magical item you hold in your hands
Apprentice or assistant. Roll d6. 1-2 thief, 3-4 fighter, 5 haubitz, 6 trash gnome, batling, or some other weirdo.
Arcane shield (LT). Sacrifice one or more HD to negate 5 points of magical damage per HD spent
Armour destroyer (LT). Your damage applies to your opponent’s DEF
Assassinate (LT). An unaware foe you hit must save or die
Augury (LT). See your immediate future. The more time and resources (incense, drugs, sacrifice), the farther and more clearly you can see
Average looking: you fit in most social situations
Backstab: double your damage when surprising your target
Bane of Chaos (LT). Save to dispel or weaken a magical effect that isn’t divine/clerical in origin.
Battle master (LT). In a fight, whoever does what you say has Easy rolls until your next turn. Those who don’t have Hard ones
Beast of burden: carry an extra 12 large items
Berserker: double damage (LT). Always attack the nearest person. Save to end.
Blackjack. You can choose to do no damage when hitting a surprised target. They must save to stay conscious
Bladesong. Gain a random spell. I can only be cast along with a mêlée attack using a weapon. The referee may want to reinterpret the spell’s description.
Blessed. The gods pay attention to you – they will save you, just the once
Blessing ritual: affects 10 persons or square metres per hour spent (up to a maximum of your level in hours). Blessing effects vary
Bloodthirsty: +1 to damage, cumulative, for every kill you made in this fight
Boom! When using gunpowder, add +2 to the damage
Brutal blow (LT). Add the result of a d6 to attack and damage
Burrowing. You can burrow through soft dirt at half your walking pace. Also you can survive on rocks and water
Call lightning/fire/ice/something once per week. Level times d6 damage, to be spread as you want
Cat friend. A talking but untrustworthy cat
Caustic blood: 1 damage to whoever cuts you
Cave goat. Roll to keep your balance, run on steep slopes, and generally climb like a goblin.
Chaos magician. You can memorise a spell called Xa0§. When you cast it, roll at random on the referee’s spell list
Charge (LT). Run a small distance for double damage
Charmer: bewitch someone (LT) (save allowed)
Cheat death on one occurrence. Whatever the cause of death, you survived somehow. You were probably left for dead by your friends.
Circle of protection (LT). Choose one between evil, chaos, an element, etc. Lasts until the physical circle is broken, or until you stop chanting
Cleave: on a kill, attack again
Comfort (LT). By putting people at ease, you let them make another save against an ongoing effect. If there is time for a cup of tea, the save is Easy
Command element (LT). Choose one of air, fire, water, earth. A volume of it equal to your level in cubic metres must obey your one-word command
Commander (LT). Give brief orders to your allies: one of their rolls this turn is Easy, as long as they do what you say.
Connections: know someone in a settlement (LT)
Convert (LT). Spend time with someone or show off your deity’s powers. They must save or convert on the spot.
Cook. Your warm meals let people heal 1 HD overnight
Counterspell (LT). The caster you target must save. If they fail, their spell doesn’t work
Cower (LT). Your defence is doubled when you hide behind of under a hard surface: door, shield, table, knight…
Cure disease (LT). Your touch can cure the blind, the lame, and the afflicted. They must save for it to work.
Danger sense: saves where you can avoid danger are Easy
Deadly brawler. Your unarmed attacks do 4 damage
Defensive fighting: make a Hard attack and add d6 to your DEF until your next turn
Dimension door (LT). Hop to a place you can see within 10 metres times your level
Disarm (LT). Instead of doing damage on a hit, make your opponent drop something. Save allowed if they have more HD than you.
Disguise. Roll to impersonate specific people
Divine retribution (LT). An individual who refuses to follow a dictate of your faith is cursed (all rolls are Hard for a day).
Dodge. Add d6 to your DEF when doing nothing else but dodging
Domestic animals trust you. A save may be needed for vicious beasts
Don’t shed blood vow. You attacks with all blunt weapons are Easy
Drill sergeant (LT). Give an order to an ally: they get to take another action immediately if they do what you say.
Drink a pint of hard liquor to heal 1 HD. Save to avoid intoxication (most rolls are Hard)
Escape artist. You get to save to get out of bonds, and your knots are difficult to untie
Ester. You are followed by Ester, an annoying but knowledgeable gnome
Exorcism. This is a spell that takes d12 hours to cast. If the possessing or haunting spirit saves, it can attack you before the end of the ritual.
Extra appendage (third arm, prehensile tail, etc.). Gain an attack
Familiar: 1 cat, 2 raven, 3 toad, 4 bat, 5 rat, 6 something exotic or weird of your choosing. 1 HD, empathic communication, sense magic
Fanatic: saves and attacks when fighting one type of enemies are Easy
Far sight. You have eagle eyes, literally
Fencing move (LT). Someone taught you a secret technique: double damage on one attack with a specific weapon
Fey fletcher (LT). You can spend an hour to bless a missile or thrown weapon. It now does double damage and is considered magical
Fighter’s instinct (LT). Interrupt an opponent – you get to act on their initiative as well as on of yours
Footpad: you always walk silently when unencumbered and wearing light armour
Footwork. When unencumbered and only using a one-handed weapon, you get +2 to DEF.
Forager: find food (LT)
Force of nature: +2 damage but break stuff on a 1 on the d20
Former cutpurse, missing two fingers but your sleight of hand feats are Easy
Friends in low places. You can talk with vermin (rats, cockroaches, flies, etc.)
Gadgeteer (LT). Produce a small mechanical item (wind up soldier, drill, smoke bomb, etc.) you made in your spare time.
Gain one extra attack with a weapon of your choice
Genius musician: play an instrument to get Easy reaction rolls (LT)
Glowing red eyes: you have perfect darkvision
Glutton. If you eat d6 extra rations at camp, you recover that number of extra HD overnight
Golemist: you give life to sculptures of stone or metal if you spend a week carving runes on them. This is permanent. You can do it once now, and once again every time you level up
Good luck charm (LT). Get anyone to reroll any die. The referee can veto this power, but they must give you 100 XP per level
Great swimmer, even when encumbered
Group healing (LT). Your allies regain a number of hit dice equal to your level. Distribute them as you like
Hard to kill. When you are out of HD, you can take damage once without having to save to avoid death
Harmless looking. You only get attacked if you act menacingly
Headshot (LT). If you hit someone on the head (adding 4 to their DEF) with a missile attack, they must save to stay conscious.
Hex (LT). Curse a target with something gross: if they don’t save, all their rolls are hard for as many hours as you have levels
Hide in nature. If you stay still, you’re only noticed on a 1.
Hunter: find game (LT)
Hyper awareness. You can never be surprised.
I’m out! (LT). You can escape anywhere, possibly just you, probably at a steep price
Identify. You can roll d6 to know the powers, and possibly the history, of a magical item
Improved critical hit: double damage on an attack of 19
Kick/trip (LT). After attacking a suitable target, they are pushed or swiped off their feet. Save allowed if they have more HD than you.
Kleptomaniac (LT): find something mundane in your pockets
Knife swarm (LT). Throw as many extra small weapons as you have levels (attack separately)
Lifeforce blade: spend 1 HD before the attack to double damage
Lifeforce shield: spend 1 HD and add +3 to DEF for the rest of the fight
Linguist: roll when encountering a new idiom to understand its bases
Lord over Nature (LT). Save to alter an aspect of the weather, the land around you, or a wild animal, making it tamer and closer to civilisation.
Luck siphon: people next to you make hard saves, but you always have easy saves
Lucky (LT). Roll any die again.
Magic eater. You can heal by consuming the magic held in enchanted items. Recover 1 HD for a wand charge or potion, d6 HD if you cancel the magic of a permanent item for a year
Magic parasite (LT). Steal a spell by taking life force from a target. They lose 1 HD
Magic sight. Roll to see magic and identify spells and magical items.
Magic weapon. Your relentless killing has made your favourite weapon magical. The referee decides how
Magical item. One of your possessions turns to be magical. If you lose it, it happens again.
Make a scroll once per week (working at camp, you can adventure normally). Roll for the spell if you don’t know any
Mark/curse an enemy (LT): 4 ongoing damage until they make a save
Marksman. If you don’t move during your turn, an attack with a missile or thrown weapon is Easy.
Master bullshitter (LT). Convince someone of something – they get to save if the lie is too big.
Member of a thieves’ guild. You know how to navigate the slums.
Metamorphosis (LT). You force an inanimate item into the shape of another for d20 days. Its mass remains unchanged
Mighty throw (LT). Any weapon you throw, balanced or otherwise, does double damage.
Murderer’s curse: blood on your skin can only be washed with holy water.
Mysteries of the Gods. You can roll to know obscure arcane subjects.
Ninja trick. Using a smoke bomb or other major diversion, you can roll to hide or escape
Noblefolk: two of your items are worth ten times their price
Nomad: most physical feats are Easy when mounted
Nose for evil. You can sniff evil magic
Ogre slayer: attacks against ogre sized humanoids are Easy
Omen. Come up with a vision, tell the referee. They will make it happen, at least partially. This only works once.
On your feet soldier! (LT). After someone is wounded in a fight, give them a pep talk as your main action: they recover the HD they just used
Once vs many: +2 DEF when outnumbered
Opportunist: you get an extra turn after everyone else (LT)
Para-ubiquity (LT). You found a loop in the corpus of universal laws that lets you appear anywhere for d100 seconds. Meanwhile, your original body stays where it is, defenceless
Petra. You have a bodyguard called Petra
Planeshift (LT). Open a portal to another plane of existence for as many people as your level. A save is required to get exactly where you want and/or avoid encounters
Poison expertise. Roll identify and make poisons.
Polyglot. You speak d4 extra languages
Powerful ritual. Learn a spell you can only cast it as a ritual. Roll d20: that’s the number of hours it takes to cast, and the level at which you cast it
Professional brawler: unarmed attacks are Easy for you (damage 2)
Prophecy. A prophet named Ophelius follows your every step
Protect (LT). Add d6 to and ally’s DEF
Protector. You have a powerful patron. Talk to the referee
Push your luck. On a 1 on the d20, you have the option to push the roll. A failure is always a catastrophe
Raised by red goblins: all attacks with guns are Easy for you
Raised in the worst of environments: immune to disease
Rally (LT): use your turn to get anyone to roll anything Easily
Read idioms. Roll to attempt casting spells from books and scrolls (a failure means a catastrophe).
Read lies (LT). People have to save to lie to you convincingly
Realistic illusions (LT). Make something appear that isn’t there. The illusion lasts d6 turns
Regenerate. Recover 1 HD per hour. Mutilations grow back in d20 days.
Reincarnation. If you die, you are reincarnated within the week. Save when this happens. The better the roll, the closer your new form is to your old one.
Remove hex. A cursed individual who atones in the way you tell them to can save to get rid of any curse. Referee must greenlight the atonement act.
Resistant to magic. Your saves vs magic are Easy
Rêverie (LT). Spend 1 HD and receive a prophetic dream or vision. You get to ask the referee one question and they will describe what you see
Riposte: once per turn, when someone misses you, you get to attack them for free
Ritualist. You know one spell you can cast as a ritual
Rune trap. Learn a spell you can only cast on a surface. It is triggered by touch or proximity, your choice
Sacrifice. Spend an hour to ritually kill a creature before asking the gods for a miracle. Roll as many d6 as the victim’s HD. On a 6, something happens.
Save your skin! You always outrun your friends when fleeing
Scout out (LT). You can recon an area or room while avoiding attention, traps, or an obstacle (choose one)
Second wind (LT). Recover half your hit dice if you spend a turn resting
See auras. You can see magical auras on people
Sense of smell like a hound’s
Shadow ninja: disappear in shadows (LT)
Sharpshooter (LT). One attack with a ranged weapon is Easy. No need to aim.
Shield expert. Double the DEF bonus of any shield
Sleepless in the dungeon. You only need 2 hours sleep instead of 6 to be fully rested
Sniper. Take one full turn to aim and, on your next turn, your shot can’t miss
Song of the ancestors (LT). Any ally within earshot gets one Easy roll this turn. Alternatively, you can curse enemies with a Hard roll
Sorcerer’s tongue. You speak the tongue of one type of people, animals, plants, or even things (but not materials)
Spider-friend. You befriended a dog-sized spider, shy but friendly
Spider-person, spider-person! Roll to climb steep surfaces with no equipment.
Splinter: sacrifice your weapon or shield to ignore the damage from one attack
Spot the weak points in a structure. The referee will let you know what it takes to breach a wall, tear down a tower, collapse a bridge, etc.
Stabbity stab stab. When wielding a dagger or knife, you gain an extra attack
Stories of yesteryear (LT). At camp, tell a story related to where you are or where you’re going. The referee will answer one of your questions.
Strong defences. Saves against poison and disease are Easy
Stubborn endurance. You are never tired after a long effort such as a forced march or even a battle (as long as you weren’t wounded)
Subconscious spell. Get a random spell: you can cast it very slowly while doing something else, as long as you are conscious. It takes d12 hours.
Summon birds (LT): a swarm worth 1 HD per level helps for an hour. It’s not suicidal and may not fight for you
Summoner (LT). Choose one type of a supernatural creature. Call one to your aid: it has as many HD as your level, minus one per ability (flight, exotic attacks, etc.).
Supernatural empathy: you tend to pick up on strong emotions
Tactics expert (LT). Gain insight on enemies’ weaknesses, routines, etc.
Talk to the dead/spirits/demons/ghosts. Choose one type of creature who you can contact
Talk to trees (LT). Roll to talk to wooden objects.
Talk to wild animals. Choose between woodland mammals, water creatures, and all birds. You can now speak and understand their language.
Tally. Add together the number of monsters of every type you kill. For every 10, you get 1 in 6 chance of predicting their behaviour
Temporal shift (LT). You are less tethered to linear time and can phase out of it for a second. Use this to avoid a single attack or source of damage.
Thick skin: defence 12 when unarmoured
Thief master. Choose a thievery activity (pick pockets, disarm traps, sneak, climb, etc.) All rolls you make for this are Easy
Tough skin. Get an extra hit die.
Tough soul. When rolling on the wounds table, reroll all 1s on your hit dice
Tracker. Rolls are Easy for you. When you find tracks, you always know the number or type of creatures.
Trained acrobat: all acrobatic feats are Easy
Trained fighter: attacks with a weapon of your choice are Easy
Transmogrification (LT). You can assume another physical shape. Decide which one now. The more powerful it is, the harder it is to retain your own personality
Traveller: you always know something about a place you visit
Treasure sniff. Roll to detect precious metals and gems
Trick shots. When using a missile or thrown weapon, you attack is Easy if you don’t do any damage. Instead, you can disarm, trip, pin, etc. The target may be allowed a save
Turn. Choose a type of creature you can repel with a symbol and imprecations
Two-weapon fighting: get an extra Hard attack with an off-hand weapon
Visibly half-demon. Immune to fire and common folk sympathy
War cry (LT). Force a morale roll.
Way in (LT). You know or are able to guess an easier way to get inside a place
Weird metabolism. You need one ration a week
Welcoming parley (LT). If your offer good food or drink to a sentient creature, add d6 to the reaction roll
Well educated: feats of knowledge are Easy for you
Wild child: any action in nature is Easy, basic language skills
Winged weirdo. You can fly, but people treat you like shit.
Wizard. You know a spell – choose from the list the referee shows you.
Word of command (LT). As many targets as your level follow your one-word order for d6 turns. Save cancels
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