100 Things to Find in the Deep Dark Woods

 

Image by gorchakov.artem.

When I posted my 100 Creepy Things to Find in the Necromancer’s Lair post on Reddit, a user named /u/misomiso82 asked me to do a table of things to find in the deep dark woods.

There’s a reason medieval tales are full of stories of the forest being frightening places where only the bravest — or most foolish — people dare tread.

Below are 100 things you might find in the deep dark woods — many of them horrific and terrifying, some just odd, and even a few that are peaceful and helpful. Pick and choose as you like, or roll d100 and find the result to add an element to the next forest your players wander through.

Click here to see the table.

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100 Unique Spellbooks For Your Campaign

 

Image by David Goehring.

I like unusual magic. Oddly specific magic. Magic that tends to offer more questions than answers. You could tell your players they find a spellbook containing a fireball spell. Or you could tell them they find a book that can only be opened when rubbed with ash, and always leaves the reader smelling of smoke.

Below are 100 unique spellbooks you can use in your campaign. Some of them are dark, ancient, and mysterious. Some are more commericial, mass-produced trite. Some of them are frauds. Many of them offer suggestions of what types of spells might be found within, but no game-specific spells are mentioned, so you can easily tailor them to your particular game.

Pick and choose as you like, or roll d100 and select one at random from the list.

Click here to see the table of spellbooks.

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100 Creepy Things to Find in the Necromancer’s Lair

Man, necromancers are cool. Who doesn’t love resurrecting the dead as your immortal slaves? But adventuring through a necromancer’s lair can be a little boring. Ho-hum rooms full of ho-hum skeletons. Let’s liven things up a bit, shall we?

Image by Jørgen Håland

Below you’ll find a table of 100 creepy things to find in the necromancer’s lair. Most of them take the form of rooms, corridors, or areas chock full of the creepy, the unsettling, and the downright weird. To use the table, just roll d100 and find the corresponding entry.

Random Lairs
If you want an entirely random lair for your necromancer, follow these steps:

  • roll 3d6 to find the number of areas the lair has
  • roll on the table below to figure out which specific areas those are
  • connect the areas with corridors or filler rooms as needed.

Click here to see the table.

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The Heart of the World

This post contains the official origin story for my Warp Walkers campaign setting. Check out the main Campaign Setting page for more.

Image by tableatny.

On Yxra, there’s a secret buried deep beneath the ground. Our Earth and other planets may have cores of molten metal or rock, but Yxra’s core is alive. In fact, it’s a colossal, beating heart — the Heart of Ephre, the goddess who birthed the universe.

Click here to read about the Birth of Yxra, the Helix, and Y’hulohath.

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Keys of the Threshold and Wolf Bone Dice

Just a pair of magic items for your campaign.


Photo by Stephen Bowler

Keys of the Threshold

There are five iron keys on this keyring. They seem perfectly normal and don’t have any unusual insignia or markings. When one is inserted into the lock of a door, the key automatically resizes itself and fits perfectly; however, the keys do not actually unlock any doors.

Instead, when inserted into an unlocked door and the door is opened, a magical effect occurs across the threshold of the door, depending on the key used.

The Innkeeper’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door feels refreshed as if they had eaten a hearty meal and had a good night’s sleep.

The Blacksmith’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds their weapons freshly balanced and sharpened, bindings tightened, granting a +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls for 4 hours.

The Librarian’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds their thoughts clear of distraction and their memory sharpened, granting a +2 circumstance bonus to Knowledge checks for the next 24 hours.

The Courier’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds that their loads are lightened; for the next 24 hours, calculate their carrying capacity as if their Strength were 2 points higher.

The Cobbler’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds that their shoes have been shined, mended, and laced exceptionally well. They benefit from 5ft increased movement speed for the next hour.

Once used, the keys’ magic effect on the threshold lasts for ten minutes. There is no limit to the number of people who can cross the threshold and receive the boon during that time, but no door can benefit from more than one key, and no individual can receive the boon from a particular key more than once in 24 hours.

Once used, the key disappears, but it reappears back on the keyring after 7 days.

When first obtained, there is no indication which of the keys are which, but the keys retain their shape and color once used, so the same key may be identifiable in the future after some trial and error.

Finally, the keyring has one additional hidden bit of magic. If a masterwork but non-magical iron key is added to the keyring, it becomes imbued with magic of its own, becoming a Gambler’s Key.

The Gambler’s Key: once used, anyone who passes through the door finds themselves feeling confident and optimistic. The individual gains a luck point, which may be retained for no longer than 24 hours. After rolling a Fortitude, Reflex, or Will save, but before the result is declared, the individual may cash in their luck point to gain a +1 luck bonus on their roll.

Only one Gambler’s Key may be made in this way. Additional mundane or masterwork keys added to the ring function only as normal keys.


Wolf Bone Dice

Photo by US Fish & Wildlife Service

This is a modified version of a 5e magic item originally posted at Tabletop Litza!, tweaked to D&D 3.5 and posted here with permission.

These two dice are carved from wolf bone and marked one through six.  Once per day as a full-round action, you may cast the dice on the ground and the resulting number of wolf pups will appear in the nearest unoccupied spaces.  They are Tiny Animals with 2 hit points each. AC of 12, and can deal 1 piercing damage with a bite attack (+0).  They will immediately want to make you happy and are particularly good at gathering, scouting, nuzzling, and squeaky howling.

The pups act independently of you, but always obey your commands, rolling their own initiative in combat and acting on their own turn.  Once per turn, you can use a free action to mentally command one, or to issue the same command to all of the pups.  While the pups are within 100 feet of you, you can use a standard action to see through the eyes of one and hear what it hears, during which time you are deaf and blind to your own senses.  The pups last an hour unless you dismiss them (a standard action) or they drop to zero hit points, at which point they disappear, leaving behind no physical form.

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A Random Statue Generator For Your Dungeon Mastering Toolbox

Statues make wonderful dungeon decoration for your Dungeons and Dragons game. They can help you explore the lore of your world, be a source of treasure and mystery for your adventurers, or even be the key to a secret passage or a strange magical effect. This generator can produce more than 3 million unique statues and monuments. Below you’ll find a randomly generated statue. If you’d like to roll another, just refresh the page.

Click here to see the generator in action.

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Warp Chips: A House Rule For Collaborative Storytelling

Dungeons and Dragons emphasizes the Dungeon Master’s role as the creator and impresario of the game. The DM creates the world, creates the NPCs, creates the story. The players, for the most part, are only really responsible for their own characters, and maybe a few related sub-NPCs like familiars, cohorts, or animal companions.

I like to introduce a small element of collaborative storytelling into the game by giving my players a resource they can expend to influence story points or newly introduced NPCs.

The rules below are draped in language that integrates them closely into my campaign setting, but really, it’s a completely system agnostic house rule. You could easily call these Plot Points, Fate Chips, Destiny Tokens, anything you like. I call them Warp Chips, because the Warp is a thing.

This house rule only affects the development of the story and the world. It doesn’t have any direct impact on game mechanics, so you can easily make use of it in any game system.

Click here to read about Warp Chips.

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