|The Shadow of Janooth|
|Janooth is a vivid, iridescent green bird, the size of a condor,
which flies high and never alights. It is said that if you fall beneath the shadow of
Janooth, you will be able to make a wish - but that you must do so before the shadow
passes away from you. This is one of those bits of folklore that's very hard to test, of
course, but it happens to be true. It's only fair to let the players come across the
legend before they come across the bird, but place a long interval between the two events
so that they won't be expecting it. Pick a character at random and give him, say, 3
seconds to formulate his wish - and grant it exactly as it was phrased at the end
of that time, even if in mid-sentence. If they fluff it, they can curse themselves for the
rest of time, as the likelihood of encountering Janooth twice is almost non-existent
(though it might be fun to catch them off guard with a second fly-by and watch them fluff
that one too). Locals, incidentally, will often seal an oath with the words "by the
Shadow of Janooth".
Another option is to let them see the bird coming and have them scramble over each other to reach the shadow. SP saving rolls all round.
|Mushrooms and toadstools grow all over the place. As their effects
on the body are largely chemical-based, it can be argued that no magic will determine
those effects in advance. (Certainly not an Omnipotent Eye spell.) There are (for
our purposes) an almost infinite number of species, to be found in clumps of one species.
Allow the delvers to find a clump or two when they stop to camp, each containing D4
mushrooms. Some of them may have permanent effects on characters - these will effect a
chemical change in the delver's body which can only occur once (ie. no repeat rides for
cumulative effect). Roll the dice indicated on each of the tables below for the
characteristics of the species. I've included more positive than negative effects so the
players aren't put off.
These effects might equally be applied to any potion, fountain or other one-off oddity.
|The Fiery Wombat|
|Locals tell ridiculous stories warning of flame-breathing wombats. (Preferably delvers should hear of this from a barely credible village idiot.) In reality the fiery wombat is indistinguishable in appearance from the more common, ordinary wombat. It is docile and solitary, but will fight if attacked. However, unlike its commoner cousin, it has large retractable claws and mighty sharp teeth, giving it an MR of 600; but of slightly greater importance is its intrinsic ability to cast a Hellbomb Bursts spell every combat round, so long as its MR remains above 300. (This action costs the wombat 36 MR points.) Rather unfortunately, it also explodes with a Hellbomb Bursts one minute after death - probably while the delvers are cutting off its claws to make a necklace...|
|Muddy Waters Swamp|
|This swamp exudes vaguely magical, slightly foul gases. These work
upon the minds of the delvers: they will find themselves wondering how cold the mud is and
what it would feel like to be immersed in it. As the influence is subtle and cumulative,
only the wisest and most experienced individuals can easily ignore it. For each hour spent
in or passing through the swamp each character must make a saving roll on the average of
IQ and CHR. The level of the roll will be the number of hours passed in the miasma. To
take into account the delver's experience, they can add twice their own level to the roll.
For all but the freshest adventurers, therefore, the swamp is unlikely to be dangerous for
the first hour or two; but it takes three hours to cross the swamp on foot over the
shortest route, and that's if you don't get lost...
Anybody failing the roll will slip away from their companions and ease themselves down into the thick mud, with a feeling of ecstatic anticipation. If they are not instantly rescued, there will remain no trace by which to follow them. However, D6 days later the delver will emerge somewhere on the outskirts of the swamp. Their equipment is still with them, but likely to be rotted or rusted to uselessness. The delver him/herself has been metamorphosed by the swamp and is now made entirely of grey mud. S/he need not eat, but must wholly immerse in water for one hour each week - more often if travelling in hot regions. Effects on PAs: IQ x 3/4, CON x 2, DEX x 2/3, CHR x 1/2. Ordinary diseases and drowning will not affect the character, and the aforementioned submersion in water will restore all CON - even regrowing lost limbs if a little clay is thrown in the tub! Prolonged proximity to fire is very bad news for the character, though, who may well end up as a pile of dry flakes...
In fact, the Muddy Waters Swamp is a sluggishly sentient entity, and though the delver doesn't know it, s/he is its means of reproduction. Every time this character passes through another swamp or marsh, s/he must repeat the saving roll regime outlined above - but this time it is the implanted instincts of the Muddy Waters Swamp that is being fought by the delver. If s/he fails, the delver will again disappear into the waters - but rather than later emerging, s/he will slowly turn the entire swamp into a sentient, magical replica of the mother swamp, infused with the delver's now rather woeful personality.
|Keep the weather consistent in above-ground
adventures without having to think about it. The column on the left lists the weather at
the moment; roll a D% and look across the appropriate row to find the bracket which
includes your roll. The column heading is the weather for the next hour or so. After a few
turns, roll again. This table takes no account of seasons, so use your intelligence. It
has also been inspired by the British experience of weather, rather than the slightly less
interesting Los Angeles model (roll D%: on 1-100, sunny).
Rules of Thumb!
Updated 05/01/00 by Jason.