Friday 27 December 2013

Cavern Generator

Here is a generator for a set of Caves, Caverns, or as I like to call them Adventure Holes. 

It was built for +Alex Chalk 's mountainy hex crawl which is "rocky and lightly forested in parts". Caves can go anywhere though and if you don't have caves in your campaign your're doing it wrong. 

I prefer my description and content tables vague, so even if you get the same or similar combination allow your mind to fill in the gaps and make up something different each time. 

Further to that, you will find reference to an "Aspect table" on some results, this is my catch all inspiration table that you can use to jolt your creative organs into spewing out some further details about a result. You will find this table at the bottom of the page.

Some of the tables are slightly obsessive, featuring things like number of exits and exit/entrance locations. This is mostly because I wanted to generate some excitement in traversing between caverns. Also I think Alex wants to have a focus on climbing and vertical challenges in his campaign and the exits and linking tunnels give scope for this. 

If I was using this at the table to generate things on the fly I would probably only roll on: 

  • General/Overall Vibe of Cavern System
  • Specific Descriptors of Individual Caverns
  • Cavern Content
(Thanks +Arnold K. for getting the ball rolling with the Cavern Entrances [ I slightly added to these and d100'ified because I have a total boner for d100's]) 

Cavern Generator:

Overall Cavern System:

Cavern System Entrance: 

0 - 10) Broad, classic entrance, sunlight floods first cavern
11 - 19) Narrow crevice, no fatties allowed
20 - 28) Steep hole, tumbling or rock fall risk
29 - 38) Vertical hole/cliff down
39 - 48) Covered in ferns or other vegetation 
49 - 47) Menacing wasp, insect or other pest nest/hive covering entrance
48 - 56) Entrance visible but mostly blocked by dirt or debris 
57 - 66) Suspicious signs of habitation
67 - 76) Entrance d10 x 10' off the ground
77 - 86) Slippery with guano or other droppings  
87 - 95) Mountain stream exits here, cavern system filled with streams and pools
96 - 99) Worked stone steps

Total Number of Caverns:

0 - 15) 1
16 - 40) 2
41 - 60) 3
61 - 75) 4
76 - 90) 5
91 - 99) 6

Shape of Caverns:

0 - 24) Pit (All exits can be Vertical or Steep Descents)
25 - 51) Domed (All exits can be Vertical or Steep Ascents)
52 - 80) Rectangular
81 - 90) Spherical
91 - 99) Winding Tunnel (Convert the size of the Cavern to a long winding 10' x 10' tunnel)

Light Source In Cavern System:

0 - 10) Lots of natural light
11- 30) Very dim natural light
31 - 90) Pitch black
91 - 99) Lit by an unnatural light source (could be something spooky or might just be torches, roll on the Aspect table for inspiration).

General/Overall Vibe of Cavern System:

0 - 2) The caverns are a living thing. The walls are fleshy, there is evidence of veins, tongues, teeth, etc.
3 - 5) Lava, very hot, pools and streams of the stuff.  
5 - 13) Crystals or crystalline minerals protruding from walls.
14- 21) Veins of attractive looking minerals.
22 - 29) Soft looking, rolling rocks and boulders (probably Granite)
30 - 38) Sandy and porous rock (probably Limestone)
39 - 47) Rock type specific to campaign area (you know it best, or roll on Aspect Table)
48 - 57) Wet caverns, filled with lots of pools and dripping stalactites.
58 - 66) Roots protruding through rock, lots of veins 
67 - 75) Smooth Marble
76 - 80) Cavern walls and ceilings covered in markings, symbols or graffiti  
81 - 85) An abundance of vegetation, mostly ferns and Fungi  
86 - 90) Seemingly abandoned humanoid habitations;  beds, shacks, firepits, rags, refuse, graffiti, furs, etc
91 - 95) Seemingly abandoned animal habitation; nests, skins, fur, hair, eggs, holes, droppings, etc. 
96 - 99) Ruins, protruding from walls or filling caverns (Roll a d%, ruins are: 0- 20) human, 21 - 41)dwarf, 42- 62) Rockman, 63 - 83) Elven, 84 - 99) Mysterious other)

Specific Caverns:

Size of Cavern:

0 - 10) Tiny 10' x 10'
11 - 30) Small : 30' x 40'
31 - 60) Medium: 50' x 50'
61 - 75) Large: 70' x 70'
76 - 99) Humongous: 100' x 100'

Number of Exits: Keep making exits until you have reached your Number of Caverns quota. Unused exits can link to other caverns to give that cavern extra exits. Alternatively you can make the caverns link however the hell you want.

0 - 37) 1
38 - 75) 2
76 - 99) 3

Exit Location:

0 - 12) On the lowest part of the floor
13- 26) On the highest point of the ceiling
27 - 50) Left of Original Entrance
51- 75) Right of Original Entrance
76 - 99) Opposite Original Entrance

Exit Ascent/Descent and Length (Linking Tunnel): Lengths may or may not be useful depending on the emphasis on the danger of climbing.

0 - 16) Vertical Ascent (cliff) 1d10 x 10' high
17 - 31) Steep Ascent, 1d10 X 10' long (Dex. check chance of stumbling and falling backwards)
32 - 46) No linking tunnel, caverns open up to directly next to each other
47 - 69) Flat, 1d10 x 10' long
70 - 84 ) Steep Descent, 1d10 x 10' long (Dex. check chance of stumbling and falling forwards)
85 - 99)Vertical Descent (cliff), 1d10 x 10' deep

Features of Linking Tunnel:

0 - 8) Tiny tunnel (humans will have to crawl/squeeze tunnel is human waist high)
9 - 20) Small tunnel (Maximum 1 person abreast)
21 - 30) Dry, dusty rock (no special features)
31 - 39) Slippery, wet or otherwise moldy rock
40 - 48) A stream/river (waterfall on cliff up or down)
49 - 58) Hard, jagged crystalline minerals formation (great for climbing, alternatively may cut climbing ropes)
59 - 68) Bats, insects or other assorted pests (will rush past the party, probably at the worst possible time)
69- 78) Vegetation (most likely mushrooms and ferns, may make finding foot/hand holes harder for climbing)
79 - 85) Change of light condition (re-roll on light table)
86 - 95) Old, used ropes or hanging vines/roots.
96 - 99) A trap (tumbling rocks, hidden spike pit, shooting darts, etc)

Entrance Location in Next Cavern:

0 - 17) Top
18 - 35) Bottom
36 - 53) North
54- 71) East
72 - 85) South
86 - 99) West

Specific Descriptors of Individual Caverns (Roll for Each):

0 -5) Smoke or gas (could do something nasty, helpful, or weird. Roll on Aspect table)
5 - 10) Overgrown vegetation choke this cavern (mushrooms/ferns/roots that must be hacked to continue)
11 - 14) Suspicious mushrooms or cavern fruit (could be benign, valuable or harmful. Roll on Aspect Table)
15 - 20) Weird noise or smell (Roll on Aspect Table)
21 - 25) Statue or statues (Roll on Aspect Table)
26 - 30) Viewing platform of forest/mountain (if an Ascended Cavern) viewing platform of ridiculous huge cavern (if in a Descended Cavern)
31 - 35) Large whirlpool
36 - 40) Humongous crystal (Roll on Aspect Table)
41 - 45) Honeycombed with holes and drops (in ceiling or floor, probably deadly or could lead to another cavern)
46 - 50) Cavern cut in half by crevice of a very deep nature
51 - 55) Lots of candles or assorted religious paraphernalia
56 - 60) Stalactites/stalagmite maze
61 - 65) Stalactite/stalagmite Pillars
66 - 70) Hordes of vermin
71 - 75) Unusually smooth walls, floors and ceilings. The stone has been polished.
76 - 80) Graveyard or Burial Ground
81-85) Large well-constructed nest or burrow
86-88) Large well-constructed hideout, shack or mini-fort
89 - 90)Altar (roll on Aspect Table)  
91 - 92) Gathering place (roll on Aspect Table)
93 -94) Floating Rocks
95 - 96) One side of the cavern has an elaborate and huge piece of art (painting, carving,etc. Roll on Aspect Table)   
97 - 98) The ceiling opens to the outside world. The cliff separating outside and the cavern floor may be very, very tall. Sunlight floods the cavern.
99) Climate Change cavern (Very hot, very cold, very wet, etc)

Cavern Content (Roll for each):

0 -8) Wandering Monster, aggressive
9 - 17) Wandering Monster, aggressive (holds or guards treasure)
18 - 30) Empty
31 - 39) Wandering Monster, willing to parley
40 - 48) Treasure
49 - 50) Hidden Treasure
51 - 56) Lunatic, hermit or bard
57 - 59) Holy people, monk, nun or priest 
60 - 64) Bandits, degenerates or mutants.
65 - 70) Spelunkers, treasure hunters or other adventurers
71 - 75) Meditating, celebrating or studying Rockmen
76 - 83) Dwarfs mining, burrowing or building
84 - 89) Human geological survey crew, miners or other industrial group
90 - 95) Animals
96 - 99) Cultists, con artist or thief

Aspect Table: 

000-9) Good/holy/light
10-19) Air/ethereal/wind
20-29) Tiny/invisible/intangible
30/39) Value/thought/internal organs and reflection
40-49) Water/equalization/cleansing
50-59) Wild/bestial/nature
60-69) Fire/destruction/limbs and external action
70-79) Monstrous/gargantuan/enormous
80-89) Deep/earth/solid
90-99) Evil/profane/darkness

Monday 23 December 2013

Flatter Crikemass and His Oily, Black Goblins

Flatter Crikemass   

Alignment: Chaotic   
Movement: 60' (40' when traveling through tight spaces such as chimneys, walls and pipes)
Armor Class: 
HP: 40 
Attacks: 2 (Pine Tree Dart, and Bellowing Howl)
Damage: Pine Tree Darts are a ranged attack, Flatter Crikemass throws a green dart in the shape of a pine tree. Any one hit by this is required to make a Save Vs. Poison or be stunned for 1d10 rounds. Bellowing Howl is a spell like ability that effects any one in a 40' distance in front of Flatter Crikemass, doing d8 of subdual damage (meaning HP lost from bellowing howl will be recovered as soon as the encounter with Flatter Crikemass ends, even if knocked unconscious) and making any Listening checks impossible for d6 days.     
Save: As fighter level 4 
Morale: 8 
XP: None, you just ruined Christmas.

"Peat", Black Horned Goblin

Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 40' (20' when traveling through tight spaces such as chimneys, walls and pipes).
Armour Class: 7
HD: 2
Attacks: 2 (Sack of Stolen Goods and Horns)
Damage: Sack of Stolen Goods: 1d6, Horns: 1d8
Save: As fighter level 2
Morale: 6
XP: 100



From the Libram Arcanus Conscientia, held at the Black Library of The City:
During the winter months northern towns and hamlets have been known to report unseasonal explosions of trade and commerce. This bizarre occurrence, happening in locations that often have been without sunlight for months, is accompanied by a general atmosphere of anxiety and mania. Town streets and squares, abandoned for weeks, are filled with maddened citizens clutching gaudy baubles and rushing to see acquaintances and relatives that they strive to ignore at all other times of their lives. Merchants report mysterious packages arriving to their stores. These packages are filled with useless, but pretty, junk. Even more mysterious is the fervor in which the maddened townspeople purchase said junk.

The events come to a climax, and end shortly after, on the night in which a red, bearded man breaks into the homes of the local aristocracy and  places masses of shiny gifts for the noble children. These gifts are coated in a thin, film of oil. The oil dissipates quickly after being handled by the children. The gifts from the bearded man will often break or disappear mere days after his appearance. As the gifts break and disappear, so does the manic atmosphere and the town returns to its regular winter glum.

Those without the gold to buy the baubles from the merchants, or are not privileged to be part of the aristocracy, are often visited by the red, bearded man before his final night of home invasion. Reports claim that the man has a magical thinness to his being, only being an inch thick. This allows him to slither in and out of plumbing, chimneys, chutes, cupboards and cracks. Those that have been visited by the red man say he appears suddenly, staring at them with piercing, unblinking blue eyes and leering at them with a bright red smile. After his initial appearance the red man will throw a pine tree shaped dart, which induces an euphoric stupor. Then a group of horned, black goblins will appear and rife through the belongings of the now victim and stuff the stolen goods into a rough sack. Those that try to resist are further stunned by a great bellowing laugh emitted from the red man's mouth. This leaves a ringing in the ears for days. 

Months later, children who have handled gifts from the red, bearded man will developed a variety of illnesses. There is reports of deaths, as well as life long mental illness and retardation in these children.


Flatter Crikemass is a being in the shape of a flattened man wearing bright red garb and having an impressive white beard. His thickness can be melded to allow him to travel through tight, tiny spaces as he goes about his business of stealing and delivering deadly presents. He is accompanied by a small army of black goblins, they also have a knack for navigating small, cramped spaces. He refers to each of the black goblins as "Peat".

Flatter Crikemass hibernates all summer, and emerges from a mountain cave with the falling of the years first snow. When he awakes he will travel to a decently established northern town and find an abandoned area to set up his nest/workshop. Here with the help of his goblins he constructs his "presents". These presents are a myriad of useless items forged by breaking down more useful items. The presents are gaudy and glittery and coated in a oily poison that the black goblins secrete from their hands.

Presents that are considered imperfect by Flatter Crikemass (not having the appropriate amount of glitter and gaud) are delivered anonymously to local merchants.

The poisonous oil secreted by the black goblins slowly builds up throughout the entirety of the community Flatter Crikemass has made his nest in. This oil is poisonous to humans but only potentially lethal to children. Adults in contact with the oil will be overcome with a restless mania and will find it hard to concentrate. The oil is also mildly addicting and is found in the highest concentration on the "gifts" delivered to merchants.

Adventurer's coming to a town with a Flatter Crikemass nest will have to make a Save Vs. Poison to avoid being infected with the "Crikemass Cheer".

A town in the throes of "Crikemass Cheer"
A town with a Flatter Crikemass nest will have an overabundance of shoppers. It will take significantly longer for adventurers to find what the gear they need as most merchants are sold out of anything useful. All goods are 20% more expensive and adventurers selling goods will receive 20% less profit as merchants are mostly concerned in getting their hands on more Crikemass baubles.

Flatter Crikemass will happily steal Adventurer's items to convert into presents, but he has no interest in engaging in direct combat. Flatter Crikemass and his Black Goblins will scamper away cracks and holes in the wall if they are unable to subdue their victims. Flatter Crikemass and his Black Goblins will only attack some one who enters his nest/ workshop.

Flatter Crikemass will work for up to a month creating the most useless, but blindingly gaudy items. These are absolutely loaded with goblin oil. Once he is satisfied with his "gifts" he will deliver them to the most privileged children in the town. His goal is to slowly but surely kill out the powerful, governing families in Northen towns so over time human settlements will be abandoned. He simply longs for peace and quiet to return to his mountain home, free from the ringing hammer of industry in the valleys below.

Thursday 19 December 2013

The Return


I've been away for about a month touring the exotic United States of America. I thought I would get a chance to write a tidbit or two while I was away but the intoxicating Americana proved unconducive to writing about D&D.

I'm back now and here's what I plan to post about in the near future;

Now I've just got to shake myself out of the holiday mode stupor (which will be hard with Christmas a week away).

Happy Holidays.