Monday, May 30, 2016

Death Frost Doom Random "Encounter" Table

I wrote this random encounter table (really more of a "random spooky effect" table) for Death Frost Doom, and then ended up not using it because I was distracted by various chaotic things in both the game and reality. Perhaps someone else could get some use from it.

The idea, as per this excellent blog post from Dungeon of Signs, was to create a table of "odd noises and atmospheric effects." I tried to avoid things that affect the characters in terms of mechanics and concentrate on creating paranoia and unease in the players, instead. The lack of monsters throughout the beginning of the adventure really helps build the suspense, so I wanted to add to that instead of taking away from it.

Some of my inspirations include Oculus, the Silent Hill series (especially Silent Hill 3), Jacob's Ladder, House of Leaves, and In the Mouth of Madness. My wife provided some cool suggestions that wound up on here. I also recommend reading this very useful blog post from Lamentations of the Blood Countess.

Roll for a random encounter as usual. If one would normally occur, roll a d30 on the following table:
  1. For the next d6 turns, everyone in the party will be under the delusion that they number one more person than they really do. They will not perceive any specific extra individual, but any count will come up wrong, and they will have the feeling of an extra person in their midst.
  2. The cry of a baby is heard, very loud and close, from the direction the party just came from. It will be suddenly and immediately silenced.
  3. For the next d6 turns, everyone is colorblind except when they hold their heads very still or focus very hard on one spot.
  4. A big gust of freezing wind sweeps past the party.
  5. A random party member finds a moldy, frozen apple in their pocket or bag.
  6. Groaning is heard from the walls as the shrine settles like an old house.
  7. For d6 turns, a random party member smells like a putrid corpse.
  8. From an unknown source, a voice mimicking a random party member viciously and personally insults a single other random party member. The voice only speaks one or two sentences, then goes silent.
  9. For d6 turns, everyone present perceives each other's eyes to be black and empty.
  10. A hissing noise, like a steam vent, is heard in the distance.
  11. For one turn, the sound of their own blood pumping through their ears becomes almost intolerably loud for everyone in the party.
  12. For a split second, no one present can catch their breath, as if the air is gone.
  13. Tiny bits of ice fall from the ceiling with a low, subtle rumble.
  14. Cracks abruptly open in the ice or stone on every surface.
  15. For one turn, everyone present experiences hemineglect - they cannot perceive things on either the left or right (determine which side randomly for each person).
  16. Pick a random player - for d6 turns, everyone looks like that player (Fregoli Delusion).
  17. A clinking noise is heard in the distance, like chains.
  18. The party encounters an inexplicable warm spot.
  19. The scent of burnt hair and the taste of blood are faintly detected.
  20. The party finds a tangle of human bones in a shallow, frozen puddle.
  21. For a moment, agonized faces seem to writhe in the corners of everyone's vision.
  22. Footprints are found going in circles and into walls.
  23. Dried vines block the passage of the party where there were none before. They break into ashes when touched.
  24. Dried blood and skull fragments are found on the wall, as if someone recently had their head bashed against it with great force.
  25. For d6 turns, everyone present experiences an extra, phantom limb.
  26. For one turn, everyone's ears seem to ring loudly.
  27. Everyone must Save vs. Magic at a -4 penalty or experience a random emotion for one turn. Roll a d4: 1=Depressed, 2=Enraged, 3=Manic, 4=Numb.
  28. For one round, everyone's joints ache and feel stiff.
  29. Everyone must Save vs. Paralysis at a -4 penalty or else suffer unpleasant sensations. To each person, their skin will feel sweaty, sticky, ichy, hot, and generally uncomfortable, but to others, their skin will merely feel cold and clammy. Covered skin feels these sensations more acutely than bare skin.
  30. All light is magically extinguished for d10 rounds, after which it returns as if nothing happened. During the blackout period, sounds are heard in the distance, coming slowly closer: moans, screams, tearing flesh, breaking bones, sobbing, wailing, whipping, clanking chains, thumping, grinding stone and metal, and vomiting. No time actually passes during this incident - in terms of spells, hunger, fatigue, items/resources, and any other time-based mechanics, treat the situation as if no additional time has passed.

No comments:

Post a Comment