Steal This: My Skull Mountain Carousing Tables (Part One)
As I mentioned in my last post, I love a good Carousing table. And for my Skull Mountain campaign, I made a whole series…all for different types of activities that your heroes might engage in.
How it Works – Each time the PCs spend any “down time” in town, they can roll a single 1d30 on one of the Carousing tables. When we were using Dungeon Crawl Classics, we modified the result by the PC’s Luck bonus.
All the table does is (1) vacuum treasure from the character, and replace it with XPs and sometimes (2) provide the PC with an interesting complication or bonus. In my own campaign, the only way to convert gold to XP was by rolling on one of these tables.
Oh, and if you decide to use these, make sure you change them up. My own players never got to see these…at least until they made their roll and found out the result!
A Note on XP Values – This table uses the vastly “scaled down” XP tables from Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. If you’re thinking of using something like this for regular D&D, I would suggest multiplying the XP award by 10 or even 100. The goal is for Conan’s player to be happy he just pissed all his money again in a brothel! Now he’s ready to level up, and looking for more adventure!
|1 or less||Major Misunderstanding with the Overlord’s Guards. Your drunken antics have led to real trouble, and you now find yourself accused of a capital offense (roll 1d10): (1) killing a guardsman over dice; (2) killing an off-duty guardsman in a bar brawl; (3) killing guardsmen as they attempt to arrest you for some other offense; (4) blasphemy, desecration of a holy place, and theft of temple offerings; (5) murder of a noble; (6) murder of a citizen; (7) arson; (8) robbery of a noble; (9) treason; or (10) roll again three times. You decide the details, and whether you are innocent or guilty. Roll a Personality check. On a success, you may pay 1d6 x 100 gp (or 1 magic item) as a bribe, and escape justice. On a failure, you may pay 1d6 x 1,000 gp (or 2 magic items) as a bribe, and escape justice. Failure to pay the bribe means that you must face justice under the Codex Legis of Iron and Rust (as determined by the GM) to determine whether you win your freedom or face immediate public execution. Gain 10 XP if you pay a bribe to earn your freedom, or 30 XP if you face the Overlord’s justice and can survive (not likely).|
|2||The Wages of Gluttony! Your wanton debauchery, love of lotus, or simply gluttony is not suited to a life of adventurer. Make a Stamina check. On a failed roll, start the game down 2d6 hit points (minimum 1). On a natural 1, lose 1 point of Stamina permanently. Gain 10 XP either way.|
|3||Robbed Blind! You succumb to the wine following epic drinking and general debauchery. When you awake in your room, all of your coin and equipment is gone, likely stolen by last night’s (only dimly recalled) paramour. Roll a Luck check for each magical item in your possession: on a failed check, that item has also been stolen. Gain 10 XP plus 1 XP for each 100gp stolen (rounded up, max 50) plus 10 XP for each magical item stolen. You begin the game with only 3 pieces of clothing, of your choice.|
|4||You Couldn’t Really See the Rash by Candlelight. Your indiscriminate choice of bedmates has exposed you to something rather nasty, such as the great pox (syphilis), grandgore, whoresnitch, or whatnot. Roll a Stamina or Luck check, whichever you prefer. On a success, a poultice from the healer has fixed you right up, and you suffer no ill effects. On a failure, you suffer a -1 to all attack, save, skill, spell, and ability checks this game. On a natural 1, lose 1 hp permanently from your unfortunate condition. Gain 10 XP either way.|
|5||Epic Gambling Losses. Argh, you have gambled and lost it all! Lose all coin and non-magical treasure (but keep equipment, weapons, armor, etc.), but gain 10 XP plus 1 XP for each 100gp lost (rounded up) (max 50).|
|6||Attempted Robbery! After a night of hard drinking, you are set upon by footpads in a darkened alley. Roll a Luck check. On a success, you were sober enough to drive off the robbers without serious injury. On a failure, you are badly beaten and robbed: lose all coin and non-magical treasure, and roll a Luck check for each magical item in your possession. On a failed check, that item has also been stolen. Gain 10 XP plus 1 XP for each 100gp stolen (rounded up) plus 10 XP for each magical item stolen. You also begin the game with only half hit points (rounded up).|
|7||Minor Misunderstanding with the Overlord’s Guards. Your drunken antics have led to legal trouble, and you now find yourself accused of (roll 1d6): (1) assault on a city guardsman; (2) assault on a citizen; (3) vagrancy; (4) public drunkenness; (5) destruction of property; or (6) unlawful dueling. Roll a Personality check. On a success, you may pay 1d6 x 10 gp as a bribe, and escape justice. On a failure, you may pay 1d6 x 100 gp (or 1 magic item) as a bribe, and escape justice. Failure to pay the bribe means that you must face justice under the Codex Legis of the Iron and Rust (as determined by the GM) to determine whether you win your freedom or face imprisonment. Gain 5 XP if you pay a bribe to earn your freedom, or 10 XP if you face the Overlord’s justice and remain free.|
|8||Unfortunate Bed Companion. It is all just a blur, but this morning your companions woke you and found the following in your bed. Gain 10 XP, and roll 1d8:
· (1) A Dead Tavern Wench.
· (2) Giggling, Drunk Halfling.
· (3) A Rival Adventurer (milking you for secrets, picking over your stuff and map, likely to cause trouble soon).
· (4) The Overlord’s Current Paramour (plans to make him jealous).
· (5) Mutatus the Formless, Legendary Transmuter (thoroughly displeased with the experience).
· (6) Lots and Lots of Fleas and Lice (-1 to all attack, skill, attribute, and spell rolls for this session).
· (7) Your New Husband/Wife (clingy local lad or lass, roll random occupation, now married, rings and all, may insist upon adventuring with you in the future).
· (8) The God Vorn, Stolen While Sleeping from His Throne (he is foggy-eyed and apparently insensate, but his priests will be out looking for him and quite irate…)
|9||Made Quite a Fool of Yourself. Too much wine, lotus, or whatever, and suddenly you are running naked through one of Cauldron’s finer establishments and temples, breaking things, starting fights, ruining weddings, etc. You now have a reputation as a drunken lout. Take a permanent -2 to all Personality rolls with citizens while in town, but gain 1 point of Luck. If you already have a reputation, the penalties are cumulative (but you still get the Luck).|
|10||Bloody Barroom Brawl! The wine flowed a bit too freely, and you were entangled in (or instigated) a rough-and-tumble, bench-clearing barroom brawl. Roll a Strength check. On a success, you gain 15 XP. On a natural 1 (the best result) you also gain 1 point of strength (max 18). On a failure, you were badly beaten, gain 10 XP, and have spent the last few days abed healing, and begin this adventure down 2d6 hit points (minimum 1).|
|11||Duel? What Duel? The wine flowed much too freely last night, and now you are expected to appear for a duel at the Standing Stones, an ancient circle of menhirs in the Valley of the Dead, this very day. Roll 1d10 to determine the identity of your opponent: (1); Random Peasant (roll on starting table); (2) Prissy, Minor Lordling, terrified; (3) Foreign Sorcerer; (4) Dwarven Mercenary; (5) City Guardsman; (6) Major Lord, known for his fondness and skill at dueling; (7) Rowdy Barbarian; (8) Grim Knight; or (9) Deadly Pirate Captain; (10) Notorious Thief. If you appear for the duel, and win, gain 20 XP.|
|12||Gambling Losses. Argh, the dice did not favor you these last few days, and your time in the gambling pits was ill spent. Lose all coin and non-magical treasure, but gain 1 XP per 100gp value lost (rounded up, max 50).|
|13||Tagged as a “Mark.” Some local thieves or ruffians have tagged you as an easy “mark,” and have been following you about. Have the PC roll Luck. If successful, the PC has spotted his shadows and knows they are lurking about. On a failed check, simply list as “no result.”|
|14||Hangover from Hell. You drank a bit too much last night (and many nights before that), and are not at all well this fine morning. Take a -1 penalty on all attack rolls, saving throws, skill and ability checks, and spell checks this session, but gain 10 XP.|
|15||Cursed! You have inadvertently offended one of the local gods or perhaps a local sorcerer or priest, and now suffer from a minor curse, the evil eye, etc. Lose 2 Luck permanently, but gain 20 XP. You may be able to undo the Luck loss by making appropriate recompense…|
|16||“Bah, Piss on You, and the Horse You Rode in On!” You have publically insulted a person of some rank. Roll 1d8 to see the object of your insult…
(1) The Overlord himself;
(2) A rival adventurer;
(3) A random noble;
(4) A grim priest of Vorn;
(5) A priest of an evil cult;
(6) The local watch commander;
(7) A random local wizard;
(8) A guild thief or deadly assassin.
This object of your public insulsts is now a deadly enemy, who will actively try to make your life difficult and, if appropriate, even slay you! Gain 15 XP. The insulted person may be amendable to some form of recompense, however…
|17||Ill-Considered Words. If you have any hirelings, henchmen, or retainers, you have offended them with ill-considered words (or worse) while in your cups. Roll a Personality check for each such retainer. On a failed roll, the hireling, henchman, or retainer deserts from your ranks. On a successful roll, they reluctantly stay, but suffer a -4 to morale rolls for the current session. If you have no hirelings, ignore this result. Gain 5 XP for each deserter.|
|18||Toss the Dice! You have lived at the gambling pits this last month. What do you have to show for it? Roll a Luck check and see. If successful, you gain 1d10 x 100 gp in winnings and 10 XP. If you fail the check, you lose 1d10 x 100 gp and gain only 5 XP. If you lose more coin than you have, there is likely a loanshark out there somewhere looking for you…|
|19||“Bah, This City is Boring!” You attempt to carouse, but the wine is sour, the women decline your advances, and suffer from a tedious time. In your tedium, you find yourself listening to the old fools who prattle on. Learn 1 rumor from the Rumor Table.|
|20-25||Heroic Carousing! Carousing like Conan! Wine, women, song, and all worldly pleasures are yours, won with coin looted from Skull Mountain. You may trade gold for XPs on a 100 gp to 1 XP basis (maximum 50 XP may be gained this way per month).|
|26||Heroic Vow! As “Heroic Carousing” above, plus the following. As the wine and increasingly boastful tales were told, you found yourself atop a table, before a full crowd at the Black Gate Tavern, vowing to be the first adventurer to slay some legendary denizen or loot some infamous killing ground in Skull Mountain. Roll (1d30) to determine the object of your boast:
(1) to slay the outcast wizard Emirkol, who is said to dwell within “the eyes” of Skull Mountain;
(2) to drink of the Font of Power, on “the eye” level, and gain eternal youth;
(3) to breach the Iron Door of Dragons, which has devoured the hands of a hundred adventurers;
(4) to ring the Deep Bell, in the dungeon’s catacombs, which can be heard all the way in Cauldron;
(5) to destroy the Altar of the Beastmen, where they pile the corpses and skins of dead adventurers in tribute to their savage god;
(6) to sample the beauties of Ghola Hoon’s legendary harem, where eternally young beauties redefine the very meaning of debauchery;
(7) to solve the Deathgate Riddle, seven doors, seven certain deaths, and treasure beyond imagining;
(8) to win the Black Helm of Setebos, an item of great magic entombed with the legendary Chaos Knight, said to be hidden amid the Tombs;
(9) to win the Icy Blade of Ragnar the Pallid, entombed with the legendary Chaos Knight;
(10) to spit down into the great, smoking crater that pierces the very core of Skull Mountain;
(11) to breach the infamous Troll Garden, deep beneath the dungeon;
(12) to match wits with the Brazen Idol in a game of riddles, and claim the prize it guards.
(13) to read forbidden lore from the legendary book of souls, the most dangerous of Ghola Hoon’s dreaded grimoires;
(14) to bring back the head of one of the savage beastmen that infest the dungeon, to prove your prowess is second to none;
(15) to brave the dark hall of the Iron Sentinels, who slay any man who tries to pass with fear in his heart;
(16) to slay “the Eye of Fear and Flame,” the dread guardian of the Tomb level;
(17) to slay the dragon, Verrovax, said to dwell on the Eye level;
(18) to find and loot the hidden temple to Lamu, the spider god, and claim the fist-sized ruby guarded by arachnine terrors;
(19) to find the temple at world’s end, and face the undying knight who guards the great treasure hidden therein;
(20) to run the Wizard’s Gauntlet, a series of deadly deathtraps meant to test Ghola Hoon’s would-be apprentices, and return alive;
(21) to breach one of the legendary thirteen gates, portals to other worlds and times, wherein Ghola Hoon hid his most precious treasures;
(22) to activate the Great Machine of the Planes, hidden amid the Wizard’s Gauntlet;
(23) to slay one of the White Wyverns, the great flying terrors said to dwell deep within the caves atop Skull Mountain;
(24) to breach the Twilight Gate, and wrest the fabulous treasures guarded by an entire world of the hungry dead;
(25) to claim a sword from the Mausoleum of Kings, ancient rulers who defied Ghola Hoon and were entombed within Skull Mountain for all eternity;
(26) to find the fabled Demon Stone, an ancient rock from the deepest pits of Hell, said to be hidden in the Hold of Perilous Magic.
(27) to breach the Hold of Perilous Magic, where Ghola Hoon stored his most dangerous arcane devices;
(28) to breach the Dream Gate, and claim the Stone of Nightmares, an immense opal of untold value;
(29) to breach the Serpent’s Gate, and slay the serpent-folk’s sorcerous queen, who is said to guard ancient magic; or
(30) to lie for a full night in the unholy casket in the Temple to Thraaldur, the Eyeless King of the Dead, said to lie hidden amid the Tomb level.
Whatever your boast, be sure to write it down. If you accomplish the goal, and return alive to Cauldron with proof, receive 100 XP and +2 Luck.
|27||One of Us! One of Us! As “Heroic Carousing” above, plus the following. It is a bit hazy, what with all the wine you drank, and you’re not really sure how it happened, but you have been inducted into some sort of weird religion or cult. Roll 1d8 to determine your new allegiance: (1) Cult of the Yellow Sign; (2) Spider God Lamu; (3) the Simple Brothers of Fortunate Aklathu; (4) Arioch, the Lord of Seven Darks; (5) Simatala, the Ape God of Lashka; (6) Panzuzu the Devourer of the Dead; (7) Thraaldur the Eyeless King of the Dead; (8) Tittivia, the Queen of Lust. Roll a 1d20 on Patron Bond spell, +1 per level, minimum result of 12, to determine the effect of the bond. (per page 149). Also, gain +1 Luck (max 18).|
|28-29||Boon Companion. As “Heroic Carousing” above, plus the following. In your drinking, you have found a boon companion, a novice adventurer and henchman whom you have taken under your wing. Roll a random 0-level character. That character will now accompany you as a henchman, who is incredibly loyal, and receives a +4 morale bonus as long as you are present. After 1 adventure, you may spend 10 XP to level up your henchman. The henchman is run by the GM, but only receives experience if you give him some of yours. But if your main character ever dies, you may immediately take control of the henchman, at his current level.|
|30+||A True Warrior’s Life. As “Heroic Carousing” above, plus the following. Your brawling, drinking, carousing, and fighting has taught you a bit more about the world and yourself, and made you an even more formidable warrior than before! Roll 1d16 and consult the following table:
(1) Gain 1 hp permanently.
(2) Increase your deed die by one die type (if warrior or dwarf), or gain a +1 to all attack rolls (all other classes).
(3) Gain a +1 to Intelligence (18 max).
(4) Gain a +1 to Fortitude saves.
(5) Gain a +1 to Reflex saves.
(6) Gain a +1 to Will saves.
(7) Gain a +1 to all melee damage rolls.
(8) Gain a +1 to AC.
(9) Gain a +1 die type to all critical hit results.
(10) Gain 1d4 hp permanently.
(11) Gain +1 Strength (max 18).
(12) Gain +1 Agility (max 18).
(13) Gain +1 Stamina (max 18).
(14) Gain +1 Personality (max 18).
(15) Gain +1 Luck (max 18).
(16) Gain +1 Strength and +1 Stamina! Conan, here I come!