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Monday, May 18, 2020

Half-Organized Thoughts About Monsters

When I think of a Monster it's all images and impressions at first, then it eventually settles into something like this, a loose sort of novelistic encyclopedia thing. It could be fine or even good, but it isn't something I can really use. I still need to digest it into something that’ll be good at the table. 

"Nacrids are filthy. Everyone hates them. They love sweets, but eat shit off the ground. They mark their territory with filth. They’re infested with parasites. They lurk in places that have fallen into disrepair, or where people have never built anything good. Wastelands, but near humans. They are seen when things are very bad. They make it worse.

They hoard pretty things after ruining them. Their lairs are full of torn clothes and bent jewelry. They’re very hard to hide from. Ambush is almost impossible, but they also startle easily. Remaining calm can keep you safe, but they can tell if you really want to hurt them. They eat people, and ignore people. They bite with sharp teeth and hold tight, or use weapons they can barely understand with their non-optimal paw-hands. (An old mercenary has a story of a piss-colored Nacrid that fired his flintlock he dropped, it scared the whole pack away and saved his life). They tear things apart and get covered in it, always muddy and stained.

They are semi-bipedal, best on all fours. Their ugly hands can use rudimentary tools while they clumsily stand on two legs. Looking them in the eyes can enrage them, but their attitudes range from docile to murderous. Their size varies too, small as a baby to large as a shorter man. Furred, sometimes patchy. Colors: blonde. mud, rust, black, mud and shit brown, mucky beige, parchment stain. Stripes and spots. Heads are human-ish or longer and more conical. Mouths are wide and teeth are always sharp and big enough to be a danger. They communicate in grunts, roars and ragged shrieking. If they have a language it has few words.”

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In game terms, certain kinds of information lends itself to being expressed and presented a certain way. Try using a d20 table written as a paragraph, for example. 

Specific styles of writing are better for certain presentations than others. Dante, Shakespeare, and Melville might not write the best d20 tables. Think about the best form for the content along with the as you make it, not just "what do I want to express ?" but also "what's the most effective way to show this idea for a game".

That novelistic-encyclopedic-naturalist form isn't the best for gaming, in other words.

Things need to be quickly understood. I want to know everything I need to know as quickly as I can. I don't need to confuse, surprise, or mystify myself. Once a thing is understood I can riff on it, and enjoy conveying it to the players (however that comes out). They’ll get to enjoy encountering that thing, interacting with it, “figuring it out” in some way. This back and forth is the Fun Part, the enjoyable part of the game. 

I start thinking in simpler facts more than turns of phrase. I end up with cues, basically. Prompts.

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A good monster will provide immediate, actionable content for the people playing the game. No one encounters uncut lore, you don't get a full history of the domestic cat if you pet one on the street. You only need one to walk over and rub up against your leg, or at least stay still while you try.

If there are bugs in the woodwork the person running the game just needs to know that the rafters are full of these things called 'deathwatch beetles' that make clicking noises in the dark. They’ll tell the people playing the game about the strange, insistent ticking every night. I don’t need to write anything too purple about that tick-tick-ticking, so ominous, ever-always (oh what could it be?) up in the creaking old rafters, for that GM. They can do that part, that’s one of the fun things for them: taking the simple fact and making it flowery again. I just want to help them to quickly remember the beetles.

They make the world more "real" by being an interconnected part of it that can be explored & discovered. How do you know so much about the Sasquatch? You haven't even "encountered" one, have you? You know it from that alleged footage, or you've seen what claimed to be a footprint cast. You've heard references to it in things like cinema or this blog post, and that story your weird uncle has about that friend of his, (The engineer, real reliable guy. Not the kind of guy who'd just make this kind of thing up). He was out in the backwoods something like 15 years ago, way off the grid. He was into, backpacking and all, anyways about 3AM he heard this noise, &c

To put it another way, how many ways could you figure out someone owned a horse without ever meeting the horse? How would you know you had entered a horseman's home? How much can you learn about something without having it in front of you, without reading a book about it or attending a lecture? That's where "lore" can be useful, as something connecting a creature to the rest of the world.

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Now, Nacrids.

What do we know about Nacrids? Someone should be able to get an idea of them in less than 5 seconds. Bullet points are good for that, written in the broadest possible averages: facts, instantly understandable beige prose. Plain adjectives, easy nouns. No verbs. No stories. The only thing faster would be an illustration.
  • furred
  • filthy
  • four-limbed
  • sharp teeth
  • ugly hand-paws
  • small human-sized
  • mainly on 4 legs, sometimes 2
  • long narrow or roundish heads
  • fur color: black, brown, red, gold, grey, beige.
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Benign social encounters (low stakes, low-conflict vignettes. "rumor tables”) are an excellent form for showing what is thought about a Monster, what it "means". With Nacrids Their name is a slur, an expletive. They're a hated sign of messy decay. Chances are no one is ever going to actually say that, so you don't really need to read it that way either: it can be shown through figures of speech. When was the last time someone explained to you that "Asshole" in American Vernacular English means "rude or unkind person" and not literally the anal sphincter? Exactly.

1. sizable oaf grunts "move, ye nacrid shite" as you step before them.
2. nearby drinker sniffs ale, frowns "this's nacrids piss" 
3. young woman tastes roast, "better'n nacrid, I spose"
4. bearded one says "fit for a nacrid, this hovel" by garbage heap.
5. foppish elder moans "society has gone to the nacrid level" and drones on.
6. stern man scowls "it has gotten such that nacrids here'd be no surprise!", others loudly agree.

Since these are prompts for brief improvisation that don't have the potential to change the world a sort of haiku shortness works perfectly. Sentences with an instantly understandable Subject and an immediate Verb. No punchline sentences, where you don't know who did what until the end.
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Now think on spoor, traces and tracks, signs of passage. Owl pellets. How would we know there were Nacrids around without ever seeing them? We know that they’re ruiners, wreckers, mess-makers. An encounter table “of” Nacrids should include evidence of this, instead of “no encounter”. Why ever encounter nothing? 

1. Damaged tree. Broken blades stuck, hack marks. Knives and farm tools littered around, ruined. Flies in air.
2. Scraps of cloth . Cart run off road. Torn scraps everywhere. Drivers body on ground, fancy jacket torn apart. Ugly defensive wounds, from bites.
3. Worn crossroad sign. Half-standing, soaking in nasty puddle.
4. Derelict cabin, chew-marked and stained. Strong odors: vomit, blood, urine, feces. Inside: broken furniture, wet heap of metal objects and torn cloth, some bones. d$100 of rings on dead fingers. Cabin search leaves you itchy, waking with welts.
5. Pointless ditches. Dug across the path. Broken, shit-covered trowels and shovels nearby.
6. Old untended graves. Memorial stones knocked over, used as latrines. Holes dug, bones tossed. Awful stench hanging.

An old grave covered in pee on the way into town followed by hearing someone complaining about how nacrid it all is these days does a lot of work for you. It shows the players something instead of you just telling them. It saves you from the dreadful Is This Box Text feeling you get from a Convenient NPC saying "ah the Nacrids, those harbingers of doom and disrepair, have been seen by yonder landmark! O brave souls, would you be so kind as to-" etc. etc.
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Every interaction with a monster should reveal a fact about it. It should be different to see a thing for the tenth time compared to the first. The people playing ought to be learning something every time. To do this in actual life you'd need to pay attention, watch for details. Go to the zoo and then read about animal body language, then go back to the zoo. When running a game you can show that the Adventurers "paid attention" by giving the players encounters that have particular, unique details about the monster as part of the description. You don't have to tell them to do it.

In other words, stop encountering "d6 bandits". Encounter "3 in black masks, gruff voices, kicking old man on ground who begs for mercy. two more in cart tear open bags, containers" exactly once. The next time "3 in black masks seen tying cord across road ahead", or "4 in black masks emerge from underbrush, crossbows aimed, money or blood is demanded".

We learned something from all of these: there are people in black masks who assault travelers and mess with their stuff. They are cruel jerks, who don't fight fair. They set traps, they threaten death. They steal, extort, rob. Encountering them setting a trap leads to an entirely different game than one where you don't. 

What does "d6 bandits" do? It just gives you work you have to do in the moment. You have to make something up, focus on creating stage directions, instead of getting collaboratively caught up in the game being played.

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Monsters are better as questions: Should you keep going this way? Can you evade this, or do you have to kill it? Can you kill it? How could you evade it? Can you get it to go somewhere else? Can you go somewhere else? You shouldn’t always have to kill them and definitely be able, that’s as railroaded as it gets. Unknowns are more entertaining than knowns.

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If you know everything that's going to happen in advance why play? A good adventure won't feel complete until you run it. A good monster will be an unknown until it gets encountered, even if you’ve memorized all the pre-written ones you have.

Roll 2d6 for the Nacrid Mood

2-3: Aggression, they Attack.
4-6: Fear. Snarling. They Attack if approached.
7-9: Uncertainty: growls, whimpers.
        If approached, Roll again (with Advantage if Cautious). 7+: they Flee, 6- they Attack.
10-11: Indifference: No reaction to the Cautious.
12: Curiousity: following at a distance. 
        Roll later: 2-5: Uncertain. 6-9: Indifferent. 10-12: Curious.

Cautious: staying low, quiet and not looking at them, add +1
Uncautious: staring at them. being brash, threatening, noisy, -1.

If Players state they intend to harm them, -1*
If Players state they don’t want to harm them, +1*

*consider statements made "out of character" as the intentions that Nacrids can intuit.

Players are clever. They'll likely pick up on the fact that you'll never have to fight them if you don't stare, and pay attention.

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Encounters themselves should be simple set-pieces, stage directions. Compressed lore, slivers of inhuman psychology, wants & needs that can be modified by variables like Mood. Certain amounts, appearances, and so on are better pre-decided: it's easier work before you're playing.

1d6 Nacrid Encounters
1. Two squabbling over unidentified animal leg.
        Both: 1HD, 8HP, 1 Atk: d6, Arm: 14. Black & beige, roundhead-skinny.

2. Four curled half-napping under old cart, one wheel broken. Shit everywhere. All small, dull color.               1 HD, 4HP, 1 Atk: d4, Arm: 14

3. Three eating manure.Gold-fur 4' at shoulder, looming over two smaller darker. All thin-snout. Gold turns, shrieks.
        2HD: 12hp, gold-fur:1 Atk: d6, Arm: 14
        1HD: 6hp, dark: 1 Atk: d4, Arm: 14
        1HD: 6hp, dark: 1 Atk: d4, Arm: 14

4. Four tugging at corpse, 3' high. Stout. Corpse has ring; 1d20 x 1d4 SP. 
        All Brown & Red, mixed snouts. 
        2 HD, 10HP, 1 Atk: d6, Arm: 14

5. Five destroying former pig enclosure. Tipping, gnawing, digging.
        Tiny pair, flee from any injury. Beige mixed snout.
        1 HD, 4HP, 1 Atk: d4, Arm: 14

        Three stouter, grey-black. Roundheaded. Attack any who harm small-pair.
        2 HD, 10HP, 1 Atk: d6, Arm: 14

6. Six in and around mound of wet filth, debris, dead horse. Shredding, tossing all of it around. Horrid noise.

        Mud-brown, roundsnout
        2 HD, 10HP, 1 Atk: d6, Arm: 14
        2 HD, 10HP, 1 Atk: d6, Arm: 14
        2 HD, 10HP, 1 Atk: d6, Arm: 14

        Gold, tiny, narrow 
        1 HD, 4HP, 1 Atk: d4, Arm: 14

        Red, longsnout, fight together. Big.
        2 HD, 12HP, 1 Atk: d6, Arm: 14

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Woodcut of a rabid dog - Stock Image - C008/5874 - Science Photo ...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

City Map System & Making a Spooky City

This is a system to quickly and easily create unique cities that are detailed during play, using randomization and simple procedures. Content is provided by themed sets of tables. They look like this:

  • get a piece of paper
  • draw a large oval sort of shape that fills most of it. make it double-lined. these are city walls
  • get a polyhedral die and drop it inside the walls. a set of tiny dice will be helpful.
    - draw a circle around this die. this is a landmark.
    - draw slightly curved or mostly straight lines out from each point on the face of the die, through the walls, to the edge of the paper. these are main roads.

    LANDMARKS
    are something inside of a city that is known outside of it, and that everyone
    inside of it uses as a reference point. Everyone knows where it is, and they are all unique. A table of LANDMARKS is used to create for each city.
  • Drop a few more dice inside of the walls. Each one is a LANDMARK, with its' own roads. When you drop a die, the number on its' face now affects how the roads are drawn. If the die roll is odd, these roads will stop as soon as they touch another line. If the roll is even they go straight through, out to the edge of the paper.

    A city needs only a few LANDMARKS, each one indicates that several thousand people live there.
  • If a road goes through the walls, there is a gate. If a road crosses another or stops at the walls, there is an INTERSECTION

    INTERSECTIONS are small-scale "local landmarks". These are a way to orient yourself or give directions. They are not unique.

    e.g. roll 1d4: 1 - public well, 2 - inn or tavern, 3 - chapel or church, 4 - small public square or marketplace
  • These empty spaces between the roads inside the walls are DISTRICTS. A district is generally an area of "mixed-use" space, with both residential and business blended in. Every district has a feature, a sort of flavor or special something assigned with a table (e.g "garment district", "slum", etc.). Generally speaking districts are not unique, and are assigned using a table.
  • Every city has some broad TRUTHS about it, a general character.
  • As Adventurers travel through a City, they will have ENCOUNTERS.
NAVIGATING THE CITY
Every district is filled with side-streets. These are not detailed until they are used. When a side-street is needed draw a mostly-straight line from the middle of the main road halfway to the next line, and then roll 1d6 to determine what the street does.

1. it is DONE. It ends there.
2. goes THROUGH, to the next line. connect it the next line.
3. makes a T, add two arms that go halfway to the next lines.
4. there is MORE, to the right. Halfway to the next line.
5. there is a small courtyard with roads in 4 direction, like a "+". all lines halfway to next.
6. is LEFT, halfway to the the next line.

Additional side-streets are continued using the same 1d6 roll. Side-streets may be added to a district as long as they fit, at the referees' discretion. When there's no more room the side-street should simply connect to the nearest main road.

Here's a .gif that hopefully explains it, even with the washed out frame


PLACING THINGS
If you suddenly need to place a location, such as shop or where a missing object is, drop a d6 in a district and draw a side-street from it to a main road, using the chart above.

ENCOUNTERS
1 in 3 chance of an encounter along every length of main street, & during navigation of side-streets.


I've been working on this concept with some lovely folks in the Discord for a while now. Evlyn had the idea to make a Spooky City Set for Halloween, and so we did. Play with it, see what happens. There are many more in the Discord, and sometime between now and the future there'll be a zine.


Thank you to Viditya, Geoff, Humza, Lombardi, Brian, & Evlyn for contributing! I riffed on these a little, added something, or did a bit of editing but the vast majority of these are their work. 
SPOOKY CITY
Cities embodying the spirit of Halloween and spookiness. Whimsical and cheerful but also dark and dangerous, populated with monsters, humans, and the undead. Surrounded by a strange mist, these places appear in a lonely place for only one night before vanishing back into the dark.
  • everything is sinister, haunted and cursed.
  • skeletons are quite chatty, very sociable creatures. they are the friendliest things here.
  • instead of currency, a candy-barter system is used. precious metals are used for costumes.
  • humans and undead monsters live side by side, but come into frequent conflict with each other.
  • curses are fairly common.

Curses can be caught for a variety of reason, but all can be spread through spilling blood. When you harm someone who has harmed you, they must Save or absorb your curse. (The opposite is also true

  1. Abrasiveness: roll for Reaction using only 1d6 with everyone you meet.
  2. Stench: you reek of rotting flowers and old sour honey. It is very hard to hide.
  3. Profligacy: whenever you spend money, or money is spent near you, an extra d10% (10-100%) is lost.
  4. Bleeding: whenever you lose HP, Save or lose an additional HP. (including losing HP lost from this curse)
  5. Mournfulness: whenever you fail to do something by rolling a die, you weep uncontrollably for 1d6 rounds. Doing anything while weeping is at -4. If you fail again, additional weeping time is added.
  6. Nightwalking: whenever you sleep you and all around you must Save or spend the night wandering the streets, waking up suddenly in a strange new place.



d10 NAMES: Nachtsenke, Zwłokidom, Colina Assombrada, Proklyatiya, Ténèbres, Ürpertici, Gräisslech, Paura, Vaivata, Crowsgarret.

d12 LANDMARKS
  1. The Great Pumpkin Mother. her vines and tendrils spread around the city, creeping into homes. Her pumpkin spawn become Jack-O-Lanterns after death.
  2. Sucremont Candy Manufactory -It's reputation precedes it, the quality of its confections are unmatched. Either the most or the least cursed place here.
  3. Gravers' Quarry - You can't miss it, the very deep pit with all the hammering sounds.
  4. Palestone Keep - Large yellow-white castle that all insist is empty, but clearly has some kind of occupant. (Torchlit halls, echoing laughter, etc.)
  5. The Old House - Never mapped, many rumors of treasure within. It grows new rooms as it grows older.
  6. Twisted Tree Park - People who squat here for too long turn into trees, some becoming Dryads, lots of abandoned tents and camps to be found.
  7. Hallowed Hill - where trials, rituals, and initiations occur. Blood, innocence, and promises of all kinds have been sacrificed here. The grass and tree leaves grow deep crimson.
  8. Nanna's Cauldron - giant black cauldron the size of a luxury coach bubbles and steams with strange, delicious smells.
  9. The Wharf of Mere Amusement. A derelict, barnacle-encrusted penny arcade and zooloogical display around a stale lake. Teens and romantics congregate here. The gulls are notorious thieves, lately they’ve begun plotting heists rather than mere snatch-and-grabs.
  10. "Thee Dreadful Throne" - gigantic nightmarish chair, a hideous sculpture. none dare remove it.
  11. Thalassia Fountain - a magical wishing pool that grants wishes, with a spooky twist. 
  12. The Great Cathedral - Haunted construction site. Squatted by all kinds of ghouls and ghosts. Supposed to an all-bone cathedral, someday, but construction has ceased due to the infestation.

d20 DISTRICTS

  1. Bone Shops. where people craft and repair bones for skeleton people, many skeletons live here.
  2. Burial. extensive graveyards. Long standing families of grave diggers live here.
  3. Artificial Hauntings, houses where the living practice being dead. Lots of souvenir shops. Living and undead kids often become friends. 
  4. Bat-Nest. Large-eaved houses, attics, and small local caves, etc are home to bats. Air fills with them at night. Quiet cafés and insect powder shops. 
  5. Coffin Carpenters. Hammer and saw sounds throughout the night.
  6. Gourds. You can hardly see the houses under the growth. Some of the houses are the gourds themselves.
  7. Mists. A lake. You make your way through via small boats that ferry you from house to shop to house. All establishments are on small islands. An odd mist covers the surface of the water. How deep is it? No one remembers.
  8. Lantern. The air smells of wax and the streets are lit with the soft glow of lanterns. The designs all vary here, from hooded lanterns with spokes that curl like gnarly fingers to elaborate, jeweled, candelabras. 
  9. Feline. Also known as the cat district. Abandoned houses, parks at the very center where cattail plants grow. All trees here have their branches bent low. The streets are littered with small altars for cat offerings. They say the Queen of Cats may live inside.
  10. Shaded Gardens. Intermingled cottages, wooded spaces, and horse trails. Always shaded, very little direct sunlight even on the brightest days. Shadows move on their own, beckoning and whispering kindnesses to those who pass through them.
  11. Familiars’ Grove. An area where orphaned familiars who have lost their wizards, witches and sorcerers call home. For newly inducted practitioners who wish to gain a familiar, stand at the center of the district and see if a familiar chooses you.
  12. Web Warren. A series of twisty alleys and ramshackle lean-tos all covered in silky spider webs. The arachnids that call this area home vary from the small and shiny to the large and furry. Careful where you walk! Spider families have spent a lot of time and energy making their webs "just right." You wouldn't want to mess that up, would you?
  13. Dreary Hills. Suburbs made up almost entirely of semi-abandoned manors built atop wilting grey hills, with angular blackened trees that jot up through the land like needles left in a quilt. Often present, an acidic bog, and many a jagged cliff overlooking an ever-bubbling body of brackish water. 
  14. Meat Packing Block. Old crimson brick buildings with large industrial chimneys which blow out a salty off-grey smoke at all odd hours. Mosquitos congregate. Workers whistle tunes through the gaps in their teeth, they always smile. Hard to navigate at night, all the lights are red and the alleys clogged with fatty waters and fog. Notable firms: Gristlegrin’s, Marrowmore, Tendonnes, Sternuhm-Clavica.
  15. Wildlife Preserve & Campground. A fenced-off but labyrinthe expanse of gnarled woodland, seems to get snow before anywhere else. Groundskeepers wear masks so as to not gain the personal grudges of crows in the park. Everyone seems to look the same, and hardly anyone talks. Staunch anti-bullying campaigns have seen its summer camp programs flourish. Notable sites: R.J. Savini Preserve, Redpaw Acres, Greenwood Mire, Bogwif Boscage
  16. Institute of Learning. A small campus with a sprawling library containing many foreign and ancient texts. A bit derelict and rural in appearance, surrounded by dense botanical gardens & creeping vines. Basements are strictly off limits, even to staff, though they allegedly snakes its way under the whole town. Notable institutions: The Henrietta Knowby Memorial School, Saint Cruor College, University of Funerary Sciences, Sanguis College of Sepulchral Architecture
  17. Nightmare Blowers District. Glass blowers who use nightmares instead of glass. Lots of glass and lanterns shops. 
  18. Books. Printers, editors and writers work here. Lots of pulp magazines and journals kiosks. Imaginary characters often escape from their books. 
  19. Witches. Books, toads, cauldrons and broom stores. Private magic and music schools. Boarding houses for maids and students. Lots of flirting between magic and music students. 
  20. Eyes. Eyes are painted everywhere, all kinds of eye-creatures live here. Eyeball shops. The best place to hire spies. 

d100 ENCOUNTERS when in doubt, use a 2d6 Reaction Roll.
  1. 3d6 Skeletons dance with you. Their intent is unclear.
  2. Swarm of bats. Once they clear you are somewhere new.
  3. Passing cart spills numerous bones everywhere as it tips over.
  4. Postal Bat drops sealed letter, an invitation to masked ball. You aren't sure if it was meant for you, but it's yours now.
  5. Worker skeletons carrying long boards by themselves, very hazardous.
  6. 1d6 Pumpkin Children begging for “candies or worms”. Very troublesome if denied.
  7. Traveling Batmerchant, selling pet bats and accouterments & utility bat-gadgets.
  8. 3 older folks gathered around a cauldron, offering cups of purple burbling liquid. Very friendly, liquid is delicious.
  9. Undead body, headless. It needs help finding a new one. 
  10. Someone, or something, accidentally drops a mask on the ground and walks away. 
  11. A small bag of candy, half-spilled onto the street. Labelled “Arin”.
  12. A bat in a fancy top hat, struggling to stay aloft. It will not make it where it's going without help. (to a Pumpkin Princess, deep in the city)
  13. Worm farmers offer candy to anyone who'll bring them good incubators (corpses) for baby wormlings. Their regular stock have begun to simply stand up and walk away. 
  14. Three black cats tell you about a ritual taking place here, at midnight tomorrow. They insist your attendance is mandatory.
  15. Withered old coachman with gold coins for eyes and a silver tongue waits by his wagon, he’s sure you must be there for a ride. He says he's never wrong, and the price is cheap: two coins. The destination is a place you only half-remember.
  16. Family of odd, grotesque, dapper beings are loudly having fun nearby. It is some kind of bizarre party. They are enthusiastic and enjoyable to watch, but completely blocking the way. Anyone who attempts to get them to quiet down and allow passage will be offered a bribe, or challenged to a duel.
  17. Skeleton laborers on a coffee break, staining their teeth with cups of mud. They won’t return to work because the foreman made a joke, saying “it’s a living”, and they will not tolerate further puns. Foreman begs for your help.
  18. A mad acid-scarred preacher with a blob-in-a-jar is preaching "the consumptive truth of the world" and "how it all deserves to be swallowed up". The blob wants out of the jar, as it is bored of the preacher but very entertained by having a crowd. It wants to be in show business.
  19. Procession of gigantic puppets and their handlers, one of them comes to life and wanders off. The puppet-master offers a reward.
  20.  A circle of violet robed figures are chanting around something, you can’t see what. some red-robed figures approach to shoo you away, saying  “You were not invited". They will flee violence. In the center of them is a chalk circle with a bag of candies in the center. Interrupting this ritual will inflict a Curse on you.
  21. A pleasant , charming couple approach you, they ask where you are from, what you are doing, and so on. They walk with you for a time, and then suddenly they vanish.
  22. Imagine a daddy long-legs or harvestman spider, 12 feet tall, but it is an albino pumpkin with long spindly vine legs. It’s chasing some cats around. It sees you, and charges.
  23. Out of control Jack-O-Lantern, flame spirits jumping out of its head. Nearby buildings start to burn. 
  24. Workers walking home, joking and eating candies. Street orphans attack them, steal their candy and run.
  25. Frustrated ghost trying to carry its' gravestone away. It is looking for a new home.  
  26. Empty suit of Armor trying to investigate a crime. It forgets which crime, so it wants you to find one for it. It won't mind if you do one yourself, as long as it doesn't know it was you.
  27. Newly arrived family with cart, looking for a place to settle down, one of their children is a skeleton. The rest look rather sick.
  28. Twisted Tree Dryad lost her way. She needs to get back to her home before sunrise. 
  29. Blood appraiser doing their work near a recently exsanguinated body. Only interested in the blood, not the crime that caused it to spill.
  30. Large witch cauldron rampaging through the streets, smashing through walls. A nasty evil spirit inside the cauldron is driving it mad.  It clambers around on claw-feet like a bathtub.
  31. Zombies birds harass a cute human-monster couple. 
  32. Monstrous sculpture has become animated, walking around confused by newfound life. 
  33. Fish-person-creature is looking for a group to sewer delve with it, to find a magic pool to lay their eggs. 
  34. 2d4 ghouls and ghosts hanging out. They take an interest in you. Their motive is unclear.
  35. Skeleton broken into pieces, needs help to find their missing bones throughout the city. they are in 1d4 places.
  36. Gravedigger family searching for a rogue corpse who rudely escaped grave. 
  37. Lonely kid from gravedigger family. Feels like they will never be a good grave digger. They dream of learning a different craft. 
  38. Old man practicing to be undead, failing hard at being spooky.
  39. Tall figure approaches: it is a cloak filled with a swarm of bats. Save to avoid them stealing a random item.
  40. Several people carrying a large coffin. Something is moving inside. They want you to ignore it.
  41. 1d8 Gourd creatures. Hide your torches and lanterns, they eat flames.
  42. Mistmonster covering district in thick fog. Mistmonster has parasites that harass the solid. Ridding it of these parasites will earn its' gratitude, and that of the district. Mist parasites are clammy, pale humans that are slightly translucent. They can only whisper, and dissipate like smoke if the air is disturbed too much around them.
  43. 3d6 floating candles, they want to illuminate things, and will follow you if you go into any darkness.
  44. 1d4 Lantern Handlers are scaring away ghosts with their enchanted lanterns. They want to build a house on this tiny graveyard plot. 
  45. Rogue Lantern Handler draining blood from an unconscious person into a strange red glass lantern. 
  46. Very large black cat fighting off a pack of skeleton dogs & rats. 
  47. An owl wearing a witch hat, it is a witch cursed into an animal form.
  48. Helpful enchanted horse, anyone cursed person will transfer their curse to the next person who rides it.
  49. 1d4 lost, homeless familiars.
  50. Mutated human fly trying to find a hiding place. 
  51. Vampiric Spider looking for prey. 1d6 Ghouls nearby attempt to hide from it. Spider will prefer whoever bleeds first, should there be a fight.
  52. Vampire Spider Hunter in the middle of tracking down a vampire. 
  53. Traveling Spider merchant trading silk items. 
  54. Eccentric noble or official and costumed retinue. 
  55. Rogue butcher looking for "rogue meat" to harvest. 
  56. 1d6 apprentice Butchers on a lunch break. 
  57. 1d6 Runaways, children or teenagers. 
  58. Masked serial killer looking for victims. 
  59. 2d6 Partying students. 
  60. Street teacher, artist, magician or prophet. They follow you, offering their service enthusiastically.
  61. Escaped nightmare. 
  62. D6 Imps looking for trouble.  
  63. Escaped fictional character. 
  64. Writer trying to track down a fictional character. 
  65. Tired witch teachers returning home, distractingly mumbling a random spell. 
  66. 1d6 mischievous Witch Students.
  67. Group of Witches and music students flirting. 
  68. Talented music student cursed with a animal head.  
  69. Runaway enchanted 1d6: 1 broom, 2 cauldron, 3 hat, 4 cloak, 5 book, 6 wig. 
  70. Dangerous monster half turned into a toad by a clumsy Witch Student. 
  71. Creepy eye creature spying on you from the alley shadows.
  72. Traveling Eye-Merchant offering all kinds of eyes. They are stolen.
  73. Eye-Collector, looking for eyes. They are evil, won't mind where eyes come from.
  74. Eye-Creature looking for their glasses.  
  75. Curse Trader offering a special deal: “trade two curses for one”. 
  76. Cursed Owlbear Skeleton.
  77. Lost Black Cat Princess looking for her lover. 
  78. Haunted Carriage offering a ride. Invisible horses and driver.
  79. Sad Flesh Golem, it does cards tricks for a living. 
  80. Friendly scarecrow, actually full of rats & other vermin. 
  81. Construction crew having a hard time controlling a large flesh golem. 
  82. Candy Golem enjoying it's freedom. Candy Enchanter shop burns behind it.
  83. Monster tourists ask you for directions. 
  84. Crypt inspector looking for people to deputize. 
  85. Friendly undead sex workers taking a break, looking for someone to gossip with about the world outside the city.
  86. Tarot reader looking for their lost cards. 
  87. Sad necromancer. Lonesome, has been unable to keep anything undead for very long.
  88. Pulp horror writer looking for inspiration, would like to tag along.
  89. Ghost kids playing poltergeist. 
  90. Swarm of possessed candy wrappers follow you and occasionally obstruct your view.
  91. Carnivalesque people, who in fact wear no masks. 
  92. A large gourd-monster causing trouble with the local merchants. Filled with stolen candy & other goods.
  93. Strange candy house. It seems like it should not be there. The door swings open, it seems to welcome you in.
  94. Friendly vampire who recently got into trouble with a lot of different people. 
  95. Drunk transgender werewolf, trying to drink away their gender dysphoria. 
  96. Mummy looking for a stolen artifact, offering to absorb curses if you find it. 
  97. Non cisgender Witch Student needs help with their homework. Gathering up ingredients for a potion throughout the city.
  98. Desperate were-panther who failed a mission for the cat queen seeks your help.
  99. Demon of Gluttony madly hunting for candy. Strong but stupid, easily distracted.
  100. d6 Living Shadows, they try to steal yours and make it join them. Harmed by light.


A SAMPLE CITY