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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Wishing Well

Another dungeon trick cliche: a wishing well. Well, sometimes it’s a wishing well. Most of the time, the kinds of wishes it will grant are pretty limited.

I introduce a new dice trick for the d4+d8 table: checking if the dice are both even or both odd. This only happens on an unmodified result with an even total; unmodified odd results will be one even die and one odd die. This trick allows me to squeeze in a little more variety into the table.

Wishing Well

A small stone wall about 2 feet high surrounds this circular well. It’s 50 feet deep and half full of water. Throwing something into the well produces a small splash and bestows a random enchantment or gift. Roll d4+d8 on the table; if both dice results are odd, the well dries up and can’t be used again. If someone who has already received something from the well tosses another item in, roll only 1d6 when consulting the table; the well will dry up on a 6.

Remember to subtract 1 or 2 from the roll for curses, or add 1 for a blessing from a patriarch or an enchanted dungeon feature.

d4+d8 Roll Random Well Effect
1 or less SWARM OF TENTACLES tries to pull one or more people into the well.
2 SWARM OF FLIES engulfs party, blocking vision and making noise.
3 CLOUD OF SOOT billows forth and fills the area, curses all within 20 feet.
4 FOG fills area, blocking vision. Check for wandering monsters.
5 LIGHT shines from well for one hour.
6 Silence, no splash.
7 MONEY, in the form of 3d6x10 gold coins, sprays from well.
8 HEALING LIGHT restores 1d6 damage.
9 GHOST emerges to answer three questions or scout for party.
10 RAVEN flies out, leads party to nearest map, scroll, or book.
11 Light bestows BLESSING for one day.
12 DOVE flies out, dispels negative enchantments.
13+ SPIRIT UNICORN Grants wish or restores all health, cures disease.

The swarm of tentacles has twice as many dice as the dungeon level and always attacks the person who used the well, but may attack others. Everyone rolls a d6; anyone whose roll matches the main victim is also attacked. Successful hit does no damage, but grabs the victim and drags them in after 1d6+1 rounds.

The swarm of flies has two dice, but is automatically dispersed by a hit that does more damage than the dungeon level. Check for wandering monsters every turn until the flies are chased off.

The cloud of soot blocks vision for one turn only, but leaves soot on everyone exposed, as well as a curse. The well also dries up.

The fog, ghost, and unicorn results look identical at first: a fog spills out of the well and fills the area. When it disperses, the ghost or unicorn appears, if that is the indicated result. Likewise, the light, healing light, and blessing look identical; these affect the first person who looks down the well into the light plus possibly others, based on the d6 roll trick used for the swarm of tentacles.

The ghost has half as many hit dice as the level of the dungeon, but can’t attack or be attacked by non-ethereal beings. It will either answer three questions about the dungeon or scout ahead for the party, warning of danger, for no more than a day (roll every hour, 5+ on d6 means the ghost departs.) The ghost will not leave the dungeon and knows nothing about the outside world.

The dove will land on the person who used the well, removing any curses and dispelling evil spells. It may land on others, too; use the d6 roll described for the swarm of tentacles.

The unicorn acts a little like the ghost, but if both the d4 and the d8 are even, it grants one wish to the person using the well. The wish must be made within one turn, or it leaves. If the unicorn doesn’t offer a wish, it restores all health and cures disease in the person who used the well and possibly one or more others in the room, again using the d6 roll mentioned for swarm of tentacles.

If someone lowers a container into the well instead of tossing something in, the water in the container contains the enchantment rolled (except for the tentacles, silence, or money results.) The enchantment takes effect when the water is thrown at an area, or if drunk. Up to 1d6 people can drink from the container and receive the enchantment. If the roll indicated money, the container contains coins instead of water.

Lowering something other than a container has a reduced effect. Roll just 1d8; negative effects and the healing light emerge from the well when triggered as usual, but an ordinary light result makes the object glow for one hour, while a money result coats the object with gold, increasing its value. On a 6, the well goes dry.

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