Friday, July 31, 2020

All Trolls Are The Same


4e trolls are my favorites, even if they're a lil generic

Trolls are huge, hunchbacked, hook nosed humanoids with mottled green skin and matted black hair. They rarely wear more than a loincloth and resemble big, ugly, bloated babies with premium gym memberships. They can regenerate lost limbs in seconds, and are always accompanied by a horrific stench that never comes off. They eat spools of intestines, raw onions, and soft clay, hoping in vain to fill their cavernous bellies. Trolls are surly, reclusive, quick to anger, and profoundly unkind to all things, including each other — they hate everyone, and the feeling is mutual.

Trolls exude an ungodly odor called Trollstench, a combination of everything they’ve ever smelled over the course of their long, disgusting lives. Though they do not actively mark their territory, you can always tell whether a troll lives nearby by smell alone. Because no creature with a sense of smell can tolerate Trollstench, including other trolls, trolls live solitary lives in unsettlingly silent forests devoid of bug- or bird-song. Removing Trollstench from an object requires fire, acid, and/or holy water.

early trolls look a little too much like marge simpson for my taste

Trolls have perfect photographic memories — they remember everything they’ve ever heard, seen, touched, tasted, or smelled, and can recall any detail with perfect mental clarity. This is why trolls always ask for family names first; they probably know something about your lineage that even you are not privy to, and will use this information to taunt and insult you. Despite their potential for infinite learning, trolls prefer to squander their gifted memories by harboring grudges like no other creature can. When conversing with trolls, don’t bother getting them to like you — figure out who they hate more than you, and you might be able to manufacture some leverage.

1d6 Troll Grudges
  1. A party member’s long-dead ancestor, for writing an insulting song about them.
  2. The tavern wench two towns over, for rejecting (i.e. screaming and running away from) their advances.
  3. The ruler of the nearest kingdom, for decreeing that all trolls be slain on sight.
  4. A faerie lord, for cursing the troll with squeaky shoes.
  5. A unicorn, for being beautiful.
  6. Another troll, probably their twin, for existing.

Trolls can also share memories by smelling one another’s Trollstench. This occurs involuntarily, as not even a troll appreciates catching a whiff of their brethren, and is the primary means by which trolls communicate their many resentments to each other. Even after a troll has been dead for many centuries, others can still learn from the lingering odor on the corpse. Those who dare to slay trolls should be careful to burn the body, as well as anything the troll might have touched in their final moments, lest they be visited years or even decades later by a mob of furious trolls, rallied to exact their cruel revenge.

Because troll culture has existed for so long with perfect retention, many of Rumenan’s oldest gods exist only in their memories. Trolls do not love these gods, but they do maintain a type of symbiotic relationship with them, trading loveless worship for divine protection. Trolls who lean towards shamanism cultivate their fair share of spells, many of which are so twisted by the troll’s influence that they resist the minds of kind-hearted wizards.

1d6 Troll-Warped Spells
  1. Lazy: The spell has an 100% chance of failure when cast by a non-troll, reduced by 20% for each wizard level.
  2. Wild: The spell chooses targets randomly when cast by a non-troll.
  3. Spiteful: The spell deals damage to its caster when cast by a non-troll.
  4. Greedy: The spell requires 10 gp of additional casting components when cast by a non-troll.
  5. Foolish: The spell never refunds casting dice spent on it when cast by a non-troll.
  6. Cruel: The spell deals necrotic damage to allies when cast by a non-troll.

"homey, don't forget to pick up bart from school"

The lives of trolls are dominated by cruelty and spite, but their nature is not entirely monstrous. Trolls are much more intelligent than common knowledge gives them credit for, and they have an insatiable appetite for gossip. They enjoy conversation even if they resent their partner, which is why they prefer to abduct live humans; a troll will probe its prey for chitchat and debate over many days before finally giving in to its hunger.

As a troll ages, it’s hatred for the outside world begins to turn inwards, manifesting in a deep sense of self-loathing. Despite their inability to feel love or companionship, they still feel the absence of these connections. When a troll’s self-hatred and loneliness reach a fever pitch, they are invariably driven to reproduce.

All trolls are male. They reproduce asexually by splitting themselves cleanly down the middle with a makeshift guillotine. Getting a clean cut takes quite a lot of trial and error, but a lonely troll has nothing but time on its hands. When the troll finally succeeds, its two halves each regenerate into an exact copy of the original beast. The “newborns” are identical in every way, and hate one another just as much as the original troll hated itself. If they fail to kill each other, the trolls will part ways to spread vitriol elsewhere. A troll’s “birth” is both traumatic and cathartic, allowing them to externalize their loathsome natures and recover some sense of self.

see what i mean?

The Northern Ugyu will tell you a story about trolls, but few will corroborate it.

All trolls are the same. They have green skin, hook noses, hunchbacks, and black hair. They are covered in boils, stink like sin, and see poorly out of their left eye. They stand 8’11” tall with their hunch (a full 11’ when stretched out), grind their teeth as they walk, and exhibit brachydactyly of the middle and ring fingers. Although they may differ in the mottling of their skin or the styling of their tangled hair, they are on the whole identical. Trolls are not a species; they are clones of a single individual.

Before the first end of the world, the old gods created a race of giants to serve them. These creatures were perfect retainers: tall, intelligent, athletic, and sociable. They were gifted with immortal bodies and minds, such that they could stand by their masters for endless millennia. They exuded the sweetest perfumes and were painted in a peacock’s array of vibrant colors, all to match the desires of their ancient masters.

This is not to say that all giants were born perfect. Many were discarded in the pursuit of perfection, deemed unfit for the heavenly courts and cast into the sea. The Ugyu believe that many of these cast-off giants lie in the deepest trenches of the ocean, where their regenerating corpses feed all manner of aberrations. Only one escaped into the wild, a deformed and ugly runt named Troll.

After the Extinction Mages brought about the end of the world, the servants of the old gods were hunted to the last man. Only Troll evaded capture, hiding in a deep swamp, his heart blackening with hatred for his people, his masters, his hunters, and soon the entire world. It was his life in solitude that tainted his immortal mind, filling it with obscenity and debasement and the disgusting nature of the world, until eventually his loathsome thoughts began to seep through his pores.

Perhaps Troll was born strange, for he was blind to the kindness of others and hyper-sensitive to their cruelties. He hated the birds for singing when he was away. He hated flowers for dying in his hands. He hated humans for hunting him, setting bounties on him, rejecting him, and so on. But most of all, he hated his own wretched existence.

And so it was that Troll cleaved himself in two, so that he could hate another more than he hated himself.

a pretty chill troll by John Bauer


as opposed to these very not chill trolls

art by Justin Gerard
imo the best monsters tell stories just by existing


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

1d20 Pseudo-Fictional Plants

hanging man orchid
  1. Monkey Flower. A yellow, five-petaled flower, said to look like the face of a laughing monkey. Grows around hot springs and volcanic plains. The stems can be stewed to increase one’s heat tolerance for a few hours. Tastes bitter and musky.
  2. Bleeding Tooth. An off-white, asymmetrical fungus that grows on the temperate forest floor. Secretes a dark red, bitter fluid easily mistaken for blood. Can be “““milked””” for its pigment, which acts as a human/animal blood substitute in certain rituals (devils and outsiders can’t tell the difference, but animals can).
  3. Rockrose. Evergreen plants with pink and white flowers native to chaparral regions. When pressed, the fruit bursts violently, emitting tiny sparks capable of lighting small fires. The seeds grow best in wet ash.
  4. Touch-me-not. A shade-loving creeper with pink and white flowers. When touched, it retracts into a bud, then signals nearby flowers to do the same. Distance of signal travel is based on force of impact. Used by hunters and fae alike to pinpoint activity in the forest. Sometimes cultivated by eccentrics as short-range noiseless communication systems.
  5. Corpsevine. A hanging creeper with a heavy ballast-like fruit. The vine contains a fluid which smells of decomposing meat, attracting seed-spreading scavengers when the fruit falls (or a machete cleaves the vine). This fluid can be drained and bottled as an insect/wandering monster attractant.
  6. Miracle Berry. A red berry found in warmer climes. Chewing these berries makes everything taste like the sickly sweet berry for 1d4 hours.
  7. Sandbox Tree. A jungle tree bearing fist-sized brown seed pods. The pods explode with a loud crack when ripe (or thrown), sending seeds ricocheting at high velocity in all directions. Functions mostly as a noisemaker, but could deal damage per DM fiat.
  8. Gympie-Gympie. A plant with broad, serrated leaves and magenta berries. Covered entirely in tiny hairs containing a potent neurotoxin, except for a few stiletto-like red thorns at its base. The toxin causes intense, debilitating pain at the point of contact, lasting 1d4 years if untreated. 1d4 rodent corpses are impaled on the thorns, driven in agony to fertilize the plant.
  9. Mirror Orchids. A nearly translucent five-petaled orchid, but you’ll never see them like that. Smell like oranges or apples. Grow near pools of clear water and mimic the shape/color of the last living creature reflected in the water after 1d4 hours. Taste like glass.
  10. Bat Flower. A dark purple flower with many long, hanging filaments that exclusively grows on dungeon ceilings. The flower and its seeds fall upwards rather than towards the floor. Small objects wrapped in its filaments do the same.
    bat flower
    it even looks like an OD&D monster
  11. Well Moss. A thick, scratchy green moss often found clinging to wet stone. It sticks to everything except metal, and can be used to scrub metal objects clean. It does, however, stick to human hands (gross), as well as silver and other outsider metals.
  12. Skeleton Flower. Tiny, six-petaled white flowers with huge green leaves the size of buckler shields. All parts of the plant turn translucent when wet and revert when dry. Entirely odorless and tasteless.
  13. Bladderwort. A carnivorous yellow flower which floats above water. Traps and digests prey in fist-sized “bladders”, which can be harvested and filled with air (after being cleaned of organic debris). Half as effective as normal air bladders.
  14. Rusty Duckweed. Tiny green plants that quickly grow over water and metal. Edible, but you’d need to skim a small pond for a decent ration. Proliferates quickly (1 ration/hour) if you “feed” it silver (1 sp -> 1 ration). Dies when it dries out.
  15. Bear’s Head Tooth. A rare white fungus that grows on the sides of dead trees. Extremely delicious if cooked properly, a delicacy wherever you find it. Serves as a catch-all offering to anyone with a sense of taste: nobles, faeries, infernal patrons, etc. all love the stuff.
  16. Victoria Lily. A giant water lily which can grow up to 10 feet in diameter. Can support one small, unarmored humanoid, but anything more will plunge right through. The red underside of the lily is covered in small spikes to dissuade fish from eating it. Holds its shape enough to be a great hat but a crappy shield.
  17. Butterwort. A fist-sized, carnivorous plant with sticky leaves for catching small insects. Once stuck to a surface, the butterwort sticks until it dries out and dies. Easily uprooted. Occasionally blooms into a delicate purple flower.
  18. Sloth Moss. An unassuming green algae which readily clings to animal hair and skin. Completely harmless. If properly cared for and allowed to flourish, sloth moss will disguise its host as a plant with its chemical language, protecting them from the ire of Shambling Mounds and Snapdragons.
  19. Strangler Fig. A parasitic plant with broad pointed leaves and necromantic origins. Uses its roots to drain nutrients from its organic host (tree trunks/plant roots/corpses), enveloping them in a wooden husk. The roots are stiff and lightweight, even after the host has long since decomposed. Its fruit are large, gummy, and full of tiny seeds, one of which will grow into a close approximation of the host organism. Smart adventurers won’t allow corpse seeds to grow.
  20. Walking Palm. A palm tree standing on spear-like roots. Moves at a glacial pace, or at a walk if no sighted creatures are looking directly at it. Can be guided with fertilizer and rich loam. Capable of galloping when infuriated, goring anything in its path with its roots.
Sidenote: Plants don’t like being stepped on or chopped for lumber, but they don’t get mad either. To infuriate a plant so much that it uproots itself, you need to really get vulgar and personal, speak their language, and present an existential threat to everything the plant loves and holds dear.

monkey orchid

Use these plants to add dynamic environments to a dungeon, spice up your travel time, or give the tree-hugger herbologist player something to get excited over.

Oh, and if you have flowers in your dungeon, you’ll probably want some pollinators.

Melhemeret’s Mole
HD 0 (HP 1)  Defense unarmored  Claws 1d4
MoveDig 10  IntMorale 2
Special can smell color

A furry, fist-sized mole with paws like shovel blades. It is nearly blind, but can “smell” brightly colored objects through the earth. It consumes its own weight in grubs and beetles each day, but has a particular taste for flower nectar. Often accidentally digs into dungeons, lured by colorful gems and the belongings of fallen adventurers. Named after the infamous illusionist who bankrupted the Dashiran military with counterfeit gold.

Burrowbees
HD 2 (swarm)  Defense as leather  Sting 1dX (where X is the swarm’s current HP)
Move 2  DigFly 15  IntMorale -
Special blindsense

White bees with red eyes. They burrow through dungeon walls at half speed by spitting up acid and digging with their overdeveloped mandibles. They dig sprawling hives in dungeons with flowering vegetation and supplement their diet with anything that wanders into their thousands of tunnels. The queen is huge, about the size of a small dog, and buried behind 10 feet of rock. If you manage to avoid getting stung to death she might be willing to barter (of course she speaks Common, why wouldn’t she).

No morale because they’ll die for their hive. Their intelligence is their queen’s intelligence. A wooden door might stop 1 bee, but it won’t stop a swarm for more than 2 rounds.

1d4 Burrowbee Queen Wares (Roll twice)
  1. Royal Jelly. A month’s supply for 10 gp (doesn’t count as a full meal). Consuming Royal Jelly every day leads to the development of various facial features common to the region’s nobility (at least 3 elements that fit your setting, e.g. blue eyes/attached earlobes/Hapsburg chin). +1 Cha if eaten every day for a month, +2 Cha if eaten every day for a year (doesn’t stack). The people will be more likely to believe your claim to the throne.
  2. A yellow leather-bound spell book. Contains Grease and Grow Beard. She’s not sure where she got it from, but she’s sure she doesn’t need it. The inside cover says that it’s 15 years overdue at Our Lady Sorrow’s Library.
  3. The Maguffin Rose, an extremely rare and delicate flower in a glass vase. It’s worth 60 gp aboveground, but she’ll give it to you for 5g or a favor. Doesn’t need sunlight, but must be watered every 2 hours. Refracts light like a prism through its crystal leaves. Try not to drop it, you clumsy clod, or the stem will shatter and it will be worthless.
  4. An Apiomancer’s Monocle. It’s a little sticky. Plant buds viewed through the hexagonal lens will bloom in 2 days time with no ill effect on the plant.

male digger bee

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Fiction of Lock Picking and Math

You’re sneaking around in the halls of the Giant King, Sendigar IV. So far, all doors have been big enough that you could crawl through the keyhole, but now you’re face to face with the bedroom door of his elven slave-princes, an appropriately-sized steel slab with a golden keyhole. To enter, you’ll need to nudge the tumblers just right, with little room for error. A failure could set off an alarm, or worse, a deadly trap. You could lose it all here, but you could also escape with a hot elven prince (or just their treasure, w/e floats your boat).

You have a character sheet, a dungeon master, and an assorted collection of dice. How do you determine your odds of success?

We’re about to do some math.

ugh math
Below is a table which proves by dint of its existence that this blog is backed by science. The button below contains all the math and stuff that went into it, but the main takeaway is that in order to know their odds of success for a given action players need to run a mental protocol/equation that varies in complexity based on the RPG system they are using.

Compare systems with higher complexity and hidden information to those with low complexity and open information. Which have you played, and which have left you feeling more empowered as a player?


5e
GLOG
Target 20
Roll-High-Under
LotFP
# of Protocol Steps
5
2
5
4
1
# of Equation Elements
4
2
3
3
0
Hidden Information (DC)
Yes
No
No
Yes
No


I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the more mental math exists between a player and their odds of success, the less likely they are to bother with calculating their odds of success. Similarly, keeping information from players in the form of varying DCs and hidden penalties may dissuade them from attempting the math in the first place, since now they need to run the same calculations for a range of possible scenarios.

Preventing players from doing the math can be good for preserving immersion — in real life, no one knows their exact chance of tripping down the stairs or successfully assembling Ikea furniture. However, although we don’t generally think in percentages in our daily lives, human brains are designed to make rapid probabilistic judgements about our surroundings based on dozens of factors we can’t even consciously perceive, let alone explain to a group of four friends in a reasonable timeframe. An average adventurer should (in fiction) have a pretty good idea of how difficult a given lock might be to pick based on information we are not immediately privy to as players (how rusty the thing is, whether or not its a particularly tough model, a sixth sense for danger and/or bad luck). In a sense, a player’s mathematical understanding of their odds of success might be the best out-of-game translation for an adventurer’s intuitive understanding of the same situation.

There is also a fear that giving players too much information will lead to risk avoidance, and therefore a loss of meaningful decision making. I say phooey to that. Decision making is most meaningful when players know that they are taking a risk. Without knowing the stakes, there can be no tension in the roll, no excitement at the prospect of victory in the face of insurmountable odds. There’s just disappointment when things don’t go your way and idle pleasure when things do. A smart DM weaponizes the odds, only rolling the dice when the tension between risk and reward is apparent to all.

by Konstantin Vavilov

At the heart of this weird, roundabout analysis-post-thing is the idea that the RPG system you use changes the fiction.

Consider our lock picking scenario in D&D 5e. You have a +6 in Sleight of Hand, but you left your locksmith’s toolkit in town. The golden lock is unassuming, but an insignia around the outside confirms that it was forged by demons (DC 20). “Could be a toughie,” you think, but roll anyway.

12. That’s good, right?

Electricity shoots through your body. You’re dead, roll a new character. Here lies your character, killed by a blasé attitude towards probability.

Now let’s try that again, with a roll-under system. You have 8 ranks in Locksmithing, but the lock was forged by demons (“-2 to Locksmithing,” your DM says). You hold the die in your hand, knowing that you need to roll a 6 or lower to succeed, a mere 30% chance. “Fuck it,” you say, “I want that elf prince booty.” The die falls.

12. Shit.

Electricity shoots through your body. You’re dead, roll a new character. Here lies your character, killed by their lust for elf prince booty.

Same odds, same outcome, different fiction.

you're still dead though. RIP in pieces

Monday, July 20, 2020

Rivers with Personality

Rivers have names, mouths, and banks, which makes them pretty much 99% human. Here are three examples of rivers with human personalities.


a river, for reference (by Amir Zand)
Easybrook is a stream of no great repute. It runs once around the waterwheel of an old man’s mill, through a secret village of halflings, and is eventually absorbed into the rushing Wyrmtail River. Easybrook can whisper into her big brother Wyrmtail’s ear, convincing him to slow his current for those in need. She’s not the only being who will help you cross the rapids, but she is definitely the most agreeable. She collects a tidy sum, which she plans to spend hiring a wizard-engineer to divert water upstream and transform her into a more destructive force than her brother. If you find her treasure trove, she’ll try to drown you. If you threaten her, she’ll alert the halflings. They’ll defend her with their lives, unaware of her secret ambitions.

The Misra is a stream trickling through a dry riverbed. It claims to have once known the location of every gold piece lost in its banks, but its memory of these treasures is sealed away in an underground aquifer that it hasn’t the strength to reach. If you restore its flow (destroy an abandoned dwarven dam, cause an avalanche, open the lich king’s aqueducts) and return to the Misra with proof, the river will gladly shower you in coins. It will, of course, keep its most valuable treasure for itself — the one it discovered as the waters carved the riverbed for the first time in centuries — but a clever party can surely find a way to access it.


a river
This is Haku. He is a river.

Montegrum is a fledgling trade city built on the banks of two great rivers, the Tressent and the Krahm. These bodies of water, colloquially known as “the twins”, meet only once, in the center of the city, before splitting unnaturally to go their separate ways. The twins possess an odd property that prevents their waters from mixing; a drop of ink in the Tressent will never flow into the Krahm, and vice versa. You can tell them apart by temperature: the Tressent is hot and the Krahm is cold. The townsfolk postulate that the twins have been in a minor dispute for several centuries, which is why they refuse to mingle. To take advantage of this phenomenon, merchants guilds in Montegrum employ “river politicians” — gangs who perform favors for the rivers in exchange for swifter trade ships.

1d6 Montegrum River Politics (is this is what D&D blogs do?)
1 - The river wants you to dump a few tons of garbage in its twin’s waters. Watch out for rival river politicians.
2 - The river wants you to halt construction of a dam upstream. Could be humans, could be dire beavers.
3 - The river wants you to start a conversation with the other river, then pull a nasty practical joke on it. It suggests defecation. It doesn’t mention what happened to the last person who did this.
4 - The river wants you to destroy a bridge for offending its decorating sense. Its a rickety wooden thing that connects two local gang hideouts. They run Blue Lotus shipments over it, so its heavily guarded.
5 - The river wants you to drown a fisherman or two, to send a message.
6 - The river wants you to remove an old anchor from its bed. The thing is cursed, and also sixty feet underwater, and also the river is not very clean.

dude being seduced by a river
Monica Antonie Meineche

Talking with rivers is pretty easy. First, locate an auspicious feature of the river, such as a peculiar eddy or school of iridescent fish clustered near a pier. This is where the river’s attention is most likely to be located (1-in-6 chance of success, 4-in-6 if you are particularly familiar with rivers/fae/augury).

Next, provide an offering to gain its interest. Offerings that are foreign to their waters are generally well received, such as igneous stone crafts or a pinch of desert spice. They also appreciate irony, and will accept drowned land animals as a kind of backwards fishing. If all else fails, rivers like gold as much as any intelligent being.

Now ask your question. Are you looking for something that was lost? Do you want to know a sailor’s secrets? Deliver your question, in written form if possible, and wait. The river might create a nymph-like form to converse with you. It might chuck a note right back. It might communicate in swirls and eddies (in which case, you’ll probably need a local river politician to decipher). It might simply whisper in your ear. Regardless, it wants something in exchange, and you probably won’t be able to threaten it; swords and shields do very little against a localized tsunami.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Orcs Are Like Lobsters

All creatures grow as they age until they approach a maximum size, at which point they begin to shrivel. The orcs will tell you that this is a falsehood told by softskins and milklings. Orcs know that there is no such thing as old age, that life is meant to grow uninhibited until death drags it away kicking and screaming. Humans, elves, and nobbins believe in full maturity as an excuse for their laziness, but the truth is that they would keep growing if they really wanted to.

A big orc, raaaarr
by Viktor Titov

Orcs are like lobsters; the older one gets, the larger (and stronger) it becomes. An average specimen dies at 30 years of age (due to their violent lifestyles) resembling a tall, tusked human with lustrous grey skin, but orcs who live past the ripe old age of 50 soon find themselves in the same weight class as trolls. Ancient orcs are towering siege beasts with an armory’s worth of horns jutting through their faceplates. They like to peer over castle walls before kicking in the gates for their friends. Call them 1 HD per 10 years until 60, then 1 HD per 20 years after that.

Between growth spurts, orcs molt. The whole process is quite an ordeal: new muscle bursting through the old as skin and hair slough off in sheets. Newly molted orcs are relatively vulnerable, having shed their chitinous skin, which takes up to 1d4 days to grow back. A single orc molts approx. once a month.

After centuries of growth, orcs become so enormous and muscle-laden that they can barely move. When an elder orc begins to stumble, clan members typically descend upon them, tearing their eldest to shreds as they salvage them for parts. Otherwise, they leave them for dead; the nomadic lifestyle has no room for stragglers who cannot be made useful. Elder orcs are a threat even when reduced to dragging themselves overland, but eventually starvation or some more agile predator claims them.

In rare circumstances, crawling orcs are mistaken for fallen gods, or perhaps convince other humanoids of the same (they’ve got a few centuries of wit to them). Towns and villages develop around their wisdom, building shrines around their massive bodies, trading offerings and care for dark secrets and cryptic blessings. However, this is rarely sustainable, as the orc’s appetite is so large that it must be sated with herds of game, and clearing their waste involves diverting entire rivers. Eventually, the orc grows hungry, and a few missing retainers turns the town against their bestial god.

Some believe that the orcish life cycles originate in their philosophies rather than their biologies. The monks of the Great Hand attempt to live like orcs and emulate their values, in order to surpass their physical limits and begin molting themselves.


I’m bad at these table things

1d6 Orc-related Encounters
1 - A discarded orc skin and three sets of footprints, two of which belong to large cats. They’re fresh.
2 - An orc in fine silks and 1d4 human monks of the Great Hand. The orc is despondent. The monks call him Father Ktur. He’s a mage and probably an outcast, which is why he’s socializing with humans. They’ll try to convert you before they try to eat you.
3 - A scouting party of 1d4+1 young orcs, one of whom is about to molt. That’s when the real fight starts. Their tusk arrangements are ridic, and they’ll try to stab the party with their face if they can.
4 - An elf with 1d4 orc bodyguards. He’s looking for the Chalice of Endless Vittles in a nearby dungeon, and brought them along as muscle and trap-fodder. They’re looking for the first chance to kill him.
5 - A fallen orc shrine, guarded by a troll-sized orc and her two wolves. Her grandfather is inside, alive but immobile due to his size. He knows things, but will demand Herculean tasks in exchange for his knowledge (mostly demon-related, orcs love that shit).
6 - A dilapidated orc shrine, walls lined with the bones of the elder it was built on top of. The ghosts of everyone she ate stalk the corridors. There’s BIG treasure here, but its a giant carved-stone bellybutton piercing full of ghosts.