What’s under the church?

1 – Another church. Older, for a different religion; lots of crows, tapestries of a great and terrible crown. Roll again on this table to see what’s under this one.

2 – A roiling mass of worms. You can’t tell how far down they go, or what they’re surviving on down there. The door slams shut behind you.

3 – An underground cave system. Mostly it’s flooded, but the one dry-ish tunnel leads to the basement of a brothel in town.

4 – A forgotten library. It’s got the original religious texts of the church above it in there, but it seems like no-one knows it’s here. This would be an excellent opportunity to set yourself up in a prophecy of your own invention, if you’ve got a pen to hand.

5 – The anti-church. Built by a sect of True Neutral monks, this anti-church dwells beneath the above church and espouses completely different values for the sake of balance.

6 – A vault containing contraband treasure. Looks like it’s stamped with the insignia of the evil overlord who was cast down from his throne of blood thirty years ago. They (or anyone else who picked it up) would have a hell of a time shifting this. Why do they have it, anyway?

7 – A labyrinth, made out of repurposed wood. It’s filled with half-starving feral boars and the scant remains of the last people who came down here.

8 – A portal to heaven. At least: they reckon it’s a portal to heaven. It’s definitely a portal. The priests here are rapturing people from the local community after deeming them worthy of entrance into the great eternal. (God knows where it really goes, though. Would be a laugh if it actually was heaven, eh.)

9 – An enormous chasm, going way, way down. You can hear music – bells, flutes, pipes etc – and cackling coming from the bottom.

10 – A dark void. A magic hole in space and time, a portal to the elemental plane of No. The church was built on it to contain it, but their wards are failing, and now it’s only a couple of feet beneath the main altar.

11 – A vampire. Leave him alone! He’s trying to sleep.

12 – A suspicious quantity of arms and armour. Good stuff, too. Non-magical (aside from a handful of potions) but it’s of strong make, and there’s enough here to outfit a squad to do some serious work. Which is odd, because it’s hidden beneath a godsdamned church.

13 – A prison. They put sinners here. Sometimes they put food here. The town is calm and peaceful and crime-free, and they like it that way, so no-one asks too many questions about the black-masked priests who walk the streets at night and drag away the undesirables.

14 – A wizard’s tower. You’d think it’d be the wrong way up, but there’s a sky under here and everything; the tower is on a promontory overlooking a wild sea, and you can see something huge shifting under the waves. Wizard’s a bit of a weirdo; she says she’s studying the air currents here, and refuses to believe that there’s a church in her basement.

15 – Catacombs. But: round here, while you’re in mourning, you go and live with the dead under the church. Some folks never come out of mourning. There are about thirty people down there at any given time, and at the end of a funeral, family members are escorted down into the depths with the body.

16 – The same church, but last week. It’s one of the weird sharding effects of the cataclysm; the church is underneath itself, inverted, but the one underneath is a week in the past. As long as you visit the church once a week and stay on good terms with the vicar(s), you can effectively cheat death so long as you don’t mind getting kidnapped by your mates from the future every now and again.

17 – A hospital. The staff here are trying to hide the fact that there’s an outbreak of plague in the area; if it gets out, the panic would be impossible to handle. Their beds are filling up, and they’re on the verge of uncovering a cure, but time is not on their side.

18 – An opium den. None of the priests are actually priests; they’re drug dealers, and most of the town is in on it. They run a pretty solid operation, and don’t care about killing people who shove their noses in where they don’t belong.

19 – An orcish invasion. They’re tunnelling in from their world of darkness and fire and hate, and they’re hungry to see the light and feast on the pleasures of the surface world. You find evidence of an orc camp in the cellar, and then hear the unmistakable sound of iron-shod boots clattering against flagstones.

20 – Cogs from the machine that keeps the world turning. They creak and click at an incredibly slow rate, and beneath you, the sound of vast cthonic rumbling hints at something far larger beneath you. This is a maintenance access panel, but: do you really want to go exploring down here?


Remnants is a series where Chris and Grant, the creative leads behind Rowan, Rook & Decard, create a fantasy world through the use of Dx tables. Because who has time to read a full setting book?

[REMNANTS] Once upon a time, when the dragon-kings ruled the aetherealms and the Witch-Queens fought grand duels over generations with arcana of unimaginable power, the worlds split apart. There was too much magic, and reality couldn’t bear the weight any longer. The otherworlds splintered apart like ships crashing against a shoreline; but the pieces remained, shards of reality, and they pierced the material realm. A thousand dimensions, all attached to various degrees, to the prime material: some forgotten, some overrun with new inhabitants, some spawning monstrous creatures into the world, and some ripe for plundering.

Header image by fly on Flickr

Hearty Dice Friends Episode 42 – A Lot of Jokes About Blanka

Hey look! It’s that big green guy we all know and love: Blanka! He lives in the jungle and he does electric for fun and profit. His dad is a tree and his mum is twenty eels.

Also in this episode:

– What’s it going to take for RPGs to become mainstream?
– What interesting weapons do we not often see in games?
– What system would you use to resolve a dance contest?
– Another solid five minutes on crisps, but this time we tie them to dragons?

Much love,

– Grant and Chris

If you like this, then you can subscribe to us wherever you get podcasts from or support Hearty Dice Friends through our Patreon. Or: tell a friend about us!

EIGHT REAL-WORLD THINGS HUMANS HAVE BUILT GUNS INTO

There’s no limit on what you can build guns into, and we should know, because we’re humans: and humans are the best at putting guns into things where guns shouldn’t be. To that end, here’s a rundown of some stupid shit people have done with firearms, and rules to represent them in your run-of-the-mill D20 game:

Note: If you’re playing in Dungeons and Dragons or anything with a similarly fantastical feel, gunpowder and firearms are experimental at best. We can assume your system has some kind of malfunction rule – use it, but double the chance of misfire, because these things are daft.

KNUCKLEDUSTERS

This seems like top-drawer bollocks of the highest order, because it combines one of the least dangerous things you can still legally call a “weapon” with one of the most dangerous things, namely: a gun. Anyway, the Apache revolver is a British invention which starts off as a hard-to use knuckleduster and unfolds into a hard-to-use pistol, and it even comes with a bayonet on it, because that’s what every pistol needs, isn’t it.

(Pistol: D6+1 damage, range 10ft. “Bayonet:” D4, but you look like a bellend trying to use it. Knuckleduster: D3. (Warning: Knuckledust is lethal if inhaled, so wear a mask.))

PEN

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but both of them pale into insignificance next to the GUNPEN. It holds a single shot, it has a range about equal to throwing the fucking thing, and it takes several minutes to screw together. But it can propel a lump of metal into someone’s body pretty effectively so long as you stand next to them when you do it, so it’s not all bad.

(D6 damage, range 5ft, one shot.)

SWORD

The gunpen is mightier than both the sword and the pen, but the gunsword takes the gunpen round the back of the stables and shoots it clean through the head. A fairly popular tactic from the 16th century onwards was to build a single-shot concealed pistol into your sword, shield, axe or wife and use it during battle to surprise your enemy. Of all the weapons on this list, this is probably the closest to something you’d like to use in a fight: at least it still functions as a sword if it misfires, which it probably will.

(D6 damage, range 5ft, one shot. If your enemy doesn’t know you hid a gun in your sword, +2 to hit.)

RING

Here comes the bride – and she’s wearing a pistol on her finger! This ring-gun uses tiny bullets made by and for children, and boasts a barrel length of zero millimetres, making it more of an objet d’art than a usable weapon.

(D3 damage, range 0ft)

POCKETWATCH

What time is it? TIME TO DIE. Yes.

(D6-1 damage, range 5ft)

BELT BUCKLE

The Nazis did a lot of stuff wrong – I don’t think we’re being too contentious saying that. That “stuff” includes building a four-shot revolver into a belt-buckle; sounds cool in principle, and you can imagine yourself standing feet shoulder-width apart, backlit in a door, firing it at a squad of mooks, crotch ablaze with smoking death. But that’s not how it’d go – you’d have to fiddle with it, ruining the element of surprise, so your murder options are pretty much limited to people who don’t get suspicious when they see you undoing your belt: i.e. sexual partners or someone else in the same bathroom as you.

(D6-1 damage, range 5ft. Make a Sleight of Hand check when using the Belt Buckle Gun to not have someone ask what the fuck you’re doing)

A DIFFERENT, LARGER GUN

Hey! You like guns? How about we stick a gun in your gun so you can gun while you gun? Is your gun not heavy enough? How about we strap a big shotgun to the underside. Or a grenade launcher! No more arduous switching between different weapons, or talking to people even: just shoot all day long. How many guns can we fit into a single gun? We’re still finding out!

(Profile as regular gun, but: damage is reduced by -1 and ammo count is halved. You can build a gun into a built-in gun, further reducing the damage and ammo count, and so on and so forth, until you run out of damage or bullets.)

 

HAT

This was never made, which is a terrible crime. Also, as the source says, the barrel looks to be a 50. Calibre, which would most likely break or at least really damage the firer’s neck.

(D8 damage, range 15ft, D4 damage to self upon firing)