Illustration by Rowan MacColl
Adventure Calendar is a series of 25 winter-themed random tables that mesh together to build an evolving setting and campaign for your favourite fantasy RPG, whatever that might be. You can learn more about the project and find the full list of published tables here.
“Why hello there, adventurers! My name is Professor Flouro Wizbiz, and – well – I’m something of an inventor. I live here in my tower and make magical fripperies, arcane gewgaws, occult diversions and enchanted stocking-fillers. I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy – oh, do have some more eggnog while you browse, won’t you? It’s magic!”
[Assume Wizbiz has D6 of any given item in stock.]
1: FULL-BODY HAND WARMERS. Held in the hands, but the heat from them spreads through your entire body. Gives a respite from cold weather equivalent to sitting indoors next to a roaring fire. DO NOT EAT. [D4, then D6, then D8 damage increasing appropriately every round until immolation. Average Toughness save to retch it up.]
2: “LIVING” WOODEN SOLDIERS. Not actually living – just animated with some leftover souls that Professor Wizbiz had laying around the workshop. 1/day, activate them by winding them up with a special key. Will follow orders and do anything that a regular soldier would do if they had no working elbows or knees and their gun was just a bit of wood.
3: LUMINESCENT HAT. Soft felt top hat that lights up in a variety of colours and patterns. Controlled by a series of trigger words printed in a chapbook, which is surprisingly easy to lose.
4: UPHILL TOBOGGAN. Bored of walking back up to the top of the hill after you’ve sledded down it? This toboggan goes uphill, so now there’s no need! Holds three children, which is equivalent to about one and a half adventurers (depending on gear) and there’s a 1-in-6 chance that it will refuse to go downhill if asked to. Rumours of the uphill toboggan gathering momentum as though it were travelling downhill are falsehoods circulated by Doctor Neon Arcana, the Professor’s main business rival.
5: SOCK OF HOLDING. As Bag of Holding, but with a narrower hole at the top (it’s cheaper to make this way). A minute or so of digging around in there will turn up a: 1: Walnut 2: Sad Tangerine 3: Two Chocolate Coins 4: Mesh Sack of Marbles 5: Whistle 6: Candle
6: CRACKING CRACKERS. Unfathomably loud crackers; cause minor ear damage if used without protection in an enclosed space. Not entirely clear why Wizbiz is selling them. He’s attempting to brand them as the “crackiest crackers on the market,” but clearly no-one wants that. Useful as a distraction, plus you get a paper hat, a bad joke, and a little toy of some kind, so it’s not all bad. [Average Toughness save or be deafened for D6 rounds; ear protection gives you advantage on this check]
7: BOTTLE OF MAGIC EGGNOG. You know how you feel more charismatic after a couple of drinks? This eggnog actually makes you more charismatic [roll with Advantage on your next attempt to charm someone] and, as a completely unintentional side-effect, more likely to buy magic items [roll with Disadvantage to resist purchasing something in Wizbiz’ shop].
8: TINSELWURM. Legally, this is a pet – a sort of glittery snake made out of tinsel that eats small mammals, eggs, and anything that a regular snake would eat. (You’d think it would eat baubles or something, and it does try to, but they make it ill.) Can function as a serviceable wizard’s familiar or a bad ranger’s animal companion [stats as small snake] and is functionally indistinguishable from any ambient tinsel in the area until it moves.
9: REALITY-ADJACENT CANDLES. These candle frames use surprisingly affordable extradimensional magic to burn a flame in a universe one step away from our own, meaning that they won’t ever set fire to the tree or tinsel or presents or anything like that. On occasion you may notice the fire spreading beyond the immediate vicinity of the candle wick, but this is nothing to worry about and no cause for alarm.
10: BOARD OF ENDLESS CHEESE. Three times per day, when the silver cloche on top of this wooden platter is removed, you will find that it contains a modest but respectable amount of cheese – two portions of hard, one soft, and at least one that smells of feet. You also get enough crackers to eat the cheese off, some lacklustre grapes, and maybe some chutney in a little pot if you’re lucky (1-in-6 chance of chutney).
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