Monday, 15 June 2015

20 things your trickster might have 'acquired' and not be quite sure what to do with

Oirat Woman, Oblispolk, Mongol, Russia. Taken during the 1920s.
The pipe helps her think. She'll work out what to do with her latest haul sooner or later.
Well, I've done Fighters and Scholars, so now it's the trickster's turn. As with the others, there's a quick starting equipment table (roll or pick), and then the important bit: what has your trickster recently come into possession of that's only going to get them into way, way more trouble a bit further down the line?

(Fighters look grimly at mementoes. Scholars forget to return library books. Tricksters have wacky adventures that lead to them stealing things which will embroil them in further wacky adventures. So it goes.)

Trickster Additional Starting Possessions Table (Roll 1d6)

Gambler's gear: Fancy clothes, concealed chain shirt (+4 AC), concealed pistol (1d8 damage, 3 rounds to reload), loaded dice, marked cards, 3d6x10 sp.
Burglar's gear: Lightweight clothes in dark colours (treat as light leather jacket, +1 AC), pistol (1d8 damage, 3 rounds to reload), 50' rope with grappling hook, set of lockpicks, 3d6x10 sp.
Entertainer's gear: Heavy travelling coat (treat as buff jacket, +2 AC), colourful performance costume adorned with ribbons, musical instrument, songbook, juggling balls, 3 daggers (1d4 damage, also for juggling), pistol (1d8 damage, 3 rounds to reload), 1d6 firecrackers, 1d6 marionettes and glove puppets, 1d6x10 sp.
Con-man's gear: Respectable-looking clothes, concealed chain shirt (+4 AC), concealed pistol (1d8 damage, 3 rounds to reload), 1d6 fraudulent contracts, paper and ink, 1d6 vials of coloured water with labels claiming that they are rare and expensive drugs, 1d3 pieces of ostentatious jewellery (all fake), 6d6x10 sp (half real, half realistic forgeries).
Spy's gear: Nondescript clothes, concealed chain shirt (+4 AC), concealed pistol (1d8 damage, 3 rounds to reload), lockpicks, disguise kit containing wigs and make-up, paper and ink, tiny capsule of poison (suicide pill), 2d6x10 sp.
Wastrel's gear: Flamboyant and expensive clothes (now shabby and in need of repair), ostentatious hat with 1d3 feathers, concealed chain shirt (+4 AC), pistol (1d8 damage, 3 rounds to reload), bottle of strong drink, deck of cards, musical instrument, box of cigars, 1d6x10 sp.

20 Things Your Trickster Might Have 'Acquired' And Not Be Quite Sure What To Do With (roll 1d20)

1.   A bundle of incriminating papers, implicating an influential local figure in a variety of crimes and misdemeanours. About half of them look genuine, but you're pretty sure the rest are high-quality forgeries.
2.   A hand-drawn map of a local temple, with several secret passages marked on it. Next to one of them - which appears to connect the temple with another nearby building - someone has written the words: 'NEVER use this tunnel after dark.'
3.   A collection of exquisite pornographic woodcuts, depicting an assortment of extremely unnatural acts. Selling them to the right person could earn you a lot of money. Selling them to the wrong person could get you into a very large amount of trouble.
4.   A performing monkey, trained to do amusing impressions of various famous people. Has a nasty habit of grabbing small, valuable objects and throwing them out of windows while you're not looking.
5.   A stack of passionate love letters, tied with a red ribbon, written to a local noblewoman by someone who was definitely not her husband. Frustratingly they're all anonymous, but various internal clues suggest the author was not a member of the aristocracy.
6.   A mass of papers written in some kind of complicated cipher. You haven't been able to crack it, yet, but you're working on it...
7.   An anonymous journal, which records in obsessive detail the suspicious activities of a variety of seemingly-innocuous local citizens, whom the author seems to have been keeping under close observation. Either he was totally paranoid, or they are engaged in some kind of conspiracy. Maybe both.
8.   A tiny, gilded metal box, the size of your closed fist, locked tight. All your efforts to open it have so far proven ineffectual. When shaken, it makes a very soft clinking sound, as of tiny glass objects bouncing off one another inside.
9.   A stash of very powerful, oddly-scented opium. Taking it induces dreams of a tower on some distant hillside... but it's always the same tower, and the time and season in the dream-visions match those in real life. The more you take, the more powerfully you feel that something inside the tower is trying to reach out and contact you through your drug-induced dreams...
10.  You stole a cart. Hidden at the bottom of the cart there was a coffin. The coffin is locked shut with seven different locks, and something keeps bumping around inside it. It's been more than a week, now, and whatever's in there has had no food or water, but it just keeps thumping around. It's really starting to freak you out.
11. Your ex-lover's wedding ring. Now that was a complicated relationship. You spent most of your time screaming insults at each other and throwing things, but every time you look at the ring you can't help but wonder whether you should track them down and give things one more try...
12. A map, which shows in painstaking detail how to navigate the ring of deadly reefs around a distant island. A point near the middle of the island is marked with an X. There is no hint as to what 'X' might actually be.
13. Chapters six, seven, and nine of some kind of book on mechanical engineering, seemingly torn from a larger work. They describe in enormous detail how to construct an intricate clockwork mechanism, but what it’s supposed to do is left unclear – and, besides, with chapter eight missing you wouldn’t know how to build one of the most important parts…
14. An old family tree, showing the ancestry of a local noble family. If it’s accurate – and it looks like it might be – then a whole branch of the family has somehow disappeared since it was written, despite (or because of) the fact that they should really be the primary heirs to the family’s land. You wonder if there are any surviving members…
15. A letter of recommendation, signed and sealed by a king from a far-off land, which declares you to be the All-Conquering Slayer of Beasts and Monsters, Katarina the Magnificent. You’ve never heard of her.
16. A bronze-and-clockwork head of a woman, slightly larger than life-sized, clearly missing a chunk of mechanisms from the area of its throat. When wound up, the gears turn and the lips move as though trying to speak, but no sound comes out.
17. A notebook in which someone has recorded, in great detail, the gastronomic preferences of a whole range of important and powerful people. Very handy if you want to make a good impression - or to set someone else up to make a bad one!
18. The personal seal of a high-ranking local official, used to authorise official documents. The official is currently away on some kind of sensitive diplomatic mission, and you have no idea when (or if) they will return.
19. A land grant, bearing the seal of a dead official, declaring Lord Farhad and his daughter Ara to be the rightful owners of Seven Lake Country. As far as you know, Farhad and Ara have been dead for years, and Seven Lake Country is way, way out into the wilderness; but still, if you can pass yourself off as a descendant, maybe you can find more profit than they did out on the frontier…
20. A beautiful wedding dress, totally soaked in lethal contact poison. You’re sure it’ll come in handy one day!


  1. Good stuff. How about something similar for Travellers? :P

    1. I started writing a '20 Traveller's Tales Your Traveller Might Like to Tell Around A Campfire', but I found them way harder to write than the ones for Fighters, Tricksters, and Scholars; I think I ran out of steam about thirteen entries in. If I can't dream up some more soon, I'll just post it as a 1d12 table, symmetry be damned...