There are places of ancient power that the flow of time and power moves around as water seemingly flows around a rock in a fast running stream. Places were the flow of magic and mystery call to adventurers,out laws and thieves.These ancient relics of a bygone age hold power and wizards seek to tap into the web of the occult that reach across the timeless void and dimensions. Here then are a small selection of wasteland locations that will snare your adventurers in webs of mystery danger and the deep end of magic.
1d10 Random Ancient Places Of Magic
And Mystery Encounter Table
- An ancient pile of standing stones and henges that are aligned with the comings and goings of damned stars. Anyone tapping into the powers of this place will receive 1d4 random spells and 10% chance of encountering some ancient Lovecratain guardian horror.
- A stone obelisk so ancient that the writing has worn from its surface.This black ancient place of mystery is a portal an ancient gate into some hellish dimension. Things lay in wait for any foolish magician, occultist, or other greedy person. There is a small treasure of 50,000 gold pieces secreted someplace on the site and a cult of ghouls guards the place.
- The ruins of some ancient downed airship that has been converted into a temple to the Old Ones. Here mutants come to worship, the place sparks with weird occult power and there are numerous artifacts scattered throughout the place.
- A pyramid of cut crystal glass blocks lock easily into place. The pyramid is the home to an ancient horror's soul and it will devour anyone's soul who gets close. The place is a draw for those seeking treasures.
- A massive underground pit of a ruin that seethes with raw occult power and grants 1d4 spells to those who wish to listen to those who listen to the wisdom from beyond the pale.
- A massive copper coloured structure calls to adventurers and is actually the projection of a god's essence trapped in stone. Those accessing this power will be struck by a horrid vision of insanity and power. They receive 1d6 spells but will be stunned for 1d10 hours.
- A massive floating castle upon a cloud is actually a beautiful location of some ancient tragic event. The place is time haunted by the ghosts of the ancients and they're relics and artifacts have been left behind. The place grants access to spells from the white and grey schools of magic. Ancient wraiths prowl halls of this place.
- A massive downed wreckage of some strange dimensional craft exists in many locations in space time and is guarded by elemental demons. There are ancient alien books and scrolls that will grant 1d8 spells to those spending 1d6 days here.
- There is a massive copper door set into the ground that leads to a deep well like dungeon and set of tunnels. These were home to a highly advance race of weird bat creatures and cave demons. There are weird echoing songs that will teach 1d4 spells of the Gray set to those who know the words of power.
- An incredible dungeon complex set within the skull of a being of power's head. The place still echoes with the monsters who share the place with the decayed portion of this thing's brain. It will telepathically teach two levels of spells but has a 30% chance of driving the supplicant insane temporarily.
Ancient places of power are rarely used for old school adventures these days in the past we've seen tons of ruins, tumbled down partially destroyed dungeons. But when was the last time that we've seen an temple of ancient astronomy or special stellar alignments used for an old school game. There are several OSR adventures such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess's Tower of the Star Gazer. But I have yet to see an adventure spun around the idea of an Archaeoastronomy location used for summoning demons, Lovecraftian gates & monsters,etc. And yet there are hints throughout old school several modules, most notably S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth by Gary Gygax which has this entire theme of weirdness & star spawned dread throughout. Sure its in Greyhawk but your party knows is in a place of occult power & deadly intent.
Even other reviewers noted the background intentions with S4; "Jim Bambra reviewed the adventure for White Dwarf. He gave it 9/10 overall, with 9/10 for presentation, rules, playability, enjoyment, skill, and complexity. Bambra noted that the module ended a long time off for Gary Gygax, and was "very tough" and that good play was stressed in the introduction. Sub par play quickly ended the story, but the rewards of powerful magic and the satisfaction of completing a difficult task made it worthwhile. He also noted that the adventure came with a 32-page booklet with 30 new monsters and a small amount of new magic. Not all the new creatures are featured in the plot, but they can be used by the DM in other adventures. Also, magical diagrams are given an in-depth treatment, including their creation and effectiveness"
And this sort of air permeates S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth by Gary Gygax effectively pulling in the players & dungeon masters with a classic module.