Thursday, September 12, 2019

1d20 Random Deadly Sword & Sorcery Encounter Table With The Royalty of Undeath For Your Old School Campaigns

"Echoing foot falls sounded through the dusty canyon of the old mountains, older then when life had paid its tax to the universe. These rocks throbbed with occult energies beyond the ken of man's knowledge. For the three wizard's apprentices it just might become their graves. They had awoken something ancient, mean, & evil. Now it wanted their hides!
"Do you see it?"
"No but I can feel it, you didn't see those pits it had for eyes!"
"Shut up & run!" The words weren't spoken so much as croaked out of the throat of the poor fool.
"Can't do that I must turn back. He calls me. Can't you hear his voice", & with heavy foot falls the former wizard's apprentice turned & trudged the five miles back to the barely tumbled down pile of rocks & stone that might be ruins.
There were hoof beats approaching closer but in a lazy almost casual fashion. The flanks of the creature had almost horse like outlines but the black energies that passed for not flesh were incredibly alien. Their merest outlines hurt the eyes.
They left the poor fool there.When the thing crested the hill as the others had long since left. Black energies coiled out of what was once centuries maybe a thousand years ago a humanoid skull. The thing was majestic & the definition of evil in the rusted old armor, the weapons though were lovingly oiled, the leather bits worked with care. But that demonic horror seated on the back of a mockery of a horse was not even remotely human. Its eye sockets gleamed with energies from the deepest pits of a nether universe where dead stars gleamed around the souls of the damned.
Urine rain down the leg of the apprentice as his will had long since faded as soon his life would. His soul belonged to the thing on the hillock not far away. What might have been mistaken for a smile crossed the countenance of the thing but it was only the moonlight gleaming off of the bones that pulsed with alien energies. A hand began to work the lovingly tendered sword & its side"


Cover of the pulp magazine Weird Tales (March 1946, vol. 39, no. 4) featured Twice Cursed by Manly Wade Wellman. Cover art by Lee Brown Coye.
The wastelands & graveyards of the dead are the fields & cities of the living, there are countless dead that do not rest easy in their graves. But there are far more alien things waiting in these places for PC's! The dead don't rest easy & don't want to give up their grip on reality, as they hunger for the life & souls of the living. Darker & far more sinister things fuel the lives of these monsters & there is a hunger that is never satisfied.

Cover of the pulp magazine Weird Tales (January 1944, vol. 37, no. 3) featuring Bon Voyage, Michele by Seabury Quinn and The Golden Goblins by Manly Wade Wellman. Cover art by Harold S. De Lay. Published by Weird Tales, Inc.)
These dark thirsts summon demons & worse from the depths of the underworld to drag these horrors back down to the darkest depths. Dungeons, ruins, & other far more sinister place call to these horrors & PC's are the easiest prey for these monsters.

Cover of the pulp magazine Weird Tales (September 1944, vol. 38, no. 1) featuring The Long Still Streets of Evening by Frank Owen. Cover art by A. R. Tilburne.

“Denn die Todten reiten Schnell. (For the dead travel fast.)”

― Bram Stoker, Dracula

1d20 Random Deadly Sword & Sorcery Encounter Table
With The Royalty of Undeath
  1. A decayed lich prince of ancient aspect along with his 1d8 huntsmen from Hell have come to hunt for the souls of the living! 
  2. An ancient decayed Viking berserk still animated by the souls of the slain come for more from the living. He has double the hit points of a wight and an enchanted +2 sword
  3. An ancient queen fat with decay and souls of sacrificed victims has 1d6 ghosts astrally tied to her seeking victims for her hungers! She is a vicious zombie of incredibly dangerous intelligence. 
  4. A lost zombie prince with a demon sword seeks to slay any living to feed his horrid habits and resurrect his people to slay the living. 
  5. An ancient horde of undead ghouls is actually the former royal court of the land and now seek the flesh of the living to assume their chosen place and resurrect their king a death knight. 
  6. An ancient explorer long expired in an ancient distant land now seeks to return to his former homeland four hundred years later after being lost in the underworld. He has been under a curse of necromancy and horror. Treat him as an embodied who anyone he slays joins him. Currently there are 1d10 zombies in bondage to him. 
  7. A slain royal cleric has come back due to a curse and she now wanders the night as a ghoul to pray on the living. Her victims join her as her pack. There are 1d4 ghouls following and slaying for her. 
  8. A royal burrow has been disturbed and the king wanders the night feeding upon the living passing the curse of the wight to others around him. They are forced to give him their souls as they pass on.
  9. A princess slain eight centuries ago has come back as a semi living girl with no memory of  her time in the underworld. At night she roams the night as a vampire & witch slaying the living for their souls to fuel her revenge against a local royal family
  10. Three ghouls wander the night in search of their princes lost among the living. They ride ghasts searching the kingdoms as unknown knights on a quest slaying monsters and other horrors. They are in service to a minor god of death. 
  11. An ancient colour from space has been released from inside the body of an alien royal king. There are nine wights of alien aspect roaming the night feeding on the living and passing on the souls of them to the thing as it gets ready to break free from its nest. 
  12. Twelve zombie disciplines search the night for their undead messiah of royal aspect. They slay anyone they come across. These horrors were all once princes of the local area. 
  13. An alien tomb of a royal prince has been disturbed and a demon has been released it haunts the dreams of the living as it devours the souls of the local children. A prince's soul has been devoured and now he roams the night as a vampire seeking adventurers to slay him.
  14.   1d4 zombies of royal priests roam the night in search for a magical artifact to cure them of their curse. But they must feed on the living and curse anyone they come across with their disease. 
  15. Five ghosts of ancient kings need the souls of 12 maidens to join them in the afterlife of the underworld or they shall become the property of horrid demon lord. 
  16. A necromancer to a royal court 2oo miles away released a demon from the king's private temple and he's become possessed by the thing. He's now a vampire of incredibly dangerous aspect and roams the night slaying any and all he comes across. The king has a bounty on his head. 
  17. Eight queens of the night are shadows of themselves as  vampires & have been released by a careless princess. Their curse causes them to slay the living & seek the souls of innocents for their demonic succubus mistress. The princess has become a slayer of the undead but she needs help. Her curse is starting to take effect. Will she join them or not. 
  18. Five ghoul princes seek the hand of a witch queen but she is trapped beneath a village in the underworld and only the souls of outlaws & adventurers can free them. Guess whose on the menu. 
  19. Three vampire kings seek to conquer the land but they must have the sword of the ancient hero. The thing is guarded by a Lovcraftian horror and perhaps a group of outlaws can succeed. 
  20. An ancient undead god of thunder & lightning has arisen from his ancient tomb and he seeks heroes to slay him or he will release a horde of zombie Viking warriors from their burrow.

    Who fares to find the sunset ere it fly,
    Turning to light and fire the further west,
    Shall have the veils of twilight for his guest,
    And all the falling of an ashen sky.

    On lands he shall not know, the splendor lies—
    A pharos on some alienated shore,
    In foam and purple lost forevermore,
    Where dreams are kindled in remoter eyes.
    Ashes of Sunset  (1922)
    by Clark Ashton Smith

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