Thursday, June 14, 2012

Table 2: Strangerside Encounters

Each of these Strangerside Encounters was inspired by a card draw from the RPG Inspiration Cards.

Usually I used a combination of the image, Title, and Archetype. I often used the Event, Character Trait, and Character Quirk descriptions as well.

Roll a D30:
  1. A priestess of a foreign cult is holding forth on the one true faith. "God Willing" has attracted an audience of 30 people, including three pickpockets who are hard at work on the crowd.
  2. A contingent of Keeper soldiers is stopping people and asking if they have seen anyone calling himself "The Usurper"; they say one of the Plague Marshals has gotten loose in the city and is spreading Swamptail fever.
  3. A foreign wizard wanders aimlessly about the streets talking to himself - and will talk to you if you speak to him. His skin has a metallic sheen and he has casting mold lines running down the sides of his arms.
  4. Several dogs sit in a circle around a large shade tree. The dogs take turns barking at each other and at the tree. One of the dogs stands, nods at the tree, and trots off toward one of the bridges to the City. 
  5. A wealthy woman, at first glance highborn, is being carried on a litter chair down the streets. Soon some men in the crowd begin jeering at her and throwing pieces of dried mud.
  6. Several vagabonds with strange accents convene in an alley. You overhear strange sounds; they are speaking a patois of the Tongue and some other disordered language.
  7. A Crow boy and a Strangerside boy line up and begin a race. Just before the race begins, the Crow boy sneers "Beat me and I won't beat you up!"
  8. A woman wearing a large carved wooden mask brushes by you. She is perfumed, sways delightfully as she walks past. Her hair is fastened with small silver bells. Or were those snake heads?
  9.  A party of twenty Wailers and five Outsiders around a makeshift grave. "Without our Spherewalker, how will we get home?" asks one of the Outsiders.
  10. A foreign Temple dedicated to some kind of snake god is being painted with squiggly glyphs and snake man pictures. A child runs right out of the temple screaming, and disappears into a crowd. A priest comes out of the Temple, looking perturbed. Her hands reach out and you get a glimpse of iridescent green wriggly snake-fingers before the robe's sleeves hide them.
  11. A crowd has gathered around a young man - pale skinned with long red hair. He is tied to a pole and his freckled back is about to be whipped. A crowd has gathered, including a pregnant girl: "Don't harm him," she cries. "He did not touch me. I am still a virgin, blessed at the Mother's temple." The whip cracks.
  12.  A series of market carts suddenly tip over in a great cascade. Goods are everywhere, and people scramble to get them. A fight breaks out between merchants and thieves.
  13. An ancient, bent woman looks about furtively, talking to herself - or is it to spirits? She knocks on the iron door of an estate, the door creaks open, she enters.
  14. The priest of a fire or sun god has set up a street shrine with a table and a bowl. He uses a thorn of some kind to pierce his earlobe and drip blood into the bowl. The priest clears his throat: "Ah-hurmm. Some must sacrifice for all to live. Who will be next?"
  15. A number of makeshift cots have been set up in an alley. You hear sniffles, sneezes, and groans from the infirm foreigners on the cots. One rises from their cot and approaches you, carrying a bundle. "Take my child" she says.
  16. Within a low-walled stockade, you can see a slave auction in progress. The organizers appear to be Everwayans.  Most of the bidders are too. The slaves are all sorts of Outsiders. About half of them aren't even human
  17. You stumble and look down. What tripped you is a severed finger wearing a gold ring.
  18. A robed and feathered, brown-skinned warrior is regaling a group of children with stories about "The Question of Honor". S/he is bragging about past exploits.
  19. You see a steep-walled estate with guards everywhere. Men- and women-at-arms patrol in front of the estate. "Keep moving or you'll taste our metal" they say, glowering at any passersby who happen to look at the estate. One strikes an old woman passing by; the blow to her shoulder sends her down face first, scattering the contents of her rice jar everywhere.
  20.  An entertainer, clearly from the Mask family, is making silly jokes to amuse the crowd. Her eyes fix on you, and she let's rip with a vicious insult. The crowd laughs.
  21. There's LOUD music coming from the house down the street. A real siesta-killer, and totally out of tune. Horns, trumpets, drums! During breaks in the music, you hear the musicians shouting critiques of each others' playing and debates about what to play next.
  22. There is a domed house ahead. Smoke comes up through the roof. And the sounds of a hammer hitting an anvil. You also hear the unmistakable sound of chains clinking, and the groans and cries of fearful people. A lean, short woman with many facial piercings guards the front door. She has four arms and four blades.
  23. You hear a woman's screams from a nearby alley. An Outsider woman is giving birth to a child there. She is attended by a midwife  in the tattered robes of some Outsider religion."Someone get me some water and a clean blanket," she rasps.
  24. A sudden rush of wind, and a shadow overhead. A Hawk-Man has landed on the roof of a nearby temple.
  25. A debt collector is confronting a family right in the middle of the street. The debt collector gives an order; his henchmen begin grabbing the children and tying ropes around their hands. The mother screams. The father reaches for his knife - which is now in the hands of one of the laughing henchmen.
  26. A blind man is sitting in an rickety, long out-of-use sedan chair. He holds a sign saying "Judge for Hire: Settle disputes for beads on the heft." The blind man faces the sun. He squints and furrows his brow.
  27. A youth leans against a wall, apparently chatting up a wealthy Stranger. One arm's on his hip, the other on the wealthy man's shoulder. A second youth is standing right behind the man - holding a rock in one had and some rope in the other.
  28. You spot an open-eyed corpse in a nearby alley. Flies buzz in and out of her mouth. She winks at you, sits up. The upper half of her body splits off and rises up into the air, dangling entrails. She enters a second story window in the alley. A  cat strolls up and sits on the lower half of her body.
  29. A trade fair beckons ahead. A fancy Stranger is twirling his mustachios and handing out small chits to passers-by. "Here's where you'll find the Night Market, today" he says.
  30. From the second floor of a house you hear a beautiful woman singing, accompanied by a harp. There she is, standing by a window! Her hair set in beautiful coils and rings. A clawed hand lightly touches her throat. Singer and harpist go silent, and the window's shutters close as if pulled shut by invisible hands.

1 comment:

  1. This is cool, although I have no clue what a D30 is. I used to just draw a card for encounters, whether a Vision Card or Fortune Deck card. Always gave me on-the-spot creative inspiration.


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