Monday, February 17, 2014

Ready Reference: What book did you find?

The tome is an inescapable object of fantasy worlds. This table is for some interesting tomes that PCs may find in their adventures. For a "normal" book, you may want to roll 1d6 or 1d8 instead of 1d12 to avoid the "weirder" entries.

What Book Did You Find?

  1. A magic-user's spellbook. Roll 2d6 to determine the level of the magic-user and determine the spells available randomly.
  2. A religious text. There is a 10% chance it is related to the religion of any given party member; otherwise, it is worth 1d10x5 GP to a member of the appopriate religion.
  3. A manual of a particular regional fighting style. A fighter reading the book will add an additional 10% to experience earned only for fighting and defeating enemies for the next 1d6 game weeks.
  4. A book on Living Things and their History. Roll 1d6 for subject:
    1. Botany 4. History
    2. Zoology 5. Biology
    3. Medicine 6. Sociology
  5. A book on Supernatural and Metaphysical Things. Roll 1d6 for subject:
    1. Theology 4. Ethics
    2. Metaphysics 5. Legends
    3. Philosophy 6. Folklore
  6. A book on the Physical Universe. Roll 1d6 for subject:
    1. Astronomy 4. Mineralogy
    2. Geography 5. Chemistry
    3. Geology 6. Physics
  7. The book is an extensive diary of someone who has explored the area where the book is found. It should give detail on several features in the location. 25% chance that the final entry the diary was written in another hand.
  8. A trapped book. Reading it will function as if the spell Feeblemind were cast by a 10th level magic-user.
  9. The book is exactly 100 pages in length. There is writing on 90 of the pages. If a character writes a question on the left leaf of any of the blank page spreads, an accurate (although not necessarily complete) answer will appear on the right leaf the following morning. Only one answer will appear per day, and only one question may be written per page. Writing more than one question, or writing on the right leaf, will spoil the effect on that page.
  10. The book contains revelations or illustrations of such visceral horror that a character reading it must save vs. spells or be driven mad.
  11. A manual on summoning demons. Every ritual takes a minimum of 1 turn and 100 GP of material components. The base chance of success is 25%. Every additional turn or 100 GP of components adds 5% to the chance of success, to a maximum of 75%. Summoning a demon does not give protection, control, or the ability to dismiss it.
  12. A book written in a tongue not spoken on this world. Roll again to determine the book's actual contents. A Read Languages spell is needed to read this. If you roll this result again, the subject is completely alien and seems meaningless to the reader.
For each entry (except for 12) above, roll 1d100 to determine the language of the book.
1-50: Common
51-70: Racial language (determine randomly as appropriate)
71-80: Monster language (determine randomly as appropriate)
81-90: Ancient language; 20% chance that a magic-user can read it.
91-00: Ancient language; only thieves have a chance of deciphering without Read Languages

Note - the book types in 4, 5 and 6 are borrowed from Supplement II: Blackmoor

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