This table I call the Institute of Deathology. It can be used to quickly populate a necromancer’s tower or hidden lab. It works almost the same as yesterday’s Kaotic Cave, but has fewer possible encounters. You get one die for each room on the same level and drop it on the chart. The large hex the die falls mostly in suggests the theme and use of the room along with a possible occupant. If the die falls in the inner hex, or the occupant is not mobile, then the occupant is there. Otherwise, wait and see where else it might be. If the die is on the border of a few large hexes, see what it touches that goes well together. This tool is meant to suggest, not dictate, so go with whatever makes sense to you and looks fun.
I’m going to populate four floors of a tower that has two rooms each. There are only 12 possible ‘encounters’ on this table, but some rooms might be empty and I’m going to have the head necromancer be in her quarters on the fifth floor.
First two dice come up square on the shoggoth and the traitorous demon familiar.
- A shoggoth is hidden in the corner of a room that includes a captive NPC (unconscious or crazy or mute, let’s say), a hideous painting, broken glass, a golden leash, a scroll of banishment and a slime trail near the door. I think I’ll make the cellar one big room and add the familiar, the ‘phone’ to other planes and the broken iron chains. I could have added the rest of the trappings around the familiar but the die fell only barely on the familiar and the room is already pretty rich with stuff. The familiar or the NPC might have useful information or want to help you deal with the necromancer. The demon is not to be trusted, of course, and might just forget to mention the shoggoth…
- Room one is where the talking head is. Let’s say they use it as an entryway decoration or mojordomo. The d4 doesn’t touch the inner hex, so he could be away (perhaps getting repaired next door). I’ll wait and see what else comes up then decide. In the meantime, the entryway has at least the column the head stands on, a music box, a tray of hard candies and a library (probably for show). Hidden away is a case for the head (to sleep at night) and vials of blood (for maintenance). The d4 also hit ‘cadaver’ but since I only want 2 rooms per level, I’ll just have a dead body in the entryway. Perhaps Igor needs to take it upstairs…
- Room two. The d10 landed mostly on oil lamp and barrel of eyeballs and only a but on shovel, tools and rope. Let’s put the caged zombie(s) room in back with those things and also the straight jacket, lightning prod, mummified cat and the parts on the tables. Seems Igor is making a mess today…
The d10 landed square on the doppelganger apprentice. It has foreign coins, a sword, mirror, torn clothes, a wig and a bottle of poison. (Why does a doppleganger need a wig? I dunno. Maybe they don’t do hair so well. Maybe they need a magic wig? Maybe I made this late at night?). There’s also a secret exit here.
Now the tower isn’t going to have a special room for uninvited doppelgangers, so let’s look at the other die. It landed on the corner of library, sleeping quarters and is also touching privy, cadaver and parts in drawers (for the clockwork corpse). Let’s forget the parts, but use library and sleeping chambers. Let’s also use sleeping chambers but not for the head necromancer, who is on the top floor. Here’s what we get:
- Sleeping quarters. There is a dead body here with a wig, torn clothes and a dresser with a mirror. On the dresser are some coins, which on close inspection turn out to be from a foreign land. In the pricy is a doppelganger who has killed the assistant Igor (in the privy no less) and has just shoved the body down the latrine along with its wig and old clothes. It now looks like Igor and is deciding what to do next. There is a secret exit at the bottom of the privy pit, but the doppelganger doesn’t know. Might be interesting if Igor is just unconscious for a few hours…
- Library. There should probably be some scrolls and books here.
- The d4 is on Igor’s hex, but he’s indisposed. This is the kitchen, pantry and Igor has a small cot in back. Under his cot is some tasteful woodblock ‘art’, a holy book, and the petty cash for buying household goods. I would suggest swapping this room out with the zombie room below. It’s more likely a servant’s quarters and kitchen are located below, far away from the master’s room.
- Naga in tank. This captive naga lives in a large tank. There is a book on a stand near the tank, so it can read. There’s also a painting of a hell-like place, a kaleidoscope which with the book are probably carrots to get the naga to do as it’s asked. Then the sticks are here as well-a harpoon and feeding fish.
- This is the necromancer’s quarters. She has sleeping chambers, a privy, a wine ‘cellar’ (let’s say several bottles and some cups), an hour glass, a potion of youth and a cat. There’s also a secret exit here that is most certainly not the privy. Perhaps it is a teleportal to a safe spot a few miles away, designed to allow one person and one cat through before deactivating. Whether she is around is up to you. She could be in the library, zombie room or the basement.
One thing I forgot–where’s the talking head? In the sleeping quarters on the dresser (on a pillow) where Igor sometimes let it nap. It saw the doppelganger kill Igor but played dead.
I hope you find this useful. It was fun to make, as goofy as it is.