This ridiculous encounter idea is inspired by Dyson’s Dodecahedron, and his wonderful random curses table, and much of the meat of his table remains, although I’ve ditched a lot of the numbers-based effects and made it a bit more fluffy.
This large obsidian fountain is a source of cursed water. Anybody who comes into bodily contact with the water will be subject to a Curse upon failing a saving throw vs poison. The water may be taken in flasks and stored, either with precise instruments, or a DEX check.
The Font itself doesn’t tolerate the touch of thinking creatures, and will unleash a Wild Surge when touched. It has 100 HP, and will unleash a Wild Surge for every HP it loses. It regenerates at a rate of 1 HP/round. The Font seems to possess a queer intelligence, and is guided by mysterious motives. For the purposes of spellcasting and saving throws, it is considered to be a 20th level mage, and has the following spell-like abilities:
-Teleport w/o Error (3/day)
-Globe of Invulnerability (3/day)
-Spell Snare (50% chance)
-Magic Resistance (75%)
These Curses are for the most part permanent, but can be negated by destroying the Font, killing the poisoner, or allowing the Font to Curse you once again, which undoes the previous Curse (as if undone with a Wish). Remove Curse, Dispel Magic, Heal, etc will not work; no standard spell short of a full Wish can undo a Curse from the Font. Roll on the following tables to determine the exact nature of the Curse.
Level of Curse (d12)
1. Feeble Curse, partially successful*
2-4. Feeble Curse
5. Minor Curse, partially successful*
6-7. Minor Curse
8. Major Curse, partially successful*
9-10. Major Curse
11. Holy Crap Curse, partially successful*
12. Holy Crap Curse
*Partially successful curses exhibit some flaw. Either they are only somewhat effective, or there is an obvious or non-magical way to dispel or reverse them. An alternate method of lifting a Curse should resonate with the nature of the Curse. For example, one must work as a hairdresser for a full lunar cycle in order to lift a hair-loss Curse.
Feeble Curses (d12)
- Hair falls out and doesn’t grow back.
- -1 to spell saving throws.
- Lose 1d4 random prepared spells and erase them from your spellbook.
- Any spell you cast has a 5% chance of target randomization.
- Monster Magnet: Hostile creatures of animal intelligence always attack you first.
- You become convinced that one minor item is a very important magic item, and will not part with it. If you lose the item, lose 1d4 Sanity, and then erase the Curse.
- Shrunken legs/wings/etc: Reduce movement speed by half.
- Rupophobia: Fear of dirt and filth.
- Halitosis (-3 CHA when face to face).
- You are now blue.
- Lose 3 Sanity instantly.
- The Curse backfires, the Font or the would-be poisoner takes 1d12 positive energy damage.
Minor Curses (d12)
- Gradually change race to a random humanoid race (CONd10 days).
- You are struck blind, deaf, or dumb (1d3).
- Astral Metahydration: Rain, fog, and other precipitation deal you 1d12 damage per turn until you hit 0, at which point you don’t die, but are transported to a random plane.
- Erectile dysfunction or sterility.
- Your body undergoes a painful sex change over the course of the next 1d12 days.
- You are afflicted with “fading sickness”. Once every hour, there is a 1% chance that you will spend the next hour invisible, as per the Improved Invisibility spell. For each invisible hour, add 1% to the next roll’s chance. When the chance is 100%, you become a Ghost.
- Drop whatever you are holding whenever you roll the minimum result on any die.
- You must always tell the truth
- Violence angst: Lose 1 Sanity whenever you touch a weapon or witness combat.
- Rash as per Irritation spell
- Your hands and your feet switch places.
- The Curse backfires, the Font or the would-be poisoner takes 2d12 positive energy damage.
Major Curses (d12)
- Polymorph into a frog or other harmless animal
- One magic item disappears
- You are now stalked by a Ghost (GM discretion).
- Lose one level (as if struck by a wight)
- Wounds take twice as long to heal, healing spells are only half as effective
- Whenever you deal melee damage, you receive the same damage in negative energy.
- Cannot sleep – therefore cannot heal naturally, nor prepare spells
- Lose all spells in one random school. Those spells can never be relearned.
- Double vision – all targets are treated as having the benefit of displacement
- Struck deaf, blind and mute
- Theophobia: Whenever you see a priest, a holy symbol, or any other god-or religion-related item, creature, or thing, you must save vs. Fear or drop what you are holding and run in a random direction for 1d20 rounds. If you are a priest, you lose all priest levels, and immediately suffer 2d4 Sanity.
- The Curse backfires, the Font or the would-be poisoner takes 3d12 positive energy damage.
Holy Crap Curses (d12)
- Every time you kill a sentient creature, save versus death or join him in death. Your body remains in stasis, surrounded by a Forcecage, and you cannot be resurrected until you escort his soul to its next life.
- A Demon is given half your Constitution (rounded up), and holds it hostage until you perform a task for him.
- Automatically fail all saving throws, and lose all magic resistance.
- Feebleminded! 3 INT.
- Can not wear armour or clothing, or use weapons or any devices
- Can only breathe in water, or only breathe air for aquatic targets
- All damage received is tripled.
- You age 1d6 years every time you express the desire or intent to take a life.
- All valuables owned by the character are turned to lead and paste.
- d6+1 companions or friends & family are subjected to Major Curses (above)
- The Curse backfires, the Font or the would-be poisoner takes 4d12 positive energy damage