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Don’t Prep Stories

Ultimately, every game is different. There’s a time and place where this advice isn’t right. But if you’re looking to add more player involvement and agency in your game, stop prepping plot points! Do this instead and never worry about your game going off the rails again (because it won’t be a railroad).

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Punch a Fascist

A group of 1d6 facist Gang-Goons [paranoid / brainwashed / twitchy] have blockaded themselves inside a coffeeshop [faux-bougie / scared] that is secretly selling micobiotic meat. They’re led by Dallas [psychotic break / conspiracy theorist / piece of shit], a cy-raging menace, and blame the workers and customers for the lack of food and jobs in the slums.

Despite their complaints, Dallas is fiercely protective of the mega-corps, responding to any criticism of them with open hostility, as he firmly believes they are there to save the people.

Dallas will readily threaten anyone that approaches by telling them that one of the goons is strapped with explosives and will detonate their load if their group is attacked.

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Time is on your Side

Everywhere in the dungeon the PCs go, they find little trails of slime, though they seem to only go directly down the middle of the hallway, in a straight line, until making turns at perfect right angles. A PC who makes a 4d6 roll under their Wisdom can hear a slight ticking sound, which seems to be coming from within the walls. Attempts to destroy the walls yield no information.

If they are still there at midnight, a series of chimes sound all around them. Tiny snails with clockwork shells slither out of holes all around the dungeon. They form a procession and move into the nearest room. Once there, they follow each other around in a circle for one minute, until a second chime sounds. They then return to the holes they slithered out from.

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Petals on an Empty Grave

During their travels, the PCs find a strange garden. Perhaps it is in the ruins of an old manor house or alongside a river they are traveling near, far from anything else. It is largely overgrown. Perhaps strangest of all, no matter what time of day it is, it appears to be dusk within it’s crumbling gates. In the middle of the garden is what remains of some sort of stone monument, and in front of that, a single black poppy grows. Gold sap drips down its stem.

If any PC takes it, it’ll live for five days. During that time, candles will extinguish when they enter a room. The brightest fire will only cast dim light. Even at high noon on a sunny day, the character sees as if the world is in shadow.

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Dead Souls

This event is triggered by a PC rolling a fail when making a Knowledge Test on The Net. Their digging around has attracted the attention of… something. In the corner of their retinal device, they see some sort of demonic entity [haggish / wicked smile / strangely familiar] looking at them. She flies straight at them before they are ejected from the system.

In the days that follow, they see her out of the corner of their eye during stressful moments, adding to the difficulty of their tests. When they sleep [fitful / feverish], they dream she is perched nearby, watching them. They are paralyzed in this dream but can hear her voice. She keeps calling them…

They’ll have to do some work to see what she wants and how to get rid of her.