Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Automanic Colloquial Cateloquor

The thing slithered further up Morris's neck until it could coil its tail around his ear. It looked at me, its compound eyes transforming into miniature human ones, cool dark irises focusing on my features. "Holy shit," I blurted, "the thing's got your face!"

Morris opened his mouth to speak, but only strangeness came out, and the little insect smiled....

Who doesn't love a little bit of plot contrivances in their gaming? Here's the deal: sometimes you just want to get right into the thick of everything, but at the same time maintain some kind of logical explanation for how things function within your tiny spectrum of fictional universe.

After all, in a planet as diverse and overrun as Planet Dungeon purports to be, how the heck does anyone understand one another?

Enter Automanic's Colloquial Cateloquor, the very best in instantaneous translation needs!

(Individual results may vary.)

Automanic's Colloquial Cateloquor

[Common, Minor Tool, Artifact, Deus Ex Machina]

A cateloquor is a genetically engineered, symbiotic caterpillar-like creature that bonds with a specific individual for life. It functions as a universal translator, doing so not by understanding or processing any kind of alien language, but rather by physically altering the audial, vocal, and brain functions of an intelligent life-form in order to produce and understand a unique language specific to the Cateloquor.

Since the cateloquor is a widespread and well recognized inhabitant of the planet, most intelligent life living on (or in) the world possess a cateloquor symbiote.

The bonding process is difficult to resist (-5 Save vs. Poison), and once complete, the cateloquor is nearly impossible to remove (attempts to do so require a -10 save vs. death with failure killing the bonded creature and NOT the cateloquor.)

Cateloquors survive by consuming the dreams of their symbiotic partner. It's believed if a being stops dreaming, they will die, and the cateloquor will seek out a new host life form.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Bloom

"They're like jellyfish!" Jones yelled, noting how the floating pods drifted and bobbed in the air, as if suspended in water. They started to crowd in around him....

The Bloom

Armour Class: 5
HD: 3+1 (14hp)
Move: 20' (when idle), 50' (when active)
Attack: 1 tendrils, plus 1 "Pressure" special attack (as a group/cluster; requires 3 or more Bloom)
Damage: 1d4+1, plus special: absorb emotion
No. App: 18 (3d12)
Save As: Magic-User 4th
Morale: n/a
Intelligence: 4
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 425

Special Abilities:

  1. Absorb Emotion: On a successful hit, player makes a save vs. Poison. Failure causes a loss of 1 point of Wisdom permanently.
  2. Pressure: When in groups of three or more, the Bloom attempt to cluster together on a single target. Make a separate attack roll representing all of the Bloom in a cluster; if successful, opponent is considered "under pressure": they cannot make ranged attacks and take all other actions at a -2. In addition, at the start of their next round and every round thereafter (until more than half a bloom grouping is eliminated), they must make a save vs. Paralysis or suffer a temporary loss of 1 point of Constitution. At 0 Constitution, they fall unconscious. Constitution lost in this way returns at a rate of 1 point every hour, or restores fully with a period of rest (approximately 8 hours of minimal or no activity).
  3. Burst: If reduced to 0 hp while swollen, Bloom explodes; make an attack roll against all creatures (including other Blooms) within a 15' radius, deal 1d12 damage for any successful hits.
*Note: The Bloom are sensitive to cold temperatures:

         Vulnerability: The Bloom suffers double damage from cold-based attacks and cold-based attacks nullify the creature's Burst defense

The Bloom are plant-based creatures that feed on the emotions of animals. They appear as green, floating orbs approximately 3' in length and 2' wide,  with columns of crimson bumps arranged around their sac-like casing, and long tendrils dangling beneath them. Their bodies are full of a volatile, explosive gas, and they can expand in size when excited, growing outward by as much as three times their normal width.

The Bloom use their tendrils to latch onto their prey, siphoning emotions from the thalamus through a kind of transfusion process. The red semi-spheres on their body function like eyes, perceiving nearby heat patterns (within 20').

The Bloom are non-emotional plants possessing a rudimentary intelligence. They dislike cold temperatures (see above) and avoid fires, which they've evolved to understand are not safe heat sources.

They prefer to group together in tight clusters, and will do this as long as there are three or more of them in close proximity.

They reproduce when they burst, which they do naturally through over-expansion of their bodies if not triggered by being punctured. The blast propels tiny bloom seeds across great distances. Individually these seeds are relatively harmless, although if swallowed there is a 5% chance of the Bloom growing to a small size and bursting inside the stomach. This requires a death saving throw.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Character Origins Random Table

The plant blossomed, its petals folding open to expose a humanoid figure. "Jones?" I muttered, and the thing turned to look at me, bearing my old friend's familiar smile.

In an earlier post, I shared a random table for planet origins. Here is a similar list dealing with player character origins.

d12 Random Table: Character Origins

1. A crashed ship. If that sounds too boring, roll d4 and: 1)...from the past (d100x10 years) 2)...from the future (d100x100 years) 3)...from another dimension (think Twilight Zone) 4)...nope, just a regular crashed ship.
2. You've been stranded on the planet for a long time; you had finally finished constructing a ship, and escaped the planet...but your ship was pulled back and crashed...50 years in the past.
3. You claim to come from some city, but there is no proof such a place as you describe exists, or has ever existed. You have memories though of your childhood, of the town blacksmith. You know it's real, and one day you'll find your home again.
4. You are completing the final part of your journey into adulthood; in your last memory of home, you are smoking with the tribe's shaman. You awakened on this planet, in a new body, and unsure of your purpose. When you have discovered your quest and completed it, you will awaken back on your own world, having earned your place among the adults.
5. You're the seed spawn of a Genesis Flower, meaning you're a regenerated version of an individual who died, only now you're plant based. Part of you wants to finish something from your counterpart's previous life; the other part wants to impregnate your companions with genesis seeds.
6. You stumbled through a glass gateway from another time and place.
7. You're a rarity: a native of this world. Roll again, and that's how at least one of your parents got here. Getting this result again means you aren't 1st generation.
8. You're the last survivor of a Thu-in prison ship that came here. Probably best to keep that a secret from the rest of the party.
9. You have amnesia, and no idea how you got here.
10. You followed a rabbit down a hole. Or maybe you got caught in a tornado? Or was it that wardrobe you stepped in?
11. You're on an important mission for your home world: searching for some lost artifact or some other treasure that will save your people.
12. You're convinced this 'planet' is an Ixian device, and you're determined to get to its lowest bowels and activate the device, whatever it might do.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


The device hummed and whirred as it came to life. It glowed with a beautiful display of the surrounding area: a mountain ranged carved from pure crystal, jutting into view just beyond a stretch of golden-leafed trees. It was almost like Paradise, if it weren't for the chasm full of teeth we'd have to cross to get there.


[Rare, Technology, Minor Tool]

The HexComp is a palm-sized, hexagon shaped device that, when activated, features a three-dimensional display of the surrounding area, within a 10 mile diameter. It isn't very detailed, lacking any sort of zoom function, but it can reveal unique terrain features, such as mountain ranges, artificial structures, nearby rivers, etc.

Other Functions:

5 times/day: The device can display one of the following details for the 10 mile area: Temperature, Elevation, Weather Patterns, Mineral Composition, Radiation Levels. Note that this information is displayed via a color scheme, and not specific numbers. Example: Cold temperatures are blue areas and warm/hot temperatures are orange/red areas. Meanwhile for radiation, dark green colors are no- or low-radiation areas while bright white areas are full of deadly radiation.

(Note: In play, it's best to let the players figure this out on their own.)

After 5 uses, or 12 hours of continuous use, the device shuts off and enters an 8-hour long recharging cycle, after which it can be used normally again.

Indoors: Due to interference, the HexComp cannot function inside of buildings, underground, or other enclosed structures.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Glass Spheres

We collided with one of the glass spheres, and were plunged into a universe of, viscous, amber fluid. Dark shapes drifted passed, full of eyes and teeth. A school of fishmen approached, gurgling in our direction.

Glass Spheres

[Destination/Encounter, Device (Teleportation), Extra-Dimensional Space]

Much like the surface of this planet, the skies are filled with a vast array of diverse, alien technologies left over from a wide assortment of previous civilizations that at one time called this planet 'home'. Some are designed as weapons, some are defensive systems, and many others seem to serve no function at all.

The Glass Spheres, numerous as they are, seem to fall into this last category. They appear to float through the atmosphere with no known purpose or direction, simply drifting from place to place. They are translucent, their surface marbled with swirls of interesting colors. There doesn't appear to be any visible break in the surface; no windows or doors, and no propulsion system, either.

Things have been known to disappear in their vicinity. Things have also been witnessed emerging from the floating constructs, although neither phenomena can be explained.

The Truth: In actuality, the Glass Spheres are an interconnected network of teleportation devices, left behind by the Shuun, whose stellar empire once reached as far as this planet. Intended as a means of invasion, something from this planet instead used the Shuun Glass Network against them, completely eradicating the Shuun from existence before they could begin their invasion. The spheres function by shunting anyone and anything that comes in contact with their surface through an extra-dimensional space: a pocket universe composed entirely of an illuminated, amber-hued liquid, inside of which live various types of exotic flora and fauna. There is even an intelligent race of fishmen known as the Moorla who call this space home, and are always very confused and frightened by encounters with strange things 'passing through' their contained environment.

Those being teleported through this dimensional rift experience a sense of 'awareness', however these 'outsiders' are mostly non-corporeal while traveling, isolated from physical possessions as well as other travelers. To the native inhabitants of the pocket universe, outsiders appear as long strands of fibrous meat. Travel itself takes only a few seconds, but the process can send any user to any other glass sphere on the planet, although most travel in this fashion occurs randomly, with no means of controlling the destination point.

Magic and technology can create means to stay in the extra-dimensional space for longer periods, though what one would hope to gain in doing so is unknown.

Moorla (Fishmen)

Armour Class: 5
HD: 3 (13 Hp)
Move - Swimming: 180'
Attacks: 1 weapon
Damage: 1d4+1, +1d6 electrical shock/acid burn on first hit
No. Appearing: 6 (3d4)
Save as: Fighter 5
Morale: 10
Intelligence: 8
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 350

Moorla stand 9-10 feet tall and have scaly, humanoid bodies with giant fish heads. They have long arms and long legs that end in webbed hands and feet. They range in color from bright purple to dull brown. Though not particularly violent, they are carnivorous creatures who feed on many of the other organisms which live with them inside their pocket dimension. They are wary of the 'meat strands' that form and dissipate on occassion, always curious what these delicious looking things might be, but frightened as to why they come and go so quickly.

While Moorla appear to be blind, their 'milk-colored, lifeless eyes' are actually capable of seeing across great distances, even in total darkness. They are pretty strong (Strength 17) as well, from their constant swimming, and can move very quickly in water. They are completely useless out of water, having never existed in or experienced anything outside of their own universe. They wield silver poles made from the bones of another monster that inhabits their space. Each pole is dipped in electrified green slime, which discharges on the first successful hit against an opponent. Moorla can spend a round to reapply the slime, if they are carrying any extra with them.

Moorla don't seem to make homes or build shelters, instead roaming in small or large groups. Each group shares the same color scales. They are not known to fight each other, instead choosing to ignore other Moorla they encounter. They also don't typically carry possessions or treasure, outside of their weapons and small sponges soaked in electrified green slime. Their scales can be used to create potions of water breathing.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Origins of Planet Dungeon

We'd all heard the legends. We even had our own theories of the planet's origin. But nothing could have prepared us for the truth: this place was Hell.

Is the planet a Thu-in prison world? One of the rare, stellar jewels of the Collector? Could this be the long lost homeworld of the ancient Usurpers?

Regardless of how this planet came to be, one thing is certain: it's a death trap.

Outwardly, the planet's surface is a scarred, inhospitable landscape, marred by layers of discordant technology from an endless list of long dead civilizations. There are mercury lakes surrounding spires of gargantuan bone, which border metallic jungles, beyond which lie vast stretches of machine dust deserts, where obsidian-hued obelisks rise up and gaze across the horizon, watching the edges of the world shift and flow like fabric.

Giant, translucent glass spheres float through the air, their purpose unknown. 

Wild storms of dust and electricity form and dissipate with no warning.

Crystalline warriors stalk the land, patrolling the surface and destroying anything they encounter.

This is a harsh world. So why would anyone come here?

Few people find their way to this planet on purpose: often they have ended up way off course, lost and adrift among the stars until they drifted too close to this system. Others were teleported here by the strange glass gateways scattered around the world, from some other place or time. A couple of people have led crazed expeditions, thinking they could unlock the vast secrets buried deep inside the planet.

Whatever brings a person to this world, one thing is certain: the surface is a very dangerous place to be. The only hope for survival requires gaining access to the planet's interior.

D12 Table: Origin Rumor Table

At least one of these is true. Use as needed.

  1. The Usurpers called this planet 'home', but they were not the first inhabitants.
  2. This isn't a planet; it's a dormant Renjin battle platform. The "surface" has built up from meteor collisions and other debris over a million years, hiding the awful weapon.
  3. It's really planet Earth, sent back from the future to avoid destruction when Sol expands.
  4. The Thu-in only discovered the planet within the last century, and banished their worst criminals here, all of whom have undoubtedly perished.
  5. This was once a part of the Collector's galactic museum, but it was stolen and moved to its current location. The Collector continues to look for it...
  6. The entire planet is an illusion, projected by a cabal of mindlinked Thought Wizards from inside one of their prism ships positioned at the 'core'.
  7. The planet is a nexus point for all of creation; it is the only known place in the universe where all realities, dimensions, timelines, universes, etc. converge.
  8. The planet is the legendary 'Eden', the failed genesis seed world of the Progenitors before their successful terraforming of Earth.
  9. It's a rogue dimensional world from an alternate universe. Somewhere, there's an evil empire of goatee-shaved pirates looking for their homeworld...
  10. It's the legendary Ixian Manifestor, whose purpose is itself a mystery. One rumor about the manifestor is that it creates a new universe, ripping apart the current one.
  11. The planet is a sentient being that feeds on the sense of discovery experienced by new explorers.
  12. The planet is actually the exit point of a dimensional portal, through which a hyper-advanced society disposes all of its technological and biological waste.


We knew the surface was inhospitable. We just never realized how totally inhuman the rest of the planet was.

Planet Dungeon features an assortment of creatures, characters, locations, artifacts, encounters, and other items that all loosely tie together as part of a theme; that theme being a pulp-style alien planet overrun by strange, out-of-control machines and monsters, all left behind by an assortment of now-extinct alien civilizations, scattered across the entirety of the planet's surface as well as deep underground, occupying countless corridors and caverns and other subterranean structures that sprawl out in all directions and connect with one another.

In other words: this is D&D.

I'm putting together this content for my own use, but if you find something you like, feel free to steal it, modify it, be inspired by it, use it, whatever. If you find a use for something, I'd love to hear about it. Everyone's welcome to comment on any of the posts, but you can also e-mail me directly at thesecretdm@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting.