Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pai-Gon's Hexagonal Experiments

Poking around in the arch-lich Pai-Gon's work room whilst trying not to draw the ire of the incredibly powerful crystal intelligence bound into the tree of human arms flesh golem thing, some members of my 4e group decided to open up some random sealed ceramic containers.

Pai-Gon's Work Room

These containers were roughly cubic, with each face of the cube being a hexagon and some odd faceted angular faces making up the difference.  Each container was stacked six high with the sealed opening facing out into the room, in three rows six containers long.

Each container held one of Pai-Gon's experiments, left to bathe in the mutating and energizing radiation emitted by the Huwawa Complex after Pai-Gon mysteriously disappeared.

I made some random tables to determine the contents of each jar.  They proved to be very stimulating in play, causing quite a few "what the fuck" moments amongst the players as they had no clue what they were getting themselves in to.

Roll on each chart.  4e Plant, Animal or Insect refers to an organism native to the "prime material plane" or whatever you want to call the normal plane of existence that D&D is played in.  Planet X refers to an inhabited planet in another dimension/plane of existence that has a considerably different periodic table and physics.

Chart 1: Physical Environment inside the container (d20)
1-3: Fresh Water
4-5: Salt Water
6: Acidic Liquid
7: Basic Liquid
8-9: Acidic Soil
10: Ph Neutral Soil
11: Basic Soil
12: Silt/Inorganic Mud
13-14: Organic Mud
15-16: Clay
17: Solid Rock
18: Crystal
19: Metal
20: Metallic Gas (some heavy metals in Dimension X have a gaseous state)

Chart 2: Subject of the Experiment (d20 - containers with plants have a magical light source and magically regulated growing conditions, containers with animal and insect experiments also contain appropriate food species - many containers are much larger inside than their external dimensions would suggest)
1-4: 4e Plant (roll d10: 1-2: Fungus, 3-4: Flowering Plant, 5-6: Succulent Plant, 7-8: Bush, 9-10: Tree)
5-7: 4e Plant / Planet X "plant" hybrid
8-10: Planet X "plant" (roll 2d6: first d6: 1-3: Carniverous, 4-6: Chemosynthetic, second d6: 1-2: Mobile, 3-             4: Anchored but moving parts, 5-6: Stationary)
11-12: 4e Amphibian (roll d6: 1-2: Frog, 3-4: Toad, 5-6: Salamander)
13-15: 4e Insect (roll d6: 1-2: Crawling, 3: Jumping, 4: Digging, 5-6: Flying)
16-18: 4e Insect / Planet X "insect" hybrid
19-20: Planet X "insect" (roll d6: 1: Crawling, 2: Jumping, 3: Digging, 4-5: Flying, 6: Teleporting)

Chart 3: Broad area of Pai-Gon's interest that the experiment falls into (d20) (combine with subject matter and environment to determine purpose and exact contents of each experimental container)
1-2: Protection from Damage
3-4:  Controlling Agression
5-6:  Controlling Emotion
7-8: Protection from Fire
9-11: Love
12-13: Dispelling Magic
14-17: Plant Propagation
18-20: Insect Breeding
21-30: Shadow Plant Analogs (I put this entry in the chart because we use the d30 houserule - once a session replace any roll with a d30 roll.  What exactly a shadow plant analog is might be a subject for an entire post on its own I think)

Chart 4: Current State of the Experiment (d6)
1-3: Experiment existing in stasis and performing as designed by Pai-Gon
4: Stasis failed due to Huwawa field, contents destroyed
5:  The experiment succeeded but the intended results have run wild for thousands of years
6:  The experiment failed but a secondary organism in the controlled environment has mutated and thrived (flies included as food for a spider experiment might still be thriving, or a plant included as food for an insect experiment has mutated and taken over the container, etc.)

Obviously these charts are going to give suggestions of categories, not specific results:  It is up to the DM to interpret what an acidic liquid environment, Teleporting Planet X Insect experiment about Love that has succeeded but run wild means, exactly.

My party ended up with worms that burrowed through solid rock and consumed magic, a green gas spore cloud that left sickly mutant flowering plants springing up wherever the spores encountered moisture, a burbling pot full of mud with a fire-resistant salamander in it and a crystal matrix that served as an artificial growing medium for a Planet X insect grub.  Hammer the warforged barbarian opened the container of magic consuming worms, much to his disgust as he realized that they were consuming the very magical lifeblood that flowed through his constructed body.

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