Continuing my more literal approach to the RPG Blog Carnival from James at the World Builder blog, I was pondering some of the more innocuous gifts that might be delivered to a PC’s doorstep. Sometimes gifts can simply be part of a local tradition or a thank you… but sometimes they can have a more nefarious purpose. So here’s a two-pronged approach to using a gift to inspire a random plot.
d12 Simple Gifts
- A bowl of milk.
- A dead bird or mouse.
- A cairn of stones.
- A piece of fruit (perfect or rotten).
- A bell on a ribbon.
- A single flower left in a vase.
- A sprig of burning sage.
- A smudge stick.
- A children’s toy.
- A chunk of root.
- A tree in a pot.
- An effigy of one of the PCs.
d10 Intent of Giver
These could be meant innocently as a tradition, as a thank you, or for some nefarious purpose.
- 1-2 tradition
- 3-4 thank you
- 5-6 birthday
- 7-8 holiday
- 9-10 nefarious
So how does this work? Let’s work through a few examples. Let’s say your PCs unexpectedly receive a bowl of milk at the door of their room at the inn. That could mean a few things:
- Perhaps it’s a local tradition to greet newcomers in the inn and keep the local faeries happy or to tempt the inn cat to keep the mice at bay during their visit.
- Maybe the PCs helped out in town with a problem and the innkeeper has a deal with a local family of brownies to clean the room and any possessions within if they find milk at the door. That would also be a great birthday present.
- Or the PCs might simply be in town on a holiday where the townsfolk leave milk at the door of any occupied room or residence to thank the faeries for their continued benevolence.
- Lastly, things could take a negative turn if the innkeeper leaves a bowl of spoiled milk out for the local fae to turn them against the PCs and incite some local boggarts to cause trouble.
Obviously all of these presuppose a population of faeries! But it offers a bit of insight into how a single gift could be used in a few different ways to cause trouble (or help) for the PCs.
What other simple gifts can you see your PCs receiving during an adventure? Have ideas? Leave them in the comments!
Be sure to check out the RPG Blog Carnival for tons of other great ideas. The archive is hosted by Roleplaying Tips these days!