Hostile. How have you angered it?
Unfriendly. How can it be appeased?
Unsure. What could win it over?
Friendly. What could it trade?
Helpful. How can it help you?
Inanimate object personality table:
- Stuffy and officious - proud to be doing the job it was made for. May request paperwork.
- Salt-of-the-earth, working class object. Thinking of forming a union.
- Mischevious, tricksy, planning to break or twist at the wrong moment
- Exhausted from hard labour, resigned. "What now?"
- Loves to gossip. Has some scandalous stories about the broom and the scullery-maid.
- Furious over some small slight from the last person to use it. "Never even said thank you."
- Amiable, chuckles constantly at its own bad jokes. Wants to rest its old bones.
- Lovesick. Sighs a lot. Pines after some other object that has gone away.
- Nihilistic and gloomy. "We'll all end up on the trash-heap one day."
- Newly-made. Naive, young and optimistic. Wants to see the world.
- Cunning, sinister, hatching a plan to escape and commit evil deeds.
- Dog-like - friendly, excitable and loyal to master.
- Cat-like. Aloof, detatched. Thinks that you are here to serve them, not the other way around.
- Motherly, old english maid type, wants to take care of other objects.
- Lazy, whining, wants to do nothing all day.
- Burning the candle at both ends. Desperate, hyperactive, wants to do things as fast as possible.
- Solemn, wise, old. Knows much about the ways of men. Wants to pass away with dignity.
- Scoundrel and rogue. Charming, will sell you down the river at the first opportunity.
- Vain, pompous. Says its creator was the pre-eminant craftsman of his age. Wants attention.
- Slow, sleepy, deep monotone voice. Works slowly but patiently. Everything in its time.
- A thug bursts through the door, firing a gun. They plan to kill whoever the PC's are talking to, in order to silence them - then escape.
- The bad guys sneak in and bug the PC's phones or lines of communication.
- The bad guys ransack the PC's home or place of business. They will steal any valuable items or information the PC's have.
- An NPC with vital information is kidnapped. PC's will be sent a letter with demands ("Leave town or we kill them", that kind of thing).
- One of the PC's friends or contacts is bribed to turn traitor. They will feed the PC's incorrect information to send them into an ambush.
- The PC's car or method of transportation is rigged with a bomb. It will explode the next time it's used.
- There are signs that a low-ranking person from the bad guys was just here (footprints, cigarette butts, car tyre marks, graffitti, things like that).
- There are signs that a high-ranking person from the bad guys was just here (footprints, cigar ash, witnesses saw a fancy car, things like that).
- A group of thugs trail the PC's in a black car. They will attempt to escape if the PC's catch on.
- A high-ranking member of the bad guys begins to follow the PC's, pretending to read a newspaper. They will attempt to escape if the PC's catch on.
- The NPC's in this area are frightened. They've just been intimidated by the bad guys.
- One of the PC's friends or contacts starts to feel like they're being watched. The bad guys are staking out their house.
How to write one yourself
- The Duchess is having an affair with Lady Aubergine
- Lord Smothersberry was smuggling in cocaine through the docks
- Lord Smothersberry was killed by Lady Aubergine in a duel
- The Duchess attempts to destroy any evidence the PC's have gathered (raiding their home base, burning papers, etc)
- Lord Smothersberry's smugglers confront the PC's, attempting to rob or silence them
- Lady Aubergine tracks down the PC's and challenges one of them to a duel.
- Signs that the Duchess has been here recently.
- Signs that the Smugglers have been here recently.
- Signs that Lady Aubergine has been here recently.
1. It makes it feel like the NPC's are actively working towards their goals.
2. It creates a time pressure and forces the PC's to make interesting decisions.
"What a happiness this must have been seventy or eighty years ago and upwards, to those chosen few who had the good luck to be born on the eve of this festival of all festivals; when the whole earth was so overrun with ghosts, boggles, bloody-bones, spirits, demons, ignis fatui, brownies, bugbears, black dogs, specters, shellycoats, scarecrows, witches, wizards, barguests, Robin-Goodfellows, hags, night-bats, scrags, breaknecks, fantasms, hobgoblins, hobhoulards, boggy-boes, dobbies, hob-thrusts, fetches, kelpies, warlocks, mock-beggars, mum-pokers, Jemmy-burties, urchins, satyrs, pans, fauns, sirens, tritons, centaurs, calcars, nymphs, imps, incubuses, spoorns, men-in-the-oak, hell-wains, fire-drakes, kit-a-can-sticks, Tom-tumblers, melch-dicks, larrs, kitty-witches, hobby-lanthorns, Dick-a-Tuesdays, Elf-fires, Gyl-burnt-tales, knockers, elves, rawheads, Meg-with-the-wads, old-shocks, ouphs, pad-foots, pixies, pictrees, giants, dwarfs, Tom-pokers, tutgots, snapdragons, sprets, spunks, conjurers, thurses, spurns, tantarrabobs, swaithes, tints, tod-lowries, Jack-in-the-Wads, mormos, changelings, redcaps, yeth-hounds, colt-pixies, Tom-thumbs, black-bugs, boggarts, scar-bugs, shag-foals, hodge-pochers, hob-thrushes, bugs, bull-beggars, bygorns, bolls, caddies, bomen, brags, wraiths, waffs, flay-boggarts, fiends, gallytrots, imps, gytrashes, patches, hob-and-lanthorns, gringes, boguests, bonelesses, Peg-powlers, pucks, fays, kidnappers, gallybeggars, hudskins, nickers, madcaps, trolls, robinets, friars' lanthorns, silkies, cauld-lads, death-hearses, goblins, hob-headlesses, bugaboos, kows, or cowes, nickies, nacks [necks], waiths, miffies, buckies, ghouls, sylphs, guests, swarths, freiths, freits, gy-carlins [Gyre-carling], pigmies, chittifaces, nixies, Jinny-burnt-tails, dudmen, hell-hounds, dopple-gangers, boggleboes, bogies, redmen, portunes, grants, hobbits, hobgoblins, brown-men, cowies, dunnies, wirrikows, alholdes, mannikins, follets, korreds, lubberkins, cluricauns, kobolds, leprechauns, kors, mares, korreds, puckles korigans, sylvans, succubuses, blackmen, shadows, banshees, lian-hanshees, clabbernappers, Gabriel-hounds, mawkins, doubles, corpse lights or candles, scrats, mahounds, trows, gnomes, sprites, fates, fiends, sibyls, nicknevins, whitewomen, fairies, thrummy-caps, cutties, and nisses, and apparitions of every shape, make, form, fashion, kind and description, that there was not a village in England that had not its own peculiar ghost.
Nay, every lone tenement, castle, or mansion-house, which could boast of any antiquity had its bogle, its specter, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every green lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And there was scarcely a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit!"
Source: The Denham Tracts, edited by James Hardy, (London: Folklore Society, 1895), vol. 2, pp. 76-80.
I'm toying with the idea of making an RPG where you play as tiny imps, goblins, bugaboos, pixies, and other chaos-spirits who venture out into the world of men to steal and cause mischief.
The core mechanics would be heavily inspired by the chunky, toy-ified inventory system in Mausritter. You should click that link to read the pay-what-you-want PDF rules if you haven't, the system is fantastic.
SPELLS ARE CAPTURED SOULS
Soul of a:
Wants you to
Make target invisible for [DICE] turns. Any movement reduces duration by 1 turn.
Paranoid, secretive, fickle & irresponsible.
Break promises, leave friends for dead, betray allies
Shoot a fireball up to 24'. Deal [SUM] + [DICE] damage to all creatures within 6'.
Angry, brutish & insecure.
Prove your strength, dominate others, gain power.
Heal [SUM] STR damage and remove the
Injured Condition from the target.
Self-sacrificing, peaceful, timid & meek.
Sacrifice yourself for others, deny your own needs, submit.
Target can walk along walls and ceilings for [SUM] turns.
Cheerful, devil-may-care & egotistical.
Take unnecessary risks, gamble your life, get attention.
Grow a creature to [DICE] + 1 times its original size for [SUM] turns.
Nostalgic, slow, thoughtful & depressed
Preserve history, prevent change, bury ancient artefacts.
Create a 20ft cloud of impenetrable darkness for [SUM] turns.
Despairing, gloomy, hyper-critical & fatalistic.
Fail dramatically, undertake doomed quests, suffer a terrible fate.
Open a door or container, as if a Save were made with a STR score of 11 + [SUM].
Stubborn, desperate, lawful & uncompromising.
Discover the truth, uphold the status quo, punish chaos.
Cover [SUM]+2' area in slippery, flammable grease. Creatures in the area must make a DEX save or fall prone.
Fast-talking, always has an angle, everyone's a sucker.
Shirk obligations, escape justice, sell snake-oil, cheat and swindle.
The target regards you as a good friend for [SUM] turns.
Laid-back, charming, boastful and proud.
Make dangerous deals, get in over your head, hatch cunning schemes.
Create an illusory dog that can carry [SUM] inventory slots for [DICE] x 6 turns.
Blunt, gruff, brutally honest, secretly caring.
Care for strange and dangerous creatures, take in strays, save captives.
SKILLS ARE STOLEN MEMORIES.
Memory of being lost in the woods.
"Don't worry," your father said. "I'll be back soon."
Memory of discovering an awful truth.
A hidden letter. A family secret. You never should have opened that door.
HEALTH AND RIOTING
- Stolen Beauty: Mark 1 use to gain Advantage on a reaction roll (roll 3d6 and take the highest 2 dice).
- Stolen Voice: You have stolen someone's voice. Mark 1 use to mimic their voice perfectly for an hour. You can pass yourself off as that person with a successful Charisma check.
- Bottled Luck: Mark 1 use to re-roll a natural 1 from you or an ally.
- Dream of Falling: Mark 1 use to cancel all damage from a fall.