Everything talks.

It is critical to a fairy-tale atmosphere that the players can speak to absolutely anything. They should have no problems talking to humans, imps, nixies, ghosts, horses, cats, dogs or any creature in its own tongue. 

Talking to inanimate objects like brooms, doors, swords or chairs requires a WIL / CHA save. This may have disadvantage for larger or more important objects (DM's discretion).

They could even complete a quest to speak with greater beings like the old mountains, the rivers, and the bones of the land themselves. To do so they might need to journey to the heart of the mountain, the source of the river, etc. They would have to offer something of great value to earn an audience. 

Not only can everything talk, everything is willing to talk. Even a hungry wolf will politely tell you that it is about to eat you. A hostile or unfriendly roll on the reaction table will still begin with a conversation before bloodshed begins. This opens the door to escape hostile encounters with trickery, riddles, etc.

Whenever they try to talk to something unexpected, roll a reaction roll to see how it feels about them  (table taken from Mausritter). 



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?

Objects can move and act to a limited degree when they want to - leaping out of your hands, rolling away down the street, deliberately twisting when you try to use them, etc. If the players start talking to an object, here's a simple table for inspiration on its personality. 

Inanimate object personality table:

  1. Stuffy and officious - proud to be doing the job it was made for. May request paperwork.
  2. Salt-of-the-earth, working class object. Thinking of forming a union.
  3. Mischevious, tricksy, planning to break or twist at the wrong moment
  4. Exhausted from hard labour, resigned. "What now?"
  5. Loves to gossip. Has some scandalous stories about the broom and the scullery-maid.
  6. Furious over some small slight from the last person to use it. "Never even said thank you."
  7. Amiable, chuckles constantly at its own bad jokes. Wants to rest its old bones.
  8. Lovesick. Sighs a lot. Pines after some other object that has gone away. 
  9. Nihilistic and gloomy. "We'll all end up on the trash-heap one day."
  10. Newly-made. Naive, young and optimistic. Wants to see the world.
  11. Cunning, sinister, hatching a plan to escape and commit evil deeds.
  12. Dog-like - friendly, excitable and loyal to master.
  13. Cat-like. Aloof, detatched. Thinks that you are here to serve them, not the other way around.
  14. Motherly, old english maid type, wants to take care of other objects.
  15. Lazy, whining, wants to do nothing all day.
  16. Burning the candle at both ends. Desperate, hyperactive, wants to do things as fast as possible.
  17. Solemn, wise, old. Knows much about the ways of men. Wants to pass away with dignity.
  18.  Scoundrel and rogue. Charming, will sell you down the river at the first opportunity.
  19.  Vain, pompous. Says its creator was the pre-eminant craftsman of his age. Wants attention. 
  20. Slow, sleepy, deep monotone voice. Works slowly but patiently. Everything in its time.
This is a truism I have found: An encounter is almost always better if the monster can talk. 

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