Thursday, 21 March 2019

Heartwarming Sandbox: Badger and Basilisk

I've shared half of this post on Google+, but since it'll soon go away, I thought putting it up on my blog would be wise. Heartwarming Sandbox is a project I've been jotting down ideas for from time to time. More similar pieces will follow shortly, some related to the project, some not.

Badger, Sentient

Dwarf-sized bipedal creatures; they often wear suits and glasses. Badgers are grumpy and cynical, but also hard-working and loyal to their friends and loved ones. Most work as solicitors, accountants, and real estate agents for the fairy folk. They never give anything away for free, and they despise slouches and bums. They hate Foxes, but due to some esoteric fairy law, they belong to the same trade union.

Lawful Beastling
HD 2 | AC leather | MV 12 | ML 6
1 claw attack (1d3) or 1 cane attack (1d4)

(1) busy working
(2) running late
(3) overly cautious and suspicious
(4) depressed
(5) irritated by trivial matters
(6) celebrating successful business

1d6 × 10 gp in coins
1-in-6 chance of 1d6 × 100 gp worth of bonds and debentures

M: Bernard, Edgard, Fred, Morris, Patrick, William
F: Anne, Dorothy, Emily, Lenora, Margaret, Rosemary
S: Brambletine, Grunkleton, Hawthorne, Humphrey, Weatherford, Winthorpe

Random Complication
(1) Has a special cane that is practically a big Swiss army knife (100 gp).
(2) Wears an extremely fashionable tie (100 gp); +1 reaction for 1 season.
(3) Has title deeds to some cabin, cave, or treehouse in the forest (2d6 × 500 gp).
(4) In love with a Fox. Their forbidden love is strong but dividing.
(5) Running for head of trade union.
(6) Member of a group of conspirators.


A large snake twelve feet in length, able to maintain an upright position similar to cobras. Basilisks hatch from an egg laid by a cock or corrupted by a serpent. They are haughty and contemptuous of mortal beings, but aware of their limitations. They might force the party into service and assign a probably suicidal mission.

Lawful Monster
HD 6 | AC chain | MV 9 | ML 8
1 bite attack (1d8) or 1 poison cloud attack

When you look at the basilisk, save or lose 1d8 points of Dexterity. If you lose half or more of your current Dexterity, you are rooted for 1 round. If you lose all your Dexterity, you turn to stone.

When the basilisk breathes poisonous gas, nearby enemies must save or gain disadvantage on their attack rolls, reduce their MV by 3, and gain a −1 penalty to initiative. This effect lasts for 1 turn. Once used, there is a 1-in-6 chance per round the basilisk uses this attack again.

(1) generous
(2) demanding service
(3) sadistic
(4) condescending
(5) amazed by fashion and mundane things
(6) irritatingly jolly

diadem (1d3 × 1,000 gp)
2d6 gems
1d6 jewels

Cindy the Innocent, Gladis the Beautiful, Sabrina the Wicked, Sam the Iridescent, Sol the Opulent, Travis the Coldblooded

1 Basilisk Head (1,000 gp; once per day when prominently displayed in similar fashion to a holy symbol, living targets must save or be rooted for as long as the head is held up plus 1 round after; the head decays to ash after 1 month)

Special treasure in the basilisk’s possession
(1) Glasses that grant true sight (see the invisible and see through illusions, polymorphs, and transformations).
(2) A heart-shaped rattle that awakens the dead when shaken. They fall in love with the first living person they see.
(3) A ring that houses a powerful spirit (1 - Vox the Windspeaker, 2 - Glum the Lightless Wanderer, 3 - Morn the Black Rock, 4 - Arn the Blazing Cloud, 5 - Brae the Verdant Hand, 6 - Niss the Reckless River). The spirit can be summoned to perform 3 tasks in their purview before releasing them back to their homeworld.
(4) There’s a miniature ship inside a bottle. There’s a giant ruby on the hat on the man on the deck on the miniature ship inside the bottle.
(5) A wig that bestows its wearer with infallible recollection, except in front of nobles and government officials.
(6) A snow white handkerchief. When a cursed person uses it, the fabric turns dark like a shadow, removing their curse. If another person then uses the handkerchief, the curse is transferred to them, and the fabric turns pure white again.


  1. I REALLY like the random elements here.

    The badgers are excellent NPCs (or player characters, really) and the random elements will help give each one a specific personality.

    The basilisk is like a boss-fight or set-piece villain, and again, the random elements seem really well suited to making the encounter memorable.

    This is reminding me of that recent Middenmurk bestiary post, and I think you both benefit from being very aware of WHAT KIND of random elements each monster wants, and what kind it doesn't.

    1. Thank you! I'm certainly having fun revisiting these ideas.

      Tom's posts have been very influential (specifically not the ones a couple years back when he first discussed the idea). Also, the monster descriptions in the first few Wormskin issues.

  2. This really reminds me of O'er Windswept Golden Fields, another... friendly setting, I guess?

    You can read the post about it here, it might have something to interest you:

    1. Oh, I like it! Have you had further thoughts on it?

      My problem is that I'm slowly introducing more and more creepy stuff here and there as I develop the idea further. I guess I can downplay the scary aspects in actual play through descriptions, but I'm a little afraid it will end up feeling like another twisted fairy tale setting.