Friday, February 17, 2017

The Eternal Library

Another of the Dragonsfoot challenges, this one to create an encounter for the Land of Faerie.

The Eternal Library

The Eternal Library is a fragment of Faerie that drifts through the world, occasionally attaching to libraries, universities, and other concentrations of knowledge. Stories abound of scholars who disappeared into the stacks for years, emerging later, claiming only moments or hours had passed... or of young scholars who come back only hours later, aged years in what has come to be called The Eternal Library.

Those who have entered the Eternal Library and returned claim that it looks much like their own library at first, only slowly transmuting into a grand structure of air and light. Staffed seemingly entirely by androgynous grey elves, with oddly solemn pixies as pages, one can research for ages among its volumes and scrolls. When you hunger, a pixie will arrive with food; if you thirst, there will be a flagon of light wine or clear water. Should you tire, a solemn pixie will guide you to a bed that you did not notice before, where you sleep unmolested while they organize your notes. If you're not of a scholarly sort, elven librarians will help you search, and pixie-pages will read with you. If you become belligerent and violent, they will simply fade away.

Being a Faerie place, of course, all is not as it seems. Research in the Eternal Library is always promising, but frequently fruitless. It is easy for a certain kind of person to get swept up in finding more and new and next, and not realize that it will never quite gel into a complete thesis or actual proof. Furthermore, the library MOVES; entering it in the Tower of High Sorcery in Wayreth may have you emerge there moments later, or you may emerge at the Great Library of Astinus at Palanthas... or in the library of the Soaring Spirit in the Forgotten Realms, or the Great Library of Greyhawk. Some scholars have wrested benefits from their time in the library, but all pay a cost.

Entering the library seems to be guided by whim or fate; the effects are so capricious that there's been little study done of them.

Use in Campaign: The Library should be used sparingly; like a Deck of Many Things, its effects can be unpredictable on the campaign. It may result in the characters disappearing for a moment and coming out with new powers; it may result in everyone disappearing for a century or winding up on another world. However, the library can also be used as an escape from the normal campaign, and a DM who wishes to run a side trek might have adventures take place in the library that take no time in the real world.

When someone exits the library, roll on the following tables for the effects. If a group exits the library together, each individual rolls, but the rolls are then averaged together and the mean result applies to all of them.





Time spent in the library (added to the character's actual age):
d20
1 or less - 1d8 Hours
2-3 - 3d8 Hours
4-6 1d8 Days
7-10 3d8 Days
11-15 1d8 Months
16-17 3d8 Months
18 1d8 years
19 3d8 years
20 1d8 decades
21+ 3d8 decades

Modifiers (applied to the d20):
Subtract one's Wisdom modifier from the d20 roll; note that those with very low wisdoms may spend more than a century in the Eternal Library
Elves add +2 to the d20 roll
Gnomes, Dwarves, and Half-elves add +1
Half-orcs add -1

Real Time since entering the Eternal Library

d100
01-05 Literally seconds; as if you rounded a corner
06-23 1d10 minutes
24-41 1d10 hours
42 Next Sunrise or sundown
43-49 1d10 days
50 Next full moon (DMs: Pick a moon on the world of exit)
51-68 1d10 months
69 A year and a day
70-81 1d10 years
82-99 1d10 decades
100 1d10 decades
100+ 101 years

Modifiers (applied to the d% roll; modifiers are cumulative)
All characters subtract their Charisma from the roll
Elves add +20
Gnomes add +15
Dwarves and half-elves add +10
Magic-users (and subclasses) add +15
Multi-class magic-users (and subclasses) add +10
Clerics (and subclasses) add +10, +15 if their deity specifically includes knowledge, learning, or similar aspects to their portfolio.
Illiterate characters subtract (20-Intelligence) from their roll

Distance from Original Library
d12
3 or less: The Same Library
4-5 Another Library on the same continent
6-7 Another library on the same planet
8-9 Another library in the same crystal sphere
10 You managed to stay in the same plane!
11+ Extraplanar, roll 1d20
*1 Seven Heavens
*2 Twin Paradises
*3 Elysium
*4 Happy Hunting Grounds
*5 Olympus
*6 Gladsheim
*7 Limbo
*8 Pandemonium
*9 Abyss
*10 Tartarus
*11 Hades
*12 Ghenna
*13 Nine Hells
*14 Archeron
*15 Nirvana
*16 Arcadia
*17 Concordant Opposition
*18 Astral Plane
*19 Etheral
*20 Elemental Planes (roll 1d4; 1 Earth 2 Air 3 Fire 4 Water 5 Heart)


Modifiers (to the d12 roll; modifiers are cumulative):
Subtract one's bonus languages due to Intelligence from the d12 roll.
Elves add +3
Gnomes add +2
Dwarves and Halflings subtract 1
Half-orcs subtract 2
Magic-users (and subclasses) add 2
Multi-class magic-users (and subclasses) and thieves (and subclasses) add 1

If the result is 11+, and a roll on the Planar subtable is required, those capable of casting clerical (or cleric subclass) spells may add or subtract up to their casting level to be closer to the plane of their deity or alignment; so, a 3rd level cleric dedicated to a deity from Arcadia who rolls a 10 (Tartarus); they may choose to add 3, going to the Nine Hells; they cannot subtract 3, since that would take them to Limbo, further away around the track.
If the "Same Library" is indicated, but the library would not exist when the character returns, they will appear at the closest extant library.

Effects of the Library:
Roll a saving throw v. Death Magic. If your save is SUCCESSFUL, you receive the effect to the right of the slash for that number. If your saves FAILS, you receive the effect to the left of the slash. If you roll exactly the necessary save, you receive both. Bonuses or penalties to save only determine if the save is successful; the unaltered die roll determines your place on the table. Neither natural 1s or 20s are automatic successes or failures. If a negative effect would have no real effect on the character (such as a character with no magic items losing a magic item), then they escape unscathed.

Die roll
1 Character is Feebleminded / Character adds +2 to (roll 1d6) (1-2) Intelligence (3-4) Wisdom (5-6) Charisma, and the benefits of 1d4+1 Legend Lore spells regarding what they originally were researching.

2 Character loses a level / Character becomes a level 1 magic-user (not illusionist), in addition to any other classes they may have. Thenceforth, they may advance as a multiclass character, up to their level limit for magic-user, or level 4, whichever is greater. If already a magic-user, they immediately advance to level for, or by 1 level if greater than level 3, in their magic-user class, regardless of level limits. In addition, they gain the benefits of 1d3 Legend Lore spell(s) regarding what they originally were researching.

3 Character is subject to 1d3+1 Curses, each of which must be removed individually, but none of which is immediately fatal (either alone or in combination) / Character becomes a level 1 illusionist, in addition to any other classes they may have. Thenceforth, they may advance as a multiclass character, up to their level limit for illusionist, or level 4, whichever is greater. If already an illusionist, they immediately advance to level 4, or by 1 level if they are already level 3 or greater, in their illusionst class, regardless of level limits. In addition, they gain the benefits of a Legend Lore spell regarding what they originally were researching.

4 During their time, the character managed to anger a Librarian. Divination spells intended to aid the character have a 5% (non-cumulative) chance of failing; those intended to work against the character will function at +1 level of effectiveness. This lasts for a year and a day. / Character gains the ability to cast a single first level magic-user (1-4) or illusionist (5-6) spell, once per day, at 1st level of ability (or their magic-user or illusionist casting level, if they have one). The spell is randomly determined. In addition, they gain the benefits of a Legend Lore spell regarding what they originally were researching.

5 The character acquires the antipathy of some minor denizen of the outer planes or Faerie. Appropriate creatures will have half the hit dice of the character (minimum 1). They are not mindlessly hostile, but will seek subtle means of hindering the character. This antipathy lasts a year and a day. / Character acquires a special familiar, according to their alignment. If they already have a familiar, this familiar is in addition to their. In addition, they were able to Commune (as the 5th level priest spell) with a Librarian who is counted a sage in 1d3 topics of interest to the character. They may ask a number of questions equal to their level plus 1d4+1.

6 A type of natural animal conceives a great hatred for the character. If a wild or aggressive animal, they will always seek the character out as a preferential target. If a domesticated animal, they will act fearful, and refuse to be handled or mounted by the character. This antipathy lasts a year and a day. / Character acquires a normal animal as a familiar. The DM selects or rolls this familiar from the list of familiars. In addition, they were able to Commune (as the 5th level priest spell) with a Librarian who is counted a sage in 1d3 topics of interest to the character. They may ask a number of questions equal to their level plus 1d3.

7 The character is afflicted with a debility; they are henceforth -2 to saving throws against a specific school. / The character learned a trick of magic, and adds +2 to saving throws of a randomly determined school. In addition, they were able to Commune (as the 5th level priest spell) with a Librarian who is counted a sage in 1d3 topics of interest to the character. They may ask a number of questions equal to their level.

8 The character receives a penalty of -2 against spells of (1-2) fire, (3-4) cold, or (5-6) lightning. / The character was able to Commune (as the 5th level priest spell) with a Librarian who is counted a sage in 1d3 topics of interest to the character. They may ask a number of questions equal to their level.

9 The character forgets a randomly determined language they know; the language can be relearned. / The character learns a bonus language of the DM's choice. They are also the beneficiary of a divination spell (as the fourth level cleric spell), as if cast by a cleric of their level plus 1d4+1 (or 7th level, whichever is greater).

10 A random magic item owned by the character becomes non-magical. The item need not have been on their person at the time. / The character receives a single scroll with 1d4+1 spells they are able to cast; if unable to cast spells, they receive 1d3 protection scrolls. They are also the beneficiary of a divination spell (as the fourth level cleric spell), as if cast by a cleric of their level plus 1d3 (or 7th level, whichever is greater).

11 The magic item worth the least XP that the character owns loses all magic. The item needs not have been on their person at the time. / The character receives a single scroll with 1d3 spells they are able to cast. If unable to cast spells, they receive a protection scroll. They are the beneficiary a divination spell (as the fourth level cleric spell), as if cast by a cleric of their level (or 7th level, whichever is greater).

12 The character is affected by a random curse. / 1d4+1 Quaal's feather tokens were found as bookmarks. The character is the beneficiary a divination spell (as the fourth level cleric spell), as if cast by a cleric of 7th level.

13 One magic item in the character's possession loses either +1 or 20% of its remaining charges. This will not render the item non-magical. / 1d3 Quaal's feather tokens were found as bookmarks. The character receives the effects of a clairvoyance and clairaudence (as the 3rd level wizard spells) at any location they choose for a total of 1 turn, after which the vision fades.

14 One mundane item in the character's possession disappears. / 1 Quaal's feather token was found as a bookmark. The character receives the effects of a clairvoyance and clairaudence (as the 3rd level wizard spells) at any location they choose for a total of 5 rounds, after which the vision fades.

15 The character is afflicted with a Harm spell, arriving with only 1d4 Hit Points. / The character gains literacy in a language they can speak. The character receives the effects of a clairvoyance and clairaudence (as the 3rd level wizard spells) at any location they choose for a total of 2 rounds, after which the vision fades.

16 The character loses proficiency in a single weapon. This weapon slot may be refilled when they next acquire a level. / The character gains a bonus weapon proficiency of their choice. They may have 1d3 questions answered by Augury with no chance of failure.

17 The character's non-magical armor reduces by one category, becoming an entirely new suit; studded leather becomes a new suit of leather, chain becomes brigandine or hide, etc. If they have no non-magical armor, their non-magical clothing disappears. / The character's armor becomes one type better, becoming an entirely new suit. This increases the AC by 1, but may cause other problems (a druid's hide becoming chain mail, for example, or a thief's leather becoming studded leather). They may have 1 question answered by Augury with no chance of failure.

18 The character is unable to speak for 1d3 days after returning. / The character is Invisible (as the 2nd level illusionist spell) upon arrival. They may have 1d4+1 questions answered by Augury, as if cast by a character of their level.

19 The character is unable to speak for 1 day upon returning. / The character is protected by a Shield spell for 1 hour upon arrival. They may have 1d3 questions answered by Augury, as if cast by a character of their level.

20 Character has their headgear replaced with a large DUNCE cap for a year and a day unless the Curse is removed / Character may have 1 question answered as if asked of an Augury spell cast by a character of their level.