Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Fortean Flanaess

Over at Scott's World of Thool blog, we are reminded that many of the works of Charles Fort are in the public domain and available online. I'm a fan of such things, so I skimmed through one or two of the books over at Mr. X's Fortean Site for inspiration and came up with the following table of weird events that can be used to liven up a campaign. Just roll percentile dice or pick one from the list that strikes your fancy.

They can happen as often or as rarely as you like (I would recommend leaning on the side of rarity) and they can be as significant or red-herringesque as you please. Is that rain of snails a sign of diabolic visitation, or is it just some random weirdness that will never be explained? You decide.

The list can also be used to come up with bizzare events for prophecies and omens, side effects of magical or divine occurrences, etc. There are a few references to the fact that Oerth has two moons (Luna and Celene) but other than that it should be portable. I would also say that most of the effects should be pretty local, even the ones that involve figures and lights on the sun and moons (since that only adds to the mystery to me), but if you want to have a planet-wide grey sun for some reason, knock yourself out. Enjoy!

  1. Purple gelatinous substance falls from the sky.

  2. Orange rain

  3. A farm animal with two heads is born. It dies shortly thereafter.

  4. A rain of snails

  5. Green Sun

  6. A meteor shower appears in the night sky. It is not a “regular” event.

  7. Green Sunset

  8. Purple Moon

  9. Black hail

  10. Green snow

  11. In a stone quarry, workers cutting stone find a mysterious inscription inside the rock.

  12. A rain of fish

  13. 1d6 luminous objects are seen in the sky, remaining for 1d10 minutes before disappearing at vast speed.

  14. Blue gelatinous substance falls from the sky.

  15. Black snow

  16. A single stone sphere the size of a grapefruit falls from a perfectly clear sky.

  17. A humanoid shape is seen briefly obscuring the face of the sun. 35% chance it has wings.

  18. Hailstorm with stones the size of hens’ eggs

  19. Green gelatinous substance falls from the sky.

  20. Orange snow

  21. Pink snow

  22. Hailstorm with normal-sized hail except one the size of an elephant

  23. Purple snow

  24. Clouds over a particular area are seen to form geometric shapes (lasts for 1d6 hours).

  25. A beam of light of unknown origin illuminates a small area (such as a particular farm, a park, an inn, etc.) for 1d4 hours. The light is as bright as daylight, but has no discernable source.

  26. Orange Moon

  27. Beautiful singing and music is heard coming from a cloudless sky. This lasts 1d20 minutes.

  28. A black spot is seen moving swiftly across the face of the sun.

  29. Yellow Moon

  30. A bright spot is seen moving swiftly across the face of Luna.

  31. Green rain

  32. Pink Moon

  33. Yellow rain

  34. Red Sun

  35. A rain of dead birds of various types

  36. Purple Sun

  37. Loud thunderous noise is heard in an otherwise clear sky, lasting 1-100 minutes.

  38. Blue Sunset

  39. Pink rain

  40. A rain of perfectly cubical pieces of ice

  41. Grey Sun

  42. Blue snow

  43. Pink Sunset

  44. A freshwater fish is caught in the ocean with no ill effect.

  45. Purple Sunset

  46. An area is subjected to night-like darkness in the middle of the day, lasting 11-30 (1d20+10) minutes.

  47. Red gelatinous substance falls from the sky.

  48. A luminous ring appears around Luna (50%), Celene (25%), or both (25%).

  49. A single smallish stone falls from a perfectly clear sky (5% it has strange writing on it, 5% it is a lodestone).

  50. A hitherto-unseen star shines very brightly in the night sky, brighter than any other object save the moons. This lasts for 1d6 days, and then the star disappears.

  51. Pink hail

  52. A rain of pebbles

  53. Hordes of (ordinary) caterpillars are seen after a snowstorm.

  54. Red rain

  55. Red hail

  56. Blue rain

  57. Snowstorm with flakes the size of saucers

  58. The footprint of a horse (25%), goat (25%), or man (25% bare, 25% shod) appears in a stone floor, step, or street suddenly, overnight, with no witnesses.

  59. A large stone found completely inside a tree (5% it has unknown writing on it).

  60. A human or demi-human baby is born with a tail.

  61. Orange hail

  62. In a stone quarry, workers cutting stone find a human footprint inside the rock.

  63. Yellow hail

  64. Yellow gelatinous substance falls from the sky.

  65. Blue Sun

  66. A comet appears in the night sky, visible for 1d12 days.

  67. Red Moon

  68. A rain of small stones

  69. A rain of milk

  70. A single bright light (50%) or group of lights (50%) is seen in the dark area of Luna.

  71. A salt-water fish is caught in a lake or river with no ill effect.

  72. A rain of oil (non-flammable)

  73. Black rain

  74. Pink gelatinous substance falls from the sky.

  75. A rain of butter

  76. Lightning strikes from an otherwise-clear sky.

  77. Orange gelatinous substance falls from the sky.

  78. A gold ring is found in the egg of a hen or duck.

  79. Red snow

  80. A rain of urine

  81. Blue hail

  82. Green hail

  83. A child is born entirely blue-skinned. The color fades away in a few weeks.

  84. Green Moon

  85. A rain of meat (of unknown type)

  86. Yellow snow

  87. Black gelatinous substance falls from the sky.

  88. A rain of snakes

  89. Purple rain

  90. A brilliant fireball-style meteor is seen in the sky.

  91. Pink Sun

  92. Blue Moon

  93. A rain of frogs (50%) or toads (50%) - they are always only a few months old, never tadpoles or adults

  94. A rain of blood

  95. A tree bleeds when it is cut down.

  96. The shadow of the Oerth on the moons is reversed.

  97. An Aurora Borealis is seen in unusually southern latitudes (re-roll if you are already in a locale where auroras are commonly seen).

  98. Purple hail

  99. Two effects in rapid succession or simultaneous (re-roll, ignoring rolls of 99 or 100)

  100. Three effects in rapid succession or simultaneous (re-roll, ignoring rolls of 99 or 100)

[EDIT: I randomized the list; I think it works better this way.]