While the previous chapter had magic items, they more or less existed for the creation of spells and other magic items rather than being objects that could achieve effects on their own. The vast majority of this chapter are tables for various types of supernatural equipment as well as new rules for magical prosthetics. Price lists are very simple, being universal for the table type as opposed to having prices for each individual item. Minor Magic Items and Magic Potions can cost anywhere from a few silver to a few gold depending on the Tempo,* while Magic Weapons can cost anywhere from 4 to 15 gold if Minor, or 30 to 100 if regular. Prosthetics are a different matter, whose cost is based on whether it merely replaces or enhances the lost body part and if it is “sensible” for the patient’s body type. Prices for magical prosthetics can be anywhere from 30 to 250 gold and stay the same regardless of Tempo.
*the higher the Tempo the cheaper.1d100 Minor Magic Items
is separated into 5 d20 smaller tables grouped by subject: tools, personal, entertainment, food & drink, and the dubiously legal. Most of them have minor tricks and gimmicks of limited duration, such as Pocket Scales that make a shrill noise if counterfeit coins are placed upon them, an Autoscribe quill that can transcribe speech into any language when activated, a toy Wooden Fish that can swim around in water, a primitive Iconograph camera, or a Cousin M rubber orb which if tossed inflates into a decoy copy of the thrower.Potions
have a demand for those who need a single-use effect of limited durability, and as such are favored by people on a budget. The d20 table includes some predictable results (reduce damage from a certain enemy type, heal damage, grant invisibility) although some of the more inventive ones include teleporting the drinker a short distance, granting a +8 bonus to the next d20 roll but suffer -8 on a future one assigned by the GM, transforming the drinker into a rat, or one that can turn the drinker into intangible smoke.Minor Magic Weapons
are so called because they are offensive in use but either of limited duration or are indirectly lethal. The d20 table includes various grenades and handheld pistols and tubes which can perform some kind of ranged attack. Some of the more interesting results include a Toad Grenade which turns creatures in the AoE into a toad for 1 round, a wooden spyglass which can change the personal gravity of a nearby target by 90 degrees, a Badgerbanger tin can that unleashes an angry illusory badger, and a hand cranked Calliope Saw which can unleash a cone of sharp lashing wires.Magic Weapons
are more variable in that the d100 table lists specific enhancements to apply to the properties of an existing non-magical weapon type. There’s an awful lot of results, some conventional and others more novel. Some of the interesting results include Namefinding that causes the weapon to shout the true name of a struck target, Gambler’s Aid which can summon the weapon to the wielder’s hand in exchange for swapping places with a coin on the wielder’s person, Fertile where the weapon can produce silver seeds which grow into swords if planted in soil, and Momentous which can change the weapon of a weight mid-swing to deal 1d6 bonus damage provided that the wielder accepts acting last in the initiative order after the result of the attack.
Speaking of which, firearms both magical and mundane exist in Endon, although most of them are 17th century at best: you’re getting muskets, blunderbusses, and fowling pieces
rather than revolvers and bolt-action rifles.Prosthetics
both magical and mundane are available for sale in Endon. Prevailing theory claims that the soul of a person is roughly the same shape as their body, thus explaining why those who lost limbs have phantom sensations in the removed area. Thus magical prosthetics attune themselves to the donor by trapping the bodiless part of the soul in them. Non-magical prosthetics for various body parts have various rules but have minor penalties: for example, prosthetic legs have reduced movements but may be hollow enough to hold small objects. Magical prosthetics are good enough to alleviate any shortcomings and perform as well as their organic counterparts. Some prosthetics can go even further: a Ghost Limb can be treated as ethereal and invisible, plate armour can be installed as skin grafts, Powderkeg Legs can let the user jump up to 30 feet in the air, and so on and so forth.
Every GM at some point needs to make up an NPC on the spot, or needs some additional inspiration in creating one ahead of time. This chapter provides a little bit of both. We start out with d100 NPCs and Rumours,
split into 2 categories of “Who Knows?” and “What Do they Know?” to provide potential adventuring hooks or just interesting goings-on. 1d100 Wizards or Nobles has one table each for personal names, family names, notable physical features, and eccentric personality traits.Useful NPCs
are 20 predone characters meant to be used as potential contacts and recurring characters. They are separated by social class and have no game statistics, but provide information on their talents, personalities, and what kinds of PCs are the most likely to interact with them.
We then move on to characters with specific stat blocks, aka ones PCs are likely to end up fighting. The Mob
is an all-purpose stat block for a group of angry and violent people, who are Unarmoured and move slowly, but can automatically outflank individuals, have a variable number of Hit Die based on their size, gain additional attacks and actions based on said size, and can grow larger and replenish their numbers based upon various conditions. People do not riot for no reason, and every Mob has a Cause which determines their overall goals and actions.Thieves & Urchins
are innumerable. Thieves tend to be involved in gangs but are rather averse to violence, while Urchins are child noncombatants who are highly mobile: they have AC equivalent to chainmail when moving, and can move at base speed through tight spaces and in encumbering environmental conditions. Both NPC types have their own tables, determining the overall theme of the criminal group for Thieves (flamboyant highwaymen, masters of disguise, sex workers who moonlight as burglars, etc) or some interesting personality trait or talent for Urchins (is somehow immune to magic, is a musical prodigy, Hides in the Catacombs*, etc).
*a dungeon that will be detailed in a future chapter.
Eventually PCs will earn the enmity of big-time villains one step above nameless rogues. Scoundrels
are made via d20 tables of various traits for a notable villain, ranging from their favored Schemes to social Tools and assets to their Lair. Not all results are crime lord types. You can very easily roll up a tattooed necromancer dying of consumption who makes money by industrial espionage, or a woman dressed in funeral attire with a bandolier of high-powered magic wands plotting to kidnap a prominent Minister. And for those GMs who want a predone antagonist right now, Rivals & Villains
presents 8 such characters. Most are relatively low-powered yet still a cut above the common cloth, ranging from 2 to 7 Hit Die and more likely than not to be a spellcaster. My favorite villains include a crime lord cursed into the form of a gorilla, a pair of pistoleer twins who are actually one soul sharing two bodies, and a eugenicist nobleman whose charitable soup kitchens and workhouses are filled with sterility-causing food as part of a plot to rid Endon of “undesirables.”
Our chapter ends with a 1d50 Wrongs & Injustices
table to come up with hooks for how your arch-villain may have wronged (or will wrong) a PC. They are broad in nature, such as addicting a relative to drugs, stole something from the character, or was a childhood bully or workplace dick from their past.
This chapter is the bestiary of Magical Industrial Revolution. There’s but a mere 10 entries, but 4 of them come with tables full of customizable options which greatly expands their utility. Quite a few monsters have their numbers per encounter increase with the Tempo.Elsewhere Creatures
are a catch-all term for the strange, alien beings that come from other dimensions as a result of teleportation circle malfunctions. Their Hit Die, appearance, special abilities, and attacks are randomly generated and include such things as spitting balls of stunning electricity, having a 2-dimensional form which is invisible at an angle, and communicating with what sounds like thousands of scissors cutting through silk. We also have Elsewhere Rifts for generating portals to other planes, including atmosphere, gravity, weather, and common hazards and loot. The planar environments are appropriately trippy, such as stacked ceramic bowls the size of counties with mercury-filled lakes, lightless depressions filled with smooth sliding spheres, or a dark void of blue-white stars. This is easily my favorite entry in the Menagerie.Exotic & Nightmarish Creatures
is a 1d50 table for generating polymorphed monsters drawn from the imaginations of transmuters. We have two columns, one for “Exotic Creatures” which include mundane animals and giant versions of said animals, and Nightmarish Creatures which include stone-eating giant earthworms, goblins that can split into 16 new versions every full moon, and half-human half-carrot were-vegetables. There are no sample Hit Dice, AC, or other game stats provided, so the GM has to do a bit more work here.Gel Knights
are specially-bred oozes poured into a suit of armor and then taught to pilot it. Wizards are fond of using the things as guards. They are 4 HD monsters with AC equal to that of a plate and shield and can attack twice per round with a sword, but are of animal intelligence.Mild Dogs
Are specially-bred dogs that exude an aura of happiness, calm, and other positive emotions in a 10 foot radius. Those who fail a saving throw find themselves unable to do anything violent, selfish, or rude in their presence and thus many owners use them to guard against evildoers and to ward against violence.The Ghost Whale of Endon
is a unique creature that originated as a polymorphed stray dog. Although the creature died, its soul lives on and will soon take to haunting Endon’s streets as the Tempo increases. It has an AoE howl that can cause damage and Save or Die if it howls for 2 rounds. Those who are indoors are immune to the latter effect. The Ghost Whale has 7 HD, is incorporeal, and can fly.Skeletons
are nothing new, although for some reason there are species of living beings that appear just like skeletons and are “false undead.” We have a table of 1d100 Skeleton Variants to reflect this diversity, the first 50 being true undead and the latter 50 skeleton-like beings.Speaking Rat Society
is an organization of intelligent rats that gained sapience from Endon’s magic-soaked environment. Their Society views humans, cats, and dogs as an existential threat and thus seek to bring about their destruction. Other than this, they wish to seize as much food, fabrics, and shiny objects as possible. They have no special abilities besides human-like intelligence and the ability to speak actual words provided they’re gathered in a swarm. And even then, each individual word is spoken by a different rat in the swarm.Stray Spells
are a rare phenomenon when a magic item breaks and the spell powering it is released, a spell is miscast, or some other accident happens that frees a spell from its limited trappings. They become more common as the Tempo increases. Stray Spells are 2 HD monsters which reduce all non-magical damage to 1 point, can fly, and have a 1d20 table to determine its special ability/form. Examples include a cloud that can put people to sleep, a swarm of silver-green darts that can untie ropes and open locks, harmless motes of light, and a flying newspaper that explodes when read.Thaumovoric Eels
are a mutant species of fish that live in the River Burl. The ambient magical pollution being poured into this body of water caused said species of eel to evolve and live off of magical energy. They can also fly and drain charges and spell slots from a spellcaster or item via a successful bite attack. Those who cook and eat said eels reduce all damage of a magical origin by 1 point for 1 hour.Tunnel Trolls
are mutated trolls living in the Catacombs of Endon. Their base stats are close to OSR trolls (claws and bite attacks, have 7 HD), but they cannot regenerate damage and can squeeze through spaces normally too large for their size. Arcane experiments of all kinds are the origin for innumerable strains, reflected in a d10 table of variant traits. The table includes a variety of results, such as being able to vomit an AoE line of acid, being able to reshape itself into a caricature of a hated foe via reading a target’s mind, and exploding after 1d6 rounds if set on fire.Thoughts So Far:
I’m quite fond of the variant magical items and how many are geared towards applications not of immediate use to adventuring types yet can still be useful in said adventurers’ hands with some creativity. While stats for non-magical versions are not given out, I’m a bit happy that the author didn’t try to avoid the inclusion of firearms and instead treated them as yet another potential piece of technology that can be invented or adapted as a result of Endon’s high-magic society.
New NPCs are a bit hit or miss: the sample generic stat blocks and random NPC generation are material I’ve seen in plenty of other GM-friendly OSR material, although I do like the Scoundrel table for generating arch-enemies with appropriately Penny Dreadful vibes. The new monsters are cool, and aside from skeletons each has an explicit inbuilt purpose within the setting.Join us next time as we wrap up this book with Dungeons, Appendices, and Pamphlets!