Monday, May 14, 2018

Rehabilitating Mr. Welch

Come now and lay your eyes upon an artifact of a distant age: the List of Things Mr. Welch Can No Longer Do In RPGs. I was randomly reminded of its existence, so now you are too.

The central joke holds up about as well as one would expect it to thirteen years later, which is to say not particularly well. It's a product of a very specific time. But while skimming through it I thought to myself "you know, there are some proper gameable bits in here if you apply a bit of elbow grease."

Why do I do this to myself? I do not know.

The World According to Mr. Welch

  1. Blizztrigoom is the gnomish god of heavy artillery; cannoneers seeking his blessing mark the left sleeve of their uniforms with interlocking purple and yellow chevrons. 
  2. There is one upside to raising an Indigo Child: their self-centeredness and desire to hone their psychic powers fuels a mental arms race to cheat at chores.
  3. Ogres are surprisingly edible, though rarely done. The karmic irony of man-eating monsters being eaten by men can do one in, if one is not careful.
  4. The Gnomish Pygmy War Rhino is the pride of that people's husbandry. Most royal families of the Tawny Plains have their roots in ancient rhino-breeder clans.
  5. Atrimaia, Goddess' of Marriage, is often depicted as wielding an enchanted whip capable of bringing forth the truth and revealing the true natures and shapes of its targets.
  6. Gnomes have prehensile tongues capable of licking their eyebrows, can hold their breath for ten minutes, and are capable of propping up larger objects with their heads.
  7. It is popular among the upper classes of the Missionary Coast to give themselves names doubling as sexual positions and other innuendos.
  8. Elves have a noted negative reaction to caffeine. The drug will leave them in a state of hyperactivity, preventing them from effective communication, focusing on tasks, or performing complex magical arts for up to eight hours.
  9. It is not uncommon to hear of surface-dwelling Drow weighing up to a quarter ton; the species’ physiology remains in the constant mode of starvation typical of underground life, leading to the associated risks when in a food-heavy locale.
  10. Those men and women in Catalia who live to reach 100 traditionally head out on one last great adventure, an event that brings together the entire community in celebration.
  11. The dwarven khâtanha is a workman’s weapon: A portable anvil that might be converted into a longhaft hammer. A smaller, offhand hammer can be stored in the anvil’s base.
  12. The Order of St. Cymbelorn use mighty flesh-eating boars as their mounts, in honor of their founder’s legendary taming of Ghrutaal Blood-Snout.
  13. The Royal Order of the Red Shirt was founded by a band of peasants who devoted themselves to protecting their king during a terrible war. Their traditional red shirt is supposed to hide bleeding, and thus maintain morale.
  14. Through application of the Narcissistic Path and the Ways of Self-Centering, it is possible to reach Ego Singularity and become a god. This method, unfortunately, does not create gods willing to share blessings or powers with anyone but themselves.
  15. Celestial holds the most profanities among all major language groups, as those of the higher realms consider a great many topics profane. Conversely, Abyssal possesses no profanities at all, only words that offend others.
  16. Trollfat bubblegum is a popular snack due to its constantly-replenishing flavor and endless elasticity. The risk of regeneration is part of the fun, so say supporters of the treat.
  17. Belbirri is a halfling pugilist-demigod, revered for his masterful exploitation of the Tall Man’s Weakness. Among his titles are “the Line-Ender”, “the Fruit Smasher”, and “the Morale Breaker”.
  18. Hymnals of Gorthag Skullfucker the Blood God are a prized collectors item. Each is handwritten in blood-ink and contains notation for only the most head-banging of death-scream-chants.
  19. Vampiric cows have taken off as an innovation of fast food for their sterile, unrotting meat and the safety of eating it raw. No cooking required!
  20. The emergence of infectious zombism swiftly reached pandemic levels due to the population’s ignorance of proper quarantine and bite treatment procedure.
  21. Tasha's Uncontrollably Hideous Sister was originally developed as a joke, but Sashen has warmed up to it over the years and embraced her celebrity.
  22. Hrukharzr (lit. “beard cancer”) is a common derogatory term among dwarves for tangled and ill-kept facial hair.
  23. Guns crafted by Johmgan Zudisk come with a built-in enchantment that provides advice to the wielder on a variety of subjects when asked.
  24. The Order of the Shared Bed, being immune to venereal diseases, take it upon themselves to offer their services with no cost to those in need of them.
  25. Tensor's Herniated Disc will fuck just about anyone up right quick.
  26. Nana Bocani is the Wojzei-Wux Syndicate’s most decorated contract killer, and at 84 she shows no sign of slowing down.
  27. Sharpsteel Ioun stones form a cloud of razor-edged shards around the weilder's head, forming a simple but effective weapon.
  28. Manamead is a gold-blue drink brewed from the honey of dreambees. While expensive, a keg of it can be found at any decent undergraduate party.
  29. The Order of the Unflinching Smile are devoted to enforcing happiness in all beings, through violence if necessary.
  30. When Madam Croetrix’s Blacksuit Club came upon hard times, the workers banded together, repurposed their gimp suits and rebranded their services to include all manner of underworld activities.
  31. Druids in northern forests typically hibernate through the winter, leaving them famished and half-mad come springtime.
  32. Elves are marsupials, carrying their babies for up to eight months after birth. Both male and female elves have pouches.
  33. Elvish funerals consist of hollowing out the tree the individual was born from, placing the body inside, and lighting it afire as it is pushed out into a body of water.
  34. The ninja hive mind was long hypothesized but only recently confirmed by the revelation that ninjas are not, in fact, humans wearing costumes, but a species of colonial, land-dwelling crustacean.
  35. While the Dwarven Battle Perm has no actual usage in combat, warriors will always have one done before going out into the field. The ritual builds morale and calms nerves, and permits the hairdressers time to hear any last-minute confessions.
  36. The Gnomish Pygmy Seeing Eye Rhino is a new addition to the stable of Tawny Plains rhino husbandry, and has become very popular with veterans returning from wars in the north.
  37. “Gunner Girlfriend” is a popular brand of stout ale, flavored with a touch of sulfur and charcoal. It is named after Lucky Aiphen, notorious badlands gunslinger and long-time partner of Blackeye Bzern.
  38. Digga-Digga the Wombat God is a sleepy fellow, trundling around the outback wherever he will. He is known as “The Immovable”, for he cannot be shaken from his path.
  39. Word on the streets is that the Runescrib’d Pontiff’s body is rejecting his sacramental augmentations. Cyberpsychosis is looking more and more possible.
  40. Zealous adherents of the Panaeciln Church will tattoo the ceiling of the Cytosine Chapel across their entire body
  41. Starships anchors not only keep a ship rooted in port, but also serve as a means of transport between the ship and the ground as well as advertisements of available goods and services.
  42. The Neurotic Book of Fantasy is said to reside in the personal library of the mad wizard-psychologist Dr. Dorinihal. He has appended the original edition with his own work, and is looking for a new scholar to continue the cycle.
  43. Standing Dodge is an immensely popular spell despite its lack of effectiveness compared to other evasive arts, purely out of how impressive it looks.
  44. Nonsense rhymes, when penned by a wise hand for clever children, can prove surprisingly effective as an implement of exorcism.
  45. Dwarven breast milk can reach alcohol levels of 180 proof, given enough time in the fermentation sacs.
  46. Warriors among the Ah-Huad-Shok tribe will settle blood debts by duels. Each man is allowed to bring with him his saber tooth tiger.
  47. Apothecaries capable of performing an emergency skull removal can be identified by a bone token worn on a braided red ribbon.
  48. Elves secrete a foul tasting oil when threatened. It is of some use and interest to alchemists.
  49. Parrots are entirely capable of learning Power Words. Cunning sorcerers will often leave one on guard in their chambers, prepared with the Red Word of PERISH.
  50. The Dwarvish Poetry Guild is the longest-standing government institution in the Steel Mountains, predating the monarchy itself. The dwarvish chorus of stage theater has its roots in these advisers of lords.


  1. There's nothing in the world that you can't make a good random table out of. It's like a listicle, except you don't have to reload the page every entry for ad revenue.

  2. I've definitely played a bard who wore a one-man-band costume into the dungeon. He hasn't been on many adventures, but he's still not dead yet.

  3. Definitely pulled #9 and #25 in my home campaigns. This is good stuff!