The Stone Table

The Stone Table

The Stone Table

There once was a valley of uncommon plenty. Harvests were always strong, winters were gentle, and even the plague seemed to pass it by. Travelers visited the valley often, though some did not return. Perhaps they had decided to settle there. When the travelers realized why the valley had such good fortune over the years, they stopped coming. The valley’s luck began to turn soon after.

A slab of grey granite that has been fashioned into a crude altar. While it was once elaborately carved, the details have eroded over the centuries. Rust-colored stains cover the top of the bare stone, along with the occasional pool of melted wax, made flaky with age.

When you place a sacrifice upon the stone table and beseech Astaroth for a favor, answer the following questions about your sacrifice:

– Is it, or was it, alive?

– Is it considered valuable or irreplaceable to you and your peers?

– Is it something that would satisfy Astaroth’s desires?

– Was it painstakingly prepared for this purpose by you, in accordance with the ancient traditions?

Then roll+the number of “yes” answers. *On a hit, Astaroth will grant your favor. *On a 7-9, it is twisted in some way to better serve Astaroth’s wishes, or perhaps to give him a laugh. He hasn’t had many over the last few centuries. *On a miss, muahahaha.

5 thoughts on “The Stone Table”

  1. I’m surprised no one has commented on this yet. Personally, I think it’s a great idea! I love the aspect of answering yes/no questions for a bonus. I do feel like the questions don’t flow great together and may be hard to answer directly without some preexisting lore from the GM and story.

    How would I, the lowly bard with a bad attitude, know what satisfies the presumably dark desires of an ancient diety? Spout lore and discern realities perhaps… maybe we brought a cleric of Astaroth, but it’s doubtful.

    The first two questions are great. I’d even take out the “was it” in question one opting for a more ritualistic sacrifice on the spot. Otherwise I think my players would be dragging corpses all over hell and creation. “It WAS alive… 2 months ago. Here ya go, Astaroth! Free +1!”

  2. Doing your homework is part of being able to use the altar effectively. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that calling on a demon is a chancy proposition when you don’t fully understand what you’re doing. It’s also a nifty adventure hook.

    The fourth question is intended to be a bit of a time sink, so you have to spend some hours in prep rather than just calling on it when you’re in a hurry. An alternative could be, “Is the ritual happening under the light of a full moon?” That would also take away any convenience.

    For the first question, how about “Is it, or was it up until recently, alive?” instead? It puts emphasis on making the sacrifice something recent whiles till offering some wiggle room.

  3. I like this idea a lot. The question idea is cool, although I agree that it could be perfected. As written, I could prep up some delicious mashed potatoes and get a +4.

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