Cauldron Cooked PCs

My players have been having quite an extensive back and forth discussion with one of Benton's Incunabula and it has been SO much fun. You should go read the post (and all the rest too) but an incunabula is an incredibly powerful sorcerer from an age past that's had their brain rendered into book form, bound in flesh. To communicate with such an entity one must write in their own blood which is then pumped through the brain matter and used to form veiny responses.

The party has spoken a lot with this one. They also have access to a "cauldron of creation" that the book's previous student was able to construct. THEN they removed a black sorcerer's heart from said (newly?) monstrous student, with the incunabula telling the group that they have all they need to "improve themselves." Lot going on here, basically, but we had three cauldron takers!

How Does It Work

  1. Player decides what they WANT to get, player and referee figure out how many cauldron uses that would equal. Each "uses" will require a roll on a mutation table.
  2. FUEL the cauldron up with number of uses of alchemical components needed
  3. Magic-user / cook makes a SAVE vs Magic (with a bonus for being guided by the Incunabula)
  4. If the wizard passes, the player can CHOOSE which table to roll on. If the wizard fails, all the rolls will be on the d100 table.
  5. The PC gets whatever it was the player wanted plus whatever they rolled for.


Tenkos, played by Sugarplum, took the first dip to regain his arm, amputated by way of second-guessing a partially entered portal. He came out with an arm, a batlike face, and the ability to echolocate by screaming (came with the face). Good thing Tenkos wears that plague doctor mask a lot!

Bertilak le Vert, the new guy, saw that and thought hell yeah! He's a big fighter lad so he wanted to get stronger. He came out with a +2 to his Strength modifier and the ability to apply that modifier to damage rolls (usually in Lamentations there's no bonus to damage). However he ALSO came out with translucent skin full of leprosy juice, spinnerets on his butt, and some extra joints on his limbs that mean he can't walk when he's upright. Like a raccoon, apparently!

Raccoon skeleton. They can't walk if they're upright. I had no idea.

Bertilak still had a hankering for the cauldron. His newly picked up retainer with nothing left to live for, Cyril wanted in on it too. Player suggested a bunch of different ideas and he locked in on "body made of stone" to "match how his heart." (He's a bit drama). We settled on three uses, this is what he got:

Cyril's Cauldron Dip

  • Benefit: Body made completely out of stone
  • d100 - 20 (Spider Legs spider-centaur. climb on walls and ceilings)
  • d100 - 21 (chest cabinet, skeleton key opens slot)
  • d100 - 71 (quadrupedal, can't walk while standing, no 2h weapons)
We balanced out spider legs with quadrupedal but saying that his arms got the extra joints so still can't use two handed weapons.

Bertilak wanted to go in AGAIN after that (party still had enough for two dips). He wanted to regain some of his lost constitution from his first dip. He got that and then NEARLY died.

Bertilak Dip 2

  • Benefit: Gain 4d3+1d6 (+10 total)
  • d100 - 70 (no nose, turns flat)
  • d100 - 96 (lilliputian, 3" tall)

This combined with his prior dip equaled:

Bertilak le King of Cauldron Swimming

  • Benefit: +2 Str mod, apply Str to damage
  • d100 - 19 (spinnerets, 100' per day)
  • d100 - 71 (quadrupedal, cannot move while standing, no 2h weapons)
  • d100 - 87 (translucent skin, lose d6 con [-6 total], bodily fluids spray leprosy)
  • Benefit: Gain 4d3+1d6 (+10 total)
  • d100 - 70 (no nose, turns flat)
  • d100 - 96 (lilliputian, 3" tall)

So now the 3" tall super strong super hardy fighter with leprosy fluids and spinnerets is going to ride around in the chest cabinet cavity of his spider-centaur retainer made completely out of stone. Hooray for mutations!


  1. This is interesting thing, the Cauldron, because it kind of allows PCs to turn themselves into monsters for power voluntarily. Which is a different thing that, for example, Dark Powers in Ravenloft do, by basically, putting powerful curses onto PCs if they do moral/ethical wrong things.
    The way you see it, do you some kind of powers will take interest in PCs who used Cauldron too much?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Oops, I messed up my email notifications? Sorry K!

      I honestly hadn't even considered that angle, but it is an interesting one for sure. This current campaign is pretty low magic, not much direct divine interference. This is also kind of a "last hurrah" for the party, been playing for five years or so. I think they might not have gone as hard on the cauldron if they didn't feel like they were close to the end of the campaign.

    3. Hm my comments are showing up with black background? Not sure what's going on.

    4. I also see them as having a black background - never saw such thing before.

      Makes sense then, it is probably too late for deities then to take interest even if they were more active in the world.