Gygaxian Democracy: Herb Goodback, Henchman-at-Large

My, how time flies! Already we’re another month in and it’s time for another round of crowdsourced imagination. I am glad to be back up and running with the blog for many reasons, but one of the reasons closest to my heart is shared work like these Gygaxian Democracy posts. It’s so much fun to put a dumb doodle out there and have my friends (and strangers, soon to be friends!) show me what their minds see. That’s awesome stuff, every time.

This time is no different from last time: I post the image, D&D players of all stripes and sorts over on Twitter take their turn describing each item by number, and I post the results up here for everybody to borrow and steal for their own sessions of whatever RPG their imaginations call home.


1 – Whistling stone – @Spikemaw Whirl it around your head and it produces a truly piercing shriek, great for distractions!
2 – Non-Descript Cap – @Mountain_FootNon-descript cap, once per day, the wearer can draw upon the power of the cap to be unidentifiable for 10 minutes. People seeing the wearer will only be aware of an average looking person – different witnesses will give different descriptions.
3 – The Odd Spelunker – @NomadGalactic A triptych issue of the Odd Spelunker Review Zine. Contains a monochrome map of the first three levels of a wizard-king’s tomb and lists some of the hazards contained within. Also includes a series of tables describing creatures and treasure that may or may not be found there.
3b – Roster of the Gone-But-Not-Forgotten – @Highmoon As a career henchman, Herb has not only worked with many adventurers, but also carried most of them back from the dungeon to their final resting place, at which time he writes their name in this roster. 
4 – Self-Cleaning Tunic of Public Shame – @AvashIslamThis tunic seems to almost magnetically attract dirt, dust, mud, muck, and any other debris while anyone is watching you. When they’re not, it magically cleans itself. 
5 – Ring of Innocuous Effect – @followmeanddie1 – Renders the wearer totally unremarkable. It is so effective as to prevent the wearer from doing anything remarkable. Nothing impressive or to grab attention. All such attempts fail, even spells. Legend is such things are used to train spies & assassins
6 Liars Quill – @TrebuchetOps – when put to page it will convincingly write lies about whatever it is the writer is thinking of, especially if anyone is watching. If put to flesh it will instead scratch out the person’s most closely held secrets.
7 – Ancient Key – @TimHutchingsFTW This archaic key creates locks out of thin air with nothing more than a twist of the wrist. These new-appeared padlocks, though, are seemingly useless as they appear in mid-air locked and the key itself cannot unlock them. They dissolve into mist in five minutes.
7b – The Key to a Demon’s Heart – @waynersj – The wizard who told Herb to carry this is long since dead, but what he put in the demon’s heart remains.
8 – Sling & Silver – @BernieTheFlumphThe sling loaded with silver-pieces, from when Herb had to use his own wages to fight a werewolf that attacked him while he was watching the horses that one time.
8b – Mundane Sling/Magic Bullets – @SpwackThe sling? Completely mundane. The stones? Not on your life. One is a pygmy dragon egg, one is a coprolite, one is small impact explosive and the last is a runic contact tele-summoner (pokeball)
9 – The Crone’s Candle – @NateTreme – Herb stole this black candle from the old lady on the edge of town just for laughs. He doesn’t realize it attracts demons when lit or that much of his bad luck can be attributed to their mischievous interference in his life.
9b – Mad God’s Candle – @NomadGalactic – A seemingly unremarkable candle. Made with earwax from an ancient god gone mad by the world’s cacophony and cursed deaf as a mercy. When lit, shows the world around it as a god would see it. When the candle runs out, so will the curse.
10 – Herb’s Curriculum Vitae – @TuomasVau – Contains details of every villain who has employed him, every scheme he worked on, and what he contributed, what he was paid, his colleagues on those jobs. Invaluable to anyone wanting to gain insight into the villanous underworld.
11 – Wayward Knife – @OpeSounds The fastest way to Herb’s heart is through their stomach. Coincidentally, this knife is determined to get there any time it’s out of the sheath. Useful if Herb is wrestling someone and they’re in the knife’s way.
12 – Chip of Hogfarrow Hashish – @d6 –  Herb was given a large brick of hashish in lieu of other payment by a group of halfling rogues from the town of Hogfarrow. This chip is all that is left.
13 – Goon of Fortune – @wereoctopusA suspended greasy bag of syrup-wine, Herb’s attempt to mimic pitcher plants from the boggy lands of his youth. The bag traps thousands of insects, which drown and decompose. Surely the result is some kind of magic potion? Field tests are inconclusive.
My thanks to everyone who played along, and as always, my even greater apologies to everyone whose words I butchered with edits to fit the format of the collection – mostly capital letters and occasional invented item names. Those so inclined can read the thread, Twitter style, over here. Everyone else, I encourage you to make a Twitter account and join in the fun! It only seems chaotic, annoying, and intimidating for the first few seconds, and then it’s just chaotic and annoying. I kid! Come on over and hang out with us; I’m over there as @DungeonsPossums and you can chat at any of us any time!
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