A good oracle

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Okay I am looking for an opinion.  I am running a game where I want to use an oracle.  I was considering using the stereotypical Oracle of Delphi, but I want it to be something different.  Most likely it will inhabit a cave on an island. It will deliver a quatrain riddle.  Some options I've considered were:


A medusa with a veil over her face and snake tail. Perhaps surrounded by statues perhaps in a garden

A talking cat, dog, rat or other animal.  

A mirror that reveals something about the player such as a horrific fate.   

A dragon....gigantic or tiny

A blind man on the street   

A talking skull

A wall that magically writes words in blood or other liquids depend on the nature of fortune.

Which of these sounds the most interesting or entertaining.  Any other ideas are welcome.    Thanks for any feedback.           
I tried counting to one backwards, but I didn't know where to start.
I like the tiny dragon. But on entering its cave they first see a gigantic shadow.Surprised
A variant on the wall that writes in blood.
Have the oracle be a "book" that answers questions in riddle form. Those answers appear in the book, written in blood from an inkwell next to the book. The blood must be placed in the inkwell by the asker -- as in, it must be the asker's blood.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Just have a voice speak in the PCs head.  If you want to get into some crazy RP, have it only talk in one PCs head and the rest of the PCs hear nothing but the Oracle only responds to questions asked out loud ..... 
How about a tiny pixie that begins every sentence with, "Hey! Listen!" ?

I think it'd be neat to have a skull sitting on a pedestal with fire nearby. The skull doesn't move, but an extremely deep and raspy voice seems to eminante from it, filling the chamber. 
Okay I am looking for an opinion.  I am running a game where I want to use an oracle.  I was considering using the stereotypical Oracle of Delphi, but I want it to be something different.  Most likely it will inhabit a cave on an island. It will deliver a quatrain riddle.  Some options I've considered were:


A medusa with a veil over her face and snake tail. Perhaps surrounded by statues perhaps in a garden

A talking cat, dog, rat or other animal.  

A mirror that reveals something about the player such as a horrific fate.   

A dragon....gigantic or tiny

A blind man on the street   

A talking skull

A wall that magically writes words in blood or other liquids depend on the nature of fortune.

Which of these sounds the most interesting or entertaining.  Any other ideas are welcome.    Thanks for any feedback.           

The medusa is not bad, it can become an NPC of some sort if you want. I used a high level hag for this same role. Worked great. The PC warlock ended up with a pact! hehe.

Dragons are always good for giving cryptic information. You could go with a 'serpent' as well.

Birds work good for the talking animal concept. The raven or owl of course being the typical example.

Old blind man/woman or a 'blessed child' perhaps, all pretty good classics.

You could also go with some kind of really ancient elf or dwarf, or a deva perhaps.

Honestly ALL of these sound like quite usable options. I'd pick one and develop a bit of lore around it, maybe a couple paragraphs. Maybe tie it into some god or something and provide a reason the oracle exists and maybe some quirks and general characteristics (what types of questions it is known to answer, etc). Tie it to a god maybe.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Great guys...thanks for the feedback...I haven't come to a decision yet...we played the playtest this week anyway...so the oracle might be used next week...

  Right now I like the book of blood twist...perhaps have the PC sign his name in the book with his own blood as kind of a guest book...use the tiny dragon fake out or the pixie as the creature requiring them to sign the book. 

I like the telepathy, but the problem is that only one PC will be in the room...perhaps I could say the voice comes from everywhere but nowhere. 

In the world I'm running right now for this, the gods are long forgotten but might be coming back...so having it associated with a forgotten god would be good for my campaign, perhaps Baccob or Ioun...whichever...I would have the god's holy symbols thoughout. 

As to the actual form of the oracle I don't know...I think the comedy of the tiny dragon or pixie would do for enough comedy.  So, the oracle needs to be serious, perhaps the medusa or something more associated with Baccob or Ioun...I'll do some research on both to see I can find something on common followers. 

Perhaps even something from the far realm that worships a Great Old One.


Thanks, let me know what you guys think and keep the suggestions coming if you will. 
I tried counting to one backwards, but I didn't know where to start.
The oracle could look like the PC as he appears 30 - 40 years from now. Make the PC wonder "what the crap is going on" and you could provide some kick-butt story to surround the oracle's existence.

Your friendly neighborhood Revenant Minotaur Half-Blooded Dragonborn Fighter Hybrid Barbarian Multiclassing into Warlord

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Another fun throught, if the oracle is a powerful moster like a Dragon is that the oracle will only answer the questions of an opponent that has defeated it (reduced the monster to bloody Hit Points) or the oracle will answer your question but try to keep the PC from leaving and they have to fight there way out.  This also makes vists to the oracle risky and keep the PC from latter being just going back to the oracle when ever they have a question about the furture.
Moving to What's a DM to do? per VCL request
A small, talking spider that speaks with a brooklyn accent and refers to each of the PCs by rude nicknames.

Happy Gaming
The Book of Blood!! That's awesome. I would just have the empty ink vial and not the signing part though, but that's entirely up to you.
How will it answer? Have you designed or are going to design a riddle per PC? Or are you just making up riddles on the fly? Just curious. 
Ok well this is how it is...there is only going to be one PC in the room with the oracle...he is searching for a cure for a disease that is slowly turning him undead and if he dies he will become undead.  He's an elf ranger.  So I was actually considering having a mirror with what he will look like undead, or I could have the oracle look like him as undead taking a spin on what Buzzhorn1 suggested.  It might freak him out either way.  As far as the PC fighting something to get out, I don't know if I want that to happen as he will be by himself or with his brother, an NPC wizard.  The brooklyn accent sounds good for the "guard" either a small dragon, a fairy, or a spider...perhaps it could shape change at will.  As far as the riddle, I have a nice one writen up in quatrain form.  It will lead him to the next phase of his journey...I hope...I still haven't decided for sure what I want yet but I think I'm getting closer.  Thanks guys.
I tried counting to one backwards, but I didn't know where to start.
Moving to What's a DM to do? per VCL request



Thanks...Sorry, I didn't think to put it in this category.
I tried counting to one backwards, but I didn't know where to start.
I had the oracle on an island and had several statues leading to the oracle's cave. Making the impression of a medusa.  The player went into the cave alone.  He came to a cavern where he saw a huge shadow that seemed to sprout wings.  His voice echoed...I did acent kinda like Curely from the three stooges.  And then the dragon came up over a small hill in the cavern revealing that he was small dragon carrying a book.  He told the PC that he had to pay a price to him and the oracle in order to gain his knowledge.  The first price was his blood to sign the book.  As the PC pricked his finger with a ink quill, the dragon became a spider, which the player wanted to smash with the book. Anyway, so he signs his name in the book with his blood, and the spider became a fairy that lit the way. Each time the voice changed a little. The spider voice was kinda like a hissing Curley and the fairy was a cross between Navi from Zelda and Curley.  So the fairy leads him down several paths to three doors.  The player tried to get which door to pick from the fairy and even had the fairy pick a door.  But I just played around with the confusion. Finally, the player chose the middle door. and when he entered he was in a dim circular room with no doors.  I said the oracle's voice sounded neither male nor female.  It asked him what does he seek? The player said a cure for his disease.  Then three mirrors appeared: one with an image of him now (on the left) the middle with an image of him as undead.  The right showed him what he looked like before the disease.  The oracle says "What price do you offer for this?"  He offers the souls of the ones who he slays.  The oracle says the souls are not his to offer.  Eventually, the oracle hints that it wants power.  The player offers conquered land.  The oracle says that's not the power it desires.  Finally the player figures out that its the power of knowledge that the oracle desires.  Which the oracle says that the PC will encounter a wellspring of knowledge and he will know what knowledge.  All the tricks worked well.  It went well and was fun for all players since I let them figure out what price to pay and how to interpret the riddle.


   Thanks again guys.
I tried counting to one backwards, but I didn't know where to start.
And fun was had by all.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
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