One of Bruegel’s less famous paintings is “Mad Meg.”
I always liked the Triumph of Death more but from a D&D perspective, there is a lot more here. ToD is all skeletons raining death on people. Mad Meg shows a hardcore adventurer — Mad Max’s great-grandmother, I suppose — Mad Meg!
Check her out. Partial armor (is that a pot on her head?), bastard sword, and huge swag bag, already overflowing with loot, and she’s still charging headlong into that most mythic of dungeons, the Mouth of Hell.
Yeah, I know Bruegel was illustrating Netherlandish proverbs about greed and vengeful women and what not. But this is the venality of adventurers that the Old Man in the Mountain writes about. Go get ’em, Meg!
Here’s the Open Creative Commons Game Content System-Neutral stats you’ll need for Mad Meg, should she appear in your games.
Intestinal Fortitude: 8
Not very good stats, but not impossible to work with. As a Henchwoman for hire, Meg is a level 2 Fighting Person. She has cobbled together armor equivalent to Mail. (There is no such thing as “chain mail.” That is a silly redundancy. “I don my Chain Mail and wield a Blocking Shield and Stabbing Spear, for I am a doof.”) She carries a war sword, which most gamers will call a bastard sword. Her luck gives her the maximum Abstracted Damage Capacity Points (HP) possible for her level, with Intestinal Fortitude adjustments. She also tends to pick the optimal (in terms of loot) path/action/door in any multiple choice situation. If encountered later on in her career, she has advanced to sixth level Fighting Person, having cashed in tons of loot from Hell. She’ll have a magic item or two as well, although she may not even realize they are magical, they just looked valuable to her. She’ll have 2d6 retainers, mostly townswomen who have been lured into adventuring by the promise of easy treasure, and her luck has rubbed off on them, too, so while they are 0-level Humans, they each have 6 HP. They are also well-armed and fearless.
Mad Meg is voraciously greedy and stupidly brave, and only her astonishing luck has allowed her to venture repeatedly into the Hellmaw and return over and over loaded with loot. She can draw a crude a map of several levels of the dungeon, but being Hell it changes subtly each time you return and her map will only show the route she’s taken, which is completely stripped of treasure.