Friday, 12 April 2013

The Actual Game: Random tables everywhere

It's finally happened, I'm at the point where I have enough tables, charts and content to run an entire session off the cuff.

And it feels good.

Last session, only two people could show up. Luckily they're both new to old school dnd and have none of the caution the others tend to show.

So the dwarf and the goblin chick sitting on a gutter in the capital snorting as much Purple Lotus as they could fit in their nostrils.
Purple Lotus has a whole d100 table for its effects in Death Frost Doom, and thus began the random chart madness.

After the level 1 dwarf lost 3 levels and overdosed, a player death within ten minutes is a new high score! The goblin got so high she lost 3 wisdom and Communed with her god. Unbenownst to her, all of his answers were lies. During her questioning, she discovered that down the nearby manhole there was a machine that would make her live forever.

Meanwhile, the other player has rolled up a Muscle Wizard, and gets random spells. "I've got sleep today!" he says, shoving more Purple Lotus into his nostrils. He gets "Character goes suicidal" on the chart and starts punching himself in the head before he sets off his sleep spell and puts himself and a bunch of bystanders into a deep magical sleep.

Somebody stole their drugs while they were sleeping, so they dust themselves off, collect the dead dwarf's belongings, and climb down the manhole.

I've been flipping through the One Page Dungeon contest pdf's this whole time in the abscence of James Raggi's upcoming Another Shitty Adventure book, looking for something that fits the bill. I find the perfect thing in '09's Old City map with its rivers of filth and general sewery nature. Just in time!

it's actually really great

They get a grid for mapping purposes despite the dungeon's decidedly ungridlike nature, and explore a short distance. They inspect a six foot wide river of poop and probe it with a staff (hee hee!) to see how deep it is. Then the Muscle Wizard uses his great strength to throw the goblin over a poop river, and critical fails to jump over himself and keels over into it. Excellent.

Next room: Spider eggs in the middle of the room. The goblin tries to torch them for whatever reason and four big old spiders jump out! Oooh no. Luckily the muscle wizard is quick on his feet and punches one so hard that its friends get knocked out as well.
They search the room for things. Table time! One of my own, so I can't link it because I haven't been bothed to digitise it, but I made it years ago and finally it saw some use. Random armour came up and so the wizard finds some leather armour and a whole bunch of silver, and the goblin found a set of adorably goblin-sized full plate, fit for goblin spider-jousting. She leaves it behind because "I'd only fall into the shit river and get shit all inside it and can you imagine how bad that would smell? It would smell like shit all the time" and also because encumbrance.

Then a random encounter came up, fantastic! And a bumbling old city surveyor comes past through an alleyway. He's got a shitty map, so each player gets to look at my map for a few seconds but they can't work out where they are other than "fuck, none of these passages are square are they?"

As he walks away I realise I put Arolohnso from Petty Gods into my rumours table, and that they totally just met him without realising! Very good. They follow his moist brown footsteps to a secret door, and look across another poop river. Once more, the goblin is thrown across safely and the wizard falls short. It's a theme! It is now decided that the wizard's name is Modor, as in Magical Hodor.

this image brought to you by google image search and five minutes

The building nearby seems inhabited, and they knock on the door only to find that it's a thieves' guild and they don't know the password. After the goblin opens the lock anyway with her intrinsic Tinkering skills, they let her in.

The old, blind Thief Master with an enormous cowl sits across a sputtering fire made from soggy wood, they sit on chunks of masonry and he asks to inspect their valuables which keep mysteriously disappearing before he can hand them back.
The thieves of course have come up behind them at this point and try to knock them out with blackjacks. Once again, the wizard is too fast! And he leaps over the fire and holds the Master hostage.

"I never planned beyond this point"
 - Actual quote.

He pulls back the cowl and - oh no! The Thief Master is a ratman! The goblin stabs him in the foot to make sure he can't get away, and crits. Crit table time - "Max damage and enemy is immobilised for a round", guess she stabbed him so hard he got nailed to the floor!
The ratman throws wide his robes and sends money and loot everywhere as a distraction. Enemy thieves start scrabbling through the coins, players grab some more things, then ask if there's anything other than coins.

Roll roll random mundane loot table.
Roll roll "An impossibly fancy hat", an entry penned into the Vornheim "I search the body" table years ago.

Player is beaming, but then I remember that it gets better because I found a random hat table literally yesterday.
Player is gobsmacked "no way is that a thing".
Roll roll.
"It's a deep purple ninja hood, probably with extra filligree and designs and stuff to make it even more incredibly fancy."

They hot foot it out of there, back to the entrance, spiders still asleep, wizard throws goblin over the river and fails it, goblin lands in shit, "I told you this would happen!" she says, before the wizard jumps off her head to the other side.

They go out the way they came, emerge onto street level, and hit up the public baths where they are hosed down before they can even go in.

Modor decides to spend what little cash he has on a big night Carousing in the capital, rolls numbers bigger than he has the money to cover so he's in heavy debt to a drug lord, fails his poison save vs. alcohol, rolls badly on my slightly altered carousing table, and ends up in jail.
"Wait, but I totally smashed some purple lotus while I was carousing in the drug capital of the world"
Alright then, roll roll, "You wake up purple".
"Holy shit I match my ninja hat!"

It was a good night indeed.


  1. That sounds like an awesome game! Random hat table and all...


  2. My players insist that I use the random hat table as much as possible from now on!