Encounters

TST: Graveyards and the Importance of Countries

Posted on Updated on

Last time on TST we started building Cemetary.tab. We laid out the basis of the table and talked about some of the background research and development that I do before I build any table. Let’s jump right into it.
Setup Groups:

:GRAVEYARD NAME
:CITY
:NATION
:SIZE OF BURIALS
:ADDITIONAL FEATURES
:HISTORY OF GRAVEYARD
: DESCRIPTION OF GRAVEYARD
:NOTABLE INTERNMENTS
:TYPICAL MONUMENTS
:GRAVEYARD SECTIONS
:NOTABLE MONUMENTS
:HAUNTINGS
:BURIALS

Once I have my groups set up and on paper so to say, so I don’t forget them I start by building my display group:

:START
1,[DISPLAY]

: DISPLAY
1,%graveyard_name%, in %city%, %nation%, is the burial site of a %size_of_burials%
#_ as well as %additional_features%.
#_%history_of_graveyard%
#_%description_of_graveyard%
#_%notable_internments%
#_
#_%monuments%
#_
#_%hauntings%
#_
#_%notable_burials%

So according to our style set up in the Introduction Series 99% of our output should be stored in variables which you can see here. You’ll also notice that I have #Commented out most of the table. I did this because I want to work my way down into the depth of the table, and not have too many errors thrown out at me. So after we have developed our output screen we need to go back up to the top ant the START group, and add some more.

:START
1,[GENERATE VARIABLES]
_ [DISPLAY]

And then add our GENERATE VARIABLES group down below:

:GENERATE VARIABLES
1, |graveyard_name=[Name Graveyard]|
_ |city = [ ]|
_ |nation= [ ]|
_ |size_of_burials =[Build Burials]|

Notice that all I did for this GENERATE VARIABLES was built out of the items of the DISPLAY group that I have not commented out.

A quick sidebar conversation here before I wrap this weeks TST. You’ll notice that city = [ ] and nation [ ]. Empty groups. I did this on purpose because it brought me to this side bar. In the ~Reference folder of your generic TableSmith install you have a .tab called Countries.tab. EVERY person who uses TableSmith should be familiar with this table, and if not I am yelling at you in specific! This table is the one that adds a personal touch to each and every table and campaign. A lot of tables and output will feel no good if you aren’t using this table to it’s fullest! Let’s take a quick look at the header:

# Lands of the Known World
#
# by Valminder March 2002 for Mystara
# You can modify this table as you see fit for your world.
# -In “Start” you put the complete name.
# -In “Land” you put a contry’s name that fits with “He comes from …”
# -In “World”, put 2 “names” of your world (see the table for example).
#
# At the bottom, you have “Greyhawk” tables (by Ed Hastings).
# You can use “Countries.GenGreyhawk” to generate Greyhawk Regions.
#
# CUSTOMIZING: World (enter the general name you give to your world,
# like Greyhawk, Faerun, etc).
# Generate subtable (at bottom in Greyhawk).
# Peoples subtable (at bottom in Greyhawk).
# Start / Land subtables.
# Important NPCs (Heros and Villains)
# Authors (popular authors of books from your world)
# Historical (to add things from the history of your world)
# Personage (for biographies)
#

Valminder has given you instructions on how to use this table.  And any table that you use to pull a country name should definitely be pulling [Countries.Country].  Here is what I did:

;Start
6,[TalosCountries.Countries Common]
3,[TalosCountries.Countries Uncommon]
1,[TalosCountries.Countries Rare]

;Countries
6,[TalosCountries.Countries Common]
3,[TalosCountries.Countries Uncommon]
1,[TalosCountries.Countries Rare]

Ahh see, what I did there? I made my own table that was called directly by this table. A sample of my TalosCountries.tab:

;Countries
6,[Countries Common]
3,[Countries Uncommon]
1,[Coutnries Rare]
1,[Cities]

;Countries Common
1,Talos
1,AFOC
1,Westport

;Countries Uncommon
1,Uncommon Countries

;Cities
1,Carrasville
1,Fort Edinley
1,Gantrickmouth
1,Goldmere
1,Graybluff
1,Heldenburg
1,High Copperfir
1,High Rubyton
1,Hightop
1,Ingledye
1,Kalanit

This is one of the few tables that should take personal customization. But it adds to and highlights the uniqueness of TableSmith. So go now, and customize your Countries.tab and make it relevant to your game!

A combination lock with goblinoid script on it? That’s Random!

Posted on

In replying to Mark, yesterday I brought up the story about my last session which I used random locks to have my players draw conclusions about things I hadn’t even worried about thinking about. In honor of that here is the table of random locks which I used.  I have given you links to all of the different types of Locking Mechanisms, so that i makes a little more sense, if you are willing to decipher the techno-babble of the locksmiths.  It does make some interesting points.  And one might be able to infer a whole room which is set up to be a giant lock, and the players need to set the tumblers to open the great big door.  I think I may try it with my big bad vault that the players are quickly approaching in my game.

The Base DC that a Lock has is: DC 20.  Any traps to be found in the lock will have their own SEARCH and DISABLE DC’s based on Trap Rules.

1d6 Locking Mechanism DC
1 Disc Tumbler Lock +2
2 Wafer Tumbler Lock +0
3 Pin Tumbler Lock +1
4 Lever Tumbler Lock +1
5 Chubb Detector Lock +5
6 Lever Lock +0
1d2 Mechanism Container DC
1 Padlock -1
2 Rim Lock +0
1d3 Unlocking Mechanism DC
1 Key +5
2 Combination +2
3 Wheel Lock +1
1d6 Tumblers

1 3 -1
2 4 +0
3 5 +1
4 6 +2
5 8 +4
6 10 +6
1d4 Quality

1 Poor -2
2 Standard +0
3 Good +2
4 Excellent +5
1d4 Locking Verbage

1 There are numbers on these tumblers from 0 to 9
2 There are [LANGUAGE] letters on these tumblers.
3 There are Exotic Symbols on these tumblers.
4 Images of [CREATURES] are on these tumblers
1d4 Traps

1 This Lock is not trapped.
2 Poison Needle +4
3 Acid Spray +5
4 Magical Trap +10

Miscellaneous – Animals

Posted on

1d20 Fantastical Creatures A
1d20 Fantastical Creatures B
1 blink dog 1 basilisk
2 dire rat 1 celestial
3 dragon 3 chimera
4 viper 4 cyclop
5 flying snake 5 demon
6 formian worker 6 djinni
7 giant lizard 7 drow
8 hell hound 8 efreeti
9 hippogriff 9 griffin
10 howler 10 harpy
11 imp 11 hydra
12 krenshar 12 kraken
13 leopard 13 illithid
14 lynx 14 leviathon
15 pseudodragon 15 manticore
16 shocker lizard 16 pegasus
17 spitting crawler lizard 17 phoenix
18 stirge 18 rakshasa
19 wolverine 19 unicorn
20 worg 20 wyvern
1d12 Bird of Prey


1 eagle
2 falcon
3 hawk
4 raven
5 rook
6 heron
7 crane
8 crow
9 condor
10 owl
11 merlin
12 vulture

You see that Fungus there? It causes a Random Disease!

Posted on Updated on

In honor of the disease that I seem to have contracted lately (It by no means conforms with this table and is not fatal, Work-aholism!)  If perhaps you notice that it looks and feels a lot like the poison table, I swear it’s not by coincidence!  It’s the way that Pathfinder does these things!  I mean they don’t have Psychological Diseases; Gambling, the host of not real ‘oholisms, addictive personalities, and all those other less pleasant ones.  But here at the RandomDM we wonder what a Psychological Disease that causes Stat Damage Once a Month actually is and how it is contracted.

2d3-1 Source
1 Fungus
2 Parasite
3 virus
4 bacteria
5 psychologic**
1d8 Transmission DC
1 physical contact +3
Infliction Type: Contact
2 contaminated food +1
Infliction Type: Ingestion
3 body fluids +1
Infliction Type: Contact
4 airborne inhalation +4
Infliction Type: Inhaled
5 organisms +1
Infliction Type: Contact
6 objects +3
Infliction Type: Contact
7 sexual contact +4
Infliction Type: Contact
8 injury
Infliction Type: Injury +3
1d12 Damage Type DC
1 Dex +1
2 Con +4
3 Str +1
4 Int +1
5 Wis +1
6 Cha +1
7 Bleed +2
8 Blindness +3
9 Deafened +3
10 Exhausted +0
11 Nauseated +1
12 Sickened +1
1d4 Amount of Damage DC
1 1 -2
2 1d +0
3 2d +1
4 3d +2
1d6 Type of Dice DC
1 d3 -2
2 d4 -1
3 d6 +0
4 d8 +1
5 d10 +2
6 d12 +3
1d4 Onset* DC
1 rounds -1
2 minutes +0
3 hours +3
4 days +5
1d4 Frequency* DC
1 daily +0
2 12 hours +2
3 weekly -1
4 monthly -2
1d4 Cure DC
1 1 Save 0
2 2 Saves +2
3 3 Saves +4
4 Consecutive (1d3 Cure) *1.5
* Use (Amt of Damage/Type of Dice) (Table) , do not add DC
** Does not have a Transmission/Infliction Type

It’s not a Pie, it’s not an Orc! It’s a Random Trap!

Posted on Updated on

We all have a need for Traps, and sometimes we forget that room XX has a trap in it. And yet there we are wondering what the stat block for that trap is going to be. Sure you could recycle that trap from room YY but then the characters are going to think the dungeon is incredibly predictable. And the goblins from room ZZ are going to back again in room AA. But we don’t want them to know that yes, in fact the dungeon is symmetrical and yes, the same goblins are in AA as are  in ZZ.  So when you want to confuse yourself, and the players, well it’s time to drop some dice and roll up a random trap!

1d6 Trigger CR Modifier
1 Location +0
2 Proximity +1
3 Sound +2
4 Visual +1
5 Touch +0
6 Timed +1
1d8 Miscellaneous Trap Elements CR Modifier
1 Alchemical Item
2 Gas (Include Onset & Never Miss) CR of Gas +2
3 Liquid (Include Onset & Never Miss) +5
4 Multiple Targets +1 per Target
5 Never Miss +2
6 Onset Delay +0
7 Poison +CR/2 of Poison
8 Touch Attack +1
1d4 Reset CR Modifier
1 No Reset -1
2 Repair +0
3 Manual +0
4 Automatic +1
1d4 Bypass CR Modifier
1 Lock -1
2 Hidden Switch +0
3 Hidden Lock +0
4 Command Word +2
1d6-1 Effects Save Type
1 Pits Reflex Save
2 Ranged Attack Attack
3 Melee Attack Attack
4 Magic Device Per Spell
5 Area of Effect Reflex Save
1d4 Ranged Attack
1 Darts (1d4 crit x2)
2 Net Trap
3 Arrows (1d6 crit x3)
4 Bolt (1d10 crit 19-20 x2)
1d4 Melee Attack
1 Bear Trap (2d6 +3)
2 Swinging Axe (1d8+1 crit x3)
3 Scythe (2d6+4 crit x4)
4 Floor Saws (2d6+7)
1d6 Magic Device Caster Level
1 Sound Burst (per Spell) CR of Trap
2 Fireball Trap (per Spell) CR of Trap
3 Summon Monster Trap (Per Spell) CR of Trap
4 Burning Hands Trap (Per Spell) CR of Trap
5 Shocking Floor Trap (Per Spell) CR of Trap
6 Energy Drain Trap (Per Spell) CR of Trap
1d6 Area of Effect
1 Poison Mist
2 Chamber of Blades (3d8+3)
3 Flame Jets (2d8)
4 Falling Block (6d)
5 Quicksand
6 Collapsing Floor (Pit Trap)
4d10 Perception CR Modifier
>=10 -2
11-15 -1
16-20 +0
21-25 +1
26-29 +2
30+ +3
4d10 Disable Device CR Modifier
>=10 -2
10-15 -1
16-20 +0
21-25 +1
26-29 +2
30+ +3
4d10 Save DC CR Modifier
>=10 -2
10-15 -1
16-20 +0
21-25 +1
26-29 +2
30+ +3
1d6 Attack Bonus CR Modifier
1 +0 or lower -2
2 +1 to +5 -1
3 +6 to +10 +0
4 +11 to +15 +1
5 +16 to +20 +2
6 +21 and Higher +3
(Roll 1d4)

Fey-talaties!

Posted on Updated on

The original pranksters. The Sidhe, the fey, fairies, whatever you want to call them have launched pranks against humanity for centuries long before the invention of April Fools day.  From the brownies that make shoes, to will’o’wisps that take travelers on long journeys through the forest.

In honor of these creatures here’s a table to help you play them up a bit more.

(Noun) (Appearance) is going to give you, your: surly metallic skinned humanoid with bat wings.

(Location) (Purpose) is a good combination to give you a fey that lives in/near ovens that turns water into wine!

(Trigger) (Location) (Action) is your random encounter.  Someone stealing wine in/near a birds nest could lead you to seeing a fey that is washing the clothes of a soon to be dead enemy.

1d10 Noun 3d4-2 Appearance
1 evil 1 a halfman – half other creature
2 greedy 2 a metallic toned humanoid
3 surly 3 grotesquely malformed humanoid
4 drunk 4 a colored humanoid
5 happy 5 a (1d4 Appearance) with fairy wings
6 cheerful 6 a (1d4 Appearance) with bat wings
7 devious 7 a creature the size of another creature
8 serious 8 a creature with fairy wings
9 silly 9 a creature with bat wings
10 forlorn 10 a creature with the body part of a humanoid
2d8-1 Location 2d8-1 Trigger
1 side of a stream 1 falls asleep
2 under a bridge 2 someone is about to die
3 in/near an oven 3 someone is stealing wine
4 in/near a birds nest 4 unsoled shoes are left out
5 in/near piles of unshorn wool 5 chokes on food
6 in/near a pool of water 6 slips on ice
7 in/near the bedroom 7 is rained upon at dawn
8 in/near a treasure horde 8 falls on a path
9 in/near the stables 9 pickled foodstuffs are left out
10 in/near shoes 10 full moon
11 abandoned rabbit holes 11 solar eclipse
12 in/near the refuse pit 12 someone laughs at an inopportune time
13 in/near blackberry bushes 13 a sword is drawn
14 in/near cool dank dark places 14 a song is sung or an instrument is played
15 in/near top hats 15 casts a spell
2d8-1 Action 1d10 Purpose
1 crawls down the throat and feeds off their last meal leaving them hungry 1 washes the clothes of the soon to be deceased
2 unties shoelaces 2 escort the dead to the afterlife
3 tinkles like the ringing of a silver bell 3 protect valuables
4 remove the metal shoes off of creatures 4 pester children
5 knowingly dispenses bad advice 5 protect similarly aligned individuals
6 follows around and sings sea chanties 6 stack coins
7 sprinkles perfume on enemies 7 soles or resoles shoes
8 cries like a newborn baby 8 turns water into wine
9 changes the color of trespassers clothing 9 grooms animals
10 turns metal into wood 10 tailor clothes
11 leaves a path of bread into the wilderness
12 sings lullabies to entice trespassers to sleep
13 tickles anyone with a drawn weapon
14 causes a rain cloud to rain upon trespassers
15 makes trespassers sneeze continuously

A Haunting Table

Posted on Updated on

Inspired by the ‘Undead Foe Generator’ over at Campaign Mastery.  Where Johnn was building a table that gave you motivations, lairs, mannerisms, and other great stuff, this table helps you generate a specific encounter with a ghost.

Ghosts are interesting undead that are often overlooked in the RPG Genre but explored in great depth in literature.  Shakespeare took a look at how they can demand vengeance in Hamlet.  Charles Dickens used a ghost to teach Scrooge to be kinder.  Homer’s ghosts lead his hero’s with Prophecy and Advice.  Bill Cosby’s Ghost Dad, was amusement.

So why are Ghosts an unused and unexplored trope in so many roleplaying systems?  And just used as a combatant?  Well to address that issue I present you with this table: The Ghost Encounter Table.

1d6 Records Record Explanation
1 Bi-Locations A Projection from another place
2 Stick Ghosts Stick to an object or place
3 Intelligent Haunting The ghost is intelligent and has purpose
4 Poltergeist A Ghost unable to communicate
5 Ghosts of pass Ghosts that appear when death/life intersect
6 Psychic Imprint An imprint of person/action
2d4-1 Special Powers 1d12 Reason for undeath
1 Deadly Wail 1 Violent Death (Retribution)
2 Healing Touch 2 Punish the Living for crimes
3 Draining Touch 3 Seeking Proper Burial
4 Burning Gaze 4 To Announce Death
5 Animate Objects 5 Complete a Task or Quest
6 Telepathy 6 Betrayed by a Lover
7 Visions of the future 7 Unjust Death
8 Cursed
9 Brought Back by Magic
10 Guide Descendants
11 Protection
12 Unwillingness to Leave Life
2d3-1 Physical Manifestation 1d8 manifestation Modifiers
1 as a solid image 1 on a full moon
2 as a wispy image 2 only to virgin females
3 as an energy orb (Will ‘o Wisp) 3 only to children
4 magical energy 4 on special anniversary
5 cold spots 5 only to animals
6 only through a medium
7 when it absorbs magical energy
8 to family members