Undead

TST: Graveyards and the Importance of Countries

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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!

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A Haunting Table

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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