Monday, June 26, 2017

Tales of the Fortunate Four

Voice Only Over Messenger Adventures
Written and Illustrated by M. A. Packer


Thy Introduction
The following project was inspired by some previously conceived copy in which I chronicled the (almost) verbatim happenings of my first online D&D group.  I had originally written that particular copy as my own form of “example play,” having found the examples of play in the various Dungeon Master’s Guides quite flat and unbelievable.  This brings me to my current posts, which I hope to produce for as long as possible.  What will follow is an adventure written after the fashion of example play.  Each portion of the adventure will come from my randomization tables.  Characters are also going to be randomized and will follow the rules of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition, which is still arguably the best edition!


Thy Setting
These adventures take place in the abandoned and ruined nation of Talamh; a realm carpeted in dark woodlands and ridged with jagged mountain ranges.  Once a jewel of elven and dwarven craft, it now lays in ruins in the aftermath of a terrible calamity in which a tear into other planes was opened and monsters from across the cosmology descended upon the places of habitation.  After decades of failed campaigns, the elves and dwarves eventually withdrew and fled to safer lands, leaving behind great ruins and dungeons full of treasure that is simply ripe for the taking!  Let’s see of our heroes are smart enough to withstand the dangers that await them over every hill and mountain, and below every river and lake.


Thy Dramatis Personae
The characters who will appear throughout the story, which will continue to grow and evolve!  The first four consist of our heroes who will always be together, since we all know the dangers that come if we divide the party.

Members of the Party

Playing the part of the Cleric: Brother Trevor, a kindly but cowardly half-elf cleric armed with a flail and staff sling.  He is typically accompanied by his faithful donkey, Dudley.

Playing the part of the Fighter: Gawayne Greenwater, a tall, grumbly half-orc who, in spite of his less than attractive orcish face, tends to draw in women with his powerful physique.

Playing the part of the Magic User: Gara Gloim, a slightly peevish gnome who deeply resents her fellow spell casters who typically look down on her mastery of illusionary magic.

Playing the part of the Thief: Ivellias, a slim and secretive elf who wears a low hood because she’s mysterious, or at the very least would like to come across as such.


Citizens of Mauar

Playing the part of the city’s Leader: Lord Baereth, a mighty and cunning warrior who, after a long career of adventuring, decided to build a grand mead hall in a forlorn land.  Somehow this really took off and grew into a powerful city, which he named Mauar for some reason.  He rules with a fair hand, but tends to follow the most obvious consensus brought to his attention.

Playing the part of the city’s wealthiest Merchant: Bumblebritches, a great, fat, bearded man who has an eye for treasure and will often send the party to dangerous places to acquire curiosities for his shop.

Playing the part of the city’s high Cleric: (to be announced)

Playing the part of the city’s Chief Blacksmith: (to be announced)

Playing the part of the city’s Arch Mage: (to be announced)

Playing the part of the city’s Wisest Sage: (to be announced)


Antagonistic Antagonists

Playing the part of the Hobgoblin War Chief: Hretch, a sly leader who brought his fleet of dark ships to the southern portion of Talamh in the hopes of securing great wealth and power with which he and his minions may potentially conquer many realms.  He relies on his dimwitted captain, Proc, who travels with a band of hobgoblins who regularly try to foil the expeditions of our heroes.


Other Notable Characters

Playing the part of the Guardian Elves: (elves who guard the Petrified Tarrasque)

Playing the part of the Merchant Ship Captain: Evelstead, a portly halfling with a thick handlebar moustache and a love of dried imported fruit.  He is accompanied by his two loyal crewmen, Murcle the fat half orc and his friend Stevia, a tall, thin half elf.


Finally, Thy Dungeon Master
Playing the part of the Dungeon Master: M. A. Packer, the master of his entire domain, or at least the parts that exist within the confines of his curdled mind.


Now let us begin…


Entry Into Talamh

DM: as our story begins, we join our heroes as they embark on a merchant ship bound for the land of Talamh; a place few go and even fewer return from.  As the heroes unpack their belongings below deck, the ship captain, Evelstead, comes down to greet them.

Evelstead: so you’re the newest batch of dogooders seeking fame and fortune in the broken lands.  Remind me your names again?

Trevor: I am Brother Trevor, cleric of the God of the Sun.

Evelstead: ah yes, I saw you screaming like a young girl when that kelp clung to your shoes on the beach!  No need to worry about Dudley, your donkey; he is safely kept below deck.  Tried to bite one of the lads when he roped him off.

Gara: I’m Gara Gloim, master illusionist.

Evelstead: dear me, I didn’t see you down there!  Yes, I saw you work your magic, prestidigitating that muscular brute that followed you around town.

Gawayne: I’m not an illusion!  I am Gawayne Greenwater; greatest fighter around!  And I was only following her to make sure that the locals did not step on her!

Evelstead: ah yes, a half-orc fighter.  You don’t see too many of them around…  and you, my sullen lass, must be Ivellias, the elf thief!

Ivellias:

Evelstead: anyway, you are welcome to wander the deck or take a nap.  It will be a few hours before we depart.  You had best equip yourselves, however.  Not sure why I’m telling you that, but I guess it’s best to be safe than sorry!  (We do have a few rats that are unaccounted for and have a nasty habit of jumping out at people).

DM: to be continued…

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Theater of the Mind Dungeon

Introduction
We love exploring dungeons, but let’s face it: not all of us are any good at drawing dungeons, and many players grow bored traveling around the seemingly endless labyrinth of corridors and passageways, interspersed with little and big rooms full of monsters.  Then there’s the GM who either can’t or won’t show the players the maps and expects them to track their exploration as he reads off dimensions; “you enter a room through a south entrance, the west wall lays twenty paces to your left and the east wall lays thirty paces to your right while the north wall lays seventy paces ahead of you.”  What a headache.  Theatre of the mind is usually the best rout to take when handling dungeons, but how do you organize them so players aren’t lost?
            The last thing you want is to draw up a map and simply tell them literally where they’re going as this can frustrate and confuse the crap out of them.  What follows is a blow by blow, simplified way of expressing the interior of a dungeon to the players and only requires them to write down basic reference points.  I know this will infuriate certain miniatures collectors, most especially players of D&D 5th Edition.  But enough about that.  Let’s begin!


Stats
First, let’s treat the dungeon like a creature.  By giving your dungeon stats you can track all important information on as little as a single page!  Here are the stats, arranged in a hierarchical order to help you track details by level of importance.

Name: name the dungeon.  Something like “cellar of the windy tower,” or whatever strikes your fancy.
Level: what level of character is the dungeon suitable for?  The challenge rating?
Relevance: this is a short description that tells why and where the PCs are entering it.  Also mention details that tie it to a specific quest or NPCs.

Entrance: how do the PCs enter the dungeon?  Is there a hidden door in the face of a cliff?  Is it under a statue in a courtyard?  Perhaps the PCs have to dig a hole in the desert and drop down into one of the rooms after prying up a stone slab?
Passages: here is where the confusion can arise; you don’t need to tell the PCs what direction they’re going, how many right or left turns they’re taking, or how long the hallways are.  Just tell them they’re navigating hallways and bring them to each important room in order, but in such a way they feel as though they discovering each one and not merely making stops on a bus rout.  One last important thing to note is to prompt the players to describe how they transition between rooms; are they searching for specific types of rooms?  Are they checking for traps as they go?  Who's first and who's last in line?
Passage Encounters: one thing you can do is have special encounters between transitions.  What this means is you can have the PCs happen upon certain things as they go from one room to the next.  This includes whenever they want to go back to a previously visited room.  Simply create a unique d6 table as follows:
            1- nothing happens: they travel safely to the next location.
            2- goblins: they come upon the encounter amount for goblins.
            3- traps: they encounter a trap of your choosing.
            4- orcs: they come upon the encounter amount for orcs.
            5- hazard: they fall prey to a hazard, like stones falling from the ceiling.
            6- encounter: they encounter an NPC, like dwarves digging in the dungeon.
Random passage encounters can be tailored however you want; there could be a lot of “nothing happens”, or if the dungeon is overrun with enemies you could have almost every possible roll be an enemy encounter.  When placing enemies, be sure they are scaled for the party and have a variety of different kinds.  Lastly, let the rogue detect traps.  As mentioned above, this is done before traveling from one room to the next, entering a room and inspecting elements of a room.  Likewise, elves and dwarves or any other race who may detect hidden passages should do so any time the party transitions between rooms or searches a room.  Even if a secret room isn't listed in your dungeon, you could invent one on the spot if a player successfully searches for one.
Rooms: create a list of all relevant rooms in a dungeon.  This is what the players need to keep track of, and the rooms need not be complicated.  You could have things like “the torture chamber,” or “the hieroglyph room.”  Just give a description of what kind of room, how big it is and other flavor elements, like “stench of mold in the air” or “sound of distant rumbling”.  Rooms, once cleared, may also provide a safe place for the PCs to rest in, especially if this is a particularly large dungeon with dozens or hundreds of rooms!
Room Elements: here is where the rooms take shape.  When the PCs enter a room and you describe it, they should begin asking questions about what else is in the room.  You will then express to them specific things they find while searching.  You may even begin with the PCs encountering a monster in the room.  Examples of things to put in rooms would be like NPCs that the PCs may meet and talk to, treasure boxes, shelves with books, tables covered in coins, a pile of rubbish, pool of water, levers and switches, large crack in the floor/wall/ceiling, statues, etc.
Exit: the way out of the dungeon.  This is optional as the PCs may simply leave the same way they entered, unless you have them trapped in a dungeon through barred gates or a cave-in, in which case this aspect of the dungeon becomes most important.  They should not find it until after they have explored all of the rooms leading up to it.  If the players say “we want to find the exit NOW,” you could skip over irrelevant rooms, but bring them to the next convenient room of importance, like if you plan for them to encounter an NPC.  The exit is described like a room and may have specific furnishings or elements that they may interact with in order to open the way out.  This may also be the place to have a “boss” enemy, if you wish.  Examples will be detailed below to show how these work:


Example Dungeons
The following is a prerendered dungeon to give you an idea how to set these up and present them to your PCs.  One final suggestion; even though it’s "theater of the mind", providing pictures can help the players visualize the dungeon.  Ideally, if this is done, you will have pictures of the exterior or first room of a dungeon, a passageway, and a picture for each room.  If you really want to go all out, you could have a picture of each monster or NPC the players encounter as well.  Now to our example!

Name: “Library Caverns”
Level: for characters leveled 1-3
Relevance: while traveling through the city, the PCs learn of a librarian who discovered a hole in the wall in the lowest chambers of the library, in the rare books sectoin.  Guards have barred off all access to this section until the tunnels beyond the hole are explored and cleared of danger.

Entrance: the entrance to the caverns rests in the basement of an old library, in its lowest halls.  The masonry appears to have been knocked inward by something digging through the earth.  Several books lay scattered across the ground, some with pages torn out and others stomped by muddy feet.  The cavern beyond the hole is dark and moist from recent rainfalls.  Strange sounds echo from beyond and cool air wafts in from deep recesses.

Passages: the passages in this cavern complex are very low, twisting and winding about as though dug by a giant worm, but the telltale gouges along the cold, wet surfaces denote the work of crude tools.  Puddles of water lay here and there, creating cold, unpleasant footing for anyone who crouches through the squat tunnels.
Passage Encounters: roll a 1d6 on the following table to determine what is encountered while transitioning from room to room.
            1- nothing; pass to the next room without trouble.
            2- nothing; pass to the next room without trouble.
            3- goblins: the party encounters 2d4 goblins; roll for surprise!
            4- goblins: the party encounters 2d6 goblins; roll for surprise!
            5- goblins: the party encounters 2d8 goblins; roll for surprise!
            6- hazard: rocks and dirt fall from the ceiling, someone potentially takes 1d4 damage.

Broad Opening: the party comes upon a section of tunnel that has been widened and upheld with wooden buttresses.  2d4 goblins dig through the earth here with mattocks and spades, possibly expanding their complex into other areas below the city.
Supplies: off to one side of the room is a pile of sacks containing hard bread and vile-smelling wine.  Beside this is a barrel containing mattocks and a spent lantern.
Secret Stash: if a PC searches for hidden doors, he or she will discover a small covey hole dug out and filled with a pouch containing 12 copper pieces, 28 silver pieces and one random gem.

Sleeping Cave: the party comes upon a slightly larger chamber, which the goblins have set up as a living space.  Straw has been cast upon the ground with filthy bedrolls and blankets laid on top.  2d6 goblins rest here quite soundly and are unaware of the party’s presence.
Bedding: the crude beds used by the goblins contain scattered bundles of the following loot; 120 copper pieces, 89 silver pieces, 145 electrum pieces, 50 gold pieces and 1 random gem.
Food Stores: a larger pile of hard bread and vile-smelling wine is kept here, along with dried vermin meat, rolls of cloth that the goblins use for foot and hand wrappings, and an assortment of pots, pans and a kettle over a fire.
Privy: a small tunnel has been dug out to the side with a bucket set up as a privy.
Arms Rack: a small rack containing 3 short swords and 2 hand axes as well as 4 small wooden shields.

Dead End: the PCs encounter a dead end where they are ambushed by 2d6 goblins.
Room Elements: no elements in this place of note, but when the goblins are defeated, the PCs will discover 3 random gems on the corpse of one.

Foreman’s Chamber: one of the tunnels ends at a crudely set wooden door, which has been locked.  Once the door is bypassed, either by breaking it down, picking the lock or simply knocking upon it to get the occupant’s attention, the PCs will see the following: a wide chamber, upheld by wooden buttresses with a hammock strung up for the goblin foreman.  This foreman is a goblin with 2 levels as a fighter and is equipped with a chain hauberk, a battle axe, a medium steel shield and a potion of haste.
Foreman’s Locker: beneath the hammock is a wooden box, which has been locked.  It contains 30 gold pieces, 15 platinum pieces, 5 random gems, 2 random potions, and 1 random art object.
Book Shelf: a crude book shelf contains many books, likely pilfered from the library.  One of them is a spell book containing 3 random priest scrolls and 6 random mage scrolls.  Detailed searching will also reveal a note written to the goblin foreman, instructing him and his lads to dig into the basement of the city’s guard post and procure as many weapons and armor as possible for a possible invasion.  The items are to be delivered at the crossroads at nightfall in a month’s time to a human agent of an enemy force.

Exit: other than the hole in the library basement, the PCs may continue searching until they find a passage flowing with a stream of water.  This will lead them to a tiny cave entrance that opens out into the wilderness just beyond the farmlands of the city.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Adventure Stats

(Probably used the above image before)  The purpose for writing this article, as always, is to help beginning GMs to establish adventures for their parties.  For greater information on how I set up a game, my other article should be floating around on this blog, but I'm too lazy to reference it with a link.  But to business: this thing, which I am writing at this moment, the moment I'm writing, is a simple rundown for individual adventures, which can be applied to any campaign setting.

What you will need: a notebook (ideally one of those grid notebooks so you can draw fanciful maps, which also contain little notes you can reference).  Other than this a pen would do nicely, unless you lack the courage to stray away from a pencil with an eraser.  Erasers are for chumps.

Now use the following statistics, which I have created to resemble AD&D monster statistics (because lists are more fun).


Adventure Name: the name for your adventure.  It should be short, catchy and make it easy to pick it out from other adventures.  For example: "Stranded on the Gusty Bluffs" or "Down the Grotto's Throat."

Problem: a snazzy sentence that encapsulates exactly what the adventure.  Something like: "some Rakshasas, disguised as merchants, sell the PCs rings of protection that paralyze them; the PCs are imprisoned in a maze and made to fight their way to a central tower where the Rakshasas watch them in amusement."

Hook: a paragraph or two describing how the adventure is introduced to the PCs.  Using the above example, naturally the PCs will smell a trap if it's simply presented to them, so for this type of adventure you may want to wait until the PCs are buying magic items and then switch "rings of protection" over to whatever magic item they are buying.

NPCs: a list of important NPCs, both good, bad and totally neutral.  Be as specific and as brief as necessary when describing side characters and never have characters who participate in combat more than the PCs: they're co-players, not spectators.

Obstacles: this section lists encounter tables for roaming monsters, important steps the PCs need to take to reach certain places and other limitations that challenge their progress in completing the adventure.

Locales: details on the places the PCs need to visit.  This is connected with obstacles in many ways, except that the GM may wish to include maps and other pictures that the PCs will reference.

Rewards: experience points and treasure that the PCs come upon, whether they receive it as payment for completing a quest or if they discover a treasure hoard in a monster's lair.  If you wish, you could itemize the treasures for each creature the PCs encounter, depending on how detailed you want to be.


Example Adventure

"The Mist Sweeps in From the Hills"
Problem: a town is attacked by undead whenever fog blows in; one of the residents has stolen an evil artifact from a tomb and it needs to be destroyed at the tomb to end an ancient curse.
Hook: the PCs witness the undead attacking while staying at an inn at a small town.
NPCs: Mayor Hurst (LN human), Emmy Loon (old, CG human), Feldegrast (secretive NN half elf)
Obstacles: after the PCs witness the first zombie attack, they are asked to join in a town meeting at the local chapel where they overhear Mayor Hurst questioning the locals about any strange goings on.  People believe the culprit is Emmy Loon; a strange old woman who lives on the outskirts of town and is known for practicing an unregistered form of alchemy.
When the PCs are asked to visit Emmy Loon, she tells them, in a rather round about way, that it was not she who caused the undead, but she does recall having seen Feldegrast wandering up in the hills just before she caught the first scent of undead mischief.
When the PCs track down Feldegrast, they learn that he has fallen on hard times and went looting the barrows up in the hills to find something he could sell.  All he found was a cankered silver cup, which he hid under the floorboards of the house.
When the PCs travel to the barrow out in the hills they find an underground crypt overrun with undead creatures.  At the heart of it there is a special chamber used to perform dark ceremonies and a tattered book explaining that the cup was placed on a pedestal to seal away the tomb's power and force the evil spirits within to sleep eternally.
Locales: the town of Sudbarr (small town with a population of around 500 individuals).  The hills (wide expanse of wilderness with many roaming creatures, especially undead)  Hidden barrow (a lengthy crypt filled with roaming undead and comprised of intertwining hallways that center on a circular chamber that may only be opened with the keys of skeletal guards, which roam about in special areas of the crypt.  Traps in the crypt consist of noxious gasses seeping from cracks in the floor and potential cave-ins from opening some of the larger doors.
Rewards: each encountered creature has its own loot, but in the ceremony chamber at the heart of the barrow crypt the PCs will find 1d100 of each type of coinage, 1d6 random gems, 1d4 art objects, 1d3 potions, 1d3 scrolls and 1d2 magical weapons.


In closing; why write these down?  Why write anything down?  Because your head comes up with more ideas than it can store!  (Unless you're some kind of mental freak, in which case you are one lucky S. O. B.)  But in all honesty, you will want to thank and kiss your own reflection ten years down the road when you dust off this notebook and discover that you have already prepared dozens, if not hundreds of adventures for your players.  Your players will want to kiss you, in which case you may need to hold a separate discussion with them.  But really, it can be hard to come up with adventures on the spot, so when your campaign hits a lull, just spring one of these little beauties on your players and let them get to work cracking it open.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Why AD&D 1st Edition


It should be noted that this article is intended to review the editions of Dungeons and Dragons, and while this is my favorite family of systems, it is not the only system I run.  But that's a topic for another illness.

I was spurred into writing this while thumbing through my AD&D 2nd edition books.  Fond memories of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale came to my mind and I recalled that these were 2nd edition games, which spurred my first deviation from newer systems.  However, while looking through the DMG I became greatly irritated as I was reminded of the absence of certain things, or how the rules would vaguely brush over certain rules.  Then there was the utter lack, or simple withholding of materials that had been present in the previous edition (the death at -10 HP rule, the monk class, the half-orc race, the absence of random tables, etc.)

This spurred my immediate return to AD&D 1st edition: the best of them all.  To organize this I will first cover other editions of Dungeons and Dragons, pointing out my likes and dislikes for them, after which I will visit 1st edition in fullness.

D&D 3rd Edition: I was introduced to this system back in 2000, and though I hold fond memories of my first time playing it, 3rd has the following issues: inorganic stats and lousy art.  Essentially 3rd edition is D&D stripped of all life and converted into a video game, battlebot system where characters are stripped of all interesting features and changed into packaged chess pieces with round numbered stats and damage per second scales.  Then there was the art.  Blech.  Most of it was just ugly.  It's like they had a contest to see who could make the stupidest, most asymmetrical gibberish imaginable.  What was more, and this will be something I cover in my 1st edition text, the removal of class restrictions to the different races was basically a way of saying "your character is special, just like all the others."  I'm guessing they wanted to cater to the "have our cake and eat it too" crowd, but the races failed to be unique and interesting.  "Because if everyone is super, nobody is"

D&D 4th Edition: I'm actually not as annoyed with this as most people seem to be.  The art, while anime-esque, did have unifying qualities and it was a sincere effort to save the hobby from the ravages of video games, which were soaring to unprecedented popularity at the time (I had lost an entire gaming group to the HALO video games, and some of them are just now coming back into the hobby).  But 4th falls short for me for the same reasons as 3rd edition: too chunky and video gameish.

D&D 5th Edition: I'll admit, had I been introduced to 5th edition first, I probably wouldn't want to play any other edition.  It unifies the best qualities of all the previous editions and the art, while somewhat of a mixed bag, recaptures the charm and beauty of old-school fantasy, drawing on real world culture and abandoning the overly stylized, anime-porn designs adopted by Pathfinder and other systems that try to whore themselves out to the Poke'mon generation of video gamers. Unfortunately when I play 5th edition, it reminds me so much of older editions of D&D that it makes me want to play those instead..

OD&D: I can't touch this one since I never played it, but from what I've seen it's too basic for my liking, which in and of itself is not necessarily a fault.  It's the first of its kind and marshaled in a new category of entertainment on a grand scale, but will only, truly appeal to those who remember it back in its heyday and fell in love with it at first sight.

AD&D 1st Edition: finally, my favorite of them all.  Though written in long-winded Gygaxian, it has everything you need and what is more, the rules are simple enough and provide a framework that you can take it in any direction you want.  What is more, making things on the fly is simple as the aforementioned frameworks are accessible and easily interpreted.  Most important of all, 1st edition is established on a strong foundation of real world myth and legends, creating worlds that we as players can identify with and find a place in.  I'm sorry, but I have a hard time getting into the head of a killbot character with a giant anime-porn sword that shoots atomic bomb fireballs at millions of enemies.  1st edition almost demands that you live in it: you can hire servants, pay tithes to your church, build kingdoms, and actually TALK to your enemies.  YES!  You are encouraged and are given simple rules for parlaying with intelligent enemies, and you can benefit from this!  Lastly, due to the minimalist nature of the rules, power gaming is nearly impossible, and munchkin gamers die quickly, meaning all the riffraff and spazoids are scared off, leaving behind higher caliber and more intellectual players who help flesh out your world.

I know, the core books have a lot of silly pen and ink drawings, but anyone who actually looks at these will see they illustrate important points being discussed in the rules, often by poking fun at certain aspects of players and their approaches to the game.  Another bonus to these drawings is the fact that they don't rob you of your own creativity and ability to visualize your world.  (It's hard for me to take a Pathfinder campaign seriously when I look at the illustrations in the book and imagine nothing but abstract stupidity everywhere).

In a final note, I was greatly annoyed to read several people's responses to one player's question regarding the major differences between 1st and 2nd edition.  Those who answered had clearly never looked at the rules and claimed that one (2nd edition) was "rules light" compared to the other (1st edition).  While this is slightly true, the rules in 1st edition are pretty solid and sound with just about no wavering.  Psionics is a bit weighty to understand, but at least it works!  While looking through 2nd edition, it was impossible to nail down a specific rule regarding things such as initiative or how armor affects AC.  Instead you have chunky little "optional rules", which has caused no end of frustration whenever I ran 2nd edition.  I can still remember players asking "wait, aren't you using group initiative?" or "aren't you using the THAC0 rules for different kinds of armor?"

What infuriated this point even further were the endless parade of splat books for 2nd edition, which created new rules or rules exceptions: there was Complete Psionics and the Psionics rules in Skills and Powers, which had about as much to do with each other as chocolate chip ice cream and potato chips.  Every player I found who wanted me to run 2nd edition for them expected an entirely different system and were frustrated when I didn't use the rules options they were most familiar with.  This is a problem I am yet to have with AD&D 1st edition.

GURPS Random Campaign Generator


Introduction
One of the difficulties in running a game like GURPS is narrowing down a singular campaign in which only a relative fragment of the abundance of stuff can be used.  The materials presented below are designed to help GMs decide on and create campaigns for their GURPS game.  These could be single-session games or longer games that span months or years.  Simply roll the required amount of six-sided dice in order.  A prospective GM could also read the roll results and make select combinations, even adding aspects of different results into one cohesive adventure.


Genre
Use 1d to determine which major genre the campaign takes place in, then roll 1d to determine a sub-category for each genre.
1-2 Historic: a campaign set in the real world, typically before the modern time.
            1: stone age setting
            2: bronze age setting
            3: iron age setting
            4: renaissance setting
            5: Victorian setting
            6: early modern setting

3-4 Science Fiction: a campaign typically set in the future with more advanced technology.
            1: near future setting
            2: super hero setting
            3: distant future setting
            4: post-nuclear setting
            5: post-meteor strike setting
            6: modern alien encounter setting

5-6 Fantasy: a campaign that includes magic and fantastical creatures.
            1: low magic fantasy world that reflects real history
            2: high magic fantasy world with strong fantastical elements
            3: low magic setting spilling into the real world
            4: high magic setting kept secret in the real world
            5: low magic setting mixed into a scientific setting (steampunk or future)
            6: high magic setting mixed into a scientific setting (steampunk or future)


Sub-Genre
Under each major genre list, roll 1d to generate a sub-genre and 1d again wherever necessary.
1 Horror: a campaign in which the PCs encounter supernatural or psychological horrors.
            1: single, terrible entity or creature that the PCs are hunting or that is hunting the PCs.
            2: infestation of creatures plaguing the campaign setting.
            3: organization of wicked people who have dominated a community.
            4: large creatures who emerge from the boundaries and assault at particular intervals.
            5: powerful, Lovecraftian demigod with a host of minions plaguing the underworld.
            6: awakened, indestructible creature that may only be defeated through a secret method.

2 Espionage: a campaign in which the PCs work as agents for a church, government or private
organization and use their skills to undermine an oppressive force.
1: government vs. other government
            2: church or organization vs. other government
            3: church or organization vs. other government
            4: citizens vs. own government.
            5: corporation or guild vs. own government.
            6: citizens vs. corporation or guild.

3 Survival: a campaign where the PCs are nearly destitute and living from day to day until they secure a
means of supporting themselves or merely find an escape.
1: stuck in the wilderness after an accident.
            2: languishing in a massive prison or castle complex on an island.
            3: surviving in a wasteland decimated by war.
            4: surviving on the mean city streets of a major metropolis.
            5: thrust into the wilderness after fleeing oppression.
            6: adrift at sea or in space until coming upon an island or space station.

4 War: a military campaign in which the PCs serve, either as soldiers or as commanders.
1: a war between two rival kingdoms/governments.
            2: desperate conflict between rebels and an empire.
            3: a massive war encompassing many kingdoms.
            4: an invasion from strange, alien or foreign forces.
            5: small skirmishes over the remains of recently devastated political powers.
            6: rising in power through careful skirmishes against an oppressive ruler.

5 Exploration: a campaign in which the PCs set out to explore unknown lands or regions of space.
1: exploration of a secret patch of wilderness enclosed by mountains.
            2: exploration of an enormous derelict ship or castle complex.
            3: exploration of a vast ocean or expanse of space.
            4: exploration of a new continent or recently discovered planet.
            5: search for lost treasure or artifact, either technological, magical or mundane.
            6: search for lost persons in places that are either explored or unexplored.

6 Opera: a long-running campaign where the PCs struggle against an overwhelming enemy.  (Note that this campaign could very well incorporate elements of every other roll result).


Examples on Combining Roll Outcomes
Utilizing the previously listed tables will require a degree of interpretation as the results may not appear to fit together.  Simply think outside the box when determining how certain rolls fit together.  Use the following examples as ways to think about odd combinations.
Example 1: (226) Historic/Bronze Age/Opera
With these results the GM and PCs could take part in a grand adventure in which they are part of a trade company that travels through the Orient and are beset by one of the world powers of the day.  This could also allow them to explore much of the world during this time period and encounter long, almost forgotten cultures.
Example 2: (6452) Fantasy/High Magic (real world)/Exploration of Castle
This could produce an adventure in which the PCs work with a secret magical organization that tries to keep magical things hidden from the general public.  In this particular campaign, they could be assigned to explore a recently emerged temple complex filled with monsters and strange artifacts, all under the control of a malevolent being with ill intentions for the world.
Example 3: (4643) Science Fiction/Modern Alien Encounter/War Between Kingdoms
In this peculiar combination, the adventure could center around the PCs living in present-day earth at a time when interstellar war engulfs the galaxy and one of the galactic contenders has deployed ground forces to use Earth as a base, which they intend to fortify as a place of defense against their competition.  The PCs could either help the aliens defend earth against the enemy, or if the GM chooses, the aliens could be hostile and the PCs will need to resist them and possibly contact their alien enemies for aid.


Random Monster Generator
This list of traits is not so much to generate statistics for a creature as it is to help a GM come up with random monsters on the spot.  In regards to stats, a challenge rating will be given last, which will provide suggestions on how to scale the creature’s difficulty by reference to the party’s average prowess.  Simply roll one die for each area.
Category
1- Humanoid: a creature similar in appearance to humans and uses weapons and armor.
2- Beast: a creature with an animalistic appearance, moving about on all fours (or more limbs).
3- Elemental: a creature either comprised of or that otherwise embodies a type of energy.
4- Construct: a creature made clay, machinery or other inorganic materials.
5- Undead: a skeletal or zombified creature that once lived and is brought back to life.
6- Planar/Phantasmal: a spectral, ghostly or other type of entity with no discernable shape.

Sub-category
1- Mammal: warm-blooded creature, either with fur, hair or thick, leathery skin.
2- Reptile: cold-blooded creature covered in scales and usually with a long tail or possibly wings.
3- Avian: creature whose body is mainly or entirely covered in feathers and generally can fly.
4- Insectoid: creature whose body is comprised of exoskeletal segments and possesses mandibles.
5- Aquatic: fish-like creature that swims about the water.
6- Xenoform: strange creatures, such as cephalopods and other invertebrates, like slugs or octopods.

Quality
This may be rolled twice for each creature; if the same result is rolled again, this means that this particular quality is especially notable.  For example; rolling Armored twice means the creature is incredibly dense and very hard to kill!
1- Armored: the creature has thick skin or armored plates, making it more resistant to physical harm.
2- Magical: the creature possesses magical abilities.
3- Psionic: the creature possesses mentalic abilities.
4- Swarm: the creature is actually comprised of many tiny creatures.
5- Resistant: the creature is resistant to magical or mentalic attacks.
6- Repulsive: the creature is either frightening to look upon, emits a toxin, a stench, or is venomous.

Difficulty Rating
After each category description is a dice roll, which represents how many are encountered for a typical 4-member adventuring party.  Below each description is also a list of basic attribute generation rolls.
1 Minion: very weak enemy with much lower stats than the party’s.  (4d encountered)
ST: 2d, DX: 2d, IQ: 2d, HT: 2d, HP: (only 1 HP),
FT: normal, Wil: normal, Per: normal, DR: normal.
2 Cohort: weak enemy with lower stats than the party’s.  (3d encountered)
ST: 2d, DX: 2d, IQ: 2d, HT: 2d, HP: normal,
FT: normal, Wil: normal, Per: normal, DR: normal.
3-4 Normal: average enemy with stats generally on par with the party’s.  (2d encountered)
ST: 3d, DX: 3d, IQ: 3d, HT: 3d, HP: +1d,
FT: +1d, Wil: normal, Per: normal, DR: normal.
5 Boss: strong enemy with stats that are greater than the party’s.  (1d encountered)
ST: 4d, DX: 3d, IQ: 3d, HT: 4d, HP: +2d,
FT: +2d, Wil: normal, Per: normal, DR: +1d.
6 Master: very strong enemy with stats that are much greater than the party’s.  (1 encountered)
ST: 6d, DX: 3d, IQ: 3d, HT: 6d, HP: +4d,

FT: +4d, Wil: normal, Per: normal, DR: +2d.