The (not so) Big Introduction
Within this book is a complete set of randomization generators for the AD&D/OSRIC systems. It may also be used for nearly any system that utilizes polyhedral dice! What is more, the primary purpose of this book is to aid beginning Game Masters in honing their skills by providing creative prompts for many aspects of their game so as to avoid those awkward blanks that pop up mid-game. It is hoped that through utilizing these simple charts, new GMs will acquire the skills they need to produce entertaining scenarios to bring their players back to the table for every session!
How it all Works
Because it can become exhausting and even predictable for a GM to flesh out their world, sometimes a few randomization tables help spice things up. After all, as GM, wouldn’t you also like to be in suspense for happens next? This is not meant to steal from a GM’s creativity and initiative, but rather serve as a launching point for your imagination. For example, if the dice tell you that it is morning by the time the players reach the town, you may get the idea to have a low fog roll through. You may also roll grassy plains as a random location in the wilderness and decide to have it riddled with the bones of large monsters. More of this will be explained later, so for now we will settle into the content.
To use this material, you can read the book from start to finish and flesh out an entire world all at once, or you could even build it as the players explore! Just use the table of contents and find the stuff you need when you need it. This set is meant to be as simplified as possible, so additional research will be needed to build your creative arsenal. Example materials and sources of inspiration that helped the author will be mentioned at the end of the book, but for now let’s sink our teeth into the meat of this matter. Best of luck, and may your dice roll you into the very best adventure!
1: Character and Locale Name Generation
These are for generic player character names as well as locale names. Character height, weight, and other such details are covered in the core rule books. When rolling on these tables you will combine the sounds together. Note that this does not always sound pleasing when you do verbatim combinations. Players and the GM should adjust the combinations so that they sound pleasing. For example, if “Fen” and “Lot” are rolled, rather than use the name “Fenlot” a player may apply a vowel sound: “Fenn-i-lot” or “Fen-a-lot”. Just play around with the combinations until you produce a sound that appeals to you.
To generate the name, roll once for each column and use the corresponding numbers in the left column to obtain the order of sounds.
d20 Male Names Female Names
1= Ar ifon Mer fana
2= Uth ther Gwen ivere
3= Gal ihad El than
4= Bed wayne An ithor
5= Bag ivad Joan nor
6= Arc demagus Mar del
7= Fen tanis Em ilia
8= Lan dred Mor trix
9= Bor mere Ar wen
10= Hal lot Cel dolyn
11= Pen res Gab by
12= Tre cerus Jil ianna
13= Mar ithax Ig arc
14= Sul drel Amb lina
15= Pal leon Aur raine
16= Tol milon Brit any
17= Fer inor En ide
18= Re inex Av allach
19= Sir idad Mir ganna
20= Pel inel Nin aine
This next list is a little trickier as you will have to roll a d20 and then a d4 for each column and then a d2 (1d4-50% rounded up) for the last column.
d20/d4 1/2/3/4 1/2/3/4 (Extra Name, d2)
1= An/Ar/As/Av alon/esoc/esix/aran Mill/Field
2= Bar/Bed/Bod/Broc urry/aus/chynn/cor Church/Temple
3= Cad/Caer/Cal/Cam dor/don/del/esse Town/Ville
4= Cor/Din/Doz/Dun grave/grate/grane/grun Castle/Berg
5= Glas/Glad/Gor/Hem flowr/weed/woad/way Tower/Climb
6= Is/Ir/Iv/Ib track/road/run/rove Well/Trench
7= Lis/Lan/Log/Lyon flow/flye/forth/froth Hamlet/Ridge
8= Mer/Lon/Mod/Mont nic/nydd/neise/nov Worth/Borrough
9= Paim/Pen/Pan/Sar mord/mort/fur/cross Pool/Wood
10= Sod/Sot/Stone/Sec res/raus/rex/ren Hall/Stead
11= Tin/Tag/Tor/Tel ret/lat/lon/raine Hedge/Hold
12= Ver/Val/Von/Ess rhye/ryse/tor/stun Oak/Vale
13= Fox/Brur/Eagle/Lark wen/well/sted/stub Sypress/Clear
14= Musk/Badger/Elk/Rose pont/point/penn/per Grove/Stable
15= Ignus/Burn/Fell/Laven roam/moan/moor/tour Retour/Henge
16= Boar/Hogg/Holt/Raven lox/rox/nix/fax Bridge/Cross
17= West/East/North/South wess/ness/bess/less Rise/View
18= Wess/Ost/Nor/Sud ford/end/fast/holst Abbey/Fort
19= Hammer/Ax/Blad/Spear ix/ilk/in/ford Flow/Wynde
20= Crow/Eav/Ill/Ever fast/finch/fell/run Moor/Pond
2: Random Characters and Backgrounds
For quick character creation whenever and wherever you need to drop in a replacement adventurer into your GM’s meat grinder. The following materials are rolled to determine a character’s physical descriptions and their background. Stature is a general description that applies to the average dimensions of a particular race. For example, a short, fat Halfling means a Halfling who is shorter and fatter than the common Halfling. Alignment is not randomized as it can greatly limit what classes a player chooses. Lastly, dispositions are merely a guide and should not be taken literally when interpreting a character’s entire personality. For example, cowardly characters need not flat out avoid conflict, but instead could be hesitant.
d20 Stature Age Disposition Background
1= short and average very young crass farmer
2= short and thin young uncertain merchant
3= short and fat young reckless blacksmith
4= average and thin young perceptive baker
5= average young impetuous craftsman
6= average and fat adult ambitious sailor
7= tall and average adult educated guardsman
8= tall and thin adult stubborn tribal
9= tall and fat adult adventurous nobility
10= short and average adult jovial hunter/trapper
11= short and thin senior grim herdsman
12= short and fat senior loyal beggar
13= average and thin senior untrusting laborer
14= average senior trusting wine maker
15= average and fat senior unlearned clergy
16= tall and average aged eager scribe
17= tall and thin aged pessimistic messenger
18= tall and fat aged hopeful woodsman
19= average aged cowardly clothier
20= average aged brave general tradesman
3: NPC, Ally and Monster Attitudes
While most core rule books will provide encounter tables for monsters and other villainous foes, not many tell you the manner in which you encounter them. Are they approaching in a group or roaming about in a scattered rank? Are they asleep or simply sitting down for afternoon tea? Here we will examine not only the positions enemies are taking when you come upon them, but their mood as well. Note that, even if the monsters are sitting at tables, if they succeed their surprise rolls then you as GM need to describe the scene! For example, if the orcs are playing cards around a table and succeed in surprising the players, you might tell the players “as soon as you enter the room there’s a terrible ruckus of noise as the orcs kick over the tables and fling their cards into your faces while clubs and swords are drawn and readied.” The GM should always feel free to adjust these outcomes to something appropriate for the setting. For example, if a “playing cards” scenario is rolled for unintelligent animal creatures, simply describe them as playing. You would be surprised how the players respond to any one of these situations, which will hopefully be more interesting than simply having monsters waiting in a room for a fight like grocery clerks waiting for the next customer.
d20 Monster Positions Attitudes
1= Relaxed and possibly lounging (but not asleep) In good humor
2= Standing around, waiting for something (or someone) Confused and lost
3= Entering the area in great haste Agitated and annoyed
4= Attempting to leave the area in great haste Comfortable
5= Searching the area (for supplies, items, food, etc.) Tired or impatient
6= Searching the area (for a way out, a passage, etc.) Uncomfortable or suspicious
7= Looking up or down (at something interesting) Uninterested or bored
8= Entering the area at a normal pace Frustrated and fatigued
9= Attempting to leave the area at a normal pace Hungry
10= Listening intently (to something unknown) In no particular mood
11= Sitting or crouched in wait (backs to you) Busily engaged
12= Sitting or crouched in wait (facing you) Laughing heartily (or playful)
13= Laying about (pretending to be dead) Stressed and on edge
14= Eating, feasting and drinking Manic or desperate
15= Fighting with one another (but not causing harm) Sad or baffled
16= Receiving directions from someone (or something) Reluctant, but not scared
17= Sharpening weapons (or claws and horns) Afraid of something
18= Competing at something Ashamed or sorrowful
19= Chatting or making other sounds (animal sounds) In a violent rage
20= Resting fitfully in a deep sleep Uncomfortable or hiding something
Next we will look at friendly or neutral NPCs. Surely you as GM will not simply have them walking about and spouting the same rubbish every time the players speak to them. Let’s find out what has been happening in these NPC’s lives up to the point the players encounter them.
d20 NPC (d4: 1-2=male, 3-4=female) Attitudes
1= Young Child Shy
2= Older Child Boisterous
3= Youth/Teen Lost
4= Poor Townsperson Searching
5= Middle-aged Townsperson Timid
6= Elderly Townsperson Angry
7= Merchant Lustful
8= Tradesman (blacksmith/seamstress/baker/etc.) Inappropriate
9= Scholar (mage/alchemist/doctor/etc.) Impatient
10= Soldier/Guard Disciplined
11= Farmer Lazy
12= Laborer/Builder Uninterested
13= Nobleman/Minister/Land Owner Prejudiced
14= Priest High-minded
15= Tramp Tired
16= Wandering Stranger Greedy
17= Performer/Dancer/Singer Sly
18= Wealthy Townsperson Perceptive
19= Hunter/Trapper Demented
20= Fellow Adventurer Distracted
The following are random islands, perhaps unexplored or lightly explored regions that the players may wish to map out for themselves. If the GM wishes, he or she may simply draw up their own geographical region, but these are available in pre-rendered forms should they wish for creativity prompts. At the start of a campaign, the players may have washed ashore on these islands after a storm or catastrophic event that has shaken the world. They may also have simply discovered these lands while on an exploratory voyage. Whatever way the GM uses to bring player characters in, it should always be interesting!
d20 Island Shapes
1= Peninsula: not quite an island, but isolated from the rest of the continent by high mountains.
2= Full Moon: a roughly circular island, possibly with a tall mountain or volcano at its center.
3= Half-Moon: as with full moon, only half the size and possibly accompanied by tiny islands.
4= Crescent Moon: as with full and half-moon, but with a bite taken out of its interior.
5= Twins: two islands of comparable size and shape.
6= Mother and Child: large island that partially envelopes a smaller island.
7= Crater: tiny island surrounded by a ring of ocean and another ring of jagged, broken lands.
8= Broken Half: island that is fractured down its middle.
9= Chain: repeating path of progressively smaller islands.
10= Shattered: a normal island that seems to have been broken apart into several smaller islands.
11= Scattered: mess of differently-sized islands all clustered around each other.
12= Wedge: mass of land that is broad at one end and pointed at the other.
13= Starlight: island with a fringe of jagged spurs.
14= Starburst: a circle of shard-like islands pointing away from each other.
15= Beast Claw: island with mostly smooth shores with an edge of jagged spurs.
16= Polka Dots: scattered islands of moderate and small sizes.
17= Dragon’s Wing: island roughly shaped like a dragon or bat wing.
18= Falcon: land mass roughly shaped like a bird with a trail of tiny islands.
19= Serpent: lengthy, meandering island.
20= Normal: regular island, or any island the GM really wishes to use.
The following lists random climate types for the islands listed above.
1-10 Temperate: Common climate, subject to the four seasons and average weather.
11-14 Desert: Dry and hot island with sparse vegetation and dry weather.
15-17 Tropical: Humid and hot island with vastly dense vegetation and wet weather.
18-19 Arctic: Dry and cold island with somewhat sparse vegetation and snow.
20 Anomalous: Floating, synthetic or otherwise unusual terrain that baffles the mind.
5: Terrain Tiles
Next we have the tiles that comprise the randomized map. Each tile represents roughly a day’s travel, or 25 to 50 miles if GMs wish to be precise. As players wander into a tile the GM will roll based on the chart below to determine what manner of land the players are entering. Much of this can be overruled for the sake of aesthetics and when rolling for a tile that lands on the coast of the island, it will always be one of two coastal types. Likewise, when a mountain patch is rolled there is a chance that all of its adjacent, unexplored areas will automatically become mountains as well.
d20 Terrain Type
1-7= Flat Lands: valleys, prairies and other areas that are generally flat with little variance, though this land may gradually slope upwards towards hills and mountains.
8-11= Hilly Lands: stony mounds, rolling hills and anywhere else the land dips and rises without becoming full-blown mountains.
12-16= Forest Lands: sweltering jungles, frozen pines or anywhere else lots of trees and vegetation grow in great quantities (in deserts this could be a dense expanse of cactuses).
17-19= Mountain Lands: steep rocky slopes and high spires of earth mounded higher than the rest of the scenery. When mountains are determined, there is a chance equal to 1-3 on a d6 roll that unexplored terrain around the mountains automatically become mountains. When a mountain tile is surrounded by three or more mountain tiles there is a chance equal to 1 on a d6 roll that it will be a volcano.
20= Lakes and Ponds: bodies of fresh water inside the island where animals and monsters alike may gather for nourishment.
d8 Coastal Tiles
Rolled to determine the nature of a given coastal tile.
1-3= Cliffs: the land comes to an abrupt end with cliffs that plummet right down into the ocean.
4-8= Beaches: the land gently slopes into cascading waves with long mounds of sandy or rocky beaches.
d4 Time of Arrival
Rolled to determine what time of day it is when players leave or enter any kind of area.
1= Morning 2= Afternoon 3= Evening 4= Night
d10 Weather Forecast
Rolled to determine weather for a given region. GMs should also consider the types of hazards such weather outbreaks may inflict on the type of land the players are standing on.
1-3= Calm, no precipitation or significant cloud cover, but there may still be some wind.
4-5= Breezy, no precipitation but some cloud cover and noticeable wind
6= Cloudy, no precipitation but most or total cloud cover and some wind.
7-8= Overcast, some wind and scattered rain or snow depending on the season and climate.
9= Overcast, moderate wind with possible rain and thunder and lightning.
10= Overcast, very strong wind with heavy rainfall or snow.
Rivers and Streams
Naturally there will be rivers and streams, but the GM should decide where this makes sense. For placing rivers it is recommended that GMs at least generate basic terrain for the whole island and set rivers where they would occur naturally, usually stemming from mountains and meandering between hilly terrain into the ocean or lakes and ponds.
6: Flatland Locales
In conjunction with land tiles that turn out to be flatlands, the following table will help determine specifics about the terrain.
d20 Flatland Locales
1= Ordinary plains with ample resources, which may be settled or built upon.
2= Inhabited terrain with a town or village occupied by people with farmlands.
3= Dried up riverbed, possibly with a hidden cave entrance or the ruins of a sunken boat.
4= Patch of wilderness with large bushes, trees or boulders, possible ambush point for monsters.
5= Abandoned castle or fort, possibly in ruins or intact and may be inhabited by villains.
6= Abandoned town or village, possibly infested with monsters.
7= Wide field covered in thousands of skeletons, possibly after a terrible battle.
8= Empty field or prairie with a single stone spire jutting out of its midst.
9= Circle of carved standing stones atop a gently sloping hill.
10= Mage’s tower belonging to a hostile or friendly spellcaster.
11= Fort or castle complex, either in ruins or currently maintained.
12= Cabin surrounded by trees (not a forest), possibly alongside a stream or river.
13= Great ruin with a dungeon at its heart, likely the lair of a terrible monster.
14= Swampy, mucky mire full of creatures. If in a frozen wilderness or desert, becomes an oasis.
15= Infested patch, either taken over by wild plants, spiders or other vermin.
16= Trade town or stone city, friendly or taken over by villains.
17= Mining community, abandoned or still active.
18= Deep trench or divide in the land with possible ruins or monster’s lair at its bottom.
19= Abandoned church or shrine, possibly to an evil deity.
20= Trade caravan or campsite, abandoned or occupied by goodly or not so goodly creatures.
7: Highland Locales
In conjunction with land tiles that turn out to be highlands, the following table will help determine specifics about the terrain.
d20 Highland Locales
1= Ordinary hills with ample resources, which may be settled or built upon.
2= Town or village built upon earthen terraces, reinforced with stone walls.
3= Pool of water nestled between the hills where shallow caves may exist.
4= Winding trail that passes between tall hills, possible location for monster ambushes.
5= Old watchtower, either used by goodly or evil creatures.
6= Abandoned mining community with collapsing mines that may contain monsters.
7= Large, carved rune stone atop a high mound of earth, which may hide a buried shrine.
8= Dungeon entrance nestled between two steep hills.
9= Log castle built on a broad hill, encircled by a wooden palisade.
10= Old bridge spanning a set of hills, possibly serving as a hiding place for trolls.
11= Massive hill speckled with multiple entrances leading into underground passages.
12= Crater hidden amongst the hills with a peculiar boulder at its center.
13= Bandit camp hidden amongst high mounds of earth with watchers hidden all around.
14= Gloomy furrows and ravines that are infested by spiders, giant ants or other pesky abominations.
15= Multiple tiny homesteads set atop small hills, all conjoined with stone or wooden bridges.
16= Bones of a giant beast lay exposed on the side of a hill.
17= Peculiar hill that turns out to be a camouflaged monster or nest of a monster.
18= Smelly, corpse-strewn lair to predatory beasts, hidden between the hills.
19= Mound belonging to giant burrowing insects like ants and such.
20= Quarantined colony of sick demi-humans in need of magical healing.
8: Forest Locales
In conjunction with land tiles that turn out to be forest lands, the following table will help determine specifics about the terrain.
d20 Forest Locales
1= Ordinary forest with ample resources, which may be settled or built upon.
2= Town built amid the trees, either on the ground or up in the branches.
3= Blighted patch of woods, infested by vermin or the domain of a dark beast.
4= Small clearing where light cuts through the trees, possibly a staging point for an ambush.
5= Large cabin with stables, owned by a goodly being or infested by monsters.
6= Lumber town, likely on the outskirts of the woods, with busy inhabitants.
7= Trail of broken and fallen trees, likely caused by the passage of a large beast.
8= Large clearing with a shimmering pool of water, either a sacred druid site or monster lair.
9= Small clearing with a ring of druid stones surrounding a stairwell to an underground shrine.
10= Patch of dead forest overrun with fungus, mushrooms, or some other growing menace.
11= Massive clearing with a log castle or walled off fortress.
12= Large stone statue or shrine overgrown by plants, possibly the entrance to a dungeon.
13= Massive hollow tree, either full of monsters or serving as a camouflaged tower.
14= Swampy patch of forest with multiple fallen trees and logs infested with monsters.
15= Dead patch of forest with blighted treants or undead fiends.
16= Clearing with a hibernating monster encased in vines or bound by tree roots.
17= Long, deep ravine full of trees and undergrowth, running down into a cave system.
18= Sacred grove inhabited by fairies, unicorns or dryads.
19= Abandoned church or shrine carved out of the trunk of a massive tree.
20= Ruin of a town, city or temple, overgrown with vines and trees.
9: Mountain Locales
In conjunction with land tiles that turn out to be mountains, the following table will help determine specifics about the terrain.
d20 Mountain Locales
1= Ordinary mountains with ample resources, which may be settled or built upon.
2= Town or village built on higher slopes, inhabited by hardy folk.
3= Ancient ship or wagon lodged up in the cliffs between clefts of stone.
4= Broad Ledge strewn with armored skeletons, possibly the scene of a terrible conflict.
5= Mountain Lodge owned by strong warriors or a wise hermit.
6= Mining town that has been abandoned or possibly still produces valuable metals.
7= Ancient stone palace or dungeon unearthed by a recent landslide.
8= Abandoned mining community with tunnels that enter into a deep cave system.
9= Monster’s lair dug out of the cliff face with outer grounds littered with bones.
10= Jagged cliffs and rocks overgrown with pestilence or spider webs.
11= Stone fort or watchtower built upon a high perch that oversees everything.
12= Shrine or monastery built high in the mountains.
13= Gap in a sundered mountain that runs deep into the earth; possible monster lair.
14= Waterfall hiding a temple or dungeon.
15= Large monster head carved out of the mountainside, its mouth serving as a dungeon entrance.
16= Ancient stairway climbing a steep slope, leading up to a shrine or altar at the top of the mountain.
17= Abandoned cliff dwelling built under a massive overhang, possibly infested by creatures.
18= Wide bowl surrounded by mountain spires with a great pond at its center.
19= Deep crevice dropping into utter darkness.
20= Old watch tower with high boulders, possibly serving as an ambush point.
10: Lake and Pond Locales
In conjunction with land tiles that turn out to be lakes or ponds, the following table will help determine specifics about the terrain. GMs should note the difference between lakes and ponds before deciding which to choose for a rolled locale. If the GM wishes, he or she may have a lake take up more than one tile on the map and provide more than one locale.
d20 Lake or Pond Locales
1= Ordinary lake or pond with ample resources, which may be settled or built upon.
2= Possible town or hamlet whose livelihood comes from fishing.
3= Sunken castle or mansion out in a shallow lake.
4= Massive stone slab jutting out of the shore and extending over the water.
5= Mysterious lodge, cabin or old Inn by the lakeside.
6= Fishing community beset by a terrible monster that lives in the lake.
7= Castle or stone tower built on a small island out in the midst of a lake or pond.
8= Abandoned or recently destroyed community by the lake.
9= Ruins of an ancient ship that had long ago run aground on the shore.
10= Round lake formed from an ancient crater with a tiny island at its center.
11= Frightening temple to an evil god built on an outcropping of stone over the water.
12= Town built upon the waters of a lake, upheld by wooden pylons.
13= Pond with a strange well at its center that leads to an underground, waterlogged dungeon.
14= Lakeside marsh with wooden walkways crisscrossing about, connecting with strange huts.
15= Lake with a tower or landmark in the shape of a stone hand rising from the water.
16= Dried lake bed full of rotting aquatic plant and animal life with a great crack or hole in the middle.
17= Murky pond in the middle of a fuming swamp with eerie shapes swirling through the mist.
18= Lake or pond surrounded by an exceedingly high wall with no apparent way to enter.
19= Dried lake or pond with a menacing black shard of rock or shrine at the very center.
20= Ordinary lake or pond with a floating tower, castle or shrine some hundred feet above the water.
11: Coastal Cliff Locales
In conjunction with land tiles that turn out to be coastal cliffs, the following table will help determine specifics about the terrain.
d20 Coastal Cliff Locales
1= Ordinary, stable cliffs with ample resources, which may be settled or built upon.
2= High ruins of a castle or old, walled city overlooking the sea.
3= Cave opening or carved mouth set into the face of cliffs with ocean water flowing inwards.
4= Narrow crevice in the cliff face with a ruined ship or castle jammed above the water.
5= Waterfall stemming from a river that is spanned by an ancient, stone bridge or castle keep.
6= High cliff face skirted by jagged rocks upon which float the wreckage of ships.
7= Stairway, carved out of the cliff face, ascends in a zig-zag manner towards a cave opening.
8= Small building built upon wooden posts, which jut out of the cliff face.
9= Grand shrine or dungeon entrance resembling a creature or god carved out of the cliff face.
10= Inlet opens through the cliffs into a protected lagoon and possible smuggler’s cave.
11= Collapsed section of cliff revealing a cave network into which some ocean water flows.
12= Floating island or castle chained to the cliffs so that it does not drift away.
13= Maelstrom just beyond the cliffs threatens to draw in ships that pass too close.
14= Old church or shrine overlooking the ocean.
15= Tall stone shard jutting out of the cliff onto which is chained a demon or demi-human.
16= Rope or chain affixed to an enormous, wooden crane, dangling down into the water.
17= Watchtower or ancient lighthouse overlooking the ocean.
18= Peculiar, walled-off garden with white columns built along the edge of the cliff.
19= Abandoned Inn with stairway leading down the cliff face to an old, wooden dock.
20= Campsite with a map laid out in stones on a bare patch of earth.
12: Coastal Beach Locales
In conjunction with land tiles that turn out to be coastal beaches, the following table will help determine specifics about the terrain.
d20 Coastal Beach Locales
1= Idealistic patch of earth overlooking the beach. May be settled or built upon.
2= Lonely standing stone rising out of the beach, resonating with energy.
3= Peculiar statues resembling hands, heads and other humanoid shapes coming out of the sand.
4= Monument to an unknown person, possibly with an entrance into a dungeon.
5= Long delta formed by an adjoining river with an old watch tower standing in its midst.
6= Tidal pools full of creatures and possible treasure.
7= Tidal pools connecting with tunnels that possibly lead into a dungeon.
8= Hills that round into the ocean, strewn with boulders, serving as a possible ambush point.
9= Broad delta formed by an adjoining river with a dense patch of infested trees.
10= Sparse woodland edging along the cost where sinister creatures lurk.
11= Small fishing village or town beset by large sea monsters.
12= Beach strewn with dead aquatic life and undead creatures.
13= Stone tunnel running out from the beach and ending at the ocean, capped by an iron grate.
14= Path or road made from flat stones runs directly into the sea.
15= Abandoned docks or shipyard made from stone with unfinished boats toppled about.
16= Peculiar black tree growing out of the sands of a white beach.
17= Massive war galley washed ashore with a gaping tear in its hull and an infested interior.
18= Inlet surrounded by high dunes, used by corsairs to dock their ships.
19= Beach covered in high coral-like reefs, infested with semi-aquatic monsters.
20= Long stretch of beach riddled with the wreckage of wooden ships of every kind.
13: Towns, Hamlets and Villages
For assistance in generating types and descriptions for random towns or other small communities. The conditions of these towns are also provided.
d20 Towns, Hamlets and Villages
1= Average town of mixed professions with farmlands round about.
2= Town dedicated to a single trade, such as mining, metalwork or animal herding.
3= Walled off community that has been taken captive by wicked creatures, such as orcs or gnolls.
4= Town that has been emptied out, either due to a plague or monster infestation.
5= Tiny cluster of buildings too small to be a proper town with limited variety of services to offer.
6= Peculiar town of people who seem to object strangers entering due to strange goings on.
7= Ghastly town overrun with denizens who are either undead or possessed.
8= Walled off community that is trying to repel a roving danger that attacks at night.
9= Village that is feuding over the death of the most recent leader.
10= Peculiar town that follows an evil king or follows the traditions of an evil cult.
11= Filthy town that has run into hard times due to a drought or the sudden disappearance of cattle.
12= Ruined town that is under siege from a band of orcs or robbers who are encamped outside.
13= Community of tents and wagons belonging to folk who are trying to erect a new settlement.
14= Ruined foundations of a recently destroyed community.
15= Town of beast hunters with buildings made from the bones of giant monsters.
16= Quarantined town whose citizens are dying of a strange illness.
17= Intact town whose residents have vanished without a trace.
18= Community where all of the men or all of the women have gone missing.
19= Normal town that has a mysterious cleric preaching terrifying things to them.
20= Town or city where all of the denizens have been frozen or turned to stone.
Next we will determine what manner of trades and livelihoods that fuel the economy of smaller communities.
d20 Town Trades and Livelihoods
1= Mine from which coal, lime stone or salt is gathered.
2= Quarry for stone suitable to build castles and fortified walls.
3= Lumber town built near a good source of wood for all manner of building.
4= Mine dedicated to copper or iron for metal smiths.
5= Fields of wheat for the making of bread.
6= Fields of barley or grapes used to brew alcoholic beverages.
7= Dairy cattle for the making of cheeses and cream.
8= Herding animals and pigs, slaughtered for meat and sausages.
9= Fields of pumpkins, cabbage, carrots and many other kinds of vegetable produce.
10= Orchards of fruit trees for consumption and for the making of cider.
11= Mines from which come gems, which are cut by experts in the town.
12= Mines of precious metals, which are worked by experts in the town.
13= Forge communities that build armor or weapons.
14= Silk and cotton weavers who also work looms to produce clothing.
15= Community of artists, writers and researchers with sprawling libraries.
16= Town with a temple, large church or other place that houses sacred artifacts.
17= Town with a peculiar ruin or other strange site that scholars come to study.
18= Town with a simple mixture of necessary trades, such as rope or candlestick making.
19= Town that crafts wagons, ships or furniture.
20= Town with an exceedingly large well whose water is sold (in desert climates).
14: Fortresses, Castles and Bastions
For GMs who want more than a simple castle to stand out on the landscape; these may fit into nearly any campaign.
d20 Fortresses, Castles and Bastions
1= Common castle or fort with one or two levels, surrounded by a stone wall.
2= Fortified tower set on a hill or mountaintop with a view of the land round about.
3= Abbey compound with a church at its center and a stout wall surrounding it.
4= Castle made from logs and piled earth.
5= Abandoned or possibly infested castle.
6= Castle that has been overrun by undead.
7= Castle that has been infested by giant spiders or overgrown with dangerous plants.
8= Castle of dark stone that serves as a stronghold for an evil being.
9= Ruin of a castle or immense keep joined by the remnants of an ancient fortified wall.
10= Castle that has been taken captive by orc or gnoll armies.
11= Castle that is under siege by hosts of enemies.
12= Castle sunken into the earth or partially buried in a landslide.
13= Castle sunken into a lake or pond, or perhaps completely submerged in water.
14= Castle in the midst of a stormy waste with supernatural force keeping explorers away.
15= Castle that has been cut off from the world by a single, powerful beast that prevents access.
16= Abandoned castle serving as a haven for bandits.
17= Castle whose former subjects still roam the halls as ghosts.
18= Elaborate palace filled with beautiful art and architecture that comes to life.
19= Castle made from ice, crystal or possibly from metal, such as a moving clockwork castle.
20= Flying castle, either able to travel or anchored down with chains.
15: Infested Sites
For use determining a type of infestation within any given area where the GM feels that the players need to face more than a paltry sum of enemies.
d20 Infested Sites
1= Spider webs crisscrossing and choking every passage and chamber.
2= Mosses, molds and mushrooms growing along the floors and walls.
3= Vines and plants, encircling and choking the area.
4= Area bearing a powerful, evil aura with undead persons stirring about.
5= Murky, swampy area riddled with serpents and biting fish.
6= Mucky, muddy area, crawling with non-arachnid biting insects.
7= Warped terrain infested by earth elementals and their kin.
8= Scorched terrain, infested by fire elementals and their kin.
9= Windswept terrain, infested by air elementals and their kin.
10= Saturated terrain, infested by water elementals and their kin.
11= Bleak and decaying terrain, infested with demonic creatures.
12= Filthy, rubbish-strewn place, overrun with swarms of vermin.
13= Area strewn with holes made by digging creatures.
14= Mucus-coated surfaces caused by oozes and slimy creatures.
15= Ground covered in dung, left by hordes of flying vermin.
16= Bones and half-eaten carcasses strewn about from carnivorous beasts.
17= Utter darkness created by shadows and specters.
18= Frozen land covered in ice and snow, spread about by cold foes.
19= Area covered in living flesh with snapping mouths and reaching limbs around every corner.
20= Reeking, rotting organic matter bringing infestations of flying and crawling pests.
16: Caves, Mines and Grottos
For generating all of the deep places in your world, where the sun won’t reach and sinister things lurk about, waiting for your adventurers.
d20 Caves, Mines and Grottos
1= Regular cave of stone and moist earth with roots from plants above coming through the ceiling.
2= Rocky, smooth cave with hanging stalactites and growing stalagmites.
3= Hot cave filled with large crystal formations and acid pools.
4= Sunken cave with many tunnels and chambers partially or fully submerged in water.
5= Flowing caves with streams and underground rivers and ponds.
6= Cave system that contains precious gems.
7= Cave system that contains precious metals.
8= Hard, earthen walls containing coal or salt.
9= Sandy, shifting caverns that are prone to cave-ins.
10= Caves with sunlight streaming in through holes in the ceiling, allowing plants to grow within.
11= Abandoned mine now infested with intelligent and non-intelligent monsters.
12= Crumbling cave with many hazards, but boasts a treasure within.
13= Cave serving as a hideout for bandits, orcs or other organized fiends.
14= Mine that leads to a lost, underground city, temple or dungeon.
15= Underground passages belonging to occult followers and their demonic lord.
16= Subterranean vault containing valuable artifacts or that imprison a terrible entity.
17= Underground village belonging to gnomes, dwarves or similar demi-humans.
18= Cave that inadvertently merges with a portal shrine into another realm.
19= Cave system that drops into a massive hole, which leads to a veritable underworld.
20= Cave system that merges into an ancient cavern that houses a strange, otherworldly vessel.
17: Quick Adventures
Some quick adventures to throw at the players during a lull. Each of these may be as simple or complicated as the GM feels, but should always provide experience point rewards. Simply use the NPC generator detailed earlier in this book and roll on the table below. One could also use the Art, Artifacts and Baubles generator, found later in this book, to generate important items for these quests.
d20 Quick Adventures
1= Find lost property, regents for a cure, or rare spell components.
2= Search for and rescue a lost or captured loved one.
3= Escort someone somewhere or deliver an important item.
4= Spy on someone or break into their home to retrieve stolen property.
5= Track down and slay a monster plaguing the area.
6= Help someone establish their business and protect it against bandits or competitor mercenaries.
7= Investigate someone’s murder or the theft of an important item.
8= Negotiate the release of a prisoner or enter into diplomacy with competitors.
9= Explore a newly discovered ruin or tunnel found in someone’s basement.
10= Help rescue the victims of a burning, sinking or collapsing structure.
11= Find a way to sabotage enemy supply lines or scout for a means of entry into their castles.
12= Help NPCs purge a corrupt organization from their community, such as bandits or crime lords.
13= Break an innocent person out of bondage, be they a slave or another form of captive.
14= Travel to and enter a library to find specific information for a client.
15= Find a sage and ask him/her advice on behalf of a client.
16= Travel to a distant town to deliver news or a warning to someone or to the whole community.
17= Reach something or someone or accomplish some task before a competitor or enemy does.
18= Stand up for an innocent NPC who is being persecuted for their race or beliefs.
19= Infiltrate a party and coerce or seduce someone for information about something big going on.
20= Enter into a hazardous place, like a monster’s lair, and retrieve a trophy or proof of your deed.
18: Dungeon Types
A list of possible types of dungeons that speckle the terrain. Each should be used multiple times in different configurations with varieties of monsters.
d20 Dungeon Types
1= Dungeon in the shape of a massive statue with an interior of lateral passages and chambers.
2= Ancient city, temple or castle submerged completely underwater.
3= Dungeon in the form of an immense tower or tree that rises high above the earth.
4= Dungeon that either ascends a stone spire or descends a gaping hole.
5= Ancient, half-buried city with hidden sewers and other underground passages.
6= Massive aqueduct with channels and tunnels that still run with water.
7= Shrine carved out of a cliff face with many intertwining passageways.
8= Floating shrine, castle or city that lays hidden beyond the clouds.
9= Specially built shrine that embodies a specific element, such as fire, water, wind, etc.
10= Maze comprised of stone or an enchanted hedge that flows into a mysterious central clearing.
11= Large crypt or necropolis in the midst of a vast cemetery.
12= Clockwork or otherwise mechanical structure that has mobility.
13= Glass, crystal or some other kind of partially transparent structure brimming with magical power.
14= Maze with a pictographic layout, such as in the shape of an animal, symbol, etc.
15= Immense vault, either dedicated to the housing of weapons, artifacts or imprisoned fiends.
16= An abandoned settlement, such as a city, shanty town or subterranean city.
17= Actual dungeon with a prison complex, possibly belonging to an enemy nation.
18= Ruin that is falling apart around the PCs, providing terrain hazards rather than monsters.
19= Living dungeon with shifting walls, either mechanical or organic.
20= A conundrum dungeon with portals, strange devices that shift things about or other anomalies.
19: Dungeon Rooms and Passageways
The types of features within the average dungeon. As with types of dungeons, these should exist in multiple forms within individual dungeons. Later on there will be a chapter describing a simple method for creating abstract dungeons and this chart may be used along with that. These rooms can be as large or as small as the GM needs them to be, and can be infested with all kinds of baddies.
d20 Dungeon Rooms and Passageways
1= Plain, empty room devoid of major furnishings but with possible monster encounter.
2= Food pantry or general storeroom used to keep various foods and other items.
3= Arms room with dusty racks containing old weapons and armor.
4= Large bedroom, prison cell or a series of bedrooms and prison cells all clustered together.
5= Command room with counterweights, pulleys, levers, switches and other complicated controls.
6= Throne room or any other kind of room where a leader would sit and banquets be held.
7= Games room, for playing cards or other games of chance.
8= Torture chamber (no dungeon should be without one).
9= Treasure room that is either locked or trapped (or both!)
10= Chasm room or any kind of chamber with a cleft, divide or deep hole.
11= Drainage room or a low point in the dungeon into which water or lava flows.
12= Locked vault containing treasure, an imprisoned monster or an important relic.
13= Great hall upheld by immense pillars.
14= Intersecting halls, caves and passageways that go about in all directions.
15= Secret door leading to another passage, room or monster lair.
16= Swaying walkways suspended by rickety pillars or tattered ropes.
17= Long bridge crossing over a broad gap.
18= Long hallway riddled with traps and pitfalls.
19= Deep shaft with rickety hand holds or stairs lining its walls.
20= Great chamber serving as a powerful monster’s feeding room or nest.
20: Traps and Hazards
For GMs who hate using the same dart-launching trap or spiked pit, the following presents some random types of taps, both man-made and those that simply come with the territory.
d20 Traps and Hazards
1= Loose rocks or masonry is poised to fall upon being disturbed by the slightest vibration.
2= Gasses from decomposing organic matter fill the air, creating fire and suffocation hazards.
3= Trap doors are camouflaged to look like normal ground.
4= Small crossbow affixed on the other side of a keyhole, rigged to shoot a poisoned dart.
5= Holes in the floor, enchanted to create the optical illusion of continuous sure footing.
6= Hinged framework of spikes held to the ceiling by an easily broken trip line.
7= Doorway with a rickety stone archway rigged to fall on anyone who opens the door.
8= Moldy, sagging timbers upholding a loose wall, which may fall if engaged in any way.
9= Room with hanging lamps and troughs of oil, which are rigged to set everything ablaze.
10= Stone doorway, which holds back the water in a flooded passage.
11= Holes in walls from which spring-loaded javelins fire in scattered volleys.
12= Bladed pendulum, which when triggered, swings from a slot in the ceiling or wall.
13= Slots in the walls or ceiling drop poisonous vermin into a triggered hallway.
14= Sand or water cascades from a chamber above, slowly filling the room.
15= Beams of light, which when broken, cause a golem or other construct to awaken.
16= Mechanical fetters grasp a victim’s ankles or hands upon contact.
17= Stairway or path that collapses into a slide, which descends rapidly into a spiked pit.
18= Magical tablet, which when read causes a predetermined spell effect to occur.
19= Magical wands behind mirrors set to go off upon the slightest disruption.
20= Simple bell alarm that will call nearby monsters if jostled.
21: Art, Artifacts and Baubles
Here the GMs can find examples of important objects that the PCs are looking for. These can be enchanted items, plot items or simply mundane items of value. A greater table for rolling these can be found in the OSRIC core book.
d20 Art Objects, Relics and Collectables
1= Tapestry, old map, banner, flag or other fabric that may hold value.
2= Combs, brushes and other objects used to beautify and straighten one’s appearance.
3= Set of medals, tokens, crests or clasps for a cloak or belt that accentuate one’s clothing.
4= Small statuettes, busts or other engraved likenesses of notable people from the past.
5= Chair, table, couch or small cupboard of noticeably attractive craftsmanship.
6= Jeweled boxes used to hold rings, necklaces or other valuable objects of small size.
7= Jeweled daggers or swords that may not work in battle, but could fetch a high price.
8= Jeweled bucklers or shields that may not offer protection, but could earn decent coin.
9= Ornate rugs and carpets that hold valuable patterns and durable fabrication.
10= Crowns, tiaras or earrings made from precious metals and studded with gems.
11= Baubles, scepters, canes, armlets or anklets that bear jewels.
12= Ornamented figurines, possibly used for worship in a shrine.
13= A small cache of vintage wine or other sought after alcohols.
14= Books, scrolls and metallic plates containing genealogies or past dealings.
15= Chess games made from valuable materials, worth something to collectors.
16= Urns, vases and vessels, possibly containing ashes of deceased persons.
17= Goblets, cups, bowls and other objects related to eating made from precious metals.
18= Ritual items, such as staves, caps, incense burners made from copper, silver or gold.
19= Plaques, tablets and other wall hangings that bear carved writings.
20= Feathers, fangs, scales and preserved hides from extinct or very exotic animals.
22: Session 1 Starters
For GMs who struggle finding a way to bring players into their world or anyone who is simply tired of starting out in a boring-as-can-be tavern or dungeon cell. This list will help drop the players into a running position where their characters are introduced through their actions. These are best rendered beforehand so the GM can spend time asking important questions, like “where in the setting are the PCs,” or “why are they here?” A good rule of thumb should be that the PCs are pre-acquainted with each other and on friendly terms, which will hopefully reduce any conflict that may occur right from the start. After all, divided parties kill campaigns.
1= In the midst of a festival or carnival that is suddenly attacked by runaway monsters or marauders.
2= On a ship caught in a storm or in the midst of a ship to ship battle with corsairs.
3= Naked and unarmed, awakening in a strange void or elemental plane with no memory.
4= Up for auction in a slaver’s market while villains are bidding on other demi-humans.
5= In a military caravan or fleet on the way to lay siege to an enemy position.
6= Awakening in giant bottles or on tables in a perverse alchemy laboratory.
7= At a coronation or other important ceremony for the region that is suddenly attacked by villains.
8= In a local eatery where a dear friend is being toasted and suddenly assassinated by enemies.
9= Shoved through a narrow passage out into an arena where gladiators wait with drawn weapons.
10= In a covered wagon that is on its way, through a dark storm, responding to a summons.
11= Awakening in the muck of a battlefield, now covered with slain soldiers and carrion feeders.
12= While guarding a sage and exploring ancient ruins, the PCs are attacked by a mysterious enemy.
13= The PCs awaken in their room at an Inn, which has somehow caught fire.
14= Having washed ashore after a shipwreck, the PCs must scavenge for supplies.
15= A piercing howl shakes the party as they dine at a local PUB and people outside are screaming.
16= The PCs arrive at the gates of an abandoned manor, which they have been hired to explore.
17= While trading for supplies in a town or city, it suddenly falls under siege from an invading army.
18= The PCs have been called to a secret meeting where they are asked to look for an artifact.
19= After being subjected to a strange dream, the PCs awaken at the top of an enormous tower.
20= The PCs begin play as youth in a town and must work regular jobs to earn their starting gold.
23: Villains, Enemies and Invasions
Useful for determining just why those ornery bad guys are stirring up trouble and where they came from. As a freebie this section will also include a random orc or goblin nickname generator.
d20 Villains, Enemies and Invasions
1= A large fleet of corsairs sails in from the ocean and starts enslaving and building their dark castle.
2= A newly risen lich or mummy gathers an army of undead in preparation for an invasion.
3= Corrupt king or warlord rises into power, through treason or force, and dominates the land.
4= Being from another dimension enters and spreads a strange cult, gathering followers to itself.
5= A brooding dragon awakens from a long slumber and terrorizes the countryside.
6= Scattered orc and goblin tribes unite under one chief’s banner and prepare for war.
7= A noble prince uncovers an evil artifact that possesses him while granting immense power.
8= A deep patch of blight, possibly stemming from a portal into the abyss, spreads evil about.
9= Demons scatter evil artifacts abroad, allowing mages to bring hell spawn into the world.
10= An old feud stirs up multiple kingdoms into a seemingly endless war.
11= Beings from the stars descend in a strange, magical craft and begin enslaving the inhabitants.
12= Shifting climates move in, stirring up monsters as the presence of an evil being gains strength.
13= Holes gradually form on the surface, bringing in evil things from down below.
14= A deadly blight spreads across the land, killing nature and giving rise to twisted creatures.
15= The sudden reappearance of an ancient citadel spurs all manner of folk to obtain its secrets.
16= A powerful sage tricks adventurers into acquiring fragments of a horrible machine.
17= Weapons merchants and wicked political entities are stirring up the races into war.
18= A powerful and ancient being has awakened and resumes its labors to unravel the world.
19= War between the gods has left the world almost desolate with goodly gods imprisoned.
20= False clerics go about brainwashing the people and deceive them into following demons.
The following can be used in case the GM feels that the orcish captain the PCs captured needs a name for the ease of dialogue. Also included is a column of randomized nasty habits these villains have.
1= Wretch Breath Scratches self in embarrassing places
2= Skunk Fist Picks teeth or nose
3= Snort Choker Belches loudly or passes gas
4= Gunk Noggin Curses profusely
5= Skrote Face Scowls and grumbles
6= Frog Duff Smells horrible and wears filthy clothes
7= Limp Arse Walks crouched and awkwardly
8= Vom Gutz Fidgets and rubs hands together
9= Puke Britches Walks bow-legged
10= Wolf Boots Keeps hands in pockets or behind back
11= Flat Trotter Neat and well-groomed
12= Badger Hopper Walks tall and strong
13= Dung Chugger Speaks slowly and stupidly
14= Rat Belly Licks lips and pants nervously
15= Dunder Cheeks Laughs at everything
16= Bull Lugger Stands close when talking
17= Wretch Fodder Speaks clear and strongly
18= Fink Puss Always carries a weapon
19= Rank Yanker Stares quietly
20= Broad Boomer Loses temper easily
Enemy Taunts and Pleas
Enemies need to say more than “halt, who goes there?” Here is a list of different things enemies may shout at PCs before or during combat.
d20 Taunts Pleas
1= “See here, a new batch of screamers to stick!” / “Mercy, please, no more chopping!”
2= “We’ll gnaw you hoity gits down to the marrow!” / “Not another cut on me pretty face!”
3= “That mage’s head will look pretty on me wall!” / “Me limbs can’t take no more mashing!
4= “Your sparkly magics ain’t no trouble to us!” / “Everything’s going all dark!”
5= “We’ll ring them shiny swords ‘round yer necks!” / “They’s splitting us in twain!”
6= “Yer blood will make sweet ale.” / “Leg it, lads, an’ live t’ fight again!”
7= “Come see wot us has got for ye!” / “There be fewer of us than what was!”
8= “Let’s chop these molly-coddled wanks!” / “We need more swords in here!”
9= “Run them down, lads! Make ‘em good an’ flat!” / “We’s getting’ cut up!”
10= “Our archers will make quill pigs of ye!” / “Run, boys, they’s got sharp stickers!”
11= “We’ll be drinking mead from yer eye sockets!” / “Me shield’s gone all t’ splinters!”
12= “Our walls will be red-washed in yer blood!” / “If me brats don’t avenge me, theirs will!”
13= “We’ll grind yer bones for mortar!” / “Our salt’s lost its savor! Go afore we’re trodden!”
14= “Look lively boys, we’s got dandies wiv a death wish” / “Fight’s gone south, lads! Run!”
15= “An’ I was just wonderin’ when our next killin’ would be.” / “Getting’ winded here!”
16= “Drop the dice an’ cards, we’s found a better game!” / “You boys keep it together while I step out.”
17= “I was just salivatin’ for some fresh dwarf!” / “Supper’s getting’ cold, so we’d best leg it now!”
18= “Lookie here, boys, some soft pelts what need tanning!” / “Me hands is shaking! I can’t hold out!”
19= “Them smooth skins will make cozy bedrolls.” / “Don’t think we’s fleein’ cuz we’s cowards!”
20= “Quick, gut these dumb trouts afore the boss wakens!” / “Such a waste of a goodly fight.”
24: Pre-rendered Flavors With all the Trimmings
Here are examples of pre-rendered buildings: their costs and resistances to different types of harm. Only a few relevant categories of damage types are listed here and all others offer a resistance of 20. If striking a building with a normal weapon, in order to damage its HP, the building is treated as having 10 AC and if the building is made from stone or iron it may not be harmed unless the weapon is at least +2 or greater. Always use a weapon’s large category of damage when attacking structures. Siege weaponry needs no enchantment to harm buildings due to their greater force. A building makes a saving throw any time it is stricken with a significant kind of force, such as a giant’s fist or a battering ram set against a weak point in the architecture.
Structure HP Crushing Fireball Magic Fire Normal Fire Lightning
Tent: canvas structure upheld with long wooden staves and cords. Costs 12 gold pieces.
5 6 19 11 12 12
Cottage: simple wooden house with walls insulated with mud and straw and capped by a thatched roof. Costs 520 gold pieces.
20 11 12 9 10 13
Log Cabin: more complicated house with walls crafted from thick, hewn timbers. Costs 1,120 gold pieces.
30 12 13 8 6 14
Tudor House: home crafted from thick timbers and capped with a tile roof. Costs 2,300 gold pieces.
40 11 12 9 7 13
Wooden Watch Tower: comprised of upright logs and a lashed platform. Costs 340 gold pieces.
35 10 11 7 5 12
Stone Watch Tower: erect from wooden pillars encircled in shaped stone. Costs 1,200 gold pieces.
55 14 6 2 1 10
Fortified Watchtower: as with a stone watchtower, but reinforced with iron. Costs 1,900 gold pieces.
75 12 5 2 1 8
12x12 Wooden Wall Segment: thick fence of upright and sharpened logs. Costs 260 gold pieces.
10 10 11 7 5 12
12x12 Stone Wall Segment: thick walls of sharpened stone. Costs 700 gold pieces.
20 12 7 3 2 11
12x12 Fortified Wall Segment: as with stone wall, but reinforced with iron. Costs 920 gold pieces.
30 10 6 2 1 10
Wooden Bridge: thick fence of upright and sharpened logs. Costs 320 gold pieces.
10 10 11 7 5 12
Stone Bridge: thick walls of sharpened stone. Costs 840 gold pieces.
20 12 7 3 2 11
Fortified Bridge: as with stone wall, but reinforced with iron. Costs 1,080 gold pieces.
30 10 6 2 1 10
Wooden Gatehouse: protective entrance through a wooden wall. Costs 450 gold pieces.
20 10 11 7 5 12
Stone Gatehouse: as with wooden gatehouse, but made from stone. Costs 1,300 gold pieces.
40 10 7 3 2 11
Fortified Gatehouse: as with stone gatehouse, but reinforced with iron. Costs 1,760 gold pieces.
60 10 11 7 5 12
Manor House: large house crafted from stout timbers and shaped stone. Costs 740,000 gold pieces.
70 13 7 3 2 11
Normal Castle: fortified stone building with a protective entrance. Costs 1,200,000 gold pieces.
100 11 7 3 2 10
Fortified Castle: as with small castle, but on a grander scale. Costs 3,120,000 gold pieces.
200 9 6 2 1 8
Palace: ornate, stone building with all the lavish trimmings. Costs 12,000,000 gold pieces.
300 10 8 4 2 7
For use against those pesky, fortified structures. Whenever a building is successfully stricken by a siege machine, it must make a saving throw against Crushing to resist falling over altogether. Once a structure runs out of saving throws, it inevitably collapses and will instantly kill all small or medium creatures inside. Large creatures will take 10d6 damage from the falling debris. Attacks with siege equipment are dexterity-based attacks against an AC of 10 and use the range increment where necessary. As with normal ranged weapons, each increment after the weapon’s base range imposes a penalty of -2. A character using a siege engine must have a weapon proficiency with that particular piece or suffer their non-proficiency penalty to the attack roll.
Siege Device Dmg SM/L Rate of Fire Range Increment Crew Cost
Battering Ram 2d6/2d12 1 only reaches 5 feet 4 500 gold
Ballista 3d4/2d4 ½ 40 feet 2 600 gold
Catapult, Light 3d6/2d6 ½ 60 feet 3 700 gold
Catapult, Heavy 3d8/2d8 ½ 80 feet 4 1,000 gold
Trebuchet 5d6/3d6 ¼ 120 feet 6 5,000 gold
Cannon, Light 2d8/2d8 ½ 90 feet 2 4,000 gold
Cannon, Heavy 4d8/4d8 ½ 140 feet 2 8,000 gold
The stuff of deities, which can only be found or given under very special circumstances that are left to the GM’s discretion.
Apple of Might: permanently raises partaker’s Strength score by 1.
Plumb of Grace: permanently raises partaker’s Dexterity score by 1.
Peach of Endurance: permanently raises partaker’s Constitution score by 1.
Pear of Knowledge: permanently raises partaker’s Intelligence score by 1.
Apricot of Insight: permanently raises partaker’s Wisdom score by 1.
Fig of Comeliness: permanently raises partaker’s Charisma score by 1.
Pomegranate of Wellness: permanently raises partaker’s HP by 1d4.
The following list showcases the types of hirelings PCs may employ to build their own kingdoms! Each type produces a unit called an excess every month: each excess represents a certain amount of gold gained from whatever the hirelings didn’t use for their own business. This money may then be collected by the PCs to hire more hirelings or pay current ones to build new things! Regardless of type, each hirelings produces 1d6 excess. If the GM wishes, he or she may allow racial bonuses to the excess. For example, dwarven blacksmiths and stone masons may produce 1d6+1 excess and elven herbalists may produce 1d6+1 excess. Speaking of herbalists, some hirelings also have special bonuses, such as counteracting illness or removing non-magical disease! If the GM wishes, he or she may track each family’s loyalty or simply bunch the entire community into one loyalty rank.
Herdsmen: raise goats, cattle, pigs and sheep, producing things like milk and wool.
Costs 100 gold per family, 15 gold gained per excess.
Lumberjacks: harvest lumber from the woods and prevent deforestation by planting.
Costs 120 gold per family, 25 gold gained per excess.
Farmers: produce a range of grains, fruits and vegetables.
Costs 110 gold per family, 10 gold gained per excess.
Blacksmiths: smelt ore and produce tools, weapons and armor.
Costs 220 gold per family, 20 gold gained per excess.
Brewers: growers of grain and producers of ales, raise all hireling loyalty by 5%.
Costs 125 gold per family, no more than two per community, 10 gold gained per excess.
Herbalists: grow, harvest and produce curative treatments.
Costs 200 gold per family, 5 gold gained per excess.
Bards: Entertain and identify magic items as well as raise all hireling loyalty by 5%.
Costs 500 gold per individual (no more than one per community), 5 gold gained per excess.
Inn/Stables: Put up tourists and tradesmen from faraway lands.
Costs 1,000 gold per family (no more than 1 per community), grant +1 to all excess rolls.
Engineers: Design and lead in the building of structures and siege equipment.
Costs 1,000 gold per individual, no excess.
Carpenters: Workers of wood for the production of buildings and furniture.
Costs 120 gold per family, 10 gold gained per excess.
Masons: Workers of stone for the production of buildings and mortar.
Costs 130 gold per family, 15 gold gained per excess.
Miners/Prospectors: Able to find and mine ore in the region.
Costs 500 gold per family, 25 gold gained per excess.
Scholars/Librarians: Gatherers of information and educators.
Costs 1,200 gold per institution, provides +1 to all excess rolls.
The following are incidents that may occur within each month. Simply roll each calamity listed below after calculating all gained gold from excess, and if the roll lands on or below the percentile, that situation occurs. If a negative incident occurs the PCs will need to handle them, and depending on how well or how poorly the PCs handle each situation, the GM may raise or lower the loyalty of the community (by no more or fewer than 5%). If they handle it in a so-so manner, the GM may simply leave the loyalty the same.
20% Crime: Take the total gold earned from excess and reduce it by 10%.
5% Drought: Take the total gold earned from excess and reduce it by 30%
15% Plague: Roll against 10% for each family; if the number you roll lands on or below 10%, that family dies from illness. Total gold earned from excess is reduced by 10% regardless.
25% Conflict: Two or more families have a falling out (GM chooses) and those families involved provide no excess.
10% Dissention: An outsider tries to stir up trouble: on a d6, 1-3 means the outsider tries to draw families away. 4-6 means the outsider tries to encourage the hirelings to rise up against the PCs. In either case, each family rolls their loyalty at -10% with failure meaning they go along with the outsider’s plans. Success means they stay loyal.
5% Ransom: A rival community or intelligent monsters capture a random family (GM chooses) and the PCs or their henchmen need to venture forth to rescue them. The family that gets captured produces no excess.
25: Guide to Abstract Dungeons
What if I were to tell you that you could create dungeons that don’t require maps and miniatures and hours of drawing beforehand, and are easily managed in your head? To do this we need to first think of a dungeon as a character, and in role-playing games characters need stats! Below we will list all the basic details you need to flesh out a dungeon in such a way you can fit the important details on a 3x5 card! Note, however, that these can be as detailed or as simple as you need them to be, depending on yours and your players’ preferences. As a special bonus, you can roll on the tables earlier in this book to determine several aspects of these dungeons!
Type Description: first we describe the dungeon’s type. Is it a simple ruin, like the old basement of a castle or is it an abandoned barracks with odds and ends cluttering the floors? In this part of the dungeon’s character sheet, take a little time to exercise your creative, literary skills to describe the exterior (if visible) of the dungeon. Provide a flavorful introduction to your dungeon that summarizes what the players have walked into. Use the following Type Description as a template:
“The party comes upon the ruins of what was once an ancient shrine to great evil. Piled and age-worn stones mark what was once a grand structure, rising some forty feet above the ground and echoing with distant sounds, like memories of its earlier days escaping into the present. Carvings and reliefs on the stone depict the stories of its builders’ pasts, showcasing the labors of a forgotten culture dedicated to the edicts of a wicked being.”
Entrance/Starting Point: in this bit of information the GM describes how the PCs enter the dungeon, be it through a rope that drops down through a hole in the ceiling or a stone slab etched with arcane runes. The players may also simply start in this room, such as if it were a prison cell that they had been placed in while unconscious, or if they were somehow teleported in. The description for the starting point should try to capture some of the mood of the entire dungeon. You may also wish to include some details, which will be described next in the Rooms segment. Along with these details, the GM may wish to include a level for the dungeon, indicating what level characters would be best suited to tackle this.
Rooms: next we look at a list of rooms. Each room has sub-categories, such as the means of entering the room, any traps in the room, monsters encountered, treasure and other points of interest, such as the lever that is needed to open a door to another room. When transitioning from room to room, either go down the list or bring up a room as the players request them. For example, if the characters enter a castle ruin and want to look for the throne room, you could either begin describing the entrance to the throne room, effectively placing them in it, or you may make them go through one other room first. Once they have gone through the whole list of rooms, the dungeon is complete, though you may include special events afterwards or between.
It is assumed that hallways join all rooms together, so not a lot of detail is needed for halls and passageways unless you decide that a passage leads to one of the rooms, but in this instance that information should be included with the room itself. For example, if an elf uses its ability to detect hidden doors and rolls a success you could automatically bring the party outside the door that is accessed with the secret door. Keep it simple, but describe it in a way that makes the most sense!
If players are lost, default to the last room they were in, or simply roll to see if they are lost, as in the case of a labyrinth or maze, but if they are lost you could also randomly roll or pick a room for them to wind up in. If they are lost they may still freely travel to new rooms, and in order to find the entrance or exit, they will have to somehow establish where they are, either by rolling against their Intelligence or Wisdom score (roll 3d6 with a success being at or below the score). Now we’ll do a quick rundown of what to list in each room:
Entrance: the method by which the players need to enter the room, whether it be a locked or unlocked door, a weak wall that can be broken down, a secret passage or a hole leading up into the room from a lower passage, or a hole leading down from a higher passage. (In this instance, don’t concern the players with floors unless they ask what floor they’re on. In that case, just describe a floor that makes sense). If the players don’t locate a hidden room, don’t bring them to it. If they exhaust every room in the dungeon except for the hidden ones and they need to find something in such a room, have the elves roll to detect secret doors. If no elves are in the party, have them roll against their Wisdom or Intelligence scores as mentioned above. In order to reduce frustration it is recommended that you not put important things in hidden rooms, but instead reserve these for special monster battles or special treasure finds.
Interior: a brief description of the interior, including furnishings, type of floor, walls, ceiling, and enemies they encounter (that they can immediately see). For example: “you pass into a long, tall hallway upheld by stone columns. Slats in the roof allow light to come in from the outside and odd carvings are set into the length of the walls.”
Encounter: the type or types of monsters in the room, either with their stats or a page reference.
Traps: the type of traps, their effects and where they are encountered in the room. You may wish to place a star by this if the traps are at the entrance and have a chance to effect the players as soon as they enter the room!
Treasure: what manner of treasure items are in the room and where they are kept in relation to other things. You may simply place a note such as “see monster lair treasure” if you are simply providing treasure dropped by the monsters that the players encounter.
Interactions: if there are any objects that can be taken, such as keys, levers or switches to activate, NPCs to speak with or other interesting things that distinguish the room from other rooms. You may even describe it as a safe place to rest, especially if it is a large dungeon.
Exit: only list this if the way out is different from the way in, such as if the dungeon is more like a passage into a new part of the world. As with other rooms, use appropriate descriptions and possibly put a star by it if there is a boss or important NPC that the players encounter.
A little something extra: it’s important to keep these points simple and clear. Reread descriptions when players ask or if they seem stuck and allow them to influence some of the furnishings. For example, if the players are fighting a tough monster in an old banquet hall and one of them asks if there are chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, just say yes so he can cut the rope and drop one on the monster. This way they feel more involved in what is going on in the chamber and make the encounter more memorable. Just don’t let them use similar requests over and over; it’s okay to give them special perks every now and then!
26: Intrusions from the Author
While the spirit of this book is to help create a system for generating settings that are not anchored down to a plotline, I would like to include some thought processes to help beginning Game Masters create compelling and fun worlds for their players. Firstly, eliminate this notion that the players need you to flesh out every step they need to take. This isn’t a video game and is not limited to your imagination alone. Here are some points to consider while you run a game and whenever you prepare one:
Listen to your players: I recall playing a game of 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons in which players complained over certain skills and abilities they had selected during character creation. “The DM doesn’t make situations where I can even use those” was a common statement and the games became quite boring as our poor Dungeon Master simply ran games in which wave after wave of monsters came after us with no variation. A second Game Master I had who ran Pathfinder placed very odd restrictions on what we could or couldn’t do because his knowledge of the system was limited and he only wanted to deal with things he was familiar with.
Use your players for ideas: don’t over-describe the terrain: let the players’ questions fill in the blanks. For example, I ran a game in which the players were breaking into a mansion to steal back a powerful scroll from an evil lord. They had entered the main hall where fighting broke out. In the middle of combat, one of the players asked if there was a chandelier in the room. I had not described one, but I hadn’t clarified that there wasn’t one, so I decided “yes, there is a chandelier in the room.” That player spent two turns climbing up a wall hanging and leaping onto said chandelier where he used his advantageous altitude to sling darts onto the enemies below.
Learn the rules to the system you are running: if a player points out that you are wrong concerning a point in the rules, default to their knowledge. Chances are they have spent the last few days obsessing over a particular maneuver they were dying to try and have familiarized themselves very well with the rules regarding it. What if they’re lying, you ask? Typically the other players learn certain rules as well and are quick to point out the error.
Outside Sources of Inspiration
When coming up with ideas for any campaign, be sure to research things outside of the genre you are running a game in. If GMing is a serious hobby of yours and you want to come up with your own ideas, throw out your movies and video games (unless your spouse or family is currently enjoying them). Watch television shows about the Underground Railroad, read the works of Shakespeare, look at artwork by MC Escher, and turn the channel over to C-SPAN and daydream about what would happen if orcs came charging onto the senate floor (not that there already aren’t plenty of orcs sitting in on the meetings).
Look at everything for ideas. Look at the town you live in, the people in it, your school, your office, your country and everything about it that may be changed into something humorous or interesting, then use it to add flavor to your world so that the players come back to the table every week, excited to see what else you have in store for them. When creating any kind of fantasy, the real world is your best friend since most fantasy sources tend to stagnate.
If you want your players to act a certain way and go in a specific direction, write a novel. Plain and simple, it is entirely selfish for any GM to create such a game where the players have no control over their objectives and how they choose to accomplish them. This doesn’t mean, however, that you cannot nudge them, so long as it is their idea. For instance, you want them to travel into the swamp to meet an NPC, but they’re busy scheming ways to make money. Provide a situation where they hear rumors of treasure in the swamp and while seeking out said treasure, they happen to bump into the NPC. Just make sure they get their treasure.
This does not mean that anarchy rules the game, however. The game should be fun for you as well, so if the players are getting into constant bar fights, talking about splitting the party or conducting themselves in ways that offend your personal moral code, put a stop to it and talk to them. Sometimes they get carried away and simply need to be reminded that the game isn’t entirely about them.
But there is a tried, tested and proven method for running a game; a method that helps players forge an attachment to their characters and to the setting. In all my years of running games, I have experimented with and tested many formulas, and I am happy to say I have discovered a failsafe method through myriads of my own blunders. So without further ado, my absolute favorite and most successful formula goes as follows:
The Great Sand Box! Flesh out a region, rather than an entire world, much like the islands mentioned earlier in this book. Give good variety to the world with plenty of interesting locations for the players to visit, perhaps multiple times, to squeeze every drop they can out of the campaign.
Characters for your Characters! Apart from important places, important people should be around, from the loftiest noble to the lowliest peasant. Any one of these folks can provide information or quests for the players, plus they can write down a whole catalogue of interesting contacts to discuss and use later. “Remember Schmee the enchanter over in Dellington? Let’s go see if he has any new magic to sell.” This also applies to villains: if the PCs weren’t able to slay all of the enemies in an encounter because they fled or the PCs had to back away, those enemies could return to hinder their path in the future.
If they can see it, they can go there! Apart from towns and cities, the geography needs to tantalize the players. Provide deep cracks and caves, sprawling forests, high mountains and peculiar sites drenched in mystery. NPCs should always gossip and speculate about these locales, but only the PCs will be brave enough to visit them all. And once they’re there, if they want to climb to the top of the great, dwarven monument and look for hidden treasure, put something up there and let them roll. This doesn’t mean they’ll find a +5 vorpal longsword under every rock and twig, but something memorable should be there.
Promises Left Fulfilled! If the players hear about treasure, there should be treasure, even if the rumor was left by bandit orcs waiting to ambush the players (the orcs will at least have loot on them). Likewise, if they acquire something they really wanted, don’t take it away. If they save their money to buy a long ship, don’t sink it the next day because “it’s not where the plot was meant to go.” There may not be opportunity for them to take it with them everywhere, but they should be able to retrieve it whenever they need it.
Workings in the Shadows! If you absolutely must have a plot to your game, don’t force the players to follow it. If the city they’re in is about to go under siege by enemies and the players are the only ones who can stop it, don’t make them stay and resolve it if they’re just stepping out the front gates. When they return in a week it’ll be conquered and its inhabitants enslaved by villains. Suddenly, rather than fighting valiantly to defend it, they’ll fight valiantly to set it free! Never railroad them; let them explore and step into the plot at their leisure.
Don’t Split the Party! Adventurers should remain together so long as the players return to the table. If a player is going to be absent for a long period of time, allow that character to remain at the stronghold where they can “defend the Homefront”. Don’t try to put drama into a campaign by having a PC captured, requiring rescue by the rest of the party. This becomes complicated and frustrating. But remember those contacts they made? Say the party has a favorite flower girl or mage merchant they regularly contact; that person could be captured and held for ransom by an old enemy!
Like I said before, the players should feel free to explore your worlds while you generate things for them to encounter on the way. That is your end of the contract: to build a fun world for them to explore and interact in. The players’ obligation should be to come prepared, invest themselves in the plot and get to know the world. But what if they are having fun at the expense of your world? For example, the players go to the king’s court to ask for work, and while you describe said king giving the characters a quest to rescue one of his servants from a band of mercenaries, one of the players says “I pull down my pants and fart in the king’s face.” Ha, ha, ha, very funny, but it ruins the atmosphere that was just established. Do you throw your dice at the player? As a GM, when this happens I like to look at the cheeky player and ask him a stern and simple question: “is that really what your player does?” If he smiles apologetically and answers “no,” all is forgotten and the campaign goes on as normal. If he looks at me challengingly and says “yes,” I inform him that the guards immediately crack him over the head and haul him off to prison. The other party members are then fined a lofty sum of gold to pay his bail.
Wasn’t that harsh? No, and I’ll tell you why: when a player chooses to be obnoxious while the rest of the group is investing themselves in the game, he is basically saying “I don’t care about any of you, I just want to have my own fun.” Many games fall apart rapidly after an obnoxious character enters. Either the other players reach a breaking point from his constant obnoxious role-playing and engage in a game-ending argument, or the other players decide to join in on the antics until that’s all the game has become: one silly exploit after the other in which your world is not being used. Remember, remember, you are not an overbearing GM if you shut down a game due to obnoxious or troubled players. When you sit down and form a campaign, the GM and players are in an agreement to play the game and cooperate.
The roll tables in this book are intentionally vague so as not to step on your own creative toes. Whatever you roll, whether you’re generating a castle, the weather, or your villain’s last name, always default to your own imagination. The subjects in this book are meant to simply serve as prompts, and you needn’t hold rigidly to whatever you roll. Many times I have rolled on my charts and suddenly had a totally different thought pop into my head, and many times I have dashed the results and went with whatever new impulse suddenly materialized, and every time it has worked out. The ability to wing it is one of the most important tools in a GM’s arsenal, because when you reach the end of your notes the players just might fall off the edge of your world and never make it back.