Monday, September 15, 2008

In case it gets cut.

Here's one of my submissions to the most recent issue of Fight On!

by Jeff Rients

Note: Some referees might choose to give male dwarves a bonus of at least +1.

1) Clean shaven - poor bastard
2) Stubble - eternal five o'clock shadow
3) Basic chevron moustache
4) Bushy walrus moustache
5) Handlebar moustache: 1-3 small, 4-5 large, 6 enormous
6) Fu Manchu: 1-2 basic, 3-4 long, 5-6 long & braided
7) Franz Joseph
8) Mutton Chops: 1-3 basic, 4-6 w/moustache
9) Goatee: 1 basic, 2-3 doorknocker, 4 vandyke, 5-6 imperial
10) Beard, short cropped: 1-4 w/moustache, 5-6 w/o moustache
11) Cathedral Beard (shaggy front, cropped sides): 1-4 w/moustache, 5-6 w/o moustache
12) Full beard w/o moustache
13) Full beard w/moustache
14) Full beard w/large handlebars
15) Forked beard: 1-4 w/moustache, 5-6 w/o moustache
16) Braided full beard w/o moustache
17) Braided full beard w/moustache
18) Braided full beard w/large handlebars
19) Extra long full beard: 1-4 w/moustache, 5-6 w/o moustache
20) Extra long braided beard: 1-4 w/moustache, 5-6 w/o moustache

Option: After rolling a beard result with an accompanying moustache, roll d4+2 to determine the specific type of moustache.


  1. Wow ...

    Has it gotten this bad that DMs and players alike have lost the imagination and decision making skill to describe what kind of beard their character might have? No offense to you, Jeff ... I like and follow your blog, but ... wow ... is something like this really necessary or does it promote more adherence to random charts and rules in general where they are really needed?

    Now, what I do like about it is that your list does inspire imagination, but setting it up as a random table seems to defeat that purpose.

    Just my 2 coppers,


  2. Anonymous10:26 AM

    I like it.

  3. That's awesome! If you wanted to expand it to a 24-item table, you could add some of the dangerous barbershop styles from John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise, along with how much bleeding damage the barberee takes if they fail their "will withstand adversity" roll. Even if you're not as eager to find uses for the weirder members of a 12-piece Gamescience polyhedra dice set as I am, Hodgman's book is still recommended for such entries as the lycanthropy charts and the "Great Rivalries in Dungeons & Dragons" table.

  4. is something like this really necessary?

    No, it's not necessary by any stretch. JM, I think you're reading too much into this. The table was designed just as a stupid fun reason to roll a d20.

    or does it promote more adherence to random charts and rules in general where they are really needed?

    Would it help if I added a disclaimer "WARNING: This is meant to be fun. Not recommended for use with serious beard generation"?

  5. Anonymous11:40 AM

    You could include a subtable to roll on for how quickly the facial hair grows.

    One adventurer might be clean shaven, but able to grow a stache at the drop of the hat if the situation required it, while another delver might have a full on Abe Lincolnesque beard, but would require years to regrow it if pixies shaved it off.

  6. Anonymous11:42 AM

    You really need a body hair chart with modifiers for race and gender.


  7. I thought it was a fun table! :)

  8. Anonymous11:49 AM

    jm, I think you forgot to roll on your Random Table Use Table. I'll reprint it below to save you looking it up:

    Roll 1d12:
    1: Use table as indicated
    2-3: Use table to generate Wandering Monster (or see Subtable)
    4-6: Use table to generate Wandering Prostitute (or Subtable)
    7: Use table to generate Room Contents (or Subtable)
    8-9: Ignore Table; die result is instead randomly applied damage to lead PC in marching order
    10-12: Table indicates what highest level PC is polymorphed into (successful Save means use table as indicated instead).

    Subtable (In case the above table tells you to do what the table already said, like rolling "2-3" when you're already on a Wandering Monster table):
    Roll 1d4:
    1-3: Regardless of the above, consult Random Prostitute Table
    4: Regardless of the above, consult Wandering Monster Table for lowest level of the dungeon (or nearest dungeon, if they're not in one for some stupid reason).

    There... that should make Jeff's table more useful to you.

  9. I agree with Anonymous. You should do a body hair chart in similar fashion.

    Maybe a whole selection of hair charts. Heck, you could write a whole hair SUPPLEMENT! Something like, "Core Book IV: Locks & Bangs."

  10. Frankly, this is what was missing from 4e. And Runequest. And Traveller.

    However, I do think there was something similar in Cthulhu by Gaslight.

  11. Okay, okay ... you guys got me.

    I failed a humor save. Even with a road sign title like "In case it gets cut". I never claimed I wasn't 'slightly' dense (I just went out of my way to prove it publicly).

    Certainly, I did read too much into it, but in my defense, I wasn't really asking a serious question so much ... I mean, I have actually read this blog and Jeff has some great stuff here. To insinuate that he, or any of us who follow blogs like his, might be unimaginative is laughable.

    But seriously, we've all known someone like this, right? Someone who WOULD have a random beard table ... I knew a guy who might have done such a thing - and no, he wasn't a character from Knights of the Dinner Table, although he did remind me of a cross between Bob and Brian ...

    Add to the fact I skipped over an absolutely necessary word (which certainly adds to the flavor my buffoonish post) like:

    "is something like this really necessary or does it promote more adherence to random charts and rules in general where they are NOT really needed?" as it should have read.

    sigh ... oh well.

    Egg on my face and I really deserved korgoth's post. Good job, sir ... I humbly salute you.

    (By the way, don'tcha think I ought'ta get a refund on my 2 coppers, on the grounds that my red face could be considered payment enough.)



  12. Don't sweat it, JM. We're all friends here.

  13. This . . . makes me want to make up a huge set of crazy physical characteristic charts for my Traveller game. Sweet.

  14. Anonymous11:32 PM


    I read your blog because of your random charts. Keep them going. Facial hair chart what a hoot!


  15. This is a good reason (finally!) to introduce an extra characteristic: hirsuteness. Standard characteristic bonuses would apply to rolls on Jeff's chart. Dwarves should get a +2 on hirsuteness when rolled up.

    Hirsuteness would also grant characteristic bonuses to saves against cold, skill checks for Hiding, and penalties when attempting to eat soup or burgers.

  16. In I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City, the magic-user Horan has a treasure chest that, if opened improperly, "will cause that character (regardless of race or sex) to grow a beard at a rate of 3 inches per round (30 inches per turn)."

  17. Anonymous3:45 PM

    I approve this table and am not planning to cut it.

    I think dwarves should roll 2d20 take the highest and elves should roll 2d20 take the lowest. Is that cool with you, Jeff?

    - Ignatius