Saturday, April 04, 2009

more orientation

Two more brief thoughts inspired by Thursday's post on Oriental Adventures.

1) Remember how I said OA was AD&D with another set of Gygaxian building blocks and that's a great template for making your own campaign? I realized today that there's at least one more commercial product with the same concept: Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed/Arcana Evolved. I really, really wanted to get into that game, but 3.x was hard enough to manage. I couldn't wrap my head around AU enough to get a game off the ground, but a Labyrinth Lord powered version would rock on toast.

2) I think OA was the first place I discovered random event charts, allowing you to generate events on a yearly, monthly and daily basis. Those things are excellent tools for sandbox play. I even used the OA charts for some Greyhawk games, rolling up a couple years worth of events ahead of time. MechWarrior 1st edition also has a neat set of event charts, as I recall. Anybody know of any other sources of cool random event tables?

24 comments:

  1. The original Arduin Grimoire trilogy had a set in Vol III - they were more oriented towards characters/solo gm'ing but they gave you some ideas to work with.

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  2. Ed Hand2:12 PM

    The World Builder's Guidebook (link) has random charts for events, although I believe they're intended to be used to create an area's history.

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  3. Two more random event charts that come to mind are:

    1) Mentzer Companion rules has one for determining random developments that occur in a PC domain. Plagues, war, strive, meteor showers, etc. Pretty similiar to the ones in OA.

    2) Issue 145 of Dragon has an article called "Holding Down the Fort" which features another random table of events that occur to plague a castle or stronghold. While more focused on a single stronghold, it's not difficult to extrapolate the results to a larger scale.

    An the idea of using a bunch of alternate classes in LL is a gem of an idea. Break out the Crabaugh "Customized Classes" article and go to town with a bunch of Dragons as supplimental material and turn the game on its ear while retaining the rules. Good stuff.

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  4. Harnmaster had a good "future events" table, broken down by season, for generating monthly events.

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  5. Rolemaster's Gamemaster Law had one of the first ones that kinda clicked for me.
    (it may have showed up in one of the Companions first, I'm not sure)

    I DO know that the RM Companion IV had a 'Spicing up PC/NPC Backgrounds' table
    (open-ended of course), but it's suggested use is mor ein line with the Arduin citation above.

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  6. Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed/Arcana Evolved. I really, really wanted to get into that game, but 3.x was hard enough to manage. I couldn't wrap my head around AU enough to get a game off the ground, but a Labyrinth Lord powered version would rock on toast.
    Yes, yes, yes. I really like what AU/E does to D&D, but I can't get my head around the version of D&D it does it to. So I'd love to play a version based on LL.

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  7. I loved those tables too, Jeff.

    I did make an events table on Abulafia - it's more for recent local events players might hear about in taverns and such, but you could use it to do forwards or backwards history on a locality:

    http://www.random-generator.com/index.php?title=Fantasy_Town_Event

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  8. Mongoose Traveller and it under the OGL as well.

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  9. Actually, I think only the Scout event tables are under the OGL for Mongoose Traveller...

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  10. I've made an events chart based on the ones in Oriental Adventures if anyone doesn't have it : here.

    Also I have a page that randomly creates classes based on the Crabaugh article mentioned above: here.

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  11. Dave, your events table (mentioned above), refers to a subtable called [prominentpeoplemale], but it doesn't have this table, which can lead to incomplete results. I've changed it to refer to [prominentpeoplemale], but this might not be what you intended.

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  12. Besides the charts in Arduin III and the Domain info in the BECMI D&D book that others have mentioned, the other set of charts that I know of can be found in Chaosium's Cities supplement, which was originally published by Midkemia Press. It gives options for what might have happened to a character in-between adventures, similar to the charts in Arduin vol III, but a little more detailed.

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  13. Age of Fable/James - thanks for catching that - I've made a correction to add the prominentpeoplefemale subtable - Is it OK with you if I throw some of your tables on there as well? They look like good fun!

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  14. Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. had life event tables for character background generation

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  15. Dave (and anyone else), you can treat my tables as having this license.

    However the tables on Abulafia are much more elaborate, because the results are computer-generated instead of done by hand - so my tables might look a bit sparse by comparison.

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  16. I've used the random events chart in OA to generate the feel of the moving parts of a dynamic world in my own recent campaign--minus the heavy-hand of the overly-worked out setting plot.

    I also found a good set of house rule on the web adapted ones for that notorious train wreck, Birthright, that are nice and meaty. I was thinking of adapting them and some a very nice and colorful historical one for a Renaissance miniatures campaign into a supplementary table.

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  17. Did you notice that no explanation is given for the Maiden random event?


    Word verification: phing
    A sound effect just begging to be used.

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  18. Two more 'event' type subsystems can be found in Pendragon's 'Winter Phase' rules (mainly family-based events), and several tables in Paul Jaquays's 'Central Casting: Heroes of Legends" can also be used to determine various background events (mostly geared towards individuals, but some can provide larger, regional events, as well).

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  19. I'm tolerably sure there are random weekly & monthly domain event tables in the Rules Cyclopedia.

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  20. "Rolemaster's Gamemaster Law had one of the first ones that kinda clicked for me."
    I've used this one for all sorts of fantasy games for years, it's quite good.

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  21. James' version of the OA Events table is now on Abulafia: Major Events

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