Friday, February 11, 2011

Fighting Gamer ADD with a Random Table

In recent weeks, a combination of weather, health and weddings have kept my group from gathering to play. During this hiatus, I became acutely aware of how frequent play is a good antidote for Gamer ADD. I found myself reading up on such things as Star Frontiers, Castles & Crusades, Swords & Wizardry Complete and even the A.D.D.I.C.T. document (which part of me seriously considered implementing!). I even was wowed by some 2ed tomes that I saw at a local used bookstore (though my rational self, pointing out that I would never use them, won the argument).

In order to combat these impulses, I have been doing more preparation than I normally do for the next scheduled session. At some point the party will be trudging through the wilderness in order to find the main dwarven city in the region, which has some vital information for Dn. Goram and his quest to find the Two Swords. Knowing how my players love to hunt down lairs, I decided to pre-roll several wilderness encounters in order to have them at the ready.

One of the things that I have made sure I do when prepping something like this, is to re-read old monster descriptions. They are full of wonderful nuggets of information that I somehow either have forgotten over the years or never read in the first place. For example, I love the association of Cloud Giants with Spotted Lions as well as Hobgobins with Carnivorous Apes. So, when I rolled up a rather innocuous encounter with some Orcs, I re-read the MM1 entry and found this little tid-bit:
Known orc tribes include the following: Vile Rune, Bloody Head, Death Moon, Broken Bone, Evil Eye, Leprous Hand, Rotting Eye, Dripping Blade. If orcs from one of those tribes are encountered in an area, it is likely that all other orcs nearby will also be from this tribe.
So, in order to keep me occupied for a short while (and to fight off more Gamer ADD), I came up with the following tables in order to generate random orc tribal names. Each name will have a Descriptor and a Noun:

Descriptor Table: Roll on the Following Sub-Table (d6)

1 Action
2 Color
3 Disease
4 Magical
5 Negative
6 Positive

Action Sub-Table (d6)

1 Crushing
2 Cutting
3 Dripping
4 Rotting
5 Slashing
6 Stabbing

Color Sub-Table (d6)

1 Black
2 Green
3 Orange
4 Purple
5 Red
6 Yellow

Disease Sub-Table (d6)

1 Blighted
2 Bloody
3 Leprous
4 Oozing
5 Scaly
6 Slimy

Magical Sub-Table (d6)

1 Dark
2 Demon
3 Devil
4 Dragon
5 Mutant
6 Wild

Negative Sub-Table (d6)

1 Bad
2 Broken
3 Death
4 Evil
5 Foul
6 Vile

Positive Sub-Table (d6)

1 Big
2 Bold
3 Brazen
4 Defiant
5 Striking
6 Strong

Noun Table: Roll on the Following Sub-Table (d6)

1-2 Body Part
3-4 Magic
5-6 Weapon

Body Part Sub-Table (d6)

1 Bone
2 Eye
3 Fist
4 Hand
5 Head
6 Horn

Magic Sub-Table (d6)

1 Earth
2 Fire
3 Flame
4 Moon
5 Rune
6 Sun

Weapon Sub-Table (d6)

1 Arrow
2 Axe
3 Blade
4 Knife
5 Spear
6 Sword
All that to come up with the name Blighted Fist for a random encounter...


  1. Nice work. I can use something like that.

  2. @Matt
    Thanks for the kind words. I am glad someone can use it for something other than me trying to stay away from Gamer ADD...