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DM's Choice
I've been looking at a lot of random tables recently, and am eager to start incorporating some into my game. I got a copy of Kellri's CDD#4 - Encounters printed at Kinkos. It's a free PDF with tables for just about everything. Weighing in at almost 160 pages, it almost made me want to have a laptop at the gaming table, but a hard copy from Kinko's wasn't too pricey.

I also personally printed out a copy of The Miscellaneum of Cinder. This pdf costs a dollar and only comes to 36 pages printable in booklet format, but I think is still well worth the cost. It's also a bit more generic, where Kellri's pdf is clearly geared towards AD&D and OSRIC.

One thing I was sad to see in both products is a problem I see in similar tables throughout gaming - the tendency to put as the final item 'DM's Choice' or similar. This strikes me as a cop out. The author couldn't come up with one more entry? Come on.

And in fact, I think it's a useless entry. First of all, if I wanted to choose my result, I wouldn't be rolling on a random chart. Secondly, I think random tables like this should be used as a spark to the imagination, and not slavishly followed. If the result isn't something that sparks my interest I should feel free to just roll again. Or if I see an entry that does spark my interest before I roll, I should feel free to just use that without rolling. 'DM's Choice' should be a constant possibility, not gated by an entry in the table itself.

One last item on random tables. A little while back I posted the metagame rules for my lunchtime game, which reference two random tables: The Tables of Calamity and the Tables of Want and Neglect. Up until now those have just been empty threats, but I thought it was high time I wrote them. So here they are. If any players in my lunchtime game are reading this, I would request you not read these tables, as you'll only be spoiling the surprise for yourself at the table.

The Tables of Calamity, Want, and Neglect
July 12th, 2009 - 05:39 pm | Comments (0) | PERMALINK

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