Fun random tables for a junior D&Der?
February 14, 2017 4:23 PM   Subscribe

My stepson has discovered Dungeons & Dragons, and he and his friends have a fun campaign going. One of his favorite things to do with me is roll up new stuff: new characters, new creatures, new environments and cities. He seems to really enjoy figuring out how to logically connect a bunch of different random outcomes into a story about that thing. Are there collections of fun fantasy-themed tables for generating new RPG stuff, official or otherwise, that we could use? Thanks!
posted by Stevia Agave to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The Dungeon Dozen is a comprehensive but now sadly rarely-updated blog that assigns story ideas based on the roll of a d12. As with anything on the internet, you should probably give it a once-over first to make sure that it's appropriate for your kid, but I think it should be fine and it's a lot of fun.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:54 PM on February 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Chaotic Shiny?
posted by The otter lady at 5:08 PM on February 14, 2017

The island generator starting on page 68 in issue 11 of Minotaur Quarterly [PDF] is pretty fun. It's for a free game called Mazes and Minotaurs that pretends to have been published in the 70s-80s, though it wasn't. If you have some budget for this, I think basically all games by Kevin Crawford / Sine Nomine Publishing have a ton of tables for random adventure generation, e.g. the last ~30-40 pages of Scarlet Heroes.
posted by Wobbuffet at 5:14 PM on February 14, 2017

I enthusiastically second the Sine Nomine Publishing suggestion. Specifically, I highly recommend the star system/faction generation from Stars Without Number, which they distribute as a free PDF.
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 8:49 PM on February 14, 2017!!
posted by moons in june at 9:40 PM on February 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

For D&D specifically, Wizards of the Coast normally has some good generators on their website for D&D, but they usually charge a subscription fee. Sometimes it's worth it though, or at least it was with 4e--character generation could get a little complex depending on the build.

This is made for the Fate Accelerated gaming system rather than D&D, but the It's Not My Fault! deck is a lot of fun for generating a quick improvised adventure. With a little bit of adaptation, the character cards might even be able to be adapted for use with D&D as well. The PDF and cards together is $8.99, and they are really versatile. There's also an expansion pack! (I ran this game at Gen Con last year, and it was a LOT of fun.)

You may also want to investigate some of the system-neutral books and products from Goodman Games. They have a book of traps, a book of random tables for use with a d50, a monster and dungeon alphabet, and all sorts of other stuff. I actually just backed their Kickstarter project for their new book "How To Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck", which will probably hit the website in the next few months.

Finally, The Lazy DM has a lot of great advice for improvising game play in a way that makes sense and has a lot of helpful advice for making your own tables for everything from naming NPCs to treasure chest contents and all kinds of stuff.

D&D is a load of fun, and is a great way to get into the awesome world of tabletop gaming! MeMail me if you are interested in chatting more about it--Fate and Fate Accelerated in particular has a lot of AWESOME modules and sourcebooks for younger players, depending on what types of adventures your stepson is interested in.
posted by helloimjennsco at 1:05 PM on February 15, 2017

Thank you so much, everyone! I had no idea about these, and they're pretty much all perfect for our purposes (in different ways).
posted by Stevia Agave at 12:51 PM on February 16, 2017

What a wonderful little thread!
Unfortunately, I learned about the "How To Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck" Kickstarter too late, but fortunately, I found out that there are other folks out there who love Fate Accelerated as much as I do!
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:36 PM on February 16, 2017

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