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February 3, 2012 5:46 PM   Subscribe

It's On The Ceiling! Roll d12:
1. d100 Swords of Damocles
2. City of the Intellectual Bats
3. Manhole-like trap door to maintenance level
4. Tapestry of webs depicting events in spider history
5. Stalactite pueblo dwellers: evil dungeon fairies
6. Adventurers impaled on barbed spikes
7. The furniture: nailed up by prankster
8. Alarming amount of dripping water and muddy seepage
9. Pulsating illumination from strange glass tubes in metal fixtures
10. Shriekers!
11. Eyes (d1000)
12. Hand-chiseled diagram of dungeon level
This and many other useful tables for DM improvisation at The Dungeon Dozen. New table every day!
posted by JHarris (22 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
Some 20+ years ago, my group of odd friend created the "Random Activity Generator", which would, after a series of die rolls (I think mostly percentile dice) would produce something for us to do during the times when we were sitting around saying "there's nothing to do around here".

We tried to be mostly sensible about it, but we did include some rare and difficult to attain activities.

Once, completely through the luck of the dice, and with an incredibly small percentage of probability given the number of rare rolls required, we actually were told that the activity was a road trip to Tierra Del Fuego.

As far as I know, none of us have actually completed that activity.
posted by hippybear at 5:54 PM on February 3, 2012 [10 favorites]

...and The Twelve Days of Christmas was never quite the same in the Wasabi household.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:55 PM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

hippybear: As far as I know, none of us have actually completed that activity.

One day all of you will receive a mysterious package, thin and flat. The package will bear the postmark of Ushuaia, the Southernmost City in the World. Inside every package will be a picture frame, but no framed picture, just the phrase IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOU hacked into the fiberboard. In the fullness of time, one of you will die. All of you will gather, so much older than the youths that Fate decreed should go to Tierra Del Fuego. Was it natural, you wonder, or is the Land of Fire demanding its own? Or did one of you travel down there, having a lonely encounter with what the Dice had in store for you, and now, driven mad by the experience, was hell-bent on revenge? Or did you dream you received the package from Ushuaia, because now that you think about it, you don't remember where you put it, and don't remember seeing it since you received it, and how could a thing like that go missing? So you all gather, and you sit and stare at each other. And then one of you starts laughing. And you all laugh, because how ridiculous is this scene? As the laughter dies down, you swear you catch one of the others staring at you, fear flashing before eyes avert.
posted by Kattullus at 6:20 PM on February 3, 2012 [28 favorites]

Ah, the days of packaging coke, speed and pot in antique pharmaceutical phials and pretending that olives, artichoke hearts and roasted garlic cloves were pickled lizard eggs, dungeon cabbage and fried maggots...
posted by Ardiril at 6:59 PM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

No ceiling cat?
posted by porpoise at 7:36 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


You made Morton's List?
posted by yeolcoatl at 7:39 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Any blog that has an entry named "Gonzo Bio-Weaponry" is OK in my book. And I'm pretty sure that chart "Uncanny Effects of Blunt Force Trauma To The Head" has been circulating amongst TV screenwriters since at least the 80s.

"Stuff in a Chest" might be my favorite so far though.
posted by mstokes650 at 7:47 PM on February 3, 2012

4. Your character cuts himself while shaving; consult Limb Loss
posted by ob1quixote at 7:47 PM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

You made Morton's List?

Um... well, not really. I mean, the results possible from our Random Activity Generator numbered far more than 360, the results were determined through nested probability die-roll tables (many of them 3-5 levels deep), the possibility of achieving an activity was (completely nonsensically) weighted so the less probable and less possible activities weren't going to come up as often, and many of the outcomes were tailored to the extended circle of 20-30 people who were part of the group at the time.

Morton's List looks cool, and might be worth exploring at some point, but the only real overlap in the venn diagram between the two would be "external determining process decides what you should do".
posted by hippybear at 7:55 PM on February 3, 2012

ob1quixote, that's brilliant.
posted by JHarris at 8:17 PM on February 3, 2012

JHarris: "ob1quixote, that's brilliant."

It's the Wandering Damage System from Dragon #96 [Stupid WotC Paywall]. It was an April Fool's article. And yes, it was and still is brilliant.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:55 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

To the point that to this day, almost three decades later, if I say, "Consult the limb loss sub-table," to the right friends it will still get a chuckle.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:57 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

This is exactly the management tool i was needing for my staff meetings.
posted by chapps at 10:45 PM on February 3, 2012

We actually were told that the activity was a road trip to Tierra Del Fuego...

Tierra del Fuego cannot be reached by land from continental North America. It's separated from mainland Argentina by the strait of Magellan. Strictly speaking, a road trip is impossible.

An impossible geas is very bad news. You might find yourself becoming sickened and suffering 3d6 points of damage per day. Admittedly you would likely have suffered as much driving through Mexico, but now it's your fate.

If you'd rather try your luck again...
Alternate fate: from Underworld Afflictions

roll-roll-roll... 8!

"Hill Giant's Hiccups: irrepressible, unpredictable, very loud."
It could have been much worse.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:05 AM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

in the form of random tables for the underused 12-sided die.

Your d12 cries itself to sleep.
posted by Zed at 12:13 AM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Metafilter comment thread, roll 1d12:

1. Reference to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Dr. Who or Star Wars. Gain +1 charisma with fellow fans, -1 charisma with everyone else for next 1d6+1 rounds.
2. Complaint that Occupy Wall Street have not been clear about what they want. Save vs. derail.
3. Please explain to me why this obviously sexist/racist/homophobic thing is sexist/racist/homophobic, because I have been living under a rock and also I am lazy. Save vs. Wisdom to avoid being sucked in.
4. Roll 1d6: 1-2: Metafilter: Yes, We Are Still Doing That Joke Apparently; 3-4: "Fetching popcorn"; 5-6: An X did Y? I'm so surprised.
5. Jaded metacommentary from some ancient Metafilter hack
6. Complaint that conservatives are being discriminated against. Summons 1d4 longtime conservative posters and 1d4 reflective and self-critical liberals within 3 rounds.
7. Wandering mod. Roll on wandering modster table below.
8. Rhetorical question: ask if this is something you would have had to [roll 1d6 on disinterest table below] to understand.
9. Random comment expressing hatred for [1d6: 1-3: hipsters; 4-5: the police; 6: Cory Doctorow]
10. Scolding screed. Roll on scolding screed table, below.
11. Appalling pun. SAN Loss 1d20/1d100.
12. Relevant polite comment by someone informed on the topic!

Disinterest table (roll 1d6):
1-2: ... have read the FPP
3-4: ... own a television
5: ... listen to contemporary music
6: ... have any power of empathy or functioning frontal lobes

Scolding screed (1d6):
1: Pro-Obama/pro-democrats screed! - you are all terrible people because you aren't helping Obama and the democrats because the alternative is so much worse! Why aren't you being more adult?
2: Pro-conservative screed! - don't you realise that liberal solutions to problems are naive and simplistic and would never actually work?
3: Pro-third-party screed! - this is why all candidates are corrupt and you should vote for my less corrupt candidate who will never be elected.
4: Common human decency screed - why are you all being such a bunch of assholes? Honestly, why? Aren't you better than this? (Roll 1d6: 1-5: no; 6: definitely, no).
5: My cranky psychological theory that answers everything screed: It's all narcissism, basically. Which means it's all your fault.
6: I hate the poor screed: Honestly, I don't see what the problem is here. If these people had just made better decisions, they would be okay.
[For all screeds: save vs. shame or go into a fit of outraged defensiveness for 2d8+1 rounds.]

Wandering Mod (1d4):
1: Thread closed!
2-3: Deleted comments show sign of mod's passing.
4: Mod post. Save vs. shame or feel a bit embarrassed in the face of such balanced reasonableness and go do something more constructive. Failure of save will lead to a Metatalk thread in 1d4+1 rounds.
posted by lucien_reeve at 3:08 AM on February 4, 2012 [20 favorites]

Okay this MeFi tabletop RPG needs to be a thing that exists
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:23 AM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Okay this MeFi tabletop RPG needs to be a thing that exists

Comments & Conniption Fits?
posted by KingEdRa at 5:41 AM on February 4, 2012

Wait I thought this was an RPG
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 AM on February 4, 2012

Roll: 2

This is great, but OWS has become really disorganized. I don't have any idea of their stance on D&D and, frankly, I don't think they do either.
posted by cmoj at 10:55 AM on February 4, 2012

Forwarding this to my Dungeon Squad! GM. Not that our D12s don't already get lots of love.
posted by obloquy at 11:05 AM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

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