Roll d4308!
January 25, 2014 11:57 PM   Subscribe

A handy categorized index to the hilarious and useful d12 tables of The Dungeon Dozen, for mischievous DMs everywhere. Now up to 359 random tables! Alphabetically. This page will select a few random tables for you. (Previously)
posted by JHarris (15 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
-1 Sunday lunchtime for me!
posted by Monkeymoo at 3:51 AM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Crossposted from the D&D 40th thread: There's going to be an AMA with Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World today.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:12 AM on January 26, 2014

Anytime I read about the random tables, I remember the AD&D game where my friend Howie was obsessed with random generation and had custom tables all over the place. He loved to roll random encounters, which resulted in such oddities as us getting "surprised" by a Tyrannosaurus Rex while riding horses across a wide, flat plain.

"How the hell could it surprise us?" we said. "They're twenty feet tall. We could have seen them from a mile away."

Eventually we argued him down to not giving the T-Rex a surprise round, but at the cost of adding a second one for us to fight.

(That fight ended with the paladin charging a T-Rex with his lance, scoring pathetic damage, and then the T-Rex rolling a natural 20 on its attack, which meant it "Swallowed Whole." Yes, the entire paladin, armor and all. Then it failed a morale check and started to run away. The entire rest of the party cried out, "Hey, give us our paladin back!" and chased after it, the paladin taking crushing and acid damage as they went.

Meanwhile, my cleric of Tempus had managed to climb on top of the other T-Rex and activate his berserker status while straddling its neck. Everyone else pursued the fleeing dinosaur and left me alone, whacking with holy glee at the giant dinosaur skull with my Bastard Sword +2, incidentally the best random loot roll I have ever achieved, given that I had just created my character the previous session and had selected Bastard Sword as his one non-cleric weapon proficiency allowed to Tempusites.

They eventually took the dinosaur down with a lightning bolt that also knocked the paladin inside to zero at the same time. They came back to find Theodore standing triumphant over the giant dinosaur. No one else was as enthused as I was that I'd taken down mine in the same number of rounds that it took four other adventurers to defeat the other, but I take my victories where I get them.)

Anyway, the actual random encounter story is the one later that same trip, where Howie rolled a "GM Special" on the Plains encounter chart. "Eh," he said, "There's twelve charts here. I'll just roll a d12 and then roll an encounter on whatever chart I hit." He rolls a 12 and gets "Deep Underground." Then rolls percentiles for that and gets 00:

The Tarrasque.

It was supposed to be asleep, but since we were above ground on a sunny day, Howie decided to accept the fate of the dice on our behalf and began to narrate a stampede of wildlife, farm animals, and mature dragons fleeing desperately the opposite direction of our line of travel...

We spent the next sessions running in a straight line as fast as we could, evacuating any towns we came across.
posted by Scattercat at 4:18 AM on January 26, 2014 [19 favorites]

This is wonderful! Now I want a set for all settings (space opera, western, cyberpunk etc).
posted by Harald74 at 4:55 AM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: Hey, give us our paladin back!
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 AM on January 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

These are good. Really good.

I'm talking Middle Earth Role-Playing critical failure table levels of good.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:26 AM on January 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Is "ensorceled" even a word?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:38 AM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yay! I started running my first D&D campaign yesterday (I've played once before and it wasn't DMed particularly well) and one of the things I did was make up a bunch of custom tables for random encounters to make sure that it wasn't just "Mrs. Pterodactyl tells a story and makes everyone act it out." These involved a series of adjectives and nouns to match up so my characters might meet individuals like an "arrogant poacher" or "depressed vizier".

So far I've only used one of them but it ended up with my party encountering a lonely Jezebel as part of their caravan through the desert. In an attempt to get information from her, a ranger rolled a 19+2 charisma modifer, so charming her that she fell in love with him and started following her around. This ranger has never played D&D before (which is true of most of my party) so he was basically baffled and didn't know what to do with this lonely Jezebel whose heart he had won. Eventually they got to a city and he decided he really wasn't comfortable with having her around. He solved this problem by attempting to convince her to go to nursing school and rolling a natural 20, so now there is a lonely Jezebel getting her degree at the Ismak Sabdul School of Nursing.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:20 AM on January 26, 2014 [26 favorites]

This is also the game where one of my players is Brumpo Ragnaroc, a human cleric. Brumpo Ragnaroc started life as a fighter. Not the most intelligent of fellows, he was in a bar fight one day and, when his opponent tripped over a bag of gold, he took this as a sign that he was being watched over by Garl Glittergold, god of the gnomes. He has since devoted his life to Garl as a cleric.

The problem here is that worship of the god Garl Glittergold happens through the telling of jokes and riddles. Brumpo Ragnaroc is really quite dumb, so he has to show his devotion to his god by telling jokes and riddles he really doesn't get and punctuating them with solemn laughter to show that the joke has ended, otherwise no one will know.

This manifested itself in Brumpo asking Garl to bless the quest by telling the following joke:

"Three elves walk into a tavern. The fourth one crouched. Ha. Ha. Ha."

At this point he rolled a natural 20 (there were a shocking number of these in the game yesterday) and thus received official blessing from Garl Glittergold and one gold piece as a token of that approval. The entire sequence, especially his TERRIBLE joke, so entertained Cat Dracula, our dwarf druid, that she (the real life player) almost shot beer out of her nose.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:27 AM on January 26, 2014 [11 favorites]

Mrs. Pterodactyl, those stories are wonderful.

This is also the game where one of my players is Brumpo Ragnaroc, a human cleric.

That name has inspired me: I think the next character I play I'm going to make an uber-ranger named Natty Bumpo, and basically make him into Leatherstocking. I doubt the other players will notice.
posted by JHarris at 9:41 AM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

In The Dungeon Larder:

8. Rather sparse in the food department, booze selection fully stocked and tastefully chosen

Hey! Stay the hell out of my apartment!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:01 PM on January 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

From the OED:
ensorcell, v.

[a. OF. ensorceler, f. en- (see en-1) + sorceler, f. sorcier sorcerer.]

trans. To enchant, bewitch, fascinate.

   a 1541 Wyatt in Puttenham Eng. Poesie iii. xix. (Arb.) 232 Your Princely happes‥ensorcell all the hearts Of Christen kings.    1855 G. Meredith Shav. Shagpat (1872) 93 A sorceress ensorcelled.    1886 Burton Arab. Nts. (Abridged) I. 24 The damsel‥whom this gazelle had ensorcelled.

Hence enˈsorcelling ppl. a.; enˈsorcellment, magic, enchantment.

posted by Joe in Australia at 2:33 PM on January 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is wonderful! Now I want a set for all settings (space opera, western, cyberpunk etc).

That would be very nice, yes. The only problem is, I'm not sure how the guy manages to be so amazingly inventive with his tables, so I think only he could make such a blog. He does come back to ideas sometimes (although they tend to be hilarious ones, like the frequently appearing evil dungeon pixies), but he also keeps coming up with wonderful new things, and I don't know how!

I almost made this list with a collection of links to the "best tables," but abandoned that because I was including way too many of them, and that's what the primary link is for anyway.

This is now the third time I've linked to the guy's projects, in one way or another, and I'm still impressed with his work. People in the comments to random Dungeon Dozen posts keep begging him to make PDFs or a book of his work, that they could pay him for, and he hasn't. Every time I load one of his pages I get at least a chuckle out of them, and sometimes I get ideas for entire campaigns. His mind is like a direct connection to the Elemental Plane of Old School D&D Awesomeness. I think it would be possible to run a campaign just rolling on these charts alone.
posted by JHarris at 5:54 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Dungeon Dozen is great, but I wish the lists were actual HTML lists. That would make it easier to parse them out for making an autoroller.

Also, JHarris, you said you've posted his stuff three times but I only saw the one previous post - where's the other one?
posted by 23 at 6:01 PM on January 28, 2014

He wrote a short adventure called The Secret Party House of the Hill Giant Playboy. I had forgotten I had linked it, in fact, when I made this post, but found it later. It's awesome too.
posted by JHarris at 6:16 PM on January 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

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