ORACLE

6/02/2009

Randomizing Plotlines

An old roleplaying tradition that goes back to the early days of Dungeons & Dragons is creating adventures by rolling on tables of randomized encounters, items and locations. In keeping with this tradition here is a collection of tables that can be used to create randomized plotlines for your adventures.

Remember, the charts presented are composed of buzzwords to help you formulate a quick plotline. Very little detail has been provided to allow your imagination to fill in the blanks. Use these charts as a jumping-off point for planing an adventure. It is fun to try to get the randomized results to form a cohesive story, but if the rolls do not make sense then by all means re-roll, or ignore the results all together. This article is considered Open Game License (OGL).

Locale (d20): where is the location of that kicks off the adventure?
  1. Camp
  2. Castle / Keep
  3. Cave
  4. College
  5. Dock
  6. Farm
  7. Graveyard
  8. Hideout
  9. House
  10. Inn
  11. Mansion
  12. Market
  13. Mine
  14. Monastery
  15. Outpost
  16. Ruin
  17. Temple
  18. Tower
  19. Trading Post
  20. Warehouse
Backdrop (d20): what is the Backdrop that helps set the scene for the starting Locale?
  1. Beach
  2. Bog
  3. Canyon
  4. Civilization
  5. Desert
  6. Farmland
  7. Forest
  8. Island
  9. Lake
  10. Moor
  11. Mountain
  12. Pasture
  13. Plain
  14. Pond
  15. Ridge
  16. River
  17. Road
  18. Swamp
  19. Valley
  20. Wasteland
Source (d20): who is it that approaches the party with a Goal?
  1. Beggar
  2. Child
  3. Constable
  4. Criminal
  5. Deity / Demon
  6. Ghost
  7. Guardsman
  8. Guild Leader
  9. Hermit
  10. Inn Keeper
  11. Legend
  12. Madman
  13. Mentor / Patron
  14. Mercenary
  15. Noble
  16. Pilgrim
  17. Priest
  18. Relative
  19. Trader
  20. Wizard / Witch
Goal (d20): what is it that the Source needs accomplished?
  1. Alter
  2. Capture
  3. Contact
  4. Defeat
  5. Destroy
  6. Discover
  7. Document
  8. Fix
  9. Interrogate
  10. Investigate
  11. Kidnap
  12. Negotiate
  13. Obtain
  14. Protect
  15. Rescue
  16. Retrieve
  17. Track
  18. Sabotage
  19. Steal
  20. Verify
Item (d20): if the Goal involves an item, what is that item?
  1. Alchemical Agent
  2. Animal Trophy
  3. Antidote
  4. Armor
  5. Artifact
  6. Artwork
  7. Cure
  8. Evidence
  9. Gem(s)
  10. Heirloom
  11. Idol
  12. Jewelry
  13. Magic Item
  14. Manuscript
  15. Map
  16. Money
  17. Person(s)
  18. Potion
  19. Spell Components
  20. Weapon
Person: if the Goal involves a person, who is that person? (roll again on the Source chart to determine)

Source Motivation (d20): why does the Source need to provide a Goal in the first place?
  1. Ambition
  2. Blackmail
  3. Bored
  4. Debt
  5. Diversion
  6. Exoneration
  7. Favor
  8. Greed
  9. Honor
  10. Insanity
  11. Love / Lust
  12. Obsession
  13. Redemption
  14. Reputation
  15. Rivalry
  16. Salvation
  17. Spellbound
  18. Survival
  19. Terrified
  20. Vengeance
Adventure: where does the Goal lead the party? (roll again on the Locale and Backdrop charts to determine)

Complication (d20): what are some of the things that could possibly hinder the party from succeeding in their Goal?
  1. Ambush
  2. Assassin
  3. Betrayal
  4. Curse
  5. Disaster
  6. Enigma
  7. Illusion
  8. Incarcerated
  9. Informant
  10. Lust
  11. Madness
  12. Misinformation
  13. Murder
  14. Revolt
  15. Rival
  16. Sidetracked
  17. Theft
  18. Trap
  19. Unfriendly Locals
  20. Weather
Adversary: who opposes the party from completing their Goal? (people or creatures that oppose the party need to be tailored to fit the scenario and challenge level)

Activity (d20): what is the adversary up to when the party arrives?
  1. Bound
  2. Cooking
  3. Dead
  4. Dozing
  5. Drinking
  6. Eating
  7. Fighting
  8. Gambling
  9. Grooming
  10. Hiding
  11. Lost
  12. Mating
  13. Planning
  14. Praying
  15. Relaxing
  16. Sick
  17. Studying
  18. Talking
  19. Training
  20. Unconscious

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