Trying to make some encounter generation tables that are as easy as possible to use at the table.

Trying to make some encounter generation tables that are as easy as possible to use at the table.

Trying to make some encounter generation tables that are as easy as possible to use at the table. For me that means having everything on a few pages, always rolling the same dice  (i.e., its always a d6 roll, or percentile roll, etc.) so there’s no looking around for the right dice, and rolling on as few tables as possible to get a workable result. I love the simplicity of the d6 tables in things like the Planarch Codex, but d100 rolls obviously have a lot more flexibility. d100 rolls seem somehow at odds with the DW play aesthetic though, is that just me?

In any case, my goal is tables that create quick prompts for the GM and players to run with, not utterly comprehensive encounter generation. There will be basic tables for non-threatening encounters (“Discoveries”) and threatening encounters (“Dangers”), then a host of optional tables for determining further detail if needed (“Aspects”). None of these tables is terrain-specific — the GM’s job is to integrate the results of a given roll with the physical context. So, for instance, if the party is crossing a desert and they roll a Danger: Natural Hazard > Aspect: Element: Water-Based, the GM might decide they find an oasis but the water is poisoned, or they enter an area of oobleck-like quicksand. If she wanted more detail before making a decision, she could choose another Aspect to roll, like Age, Visibility, etc. 

I would love to hear opinions on this basic approach, what sort of dice people like to roll for this sort of thing, and suggestions for random generation resources already out there that I should look at.

10 thoughts on “Trying to make some encounter generation tables that are as easy as possible to use at the table.”

  1. I like d100 also, but I don’t think I have ever used them in playing or planning for DW.  When I have made random tables, I tend to think what are the characters likely to encounter in the area and put that on a d8, d 10 or d12 table. 

  2. Ooh, I like the idea of an oracle deck. Possibly with an evocative image, and maybe 2-4 adjectives / phrases / events related to that image. Prep an area by stacking the deck to reflect its feel. That might be to far from what you’re envisioning, though. And a colossal amount of art.

  3. I too love the idea of an oracle deck and have toyed with the idea. I could theoretically do it by using a regular deck of playing cards and include tables of corresponding results in the book, like In a Wicked Age. It would be a whole different approach, but I do like the feel of “draw a card, see what you find.” I will tinker some more with the initial draft I made of that approach. 

  4. Years ago (and I do mean YEARS ago) I bought an “edgy” RPG called Everway, that was kinda weird and interesting but never really worked with my then-group. ever heard of it? It did sport an incredible amount of cards that could serve the “Oracle Deck” justice.

  5. Poker deck = d52 (or d54).

    Personally, like cards at the table, but prefer dice in pre-prep.

    Jason, d100 is fine for DW. Who cares about aesthetics?

    But I also like d12. Do you want a curve or a linear result?

    Actually, d100 provides almost as many results as d12 -> d12 (which leads to 144 results). What do you think about that idea?

    In other words d12 (rolled first, or of a certain color)

    1. Water

    2. Desert

    3. Mountain

    4. Plains

    5. etc


    If a 1 is rolled then 2nd d12:

    1. Poison

    2. Rough

    3. etc


  6. I played around more with the card idea last night in my weekly group. I like some aspects but not others. Ultimately, even though a regular deck is easy to come by, I don’t want an accessory beyond dice to be necessary.

    I’ve gone back to my d12 idea, which uses nested tables and a minimum of 3 rolls per Danger or Discovery, all within an 8-page section of the digest-sized book. I should have a draft of the section done next week, and will post it for review then.

    Thanks everyone for the input!

Comments are closed.