Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Charts of Randomness
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Community Projects
Wesley Street
Sometimes my PCs open fire in a crowded shopping mall and I want to describe the poor schlub who got hit on a critical glitch. Or they feel like chatting up a stranger in a pub and my brain is too tired to build a barfly from scratch. In the spirit of Sprawl Sites, here's something I knocked together for my current game.

Roll a D6 for each table. Assume setting is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse ethnic population. If not, tailor to your needs.


D6 Gender
1-3 Male
4-6 Female

D6 Age
1-3 Adult
4 Geriatric
5 Teen
6 Child

D6 Metatype
1-4 Human
5 Ork
6 Other (see below)
1-3 Elf
4 Dwarf
5-6 Troll

D6 Fashion
1 Gang inspired
2 Casual jeans & tee, "flats" or hobo chic
3 Corporate wear or high formal
4 (Neo)ethnic or (neo)tribal
5 Military inspired
6 Techno inspired

D6 Hair
1 Bald/shaved
2 Short
3 Wild
4 Tinted
5 Long
6 Mowhawk, spike, bio-implant or other extreme

D6 Ethnicity
1 Anglo
2 African
3 Chinese, Japanese or other East Asian
4 European or Hispanic
5 Semitic or West Asian
6 Amerind or Native Aboriginal

D6 Affectation
1 Tattoos or nanotattoos
2 Decorative scarring or tribal jewelry
3 Decorative implants or 'ware
4 Full body dye
5 Weird eyes or mirrorshades
6 Advertising or personal holograms

Would anyone else like to share D6 based random charts they've created? The more versatile (re: generic) the better. I also remember seeing a random Sprawl environment chart posted to these boards long ago and I was curious if anyone could share the link.

EDIT: Revised Metatype table. It's an extra die-roll but, whatever...
Random tables serve an additional purpose beyond being a GM aid—they can also serve to indicate the prevalence or frequency of various things, giving significant and valuable insight into the world even if the table is never rolled against.

The flip side of this is that you need to be careful of the implications of your tables, otherwise you end up with geriatric corporate-suited mohawk-wearing bystanders being just as common as any other combination of age+dress+hairstyle (well, not quite "any", since adult is 1-3, but you get the idea).

Wesley Street
The joy of being a GM is that you aren't obligated to share what random tables generate if they aren't kosher with the tone of your game.
But that's a huge hit to the value of having the table in the first place.

Wesley Street
I don't agree as there are two approaches to the old "random encounter" table:

Approach 1 - As a GM I am bound by covenant to the encounter tables. The tables are Word. The tables are Law.

Approach 2 - Oh shit. My player just shot an innocent by-stander in Shibuya and he wants to know what the victim looks like. I have no idea what he looks like because this is totally off-story! Okay... *roll roll roll roll*. What? A geriatric African troll? That's not going to work. He's going to be Japanese because he's in frigging Japan. And since they just killed two trolls in that nightclub let's just make him a geriatric ork. You shot a geriatric ork. With a mohawk.

Would it be more accurate to accomplish randomness using a percentile system cross-referenced against local population stats? Yes. Is it necessary? Depends on how anal you are. But I'm more interested in what can be accomplished using the d6 the game requires without having to dump a bucket and spend minutes tallying.
Wesley Street
Got a dramatic chase scene on the freeway that just took a bad turn? Did your PCs flip their SUV into oncoming traffic? Here you go!


Roll 2D6. Consult table below.

D6 Vehicle Type
2 Bicycle (What's he doing on the road? *squish!*)
3 High-end sports car
4 Motorcycle (road or dirt bike)
5 Sub-compact or single-passenger runabout
6 Compact car or autocab
7 Mid-size sedan (2 or 4 door)
8 SUV or minivan
9 Pickup truck
10 Full-size van
11 Box truck
12 Bus or tractor trailer (oh the humanity!)
QUOTE (Wesley Street @ Feb 11 2011, 10:52 AM) *
The joy of being a GM is that you aren't obligated to share what random tables generate if they aren't kosher with the tone of your game.

Definitely this. Though I often use random tables to figure out what bad guys (or how many) are in a particular room and all that jazz, as well.

You just have to make sure that the results you get are reasonable for the encounter you are dealing with to make sure everything is kosher.
Mr Clock
Or be prepared for the players to freak out and start digging for non-existent conspiracies when your dice take a funny turn...

"Why are we being stalked by African trolls?"

However, this chart and others like it are excellent ideas, and the GM who doesn't use them to make five plug-in NPCs "just in case" before a game is under no obligation to do so.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012