Recently, my appreciation for random tables has skyrocketed. I’ve spent some time analyzing my weakness as a GM, what kinds of things I have trouble coming up with on the fly, and I realized that getting some random tables that cover those areas that I’m weak in are a huge help. I prefer to just randomly pick from the table, rather than rolling, because it saves time, it’s easier to find a result that’s appropriate, and you can avoid duplication that way (how many times have you rolled percentile dice on a d100 table and gotten the same result you made four rolls ago, even though there are still 85 results that you haven’t rolled yet?)
As for 30 Things Can Happen by Creative Mountain Games, I have to say that this is one of the best random events products I’ve found, mainly because of its great organization.
There are three main categories of events: City, Country and Underground.
Each of those categories is divided into ten sub-categories. For example, the sub-categories under City are: 1) at the city gate; 2) on the street; 3) alleys and slums; 4) taverns; 5) an outdoor market; 6) an arena; 7) a castle or keep; 8) shops 9) a temple; 10) during a chase.
Country and Underground are divided up the same way. For example, Underground sub-categories include things such as: at the entrance, at an intersection, in a narrow passage, near a stream… ten sub-categories in all. Country cub-categories include things like: at a crossroads, near a waterfall, at a festival, the forest, by the sea… again, ten sub-categories in all.
So three categories with ten sub-categories each, that’s a total of 30 sub-categories. Each of those sub-categories lists 30 random events, for a total of 900.
But it gets better. Each of those sub-categories is divided once again three-ways, with ten events listed under each. For example, the City category/Arena sub-category has ten results for people participating in the arena contests, ten results for the audience, and ten results for the animals that are in the arena. The Country category/by-the-Sea subcategory has ten results for events on the beach, ten results sticking out of the water, and ten results underwater.
And of those 900 random events, some of them have still even more options, from which you can randomly roll for using a d6, or just select yourself. For example, two guards may be arguing over either their pay, their spouses, or a local tournament. The mushrooms that the PC finds could either be poisonous and delicious, edible and delicious, or colorful but disgusting. From what I’ve found, the majority of these options are in the City category, and rest are Underground.
The one way they could have made this better is if Creative Mountain had linked the Table of Contents to the page it was pointing to, but it’s a small complaint since it only takes a few seconds to get to the appropriate page manually. Over all, I’m quite impressed with this product, and I wish that other random event/encounter products were as well organized.