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The Book of Random Tables: Quests $4.99 $2.99
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The Book of Random Tables: Quests
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The Book of Random Tables: Quests
Publisher: dicegeeks.com
by Jim B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2019 00:11:24

It's a collection of ten d100 tables for generating adventure seeds in a fantasy setting. It's system-neutral, without a stat block in sight.

Each table roll provides you with a situation the PCs hear about or witness. The detail is minimal, just one sentence or a few for each entry. The entries describe only what the PCs first learn, such as finding out that the spice ships are overdue or that the prince has been kidnapped. Your players will quickly come up with questions that the seeds don't answer.

An improv-heavy, build-as-we-go sandbox campaign could use these as encounter tables. The PCs wander into a new town, for example, so you roll on the Town Quests table, find out there's been a string of burglaries, and you wing it from there.

You could use these as seeds to inspire adventures you prepare, if you prefer to come up with backstories, factions, locations, maps, and so on ahead of time. Or you could adapt the entries as introductions to adventures you've already prepared.

The entries are generic enough to let you modify them easily for an existing settings. If an entry mentions wicked mermen, you could use wicked mermen like it says or you could decide they're wicked pirates or something else instead.

Most or all of the entries could seed a single session's activities. Many of them could be the introductions to larger campaign arcs. For example, finding out that an ogre has taken over a town could be a single session to dislodge the ogre, or a few sessions for a more involved adventure. It could be the introduction to a campaign arc in which larger forces are involved. It's up to you to build on that seed of finding out that an ogre has taken over a town.

Comments on particular tables follow.

The Dungeon Hooks table is mostly about the rumor or event that leads you to the dungeon, with little or no info about what's in the dungeon.

The Royal Quests table consists of tasks assigned by a royal or situations relating to a royal.

The tables for Forest Quests, Town Quests, and Sea Quests give you seeds in those settings. An NPC might request help for a specific task, or an incident might occur in front of the PCs, or there's a general issue the PCs might involve themselves in.

The Doorways to Another World table is about ways the PCs find themselves transported elsewhere, sometimes voluntarily but usually not. There's a fantastical element in each case. The seeds are mostly about how the PCs reach the other world, and only sometimes what's in the other world or what it takes to come back.

The Questing Beasts table briefly describes some creature with an evocative name, such as the Great Bat of Elarond. The entries hint at some aspect that makes the creature different ("the size of a wagon" or "appears once a generation"). There are no stats and generally no powers. Some entries hint at why the creature might be valuable to someone.

The Quest Objects table is the same, except it's about objects. Each entry offers an evocative name and a brief hint about why anyone would be interested in the object, such as cultural or symbolic significance, monetary value, or a possible power. These could be MacGuffins that must be found and returned, magic items the PCs would want to possess, or artifacts someone needs to achieve a great purpose.

The Lost Cities table gives the same treatment to exotic cities ("Erith: The City of Diamonds"), including brief descriptions of what makes each city distinctive. Like the other tables, it's up to you build on the seeds.

I'm not sure what makes the Meta-Quests table "meta" but every entry is of the form: Get N things. It's up to you to figure out who'd want 80 ivory buttons or 50 orc thumbs, why they'd want them, and who'd want to stop you. All this table tells you is that the quest is to retrieve N things of one sort or another.

The seeds in these tables are generally pretty good for presenting a situation. The main reason someone might be disappointed with these tables is the lack of detail. For example, if you want a detailed backstory and a list of powers for the Iron Ring of Orailus, you'll be disappointed. If you just want the inspiration of knowing that it belonged to a harsh king from 1000 years ago, you're in luck.

I have only one quibble. The product description says "Cut down your GM prep with 1000 quest options." To me, that's misleading, implying that a series of table rolls (quest options) would help you build up a quest: NPCs, their goals and methods, factions, locations, challenges, clues, etc. That's not what this is. Consider an entry that says "Some sort of sea monster is disrupting the trade lanes. Nearly all the merchants have agreed to offer a fantastic reward to any who will slay the vile beast from the depths." Unless you're going to wing the whole thing on the spot, now you need to figure out what your sea monster is, where its lair is, how it came to be here, what defeats it, why it hasn't been defeated already, who the competition is, why only "nearly" all the merchants want help instead of all of them, and so on. A single table roll saved you the time of coming up with the idea, but there's still plenty of potential prep work remaining. You get 1000 seeds. They're good seeds, but they're only seeds.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Random Tables: Quests
Publisher: dicegeeks.com
by Frank D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/24/2019 13:28:37

I've told my current group of players (mostly new to role playing) that they will never get bored. With the wealth of online material available for a DM it's an exciting time to be playing. Well, just skimming through this book makes that point abundently clear. Just scaning the lists I've gotten so many ideas I wish I could run multiple parties. And don't get me wrong, I have bought and downloaded many lists but because this one focuses on quests ideas it's a goldmine.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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