Local Trouble Yields Adventure Opportunities

Wherein your humble scribe, drawing on the “All The Dice” random generator concept (tip of the hat to Grim), presents a random table for your nerdly needs. This table is built for Labyrinth Lord + Advanced Edition Companion. You should be able to tweak it to your needs for just about any other old school fantasy RPG, though.

It’s a brand new year, which might just mean you’re looking to kick off a new campaign. If not, you might still need a starting point for a new adventure or two. In any case, this handy table can help you put together the bones of a mission for your rag-tag band of murderous hoboes no matter what kind of community they’ve stumbled into. So grab those dice, give ’em all a good roll, and see what the locals need done (and what they’re willing to hand over to the first group of fools who actually do it).

Who is having the trouble? 1d4
1 Townsfolk or Farmers
2 Clergy or Scholars
3 Merchants or Miners
4 Royalty or Leaders

Strength of threat (may represent number as well), 1d6
1 Significantly weaker than characters
2 Slightly weaker than characters
3 Approximately same as characters
4 Approximately same as characters
5 Slightly stronger than characters
6 Significantly stronger than characters

Location of threat, 1d8
1 Immediate vicinity (in town, just outside the monastery, etc.)
2 Nearby (1/2 day journey or less)
3 Close (2 day journey or less)
4 Not Far (4 day journey or less)
5 Far (1-2 week journey)
6 Distant (multiple month journey)
7 Hard-to-reach (under water, in the sky)
8 Very hard-to-reach (on another plane/world/etc.)

Nature of Trouble, 1d10
1 Have stolen a thing of great value
2 Have stolen a magical thing
3 Are disrupting trade/travel
4 Are disrupting normal activity
5 Have kidnapped a person of some importance
6 Have kidnapped a person of little influence
7 Are demanding tribute or they will… (roll again using 1d6)
8 Are constantly raiding
9 Are the source of a plague/disease
10 Are drawing the attention of a second source of trouble with their presence (roll a second d20)

Reward for Ending the Trouble, 1d12
1 A small sum of coins
2 A cherished non-magical heirloom
3 A small favor owed
4 Useful knowledge (a map, a legend, etc.)
5 A reasonable sum of coins
6 A low-powered magic item
7 A reasonable favor owed
8 A work of great art or craftsmanship
9 An extravagant sum of coins
10 A powerful magic item
11 A large favor owed
12 Roll twice using 1d8 each time, add results

Type of Threat, 1d20
1 Lycanthropes (wererats, weretigers, etc.)
2 Humanoid monsters (goblins, gnolls, etc.)
3 Humans or Demihumans (thieves, highwaymen, etc.)
4 Undead (skeletons, wights, etc.)
5 Humanoid monsters (orcs, ogres, etc.)
6 Non-humanoid monsters (owlbears, giant ants, etc.)
7 Humans or Demihumans (spellcasters, shamen, etc.)
8 Demons or Devils
9 Lycanthropes (wererats, weretigers, etc.)
10 Undead (zombies, vampires, etc.)
11 Non-humanoid monsters (bulette, naga, etc.)
12 Dragons
13 Undead (specters, wraiths, etc.)
14 Humans or Demihumans (spellcasters, shamen, etc.)
15 Humanoid monsters (orcs, ogres, etc.)
16 Roll again twice using 1d6 each time, add results
17 Roll again three times using 1d6 each time, add results
18 Roll again twice using 1d8 each time, add results
19 Roll again three times using 1d8 each time, add results
20 Roll again twice using 1d12 each time, add results

Some Sample Adventure Opportunities

  • While waiting around Luem for everyone to heal up from their last foray into the Caverns of Ice, a member of the local Scholars’ Guild approaches the party. It seems that a bloodthirsty gang of devils made off with the Guild’s Candles of Wisdom and taken those magical treasures to an abandoned monastery they use as a base on this plane. It is a perilous, multiple month journey to reach the devil’s demesne, but if the heroes will undertake this quest they will be rewarded with a beautifully-crafted Carpet of Flying and a reasonable sum of coins.
  • Reaching the town of Tion’s Pass, the heroes discover that town has been overrun with miners who have been forced to flee their mines due to the constant raids of a small band of Troglodytes. If the party can defeat these foes and clear the mines the miners will owe them a large favor, perhaps providing them with the rare ore the need to forge a weapon of great power.
  • The townsfolk of Mittbridge have a problem. Actually, they have lots of problems. It seems that Black Edna and her gang of thieves have managed to annoy the normally peaceful wereboar clan that lives in the nearby woods. Worse still, they’ve also taken to robbing the graves at the old cemetery, and all those freshly unearthed bodies have drawn the attention of a band of ghouls. The citizens of this troubled little hamlet have pooled together a reasonable sum of coins to pay some fine group of adventurers to deal with Black Edna and her minions, smooth things over with the wereboars, and eliminate the danger of the ghouls.

The only thing I didn’t force into this table was a specific way of deciding whether or not things were as they seemed and/or on the up-and-up. I figure that’s best left to the individual GM. But, if you really want to randomly determine that kind of thing, I’d say roll a d4 and on a 4 then there’s some kind of trickery involved in the set up. Adjust for the honesty level of your world as needed 🙂

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0 thoughts on “Local Trouble Yields Adventure Opportunities

  1. G-Man

    I, for one, would savor the diplomatic and role-playing challenges of “smoothing things over” with a pack of disgruntled wereboars.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      And that’s precisely why I’d love to get to game with you some day, G-Man. You’ve got the kind of brain that looks forward to that challenge rather than immediately reading “smooth things over” as “kill!”

      1. G-Man

        Me (PC): “Now, I’m sure Edna and her men didn’t mean anything personal by stealing all your lawn ornaments . . . ”

        Klem “Redtusk” Aikens, Leader of Wereboar Clan: “You done said that woman’s name again. I told you not to rile me up. Don’t make me go piggy on you, son.”

        Me (backing up slowly): “What’s this in my pocket? A flask of Early Times? Geez, you think you boys could help me with this?”

        Klem: “Well, seein’ as how you asked nice and all . . .”

        Problem solved!

        1. the venomous pao Post author

          Nice! Arkansas-style diplomacy works every time. Provided you’re approaching the right group of negotiators, that is 🙂