Category Archives: Random Tables

Heists For Fantasy Thieves

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.

My latest obsession/idea is an old school urban crime mini-campaign, something along the lines of the old Gamelords Thieves’ Guild RPG.

My first thought was to use Labyrinth Lord/AEC and break down the thieving skills a bit to turn that subsystem into something that players could customize to reflect their own individual thief’s specialties (sort like AD&D 2e did – but I don’t have those books handy to steal from reference). But when I started doing the math I quickly realized I’d be better off using a different system (one that was already skill-based).

So in rode BRP and the fabulous Classic Fantasy monograph (to be used if I feel the need to retain a degree of D&D style). If I ever make this get off the ground (and given my current levels of gamer ADD and the general scheduling issues with the folks I play with, that’s a dubious proposition) I’m going to need an idea generator for some thiefly adventures & heists. Hence, the tables below. Please feel free to make use of these in any way you see fit. Sharing makes the world go ’round!

Let’s Roll

Grab yourself a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20 and roll ’em. Check against the charts below and let your creativity fill things out as needed.

Location of item(s) to be liberated, 1d4

  1. Temple or other religious/ceremonial building
  2. Private residence (1d4: 1 lower class, 2 middle class, 3 upper class, 4 nobility)
  3. Mercantile building (guildhall, apothecary, etc.)
  4. Governmental building (military hq, prison, town hall, etc.)

Complications of the job, 1d6

  1. No complications, job as described by the rest of the dice
  2. Minor complications, roll for a second guardian for the item (now under double guard)
  3. Major complications, roll for a second location (the item has been moved)
  4. No complications, job as described by the rest of the dice
  5. Serious complications, roll for two more guardians and a second location – the item(s) has been moved to a new location and is under a different kind of protection
  6. It’s a setup! A double-cross! A trap! Everything proceeds normally, but something bad happens if the job is successful (not paid, guard alerted, the job is completely fake, etc.)

Method of payment for liberating the item(s), 1d8

  1. No payment
  2. Keep anything else you can take
  3. Coin: ((2d4-1) X 10)% of item’s value
  4. Coin: ((1d10+10) X 10)% of item’s value
  5. A minor, limited-use magic item (potion of healing, etc.)
  6. Information (a treasure map, the name of a spy, etc.)
  7. Coins: (3d8 X 10) total gp value
  8. Gems: (4d6 X 10) total gp value

Nature of the item(s) to be liberated, 1d10

  1. Plain ol’ coin money
  2. Magic item (weapon/armor/shield)
  3. Religious relic
  4. Gems or jewelry
  5. Paperwork of significance
  6. Object d’Art (statue/painting/etc.)
  7. Symbolic item
  8. Magic item (non-weapon)
  9. Roll again twice using d8s
  10. Roll again three times using d8s

Guardian of the item(s) to be liberated, 1d12

  1. None
  2. Locked chest/safe
  3. Trapped & locked chest/safe
  4. Magical wards
  5. Generic human/demihuman guards
  6. Tougher-than-generic human/demihuman guards
  7. Natural animal(s)
  8. Monster(s)
  9. Undead
  10. Demon/devil
  11. Roll again twice using d10s
  12. Roll again three times using d10s

Source of the job, 1d20

  1. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  2. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  3. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  4. Personal Reasons (revenge, matter of honor, thrill seeking, etc.)
  5. Religious connection (prelate with a problem, a favor for the god of thieves, etc.)
  6. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  7. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  8. Romantic connection (spouse, mistress, etc.)
  9. Family connection (no-good brother-in-law, dying aunt, etc.)
  10. Political connection (local political faction, foreign government, etc.)
  11. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  12. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  13. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  14. Personal Reasons (revenge, matter of honor, thrill seeking, etc.)
  15. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  16. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  17. Military/Police connection (the corrupt sheriff, a questionable general, etc.)
  18. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  19. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  20. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)

Some Sample Heists

  • Your older brother offers to pay you a lot of money to break into the town armory and steal the enchanted Shield of the Sentinels. Of course, the armory is guarded by a pair of basilisks, but that’s not a problem for someone like you. You know he can afford what he’s offering; you just don’t know what he’s up to, which is planning on double-crossing you by turning you and the shield in for the reward to pay off his gambling debts.
  • Old Garril the Stonemason offers you a number of small diamonds he once found in a wall he was repairing to steal the sixteen large sapphires Korath the Bold recently donated to the Temple of Naali. These are locked in a chest stored within the high priest’s chambers.
  • You’ve heard a rumor that there’s a woman in Amberton who will pay a nice sum of money for a set of enchanted combs that are currently available in the shop of Forlburt the silversmith. The smith is a paranoid sort, who employs a small number of human guards and trained hounds to stand watch over his shop even as he locks all of his merchandise within a heavy (and trapped!) safe every evening.
  • Your guild or crime family needs you to break into the manor house of the Harbormaster and steal the ledgers for the last season’s shipping taxes. Your reward for pulling off this heist is the name and location of the man who killed your family when you were young. Everyone knows that the house is protected by magical wards. Not even your contact knows about the wraith that has been bound to guard the grounds.
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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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Strange Storms In The Mages’ Desert

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.

The Mages’ Desert is an area far to the west of most civilized lands, burned barren by a great magical duel that happened in aeons past. The sheer power of the arcane residue that haunts this place brings very strange storms to the region. The tables below will help construct just such a storm to bedevil your players if they should happen to be passing through. Sometimes these storms are strong enough that they even make their way to settled areas.

Time Of Day Storm Begins, 1d4

  1. Morning (6am-12pm)
  2. Afternoon (1pm-5pm)
  3. Evening (6pm-12am)
  4. Night (1am-5am)

Atmospheric Effects Of Storm, 1d6

  1. Heavy Lighting, No Thunder
  2. Heavy Thunder, No Lightning
  3. Disturbing Calm
  4. Heavy Winds
  5. The Roar of Wind without actual Wind
  6. Sudden temperature change (1-3 hotter, 4-6 colder)

Direction From Which The Storm Approaches, 1d8

  1. North
  2. Northeast
  3. East
  4. Southeast
  5. South
  6. Southwest
  7. West
  8. Northwest

Mood Engendered By The Storm, 1d10

  1. Gloom
  2. Melancholy
  3. Lust
  4. Contentment
  5. Mirth
  6. Unease
  7. Paranoia
  8. Rage
  9. Jealousy
  10. Roll again twice, add results

Color Of The Sky/Clouds During Storm, 1d12

  1. Crimson
  2. Ochre
  3. Pale Yellow
  4. Umber
  5. Pea Green
  6. Forest Green
  7. Cerulean
  8. Midnight Blue
  9. Royal Purple
  10. Bruised Purple
  11. Alabaster White
  12. Night Black

Odd Rains, 1d20

  1. Daggers (1d4 damage per turn exposed)
  2. Gold Coins (melt after 1d20 minutes)
  3. Silver Coins (melt after 1d20 hours)
  4. Copper Coins (melt after 1d20 days)
  5. Frogs
  6. Fish
  7. Skulls (1d6 damage per turn exposed)
  8. Eyeballs
  9. Blood
  10. Feathers
  11. Scraps of paper (books)
  12. Scraps of paper (magic scrolls)
  13. Scraps of paper (treasure maps)
  14. Gravel (1d4 damage per turn exposed)
  15. Ale
  16. Wine
  17. Miniature fully-formed snowmen
  18. Fruit
  19. Fire (1d4 per turn exposed, may cause more fires)
  20. Jewelry (rings, necklaces, etc. 1-2 real, 3-6 costume)
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Skulking Though The Necropolis…

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 stuff is built for Labyrinth Lord + Advanced Edition Companion, but you should be able to tweak it to suit your needs for just about any other old school fantasy RPG.

Now why on earth are your players rummaging around in a cemetery? Is the entrance to a dungeon hidden in one of the graves? Did the Thieves’ Guild hide something with someone who will tell no tales? Did a certain Doctor hire them to bring back a few spare parts? In any case, if all they have to do is make a beeline for a specific spot then you probably don’t need this chart. But if they have to hunt, or if you want to add some flavor, grab those dice and get to rolling.

Date Of Death, 1d4

  1. Distant Past (100+ years ago)
  2. Long Ago (21-99 years ago)
  3. Recent Past (10-20 years ago)
  4. Recent (0-9 years ago)

Headstone Type, 1d6

  1. Unmarked Grave
  2. Simple ground-level grave marker
  3. Classic “Tablet” Tombstone
  4. Monument
  5. Statuary
  6. Mausoleum

Language Of Inscription, 1d8

  1. Common
  2. Human Dialect
  3. Druidic
  4. Elvish
  5. Dwarven
  6. Arcane Script
  7. Human Dialect
  8. Common

Condition Of Marker, 1d10
(roll again for offering: 1-6 none, 6-8 fresh flowers, 9 foodstuffs, 10 unique: a bottle of wine, a filled pipe, a deck of cards, etc.)

  1. Weathered, appropriate to age
  2. Weathered, unnaturally so
  3. Graffiti-covered
  4. Vandalized
  5. Shattered
  6. Recently cleaned
  7. Well-maintained, appropriate to age
  8. Well-maintained, unnaturally so
  9. Cracked & chipped
  10. Fallen over

Age At Death, 1d12
(see Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion, p. 23 for ranges by race)

  1. Infant
  2. Child
  3. Adolescent
  4. Adolescent
  5. Adult
  6. Adult
  7. Adult
  8. Middle Age
  9. Middle Age
  10. Middle Age
  11. Elderly
  12. Venerable

Ornamentation, 1d20

  1. Unadorned
  2. Holy Symbol
  3. Holy Symbol
  4. Arcane Symbol(s)
  5. Horse & Rider
  6. Angel, full
  7. Angel, wings only
  8. Book
  9. Scroll
  10. Vines/Roses/Tree(s)
  11. Military Insignia
  12. Nationalist Symbol
  13. Sword, or other weapon
  14. Shield
  15. Animal (bird, dog, etc.)
  16. Soldier
  17. Crown
  18. Hammer & Anvil, or other sign of craft or trade
  19. Celestial Insignia (planets, sextants, etc.)
  20. Likeness of deceased

Examples – Because They’re Fun

  • This simple ground-level marker bears the insignia of the Duke’s Infantry and marks the resting place of an adolescent who died some 13 years ago, during the bitter war between Dryndland and Nemetstaat. The marble is unnaturally well-maintained for its age, and the inscriptions are in Common.
  • This shield-shaped tombstone likes shattered atop the grave it marks. The fragments, which are written in a dialect spoken by the Humans of the Eastern Continent, reveal that the person buried here died exactly 50 years ago today, after living to the utmost limits of the human lifespan.
  • The middle-aged individual buried beneath this statue of angelic wings died only 9 months ago, according to the Druidic inscriptions found upon the its base. The blatant vandalization of the grave marker stands in stark contrast to the still warm basket of muffins that rests at its base.
  • Buried more than two hundred years ago, the adult occupant of this grave was important enough to warrant a tall monument, which has weathered quite poorly. Numerous baskets of freshly cut flowers have been placed about the its base. No name is given, but the birth and death dates are inscribed in the language of the distant land whose ragged flag honors his interment.
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The Duke’s Grand Masquerade

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

The party has been invited to attend the Duke’s Grand Masquerade in honor of the New Year. A number of other NPC adventurers are present as well, but just who is behind those masks? Roll up a few encounters ahead of time (or fly by the seat of your pants), stir in some intrigue (a devil in disguise? a challenger to the throne?) – et voilà! – instant role-play heavy adventure. And if you need some less-random characters, there’s always the Strange Stones Rogues Gallery.

Character Class, 1d4 (roll again for subclass, if desired)

  1. Fighter (1-2 Fighter, 3 Ranger, 4 Paladin)
  2. Cleric (1-2 Cleric, 3 Druid, 4 Monk)
  3. Magic-User (1-3 Magic-User, 4 Illusionist)
  4. Thief (1-2 Thief, 3-4 Assassin)

Character Level, 1d6

  1. Average Party Level −1
  2. Average Party Level
  3. Average Party Level
  4. Average Party Level +1
  5. Average Party Level +2
  6. Average Party Level +3

Character Race, 1d8

  1. Human
  2. Dwarf
  3. Elf
  4. Gnome
  5. Halfling
  6. Half-Elf
  7. Half-Orc
  8. Human

Alignment, 1d10

  1. Lawful Good
  2. Lawful Neutral
  3. Lawful Evil
  4. Neutral Good
  5. True Neutral
  6. Neutral Evil
  7. Chaotic Good
  8. Chaotic Neutral
  9. Chaotic Evil
  10. Roll Again

Ulterior Motive?, 1d12

  1. None, just having fun
  2. Here to steal something from another guest
  3. Here to steal something from the Duke or one of his entourage
  4. Here to kidnap a wealthy target
  5. None, dragged along by family/friend (bored!)
  6. Here to assassinate another guest
  7. Here to assassinate the Duke of one of his entourage
  8. Here to curry favor with the Duke
  9. None, just having fun
  10. Here to deliver a secret message to another guest
  11. Here to deliver a secret message to the Duke of one of his entourage
  12. Here to win the heart of a lady/gentleman

Mask, 1d20

  1. Cat (Black or White)
  2. Cassanova
  3. Bird (Lark/Raven/etc.)
  4. Jester
  5. Three-faced
  6. Long-nosed, ornate (Gran Naso)
  7. Long-nosed, pain (Peste, Plague Mask)
  8. Venetian, feathered
  9. Venetian, jewelled
  10. Venetian, plain
  11. Butterfly
  12. Wolf
  13. Tragedia
  14. Comedia
  15. Peacock
  16. Leopard
  17. Bat
  18. Horned Devil
  19. Rat/Mouse
  20. Crowned
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