There would be no light without the darkness
I have written on this random generator idea earlier (Here) and I’m still kicking ideas around on paper. Yesterday I came upwith 14 new entries for the first two tables of the generator.
I am also debating with myself if I even need the Third table “What happened to put you straight?” as I am unsure if it is even within the theme of the generator.
+James Etheridge commented in G+ and some of that made me think that perhaps there are two kinds of needs in a generator like this. Some just want to roll the dice and get everything served on a platter and run with it where others like a more vague unspecific result that they can use for inspiration to tinker and tweak. Personally I like both equally much, sometimes I like to tinker and other times I like to try and run with what others thought would be a great idea. So I am considering 2 Generators, one with headlines and one with very specific results.
So first I’ll show you a few of what I would consider vauge from yesterday’s scribblings.
Table 1 – Circumstance
4. Defend the innocent
Table 2 – Consequences
1. Innocent is killed
2. Famine & Hunger
3. Evil rose to power
4. Deity wronged
These are very broad and vague and a Generator with these would serve to kickstart your writers muse and help you create your “Dark Secret” story.
So what would a specific generator look like?
Table 1 – Specific Circumstances
1. Choices; as a result of a confrontation with a not so kind crime lord you were forced to choose which of two people were to be spared their life and consequently which were to die.
2. Wrong Place Wrong Time; During a stay in a small township it became evident that there was an imminent threat of a massive Orc raid. It was decided an attack would be the best defence, so you took the fight to the Orcs!
3. Curiosity led you to investigate a rich and powerful merchant’s warehouse, you were caught by guards seeing something you should not.
4. On an assignment your guide suddenly turned out to be working for your advisaries and sprung an ambush on you.
Table 2 – specific Consequences
1. As a result of your actions the great city of Karda quickly crumbled and is nothing more than a barren crater of ruins
2. the long lost evil artefact of the dead sun society found it’s way back to the world.
3. you killed the head of Black Vipers, clearing the way for Yusfah to become the new leader. The gang prospered and are now considered the most powerful crime organisation in the kingdom
4. a young cleric died, his church holds you personally responsible and the fact that he was the son of the church’s leader ensures the matter is not forgotten
The broader the brush
Let’s take the broad generator for a spin, I got myself a Cleric that I want to flesh out.
Table 1 d4 gives me: 4 – defend the innocent.
Table 2 d4 gives me: 1 – innocent is killed.
So the idea for these very generic and broad entries was to help my own imagination along instead of handing me a more or less finished story. Let’s see what I can make with that.
My Cleric is full of good intentions as is his church, so he was sent on a mission to a township on the outskirts of civilization to ensure it’s survival in the harsh lands. When he got there he found the town under the thumb of a local warlord, in his efforts to live up to his charge and his church’s tenets he orchestrated a defence for the town and repelled the warlords men from the town when they endangered the citizens. Unfortunately his righteous defence of the town only spurred the warlords wrath to newer heights and he ran into town like a tornado. He took a young boy hostage and threatened to kill the kid if the Cleric did not leave well enough alone and run home to his city. The Cleric instead attempted to come to the young boy’s rescue, but this only resulted in the warlord making good on his threat, to this day my Cleric lives with the guilt and shame of the young boy’s fate and has vowed to not be so reckless in the future.
How would my young Cleric have fared with the more specific generator, let’s see!
Paint by numbers
Table 1 d4 gives me: 3. Curiosity led you to investigate a rich and powerful merchant’s warehouse, you were caught by guards seeing something you should not.
Table 2 d4 gives me: 1. As a result of your actions the great city of Karda quickly crumbled and is nothing more than a barren crater of ruins
So my Cleric had heard strange rumours about a certain warehouse belonging to the Merchant family Verdiz and took it upon himself to investigate the warehouse. But during his breakin he witnessed some of the merchants hired muscle torture and question a young man, in the process they revealed themselves to be demons disguised as humans. My Cleric would not stand for it and decided to attempt intervention and charged with divine power attacked the demons, although he managed to banish one the fight set the warehouse ablaze and soon a fire was ravaging the city. The fire was unmanageble and other infiltrated demons saw it as a signal to cast off their disguises and the city was beset by demons. My Cleric did his best to stem the tide, but eventually had to flee the burning city.
Both stories could serve my roleplay of this character, each one leaves him with an dark edge that could very well affect how he would react to new situations. Also there is food for the GM here, I know I would love to know secrets like this in my players background stories. I love playing with character backgrounds coz the past has a way of catching up with heroes for interesting plot twists and you can get that personal hook, you should read my RPG BLOG Carnival entry from December for a few examples of how I play with my players background story for twists. Two different stories with four dice rolls.. not too bad, I do like this generator idea, now I just need to flesh it out.
So how many different entries should these tables have? This is my first attempt at creating a random generator like this and I do not want the tables to be overwhelming but neither would I want them to be too short! So I will have to brainstorm some more…
4 entries doesn’t feel all that bad but could be a tad on the light side, maybe 6 entries would be the sweet spot. Maybe a system of having more than one table of the first topic and you roll d3 to see which table you roll on. That way we could start with 1 table and add more tables in the future.
Are you a fan of random generators? Let me know what you think about this one 🙂
Gork ya later!