November 13, 2012

Random Tables - What Are They Good For?

A few weeks ago the blog, Unofficial Games, put out an excellent random table 'What did you land on?' Basically its 6 things that a character could land on when falling from a roof, out a window, etc. I like the list, its imaginative and could be useful for adding a good bit of detail to an adventure. I love detail, I think it adds to the immersion of role-playing. However...

Would I ever use this table? My initial thought was to print it out and put it into a folder. My imagination ran big. Wouldn't it be cool to have a folder with all sorts of tables that I could pull out for whatever special occasion just happened to the characters. Think of all the nuances, detail and the unexpected I could throw at the players. It would be awesome! And then...

I began to imagine myself flipping through a folder with all sorts of cool tables...trying to find the exact one I needed. A character gets throw out a second story window and I'm looking for the right table. And I find it...eventually. I could have taken 2 seconds to come up with something myself that would not have been as cool or I could take 2 minutes to flip through my book and make the roll. As I think about it, I'd rather take the 2 seconds and move the adventure and excitement (a character just got thrown out a second story window!) along rather than spend the time needed to find the right table.

Would I ever use this table? No. However, I still like that it was written up. I can read it and maybe, just maybe, I'll remember one or two of the results and that will be my 2 second response...and that would be awesome!

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