Some More Randomness

Tome of Adventure Design

Tome of Adventure Design

The more I work with Matt Finch’s Tome of Adventure Design, the more I like it.

In fact, I’ve been meaning to review it. Another time, I’m busy right now.

In fact, I’m busy messing with the tables and how they interact. Some time ago I posted a list of 500 Random Old-School Adventure Sites that I’d randomly generated (using scripts, of course) using tables based off those in Tome of Adventure Design.

The book originally presented Table 1-1a: Locations (Overview). One column for the d100 roll, four more for content. Roll four times, picking from each column in turn:

Die Roll Structure’s Description Structure Feature (first word) Feature (second word)
01 Adamantine Abbey of the Anti- Abbot
02 Aerial Aerie of the Ape- Actor
03 Amphibious Asylum of the Baboon- Alchemist

… and so on. Dead easy, and it gets acceptable results. There is more, however.

Table 1-1B: Locations (Overview) which is quite similar, so I won’t bother describing it further.

Table 1-2: Locations takes a different approach. Only two content columns, and this table identifies specific things you might find in a location, or the purpose to which it is put.

Die Roll Location Contents (first word) Location Contents (second word)
01 Ancestral Altar
02 Awakening- Barge
03 Battle- Beacon

It seems each of these is expected to be used independently.

I am a programmer. “Multiple tables” is just a matter of hooking things up, especially since my tools already know how to do it, and just need to be told to do it.

The “500 Random Old-School Adventure Sites” were generated by a combination something like:

  • [Structure] of the [Structure]
  • [Structure] of the [Feature]
  • [Structure] of the [Content]
  • [Feature] of the [Structure]
  • [Feature] of the [Feature]
  • [Feature] of the [Content]
  • [Content] of the [Structure]
  • [Content] of the [Feature]
  • [Content] of the [Content]

Above, ‘Structure’ is randomly generated from the first two content columns of Table 1-1A and Table 1-1B, ‘Feature’ from the last two content columns of Table 1-1A and Table 1-1B, and ‘Content’ from the content columns of Table 1-2.

This morning I added Table 4-35: Generating Minor Gods to my toolbox.

Die Roll Name (part 1) Name (part 2) Title (part 1) Title (part 2)
01-02 A ‘ao The Angel in Darkness
03-04 Ankh ‘uo The Arbitrator in the Eye of the Mind
05-06 Ar a-at The Caller in the High Tower

(Hmm… I may have an opportunity here to replace part of the title with something to do with locations, above… yes, this can lead to some bizarre and unusable results, but I’m okay with that.)

I now have entries in my AdventureLocations table for

  • [Structure] of [SmallGod]
  • [Feature] of [SmallGod]
  • [Content] of [SmallGod]

These can give me, respectively…

Structures:

  • Bone-Generator of Dhamdaya, The Sister of Summer
  • Limestone Kennels of Katara, The Word of the Seasons
  • Erratic Coliseum of Vaesha, The Child of the Seas
  • Intriguing Galleon of Ishtesha, The Hunter of Battle
  • Sex-Bazaar of Kirhimai, The Sister of the Proud
  • Mountain House of Beltomb, The Lifter in the Pathways Below
  • Conquered Galleries of Tsattya, The Queen of the Stars
  • Watery Demi-plane of Qua-Quak, The Speaker of the Sands
  • Deceptive Canyon of Yonos, The Widow in the High Tower
  • Hidden Pits of Ka’ao, The Arbitrator of Summer
  • Unthinkable Hill of Zieus, The Musician of the Seas
  • Grey Monastery of Tholzakles, The Echo in the Pathways Below
  • Waterborne Cairn of Toleshtua, The Prince of Sorrow
  • Granite Cottage of Ka-Sa-Pheth, The Wolf of the Deep
  • Wooden Mounds of Orha-Pheth, The Messenger of the Sands
  • Ship-Asylum of Ra-zoad, The Sister of Mercy
  • Sea-swept Cathedral of Kaeshtua, The Hunter of the Titans
  • Labyrinthine Forest of Gilena, The Messenger of Winter
  • Deadly Hive of Tolena, The Saint of Sorrow
  • Blue Dimension of Hulakles, The Prince of Revenge
  • High Chapel of Dhamtaka, The Hunter of Thieves
  • Dank Monolith of Ts’uo, The Forgiver of Summer
  • Airborne Chapterhouse of Ptoshashta, The Worm who Slithers in the Night
  • Dream-Necropolis of Molptar, The Slayer of the Abyss
  • Sapphire Dwelling of Krakhoggos, The Lifter in the Pathways Below
  • Cursed Necropolis of Yoloth, The Lifter of the Giants
  • Midnight Dome of Ravta, The Weaver of Lust
  • Unnatural Monastery of Nyesha, The Herald of Battle
  • Horrid Asylum of Tseer, The Caller in the Eye of the Mind
  • Green Pagoda of Zulena, The Saint in the Pathways Below
  • Urban Crypt of Kaatem, The Prince of Memory
  • Eroding Pavilion of Krakeer, The Worm of the Seasons
  • Pod-Cocoon of Ptoshimai, The Master of Wrath
  • Harvest-Lighthouse of Traon, The Eater of the Full Moon
  • Asymmetrical Cottage of Athoth, The Child in the High Tower
  • Ancient Prison of Kiriraj, The Sword who Slithers in the Night
  • Demonic Aviary of Hadptar, The Singer in the High Tower
  • Contaminated Obelisk of Qua-Qutara, The Queen of Winter
  • Three-Part Abbey of Ishta-at, The Master who is Blind
  • Invulnerable Dwelling of Ankhor-Tua, The Hawk in Darkness
  • Poorly-built Stockades of Zulang, The Sword of Mercy
  • Shunned House of Dhamesh, The Servant of the Seas
  • Black Jungle of Athda, The Messenger of Nightmares
  • Fertile Dome of Hul’uo, The Caller of Memory
  • Ancient Demi-plane of Samakles, The Serpent of Nightmares
  • Triangular Prison of Qua-Quza, The Queen of the Seasons
  • Cliff-Dome of Ishttoa, The Overlord of Sorrow
  • Harvest-Fortress of Quarptar, The Watcher of the Seas
  • Dimensional Glade of Kirengg, The Dragon of Memory
  • Ruined Lighthouse of Ptoshta, The Lord of the Water

Features:

(that first one’s a little awkward, yeah)

  • Reaver Ghost of the Doppelganger(s) of Klaza, The Guardian in the Eye of the Mind
  • Twisted Rat of Tsakles, The Keeper of War
  • Insane Golem of Herta, The Prince of the Full Moon
  • Snake-Creature of Quaresh, The Wind in Darkness
  • Flame-Wasp of Qua-Qutala, The Lord of Summer
  • Resurrected Father of Herakzoad, The Overlord of the Proud
  • Burned Slime of Zionor, The Word of the Seasons
  • Leech-Ghost of Mi’ir, The Guardian of Fate
  • Jackal-Jailer of Bareesh, The Guardian of Judgment
  • Mist-Circlet of Ankheer, The Guardian of Wrath
  • Sea-Worm of Hulhoggos, The Prince of the Proud
  • Skeletal Chanter of Zuloteph, The Watchman of Thieves
  • Baboon-Beast of Huloth, The Arbitrator of the Underworld
  • Worm-Priest of the Princess(s) of Miraj, The Devourer of the Underworld
  • Half-breed Circlet of Hereph, The Word of Judgment
  • Wraith-Bat of Aakhar, The Weaver of Men
  • Armored Scorpion of Aela, The Wolf who is Hidden
  • Wraith-Hunters of Qua-Qutomb, The Word of Nightmares
  • Deluded Golem of Dhameesh, The Servant of Fear
  • Breeding Lord of Aonor, The Lifter of Nightmares
  • Feral Hunters of Tshoggos, The Dreamer of the Midnight Dark
  • Iron Father of Yshoshtu, The Redeemer of the Forgotten
  • Cursed Behemoth of Yan, The Wind of the Full Moon
  • Undead God of Ra-oshtu, The Thief of Judgment
  • Elephant-Cyclops of Kiror-Tua, The Arbitrator of the Full Moon
  • Centipede-Displacer of Aela, The Sister of Mercy
  • Diseased Titan of Tsoshtu, The Prince of Battle
  • Snake-King of Jenzoa, The Worm who is Blind
  • Summoned Sorceress of Ravzoad, The Serpent of Nightmares
  • Ant-Genie of Tsateshtua, The Devourer who is Blind
  • Hellish Idol of Quarela, The Weaver of the Ancestors
  • Imprisoned Mummy of Giles, The Child of the Giants
  • Chaos-Experimenter of Dirptar, The Lifter of Summer
  • Jade Demigod of Kaeus, The Sister of the Midnight Dark
  • Hyena-Knight of Kaagor, The Herald of the Deep
  • Master Spirits of Ra-zoad, The Judge of the Underworld
  • Bronze Minotaur of Aa-at, The Hawk of Memory
  • Unholy Wyvern of Zules, The Servant of the Titans
  • Armored Cult of Tholztomb, The Summoner of the Seasons
  • Wraith-Gargoyle of Tholzena, The Musician who is Blind
  • Cloud-Knight of Yshhoggos, The Watchman who Slithers in the Night
  • Jewel Fungus of Jenda, The Mother of Men
  • Bat-Scorpion of Traoog, The Fire of the Titans
  • Dark Device of Ravesh, The Serpent of the Giants
  • Hive Emissary of Tholzzoad, The Arbitrator who is Hooded
  • Flame Mummy of Sli’ir, The Dragon of the Seasons
  • Snail-Chimera of Mda, The Sister of the Ancestors
  • Bone-Head of Hulzoa, The Caller in the Eye of the Mind
  • Bitter Lich of Kirh’ao, The Widow of Thieves
  • Snake-Emperor of Shalda, The Arbitrator in the High Tower

Content:

  • War-Laboratories of Ankhoog, The Hawk who is Blind
  • Fire-Tower of Yatem, The Worm who is Hidden
  • Pattern Lantern of Klaashta, The Messenger of Men
  • Winter Portal of Wuimai, The Lord of Nightmares
  • Minion-Mirror of Kraktara, The Wind of Winter
  • Screaming-Prism of Kaela, The Worm of Nightmares
  • Reaction-Bowl of Va’ao, The Hawk of War
  • Death Coops of Jenoteph, The Child of Sin
  • Entropy Wheel of Moth, The Messenger who Waits
  • Vision-Kennels of Gila-Pheth, The Saint of Winter
  • Brain-Swamp of Zi’uo, The Sister of the Forgotten
  • Mummification Priests of Ozoa, The Servitor of Mercy
  • Plague-Houses of Mitrela, The Angel in the High Tower
  • Obedience-Globe of Herakeph, The Dreamer of the Water
  • Illusion-Tubes of Yeshtua, The Echo of the Giants
  • Dissection Garden of Ra-a-at, The Worm of Lust
  • Dream-Perches of Matem, The Hawk of the Water
  • Storm-Dome of Aroog, The Arbitrator of the Forgotten
  • Plague-Coops of Tsatengg, The Word of Summer
  • Ghoul-Fountain of Tholzeus, The Echo of the Stars
  • Unreality-Sphere of Quaron, The Finder of the Water
  • Sacrificial Disk of Kaza, The Slayer who Slithers in the Night
  • Tuning-Crown of Yshimai, The Queen of the Forgotten
  • Plague-Camp of Dham’ao, The Weaver in the Pathways Below
  • Dream-Hatchery of Dirang, The Overlord of the Seasons
  • Fossil-Kiln of Molena, The Messenger of the Underworld
  • Ectoplasmic Token of Ka-Si’ir, The Prince of the Ancient Ones
  • Flesh-Spiral of Y’uo, The Saint of Fate
  • Oracle-Steps of Barasha, The Slayer of Revenge
  • Reaction-Kiln of Traor-Tua, The Judge of Memory
  • Sacrificial Nets of Jentomb, The Messenger of the Deep
  • Brain-Webs of Tsatiraj, The Overlord of Bells
  • Simulacrum Boxes of Yolta, The Weaver of Souls
  • Prayer-Token of Ra-on, The Guardian of Nightmares
  • Puzzle-Kiln of Hepheus, The Wind who is Blind
  • Fire-Machine of Ankheer, The Judge of the Ancient Ones
  • Focus-Portal of Zulena, The Servant of the Titans
  • Vision-Garden of Belak, The Slayer of Battle
  • Battle-Compactor of Ptoshesha, The Echo who is Hidden
  • Dissection Altar of Ka-Sela, The Master of Bells
  • Prison-Cairn of A’uo, The Echo of Memory
  • Vision-Dancer of Hephashta, The Slayer who is Blind
  • Binding-Rods of Nytya, The Speaker of Mercy
  • Perfume-Hive of Makles, The Redeemer of Nightmares
  • Infesting-Hatchery of Shaleesh, The Wind of Men
  • Winter Kennels of Hadesh, The Slayer who Sleeps
  • Perfume-Frame of Tra’ao, The Judge of Nightmares
  • Slime-Spiral of Krakatem, The Arbitrator of Bitterness
  • Birthing-Device of Herasha, The Lord of Lust
  • Tuning-Gallery of Orh’ao, The Fire of the Deep

Not all are good adventure locations, obviously. I can see many of them being valid goals for adventures, though.

This is a useful book, especially when I apply things in a mildly bent way.

 

6 Comments to "Some More Randomness"

  1. February 19, 2014 - 1:47 am | Permalink

    “Watery Demi-plane of Qua-Quak, The Speaker of the Sands”

    The feared Duck-god of the Seaside.

  2. February 19, 2014 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Here are some entries I did manage to write up. Some of them went to Creepytown: consider this your only warning, faint-hearted readers!

    Grey Monastery of Tholzakles, The Echo in the Pathways Below: The corridors of the Grey Pathways are cut perfectly square, three metres across. They twist and turn at exact right angles throughout the bedrock of the plains; the network of tunnels stretches for uncounted miles in every direction away from the Monastery. This building was constructed over the only known entrance to the Pathways, acting as a base of exploration for the scholar Tholzakles. One day he did not return from his investigations, and gradually his building fell into disrepair. But when certain opportunistic wanderers entered to try and find valuables, they discovered the scholar’s echoing voice still roaming the corridors below. Frightened, they fled to the nearest town to relate their tale. Gradually it became apparent that the scholar had found something in the depths; or that something had found him. Although physically he seems to be only a voice, Tholzakles has the all-seeing powers of a god, and a small cult of monks has moved into his old base to commune with him.

    Waterborne Cairn of Toleshtua, The Prince of Sorrow: This heap of stones mysteriously floats on the surface of a great swamp. The air is close and unpleasant, and trees covered in dank green moss lean at precarious angles. Here is the place where Toleshtua cut out his heart and threw it away, to escape the fears and worries of a mortal’s life. Some dark power in that foetid place entered where his heart should be and made him into the undying Prince of Sorrow. Feeling no emotion himself, his disturbing presence makes the bravest warrior quail. It is said that he could be laid to rest if someone could recover his discarded heart from beneath the cairn, but the swamp has claimed all who attempted this deed.

    Horrid Asylum of Tseer, The Caller in the Eye of the Mind: Training one’s imagination to see things with the mind’s eye is a useful skill, but one not without risk. If a mortal becomes too enamoured of his visions and spends too long staring into the inner depths, the call of Tseer may come to him. The symbol of the Fallen Square becomes more and more vivid in the mortal’s imagination as the days and weeks wear on, until at last the sign of Tseer consumes his mind utterly. Of the broken and empty body left behind, there is nothing to do but to hand it over to the priests of the Asylum of Tseer. The conditions are squalid and the priests dressed in rags, but only in the tarnished sanctum of the Asylum is there a thread of hope: once a year, a single inmate of the Asylum is released from the grip of Tseer. Those pardoned in this way rarely recover fully, and never speak of their experiences. They refuse all art, creativity, and literature. Most commit suicide before long.

    Three-Part Abbey of Ishta-at, The Master who is Blind: Ishta-at is the Master of Dimensions, and moves from one plane to another as easily as a human takes a single step. In his sacred Abbey, the blue-robed Master strolls between its three extensions on the physical, ethereal, and shadow planes. Supposedly he was once mortal, a blind monk who studied geometry extensively. Somehow his blindness enabled him to visualise things not discovered before or since, and he stepped into other dimensions, some unknown to scholars to this day. In one of these strange outer places he somehow obtained divine power and immortality.

    Insane Golem of Herta, The Prince of the Full Moon: During the day, this seems to be a strange sort of titanic sculpture, a huge stone humanoid lying inert on the ground as if in the middle of writhing in pain. When the light of the full moon rises over the horizon, the Golem of Herta comes to life. Utterly mad, this creation of the god of lunacy spasms and moans for the three nights of the full moon, before freezing in place as the sun rises once more.

    Sea-Worm of Hulhoggos, The Prince of the Proud: Hulhoggos is the great sea-serpent of the Northern Ocean. It is said he is the most prideful of all creatures on earth, adorning himself with a tiara of coral. Any who sail their ships through his domain may be faced with an unexpected and unwanted audience with the Prince of the World. If they have any sense whatsoever, they will profess their unworthiness to stand before Hulhoggos’ superior power and wisdom; if they do this, they may be allowed to depart peacefully. Those who do not acknowledge their place in things but stand proud before him will find the Sea-Worm’s wrath terrible indeed.

    Feral Hunters of Tshoggos, The Dreamer of the Midnight Dark: None of the worshippers of Tshoggos are even aware this is what they are, at least not during waking hours. When these people sleep, their dream-selves willingly hand over control to the violent spirits of hate that serve Tshoggos. The worshippers rise silently from their beds in the dead of night, stealing out into the streets and alleys to find a victim to kill and mutilate. In the morning, he may discuss with the neighbours the terrible news about how a local murderer has struck again, and wish the town guard would catch the serial killer. But he will never suspect that his own hand held the knife that carved a ragged gash in the victim’s belly, or that his own teeth tore out their throat.

    Snake-King of Jenzoa, The Worm who is Blind: Jenzoa the King of Snakes broods in his underground sanctum. In the early days of creation, the two chief dwarvish gods cut out his brilliantly faceted emerald eyes, leaving Jenzoa with only empty sockets. Jenzoa and his minions would like nothing better than to seize the golden crown and breastplate of the two dwarvish gods, and tear the emeralds from them to restore the King’s sight. Then, with his full power regained, the dwarves would begin to know true fear.

    Imprisoned Mummy of Giles, The Child of the Giants: The birth of a giant is a rare event, so it was with great happiness that Giles was born to his parents many centuries ago. Sadly, a group of elves had taken offence to the giants living in what the elves regarded as “their” mountains, and when the child was five years old the elves captured him and sacrificed him to their gods. The enraged adult giants stormed the elvish stone circle, but too late: all they could regain was Giles’ body. Then the chief elvish druid revealed his master stroke. If the giants ever harmed or touched an elf again, the vicious spirits placed in Giles’ body by the druid would awaken and use him as their puppet to do terrible deeds. The distraught parents fled and embalmed the body, tearfully placing it in a vault of iron, hoping for the day when the curse could be broken.

    Bronze Minotaur of Aa-at, The Hawk of Memory: The Library of Aa-at is said to contain a record of every memory ever known by mortals. Guarding its endless halls is a bronze servitor, with the body of a well-muscled man but the head of a hawk. Anyone attempting to take anything into or out of the library will be aggressively intercepted by this being. Even clothes are forbidden; those seeking to enter must come naked.

    Jewel Fungus of Jenda, The Mother of Men: People believe the Jewel Fungus to be some sort of disease or infestation. It only infects humans, causing their bodies to break out into colourful transparent growths. If the growths are not cut off they eventually consume the entire body. Unbeknownst to mortals, this is actually part of the natural lifecycle of humans, a growth phase not normally seen but triggered by certain environmental conditions. The final stages of the “disease” are the ultimate form of the human creature, the very image of their ancient matriarch Jenda. Though worship of the long-forgotten Jewelled Mother is virtually unknown, a few tiny cults survive here and there. It’s possible that knowledge of Jenda has been deliberately suppressed for the good of the public.

    Death Coops of Jenoteph, The Child of Sin: The dread being known as Jenoteph appears as a small dirty child, seemingly lost and frightened. It lures people back to its hiding-place with its sniffling tears and sad expression. Once they are within the area of its power, it removes their bones and consumes them, before placing what’s left in an open area with other suffering victims. Little more than bags of skin, Jenoteph feeds them with troughs of slop. The victims may painfully crawl around their pen for years before merciful death overtakes them. It’s said that Jenoteph was once a mortal child who was neglected and beaten by its parents, who eventually were killed by bandits. The child, locked by them in a cellar, passed away soon after, only to return as an awful spirit.

    Binding-Rods of Nytya, The Speaker of Mercy: The goddess Nytya has the power to heal wounds and sickness with a word. But in ancient times she was sealed in a jade sarcophagus by jealous gods of disease and death. In the circular chamber where the sarcophagus lies, sixty-six rods of granite project from the ground. From the tip of each, a string runs to the sarcophagus, and on each string is a paper token with the symbol of a minor god of disease or plague. Only when all the strings are broken can the sarcophagus be opened. But there are consequences to such an act, for the gods who sealed Nytya away still watch over her tomb.

    Perfume-Frame of Tra’ao, The Judge of Nightmares: On a distant hillside, a skeletal framework of fragrant wood rises square against the sky. To either side hang the man-sized masks named Dih and Onh. In the centre is the delicate wooden throne of Tra’ao. Every time a mortal dreams a nightmare, that nightmare must come before Tra’ao to pay its respects before the sun rises. As the Judge of Fear, he determines whether the nightmare is worthy of being granted existence as a spirit which can roam the lands to strike terror into the hearts of mortalkind. Those found wanting vanish like mist before the rising sun.

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