Monday, January 26, 2015

The Magic School Campaign, Part 4: 6D10 Tables of Plot Generators

Image from Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis

Like any good Dungeons & Dragons fan worth their salt, I made use of randomly-generated tables at some point in my gaming career.  The most common ones tend to be for encounter and treasure generation, although there's quite a lot for other concepts such as NPC name generation and settlement qualities.  Ideally they cut down on the Dungeon Master's hefty workload, which got me to thinking of generating such tables for a magic school setting.

Below are six such tables.  The first one's for generating rumors and potential plot hooks among the student body, some of which might be true yet not indicative of the full story.  The second table's for esoteric ingredients for potions and possibly spell components.  The third one's a sampling of the interesting quirks and personality traits that might be found amid an assortment of diverse magical traditions.  The fourth and fifth tables are for books the PCs might find while browsing the library, either in the main section open to everyone or the dark, forlorn Restricted Section.  And finally, the sixth table provides ten sample classes one might find being taught at an academy of supernatural learning.

Dice ResultRumor
1“The new kid at school’s secretly a prince from a country enmeshed in civil war. He’s hiding his identity so the crown’s enemies won’t find him.”
2“Last night I saw a ghostly girl walking about in the courtyard outside my window. She looked just like a student who mysteriously vanished on these grounds three years ago!”
3“There’s been talk in the capital amid the nobles about our school. They view us as a threat and plan to pass a law to shut us down!”
4“In today’s necromancy class, the spider I was supposed to dissect came to life and skittered into the library!”
5“Merchants from Angel Island have been delivering a lot of crates to the school. The boxes are sealed with anti-divination rituals. Weird thing is, nobody knows who placed the order.”
6“At the end of every month, at midnight, the best students receive an invitation to Darktower Hall, a masquerade party held in the Shadow Plane.“
7“Those fools at the Battle Academy insulted our honor for the last time! We’re gonna trounce them at the next game of fireflicker this weekend!”
8“Druid-girl over there claims to know how to channel wizardly power into flowers. I’m going to find out her secret one way or the other.”
9“Professor Vernadsky doesn’t seem himself lately. Could it have anything to do with his recent trip to the Underdark?”
10“Brent Stonebrewer’s cheating on Lilphaba behind Yamaz’s back!”
Dice ResultIngredients
1Troll’s regenerating toenail
2Pickled worms
3Cockatrice liver
4Deep sea salts, no older than 30 days
5Sheep’s blood, boiled and stirred
6A strand of hair from a dwarf, kept in chilled temperature
7Crushed belladonna leaves mixed in water touched by the light of a full moon
8Dragon’s gallbladder, cut vertically into eighths
9Rust scrapings from an enchanted weapon
10Roc’s feather
11Tears shed of joy from one who has not seen death
12Iron which has never been touched by sunlight
13Whale bones infused with necromantic energy
14Manticore’s heart, freshly preserved
15The breaths of a hound, transmuted into water
16The flensed skin of an electric eel
17Liquid memory
18Warrior’s finger bone
20Raw souls
Dice ResultMage is…
1Part of the Forest Flame, a cabal of druids who seek to understand nature via alchemy
2Actually a spy from a rival academy
3A tattooed arcanist, his spellbook inscribed on his body
4Cursed with a mark forbidding her to use her spells for selfish gain
5Convinced that his power comes from the whispers of an extraplanar serpent-god
6A refugee from a tyrannical magocracy still being hunted
7Able to create illusions at will by singing about the subject matter
8Part of an ascetic sect of wizards, refuses to cast spells except when absolutely necessary
9Able to speak in a low whisper which can be distinctly heard hundreds of feet away
10Kobold, unaware of dominant society’s customs and frequently commits cultural faux pas
Dice ResultBook Title (Open Section)
1An Abridged History of the Elvish Peoples
2On the Subject of Ethereal Entities
3The Hellborn: A Study of Tieflings and Magical Aptitude
4Druidic Cabals: An Outsider’s Perspective
5The Eight Fundamentals of Magic
6The Magum Exemplare: A Standard of Living for the Virtuous Spellcaster
7Witchcraft and Charms: The Understanding of Bound Objects
8On Reality and Illusions
9The Care and Feeding of One’s Familiar
10The Many Marvels of Antigonus III
Dice ResultBook Title (Forbidden Section)
1Reign of the Blood-Prince
2The Hordebreaker’s Codex
3Cold Hands, Dark Hearts: Firsthand Accounts of the Weather Wights’ Atrocities
4Murmurings of the Sleeping Titan
5The Hidden School: Teachings of Necromancy
6Secrets of the Nightmare Kingdoms
7Eight Names of the Crow
8Apocalypse of the Knife
9Origin of the First Sorrow
10 Whispered Poisons
Dice ResultClass
1Opening the Veil: Introduction to Divination and Illusion
2Alchemy & Natural Law
3Amateur Adventurers
4Broomstick Practice
5Dueling & Offensive Spellcasting
6Higher Powers: The Understanding of Granted Magic
7Cantrips, Orisons, and Folk Magic
8The Wonderful World of Magical Beasts
9Bardic Lore, from Sha’irs to Skalds