The Game Masters Book of Random Tables

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Most Game Masters are familiar with random roll tables and the benefits and fun they provide. Most roll tables, however, help GMs determine specific things, but with a minimum of contextual information, such as size (Small, Medium, Large, etc.), a minimum of descriptive “color” such as items in a treasure hoard (4 gems worth 50 gp each; a +1 dagger; a wand of magic missiles), or a minimum of helpful information such as types of government (oligarchy; federalism; theocracy). In the moment, these snap results are helpful. But once put into play, they end up causing GMs even more work because once you’ve determined the local government is a federalism, for example, you have to know what a federalism is and how it functions, which requires time and research. Similarly, when rolling on a table to determine the predominant architectural style of a city’s buildings, a result of “Ionic Order” provides no help when the GM is actually called upon to describe what, exactly, that looks like.

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