Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wenching and Thieving

My friend Kevin sent me a link to a PDF document that describes the Hyborian Age as a setting for the Savage Worlds RPG. Written by Steve Rennick, the document is quite well done, particularly a series of random tables about "the adventuring life," which is to say, activities that Hyborian Age characters might engage in. Below I've cribbed the tables for wenching and thieving. They're statted up, such as they are, for Savage Worlds, but I think they'd be easily adapted to a lot of games, not least of all being pulp fantasy-inspired D&D.

Enjoy!

Wenching

Typically done in the larger towns and cities of Hyboria, Wild Cards prowl the taverns, inns and other local houses of ill-repute in search of merriment. For each day spent Wenching, roll 1d6 to determine the type of luna frittered (1-3=bronze; 4-5=silver; 6=gold), then roll 1d4 to determine the number of luna spent. If that should exceed the number of luna the WC has, 1d6 city guard/town militia show up to throw him/her into debtor’s prison. Each day the party spends Wenching, draw a card. If it’s a face card, roll 3d10 and consult the following table:

3d10 what
3 You are accused of thievery, but are innocent.

4 You are accused of thievery, and you are guilty

5 You kill someone.

6 Someone tries to kill you.

7 Nothing of consequence happens.

8 The locals take a liking to you (+1 Charisma, stackable, for the rest of your stay).

9 The locals take a disliking to you (-1 Charisma for the rest of your stay).

10 You seduce a local nobleman’s offspring.

11 You get seduced by a local nobleman’s offspring.

12 Find a treasure map (real).

13 Find a treasure map (fake).

14 You tick off a local merchant.

15 Local merchant takes a liking to you.

16 You hear of a plot to overthrow the local ruler.

17 You start a bar brawl.

18 You finish a bar brawl.

19 You tick off a local nobleman.

20 A local nobleman takes a liking to you.

21 Domestic animals seem to like you. 1d4x2 start following you around. Only some body with the Beastmaster Edge can make them stop.

22 You tick off a local priest.

23 A local priest takes a liking to you.

24 Local children (d6x2) start dogging your every step. Only by doing something really scary can you make them stop (make them fail a d6 Guts check).

25 Nothing of consequence happens.

26 You tick off a sorcerer.

27 A sorcerer takes a liking to you.

28 A squad of city guards/militiamen burst down the door of the drinking establishment you’re currently in; they’re there to arrest a complete stranger, who, as they grab him, shouts out and points at you, saying “It was he that supplied the poison I used!” The spearmen close in on you…

29 You feel evil eyes upon you (FALSE).

30 You feel evil eyes upon you (TRUE).

Thieving
If done in a civilized area, we’re talking classic rogues-in-the-night, knife-in-the-back, rope-and grapnel-over-the-garden-wall skullduggery. If out in the countryside, it’s banditry at it’s most primeval. Roll on the following tables:

URBAN
d20 what
1 A rich merchant is walking the streets of the rough side of town unescorted (TRUE)

2 A rich merchant is walking the streets of the rough side of town unescorted (FALSE – it’s a trap laid by the local thieves’ guild)

3 You hear of a tower in which a fabulous gem is kept. In the gardens at its base prowl creatures of nightmare. And it’s home to a sorcerer, to boot.

4 A note is pinned to the door of you+r room at the inn. Scrawled on it in blood is the following: Meet me tonight at the fountain to discuss an endeavour that will be mutually beneficial. (TRUE).

5 A note is pinned to the door of your room at the inn. Scrawled on it is the following: Meet me tonight at the fountain to discuss an endeavour that will be mutually beneficial. (FALSE – it’s an ambush)

6 A gem-studded statue is on public display at a local museum. It belongs to the wife of a local noble. It’s a fake (detectable by someone with Knowledge (Jewellery)).

7 A golden idol belonging to a fat merchant has gone missing; he offers a sizable reward for its safe return (TRUE)

8 A golden idol belonging to a fat merchant has gone missing; he offers a sizable reward for its safe return (FALSE – he had it stolen himself, and will plant it on the Wild Cards at his earliest opportunity, before calling in the city guards)

9 Oops! While relieving him or herself, a noble drops a gemstone the size of a small child’s fist down a latrine. To collect the sizable reward all you have to dois take a trip to the sewers…

10 The local lord’s crown has been stolen! The reward for its return is 100 gold
lunas! (It’s actually worth much more than that…)

11 A shipment of black lotus is arriving tonight (TRUE).

12 A shipment of black lotus is arriving tonight (FALSE).

13 A nobleman’s representative approaches you in a shady tavern asking that you rescue his daughter from kidnappers (TRUE)

14 A nobleman’s representative approaches you in a shady tavern asking that you rescue his daughter from kidnappers (FALSE – it’s a trap; when the Wild Cards find her, they discover her already dead, and the city guard waiting)

15 What started as a simple mugging goes sideways! After knocking your mark senseless, and relieving he or she of 1d4 silver lunas, the local thieves guild shows up (d6), and they’re not happy!

16 You hear a rumour, a fat merchant has left the side gate to his compound open this evening, to allow entry to his favourite courtesan (TRUE – the compound itself though is heavily guarded, and there are many traps).

17 You hear a rumour, a fat merchant has left the side gate to his compound open this evening, to allow entry to his favourite courtesan (FALSE – it’s a trap to catch the greedy; heavily-armed guards lay in ambush).

18 The priests at the local temple are away on a great pilgrimage, leaving only a few old men and boys between you and untold riches (TRUE)

19 The priests at the local temple are away on a great pilgrimage, leaving only a few old men and boys between you and untold riches (FALSE)

20 Kidnap the daughter of a rich merchant for the local thieves’ guild, earning 50 gold lunas (or keep her and collect the 500 luna ransom yourself)

RURAL
d20 what
1 d4 Farmers on their way to market, driving their oxen afore them. Their carts are piled high with the fruit of their labours. The farmers will have 1d12 bronze luna amongst them. But they may (50% chance each) have their wives or children (25% chance each; 1d4 kids, 50% chance male or female) with them. Their wares, be it melons or wheat, are worth 1d4 gold lunas per farmer on the black market. Their children or wives? Who would dare traffic in such wares?

2 A rich nobleman (d6)
1 Alone
2-6 With guards

3 Wealthy land-owner (d6)
1 Alone
2-6 With guards

4 Encampment (d6)
1-2 Soldiers
3-5 Merchants
6 Bandits
(if merchants – d6)
1d4 Merchant(s)
1-2 Alone
3-6 With Guards

5 1d20 Soldiers (if more than 10, there will be one officer)

6 1d12 Elite Soldiers (e.g. in Aquilonia, the King’s personal guard, the Black Dragons)

7 1d4 harmless women (each carrying 1d6 bronze lunas, wearing 1d4 worth of cheap jewelry)

8 1d4 “harmless” women (actually she-wolf bandits who will make the players pay dearly)

9 An old man wandering aimlessly down a dusty track (TRUE)

10 An old man wandering aimlessly down a dusty track (FALSE – he’s actually a powerful sorcerer just waiting for a mark)

11 Farm (sneak in, steal some stuff…try not to kill anyone)

12 Estate (d6) SEE FARM
1-4 Wealthy landowner
5-6 Nobility
Roll a further d6 to determine if the owner is home; 1-5 home, 6 not home

13 d4 Priest(s) (d6)
1-2 Alone
3-6 With acolytes, etc.
(30% chance they’re transporting a precious relic worth 1d100 gold lunas)

14 A quaint country inn…a quiet game of cards. Use the Gambling Rules, except cheating isn’t optional (the Wild Cards have to cheat).

15 You intercept a shipment of black lotus (TRUE – go ahead, try to move it)

16 You intercept a shipment of black lotus (FALSE – it’s not the real stuff, and, once you make the delivery, the s__t hits the fan ☺)

17 A rural temple; who knows what riches lay within?

18 The tower of a reclusive sorcerer

19 You decide to spend the day at a crossroads trying to make a few luna as a mountebank. Your game of choice? 3 shells and a pea. Use the Gambling rules in the SW rulebook (as per 14, cheating isn’t optional).

20 A tax collector with d4 guards spends the night in a rustic inn at a scenic crossroads. Relieve him of the chest filled with d100 gold lunas he’s transporting.

6 comments:

  1. Oooh, good find. Those tables will fit quite nicely into the World of Broadsword campaign I'm going to run one of these days.

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  2. Nice!

    Although, I noticed the Wenching uses 3d10 for some reason, which will produce a non-uniform probability distribution. Not sure if this is desirable or not.

    I'd recommend 1d3/1d10 percentile style (1d3 for tens, 1d10 for ones).
    That way all the outcomes on the table are just as likely.

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  3. Oh fun! I'm nearly done with Red Nails (have been reading all of REH's Conan stories in chronological order (order penned)) and have been thinking that a random occurrence table, coupled with the old school 100gp / month cost of living expenses and XP / gp spent in a "frivolous" way, might add some neat spice.

    Good find James. Thanks.

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  4. Another great find! Snagged and will use soon!

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  5. What a great document, and those tables look like a lot of fun for any system. I'll be printing out Savage Sword and giving it a read-through ASAP.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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  6. The wenching table does seem to be conscious of its non-uniform distribution - the items in 10-20 are less exceptional than those outside it. I've always had a fondness for normal distributions on random event tables, because they allow the tables to encompass events that must be quite rare, and feel slightly less like drawing a card from Community Chest. (Yay, second place in yet another beauty contest.)

    I do find the inclusion of "You are accused of thievery, and you are guilty" a little off-putting, though. Everything else in the table either describes a situation that finds the character, or a natural consequence of wenching. Forcing a character to have stolen something bothers me a bit.

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