02 December 2012

Bookshelf-Based Random Adventure Generator

This post has been inspired by the recent "bookshelf meme", and by Zak's Bookshelf Roulette post.

my bookshelf — RPGs

Using but a few dice, your bookshelf, and the blueprint below, you will be able to design/improvise a fully-fledged role-playing adventure. Here's how.

First, get hold of 1D6, 1D30, and 1D100. Each adventure seed is based upon SIX books from your bookshelf, and information from within those books randomly extracted using the results of the dice rolls.

THE RANDOM ADVENTURE GENERATOR
For each one of those six books, roll five dice, in the following order:
  1. Roll 1D6. Check the results of the roll: 1-3: use the top shelf; 4-6: use the bottom shelf. Of course if you have more than two shelves use a different die.
  2. Roll 1D6. Check the results of the roll: 1-3: start counting from the left; 4-6: start counting from the right.
  3. Roll 1D30. Count as many books from either the left or the right, depending on the previous die roll.
  4. Roll 1D6. Check the results of the roll: 1-3: start from the beginning; 4-6: start from the end. Ignore covers, indices, empty pages, etc.
  5. Roll 1D100. Count as many pages. Using the guidelines from the blueprint, choose the relevant element from within the page.
  1. From within BOOK ONE, choose an NPC (person, sentient creature, god...).
  2. From within BOOK TWO, choose a LOCATION (city, hex, place, building, planet...).
  3. From within BOOK THREE, choose a PERSON or an OBJECT.
  4. From within BOOK FOUR, choose an NPC.
  5. From within BOOK FIVE, choose a LOCATION.
  6. From within BOOK SIX, pick up something interesting (this is the 'freer' choice you get): a situation, a political party, a magical item, a cult, a disease, weather type... anything!

Then using the SIX elements from the above list, fill in the following blueprint:

The Player Characters start their adventure in their home town/hex/current location in the campaign. __________ asks the PCs to go to __________ to retrieve __________. The PCs will end up fighting against __________ in __________. During the course of the adventure, __________ will feature prominently.


OK, let's get started...

Let's use this system to draw up two adventure seeds. We will see that the first one will end up having the potential for a fully-fledged campaign!

ADVENTURE SEED No.1
(no cheating, genuine rolls!)


Book ONE
a: 6- bottom shelf
b: 5- start from right
c: 12- book No.12: The Complete Dreamlands (Chaosium)
d: 4- start from end
e: 94- p.94 from the end, i.e., p91
Guardians of the Crystallizers of Dreams (Lesser Servitor Race)  — see the picture above.

Book TWO
a: 6- bottom shelf
b: 6- start from right
c: 5- book No.5: Borderlands & Beyond (Moon Design)
d: 4- start from end
e: 20- p.20 from the end, i.e., p278
New Pavis.

Book THREE
a: 2- top shelf
b: 5- start from right
c: 18- book No.18: Blood Over Gold (Moon Design)
d: 2- start from beginning
e: 61- p.61
Bishop Jestocos the Stern of the Rokari Church.

Book FOUR
a: 3- top shelf
b: 5- start from right
c: 20- book No.20: Imperial Lunar Handbook, Vol. One (Issaries)
d: 2- start from beginning
e: 65- p.65
The Senvaros League (a Lunar merchant guild based in Virindum, Peloria).

Book FIVE
Dorastor, Land of Doom (Avalon Hill)
p53
Dokat's Ruins.

Book SIX
Tirant Lo Blanc (Joc Internacional)
p88
Paraula Màgica (=spoken magic).

So here's the full text:
The Player Characters start their adventure in their home town/hex/current location in the campaign. A Guardian of the Crystallizers of Dreams asks the PCs to go to New Pavis to retrieve Bishop Jestocos the Stern. The PCs will end up fighting against the Senvaros League in Dokat's ruins. During the course of the adventure, spoken magic will feature prominently.

Now this is very, very Gloranthan, and has already given me a thousand ideas for a long game set in Third Age Glorantha, using the RuneQuest or HeroQuest rules!

ADVENTURE SEED No.2

To widen up the scope of the adventure, I will add more bookshelves (most of the books I'm currently using are focused on Glorantha). I'll be using 12 bookshelves (incl. comics and history books), and hence a D12.

Book ONE
Dinosauri (Stratelibri)
Cynognathus. Now this a non-sentient creature, so I'll swap it with the results from Book Four.

Book TWO
Atlas du Christianisme, p174
L'intérieur des églises (=within a church).

Book THREE
Breve storia di Venezia, p118
opere d'arte, libri e documenti (=works of art, books, and documents).

Book FOUR
Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol.I
Harry Osborn

Book FIVE
Waldo's Bar (a French graphic novel)
a jazz joint

Book SIX
Powerless
Wolverine

Wow! Quite a difference with the previous one... Here's the full text of the second adventure seed (remember I am swapping books One and Four):
The Player Characters start their adventure in their home town/hex/current location in the campaign. Harry Osborn asks the PCs to go into a church to retrieve works of art, books, and documents. The PCs will end up fighting against cynognathus in a jazz joint. During the course of the adventure, Wolverine will feature prominently.

2 comments:

賈尼 said...

I had so much fun creating the two examples, I had to roll another one.

Book ONE
Sull'orlo della scienza
Paul Karl Feyerabend

Book TWO
The Spanish Civil War 1936-39, Osprey
Navarre

Book THREE
Grand dictionnaire Ricci de la langue chinoise, vol.VII
土家族 (=Tǔjiā ethnic minority)

Book FOUR
Vornheim
Eshrigel the Medusa

Book FIVE
L'Atlante di Lovecraft
Ninive (=Nineveh)

Book SIX
山海经
梓 (=yellow catalpa)


The Player Characters start their adventure in their home town/hex/current location in the campaign. Paul Karl Feyerabend asks the PCs to go to Navarre to contact a person of the Tǔjiā ethnic minority. The PCs will end up fighting against Eshrigel the Medusa in Nineveh. During the course of the adventure, yellow catalpa trees will feature prominently.

Imaginos said...

J'ai fait un essai pour voir, m'attendant à obtenir un truc complètement loufoque, et... je suis bluffé par le résultat ! :-)

Je vais faire quelques essais supplémentaires, mais si ce premier tirage se confirme, j'ai peut-être enfin trouver un générateur aléatoire de scénarios qui fonctionne...
Chapeau et merci ! :-)