Monday, October 8, 2012

4e Forever Sneak Peek: Random Flavor Tables

I thought I would drop a quick post today to show off something from the mag. As readers of my blog know, I love random tables. I take the view that random tables hone and sharpen your DMing skills. They have helped me become better at improvisation, and to be much more fearless. I also like how they can really add color and flavor to a setting or location. Sure, you can always write out a few sentences detailing the common monsters in the area, but there is something I like about this same information just being inferred by a Wandering Monster Table. 

Well, in the mag you will find random tables for all kinds of things: Reaction Tables, Wandering Monsters, and the like, as well as something else that I have really enjoyed working on, the Random Flavor Tables. The Random Flavor Tables are pretty much what they sound like; you roll on the tables every few turns, or every hex, or whenever instructed by the text, and the tables provide a little random flavor. Not a major description or anything, just a little "vibe". These things are very fun to design, and they help you brainstorm ideas, and get the creativity flowing as well. A module's text might provide the full description of an area, then prompt you to roll for a little random flavor every now and then as the PCs explore the area. In one of the mag's adventures, I am using them for Random Zombie Flavor, so I thought I would share that table with you. This table also contains major "spoilers" about some mag content.

About the Zombie Flavor Table
If at any point you need some quick Zombie flavor, use this table.

Zombie Flavor Table
-Roll 2d20 for flavor.
2. No eyes
3. One eye dangling
4. No eyes, but another Zombie is on its back, directing and “riding” it
5. Hops on one leg
6. Young child Zombie holding a doll with its head torn off
7. Zombie chews on eyeballs
8. Zombie child holding a slingshot
9. Legless Zombie dragging itself along ground
10. Zombie playing with its exposed, dried entrails
11. Zombie in rotting military outfit
12. Bird flies out of hole in its chest
13. Squirrel crawls out of hole in chest
14. Has no bottom jaw; swollen tongue dangles
15. Neck is broken and head has flopped over its back; walking backwards
16. Zombie in long flowing dress
17. Elf Zombie
18. Zombie is munching on a severed arm
19. Armless Zombie
20. Zombie wearing a fancy wide-brimmed hat
21. Zombie being dragged by a horse
22. Zombies riding in the back of a runaway carriage
23. Halfling Zombie
24. Zombie with flute stuck through the back of its head
25. Eating a dog
26. Eating a cat
27. Dwarf Zombie
28. Lots of bullet holes; large enough that you can see through them
29. Skeletal Zombie; has a small amount of tissue bunched around its neck, otherwise bones
30. Impaled on an oar; as it walks and turns, knocks other Zombies over inadvertently with the oar
31. Child Zombie eating hard candy, which falls through a hole in belly into the street; it picks it up and eats it again
32. Wears a red satin sash
33. Long, white beard
34. Gnome Zombie
35. Spits up black liquid
36. Leaves trail of a brown-white discharge
37. Fumbles with a gun and blows own head off
38. “Reading” a book; holds it upside-down
39. Worms crawl from its eyes and mouth
40. Covered in maggots

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