Using Generators by Taking a 5 Minute Break
Using Random Tools

Using Generators by Taking a 5 Minute Break

Duncan Thomson

Sometimes you need to reset a game session,  deal with an unexpected turn or gather your thoughts.

That's where a short break comes in.

[cover from Medieval Fantasy City Gen. Perfect to create for a short break]

The 5 Minute Break

In RPG games it's common for a short break to happen, for a cup of tea, a toilet break, or someone has to take a call.

For one of my old weekly groups a trip to the local shop was a requirement each week.

If needed, these are a perfect time for a Games Master to regroup and reset. New plans might be needed, an encounter given stats, a city created or a quick talk with one of the players. Gathering your thoughts, making sense of notes, thinking through implications of character actions.

And it's a perfect time to use some random tables or tools. Material to support a slightly altered plan or new characters and locations to deal with unexpected situations.

Random Things to do in a Short Break

Here are some suggestions for ways to use random generators in a quick break. For actual generators there are several Guides at Rand Roll.

  • Create one NPC or a group of them with NPC generators
  • Create or detail encounters for characters to talk with, negotiate with or fight.
  • Create a map and details of a settlement you hadn't expected to be important
  • Find a few name generators for cultures or unexpected worldbuilding. This could include creating a Names List
  • Create a dungeon or side quest or even a choice of them
  • Create a distraction for the group that can keep them occupied for the rest of the session
  • Create treasure or magic items the characters have won or might have the chance to

Finishing Up

If you have a serious problem and a short break isn't enough to deal with it, consider ending early. Play board games or chat. And come back next session after time to consider things.