A Fascination of Dooms
Random Tables in RPGs Misfits Spooky Fantasy

A Fascination of Dooms

Duncan Thomson

Games have had many random tables that have fascinated players and gamesmasters alike.

[Photo by Tahiro Achoub on Unsplash]

Fascinating Tables

Random tables have the power to fascinate and give wonder to character creation or gameplay. The trinket of a starting character in 5th edition D&D, the wild magic of a miscast spell from WFRP or wild sorcerer of D&D, dungeon creation tables for some gamesmasters.

My groups have been fascinated by particular tables over the years. WFRP Pies, magical beans, chaos mutations, the character tables of Ultimate Toolbox.

And The Dooms table of WFRP Second Edition.

Creeping Dooms

Dooms were something each character had, given to a character at birth or in early childhood. Here are Doom Generator examples from a WFRP table.

Characters would roll on the Dooms table, to predict the probably cause of their end. In lore this was given by a doomsayer or other oracle.

Often the players lived in fear of any situation which might be appropriate to their doom. It also helped immerse players into the game setting.

It was an example of the fascination a random table can bring to the game.

d20 Dooms

I'm trying to learn from influential and fascinating random tables from RPGs that have gone before.

So here is a first version of a system-neutral d20 table of dooms. I intend to use it in an upcoming RPG.

d20Character Dooms
1 You shall die in bed, but not alone
2 Beware the bear, in all its forms
3 The light shall abandon you
4 A loose wheel shall be you undoing
5 Your last words will be those of love
6 Your doom awaits in an arrangement of three
7 You will hold your doom close until the final moment
8 The trees love you not
9 Death sends a crooked smile
10 A rope will fail you
11 Kind words hide a bitter poison
12 A song you know well will be on your lips at the last
13 The waters shall not be kind to you
14 Knowledge is a dangerous thing for you
15 Follow not the path laid out for you
16 The sea watches for you
17 Beware the monster that walks as one of you
18 Mud and blood await you
19 Coins of gold will weigh you down
20 The dragon marks you

I will probably do an expanded table in the future.

Finishing Up

What random tables have enhanced your gaming experiences the most?