"Coming up with all the different items and trying to imagine what would be helpful to gamemasters. I want GMs to have more fun at the table and if I create useful tables then I've done my job."
This time we are with Matt Davids of dicegeeks
Q&A with Matt Davids of dicegeeks
How did you get into creating random tables?
It all began because I needed random tables for games I was running. At the time, I was GMing a lot of West End Games' Star Wars. Whenever a player wanted to search something I was hitting a wall. I was stumbling around for items or telling the players there was nothing in the room.
I remembered back when playing Basic D&D that random tables were extremely helpful, so I created a couple for Star Wars and my players loved them. Also, I realized if I had a variety of random tables I didn't even have to prepare for sessions. I could roll on the tables and have entire adventures come to life.
Then when my group began playing D&D 5e, it was clear I needed random tables so I started creating more for fantasy. Then I thought if I need random tables other gamemasters need them as well so I published them.
What generators are you most proud of creating and why?
By far it would be the tables in The Book Random Tables: Quests. It was an incredible experience creating 1000 adventure ideas. The tables have diverse topics and it kept me engaged creatively for a long time.
As far as individual tables go I would say "Item in a Wizard's Tower" in the first Book of Random Tables It came together quickly yet it provides mundane items as well as adventure hooks.
Also, the "Illegal Drugs" table in The Book of Random Tables: Science Fiction is special. I spent a lot of time on it creating unique drug names and side effects. I even included the chances of being becoming addicted. The table works well in gameplay and gives some great flavor to the game.
What is the most fun thing about creating random tables?
Coming up with all the different items and trying to imagine what would be helpful to gamemasters. I want GMs to have more fun at the table and if I create useful tables then I've done my job.
What are the most painful lessons you've learnt from creating random tables?
Some table ideas are deceptive. Certain topics seem like they will make good random tables and I'll spend time creating them only to realize later that they are not useful in gameplay.
How do you use random tables yourself?
I use them to come up with adventure ideas. I use them to give the players side quests.
However, the main way I use random tables is during times when players are searching or exploring rooms. Since I run sessions mainly without preparation I have no idea what is in the room or the ship's cargo hold. So if a player rolls search and I want them to find something, I will have them roll on a random table for the item they found.
What is the most interesting random table or tool you've seen?
The Tavern Generator at ChaoticShiny.com is laugh out loud amazing.
What has the experience been like publishing on Amazon?
It has pushed me to learn a variety of new skills from layout and design to marketing. The nature of the platform is a good reminder of how fast things move in today's world and teaches you to always be adapting.
[Find Matt on Amazon.com]
What are your next big projects (RPG or otherwise) that you can talk about?
My biggest project currently is my podcast the Dicegeeks.com Tabletop RPG Show. I just launched it in September of 2019 and I am striving to make it better and better.
Every Wednesday there is an interview with a game designer, a novelist, or another fascinating person who helps us become better gamemasters and role-players.
Another project I released several months ago is an epic fantasy campaign called The King's Road. It is available for free on DriveThruRPG.
Also, I recently released The Book of Random Tables: Science Fiction 2 and The Book of Random Tables: Modern both contain handy and fun random tables. The PDFs are on DriveThruRPG and the paperbacks are on Amazon.
Plus I am always working on new books of random tables and other RPG products.
Where can people find you on social media?
You can find more more Creator Interviews on Rand Roll.