What I Would Do With A d100

by mshrm

I might use it to expand the rumor table. I started off with a d20-based table, but felt like there were too many repeated numbers. These days, it’s a d30-based table, one story per number, and it feels like there’s a better chance of avoiding double hits. On the down side, it’s apparently possible for rumors to hang out in the table for a long time before they’re heard. I’ve removed a couple of rumors from the table because the party ran into the truth behind them.  (In hindsight, I think it would have been better to leave them in. It might be fun to have them hear the stories after the fact.)

If I had a d100, I might be tempted to tinker with the table. I wouldn’t try to continue with the “one per number” arrangement. That way lies madness. Instead, I would cut the 100 possibilities into bands of probability.  For example — just spitballing, really — but I might set up a table with five “common” slots of 10% each, eight “uncommon” slots of 5% each, and 10 “rare” slots of 1% each. Thus, if the player rolls 01-10, they get the first common rumor on the list. If they roll over 50, they get the more obscure stuff. Anything in the 91-00 area is obscure stuff.

Over all, that’s only 23 rumors, so I’m cutting the number of subjects to talk about by 7, from the current d30-based system.  That looks like it would increase the number of double hits. However… within each rumor, I might have slightly different information for each number.

For example, let’s say 01-10 is the band for “Goblinoid raiding”.  The PCs know that the local goblinoids go raiding, because they’ve heard how Bruno’s cloth shipment was stolen, and then recovered the goods, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there would be talk about the raids. Within that band, though, I can offer ten different takes on the same information. Perhaps one thread of information concerns Bruno offering a reward for the return of his stolen goods and appears on 01-05, a couple of others are stories told by different farmers who saw the raiders leaving the scene, with one story keyed to 06-07 and the other 08-09, and finally, rolling a 10 gets a garbled, drunken confession from a goblin who managed to talk his way into town and tavern.

Or, let’s say that the over-arching rumor category is about the return of Ancient Evil Dude and how he’s looking for his favorite lost magic item.  There could easily be ten different clues for that story, without any overlap at all:  rangers on the move in the wilderness; dragon-mounted patrols flying out of the ruins of A.E.D.’s old stronghold; chatter among the orc tribes; undead on the move; ominous omens from cleric, wizard, and druid.

Obviously, I could do all of this with the traditional d100 of two d10’s… but then we’d lose the pure joy of rolling the weird dice. The whole point would be to adapt the mechanics to give folks the chance to throw the golf ball.

(Oh, and: 100th post. La!)