The World of Xoth

Where cold iron meets non-Euclidean geometry!

10 March

The Dungeon ABC

Got my copy of The Dungeon Alphabet from Goodman Games today. There’s already a long list of glowing reviews of this book, so I’ll just join the choir of praise: This is a great book! Well worth 10 bucks.

My bookshelf includes a couple of other (more or less) system-neutral books that I have found useful when designing dungeons and wilderness encounters, including (in no specific order):

  • Toolbox from AEG
  • Wilderness & Wasteland from Sword & Sorcery Studios
  • Dungeon Builder’s Guidebook from TSR
  • Book of Challenges from Wizards of the Coast
  • Gary Gygax’s Insidiae from Troll Lord Games

Some of these may be (long) out of print, but are worth hunting down if you are interested in dungeon and adventure design. Most of them include a lot of tables for random generation, just like the Dungeon Alphabet.

04 March

Random sword and sorcery table

The following is a randomly ordered table of various items, events, names and creatures that would appear in sword and sorcery tales.  Use the table to spur your imagination when designing or running sword and sorcery adventures.

For example, rolling three times on the table gives me “Amoth“, “human vice or addiction“, and “Amoth” (again!). What do I get out of this? Well, perhaps there is a minor noble called Amoth who is secretly addicted to some kind of insidious lotus drug. He has an unknown twin brother (also called Amoth, see!) who commits heinous crimes in an attempt to blame and depose his brother. Amoth the innocent does not remember anything because he was drugged out when the crimes were committed, so he hires the player characters to investigate before he is lynched by the angry mob. Or something like that… got your creative juices rolling?

Update (March 10, 2010): I have incorporated the suggestions left in the comment section, and split the list into multiple tables (each having a maximum of 100 entries).


1  curved dagger
2  Dao-Khee
3  caravan or caravanserai
4  jewelry or gem
5  pirate ship
6  corrupt advisor
7  sewer tunnel
8  temple guardian
9  feat of desperate strength
10  cursed artifact or weapon
11  burglary or kidnapping
12  treachery or betrayal
13  naked female captive
14  perverted aristocrat
15  Amoth
16  sorcerous trap
17  drunken orgy
18  ancient law that demands a life be taken
19  blood-red
20  gladiatorial pit
21  mad magician or ancient mummy
22  old god from the stars
23  Pathar
24  maze of city streets
25  barren wildlands
26  savage or neanderthal
27  girdle of silk
28  elaborate human sacrifce
29  double-crossing
30  smuggler
31  peacock feathers or ostrich plumes
32  ancient chariot
33  spider or spiderweb
34  escape under of cover of night
35  well-guarded fortress
36  oath or exclamation
37  human vice or addiction
38  living for the day
39  port
40  concubine or temptress
41  black
42  dungeon
43  high priest
44  pyramid or ziggurat
45  forbidden tower
46  local guide
47  chance meeting
48  chieftain or prince
49  ghoul
50  pantherish grace
51  poisoned weapon or drink
52  cannibal or head-hunter
53  tent city
54  masked nomad
55  winged demon
56  slaver or kidnapper
57  arrogant noble
58  tyrannical government
59  wealthy merchant
60  secret society or hidden complex
61  carnivorous ape
62  king of thieves
63  slave
64  yellow
65  grinning bronze or ivory idol
66  inhuman skull
67  Zhuul
68  lotus-flower
69  two-handed sword
70  fist-sized gem
71  blue and gold tapestry
72  prison
73  ambush
74  sleeping giant snake
75  Ykhanthra
76  duel
77 eunuch
78 marketplace or bazaar
79 incense-burner
80 voluptous princess
81  raiders or brigands
82  steaming jungle
83  forgotten tomb
84  shipwreck
85  scroll or book
86  battle or battlefield
87  were-beast, she-wolf or half-human hybrid
88  strange stone or metal
89  pygmy or dwarf
90  wine or drunkenness
91  cult or secret organization
92  revenge or blood feud
93  heresy or persecution
94  murder or slaying
95  mystic from the East
96  perverted or degenerate entertainment
97  Urkhab
98  T’ntaa
99  cold iron
100  lost or degenerate civilization
1  oath or honor
2  blood
3  mammoth or elephant tusks
4  legend or lie
5  dying or inherited curse
6  betrayal or deception
7  temple prostitute or temple virgin
8  plague
9  servitude or captivity
10  banishment or exile
11  king of kings
12  desert or wasteland
13  corruption
14  dragon or giant reptile from a lost age
15  moon or moonlight
16  tentacled monstrosity
17  arcane or sacred ritual
18  snake-people
19  heir or chosen one
20  childbirth

Can you help me fill out the last next 20 entries? Leave a comment below!