Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Moldvay-esque Adventure Helper!

Everybody has his or her favorite authors and game designers. For me, Tom Moldvay is one of those game designers who influenced my role playing and my writing. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson may have opened up the dungeon for me, and I started playing the Red Box Basic D&D edited by Frank Mentzer. But for lost cities, islands of dinosaurs and Clark Ashton Smith in my Dungeons and Dragons, that was Tom Moldvay .

And then there was Lords of Creation.

Every gamer has their guilty favorites. Lords of Creation is one of mine. I bought it for $10 at a long gone toy store at a lone gone shopping mall. This was the deep immersion to the zany world of Tom Moldvay. This game awoke my appreciation for the weird and bizarre in RPGs. One of the best descriptions of the game is here.

Submitted for your approval is a table designed to add a little Moldvay feel to any scenario. Roll a couple times on the table and let the fur fly!

The Moldvay-esque Adventure Helper!

Roll a d20

1 A portal opens to a random elemental plane: Roll a d6:
  1. Earth
  2. Air
  3. Fire
  4. Water
  5. Elemental Blend
  6. GM created elemental plane.

2 The Wild Hunt attacks! 1d3 Hounds and assorted beasties per player.

3 Anachronistic devices added to treasure-troves.

4 Strange prophetic dreams begin for the most intelligent player in the party. They can be useful, terrifying or both.

5 The vehicle the characters are traveling in is intelligent or a transforming robot.

6 A portal to the Plane of Shadow opens! Roll a d6:
  1. Terrifying visions
  2. Players take cold damage per GM choice
  3. 1d6 Shadows attack
  4. Shadow maelstrom! Everyone sucked into the Plane of Shadows
  5. A random player becomes haunted by an Schattendoppleganger
  6. Nothing, just some trippy descriptive passages

7 Ghouls attack! 1d6 Ghouls attack the party.

8 Random famous historical or fictional character interacts with the PCs.

9 Different versions of a creature or character meet and fight!

10 Genre mash. Add an unusual genre scene in the scenario. Think gun slinging orcs, cyborg elves, biotech dungeons, and haunted graveyard in a post apocalyptic city.

11 A portal to a parallel earth opens! GM Choice where it leads. Nazis are probably involved. Fricking Nazis.

12 A mysterious benefactor and/or their adversary choose to use the PCs are their representative in a grand conflict.

13 Random gates are littered through the campaign world.

14 A portal to the Realms of the Gods opens. Roll 1d12 for Mythos:
  1. Greco Roman
  2. Egyptian
  3. Chinese
  4. Japanese
  5. Babylonian/Sumerian
  6. Celtic
  7. American (North, Central, and/or South)
  8. Vodoun (The Loas)
  9. Pick a lesser known Earth Pantheon
  10. Animal, Plant, or Elemental Lords
  11. Lovecraftian Entities. This is not of the good.
  12. GM Created Pantheon or Neutral Ground
15 A portal opens that leads to a planet across the galaxy

16 Suddenly, dinosaurs attack! I got nothing. Throw a bunch of them at the PCs.

17 Have a sense or section of the scenario that is a tribute/homage to a popular book, movie or TV show.

18 Take every monster book in your RPG collection. Pick 5-15 monsters and sprinkle them throughout the scenario however you can.

19 A portal to a world based on a fictional setting opens. This can be an exact simulation of the setting, or one that is darker or lighter than the actual setting.

20 GMs Choice. Get as weird as you want. Some of my favorite moments in the Lords of Creation are scenes in the modules that make you say "WTF?"


Jeff Rients said...

Man, this chart is sweet as honey! I think you've channeled that Moldvay vibe very distinctively.

Sean said...

I agree. Issue #10 of Fight On! will be dedicated to Mr. Moldvay, and we'd like to put this table in the issue, if you are willing. Contact us at if your boat is floated by this idea. Thanks!