25 October 2020

A Very Happy Unmodule to You!

Nowadays, it is not uncommon to hear someone refer to "sandbox," "hex crawl," or "point crawl" to refer to methods of player agency in determining where, when, and how a party adventures, but this jargon was unknown in my gaming circles in the 1980s. We didn't have terms or a precise methodology for the choices player characters were offered, but sometimes we were forced to create terms just to save the time it took to explain it. That is why I coined the term unmodule. It was inspired by that scene from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass wherein the Mad Hatter explains to Alice the concept of the unbirthday. If an unbirthday occurs on all the days of the year that is not your birthday, an unmodule is played whenever the players gather to play without a module. (For those who are unaware, a "module" is what TSR called their published adventures, and what many gamers called their own written adventures.) Typically, if my players finished a module that did not lead immediately into another (and especially if I needed more time to read or write the next one), I would declare the next session an unmodule and the player characters could pursue their own goals, which sometimes meant getting themselves into trouble. They could shop for equipment, meet with friends or professional contacts, plot acts of revenge, make a pilgrimage, consult an expert, get something repaired or specially made, go carousing, pick some pockets, enter competitions, pursue training, embark on a hunting expedition, do some herb gathering, or even go on a side quest. Nearly anything was a possibility, and I was obligated to wing it to the best of my ability. Unmodules were fun, and it ensured that player characters had a part in steering their own destiny.

Any role-playing activity occurring outside the bounds of a module and primarily driven by the player characters' whims.

24 October 2020

Why Another Random Generator?

This random generator asks the question,

Why another random generator?

Roll 1d6 and consult the table below.

1 = I don’t know.
2 = Because the stars are right.
3 = Because of Divine Right.
4 = Because of the will of the People.
5 = Because “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”
6 = Because “I am not a number! I am a free man!”

[Originally posted in Fudgery.net/fudgerylog. I think. Re-posted here for some reason.]

04 October 2020

Random Humanoid Generator (Roll All Dice)

This Random Humanoid Generator is specifically designed for use with The Savage World of Flash Gordon for Savage Worlds, but may be used for any game system and indeed any similar setting. Use it to create the outline of a new species, refining the results and using them as inspiration. If the results don't mesh with your vision, ignore them and choose freely. It's always a good idea to have a surprise for players who think they are experts on the source material.

Random Humanoid Generator
(Roll All Dice)


Roll 1d4

1. Frozen
2. Temperate
3. Tropical
4. Desert


Roll 1d6

1. Hostile
2. Distrustful
3. Aloof
4. Cautious
5. Curious
6. Friendly


Roll 1d8

1. King
2. Queen
3. Prince
4. Princess
5. Council of Elders
6. Noble + Council
7. Theocrat
8. Leader

Biological Derivation

Roll 1d10

1. Amphibian
2. Arachnid
3. Avian
4. Human
5. Human
6. Insect
7. Mammalian
8. Mammalian
9. Piscine
10. Reptilian

Primary Resource

Roll 1d12

1. Cloth
2. Foodstuffs, Cultivated
3. Foodstuffs, Gathered
4. Foodstuffs, Hunted
5. Fuel
6. Gems
7. Luxury Goods
8. Manufacturing
9. Metals, Industrial
10. Metals, Precious
11. Spices
12. Timber

Combat Quirk
Members of this species...

Roll 1d20

1. Abide by a strict code of honor that enhances their skill at one weapon.
2. Are immune to a certain form of attack.
3. Are effective in a team, but hopeless without leadership.
4. Are formidable individually, but unable to coordinate in groups.
5. Are great rocketship gunners, but poor pilots.
6. Are great rocketship pilots, but poor gunners.
7. Are unnaturally quick.
8. Are unnaturally strong.
9. Eat those who fall in combat.
10. Must pray before combat.
11. Never kill opponents — only take prisoners.
12. Never take prisoners.
13. Possess an extra sense.
14. Prefer combat as entertainment.
15. Prefer duels.
16. Prefer ritual combat.
17. Ride exotic mounts.
18. Use a substance before battle that enhances their combat ability.
19. Use primitive weapons.
20. Use robots to do their fighting whenever possible.

[This article is cross-posted here in Savage Arts & Sciences.]