One thing that’s really cool when playing a campaign set in the same place all the time … well, most of the time … is that the players start to recognise places and people. Given that they pay enough attention to the milieu you will soon hear words like “this is the same inn we ended up at last time!” and “that’s the halfling that sold us that dodgy pie!” and so on so forth every so often. But sometimes it’s a drag to have to come up with new NPCs at the drop of a hat, and that’s when charts and tables come in handy. In this ongoing series of posts, I will provide amusing and useful charts and tables for the GM to use when reacting to random requests for information from the players.
Such as “we call for the City Watch!” Innocent enough, but wouldn’t it be fun if you could tell the players what members of the City Watch that show up? And if you use the same table every time, the players will soon expect familiar faces, for good or bad. Let’s take a look at the first table, that’ll explain it a lot better.
If the characters call for the City Watch in the Niederhafen Bezirk, roll a d10 and consult the following table.
1. A big fat man (Heinz) and his thin cohort (Franz). This dynamic duo is enthusiastic but ineffectual.
2. A group of three rowdy Watchmen show up. Their leader is a big bully named Adolf, and he is accompanied at all times by his sycophantic colleagues Bastian and Rupert. These three are thoroughly corrupt and abuse their authority at every chance they get.
3. Gerke and Otto come running. Curt and effective Watchmen, they are loathe to take any action without first calling in reinforcements (roll another d10, reroll any result of 3).
4. A lonely Watchman shows up. This is Viggo, a loner with a serious attitude problem versus anyone he thinks is breaking the law. Uses his status as a Watchman to get into fights as often as he can, but he is an effective investigator as well.
5. First nothing happens. Then after some time, Uto, Urban and Viktor show up. Thesy are three enthusiastic young Watchmen without any experience or useful skills. They are eager to help, but are more likely to make any situation worse with their efforts.
6. Two towering giants with gigantic beards loom before the characters. Olaf and Valdemar are two Norscan warriors trying to make a living patrolling the streets of Altdorf. They rely on simple tactics, preferring to beat any suspect senseless with their clubs before throwing them in a cell for further questioning. They speak Reikspiel very, very badly.
7. Klaus and Kastor sneak out of a nearby alley. Corrupt to the bone, they will take the side of any thug or criminal who belongs to a gang or criminal organisation, hoping to get paid for their troubles.
8. From the nearest inn, Jost and Henkel emerges, probably still holding their tankards of beer. Two tragic alcoholics, they still retain a sliver of professional pride, which will probably get them killed one of these days since they are constantly intoxicated while patrolling the streets.
9. Grosse Goran lumbers up to the scene of the action. This giant Kislevite is not too bright, but his enormous strength and simplistic approach to dealing with those who break the law has earned him a lot of respect on the docks. Most people leave the scene or sober up real fast if Grosse Goran appears.
10. Gottwin, Horst and Holger marches up to the characters. They are dressed in perfect uniforms, their helmets are polished to a shine and they carry out their duties with military precision. If they have any fault it’s the fact that they don’t really listen to what people are telling them, unless the person in question is a higher ranked individual (professional or social rank).
So that’s it. Simple enough, just use it lots of times and the players will bemoan their fates as they run into Jost and Henkel for the third time in a row!