Random table campaign idea

I had a random idea for a campaign, or at least a one shot. No map, no plot, no prep. Just use random tables like the judges guild and the 1e dmg. The plan would be to create a map as I go with tables. Anyone try this? Any other table books I should have in the arsenal?


I think you’d like Castle Gargantua, Gardens of Ynn & The Stygian Library.


Tome of Adventure Design has a TON of tables that you would find really helpful for this idea. It even includes full random dungeon generation but it definitely takes a little prep.


I haven’t tried it, but it’s exactly the sort of thing I’d love to do. My goal is to run a game that surprises me as much as the players.

1 Like

It’s been brought up a couple of times here in the past (though its’ not completely an osr game), but you TOTALLY need to check out Freebooters on the Frontier 2e. One of its design goals is to be able to surprise the gm. Great random tables too, might be of interest to @Shane_Ward also


Yeah exactly! That’s what I was thinking.

I will check it out, thank you for the suggestion.

This is largely how I run things. I love the surprises that come from random tables.

I’ve put together a few things that make this easier: My 100 Wilderness Hexes might be useful for landmarks/locations and interesting situations during Overland/Wilderness Travel. Each Hex is a few tables, to produce a lot of combinations.

I’ve also done a d100 Encounter Activity table for every Monster in Moldvay/OSE to spice up Random/Placed Encounters a bit (it gets so boring to just have the Goblin Guards “guarding” all the time :slightly_smiling_face:). These are up on my blog with a bunch of other random tables under the d100 label.


Goblin’s Henchman has a system on their blog that talks about a system known as a HexFlower and this system allows for an expanding hexcrawl system.

I have also used a book from Zzarchov Kowolski - built for NeoClassical Geek Revival that has worked pretty well for building interesting worlds and scenes.

I have been running a game using these two systems and have been extremely happy with the outcome of it. One thing that I would suggest is every session toss out a couple of seeds of what is going on in the world. Some above, below, and at the players current level letting them experience what is happening. Good chance nothing will come of them, and they will spend hours just exploring the crop land cause they came across a stack of stones that appear to be an altar to an ancient and nearly forgotten god.