[DCC] Carousing - Paramour Table

CapnZapp

Legend
Note: these posts are copied from Goodman Games whose forums are about to close. Please excuse if the direct copy leads to some wonky formatting.

NOTE: I wrote this material for a Sword & Sorcery campaign using Dungeon Crawl Classics rules. You should find the material easy to use for most semi-light D&D clones: just about the only mechanism specific to DCC I'm actually using here is its introduction of the Luck attribute.​

Well, I'm finally done. I've made a carousing table that attempts to answer not the question "what happens during downtime?" but "who do you meet?"

I'm calling this party goer a "paramour" which explains the name of the table.

This table is intended to be a companion table to whatever carousing table you and your group prefers. The idea is simple: First you roll on your regular carousing table, then you may roll on this table to generate a "partner in crime" (or wine, as it were). This tells you not only what happens, but also who it happens with: have you met a new friend that will feature more in the campaign, or just a passing acquaintance?

As always, if a player gets a result that would kill off his or her enthusiasm, choose or roll another result, or carouse with no paramour at all! Nothing is worth ruining a player's fun. That said, this table is written in the OSR mindset where players actively like "things happening" to their characters - good things, silly things as well as upsetting things!

Designer's Notes:​
I should tell you up front that these tables are probably rated Mature Adult. My Sword & Sorcery games are about heroes and heroines that live life to the fullest! My inspirations include 80's S&S movies and S&S artwork from the greats, including Frazetta, Vallejo, Sanjulian... To that end, the Xoth campaign setting has been a blessing, even though few to no direct references are included in this material (none is "Xoth-dependent").​
Personally, I've always thought that carousing tables that offer generic, non-specific outcomes like "You meet a companion for the night" defeats the purpose of using carousing tables in the first place. Why? Because I find it bloodless and uninspiring. What fires up my imagination is specifics! I want carousing tables that give me details about the person my hero meets! Is it a man or a woman? What do they look like? If your character is attracted to this person I want to know why! Is it some treacherous scoundrel or a dependable friend? And so on... (My mind reasons that I can always change these details, but only if I have some in the first place)​
I might add that, no, while you might think this is a list of buxom serving wenches, that is not all. In fact, I have created three columns, so each player can always choose to randomize a male paramour, a female paramour, or a paramour that is of a neutral or unknowable gender, or simply a paramour whose gender can be chosen by the player (or left unspecified, if that floats your boat). In my world - as per my inspirations - gender is an important decider of stereotypes ("men are from Mars, women are from Venus"). Do feel free to ignore any or all of this! For instance, go right ahead and roll on the male table but make the paramour female anyway if you like a female paramour that acts in a stereotypically masculine fashion. And so on.​
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
I've already mentioned the primary purpose of using this table - to give specific details about who you carouse with for the night (or week!). A secondary, but still important, purpose, is to supplant or even replace the need for handing out Luck points at the end of adventures. In other words, many results here grant a Luck point.

Specific instructions:
1) first roll on your regular carousing table
I'm personally fond of the Knights of the North set of four carousing tables for general use, or arcane research, larcenous behavior, or devoted prayer (i.e. the Warrior, Wizard, Thief, and Cleric tables), and you can consider the combination of those four with this one playtested
:)


2) now to randomize a Paramour for that carousing event. Choose a column: "male", "???" or "female". "???" can mean a monstrous encounter, or it can simply mean the paramour is entirely human but described in gender-neutral language. Either way, you get to choose yourself. I guess you can call it a clumsy way of offering more than your regular bigendered options.

3) roll d30, adding your Personality modifier. If your regular carousing table indicated an especially successful or up-scale carousing event, roll d20+10. If your regular carousing table indicated an especially unfortunate or low-brow carousing event, roll d20.

4) apply results, meaning it is now up to the Judge and player to tell a story that marries the Paramour to the carousing event in a satisfactory manner.

There are a few results that merit explanation: the classes of Cultist, Raider and Soldier represent the regular DCC classes Elf, Halfling and Dwarf respectively, but lightly reskinned for a Sword & Sorcery campaign world with only human characters:
In summary, here is my take on the Cultist/Pirate/Soldier rule suggestion from the excellent "Death Slaves of Eternity" scenario by Marzio Muscedere:

Cultist: as Elf, except:
Chosen: Nobody chooses to become a cultist. The choice is made for you. For each character that reaches level 1 the player may roll a d6. If you roll anything but a 6, the Cultist class remains permanently unavailable for that character.
Hit points: same (d6)
Weapons training: worse (blowgun, crossbow, club, dagger, dart, handaxe, shortbow, short sword, and staff). Cultists aren't trained warriors the way Elves are. Mithril equipment does not exist in the campaign, and Cultists gain no special equipment. Cultists do get a sacrificial dagger used in rites (not worth more or better than a regular dagger)
Alignment: neutral or chaotic alignment only, since there exists no Lawful entities interested in patronage. Neutral Cultists serve uncaring and distant but immensely powerful entities. Chaotic Cultists serve depraved entities actively seeking the undoing of Man. If you are interested in serving a benign or non-corrupting entity, choose the Shaman (Cleric) or Wizard classes.
Magic: Each Cultist must take a Patron, and all Patrons use you as a tool for corruption. (Without a Patron, you are not a Cultist, you're a regular, possibly deluded or desperate, human) Chaotic Cultists use Personality for spellcasting. Neutral Cultists keep using Intelligence for spellcasting.
Infravision: chaotic Cultists can see in the dark up to 60’. Neutral Cultists gain no special vision. There is a price of having an active Patron - having your Patron be distant and unfathomable is a good thing...
Immunities: as humans, Cultists have no special immunities
Vulnerabilities: Cultists all have taboos, dislikes or deficiencies that can make them vulnerable in certain social situations. Examples include a repulsive diet, an overpowering substance addiction, a twisted or unnatural body part, or social taboos such as "refuses to discuss the future", "unexpected clothing taboo" or "must always lie to anyone covering their face". Another one is "aversion to sunlight". This needn't be a physical allergy, it can simply be a psychological phobia. I have an entire list, and force my Cultist players to roll for their taboos randomly.
Heightened Senses: as Elf. Personally, I simply tell the Cultist player he or she has found a secret door. (I guess I don't see the point in un-found secret doors)

Raider: as Halfling, except:
Call yourself Raider, Marauder or Pirate depending on the availability of major rivers or bodies of water.
Hit points: same (d6)
Weapons Training: better (club, crossbow, dagger, dart, flail, handaxe, javelin, longsword, mace, shortbow, short sword, and spear). Raiders are full-length humans with some martial training. Raiders can wear armor, but usually favors speed over protection.
Alignment: Raiders are naturally chaotic, but there exists neutral and even lawful raiders.
Two-weapon Fighting: as Halfling
Skilled:: Raiders may choose any two Thief skills (not just sneak silently and/or hide in shadows) except Backstab. As humans, Raiders are flexible, and one Raider might excel at spycraft while another excels at acrobatic swashbucklery.
Speed: Raiders are full-length humans. In addition, their acrobatic nature and quick reactions grant them a Speed of 40'.
Stealth: as Halfling
Good luck charm: as Halfling, except the Raider gains a bonus equal to his level to his roll (minimum +2) for every 1 point of Luck expended.
Greed: A raider can smell the direction of a strong concentration of gold or gems within 100’.

As you can see, the Raider is upgraded in fairly significant ways: better effect of good luck charm, high speed, and a reasonable version of the Dwarf's gold-seeking ability (I consider the rulebook version, which requires the Judge to know the precise location of every single gold piece in the entire dungeon, to be unplayable). These changes stem from the fact that the class no longer represent possibly the most special people in all of fantasy. As a Halfling, nobody expects you to be a hero or maybe even be able to take care of yourself. As a Raider, the class needs to support at least some expectations of being an "action hero".

Soldier: as Dwarf, except:
Command training: Soldiers are practiced at working in groups as well as giving (and following) orders. All Soldiers have the Command skill. Unlike Intimidate Command does not breed resentment. Unlike Persuasion, Command achieves quick results even when the target is unwilling. As you would expect, this is a Personality-based skill for most people. However, Soldiers may use Strength instead.
Male profession: This world only considers males to be culturally appropriate for soldier training. (Females can still be Soldiers, in the mold of "Mulan - Warrior Princess")
Weapon training: Soldiers are regular humans with no special weapons preferences. Soldiers wear and use whatever armor and weapons they can afford or scavenge.
Alignment: While Soldiers can have any alignment, most have an affinity for structure and hierarchy, and thus are Lawful.
Infravision: Soldiers are regular humans and can't see in the dark.
Speed: Soldiers are full-length humans, with Speed 30'. At least, before taking heavy armor into account.
Underground Skills: Soldiers have no particular skills underground.

Welp, that's it. I welcome any feedback - from misspellings to suggestions that clarify results.

Edit: Now this thread lives on at ENWorld.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Let's create an example, in practice.

Sue and her friends have just finished a brutal dungeon where they hauled away 200 gold each. She decides her character, Korgoth of Barberia, wants to spend his ill-gotten gains on, what else but the classic: Wine, women and song!

The following assumes Knights of the North carousing tables, but you should easily be able to substitute your own...:

So she decides to roll on the Warrior/General carousing table, and also that Korgoth is on the look-out for a female Paramour for a weekend of fun! (Sue did not HAVE to roll on the Paramour table; she could have decided to only roll on the general table, or indeed not to carouse at all)

She starts by rolling a d4: 4. This means his carousing will cost him 4x60 gold, leaving Korgoth with 300-240=60 gold. He also gains 4 XP.

Then Sue rolls a 6 on her D30 and with Korgoth's Luck modifier being -1, she gets the carousing event Mouth For War. "Involved in an intoxicated brawl," it states. "Roll a DC 13 Ref save or start the next session with a black eye and lacking 1d4 HP. However, gain 1 XP." Not a great result, but it sure could be worse.

Okay, so whatever the results of the brawl, the Judge decides this is a relatively poor, or low-brow, carousing result, and Sue has to agree. Korgoth is not likely to meet the noblesse this week.​

This ends the regular part of randomizing your Carousing result, the one where you might use whatever Cariousing tables that float your boat.

Now we complement this result with the Paramour table.


So when Sue is to roll on the Paramour carousing table to find a (female) companion for Korgoth's brawl, she doesn't get to roll a d30. She has to settle for a d20. She rolls a 11. Normally you'd add your Personality modifier (and Korgoth's is -1) but in my campaign I allow characters to use Strength in place of Personality when it comes to influence females, so Sue can add Korgoth's Strength modifier instead (which is +2). Her result, therefore, is 13, and looking at the "Female" column, we get:

"1d3 tavern wenches or maids; for each one there's a one-in-five you make her pregnant; gain 1 Luck if you give the mother of your unborn child a treasure or magic item as a token of your affection."

Sue thinks Korgoth will be very pleased with this result. Not only did he get away with trashing a tavern, he also got to bring home two of its bar maids, partly because he knocked one out by mistake! Since one of them got pregnant (Sue rolled a d5 for each maid), and partly because he feels guilty he punched a girl, Sue decides Korgoth does the right thing. Not marrying the maid (Korgoth loves adventuring too much to settle down), but giving her a valuable treasure he found during the last adventure, a silver belt set with gleaming emeralds (valued at 75 gold). Compared to the bronze coins this hapless maid usually sees this is a veritable fortune, money that definitely will allow the mother to live a decent life and support Korgoth's child!

The total rewards for this particular carousing event were: Korgoth got +1 XP and +1 Luck. Meagre perhaps, but not bad.

Now then - there's always the prospect of having these newly introduced NPCs return later. I tell my players "NPCs without names fade out of the story", meaning that by giving an NPC a name, a player is indicating interest in possibly keeping that NPC around. Sue names Korgoth's paramours Sue and Ellen, and Korgoth vows to return to Ellen (from now on known as "Black-Eye"
;)
in a year's time to ensure the well-being of the baby.

Of course, by that time, Korgoth could be lying dead in a dungeon, or have become Sorcerer-King of a completely different city, so no promises.​

This concludes this example. Compared to many of the encounters my players have rolled up in my campaign, it is rather simple and straight-forward. There are many possible combinations of carousing events and paramours that get much more intricate than this...!
8)
 

xoth.publishing

Swords against tentacles!
Note: these posts are copied from Goodman Games whose forums are about to close.

Goodman Games forums about to close? That's a shame, do you know why? (Feel free to start a new thread if you prefer to keep that discussion separate from your main topic here.)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Goodman Games forums about to close? That's a shame, do you know why? (Feel free to start a new thread if you prefer to keep that discussion separate from your main topic here.)
I found out with the following post, and quoted the public message given in #238. Perhaps the other posters in that thread know more "behind the scenes" stuff:


And thanks for the excellent campaign world!
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Other bits and pieces dumped here just because:

Here's a random Sword & Sorcery theme table. Can't remember if I swiped it wholesale from Xoth or made tweaks :)

Have your character roll a d20 during chargen: 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 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.

Whether this theme will play a role in the fate of character or not is entirely up to... partly the DM but mostly you. That is, as the DM I would not go out of my way to incorporate this, but instead just run a normal game and wait until you the player declares the connection. Several scenarios after rolling a #12 on this table, one player suddenly declares: "Since Bob the Wizard asks us to visit the Elder Kuth desolation, I have found my destiny!" Anything happening in this otherwise pedestrian ;) adventure will now have profound implications for your character!

Here's a different table:
 

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