5E RFtLW and Ravinica "suggestion" tables

R_J_K75

Explorer
Rising From the Last War and Ravnica both have significant space dedicated to what I'll call suggestion tables, Roll 1d10 to see...theres an old crone in a lightning rail car eating prunes from a rusted rations tin, as she meets your gaze she looks away then runs for the head car. To me theres too much of this. If there was a short chapter to explain how to come up with hooks Id be OK but IMO too much space in these books dedicated to these tables. I dont need WotC to hold my hand through the entire book. Thoughts?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
There has already been plenty of things written in the past about how to "come up with" plot hooks. We don't need another chapter written about the process of doing it. However, there are plenty of players for whom inventing plothooks is not a strong suit, especially ones specific to the setting for which the book is placed. So having lists of setting specific plothooks to pull from is probably more useful to more people than it might be for you.

I for one know how to come up with ideas... I just don't often feel like the ideas I come up with are as interesting or creative as the ones I get from other people. The same way that I could write all my own adventures for my players, but I know other writers are better at it and come with more compelling characters and stories. So by the same token I wouldn't necessarily want a book that tells me how to write my own adventures when I instead could get one that had a grand adventure already written out.

Some people don't want or need any of the 5E adventure path books and instead just make up their own-- just like you don't want or need charts of plot hooks and can just invent your own. But it's the rest of us who do find them useful that WotC is catering to. And that's true with all their books, they aren't writing them for the advanced or master players, they're writing them for the new, inexperienced, or regular ones.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
There has already been plenty of things written in the past about how to "come up with" plot hooks. We don't need another chapter written about the process of doing it. However, there are plenty of players for whom inventing plothooks is not a strong suit, especially ones specific to the setting for which the book is placed. So having lists of setting specific plothooks to pull from is probably more useful to more people than it might be for you.

I for one know how to come up with ideas... I just don't often feel like the ideas I come up with are as interesting or creative as the ones I get from other people. The same way that I could write all my own adventures for my players, but I know other writers are better at it and come with more compelling characters and stories. So by the same token I wouldn't necessarily want a book that tells me how to write my own adventures when I instead could get one that had a grand adventure already written out.

Some people don't want or need any of the 5E adventure path books and instead just make up their own-- just like you don't want or need charts of plot hooks and can just invent your own. But it's the rest of us who do find them useful that WotC is catering to. And that's true with all their books, they aren't writing them for the advanced or master players, they're writing them for the new, inexperienced, or regular ones.
I understand their need and usefulness but its the real estate in the books that theyre taking up that is my concern. Couldnt they do that in a web enhancement, (do they still do those), or DM Guild?
 

MarkB

Hero
I understand their need and usefulness but its the real estate in the books that theyre taking up that is my concern. Couldnt they do that in a web enhancement, (do they still do those), or DM Guild?
The whole point of tables like this is that you can reach for them on the spur of the moment at the table, when your game takes an unexpected turn and you need some inspiration right now. Putting them on a website, or locked away where most people won't even notice them, defeats the purpose.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
These kinds of tables are valuable setting material imo. To me it's important to convey what a setting is about, the types of conflicts that happen there, and what ideas a setting explores. To me this info is far more important than superfluous details about what the names of the inns are or what type of pie they serve.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I understand their need and usefulness but its the real estate in the books that theyre taking up that is my concern. Couldnt they do that in a web enhancement, (do they still do those), or DM Guild?
Nah, this is one of the big selling points of the hardcover book.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
These kinds of tables are valuable setting material imo. To me it's important to convey what a setting is about, the types of conflicts that happen there, and what ideas a setting explores. To me this info is far more important than superfluous details about what the names of the inns are or what type of pie they serve.
Agree. Also for pie, it doesn't matter what kid it is. The only thing that matters is that an orc is guarding it and you want it.
 

DWChancellor

Kobold Enthusiast
I think how useful these tables are is a function of (a) how you like to DM, and (b) how much time you have to DM.

As a parent with a full time job I've found myself warming to tables like these. They're essential. When I have the time I make my own tables so I can be prepared for odd occurrences in game too. This is how I generated all the NPCs and locations for the first arc of my current campaign (NPC trait tables + location random aspect tables, then refine from there).

I'd also like to echo others-- good tables provide the "feel" of something as much as a tool to use when encountering it.
 

MarkB

Hero
They came in handy for me this evening. After emerging from a long trip through the Mournland with a number of different clues to follow, I had no real idea which path the players would take, and when the wound up in Sharn, seeking out House contacts for information, the tables were useful for coming up with a suitable quid pro quo mini-quest on the spur of the moment, complete with names of the people and locations involved.
 

Eltab

Explorer
I just looked through Acquisitions Inc, and the 'random stuff' tables with setting-specific entries helps me understand the tone and feel of a campaign in that genre. So yes I like the tables, but I can see that a minimum density of unique entries should be maintained - not tables of mostly generic filler.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
Putting them on a website, or locked away where most people won't even notice them, defeats the purpose.
They did alot of web enhancements for 3E from 2000-2008, which I downloaded and printed threw them in a binder and used them alot. With social media and streaming sites I guess they are getting away from this type of thing so maybe your right that most people wont find them. I know I rarely go. On WotC website anymore.
 

MarkB

Hero
They did alot of web enhancements for 3E from 2000-2008, which I downloaded and printed threw them in a binder and used them alot. With social media and streaming sites I guess they are getting away from this type of thing so maybe your right that most people wont find them. I know I rarely go. On WotC website anymore.
Yeah, I've played and run 5e since the public playtest, and I don't think I've ever visited the DM's Guild.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
Yeah, I've played and run 5e since the public playtest, and I don't think I've ever visited the DM's Guild.
Their website is pretty hard to find things on, dont think theres alot there as far as I can tell without going to D&D beyond, which I barely unless it shows up on my google feed.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
To me theres too much of this. If there was a short chapter to explain how to come up with hooks Id be OK but IMO too much space in these books dedicated to these tables. I dont need WotC to hold my hand through the entire book. Thoughts?
My thoughts: It just goes to show how different people are. I love the suggestion tables because they help me come up with stuff I would never have thought of on my own. It's too easy (for me) to get stuck in a rut and keep trotting out variations on the same old thing.
 

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