Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Recommended: *The Nocturnal Table*, city dressing generator, on sale for about 10 more hours

This wasn't the post I'd intended to upload next, but it's also time-sensitive: for the next 10 hours or so, the current "Deal of the Day" over at DriveThruRPG is by a leading OSR indie publisher, Melan / Gabor Lux. I just bought it, and after a quick look-through, I recommend it.



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I just picked up Melan's The Nocturnal Table (normally $6.50 USD, but on sale tonight for just $2.60). I'm quite pleased with it. This kind of random-table-heavy toolkit isn't always as helpful as it sounds; for example, as it happens, I also just purchased a different and even cheaper product from a different publisher, which I won't name here, that advertised something similar but ended up a bit disappointing once purchased and opened. Not so for The Nocturnal Table! Here are scads and scads of fun random tables that are generally quite interesting, all geared for making urban environments, characters, encounters, activities, scenery, locations, and events more interesting.

For example, if my PCs wonder who they might bump into on the street - or if I want to whip up some interesting contacts, like just who is selling what around here? - a few dice-rolls provide me with a dishonest and envious acolyte who is selling salts - but with ulterior motives. What's in his pouch or pockets? Hmm...(the dice roll...) 15 electrum pieces, and a house key. (It could have been "a stuffed lizard!"). Or maybe it's an enigmatic matron selling off legal texts - from an impounded property. Or a flamboyant dancing beast selling fine wines, but with illicit additives. A different table offers several hundred slightly more-developed encounters that the party might stumble into somewhere in the city streets - this might be "Dung Seller Oillo Offin (Thief 3) checking his fermentation vats and inviting passersby to inspect his merchandise" or could be something much more alien...or dangerous. The general tone is exotic and a bit weird, but should fit for any sword & sorcery-ish large urban setting.

Lots of stuff like this. Good stuff, available on the cheap for the next little while. Oh, late in the 60-page .pdf there's also a neat little 'conspiracy generator' that guides you through using the tables in this book to make shadowy urban conspiracies. This made me think of the urban Transmissions used to generate mystery plots while in play for the quirky, excellent cyberpunk-noir game Technoir - only, with this many random tables to hand, at first blush it makes me think it might be as (or even more?) powerful than Technoir's transmissions, if perhaps without those tools' very tight focus on one particular place at a time.

Good stuff. I look forward to having this on hand when my own creativity wants either a little break or a little stimulus.

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