Monday, 4 April 2011

Hello, little beastie... - Living table (1) - Entries 1-30

This ties in loosely with yesterday's post on a new way of playing miniatures wargames in heavier terrain, but is also very relevant to roleplaying games of all or most kinds.

In dense alien jungles and rubble-strewn post-apocalyptic cityscapes it's quite possible player characters and units will bump into strange new creatures, many of which will be small and relatively insignificant, but still able to influence the game and add colour...

Here then is the first table at the Expanse - 'Hello, little beastie...' - and it's being donated to the Living Table project at DM Muse, an excellent site full of good ideas for games and fiction. Old School Heretic gives a batch of stats here. Impressive.

I'll feed in the entries now and the table should be up soon. Once it is, just head across and add your own whenever the Muse calls.

Until then, it's a mighty D30 table. Yes, D30. Learn about the Order of the D30 here.

The idea is simple. When an individual or group takes cover, explores a hidden space or moves an item, a roll may be made on the table. The creatures are deemed too small to warrant stats and are at the mercy of the characters if they can be caught. System-specific details are not given - these can be set in advance or, better still, improvised.


Hello, little beastie... / Small Creatures

  1. This creature defends itself by releasing a highly pungent musk, which may cause nausea and clings to surfaces for a period of several days if not washed off.
  2. This hairy creature defends itself by releasing a cloud of fine folicles which cause extreme itchiness for several hours and possibly a temporary blindness.
  3. This creature employs a powerful sting, defending itself by striking and causing a swelling which temporarily hinders in the use of a limb.
  4. As a defence, this creature unleashes a powerful electrical discharge, stunning the victim and causing the temporary loss of his or her faculties.
  5. This creature is infested with plague-bearing parasites, which may transfer to other organisms in close proximity; the infestation is not immediately obvious.
  6. This large-mouthed creature defends itself by striking, biting a significant chunk of flesh from a limb and possibly bringing infection.
  7. As a defence, this well-camouflaged creature injects a mild venom through retractable spines.
  8. This fanged creature defends itself by striking and releasing a powerful venom.
  9. This creature latches onto a larger prey and draws sustenance from bodily fluids, possibly causing infection; it may go unnoticed for some time.
  10. This creature remains in place, screeching loudly for as long as the immediate area is occupied, the sound drawing ever greater numbers of its own kind and who knows what else; if approached, roll again on this table, treating the same result as a further increase in numbers.
  11. This creature vanishes rapidly into a small space difficult to access; if an attempt is made to reach it, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no discovery.
  12. This creature vanishes into thin air and is later discovered in a pack or pocket; at that point roll again on this table.
  13. This creature is currently held in a well-made trap; if an attempt is made to free it, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  14. This creature is trapped by a collapse, leakage or similar; if an attempt is made to free it, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  15. This winged or floating creature aggressively and loudly defends its nest, swooping and diving. The nest is formed of a dry insulation and contains either eggs, young or a store of small objects, either shiny, brightly-coloured or of a particular shape, type or material.
  16. This creature has found a large supply of edible food; if one or other is approached, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  17. This creature is drinking from or washing in a source of fresh water; if one or other is approached, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  18. This creature secretes a fluid which will be found to be nourishing; if approached, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  19. This creature makes its home in a highly valuable item; if approached, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  20. This creature has a luxuriant and exotically-patterned fur; if approached, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  21. This creature is covered with an exoskleton or glittering scales, in both cases of great toughness; if approached, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  22. This creature exhibits a powerful bioluminescence; if approached, roll again on this table, treating the same result as no additional effect.
  23. This creature is all but invisible, and will follow other organisms; sudden changes of direction may lead to tripping, at which point - or if approached - roll again on this table.
  24. This creature is able to teleport away from danger and will observe any organisms it encounters for an extended period of time, aiming to remain always at a safe distance; if surprised, roll again on this table, treating the same result as escape and continued observation.
  25. This docile creature will happily accompany non-aggressive organisms and may be taught to respond to simple commands.
  26. This docile creature will happily accompany non-aggressive organisms and is either familiar with the dangers of the area or has a preternatural awareness.
  27. This tame creature is the much-loved pet of a much larger organism not yet encountered and currently in the vicinity.
  28. This creature appears to be highly intelligent and communicates a willingness to act as a guide, though the destination is unclear.
  29. This creature is not alone; roll twice more on this table to determine the natures of the two.
  30. This creature is in fact a swarm and exhibits several characteristics or behaviours; roll thrice more on this table.

I'm off to input all of this then...

Update: Every batch of entries can now be found under the 'Small Creatures' label.
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2 comments:

NetherWerks said...

This looks like the makings for a nice Living Table like over at DM Muse...I especially like option 28--"This creature appears to be highly intelligent and communicates a willingness to act as a guide, though the destination is unclear." Now what do you players want to do?

Porky said...

It's been accepted and so far four of the entries are in.

I've done a bit of tweaking too, to make most of the harmlessness an implicit function of not rolling anything bad, and to get more chains of effects, more fun situations and some slightly higher rewards for daring to interact.

'What do you do?' is one of the great questions!