Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Random Inn

So, I am going to a get-together tomorrow night that might result in my DMing a new D&D campaign.  We'll be meeting in a coffeeshop, not an inn, but it got me thinking about the different DM tools I have access to, including this one:

Not too long ago, Wizards of the Coast published an Inn Generator on their website. It takes the Inns in an Instant tables created by John Hasznosi in Dragon magazine #418 and hooks them up to a random-rolling, easy-readout engine. Now, to create a description of the setting where many tabletop adventures start (and just about all visit), you just click a few times and your background details are laid out for you: the innkeeper's name, the daily special, the makeup of the crowd, and more. Try it

I'm not sure how useful it would be in actual gameplay; most of the time, the DMs I know have a specific idea about what's going to happen to the party if they go into the inn. I suppose you could use it to create a school of red herrings to hide the real maguffin or plot hook, but these DMs are also awfully proprietary when it comes to barkeep names and specialty drinks, so maybe not. I guess it would be used mostly by the by-the-book DMs who randomize everything from town population to the weather.

I can see a use for the generator as a writing exercise: whip up a prompt out of a few random elements and make some flash fiction out of it. Some of the combinations would sure get the imagination working and give writing students a chance to stretch some muscles.

It's also just fun to fiddle with.

Hmmm... maybe if this game does get off the ground, the adventure will start in an inn...

No comments:

Post a Comment