The genre site Topless Robot had a “Create a Random RPG Table” contest this past week, inspired by the legendary Random Harlot Table in the 1E DMG.
The existence of that table still boggles my mind.
I found out about it from Mxyzplk, and, since I had nothing better to do, whipped up the Random Bard Table in about fifteen minutes. Didn’t win, but did get an honourable mention, which was nice. You can check out the other honourable mentions and the winners here.
As for the Random Bard Table, it is reproduced here for your convenience:
Roll a d12 and consult the following table to see who’s performing at the tavern tonight.
- An adventuring half-orc storyteller who makes no embellishments, speaking the plain truth of his adventures. Clever listeners can determine the exact locations he speaks of.
- A lute duo comprised of a half-elf and a gnome. After the performance, the half-elf tries to pick up a woman, his desperation increasing as the evening goes on and nobody takes the bait. The gnome goes upstairs with the comeliest serving wench.
- A rogue modron, who “sings” well-known ballads in an emotionless monotone. The staff and customers are terrified of this strange creature but dare not do anything about it.
- A gypsy fiddler and his comely dancer wife. After they have left, several patrons discover their money pouches have disappeared. Everyone immediately assumes that the gypsies are to blame, though in reality they are innocent.
- A lillend, who is under a magical geas to perform at this tavern one night a year, every year. Her music is beautiful but immensely sad, and she draws a huge crowd.
- A travelling halfling from a few towns over, who is cajoled into singing some halfling songs. In the middle of the third song, he vanishes into thin air, scaring the patrons.
- A local musician, whose ditty actually tells the story of how he is having an illicit tryst with the blacksmith’s wife. The blacksmith isn’t as dumb as he looks, but he is drunk, ill-tempered, and present.
- A trio of guitarists from the southern lands, who sing and dance and play. In actuality, they are assassins with weapons hidden within their instruments, who will kill a target sleeping in one of the inn’s rooms during the night.
- A cursed piper, whose music inevitably drives the rats in the kitchen and the cellar into a frenzy and draws them into the common room.
- A middling singer who gets increasingly drunk during the evening, and will eventually vomit on the nearest player character’s lap.
- A large singer who is actually a disguised leading member of the opera company in the big city, fleeing from the assassins of a jilted noble lover, but unable to keep from performing.
- Nobody else is willing, so the other patrons will hassle the party member with the highest Charisma or visible musical instruments until he takes the stage.