Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean Village Generator (preview)

Nothing quite encourages the sort of bottom-up development of a campaign setting over the course of play like a well-constructed random table. In the days before I discovered the OSR blogosphere, the extent of my table use was the occasional poorly developed random encounter table which I often forgot to use. Fortunately, those days are behind me, and I’ve come to appreciate the creative power found in randomness thanks mostly to Chris Kutalik’s posts over at Hill Cantons on Building Dynamic Sandboxes (and his other discussions about random tables and campaign development), basically everything Jason Sholtis writes in The Dungeon Dozen, and of course, as is clearly the main influence for the tables in this post, the entirety of Yoon-Suin. As a result, nearly everything in my Spear! Fang! Raygun! campaign, from monster encounters to major and minor “story” developments, has been generated with random tables. (In the future, I’ll be sharing the details on one of the regions to be found in the Forlorn Plateau, which is composed almost completely of random tables that allow for a dynamic experience every time PCs enter any region in the world.)

So, what follows is a preview of a series of such tables used to generate a Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean village in Spear! Fang! Raygun! using the Yoon-Suin method for develop the PCs’ social circle in the Yellow City. This isn’t yet complete, but it offers a peek at both how Spear! Fang! Raygun! campaigns are generated and, through the use of details within the tables, how the tone of the setting is continuously presented and reinforced during play.

Without anymore nonsense, here is the preview:

Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean Village Generator

The following tables can be used to build a fully fleshed-out Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean town or village. The tables included will generate particular locations and groups within the village or town; conflicts, NPCS, and rumors within those locations; personages who live in the village or town; rumors being spread therein; random encounters to be had while visiting; nearby locations of interest that may or may not be connected to the town or village; and the issues and assets that make this particular town or village someplace special in the hearts of those who dwell there.

one-million-years-bc-1966-007-harryhausen-drawing
Ray Harryhausen concept art for One Million B.C.

Village/Town Locations and Groups

The following tables generate locations and groups the PCs may interact with in the village. Choose or roll a group/location type, a source of conflict, and the type of rival group/location. Do this as many times as you’d like, depending on the size of the village or town. Generally, a village will have 1d3+1 groups or locations and a town will have 2d3+2, but it’s ultimately up to whatever you want. Once you’ve determined the group/location, roll on the associated table to generate the details.

1d12 Group/location Type Conflict Source Rival Type
1 Longhouse Treachery
2 Shaman’s Yurt Adultery
3 Knotters’ Collective Fraud or Theft Same Type
4 Woolly Triceratops Milk Fermenter[1] Addiction
5 Dinosaur Stables Ambition
6 Gloryseeker Band Madness
7 Grease Renderer’s Hovel Love
8 Drumtalkers’ Circle Folly
9 Slave Pens Paranoia Different Type
10 Fire-Keepers’ Pit Heresy[2]
11 Hunters’ Milk Hall Faux pas
12 Cult Shrine Rival (roll for rival type)

 

[1] Woolly Triceratops Milk Fermenters would only be found in Tyrannokiller villages. Other specific groups/locations would be found in other tribes, as listed following: Great Melancholy – Dung-builders quarry; Great Mirth – Tall-house Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons; Hill Panthers Ironsmith’s yurt; Bloodaxes – Berserkers’ cave; Sullen-eyed – Two-headed pterodactyl roost; Muddled-brain – …; Bronzed Hide – …

[2] Heresy and faux pas among the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans come in many shapes and colors. Of course, the most common heresies involve taking Crom!’s name in vain (very common) and invoking one of Rad!’s balls (rare and done only when matters are serious). The most obvious faux pas would be the donning of pants, but other faux pas are more common, such as talking shit without being able to back it up in the longhouse, tying your own knots, or pissing in the fire-keeper’s pit. Other faux pas, of course, exist, and are dependent not only upon the village but also upon the tribe.

Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean Longhouse
Within this great hall, built of the skeleton of horned brontosaur bulls, the  chieftain, his gloryseekers, and his family gather to discuss matters of import to the village/township, such as alliances, war-making, and general badassery. Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans of the village are all welcome to the longhouse, where they are free to drink of the chieftain’s supply of fermented woolly triceratops milk, if they offer their fealty and generally accept that the chieftain is much more badass than they.

 

1d10 NPCs Other NPCs Rumors/Hooks
1 Chieftain Aged, invalid gloryseeker An extensive cave or tomb system is discovered underneath the site of the of the longhouse.
2 Wizened elder Herald from another tribe[1] The clan has taken in an exile from a rival village and/or tribe.
3 Chieftain’s heir Chieftain’s overly zealous sword-bearer One of the chieftain’s gloryseeker’s has determined it is time for him to plunge into a Hyperborean Tomb either to earn his heroic stature or be buried therein for eternity.
4 Heroic! gloryseeker Chieftain’s pantless son of a giant sexy cave amazon The chieftain’s Hyperborean sword is found to be a fraud; it appears to be made of wood painted with silver. Was it always a fake, or did someone steal the chieftain’s sword?
5 Chieftain’s 1st wife Chieftain’s youngest son The chieftain’s slaves demand their freedom.
6 Chieftain’s other wife Captive enemy The chieftain has recently been upon the receiving end of a grave insult against his… Roll 1d4: 1) virility; 2) valor; 3) mettle; 4) hair.
7 Chieftain’s daughter Head slave The chieftain’s “maiden” daughter is with child.
8 Chieftain’s ward (rival’s son) Dignitary from another species or culture[2] After years of failure, one of the chieftain’s wives is with child…
9 Milk-stirrer (like a king’s jester) Atlantean sorcerer A well-aged jug of fermented woolly triceratops milk the chieftain’s grandsire pillaged from the tomb of his own grandsire is found empty!
10 Skald Chieftain’s mother Time to move! At a whim, it has been decided that the entire village must be uprooted and moved to a random location in (roll 1d3) 1) the same region; 2) a neighboring region; or 3) a mysterious, unspecified location faraway.

[1] Basically, a diplomat and entourage. Roll 1d8 to determine tribe: 1) Tyrannokillers; 2) Gigantic Melancholy; 3) Gigantic Mirth; 4) Bloodaxes; 5) Hill Panther; 6) Sullen-eyed; 7) Muddled-brain; 8) Bronzed Hide.

[2] Ambassadors/explorers of foreign origin come to entreat with the chieftain. Roll 1d10 to determine origin: 1) Sexy giant cave amazons; 2) Fanged cave goons; 3) Monks of the Golden Dome Dojo; 4) Goolaag; 5) Gel-men; 6) Rogue termitoid hive; 7) Decadent Zûl; 8) Crater Cities of the Famine Lands; 9) The Brutal Shore; 10) the Pale Moon.

Shaman’s Yurt (incomplete, but you get the idea)

A place where the mysteries of the universe drift about like the smoke of clot-swollen bloodgrass, or the gnawing upon of the strange, jerked meats of alien fungoids reveal the underlying vibrations and beats of an interdimensional life-mesh, a Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean shaman’s yurt strikes awe, discomfort, and terror in those who enter there, whether to hear spoken their own dooming or beg the shaman’s advice on the settlement of mundane matters like land disputes or the naming of a firstborn son. Shamans are revered and hated by their tribe, but their powers are indisputable and necessary for the tribe’s survival. Usually, the shaman’s yurt is a large building built some distance away from the rest of the village or township. It is hardly a hermitage, however, as a shaman’s role within Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean society extends in nearly every facet of their lives.

 

1d10 NPCs Other NPCs Rumors/Hooks
1 Shaman Hyperborean-Insectoid egg-carrier (spell book-bearer) A strange visitor has met with the shaman often the past few months; now, the shaman seeks to uproot the village and move it to a far away location.
2 Shaman’s apprentice Slave whose says, “Thus it is so,” when shaman speaks The discovery of a new hallucinogenic compound, acquired from the anal glands of the enormous Dreadskull River Beaver, allows users to walk the labyrinthine halls of their own memories.
3 Human sacrifice[1] Supplicating villager
4 Psychotic prophet Captive intelligent monster[2]
5 Mushroom farmer Interdimensional visitor[3]
6 Blinded, tongue-less shaman’s attendant Sacrifice preparer
7 Scarring slave Simple-minded Chanter
8 Tattooist
9 Discarded, mutilated slave turned beggar Keeper of the giant leeches
10 Failed apprentice Entranced gloryseeker

[1] To determine the nature of the sacrifice, roll 1d8: 1)

[2] To be used for, roll 1d3: 1) sacrifice; 3) ritual/spell components; 3) simple torture. Roll 1d8 to determine type: 1) Red pygmy tyrannosaur; 2) Psychic Smilodon; 3) Goolaag;

[3] Roll 1d8 to determine origin: 1) Deterministic Dimension; 2) Funkiverse; 3) Rumbleworld; 4) The Dungeon Dimension; 5) The Drowned Earth; 6) 1980s NYC; 7)