After I posted my randomly generated city map, my buddy Bryan and I had an exchange about why I think Vornheim is better than the random city charts in the 3E DMG. Basically, I think it comes down to a philosophical difference: Vornheim is designed to help you come up with an answer you need when your players put you on the spot, whereas the 3E DMG tables were designed to be used ahead of time to give you info that there was a good chance you’d never need. As Bry put it, “Knowing there are four 1st level clerics, two 2nd level clerics and one 4th level cleric really wasn’t all that important.” It also helps that Vornheim is basically system-neutral, despite having some old-school compatible stats listed in a few spots.
However, he got me thinking about this a bit more, and I realized that sometimes it might be helpful to quickly determine who the biggest fish is in a given pond. Once you know who that is, you’ve probably got a good sense of who else might be kicking around beneath them.
So presented here is the first of my random tables designed to determine who the toughest character of a certain type is in an area, this one covering warriors. The definition of an “area” is whatever you need it to be.
Roll 2d20, use one to determine who they are and the other to determine how tough they are:
How Tough is the Toughest Warrior-Type Person in the Area?
1-2: 3rd level / Novice rank with a couple advancements
3-7: 5th level / Seasoned rank
8-13: 7th level / Veteran rank
14-18: 9th level / Heroic rank
19-20: 10th level plus / Legendary rank
Who is the Toughest Warrior-Type Person in the Area?
- Ex-military type haunted by the past; quiet and solitary.
- Ex-military type atoning for a sense of guilt by protecting the defenseless.
- Ex-military type with fond recollections of the glory days; regales anyone who listens with old war stories.
- Ex-military type who wields power and influence through intimidation and sadistic action.
- Mercenary with a heart of gold … literally. A clockwork golem of such magnificent and meticulous design that few will ever know its true nature; slew its creator centuries ago.
- Church Knight who lives by humble example and cares for the needy and sick.
- Church Knight with a hardline “fire and brimstone” attitude.
- Church Knight who is secretly aligned with a blasphemous heresy/cult.
- Ranger who protects the locals from a distance but rarely interacts with them.
- Ranger who protects the wilderness from the “threat” of civilization; known to kill locals who venture into the wilds.
- Ranger who is really just passing through. The toughest actual local is 2 levels / 1 rank lower; roll again to determine personality.
- Barbarian mercenary with a penchant for carousing.
- Barbarian berserker seeking peace and quiet; troublemakers won’t like it when he’s angry.
- Barbarian braggart who talks at no end about personal prowess, especially while engaged in combat.
- Swashbuckler who patrols the night, protecting the innocent.
- Swashbuckler who makes grandiose public displays; highly delusional.
- Hunter of the supernatural; well-educated and extremely pragmatic.
- Hunter of the supernatural; overly suspicious to the point of paranoia.
- Tomb robber (aka “adventurer”) equipped with myriad methods of murder; favors a crossbow.
- Doppelgänger; roll again to see who it replaced.