Life Is Not Fair & Neither Are Gamers: The Secret to Getting a GM/Player Base Online

Dearest Interested or Perplexed Visitor into Online Tabletop RPGs,

There are many communities of roleplaying game online: free form chat rooms, forum games, Roll20 groups, Fantasy Grounds, Steam Groups, facebook/hangout groups, youtube GMs with a following of players, and Google Hangouts all paint the digital landscape with everything from Traveler to Eclipse Phase. These “communities” are a good substitute for those who wish to satisfy the urge to roleplay when a real-life group is not available and offer a wider range of playstyles, games, and group dynamics that even the most diverse of local areas.

For all the potential benefits of online gaming and the many flavors of it that exist, there always seems to be a few misconceptions about the medium and what it actually entails. I am sure anyone who has gamed long enough online has encountered one of these scenarios:

  • A newer person posts asking about games for a particular game. People respond with games and yet that newer person never ends up gaming with any of the games even when invited.
  • There are days when there are good GMs with good games up and no one is playing those games yet there are good players who are complaining they are never getting into any games.
  • A new player feels reluctant to learn any game except a particular one they’ve heard of.
  • There is a stalemate in a community because people aren’t running the games the others claim to want or people are playing the games they aren’t interested in.
  • A person is banned from the community for an instance that doesn’t make sense where as someone who had a similar offense didn’t get the boot.
  • Politics within a community suddenly arise and people start leaving to avoid or are discouraged to game.
  • There is an outcry for a particular game or some vindication against favoritism or harassment in a group.

As of my personal observation, a lot of these reactions stem from similar issues. Often people come into online roleplaying with incorrect expectations and it is these expectations that turn otherwise small altercations into clashes of ideology or just misunderstandings into a community-wide harassment. I haven’t seen a single community that is an exception to this; in fact, it is the people who believe their community is the exception to the rule that cause the most problems for the community. What rules? What are these expectations that cause problems? If there are so many issues with online as a format then why do people use it?

The answer to put it bluntly is that people have overly idealistic expectations of the communities they are a part or lack the basic understanding of the medium in question. The following are two lists that deal the most common problems I have seen in people’s perspectives.

 

The Reality of the Medium

  1.  Online Websites, Facebook Groups, and Forums are NOT communities. In fact, in many ways, this is the biggest misconception. People join groups, provide identifications for themselves, join events, create discussion, and play with each other; yet for all of that, the group or site is not the community. It is a platform: a means and not an end. This may seem like a huge contradiction. Haven’t I been calling them communities? Yes, out of clarification for what I am talking about. Unfortunately, people treat facebook groups or reddit forums as community when its not. Its a place where people come to play games or ask questions. That’s it. Realizing this helps temper your expectations, people aren’t entitled to games for new players. People are entitled to having the game they want represented. People are entitled to their games and groups made for them. Anything anyone does there is their own choice and just that. There is no expectation to participate; its merely a means everyone is using for their games. If people form groups or a campaign out of using a particular platform, the owe NOTHING to the community they got the group out of; at that point any innerworkings of the site or facebook group have NOTHING to do with that game.
  2. Tabletop RPGs inherently split themselves into small groups. The ultimate desire for people is to be in a consistent campaign with people they get along with. Forming smaller groups is the nature of people gaming together; people prefer to play with people for sharing the same kinds of games, playstyle, or preferences in tone. Ultimately, even the most altruistic and compromising of people can only do so many kinds of games with so many system for only so many people. They ultimately need to game for themselves since it is their hobby. You don’t divulge energy to something and not get anything out of it. It is not anyone’s job provide your dream group for you either on the player or GM side of things. Every game group and every game is its own isolated community; they govern themselves. Nothing changes that. It is as impossible to govern people’s groups as it is to prevent people from splintering off and forming new ones. When people like games others don’t: that’s a new grouping. When people have preferences of style: that’s a new grouping. When people don’t like being around each other and other people game with them: that’s a new grouping. It doesn’t matter if it is explicitly stated or labeled, new implied groups form within online mediums all the time. People get to know each other and make friends. Some people don’t like each other. Some people are toxic to others. Some people only play or run certain kinds of games others don’t want to be a part of. That’s life: accept it. We have preferences; we will divide ourselves even when we already have divisions. Its just the nature of the hobby and nothing to do with the community. Division is a sign that gaming is happening not a sign of a bad community: so don’t panic about it.
  3. All groups have politics. Where there is any moderation there is politics. Its going to happen. People will have egos and your friends could be one of them while you are overlooking it. People mistreat others. You can be a saint to one person and a complete toolbag to another. We all have good days and bad days. Know that when you are entering any medium some people somewhere have agendas that is not gaming; to promote their games, their channels, to boost their egos, to antagonize another member of the community. It is a reality. The group that claims not to be political is lying through their teeth. The person who says there isn’t any politics in a group larger than a single campaign of 5 or less people is lying either to you or to themselves. Don’t trust that person. All groups have flaws and no moderation is completely fair; be grateful for when it is fair and don’t force impossible standards on inherently amoral entities. The groups who think they are the exception or that they can make the exception are the most dangerous as they lack the self-awareness to correct themselves when they do have those issues.
  4. Personality Clashes & Moderation are necessary evils. There are generally two unrealistic ideals that people hold to when making groups online: 1) They wish to replicate the “freedom” that 4chan once had but without the anonymity or 2) They wish to police a group to protect keep the environment a safe place for people to game. The reality is that neither of these ideals can be achieved. Ultimately, there are people who don’t participate and do nothing but make the platform a place people either have a hard time gaming in or reluctant to game in. At the same time, without people who have problems with another we wouldn’t know the group has the option to not be what the group states it is for. In other words, moderation is necessary and the looseness to allow personality clashes between people is necessary. If there is never any clashes, it is likely people aren’t actually interacting with one another (as the nature of RPGs means people will get to know each other leading to conflict at some point); at the same token, groups that claim to offer true freedom can become flooded with people who actively prevent others from gaming and thus the platform itself becomes worthless. The reality is that each group maintains its own place of balance and the best they can offer is consistency in their own policies. Moderation and mistakes by the moderators will happen; the clash between members of a group and conflicts that result will happen. Having both indicates a group has some freedom and at least some standard to protect the platform from being trolled to the point of non-use.


Realistic Expectations and Misconceptions They Shatter

  1. People will get to know you. The fact is you can only be so anonymous in TTRPGs. Spending time with people in a hobby that exposes your habits and imagination to others will mean they will get to know on some level. If you are new and are scared about putting yourself out there, you need to know that it will happen. Entering a game means you will have to expose who you are to others; this is at least as personal as playing on a guild with people. Life circumstances will prevent you from playing games you committed to and you will need to explain why you couldn’t show. Remember, you can’t avoid that.
  2. Gaming on any platform requires commitment. If you are a GM looking for players, you need to know that it will take time to get people to trust they can enjoy games you run. If you are a player, you need to know it will take time for GMs and players to truest they can enjoy you playing in games with them. Online means there are tons of schedules working together and not everyone has the time to put up with someone who won’t communicate, be punctual, and try. You will have to learn systems, make characters yourself, and be on time. The group is not there for you; you all there to game and thus all have a responsibility to each other. GM’s trying to get people to play that dream game; you can’t expect people to own everything or like something they haven’t tried. You have to lower the bar and help people at least be able to make the commitment required to learn that game.
  3. You are not entitled to be helped or catered to. Often people come into these groups expecting people to come to their games or expecting GMs to fill in their character sheets for them and make it effortless for them. Neither of these expectations are realistic. Being new just means you are new, that’s it. If anyone helps you or is willing to help, they are taking time of their schedule and hobby to give  you help. People who are willing to help are a luxury to be appreciated and not a requirement for you to demand. If you want help, make an effort to game with people first and learn the system yourself while asking questions. Learn as you go and ask for help when you need it, you’ll find that people are more than gracious as long as you are honest about how new you are. GMs who can’t find players: try running  a few things people are comfortable with before asking for people to switch something on blind interest. Take the time to explain systems or genres you love to those who might be interested in. You aren’t entitled to players; they can choose who to game with as much as you can.
  4. Online Communities do not grant you complete freedom. Don’t expect a hobby where people have to function socially to be a place where you can anything it will fly. Different platforms have different regulations about what they allow or require; those are to be respected. All groups ultimately have some minimum requirements even if they don’t explicitly state them. A single group or game is their own isolated community for the context of that game; what goes on in that group is between that group and no one else. Don’t go into one game and expect that because your previous gaming group allowed or embraced something this one will.
  5.  It takes time to get good games. The biggest advise to give to someone who wants to start something in a community or wants a player/GM base is consistency. Do you want a few GMs you can game with that will run games you like? Get to know as many as you can and find them. You want a player base for you games? Run games at the same time and keep trying until people who eventually come realize whether or not they enjoy it.

Wheaton’s Law & What It Means In RPGS

The infamous Wheaton’s Law (“Don’t be a Dick.”) is often the basic premise for social contracts between groups. The statement is made to assume that people have enough common sense to not cross implied social boundaries. From what I have observed in online communities, this expectation seems to dissipate. People don’t have the same idea of what the same online space is; the very space they are sharing. People can barely agree on what the conversation they’re having is, much less actually have basic understanding of what is kosher for the given discussion or public forum. And many people (sadly enough) don’t have a basic understanding of what it means to not “be a dick” with an online gaming community.

For simplification and for clarity: here is a metric by which anyone can measure themselves by to see if they have crossed that boundary.

 

Breaking Wheaton’s Law in an online RPG platform is this: to impose your way of gaming on a group without explicit communicated consent and/or to be antagonistic to another person’s (or persons’) efforts in the community or gaming as a whole.

Side-winding games that explicitly don’t allow it: breaking Wheaton’s Law.

Imposing seriousness on a comedy game: breaking Wheaton’s Law.

Refusing to compromise when everyone else is making an effort to: breaking Wheaton’s Law.

Not communicating your own triggers beforehand and expecting people to somehow know what upsets you: breaking Wheaton’s Law.

Preventing or Harassing others posting or creating games/community events: breaking Wheaton’s Law.

Knowing a person has triggers and specifically mess with them without consent: breaking Wheaton’s Law.

Not communicating: breaking Wheaton’s Law.

Actively preventing people from posting their own material: breaking Wheaton’s Law.

The line is simple: infiltrating what others are doing without consent or trying to impose your way of doing things on a group that already is doing something is “being a dick.” If you are antagonistic to others attempt in the community and their gaming, you’re the one whose crossed the line.

 

The Secret to Getting Games

The grand secret to getting games (as a GM looking for players and as a player looking for GMs) is actually quite simple: keep trying, put out effort, and don’t break Wheaton’s law. The advice I would give anyone going to online games are as follow:

  • Don’t be antagonistic to people’s games or their activity on a platform.
  • Save blocking someone solely to people who are interrupting your experience constantly; not for people who disagree with you. Blocking someone for reasons outside of harassment can lead to an entitled selectivity for your interactions; don’t be the one who jumps to conclusions.
  • Don’t let anyone bully you, guilt you, or shame you for blocking or ignoring someone who interrupts your gaming on a regular basis. Some people do nothing but interfere with others gaming and use these online platforms for their own personal angst and reasons: there is no shame in leaving them and find their own place to game without ruining other people’s experiences.
  • Read the policies or social contracts of the groups you are a part of and decide for yourself if you like how they do things.
  • Don’t let others decide your opinion of a person for you.
  • Try to game to game with anyone you can and everyone you meet at least once if possible.
  • Give something to the groups and games you are a part of.
  • If you are a player, make and submit a character to the game you want to be a part of. GMs require players to make a character and submit to show they are committed enough to possibly show up. This prevents people from signing up and ditching without communicating.
  • Always be the first to communicate your own personal limitations. If you can’t play serious games, be honest. If you can’t handle rated R material, be honest.
  • If you can, compromise.
  • Form smaller groups and have games with people you like. You are never obligated to always have public games with people you don’t like or to put out material for everyone to benefit. Doing services to people in a hobby is awesome, let that be out of good will and never obligation.
  • Limit your gaming. Over committing and spreading yourself to thin is a real issue in the hobby. Keep yourself to running or playing in 3 times a week max (in general for most people). Some people can only handle one game and most generally do best with 2.
  • Try something new. Play something you see people need players for and just join to try it out.  Run something you see is in demand to test it out. Be willing to try. Testing the waters is the best way to find good players, good groups, and good GMs. New experiences is one the best benefits to gaming online.
  • If you are having trouble getting players, keep trying. Consistency is the greatest key. Someone will like your games in due time. You just need to be willing to try until a good gaming group shows up. Be regular. Keeping pushing that one game or keep trying that one idea from time to time. Eventually someone will try.
  • The key is to being a good player is reading, taking notes, and asking questions. If you don’t understand it, ask. If you can read a rule, then do so. Understand what you are doing. So many issues and so many “brownie points” you will get as role player if you just write down things that happen in game and bring them up in character later. Doing those three things alone turns a bad player into a good player.
  • The key to being a great player is building off what is there. Create and not Destroy. Good players pay attention and try to be a character that is entertaining to others; great players are able to add to what is going in the world, the plot, and the action at the table. You can add to the world, add to another person’s character, add to how the relationships within a party works, add something to a town, add a name to a place, add a new element to the plot, and many other things. The trick is to add; not undo what everyone is working towards. Not killing off the npcs and family set before you without reason. Not ignoring what is before you in world or plot or other peoples characters. Think of your character as your means of adding to everything else at the table. You expand on others’ characters or stories; not take over, not subtract, and not add something completely out loop but fill in a detail to the framework they provided. There’s a bar: talk with a waitress about a custom order and add a new drink or joke to the campaign. There is a new being: add a semi-clever name. There is a party: add details to the relationships within it. If comedy is happening, add to the comedy. If drama, add to the drama. If there is a problem being solved, add to the solution. If there is action, add to the spectacle.
  • The key to gaming online is to do it. Above all else, learn as you go. Game. Making fan conversion, doing community projects, doing videos, doing meetups, talking with people, giving advice, and any other activity is nice but it is still not gaming. When push comes to shove, game first and then contribute to a community when you are gaming not before. This a hobby about gaming and gaming online means actually gaming online.

There you go.  The secret is out. Game, Be Honest, Meet People, Don’t Be Antagonistic, Communicate, Be Respectful, and Just be Consistent.  That’s it. That’s all.

 

I hope this article is helpful to at least one person in tampering expectations. Online is neither inferior nor superior to in person gaming; it has its own pros and cons. It is not a mecca of sorting out ideal players and group as some mistakenly claim, but it is a good opportunity to get a wide range of experiences and game with a lot of cool people you couldn’t otherwise. Remember, this article may seem a tad cynical only so you may look at the “communities” for what they are and your high expectations of them don’t crush your experience when you are inevitably disappointed. Most gamers I tend to find are fairly reasonable and welcoming individual: you won’t get along with all of them and you be able to game with all of them. In the end of the day though, every gamer doesn’t care who you are or what baggage you have, its just a matter of you being able to enjoy the game and respect others attempts to do same. If you can do that and put up with people who can’t, you will be fine.

 

Welcome to online role-playing gaming and I honestly hope it is a great experience.
It won’t always be great but I think you’ll find it is a rewarding past time in more ways than one.

 

With love and the nichest of niches,
Fauntrodden

Social Contracts: An Example

Within a circle of tabletop rpg youtubers there has been a reemergence of social contracts as a topic. As a result of the thread I was requested to post a document I had written lining out player expectations. As per request, here it is. I hope this of use. This a “social contract” I use for a particular kind of game; whenever I feel the need to run my preferred style of cooperative play with emphasis of cooperative scene building, exploration in a reactive world, and dual influence style of incorporating each character into each other and the setting.

Expectations (Short Version):

  1. Have stuff from the setting and other player’s characters in your backstory (unless its an introduction game).
  2. Make suggestions for the setting and others’ characters; all while accepting others suggestions for your character.
  3. Have your character ready before the hangout starts.
  4. Be willing to learn about things.
  5. You can’t just do something. If you want to it, work for it.
  6. Actions have consequences.
  7. The world isn’t your playground.
  8. Be a team player.
  9. If we say we are playing this many games, that means we play that many games.
  10. You don’t have to be “good”, just try.

You are NOT required to:

  • Understand the rules entirely (just learn as we go; ask questions)
  • To be serious all the time (I do have a sense of humor believe or not)
  • To understand the setting entirely (learn as you go; ask questions)
  • To be “good” at roleplaying (I find the whole better or worse evaluating of roleplaying or style of roleplaying to be little more than douchebaggery)
  • To be eloquent or funny (you do need to be minimally social but you do not need to be charismatic)
  • To be in character all the time (I don’t care about that. I prefer it that WHEN people are being in character, that you respect what’s going on and don’t make it out of character until after the moment passes.)
  • Be experienced (learn as we go; I enjoy watching people learn how to roleplay and decide for themselves what they enjoy in rpgs).

You are required:

  • You must be interested in the setting enough to actually incorporate your character into the setting and have elements of the setting in your character’s backstory.
  • You must actually be interested enough in other people’s characters to interact with them, establish relationships between your character and theirs, and incorporate other player’s characters into your character’s backstory.
  • You must be willing to accept suggestions from other players and the GM in regards to your character and their backstory as well as be willing to give suggestions to other characters and to what’s going on in the setting.
  • Be cooperative and find ways to get what you want in compromise. If you are bored, you must communicate this and work with the group to get what you want rather than hijacking the game. Treating the game as a place for your own personal whims is unacceptable. Examples of this are:
    • Doing something that ruins the mood because you thought it was funny
    • Taking over the scene because you want to show off your eloquence rather than working with others to build the scene.
    • Taking advantage of being free to add to the setting to try to undo things that were already established by other people (such as trying to add time travel in a setting that doesn’t have time travel to undo something you personally dislike happened).
  • You must accept that nothing is automatic and without consequence. If you want it, work for it. I like you having the freedom to have any goals as a character you want, but there will be obstacles in your way. If you want to destroy a country, you have to deal with the logistics for multiple sessions to be able to do that and you have to accept there is risk of failure. Everything will have repercussions that are good and bad; killing, torturing, lying, being honest, serving a particular faction, being the best, being the worst, and everything will have consequences. NPCs will like you and dislike you, decisions of a single player can affect the whole party, the world responds and it does not wait for you. The world is not your playground; power fantasy and endless antics are for a different type of game.
  • You must have goals for your character. Take risks, have attachments, strive for something. Anything. Find ways to tie your goals into other player’s goals.
  • If it is not a one shot, you must be committed to finishing the total length of sessions put down in the description. Life happens; rescheduling is fine and please tell me when there needs to be. I can wait to finish a two off or three off, but the commitment is to finish it. If a single session has to be rescheduled more than three times because of you, you will be dropped since you can’t communicate a single day when the schedule will work.
  • You MUST have your character FINISHED before 20 minutes before the first session unless we are doing a character generation session. The pre-session time on a hangout is important for taking care of technical things and taking up game time for someone who hasn’t done the minimum to play the game is unacceptable.

 

Answering Questions about Power Unrestrained: Savant Magic

Q:Does the Savant get every spell of their chosen school automatically or does he still choose?


A:They receive the spells in their list to choose from. It’s the reason why the specific sorcerer wording “Sorcerer Spell List” was chosen. For example, if there you got all your spells automatically there would no need to talk of getting cantrips of the normal “Sorcerer Spell List” to your expanded one.

Q: Why isn’t there an Evocation?
Evocation has two problems: one is thematic and the other is balance. Evocation is the most raw power school in 5e it has the most varied flavors of spells (ice, death, light, force, etc) and seems far too varied to make sense for savant specialist sorcerer. The main reason is that it has all the best damage and all the best healing spells.There is an explicit balance in 5e with how action economy affects play that giving something the best healing and best damage would be extremely unbalanced. Evocation Savant Magic would dwarf the viability of other casters.

Q: Why expend Hit Points for extra abilities? How does this fit thematically to a savant?

A: Expending hit points shows the caster isn’t just mastering the magic but its tied to his very being. It’s thematic because it means he is able to push his magic to levels other caster can not. Notice that the hit point expending abilities function around guaranteeing a casting. It means the spells he wants to succeed, will; which is what a savant of a magic would be able to do.


Q: I am confused by the wording of Unwinding Power. How exactly does it function?

A: I want to double my charisma modifier to add a +4 to spell save dc for the purpose of casting Fear. I spend 6 hit dice (6d6 for sorcerer) while casting. I roll 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 3, and loose 22 hit points. A bit more than I thought but it was a risk I was taking. My Spell Save DC for Fear for this spell is now 19 for that casting of that casting; giving me the opportunity to make a strategic casting of that spell really count.
Q: Is signature sorcery really worth it as a 18th level ability?

A: You get free meta magic allowing you to effectively cast 2 meta magics on that signature sorcery spell. That was the intended wording. The idea of “free” as being completely free rather than just not costing sorcery points is similar in meaning to “free” actions. Having spells you can add double meta magic on adds tremendous amount of combinations that can make those 1st level spells feel forth and vice versa.Even without combinations you can quicken a spell without limit; such as an abjurer savant can have mage armor always ready and still have the option of casting double the duration if they needed while on the same turn attacking. Enchantment, Illusion, Conjuration, and Necromancy Savants benefit from this a lot more admittedly. Ascribing worth to an individual power is tricky because you have to see how it functions with full breadth of the other abilities at the Sorcerer’s possession; “worth” also becomes relative based on what people want out of the class. Does it add anything? Yes. Can it be extremely good? Yes. Is it as flashy as some other 18th level abilities? No. So that value judgement is really up to the player in this particular case.

Q: Why would someone play a Savant Magic Sorcerer?

A: The answer is the experience. Class is more than just a role to be effective. Its a play-style built in that can give a player the experience a particular character’s story. Savant Sorcerers of certain schools will have very rough lives. They are extreme specialists and just like real savants you have to learn to utilize the full versatility of your cantrips and school of magic. You variety will also come into the form of you meta magic. Savants are about sitting beside until you make those high level spell combinations with other members of the party. To use a metaphor, think of Dragonic Sorcerers as your artillery where as Savant Sorcerers are a reserve for tactical strikes. They have different roles and the Savant’s requires a lot more brain power and attention to the composition and battlefield. The same challenges your character would experience figuring out their school is that same you experience as a player. Its a cool aspect to the origin. I would advise people who prefer portraying characters outside of mechanics and don’t like a challenge to avoid the origin because it may frustrate them; but for those who wish for it, the origins offers very unique strengths at the cost of hefty limitations. That’s what being a savant means: completely unique strengths at the cost of large limitation.

Power Unrestrained: 5e Sorcerer Origins PDF

sorcerer_origins_power_unrestrained_bookmarked

Features

  • Tips on Roleplaying Sorcerers
  • A List of Balance Notes and GM Considerations when crafting encounters.
  • 6 Origins that form well over a dozen archetypes: Blood Magic, Blue Magic, Savant Magic, Medusa Bloodline, Geomancy, and Dark Affliction.
  • Origins made to provide the maximum amount of character ideas for the least amount of rules to memorize, have magic that functions inherently different from one another by creating unique playstyles, and all balanced for being viable on their own without trespassing on other origins’ and classes’ roles.
  • Stylized in a way reminiscent of 5th Editions formatting.
  • It’s a free, non-profit fan project. It’s free.

D20 Table of Aztec Themed Trinkets

  1. A headdress made of unusually colorful, yet slightly singed feathers that can’t catch on fire.
  2. Twelves small, green stones; five of which contain the sign of the sun and others contain the sign of blood.
  3. A small, elliptical wooden bowl with blotches of crimson dotting the serpent carved inside of it’s basin.
  4. A bright orange and yellow dahlias that never withers and has segments of poetry written in an ancient language written on the under side of its petals and stalk.
  5. A small, metallic circle plate with a sun carved in its middle; the constellations line its outside.
  6. A small skull with the spirit of a slave in it who often mourns the fact they were so close to finally being freed from slavery.
  7. A perfectly preserved heart of an unidentified animal.
  8. An idol of a small heron that fell from a mountain shrine during a landslide; lightning strikes near it roughly once a month.
  9. A stone dagger with, “Our Lord, the Flayed One” engraved onto it.
  10. A cloth emblazoned with an eagle and owned by a dead warrior from a nearby tribe who vowed to kill the priesthood.
  11. A golden chest piece too thin to offer protection with a jagged tooth face carved into it.
  12. A gallon container made of a special cacao wood that gives every bit of alcohol a slight chocolate bitterness to it.
  13. A headdress and suit made of a jaguar.
  14. A ceramic monkey with a human face and the words, “Cursed Tribe” written on it.
  15. A potted shard with maps of underground rivers and caverns, where rain bringing rituals took place.
  16. A small snail shell that the sound of light rain can be heard in at any time.
  17. Six chunks of obsidian that are said to have the blood of a double headed serpent stained onto them.
  18. A hand-sized fish scale with a hook inside it; the color is that of human skin.
  19. A small pearl-like ornament with the tears of children kept inside it for good luck.
  20. A pouch of maize seeds that grow when implanted in human flesh.

D20 Table of Dwarven themed Trinkets

  1.  A small, ripped cloth sewn together with strange hairs that makes you feel warm no matter how cold it is.
  2. A set of marble cylinders with ink etches of ancient, well-bearded kings.
  3. The femur bone of an old warrior awaiting to be made into a maul by the blacksmith whose name is carved into it.
  4. A small piece of magenta ore whose properties have not yet been discovered.
  5. A jewel encrusted leather sleeve made for an axe blade.
  6. Three mugs each with the names of three clansmen who all died of unknown causes.
  7. A string of petrified mole rats all made into a dangling net.
  8. A climber’s set of an old explorer that bears an usual fungus growing in its weaves.
  9. A set of gloves with runes on them that glow whenever in the presence of lava veins.
  10. A set of obsidian surgical equipment.
  11. A broken stopwatch with a journal entry of a wizard etched into its inner-workings.
  12. A small scroll containing the paths of many refugees that escaped to the surface. There is an area of just black where its states: “Beloved Enemy.”
  13. A sixth metal finger that attaches to the hand via small rope devices and runes implanted under the skin. It is fully functional.
  14. Small pile of glass shards in a pouch that do not scratch the flesh; they reassemble into a pile when poured onto the ground.
  15. A firm jacket with hidden pockets with places for storing vials and daggers. The lining constantly smells of salt beds and a fresh Mediterranean wind.
  16. A helmet of a fallen nation’s soldier with the hole that appears as if it was stabbed outwards rather into the frame.
  17. A coat of fur; it dyed with patterns telling the stories of people hunting now extinct beasts.
  18. A stone sphere that nullifies echoes in caverns when held up in the air.
  19. A map of tunnels that leads to every major politician’s house within the country.
  20. A sling that creates the sound of a flock of birds calling to one another when spun around.

Basic 5E Random Character Generator

  1. Roll for Race, Class, and Background
  2. Roll for Bond, Ideal, and Flaw

5th Edition PHB & DMG Races Percentile Chart  (2d10s: 10=0)

  • 0-4 Forest Gnome (PHB Pg. 35)
  •  5-14 Aasimar (DMG 286)
  • 15-19 Mountain Dwarf (PHB Pg. 20)
  • 20-24 Stout Halfling (PHB Pg. 23)
  • 25-29 Drow (PHB Pg. 23)
  •  30-34 High Elf (PHB Pg. 23)
  •  35-39 Half-Orc (PHB Pg. 40)
  •  40-49 Tiefling (PHB Pg. 42)
  •  50-59 Human (PHB Pg. 24)
  •  60-64 Eladrin (DMG 286)
  •  65-69 Rock Gnome (PHB Pg. 35)
  • 70-74 Wood Elf (PHB Pg. 23)
  • 75-79 Hill Dwarf (PHB Pg. 20)
  •  80-84 Half-Elf (PHB Pg. 38)
  •  85-94 Dragonborn (PHB Pg. 32)
  •  95-99 Lightfoot Halfling (PHB Pg. 23)

 

D12 Backgrounds Chart

  1. Charlatan (PHB Pg. 128)
  2. Folk Hero (PHB Pg. 131)
  3. Guild Artisan (PHB Pg. 132)
  4. Noble (PHB Pg. 135)
  5. Outlander (PHB Pg. 136)
  6. Sage (PHB Pg. 137)
  7. Sailor (PHB Pg. 139)
  8. Urchin (PHB Pg. 141)
  9.  Hermit (PHB Pg. 134)
  10. Criminal (PHB Pg. 129)
  11. Entertainer (PHB Pg. 130)
  12. Acolyte (PHB Pg. 127)

 

D12 Class Chart

  1.  Bard
  2. Fighter
  3. Barbarian
  4. Wizard
  5. Warlock
  6. Sorcerer
  7. Ranger
  8. Druid
  9. Cleric
  10. Rogue
  11. Paladin
  12. Monk

 

Ideal Percentile Table

  • 0-1 Tradition. The ancient traditions of worship and sacrifice must be preserved.
  • 2-3 Live and Let Live. Meddling in the affairs of others only causes trouble.
  • 4-5 Purification. Society has lost the way of the Divine and I will wreathe out the corruption that pollutes the divine order.
  • 6-7 Worthiness. I seek to prove my worth to those around me.
  • 8-9 Faith. My deity has a promise of the future and I will depend on them in times of trouble and blessing.
  • 10-11 Power. It’s the one thing I a respect and desire. I will obtain it by any means.
  • 12-13 Independence. No one tells me what to do; to be self-sufficient is to be content.
  • 14-15 Fairness. An honest business, way of life, and deals make life worth trusting.
  • 16-17 Greater Good. My gifts are meant to be shared with all not used for my own benefit.
  • 18-19 Friendship. Material goods come and go. My relationships remain.
  • 20-21 Aspiration. I have determined to make something respectable of myself in society.
  • 22-23 Honor. Others will know that I am a person of my word.
  • 24-25 Freedom. Rules are meant to be broken and duties are meant to be avoided.
  • 26-27 Greed. There’s one thing you need in this world: wealth is what people respect.
  • 28-29 People. I will protect those around me and I’m not concerned any idealistic ventures.
  • 30-31 Redemption.  There’s a spark of good in everyone.
  • 32-33 Expression. Art should reflect the soul; it should come form within and reveal who they are.
  • 34-35 Creativity. The world is in need of new ideas.
  • 36-37 Semblance. Solitude and contemplation are paths toward a better existence.
  • 38-39 Respect. People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • 40-41 Impartiality. Every man is on equal footing; no one should be treated differently before the law regardless of birth.
  • 42-43 Sincerity. There’s no good in pretending to be someone else.
  • 44-45 Eccentric.  I do not conform to social standards nor take interest in the current patterns. I am weird to begin with.
  • 46-47 Community. It’s the duty of all civilized people to strengthen the bonds of civilization.
  • 48-49 Nature. The natural world is better than any city and should be maintained.
  • 50-51 Choice. Everyone should be able to make their own decision, even if its their own detriment.
  • 52-53 Artistry. My work, art, and expression is everything; I will stand out among others.
  • 54-55 Logic. Emotions must not cloud our sense of what is right and true, or our logical conclusions.
  • 56-57 Free Thinking. Inquiry and curiosity are the pillars of progress.
  • 58-59 Beauty. There is so much wonder in the world. I want to experience and add it to the art of civilization.
  • 60-61 Charity. I will try to help the impoverished no matter what.
  • 62-63 Self-Knowledge. If you know yourself, there’s nothing else left ot learn.
  • 64-65 Pleasure. Pleasure that is lasting is the best one can do in life.
  • 66-67 Family. Blood is thicker than water.
  • 68-69 Order. It is my duty to protect and care for those in power.
  • 70-71 Nation. My city, nation, or people are all that matter.
  • 72-73 Position. Respect is due to me because of my position; likewise, for others above me.
  • 74-75 Retribution. The rich need to be shown what life and death are like in the gutters.
  • 76-77 Adaptation. Life is like the seasons, in constant change, and we must change with it.
  • 78-79 Might. If I become strong, I can take from the world what I deserve.
  • 80-81 Knowledge. The path to power and self-improvement is through study.
  • 82-83 Inquiry. Nothing should fetter the pursuit of knowledge; so much is possible. Why contain it?
  • 84-85 Self-improvement. I will be master of all and not a jack of all trades. To be better is advance your capabilities.
  • 86-87 Competition. I am the predator and others are my prey.
  • 88-89 Service. I take pride in my lot in life. My devotion to those I serve gives me purpose.
  • 90-91 Revolution. The current order is faulty. It must be torn down for any chance of a better system to form in its place.
  • 92-93 Simplicity. To be detached and to be free from materialism is always better.
  • 94-95 Perfectionist. I believe anything worth doing is worth doing it right.
  • 96-97 Destiny. No one and nothing will steer me away from my higher calling.
  • 98-99 Secrecy. Privacy is a rare commodity; one to be cherished.

Bond Percentile Chart

  • 0-1 My house’s alliance with another noble family must be sustained at all costs.
  • 2-3 I am in love with an heir of a family that my family despises.
  • 4-5 I have received a mission from my sovereign that I must fulfill.
  • 6-7 I owe my guild a great debt for forging me into the person I am today.
  • 8-9 My ill-gotten gains go to support my family.
  • 10-11 It is my duty to provide children to sustain my tribe.
  • 12-13 I am the last of my tribe and it is up to me to ensure their names enter legend.
  • 14-15 It is my duty to protect my students.
  • 16-17 I have an ancient text that holds terrible secrets that must not fall into the wrong hands.
  • 18-19 I work to preserve the knowledge in a library, university, scriptorium, or monastery.
  • 20-21 I sold my soul to an entity and now I am trying to figure out a way to get it back.
  • 22-23 My life’s work is a specific series of tomes about a particular lore and I wish to complete it.
  • 24-25 I’ve been searching my whole life to answer a single personal question.
  • 26-27 I want to find the person who captivated me during my travels in a foreign land.
  • 28-29 The common folk must see me as a hero of the people.
  • 30-31 I am trying to relive the excitement of a former adventure I had in the better days with another crew.
  • 32-33 I will escape the memory of the death of my crew, captain, and ship.
  • 34-35 I would still lay down life for those I served with and I want to find a way to promote their goals even though I can no longer be among them.
  • 36-37 I lost my honor in the army; now this is the only choice I have.
  • 38-39 I escaped my life of poverty by robbing an important person, and I’ve wanted for it.
  • 40-41 I’ll never forget the crushing defeat my company suffered and the enemies who dealt it.
  • 42-43 I am sponsoring an orphanage to keep others from what I was forced to deal with.
  • 44-45 My town or my city is my home, and I’ll fight to defend it.
  • 46-47 I owe a debt I can never repay to the person who took pity on me.
  • 48-49 No one should have to endure the things I have.
  • 50-51 I seek to preserve a sacred text that my enemies consider heretical and seek to destroy.
  • 52-53 Nothing is more important than other members of my heritage, order, or associations.
  • 54-55 Should my discovery come to light, it could bring ruin to the world.
  • 56-57 My isolation gave me great insight into a great evil that only I can destroy.
  • 58-59 I learned too much about an organization and now I am caught up in their plots.
  • 60-61 I created a great work for someone, and then found them unworthy to receive it. I’m still looking for someone worthy.
  • 62-63 I suffer visions of a coming disaster and will do anything I can to stop it.
  •  64-65 I will face any challenge to win the approval of my family.
  • 66-67 I would die to recover an ancient relic of my faith that was lost long ago.
  • 68-69 I have a family, but I have no idea where they are. One day, I hope to see them again.
  • 70-71 A proud noble once gave me a horrible beating, and I will take my revenge on any bully I encounter.
  • 72-73 There are few people I must protect above all else.
  • 74-75 I will do anything to prove myself the better to my hated rival.
  • 76-77 I idolize a hero of the old tales and measure my deeds deeds against that person’s.
  • 78-79 I will become the greatest of my craft that ever lived; dealing with others I have heard of in the process.
  • 80-81 I want to undo the reputation I have for a crime I did not commit.
  • 82-83 I’m trying to pay off a debt to a generous benefactor.
  • 84-85 I fleeced the wrong person and must work to ensure that this individual never crosses paths with me or those I care about.
  • 86-87 I owe everything to my mentor and would fulfill their last wishes.
  • 88-89 Somewhere out there, I have a child who doesn’t know me. I’m making the world better for him or her.
  • 90-91 I come from a noble family, and one day will reclaim the lands and title I lost.
  • 92-93 I need the notoriety to make a very important request from a very powerful and hard to contact individual.
  • 94-95 I am trying to get out debt from a guild I owe.
  • 96-97 I want to protect the temple where I served.
  • 98-99 I’m still seeking the enlightenment I pursued in my seclusion, and it still eludes me.

Flaw Percentile Chart

  • 0-1 Despite my best efforts, I am unreliable to my friends.
  • 2-3 I put too much trust in those who wield power in my temple’s hierarchy.
  • 4-5 I am too enamored of ale, wine, and other intoxicants.
  • 6-7 I expect the worst of strangers.
  • 8-9 I don’t take care of myself when pursuing my goal.
  • 10-11 I can’t resist a pretty face.
  • 12-13 I am always in debt because I spend before I can save.
  • 14-15 I’ve convinced no one can ever fool me.
  • 16-17 I’ll run to preserve my own life if the going gets tough.
  • 18-19 I only see the dollar of things rather than their significance.
  • 20-21 I have a “tell” that reveals when I am lying.
  • 22-23 My hatred for my enemies is blind and unreasoning.
  • 24-25 An innocent person is in prison for a crime I have committed. I’m okay with that.
  • 26-27 If there’s a plan, I’ll forget it. If I don’t forget it, I’ll ignore it.
  • 28-29 A scandal that prevents me from going home seems to follow me everywhere.
  • 30-31 I follow orders, even if I think its wrong.
  • 32-33 I’m never satisfied with what I have. I always want more.
  • 34-35 I have a trouble keeping my true feelings hidden. My sharp tongue lands me in trouble.
  • 36-37 People want me dead. For some reason.
  • 38-39 I’m so convinced of the significance of my destiny that I am blind to shortcoming and risk of failure.
  • 40-41 Secretly, I believe that things would be better if I were tyrant lording over the land.
  • 42-43 My pride will probably lead to my destruction.
  • 44-45 I am likely to try to cheat someone first so they can’t cheat me.
  • 46-47 No one must ever learn of my embezzled funds.
  • 48-49 I am a true suck up to those I think could get me a title or higher position.
  • 50-51 My need to win arguments over shadow harmony in relationships.
  • 52-53 I am dogmatic in my thoughts and philosophy.
  • 54-55 I always keep secrets to myself.
  • 56-57 I secretly believe everyone is beneath me.
  • 58-59 I horde loose coin and trinkets; I can’t help but pocket things left behind.
  • 60-61 My words and actions, often bring shame despite my intentions.
  • 62-63 I too often hear veiled insults and threats in every word addressed to me, and I’m quick to anger.
  • 64-65 I am inflexible in my thinking.
  • 66-67 I remember every insult and nurse a silent resentment to anyone who has ever wronged me.
  • 68-69 I am slow to trust other races, tribes, and societies.
  • 70-71 I harbor dark, bloodthirsty thoughts that my efforts have failed to quell.
  • 72-73 People who can’t take care of themselves get what they deserve.
  • 74-75 I am easily distracted by the promise of information.
  • 76-77 I overlook obvious solutions in favor of complicated ones.
  • 78-79 Most people scream and run when they see a demon. I stop and take notes on its anatomy.
  • 80-81 I can’t keep a secret to save my life, or anyone else’s.
  • 82-83 I am likely to satirize those in power without realizing when its false, rude, and could get me killed.
  • 84-85 I harbor important secrets that could ruin my family.
  • 86-87 I judge others harshly, and myself even more severely.
  • 88-89 I have little respect for those who are not a proven warrior.
  • 90-91 It is incredibly difficult to get me to admit I’m wrong.
  • 92-93 The monstrous enemy I faced before still leaves me quivering with fear.
  • 94-95 I have trouble trusting in my allies.
  • 96-97 I become immersed in pleasure to the point of drowning everything else out.
  • 98-99 I will go out of my way to prove my intelligence.