Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Linking Keyed Encounters with Wandering Monsters

One of the things I enjoy most about building a sandbox is created  keyed location encounters and wandering monster tables. One of the things that proves how obsessively anal I am as GM is the fact that these are all updated regularly to take into account campaign events, like not encountering a camp of guys from faction A at hex XXYY if the guys from A are all under siege back at hex AABB. The second thing that proves my status (and oddly the most time-consuming) is the fact that every single possible random encounter is also linked in some manner to a keyed location encounter . Those wondering monsters have to live somewhere right?

Lions, wolves, bears, orcs, giant-elephant eating flying lizards, whatever. If it can pose a threat to a PC and appears on my random encounter tables then that very same individual creature also appears in a keyed-location encounter somewhere (and vice versa). So if one or more wandering monsters creatures are killed or wounded in an encounter, I immediately update the keyed encounter to reflect these changes (sometimes mid-session while the PC's are planning their next move, most often right after the session. Likewise, if a monster is killed in its keyed location, then I quickly update the information on the random encounter table as well.

This is every bit as true for my dungeons denizens as it is for wilderness inhabitants.

I often wonder if my players even notice that the more they clear-out an area the less wandering monsters they encounter (because so many of the wandering monster rolls now come up with creatures who have already been killed elsewhere). I've seen the occasional Eureka moment with my players now and then, mind you. Like the time my players cleared out an orc lair and discovered a magical sword looted from a dead PC by those self-same orcs in an earlier encounter thirty miles away. But did my players simply think this was just a cool way to re-introduce an old magical item to the game? Or did they actually realise they only got the sword back because they happened to track down this particular band of orcs?

Does anyone else link their keyed encounters and wandering monsters this way? Or am I simply an obsessive freak? The reason I'm asking is that I'm currently creating hex-linked and random encounters for the Expeditionary Campaigns wilderness map, the Isle of the Earth-Shaker. Much as I'm joining the process, I can't help but think I could get this whole campaign up and running a lot sooner if I wasn't so damnably anal-retentive. Is the extra-effort worth the pay-off if the players don't even notice?

Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Expeditionary Campaign: Player Map

 Spoiler warning for prospective players. You might not want to scroll any further down than this.

Here's the player map (without GM only icons and absent features as basic as sources of fresh drinking water) for the Isle of the Earthshaker. It's a relatively small island (1 hex to 1 mile) but there will be several mega-dungeons, a few smaller dungeons and encounter locations, a ruined city, a temple complex and an inhabited village to explore.

Of course, I don't intend feeding my players all of this information regarding terrain at once. They will have a blank hex map of their own to record this stuff. And there's a very good chance I'll have altered this map considerably before the campaign begins (hint hint). But it serves to illustrated the basic outline and shape of the island.

Made with Hexographer. If any of you have ever been to the Canary Islands or to any volcanic island in the Med, then you'll have a fairly good idea of how the terrain on the map relates to real life. Lots of sharp, rocky badland areas and mountains higher up but with good soil, streams, and plenty of forest at lower elevations, with steep slopes throughout. Can anyone tell me the name of the real island it's based on? I know for a fact some of you can.

Friday, 24 June 2011

The Expeditionary Campaign: 15 Things Players Will Need to Know

Been thinking a lot about the Expeditionary Campaign while at work today. It occurred to me that of the two dozen or so potential recruits I intend to invite (the list keeps growing) only about eight have ever played in Zama before. And  back then they were playing it using 4th ed rules.

So here's a quick run-down of the email I intend to send my potential recruits, complete with 15 things they will need to know to play the game. It'll be a while yet before I send it out, probably a month. The delay will give me time to set things up, tweak the setting back to OSRIC from the present incarnation and draw out the new maps and dungeons.

In the meantime, would anyone care to share their thoughts please? Am I underselling this? And if so, how can I go about improving the sales pitch?

Dear friends

It feels like an age since we last got together to game, mostly because of my crazy schedule. However, thanks to my awesome friends in the blog sphere, we now have a solution: the Expeditionary campaign.

In the ancient old days of the this hobbies' origins, Gary Gygax and the fathers of roleplaying games used to run massive campaigns at their local gaming group. There could be anything up to thirty players in each campaign, all of whom would rotate in and out as their schedules allowed, all playing in the same campaign, in the same party with the same DM. Think of these companies in the same light as a modern football team -not every player gets to kick a ball in every game. Someone has to be left behind to warm the bench. or the stands. But even so, the guys who didn't get to play in that particular game are still on the same team.

Basically, my proposal is to invite all of you to come game with me at my house. In the same campagin. In the same adventuring party. Yup, all XXXX of you.

Now don't laugh. I rather doubt there will ever be more than a dozen of us around the table at once. Because of my schedule, there will be no regular time and date for the sessions when we will play. Hell, I doubt there will even be a regular duration. Instead, at the beginning of each month, I'll email all the interested parties a list of dates and times when I'll be available to run the game. Those players who are able to attend get to play their characters. Those who don't get to leave their characters behind to guard the camp. That's where every session will begin and end: the camp. So threre's no real difficulty in having players who turn up only once every couple of months. Their character doesn't just suddenly appear in the middle of nowhere on their own. They've been guarding the camp all along.

Now for all this to work,  with the very real possibility of having up to a dozen players at some sessions, we need to use a very simple system. I was toying with the idea of red box D&D or one of it's clones, but OSRIC (a much improved version of 1st edition) I've decided to run. No moaning. No arguments. No point trying to change my mind. It's non-negotiable. I've already done a hell of a lot of campaign prep so we can get started quickly and I'm not changing it all now. Not for anyone.

So why OSRIC? Because it's simple, combats are quick and easy to run, I know it like the back of my hand, the rest of you will pick it up easily and ultimately, because you can all download the damn book as a free pdf from the designers web-site. So there's no excuse for anyone not knowing the rules.

As some of you already know, I've been designing and gaming in my home-brew fantasy world of Zama for about twenty years. So we'll be using that world to game in. Like any fantasy world, it has its own little quirks and ideosyncracies. So here are fifteen things you'll need to know about the campaign (not just the campaign world) if you want to play.

  • The world is called Edarnia. Sure, the campain setting itself is called Zama, but that's because the City State of Zama is where it all began. The sandbox, or region, we will playing in includes the City of Zama and its client states. The region is arrayed on the shores of a sheltered sea similar to the Mediterranean. Depending on who you speak to, this sea is know variously as "Our Sea", "The Middle Sea", "The Wide Blue", "The Poison Water", or the "Great Green". It seems like almost every race or human culture has it's own name for it.
  • It's a "spear-and-sandals setting". Human societies have far more in common with the Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians and Egyptians of earths Classical Period than they do with the knights of the middle ages. Yes, there is a small corner of the world where certain Dark Age tropes exist (such as Vikings and Mongols) but these cultures are geographically very distant from where we will be playing. And remember, in this setting: real men fight with spears. Swords are for wussies and warriors who like having a back-up weapon.
  • Iron is the metal-standard. Or rather, a mixture of Iron and Bronze. Generally speaking, Iron (which can be sharpened without having to recast it) is used for weapons and bronze (which is very hard but can't be sharpened) is used for armour. This setting's version of plate armour isn't Milanese or Gothic plate -it's plain and simple bronze hoplite armour, as seen in films such as Troy, the new Sparacus series, and Clash of the Titans
  • The Gods of Zama take a very real and active interest in the affairs of mortals. They don't interfere directly, but they commonly make personal appearances at major religious ceremonies or observe important battles in person. They can also be cruel and fickle. Many of the settings mightiest heroes are demi-gods themselves. For an idea of how the Gods influence events in this world, think of how they appear in moveis like 300, Jason and the Argonauts and (again) Clash of the Titans.
  • The present generation of Gods are known as the Young Gods. Some Elder Gods and Primordials (the very oldest living gods) still exist, but they are rare and reclusive. The Young and Elder Gods are organised into family groups named Pantheons. Each Pantheon has its own major portfolio - the Pheonixian Gods rule over the sun, stars and the moon for example. The Mycenean Pantheon (which most of your characters will worship))rule over fire, magma, lava, oil and the like. In all the world, there is only every one God of the Sun, Ocean, Fire, Storm etc. But just about every Pantheon has it's own war god, crafts gods, love god etc. Finally, weather patterns are determined by the preferences of the Pantheon worshipped locally. Don't be surprised if you ever look at a map and see  rain forest right next to a desert.
  • Characters begin at first level. Attributes are rolled using the 2D6+6 in order method. Create you character before bringing him or her to the table. There won't be time to create new ones at the beginning of the session. Don't bother buying equipment for your first character You'll read why further down.
  • Zama is a humano-centric setting. Non-human player characters should be fairly uncommon. Elves, Dwarves and the like do exist, but rarely interact with human society. To reflect their dominance and adaptability humans can freely multi-class by combining any two character classes that do not share the same sub-type. A fighter-cleric, is possible, for example. But not a Fighter-Ranger or a MagicUser-Illusionist. Non-humans don't have level limits in Zama, but advance more slowly: it costs them 15% more Xp per level to advance per level.
  • Human characters will be Myceneans from the city state of Mysos. Why? Because the Myceneans are based on ancient Greeks (think Jason and the Argonauts) and are the culture the majority of the players are most likely to be familiar with. Additionally, Mysos is the only Mycenean city-state where women are legally, socially and militarily the equals of men. Outside Mysos and Zama, sexism and strict gender roles are the rule. Be aware of this and prepared to accept it if you wish to play a female character of any race 9not just humans).  In most "civilised" parts of the campaign world, women adventurers are considered repugnant aberrations who set a poor example for local girls.
  • Elves are residents of the Summer-lands (where human souls reside between lives unless they've been bad and where humans go to dream). Those encountered on Edarnia (and all PC elves) are exiles. This effectively means they have been exiled from paradise to spend eternity (elves dont die of old age in this setting) in a shitty mortal world, which explains why Edarnian elves are moody and bitter rather than cheerful and flighty.
  • Dwarves are generally considered mythical by most human cultures. Where they are known to exist, they're viewed (correctly as it happenss) as the "Smiths of the Gods", and have a status similar to that of clergy. This means that dwarfs can expect to be treated in two different ways depending on where they are: as "stunted" or "deformed" humans or as respected priests. Elves and Dwarves are the only races in all the world that know how to forge steel.
  • Gnomes and Halflings are the servants of Elves. PC's are likely to be the descendants of those who followed their elf masters to earth after their exile. Very, very rare and generally mistaken for (and treated) as children.
  • Half-Orcs don't exist. At least, not as an option for player characters. Only a few exist in the whole world and all are exceedingly vile and evil by their very nature.
  • Your first characters begin the game as passengers and crew aboard a Mycenean galley out of Mysos. Or rather, former passengers and crew. Your ship has somehow angered the Earthshaker (perhaps the captain offered vinegar in libation instead of wine), and been wrecked in an unseasonal storm. You wake up amidst the flotsam and jetsam of the wreck, on a sandy beech, with nothing but the clothes on your back and what you can scavenge from the wreckage. Lucky you. The only peice of kit any character automatically finds is his spellbook. Everything else is pre-determined by luck and random rolls. I'll hand out your gear on pre-printed cards at the first session you attend.
  • If you've been horribly evil in life, then you're soul is cursed to wander the Underworld when you die. And by the way, I mean the literal Underworld. Hell in this setting is right beneath your characters feet. When your character travels more than a few hundred yards beneath the earth, your literally travelling into Hell. Yes. That means most Dungeons in this setting are entrances to Hell. Lucky you.
  • Finally, and most importantly, this will be an "Old School" game. Characters will die and they will die often. Characters will die for doing dumb things, for doing heroic things and just as often (perhaps even more often) through plain bad luck. In this type of game, player skill counts for more than character skill. I don't care if you're not a thief. If you say you're looking for a trip wire or tapping the floor with a pole-arm to check for pit traps, you WILL find it if there happens to be one there. You can all sneak about and climb things. Thieves just do it better and call fall back on their percentile skill roll if things start going wrong or if the players imagination starts to fail them. If you're not sure how to play in this type of game then click on the link below to vist my blog. You'll see the survival guides tab at the top of the first page. Click on this to receive the benefit of my wisdom. Grasshopper.
If you are one of the lucky recipients of this email who has been offered this fantastic opportunity to partake of this old school, juicy goodness, please RSVP your acceptance as soon as possible. Details of the first, opening session will follow shortly after you get back to me. Don't worry if you miss the first session. I'll keep everyone who misses out on sessions fully informed of events with a campaign journal, which you'll be able to access readily from my blog.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Expeditionary Campaign Model (Or how to get all twenty or so my my gaming buddies playing the same campaign)

In this post [link] Risus Monkey makes an excellent point about Old School campaigning. Essentially, most of the original old school campaigns, (Blackmoor, Greyhawk, Ryth) had a floating pool of several dozen players, who would enter and leave the campaign on a regular basis as their schedules permit. In other words, the exact party composition was different almost every time, both in terms of the characters present as well as the players.

Now who do we know who has a shed-load (well, a double-decker bus load) of gaming buddies he'd love to game with but can't because of his crappy work schedule?

Me. The same guy whose last campaign probably suffered quite a bit from the general inexperience of the players when faced with an unfamiliar concept (the notion of Old School Gaming).

Which led me to do some thinking. I have about two dozen friends who, since I moved back to Glasgow, I'm gamed with at some point or another but whom I now rarely see. I'm also about to start a new OSRIC campaign, once I've finished with the one-off zombie game at least. However, many of the gamers in question are followers of the plot-based rather than sandbox-based gaming philosophy. This would have posed a problem to my nascent master plan if not for one simple little helpful fact.

Risus addresses the same problem in that very article. Or rather, he refers us to another blog article on Ars Ludi [link] wherein the author explains how he managed to juggle a pool of 9 to 14 different players in a plot-based rotating party super-hero' game. Eureka!

Problem solved. I already prefer running a strange bastard mixture of sand-box and plot driven games, where there are anything up to a dozen plot-lines on the go at once for the characters to pursue or abandon at their leisure (and which still progress even when the party isn't following up on them). So why not throw in one of those plot-matrix tables the author of Ars Ludi mentions and give it a go. That should keep players on both sides of the sandbox/plot divide happy and give me a damn good excuse to keep in touch with folk I'd only normally see otherwise at weddings and birthdays.

Cool post Risus. Thank you, Chronicles or Ryth and Ars Ludi for the inspiration.

Now I just have to run it past my dearly beloved. But don't worry. I'm sure she'll love it.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Terminus Omega

Wherein I indulge my passions for wargaming, roleplaying and all things Mass Effect. All at the same time.

Terminus Omega: Wargaming and Roleplay in the Mass Effect Universe.

It's not much to look at now. The site's only just gone up. But watch this space.

Random Inn Generator from Inkwell Ideas.

Inkwell Idea's have updated their Random Inn, Staff and Patrons generator with character portraits, among other things.

You can find this really handy generator [here].

There are also options for randomly determining the [floorplan], [rumours] and even the [menu].

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Daily/Weekly Events Table: Rural

A slightly different format (more user friendly) for the table this time. Roll on this table D6+1 times per week when in a rural area. Farms, small villages, the odd small town, homesteads and the like.


01-04 Animals Throws a Shoe:
One of the party's pack or riding animals such as a horse, elephant or camel, throws a shoe or otherwise goes lame. The animals will move at half normal rate for the next d4+1 days (if lamed) or until re-shod (if normally shod).

05-08 Angry Innkeeper:
A member of the party does something stupid that leaves an innkeeper irate, tossing the entire party out onto the street (or trying too at least). If the PCs cause trouble, expect a mob to form as per the result for Burn the Witch, listed above.

09-12 Bad Food:
After stopping off at an inn or the home of a local farmer, one random party member of hireling falls ill for D6+1 days.

13-16 Burn the Witch:
Strange events have occurred in the area over the last few days: milk turning sour, a goat kid with three heads birthed by a cow, people falling ill or becoming uglier by the day and so on. Any unfamiliar spellcaster (such as a PC or NPC party member) spotted casting spells is likely to be blamed. The unfortunate spellcaster will be swarmed by a mob of 2d10+20 angry 0 level human farmers, D4 hit points each, armed with farm implements (D4 damage per hit).

17-20 Burned Settlement:
As day dawns the PCs see smoke rising in the distance. If they investigate or if the smoke lies in their direction of travel, they will come across a burned settlement with the ruins still smouldering. 10% chance of a survivor who can explain what happened. The tracks of those responsible are clearly visible, leading off into the distance....

21-24 Crops/Livestock Damaged:
The PCs pass a field in which crops have been trampled by either the passage of a large body of men
 or a large monster. There is a 15% chance that the farmer who owns the field will blame the PCs and enlist a mob of angry farmers or the local authorities in an attempt to obtain compensation. Alternatively, if the growing season has passed, the farmer is missing one or more of his livestock.

25-28 Dead Traveller:
The PCs come across the body of a dead traveller on the road. Roll D4 for cause of death. 1= accident, 2=disease, 3= violence, 4= unknown. The body has already been stripped of valuables and is D3 days old.

29-32 Entreaty:
While passing through a settlement the party is approached by a local leader who needs their help with a problem. Insert adventure hook of choice here.

33-36 Festival:
A local religious festival is in progress. It will be next to impossible to obtain any service or make any purchases save those related to alcohol and celebration for the next D4 days until the party peeters out and sore heads recover.

37-40 Hay Fever:
One of more randomly determined party members from an urban background is struck by a particularly bad case of hey fever and is at -1 to all dice rolls due to sneezing until such time as her succeeds on a saving throw versus poison (taken once per following day) or returns to an urban environment for at least a week.

41-44 Horse Thief:
If camped then a thief of level D4 will attempt to sneak past any guards and steal a horse. If sleeping at an inn then unless the PCs have left a guard on their horses this theft is automatic. The party loses 1d4 horses, starting with the most expensive. Note that the thief will not attempt to steal any warhorses, only riding and pack horses, mules, donkeys and pony's. They may a thief, but they're not THAT stupid.

44-48 Hireling Trouble:
One of the party's hirelings (randomly determine which) has fallen in love with a local lad or lass and wishes to be released from service. If the answer is yes he is thrilled, sells his war gear and retires. If refused lower his or her morale permanently by 30% and make a loyalty test for the hireling each day. If he ever fails either test (morale or loyalty) he runs away taking with him all his gear and one randomly determined magical item belonging to his master (where possible) back to his lady (or laddy) love.

49-52 Hunting Animal:
During the course of the day, the party encounters a number of wild food animals such as a deer, hare or rabbits. Any characters with ranged weapons can make one ranged attack each against the AC of the creature type discovered. Add one days worth of fresh meat for D4 people to the party's supplies for every successful attack roll.

53-56 Injured Traveller:
The party encounters an injured man on the road. 50% that 1d4 travelling companions are present. If the yearly event for this year included an act that would cause unrest or violence, or if any bandit or incursion results have been rolled on the monthly events table this year, then there is an 80% chance that this is an ambush.

57-60 Man-Eater: As per the Urban Daily Event.

61-64 Market Day:
The PCs pass through a village on market day. Treat the availability of goods as though the party were visiting a small town. However, prices remain those of a small village. 10% chance that one of the PCs will have an encounter with a pickpocket (human thief of D4 levels). The roads and paths are so busy that wilderness travel this day is reduced by a full 50%.

65-68 Patrol:
The PCs hear from a local that a party of warriors past through town D4 days before, seeking news of a group matching the characters description. They could be mercenaries hired by an enemy to hunt the party down and kill them, mercenaries looking for employment or a group sent by a former or future patron who needs their services.

68-72 Runaways:
D4 young villagers run away from home and follow the PCs, wishing to be employed as squires (though they'll settle for employment as porters and torch-bearers if it comes to it). There is a 50% chance that one or more parents (perhaps accompanied by the rest of the family) turns up looking for them. Let's hope there are no misunderstandings regarding "kidnapping."

72-76 Supplies Ruined:
D10% of the party's supplies are stolen or spoiled, either by mould, locusts or an infestation of other vermin such as rats of weevils. Anyone foolish enough to attempt to eat these spoiled supplies must save vs poison or be ill for D6+1 days.

77-80 Temptation:
One of the male PCs catches the interest of a pretty young farmers daughter. If seduced there is a 30% chance of being discovered by the irate father. If the father does not turn up there is a 15% chance that the girl will fall in love with her paramour and run off after him. If this happens the father is likely to pursue to recover his "kidnapped" daughter -and may bring friends. Finally, if the girl is seduced and does not go running off after her lover, there is a good 10% chance that she falls pregnant (very fertile these nature-goddess worshipping farmers daughters, so they are). Depending on when the party next pass through, the lass might present the PC with a child, or, if she is aware that she has become pregnant, ask the PC to take her away. If this happens and the father has learned who is responsible, he is almost certain to demand that the PC in question marry his daughter.

If the PC refuses to accept his responsibilities then the next time he passes through the village, the girl and any child will likely be absent. Either sold into slavery by the father or else run off to the nearest city to become a prostitute (where the PC may very well encounter her once again, this time while undertaking her new profession in their favorite tavern or drinking spot). She is unlikely to be thrilled to see him.

81-84 Thief:
During the night, a D4 level thief attempts to steal into a random party members tent or inn room and steal his possessions.

85-88 Toughs:
A group of local toughs, (0 level fighters, 1 per PC) takes exception to the "fancy adventurers" throwing all their gold around, prancing about in their nice clothes and catching the eye of all the wummin' folk. They decide to do something about it by picking a fight, either in the local watering hall or village common or by attacking late at night. They will try to target lone party members first, and will pay particular attention to the PC (male or female) with the highest charisma or comeliness score.

89-92 Weather Woes:
Inclement weather makes travelling incredibly difficult for the next D6+1 days (but continue to roll daily events as usual). In spring and autumn this is due to heavy rains, a heat-wave in summer or a blizzard in winter. In rains or blizzards reduce visibility and movement by 50% and subtract 4 from all ranged weapon attack rolls. Additionally, each PC who travels during this time must save vs disease or risk catching hypothermia. Those who catch hypothermia and recover must make another save vs disease or risk pneumonia. In summer, a save vs disease must be made to avoid heat-stroke, with a +4 saving throw bonus is the party does not travel. Character wearing metal armour during the heat-wave make the save with a negative saving throw modifier of -4.

93-96 Wheel Thrown:
If the PCs own a cart, wagon or chariot then it has thrown or shattered a wheel on these poor, dusty roads. Reduce the carts speed to 75% until it can be repaired or replaced. 10% that one or more draft animals pulling the wagon are lamed for 1d4 days .

97-00 Love Interest:
As per the Maiden result on the Urban Events table. Unlike with the Temptation result above the willing partner is completly unattacthed and without interfering parents. Perhaps a widow(er), tavern wench or lonely "witch" or lone demi-human living in the village outskirts. She may even be a farmers daughter with a living father (as with the Tempation result), but one too drunk or ill to care. The only complication likely to arise from this encounter is the prospect of pregnancy should the encounter involve heterosexual characters. Consult the Unlawful Guide to Carnal Knowledge or impose a flat 10% chance (steep, but as with the farmers daughter above, these rural types are very in with Fertility deities).

My personal favorite from this table is the temptation result. Oh the fun to be had. Imagine gentle reader, if you will, a character escorting a caravan from Zama to the Arcane Imperium having the misfortune of being approached by comely farmers daughters  three times on the one journey. Being a lawful type, by the time he arrived at Zama on the return journey he'd ended up with 3 wives, a son and two more babies on the way. But don't worry, the odds of this sort of thing happening to one of your characters are astronomical. Really.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Camoflage Question

My 15mm New Israeli armoured infantry platoon has arrived from GZG. Now, I plan on building a board with a lunar landscape for this sci-fi army, and have been looking at Urban Camo patterns that would fit a moon colony setting.

I found these images here

It seems that the pattern is 4th Airborne Brigade Chrudim, 1996, Cezh Republic. Anyone have any idea what paints and colours were used here? I've been experimenting a bit with absolutely no success with either the base colour (a grey-green I think) or the dark green camo colour and could use some suggestions.


P.S More daily/weekly tables and Sci-fi worlds for my Cascade Failure campaign sandbox will be posted in the next few days.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Daily/Weekly Events Table: Urban

Use the following table D6+1 times per week in an urban environment. Note that unlike encounters, which are things the characters meet, these events are things that happen to the characters and the people around them.They don't replace normal encounter tables. I use these events in conjunction with rendom encounters.

Daily/Weekly Events:
D%     Result
01-04 Accident
05-08 Ballad
09-12 Brawl
13-16 Buyer
17-20 Contest
21-24 Duel
25-28 Entreaty
29-32 Friend
33-36 Gossip
37-40 Gambling
41-44 Injury/Illness
45-48 Insult
49-52 Invitation
53-56 VIP
57-60 Maiden
61-64 Message
65-68 Mercenaries
69-72 Monster
73-76 Pickpocket
77-80 Plot
81-84 Recruit
85-88 Rivals
89-92 Rumor
93-96 Special
97-00 UniqueOpportunity


An accident occurs nearby. The players can intercede or ignore it. By interceding successfully, they will enhance their standing in town and receive a positive reaction modifier with all locals who witnessed their actions for the rest of the day.

The heroes hear a ballad that may prove of use to them: possibly one relating a tale concerning a nearby dungeon or a lost magical weapon. Alternatively, they may learn how to defeat a never-before encountered creature. Finally, if they have established something of a reputation for themselves in the area, the song mighty very well be about them!

50% chance that an NPC tries to pick a fight with one or more characters. Otherwise, they are in the area (tavern, marketplace etc) when a fight breaks out and have the option of joining in should they wish. This is a non-lethal combat. No-one will pull a weapon unless and until a PC does. If anyone dies, the PC's will be hunted by the local authorities.

The characters are approached by an NPC representing powerful interests who wishes to buy one or more magical items presently in the characters possession. There is a 50% they are after a specific item, otherwise they are generally in the market for magical goods. If looking for a specific item which the PC's refuse to sell there is a further 50% chance that the NPC and some hired thugs will attempt to steal it in 2d4 +2 days.

An NPC challenges the PC's to a non-violent contest, such as an eating or drinking competition. The stakes will be 2d10+10 GP's. There is a 15% chance of a brawl breaking out should the NPC lose.

An NPC, taking offense at some action by a PC (or else looking to make a name for himself) challenges a random PC to a duel (spells or arms as appropriate). There is only a 10% that this will be a duel to the death.

A NPC maiden/old woman/young child/desperate farmer approaches the PC's requesting their aid. Insert your favorite plot hook, urban adventure or dungeon here.

One random PC encounters an NPC with whom he hits it off right away during the course of the days events. If the PC visits a tradesmen, crafter or shopkeeper during the course of the day, this will be the shop owner. If not, then the owner of the inn, residence or some other location where the character stays becomes a friend. This friend will risk their life for the character (within reason) but will not accompany the PC on adventures.

The PC's overhear a juicy peace of gossip about a local official that just might come in handy later. 50% chance the gossip is true.

One party member (randomly determine, including NPC's) suffers an accident (50%) or an Illness (50%). Consult your rulebook for the effects of disease. For injury, reduce the characters movement rate by 25% for 1 week and subtract D4 points of damage from his hit point total.

The PCs overhear a conversation between a group of NPCs in which they are gravely insulted. They group numbers d8 assorted thugs and/or NPC adventurers. If a confrontation is initiated, the other side will draw weapons immediately.

One or more PC's receive an invitation to a social gathering appropriate to their reputation and social standing within the settlement.

One or more PC's meet an obliging, willing and even eager member of the opposite sex. Sexual relations may ensue if the PC wishes. Consult the Guide to Unlawful Carnal Knowledge for potential consequences. If you don't have this guide assume a 25% chance that something bad happens – an STD, an angry father, an irate husband or so on.

A street urchin approaches one or more of the PC's to deliver a message. 50% chance it is from a friend or relative. 50% of being an anonymous or cryptic note requesting a meeting or conveying a warning.

The PC's encounter a group of D12 mercenaries including one sergeant, who approach them looking for work. D6: 1 = slingers, 2-3 = light infantry, 4-5 heavy infantry, 6 = archers.

A monster somehow makes an appearance in a busy street. PC's who intervene are hailed as heroes. Otherwise D20+10 people die before the local guard can intervene.

A thief of level D4 makes a pick pocket attempt on one of the PC's.

The PC's stumble upon a plot fo some kind. This plot migh be directed against a specific person, a group, or even the whole settlement. It could range anywhere from an assassination attempt to a plan to undermine the settlements defences prior to an attack.

A randomly determined PC meets a like-minded individual who strikes up a conversation, by the end of which a firm friendship is made. The NPC offers to act as a henchman for a period of one year in return for just a ¼ share of treasure and starting equipment. At the end of the year make a loyalty test. If passed, the henchman agrees to stay on rather than set out on his own in return for a ½ share of all future gains. Henchman is the same race as the PC, 75% chance of being the same gender. Roll a D4 for class. 1= cleric, 2 = fighter, 3 = magic user, 4 = rogue.

A rival band of adventurers arrive in the area. Determine their race, class, level and stats randomly or create your own.

The party hears a useful rumour.

Create a unique event of your own or roll on the monthly or yearly events table. The monthly/yearly even in question begins on this very day.

Unique Opportunity:
The PC's are approached by an NPC offering to sell 1d4 randomly determined magical items (other than scrolls and potions).

The PCs learn that an influential NPC such as the local ruler, high priest or guild master, has been asking questions about their activities and may wish to speak with them.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Monthly Campaign Events Table:

The monthly special events in any given city, province or region of my Zama campaign are determined by rolling on this table here. Normally, I only roll every monthly event for the coming year in the characters “home-base”. Otherwise, I only roll on this table for other regions when the players return to the location after an absence of several weeks.

To work out which week of the month the event occurs in simply roll a D4 (or some other dice appropriate to the number of weeks the months have in your game). I recommend that you do not roll on the “monthly” event for the calendar month in which the yearly event occurs.The yearly event will keep your players busy enough as it is, I assure you.

Roll a D100 and compare the results on the table below.

                                                                  Yearly Event
                                   Assassination,         Disaster                
                                   Death, Plot,             Famine,
                                   Incursion,War,        Fire,
d100                           Rebellion,                Plague,                    Other

01-05                         Accident                   Accident                  Accident
06-07                         Bandits                     Bad Harvest            Bad Harvest
08-10                         Bandits                     Bad Harvest            Bad Weather
11-15                         Birth                         Bad Harvest            Bandits
16-20                         Death                        Bad Weather          Birth
21-22                         Taxation                   Bad Weather          Birth
23-25                         Taxation                   Bandits                   Death
27-27                         Fame                        Bandits                   Death
28                              Fire                           Bandits                   Taxation
29-30                         Fire                           Bandits                   Taxation
31-32                         Haunting                   Birth                       Fame
33                              Love Interest             Death                      Earthquake
34-35                        Love Interest              Death                      Marriage
36-37                        Monster                      Death                      Fire
38-40                        Monster                     Love Interest           Love Interest
41                              Incursion                   Taxation                  Flooding
42-43                        Incursion                    Taxation                  Love Interest
44                             Injustice                      Earthquake              Monster
45-49                        Injustice                      Fire                         Monster
50                             Major Battle                Flooding                 Incursion
51                             Major Battle               Marriage                  Incursion
52-54                        Major Battle               Haunting                 Injustice
61                             Notorious Crime         Notorious Crime     Major Battle
62-65                       Raiding                        Monster                 Notorious Crime
66                            Marriage                      Monster                  Raiding
67-68                       Raiding                        Incursion                Raiding
69                            Marriage                      Incursion                Recruitment
70-71                       Recruitment                 Injustice                 Recruitment
72-73                       Troop Movements       Injustice                 Troop Movements
74-78                       Troop Movements       Raiding                   Landslide
79-80                       Uprising                       Man-eater               Uprising
81-82                       Uprising                       Major Battle           Man-Eater
83                            Vengeful Stranger        Land-slide             Vengeful Stranger
84-87                       Visitation, minor          Marriage               Vengeful Stranger
88-92                       Outbreak                      Recruitment           Outbreak
93-97                       Roll on Other Table     Outbreak               Visitation, minor
98-99                       Yearly Events Table    Uprising                Yearly Events Table
00                             Visitation,major          Vengeful Stranger Visitation, major

Explanation of Results:

A major accident of some form occurs in the area. Perhaps an insula (tenement building) or a bridge collapses. Animals might stampede through the streets, a ship sinks in the harbour. At best the incident causes inconvenience (20% chance). At worst D100 people die. There is a percentage chance equal to the number of deaths that a friend, relative or ally of the PC's is among the casualties.

Bad Harvest:
Whether due to drought, too much (or too little) rain or sun; locusts or too much monster or bandit activity, any agricultural crops, lumber, or fish harvesting or animal slaughtering due this month yields less than the normal yields. Incomes for all in harvest related professions are halved this month. Prices for goods harvested this month increase by fifty percent. Peasants begin grumbling about curses, witches and bad luck. If no harvest is due this month then the goods affected are metal goods, crafts and textiles rather than consumable food items.

Bad Weather:
During the Winter months, this means storms, muddy roads and even blizzards. In spring and autumn the rains are unusually heavy, turning roads to mud. In summer, it is instead unbearably hot and dusty. All movement is reduced by 50% for the duration of the month. Armies in the field must test against morale or loose 5% of their strength due to desertion and weather-related illness such as hypothermia, heat-stroke, flu and Maleria. The poor weather also damages crops, reducing farming incomes for the rest of the season by a further 10%.

A powerful group of marauding pirates, brigands or intelligent monsters has been ambushing travellers, seriously hampering trade. Numbering 2D10x10 they have moved into the area after being driven out of a neighbouring region. They establish one or more secret strongholds in nearby regions and recruit informers in nearby urban areas and rural inns. There is an 40% chance that any caravan (or ship if pirates or aquatic monsters) is attacked and an 80% chance that any lone travellers will be harassed or robbed. Mercenary Guards and adventurers are in great demands. A reward of 10gp X the number of bandits is offered to any group or persons who can drive the brigands away or story the group entirely. If the army or local adventurers prove unable to stop them (perhaps a few Battle-system games are in order) then they begin raiding towns and villages as well as travellers. The bandits remain in the area until defeated or for 1d6 months.

If any of the PC's indulge themselves in sexual activities this month one of the eligible characters is about to be blessed with the joys of parenthood. Obviously, in the case of a female character, this means she has become pregnant. The actual birth will occur in 9 months. If this not apply to any of your characters for some unusual reason (what sort of adventurers are these guys?) then it is instead a friend or family member of a PC who is so blessed.
The character giving birth has a chance of surviving pregnancy equal to her con score x 8 (max 95% chance of survival, -5% for every previous birth). Should the mother roll under 5% on her survival roll then she has delivered twins. In all cases, the child (or children) each have a chance of surviving child birth equal to that of the mother.

A friend, ally, henchman or relative of one of the PC's has died, either due to natural causes, war, murder or misadventure. If the person concerned has no heirs there is a 30% chance of a dispute over the dead characters wealth and a 15% chance that one of the PC's will inherit instead. Otherwise, the dead characters property is seized by the state. If the dead character held an important ministerial post or owned a business concern then the post remains vacant for D12 weeks until a successor is trained or appointed. Until that time, no duties relayed to the post may be performed and no decisions made.
If the deceased character is the NPC parent of a PC's children, there is a 75% chance that the deceased NPC's parents will demand custody of any children so long as the PC continues to adventure.

A minor earthquake strikes the region. D10% of structures are damaged (starting with those of poorest quality) and D4% of the local population become casualties. Half of whom are killed, the other half injured or maimed. There is a 20% percent of a minor fire (as per the monthly result) occurring and a 5% chance of a serious fire (as per the yearly event) occurring. After the earthquake the cost of building trebles for D6 months.

A person of great reknown but no official position of power has arrived in the region. The character concerned will possess class levels and be noted for considerable skill in one or more areas: art, warfare, politics, engineering, scholarship and so forth. The person may have a secret motive for moving to the region which will 50% of the time be directly related to one or more PC's. If indirectly related, then the famous individual will seek out the PC's to perform some task for him. A task which will almost certainly constitute an adventure in itself.

Unlike the yearly event, this represents a minor fire occurring in the city. D6 buildings will be destroyed, with a 10% chance that one of the buildings concerned will either be a major public edifice or else belong to a PC. Loss of life from the fire is minimal. This is an excellent opportunity for the DM to add something new to a long-established map.

Caused by the collapse of a levee, dyke, dam or aqueduct or else the fracture of a cistern or clogging of a sewage pipe. The water washes downhill in a wave that inflicts 3d6 points of damage to anyone and anything in it's path and runs for D4 miles outdoors or D4 x100 feet in an urban setting before loosing it's force, carrying anything that fails a dex check or is knocked unconscious with it. Unconscious characters have a chance of drowing as per the rules in your game system of choice.

Somewhere in the region an event has occurred -such as a murder or other traumatic event- which has allowed the Veil separating the Underworld from the Known World to wear thin. The area has become haunted by an undead being or beings of the DM's choice, providing the PC's with a short adventure should they wish to investigate. The haunting may be as simple or as elaborate as the DM pleases. However, there should always be at least one way to end the Haunting without combat.

Similar to the yearly even except that the numbers involved are much smaller. Such incursions include everything from a band of spies sent by a neighbouring region, to a group of travelling minstrels or gypsies, an acting troupe or a ship full of exiles from another country. They are likely to number no more than 5D20 individuals but bring with them a whole host of opportunities for intrigue, blood-shed and butchery.

A corrupt official has knowingly punished or imprisoned an innocent citizen, whether due to bribery, cruelty or a desire for something the wronged person has in their “possession” -such as riches or the wronged persons husband/wife/daughter. Such injustice can be defeated if evidence is gathered and brought to the attention of a higher official (assuming the official concerned is not themselves corrupt). There is a 20% chance that one of the PC's is the wronged party. Otherwise choose an NPC known to the party. Preferably one they care about or who can provide them with a vital service.

Occurs only in mountainous, desert, urban or hilly regions. A landslide, avalanche, building collapse or sandstorm has blocked one of the main roads. The road in question cannot be used again until the road has been cleared. The work takes D4 weeks in the wilderness of D4 days in an urban setting.

Love Interest:
A young man or woman of exceptional grace, wit and beauty in the region has taken an interest in one of your PC's. They may be the child of a power noble or merchant (50%), a being of mysterious and magical origin (30%), a priestess (10%) or simply a commoner (10%). He or she charms and impresses all who meet her. The Love Interest is accomplished in many arts, including the playing of musical instruments, respectful to their parents (and the PC), virginal and loving. He or she refuses be courted and wed without the full formalities and the blessing of their parents (if any).
However, the Love Interest is all too aware of their many excellent qualities (without being vain about it) and may impose various tasks on the PC in question in order for the PC to prove that they reciprocate the feelings of the love interest.
Alternatively, the love interest may be entirely manipulative and simply out to use the character for their own ends. In any case, feel feel to use a pre-existing NPC as the love interest if a PC has heretofore expressed an interest in an existing NPC. In which case, the NPC has only just now realised the depth of the feelings they have for the PC in question.

Major Battle:
A large and important battle is fought in the region (or elsewhere but still fought by armies raised in and loyal to the region). Determine the outcome of the battle using either DM Fiat or the AD&D Battlesystem rules (or whichever other mass-combat system you possess). After the battle the losers are forced to retreat. Patrols from the victorious army patrol the area. If it is the region/cities own army that is defeated then the region may be conquered or placed under seige.

A naturally occurring beast native to the region, such as a bear, lion, wolf or elephant, has acquired a taste for human flesh and is raiding the region, killing on average 1d4 people per week. Until the attacks are stopped, every animal of that species caught, skinned and presented to the local authorities will earn a bounty of D10X100 gold pieces.

A PC who already has a love-interest or who has fathered a child (either though play or through a Love Interest or Birth results on this table) receives an offer of marriage from his present partner or the other parent of their child. In some cases, this may be more of a demand and less of a request, possibly even a demand backed up by threats from a powerful party. If no suitable characters exist for this event to be played on them, then an NPC friend or ally of the PC's receives the proposal instead.

A powerful monster, such as a Dragon, Basilisk, Owlbear, Medusa or Demon, appears in the area and begins a killing spree. Depending on DM fiat, the creature is either a cool and calculating predator or a rampaging beast that cuts a bloody swathe through the city until slain itself.

Notorious Crime:
A particularly heinous crime or series of crimes in the region is either blamed on one or more PC's (50% chance) or results in the death/dismemberment/kidnapping or an important NPC friend or relative of one or more PCs.

See Plague in the yearly events table. However, this is a minor outbreak that lasts for only 1D4 weeks before peetering out of its own accord. Amend the number of casualties and the risk of catching the disease appropriately.

An organised military force from another state or humanoid tribe moves into the area, making a limited invasion of the local region in order to secure some minor objective, such as capturing a border fort, hot-footing after rebels hiding in the region, probing to test defences or simply for the sheer hell of keeping the local troops on their toes. The attacking force numbers D6x1000 troops, likely divided into a number of smaller raiding groups, and ravages the region, razing villages to the ground and burning crops in the process, for 3d6 weeks unless defeated in battle or chased away in a series of skirmishes. Travel in the region becomes extremely dangerous.
Use of mass-combat rules to simulate the raid is recommended.

The army, local watch, a mercenary company or a band of notable adventurers is moving through the region, recruiting or conscripting reinforcements as they go. Large bounties of 100GP per level are offered to characters with class levels for a term of service equalling D6 months (in peacetime) or the duration of the war (in wartime). There is a 20% chance that the characters will encounter these recruiters even if they do not seek them out. There is also a 20% chance that one or more of the characters hirelings may join the recruitment party. Either from their own free will (if a loyalty check is failed) or through enforced conscription.

For whatever reason – to fund a military campaign, rebuild damaged infrastructure or pay for a new palace roof, the local ruler has decided to impose a new tax. Many citizens and peasants are forced into poverty or slavery. Others take up begging. Many try to find a loop-hole to avoid paying the tax. There is a 30% (minus the rulers charisma-derived loyalty modifier) of riots and unrest and a 70% chance of increased crime and bandit activity for the next month. The tax costs all households in the city (and all adventurers) 5% of their total wealth.

Note that in Zama there is no regular taxation save for tolls (which pay for the army, the guard and the walls), and thus special one-off taxes are raised for various projects as funds become needed. Therefore, this will be a one-off payment. In other campaign settings, this result may indicate that a new yearly or seasonal tax is to be imposed, in which case the new tax should be 1% of the total wealth of each household each time it is collected.

Troop Movements:
Organised groups of soldiers (from either side) move through the province or region during the course of the month, resulting in a fair amount of looting and conscription. There is a 10% chance that any character who takes too great an interest in these troop movements will be arrested as a spy. Character may be hired to act as scouts and outriders for a friendly force or to spy on an unfriendly force on behalf of the local rulers.

Local peasants, slaves or foreigners rise up in rebellion, arming themselves with whatever is at hand. Such rebellion tend to end bloodily in D3 months or less (in rural areas) or in D3 days (in urban areas) unless the PC's can intercede to negotiate a peaceful settlement. Robin Hood type heroes might even choose to join the uprising and take on various leadership positions. If so, unless the PCs manage to sway the rulers, D10x10% of the rebels are killed in battle or executed upon capture. However, even in the rebellion is put down there is a 30% chance that the rulers take action to address the concerns of the rebels to prevent such a thing happening again.
Regardless of how the uprising ends, bandit activity and violent crime in the area increases considerably for 3d6 weeks.
The DM may wish to run this event using mass combat rules.

Vengeful Stranger:
A mysterious stranger seeking vengeance for some perceived wrong arrives in the region, looking for a specific individual or small group (50% chance the target of this vengeance happens to be one or more PC's). He finds the foe he seeks 70% of the time and, even if not looking for the PC's in particular, they may find themselves caught up in the action, either as by-standers during an attack or as hired bodyguards for one of the intended victims.

Visitation, Minor:
A minor deity or divine servant appears at a local shrine or temple, delivers a brief message, and disappears. Pilgrim traffic to the site in question increased by 300% for the next D6 years and adding great prestige to all the priests and lay-persons present in the temple at the time.

Visitation, Major: As per the yearly event

Yearly Event: Roll once on the yearly event table to determine this months event.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Yearly Events Table

One of the great things about the 1st ed Oriental Adventures book was the yearly, monthly and daily event tables. Well, here's my derivation thereof, as used in my Zama campaign but easily adaptable to other settings. These are the overall regional tables for the city-state of Zama, but are easily adaptable to other settings and even other campaign styles – I'll be using only a very lightly modified version for my planned sci-fi Cascade Failure campaign.

But not the zombie one. The PC's wont live long enough to make that one worthwhile.

Anyway, here's the yearly event table. Monthly and daily events to follow.

Yearly Events:

01-05             Ambassador
06-10            Assassination
11-15            Birth
16-20            Celestial Event
21-25            Death
26-30            Disaster, Natural
31-35            Economic Crisis
36-40            Famine
41-45            Feud
46-50            Fire (Major)
51-55            Immigration
56-60            Magic Strife
61-65            Marriage
66-70            Pirates
71-75            Plague
76-80            Plot
81-85            Religious Unrest
86-90            Rebellion
91-95            Visitation
96-00            War

An embassy arrives from another city-state, empire or country to discuss some important issue. There is a thirty percent chance that this embassy will be from a traditionally hostile state looking to re-negotiate a territorial dispute or demand trade, political and/or military concesssions.
Otherwise the embassy will be from another neighbouring state wishing to negotiate matters of trade, resolve a minotr dispute, coordinate anti-piracy operations,forge a military treaty, arrange a royal visit etc.
The Ambassador will arrive with a ship and crew or by caravan and accompanied by up to 100 bodyguards, staff and aides. He will be a high level character (D6+6) with a charisma score of 2d6+6. The majority of his entourage will consist of zero level characters. His closest aides and bodyguards count as henchmen and will be D^ in number (of level D4+6). Generate them as you would a party of NPC adventurers. Expect a great deal of intrigue and espionage this year.

A high-ranking official -a Suffet, a member of the Eighty [the Senate] or even a member of the Royal Family itself- is assassinated. If the PC's have a hostile relationship with this character they may fall under suspicion. Otherwise, if allied to this figure, they may be tasked with tracking down the assassin, avenging the murder or even attempting to raise this figure from the dead.
If the assassination was carried out by another nation, then any odd result in next years annual event table will be a war. If carried out by another faction within Zama or the Protectorate, then count any odd rolls on next years annual events table as a Feud result.
A power-struggle is likely to ensue if the dead character had no clear line of succession.

A high-ranking NPC with a friendly relationship to the PC's becomes pregnant and gives birth. The PC's might uncover a plot to kill the mother or the babe and be enlisted to protect her. The PC's will likely have some role in the several days of feasting that follows, depending on their social position. If no suitable NPC ally exists, then the birth is that of a member of the Royal Family.

Celestial Event:
A comet, planetary alignment or some other significant or unusual celestial event occurs, during which strange events occur. Use your imagination: the dead escape from the Underworld to torment the living, every-one awake at the time goes blind, all the Cauldron-born rise up at once believing it to be an omen and swarm civilisation. There is a 15% chance that rioting and mobbing ensues while doom-sayers and mad-men proclaim the end of the world.

 An important NPC or member of the Royal Family dies of natural causes. This will result in a massive state funeral and possibly an investiture ceremony of some kind. A power struggle may ensure if the dead character has no clear line of succession.  If anyone among the Royal family has thus developed as astrong ally of the PC's then there is a 40% that it is the ally who dies.There is a 15% chance that rioting and mobbing ensues during the state funeral as the citizens clamber to see or touch the NPC.

A natural disaster – tsunami, flood, cyclone, earthquake, tornado, meteor strike and so forth- affects the city and the surrounding area. See the Wilderness Survival Guide for game effects. There is a 15% chance that rioting and mobbing ensues.

Economic Crisis:
Prices in the city rise by 15% for one class of item – livestock [caused by disease], purple clothing [caused by a shortage of shell-fish], metal goods and so forth. This lasts D12 months.

Famine occurs in an important agricultural location elsewhere in the Middle Sea [given that the Gods control the weather and that Zama's patron deities include Arbaal the Sun God, the famine is unlikely to be local unless locusts are involved]. Food shortages occur and prices quadruple by the end of the year. [In Zama, only the price of items not produced locally are likely to be affected, even so the city is too large to feed itself from surrounding farm-land]. Marauder groups -inside and outside the city- prey on the weak and seize food by force. Rationing is likely to be introduced, along with various sumptry laws for the rich. There is a sixty percent chance of mobbing an rioting by the poor unless steps are taken by the government to distribute food and secure a stable food supply. The famine lasts D6+1 months. 1% of the population will die every month until the famine ends. There is a 20% chance of plague [reduced to10% in Zama due to it's excellent sewage and waste disposal systems and in cities with similar sanitation measures].

Two powerful families, street-gangs, guilds or organised crime groups have a falling out. At night characters trevelling in areas controlled by the warring factions are likely to have hostile encounters. Even during the day tresspassers will be regarded with suspicion. The feud will last until one side or the other has been completely eliminated unless the characters intervene. The feud will involve poltics, theft, murder, slander, kidnapping, espionage and more.

Fire, Major:
 D20% of the city is burned to the ground. Any property owned by the players has a chance of being destroyed equal to the percentage rolled. There is a 10% of a plague outbreak [5% in Zama] and a 10% chance of Famine as silo's and storage facilities go up in flames [5% in Zama due to it's underground siege silo's]. D10% of the population perishes from the smoke and flame or from injuries sustained in the panic.
There is a 15% chance that rioting and mobbing ensues.

Mass migration to the city-state and surrounding lands. This migration may come in the form of persons displaced by war, plague or famine or it may represent a barbarian or humanoid invasion [in Zama, these humanoids will likely be kobolds from the tunnels beneath the city, Beast-Men (gnolls) from the Desert or Cauldron-born from the mountains]. The number of immigrants who appear is equal to D100 X1000. The immigrants may arrive en masse or in small groups; by ship, land or some combination of the two. War is likely to result if either the new-comers or the existing inhabitants are hostile to one another. If not driven out, the immigrants settle down [inside the city if no hostilities occur or in settlements of their own in they do] becoming permanent fixtures of the area in D20 months. Chances are good that slavers will attempt to take advantage of the situation to obtain new stock, possibly initiating or aggravating hostilities.

Magical Disaster:
A powerful wizards spell goes awry. Roll a D6:
1: Demons randomly appear all over the city-state
2: Household objects animate and attack their owners
3: Dogs and other dangerous animals go mad
4: D1000 people spontaneously combust each day. 15% chance of causing a Fire event each day.
5: A silence effect covers the entire city-state
6: Every living thing in the city becomes invisible
These effects last D6 days.

The city's ruler arranges a marriage either for herself or for a member of her family. Huge festivals ensue. Military forces are drafted into the city to help keep order as the population swells. Street crime rises. There is a 15% chance that rioting and mobbing ensues when celebrations get out of hand.

Pirate activity is on the rise. All good increase in price by 20%. There is a 10% of any given shopping trip that D4 items are not available. Characters may be conscripted (15%) or offered employment (40%) as marines or rowers in the naval fleet assembled to destroy the pirates, who have rallied around a new leader. The campaign against the pirates will last D12 months.

 A terrible disease sweeps the city. There is a 20% chance each month that a character comes into contact with the plague and must make a saving through versus poison or suffer the effects. Once the character has had the disease he cannot suffer from it again during this outbreak. The outbreak lasts D12 months, kills D4% of the population per month and rises prices by 10% per month.

A plot to kill or replace the city's ruling family begins and may be uncovered or assisted by the PCs. Whether or not the cop is successful, D20% of senior religious, political and military figures are executed or dismissed in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

Religious Strife:
Religious strife breaks out, with a 15% chance of mobbing and rioting and a 5% chance of actual civil war. In Zama the cause is likely to be a schism in the priesthood of Arbaal concerning whether the God considers the sacrifice of children in time of need to be a gift or an act of blackmail to be abhorred. The abhorrent faction is likely to led by Prince Hamilcar and the High Priestess' of Tanith and Escher. The Queen is likely to remain neutral. Her husband and the High Priest of Arbaal lead the faction that considers such sacrifices to be holy.
If not settled by civil war or rioting, then a period of cold-war politics, tit-for-tat assassination and other limited civil strife lasts for over a year (D12+12 months) until the dispute is settled.

While the plot event is a political coup, the rebellion event indicates a popular uprising by some element of the city – the poor, slaves or mercenaries- all of whom rise up against their “oppressors”.
Characters who do not pick sides will end up as everyone's enemy. Adventure and campaign opportunities abound. The Rebellion continues until it peters out after d12 months or until player character action brings it to a close. Food, Weapons and Armour double in price and the city watch [Suffet's Guard in Zama] becomes especially brutal, suspicious, and unforgiving. If the rebellion is not successful in achieving its goal in the first month, surviving rebels adopt a hit-and-run approach until the end of the rebellion.

A major deity -or its messenger- appears during an important ceremony and remains for D4 months, communing and conferring with important officials and the faithful. If the city is presently embroiled in war or rebellion it takes sides, hoping to bring the strife to and end quickly. Otherwise, all faithful who see the deity are blessed (as per the spell) for the remainder of the year, the city remains disease free during it's presence and a general air of rejoicing and celebration persists until the end of the visit.
Characters who are especially power (or who are followers of the deity in question) may be favoured by a personal audience. Those who impress the deity may (50% chance) be awarded one wish.

The city-state or kingdom is invaded (50% chance) or invades (50% chance) a neighbouring state [City's of the Zaman Protectorate are expressly forbidden to initiate war by their constitution, meaning they are the ones invaded 99% of the time]. The length and outcome of the War are left to the DM to determine. Game events are far too complex to be summarised here and deserve an entire article of their own.