Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gloomspear's Saga: Part Two

Picking up where I left off, it's time for me to roll up Gloomspear's childhood. We already know he spent a good chunk of it on the streets, even spending a couple of years in prison. Nevertheless, table 215: Significant Events of Childhood & Adolescence ("where the action begins," according to the author) instructs me to roll a d3 for the number of events in childhood. I roll a 5, so I've got to roll up three events. For each event, I roll a d20 and add Gloomspear's SolMod of -3, since he's Destitute. My final results are 4, 8, and 2.

My roll of 4 means that Gloomspear learned an unusual skill, generated on table 876: Unusual Skills. I roll a 2 on d20: "Professional gambling." Well, that certainly makes sense, considering his background. My roll of 4 on the Significant Events chart is also annotated with an [N], which apparently means I will later need to make a check for a Neutral Personality Trait later on. Fair enough. Finally, I'm told to roll a d12 to determine at what age this event happened, and get an 11. This means Gloomspear learned to gamble while he was in jail. Works for me!

That roll of 8 indicates that Gloomspear had a religious experience, also at the age of 10 (while he was in jail, learning to gamble, natch). This gives me a check for a random Personality Trait later, and I'm directed to table 541: Religious Experience. I roll a 16, which means that Gloomspear "uncovers the activities of an evil cult" while in prison. I roll a d6 to see what that means, and get a 6: "Others shun character because of this, possibly out of fear of the evil cult." So, I'm thinking Gloomspear found out about some kind of nasty secret society among the inmates, and his fellow prisoners preferred not to know about it. Interesting.

My third roll for childhood events was a 2: "A Tragedy Occurs." This entry has an [R] after it, which means I'll have to check for a random Trait later. I'm directed to table 528: Tragedies, and roll a d20, plus Gloomspear's SolMod, resulting in a 17: "War ravages the character's homeland." This happens when Gloomspear is 12 (almost out of prison), and I have to roll a d6 to see exactly how tragic this is. I get a 5, which means Gloomspear suffers 1d3 additional Tragedies. Man, this kid could not catch a break! I roll a 4, so I get two more Tragedies. Here we go again, d20 + SolMod: 5, 11. 5 means the "town where the character lives is wiped out". Normally, if the character lives in a city, only the neighborhood where he lives is destroyed, but on a roll of 6 on d6, the entire city is razed. I, of course, roll a 6. So, I guess that amnesty was declared because the city was doomed anyway. That roll of 11 indicates that Gloomspear was sold into slavery! So, the kid gets thrown into jail, and then when the war starts to go badly, amnesty for all prisoners is declared just in time for the conquerors to slap the chains back on him.

Next up, we'll see what table 539: Enslaved! holds for Gloomspear...


  1. Wow!

    You reminded me that I have an old copy of some of this that's been following me in my box of 'random RPG stuff' for the last 20 or so years.

    And so you inspired me to throw Memnos, my new Dragon Warriors/ B/X magician through the wringer.

    From the same tables that cursed Gloomspear to his current state, Memnos has a large middle class family (2nd of 4 children); a father who was a famed archer with a titled patron (now exiled); is a talented singer; was born in a Dwarven Hold; has a silver birthmark of a dragon on his back; in the service of a noble since age 10; has encountered half-elves; his pet is a telepathic winged snake; there is a lost love with a matching gold dragon birthmark; and lastly, he has some training as an astrologer.

    As you have pointed out, the book is rather gonzo if applied literally, but the adventure hooks generated can be very awesome; Memnos has an irrational fear of slime (given the normal rational fear of slime, I'm not sure what this is like quite yet).

    I do wish Gloomspear the best in his enslavement.

  2. Memnos seems to have made it out of Central Casting relatively unscathed. I'm still hoping ol' Gloomy can turn it around in his adolescence.