Random Table: NPC Traits

open clip art library

open clip art library

I have been accused in the past of having some NPCs that were very “cardboard-like”. Some had little personality, no unusual mannerisms, and just another voice among many. My group at one time even bought me a guide to playing NPCs.

While working to improve that area of my game, it is still an area I struggle with. So today’s table for Random Table Thursday is a list of 20 NPC traits. For that next barkeep the PCs meet if you neglected to do your homework you can roll up a trait on the fly to give that barkeep some distinguishing characteristic.

The Iron Tavern welcomes suggestions for next week’s random table. If you have suggestions for next week’s table feel free to leave a comment to this post or over on Google+!


Roll (d20) NPC Traits
1 speaks quite loudly, even in inappropriate locations
2 uses hands frequently when speaking, gesturing, moving restlessly
3 constantly yawning, dozing off
4 speaks very quietly, just above a whisper
5 rolls an ornately carved metal cylinder across their knuckles, repeatedly
6 strong body odor
7 wears glasses, takes them on and off numerous times when conversing
8 constantly blinking
9 very observant, comments on fine details often missed (unique items on one’s person, rings, mannerisms, etc)
10 meticulous, frequently brushing lint from clothes, straightening hair, etc.
11 very empathetic, seems to listen to people with genuine concern
12 constant complainer (weather, food, lack of sleep, etc)
13 lacks personal space awareness, tends to stand or sit too close to people
14 flowery aroma
15 always seems out of breath, even when having been seated for a length of time
16 stutters
17 frequently snacking, taking handfuls of nuts and granola from a pocket
18 uses very proper and verbose speech
19 smokes a pipe, fiddles with tobacco can in vest pocket
20 overly polite


Random Table: Tavern Names

image by nicubunu

image by nicubunu

I was running short of time this week when I wrote up this week’s random table. Due to that I went with something easy, Tavern Names! These names are ready to be used on the fly or during your session prep to breathe a little life into the next tavern your PCs step into.

The Iron Tavern welcomes suggestions for next week’s random table. If you have suggestions for next week’s table feel free to leave a comment to this post or over on Google+!


Roll (d20) Tavern Names
1 Plate and Mug Tavern
2 The Rusty Bucket
3 Whistler’s Pourhouse
4 The Fallen Phoenix
5 The Smokey Alehouse
6 Tolenka’s Taphouse
7 Fading Fast Tavern
8 The Singing Siren
9 The Silver Tankard
10 The Weeping Mermaid
11 Rose’s Taphouse
12 Firehouse Ales
13 Broken Mug Pourhouse
14 Red Griffon Taproom
15 Broken Keg’s Tavern
16 Flying Albatross Alehouse
17 Brannon’s
18 Fat Sylvernia’s
19 Purple Dragon Pub
20 One Legged Ogre


Random Table: Enemy Organizations

photo by ARendle @ Flickr

photo by ARendle @ Flickr

It is random table day at The Iron Tavern again! This week I bring you 20 enemy organization names. These organizations could be minor groups of people struggling and clawing to make a name for themselves or very complex groups secretly in control of the local government.

The names below can be used as inspiration for campaign plotting or when you simply need a name on the fly.

The Iron Tavern welcomes suggestions for next week’s random table. If you have suggestions for next week’s table feel free to leave a comment to this post or over on Google+!

Roll (d20) Enemy Organization Names
1 Brothers of Blood
2 The Crossed Daggers
3 Society of Purple Pawns
4 The Weeping Willows
5 Slate Society
6 The Rapid Rats
7 Sisterhood of the Wolf
8 Order of the Scarlet Viper
9 The Lone Crow Society
10 The Ember Society
11 The Gray Souls
12 Order of the Six Branches
13 The Hooded Lanterns
14 The Shadow Nobles
15 The Terrible Trinity
16 The Ascendant Society
17 The Corrupt Celestials
18 The Skeletal Crew
19 Order of Wayward Orphans
20 Brotherhood of the Azure


Random Table: Shield Coat of Arms

Shield Coat of ArmsIt is Thursday again at The Iron Tavern, which means another random table! This week I focused on coat of arms for shields. I purposefully left the shape and size of shield out of the description and focused on the actual coat of arms. The ideas below could be used when you need to spruce up a description or even as seeds for ideas about a particular NPC.

The Iron Tavern welcomes suggestions for next week’s random table. If you have suggestions for next week’s table feel free to leave a comment to this post or over on Google+!

Roll (d20) Shield Coat of Arms
1 a field of stars over the ocean with high waves
2 black tower on a forest green background
3 The head of a great elk on a pale gold background
4 a brown lute across a light green background
5 crossed silver hammer and axe on a black background
6 a three headed crow sitting on a limb of a leafless tree
7 a solid scarlet line runs down the left side against a gray background, a long spear and helmet grace the right side
8 the head of a roaring red dragon painted against a silver background
9 a silver skull with two crossed great axes on a black background
10 foaming tankard of ale on a tan background
11 a purple worm breaking up through a pile of rocks on a black background
12 broadly painted blue lines cross the shield, one on the far right and one across the top, a script letter ‘S’ is in the lower left quadrant
13 a wolf howling skyward on a rocky outcropping
14 a gold crown on a black background, the shield rimmed in gold
15 two broad black diagonal stripes with a silver key intersecting them on a white background
16 A black serpent coiled around a polearm against a yellow background
17 A tall oak tree set against a light blue background
18 a knight with lance on a white charger on a purple background
19 A pair of crossed arrows burned into the wood of the shield
20 a hilt up two-handed sword against a red background


Random Table: Coin Descriptions

Coin PileI missed the random table last week, I was recovering from Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day and the trio of posts I did for that! The random table returns this Thursday though, with the 10th installment!

This week I present 20 coin descriptions. Coins of some form are nearly always part of the most recent treasure stash. So often these are just listed off as 23 gold pieces or 63 silver pieces. Sometimes a GM might want to spice that up a bit. Or perhaps a coin the character gets back in a tavern has something unique about it. In either case these coin descriptions can help.

The type of coin has been left for the GM to decide. These descriptions can be used with any variety of coin.

The Iron Tavern welcomes suggestions for next week’s random table. If you have suggestions for next week’s table feel free to leave a comment to this post or over on Google+!

Roll (d20) Coin Description
1 an embossed leafy vine circles the outer edge of the coin on both sides, one side depicts a thick forest and the other a mountain side
2 a dwarf head with shaved pate and long beard on one side and a pair of crossed hammers on the other
3 the coin is square, the obverse side shows a three tiered fountain, the reverse a stone pillared temple
4 only a 1/2″ in diameter the visage of a long haired man with beard is on the obverse side and a lone tower on the reverse
5 perforated coin, 3″ in diameter, both sides have an embossed swirling pattern on it
6 outer edge of coin is raised, a moose adorns the obverse side, a hunter’s bow and arrow on the reverse
7 a thin coin with serrated edges, the obverse side depicts a bearded man with a crown, the reverse the palace of a capital city
8 a rectangular coin, one side depicts a wide palace, the other a dozen knights on horse with lances charging across a field
9 this oversized coin is thick, the obverse side has a chalice carved into it, the reverse a platter of food
10 An apple tree is embossed on one side of the coin, a harvest basket on the reverse
11 a thick oval coin, a set of scales is embossed on the obverse side and a stack of coins on the reverse
12 a large ziggurat is on one side of the coin, a winding river on the other side
13 triangular coin, the obverse side depicts a wishing well, he reverse a crescent moon
14 thin coin with a wreath around an elven featured face on one side and a tall tree on the other
15 a long haired woman holding a staff is on one side of the coin, an owl perched on a branch is on the other
16 near 2″ in diameter and edged like a gear, the obverse side depicts a siege engine, the reverse a catapult
17 thin coin depicts a bird on a small branch with a nest in the crook of a tree, the opposite side depicts three, tall stemmed flowers
18 thicker on one side than the other, the coin depicts a single dwarven rune on one side and an axe on the other
19 an oval coin, a three-masted sailing ship on high seas is embossed on one side and a lighthouse on a cliff on the other
20 a square hole is in the middle of this round coin, runes from an ancient language circle the coin on both sides


Random Table: Goblet Descriptions

Goblet CrystalThis week’s table for Random Table Thursday brings us goblets! Goblets are everywhere – treasure hoards, at the local tavern, or at the King’s table. Today’s post includes 20 random goblet descriptions to liven up your descriptions. The King no longer drinks from a goblet, he drinks from a goblet of daggers!

As always The Iron Tavern welcome suggestions for next week’s random table. If you have suggestions for next week’s table feel free to leave a comment to this post or over on Google+!


Roll (d20) Goblet Description
1 crafted from smooth black and red marble, the thick stem rises to an oversized bowl
2 slender and smooth pewter colored base rising to thin crystal glass
3 crafted from intricately carved wood the goblet depicts a cluster of feathers forming the stem holding a bowl appearing as a nest of twigs and straw
4 pewter colored metal form the base and stem, giving way to a crystal glass bowl clutched by a trio of crow’s claws
5 crafted of white bone, possibly human, the stem appears as three femurs intertwined, topped by a bowl embossed with dozens of human skulls
6 made of a blue-toned metal, the stem rises to a bowl depicting a great sailing ship on heavy seas
7 made of a blue-toned metal, the stem rises to a bowl depicting a great sailing ship on heavy seas
8 dark metal comprises this goblet, the stem is fashioned to look liked a dozen daggers point up balancing the smooth bowl
9 made of polished silver, the goblet is devoid of any engravings save for the initials ‘LZM’ at the base of the stem
10 green tinged copper depicts two serpents entwined at the stem of the goblet, spiraling upwards to form a coiled bowl
11 the base material of this goblet is gold, though the entire vessel is covered with gems of a myriad of colors obscuring the underlying material
12 made of blown glass, the base and stem fade from an orange hue to a deep black bowl
13 made from resin covered woven fabric, this goblet stands 6″ in height
14 silver goblet with wide bowl engraved with a repeating series of triangular shapes
15 crafted from a ram’s horn, the goblet follows the natural curve of the horn with white and black marbling
16 a thin skeletal hand rises as the stem, grasping an ivory bowl with carvings of carrion birds circling it
17 stem of goblet carved to look like a wolf howling upwards, bowl balanced on wolf’s open maw
18 faded to time, dulled gold forms the goblet, a series of rubies circle the center of the bowl, two of which are chipped
19 a wide base moves up into a slender stem and barely expanding bowl, made of polished purple-hued crystal, a silver band covers the lip of the bowl
20 a black metal forms the bulk of the goblet with a gold elk on either side of the oversized bowl


Random Table: Helm Descriptions

Art by Johnny Automatic

Art by Johnny Automatic

Helm descriptions. That is this week’s random table. The descriptions below can be used to give the Gamemaster a quick description for either a magical or non-magical helm. Maybe you just need an identifying feature about the castle guard to spice up your description. Or maybe the heroes have just found a great magical helm that needs some extra flavor.

Have suggestions for next week’s table? Feel free to leave some ideas in the comments of this post or over on Google+!

Roll (d20) Helm Description
1 silver, open-faced helmet with engraved, spiraling design etched into the metal
2 thick metal helmet, nose protecting band, band around the base with carved dwarven runes
3 goldish-hued helm with caged visor.
4 bronze helmet open-faced helmet with layered waffle pattern
5 helmet made of elk’s skull minus antlers, brown with discoloration
6 dark gray helmet, conical in shape with gold trim around base edges
7 open-faced metal helmet, plume made of black horse hair
8 wooden helmet, iron band around base and across the top
9 black visored helmet, visor fashioned into shape of skull
10 bright, mirror-like metal helmet, full-faced
11 boiled leather helm, studded iron band around the base
12 full-faced helm with ornate engraving of an eagle on each side
13 pewter colored metal, open-faced with band to protect nose
14 chain helmet, drapes to shoulders
15 boiled leather helm, a snake has been engraved into the leather, wrapping around the helmet
16 black metal open-faced, helmet, reinforced banding with raised gold decoration around edges
17 full-faced pewter gray helmet, visor has horizontal slits for and edged with black leather
18 battered metal helm, detachable chain face covering
19 boiled leather helm, thick leather bands with low profile metal studs
20 blood red full-faced helm, metal studs dot the helmet


Random Table: Ship Names

Art - Johnny Automatic

Art – Johnny Automatic

This week’s random table is a list of ship names. This is certainly not the first random table of ship names or even the biggest. But the ship names here should all drop easily into a campaign. So the next time your characters are looking for passage or simply strolling along the docks, you have some handy ship names at hand!

Roll a d20 on the below table and the ship in the harbor has a name!

Have suggestions for next week’s table? Feel free to leave some ideas in the comments of this post or over on Google+!

Roll (d20) Ship Name
1 Wolf of the Waters
2 The Swimming Rat
3 The Oaken Cask
4 The Shimmering Sea
5 Green Emerald
6 The Three Mistresses
7 The Lillian McKursky
8 Angel’s Asylum
9 The Twilight Star
10 Fawnra’s Pride
11 The Plying Pauper
12 The Two-Hearted Mermaid
13 Wayward Siren
14 The Lucky Albatross
15 The Whispering Sail
16 Adelaide
17 The Tempest Tempter
18 The Trinity
19 Silver Sea Spider
20 The Raging Prophet


Random Table: Boot Descriptions

bootsThis week’s random table is a list of random boot descriptions. Use these descriptions to spice up your next set of Boots of Speed or Boots of Elvenkind or any other type of boot in that treasure stash. Or maybe you just want to add a little more description to the NPC the party meets at the local tavern. The following table has you covered!

Roll a d20 on the below table and a boot description awaits you!

Have suggestions for next week’s table? Feel free to leave some ideas in the comments of this post or over on Google+!

Roll (d20) Boot Descriptions
1 light brown leather, with black stitching
2 mid-calf leather boots, brown with black and red stitching depicting a phoenix on each boot
3 brown leather boots, oval “vents” along the sides, stitched in red thread
4 green and black reptile skinned boots, toes of boots have fangs engraved on them
5 suede boots, stained dark in several places, 3″ wedge heel
6 black leather, silver stitching forms crescent moon amidst many silver stars on the sides
7 reptile scaled skin boots, mid-calf length, very soft to touch
8 mid-calf boot, green upper with a pattern of leaves engraved in the uppers, mid-brown lower with thick sole
9 ankle high, dark red leather boots, thick, gold stitching, initialed DN
10 solid black boots, knee high with soft, supple leather
11 black leather boot, 1/2″ spikes protrude from various locations of the boot
12 heavy leather boots with six wide buckles, mid-calf
13 knee high boots, a pair of buckles secure them at the top, dark brown leather with black stitching
14 hobnailed boots, dark brown, ankle high, light brown stitching
15 boots border on tall moccasins, light brown suede leather, solid sole, a trio of white and black feathers hang from each boot strap
16 dark brown boots with metal rivets as trip along the edges and seams
17 over the ankle leather boots, leather woven together forming a “waffle” pattern
18 black and brown reptile skinned boots, an image of snake is depicted wrapping around the upper portion of the boot
19 gray leather boots with thick silver buckle across the ankle and smaller silver buckle at the top
20 mid-calf black boots with white fur lining them


Random Table: Treasure Items

Treasure HoardThis week’s random table is a list of random mundane treasures. There are lots of random tables for magic weapons and magic items, but sometimes you just need a little something to spice up some treasure the party has just found without resorting to magical items.

Now when the party finds some small amount of treasure on their most recent conquest you can roll up something with a little flavor. The trinkets and otherwise mundane items can make those smaller treasure amounts more fun than just “a pouch full of 9 gold coins, six silver coins, and lint”.

The table below lists a short description of the item and the approximate gold value in parentheses.

Have suggestions for next week’s table? Feel free to leave some ideas in the comments of this post or over on Google+!

Roll (d20) Ale Name
1 wooden and cloth doll, small gems for eyes (3gp)
2 silver ceremonial knife, dull edged (5gp)
3 small silver metal box, ornate designs of sun, moon, and stars (20gp)
4 pair of bone knitting needles (1gp)
5 rolled up painting, depicts woman walking in a field, artist initialed as ~GH~ (45gp)
6 steel tankard engraved with warhammer and mine entrance (9gp)
7 oversized gold coin from ancient civilization, depicts large, pillared structure on one side, long haired, bearded man on the other (25gp)
8 Three six-sided dice, carved from stone and polished (12gp)
9 flask with gold embossing, intials SK engraved on one side (15gp)
10 belt buckle, with gold, roped trim, center carved in form of elk head (18gp)
11 bracelet, appears as if two snakes are entwined, one red, one blue (12gp)
12 small book, 100+ pages in length, fictional tale of a girl lost in the wild, author – Sakmir Arlondo (3gp)
13 pen with ink vial, pen is carved of a rare wood with intricate carvings (5gp)
14 mummified wolf paw (4gp)
15 gold rimmed monocle (20gp)
16 baby rattle, made of hollowed bone, textured pattern (2gp)
17 vial of deep red ink, hint of glittery material in the ink (6gp)
18 gold hooped earring with small silver chain with red ruby clutched in a claw (9gp)
19 spice shaker, thick glass with silver top, contains salt now (3gp)
20 silk scarf, embroidered in a silver thread (4gp)