For a while I've been collecting e-books filled with random tables to help generate cool ideas and details for fantasy tabletop RPGs. Some are books made specifically for this purpose (e.g. The Dungeon Alphabet) and others are rulebooks or supplements that happen to include great random tables (e.g. Scarlet Heroes). I love browsing them, but in their original formats I've had a difficult time making good use while actually planning or running a game session. To rearrange them into a more accessible format I decided to slice up the PDF files, delete the pages without cool random tables, sort the remaining pages into sections (such as "Characters", "Towns", "Monsters", "Loot"), print them, and put them in a big binder with tabbed dividers and awesome cover art from The Dungeon Alphabet. Pocket dividers near the back house a small collection of One-Page Dungeons, Dungeon Starters, and the like. I call it the Tome of Inspiration.
So far the Tome has been very useful as I plan a sandbox Dungeon World campaign. I haven't used it during a session yet. I expect after I'm pretty comfortable using it during prep (where there's no time pressure) I'll start using it during sessions, especially to flesh out NPCs and towns.
It'll be interesting to see how the Tome of Inspiration with its specific and targeted tables interacts with my more general-purpose Firestarters cards.
Most of my tables come from:
- The Dungeon Dozen
- The Dungeon Alphabet
- The d30 Sandbox Companion
- The d30 DM Companion
- Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
- Dungeon World
- The Perilous Wilds
- DCC RPG
- Scarlet Heroes
All are great resources. Check 'em out!