Saturday, January 9, 2010

Urban Action Mayhem Chase Tables

"My idea of a town adventure goes something like blah, blah, blah, there's a fight, and then the town burns down. "
- Jeff Rients
When cocky, amoral adventures roll into some settlement and start thinking they can browbeat, bully and strongarm their way over the locals. When a chaotic neutral low-level thief can't resist shoplifting or pickpocketing. Hell has a way of breaking loose.

A smart party would try to make themselves disappear when that happens, but the adventurers may find themselves being chased down a street. Here are some tables for over-the-top urban chases.

What's Around the Corner?
1 - Two tradesmen with a large pane of glass (10% chance glass in unbreakable; 10% chance of mimes).
2 - Open sewer grate, 25% chance of 1d4 crocodiles in sewer below.
3 - Fruit/vegetable stand.
4 - Fragile cage, contents d4: 1 - bear, 2- tiger, 3- ape, 4 - baboons (3d4), 5 - giant lizards (1d3), 6 - Hyenas (2d4).
5 - Wealthy, powerful noble or other important figure, easily offended, with 3d4 guards. 25% chance of being in a litter with 2 or 4 slave bearers.
6 - Snake charmer, 2d4 poisonous serpents in basket
7 - Slaves pulling wagon loaded with barrels of human waste.
8 - 2d4 Elite soldiers, 50% of being officers
9 - 3d4 Unruly foreign mercenaries or sailors, may side with underdogs, mavericks, rebels and the like.
10 - Human chain of 4d6 slaves with 2d4 slaver guards.
11 - Elephant, mammoth, or dinosaur and handler(s).
12 - Beautiful woman, may fall in love with charismatic pc, 50% chance fo being rich/noble.
13 - Merchant and 2d4 servants or slaves bearing clay urns of oil, 50% chance an urn has just been dropped and a pool of oil is on the street.
14 - Urchins playing marbles.
15 - Powerful sorcerer, easily offended, 75% chance of 1d4 apprentices or henchmen.
16 - Large, crowded group of people (d4: 1 - spontaneous street party; 50% chance of impromptu dance sequence occurring, 2 - angry crowd about to riot, 3 - labourers leaving workplace, 4 - parade)
17 - 4d4 Clumsy, stupid, comical guardsmen armed with truncheons and only helmets for armor, 50% chance of carrying whistles.
18 - Procession of pilgrims, zealots, dervishes or monks. 75% chance of them bearing a sacred relic of their cult.
19 - The mayor/king or equivalent and entourage.
20 - Fishmarket

What's In the Alleyway? d10
1 - Jaded prostitutes.
2 - Camp of 3d4 hobos.
3 - 3d4 street toughs, 25% chance of fighting 3d4 rival gang members. Armed with knives, clubs and chains.
4 - 1d8 large vicious dogs.
5 - Wrought iron fence, 25% chance of hidden broken glass in top.
6 - Obstacles composed of rotting garbage.
7 - Prostitute servicing rich/upper class/important client.
8 - 1d4 flesh-eating zombies, 10% chance of being infectious.
9 - 1d4 illicit intoxicant vendors. Will be surly, tough and armed.
10 - Serial killer (usually high-level assassin) and victim; 50% chance killer is rich, noble or some other important member of society.

What's Inside the Building They're Attempting to Escape In/Through? d10
1 - Boudoir full of scantily clad or naked beautiful women; on positive reaction may hinder pursuers.
2 - 2d6 Criminals, armed.
3 - Powerful sorcerer, easily offended, 75% chance of 1d4 apprentices or henchmen, 50% chance is summoning demon or some other complicated, dangerous rite.
4 - Undead d4: 1 - ghosts or other evil spirits (1d4), 2 - flesh-eating zombies (3d6, 10% chance of infectious), 3 - ghouls (1d8), 4 - vampire (50% chance of 2-3).
5 - Hidden temple of evil cult and guardians.
6 - Secret treasure stash, 75% chance guarded by 2d4 fighting men or 1d3 dangerous beasts/monsters. 50% chance trapped.
7 - Abandoned residence, factory or warehouse.
8 - Shocked family.
9 - Social club, 3d6 gentlemen and 3d4 servants.
10 - A crowded, raging party; 50% chance of spontaneous musical number occurring.


  1. '50% chance of impromptu dance sequence occurring' - love it !

    Great stuff, I like how a chase becomes a mini-adventure in itself.

  2. This is truly the Golden Age of the OSR, when on an almost daily basis magnificent pulp gonzo goodness gets conjured up.

    Thanks for this stuff.

  3. I would have put something in there for (a) emerging out the other side of the building wearing a random item of clothing, and (b) chickens. Otherwise, it's all good!

  4. Thanks everyone. You can blame cartoons, Jackie Chan, Bollywood Movies and the like for this.

    More to come!

  5. You had me at 10% chance of mimes. :)

    (I was sent here via the Intarwebs, which is why this is so late.)