Grim & Perilous Random Dice Tables
Author: Peter Rudin-Burgess
Publisher: PPM Games
Page Count: 25
Available Formats: PDF
PDF (DTRPG) – $2.50
One of the benefits of being a Rolling Boxcar Patreon supporter is requesting a review of products that align with your interests. One of our longtime Patreon supporters asked us to take a look at Grim & Perilous Random Dice Tables, a supplement for Zweihander RPG. They questioned if it was a useful product or not. While I am new to the Zweihander Grim and Perilous RPG, I am not new to roleplaying games and these types of supplements.
Grim & Perilous Random Dice Tables is a Zweihander supplement that places randomized dice rolls at the GM’s fingertips. The supplement contains thousands of random roll results in an easy to read format. The author’s intention is for the GM to select a page and a block (as seen below) to pull randomized numbers from when the need arises. Using the provided numbers allows GMs to appear to have results on the fly. For example, if the players are sneaking around, did anyone hear them? Audible die rolls might give away that someone was nearby that they were unaware of. The author states this will speed up gameplay and keep players focused on the story and not meta mechanical aspects of the game.
The supplement is short, coming in at 25 pages, but don’t let that fool you. There are thousands of die rolls across twenty pages of randomized tables. This should be more than several campaigns worth of random die rolls. Each page consists of random roles for the following—d100, 1d10, 1d10+1, 2d10+2, 3d10+3, and Fury & Chaos (1d6). GMs can opt to read the results (below) horizontally, vertically, forward, or backward.
As you can see in the sample image above, the random die roll results are grouped by type in an easy to read manner. Each type of die roll has a varying number of results with the percentile having the most as it is the most common roll used in Zweinhander. Here are the author’s stated purposes for each.
- d100 – Percentile skill checks
- 1d10 – Initiative ladder
- D10+ Rolls – Scaling effects
- 3d10+25 – Establishing NPC stats on the fly
- Fury & Chaos – Name says it all and for random 1d6 rolls
Grim & Perilous Random Dice Tables supplement is nicely laid out and is easy to navigate with three pages of instructions before the random tables begin. The instruction pages suffer greatly from a lack of editing and proofreading. The Majority could be re-written in a clearer and more concise manner, which would help mitigate numerous grammatical errors within.
Is this a useful product? Would I recommend it? I have mixed feelings about its usefulness. First, the purpose of each die type is clearly defined, but the author ends his instructions there. They never give the reader a clear path forward on where to start using the random tables. For some, this is a no brainer, but for others, this may be a point of confusion and frustration; especially for inexperienced GMs. Second, as a 37-year gaming veteran and lover of random tables, I am not convinced that these tables are truly random. The numbers appear to be randomly generated and I can’t prove otherwise. A resourceful GM can pick any block of numbers, read it in any direction they so desire (as intended). That alone “could” influence them to select number strings that, while random, affect the narrative in less than random way. In essence, the GM can select numbers to push the story in a specific direction and thus removing some of the player agency from the equation.
GMs enjoy using supplements that make their time behind the screen easier; allowing them to focus more on the story. Some may find this supplement useful and frustrating at the same time. I believe that the addition of a randomized value (and determination method) for selecting one or two blocks of numbers during game prep would serve most GMs better.
So, is it worth getting? In my opinion, no! Some may find it to their liking but may will not. I believe that most GMs would be better served by using a mobile dice rolling app (one that can be programmed) and using it in lieu of this product. App usage can be silent and not give away the fact that you’re stealthy making rolls. It can be used to generate any random value that is needed. I see mobile apps as far more useful than this product.
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