Using Tables to Create Random Results


In a Campaign tables are used to generate random events, encounters, treasures and any number of other possible things. To see a list of the tables in your campaign click on the little ‘tables’ icon in the campaign tools at top right of the sidebar. Select a table to view from the list that appears. In addition to the tables which might appear in official products you can also create your own and the rest of this article is dedicated to creating tables for use in your campaigns.

Table Basics

The graphic above shows the basic structure of a table.

  • 1. The table name.

  • 2. A description of when and/or how the table should be used.

  • 3. This row consists of the following from left to right:

    • Roll - click this button to make a roll on the table.

    • Vis – This box will only appear if the GM has set the campaign option ‘Show GM Rolls’ to ‘On’. The eye icon here can be toggled ‘On’ or ‘Off’ to enable the GM to hide the output of this table from players independent of the global optional setting.

    • Custom – The first box is a dice box into which the user can place dice to be used by the table when a roll is made. By default the table will roll a dice equal to the range of values in all of the rows of the table. For example if the table contains 25 rows then a d25 will be rolled. There is therefore no need to enter any dice into this box unless the creator wants an unusual dice roll such as 2d6 or 1d10+1d8. To use drag and drop dice from the dice tray into the box. The second box allows for a modifier to the dice roll – either positive or negative.

    • Output – Click on this box to cycle through the options. The output from a roll on the table can be sent to ‘Chat’ (the default) or to a Story entry or to a treasure parcel. More on this below.

  • 4. Editing buttons. From left to right these are ‘Add Column’, ‘Delete Column’, ‘Add Row’ and ‘Edit List’. Use the latter button to make the first three visible.

  • 5. Each table row shows a ‘From’ and ‘To’ range. Click within any of the boxes to edit the numbers. Both the numbers in the ‘From’ and ‘To’ boxes can be the same.

  • 6. This field show the result of the roll in the first column. There can be more than one column for each result and these fields can also contain links to other tables or to items such as NPCs, encounters or story entries. More on this subject below. Individual rows can be deleted by pressing the red buttons at the end of each row twice.

By clicking on the notes tab the user can add any additional information regarding the table and its use as desired.

Creating an Encounter Table

The following walks through the steps needed to create a simple table for use in your campaign. We’ll create a straightforward random encounter table with just a handful of entries. Let’s say that the PCs will be traversing some craggy ground and it will take them a day to do so. We want a chance of an encounter or two with some low level NPCs. Let’s say that we’ll check for encounters every two hours and that there is a 50% chance that they’ll have an encounter every time we check. Let’s say there are four possible encounters with either 1d6 bandits, goblins, kobolds or kuo-toa. First thing we would need to do would be to create those encounters. Since we don’t know ahead of time how many exactly we will encounter we assume the maximum number (6). Check out the Encounters article for details on how to create those. NOTE: As of version 3.2 the encounters can be enhanced to make them randomly roll up the encounter with a random number of NPCs in each encounter. The Encounters article shows you how to make such encounters.

Create the Table

  • Click on the ‘Tables’ icon in the campaign tools to open the tables dialog.

  • Click the ‘Edit List’ button and then on the green button to add a new table (or right click in the dialog and select ‘Create Item).

  • This brings up a radial menu asking for the number of rows that we want our table to have. The ‘+’ button gives us more options and the axe icon closes the dialog. Let’s choose 4 rows. It’s not vital that we get the exact number of rows correct at this stage since we can always add or remove rows later.

  • Once we have selected the number of rows we now get another radial menu asking us to say what ‘step’ the table will have. The ‘step’ is the number between the ‘From’ and ‘To’ in the first column of each table. Again it isn’t vital that we choose the exact step at this stage since we can always edit later. For the moment pick the ‘=’ sign which represents a step of 1.

  • We now have the basic table structure. We can see that there are 4 rows and that the step in each row starts and ends with the same number.

Fill in the Detail

  • We are now ready to fill in the details on the table so go ahead and give the table a name, by editing the <<New Table>> box.

  • Now do the same for the description and also for the <<label>>. This latter is simply a descriptor of what is in the rows below it.

  • Now find your encounter list (that you prepared earlier). If you are following this then your first encounter will be ‘Bandits’. Drag the little icon beside the Bandits encounter and drop it beside the 1-1 row of your table. This creates a link directly from the table to the bandits encounter (see the graphic to the right).

  • We could leave that as it is and on a roll of 1 the encounter will be output to chat and we can click on it and it would open the encounter ready for use. However we can be a bit cleverer than that and get the table to tell us how many bandits are in the encounter.

  • To do this click beside the link you created above and type in [1d6] bandits. Now when we roll a 1 not only will the link appear in the chat window but it will also say how many bandits there are. It’s a simple matter then of adjusting the encounter to show that number of bandits before proceeding to place them on the Combat Tracker ready for the fight.

  • Now do the same for each of the other three possible encounters that you prepared. Once you’re done the table should look like the graphic to the right. Test things out to make sure everything is OK.

Final Touches

  • Our table at this stage isn’t quite complete because, if you remember, we only wanted an encounter 50% of the time. As it stands we are going to get one whenever we roll on the table. What we need then is to edit the table in some way so that only half the time we get an encounter. The easiest way to do this would be to roll a d8 instead of a d4 and designate a result of 1-4 as resulting in no encounter. Let’s say however we wanted the Bandit encounter to come up more frequently than the others. We can increase the probability of that happening by having a wider range of results end up with a bandit encounter. So let’s use a d20.

  • To begin with we are going to need another row on our table; so go ahead and click the ‘Edit List’ button and then on the green ‘+’ to add a new row.

  • In order that we only get an encounter 50% of the time on a d20 this result will need to output no encounter on a 1-10. So edit the ‘From’ and ‘To’ steps to 1 and 10 and then add ‘No encounter’ in the ‘Encounter’ column.

  • Now we need to figure out the other results so that the bandits have a higher chance to come up than the others. Edit the steps for the bandits to 11 and 16, the Goblins from 17 to 18, the Kobolds to 19 and 19 and the Kuo-toa to 20 and 20.

  • When you are done your table should look like the graphic on the right.

A more Complex Example

Following on from our encounter above we want the PCs to get some reward for their endeavors by giving out some treasure. Let’s say that there’s a guaranteed chance that they will get some gold pieces, a chance of them finding some useful equipment and finally they might just pick up a magic item. We want to wrap all of what they find into a nice neat treasure parcel for immediate distribution to the party sheet. The first stage in this process will be to create two tables, one for the mundane items and one for the magic items. Use the tutorial above to create two tables like the ones shown in the graphic on the right. Notice that we have weighted the tables so that certain results will come up more often. Now that we have the basics done we can move on to designing our main treasure table.

Random Treasure Table

  • Start a new table with four rows and a single step. Give it a name and description.

  • We have three different types of thing we want to include in our treasure parcel so we want three columns. So click on the edit list button and add in two more columns. Now name the columns ‘Coins’, ‘Equipment’ and ‘Magic’

  • We are also going to need another row so go ahead and edit the table to add one.

  • This time we are going to tell the table that we want it to roll specific dice so select a d6, right click to add another and drop the result into the dice box.

  • Now edit the ‘From’ and ’To’ boxes to read from top to bottom 2-2,3-6,7-7,8-11 and 12-12.

  • In our first column we want the table to randomly roll some gold pieces for us. Against the 2-2 result type in ‘[3d6] gp’. It’s important that the dice expression is followed by a currency unit that FG will understand so that it knows where to put the number in the treasure parcel. So if you want silver pieces then use ‘sp’, for copper ‘cp’ etc.

  • Fill in the rest of this column with 2d6 for results other than 7-7 and 12-12. For 7-7 make it 1d6 and for 12 make it 3d6.

  • This means our PCs will get a higher number of coins for the least likely numbers rolled on 2d6.

  • Now let’s look at the middle (equipment) column. To get this table to roll on another table we need to enter the name of the table we want it to roll on enclosed with square brackets. So in this case we want [Equipment]. This on its own will roll once on the equipment table, but we can get this table to roll more than once or even a random number of times. To do this you put a number or a dice expression before the name of the table again in square brackets. Thus [2x][Equipment] will roll twice on the Equipment table and [1d4x][Equipment] will roll 1d4 times on the Equipment table.

  • So go ahead and fill out the second column entering 1d4 rolls on the equipment table for results 3-6 and 8-11 and 2 times for a result of 7. This means that the most frequently rolled results will get mainly equipment.

  • For the last column we want to roll on the treasure table. This time we only want to make such a roll on a 2,7 or 12 with more magic given out for 2 and 12. So go ahead and enter 2 rolls on the magic table for 2 and 12 and 1 roll for a result of 7. The table should end up like the graphic on the right.

  • Test out your table and make sure that everything is working out fine.

  • Now, finally, click the ‘Output’ box until it shows ‘Parcel’. Now when you roll on the table it will create a treasure parcel from the result complete with all the links to the items. You can now drag the parcel straight to the Party sheet or to a story entry