Vornheiming Middenheim Part XV: Job/Mission Generator Options

[Don't forget about the Dungeon Dozen Adventure Contest . Deadline is Friday!]

So, intrigues and complicated personal relationships are great to keep play going, but it helps to have something to jump start the action either at the beginning of play, or when you hit a lull.  This was driven home to me when my players asked a long-time contact for whom they've done work before "do you have anything you'd like us to do?" and I completely flubbed it.  So, in that spirit, I decided to include a job/mission generator.  Now, these sorts of things have been done before, so I had a few models to go on.  First up are Mike Evans' excellent Firefly and Shadowrun hacks of Vornheim, which include some great job generators.  I've made one that is almost an exact copy of the Firefly job generator, but with a few of the jobs and people involved changed.  I like this one a lot, but the fact that it's damn near identical to Mike's work makes me want to come up with something a little more original.

Then there's a format presented in Dark Heart of the Dreamer, a World of Dungeons supplement.  You roll a D6 to determine type of employer, another for type of job, and another for location.  Then you roll the specific employer under the type of employer. I think the re-roll could be rolled into a single roll, like on a D20 or D100, and the nature and target could be other columns, but then you end up with basically a variation of the Firefly/Shadowrun one discussed above, but with one column removed.  One thing I do really like from Dark Heart of the Dreamer's job system is a roll to see what happened to a job while you ignored it.  So, the players get offered a job, then run off and do something else, this tells you what happened if they later ask "hey, what about that offer to bump off a guy, is that still available?".  So I came up with something similar, but made it a 2d6 roll instead of 1d6.

Courtney Campbell's Mission Generator is nicely comprehensive, and I like what it does, but it strikes me as more suited to adventure generation than to on-the-fly job generation (but maybe I'm just slow).  I figured for something extra fast I should have a chart of complete jobs you can get with one roll, but I couldn't resist noodling a little bit.  So I made it a nested table: you roll a die size based on who the job is offered by (if you want, you can always roll the full d20 for anyone if you want).  The idea is that you roll a d4 for an average joe, a d6 for a business owner/artisan, a d8 for a criminal, a d10 for a crime boss, a d12 for a noble, and a d20 for a merchant.  You can randomize who's offering the job with the career list, roll 1d6 to pick what category, base it off of who or where the characters ask, or however else you want to decide.

Finally, I figure jobs need a place to be offered and discussed, so it's about time for the Inn generator. Once again, the generator in Green Devil Face 4 is probably a better comprehensive preparation-based inn generator than I can make, and there are plenty of inns and taverns detailed in the write-ups, so I think the most useful thing here is an answer to "where's the nearest available inn?".  I ended up going with another pop-o-matic special (oh how I love them), but even moreso than the NPC generator, the idea is to use only the categories you want or need.  I broke down and put an "availability" category in for completeness, but there's no hard and fast "no rooms here" result, because I think that's a boring result.  The names can be used as one d20 roll or two, depending on the variety you want.

All these tables are after the break.  As always, recommendations for improvement are welcome. I apologize for not being able to get the Inn generator entirely into the main column, the layout will be taken care of in the .pdf.

Detailed Job Generator

1MerchantWant(s) toKillNoble
2NobleWant(s) toSteal fromPolitician
3PoliticianNeed(s) toDiscreditBawd
4BawdNeed(s) toInvestigatePriest
6ArtisanMustExtortGang Leader
7Gang LeaderPlans toDelayCrime Lord
8Crime LordPlans toMaimWizard
9Wizardis actively __(ing)FrameGroup of Thugs
10Group of Thugsis actively __(ing)Gather Information fromCult
11Cultis being coerced toGather goods fromDwarf
12Dwarfis being coerced toSpy onInformant
13Informantis fighting againstEscape fromWatchman
14Watchmanis fighting againstMake disappearMilitary Officer
15Military Officerwant(s) toBlackmailGuild
16GuildNeed(s) toTransport contraband toKomission
17Komissionplans toKidnapWitch Hunter
18Witch Hunteris actively __(ing)PersuadeFriend
19FriendmustGather contraband fromEnemy
20Enemyis fighting againstSecretly meetMerchant

Quick Job Table

Based on who is offering a job, roll 1d4 for a regular citizen, 1d6 for a business owner/artisan, 1d8 for a criminal, 1d10 for a crime boss, 1d12 for a noble, and 1d20 for a merchant.
1Steal a recently acquired Nekharan necklace from a merchant
2Recover a ring from a grave - you can keep the rest
3Tunnel into a wealthy merchant's vault
4Murder a gang leader
5Rid a slum building of an infestation of especially vicious rats
6Stake out a warehouse to catch a thief
7Rough up a shopkeeper who won't pay his protection money
8Break an associate out of the watch's jail
9Smuggle drugs into the city from a nearby inn
10Case a merchant's house for a gang of cat burglars - get a percentage
11Discover and infiltrate a suspected Chaos Cult
12Find the herdstone for a group of beastmen and report it to the templars
13Rid a slum building of an infestation of especially vicious squatters
14Collect blackmail information on a Komission Konvenor
15Participate in illegal pit fighting
16Join an expedition to an abandoned Dwarf Fortress
17Investigate a cult's use of the sewers
18Find the remains of a wizard thrown off the cliff of sighs
19Protect a local noble during the carnival from an assassin
20Burn down a rival's warehouse

Is this Job Still Available?

Is that old job still available? Add +1 to the roll for every week since the job became available

2: Someone else attempted it and did a terrible job, now there’s fallout to deal with
3-5: Someone else took it, but they haven’t finished yet
6-8: Yes, it’s still available
9-11: Someone else finished the job, but there’s probably other work available
12: Someone else finished the job, and now associates of the target have a counter-job to offer

Inn and Tavern Generator

D4AvailabilityD6QualityD8Best FeatureD10QuirkD12DistrictD20AdjectiveNoun
1Open Rooms1Luxury1The food is great1Frequented by people you wouldn't expect given the quality1City Gates1Graf'sRepose
2Shared Rooms2Good2The bedbugs hardly bite2Runs some kind of game or gambling2Palast2DiceyProspect
3Can sleep in the stables3Average3You can hear more rumors than usual3Extremely surly service3The Great Park3SmilingFool
4Kick someone out to get a room4Spartan4It's easy to find jobs here4Set up customers for a gang of footpads, split the loot4Grafsmund-Nordgarten4Templar'sArms
5Cheap5The drinks are cheap5Proprietor requires guests to attend sermons to get breakfast5Ulricsmund5Dwarf'sStoneholm
6Just Awful6The owners don't tolerate fighting6Inn is a safe house for a crime ring6Altmarkt-Altquartier6Hog'sHead
7The rooms are cheap for long stays7A political action group uses the inn for meetings7Southgate-Ostwald7HungryHalfling
8If you tip well, the staff will do a lot for you8Owner refuses to pay protection money8Neumarkt-Osttor8BrokenAnvil
9Won't serve a randomly determined demi-human race9The Freiburg9SpinningWheel
10Proprietor won't stop with the stories/conspiracy theories/observations on the weather10The Wynd10DrunkenJourneyman
15MightyMan O' War