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 13 August, 2006

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TS: Books
TS: FR Flavor Files
TS: Horses

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Confessions of a Treasure Junkie...

Treasure.  I love it!  Getting it, rewarding it, it doesn't matter.  I've been hunting the perfect Treasure Generator forever.  I came close with the Ice Mage's Treasure Generator.  I clicked madly at Jamis Buck's offering.  I wrung my hands with anticipation for e-Tools, but, like many others, I came away disappointed.  I merrily downloaded RolePlayingMaster, hungrily digging into the table editor.  Then I discovered Bruce Gulke's TableSmith, from whom RPM barrowed heavily.  OOoohh!  I'd found a new toy!

Actually, the trick in treasure generation for me is variation.  Aside from gems and coins, I don't like a lot of duplication, especially in the art department.  I also want my generator to assign the details that I'm going to be asked about, like, "What's it a painting of?" and "A library! What's on the shelves?"  I've made some lists, some as tables, some as FR style lists of items.  I loose my tables in short order, mainly because I don't play at home, and they are always in the pile of stuff that I've been carrying around for weeks and decided to leave at home tonight... And the FR style lists are OK, but suffer the same fate and are only good for a couple of big hauls.  I need something I can generate for the occasion, save in txt form if I'll need it again, and pass the printout straight to the players.

TableSmith drew me in with the Book Description table.  It generated the following example output:

Title: Travels of Wyrsil the IV
Description: The book is average size, with covers of deerhide. The vellum pages are unbound, but wrapped with a leather cord. In addition, the book is in a locked case.
Condition: Average
Value: 450 gold crowns.

Title: Guide on Unholy Rites,by Shadar of Zyr
Description: The book is a thin volume, with covers of leather. The vellum pages are sewn into the spine.
Condition: Good
Value: 500 gold crowns.

You can actually click on the hyperlinked bits (they've been disabled here) and it will generate a new random bit, leaving the rest intact.  THAT IS SO COOL. The names are all randomly generated, too.  Wow.  No hunting.  Just playing.  Neat.

Of course, I wasn't completely satisfied.  I don't want crowns, I want gp.  I also wanted the values to be calculated differently.  I wanted click out the condition and for "paper" to be a page type (Bruce Gulke designed his tables for his World of Mythosa, and I guess that paper is not easily available).  And, happily, this is all very easy to do.  So easy, in fact, that I've added more!  Books about Forgotten Realms places and deities can now be generated.  And I'm not done tweaking...  But I am ready to give FR and TableSmith fans the benefit of some of my (nearly mindless) work.  Here's an example of my tweaked Book Descriptions:

Title: Guide of Religions of Halruaa
Description: The book is a thin volume, with covers of richly dyed leather. The common paper pages are bound with metal rings.
Condition: Poor
Base Value: 250 gp.

Title: The Writings on Culture of Lake of Steam,by Maranus of Ordulin (Sembia)
Description: The book is average size, with covers of exotic wood. The vellum pages are roughly sewn together with a thick cord. In addition, the book is in a locked case and a picture of a reclining bull adorns the cover.
Condition: Average
Base Value: 900 gp.

There's still some polishing to do, mainly adding a few prepositions, but it's plenty to get me not only through the game session, but to give me a little inspiration about what's in the background of my adventure.

About TableSmith

I downloaded TableSmith 4.5 from Bruce Gulke's Mythosa website.  In addition, I downloaded many of the extra table files.  Before you go any further, you may wish to download or find out more about this most useful program.  

bulletYou can find TableSmith on Mythosa's RPG Utilities page.

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Tables of This and That

In the left margin are the links to the various tables that I've been tweaking.  I like these things modular, as I'm always going to come up with something else.  Here are some of the highlights of what's on the following pages:

bulletTS: Books: The files that got me started detailing.  See the above rant for the skinny.
bulletTS: FR Flavor:  All those files that give the treasure FR flavor.  Deities (the FR gods) and Places (of Faerun) are the most important of these files and really add the flavor.  Other files include Races and a major revision/expansion of the Creatures table (you can see it was referenced for the example book description where it describes the reclining bull).
bulletTS: Horses:  I got EN World Publishings "In the Saddle" and it had great tables for generating horses.  I tweaked and expanded to make quick lists of horses including names, age, and training.  To get the full benefit of the generated list you'll want a copy of "In the Saddle", but this will get you thinking and make the "by the seat of your pants" DMing so much fun.

This page designed and written by Catherine Keene, unless otherwise stated. 2001-2005.
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This page was updated on Sunday, August 13, 2006