|Painting by Frans Hals, 1623|
Your adventures have been invited to a party – maybe its a halfling wedding, maybe a swank soiree with the aristocratic set or an intimate dinner party being thrown by a merchant prince you’d like very much to rob.
This is one of those tricky things to run in an RPG – there are just so many moving parts! So, why not a random table?
Roll once per hour per adventurer (or more often if you’d like), with an “event” happening on a roll of 1 on 1d4 during the first hour of the party, 2 in 4 during the second hour, 3 in 4 during the third hour, etc. Roll the event with a d20. Any event that doesn’t make sense for the particular circumstances of your party can be re-rolled.
1. Insult the member of a chaotic cult / 1 in 6 chance it is an anti-cleric, who will curse you; otherwise a lay member who will report you to his superiors
2. Start a small fire / gain a permanent -1 reaction bonus with people at the party and others in their circles
3. While snooping around, walk in on three burglars stealing jewels (or some other valuable) from the host
4. Walk in on the host or their significant others in flagrante dilecto with someone else
5. Uncover a plot of murder against a high noble or official – or maybe it’s just in your imagination
6. Horrify some folks with your stories of past adventures / gain a permanent -1 reaction bonus with people at the party and others in their circles
7. Impress some folks with your stories of past adventures / gain a permanent +1 reaction bonus with people at the party and others in their circles
8. Learn a valuable rumor while conversing with other party guests
9. Drink a bit too much / make a saving throw or become drunk and (1-2) make a scene – perhaps dancing on a table or removing too much clothing – and be escorted into the street, (3-4) pick a fight with an NPC with class levels, (5) wander outside and disappear for the night or (6) get sick in a potted plant. Either way, you gain a permanent -1 reaction bonus with people at the party and others in their circles
10. Spill a drink on (1) the host or hostess, make a Charisma check to avoid being sent away in shame, (2-3) the largest, most violent person at the party, make a Charisma check to avoid a fight, (4-5) a seemingly mild-mannered man or woman who can make your life a misery, (6) your soul mate!
11. Make an important contact with a (1) friendly cleric, (2-3) wealthy merchant, (4) friendly magic-user (50% chance they are not what they seem), (5) petty noble or government official, (6) member of the local thieves’ guild. There is a 1 in 10 chance the person is actually a doppelganger trying to infiltrate your party or a vampire on the hunt for prey.
12. Make eyes at an attractive partygoer / 50% chance they are unattached; if not, make a Dexterity check to avoid the notice of their significant other (who either (1-3) makes a scene; (4) does nothing but fume or (5-6) has you severely beaten or killed – by themselves if they are capable, or by a gang of minions); if alone, you may approach and make a reaction check to see how they receive you
13. Cornered by a zealot who talks endlessly about subjects you know nothing about / Make a save vs. sleep; if you remain awake, make a Charisma check to extricate yourself from the conversation or this is your result for the next hour as well.
14. Get an impromptu lesson in some area of knowledge from an engaging expert / at some time during play, you can have a one-time bonus to miraculously know an important fact you otherwise would not
15. Quell an argument between two guests / gain a permanent +1 reaction bonus with people at the party and others in their circles
16. Make a terrible faux pas, breaking a sacred taboo of the local culture / gain a permanent -2 reaction bonus with people at the party and others in their circles
17. Accidentally promise yourself in marriage to another guest or to their son, daughter or ward
18. Agree to look into a seemingly innocent (but actually very dangerous) problem of a party guest
19. Stand in the corner nursing a drink and interacting as little as possible / gain a permanent -1 reaction bonus with people at the party and others in their circles
20. Get challenged to a duel at dawn with an excitable party guest / 1 in 6 chance they have twice your levels as a fighter or magic-user; otherwise they are a 0-level loudmouth