Dumb Table: Campaign-Changing Events (Inspired by GWAR)

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Note: Starting next week, the regular blog day is going to be Thursday. But for now, here’s a dumb table.

Has your campaign gotten sucky and boring? One way to break out of a game rut is to throw out the status quo so the players are forced into new and unexpected situations. Here’s a table of ways you can do that inspired by GWAR song titles.

  1. Happy Death Day: All of the PCs die. Car accident, meteor strike, bad clams. Whatever works. Now they have to navigate the afterlife. If anyone balks at being killed by GM fiat, let them Save vs. Death (using whatever rule makes sense for the system you’re using). If they succeed, they survive but are left unable to interact with the world around them due to physical or psychological damage. Give them some headphones and make them listen to “One” over and over again until they’re ready for the sweet release of death, at which point they can rejoin the rest of the party in the afterlife.
  2. Go To Hell: Same as #1, but it’s a really shitty afterlife.
  3. Time For Death: Same as #1, but the characters get stuck between here and the afterlife. Now they have to figure out how to move on.
  4. Have You Seen Me?: The Rapture happens and the PCs are left behind. Now what?
  5. Damnation Under God: The Rapture happens and the PCs find themselves in a dystopian Heaven.
  6. You Are My Meat: A plague that makes most animals unsafe to eat results in large-scale cannibalism. This can take place in a post-apocalyptic landscape where people do it to survive or a not-so-different-from-our-own world where society holds together and the decadent elite feast on human flesh in the shadows. GM’s choice.
  7. The Apes of Wrath: Hyper-intelligent apes enslave mankind. Presumably the players are mankind, but if they want to ditch their old characters and play the apes, go for it.
  8. The Obliteration of Flab Quarv 7: Aliens invade the Earth (or as they call it, Flab Quarv 7). It’s up to the GM what they do with it, but it will probably be something the players don’t like.
  9. America Must Be Destroyed: A technologically superior enemy (possibly with doomsday weapons) invades America (or whatever country the PCs live in). The PCs must decide whether to welcome their new masters or Red Dawn the shit out of them.
  10. Slaughterama: The PCs are abducted (possibly by aliens) and forced to compete in some Running Man style gladiatorial games.
  11. World of Filth: Society becomes appallingly decadent. Drugs, disease, crime, and unconventional sex run rampant while good, decent folk spend most of their time terrified. Recommended reading: The works of Warren Ellis, especially Transmetropolitan and Crooked Little Vein.
  12. The New Plague: Just your standard, everyday zombie apocalypse.
  13. Zombies, March: Same as #12, but the PCs all get turned into zombies early on.
  14. Bring Back The Bomb: The PCs’ country becomes involved in a tense Cold War with a nation with appropriate doomsday devices. Things don’t change that much on the surface, but a shadow of Impending Doom hangs over everything and the demand for people with a very particular set of skills (you know, like most PC groups) increases significantly.
  15. Penguin Attack: Penguins enslave humanity. Holy shit! Who saw that coming?!
  16. The Years Without Light: To survive an apocalypse, the PCs (and countless others) hide out in a series of underground bunkers for decades. The GM should probably read a few J.G. Ballard stories and maybe Philip K. Dick’s The Penultimate Truth to prepare for this one.
  17. They Swallowed The Sun: The sun goes out. That can’t be good.
  18. A Gathering of Ghouls: The world is overrun by monsters.
  19. A Short History of the End of the World: The world is destroyed or reduced to a post-apocalyptic state because of something the players did.
  20. Endless Apocalypse: Re-roll 1d6 times and combine the results in any order you like.

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