18th Century, cities, city, Dark Fantasy, Ghastly Affair, gothic game, Gothic Gaming, Gothic Horror, Gothic Literature, Gothic Romance, Gothick, random encounters, role-playing game, Romantic Horror, rpg, urban encounters
Roll a d20 on the following table to determine what the characters encounter when they foolishly decide to explore that narrow street where the sunlight refuses to dwell. The results are skewed towards a late 18th Century Gothic milieu, but would also be appropriate for most dark fantasy (and even some modern horror) games as well.
The Characters Find…
- A crime in progress (murder, robbery, etc.). The perpetrators may be dressed as animals, be wearing Carnival masks, or may even be the King and his courtiers in disguise!
- A mysterious shop that seems to sell antiquities, run by an unhelpful and shriveled old man with an unknown accent. The shop sees much large on the inside than it looks from the outside.
- A stinking pile of rotting garbage, with a peek of something shiny within. Perhaps it is a valuable object that was lost or deliberately hidden.
- A swarm of rats or insects rushing from an open door.
- A small shrine to an obscure saint, with inexplicable offerings left before it. The prayer to the saint is scrawled on the wall nearby, but there is no indication of what the petitioner should expect to receive.
- A pool of blood, but no body. Bloody footprints lead from the pool straight to a wall, and then up it.
- The remains of corpses stolen from their graves and then dissected by medical students. Naturally, one is a deceased friend or family member.
- A corpse with a mysterious object in its hand (key, unsent letter, etc.)
- A seedy tavern patronized by hostile people who do want to be found. The tavern may be a cover for a criminal operation of some kind (kidnapping, fencing stolen goods, etc.).
- The unassuming entrance to a palatial home. The inhabitants are dressed in an oddly out-of-fashion manner, and speak with archaic accents.
- Strange footprints in the mud / snow / dirt, seemingly left by some animal that should not be present (tiger, bear, bipedal goat).
- Gamblers playing dice, and making strange bets (a hand, the memory of their first love, the taste of sweetness).
- A prostitute servicing a client. One or both of them may actually be well-known members of High Society.
- The King of the Beggars holding court.
- A private club that caters to those with peculiar tastes. The password for entrance will be coincidentally easy to guess. Everyone inside is masked, impeccably dressed, and speaks with an aristocratic accent.
- The entrance to a street that is not on any map, and shouldn’t exist.
- The sound of weird chanting comes from a second-story window, followed by the sound of objects breaking, and screams. A headless body crashes through the window, and falls into the alley.
- A sinkhole, crudely covered up with boards. There are signs of habitation in the cavern below.
- A group of children playing an unknown game with strange and intricate rules, while they sing a song with ominous (or slanderous) lyrics.
- The studio of a mad artist, creating a work with dimensions that seem to constantly change, in colors that cannot exist.