Sometimes your villain needs something a little out of the ordinary to set him apart. Or maybe that hapless NPC has a redeeming quality. If you’re feeling inspired, working out extra details for characters can be interesting, but if you’re on a deadline–or really not feeling inspired–sometimes a blunt tool is what you need. Below are 4 tables to encourage an out of the ordinary encounter even when you’re brain’s not at maximum creativity.
Villainous Secrets (Modern) [d8]
1: Secretly supports a local animal shelter.
2: Gets takeout from the same Chinese place every Friday
3: Knows sign language, often shouts and signs orders simultaneously
4: Has a framed, canceled check from his first job hanging from the wall
5: Has a cold, right now. Listen to him cough!
6: Loves fast cars; when wound up he drives way too fast on local roads at 2 am
7: Loves an unusual color. Weapons, clothing, and business cards are all this unusual color.
8: Subscribes to an online dating service, checks his mail 3x/day.
Minor Character Secrets (Modern) [d8]
1: Was humiliated at the end of their last date, is overcompensating
2: Hair won’t stay in place, always patting it down
3: Knows both Milan and New York fashion
4: Has a bowflex, works out regularly
5: Is a member of a local gun range
6: Casts jewelry using the lost wax technique
7: Quilts, is part of a sewing circle
8: Is missing two toes; lost them to frostbite when got lost hiking
Villainous Secrets (Past) [d8]
1: Death before dishonor; honor drives all considerations
2: Illiterate, but has a great memory
3: Uses mother’s coat of arms
4: Dancing is life. Can dance to almost anything, and make a partner look good.
5: Repays many victims secretly months later; thinks of it as “a loan”
6: Is quite the hunter
7: Has a taste for furs
8: Hasn’t slept in two nights–insomnia is a serious issue
Minor Character Secrets (Past) [d8]
1: Can juggle, up to 5 balls, 5 fruit, or 4 sharp things
2: Has a much deeper voice that you’d think
3: A cracked arm twinges, signaling upcoming weather changes
4: Got a letter from mom just two days ago
5: Has a pair of hoop earrings in the bottom of belt pouch
6: Spent a year at sea, knows nautical terms
7: Brews tea from local herbs and plants; it’s actually good
8: Walks barefoot in any weather
Do you have an oddball table you’d like to share, or a favorite generator that always jump starts your thought process? (I love random-generator.com.) Share some inspiration with us in comments!