||Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/07/11/tabletop-review-random--
Last year I reviewed an amusing little book called Random Acts of… Violence. It was an amusing, helpful, and easy to use book that offered a hundred random “acts” that a DM could use in a role playing game. A DM could simply pick one of the acts, or roll a percentile to get one at random. The idea was great, and it was obvious that we would see some more Random Acts in the future.
Random Acts of… Horror is the latest in this series. Instead of almost slapstick levels of physical comedy, Horror brings about a macabre change to the format. There are plenty of surprise zombie attacks, ghostly figures, and things that go bump in the night.
One thing I noticed immediately, mostly because the preface told me about it, was that things were often a bit more vague that usual. Shadowy figures surround sleeping PCs, but what’s revealed when the lights go on is pretty much up to the DM. The book goes with “horrors beyond all imagining”. It could be a group of demons getting ready to feast on your soul, or something like a troupe of goblins getting ready to put on a striptease. Clearly, the level of flexibility offers up all kinds of… possibilities.
Something interesting to note is that many of these acts allow you to test the alignments of characters. For example, “While visiting a small town, the PCs notice many devilish creatures trying to pass for townspeople.” A good player may go to investigate, while an evil character may gleefully join in on the shenanigans. Depending on the type of campaign your running, such a simple sentence could have some pretty neat ramifications.
Using the book is simple. There are a hundred different acts in the book. Each one has an associated number. If you want something random, merely roll percentile dice (2d10), and go from there. If you’re looking for an idea to jump start your campaign, you can simply pick one you like. With a hundred different options, the book can certainly come in handy. I don’t have too much experience running campaigns of my own, but I do know how difficult it can be coming up with ideas. This book can offer up useful starting points.
There are no stats given for anything in the book. That means its compatible with just about everything out there. It also means that users will likely have to do a bit of work after they’ve chosen an act. After all, if a hungry werewolf is going to attack the party, it’s going to need some stats. Still, I think the flexibility and utility makes up for the leg work.
At two dollars, this book is a fairly safe buy. It many only contain a list, but it’s a pretty good list. If you like, you can also purchase four books in the series as a bundle for six dollars. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you don’t already own one of them. If you’re looking for something to spice up your campaign, this is certainly worth a look
[5 of 5 Stars!]