Monday, November 25, 2013

Rumor mill

One aspect of +Peter V. Dell'Orto's Dungeon Fantastic game that intrigued me was the rumors that characters could get in town before heading off to the dungeon.  I contacted Peter about how he built his rumor chart, and then took the idea and made it my own.

Characters wanting to check for rumors will have to make a skill check against Streetwise, or Savoir-Faire. For bonuses (or penalties) to this roll players my also first opt to roll vs Carousing, sex appeal, intimidation or other applicable social skills. The margin of success or failure will determine the penalty or bonus to the Streetwise or Savoir-Faire check.

My rumor chart has 36 entries.  Players will roll a d6,d6. Which in GURPS parlance will be to roll one d6 and use it for the first digit, then roll a second d6 and use it for the second digit.

Filling in the chart was a lot of fun. There were several things I knew I wanted to be on the chart. This filled up about a third of the grid. For a bit of help filling in the rest, I went to donjon. Using the random Inn generator, I was able to get some pretty neat ideas. Not all of the rumors on the chart are true. Many of them are false, some have a grain of truth in them, and others are mostly true.
Once a rumor has been shared, it will be crossed off the chart and a new entry made. I will restock the chart between sessions. Some of the rumors will be completely new, others will build off of things that the players latch on to in game play.

I am looking forward to the players hearing the rumors, and seeing how it will affect the dungeon once everything is in motion.

Prep up date: Not much got done over the weekend. I didn't have time to get anything down on paper, but was able to mull some things over in my head. Hopefully that will allow me to get more done over the next couple of days.


  1. I don't think only Savoir-Faire (High Society) and Streetwise skills are the only information gathering skill. I thin the place/person you are trying to get information from matters.

    I can see using Savoir-Faire (High Society) skill to gather rumors from nobles and wealth merchants/mages/clergy.
    I can see using Streetwise skill to gather rumors from underworld / black market types.
    But I don't see either as useful to talk to the bartender or innkeeper at the local tavern/inn, the local farmers drinking at the tavern, the old adventurer who stopped by to share a pint, etc. That seems to be Caurosing skill strait.
    To get information from folks going about their daily work seem like Current Affairs skill.
    To dicker with a specific merchant seems like Merchant skill.
    To question a specific person Interrogation skill.
    To scare or impress a specific person to give details would be Intimidation skill.
    To "sweet talk" someone could be Sex Appeal skill or Fast-Talk skill.

  2. I agree with you. However in the limited setting of Dungeon Fantasy, and the further limited scope of my campaign, and the limited use of finding out rumors, those are the skills that best apply. I am using carousing, sex apeal, and intimidation etc, as a modifier to the Savoir-faire and Streetwise. Just a bit different approach.

    1. I guess the problem I see is that I don't think Savoir-faire and Streetwise skills show up on all templates. I need to go back and check, but with limiting it to those two skills, template Barbarians, Druids, Holy Warriors, Martial Artists, and Scouts can't gather rumors. I guess I expect the Barbarians to be able to go to the tavern, have a few beers with the crowd, and hear about the cave outside of town with the treasure and monster ... (i.e., Caurosing Skill). Rolling at an IQ-5? default seems harsh when you start from an IQ of 10.

      But if those are the rules you are setting, and your players know it at the start, it can work.

  3. I see where you are coming from. If it turns out to harsh, I will modify it. Don't forget that characters can get bonuses for using the other social skills, intimidation, carousing etc.