Thursday, July 12, 2018

Random book

All manner of useful books can be found in the ruins or in private libraries.  Use the tables below to generate a random one:


Roll to see why this book is useful:

Topic (d4)usefulnesstitle structure
1technical manualhow to build/operate inventions (d8)
1: alchemy (gunpowder, medicines, poisons),
2: gunnery (pistols, muskets, rifles, cannons),
3: steam engines (moving minecarts, paddlewheel boats, pumping air/water),
4: shipbuilding (ships, boats, primitive wooden submarines),
5: mechanical systems (gears, belts, pulleys, pistons),
6: flight (kites, hot air / hydrogen balloons, parachutes),
7: music (melodies, complex instruments),
8: ciphers (encryption, codebreaking)
(d6) 1: The Mechanical Codex,
2: A Dictionary of the Art of Flight,
3: Gunnery: or, a Treatise of the Art of Fire-Arms,
4: The Construction and Principal Uses of Steam Engines,
5: The Alchemical Triumph,
6: A Dissertation on Shipbuilding
2scientific workscience to help you find/use natural things (d6)
1: geology (valuable minerals, caves),
2: botany (plants, herbs, poisons),
3: zoology (strange and dangerous creatures),
4: astronomy (eclipses, comets),
5: anthropology, in a broad sense (customs of other species),
6: physiology (surgery, first aid, wounds)
(d8) 1: Experiments and Observations on Geology,
2: On the System or Theory of Astronomy,
3: A Universal Dictionary of Zoology,
4: A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Anthropology,
5: The Doctrine of Lunar Eclipses,
6: The New Science of Physiology,
7: Elements of the Theory of Botany,
8: Mysteries of Entomology
3journallearn from experience about one or two of these (d6)
1: a difficult river journey,
2: navigating along a coastline / island chain,
3: an overland wilderness route,
4: a human/giantish group,
5: barely surviving a dangerous wilderness,
6: hunting strange creatures
(d8) 1: A Short Narrative of the Voyage of the Dragonfly,
2: An Account of the White River Expedition,
3: A Voyage to the Black Sea,
4: A Tour through the Whole of Seal-Eater Country,
5: Voyages and Travels,
6: Description of the Blue Mountains,
7: Journey from Tara Nun to the High Gate,
8: The Travels of Lt. Shima Avalath in the Eastern Isles
4miscellaneous(d6) 1: official history,
2: prophecies and predictions,
3: journal of personal observations and secrets,
4: accounting books showing bribes and money laundering,
5: schedule of shipping/deliveries,
6: information about famous people
History of the Shining Spire,
Meditations upon Things to Come,
Analects of the City of Copper,
The Judgement of the Empire,
An Account of the Lives and Works of the Most Eminent Silversmiths,
A General History of Notorious Pyrates,
The True Speaker's Almanack,
The Beginning and Progress of the Western War,
The True History of the Conquest of the Summer Isles,


Roll up to three times for Details about the state of this book:

Details (d6)
1many woodcut illustrations
2condition (d4)
1: surprisingly pristine, with crisp pages,
2: poorly printed from bad type, some letters and whole pages being hard to read,
3: worn, with dog-eared pages,
4: falling apart
3missing pages/chapters
4something tucked into the pages (d6)
1: a hand-drawn map,
2: a dry leaf/flower,
3: an important folded-up page from another book (roll for Topic),
4: a letter to the previous owner warning of danger,
5: paper money or a note entitling the bearer to some reward,
6: a sketch of an important person/scene/event
5unusual size (d8)
1-2: large, about a foot and a half across (46 cm),
3: very large, about two feet across (61 cm),
4: easily a thousand pages thick,
5-6: a thin folio of only a dozen pages or so,
7-8: small, about 4 inches across (10 cm)
6handwritten notes in the margins (d6)
1: corrections from a later scientist/explorer/etc.,
2: secret details not included in the main text,
3: hints of further, hidden information,
4: warnings not to pursue some danger,
5: unhinged philosophical ramblings,
6: roll again, but the notes are encrypted

Let's try rolling up a few:
  • A handwritten journal of personal observations and secrets, so worn that it's practically just a sheaf of loose papers in an old leather cover.  Notes are written in the margins (in different handwriting) rebutting and contradicting the main text.
  • The Construction and Principal Uses of Balloons, a dry text on small balloons and the sorts of meteorological experminents one can use them for.  Handwritten notes on some of the pages seem to be from the author, talking about their experiments with larger balloons that can carry people, but most of the notes refer to their logbook, elsewhere.  There's a strange note tucked in the pages, recognizing that the bearer has deposited twelve silver dollars with the Temple of the Tasselled Drum.

random book

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