Tuesday, May 28, 2019

d100 Table - Three Hundred Smells & Scents by Type (for Yoon-Suin or anywhere really)

Foraging through a few orphan folders, I found another d100 table that has been languishing at the end of some content on my Yoon-Suin Resources page and decided to whip it into a single-page for more convenient use. Although I believe it was originally designed to assist with navigating city-blocks in Yoon-Suin, I frankly feel that this could be helpful for a variety of situations that need a little nose, even if does err a little on the exotic.

We often default to stressing sight and sound impressions when describing things, but a gentle reminder to remember how things and situations smell never hurts. It’s worth considering adding a trigger for this to an Overloaded Encounter Die/Wandering Monster Check, and I’d love to see more adventure authors use a little 👃 icon and a concise olfactory fact occasionally in their room descriptions. Odors can be a wonderful shorthand for the evocation of all kinds of memories and can easily trigger unexpected routes of play. They can also serve as a method of navigation for when the last torch sputters out: This is the room that smelled like eggs? OK, I think there’s a door to the left that leads to the one that smelt more like burning books. Or if you’d like, they can be used in conjunction with some other generators, like my Herb & Plant Generator or even to apply a bouquet to potions (I try to keep taste/smell/appearance consistent for identification purposes).

My hope is that even just having some potential smell inspiration ready at hand could help spur an occasional reminder to add a soupçon more sensory substance when describing a scene.

Hope this ends up passing the sniff test! If you feel that something a little more “traditionally vanilla” fantasy would be more useful, just let me know!


  1. Hello there, I'm just starting to run my own Yoon Suin game and your many resources have been helpful so far! I actually had questions about some of your house rules, do you have an email or some other way for correspondence?

    1. Ask away, happy to help and answer any questions you might have about the resources or share ideas on how to handle things. I put a lot of this stuff together some time ago, so it might require some freshening up if something's unclear :)
      Most of my Yoon-Suin stuff is pretty Yellow City-centric, and the house rules tinkering I do is largely compatible with most flavors of the game. Probably more so to the older, "Race as Class" systems than the newer ones, but most of it plugs in without too much trouble.

  2. I'm using B/X as a base, with some alterations. One of the things I was curious about is your take on The Middle Road rule, it was posted a couple years ago and I'm curious what your experience has been like since then. I don't fully grok odds and probabilities, even with sites like anydice.com, so I was wondering if you have any suggestions on how I might change it if i want +/-1s and 2s to be more common, such as the ones from Ability Scores.

    I was also wondering if you have (even if rough draft form) any Race as Class takes on Crabs, Slugs, Yoon Suin Dwarves or any other other other many different intelligence species of the region.

    Not exactly a house rule, but I would also be very interested if you had a plain text version of your various d100 tables, so I might slap them right into the house rule documents for my own table.

    1. B/X is a good base! I tend to lean more toward BECMI, but there's enough common ground between the two. I also was entertaining a PurpleHack based on WhiteHack, because a lot of what I wanted to do wtih Slug-Folk/Crab Men could easily be handled with Ability Score Species Tags.

      Middle Road works for me really well as a replacement Skill System, provided you have players that are okay with more free-form skill lists. I usually base it more on their background/vocation prior to adventuring than anything else as a starting point, and just let 'em pick up new ones as ROOKIE as they go. Adding in a bunch of persistent modifiers (more than just +1/+2 that are used situationally for favorable conditions/proper tools, etc) can really mess it up though, because it does wreck the averages. Consider maybe giving a bonus skill level/skills to characters with higher stats instead of just using the Ability modifier on the rolls. Another option is to allow the Ability bonuses for the improvement rolls only...natural talent lets them get better faster, and future rolls will be easier as they gain higher skill levels. But all in all, I don't think the B/X Ability Score modifiers alone won't hurt things too much...it's just when you start stacking them with situational modifiers that you can make the rolls unnecessary (all it takes is +4 to make anything succeed automatically, so I'm stingy with modifiers on this). If you're liberal with penalties (-1/-2) then it could work, but that's really just cancelling things out and seems like an extra step. Using Ability Score Modifiers on the success rolls will lead to darn competent players that tend to stick to their "wheelhouse" so to speak, and may not be willing to try something that they may perceive themselves as "bad at" due to having a low score, which is why I've tended to avoid it.

      I use Crab-Men outta the book really (I think I let 'em "Grab and hold on for continuing damage with no hit roll" on an 8 roll though). For Slug-Men I just re-skinned M-U or Cleric mostly. I'm tempted to revisit some of the ideas I had and finish up a Class I was working on for Slug Men though. I removed a little of the "Tolkien-ness" from Dwarves, but rules-wise they're pretty much the same. I think I gave them a bonus to haggling/getting a good deal and swapped out their architecture for appraisal. Flavoring in little ways seemed to work ok, Slugs were repelled/damaged by salt like Cold Iron for the Fey in other settings.

      For the tables, I'm pretty sure the text is select-able in the PDFs for copy/pasting, and Word seems to open them alright. I try to keep 'em laid out on one page for easy printing (because D&D is still one of the few things that I can't seem to shake the need for physical things...Tablets are just too distracting for me at the table).