d205 minor realisms. Photo: Pawel Janiak, Unsplash.

1d205 Minor and Major Realisms

Courtesy of the Hexers of the Cauldron (Stratometaship Discord Channel). Image source by Pawel Janiak on Unsplash

We are in strange times, fellow humans. Uncomfortable times. But roll-play [sic] must go on, must it not? Yes, yes. Indeed it must! But online when it does, since it’s better to maintain distance and do our part to battle the epidemic. So, less further a-do.

If you are playing an uncomfortably modern role-playing game, here’s a table assembled by the fabulous hexers to bring some swinging incongruous randomness to your game table.

Optional Rule: Reality Intrudes

(If you’re using a d20 system) any time a player rolls a 10 on a d20, a niggling fragment of reality intrudes on their character’s plans.

(If you’re using another dice-based core resolution mechanic) whenever a specific, average-ish result is rolled, reality intrudes. Maybe if they roll a 3 and 4 on a 2d6 (1/18 probability).

d205 Realisms

How to roll d205? Use a digital roller. Or roll a d2 and a d100 (and skip the d201–d205 result). As you will.

  1. You realise you have gained a pebble in your shoe or You feel a pebble in your shoe. You take the shoe off and shake it upside down. Nothing comes out. You put it back on. The pebble is still there. You do this three more times. The pebble eludes you.
  2. You have a slight tickle in your throat. It could develop into a cough / a sore throat / a loss of voice.
  3. You haven’t managed to shave this morning / in the last few days / for a while.
  4. Your left pant pocket has developed a small hole.
  5. It only now dawns on you, in the rush of the morning, you put your shirt on inside-out.
  6. Your shoe soles got thin from all the walking around.
  7. Your left ear is ringing today.
  8. Your shoelace broke.
  9. You didn’t match your socks today.
  10. Your hair decided to misbehave today.
  11. It strikes you, you’re feeling a tad bloated; you slightly over ate at the last meal making you dozy / giving you burps / slight indigestion / really distracting indigestion
  12. You didn’t sleep so well last night, god knows why, meaning now, suddenly / slowly you’re tired / really tired / grumpy / ultra-focus on the task at hand (& find it hard to think about much else).
  13. Your fly was open for who knows how long.
  14. You missed a button on your shirt.
  15. A button pops off your shirt.
  16. You found a nice pebble in your pocket, a piece of string, one button and some dirt.
  17. It’s your bad math day. Avoid major transactions.
  18. You are feeling particularly well rested and inspired. Bring it on!
  19. Procrastination is creeping in, you would be rather doing something else. Find an easy task to shake it off.
  20. You just can’t remember this person’s name, it’s embarrassing.
  21. You remembered a great joke when you woke up, giggling all day.
  22. Doesn’t this remind you of that dream last night, you now half recall, what was it, that figure said this / did that // the sunlight caught the ground just so & there was this… how did it go now…
  23. You are having a double deja vu, it’s very meta.
  24. You notice a particularly large floater or mote in your eye. It is annoying.
  25. Your shoulders are covered in white specks. The dandruff is back.
  26. The sole of your shoe is coming loose. It might start flapping soon.
  27. You realize you’ve stepped in the feces of some animal. Probably a dog. Probably a while ago.
  28. A flying bird poops on you / nearly poops on you.
  29. You spot a coin / banknote / lottery ticket on the ground. Somebody’s misfortune is your good luck.
  30. You realize you have a hair / piece of lettuce / mustard seed / bit of blueberry pie stuck between your incisors or even worse You’ve got a piece of meat / salami / gristle / bellflower root / fish bone stuck between two molars and can’t reach it.
  31. There’s a big scratch on your watch / ring / phone / pendant. You don’t know how it got there.
  32. There’s a hole in your sole and it’s letting the waters in.
  33. You stepped with one foot into a puddle. Now your sock is wet. Maybe your trouser leg, too or Several strides back, you stepped in a puddle.  Is your sock wet? You hope not.
  34. In the public bathroom, the water pressure is too high and a jet of water from the tap splashes over the edge of the washing bowl and all over your coat / crotch / shoes / shopping bag.
  35. You sensed a perfume your first love wore. You feel all squishy now.
  36. Your grocery bag / hand bag / backpack begins to rip.
  37. You begin to sneeze. It’s the damned pollen.
  38. You carelessly step on a slug / snail / toad / earthworm. They’re dead. You’re not. How does that feel?
  39. A black cat crosses your path.
  40. You sit on / lean on / brush past some wet paint.
  41. Something gets in your eye. An eyelash, a speck of dust, a bit of ash. It’s harmless, really, but your eye is watering like mad.
  42. You reach into your wallet for a bill and it rips in half.
  43. With a rumble, you realize that you really need to relieve yourself. Fast. or bubble guts start brewing inside of you. You curse yourself for eating food from that petrol station / that grease pit. You shouldn’t have but it was the only thing on the way
  44. An innocent remark reminds you of a private joke from long ago and you start laughing inappropriately.
  45. Your glasses fog up.
  46. You get a nasty paper cut. It stings!
  47. Your lip broke. Laughing is painful.
  48. One of your teeth begins to ache.
  49. Your watch stops / phone freezes.
  50. You forgot your car keys at home / in the hotel / at the bottom of the last pocket you will check.
  51. There’s a bit of tough gristle / bone in your sausage.
  52. A possum roots through your trash. It comes out carrying something embarrassing.
  53. A seam or stitch pops when you bend over. Did you pack on a bit of weight?
  54. You get some sap / pine resin on your sleeve / pantsleg / hair. This is … not nice.
  55. You just missed your bus / train / coach. There it goes. Just out of reach.
  56. You are having crazy eyebrows day.
  57. You can’t hear very well. It’s a lot of earwax.
  58. Your nose starts running / gets stuffed.
  59. You spot a painful pimple on your cheek / forehead / neck / shoulder.
  60. Razor burn day.
  61. Whoever starched your shirt didn’t care how much it would chafe your neck / nipple / waistband.
  62. You realize your nails are overgrown all of a sudden. Need to clip ’em.
  63. There’s a fly / spider / bug in your ointment / soup / shoe.
  64. You get your hair caught in a zipper.
  65. You spill coffee / tea / peach juice / cooking oil on your freshly laundered shirt / pants / jacket.
  66. You slip on a small pebble / kerb / stone and maybe sprain your ankle.
  67. You get a pounding headache from the light / dust / haze / smoke / out of nowhere.
  68. Your cigarettes / snuff / bills / sandwich got … moist.
  69. Your lighter has run out / been “borrowed” permanently by a friend.
  70. Your sugar is low, need something sweet ASAP
  71. You just remembered it is your mother’s / father’s / sister’s / brother’s / cousin’s / second cousin’s / uncle’s / aunt’s / grandmother’s / grandfather’s / nephew’s / niece’s birthday. And they don’t like it when you forget.
  72. It’s your birthday today. You read / watch / hear the news. There’s a new epidemic in town. You cough. Maybe you’re a carrier?
  73. You feel intensely attracted to a person you see. Is this chemical romance?
  74. The pretty waiter / bus driver / nurse / delivery person smiled at you, and you remember a lost flame. You feel melancholy.
  75. The low pressure makes you feel drowsy / sleepy / grumpy.
  76. An off-hand remark sticks in your mind like a thorn, making you feel worthless / guilty / stupid / lazy.
  77. A long hair is growing on your forehead / ear / forearm / nose / shoulder / finger. Hopefully you spotted it, not somebody else.
  78. Somebody accidentally sneezes / spits / coughs … right in your face.
  79. A dog pees on your tire / truck / mailbox / shoe.
  80. You get the tip of a finger caught in a door / jamb. It hurts.
  81. You trip slightly over a loose brick / crack / pothole and sprawl on the ground. You’re dusty / muddy but unhurt.
  82. Something you’re holding slips and falls to the ground. It gets chipped / scratched / wet.
  83. You drop your key / coin / pipe. It falls into the gutter. Plink.
  84. That stupid song is stuck in your head whole day. The one that the bard at the last tavern was singing.  The first few bars of it at least, you can’t remember the rest.
  85. You got stuck on a door handle
  86. You got a sunburn on your ear / nose / one arm / cheek / the bald spot you now realize you’re developing.
  87. You got mail addressed to someone else. It’s advertising / a love letter / something important / a threat. But you won’t read somebody else’s mail, will you?
  88. The milk you poured in your coffee / tea had gone bad. Now the whole thing is ruined.
  89. There was something important that you had to do today, but you forgot what it is.
  90. You are daydreaming. People are talking to you, but you just see their mouth opening and closing.
  91. Dread of reality strikes you followed by a feeling of warmth. Everything will pan out in the end, it has to.
  92. It’s paperwork day, and you would rather be adventuring.
  93. So many little annoying stupid things are happening to you day in and day out, you think someone might have cursed you, and is laughing at your misfortunes.
  94. Someone you didn’t know died today. Funeral is tomorrow.
  95. Can’t sleep your mind is racing. Where is that pen?
  96. You just came up with a perfect comeback argument to that conversation you had one month ago.
  97. You accidentally kick a pigeon / cat / dog. You feel like a heel.
  98. A door handle comes off in your hand.
  99. You’ve spent all day convinced it’s Thursday. It’s Wednesday.
  100. You are struck by a feeling of guilt. It’s all your fault. All of it. Everything.
  101. Universe is on your side today. Smooth easy going. You will probably get screwed tomorrow.
  102. Last time you trimmed your nails, you cut one too short. It hurts when you press the finger against anything and will get ingrown unless you do something about it.
  103. You remember something embarrassing that happened to you as a child.  You feel embarrassed all over again.
  104. You remember something that you got away with as a child.  You feel guilty all over again.
  105. You can feel a blister forming. It will be mildly annoying / painful / bloody horrible.
  106. You hear somebody calling your name. No, you just imagined it. You are alone.
  107. You thought the ground under your next step would be level with the ground of your previous step.  You were wrong; it was an inch lower. You were convinced you were about to fall and die, but all is well.  Hopefully no one saw your momentary panic.
  108. When you finish your tea / coffee / chai / latte / bevanda / spritz there is some residue at the bottom. If you squint it looks like the silhouette of a burnt toast.
  109. You notice a string hanging from the cuff of your shirt. Maybe you can remove it without losing more stitches. Maybe not. Do you dare try?
  110. One of your gloves is missing. Where could it be?
  111. You realize you forgot your umbrella at the cafe, 15 minutes ago. Do you go back for it?
  112. You look for those nice socks only to realize you dreamt about them. How mildly disappointing.
  113. You realize your left sock has a hole in it. Hopefully you won’t have to take your shoes off in public.
  114. The topping / filling / good bits of your meal slip off and plop to the floor. No 5-second rule will help this time.
  115. You take your shoes off and there are damp spots around the sides of your big and little toes. Do your boots have a leak?
  116. You get a chaffed sweaty patch in your armpits / behind your knees / in your elbow crease / between your thighs.
  117. You cut yourself shaving and now you’ve got bloody spots.
  118. You sneezed and accidentally let out a little fart. Oh gods, hopefully no one heard.
  119. Your ceramic eye / tie / lapel / pocket / fly / clothes label got stuck in an awkward position. Everyone you met today has been freaking out a bit. Now you know why.
  120. You spot a rare coin on the ground. It’s been glued down.
  121. You accidentally swallow your gum. For a moment you think you’re choking.
  122. You inhale your soup / salad dressing / juice / coffee / alcohol. Coughing fit ensues.
  123. You ripped a fingernail and now you keep wondering. Should you rip it off? Will it make it worse? Do you have clippers somewhere?
  124. You scuff your nice shoes. Do they look scruffy now? Will people think you’re poor?
  125. Your belly rumbles. You realize that you’re actually really hungry and you forgot to eat breakfast.
  126. A stray cat is following you around. When you look at her she says: “Meow?”
  127. You find a tiny dead squirrel in a tiny pool of blood near the sidewalk
  128. You see a pack of street dogs chasing a man riding a unicycle.
  129. A handful of quiet proselytisers have set up a pamphlet kiosk and are staring at you. What is it?
  130. You only just now notice a piece of spinach prominently between your two front teeth. Everyone you’ve talked to today clearly saw it and said nothing.
  131. The slice of cheese in your sandwich turns out to be moldy. You’ve already eaten half the sandwich.
  132. You realize you forgot to get a new handkerchief and your old one is stuck into a wad that won’t open.
  133. You know that the important document or item is in your pocket, but do you really know it’s in your pocket? You check. Again.
  134. You realize that one of the coins you’re carrying around is from a different mint than you thought.  It’s about the same size and shape, but it’s worth only half as much.
  135. The zipper / latch / drawstring on your bag / luggage / satchel is stuck. It’ll take a few minutes to get it loose. Hope you don’t need anything quickly
  136. Your underwear keeps becoming a wedgie
  137. You’ve lost your wallet. Did you leave it at the bar? Is it in your pants from last night? Did it fall out of your pocket while riding a bumpy autogolem?
  138. There’s an inexplicable new hole/stain on your shirt
  139. Your right ear is ringing today
  140. You realize that your shirt smells mildew-y. You cringe in embarrassment and hope no one else has smelled you.
  141. Your left / right nasal passage is starting to block up.
  142. You can feel a massive zit getting ready to erupt on your nose / forehead / ear / chin / cheek / neck.
  143. Your nose whistles when you breathe. Gods that’s annoying!
  144. You thought it was just going to be a fart. You were wrong.
  145. You keep seeing someone you think you recognize in the corner of your eye. Every time you look, you lock eyes with someone you don’t recognize who is starting to look at you all weird for giving them so many looks
  146. A spot that you can’t reach on your back keeps itching
  147. You turn a corner too quickly and stub your toe. It hurts like hell
  148. You bite your tongue.
  149. Toilet splash back
  150. You wake up hungover after a moderate night of drinking and long for the days of your hangover-less youth.
  151. Is that a new mole? Well, that’s going to be a source of aimless anxiety for the next day or two
  152. Unexpected nose bleed!
  153. You were distracted and missed your mouth hole with a glass of beer / bottle of booze / bite of sandwich. Oops.
  154. Your ears start getting hot. Is someone talking about you behind your back?
  155. Oh … they were waving at the person behind you.
  156. There’s a hair in your meal.  It’s plausibly yours.
  157. You inhale a bug. Or a fly.
  158. After a week of unseasonably warm weather, you pull on your coat for the first time in a while.  There’s a gold piece / cred stick / $20 bill in the pocket that you’d forgotten about.
  159. Your nostril is blocked. You’re pretty sure you could unblock it … if you just … reached in and pulled out the offending dried clump of dust and mucus. But there are people around. Maybe if you snuck into a restroom quickly?
  160. You look forward to getting a cold drink. But it’s lukewarm. Maybe it wasn’t in the fridge long enough?
  161. You sit on a chewing gum wad.
  162. You find a yo-yo in your pocket. You don’t know how it got there.
  163. You reach for a door handle / car door / gate and get a mild static shock. Maybe an omen?
  164. There’s an ugly bit of roadkill in your path. You look away, but still, you saw too much.
  165. You turn around and accidentally knock over a flower pot / ashtray / bottle / vase. It breaks. Oops.
  166. You turn around and accidentally knock over a flower pot / ashtray / bottle / vase.  You catch it. Do you have super powers? No, of course not. But… maybe?
  167. You had a particularly vivid dream last night where you were happy about something, and now the whole day is suffused with a wistful melancholy of having lost something you never actually had
  168. You totally forgot what you were doing/planning on doing. What was it? Oh well, must’ve not been important
  169. You wake up with a horrible kink in your neck and wish you had grabbed your favorite pillow before you set out on the road
  170. Your lucky shirt fits a bit tight. Have you gained weight?
  171. Charlie horse!
  172. You can feel the beginning of a cramp. Strain a bit more and it’ll hit you.
  173. You try to push open a (clearly labeled as such) pull door or vice versa, and the person behind you sees your foolish failure clearly.
  174. Hiccups! What’s worse is everyone’s asinine advice on how to get rid of them. You expect someone to try to scare you. You’re on edge for an hour. With hiccups.
  175. You accidentally get on the slow train / bus – it stops at every station
  176. Train or bus you are on is making a short turn (so you have to leave the vehicle and wait for another one)
  177. You start pouring the wrong fuel into your gas tanks. Oops!
  178. Left your coffee cup / grocery bag / wallet on the roof of the car and started driving.
  179. Engine light is on.
  180. You realise too late you forgot to prepare any lunch for tomorrow
  181. You reached for your companion only to find you’ve put your hand on a stranger’s shoulder.
  182. You’ve been pronouncing the first half of your go-to incantation entirely wrong the entire time. The effect has always worked as intended, you just realized everyone else who casts the same spell pronounces it differently.
  183. You started telling a funny anecdote and then realised halfway through it wasn’t actually that funny (or worse, it would offend someone in the current audience). You manage to wrap up the story without too much disaster but you’re plagued with embarrassment the rest of the afternoon. Why did you think that was funny in the first place!?
  184. You see a tree or bird and wonder what kind it is. You regret not being the kind of person who knows things like that. You daydream impressing your friends by casually identifying such things.
  185. You just realized that something you said publicly in a loud voice a long time ago was actually a very embarrassing thing to say loudly in public, so suddenly you feel ashamed and silly even if literally decade had passed since
  186. You realize you were saying something completely irrelevant and feel embarrassed. Maybe your interlocutor didn’t notice?
  187. You woke up, turned off your alarm, then fell asleep again somehow. Now you’re late
  188. Your shoelace came undone and then you walked it into a muddy puddle. It is now wet, brown, and horrible.
  189. You had an idea but you forgot it and no matter how desperately you try to remember all you get is distracted and scowl.
  190. You start writing a list and you realise after the fourth item that it alliterates. You spend far too long trying to think of synonyms for the remaining items that keep the pattern. You fail. Now the list annoys and disappoints you. It had such potential.
  191. You realize that you took somebody else’s shoes / bag / umbrella / coat. They were the same brand and size, but they’re not yours. You check the pockets / insides … definitely not yours.
  192. There’s a rally. A politician says something absolutely, obviously moronic and false. The crowd cheers.
  193. You really need to visit the restroom. When you finally find one you’re about to relax, when you spot a peephole stuffed with wadded toilet paper. You feel nervous. And sad.
  194. A random person accosts you and starts yelling slurs at you. You don’t understand what their problem is.
  195. You just got fired or you got offered your dream job today.
  196. You’re staying at a hotel / hostel / b&b. In the middle of the night you hear sounds in the other room, clearly indicating a level of violence that is unsafe for one of the parties involved. Suddenly a much louder sound ends the commotion. The next morning, nobody comes out of that room.
  197. There’s larvae of something in your rice.
  198. Someone talks over you. You try to raise your voice, but nobody hears. When you finally get a chance to speak, everybody else has moved on from the topic. A part of you dies inside.
  199. You over-exert yourself. You might be imagining it, but it feels like you hear a tearing sound. Suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your abdomen / groin / leg / shoulder.
  200. You bite into a cherry and the pit splits your molar. Ouch.
  201. Your wisdom tooth gives that dull, throbbing ache. The one that reminds you that a painful dentist’s appointment might be a good idea.
  202. You wake up and you can’t see out of one eye. It’s swollen shut. Must be some kind of allergy.
  203. You’re trying to remove a pit / seed / core / bone or other thing. The knife slips and you stab yourself in your hand. Hard.
  204. You catch your finger in a hinge. It really hurts. The nail turns black. You’re going to lose it.
  205. You’re just a little late, but maybe you should run to catch the bus / train / concert / event. But if you ran, you might get sweaty. No, maybe you should just take a taxi or something. Yes, that’ll be fastest. You get into a taxi. There’s a traffic jam. Now you’re definitely very late.

Hope you enjoyed that table! Thanks again to the Hexers of the Cauldron.

Health and peace, fellow humans.

—Luka

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