Of late I’ve noticed many different products appearing from a new publishing output called Lee’s Lists in the DriveThruRPG/RPGNow space. And when I say many, I’m talking 60+ different collections on a wide range of topics. Some are 100
long. Some are 1000 long. But they all seem to be a single page and not cater to any particular system or genre. I’ve seen everything from historical and fantasy to science fiction and martial arts.
I’ve been diving into thick gaming tomes of late (hundreds of pages) and have been looking for short palate-cleansers, so these one-page laundry lists of items, names, and ideas might just be the thing to hit that sweet spot. As such, I grabbed a copy of 100 Useless Summonings and Conjurations, which sounded like fun.
The list is a single page with three columns of text and a light-colored background image of a nest of birds. Like any long random list, the idea is to roll d100 and see what you get. The list includes things like “A Drunken Squirrel” (#3), “A Deck of Cards missing all the 2s and 8s” (#74), or “A Putty Knife” (#97). Other items involve extra die rolls for things like “1d30 Doorknobs” (#11), “2d6 Spatulas” (#40), and “1d10 Pounds of Sawdust” (#90). Roll a 99 or 100 and you get more than one item or a combination of items… It really is the most unusual list of items I’ve seen in a while. And yet… I can see where many of these items might be entertaining if tossed into the occasional odd situation.
But where I think this format really works is that it’s making me ask interesting questions like “How did the item get summoned?” I don’t know of a spell in D&D that would work this way, but any RPG where you could create your own spells (or a GM who lets you make creative cantrips) could make use of the list. Some of the items could even be useful – imagine summoning sawdust (#90) to soak up a spill or a bunch of roofing nails (#33) to act as caltrops to slow down a pursuer. It’s a Forest Gump-style box of summoning chaos… “You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Other lists could be even more helpful in certain situations:
- Some of the names lists could be very helpful for NPCs in campaigns… 100 Elven Names, 100 Female Norse Names, and so on.
- Some of the food and drink lists could be very useful for setting the stage in taverns across the land… 100 Genuine Medieval Beverages, 100 Medieval Foods, etc.
- And many, many more…
Each is just $0.99. Less than a buck each. And they’re so focused you know what you’re getting from the title alone, so you could pick up a few lists and quickly generate taverns, unique monsters, NPCs, or even help players come up with PC motivations. I don’t know that every one of these lists will be helpful to every GM, but for a buck it’s easy to pick and choose a few to stick into a gaming notebook for later.