Ewen’s Tables

The other day I finished the 36th and (for the time being) final installment of Ewen’s Tables, my series of little PDFs of d66 tables. Some turned out better than others, but the best ones can produce things that are hilarious or fascinating. In some cases I adapted stuff from card games and such I’ve been working on, and I repurposed most of the 36 tables I’d written up to go in Most of My Friends Are Potential Supervillains (which will be the sequel to I Want to be an Awesome Robot), but most of the tables were original work. Or rather, they were things I newly created, though it’s in the nature of the endeavor that a certain amount of derivativeness is required. A lot of the tables were basically a matter of finding the right breaking points in names and phrases to make mixing and matching them a workable thing to do, not for the first time making Wikipedia an indispensable tool. The ones that required more original content took a lot more time and effort.

The topics of the PDFs were all over the place, ranging from fantasy stuff targeted at gamers to everyday things (“Places to Eat”) to stuff of interest to me personally (like a table for generating names of tea blends). It also wound up being a medium for humor, which is a lot of what the three “Odds and Ends” PDFs were about. It hasn’t sold gangbusters, but it has sold reasonably well. The ones that sell the most have tended to be the ones based around a particular genre, and to a lesser extent the obvious humor ones. The low price point also has people going in and buying like 4-6 of them at once.

I decided fairly early on to do 36 of them and then do a free PDF with a table to make a d66 roll to select an Ewen’s Tables PDF. I did that, and it was exhausting in various ways, but it happened.

11 Animals, 12 Anime Stuff, 13 Anime Stuff 2, 14 Book Titles, 15 Cute Names, 16 Cyberpunk Stuff, 21 Fantasy Characters, 22 Fantasy Creatures, 23 Fantasy Names, 24 Fantasy Names 2, 25 Fantasy Places, 26 Fantasy Religion, 31 Fantasy Silliness, 32 Fighting Stuff, 33 Game Stuff, 34 Horror Stuff, 35 Magic Stuff, 36 Modern Weirdness, 41 Music Stuff, 42 Odds and Ends, 43 Odds and Ends 2, 44 Odds and Ends 3: Odd Harder, 45 Oracles, 46 Pirate Names, 51 Places to Eat, 52 Post-Apocalyptic Stuff, 53 Pulp Stuff, 54 Sci-Fi Stuff, 55 Steampunk Stuff, 56 Super Names, 61 Technology Stuff, 62 Titles, 63 TV Stuff, 64 Vehicles, 65 War Stars, and 66 Wrestling Stuff

I also made a “d66 Deck” as sort of an accessory to the whole endeavor. It’s a deck of 72 cards that has the probability spread of 2d6 twice over, and lists the results of 2d6 and d66 rolls, as well as showing dice icons and an inspirational icon on each card. Among other things it’s pretty excellent for generating results from multi-column d66 tables.

To put a capstone on the whole endeavor, I compiled all 36 installments (plus some bonus stuff) into a print on demand book, the Ewen’s Tables Collection. It weighs in at 255 pages, 35,000 words, and 170 tables, and is available through both DriveThruRPG and Amazon. I’d had the idea to do a book of generator tables quite a while ago, and I’d been needling my friend Steven Savage, of Seventh Sanctum fame, to collaborate on such a project (which we may still do some day, though we’re both pretty busy these days), but this came together a bit more organically and with less planning. The selection of tables is a bit eccentric as a result, but when all is said and done I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I have a fairly hefty book to show for it. It’s kind of surreal to look at the finished product, a book about the same size as Maid RPG, and the result of six months of making these silly d66 tables.

Ewen's-Tables-Collection-Cover

Anyway, the book is now available in print from Amazon and in print and PDF from DriveThruRPG. The printed book costs $20, and the PDF is a mere $12. (Whereas if you were to for some reason buy all 36 Ewen’s Tables PDFs separately it would cost $53.64.)

From here I’m thinking I’m going to give the Ewen’s Tables thing a bit of a break, and whenever I do some back to it I’ll open it up to submissions (since DTRPG’s automatic royalty sharing is actually pretty simple) and do some more myself, with the aim of eventually getting enough to do a second book. I already have way too many ideas for other tables to make.

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