Thursday, 9 August 2012

Random Roleplay Table - Hobbies and Interests

When writing up a character, it's all too easy to get caught up in a theme, and forget to add those little details that give depth.  This is true whether you're a player putting the final touches on your trusty alter-ego that'll see you through many an adventure yet to come, or a GM writing what seems like a billion NPCs for the next session.

The strange thing is, the answer to adding depth is staring us right in the face every time we interact with another person.  Small talk covers all the basics, such as job, family and weather (and most characters will have some answer to each of those already), but then it moves on to interests, hobbies, passions.  So, throw some dice and use this table if you're stuck for ideas (or do as I tend to, and read them all picking the ones I feel like using).  I've written this with modern settings in mind, meaning it will work with most sci-fi settings without any effort, but shouldn't be too hard to bend to the majority of fantasy settings either.  Street racing becomes chariot racing, playing guitar becomes playing lute, and so on.  It's not exhaustive, and isn't meant to be, but hopefully will give some ideas that wouldn't have sprung to mind otherwise.  Comments are always open (especially for suggestions).

Random roleplay table - hobbies & interests
D20 Hobby / Interest Variations
1. Origami Competitive origami, Kirigami (involves cutting), paper engineering, paper making
2. Boating/sailing Boating combined with d6:
1. birdwatching; 2. sunbathing; 3. outdoor BBQ cooking; 4. painting landscapes; 5. paragliding; 6. roll again on main table for combine
3. Paintball Customising paintball equipment, airsoft, gun enthusiasm, hunting
4. Flying kites Kite fighting, kite surfing, kite fishing
5. Orienteering Geocaching, letterboxing, BookCrossing, cartography
6. Remote control cars Amateur mechanics, Formula One/stock car racing, street racing, demolition derby, vintage cars
7. Toy models Model rockets, matchstick models, scrapyard art
8. Poker Bingo, casino gambling, backgammon, boardgames, roleplaying games, chess
9. Amateur astronomy Astrophotography, theoretical astronomy, planetary science
10. Cookery Home beer brewing or wine making, home jam making, vegetable/herb gardening, BBQs
11. Playing guitar Playing [insert any musical instrument here], orchestral performances, being in a band, choral singing,

12. Stamp collection [Insert any collectible here] collection (coins, antiques, artwork, Beanie Babies etc.), bird watching,

train watching
13. Pedigree cat shows Dog shows, sheepdog trials, dressage, polo
14. Meditation Reflexology, aromatherapy, reiki, t'ai chi
15. Quilting Needlepoint, puppet-making and puppetry, cross-stitch, knitting, clothes making, cosplay
16. Dancing Old time dancing, line dancing, tap dancing, pole dancing, belly dancing
17. Pottery making Papier-mâché, sculpting, oil painting, candle making
Amateur wrestling
Martial arts, boxing, professional (entertainment) wrestling
19. Tarot card reading
I Ching, reading runes, water divination, metal detection
20. Movies Theatre, acting, celebrity gossip


  1. Would it be too meta to play a char who rps every second Thursday night?

    1. No, of course not. In fact, next time you GM, I was planning on running a roleplay-obsessed character. I can see it now...

      ThoughtonGM-BOT: You're all in a tavern, when...
      DaemonPC: No, I'm not.
      ThoughtonGM-BOT: Huh?
      DaemonPC: It's Thursday, right? My character always roleplays on a Thursday.
      ThoughtonGM-BOT: Hmm, okay. You've decided to roleplay at the tavern.
      DaemonPC: Oh, okay.
      ThoughtonGM-BOT: As you're all sitting there, a mysterious stranger walks over and...
      DaemonPC: I ask if he has a character rolled up.
      ThoughtonGM-BOT: He says no, but he does have a quest...
      DaemonPC: I tell him to go away, we're trying to roleplay over here. Okay, DaemonPC says, "You're all in a tavern, when..."