2017/07/10

OSR: 1d100 Peasant Grievances

If you're going to hexcrawl in a populated, feudal area, you will run into a lot of peasants. They all have problems. Most of them aren't problems the PCs can solve.

The table can be used with a d100 roll, or a d10 roll on a particular topic, or (and this is my personal favourite), by picking an entry and rambling on and on and on, listing subsequent entries, looping, and changing the subject until the players beg you to stop.


Peasants won't normally reveal their troubles to strangers, but if they are drunk, surly, openly rebellious, extremely tired, or just notorious windbags, the PCs can get an earful.



1d100 Peasant Grievances

The weather is...
1 too cold.
2 too warm.
3 too wet. It's been raining for days.
4 too dry, when it's not raining.
5 and sometimes it's just too dry altogether.
6 unseasonable.
7 far too variable.
8 and the wind is blowing from the wrong direction too.
9 growing worse every year.
10 controlled by wizards, I'm certain.

I feel...
11 a terrible pain in my knees.
12 and in my back.
13 and my fingers, ooh, my poor aching fingers.
14 my teeth  hurt on cold nights.
15 and I'm developing a terrible squint.
16 fleas bite me every night.
17 and mice live in my mattress and keep me awake.
18 all my hair is falling out.
19 I have terrible nosebleeds.
20 and corns on my feet.

Who is bothering  me? Its...
21 Our lord, for he is a thief and a bandit.
22 And his sons are no better.
23 His daughter, they say, is a harlot.
24 And his wife possesses no sense whatsoever.
25 The priest is corrupt.
26 The neighboring villages hate us.
27 It's because the neighboring villages are full of bastards.
28 The merchants bleed us dry.
29 The blacksmith charges outrageous prices.
30 The miller uses smaller bags every year, and he grinds the grain badly.

As for my family...
31 my spouse has never truly know what it is to work.
32 my sons are useless.
33 and my daughters are no better. They can barely work.
34 my children spend all I earn, always taking, taking, taking.
35 my uncle plans to steal my farm if I die.
36 my aunt is a poisoner and probably a witch.
37 my sister ran off with a soldier, cursed be his name.
38 my brother is a drunken, lecherous thief.
39 my father died and left me with nothing.
40 my mother-in-law is healthy, spry, and may live forever.

And the animals? 
41 the fish from the river are smaller than usual.
42 my chickens won't lay eggs.
43 my pigs are thin, knobbly things.
44 the hooting of an owl keeps me awake at night.
45 and my lazy cockerel crows only at the moon, and not the sunrise.
46 I cannot afford a horse.
47 I saw a snake with two heads in the grass one day.
48 wolves have been seen near the village.
49 and crows fly overhead every day.
50 flies bite at my eyelids.

Also, in general....
51 the church is cold and it leaks in the rain.
52 the roads are muddy tracks.
53 the woods are full of wolves and druids.
54 the village well tastes of urine.
55 the village beer tastes of urine as well.
56 my vegetable patch seems to grow smaller every year.
57 and my crops grow shorter and smaller.
58 there was a terrible frost this year, truly terrible.
59 and a horrible wind that knocked down many branches.
60 the river flooded once again.

In the realm...
61 the king's officials are all greedy, foolish creatures.
62 taxes are too high.
63 and our taxes are spent unwisely.
64 the war is going well, but we do not profit by it.
65 or perhaps the war is going poorly, which is why we suffer.
66 two of my sons are in the war, and I have not heard from them this season.
67 the neighboring countries are full of terrible heresies and murders.
68 and I suspect the neighboring villages are in league with our enemies.
69 the tithes we pay vanish, never to return.
70 and every day, the lords invent a new tax or fee.

But also, our lord...
71 hangs, drowns, and beats us with impunity.
72 he cares nothing for justice.
73 his tax assessors are blind to anything but coin.
74 have I said that he is a thief and a bandit? Well he is. Certainly.
75 his manor is full of treasures.
76 his castles are full of soldiers, fat and indolent.
77 he wears fine clothing and imports wine from Foreign Parts.
78 is despised by his rivals for his goodness and wisdom, but they do not know him.
79 his rivals are many; all are equally incompetent.
80 his horses are fed better than his servants.

As for the future...
81 everything seems to be getting worse and worse.
82 there are more wars than when I was a child.
83 knights are now brigands, and will soon be worse than devils.
84 youth disobey their parents.
85 and the elderly are filled with bile instead of wisdom.
86 each year, things cost more and are worth less.
87 the snowfall comes earlier, it seems.
88 last year, we had a terrible eclipse.
89 our priest is getting old; no doubt his replacement will be worse.
90 but who can say what the future holds, except sorrow?

I have other ailments, you know...
91 a persistent, hacking cough.
92 one of my teeth fell out the other day.
93 warts and boils. I suspect a witch has cursed me.
94 and my stomach churns no matter what I eat.
95 a hideous, flaking rash.
96 terrible shooting pains down my left side.
97 one of my legs is shorter than the other.
98 and this finger has never worked quite right.
99 and I have this oozing scar.
100 but I suppose things could be worse...

4 comments:

  1. I really like how it reads as one long diatribe

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is inspired. Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Man, these are all great adventure hooks for PCs who've been appointed Sheriff. They could be nothing, but they could be something more...

    ReplyDelete