Chaos Oracle

image from ArtBreeder

filed under mechanics and soloing on 08 Mar 2017
tagged oracle, random table, and mechanics

I’ve probably posted this before, but I thought it’d be fun in case I didn’t. This is cribbed from Pythia’s fu panel, which is stuffed full of different oracles.

This is what I’ve dubbed “the Chaos oracle” because it makes things 114% (or so) more chaotic. It’s good for answering questions quickly and for throwing a lot of wrinkles into the mix.

Figure out a question that can be answered with “yes” or “no”. Look for questions that are interesting and have lots of ramifications. Try to avoid questions with no significance.

2d6 Result
2 No, and, and
3 No, and, but
4 No, and
5 No
6 No, but
7 You pick or event
8 Yes, but
9 Yes
10 Yes, and
11 Yes, and, but
12 Yes, and, and

Now answer your question. Remember, “and” intensifies the result and “but” moderates it.

In general, “and” presents a situation that’s different than what you thought it was, while “but” provides an opening, a chance to respond to the initial “yes” or “no” . Don’t be afraid to mix it up, but whatever you devise, it should be directly related to the question and logically flow from it.

Is my hero tied up? No, he’s untied, and the lock on the door’s one he’s seen before, and it looks like they missed his holdout lockpick.

Does the warrior make a hostile move? Yes, he raises his sword to swing, but you can tell he’s undecided about actually following through.

And here’s a chart to generate random events. Obviously you should interpret these in context and as figuratively as you need to to make them make sense.


First pick a category or roll one (go with “plot” on a 5+):

Action, social, weird, world, plot

Then roll a d6 to see what happens:


A bomb drops, literally or figuratively.

An unexpected enemy attacks from ambush.

Someone looking for a fight appears.

Someone is being mugged or murdered or something else noisy nearby.

Badly wounded person appears or is discovered, being chased or stalked.

An unexpected ally appears.


A bomb drops, figuratively.

A damaging, dangerous, or humiliating secret or weakness is revealed.

Someone switches motivations, ambitions, or goals suddenly.

An unexpected ally makes a move.

Someone unexpectedly falls in love with, discovers esteem for, or develops another strong emotion for someone else.

Someone isn’t who they seemed to be – maybe it’s a case of hidden identity, veiled emotions, or a subtle facade.


A chaos bomb drops, literally or figuratively.

Magical effect occurs, to the hero or an ally’s detriment.

Magical effect occurs, to everyone’s detriment.

Someone is compelled to act out of character or to feel a certain way.

Wild coincidence aids the hero – at a cost.

Something changes in an utterly improbable way.


New or random actor becomes important or comes into play.

Random thread becomes important or comes into play.

New actor.

New thread.

New or random actor and random thread are linked.

Something happens to a random or logical ally.


Natural disaster.

Fire breaks out.

An actor’s long term plans begin to bear fruit.

An actor’s long term plans go awry.

A hidden enemy is revealed.

Someone dies or is very badly injured off-screen.

How bad is it?

disastrously bad, bad, bad with some good, good with some bad, good, spectacularly good

You can weight the “How bad is it” list pretty easily if you want to give your hero a bonus for prior success or a penalty for prior failure – just reroll the die once and keep the highest for a bonus or the lowest for a penalty. But a simple d6 is the most chaotic option!