Dozens and Dragons

d66 grid to d20 + d6 tables

a novel way to do tables



I don’t know what to do with this thing, but I am quite enamored with it.

. 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 a b c d e f
2 g u u w w h
3 i u y y w j
4 k x z z v l
5 m x x v v n
6 o p q r s t
Figure: A two dimensional d66 grid

It is a two dimensional d66 grid.

You roll two six-sided dice (or one die twice), one for the x-axis and one for the y-axis. And then look up the corresponding letter on the grid. And then look up that letter on a table of 26 letters. This table is generally split into 20 rare / specific items and 6 common / general items.

I never really thought about how a 26 letter alphabet can be represented by a d20 table and a d6 table.

But that’s not even the clever part.

Look, the first 20 letters of the alphabet are all clustered around the outer ring of the grid. You can only get one of them by rolling either a 1 or a 6 on one of your dice. Any other roll will get you one of the six letters clustered in the center.

Probability heavily favors the last six letters of the alphabet. The first twenty letters are more rare.

This mechanic is, according to some random person on discord, allegedly from the game Traveler, where it served as a Rumor Generator: six common rumors, and twenty specific rumors.

So this mechanic, with one roll, randomly determines the rarity of a result. And then randomly determines the result itself from a provided table of 20 and 6 options.

Which you don’t need a mechanic for: you could certainly decide for yourself whether the hot piece of gossip your character just heard is “common” or “specific” based on circumstances. And then, if it’s obvious to you, you can decide what that piece of gossip is on your own.

But if you don’t want to, or cannot, readily determine those things on your own, then this is a very neat little mechanic indeed!

And it’s all opt-in as well! You could just roll on the grid to determine the rarity. Or you could roll a d20 on the rare list. Or you could roll a d6 on the common list. Or any combination of the above.


Question: What is the goblin hoard doing with all those ….?

  1. Bottle caps
  2. Mismatched socks
  3. Broken mirrors
  4. Rusty keys
  5. Marbles
  6. Doll heads
  7. Rubber ducks
  8. Buttons

Answer: Roll 2d6:

. 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 a b c d e f
2 g u u w w h
3 i u y y w j
4 k x z z v l
5 m x x v v n
6 o p q r s t


  1. Forming an orchestra from makeshift instruments
  2. Hosting the annual goblin Olympics
  3. Establishing a goblin spa and resort where they offer unconventional treatments
  4. Trying to teach themselves how to read because they discovered poetry
  5. Hosting a goblin poetry slam
  6. Making costumes for an underground wrestling league
  7. Forming a goblin detective agency to solve goblin crimes
  8. Trying to find an appropriate venue to host a goblin art show
  9. Forming a goblin Night Choir to serenade the moon in hopes that it will rain moondust on them
  10. Training a pack of misfit animals to perform circus tricks
  11. Building a miniature replica of a nearby human village
  12. Preparing for their annual competitive snail race
  13. Holding a banquet to celebrate the union of two rival goblin clans
  14. Sabotaging a banquet celebrating the union of two rival goblin clans
  15. Turning into sharks!
  16. Trying to play a prank on a minor woodland deity
  17. Building a secret goblin library
  18. Making weird puppets in the likeness of important townfolk
  19. Brewing a mysterious potion
  20. Recovering a cursed artifact from buried ruins


  21. Hosting a masquerade ball
  22. Baking weird bread
  23. Trying to sneak out of the city
  24. Smuggling an indignant woodland critter into the city
  25. Building an arcane contraption
  26. Trying to make friends with an unwilling party

Note: this is maybe not the best example because there’s no rhyme or reason to what is considered rare vs common here. But that’s okay, because I just made it all up myself! You get the idea.

« older | 2024-04-11