Monday, January 24, 2022

DDiW: how to use an oracle


I tend to record audio messages to some good friends in the evening when I walk my pups. Tonight as I was out walking, I started thinking:

What does Uti know about the area our little group is exploring?

Then I remembered I had installed a die roller on my Apple Watch (while their phones suck goat balls, they did a bang up job with their watch, Google needs to buy a couple of these and study them). Recalling MUNE, I decided to do a little oracling while I was out with the pups....

Does Uti know of a location nearby that we could explore? Yes

Are they ruins? Yes, and...

Are they occupied? Yes

Are they mundane creatures? No (by mundane I mean normal creatures we might find in our world: bears, raccoons, monkeys, cows, tigers, etc)

Are they fantastic? No, but (meaning mythic, something we would expect to find in D&D monster manual sort of thing)

This caught me off guard and I had to stop and think for quite a bit before it dawned on me. What is not a mundane creature but also not fantastic? Only one thing came to mind: 

Are the ruins occupied by men? Yes!

Do these men stand against Whorle? Yes, but

Are they waiting waiting for something? Yes, and...

Are they waiting for a certain person? No

Waiting for something? Yes

Is this thing in Whorle? No

Does someone in Whorle know where this thing is? No

Is the leader of this group fantastic? Yes, and

Can he work the dark arts? Yes, and

Is he undead? Yes

Does this leader know where this thing is located? No

Is this leader interested in Whorle? No, but

Is there something beneath Whorle? Yes

In summation, utilizing my watch while out walking the dogs, I was able to determine that Uti knows of a camp in a nearby ruins where a group of men who serve some undead master is searching for some artifact, but he needs this artifact before he enters Whorle, likely because of something that lies beneath Whorle. So, just to be clear, using a simple oracle and my own imagination, asking questions, I was able to come up with what could easily be a campaign-defining outline

Also, I bought a bunch or dice, check 'em out.

Patriotic dice!

I found the tiniest set of polyhedral dice ever!
10mm, look at those tiny things!


  1. This is really great. Not getting hung up on details, just free thinking and creating questions to drive exploration.

    1. Yep, it is really an interesting process from starting with a blank page to ending up with damn near a campaign idea. I keep meaning to get back to this but something keeps coming up!

  2. More dice?! I am in favor. And I've never used or heard of Oracle.

    1. Oracles rock from a DM stand point. Whenever I get stuck, I can use a weighted oracle to help me resolve the situation:
      Question: Does Tim's PC know of someone that might be able to read the Forgotten Scroll of Tindwall?
      Set up (DM inner dialogue): How likely is it that he knows someone? He's been around a few years, travelled a bit, plus he likes to go to rowdy pubs so I would say he has a good chance of hearing of some seer or man of forbidden knowledge.
      To Oracle: Does he know of someone that could read this?
      I would roll two dice because he is more likely than not to know someone, and use only the highest die rolled.

  3. More dice?! I am in favor. And I've never used or heard of Oracle.

  4. I think it was Grognardia that referred to this as the oracular nature of dice, the reliance upon randomization to help move the story forward. I love the tech twist on the concept.

  5. The new WearOS 4 (aka the just released version of Android/Google's watch) are set up to be quite good. For licensing reasons, Samsung was the only one who released two models last year, but they should be appearing in large numbers this year, and do support dice rolling (as does everything with a Google Assistant). Rumor is that Google themselves will release one of the models as a Pixel Watch.

    Hopefully with that, the apps will appear. That, of course, is why I said "set up" to be good, as that's out of the control of Google.

    Of course, right now I use a Wyze smartwatch. At $20, I can smash it and not worry, and it does all the fitness tracking and smarthome stuff I need.

    12mm are my favorite tiny dice, but I have a bunch of 10mm in a molle bag with my multitool and other random crud that I either carry or leave in the truck. We've played with them enough so that the people who I have had to kill time with have preferred colors.

    1. Awesome. I would greatly prefer to be on Android but until they get their act together and fix the crappy watches.... I have seen the Wyze watch but not looked to deep into it, can you play Spotify through it (without the phone nearby)?

      I have been fairly lucky with my watches/phones. Only took a Moto into the pool with me once.

    2. Wyze watch is a great value for $20. But it is priced right. If you use Wyze house stuff (light bulbs, etc), it is great, allowing you to change scenes. After that, it shows you notifications, does all the health tracking, and is a good timer. But there is no app store and it doesn't have a speaker at all (it vibrates instead). It's a good watch with the ability to read emails and instant messages by glancing at your wrist, and that's about it.

      We got them for health tracking and to see if we would use them before getting expensive watches. We do use them, but will probably transition to a "real" smartwatch at some point. There's just no pressing need right now.