Campaign Events: Urban Riot

Riots provide almost limitless opportunities for adventure. However, few adventures feature riots because they are problematic to flesh out. Designing all the rioters and the many minor events the PCs witness would take more time to prepare than even the most diligent GM has at his disposal. That’s where Campaign Events: Urban Riot comes in. Presenting copious notes on the rioters themselves as well as minor events and dressing along with hooks, opportunities and complications it takes the hassle out of running an urban riot and lets the GM concentrate on the important details of the campaign!

By Harry Theaker

By Harry Theaker

Riot Dressing

Use this table, to provide details about the environment in which the riot takes place. Ignore any unsuitable results and simply re-roll.

  1. A toppled statue lies broken and defaced in the street.
  2. Bonfires burn in the streets, with piles of rags, rubbish and broken furniture consumed in a smoky blaze.
  3. The cracked face of a porcelain doll lies trampled in the alley.
  4. Graffiti covers the walls, hastily scrawled with ash and charcoal.
  5. Jewels, silks and other fine goods can be seen glittering through the shattered windows of an abandoned shop.
  6. An overturned cart lies beside its spilled produce.
  7. A single shoe lies abandoned on the road.
  8. Rubble and wooden planks are piled into a makeshift ramp over a stone wall.
  9. Ale flows from a broken puncheon rolled out of a tavern.
  10. A cracked door hangs off its hinges.
  11. A pair of spectacles has been ground into dust by the heels of rioters.
  12. Crushed stems and petals litter a trampled flower garden.
  13. A line of drying clothes hangs between two gutted houses.
  14. Torn pages flutter above piles of soiled books outside a sacked library.
  15. A plume of greasy black smoke drifts up over the rooftops.
  16. A snapped tree hangs over the street.
  17. Broken holy symbols are piled in front of a church.
  18. A slick of lamp oil glistens on the cobblestones
  19. Crossbow bolts are embedded in the door of a small shop.
  20. Piercing cries and the braying of horses echoes through the nearby alleys.

Minor Events

Use this table, to provide details about small scenes the PCs witness during the riot. Ignore inappropriate results and simply re-roll.

  1. A mob thrums in the street, bellowing an unintelligible chant.
  2. An emaciated dog rifles through garbage piled in the street.
  3. Two wounded guards limp through the shadows.
  4. A pair of half-orcs hastily stack boxes into a cart with a broken wheel.
  5. A halfling fiddles with the lock on an intricately carved door.
  6. Two young children crouch in a doorway, warily watching passers-by.
  7. An elderly woman sweeps shards of wood out of the street and into a pile.
  8. Two men try to calm a thrashing horse while a third lies motionless behind it, a deep cut bleeding on his forehead.
  9. A fountain is filled with drenched pedestrians climbing up its features to escape the mob.
  10. Three townsfolk pile pieces of broken furniture into a barricade.
  11. A shrieking boy bursts from an abandoned alchemist’s shop, his clothes engulfed in flame.
  12. A sobbing man shakes the shoulders of a young woman bleeding from a stomach wound.
  13. A bridge sways precariously under the weight of a crowd storming over the river.
  14. A badly burned woman lies against a wall, begging passersby for water and aid.
  15. Sobs can be heard beneath an overturned carriage.
  16. A dwarf struggles under a bulging sack.
  17. A stunned man watches his house burn.
  18. A group of priests line up bodies and cover them with sheets while chanting last rites.
  19. An elf with a loaded heavy crossbow sits outside an untouched storefront.
  20. Two elders lead a group of children hand in hand through the wreckage.

Related Resources

Praise for Campaign Events: Urban Riot

“If you have ever thought that it might be fun to have a riot in the middle of your game, perhaps disrupting whatever the party actually intended to do in town, this resource will give you plenty of ideas and, well, help your imagination run riot!”

–Megan R (five stars)

“…what before looked like a good, if not stellar little pdf managed to turn everything around with the second half: Both the sample rioters and the complications in particular are downright inspired and leave you craving more…”

–Endzeitgeist (four stars)

CE_Riot_front_220A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Nicholas Wasko

Released 19 November 2015; Pages 10

PDF ($2.45) d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, RPGNow, Warehouse 23 or sign up to Raging Swan’s Patreon campaign before 15 November and get it for $2!

Download a Free Sample Urban Riot: Minor Events



CE_Riot_220A System Neutral Edition GM’s Resource by Nicholas Wasko

Released 29 February 2015; Pages 10

PDF ($2.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow


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3 thoughts on “Campaign Events: Urban Riot

  1. I’m quite happy about your “system neutral” offerings. While I like what Raging Swan does, I’ve got zero interest in Pathfinder. As a gaming system it doesn’t work for me. At all.

    Therefore those “system neutral” products are great and a beginning to me. Nevertheless, I would prefer what Purple Duck or Frog God do: Publishing OSR modules (and the like) besides Pathfinder products. (DCC RPG and Swords & Wizardry are both decent sets of rules.)

    • Thanks for the kind comments, Athair. I’m delighted you are enjoying out System Neutral Editions.

      At the moment, I’m not planning any OSR modules, but I am a huge fan of Old School gaming; it’s certainly something I’d consider in the future!