Random harlot generation table in AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide

GenCon Indy approaches, and so I'm not posting much. I hear D&D co-creator Gary Gygax will be at the convention this year. If I run into him, I want him to autograph one of the most ridiculous pieces of gaming weirdness ever to make it into a mainstream AD&D publication. I'm speaking, of course, about the infamous random prostitute generation table in the 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide. That book included a random encounter table for cities; "Harlot" is one of the entries. Here is the Harlot entry, reproduced in facsimile for your delectation:

Sadly, subsequent editions of the Dungeon Master's Guide lack such useful prompts to the imagination. Dungeon Masters are now forced to improvise descriptions of harlots, should such be encountered by an adventuring party. Unless, of course, the Dungeon Master owns a copy of the 1st Edition DMG or is lucky enough to see this blog post.

In the interest of fairness and gender equality, this table should be updated to include male prostitutes, transgendered prostitutes, and empowered sex-positive feminist prostitutes. There should also be a separate subtable to generate the "Johns" who are availing themselves of the harlot's services. "Lecherous nobleman", "sleazy cruiser", "drunken rake", and "Republican Congressman" should have their place alongside "slovenly trull" et. al.


Anonymous said…
Ah, the days of old-school AD&D... I must say, though, that an amazing prompt to the imagination is given here! I can certainly see how improvising dialog would be much different for an "expensive courtesan" than a "wanton wench"! (Is Gygax saying, "Dungeon Master, if you are going to introduce harlots, give them variety"?)

To be fair, it is refreshing to see an example of the old writing. I don't particularly care for the bland, rated-PG-for-the-whole-family pablum that comes out of Wizards of the Coast nowadays.

Just my opinion, of course.
Anonymous said…
Ahem, to correct a typographical error on my part... For "expensive courtesan," read "expensive doxy." The integrity of the table and its categories must be preserved!
Zachary Drake said…
I agree that I prefer Gygax's elevated style to the current rather bland text. It gave AD&D a more distinctive flavor. And I'm convinced it improved my verbal SAT score.
Anonymous said…
Republican Congressmen. Rotflmfao!
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