Friday, October 20, 2017

1d100 Biblical Events and Aesthetics

"Abraham and Isaac" by Harold Copping
  1. Descendants of cursed wasteland wanderer learn the secret of metallurgy.
  2. A vast, rotting ship stuck on top of a mountain, filled with the carcasses of each known species of animal and many more unknown.
  3. 90 year old woman gives birth.
  4. Holy order banned from eating grapes, cutting hair, or being within presence of the dead, in exchange for super-strength.
  5. A divine wager is made on how much suffering a single man can undergo.
  6. Infant bastard-prince dies after a week of incredible pain.
  7. The king calls for a census; tens of thousands struck down by plague in divine retaliation. Census was divinely ordered in the first place.
  8. Talking donkey gives good advice to bad people.
  9. Towns annihilated. Women and boys put to the sword. Girls raped. God does nothing.
  10. Bald man summons bears to attack local punks.
  11. Writer upgrades local lake to impressive sea; pilgrims disappointed.
  12. Rival priesthoods constantly attempting to undermine each other while writing down oral history.
  13. Man curses tree for not producing fruit out of season.
  14. Tongues of flame granting Comprehend Languages.
  15. Morbidly obese king forgets that some people are left-handed; dies due to oversight.
  16. Manipulative queen thrown out of upper story window; stray dogs rejoice.
  17. Intensely claustrophobic cosmology; world is technically underwater and there is no surface.
  18. Three friends thrown in furnace over dispute; chocolate rabbit possibly involved.
  19. Scribe painstakingly calculates symbolic numerology; effort is lost upon the general readership.
  20. Shepherds tending flocks by night terrified and confused by angelic flash-mob.
  21. King goes mad, acts like feral animal, eats grass like a cow.
  22. Man watches entire family die. Later replaced by new, living family as consolation prize.
  23. Misprint commands adultery.
  24. Iron chariots prove remarkable resistant to divine interference, reasons unknown.
  25. Man offers daughters to be raped by mob; is later raped by both daughters. Union begets unpleasant rival tribes.
  26. Woman achieves MAXIMUM SALTINESS.
  27. Woman instructs son on the importance of having enough alcohol at a party.
  28. Smear campaign against agriculturalists.
  29. Confused whale press-ganged into transporting equally-confused prophet.
  30. Man brought back from the dead; Narrative elision prevents anyone from knowing details.
  31. Boy sold into slavery by brothers due to being a smartass. Wins freedom and becomes king of foreign land, due to being a smartass.
  32. Man instructed to kill son. Is way too enthusiastic about the whole thing, has to be told it was a joke.
  33. Divine compact sealed by barbecue.
  34. Once there was a secret chord, that David played and it pleased the Lord – but you don’t really care for music, do you?
  35. Giant wheels of with gigantic fiery eyebrows inspire bestselling novel series.
  36. Divine consort gaslit out of canon.
  37. Legions of quails descend upon the people, shit on everything.
  38. People unquestioningly believe talking snake.
  39. Tribesfolk gets lost in desert, try to make it seem a lot more impressive than it actually was.
  40. Local woman blamed for everything bad ever.
  41. Group of brothers lead revolt against imperial colonizers.
  42. Moneylenders chased out of temple by wandering, whip-wielding preacher.
  43. Teenage mother finds uninvited foreign kings on doorstep.
  44. Mighty warrior collects foreskins of dead foes as trophies.
  45. Lion carcass used as apiary.
  46. Short man climbs tree, gets stuck.
  47. Plagiarist Pauls plague people’s perceptions.
  48. Gigantic tower sits in a distant land, half-constructed. Contains traces of the universal language.
  49. Man sells inheritance for bowl of stew.
  50. Immortal priest king shows up, never explains himself.
  51. Man struck dead for pulling out while having sex with his dead brother’s wife.
  52. Man sees his father naked and drunk, all his descendants are cursed. No one can figure out what happened.
  53. Snake epidemic leads to temporary adoption of serpent cult.
  54. New census techniques disrupt local economy by making everyone move back to their ancestral home.
  55. Scribes can’t figure out a single backstory; everyone involved has been dead for centuries, narrative reigns.
  56. Oppressive emperor named only by numeric cipher.
  57. Removal of sins through the eating of coals.
  58. A prophet’s head served to a princess on a platter.
  59. Theophagy emerges, becomes very popular distressingly fast.
  60. Oracle declared against chief prince of a distant northern nation, stating that they will be incited to war by God, and then struck down by God for being warlike; no one can figure out who the oracle is talking about but he really hates those guys.
  61. All things are vanity: What has been, that will be, what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun.
  62. Reproduction considered disqualification for resurrection.
  63. Widow and her maid play as false double agents for invading army, become confidants of enemy general, and cut off his head in the middle of the night.
  64. Editor dead: suicide claimed, murder suspected.
  65. Compiler working 200 years after the events described throws in single line complaining about something unrelated, confusing people even further.
  66. Cattle-rustling brothers overthrow prevailing chronology by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  67. Colonial overseers get excessively tired of all this shit, amp up the oppression.
  68. Temple priesthood, now-extinct, is remembered primarily by a pun on their name that only works in a language developed centuries later and thousands of miles away.
  69. Minor differences in neighboring culture groups lead to centuries of bloodshed despite sharing nearly everything else.
  70. Competing wizards try to out-do each other by sending bigger plagues on the populace; king unfazed by the catastrophic mass death of his subjects.
  71. Intentional mistranslations of holy book made to placate literalists desiring consistent canon.
  72. Account of ancient events switches to a different author writing at a different time to a different end in a different genre midway through a paragraph.
  73. Virgin mother-to-be with morning sickness realizes that she’s got six more months to go and didn’t even get to have sex first.
  74. Demons commit suicide upon possessing pigs, out of presumed hatred for all pork products.
  75. Book about a guy hanging out with metal-as-hell angels declared apocryphal for being too radical.
  76. Incredibly boring family chronicle of ancient tribes weaponized by unruly theology students.
  77. Nationalist origin-narrative is way too positive about the eradication of the people who were actually living there.
  78. Anti-authoritarian political narrative couched in esoteric symbolism; author forgets to add footnotes.
  79. King refuses to completely genocide vanquished foe and settles for only mostly-genociding them and keeping some of the livestock. Stripped of crown and throne in divine retaliation.
  80. General and pervasive hatred of women.
  81. Shellfish, mixed fabrics, homosexuality banned: local gay bars sell killer oysters and really nice wool-linen blends.
  82. Sun just stops and hangs there at noon for a while for military convenience.
  83. Military band brings the house down in all literal senses of the phrase.
  84. King introduces wheeled bull idol that runs on human sacrifice; confused as to why people think he’s crazy.
  85. Prophet challenges rival prophets to prophet-off; loser is set on fire.
  86. Spies return with figs the size of small cows.
  87. Court necro-witch raises spirit of prophet to provide advice; ghost is not having any of that shit.
  88. Heavily armored giant learns not to underestimate shepherds who understand ballistics.
  89. Vizier’s niece marries king, prevents pogrom.
  90. Man discovers that he was a cat person all along.
  91. Man wrestles with angel, doesn’t realize kayfabe was in effect.
  92. Philosopher king binds demon, realizes that having that many wives is a problem.
  93. Rogue prince stuck hanging from a tree by his hair.
  94. Giving birth to a girl is twice as unclean as a boy.
  95. Daily cereal offering dictated: priests unsure as to whether God prefers Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms.
  96. Seven-year-old is made king, wants to rebuild temple; does a decent job at it.
  97. Holy city sacked, people taken into exile.
  98. Wildman brought food by ravens and angels.
  99. Angel kills 185,000 soldiers overnight. General goes home, is murdered by his sons.
  100. Goats get unfair rap, sheep given undeserved praise.

"The Presentation in the Temple" by Jorge Sanchez Fernandez


  1. Personal favorite is #43, which just might be the best call to adventure ever written by human hands.

  2. I would change 61 to "61.All things are vanity: What has been, that will be, what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun", says the old man, than gets greatly surprized by cell phone.

  3. I recognize most of these, but number 66 eludes me. All really good, though some of these a bit improper in their reading. Though criticizing someone on a D&D blog for playing fast and loose with doctrine is incredibly dumb, now that I think about it. But I enjoyed them nonetheless.

    Also, Dan is right. Number 43 is probably the best call to adventure ever.

    1. 66 is the story of Ezer and Eliad, which gets about two sentences in 1 Chronicles. It's notable because their father is listed as Ephraim, son of Joseph (with the technicolor dreamcoat), and they did their cattle-thieving in Canaan, rather than Egypt (as the dominant narrative would have claimed)

      Is That In The Bible had a really good post on it.

  4. Is 66 a reference to the Maccabees? And I can't decipher 68 myself, although I'm sure it's a good one.

    1. Nope, it's Ezer and Eliad (explanation posted right above). The Maccabees were 41, and 68 was a joke a teacher once told me.

      "It's easy to remember the doctrinal differences between Pharisees and Sadducees: Sadducees didn't believe in a resurrection, and so that is why they were sad, you see."