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Isekai’d, part 6: Roll on tables to set up your isekai campaign

Isekai’d, part 6: Roll on tables to set up your isekai campaign

As you consider setting up an isekai game for your players, you can take many different routes to get there, and use a number of different sources for inspiration.

Try these tables to roll up a game or mix and match to choose one you like.

Catch up on the Isekai’d! series from the beginning!

Arrival Methods

This table details various ways that characters can arrive in an isekai world.

Isekai Arrival Methods

1The PCs die in a plane crash, rail disaster, or similar large-scale accident and are reincarnated in fresh adult bodies when they arrive.
2The PCs die in a large-scale accident and reincarnate in the bodies of infants who then grow up in the new world.
3The PCs’ real bodies lie in a coma on Earth while their souls inhabit the bodies of constructs or undead in the new world.
4The PCs are camping in the wilds when they pass through a moss-shrouded tunnel in the trunk of a great oak tree that transports them to the new world.
5The PCs are all students studying or fooling around in a library when they discover a book with a mysterious title. Opening this book transports the PCs in a flash of magical light.
6The PCs are on a road trip when their car passes through a strange fog bank. The fog vanishes when they emerge on the other side, and they find themselves trapped in a goblin-infested forest.
7The PCs are summoned by a demi-god to fulfill an ancient prophecy, appearing on the outskirts of a small town with no knowledge of how they ended up there or what to do.
8The church summons the PCs via an ancient ritual. They arrive inside a magic circle surrounded by robe-clad priests in the basement of the local temple.
9The king’s personal wizard summons the PCs using a powerful artifact. They appear in the king’s throne room, surrounded by armored knights.
10The PCs are invited to participate in a trial of a new VR game, taking on the role of stalwart heroes. A mysterious force sabotages the game, and the PCs become trapped in it.
11The PCs are playing in an MMO when a light erupts from their computer screens, and they are sucked bodily into the game. When they arrive, they are in their real bodies but retain the abilities of their in-game characters.
12The PCs are playing the Tales of the Valiant RPG around the living room table when a powerful electrical storm erupts outside. The living room is struck by lightning, knocking them out. When they awaken, they are in the game world adventure in the bodies of their characters.


This table provides a mix of possible settings for an isekai world.

Isekai Settings

1A traditional fantasy setting, such as the world of Midgard.
2A historically accurate version of 14th–18th century Asia, Africa, the Americas, or Europe.
3A historically accurate version of 14th–18th Earth history, but with the addition of various fantasy races, magic, and monsters.
4A world that mimics 14th–18th century Earth but with its own distinct nations, peoples, languages, and history, without magic. At first glance, this world looks like Earth from the same period.
5A dying world of shattered kingdoms and blighted farmlands is overrun by evil. The PCs are the last bastion of hope in a grim, despairing setting.
6A fantasy setting where science has firmly taken hold. Trains, firearms, and even telephones are commonplace. This world may contain trappings from the modern world, such as cat cafes.
7A mystical land of warring knights and elves where the sun and moon hang from the branches of an enormous tree like ever-ripening fruit.
8A highly magical world of massive sky islands ruled by mighty dragons, demon lords, and djinn princes.
9A world trapped in a perpetual ice age where everyone lives in massive geothermal caverns to escape the killing cold.
10A funnel-shaped world consisting of a single mega-dungeon and a surrounding metropolis.
11A strange world where humans and other typical fantasy races are almost unheard of. Most of the residents are fey, giants, intelligent oozes, and wholesome monstrosities.
12A world based on a popular MMO, such as Azeroth from World of Warcraft, or even a cartoon, such as the world from the 1983 Dungeons & Dragons TV show.

Plot or Theme

This table lists potential plots or themes for an isekai campaign.

Isekai Plots or Themese

d12Plot or Theme
1There is no grand scheme or plot. The PCs are just regular adventurers trying to make a living in a harsh world.
2A powerful foe, such as the Demon King or Dragon Emperor ravages the land with their armies. The PCs have been summoned to stop them.
3The PCs wake up as slaves in an oppressed kingdom ruled by a tyrannical king. Can they free themselves and stop his evil rule?
4A god of games and chance brings the PCs to the new world to participate in a grand contest. If they survive the competition, they get to return home to Earth or stay in the new world.
5The PCs’ summoning precipitated a great disaster or magical catastrophe. Now they must survive the fallout and fix the problem.
6The PCs are summoned to save the world from destruction. However, they soon discover that it is a publicity stunt—their summoners are the real threat.
7To return to their own world and loved ones, the PCs must venture into the lowest levels of the world’s most infamous mega-dungeon to retrieve a powerful artifact from the tomb of a mad titan.
8The PCs appear in the bodies of monsters feared by humanity. They can either embrace their monstrous natures or become unorthodox heroes.
9The PCs enter a world of fantastic adventure through a magical portal. Unfortunately, the portal stays open after they pass through, and monsters such as chimeras, orcs, and dragons begin invading Earth to wreak havoc.
10The PCs enter a world of fantastic adventure through a magical portal. An evil military force from Earth finds the portal (or uses a different one) and invades the fantasy world with jet fighters and tanks, threatening to ruin what is good about the new world. Can the PCs stop them?
11The PCs arrive in a fantasy world based on a famous otome (a romance game) and realize they are all potential love interests of two of the world’s most powerful villains or heroes.
12The PCs become trapped in an MMO and must stop a rogue AI from erasing it and them from existence.

Find more great advice in the Kobold Guide series.
The Kobold Guide to Roleplaying contains over 100 pages of essays by notable PRG designers.
Get it today!

about Phillip Larwood

Phillip has been writing for Kobold Press and other companies for many years. From multiple articles in the early days of Kobold Quarterly magazine to recent books like Tome of Beasts 2 and Vault of Magic, Phillip is never more satisfied than when he sees his name in print. Something that he points out to his family and friends over and over and over again.

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