Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fantasy Cuisine - Get It While It's Haute

When the emperor sits down at his table, surrounded by the assembled kings, nobles and merchant princes of his domain, his servants do not serve dishes assembled for their succulence, but rather for their expense. In the world of emperors and kings, one entertains to show his guests just where they stand in relation to the throne - i.e. beneath it. Of course, the table setting is part of the overall effect - plates and utensils of porcelain, silver and gold - but the dishes, composed of rare and wondrous ingredients is just as important if not more so. Thus - the patented Nodian Random Haute Cuisine Generator. With a mere handful of dice, you can cover the tables of nobles, kings and emperor's alike with meals fit for a gourmet (or gourmand).

The true origin of these tables was in a document I use while stocking my random hex crawls. I call it "The Thesaurus", and it began as just that - a thesaurus of color words so I didn't have describe everything red as "red". It soon expanded to land forms, people and then food and clothing. There are just too many excellent words out there not to attempt to use them all, you know. Having this little storehouse of knowledge, I came up with this as a way to present at least the edible part of it. You can use these tables to concoct strange fantasy recipes (either to serve players as guests, or to send players after on kingly quests) or just use them when trying to stock your own world's and dungeons.

The process is simple. First, choose a style of dish or roll it randomly on that first table. The style of dish show you how many rolls you must make on the different ingredient tables to discover just what is needed to bring the inventive gourmand's imagined recipe to fruition.

Once you have determined the style of dish and the ingredients, it is up to you, as Referee, to describe the dish. A few samples are included at the bottom of the page. So grab some dice and get cooking!

Oh - and before I forget, two websites were invaluable in teaching me a bit about medieval cooking: Medieval Cookery and Gode Cookery.

* Indicates that cheese is called for in the recipe, rather than milk











Sample Dishes

The Emperor Norton is hosting a garden party for the luminaries of Brobdinag and Laputa, and his cook has worked up the following dishes to show off. The first is a thick soup of cuttlefish, komatsuna and horse gram spiced with long peppers. This will be preceded by an aspic made with duck eggs with pyrolisk and ackee suspended in it and a chickpea frytour made with cottonseed oil and spiced with Szechuan peppers. Yummy!


  1. Simply mind-boggling! I'm drooling just from reading this. Thank you as always.

  2. Very nice.

    Bought Nod 9 today, to go along with my collection.

  3. That's awesome. I love overly complex random charts (even if I only use them once).

    I'm curious about the three asterisks in the first chart, what do they represent? Is the milk optional for those three recipes?

  4. That is excellent. My current PC is a halfling cook (wizard) and this is perfect! Thanks.

  5. I bow to your efforts to compile the most exhaustive lists connected with cooking that I could ever want for or imagine connected with gaming!

  6. Quib - Sorry about that - means that the recipe actually calls for cheese, rather than pure milk.

  7. Love it. Well done for doing this.

  8. For a picture of fantasy cuisine visit:

  9. Thanks. It and the Gourmand are slated for NOD 11. In the meantime, you can hit that PDF/PRINT button at the bottom of the post.

  10. Are you thinking about doing a compilation of NOD? All the issues in one big bundle? Or two bundles. kind of what Fight On! has done?

  11. I hadn't thought about it. I suppose I could look into it.

  12. This is awesome sauce.

    Thanks for compiling this. :)

  13. Nice lists! Just a quick note -- lambanog is from the Philippines. It's the distilled form of tuba, which is fermented coconut nectar. The Indians have their own version of the latter, but not the former.

    If you want more entries for your liquors and delicacies lists, I can give you more from Philippine culture. For example there's tapuy, a rice wine from Northern Luzon, and kabarawan, a honey liquor from the Visayas.


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