Random Things that you might overhear at a Ball

These random things articles are designed as quick idea generators for time-pressed GMs who want to inject some additional details into their game, in this article we look at random things you might overhear at a ball or other upper class social event.

When you need some inspiration just roll a D20 and consult the table:

1Apparently the young scion of a noble house has recently run away to marry a commoner, the family is scandalised by the whole affair and has been trying (unsuccessfully) to keep a lid on things.
2Two of the young nobles have decided to settle their dispute over a lover by holding a duel in the old forest when the clock chime eleven, despite duelling being illegal.
3It is said that the Countess is ill and soon to die, a cynical person might wonder if that's why so many of her relatives have chosen to come and fawn over her this evening?
4The second son of a noble family recently lost a good portion of the family's fortunes gambling, they have had to lay-off a number of their servants and sell some of their properties to cover the debt.
5The eldest daughter of one of the local dynasties was recently found dead, murdered in a tavern room, the family suspects a jealous lover that she was meeting in secret.
6The patriarch of the family recently died after a long illness and his wife quickly moved to consolidate her hold over the family, there have been suspicious mutterings about the nature of the patriarchs illness, although local apothecaries declared it a natural death.
7A local noble wishes to have a rival disposed of, but cannot be seen to be directly involved, he is looking for someone who won't ask inconvenient questions to carry out the task.
8Two nobles from feuding families have fallen in love and have been meeting secretly, rumour has it they are attending the ball in disguise so they might catch a few precious moments together.
9Large contingents from a feuding family have both attended the event, despite the best efforts of the hosts it would not take much for the social barbs to escalate into outright violence.
10An assassin is believed to have infiltrated the ball posing as a distant relation, their exact identity and target remain unknown.
11Lacking a worthy successor in her own family, the ailing matriarch has decided to host this gala to choose a recipient for her wealth and title from the guests gathered.
12The bastard son of a noble family has managed to infiltrate the gathering an intends to cause a scene.
13The spread is a little poor and the decor a little sparse since the family lost a large amount of their money due to bad investments, this gala is an attempt at saving face.
14The family are well known for donating to worthy causes and investing in local business, at the end of the ball the head of the family will hear pleas from a number of supplicants and then decide whether to donate any funds to them.
15There are a lot of guards at the event, that is because the whole thing is an excuse for the hosts to show off a rare and valuable item they have procured at the climax of the celebration.
16Word has it that the servants have appropriated some of the fine wine and are holding their own celebrations in their quarters and the kitchen, some of the younger more tempestuous nobles have even snuck out to join them.
17Two of the younger members of aligned noble houses are pledged to marry, the main purpose of this event is that the two families might meet to discuss a dowry.
18There has been some scandal regarding a missing heirloom, some say it has been stolen, others say it was sold to hide family debts.
19A foreign dignitary from distant lands with customs different from our own has arrived, their aims are currently unknown.
20A local guild wishing to set up a base of operation in a nearby town has sent a deligation to the function seeking to secure noble backing for their endeavour.