Event: A black dragon (HD7) swoops down to burn anything it finds - people, monsters, buildings and PCs.Noisms expands on this idea one way, but I'd like to suggest another expansion, based on the part I emphasized. In addition to rolling for events during a campaign, you can roll for major events at set points in history:
You roll 2d10 and get 7 and 9, so in hex 7:9, a black dragon comes swooping down and attacks the village of Bumburg (having already determined prior to play that Bumburg is in that hex). If the PCs are in that hex, well, great. If not, well, they can always stumble across the effects later. [emphasis added]
- Founding Event: about 1000 years ago (+/- 1d6 centuries)
- 1d4 Shaping Events: about 200, 400, 600 and 800 years ago (+1d10 decades)
- 1d6-2 Recent Historical Events: about 100, 75, and 50 years ago (+1d20 years)
- d6/2 Current Events: 1d20 years ago.
The shaping events act as moments of cultural change. Recent historical events may not have prompted as much change. Both varieties are part of the shared history of the region. Current events might not hav had an impact yet, but they would definitely be talked about.
Each event creates some kind of lasting impression in the indicated hex. This could be used to establish dungeon backgrounds, for example.
For OD&D, a shortcut to creating event tables would be to roll on the Level 6 Wandering Monster table for the founding event, Level 5 for the shaping events, Levels 4-3 for the recent history, and Level 2 for the current events.