Saturday, 31 March 2012

Making It Interesting

This is the 'reactions' table for my wandering monsters in my sandbox campaign . My actual random encounters are generated by rolling 2d8 and then using the corresponding table, for a total of 56 different encounters (the combination of numbers is what's important, rather than the sum total of the dice). As there are different tables for each environment, it would be a tedious process to reproduce them all here. Besides, I find this to be the more defining characteristic of an encounter. The encounter roll shows you what you've found, this shows how you can go about dealing with it.

Then 2d6 (rolling for sum-total this time) determines the situation that the creature is encountered in:

2:   Overtly Hostile
3:   Defensive
4:   Patrolling/Guarding
5:   Dead
6:   Engaged
7:   Ambivalence
8:   At home
9:   Celebrating
10: Caravan
11: Vulnerable
12: Overtly Friendly.

As can be seen, I have attempted to use the bias of using 2 dice to try and lead to most encounters being what the players make them. Only the rarest results have pretty much foregone conclusions, and even then they can be manipulated by suitably skillful players. In particular, I want to give more options than fight or flight.

Each category is purposefully vague and obviously will apply to different creatures differently, for example:
Caravan: For many of the more sentient races this could very easily be a simple trading caravan or a platoon of Troll explorers riding a train of Karrg Beetles. Slightly more abstractly this could a be a migrating group of young dragons. Or a herd of wildebeast stampeding across the plains.
Engaged: This was specifically meant as a catch-all for other situations not covered elsewhere. Could be feeding, could be hunting, could be crafting, there is pretty much an infinite list of things this could be.

Incidently, I like the idea of rolling an encounter with an ambivalent Amphisboena, purely because such a sequipedalian serpent will be a pain to pronounce.

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