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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Random Encounters II

So, after my mid-post about-face on random encounters last time, I've been thinking more about them in general.

I think a good random encounter should be able to spawn at least two different types of encounters, depending on how the players react.  For example, last time there was an encounter involving a red dragon wyrmling collecting a toll.  Now, obviously, the players could fight that dragon.  They could also probably sneak by the dragon, or even trick him.

But, there might be more behind that toll than meets the eye.  The dragon hasn't always collected this toll, or the PCs would've known about it ahead of time.  If the PCs choose to talk to the dragon, they could find themselves on a mission for the dragon to retrieve his lost hoard (for a 10% cut) from the Bone Chewer in order to pass through that canyon unharassed.

If you look at your random encounter table in that light, then it doesn't just generate a single encounter.  It could spawn an adventure or even be the foundation for an entire campaign!

Or, you know, it could just be a random owlbear that your players kill for 1d6 rubies and a potion of tediousness.

Spaceport Encounters

1. Overzealous customs officer bucking for a promotion
2. Happy-go-lucky android looking for adventure
3. Still-smoking plasma pistol and scorch marks on the floor and walls
4. 1d8 unknown aliens huddled in a dark corner, looking suspicious
5. Family of annoying tourists asking questions and taking pictures
6. 1d4+1 bigoted human soldiers (racist/sexist/xenophobic/anti-robot/etc.)
7. Top-notch mechanic (with a secret past) for hire
8. 2d6 yellow-eyed humans with vacant expressions blocking the gate
9. Disembodied voice whispering in your ears, offering to sell incredible secrets
10. Nervous civilian looking for the next flight off-planet, no questions asked

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