Thursday, March 5, 2009

Random Encounter as Campaign Tools

So when crafting a campaign setting making encounter tables is very useful tool to flesh out a region. It both answers questions about the region and provides inspiration. Below is a sample encounters table for a people one would meet on the road. To spice it up a bit you can have 2-4 travellers traveling togather for protection or they could all be going to the same location. Really great inspiration for this is Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales." Another interesting option it to combine two encounters into one. For example combine "Honeymooners" and "Cultist", and you get a pair of Honeymooners who met at a cult coven and got married. They may want to make their first sacrifice together as a newly wed couple. What is the back story of the travelers. Is the "Fugitive" a hardened criminal who killed his way out of prison or a political prisoner escaping with his loyal retainers. Are the "Wandering buffoons" really entertainers or are they deadly assassins in disguise so they can enter and exit high society. A random encounter table is not simple a table of encounters but a tool to add depth and flavor to the campaign setting.

Road Travelers
Table 1-1
Roll 1d20
1. Pilgrims
2. Actors/ Bards/ Wandering buffoons
3. Wandering tinker
4. Gypsies
5. Refugees
6. Honeymooners
7. Courtiers
8. Merchants
9. Knights
10. Brigands
11. Monks
12. Settlers
13. Priests/Cultist
14. Curriers
15. Diplomats
16. Farmers
17. Teamsters
18. Caravan
19. Fugitive
20. Soldiers/Sheriff - with deputies.

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