Monday, May 23, 2016

Random Encounters: Mountain Road

Dare you enter my mountainous realm?
I started off with an idea that my players would be playing on an island, but after playing with things for a while, the island evolved a bit, and now it's not exactly a uni-biome island anymore. So since there is now at the very least an important-ish mountain area that leads to the main event, I could create a random encounter table for such an area, going for the feel of something more akin to a strenuous hike than sheer cliff scaling.


So, I'll be following the concepts I laid out for myself in the previous random encounter table post, that is, aiming for a table of diverse-ish encounters meant to be "worthy" for a moderate party of 4 Dungeon Fantasy characters, which I put at around 160 CER (Interestingly, the party for the next adventure I'm running is 4 people and came out to 166 CER, so pretty good estimate, I think.) So in that light, I can work off the N system if I try to gear the amount to roughly come out to be about 30 ± 10 and multiply that by N.
1-3,12N Giant Ticks, N Giant RatsWikidot, Dungeon Fantasy 2
1-3,23N Dinomen, N Dinomen LeadersDungeon Fantasy Monsters 1
1-3,3N TrigersDungeon Fantasy 2
1-3,4N Basic Thieves, N/2 Basic Dwarven WarriorMirror of the Fire Demon
1-3,5N Dire Wolves, N/3 Alpha Dire WolvesDungeon Fantasy 2
1-3,6N/2 Spider, Web-Spinning (Giant) Type C, N Giant FliesNatural Encyclopedia, Wikidot
4-6,1N Basic Archers, N/2 Basic ThievesMirror of the Fire Demon
4-6,25N Ant, Giant, N/2 Antlion, GiantNatural Encyclopedia
4-6,3N/2 Glyptodont, N Komodo DragonsNatural Encyclopedia
4-6,4N/2 Healing Clerics, N/2 Karateka (Staff), N/3 Basic ArcherMirror of the Fire Demon
4-6,5N/2 Hill GiantsWikidot
4-6,6N/2 Obsidan JaguarsDungeon Fantasy Monsters 1

Hostile Terrain

Along with the monsters, here are some terrain effects.
1Falling RocksDungeon Fantasy 16, p. 32
2AbyssDungeon Fantasy 16, p. 32
3Rockslide (Under Flow)Dungeon Fantasy 16, p. 32
4Covered PitDungeon Fantasy 16, p. 36
5High Ground (See Drop or Rise)Dungeon Fantasy 16, p. 32
6Direct Sun Exposure (See Sunburn)Dungeon Fantasy 16, p. 30

Other Thoughts

The table above conveniently can have an additional 1, 2, 3, or 6 enemies by changing the first die to 1-2,3-4,5-6, and then for the new 5-6 category, being evenly divided thusly. This suits me because I have some much less generic entries to add to this table as well. This list feels a bit less like the wilds and more like bandit infested roads, but that is kind of what I wanted.
All of these fights are balanced to be right around a "worthy encounter" and I have fumbled with an interesting way to vary difficulty up or down. The Collaborative Gamer has been developing a hazard/peril mechanic for a while, and it might be an interesting way to mix up these "difficult, but fair" battles with a few breathers and a few emergencies to keep players on their toes.
I don't think random tables should be a substitute for critical thinking, but they can be a supplement. Sometimes travel is just travel, but having a few catalogs to fill in lulls if fast-forwarding just doesn't feel appropriate means travel can feel meaningful, without having to arrest all of one's creative energies. If you use these tables though, please feel free to use your brain as much as you like if something tells you that somehow 4 archers and 2 thieves is too weak, too strong, or too boring.


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