Friday, March 16, 2012

The Mundane Random Encounter

Random encounters, the bane of uncoordinated groups, the pain of unprepared GMs.  Many a time has a randomly rolled encounter resulted in a major deviation from the intended goals/plot of a game - perhaps the discovery of an unknown dungeon or the death of an important PC, maybe the introduction of a future BBEG/GBBEG.  Whatever the reason, I've seen too many games fall apart because all random encounters were combat encounters.  -C over at Hack & Slash does a good job of including mundane random encounters in his games, but his games are very sandbox, so there isn't any loss of continuity.

I've been thinking a lot about how to have meaningful mundane random encounters - meeting a farmer, passing a caravan, walking up on a hunting camp.  Typically, these things can be an avenue for providing the players with information - useful or not. That said, I think it's time to take on a project to generate some useful tables that support this intention.

Any suggestions on what format/software/media would be best? I can see it being a very useful app and a functioning table at the same time.

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