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I like random encounters. Just as the players are subject to the whims of the dice, DMs should be too. Random Encounters can make a journey feel like a journey and gives me something to roll with.

What I don’t like: generic random encounters. “You see 1d4 goblins” doesn’t do much for me. What are those goblins doing? Why are they there? I want them to be something more than cardboard monsters.

Crumbling Keep is starting a random encounter collection. Each week, we’ll be dropping two fleshed out random encounters: one for free right here on our website and one on our Patreon. The goal is to add a little story to your random encounters. Just save the images and start adding them to your random encounter tables.

How do these work? Here’s what the stats mean.

Category: I divided the random encounters into different categories: Nature, Civilization, Enemies, and weird. Not all random encounters are going to just be things to kill.

Time of day: Some encounters only happen at night. Some only happen during the day. Some happen whenever.

Weight (xx/100): If you’re making a random encounter table that uses a 1d100, this is how many lines this encounter should take up. For instance, a weight of 2 would mean that the encounter takes up 2 out of those 100 numbers (let’s say 99 and 100 for this example.) A second encounter with a weight of 3 would take up three spots (96-98) and so on.

Terrain Type: This is the terrain type for this encounter. If you make up random encounter tables based on terrain, this tells you which tables it belongs in.

Samsarras Location: These are all based in our homebrew world of Samsarras. If you are using our world, this tells you what part of it the encounter is linked to. Do you need to use our world? Nope. You can ignore this section completely.

That’s it! Start your collection now because we’ll be pumping out a lot of these. Right click and save it.

Digging in the Sand

Bones. So many bones. How many people have been buried here?

You find a rusty long sword and a small, golden vulture head worth 250 gp.

Red Sand

The sand here on the edge of the sacrificial ground is loose and looks recently churned.

Vulture Priest

The Vulture Priests are the enemy of knowledge and enlightenment. They seek to bring the eternal silence, the end of all things. Decay and obedience is their only god.

Armor Class 6 [13]
Hit Dice 1 (4hp)
Attacks 1 × Beak (1d4 or by weapon)
THAC0 19 [0]
Movement 120’ (40’)
Saving Throws D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1)
Morale 8 (11 when at their temple)
Alignment Lawful
XP 10 
Number Appearing 2d4 (1d6 × 10)
Treasure Type D
Immune to the Divine: The spells and powers of clerics and paladins have no effect on them.
Weapons: They frequently use wickedly curved daggers, which they use for sacrificial purposes.
Soul Clouders: There is a 10% chance that any Vulture Priest can use the sleep spell once per day. The targets are still awake, but they are beset by such a deep depression that it has the same effect as sleep. They may only watch what unfurls around them.