Discover how to use Random Encounters without derailing your game. DM Dix and Crumbing James pulled back the veil on random encounters to help you use them in your games. We went over the basics (as well as some advanced techniques) so you can level up your random encounters.
- What is a Random Encounter? – When to use them (and when not to).
- The secret to not railroading the players.
- Random Encounters by region. – Balance: What is it good for?
- Triggers: Hard vs Soft.
- A complete system for using random encounters in your game.
- Leveled up Random Encounters like no other.
- A free offer to take the work out of encounters!
Get ready to take notes because you’re not going to want to miss a thing.
I am 38 years old. I was born in 1981. That puts my graduating year as 1999.
Have you started caring yet? Don’t worry, I plan on giving you many more dates and numbers inconsequential to your own life.
The reason I mention this is that my prime teenage years were during the sunset of grunge. The economic growth of the late 80s crashed into the recession of 1990. There was a sense of fatalism and that the cultural excesses of earlier times had robbed us of some important authenticity. It’s not a new story, as “The Catcher in the Rye” had been telling it since 1951, but it’s a good one. Nineties culture just made the story that much dirtier.Continue reading “Teenage Angst and Things from the Flood”
You’ve been watching Critical Role and listening to The Adventure Zone. You are all about the RPG games now. D&D is calling your name. The only problem is, you’ve never actually played. Even if you get all the books, what next? How do you find a group? This can be super intimidating.Continue reading “Finding a Group”
A while ago, I wrote an article about describing your combat. People like to think that role playing and combat are two separate things, but they don’t have to be. The way your character fights says something about them too. Does your fighter hammer away repeatedly with their sword, relying on their strength to batter away the enemies defenses? Or do they dance away from their opponents sword, spinning underneath their blade to stab forward under their guard? Both of those are very different and very visually pleasing.
What about magic, though? People often fall into the same trap. “I cast magic missile.” Roll some d4s. Done.Continue reading “Your Magic Sucks”
You get a new idea for a campaign, a character, or some game mechanics. A light comes down from the heavens, everything glows with a divine light, and your brain spins endlessly with more thoughts. Nothing has ever been better and it’ll be like this forever.Continue reading “Grinding Through After the Honeymoon Period”
Have you ever been in an RPG game where the GM used music? Perhaps you’ve been that GM. When it comes to epic movies, they have epic scores, That should translate to RPGs, right? Instead, the noise gets too distracting, the player’s complain, and everyone hates it. What went wrong?Continue reading “Sounds for your Game”
Player’s have this long and elaborate backstory. They have 20 some years of tragedy written out, just waiting for that moment their character can be vulnerable and explain what dire straights have forced them into this life of adventuring. Normal well adjusted people don’t want to go sleep on the ground in the cold woods to save the world from whatever abominable threat has reared it’s head this time. Hell, I get cranky if I just skip breakfast.
But what if that moment of vulnerability never comes? What if the heroes are so busy running around killing the baddies and solving the mysteries that they just don’t get that opportunity? Sometimes I want to know about a character’s first love, what their favorite smell is, what keeps them awake at night, and their best drinking stories. The players generally want to share that with you if you just give them an opportunity.
Enter Campfire XP.Continue reading “Campfire XP”
Once upon a time, I was a young DM playing Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition. Yes, that does date me a bit. Long before Curse of Strahd was a thing, there was the Ravenloft box set, which contained all the world building and additional rules you need to play in the demiplane of dread. Vampires, ghouls, zombies, and mists that would wrap you up and take you away. It had all thing things it needed to be scary.Continue reading “Elements of Horror”
Look, I’m going to come right out and say it. This is my favorite fantasy RPG system I’ve played. It feels really heroic, it has a delicious level of crunch, and you can give someone the stink eye until they die. If you have other qualifications as to what makes a great RPG, I’d love to know what they are. I can’t imagine what would top that.Continue reading “Conan”
Personally, I love random encounter tables. RPGs are games of mitigated chance. Characters make dice rolls to hit monsters, negotiate deals, and fly spaceships. Why not have the GM make them to see what’s around the corner? The element of randomness gives both the players and GM something to play with, as the unexpected happens.Continue reading “Better Random Encounters”
Heroes can spend a lot of time out in the wilderness. There is a lot of action outside of town, what with monsters ravaging the countryside, forgotten dungeons, and that pesky environment to contend with. Eventually, the characters are going to come to a settlement, however. Maybe they just want to grab supplies or have a long rest without worrying about pesky Anhkegs for once. Perhaps the city is actually a focus, and you’re planning to run an urban campaign. Whatever the reason, the forests and plains are giving way to wood smoke and buildings. How do you make this community stand out? Continue reading “Giving Your Cities Character”
There comes a time in every game where the DM is no longer really in control. The fighter is drunk and bullying your favorite NPC at the bar, the wizard is using prestidigitation to clean filthy peasants for copper pieces, and the bard is trying to seduce… well, someone or something. It doesn’t matter.Continue reading “Making It Up As You Go.”
When I’m running a streaming game or recording an episode of our podcast, it’s not enough that I have plans for whats going to happen in the game; I also need to know when it’s going to happen. I prefer to have each episode reach some sort of completion. If there is a cliffhanger, I want that to be intentional.
So how do I keep a game going where I need it to go? I think in threes.Continue reading “Campaign Prep in Bullet Points”
It’s been quite a week in the RPG world. An abuser was outed unequivocally as an abuser that has often tried to silence others in the community. I don’t know that I have much to say that hasn’t already been said in ways much better than I could, so I’ll say this.
Support gaming companies run by women and POC. Here are two great options.Continue reading “Abuse is Not a Game”
Most people play dungeons and Dragons to be heroic. They want to save the day while staring gruesome monstrosities and certain death in the face over and over again. Their characters just grit their teeth, look demons in the eye, and spit. Unlike real life where I get startled when there is a knock at the door, nothing scares a D&D character.