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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More Random Encounters

A while back I posted a set of three random encounters generated from the random dungeon tables in the AD&D 1st edition Dungeon Masters Guide. Since I'm using 1st edition rules for my Moria game, this book has become something of a fixture at my desk. I thought I'd give the random tables another spin. This time I'll work from the outdoor encounter tables, determining terrain and climate randomly and using the resulting table to create the result. Here goes:

Tropical Wilderness (Forest) - Giant Poisonous Snake

To me giant snakes are GIANT, so this particular specimen is 30 feet or more in length. Its lair is the upper floor of a half-collapsed stone structure, half-covered by the jungle's vines and creepers. The lower level of this structure has an intact room which would make a good shelter for, say, a group of lost adventurers. The upper floor can only be reached by climbing one of the nearby trees or by flight; the stairs have long since collapsed. The party might be alerted to the creature's presence by a cast of skin or partially digested bones scattered on the ground around the structure.

The snake will be lurking somewhere in the branches above, and will strike at any creature that passes beneath, though it will avoid large groups. The snake has Great strength poison, and can also drag off or constrict (Fair damage) prey up to a small human in size. It usually preys on monkeys or antelope, so it will flee in the face of determined resistance.

Should the snake be driven off or slain, the party might find some valuables scattered amongst the digested remains of past victims. The snake could also be skinned by a skilled hunter or leatherworker.

Hooks:
  • The snake's lair might prove to be more than a simple ruin. 
  • Among the scattered remains the party finds a curious key which opens a similarly curious box in a nearby crypt. 
  • The snake has recently laid eggs, which are valued by a certain serpent cult that uses the young snakes in their temple rites.

Temperate Wilderness (Rough) - Giant Wasp

A straight-forward encounter, this relatively young colony has just begun building its nest in a broad crevice in a nearby crevice. The initial encounter is with one or two wasps on the hunt, but should the party venture nearer the nest, another four or five wasps will join the attack.

Should the party flee the nest will remain active, gaining 1d4 wasps per week so long as warm weather continues. Party members stung by the wasp's paralyzing venom will be taken to the nest and used as food for young wasps. Should the party destroy the nest, they might find other victims (living or dead) tucked away in the nest.

Hooks:
  • The party was hired to kill a giant that locals believe is killing their livestock. The giant is innocent, the wasps are the real culprit (and the giant could be convinced to help the party get rid of them).
  • One of the party is stung by the wasp's powerful poison and the group must find a means of curing them before it's too late.

Temperate Wilderness (Marsh) - Ghouls and Zombies

The site of this encounter is the shell of an old church, half-flooded by the shifting waters of a great marsh. Once there was a village here, but the wooden homes have long since rotted away. All that remains is the shell of the church and the headstones and crypts of the graveyard rising from the water like broken bones. Dead trees and a rusty iron fence form a border around the graveyard and create a crude barrier of sorts.

The rising waters have disturbed the graves here, causing the dead to rise. A dozen or more zombies roam the area immediately surrounding the church, while a half-dozen ghouls lurk within. The undead have no need to breath so they often creep along on all fours beneath the water's surface, dragging victims down into water-filled open graves.

Walking through the graveyard is an arduous task, the waist-deep water slows progress, and submerged tombstones and open graves create obstacles throughout the area. Within the church the broken remains of the stone pews form a similar hazard, and in several places the church's floor has collapsed, opening gaping holes into the crypts beneath.

Carefully searching the site might uncover a variety of treasures, grave goods buried with the deceased, valuables and relics stored in the church, even a cache of coins from a long lost offering. Searching the area should be time consuming however, and there are plenty of zombies to go around.

Hooks:
  • The undead have not risen on their own. Now they are spreading to a nearby village and the party has been hired to determine why they are rising and who is behind it. 
  • The original church housed a potent relic and the powers that be want it back.
  • Grave-robbing for fun and profit!

There you go, three random encounters. Hope you enjoyed them!
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