Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pardon the Interruption, but... (1d20 encounters)

On occasion, I idly think up outdoor encounters that could go several ways, depending on the PCs' actions and disposition. I like encounters that present a world just happening, not focused on the PCs (usually). Here is a collection of those encounters. I think of these are more entries to write into your existing encounter tables when you cross out an entry, but for ease of use I'll present them as a table unto themselves.

It's kinda like a Dungeon Dozen, with bonus entries? Only probably less clever?

A herd of cattle. Lots of them are busy right now digging holes.
A foreign army in the middle of massive coordinated exercises. (Think Indian army doing yoga. Like, thousands of soldiers at once.)
A dangerous, wild creature just smart enough to communicate with humanoids; it's looking for its missing young.
Giraffes humming to each other. Is the air flickering?
A group of ambulatory plant creatures having some kind of meeting; the sounds they make are frequencies humans can't hear.
A group of Vampires meeting to overthrow their masters.
Massive numbers of silent rooks in a field. One in the middle, making noises in a low, carrying voice.
A herd of rhino-sized creatures lolling in a field. They are expelling gas that is both harmful and flammable in an ever-expanding cloud. Any fire sources will act as a Fireball. Being in the gas area if it has not been burned away causes 1d4 damage and drains 1 pt of CON per round (restored with rest). All small animals and plant leaves below 6 feet have been eaten for a mile around.
A desperate theater troupe practicing a play. They will attempt to sell any passerby costumes, props, or convince you to be a paying audience.
Ghostly images of the PCs, mirroring their actions from some distance away. If the PCs proceed directly ahead into their reflections, the reflections will disappear. IF they attack or run away, the reflections will be "freed" from mirroring the PCs' actions and behave as an independent person, reacting to the PC's actions. They have the PCs' memories but no emotional connection.
Two demons fighting. (or dragons, if that makes more sense for your game)
The limb of a massive creature juts from the ground or sky. It's so huge you can't tell what limb it is or if the creature is humanoid-shaped.
A group of cats squall to each other. Upon noticing the PCs, they look panicked and run.
A creature is assembling itself out of local shrubbery.
A treasure golem from a local dungeon out for a walk and some sunshine. It will be cross if interrupted from getting it's fresh air.
Mimics and/or doppelgängers practicing, judging each other, sharing some drinks.
Drunken monkeys. They may seem silly, but they are excellent thieves and escape artists.
An outdoor adobe bread oven. (1-2 recently used; 3-5 bread is baking; 6 attended by nonhuman baker)
Unconscious naked people, just far enough away from each other that you're not sure if they were doing something together or separately. Orgy? Lycanthropes after a rager? Cultists? Fallen from the sky?
A chimney emerging from the ground about 4 feet. It goes down 2d6 layers into an underground “dungeon” (which could be a city or whatever that becomes dangerous once they figure out you’re outsiders.)

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