Saturday, March 17, 2018

Procedure for Wandering Encounter checks + Identifying Monsters

Once every exploration turn, or 10 in game minutes, the dungeon master will make a d20 roll.

The roll has two ranges; the Encounter Range and the Scout Range. Any result outside of these two ranges is considered a miss and play is resumed.

Encounter Range
The default Encounter range is 1-3. On a roll of 1, 2, or 3, a random encounter is rolled. For every point of encumbrance the party has over maximum, for every loud pack animal, and for having many or multiple sources of light the encounter range is boosted by +1 per. This means a party with a small mule with full packs along with each party member carrying huge, encumbering bags of coins would get +2, or would roll a random encounter on a roll of 1-5.

Scout Range
The default Scout range is 19-20. On a roll of 19 or 20, the party will come across monster tracks, dung, or bones of its victims. Examining these will give a clue of what kind of monsters are located in this area; the referee should roll on the random encounter list and prepare a sign of that monsters passing, such as burnt corpses for dragons or a strangely polished and slippery floor for oozes. For non-corporeal monsters like ghosts, the track could instead be a far off wailing or the ghosts open and desecrated tomb. Each Rogue/Thief in the party increases the Scout range by +1, so with two thieves in tow the party gets a Scout result on a roll of 17-20, and so on.
Note: This idea is stolen and modified from here.

Identifying Monsters
Whenever you find a track, someone can attempt to identify what kind of monster it belongs to. They roll once on the below list, and find out that clue. If you ever roll the same category of the same monster a second time; you fully identify the monster.

Monster Clues - 1d6
[1] Armor Class & HD- You find spent scales or skin, or the footprints; and from their size you can estimate the creature's size and weight. This is approximate.
[2] Attacks & Damage Type- Based on the corpses of its victims, you can tell this creature bisects them with a huge sword, or break their skulls in with its hooves, or burns people alive.
[3] Elemental Weakness- The monster seems to wallow in this mud to protect itself from heat, or builds a nest filled with warm plumage to protect from cold.
[4] Morale- This area is marked by the creature's scent, showing it is territorial. Or there are several burrows nearby, showing it darts into them to hide if it can. Goblin warbanners dropped in a retreat.
[5] Number Appearing- Aprox. size of the common scouting or hunting party. You can count the number of individual footprints, or by listening to the far off howling chorus.
[6] Magical Abilities- This creature has an aura, or leaves behind arcane symbols on its territory. The gnolls plucked out the eyes of their victims, a sign of a paranoid shaman. Oddly twisted greenery, or objects still enchanted and floating with unseen sorcery.

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