Thursday, May 13, 2021

Maybe this will work

I'm trying out an interesting arrangement for my wilderness encounter tables (mentioned in my previous post). I have a table for each terrain type: clear/grassland, forest, hills/badlands, mountains, desert/barren, swamp/marsh, jungle, river/lake, ocean, arctic, settled, city. For each table, there are five columns (six with numbering) and twelve rows. 

The columns are Animal, Human, Common Monster, Unusual Monster, Rare Monster. These are determined by a d12 roll: Animal 1-3, Human 4-5, Common 6-9, Unusual 10-11, Rare 12. A few terrain types get some adjustment to the number spread, but that's the basic. 

I haven't filled out the monsters in any of the tables yet, but I have 12 slots for each. If there aren't enough suitable creatures, I can double some up or adjust the rarity. It doesn't give quite as much variety as Mentzer's charts, but 60 creatures per terrain type should be enough for a general table. 

Oh, and these twelve tables only took up three columns of my 2-column layout, so I had room for tables for the Planes: Elemental, Ethereal/Astral, Upper, and Lower. These are arranged a bit differently, but I think it will be handy to have some random charts for planar adventures if I don't have anything worked up for a specific plane.


  1. One thing I've never attempted is creating my own wilderness encounter tables...which is pretty crazy, because I *always* create unique encounter tables for my site-based ("dungeon") adventures.

    Now that I've got a regular world I'm using as a campaign setting, I think I probably need to go this route, too. Let us know how yours works out for you!
    : )

    1. I did it for Chanbara, and it was actually kind of fun. You get to pour over the monster lists and decide which you think would be fun to throw at your players for each area.

      This one I'm working on now won't see play any time soon, though. My West Marches game uses a small, unique list for each region on the map.

  2. Replies
    1. Tried, and?

      The ellipsis at the end of your comment makes me think it's possible you weren't satisfied with your results.