Random Mountain Encounters

I’m currently running The Moon is a Mirror from Trilemma design, and having a great old time with it, but I’m adding some old-school hex crawl around the area. This uses the 2e standard of rolling 1d8+1d12 to generate an encounter. The advantage of this method is that it gives you a nicely centered distribution that allows you to put less common encounters on the outer edges (2-3, 19-20) and more common encounters in the center (9-13). There’s more detail in the 2d Dungeon Master’s Guide, but the basics are that you make a check several times per day (depending on terrain) by rolling a d10. Each terrain has a likelyhood of encounter, and if you roll below that number, you then roll on the encounter table for that terrain type to determine what the party encounters.

This is a bit convoluted, but the end result is that in the mountains, three times per day I roll a d10. If I get less than a 3, then I roll 1d8+1d12 and I’ve got a random encounter to run the players through.

Like all Random Encounter tables, I’m generally using these as “writing prompts” to come up with something interesting. For example, if I roll a result of “Dwarven Guards”, the encounter might just be a group of dwarves guarding a caravan, or it might be a dwarven outpost along the route, or it might be an all-dwarven adventuring party returning from a nearby dungeon, with loads of loot, and a corpse of their comrade.

Random Encounters are seeds for stories.

  1. 1d4 Rocs (MM p.260)
  2. 1d6 Galeb Duhr (MM p.139)
  3. 1d6 Peryton (MM p.251)
  4. 1d4 Pegasai (MM p.250)
  5. 2d4 Manticores (MM p.213)
  6. 2d8 Griffins (MM p.174)
  7. 1d12 Giant Vultures (MM p.329)
  8. 3d10 Kobolds (MM p.195)
  9. 3d8 Goblins (MM p.166)
  10. 2d10 Orcs (MM p.246)
  11. 2d6 Dwarven Guards (MM p.347)
  12. 1d6 Cyclopses (MM p.45)
  13. 1d6 Giant Eagles (MM p.324)
  14. 1d6 Hippogriff (MM p.184)
  15. 3d10 Aarakocra (MM p.12)
  16. 1d3 Ettin (MM p.132)
  17. 1 Sea Hag (MM p.179) riding a Nightmare (MM p.235)
  18. 1d6 Stone Giants (MM p.156)
  19. 1d4 Wyvern (MM p.303)
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