Saturday, July 8, 2017

DMing: Random Encounters

I've been analyzing how I run games and figured that I'd share what I do and either help others or learn new techniques.

When I'm prepping random encounters, usually look a few monsters of various Challenge Ratings that are suitable for the environment the characters are dealing with (the 5E DMG is great for this) and have them set aside, out of the player's view.

I then roll for a random encounter usually every few hours of travel, about 1-2 hours of exploration, and once per short rest and 3-4 times per long rest. I do this by rolling a d6, with an encounter on a roll of 1 and sometimes on a roll of 2. If I roll a 6, not only does no encounter occur, but either the group finds a helpful resource or they are safe for this scene and I won't roll for the next random encounter. Any number in between, means nothing happens.

I like the d6 because I like the way it feels in my hand, silly I know, but it's true and its easy to quickly assign the significant numbers. It's the only rolls I make in secret, simply covering it from view with my hand. I'll admit, sometimes I roll simply to keep the player's on their toes.

I don't use random lists, simply because I'd rather have the stats for the threat available to me. Have 3 to 5 options is always nice and I generally have the strength of the encounter roughly formed, though I have problem adapting it on the fly.

If you have a way to handle random encounters, please post them!

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