Silverwood Forest

I have always found encounters tables to be fascinating, I think that it is because it is a very brief picture of what is on the map, listing the kinds of creatures that you can find. I am also one of those people that probably have a rather warped sense of what is beautiful. I have a deep love for the morbid and what others would assume to be terrifying. I find abandoned and rotting buildings incredible mysteries, cemeteries as relaxing gardens, I simply love tombstones, especially the big elaborate ones that folks used to make, the older the better! My wife and I are terrible, we go to a spook house on Halloween and we stand around and admire the costumes and decor.

Basically, I am a horror geek, probably a bigger horror geek then I am into D&D! With that said, I discovered a neat table which I think is simply fascinating, an enchanted forest!


01-30: Sylvan Elves
31-35: Gnomes
36-38: Tallfellow, Halflings
39-40: Men, Light Patrol
41-42: Men, Woodsmen
43-50: Treants
51-55: Unicorns
56-00: Use Standard Faerie Encounter table

Now this is something which would totally be beyond me to figure out on my own. I can do ugly, but I seriously need to work on creating fantasy images of beauty. I mean, I can describe a dark tower and a zombie infestation, but as far as titillating encounters that are truly pleasant, well I suck at it, but I want to change that. I think a well rounded DM should be just as good with images of beauty and of goodness as they are with evil and darkness, the light should be a presence and from my experience, the light is commonly left out.


Brooser Bear said...

Good thing! You must be a former goth!
Regarding Encounter Tables, I share your fascination, never could figure out, how to use the Gygax's Monster Frequencies - Common, Unommon, Rare, Very Rare. To me, it doesn't make sense to have two or three very rare creatures in a single encounter table. 2% of all the encounters should be very rare creatures. Few creatures indeed. "Special Monsters" of the Moldvay basic Dungeon adventuere design section.

With regards to Encounter Tables, there are definite kinks to work out in my game. I had an encounter field for looting the bodies on a battlefield. I made up tables of clothing, possessions, small treasures and items of intelligence value to describe the different tribes of the men, orcs and goblins who fought. I borrowed the cocept of an EVENT encounter table from Traveler. When rolling for an encounter, you can get a mixture of non hostile and wandering monster (combat encounters) [sometimes separate tables], and then there is an indication of an Event - geographic events - unusual terrain features, ruins also, that can be explored, weather events - hard blowing southern winds, raistorms, freezing spells, and Party Mishaps -broken horseshoes, sniffles, etc. Events usually stay on a single table.

The problem with too many encounter tables though, if the game is event table generated, is the the game becomes more abstract and less realistic. I think that two rolls per encounter check is light enough game burden, and to pre-roll all the encounters will save the time during gameplay.

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