Monday, 19 March 2012

Glimpse of the Big Encounter Chart

This is a peek at the big encounter chart I'm working on. There are 6 pages, mostly populated from the Monster Manual 1:

1.Civilized (humans, demi-humans)
2. Natural (animals, natural hazards and giant vertebrates)
3. Frontier (a few civilized folk in forts and towers, beset by humanoids, giant insects, and other vermin)
4. Legend (creatures of myth and, uh, legend, plus the weirdos like owlbears)
5. Evil (Mordor calling)
6. Savage (prehistoric and barbaric stuff)

Each page has eight rows: Flat lands, High lands, Wood lands, Wet lands, Dry lands, then salt and fresh water and a generic column.

Click to enlarge ... some columns left out

Your map is divided into areas. Each area  has an order of precedence that refers to the tables.

For example, if you wanted a standard "adventure county" with decent folk, a few wild animals, and some ordinary nasties sneaking in from the fringes, the code would be 1-2-3 (Civilized-Natural-Frontier).

If you wanted a wild, weird area where the normal fauna had vanished and a titanic struggle of good but mostly evil was underway as a few helpless human stragglers looked on then the code would be 4-5-3 (Legend-Evil-Frontier).

For each encounter you roll 3d6. You take the result that is highest up in the precedence. So if you rolled 1-2-6 for the first example you would use the 1 and consult the Civilized table  If none of them are in the precedence then use the table for the lowest number you rolled.

Then, each hex in each area has one or two land types. For example: Hills are Flat and High. Mountains are just High. A plain with a river would be Flat and Freshwater. On a 1-2 on d6 you use the row for the first land type, 3-4 you get the second (or the first if there's only one type), 5-6 you use the Any row.

And then roll d% and there's your encounter. The strange letters and numbers by each silhouette refer to the coding system for hexmaps I outlined earlier. In particular, the top two entries are helpful when stocking a map with monsters, giving the range, time of activity, and total number in lair.

So yeah ... I am going to need a lot of silhouettes ...


  1. Probably not a surprise, but I really like what you're doing here. I think the colors and images would make look-up during play about as fast as you can make it.

    With something visual like this it would be easy to even show players the kinds of critters they might expect in a region if you wanted.

    I'm still working on more silhouettes, but criminy how do you represent an ooze? haha.

  2. Slick. Look forward to the finished project.