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Prerolling Random Encounters


Kingmaker


Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm wondering how folks deal with prerolling the random encounters when they are running Kingmaker. Do you set up what random encounters happen within what hex (making them not random at the table) or do you set up a few random encounters that happen within the various terrains and when a random encounter is rolled within that terrain look to what you have previously established.

Thanks for input.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What I did was I had a list of about ten encounters per terrain type -- the first time the PCs have a random encounter in a forest hex, for instance, it's some elk; the second, it's something else. That lets me weave a little foreshadowing into the story and adjust encounters that I think are too tough or not interesting enough.


I'm trying to have as much prepared as possible, so I have written out a few set piece 'random' encounters. Rather than assigning them to a specific hex, I give them a specific setup, eg: 'the first time the PCs emerge from a forest hex onto grassland, they see...', so they might happen in any one of a number of hexes.

I'm still intending to roll randomly during the game if the players are getting bored or complacent, because sometimes the more interesting encounters come from improvising on the spot.


I preroll an assortment of encounters and then place them in the game randomly. This speeds up the time, rather than hunting through for stats. I will, also, pregen a several baddies for when the time is right to drop them in the game.

I, also, have several encounters that are tougher than the normal to spice thing up when necessary. For intstance, in my party of six I pregenerated advanced monster templates such as a winter wolf.


I always have my encounters pre-ordained. I hate trying to remember what
percentage chance of what happens when & then actually having to find the
appropraite table to roll on & then look up the stats...all the while having
my players say "oh, we're just going to have a random encounter..."

I do roll dice randomly, but that's just to play with their minds... :)

At the start of the 1st AP module, I'd already rolled for every hex & written
in appropriate encounters.


Philip Knowsley wrote:

I always have my encounters pre-ordained. I hate trying to remember what

percentage chance of what happens when & then actually having to find the
appropraite table to roll on & then look up the stats...all the while having
my players say "oh, we're just going to have a random encounter..."

I do roll dice randomly, but that's just to play with their minds... :)

At the start of the 1st AP module, I'd already rolled for every hex & written
in appropriate encounters.

I did something similar, except I made it time based rather than location based. I rolled up 100 encounters, noted what type of creature they would be depending on the terrain, and whether I rolled low enough that the encounter would happen while travelling, or only while resting. Then each time my PCs explored a hex, I'd take the next two lines, and each time they travelled, I'd take the next one. So sometimes they lucked out by travelling during an "exploring-only" encounter line, and sometimes they got two random encounters as they explored...

It worked out pretty well, although it was a pain to create.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Am I the only one that rolls during game? I try to be reasonably well-informed about the creatures appearing on the encounter table, and then I just roll as the characters enter and explore hexes. I have fun being surprised by the encounters, too, and I enjoy coming up with the setup on the fly. I guess it slows things down a little bit, but it seems to work all right for our group. The only "fudging" I do is if it's getting to the end of the night and I roll a big encounter. I hold it in reserve until the next session, so everybody is fresh and alert and don't feel grumpy later about poor tactical decisions they made due to sleepiness. Which leads to fun notes in the margins like "I.O.U. 1 Barghest & T-wyrm x 4" :)

The synchronicity is often amusing. For example, after encountering Garuum, the very next random encounter was a hostile group of boggards. It was like they had been "unlocked" as a possible foe. Also, during a food break, one player made a long OOC speech about how much he hates centipedes, finds them disgusting and disturbing, and would happily go his whole life without ever seeing one again. Two other players heartily agreed, proclaiming what creepy creatures they are. Guess what whip-tailed number I rolled up as the very next encounter... ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Courtney! wrote:

Am I the only one that rolls during game? I try to be reasonably well-informed about the creatures appearing on the encounter table, and then I just roll as the characters enter and explore hexes. I have fun being surprised by the encounters, too, and I enjoy coming up with the setup on the fly. I guess it slows things down a little bit, but it seems to work all right for our group. The only "fudging" I do is if it's getting to the end of the night and I roll a big encounter. I hold it in reserve until the next session, so everybody is fresh and alert and don't feel grumpy later about poor tactical decisions they made due to sleepiness. Which leads to fun notes in the margins like "I.O.U. 1 Barghest & T-wyrm x 4" :)

The synchronicity is often amusing. For example, after encountering Garuum, the very next random encounter was a hostile group of boggards. It was like they had been "unlocked" as a possible foe. Also, during a food break, one player made a long OOC speech about how much he hates centipedes, finds them disgusting and disturbing, and would happily go his whole life without ever seeing one again. Two other players heartily agreed, proclaiming what creepy creatures they are. Guess what whip-tailed number I rolled up as the very next encounter... ;)

If you roll enough times in preparation you can see what you've rolled and it takes a life on its own.


Courtney! wrote:
Am I the only one that rolls during game?

Heh heh - I doubt it Courtney! There'll be heaps who do it that way too.

I'm just not familiar enough with PFRPG yet to do what you do...plus - I actually
kinda like rolling stuff beforehand & creating a story to go with it.

Saves me doing it when I'm tired during the game. Or at times, I do what you
seem to be able to roll randomly (cool super-ability by the way!) i.e. I say to
myself "hmmmm, there's such & such to be found in that hex - wouldn't it be
cool if they had such & such an encounter which would really compliment that."


I also roll during the game. My players had just finished wiping the floor with Tuskgutter, and they got attacked by 4 regular boars in the very next hex. We declared that they were Tuskgutter's piglets out for revenge and had tracked the PCs, and the poor level 1 party was nearly killed by the vicious animals.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Old Gumphrey wrote:
I also roll during the game. My players had just finished wiping the floor with Tuskgutter, and they got attacked by 4 regular boars in the very next hex. We declared that they were Tuskgutter's piglets out for revenge and had tracked the PCs, and the poor level 1 party was nearly killed by the vicious animals.

Nice. I've done both. It's just easier to do it ahead of time plus if a roll doesn't make sense, I just put it where it does make sense.

Grand Lodge

I never roll random encounters. I am crafting a story, so I prefer encounters that make sense, tie into the story, etc. The chances of achieving this with a random roll are, well random. I will occasionally use a roll to see if an encounter occurs at a given time, or I will have encounters occur when dramatically appropriate.

I prepare all encounters ahead of time. I don't like to slow the game play while I figure out an encounter and/or treasure at the table. I do use the encounter tables as inspiration and as a launching point for the types of critters that may be in the area. Each encounter has to make sense, though. Why is this encounter here, and why are the players dealing with it? How does this particular creature fit into the ecology of the area?

I always prepare more of these "random" encounters than I will ever use. I'll insert them when appropriate. Some will be keyed to certain areas or events, and others aren't.

I too will often roll dice, even if I already know an encounter is going to happen, so that the players are never sure which encounters are random, and which are planned (even though they're all pretty much planned). This avoids some metagaming that can occur when the players know a specific encounter is a "story" encounter and therefore "important".

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