Help be think of "Negative" random encounters / events


Advice


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I'm setting up a number of tables for good, weird, and bad random events/encounters that I can roll, I think it would be interesting to see how that all plays out, Problem is when it comes to bad stuff I'm a little stumped as what to put outside of monster encounters, I don't want it to be all "You're suddenly ambushed Fight X monsters" but at the same time, I don't want to do things that are unbalanced/unfair and just say something like "Your gold was stolen last night" that's just not cool.

So how do I make a fair "Negative" random event?

The campaign is pretty horror leaning in sort of a weird supernatural way, So I have a lot of "Weird" things already for the weird table like glowing lights out in the mist and whatnot, but yeah. Any ideas or suggestions would be great.


Just to clarify are you after annoying events e.g. Magically invasive cockroaches have got into your rations. Half of them have been destroyed, the rest needs cleaning before use.

Or creepy events e.g. Magically invasive cockroaches have got into your rations. They form an image of your own face laughing at you before dispersing, make a will save or take a d6 wisdom damage.

Or random encounters e.g. Magically invasive cockroaches have got into your rations. They pour out, roll for initiative.

And what level are your PCs?


avr wrote:

Just to clarify are you after annoying events e.g. Magically invasive cockroaches have got into your rations. Half of them have been destroyed, the rest needs cleaning before use.

Or creepy events e.g. Magically invasive cockroaches have got into your rations. They form an image of your own face laughing at you before dispersing, make a will save or take a d6 wisdom damage.

Or random encounters e.g. Magically invasive cockroaches have got into your rations. They pour out, roll for initiative.

And what level are your PCs?

I'm looking for something closer to a mix of creepy and annoying I guess, The way I have things set up this table doesn't get rolled on all the time but when it does I want it to be something strictly negative and maybe a bit creepy, I want it to be a "Bad Event" but I want it to be fair, So like for example I don't know something they can at least roll once or twice to try and avoid or something they can actively work against when it happens, I'm just not looking for a straight-up "You rolled up a fight" if that makes sense? I'm not so much looking for encounters as much as I am looking for events I guess.


1. As you exit the building you notice a small child looking in your direction. Without warning she sneers and begins pointing at you, menacingly. Glancing around, you see another, and another... all sneering with hate. None of the adults in the area seem to notice this at all

2. 1d6 plants near the PC wither to dust

3. A swarm of mundane, biting insects begins gathering around the party. While they do no damage, the cloud is so thick that the vision of the PCs is reduced as if in thick fog

4. All of the food the PCs eat tastes like ash; all liquid consumed has a copper flavor and the consistency of blood

5. Terrible nightmares; PCs need an additional 1d4 hours rest to have a full night's sleep

6. Despite any cleaning or scrubbing, all gore that soils the PCs gear will not be removed short of magic for 24 hours

7. Necrobloom Mushrooms; all living creatures that need to breathe within 5' of the patch must make a DC 11 Fort save of be Fatigued for 1 hour

8. Nectar of Life; a rare flower whose perfumed aroma heals 1d4 HP to any wounded living creature within 5'; any creature so affected grants any undead a +2 on their Perception check to notice the perfumed creature


A: environment hazard for the local area have effect.
(flood\avalanche\storms\heat waves\sandstorms\quicksand\ocean sinkholes etc etc).

B: bounty taken on a pc. this can come in waves, as the first time it effect the party is ether the local guards trying to arrest them or bounty hunters attack (and the pc might consider them normal bandits). then when the bounty notice is found they need to deal with that.

C: pickpockets\thieves target the party (might be an elaborate plan on how to steal their stuff or just a frontal bump and purse strings-cut).

D: summoning into a different plane. (well pc casters can summon celestial and fiendish creatures to help them. so why not a caster in an outer plane summon the pc?). point to remember, they must obey the summoner, most summons are 1 round/caster level. AND even if they die it's not their real body and gear so beside the kidnapping nothing really hurt them ether way.
- i used this as a plot hook to let the specific summoned character learn of facts in regards to the creature that summoned him and those he fought against, but this can be also kinda of a looking for the loophole thingy (how do i get unsummoned?) in case some1 really powerful uses some kind of ability to make it last a long time (like the summoning school ability to have a permanent summon).

E: curses! .can come in items\scrolls\bottles\spells cast and more!
with the sheer amount and verity this should have it's own table!

F: forced job. ether by noble\royal decree or magically powered the characters get a nasty\dangerous\tedious\degrading job they are forced to do. remember to have some nice perks to come along with the job (ether as something that somehow show up or as end reward) players don't respond well to being forced without anything to show for it. also allow for ways to refuse the job\resist the magic\loopholes in contract to exist.

G: the pit!. literally a hole in the ground where the party is. can just be a hole or lead into an unexplored ruin filled with...

H: Haunts -like curses they come in different verity and power levels. get a sub table.

I: linked to the curses above, the characters are hit with a variant permanent 'calm emotions' spell. the variant is not only with the duration but aloso the fact that any aggressive actions against effected character,instead of negating the spell, only suspend the clam emotions effect for 1 round before it is resumed.


A sinkhole has opened up and swallowed the only road side inn for miles. They can descend and look for survivors or loot, but are otherwise sleeping outdoors.

Massive flooding in the area increases the risk of infection and swarms. Bodies are floating out of shallow graves.

Crossing through a field on a shortcut, the party wanders into a village veil spell hiding a hunting lodge for much higher level characters. While the lodge is mostly empty, some of the lackies for the real heroes decide to haze the party.


Percentile roll to see if there's another, more advanced/higher level party doing the same quest.

Your party is going after whatever, when suddenly overtaken and passed by another party, clearly headed for the same destination... no!

They laugh and jeer as they pass you by... the Fighter pushes your hat down over your eyes, and their Barbarian punches your horse, knocking it unconscious. The two of them high-five as you lose sight of their party entering the ruins your party was heading towards.


xxiv. As the tree branches wave in the wind they form eldritch and terrifying runes. Fireballing them will correct the problem, though with side effects like burning trees. Covering up and refusing to look at them works too; NPCs are likely to do this. Analysing the situation with knowledge (arcane) will tell that a bless spell can banish the effect. Doing nothing results in an ill omen effect starting on their next encounter.

xxv. Blood-red flowers grow from a scattering of rusty weapons on the ground. Searching thru the weapons requires a dex check to avoid contaminating and instantly rusting (broken condition) some of the searchers' equipment. Knowledge (nature) may warn of this effect.

xxvi. Singing birds may fascinate listeners who don't leave, block their ears or take action against the birds immediately. Knowledge (nature) may warn of this effect. Lose several hours if fascinated.


One of my favorite little ones is the 'shady magic item merchant'. Just some random dude, who is willing to sell the party 'cheap magic items'. Problem being, depending on party level, they are anywhere from fakes, to poor quality, to outright cursed. But to the weary eyed, there might be a hidden gem or 2 that's actually legit good.

It's a good rp encounter, that tries to temp the party into buying stuff from an unverified merchant. To use good judgement, and social finesse. It also give you a reason to write up some creative cursed/s++&ty magic items that would otherwise never see a loot table without cranky players. It could also lead into a mini adventure to hunt down this clearly illegal merchant, in exchange for cursed item removal from the obligatory LN merchant deity of your setting's church.

There is also always the murder hobo option too. Just make sure casually snark on how this 'humble merchant' could obtain such magic items. Make him either a decently solid rouge, or a decently powerful magic user. Maybe also include a couple of 'guards' to possibly also strong arm the PCs into buying stuff if they don't want any. Maybe if you really want to go all the way, include a full blown magic item mafia that you could make an adventure out of.

Inspired by one of the Baldur's Gate 1 encounters that had a shady merchant that sold nasty cursed items in the middle of nowhere.


One of my favorite little ones is the 'shady magic item merchant'. Just some random dude, who is willing to sell the party 'cheap magic items'. Problem being, depending on party level, they are anywhere from fakes, to poor quality, to outright cursed. But to the weary eyed, there might be a hidden gem or 2 that's actually legit good.

It's a good rp encounter, that tries to temp the party into buying stuff from an unverified merchant. To use good judgement, and social finesse. It also give you a reason to write up some creative cursed/s+*#ty magic items that would otherwise never see a loot table without cranky players. It could also lead into a mini adventure to hunt down this clearly illegal merchant, in exchange for cursed item removal from the obligatory LN merchant deity of your setting's church.

There is also always the murder hobo option too. Just make sure casually snark on how this 'humble merchant' could obtain such magic items. Make him either a decently solid rouge, or a decently powerful magic user. Maybe also include a couple of 'guards' to possibly also strong arm the PCs into buying stuff if they don't want any. Maybe if you really want to go all the way, include a full blown magic item mafia that you could make an adventure out of.

Inspired by one of the Baldur's Gate 1 encounters that had a shady merchant that sold nasty cursed items in the middle of nowhere.


I have linked a few tables for random encounters in the past on the forums, I have based one on each ranger terrain, plus a wild table. I can send you them if you still want some good/bad/neutral encounter ideas for moving between places.


Re-reading the OP again I noticed

NihilsticBanana wrote:
So how do I make a fair "Negative" random event?

I started wondering about this, oh yellow-fruited devourer of hope. What do you mean by "fair?" Like, are you looking for mechanically balanced, but just not a wandering monster? Ex:

9. (for level 1-3 PCs) As you venture up the road you spy a weird standing stone marking the corner of the next bend in the road. The sod around the plinth's base is soaked in a crimson color and the stench of copper is in the air. A red-hued fog bank is rolling across your path, all around you, seemingly from everywhere at once. (PCs must roll a DC 13 Will save or gain the Frightened condition; Animal type creatures suffer a -2 penalty)

Or did you mean "Fair" in the respect that the bad thing rolled doesn't just HAPPEN to them, a la your idea of having them robbed by night without recourse. Ex:

10. Something won't let you rest at the inn tonight. All of you, sharing a single communal room, lie half-awake in your beds, the window overlooking the courtyard and stable below. Everyone roll a Perception check (DC 22; with a success the PCs note their horses sound distressed as the barn door creaks open and a light is briefly glimpsed from within; four scoundrels are trying to steal the party's mounts)

Please, if you don't mind Bananarama, chime in and help me understand. Thanks!


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

Re-reading the OP again I noticed

NihilsticBanana wrote:
So how do I make a fair "Negative" random event?

I started wondering about this, oh yellow-fruited devourer of hope. What do you mean by "fair?" Like, are you looking for mechanically balanced, but just not a wandering monster? Ex:

9. (for level 1-3 PCs) As you venture up the road you spy a weird standing stone marking the corner of the next bend in the road. The sod around the plinth's base is soaked in a crimson color and the stench of copper is in the air. A red-hued fog bank is rolling across your path, all around you, seemingly from everywhere at once. (PCs must roll a DC 13 Will save or gain the Frightened condition; Animal type creatures suffer a -2 penalty)

Or did you mean "Fair" in the respect that the bad thing rolled doesn't just HAPPEN to them, a la your idea of having them robbed by night without recourse. Ex:

10. Something won't let you rest at the inn tonight. All of you, sharing a single communal room, lie half-awake in your beds, the window overlooking the courtyard and stable below. Everyone roll a Perception check (DC 22; with a success the PCs note their horses sound distressed as the barn door creaks open and a light is briefly glimpsed from within; four scoundrels are trying to steal the party's mounts)

Please, if you don't mind Bananarama, chime in and help me understand. Thanks!

I guess what I mean by fair is yeah, I don't just wanna force a negative thing on someone. So like I wouldn't want anything like "One of you suddenly pick up a disease" without like at least having there be a save of some sort first. I mean, I like both of your examples personally and am fine with either, They both are clearly fair if you get what I'm saying?


Guardianlord wrote:
I have linked a few tables for random encounters in the past on the forums, I have based one on each ranger terrain, plus a wild table. I can send you them if you still want some good/bad/neutral encounter ideas for moving between places.

Yeah sure I wouldn't mind being sent some stuff, anything is helpful.

Scarab Sages

1) Mushrooms of aging. The party stumbles across of small supply of tasty mushrooms (or buy's them from a vendor) however when they eat them they turn into children physically (or pass a nature check DC dependant on party level). They need to not only find more mushrooms but specifically ones a number of centimeters tall equal to their original age. 12 CM = 12 years old. Depending on party level the mushrooms may not even be native to their plane.

2) Freak sleet storm. A day's temperature suddenly plunges and a freak but completely natural sleet storm starts. The party must make the usual weather checks to deal with the cold and wet only in an environment that doesn't normally see this weather so they're unlikely to have appropriate clothing.

3) Find my pussy. A little girl begs the brave adventurers to find her lost kitten that was playing near the river. Said cat is eventually found at the bottom a nearby waterfall having fallen in and been washed over the edge. How do they explain to a child her beloved pet is dead (can also be bypassed with raise dead).

4) Armour Rash. In a hot, moist environement those in heavy clothing and any form of armour have it raise painful red welts on their body. Dexterity is reduced by 2, movement by 5' and they are in considerable pain if they try to move until they treat both the rash and its cause.

5) Innacurate Maps. The party arrives at their destination to find that their destination isn't there. The cause is being sold innacurate maps and they need to make survival and knowledge local checks to figure out both where they are and how to get from there to their destination.

6) Lost in translation. Arriving at a small village to spend the night they find no one speaks common only an appropriate racial dialect (elven, dwarven, Varisian). Do they have a party memeber that know's the language or will they be using charades to explain what they want?

7) Disease. Any one of the many fun diseases that can strike the travelling party without their planning to deal with them. That curry last night went right through the fighter and gave him diareah, the mage caught a cold and is suffering arcane spell failure of 5% "Klatu, Barata Achooo."

8) Undefeatable armour. The party finds the armour of the undefeated warrior. A suit of armour worn by a warrior who was never defeated in battle and whose skill went into their armour. Anyone who wears the armour gains an effective fighter level of 4 + their current class level. However its also an intelligent item that seeks to prove itself in combat by fighting anyone and anything that might be a challenge goblins, bar brawlers, a wild boar, the party's own fighter. What's more its an intelligent item that will make opposed ego checks to take control. If it succeeds for that day it controls its own movements with the player stuck inside unable to stop it. The only way to remove the armour is be defeated in combat by someone.

9) These are not my privates. Playful fey swap the party's gender/bodies/voices/other in the night. The change lasts for 24 hours then ends naturally.

10) Hello Bubu. If the party aren't storing their rations in an out of the way spot (other dimension, bag from a tree) they find wild animals rummaging through it in the morning spoiling or eating 1d4 day's worth of food.

11) Well that's not good. The party finds the route they intend to take is no longer available bridge collapsed, landslide blocking a pass and has to scout the area to find another way around.

12) You really must stay for dinner. The party stumbles on a welcoming little village in the forest. A village that gets so few visitors whenever any show up they do everything they can to make them stay short of actual violence or force. Lies about the weather, insisting there's a local festival they really must see, deshoeing any mounts "Oh we were just putting new shoes on your horses and right now the poor things have none so you can't take them out in a forest full of things to get stuck in their hooves. Look why don't you just pop down to the tavern for a bit while we get some new ones on." Taking all the party's clothing for washing and mending. A village well known in the area (knowledge local) for their obsessive hospitality which is why they get so few visitors.


NihilsticBanana wrote:
Guardianlord wrote:
I have linked a few tables for random encounters in the past on the forums, I have based one on each ranger terrain, plus a wild table. I can send you them if you still want some good/bad/neutral encounter ideas for moving between places.
Yeah sure I wouldn't mind being sent some stuff, anything is helpful.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_HUQg_EkEgSn5yFOr5Y2TJLLCKMJBD3E

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cGeklU-JsOZrkFNUuUDMMFeZvCATbwnJ

I appreciate feedback on these, if you feel like it.

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