Random encounter with a camping

Rules Discussion

are there specific rules to determine randomly which type of creatures and numbers ?

For example :
Table 3–8: Random Encounter Type
1d10 Encounter
1–5 Harmless
6–7 Hazard
8–10 Creature

If I obtain 8 and so a random encounter with creature.

For example, the characters are in Nar-Voth.

For the monsters, I decide to have the following creature in the zone : derro, duergar, troglodytes, vegepygmies, xulgath

Which is the range for the different creatures if I roll a dice ?

Thanks for your future answer.

There are two routes you can decide to follow.

The first is having numbers of creatures that feel consistent with the environment the group is moving through, regardless of the party's level. If you go this way, you should check the creatures' descriptions and come up with a realistic range for the number of individuals that may be moving around and stumble across the PC's camp. Note that this may result in an overwhelming encounter, so offer your players the option to retreat.

The second approach is building an encounter that is appropriately difficult for the group; this of course depends on the number of PCs and their level. You can refer to these guidelines to find how many enemies you can use. For a random encounter happening while the group is resting, I would keep the difficulty between trivial and law, MAYBE moderate.
If you tell us something more about the group (again, number of characters and level), we can give you a range for each of the creatures you mentioned.

I do not think there is a table of creatures to use for random encounters in the general rulebooks. For a very good reason.

An AP might have a small random creature table that it provides. You could also build one of your own.

The reason that this is a bad idea in general is because there are two types of creature design - a standard enemy and a boss enemy. You can see that on the creature selection table. In the entry for 'party level' it mentions both types of creatures are appropriate at that level.

The difference between a standard enemy and a boss enemy is in their action economy. A standard enemy has fairly normal action economy. One and two action single target attacks, and maybe the standard Attack of Opportunity or some defensive reaction. A boss enemy is designed for fighting the party all by themselves. They often have area attacks, sometimes have three action attacks, and usually have improved reactions - ones that do multiple things at once (multiple attacks, or both offense and defense), or hit multiple targets.

For a level 9 party, a battle between 3 Galvo creatures is a very different battle than fighting 3 Vrocks. Even though both are level 9 creatures.

So don't just randomly pick enemies from the entire bestiary list. Make a short curated list and randomly pick from those.

First, troglodytes and xulgaths are the same species. "Troglodyte" is an English word meaning cave dweller, so it is pretty generic. In PF2, Paizo gave them a specific species name Xulgath.

Most random encounter tables are created for modules, because the module takes the party through a specific area inhabited by specific creatures. For example, the PF1 module Siege of Stone has the 12th-level random encounter table for a part of the Darklands called The Long Road:

1–6: 1 gug, CR 10 from PF1 Bestiary 2 151
7–11: 1d3+2 chardas, CR 11 from PF1 Bestiary 2 55
12–17: 1d4 lava drakes, CR 11 from PF1 Bestiary 4 78
18–22: 1 sayona, CR 12 from PF1 Bestiary 4 231
23–28: 1 roper, CR 12 from PF1 Bestiary 237
29–34: 1 fossil golem, CR 12 from PF1 Bestiary 3 136
35–40: 1 purple worm, CR 12 from PF1 Bestiary 230
41–48: 1d4 ghonhatine, CR 12 from PF1 Bestiary 4 102
49–54: Drow hunting party, CR 13 see below
55–60: 1 azruverda, CR 13 from PF1 Bestiary 3 30
61–66: Troglodyte warren, CR 13 see below
67–71: 1 khardajeen, CR 14 see page 88
72–78: 1d3 syrictas, CR 14 from PF1 Bestiary 5 239
79–86: 1 vemerak, CR 14 from PF1 Bestiary 2 278
87–92: 2 deep nagas, CR 14 see page 90
93–97: 1 hyakume, CR 15 from PF1 Bestiary 4 153
98–99: 2 ghorazaghs, CR 15 from PF1 Bestiary 3 124
100: 1 hollow serpent, CR 16 from PF1 Bestiary 3 149

Some of those creatures, such as Hollow Serpent creature 15, have been ported over to PF2. But I don't know the level of Waldham's party, so I have no idea whether a Hollow Serpent would be a level-appropriate encounter.

I seldom roll random encounters. The only time I roll on a random encounter table is when the party unexpectedly wanders into dangerous territory and I don't care about the encounter except that the PCs learn that the territory is dangerous. Otherwise, I plan the encounter to give a carefully selected impression. And I suspect that the writers of random encounter tables create them to give a predetermined impression, too, a sample plate of the everyday dangers of that location.

Making one's own random encounter table would be like deliberately chosing a large collection of possible impressions so that the dice can make that impression later. Designing the encounter directly seems much easier.

I also noticed that your list of possible random encounters consists of three intelligent species and the semi-intelligent vegepygmies. And I don't see vegepygmies in the PF2 bestiaries. A random encounter table should have monster encounters, too, such as cave scorpions and darkmantles.

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While random encounters can give a region a sense of danger, and works especially well to prevent party loitering, there's an inherent risk involved in devolving to mere combat w/ no sense of narrative purpose. If PC's aren't overcoming a significant obstacle, one with ramifications, why have it? And wandering monsters tend to be from an endless pool with little effect on the game world except to drain the party's resources which while hypothetically sounds cool, it tends to slow progress rather than lend urgency and detracts from the "us at our best vs. mega-enemy at their best" of the finale. It also grants XP (& likely treasure to keep wealth on par for the PCs' advancement). If random, that's a bit wonky re: planned narrative arc.
Note that some APs do seem to have an intentional segment where one can use these encounters for parties to catch up with the intended power level. I prefer the "if you get through here you're advanced to X" method

Or even better IMO is the non-random wandering monsters, monsters who have a purpose being there and will effect the story, i.e a guard patrol that might be best to evade so they don't go missing and trigger a lockdown or reprisal. Or "monsters" one might actually befriend and gain info from. Or a notorious beast that if slain might earn the party favor at an upcoming village. And yes, the party might meet them randomly as in the order and location might change, but are meant to meet many, perhaps all, and that might include "combat for combat's sake" monsters to establish the peril of the territory.

Note that I have also had some of my best RPing experiences ever arise from the craziness of d20s determining the gist of the party's next obstacle.

Don't forget false alarms, intriguing set pieces, and friendly encounters too, as one might expect on a fantastic adventure as opposed to a military operation (unless that's what you're aiming for).

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I agree with Castilliano. I personally have issues with purely random encounters like those using tables because narratively they make little sense.

Not every group of bandits chooses to attack a group of experienced and well-armed adventurers, only the foolish and more experienced will risk it, most prefer to plunder caravans of unsuspecting merchants which is much safer and potentially more profitable.

Animals also have an instinctual rationality, the vast majority of them will avoid human roads, and even in the middle of the wilderness most avoid creatures alien to the environment that could potentially pose great danger unknown unless they are absolutely hungry to take the risk or are threatened due to the invasion of their territory. But very rarely will they attack a camp with a campfire and people on guard.

Intelligent beasts are a mix of the 2. They can potentially feed on adventurers while also being intelligent enough to distinguish them from other humanoids. So go to the same situation as the bandits, if you are not absolutely hungry or have extreme confidence in your strength, because taking risks against adventurers has much more abundant and safer options.

The other issue is that often "random" shouldn't be random to begin with. If there are bandits on a certain road, most likely the players have heard about them and are already prepared for ambushes, if there are hungry animals attacking humanoids in the region, the players have probably heard rumors about it, if there are dangerous beasts that claim that territory, most likely there have been reports of vicious attacks by these beasts as well.

Anyway, there is hardly any justification in the story for a group of completely random creatures to appear out of nowhere. They will almost always be well-planned ambushes, or something wrong that the players are doing to cause an encounter supposedly "out of the blue" and very rarely will these encounters be trivial.

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