If it’s not clear yet, I’ve been raiding some unfinished tables (and by ‘tables’ I mean the giant spreadsheets I start putting together like “oh I should make a wilderness travel table… okay so I’ll need a table of human encounters and a table of creature encounters and a table for the scenery and a table for interesting plants and then I’ll need to do the same thing for swamps and mountains and…”).
SO HERE’S SOME PEOPLE YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER IN YOUR TRAVELS!
|d20||Along the Road You Meet..|
|2||2d4 Bandits, led by:
1. Insane prophet wearing the skins of beasts.
2. Wizard who knows 5 random spells.
3. Musically-voiced troubadour who swaggers the fuck around.
4. Conjoined-twin priestess of filth and fire, arms coated in poisonous pitch.
5. A pretty little pale-faced girl.
6. A naked man wielding a greathammer, staunchly silent from within his gorgeously painted wooden demon tribal mask.
1. Replete with standard bearer, courtesan assassin, two arquebusiers in fabulous silk breeches, a towering eunuch wielding mace and dagger, and a superbly eloquent emissary with sharp, tapering nails.
2. Five serpent-tongued albinos in deep-hooded velvet robes that smell strongly of mice.
3. Comprised of a sole emissary of enormously morbid girth, dripping as much jewellery as sweat.
4. Three arbalesters wearing black-stained sallet and bevor, following a pair of porcelain-armoured knights, their helmets shaped like fat smiling faces, holding a great banner between them on pikes. The glyph-surrounded face in the banner speaks as the fabric ruffles and rolls.
1. On foot.
2. On domesticated Powder Deer, the leader/leaders riding Husbands.
3. On palanquin carried on the backs of blind monks.
4. By the charity of strangers.
|4||A game hunter house, the whole extended family bedecked in fine armour and filigreed weapons, accompanied by nervous Pets driving the carriages or running alongside wielding nets and spears and chains.
Some creatures will be killed for the thrill of the hunt, others captured for the arenas.
|6||A solitary warrior wandering the land.|
|7||2d6 Mercenaries, currently:
1. On their way home from a successful employment.
2. Infested with something awful from exploring where they shouldn't.
3. Looking for employment.
4. Dragging themselves away from catastrophe.
|8||An absurdly enthusiastic botanist and his long-suffering companion.|
|9||A displaced hermit.|
|10||A small cadre of intellectuals (d4+2) on their way to study/explore/harvest the nearest suitable thing.
1. d6 Mercenaries.
2. Bickering Maleficar siblings.
3. Two nervous students per intellectual, armed with braces of wheellock pistols, spears, and packs overflowing with notebooks and specimen jars.
4. A lithe, rough-faced duellist with flowing red hair, her body tattooed with the names of every person she's ever killed, a poison-throwing beauty, a scarred and disgraced ex-general, armed with crossbow pike and sorrow, and a kindly old traveller they picked up along the way; a member of the Endless Dark Murder Cult who will ensure they never make it back from the wilderness.
|11||An army on the march.|
|12||A hunting party, five men armed with spears, bows, ropes and traps, accompanied by a favoured daughter and a lazy son.|
|13||A priest on a holy mission.|
|14||A travelling poet and assassin.|
|15||d6 Merchant caravans + d6 Mercenaries per caravan.|
|16||The ragged survivors of some terrible catastrophe:
1. A crazed marauder raid.
2. A sudden epidemic of beautiful floral infection.
3. Excavations that an unearthed and awoke an ancient slime.
4. The downfall of a would-be sorcerer who stole a Wizards tome and started reading.
|17||A feverish migration of the faithful to the site of some obscure religious celebration.|
|18||d8 mould-covered fungus-controlled wretches making their way back to civilised lands to fruit. They're filthy but rather cheerful, eager to make friends.|
|19||A maniacally self-assured and self-appointed duke looking for conscripts into his glorious army. So far he has a pock-faced teenage boy wearing absurdly good armour, a particularly angry swan, and an old man who looks to be at death's door who never talks. He rides on the shoulders of a naked farmhand with the proportions and mental capacity of a troll, drooling around the golden gag bridle between his teeth.|
|20||2d6+4 trappers and a silk-draped procurer who is more capable than he looks, seated next to his current flame, leading a caravan of wheeled cages looking to capture beasts for exhibition and sale.
Despised by the great game hunter houses.
|d6||If It's Not Clear How They're Travelling..|
|2||On nearly-dead horses.|
|4||In a crude carriage pulled by somnambulant humans in a permanent drug-induced sleep.|
|5||In stag-drawn chariots.|
|6||In a caravan train powered by a truly stupendous amount of rats running in the oversized wheels of the fore-carriage.|
Thank you for this! I really like the flavor of many, many of these. But WARPIGS brings SABBATH to mind! Oh LAWD, YEAH!
I fucking love war pigs. The animals I mean.
Bat Sabbath does a great job on this cover – thanks for introducing me to this band and Cancer Bats!
Also, now I’ve got visions in my skull of crude medieval woodcuts: NPCs astride bristling, armored, oversize-tusked warpigs with the Motorhead logo for heads.
Bat Sabbath is literally just Cancer Bats doing Sabbath covers, I love them.
I’ll be honest in my mind war pigs are pink and pudgy just angrier/maybe not even that much bigger?
I’ve long considered the random encounter rolls that say 1d6 Humans or something of that nature to be, more often then not, a missed opportunity on behalf for most Referees. Humans are the most interesting thing on this little world of ours, so in a fantasy world brimming with color and magic and oddity, the Humans should be just as strange. So well done for communicating so much in so little space!
Gosh I’ve missed you.
How come some of them (travellers, etc) aren’t exploded out into subtypes like the others? I know space and time are limitated, but if I used this I feel like my bad luck would ensure that I consistently rolled the least interesting stuff on the table.
Honestly it's because I rushed to finish it before a game once and I wanted to post it now but didn't have spare time to spend on punching it up. This was pulled straight from a spreadsheet among many spreadsheets containing a myriad of largely unfinished tables.
I'd eventually like to flesh out travellers, merchants, etc with interesting possibilities, because what's the point of using tables that give you results you could have just made up?
There's just that problem of time.