Monday, January 10, 2011

Random Encounters Record Sheet

I was at my folks' this weekend scrambling to get something ready to DM them.  My stepmother wasn't feeling up to snuff so it was all put on hold in the end.

Are you ever ready to DM?  I suppose there's a stage you reach when you can roll with a moments notice.  I am not at that stage.  I always seem to be trying to figure out what the trap in room 3 is as my players show up.  Time constraints can be helpful in generating, but they can also lead to crappy results (my trap the night I'm thinking of was boring).

Anyway, I've found that this here blog is very helpful because whichever player's house I'm DMing at I have access to a lot of ready to go magic items, monsters and handouts that I'm familiar with.

It was like that this weekend, I took the Easy Map Dungeon flipped it horizontally and started randomly stocking it.  The one document that I've found helpful in the past that was not on my blog was an empty random encounter chart.

So, I'll rectify that now.  This pdf might not be very useful to you, but I still need something like this:
I've arranged the die results to give me an assortment of frequencies for encounters.  It would probably be more flexible to just leave the die roll part of the chart blank, but as a learning DM I need to be thinking how likely these results will be or my players are going to get bored dealing with the same things over and over.

The spaces below are for fleshing out what the encounters are and even pre-rolling hit points if there are a bunch of individuals involved (the dashes to the right).  I think this is necessary for me because I almost never use the same creatures in two dungeons.  It's always: "These are sort of white, tough kobolds," or, "these are weaker stirge with this other magical power."

I often scribble XP in the right hand margin and then triple it to get a gold piece value before trying to turn that amount into treasure items.  I suppose it's not a very random way of stocking a map.  I realize I'm shooting for a certain sweet spot of reward/risk. In other words, there is loot to be had, were it's at is random.  Maybe as I get more experience I'll change that but it seems to be working splendidly so far.


  1. I like using graph paper for this sort of thing so i have tick-boxes for the monsters' hit points.

  2. Thanks, that's a helpful suggestion.