June 13th, 2005

Random Encounters

Random encounters are nice, but I never know how to present random encounters with neutral creatures without the presentation sounding incredibly awkward. For example, suppose you roll up an encounter with a few deer, what do you say, "After several hours of walking a group of deer cross your path a ways ahead on the trail" or "you can see a group of deer ambling through the woods in the distance?" The players' response is always expectant, as if the creature should sprout wings and start raining fire on them before they do anything. Should I just leave these things out, work them into the description of the area, present them at a time when they may need to interact with the neutral thing (in which case it's no longer random), or present them in a more aggressive manner that forces them to take part in the random encoutner, such as "up ahead on the trail you can see a heap of fur and blood topped with antlers?" I only have a problem with "neutral" creatuers, such as animals and insects. I have a session coming up, and this is something I'd really like to resolve. Thanks folks.
  • Current Music
    Joanna Newsom