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Making Random Encounters More Random

So as I continue to create the sandox campaign for Macy's World, I am developing random encounter tables for cross-country travel.  While I expect most of the action to take place within locations like ruins, old temples, lairs, etc., there has to be some perils just wandering around a fantasy wilderness.

But that doesn't mean I can not make those interesting as well, so I've been compiling a list of small elements that will "spruce up" a random wilderness encounter.  I don't have to use them every time; sometimes the group might just run into a small pack of giant wolverines.  But I would like to keep things interesting without derailing the players.  Here's some examples:

  • One of the creatures encountered has unusual white fur/hair/feathers.  It's pelt could be of interest to a collector, if one could be found.
  • If humanoid, the creatures encountered have recently stolen their tribes treasure for themselves, and are on the run.  A larger group of similar humanoids will come across their trail in 1d3 hours.
  • The creatures encountered are typical and have the usual attributes, except that they are capable of low-altitude flight.
So you see how a small pack of flying giant wolverines or a renegade band of kobolds might be a little deviation from the norm.  My plan is to just keep a running list and after each option is used (being rolled from a random list), then I'll just pop in a new one as they come to me.

Flying wolverines just take what they want

Thoughts?  Suggestions for ways to make a random encounter just a little different?  Feel free to leave something in the comments.

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