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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Travelling Event Table

    I am trying to make an oregon table style list of events that could happen to the party. Styled as follows.

    Positive event: Party reduces travel time by a day.
    Negative event: Wandering monsters
    Neutral Event: Travelling merchant
    Neutral Event: Travellers
    Negative event: Party is slowed for a day.
    Negative event: Hazardous Obstacle is in the way.

    Note the emphasis on the mechanics behind the event. I'll paint that events with rp fluff later. But I am struggling to think of ideas so would like ideas from other people.

    One last thing I do not ******* care if you think its a good or bad idea or not. And I do not want anyone posting anything other than ideas or positive comments.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    You die of dysentery...

    (Sorry I had to)

    You are exposed to a sickness.
    You lose some supplies.
    You have a chance to gain some supplies.
    Something important breaks. (Wagon axle, Horseshoe)
    Fog or rain increases travel time.
    You surrender after you're dead. Lan Mandragoran

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    YossarianLives's Avatar

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    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    Just saying, you came off as bit a aggressive.



    You get lost and follow a small back-country trail leading nowhere.

    A member of the party trips and injures their leg slowing down the party while they wait for them catch up.

    A group of angry villagers are very reluctant to let outsiders travel through their land.

    The party is delayed after spending several hours arguing over a petty misunderstanding.

    A bridge over a rushing river is broken, forcing the party to ford the river several miles northward.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    Don't be a jackass, mate, this is a friendly board and you'll get more good responses if you don't open up by alienating people.

    Other things:
    - (Negative) A band of armed men with the flag of a local noble have set up camp on a bridge, or on a mountain pass, or some other place where it would be massively inconvenient to go around. They are demanding that travelers pay a road toll. Are they bandits working a scam? Or do they really represent the local lord? Either way, this could be a combat, stealth, or diplomatic encounter.
    - (Positive) A local friendly supernatural creature takes a shine to you, and leads you to some sort of beneficial environment. Maybe it's a magical berry bush, or a source of clean water in the badlands, or even just a comfortable place to camp for the night.
    Honor guard at the funeral in the Miko Fan Club.

    Those who are too stupid to run, I salute you.

    Human Male, age 35

    "Have you come to lecture me on my evil ways?"

    "Actually, I brought you some supper. But if you'd prefer a lecture, I've a few very catchy ones prepped; sin and hellfire... one has lepers."

    - Inara and Book, Firefly

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    Quote Originally Posted by Verbannon View Post
    And I do not want anyone posting anything other than ideas or positive comments.
    Tough. You don't get to dictate what kind of feedback you're going to get. And with that out of the way, let's continue.

    A table of random events can be a useful tool. However, populating it with things like "party is slowed for a day" is a bad idea. The reason for this is that you're predetermining the outcome of whatever event you later fill in for that slot's fluff description. Your players should have a chance to prevent or mitigate the consequence of that event.

    For example, let's say "party is slowed for a day" entry is later fluffed as "party reaches a bridge that is washed out, so they lose some time finding another route". If you roll this on your chart and then tell them this is what happened, you're denying the possibility that they could find another solution to the problem besides "find another route". Maybe the wizard has a spell that can get them across the river. Or maybe the ranger's knowledge of the area can lead the party to a nearby section of the river that's shallow enough to walk across. Or maybe the barbarian is a strong enough swimmer that he can carry the others across one at a time. Or any number of alternatives.

    The point is, if you simply say "okay, you're slowed for a day" then you've denied the agency of your players (the whole point of playing), and also cheated them (and yourself!) of the opportunity to create a more interesting story. That would be like saying "bandits attack and you all get robbed and killed" instead of running a combat against said bandits to see who does and doesn't get killed.

    So instead of thinking of your table entries in terms of their consequence to the party, think of them in terms of possible consequences that the party has opportunities to change. Preferably in their favor, though they should also have the chance to screw things up and make it even worse for themselves if they're careless.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    nedz's Avatar

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    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    You're missing an opportunity to describe your setting. By creating encounter tables which reflect the flora, fauna and cultures of the different regions of your world you can use them to paint the character of your world. Creating forest type encounters when the party is in a forest, say, then you reinforce the impression that they are in a forest; the alternative just makes the forest wall paper and the world a cardboard cut-out.

    Also you should generate the inputs to the encounters rather than the outputs. The outputs should be a consequence of the character's actions otherwise your players are not players but merely spectators.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' Actually it's worse than that.


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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mr.Moron's Avatar

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    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    The players run into a merchant being robbed by some bandits. The bandits seem much younger than normal and are noticeably nervous.
    The players run into commoner patching up a makeshift hideaway, if they investigate the fine an ogre or other large monster inside trying to remain still.
    The players run into a helpful traveler in fine clothing who shares food or directions with them, his way mannerisms and speech patterns of are someone of much lower status than his finery would suggest.
    The players run into a cat, it's thin and will happily accept any food or return any affection given to it. It paces in circles when it's not being directly interacted with.
    The players run into the scattered remains of a broken caravan, a look up reveals that some of the horses have been impaled on the tops of nearby trees.
    The players run into small farm house and old woman lives there. She's accommodating if not exactly welcoming. If the players stay the night she's gone missing in the meantime.
    The players run into sword stuck into a tree, rusting slightly. The initials "M.F." are engraved on the hilt.
    The players run into an overturned wagon, the driver seems to have run away. A trunk inside contains vials of purple liquid that smell strongly of cherries.
    The players players hear a mighty explosion over a hill just off path they are going to take.
    The players see some goblins in the distance drinking a blue liquid from a puddle off the side of the rode. Some are in a trance, others are flailing about - none seem pay the players any attention.
    The players pass through an area where the snow has melted in isolated perfectly shaped hexagons spaced about 20' apart.
    The players pass through a forest filled to the brim with rabbits, and see no signs of any predators. After a while they run into an old monastery in this forest.
    Last edited by Mr.Moron; 2015-10-14 at 05:22 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    Sorry if I came off as aggressive. But my patience was and still is running thin with the way every time I post anything, I don't get any actual answers, just alternately people telling me "Don't worry about the details, just do what you want" or "You shouldn't be doing stuff thats random at all. Make everything you do significant to the plot." And if I had heard either of those kind of platitudes again I would have broken down and screamed and cussed at people.

    @Calen
    I like your first suggestion a lot. Disease, supply lost, gain supplies, something broken can probably be rolled into the party is slowed one. Same with the weather.

    @Master

    Getting lost and winding up in the wrong place is a good idea.
    Hostile territory, go around or go through. Thats tougher, but might be workable into the table.
    Could be rolled up into the delay one. Maybe I should create subtables with these different specific scenarios.

    @Talyn
    Pay a toll... hmm.. interesting. Maybe that could be wrapped up with Master's hostile territory idea.

    I wonder what benefit a comfortable place could be...

    @ TheIron Golem

    Well I could reword the tables so it says "Event happens that might slow the party" That should cover that problem you brought up.

    @Nedz. Not sure what you mean. But the primary reason I am abstracting the table so much is so I can refluff it to work in any setting. In the Shadowfell "The party speeds up" Could be a mysterious ghostly shortcut appearing that the party may want to risk taking and as they walk a ghost accompanies them and chats and as long as they give the ghost pleasant conversation it leaves happy and they save time.

    Where as in the feywild the same roll could instead a bunch of gnomes conjured an illusionary swarm of bees that chased the party into a run then after their laugh they cast a restoration spell on the party so the party doesn't feel overly worn anymore.

    It would be impossible to create a table imo without going abstract.

    @Moron
    Lots of different traveler ideas, maybe I should make some sub-tables for when I can't think of a specific appropriate event.
    Last edited by Verbannon; 2015-10-15 at 02:24 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    nedz's Avatar

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    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    Quote Originally Posted by Verbannon View Post
    @Nedz. Not sure what you mean. But the primary reason I am abstracting the table so much is so I can refluff it to work in any setting. In the Shadowfell "The party speeds up" Could be a mysterious ghostly shortcut appearing that the party may want to risk taking and as they walk a ghost accompanies them and chats and as long as they give the ghost pleasant conversation it leaves happy and they save time.

    Where as in the feywild the same roll could instead a bunch of gnomes conjured an illusionary swarm of bees that chased the party into a run then after their laugh they cast a restoration spell on the party so the party doesn't feel overly worn anymore.

    It would be impossible to create a table imo without going abstract.
    Oh right. It came across as an entirely gamist construct, but if you intend to flesh out the encounters on the fly then that would be different. I tend to take a different approach and create a table for each locale which reflects what lives there - though I frequently select arbitrarily from the table rather than rolling. This latter approach helps with pacing and makes no real difference. Basically I flesh out ahead of time - where possible.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' Actually it's worse than that.


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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    The method of abstraction would be slightly different. It wouldn't be 'this encounter slows the party down by 1 hour, refluff as required'. It would be 'this encounter consists of thingies that disturb the party because they're bored, refluff as required'.

    Best of luck!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    May 2015
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    Mesquite, TX

    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    have you looked into Pathfinder's Dynamic Magic Item Creation rules? Because with a little bit of tweaking, they could be easially adapted for this purpose (semi-random events with the intent to add flavor to otherwise boring overland travel, each a little mini challenge where the party's success results in minor boons or setbacks to the journey itself)

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    What you are looking for is are called "Random Encounter Tables." 1st and 2nd ed DMG's had a set of tables for pretty much any type of environment you can think of.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

    - L. Long

    I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Travelling Event Table

    @Nedz.
    Well I didn't feel I needed to explain in full precisely what, how and everything I was going to use it for. As for your method, I prefer to create a universal table of events rather than try and think of every possible event for a given area. More flexible.

    @Goto

    I honestly do not know what you are trying to say.

    @Skipsandwich.

    After reading over it, its not too far removed from what I'm already doing. But less random. I'll keep it in mind.

    @mutazoia

    I just opened up the 2e DMG and did not find a list of encounter tables for each area, just how to make them. I openned up 1e and saw a bunch of tables, rather complex, but these encounter tables were very... monster centric. And there weren't any for say the fey wild or shadowfell. Though I did learn there was a surprising amount of nudity in the illustrations of the older books, so there is that.

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