Connecting Random Encounters to Big Bads

Random encounters don’t have to be all that random! They can have links to the local powerful entity or monster, which we will refer to as a ‘scheming lord’ from now on! If you run into something, it can gives a clue that someone who is powerful with a number of minions is enacting some (nefarious?) plan. Roll 1D4 on the following chart. Each entry has details for intelligent forces and for beasts – use the one that is applicable. The chart can be extended and if the views for this page is good then I know this is a table to extend in the near future!

 

  1. The cursed

Intelligent: Some sort of side effect of the scheming lords plans have affected a local raiding group, making them have to move out of their land. Perhaps poisonous chemicals used for mining or a spell ritual who’s malignant magic oozed out over the landscape. But the raiders are definitely affected, with visible glowing pustules formed on them. And perhaps while dying after a fight (if that happens), some might moan of the terrible thing that came upon their lands, giving information about the scheming lords plans that way. When it’s bad for raiders, you know it’s bad for you!

Beasts: Similarly affected. Here the effects might be more detailed (from longer exposure as the beast didn’t realise it should move away) and as a result reveal more information to an investigating PC. This would reveal information about what causes such a dread effect on a creature.

 

  1. Local hire ons

Intelligent: The underlings of the scheming lord have some coin to spend on local forces, who know the area better than they do or who are just plain expendable and used as a buffer between opposing forces and the lords own retinue, who are harder to replace. Generally sent out on basic patrols or basic recon – they are not relied upon for serious work, only the basic grunt work of a project.

Beasts: Perhaps trained guard animals allowed to patrol/prowl the area they are tasked to. Or the handlers of the beasts are hiding in the bushes or ruins after having commanded their charges to rush in. Either way, this is a local force hired by the underlings of the scheming lord because they don’t want anyone around these parts. If they had handlers, those would flee but could potentially have left behind documents/clues about the lords plans. If it was autonomous guard animals, they may have collars whose construction hints to the lord. Or they may be branded with a specific sign or sigil.

 

  1. Looters!

Intelligent: Rather than being in pay of the scheming lord, this group has stolen from the lords supplies. Perhaps they mostly stole food and booze, having eaten most of it already. But they still carry around the bags branded with the lords mark or that gives clue to whose supplies these were. The litter left behind the raiding group could lead to an outlier of the lords forces.

Beasts: Similarly beasts have raided the scheming lords forces and taken supplies, or perhaps even killed and snatched away some of the guards from one of the scheming lords bases. Either way they leave a trail that could lead to one of the lords outer positions.

 

  1. The scheming lords own forces!

Intelligent: They are part of an expeditionary force of the scheming lord, sent out here searching for something (they have some documentation on them that hints at what they were looking for or outright states it)

Beast: They were driven out of their natural habitat by the scheming lords forces as they spread out. Some of them have arrows in them with the distinctive fletching the powerful lord uses. Or they have been struck and the marks left on the beast are distinctive to the weapons the scheming lord distributes amongst his soldiers.

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Adding Character Goals to Play, with Charts for Ideas

Character goals – instead of what is happening to your PC, what does the character want to do in the game world? How are they going to happen to the game world? Characters with goals are character who become more alive from becoming active in order to pursue their own goals.

Below are a number of character goals. They are defined loosely – what matters is the characters attempt to complete them, not so much the details of the actual goal. The details can remain fuzzy while the character impetus to complete the goal remains in sharp focus and attention – this shows who the character is and what they do!

In future posts I will add more potential character goals – those below are ones to start off with!

How it works is you lay out the goals on the table and a player chooses one that seems to suit their character. Players can choose a goal other players have chosen – it could be related to the same target or one that is similar. If players choose the same target but one character fails while the other succeeds, then the other character has indeed failed. It gets a little bit ‘Gimli Vs Legolas’ at that point, where both have the same goal in mind but a rivalry in regards to completing it may occur. If both pass, the one who rolled best did that little bit more towards completing the goal!

In terms of XP, one option is to assign 40 XP times the average party level. This gets distributed amongst all players, so one character completing their goal helps everyone else advance. If you prefer you could have the XP award be individually. In this case the main option is to award 10 XP times the average party level, for a completed goal.

If they happen to fail the goal, one option is to still give the full XP amount. This isn’t about winning and losing, it’s about examining the character. The character just trying to complete the goal has succeeded in showing us what the character cares about, even if he fails to do what he cares about. So they get the XP either way. That is the main option. Another option would be to halve the XP on a fail. The main point is to make goals attractive and rewarding. In my experience play does not flow when there is an absence of rewards – particular during failure!

This amount of XP probably means character goals are a background event – they aren’t ‘big’. It’s deliberate so as to introduce the idea of goals without them appearing to overshadow traditional play if used.

Ultimately this gives players practice at choosing goals for their PC that they would pursue and are mechanically part of the game!

  1. Irate Lordling – A wanna be lord has been offended, treating his own way as having to be the way everyone must behave. He must be dealt with! Somehow? But he has many guards – perhaps a dark secret from his past raised, or a startling revelation in regards to his beliefs (or both – proof his ancestors behaved in very different ways?)
  1. Alignment – The relics are out of place. Magic flows and sometimes it’s a torrent unless controlled. Ancient relics were placed long ago to maintain a peaceful flow, but one has been stolen. Or perhaps misplaced. A storm is on the horizon and the earth trembles. Will someone restore the balance?
  1. Fine print – Some of the young folk of a village have been taken. The problem is, the hooded figure who took them had struck a bargain with the village and the villagers just didn’t expect that a sub clause in the deal would have them losing their children under a certain event. The hooded figure has quite a powerful retinue – but they are stuck with a weakness in the bargain. A clause within a clause. Which if the loophole can be found, would make the deal undone and the youths set free!
  1. Vulnerable villages – Forces, perhaps green skinned, are building up to attack a number of villages or a town, near the frontier (or where ever raider menaces might be!). However, the leader of the raiders is gaining his following from a fetish item – maybe a staff or ornamental weapon. If this item could be destroyed or proven to be a fake, it’d undermine the raiders efforts. Finding out how to do either of these is your goal!
  1. Lost soul – you are trying to find someone. Maybe they got spirited away, maybe they tried to lose themselves because of a tragic event, or a mix of the two. Now you’re looking for them, so their friends and relatives can know where they are again. Maybe you are a friend or relative of them? Hopefully you can find them soon!
  1. Lost Dungeon – Find the location of a dungeon. Perhaps its seeking wealth or items of power. But you have to find where the lost dungeon is (whether it has anything in it or has been looted years ago or collapsed, who knows. But you do know you have to find it first!). Time to start looking for details of this place!

 

Achieving Goals

The following methods of achieving goals can be seeded through play. Ideally some could become apparent right after a combat or interaction roll. Or the player can prompt for their goal – the DC for the goal goes down by 1 if the player initiates the process of making the roll.

The idea is over two hours of play there will be three goal completion checks per player. Two build up and one final one to determine the result of whether the goal was fulfilled.

Each has a base DC of 12 that you will need to roll over. If they pass the first roll, the second test is DC 10. If they fail the first, the second test is DC 14.

The final DC is 15. For each of the previous checks they passed, subtract 2 from the difficulty of the test. For each of the previous checks they failed, add 2 to the difficulty. So if they failed both prior checks, the difficulty would be 19!

What stat do they do the test on? Decide the one that seems appropriate!

If the player attempts at all to engage the fiction on any of the tests (eg “I look at the strange runes on the wall”) the DC is reduced by one. This encourages interaction, regardless of whether the interaction is one that will help. Enthusiasm is more important than accuracy. And for particularly interesting and adept interaction, feel free to give bigger bonuses (like Advantage in D&D 5E)

The final roll to attempt to complete the goal represents doing the final deeds in completing the goal. This can be abstracted – the character is assumed to go off and quickly do what they can to try and meet the goal. They may give a quick description of what they do in order to reduce the DC of the test and maybe gain other bonuses to the roll. If they pass, then a quick narration of the positive event. If they fail, a quick commiseration. It’s a quick abstraction, rather than going through every five feet of the event.

Which way to achieve the goal?

It really depends on where the PC’s are – if they are in a dungeon, probably roll on the exploration of ruins chart. If they are in a city or town, probably through street contacts. If you’re not sure, choose either Exploration of Ruins or Street Contacts as the closest and flip a coin to see if it is that or through Research. Or just choose one that seems about right! Regardless, then roll dice to see which method is the one involved.

Achieving your goal through Street Contacts

  1. The owner – You see the owner of a tavern you once helped out when things got a bit dicey on their establishment. They have heard many a thing and a few careful questions might get you that one step closer to your goal!
  1. Fair trade – You pass by a market trader, either as he travels with his cart or has his stall set up here. He’s made some coin from buying trinkets you’ve found in the past and then found collectors to buy them for some amount more. More importantly, he keeps an ear out on what is happening. Ask a few questions and gain some ground on your goal!
  1. The rogue – They aren’t always in dungeons. This rogue is a sometimes pawn shop owner, sometimes skulking around back alleys and seedy bars, scaring up work around these parts. Maybe you’ve had to rough him up in the past over felonious acts, maybe you’ve pawned an item or two. But you’ve got a bit of a rough understanding of each other, there he is over on the corner, and you’ve a few questions to ask him about your!
  1. Street urchin – Somehow children fall through the gaps and end up trying to make some sort of living for themselves on the streets. Maybe that’s how rogues are made? So you’ve passed a coin or two to one of them in the past for shined shoes or to buy fruit from them, stolen from who knows where. But now you need information and either you’ve spotted the urchin or spotted one of his friends and gotten him to fetch him, so he’ll be here in a moment. You’ve a goal and some questions to ask!

Achieving your goal through Research

  1. Unpublic library – You’ve gotten to know a few people or a certain circle of scholars – and nearby there is one of their private libraries. It might be just the place to quickly research and find out some information on your goal!
  1. Scattered wizards scribings – In your profession you have gotten to know a wizard or two and nearby is one of their abodes. Inside, no doubt, are a flurry of papers detailing various things they have observed. The servant at the door will recognise you and perhaps under the mass of paper you can find a few scant clues to aid your progress towards your goal?
  1. Market of information – Like other goods, information can be sold at a market too. Stalls lined with old books, which for a coin or two allow you to peruse their wares or even buy books outright. Sometimes their stock is fairly eclectic, but you might just find a lead in the pursuit of your goal!
  1. Your eyes only – The local officials of the kingdom are a little bit lax with their security, it’s not impossible to slip in, peruse a few lower level official records and slip out. Which might be just the thing you need to get ahead in the goal you’re pursuing!

Achieving your goal through Exploration and Decryption of Ruins

  1. The wall – Suddenly a wall comes into view that is covered in pictograms and icons. Or maybe it was hidden until you looked at it in just the right way. But this could have information on some sort of method to achieve your goal!
  1. Whispering bones – There are bones here. Or perhaps the remains of a battle. And amidst it all, scraps of papyrus or even tree bark with markings. They’d carried some information with them, on where to find something or an important place to go. And now if you can decipher it, it’ll help you get yourself to where you need to go or what you need to obtain to help you with your goal!
  1. A code – There are faces carved on the walls, statues gesturing, icons. It appears like decoration, but there are secret inferences and relations between it all. And if you can decrypt it, it could tell you something that will aid you in the pursuit of their your goal!
  1. Worn – the way this rooms floor has worn from footsteps of visitors in the distant past, the way they have worn out objects in the room from use – the repeating pattern of behavior gives clue to a hidden place. If you can just detect enough of these marks of habitation, you can figure it out and find something that will likely aid you with the goal that you seek!

Encounter that finds the PCs : Goblin Ambush!

The PC’s are entering an area (or have tarried in an area). And it seems a bit too quiet, while at the same time possibly what is a stifled, ragged giggle is heard here and there. In the area are various obstacles and objects (in a wilderness, bushes and trees, in a ruin or urban environment its low walls, window) that suddenly seem like they could be hiding any sort of assailant!

In other words the PC’s suspect an ambush!

The players could evade, avoid the whole thing entirely, but there’s no XP in that because what will they learn about the dangerous world? Or get behind cover, creep along carefully, slowly – and get a fraction of the XP as a result. But that is pretty safe – who knows how dangerous it might. Or face the future bravely and stride in to face it – and get full XP from quite the learning experience!

As is, the goblins await! They’ve set up their shots, seeing who they can drop with their first volley of arrows. Most of them farmers would drop or be wounded and have to leave supplies behind to escape. If none of the PC’s drop then most of the goblins run, slipping away through cover to go where ever goblins go. Some might stay for a second volley, probably to be shot down themselves by the PC’s – that’s why the others ran after the first volley, they’d learnt from the mistakes of others!

In their own haste, the goblins might leave behind this or that. One of the objects left behind by the goblins is a small box with an arcane mark on it they could not make sense of. It has gold inside, usually around 5 gold for the size of the box. But it is magically locked – it is possible to apply a special medallion to try and unlock it. There are two ways you can handle this – allow the PC to have retroactively bought such a medallion in town for 1 silver, or that they had to have already bought it or will have to wait until they get back to town to buy one. Then they can make an Int or Arcana check (any class can do this, not just magic users), DC 12, which burns up the medallion. If they pass, the box unlocks and grants the gold. If they fail, the gold is disintegrated or teleports away as dust, scattered to the winds.

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Character Connections in a Party

Why are you together as a party? “Why am I with these guy again?” While some hard jawed folk will fall in with people they don’t know if there’s coin in it, not all characters would be so comfortable joining utter strangers! So what if that random wizard you met in the evil ruins, right after you were attacked by the last guy you met, was someone you’d actually run into before? It’d make sense to pull together with someone you can find a bit of trust in. And just conveniently, that wizard or fighter or druid or whatever is another PC! Link everyone together with the handy following chart! They’ll have a history where to some small degree they have crossed paths before and sort of know of each other already.

This can be used to good effect with the PC mid dungeon introduction chart I published previously!

How to use this: Write down the names of the PC’s. Now take the first name on the list and get the player to roll 1D20 on the chart. With the description, where the text refers to the other PC, that’s the next PC on the list! Then roll for the next PC in the same way, linking them to the next PC on the list. When you get to the end of the list, roll for a link between the last PC and the first PC! Done!

If you’re meeting a new PC in the middle of the dungeon: Just roll randomly to pick one or two current party members, then have their player roll 1D20 on the chart to find their connection to the new PC! It’s that quick!

If you want to have an even more interconnected group, write out the list of PC names again with a number next to each name. Then go through the first list of PCs one by one and have the player roll randomly for which second connection they have on the second list. Draw links from one list to the next to show the connections (hey, it’s a relationship map!). If a PC rolls their own name, roll again of course. With this process one PC might be known by several other PC’s, or there might be a spread. This livens up the social connections!

Now your PCs have a connection with the other PC, and they will be connected to those the second PC has a connection to and so on! Until one of them knows Kevin Bacon! Now you’ve got more of an idea of who you are to each other!

Good luck in finding out how you already know a little bit about each other!

 

  1. The mark – In the past the two PC’s both felt drawn to a piece of equipment with a strange symbol on it, that they bought or took specifically from loot. Now they find each other with the same symbol on a piece of their gear. What could it mean?
  1. Shiner! Once the PC was in a tavern brawl and got into a bit of a situation. Someone helped them to get out, but in the chaos they never saw them again. Until today – the other PC was the stranger who helped them!
  1. Clerk – For a time the other PC worked in a general store and have seen the first PC coming in to buy supplies, but never got a chance to speak to them. The other PC paid his debts and never caused a problem at the store. Seems pretty upstanding that way!
  1. Riding hard! The two PC’s had passed by each other on the road, both spurring their horses into a gallop with little time to see each other except as a glimpse, as they were going in opposite directions. But they both instantly recognised each other adventurers! They just thought they’d never see the other after that.
  1. Stable – One of the PC’s was in a different party at the time or working at the stable, but because of hard times or an overbooked inn and no other options, you both slept in the stables. Perhaps the other PC with their party, passed over a few drinks at the time as they drank and talked and the first PC joined them for part of the night, before you parted ways the next day.
  1. Miss order – Awhile back the barkeep brought your meal to the wrong patron – the other PC, sat mysteriously by the fireplace, was good enough to correct the barkeep and bring your meal to you. You passed each other a nod or a wave but went back to your own affairs. Now you’ve found yourself forming a party with each other.
  1. Gossip – You pick up a lot of gossip in a tavern. You’d heard about the other PC and some of their exploits. And sure enough they’d heard some gossip about you. But you’d only knew each other by rumour and having met now, you’re just starting to piece together that this other fellow is the one you’ve heard of before!
  1. Dealers description – You had an artefact that you found a dealer for and you’d wanted to make sure the buyer had the ware with alls to pay for it, questioning the dealer carefully. As had the buyer questioned the dealer about you, who wanted to be sure he was getting what he was paid for. Now it’s starting to become clear the first PC was the seller and the other PC was the buyer! You sort of know each other by the dealers descriptions, but that’s not the whole picture!
  1. On the cards – You’ve played a few games of cards to while away a storm during the night and you recognise the other PC is a fellow card player from the past, who exposed a cheat at the game one time! There were many a player at the table though, dropping in and out and surely you both left the game at some point and didn’t see each other again until now.
  1. Showman – at a village festival the other PC put on quite a show or spectacle during it. They don’t know the first PC, but the other PC got quite a special nick name for them selves during that festival and the first PC knows it!
  1. Walked into a bar – He’s a gruff barman, seen his share of fights and has looked out for your PC, but has put in a good word for the other PC. If he can pass by a barman’s evaluation, he might not be all bad!
  1. The kid – The orphan lad who does odd jobs around town passed on some news, in exchange for a crust of bread, that a reliable adventurer is about – and that adventurer is the other PC! The kids usually in the know.
  1. Roof work – somehow you were both on the rooftops at the same time, headed in entirely different ways and conducting entirely legitimate business! You both kept a wary eye on each other as you raced on, but it seems you both understand the same sort of business as each other!
  1. A snorer – you’d caught a ride on a wagon, but there’d been this other fellow there who was asleep and snoring the whole way. You went to wake him up, but the driver said to let him be, he was a good sort who’d gotten him out of a tight jam once. This is the other PC, of course!
  1. Rousing fire – Somehow a local building got on fire and along with the locals you were impelled to help try and put it out. There was another figure there who put in some effort to help put out the blaze and it seems now you’ve run into them again as that’s the other PC.
  1. Laundry day – Sometimes leather just gets a bit of a whiff to it? Or whatever armour you use – even robes and loincloths (especially loincloths!) can get pretty rank. So you got a washerman to clean them for you (what’s the point of clearing dungeons if you’re going to clean your own bloodstains?) – but when you went to pick them up you got the wrong clothes! You took them back and the washerman was really abashed and thanked you profusely – he thought he’d brought shame on his profession because they were the clothes of a great adventurer, or so he kept describing this other fellows deeds. Now you recognise some of the clothes – the other PC is wearing them!
  1. Enemy of my enemy – One day at the tavern a bunch of reputed bandits stormed in, demanding to know where a particular fellow was – some kind of adventurer, they called him out by name. Seemed he’d crossed them and really made them mad. Must be something to this guy if a bunch of bad guys don’t like him. Turns out the you’ve heard that name again – it’s the other PC!
  1. Axle – As you travelled, you saw ahead a farmers cart had broken an axle on the road. Someone had stopped by and was already helping, they all insisted they were fine so you travelled on. Now it seems you’ve again met the samaritan that was helping the farmer that day and they are the other PC!
  1. A cowardly lot – You’d walked into a tavern once and a bunch of ruffians looked askance at you. Or more exactly the weapon at your side. For a moment they thought you were someone else, because of the particular styling of your weapon. Now you’ve met another adventurer who carries the same sort of weapon with the same styling – the other PC is the area and they seem the sort who give ruffians trouble?
  2. A good word – One of your contacts has said they were told to put in a good word  for the other PC, but the contact wont say who told them. Usually the contact is reliable – perhaps some benevolent force is trying to assemble a team. Happens sometimes. Though why they remain a hidden benevolent force is a mystery. Either way, it’d be good to keep an eye on this other PC!

Introducing a new PC to a party that lost a member whilst dungeoneering! Quickly!

If a PC dies, how to get their new PC into the game as soon as possible? This question came up on Reddit rpg recently. I think it’s a fun opportunity to imagine all sorts of possibilities – and to make a table to roll on! Try rolling 1d20 twice and letting the player choose between the two options as to how his PC shows up! That new PC can be right in the next room or even just around the corner in the very next hallway!

  1. Strange statue – this statue might have been moved several times or the creature that caused it may have left. But this statue is a terrible pose is actually a petrified adventurer – one who was lucky enough to suffer a fading curse of petrification (maybe they had one eye closed?)! Something about the adventurers – perhaps arcane or divine magic on them (magic used or magic items) triggers the curse to finally break and the adventurer breaks free of a crust of stone, right in front of the group!
  2. Chute! Some of those pit traps go a long way, even right to the surface. Some of them bring their prey down alive, sometimes their prey finds a way to survive the many falls involved in coming down the chute. But one thing is for sure, they were where they were meant to be one minute, the next they are tumbling across the ground in front of the party, the crumbling tunnel behind them probably collapsed with the force of their arrival. Perhaps this area was a slavers pen once, or an arena or even a abattoir! But now this adventurer finds themselves stuck with the party!
  3. Meat safe – The chest looked weird, but what are you going to do, not open it? No traps and not locked – but very suspicious. You opened it and…that’s creepy! There’s a humanoid inside. Eww, close the lid! Wait, you’ve just disturbed the spell that kept the meat nice and fresh…and alive. Even if you closed the lid, an adventurer stands up, with the worst neck cramp from being stuck in that meat locker! Or maybe you didn’t open it out of suspicion, but disturbed the spell in some other way and pop, out comes an adventurersicle!
  4. Now you see him – when the magician calls for a volunteer from the crowd, you knew you shouldn’t have accepted it! Meanwhile some adventurers ran into a large oblong box leaning against a wall, thick dust across its top and some painted stars along the side. At a tavern or a party, you stepped into the box, the magician said ‘Now you see him!’ closed the box, tapped it on its side and…instead of a secret door opening at the back and you being ushered away, you find yourself staggering backward into some dank, musty room. And when you turn around there’s an armed party of adventurers staring at you, gob smacked! Something about trying to do magic meant it actually happened! Just at the wrong time for you!!
  5. Giants can be a little forgetful – They managed to scoop up an adventurer at some distant location and were too lazy in their swinging it against a wall, they merely knocked out the adventurer rather than killed them. After travelling many a mile they put down the bag for a moment, then got distracted and left it behind. Perhaps they left the bag here or some goblins made off with the bag before the giant could remember, but then the gobos were frightened off by the arriving adventuring party. Now the bag wriggles and a fellow adventurer, cradling the bruise on his head, climbs out!
  6. It’s an adventurer! Your party member probably shouldn’t have tampered with that strange looking equipment or sipped that weird potion, even if it healed them (who knows what’s in potions these days?). Because now they have a strange lump growing on their side (perhaps the side of their arm or torso). It grows quickly and eventually it gets big enough that the surface gets taught – and you can see a tiny figure underneath! Ewww, gross! Quick, kill it with fire – wait, the adventurer its growing on doesn’t like that idea. But bickering just gives the pustule time to grow and burst in a shower of ichor and yuck! And it’s an adventurer! Quickly growing in size until they reach their proper size, while the adventurer they popped out of feels very tender skin where the boil burst. So, you’re a parent now! Well, actually as part of an experiment gone awry (or gone just right), the adventurer was miniaturised and put into stasis some time ago, just waiting for an incubator so the magic could regrow them. But then again if the adventurer has a bit of amnesia, they might think the other adventurer is their parent! “Momma, just birthed a man! Got a boil on the side of my head, grew till it burst and he introduced himself as Fred…”
  7. Kiss the frog! Who did they cross? Well, this adventurer ended up cursed as a wee creature, probably a frog. Maybe the one who cursed them couldn’t slay them outright and planned to kill them after they were polymorphed, perhaps keeping them as a pet for awhile first. But somehow creature adventurer got out – but with the mind of a tiny creature, they can’t remember much except foraging for themselves. And then the curse slowly broke – the adventurer found himself cramped in the little alcove he always slept in, but hears the boots of an adventuring party and thinks, wait, boots? He hadn’t thought about boots in so long! And wait, I’m not a frog!’. He stands, to meet a bunch of adventurers – though the flies buzzing around the group are particularly interesting…
  8. Basket case – Well, you got surrounded by raiders and it seemed a good idea to hide in a basket on one of their carts, to be carried far away from the raiding horde. Except they just brought you into a dungeon, lifting your basket and carrying it far beneath the earth. And now just as you’re getting out, a group of raiders walks in – you’re doomed! Wait, they are armed and dangerous, but they don’t seem to be part of the raiders. Maybe you could join them?
  9. Click! Your cunning plan to obtain a piece of wire by tricking the guards into walking over a piece that you knocked off a passing workers basket with a well aimed stone had all gone off smoothly. And it’d taken you some time, while the guards were gone, to figure out the lock, but you did it. Then a group of adventurers walk in, casually scooping the keys off the wall and offering them to you like they did you a big favour, just seconds after you picked the lock and started to open the cage door!
  10. What ales you – The party comes across another displacer ale victim! They might wake up in funny places after a night out on regular ale, but this time they are waking up really far from home!
  11. Pit! An adventurer is just managing to climb out after having fallen in and been left behind by another group! Perhaps the other group was fleeing a superior force?
  12. Magical tea party – The party turns a corner to see an adventurer with a blissful smile on his face, holding a small tea cup, sitting at a tiny table. Slowly the expression starts to fade – whatever creature that charmed him is not present, they said they would be away for a moment (that may have been hours ago, given the charm). Some magical creatures want to twist and make strange the life of mortals, rather than attack and kill. And now the adventurer is snapping out of it and beginning to realise he doesn’t like tea!
  13. Framed – Did something move in that painting on the wall? It did, it did! And from the frame steps an adventurer! He’s not sure if he was trapped in a painting or that was his homeland and he stepped through a portal – he feels rather groggy. And regardless, it’s a one way thing, as it’s just a regular painting now!
  14. Boned! A skeleton approaches! No doubt the party readies itself or perhaps launches attacks as soon as possible. But then chunks of meat fly across the room, slapping against the skeleton to the sound of wet splats. More and more and the skin knits and even bits of armour and gear fly together. It’s an adventurer! Who was killed here, apparently – and yet as much as some spell tore him apart, it kept his pieces in a kind of order – enough to assemble them to flesh then cast the flesh back onto bone! How long ago did he die? Who knows, but now…well, he’s a kind of alive?
  15. Bulette train – Whether they meant to fight the Bulette or were just trying to get out the way, their armour or robe got caught on the creatures armoured carapace and when it burrowed down through the ground, it took them with it! The thing burst into view of the party, shoot dirt from its hide and an adventurer as well! And now its burrowed away (or perhaps not?), the tunnel it came in by and the one its leaving by both collapsing as it goes. Leaving a very dirty and disoriented adventurer behind in its wake!
  16. Gibbet – Everyone knows to release a victim from a gibbet is just a mad thing to do! And the one in this hanging cage looks especially mad! But suddenly the bottom opens and the figure drops to the ground in a crouch! It must be a trap that has been sprung! The being rises, its eyes wide and wild! Wait, he just has some mirror spell cast on him – that’s how your party looks to him, it’s your eyes being reflected in the mirror. Some evil being set you up to attack each other! That or the madness spell had not fully taken hold of the adventurer. Or at least that’s what he tells you!
  17. Guys? The party encounter an adventurer, who seems to be trying to work out what the time is. He was supposed to meet his party here (how he got here might have been by walking or one way teleport or by an already used up gaseous form potion). But its been hours now and he doesn’t have a lift home?
  18. Dragon stocks dungeon – Plucked by a dragon from the earth, the great beast decided to add the adventurer to a dungeon as a form of amusement, for dragons don’t take with make believe plays. They like real drama! And it’s probably watching through a scrying device or listening right now, after having dropped the adventurer in through a chute or had some underlings drop him and leaving him in a special part of the dungeon.
  19. Lost soldier – charging in to the labyrinthine passages of the dungeon with many fellow troops to chase down an enemy, somehow this soldier got lost in the many twisting tunnels. Now they are an adventurer – and possibly treated as a deserter. Though perhaps theirs was a loose mercenary affiliation, so they merely forfeit their pay and future employ. Given those prospects, they run into the party who could do with another fellow!
  20. He told me you’d be here – this is what the adventurer says when the party encounters him. Why did he follow the instructions of this knowing person? Who can say? If he were an enemy agent, he could have attacked by now and he has told you he was sent to meet you. But who is the mysterious benefactor who sent him? What do either of them get out of the deal?