Friday, 23 November 2012

Low-Level Dungeon Encounter Table

One of my favourite things about combat in table-top role playing games is the random encounters. I always thought it a bit nasty or mean as the DM to deliberately pick creatures that you know have counter abilities to the players, which is one of the reasons I love encounter tables – you let the dice decide. I use a variation of this to throw things into disarray or just stir the imagination pot inside my head.  This can be used for adventurers up to 10th level, but the average level increase should be 5th level.

Low Dungeon

Use this encounter Master Table in a magically active area, less than a mile deep, so true underdark type creatures (Pech, Duergar) should be rare. It should be travelled on a infrequent basis by commoners, though adventurers or patrols are still there to do what must be done.

Encounter determination should be made at pre-set times, such as when a door is opened, a group descends a level, a loud noise is made, or every three hours check for encounters. Normally the base chance is 1 / 20. For every three additional members travelling together, add +3. For loud noises, add +5. All adjustments are cumulative. So a group party with seven people smashing down a door would have 1+3+3+5= 12 / 20 to attract attention. This gives a real incentive for rogue-types to scout ahead, their chance would be 1 / 20. You may increase the base rate (normally 1) as high as 5 then add the miscellaneous adjustments.

Alternate Determination: If the current roll doesn't make sense, such as a building feature due to PCs making noise, reverse the numbers (14 into a 41). If this still doesn't work, odd roll drop down to the previous listing, even roll go to the next highest item listing.

How to use this table: You may use this table during the game for every dungeon encounter check. However, consider pre-rolling a “hot-list” of the eleven (2d6) most likely creatures encountered. This way you can use the Master Table, and the hot list changes per dungeon, without players knowing what a specific dice roll is on the Master Table. I most often use the hot-list for known threats in an area, for example, if enquiring about the dungeon, and the locals say cultists and ogres, these should go on the hot list. Anything from the Master table (actually anything in the monster books or in my head may end up in the adventure) but these are the most

Features: The encounter table has a number of environmental aspects. Just like with a creatures, if something doesn't ”make sense” to you, you don't use it. I recommend you try to incorporate it, even if something is illogical or out of place, describe it that way. If all of the other doors you find are made out of wood for medium sized creatures, suddenly you find a double set of metal doors for small creatures.

1 Collapse, Deadfall
2 Angel, Deva
3 Serpent-Folk 1 - 2
4 Rakshasa, Dandasuka
5 Demon, Babau
7 - 8 Shadow Undead 1d4
9. Bats, Dread 1d8
10 Centipedes, Fast 1d12
11 Kyton 1 or 2
12 - 13 Bugbears (2d6)
14 Feature - Stairs (60% sequestered, 30% down)
15 Grick 1d6
16 Troll 1d4
17 Cave Octopi 1d4
18 Choker 1 or 2
19 - 20 Spiders or Snakes 3 - 6
21 Dark Creeper 3 - 12
22 Rhinto (often called rhino-dog) 3 - 6
23 Feature – Burial Mound
24. Feature – Mysterious sounds (echoes, howls, screams, lull-a-byes) without a source
25 Feature - Metal Grate, Chains, Column
26 Dire Wolf 1 or 2
27 Gelatinous Cube
28 Disenchanter Template (Snake, Bear, Wolf)
29 Rust Monster 1 - 3
30. Medusa
31. Green Slime
32 Troglydyte 5-12
33. Drider 1 - 2
34. Feature - Tapestry or Animal Hides or Straw
35 Feature - Magic Circle (Stones, Mushrooms, Runes) with protection vs alignment
36 Goblins 5 - 8
37 Stirges 5-8
38 - 43 Local Humanoid Sub-Table
44. Wraiths 1-2
45 Gremlin, Jinkin 3-6
46. Piercers 3-6
47 Feature - Shrine, pool or graffiti
48 - 49 Minotaur 1 - 2
50 - Giant Slug
51 Cloaker 1 - 2
52 - 53 Ratmen 4 - 16
54 Golem (Lesser: Clay, Mud, Flesh)
55 Mimic
56 Gray Ooze
57 Faceless Stalker
58 Feature - Door (trap or secret) or Porticulis
59 - 60 Lizardmen 7-12
61 Dire Bear
62 Feature – Machinery or Levers (95% broken, 5% may open secret doorway or other effect)
63 Feature - Pit (Bones, Darkness, Dead, Refuse, Water)
64 Gibbering Mouther
65 Feature - Razor Vine (d6 dmg if touches the vine, double damage if fall on top of it)
66 Terra-Cotta soldier 2 - 5
67 - 68 Ogre 2-5
69 Gibbering Mouther
70 Feature – Magical Fungus *
71 Skeletons 2d6
72 Feature - Crates, barrels, boxes (5 % treasure)
73 - 74 Mephit 1 - 4
75. Ettin
76 Otyugh
77 Belker
78 Intellect Devourer
79 Flumph (min 3rd lev sorcerer)
80 Feature – Large Statue (Person, Deity, Creature)
81 Decampus
82 Cavefisher
83 - 85 Cultist (Roll on humanoid table twice)
86 Feature – Small Statue, Stalactite or Other Rock formation
87 Slithering Tracker
88 Basilisk
89. Vampiric Mist
90 Ghoul 2d7
91 Urdefhan 1 - 3
92 Gargoyle 2d4
93 Feature - Body parts (Bone, Head or appendages)
94. Feature -Ruined weapons or armor
95 Feature -Trap (Magical spell 1st to 3rd level Effect)
96. Lurker Above
97 Feature - Dropped Treasure (d100 coins / 10)
98 Demon, Shadow
99. Daemon, Ceustodaemon
100. Feature - Gate or Portal (must be activated to use)

Local Humanoid Sub-Table:
Race 1-7 Dwarf, 8 – 14 Human, 15 Oread, 16 - 18 Lizard Man, 19 – 20 Company (Mixed Races)
Level: 1-8 2nd level; 9-10 3rd Level, 11 4th level, 12 5th level
Class: 1-3 Cultist, 4 Monk, 5-13 Fighter, 14 - 18 Finder, 19 Sorcerer, 20 Ranger

Quick Examples

Piercer, Nyssian AC 14, 3HD, HP 19, INIT -1, +8 d6+(2d6 surprise), Perception +10, Stealth +11 CMB +7, CMD +16

Centourax (fast centipede) AC 15, Move 40, HP 7, INIT -1, +14 / +0 /+1, tentacle +4 d6, Perception +5, Stealth +8 CMB +7, CMD +16 two foot long centipede,

Rhinto AC 14, HP 2HD, 9 hp, INIT +2,Bite +4 d4+1, (Horn +6, d6 / X3) Perception +4; CMB +7, CMD +16
Medium sized; gaunt doberman pincher with Blackish-Red fur white horn in the middle of its head, fast runner.


Magical Fungus: a mold that appears on almost anything in a dungeon in a two to five foot spread; non-sentient, comes in a multitude of colours. Radiates a magical effect within a ten foot radius. If consumed, Fort Save DC 14 or take d6 temporary constitution damage as a poison. If scrapped off from the substance, the magic fades in d10 rounds. These are just the most common types of fungus, there are others.

Blue Fungus – Calming, +2 on will saves skills or saves involving mental activity or concentration
Red Fungus – Rage inducing, -4 on all will saves or skills involving involving mental activity or concentration
White Fungus - Magic Absorbing, -2 on all magical saving throws; concentration check DC 15 to cast a spell within 60 ft of a white fungus
Silver Fungus – Spells have a 25% chance of rebounding on caster, 50% if cast near someone that made their saving throw