All the Mountain Encounter Tables

Building on the lessons we learnt building the Redcloud Peaks encounter table, we build a deluxe encounter table for 5E Mountains using EN World O.G.R.E.

Encounters for All Levels

Instead of building a generator to cater for each level, I took the tiers for different levels of play from the Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG), which are

  • Low (levels 1-4)
  • Medium (levels 5-10)
  • High (levels 11+)

Once you reach high levels there is massive variation in the power of a group due to party-make-up, number of magic items, player experience and other factors. So I'm happy to provide a encounters of widely varying power and letting the Dungeon Master deal with customising the encounter as appropriate.

Looking at the creatures by CR in the back of the DMG, I then picked out ones that matched the tier I was generating encounter tables for and listed them out, using larger numbers of lower CR creatures to fill out the medium and high level tiers as needed.

I then decided to stick with the d8 + d12 table we used in a previous encounter table, because

  • It is easy to work with O.G.R.E., as there adding many rows can be time-consuming in the when creating tables.
  • Filling out the tables is easy, as you can put rarer creatures towards the top and bottom of the table, and the most common in the middle (9-13) range. You're not spending time worrying about whether a particular encounter should have a 4% or 5% chance of occurring.
  • The table is small enough to look at it in one go, so updating or shuffling around the encounters is simple.

Encounter Subtables

As we are using the d8+d12 tables, we will use these for further encounter tables. If there are too many results for the Mountain Encounter table (which there were) we can use subtables for related groups of creatures, such as Mountain Beasts and Mountain Civilised Then if there are groups of races with several different types of encounters we can use another subtable for these (Orcs)

Fleshing out the Encounters

I've always loved the idea of more detail and context for encounters, so I worked on three additional tables to provide

  • A current goal for the creatures, whether they are hunting for food, out on patrol or completing a long journey.
  • The current state or activity of the creatures, be it eating a meal, having an argument or being drunk.
  • Additional info, which is a catch all for pets, some of the group being injured, a magic item carried by one of the party or anything else you can think of to make the encounters unique.

Some of these won´t apply to certain types of creatures. You probably won't get many drunken goats or air elementals hunting for food.

Future Plans

This is early days for what will hopefully be a deluxe encounter generator, with

  • A way to classify encounters as groups, beasts, individuals etc, to improve the more detailed customisations for the creatures
  • inclusions of hazards such as avalanches or storms.
  • details about the locale, such as an abandoned shrine or river crossing.
  • Taking the template for Mountains and applying it to other terrain types to end up with a universal encounter generator for D&D 5th edition.
  • A number of tables and generators that can be used by others to create unique and customised encounter generators for their own setting or tastes
  • Individual members who are lame, or different in some way.
  • What state they are in

Let me know any suggestions with a comment here or tweet to @pie_dragon.