Tales of an Encounter Table

After the introduction to encounter tables, I'm extracting information about a region from an encounter table set there.

Encounters from Deadlands

We have an encounter table from Deadlands Reloaded, an alternative USA for Savage Worlds. I'll leave the actual region a mystery for now.

It's a simple 1d20 table, with no extra tables or additional rolls. It is easy to extract encounter types, the frequency they occur, and the number encountered.

  • 1-2: Catamount
  • 3-4: Chinook
  • 5: Sasquatch
  • 6: Windigo
  • 7-8: Wolflings
  • 9-14: 2d6 Settlers
  • 15: 2d20 Settlers
  • 16-19 2d6 Braves
  • 20 Prospector

Who and How Many?

Catamounts and chinooks are both solitary savage predators that appear regularly, indicating that this is dangerous country. This is backed up by the wendigos, spirits of humans who consumed their fellows to survive in cold climes. Rare but quite significant is the sasquatch, travelling solo, described as a primitive race that has been here a long time that live in cold climes. Wolflings are described as human-wolf crossbreeds in the mountains that prey on mankind. Note the greater frequency than the sasquatch and it's implied that wolflings do not travel alone.

So far this gives us a wilderness land which is mountainous, cold and dangerous.

Two entries for settlers indicate many humans new to the area, usually travelling in family groups. The second entry of a larger group could be new arrivals or an extended family.

The braves entry reveals a significant Indian presence, in smaller numbers than the settlers. Lastly we have a few lone prospectors, indicating that some will brave the lands to search for wealth.


Travelling in this land is dangerous, between the cold climate, possible starvation, wild creatures and non-human peoples.

Next in such a climate there will be savage competition for resources, including between the settlers and the indians that are found here.

Lastly with four groups of intelligent creatures (settlers, indians, wolflings and sasquatches) there are lots of possibilities for misunderstandings or strange alliances.

So What?

When creating encounter tables and other generators the components and process can be as interesting as the end result.

We could never roll on the encounter table at all, instead getting ideas for encounters and trials that the players could face.

You could make small updates while keeping much of the flavour. For example replacing Wolflings with wolves and the Satsquatch with Hanging Judges or other undead would take away the old races influence but up the feel of lost spirits.

Next Encounter

This was the Great Northwest encounter table. How would you alter it or what things could I have missed?

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