00:00 Random encounters were popularized by D&D early on and adopted by many other role-playing games. However, in modern RPGs, they have fallen out of favor due to common criticisms like being boring, monotonous, and not adding much to the campaign.
01:24 Random encounters are typically rolled for in dungeons every 20 minutes of in-game time and in the overworld once per day. The encounters are determined by rolling a d6 and consulting a table of possible creatures or events specific to the location or environment.
02:34 Random encounters in dungeons create pressure on the player's expedition, adding tension and danger to encourage efficient exploration and timely exits.
03:03 Random encounters in the overworld help flesh out the world, giving each region its own unique personality and character, especially when custom lists of encounters are created for specific areas.
04:29 Random encounters introduce emergent gameplay, adding surprise for both players and the DM, who must adapt to unexpected situations.
05:13 Random encounters don't need to be limited tomonsters; they can include various events and situations, injecting new elements into the game.
06:38 While random encounters can present powerful threats, the reaction roll determines how the encounter unfolds, allowing for non-violent outcomes and interesting storytelling options.
07:49 Having random encounters, even high-level threats like dragons, adds a sense of wonder and awe to the game, making the world feel alive and unpredictable.
08:44 Signaling dangerous encounters ahead of time allows players to plan and react strategically, making encounters more engaging and challenging.
10:23 Random encounters can add chaos to the adventure, forcing players to deal with unexpected challenges and make the experience feel like a real adventure with uncertain outcomes.
00:00: The typical design of random encounter tables in Dungeons and Dragons has several inherent problems, including lack of diversity, time-consuming creation, lack of inspiration, and not being truly random.
01:11: Traditional 2d6 random encounter tables have a bell curve distribution, resulting in the most common encounters happening almost half of the time, while the rare encounters are seldom experienced.
02:07: The solution to this problem is to get rid of the bell curve and make every possible encounter on the table equally likely to happen. This can be achieved by using a single appropriately sized die, like a d6, for rolling on the table.
03:01: A single die value table allows for scalability based on character levels or locations. More challenging encounters can be added to the table as the party levels up, ensuring encounters remain interesting and varied.
06:06: Encounters can be tailored to specific locations or themes, adding more difficulty as the party leaves certain areas or approaches new ones, leading to maximum efficiency and variety.
07:06: To add narrative depth to encounters, expand the table to a d666 (devil table), with three columns for NPC/Monster, behavior, and complication. This allows for unique and inspiring prompts for each encounter.
08:41: Having bizarre situations in encounters creates interesting puzzles, resource-burning opportunities, and opportunities for the players to gain information about the game world without solely relying on combat.
09:12: Include an entry on the table for the "nearest major entity," an important and dangerous NPC or monster with a clearly defined home location. This adds continuity and depth to encounters and allows the table to adapt to the party's movements.
10:09: The party doesn't have to encounter the major entity directly; they can see evidence of its existence, which provides opportunities for players to learn about nearby threats through nature and survival checks.
10:39: By following these steps, random encounter tables can be improved to create more engaging, meaningful, and potent threats that fit well with the narrative and scale appropriately with the party's progress.
🎮 Pathfinder can feel like an MMO with repetitive optimal actions, leading to boredom for players.
🧙 The illusion of choice exists in both Pathfinder and D&D, where options are limited by game designers.
🍽️ Feat choices in D&D may seem varied, but some options are clearly better for combat optimization.
🎭 Characters in Pathfinder and 5E often become similar in terms of combat optimization at higher levels.
🍕 Cutting a pizza into smaller slices doesn't give you more pizza; similarly, smaller choices in character building don't significantly differentiate the characters.
⚔️ Total party kills are rare, thanks to increased healing capabilities in newer editions of D&D.
🔄 Different RPG systems have varying combat mechanics, but the end result is usually the same.
🎲 Ability scores in D&D offer small bonuses that don't make a significant difference in gameplay.
📚 Pathfinder and 5E are not the only options; there are other systems like Old School Essentials, Five Torches Deep, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and 5E Hardcore Mode that offer different gameplay experiences.
👍 Professor Dungeon Master appreciates the support and hopes viewers can take something away from Dungeoncraft.