Thursday, May 13, 2021

Monster Reactions

Here's an alternative reaction roll table that I've been using in my games lately:

roll 2d6.

2-3 : the monsters attack the PCs on sight. 

4-5 : the monsters are unfriendly; they will demand the PCs get lost, threaten them, try to trick them or call for reinforcements. Monsters will most likely attack if PCs escalate the situation or don't comply with their demands.

6-9 : the monsters are cautious, uncertain, suspicious; they will wait for the PCs to act first and listen to what they have to say with their guard up. If the PCs look hostile and overwhelmingly powerful, the monsters may attempt to flee. The monsters mostly just want to leave the PCs alone and be left alone. 

10-12 : the monsters feel a bit more relaxed; they're open to bargain, trade or help the PCs in exchange for something else. They may even ask the PCs for help or offer to strike up an alliance against another faction.

That's about it. The original reaction table is good, obviously, but I got tired of it because I was always rolling "neutral, uncertain" or "indifferent, uninterested" and didn't know how to play it out. That said, this alternative table is mostly for dungeon encounters. It presupposes that the PCs are intruders in a dangerous place where fights may break out at any time and there's a base-level of suspicion and aggression that the denizens feel about everyone else. For encounters in locations where the atmosphere is less tense and dangerous (for example, running into a bear in the woods) I often prefer to use the original table.

"Oh, don't mind us, Mr. Ghoul, we're just passing through. Enjoy your meal!"