Fleshing Out

I’ve been doing a lot of fine tuning to the three random encounter tables I’ve developed so far. I’m using 2d6 for each table to determine a result – this creates a nice bell curve where the middle results are more common. So, it’s more common for a 7 to come up rather than a 2 or a 12. What I’ve done is fill in the middle range with “standard” encounters and as I expand to the outer spectrum, the encounters get harder or easier until you reach 12 (Too Hard) and 2 (Too Easy). This creates a nice percentage of standard and common encounters, but also allows there to be easy or hard and rare encounters also.

As noted in my last blog, my XP totals for the standard encounters were a little on the harder side. I’m already designing each encounter level to the 5 PC standard, and chances are there will be times when 4 or even 3 PCs will be adventuring. This means the encounters are skewed toward the harder side (purposely), but I didn’t want the encounters overly hard even for 5 PCs. So, I tweaked the encounters in the middle range slightly, moving some around and reducing the number of monsters in the encounters. I feel like I have a balanced set of encounters for the first three areas.

I put all of these encounters into an Excel spreadsheet that basically has a tab for each level area. So, all level 1 areas are on the first tab, and all level 2 areas on the second tab, and so on. I’m hopeful this will be extremely handy when it comes time to game.

I’m also starting to get a good feel for the ecology of each area. I’ve got a forest, some hills, and a bog at this point. I’ve given each a brief description and I’m envisioning some cool locales for each. I’ve yet to map anything and I plan to hold off on that until I can hold off no longer. This way, as I flesh each area out more and more, when I finally map I’ll have a good indication of what’s there instead of making it up as I go (which I’m sure I’ll have to do plenty of). I’m also going through the traps and hazards in 4th Edition to see if I can come up with a hazard/encounter complication table for each area to throw some wildlife and terrain features into encounters and whatnot. My goal is to have a good list of features, encounters, and possible terrain hazards for each area – not including dungeons, ruins, caves, etc…

Recruiting continues to move along. I’ve put out a few more ads on sites such as Nearby Gamers and Craigslist. I’ve gotten two responses from Craigslist, but none from NG so far. Seems like people probably check that site less often.

I’m hoping some players come together and get a session going this week – I’m itching to run the first session and get everyone hyped to play again (or for the first time).

My next goal is to develop an adventure site that the treasure map for the first group will lead them to. My plan is to have it lead them to a landmark or two (from which they might learn some more about the world and possibly have a random encounter) and then to a small dungeon where they can delve and get some phat l00t.

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4 Responses to “Fleshing Out”


  1. 1 Tommi August 25, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    You’ll want to actively contact people on nearbygamers. It is more of a “I am available for this sort of gaming”-site then something people frequent. That’s my impression, though I haven’t been active there in months.

  2. 3 Stripes November 25, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve had good luck with penandpapergaming.com, fewer folks then nearbygamer, but total RPG focus.

    • 4 Michael Pfaff November 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      Hey Stripes,

      Thanks for the response. I actually posted on many, many websites, but I think most of my success came from the actual WotC RPG Classifieds. I’ve had a total of 12 players at this point, from 4, but only about 8 or 9 are very active, the others playing whenever or not at all.


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