Encounter Checks

The DM knows when a planned encounter is to occur, based on the conditions or location he has prepared. The same is not true of random encounters. For these, the DM must make encounter checks.

Frequency of Encounter Checks: How often the DM makes encounter checks depends on the situation. Different types of terrain (or dungeons) may make checks more or less frequent. Furthermore, the type of terrain and population density will affect the chance the characters have a meaningful encounter. Table 56 lists both the frequency of checks and the chance that an encounter will occur for the most common wilderness situations. If characters are adventuring in other types of terrain, the DM can use a comparable entry from the table or can determine frequency and chance of encounter himself.

Encounter Chance: This lists the number or less that must be rolled on 1d10 for an encounter to occur.

Time of Day: If an x appears under a specific time of day, an encounter check should be made. This does not ensure an encounter, it only requires the check for one.

The chance of having an encounter can be modified by several factors. Foremost of these is population density. The chances of an encounter listed on
Table 56 assume an unpopulated wilderness area.

Wilderness Checks: If the region is patrolled or sparsely settled, the chance of an encounter increases by one. In heavily populated areas, the chance of an encounter increases by two. These modifiers should not be used unless the DM has specially prepared encounter tables to reflect the differences between settled lands and wilderness, however.

The DM can also choose to modify the chance of an encounter for any other reason he feels is justified. If the characters have been making excessive noise or if the village alarm has been sounded, the DM can increase the chance of an encounter. The DM can even decide arbitrarily that an encounter will occur, although it can hardly be considered random any more.

Dungeon Checks: Encounter checks in the dungeon are not affected by terrain (since there isn't really any terrain to consider). Normally, one encounter check is made every hour, with an encounter occurring on a roll of 1 on 1d10.

If the DM deems part of a dungeon particularly dangerous, the number of checks can be increased to once per turn (10 minutes of game time). The DM can also increase the chance of an encounter occurring. If the characters engage in an activity that makes excessive noise (hammering spikes or taking part in a loud battle), an encounter check should be made immediately.

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