Tuesday, November 13, 2018

D100 Encounters Along A Lonesome Road

Converted from my reddit post here: https://www.reddit.com/r/d100/comments/9pn0ov/d100_encounters_along_a_lonesome_road/

As usual, list-maker from Meandering Banter here: https://meanderingbanter.blogspot.com/2018/10/automatic-list-to-html-translator-v2.html

From running a session with this list, actual encounters: good; "atmosphere", anything that would take too long to be a single encounter, anything that takes more than five seconds to think of how to turn it into an encounter: bad.

D100 Road Encounters
1 Wolves stalk you from just beyond the tree line. You can see their eyes flashing in the shadows. Look at them run: sometimes on all fours, sometimes on their hinds legs alone. They’ll attack if you show weakness, or if something else you encounter does, and try to drag off as much meat as they can carry in their slavering jaws.
2 A pitch-painted corpse strung up in a gibbet. Crows crowd around it. They’ll tell you why he died if you feed them an eye.
3 A repentant bandit, cheeks running with tears, hands stained with blood. Coins and jewelry stuff her pockets.
4 A carriage comes barreling down the road, pulled by mad-eyed and foamy-mouthed horses. The coachman screams, laughs, and cracks a whip of fire.
5 Diseased pilgrims, seeking a cure at a distant shrine. They’ll spit on the rude or opulent, and their spittle carries their disease.
6 An inn, warm and welcoming. Should you stay the night you’ll wake to find yourself in a bed of moss, the inn seeming to be a faded dream.
7 A mudslide off a hill has hidden the road here. Finding where it picks up again will be difficult among the debris.
8 A lost, belligerent drunk who tries to pick a fight over any vague provocation. Among their possessions is a bottle of impossibly potent fairy-wine, half-finished already.
9 A merchant convoy, lightly guarded. Something’s been killing their guards off. They’re eager to hire more, and will offer premium wages. There’s a curse on the convoy, or someone travelling with them, or something they’re carrying. It will continue to kill until it’s lifted.
10 A military patrol.
11 Some paranoid deserters on the run.
12 A runaway noble child. Bounty hunters are close on their tail. Both will lie through their teeth to escape or capture their quarry.
13 Poor drainage has rendered the road here a muddy bog. A highwayman with a crack shot lies in wait to rob passers-by when they get slogged down in the mud.
14 A dead rider strapped to their horse. A branch has been plunged through the rider’s chest, pinning a blood-stained note there. The note reads: “This place holds its own laws”.
15 Beautiful music is carried by the wind from somewhere off the road. Following it will lead you nowhere good.
16 The shrine of a god whose worship is forbidden in more civilized places. 50% chance that a handful of worshipers are here, 50% chance that only some minor offerings are here.
17 Cracked porcelain plates, bent silver cutlery, and picked-over food litters the ground here, as if someone had a fancy dinner in the middle of the road.
18 A legless zombie slowly dragging itself along. Its fingers have been worn to the bone. It ignores everything that happens around it.
19 A gate has been built here out of a giant, cyclopean skull. Golems carved from the skull’s teeth stand guard and collect a toll from those seeking to pass through. Collected tolls are stashed in a nearby shed with walls made from the skull’s jaw. Nobody’s been by to pick them up in a while.
20 The road ahead’s been torn up, apparently by the claws of some massive beast.
21 A vigilante mob pursuing a fugitive.
22 A girl smoking a huge pipe packed with her parents’ ashes. Their ghosts can be seen smiling from the smoke she exhales. They’re watching over her as she travels to a relative’s home.
23 A small bridge with a goblin underneath playing at being a bridge troll. Will be ecstatic if you humour it, offer to show its collection of “tribute”.
24 Roadside sign painted with blood, warns you are entering territory of fearsome monster.
25 Strapping young farm boy headed to the big city to pursue his dreams. Dangerously naive.
26 Fellow travellers who tell only somewhat accurate stories of the dangers you might face ahead.
27 A terrified herd of deer charge across the road, trampling everything in their path.
28 You recognize your surroundings. You’ve gone in a circle, but that should be impossible. Somehow the road has imperceptibly curved in on itself.
29 A cart full of goods pulled by a donkey with no master in sight. The donkey can’t talk but understands speech and is intelligent enough to barter. It values fresh produce, brushes, and similar things of donkeyish interest over gold. Anyone who harms or steals from it will be cursed with enmity from all hoofed animals.
30 A small gang of brigands struggling through a bout of food poisoning from stolen supplies. 50% chance they’ll try to intimidate you into walking past and ignoring them while vomit dribbles down their chins, 50% chance they’ll try to rob you and probably shit themselves doing so.
31 The road disappears like morning mist, a fading illusion. You’re off the road with no way back you can see.
32 You’ve come to a crossroads. Something’s been recently buried at the center of the intersection. Yelling and pounding can be heard, dulled by the dirt between you and it.
33 Tired and panicked refugees. Their village was attacked in the night, and they are the only survivors.
34 A headless horseman. His gaunt horse wears a box around its neck. He challenges those he passes to a duel. No wounds truly harm the horseman except those dealt to his severed head kept in that box. The horseman won’t kill those who surrender.
35 An obvious tripwire crosses the path. The trap it once triggered has long since fallen into disrepair.
36 The road passes through a small valley here. The valley will become narrower the more evil you’ve committed in the past week.
37 A section of the road here is paved with ancient bricks. Some bricks are printed with faces, each face different, some happy, some sad, some fearful, and so on. Stepping on or poking a brick will cause it to release a noise appropriate to its expression. Too much noise may attract unwanted attention.
38 A chain gang and their sneering overseer work to clear the road here. The prisoners will try to use you as a distraction for their escape plan.
39 A lumberjack wrestling with a bear. He knows of many interesting landmarks in the area, and would happily act as a guide if rescued.
40 A ditch beside the road is piled near full with bodies. None of the bodies have faces.
41 A cairn stacked by the road. Its stones pin down a moaning revenant into a forced grave.
42 A pack of wildmen tear up the road. Its presence in their wilderness offends them. They’re hostile to anyone carrying the taint of civilization, but will try to scare you off or convince you of the virtues of their way of life before they attack.
43 A lone wine merchant with a broken leg and a broken cart, and most of her goods already pilfered. A bit of a ways off an ogre has drunk itself halfway to unconsciousness. Rages clumsily if attacked, but starts off lazily amiable.
44 Heavily cloaked underworld merchants of frightening countenance. Bringing tribute to the one who ruled the land above them, but are willing to offer some exotic wares on the side.
45 Thieves disguised as travelling priests. Will offer drugged libations and steal your stuff after you pass out. Their knowledge of theology is comically inaccurate.
46 Celebrants from the festival of a nearby hamlet chase each other down the road, each wearing a crude animal mask. Brownish drool leaks from the corners of their mouths. The festival involves the consumption of irresponsible amounts of a narcotic root, and the celebrants are all on the verge of stimulant-induced psychosis.
47 A wandering bard of tremendous talent and annoying arrogance. Will be inspired by this encounter to write a song about you, which will become quite popular and shape your reputation.
48 A sleepwalking woman in a fine dress and shoes worn to scraps. Her footprints are bloody.
49 A dwarf in a manic building frenzy, paving the road with hand-quarried stones.
50 A boom of approaching thunder, the promise of a brutal storm soon to come.
51 Rival stone-shod trolls on each side of the road. They cannot tread upon the works of humanity. Both promise increasingly outlandish things to the one who brings them their rival’s head.
52 The road here is blackened, its dirt mixed with coal dust. A spark could set the whole area alight.
53 Rough priests erecting waystones to appease the road’s spirit.
54 The road here’s been expanded on by unknown hands, built into an enormous glyph.
55 A hummingbird-shaped silver medallion has been stamped down and dented into the road. The medallion shivers in the presence of the undead, and when swung or wrapped around a fist deals damage to the undead as a magic mace.
56 A branded criminal hanged from ramshackle gallows and still kicking their feet uselessly. The knot around their neck is cruel: it prevented both the breaking of their spine and strangulation, leaving them to dangle until they die of dehydration.
57 An empty, bloodied carriage turned over by the roadside. Nearby two horses with tattered harnesses and iron spikes hammered into their gums chew on a corpse.
58 A smith and their apprentice delivering a custom-ordered suit of armour to a noble patron. Its craftsmanship is exquisite.
59 An itinerant caravan. They mostly carry junk, but it’s all cheap. They can also perform quality repairs at a low price.
60 A traveling physician capable of performing unlikely surgeries, like limb transplants between different species. The secret to their ability is a sentient medical tome in their possession. Their work is charitable and has saved countless lives, but the book will eventually drive them to create a fleshworked abomination.
61 An unnatural darkness falls over the area that no mundane or magical light can illuminate. The road must be felt out by hand and foot.
62 A small figure in a red coat can be seen in the distance off the path, and shrieks and runs away when spotted. If followed the figure will lead you to a moldy skeleton wearing the remnants of a red coat, and a basket full of magical reagents.
63 A nomadic circus is being held captive here by a band of ogres, who are eating anyone who tries to escape or fails to amuse them.
64 A merry camp of hunters following an unusually plentiful herd of game. There’s plenty of drinking and gambling going on, and safety on the road in numbers.
65 A depressed and debt-laden person pretending to be a bandit to commit suicide-by-adventurer.
66 Some hungry, feral dogs. Won’t attack anyone who shows them kindness.
67 Teeth, human and otherwise, strung through with twine and hung on the trees like tinsel.
68 A procession of robes figures. The robes are empty save for glowing, floating wisps filling the hoods. If a figure is touched their robe will collapse and their wisp will fly off across the sky.
69 Patches of the road here and there are ever so slightly discoloured. Those patches are the camouflaged hatches of giant trapdoor spiders, waiting for the vibrations of passing prey.
70 The road branches off here, and the branch is being blocked by a squad of soldiers. That way leads to a village which is being quarantined to contain a bizarre contagion.
71 A false second sun passes far overhead. Its exhausting, desiccating heat makes travel difficult. It has been sent out from the nearby tower of a heretical astrologer.
72 A party of fellow adventurers are having a roadside picnic. They invite you to join them and share stories of your travels. If you reveal you’re after a nearby treasure they get tense, as they’re after the same.
73 A rider relaying an encrypted message of great importance to high-level politics.
74 A runner practicing for an athletic competition.
75 A swineherd driving their livestock to greener pastures. Unbeknownst to them, a hungry monster is stalking close behind.
76 A cult fleeing persecution elsewhere. Their half-human leader is carried in a veiled, over-sized palanquin atop their straining backs.
77 A huge, gnarled tree with veiny purple welts sprouting across its trunk. Naked, obese people lean on the tree, scratching its welts then licking their fingers. They mutter something like prophecies. Consuming the calorie-dense fluid from the welts will grant clairvoyant visions and reduce awareness of one’s own body. Roll 1d6: 1, the welt-lickers are the only ones here; 2, weeping children are trying to pull one of them away from the tree; 3, a botanist seeking a cutting from the tree lies mauled nearby after having been attacked by the welt-lickers; 4, an oracle trying and failing to debate their predictions; 5, a scholar furiously scribbling down their every utterance; 6, a ghoul is picking off the welt-lickers one by one as a living larder.
78 A pair of conjoined twins stuck where they are, each twin trying to pull the other in a different direction.
79 An aggressive preacher seeking converts on the road.
80 An artist seeking inspiration. Will pay for directions to strange locations.
81 Meteor-miners, rushing to the site of a recent impact.
82 The house of a shapeshifting spider-hag. She used to trick travellers then eat them, but has become bored with this routine over the years. Now is more likely to safely entertain travellers for the night in exchange for carrying one of her eggs to new hunting grounds.
83 A killing wind sweeps through the area. For 1d6 rounds (exploding) no one in the area can breath, anything people-sized or smaller risks getting blown over.
84 Crushed glass has been scattered over the road. Anyone walking barefoot takes damage while moving over it. Bloody, inhuman footprints dot the ground. An invisible beast stalks somewhere nearby.
85 A noble prisoner is being dragged to trial in a wheeled cage by jeering guards. The prisoner offers to share their forbidden grimoires with the one who frees them.
86 A deep and painful chill falls across the area, preceding a march of icy fairies.
87 A body pinned to a tree by many, many arrows.
88 There’s a pothole in the road. It goes way down. A sulphurous scent wafts from it.
89 A hedge wizard-turned-bandit who threatens to blow herself and her target(s) up with an alchemical bomb if they don’t hand over their magic objects and money.
90 A mystery cult enacting one of their core myths. Onlookers will be shooed away or lethally incorporated into the mythic reenactment if they persist.
91 Eloping star-crossed lovers.
92 A freelance cartographer.
93 A band of bored mercenaries.
94 A bandaged and shellshocked adventurer carrying two partial skeletons in a bundle on their back. Retiring after an unsuccessful delve.
95 Horse traders bringing a steed of peerless pedigree to a client.
96 A grim and pale clan riding together with a coffin in their wagon. They claim they’re off to bury their grandmother in their ancestral plot, but in fact the coffin holds a fledgling vampire seeking to found a base of power.
97 A pair of philosophers arguing over the essential goodness (or lack thereof) of humanity. They’ll try to get you to weigh in on one side or the other.
98 A wizard experimenting with a horseless carriage. The carriage is powered by (1d4): 1, mutagenic alchemical fumes; 2, predatory slimes in hydraulic tubes; 3, howling poltergeists whose bones decorate the carriage’s walls; 4, A bound demon.
99 Dazed people with slack-jaws and bulging cheeks stumbling along. Fat centipedes are hiding in their mouths, halfway burrowed into their brainpans. The centipedes are driving their hosts towards a spawning ground.
100 Your destination. The road has been miraculously shortened.

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