I'm starting a new feature of the 'blog this week: your Weekly Random Encounters. Each week I'm going to post a new random encounter table for a particular setting. Use these for roleplaying games, story prompts, or as a kind of I Ching to predict your week. I'm also appending the Situation generator to each entry.
Our first Random Encounter Table is for Steampunk Paris, where the powers of science have transformed the city into a Vernean fantasy — or nightmare.
ENCOUNTERS IN STEAMPUNK PARIS
(roll 1d10 if the party remain in one place, 1d20 if they are moving through the city)
- Roll Twice and Combine.
- Plot-advancing encounter: Something or someone connected with the reason the party have come to Paris in the first place.
- Enthusiastic Students: Claude and Mimi Ardan, students at the Sorbonne Institut des Études Extraordinaires. They are naive and helpful young mad scientists in training.
- Gendarmes: 1d6 Paris policemen, equipped with flame-resistant cloaks and electric truncheons. They are either on regular patrol, looking for the adventurers, or responding to a call about a disturbance.
- Giant Sewer Rats: 2d6 rats as big as Jack Russell terriers with near-human intelligence. They are stealing food, but might pick up anything small and shiny.
- Luddite: Henri Lenoir, anti-technology terrorist armed with handmade black-powder bombs and a sharp rapier.
- Murderous Ape: A brain-augmented Orang-outang, driven mad by surgery and armed with a straight razor. It gets around the city by rooftops and trees.
- Robbery: 2d6 bandits on steam unicycles pull off a daring heist. They are armed with gas and smoke grenades.
- Runaway Automaton: A mechanical man whose regulation machinery has broken. It is hostile to everyone.
- Weather: A heavy downpour lasting 1d4 hours.
- Abandoned Factory: This giant automated furniture plant shut down after a financial scandal. The building holds rats, pigeons, dangerous machinery, and a few street urchins.
- Aristocratic Troublemakers: 2d6 young dandies armed with sword-canes and pocket derringers, drunk on absinthe and pineal extract, looking for amusement and/or trouble.
- Cycle Race: There are 1d100 speeding bicyclists and a dense crowd of cheering onlookers between the player-characters and their destination.
- Fille de Joie: Alluring young woman who is fronting for a gang of 1d8 organ-harvesters. They want a good healthy spleen.
- Fire!: A building on fire. There are people trapped in the upper stories and the flames threaten to spread to neighboring structures. The Fire Brigade may not arrive in time!
- Low Dive: A basement tavern catering to crooks and science-spawned mutants. Upper-class types, scientists, or detectives get a very unfriendly reception.
- Mimes!: They appear to be street performers doing the classic "invisible box" routine. Actually they really have been trapped inside forcefield bubbles for days and are getting desperate.
- Street Market: The next couple of blocks are crowded with vendors selling produce, old clothes, cheese, old books, live poultry . . . and whatever the adventurers really need right now.
- Workers' Demonstration: 2d100 burly laborers protesting the Government. They are angry and it wouldn't take much to turn this into a riot.
- Tracks/aftermath: Reroll to see what traces they come across.
Roll 1d6 on the table below, then roll on the table above to determine who A and B are.
- A desires B.
- A wants to capture B.
- A wants to harm or kill B.
- A wants to go somewhere. B may wish to prevent this.
- A wants to solve a mystery. B doesn't want the truth to be known.
- A wants something. B may have it, or want to get it.
For more perilous encounters, check out my new ebook Monster Island Tales!