Monday, April 27, 2015


Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate is populated by a number of colorful personalities who roam the land just like the PCs. Some of these are good people but many are reckless villains. On my standard encounter tables, I include a "Roll on Martial World Personality Table" entry. When this comes up, I roll on the Personality table to see if the PCs meet any important martial experts. This table is meant to grow and change over time. Rather than list Sect Leader's individually, they come up on a 1-3 (either the nearest sect leader or one random selected). 

Encounter tables are tools of course. Not every encounter like this needs to be the product of a random roll. I also flow encounters into the game as I play the world and try to make it come alive for the players. 

Originally this was just meant to be a way of capturing the tendency in wuxia series for the heroes to bump into fellow martial heroes and villains in their travels. But I saw a really great post on google+ by Uri Kurlianchik that expanded my thoughts on the subject. In the post he advises GMs to put their NPCs onto a table (I don't think he meant a random table but he may have) and recycle them. His approach included adding relevant information about the NPCs which makes a lot of sense, but his point was that this helps create a world that feels alive and also creates a sense of community. So you are not just introducing new NPCs all the time, you are re-using people they've met before because they'll remember Dancing Hawk who outbid them on the Divine Snake Manual back in Chen. It had not occurred to me that this sense of community could be important, but after reading the post, and reflecting on how players have reacted to the presence of "regulars" in the setting, I think it adds something very important to play. I think that is probably why this table appealed to me in the first place. 

Dancing Hawk is part of the circle of heroes/villains who live in the Banyan region. This creates a sense that Dancing Hawk is real and going about his business in the world so that he occasionally bumps into the players (this may be a good thing for them or a bad thing for them depending on personal history). Obviously I don't need a table for that. I can just decide that he shows up for whatever reason (and when I think there is a good reason for such an encounter, I do just that). Random tables simply help me do that in a way that is more natural and surprising. 

Roll (d100)      Result
1                      Sect Leader of Nearest Sect
2-3                   Random Sect Leader
4-5                   Se Saniang
6-10                 Cai Bai
11-15               Dancing Hawk
16-20               Huo Ju (Little Venom)
21-25               Yang Tuo
26-30               Princess Sarnai
31-35               Master Shan
36-40               Strange Phoenix
41-45               Nergui Mogha
46-50               Li Sou Chao (The Witch of Zhaoze Zhou)
51-55               Zhou Gui and Chef Wu
56-60               Master Ta
61-65               Headmaster Mu
66-70               Mak Ching Yuen and Lau Ching Sin
71-75               Madame Hamaya
76-80               Huo Si (The Venom of Zhaoze)
81-85               Jade Butterfly
86-90               Firelance Brothers
91-95               General Qiang
96-100             Yanshi

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