Dungeons. Dragons. Graph paper. Funny dice.

Random encounters for sea crawls

How would a sea crawl work?

Sailing from point A to B—even with an accurate map and a skilled navigator—the characters will find more than empty ocean. The referee will make periodic checks for random encounters, perhaps a 1 in 6 chance per 5-6 mile hex through which the characters sail. Those encounters might involve aquatic or flying monsters, but they could also be sightings of other ships, land, or even a change of weather.

The referee can prepare a chart for each of these possibilities: islands along the characters’ course, other ships know to sail those waters, and so forth.

When the d6 roll for a hex indicates a random encounter, the referee can roll 1d12 against this chart to determine the nature and direction of the encounter:

Chart with d12 roll for encounter type and direction at sea

Depending upon weather conditions and if the characters maintain an active watch, they may be able to avoid the encounter or sail to meet it.

This image and text is © Paul Gorman 2011, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License. Also available as an EPS file suitable for print use.


Carter Soles February 8, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Very nice! And already added to the “Sea of O’SR” page.

Paul February 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM

You’re fast!

C’nor (Outermost_Toe) February 8, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Zak S. had us come up with a chart for this at one point. Might be worth looking.

Paul February 8, 2011 at 10:47 PM

That rings a bell, C’nor, but this is all seem to be able to find.

Lord Gwydion February 8, 2011 at 11:18 PM

That’s more or less what I was doing in my Maritime Campaign, until all my careful planning hit that one player in my group who sort ruined it for everyone.

Telecanter February 8, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Wowza, encounter type and direction in one roll, you got my attention. And great looking too. Awesome.

C’nor (Outermost_Toe) February 9, 2011 at 12:32 AM

That’s the one I was thinking of, yes. I hadn’t realized that it wasn’t compiled though.

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