Wednesday 18 February 2015

d6 Fantasy City Sewers Random Encounter Table (Including Emanations and Reaction Based Prior Activity)

The following beings and creatures are intended for the random encounter table when adventuring in my campaign world's City of Bexley. For entry's that seemed overly specific to my campaign I have tried to place a more generic name or analogous entity group name in parenthesis. The things listed on the random encounter table could all foreseeably be encountered in the bowels of a fantasy city sewage system. This being a random encounter table for the first level underground seems about right.

(If your Fantasy City is in need of a Sewer, generate one here.) 

Emanations: (This is basically wholesale theft of an idea outlined by +Tom Fitzgerald much more proficiently and poetically as "Foreshadowings" in the post "Howling Across the Chasm" at his blog Middenmurk. Emanations is my clumsier, less eloquent version of his random encounter Foreshadowings.)

When rolling for random encounters (a 1 in 6 chance when I am DM'ing) an "Emanation" occurs when a 2 is rolled on a d6.  Roll on the random encounter table and refer to the "Emanation" listed for the entity rolled - the party will now encounter said emanation. The next random encounter will automatically be the entity for which the emanation was previously experienced.

You could also just take a 2 on a random encounter check to mean a delayed encounter: The emanation occurs, followed by the encounter itself in d4 rooms.

Alternate Emanation rules: A 1 in 6 result on random encounter check results in an Emanation occurring. A random encounter will now occur with a 2 in 6 chance, the being encountered matching the Emanation the party experienced earlier.

Reaction Based Prior Activity: Each entity has three different "Reaction based prior activity" 's listed. This is  what the entity was doing before the PC's bumped into it, derived from a Reaction Check Roll. If the entity is unaware of the PC's, pre-roll the reaction to give it something to do! This is based on the Labyrinth Lord d12 low is friendly high is angry reaction roll. Many of the entries on the table have reaction roll modifiers, making the chance they will be doing some activities rare.

A rogue beset by Ratdogs. 

d6 Fantasy City Sewers Random Encounter Table:

1) Maddened Filthy Wanderers
Emanation: Dirty, ramshackle wood and paper lean-to's, makeshift tables or refuse buckets nearby to oddly arranged bricks, insane graffiti, rotting books with incoherent scrawl or pages torn out and hung along string.
Description: Rag wearing down-troddens. Visibly crazed. May have a penchant for collecting certain mundane items/refuse and wearing them.  
Number Encountered: d6,
Reaction Roll Modifier: +2,
Reaction Based Prior Activity: Friendly: Drinking, smoking, conversing with one another in an almost pleasant manner, Neutral: Sleeping, scrawling in journals or on walls, Aggressive: Ranting, staggering in circles, arguing incoherently with one another, fisticuffs with one another.  
HD: 1, AC: 10,
Attacks: 1, Fist/Clawed hand/Club/Shiv, Damage: d6,
Saves: F0, Morale: 4,
Alignment: Neutral, Movement: 120', XP: 20.

2) Pirate Refugee (Escaped convict/fugitive): 
Emanation: Empty booze bottles, Emptied/smashed wooden chests, recently broken doors or furniture, a murdered member of the Pirate (convict) group (animosity) and evidence of a scuffle/blood trail, distant raucous singing or conversation.
Description: Ragged tired pirate (or criminal), on the run from local law enforcement. Spirits and supplies are down. Dirty, irritable, reckless.
Number Encountered: d6,
Reaction Roll Modifier: + 4,
Reaction Based Prior Activity: Friendly: Drunk, singing raucously, feasting, telling tall tales around a bonfire/campfire, Neutral: Drinking, not quite drunk, singing somberly, eating food of a poor and stingy quality, Aggressive: Discovering they are completely out of supplies (food, drink, gold), Engaged in a yelling tirade regarding the series of unfortunately events that led to their predicament.    
HD: 2, AC: 12 (Leather, flamboyant pirate accouterments),
Attacks: 1, pistol (ranged) or cutlass, Damage: d6,
Saves: F2, Morale: 6,
Alignment: Chaotic, Movement: 120', XP: 40.

3) Reanimated Fungi Corpse: 
Emanation: Copses of thick black mushrooms up to 4 feet tall, dismembered body parts flourishing with the growth of dark mushrooms, dead body/bodies covered in dark mushrooms twitching sporadically.
Description: The decaying bodies of dead humanoids, reanimated by a parasitical forest of dark brown, black and purple mushrooms.
Number Encountered: d10,
Reaction Roll Modifier: None,
Reaction Based Prior Activity: Friendly: Swaying softly, hands linked, jerkingly/robotically tending mushroom growths, if interrupted will softly embrace PC's to spread mushroom infection (see special), Neutral: Collecting rat and other sewer animal corpses into a pile and picking mushrooms from their bodies to plant on the flesh, will not let PC's interupt their work, Aggressive: Planting mushrooms on a human corpse,   
HD: 1, AC: 13 (Unusual, contorting movements, spongy flesh),
Attacks: 2, Punch, Damage: d4,
Saves: F1, Morale: 11,
Alignment: Neutral, Movement: 100', XP: 50,
Special: Any one touching/struck by a reanimated fungi corpse must Save Vs. Poison to avoid necrotic mushroom infection. On their death the body will erupt in fungi growth and mindlessly re-animate in d6 hours.

4) Reed Man. 
Emanation: A heavily bruised corpse missing all jewelry, buttons, shoelaces, turned out pockets (perhaps striped to underwear and clothes folded neatly next to it), Masses of extremely adhesive sticks and reeds, clumps of seemingly out of place mud (extremely rich, dark fertile soil), worms, distant riddling followed by screams.
Description: A 10 foot tall, heavy set, vaguely humanoid shaped mass of mud, twigs and reeds. Topped by a black beak and piercing black eyes. Shambolic in movement. Intelligent, with irresistible urges towards riddles and the collection of small treasures. A reed man will ask those it encounters a single riddle, letting those who answer correctly pass, and killing those that answer incorrectly - stealing their small treasures. (Its reaction roll may deterine the difficulty of the riddle and likelihood of a second chance). A pink octopi/worm like body writhes in the center mass of the mud and reeds.
Number Encountered: 1,
Reaction Roll Modifier: 0,
Reaction Based Prior Activity: Friendly: Whistling sweetly, sounding like water-side birds, resting nonchalantly, will ask its riddle in a sing-song voice. Neutral: Laying on the ground, face up, breathing slowly, Aggressive: Squatting directly in front of the party, chanting in a croaking voice "Treasures, treasures, treasures...",   
HD: 6, AC: 15 (Mud and twig mass unnecessary for worm like inner form),
Attacks: 2, heavy fist bash x 2, Damage: d8, d8.
Saves: F5, Morale: 8,
Alignment: Lawful, Movement: 140', XP: 350,
Special: Can release a stinking, stinging cloud of poisonous gas d4 times a day, doing d6 damage to those around it. Will often have a nearby burrow (the entrance of which is often underwater or hidden), filled with stick mud and stick masses and carefully arranged treasures of previous victims.

5) Pack of Rat Dogs (Rabid dogs). 
Emanation: Dog like foot prints on walls and ceilings, Scratched and ruined furniture/doors, savagely bitten and gored corpses of people/animals, masses of dog like excrement, Rat like tails the size of dogs left bleeding and severed, distant howling or growling.
Description: Drooling, scab covered near furless pink bodied dogs. Pink, watery, milky eyes. Mean ragged snouts. Extremely lean and agile. Long furless pink rat tails.
Number Encountered: d4,
Reaction Roll Modifier: + 6,
Reaction Based Prior Activity: Friendly: Full and content from a recent meal, dozing, pawing playfully at one another, tail waggings, Neutral: Clawing at a nearby door, barking, prowling purposelessly, Howling mournfully as a group Aggressive: Most of the group paces back and forth, guarding a female rat dog feeding a sickly pup, gnawing on the flesh of a fresh kill.    
HD: 3, AC: 13 (Lithe and agile, thickened scabs),
Attacks: 2, Bite and Claw Damage: d8 bite (Save Vs Poison or rabies infection occurs), d6 claw.
Saves: F3, Morale: 10 as pack, 4 as singular.
Alignment: Chaotic, Movement: 140', XP: 150,
Special: Can scale sheer surfaces with beclawed paws with a 3 in 6 chance. Can hide in shadows with a 2 in 6 chance.

6) Rat-like man Ruffian (Rat cult thug, Anarchist, Pyromaniac). 
Emanation: Scorch marks, evidence of explosions, burnt corpses, broken discarded vials and glass canisters, Pro "Old Kingdom" graffiti "The betrayed king will rise again, death to the houses, etc" (Pro cult, poltical group messages), bone shard piles, wooden refuse - neatly piled and dried/drying, smoke wafting from a fire elsewhere, fires.
Description: Hunched over men, wearing rotting rags, scabbed covered skin, patches of fur and wrongly placed hair, bones stitched into and decorate rag outfits, claw like hands. Torches and vials tied to ruined belts about waist.
Number Encountered: d6,
Reaction Roll Modifier: +4,
Reaction Based Prior Activity: Friendly: Dancing frantically around a roaring bonfire, a blackened skeleton strung to a crucifix burns in the center, Neutral: Preparing wood for a bonfire, arranging bones and skulls in a state of reverence. Aggressive: Attempting to dry wood around a failing fire, they are wet and soggy,   
HD: 2, AC: 14 (Leather beneath bone re-enforced rags),
Attacks: 1, Sword or Wooden bow Damage: d8,
Saves: F2, Morale: 8,
Alignment: Chaotic, Movement: 120, XP: 50,
Special: Each has d2 firebombs (d6 damage to 10 foot area).

A Magic User and  Fighting Man discover a Rat-like man bonfire ceremony.


  1. How about a Zombie Sewer Cleaner Crew that is looking for their next meal. They came to clean out nasty bits clogging up the sewer and ended up zombified for their efforts. Could be the start of a zombie infestation. Could also have some mash-up of monsters (like a glowing gelatinous cube with ethereal tentacles or other uncharacteristic features) from illegal magical experimentation that some mage "flushed" down the drain to get rid of or perhaps escaped confinement and is out for revengeance.