Random Encounters

Time Counter

Time in Blood & Iron is based on a time counter. 1 unit of ‘Time’ represents a span of time ranging from forty-five minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes. This balances the day on a 20 Time scale (1 Day = 20 Time). Dawn is at Time 1, mid-day at time 5, dusk at time 10. Nightfall is from Time 10 to Time 20.

The GM makes an Encounter Check whenever one of five things happens:

  • The characters move for one unit of Time or look for a place to rest.
  • The PCs search an area.
  • After a certain number of turns during an encounter.
  • The characters make a Survival check or rest.
  • The PCs flee an encounter.

An Encounter roll is based on how lawless and uncivilized the hex is (the "Chaos Level") and the Perception level of the monsters associated with the hex.

Random encounters are rolled by the GM based off of the Encounter DC. The formula for encounter DC is as follows:

14 + modifiers - Chaos Level = Encounter DC

Many different factors can modify your Encounter DC. Obviously, a large group making lots of noise is more likely to be noticed by monsters than a small group moving silently. Adjust the Encounter DC accordingly using the chart below.

Circumstance DC Modifier
Group is less than 5 individuals* +1
Group is more than 10 individuals* -1
Group is more than 15 individuals* -2
Each individual in the group has more than 5 ranks in Stealth*(when traveling) +1
Each individual in the group has more than 5 ranks in Survival* +1
Group is engaged in a loud activity, such as combat or a celebration -3
Group is specifically attempting to attract encounters -10
Group was engaged in a combat previously -1 for every 3 rounds of combat the group was engaged in during the last unit of time
Group is running or riding at full speed -1
Group is resting in an uncamouflaged camp (when resting) -1
More than half the group’s individuals have lost more than half their maximum hit points. -3
* “Individuals” includes all persons, horses, pack animals, and vehicles.

If the Games master meets or exceeds the Encounter DC, a Random Encounter occurs.

Determining the Nature of the Encounter

Not all encounters in the wilderness will be hostile or dangerous, but it becomes increasingly likely the further you travel from safe regions. Once a wandering encounter has been rolled, one player chosen by the party makes a contested d20 roll against the Games Master. The formula for the roll is as follows:

Players' Roll
d20 + Survival skill of the "point man"

Games Master's roll
d20 + Chaos Level + Monster's Perception+ The number of HD greater than the monster the highest HD PC has

The nature of the encounter is determined by who wins the contested roll, and by how much.

Result of Contested Check Result
PCs won by more than 20 Friendly Adventuring Party
PCs won by more than 15 1d8 Refugees
PC won by more than 10 Trap Encounter
PC won Basic Encounter
Tie Advanced Trap Encounter
GM won Basic Horde
GM won by more than 5 Advanced Encounter
GM won by more than 10 Advanced Horde
GM won by more than 15 Advanced Horde and Advanced Encounter

So for example, the party's "point man" has a Survival of +4 (3 ranks in the skill and a +1 Dexterity modifier bonus). The random encounter in this hex is wolves, who have a Perception of +6. The hex the party is traveling through is a distant wilderness (Chaos Level 2). The "point man" rolls a 13 and adds his Survival, for a total of 17. The GM rolls for the wolves, and gets a 10. He adds the Chaos level (+2), plus the wolves Perception (+6). The party consists entirely of 1 HD adventurers, so the Gm subtracts -1 from the total (because wolves are 2 HD creatures, making his total 17. Consulting the chart above, the GM sees that the result is an Advanced Trap Encounter. The Advanced Encounter for wolves is the Dire Wolf, so the party is attacked by the Dire Wolf Trap.

Options – Hide, Flee, or Fight

When encountering monsters, players have three options: hide/sneak past the monsters, flee the encounter immediately, or stay and fight.

Hide: Players have the option to ‘Hide’ from the encounter with a successful contested Hide skill check versus the Spot check of the monster. Hiding will allow characters to successfully avoid the encounter, but there will still be an increase in ‘Time’ as if the Encounter took place.

Flee: Players in over their heads or outmatched can decide to flee an encounter already in progress at any time. To do this, they need a clear escape route (at least one exit point free of monsters) and they must all do so within one turn’s movement. Risk will be added for fleeing (see Risk below).

Fight: Characters decide to stay and attack the monsters encountering them. They must do so within a set amount of urns dependent on the monsters’ speed and perception before more monsters are attracted to the sounds of combat. The Games Master then makes a roll to determine the creatures in the encounter.

Deployment and distance of threats:

Next the Games Master determines how far away the monsters are from the players. The GM deploys the monsters 100 feet away from the players decreasing it by 5 feet per the monster's ranks in Perception and by the monster's base land speed. The party's "point man" may make a Perception check to alter this distance by 5 feet (at his discretion) for every 5 points over the DC. The GM may also decrease the distance by 5 feet for every 5 points under the check if the players fail the roll. The orientation/placement of monsters in reference to the characters is at the GM’s discretion, provided that none of them are closer to any member of the party than the determined distance, and all are within 15 feet of another monster in the encounter.

The formula for the Perception check is as follows:
5 + 5 for each square the monsters are pushed back= DC

Example : The players have rolled an encounter with wolves. The encounter starts at 100 feet away, minus 25 feet for their 5 ranks in Perception, and 50 feet for their speed (25 feet). Wanting to get some distance from the wolves, the "point man" makes a Perception check to drive them back 20 feet (DC 25). He rolls a 10, which fails to meet the DC by 15 points, allowing the GM to move the wolves 15 feet closer to the party (10 feet). The GM places the closest wolf to the party 10 feet from the "point man," and may arrange the other wolves however he wants, so long as every wolf is at least 15 feet away from every member of the party, and within 15 feet of the another wolf.

In another example, the party's "point man" rolls a 30, exceeding the DC by 5. The closest wolf is driven back 25 feet (20 for making the DC, +5 for exceeding the DC by 5), meaning that the closest wolf starts 50 feet from the party. The "point man" places the closest wolf anywhere he wants within 50 feet him. The GM places the closest wolf to the party 10 feet from the "point man," and may arrange the other wolves however he wants, so long as every wolf is at least 50 feet away from every member of the party, and within 15 feet of the another wolf.

Surprise Phase

Players have the ability to make a contested Perception roll to influence whether or not the monsters will get a ‘Surprise Phase’ against them if the closest monster is deployed at or within 25 feet. If the closest monster is deployed between 30 and 40 feet, there is no surprise phase for either side. If the monsters end their deployment more than 40 feet away from the party, the PCs automatically get a surprise phase.

Combatants that have won a surprise phase have gotten the drop on their prospective opponents, and may act before the enemy is ready. In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who have surprise each take a standard action during the surprise phase. You can also take free actions and swift actions during the surprise round. During this phase, all opponents are flat-footed because they have not acted yet.

Further Encounter Rolls

Fighting monsters can draw a lot of attention. The GM makes an additional encounter roll every 1d4 combat rounds.

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