Sunday, August 9, 2020


I'm crazy about Random Encounters in D&D, but fitting them into the fiction, and making logical sense of them can often be a challenge. Not surprisingly, one of favorite mechanics is handily the Monster Reaction Table. Even with it's broad strokes, I'm usually able to suss out interesting motivations, and find a little more context for a randomly generated wandering monster. It occurred to me that, taken one step further, the Reaction Table could do a little more heavy lifting. The Reaction Subtable below gives d6 prompts for each of the five results of the standard B/X Reaction table. Roll or choose a result that makes sense. The subtable zooms in on the situation more closely, and provides more detailed context and motivation for the broader reaction outcome.

Reaction Subtable

Hostile/ attacks

  1. Violent rampage (rabid, sick, poisoned, etc.)

  2. Desperately hungry, needs to feed

  3. Reaving/ robbing

  4. Seeking revenge/ hates PCs on sight

  5. PCs inadvertently harm creature, provoking defense

  6. Calculated sadism

Unfriendly/ May Attack

  1. Defending territory/ possessions/ young

  2. Taken by surprise/ spooked/ startled by PCs

  3. Surprised while eating prey

  4. Defending a wounded ally

  5. Confused/ agitated/ intoxicated

  6. Creature is attacking another being, PCs get in the way somehow

Neutral/ Uncertain

  1. Wants to rob/ con/ defraud PC, looking for a good angle

  2. Injured/ aftermath of an attack/ trapped or compromised somehow

  3. Obstructed from source of food/ shelter/ treasure

  4. Desperate circumstance: monster hungry/ destitute/ deprived by some other agency

  5. Creature is caught committing violence or crime

  6. Carrying something valuable, worried the PCs might take it

Indifferent/ Uninterested

  1. Frolicking/ playing

  2. Intimate/ mating/ romantic interlude

  3. Getting intoxicated

  4. Working, performing some necessary task

  5. Absorbed in food preparation/ eating

  6. Performing some creative activity: prayer/ meditation/ art/ music/ dance/ writing

Friendly/ Helpful

  1. Invites PCs to eat with them

  2. Romantically attracted to PC

  3. Invites PC to participate in creative activity (see above)

  4. Wishes to give PCs a gift

  5. Wishes to perform a favor or boon (return an owed favor, as a kindness, in return for something)

  6. Seeks the PCs protection/ wishes to join the group, will compensate/ return favor somehow


  1. Love it, gonna add it to my referee printouts!

  2. Yes, is good. Easily modified if used as a template.

  3. Outstanding. Any chance I could reprint this in issue 2 of Orbuculum? Under your name and with a link to your blog, of course. If are interested, email me (rayotus - at - gmail).


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