Don’t Fence Me In

Last month we had a chunk of fence blow down in our back yard and we’re finally working on getting it repaired/replaced. Unfortunately it is going to take a couple of months because we’re not alone in needing a new fence, and our contractor is a good one so he’s overwhelmed with work. Sigh. (No, the picture below is not of our fence – I wish!)

fence_wood_meadow_smallWhat the heck does any of this have to do with role-playing games? Not much, until you twist it like certain things get twisted in my brain… into a series of random tables to mix things up a bit. So let’s come up with a way of figuring out something interesting to occur at a place where the PCs encounter a fence…

First of all, we’ll come up with a table determining the purpose of our fence with a d4.

  1. Keep things in.
  2. Keep things out.
  3. Demarcate property.
  4. Decorate.

And then we need an event of some sort that has damaged our fence with a d10.

  1. Wind
  2. Degradation
  3. Animal
  4. War
  5. Fire
  6. Water
  7. Earth
  8. Monster
  9. Demolition
  10. Willful destruction

And lastly… was it a good thing? Or bad thing? Flip a coin. Roll a die – even = bad, odd = good.

How does this work? Here’s a quick example…

Our party arrives at a fence. It was designed to keep things in. Wind has knocked it down. And it was good that it was knocked down. I could play that as a rare beast of some intelligence was locked away in a fenced area for years and has just been released into the wild once more to reconnect with its former life. A party of PCs could locate the animal and help it stay free or locate it for its previous captor and return it for a fee. How would your party play it?

Here are a few more:

  • wood_fence_194359_small(Keep things out/Degradation/Bad) The party arrives at a section of destroyed fence. If someone went to the trouble of making the fence, there must be something worth protecting inside, so they head in to discover what that might be. Unfortunately they discover that the fence was there to protect the people outside from the thing inside and now it’s hungry…
  • (Demarcate property/Animal/Good) A rampaging boar charged through a fence and opened a hole that exposed the garden beyond… inside, the party sees the very component they’ve been searching for all along…
  • (Decorate/War/Bad) Surrounding the temple of Avos lay the artistry of the myths of Erran built into a wall of stone… a tale as old as time and full of wisdom for those who seek it. During the war of the houses, a buffoon leading a group of warriors crashed through the wall, destroying a priceless artifact and a few of the clues that the PCs need to defeat the enemy they seek…

Each of these is small, but it can provide an interesting twist when needed.

Good luck with your own fence repairs, folks!!

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