We’ve all been there as GMs… You know your PCs are going to be on a long journey, traveling through unfamiliar territory and potentially hitting some encounters along the way, so you pull out a few encounter tables just in case. You roll once or twice, come up with a few monster attacks and move on, wondering what else you could have done.
Well, why not try Open Spaces: On the Road… from Moebius Adventures? This short (6-page) PDF offers a guided process with eight tables (use one or two or all eight), a few examples, and even a worksheet. With a few die rolls, you might end up with:
- (Bad/Destination/Traffic (Travois)/Purpose (Governance)) “As you approach the next town, you notice the area is abuzz with activity. A group of priests and priestesses are tending to the wounded and rushing those in dire need of care on travois behind the town walls. A large man is shouting commands to the people cleaning up the damage and helping the less critically injured move inside. When one of his people point out your approach, he and a group of hastily armed men come your way… and they look angry.”
- (Good/Materials (Timbers)/Location (Plains)) “Huge puddles resting on the rocky plain hint at a recent gully washer in the area, but somehow the road has survived. Apparently somebody had seen fit to lay long timbers across the road to keep the trail passable. The complete lack of any visible forest nearby makes you wonder where the logs came from and who put them down, but you definitely benefit from their kindness and foresight.”
- (Good/Maintenance (Never)/Condition (Overgrown)/Materials (Crushed Stone)/Purpose (Recreation)) “The path may have once been well maintained, but is now overgrown and washed out. But it leads you over a couple of hills to a beautiful camping spot tucked away from the main road. Fresh water, level ground, and a pre-built fire pit seem like they were built just for your party’s needs…”
This is the latest in a new series of GM creativity aids to help you create new, unique, and system-neutral descriptions and encounters for your game table. Check it out!
And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of Open Spaces: In the Fields… in case your party strays into a large meadow, pasture, or farmer’s field and you need some ideas!