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Note: Random encounters generated while adventuring underground tend to be of the combat variety more often than not since strange monsters often roam aimlessly about forgotten tombs, caves and dungeons. For me, random encounters are an important part of a classic “dungeon-crawl” and help add excitement to time spent underground.

Description: The following events are applicable whenever the PC’s are traveling underground such as in a cave or dungeon.

Recommended Frequency: One time every two hours, whenever PC’s travel more than 10 minutes, or whenever the GM desires.

Weather or Terrain Event

As always, if a particular roll does not make sense or apply in your scenario, reroll or choose a better or more interesting one.

Event Effect
01-15 Cliffs
16-30 Hot/cold spot
31-32 Collapse from above
33-47 Obscured View
Collapse from below
63-72 Wind blast



Subterranean Encounters

%d Result
01-08 NPC adventurers: 1d8 adventurers; roll on table 8-1 to determine party composition if desired.
09-32 Traders/caravan: One or more merchants transporting goods. Roll on table 8-2 to determine composition.
33-57 Hunting party (food): A group of 1d8 people out hunting game for food. Members are 1st level for shallow encounters, 3rd level for deep. They are led by a ranger or barbarian of 4th level if shallow, 6-8th level if deep. Note that they may consider PCs a good food source.
58-64 Scouts: A group scouting for a community located 1d20 miles away. They will attempt to observe the PCs but avoid a confrontation. The group consists of 1d6 members, each a ranger or rogue of up to 4th level for shallow encounters, 3rd-8th level for deep encounters.
65-68 War band: A military force out to loot and pillage. Consists of 3d20 common members (War1 if a class is needed), led by one first level fighter, ranger, or barbarian per five members, one 3rd level fighter, ranger, or barbarian per ten members, and one fighter, ranger, or barbarian war leader level 5-7. Group is 1% likely per member to have a Clr3 or Adp3, and 1% likely per member to have a Wiz3 or Sor3.
69-76 Foot patrol: Soldiers or militiamen keeping the trade routes safe. 3d6 common soldiers, two 2nd level lieutenants, and a 4th level leader.
77-84 Mounted patrol: Soldiers mounted on giant lizards, riding spiders or the equivalent. There are 2d8 common soldiers, one 3rd level lieutenant, and one 5th level leader; bump these levels up by +2 to +3 each if a deep encounter.
85-92 Brigands: A semiorganized band of 2d10 first level rogues and warriors, led by a single leader (roll on table 8-1 to determine leader’s class and level). Increase levels by +2 or +3 if a deep encounter.
93-00 Slavers: 4d6 slaves in chains guarded by 2d4 first level warriors and 1-3 3rd level lieutenants. Group is led by an expert level 3-6.