Taking a brief hiatus from the 2e Forum ( ) to ask a question specific to the 1e DMG. Pages 190-191 delineate the random encounters for a typical town or city. It states (pg 190) that the DM should roll for an encounter every 3 turns, or as desired, but I could not find anywhere in the book as to the chance of an encounter.
1 in 6, 1 in 8, 1 in 10, etc.???
Anybody find an answer, or have an idea, please let me know!
The frequency of encounter checks is 1 check/3 turns, or twice per hour. As to odds, examples given are 1-in-10, 1-in-12, and 1-in-20 for outdoor encounters, and you can choose to use whichever one fits your situation. Daytime, with nice weather, in a busy market place? You might want to use 1-in-8 for such an optimal situation. Nighttime, during a storm, in winter? You may wish to use 1-in-20, and only check 1/hour even. Consider anything that could influence how many people would be out and about (like a rash of murders making people stay in more, or a fair going on making people go out more, the size of the city and its overall population density, the weather, the time of year, etc.). The more people out and about, the better the odds of an encounter.
As noted, most city encounters will be set for the adventure, but they don't all have to be. Also, having an encounter doesn't necessarily mean that whatever is encountered will be in opposition to the PCs (even though that may often be the case), but can mean that there is an incident involving said individual (s). For example, an encountered merchant might be trying to swindle somebody , or he could be the one being swindled. You don't roll for that- you make it up to suit how you want things to be! _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
In another example of the hidden treasures in the DMG, the example of play on pages 97–100 suggests that the default random encounter check in a dungeon is 1-in-6 every 3 turns. Since the preface to the city/town encounter table states to check every 3 turns "as usual", I'd say the base chance should be 1-in-6.
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