Venger's Guide to Random Encounters
Venger's Guide to Random Encounters will help you sprinkle chaos into your game sessions.
Based on years of research and gameplay, and written for new and seasoned dungeon / game masters alike, this FREE GUIDE includes a deep dive into the theory behind chaos in any tabletop roleplaying game, but also practical, step-by-step tips on how to design and run memorable random encounters.
The guide is also a companion text for Venger's Random Encounter Decks, and can help you integrate use of the decks into your game successfully.
what's in this free guide?
In Venger's Guide to Random Encounters, hopefully you’ll find some inspirational words to add spice to the encounters you lay out for your players, random or otherwise.
You’ll find a tried-and-tested approach that I’ve ironed out for decades, an approach which breaks down every single encounter into easy to follow steps. Steps you can either flesh out on the fly at the table, or plan out more carefully ahead of schedule.
If you’ve picked up any of my decks, in this guide you’ll find some meat to put on their bones, some tips to make the most of them in your game. And finally, at the end of the guide you’ll gain access to the bare-boned cheat sheet I’ve fleshed out for years to build encounters.
where can i download the guide?
To help support my work on this kind of stuff, you've got two ways you can pick up the guide. First, you could sign up for free to my regular newsletter, Venger's Mail, and a link will be emailed to you right away, so check out the sign-up box below.
And second, if you like what I'm up to in the multiverse and would be willing to support my little venture, you can join my amazing RPG community on Patreon, where this guide will be just one of the pack of exclusive benefits you pick up as thanks for your support, including patron-only decks, PDFs of my other encounter decks, special Discord channels, and even the chance to have on of your own encounters in my next set of decks. Thanks so much for your generosity. Here's the link:
what do people say about the guide?
Dragon @ Penance RPG
"Venger’s Guide to Random Encounters is a ... more informal look at running encounters for any game system – partly because it’s designed as a companion piece for card decks which will help randomise encounters. However, it also stands up well on its own by concisely describing the benefits of a wider range of encounters and providing a variety of responses to potential encounters.
This guide begins by actively encouraging its readers to embrace the chaotic nature of playing RPGs – the players will do something unexpected or a dice roll might really, really confuse the plot you were trying to steer them onto. Sometimes, you just want to make things more exciting. Whatever your motives for adding in a random encounter, it certainly ‘separates [this] game from all others.’ The observation that this is part of what makes a homebrew campaign stand out certainly reflects reality. It also reduces pressure on a GM to prepare a campaign which is fully written and paced, which is a massive relief as that pressure can prevent someone from running a game.
It then becomes more philosophical by examining four stages of preparing your encounters, with a strong focus on player agency prior to them engaging with the encounter. Generally, allowing your players to decide if and how to engage is more entertaining than a sneak attack and this principle is discussed in some depth.
As well as the discussion, the guide gives suggested questions to answer as well as some square and hex grids for planning your encounters. Venger’s Random Encounter Decks are mostly tailored to environments which allows you the freedom to create any reason for why that encounter may be happening. It is strongly recommended that this be done before the game, to allow time to weave an encounter into your world and scenario. It will be interesting to see these decks to test out these theories and see how it works in practice."
Stephan U. - DM's Guild
"This product gives some great advice how to prepare encounters in a way that makes them interesting. It provides a template and explains in detail how to fill it and the theory behind this."
Bob World Builder - YouTube Reviews
"Venger's Guide To Random Encounters is a great compilation of theory and application tips for enhancing this integral part of long-term D&D campaigns. The document's conversational tone makes it an easy read compared to many dense DM Guides; it is more reminiscent of an engaging video from Matt Coleville or Cody from Taking 20.
Overall it is a thorough walk through for employing random encounters. One great takeaway I got from this guide was to have players roll for the encounter! It's a simple way to give them more influence on the game. It's absolutely worth picking up if you would like to better your game."
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