Tomb robbers are in your dungeon!
This post is inspired by Ivan Sorensen at http://dailyosr.blogspot.com/ I love his posts and have started using his ideas in my home game.
As the mists part, you see looming ahead the object of your long journey. The Great Barrow, ringed with ancient standing stones, rises from the soft turf. Your relief soon turns to apprehension however, as you spy a group of rough looking men with a train of pack mules surrounding the shattered stone doorway.
Seeing your party emerging from the mists, the group hastily draw swords and nock arrows, while the best armed of the group spits into the ground and snarls at you in heavily accented common “Well what do we have here?”
Meeting groups of NPC’s in a dungeon or adventuring area can be a great source of tension, conflict, treasure, or even allies. Whether they are adventuring parties or simple tomb robbers, potentially adversarial groups of humans & demi-humans make for exciting, complex, and dangerous encounters.
Using a “roll all the dice method” you can use the tables below to generate a group of adventurers or treasure seekers in moments.
1-3 Tomb robbers (1 leader and 5-10 robbers)
4: Adventurers (1 leader and 3-8 adventurers of ½ level of leader round up)
Add 4 to get party size if Robbers
Add 2 to get party size if Adventurers
Adventurer Types (if Adventurers - roll for each member of party)
8 Magic User
1-5 Just got here, nothing besides personal loot
6-8 Nothing to see here - Medium amount of loot (1-2 leader level up to 2500gp, 2-4 up to 5,000gp, in various coins/gems/valuables/magic items)
9-10 We’re just leaving - Monty Haul in the house (1-2 leader level up to 5000gp, 2-4 up to 10,000gp, in various coins/gems/valuables/magic items) +2 modifier to initial reaction table
Initial Reaction Table
1-2: Hostile, Attacks
3-5: Unfriendly, may attack
6-8: Neutral, uncertain
9-11 Indifferent, uninterested
12: Friendly, helpful
(+CHA mod may be applied)
Group Motivation:1-11: Search for loot
12: Obtain fame
13: Kill a particular monster in the dungeon
14: Find a person who went into the dungeon
15: Find a person that was abducted by monsters
16: Make the surface world safer
17: Scout out the dungeon and report back
18: Obtain a specific item
19: Unhealthy level of curiosity
20: Religious or cultural imperative
20 Halflings or special (gnomes, drow, duergar, whatever you want to throw at them)
So an example roll of d4 (3), d6 (6), d8 (7), d10 (10), d12 (5), d20 (9) would result in :
10 Human Tomb Robbers
3rd Level Cleric leader
leaving the dungeon loaded with up to 10,000 gp in loot
Unfriendly, may attack (makes sense with the size of the group - perhaps the cleric is chaotic?)Motivated by search for loot