Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Joesky Credit #1, 1a: Tundra Encounter Table, with Bonus Golf

A little while ago on G+, I opened the floor to some Joesky Tax style assignments. The first one is from Rey, blogging over at Bum Rush the Titan. He wanted an encounter table for the tundra, so here's what I got.

Tundra photo by Sarah Beck, Marietta College 2001
Rey! I don't know how you do your encounter tables. Here are twenty entries on a flat scale; reorganize this for probabilities as you see fit if you use a d8+d12 method or whatever.

1   Herd Animal
2   Wolfpack
3   Frost Giant
4   Sabertooth Tiger
5   Mammoth
6   Remorhaz (Polar Wurm)
7   Berserkers/Nomads
8   Arctic Owlbear
9   Frost Walkers
10 Neanderthals
11 Forest Spirits
12 Nehwon Behemoth
13 Invisible Manta Fliers
14 Ice Gnomes
15 Snow Trolls
16 [To Be Replaced]
17 Frost Elves
18 White Sybil
19 Yeti Cultists
20 Lost Caravan

Winter Wanderers - 1-2 patrolling, 3-4 hunting for (roll again), 5-6 fleeing from (roll again)

Herd Animal - Pick some apropos animal - reindeer, caribou, giant white axebeaks... 50% chance grazing, 50% chance fleeing from... (roll again)
Frost Walker
Daniel Horne's "Saving the Best for Last"
Wolfpack - Can be a regular wolfpack. Can be a pack of winter wolves. If you're feeling gonzo, have it be a shapeshifter which turns into a wolfpack, a la the D'ivers from the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Have the lead animal of the pack be a nine-headed beast while you're at it.
Frost Giant - Winter Wanderer.
Sabertooth Tiger - 25% chance the pet of a Winter Wanderer group.
Mammoth - 50 % chance grazing, 50% chance fleeing from (roll again)
Remorhaz - these things always seemed really goofy but they're going to make it onto this list goddammit! Big-ass polar worm, vents heat out through its spines. Make sure that you're using the diTerlizzi-illustrated remorhaz, no other will do.
Berserkers/Nomads - Winter Wanderers. Don't have to be Norse!
Arctic Owlbear - components from Arctic Owls and Polar Bears. White, makes no sound, deadlier than usual.
Frost Walkers - giant-ass skeletons, as per "Saving the Best for Last" over there to the right. Have old weapons, some chilling or draining powers. Can maybe turn into snowdrifts and then reform, if you're feeling in a particularly T'lan Imass mood.
Neanderthals - in a local cave complex? Frozen in a block of ice?
Forest Spirits - those assholes who try and lure you down forbidden paths, or draw your friends away...you know the type.
Nehwon Behemoth - the four-legged killer whale. Faster than it looks. About as hungry as it looks.

Nehwon Behemoth
art from a TSR Lankhmar supplement
Invisible Manta Fliers - another Nehwon inspired entry. 25% chance they've got an invisible rider on them. Will attack large groups. Have red glowing jewels for eyes, but are otherwise invisible. If they've got a rider, think of an invisible Melnibonean but with 100% less elf.
Ice Gnomes - Not the pointy-hatted guys. They look more like the pech, but with axes and a grim abiding hate for intruders. Winter Wanderers.
Snow Trolls - What it says on the tin.
[To Be Replaced] - Oh it's her. Wonder what crazy shit she's up to in the tundra.
Frost Elves - probably assholes. And this is me saying that; I like elves! Winter Wanderers.
White Sybil - either the prophetess like in Clark Ashton Smith stories, or like Atali in The Frost-Giant's Daughter. Point is, regal proud lady shows up, does mystic mysterious stuff. 
Yeti Cultists - 50% trying to summon/worship a yeti, 50% they summoned it already and are dancing around a fire worshipping it.
Lost Caravan - Wagons? Sleighs? (If sleighs, totally have them have tossed a kid out to save the rest like those old stories.) Is anyone still alive? If so, are they being pursued, or are they just completely lost? 


The second item is from Ferret, who doesn't have a gaming blog and is a bum. He asked me "how to handle that situation where your PCs suddenly need to play golf."
Old Took's great-grand-uncle Bullroarer...was so huge (for a hobbit) that he could ride a horse. He charged the ranks of the goblins of Mount Gram in the Battle of The Green Fields, and knocked their king Golfimbul's head clean off with a wooden club. It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit hole, and in this way the battle was won and the game of Golf invented at the same moment. -- JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit
Stat each hole as a creature of n HD. Par value is 2n. Players make attack rolls to defeat the hole; golf club deals 1d6 'damage.' Apply both Strength and Dex modifiers to attack and damage rolls. Halflings may add a +1 bonus, as they have ancestral memories of creating the game. 


  1. This is perfect - Its easy to scale with the way I normally use tables and full of stuff I wouldn't have thought to use.

    1. Sweet, glad to hear it!

      Let me know how it goes if/when you use it, and how much the players curse the table. :)

  2. On a more serious note than Kill Elves (head 'splode covers that) I rather like this encounter chart. In fact it would make for a cool campaign.

    1. Thanks! I do have a fondness for ice and snow settings, which is ironic given the bulk of my focus these days.

      And you're totally getting your Kill Elves table in the next entry, in fact.

  3. I just put this in a joesky tax retrospective: http://blogofholding.com/?p=6863