If the imagination of players and DMs are fuel of the AD&D game, encounters
are the engine that makes it go. Without encounters, nothing happens. Without
encounters, player can't slay fearsome trolls, rescue the villagers from a band of
orcs, chase down a petty thief, outwit an evil wizard, or humble a mighty
tyrant. Encounters make up the plot of the adventure, each in some way furthering
the tale or building the background of your campaign world. Without encounters,
without the opportunity to meet and deal with others, your campaign world is
just going nowhere.
To use encounters, it is important to understand what they are. An encounter
is a meeting with an NPC or monster, or an event that might affect the player
characters. As DM, you:
• Create in advance the thing, person, event, or monster encountered
• Describe the scene of the encounter to the players
• Role-play the reaction of all the creatures involved, except the player
• Describe the results of player character actions during the encounter.
These are a big part of the DM's duties in a role-playing game (in addition to
the task of interpreting the rules and handling the mechanics of play).
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