Dungeon Encounter Tables

Dungeon encounter tables are normally set up according to levelsó1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. Each level is a relative measure of the power of those creatures on it. In general, the level of the table corresponds to character level, although characters may also encounter and defeat (or be challenged by) creatures from higher or lower level tables. Generally, when adventuring in a dungeon, characters should meet random encounters that are equal to or no more than two levels higher or lower than their own.

Sometimes dungeons themselves are arranged in levels (although this is by no means required). In this case, the dungeon level and the encounter table correspond. Characters on the 1st-level of the dungeon would encounter creatures from the first level encounter table. This not only keeps the power of the monsters in line with the strength of a typical party, it also maintains the logical structure of the dungeon level. It doesn't make much sense for extremely powerful monsters to mingle freely (and without consequence) among the weaker creatures that inhabit the level.

Determining dungeon level: Figuring the appropriate level for a particular creature is simple. Look up or calculate the experience points of the creature and check this number on Table 55 , below. This will tell you where to place the creature.

When constructing the encounter table, creatures with a greater or lesser power than the table being designed can be used. However, each level of difference between creature and table decreases the frequency of appearance by one (a common creature becomes uncommon, a rare creature would be very rare, and so on). Creatures less powerful than the given level seldom venture into such dangerous territory. Creatures more powerful are seldom met to ensure the player characters have a decent chance of survival. After adjustment, these creatures can be added to the table.

In addition, there is a chance that an encountered creature will be more powerful than expected: When designing a 2-20 table, the 20 result could be "Use next highest table"; if a percentile table is used, 98-100 could bump the DM to the next table. Thus, players would never be assured of safety or good odds.

Table of Contents