Fantasy Encounters, Hazards and NPCs for Roads and Trails
Fantasy Hinterlands Road Fantasy Encounter Tables

Fantasy Encounters, Hazards and NPCs for Roads and Trails

Duncan Thomson
A pair of bandits pose as artists, offering to paint travelers. For any likely targets, they head afterwards to collect their bandit companions

Simple encounter tables for roads and trails in any fantasy setting. Tables for Road Encounter Prompts, Road Hazards & Distractions and Road Quick NPCs.

Fantasy Hinterlands - all | trinkets | farmland encs | plains encs | road encs | tavern encs

[Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash]

Fantasy Road and Trail Encounters

Road and trail encounters might be an ogre mercenary composing poetry, a merchant caravan worried about a missing scout or a fugitive minstrel with a message for a character. There might be a magnificent view of the surrounding terrain or an animal herd blocking the way.

Trails, highways and paths connecting cities, ports and landmarks. Places of roadside camps, grim outlaws, pounding hooves, travellers seeking a new life and signs warning of roadside dangers. f

There is a fantasy encounter generator at ChaosGen. There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DriveThruRPG as Road and Trail Encounters.

Fantasy Road and Trail Encounters on DriveThru RPG Fantasy Hinterlands Tables Bundle on DriveThru RPG

10 Road and Trail Encounter Prompts

1d1010 Road and Trail Encounter Prompts
1 A group of misfit adventurers guarding a entrepreneur, pony and cart.
2 A tall archer and a laughing scholar are riding a draft horse covered in bells. They are just married, very happy, a little drunk and totally lost.
3 A bejewelled envoy with an alert entourage, on an important mission
4 A metal construct pulling a colourful armoured wagon. It belongs to a renowned mage and piemaker and has a sign depicting a glowing pie.
5 A grim ogre mercenary, composing bad poetry but available for hire.
6 A pair of bandits pose as artists, offering to paint travelers. For any likely targets, they head afterwards to collect their bandit companions
7 A work crew of silent prisoners (or skeletons) are making repairs.
8 A raucous theatre troupe, who have stopped to practice their next show. A couple of members are ill so they ask characters to help out.
9 A patrol of tired warriors are helping an old farmer with a stuck cart
10 A merchant caravan of laden wagons, unhappy mules and watchful guards. One richly dressed noble asks group if they've seen a scout.

Road Hazards and Distractions

1d10There is (or are)...
1 a wildfire and lots of smoke or a stampede of herd animals
2 something blocking the way, a(n)...
d10 (1-2. fallen tree 3. mound of waste 4. fissure 5. illusion
6. collapsed mount 7. animal herd 8. hole 9. crude barrier 10. protest)
3 a busy (or burning) roadside inn or a washed out path
4 a trapped (or abandoned) coach (or war wagon); or terrible weather
5 a sign (or poster) depicting (or warning of) ...
d10 (1-2. dogs 3. a wanted outlaw 4. dragons 5. arrows
6. geese 7. something illegible 8. deer 9. nearby inn 10. flooding)
6 a magnificent view or an uncontrolled carriage pulled by horses
7 the strong smell of ...
d10 (1-2. horses 3. rotting waste 4. a fire 5. something sweet
6. meat 7. a foul creature 8. pungent flowers 9 . death 10. manure)
8 rain and a flooded river crossing or a heavy mist descends
9 sounds of ...
d10 (1-2. horse hooves 3. cries for help 4. buzzing 5. machinery
6. music 7. fighting 8. thunder 9. drums 10. laughter)
10 an advertisement for a local faction (or business) or a poisoned well

Quick Road and Trail NPCs

1d10DescriptorProfessionwho...
1 grim or doppelganger priest talks about a ruin (or conspiracy)
2 dwarf or beautiful pedlar with a pony and cart (or handcart)
3 fugitive or halfling messenger seeks a new life (or a village)
4 ghostly or branded minstrel has a few guards (or entourage)
5 musical or goblinoid duelist has a jaunty hat (or many pockets)
6 centaur or cheerful trickster has a pet dog (or a small child)
7 well-dressed or faerie outlaw dreams of wealth (or a disaster)
8 half-human or outcast seer has a message for a character
9 diseased or beast-kin mercenary asks about road ahead (or work)
10 elf or wandering scout hides a magic talent (or fugitive)

More Encounters

There is a fantasy encounter generator at ChaosGen. There is also a pdf of these and more tables at the DriveThruRPG as Road and Trail Encounters.

Fantasy Road and Trail Encounters on DriveThru RPG Fantasy Hinterlands Tables Bundle on DriveThru RPG

If you liked these there are Fantasy Generators at Chaos Gen, a monthly random tools Newsletter and an instagram of Random Tables.