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What would you guys like to see in them?

 

Personally I think a random encounter doesn't have to have a mechanical benefit or reward, all it needs to be is interesting, so an encounter that tells a short story would be nice.

The PCs find an abandoned tower crumbling from age. Upon entering the top room they find it warmly lit by a cozy fire and a family relaxing together. The children' date=' two little boys, are playing with toys and the youngest girl is sitting on her mother's lap by the fire. And sitting in an armchair next to them is a skeleton that the little girl repeatedly asks, "Daddy, can you tell me another story?". The entire room is a permanent persistent image of a family and inspection of the adjacent plot shows four graves, carefully tended to.

 

On winter nights, a beggar child comes by the local shops, asking for firewood. She always says that she is too poor to pay, that she is sorry to ask, but it is so, so cold. The shopkeepers always give her one small, specially prepared bundle of twigs each. They always say the same thing when she appears: "It's not much, but take it. Would that I had given it to you yesterday." On winter mornings at sunrise, the shopkeepers travel together to the cemetery. They all visit the same small, unmarked grave to pick up their bundles and ready themselves for the night, over and over again.

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I like the idea of encounters as you described that give the world depth and a feeling of being fleshed out, but I don't know if they need to be "random" .... the situations you describe actually match the landscape of the game and I would prefer they be fixed in location ... the firewood example especially would be especially moving and powerful if it was only in one village in a remote part of the map, rather than cropping up in every village on the map based on random chance

 

I would also love to see time based events (depending on how time is managed in the game) ... things that only appear at the full moon or new moon or such ... they give a little challenge to discover them, even if they are only filler to give the game depth

 

If there were truly random events that could appear anywhere then I would prefer them to either only appear once (and then be removed from the random list) or fit into some sort of urban mythology that you could later discover the "true" event that all the other items are based on or flow from ... in general, an interesting idea and I definitely approve of it :)

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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Random encounters, a la Fallout etc are a must and I would be sad not to see them.

 

I also like wandering monsters, so a mixture of odd encounters, vignettes, stories, fighting, jokes etc would all be good.

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I like the idea of 'encounters' such as your firewood example as they help maintain the illusion that the world exists outside the story of the main characters. So even having really small, minor quests that are not important from a plot perspective, but show the world and NPCs within it, are -- for me -- a must.

 

An abridged example from a DnD campaign I run which is similar to what I'm describing: The PCs were travelling back from an adventure when they came across a hamlet outside of which was an excavation site of an ancient hobgoblin barrow/catacomb. A distraught mother approaches the armed-to-the-teeth PCs and asks them to search the catacomb for her child, who was obsessed with it and had recently gone missing. To cut a moderately short story shorter, the catacomb was quite small, they quickly find the child, but it's a lightening-fast undead monstrosity. They overcome it. When they return they have to break the news to the mother and her and the small town are horrified.

 

Essentially, even though the encounter was difficult (at least one character almost died from level drain), it was unrelated to the PCs. I really think encounters such as these add to the game world.

 

I hope that was decently explained and not too ranty.

Brown Bear- attacks Squirrel
Brown Bear did 18 damage to Squirrel
Squirrel- death

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I want each encounter to be unique, random or not. Let's say I enter a forest and get attacked by five wolves and their pack leader, the next time I reach that place, maybe there could be more dangerous animals there, or maybe poachers.

 

Another example would be me meeting a thug in a dark alley, the next time I go there, the thug might be there with his gang.

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Another example would be me meeting a thug in a dark alley, the next time I go there, the thug might be there with his gang.

 

How would he accomplish this? I'm guessing after attacking you in an alley he is most likely dead. Now, if next time he's a ghost of himself - this would be a blast.

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This was one of the things that I think, more or less, happened in Fallout 1/2. Some of the overworld map encounters were simple fights, but others were effectively short stories, and it is something I always loved.

 

One of the things, I think, that really sets a good 'world' setting apart from a fantastic one, is how much detail is placed on the detail to tertiary story/historical potentials. This is often over looked in many games, or done in a very clumsy, clunky way.

 

EG, you need to head to Brackentorch to gain the spectral sphere which will help defeat the mighty olden grakh. Upon entering Brackentorch you find a small girl pittiously begging for medicine for her dying mother. Etc etc etc.

 

While this adds a bit of flesh to this area, you were going here anyway, and the only reason there is a little quest here is to add some fake depth to this area not to the world and setting. Games are often disjointed this way, and traveling serves only as a way to grind out levels between cities, and keep you stocked up on gold to buy more armor at city ABC while doing numerous side fetch quests that are materialy meaningless in the case of the world before you head into dungeon XYZ.

 

One of the things I loved about the fallout series was that while you needed to visit most of the cities, there was real substance to each location. Travelling was dangerous, but often led to some funny moments, or caravans being attacked, random farm houses, etc. There was a real sense that this world was 'living' and regardless of your travel to and from a location, things were happening outside of your merry band of misfits.

 

I truly hope, and I have faith that they will keep this in mind while writing and designing the game. These folks generally are not known for a lack of depth or care when designing, and I expect to see a high quality game from all aspects, inside and outside of the major city hubs, and story dungeons.

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Another example would be me meeting a thug in a dark alley, the next time I go there, the thug might be there with his gang.

 

How would he accomplish this? I'm guessing after attacking you in an alley he is most likely dead. Now, if next time he's a ghost of himself - this would be a blast.

 

If you kill him, it would be kind of difficult for him to come back. I was thinking that you may have intimidated or in another non-lethal way dealt with him. He'd then try to get revenge when he gets the chance.

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Another example would be me meeting a thug in a dark alley, the next time I go there, the thug might be there with his gang.

 

How would he accomplish this? I'm guessing after attacking you in an alley he is most likely dead. Now, if next time he's a ghost of himself - this would be a blast.

 

If you kill him, it would be kind of difficult for him to come back. I was thinking that you may have intimidated or in another non-lethal way dealt with him. He'd then try to get revenge when he gets the chance.

 

Naah, if a thug jumps me in an alley he's signing his death warrant. I'm going Mister T on him and pity the fool for trying to rob me.

 

But in your example it's possbile for that outcome to come to pass. Would be even interesting to see it fork a bit: kill the guy - he comes as a ghost. Don't kill him - he comes back with his big brother. And if this kind of non-linearity exists in a random encounter - it just really shows that developers care.

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I want each encounter to be unique, random or not. Let's say I enter a forest and get attacked by five wolves and their pack leader, the next time I reach that place, maybe there could be more dangerous animals there, or maybe poachers.

 

Another example would be me meeting a thug in a dark alley, the next time I go there, the thug might be there with his gang.

I'm fine with this sort of thing, but random encounters would need to have a pay-off or it just becomes something to avoid. If it isn't something you can avoid, then it's not really random.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Storm of Zehir attempted to handle overland map exploration similarly to Fallout 1 and 2. Unfortunately, the random encounters occurred a bit too often for many players' tastes, and were almost exclusively generic groups of enemies with little else awaiting you but combat. Skills like Survival and Search gave you the opportunity to stumble upon caches of gold or equipment, but became just as repetitive after a while.

 

While random encounters can sometimes be fun, there are two things they should not be: too frequent and too generic.

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What about a certain type of random encounter that has specific impact upon the game world?

 

For example, each city has designated trade routes running between them. On these trade routes caravans travel back and forward between destinations. These caravans may be attacked by random mobs and you may have the chance of assisting them. The real world implications of this are numerous.

 

Firstly, a caravan that is attacked and not assisted will mean a shortage of supplies being delivered to its destination. This may decrease the availability of goods at that location and drive prices higher. Secondly, you could simply take advantage of the situation, kill the mobs and take the loot for yourself. Thirdly you could even attack these caravans yourself, essentially making you a bandit. This would make you wanted by authorities but would provide you with material rewards.

 

Another example may be smaller settlements being attacked by mobs. Each settlement would have its own militia to fend off the attackers however they may not always succeed. This could result in settlements being totally destroyed if no assistance is provided by the player.

A player might assist in defending a settlement, then pursue the attacking, let’s say goblins, back to their lair. This would then involve a dungeon crawl to destroy their leader and scatter their forces.

 

I think in this way, these kinds of encounters don’t feel like generic task based or combat based situations. The encounter would have actual implications to the game and provide you with the satisfaction, or grief, of your decisions within said encounter.

 

I’m certainly not proposing that this kind of encounter be the be-all-end-all encounter system, but it could be implemented to add more depth and value to the game.

 

Also, I think it would be a nice touch to have some encounters dependant on the game time. It may be typically unsafe to travel between towns by night for example, as bandits and highwaymen are more frequent. This would also bring more meaning to the day / night system.

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A couple of interesting types of encounters I liked in Oblivion was the athletics trainer who was always out running on the roads ... kinda funny to watch her run on by ... although it wasn't as much fun when you actually needed her and were trying to find her ;) ... I also liked the guards wandering around in the wilderness ... it was interesting to watch them fighting with bears or monsters (a good safe way to loot a dead guard or dead monster or both if the monster killed the guard first :) ) ...

 

the random encounters I didn't like so much were when characters needed for quests were wandering around and got themselves killed (before you got their quests) ... I am not a big fan of the SNAFU (unless I caused it myself, in which case I can take my medicine ;) )

 

One other interesting Oblivion random encounter was if you left your mage castle unlocked up on the mountain and went out adventuring you'd come back to find it full of bandits ... and I mean FULL ... there were about 6-8 of them throughout the building and you had to go hunt them all down ... an interesting encounter and penalty for forgetting to lock your door :biggrin:

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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I really don't like random encounters at all. Whenever I'm travelling, there's a good chance I'm on my way to do something. a random encounter breaks the flow of my game by imposing a hurdle to me for no other reason than to keep me busy. Unless somehow a questline can be derived from the encounter (actually one of the very few things I think DA:O did well) then I suppose there is a greater purpose to it. otherwise they are bothersome distractions that keep me from what I want to do, and waste my time.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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I basically like all random encounters, combat or no. Non-combat ones can be interesting just as combat ones can. Odd things, fights, odd things that turn into fights, people just going about their business -- it's all good.

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First things that actually come to mind from random encounters are Fallouts, so the must've done something right. They had fights (sometimes people attacking you, sometimes people attacking other people, etc), some odd "irrelevant" things which were essentially there as a joke or something (I'd like to say the bridgekeeper here, but if I remember correctly the robe you get is actually not that bad), some random "mini-dungeon" (the vault you get the solar scorcher from), etc.

 

I'm not a huge fan of combat encounters as more often than not they're too generic and too frequent and after a few become a chore and something to be avoided.

 

What I think random encounters should be are short and optional. They shouldn't take you away from your objective for too long and if you don't care for learning about the world or whatnot you should be able to just leave the area and continue on your way.

 

Those are mostly examples of like random encounters you would run into while traveling from place to another (usually on a world map) that come up as separate areas, but other examples could include small encounters you may or may not come across while exploring the "main areas" of the game. I honestly can't remember the good olden days of Baldur's Gate well enough to say for sure, but if my memory serves me right, there were small events like you came across a small secluded graveyard where there was or was not a necromancer attempting to raise an army of undead. Such things could also work well in the setting of PE.

 

Also what I think random encounters should be are plentiful and err.. limited? I mean you wouldn't be able to come across every possible random encounter in a single playthrough. In my opinion that reduces the pokemon mentality (gotta catch them all) and increases replay value.

 

One example of good random encounters that however might not be applicable to PE setting would in my honest opinion have to be the truly random encounters in VtM: Bloodlines while playing a Malkavian, where you might end up having a conversation with an inanimate object. A nice touch.

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I like the BG1/DA:O way, expended upon of course.

 

When travelling between areas those random events *could* happen. Hopefully most triggered by things you have done in the past. Or having some result later on so loading and trying again without event doesn't gain you a thing.

Also, not all combat sounds good.

 

Really big stuff like explorable dungeons, mini-quests etc. shouldn't be done in said areas though.

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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I liked the story you presented, as something that would bring a refreshing amount of depth to some town, though I'm not sure exactly what you mean by referring to it as a random encounter, as it seems that it would be best as something that is simply present in the game (which may be what you meant, just something that doesn't necessarily advance the main plot or reward the character).

 

I'm in support of things like that, and of some actual random encounters such as were present in the Fallout games, as long as they're not too prevalent, which can lead to them feeling like a nuisance. As someone mentioned, many would end up wanting to be able to avoid them, which I think is a good reason to keep them appropriately scarce and to consider that they don't have to be experiences that don't advance your character(s) in some way, though some could be.

"Forsooth, methinks you are no ordinary talking chicken!"

-Protagonist, Baldur's Gate

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