Building Encounters

We take the next step in our GM 101 course… to GM 102 where we look at building encounters that your players will still feel epic facing but not necessarily die in the first second.


So what is an encounter? An encounter is essentially a moment in an adventure that can be as long or as short as it needs to be. Its where a slew of actions take place and in general storytelling is where the big moments take place. It is a chance for conflicts to occur, resolve, or dramatic moments to take place. So lets take a look at how you can go about building an encounter for your tabletop session.


Key Points

  • How do you manage the challenge?
  • How do you use random chance when you can’t count on it?
  • My Encounters are equal to or more than my PC’s (Player Characters)
  • Ignore stats but use flavour for your monsters
  • Focus on enjoyment rather than math
  • You must learn to adapt your encounters
  • You Must judge the enjoyment and work it
  • Learn to vary combat duration
  • Don’t be bullied
  • It’s your house, so it’s your rules
  • You decide the modifiers, you are the game master / dungeon master
  • Don’t forget monsters have feelings too!
  • Plot out encounters and have hand some notes
  • Avoid number crunching or over / under whelming
  • How to allocate treasure / loot
  • Judge what is needed
  • Encounter builders often assume treasure / loot in their calculations
  • Scaling encounters allows for diverse characters

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