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The Game Master’s Book of Random Encounters

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For many tabletop RPG players, the joy of an in-depth game is that anything can happen. Typical adventure modules include a map of the adventure’s primary location, but every other location-whether it's a woodland clearing, a random apothecary or the depths of a temple players elect to explore-has to be improvised on the fly by the Game Master.

As every GM knows, no matter how many story hooks, maps or NPCs you painstakingly create during session prep, your best-laid plans are often foiled by your players' whims, extreme skill check successes (or critical fails) or their playful refusal to stay on task. In a game packed with infinite possibilities, what are GMs supposed to do when their players choose those for which they're not prepared?

The Game Master’s Book of Random Encounters provides an unbeatable solution. This massive tome is divided into location categories, each of which can stand alone as a small stop as part of a larger campaign.

As an example, the “Taverns, Inns, Shops & Guild Halls” section includes maps for 19 unique spaces, as well as multiple encounter tables designed to help GMs fill in the sights, sounds, smells and proprietors of a given location, allowing for each location in the book to be augmented and populated on the fly while still ensuring memorable moments for all your players. Each map is presented at scale on grid, enabling GMs to determine exactly where all of the characters are in relation to one another and anyone (or anything) else in the space, critical information should any combat or other movement-based action occur.

Perhaps more useful than its nearly 100 maps, the book's one-shot generator features all the story hooks necessary for GMs to use these maps as part of an interconnected and contained adventure. Featuring eight unique campaign drivers that lead players through several of the book's provided maps, the random tables associated with each stage in the adventure allow for nearly three million different outcomes, making The Game Master's Book of Random Encounters an incredible investment for any would-be GM.

The book also includes a Random NPC Generator to help you create intriguing characters your players will love (or love to hate), as well as a Party Makeup Maker for establishing connections among your PCs so you can weave together a disparate group of adventurers with just a few dice rolls.

Locations include taverns, temples, inns, animal/creature lairs, gatehouses, courts, ships, laboratories and more, with adventure hooks that run the gamut from frantic rooftop chases to deep cellar dungeon-crawls, with a total of 97 maps, more than 150 tables and millions of possible adventures. No matter where your players end up, they'll have someone or something to persuade or deceive, impress or destroy.

As always, the choice is theirs. But no matter what they choose, with The Game Master's Book of Random Encounters, you'll be ready.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (11)
Customer avatar
Albert R October 01, 2022 3:55 am UTC
Is this book 5e compatible?
Customer avatar
Charles S July 21, 2022 3:17 am UTC
The Presto Change-O adventure lists several potions with no stats. "Potion of enlarge" for instance. Are these something you are supposed to create yourself out of the spell descriptions, or am I missing something? Potion of Haste... and I'm sure there was another, but I can't remember it.
Customer avatar
Kyra A December 18, 2022 1:46 pm UTC
If you're using it on VTT, you can either create the item or have a generic NPC "cast" the potion's spell on the PC to get the same mechanical effects without building the item
Customer avatar
Charles S January 05, 2023 8:54 pm UTC
I'm just looking for what each of them is based on. The names do not all align to a specific spell.
Customer avatar
Joseph A March 08, 2022 6:46 pm UTC
Completely awesome book, discovered it in a Barnes and Noble!
Customer avatar
Dylan M February 16, 2022 9:00 pm UTC
I've purchased the hardcover from Amazon, is there anyway I can use the PDF version of the book?
Seems a little strange buying a more premium product but being locked out of the digital version.
Customer avatar
Richard H January 24, 2022 11:26 am UTC
Where's the cheaper softcover, standard print version?
Customer avatar
Chris H October 18, 2021 2:19 am UTC
I bought the hardcover, used the wounded rogue location very next session, bought pdf now
Customer avatar
Jean M September 19, 2021 4:56 pm UTC
I bought a hardcover version of this (not on DTRPG, obviously) and I *love* it. And I'm not easily impressed. It is very well-written, the scenarios are very flexible, and it can really add a lot to any game, of any system -- not necessarily even fantasy. I would recommend this without hesitation.
Customer avatar
Steven B April 22, 2021 10:58 pm UTC
Is there somewhere I can see a sample or two before I buy?
Customer avatar
Steve R February 28, 2021 9:49 pm UTC
I've looked all over for the map pack. Surely there is one, right? If not, well... hint, hint!
Customer avatar
Michael S July 09, 2021 2:18 am UTC
There is one now!
Customer avatar
tarrieu E February 27, 2021 5:02 pm UTC
There is no hardcover ? Such a beautiful book need a hardcover.
Customer avatar
Jeremie C March 04, 2021 2:47 am UTC
For what it's worth, the hardcover is available from various online retailers (Amazon, Indigo, etc). I received a copy as a gift through Amazon.
Customer avatar
David R February 25, 2021 4:00 pm UTC
I just recently got the hardcover book as a gift and I'm really loving it! Is there any way I can get the maps for VTT use without having to buy the PDF book? Thanks!
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File Last Updated:
February 22, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on February 23, 2021.
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