Runequest Thursday #202 - Encounter Tables and Critters for The Big Rubble: North!

Clint Staples

SInce the Brightwater Company is currently on the run after a moderately successful raid against the Xaragang Troll clan in the Big Rubble, I thought it might be useful to create a set of Encounter Tables for their "Escape". In hot pursuit are a dozen trolls and their attendant trollkin, as well as several giant dragonflies with trollkin riders and slingers. Given their current position - which is marked on the map of the Big Rubble (© Chaosium) in the header for this post - they can run into the Huntland (for which The Big Rubble [also © Chaosium]) has an encounter table, or into the Furner Fields, for which I made my own. I present it to you now.

This table goes well beyond being a simple list of creatures. Most entries have one or more options to determine the details, beyond a randomizer for numbers. All include a set of possible Motivations for the encounter, which you may choose or roll as you like. Many of the entries are linked to creatures I have created, so you just need to click through and you have all the full write-up for that encounter.


Encounter Table – Furner Fields, Quarry, Temple Hill


There is a 60% chance of an encounter each hour of travel. On a Special result, choose the encounter that you want. On a Critical, roll twice and decide how the two encounters become one.

Roll 1d20 below for the encounter specifics. See details below, and click links to ful write-ups.

  1. Praxian Warband
  2. Pride of Daggerfangs
  3. Trolls
  4. Illshadow – Scout for Gargaras Gang
  5. Jackalope Pack
  6. Mammoth herd
  7. Krampus
  8. Outlaws
  9. Rubble Runner Mound
  10. Morokanth Slavers
  11. Scorpionids
  12. Terrorbird Pack
  13. Giant Condors
  14. Wild Llama Herd
  15. Grizelda’s Adventurers
  16. Hermit’s Hovel
  17. Sorcery Cabal
  18. Baboon Troupe
  19. Ghouls
  20. Jagged Monolith



  • Praxian Warband – a Band of 1d6+3 Praxian Nomads (roll for tribe, or choose), centered around a Khan, Shaman  or Priest/Preistess (Roll 1d6: 1-2: Waha khan, 3: Eiritha Preistess, 4: Daka Fal Priest/ Shaman, 5: Stormbull Khan, 6: Outsider (roll 1d6: 1-2: Orlanth, 3: Gagarthi, 4: Yelmalio). Motivation (roll 1d6): 1-3: Quest, 4-5: Hunting, 6:
  • Pride of Daggerfangs – 1d4+2 adult Daggerfangs. Motivation (roll 1d6): 1-3: at rest, 4-5: Actively Hunting, 6: Hunting and in Hiding.
  • Trolls: 1d4+1 dark trolls (roll 1d6 for Cult: 1-3: Kyger Litor, 4: Zorak Zoran, 5: Gorakiki Dragonfly, 6: Argan Argar) 1d8 Trollkin; If Zorak Zoran, replace 2 trollkin with one Great troll. If Gorakiki, replace 1d3 trollkin with giant Dragonflies. Motivation (roll 1d6): 1-3 Actively Hunting, 4: Raiding the Quarry, 5: Quest,  6: On Patrol.
  • Illshadow – Corrupted Unicorn Rider of Yelorna, and scout for Gargaras’ Chaos Gang. Illshadow will fight at a distance, outside of spell range, shooting with her bow to deadly effect, ideally crippling one or more targets, before riding off to get the rest of the gang, who will then take up the hunt an hour or so later.
  • Jackalope Pack – 2d6 Jackalope. Motivation: Hunting.
  • Mammoth herd – 1d6 mammoth matrons, with 1d3 young. 30% chance of a young bull in the area. Motivation: Grazing.
  • Krampus – Doomed followers, roll 1d6: 1-3: None, 4: 1 Doomed, 5: 1d4 Doomed, 6 1d8 Doomed. Motivation: Krampus appears in Dark Season, to corrupt good folk into renouncing their gods and embracing Chaos.
  • Outlaws – 1d8 outlaws (roll 1d6): 1-2: Vicious Ogre birgands, 3-4: Orlanthi driven from Pavis by the Lunar declaration of Orlanthi prohibition, now living in the ruins of Pavis. 5-6: Assorted raiders and outlaws looking for victims to ransack.
  • Rubble Runner Mound – Like a termite mound, but rising nearly 20 feet, and broader, with holes in the base, the top and the general area. Home to 4d10 rubble runners, which hunt the area in packs of 1d6, screeching when they find something worth attacking (every 1d6 rounds, another 1d6 runners arrives).
  • Morokanth Slavers – 1d6 Morokanth, 2d4 hardened Mercenaries/ Slavers, 1d8 slaves. Motivation (roll 1d6): Actively Hunting for Slaves, 4-6: Traveling to Pavis.
  • Scorpionids – 1d4+1 Greater Scorpionids, 1d6+2 Lesser Scorpionids, 30% chance of 1d4 Scorpion men. Motivation: Hunting in Hiding, Spotting for prey, which they will attempt to capture alive to return to their warren for proper sacrificial feast.
  • Terrorbird Pack – 1d8 Terrorbirds, hunting.
  • Giant Condors – 1d4 giant condors wheeling lazily overhead some way off. Roll again on the Encounter Table to see what has died and attracted their attention.  
  • Wild Llama Herd – 2d20 llama, grazing.
  • Grizelda’s Adventurers – The famed runelady of Orlanth, as well as 1d6 seasoned Lightbringer companions. Motivation (roll 1d6: 1-3: Quest, 4-6: In Camp).
  • Hermit’s Hovel – Spot Hidden to notice the crude hovel made of rubble and scavenged materials. This hermit is certainly mad, but roll 1d4 for further details: 1: Harmless and pathetic. 2: Ex-Cultist (chose a cult represented by one of the PCs. This fellow was once a respectable cultist, until something drove him mad. 3: Broken Hero: This once proud hero is all but unrecognizable from his time of glory. He may be unsavable, he may be under a curse, or Illuminated, or lovesick. 4: The Madness of Chaos: Chaos drove this poor wretch beyond what he could withstand, but now he is a malevolent monster in the filthy skin of a man. If he has a chaos feature, it is one that may be hidden until the reveal.
  • Sorcery Cabal – a cabal of 2d6 sorcerers of various ranks has found the remains of an old carvanserie, far from prying eyes. Roll 1d6 for the Coven: 1: Vermis Custodes, 2: Cabal of Luck and Death, 3: Order of the Silver Moon, 4: The Dread Chalice, 5-6: The Circle of Skulls. Though none particularly want interruptions, depending on the Cabal, each will undoubtedly greet interlopers differently.
  • Baboon troupe – 2d10 Baboons, led by a senior Foundchild Hunter and a Daka Fal Shaman. Motivation (roll 1d6): 1-3 Foraging, 4-5: At rest, 6: Hunting.
  • Ghouls – 1d4+3 ghouls, lurking in an isolated cluster of ruin. There is a 50% chance they have a meal already, in which case they hide so as not to be disturbed in their feast. If not, they will hide, attacking if they are not detected, running if they are seen. If they outnumber their prey, they will attack even if seen.
  • Jagged Monolith – This 30 foot octagonal monolith of red stone was once taller. Now its broken crown leans as if it will topple to the ground and scatter the pile of debris and offerings at the base. There is a 50% chance that the monolith has attracted attention, roll 1d6: 1: Morokanth Slavers use the monolith as a trading post, 2: The Sorcery Cabal has taken note of it as a place of power, and will defend it, 3: The Ghouls prowl the area, because occasionally snacks are found chained to the blackened rings affixed around it, 4: This Monolith is cursed, and is responsible for the Mad Hermit’s madness (might be a chaos stone to Cacodaemon or Primal Chaos, might be the site of a revelatory new Rune, that can blast the mind of the weak), 5: Scorpionids lurk in the area, drawn to the monolith when it glows red, and preying upon the unfortunates who seem to step from the solid stone, 6: Quest Locale: This is the site to which any of the “questors” are traveling, either because of rumors they have heard, or because they know it to be crucial to their Heroquest.


Motivation Table:

  • Hunting: This is either Actively Hunting (moving about, stalking prey, etc), or Hunting in Hiding (lying in wait to ambush, in a blind cover). If Active, roll Spot Hidden. If in Hiding, roll Spot Hidden vs. Hide.
  • Quest – Actively traveling to, or engaging in some quest or mission appropriate to the situation and questors, who may or may not welcome interruption. There is a 40% chance that one or more of the participants are Rune levels, and a further 30% chance that they are engaging in a Heroquest. If any questors or Heroquestors need a location to seek, See #20, Jagged Monolith.
  • Raiding the Quarry – Trolls raiding the Quarry is not uncommon, as trolls send in trollkin to distract, then hope to pick off Mostali, humans, or animals fleeing the assault.
  • Traveling to Pavis – Travelers to Pavis generally are not in the mood for trouble, and will mind their own business unless attacked.