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Random Encounters on a Dusty Road

Are the fantasy RPG characters walking down a dusty road from one place to the next? Here are some ideas for people they might meet to spice up the journey a little.


A pair of dusty warriors are walking slowly towards the party. Their armour, scratched, dented and notched, carries the symbol of a horse on fire set against a black background. Helmed, their eyes are shadowed, and their hands rest lightly on the pommel of their swords. They nod in recognition of the party and move to one side of the road to pass by at a safe distance.

DM Notes

If attacked they stand side by side and fight back effectively. They are individually on a par with the best fighters in the characters party. They will offer parley if they are losing and will fight to the death if this is declined. Equally, if they are winning they will beat the party down and then demand restitution for the unprovoked attack, rather than killing the party.

They are mercenary captains heading home after a successful campaign in the neighbouring kingdom. Their weapons and armour are well used and magical enough that they equal the party level but it will be recognised as belonging to the mercenary group they are members of and will be hard to trade, sell or use without raising questions.

They have little interest in talking with the party but if treated with respect might point out that the road splits ahead and that the left-hand path is the safest (which is true). What lies down the right-hand path that makes it dangerous we leave for you to decide.


A man strolls out of the underbrush ahead with a long pole over his shoulder and seven fish hanging from it. Their scales glisten in the sun and they have clearly been caught recently. The man crosses the path, heading for another smaller side path that looks like it will lead back the way the party have come.

DM Notes

  1. He will be willing to sell three of the fish to the party for a reasonable sum. The others are food for his family that night.

  2. If attacked he will offer his fish for his life. He’s a fisherman and can offer little resistance. He is also well-liked by his village and if he goes missing they will search for him. Should they find he has been slain then they will notify the authorities and seek justice.

  3. If asked where the fish came from he will describe how to get to a lake that is full of fish and, if the party have been pleasant to them, he will warn them about Ratzogorn, the demon that lives in the water – a water beast that must be paid tribute to or it will attack without mercy.


Ahead the path curves and around it walks an angel. He is bare-chested, muscular and carrying a large sword unsheathed. His eyes are golden orbs and his feathers seem to reflect and refract the sunlight creating a dazzling rainbow effect.

He pays the party no heed and continues to march straight past them.

DM Notes

The angel is on a mission of judgement and has no interest in wasting time with anyone who isn’t the focus of his mission.

The angel mostly ignores the party although if it contains an infernal creature or an individual who has committed a deeply immoral act the angel will, whilst walking past them, look at them sternly, and say ‘Later.’ He will also nod in recognition to any deeply religious or morally sound characters.

If such a character were to beseech the angel of healing of an injury or ailment there is a 25% chance that the angel will agree. By laying his hands on the afflicted the angel can cure any ailment and restore up to 50% of a creature’s health points. It will not raise the dead. Whether this is because it cannot or will not is unknown.

If the party feel suicidal and attack the angel, he will ignore their blows, and simply fly up into the air, nullifying any magical attempts to prevent him from escaping. As he vanishes out of sight, impossibly, the characters hear in their heads the warning ‘Judgement will come.’

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Manipulation: The Grinning Frog team


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