|HK Monster Compendium|
Josiah has compiled all the monsters from the compendium, assigned them relative challenge ratings, and cross-referenced them by region or terrain to create a system for randomly generating an encounter's-worth of monsters, adjusted to match both the area you're in, the number of players in your party, and the difficulty you're looking for - and he has produced it as an automated Excel spreadsheet and a PDF of random dice tables for those who want to manually roll. Josiah has generously allowed me to present this delightful tool on my blog. He calls it a Monster List, but as you'll quickly find out, it is so much more powerful than that! By pairing up this encounter generation system with Justin's Monster Compendium, you can now effortlessly create any number of monster encounters for your Hero Kids games.
|Josiah's Monster List - Excel|
|Josiah's Monster List - PDF|
The Monster List Encounter Generator in Action
I believe this system is so robust it can create the foundation for a whole adventure as well. To prove this, and to satisfy my gleeful exuberance for Josiah's extremely cool encounter tables, I'm going to show right here how easy it is to use and how it's output can then be fleshed out into a full fledged adventure. I will assume two Heroes for my adventure, thus each encounter needs 8 points of Monsters. Also, I've decided my adventure will have five encounters with varying location types to mix things up.
- Encounter One will start with an "Any" location. I roll on the chart until I meet or exceed 8 points of Monsters. I get a Brigand Archer (3 pts), and a Knight Blaggard (5 pts).
- Encounter Two is in a Forest, giving me a Weasel Warrior (4 pts), Hissing Snake (2 pts), and a Coot (5 pts).
- Encounter Three moves into the Mountains with a Tengu Slinger (3 pts), Tengu Groundling (2 pts), and a Tengu Archer (4 pts).
- Encounter Four takes place in a Castle, so we are facing a Guard (4 pts), and two Guard Nightwatch (2 pts each).
- Encounter Five is also in the Castle and is the Big Boss showdown, so we're upping the points total to 13, and our opponents are a Guard Sharpshooter (4 pts), two Guard Nightwatch (2 pts each), a Guard (4 pts), and a Guard Spear Bearer (3 pts).
All of this is just a skeletal framework for an adventure though, now we need a story to hang it on and some story-based motivations to entice the players to take part in it. So let's spin a story to tie this together...
The Duke's Family Jewels
A Hero Kids adventure for two players
|The Rusty Nail - inequity on tap|
Journeying through the forest towards the mountains, the party is beset upon by a Coot, his pet snake, and his Weasel Warrior companion. They aren't associated with the thieves, but they aren't friendly to anyone travelling through "their" woods either. Defeating them doesn't provide any useful information, although some food or healing potions might be suitable loot. If the players are KO'd by the Coot and his companions, they will awaken at the edge of the forest near the mountains, minus any food or healing potions and with a note pinned to their chest warning them to stay out of the forest.
|I swear I saw something moving up ahead...|
If the Tengu join forces with the Heroes, then they will conduct the advance attack on the keep, allowing the players to skip Encounter Four and go straight for the leaders of the whole thieves organisation. If the Heroes reach the keep on their own, they are faced with a small stone keep whose gatehouse tower has collapsed long ago, leaving a simple walled courtyard with essentially a large archway as the entrance. In the courtyard is a two story keep which has its upper story half ruined, leaving just the ground floor usable by the thieves. The courtyard itself is guarded by two Nightwatch Guards and their Guard leader. Obviously, they won't welcome you with open arms...
|Once this was a nice place I'm sure.|
There you have it, add in a few maps, npc names, and other such details and you have a nice little adventure for two players, courtesy of Justin's Monster Compendium and Josiah's Encounter Generator. All you need to do is spin a plausible yarn to connect the dots so to speak! Try it yourself, you'll have a blast coming up with explanations for each of your encounter results.