Today begins the first step in my effort to apply the template I designed yesterday to encounters in The Ascalon Horror. Well, the first and only step I suppose, which is actually applying it to the encounters I’m writing. I guess that isn’t as dramatic as I hoped it would sound. It means my posting today will be slower.

I have the third session of D&D Encounters to look forward to tonight. This time, in anticipation of a few new players desiring characters, but not being familiar with the materials in question and not wanting a fast-play character for whatever reason (I enjoyed the one I used…), I’ve “rolled up” a few of my own to distribute.

Something snagged in the back of my mind about the difference in encounters, so I figured it was time to look up the word in a dictionary.

Definitions taken from The Free Dictionary.

Encounter
1. A meeting, especially one that is unplanned, unexpected, or brief.
2a. A hostile or adversarial confrontation; a contest.
2b. An often violent meeting; a clash.

Confrontation
2a. A conflict involving armed forces.
2b. Discord or a clash of opinions and ideas.

Contest
1. A struggle for superiority or victory between rivals.

Clash
2. A conflict, as between opposing or irreconcilable ideas.
3. An encounter between hostile forces; a battle or skirmish.

I followed the word and its meaning back through several of its synonyms to get an idea of what might be suggested in its usage throughout roleplaying games and such. You’ll see, I also grabbed definitions from Confrontation, Contest, and Clash to put side-by-side. So, what is an encounter? What sort of impact should it have?