After the ease I found building an encounter table for the ruins of Vor Rukoth, I was surprised when I encountered a familiar problem building an encounter table for Gloomwrought: how to represent the dangers.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday reflecting on my Cornerstones project (and trying to figure out how I was going to fill my encounter table).

Gloomwrought is a city intended for ‘paragon tier’ play but I couldn’t find monsters appropriate for urban encounters.

Now admittedly, Gloomwrought is lacking in monsters for mid-tier play: it has numerous factions of high-level shadowborn humans and demihumans intended to fill the role of monsters. And that’s what I’m going to have to use.

But it brings me back to the purpose of the Cornerstones project. Creating ‘blocks’ of related monsters that can be dropped into encounter tables without requiring extensive research beforehand.

It will help that I’m starting to build deliberately high-level encounter tables. That should help me figure out what’s needed, and where.

Some monsters are deliberately high-level and out of reach for most of the campaign. Some, can and should be used often, like dragons.

Which reminds me of the encounters I ran on Friday using my Vor Rukoth table and random agendas:

– A fomorian with a cambion slave. The first group the party encountered was a fomorian leading a cambion in chains.

The group decided that fomorians and slavery are bad, and freed the cambion from its magical bonds. Just before the cambion plane-shifted away, it told them to look him up if they were ever in Sigil.

– A vrock hunting an adventuring party. Near the center of town, the group bumped into a party of elves fleeing the ruins.

The party tried unsuccessfully to hail the elves and shots are fired before the elves finally escaped. The vrock found the party considerably more interesting and attacked them instead.

– A ‘local’ salamander. As the players were passing by a ruined bank occupied by treasure hunters, they were greeted pleasantly by a salamander in a smoking jacket with a pipe.

The players attempted to negotiate lodging with the creature (and the nearby guards) but alas, none of them spoke the elemental language of fire.

– A ‘helpful’ ancient black dragon. As the players neared their goal, an ancient black dragon swooped down and offered them a job.

Given the party’s average level was…3rd, they pretty much couldn’t refuse. The dragon escorted them past their goal, to its lair in the sunken part of town, and described to them a job. Then it had one of its young black dragon spawn escort the PCs back out of town to rest for the night.

It was a pretty good evening.