If you have to call them monsters go ahead, but I’m not comfortable with that. By and large I’d rather used terms like “animals”, “plants”, “creatures”, or even “people”. A word like monster just gives us a certain idea of how we’re supposed to handle them and I don’t like that sort of thinking.
Now there are monsters in DJ, but they’re better known as the “monstrous”. A monstrous creature being one who qualifies as a monster. Basically a one of a kind sort of thing most often with what we would call a monstrous quality; cruelty, rapacity, and the like. You don’ t really get that in Dangerous Journeys with the exception of such as the undead, the unalive, or a demonic creature. A vampire whether mundane, preternatural, or supernatural is an example of a monster in this system.
That said in DJ an encounter is simply a meeting between two parties and how that goes depends on the parties in question. Are tje parties friendly? Are they hostile? Are they suspicious or even defensive. Do they even know about each other, or for that matter even become aware of each other. I’ve had times in real life when people have walked right on by without blinking an eye. Just preoccupied I guess. And for more people than you would think actually having an encounter comes as a surprise to them. It has for me.
So in Dangerous Journeys having an encounter often comes down to, did they notice. The mechanic here is really very simple.
- The guide determines for his party if they noticed the players’ party and if the players’ party noticed his. He does this by rolling against the better of their respective Perception, Notice sub-areas. So if his roll is a 39 and some members of either party have a 39 or better Notice, then they noticed and can react. Those who didn’t are surprised and can’t react. You could have a situation where an elf and an orc are left looking at each other and wondering just what the heck is going on in a session of Chivalry.
Orc: Why are they yelling and screaming?
Elf: I think they’re trying to kill each other.
So the first step is finding out if you actually have an encounter, and that means learning if the two sides actually do notice each other.
Now I’ve got things to think about, such as how to explain how I think it best to handle an encounter, and for that I need to do some reading and some thinking. If you have some ideas on how to handle an encounter feel free to add your thoughts in a comment below.