Here’s 100 non-combat random city encounters for mid-level characters. Enjoy.
1) A car passes, slows down, then honks its horn. The driver leans out the window and yells. “Go back to the sky, ya bird lovers!” He then peels off.
2) Alonzo, the local crime leader for the West Side, needs the players help with a little problem. He needs gardening advice, but he’s really secretive about it.
3) A woman named Maria stops the players and asks for directions. She is a bit confused. She says her real name is Samantha, but she is pretty sure she is Maria. She was a little stunned during a car accident, and she has a nasty cut on her forehead. She seems a bit confused, but not crazy.
4) A puppy wanders up and nuzzles the largest player.
5) Two cats walk by, ignoring the players completely.
6) A woman singing an old Irish song walks by.
7) A truck drives by with really loud music. There’s a sign for a construction company on the side. It has one of those How is My Driving phone numbers on it.
8) A man walks by wearing a shirt that says, “I’m a Mets fan. And I know something you don’t know.” He is crazy.
9) A bus drives by, splashing the players. The Mayor attacked street cleaners to the buses to double-duty for the citizens. They don’t work well. A group of alarmed citizens against robotic bus washers forms. The players are invited to a meeting in a local church basement.
10) An old man with a cane is walking down the street. He remembers everything that happened when he was a kid in this very same neighborhood. He’s a bit senile. The players can learn a lot about the area if they’re patient and kind.
11) An old lady in a bathrobe is walking down the street. She’s clearly been up all night. She says she was out too late celebrating her 80th birthday. If players help her home, her grandson, in his 40s, will pay the players twenty bucks – counterfeit money that he doesn’t know is counterfeit.
12) A policeman stops and congratulates the players on being model citizens. He asks for their names. Oh, wait, you’re the wrong people. Carry on.
13) A turtle has escaped from somewhere and is slowly moving away.
14) Two station wagons smash in the middle of the street. The drivers get out and argue about whose fault it is. Passersby give them a wide berth. Police arrive in a few minutes.
15) A cat is attacking a pigeon on a roof. The pigeon is in trouble. Passersby yell at the cat in a friendly tone, trying to distract the cat. There’s a good chance the cat will come down and attack the people instead of the pigeon. This cat does not mess around.
16) A guy on a unicycle rides by. He’s an ex-con. He talks to the players and asks if they want to get high. He offers them a joint of marijuana. It’s good stuff.
17) A very fat man sits on a bench and watches traffic go by. He has a pad of paper and sketch of a mid-sized city. He’s a master architect and has drawn the city, down to the last detail. He’s taken a break from his drawing to eat a big old sandwich. He tries to talk to the players.
18) A man wearing a suit is walking down the street. When he sees the players, he makes a beeline toward them. He has a small package, and he wants it delivered to a nearby address. He offers five dollars for their trouble. The players can ask to look in the package. It contains a piece of paper with a large “A” printed on it. It is a piece of stationery from a nearby hotel. Hotel stationery and a letter that says, “Dear Alex: I don’t think we should meet here, because I’m afraid we’ll be caught. This week at the Smiling Moose, you know. P.S. The picture arrived. Love always, Esme.”
19) A police car drives by. It stops as soon as it sees the players, and the policeman comes over. He’s looking for a couple of guys. He describes them. The players aren’t those guys. The policeman relaxes and goes back to the car. He drives away.
20) A man and a woman walk by and stop and stare at the players and then whisper to each other. The woman looks like a spy and the man like a secret agent. They’re obviously supposed to be investigating you.
21) A man and a woman talk loudly about the best way to remove graffiti from a building. They aren’t sure what to use. The best way is to wash it away with a power washer. But they don’t have a power washer. Should they use a pressure washer? Maybe they should use a steam cleaner? They talk about this for a long time.
22) A woman hands a man a $10 bill. She was to pay him $5, but she’s making it $10 because he’s so nice.
23) A man is walking down the street with an armload of boxes. He has no idea what’s in them. He thinks he can sell them to a used record store. He is wrong.
24) A family is walking down the street. The father is carrying the baby in a backpack. The mother is walking ahead of the father because she’s too short to walk next to him. The baby is crying, because he hates it in the backpack. The father hates the baby in the backpack because it’s too hard to see where he’s walking.
25) A woman on a cell phone says, “No, all they’re going to do is go look. They’re not going to do anything. No, that’s okay. I’ll call you when they get here.” She hangs up and motions to the players to follow her. She wants to lay a surprise on some guys who were going to pull a prank on her friends.
26) A man sits on a park bench and listens to a police scanner. He listens to a truck get a parking ticket and a coyote get trapped in a trash bin.
31) A cat is stuck in a tree. If the players rescue it, it will hiss then run away.
32) A flock of birds swoops down and hovers over a crowd of people. The birds circle above them, then fly off.
33) A lone pigeon flies by.
34) Three old men argue about who is going to use the one working payphone.
35) A woman is wearing a shirt that says, “Save the whales.”
36) A man wearing a gas mask and carrying a machine gun walks down the street. He’s an exterminator. He’s on his way to an appointment. He has the exterminator on his phone. The exterminator tells him to stop by on the way. He needs to borrow his machine gun.
37) A man and a woman argue. They used to be married. They don’t like each other very much. He’s on his way to work and she’s on her way to a dog show.
38) A man and a woman argue about the proper way to bring up children.
39) A woman wearing a cat costume hands out fliers. She’s trying to draw attention to her cat shelter.
40) A man walks by with a dog on a leash. The dog has one eye.
41) A man walks by with a large snake wrapped around his neck. It’s harmless. He’s a pet store owner. The snake is just trying to get attention.
42) A man walks by with a sign that says, “Will work for food.”
43) A man is walking down the street with a sawed-off shotgun. The police stop him. They threaten to take the gun away. He says, “Come and get it.”
44) A horse in a trailer pulls up. The horse is about to be sold to a slaughterhouse. The horse kicks the trailer.
45) A woman walks by with a large dog. The dog is wearing a tiny hat.
46) An ambulance drives by. It’s in a hurry.
47) Four men sit in a car and argue about the best way to wash a car. It’s a heated argument.
48) Four police cars surround the players. The cops think the players are members of a local gang in disguise. The players have to prove they’re not.
49) Several police cars surround the players. The cops think the players are members of a local gang. The cops have them surrounded. The players have to prove they’re not. The cops say, “Hands on your heads.”
50) A man walks out of a shop that sells alcohol. He’s drunk. He’s carrying a flower. He walks straight into a lamppost.
51) A man walks by with a large dog. It’s a mutt, but it’s friendly. The man will offer to sell it to the players for a can of Camera-Bell’s soup. He swears that brand existed at one time and he wants a can as proof. There is no such brand of soup.
52) The players notice a strange noise like a violin. It gets louder and louder. It gets completely out of control and stops.
53) A man walks by with a drawing of a donkey. He’s an artist and he’s looking for a sponsor. He swears this is a real donkey.
54) A man in a wheelchair walks past. He’s an artist and he’s looking for a sponsor. He swears this is a real wheelchair.
55) A fortune teller approaches the players and offers to read their fortune. It will portend death and destruction. Make the players feel cursed for a bit.
56) A pizza delivery guy arrives with 12 pepperoni and mushroom pizzas with extra cheese. The bill is $200 even without a tip. If players refuse to buy the pizzas, the delivery driver will get offended and punch a player in the face.
57) A man walks by with a cat. It’s a stray, but it won’t attack the players if they try to pet it.
58) A man walks by carrying a crow. He’s a taxidermist and he’s going to a convention.
59) Two women in clown suits stop the players and tell a joke. If players laugh, the women will become offended. If players do not laugh, they will reward them with a coupon for a free clown suit.
60) A man and a woman in business suits stop the players and tell a joke. If players laugh, the woman will kick one of the players in the shins. The man will ask for money no matter what happens. They’re both con artists looking for a new mark.
61) A man walks by with a large snake. It’s not poisonous, but it’s aggressive. The man is looking for a home for it.
62) A man walks by with a cat. He’s a pet store owner. He’s looking for a new home for the cat.
63) Two men are fighting over a parking space. They’re yelling at each other.
64) A woman walks by with a bird. She’s a pet store owner. She’s looking for a new home for the bird.
65) Two fighting dogs are leashed to a shopping cart. The owners are arguing about whose fault it is that the dogs are fighting.
66) Four construction workers are hauling a large television set. They are arguing about what to watch later that night.
67) A woman walks by with a ca following hert. It’s a stray, but it won’t attack the players if they try to pet it.
68) A man walks by with a box full of cockroaches. He wants to set them loose, but he doesn’t know where. He needs help from the players.
69) An old man takes a leak in an alley. He’s drunk. He misses the alley and pees all over the players.
70) A man walks by with a snake under his arm. He’s drunk. The snake is actually a python, but the man thinks it’s a worm. The man has decided to swallow the worm. It’s not a pretty sight.
71) The players notice that everyone they pass is looking at them. When the players turn to look, the people look away. It’s like they’re trying to give the players secret messages with their eyes. It’s at this point that it becomes apparent that everyone the players pass is wearing a yellow hat. This is indeed the case. It’s the secret symbol for the Yellow Hat Society, an underground yellow hat club.
72) Two men with dogs walk by. They’re arguing about the proper way to raise pets.
73) Players are startled by a large, friendly dog. It wasn’t supposed to be there. It must have wandered out of the nearby animal shelter.
74) A man walks past with a “free to good home” poster of a kitten.
75) A woman walks by with a cat. The cat is wearing a tiny hat.
76) An old woman walks by with a bird. She’s on her way out to get cat food for the bird. She will accuse the players of stalking her.
77) Two men arguing about foreign policy stop the players and ask for help. They want to know what the players think about the situation in Afghanistan.
78) A man walks by with a cardboard box. He’s got a parrot in there. He’s looking for a new owner.
79) Two homeless men ask the players for money for their drinking fund.
80) A homeless man walks by drinking a beer. He stops the players and offers them a drink. He’s drinking Old Milwaukee. It’s warm and flat and disgusting.
81) A man and a woman walk by. They’re arguing about which dog should win the next dog show.
82) A woman walks by with a dog dressed in a tiny tuxedo. She’s his handler. He’s on his way to a little dog show.
83) A man walks by with a bag full of rag dolls. He’s looking for buyers.
84) A police officer walks by with a duck on a leash. He’s looking for a new owner.
85) A group of men walk by dressed in tuxedos. Their coats are covered in feathers. They’re all smoking cigars. They’re on their way to a fancy party.
86) A group of men walk by dressed in tuxedos. They are carrying tiny dogs. They are on their way to a fancy party.
87) Three elderly men stop the players and ask for help with their gambling problem.
88) A group of elderly men stop the players and attempt to have a rap battle. They have a book full of rhymes.
89) A man walks by with a big, green parrot on his shoulder. He’s giving the parrot a bath.
90) Three men walk by with a large cage. They’re on their way to a cockfight.
91) Two women are singing as they pass. If players interrupt or say anything, the women will turn on them in a flash. They will curse them in a mix of Italian and Spanish.
92) Four men in trench coats are walking by. They seem to be going to a party or a funeral.
93) Two men argue about football. They’re wearing red and green bandanas, respectively.
94) A group of five businessmen argue over a map. One man wants to go north to get to a meeting. The others want to go south to get to a meeting. They consult the players for help.
95) A two women argue over a third woman. They both claim to be her sister.
96) An old man argues with a young man about a newspaper. The old man wants to read the funnies. The young man wants to read the political section. They’re on the same page.
97) A man walks by with a monkey on his back. He claims it’s his nephew then laughs and rushes off.
98) A man with his head down passes the players. He will brush up against one then apologize. He will do this to everyone.
99) A group of stone-faced men walk by. They are dressed in tuxedos. They all stare at the players. One of them has a bad limp.
100) A man walks by with a box full of squiggly bugs. He’s looking for someone to take them off his hands for ten bucks. They’re rare bugs that should NOT be in this country.
More Random Encounters?
Check out these books I’ve put together. Available on Amazon in ebook and print, there’s three fantasy random tables books available now with more to come soon. You can purchase my random tables books all for a low price.