RPG Blog Carnival – February 2017 – RETHINK ENCOUNTERS

For the first time ever, Tabletop Terrors is hosting the RPG Blog Carnival.

We’re honored to be the February 2017 host, and we’re genuinely looking forward to connecting with other incredible tabletop RPG bloggers.

What is the Blog Carnival?

The RPG Blog Carnival is a way for a group of tabletop RPG bloggers to simultaneously write about the same topic – being unified in our efforts, yet eclectic in our advice. As the host this month, we’ll be choosing the topic, and inviting any and all RPG blogs to post their articles in the comments below. If you’ve written something as part of the Carnival, then please leave a comment and a link below in the comments, so everyone can read your contribution. (Our first contribution to the topic can be found in the comments as well.)

February Blog Carnival Topic: Rethinking Encounters

As hosts of the February RPG Blog Carnival, the topic we’ve chosen is Rethinking Encounters. Seemingly generic at first, though this topic can sound deceptively simple, it’s also one of the single biggest conundrums that Game Masters face every time they prep a session. The term is also suffering from a bit of baggage, borrowed context, and assumptions in Game Masters everywhere. Let’s break those fetters, and rethink encounters anew in 2017.

Some topics you can explore in the Rethinking Encounters Carnival:

  • Inventive ways to come up with encounters
  • Redefining what an encounter is
  • Encounter challenge tuning
  • Tools to enhance encounters
  • Making encounters memorable
  • Encounter best practices

Inventive ways to come up with encounters – Every Game Master has a pocket full of tools they use to build their encounters. Share your method with the rest of us.

Redefining what an encounter is – We all have our own definition of what an encounter is or isn’t. By sharing what your definition is (or isn’t), we can all stretch ourselves and learn a thing or two.

Encounter challenge tuning – We’ve all had encounters that surprised us by going the opposite of what we expected. Whether  they either trounced too quickly, or nearly killed the players, let’s discuss how you decide the challenge of the encounters you build.

Tools to enhance encounters – We’ve all got some nifty tables, lists, matrixes and charts. Share some, and tell us how you use these tools to enhance your encounters.

Making encounters memorable – What are some ways that we can avoid the desensitization of similar challenges? They can’t all be fisticuffs over an open volcano, so what do you use to make your encounters more memorable?

Encounter best practices – What are the inalienable truths you’ve learned building encounters? What are your best practices that you couldn’t get by without?

The topic of rethinking encounters is important because encounters are needed so often. By laser focusing in on this, and pushing ourselves to expand our thought processes, we’ll all walk away from this month’s blog carnival rethinking encounters in 2017.

Welcome to the RPG Blog Carnival, February 2017.

Check out more about the RPG Blog (including the archives) Carnival here.


Here is our first contribution to the blog carnival. http://tabletopterrors.com/dd-encounter-creation-get-ideas-immediately/

Here is a contribution as well


Here’s my contribution. I talk about how I look at the scenes when building an adventure or session

[…] part of this month’s RPG Blog carnival hosted over at Tabletop Terrors, here’s a great resource for […]

Here’s a scoop on a cool encounter building tool.


Hello, and thanks for hosting! Great topic! Here ya go: http://leicestersramble.blogspot.com/2017/02/tabletop-terrors-is-hosting-this-months.html

I talked about one of my encounter design techniques a couple months ago, so I thought I’d try out your Mission Statement technique for my submission to the Carnival:


Man, that formula/mission statement to build encounters is just AWESOME. Yeah, with capitals.

Those Kearney Brothers, whoever they are, deserve some serious XP.

And a second blog for this topic discussing scene exits!

[…] 5 Room Dungeons book called Intensify. I’ll share it with you now as it fits right in with this month’s RPG Blog Carnival theme on rethinking encounters. Use this to make encounters come alive, surprise the PCs, and keep […]

Dude, I’m 154th to reply to your question, there are some really crazy ideas in there, hahaha

[…] RPG Blog Carnival theme is “Rethinking encounters”. DM in charge at “Tabletop Terrors” proposes a few topics, such as inventive ways to come up with encounters, tools to enhance […]

I confess I had to read some entries to figure out exactly how to collaborate with this month’s Carnival. Here I share my entry: “5 ideas to re-engineer your encounters”.


one last entry, in under the wire…

In under the wire, but a final small entry to the theme: a brief discussion on creating and organizing a matrix for the relationships of various factions in a setting.


(Disregard if this is a multiple post)

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