Planned Encounters

Is it just me, or are the best random encounters not truly random?

In our WFRP 2e game, the party was merrily tacking upriver just trying to get from one location to another. Out of nowhere, in the middle of the night, the boat was attacked by skaven. It seemed like the attack was completely random, and we almost lost my ogre bodyguard and the ship ran aground as nobody manned the rudder. From our point of view, the GM rolled "Skaven" on a random encounter chart.

However, a sitting or two later we found out that a passenger on board was carrying warpstone, unbeknownst to everyone else. Therefore attack was in no way random, and we were able to look back and have an "ah-ha" moment.

It was oddly disjointed, but not completely inappropriate, when the skaven attacked. This is the feel for many random encounters rolled by GMs. However, linking it back to the warpstone shows just how planned the encounter was. It was actually a clue to the bigger mystery. It was possible we could have followed the reason for the attack like a detective on the prowl. It would have changed the results of our actions significantly.

Random encounters work the best when they are tied into the adventure somehow. At that point, as they truly random? I guess that depends on whether the GM rolls a random encounter and then finds a way to tie it in or if the GM creates the random encounter chart with little bits already tied in.

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