Random encounter

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A random encounter is a feature commonly used in various role-playing games whereby combat encounters with non-player character (NPC) enemies or other dangers occur sporadically and at random, usually without the enemy being physically detected beforehand. In general, random encounters are used to simulate the challenges associated with being in a hazardous environment—such as a monster-infested wilderness or dungeon—with uncertain frequency of occurrence and makeup (as opposed to a "placed" encounter). Frequent random encounters are common in Japanese role-playing games like Dragon Quest , [1] , Pokémon , and the Final Fantasy series.

Role-playing game Game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting

A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.

A non-player character (NPC), also known as a non-playable character, is any character in a game which is not controlled by a player. In video games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer via algorithmic, predetermined or responsive behavior, but not necessarily true artificial intelligence. In traditional tabletop role-playing games, the term applies to characters controlled by the gamemaster or referee, rather than another player.

Monster creature that is often hideous and may produce fear or physical harm

A monster is often a type of grotesque creature, whose appearance frightens and whose powers of destruction threaten the human world's social or moral order.


Role-playing games

Random encounters—sometimes called wandering monsters—were a feature of Dungeons & Dragons from its beginnings in the 1970s, and persist in that game and its offshoots to this day. Random encounters are usually determined by the gamemaster by rolling dice against a random encounter table. The tables are usually based on terrain (and/or time/weather), and have a chance for differing encounters with different numbers or types of creatures. The results may be modified by other tables, such as whether the encounter is friendly, neutral or hostile. GMs are often encouraged to make their own tables. Specific adventures often have specific tables for locations, like a temple's hallways.

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> Fantasy role-playing game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

A gamemaster is a person who acts as an organizer, officiant for regarding rules, arbitrator, and moderator for a multiplayer role-playing game. They are more common in co-operative games in which players work together than in competitive games in which players oppose each other. The act performed by a gamemaster is sometimes referred to as "Gamemastering" or simply "GM-ing".

Wandering monsters are often used to wear down player characters and force them to use up consumable resources, such as hit points, magic spells and healing potions, as a way of punishing them for spending too much time in a dangerous area.

Player character fictional character in a role-playing or video game that can be played or controlled by a real-world person

A player character is a fictional character in a role-playing game or video game whose actions are directly controlled by a player of the game rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.

A potion is a magical type of liquified medicine or drug.

Video games

Random encounters were incorporated into early role-playing video games and have been common throughout the genre. [2] [3] [4] Placed and random encounters were both used in 1981s Wizardry [5] and by the mid-1980s, random encounters made up the bulk of battles in genre-defining games such as Dragon Warrior , [1] Final Fantasy , and The Bard's Tale . [6] Random encounters happen when the player is traversing the game world (often through the use of a "world map" or overworld). Most often, the player encounters enemies to battle, but occasionally friendly or neutral characters can appear, with whom the player might interact differently than with enemies. Random encounters are random in the respect that players cannot anticipate the exact moment of encounter or what will be encountered, as the occurrence of the event is based on factors such as programmed probabilities; Pseudo-random number generators create the sequence of numbers used to determine if an encounter will happen. The form and frequency can vary depending on a number of factors, such as where the player is located in the game world and the statistics of the player character. In some games, items can be found to increase or decrease the frequency of random encounters, even to eliminate them outright, or increase the odds of having a particular encounter.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

<i>Wizardry</i> video game series

Wizardry is a series of role-playing video games, developed by Sir-Tech, which were highly influential in the evolution of modern role-playing video games. The original Wizardry was a significant influence on early console role-playing games such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Originally made for the Apple II, the games were later ported to other platforms. The last game in the original series by Sir-Tech was Wizardry 8, released in 2001. There have since been various spin-off titles released only in Japan.

<i>Final Fantasy</i> (video game) 1987 video game

Final Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1987. It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series, created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. Originally released for the NES, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The story follows four youths called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of their world's four elemental orbs which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends. Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the orbs, and save their world.

Random encounters often occur more frequently in caves, forests, and swamps than in open plains. The simplest sort of random encounter algorithm would be as follows:

Cave Natural underground space large enough for a human to enter

A cave or cavern is a natural void in the ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word cave can also refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos, though strictly speaking a cave is exogene, meaning it is deeper than its opening is wide, and a rock shelter is endogene.

Forest dense collection of trees covering a relatively large area

A forest is a large area dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the widely used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares (9.9×109 acres) (15 million square miles) or approximately 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006.

Swamp A forested wetland

A swamp is a wetland that is forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations. Other swamps occur on the shores of large lakes. Some swamps have hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodic inundation or soil saturation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp forests and "transitional" or shrub swamps. In the boreal regions of Canada, the word swamp is colloquially used for what is more correctly termed a bog, fen, or muskeg. The water of a swamp may be fresh water, brackish water or seawater. Some of the world's largest swamps are found along major rivers such as the Amazon, the Mississippi, and the Congo.

  1. Each step, set X to a random integer between 0 and 99.
  2. If in plains, and X < 8, a random encounter occurs.
  3. If in swamp, desert, or forest, and X < 16, a random encounter occurs.

The problem with this algorithm is that random encounters occur "too" randomly for the tastes of most players, as there will be "droughts" and "floods" in their distribution. Random encounters in rapid succession are considered undesirable [7] [3] [8] as they lead to the player's perception of getting "bogged down", but with the simple algorithm, it is possible to have an encounter from taking only one step after an encounter. The early games in the Dragon Quest series, for example, allow random encounters to occur one step after the other. A more elaborate random encounter algorithm (and similar to those used in many games[ citation needed ]) would be the following:

Dragon Quest, published as Dragon Warrior in North America until 2005, is a series of Japanese role-playing video games created by Yuji Horii and his studio Armor Project. The games are published by Square Enix, with localized versions of later installments for the Nintendo DS and 3DS being published by Nintendo outside of Japan. With its first title published in 1986, there are eleven main-series titles, along with numerous spin-off games. In addition, there have been numerous manga, anime and novels published under the franchise, with nearly every game in the main series having a related adaptation.

  1. Set X to a random integer between 64 and 255.
  2. For each step in plains, decrement X by 4. For each step in forest, swamp, or desert, decrement X by 8.
  3. When X < 0, a fight ensues. Go to step 1.

This ensures that, in any terrain, the player will not experience more than one random encounter every eight steps. A game with this type of system can sometimes be taken advantage of by initiating some action that will reset the counter (pausing, opening a menu, saving), especially when using an emulator. This is a popular trick in speedruns to skip time-consuming or dangerous battles or it can be used to ensure that each battle results in a rare or valuable encounter.

Random encounters have become less popular in video games with the passage of time, as gamers often complain that they are annoying, repetitive or discouraging to exploration. The Final Fantasy and Tales series have abandoned random encounter systems with successive games, while relatively newer franchises such as the Chrono series and Kingdom Hearts have never used them.

A more commonly used tactic in later RPGs (used in Final Fantasy XII , Radiata Stories , Fallout 1 and 2 , Legend of Legaia and all Kingdom Hearts games) is to set a finite number of enemies in a given area. This cuts down on grinding and does not discourage exploration to the same extent. A similar approach is spawning, where monsters always (re)appear at the same location, as seen in Chrono Trigger [9] and most of Dragon Quest IX . [10] [11] Both approaches give players the opportunity to anticipate, evade, or select encounters.

Related Research Articles

Roguelike subgenre of role-playing video games

Roguelike is a subgenre of role-playing video game characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character. Most roguelikes are based on a high fantasy narrative, reflecting their influence from tabletop role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons.

<i>Final Fantasy Mystic Quest</i> 1992 SNES game

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, released as Mystic Quest Legend in PAL regions and as Final Fantasy USA: Mystic Quest in Japan, is a role-playing video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was released as a spin-off to Square's popular Final Fantasy series of video games. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was first released in North America in 1992 and marketed as a "simplified role-playing game...designed for the entry-level player" in an attempt to broaden the genre's appeal. The game's presentation and battle system is broadly similar to that of the main series, but it differed in its inclusion of action-adventure game elements. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was the first Final Fantasy game to be released in Europe.

<i>Pool of Radiance</i> 1988 video game

Pool of Radiance is a role-playing video game developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc (SSI) in 1988. It was the first adaptation of TSR's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) fantasy role-playing game for home computers, becoming the first episode in a four-part series of D&D computer adventure games. The other games in the "Gold Box" series used the game engine pioneered in Pool of Radiance, as did later D&D titles such as the Neverwinter Nights online game. Pool of Radiance takes place in the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting, with the action centered in and around the port city of Phlan.

Boss (video gaming) significant and especially strong enemy in video games

In video games, a boss is a significant computer-controlled enemy. A fight with a boss character is commonly referred to as a boss battle or boss fight. Boss battles are generally seen at a climax of a particular section of the game, usually at the end of a level or stage, or guarding a specific objective; the boss enemy is generally far stronger than the opponents the player has faced up to that point, and is usually faced solo. A miniboss is a boss weaker or less significant than the main boss in the same area or level.. A superboss is generally much more powerful than the bosses encountered as part of the main game's plot and often optional to encounter. A final boss is often the main antagonist of a game's story and the defeat of that character provides ultimate satisfaction to the game player.

Dragon Quest Monsters is a spin-off series of the Dragon Quest games. Published by Square Enix, it sets the player in a medieval/fantasy world filled with magic, monsters and knights. Unlike the original Dragon Quest games, the player's character does not do any of the fighting in battles; instead the player has to rely on capturing, breeding and raising monsters to do the fighting for them. The concept originated from Dragon Quest V (1992). The character and monster designs are by Dragon Ball creator, Akira Toriyama. The series spans several handheld gaming systems, and each game has received positive reviews from critics. Upon the series' debut in the US, it was quickly labeled as a "Pokémon clone" by critics.

Dungeon crawl video game genre

A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, battling various monsters, and looting any treasure they may find. Because of its simplicity, a dungeon crawl can be easier for a gamemaster to run than more complex adventures, and the "hack and slash" style of play is appreciated by players who focus on action and combat. However dungeon crawls often lack meaningful plot or logical consistency.

AdventureQuest is an online flash-based single-player role-playing video game started in 2002 and currently developed by Artix Entertainment. As of March 5, 2019, aq.battleon.com, the game's hosting website, and www.battleon.com, the game's homepage, have an Alexa rating of 54,521.

Tactical role-playing games are a genre of video game which incorporates elements of traditional role-playing video games with that of tactical games, emphasizing tactics rather than high-level strategy. The format of a tactical RPG video game is much like a traditional tabletop role-playing game in its appearance, pacing and rule structure. Likewise, early tabletop role-playing games are descended from skirmish wargames like Chainmail, which were primarily concerned with combat.

<i>Dragonstomper</i> 1982 video game

Dragonstomper is an Atari 2600 role-playing video game programmed by Stephen Landrum and published in 1982 by Starpath. It required the Starpath Supercharger peripheral.

In video gaming, grinding is performing repetitive tasks for gameplay advantage. Many video games use different tactics to implement, or reduce the amount of grinding in play. The general use of grinding is for "experience points", or to improve a character's level. However, the behavior is sometimes referred to as pushing the bar, farming or catassing.

<i>Dragon Quest IX</i> role-playing video game

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is a role-playing video game for the Nintendo DS. It was developed by Level-5, and published in 2009 by Square Enix in Japan; it was published by Nintendo in North America and PAL regions a year later, in 2010, making it the second numbered installment of the series to be released within Europe and Australia, after Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King.

<i>Gyromancer</i> video game

Gyromancer is a puzzle and role-playing video game developed by PopCap Games in collaboration with Square Enix. The player moves through a map of an enchanted forest, battling monsters using their own summoned monsters through a puzzle-game battle based on PopCap's Bejeweled Twist. In these battles, the player rotates groups of four in a grid of gems to line up three or more jewels of the same color; when enough lines have been created damage is dealt to the enemy. Between battles, a story is told through a series of cutscenes, while the player and the summoned monsters gain experience and power using role-playing elements.

Artix Entertainment video game company

Artix Entertainment, LLC is an independent video game developer and publisher founded by Adam Bohn in October 2002. It is best known for creating browser-based role-playing video games—including AdventureQuest, DragonFable, MechQuest, and AdventureQuest Worlds—using Adobe Flash. The company released its first title for iOS and Android devices in March 2011, and is currently developing its first 3D game, AdventureQuest 3D, using the Unity game engine.

Dragon Quest is a series of role-playing video games that originated in 1986 with the release of the first game in the series. Although the games are not related in terms of story, many aspects of the gameplay are consistent throughout the series. Each game in the series add new elements to the gameplay, such as longer quests, character classes, or different ways of story-telling.

<i>DragonFable</i> 2006 video game

DragonFable is a free-to-play, online, browser-based, single-player, fantasy, role-playing game developed by Artix Entertainment and updated on a weekly basis. Players may access locked game content by upgrading to a premium account for a one-time fee.

Eastern role-playing video games (RPGs) are RPGs developed in East Asia. Most Eastern RPGs are Japanese role-playing video games (JRPGs), developed in Japan. RPGs are also developed in South Korea and in China.


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