This is an idea I had for making exploration choices matter more. This is for Disposable Heroes, which I’m trying to simplify a bit in the rules department, but also expand to have rules for more common situations. So, this.
There are two party exploration stats: Noise and Search. They both start at 2.
- For each character with a light source, add +1 Search and +1 Noise.
- For each encumbered character, add +1 Noise.
- For each Thief/Ranger/perceptive character, add +1 Search.
For each exploration turn (10 minutes or one room explored), roll 1d20. If the roll is equal to or below Noise, you encounter a wandering monster, with all the normal effects. If the roll + Search is over 20, you instead find traces of monsters, and can choose whether to engage or avoid them.
Search is also used when encountering traps. If the party doesn’t find a trap through proper looking around, they get a d20 roll before they walk right into it, with the same odds as above (roll + Search > 20).
(You could probably use this for surprise too, with the same roll as for exploration.)
I’ll try this out proper the next time my group dungeon crawls.
Note: this was indeed posted after Goblin Punch’s post on wandering monsters, though the only thing I really borrowed from it was the +Noise from encumbered characters. This was more focused on the question of how much light to take with you.