Domains in Wilderness hexes & Wandering Monsters

Do domains in Wilderness hexes come under frequent attack by Wandering Monsters?

Perhaps I’m reading the aggregation of rules incorrectly, but the suggestion is that Wandering Monsters are rolled for daily in a Wilderness hex even when a stronghold is present.

If this is the case, how do you manage it? Depending upon the terrain type, that’s upwards of one encounter every other game day on average. Seems that you’d get bogged down in Wandering Monster rolls for a long time until a city or large town can be erected within 12 hexes of the domain, changing it to Borderlands where Wandering Monster rolls do not occur.

Or, is the assumption that once a Wilderness hex has been cleared of its lairs, there are no more Wandering Monster rolls made in that hex, period?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

There’s always wandering monsters, even in a city. They’re just “dudes” (men and sometimes humanoids or undead).

I think the trick here is “in the wilderness”. If you’re in your stronghold, you’re not “in the wilderness”, you’re “in your stronghold”, and any critters that wander by either don’t see you or don’t want to mess with a fortress. On the other hand, if you’re just hanging out 100 yards outside the walls, it certainly seems reasonable that you’d encounter trouble.

That’s just my take on it.

I think Ludanto is headed in the right direction. It might be possible to look at your wandering monster chart and decide which entries would even consider messing with a garrisoned fortress - presumably most of them aren’t going to be interested - and work out lower probabilities of wandering monsters that only include relevant entries.

Of course, around the stronghold there are sentries, patrols, etc. that makes many wandering monsters a bit more cautious (while decreasing life expectancy of the less cautious ones). Between wiping out lairs and a healthy garrison, a stronghold and the immediate area should be far safer than pure wilderness. Not that there won’t be the occasional beastman raid, but you will be better off than if you were camping in a tent alone.

I’ve always interpreted the “City” wandering monsters listing as occurring in ruined cities and abandoned towns out in the wilderness, not in civilized locations. I take the strict interpretation of ‘Wilderness’; hexes that are not civilized or borderlands. Wandering monsters are only intended to occur in the dungeon or the wilderness as far as I can tell from the rules.

Of course, I may be doing it wrong and a Judge can run things any way they prefer. I have an old copy of Midkemia Press’ “Cities” that I use when I want ideas for random city encounters.

The answers you are looking for are actually in the rule book, but I fear I have hidden them somewhat because they are spread between two sections, and one of them is not an obvious place to look. Here are the two relevant rules.

Wandering Monsters in the Wilderness
When the characters in the wilderness, the Judge should make an encounter throw once per day if they are stationary or in settled terrain. Otherwise, the Judge should make an encounter throw each time the adventurers enter a new 6-mile hex.

Populating a Dungeon
After the dungeon is completed, the Judge will begin checking to determine whether any wandering monsters have arrived at the dungeon, using the Wandering Monster tables in the Secrets chapter. The Judge will make an encounter throw daily if the dungeon is in a wilderness domain, weekly if in a borderlands domain, and monthly if in a civilized domain. Any wandering monsters that arrive have a percentage chance of establishing a lair in the dungeon equal to their % In Lair entry.

How does these rules work together? Follow these steps.

  1. Are you in a civilized, borderlands, or wilderness region?
    a. If civilized, roll for wandering encounters once per month.
    b. If borderlands, roll for wandering encounters once per week.
    c. If wilderness, go to step 2.
  2. Are you in settled wilderness terrain?
    a. If yes, roll for wandering encounters once per day.
    b. If no, go to step 3.
  3. Are you stationary in wilderness terrain?
    a. If yes, roll for wandering encounters once per day.
    b. If no, roll for wandering encounters each time you enter a new 6-mile hex.

It wasn’t intentional esotericism, I swear!

EXAMPLE #1: Marcus has a villa in the civilized regions of Tirenea. He checks for wandering encounters once per month.

EXAMPLE #2: Quintus builds a wizard’s tower in the borderlands. He checks for wandering encounters once per week.

EXAMPLE #3: Balbus builds a small keep in the wilderness. Peasants settle in that 6-mile hex and 2 adjacent 6-mile hexes. While Balbus is stationary, or only moving within the settled hexes of the wilderness region, he has one encounter check per day. If Balbus were to ride outside of his domain into the surrounding wilderness, he would face 1 wandering encounter check per 6-mile hex.

That makes a great deal of sense. Thank you for the clarification, Alex.

And thank you to everyone else, too. The community on these forums is top notch!

wow, I have been subjecting my players to WAY more random wilderness encounters than is appropriate for how close they are to cities. OOPS! I’m sure they’ll be relieved.

Fascinating. I would have assumed that your domain garrison costs insulate you from wandering monsters. I’ve been checking random encounters every new hex, on a 6+, for civilized lands.

Learning! It’s the best.

I also like that this means a lair size group of beastmen can come out of the wilderness and attack your domain. That’s cool!

Hopefully this means that your initial garrison can level up to veterans relatively quickly.

But in practice, would you actually make those wandering monster checks? If you’re holed-up in your tower for a month building a magic sword or the like, 30d6 seems like kind of a hassle.

You could take it in expectation I guess? That might be a little much math to do on the fly. Or I could upgrade my hex-stocking scripts to generate encounters in addition to lairs…

Where are these scripts of which you speak?

I tend to use averages in such case. For instance, if there is a 2-in-6 chance of an encounter per day, I'll assume 10 encounters per month, roll on the wandering monster charts 10 times, disregard the obvious non-threats, and then spread the rest across the month. I also don't always assume that the monsters attack. For example, if a small force of ogres wanders into the domain of Marcus, Famous Lord of Asskicking, I might do a morale check to see if they flee when they see the castle. 

Even if there is some fighting, high-level adventurers have flunkies to handle these things for them, of course. This is where the D@W Battle Rating rules can come in really handy. "Your garrison repelled an attack by a wyvern. 20 men were lost. Here is the wyvern's head, my lord."