I think just about anyone who can remember their own childhood or have kids of their own know a few tales concerning wolves (The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood). Of course most of us are also familiar with the stories of werewolves whether it’s been from a book or a movie they are used frequently and as both the bad guy and good guy not too mention the occasional tortured soul.
The nice thing is that you can use a wolf as an encounter in just about any role-playing setting and can be used for both good or evil so take advantage of this when laying out the encounter. Most players make assumptions as to what they are going up against and if you’ve been playing with your group for a while you’ll know their tendencies, of course if you create a lot of paranoia at the table it helps too. (See Paranoia Is a Good Thing for a suggestion on how to do that.)
Here’s a few ideas to use when your group encounters a wolf:
1. Have it just watch the group. Unless you have a nature lover in your group (such as a druid) this will no doubt end up leading to combat as the party will start to think they’re the next meal.
2. Have the wolf arrive after a major combat session and take to caring for and protecting one of the characters.
3. The wolf is a familiar or pet for some individual who lives in the area. Killing this wolf would most like bring the master out to punish those responsible.
Ok, what if it isn’t a wolf?
1. It’s an individual who willing changed their shape. Maybe they’re hiding and don’t want to be found? Maybe they’ve traveling as a wolf quicker/easier?
2. It’s a werewolf. This will usually end in combat but it could be interesting for the werewolf to be shifting back and forth between its forms and the charcters have to determine if a killing stroke is the only recourse. “Maybe we can cure this poor soul?”
Have some ideas to share? Please post away.
May your dice roll well.
Be sure to check out these additional encounter ideas