Random encounters show up as you travel between different regions, or when you use the "wander" button to explore locally. Encounters are generally divided based on the target region.
When not wandering, (ie when travelling), you have a baseline 95% chance of a random encounter. This is reduced by 10% every 5 encounters, up to (and including) 30 encounters, giving you an eventual 35% encounter rate. Wearing the Ring of Gettin' Places Faster can reduce the rate by a further 25%, resulting in a minimum of a 10% chance of encounters. The actual encounter will be a location discovery every 5 encounters, and otherwise an event (if travelling) or a 50/50 chance of a location discovery or random event (if wandering).
In the case of a random event (rather than location discovery), a pool of possible random events is created, and an encounter is selected based on a uniform choice, rejecting the first choice if it matches the previous random encounter (so you do not get the same encounter twice in a row). The odds of specific encounters can vary, however, as special qualifiers can control whether a specific event is added to the pool, and how many times if so. See below for different frequency modifiers.
This page lists encounters that are not region specific (or cover multiple regions). For region-specific encounters, look at the appropriate sub-page.
|The strange stone arrow you just found starts going crazy -- beepin' and boopin', whirling around of its own accord.
It practically drags you in the direction of a strange, decrepit-looking house.
|The Perfessor's House undiscovered and having a strange stone arrow||
|Howdy there! I'm Wanderin' Sally.||Repeatable||
|You encounter an overturned wagon surrounded by ruined books and broken pairs of spectacles. Looks like a family of especially literate homesteaders met an untimely end here. Tragic.||7th encounter||
|You see a streak of fire blast across the sky and land just over the horizon. You ride to the site of the impact and find a meateor!||9th encounter
Repeatable in regions A - F
|<horsename> takes a weird turn somewhere, and you find yourself completely surrounded by old, dead trees.
Where are you?
|13th encounter [Pale Horse]||
|You find a pair of saddlebags slung over a tree branch.
Stencilled letters on the side read PROPERTY OF FORT ALLDEAD LIBRARY.
|You see a glint of light in the distance. When you get closer, you realize that was the sun reflecting off the lens of a discarded pair of binoculars on the ground.||Repeatable in Regions A, B, or C, up to 3 times||
|You crest a hill to see a skeleton propped up on its elbows, looking through a pair of binoculars at the horizon. I guess he died before whatever he was waiting for showed up.|
|You come across a horse trying fruitlessly to figure out how to use a pair of binoculars.|
|You find a pair of binoculars hanging on a passing cactus. I mean a cactus you're passing, not a cactus that's passing you. It only looked like it was passing you because of your frame of reference.|
Various things affect the frequency of a specific encounter by modifying the number of times an encounter is added to the encounter pool.
- The meateor encounter has only a 1 in 10 chance of being present in the pool.
- The El Vibrato transponder, if turned on, adds 2 El Vibrato combat encounters, and 1 El Vibrato non-combat encounters
- The El Vibrato ring increases the number of El Vibrato combat encounters by 2, and El Vibrato non-combat encounters by 3
- The floral ring adds 2 foragin' encounters
- The cow-catcher ring adds 3 additional cow encounters
- The bone-chip ring adds additional skeleton or (non-Pale Horse) undead encounters
- The serpentine ring adds 2 snake encounters
- The Ring of Inconspicuousness adds additional non-combat encounters, duplicating the Wanderin' Sally encounter, as well as each of the various loot encounters (with some exceptions)
- Cow Punchers have 1 additional cow encounter added in regions A - C, and 2 additional cow encounters added in regions D - H
- Snake Oilers have 1 additional snake encounter added
A * next to the encounter icon in the "type" column indicates one of the above special modifiers is relevant. Mouse-over the icon for details.