I’ve been thinking lately about random encounters. I might be dating myself here, but I remember when they used to be a pretty common “feature” of RPGs. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, the way random encounters worked was that whenever you were walking around outside of town, every time you took a step there was a chance that enemies would attack, initiating a battle scene. These battles would just be a collection of random enemies, often completely irrelevant to the context of the story. It was just as annoying as it sounds.
In general, these encounters interrupt the flow of exploration and story to provide players with the “opportunity” to earn some gold, items, and experience by winning a battle. Most recent RPGs no longer include random encounters, in favor of clearly visible enemies that can be avoided. For Nia’s Journey, I’ve been thinking it would be great to bring back random encounters. Why would I do that? Well, there are several reasons: