Roll a D10 and see what type of caravan meets your party.
1 – Poor Caravan: A meager caravan with little to trade. The caravan master, Ali, explains that they were attacked mid-route by a set of bandits with a sorcerer. This caravan has little to trade and is desperately low on vital supplies like water.
2 – Foreign Caravan: A caravan of foreigners arrives with goods that cannot normally be acquired in this area. Communications tends to be a problem due to different native languages and customs. If a trade is conducted, roll a d10. On a 1, there is a misunderstanding that is grave and dangerous. A duel or contest of strength might be required to resolve the conflict. On a 10, there is a misunderstanding that is beneficial, if not comical for the PCs. Maybe one accidently marries someone in the caravan with a really cool hat, or does not understand that the trade comes with a herd of livestock. On a 2-9, the trade proceeds as normal.
3 – Seer Caravan: A caravan with a powerful Hakima (Wise Woman) arrives and is willing to help the PCs in their endeavor. They will host the PCs up to three days with food and lodging and any wounded will be treated. The final night the PCs are in camp the Hakima will coax Fate and try and provide insight to each of the PCs. These predictions can be pleasant, or possibly painful, the DM is encouraged to come up with appropriate messages for the players. If you want to randomize the message, roll D6, 1-3 a pleasant prediction, 4-5 and mixed result, and 6 a painful message.
5 – Nomadic Caravan: A desert tribal caravan appears in the distance. They will act with extreme caution sending out a scout party to investigate the PCs. The caravan will start as mildly hostile, but with clever role-play the PCs could be welcomed in for the night. The tribal caravan knows the terrain extremely well and can answer any questions the PCs might have about the nature of the area they are traveling. They know places to avoid, the best oasis, the types of dangers that might be posed, etc.
6 – Thieves Caravan: A false caravan approaches full of bandits and thieves. The bandit gang will pretend to be an honest caravan looking to trade. Careful PCs will notice certain things out of place, like the bandits not knowing how to read their accounting books, blood on some of the goods, often the caravan animals will react as if they do not know the bandits, etc. If the PCs do not discover the ruse, at night the bandits will attempt to rob them of their goods and make off.
7 – Undead Caravan: A caravan of the dead approaches. From a distance this caravan looks like any other, but as it grows nearer PCs might notice that something is not right. The caravan might be run by a powerful Ghul-Sorcerer, or possibly a Ghul Overlord themselves. The undead use the caravan as a disguise to lure travelers to trade then add them to their horde, or feast upon them. The caravan consists of 2d10 skeletons, 1d8 Ghuls, and a Ghul-Sorcerer or Ghul Overlord.
8 – Illusory Caravan: A caravan mirages is in the distance, if the characters choose to approach it they will discover it does not exist in 1d6 hours. The time to discovery can be halved if traveling with an expert in desert terrain that succeeds at a WIS check.
9 – Multiple Caravans: A large group of caravans are off in the distance is in camp. The camp has at least 2d100 + 50 people in attendance. As the PCs approach it seems that the caravans are celebrating a high holiday/wedding/local festival etc. As long as the PCs show no ill intentions, they are invited to join the revelry. If the PCs decide to provide a gift/donation to the event, the caravans will be so honored they will return the gift/donation in some other form with twice the value. The celebration will last 1d10 days.
10 – Extradimensional Caravan: A caravan of genies approaches rapidly upon the dunes. Roll a d8. On a 1-3 it is a caravans of Jann, on a 4 Djinn, on a 5 Efreeti, on a 6 Marid, on a 7 Dao. If you roll an 8, roll again twice and combine the results. If the PCs choose to engage with this caravan the results will vary greatly depending on which type of genie they encounter. Jann and Djinn are generally helpful, if not playful. Marid believe themselves above all mortal affairs, and might just ignore the PCs. Efreeti and Dao have a tendency to enslave mortals, but might want to have fun with cruel pranks. If the PCs can trick them, they might earn their respect though.
Like my work? Follow me on Facebook here.
Like my work? Follow me on Facebook here.