In the past week or so, I've put out some new ideas on this blog that I didn't have a chance to try until Thursday night. At my regular CotMA LL game, we/I implemented some of these mechanical changes and I must say that the results were (preliminarily) good.
I implemented the chart that I created based upon the probabilities of rolling multiple d6's. One of my players was unable to attend, so I just shaved his character off the chart and the probability went from 92% success to 88% success.
This chart is a winner. It keeps the spirit of the d6 roll in place, but it allows the party to collaborate on the search and the DM to make one definitive roll.
Verdict: Thumbs Up!
This table was also very useful. At the beginning of the night, I rolled the d% and discovered that an encounter would happen in 4 turns. I marked it on my "bubble" chart like so (see the red vertical line?):
OOOO|OO OOOOOO OOOOOO OOOOOO OOOOOO OOOOOO
As time went by, I ticked off the circles. When we arrived at the line, the encounter occurred.
My brain immediately started working. What should it be? Where would the party likely be in 4 turns; what would the monster be doing? How would I lay out the minis? Etc.
Although the encounter was random, I was able to plan it a little better than I normally can. I was able to fit the roll for the type of random monster into my narration at the table -- it wasn't abruptly done at the time of the random encounter. I had everything gathered together and ready when the time finally arrived. The arrival of the monster was seamless because I had foreshadowed it in my narration.
Another unexpected benefit was closer tracking of time within the dungeon. After all, if time never elapsed, the encounter would never happen. When the encounter concluded, I rolled to see if the noise attracted another monster (d8) and then I rolled for when the next encounter would occur and made another mark.
XXXX|OO OOOOO|O OOOOOO OOOOOO OOOOOO OOOOOO
Verdict: Two Thumbs Up!