Random events, anti-macro events (AMEs), or simply randoms refers to a variety of NPCs and their associated areas that appear throughout RuneScape to interact with players. They will appear either to provide an item to a player or to ask the player to play a short minigame to earn a prize. When random events appear, they specify one player with whom they will interact, and only that player will be able to interact with them. If the player does not wish to interact with the random event, they can right-click and dismiss the event, or simply wait a minute and the event will disappear.
A poll on 28 August 2014 asked players if they wanted a number of changes to random events that would essentially make them harmless and optional to interact with. This change was polled as it was discovered that random events were no longer effective at combatting modern macro technology, but only provided hindrance and annoyance to legitimate players. The poll passed with 87% of the vote and the change was implemented on 11 September 2014. This update removed several random events from the game.
Random events were originally implemented as an anti-macro technology alongside RuneScape 2, which eliminated RuneScape Classic's fatigue system. With the fatigue system, players were required to sleep in a bed or a sleeping bag for a few seconds after gaining a certain amount of experience. In order to wake up from sleeping, the player would need to answer a captcha to resume playing. Players could continue to train skills or combat if their fatigue was at 100%, but they would not gain any more experience until they slept.
Random events were designed to simultaneously prevent macros from operating properly and to reward legitimate players with small rewards. Some random events, such as the Rock golem, Tree spirit, or Evil Chicken, would attack and eventually kill players that did not run away from them. Events like the Exploding rock would damage players' equipment if they did not stop mining that rock until the smoke went away. This would require players to repair their equipment for a small fee before they could resume using it. Some events, such as the Genie, provided a small reward to players for simply talking to them, and would teleport players away from their current location if they were ignored.
These events were eventually phased out in RuneScape 3 as better anti-macro software was developed. After the release of Old School RuneScape, players and developers realized that modern macro clients were able to solve random events relatively easily and that a more comprehensive anti-macro solution needed to be implemented in the rebooted game. Many players complained that random events were harming gameplay; for example, players fighting aggressive monsters in the Abyss or Ape Atoll Dungeon would likely be confronted by a random event such the Sandwich lady, who would teleport players away if they could not solve her puzzle. Players would be unable to solve the puzzle interface because they were surrounded by aggressive monsters and would end up being teleported away, even though they were playing entirely within the rules.
The developers were able to implement RuneScape 3's anti-macro software into Old School RuneScape, after which they polled for the removal of aggressive random events and the conversion of other mandatory events to be optional. This solution allowed only the beneficial random events to remain, which provided a large number of the gems and talismans in the game, and made it much easier for players to partake in other activities while grinding skills. The poll was met with an overwhelmingly positive 87% of the vote, and the changes were implemented shortly thereafter, creating the random event rules that are in place today.
List of random events
The following random events may appear anytime during your travels in RuneScape. Traditionally, some random events were assigned to a skill or a specific task. For example, the Beekeeper random event would only appear to players who were picking flax, or the Gravedigger would only appear while burying bones. However, these rules were removed in the random event update that made them optional. Now, any random event can appear at anytime, while training any skill.
Talking to the random event or completing its task will provide you with a small reward. If you do not wish to interact with a random event, you may right-click and dismiss it without penalty, or simply wait a few seconds for it to disappear.
Discontinued random events
Many random events were discontinued after the update that made them optional. Some of the random event NPCs were relocated to various locations around RuneScape to preserve them in the game. The discontinued random events will be recorded here for historical purposes.
These random events would result in some sort of equipment malfunction while the player was training a skill. In these randoms, the graphic of the tree, rock, or fishing spot would change to indicate that the player should not continue to use that resource. If the player did not stop using the resource within about 30 seconds, their equipment would be damaged and players would have to fix it or find a replacement in order to continue skilling. The damaging event would stop after a few seconds, rendering the resource safe to harvest again.
- Ent - The tree would grow an evil face and move slightly. If players did not stop cutting the tree, their axe would break, and they would need to take it to Bob in Lumbridge in order to have it repaired (for a small fee).
- Exploding Rock - The rock would begin to smoke. If players did not stop mining that rock, their pickaxe would break, and they would need to take it to Nurmof in the Dwarven Mines in order to have it repaired (for a small fee).
- Whirlpool - A whirlpool would appear on top of the fishing spot. If players did not stop fishing from that spot, their net/harpoon/etc. would be swallowed by the whirlpool and could not be retrieved. Players would need to find another fishing implement before they could fish again.
The following random events would displace, but not destroy, your equipment. These events were immediate and could not be avoided. Players could pick up the part that was thrown off of their equipment, reattach it in their inventory, and resume skilling. If players did not pick up their equipment quickly, though, they would risk other players picking up the piece once it was visible to them, or the piece would despawn after a short amount of time, leaving the player without the proper tool for their task.
- Big fish - A large fish would appear and eat your fishing gear, then would spit it out a few tiles away.
- Pickaxe handle/Pickaxe head - While mining, this random event would cause the head of your pickaxe to fly off. Pick up the head and reattach it to the handle before it disappears.
- Spade handle/Spade head - While farming, this random event would cause the head of your spade to fly off. Pick up the head and reattach it to the handle before it disappears.
- Rake handle/Rake head - While farming, this random event would cause the head of your rake to fly off. Pick up the head and reattach it to the handle before it disappears.
Aggressive random events, known as guardians, used to appear when players were training gather skills, which included Mining, Fishing, Woodcutting, and Prayer (burying bones). Players could fight these monsters for reduced combat experience but also for a chance at an item drop based upon the skill they were training. The level and max hit of the guardian that appeared was dependent upon the level of the player which they would attack, as follows:
|Player level||Guardian level||Maximum hit|
The guardians were all removed from the game in the random event update, as their primary function was to kill players. However, for historical purposes the guardians were relocated to areas across RuneScape. Players may still kill them for their drops, but they are no longer considered aggressive. Their new locations are as follows:
|Guardian||Associated Skill||New location|
|Rock golem||Mining||Enchanted Valley (Fairy ring code BKQ)|
|Tree spirit||Woodcutting||Enchanted Valley (Fairy ring code BKQ)|
|River troll||Fishing||Enchanted Valley (Fairy ring code BKQ)|
|Shade||Prayer||Stronghold of Security (bottom floor) (Level 159 only)|
|Evil Chicken||Any skill||Champions' Guild (Level 159 only)|
Other dangerous or aggressive randoms
- Candlelight - The player was teleported to a chapel with a strange monk wandering around. The player had to talk to the monk, Pious Pete and ask him what was wrong. Pious Pete responded that his candles always go out when he lit them, so he needed the player's help to light them. He would then give the player a lighter. Once the player had the lighter, Pete told the player to light only the candles that are left standing, not the ones that are burnt down (he'd take care of those). There would be a screen with arrows to the left and the right, and a button in the middle. One pressed, the player would light the candle (if it was an unlit candle). After all the candles were lit, the player would talk to Pious Pete and be teleported back to where they were with a small reward.
- Lost and Found (also known as the Abyssal network) - Triggered by players teleporting using a Magic spell. Players would be required to pull the "odd lever out" in order to continue with their teleport, after which they received one law rune and three air runes to compensate for their time.
- Lost Pirate - Cap'n Hand would mistake the player for one of his shipmates and talk to the player. If the player ignored him, he would attack the player with a crossbow. He would usually keep shooting the player until death. He was very accurate and hit almost every time even if the player was wearing high level armour. If a player tried to talk to him while he was in the process of attacking that player, he would stop attacking them and they would receive the reward from him
- Poison Gas - A random event from Thieving chests. Occasionally, while looting a chest, gas would come out and damage nearby players. Despite the fact it had a green hit splat, the event would not poison you.
- Strange box - Required the player to answer a question about the box to receive a reward before it replicated in their inventory. The Mysterious Old Man can now be found in a house in eastern Falador, forever trying to solve a strange box.
- Swarm - A very weak random that could not be hit; the only solution was to run away until it despawned.
Previously discontinued randoms
Some random events few people know about because they only ran for a short time, were very buggy, or were taken out for balance reasons or not finished and never released. These randoms were discontinued well before the 2014 update.
Locations without random events
Certain zones throughout RuneScape are designed so that players do not receive random events while in them. Traditionally, these zones were popular with players who wanted to train skills uninterrupted, such as players training Magic with High Level Alchemy. However, this also made these areas susceptible to bots. These zones lost some of their advantage with the 2014 update that made random events optional.
The following zones are currently known to be free of random events:
- Inside any bank with a bank booth
- The space in front of the Culinaromancer's chest
- A player-owned house in building mode
- TzHaar Fight Cave
- Pest Control (while in bank or during the activity and waiting in the boats)
- God Wars Dungeon
- Pyramid Plunder
- Ape Atoll (with greegree equipped, without the greegree on, you can still get randoms)
- Waterbirth Island Dungeon
- Ancient Cavern
- Pvp worlds
- Grand Exchange
- Blast Furnace
- Tithe Farm (inside the farming patches)
- Abyssal Nexus (near the Abyssal Sire's chambers)
- In the feast cut scene of the Recipe for Disaster quest, the Duke gets the Strange box random event, and Evil Bob teleports Osman away, which is probably a reference to how players find them annoying and interrupting.
- Many random events can be seen at the fishing dock of Karamja. However when there are few bots; random events here are not quite as numerable.
- Random events are described by Jagex as being "the occasional strange event happening near you".
- Before the 2014 update, random events would occur with a certain degree of regularity, but if you consistently completed events successfully, you would encounter them less frequently. Now, randoms occur much less frequently overall than they used to.
- Players gaining experience have a higher chance of getting a random event.