Random events in RuneScape are described by Jagex as being "the occasional strange event happening near you" though a more accurate description would be "the occasional strange event happening to you". Random events are the successors to the fatigue feature from RuneScape Classic.
While playing RuneScape you might experience a strange, unexpected event, or notice something peculiar taking place nearby. These random events will typically involve the sudden appearance of an unusual animal or person, who will ask you to perform a quick task for them or solve a puzzle. Completing the event won't take long, and if you're lucky you may well profit from it! Make sure you keep your wits about you, though, because random events can happen at almost any time and in almost any place. However, your likelihood of getting random events will decrease if you successfully complete them often.
Random events were first introduced to get rid of macros (automated robots that skill for players).
Gift givers are NPC characters that may quickly appear at any time or anywhere in RuneScape to teleport you away to perform some task for them. If you are teleported away, you cannot resume normal gameplay until you've finished the task.
The player will find themselves in a disorganized office next to Giles, Miles or Niles who will show the player a noted item. If the player correctly identifies the item from three different choices, he or she will be allowed to leave through the exit portal, receiving a Random event gift on their return to their original location. If incorrect, the player will have their inventory noted and be teleported to a random location instead.
The Freaky Forester may quickly appear and teleport the player off to his wooded realm. The player must kill the pheasant he asks for and talk to him with the pheasant held in inventory to be allowed to use the exit portal. On return, the player will get a Random Event Gift. Failing to supply him with the correct pheasant results in being teleported to a random location instead
When the player gets teleported to the Land of the Frogs, they have to speak to Frog Herald, which tells them how to solve this random event. The player then has to speak to the frog with the crown, and kiss him/her. If they talk to any other frog in that area, the prince/princess will get angry, and teleport the player to a random location, without a reward.
The Mysterious Old Man may quickly appear and teleport the player into the maze, where the objective is to reach the centre and tag the spinning box. The faster this is done, the larger the eventual reward will be. If the player talks to the Mysterious Old Man he or she can be teleported a random place in RuneScape instead. This random event does not give a Random event gift, instead giving items like coins, arrows, ore, runes and feathers.
The Mysterious Old Man may quickly appear and teleport the player to the Mime, who will perform emotes. The player must copy these emotes to receive a Random Event Gift and be teleported back to their original location. Failing to accurately mimic him will result in being teleported to a random location with no reward.
The player will find themselves on a desert island with Captain Arnav. The Captain will ask the player to solve the combination lock puzzle on his treasure chest, matching the pictures to the words at the side, to receive a Random event gift. Failing results in being teleported to a random location with no reward.
The Mysterious Old Man may quickly appear and teleport the player to the Quiz Master. The game show is called Odd One Out.Solving his questions rewards the player with a Random Event Gift.
The Sandwich Lady will appear, and teleport the player to her café. Here, she will ask the player to choose one of her breads. If the player chooses the bread that she originally offered to them, they are free to use the exit portal and return to their original location with a Random event gift and the food item they picked. If the player fails, they get sent to a random location with no rewards.
Evil Bob may quickly appear and teleport the player onto his private island for servitude. The player must pick up a small net and catch Evil Bob the correct fish (the servant can tell the player what fish Evil Bob wants) then "uncook" it before giving it to Evil Bob. Eventually Evil Bob falls asleep and the player is free to step into the portal to return with a Random event gift. The player's character will blow Bob a raspberry on the way out.
The Mysterious Old Man may quickly appear and teleport the player into the classroom of Mr. Mordaut. If the player answers his three questions correctly they will receive a Random event gift and be teleported back after exiting through the door the good professor indicates. Random event gifts from this event are the only ones to give the Book of knowledge.
The bee keeper may appear and require help in assembling a beehive. If the player assembles it correctly, they will be returned to their original location with a Random event gift. If they fail, the player will be teleported to a random location with no reward.
Molly may quickly appear and teleport the player off to help her capture her evil twin. The player must use the control panel in the next room to capture her twin who is wandering beneath a grabber arm with several similar-looking innocent people. Doing this correctly results in the player being sent back with a Random event gift. Grabbing innocent people on two attempts results in being teleported to a random location with no reward.
The Mysterious Old Man may quickly appear and teleport the player into the gigantic pinball machine. If the player tags 10 poles in a row with glowing rings, they may exit to return to their original location with a Random event gift. Trying to leave early or tagging a pole out of order results in the score being reset.
Leo the Gravedigger may appear and quickly teleport the player into his graveyard. He needs each of the five coffins to be placed in the appropriate graves before he'll teleport the player back from whence they came with a Random event gift. Failing to place any coffin in the right spot or doing nothing will result in being unable to leave (check with Leo to see what is what)! There is a very convenient Bank Deposit Box to deposit items into, which the player may use if inventory room is needed.
A pillory guard may quickly appear and teleport the player into a Pillory cage where they are forced to open the three locks to escape. Clicking on the key with the shape matching the shape on the spinning lock will remove one of the red locks from the top. Picking the wrong key will reset the locks, adding one (to a maximum of 5 locks) while a tramp and any passing players may mercilessly pelt them with rotten tomatoes. Solving all the locks results in the player being teleported back with a Random event gift given as a reward.
Evil Bob may quickly appear and teleport the player into the prison where Prison Pete awaits help in escaping. The player must pull the wall mounted lever to see what balloon animals to pop and give each key to Pete. When Prison Pete has been given the third correct key, the player is free to go through the portal and return to their original location with a Random event gift.
The player may fall through into the Abyssal plane. To return to their original location with a Random event gift, the player must operate the one appendage protruding from the walls that is unlike the other three. Every time the wrong appendage is operated, the player's Magic level will be temporarily reduced by 10.
Some random events proved to be so complicated or irritating to many players (or were completely ineffective as a deterrent to macroing) that they were discontinued by Jagex. Some random events have also been refitted or "tweaked" over time... sometimes in an effort by Jagex to streamline them so that they weren't too much of a hassle to players but often also to throw off cheaters that used programs to play the game for them. Ultimately though, much of this tweaking proved to be an exercise in futility because the cheaters could usually reprogram the code they used to cheat so fast and redistribute it over the Internet (often in 12–24 hours) that it negated what Jagex had done. The following is a short list of the events that were taken out of the game by Jagex.
Originally, Dr. Ford would appear after the player sustained a head injury while they were either mining or woodcutting when a wood or rock shard hit them in the head. Dr. Ford would swiftly appear and teleport you away from where you were for a short rest and some treatment under his watchful eye. To be released from his "care", you had to correctly input the number of fingers he was holding up. Unfortunately, while he often teleported a player back to where he collected them for care, he also often teleported the player into an area of RuneScape that he/she was NOT at when the random event occurred. Even if the player correctly guessed how many fingers he was holding up! This tended to enrage legitimate players because it wasted their time by making them go all the way back to the location where they were before the random event took place.
The Tangle Vine was discontinued because many players did not understand how it worked. Walking or running while in the tangle vine would cause very rapid damage to the player and because of this, many players died very quickly. Some players also took advantage of it and encouraged players to run away so they could collect their items after they had died. Though the Tangle Vines were discontinued, they were referenced to in construction as a trap for the dungeons. The solution to the Tangle Vine was to simply NOT move until the event ran its course.
This random event was originally introduced on 20 February 2006. This event was removed quietly by Jagex at an unknown date. Pious Pete would teleport the player away to his church where they would have to help him keep his candles lit in a very drafty room... which mean that candles that you previously lit would often be blown out by the wind. This random event often seriously tested the patience of many players due to the fact that, while lighting the candles was fairly straight-forward, they were all too frequently blown out by the wind requiring the player to constantly relight them.
Speaking to the Genie would cause him to give you a lamp that you could rub for free experience points in a skill that you chose. Ignoring him would result in him teleporting you to a distant land or scattering your inventory over the ground near you. The experience given by the genie was ten times the level of the skill you chose to advance (if you picked a level 20 skill, you would be awarded 200 experience points). After the update he still appears if the lamp is chosen as the reward from a random event gift box, though now he immediately puts the lamp in your inventory and vanishes.
This event only occurred when Mining or Woodcutting and it was removed on 17 July 2007. This event was used to combat players that used bots to cut logs or mine ores for the gain of a "main" account or to sell for real world money. Unfortunately, many players that weren't cheating were negatively affected as they would frequently lose an expensive component of their hatchet such as a Dragon axe head, costing them a considerable amount of money to purchase a replacement. Jagex eventually removed the event for this reason and because it wasn't doing much of anything to actually stop bots anyway (see the official news archives for details) as some bots were programmed with script that allowed them to recognize the event, pick up the fallen axe head, reattach it to the handle and continue as before.
Players spoke to him for a reminder to set their recovery questions and then received some coins or items. However, if ignored, he would attack the player. Running away resulted in the Security Guard pursuing the player until they were a good distance away. The Protect from Melee prayer nullified all damage by him. A Security Guard could be killed, but didn't drop anything. You had to right click to talk to this NPC.
The Exploding Rock random event only occurred when mining. The rock being mined would emit a steam from it. If the player continued to mine the "steaming" rock, it would explode, breaking their pickaxe as well as damage them. If a player was low on hit points, the explosion could kill them. The solution was to step away quickly and move to another rock or wait until the rock stopped steaming before resuming mining it.
The Poison Gas random event occurred only when players attempted to loot chests in Thieving. This was a members only random event, due to the nature of its activation. You would have to step away four or more squares from the chest that you were attempting to pilfer or you would be poisoned. The poisonous gas hit between two to three damage every few seconds.
Ents only appeared while Woodcutting. When a player attempted to cut a tree, every once in a while it would sprout a face and arms, becoming an Ent. If any player continued to cut the tree for too long after the tree Ent appeared, their hatchet would become damaged thus be unusable until it was repaired or replaced. Simply stepping away from the tree, moving to another tree or waiting until the Ent disappeared were solutions to this random event. After an Ent appeared, any player still attempting to cut the tree could have their hatchet become damaged, not just the player that activated it.
Players would speak to Rick Turpentine after being hailed by him and receive some items or coins. Ignoring him would make Rick Turpentine attack the player with his crossbow. Running away resulted in Rick Turpentine pursuing the player until they were a good distance away.The Protect from Range prayer nullified all damage from his crossbow. He can now be found in the Port Sarim maximum security prison, sharing a cell with a mugger who he says he enjoys watching him die, even though he just comes back.
You would speak to Cap'n Hand, who would give you some items or coins. If ignored, however, the pirate would attack the player with his crossbow. Running away resulted in Cap'n Hand pursuing the player until they were a good distance away. The Protect from Range prayer nullified all damage from his crossbow. He can now be found sharing a cell with a pirate in the Port Sarim maximum security prison.
The Mysterious Old Man would randomly appear and stuff a Strange Box into the back pocket of the player while they were doing just about anything during the course of the game. The player had to stop what they were doing and solve the simple puzzle to get rid of it before it started self replicating. The rewards were items and/or coins. Failing to open the box by answering incorrectly or in a timely manner would result in the box replicating itself endlessly until the player's inventory was full. The box would then begin stacking in the players inventory. There were two solutions for many boxes: either solve all the boxes or die with them in your inventory. You could not drop or bank a strange box.
The player had to speak to the Drunken dwarf after he would hail them for their attention and he'd give them a beer and kebab. Ignore him and he'd attack the player with a ranged attack though Protect from Range prayer would nullify all damage. You could feel free to run away from him, though he would pursue you until you got a healthy distance away. The drunken dwarf still randomly appears around RuneScape and gives the same items, but he will not attack you.
(Members only) Players would occasionally find a plant sprout up and growing near them. Picking the Strange Fruit after it was fully grown on the plant would prevent the plant from attacking the player and it would wither away until it disappeared. Ignoring the plant or failing to pick the fruit in a timely manner would cause the strange plant to pull its roots up and attack the player. The plant would Poison the player if it hit for damage and could kill them. It was very difficult to kill and the only way to successfully damage it was with Ancient Magicks spells. A player could also simply run away from the plant, as it was very slow and quickly gave up pursuit. Protect from Melee prayer nullified all damage.
While fishing, a large fish would occasionally appear in the fishing spot and grab the player's fishing equipment in its mouth, then it spit the gear somewhere nearby, usually three to ten squares away up on the shore. When this happened, the player simply had to find their equipment and pick it up. After 30 seconds, any player could pick it up. When the player had found the equipment, they could go back to fishing. When this event happened, the fishing spot would often move to a new location, as well.
The Watchman was a random event that occurred during Thieving. His level was the same as all other random events and differed depending on the player's combat level. The Watchman attacked through melee. He was removed due to players complaining about him killing them too quickly while they were pickpocketing at a low Hitpoints level and wearing no armour.
This NPC sometimes appeared when a player attempted to mine an ore, similar to other guardian events such as the Watchman. They could run away or fight it to the death. The Golem mainly attacked with melee, however it could also range the player by tossing small rocks from a distance so it was important to have the Protect from Range prayer engaged if you ran away and were low on hitpoints.
This NPC randomly appeared when a player attempted to fish. The player could choose to either fight back or run away from the troll as there was no option to engage in conversation with it. The River Troll attacked through melee and when killed would drop bones and fishing related items such as low level raw fish. Protect from Melee nullified all damage from this NPC.
This NPC appeared when the player attempted to cut logs from a tree. The player could either fight it or run away. The Tree Spirit attacked through melee.
Shades could appear when a player buried any kind of bones. The player could either fight it or run away. The Shade attacked through melee. The shades have been placed in on the fourth level of the Stronghold of Security so that players can now slay them for the now untradeable Shade Robes that shades sometimes drop upon death.
Zombies could only appear when a player buried any kind of bone or attacked a monster. The player could either fight it or run away. Once dead, it dropped a variety of bones. The Zombie attacked through melee. As with other aggressive random events, the Zombie's combat level was based on the players combat level.
The Evil Chicken was one of the few random events that could happen regardless of what the player was doing. The player could either fight it or run away. The Evil Chicken attacked through magic. The evil chicken can now still be found in Evil Chicken's Lair, as part of Recipe for Disaster. It was often considered the most common of all random events, due to the fact that it could occur while the player was engaged in any activity.
Although not very dangerous, the swarm could not be hit by any attack from any player (except for Summoning Familiars) and eventually, if no action was taken, it would kill the player despite having a maximum hit of 1. High level players could choose to ignore it while they completed their tasks (the swarm weren't very likely to do damage to a high level player) or anyone could simply run away from it. Ever since the swarm was removed, it has since appeared in Musa Point as a non-interactive monster.
A whirlpool could appear randomly any time a player attempted to start fishing. The whirlpool would suck up any fishing tools being used by players fishing at the spot it occurred in. This could be avoided by quickly moving away from the spot the whirlpool was affecting. The whirlpool would either swallow the tool up, or spit it up onto the shoreline.
Random events can't appear in certain locations. This makes these locations popular places to train due to no chance of being interrupted by a random event.
Some random events have been removed from the game. Poison-gas chests, smoking rocks, broken pickaxes and ents became things of the past. Players are still able to obtain shade robes, strange fruit and security books, as no existing rewards were discontinued.
All broken axes (the names were changed to "hatchet" later on) and broken pickaxes were replaced with a fixed pickaxe and hatchet, unless the players only had the handle, in which case the handle was deleted.
Players can still visit old random event characters. Some of the guardians, which include the tree spirit, river troll and Rock Golem, now spend their days in the Enchanted Valley (which player can reach using the fairy rings, with the code BKQ). The more unsavoury types, like Cap'n Hand and Rick Turpentine, reside in Port Sarim Jail. Players may still see Dr Jekyll from time to time, dashing to the apothecary in a desperate bid to keep Mr Hyde in check; and players south-west of Brimhaven on Karamja may come across the strange plant, which still produces rather excellent fruit.
The Drunken Dwarf will also be seen on occasion, staggering about in an erratic fashion. He takes a liking to players who talk to him, and he may treat them to a kebab and some beer. The Security Guard can also be seen wandering across RuneScape, giving out a free security book to players who talk to him. The shade, which would appear when burying bones, is now placed into the lowest level of the Stronghold of Security. It is now the only possibility for obtaining shade robes.
It was possible for a player to get more than one random event at a time.
Another example of two random events happening at once.
Random events disrupting woodcutters in Draynor.
An example of randoms congregating in the Rogue's Den.
A Player Moderator's crown disappears.
Rick Turpentine is seen crying in the corner of his cell.
Cap'n Hand's days on the sea are over.
Two ent random events happening at the same time.