Let’s have some fun. Create a short random NPC in the wilderness. Give them a goal, what they might be doing, and a interesting description.
Mine morphed into more of an encounter:
A stout, mean-looking woman, about 40-50 years old, is marching purposely through the woods. She carries an axe and is mumbling to herself about her no-good husband.
She’s on her way to chop down the tree of the dryad who lured her husband off into fairy land.
That’s fantastic and awesome. I’ll see if I can come up with something
Bernard the former leader of a scouting brigade is out collecting wood for a fire. Bernard is quite tall, he has half his head shaved and has a scraggly beard. He wears tarnished plate mail. He chuckles at pretty much anything people say, likely because he’s quite deaf. It’s not immediately apparent but he talks loud. Bernard is had no luck hunting and is quite starving. He would be happy to help out on an adventure provided he gets something to fill his belly.
Scraggle a goblin with actually quite nice well taken care of teeth is out hunting for mushrooms. Upon further inspection he is well dressed and taken care of. Scraggle is the page of a local alchemist know it all. He’d like to find a very specific type of portobello. Not because the alchemist wants it, but because he would like to make a nice lunch.
I’m clearly hungry.
A piper walks along playing an enchanting melody. He wears heavily patched clothing. A bead of sweat drips down from his combover as if from exertion. Following behind him is a trail of medium mammals (foxes, stray dogs, a badger, etc.). If he is interrupted, the animals scatter and he will explain that he’s “just getting ready for an upcoming performance”.
The truth is that Alfwin recently cleared a nearby town of their rats and they refused to pay him. He’s working his way up to child-size creatures to exact his revenge.