Random events in RuneScape were described by Jagex as being "the occasional strange event happening near you". Random events were the successors to the fatigue feature from RuneScape Classic — a system designed to hinder players using macros. Random events occurred with a certain degree of regularity, but if you consistently completed events successfully, you encountered them less frequently.
Random events occurred after a certain amount of experience was gained within a certain period of time. During the Bonus XP weekend, some players gaining in excess of 10 million summoning experience per hour would encounter random events with a hugely increased commonality, every 1–2 minutes on average, showing again that the game engine gave random events based on experience gain. However, it is possible that there were other triggers that caused random events to occur (such as staying logged in for an extended period of time).
A Random Event gift would be given to a player when they successfully completed a random event. These gifts contained a selection of rewards to choose from. The reward options were randomised, but players with higher skill totals would generally be offered better rewards; especially if they had a record of passing random events.
The player would find themselves in a disorganised office next to Giles, Miles or Niles who would show the player a noted item. If the player correctly identified the item from three different choices, he or she would be allowed to leave through the exit portal, receiving a Random event gift on their return to their original location. If not, the player would have their inventory noted and be teleported to a random location instead. Interestingly, the office bears a resemblance in shape and layout to the Grim Reaper's office that was visited upon a player's first death before Soul Reaper was released.
The certers can now be found at the Grand Exchange next to the Grand Exchange tutor. Which one appears there is random, and at certain times they replace each other. Talking to them will provide access to a tutorial on notes, a reference to their ability to note objects back in Runescape Classic.
The Drill Demon was an event in which you would go to various platforms to do random exercises (sit-ups, push-ups, star jumps, etc.). If the player successfully completed Sergeant Damien's exercises, he or she would be teleported back to their original location with a Random event gift.
The Freaky Forester would quickly appear and teleport the player off to his wooded realm. The player would have to kill the pheasant he asked for and talk to him with the pheasant held in inventory to be allowed to use the exit portal. On return, the player would get a Random event gift. Failing to supply him with the correct pheasant resulted in being teleported to a random location instead.
Kiss the Frog
When the player got teleported to the Land of the Frogs, they had to speak to the Frog Herald, who told them how to solve this random event. The player then had to speak to the frog with the crown, and kiss him/her. If they talked to any other frog in that area he would tell them that is the wrong one and thus has to do over four more times. If the player fails them all he/she would be turned into a frog. The only way out was talking to the prince/princess and getting teleported to a random location.
The Frog Prince and Frog Princess have since married and are having a honeymoon in the Enchanted Valley (BKQ). They are accompanied by the Frog Herald, and occasionally one of them will revert back into frog form, which the other will fix by kissing them.
The Mysterious Old Man could quickly appear and teleport the player into a maze, where the objective was to reach the centre and tag the spinning box. The faster this was done, the larger the eventual reward would be. If the player talked to the Mysterious Old Man he or she would be teleported to a random place in RuneScape instead. This random event did not give a Random event gift, but instead gave items like coins, arrows, ore, runes and feathers. A member completing the maze with 80-90% reward left could end up with a reward of more than 100,000gp.
The Mysterious Old Man could quickly appear and teleport the player to the Mime, who would perform emotes. The player copied these emotes to receive a Random event gift to be teleported back to their original location. Failing to accurately mimic him would result in being teleported to a random location with no reward.
The Mime can now be found entertaining people in the Falador Party Room. Players are able to ask him for a joke, after which he will mime a very bad joke. You can also ask him how he is, among other things, and he mimes all of his responses.
The player would find themselves on a desert island with Captain Arnav. The Captain would 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 resulted in being teleported to a random location with no reward.
Cap'n Arnav can now be found in the building behind ScarFace Pete's mansion. When spoken to, he tells the player he purchased his current home through the loot he received from his chest.
The Mysterious Old Man would quickly appear and teleport the player to the Quiz Master, where they would be subjected to being contestants on a game show called Odd One Out. Solving his questions rewarded the player with a Random event gift.
The Sandwich lady would appear, and teleport the player to her café. Here, she would ask the player to choose one of her breads. If the player chose the bread that she originally offered to them, they were 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 failed, they get sent to a random location with no rewards. Her treats also healed 200 LP when eaten.
The Sandwich Lady can now be found running a stall in Ardougne Market, selling her baked goods. Players are able to steal from her stall, although be warned that if she catches you she will hit you with her Baguette.
Evil Bob could quickly appear and teleport the player onto his private island for servitude. The player had to 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 fell asleep and the player was free to step into the portal to return with a Random event gift. The player's character would blow Bob a raspberry on the way out. If the player attempted to leave the island by the portal before Bob is asleep, Bob said, "You're going nowhere human! Bring me some fish! My other servant will tell you what to do."
Evil Bob and his island on ScapeRune can be accessed via the fairy ring code CIS. Once there, players are able to fish him some Fish-like things, 'uncook' them, and then feed them to him, after which he falls asleep. Although players are free to leave at any time, players are able to chat with his Servant after feeding him for some new dialogue.
The Mysterious Old Man could quickly appear and teleport the player into the classroom of Mr. Mordaut. If the player answered his three questions correctly they would receive a Random event gift and be teleported back after exiting through the door the good professor indicated. Random event gifts from this event were the only ones to give the Book of knowledge.
Mr. Mordaut is now the Professor of Unnatural History at the Varrock Museum. He can be found in the basement, the door to his office being found behind the stairs. Players may tell him about the Dragonkin in order to receive a Dragonkin lamp that rewards 25,000 Slayer experience. To receive the lamp, the player has to complete the "A Tail of Two Cats" quest and the "Ritual of the Mahjarrat" quest as well as defeat the King Black Dragon and Queen Black Dragon at least once.
The Beekeeper 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 could quickly appear and teleport the player off to help her capture her evil twin. The player had to use the control panel in the next room to capture her twin who was wandering beneath a grabber arm with several similar-looking innocent people. Doing this correctly resulted in the player being sent back with a Random event gift. Grabbing innocent people on two attempts resulted in being teleported to a random location with no reward.
Molly and Moira can be found in a house with cabbages in the garden opposite the Blue Moon Inn. When chatted to, Molly will complain about how Moira is giving her a bad name due to the fact they're identical, and at various points of the conversation they switch places.
The Mysterious Old Man could quickly appear and teleport the player into the gigantic pinball machine. If the player tagged 10 poles in a row with glowing rings, they could exit to return to their original location with a Random event gift. Trying to leave early or tagging a pole out of order resulted 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.
Leo has since gotten a new job as the Gravedigger for the East Ardougne church. When chatted to, players will quickly find out he's as bad at his new job as he was at the old one.
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.
Pillory guards can now be found guarding the Pillories in Varrock, Seers' Village and Yanille. If players pickpocket them, they will be teleported into the Pillory and will have tomatoes thrown at them by the nearby Tramp. Players can escape by talking to the pillory guard again and apologising.
Evil Bob could quickly appear and teleport the player into the prison where Prison Pete needed help in escaping. The player had to pull the wall mounted lever to see what balloon animals to pop and give each key to Pete. When Prison Pete had been given the third correct key, the player was free to go through the portal and return to their original location with a Random event gift. Failing to do this in the allowed time would allow the player to return to their previous location without a Random event gift.
If you log out at least twice within the prison, you did not have to solve the puzzle, but would appear in a random location, getting the message "If you had succeeded in solving the puzzle, you'd have been returned to your previous location."
Prison Pete can now be found in Port Sarim Jail, having finally escaped from ScapeRune, although he has become a wreck, and cannot live life outside of a prison, so he refuses to leave his new prison cell.
Lost and Found
The player could fall through into the Abyssal Plane. To return to their original location with a Random event gift, the player had to operate the one appendage protruding from the walls that is unlike the other three. Operating wrong appendages resulted in a decrease in the player's magic level.
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 would usually teleport a player back to where he collected him/her, he would also often teleport the player to a completely different area of RuneScape that was not the original location, 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. Also, many players complained of getting the middle finger when they had to guess how many fingers Dr. Ford was holding up.
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 others 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 simply to 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 draughty room; this meant 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. It is still possible to see this event using the Orb of Oculus, though the candles and Pious Pete are not visible.
Axe handle and axe head
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 Rune axe head, costing them a considerable amount of money to purchase a replacement. Jagex eventually removed the event for this reason: it was also removed 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 recognise the event, pick up the fallen axe head, reattach it to the handle and continue as before.
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 damaging them. If a player was low on hit points, the explosion could kill them. The solution was to either step away quickly and move to another rock, or wait until the rock stopped steaming before resuming to mine 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. Every once in a while, when a player attempted to cut a tree, it would sprout a face and arms; hence becoming an Ent. If any player continued to cut the tree for too long after the tree Ent appeared, his/her hatchet would become damaged and 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. Interestingly, players that did not have a high enough level to cut the type of tree the ent was could still cut the ent, ultimately damaging their hatchets (hatchets were known as axes at the time).
Mysterious Old Man and Strange Box
The Mysterious Old Man would randomly appear and stuff a Strange Box into the inventory of the player while they were doing just about anything during the course of the game. The player had to stop what he/she was doing and solve the simple puzzle to get rid of it before it started self-replicating. The rewards were uncut gems 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. It was changed because some of the puzzles were colour puzzles, which annoyed colourblind players, and later removed completely.
The Mysterious Old Man can now be found in Draynor Village, opposite Morgan's house. Talking to him will give a brief history of the random events, and he will provide the location of some of his 'Random friends'. Asking him about his abducting people results in him providing the Fairy ring code for Evil Bob's Island, after which he gets kidnapped by Evil Bob. After he has been kidnapped, you can visit his basement and find some trinkets of random event past, which include the Maze's strange shrine, the Mime's exit sign, some Broken pickaxes and Hatchets, the Quizmasters Spotlight, and some others.
While fishing, a large fish would occasionally appear in the fishing spot. It would grab the player's fishing equipment in its mouth and spit the gear somewhere nearby, usually three to ten squares away up on the shore. When this happened, the player simply had to find the 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 while a player was training 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.
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. Upon the Zombie's appearance, and during the fight (if you chose to fight him) he would say "Braaiinnzzzzzzzzzz," which is a reference to zombies in story-telling history having a desire to eat brains.
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.
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. 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.
The Evil Chicken may appear at various chicken pens in RuneScape, urging on chickens to revolt against their masters. In addition to this, he can be fought in the Recipe for Disaster/Freeing Sir Amik Varze quest and the Dominion Tower.
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.
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 life points.
The Rock golem now appears when you mine the rocks in the Enchanted valley and attacks much as he used to when he guarded all rocks in RuneScape.
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.
River trolls now appear and attack when a player attempts to fish in the Enchanted Valley, much as they did when they were a random event, although their combat level is no longer dependent on the player's. They also feature in a court case.
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.
Tree spirits can also attack when a player attempts to chop down a tree in the Enchanted Valley, although like the River Troll, their combat level is no longer dependent on the player's.
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.
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.
The Swarm can now be found buzzing around Musa Point, although it is passive and will not attack.
(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. 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.
Strange plants can now be found growing near Brimhaven and passing-by players may pick the fruit and gain the same benefits as they did before, though the plant no longer attacks.
Players would speak to Rick Turpentine after being jailed 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.
Rick Turpentine can now be found in the Port Sarim maximum security prison, sharing a cell with a mugger whom he says he enjoys watching die, even though the mugger just comes back to life.
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.
The Security Guard now wanders Runescape, handing out security booklets. His main location is the first floor of the Port Sarim Jail and teleports to a random location every few minutes to hand out booklets. Afterwards, he teleports back to the jail to wander around and repeats this process.
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. His not-so-nice twin brother can be found in a crack in the ground to the west of Nardah.
When doing almost anything, a lost pirate named Cap'n Hand would appear and try to get the player's attention. Upon speaking to him, he would give the player 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.
Cap'n Hand can now be found sharing a cell with a pirate in the Port Sarim maximum security prison. He gets lonely due to the Pirate he is imprisoned with not having a "Talk-to" option.
Jekyll and Hyde
The famous scientist would usually appear when travelling through built up town and city areas, although he could appear whilst a player was anywhere or doing anything. He would briefly explain an experiment he was working and would request from the player the highest level herb (back when they had to be 'identified' and not 'cleaned' - Main article: Herbal Remedies Update) the player had on them or a Guam Leaf, if the player had no herbs in their inventory, to finish his potion. In return, he would give the player a random potion (see the full article for the list). If the player refused he would disappear, stating he would have to find someone else to help him, and the player would receive a Strength Potion (2). If ignored, he would transform into Mr Hyde (level 14-159, depending on the player's combat level), and use melee to attack the player until the player killed him or teleported or ran a certain distance away from him, when he would then vanish. When killed, he would drop a pestle and mortar, a random potion (possibly a Super Restore potion (4)), or an Empty Vial, as well as Bones (100%).
Dr Jekyll can rarely be found teleporting to Varrock square and running to the Apothecary, desperately trying to keep Mr Hyde in check.
Scrapped random events
Duke of Bridgelum
The Duke of Bridgelum was an unreleased random event that involved going to ScapeRune to help the Duke of Bridgelum reassemble dead cows from their component parts. The random event was scrapped because the testers at the time pointed out that the dismembered cow parts looked grotesque. The reward would have been pieces of a cow outfit, which exists in Old School RuneScape.
Sebastian Gno was mentioned in a Behind the Scenes article as being the "fastest gnome in the world", and was to be released alongside several other random events such as the Sandwich lady. Judging by the statement in the article ("Don't ignore them!"), Sebastian Gno would have been one of those random events where an NPC appeared and tried to get the player's attention, like the Drunken Dwarf.
However, Sebastian Gno was not added to RuneScape along with the rest of the random events named, and since it has been several years since his first and only mention, it is assumed that the idea was completely scrapped by Jagex.
Places where random events could not occur
Random events can't appear in certain locations. This makes these locations popular places to bot because there is no chance of being interrupted by a random event. They couldn't be used as advantage anymore since random events no longer occur.
- TzHaar Fight Cave
- Pest Control (while in bank or during the activity and waiting in the boats)
- Soul Wars
- God Wars Dungeon
- Kuradal's Dungeon
- Pyramid Plunder
- Runecrafting altars during the Great Orb Project (though they can still appear in the guild itself after finishing the game). They did happen when runecrafting normally to get runes.
- Fist of Guthix (while playing)
- Under Daemonheim during Dungeoneering
- While Guthix Sleeps cavern (tormented demons)
- Balthazar Beauregard's Big Top Bonanza
- Clan Wars (though they can still happen after a war)
- Ape Atoll (with greegree equipped, without the greegree on, you can still get randoms)
- Waterbirth Island Dungeon
- Clan Citadels
- Ancient Cavern
- Glacor Cave (the area available after completion of the quest, Ritual of the Mahjarrat), which contains non-aggressive Glacors)
Random events were first updated on 25 February 2009, and some random events were removed from the game, while existing events were reworked. Some of the characters removed in this update were added back into the game in the same update, although they no longer kidnap players. For example, the River troll, Rock golem and Tree spirit may now all be found in the enchanted valley.
On 24 October 2012, all remaining random events were removed, and the emotes and rewards given by them became unavailable, but Jagex stated they would add them back at a later date. This promise was fulfilled on 12 February 2013, and the majority of characters and all of the rewards can once again be found in game.
- Random events were sometimes referred to as "macro events."
- As of the Christmas Event 2011, all spinning items in random events (for example, the bones in Gravedigger or the answers in the Quiz show) have a constantly changing random coloured tinge, this was probably done to offset lingering bots.
- Random event clothing may be purchased from Iffie in Varrock, whether or not the random event was completed before removed from the game.
- When getting chosen for a random event the player would say "No? What? Noooooooooo!" This may be a reference to an episode in the hit American television show Seinfeld.
- Mod Moltare has considered returning random events in the form of a toggle.
- In the feast cut scene of the Recipe for Disaster quest, the Duke of Lumbridge gets the Strange box random event and Evil Bob teleports Osman away.
- In Swan Song, there is a cutscene in which the Wise Old Man is encountered by the Drunken Dwarf. The old man replies "I AM NOT YOUR MATE!" and kills the unfortunate dwarf.
- When My Arm is farming his hardy goutweed in the quest My Arm's Big Adventure, he gets a Drunken Dwarf random event. My Arm smacks the Drunken Dwarf with his arm, knocking the dwarf away from him and off the nearby cliff. After the quest there is a stain where the beer glass landed and a small troll child called Drunken Dwarf's Leg by the entrance, hinting that the troll child attempted to eat the Drunken Dwarf's leg. A troll obtains its name from what it first attempts to consume; hence "Drunken Dwarf's leg."