Are your PC's suspicious? Are they wanted for some crime they committed -or- didn't commit? Maybe it's just a case of mistaken identity, but either way these guards are looking for something and they're determined to find it. Today's table is to help GM's out when someone has dispatched guards or henchman to ferret out information or find the PC's. I have tried to use generic titles like "guards" and "guard captain", but there is no reason you couldn't use this table for ANY searching group with some modifications to the words (Monks, Bandits, Stormtroopers, etc). Without further delay, I present for your enjoyment 20 Groups of Guards Searching for Something.
An NPC your PC's noticed earlier in the bazaar is now talking to a group of 6 guards and points in the PC's direction. The leader of the guards looks over at them.
You see a Mage with 3 other guardsmen on a magic carpet flying over the city. They are scanning the rooftops, towers, and high walkways.
The party is being followed at a distance by a lone figure in a tattered cloak. He or she disappears (using a ring of invisibility) at any attempt to double-back and catch him or her.
A town crier calls out a 50 gold reward for information leading to the capture of a group meeting the description of the PC's.
Three guardsmen are walking around hanging wanted posters and asking townspeople if they have seen anyone looking like this.
A small, thin guard with a wand leads a group of heavily armed brutes through the marketplace. The leader is scanning the crowd with the wand; they are clearly looking for someone or something.
A company of guards, led by two men horseback, march into the square. The mounted men converse quietly while the troops wait at attention. Only the end of the conversation is heard. "It will be as your Lordship commands. House to house search in groups of five. Report back here in 15 minutes. Fall out."
A group of five trainee guards led by an experienced trainer is learning how to patrol the area to keep it safe from wanted felons and murder hobos, such as the PC's
A mercenary captain with an eyepatch sits on his horse while his five men on the ground check the papers of those loitering near the fountain.
A group of eight veteran watchmen push their way through the crowd. Their leader is holding a sketch they occasionally refer to, as they scan the throng of people gathered outside the tavern.
Two bullyboy guards, one holding the chain leashes of three snarling war dogs and another, a muscled thug with a longsword and spiked buckler are terrifying children and old women while half-heartedly searching for something. Having the power over these "little people" is more important to them than whatever the orders refer to.
Rumor on the streets is a well-known foriegn bounty hunter just gave every guard commander in the city a 100 gold piece ruby and a description of the PC's group with the promise of 10X that amount to the man responsible for bringing the group in.
Three guards stand over a dead body at the opening of an alley. A fourth, their commander, calls out to the street, "Does anyone know who murdered this woman?". Someone in the crowd points toward the PC's. The commander looks you in the eye and calls out, "You there. I need to have a word with you."
A group of eight armored crossbowmen make a sudden entrance onto the high walkways overlooking the marketplace. They scan the faces in the crowd below them carefully, they are clearly searching for someone dangerous. The crowd begins to rapidly thin.
A group of six guards are helping to resolve an ox cart and carriage accident in the middle of the busy street. One of the guards glances in the direction of the PC's and his jaw drops. He quickly taps one of his mates points him in the party's direction and says, "Hey. Ain't that them?!?"
A lone guard escorting a lost child who had wandered away from home spots your group just as you spot him. He is torn. He wants to raise the alarm, but he also wants to protect the child.
The guard is conducting a sweep of the entire city. They are going door-to-door with ten entry groups of five men each: two fighters, two archers, and a mage. I hear that they even have groups in the sewers. They are gonna find whoever they are looking for.
A man and a woman are being hauled away by the guards. The paddy wagon arrives just as the PC's pass and both the felons go nuts. "There they are! That's the ones right there that made us do it. They took our baby! They forced us. They said. . ." The guard now wants to speak with you. This probably won't take all day, just six hours or so, to set everything straight.
There's a roadblock up ahead. A guard captain on horseback watches the road with two other guards on the ground, while another pair of guards searches people, horses, wagons, and coaches.
A pair of young pickpockets try to steal the belt pouch of a guard captain relaxing with his four guard friends at an outside bar. When they are caught, they lie and finger the PC's as the people who paid them a gold (stolen from someone else earlier) to snatch it for them. The half-drunken guard group now wants to talk to the PC's.