Here's what my take on this looks like at the moment; this is the main town screen:
The idea to rip off LORD was initially just an expedient way to prototype something that would let me exercise the skill system before the dungeon game proper was far enough along for that. LORD didn't have a dungeon -- you just wander out into the forest looking for trouble, and something finds you. I put a similar mechanic into SnargleQuest (maybe I'll start abbreviating that "SQ"); here's a shot of that, including some debug output that demonstrates the skill and combat mechanics a bit:
I'm still debating whether to take this feature out now that dungeon combat is starting to come along, but I'm tempted to leave it in just to have another option and allow some LORD-style fun. Obviously, if it's kept in I'll deepen it quite a bit -- random encounters that aren't fights (an introduction vector for plot elements, perhaps), the ability to go deeper into the woods for more challenge, etc. Opinions?