I've been obsessing over "filler" encounters for some time and figured I'd start sharing them to get them off my mind. I hope you find them useful.
A logging crew working just off the road, felling trees. Roll 2d6 for their temperament. Low rolls are hostile or fearful, high rolls are especially helpful, near 7 are neutral.
The logging crews could be working for a sawmill, or felling trees for ship masts, firewood or getting logs for log houses. If undecided, roll d6:
1-2 Sawmill 3-4 Masts 5 firewood 6 building a log house
The crew consists of 6+2d6 men equipped with typical logging implements: axes, hatchets and huge two-man saws. The crew will have one or more teams of draft horses nearby to haul away the logs or will be awaiting a team to arrive to take the logs away. There also may be tents or pavilions and a pot of stew on a fire. There will be someone working a grinding wheel to sharpen implements, someone tending to the animals, someone on watch if the region is dangerous.
These men are hardy, used to working long hours and hauling heavy loads, but are not warriors. Some suggested stats: SKILL 6 STAMINA 8.
If you use minions in your campaign, then make most of them 1 hit minions.
Neutral or friendly loggers may be willing to trade food or services with the party. They may welcome a good bard or story teller in the evening in exchange for a meal and a bed.
Fearful or hostile loggers will encourage the party to move on. They may act violently if they feel threatened.
Plot hooksThe loggers may be harassed by some beast that picks off their horses or their workers.
They may be slaves to an evil baron or other power.
They may want to hire the PCs to escort the shipment of logs to their destination.