Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"Rumors of Beastmen"

My high level players have been traveling south to a megadungeon for a few months now. I made a dense overland hexcrawl for them to navigate. Basically what I do is for each hex I draw an overland map with landmarks and encounters and write details either directly on the map, or in my notes text file. It's been working really well. I originally intended each map to last for about a session, but D&D being D&D, everything takes about three times as long.

This is a small, creepy forest filled with beastmen. Players, I doubt you'll be back here, I guess you can read this if you want. There are secrets but I guess that's okay. I'll just change everything around.

I present to you...


A thick, old-growth conifer forest. Visibility quickly becomes very short. Owls during the day and night watch from high trees. At the borders of the forest, carved into trees, are beastman runes denoting their territory.

Notes on running this:

The map covers an area that can be crossed with one day's hard travel. In my game this is about twelve miles. The paper is rectangular, but I short-handed it by saying both width and length is 12 miles. This worked alright. Describe that can be seen from the players' location, and/or draw a sketchy map of what they can see. From the ground this is typically three miles, or one quarter the length of the sheet of paper. In this area the players' will have to climb trees or fly to get a good sight of the area around them. In that case, you can use this calculator here figure out how far they can see: http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS: Roll d6 every 6 hours.

1 GIANT “NAMEROT” cast out of the Fortress of Snow, roaming the wastes in hatred, devouring all it comes across, locked into rage. It can be heard from a mile away and carves a path through the forest.

The Nightmare Paladin of Deirregex the Black Dragon and his adherents came to the Fortress of Snow to utter a decree, that they choose one among them to exile. NAMEROT was chosen as the weakest and smallest, stripped of his clothes and possessions, and forced out into the wastes. He wanders in desolation and anger, killing and eating all he comes across. 

I used the stats from Frostbitten and Mutilated for this giant (his aura destroyed all written material within 100'), except HP is multiplied by 2 and damage is all +2d6 at least. Basically just think of the worst biggest stats you can imagine and send them at the players.

2 d6+10 Forest goblins with moss and ferns growing all over skin, 1 or 2 have wicker cages for kidnapped victims. HP 12, AC 16, Touch +8 cause target to shriek ceaselessly for 24 hours. DEFENSE: when killed with anything but cold iron or live wood, immediately reborn from nearby tree. POWERS: Can cast level 1 witch spells, also ONCE PER DAY (TOUCH): TARGET SHRINKS TO MOUSE SIZE (24 hours). All milk curdles in presence. Always accompanied by: 1 forest goblin with overgrown antlers, can cast witch spells up to level 5. They are searching for eggs and children to bring back to Havith Orr, will try to kidnap BASHRO (a child in the players' caravan) or shrink and kidnap a few people. SNEAK +6
3 d100 lunatic woodsmen, they each have HP 8 and Strength 20, they wield rusty axes +6 d8 damage and makeshift arrows +8 d8 damage, they are screaming and crying and some of them are naked or clad in furs and they are killing all animals they find. If they see the moon, they moan and cry and turn into trees. SNEAK +4
4 A Black Wyrm 100 feet long. HP 80, AC 18, its gaze causes paralysis as long as eyes are locked plus 1 minute afterwards, Wisdom DC 20 per round to break out after, Bite is poison 10 damage every hour and “poisoned”; can swallow anything horse-sized or swallowed given like an hour. Can sneak +10 and will attack stragglers or people alone, if rolled PCs should roll perception, describe a rustling of leaves if they hear it.
5 2d6 owls watch from above, next time this is rolled its 2d6x2, next time this is rolled its 2d6x4 and they suddenly and senselessly attack as a swarm.
6 Nothing


FOREST PATH: Narrow, overgrown, covered in forest needles, crossed by logs, the smell of fungus and leaves.

CRUDE BEASTMAN RUNES OF GOAT ARMY: These disgusting runes cause fear in Elkmen on sight.

3 IMPALED GUYS: Staked through the throat, Cannibal-holocaust style. These were priests. d100 GP. Holy symbols to BELM trampled by hooves at their feet. Divine magic cast here won’t work within 30’ unless the symbols are blessed somehow.

CHEST IN POND: bullfrogs, thick reeds, the chest pokes through the water. Chest contains: eel, d10x100gp, silver dagger.

GOBLIN TRAPPED IN SOAPBUBBLE: can’t be broken from the inside, if popped with a sharp object (like a latex balloon), it explodes and bubbles everyone within 30’ (DEX save 16). Floats around as if 0 gravity. He found the bubble in the ground and poked it. Goblin named GRABBLE, has lion hands and a purple face, if released will tell of a nearby danger. Has d100x10 goblin gold he will not part with.  

BEASTMAN GUARD: a tall spiral tower, beastman on top is keeping watch, able to see over the trees. Has a horn and a bow with 4 special arrows with range 300’, these deal 8d6 damage and impale you to the ground (restrained Strength DC 15, and when you do you take 8d6 more damage). The ancient watchtower anchors spells: any spell cast within 50' of the tower causes it to seek the tower instead.

TROLL UNDER BRIDGE: Ruined, barely holding together stone bridge. TROLL HP 100 AC 17 Regenerates 20 hp/round. Can cast “FORGET THE PATH” in a 30’ radius at will, this causes the map to rearrange (I was just gonna cut it up and tape it back together). Demands payment of 1000 gold pieces to allow passage. Has a pile of gold underneath, just d100x10 left, as he is eating it for sustenance. 2 atks per round +10 2d8 and knock down. Looks like a THIN, BULGING EYED, DRIBBLING man 20 feet tall, he clutches at bars beneath the bridge which give him cover +2, but he can rip them open in 1 round. If angered but not slain he will go to the beastmen.

2 BEASTMAN CAPTAINS IN DUEL: VORKETH THE INSANE (goatman) and BLOODTHIRSTING RASHUL (elkman) locked in duel now lasting a week. Each are 20 level fighters, their duel has trampled a long area, they are both weary and at 10 HP each. VORKETH wields a BONE AXE, RASHUL wields a 9-HEADED WHIP and CURVED DAGGER OF FROZEN BLOOD. Their duel is for obscure old-timey reasons. Whoever wins, the opposing beastman warband must leave the forest. The bottomless pit near them goes down for 300’, at the bottom is a boneless eyeless man who on a successful hit sucks the bones out of a random limb.

HP 200, AC 20, 4 attacks per round, STR +15, BLOODTHIRSTING RASHUL may deliver a FESTERING BITE that deals 20 disease damage every morning, cumulatively increasing by 10 every day (CONSTITUTION DC 20).  VORKETH THE INSANE is immune to all mind-affecting magic, psionics, illusions, and so forth, and may deliver an INSANE BLEAT 1/round (recharge 5/6) which causes all enemies to move and attack their nearest ally (CHARISMA to resist DC 20).

2 WAITING BEASTMAN WARBANDS: They are waiting for the duel to end. Tents of animal skin, great hocks roasted on spits, stench, cannibalism. Each warband consists of 50-80 beastmen. A typical beastman is level 3 (HP 21), can command animals at will, in addition to normal weapon attacks can bite or gore for 1d10 damage. Beasts and animals will not harm them under any circumstances.

LIGHTNING HILLS: Under these hills are buried necromancer siamese twins. Their vile power causes lightning to strike the tops of the hills incessantly and simultaneously.

ELKS: bloodier, savage, impale animals on their horns, cannibal, may eat a fallen comrade to gain full health, speed 50
GOATS: religious for BELPHEGOR, 50% chance of able to cast any 2nd level cleric spell DC 15 once, able to climb any surface and jump vertically 20’


roll d20
1-5nothing + weapon
6-7d10 gold
8skull of beastman’s friend, knows secret about beastman
9jar of grubs, will eat the flesh off a corpse in an hour, devour the bones in another
10soap made from woman fat
11necklace of human teeth
12-15d100 gold
16young pig
17beastman stick figure, will ward against opposing beastman as antipathy spell 8 hours
18green arrow, if target is in range and you know their name, it will seek them as a normal attack and ignore any cover
19bag with cat skeleton inside, name “grinder”
20 d100x4 gold

BIG TREASURE (in leader’s pavilion)

Black panther “JUSTICE” being prepared for biocombination with a BOA CONSTRICTOR “RAGDA”
BRACELET made of GREEN METAL, if slid up onto the bicep it turns the wielder’s ARM INVISIBLE for 1 minute per day (but not anything they’re holding)
d1000xd10 gold


A giant goat, its hind and forelegs bound together, it writhes across the ground making a tormented sound, its head is going to be split in two as soon as they can find a good cleric. Then it's gonna be a two-headed giant goat.
d1000x10 gold

ANCIENT TREE: Covered in crows which see with the eyes of the ancient hag imprisoned in its roots. ‘BAVOR ORAMIS” is her name, she longs for freedom, if freed will grant a level 6 spell. She is wholly evil and was trapped by a good wizard hundreds of years ago, she will immediately return to her evil pursuits of killing all women younger and more beautiful than her, as well as forming a coven.

HUT HAS SKELETON OF WOODSMAN: He is clutching an axe, which 1/day can cut down a tree in a single stroke.

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