Friday, February 24, 2017

Little Encounters Along the Way...

And here are some little encounters to go with the map of the are surrounding the farmstead. This is a supplement to the Wandering Monsters previously posted. Each of these Little Encounters are intended to help flesh-out each of the regions...

A Few Little Encounters...

The Enclave. The oldest section was built into the hillside and connects to at least six small, zig-zaggy tunnels that run out to the old hop yard, the Still Shack, the Old Owl's tree, the edge of the Pastures and one or two other well-hidden and trapped exits. The second-story protrudes out over the ground floor forming a flagstone-paved porch area where a series of heavy old manlets and shutters can be pinned into place before the first hard frost. Around the main manor-structure are a number of apiaries, trellises, herb gardens, a pumpkin patch, some out buildings and roofed-over wood-piles--all the things you'd expect on a working farmstead. The main well is located at the base of the three-story stone-and-timber square tower set to the back of the main structure. The family have managed to defend this place through many a hard winter.
  1. Geese (2d6)
  2. Scarecrow
  3. Scrabbling Hand
  4. Bats (3d6) [only at night] or Croaker-Crows (1d4)
  5. Mousefolk (2d6) [Trying to be very, very quiet]
  6. Mandrake (Lesser)

Briar-Lands. A natural barrier of dense black thorns, nettles, brambles and purplish-black, yellow-green, and red roses. The family have a pact with the roses and the plants form a tough barrier every autumn that both hinders travel and makes the main Farmstead more difficult to locate.
  1. Roselettes (2d4)
  2. Mossfolk (3d4)
  3. Thornlim (1d4)
  4. Bramblemanter
  5. Borogrove skeleton
  6. Pink-Banded Slugs (2d4)

No-Go Mound. Joy's mother told her to never-ever go near the old mound for fear the Moundfolk might take her.
  1. Bandits (2d4)
  2. Moundfolk (1d4)
  3. Morlock Elder
  4. Screechers (2d4)
  5. Refugees (1d6)
  6. Pack of wild bush-pigs

Cave. Joy discovered this cave just this Summer and she has been thinking about exploring the place one of these days...
  1. Bats (1d4) [only at night] or Red-Crested Hawk
  2. Mud Crabs (1d4)
  3. Jentil Children (1d4)
  4. Standing Stone [Wasn't there before...]
  5. Centipede (Green-speckled)
  6. Bone-Foam or Biting Snails (1d4)

Bear Hill. A Medium-Sized Bear dwells somewhere under this hill. The Bear used to trade old books and other things it brought with it from its time in the city for honey, molasses and grampa's hootch in the Summer time. Joy's father always set aside a portion of maple candy for the Bear each Spring as a special treat.
  1. Medium-Sized Bear
  2. Giant Bees (2d4)
  3. Mad Wasp
  4. Lost Peddlar
  5. Mossfolk (1d4)
  6. Black Woods Dog [solitary and badly wounded]

Rubezahl. Sometimes a small group of the very tall folk from the Southern Mountains would come this far north in search of their favorite mushrooms. They also engaged in a little extortion or banditry along the Trade-Road if they thought they could away with it. One of Joy's grandparents drove them off more than thirty years ago and they still won't go any closer to the farmstead.
  1. Bandits (2d4)
  2. Rubezahl
  3. Spitball Fungi
  4. Voormis (2d4) [They are on a pilgrimage to the Mound, but they won't admit it...]
  5. Refugees (1d6)
  6. Pack of Black Woods Dogs (2d4)

Black Trees. There are some gnarly old trees toward the South who spend their days complaining and grumbling about the good old days when thieves were hung from their branches and the crows came round to gossip. A few of them are so old and venerable that they still have a shield or some piece of armor embedded in their trunks from the times when knights and nobles were ambushed by peasant-gangs and their corpses were bound into the trees to hide the evidence from the sheriffs.
  1. Fighting Trees (1d4)
  2. Black Tree
  3. Shade-Tree
  4. Twiglins (2d4)
  5. Stickmin (1d4)
  6. Pack of Black Woods Dogs (3d4)

Spiderwood. Huge spiders and their kin have held dominion over a small, but very fiercely defended copse ceded to them by ancient kings no one remembers any more. Over a hundred years ago all the wolves were driven into this copse and the spiders finished them off, hence the absence of wolves in this area until just recently. The Spiders eagerly hope to receive a petition from the local land-holders proposing another wolf-hunt.
  1. Large Red Spiders (2d4)
  2. Little Green Spiders (3d4)
  3. Blue-Banded Spider
  4. Spidertaur Knight
  5. Drained Husks (1d4)
  6. Web-Trap

Feral Orchards. Twisted old apple and pear trees that have been left to grow wild ever since Vizri ran off to Wermspittle quite a long time ago. The apples can be bitter or sweet, depending on the time of the year and how well you bribe the tree. There are some very strange purplish apples in the orchard, but they only seem to be found during the dark of the moon. The Western edge of the orchard has been overgrown by thorns and roses, so there are some strange fruits in there as well.
  1. Jub-Jub Bird [70% chance it's drunk on sour apples]
  2. Werm-Fruit
  3. Gnarled Grabber
  4. Poison Apples
  5. Deer (1d4)
  6. Feral Pigs (1d4)

Old Owl's Tree. A majestic oak older than anyone can rightly say. This tree was old before the Farmstead was first settled and there has always been an owl in this tree. If you know how to make friends with it, the owl can teach you a spell or two.
  1. Unwise Owls (1d4)
  2. Old Owl
  3. Thrash-Brambles
  4. Sinkhole
  5. Small Cache of Shiny-Bits [roll on a Trinkets & Trash table]
  6. Grinkitty

Some-times Bridge. There is a low stone bridge that crosses the stream here, but it can only be seen or used during certain times, like during a Full Moon in Autumn or high noon in Summer. Some-times the bridge leads to somewhere other than just across the stream.
  1. Bandits (2d4)
  2. Deserters (1d4)
  3. Iarlei
  4. Putti (1d4)
  5. Refugees (1d6)
  6. Blupes (2d4)

Lamiak's Stream. A small family of Lamiak have lived near this stream for longer than anyone else has been here. They were nearly exterminated by vigilantes who blamed them for the crimes of a Iaralei that drove people mad with its singing, but one of Joy's ancestors intervened and protected the duck-footed marsh-folk. they are reclusive, shy people, but they still feel gratitude toward the family and will help anyone descended from Good Steven to safely cross the stream.
  1. Lamiak
  2. Deserters (3d4)
  3. Blue Coach
  4. Ometto-driven Little Coach
  5. Refugees (2d6)
  6. Pack of wild dogs

Tartulo's Cave. Amidst many massive, overgrown megaliths and standing stones is a cave that leads deep under a hill where an old one-eyed Tartulo resides. He has been a shepherd and something of a hermit living peacefully here on the northern edge of the Pastures for many decades. He raises several varieties of sheep and has traded wool and mutton to Joy's family ever since he settled in this area. He is very fond of Joy's mother's knitting, especially her socks and mittens and the extra-long scarf she made for him. Joy's family have a Pact with the Tartulo and he helps defend the Farmstead by re-directing travelers, misdirecting officials and scaring off nosey-types. He also fought beside the family a few years back when a large group of bandits passed through the area looting, pillaging and burning as they went. He hand-crafts excellent pipes and other household objects from bone and horn.
  1. Tartulo
  2. Lost Sheep (1d4)
  3. Goats (2d4) [Unhappily penned-up in side cavern]
  4. Thumblings (2d4) [On secret mission]
  5. Refugees (1d6) [They hope to negotiate some sort of arrangement with the Tartulo.]
  6. Sheep (2d6)

Pastures. Gently rolling hills and meadows mostly given-over to the Tartulo's flocks. Bitter-clover and a few other herbs grow here that can't easily be found elsewhere, so children were often sent here to gather such things as they came into season.
  1. Sheep (2d6)
  2. Poachers (1d4) or Tartulo
  3. Meadow Clam
  4. Weak Point
  5. Hexcat
  6. More Sheep (3d6)

Hop Yard. Always a fragrant green place in the Summer, everyone always had to pitch-in to collect the hops once they were at their peak. Then the old-timers could get to work brewing fresh batches of beer for later in the year.
  1. Dead Bandersnatch
  2. Swarm of Stabbing Moths
  3. Greenkin (1d2)
  4. Mossfolk (1d4)
  5. Greenfinch
  6. Fuzzy Green Bees

Jentil's Lands. A tribe of Jentils, large hairy folk who raised spiral-carved dolmen and standing stones very different from those set-up by the Tartulo whom they avoided and distrusted because he killed and ate sheep. The Jentil know a great deal about the local herbs, plants and growing things and have taught various members of joy's family quite a number of secrets, recipes and lore. The family have a Pact with the Jentil who have long come to their aid and defense in times of trouble, and like the Tartulo, they misdirect and scare off would be trespassers to the best of their ability. They are very gifted wood-workers and vine-crafters and are quite fond of the family's hootch which has attained a legendary status among the Jentil who zealously guard and defend the old still as though it were a holy them, it might well be.
  1. Jentil Foragers (2d4)
  2. Jentil Children (1d4)
  3. Vinebinder
  4. Fighting Tree
  5. Thornkinder (1d4)
  6. Babes in the Woods

And Along the Trade-Roads...

Trade-Road to the West. This heavily-rutted and poorly maintained track leads past the  No-Go Mound through Jentil territory and on towards the Desolate Western Hills. It doesn't get used much any more but lately there have been sightings of Tripods and Refugees using it as they head South, though a few groups of desperate people have left the Trade-Road to cut cross country through the Briars, Black Trees and Spiderwoods to try and reach the Trade-Road that leads to Wermspittle. A few of them make it. The road splits just before it reaches the foot of the old Bear Hill. No one uses the road leading South-West.
  1. Waste Walkers (2d8)
  2. Gauntlim Raiding Party (2d6)
  3. Tomtir Spider-Riders (2d4)
  4. Gravel Gulper
  5. Refugees (1d6)
  6. Tripod

Trade-Road South. This rocky, steep-sloping trail leads off to the Southern Mountains. It cuts through very dense woods and crosses at least two other Trade-Roads and passes by an abandoned trading post before reaching the banks of a great river. nomads and merchants use this route to go to the West until that road connects with another route that leads towards Wermspittle far to the North. It is a long detour, but it is easier than cutting through the dense woodlands and many of them prefer not to take the more Southerly route but tend not to say why.
  1. Bandits (2d4)
  2. Rubezahl
  3. Spore-Cloud
  4. Stranded Cart
  5. Refugees (2d6)
  6. Pack of Black Woods Dogs (2d4)

Trade-Road East.  This route leads East though a vast forested region that is dotted with marshes, small lakes and criss-crossed with streams and creeks. The way gets very twisty and splits several times before finally reaching the Eastern Reaches and the campsites of the various would-be settlers looking to claim and establish new farmsteads.
  1. Bandits (2d4)
  2. Deserters (1d4)
  3. Farm Family enroute to Eastlands
  4. Ometto-driven Little Coach
  5. Refugees (2d6)
  6. Takers

Trade-Road North. This way leads to Wermspittle, eventually. It is the direction all Joy's older siblings and cousins have used, as well as most of the rest of her family who have had to make the trip before her. Few of them came back that way. There is a coach that travels along this route from time to time, but it is not reliable and the driver always seems to be in a great hurry as though fleeing pursuit.
  1. Bandits (2d4)
  2. Wolves (2d4)
  3. Blue Coach
  4. Ometto-driven Little Coach
  5. Refugees (2d6)
  6. Pack of wild dogs (Plague-carriers)


  1. Nice. Quite an expansion and many encounter areas for smallish adventures...

    1. Thanks. We're elaborating and expanding on things a bit as we play through it all. This process gives us a chance to test a few things out and see what works and what needs more fleshing-out or revision/fine-tuning.

  2. Wow. A tripod as a little encounter.

    1. Yes. Not every encounter is an immediate confrontation or attack. Sometimes one spots tracks, discovers evidence of a creature/entity at work in the surroundings or observe the thing in the near distance. It is partly a matter of the player's choices and the circumstances as established in-game regarding terrain, weather, noise, etc. Little encounters are easier to avoid, often requiring some action on the part of the player(s) to become more than a simple crossing of paths or sighting...though sometimes a few bad (or good) choices or wrong (or right) turns can escalate/de-escalate things pretty quickly as well. Each of these entries is much like a seed-kernel; this is one of the things/opportunities for adventure currently active in the area that the player-characters are somewhat aware of at the moment. Where it goes from there is pretty much up to the players based on their choices and actions.

      Before I forget, there happen to be more than one type/kind/size of Tripod active in and around Wermspittle and there will be more details on them coming to the blog very soon.

    2. Always eager to learn more about Tripods.

    3. There are several varieties of Tripods in the Red Bestiary...

  3. Also, the hex map is lovely. Any guess what the distance from side to side is?

    1. Thanks. The scale is flexible. Whatever best suits the end-user ought to work fine.

    2. One more note on Scale...we're approaching these maps as if they were included in a certain type of publication, so the Scale is rather flexible and could be hundreds of miles or less than a mile across the big hex...depending on the context and the reader's/player's situation. Maps are nigh unto living things in the vicinity of Wermspittle and things have a tendency to get fluid and mutable at times...


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