Sunday, November 25, 2012

This, That and the Other Thing: A Night at the Campfire

Adventurers spend quite a bit of time sleeping outdoors. The next time the party beds down for the evening, roll a d6 and consult the table below. In my own campaign, the party’s 12 year-old lantern boy ended up in a fist fight with the goblin from entry 1. The lantern boy won after kicking it in the groin. Several entries (2, 3, 5, and 6) might provide scenario seeds if the GM wishes to develop them.

1) Drunken Goblin
     A drunken goblin stumbles into camp during the middle of the night. The little fellow carries a bucket of rotgut and appears only mildly surprised to find itself face to face with the party. It will even hold out the bucket, offering the characters a drink. The creature is armed, but is more pathetic than dangerous. It will soon pass out, collapsing face first onto the ground. 
2) The Giant
     As the players sleep, something massive stomps through the forest. It crashes through trees, snapping branches and trampling shrubs underfoot. It is either unaware, or uninterested, in the party’s presence. The night is dark, so the party cannot get a glimpse of whatever is mashing about. The creature is moving fairly quickly, so the sound of its progress will soon fade. In the morning, the players easily find its huge footprints. 
3) Lone Mount
     A horse strays into camp. Lather covers the animal, evidence of a lengthy, strenuous run. The horse is saddled and the attached bags contain a map case, water skin, flint and steel, some salted meat, 20’ of rope and a pair of manacles.  
     A search of the area will not turn up the rider. Speak With Animals will reveal that the horse belongs to a rider who was thrown from the saddle while fighting a large, man-like creature (ogre? giant?). The horse fled in terror and has been running for at least an hour. 
4) Popular Campground
     The spot where the characters have chosen to make camp appears to be quite popular. There’s a fire ring, with dried scraps of meat, broken bottles and gnawed bones laying about. Searching the ashes yields more bones and broken pottery. The area surrounding the campground is littered with desiccated excrement. 
5) Ruined Temple
     Scouting the area around the campsite reveals a ruin, which has been enveloped with vines and shrubs. Upon a 60’ square foundation rest crumbling columns, a shattered altar and rotting wood. Runes and symbols carved into the altar and columns attest to an evil deity. That night, tortured faces dance in the flames of the campfire. Moreover, the party’s food tastes spoiled and the wine bitter. Troubled dreams await those who sleep.  
 6) The Hanged Man
     As the players are setting up camp or foraging for wood, they discover a body hanging from a tree. The body is badly decayed, with a host of vermin feeding on the remains. The rope around the man’s neck is frayed and looks as if it will snap at any moment. If the party cuts the man down, they will be unable to find any clues as to his identity. He is dressed in common clothing and has no possessions. Speak With Dead reveals that the man is from a nearby village. He claims to have been hung by vigilantes for a crime he did not commit.

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