Thursday, January 2, 2014

[Urbis] Monsters of the Cold Frontier - The Coastal Forests

The coast of the Cold Frontier is mountainous and covered by dense forests. Compared to the rest of the region, it is fairly warm and humid. It is also the domain of the Coastal Tribe civilization. As the Trade Outpost the PCs start the campaign at is located in this area, the PCs will likely start to explore this region first.

Based on my earlier notes, the following encounters seem appropriate for this region. While I am not using the Pathfinder rules for this campaign, I will nevertheless add Pathfinder Challenge Ratings (and levels, where appropriate) to the entries to give a rough comparison of power. As the "starting area" of the campaign, the Challenge Ratings should be fairly low. The precise encounter will be determined by 1d100:
  • 1-6: A lone Coastal Tribe hunter. Roll d6: On a 1-3 the hunter is a warrior 1/expert 1 (CR 1/2), on a 4-5 a warrior 2/expert 1, and on a 6 the hunter is a ranger 3 (CR 2). There is a 50% chance that the hunter is curious and approach them to see what they are doing, while the rest of the time the hunter will be wary and attempt to stay out of sight. 25% chance of being female, otherwise male.
  • 7-10: A Coastal Tribe hunting band, consisting of 1 ranger 3 and 1d4 warrior 1/expert 1 (CR 3). Each member will have a 25% chance of being female, otherwise male.
  • 11-12: A Coastal Tribe Eagle Scout (ranger 3) sitting on a giant eagle circles overhead, observing the explorers. If the explorers give some sort of signals or if there is a fight, there is a 50% chance that they will swoop down and investigate (CR 4).
  • 13-14: A lone shaman gathering herbs and other supplies. Roll 1d20: 1-5 adept, 6-8 sorcerer, 9-11  oracle, 12-14 druid, 15-17 summoner, 18-19 witch, 20 wizard. Level is 1d6. 50% chance of being either male or female.
  • 15-16: A Coastal Tribe Skinwalker shadows the explorers for a time to divine their intentions. There is a 50% chance that the Skinwalker will do so in either animal or human form. The Skinwalker will avoid revealing shapeshifting abilities unless there is no other choice. The Skinwalker is a ranger 4, with the type being determined by a roll of 1d6: 1-2 werewolf, 3-4 werebear, 5-6 werebat. 25% chance of being female.
  • 17-19: A lone Flannish trapper (warrior 1/expert 1, CR 1/2) who will approach the PCs and ask for the latest news. 10% chance of being female.
  • 20-21: A lone Flannish prospector (warrior 1/expert 1, CR 1/2) with a pack mule. 20% chance that he will return from a successful gold or silver find and be wary of strangers whom he fears will steal. 10% chance of being female.
  • 22-28: Bear. 50% chance of either black bear (CR 3) or a grizzly (CR 5). There is a 25% chance of it being a female with 1-3 cubs, which will attempt to flee instead of fight but make the mother's disposition worse. 
  • 29-32: Bat Swarm (CR 2). There is a 20% chance that the PCs have disturbed them somehow (such as making camp in front of their lair) and that they will be aggressive. Otherwise they will swarm around the PCs but not attack.
  • 33-34: Dire Bat (CR 2). This bat will attack a lone scout or a single person standing guard, but not if two or more humans are up and active.
  • 35-40: Wolf. 50% chance of either a lone wolf which will not attack unless it finds a lone and injured or small straggler (CR 1), or an entire wolf pack with 2d6 members (CR 3 for 2 wolves, CR 4 for 3 wolves, CR 5 for 4-5 wolves, CR 6 for 6-7 wolves, CR 7 for 8-11 wolves, and CR 8 for 12 wolves). They will use intelligent wolf pack tactics, but they can be driven off through sufficient displays of magical prowess.
  • 41-42: Dire badger. Will attempt to threaten intruders away before attacking unless startled, in which case it will attack immediately. 4 in 6 chance of lone individual (CR 2), otherwise small clan of 1d4+1 individuals (CR 4 for 2, CR 5 for 3, CR 6 for 4-5 dire badgers).
  • 43-46: The explorers will come across a skunk (CR 1/4), with a 20% chance of it being a dire skunk (CR 3). It will refuse to back away and hiss, but not attack unless the explorers refuse to back away. Note that the explorers have likely never seen a skunk before.
  • 47-50: 1d6 dire weasels will fiercely defend their territory against intruders. CR 1for 1 dire weasel, CR 3 for 2, CR 4 for 3, CR 5 for 4-5, and CR 6 for 6 dire weasels.
  • 51-55: A wolverine will attack to defend its territory (CR 2). 20% chance of a dire wolverine (CR 4).
  • 56-60: An owlbear attacks (CR 4). 25% chance of a mated pair (CR 5).
  • 61-64: A sasquatch passes nearby (CR 2). The PCs might never catch a glimpse, but they might hear its howls, knocks, or footprints.
  • 65-68: A lone decapus (CR4) either attempts to ambush lone stragglers from above or lure the explorers into a ravine with the aid of its illusions and mimicry.
  • 69-70: If the PCs are inattentive, one of them will be attacked by either a lone gryph (50% chance, CR 1) or a flock of 2d4 of the creatures (CR 3 for 2 gryphs, CR 4 for 3 gryphs, CR 5 for 4-5 gryphs, CR 6 for 6-7 gryphs, or CR 7 for 8 gryphs). In each case the creatures will fly away to their fetid and overgrown lair after they have deposited their eggs into the explorers' bodies. 
  • 71-74: One of the PCs will step on a slime mold (CR 2) unless succeeding on a perception check. If avoided, the mold will still attack anyone nearby.
  • 75: A tendriculos (CR 6) ambushes the PCs.
  • 76-79: A snallygaster stalk the explorers (CR 3). Will prefer to ambush lone individuals unless it smells alcohol, in which case it will go berserk. 50% chance of mated pair (CR 5).
  • 80-81: A skulk (CR 1) will shadow the PCs and attempt to steal whatever it can from their equipment. It won't hesitate to murder any PCs in their sleep, but it also won't engage in any unnecessary risks to do so.. 20% of a small gang of 2d4 individuals (CR 3 for 2 skulks, CR 4 for 3 skulks, CR 5 for 4-5 skulks, CR 6 for 6-7 skulks, or CR 7 for 8 skulks).
  • 82-85: A mothman (CR 6) will stare at one of the PCs and then vanish.
  • 86: A faceless stalker (CR 4) attempts to befriend the party by posing as a native hunter and then luring lone PCs away to drink their blood and steal their skin.
  • 87: A lone chaneque attempts to ambush a lone explorer (CR 1). If their soul is stolen, native shamans might be able to help with finding it.
  • 88-92: 2d4 fey creatures are frolicking in a meadow. Their base mood towards the explorers will be either shy or playful (50% chance of each). Roll 1d6 for the base type of fey creature: 1 for mice (treat as rats, CR 1/2), 2 for fox (CR 1/2), 3 for racoons (CR 1), 4 for toads (CR 1/6), 5 for weasels (CR 1), and 6 for squirrels (CR 1/6). Adjust the CR for the number of creatures. There is a 20% chance that they will fight a conflict for territory with another fey creature. If the PCs speak Sylvan, they may be asked to mediate.
  • 93-95: Twigjacks attempt to sabotage the explorers' equipment. 70% chance of a lone twigjack (CR 3),  otherwise a group of 2d4 individuals (CR 5 for 2 twigjacks, CR 6 for 3 twigjacks, CR 7 for 4-5 twigjacks, CR 8 for 6-7 twigjacks, or CR 9 for 8 twigjacks).
  • 96-97: A group of 2d4 leaf leshys protects a small region of the forest containing a multitude of useful herbs and berries created by a local shaman. Anyone just passing through will be observed, but anyone attempting to pick the herbs will be harassed until they leave. CR 1 for 2 leshys, CR 2 for 3 leshys, CR 3 for 4-5 leshys, CR 4 for 6-7 leshys, or CR 5 for 8 leshys.
  • 98-100: Special encounters.
 "Special encounters" includes creatures that only exist once in the region, as well as unique NPCs the explorers have encountered before. If the explorers defeat those particular creatures, they won't show up again. Examples (roll 1d4 to determine which one);
  • 1: A solitary wyvern (CR 6) swoops down and attacks a party member. Only one wyvern lives in this mountain range.
  • 2: A sudden thunderstorm occurs, and a thunderbird (CR 11) can be seen soaring in the clouds. Only one thunderbird lives in this mountain range.
  • 3: A Worm That Walks (sorcerer 9, CR 10) observes spellcasting explorers for a while. If discovered, it buries into the ground and escapes rather than attacking. Only one Worm That Walks lives in the region - a native shaman who discovered this unnatural method for prolonging his life.
  • 4: A pukwudgie is in search of more lone victims to add to its undead retinue (CR 7). There is only one pukwudgie living in this area. There is only one pukwudgie living in the region, but the tribes have fearful legends of the creature.

Note: A list of all Urbis-related posts can be found here.