Sunday, September 3, 2017

Wanderlust: Scout Travel Events [3 Samplings]

Events for the Scout
What follows is a sampling of a d30 list of events for the Scout to encounter upon a failed Scout skill roll. Events are not necessarily hazardous or wicked, but they represent a chance for further attrition of resources and potential loss of life. A success on a Scout skill means you’ve successfully avoided encountering anything off the beaten path. A success on a Scout skill means you’ve prevented the party from stumbling into something that’ll make the trip take even more time. It is assumed the events of Scouting take place roughly a half to a full mile ahead of the party proper. Such that the party can arrive at the Scout’s current location if the Scout were to wait within 15-30 minutes, depending on how fast or burdened the rest of the party is.


1. The Scout has found a well-hidden cache of weapons and a crude map of the nearest of settlement with circles and triangles drawn on certain buildings. There are no tracks easily visible and the weapons have a few days dew and lack of care upon them. If the Scout opts to take the weapons, there will be 1d8 weapons overall (axes, swords, and spears mostly), and there will be a 3-in-6 chance that the original owners of the weapons will come looking for them in the direction the Scout is travelling within 1d4 days.

Roll a d6 to determine the purpose of the weapons being hidden. On a 1, they are weapons being stockpiled by a group of bandits hoping to rob a nearby town and take it over. They will attack the party if the party took the weapons. On a 2, the weapons belong to a wandering weapon master (level 3 fighter) who was marking down the location of students who have paid their tuition. He will not attack the party outright but he will demand them back and call them dishonorable thieves. On a 3, the weapons belong to a group of would-be heroes who were plotting to take down a monster in their own town but could not risk discovery. They will try to get the party on their side to help, but their friends they wanted to save will be dead due to this delay. On a 4, the weapons belonged to a tomb robber and the map was found in the same crypt as the blades; she has no idea what the map is about but she will demand payment for the goods that she re-appropriated if the party takes them. On a roll of 5, the weapons are haunted by a ghost whose descendant was tracking down the children of a kinslayer who destroyed the ghost’s battalion. These weapons demand blood so the ghost may rest. On a roll of 6, the weapons belong to a group of assassins who were trying to run a frame-up operation. They will try to trick the party into completing it for them by planting false evidence and making them murder their targets, then taking out or getting the party arrested.

If this event is rolled a second time re-roll the d6 to determine the purpose. If the purpose is the same, then run this instead. The weapons were left behind when another party of adventurers had to abandon camp after being attacked in the night by a monster. Their bodies are located 1d8 miles away, outside a monster’s lair, and there is an obvious trail of dried blood and monster tracks. There will be 1d4 survivors of the encounter in the nearby settlement, down on their luck and traumatized. Providing them with these weapons or the head of the monster will make them loyal hirelings for the party’s next adventure.

If this event is rolled a third time, and the same weapon purpose was rolled, run this instead. The cache of weapons are clearly belonging to the local government, baring their mark, and have been freshly coated in blood. Vials of poison are located nearby as well, and the map instead gives the layout and patrol schedule of a nearby government building. By the time the party catches up with the Scout, 1d4 cultists dressed as local guards or soldiers will arrive and accuse the party of plotting an assassination. The party will need to fight their way out or be arrested. If they choose to go willingly, they will be used as the fall guys when the cultists end up killing their target and taking a precious item from a religious building. In 1d6 days, should the cultists kill their target, a malign event of religious significance and horror will happen in the settlement. Choose what fits your cult, or roll a d6.

On a 1, a child is born with horns, it cackles and devours its mother before turning into smoke and vanishing in the night. On a 2, the moon is blood red and the recently dead rise (including anyone the cult killed) as zombies. On a 3, it rains blood and any who are hit by the blood must make a WIS save or go violently insane until the rain stops. On a 4, all domesticated animals start loudly revealing horrible secrets and infernal truths in a creepy voice that carries on the wind. On a 5, a bolt of lightning will strike the center of worship of that settlement and set it ablaze, demons of torment will rip the flesh off the chief preacher. On a 6, a devil of great power will steal the skin of an important local figure and begin undermining the community with brutal laws and vicious murders.


2. The Scout has stumbled across the lean-to of a hermit who has moved far away from the rest of civilization for one reason or another. The Scout must make a DEX save or have been spotted by the hermit, though if the Scout makes the save they instead spots the hermit. The hermit will be knowledgeable in regional lore, though unlikely to share it. He wishes to be left alone and there's a 1-in-6 chance he is convinced that the party will make others aware of his location which will drive the hermit to violence. The hermit will only become sociable in the event that the Scout or the Party wish to barter with him, in which case he desires sharp knives, hatchets, flatware and cookery equipment. He will not trade outside his own favor, and much of what he has to trade will be tubers, mushrooms, and other foraged goods.

There is a 1-in-20 chance that any food or tea the party consumes from the hermit will make them mildly ill in 1d6 hours. If the hermit is antagonistic it is a 1-in-3 chance. The hermit may have a companion, roll a d6. On a 1, it is a mutt dog who loves the hermit beyond compare. On a 2, it is an old wolf who was cast out by her pack and has accepted the hermit as a companion. On a 3, it is a boar with a lame leg which will someday be dinner but is now a whiny scrap-beggar at any meal. On a 4-to-6 the hermit is alone.  

If the Scout rolls this event again in a different hex the hermit will be a blind trapper whose mind, sight, and voice have been stripped of him by too much moonshine. He will act much the same as the original hermit, though he will be entirely unintelligible and far more homicidal.  Any additional re-rolls of this event in other hexes see the Scout finding an abandoned shed in disrepair. There is a 4-in-6 chance of finding foraged foodstuffs growing wild in what would've been storage containers and rotten cabinets. There will be enough to feed 3 people, though it will be woody and rough eating.


3. The Scout has stepped into a nest of ground hornets, though they’ve yet to sting. The Scout must make a DEX save to remove their foot from the nest, a failure causes 1d4 damage in painful blistering stinger welts the marks of which will not fade for a week. On a success the Scout is able to pull their foot out successfully and should they have a container available they will be able to extricate some bitter honey from their foot and leg to save for later. Honey, even from foul ground hornets, can help preserve the health of a wound and prevent infection.

If this event is rolled again by a different Scout, repeat it as before. If the event is rolled again by the same Scout, the Scout has learned to watch their footing. By following the sound of buzzing this time, the Scout has stumbled upon a large alcove of hives and honeycombs. There is a 1-in-6 chance that a wild beast (a bear, or a regional equivalent) is currently carving up a hive to feast upon the sweet golden honey. The Scout may make a DEX save to sneak and harvest honey in a container, though they will need to make a DEX save for every hive they tap. Each hive will contain enough honey to fill two gallons worth of containers, and there will be 1d8+2 hives. A failure on this DEX save alerts the bees who will begin stinging the Scout with reckless abandon for 1d4 damage a round until the Scout has fainted or fled from the area. If the Scout takes all of the honey, there is a 1-in-6 chance they will be trailed by a wild beast (a bear, or regional equivalent) who is very curious as to where its favorite snacking substance has gone off to.

If this event is rolled a third time, the Scout has stumbled instead upon a beautiful cerulean tulip within which sits a Honeysuckle Faerie. She appears to be made of golden liquid honey in a dress of flower petals and a crown of pollen. Those who can speak the language of the fey will be able to parlay her for information on the area, and perhaps learn of the treasures of her hated enemies (likely goblins or bears). She commands swarms of bees which she will be very protective over, but who are loyal to her enough to sacrifice their lives in an attempt to kill her enemies.


Design notes: So essentially, it is a d30 list that has to allow for a minimum of three permutations per item; so that way the list can be interesting even on rolling doubles. It takes a lot to get these working, and I mostly jot ideas for them down in a notebook while on the subway. A lot needs to be brought up/fixed when I transfer them to proper typing. All the same, I'm unsure about the system but I like the results. Working on it all the same. I'll be the first to admit this is long neglected but has potential. d30 with 3 permutations for five different roles is an undertaking, but it has potential.

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