I like the adventure, but it is a bit overcomplicated and ambiguous as presented in the magazine, so I have made a hex grid for it. The original adventure has paths that have a probability of disappearing that was very complex and expressed on a chart with letters and whatnot that takes a bit of time to reference.
Instead, roll a d6 every time the players encounter a possible path or if they have traveled on a path for long in terms of hexes or time. On a 3 or better, any paths in the area will show up. If they are on a path when they cross a hex, roll to see if it disappears around them. Hex crossing is a good time to make an encounters check too.
You can click the map to zoom in and download it. Also, you can see how we use a shared Google doc to map out the paths the players have discovered here.
I made custom DCC encounters for this place too:
With a hex grid, it was easier to tell when I should make rolls for random encounters (1 in 6 chance each day and for each watch of the night, plus an additional chance for each hex crossed, doubling if there is no random path granted by those willy trees). Here is the table I was using (has my attempts to make up interesting DCC stats for level one threats before the rules were finally published). In retrospect, I would roll 1d6 for number of monsters encountered each time it wasn't specifically listed; my players somehow just kept not properly dying. Otherwise, I am satisfied with myself for some of the odd crits and powers sprinkled throughout here.
|1||Wood Elf Stalkers from the local wood elf community. Very Quiet. Will attempt to stab and grab. They hate kobolds, and know their scent. |
Treasure: Natural material daggers, skins, elf bread.
|2|| Kobold traders from the hills. Kobolds are mischievous cave fey that will try to barter for gemstones, gold, or cobalt. Negotiations may break down unless the players could really use some cave creature regents such as umber-hulk juice. They attack dwarves and wood elves on site. |
Treasure: Besides 1d10 worth of gems, A battery pack for a robot. They don't know its significance, but like the LED readouts.
|3||A unicorn. It will attack any amoral characters that sport furs, but if the PCs are gooduns, it will lead the way to a grove that is safe for the night. |
|4||A pair of wolves. They are hungry, but run from pain or fire. One of them used to be a man and is slightly larger as he was cursed by a bog-witch. He will stalk the group from afar after they are first encountered if he has been driven off. |
A shambling moss monster desires arcane knowledge and likes a little dismemberment too.
Treasure: Kept in a nearby cave is a collection of sorcerer bones and some tomes (can learn 1d3 spells at the next leveling up with study).
A small barghest (lycanthropic goblinoid) and three hobgoblins on a pilgrimage to defile the Great Oak Tree in the name of urban squalor. The barghest is in his mundane form, but mutters something about “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” if PCs get cheeky.
Treasure: Barghest bile goes for a good price in the right alchemist's shop. Also, a ring worth 23 sp that has the image of a goblinoid god.
A lake/pond/river haunt that attempts to garrote with soggy vines.
Treasure: nearby are the remains of victims with 1d12 in riches.
A man-eating tree that tries to take a chomp against someone leaning on it. Make a reflex save+ nature check mod or lose a digit/hand/arm. The tree cannot move, but no reason to let the players in on that until their panic has died down.
note: One player lost their hand in play, and bargained with his patron to replace it. He now has a wooden hand with a mind of its own.
A Mossy walking skeleton that moans, “Beware the caiiiiirrrrnnns” but otherwise has no intelligence that can be accessed by mundane means. A ritual to speak with the dead may reveal more.
1d10 Will o’ Wisps or Japanese-style ghost lights (as appropriate for terrain) swarm in (1d5).
Obendar, a minor god of trees and vines. He knows about everything that happens in the forest, and call many things to his defense. He can only be compelled to speak by heroic PC deeds he has heard wind of or when threatened by certain species of tree-eating beetles which he has a phobia of.
Treasure: a wealth of spell regents (2d16 gp on the market).
Ensnaring vines try to choke 1d3 PCs. Make a reflex save or be grabbed by the neck. Damage as a garrote. These vines hiss and scream when cut (3 hp).
A vine-ensnared, slightly rusty robot at the foot of a tree. If investigated, a panel in the front will drop open.Any magical object placed within the revealed compartment will power the robot. The robot's temperament will match the alignment of the object. If its not evil, it will serve the PCs until it breaks its programming by learning about this thing you humans call love, or something.
A swordopus itching for a fight with land-lubbers.
I am satisfied with this table to a degree that I won't do the adventure's suggested swamp random encounters... unless I run through the whole table somehow. Then I'll scramble to stat a catoblepas.
There is also a green knight guarding the Southernmost bridge. He takes all challenges to single-combat and curses groups that try to overpower him with numbers or sorcery (curse: 50% chance of getting lost even if on a trail. Incidentally, the knight cannot die, but he is rather honorable and will yield if bested in single-combat. He does not pursue trespassers past the bridge. Uses hobgoblin stats cause I'm tired.
In the north swamp is a bog-witch that cursed her former lover to wander as a wolf until the treasure of the druids is found. Rolls a d30 for Charm and Polymorph effects.
Creatures of the forest not listed above :
Wereboar (pig form): Init +0; Atk charge +3 (1d4, critted targets are gored (1d5) and slowed); AC 13; HD 1d6; MV 11 Meters; Act 1d20; SP Regeneration 1d4 (recharges each turn w/a d6 roll; on a 5 or 6 as per 4e style recharge rules unless damaged by horns, teeth, or tusks); SV Fort +1 Ref +1 Will -1
Entling: Init -1; Atk slam +3 (1d5, crit: target gets an eye poked out unless they have goggles or a helm); AC 12; HD 1d8; MV 6 Meters; Act 1d18; SP animate entangling roots; SV Fort +1 Ref -1 Will +2
Phooka (humanoid form stats are as DCC beta kobold with a club) tree form: Init -1; Atk slam +3 (1d5, critted targets get an eye poked out unless they have goggles or a helm); AC 12; HD 1d6; MV 6 Meters; Act 1d18; SP only damaged by cold iron or magical attacks; SV Fort+1 Ref -1 Will +2
Pseudodragon: Init +0; Atk sting +2 (1d3 +save or 1d3 poison, lose a finger if you roll a 1); AC 12; HD 1d4; MV 7 Meters; Act 1d20; SP camouflage (+3 stealth); SV Fort -1 Ref +2 Will +0
Dryads: Init +1; Atk slam +2 (1d5); AC 13; HD 1d8; MV 10 Meters; Act 1d20; SP charm (will save or do what the dryad wants); SV Fort +2 Ref +0 Will +2
Giant Crayfish: Init +1; Atk claw +4 (1d5, grabs on a crit); AC 14; HD 2d8; MV 9 Meters; Act 1d20; SP— ; SV Fort +0 Ref +1 Will -3
Owlbear: Init +0; Atk claw +4 (1d8, blinds or KOs on a crit); AC 12; HD 3d8; MV 12 Meters; Act 1d20; SP —; SV Fort +2 Ref +1 Will -4
Upside-down-human-faced giant centipede (Chitter): Init +0; Atk bite +1 (1d3, save versus poison or become paralyzed) AC 12; HD 1d3; MV 6 Meters; Act 1d20; SP— ; SV Fort +0 Ref +0 Will -2
Slightly humanoid face-bearing giant spider (Mank): Init +2; Atk bite +3 (1d3, save versus poison or become paralyzed) AC 14; HD 1d6; MV 10 Meters; Act 1d20; SP Cast web (reflex save or immobilized) ; SV Fort +2 Ref +2 Will -2
Wraith (more interested in talking about silver keys than fighting): Init +0; Atk touch +3 (1d3 and player makes an attack at a companion ) AC 12; HD 1d6; MV 10 Meters; Act 1d20; SP can only be harmed by magical attacks or sunlight, torches do 1d2 dmg ; SV Fort +0 Ref +2 Will +2
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