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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

More Encounters

Hi Guys.  Diving right in to some additional encounters for the map to the right.  Picking up where we left off...

H8  The Hard Ride Bridge

This stone bridge has something of a reputation with those few survivors remaining in Kyros, Ramblin and Knight's Cross.  Most locals will not think to mention the place as the local history regarding it is so widely known and "old hat" but they will probably share if questioned.

This narrow, five foot wide stone bridge spans the river two miles North and West of the ruins of Kyros.  Because the river is narrow here it passes beneath in a faster rush than in other places and the river bed has worn deeper and deeper over the years.  Otherwise it is a simple looking structure with iron posts for hanging lanterns at the corners.  All but one of these is empty.

The Legend:  The bridge was built a hundred and fifty years ago to replace the ford and raft which were once here and to move trade more easily between the growing village of Ramblin and the city of Kyros.  A man named Forthbright had owned the ferry business up to the building of the bridge and was compensated by the Kyros nobility a fair sum since the bridge would take away his living.  Forthbright took the money and moved to Ramblin and lived well there for some years.  Eventually Forthbright married a pretty local girl named Penelia.  They lived together happily enough until some dark mood overtook Penelia Forthbright and one stormy night she walked the six miles from Ramblin to the bridge to throw herself into the river.  Forthbright learned of her plan and thundered out of Ramblin on one of his steeds to stop her.  Penelia never went through with her plan.  Instead she walked on to Kyros with plans to end her life with Forthbright.  Forthbright, riding desperately through the dark, was thrown when his horse took a wrong step and broke his neck before reaching the bridge.  He died almost instantly.  His horse was put down shortly after they found Forthbright's body in the road only a hundred yards from the bridge.  Forthbright and his horse were buried together in the light woodlands immediately NW of the bridge.  It is said that on stormy nights the desperate ghost of Will Forthbright rides again from Ramblin to the spot where he died, never reaching the bridge.  There are no legends of the spirit attacking anyone on the road but seeing Will Forthbright on his ride is considered to be a very ill omen.

Today the bridge has been occupied by a small band of dwarves.  These fellows are disgusted with the presence and activities of the elves in the region.  Not the undead clearing.  The dwarves approve of THAT...its the sneering, nasty, hostile attitude of the elves they find offensive.  Between the elves and the orc patrols the dwarves have had enough.  The bridge is stone.  It occupies a key location the road.  WIth a little added mason work to raise walls and a stone roof the dwarves are turning the Hard Ride bridge into a small fortification.  Passage over the bridge can be made by ascending a few steps onto the new stone roof and walking along this roof to stairs on the far side.  The dwarves are willing to allow passage for a donation of good food, good drink, gold or silver (in that order).  Elves are not allowed on the bridge.  Horses will find the passage a little taxing but not if they are carefully led by the reigns.  Carts no longer can pass this way.

The leader of the dwarves is named Byorgran Alegrasper.  There are twenty dwarves here in all.  They are armed with axes, daggers and six  heavy crossbows.  The dwarves are in the process of crafting a ballista to add to the defenses but this is nowhere near being finished.

K6  A Dead Hill Giant

A heroic fight occurred here in the not so distant past but it is now over.  The enormous hulk of a hill giant sprawls across the road.  Dozens of buzzards circle in the air overhead and dozens more complain and argue on the corpse.  The stink here is nearly unbearable and clouds of thick black flies blanket the corpse.

DM Note: An inspection will reveal that the rotten flesh is pierced numerous times both what appear to be lance points and a great many green and black fletched arrows.  The arrows are of good quality with heads of neatly crafted flint.  An elf or dwarf will recognize the arrows as elf made.  The giant still wears some rudimentary garb but any items of value he may have carried are now gone.

DM Note #2:  While the elves dispatched this giant they neglected to burn the corpse.  Should a pattern storm move through the arrow it is possible that the glowing hail will reanimate the body.  Make a note whether the players think of this and dispose of the dead giant.  Disposal can take hours and burning the corpse will put up a pillar of black smoke visible for miles.  Roll for random encounters hourly so long as the corpse burns.  It takes a full five hours to burn the giant sufficiently that it will no longer return as an undead.

L7  The Zombie Dairy

Incredibly, dozens of dairy cows appear to graze in the pastures of the farms in this area.  One of the farms appears to be in good condition, at least from the road.  It consists of a large two story farm house, large barn and several out buildings.  On closer inspection the cows are sickly looking and covered in sores.  A bell clangs in the yard of the farm and the cattle wander in that direction.  For some reason the zombie farmer here goes through the routine of milking the cows every morning and every evening, without fail.  In all other ways he is a standard zombie but with three hit dice rather than the usual number.  Of course the barn is inhabited by a dozen zombie cats and the farm house is occupied by the farmer's wife and a half dozen zombie children.  The wife goes endlessly about the practice of chopping things with a large cleaver in the kitchen.  The children wander around listlessly, bumping into things mostly and moaning.

The farmer had an office and in the desk is a locked wooden strong box containing 40 gold and 134 silver pieces.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The State of the Blog

Well its been a very busy work week with another busy week promised for next week.  Between work, kids and my interest in writing rules for my Rocketship Empires game system I am not going to be able to post a daily update here.

I hope to keep up with the fantasy sandbox project with about two or maybe three posts a week.

Got the kids today and we plan to head out in a bit to see Train Your Dragon 2.  Doing laundry, cleaning the house.  Lots of stuff nobody who reads this blog much cares about but kids and chores, work and life away from the game table generally take priority.

I hope to sit down tonight with some coffee, some game notes and knock out another random encounter table and several more encounters for the sandbox map I already have out there.

Next week I would like to finish all of the random encounter tables for the adventure scale / overland maps for the sandbox.  I would like to get about a third of the encounters for the first map finished.  I would like to do a map for one of the villages or dungeons as well.  For sure a monster.  I have a bunch of those I want to list.

Well that is the info and update for now.  Still excited about the sandbox project as I love working on my AD&D campaign very much.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monster Monday 07/28/14

Welcome back to Dungeon Mastering by Candlelight.  Yesterday we had our biweekly 2nd Edition AD&D game.  I think we all had a great time.  Great food.  Great friends.  Great game.

I think next week I will add great wine for total win.

The image to the right is a pen sketch I did of a beastie from my home campaign called a Grick.
See below for the write-up.  As usual I will be offering this as a 2nd Edition monster but it can be adopted into any edition of the game.


Frequency: Rare
Location:  Swamps and Bogs
No. Appearing: 2d4
Armor Class: 5
Move: 12
Hit Dice: 2+2
No. Attacks: 2/1 Claw or Bite
Damage from Attacks: Claw 1d3, Bite 1d4 save vs death or bleed (see description)
Special Attacks: Bite causes bleeding.  Bite can target weapons or shields.
Special Defenses: None
Magic Resistance: None
Intelligence: Semi
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: Small
Morale: 14
Psionic Ability: None
Experience: 95 xp

Grick, also known as Death Pygmies are a species of small, semi rodent looking, snarling, nocturnal humanoids that inhabit isolated regions of swamp or bog.  Their squirrel like teeth are diamond sharp and incredibly resistant to damage.  Lizard men prize Grick teeth for the fashioning of high quality war clubs and other weapons.

A Grick typically attacks with its small claws but on a roll of a 4 on 1d4 it will bite.  A Grick's bite is incredibly savage.  Grick teeth can tear through oak, leather and even gnaw chunks out of iron and steel.  A pack of savage Grick can chew their way through doors or even walls in order to reach those inside.

Grick are stealthy in their home swamps, they are only surprised on a roll of a 1 on 1d6 and they have a natural move silent and hide in shadows ability of 75% when lurking about in marshy terrain.  Grick are only semi intelligent.  They dwell in the hollows of large trees or inside of rotted out logs, pretty much any location that provides extra concealment from the dangerous environment where they dwell.  Grick call to one another in hoots like certain forms of jungle dwelling tree monkey.  They are excellent swimmers with webbed hands and feet and can stay submerged for up to three minutes at a time.

Any character that is the unfortunate victim of a Grick bite must save versus death magic or bleed profusely.  The saliva of a Grick defeats the natural clotting ability of those creatures that they bite.  The bite victim will bleed for 1d3 points of damage until a successful application of a pressure bandage or healing skill is applied to the wound or until a cure light wounds spell is cast upon it.

Grick are Chaotic Evil in alignment.  They are vile, vicious savage little beasts who delight in the torment of most life forms that they encounter.  Lizard men hunt them and attempt to eradicate Grick packs where they encounter them.  Trogolodytes have been known to capture Grick and hold them in cages, training 2d4 to act like the equivalent of a pack of savage hunting dogs.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Soulful Sunday

To new edition or not to new edition that is the question...

I picked up the starter set for 5th edition to have a look.  The rules sorta kinda remind me of 3rd edition.  Gone is the ability to hop between character classes and I don't see options for multi-class characters so it seems like single character class play all the way.

The advantage / disadvantage rule seems like an interesting way to go but could be pretty brutal depending on the point of view of your DM.  If your DM seems the players as a group of blundering knuckle heads I have a feeling there might be a whole lot of disadvantaged rolls in store for them and I can see how that might equal a fair amount of character death.

Some of this all seems to be swimming in the bigger and larger pool that is D&D.  I love the game as a whole and so I have no real complaints.  The starter set didn't really make me stand up and cheer a big yes that this is the cool hip version of the game for me.  Its basically D&D.  I see that as a very good thing.  It pulls the game back from 4th edition which, while interesting, didn't feel quite the same to me.  The only real strong complaint I had about 4th edition though was that combats became intolerably long in very short order.  Long in the realms of an old fashioned Champions game combat where you spent maybe an hour of adventuring leading up to some big encounter and most of the rest of that entire night...easily two whole hours..was spent just bashing it out in that one combat.

Rules bloat was another thing I didn't much care for in 4th edition.  Again there was an entire massive amount of powers and terms you had to learn to play and DM the game.  The similar game being Champions again with all of its powers and modifiers and rules.  Now Champions I learned by playing in a really good group over a matter of a year or so and eventually I got the rules down...mostly.  I think that was back in 3rd edition before things got even more rules heavy in that game.

I own a copy of the last version of Champions / Hero to be released out of nostalgia sake more than anything else.  The rules are so involved that I wouldn't begin to try to learn it again and here I am a hardened veteran of Hero 3.0.  I feel the same way about 4th edition D&D.  This new edition seems like a step into a more rules light territory but I guess we will see.

Thumbs up so far on the rules.  A cautious thumbs up but thumbs up all the same.

Most of the starter set was the adventure which in some brief period of adventuring carries the entire party from first to fifth level.  Fifth level?  Seriously?  Bagooodabagee???

Spoiler Alert - Stop Reading if you intend to play as an adventurer in the starter set...

Anyway.  In the first encounter you run into an ambush of four goblins.  You fight some goblins.  You rescue a guy.  You go to a town and do some stuff.  It seems pretty ok.  Maybe I had higher hopes for something to really wow me in the starter set but this set is written for kids ages 12 and up and for newbies to the game, not for battle hardened old campaigners like me.

Will I play this edition?  Yes.  I think so.  I don't think this system inspires me to want to write any material for it though.  I don't think I'd ever bother to create a dungeon for this system or do much of anything outside of using it as a fun beer night RPG game running adventures straight out of the can.  Which has its place.  I kind of like the notion of being able to entertain a group of players for a period of months with some groovy fun out of the can D&D that I don't especially have to bleed a lot of personal writing, art and work into.

Why?  Because that entertains them while I bleed and pour art and effort into something of my own to run for them later, when the serious game nights happen.  I'll probably stick with 2nd Edition AD&D or Basic or Swords and Wizardry or maybe even something completely different that I write from top to bottom by myself for those nights.

In the mean time 5th edition can be a really fun time I think.  We will know more when the three rule books and the out of the box adventure series comes out.

Sandbox Saturday 07/26/14

Franklin Booth Art
Welcome back to Dungeon Mastering by Candlelight and my post for Sandbox Saturday.  A little detective work will reveal I am playing a bit of catch-up ball this week but this happens to us all in our busy work + kids + family time lives and mine is no different.

Today I am going to expand on some signature issues in my campaign setting, wandering monster tables, monster lists and so forth and the reasoning behind them.  Let's get started.

Trees and Brush

So why include trees and brush in a wandering monster table.  Who the crap cares about this?  Well.  I do.  I do because I love the approach the game Skyrim took to herbalism and alchemy and I want to emulate that in my table top game.  Not only are some of the plants listed useful food sources or helpful for weaving, making bows or other sorts of gear they are also part of my table for gathering and combining ingredients using the alchemy skill to make all manner of minor potions.  In this region of my campaign there is little left in the way of fantasy infrastructure.  There are few places even in dungeons where characters are going to be able to come up with healing potions, cure poison, potions of spider climbing or feather fall or invisibility and all the rest.  That leaves it up to the players to get involved in brewing their own.  I am working up a simple system of plant name x yields 1 or 2 or 3 bundles of ingredient depending upon an herbalism skill roll.  Herbalism is used for collecting, drying and preparing bundles of ingredients and alchemy is used for experimentation to discover what these ingredients can be used for and making the actual potions.  Just like in Skyrim I wanted at least a two tier list of possible things a particular ingredient can do.  Let's say the party finds a stand of Blue Ash trees.  I roll a result of 4 trees.  A character with herbalism decides to gather ingredients from the trees which are bundles of Blue Ash bark.  They set about this task and then later spend an hour of their time preparing the bundles for use as an alchemy reagent.  A prepared bundle of Blue Ash is worth about 1 gold piece to an Alchemist.  If the party encounters an alchemist either dwelling as a hermit up in the hills somewhere or in a group of survivors they can simply prepare bundles of ingredient and then sell them for the gold.  Otherwise a player character can pick up the Alchemy skill.  They must have a collection of tools and some sort of alchemical lab to do this work in which begs the question of where the party is going to hole up and build some kind of base of operations.  It also requires the party to go out and find these various things, trade for them and possibly slaughter some poor alchemist to seize theirs.  Four hours of work in the lab allows a skill roll.  If the skill roll is successful the alchemist learns the first type of potion the ingredient can be used to make.  In this case Blue Ash bark works as a reagent for a potion of slow disease.  The alchemist must find at least one more reagent useful for a slow disease potion to have a chance of brewing up a single dose of slow disease.  Each additional reagent the alchemist can add that is listed as slow disease adds a bonus to the chance of success and effectively triples the output.  Three reagents combined together to make a cure disease potion will brew a potion with three doses rather than the usual single dose created by combining two reagents.

Chestnut trees, Apple trees have obvious immediate benefits in a campaign where there is no home base village to return to for resupply, at least not immediately.  A bundle of apples might make a good trade in this setting for information from someone the characters encounter or it might stave off starvation for another day.  That same apple tree might have bundles of leaves which can be dried and prepared as bundles of reagent for an alchemist who may discover that apple leaves are actually useful in the preparation of xyz potion.

Trees and brush are not the only items useful as reagents in alchemy.  Part of the fun is having the party alchemist trade information with an NPC alchemist in this or that village where they might learn that the horn of a particular food animal can be used as a reagent or that the poison of a particular type of huge spider might have beneficial effects if prepared in the right fashion.

I know it doesn't make a ton of sense but I've wrapped all of this alchemical reagent preparation into the herbalism skill for now and that includes things like the preparation of animal horns, ears, snouts, blood and whatever other item can be turned into a bundle useful for the alchemist.

Freaky Friday 07/25/14

Its been a busy week so today I am going back a few days and trying to play catch-up on various items.

For Freaky Friday I am going to share two and eventually edit this to share three more random wandering monster encounter charts for the sandbox project.

Here we have Grasslands and Hills for you to look over and possibly yank into your own campaign.

There were some good comments on some of the boards about the bell curve these create and why I include encounters like various types of tree or wild game.  Remember that the players start in this region in a sort of apocalyptic situation.  Food and water is a valuable resource.  At least initially in the game there is no supply shop to buy food and supplies in or armor or weapons for that matter.  The players have what they can gather out of the old wizard's tower where they begin and after that they need to equip and resupply from whatever they encounter in the world outside.  There are groups of survivors with food stored up, to be sure, but the players will need to decide if they want to help the survivors and try to do some good in the world or if they are just going to turn into a bunch of brigands and slaughter survivors for their food stores.  I try to have some clear consequences if the players decide to turn into a bunch of savages rather than heroes.

 I did push some encounters around on the charts so that I have the sorts of things I want at higher odds than things like plants or the rare NPC encounter.

Hill country is decidedly dangerous and is in fact deadly for a party under level three.  The players will have to sort this out for themselves.  If they bother to ask the survivors or humanoids they encounter about the surrounding terrain they may get clear intelligence that the hills are filled with things worse than orcs, wolves and zombies although there are plenty of those to be had as well.  You have to be tough and well armed to brave exploring into the hill country.  There will not be a big sign or DM warning for the players better think twice about wandering into this area.  Truly I think that is part of what is at the heart of a sandbox campaign.  You invest a major effort on the front end of campaign building.  In my case this is usually several months of preparation time and then you unleash the players into the region you have built and let them run wild doing whatever they want.  Sure there will be a few dungeons built and ready to explore.  There will be heroic deeds to perform should the players choose to be heroic.  What exactly they decide to do though and how they go about it is completely in the hands of the players and I think that is what makes for a very fun campaign experience.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Terra Firm Thursday 07/24/14

Hi and welcome back to Dungeon Mastering by Candlelight.  It has been blistering hot out this week in Kansas but otherwise today was a pretty good day.  The kids are finally snuggled down in bed and I have a little time to slide into my desk and work on the AD&D campaign.

Last week I shared this same map minus the red bits and some wandering monster tables based on the types of terrain being entered.  Remember this is my adventure scale map where one square equals one mile of terrain.

Now I've added in red spots on the map using a color pencil to help me drop in set encounters.  Weather tables, a calendar, rumors lists, a couple of mini dungeons, custom wandering monster tables and between 30 and 50 set encounters for each map in the sandbox is the ultimate goal here.  We are talking about a whole lot of work but thankfully a great deal of this has already been knocked out when i worked on other similar regions in the same campaign setting.  It will still take me a couple of months to get this sandbox to where I want it but in the mean time my players are happily dungeon crawling in the barrows North of the city over in the Kingdom of Daria ( a few hundred miles away from this expansion).

I am running my Monday nights campaign using 2nd Edition AD&D and I plan to create encounters using those rules.  Really this approach can be used for any version of the D&D rules from Basic to 5th.  I recently picked up the 5th Edition box set and the game looks like it has some nifty little bits to it.  Nothing particularly awesome to the point where I'd drop what I already have in early editions of the game.  For me part of the problem is learning new rules sets is no longer very interesting to me.  I'd rather use what I have already and spend my time working on my campaign / playing.  I do plan to keep up with the new rules this time though.  I may create a 5th edition version of this adventure area to haul with me to conventions just so I am sure I have something people will play.  Sometimes it can be hard to find players for the older versions of the game.

Enough of that.  On with setting down a few encounters.

We will start at the center and work outwards in a sort of spiral.  I'll reorganize these for easier use in my notebook for play but working out from where the players begin is always better for me creatively in visualizing the world as it unfolds.

J9 Kilwich Royd - North

Kilwich Royd is the name for the old gravel and dirt road leading North and South out of the ruins of the city of Kyros.  The road here is uneven but remains a reasonable path with a rolling slope covered with tall wild grass to the West dusted here and there with Red Mullberry and Frosted Hawthorne trees.  Far off in the distance one can make out the silver thread of the Morda River carrying frigid water down from the Trollish Peaks far to the North as it twists its way South through Kyrene all the way to Shem and the Slavemark Coast in the Southeast.

To the East a narrower dirt cart path rolls into a sectioned and previously cultivated group of four fields, each a quarter mile in size and sectioned by tumbling gray stone walls lined with tall, old White Ash trees.  Each field has or rather had its own attending farm house, barn and out buildings although only one of the four remains standing.  The other three appear to have been burned or smashed into ruins by beasts or disaster or war.  It is clear that the ruined farms and fields have grown wild and are now a thick mixture of wheat half choked out with wild flowers and purple bramble brush.

Encounter: Orc Outpost

Standing in the road are a dozen slightly stooped, primitive appearing humanoids with orange green skin covered in matted tangles of hair.  They have snouts with overly large teeth protruding from slick, rubbery dark green lips.  Their small eyes look intelligent and narrow if they spot the party but they do not attack immediately.  They wear simple tunics and armor of leather and hide.  They are armed with rough looking iron weapons ( axes and spears mostly ).  One of their number holds up a bright orange banner on a wooden pole.  The banner is blazoned with a black skull cloven in twain by an axe.

DM Notes:  The Orcs who have migrated into the region, displaced from their home by more dangerous outbreaks of the undead plague have established themselves in the ruins of the old Kingdom castle at Q1.  They have grown bold and have begun to assert themselves as a legitimate power in the region and have set up this outpost both to monitor and command the road out of Kyros, keep a watch on the ruins of the city and also to assert the Orc's authority by demanding a small tribute from everyone who happens along this way.

12 Orcs - Leader "Adjai" 8 HP Axe 1d6 AC 6.  Two assistants "Togus and Oosun" 8 HP Spear and Axe 1d6 AC 6.  Remaining Orcs HP's 7,7,6,6,6,5,5,4 and 4.  All use weapons that inflict 1d6 damage.  All are AC 6.

Note:  Oosun and both 5 hp orcs are infected with zombie taint.  They will rise as 1 HD, fast moving zombies that slam or bite for 1d6 (save vs zombie infection) within 1d4 combat rounds of being slain.  They will attack the nearest living being to them whether it is a player character or another orc.

Experience: 240  Treasure:  Adjai has in his possession a small wooden chest about the size of a box used to contain notecards.  This chest is secured with a metal clasp and lock.  Adjai has become adept at picking this lock with one of his own claws and there is no key.  The chest contains 34 copper, 14 silver and 1 gold piece.

Adjai will demand tribute of anyone passing on the road but this tribute can be reasonable.  A handful of silver coins is sufficient but he will obviously take more if he can.  He is under orders not to simply attack human or humanoid survivors as the Orc Chieftain Nahmka Tarkan hopes to establish a sort of fiefdom here.  The orcs will share a little information if they are dealt with respectfully.  There is a family of human farmers dwelling in the surviving farmstead to the East of here and they have paid tribute and are now under the protection of the great Nahmaka Tarkan.  Adjai advises any characters that they would be wise to leave those under the banner of the Tarkan alone.  A few wandering traders passed through a day ago headed North out of the ruined city.  The orcs do not enter the ruins as it is known to be infested with undead and dangerous monsters.

K9 - Curtly and Valina Farmstead

As the dusty dirt cart path makes its way out to the one remaining farmstead in this area you can see that to the North the Kilwich Royd can be just seen turning to the East and continueing along the Northern border of the farm where you are headed.  Additional fields further to the East look just as battered and abandoned as those in this immediate area.  A few in that direction of a building remaining, a sad looking wooden farmhouse here and a lone barn there.  Here the dirt path is joined with a slightly wider drive paved in loose gravel.  Flanking either side of this approach are large green leafed Mulberry Trees.  Beyond the trees you can see a tall, three story red wood barn built atop a first story which is made from fieldstone.  Beyond the barn is a single story fieldstone farmhouse.  The windows have been closed with stout looking wooden shutters.  Surrounding the front door is a barricade built from various things, piled stones topped with crates and pieces of what once may have been a wooden cart.  Peering over this is a pair of male humans.

Fluttering from the side of the farmhouse chimney is a length of orange cloth like a small banner with a black spot painted in the center.

Curtly and Jorg

Curtly is a 40 something year old, tough, no nonsense farmer.  He wears leather armor and a cap of iron.  He is armed with a light crossbow with 10 bolts.  Jorg (his son) is 20 and armed with a short bow and 12 arrows.  Both are also armed with spiked clubs (1d4+1 damage).  Both are zero level humans with 7 hp and 6 hp respectively.

Reaction rolls are made with a -2 penalty in this area even for fellow humans.  Curtly is worried about bandits and cannot be convinced to allow the player characters close to his home no matter what the circumstances appear to be.  He can be convinced to trade a couple of days of home baked bread and other foods (3 days rations) for a basic weapon or shield.  He will require the goods be left on the road by the barn and that the party retreat 100 feet.  He will walk out with the food and leave it in exchange for the goods.

Curtly will remind the party that he's made a deal with the orcs just to the West for protection.  If questioned he will remind the party that the orcs are the only organized military aid anyone has seen in these parts for almost two years.  Since they have been around chopping down the undead when they encounter them, things have improved a good deal for Curtly and he is not interested in other "maybe" deals and promises.

Inside the house is Bilfor (his second eldest son), Val (his wife) and Tessa (his daughter).  Bilfor has a small hole dug in various places in the walls around the house allowing him room to fire his light crossbow but he is otherwise hidden from view.  He is armed like his brother and has the same HP.  Val has a small fire burning in the fireplace and to this she can add a handful of dried herbs which will put up a very thick, choking blue color smoke.  This smoke will alert the orcs of trouble on the road and they will arrive to sort things out for their allies within 1d4 combat rounds.  The orcs automatically side with Curtly and his family...apparently they were not kidding (shocking as this seems) about protecting the farmers here.  They will attempt to kill anyone engaged in combat or harassement of the family under the immediate judgement that they are bandits out to rob from the farmers and orcs.  Those they kill they will hang from poles set up near their road patrol location as an example to other would be bandits.

Little Tessa is only 10 years old.  She is also the only member of the family who is infected with zombie taint.  If she goes down she will open her eyes in 2 combat rounds and immediately attack the nearest person as a full strength, furious fast moving type of zombie.

Experience: 150 xp if the party kills the farmers but also a note on the DM's alignment chart.  Attacking and killing the farmers is both a Chaotic and Evil action.  It will not change a party members alignment immediately but a few more actions of this sort will.  Treasure:  The farmers gather, cook and preserve food supplies both for themselves and their orc protectors.  This includes breads, pies, dried meat, dried fish and bundles of applies and berries.  There are a total of 60 days of standard rations currently inside of the house although all of it except the dried meat will go bad for normal character consumption (not for orcs) in 10 days.  Leaning against the door into the farm is a shovel covered in dried brown mud.  There is an area of loose dirt under some of the old hay piled in the now empty barn.  This is a location where Curtly buried a large sack containing what remains of the family treasure.  There are a half dozen goblets, sets of forks and spoons, several dinner knives and some cook ware of high quality with silver handles or embellishments.  All together this large sack of muddy clanking loot is worth 10 gold pieces.

K12  Hobbel Atford

Hobbel Atford is the name for the 80 foot long, 10 foot wide stone and wood covered bridge that spans the river in this location.  Here the steep shores of the Morda River are nearly choked with stands of ghost sycamore trees and holly brush.  This makes movement down to the pebbled edge of the slow flowing Morda slow going and counts as difficult terrain for between 60 and an additional 1d6x10 feet. The entrance to the bridge here has been barricaded closed with an over turned wagon and piles of dirt filed sacks.  A banner of sorts made out of a string of squirrel hides flutters pathetically from a small pole nailed to the roof ridge of the bridge.

Kobald Outpost 

The Kobalds dwelling South and West of the Morda River have been driven out of necessity together into one large and determined clan.  What was once a half dozen smaller communities has united into the Nut Smashers tribe and their banner is the skins of several squirrels fastened together.  The Nut Smashers have claimed this name because their primary survival diet has focused on the walnut groves situated in the cultivated lands immediately West of the former community of Midge.  The Nut Smashers have taken over the buildings in what was once the village of Midge and the entire place has been turned into one enormous kobald warren.

The kobalds recognize that closing the bridge just East of their community is a key move in attempting to keep themselves secure and so they plan to defend it enthusiastically.  A group of no less than forty kobalds is on duty at the bridge at all times.  Their standard tactic is to defend the barricade with ten kobalds and if pushed back will attempt to sucker the enemy into the bridge interior.  They have stacked a few crates of food and a barrel of water both for their own supplies but also to lure intruders inside about half way down the bridge.

At the far end of the bridge the kobalds have repaired the double doors so that these can be slammed shut with ropes and secured by dropping beams behind them.  These doors have a half dozen arrow slits cut into them so the kobalds can fire slingshots (1d2 damage) or darts from blowguns through these openings at anyone trapped inside of the bridge.  The kobalds will enjoy cover and the protection of the barrier while softening up the enemy but the real trap awaits the foe should they manage to smash through the double doors and exit the bridge.

Outside on the far end of the bridge the remaining 30 kobalds will gather.  They will fight savagely to stop the enemy force here rather than have it continue on to their community at Midge.

Every day a force of ten kobalds will travel up the road from Midge to the bridge to relieve ten of the kobalds on guard duty.  If the kobalds find their force destroyed they will spend two days fitting out the bridge with every sort of trap and dead fall you can imagine.  Ultimately the kobalds will work to make the bridge dangerous for direct travel and then will set about installing spikes and snare traps to mess with individuals who attempt to ford the river near the bridge.


The Kobalds are not especially hostile to other humanoids in the current environment.  They demand control of the bridge and the road from the bridge to Midge.  They demand that nobody interfere with or enter the walnut orchards West of Midge and above all else that nobody enters the old village of Midge where the kobalds have built their community.  So long as these rules are respected the kobalds are perfectly happy trading the occasional crate, sack or bag of walnuts for whatever useful object or trinket they can get in return.  While not especially bright the kobalds are not complete idiots.  They want useful objects and will only trade for pretty shiny things one or two times before demanding something useful like a bow and arrows, spear, short sword, couple of daggers or something of that nature.

Experience:  Defeating the Kobalds is worth 300 experience points.  Treasure:  Three crates of what passes for food for the kobalds.  This includes some semi rotten fish, heaps of walnuts which have been shelled and smashed into a paste with rocks, a few dead birds brought down by slingshots and a small bag full of hard sour green berries.  There is a barrel filled with fresh water and a somewhat rusty cup hanging off the side of it from a nail.  The Kobalds have no other treasure here besides their trusty slingshots (10 of these), pouches filled with smooth stones, blowguns made from river reeds (10 of these) and 100 darts.  There are also clubs, short spears, hand axes, small hammers, kitchen knives and a short sword or two.

Note:  I will try to add one or two more set encounter examples down in this blog entry tomorrow or over the weekend when I have a bit more time.  Ultimately I would like to share all of the wandering monster tables for this area and probably half of the set encounters leaving the remainder for you to expand upon and create for your own group.

That is it for this entry for Dungeon Mastering by Candlelight.  Have a great evening and happy gaming!!!