For my first post in the A-Z Challenge, I will be posting a Sandbox Encounter for bands of NPCs exploring the Madlands. A is for Adventurers' Expedition.
Brief Description: Despite the dangerous nature of the Madlands, many adventurers travel into the warped lands in search of treasure and lost lore. They will often band together in large expeditions, as the mortality rate for adventurers is quite high. Most expeditions are leary of strangers, assuming that they are thieves, murderers and cutthroats who make their living by attacking explorers. In some cases, expeditions turn to ambushing others when times have been hard.
Encounter Groups: These are common encounter groups for this type of encounter.
- Novice (levels 1-3): 5 Men-At-Arms, 1 Mage. 2d6x10 silver shillings. (I use a silver standard in my campaigns.)
- Seasoned (levels 4-6): 15 Men-At-Arms, 1 Mage, 1 Priest, 1 Personal Defender, 1 High Mage. 2d4x1000 silver shillings, 1d3 gems, 1d3 jewelry, two consumable items (50% chance each), and one magic item (50% chance).
- Veteran (levels 7-10): 30 Men-At-Arms, 3 Mages, 3 Priests, 2 Personal Defenders, 1 High Mage. 2d6x1000 silver shillings, 2d4 gems, 1d4+1 jewelry, one magic weapon (50% chance), one magic armor (50% chance), two magic items (50% chance each), and two consumables (50% chance each).
Stat Blocks: The following stats are provided as examples for inspiration. Please adjust as needed to fit your preferred gaming system and style.
Encounter Ideas: Here are six different scenarios related to this encounter type.
- Men-At-Arms: AC 8 ; HD 1d6+2 hp; Atk: by weapon (1d6); ST: 16; SP: +1 on attack rolls in defense of their patron; MV: 12; CL 1; XP 15.
- Mage: AC 8 ; HD 3d6-3 hp; Atk: by dagger (1d4); ST: 13; SP: casts spells as 3rd level magic-user; MV: 12; CL 4; XP 120.
- Priest: AC 5 ; HD 3d6+3 hp; Atk: by weapon (1d6); ST: 12; SP: casts spells as 3rd level priest; MV: 9; CL 4; XP 120.
- Personal Defender: AC 5 ; HD 5d6+10 hp; Atk: by weapon (1d8); ST: 12; SP: +1 on attack rolls in defense of their patron; MV: 9; CL 5; XP 200.
- High Mage: AC 8 ; HD 7d6-7 hp; Atk: by dagger (1d4); ST: 9; SP: casts spells as 7th level magic-user; MV: 12; CL 9; XP 1,100.
- The expedition is returning from their recent exploration of ruins found in the Madlands, with a portion of the loot as their treasure.
- The expedition has encountered bad fortune, and their patron insists they turn to thievery to avoid coming back empty-handed.
- The patron of the expedition is seeking a great ritual that has been lost for generations, and is willing to hire the party to join him, if he thinks they can help.
- The expedition is fleeing a divinely-warped aberration from the depths of the Madlands, and is more than willing to send the party in that direction to distract it.
- The patron of the expedition is cursed and actually seeks to return an item to the place where he first discovered it.
- The patron of the expedition is in competition with a rival to acquire a specific treasure first, and believes the party has been hired by the rival to slow him down or misdirect him.