Tuesday, August 10, 2021

OSR: Goblin Attack! (part 1)

So I was bored and decided all the stuff I've been making has been a little too ambitious.  What if I just want to run a simple game for some new players involving some basic scenario, such as "A cave full of Goblins.  Go kill them and take their stuff."  So I decided to do just that.  This project blossomed from that.

Part 2

from Warhammer Fantasy

Blood on the Frontier!  In the northern reaches of the Kingdom of Ashane, the villages of Bridgeraise, River's Fork and Newgate are under attack by Goblins.  Are you a tough enough to take on the green menace, or will you succumb to the same threat that has already devoured so many? 



1- There are Goblins running around, burning villages and trampling upon the peasantry.  Go give them your aid, noble heroes!
2- The Elders of the nearby City of Bransheim have heard disturbing reports of Goblin activity in the Yarnik Forest.  They fear this problem, if not addressed, might threaten their city.  Go investigate to see if there is any truth to these allegations and deal with whatever is spreading disorder in the King's lands.  If you do so, they promise a large sum of silver and as much war booty as you can carry.
3- The party hears disturbing rumors of a Wolf Spirit rampaging through a nearby forest, devouring those who come close.  The spirit is said to be very strong, and none have been able to stand against it.  Are they tough enough to defeat the Spirit and banish it back to the Netherworld?

A brief note on the Kingdom of Ashane:

Ashane is mostly too far North to have four seasons, instead having two, a rainy and a dry season.  During the rainy season there are horrible rainstorms that dump buckets of water and flood city streets.  Mosquitos and tropical disease flourish during the rainy season.  The dry season is the rest of the year, which is characterized by dry heat and the beginning of harvest.  The trees in Ashane are deciduous, not unlike that you might find in a more temperate land.  The difference is that these trees do not lose their leaves during autumn, but during the dry season.  When they start to fall, that indicates the harvest is near.  When the trees are covered in green buds, then the rains will soon come.   

Ashane is mostly populated with humans ranging from off-white to nut brown, with most falling somewhere in the middle.  There are also Loxodons, though they do not usually live near Humans, along with Coyoons and some Oxmen from the Northeast.  Other then the Oxmen, the other races are primarily nomadic, leaving the vallies and forested areas for the humans while they roam the broad green plains of the Kingdom.    

artist unknown

The Village of Newgate:

When the party arrives they find the village dirty, crowded and full of extra people.  Tents and temporary shelters fill the alleys and common areas of the village, with extra people squeezed in wherever they can find room.  Many cannot find any place here, and as such, must camp outside the short wall of wooden stakes and shallow moat that protect the village from most threats.  Some of the people outside the village are coughing, sick with disease (dysentery), though no one knows this yet.  This is because of the disruption in the land which has allowed Plague Spirits to walk unmolested down the roads and game trails.  As such, if anyone drinks river water without boiling or purifying it in some other way, they must save or contract dysentery.

The guards at the entrance of the village are unlikely to let heavily armed strangers in, unless you claim you're here to help.  In which case they'll let you in, after explaining the village rules.  Specifically, they are: No strung bows, no wearing armor and no drawn blades, not counting daggers.  All other weapons must be wrapped up and stowed in a pack or bundle and cannot be carried openly.  You can draw a blade to defend yourself, but no one will believe an outsider over a native.

Inside the village, you will find tensions are running high and people are grumpy, tense and scared.  The entire village feels like a pot about to boil over.

Some NPCs you can meet:


1- Mayor Suli, Son of Vino.  The current village leader.  Besides the Goblins, which he assures you are very real, he is dealing with refugees from Newgate's two sister villages, both of which have been burned to the ground.  He knows the village doesn't have enough food to feed all these people for long, but he also doesn't want to send them on their way for fear of Goblin and/or bandit attacks.  Yet at the same time, he feels he may not have that luxury soon.  He will gladly accept any help.  He is not an excessively compassionate man, but he does not want anyone to suffer needlessly.
2- Garim, Son of Garth.  A young man from Bridgeraise, his town was burned down and his father killed by a Goblin acid-bomb.  He's angry and ready for war.  He has been rabble-rousing, trying to get the people to join a raiding party that he intends to lead into Goblin territory to kill as many as he can.  Despite his passion and fairly good arguments, he is clearly inexperienced in combat and is likely to just get himself killed.  Deep down, he is plagued by guilt that when the Goblins attacked, he ran instead of helping his father.  He and Suli have repeatedly clashed, as Suli wants to wait for reinforcements from Bansheim or from the capital, Ashpeak and he thinks that's stupid and cowardly.
3- Mother Magda or Old Magda.  The oldest woman in town, it is said that she was old when the mayor was just a babe at his mother's breast.  She is the town's Wise Woman, dispensing herbal cures and keeping people's spirits up with her razor wit and thwacks from her cane.  She is a disagreeable woman who always speaks her mind and savagely criticizes anything she disapproves of, which is most things.  The people in town walk on eggshells around her because of that, but they universally admire and respect her for her courage, wisdom and skill at healing.  They don't always like her, but they trust her advice.  Magda thinks that while Suli is foolish to wait for reinforcements to come, she believes that Garim is just likely to get himself killed.  Secretly, she wants to get involved herself, but she knows everyone would disapprove of that.


Everyone in town is a 1 HD commoner with no abilities, except for Magda, who is a 1 HD Sage with the ability to cast spells.  She has 2 MD and the ability to cast the spells Fogbank, Magic Missile and Illusion. 

Magda is also an expert on the nearby landscape, the best places to forage, the best routes for traveling, the local flora and fauna and Goblin behavior.  If she wants to frighten you, she'll tell you the story of the time of when she was a young adventurer and got kidnapped by Goblins after they killed her friends.  She will tell you they kept her in their cave for 3 months, gagging her and binding her hands so she couldn't cast spells.  She won't tell you what they did, but she will show you her scars and tell you about her son, a Goblin she named Ando.  He's long dead, of course, as Goblins only live about twenty years.  But she says that he was the best behaved of her other children, who all moved away or got themselves killed in foolish nonsense.

Routes to Travel:

After talking to some of the refugees from the other towns, Magda or Mayor Suli the party will be able to determine that the Goblins came from the Yarnik Woods. 

There are three routes to the Yarnik Woods:

1.  Go North from Newgate till you reach the the Old Bridge.  It was built by Handsome Men when they ruled the area and shows, resembling a wicker basket and hung with perpetually-blooming flowers.  From there, cross the bridge and it will only be a short trip to the forest.  From there, you can begin your search.  Travel Time: 2 days.

If you choose this route, you will have to cross the bridge, but the Goblins are guarding the bridge, with 10 Goblins on either side of the bridge and four Wolf mounts. 

2.  Go North from Newgate and keep going until you pass out of the valley and onto the grassy plains.  Keep going North along the river until you can see the forest of the other side.  Then find a way across the river and then you can search the forest.  Travel Time: 3 Days.

3.  Go South until you hit the fording spot several days south of the village.  From there, cross the river and head back North, approaching the Forest from the Western side.  The Goblins will never see it coming.  Travel Time: 5 days.

by Cathleen McAllister

Travel Tables:

Burned Fields-

Danger Level: 2

This is area north of Newgate and around the destroyed villages.  It is a blackened land, with the Goblins having torched fields of green and mostly-mature crops, everything they couldn't steal.  Some fields remain miraculously unburned while others are blackened ash.  You will also find houses and the destroyed villages here.  Each one has been ransacked, everything valuable stolen and whatever left destroyed.  The Goblins took everything shiny or edible and killed whoever they could get their hands on.  Houses were torched, wells filled with corpses, animals butchered and eaten and whatever couldn't be was taken back or left to rot.  The people who fell into the hands of the Goblins suffered worst of all. 

What do you see on your travels?


1- A pair of children's corpses, sliced open with ribs smashed to get at the inner organs, which were nailed to trees and nearby fenceposts.  Some have been taken down by scavengers and partially eaten, the corpses are well-chewed on.  Someone slashed into a nearby tree "Meat for the Gods" in crude Ashanian script and slashed a symbol into the wood that makes your eyes water to look at it.
2- A burned cottage with no one inside it.  A half-dozen dead cows lie in front of a torched barn, a pack of coyotes feasting on them, while vultures, ravens and crows crowd the trees around them.
3- A hungry dog sitting next to a dead farmer, nosing the corpse and lying morose.  If you approach the body, it will growl at you.
4- A huge clay pot full of bubbling brown-green liquid.  The liquid smells of death and a faintly toxic smell.  Touching the liquid does 1 acid damage.  Spilling or smashing the pot reveals a mostly-dissolved skeleton with a few strands of tough tissue still clinging to it.         

What do you run into?

1-2- Encounter.  Roll on the Encounter sub-Table.
3- Omen.  Roll on the Encounter sub-Table.  You find a trace left behind by one of the creatures on the Encounter sub-Table.
4- Difficulty.  You encounter some non-combat difficulty.  In this case, 1d4 [1= You find some untouched jars of water, a bit of ash sprinkled in them but otherwise fine.  The water is actually cursed, however, and drinking it infects you with dysentery; 2= A murder of crows flies down and demands food from you.  If you refuse, they will threaten to fly off and alert some nearby enemy of where you are; 3= The presence of this much death frightens your horses/pack animals/hirelings, who refuse to go further unless consoled or cosseted; 4= That night, one member of the party has a nightmare of being captured by Goblins and being taken to the feasting hall, where he is slowly chopped into bits while still alive and eaten piece by piece.  The Goblins speak in shrill, annoying voices and compliment you on the taste after each bite.  That creature must save or gain no benefit from the long rest.]
5- Quest Event.  The party finds a lone Goblin and his wolf companion nosing around in the ruins.  If they follow him back, he will lead them right to their lair.
6- Friendly NPC/Treasure.  50% of each.  If the former, roll on the Friendly NPC table.  If the latter, they find a box of porcelain plates, obviously an heirloom that could be sold for at least 50 silver.

Encounter sub-Table:


1- Goblin Scouts and Wolf mounts (1d6 Goblins + as many Wolves).  These Goblins are looking for anyone who could threaten their tribe.  If they find nothing, they'll retreat.  If they spot you, half will stay to harass you while the other half retreat and return with reinforcements. 
2- Bandits and Looters (2d4).  These are bunch of rough men who are looking for loot in the destroyed villages.  They will kill Goblins if they have to, or if they feel the Goblins have something they want.  Otherwise, they will ignore the Goblins and try to avoid them.  They might try to shake you down if you look weak, but will leave you alone if they look strong.  They want easy money without risk, if possible. 
3- Half-Ghouls (1d4+1).  A group of survivors who turned to cannibalism after they ran out of food.  They are scared and self-loathing, but do not want to go to the village, for fear that they wouldn't be able to control themselves around so much manflesh.  If you look vulnerable, they must check morale upon seeing you.  On a failure, they will attack and try to kill you.  Even if they succeed and you still look weak, they might stalk you and try to eat you later, when possible. 
4- Plague Spirit.  A cloaked figure with a hood that conceals his face and surrounded by a buzzing cloud.  If you encounter it, it will try to lure you close and infect you with a disease.  This Spirit is the personification of the disease Dengue Fever, a virulent and dangerous contagion.


HD 0- 3 HP, AR none, Atk Obsidian Dagger (1d6) or Sling (1d6), Mor 15, saves 7 or less
Truth-Teller: Goblins cannot lie.
Cold Iron Weakness: Goblins take +1 damage per die from iron weapons.
Chuckle-Voodoos: Goblins can create illusions.  The more Goblins contributing, the better the illusion.

HD 1, AR 1, Atk Jaws (1d6 + grapple), Mor 12, Saves 7 or less
Tracker: Wolves get +4 to track creatures by scent.

Ghost Wolf
As Wolf, but cannot be hurt by non-magic weapons, poison, necrotic or cold damage.  Can move through solid objects and fly as well.  Also take 1d6 radiant damage from sunlight and if reduced to 0 HP, do not die but are restored the next night at full HP.  Count as Undead. 

HD 1, AR 2, Atk Shortsword (1d6) or Bow and Arrow (1d8), Mor 10, Saves 8 or less

HD 1d3, AR 2, Atk Spade or Farm Tool (1d6+1), Mor 6, Saves (7+HD) or less
Cannibal Conviction: Half-Ghouls want to eat living flesh.  If given the chance to do so, they must make a morale check.  On a failure, they lose control and attack.  Also make morale checks for fleeing as normal, should that become necessary.
Wearing his Crime: The marks of cannibalism: pale skin, empty eyes, nascent claws beginning to emerge from nail beds, irresistible urge to feed are plainly visible on the bodies of Half-Ghouls, if they are inspected or searched.  Anyone decently educated will know that such bodies should be burned, decapitated or given proper burials, preferrably all three. 
Undead Rebirth: Unless one of the above is done to any Half-Ghoul slain in battle, that Half-Ghoul will rise as the next night as a 4 HD Ghoul.

Plague Spirit
HD 1d4+1, AR 1d4+1, Atk Cursed Touch (1d8 Poison + Save vs Disease), Mor 16, Saves (7+HD) or less
Native of the Shallows: As an action, the Plague Spirit can leave our world and enter the Shallows of the Astral Sea.  It can come back as an action.  While in the Shallows it can observe inhabitants of the living world but cannot affect them.
Cursed Touch: Any creature touched by the Plague Spirit must save or be infected with Dengue Fever.
Spirit Being: Spirits have bodies made of mana.  Magical weapons automatically ignore their armor, while non-magical ones struggle to hurt them.

Friendly NPCs:


1- Tinidril.  She's a young girl, fair of skin with dark hair and muddy brown eyes, her skin smeared with mud and ash.  She's sitting on the foundations of her ruined home, eating deer jerky.  She could be in shock, but more likely she's just starting to realize that her parents and siblings are dead.  She'll quickly latch on to anyone who even looks vaguely nice.  She also has a phobia of Goblins.
2- Figri, Son of Garven.  A survivor of Bridgeraise, he was knocked unconscious and was dragged to safety.  In the chaos, the Goblins didn't find him.  When he woke to find his village in a smoldering ruin, he decided he would avenge his slain brethren or die trying.  He is currently planning on marching toward the Yarnik Woods and attacking every Goblin he can until he or they are dead.  He will follow anyone who seems to have a decent plain.  He has a massive and obvious case of survivor's guilt.  As a fighter he's a 1 HD Spearmen with the ability to throw his spear and 1 AR.
3- Wounded Goblin.  A Goblin who was wounded and left to die.  He doesn't speak any language but Goblin but will curse you in his own tongue.  He will be pleased if you kill him.  If you help him, he will pretend not to be grateful and encourage you to kill him.  He is bitter about being left behind but not enough to betray his people.  If you leave him or wound him further, he will die.   
4- Carver.  A Ghoul who has come to feed and finds this new bounty of carrion to be eminently pleasing.  He is well fed and thus, urbane, sophisticated and sarcastic.  He is self-deprecating in his humor and carefully conceals the fact that he eats people, a fact that makes him hate himself, just a little.  During the day he hides indoors or swaddles himself in robes and wrappings, with a mask over his face.  He pretends to be someone carrying a disease to avoid questions he doesn't want to answer.


Danger Level: 1

These plains are made of low, rolling hills of green and gold, a vast patchwork quilt of heather, thistles and stiff green stalks.  Occasional trees dot the flat landscape but otherwise nothing disturbs the vast emptiness.  The sky is huge and blue and clouds race across those azure waters.  Listening to the wind ruffle your hair and clothes, you cannot imagine the struggle taking place not far to the South and East.  Only when the wind switches direction and returns laden with the scent of ash and rot does it seem in any way real.

What do you run into?


1- Encounter.  Roll on the Encounter sub-Table.
2- Omen.  Roll on the Encounter sub-Table.  You find a trace left behind by one of the creatures on the Encounter sub-Table.
3- Difficulty.  You encounter some non-combat difficulty.  In this case, 1d4 [1= 1d4 Doom Eyes land near the party and start following them.  Any hirelings or companions not secretly longing for death must immediately check morale or abandon the mission; 2= The party finds themselves being shadowed by a lionness.  If they do not go appease the Lion, she might return with her sisters and attack them when vulnerable; 3= One member of the party has a dream that night of a couple arguing, then of someone throwing an object.  When the party wakes up, they find that all the water they were carrying in waterskins and canteens has boiled away in the night; 4= A snake slithers into camp during the night and hides in someone's boot.  The snake has a 50% of being venomous.  If not, it's bite just really hurts and gives that person -2 DEX for that day as their foot hurts from the bite.  If the snake is venomous, it does 2d6 HP damage, save for half.]
4- Quest Event.  The party finds a lone Goblin and his wolf companion nosing around in the ruins.  If they follow him back, he will lead them right to their lair.
5- Friendly NPC.  Roll on the Friendly NPC table. 
6- Treasure.   You find a shallow grave, with a spear thrust into the ground to mark the site and stones piled over the deceased.  There is a death-poem attached to the shaft of the spear.  The spear is Masterwork, doing +1 damage and is worth at least 30 silver to a normal buyer and up to twice that to a collector or someone who knew what they were looking at.  But should you take the spear without the permission of X, he will track you down and seek revenge.

Encounter sub-Table:


1- Centaur Free-Riders (1d8+2).  Centaurs are huge folk who reject civilization and it's trappings, roaming across the wilderness in bands of free individuals.  They are skilled archers and can outride any mortal.  They are dismissive toward two-footed folk, whom they call "Hoofless".  These centaurs will probably be condescending towards you, but if you look strong or have a pretty woman accompanying you, they will invite you to party with them.  Centaur partying involves lots of drinking, giving rides to people you find attractive, archery and wrestling contests.  They will probably spike your drinks.  If you prove to be good company or otherwise earn their respect, they will not rob you while you're passed out drunk.  If you refuse to party with them or otherwise offend them, they'll attack or ride off in a huff, depending on how tough you look. 
2- Lions (1d4+1 Lionnesses + 1 Lion).  They will shadow you and wait for the right moment, then attack you.  You can ward them off by appeasing the Lion with an offering, but if they're getting ready to hunt you, it will have to be a pretty impressive offering.
3- Doom Eyes (1d4).  These huge birds are creepy but actually not that dangerous.  They will follow you, for they know you are in danger.  For as long as they are around, roll on the Encounter Table once per hour, rerolling any further Doom Eyes.  They avoid fighting unless absolutely necessary.
4- Roc (1).  A giant bird that sweeps over the plains, looking for prey.  Usually it hunts wild horses or bison, but it can make an exception today.  A very difficult foe to fight, and one even harder to run away from.  Your best approach to avoiding it is fire.  Try looking for dried bison or horse dung, that is ideal fuel for flames.


HD 3, AR 1, Atk Bow and Arrow (1d8) or Spear (1d6+2), Mor 13, Saves 10 or less
Trample: Centaurs can make 1 charge attack as an action.  This causes the Centaur to add +1d6 to its attack roll.  Creatures targeted by a charge can attempt a defense roll as normal, or they can attempt a DEX save.  On a successful save, they take no damage.  On a failure, they take full damage. 

HD 3, AR 1, Atk Claw (1d6) + Bite (1d4), Mor 11, Saves 10 or less
Stealthy: Lionnesses get +2 to stealth rolls when in long grass, darkness or anything that could help them hide.
Pack Tactics: If two Lionnesses attack the same target, make one d20 roll and add both damage dice together.  For each additional Lionness that attacks that same target, add +1 to the damage.

HD 4, AR 2, Claw (1d6) + Bite (1d6), Mor 13, Saves 11 or less
Stealthy: Lions get +2 to stealth rolls when in long grass, darkness or anything that could help them hide.
Roar:Roar: A Lion's roar is a deafening blast of sound that flattens all who hear it.  When a Lion roars, all within 30' of him take 2d6 thunder damage, save for half.  Those who fail their save must also save or be deafened.  Deafened creatures have disadvantage on any save or check made to detect a creature (such as a Lion or Lionness) sneaking up on them.  The Lion may only roar every 1d4 turns.      

Doom Eyes
HD 2, AR 4, Beak (1d6 + Grim Visions), Mor 10, Saves 9 or less
Grim Visions: Doom Eyes have advantage on all attacks and defense rolls.
Transferred Sight: When pecked by a Doom Eye, make a save.  On a failed save, you go catatonic for 10 minutes as you have a seizure, visions of possible futures overwhelming you.  If you pass your save, you have advantage on all attack and defense rolls for the next 10 minutes, plus you receive a vision of the immediate future.  However, you take +1d6 damage from one source.  Roll on this table to see what source damages you.

HD 8+1d4, AR 1, Atk Beak (1d10) Claws (1d8+1), Mor 5+HD, Saves (7+HD) or less
Great Claws: If a Roc successfully hits a creature with a Claw attack, that creature is automatically grappled.
Swallow: If a Roc has 8 or more HD and has a creature grappled, it can attempt to swallow that creature.  That creature may make a STR check against the Roc's STR check or he may make a DEX check with disadvantage.  On a failed check, that creature is swallowed whole.  Swallowed creatures are blinded and grappled and cannot do anything that requires large or precise movements. They also take 1d6 acid damage a round.  If the Roc takes 10 or more damage as the result of an attack, the Roc must save.  On a failed save, the Roc spits up the creature it swallowed.  Rocs can also choose to spit up creatures as a free action on their turns.
Fear of Storms: If faced with lightning or thunder, the Roc must immediately check morale or flee.

Friendly NPCs:


1- Centaur with a broken leg.  Her name is Xinivatra, but her friends called her Zini.  She broke her leg in battle and was abandoned by her comrades.  She is currently dying of dehydration and unable to move, fending off vultures and scavengers with increasingly weak kicks and shouts.  She alternates between screaming curses until her throat is hoarse and lying in a stupor like she's dead.  She's delirious at the moment and would welcome any help as her benevolent ancestors or curse them as agents of Death and feebly fight them (50%). 
2- His name is Paril, Son of Ilhar.  He's a human adventurer whose friends were slaughtered by Goblins.  He wants revenge but not as badly as he wants to marry the Naiad of the River.  She's married though, to the River Dragon who reigns over this river.  He's currently moping on the bank.  If you ask him what happened, he will tell you how they ran from the Goblins after an ambush by the Wolf-Demon they have working for them and while two of the others escaped, he and Vica jumped into the river, where the Naiad came to them and helped them across the sea.  Vica died of his wounds soon after and was buried not far from here, and after that the Naiad comforted Paril.  He wants you to help break up the marriage between the River Dragon and the Naiad so he can marry her, for he's fallen in love with her.  Also, if he sees you carrying Vica's spear, he will try to kill you and take the spear back.  
3- Iron Quora.  A huge Loxodon female who is meditating atop a wide, flat stone.  She is pursuing enlightenment, contemplating the nature of the Universe.  She has nothing but the robe on her back, a canteen full of water and a bag full of hallucinogenic mushrooms that if eaten, allows one to see into the Shallows of the Astral Sea for 1d4 hours.  She is utterly detatched from worldly matters and while polite, will try to avoid talking to you about serious subjects as she doesn't really care about the outside world at the moment.  If threatened, she will reveal herself to a Level 1d4 Fighter with knowledge of a random Fist art.
4- Coyoon Caravan.  You will see them a long way off, a fleet of wagons pulled by oxen, painted bright colors and trailing lurid banners.  You will be met by the scouts, who will have smeared their fur in brilliant dyes and dressed in dazzling colors that they refuse to match or coordinate.  This caravan is called the Bojir.  They all consider each other family and forbid stealing and mistreating each other, but do not extend this courtesy to outsiders.  They will rob or steal from you if they feel they can get away with it, but will avoid doing so if it seems too risky.  They might try to sell you "magical potions" (colored water mixed with spices, wine and other random plants and herbs) or medicinal massages (a euphemism for prostitution among their kind).  They are dismissive and chauvinistic towards women, but not to the point of letting their guard down.

The River:

At some point, you will have to cross the River.  But this river is home to a pair of Spirits currently dealing with a dispute, which is part of the reason why the river's waters have been poisoned by the relatively weak Plague Spirits. 

Whenever you cross the river, you have a 2-in-6 chance of encountering one of the Spirits who dwell in this river.  If you have polluted the river, made an offering to the Spirits within or done something to offend either Spirit, this chance increases up to 5-in-6, Referee's Discretion.

The Two Spirits who dwell here are named Vivios [Viv-E-oh-ss] and Celesi [Sell-eh-zee].

Vivios is a River Dragon who serves the Elemental Court of Water.  He is agnostic of the current civil war raging in the Clouds and deep in the Ocean between others of his organization.  He is aloof to the whole issue and content to serve out his term and keep the river flowing.  This is part of his wife's problem, as she feels he is not ambitious enough and has lost the drive that originally attracted her to him.  He is exasperated by her behavior, but refuses to punish her, as he is too distracted with the intrusion of the Green Gods and their Spirit minions to really pay her any attention, which is only further fueling her bad behavior.

Vivios is a shapeshifter, so he changes his form depending on his mood.  His normal form is that of a human with antlers that transform into hanging tentacles at the end, with patches of scales on his white flesh and webbed fingers and toes.  He has gills and water constantly drips off his body.  When enraged he takes the form of a monstrous hagfish with a mouth as big as man's torso and a body as long as a horse. 

Celesi is a free Water Spirit, not attached to one of the many courts, and had been content to while away her days as mistress of a handful of tidal pools.  So when she met Vivios and she managed to attract his attention, she thought she had hit the jackpot.  He was worldly, cosmopolitan, ambitious and strong.  Plus he was a shapeshifter, so they could do all sorts of crazy things together.  Unfortunately, her husband has lost much of his vigour and drive in the past couple centuries and she is frustrated with him, which only makes her less attracted to him.  She wants nothing more than for him to put his foot down and put her in his place, but he seems unable or unwilling to do that.  To try and get a reaction out of him she's been rude and disrespectful, but that didn't work.  So now she has started sleeping with mortals who enter the water that catch her fancy, in the hopes of provoking his rage.  So far, that hasn't worked either.  If a male of 15 or higher CHA enters the river waters and Celesi comes to investigate, she will try to seduce that creature.  She will ignore women as her husband isn't threatened by them.

Celesi is a Naiad and thus, resembles a woman with aquatic plants for hair, ovoid fish eyes and the ability to transform her lower body into a tail or keep it two shapely legs.  She can also transform her hands into giant lobster claws.  She is not scaly, but her body is countershaded and she has a pair of fins on her back, regardless of her form.


HD 3, AR 2, Atk Bite (1d10 + grapple) [Hagfish form], Mor 13, Saves 10 or less
In Their Element: Vivios gets +1 to attack and defense rolls and regenerates 1 HD a round when in water.  Drinking water also heals him 1d8 HP.
Shapeshifter: Vivios can assume the shape of anything that has or is in his river as an action.
Sweep Away: As an action, Vivios can force a creature in his river to save.  On a failed save that creature is dragged downstream and starts drowning, taking 1d6 STR damage a round.  If this reduces the creature to 0 STR, it drowns.  He can instantly restore this STR damage as an action.

HD 2, AR none, Atk Lobster Claw (1d6 + Grapple), Mor 9, Saves 9 or less
In Their Element: Celesi gets +1 to attack and defense rolls and regenerates 1 HD a round when in water.  Drinking water also heals her 1d8 HP.

by Stefan Koidl

The Forest:

Danger Level: 3

No sane person would ever go into a forest unless they had no choice, and you prove this fact.  The trees, when small, are packed tightly together and armed in brackles and thorny undergrowth, forcing you to hack your way through.  When they are tall, the trees knit their branches into a canopy that plunges the forest floor into gloom, robbing you of almost all sunlight.  Stray stones and animal burrows impede horses, roots and low branches impede you and the darkness makes everyone uneasy.  Strange eyes watch from the foliage and the distant calls of predators raise the hackles of any man who hears them.  This is not a place you belong, as the inhabitants of this place are keen to remind you. 

Yet even here, there are signs of intelligent life.  You see footprints of small creatures and crude effigies of humans, some impaled with sticks or burned, along with crude art made of bones hung from branches, gruesome markers of victory and warnings to "KEEP OUT".  There are also messages slashed into trees and made in stones on the ground, describing the horrible fate that awaits those who trespass in their territory. 

What do you find?

Since the players are searching for the Goblin lair, each hour they can explore a large chunk of the forest.  The forest is divided into six areas, so for each hour have them roll 1d6 on both tables below.


1- The Wolf Cave.  The place where the non-tamed wolves live.  They roam around the forest, hunting deer and other tasty animals.  This cave has 1d20+4 Wolves in it normally, but there is a 50% chance that only the old Wolves and the cubs are left.  In the latter case, there is half the number of wolves normally.  At night, the wolves, whether hunting or in their den, are joined by 1d6+1 Ghost Wolves, their honored ancestors returned.  The Wolf Spirit also watches over this den and any attack on it has a 4-in-6 chance of drawing his attention.   
2- Crucified Victims.  You find 1d3 men, women or children nailed to trees and left with long lacerations that are causing them to slowly bleed out.  There is a 50% that the sacrifices are still alive, but dying.  They have been left out as sacrifices for the Green Gods, the Gods of the Forest.  If they are alive, the Gods are coming and will come to devour their fear and vitality.  Do not be here when they arrive.  
3- Resting place of the Dead.  A huge field where the Goblins place their dead.  These Goblins practice open-air burial, where they ritualistically mutilate the bodies of the dead and cannibalize certain parts, then leave the rest for the animals.  They believe that this will ensure the Goblins get reincarnated.  To ensure a successful passage, they sprinkle worldly goods around the mutilated bodies, such as personal possessions, stolen money and war booty that the Goblins didn't need.  All of these items are sacred- if you steal one, you risk being cursed by the Gods of the Forest.
4- Desolated Grove.  A Shrine that belonged to the Nymph that previously protected this forest.  Her shrine was a humble grove of elms with a pond and an expanse of raked gravel, with an idol in the center that was adorned with oils and wine, and sacrifices were made to her.  But she was displaced and her Shrine was destroyed.  The trees have been uprooted or pruned harshly, the pond has been filled with stones and the intricate gravel designs have been smashed and swept aside.  The Nymph's idol has been chopped to pieces and scorched with flame.  She herself has been cast out and now darker beings then her rule this wood, twisting it into a place full of danger and terror.  The Goblins shun this place, unless they come to mock the Nymph or do something they don't want other Goblins to see.
5- Watch-Tower.  Woven of vines, branches and sticks, this crow's nest is concealed near the canopy and houses a pair of Goblins armed with bows and horns.  Should they spot anyone unauthorized approaching the cave, they will sound their horns and summon the warriors to defend the cave.
6- Goblin Cave.  A shallow ravine leads to a cave that leads into a hollow hill covered in trees.  There are two Goblins always on guard here, who have concealed the entrance behind ferns.  If they see or hear approaching visitors, they will use their chuckle-voodoos to create illusions that further mask the entrance to the cave.

Additionally, because this is Goblin territory, they have littered the forest with traps which they can avoid, but intruders will hopefully stumble into.  Goblin check and reset these traps when out on patrol.  Each new area the party explores has a 75% of having one of the following:

1- Twitch-Up snare.  A loop connected to a tree.  Put your foot in it and it will yank you 15' into the air and leave you hanging there.  This also triggers noise-makers which will summon a Goblin Patrol to arrive in 1d4+1 minutes.
2- Pit Trap.  You fall through the covering of brush into a 10' pit.  Someone leaning over can pull you out with a DC 15 STR check.  There is a 75% chance there are 1d4 Goblins watching over this.  They are armed with firebombs, which they will throw into the open pit and burn whatever is in there, unless it's a prey animal that might be better killed more precisely.
3- Pit Trap with spikes.  You fall through a brush mat into a 10' pit with spikes at the bottom.  You take 1d6 damage and must save vs disease, as the Goblins smeared those spikes with their feces.
4- Deadfall Trap.  You find bait, in the form of a dead Goblin corpse with a coinpurse attached, a sword half-buried in leaves, or a shiny object such as a gilded plate.  Touching it causes the huge log the Goblins have suspended over the bait to fall on you.  If you take the bait, succeed on a DEX save or take 3d6 damage from being crushed by a giant log.  If you make the save, no damage.

Each Trap can be spotted by a creature who succeeds a DC 13 COG check and is moving slowly.  Creatures moving at quick pace, running or fleeing quickly can make a save with disadvantage to avoid the trap, if the Referee feels it appropriate.

What do you run into?

1-3- Encounter.  Roll on the Encounter sub-Table.
4- Omen.  Roll on the Encounter sub-Table.  You find a trace left behind by one of the creatures on the Encounter sub-Table.
5- Difficulty.  You encounter some non-combat difficulty.  In this case, 1d4 [1= Your horse/hireling/adventuring companion gets his foot stuck in a gopher burrow.  This breaks a horse's leg, but humanoids can save.  On a failed save they break the leg, but a success only means it is sprained; 2= A troupe of monkeys find you.  They will jump down, steal something from you and hold it hostage for food.  Or if you have food out, they will just steal it and run away.  If you kill them, they will start making a ton of noise, forcing you to automatically roll on the table once more; 3= Unless you're walking slowly and carefully, the creature at the front should save.  On a failed save, it doesn't see the ravine in time and slips down into it, taking 1d4 damage; 4= It starts to rain.  Visibility is immediately reduced to 10' and all attempts to detect creatures around you by sound are made at disadvantage.]
6- Friendly NPC.  You encounter the Nymph who used to rule this forest, a woman with milky skin covered in black tattoos that glow an iridiscent green when she's agitated.  She has luxurious red hair the color of autumn leaves and is irresistibly beautiful.  She's angry and determined to reclaim her former territory, and frustrated by the power of her enemies.  Her powers have been weakened by the loss of her shrine, but she's still a powerful Spirit.  She will ask for your help and ask you to contact her sister, who lives in the nearby river with her husband for aid.

Encounter sub-Table:


1- Goblin Patrol (1d10 Goblins).  These Goblins are looking for intruders.  They are armed with their usual weapons, along with horns.  If they blow their horns, that will be the signal to the other warriors that there are intruders in the forest and raise the alarm.
2- Wild Wolves (2d4 Wolves).  The Wolves are looking for easy prey, so they will avoid any group that looks too strong, but they know that Goblins bring war in their wake, so will shadow the players and pick off any weak creatures or eat the dead they leave behind.
3- Goblin Elite (50% Goblin Priest + 1d4 Goblin assistants or 50% Goblin Boss, + 1d3 Wives + 1d6+2 Goblins).  The Goblin Priest will only leave the cave to perform a funeral or a ritual to appease the tribe's Gods.  The Goblin Boss will leave for a variety of reasons, but in this case he's left for a picnic with his wives.   
4- Wolf Spirit (1).  The Spirit is the new ruler of the Woods and he is enjoying his new domain, traveling through the Shallows and peering in occasionally.  If you are not shielded by magic that could protect you from being spotted by divination, he can see you from his perch.  He will allow you to hunt, but if you threaten the Goblins or kill more than a handful, he will take physical form and try to kill you.  If that doesn't work, he will retreat back to the Shallows, assemble some allies in the form of the Wolves or alert the Goblins and come back to try and destroy you when he's stronger.


Bergo the Goblin Boss
HD 2, AR 2, Atk Shortbow (1d6+1) or Shortsword (1d6+1) or Spirit Claw (1d6 necrotic plus heals user 1d6 HP), Mor 10, Saves 8 or less
Truth-Teller, Cold Iron Weakness and Chuckle-Voodoos: As Goblin.
Spiritual Guardian: The Wolf Spirit swore to protect the Boss.  Should he call for him as an action, the Spirit will arrive in 1 round to aid him. 

Vihara the Goblin Priest
HD 6, AR none, Atk Obsidian Dagger (1d6+1/1d6+1), Mor 14, Saves 13 or less
Truth-Teller, Cold Iron Weakness and Chuckle-Voodoos: As Goblin.
Secret Name of God, Bearer of the Word "SPEAK": Vihara the Goblin Priest bears a Divine Name that allows him to temporarily grant sentience and consciousness to any creature or object he chooses.  He can also manipulate speech, force others to say something or deny them the right to speak.  He can do this by making a CHA check of an appropriate DC, if the Referee feels his Divine Word could do what he wants it to.
Magic Weapon- Druidic Fang: Vihara's dagger is magical.  When it injures a creature, 1/Day, he can mark that creature for sacrifice.  That creature is branded with a mark.  This causes his allies to do +1d6 damage to that creature for the rest of the day.  The only cure for this is to break the dagger or to take the dagger from it's current owner, Vihara.

Uses of his Divine Word:


1- Vihara commands a nearby animal to speak.  That animal makes a sound which summons dozens of others to aid Vihara in battle.  DC 7.
2- Vihara commands the spell-caster to be silent.  If he successfully beats the DC, that Wizard cannot cast spells.  Alternatively, the Wizard can cast but has a 2-in-6 chance of every spell he casts triggering Chaos or Corruption.  DC 13.
3- Vihara commands a nearby tree to speak.  That tree animates and comes to his aid.  DC 12.
4- Vihara commands an enemy weapon to come to life.  That weapon does not want to hurt him, so using that weapon against Vihara enforces a -4 penalty to attack and defense rolls, also to damage.  DC 10.

Wolf Spirit
HD 1d4+1, AR 1d4+1, Atk Bite (1d8) + Claw (1d6) or Spirit Fang (1d8 necrotic, heals user for 1d8 HP), Mor 14, Saves (7+HD) or less
Native of the Shallows: As an action, the Wolf Spirit can leave our world and enter the Shallows of the Astral Sea.  It can come back as an action.  While in the Shallows it can observe inhabitants of the living world but cannot affect them.
Spirit Being: Spirits have bodies made of mana.  Magical weapons automatically ignore their armor, while non-magical ones struggle to hurt them.
Alpha: The Wolf Spirit can, as an action, summon 1d6 Wolves or 1d4 Ghost Wolves to aid him in battle.  He can do this 1/Day.  Ghost Wolves appear immediately but do not act until the next round, while regular Wolves arrive next round and act immediately.   

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