Monday, July 27, 2020

Brigand Woods Encounters

Brigand Woods Encounters
For DIY Adventurers

[1] The forgotten graveyard. Built centuries ago; its headstones are faded but the magic remains. The holy men of the past buried their faithful dead here, and it has become hallowed ground. The Undead cannot enter this place, and Clerics treat their spells as though they were two levels higher while within the graveyard.

[2] While crossing between two trees, you feel as though something is watching you. There is a Hide Behind that follows you from now until the next dawn. The Hide Behind is not aggressive and is not dangerous unless you are alone. It looks like a shaggy black dog on its hind legs that peeks out from between trees, and disappears the moment you look at it.

If the character is ever separated from their party, they take an attack that deals 1d12 damage from a bite to the back of the head. The creature will make one bite, then disappear. If the character dies, then the Hide Behind will return to haunt the second character who went through the two trees, and so on.

[3] Bandit Ambush. There are many gangs and groups of merry-men in these woods; roll on the Random Gang Table at the end of this document to determine which one attacks.

This group prefers not to fight and will shoot warning shots with a bow for intimidation only; then they will offer a chance to surrender half of your gold in exchange for being allowed to pass on. They hide in the trees just off the road on both sides. An elf can detect them on a 2 in 6 chance.

[4] The Campfire. The warm glow of this fire can be seen through the trees, nobody is around it and nobody will bother you if you rest here. The fire has a low pink flame and a small stone pillar with a golden ring stands in its center, as though the fire was built around it. The campfire is a local legend in the woods, it is the fire of life and protection. Those who rest around it will wake up healed 1d6 hit points. Every night the pillar-fire disappears and reappears at a new location, always in the path of wandering and wounded travelers.

You can also steal the golden ring, this will deal 1d6 fire damage as the hot metal burns your hand. If you steal the ring, the magical fire will never be found by you again, but the ring is worth 200c

[5] There is a man with a goat-head mask making loud chanting noises on the road. He offers pickeled goat testicles to anyone who walks by. There is only a 1 in 4 chance he's actually a cultist; he's almost certainly a bandit getting initiated or hazed in. Nearby, 1d4 bandits watch and giggle.

[6] Forest Ruins. Appears on an overgrown forest stream; looks like an old mill house. Old water wheel is busted, the trees and ivy had entangled the whole place making it almost invisible from a distance.

The old house could be used as cover, the babbling stream masks some noise, and is not visited often by bandits or wildlife due to its danger. Your chance of a wandering encounter here is lowered to 1 in 10 instead of 1 in 6.

The walls here grow a dangerous plant called Slumbering Snatchvine, which is a hearty green plant with blue flowers. If anyone remains slow or motionless for about exploration turn (such as when sleeping or receiving medical help), the vines will creep onto them and attempt to strangle.

Slumbering Snatchvine (4+4 HD, +2 to hit, -2 AC, three strangling attacks at 1d6+1 each, weak to fire)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- Just one

The Snatchvine is a carnivorous plant that kills creatures and places them around its roots for use as fertilizer. It only attacks things that it senses are incapacitated or things that move slowly, as it doesn't want to attack a fast creature that could rip out its leaves and vines. You can get a clue of what this creature is like by looking at the remains around the floor of the mill house- bones of sleeping people and empty tortoise shells, but rabbits and birds live around the house without issue.

Additionally; there is a hidden treasure just beneath the heavy millstone of the house. The heavy stone requires at least 6 men of average strength to lift it. Underneath is a bag contained two small gold bars worth 5000c each.

[7] Overturned carriage by the side of the road. Left over from a bandit ambush. No survivors, except one extremely pissed off black tortoise that is stomping into the woods. The party will see him if they make an immediate search of the surrounding area.

The carriage contains a few dead bodies with all their possessions taken, and has several holes punched through the sides and blade scratches in the wood from where the people and guards were cut down. Close examination will reveal a set of 60c worth of gold coins hidden underneath the seat cushion the woman of the cab died upon.

Anyone investigating the cart has a 1 in 6 chance to wander near the back of the carriage if no location I specified. There is a trap on the back of the carriage. Two pressurized pistons jab iron spikes out; deals 1d4 damage on a failed save. It was designed to stab and ward off wargs that would nip at the back of the vehicle to slow it down so they could raid it.

Finally; the black tortoise is an otherwise friendly reptile pet. It's a rare breed of inky tortoise. He's angry because he hasn't been fed in hours now, and his humans are all dead. His name is carved into his shell just above his neck; Francis.

[8] You hear a buzzing nearby you, but no bees. There is a lumpy, stark-white nest built onto a nearby tree. The nest is empty but you can hear the buzzing get louder the closer you get. Destroying the nest yields 1d2+1 jars worth of green jelly; and a test-tube vial full of larva. The buzzing follows you but once again there is no physical presence or creature next to you.

These are astral bees. They are somewhat common in this area and are heavily hunted and cultivated by the bandits. Once they are born and reach adulthood, they shed their physical bodies like a skin and exist in a separate realm. Their nests and honey exists in the physical dimension. They have no sting in the physical realm, but those who are stung by the bees swell up in the “astral” dimension. After death, their souls will remain swollen for a good two or three millennia.

Astral Bee Honey is a bright green fluid that is extremely sweet, never spoils, and is mildly addictive. The bandits here use it as a makeshift currency; each jar worth can be used to pay a toll of 200c (each jar is worth 1000c) but presenting any of this honey will lead to questions and the bandits follow the party to try and locate a new nest for themselves.

[9] There's a tiny black iron fence running along the forest floor. It only goes on for about 40 feet and can easily be stepped over by anyone human sized. It doesn't appear to be protecting anything.

If you step over the fence, you are cursed with Burden for 2d6 turns, which counts as 2 load units or 200 coins worth of weight your character is burdened with.

Additionally, if you remove one of the fence posts and reforge its shape it into a weapon, it counts as a +1 magic poker (short spear- reach as shortsword) The iron is magic and could be reforged to different weapons and lengths. All weapons made with this material are 50% heavier then normal or have +1 load units. You could dig up all the fence posts and the total value sold would be worth 3500c

[10] Demon Infection man. There is a man who seems to be afflicted with an illness, who is bumbling and coughing along the road. He'll try to warn you away by coughing and telling you not to get close or else you'll get sick.

If any party member is injured or gets within 15 ft of him, he snaps and throws off his cloak and attacks.

Demon Infection Man (2+2 HD, +2 AC, +2 to hit, 1d6+1 claws, fast speed, incredible dexterity, infectious blood, demonic)
Morale- 11

The demon infection man is suffering from a disease that turns people into monsters. Has appears as a human but has bright albino-like pink and red eyes and two small horns on top of his head. He wants to eat the flesh of intelligent beings and is struggling to resist the urges.

The demon-infection man is very fast and supernaturally agile, meaning he always wins initiative unless you perform a sneak attack or someone in the party is “fast” as well. He can also use his incredible dexterity to leap from tree to tree, swing from branches, climb fast, etc.

As a partially demonic being, he can be turned. On a successful “Turn”, he is stunned for one round. On a roll of “Destroyed”, he takes 1d6 damage and then acts as Turned. An extremely holy cleric may still be able to destroy him if they are name or max level, or if their god is particularly zealous.

Finally; the demon infection man is infected with a blood borne pathogen. If a character is heavily wounded (less then half health) and commits the finishing blow against this monster, they must make a saving throw or some of the demon blood will splash into their wounds. This does not occur if they are using blunt weapons or ranged attacks. Once the blood is introduced, the character will slowly become demon-infected and will hunger to eat human flesh while becoming larger and more powerful. This can be stopped by amputating the limb, or washing the wounds with holy water.

[11] Natural cave just off the path. It's a hideout for a gang. They aren't very good at hiding their garbage or traces of them living in there. With a successful stealth roll, you can get inside without being detected. Roll on the Random Gang Table to see which gang the hideout belongs to.

In the back of the hideout is a small treasure hoard worth 1d6x500c of various stolen goods. There is a 1 in 8 chance the bandits have an Astral Bee Queen inside a jar that looks empty in their treasure trove, which is also the most securely defended item under lock and key.

[12] Small pond covered in lilies. The air here makes you uneasy. Include this pond on any nearby rumor or gossip tables.

If you come across the lake during the day, it is as the above. No random encounters.

If you come across this lake during the night, or camp next to it over the night, you will find it changed. The lilies look more like the top of a woman's head, wearing a veil, as if just beneath the water. If disturbed in any way, the spirits rise from the water with an unearthly glow.

Veiled Pond Spirits (1+1 HD, -2 to hit, 1d4 cold on touch OR drowning pull, ghosts)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- 1d6+2

These pond spirits look like women in dirty, moldy veils. They have no visible limbs, just a long body in a tattered dress that is barely visible and spotted with pond-scum from the lake. When they move through the air slowly; on a successful hit, the ghosts deal 1d4 cold damage. If you are in the water, instead you feel a powerful weight dragging you down into the depths; save or start drowning in the cold murky water.

The spirits are still ghosts. As ghosts, they can be banished by a priest as per turn undead. You can ward your campsite or the area around the pond with magic charms, though it would take a dozen of them to cover such a wide area.

[13] Trees with big scratches. The bark here has been sliced and marred, as though by a massive set of claws too big to be a bear. If the party rolls this encounter again, or follows the scratches, they come across an aggressive giant sloth sharpening its claws against the tree bark.

Giant Sloth (3HD, +2 to hit, +2 AC, two claw attacks at 1d6, slow)
Morale- 8

The sloth always loses initiative ties and goes second, because of its slowness. It's also easy to sneak up on; you can hear its claws scratching the bark from a far distance so you can get the first attack against it. The Sloth is aggressive and will attack, but is still an animal and will likely flee the first time it is injuried.

If you kill this sloth and later encounter gang #3, (Sloth-Bone Gang), they'll be pissed at you. Roll reaction checks with them at 1d6 instead of 2d6.

[14] Pitfall trap. No save- the area of the pit is fifty feet in area; uses a complex support structure to ensure you only fall in if a full group is over it. You take 1d4 damage when you fall in.

The trap falls down into a pit with a small stone castle built in the center. It has one “gate” the size of a normal door. When you fall down the pit, the sound of a flute is heard and figures emerge from the castle gate. The creatures are skeletons that wear stuffed, woven lion-head masks over their heads. They fight to defend the castle, and will not attack anyone who leaves the pit. Crawling out of the pit however takes a turn or a skilled Rogue to accomplish the feat.

The mock castle is only two rooms; a main “chamber” and a small bedroom adjoining it. The main chamber looks big enough to fit exactly the number of skeletons that were used to defend the castle, if they all stood in total stillness. The bedroom is empty, containing a book about necromancy. The book has a dark aura and anyone can tell touching it is a bad idea. The books contains 1d4 Necromancy spells but is cursed. If you pick up the book without using a glove of bound human skin; you are struck with a dark bolt that deals 2d6 damage and take a level in drain.

Under the bed in the bedroom is a keepsake box with 600c worth of gold-painted shells and conchs. The Necromancer book itself is worth 3000c

Lion-Head Skeletons (1+1 HD, +1 AC, 1d6 rusted weapons, skeletons)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- 2d8

The skeletons are immune to arrows and take ½ damage from swords and spears. If the players use the blunt ends, considering letting them do full damage or drop the weapon damage to d4. As undead, they can be Turned as normal. Treat all turning results as deanimation- falling to bones that are reanimated again if dark powers are used on them or if the fog from [18] has struck the forest; they deanimate since they cannot run.

[15] Trader's Camp. Within the wood is a small semi-permanent camp made up of several broken down carriages, carts, lean-to structures, tents, and more. Most of these were traders who ended up losing their last wheel or fur traders finding a relatively friendly place to sell their wares in this bandit infested wood.

Within this camp, you can simply set up a tent as long as you aren't notorious or aggressive and live with them, providing safety in numbers. If you're within the camp or for the first outdoors turn you take, you only have half the normal rate of random encounters, as the camp is defended against the bandit gangs.

You can also purchase things here like a normal store. Scale of orders and very specific or exotic things won't be available. Use the price percentages below to determine how much extra you pay to buy it here or how much of a profit you could make by selling it here.

Food (animal meat), furs – 90% normal price
Weapons, armor – 80% normal price
Charms, oil, magic stuff – 110% normal price
Wine, Luxuries – 120% normal price
Hirelings – 110% normal price
Retainers, Servants – 40% normal price
Astral Bee Honey – Buy 1500c, Sell 700c

The merchants here already give anyone skilled and loyal decent wages to protect them from the bandits, and many bandits moonlight as guards themselves. As such, hiring people to leave here is difficult. For untrained people, it is very dangerous to try and reach a civilized place themselves, so they're willing to leave with any kind of competent group for very low pay.

They also sell a small stash of Astral Honey here, of which several addicts are posed around the tent and begging for a taste. They sell the Honey for 1500c at a 50% markup, due to its addictive nature and limited stock. They'll buy some for you to 700c, which is a much better rate then you'll get from the bandits asking for tolls.

[16] Toll booth. Same wooden structure on the side of the road or on one end of a rickety bridge that crosses a large chasm or stream. The toll-man say he's working for the kingdom, but it's obvious he's a bandit. Charges 5c to cross per person.

Hidden in the booth is a box of coins; small treasure hoard of 2d10x10 coins. If it matters, roll on the Random Gangs Table to determine what gang this guy is giving some of his earnings to.

[17] Two bears are fighting over a berry bush. They growl and roar, making it easy to sneak up on them and wait them out, or just sneak away. If you wait for an exploration turn, one bear will eventually kill the other bear and start eating the bush's bounty.

The berry bush is growing on a corpse. It appeared as though it sprouted from the corpse only shortly after death, as the body is not in an advanced state of decay and does not smell bad, in fact it smells very fresh over here, as though blooming new life overcame the scent of death.

The corpse is a (roll 1d6);
  1. Goblin
  2. Human Hunter
  3. Elderly Elf
  4. Another bear
  5. Deer head, wooden antlers
  6. Dumped load of fruit and bread, rotting

[18] Mysterious fog rolls in. The fog covers the forest like a blanket; making it harder to see things approaching. Your party has an increased chance of being surprised on a +1 in 6 chance. The fog lasts for 4 turns.

During this weather event, stealth is greatly boosted. Give all characters in the party +2 to stealth rolls, and Rogues may add this to their To-Hit and damage to their sneak attacks.

[19] Napping Treant. The Treant appears as a downed log unless looked at very closely, or spotted by an elf- elves tend to be better at telling the difference between trees and treants.

The treant has several loose cords of silver tied around the branches in his beard, used as a traveling currency, requires a successful stealth roll or the ability to move in total silence. The silver is worth 400c in scrap value.

If you wake up the treant, they will attack if you appear as woodcutters or trying to steal from it.

Treant (4+2 HD, +4 AC, +2 to hit, 1d10+1 tree club, made of wood, forest magic)
Morale- 11

The Treant is huge and powerful. It is afraid of fire and will take double damage from fire. If lit on fire, takes 1d6 damage per turn if it can't find a water source to extinguish itself with. The Treant is tied with the nature of the woods and can step through the treeline and disappear easily; traveling vast distances. You cannot catch the treant if it tries to run away.

If you wake up the Treant and offer it an astral bee queen so it can make a nest in his branches, the Treant will be very pleased and willing to give you his silver. Additionally, he will teach any Druids, Elves, or Nature Aligned MU in your party a 1st level spell that fits.

[20] Flying Sword Circle. It is a circle of red stones, stained with blood. Within the center of the stone circle is a sword, laying on the grass. If you enter the circle, the sword will animate and fly to attack you. It cannot leave the circle.

The sword automatically hits if your AC is 14 or less. It deals 1d8+2 damage on a hit. Otherwise it performs an acrobatic attack; having a +2 on its to hit roll. You only need to hit it once (treat AC as plate or 18) to knock it off course, but it will start flying again next round and cannot be “injured” except by destroying it.

This magic sword can only be claimed by a powerful warrior. First, you must capture the blade, and then hold it in your grip to surpress its ego with your own. Fighters can only claim this blade if they are level 7 or higher. Then, it belongs to them and the rocks around the circle crumble.

Flying Sword – Magic Falchion
Ego- 7
Stats- 1d8+2 Damage, Flight

This is a powerful magic sword. “Flying” Swords are swords which are animated by their own force, and can expertly follow instructions from a swordmaster who wields them. You can use this sword in addition to another blade, performing an extra attack per round using your own to-hit and class bonuses. The sword will fly around you or follow your hand movements. It can act as ranged attacks, or perform melee blade arts at a distance.

If you are level 10, have an advanced technique that lets you balance on anything, or have a Dexterity of +2 or better, you can also stand on this sword and literally ride it as a flying vehicle.

Wandering Monsters
Roll 1d6 for a Random Monster

(1) Black Bear (4+2 HD, +2 to hit, +2 AC, claws at 1d4 and bite at 1d6, bear hug)
Morale- 7
Numbers- 1 or 2

Black Bears are cowardly scavengers. They are smaller then regular brown (grizzly) bears and aren't as dangerous to fight. If you encounter a Black Bear while exploring with a noise policy (slapping pots and pans together, for example), the black bears will leave you alone.

Bear pelts are always valuable. You can sell them for 80c each. Trading them in to the camp at [15] will only result in a profit of 70c, as they have plenty of furtraders and there is little demand.

(2) Murder Stag (3 HD, +3 to hit, 1d4+1 horns, damage amplification, fast)
Morale- 11
Numbers- 1d4

The murder stag appear as dark brown or muddy red large male deer. They have large twisted antlers filed on the ends with sharp points. Every time they successfully hit, they deal +1 damage on the next round to the next person they hit. If they miss or if their antlers are broken off with a +1 magic club or better, they lose this bonus. They will also flee automatically if their antlers are shattered, as they have no other means of defense.

Unlike most herbivorous animals; these stags still do not eat flesh but still act with extreme aggression. They kill things to act as fertilizer in their territory. There is a 1 in 4 chance that any given stag will have a bit of cloth or skin still stuck in its antlers. If you return this cloth to [15] they will know where one of their missing persons went; rewarding a small bounty of 50c the first time you do this.

(3) Fogbreath Dragonoid (4 HD, +4 AC, 1d8 bite, smoke breath)
Morale- 12
Numbers- 1d6

These are long brown-green dragon like creatures. They are slender with long thin tails and vestigial wings. Dragonoids are not intelligent enough to speak, but are uncannily intelligent for “animals”.

They are also accused of creating the fog of [18] with their breath, but this is only a superstition. Their breath is always visible as thin white smoke, because instead of breathing fire they can only breathe smoke. They use their smoke breath to defend against missiles (+2 AC) if fired upon at range, or to give a cover to help them escape when their morale is broken.

(4) Chained Deaths (1+1 HD, +2 to hit, +1 AC, 1d3 chain whip, chain wrap, immobile, undead)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- 3d6+1 (Avg. 12)

These are undead hands that reach from the ground. When you encounter these, you feel a rumbling beneath the earth. If the entire party is off the ground (levitation, climbing trees, or standing on rocks) and doesn't move for a full turn, they pass by without incident.

The Chained Deaths poke out of the ground when agitated. They each hold a long red rusted chain, which is used like a whip to batter and hold down foes. If you are hit by at least two of the chains in one round, the character must make a save or be entangled, which prevents them from moving and gives the hands Advantage to hit them next round. The chains binding them do damage by squeezing instead.

These creatures are immobile once they come out of the ground, and have to sink back in to come back up, and they attack by detecting vibrations and the life force of living things. They are undead, and can therefore be turned.

(5) Cricket Head Witch (2+2 HD, +1 AC, Flame Rod at 1d6, Spells)
Morale- 10
Numbers- 1

Appears as a witch with a cricket head. Her long antennae fidget around and make circles and weird symbols whenever she casts a spell. She carries a short red walking cane that creates bolts of flame when swung; it's a magic rod that deals 1d6 fire damage. She can also cast spells. Select or roll three 1st level spells and one 2nd level spell, which can cast once per day each.

The Cricket Head Witch is searching for potion ingredients in the woods, and will find Astral Bee Honey to be her most favorable find. She will take it by force if necessary. She is always accompanied by her Stoneface Guards. Roll a reaction check if you run into her, and treat her reaction roll as a 12 if you give her a jar of the Astral Bee Honey.

If the Witch is killed or permanently driven from the forest, replace this wandering monster roll with the result of (6). Bandit activity increases.

Stoneface Guards (3 HD, +5 AC, +2 to hit, 1d8 iron screws, partially stone)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- 1d4+1

These Stoneface Guards appear as small, strongly built creatures. They are about 4 feet in height and are very thick, similar to a dwarf. They wield long iron spears with twisted heads that are twice as tall as they are. These creatures have square heads that look like carved stone tablets- no eyes or facial features are visible on them. They have an impressive grip strength from their mitten-like hands, and their skin is incredibly hard. Whenever they hit, they twist the screwspears inside the flesh of their enemy which complicates wounds; healing is half effective. They are partially made of stone and are affected by the same spells, weapons, or martial arts techniques that can affect living creatures as well as golems and artificial constructs.

These are magical creatures and are enchanted by the witch's magic. They will never flee unless their master commands them to. Within the “head” of each these creatures lays a small golden plate filled with several runes that animate it and give it life, protected by the stone cast. Each plate is 1 load unit of weight and worth 600c each.

Reaction Table- Roll 2d6

12+: The Witch is willing to trade, and sets her golems to at ease. They curl into balls of rock with the mask-like faces on the top, making them look like small round rocks with carvings. It takes one combat round for them to rouse to wakefulness in case she is attacked. She does this to let them rest. She will admit to being most interested in finding Astral Honey, and will give you a more fair rate (800c) for a jar of it.

11-9: The Witch approaches your group with some interest, especially if some of the party members are magic users and are dressed in robes. She'll tell you the location of [9] in exchange for any information on an Astral Bee Hives or bandit hideouts, such as [8] or [11]. If you tell her about these locations, she'll head to them in 1d2 days and clear them out in the search for Astral Honey.

8-6: Her bug-like eyes stare at you from a distance, her guards pounding their screw-spears against nearby rocks to make plenty of noise. She is uninterested in trading or communicating.

5-3: The Witch begins to loudly incant a spell. She is hoping it scares you all off. She will pick the most bombastic and damaging spell, while keeping her distance from the party. Superstitious hirelings or those without any experience against spellcasters may make a morale check to face the magic or run away.

2 or less: The Witch launches a bolt of fire and commands her minions to attack. She is ready to fight and can cast a spell in the first round in addition to making this attack; her body moves with a twitch like an insect.

(6) Bandits (1 HD, +3 AC from armor, +1 to hit, 1d6 weapons, 2 in 6 surprise chance)
Morale- 10
Numbers- 2d6

These are the generic stats for the bandits. Use 1d8 to generate hit points for more tough and Rogue-like bandits. Each bandit “gang” at the end of the document has special roles and benefits and weaknesses for each bandit patrol. Whenever you encounter bandits, you must roll a reaction check. Give yourself a +1 to this reaction check if you have more members in your party then the number of bandits.

Reaction Table- Roll 2d6

12+: The bandits awkwardly hide their gang paraphernalia and tell you they are just travelers, clearly scared of being judged and attacked by your group. If you accuse them of being bandits, they'll offer the location of [20] as a “magic sword in the woods” to let them go. They'll lie about it killing people though, and won't tell you its danger. They'll fight with a morale of 8 if you try to take them in or kill them once accused.

11-9: The bandits harass you and tell you to leave their territory, but will scatter if anyone in your party appears armed with a sword and heavy armor, as they are afraid of a skilled fighter. If you give them the location of [11] that is owned by a rival bandit gang, they'll put in a good word with their bosses and no longer collect tolls from you.

8-6: If the bandits surprise you, they'll pull out several bows and aim them at you, and demand you give up all your gold and you can be on your way. They only ask for visible coin purses, and leave other traveling packs, weapons, and armor on you as they leave. If you give up 300c per person, they'll let you go.

5-3: If the bandits surprise you, they'll sink an arrow in the least armored person first. Then, the bandits will threaten to kill you all if you don't give up all your things for them.

If you actually give into the bandits demands here; they'll only leave each of you the clothes on your back and a few rations worth of food, and a single knife split among all of you. The rest of your stuff they will take, or throw to the least convenient place if it has no value; your wooden beads and other keepsakes are thrown into the center of a nettle bush just for cruelty's sake.

2 or less: The bandits attack immediately. They also fight with +1 morale and seem a bit more desperate then normal; perhaps they are trying to prove themselves to the gang or they think you're an especially juicy target.

Random Gang Table
Roll 1d8

[1] Blood Coven Bandits
Stat Changes: +1 to hit, half bandits are female (wear no armor but wield 1d8 Naginata as a “woman's weapon”), +1 morale if fighting a magic user or witch

These bandits are semi-employed as Witch Hunters, and have a slightly better reputation among the bandits as a result. They also love the feeling of rubbing magic user blood on their skin as it grants them a mild sense of euphoria and strength. These Bandits are also slightly more attuned to their mystical senses and avoid [12] as they dislike the feeling it gives off. If you capture one of these bandits you could interrogate them by dragging them here near nightfall.

In exchange for warning them of or giving them the location of (5) (Cricket Headed Witch) any patrol or toll-booth will gladly let you pass by freely. If you capture her alive and present her to the hideout of the bandits, they will be ecstatic and grant you a jar of Astral Bee Honey.

Hideout: These bandits are hid in a wooden longhouse hidden deep in the woods. It has sliding doors and the outside is covered in paper charms to ward away hostile magic. Magic Users must make a saving throw if trying to divine this location or fail the spell and suffer a 1d4 damage mental backlash headache.

The Hideout contains:
-2 jars of Astral Bee Honey (1000c each)
-2 jars of Witch Blood (120c each),
-2d4 Magic Rods as trophies (200c each, random elements as 1d6 damage)
-5 sets of scale armor (AC 14) and Naginatas (1d8 damage as polearm) with fanged helmets (AC +1) with a paper charm on top that grants protection against some minor spells. These suits of armor are used only in raids on Witch caves.
-3d6 Bandits acting as guards and residents
-Leader (stats as 4th level Fighter, white eyes, can cancel any ongoing spell effect of 2nd level or less once per day by using a round of concentration)
-6000c in gold and silver coins in a locked chest

[2] Wolf Gang
Stat Changes: +1 to hit and damage, use d8+1 to determine hit points, all members are wolves. They can track you on 4 in 6 chance if you escape from a combat encounter with them, +1 in 6 chance to surprise, and treat their morale as 16 if you're trying to sneak past (roll d20 + stealth + dex over morale for sneak)

Once, the Brigand Woods were infested with wolves who attacked travelers constantly and feasted on the flesh of men. Through many years of eating people, as well as the realization they could keep their bellies much fuller by stealing gold over just eating people, these wolves began to stand up, wear clothes, and act as brigands themselves. All of the wolves in the wood are now professional highwaymen.

Wolves are short sided and easily swayed by food. Giving up rations of meat or even your mount(s) or livestock is a way to pay a toll, usually cheaper then the cash value. These wolves also undervalue the Astral Honey, as their sense of tasting sweet things is under developed.

The leader of the wolves is a snow white wolf with a scar over his right eye. He is not always at the hideout. You have a 1 in 8 chance of encountering him at any given patrol or when you enter the Hideout. (stats as 4th level Rogue, deals +1 damage on a hit, uses two 1d4+1 razor-sharp daggers)

Hideout: The wolves live in a cave. This is a deeper cave along a steep ridge, near the edge of the territory, and they travel far and wide; sleeping in open fields in their normal clothes during the day. There is a 1 in 6 chance the Hideout is totally unoccupied beyond the nursing mothers. It is also pitch black as the wolves don't use fire and need no light sources to navigate inside.

The Hideout contains:
-Huge pile of bones. Among the bones, 2d8 are Medicinal Bones, which a Sage can identify if they are at least 3rd level. Takes an exploration turn to sort; Medicinal Bones are worth 20c each.
-1d3 deer people in a side chamber behind a messily made barricade with a lock. They are “livestock” for later consumption. If you free them, they will tell you of a wolfsbane grove, which is poisonous to the wolves.
-Emerald encrusted bracers, sized for humans to wear. +1 AC and worth 1200c
-2d2 Nursing Wolf-Mothers and their litters of young pups. These wolves would grow to become regular wolves if not taught the ways to speak and walk as men do by these wolves. You could sell them to exotic animal breeders for 40c each or to arena coordinators that will battle them when they get old enough for 65c each
-1600c in rough cut gemstones placed on a niche in a side room. Guarded only be a sheet draped over them. The leader pisses on this sheet to mark it as his territory, so none of the wolves steal it.

[3] Sloth-Bone Gang
Stat Changes: Immune to Sleep, All members armed with slings, goes last in initiative.

Drug addicts and wastrels; the Sloth-Bone gang revel in grinding up the bones of various beasts and snorting them or including them in their camp cooking. Their favorite are the giant sloths; who have bones which cause a sense of euphoria and laziness.

The Sloth-Bone gang is lazy and performs little work, but are known to “Shepard” a small herd of Ducancurs. They look like dark colored, stumpy unicorns, but with two lump horns vertical to each other on the equine's head. They are attracted to and follow the commands of sluts, the morally duplicitous, and those of little status or willpower (making the gang's job very easy) and their horns make a minor trade good. They have an inferiority complex with actual unicorns and even bicorns- you could think of them as the donkeys of the magical horse family of creatures.

Hideout: Located in a hillside covered by several large rocks and boulders. The Hideout is very primitive and not much has been cleaned or prepared. Several half made traps and barricades strewn the place; nobody in the gang has that much dedication or work ethic.

The Hideout contains:
-1d6 Uses of Sloth-Bone Drug (No value except to addicts; could probably get them to shirk duty)
-2d8 Ducancur Horns (80c each)
-Bag of Elf Bone Dust (300c, 600c if traded back to Elves) Using a pinch when casting a spell makes enemies save at -2 vs magic
-1d6 Thunder Arrows (110c) hidden under a rock. Transforms into a lightning bolt when fired, +1 to hit and 1d12 damage.
-Leader (3rd level Mage. Uses a bow at +2 to hit, will go for the Thunder Arrows if you're tough.)
-4800c in gemstones as the gang stash. Located in a disorganized pile in a tent; guard is asleep.

[4] Mothcake Gang
Stat Changes: +2 to saving throws against spells, +1 to morale, carry one Mothcake ration each.

These reclusive mystics live in the forest and engage in violent banditry less then the other gangs. They prefer to leave their victims alive, or just steal from them when they're asleep. They're mystics who worship the spiritual presence deep in the woods, and they build paper lanterns to guide the moths to their ritual circles. They follow the cycles of life and death and do not wish to kill people unnecessarily until they understand the cycle better.

There is a 1 in 12 chance each day is a ritual day. During a ritual day, the bandits you encounter will be wearing masks. There will also be four extra bandits present at their hideout, each carrying a 1d4 ritual dagger and the ability to stun a member of your party for 1 round if they slash their wrist and deal 1d4 damage to themselves.

They also eat Mothcake, which rumors at [15] suggest is made of moths and/or is poisonous. Neither is true, it is simply a well made dry sugar cake which, if eaten in specific circumstances, soothes the spirit and restores 1d2 Wisdom points if your Wisdom is damaged. Mothcake can also be left as offerings to spirits.

Cult Women (1 HD, +2 to hit, 1d4 ritual hammers, immune to fear, ropes)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- 1d4

These women have been brainwashed and are tied to the ritual house with long ropes. They attack any intruder and will never rout. If the ropes are cut, they will kill themselves. They can revert from brainwashing if restrained and given psychiatric care by a 6th level Sage.

Hideout: Located at the coldest part of the woods; a higher elevation camp near the treeline. The camp is made of several semi-permanent tents and small huts. They lead moths down a small stone path along a creek to a ritual house which is a one room structure- the path takes one exploration turn to walk. The ritual house is considered a part of the Hideout, and is where the leader is least defended but only on a ritual day.

The Hideout contains:
-1d4 letters of people who want to escape the cult and return home to their families (could be used to blackmail individual bandits in this gang)
-Seven curved black blades- count as 1d4 spiritual daggers, can be used as magic weapons or holy symbol, but lose their power permanently if cutting the flesh of any living thing without its consent. Hung on hooks, unguarded, in the ritual house. (400c each- leader and ritual leaders carry one each; there will only be two left on ritual day)
-15 rations of Mothcake; either finished, stale, or as raw ingredients ready to cook
-Puzzle Box. 1 in 4 chance of containing a 1 HD ghost already inside. (50c- catches ghosts on successful turn undead roll if empty)
-2d6 Stationed Guards
-1d4 Cult Women guarding the Ritual House
-Leader (stats as 4th level Magician, has +3 to hit with weapons, casts extra spell by cutting his wrist and dealing 1d4 damage to himself)
-500c worth of personal cuts of the loot, located in the various tents of different gang individuals (will take two exploration turns to gather up)
-10,000c guild stash (two heavy wooden boxes of gold bullion & precious gemstones buried under floorboards in the leader's hut.)

[5] Stonecrack Rebels
Stat Changes: +2 Hit Points, +1 AC, all members are dwarves, use axes and crossbows

This is a gang of dwarves split off from a larger political movement from a nearby mountain home. Dwarves are extremely unlikely to split their societies due to tradition, so usually this is caused by a misunderstanding or direct decree of a Dwarvish God. This “rebellion” is very small as a result, only a few dwarves willing to split.

As Dwarves, they get -1 reaction checks to parties with Elves, +1 to parties with Dwarves, and are absolutely terrible at climbing. They wear heavier armor then most bandits and are a bit tougher.

Hideout: Underground, built under a sliding stone door hidden in a copse of trees. It's a small dungeon, built by the dwarves to act as their fortress and hideout. Only one way in and out, with multiple breathing holes and long food stores to withstand a siege for months.

The Hideout contains:
-One set of stolen Dwarf Full Plate (AC 18, can only be worn by dwarves, no stealth, requires oil for each day of use and maintenance of a trained smith to keep the joints working, worth 8,000c)
-Two traps (slamming walls deal 2d8, 1d6+1 blade trap over a treasure)
-Secret door leads to closet. Within is barrel of Dwarven Fireale (500c)
-Master Mason & Ironworking Tools (350c)
-20 Steel Ingots, 1 load each (120c)
-4d6 Dwarven Defenders (stats as bandits, no crossbows)
-Leader (stats as 5th level Dwarf or Fighter. If he knows a fight is coming, he wears the Dwarf Full Plate, else wears chain (AC 16))
-4000c coin stash (defended by trapped stone box, sprays poison gas, save or take 2d6 damage)

[6] Men of Six Irons
Stat Changes: +1 AC from heavier armor, they wear helmets with ear muffs built in (easier to surprise; add +1 to stealth rolls against them), patrols have a 50% chance to have a Cannon Crew with them.)

This gang has learned some secrets of alchemy and metalwork; and has purchased and stolen some items to create their own small arsenal of big guns. These cannons are powerful devices that deal 1d12 damage and can harm large creatures or those with magical shields; the cannon balls punch right through. They will also load the cannon with shrapnel to deal 1d6 damage to everyone in a cone in front of the cannon. Their gunsmiths and gun crews are quite accurate. They only have six cannons; if you manage to find or destroy all six, this bandit gang will disband.

Gunner (2 HD, +3 AC from armor, +1 to hit, +3 to hit with cannon, 1d12 cannon, 1d6 sword backup, reload speed)
Morale- 9 (one less then standard)
Numbers- 1 Gunner, Two Supports

The Gun Crew is made up of a Gunner, who has the majority of the stats, and two supports help load the charges and clean the barrel, as well as wheel and aim the device, where as the Gunner does the main aiming and shooting. The Gunner can only fire once every other round, but is a good shot with his gun.

Hideout: Located on a boat in a lake. The boat is hidden behind a few small islands and huge banks of reeds. The boat is about the size of a large houseboat, and is nearly impossible to assail unless you swam underwater or somehow got a boat into this land locked lake.

The Hideout contains:
-1d4 Cannons (sold for scrap at cities for 50c, sold on black market with instructions of use for 700c each.) Each Cannon has load of 5 and can only be lugged around if its wheels aren't broken.
-40 powder charges
-20 cannon balls
-Bag of Alchemical Salts (500c)
-Ivory Pirate Pipe (100c)
-1d6 crewmen Bandits
-Leader (Stats as 3rd level Fighter), aims a cannon with a +6 to hit and fires at incoming boats without warning or ceasefire.
-4500c in gold bullion, in the cargo hold under 24/7 guard supervision (stats as 2 Bandits)

[7] Rhial's Band
Stat Changes: +2 Morale, 1 in every 6 members is a horse man, horse men use lances and have 2 HD and +2 to hit and charge into battle.

This group of heavily dedicated militants and bandits have all left their old lives for the sake of honor and power. Leader is very motivated and wants to conquer the whole valley and become its new King. Promises land and riches to his followers, hence they are very dedicated.

Rhial's band are very conscious of their illegitimacy when it comes to politics. They will avoid attacking anyone who carries a mark of an empire or kingdom, and anyone who seems to be a lord will be treated with the usual custom, even by these lowly bandits.

Hideout: Ancient abandoned village by a river. Could be grown into a proper town if families moved here. They keep fires and equipment inside so it looks abandoned and unimportant from the river and approaching path.

The Hideout contains:
-Two Flasks of Liquid Silver (200c each)- Pour on a weapon to make it count as Silver to hurt werewolves. Can also place on dishes, coins, etc. to make them look silver. Lasts 3 turns.
-Medallion of Jylian (900c) This magic medallion is almost a foot across and made of a greenish metal. When it is knocked against wood, it reverberates and the medallion gives off the sound of a battle being fought. The medallion is held in a metal box on a stone floor so it doesn't accidentally touch wood and make a tremendous and annoying noise.
-2d6 Bandit Guards
-1d8 Honor Guard (all horse men, wearing barding armor acts as chain or AC 16, +1 morale from being experienced and loyal)
-Leader Rihal (Stat as 6th level Fighter, horse man with +1d6 hit points)
-Box of Spices (400c), will be used only to make dinner for noble guests to improve standing
-5000c in Heirlooms from a distant dynasty, of which Rihal is the last surviving heir. Made up of golden horse-head shaped buckles and the like.

[8] Circle of Cultivators
Stat Changes: +1 to damage, +2 to Hit Points, all users fight with staves or nunchucks (1d4), 1 in every 6 members knows a Blade Art.

The Circle is a group of athletes and holy men who have gone down a dark path. They train their bodies and value strength and bodily growth over the spiritual. They mostly fight with wooden poles and are unlikely to kill except those who are known to have killed their members in the past.

All members of the Circle are extremely talented athletes, and are considered to have a +1 in Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Wisdom. This is determined randomly for each user, but only applies if it matters; not for combat stats which are more determined by their powerful techniques.

Hideout: Small Dojo/Teahouse built into the side of a mountain. It has a false back wall that leads to a shallow cave system which hides their more sinister side. Within, the adherents sculpt their minds and bodies and constant training and simple diets.

The Hideout contains:
-Four silver-tipped warstaves (d4+1 damage, counts as magic for hitting ghosts, long reach)
-Bright Yellow Body Paint (50c)- Used to instill life energy within a person. They're almost out of it, and rarely train with it. Rubbing it on yourself while performing intense training grants a 1 in 6 chance to increase an ability score by +1
-Spirit Trap (Save or take 1 level of drain if you pull a sealing paper slip off a box; meant to keep out a negative spirit that stunts growth)
-5d6 Meditating Bandits (can be sneaked past easily, in various states of awareness)
-Leader (6th level Fighter/Monk, knows a powerful blade art that makes him a fearsome opponent)
-25,000c Temple Riches (The monks don't spend any more money then necessary, most of their treasure has just been piled up in a big hole)

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