17 April 2021

Unplanned Hiatus

 Hi all, sorry for the radio silence for the last couple of weeks! It's bee a little manic here recently, as my hours have nearly tripled at work (due to pubs and bars getting ready for, and subsequently reopening, here in the UK). The rush is slowly dying back a little, and by the beginning of May, we'll be back to posting weekly content here on the blog. In order to keep quality high, however, we did not want to rush any of our posts, so have opted to hold back on releasing any content until the 8th of May (the first just wasn't soon enough for us to get anything ready by).

When we return, we will be back with new adventures, new formats, more impressive maps than ever before, and hopefully a few interesting surprises to boot! So until then, we thank you for reading our work as always, and can't wait to be back with all new ideas for your games!

03 April 2021

Desert Path Battlemap + 8 Encounters (6 New Creatures)

This week, we decided to revisit the desert setting, and make another sandy battlemap. Instead of focussing on manmade structures or an oasis, however, we wanted to keep the attention firmly on the sandy dunes themselves. As usual, we have included eight unique encounters, using a mix of both brand new, and pre-existing monsters, and hope you will find something interesting or fun for your games!

The main features of this map are the two raised cliff faces, and the worn path through the desert. The cliff faces should represent areas that the party either cannot reach, or have to work hard to get to (DC 14+ strength (athletics) check to climb, maybe taking 1+ rounds to do so). The path should represent the only safe way through the map. Leaving the path would be a mistake for the party, as the sand becomes softer/deeper where travellers avoid walking. Any area over 5 ft. away from the path (the slightly darker area on the map) would count as difficult terrain, reducing a creature's speed by half.

The Map:

The Map

27 March 2021

Smugglers Cave - Level 3-5 Adventure

We love to create adventures that are completely different sometimes, and subvert expectations. Sometimes, however it’s great fun to revisit a classic plot and play into the stereotypical adventure. This month's free adventure is just that, a classic plot, given the Osrynn’s treatment. There are hundreds of Smugglers Cave type adventures available, but a lot of them are quite boring, and very samey. In this re-work of a classic, we want to provide a really fun adventure, that makes the old theme feel fresh again.

To this end, we have focussed on creating memorable new creatures for your players to encounter, a couple of devious traps for them to get caught in, and a fun dungeon layout with a good mix of underwater and land based areas.

The Quest

The party are hired through their usual quest-giver (be that a local authority, an adventurers guild, a note on a jobs board, or simply a rumour from a friendly NPC) to help clear out a band of smugglers who have recently begun operating in the area. The party are charged with clearing out the caves in which the Smugglers have begun to operate from, and have been asked to attempt to bring the leader in alive, to face justice.

The job posting/quest giver will inform the party as to the location of the main cave entrance, along the coastline. If the party enquire further, they will learn that there is a second entrance, which is located offshore, and can only be accessed by boat. If the party want to enter this way, they will need to find someone to either lend or sell them a boat. None of the local fishermen or sailors will be willing to enter the caves, due to the danger of the Smugglers, but one will be willing to allow them to borrow his rowboat if they can pass a DC 14 charisma (persuasion) or charisma (intimidation) check.

Another piece of information you may give to your players, should you decide it to be pertinent, is that the smugglers are known for setting up traps within their base, and that the party should be careful. If, however, you’re more like me, let it be a nice little surprise for them instead!

The Area

This adventure is, for obvious reasons, best set in a coastal town or village. The population will be mostly fishermen, sailors and merchants, and will not be an overly wealthy area. If you want to run this adventure for a group based in a less coastal area, you could easily have the quest involve travelling to the area. Maybe even throw in a random encounter or two along the way? If you’re looking for maps for the journey, I definitely suggest both my Modular Plains map pack, and my Plains and Cliffs map pack.

The Map:

20 March 2021

Ruined Graveyard Battlemap - With 8 Themed Encounters

After a few darker encounters in our last battlemap post, we decided that it was high time for a properly dark battlemap installment. This week, that takes the form of a ruined graveyard, along with the ruins of some kind of building (most likely a church). What led to the place being deserted? Did the cliffs begin to erode, growing too close to the building? Was there some kind of disaster, wherein the building burned/crumbled, killing many, becoming a tomb of its own? Did the dead begin to grow restless, and take their grievances out on those that buried them? So many unanswered questions... .

The possibilities for storytelling and encounter design are endless with this map, and we really had a lot of fun making it/writing them this week. Each encounter is, as always, themed to the locale, and I’m sure you can guess where a lot of them are headed thematically.

The Map

Besides the gravestones, the ruined remains of the building, and the cliff face, the map this week is actually very basic. There are no special features like lava pools or icy lakes. Just a few short walls, some natural cover from trees and the gravestones, and a short cliff face leading into the ocean (or whatever body of water you wish to make it).

The Map

19 March 2021

Bonus Map! River Bridge Battlemap

 This week, I needed a quick map for a random encounter in my Wednesday game. The party had just arrived at a bridge over a river, and were about to cross. I thought it was high time for another 'random' combat encounter (100% planned encounter), but didn't give myself long to make the map. Instead, I took my recent Craggy Ravine Battlemap, and quickly edited it to have water instead of a black ravine! In case that is the kind of thing anyone here might use, then I thought I would post it anyway!

The Map

If anyone is after the encounter I ran, then it was very simple; 2 Water Weirds (MM - p299), and 4 Water Motes (statblock here). The motes floated above the bridge, to attack the party that were hiding from the Weirds, and the weirds grabbed anything that got too close, and then proceeded to drown/continue to constrict them.

It caused the first player character death in that campaign. I would 100% run it again! Maybe this time for a party one level higher... They were only level 5, to be fair!