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Expanded Random Encounters Repost #2 - Mountains

This Net Project was originally compiled by ArcoJedi. Many of the entries were taken from the Dark Sun Mailing list. The Expanded Random Encounters net.project brings otherwise sometimes boring random encounters to life. Giving them more realism than "you walk around the bend to see 4 gith standing in the middle of the road with weapons drawn".

Brambletree Grove

Terrain: Mountains

Description: The PCs are traversing a high mountain crevice that seems to ascend (or descend) for hours. Their lungs hurt from the thin atmosphere. Eventually, the sun dips below the horizon and the valley is slowly enveloped in shadow. It is beginning to look like there isn’t a level place for them to camp. Neither is there a place that would shield them from the cold wind that is starting to whistle past their ears.

Around another bend, the party happens upon an area of light vegetation. Besides a few scrub grasses and miniscule shrubbery, these are the first thriving plants they have come across since leaving the foothills behind. Four brambleweed plants, each growing straight up in a bizarre fashion, guard a corner of a flat area. It also seems as if the wind is less strong here but whether that is because of the crevice shape or because the tall brambles are blocking it is not clear. The ground here is dusty but blessedly free of loose rocks.

Any Druid or Ranger will know right away that the brambleweed has been cultivated into short trees. Any other character will have to make an Intelligence check at -2. If the area the PCs are in is one that is even remotely patrolled (within 5 miles of a settlement), there is a humanoid leg bone tangled in with the taller of the brambletrees. Unless any of the PCs has infravision, this will not be noticed till morning. Otherwise there is nothing else of note here.

Whether or not the PCs camp here, nothing happens here during the night.

Brambletrees (4) (2-4 HD each/N) {saves: 13 16 15 17 17} AC 5; MV 1” per day; HD 4, 3, 3, 2; hp 20, 19, 14, 12; THAC0 -; #AT 0; Dmg 1d4/thorn; SZ M (6’, 5’, 5’, 4’); ML Nil XP: Nil

Dune Runners

Terrain: Mountains

Description: “*At night in the mountains, it gets cold–very cold. Under a clear moonless sky, the air is thin and steals the heat from your body like an elven thief taking gold. You continue forward as the last light of the sun disappears, making it more difficult to see without infravision. The well worn path you have followed for the last several hours continues downward into a dry gulch.That area seems the best location to camp until sunrise. You look forward to this, as your lungs and body are not used to the altitude and could use the rest.

Suddenly, you hear the sound of approaching feet from the other end of the dry gulch. The two pairs of booted feet are running at a high speed over the treacherous ground. Looking up, you see two female figures–most likely elves–barreling down an intersecting path towards you.*”

Any elf in the party can make a wisdom check to realize the creatures are undead. Simultaneously, all party members must save vs. spell or be compelled (via psionic attraction and mass domination) to accompany the runners on their trek that night. Any elf who passes the wisdom check has a chance to defend themselves psionically and to warn others to do so also. Anyone who loses psionic combat is compelled to accompany the runners automatically (if within 200 yards).

Victims will be unable to stop running and will lose one Constitution point per turn spent running. If not forcibly stopped or restrained, victims will continue to run until their Constitution reaches zero, when they will collapse. Once a victim’s Constitution reaches zero, a system shock roll must be made to survive; failure means death. A successful roll means that the victim remains unconscious for 1d6 turns, after which he may recover constitution points at a regular rate only if he rehydrates (1d8 points per day). Failure to rehydrate results in a second collapse and death. An elven victim that dies during the evening becomes a dune runner himself and forever joins the runners in their nightly quest. The slain becomes the two sisters’ eternal companion, following the runners quite possibly until the end of time.

Kusari (undead female elf/4th-level defiler, 4th-level psionicist/LE) AC 10; MV 18; hp 19; THAC0 17 (19); #AT 2; Dmg 1d4-1/1d3-1 (dagger), 1d3-1/1 (knife), punch/wrestle; SA defiler spells, psionics; SD +2save/psi, +2save/wis; SZ M (7’); ML 16 S 13, D 12, C 11, I 19, W 16, Ch 15 {saves: 13 11 12 15 12}
Equipment: stone dagger [spd2], obsidian knife [2], tattered clothes
Psionics Summary:
Dis 3/Sci 4/Dev 12; PSPs 150
Att: II, PsC; Def: MB, MBk, TW
#AT 1, MTHAC0 17, MAC 7
Psychokinesis: Sciences-kinetic control (7, 8/3), telekinesis (8, 3+/1+); Devotions-control sound (5, 3/1), create sound (7, 5/2), magnetize (8, 2+/1+), molecular manipulation (7, 6/2), momentum theft (7, 5+/3+), static discharge (7, 5/2)
Clairsentient: Sciences-; Devotions-know course (7, 4/hour/2), poison sense (10, 1/1), spirit sense (8, 8/4)
Telepathy: Sciences-mass domination (always on, no cost), mindlink; Devotions-attraction (always on, no cost), life detection (always on, no cost), inflict pain (5, 3+/2+)
Spells: 3/2 chill touch, spider climb, wall of fog / blur, wakefulness (DK)
Proficiencies/S&P: Traits/Disadvantages: ambidexterity. Non-Weapon Proficiencies: ancient languages, astrology, contact; Modern Languages: common, dwarven, elven, tyrian; mental armor, somatic concealment, spellcraft, water find. Weapon Proficiencies: two weapon style, dagger, knife.
XP: 6,000

Description: These two elves were a pair of twins that served Kalak during their life (and his). They spied on Hamanu’s activities at the Smoking Crown Mountain for Kalak. One night, as they were traveling to deliver important news, a rockslide killed them both. They continued to serve Kalak for many years after their death, with the promise that he would return them to life in five years (he was lying).

If Kalak has died in your campaign, these two elves do not know about it. Imagine the looks on their faces if your PCs manage to tell them!

Gama (undead female elf/5th-level thief/NE)
AC 4; MV 18; hp 20; THAC0 18 (19, 21); #AT 2; Dmg 1d8-1/1d12-1 (long), 1d6-2/1d8-2 (short); SA/SD thief skills, +2 reac/att, -3AC; SZ M (7’); ML 16
S 11, D 17, C 11, I 15(13) W 9, Ch 16 {saves: 12 12 11 15 13}
Equipment: obsidian longsword [5/3], wooden short sword [3], leather armor +1 [AC=7]
Psionics Summary:
Dis 1/Sci 2/Dev 3; PSPs 100
Att: -; Def: MB, TW
#AT 1, MTHAC0 19, MAC 9
Telepathy: Sciences-mass domination (always on, no cost), mindlink; Devotions-attraction (always on, no cost), life detection (always on, no cost), inflict pain (5, 3+/2+)
Thieving Skills: x3 backstab, MS 40%, HS 31%, EB 40%
Proficiencies/S&P: Traits/Disadvantages: ambidexterity. Non-Weapon Proficiencies: ancient history (tyr), appraising, blind-fighting, information gathering, mental armor, navigation, tumbling. Weapon Proficiencies: two weapon style, short sword, long sword
XP: 3,000

Jinda Family (by Teos Abadia)

Terrain: Mountains, Stony Barrens, Sandy Wastes, Rocky Badlands, Scrub Plains, Salt Flats

Description: Two months ago, a caravan was being driven by a family heading out towards the nearest city-state, from their home village. The family of traders was bringing a particularly bountiful crop to the city for trading representing the entirety of the family’s wealth and investment.. During the trip, the caravan was ambushed by the Tattered Flag, a small group of raiders. The raiders surrounded the caravan and t forced the family to surrender. Upon surrendering, the raiders slew the family, but not before the father flew into a rage and killed three of the raiders before he himself was slain. The site of the battle remains as it was two months ago, for a reason that will become apparent.

Read the following aloud to the PCs:

As you crest the large hill you see the remains of a small caravan wagon on the horizon. There are no inix or kanks hitched to the small wagon, and you can see no movement through the wind-blown sand and grit.

Most likely, the PCs will want to investigate. If they don’t, the encounter ends. Otherwise continue reading:

“*As you approach, details of the family-sized wagon become clearer. It appears to have been here a while, possibly several weeks, as it seems the blowing sand has piled close to the broken-down wheels. A few broken arrows and crossbow bolts stick out of the wagon’s sides, and the leather stripping is cut in several places. There are several skeletal remains laying sprawled out on the ground off to the side of the wagon.

Upon further inspection, you realize there are a total of two human-sized skeletons and two smaller sized ones. Based on the location and condition of the skeletal remains, it appears that they encountered a violent end.*”

At this point, before the PCs actually reach the wagon, they should notice the wind dying down a little and the scene growing quiet. Even the PCs’ own footsteps are now almost inaudible. As their ears adjust to the silence, the PCs hear small shrill voices and laughter. It sounds like the unabashed giggling of two children playing. The sound seems to come from over near the wagon at first, then behind, then right, then left, then right again. Then the PCs are startled (roll for surprise) to see a small human boy-child dart from behind a section of the caravan. The boy plays peek-a-boo, poking his head out to see the PCs and then hiding.

The PCs will be confronted by the two children [Martok and Aurae], a boy and girl. The children haunt the area, as their traumatic deaths prevent them from crossing into the Gray. As the children continue to play, they invite the PCs to join in. If the PCs refuse, they will whine and beg and eventually throw a tantrum (attacking any and all PCs in the process). The children have limited psionic powers of telekinesis and will use these to strike the party with objects or to cause mishaps. If attacked, they will cry out in pain.

On the other hand, if at least two of the PCs humor the children and play with them, they will laugh loudly and be very happy. The DM might continue to embellish the supernatural elements as things progress. For example, one child might become transparent or insubstantial and walk through a caravan wall or rise from the ground. Be patient and make this scene take some time. Children often expect adults to be tireless and play forever. Adults often grow tired of playing, and the PCs may very well try to end the games. The children won’t want the games to stop.

If the children cry, the parents (in the Gray) will hear their call and be attracted to their location. The parents will have other powers, and will attack the PCs, presenting a formidable challenge. If the party defeats the parents, the children will disappear. If the PCs “kill” the children, the parents will gain extra powers and will be visibly changed (green glow, more attacks, fire from the eyes, whatever - make it obvious).

If the children are laughing due to the PCs actions, the parents will also hear, and will return to find their children, appearing as semi-substantial apparitions that will mourn their undead state. They will tell their tale, inform the party of a secret compartment in the caravan that holds a family ring (jewelry, not too expensive), and tell the PCs what the raiders of the Tattered Flag look like. Should the party defeat the raiders, the family will rest easier, but will also be attuned to the PCs. If the PCs are in grave danger some time in the future, the family may respond.

Editor’s note: It is assumed that the DM would make up his own powers for the undead, as well as the raiders. For those who would like to save time and see some ideas that I (Jedi) made up, continue to the next section.

Mom, Dad (former humans/1 HD undead/CN) {saves: 14 16 15 17 17}
AC 9; MV 12; HD 1d10; hp 7, 7; THAC0 20; #AT 1; Dmg 0; SA psionics, audible glamer spell (PHB 131); SD incorporeal, invulnerable to sleep, hold, charm, energy drain, death spells, gas and poisons; SZ M; ML 16
Equipment: All of the family’s equipment and weapons were stolen by the raiders.
Psionics Summary:
Dis 1/Sci 1/Dev 3; PSPs 40
MTHAC0 20, MAC 10
Telekinesis: Science-telekinesis (MAC 8, cost 3+/1+); Devotions-control body (6, 8/4), control sound (5, 5/2), molecular agitation (10, 7/3)
XP: 1,400 each / 2,000 each after transformation

Description: The two parents have the same exact powers and abilities. Mom and Dad, being non-violent people in life, have gained a certain code of honor in death. They desire to avoid killing and to a certain extent wish to avoid violence as well. They use their audible glamer ability combined with their control sound ability to fool the party into thinking they are calling something much more powerful to their aid to scare the PCs away.

If the PCs “kill” the children, the parents’ appearance will become instantly more menacing and they will gain the ability to cause paralysis with their touch (save vs paralysis, lasts for 2d4 rounds). Also, their alignment changes to evil and they cease rolling for morale. Even if in this state the two are still bound by their code of honor.

Children (former humans/1 HD undead/N) {saves: 16 18 17 20 19}
AC 10; MV 12; HD 1d6+2; hp 5, 5; THAC0 20; #AT 2; Dmg 1d2/1 (small rocks); SA psionics, audible glamer spell (PHB 131); SD incorporeal, invulnerable to sleep, hold, charm, energy drain, death spells, gas and poisons; SZ S; ML 10
Equipment: little stone toys
Psionics Summary:
Dis 1/Sci 1/Dev 3; PSPs 20
MTHAC0 20, MAC 10
Telekinesis: Science-telekinesis (MAC 8, cost 3+/1+); Devotions-control body (6, 8/4), control sound (5, 5/2), molecular agitation (10, 7/3)
XP: 1,400 each

Tattered Flag Raiders

Kralgow (male tarek/5th-level earth shaman/LE)
AC 7; MV 12; HD 5d8; hp 17; THAC0 18 (14); #AT 2 or 1; Dmg 1d4/1d4 (fists), 1d6+9/1d6+9 (handfork); SA spells, control undead, psionics, +3att, +7dmg; SD fight past death (-9hp); SZ M; ML 13
S 19, D 12, C 9, I 9, W 14, Ch 15 {saves: 9 13 12 15 14}
Equipment: obsidian handfork +3 [spd1], holy stone symbol, 40cp
Psionics Summary:
Dis 2/Sci 2/Dev 7; PSPs 30
Att: MT, PsC; Def: MBk, TS
#AT 1, MTHAC0 18, MAC 7
Clairsentience: Sciences-true sight; Devotions-combat mind, martial trance, psionic sense
Telepathy: Sciences-mindlink; Devotions-ESP, invisibility, inflict pain, psychic blade
Spells: 5/3/1 command, cure light wounds, magical stone, merciful shadows, sanctuary/dust devil, hold person, silence 15’ radius/stone shape
XP: 2,000

Description: Kralgow is the leader of the Tattered Flag raiders. As part of his Tarek Earth Shaman ability he can temporarily enchant a weapon up to +3 enchantment. His obsidian handfork is a special species weapon none of the PCs have likely seen before. The enchantment on the handfork will wear off in 200 days.

Tattered Flag Raiders (5) (mixed/3rd-level thieves/NE)
AC 7; MV 12; HD 3d6; hp 15, 13, 11, 11, 10; THAC0 19; #AT 1; Dmg 1d6/1d3 (club), 1d6/1d8 (spear); SA/SD thief skills; SZ M; ML 13
S 9, D 14, C 11, I 12, W 12, Ch 13 {saves: 13 14 12 16 15}
Equipment: club [spd4], spears (6)[6], studded leather [AC=7], treasure: K, O (each)
Psionics Summary: Nil, MAC 10
Thieving Skills: backstab x2
XP: 120 each