River Belle
S-B%20RiverPath.jpg

Overview

The River Belle is a river that winds through some of verdant and sunny hills. It is just off the side of the road, and holds the ruins of the old path that ran accross it. The path has fallen to ruin since monsters have set up camp, here, making travel risky for any who have no business in the region.

Terrain

The River Belle has Water terrain.

Encounter Features

Most of the River Belle's encounters are fairly open, but there are a few tricks that the location has in store.

Exploration Encounters

Navigating through the River Belle requires three DC 15 Athletics checks. Largely, these are for fording or swimming across the river at various points where the bridges have given out, leaping across hilly glades, and scrambling up rocky scree. After every Athletics check, there should be another encounter. Success means that you reach the waterfall cavern at the end of the River Belle path, and can head to the Goblin Wall beyond. Critical Success on any check reveals a treasure without having to face an encounter in between the checks.

Drawbridge

The River Belle drawbridge is in two halves, and is kept raised since the road fell into disrepair. The first half is at the entrance to the location, and can be automatically activated, but the second half requires a special check to find. After the first Athletics check, a character can make a Logic check against the River Belle's DC (15) to find the other half of the drawbridge. If successful, the remaining characters automatically advance past the second required Athletics check, bridging the gap that this first character had to leap.

Social Encounters

There are few non-violent creatures in the River Belle to deal with. Dealing with the native monsters is like dealing with many monsters: the PC's don't have much of interest to them except their own lives.

Trap Encounters

The River Belle is fairly peaceful, though it varies from a dried-out riverbed in the autumn to a swollen stream in the spring.

Flash Flood!

Between Exploration Encounters, a flash flood may occur. A Flash Flood has a duration of 4 rounds, and deals 6 points of Water damage each round. Dodging the rushing waters of the River Belle requires a DC 13 Reflex check. Successful Logic checks against the trap represent blocking the water, getting behind hills, leaping up in trees, etc. Every round the trap stays active increases the DC of the next Athletics check for Exploration by 1.

Combat Encounters

Monster Palette

Goblin, Hedgehog Pie, Mu, Giant Crab

Encounter Title Monsters
Goblin Troopers 4 Goblins
Evil Spirits 2 Hedgehog Pies, 2 Goblins
Goblin Mu Master 3 Mus, 1 Goblin
Boss Giant Crab

Battlefield Features

River's Edge: Falling In

A character in combat near the river may be pushed into it with a Forced Row Change maneuver. Once in the river, the character must make a DC 15 Athletics check to swim to land (treat as a Change Row action). They return to land in the same row that they left. Failure simply wastes the action.

Waterfall's Base: Mist

A combat near the base of one of the River Belle's waterfalls is obscured by mist. Characters in the Back Row are essentially out of combat: they cannot be targeted, nor can they target anything else. Every round there is a 50% chance (1-10 on 1d20) that a breeze sweeps through, erasing the effect of the mist.

Typical Encounter Flow

Adventure

An adventure in the River Belle might go as follows:

  1. First Combat: Goblin Troopers encounter (basic battlefield)
  2. Exploration Part 1: Athletics check to swim across the river.
  3. Second Combat: Evil Spirits encounter (basic battlefield)
  4. Exploration Part 2: Athletics check to leap across a broken bridge. At this point, characters who run ahead might use the drawbridge with a DC15 Logic check, enabling the rest of the party to pass by this challenge.
  5. Third Combat: Goblin Mu Master (River's Edge battlefield)
  6. Trap: Flash Flood! (Duration 4 rounds, 6 damage/round, DC 13)
  7. Exploration Part 3: Athletics check to clear away washed debris
  8. Boss Combat: Giant Grab (Waterfall's Base battlefield)

Using the Location

The River Belle is a low-level location useful as an introductory dungeon. Its inhabitants are mostly wicked creatures and animals, and the place was once a peaceful area that has fallen to evil. This lends it to a "nature gone wrong" kind of campaign, or a "dangerous wilderness, safe city" kind of campaign. A campaign where the mortal people are in decline is also implied here. The evil spirits and wild beasts may be a natural effect, or it may be caused by a specific entity for reasons currently-unknown. The boss of the realm, especially, is a wild beast driven even more wild. The river can also be employed as a corridor between other locations, perhaps as a path on a linear campaign, or a gateway between hubs in a hub campaign: the concept of the "ruined road" means that the road was used for something before the monsters took it over. This creates the opportunity to visit it several times over the course of the campaign, perhaps in different seasons, as outlined below.

Changing The Location

The River Belle can be affected by the seasons fairly obviously. In the winter, the river might freeze over, changing one of the Athletics checks for exploring to a Reflex check, introducing a Thin Ice trap, and perhaps a Slippery Surface battlefield (or a Slippery Surface trap and a Thin Ice battlefield). In the spring, the river might flood, increasing the DC of the exploration challenges and perhaps upping the damage or DC of the Flash Flood trap. In the autumn, the river might go particularly dry, making it a little easier to navigate, but perhaps introducing an extra combat encounter in the river's bed. Aside from the boss, the monsters don't represent the terrain of the location very well. You may want to add water-elemental encounters such as aquatic monsters, to the mix, to reinforce the terrain. These may become especially prominent in the autumn, or before or after the flash flood trap.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License