Friday, March 23, 2018

Travelling in the Wilderness: 20 Wilderness Traps

There's no text to quote concerning this topic that I know off the top of my head.

I'm chewing on another means of running wilderness exploration than the venerable hexcrawl. Not like there couldn't be tricks and traps in a hex or in a traditional hexcrawl, but I've been thinking of "dungeonizing" the wilderness, if I can. We'll see what happens.

But I'm stumbling. The utter freedom of the wilderness is too much, and populating any area in my map is like, "Is this a grove of trees? A boulder field? A ridgeline? A cliff-face? An area with knucker-holes? etc. etc." So I'm paralyzed by possibility, and I wanted to try to focus myself with a table of discreet ideas. Ideas for traps at the moment. So here goes.


20 Wilderness Traps (these are a little "conservative" in scope, but they're just the beginning of what could be out there ...)

1) Tree fall -- 1 in 6 chance that a dead tree falls on 1-3 randomly selected characters. They may save v. paralysis (or using DEX) or take 4-24 damage

2) Poison ivy -- or other rash-causing plant; characters moving through the area are automatically affected by an itching rash that incurs a penalty of -1 on "to hit", damage, and saving rolls because of discomfort for 2-7 days. Characters looking out for the plants are only affected on a 2 in 6 chance.

3) Stonefish -- or other venomous animal, e.g. vipers or scorpions; characters moving through the area have a 2 in 6 chance of being stung. Those stung must make a save v. death/poison (or CON) or die in 1-3 days.

4) Rock fall -- like a tree fall, except it happens where boulder are and causes 5-30 damage. Sorry for the overlap

5) Glue-resin -- characters moving through the area have a 3 in 6 chance of contacting glue-like resin and being thus bound to the resin-tree. The resin binds quickly, but may be loosed by liberal application of alcohol ... otherwise, the character remains bound to the resin for 1-3 days and wandering monster checks ensue ... (strength based options to remove them are of course optional)

6) Strangle-bracken -- the bracken in the area reacts to movement through it by tightening; characters moving through the area must make a save v. paralysis or be stuck. One day without movement is required before the bracken "relaxes" enough to allow a character to struggle back out the way they entered (or to the nearest clearing).

7) Loose scree -- characters in leather or lighter armor may move nimbly enough not to fall, but those in metal armor (scale, mail, splint, banded, or plate) who move over scree have a 2 in 6 chance of falling 20 to 120 feet (1-6 damage per 10 feet fallen).

8) Razorgrass -- characters moving through the area without any armor take 1-6 damage per mile traveled. Those in armor are allowed a save against paralysis, +0 for leather, +1 for mail, +3 for plate armor, those who fail take damage as if unarmored, those who succeed take no damage.

9) Sandflies (diseased) -- the biting insects in the area carry a disease. Unless some means of repellent is used, characters passing through must save v. poison or contract a disease. If no other specific disease is used, it will cause -1 CON and 1-6 fewer hit points until cured.

10) Tick-nest -- the foliage in this area is thick with ticks. Characters who pass through have a 2 in 6 chance of getting bitten by ticks, which causes -1 CON and 1-4 fewer hit points until dealt with. Furthermore, 1 in 20 ticks are diseased and the character must save v. poison or contract a disease that will be fatal in 1-6 weeks.

11) Geyserhole -- entering the superheated water causes 4-32 damage, but who would do that? More importantly, there is a 1 in 6 chance that the geyser "goes off" and causes 2-16 damage to all those nearby.

12) Sleep-river -- like the stream in Mirkwood, the water of this river causes a magical sleep to all who touch it

13) Black-water -- worse than the stream in Mirkwood, the water of this river is rife with negative energy; all who touch it are drained of one life-energy level per round of contact with the water. Those who are reduced to 0 levels are killed and rise as hostile wraiths in 1-4 rounds thereafter. Such wraiths must remain within 1 mile of the body whence they sprang, so if borne downriver, downriver the wraith must go ...

14) Labyrinth-root -- a particularly pernicious kind of tree with excessive root-systems that magicall compel people who come across them to trace them like a labyrinth, save v. spell to resist; the labyrinth will take 1-3 days to complete, incurring wandering monster checks as usual (though non-flyers might also become caught in the magical labyrinth?)

15) Drawstone -- a kind of super-powerful magnetic rock formation; metal-armored characters that pass too close (1 chance in 6 when passing through its area) cannot move farther away; those who fail a save v. paralysis must move closer. Shedding armor takes enough time to allow a wandering monster check

16) Corpseflower -- flowers that smell like rotting flesh and always draw the attention of monsters that would eat such. Passing through the area incurs an extra wandering monster check; coming into contact with the flowers (3 in 6 chance unless explicitly avoiding them) continues to draw one extra monster check per day for 1-4 days

17) Hotspring slime -- it's a green or grey slime, but bigger; OR a brown mold colony that makes the hot spring just a spring, but touching the mold causes the normal 4-32 cold damage

18) Social insect colony -- stepping into an underground wasp colony is a nightmare of mine, and the characters just did it! Save v. poison or take 3-18 damage from the stinging insects, save at +1 in leather armor, +2 in mail, or +4 in plate. There are 1-3 swarms; they might pursue for a bit if the reaction roll is particularly bad, but only do 1-6 damage after that first round

19) Yellow mold (always a favorite) -- it's a wild yellow mold colony; 50% chance that the characters nearest it save v. death or die in 6 rounds as they choke to death on the spores. Outdoors, these colonies could get huge

20) Wormrose -- wildflowers with a magical worm that dwells within them; 3 in 6 chance that a character comes into contact with one if wormrose is in the area, and such a character must save v. breath weapon or fall into a coma for 1-4 days and be a hassle for their party to haul around unconscious ... it's difficult to harvest wormrose, but many magic-users, sages, etc. will pay a good price for intact flowers with the worms inside if they can be brought back safely ...

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