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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion => Topic started by: Mercurius on October 17, 2020, 04:33:49 pm

Title: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Mercurius on October 17, 2020, 04:33:49 pm
What the subject says. Starting a new campaign soon, and want to take a mostly sandbox approach: PCs explore landscape, find stuff to do. I'll be dropped some major adventure sites throughout the map - such as Rappan Athuk, Barrowmaze, Castle Xyntillan, Earthdawn's Parlainth, and maybe others - but am looking for resources for small locations to just populate the landscape, and wanted to see what folks here suggested. 1-2 page locations would be great: the type of stuff I can just plop down and run with little prep, as needed. I want to focus my prep time on world-building and reading the mega-dungeons and larger sites.

As it says, I'll be running 5E and would prefer 5E stuff, but it is only a mild preference - easy enough to convert.

Not that it hugely matters, but the setting is a homebrew - post-apocalyptic (magical), with somewhat of a sword & sorcery. I'm drawing from pre-published settings like the Hyborian Age, Midgard, Hyperborea, Forbidden Lands, Symbaroum, Talislanta, Earthdawn, etc.
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Opaopajr on October 17, 2020, 11:53:09 pm
I left a micro-location inspired by MtG Ice Age, a post-apoc sword & high magic world, on this forum. It's basically a frozen swampland Beacon Tower & Crossroads Trading Post hamlet with some nearby locales and functionary NPCs. Designed for drop & play with quick reference notes & hook-friendly formatting. Put them in ready to card sleeve flash card .pdfs

Might work with your Hyperborea, post-apoc weird, sword & sorcery vibe. Check my posts and MtG Ice Age. Comes with another idea which may be confusing, (basically randomize BBEG v. PCs motivation & scheming), but you can skip to the example content for DIY.  ;)

k, back to PbP words on paper!
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Mercurius on October 18, 2020, 01:08:15 am
I left a micro-location inspired by MtG Ice Age, a post-apoc sword & high magic world, on this forum. It's basically a frozen swampland Beacon Tower & Crossroads Trading Post hamlet with some nearby locales and functionary NPCs. Designed for drop & play with quick reference notes & hook-friendly formatting. Put them in ready to card sleeve flash card .pdfs

Might work with your Hyperborea, post-apoc weird, sword & sorcery vibe. Check my posts and MtG Ice Age. Comes with another idea which may be confusing, (basically randomize BBEG v. PCs motivation & scheming), but you can skip to the example content for DIY.  ;)

k, back to PbP words on paper!

Thanks - that sounds intriguing. I'll look for it.
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: David Johansen on October 18, 2020, 09:47:13 am
Bob the Lawful Good king.  Bob is chaotic evil but he wants people to like him so he tells everyone he's "lawful good" and has added it to his coat of arms.  He will go to great lengths to explain that he only used torture to bring sinners to repentance, only raids his neighbors to protect the world from their evils, only has his secret police kill people who are bad and so forth.  Bob is really self conscious and inconsistent but he's in great shape and an amazing fighter.  He keeps a priest on hand at all times to marry him to any woman he fancies and divorce them once he tires.  The priest is required to bear a relic from the last priest who said "no" to Bob as a reminder of who's the lawful good one here.
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Naburimannu on October 18, 2020, 02:59:32 pm
Dyson's Delves (two volumes) were mostly there for a bunch of blank maps but in each there are 5-6 that he's populated, of various sizes and levels. That's what I keep handy for dropping into a hexcrawl.

(Then my eldest son started DMing and I lent him my copies of Dyson and now he's familiar enough with them that I can't use them in games he joins...)
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Opaopajr on October 19, 2020, 12:12:16 am
You probably already know of this if you are doing anything Hyperborea, but Astonishing Swordsman & Sorcerors of Hyperborea. And I just flipped thru Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes, which has a mix of locales and well fleshed out micro-locations & NPCs with room for extra notes & adjusting. Plenty of oomph and "ooh! ahh!" to pluck out for your own campaign.
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Libramarian on October 19, 2020, 06:13:51 pm
That's quite a lot of content! Any of those megadungeons could serve as an entire campaign itself. It doesn't make much sense to me to put multiple megadungeons on the same map. After a series of delves and levels gained in one of them, the party will have little reason to suddenly pack up and 'start over' in a new megadungeon.

I would either use one megadungeon as the campaign tent-pole, or stick to small lair-type dungeons strewn across a wilderness map.

That said, The Land of Nod hexcrawls by John Stater are an excellent resource for wilderness encounters/locations.
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Kanyenya on October 20, 2020, 12:32:28 pm
Trilemma Adventures has a good collection of mini-adventures and they have a supplemental PDF with all the monsters statted for 5E:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/312275/Trilemma-Adventures-5e-BUNDLE?src=hottest_filtered

There's AAW's "Mini-Dungeon Tome" (5E); I backed this originally when it was on Kickstarter:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/246650/MiniDungeon-Tome-5th-Edition

You probably already know about the "One Page Dungeon" PDFs that come out every year. There's also a "one page dungeon" generator here: https://watabou.itch.io/one-page-dungeon. It's a random generator, but the results don't look too bad and could be usable with a little tweaking.
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: S'mon on October 20, 2020, 12:55:48 pm
That's quite a lot of content! Any of those megadungeons could serve as an entire campaign itself. It doesn't make much sense to me to put multiple megadungeons on the same map. After a series of delves and levels gained in one of them, the party will have little reason to suddenly pack up and 'start over' in a new megadungeon.

I would either use one megadungeon as the campaign tent-pole, or stick to small lair-type dungeons strewn across a wilderness map.

That said, The Land of Nod hexcrawls by John Stater are an excellent resource for wilderness encounters/locations.

I found multiple dungeons the size of Dyson's Delve or Caverns of Thracia work well. You probably don't want multiple Stonehell type dungeons I think, but you can certainly seed the setting with multi-session mini-megadungeons.
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Mercurius on October 21, 2020, 05:23:15 pm
That's quite a lot of content! Any of those megadungeons could serve as an entire campaign itself. It doesn't make much sense to me to put multiple megadungeons on the same map. After a series of delves and levels gained in one of them, the party will have little reason to suddenly pack up and 'start over' in a new megadungeon.

I would either use one megadungeon as the campaign tent-pole, or stick to small lair-type dungeons strewn across a wilderness map.

That said, The Land of Nod hexcrawls by John Stater are an excellent resource for wilderness encounters/locations.

I don't expect them to explore all (or any) of them, but like having them out there to build depth of lore. Gives them options, too. I haven't done a full sandbox game with this group, and I like the idea of giving them a basic starting point with a player's map and scattering some hooks and essentially saying, "OK, where do you go?" Some of those hooks might be the famed Rappan Athuk and Barrowmaze, and they decide which I read more fully.

Thanks for the nod to Nod - hadn't heard of that.
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Mercurius on October 21, 2020, 05:24:13 pm
Trilemma Adventures has a good collection of mini-adventures and they have a supplemental PDF with all the monsters statted for 5E:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/312275/Trilemma-Adventures-5e-BUNDLE?src=hottest_filtered

There's AAW's "Mini-Dungeon Tome" (5E); I backed this originally when it was on Kickstarter:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/246650/MiniDungeon-Tome-5th-Edition

You probably already know about the "One Page Dungeon" PDFs that come out every year. There's also a "one page dungeon" generator here: https://watabou.itch.io/one-page-dungeon. It's a random generator, but the results don't look too bad and could be usable with a little tweaking.

I was looking at the AAW book. Comments on the quality? That's a lot of adventures.

Was also looking into Sly Flourish's books - anyone like these?
Title: Re: Looking for Encounters/Locations to Populate Map (5E preferred but not required)
Post by: Kanyenya on October 22, 2020, 01:52:40 am
I was looking at the AAW book. Comments on the quality? That's a lot of adventures.

Was also looking into Sly Flourish's books - anyone like these?

I haven't used the AAW book too much, but I've run a couple things from it and they weren't bad. Though I didn't realize the PDF was $40 (I paid $25 in the KS). I'm not sure I'd recommend it at $40, but if it goes on sale for $30 or cheaper it's probably worth it.

I haven't read any of Sly Flourish's adventures, but his DMing books aren't bad. Not much that a veteran GM wouldn't already know but there are some useful ideas in them.