Signs, Omens, and Encounters: Banshee

Signs

  • A sudden clearing in an otherwise dense wet forest. The fauna is dead and dry.
  • A withered corpse lies partially submerged in the muck, a standard sword clutched in its hands, signs of a futile defense. No visible trauma.
  • Incorporeal women's things (a bit of scarf, a neckless, etc.) lay scattered about. They slowly dissolve into the ether as the PCs examine them.

Omens

  • A low, almost human moan echoes through the trees, shivering through the PCs' spines.
  • The temperature noticeable drops, the air becomes chilled, then frigid, before rewarming.
  • A sudden airy face appears, hovers, scowls, then gone.

Encounters

  1. A shrieking, horrible female figure emerges from the trees and attacks with all her hate and fury (ML10).
  2. A wave of sound erupts across the forest, withering the leaves as it approaches the PCs in 3...2...1... All players who didn't make some kind of action indicating that the PCs cover their ears (by actively cupping their ears or indicating that their PC has done so) must roll CON or suffer vertigo, nausea, and ringing in the ears (-1 to any roll for 1d6 TURNS). On the next round the Banshee attacks (ML8).
  3. A wailing human? inhuman? sound. PCs each roll WIS or suffer a condition then reroll on the encounter table.
    • 1-3 Fear (as the spell): The Banshee will, if on reroll attacks, attack lone, frightened targets.
    • 4-6 Eyes Bleed: -1 to attack rolls and any roll requiring sight for 1d6 TURNS.
  4. The air shimmers like a star-lit curtain, forming into a vague figure who hovers almost imperceptibly. She neither approaches nor retreats. If PCs approach her, she darkens into a not-quite opaque red-black figure. If challenged, she attacks once with a shriek (DMG 2d6) before dropping quickly into the moist earth. 
  5. A solitary, ephemeral figure hovers ominously before the PCs, then abruptly streaks behind them into the brush. A lone scream in the treeline and left behind, the sallow corpse of an eavesdropper. On his person: Treasure B/II.
  6. A formless form, greyish clear, hovers. It is possibly beseeching, but who knows, until a subtle wind dissolves it. A single item drops to the ground: The SOUL STEALER (Pits & Perils pg 63). This blade is the same as mentioned in the core rules, however, it is cursed. Replace the Banshee with this sword on random encounter tables and if selected then the sword suddenly needs a taste of blood. Player rolls CHA and if failed then the sword compels the PC to draw and attack random PCs until blood is drawn (at least 1 HP).

    Signs, Omens, & Encounters: Ape

    Signs

    • Fruit seeds gathered in clumps and piles.
    • Small branches and leaves stripped from trees and brush.
    • A pile of fresh skat near a tree, flies buzz noisily nearby.

    Omens

    • Incoming stool, strikes the ground nearby. An almost human, suspiciously mocking laughter follows.
    • A powerful, rhythmic screeching, joined by others, and more still from the trees in all directions. Then silence.
    • Branches swing wildly across the PCs direction of travel, then to the sides, and behind. Not a sound beyond the rustle of limbs.

    Encounters

    1. A squad of apes (LL: 1/+0 ML: 7) flank the PCs and attempt to drive them back. Attacking, retreating, and pushing relentlessly forward. With each attack they become more numerous until they close in and a single large ape (LL: 3/+1 ML: 10) attacks directly with the tight, aggressive attacks from the flanks (2-12 apes).
    2. The PCs stumble onto a terrible war between two communities of apes. In the immediate conflict, competing groups (2d6 apes per side) of large combatants (LL: 2 ML: 10) make no distinction between their opponents and the PCs. The combat will rage until the PCs are well away from the brutal mess.
    3. A large, carnivorous ape (LL: 4/+1 ML: 11) attacks with viciousness and determination. Will fight, pursuing as necessary, to death or failed morale roll.
    4. 2d6 apes (LL: 1/+0 ML: 9) emerge from the treeline and puff their chests, gesturing loud and with menace. Roll 1d6 and add +1 following every PC action. On a roll of '6' the apes attack. If the PCs don't advance the conflict, they will simply hold their position though prevent any further progress forward.
    5. A bonobo, with wide friendly grin and an erect penis, moves rapidly/lustily towards a random PC. Player must respond NOW or PC surprised.
    6. A single ape (LL: 2/+0 ML: 5) with three more peering from the treeline (LL: 1/+0) attempts to awkwardly assert dominance. He will attempt to stand tall, pound his chest, and dominate the PCs. Following any and every aggression from the PCs, roll morale. On a fail he will retreat to catcalls.
    7. Swinging low from the trees, an agile young ape will attempt to snatch/wrestle free a random PCs backpack. Roll DEX or STR (PCs choice) at -1 to avoid or prevent. PC loses everything but their weapon and armor.
    8. A female mother, startled while feeding her young backs away from the PCs, screaming and threatening. 1d3 apes appear but none will respond unless further aggression from the PCs.
    9. A pair of eyes, noticed among the foliage, peer out at the PCs. This is followed by another and another and another, until scores of apes are seen hidden among the trees. Nothing happens but it sure is unnerving. 
    10. 1d6 small apes beckon, then lead the PCs to a clearing where abundant food (local fruits and nuts) are available. PCs each acquire 1d3 days of rations.
    11. An ape approaches with an excited cackle. In its outstretched hand a treasure (Mixed Magic III).

    d6 Signs, Omens, & Encounters: Anka

    Signs

    1. A rended, dismembered cow lies oddly supine. Its entrails eviscerated clean.
    2. Stripped trees. The limbs torn from their trunks.
    3. Bird droppings as large as the PC's head underfoot.
    4. Local woodland creatures intermittantly startled from unseen and unpresent threats overhead.
    5. Claw marks trench the ground.
    6. A large (2 foot) feather rests upon a large rock.
    Omens

    1. The sky grows dark as the ominous shadow of a large soaring bird blots out the sun.
    2. A cacophonous caw pierces the air. Even the leaves rattle in the sound.
    3. A dark shape grows rapidly above the PCs. A flash of talon then the useless cry of a nearby cow, horse, or goat as it is whisked violently away.
    4. A stunning, tight turn as avian wings race by, nearly caressing a random PC as they pass. The dusty ground twists into a vortex.
    5. Hovering, direct, full frontal visual encounter nearly within bow shot. The powerful wings beating the wind as it considers the PCs, before pulling away.
    6. Bird droppings incoming(!) Save vs DEX or suffer a direct hit. No damage but party ridicule required.

    Encounters

    1. A young hatchling, the size of a dog, tumbles from above and into a nearby thicket. Its mother follows closely behind. She decides that PCs are a direct threat to her young, gaining an additional +1 to her first attack.
    2. Impossibly, the Anka lands within bowshot and regards the PCs warily. Its purpose is unclear. Good roleplay, food offering, and/or a successful CHA check may find the PCs with an ally.
    3. From above a talon attempts to snatch a random player. Roll DEX to avoid. If successful, the Anka will carry the PC to its nest, presumably for lunch. Every attempt to resist is a STR check with success equivalent to 10, then 20, then 40, then 80 feet, etc. of falling damage.
    4. As quickly as it wasn't there, it is. Random character roll DEX or be surprised. The Anka will fight to the first injury then flee.
    5. The Anka, a tree branch held within its talons, attempts to mow down the party. Every PC makes a DEX check. Failure means the PC is prone and loses 1 HP. The Anka drops the branch and circles quickly, attempting to snatch any who've fallen. Make a second DEX check at -2. Every attempt to resist is a STR check with success equivalent to 10, then 20, then 40, then 80 feet, etc. of falling damage.
    6. What did I do to you? The Anka, a raging flurry of feathers, talons, and beak fights angrily, viciously to its or the PC's death.

    Charles Maurice Detmold (1883-1908)

    Encounter Design

    Have A Nicer Trip

    d6 Private Hobgoblin Preoccupations

    1. Sharpening, ever sharpening his blade
    2. Dealing with that persistant itch 
    3. Sewing pouches onto his armor
    4. Practicing his weapon draw
    5. Boasting to no one in particular
    6. Vain muscle flexing

    Background: Shepherd

    Busy in the commons herding their flock, a shepherd is always accompanied by a faithful dog.

    Though not trained in combat, the dog will defend his/her master if attacked. Additionally, the dog can perform simple tasks such as fetching items or running ahead to report on rudimentary threats or opportunities. See also Lassie.

    Parties who have a dog present gain +1 to initiative. This bonus is not, however, cumulative when elves are also present in the party.

    When attempting to be quiet in stressful situations, the dog must save or bark/whine.



    Faithful Dog: AK: 1(bite) LL: 1/+0 (3 HP) ME: 50’(–) SE: M/+0


    references
    Playing D&D With Pornstars: Nature Is Red In Tooth And Claw
    Monsters and Manuals: Dogs