Varisia Caravan Encounters - Rencontres Aléatoires
Dangers from the Varisian wilds fill out this month’s entry into the Pathfinder Bestiary, along with the fiendish masters of storms and scavengers. Cued to the themes and settings of this month’s adventure, “The Brinewall Legacy,” any of these creatures would make fine optional encounters as the characters journey across some of Varisia’s most dangerous hinterlands.
In this month’s adventure the player characters have the opportunity to join and customize their own caravan, launching into a journey across Varisia. But their trek is far from safe. Dangerous weather, unscrupulous criminals, and savage monsters all conspire to put an end to the PCs’ f ledgling adventuring career. As the caravan travels north, there’s a 10% chance of an encounter each day. Encounters indicated with an asterisk have a 50% chance of occurring at night while the caravan is camped. All other encounters occur while the caravan is on the move. Encounters don’t occur if the caravan camps at a settlement. If an encounter occurs, roll on the following table to see what the PCs have encountered. Note that all of the following encounters are caravan encounters and use the caravan combat rules found online in the free Jade Regent Player’s Guide. Bad Weather: Fog, rain, high winds, or some other form of bad weather slows the caravan, reducing its overall speed by half for the day unless the caravan makes a DC 12 Security check.
Bandit Ambush (CR 2): The caravan must make a DC 15 Security check to notice this ambush in time to react; if this check fails, the caravan takes a –2 penalty to its Armor Class and on attack rolls for the first round of combat. The ambushers could be a group of bandits, a gang of highwaymen, or even a small tribe of Nolander barbarians. Regardless of their makeup, the ambushers’ stats and aggression are identical (AC 14; hp 20; Attack +4; Damage 2d6+3). They fight to the death. If defeated, 1 cargo unit of treasure worth 250 gp can be recovered.
Goblin Raiders (CR 1/2): A shrieking band of goblins wielding dogslicers and broken branches attacks the caravan (AC 11; hp 10; Attack +1; Damage 1d8). If the PCs have a horse train, the goblins are more timid than normal and take a –2 penalty on attack rolls. If defeated, a search of the goblins reveals a single cargo unit of treasure worth 125 gp.
Ogre Assault (CR 3): A small band of ogres lumbers out of the surrounding foliage to attack the caravan (AC 15; hp 30; Attack +6; Damage 3d4+6). The ogres f lee if reduced below 10 hit points. If they’re slain, looting produces 2 cargo units of treasure worth 400 gp each. Treacherous Road: The road conditions become hazardous. They might be muddy, partially f looded, or even blocked by a fallen tree. The caravan must make a DC 14 Security check or lose 2d6 miles of progress for the day as the situation is dealt with.
Varisian Caravan: The PCs encounter another Varisian caravan heading in the opposite direction. With a DC 12 Resolve check, the PCs can befriend the other caravan. If this encounter occurs during the day, the caravan can give the PCs advice as to what lies ahead, reducing the chance of an encounter to 5% per day for the next 1d6 days. If the encounter occurs during the evening, the caravan agrees to share their camp, allowing the PCs to trade with them. The caravan can purchase up to 2,000 gp in objects, and can offer anything worth 600 gp or less for sale.
Creating Additional Caravan Encounters
You can use the caravan encounters presented here as guides for creating additional encounters of your own design. Use the following guidelines.
Combat Encounter: Designing stats for a combat encounter is relatively easy—simply pick a CR, then use Table 1–1 from page 291 of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary to set the encounter’s AC and hit points. Its attack should equal the high attack roll, while its average damage should equal that CR’s high average damage (you can assign different dice and different modifiers as needed to hit the total). Some more dangerous combat encounters might utilize special attacks, but you should avoid this additional level of complexity for now. See the third adventure in this campaign, “The Hungry Storm,” for advice on how to build combat encounters that utilize special attacks.
Non-Combat Encounter: Non-combat encounters can grant temporary bonuses or penalties to caravan rolls or speed, can grant or take away supplies, and can even give the caravan a chance to hire new travelers. If you wish to assign a Stability or a Resolve check to an encounter, a DC equal to 10 + the caravan’s level is considered an average challenge. Add or subtract from this DC to make the roll as simple or tough as you wish.