Many creatures live in the wilderness, and the adventurers are likely not the first to discover the campsite. Beyond the threats posed by wandering owlbears, wolves and other dangerous predators sometimes the PCs find something else already living in the area.
Use the table below, to determine what already lives in the campsite:
- Wasps have built a nest high up in a nearby tree. Depending on the time of year, they could be dopy or aggressive.
- A badger set pierces the sheltered slope of a small rise. The badgers emerge at night to feed. They are only aggressive if attacked or cornered.
- An owl lurks in a nearby tree. It emerges at dusk to hunt. When it returns, clutching a dead mouse it sits in the tree devouring its prey and watching the PCs. It is so silent the PCs might not even be aware of its presence.
- A fox den lies near the camp. If the PCs are not making a lot of noise, the mated pair—along with their young—emerge to hunt and play. The young are fearless and scavenge through the camp for food scraps.
- A vast ant nest honeycombs the ground under the campsite. PCs sleeping on the ground find themselves (and their kit) infested with ants the next morning.
- Two rival male squirrels claim the area. When the PCs arrive, the two are chattering at each other.
- Nests festoon the upper branches of the surrounding trees, but all appear to be empty. What could have forced so many birds to leave? Did they migrate or did they fall prey to a predator?
- A dense patch of wild berry bushes grows throughout the area. The berries are ripe, ready for picking and delicious.
- A shaded, reed-fringed pool is home to several dozen carp, and one old and grumpy pike. Here, the fishing is good!
- A small stream winds its way through the campsite. Among the reeds clustering thickly along its steep banks live a female duck and her four young. Initially unseen, the youngs’ high-pitched peeping quickly betrays their presence.
This article appears in 20 Things #21: Wilderness Camping.
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