20 Things #14: Hill Giant Steading

Are you a busy GM? Does session prep take too long? Do you never have time to work on the cool little details that can bring your session to life? Well fear not! That’s where the 20 Things line comes in. Compiled from the free 20 Things posts available at Raging Swan’s website, this short, focused compilation gives you, the time-crunched GM, the tools to effortlessly add verisimilitude and detail to your adventure. Use the material herein either before or during play and bask in your players’ adulation. This instalment provides six tables designed to help you flesh out and bring to life a noisome sewer.

By Bradley K. McDevitt

10 Pieces of Battlefield Dressing

After the butchery and death has abated, a battlefield is an environment like no other. Hacked and broken bodies lie scattered about among severed body parts, broken equipment and the general leavings of the slaughter. Exploring or travelling through such a terrible, unique environment should be a memorable experience for the PCs.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

Village Backdrop: Hard Bay

Hard Bay’s fate has ever been tied to the sea. Although blessed with a natural, protected harbour and plentiful fishing, foul weather and a dangerous, unwholesome reputation have conspired to keep the village nothing more than a dreary, isolated place. A vein of smuggling and thievery ran deep through the village until the Sharkrazor pirates were crushed four decades ago. Now administered by three minor noble families, a darker horror than mere piracy lurks within the place. Rumours speak of strange fires set amid a circle of ancient, weathered stones atop a nearby shunned hill when the moon is new and of strange, abhorrent fishmen lurking in the abandoned, half-drowned smuggler tunnels beneath the ramshackle village.

By Thomas Fayen

20 Discarded or Lost Things to Find in a Sewer

Sewers are designed to carrying away civilisation’s detritus and leavings. Thus, explorers are likely to find many things—most utterly without value—in the sewer. Sometimes, though, explorers come across items of value (or interest) unintentionally lost amid the muck.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

Village Backdrop: Quey’s Glade

Quey’s Glade is rarely ever the in same place on the map twice, but it is always nestled in deep woods. Whenever a child is lost, alone and scared in the woods, she often finds her way to this village. Just as a terrifying monster bears down on its victim, the victim stumbles into Quey’s Glade with nary a sign of the pursuing beast. The way to this village is through intense negative emotion, but the inhabitants cheerily greet new arrivals to instantly dispel their fears and other troubles. As the world becomes more interconnected and the forests fall to woodcutters’ axes, Quey’s Glade slowly runs out of secluded locations to position itself. Also, the more intelligent monsters losing their meals to the village have begun to learn its secret and lurk in the forest beyond, decreasing the halo of safety around the village.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

20 Pieces of Sewer Dungeon Dressing

Sewers are noisome, dank places full of civilisation’s leavings. Such places are wholly different to a normal dungeon. Thus, it stands to reason, the dungeon dressing should also be markedly different.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

20 Things to See During a Siege

Walled towns, cities and castles are often besieged, during wars or border incursions. Such engagements are characterised by brief bouts of fighting punctuating long periods of watching and waiting. That doesn’t mean, however, that nothing’s happening…

By Paul Daly

Places of Power: Fraywrack

When a flight of harpies, beset by a relentless demonic menace from beneath the dark seas, used their captivating song to lure a ship to ruin, they sought allies instead of food. Thus, was born Fraywrack, a war camp created by the strange alliance of man and monster against a far greater threat. Now, hidden by the broken remains of their ship, the wreck’s survivors and their later recruits train endlessly for a fight they fear they have little hope of winning. Still, they persevere, welcoming adventurers who may wish to learn some lessons of their own or, just maybe, lend their own might to the struggle.

By Maciej Zagorski