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Old 06-29-2018, 01:11 PM   #1
Devil_Dante
 
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Default forest dungeon

Hi, it's me again!
For my fantasy game, i'm planning to create a pretty particular forest.
The magic has made the forest growing up, twisting it and making it deadlier.

I'm trying to focus on the mechanics: in a normal dungeon they can draw a map and run back to follow the exit, but in a forest? No map and, with pretty much no divination, the only chance they have to flee is to use survival skill.

Years ago i did something similiar for a D&D campaign, but because time was an important variable (if they spent more than 7 days into the forest, they couldn't allert an important city about an invasion, with nasty consequences), i created a system where failing survival check made them deviate from the faster path by a certain angle (let's say 10, 20, 100). In this way, with some basic trygonometric math, i could calculate the distance they travelled.

Now i wish to create something that emphatizes the travel through the forest, fighting monsters, wild animals, getting lost and accross dangerous terrains. In a dungeon is easy, but in a forest?

I wish to hear your experiences, if any, with this kind of adventures, and wich kind of mechanics you (or your GM) created.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:18 PM   #2
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: forest dungeon

Trails that change. As the trails are made by organisms not stone, they can change.

Sylven Spirits: these can be good or bad according to how it strikes you

Magic Water: springs and streams

Monsters disguised as trees.

Vermin: Disgusting little creatures.

Fog or steam, depending on the latitude

Monkey like creatures.

Just some ideas.

The forest is a classic place for a dungeon delve. It is actually older then caves. From what I can gather Faerie Queene is in many ways a big dungeon delve in a forest.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: forest dungeon

Check out the article "In the Jungle."
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: forest dungeon

Since you're talking about being off by degrees and "simple trig," you're clearly not afraid of some system crunching. May I recommend:

-----------

You must accumulate XX (50? 100? how long do you want this to go on?) total success in an extended, unopposed contest of navigation (land).

Concurrent with each roll on navigation, there will be a roll of survival (woodlands) as well which will determine a random encounter on this chart. Depending on the margin of success/failure and the roll made behind the screen, it could be a skittish deer, or an overwhelming force of orks.

The players may take up to a -6 on navigation or survival. Each -2 grants a +1 to the other roll. This represents the characters decision to take a more direct or cautious route.

I recommend successes move them to safer columns and failures move them to more dangerous columns. That is, if they are in a "dangerous area" a success keeps them there, a good success moves them to "slightly dangerous" and a failure moves them to "very dangerous."

------------------

Other thoughts:

After a long travel time, it's encounter time. Everybody roll hiking. Each character has 1/3 FP (round up) plus margin of success. On a failure, you are just at 1/3. On a critical failure, you are 1d down. That fight really sucked for the rogue.

After running for a while, do the same but use the running skill, penalize it all by 1 and only add half the margin of success.

(I always love it when players go looking for those skills they ought to have bought and that I put on the "most people have them" list at the campaign start)

Maybe have individual maps for encounter areas, but leave things more general between them? If you use figgies, this may be a good place for the tactics roll for who places their forces first.

If they're spending days in the field, you may wish to bone up on the sleep fatigue rules too. Especially if people have sleep-related disadvantages.
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:00 PM   #5
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: forest dungeon

An alternative possibility would be to have seriously poisonous plants or toxin fungi in the forest preventing the characters from leaving the trails. Here is an example.

The Forest of Eternal Night

The Forest of Eternal Night is so named because the fungi that grow within the forest produce spores which cause an allergic reaction when breathed by animals (and humans) who are not native to the forest. Within the forest, non-native are subjected to an area effect blood agent attack that deals 1d-2 fatigue damage every minute of exposure and, when its victims have lost 2/3 FP from the attack, causes Blindness until they recover their lost FP as the swelling around their eyes causes their eyes to seal shut. The locals have had generations to build resistance, so they only suffer damage every hour of exposure, meaning that they can get close enough to keep the forest from expanding past its historical boundaries.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:44 PM   #6
Devil_Dante
 
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Default Re: forest dungeon

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Trails that change.
Magic Water: springs and streams
Monsters disguised as trees.
Vermin: Disgusting little creatures.
Fog or steam, depending on the latitude
Yep! Evergreen always wins!! XD Fog and arboreal monsters are my favorite!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
Check out the article "In the Jungle."
Thanks, i'll take a look!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
Since you're talking about being off by degrees and "simple trig," you're clearly not afraid of some system crunching.
I love going deep into the rules :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
You must accumulate XX (50? 100? how long do you want this to go on?) total success in an extended, unopposed contest of navigation (land).
That's a really good tip! I guess one roll per day will slow down too much, maybe every 3 hours (circa 3 per day) could be a good compromise

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
Concurrent with each roll on navigation, there will be a roll of survival (woodlands) as well which will determine a random encounter on this chart. Depending on the margin of success/failure and the roll made behind the screen, it could be a skittish deer, or an overwhelming force of orks.

The players may take up to a -6 on navigation or survival. Each -2 grants a +1 to the other roll. This represents the characters decision to take a more direct or cautious route.

I recommend successes move them to safer columns and failures move them to more dangerous columns. That is, if they are in a "dangerous area" a success keeps them there, a good success moves them to "slightly dangerous" and a failure moves them to "very dangerous."
This is a great idea too, especially the -2/+1 mechanic. Using both navigation and survival is a great way to determine encounters! Really good point! Will be funny creating a monsters related chart.
I presume a table divided in 4 or 5 difficulty zones. Every part has 3 or 4 levels. To pass from one difficulty zone to the other, the PCs have to acquire X successes, where X are the difficulty zone's levels. Successes lead them to lower encounters difficulties, failures, to harder ones. Could work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
Other thoughts:
After a long travel time, it's encounter time. Everybody roll hiking. Each character has 1/3 FP (round up) plus margin of success. On a failure, you are just at 1/3. On a critical failure, you are 1d down. That fight really sucked for the rogue.
I suppose it is a home rules. And sounds way better than the hiking skill from basic. Good one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
After running for a while, do the same but use the running skill, penalize it all by 1 and only add half the margin of success.

(I always love it when players go looking for those skills they ought to have bought and that I put on the "most people have them" list at the campaign start)
Totally agree. Too often i don't remember to use "utility skills". In this way they have to know navigation, survival and hiking at least, and for a group of adventurers should be mandatory.

Thank you very much, a lot of materials to working on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
Maybe have individual maps for encounter areas, but leave things more general between them? If you use figgies, this may be a good place for the tactics roll for who places their forces first.
At this point, instead to use individual maps, i can set a X successes on navigation, and at that point an important fight happens, or a crossway between "ancient ruin-left, deep forest-right".
By the way, what "figgies" are?

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
If they're spending days in the field, you may wish to bone up on the sleep fatigue rules too. Especially if people have sleep-related disadvantages.
That's very stressfull, i like it XD

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
An alternative possibility would be to have seriously poisonous plants or toxin fungi in the forest preventing the characters from leaving the trails. Here is an example.

The Forest of Eternal Night:
......
Yep, venomous fungi and "poisonous clouds" are always funny. An FP reletated venom with linked affliction is a good plane! My PCs will love it(question mark? :D)
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: forest dungeon

The funny thing is that made me think about the description of the Owen Stanley Ridge in Winston Groom's "1942: The Year that Tried Men's Souls" which I was reading last night. In fact the comparison would be apt if it didn't go into "Dude, not funny" territory. Not to mention being to nasty for even for a game about challenging dark forces.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: forest dungeon

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
An alternative possibility would be to have seriously poisonous plants or toxin fungi in the forest preventing the characters from leaving the trails. Here is an example.
I like this. It would be especially fun, of course, to have things that might force the PCs off the trail. Whether it be monsters that catch/kidnap prey (like Mirkwood spiders) or creatures that are fearsome enough that the party may want to flee. Perhaps a patrol of badness coming down the trail... could fight, or could risk hiding or going around them in the woods.

There's also an opportunity for a spooky fae encounter. Instead of a dryad charming someone with a kiss, there could be a charming forest spirit that provides a delusion/illusion of immunity to the fungi. Once all the characters are blind, it strikes (or something like that).
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:20 PM   #9
Tom H.
 
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Default Re: forest dungeon

If you haven't considered it already, I think you would really enjoy GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures.
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: forest dungeon

Also check out The Emerald Hell for general rules for jungles and forests.
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