Micro encounter

I’ve been asked to contribute to an Old School sandbox adventure. The brief is simple, low level, in a fairy tale forest. As it happens I was working up some stuff for a 4e adventure based around the Witchlight Fens. It’s easy enough to transpose, so with a quick rewording here’s an example of a fleshed out random encounter, the Giants Bones…

A moss covered mound turns out to be ancient skeletal remains of a stone giant. The skeleton is in remarkably good condition, being made of stone, it’s just covered in plant and fungal growth after decades lain in the woods. All the giants belongings have rotted away, or been stolen away, except for one. The giants body fell across his broadsword, which still lies beneath it untouched and waiting to be found.

The sword is nearly ten feet in length, so cannot be carried, let alone wielded, by any human sized creature. It is of plain design except for a single rune carved on the blade near the hilt. The sword is highly magical, and sapient. It can detect both law and chaos up to 3 times per day. It is +3 to hit and damage (+5 vs law/chaos). The sword can communicate with its wielder, and will happily do so. It’s goal is to strike balance, to destroy extremists of any stripe. It reserves a special loathing for the gods and their followers. It calls itself Oncelimor, and in eons past was once wielded by the queen of titans.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Micro encounter

  1. Noumenon

    My first thought was that it didn’t seem simple (the roleplaying would take over a good fraction of the adventure) or low level (the backstory sounds epic level and the abilities are mid to high level). My second thought was “Wait, since no one can actually wield this thing, what is the point of giving it abilities or a backstory at all?” I’m just not sure what you’re going for with this encounter, whether it’s adding a companion to the group or making some talkative but hard-to-sell treasure or what.

    • It’s simply a non combat encounter among many others. It’s not designed to be overcome, it’s just grist for role playing. Clever parties will be able to turn this to their advantage. A reversed enlarge spell is first level after all.

      The backstory can stay in the back, or if the players seem interested, it can come to the fore. This encounter is for curious characters, and the payoff can come in later encounters.

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