Inkwell ideas has started a great contest, in which I just took part. You can send in up to eight short descriptions of hex crawl locations. Those will be used to add some more fluff to the hexes of hexographer maps. And you as a dm can also use them easily as interesting locations along the roads your characters travel or as plot hooks. Therefore I’m sharing my ideas with you here. Feel free to use them in your game as you see fit. They come with the terrain I have written them for and a short title.
- Hills: The Giant Stone Egg: In a small valley, you find a giant egg, that looks like made of stone, but its shell seems to be made from scales. It sits there quietly, but emits a warmth, that makes resting next to it pleasantly and comfortable. You are unable to penetrate it with any of your weapons and it seems solid. Resting here does not need a campfire and grants you double your normal regeneration (hit points, attribute points and so forth) for the night. You also gain a +2 morale bonus to Will saves vs. fear effects while within the valley.
- Marsh/Swamp: A Ship in the Mud: In a rather dry part of the swamp you see half of a ship sticking out of the mud. When you approach is, you notice that it is virtually undamaged and not yet overgrown, but it is buried in mud, the stern pointing steeply upward. You find a complete male skeleton without any gear or clothing lying on the helm. Once you climb to the trapdoor leading to the ship’s belly you see several overturned barrels and crates. Most are empty, but some contain alien rocks of an almost black color.
- Forest: A Beard May Serve You Well: Below a massive old tree is an engraved flagstone. The engraving is in an ancient dwarvish dialect and reads “Those Who Follow The Tradition of Dwarvenkind May Always Find Rest at This Place And Never Suffer From Starvation Or Thirst.” The flag seems to have hinges and may be lifted to reveal a compartment. If most of the persons lifting it are wearing a beard, the compartment contains a small barrel of really tasty dwarven ale and a delicious meal of bread, ham and cheese for as many persons as are standing in front of the flagstone. This works three times per day. After that, the compartment is empty.
- Underdark: A Different Kind of Shrine: An entry to a small tunnel is hidden behind a large rock. The tunnel ends after only 40 feet in a small chamber. On the opposite wall of the chamber blessings of Lolth are engraved into the stone. But something is not quite right: All the spiders pictured have only six legs. If a good aligned character touches the engraving, he is healed by one d4 per level and any fatigued condition is removed. This works only once per day. Further touches have no effect. If an evil aligned character touches it, he receives damage of one point per level for each touch. A touch of a neutral aligned character has no effect.
- Tundra: The Jackals’ Elephant: Amid the tundra stands a stone elephant. He is standing on all fours with his trunk raised and his ears turned forward. Below him a pack of jackals is enjoying the shade and will attack anyone approaching. The elephant is crafted with great detail and his eyes look as if he were alive. He may have become vitctim of some petrification effect, but since then vultures have used his back as a resting place and he is now fairly stained with their excrements.
- Farmland: A Stingy Kind of Corn: A immense cornfield lies next to the road, but with no farmhouse nearby. It is several hundred feet in length and width and dotted with old scarecrows. Bypassers may notice a silent buzz coming from it and the foul smell of rotting flesh. If anyone approaches the field, he is attacked by swarms of magically enhanced green bees. They attack only persons within the field or close to it. Their beehives are right in its center. If they are destroyed, the magic vanished from the bees, their color changes to yellow and black, and the swarms disperse. The foul smell comes from several corpses scattered all over the field. They still carry their equipment and seem to have been killed by the bees. One attacker, wearing a heavy plate armor, whose openings have been filled with pieces of cloth, with his greatsword still in hands lies in front of the beehives, the one in front of him having a severe dent from a sword strike.
- Grassland: The Skeletons’ Tavern: A large house sits next to a small stream. A demolished bridge leads over the stream next to it. The house itself is in a state of progressing decay. The roof has caved in, the windows are all broken and the shutters dangle on their hinges and squeek faintly with the wind. The place seems nice as a shelter for the night if you do not look inside. Obviously it has been a tavern once, as the large common room with its long bar state. Every single chair is still occupied; occupied by a skeleton. Even behind the counter the skeleton of a once sturdy man leans at the cupboards still full of dusty tankards. Some skeletons have been torn half of their seat, probably by wild animals. None of them still have a bit of flesh on their bones. In the back of the house you find several storage rooms, all full of rotten foodstuff. The kitchen is the same, but also with a skeleton of what must have been a stumpy women. The guest rooms in the upper level are all empty, except for furnishings. The tavern seems to have all the equipment it needs, but there is nothing of worth to be found, not even a purse of one of the guests or the earnings of the innkeeper.
- Grassland: Still Waters Run Deep: Amid grassy lands is a small hollow. At the bottom of it is small pool of water. From a close distance the water seems rather dark and is undisturbed by wind. Even if something is thrown in it or someone is fetching water from it, not a single wave ripples its surface. The water still is just normal water and once it is taken from the pool, it behaves like any water should. The pool does not change its behavior, even if you pour large amounts of water into it. The water level also never rises nor falls. The dark shade in the water comes from its depth. The pool seems to have no bottom. It’s like a full well of endless depth.
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