Places You Always Wanted to Visit

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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About Jan

Jan is a passionate gm. His current favorites are D&D 4 and D&D3/Pathfinder. He muses about gamestyles, adventure design and rpg theory. He is always on the hunt for ideas and advice to get better at gaming. His German blog is "De Malspoeler" ("the insane gamer" or "the insanity pretender"), where he is haunted by a gull that is interfering with his writings. In real life he is a computer scientist from south-western Germany and likes playing volleyball.
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