DMs: Looking for a Chaos Scar kickoff

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I'm looking to start a new Chaos Scar sandbox game, but I'd like to begin with a bang, so to speak. Before the characters arrive at Restwell Keep, they will be departing from Fallcrest, so I will definitely use "A Chance Encounter" a halfday or so from the Keep. But I would like to include another encounter or two between Fallcrest and "A Chance Encounter," preferably something that includes a skill challenge and combat. I'm looking for something vibrant that highlights the danger between "points of light" and that is in keeping with the Nentir Vale in general.

If possible, I'm looking to use whole cloth or rework (to post MMIII standards) with minimal adjustments something from Dungeon. What are the best individual encounters (or short groupings, like Delves) that meet these criteria? Any ideas? Many thanks! 
Assuming that you don't want to use any other Chaos Scar material outside of the Chaos Scar itself, the PCs' likely route would take them past Kobold Hall (DMG1). While that adventure has probably been done to death as an introductory event, you could play to that by creating a revised version that's set a short time after the original inhabitants were stomped by another adventuring group, thereby allowing something ELSE to move in...
Thanks, ND. While your idea would work for an entry encounter site, what I wanted was a scenario that highlights the dangers inherent in travel beyond the relative safety of "points of light." Though hardly earth-shattering, here's what I came up with--maybe someone else can make use of it:


Journey to Chaos: The Road from Fallcrest to Restwell Keep


The journey from Fallcrest to Restwell consists of three events: Escaping the Wolves on day one, Navigating the Fens during the early part of day two, and A Chance Encounter late on day two. The PCs arrive in the relative safety of Restwell Keep’s environs by midday on day three of travel.


 


Escaping the Wolves


















































Escaping the Wolves



Level 1



Skill Challenge



XP 200



The wolves’ howls grow closer, and you seek a less exposed location from which to make your stand.



The PCs push to find a defensible location before the wolves close for attack.



Complexity



2 (requires 6 successes before 3 failures)



Primary Skills



Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance, Intimidate, Nature



Other Skills



Healing, History, Perception



Success



The PCs find a defensible point and set up an ambush for the approaching wolves. They receive a surprise round against the wolves.



Failure



The wolves attack when the PCs are on the edge of exhaustion. Each PC begins combat slowed and weakened (save ends both).



 









 















Acrobatics



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC leaps over a natural obstacle. Alternatively, the PC wriggles through a natural obstacle and opens some space between approaching foes.



 















Athletics



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC jumps, climbs, and runs to safety. Alternatively, the PC pushes a natural obstacle in the path of approaching foes.



 















Endurance



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC endures the rapid pace of the chase.



 















Intimidate



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC menaces approaching foes from a distance.



 















Nature



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC uses his or her woodcraft to navigate through natural obstacles. Alternatively, the PC uses his knowledge to throw off the scent of approaching foes.



 















Healing



DC 12 A successful check does not count as a success on the skill challenge, but it does allow another character to receive a +2 bonus to the next Endurance check in the skill challenge.



The PC supplements an ally’s efforts with his or her aid.



 















History



DC 19 A success or failure on this check does not count as a success or failure on the skill challenge, but it does allow another character to receive a +2 bonus to the next check in the skill challenge.



The PC knows of ancient ruins and their surroundings and steers allies in that direction.



 















Perception



DC 12 A success or failure on this check does not count as a success or failure on the skill challenge, but it does allow another character to receive a +2 bonus to the next Nature or Intimidate check in the skill challenge.



The PC notices a natural feature to aid his or her allies. Alternatively, the PC notices a weakness in the foes that can be exploited.



 


Event 1. Wolfpack Attack


Combat Encounter Level 1 (500 XP)


A pack of wolves stalks the PCs as they travel beyond the safety of Fallcrest. Howls begin ringing out from all directions as the sun begins to set.


Light: Dim light (moonlight) makes all squares without a light source lightly obscured, providing partial concealment, with large areas of deep shadow within the denser vegetation heavily obscured, providing total concealment to non-adjacent enemies (partial concealment to adjacent enemies).


Monsters: 1 Alpha Bloodmonger Wolf, 3 Ravenous Wolves, 4 Wolf Packmates.


When you are ready to begin, read:


The howls of the wolves give way to eerie silence. Then, in a flash, large gray lupine forms are among you in a frenzy of gnashing jaws and deep-throated snarls.


Terrain: Lightly sloping woods. Slopes and fallen tree trunks are difficult terrain. Boulders provide cover. 


 


















































Navigating the Fens



Level 1



Skill Challenge



XP 100



Thickets, bogs, stinging insects, and more conspire to slow your advance.



The PCs seek to traverse the Witchlight Fens and reach the settlement of Restwell Keep to the west.



Complexity



1 (requires 4 successes before 3 failures)



Primary Skills



Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance, Nature



Other Skills



Healing, Perception



Success



The PCs navigate the fens, avoiding the nasty lizardfolk ambush. They encounter the lizardfolk but are not surprised.



Failure



The PCs are ambushed by the lizardfolk. The foes receive a surprise round.



 









 















Acrobatics



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC leaps over a natural obstacle.



 















Athletics



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC jumps, climbs, and runs to safety.



 















Endurance



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC endures the rapid pace of the march through the fens.



 


 















Nature



DC 12 A successful check counts as a success on the skill challenge. Two successes maximum.



The PC uses his or her woodcraft to navigate through natural obstacles.



 















Healing



DC 12 A successful check does not count as a success on the skill challenge, but it does allow another character to receive a +2 bonus to the next Endurance check in the skill challenge.



The PC supplements an ally’s efforts with his or her aid.



 


 















Perception



DC 12 A success or failure on this check does not count as a success or failure on the skill challenge, but it does allow another character to receive a +2 bonus to the next Nature or Intimidate check in the skill challenge.



The PC notices a natural feature to aid his or her allies.



 


Event 2. Brackmarsh Lizardfolk Scouts


Combat Encounter Level 2 (602 XP)


A Brackmarsh lizardfolk scouting party happens upon the adventurers as they trudge through the swamp en route to their rendezvous with the refugees. The scouts, recognizing that they are outmatched, attempt to follow and observe the characters rather than fight them.


Light: Bright light (daylight), with large areas of deep shadow within the denser vegetation. When combat begins, the witchlights nearest the lizardfolk become agitated and drift closer to them.


Monsters: 2 Blackmarsh Poisonscale Needlers, 2 Blackmarsh Lizardfolk Mire Scouts, 2 Blackmarsh Greenscale Raiders, 1 Crocodile.


When you are ready to begin, read:


You detect an unusual presence. A quick look about reveals a reptilian humanoid blending in with the surrounding foliage


and concealed by dark shadows. The subtle rustling of nearby branches and oversized fern fronds suggests that the


creature is not alone.


Treasure: Parcels 1.9 and 1.10 distributed among the lizardfolk. Their packs carry spoils from earlier raids, but nothing valuable or useful.


Terrain: An irregular, slippery, and marshy natural path, varying from 1 to 3 squares wide, runs through this area. Low but dense vegetation borders it on either side. The entire area is mud and shallow water, which gives the lizardfolk an advantage (swamp walk) that they exploit to escape the adventurers. Several areas of Grasping Bog provide a hazard to PCs, though utilizing the areas of Mud Sink may work to their advantage. A 2 x 2 square Insect Cloud provides a nuisance that may affect the combat tactically.


 


Grasping Bog                                                                                          Terrain


A grasping bog is an area of deep, viscous mud that not only hampers movement but also clings to characters who tumble into it.


    Effect: A grasping bog is difficult terrain. In addition, a creature that falls prone in a square of grasping bog is restrained (save ends).
    Usage: Combine grasping bog terrain with monsters that can knock their enemies prone.


 


Mud Sink                                                                                               At-Will Terrain Power


A patch of innocuous mud conceals a clinging morass that proves hard to escape.


Standard Action


Check: Athletics check (moderate DC) to maneuver one creature adjacent to you and to the mud sink into a mud sink square.


Success: You slide the creature 1 square into the mud sink square adjacent to it. You then make the following attack against that creature.


Target: Melee 1; one creature


Attack: Level +3 vs. Reflex


Hit: The target is immobilized (save ends).
    Aftereffect: The target is slowed (save ends).


 


Insect Cloud                                                                                           Terrain


Swarms of flying, blood-drinking bugs infest the Witchlight Fens, searching for targets for their hunger. Though they can survive on carrion and plant sap, they greatly prefer living prey. 
    An insect cloud can occupy a single square or an area up to 5 squares on a side. It can be identified with a DC 20 Nature check.


    Effect: Insect clouds create lightly obscured terrain. Any living creature that starts its turn in an insect cloud takes 1 damage per tier (or 2 per tier if bloodied).
    An insect cloud changes position during an encounter. Assign the cloud a position in the initiative order (initiative +10) and move it 1d4-1 squares on its turn, typically toward the nearest bloodied combatant.
    Any blast or burst that includes one or more squares occupied by an insect cloud disperses the cloud in the included squares.
    Usage: As it moves about during combat, an insect cloud adds an element of unpredictability to an encounter. Player characters can also take advantage of the situation by moving enemies into the cloud.



Event 3: A Chance Encounter
(see Dungeon 174) 


 

Thanks, ND. While your idea would work for an entry encounter site, what I wanted was a scenario that highlights the dangers inherent in travel beyond the relative safety of "points of light." Though hardly earth-shattering, here's what I came up with--maybe someone else can make use of it:

Journey to Chaos: The Road from Fallcrest to Restwell Keep

The journey from Fallcrest to Restwell consists of three events: Escaping the Wolves on day one, Navigating the Fens during the early part of day two, and A Chance Encounter late on day two. The PCs arrive in the relative safety of Restwell Keep’s environs by midday on day three of travel.



Nice work.

I've posted a thread about your Journey to Chaos encounters over at the Nentir Vale forum at The Piazza, so that more people get a chance to see it.

Since the 2008 forum changes I have spent more time on The Piazza than on Wizards of the Coast's forums. The Piazza's Campaign Settings area has since grown to cover more than 30 different campaign settings and its rules area (called The Crunchy Bits) has grown to cover 10 different RPG systems, including clone systems like Pathfinder and C&C and a free to download retro-clone built at The Piazza called Dark Dungeons.

Beyond the Moons: The official Spelljammer website Spelljammer Forum: The Piazza's forum dedicated to Spelljammer Spelljammer Wiki: The encyclopedia of Spelljammer

Thanks, bigmac! I reckoned that interest in things Nentir had fallen with with attention being drawn to Next. Also, I was unaware of your website before this, but it's a great resource (and now bookmarked!).

I wish the formatting of the above was a bit better, but the cut & paste job from Word didn't quite translate.

By the way, I ran the journey adventure last week, and it was a blast!