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Downtime Activity: Exploration

Uller

Adventurer
I'm running a sandbox campaign over the summer...going for a feel similar to the Darkest Dungeon CRPG.

The PCs just completed their first adventure and then had two weeks of downtime (I'm going with a method Gary Gygax used...game time is the same as real time...so if two weeks of real life pass, then two weeks of game time pass between adventures...makes it easy to track).

The PCs are in an isolated camp where they are trying to rebuild a bridge so that the main road back to civilization will be clear (this will open up options for them for buying gear) so there aren't a ton of options for down time but I'm using the rules in Xanthar's. One option I gave them is "Exploration" to look for additional clues, hooks, dangers, etc. I just run this like Research but with more wilderness skills (Survival, Nature, Athletics, etc). Everyone seems to like resolving it as a skill challenge with 5 checks, 3 successes finds something. Two failures by 10 or more results in a complication (so you can succeed and still get a complication.

So...in the keeping with the spirit of this campaign (almost everything is random...I have no over arching plot...that will develop from the dice and the actions of the PCs and NPCs as they interact)...I need some ideas for a random table of things that can be uncovered via exploration. They can be very general or very specific.

The first PC to do this uncovered a tomb or vault below an collapsed watch tower. The second PC failed to find anything. He failed twice by more than 10 but succeeded twice...so he attracted the attention of a local forest "god" (an Oni. I just watched "The Ritual" on Netflix. That thing is totally and Oni just with a weird head and arms...)

I also need some other ideas for complications...

So feel free to chime in with general or specific items I can put in a d100 table for what they uncover. The region is a mountainous forest. They are trying to recover the ruins of an ancient fortress and town that was mysteriously destroyed. Civilized people (using Forgotten Realms cultures) are clashing with pagans (using Norse mythos).

Also feel free to chime in with other complications...
 

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MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
The PC gets stuck in a sinkhole. They must choose to either lose their backpack or suffer 1 level of exhaustion that will carry over to the next session.

The PC encounters some pagans that seem friendly. As a peace offering they give them two loaves of sweetened bread. Those that eat the bread experience strong hallucinations and paranoia. In their trip they destroy some equipment at the camp.

The PC finds the remains of a recent kill by a local monster closer to their camp than they would like.
 

aco175

Hero
I always like having other adventuring bands that act as frenemies. I'll have one band with noble enough intentions, but maybe one of them likes to brag about doing the things that the PCs done to get fame and free drinks and such. This always sets the players off about others stealing their limelight. I try and vary the reason why, such as they are cowards and try to make themselves sound better or they want to be the PCs and try to make themselves look better to them.

There could be a chance that this other band is using the PC group name and the PCs need to defend their honor. It could be simple like farmers are upset or more dangerous like the elf king is upset at the PCs stopping the river flow, which they now need to fix. Of course, this leads to them meeting the other group who is helping the sprites gather water to defend from goblins setting the forest on fire. You need the balance between likable but just in the way enough to cause trouble.
 

Uller

Adventurer
I always like having other adventuring bands that act as frenemies. I'll have one band with noble enough intentions, but maybe one of them likes to brag about doing the things that the PCs done to get fame and free drinks and such. This always sets the players off about others stealing their limelight. I try and vary the reason why, such as they are cowards and try to make themselves sound better or they want to be the PCs and try to make themselves look better to them.

There could be a chance that this other band is using the PC group name and the PCs need to defend their honor. It could be simple like farmers are upset or more dangerous like the elf king is upset at the PCs stopping the river flow, which they now need to fix. Of course, this leads to them meeting the other group who is helping the sprites gather water to defend from goblins setting the forest on fire. You need the balance between likable but just in the way enough to cause trouble.
These are great uses of rivals. One of my PCs spent two weeks working as a guide and hunter. He was very successful and earned some extra coin but he also got a complication...so the camp huntmaster publically congratulated him on his success but the PC realized it was a thinly veiled threat to not be encroaching on the hunt master's job...So if he keeps it up, it might lead to tensions boiling over.
 

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