If you go down to the woods today, prepare for a big surprise…
The basic premise of this is that the forest is alive (or at least that’s what I took from it), and I was able to really build on this during the characters’ sojourn in Averoigne.
Averoigne is covered in forest, as you can see from this map (taken from the module), and they arrive right in the centre, right in the middle of the forest.
I could have had them just follow the road, but I wanted to foreshadow the colossus, so they were enticed into the forest by some noise, and discovered the colossus under construction. This was just after the almost complete changeover in personnel, so most of the players were new to the campaign.
They got a bit carried away and wouldn’t take the hint that they weren’t supposed to investigate too deeply at this point, so to my surprise when they were noticed and attacked by overwhelming waves of zombies, they fought back and I had to keep throwing more and more at them before they would finally take the hint and pull back. (This isn’t the only time I’ve had this problem…)
By then they were lost in the forest, and I decided it was a perfect opportunity to introduce some sentience. Reed, who had set off quite a bit of fire in the battle which damaged trees and land, started to get harassed by the forest – tripped by roots, scratched by branches. They were also led astray by the forest and missed the road, wandering until they were rescued (or met, as they would say) by a ranger who guided them back to the trail.
The Bluebell Coaching Inn and various characters from that and an Alehouse Drake also featured before they were back on the beaten track.
The forest didn’t feature a huge amount in practical terms after that, but even by the end they were wary of heading into it in case they got lost.
And I just like the concept of the forest being alive and responding to how well it gets treated. Now where can I place the descendants of this forest in the current world…
Come back tomorrow for Day 7, and we’ll look at Couple. Have you ever had PCs in a romantic relationship?