The Plant Sorcerer – a solo Scarlet Heroes dungeon adventure

Haicheng region old PNG image.png

One hex = six miles

This is a dungeon adventure run using the guidelines for Dungeons with Goals as detailed in the solo dungeon section of the Scarlet Heroes rulebook. In this case the goal of my player character Du Renshu is to find and defeat the Plant Sorceror who may be found in the dungeon. The basic idea for the adventure came from the Adventure Tags section of the main part of the Scarlet Heroes rulebook, specifically the Vicious Flora tag. The adventures suggested by these tags are intended for play sessions with one GM and one or more players, but they feature such good ideas for adventures that I wanted to use one for solo play.

Renshu is a third level fighter with the following traits:

  • Forest Hermit: 2
  • Strong Constitution: 3
  • Once was a Peasant Rebel: 2

I created two new monsters for the Minion and Elite encounters within the dungeon.

Wood Golem

Armour Class: 6

Hit Dice: 2

Move: 30′

Attacks: 2 fists +2

Damage: 1d6/1d6

Skill Bonus: +1

Morale: 12

Treasure: None

These humanoid creatures were magically animated by the Plant Sorcerer to serve as his guards. They are crude, man-sized figures of rough wood with vaguely human facial features and gnarled fists which they use as weapons.

Thorn Man

Armour Class: 5

Hit Dice: 3

Move: 30′

Attacks: 2 fists +3

Damage: 1d8/1d8

Skill bonus: +1

Morale: 12

Treasure: None

A thorn man is a more advanced form of wood golem, with a body covered in large, sharp thorns for improved armour and two fists studded with huge thorns which can be wielded like morning stars.

Adventure

Having left Haicheng, Renshu arrives at the village of Huaiji in the late afternoon. At the tavern he pays two silver pieces for a room, one silver piece for stabling for his horse and five copper pieces for a cheap meal.

Money: 28 gp and 3 sp

The next morning he pays five copper pieces for breakfast, refills his waterskin at the village well and then leaves Huaiji, heading north into jungle-clad hills.

Money: 28 gp, 2 sp and 5 cp

Hex 09.04

These hills were explored during a previous adventure, so I don’t check for Encounters, Events or Features.

Rations: 7

Hex 09.03

Yulao

The next day he travels further north through the hills. He is now in the foothills of the Altgrimmr Mountains and the jungle gives way to cooler forest.

Rations: 6

He comes to a strange place; a village built along the ridge of a hill appears to be covered in vines which crawl over the roofs and walls of the houses and the defensive timber palisade. The surrounding rice paddies are empty of farmers. He refills his waterskin at a nearby stream and follows the palisade to find the entrance to the village. Entering the village he sees that there is only one house nearby which is still inhabited and largely free of the vines. An elderly Imperial man is standing outside the house, chanting and gesturing. As Renshu approaches he stops and turns around. Hesitantly he introduces himself as Ding Peng, the sorcerer of this village which is named Yulao. Renshu introduces himself and Ding Peng invites him into his house to drink some rice wine and hear the tragic tale of the village.

Peng says that in the hills to the north of the village there was once a school of magic, the Academy of the Burning Scroll. The Academy fell into ruin after being taken over by the Plant Sorcerer, a powerful sorcerer whose true name, if he even has one, is unknown. The buildings of the Academy are now covered with vines like the houses of Yulao, and the ruins are guarded by the Plant Sorcerer’s servants who are men of living wood.

Not long ago the Plant Sorcerer was visiting Yulao when he saw Yang Ushi, the daughter of the village headman Yang Dawei. The Plant Sorcerer demanded that Yang Dawei give him Ushi as a concubine but he refused. Not long afterwards a villager claimed to have seen the Plant Sorcerer in the forest near Yulao, pointing a wooden wand in the direction of the village and chanting. Then the vines started to grow up around the village with unnatural speed; they quickly covered the houses and kept growing back no matter how often the villagers chopped them up with their axes. Yang Dawei took his daughter and went to live in Haicheng, and the other villagers soon followed him. Only Peng has remained in the village; his magic can keep the vines around his own house at bay but he is old and fears that he cannot resist them forever. Were someone to defeat the Plant Sorcerer in his lair and take his wand, Peng is sure that he could use the wand to rid Yulao of the vines.

Renshu says that he will attempt to defeat the Plant Sorcerer and retrieve the wand for Peng. He stays the night in Peng’s house and leaves Yulao early the next morning, travelling north into the hills and following the route described by Peng as leading to the Academy of the Burning Scroll.

Hex 09.03

The Academy of the Burning Scroll

Rations: 5

In the early afternoon he comes to the ruins of the Academy. As described by Peng they are overgrown with the same thick vines which cover Yulao. He tethers his horse to a tree near the ruins.

SAM_1226

Dungeon locations: 16

Threat: 3

A 1d20 will be rolled every time Renshu enters a new room in the ruins, with a cumulative +1 added after room 8 has been explored. On a roll of 20, the Plant Sorcerer is present in the room and is carrying the ‘Wand of the Vines.’ If the last room has been explored without the Plant Sorcerer being encountered, the d20 will be rolled again; on a 1-10 the Plant Sorcerer is not in the ruins from some reason determined by the oracles. On a 11-20 the Plant Sorcerer is present in the last room.

Occult library

Feature: a dangerous intruder or beast who has entered the site.

He sees a low, narrow gap in the vines, beyond which is a doorway. Squeezing through he finds himself in the abandoned library of the Academy. The broken remains of the wooden bookshelves are visible beneath the vines which come in through the windows and cover the walls. A few Imperial-style books made of bamboo slats rot on the shelves and on the floor.

A giant serpent glides out of the shadows to attack Renshu.

The giant serpent is poisonous rather than a constrictor.

During the combat the giant serpent bites Renshu and he fails the saving throw of 14. He must Defy Death (3d4) or die. He takes 1 point of damage and the attempt is successful.

Hit points: 17

Renshu kills the serpent and tends his wound.

Hit points: 19

First turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

He leaves the library by a door in the northeast corner.

Crafter’s workroom

Encounter: 6 hit dice worth of Minions – three wood golems.

He enters a room which served as a crafter’s workroom when the Academy was still in use. Dim light filters in through the windows which are clogged with vines. There are two worktables in the room, covered with the tools of the book crafter’s trade which are now coated with dust.

Three man-sized figures lurch towards Renshu across the space between the tables. They are constructed of rough wood and have vaguely human faces with hollows for eyes and mouths. He remembers that Peng said that the Plant Sorcerer was guarded by men of living wood. As the wood golems advance with their fists raised he draws his sword.

Renshu destroys the three golems. He heads to a door in the west wall.

Second turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Dining hall

The Plant Sorcerer is present in the room.

The Plant Sorcerer has Sorcerer statistics (as in the solo urban adventure section of Scarlet Heroes). He can turn his skin to bark for an AC of 5 for the duration of combat, requiring one combat round to do so. He wields a +2 magical sword for 1d4+2 damage. He has a diwata’s ability to cause a nearby vine to attack, the vine having an attack bonus of +3 and 1d10 damage. When causing a vine to attack he cannot make another attack in the same round.

Encounter: 5 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites and 3 hit dice worth of guard beasts or allies – one wood golem, one thorn man and one kampfult.

The kampfult is a monster from Monster Manual II (1st Edition). This kampfult has 3 HD and an attack bonus of +3. It’s appendages do a constricting damage of 1d10. It will surprise Renshu on a roll of 1-3 on a 1d6. The kampfult has a Morale of 8.

He enters a large room which served as the dining hall of the Academy. The decaying remains of three long tables with benches on either side are spaced around the room. The walls are thick with huge vines which come down from the windows and advance towards the centre of the hall. A man dressed in green and brown robes stands in the middle of the room. His skin and hair has a greenish-brown tinge and he cannot be identified as coming from any of the known peoples of Ektau. He is accompanied by an ordinary wood golem and another wood golem whose body is studded with large thorns, with particularly wicked thorns protruding from the monster’s fists.

The kampfult surprises Renshu.

As he is approaching the Plant Sorcerer and his guards, six vine-like appendages emerge from a nearby mass of vines to ensnare him. He sees that they are attached to a monster that resembles part of an upright tree trunk that was disguised amongst the vines. He manages to get well clear of most of the appendages but one attempts to constrict him.

The difficulty of the saving throw is 12. Renshu fails the saving throw.

Renshu is caught within the appendage and feels it slowly crush him.

Renshu will be automatically hit once per round until the kampfult is dead. He can only use his dagger and has an attack bonus of only +1 when striking at the main body of the kampfult. He has an AC of 6 while trapped. The kampfult deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 18

Renshu strikes with his dagger at the main body of the kampfult, wounding it.

The kampfult has 2 HD.

He sees that the Plant Sorcerer’s skin has turned to bark. The golems have now reached him, and attack while he is still caught within the grasp of the kampfult.

The wood golem deals three points of damage. The thorn man fails to wound him. The kampfult fails to wound him.

Renshu strikes again at the kampfult with his dagger but fails to wound it. The Plant Sorcerer causes a nearby vine to rise up and strike at Renshu.

The vine fails to wound Renshu. The wood golem deals 1 point of damage. The thorn man deals 1 point of damage. The kampfult deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 15

Renshu strikes again at the kampfult and wounds it.

The kampfult has 1 HD.

The vine fails to wound Renshu. The wood golem deals 1 point of damage. The wood golem deals 3 points of damage. The kampfult deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 10

Renshu strikes again at the kampfult and kills it. It’s appendage falls limp and he picks up his sword to face the golems and the Plant Sorcerer. The Plant Sorcerer causes the vine to strike at Renshu again.

The vine fails to wound Renshu. The wood golem deals 1 point of damage. The thorn man deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 8

Renshu destroys the wood golem.

The vine fails to wound Renshu. The thorn man deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 7

Renshu wounds the thorn man.

The thorn man has 2 HD.

The Plant Sorcerer now attacks with his sword, a gleaming magical blade.

The Plant Sorcerer fails to wound Renshu. The thorn man deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 6

Renshu destroys the thorn man. The Plant Sorcerer fails to wound him and Renshu kills him. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 8

Third turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

He takes the Plant Sorcerer’s magical sword and leaves his own sword behind. The sword has a hilt of gold and a grip of green enamelwork. The hilt and the blade are inscribed with High Imperial characters that he cannot read, but which are no doubt magical.

The sword is +2.

He searches the Plant Sorcerer’s robes and finds a small wooden wand in a pocket, less than the length of his forearm and inscribed in High Imperial characters. He puts the wand in his backpack. The Plant Sorcerer is wearing a gold finger ring set with a jet gemstone that he takes.

The ring is worth 1,000 gp.

Fourth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Although mindful of his weakened condition, Renshu decides to explore the ruins further before returning to Yulao with the wand that Peng seeks. He leaves the dining hall by a door in the north wall.

Storeroom

Hidden treasure: M2 worth of room contents – silver mirror worth 600 gp.

There are no windows in the room beyond so he lights a torch. The room is a disused storeroom, free from vines but containing nothing of value at first glance. There are benches stacked against one wall, jugs of lamp oil and rotting crates containing tools, torches, rope and similar items.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 13. Renshu fails the check.

He finds nothing of value in the room so he heads to a door in the southeast corner.

Fifth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

The door leads back to the book crafter’s workroom, so he returns to the storeroom and leaves by another door in the northwest corner.

Apprentice rooms

Encounter: 8 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – one wood golem and two thorn men.

Hidden treasure: one tenth of the C-type trove appropriate to the place (C6 – Powerful Wizard’s Lair).

Hazard: triggered danger. If Encounter there, save or 3d6 damage.

He enters a corridor with five doors in each wall, evidently leading to small rooms or cells of some kind. At the end of the corridor stands a wood golem in front of a door. When it sees Renshu it pulls down a lever on the wall, triggering a fusillade of darts which shoot down the corridor.

The difficulty of the saving throw is 15. Renshu succeeds on the saving throw.

Renshu manages to avoid the darts. The wood golem advances down the corridor towards him. He destroys the wood golem and investigates the rooms leading off the corridor.

Each room features only the decaying remains of a bed and a small window through which vines are creeping. The exception is the room to the left of the door at the end of the corridor, where there are two thorn men on guard.

Renshu destroys both thorn men. He tends his wound.

Hit points: 8

Sixth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: 7 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – one thorn man and two wood golems.

A thorn man and two wood golems enter the corridor and trap Renshu in the room.

Renshu destroys the golems. He searches the room.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 14. Renshu fails the check.

Seventh turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: 9 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – one thorn man and three wood golems. 

He finds nothing of value in the room. Another thorn man and three more wood golems enter the room.

Renshu destroys the golems and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 8

Eighth turn elapsed

He leaves the room and takes the door at the end of the corridor.

Servants’ chambers

Encounter: 9 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites and 3 hit dice worth of guard beasts or allies – one thorn man, three wood golems and one kampfult.

The kampfult will surprise Renshu on a roll of 1-3 on a 1d6.

He enters another corridor leading north, this one having six doors or doorways in each wall. Here the vines have been more destructive and have broken down doors and entered the corridor. Looking into the rooms he can see that they were built for servants, being even smaller than the rooms for the apprentices. The rooms contain only the remains of crude beds, often barely visible beneath the vines which choke the windows.

A thorn man and three wood golems lurch down the corridor towards him. As he advances to attack he is surprised by another kampfult that was lurking disguised in the corridor. He is grasped by two of the monster’s six appendages.

Renshu will be automatically hit twice per round until the kampfult is dead. He can only use his dagger and has no attack bonus when striking at the main body of the kampfult. He has an AC of 7 while trapped. The kampfult wounds Renshu for 2 points of damage.

Hit points: 6

Renshu wounds the kampfult with his dagger.

The kampfult has 2 HD.

The golems reach him and attack.

Renshu is left for dead with 1 hit point.

When Renshu revives he finds himself in the forest outside the ruins. His horse is nearby. Before him stands a beautiful, naked woman with long black hair, who gleams with a strange light. She is a diwata or forest spirit. She tells him that she rescued him from the Plant Sorcerer’s servants. It was she who gave the Plant Sorcerer his powers. She was angry with the sorcerers of the Academy of the Burning Scroll, and with the villagers of Yulao, because they had cut down her trees and built in her forest. She encouraged the Plant Sorcerer to use his wand to cover the Academy with vines. But she felt betrayed by the Plant Sorcerer when he used his wand against the people of Yulao because the headman would not give him his daughter. She is not sorry that the Plant Sorcerer is dead, and she has destroyed his wand so that it may never be used again.

The diwata disappears into the forest. Renshu finds that he has all of his belongings except the wand. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 3

He returns to Yulao and tells Peng what happened. Peng says that he will accompany Renshu back to Haicheng. Renshu gives him the Plant Sorcerer’s ring so that he can sell it in Haicheng and at least have a little money with which to support himself. He stays the night in Peng’s house and they leave for Haicheng the next morning. Renshu shares his rations with Peng on the return journey and they stay at the tavern in Huaiji.

Hit points: 6

Rations: 1

Money: 27 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

They return to Haicheng where Renshu recuperates for three days at The Bronze Horse inn.

Hit points: 19

Money: 10 gp, 9 sp and 5 cp

Renshu receives one experience point for his adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s