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Forest Critters

Level 1 Combat Scenario

You are able to make use of animal trails to avoid getting lost in the dense wood, buying back some time. Suddenly, you hear noises from the brush nearby; you are not alone, and it doesn't sound like small cuddly forest critters.

This scenario uses a small number of Adversaries to challenge the players, both to make the situation more believable and to keep turns per round low.


A lit forest trail (O) runs alongside a lit stream (W) and shadowy brush (B).

The trail curves at either end. Beyond the brush and stream, the forest is too thick for combat. Sections connect across rows rather than just corners, so the central sections have 6 borders each.

Trees in Brush sections may be climbed with Acrobatics vs. 1d4, placing the entity in a new tree branches section Height 1 above the brush. Entities may move between tree branch sections with another Acrobatics vs. 1d4.

Brush sections may catch fire; Area Attacks with Fire damage do this automatically, and other Fire attacks (or improvised use of torches, etc) may do so manually. Entities that start their turns in burning sections suffer 1d4 Fire damage (Resistance may reduce this to 0). The trees are a bit resistant and will not burn so easily, so the tree branches sections aren't affected by this.

  B   B   B   B          
O   O   O   O   O      ^
  W   W   W   W        N
Adversary Rank Role HP Init
Thorn Shriek Level 2 Mini-boss Artillery 30 1d8
Triffid Level 2 Regular Brawler 16 1d4
Wood Fiend Level 2 Mook Defender 10 1d6
Wild Boar Mini-boss Brawler 28 1d6
Salamander Regular Blaster 13 1d8
Serpent Vine Regular Defender 16 1d6

Two Players

  • Wild Boar

Three Players

  • Wild Boar
  • Salamander

Four Players

  • Wild Boar
  • Serpent Vine
  • Salamander

Five Players

  • Thorn Shriek
  • Triffid
  • Wood Fiend

Six Players

  • Thorn Shriek
  • Triffid
  • Wood Fiend x2

Starting Positions

  • The PCs begin in the central O
  • Thorn Shriek or Salamander starts in upper-right B
  • Triffid starts in left-middle B
  • Wood Fiends or Serpent Vine starts in right-middle B
  • Wild Boar begins in upper-left B


Adversaries act entirely on instinct here, attacking the closest PCs. There is some degree of intentional working together on the part of the plant-themed arrays for 5 or 6 PCs, but the animals are opportunistic or startled at best. The Boar and Salamander have no particular alliance and may well attack each other, particularly with the Salamander's Tail Flames pelting a melee section from a distance.

None of these Adversaries like the water much, so PCs that can function reasonably well while swimming might find refuge there. The stream isn't especially deep; however, occupying PCs gain +1 Miss dice level against the Thorn Shriek's Thorn Barrage, either negating the swimming penalty or giving a boost if a PC manages to be Aquatic.


The PCs dispatch the beasts and may continue their travels. Reward the PCs with a Valuable each, found amongst bones of less-fortunate vagabonds nearby.


The PCs are forced to flee. They get away, but not before taking some rough hits, suffering 1 Injury each. You may permit them to try again; or, the beasts may have left by the time the PCs return; or, the PCs could choose to take a detour through rougher terrain, either losing time or blundering into an exploration scenario.


Increase difficulty slightly by having this scenario occur at night or during inclement weather, changing the lighting conditions to dark. Note that the Salamander is unlikely to wander about during a torrential downpour, so consider a different Adversary.

For a wintry twist, the stream is frozen over; entities that enter or start their turns on the frozen surface must perform Acrobatics vs. 1d4 or fall, losing any further Move for the turn and suffering -1 Power and Resilience. Consider swapping out Adversaries for an Ice Mote and some Snow Hounds.

There are a number of other Adversaries that work well in a scenario like this, especially if you'd rather have a larger swarm of foes or want more of a jungle theme. Consider Insect Clouds, Muck Asps, Bolt Rats, Mindfang Spiders, Flamebelch Jeopards, Mistlings, and Silk Spiders.

More level 1 combat scenarios

scenario_c_forest_critters.txt · Last modified: 2019/05/30 11:08 by triptycho