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Level 1 Combat Scenario

A strange glowing light appears in the swamp. Even neophyte adventurers know better than to follow it, but this will-o'-the-wisp is crafty, instead luring dangerous bog creatures to attack the PCs. The wisp hopes to feed on the energies left in their corpses.


Lighting is shadowy (note Luminous keywords from Adversaries).

A narrow, marshy animal trail (L) passes through a watery swamp. Water sections (W) alongside the main path require swimming. The map doesn't extend farther due to the presence of thick brush that can't be quickly navigated during a hectic battle. You can extend the water wider if you wish.

Sections are presented with a hex assumption; each section borders the two to the immediate left (diagonal) and two to the immediate right (diagonal) as well as the one above and below (if any).

  W   W   W   W
L   W   L   L   W          N->
  L   L   L   L
W   L   W   W   W
  W   W
Adversary Rank Role HP Init
Hobby Lantern Level 2 Mini-boss Blaster 30 1d10
Blue Slime Mini-boss Defender 25 1d6
Grime Maw Regular Artillery 14 1d10
Bog Crawler Mook Defender 7 1d4
Ectoplasm Bulb Mook Blaster 6 1d6
Muck Asp Mook Brawler 6 1d10

Two Players

  • Bog Crawler
  • Muck Asp x2
  • Ectoplasm Bulb

Three Players

  • Blue Slime
  • Muck Asp
  • Ectoplasm Bulb

Four Players

  • Blue Slime
  • Grime Maw
  • Muck Asp
  • Ectoplasm Bulb

Five Players

  • Hobby Lantern
  • Bog Crawler
  • Muck Asp
  • Grime Maw

Six Players

  • Hobby Lantern
  • Bog Crawler x2
  • Muck Asp x2
  • Grime Maw

Starting Positions

  • The PCs begin in the upper-middle L, surrounded
  • Melee enemies start 2 sections away from the PCs
  • Ranged enemies start 3 sections away (wisp on the north side)
  • Grime Maw starts on land; all other enemies in water


The Muck Asps swim quietly, but everything else gives away its position as it moves about. This doesn't let the PCs see them, but the PCs know which sections to target at least (with the usual penalty effects applied).

The wisp (Hobby Lantern or Ectoplasm Bulb) floats over the water and thus does not swim. It doesn't make noise, but its glowing light always reveals its position.

The Adversaries here have an unnatural intelligence regarding tactics so long as the wisp is around, targeting carefully and Blocking borders as is useful. Once it's gone, however, any remaining Adversaries revert to instinct, attacking whatever is closest.


The PCs dispatch the monsters and may continue their travels. Reward the PCs with a Valuable each, found on corpses previously drained by the Wisp.


The PCs are forced to flee the monsters. They get away, but not before taking some rough hits, suffering 1 Injury each.


If you want to make these monsters impossible to outrun in the marshy conditions, change this scenario into a battle to the death. In this case, defeated PCs can spend 1 Karma at the start of their turns to recover 1/3 of their max HP, rounded up (and can take their full turn).

Increase difficulty slightly by having this scenario occur at night or during a thunderstorm, changing the lighting conditions to dark.

There are a number of other Adversaries that work well in a scenario like this. Consider Insect Clouds, Salamanders, Serpent Vines, a Wild Boar, Bolt Rats, Wood Fiends, Mindfang Spiders, Flamebelch Jeopards, Silk Spiders, and Triffids. You could even include a Thorn Shriek or Red Ooze in place of the Hobby Lantern if you don't want a wisp (or want it to be a non-combatant).

More level 1 combat scenarios

scenario_c_will_o_the_wisp.txt · Last modified: 2019/05/29 08:07 by triptycho