User Tools

Site Tools


Swampy Stealth

Level 1 Exploration Scenario

The party opts to wade through the marshy edges of a murky lake to sneak around a militarized checkpoint (or similar guarded point of interest). Staying close to the checkpoint increases probability of detection, but venturing too far out into the waters leads to other kinds of dangers…


This is a short, dense scenario that features a number of stealth token-related Challenges. Because of this, the danger from EP-damaging Challenges is increased. This is particularly true for the stealth-safe C path; the PCs are forced to deal with level 3 Challenges while also likely taking penalties for swimming, which can make for quite the potent combo. It's for this reason that the Murky Pool is placed on the entry rather than the exit side, with the exit merely being hidden (representing how easy it is to get turned around or lost in the swampy waters). You can swap these if you wish, but that's only recommended if the PCs manage to have some good swimming capabilities at level one (such as if the party includes a Mariner).

The guards featured as hazards are positioned a bit away from the PCs but in a place where they might see or hear them. For instance, there isn't actually a guard wandering around in the Shallows, but the PCs are visible to one of the guards while passing through there. If the PCs defeat the guard, it's probably through some sort of ranged attack. Since guards don't patrol here, hiding bodies isn't necessary.


Setting Wilderness
Type Stealth
Lighting Lit
E - F
{     \
C       D
  \   /


(Region A) Into the Swamp
The first thing you see upon entering the vile swamp is a swarm of strange yellow beetles. A disturbing scent lingers in the air.
Exit To Obstacle
North B -
Fright Beetles Respawn: 1; Pursue except to C

(Region B) The Shallows
You have to walk carefully through these shallows, as a heavy splashing step might alert the nearby guards. There's a dry path to the northeast that looks easy enough to travel, but it'll take you closer to the guards. The northwest path leads into murky waters.
Exit To Obstacle
Northwest C -
Northeast D -
South A -
Bored Guard Does not patrol
Noisy Walkway Not Hidden; +1 Inflict level
Fortune Hidden: 1d6

(Region C) Murky Waters
The water is a bit chilled and deep enough here to force you to swim. Obscuring brambles from swamp trees makes it difficult to figure out which direction to head.
This region requires swimming.
Exit To Obstacle
North E Hidden: 1d6
Southeast B -
Carnivorous Fish Cannot leave this region

(Region D) Thicket
This dense thicket keeps you out of sight for now, but you have to be careful not to make so much noise that you alert the guards nearby.
Exit To Obstacle
Northwest F Rough Trail
Southwest B -
Bored Guard x2 Does not patrol
Fortune Hidden: 1d6

(Region E) Deep Swamp
You've ventured pretty far into the swamp. Strange poisonous mushrooms and other odd plants are plentiful through here; you need to be careful what you touch.
Exit To Obstacle
East F -
South B -
Foul Vapor

(Region F) The Blockade
You've made it alongside the checkpoint and are almost home-free. But the foliage is less dense here, leaving you more open to detection.
Exit To Obstacle
North Goal Long Path
West E -
Southeast D Rough Trail
Bored Guard Does not patrol
Trained Guard Does not patrol
Rigged Nets

Two Players

  • As Three Players
  • Remove the Trained Guard in F

Three Players

  • Hidden exit in C reduced to 1d4
  • Remove one Bored Guard in D
  • Swap the Foul Vapor in E for Noxious Fungi
  • Remove the Rigged Nets in F

Five Players

  • Swap the Fright Beetles in A for a Vermin Swarm
  • Upgrade the Bored Guards in B, D, and F to Trained Guards
  • Exit E-F blocked by Overgrown Paths

Six Players

  • As Five Players
  • Add another Carnivorous Fish in C


The PCs successfully sneak through the area, bypassing the checkpoint without alerting any guards.


If the PCs lose their Stealth Tokens, they are discovered by the guards. The PCs may choose to try to talk their way out of it, fight, or run. If the PCs try to talk, run a scenario such as Gabbing With Guards but with a huge penalty to the starting Debate Counter position. If the PCs opt to fight, run a scenario such as Checkpoint Melee but with a major advantage for the adversaries; perhaps they get a bonus to Initiative while the PCs start at 3/4 HP, for example. Alternatively you may skip the battle by having the PCs automatically win, but suffer 1 Injury from an initial volley of bolts and arrows when they are first discovered.

Similarly, if the PCs choose to flee, you could run a chase scenario to see if they get away. But it's probably better for pacing to let them run but suffer 1 Injury as arrows and bolts graze them as they flee.


You can swap the terrain for a normal forest with just a few descriptive tweaks. For a larger change, such as changing the location to caves or tunnels, you'll need to do a little more. The Setting becomes Dungeon, most of the regions become dark (whichever aren't lit by the denizens the PCs are sneaking past), and you'll need to swap the Wall of Foliage for some other Obstacle, such as a Wooden Blockade. The Blockade ups the difficulty a bit, so if you have 2 or 3 players, consider cutting its EP in half.

This scenario assumes the PCs are sneaking about during the day. At night it's even more dangerous as all regions except E are dark, and the PCs can't use any light (except for from sources such as a Wax Candle) without immediately being seen by the guards. Hopefully the players understand the stacking pain of trying to swim dangerous waters in the dark, but if they're new to the game, point this out before they go charging into C.

It's also assumed that the PCs are sneaking on the west side of the checkpoint (or similar point of interest). If they're sneaking on the east side, simply mirror the scenario such that D is on the west and C is on the east. You can make similar directional changes for sneaking across the north or south side.

If you want to run a swampy exploration scenario such as this without the stealth component, simply remove all the Seekers and the Noisy Walkway. Make the Thicket more interesting by changing it into a Spider Nest, including Spider Webs and a Vermin Swarm. Or, make it muddy shallows stalked by Mud Hands or a Small Gelatinous Skulk.

Consider ruling that traversing the muck-filled swamp has left the PCs Filthy. Taking the west path would also drench PCs, leaving them Wet, though that has no particular implications for this scenario at least.

More level 1 exploration scenarios

scenario_e_swampy_stealth.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/28 08:51 by triptycho