Mini Forest Adventure

Mini Forest Adventure

Tying mini-adventures and dungeons together has long been my style.

They're easier to fit into my larger campaign than trying to explain why there's a 20-level mega-dungeon just outside of town.

So let's dig into this mini forest adventure, which can be neatly dropped into almost any forest in your world.

Some adventures and dungeons play to the strengths of some characters more than others.  One way to make this work is to devise a short adventure arc across several dungeons/locations rather than a single one.

This allows you to mix up the challenges to fully encompass the strengths of each PC.  Different settings allow for a greater range of monster encounters.  You can also experiment with a range of game styles: combat-heavy, RP-heavy, problem solving, etc within a single adventure story arc.

This approach is relatively easy in an urban setting but with a bit of planning can work equally well elsewhere.

A Sample Forest Scenario:

Session 1 Track & Locate: Map out an area of forest in some detail (GM eyes only) and an outline map with key features (Player copy).

The party's first task is to track down and locate a group/individual with information they need. Treat this as a "sandbox" adventure with the party completely free to adopt a search strategy.

The GM map plots clues/false leads as well as various encounters. The party navigate through these in their own way.

Plays to strengths of scouts/druids, RP communication, problem solving, medium combat content.

Session 2 Infiltrate and Retrieve: The next part of the adventure involves retrieving an item or individual from a guarded location.

Create a woodland stronghold that is simple in design/construction but heavily guarded.  Stealthy entry is difficult but with planning and tactics, an armed assault is possible.

Plays to strengths of fighters, scouts, healers, clerics, magic users, RP communication, high combat session.

Session 3 Unlikely Allies: Using the item or individual from session 2, the party can now access wisdom and help from a reclusive community.

Even with help, they are difficult to locate. Traps, encounters and natural obstacles must be overcome en-route.

Once arrived, the party must prove they are worthy of the community's trust and help. A series of trials follow; one per party member.  Each trial plays to the strengths of one party member.

Journey includes climb, track, wilderness and combat skills. Trials are tailored to the party for equal XP/involvement.

Session 4 By Dark of Night: The final encounter location can be the same area as Session 1.

With the right incantation, and by light of the moon, a whole new landscape is revealed.  Ruins are now whole, overgrown tracks are roads, empty groves are shrines or bandit hideouts.

The party have travelled back in time; either to retrieve an object or correct a historic wrong. In doing so they solve some issue within the forest that has reverberated on from that point.

Fully adapt this scenario to the style your players enjoy best or mix in a bit of everything!

Happy Gaming,
-Stolph (Ed)

P.S., for more ideas on forest encounters, check out my brand new D&D 5e Forest Encounter Deck.

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