Saturday, April 28, 2018

[D&D] Alternate Monster Names

An often-overlooked section of the AD&D Monster Manual II is its index, which includes not only its own contents but also those of the original Monster Manual and the Fiend Folio, and also lists various alternative names for monsters from all three volumes in addition to the standard names. This is interesting to me, because while some of those names are included in the monster names or descriptions, many of them are not - particularly for the Fiend Folio creatures, which it almost seems as if Gary Gygax or someone else at TSR systemically renamed, perhaps as a memory aid.

Because I think some of these alternate names are fun and in a few cases like them better than the standard ones (and especially like the world-building flavor of different people having different names for the same thing) and because while the index references the standard name for each alternative name but doesn't do the reverse, I decided it was a worthwhile exercise to go through the index to compile all of the alternate names and arrange them by the order of the books for easy reference. So now I can see at a glance that stirges are also called bat birds, ettercaps are sometimes known as spider-beasts, khargra are earth fish, osquips are rock rats, and so on. And, having done that work, I figured other people might also be able to get some use out of it, so I might as well share it.

MONSTER MANUAL:
Ape - Gorilla
Demon, Type I - Vrock
Demon, Type II - Hezrou
Demon, Type III - Glabrezu
Demon, Type IV – Bilwhr, Johud, Nalfeshnee
Demon, Type V – Aishapra, Kevokulli, Marilith, Rehnaremme
Demon, Type VI – Alzoll, Balor, Errtu, Ndulu, Ter-soth, Wendonai
Demon, Demogorgon – Prince of Demons
Demon, Orcus – Prince of the Undead
Demon, Yeenoghu – Demon Lord of Gnolls, Lord of Gnolls
Devil, Horned - Malebranche
Devil, Pit Fiend – Alastor, Baalberith, Baalzephon, Zaebos
Devil, Asmodeus - Overlord
Devil, Baalzebul – Lord of Flies
Devil, Geryon – Wild Beast
Dinosaur, Anatosaurus - Trachodon
Dinosaur, Antrodemus - Allosaurus
Dinosaur, Apatosaurus - Brontosaurus
Dinosaur, Dinichtys – Terrible Fish
Dinosaur, Lambeosaurus – Corythosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Prosaurolophus, Saurolophus
Dinosaur, Stegosaurus – Plated Lizard
Dinosaur, Triceratops - Ceratopsian
Dragon, Black – Acid Dragon
Dragon, Blue – Lightning Dragon
Dragon, Chromatic - Tiamat
Dragon, Green – Gas Dragon
Dragon, Platinum - Bahamut
Dragon, Red – Fire Dragon
Dragon, White – Frost Dragon, Ice Dragon
Dryad – Tree Sprite
Elephant, African - Loxodont
Elf, Aquatic – Sea Elf, Water Elf
Elf, Gray – Faerie Elf
Elf, Wood – Sylvan Elf
Ettin – Two-headed Giant
Eye of the Deep – Water Beholder, Marine Beholder
Flightless Bird – Emu, Ostrich, Rhea
Gargoyle, Kopoacinth – Marine Gargoyle, Water Gargoyle
Gas Spore - Rhizome
Ghoul, Lacedon – Marine Ghoul, Water Ghoul
Gnoll – Hyena Men
Golem, Clay – Clay Man
Golem, Flesh – Frankenstein Monster
Groaning Spirit - Banshee
Herd Animal – Antelope, Giraffe, Musk Ox, Reindeer
Hobgoblin, Koalinth – Marine Hobgoblin, Water Hobgoblin
Ixitxachitl – Vampire Fish
Lamprey – Leech-eel
Lion, Spotted – Cave Lion
Lizard, Fire – False Dragon
Masher – Coral Eater
Mind Flayer - Illithid
Morkoth – Wraith of the Deep
Mule – Burro
Nightmare – Demon Horse, Hell Horse
Nixie – Lake Sprite
Ogre, Aquatic - Merrow
Ogre Mage – Japanese Ogre, Oriental Ogre
Pegasus – Flying Horse
Purple Worm, Mottled – Marine Worm, Water Worm
Ram, Giant – Giant Sheep
Rat, Giant – Sumatran Rat
Remorhaz – Ice Worm, Polar Worm
Tiger, Sabre-tooth - Smilodon
Sahuagin – Devil Men of the Sea, Sea Devil, Water Devil
Satyr - Faun
Sea Horse, Giant – Water Horse
Sea Lion – Water Lion
Shambling Mound - Shambler
Shrieker – Wandering Fungus, Walking Toadstool
Snake, Amphisboena - Two-headed Snake
Sphinx, Crio- - Ram-headed Sphinx
Stirge – Bat Bird
Sylph – Air Nymph
Thought Eater – Eater of Thoughts
Treant – Moss Trunk, Shrubling, Tree Man
Troglodyte – Reptile Man
Weasel – Ferret, Mink, Stoat
Whale – Beluga, Humpback Whale, Killer Whale, Right Whale, Sperm Whale, White Whale
Wight – Barrow-undead
Will-o-wisp – Swamp Lantern
Wyvern – Poison Dragon
Yeti – Abominable Snowman

FIEND FOLIO:
Aarakocra – Bird Man
Adherer – Sticking Mummy
Aleax – Avenger
Al-mi-raj – Unicorn Rabbit, Unicorn Hare
Algoid – Algae-man
Babbler – Mutant Lizard Man
Blindheim – Light-frog
Booka – Attic Sprite
Bullywug – Frog-man
Carbuncle – Ruby Armadillo
Caryatid Column – Pillar Golem
Caterwaul – Screech Cat
Clubnek – Mutant Ostrich
Crypt Thing – Teleporting Skeleton
Dark Stalker - Dark Creeper Leader
Death Dog – Two-headed Dog
Demon, Lolth – Demon Queen of Spiders, Queen of Spiders
Devil Dog – Ice Dog
Dire Corby – Black Bird-man
Disenchanter – Eater of Magic, Magic-eater
Dragon, Li Lung – Earth Dragon
Dragon, Lung Wang – Sea Dragon
Dragon, Pan Lung – Coiled Dragon
Dragon, Shen Lung – Spirit Dragon
Dragon, T’ien Lung – Celestial Dragon
Dragon, Yu Lung – Carp Dragon
Elf, Drow – Dark Elf
Enveloper – Dough-man
Ettercap – Spider-beast
Eye Killer – Bat Snake, Snake Bat
Firedrake – Miniature Red Dragon
Firenewt – Newt Man
Fire Snake – Larval Salamander
Forlarren – Evil Nymph
Frost Man – Ice Demon
Galltrit - Gremlin
Gambado – Spring Monster
Garbug – Flying Lobster
Giant, Mountain – Summoning Giant
Giant Strider – Firenewt Steed
Goldbug – Coin Creature
Gorbel – Red Beholder
Grell – Flying Brain
Hellcat – Devil’s Familiar
Hoar Fox – Ice Fox
Hound of Ill Omen – Omen Hound
Ice Lizard – Miniature White Dragon
Imorph - Imitator
Iron Cobra – Metal Snake
Jaculi – Javelin Snake
Jermlaine – Bane-midge, Jinxkin
Kamadan – Snake Leopard
Kelpie – Seaweed Woman
Kenku – Hawk Man
Khargra – Earth Fish
Killmoulis – Grain Pest
Kuo-toa – Fish Man, Goggler
Lava Children – Volcano Men
Mantari – Air Ray
Meazel - Strangler
Necrophidius – Dance of Death, Death Worm
Ogrillon – Ogre-orc, Orc-ogre
Osquip – Rock Rat
Pernicon – Grasshopper Beast
Quipper – Cold-water Piranha
Retriever – Spider Construct
Revenant – Undead Avenger
Rothe – Subterranean Ox
Screaming Devilkin – Mephit Devil
Sheet Phantom – Sheet Wraith
Shocker – Electric Man
Skeleton Warrior – Undead Lord
Skulk – Blending Man
Slaad, Death – Lesser Master
Slaad, Gray – Executioner
Slaad, Ssendam – Lord of the Insane
Slaad, Ygorl – Lord of Entropy
Snyad - Pestie
Son of Kyuss – Worm Zombie
Stunjelly – Paralyzing Wall
Sussurus – Headless Droning Ape, Singing Ape
Svirfneblin – Burrow Warden, Deep Gnome
Tabaxi – Cat Man
Thork – Copper Stork
Thoqqua – Fire Worm, Rockworm
Tiger Fly – Man-fly
Troll, Spirit – Invisible Stalker-troll
Tween – Luck Changer
Umpleby – Electric Beast
Vodyanoi – Green Hulk, Aquatic Umber Hulk, Water Umber Hulk
Witherstench – Mutant Skunk, Skunk Beast
Xvart – Blue Goblin, Blue Kobold

MONSTER MANUAL II:
Aurumvorax – Golden Gorger
Barghest – Devil Dog
Bloodthorn – Vampire Thorn Vine
Bookworm – Paper Eater
Choke Creeper – Strangle Vine
Cooshee – Elven Dog
Crane, Giant – Giant Heron
Daemon, Oinodaemon – Anthraxus, Bubonis, Choleria, Diptherius, Typhous
Demilich – Ghostlich
Demon, Babau – Ebony Death, One-horned Horror
Demon, Bar-lgura – Leaping Demon
Demon, Chasme – Fly Demon
Demon, Nabassu – Stealer of Death
Demon, Baphomet – Lord of Minotaurs
Demon, Fraz-urb’Iuu – Prince of Deception
Demon, Pazuzu – Prince of the Air
Devil, Abishai – Reptile Devil, Scaly Devil
Dinosaur, Tennodontosaurs - Ichtyosaurus
Drelb – Haunting Custodian
Duergar – Gray Dwarf, Gray One
Eblis - Storkman
Falcon - Hawk
Firefly, Giant - Firefriend
Forester’s Bane – Snapper-saw
Formian – Ant Man, Centaur-ant, Myrmarch
Froghemoth - Tadhemoth
Greenhag - Shellycoat
Grue, Chaggrin – Soil Beast
Grue, Harginn – Flame Horror
Grue, Ildriss – Wind Terror
Grue, Varrdig - Snowman
Hordling – Hordes of Hades
Luck Eater – Eater of Luck
Lycanthrope, Foxwoman – Silver Fox, Vixen
Mantrap – Man-eating Plant
Miner – Woodland Trapper
Moon Dog – Black Hound, Night Prowler
Myconid – Fungus Man
Narwhale – Ocean Unicorn, Unicorn of the Ocean, Water Unicorn
Ophidian – Snake-man
Pyrolisk – Fire Cockatrice
Quickwood – Spy Tree
Raven – Crow, Rook
Retch Plant – Globe Palm
Selkie - Sealwere
Storoper – Stone Roper, Tar Roper
Twilight Bloom – Purple Death
Vapor Rat – Cloud Rat
Vilstrak – Marl Mugger, Tunnel Thug
Willow, Black – Evil Treant

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

[D&D] [Greyhawk] The heavens above

The heavenly bodies above Oerth are mentioned in various evocative snippets spread throughout the canon, but those details are often vague, sometimes contradictory, and certainly leave many holes to be filled in by individual dungeon masters. So, in that spirit (i.e. with no claims that any of this should be considered "official" or necessarily be used by anyone else, but just to give an idea of how I treat these matters in my own games) here's what I've done with respect to the moons, planets, and stars of the Oerth-verse:

1. The Moons

To start with, what we know, the in-setting author of the World of Greyhawk Guide tells us that "the Great Moon (Luna) waxes and wanes in fixed cycles of 28 days each, upon which our months are based; while the Handmaiden (Celene, the small aquamarine satellite) follows a path which shows Her in full beauty but four times each year, thus showing us the time for our Festivals. When both Mistress and Handmaiden are full, things of great portent are likely to occur." However, the Glossography tells us that Luna actually has 13 cycles in each year (because of the four week-long Festivals that occur between the 12 months) and therefore the months do not correspond to the cycles of the moon (i.e. the full moon occurs on the 11th day of the first three months of the year, the 4th day of the next three months, the 25th day of the next three, and the 18th day of the last three months). Furthermore, it also details cycles for Celene that are irregular - there are 22 days between full and 3/4, 20 days between 3/4 and new, 21 days between new and 1/4, and 28 days between 1/4 and full. 

The only significant detail that the Gord novels add regarding the moons is the concept of the "whole" moon - when Luna is at 3/4 and Celene at 1/4 on the same night. Under the cycles described in the Glossography, this phenomenon occurs once each year, on the 4th night of the month of Harvester.

I know this is the Official calendar and it's easy enough to just use it and not think too much about it, but every once in a while despite myself I do think about it too much, and when I do I don't like it. I don't like the months not lining up with the cycle of Luna, and I don't like Celene having an irregular orbital period (and I also don't like the proposed "fixed" regular Celene cycle that means the whole moon as described in the Gord novels will never occur). What I've done to resolve those issues in my mind is to depart fairly drastically from Official Greyhawk and shorten the length of the year - in my Greyhawk calendars the four Festival weeks don't fall in-between the twelve Lunar months, but instead overlap them, so that Needfest occurs on the 26th of Sunsebb through the 4th of Fireseek, Growfest on the 26th of Coldeven through the 4th of Planting, Richfest on the 26th of Wealsun through the 4th of Reaping, and Brewfest on the 26th of Harvester through the 4th of Patchwall. Thus, the year has 336 days instead of 364. Luna is full the first night of each month, which means that Luna is always full when Celene is full (and the Dark Time/Dim Nights mentioned in the Glossography no longer exist), and the "whole moon" occurs four nights a year - on the 8th night of Coldeven, Wealsun, Harvester, and Sunsebb.

At first blush this seems like a major departure, which is why I hesitated over it at first, but the more I've thought about it the more comfortable I become, especially when I recall that the 364-day-long year isn't graven in stone. In fact, in the 1980 folio version of the World of Greyhawk the year is 360 days long (with each Festival only lasting six days instead of seven). The change in the 1983 set was presumably made to make the calendar and lunar phases work out more regularly. So I'm just doing the same thing as TSR already did, and for the same reason even. I'm just doing all the way what they only did partially. Does it matter if Oerth's year is 29.25 days shorter the Earth's? Not really. Every 12th year an Oerth person is effectively one year younger biologically than an Earth person the same "age" - a small enough difference to be pretty easily overlooked, at least for me. Perhaps Oerth orbits its sun more closely than we do ours, which could help explain the long summers of the Flanaess, but might also mean the inhabitants are absorbing more solar rays leading to slighty lower average lifespans (or some other handwavey malarkey...).

2. The Sun and Planets

On this subject, the Guide tells us that "the sun travels once around Oerth in 364 days," and also mentions "five wandering stars," presumably a reference to planets. In the post-Gygax era at TSR this reference was taken literally and the entire "official" cosmology (as detailed in, for instance, TSR's Spelljammer line from the 1990s) is Oerth-centric with the sun and other planets as, effectively, additional moons (I haven't read enough of that material to know whether the outer planets have epicycles to explain retrograde motion, but am guessing they probably do). However, sharp-eyed readers of Saga of Old City (written by Gary Gygax and published by TSR in 1985) will notice an entirely different cosmology described by the druid character Curley Greenleaf:
"Here," Curley Greenleaf said, placing down a huge sphere of uncut yellow corundum, "is the great globe of our sun. This emerald orb here is Oerth, I think; that opal represents Luna, and the star-sapphire of smaller size stands for the blue disk of Celene," he continued, placing each piece in its correct relative position. "These various stones are the spheres which accompany our world in its circuit of the sun…. These round diamonds are stars, and the little black opals the various moons and other celestial bodies whirling and spinning their pathways through the system," he concluded, not bothering to specifically place each of the smaller pieces. "What such imitations were used for is lost to us now, lads, but they represent a fortune to us all!"
Or, in other words, a standard heliocentric solar system. Later in that same chapter Curley further explains that a large jacinth from that cache of gemstones "must represent the planet of Rao, greatest of the celestial spheres in the family to which Oerth belonged." This tells us that at least one of the planets is named after a Flannish greater deity. In later email correspondence, Gary reportedly told Gene Weigel that the Oerth system was intended to have ten planets total - the same nine as ours (Pluto was, of course, still categorized as a full planet at that time) plus "one beyond." Combined with the reference to the "five wandering stars" in the Guide suggests the last four planets aren't visible to the naked eye or known to laymen such as the "savant-sage," but would be familiar to experts such as the druids and worshipers of Celestian (who don't just watch the sky but actually travel in space).

Taking all of this together tells us pretty much about the planets - that they generally correspond to the planets of our solar system, that they're named after greater gods, and that they are symbolically represented by various gemstones. That leads me to something like the following:

Sun/Pelor                           Yellow Corundum
Zilchus                               Topaz
Boccob                               Amethyst
Oerth/Beory                       Emerald
  - Luna                               Opal
  - Celene                            Star Sapphire
Ulaa                                    Ruby
Rao                                     Jacinth
Cyndor                                Sapphire
Procan                                 n/a
Incabulos                             n/a
Nerull                                  n/a
(Tharizdun                           n/a)
Other moons, comets, etc.   Black Opals
Stars                                     Diamonds

(It is not coincidental that the gemstones representing the planets and stars, but not the moons or sun, also correspond to the Orders of Celestian)

This isn't something that's going to be immediately relevant or useful in most games, but in the right circumstances it can add color and at least an illusion of depth - the representation of the planets as gemstones and their connection with the greater gods allows for symbols and patterns when describing temples and treasures, creating rituals, and so forth. Perhaps a party of adventurers can discover some means of traveling to the red planet Ulaa and having adventures there, in the same manner that Erac's Cousin visited Mars (Barsoom) in the original, pre-publication, version of the Greyhawk Campaign.

3. The Stars

The Guide offers almost nothing about the stars, mentioning only that there are "12 Lairs of the Zodiac" through which the sun passes "in an appointed round which never varies."  There's not much more in the Gord novels, only a mention (in Artifact of Evil) of a constellation called the Eldest Griffon whose extended wing points north and can be used as a navigational aid.

However, even that little bit of data gives us something to work with. We know that the sky of Oerth has constellations of stars, that the sun passes through twelve of them and forms a Zodiac, and that there's one called the Eldest Griffon (implying a separate Youngest Griffon) that functions the same way as our own Ursa minor (aka Little Dipper) - as a guide pointing to the North Star. Between all of this and what we know about the solar system above (and keeping in mind Gary Gygax's revelation in Polyhedron #21 that Oerth and Earth (and Aerth, Yarth, Uerth, and possibly others) are parallel worlds differentiated by the level of magic present on each), it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that the constellations in the sky over Oerth are, by and large, the same as those over Earth, just given different names. [This is also consistent with the adventures Rob Kuntz ran in the pre-publication version of the Greyhawk Campaign set in another solar system, indentified by Rob as Fomalhaut.]

Classical astronomy included 48 named constellations (and modern astronomy has 88), and I haven't been ambitious enough to attempt to rename all of them (and some of them, already named after mythical creatures present in D&D, perhaps don't need to be named - Centaur, Dragon, Hydra, Pegasus, etc.), but I have proposed a version of the Zodiac constellations, as follows:

The Efreet              22 Coldeven - 21 Planting
The Gorgon            22 Planting - 21 Flocktime
The Ettin                22 Flocktime - 21 Wealsun
The Kraken            22 Wealsun - 21 Reaping
The Sphinx             22 Reaping - 21 Goodmonth
The Dryad              22 Goodmonth - 21 Harvester
Istus                        22 Harvester - 21 Patchwall
The Phoenix           22 Patchwall - 21 Ready'reat
The Shedu              22 Ready'reat - 21 Sunsebb
The Satyr               22 Sunsebb - 21 Fireseek
The Djinn               22 Fireseek - 21 Readying
The Triton              22 Readying - 21 Coldeven

As with the details about the planets, this isn't material that is likely to be immediately useful in an at-the-table gaming context, but it does add some extra color. More pertinently, though, because the Oerth Zodiac is intentionally close to the Earth Zodiac, it allows for the inclusion of astrology-based symbols and references without having to either expect players to familiarize themselves with an entirely new fictional astrological system or justify a distinction between in-game and out-of-game knowledge. At very least, having the Oerth Zodiac line up with ours makes The Abduction of Good King Despot more easily usable as a World of Greyhawk adventure, without having to perform mental backflips to explain its astrology-based theme and symbols.

In most games, none of this is going to come up or matter. But if it does, I'm happy that I've already got it figured out :)

[Note: most of the above was workshopped and brainstormed in a recent discussion thread at the Doomsday Message Boards operated by my friend (and fellow Gygax/Greyhawk/AD&D aficionado) Scott Gregg. I don't want to take undue credit for any ideas, suggestions, or research contributed by any of the other participants in that discussion.]

Saturday, April 21, 2018

[D&D] The trade road from Narwell to Verbobonc

Most trade in and out of the Wild Coast region of the World of Greyhawk goes by water, through the bustling seaport towns of Safeton, Fax, and Elredd. However, some merchants also follow an overland route across the Kron Hills and through the Gnarley Forest, connecting the region with the breadbasket of the Velverdyva Valley.

This route, commonly called the "High Road" (as opposed to the "Low Road" that runs along the shore of the Velverdyva) stretches approximately 200 miles connecting the towns of Verbobonc in the northwest and Narwell in the southeast.

Eastbound wagons are typically loaded with foodstuffs and cloth goods intended for the inhabitants of the Wild Coast, while westbound wagons are more likely to carry goods imported from across the Azure Sea - superior food and clothing of Aerdy origin (including crates of highly-prized Sundish lilac wine) and even more exotic goods - spices, ivory, and rare wood - from further abroad. Thus, while the former traffic is greater in volume, the latter tends to be more valuable.

The trip takes ten days (including one mid-trip rest day) for a wagon train. Parties on foot or horseback - be they pilgrims, refugees, adventurers, or outlaws - also use this route on occasion, and are able to navigate the hilly terrain more quickly. A party on foot can traverse the route in seven days, and a group on horseback requires only four.

Although the road passes mostly through wild lands, it is fairly well maintained, and the woodsmen, gnomes, and wood elves inhabiting the Gnarley Forest are sufficient to keep the route safe from most bandits, humanoid raiders, and other predatory monsters. Nevertheless, a series of inns and lodges along the route serve as regular stops for the passing traffic. From east to west they are:

  1. The Chirping Redbreast Inn (Woodsedge village: pop. 750): Night 1 (9) stop for wagon trains, night 1 (6) stop for men travelers on foot. The scenically rustic village of Woodsedge is situated at the verge between the Gnarley Forest to the north and Welkwood to the south and sees traffic from both directions. This inn is pleasant, if largely nondescript. It is generally busy with patrons coming from all directions, who are happy to trade news and gossip of their travels. 
  2. The Grand Timberway Inn: Night 2 (7-8) stop for wagon trains, night 2 (5) stop for travelers on foot, night 1 (3) stop for riders on horseback. This large inn is, effectively, a self-contained fort. It is surrounded by a high palisade with two watchtowers and employs a dozen-person militia among its total staff of fifty. In addition to the inn proper, several outbuildings within the wall provide supplemental services (blacksmithing, candle-making, baking, etc.) to the innkeeper and travelers alike. The accommodations here are expensive, but most travelers consider it worth the price. Woe to those who (through excessive rowdiness, property damage, or inability to pay their bill) end up on the wrong side of the proprietors and find themselves banned from the establishment, forced to make camp outside its walls.
  3. The Windy Hollow Lodge: Night 3 (6) stop for wagon trains. This small, lonely inn sees little traffic, and even some merchant caravans will choose to make camp along the road rather than stay here. The lodge is a single dilapidated house which may have once been grand but certainly has not been that way for decades, and now smells of mold and dust. The small family who operates the place all seem dreary and listless, which also well describes the quality of the nourishments served here. Most travelers are sure the place is haunted, and those who've stayed here in the past tend to have stories of unexplained footsteps, moaning sounds, and even shadowy visions.
  4. The Homely House Lodge: Night 4 (5) stop for wagon trains, night 3 (4) stop for travelers on foot. This comfortable lodge is operated by an extended family of gnomes, though in recognition of their clientele the public eating and sleeping areas were all built at human-scale. When they learn that a group of travelers are passing through, gnomish peddlers from the nearby burrow-villages will descend upon the lodge in hopes of trading trinkets and gossip. The cuisine served here is typically gnomish - turnips, carrots, and other root-vegetables - but the gnomes brew their own beer, which is surprisingly good.
  5. The Cat's Cradle Inn: Night 5 (4) stop for wagon trains, night 2 stop for riders on horseback. This inn is operated by a pair of old widow sisters and their improbably extensive brood of 20+ children and grandchildren who are constantly scurrying back and forth on errands. The place feels underdefended (one son and two grandsons have spears and shortbows and form a feeble militia) but both women are powerful mystics (the elder, Bezequelle, is an Astrologer, the younger, Pegeen, is a Medium) who not only have placed various magical charms and wards about the place, but are also on friendly terms with and watched over by both the woodsmen and elves of the area. Should any trouble arise here one of the urchin granddaughters has been instructed to run into the woods to summon help, which will arrive 4-24 turns later in the form of a patrol of woodsmen (1-2) or wood elves (3-6).
  6. The Hillsmoor Inn (Imeryds Ford: pop. 200): Night 6 (3) stop for wagon trains, night 4 (3) stop for travelers on foot. The rustic folk of this hamlet keep their heads down and are not typically friendly with travelers during the day. At night, in the common room of the inn after their tongues have been loosened by ale, they are more willing to trade gossip (and slander) about the next village over. A pair of Footpads keep an eye on all traffic passing through (as this is one of only two fords along this stretch of the Imeryds Run) and if they spy anything unusual will report it to their boss (Gremag, in Hommlet), either by seeking to join on with the travelers (and spending the next day in further observation) or - if a group seems particularly interesting or dangerous - secretly departing on horseback during the night in order to make their report before they arrives. The villagers here know that these two (and their half-orc Warrior companion, who keeps a low profile but is available as muscle if needed) are untrustworthy strangers, but are very unlikely to share that with people who are themselves untrustworthy strangers. 
  7. The Welcome Wench Inn (Hommlet: pop. 250): Night 7-8 (2) stop for wagon trains, night 5 (2) stop for travelers on foot, night 3 (1) stop for riders on horseback. Located at the crossroads of the High and Low Roads, this large and prosperous inn is renowned for its good food and excellent drink. The ostler will often attempt to purchase out of the stock of any passing merchant carrying wine or liquors to replenish his extensive cellar. A few miles east of here on the Low Road lie the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil, that cult of demon-worshippers who were the cause of so much mischief around these parts a decade ago.
  8. The Pig and Barrel Inn (Bywater village: pop. 850): Night 9 (1) stop for wagon trains, night 6 (1) stop for travelers on foot. Nondescript and seedy lodgings in this nondescript and seedy riverside village that always seems to smell vaguely of rotting fish. Travelers along the Low Road also frequent this inn, so despite its mediocre quality it is usually busy and travelers may be forced to sleep in the common room (30%) or barn (10%) even if they are willing to pay for private rooms - though offering to pay double or triple will see some other group consigned in their place.

Encounters on the road: For the first and last days of travel, encounters should be checked normally for the Viscounty of Verbobonc or Wild Coast (respectively, depending upon the direction of travel). For the days in-between, while the road is passing through the wild woods and hills, the following table should be checked three times per day of travel (morning, mid-day, and evening), with an encounter of some sort occurring on 1 in 10.  If the party stays in any of the inns above there will be no encounter checks during the night, but if they make camp in the woods instead they will be subject to three more nighttime encounter checks.

Roll (1d8+1d12)            Encounter
2                                   Bugbears
3                                   Kobolds (1-4) or xvarts (5-6)
4                                   Snake: poisonous (1-3), giant constrictor (4-5), or giant poisonous (6)
5                                   Owl (night) or Raven (day)
6                                   Giant porcupine (1-3) or skunk (4-6)
7                                   Gnomes
8                                   Bear: black (1-4) or brown (5-6)
9                                   Men, woodsmen
10                                Giant beetle: bombardier (1-2), boring (3-4), stag (5-8), slicer (9), or death watch (0)
11                                Wild boar
12                                Stag
13                                Wolves
14                                Men, merchants
15                                Wood elves
16                                Men, bandits
17                                Men, other: pilgrims of [St. Cuthbert (1-2), Fharlanghn (3-5), Olidammara (6)] (1-3), Rhennee (Attloi) (4-5), beggars (6), refugees (7), or adventurers (8)
18                                Giant tick (1-3) or weasel (4-6)
19                                Spider: large (1-3), huge (4-5), or giant (6)
20                                Monster (see Sub-table)

Roll (1d8+1d12)            Monster Sub-Table
2                                   Displacer beast
3                                   Lycanthrope, werebear
4                                   Giant: hill (1-4) or verbeeg (5-6)
5                                   Blink dog
6                                   Griffon
7                                   Basilisk
8                                   Leprechaun
9                                   Ghouls
10                               Gnolls
11                               Ogre
12                               Owl bear
13                               Lycanthrope, werewolf
14                               Stirges
15                               Troll
16                              Shadow
17                              Lycanthrope, wereboar
18                              Peryton
19                              Wyvern
20                              Green dragon