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Friday, December 18, 2009

Mystic Forests!

Greetings!

Mystic Forests

The mystic forest is a standard of many kinds of stories, from historical mythology to fantasy, and of course, in various game campaigns. I am always fascinated by the imagery that the mystical forest evokes, and have developed some elements to make use of mystic forests
in my campaigns oftentimes quickly, and with very little preparation. Mystic Forests are usually densely populated with great trees, of usually oaks or pines--and idyllic meadows and pristine glades, as well as rushing, sparkling rivers and shimmering, mysterious lakes.

The mystical forest is often shrouded in dense fog and strange mists, especially in the early mornings, and later on in the late afternoons towards sundown, and of course, at nighttime, from nightfall to the deep night. It is then, that the meadows and vales of the mystic forest
become illuminated by the bright starlight from the heavens, or bathed in silvery-radiant moonlight that contrasts so sharply with the black, velvet night.

Sights and Sounds In The Mystical Forest
01-05%: Banks of cool, dense fog roll in and obscure virtually everything beyond 5-ft in around the characters.

06-10%: Massive, black stromclouds roll in overhead, and fill the sky with a pressing sense of cold darkness, and of icy rain to come.

11-15%: The skies are a dreary, flat dark grey, with a cold wind blowing, and occasional brief sprinkles of rain.

16-20%: The sky is bursting with clear blue wonder, puffy white clouds lazily floating in the distance, and warm, radiant sunshine streaming everywhere.

21-25%: The forest is dark, and cool, shrouded in banks of mist seemingly everythwhere, though occasionally a beautiful meadow bathed in sparkling
sunshine appears, or a shaft of golden warmth breaks through the clouds and treeline overhead to illuminate a pathway.

26-30%: A small, broken dirt trail is visible along the sloping ridgeline, ckoked by plants and fallen branches and leaves.

31-35%: A small, swift-flowing creek races by in a narrow bed, filling the surrounding forest with the clear, sparkling sounds of the fast-moving water.

36-40%: Shimmering in the sunlight, a majestic waterfall cascades from a high clifftop and into the mist-shrouded depths of a great and wondrous lake.

41-45%: Through the fallen leaves and branches, gradually a strange road can be seen to emerge from the layers of dirt and leaves. The strange road
seems to be crafted from some smooth, beautiful white stone, with silvery-streaks and patches glimmering suddenly in the flashing sunlight.

46-50%: A great swath of rich, green grass runs seemingly forever in a vast greenery, before gradually being hemmed in and swallowed by the dark,
ancient forest.

51-55%: The sloping gully to one side, partially screened by a dense row of trees, suddenly reveals a clustered line of great, moss-covered rocks and boulders.

56-60%: The ancient forest is thick and dense, forcing travel to the left, as the copses of trees become ever more tangled and dense, with great knots of gnarled,
grasping roots breaking through the dark soil and leaves packing the ground below the green canopy above.

61-65%: The ancient forest is thick and dense, forcing travel to the right, as the copses of trees become ever more tangled and dense, with great knots of gnarled,
grasping roots breaking through the dark soil and leaves packing the ground below the green canopy above.

66-70%: The forested clearing gradually becomes denser, and up ahead, a massive line of huge moss-covered boulders and higher banks of sheer gullies and
ravine-sides channel movement to a sharp left direction, moving along a downward sloping greenery.

71-75%: The forested clearing gradually becomes denser, and up ahead, a massive line of huge moss-covered boulders and higher banks of sheer gullies and
ravine-sides channel movement to a sharp right direction, moving along a downward sloping greenery.

76-80%: A sparkling white stone roadway leads swiftly to a great, ancient enclosed bridge, crossing a great river.

81-85%: A sparkling white stone roadway leads swiftly to a great, ancient open-railed bridge, crossing a great river.

86-90%: The grey, shimmering fog gradually parts way, to reveal a great sloping greenery ahead, leading into a beautiful meadow.

91-95%: Suddenly, a flash of lightning strikes in the edge of vision, and a distant echo of thunder rolls across the skies as a gentle rain begins to fall
throughout the area.

96-00%: The treeline breaks suddenly, and before the trees is a sloping gully of dense plants and roots, and the lapping banks of a vast, shimmering lake.

Locations In The Mystical Forest
01-05%: A Single Cave
06-10%: A Cluster of Caverns
11-15%: A Vast Labyrinth of Caves and Lairs
16-20%: A Mist-Shrouded Lake
21-25%: An Ancient Bridge
26-30%: A Strange, Isolated Cottage
31-35%: A Mysterious, Rustic Cabin
36-40%: A Beautiful Meadow
41-45%: An Ancient Glade
46-50%: A Shimmering Waterfall
51-55%: A Steep, Rocky Gorge
56-60%: A Dark, Plunging Chasm
61-65%: A Fog-Shrouded, Cold Marsh
66-70%: A Great Forested Cliff
71-75%: A Steep Riverbank
76-80%: A Mysterious Island
81-85%: A Distant, High Mountain
86-90%: A Dense Treelined Riverbank, Choked with Giant Roots and Moss-Covered Boulders
91-95%: Signs of a Great and Ancient Civilization
96-00%: Special

Great and Ancient Civilization
01-10% Civilization: A Great, Ancient Mound
11-20% Civilization: A Great Road
21-30% Civilization: A Great Circle of Standing Stones
31-40% Civilization: A Great Stone Stairway
41-50% Civilization: An Ancient, Vast Amphitheater
51-60% Civilization: An Ancient Monolith
61-70% Civilization: A Giant, Mysterious Statue
71-80% Civilization: A Moss-Covered Temple
81-90% Civilization: A Moss and Ivy-Choked Tower
91-00% Civilization: Great Center of Habitation (A village or town; a full city; a small harbor; a castle, etc.)

Mystical Forest Encounter Table I
01-05%: Adventurers
06-15%: Elves
16-17%: Halflings
18-28%: Fey Creatures (Check Subtable II below)
29-30%: Undead (Check Subtable III below)
31-35%: Humanoids (Check Subtable IV below)
36-38%: Lycanthrope (Check Subtable V below)
39-40%: Owlbear
41-46%: Magical Animal
47-56%: Herd Beast
57-60%: Predator Animal (Wolf, Dire Wolf, Bear, Dire Bear, etc.)
61-64%: Centaurs
65-68%: Humans--Barbarians, Native Inhabitants
69-72%: Humans--Barbarians, Foreigners
73-77%: Strange Hermit or Wandering Woman
78-82%: Minotaur
83-84%: Giant
85-86%: Treant
87-88%: Unicorn
89-90%: Linnorm Dragon
91-00%: Special (Great Deer, Mythical White Hart, a special Knight, something very unusual)

Mystical Forest Encounters: Fey Creatures Subtable II
Fey Creatures
01-10% Nixies
11-20% Pixies
21-30% Sprites
31-50% Brownies
51-70% Satyrs
71-80% Dryads
81-90% Nymphs
91-00% Joyful Pavillion

Mystical Forest Encounters: Undead Creatures Subtable III
01-20%: A Gang or Patrol of Skeleton Warriors 2d6
21-40%: A Gang of Savage Ghouls 2d6
41-60%: Chilling, Terrifying Wraith; or a group of powerful wraiths 1d6+2
61-80%: A Ghost; single, group, or a bizarre family of ghosts.
81-90%: A squad of Skeleton Knights, led by a Wraith Captain, galloping along on Spectral Horses, into the mists. 2d6+4 Skeleton Warriors, plus 1 Wraith Captain.
91-00%: A Vampire and a pack of vampire minions, lesser vampires, etc. Stalk the nighttime forest. 1 Vampire, plus 2d6+4 Minions, lesser Vampires.

Mystic Forest Humanoid Encounter Table IV
01-30% Gnolls
31-50% Ogres
51-70% Trolls
71-90% Hags
91-00% Special

Mystic Forest Lycanthrope Encounter Table V
01-20% Lycanthrope: Were-Wolf
21-40% Lycanthrope: Were-Boar
41-60% Lycanthrope: Were-Rat
61-80% Lycanthrope: Were-Bear
81-00% Lycanthrope: Special

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