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Encounters to challenge PCs of any level in the Wasted West (part 2 of 2)

Encounters to challenge PCs of any level in the Wasted West (part 2 of 2)

It’s Midgard Monday! Each week, we visit a corner of the wide world of Midgard. Look for standalone content you can drop into your campaign—whether it’s in Midgard or your own homebrew. Find new inspiration each Midgard Monday!

Midgard is full of dangers. But inarguably, the Wasted West remains one of the most horrid sources of danger in known Midgard. The remains of a wizarding war for power left no victors but death itself.

Still, life continues in the Wastes, and weird, corrupted ecologies emerge among the ruins. Those who find themselves wandering there won’t find any shortage of things still living. And hunting.

Wastes Encounter Tables

These encounter tables are customized by chaos-related terrain. Within each table, encounters are presented in ascending order of CR, from fractions all the way up to double digits in most cases. When PCs venture into the appropriate terrain, a GM can roll randomly or choose an encounter that creates an appropriate challenge for the PCs.

Flinty Hills

Jagged hills and ridges sport a balding scrub; this unforgiving terrain is shot through with narrow ravines and unexpected sinkholes, hungry for death.

1Rock roaches (see Tome of Beasts 2) guard a small spring, aggressively scuttling around an outcropping littered with old skeletons lying in brush.
2A shadhavar (see Tome of Beasts 1) swiftly pursues lonely shepherds attempting to bring their small flock of goats back to a tent encampment.
3Flitting just feet above the ground, a flight of tosculi warriors (see Creature Codex) seek sentients for larva hosts in a new hive.
4A death vulture (see Tome of Beasts 2) circles overhead and follows all day, awaiting an opportunity to attack a lone straggler and drawing attention.
5Hiding in a narrow cleft, an angler worm (see Tome of Beasts 1) waits above a small pile of bleached bones studded with shiny trinkets.
6Dust goblins herd a group of angry rift swine (see Tome of Beasts 1 for both) toward a cliff, using torches and flaming arrows.
7Like a constant waterfall of multi-eyed eels, an astral devourer (see Tome of Beasts 2) flows across a rocky, dried riverbed, in search of travelers.
8In a standing stones circle, a Wasteland King builds a throne polished skulls as its chaos drakes (see Wastes of Chaos for both) guard prisoners.
9Hovering above a ragged sinkhole ringed with strange, quickly growing bruise-colored moss, a voidling (see Tome of Beasts 1) lingers enigmatically, unless someone attacks or enters the sinkhole.
10Riding the hot winds of a rare thunderstorm, a slow storm (see Tome of Beasts 1) rolls down old creek beds, towards the trade road.

Haunted Marshlands

Sodden heather choked with reeds and black pools filled with hungry silt and unquiet spirits, these treacherous moors await victims.

1Having caught an enormous catfish in a pool as the tides shift, bone crabs (see Tome of Beasts 1) swarm it, looking for an easy meal, but prefer halfling flesh.
2Curled like a cat on a fragment of cyclopean wall, a ruin drake (see Wastes of Chaos) soaks in a rare sunbeam.
3Laying pressed into the shore beside a rotting dock, putrid haunts (see Tome of Beasts 1) rise when anyone disembarks.
4Combing her hair at the only river crossing, a lorelai (see Tome of Beasts 1) considers whether to help travelers, ignore them, or call them to death.
5Stacking large, flat boulders into a memorial dolmen for its unquiet ancestors, a haunted giant (see Tome of Beasts 1) digs at the muck with its hands.
6Leaning over a languid stream from the wrong side of a rickety bridge railing, a rusalka (see Tome of Beasts 1) attempts to draw misguided saviors.
7A warped treant (see Wastes of Chaos) ties corpses and wounded prisoners up in willow tree canopies to lure scavengers to its lair.
8Chasing the screaming, splashing footfalls of a woodcutter, an ala (see Tome of Beasts 1) laughs viciously in her pursuit.
9Rising out of the muck as soon as anyone attempts to rest on the dry hillock beside its watery grave, a marsh dire (see Tome of Beasts 2) seeks victims.
10A vine troll skeleton (see Tome of Beasts 1) lays draped over a moss-coated wagon stopped in knee-deep waters, waiting to be disturbed.

Polluted Blights

Twisted trees overhang fetid ponds ringed with slimy halos of poisonous algae. Thorny brambles hide wild-eyed creatures hungry for flesh.

1Black-banded sutureflies (see Tome of Beasts 1) flit near a terrible shrine surrounded by bloated bodies, attacking any who approaching without making a sacrifice.
2Miremals (see Tome of Beasts 1) create a path lined with foul water, leading into a party of trapped, angry acid ants (see Creature Codex), looking for fresh meat.
3Fashioning a spiky thicket barrier, Children of the Briar (see Tome of Beasts 1) claim the path to demand tribute any pilgrims.
4Storm lightning strikes a nearby pool, and several cauldronborn (see Creature Codex) crawl from the boiling waters, seeking potions.
5Drawn by healing magics, a cloud of slitherjacks (see Wastes of Chaos) undulates through humid air, their tentacles probing for an arcane meal.
6Painting their bodies with mud, a group of forest marauders (see Tome of Beasts 1) prepares to raid a group of cultists inspecting a carved statue.
7Buzzing hungrily, mirefiends (see Wastes of Chaos) build a hive of mud, reeds, and gear-laden corpses amid a framework of fallen, hollowed trees.
8A distorted, ravenous chaos troll (see Wastes of Chaos) tears apart a small merchant boat, trying to open the crates held under a cargo net.
9Blinded captives squat at a cave entrance, painfully wailing from the eggs growing in their eye sockets, while a horakh (see Tome of Beasts 1) hides in the shadows.
10A massive pustulent shambler (see Tome of Beasts 2) roils through pools and undergrowth, leaving a path as it looks for bodies while tracking a fleeing group of travelers.

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about Ben McFarland

Ben lived on a desert island for two years while serving as an officer in the US Air Force. He likes sushi, worldbuilding, and magic systems, and spends way too much time at a pool. He’s been freelancing, playtesting, and editing RPGs since 2005. While D&D’s a first love, Ars Magica is his greatest love and Cthulhutech his secret mistress.

9 thoughts on “Encounters to challenge PCs of any level in the Wasted West (part 2 of 2)”

  1. can any of these encounters be peacefully resolved with tummy rubs and scritches or will my hands melt off / i get eaten / blown up

  2. Loving the high quality Midgard content you’re putting out through the blog, along with all the cool character options. Really high value content and amazing that you’re sharing it here. Thanks and keep creating!

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