[Hoard of the Dragon Queen] Cult Encampment Generator
This is a cult encampment generator. It will get you pretty much anything you need to recreate chapter 2 ofHoard of the Dragon Queen, plus more,infinitely.
The cult is supposed to be making mischief all over the Sword Coast; so presumably there's more than just one camp about. This lets you take care of that. Put them in your HDQ sandbox.
Some of the tables are reusable; some generate the physical layout and are done after one roll.
The d4 table is why the camp is here. You'll have to expand on 3 of the results with one page dungeons or something. (The cultists try to explore and defend dungeons because they're trying to find / protect dragon masks and any dragon slaying magic items or any draconic lore. ) The d6 roll is highly overloaded; pay special attention to it. The d8 table is to make interesting things happen for whatever particular subgroup of the camp you happen to run into. Like, these 5 guys beside the waterfall are [clatter, clatter]. Google the d10 terms if you're not familiar; they're all standard topographical / geographical jargon that you need to have in your vocabulary anyway. Place the parenthetical terrain features for tactical crunch. The d12 table should be checked anytime you check in on the camp after significant time has passed; it's what everyone's concerned with, as opposed to the more intimidate focus of the d8 table. The d20 check covers the group's approach to the camp; if they send a scouting party ahead, be sure to only check for that group.
ROLL ALL THE DICE ON PAPER. Their values tell you things, and their positions tell you the layout of the camp.
Kobolds are not comical. They start like chestbursters from Alien except they come out of your forehead like Athena. (Thanks +KielChenier for the idea.)
The cult has a whole ceremony around this. After the acolytes show enough devotion (but not enough intelligence to rise to leadership), they are granted the privilege of being implanted with the holy worm should they desire it or should they mess up too much. Priest places little purple worm in the eye of the acolyte.
Over weeks, the acolyte begins to develop reptilian features and an ever-swelling head. Eventually, in excruciating pain, the scaly, tailed, clawed human's head explodes, and an immature kobold bursts out like this, for some time still part of the host body, lashing out with razor-tipped tentacles.
These will eventually mature, through ceremony and harsh breeding and conditioning, into halfdragons / dragonborn (which I'm treating as identical in my campaign).
Wearers of Purple: all groups with cultists are led by a wearer of purple, who is a priest, trained in the rites but not necessarily respected, middle management.
Blending in: if the PCs are trying to blend in but might arouse suspicion in this particular situation, roll d6 under d6 result below. Failure: they arouse suspicion.
Die Location Map
most central: lair / stronghold / dungeon entrance, else the most dramatic part of the terrain
next most central: leader's tent (with holy worms if dragonborn present)
next most central: prisoner tents or stakes
next most central: supply tent (weapons, food, etc.)
most remote: direction of rearguard
next most remote: entrance, with grisly display: five-lobed skull-flowers, impaled bodies, skull-topped palisade, piled charred bodies, surgical horror on pedastal
next most remote: stables (horses, drakes, kobolds)
Die Value Tables
d4: camp type
above a dungeon
outside a reptilian lair
20 mercs, no prisoners / rearguard: 2 mercs, 200 yards closer to civilization
15 cultists, 25 kobolds, prisoner or two / rearguard: 3 cultists, 400 yards closer to civilization
20 cultists with 30 mercs, 10 kobolds, few prisoners / rearguard: mix of 4, 600 yards closer to civilization
20 cultists with 40 mercs and 10 kobolds, 10 drakes, handful of prisoners, 1 guard tower / rearguard: mix of 6, 800 yards closer to civilization
Dragonborn with 30 cultists, 40 mercs, 10 drakes, and 20 kobolds, dozen prisoners, 2 guard towers / rearguard: mix of 8, 1000 yards closer to civilization
Dragonborn with 20 cultists, 30 kobolds, 10 drakes, 60 mercs, score of prisoners, 3 guard towers / rearguard: mix of 9, 1200 yards closer to civilization
d8 what this particular group is expressing (1 cultists / 2 mercs / 3 monsters)?
General activity on header line. Specific ones may be selected by group.