Thursday, September 11, 2014

[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 of Hoard 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
  1. above a dungeon
  2. outside a reptilian lair
  3. permanent stronghold
  4. temporary camp. 
d6 population 
  1. 20 mercs, no prisoners / rearguard: 2 mercs, 200 yards closer to civilization
  2. 15 cultists, 25 kobolds, prisoner or two / rearguard: 3 cultists, 400 yards closer to civilization
  3. 20 cultists with 30 mercs, 10 kobolds, few prisoners / rearguard: mix of 4, 600 yards closer to civilization
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  1. Wrath (execution or torture)
    1. religious pain-tests on the faithful 
    2. Fight club 
    3. Challenge to the alpha
  2. Greed (counting, distributing, fighting over, exchanging valuables)
    1. Melting down coin to wear as cult-themed ornament
    2. Poker
    3. Hoarding or fighting over rotting corpse
  3. Sloth (sleeping, lazing about)
    1. Dozing during prayers, will be guilty about it and petrified of its revelation
    2. Reading surprisingly intellectual material 
    3. Piled up in heap like puppies
  4. Pride (boasting)
    1. Loud worship of TIAMAT, let her praises fill the air
    2. "Man, but did you see what I did, though? The kid was running, like I dunno fifty yards away…"
    3. Alpha checking into betas, snapping at them, daring a reaction
  5. Lust (intercourse or longing)
    1. With kobolds, very holy
    2. Talking about the wearer of purple, graphically going on
    3. It's breedin' time! 
  6. Envy (scheming or acting to take or destroy)
    1. Whispering about romantically successful cultist, wants to accuse of the sextacephalian heresy but must have proof for wearer of purple
    2. Strong-jawed one made off with ton of loot, the weaklings scheming to steal it and blame the kobolds
    3. Weak group wants to steal eggs of strong group, raise as own
  7. Gluttony (feasting, drinking)
    1. Trippin on that holy grass
    2. Woman drinking big dude under table in Raiders homage drinking contest
    3. Absolutely stuffing selves with carcasses, can hardly move
  8. Penance (prepping to or actually running away or taking action against groups)
    1. Loved one to be sacrificed to TIAMAT and eaten by the leader, will try to spring if given chance
    2. Conscience pangs: can't stop looking at the poor emaciated boy with his nose cut off
    3. Beaten and bleeding, straining against chain to escape
2d10 main topographical feature of camp; second d10 is topographical feature of rearguard camp:
  1. box canyon (boulders, shrubs, trees, river, caves, paths up the canyon, large flat outcroppings like steps up)
  2. ravine (boulders, scree, shrubs, vines, caves, paleolithic rock carvings)
  3. glade (trees, tall grass, shrubs, stumps, rubble, forgotten shrines, megaliths)
  4. hill / small valley (boulders, tall grass, shrubs, trees, ruins)
  5. scarp (rubble, ruins, shrubs)
  6. esker (trees, tall grass, shrubs)
  7. tor (large rock outcroppings, boulders, scree, 
  8. pond / river (possibly with camp on island, boats or rafts or makeshift bridge available to camp)
  9. waterfall
  10. ruins
d12 what's going on
  1. military drills / memorization of the holy incantations
  2. military drills / memorization of the holy incantations
  3. fight club
  4. sermon, people are really into it, amen, mmhmm / mercenary business meeting
  5. prayers, unison recitations and readings
  6. sacrifices of animals, eaten by the priests / skinning animals for pleasure and consumption
  7. festive communal meal
  8. torture party
  9. implantation of the holy worm
  10. chillaxin, people doing their own thing
  11. chillaxin, people doing their own thing
  12. chillaxin, people doing their own thing
d20 stealth check (use lowest modifier in group, advantage if proper precautions taken, disadvantage if just tromping along)
  • Less than 5: obviously baddies, ambush time with whatever traps are around or at least a surprise round with advantage on attacks, runner sent to camp
  • Less than 10: runner moves back in case camp needs to be notified, suspiciously hail the party
  • Less than 15: sees you but waves you through, probably wants to talk
  • 15+: you see them and can recon as you like

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