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For my next session in my campaign, I plan to have the party to track the villain from point A to point B, while following a trail of "breadcrumbs", clues left behind by the villain. Perhaps at each stop, the villain stole something, or cause an incident to happen. The goal is for the PCs to discovered a ruined town where the villain is working some nercomantic ritual.

I am looking for an adventure or module which revolves around such a premise (tracking bad guy from point A and point B through the wilderness) - I could then take it and re-skin the details to match my campaign. I could also use an adventure or module which has an emphasis on travelling through the wilderness. Any D20/D&D variant will do, as I am adapting the adventure for 13th Age (the plot and premise is more important than the system).

Here are some other criteria:

  • The setting is fantasy, the area the party is in is warped by magic, so any combination of climate/terrain can work, though I would prefer a variety. Though I'm not so keen on desert, because the party did a trek though the desert before.

  • Some of the locations should settlements. There should also be a variety of encounters (combat, exploration, puzzle , unexpected situation). The area is still populated and relatively safe along the road.

  • There shouldn't be too many locations of interest, like the Hex Crawl Chronicles, which is too detailed for my purpose.

  • At each location, the PCs would need to discover where the villain heads off to. It could be in the form of making skill checks, skill challenges etc.

  • It is good if the module/adventure features multiple paths to reach the destination, but it is not necessary. The emphasis is on at each stop, the PCs find further clues to bring them to their next stop.

  • The module shouldn't be too long - about one or two session in length.

Here are some which I have considered, and doesn't fit well:

  • Hex Crawl Chronicles: Too much locations and details for me to fit in my campaign's storyline

  • Slumbering Tsar: Emphasis mainly on dungeon crawling and combat, not much interaction once you leave the initial town.

The really detailed context: And spoilers for the Carrion Crown Adventure Path

If you have played the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, I wish to from Ravengro, skip Trial of the Beast and Broken Moon, and have the PCs reach Illmarsh (Wake of the Watcher) in one or two sessions. So the idea is from the theft of the Effigy, the PCs will track the bad guys to the final town mentioned in Broken Moon, and ending the session with the PCs arriving at Illmarsh. I don't really like the premise of those modules (a lengthy trial? werewolves?) and those two modules doesn't fit my campaign.

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I'm retagging this with 13th Age (the game you're playing and want an adventure for) and d20 (the broader category of modules you're looking for). I'm not sure system-agnostic is appropriate here since adventures from other systems may not even be very transferable to 13th Age - you would not be solving your own problem in asking for those. –  doppelgreener Jul 21 '13 at 11:13
    
He's running a Paizo AP with 13th Age, I think he can cope by definition. –  mxyzplk Aug 21 '13 at 21:34

2 Answers 2

What you could do is take the Carrion Hill Paizo adventure that's set in Ustalav and change it slightly - it's designed to take place within a single city but like in most urban adventures it's a couple keyed locations separated by a undifferentiated cityscape that might as well be undifferentiated wilderness. In it you're tracking down a variety of bad guys involved in a Great Old Ones type ritual, so it has a lot of similarities to your plotline.

I ran it as described in Carrion Hill but I wouldn't balk at just spreading it out over more countryside and smaller settlements - you'd want some generic countryside-and-settlements supplements to bolster, though since you're not using Trial of the Beast and Broken Moon you could use Lepidstadt and the Shudderwood and the other locations described in them as the canvas.

In fact, reviewing the map of Ustalav, they could go up through Lepidstadt, across the Shudderwood, and actually hit Carrion Hill for the finale on the way to Illmarsh. Spreaed the bad guys from Carrion Hill across those locations and bolster with setpieces from Trial and Moon. Now this may be more than 1-2 sessions, I guess you aren't worried about needing to pump 6 levels into the PCs because Wake is level 9? Anyway, you could expand on it to more sessions for more fun and/or more XP as desired.

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I assume that you want the 'breadcrumbs' to be somewhat plausible and realistic, more than just footprints and broken branches? I don't play 13th Age, but I can give you practical advise that you can taylor to your use.

If your bad guys are on horses, horses do leave hoofprints. Also, horseshoes are rarely 'generic' looking; no two are exactly the same, and there are extra pieces that blacksmiths add for durability or purpose. Things like a crosspiece or extra nails can make a hoofprint unique. Considering horses weight half-a-ton and more, they will leave impressionable hoofprints, especially in soft dirt and soil. Anyone with tracking skills or doing a search could pick this up, and a unique hoofprint can have them on the right trail (as oppose to the inevitable question, 'are we going the right way/is this them?')

Humans are generally not tidy. We break stuff, make trash, and use anything as an impromptu bathroom. Perhaps a last-nights' camp site (complete with burnt logs and hastily buried trash) or a few left-behind snares can help. This could also give the impression of time as well, as in how far ahead your quarry is. Also, we tend to toss things if they are empty or useless. That flask is out of rum? Chuck it!

Traps. If the bad guys know they are being pursued, perhaps a length of rope tied at a rider's chest height on the same path can be a good breadcrumb, not to mention a hazard for your party. I would avoid ankle traps (rope tied across a path for a horse's legs) as this will hurt the horse, and I suspect you want your party to eventually catch up to their quarry. I don't care if you got Jesse Owens, a man on foot (avg. 2.5 mph) is never going to catch up to a traveler's horse (avg. 10-15 mph).

A dead body! Hey, thieves get in disagreements, and nothing settles a dispute like a knife in the back. Every troop has its retard, someone slowing the pace (sick, injured, etc.) and the best way to settle this is to cut off the weakest link. Let your heroes walk onto a murder scene. See what they think of that, especially if there's some tasty intel suggesting where a lair or two might be located!

For a variety of terrain features, while most people use forests, there are several that are just as hampering. High-grass savannahs are just as difficult to navigate, and Highland glens (like Scotland) have huge hills and many shallow valleys. Swampy moors (make it a boat/skift chase for a change of pace!), arid grasslands, hedge gardens, foothills, foggy burrows, and minor mountain range passes all make for good areas to hunt people down.

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Thanks, these are good advice if I have to write my module myself (I will do so, if not good suggestions turn up). Do you know of any modules or adventures that are written with what you have just described? –  Extrakun Jul 22 '13 at 19:41
    
Sadly, most of my ideas that I've done were house rules, or torn/shredded/paced back together from a variety of sources. While we played ADD2nd, we were by no means pure to WotC. A good chunk was based on reality (such as fensing) or movies (when applicable) so a good deal was made up on-the-fly. We enjoyed it because it made our games unique, rather difficult, and great to play. Sorry the best I can do is offer advice. –  Jersey Jul 23 '13 at 17:15

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