Thursday 21 October 2010

Sand-Box Locations: Part I

I've been giving a lot thought to some of the adventure sites I'll be using in my Sandbox campaign. Here are a few initial concepts and ideas. This first part of the article lists adventure sites that are canon or semi-canon (fanon) locations located near the Trobridge Inn. Those appearing in the second part of the article will be my own additions.


The Inn is itself is a possible (indeed, likely) site for adventure. With two “canon” factions striving for control of the village (see my earlier post, here) and a third, somewhat more passive faction of my own devising (Lyra) there will be plenty of opportunity for conflict and intrigue. The Trobride Inn supplement includes an adventure that introduces a (possible) fourth faction into the mix, but it's longevity depends on the patience and temperance of the PC's. Both of which are traits adventurers notoriously lack.


“Everyone” knows there are haunted tunnels beneath the ruins of the old Watchtower. Which is exactly why no-one but Kurson's heavily armed Brigands are willing to go near it. Rumoured to be the location where Kurson stores all his all-gotten “tribute” from the villagers and tolls from the ford.

Likely to be one of the first sites explored by the party. There is a small map provided in Trobridge Inn, but it leaves plenty of room for expansion. And oh, do I intend to expand it.


Located in the wilderness around 15 leagues west of the Inn, the ruins represent a failed attempt by the Thardic Republic to extend their sphere of influence further along the Salt Route. Few people in the region are said to know exactly where it is located (it is not visible from the road) but all who speak of it insist the place is haunted by Morvin and frequented by Ivashu.

Also likely to be among the first sites explored by the party. While this location exists in canon, it has never (to my knowledge) been fully developed. So this will be one of the first dungeons I have free reign to create as I wish.


A barrow near haunted Taztos, said to have been opened and explored by Lothrim himself. The garrison have yet to discover its location, though few have been foolish enough to try. They might not take kindly to strangers riling up the restless spirits of the dead.


The largest and oldest hive of Gargun known to exist on Harn. It's territory extends for many leagues in every direction, with smaller settlements known as “Warrens” scattered throughout the region. It is said to be led by the most cunning and wicked of the Gargun kings, who, almost unique among his kind, seems to possess at least some powers of both magic and statecraft.

I doubt the players will ever end up here. At least, not before they reach name level. Not unless they are very, very stupid. Or very, very, clever.


An ancient Cython (as the Earth-masters are called in my campaign. Purely because it sounds better to modern ears) ruin approx. 30 Leagues north of Trobridge. The surrounding area is said to be heavily forested and mountainous but with many well preserved buildings and extensive passages beneath. A village of humans who treat the site as a Holy Place can be found along a game-trail to the west of the ruins. They claim descent from the original inhabitants.

I'm likely going to use a published module to represent this site and its surrounds. I simply haven't quite settled yet on which one.


Only twenty leagues t the North West of Trobridge, in an area of otherwise flatland known as the “Plain of Towers,”Elkall-Anuz was once the great capital of the wizard-tyrant, Lothrim. It may even have been the birthplace of the Gargun, who are said to have been created by Lothrim's magics. 600 years old, the site includes many unexplored barrows in the surrounding area and (in my version of Harn) three massive towers that once housed his Gargun army. The site is deep within Chelni territory, but the tribes folk avoid it as though it harboured plague.

This will be one possible location for the campaign's Mega-Dungeon. At the moment I'm leaning towards using the maps from the Ruins of Greyhawk or (only slightly less likely) Stone-Hell Dungeon for this one. On the other hand, creating a mega-dungeon of your own from scratch is a fun and rewarding experience. In the end, I think my final decision will come down to whether or not I have the time to create my own computer -generated maps before the players get here.


Another Cython site, 25 leagues Southwest of Trobridge. The site lies within the confines of the demon-haunted Shava forest, inside the territory claimed by the Sindarin Kingdom of Evael. The site is said to be guarded by more than just the army of the Elf King. Those who enter the forest and are not turned back by the elves often return so terror-stricken, that they can never discuss the experience nor approach these dark woods ever again.

Way, way to many spoilers to discuss my plans for this place here.


The capital of Kaldor, Tashal marks the eastern end of the Salt Route, though JEDES (farther South) is almost equidistant in terms of travel. 60 Leagues North East of Trobridge along the Salt Route, it is home to Kaldor's king for much of the year. Said to be the second largest city on Harn, there are few things on Harn that cannot be bought or sold here.

I don't really intended to use this location as an adventure site as such, I envision Tashal as being one of the party's “go-to” sites when they need to trade in a lot of treasure or make a big purchase and can't afford to wait for the next suitable merchant to come along. I fully intend to run a few side-trek adventures at this location however, but there's a reason it more or less marks the Eastern edge of the “low-level party” sand-box.


A fortified camp of the Thardic Legion, Taztos marks the easternmost extent of Thardic territory and the westernmost extent of the campaign map. Too small to be of much use to character seeking to divest themselves of loot, it will likely see use more as a final stopping point on the Salt Route for any west-bound caravans escorted by the players.

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