The Witch Wood Battle Map – Launch

This material was posted on patreon by Afternoon Maps

More map suggestions please!

Due to real life commitments I’m a few days behind my map schedule for the month which means the ‘Fancy Ballroom’ will be the first of next month’s maps. I’d like to get your ideas on what new maps to create as well, so please make your suggestions in the comments below.

Thank you all so much for your continued support. For those of you planning on celebrating Halloween, I hope you can stay safe and have fun whatever your plans. Have a wonderful rest of the week and as always happy adventuring! Now lets see why those dark figures are dancing around that bonfire in the woods.

Introduction

The pine forest is dark and ominous, the trees crowd together creating a shadowy interior, damp and dripping with moisture. In places a tree has fallen creating a gap in the canopy, dense green patches of ferns and nettles grow there. Rotten logs and branches litter the forest floor, mosses and lichen grow across every surface turning the rotting wood into strangely shaped mounds of green.

You continue along the forest path for some time before noticing light through the trees ahead, a warm flickering firelight that casts wild shadows across a small muddy clearing. Approaching you think you see slender figures moving around a bonfire, but as you get closer they seem to evaporate into the shadows, leaving an empty clearing and a bonfire that pops and crackles as damp wood burns fiercely. You look around cautiously, weapons drawn. Someone has made this fire, you sense their presence, even if you cannot see them.

Scanning the forest edge you feel a change in the air, a heaviness you can not explain. The fire seems to quieten as a low vibrating hum fills the clearing. As you listen you begin to notice a strange murmuring, an unintelligible babbling coming from the other side of the clearing. At the edge of the forest a shadowy figure stands, tall and skinny, arms too long for its body, clawed hands quivering spasmodically. A set of antlers crown it’s strangely misshapen head. You feel its eyes on you and more disturbingly you see its eyes glowing red like rubies in the firelight while the rest of its body remains stubbornly in shadow. With a sudden jerking movement it charges, leaping across the fire, you step back in horror as the figure is finally revealed, its visage far worse than you could have ever imagined.

Notes and Tips

  • 30×30 map
  • This clearing is the site of some unholy ritual to summon something terrible, maybe an old god or forest spirit long since turned to darkness.
  • People often see cloaked figures moving through the trees, hear strange chanting or screams in the depths of the forest at night.
  • Have a local wise woman hire the party as bodyguards for a ritual she must complete on a special night of the year. While she dances around the fire in a daze, malevolent spirits are drawn to her and the party must defend her at all costs.
  • Cultists can be flavoured to fit the location. Have them wear antlers, whip themselves with nettles and wear robes covered in moss and lichen.
  • Use the forest boundary or the edge of the firelight as a ‘safer’ area of the map. Step out into the forest or leave the firelight and receive any number of disadvantages. Examples could be blindness, fear, disadvantage on rolls or something weirder like a loss of memory that gets worse over time.
  • The fire needs to be kept lit or the ‘monsters’ will overrun the camp. More wood needs to be thrown on, or other magical means can be used.
  • For lower level parties a pack of wolves can be a fun encounter in the woods. Use the fire as a central point, the wolves jumping out of the shadows to attack and then retreating into the shadows to attack from a different location.

Variants

Simple day versions – For when you just need a forest encounter map

Nigh time woodland version

The Feywilds – Bonfire and simple versions

CHECK IT OUT

This is an affiliate post