Each day, an NPC can be assigned to perform one task around camp or generally employ skills on the PCs’ behalf. The most useful such projects include the following.
• Assist: NPCs can assist a PC or NPC with any skill they’re trained in, automatically granting a +2 aid another bonus.
• Build Shelter: Creating a shelter for one Medium-sized creature requires a successful DC 12 Craft or Survival check. For every 2 points by which the result exceeds 12, the shelter can accommodate one additional Medium-sized creature. These shelters are simple and cold, but enough to prevent a character from being fatigued from lack of shelter.
• Craft: With access to the necessary tools, NPCs can craft finished goods for the PCs upon request, using the normal Craft skill rules (Core Rulebook 91).
• Forage or Hunt: Characters who spend a full day hunting or gathering and succeed at a DC 10 Survival check gain 1 Provision Point. Characters gain 1 additional Provision Point for every 2 by which the result exceeds 10.
• Herd: Phaendar’s sheep and goat herds were scattered in the attack, and many were lost in the Fangwood. NPCs can recover a single goat or sheep with a successful DC 16 Handle Animal check. Captive animals can be maintained with a single successful Handle Animal check (DC = 10 + the number of animals) per day. Neglecting to maintain the herd or failing this check indicates one or more animals have wandered off. A captive animal generates 1 Provision Point every 3 days in the form of milk (and eventually cheese or butter), or can be butchered to immediately provide 2 Provision Points.
• Scout: NPCs trained in Survival or Stealth can scout the area or keep an eye on Phaendar for the PCs. With a successful DC 10 Survival check, an NPC can either discover one point of interest in the area (such
as an encounter location) or reduce the chances for a random encounter by 5%. An NPC who succeeds at this skill check by 5 or more can identify one danger in the area of the encounter (if any exist).
• Stand Watch: An NPC can stand watch, attempting Perception checks and even confronting danger while the PCs rest uninterrupted.
• Support: One or more NPCs can follow the PCs to assist them, carrying equipment, standing watch at temporary camps (see below), and providing skills the PCs may lack. NPCs hold back from combat, but should the PCs lose a fight, the NPCs attempt to drag their unconscious leaders to safety.
• Use Skill: NPCs can use any of their listed skills on the PCs’ behalf, such as using Handle Animal to train captured animals, Heal to provide long-term care, or Knowledge to answer questions for the PCs.
Named NPC Actions
• Jet: Jet keeps the resources maintained, making sure the refugees use the most perishable items first and helping people pack balanced loads. She knows many stories and songs that she shares with the others. So long as Jet oversees the cooking, the camp generates 1 additional Provision Point each day.
• Kining: The stolid dwarf keeps everyone’s weapons sharp and true, and though she grumbles, she trains the refugees how to fight so they don’t panic. All the refugees gain a +1 bonus on initiative rolls while Kining remains with the group.
• Rhyna: She uses her herbalism training to find healing plants and savory herbs while foraging, and treats the small wounds the refugees suffer daily. Characters in the camp heal 1 additional hit point each night while they rest so long as Rhyna remains with the group.
The resources the PCs and their followers need to survive are abstracted throughout this adventure as Provision Points. One Provision Point sustains a person for 1 day and consists of a half-gallon of fluid (clean water, or ale, broth, cider, goat’s milk, or sheep’s milk) and 3 to 5 pounds of stable food (apples, berries, bread, dried boar, dried venison, hard cheese, mushrooms, nuts, pickled vegetables, and smoked trout). The PCs’ followers carry their resources in a hodgepodge of bottles, jars, and satchels stuffed into improvised backpacks. Each Provision Point of resources weighs about 10 pounds. Together one trail ration and a waterskin also translate to 1 Provision Point, but weigh only 5 pounds.
Consuming only half a Provision Point per day sustains a character, but leaves that person distracted and irritable. A character who eats only a half portion takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks,
skill checks, and saving throws until she consumes a full portion. If a person eats half provisions more than 3 days a week, she doesn’t have enough body fat to endure starvation for long, and must begin making Constitution checks each day to avoid taking nonlethal damage.
If a person eats no provisions in a day, she takes the –2 penalty on all attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws listed above. Typically, a character can go without water for 1 day, or food for 3
days before making Constitution checks to avoid taking nonlethal damage. Remember that a character who takes any nonlethal damage from starvation or thirst also becomes fatigued, imposing additional penalties.
The Fangwood Forest and Nirmathas in general are temperate, with frequent light rains. Shelter can be as simple as an abandoned home, a cave, a lean-to, a ruin, a tent. If a shelter option isn’t immediately available, a character can construct a temporary shelter sufficient for one Medium sized creature with a successful DC 15 Survival check and 1 hour’s work; for every 2 points by which this result exceeds 15, the shelter can accommodate one additional Medium creature.
Sleeping without a shelter is cold and often wet, exposing a character to the elements and leaving her fatigued the next day. If she sleeps without shelter a second day, she awakes exhausted, which persists until she can find shelter to rest in for a night. For several weeks in the summer, nights in the Fangwood are warm and clear enough that characters don’t require a shelter to sleep comfortably unless there is an unusual cold snap or precipitation (GM’s discretion). Creatures under the effects of an endure elements spell are not fatigued by sleeping without shelter.
Keeping a band of survivors alive in the Fangwood is no easy task, and the refugees following the PCs appreciate the effort and risks involved. Each week, the refugees provide the PCs with a gift worth up to 10 gp per surviving member of their band. This can represent goods brought along when they fled Phaendar, abandoned treasures found while scouting the woods, or equipment, scrolls, or potions crafted in their spare time.