Fleshing out Ravengro.

Carrion Crown

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So, seeing that some people think that the party needs more reason to interact with the townsfolk and more ways to earn trust, I came up with some extra stuff to throw into the town to help with that when I run it.

Helping some townsfolk: I figure some easy haunts around town would help to get the PCs interacting with the people in town and give an opportunity to gain some trust. These are basically benign spirits that are becoming restless and serve not as a threat but as an irritation to the townsfolk. These still need some fleshing out but I figure they are at least a start. Each of these could give the PCs 1 trust point and should have some way for the PCs to find out the history of them.

The missing ring: Anyone who tries to pull the bucket up from the well in town finds it much heavier that it should be. Once the bucket is lifted out of the well there is nothing apparently weighing it down and its weight returns to normal. A search of the well reveals a ring.
History - Some time ago a man planned to propose to his sweetheart, he got his grandmother's ring and proposed... and was promptly rejected. He threw the ring into the well and now the spirit of his grandmother wants the ring brought out of the well and returned to the family.

Good luck: Every night small bundles of twigs, or flowers and found spread around town. These are a good luck charm that appear seemingly out of nowhere. People find them in their stew, in shoes,anywhere really.
History - There was a particularly superstitious man who was buried a few decades ago. His spirit senses the unease in town and is simply trying to give them luck, annoying though it is. His spirit will be at rest if the PCs find his grave, and replace the now crumbling horseshoe embedded in the headstone.

A rap on the knuckles: When people cuss, tell a dirty joke, or spit on the ground they find that they experience a stinging slap on the back of their hand.
History - Father Grimburrow's predecessor was a stern man and spent his time patrolling the town with the goal of cracking down on indecency. He carried around a switch and anytime he heard swearing, or lewd talk he would deliver a swift swat to the knuckles. This father had a favorite sermon and would deliver it at full volume in the town square from time to time. Father Grimburrow can provide this sermon if the PCs wish to read it in the town square they will calm this spirit by convincing him that moral people are here in town.

Melody on the breeze: When the wind blows a faint song can be heard, usually played at funerals as an instrumental the townsfolk are worried about the music as a bad omen. No one quite remembers the lyrics.
History - The song was written by a bard from town and now the spirit sings the sad tune into the wind, should the PCs find the lyrics (or know the lyrics with an appropriate knowledge check) they can sing along with the wind to calm the bard and stop the haunting music.

Setting a mood: A horror campaign needs a good mood set, as such there should be some strange events going on. Things like one of the PCs hearing their name whispered in their ear with no apparent source. If you have the 3.5 Ravenloft book they have a list on page 15 of strange happenings that fit well in most horror games. If you don't they aren't too hard to come up with but here are some of mine:

1: Ashes in fireplaces form crude faces, enough to be disturbing but not enough to say it is not simply pareidolia.
2: The path to Harrowstone has fresh footprints in the mud, when no one has been around to make them. The PCs may even see boot prints being made by nothing at all as they make the trek to the prison.
3: Bells sounded in town seem to have a slight delay from when they ring to when the sound begins.
4: Animals are becoming hard to find, except carrion species, who are becoming disturbingly present.
5: Tea leaves at the bottom of cups, dropped harrow cards, dropped sticks, or other common Things used to divine the future come up as woe. (This should not affect divination magic, but for example: a harrow deck could be dropped and the first card picked up could be a bad omen or some such)
6: Metal objects tarnish quickly even after a polishing.
7: Blood stains are becoming incredibly difficult to remove from clothing.

These should not really have any sort of in game effect but should be used to set a mood and further the "something really wrong is going on here." vibe that should be cultivated with a horror game.

Anyways, figured I would share these with everyone else.

Hmm. I like a fair number of these from the brainstorm perspective. Nicely done. The additional minor haunt ideas would be a nice way to add in a few extra CR worth of xps for partys larger then suggested size to help keep xp on track.

Dark Archive

I would very much like to see this thread grow.

Consider all of these stolen. I'll be happy to contribute once I get the book for myself.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Came up with another one (actually my roommate came up with this idea).

The farmhand: For years there has been a farmer in Ravengro who claimed his farm to be haunted, believing the spirit of his now deceased brother is still doing chores around the farm. He has always been dismissed as delusional (the flask he carries certainly does not help his case). But now with the increase in odd events all over town he has become more vocal, insisting that someone come and help put his brother at peace.
History – There is no spirit at work on the farm, instead the farmer has had a brownie living there for the past few years. The brownie moved in when he found the larder easy to sneak into and does small chores around the farm as his payment. He lives in a hollow under a large tree just off from the field. The PCs should be able to find tracks and trace them back to this tree to catch the helpful fey in the act. This could pan out a few different ways, the farmer could be delighted to have a helper around. If a wizard in the party is planning on getting a brownie as a familiar this could be a great place to introduce that creature type or even have it be the same brownie who leaves the farmer because he begins to boast about his little farmhand. If the farmer distrusts the creature the brownie should move on, possibly even acting as a boon to the party (The brownie may leave books it believes will be relevant to the PCs search pulled out from the shelf or other such minor thing, this could be used to push the party into doing the research needed for the adventure)

Grand Lodge

I set my game during the month of Lamashan (October) to be thematically a "spooky" month. I started the game off at the beginning of the month.

Sure enough the party has concentrated on the prison rather than visiting the town very much. Let's face it, there just isn't much in town to grab a PC.


But on the second Moonday, it is Harvest Fest. I had Kendra make a big fuss about Harvest Fest. She made sure the PCs knew she expected them to go to the festival with her. Now, because the PCs had not been into town and interacted with the villagers at all, I decided to ignore the 1 point of trust lost per day. Too quickly the PCs would be run out of town.

The harvest fest started great, forcing the PCs to interact with NPCs and mingle. It was a sort of Octoberfest/Thanksgiving/Renaissance Fest all mixed into one. The PCs mingled a bit. The communal meal started at noon and a small band started playing Octoberfest-ish music. So the Stirges attack. The PCs save a small baby from a stirge. The townspeople give them LOTS of trust.

Later that afternoon the beautiful fall day turns into a nightmare storm. Within second the temperature dropped over 40 degrees, the clear sky filled with massive, dark clouds with lightning striking. Skeletons and zombies come down the north road as villagers scramble to find their children and rush indoors. The PCs defeat the undead, and earn a few more points of trust.

The next day a new letter appears on the monument. That morning a search is mounted for a missing girl (one of the five children of the people who own the general store). The PCs track prints to a location along the river where they find splattered blood. Then they follow the prints down the river bank. Eventually they find the girl's body washed up against the pylon of the southern bridge. They bring the body to town.

They followed up the footprints to Gib's house and bring the sheriff to investigate. There they found a butcher knife and bucket he had used to bleed the girl. They find Gibs at the General Store mourning with the rest of the town. They convince the sheriff not to make a public arrest. They don't want the town lynching Gibs.

The believe that Gibs was under the influence of the ghosts at Harrowstone and therefore not in his own mind during the murder. They get Gibs into jail quietly then explain there is evidence against him. He screams and rails that he is innocent. The party convinces him that they believe him but with the evidence he is being held for his protection so the town does not lynch him and encourages him to stay quiet.

They then enlist Father Grimburrow to place Protection from Evil on Gibs.

The party then returned to Harrowstone the next day and knocked out the second floor. Nearly killed two PCs. Beat the crap out of them. They used very nearly every spell they had, several charges from a wand, and some potions. The one guy who was knocked out by Father Charlatan is not sure if he really did die or not.

They return to the Lorrimor house (their base- ain't NO WAY they are resting in that prison). They retire for the night to recover. The are awakened by a knock at the door and Kendra screaming. They race down and find the Professor carrying Kendra off towards the graveyard. They easily defeat the Professor and hide his "body" until morning.

Kendra has passed out from fright and is in a coma for 3 days. They get Father Grimburrow to take the Professor's body back to the graveyard quietly so as to not cause a riot.

This ended tonight's session. More NPC interaction tonight than all of the previous nights combined. And I really think it has made a difference in the game.

Krome wrote:

I set my game during the month of Lamashan (October) to be thematically a "spooky" month. I started the game off at the beginning of the month.

Sure enough the party has concentrated on the prison rather than visiting the town very much. Let's face it, there just isn't much in town to grab a PC.
** spoiler omitted **...

Nice, a festival will be used in my games also.

Do we know where the town's name came from? Ravens seem significant, but there's no history for the town outside of how it relates to Harrowstone. Might there have been a Varisian settlement there before the prison was built, or possibly a fishing village?

I'd like to see the checks DCs suggested for the knowledge/perform rolls required.

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