Encounters in the Dark

the-ruins-boundThe Järnringen website includes various useful downloads available for free in the Store, many of them in Swedish but entirely useful with some light translation work.

Quite early in my interest for the Symbaroum RPG I had a stab at translating the reference sheets that came with the (no longer available) GM screen. You can find the rest of the Symbaroum Reference Sheets translated and expanded elsewhere on this site, but including these encounters didn’t seem like the right place. The Reference Sheets have general value for the GM while these encounters probably only have value while the treasure-seekers roam the trackless depths of Davokar.

You can access this table of Symbaroum Wilderness Encounters directly in Google Sheets.

# Phenomenon Traits and Abilities to Identify Effect (discovery, impact, outcome)
1 Abandoned trading post Nothing A small trading post lies in ruins, with no sign of corpses but blood spattered across what remains of the buildings and trails suggesting something dragged objects away into the thicket
2 Ancient holy symbol Loremaster and [Cunning] The symbol shows a stylized sun. While worth 10 Thalers for the gold alone, a dealer in curios might offer 50 Thalers. If presented at a Prios Temple it could attract offers of worth 100 Thalers – but might instead serve as a means to secure a promise or temporary Contacts [Church of Prios] trait
3 Bridge Sixth Sense and [Vigilant] Fog descends as the travelers reach sparse trees and broken ground; the thickening cloud hides a deep ditch, open chasm or concealed pit trap certain to endanger anyone who fails to spot them
4 Bridge Sixth Sense and [Vigilant] Damaged bridge crosses a debris-choked stream. The debris conceals: 1-2 Etterheads, 3-4 Robbers, 5-6 Dragouls, 7-8 Corpses
5 Corpse leaning against a tree Nothing Searching the clothing of the rotting carcass uncovers a piece of useful equipment or 1D10 Thalers
6 Corpse leaning against a tree Beast Lore and [Cunning] Dragoul lie in wait, ready to pounce upon unwary prey
7 Corpse leaning against a tree Sixth Sense and [Cunning] Rigged as a trap, damage 6
8 Corrosive moss Alchemy and [Cunning] Without perceiving the threat before entering, the characters become subject to the malign nature of the growth here, suffering 4 damage for 4 rounds (equivalent to strong Poisoning)
9 Cry for help Nothing A barbarian caught in his own trap
10 Cry for help, false Beast Lore and [Vigilant] Two travelers lying in the path, one body clearly badly mauled. Plaintive cry for help from the other in fact the mimicking cry of a Jakaar lurking in a ditch by the path – with a pack waiting in ambush within the thicket
11 Cry for help, false Beast Lore and [Cunning] A group of Elves or Dragonfly lurking in the bushes
12 Fairy in a trap [Persuasive] The thankful fairy, relieved to have been saved, will assist the characters for a short period in avoiding combat and/or hazards.
13 False roots Alchemy and [Cunning -5] Character chooses an elixir under the rules of Alchemy – but really it is a poison, harm 4 for 4 rounds (equivalent to strong Poisoning)
14 Gale warning Contacts [Barbarian clan] Warns of a danger in the area
15 Grave Theurgy (Novice) and [Cunning] Grave at the side of the road, reasonably fresh, with the signs associated with a careful consecration in the name of Prios
16 Hidden trap Sixth Sense and [Vigilant] Damage 5+ as well as additional 3 for 3 rounds (bleeding)
17 Hunters brand / mark Contacts [Queen’s Rangers] Warns of a danger in the area
18 Large cocoons in a glade Beast Lore and [Cunning] Roll 1D6: 1-2 Unborn Etterherds, 3-4 Cocooned Travelers, 5-6 Pupal Ogres
19 Large empty cocoons Beast Lore and [Cunning] As above, but hatched – or partially consumed
20 Monster carcasses Beast Lore and [Cunning] GM should explain the state of the monster or travellers as a warning what might yet lurk in the area.
21 Mummified monsters Beast Lore and [Cunning] GM should explain the state of the monster or travellers as a warning what might yet lurk in the area
22 Path Nothing Part of the path ahead has been improved with cobbles of dressed stone and edging; no sign of craftsmen, the improvement extends for only a furlong before petering out
23 Path Nothing Path ahead shows signs of churning and disruption consistent with some fierce battle
24 Path Theurgy (Novice) and [Cunning] Part of the path ahead has been improved with cobbles that, on closer inspection and with a successful test, clearly have come from a Symbarian ruin, as they bear the glyphs of that ancient empire’s language
25 Point of corruption Witchsight and [Vigilant] Provides 1D4 temporary corruption when the characters walk in and then the same per hour spent in the grove
26 Poison thicket Alchemy and [Cunning] Without perceiving the threat before entering, the characters become subject to the malign nature of the plants here, suffering 3 damage for 3 rounds (equivalent to moderate Poisoning)
27 Rare plants Alchemy and [Cunning] Plants rarely found, but here full grown and ready to harvest. Character chooses an elixir under the rules of Alchemy
28 Rare plants Nothing When the characters wake in their camp they find the surrounding ground thick with flowers with fleshy red petals in full bloom, inexplicably grown overnight
29 Ritual location Nothing Tree stands at the centre of a clearing, obviously far older than the trees around it, the bark scratched and smeared with a dark, sticky substance with a metallic tang
30 Ritual location Ritualist and [Cunning] Roll the person may know the ritual made on the spot, rituals tradition is a clue to a group operating in the area.
31 Sudden drop Sixth Sense and [Vigilant] 10-meter fall (= 10 damage, with adjustment for Armor and Quick allowed), 1-2 natural sinkhole, 3-4 old hunters trap, 5-6 recent trap dug by barbarians, 7-8 recent trap dug by Ambrian hunters, 9-10 opening into unexplored ruin or mine
32 Symbarian stone tablet Theurgy (Novice) and [Cunning] Character learns a valuable fact about a Symbaroum Ruin in the immediate area; a secret entrance, a trap, or guardians etc.
33 Trace of monsters Beast Lore and [Cunning] Reveals what it is and its purpose in the area: passing through, looking for a partner, hunting, guarding offspring, etc.
34 Travelers Nothing Hastily abandoned camp with food still cooking over a smouldering campfire and various useful (but cheap) items of travel and camp gear
35 Travelers Theurgy (Novice) and [Vigilant] Pilgrims on the path ahead traveling in the direction of the rising sun, [Theurgy] followers of 1-2 Prios, 3-4 Old God, 5-6 Obscure Cult
36 Tribal glyph Loremaster and [Cunning] Character learns a valuable fact about a danger in the surrounding area
37 Witch’s mark Witchcraft or Contacts [Witches] Witch offers a warning if the next event characters will encounter
38 Wounded animal in a trap [Persuasive] Character calms the animal so that it can be unleashed. The beast will follow the character as a partner (the player manages the beast as a second role of person). Failure type attacking the beast, with the half-resistance.

2 Comments

  1. Hi,
    you mentioned a GM Screen in this post – was it available on your blog, or was it published by Järnringen? If you created it, could you perhaps make it available again? I am currently assembling GM screen inserts for the Hammerdog 4 panel universal screen, and using your three reference sheets, I still have one panel available… 🙂

    Cheers

    • The screen was published by Järnringen – in Swedish. When I first started looking into Symbaroum, I asked whether a GM screen existed on Reddit and the response from Järnringen directly was: “We printed a GM screen initially, but it sold out within a month (printed too few). We are looking into printing a new one in English, but since we are “looking into” a lot of things I can’t say when it will happen.” I guess we keep fingers crossed on an official GM screen. In the meantime, I have plans to work through some of the content in the Swedish Player’s Handbook and other released supplements to see if I can rustle up Page 4.

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