Tuesday 26 July 2011

An Adventure for Every Monster - Bugbear

Map from Dyson Logos, find it and other excellent images here.

Frequency Uncommon
No. appearing 6-36
Armour class 5
Move 9”
Hit Dice 3+1
Percentage in lair 25%
Treasure type Individuals, J,K,L,M. B in lair
No. of attacks 1
Damage per attack 2-8 or by weapon type
Special attack Surprise on a 1-3
Special defences Nil
Magic Resistance Standard
Intelligence Low to Average
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Size L (7’+ tall)
THAC0 16
XP value 135 +4/hp

This adventure takes place in a mountainous area that has a chasm running through it and several gullies that split the rocky wilderness.

The complex on the map is currently occupied by a gang of bugbears who have kidnapped a merchant’s daughter and are holding her for ransom.

The local lord, having heard of the plight of the girl, has hired the party to take the ransom to the bugbears and escort the girl back to her family.

As well as this, there is a second gang of bugbears who were driven out of their lair by the hostage-takers and want to get it back. They will attack more or less as the party enters the lair to deliver the ransom and take custody of the girl.

Following that?

Well, in a further development, the merchant whose daughter was snatched, not willing to sit back and let the local lord take all the glory for the deal, has hired a band of adventurers of his own who he has instructed to get his daughter back alive and wipe out the bugbears.

So, we have two groups of bugbears, two groups of adventurers and the following situation

Bugbear Group One will fight Bugbear Group Two but not the party.
Bugbear Group Two will fight Bugbear Group One, the party and the merchant’s band.
The merchant’s band will fight Bugbear Groups One and Two but not the party unless the party tries a hostile act
If the leader of Bugbear Group One finds out that the merchant’s party is attacking both groups, he will suspect a double cross (with all that this implies) unless the party can convince him otherwise.
The humans cannot tell the difference between Bugbear Groups One and Two
The Bugbears cannot tell the difference between the party and the merchant’s band.

Let chaos commence!

Keyed locations on the map

1 Main approach area for the main bridge. Two bugbears are on watch here, one at the end of each passageway. On detection of the approach of anyone who they do not know or who they regard as hostile, they will blow the large ram’s horn that is kept in Area 2
2 Watchpoint for the main bridge. A large ram’s horn is kept here for alarm purposes. There is a bugbear stationed here who will use a large composite longbow to open fire on attackers. He is an expert with this weapon and will get +2 to hit.
3 Winding passageway leading from the secret door to the rope bridge.
4 The chief of the hostage-taking bugbears lives here with his two bodyguards. He is AC4, has 25 hit points, attacks as a 4HD monster and does +1 damage. His bodyguards have 15hp and are armed with both morning stars and hand axes, which they will throw. There are several joints of meat here that the chief and his bodyguards are eating. The provenance of the joints is suspect.
5 Two more bugbears are in here, guarding the hostage. She is not bound as such, but the bugbears are ready for anything she might try, unless there is a distraction. She is a feisty girl and will seize any opportunity to make her own escape, which might not be such a good thing as she has no idea of the layout of the complex or its defenders.
6 End of the rope bridge. The ropes are tethered to iron posts driven into the rock. They can be hacked but will take 10hp of damage each before breaking
7 Guardhouse for the rope bridge. Two bugbears are stationed here.
8 Staging area for the rope bridge. Stairs lead up from here to Area 10. The ropes have the same hit points as those at location 6. A sentry waits here to make sure that nobody uses the rope bridge to outflank the position. He is armed with a clutch of spears and a scary-looking guisarme.
9 Eastern guard tower. As this covers both the main bridge and rope bridge, it has room enough for four bugbears, armed with heavy crossbows. The bugbears will not both fire in a round, but fire alternately so that one shot can be guaranteed per round. They also have swords in case they are attacked at close range.
10 A wide area enclosed by walls. Three bugbears are stationed here to bolster the defence of either the main bridge (14) or the eastern gate (11). There are some crates and packing cases against the south wall. These were seized by the bugbears when they raided the caravan that was carrying the merchant’s daughter. It was thought that they were valuables but it turned out to be dresses, cosmetics and a set of scrolls on which are written several romantic tales of courtly love. The whole may be worth somewhere in the region of 260 silver pieces. The bugbears do not realise what they are.
11 A guard room for the eastern entrance. This has room enough for two bugbears
12 This room is used for storing weapons; it will have spears, maces, axes, hammers, light crossbows, swords and several containers of oil.
13 This room contains the treasure of the bugbear band. It is guarded by two bugbears.

It has
Copper pieces 2251
Silver pieces 875
Electrum pieces 612
Gold pieces 507
Gems 1 (75gp)

The paucity of the hoard is probably one of the reasons why the band is engaging in hostage-taking.

14 The main bridge. This is a sturdy affair, made of dressed stone and several hundred years old. It has no balustrades (so somebody at the edge may have to make a DEX roll if they’re involved in combat that involves dodging blows). The stones themselves have faded designs on them that seem to resemble fish and birds.

From 6 to 8 is a narrow rope bridge that will only permit one person across at a time. If two people try to use it, both must save vs. DEX. If both save, the bridge bucks about but neither falls. A failed save means the person falls off the bridge and into the chasm. It’s up to the DM to decide what happens after that.

There are twenty-two bugbears in total. If an attack comes from either of the two passages to the west, the leader will move down to the rope bridge and call across to the sentry, who will come across with one of the guards from Tower 7. They, with the chief and his two bodyguards will emerge from the secret door and use this route to attack their enemies from the rear. In the meantime, the guards in Area 5 will move the hostage down the passageway to area 6. If an attack comes down the passage, one will hold the attackers off long enough for the hostage to be moved across the rope bridge to Area 8.

The rival band is only nineteen strong but they have determination and revenge on their side. They are armed with
1 Two-handed sword
2 Broadsword
3 Bow and dagger
4 Bow and dagger
5 Bow and dagger
6 Mace
7 Mace
8 War hammer
9 Battle axe
10 Mace
11 Spear and broadsword
12 Bastard sword +1 and two daggers (this is the leader of the other band – he has the same combat stats as the bugbear in Area 4)
13 War hammer
14 Battle axe
15 Morning Star
16 Spear and broadsword
17 Morning Star
18 Battle axe and hand axe
19 Spear and broadsword

The rival band know about the secret door leading into passage 3 as this was their lair before they were driven out. They will not try to get through it as they know that a prolonged battle in the passageway will slow their attack up. They will, however, try to seal it off with rocks and iron spikes, which will take three bugbears three rounds to achieve if they are not attacked during the process.
Their tactics will consist of attacking area 1 in overwhelming numbers, using their bowmen to knock out the bugbears on the western side of the chasm so that they cannot sound the alarm horn and then rushing the bridge so that they control both sides of it. The heavy fighters will then move to cut off the occupants of Area 9 so that axemen can race to the eastern end of the rope bridge and cut it, preventing anyone coming across it.
They don’t know about the merchant’s daughter but if they do capture her, she will serve as the main course at a victory feast they plan to enjoy when they have recaptured their stronghold.

As a postscript, it should be noted that the local lord had negotiated the release to bolster his position with the merchants and so intends to get rid of the party once the whole thing is over with.

EDIT - You can now download this adventure as a pdf, courtesy of Matthew Schmeer; click on the picture of the bugbear at the top of the blog sidebar.


  1. The question is, how do you come up with this stuff??

    Also, can you please skip to "G" for Golem, Flesh, and then jump to "T" for Troll? My favorite monsters... :)

  2. Totally using this in a 0e campaign I'll be running soon. Very awesome. Wonderful job, and gotta love Dyson's maps.