These are some hex crawl locations I threw together for the Hexographer Hex-Crawl Contest. I already have full licenses for Hexographer and Dungeonographer and a set of the DungeonMorph Cards, so I'm hoping to earn a set of the DungeonMorph Dice or the Coat of Arms Design Studio. Each of these locations is something that you could easily drop into a hex to give some flavor and difference to the wilderness. With a bit of creativity, they could also be expanded into full adventures for a night or more of play.
If you use them in your game, drop me a line and let me know how it goes.
1. The Dragon’s Bowl
A narrow path descends steeply into a natural bowl of rock with a deep, clear pool at the bottom. The water is ice cold, but clean and potable. There are several small shelves of rock around the pool, each shelf shaded from weather by a low overhang. The whole place seems like a perfect place to rest and recover.
The bowl is protected by the spirit of an ancient dragon spirit. Any being that sleeps overnight on one of the shelves will recover the maximum possible hit points and be healed an additional 1d4 hit points by the spirit. They will also dream that they are having a conversation with the spirit. The dragon will answer 1-3 questions posed by the character. Each answer has an equal chance of being answered truthfully or with a half-truth.
2. Little Dragon in the Woods
A huge dragon skull is sunk into the ground along the side of the road or path on which the characters are traveling. Exploring around the skull reveals other bones that are obviously the remains of a powerful dragon that died here at least a decade ago. Further exploration turns up a camouflaged door where the front of the ribcage would be. The door leads into a small sod house that is poorly but comfortably appointed.
The house is the residence of a wisenend, dirty hermit. He claims that he was once a great warrior that gave up the sword after defeating his arch-nemesis, the very dragon in which he has made his home. He claims that he buried his magical equipment in the woods nearby. If only he could remember where...
3. The Terrible Temple of Arn
An ancient shrine is submerged in about three feet of brackish water. The shrine is topped with the menacing figure of a demonic frog-like being. Its mouth is partially opened and the tip of its tongue is visible between a pair of sharpened ridges of teeth. Its skin is covered with warts and knobs, several of which have malevolent, opened eyes. Beneath the demon-frog, seated on a simple stone throne between a pair of fluted columns is a short, bearded human with a broad face, short beard, and some kind of brimmed cap. He appears to be smiling mischievously. In front of the statue is a small altar inlaid with a gridded pattern and strange sigils. Scattered across the top of the altar are a variety of crystals and gems (each worth 10-50 gp). The gems are carved and decorated with ancients number symbols.
If the characters take the gems, they will be immediately attacked by lizard men or frog men that emerge from surrounding swamp. If they escape the guardians, they will be cursed and hunted by the temple's guardians until they return the gems to the altar. If they roll the gems across the top of the altar, the statue will seem to animate and wink at them. They will discover a minor magic item appropriate to the character the next time that they rest.
4. Goodberry Inn
A small travelers’ inn sits next to a remote crossroads. The inn has passable food and comfortable accommodations. What it is mostly noted for is a completely unique type of wine.
Goodberry wine is mostly white with a slight bluish tint. It is light, sweet, and remarkably refreshing and restores 1 hp to anyone that drinks a glass. For anyone drinking a glass, it also imposes a -1 penalty to all saving throws against sleep or charm effects for a full 12 hours. The owner of the inn will not reveal the recipe or the source of the fruit from which the wine is made.
The wine is actually made from a mix of common white grapes and berries from the realm of faerie. It is brewed in a secret room in a hollow hill behind the inn by a pair of faeries. The faeries were bound to a hundred years and a day of servitude. They can be freed by pronouncing their names backwards three times and removing the bracelet of child’s hair bound around each of their wrists. They cannot reveal the method of their release directly to anyone.
5. The Face of Fate
The characters find a limestone cliff covered in vines. A stern face with an ornate headdress is carved into the face of the cliff. The mouth of the face is opened wide enough that a character could easily slip a hand inside. The half-rotten remains of fruit, native totems, and other offerings can be seen inside the mouth. If the characters look straight into the mouth, they will also see a glint of light reflected from something inside. Characters reaching into the mouth have an equal chance of finding a small totem made of gold and gems (10-20 gp value), a large uncut gem (50-200 gp value uncut, 500-1000 gp cut and polished), an aggressive venomous snake, or 1-3 giant centipedes.
6. The River of Plenty
The characters see an underground river ahead of them flowing across the passage. The river is suspended perfectly in the middle of the passage, passing smoothly between two five foot-wide holes in the walls of the passage. Blind cave fish can be seen swimming in the water of the river.
None of the water will ever splash the walls, floor, or ceiling here. Characters can easily pass over, under or through the water with no ill effects. The water is clean and potable, and the fish are edible and nutritious.
Creatures in the area are completely aware of the water and food available here. Characters that linger here have triple the normal chance of a random encounter here.
7. The Moaning Tower
Grassland, Farmland, Forest, Hills, or Jungle
The characters find the tumbled remains of an ancient tower. The stumps of the walls are overgrown with vines, trees, and dense shrubs. There is a passable opening in the wall and the overgrowth where the door of the tower once was. As the party approaches the tower, they can hear a low moaning sound coming from inside.
The tower is inhabited by a small hive of giant bees. The moaning sound is the resonance of the buzz of the bees through the foliage and rubble inside the ruin. The bees have completely filled the larder and dungeons below the ruins with their hive, tunneling deeper into the hillside for the queen’s chamber. They will not bother anyone who approaches the tower unless they are attacked or someone attempts to enter or disturb the hive.
8. Dust to Dust
Badlands or Desert
The characters see a huge number of dust devils on the horizon. The mini-whirlwinds are all concentrated in an area a couple dozen yards across and appear to be weaving in and out of each other. Nothing about the scene appears natural or normal.
The whirlwinds are actually the spirits of a tribe of bandits and a unit of caravan guards that fought and died here centuries ago. Their spirits are trapped in the sand here and forced to relive their final moments over and over for eternity.
Anyone who waits for 1d30+30 minutes will see the dust devils disappear one by one until the area is completely calm. 30 minutes later, all of the spirits will rise again and resume their dance.
A character that approaches within twenty feet of the spirit battle will take 1d6 damage per round from the whirling sand in the area. A character that actually enters the battle while the spirits are active will take 3d6 damage per round. Animals will try to avoid the area completely, possibly bolting if their riders try to force them too close to the battleground.