Saturday 20 March 2021

None Shall Pass

Like a former post i did on a crossroads, this is for rural and borderlands or former inhabited frontiers/ Bridges are natural chokepoints for all kinds of troublemakers to restrict travel. Ive always wanted to map my giant city bridges.

The oldest bridges are prehuman made by dwarfs or reptilians or long gone civilised trolls. Some might be from ancient lost empires or magic. Making a bridge is a big deal, some take years, some included sacrifices in the old days. Travellers often rest at a bridge and take on water. Many old bridges are holy and undead and certain beings cannot cross them but might be carried over in a torpor. If you can trick a demon or undead to this state of helplessness you can seal them in the bridge.

Most cross water but some cross ravines or canyons or worse.

d12 Bridge Description
01 A water crossing where water shallow and affordable, used for millennia
02 Huge tree or rock makes a natural bridge, someone may have helped
03 Rickety irregular wooden bridge seems fragile, only one person wide
04 Wooden plank, even bridge, two people side by side or small cart fits , 
05 Solid wooden bridge with huge beams, suit large wagon or oxcart
06 Crude small irregular stone bridge, one person wide
07 Crude small irregular stone bridge, two-person or small cart wide
08 Well made a stone bridge, two-person or small cart wide
09 Well made a stone bridge, two-person or small cart wide
10 Huge stone bridge, suit large wagon or oxcart 
11 Huge stone bridge, suit two lanes of large wagons or oxcarts 
Huge stone bridge, with buildings like a gatehouse, towers or interior structures

d10 Bridge Crossing Types
01 The Law
02 Commoners
03 Criminals
04 Animals
05 Humanoids
06 Giantkind
07 Magical beings
08 Monsters
09 Planar
10 Eldritch

d100 Bridge Crossing Types
01 Knight challenges any nobles to joust, lets others pass 
02 Tax collector and bailiffs find this spot good pickings
03 A cleric collecting for the lepers or orphan home or other worthy cause
04 Soldiers camped here investigating missing fugitive possibly in disguise
05 Inquisitor or witch hunter and thugs looking for evil impure villains
06 Bailiffs here on magistrates orders to nab someone to take to trial and collecting bridge toll to pass the time
07 Secret police looking for traitors to the king
08 Priest looking for fighting folk for a church mission (often claim to see adventurers in a dream)
09 Soldiers on way to a base or on patrol
10 Knight awaits fighting folk needed to deputies for an urgent job for a crown, will be rewarded eventually with some honour 
11 Drunken lecherous friars looking to party 
12 Shepherds crossing with hundreds of animals often sheep or ducks
13 Farmers with wagons on way to market
14 Caravan of merchants
15 Pilgrims with a cleric guardian on way to holy place
16 Priests or monks and/or nuns on way to a church event, possibly with a relic or idol
17 Guards transporting slaves or convict labourers to some project
18 Locals on way to the local festival area, all jolly and happy
19 Locals on way to execution of a criminal 
20 Anxious merchant needs help, goods stolen and hostages taken by bandits
21 An armed flashy highway robber with d4 sidekicks demands a toll, possibly with guns or crossbows
22 A dozen forest bandits with bows, members of oppressed minority or former regime
23 Escaped criminals desperate for anything they can get while on escape
24 A dozen scruffy beggars with clubs and rocks demand food and more 
25 Notorious bandit gang, a boss, his sub-boss and twenty men with spears, hatchets and daggers
26 Shifty bunch of hooded cloaked city gang. Guild thieves blocking trade-in area to annoy and block rival gang of local investments, shortswords, daggers and a few short bows
27 Youth gang of hoodlums causing acts of drunken vandalism and violence often demand a toll
28 Men in official uniforms collecting toll, actually criminals risking a death sentence 
29 Shifty guy with coat offering drugs, vice and forbidden goods
30 Shifty hooded men trading goods mostly out of sight, local seasonal black market
31 Wild deer, goats or other medium grazing animals within sight of the bridge 
32 Majestic winged beast is seen flying lazily overhead, might snatch small humanoid d4 1=eagle 2=vultures 3=owl 4=
33 Wolves attracted by small groups here to prey on
34 Aquatic giant d6 1=lizard 2=frog 3=turtle 4=croc 5=snake 6=newt
35 Old desperate hungry bear or lion has turned to eating humanoids
36 Giant wetland mammals d6 1=rats 2=mink 3=beavers 4=otter 5=platypus 6=marsh walrus  
37 Behemoth herbivores can get cranky as they have children a herd may systematically search and destroy threats in a way smaller herd beast don't. A lone bull might just guard the bridge as some mysterious beast that needs slaying d4 1=mammoths 2=brontotherium 3=brontosaurus 4=auroch
38 Feral dogs follow yapping and attracting more, beg for food start biting. Abandoned by travellers here. Some catch puppies here. Some dogs 1in6 are rabid and go berserk in a fight and carry disease. They attack in packs of a dozen or a score and half will die for the pack. Smaller other dogs will watch from afar yapping to cheer on their fighting dogs but flee from harm or if half fighting dogs die
39 Horrible slimy critter from the water guards the bridges d4 1=green slime 2=grey ooze 3=ochre jellies 4=giant marsh octopus 5=carrion worm 6=slug 7=snail 8=leeches
40 Arthropod giant nightmare critter has moved in d10 1=spider 2=scorpion 3=beetles 4=dragonfly 5=ants 6=bees 7=wasp 8=fly 09=cave lobster 10=ticks
41 Gang of kobolds infested the bridge living in small passages and chambers inside
42 Goblin raiders riding d4 1=wolves 2=huge bats 3=cave lizards 4=tiger beetles
43 Hobgoblin squat on scout manoeuvres happy to live off the land that includes eating humans, led  by a boss a sub-boss and a magic expert
44 Orc soldiers a score grunts led  by a boss a sub-boss and a magic expert
45 A small group if bugbear scouts who can't help but collect some human heads and scare some human children if possible and might try banditry or charging a toll if they feel confident
46 Lizardfolk demand toll as they owned all this land before mammals
47 Evil dwarf bandits hate humans and rob and kill them and defiling corpses and making into warning signs
48 Nasty redcap gnome gang who dip hats in blood and eat human flesh, like prisoners for cruel sadistic sports before eating as sad broken people taste the best
49 Elven trouble makers fire a volley of arrows and spells then flee
50 Halflings fearing some menace trapped the bridge and have watched from an observation post for their secret village hidden close
Ogre or several live here now and demand food or lives for a group to pass 
52 Troll or several live here to eat travellers 
53 Ogre magi loner human form join then ambush travellers
54 Ogre magi leading a band of large humanoids as bandits
55 A moronic giant with a stone club lurks here demanding food or death
56 A  stone giant stands still and seems to be a statue watches the area
57 A frost giant guards here and has spread snow like winter here with a magic relic. has a winter wolf and some ogre goons
58 Cyclops catching and keeping prisoners they plan to use as cattle in a faraway cave
59 Etin with pet lives here now for good hunting d4 1=cavebear 2=sabretooth cat 3=brontotherium 4=wooly rhino
60 Fire giant with fire lizardfolk or Salamder abhumans with a dinosaur pet d4 1=-allosaurus 2=d4+1 raptor hunting pack 3=triceratops 4=stegosaurus
61 Abhuman barbarians in skins with stone axes, let all pass but kill wizards and mock priests
62 Abhuman cave folk moved to the surface world and live in bridge now
63 Abhuman goat folk serving an evil priest trying to block commerce and civilisation
64 Abhuman hyena folk raiders seek victims to capture to eat and sacrifice to demons
65 Water nymph or local spirit or river god demands tithe to cross or regular offerings and worship
66 Lone lycanthrope tries to join travellers and kill by night d4 1=werewolf 2=wererat 3=wereravens 4=devil swine
67 Lycanthrope gang here to eat and infect others
68 Goblin market here most stay away 2 days and know goblin food and magic is dangerous
69 A trickster changeling lurks here in form of the attractive innocent who needs an escort. They are a d4 1=dryad 2=doppelganger 3=animal spirit 4=ghostly spirit
70 Fariefolk claim bridge this day and all kinds of sylvan beings including faerie, elves, gnomes, sprites, sylph, dryads, tree folk, centaurs and more drinking merrily, humans know to join them is a great danger you will be stolen by a faerie and become a slave forever in faerie land
71 Griffons have a nest they see bridge from and will always attack horses, a lone griffon will snatch lone person or straggler

72 Several manticores camp on bridge sent by a evil force to block the place
73 A sphynx asks a riddle to pass and has divine gift for who solves the riddle but it eats any losers, the wonderous item is lost forever if sphynx killed. The sphynx suicides if riddle solves
74 A foul basilisk dwells here and its presence is poisoning the water
75 A chimera has taken the bridge killing anything that comes near and was sent by a wicked deity
76 Harpies have taken over and stop travellers, eating some and throwing diseased feces and abuse at the rest
77 Haunted by powerful undead and lesser undead minions who rose from innocents killed here. May have taken over tomb in bridge or be result of angry unburied dead, a curse or a spirit demanding justice d4 1=vampire 2=ghost 3=spectral minion 4=death knight
78 Dungeon monster moved into the bridge d4 1=mimic 2=roper 3=rust monsters 4=cave fisher
79 Reptilian horror d4 1=Wyvern 2=fire lizard 3=drake 4=behir
80 Dragon has lair in bridge or can see it from a distant lair, it demands gold and food if intelligent or just takes it if young or dumb
81 Elemental cult summoned a planar thrall they use to demand tolls from travellers
82 A demon or devil demands a soul for anyone to cross and leave this plane
83 Chaos warband of mutant berserkers ca,ped here to destroy order of the region
84 Angel guards bridge until some mortals take care of a certain local evil
85 Imps torment travellers while invisible
86 Witch cult stop travellers as part of some rebellious plot against the law
87 Chaos cultists need lots of sacrifices to call a evil god
88 An evil cultist killers travellers here and turned into undead that now haunt this place
89 An archon of law will only let people pass if they take up an oath to battle a chaos cult
90 A devil tries to buy a soul for a wish, at first they seem a bard or a traveller until exposed, has prepared contracts ready and hoping for promotion
91 Shoggoth came from some ancient vault (mostly smaller 6-8HD but any amount really possible)
92 Strange voiced invisible beings offer gifts and power if you perform a deed (involve killing an elder horror in a secret place), the gifts are strange alien technology and surgical

93 An outer spirit tries to possess a victim then when gets the chance will summon shamblers from the beyond to cause trouble until driven away or exorcised
94 Fish hybrid cultists from a deep cave come to gather sacrifices and slaves, with a giant albino horror mutant thing from the deep
95 Serpent folk wizard in human form seeks adventurers to join in hopes of finding forbidden lore, promises knowledge of rich local dungeons puny backward humans don't know

96 A wicked cult have called a thing from beyond here and the chanting cult are performing a long rite to allow the outre god to remain, cultist killers keep intruders away
97 A chaos cult wizard here with abhuman minions and a summoned demon, use this as their base and plan to destroy the crossing before they leave. If the force defeated the last few will try to activate the bridges doom. Magic, release a horror or some natural disaster like an avalanche 
98 An evil cult are within chanting and guarded by shadows of murdered travellers, if they continue they will release a horror of the elder darkness
99 The barriers with another plane have weakened and the environment has developed properties of another world and some creatures guard it, any crossing are sent to the other world, such effect is temporary when the stars are right or if a cult are responsible
100 A petty god lurks here and generally jerk travellers around or want to travel with the party a while until bored or something urgent turns up, may let slip some secrets of the gods or how to become divine

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