Lost in the Cacklewood—a point crawl

The village of Balshaw has always had tense relations with the nearby Cacklewood Forest. All sorts of strange and dangerous things happen in there. Not the least of which was the cackleface goblin clan who called it home. They would attack travelers dumb enough to wander the woods alone and occasionally gather enough forces to raid the nearby towns. But for the most part, the villagers could manage to chase them off without too much trouble.

That changed when the young green dragon Hunger decided to make his layer in the woods. Now goblin attacks are almost a daily occurrence as they are forced out of the Cacklewood and into the surrounding farmland. To make things worse, the Hunger often attacks livestock and the farmers are starting to worry their families might be next. The Village Elders have gathered and decided something must be done before any lives are lost. They are offering a reward of 200 gold coins for any adventurers who can stop both the Cackleface Goblins and the dragon Hunger by any means necessary.

Traveling Through the Cacklewood

To begin the adventure, write “edge of the forest” in the center of a blank sheet of paper. This paper will become the map of the Cacklewood. This is the players starting location they can choose to go back to town, or deeper into the forest. To travel deeper into the forest one player may roll on the Navigation Table. Roll a D10 then add Survival(wis) and the number associated with the current location. The total is the new location the party arrives at. The DM will roll on the Details Table and the Events table to get inspiration about what is happening at the new location when the party arrives. Write down the name of the new location and draw a line connecting it to the previous location. Players can now move back and forth between those two locations. As players backtrack then explore from different points branching paths connecting various locations will form.

It takes a few hours to discover a new location but only a few minutes to travel back to an old location (it’s always faster to walk down a path you already know). Players should be able to discover around four locations in a day, unless they spend an exceptionally long time in one location. If the party decides to make camp in a location DM may choose to roll a new event in the morning or during the night.

Navigation table

  1. Edge of the forest
  2. Edge of the forest
  3. Edge of the forest
  4. Cliff Face
  5. Kobold Nests
  6. Forgotten Shrine
  7. Hermit’s Hut
  8. Garden
  9. Giant Tree
  10. Shoddily Constructed Statue of a Green Dragon
  11. Clear Stream
  12. Dollhouse
  13. Canyon
  14. Caves
  15. Giant Mushrooms
  16. Waterfall
  17. Goblin Town
  18. Natural Spring
  19. A stone spire that can be seen for miles in any direction
  20. Druids Grove
  21. Tranquil Grotto
  22. A perfect 1/3 scale model of the local village
  23. Thickets
  24. Fairy Circle
  25. (or higher) The Dragon’s Lair


1.       Abandoned

·         This area was once occupied by humanoids but has since been abandoned. If the party looks around, they find some rusty equipment, 1d4 items off the trinket table on p 160 of the PHB, and a scroll case stuffed with notes detailing the arrival of the young green dragon calling itself Hunger and the kobold dragon cult that worships it.

·         This location is a dead end. The party cannot roll on the navigation table from this area

2.       Pit Traps

·         Someone has filled this area with 1D4 hidden pit traps.

·         If a player moves on top of a pit trap they make a DC20 Dexterity Save or fall into a 10-foot spiked pit. They land prone, then take 1D6 bludgeoning and 2D10 piercing damage.

·         If a player investigates the area or take precautions against traps, they can make a DC15 wisdom saving throw to notice that traffic patterns and object placement in the area are suspicious–there are probably traps around here.

·         Players can make a DC10 investigation(intelligence) check to determine if any 10ftX10ft area contains a trap.

3.       Eerily Quiet

·         No birds or insects make any noise here and the soft moss dampens any noise the party makes.

·         All perception checks that rely on hearing are made at disadvantage.

4.       Impenetrable Fog

·         This area is permanently covered in a thick fog that smells like sulfur and burns the back of your throat.

·          Visibility is reduced to 15 feet.

·         This location is a dead end. The party cannot roll on the navigation table from this area

5.       Strange Herbs

·         A plant grows here that is a crucial ingredient for a high-level potion. If players spend 30 minutes picking herbs, they can gather doses equal to 1D6+plus the number of your current location. An alchemist or potion master will pay 1 GP per dose. Eating the herb raw will have one of the following effects:

           i.      Painkiller—your aches go away, and you gain 1 HP

           ii.      Intoxicating—you feel a little fuzzy and suffer -1 on all wisdom and intelligence rolls for the next hour

           iii.      Psychedelic—regain all spell slots

           iv.      Bitter— player doesn’t have to swallow, but if they do lower their maximum hit points by 1d10 for 7 days. DC 15 constitution save halves HP loss.

·         Players can make a DC15 Medicine (Wisdom) check to determine effects of herbs

6.       Talking Animals

·         All the animals in this area behave as if the party members were under the effect of the “Speak with animals” spell. Being able to talk to animals does not automatically change their hostility level or attitude towards the players.

7.       Maze-like

·         Winding pathways and limited visibility make it difficult to know which direction you are going.

·         Players cannot backtrack from this location

·         Rolls on the Navigation Table made from this location receive a -10 penalty

8.       Thorns

·         The plants in this area are covered in sharp, woody thorns.

·         Players must travel at ¼ your movement speed or take 1D4 piercing damage for every additional 5 feet of movement

9.       Exotic Flowers

·         Rare and beautiful flowers grow here. They don’t have any special properties except they look and smell nice.

·         If players spend 5 minutes gathering, they can make a bouquet worth 3d6 silver pieces.

10.   Graffiti

·         Either goblins or kobolds have defaced this area with rude writing. Kobold graffiti will include crude drawings of the green dragon and phrases like “our forest now.” Goblin graffiti will include phrases like “Cackelwood for Cackelface Goblins” or “Kobalds go home!”

11.   Glowing

·         A strange light source gives this area an otherworldly glow. Magical plants, Giant Lightning Bugs, or enchanted lampposts shed soft greenish light in every corner night and day.

12.   Fast Growing

·         This area is choked with thick ivy, you can almost see it growing.

·         Any player who doesn’t move for more than 5 minutes must succeed on a DC10 strength saving throw or be restrained.

·         Any player doesn’t move for more than an hour must make a DC20 strength saving throw every hour or take 4d4 force damage and be restrained


Roll a D12 to determine what is happening in your current location

1.       2D6 Kobold Dragon-cultists

2.       A raven lands nearby and foretells the parties doom

3.       1D6 Cackelface Goblins

4.       Sudden Thunderstorm

5.       There are an unusual number of rodents and birds in this area. They silently watch the parties every move.

6.       Angry Mother Bear

7.       A famous bard from a distant land has made his camp here. He has been captured by the dragon and brought here as part of their hoard. He refuses to leave the forest for fear of being killed by the dragon

8.       1D4 Fairies looking to cause mischief

9.       A druid gathering herbs

10.   Party is attacked by 2 giant fuzzy caterpillars. Use stats of carrion crawlers

11.   A band of goblins fighting a gang of kobolds

12.   The Young Green Dragon Hunger flies overhead, circles around and strafes the party with a poison breath attack before flying off again in a random direction.

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