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An atmospheric One-Shot Adventure
for 1-on-1 or parties, Level 5 or 6
This adventure takes place in the twisted, dark of the Blackwoods Forest. The survival of the small village of Redvale hangs in the balance as the party investigates the peculiar doings of a reclusive druid circle inside the forest.
About the Adventure
In the Heart of the Forest is a one-shot adventure for 5th-6th level characters.*
The adventure contains two possible sidekick characters to aid one-on-one and small-party play.
In this adventure, the characters gather information in the small village of Redvale on the outskirts of the Blackwoods Forest. They go into the forest in search of Adelle, a druid whose other eleven Circle members have disappeared within the last year.
Inside the forest, they discover several undead beings, including a wood woad, who guides them to Adelle. She and her Circle learned a year before of a sorceress’s plan to extend her power beyond the forest, a death sentence for the village of Redvale and the lands beyond. Adelle is the last one left.
Adelle is suspicious of the party at first, but she might help them get to the center of the forest to investigate the dark sorceress and try to put a stop to her destructive plans.
I’d love for you to look over the Pinterest board for this adventure to have some ideas for yourself (or your player!) about the Darkwood Forest as well as Adelle and Erayna, the Circle of the Phoenix druids who live there.
You can also check out the Spotify playlist I made for the adventure here if you’d like some music to set the mood while you play!
Connecting to the Crystalline Curse Trilogy
Our Granny’s House adventure, available here on our site (thanks to our generous patrons!) would make a great bridge piece to get to the Blackwoods Forest and to help the characters connect from the end of Third Time’s the Charm to the two new adventures.
Scaling Works Too!
But, so long as you as the DM are willing to scale the encounters, you should be fine! I’ve left notes throughout on some ideas for lowering the CR of encounters to ensure they are fun as well as manageable, especially for one-on-one play.
I would still recommend that you work with a DMPC, such as Garren from the Crystalline Curse Trilogy. In this adventure, the PC will have two possible sidekicks to work with and the assistance of a wood woad, so they should have plenty of backup, but we still want the focus to be on the PC.
This adventure is a bit darker than what I’ve written in the past, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! There are lots of interesting choices in the heart of the forest and plenty for the party to uncover.
This adventure includes
- Full one-shot adventure for levels 5 or 6
- Two sidekick characters (or DMPCs) with handouts for your player
- Beautiful art
- Well-rounded NPCs
- Two custom NPC stat blocks
- A new custom creature and
- Two custom magical items
The adventure is a tight 3 chapters featuring an ancient pact and…a conflict between the forces of nature and undeath. I really liked the theme and the exposition was handled really well through a combination of exploration and investigation book-ended by a simple hostile encounter at the very beginning and a more complex encounter at the end. The adventure can easily be run in one sitting but is populated with enough NPCs that it could be dropped into an existing campaign and teased well ahead of play. I also personally liked the fact that the adventure has its own internal history and mythology that is not linked to any particular outside world, this means the adventure can easily be dropped into any campaign setting with a forest in it. With the recent rise in popularity of The Old Margreve setting I could easily see this fitting in there or possibly Forfar or Sithicus if you’re a Ravenloft fan like me.Jay G.
In The Heart Of The Forest does a great job of mixing high fantasy and some light horror elements….Not only would I recommend In The Heart Of The Forest for players and DMs looking for a quick forest adventure but it would be great for a DM to have prepped in their back pocket for one of those sessions where your whole group doesn’t attend and you need something you can run on the fly.
RPG Writer Workshop
This July, I had the opportunity of participating in the RPG Writer Workshop, run by the amazing Ashley Warren, and this adventure is the result of that experience!
Several elements of this adventure were out of my comfort zone, but I loved the step-by-step process of putting it together and the encouragement and instruction we received along the way.
I’d like to say thank you especially to Jeff Stevens for sponsoring my scholarship to the workshop. I appreciate it so much!
I’d also like to thank everyone on Twitter for their encouragement and advice, especially for the help with my lovely cover!
Continue the adventure
If you are looking for more adventures and content by us or would like some mini-adventures to piece between the Crystalline Curse Trilogy and In the Heart of the Forest and/or The Proving Glade, please check out Granny’s House, an example of one of our adventures on Patreon and, of course, we’d love for you to join us on Patreon too!