Serpent's Skull in Eberron
In a hostile region like Saventh-Yhi, the question of where to shelter large numbers of relatively lowlevel people is an important concern. And once an expedition’s campsite is chosen, there comes the matter of defending it from the natives, creating reliable trade routes with the outside world, and beginning the process of exploring the safer parts of the city.
Every campsite has three scores that represent its chances at success or failure: Defense (the camp’s ability to defend against attack, to protect its inhabitants, and to recover from disasters), Exploration (the camp’s ability to survey Saventh-Yhi, discover its secrets, and record any findings), and Supply (the camp’s ability to keep its inhabitants nourished and to retain contact with the civilized world).
To make a Defense check, roll 1d20 and add your campsite’s Defense.
Attacks: The camp may be attacked by dangerous creatures from the surrouonding jungle and city. If the PCs are at the camp for that day, they can defend the campsite on their own—if the PCs are not at the camp, then the camp must make a Defense check (DC 15 + the CR of the wandering monster encounter). Success indicates that the monsters are defeated or driven off, but failure results in the camp gaining a number of Destruction points equal to the wandering monster encounter’s CR.
Escort: The party may request an escort of Freebooters to assist them in their explorations. If they do so, they must make a DC15 Defense Check. A success means that they will receive an escort of 1 + 1 per 5 over the DC Freebooters to assist them for the day. The Camp’s defense will be reduced by the number of freebooters for that day. If any of the freebooters die while with the party, the defense loss will be permanent, but may be recovered as a Supply check per the Supplies rules.
To make an Exploration check, roll 1d20 and add your camp’s Exploration.
Discovering Mysteries: The PCs can ask their camp’s researchers to try to discover one of the many mysteries about Saventh-Yhi’s past by specifically focusing their study on one section of the ruin’s numerous carvings. Each time a new mystery is discovered (whether via a camp’s exploration or a PC’s own discovery during the course of the adventure), the camp gains 1 Discovery point.
Exploring the City: Every day the camp doesn’t spend discovering mysteries, it makes an Exploration check to determine its progress toward mapping and surveying Saventh-Yhi. With a successful DC 20 Exploration check, the camp earns 1 Discovery point—and every 10 points by which this check exceeds the DC 20 Exploration check earns an additional 1 Discovery point.
Identify: The party may ask the camp researcher’s to help Identify an item. Make a Exploration check at the normal DC for Spellcraft to Identify an item. The party may be able to assist the researchers in identifying the item by providing context.
To make a Supply check, roll 1d20 and add your campsite’s Supply.
Repairs: Once per day, a camp can attempt a DC 15 Supply check to repair damage and heal the wounded. A successful check removes 1d6 Destruction points. For every 5 points by which the check exceeds the DC, an additional 1d6 Destruction points are removed.
Supplies: A campsite can be used to resupply or to purchase items—all encampments have a base value of 2,500 gp for buying and selling items. For anything more expensive, the PCs must place orders for items, and the camp’s traders then make their way back to civilization to make the purchases. There’s a 30-day delay between placing an order and actually receiving items. The delay is reduced by a number of days equal to the result of the Supply check (minimum of 1 week). If the PCs wish to use their own resources (such as teleport spells), they can handle their own trade and sales without involving their camp.
Heal: The party may make a Supply check to heal the parties wounds. Make a Supply check to determine how much healing can be provided by the camp. The party can divide any way they choose and assign it to heal any member(s) of the party.
If at any point a campsite accumulates 20 Destruction points, it is irrevocably destroyed. The PCs and named NPCs involved with the camp might survive, but the faction itself loses any further inf luence in Saventh-Yhi. If the PCs’ camp is destroyed, they must continue the Serpent’s Skull Adventure Path without the support of that faction
A faction can attack another faction’s campsite. In this case, both factions make a Defense check, with the higher roll indicating who wins the fight. The winner gains 1d6 Destruction points and steals half of the loser’s total Discovery points. The loser gains 2d6 Destruction points and loses half its Discovery points. If the PCs are involved in such an attack, we will play out the battle
The race to be the faction with the right to claim discovery of Saventh-Yhi is one of this adventure’s many goals. In order to claim this right, a faction must accumulate [redacted] Discovery points. You can alter this total as you wish to adjust the expected time it will take for a faction to “win” if you wish (you can assume every 30 points roughly equates to about a month of game time, on average). Being the first to reach [redacted] points means that history will record that faction as the true “discoverer” of Saventh-Yhi. Once a winner claims this final glory, award the PCs experience points based on what rank their faction places in the race.