An Oddities Experience, using 100 Oddities of an Enchanted Forest.

Richard Penwarden

I thought I would share my experiences with Skirmisher’s 100 Oddities for an Enchanted Forest. I wanted to show it in play in case any of you reading this are curious about purchasing the product but unsure of how it actually works out in practise. I rolled during the session itself but you may prefer to roll before play if, unlike myself, you have the time and can properly prepare.

My group have been playing 5e D&D with their current characters for over a year, they just reached 11th level last night, but, as with so many of Skirmisher’s products, Oddities are system agnostic. The players most recently finished White Plume Mountain (Tales from the Yawning Portal) and are returning with the stolen weapons from that scenario to trade with the thieves’ guild who sent them in the first place. (Originally the PCs stumbled into bandits terrorizing local peasants; the thugs were physically disguised as werewolves and a Gnome Eldritch Knight was scamming the people out of their money to ‘save’ them from the bandits he was of course in league with. The PCs disrupted the bandit’s plan but were captured and, rather than kill them, the PCs were taken to the thieves’ guild and Geas-ed into finding the weapons hidden in White Plume Mountain.)

The party are actually on Mystara heading back to Tallwoode. There are many forested areas around those parts. It seemed a perfect place to roll on the Oddities of the Enchanted Forest when returning from the mountain, not knowing what would happen. I don’t like to plan too much because I find it limits storytelling but the problem is using something like Roll20 to play, I cannot just rely on Theatre of the Mind – my players want maps and tokens, which isn’t easy when bringing on something on-the-fly.

Well, the first result I got was a 79 which is one of a very select few Oddities belonging to the Wild Hunt option (which I love). Won’t go into details about the roll (you have to buy the product!) but suffice to say it resulted in a magical arrow striking a nearby tree. Well the players, who are generally combat orientated, asked to roll Initiative and began preparing for combat – which didn’t occur. They examined (but didn’t take) the magic arrow (even though they knew with Arcana that it was magical!!) and then began to try to make various checks to determine the direction the arrow came from (fantasy CSI-style). Well I went along with this and had them make Investigation and Perception checks and so on. Their rolls were unusually poor so no new information was gleaned and then they asked about tracks. This seemed kind of obvious that there would be some so I had Wrothgar the Drow Barbarian roll for a Survival check. He rolled a 1. Now in 5e, a 1 on a d20 is only a critical fail on a death save or attack roll – you can succeed on ability checks and saves normally even with a 1 if other factors give a high enough result. However, as the party had spent so much effort on this normal random encounter I could not let the opportunity pass up for such a wilderness-orientated character to fail so miserably. I had him lead the party to a den of five trolls who surprised the party.

The fight itself was a close affair. Fortunately for the party, Theodoro a Human Warlock was able to temporarily Banish two of the trolls and the Tiefling Druid Orianna was able to use her Produce Flame Cantrip to limit the regeneration of the others somewhat. The party also had a Clay Golem ally they acquired from successfully answering a riddle in the mountain – it was reduced to 3hp but didn’t go Beserk. Now, I wouldn’t have thought of this encounter at all if the players hadn’t focused (and failed) on the original arrow encounter. I had no time to check if the CR of the Trolls was too high for them to handle, was too busy grabbing tokens and a map, but the fight was thrilling for the players and they had absolutely no idea that the whole thing was completely unplanned. In fact, it was a lot more exciting and deadly than most of the fights they’d had in the scenario.

The following session had the players within striking distance of Tallwoode but, for some fun, I did a wandering monster check and when it came up as a success I rolled again on the Oddities table. THAT WAS THE ONLY ROLL I DID ALL SESSION! It is very unusual for us not to have a fight or contested encounter of some kind but this week was more roleplaying focused, and that was a good thing.


This result was 38 where basically an elf lord is intertwined with two oak trees (one of the players said it reminded them of the Three-Eyed-Raven in Game of Thrones). Reading the description I got the impression that the elf was about to die and there was nothing the party could do. The party thought otherwise. The Warlock cast Contact Other Plane for guidance (I actually had him Commune with Correllon Larethian but he failed his Religion check and thought it was just some dead elven sage) and they asked questions about how they could save the elf. I was kind of touched by this as they don’t normally use their spells for anything other than fighting and healing. So to keep it brief, after some Nature and Arcana checks I allowed the players to use a combination of Gaseous Form, Dispel Magic and LOTS of Healing spells to extricate this elf from the trees (didn’t think of remove curse). So I had to come up with a reason why he was in this situation in the first place and the party had to get him to a nearby healer (they sought out a herbalist witch in Tallwoode, though she hates elves for some reason). I figured the elf was a druid trying to learn how to wildshape into a tree (i.e. flora instead of fauna)  but might have him be a Green Paladin (a sort-of nature champion) as there are things coming to destroy the forest. I already have a Rogue Modron Nature Priest NPC back on the Rock of Bral and the party have a Druid, so something a little different would be useful – perhaps he’s multi-class. I have Feyowen the half-elf Paladin from Raiders of Pertalo (also by Skirmisher) that I can base this NPC on; I think Brendan played him on the ‘D-Infinity plays’, interestingly that was one of this party’s first adventures. The party seem keen to return the elf to his people – so now I have two new NPCs and a new quest (taking the elf back to Alfheim) for the players after their business with the theives is concluded. All this because of two rolls on the Oddities tables.

As I said, this roleplaying gave them enough experience to hit level 11 and gain them Inspiration, which it sounds like they will need because they seem to be planning on betraying the thieves’’ guild to keep their new-found equipment and retrieve their old.

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Give Oddities a try. No matter how experienced a GM you are, there is always an opportunity to try something you would not have thought of yourself. My games have been enhanced no end, thanks Skirmisher!