Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs (5e Edition)
A 5e Compatible GM’s Resource by Creighton Broadhurst
Far from the nearest town, hidden deep in the forest, lies a marshy, boggy valley. Woodsmen and hunters shun the place—kept away by rumours of a terrible beast lairing within and of a ghost haunting the valley’s boggy mere. But, as well as great danger, treasures magical and mundane may yet lie unclaimed in the valley for three unexplored tombs built by ancient hands, stand amid the mud and reeds. Dare you explore the Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs?
The adventure begins with the party in the town of Dulwich. The Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs lies about a day’s journey to the south. Hidden in a swath of rarely explored forest, the valley is surprisingly remote. Widely believed by the locals to be haunted, few willingly make the trip to explore the site.
This short adventure is designed specifically for beginning players with new 1st-level characters. (In fact, I wrote it primarily for my 11-year-old son and his friends to play through). It assumes the players are primarily using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. Experienced players may find the challenges herein too humdrum or easy for their tastes.
The valley itself contains several small discrete adventure sites the party can explore in any order. Each highlights a different facet of play and lends itself best to a different selection of classes. Thus, everyone gets a chance to shine.
For example, clerics and paladins have lots to do in the Champions’ Rest (Area F) while rogues and their brethren are particularly suited to the challenges found in the aptly named Tomb of the Stone Woman (Area E). Finally, the Lair of the Ferocious Hunters (Area G) houses several dangerous predators perhaps dealt with best by rangers and druids (and/or archers).
The module’s challenges touch on several key elements of the game including trap detection and disarming, channelling energy and the undead, swarms and the challenges associated with defeating a large, physically powerful combatant. All require different approaches.
Of course, the PCs shouldn’t be completely in control of proceedings and so I’ve also included some random events and encounters to spice up their time in the valley. Use these or not as you see fit depending on how the party are progressing (and your own tastes). Also remember that instead of using this module in its original form it would be easy for you to use the various tombs as standalone adventure locales the party discover on their journeys.
Finally, for more experienced players—and for those who like more roleplaying in their game—I’ve included an optional encounter featuring the ghostly lady of the lake. Beginners may find the challenges of this encounter beyond them (which, I suppose, is a good thing as they can learn that they can’t hope to defeat everything they encounter).
Praise for Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs (Pathfinder Edition)
“Beautiful in its simplicity and level of detail, this is a great introductory module for the game…” –Endzeitgeist (five stars + seal of approval)
“This is an excellent introduction to classic adventuring and should give new players a fair impression of a hobby that hopefully will give them years of fun.”
–Megan Robertson (five stars)
“This adventure is perfect as a starting point for a new campaign or an evening’s one-shot.” –Pluffet Smugger the Elder (five stars)
Format & Delivery
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This book is a Dual Format PDF. You’ll find two versions in the zip file: one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad. The two versions are identical except the screen version has been compressed so it renders quicker on screen.