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Bastion in the Badlands
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Bastion in the Badlands



The map is a classic! 

Since 1979 you’ve seen it rendered in three separate editions of the Dungeon Masters Guide — including 5E. 

But have you used it? 

Now’s your chance!

Bastion in the Badlands is an adventure for Tier 2 characters, optimized for party level 5.

Long ago, the bastion fell into ruin during a war between the forces of light and dark. But the stronghold’s dungeons survived intact. Rumors and legends about its treasure trove persist.

Player characters living in the frontier provincial capital of Peltun have heard those tales, as well as, rumors of unrest in the badlands.

But it is an old map from an explorer’s memoir in the care of a priestess of Ioun and a merchant’s desire for magical artifacts that will launch the adventurers on their way.

Their journey for treasure and glory, however, will propel them into an epic quest to stop a rising tide of chaos.

Arkasian Scave — a disciple of the malign god Torog — is using the bastion as a base from which he can ritually summon a fiend called the Fetters Marshal. 

This fiend will lead an army of torturers, mystics, gnolls and hobgoblins — all eager to carry out a campaign for the glory of Torog.  But it is Scave’s guiding hand that will direct it against the town that long ago banished him for his crimes.

The action takes the characters deep into the dungeons of the bastion, where kidnappers and torturers flourish under Scave’s wicked influence.

Delve into the bastion’s dark corners of cold stone. Characters will have to muster their resolve and courage if they are to confront the Fetters Marshal and stop the spread of Torog’s evil.


This 53-page adventure features: 

— A “Course of Adventure” Chart.

— Background information on Torog: the King that Crawls.

— Design notes. These include suggestions for handling contingencies so the story has a satisfying conclusion, tips on managing the motivations of several NPCs, a recommondation on how the DM might adjust encounter difficulty levels, and several ideas for expanding the adventure.

— Twenty rumors to bring Peltun alive and prepare the characters for the scope of the adventure.

— Descriptive information on five locations in Peltun and on a handful of NPCs important to the development of the adventure.

— Handout: Monograph of tallfellow adventurer Robbie Stonebridge.

— Two wilderness maps for encounters in the badlands.

— Two d20 random encounter charts for Forests and farmsteads and Hills and badlands.

— Six optional encounters intended to challenge experienced players as they explore the bastion.

— Thirty-six keyed locations, corresponding to the Classic Map.

— Combat tracker: a printout for DMs.

— Allied NPC roster and Opponent roster, another printout for the DM.

— Six spare maps a DM can use to expand the dungeon or add side quests on the fly.

And …

An essay from the designer: Crafting an Adventure from a Classic Map.

CONTENT WARNING: This adventure includes the following subect matter: betrayal, captivity, fiend summoning, kidnapping, intoxicants, moral quandaries, murder, prisoner psychology, psychological conditioning, ritualized violence, torture, and tribalism. It does not contain any graphic depictions of any the aforementioned subjects.

About the author 

Troy E. Taylor has been writing, editing and providing cartography for roleplaying games since 2005. 

He has more than 50 products on the DM’s Guild, including the Platinum-selling DM’s Kit: On the Trail of Tyranny, The Press of Waterdeep, and Treasures and Trinkets: Waterdeep Dungeon Heist.

His publishing credits include Dragon magazine, Kobold Press, and Engine Publishing. Since 2008 he has been a regular contributor to the multi-Ennie winning GM advice site, Gnome Stew.

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Jimmy F October 15, 2021 6:07 pm UTC
Hi! Your product is featured in my latest YouTube video. Feel free to use quotes from it on your catalog page if you want. Also please signal boost (share) the video if you can (and haven't already).
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Troy T October 19, 2021 10:35 pm UTC
Checked it out! Thanks. I posted the link to my FB account!
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File Last Updated:
October 10, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on October 10, 2021.