March 20th is the first day of Spring, and to mark this occasion we have two little gifts to help thaw out your dice.
First, a special encounter that can serve as a thematic trap or magical weather event to spice up your home games.
And second, a coupon code for 10% off The Court of Seasons, one of our fan-favorite adventures that makes for a perfect seasonal gift, either for yourself or a friend.
The mechanics outlined below utilize the Day 20 Scaling Threat Notation. Damage values and DCs will be listed by tier between brackets [ ], and separated by a vertical line | . For example, if the party is Tier 2 (levels 5 to 10), then a feature that does [2d4 | 2d6 | 2d8 | 2d10] damage would do 2d6 damage to the party.
An environmental hazard for any tier of play.
As the party is travelling, the weather takes a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse. Heavy winds encircle the party, plunging them into a supernatural onslaught of different seasonal weather conditions.
Arrival. When the storm descends, have the party roll initiative and roll to determine the storm's active season (see Seasons Change below). Any creature whose Passive Perception is 18 or less is surprised when the storm hits. Remember to factor in the -5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores if the party was traveling at a fast pace.
Initiative. The storm acts on initiative count 20 and 10, losing ties.
Storm's Wrath (Initiative Count 20). The storm unleashes an effect based on the storm's active season.
Summer. Oppressive heat is carried on the wind, forcing all creatures to make a DC [12 | 14 | 16 | 18] Constitution saving throw. A creature with resistance to fire damage makes the save with advantage, and a creature with immunity to fire damage succeeds automatically. On a failed save the creature gains a point of exhaustion.
Autumn. The winds calm as the party seems to find a small gap in the storm. Each creature must succeed on a DC [12 | 14 | 16 | 18] Wisdom saving throw or fall asleep.
Winter. Hail falls down with ferocity. The storm attacks each creature with a [+5 | +6 | +8 | +10] bonus to the attack roll and dealing [1d10 | 2d10 | 4d10 | 8d10] bludgeoning damage on a hit.
Spring. Vines and brambles lurch up from the ground. Each creature in the storm must succeed on a DC [12 | 14 | 16 | 18] Strength saving throw or become restrained. While they are restrained in this way, the creature takes piercing damage equal its proficiency bonus at the start of each of its turns.
Seasons Change (Initiative Count 10). Roll 1d4 to determine the active season. If the season changes, apply the effect listed. If the season remains the same, increase the saving throw DC and/or attack bonus of any of that season's effects by 2.
Creatures in the storm suffer [1d10 | 1d10 | 2d10 | 3d10] fire damage.
The storm becomes calm - no additional effect.
Creatures that fail a DC [12 | 14 | 16 | 18] Constitution saving throw move at half speed.
Creatures that fail a DC [12 | 14 | 16 | 18] Wisdom save are incapacitated - lulled into a stupor by enchanting smells and soft sounds on the wind.
Surviving the Storm. The storm is intense, but not extraordinarily large. The storm passes 1 minute after it arrives (10 rounds). Alternatively, any creature that moves 400 feet from where they were when the storm arrived escapes the storm and is not subject to its effects.
Using the Season Storm in Your Game
This strange storm could be caused by...
a spurned fey trying to get revenge on the party or some nearby person/place.
a conflux of magical energies in an area where several varied climates or ecosystems converge.
the appearance of a portal to one (or more) of the elemental planes.
It can also be used as an introduction to The Court of Seasons. Rather than having the climate chaos be described off-screen, you can have your party encounter the Season Storm, thus providing them a direct call to action by solving the mystery or seeking a means to prevent further storms.
You can also increase the difficulty of the storm by adding some enemies to the encounter. Place some wild elementals in there, or even a massive creature lost in the storm and confused enough to lash out at anything that comes close. Here are a few options based on the level of your party:
Tier 1: dust mephits, magmin
Tier 2: water weirds, air elementals, a brontosaurus (Volo's Guide to Monsters)
Tier 3: any type of genie (efreeti, djinni, dao, or marid), or perhaps spawn a genie of the appropriate type whenever the season changes (Monster Manual)
Tier 4: A mated pair of behir, who are using the storm as cover to hunt weakened prey
Monsters for which the book is not specified are available in the D&D 5e Basic Rules.
Your Ticket to the Court
If you'd like to feature more fey challenges in your home game, or are looking for a great seasonal (for any season) one shot, go pick up a copy of The Court of Seasons using this discount link for 10% off! But hurry, this expires on September 1st, 2022.
By the way, if you'd like even bigger discounts on our products, make sure you go over to the Contact Us page and subscribe to our newsletter.