Dungeons & Dragons Online

Creepy doll forest, stats and suggestions?

Content of the article: "Creepy doll forest, stats and suggestions?"

Hey all, new DM here looking for some guidance. I found cool creepy forest encounter from a d100 thread and was hoping someone could help go into more details on what I could add or expand on it. This is the post I found (credit to u/NoirGarde), be warned it is somewhat long!

"Small dolls sit in a tree the players pass by. They are wearing crude clothes, and don sticks of specific lengths. Poor perception rolls feel anonymous sets of eyes gazing at you, while good perception rolls can discover them. These dolls, if ignored, will appear again in a different tree a few feet up, requiring lower rolls as they subtly make themselves more obvious. Upon the first investigation, you find that the dolls are poorly stitched together, with leaves still poking out of the burlap fabric, and expressionless faces with small stones as eyes. However, with each successive perception roll as the party walks away, the dolls become slightly more realistic. On additional rolls their rock-eyes appear to follow you (Mona Lisa style), their skin becomes taut and leathery, and their clothes become more realistic. Repeat as necessary, with the players unable to leave a small section of the forest (due to magical barriers, or because walking straight forward keeps leading them back to the same spots.) Eventually, all of the dolls should clearly resemble everyone in the party. It is important that the dolls never appear to move on their own, and in every way act as though an inanimate object would. They can be destroyed, ripped, held, carried, etc. There should also be at least 4 separate perception checks on the dolls IMO. It really draws the frustration out, and that is an expression of fear. The final perception check on the dolls will have the dolls be very hard to find, except by one person, who you can choose beforehand. No matter how well other party members roll, the person you choose will feel a tingling on the back of their neck, and turn around to find the dolls in a high branch. They are nearly perfect mimics of the party, and are standing around the doll that looks like the person who discovered them, whose doll has a thick piece of string around their neck. The person feels paralyzed as the can only just watch due to fear, as time slows around them. The doll-party gazes directly into the player characters real eyes, and gently… pushes. For extra effect, have a pencil ready to snap upon this moment. Sometimes the cheesy sound effect speaks volumes more than words. The party will usually react at this point, let them destroy the dolls. It's cathartic. If you want to continue the fear though, every one in a while later on, let them see a flicker of movement out of the corner of their eyes. Bonus points if you pick a grunge or mistake to build this off of. Like if a cleric forgets to heal a fighter and the fighter calls, have one of them be the one that pushes the other off, as though the cleric purposely didn't heal, or the fighter was trying to get revenge. If the party has a rogue, have their doll slip a stick in the back of the hanged on. There's a ton of customization you can do, and if done well, you can seed a lot of discord between two player characters and build their relationship to be really dynamic. Happy Creepy Crawlies."

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So! Essentially, im having my party go into "The Porcelain Forest", and have a few random encounters as they go deeper and then the dolls will begin. My questions are:

  • how would you suggest stating these dolls?
  • any suggestion for a puppeteer boss that I could use to justify there dolls existence in the forest?
  • stats, spells, or any actions to flesh out a puppeteer boss? (Was thinking respec of illithid but not sure yet)
  • any thing I could do to spice up the encounter or add in to amplify the creepiness/horror elements of this forest in general?

Thanks all! I know it's alot but any suggestions at all are super appreciated!

Tl;dr – creepy dolls, horror forest, and how to spec and spice up the encounter/forest

Source: reddit.com

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