Stronghold Encounters


When PCs wander into the vicinity of the wilderness stronghold of a high-level NPC, a warm reception is not always guaranteed. These guidelines may be used if the referee does not have specific notes on a stronghold’s ruler and guard patrols.


The referee should decide what class of NPC claims ownership of the stronghold and the surrounding lands:

  • Cleric: Of level 1d8+6.
  • Fighter: Of level 1d6+8.
  • Magic-user: Of level 1d4+10.

Demihuman strongholds are unusual cases, and should be detailed in advance by the referee. Typically, they will attempt to avoid all contact with travellers.


Strangers in the lands around a stronghold will typically be spotted by mercenary groups hired to patrol the lands. The type of troops depends on the ruler’s class:

  • Cleric: 2d6 medium horsemen. Equipped with chainmail (AC 5 [14]) and lances. Morale 9.
  • Fighter: 2d6 heavy horsemen. Equipped with plate mail (AC 3 [16]), lances, and swords. Morale 9.
  • Magic-user: 2d6 heavy footmen. Equipped with chainmail + shield (AC 4 [15]) and swords. Morale 8.


Patrols such as those described are only a small part of the ruler’s garrison. Further forces may include magical monsters or humans mounted on flying creatures.

Reaction to Travellers

The reaction of the ruler to travellers in their domain depends on the class of the ruler and can be determined by rolling 1d6 and consulting this table:

Ruler Reaction By Class

d6 Cleric Fighter Magic-User
Chase Chase Chase
Chase Chase Ignore
Ignore Chase Ignore
Ignore Ignore Ignore
Invite Ignore Ignore
Invite Invite Invite

Chase: The patrol is instructed to chase intruders out of the domain. Alternatively, they may demand a toll from travellers passing through. The exact price demanded depends on the ruler’s character, the apparent wealth of the PCs, etc. If the PCs refuse to pay the toll, the patrol may attack them, drive them away, or attempt to take them prisoner.

Ignore: The patrol leaves the PCs to go about their business.

Invite: The patrol brings a message from the domain’s ruler, inviting the PCs to stay in the stronghold. The ruler’s exact motive for doing so will depend on their personality—it is not necessarily benign.