The Hunt of Honeymeadow Plot in Oniran | World Anvil
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The Hunt of Honeymeadow

Yes I know this is like 12,000 words long but I ASSURE you this is a One Shot

quest hangs from a quest board in The Sleeping Squire, a tavern near the edge of Stonewood. It's a request from a farmer near the outskirts of the kingdom who's experiencing a troubling situation. Her cattle seem to be disappearing one by one every night and she suspects that a bear is doing it, she's providing financial compensation and a home cooked meal to anyone able to deal with it.

The Hunt of Honeymeadow is a Level 3 One Shot for Pathfinder 2e that centers around a single Severe Threat Encounter. For the uninitiated, a Severe Threat encounter is the highest difficulty that the players still have a good chance at winning. That chance, however, depends on the players using good tactics, access to most if not all of their resources, a non-negligible amount of luck, and the knowledge that there's a chance a character could straight up die. But this is also the first PF2e quest I've written so that level of difficulty is more of a hope than a guarantee.

A majority of this quest is roleplay and fluff leading up to that encounter, with multiple different directions the party can take narratively. One of those paths being a small dungeon. Basically, the main idea of this quest is "Hey at the end of this you're gonna have a HELL of a fight, but you can totally make it easier based on the decisions you make and how much you decide to prepare beforehand. Like Monster Hunter, actually." Funnily enough "Monster Hunter" was the original name of this quest.

Again, this is my first ever legitimate TTRPG content for a game I'm still learning that's KNOWN for its tight math and balance. I can't guarantee it'll live up to that standard, but I AM confident that I've at least cooked up an entertaining story with a plethora of options for the GM that really gives you a glimpse of how wild this world of mine can get. I would also say it's in your best interest to at least skim over the whole thing for a better idea of what's going on before running it. Hope you enjoy!


Ideally, you found this quest through The Quest Board Filled with Quests and thus are familiar with all the context with what you should expect from me and my quests. However, if for some reason you're here and you had no idea there WAS a previous article then do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself immediately.

The Quest Board Filled with Quests
Document | May 21, 2024

To the left of the entrance there's a massive board filled with Quests. The Quest Board. Around here, they call it The Quest Board Filled with Quests. There's Quests on it, I believe.

TL;DR: Quote boxes are the descriptions meant to be read to the players, and some may include skill checks for additional information. Telling you this now, I really like writing descriptions, I'm giving you permission to paraphrase or even outright skip them if it's too much for you hbfdsb. I run with the philosophy that I'd rather overexplain and paint a clear picture than underexplain and leave things vague. Aloud boxes are for out of context, fourth wall breaking, meta commentary from me to you, the DM. They're meant to offer a transparent idea of where my head is at when writing these as well as offering potential music that I think fits well with the scenes.


Your party is a Guild residing in Stonewood, the Southern End specifically. You're a group of lifelong friends who've decided to make a career out of adventuring, or at least out of taking up quests in The Sleeping Squire. While you aren't by any means new to the grind, there's still a lot of experience to be gained. Despite that, you've at least been questing enough to be considered regulars and the tavernkeeper, Tavern, considers you good friends.
The Sleeping Squire is one of the more well known and beloved taverns in this part of Stonewood, some would even say in the whole kingdom. It's known for it's hospitality and colorful staff, as well as boasting an irresponsibly massive quest board. Lovingly known as The Quest Board Filled with Quests. Adventurers and Quest takers alike stop by often looking for work, but it's surprisingly rare for them to become regulars like your party has. It's a big reason why Tavern is so fond of y'all.

It's a fresh new morning as y'all waltz into The Sleeping Squire for breakfast, chit chat, and an experience to remember. Everyone having decided it's time to graduate to some higher tier quests, knowing full well that it means more risk but more reward. Little do you know, you're about to experience what adventuring in Oniran really has to offer.

The Hunt of Honeymeadow

A quest hangs from The Quest Board Filled with Quests in The Sleeping Squire, a tavern near the southern edge of Stonewood. It's a request from a farmer near the outskirts of the kingdom who's experiencing a troubling situation. Her cattle seem to be disappearing one by one and she suspects that a bear is doing it, she's providing financial compensation and a home cooked meal to anyone willing and able to deal with it. The way the request is written gives off a warm and wholesome vibe, like a mother writing to their child, as well as seemingly being written in a southern accent?

The quest giver is Wheat, a Knight who runs Honeymeadow Farm along with her guild of the same name. The farm is further down South along the forest edge so a bear problem is not out of the ordinary. Additionally, odds are that most if not the entire party have probably heard of both this farm as well as Wheat herself.

Tavern Insight

It's important the party knows that Tavern is always willing, glad even, to help them in any way he can. Often that involves providing information and insight, the latter is especially useful being he's a retired adventurer. In more extreme cases he can be used to get the party out of tricky situations, invoking Rule #9 in the process. But that depends on how closely you're willing to keep track of time.
If sought out for info, Tavern explains that Wheat is actually a very close friend of his. They used to adventure together, in fact. Going as far as to explain that all the ale and beer served in the tavern uses only the wheat and barley grown on her farm. It's because of his relationship with Wheat, as well as knowing this is the party's first dive into higher rated quests, that he takes care to lend a more specific pearl of wisdom. However, regardless of if he's sought out, he makes a point to tell the party the second half of the following quote box.

"Wheat is a very close friend of mine, I'd trust her with my life in fact. So if she truly thinks it's just a bear then it may very well just be a bear. I'm not implying she's wrong, or god forbid untruthful, but after years of adventuring with her I've grown wise enough to bet against her theories. Ha! No worries, my friends, this is nothing I haven't told her already!"
"Now, I'd hate for tragedy to befall on adventurers who've finally decided to tread deeper waters, especially ones I'm so fond of. Since Honeymeadow is about an hour's walk from here I'll give y'all, say, a day of absence before I start getting worried. And I do urge you to not hesitate to return if you need anything. Good luck, my friends!"
— Tavern

Honeymeadow Farm

Your party arrives around midday to an absolutely beautiful farm. The weather is just right, a field of wheat rustles in the calm breeze, and pleasant birdsong fills the air as you approach what you assume to be the homestead. It looks to be a rather small cabin, especially one meant for a whole Guild to live in, attached to the side of a towering windmill just spinning away.

Before you've even crossed the fence you see Wheat opening the front door and running out to give you the warmest welcome she can.

Wheat is immediately extremely kind and welcoming to the party, to the point where it feels less like she's relieved someone came to help her and more like she's just excited to meet new people. She's a very loud and unashamed person with a strong motherly vibe to her, she's very insistent on knowing how everyone's doing, if anyone needs anything to eat or drink, getting them refreshments regardless of their answer, and showering them with compliments. Funnily enough, the party will have to steer her back to the reason they're there in the first place.
This isn't a heavy-handed setup for some big twist where she's the villain or anything, she is GENUINELY just like this. She is the southern mom archetype. At this point the party may be inclined to ask questions regarding the situation, luckily I have planned for such an occasion. The following quote text is optional, I just really like writing descriptions.


A textbook definition of comfort greets you as you step through the door onto creeky, well trodden floorboards. Everything seems to be out in the open with very little in the way of walls or doors, with a kitchen in one corner, a living area in another, and a doorway you assumed led into the windmill. There's an abundance of plants growing around here, as if nature was reclaiming the cottage, that all seem well cared for and loved. The bundles of herbs hanging from the rafters, cabinets, and shelves in the kitchen area give the home a surprisingly pleasant smell, albeit a bit strong. You're not sure if the cabin has any bedrooms, but you do see a damn near irresponsible amount of pillows and blankets neatly stacked and folded in the living area right by the fireplace. The rest of the guild definitely lived here with her, but they must've been out on business or something.
As Wheat encourages you to have a seat and relax, doing the same herself, you hear a metallic shuffling from the kitchen. Those of you who look over see the wood stove break apart into several chunks only to rearrange itself into a vaguely humanoid/construct form, revealing itself to be a golem.

"Well good afternoon to you too, Rusty! Say, would you be a dear and fetch our friends some refreshments?"

After a minute the golem, Rusty, apparently, waddles back to where you're all sitting holding up a tray of tea and comically miniscule sandwiches before sitting next to Wheat.

The situation has been going on for a few days now, and its exactly what was described on the request. Every other night one of her cattle is lost to something in the woods. She's extremely insistent that it's a bear, and explains that on the first night she heard the fence being broken, one of the cattle yelling, and a bear roaring. She knows what a bear sounds like. The second night they herded everyone into the barn and locked it up, only to wake up to a smashed door and a missing animal. The third night they elected to put their weapons to good use and keep watch, and while nothing ended up happening, she remembers hearing strange sounds coming from the forest. Come to think of it she also saw strange lights. It's at this point where she starts comedically second guessing herself. If the party brings up what Tavern told them, she finds it extremely funny and agrees with him.

This isn't necessarily cut and dry, however. If pressed further Wheat elects to just show the party the damages, starting with the fence. Both areas can be investigated for more specific details, requiring a skill check to do so. One of these skill checks can be made easier by questioning Wheat.

Also I didn't realize PF2e had an investigation activity instead of an investigation skill while writing this, that's why some of the checks are perception.

The Fence

On the side of the field closest to the forest edge, a large section of fencing has been completely destroyed. Splintered lumber is strewn about the immediate area, but it's unclear how it was done. The only thing you can confirm was that something broke in, given that all the rubble is on your side of the fence. But, like, you figured that would've been the case anyway.

(Perception - Easy) Upon further inspection, there seems to be a trail of blood as well as bloody prints leading from the field into the forest as well as extremely obvious signs of a struggle the entire way.
(Medicine - Hard) The blood is dried, yes, but it has also faded considerably, implying that only on the first night was an animal dragged out.
(Nature - Medium/Easy) The bloody paw prints definitely belong to a bear.

The Barn

The barn hasn't fared much better, it would seem, although the damage is mostly relegated to the doors. One of those doors are still on its hinges, albeit horribly bent and disfigured, and the other is broken into several large chunks and scattered over the piles of hay inside. The blood is much more noticeable here, it's splattered over the ground and on the support beams. What you find strange, however, is the trail of blood abruptly ending just outside the door. (If there is an Elf in the party, tell them they immediately get a weird vibe upon walking in. If they choose to make an arcana check the difficulty is reduced to Hard)

(Perception - Easy) The door was broken in a rather peculiar fashion. If you were to reunite both halves it would reveal a large hole centered on where the lock would've been, as if the gate was punched open.
(Crafting - Hard) The support beams above are scuffed as well, but only slightly, and reminiscent of grooves crudely carved into the wood with a rock. While the rest of the damage you've seen so far seems deliberate, you can't help but feel these marks were unintentional. Almost like whatever broke in was too big to move around inside easily.
(Nature - Medium) In various spots inside the barn you manage to find small fragments of what you can only assume is some kind of rock. (If the Crafting check succeeded, specify that most of the fragments are in the same area as the scuff marks)
(Arcana - Very Hard/Hard) While the vibe is present throughout the barn, you specifically feel a sort of residual magic emanating from the doors. Further inspection of the damage reveals magical burns in the wood.

I have prepared for 3 possible reactions to this information. If the party chooses to follow the trail and venture into the woods then the one shot continues as normal proceed to The Den section. If they stay until nightfall to see if something returns then proceed to The Stakeout section, as well as inform the party that one of them will have to return to The Sleeping Squire to check in with Tavern (But hey, if they refuse then you have a reason to bring Tavern in during the final encounter). If they decide this is above their paygrade and leave, then, the quest is over I guess?

Their Reaction to This Information

For Total Transparency:

The Den is a small (read: miniscule) "dungeon" that leads directly to the final encounter of this Quest. However, upon revealing the antagonist the players are offered a optional out for a chance to prepare with their new-found knowledge. Should they accept the out, they're rewarded with minor buffs in the following roleplay scene as well as potentially gathering information from Tavern if they choose to seek him out. The buffs aren't necessary for the final encounter, just a small bonus.
The Stakeout is mostly roleplay. The party has until nightfall to prepare for a potential encounter, what that encounter might be is completely unknown to them. They'll have the chance to get the aforementioned buffs up front. It starts with a minor combat encounter to rough them up, only to reveal the main antagonist immediately after. The party is given a similar out, and just as before they can instead choose to fight it there and then.

If they choose The Stakeout and end up accepting the out, using The Den is still totally an option. Or you could just skip to the final encounter, I can't tell you what to do, I'm not your dad, or the government, or god.

The purpose of these two chapters is to reveal the antagonist and immediately ask the party, who've never faced a threat like this, if they'd rather attack it head on or hold back and prepare in any way they can. Since preparation is probably the safer option, they're rewarded for this.

The Den

So, your party decided to track the bear. Excellent, dungeon time!

To kick things off Wheat immediately offers to join the party as a guide, she's been in the woods before. This is setup for that optional out I mentioned earlier, the idea is the party will find out what the antagonist is, Wheat will immediately recognize both it and the new level of danger, and then promptly suggest that everyone retreats either to prepare further or to give up on the quest entirely and call for more powerful adventurers (You and I both know the party won't). Don't worry though, if Wheat doesn't join them I have an alternative scene for if they still choose to retreat after seeing the antagonist. Now, if the party sees the antagonist and still chooses to fight it in its lair then, uh, I guess they fight it in its lair? Makes sense to me. It's the cooler version of this fight but significantly harder.
Runecarved Woodland OST
Okay so if it was up to me I'd provide a slowed version of this OST but I couldn't find one and I have no idea if you can upload audio files to WA so just know that the ideal version of this is .8x speed with 60% reverb

Runecarved Woodland
Oh and btw the grid size is 25x30

Runecarved Woodland

The trail is long and arduous, taking you significantly deeper into the woods than you initially planned for. You've long since passed the point where the roads have ceased, the flora is dense, and the trees tower high above nearly blocking out the sky and leaving only dapples of sunlight on the forest floor. It's the late afternoon, perhaps evening, when you arrive to what you can only hope is your destination. A clearing of sorts, draped in sunlight, with a river neatly splitting the area in two. Around you are the largest trees you've seen thus far, with massive, tangled roots and branches weaving in and out between them and forming what almost seem like pathways and tunnels. All around you are chunks of runestone and brightly colored flakes of runic energy, both telltale signs of an area with strong ambient magic.

1) The Grove

The purpose of this room is to establish the theme and immediately communicate the verticality of the dungeon. The equivalent of holding a sign up that says "You need to go up". The river is deeper than it looks, about neck height for an average person, and will require a DC 18 Athletics check to jump across. The opening of the river is too high to reach through normal means. (They can't go upstream)

However, two Kobolds are sitting near the entrance of the second room unaware of the party. Once alerted they will rush into the Overgrown Thicket to gather the rest of their pack.

3) Split Path

At this point the party is essentially in a cave made entirely of thickly woven roots and branches faintly lit by the chunks of runestone that are becoming more and more frequent. The path splits in two here. The left leads back outside to the overhanging path above The Grove, it's a massive trunk blanketed in moss with nothing to function as railing (Optional DC 10 Acrobatics Check or Reflex Save to walk across without falling). The path leads to the second runestone "puzzle", opening up into Lifetouched Wellspring when cleared. The right leads further up the dungeon towards the boss room.

Secret: There's an optional 3rd path hidden by densely packed vines and branches that need to be broken up to get through. This path is a shortcut into the river flowing through The Grove, but with a DC 20 Athletics check can also be traveled upstream into Lifetouched Wellspring. This path is the only way into it without solving the puzzles.

5) Twisted Roots

This is a twisting path that continues upward towards the top of the great tree, almost like a spiral staircase. Anyone actively searching for secrets will find that around halfway there's a crudely blocked off path with stacked, bloodstained boulders. Closer inspection shows that some of the bloodstains resemble human hands. Unblocking the path is easy, but the noise will alert the boss just ahead in The Den. A DC 15 Crafting or Thievery Check, however, will allow them to take down the barricade quietly, allowing entrance into Adventure's Lament.

Runestone Doorways

At the end of the overhanging path as well as the secrets in Overgrown Thicket and Adventure's Lament are obscured doorways.  
Something about this spot doesn't blend in with the rest of the surrounding wall. It seems almost like a doorway, blocked by multiple runestone pillars and densely packed vines and roots. Something about the runestone feels different as well, something about them seems a smidgen more volatile.
  The purpose of these doorways is to directly foreshadow one of the main mechanics of the boss. "When the runestone is hit with magic, it will trigger a small shockwave around it dealing 1d6 damage of the same element that you probably want to avoid. If all else fails you can also break the runestone."   It's for this reason that it's probably important for the party to get a least a taste of what the runestone can do before getting to the boss, cause my brother in Ethleone the boss room is gonna be filled with them. If you're worried they might not get it, you can use a missed Embermane attack as reasoning for one of the doorways being opened automatically.  
As the magic seeps into the runestone, multiple things happen at once. You feel a faint vibration from within the pillar, as well as hear a pulsing sound that gradually raises in volume as if charging up, all culminating to a bright and surprsingly powerful burst of magic that destroys the surrounding foliage and hits the adjacent pillar. As if it was a sort of chain reaction, the second pillar does the same; clearing up the doorway completely.


Overgrown Thicket

The Lootbearer is the only significant source of loot in this encounter, but that doesn't necessarily mean the rewards are insignificant. These guys have been known to be the bearer of loot. It's like it's their job or something.

If the Lootbearer manages to escape deeper into the dungeon before being caught and defeated, the reward is the loot from Adventure's Lament. If the Lootbearer is caught and defeated during the initial encounter then the rewards are the following list of consumables. You can decide if you want to include the consumables with the Adventure's Lament reward or only have them as a bonus for if the party manages to beat the Lootbearer first try.

Adventure's Lament

The most obvious is a Dungeoneer's Gauntlet that functions as a Steel Shield inscribed with a Reinforcing Rune (Minor) and the Shield Cantrip (Level 1). Identifying the gauntlet (Wheat knows the spell) reveals its name to be "The Gauntlet of Parrying".
Important Note: This world doesn't follow the "Characters have to be able to use magic to use magic items" rule. A martial can put on this gauntlet and still be able to cast the Shield spell, but they still wouldn't be able to use something more involved such as a staff, spellbook, or any rituals.

By searching the damaged equipment, the players can salvage both the Flaming Star and Jolt Coil Spellhearts.

The only weapon of note is a rather impressive +1 Striking Katana at the side of who you could only assume was an Elf. It has a few nicks here and there, but aside from that it's in surprisingly good condition. Though you can't help but feel just a tinge of melancholy as you pick it up, you don't know where it's coming from.

2) Overgrown Thicket

This room is a hollowed out space inside one of the massive trees, but oddly enough it seems natural. As if the entire dungeon just grew like this. The inside is concerning however, because in addition to the pack of kobolds currently inside the floor is made up almost entirely of tangled and intertwining roots and shrubbery. Their heads immediately jerk in your direction, some of them tilted in curiosity, some making clicking sounds, and all of them methodically clacking their distinctive claws against the overgrown floor. With a feral hiss, they draw their weapons and begin the hunt.
— Roll Initiative
  The pack is made up of four Kobolds. Two Fighters, one Embermane, and one Lootbearer. A DC 12 Recall Knowledge will reveal that, since they have a Lootbearer, this is most likely a raiding party instead of a potential nest deeper in the dungeon. In addition, the pack will do everything in its power to defend the Lootbearer while it tries to escape.   Not only is the entire floor of this room diificult terrain, but the Kobolds are also completely unaffected by it. That's pretty much their one advantage though. Tactics-wise, however, they're more intelligent than most would give them credit for.   The Fighters will prioritize jumping in, doing damage, and jumping out while trying to flank as often as possible.   The Embermane focuses on the targets they percieve to be the most vulnerable almost exclusively with ranged magical attacks. If the Embermane is ever in danger, the fighters know to immediately go to their aid, completely swapping targets if they have to.   The Lootbearer will focus on avoiding danger and escaping towards the Split Path but will use any loot/magic items in its possession as a last resort, making it the weakest but potentially most dangerous Kobold.

It's important that I explain how Kobolds function, cause my version is apparently distinct enough that I might have to homebrew the statblocks in the future. My Kobolds are closer to velociraptors than they are to sentient draconic gremlins. They're animalistic but have a dangerous intelligence to them that many underestimate before being promptly shredded to ribbons. They always fight in packs, which they communicate with pretty much exactly like this.

(If you're new here I hope it's obvious by now how blatant I am with my inspirations vhbdhfjsb)
Speaking of Which


Secret: There is a secret doorway leading into the Lifetouched Wellspring, one of the 3 possible entrances. The doorway is the same runestone "puzzle" described in Split Path. Both are explained in the Runestone Doorways section.

4) Lifetouched Wellspring

You're met with a pocket of nature seemingly in perpetual bloom. Sunlight blankets over colorful flowers and swaying grass, sparkling across the springwater, and giving an ethereal glow to the plants growing near the rocks. Upon closer inspection, you know them to be Ethleone's Grace, an uncommon and spiritual flower known for it's unique connection to Life magic. It's because of this connection that you're unsurprised when cupping some of the cleanest water you've seen in a long while.

This room serves multiple purposes. The doorways to get in are meant to teach the players a future boss mechanic explained in the Runestone Doorways section. The water is meant to heal the party and provide some respite before venturing deeper into the dungeon, it's in the party's best interest to have as many resources as possible before taking on the boss. Finally, it provides some lore that I hope comes across as pretty neat.
Shrine OST
I actually have a few options for this one, ranging from "Fits the best in this dungeon specifically" to "This is the music I use for Shrine/Elven-like places".

The water itself functions as a Minor Healing Potion when drunk. While it can be bottled, unlike a regular potion it has a limited shelf life of 1 hour and will have to be used immediately if brought back to the farm.

6) Adventure's Lament

At first glance you make this out to be an abandoned adventurer camp, but if the still blocked off entrance wasn't telling enough, the smell of death is all you need to realize that it served as their tomb. It's a makeshift refuge, that much is certain, and the several bodies hint towards a rather depressing fate. What could possibly be waiting for you if this former party didn't even risk an attempt at escaping? It's not like the barricade was that effective anyway.

Damn, that's sad. So anyway there's loot in here if that's your thing. Also one last secret path leading into the boss room through a Runestone Doorway, but this entrance will immediately alert the boss to the party's location.

So you might be wondering, "Jon, dude, why the fuck did you make this so sad all of a sudden?" The real answer is that it was spur of the moment writing, the funny answer is that I gotta hammer home that the adventuring life in this world ain't all sunshine and rainbows and good vibes, and the "Cause I'm cooking" answer is for the various implications through environmental storytelling.

The barricade is a useless defense against the Runeclaw, meaning it was waiting them out. Kobolds probably raid this dungeon frequently specifically cause this is a regular occurence. Or the available loot hints towards either the reason they survived long enough to set up refuge, or the reason they were overpowered in the first place. (A little bit of both)

7) The Den

This is it, the big reveal (Assuming your party initially chose this path). The description here is split into multiple parts and doesn't have to be read entirely at once, it's also written as if Wheat is present with the party but you can easily just omit those sentences if she isn't. Instead imply that the party gets an uneasy feeling or something along those lines, it's important to remember that in the context of this quest they've never encountered something like this before.

The size and age of this tree becomes all too clear as you reach the top of this natural dungeon, the ground that should just be bark, leaves, and exposed wood is instead a miniature ecosystem of its own. Dirt, grass, plants, trees, more runestone pillars, the whole nine yards. Which makes the creature fast asleep in its center stand out all the more. From where you're standing it seems to be a rather large bear, albeit with much redder fur than you expected. Wheat grows noticeably quiet.
The more you look around the more you realize how much danger your party may be in. Scattered around the clearing are corpses, mostly bones, some with long decayed scraps of equipment half buried in the dirt. Near the entrance however is an even more worrying sight. Multiple skeletons resembling the cattle you had been searching for lie against the treeline, as well as the half eaten body of the grizzly bear you originally suspected to be the culprit.
The air grows quiet as the beast turns over in its sleep, revealing multiple runestone pillars jutting out of its back. It's in that moment that Wheat audibly attempts to stifle a gasp, slowly taking steps back towards the entrance.

"We need to leave. Now."
— Wheat

It's in this moment that the metaphorical path splits into two. Either the party fights the Runeclaw here and now, or they fall back. If the party decides to fight the Runeclaw then proceed to the Monster Hunter section. Just know that fighting it here is Hard Mode. If the party decides to fall back, I have two options for you.

If Wheat is present then that's the out I was referring to, she knows what a Runeclaw is and how dangerous this quest just became. Best case scenario she gets the party to fall back to the farm so they can rethink their gameplan, worst case she gets the party to fall back and offers to pay them for the trouble but try finding more experienced adventurers to handle this quest instead (Wheat cares more about the party's wellbeing than the possibility that she might be offending them with this offer).

If Wheat isn't present, or if she is but you want to make things more exciting, this is the part where the Runeclaw wakes up (or perhaps it was faking in order to trick the party into lowering their guard, this thing DOES have an INT score after all) and you commence the Chase Scene. You can decide what the obstacles are, but their DCs should range from 12-15. Should the Runeclaw use any spells to try and catch the party, the Spell Save DC is 19.

Okay so originally I was just gonna suggest using the OST from the Kobold encounter but I decided I'm better than that and also haven't harassed you with Sonic music enough, so here you go
Runeclaw Chase OST

This chase scene is actually the purpose of the secret in Split Path, but the Runeclaw is going to jump down from the overhanging path instead of running through the Overgrown Thicket. I think that'd be rather unexpected and hype. The Runeclaw will be reluctant to chase them out past the entrance of the dungeon, opting to instead go about its business as usual and show up to the farm later that night for a new meal.

Either way, this is the end of the dungeon. Since the party accepted the out, proceed to the Southern Hospitality section (But take care to remember that if Wheat wasn't with the party she'll still have the same panicked reaction/thought process if the party explains what they saw). Alternatively, for a longer game you could just continue to The Stakeout section anyway. (In the Tavern's Insight portion there is a brief explanation of what the Runeclaw is, I'd rather not copy/paste the entire aloud)

The Stakeout

So, your party chose to wait until nightfall to see if it comes back. Excellent, here's what happens.

Wheat's adventuring days were never in the realm of monster hunting, and also she's like 50, so while she can't necessarily fight alongside them or provide any insight for how the party should prep, she is still willing to help in any way she can. Regardless of if the party requests it, Wheat does two things. First, she offers up any supplies that the party might be able to find useful from the cellar just under the cabin, as well as anything from the barn, both of which consist mostly of standard adventuring supplies. The stuff you'd find at a general store in a small town.
Secondly, once the party isn't in need of immediate assistance, she goes back inside and begins preparing supper for the party. She does this for multiple reasons. One, of course she would this surprises no one. Two, she refuses to let the party fight on her behalf on an empty stomach. And three, the food she cooks is imbued with magical properties and will provide useful buffs and boons for the party. The latter she is sure to be clear and open about upon serving them once they're done preparing. This feast is immediately before the encounter.

On the party's side of things, this is mostly intended to be roleplay. What do they suspect might be behind all this? How should they prepare for it? Do they expect multiple encounters or just one? Are they gonna set up any traps? Stuff like that.

However, it is in the party's best interest to send at least one member to report back to Tavern. They have time for one trip there and back before nightfall. However, this isn't just to ease Tavern's worry and comply with Rule #9, informing Tavern of your findings provides extremely useful information.

Tavern Insight

I can think of multiple ways to play this out depending on what difficulty/ambiguity you'd like going forward. Perhaps Tavern immediately knows the threat they describe and tells them everything he can. Perhaps he has a copy of Ranger's Handbook for Beasts & Wildlife. Mayhaps the party member describing the situation needs to make a check to see if they describe it well enough for Tavern to recognize the threat. However you decide, it's important that the party gains an understanding of the threat they're about to face. Not so subtly implying that what they initially expected to be a Moderate Threat Encounter just became Severe.

For a less ambiguous reveal, Tavern immediately recognizes from the clues provided that the party might be facing a Runeclaw. Especially if shown the rock fragments, which he'll correctly identify to be runestone. This concerns him deeply, and he takes great care to explain that the shift in threat level from a bear to a runeclaw is astronomical. Especially a runeclaw that's wandered close to civilization. He's almost tempted to recommend they leave the quest to more experienced adventurers, but recognizes that doing so would endanger the surrounding area for who knows how long as well as display a lack of trust or confidence in his friends. For someone like Tavern, in a way, the latter is almost worse.

So instead, he offers help. This could be through information, sure, but he is absolutely ready and willing to join the party in the fight if they want him to. Hell, if the party asks him to he'll gladly round up whoever in the tavern is willing to join as well. Surely through a rousing and emotionally charged speech. But at the same time understands completely if this is a challenge the party wants to face themselves. He was an adventurer too, after all.

This essentially gives the party the option to customize the difficulty of the encounter. Aside from Tavern I personally wouldn't have more than like 2 or 3 extra NPCs. However, if you want to just provide info you can totally just give the party bits and pieces of either the statblock or the Runeclaw Article.

But if that's too much reading here's the gist. The Runeclaw is a draconic bear capable of using elemental magic, as in, on top of being twice the size of a regular bear it quite literally has the ability to cast spells. It dwells and hunts in areas of high ambient magic, which it channels into itself through the runestone conduits on its back. These conduits can also absorb magic from weaker spells to empower itself. The spells it casts are straight forward and rarely stray away from Evocation, Enchantment, and constant effects.

There is one catch, however. By the time the party member(s) who left return to the farm, the fight will have already begun.

Southern Hospitality

This scene plays out pretty much the same regardless of what happened before, as long as the players actually accepted the out, the only difference is that The Den leaves it as an option whereas in The Stakeout it just happens. This is mostly intended to be roleplay, albeit with some complimentary buffs, boons, and bonuses. Regardless of what came before this scene can start the same way.

You notice the smell before just about anything else. It's a scent filled with herbs, meats, aromatics, and a pleasant smokiness that all comes together to damn near bring about inner peace. By the time you realize it's coming from the cabin Wheat has already poked her head through the front door, calling out to y'all and beckoning you to come inside.
"Now, I hope y'all weren't expecting to fight on my behalf on an empty stomach. We'll be having none of that under my roof, darlin's, go ahead and help yourselves. Don't be shy now, there's plenty to go around!"
— Wheat

It's at this point where you should inform the party that the food they eat will in fact provide them buffs. I just don't know how to naturally integrate that into dialogue lmao. For transparency sake, I'm just doing a pretty blatant Monster Hunter thing like I'm not being subtle at ALL.

Y'all sit down at a table piled with enough food to feed at least 2 parties your size. You're not exactly sure how she managed to cook all of this so fast, but it's abundantly clear that it was made with love. With a glance you recognize some of the dishes, after all, it's not like you're new to this part of Stonewood. You see quite a variety as well, smoked ribs, a chicken that looks to be fried, baked, and smothered in a sauce filled with herbs and spices, a still simmering dish you assume to be macaroni and cheese but seems to be more akin to cheese and macaroni, baked potatoes, collared greens, and cornbread fresh out of the oven, just to name a few. What better way to prepare for a hunt than a feast for the soul.

So here's what it does. The food will give them buffs, yes, but they only "activate" once the final encounter starts. I thought of several ways to assign buffs but wasn't necessarily sure which one to go with so I'll leave it up to you. There are 6 options, you could roll a d6, the party could roll a d6, you could ask them to decide what their favorite dish was (The description described 6 dishes) and assign accordingly, you could just tell them to pick a number from 1 to 6, you could manually assign them buffs based on vibes or which might benefit specific people the most, hell, you could just show the party the list of buffs and have them pick and then laugh when they all without fail choose the healing one. It's your game.

Even as you're still eating you begin to feel something. Undoubtedly magical, that much was to be expected, but it feels uniquely invigorating. Like a flavor of Enchantment magic that was meant specifically for cooking is now taking its effect, or some physical manifestation of a meal made with love. Even without being told its effects, you already know what you're now capable of. Honestly, if it turned out the lot of you were about to confidently march towards what could very well be certain and rather gruesome death, at least you got to have a damn good meal beforehand.
So by now you've probably sensed a theme. "Man, you sure are providing a LOT of ways for the party to reduce the difficulty of the encounter, it's almost like you're compensating for a fight that might end up being too hard." And to that I say you're absolutely right. This is the first PF2e quest I've ever written and the Runeclaw obviously has to be homebrewed, and while I AM using a tool to make sure the actual numbers are balanced, in terms of what it can do and how it interacts with stuff I'm just going off of vibes and similar level 5 monsters. To be completely honest, at this point the Runeclaw is so built up that it being overpowered and insanely hype would be infinitely better than underpowered and anti-climactic. If the person reading this is a more experienced PF2e GM I implore you to impart your wisdom upon me ;-;

Oh and also Oniran RPGs would be the kind centered around loot and buffs and boons and build crafting and all that, so my adventures will be a bit on the "overpowered players" side regardless.

Monster Hunter

A Quick Recap: At this point, there's probably 3 paths leading to this confrontation. I will list them out now for your convenience and to make sure we're all on the same page.

  1. The Den -> Proof of a Hero
  2. The Den -> Southern Hospitality -> Proof of a Hero/Against the Raid
  3. The Stakeout -> Southern Hospitality -> Against the Raid

Some things to note, the end of path #2 depends on if the party decides to go back to the den after eating or to wait for it at the farm. If they wait, the Runeclaw's motivation is specifically to fuck up the party out of spite and it straight up won't retreat for any reason. In path #3 the party may not be fully together since at least one of them is returning from The Sleeping Squire. And if you're in path #3 and decide you want to make this one shot longer and even more like Monster Hunter, you can have the Runeclaw eventually flee from the encounter so the party will need to track it back to The Den/Proof of a Hero. I hope I'm not making this sound convoluted, I just wanna provide as many options as possible.
This is it, this is the final encounter. Going into this my plan was to just have the encounter and that was it, but then I just HAD to go in and add "story" and "narrative" and "incentive" and all that weird stuff lmao.

But the truth is that all of this was a setup. Yep. What finally convinced me to commit to writing this in the first place was finding an instrumental of my all time favorite song that was properly looped so I could use it as encounter music. Every single aspect of this one shot was curated and tailored to trick you into listening to my favorite OSTs and going "Damn that goes hard". I can think of no better way to hammer home how video gamey and dramatic this world of mine is.

So, now that the Runeclaw has been revealed, there's a non-zero chance that some of you who're familiar with my work immediately know damn well what music I'm about to recommend for this fight.

If you're one of those people omg
I love you <3

So here's how this is gonna work. I'm gonna provide descriptions for set-pieces and scripted moments, ideas for mechanics that I've cooked up while writing this, some harder than others, and an optional way to end the fight. But at the end of the day this is just a normal combat with some spice that you can run however you want. There is also going to be multiple mentions of a charging up sound effect and energy pulsing and I need you to know it's just this in like every way except for the roar.

Proof of a Hero

The tradeoff for what is undoubtedly the cooler version of this fight, is a fight that is significantly harder, at least I hope it is. If your party has gotten to this point then they have either heroically ignored this one shot's theme of "The Importance of Preparation", or they have explicitly heeded that theme and are now back despite all the risks and dangers that await them cause they have a job to finish. Whatever the case may be, it begins the same way:

Roused from its slumber, the Runeclaw drags its claw through the dirt as it rises. As if it casted a barrier spell, the entrance behind you is blocked off with elemental energy. It stands upright, and you now see why it has that name. One of its arms is far larger than it should be, inscribed with bright blue runes and armed with razor sharp runestone as claws. It slams the claw down, creating the largest arcane circle you've ever seen in your adventuring career. Electricity arcs between the pillars on its back, embers rise from the ground, runestone calcifies at the point of impact, and arcane missiles fly through the air as it the beast looks to you and roars.
— Roll Initiative

At the beginning of the fight, and this is an important bit, I need you to immediately use Arcane Rush to Spellstrike the weakest member of the party. This is non-negotiable. The Runeclaw is intelligent, it casts spells, it probably knows order of operations. This is also where I suggest a possible mechanic: whenever the Runeclaw Spellstrikes, a runestone pillar is created at the point of impact. Practically speaking, this is like when lightning strikes sand and makes a glass sculpture.

This is also the part where I tell you something really important, not only does the Runeclaw know what the pillars do, it knows how to use them. It will go out of its way to target the pillars with spells if its advantageous, often by using Electric Arc to target multiple pillars at once or an AOE to target a player while also triggering the bonus pillar damage. The pillar damage also works towards the Runeclaw's Elemental Absorbtion, and the subsequent burst can trigger the pillars.

If you take advantage of this it's important the players are aware of how dangerous this feedback loop can probably get.
Runeclaw Statblock
With all this in mind, the Runeclaw's gameplan is simple. It attacks players, cast spells on either the players or the pillars, it absorbs magic, it releases that magic in a burst, wash rinse and repeat. For added drama, don't start casting the 3rd level spells until phase 2.

The Runeclaw will prioritize hitting as many players as possible, but with spells that have limited options will prioritize the biggest threat in any given moment.

Phase 2

When the Runeclaw reaches half health or lower, it is now Bloodied. Once here, please proceed to the Oh God Oh Fuck It's Dual Wielding section.

Against the Raid

The tradeoff for what is probably a less dramatic version of the fight, is one where your party is either somewhat prepared or EXTREMELY prepared. If your party has gotten to this point then they have recognized the numerous signs pointing to this one shot's theme of "The Importance of Preparation" and have decided to take advantage of those opportunities. Congratulations, when you made the decision to take up riskier quests you adapted accordingly and treated those risks seriously. Y'know, cause it is y'all's lives on the line and all that.

Now, the one thing I can't anticipate is how your characters might've planned to deal with whatever was coming, so I'm just gonna give you the details and you'll have to adapt accordingly. That and the following description assumes your party hasn't encountered the Kobolds yet. If they have, skip the second half and go to the next description.

As night falls, and the only light you have is the moonlight cascading over the field and the lanterns lining the farmhouse and barn, you hear its roar from deep in the woods. You're definitely sensing hints of bear, but something about it feels stronger, significantly more dangerous, and much, much bigger. Some of you can even make out runic blue lights poking through the darkness.
Before you have time to acknowledge what's happening, a small pack of kobolds bursts through the brush towards your general direction. It seems more like they were running FROM whatever that roar came from, but as they lock eyes with you it's clear they aren't above a little crime of opportunity.
— Roll Initiative

This is fundamentally the exact same encounter from the Overgrown Thicket without the difficult terrain. That being said, the Kobolds will prioritize escaping alive and defending the Lootbearer at all costs. The Lootbearer will try to escape as soon as possible and ignore the combat entirely if it can. If your party hasn't gone through the dungeon, catching and defeating the Lootbearer is the only opportunity they have of getting the loot from Adventure's Lament so it might be helpful if you inform them. This is a one shot, they can have a little metagaming, as a treat. I'd go as far as to give them the bonus consumable rewards as well. The encounter ends when the party is victorious, the kobolds escape, the Lootbearer is defeated, or you just decide its time for the main attraction.

This description is written as if The Stakeout was their initial path, in other words, as if the Runeclaw hasn't been revealed until this moment. Where this is most important is the segment with Wheat's reaction, which is the optional out referenced in Their Reaction to this Information. Obviously if the party came from any other chapter Wheat being shocked and offering a second or third out wouldn't make sense.

There is a rustling in the bushes, then the trees, and then the ground almost seems to quake as whatever was in the woods finally arrives. It looks like a giant bear, that much is certain, but it's extremely clear that this quest has suddenly risen way above your paygrade. One of its arms is far larger than it should be, inscribed with bright blue runes and armed with razor sharp runestone as claws.
Wheat gasps at the new development, audibly choking back fear as she calls out to you, almost begging for y'all to retreat into the cellar. It's clear she knows what this thing is, and has decided that your safety is more important than whatever she was planning on paying you for this quest.
As it sees you it slams the claw down, creating the largest arcane circle you've ever seen in your adventuring career. Electricity arcs between the runestone conduits on its back, embers rise from the ground, runestone calcifies at the point of impact, and arcane missiles fly through the air as it the beast looks to you and roars.
— Roll Initiative

Wheat's priority is the party's safety. If the party takes this chance to retreat into the cellar there's a few options of where to go from there, y'know, aside from quitting the quest or something. Wheat could offer to call of the quest and get help from more experienced adventurers/hunters, the party could wait until morning to prepare and then proceed to The Den if they haven't already, they could return to The Sleeping Squire for information and aid, the ball is in their court at this point.

If they decide to face it, however, whether it be from the get-go or after forming a gameplan in the cellar, the fight begins/resumes. Mechanics-wise this fight is the same as Proof of a Hero with a few tweaks. Now the Runeclaw can create pillars by using Spellstrike, as well as spending all 3-Actions to create one in any square adjacent to it (This doesn't recharge Spellstrike, however). This comes with the potential that the party will have no idea how these pillars work, which I think will up the stakes beautifully. (Wheat might know and warn them to stay away from them)

In this version of the fight, however, you have the option of using Wheat as either a fully fledged combatant (Honestly she'd probably rather die than sit idly by while these budding adventurers fight a Runeclaw on her behalf) or an emergency healer who tries to avoid outright combat in favor of ensuring no one dies if she can help it. I can also picture a scenario in which she sets up a more effective plan/trap while the party keeps the Runeclaw busy. Again, a lot of this version depends on how your players prepared beforehand, and you could end it early by having the Runeclaw retreat into The Den so the party will have to track it down and go through the dungeon.

Phase 2

When the Runeclaw reaches half health or lower, it is now Bloodied. Once here, please proceed to the Oh God Oh Fuck It's Dual Wielding section.

Oh God Oh Fuck It's Dual Wielding

With a thunderwave that pushes everything back, the Runeclaw seems to turn to a last resort. It drags its claw across its non-inscribed arm, tearing through flesh and slamming the ground with both as it finishes. You hear and feel a pulse, gradually getting louder and faster, as the bloody claw marks in its lacerated arm begin to glow a bright, runic blue. The elements arc around it with greater intensity. With another roar, it releases a shockwave that triggers all of the pillars around you.
— This is the part where it kills you

According to the statblock, the only additions I actually had set in stone was a permanent haste with added magic missiles and attack of opportunity. But I feel like you could throw in more. A LOT more. Just really put the fear of god in your party.

First off, Arcane Rush is immediately recharged and now you can start using the 3rd level spells. Maybe now it has a damaging aura? Maybe just being near a pillar triggers the damage. There's some wild options depending on how much you'd like to up the stakes.

Ending the Fight

I know what you're thinking. "Jon, why do you have a section on ending the fight. Doesn't the fight end when it gets to 0hp? What are you doing." To which I implore you to let me cook.

There's too much context surrounding this idea to sum up in an aloud, but basically I've been flirting with the idea of ending boss fights with Skill Challenges. Like Group QTEs in a video game. If you're interested then I appreciate the trust you have in me, the next section is for you.

It's Now or Never

You hear that all too familiar pulsing as it charges up it's largest attack yet, its arcane circle stretching across most of the battlefield and nearly blinding you. At the end of it all, the elements converge on the Runeclaw as it roars one last time. A massive beam of arcane energy blasting from within its mouth, ricocheting between all of the runestone pillars as if they were mirrors, and in the chaos it manages to hit all of you at once.

It's Now or Never.

It's at this point you begin the skill challenge. This is it, the Runeclaw is already statistically dead, it's just trying to take the party out with it and in doing so has opened itself up to a massive counterattack. The beam doesn't even do damage, on each player's turn ask them how they avoid the damage. Do they block? Do they dodge? Do they parry? Then ask them how they retaliate. Like adding mechanics to the sentence, "How do you wanna do this?" The Skill Challenge ends when each player has succeeded at least once, at which point the Runeclaw is finally defeated. (Oh and don't tell them there isn't a failure condition just describe the Runeclaw doing something in response to a failure and let them be in suspense hbdsfkvhjb)

Nay! The Honor is All Ours!

(For dramatic/emotional effect this description is like 2 or 3 hours after the fight and hopefully no one died)

It's almost shocking how much of a 180 this night has become. It seems like days ago that you've all made the decision to commit to the adventuring thing even harder than you already had been, and hours after that you had been fighting for your life, and moments after that you were licking your wounds as Wheat aggressively huddled y'all back into the house for the night; Rusty frantically scrounging up tea, snacks, and first aid kits in the process. But now, late into the night, wrapped in blankets and pillows with a crackling fireplace in front of you, you know nothing but comfort and bliss. You did it! And with the promise of a delicious breakfast in the morning and an exciting story to tell Tavern, some of y'all can't help but think.

"If this is what adventuring in Oniran had to offer, then we'll be alright after all."
— The End


Pathfinder 2e One Shot
  • 4 Players
  • Party Level 3
  • Centered around combat but mostly comprised of RP and fluff/description.
  • Trivial Threat Encounter
  • Severe Threat Encounter
    • (Solo Boss Level 5)


    Fish out of Water

    The Importance of Preparation

    Southern Hospitality

    Monster Hunting






    Dungeon Maps

    Runecarved Woodland Base Map Image
    Runecarved Woodland Floor 3 layer

    Related Sauce

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    Master Jontaro

    While I would love to go on an adventure, writing them is enough for me.

    All the art is made by me unless labled otherwise!


    Author's Notes

    So there it is, Oniran's first one shot! I'll be the first to admit it's rough around the edges, especially since so much of it is just me explaining vibes and telling the DM "Do whatever you want idk", but theres a first for everything. The only purpose a first needs to serve is to exist in the first place. It's just REALLY funny that now the longest article in this entire world is for RPG content that's meant to be short. And technically it's not even finished.   Look, man, I've been working on this for a WHILE and the tank is getting dangerously close to empty and I'm just one guy. So I'm deploying the Triple A game strat and dropping incomplete content that's just good enough to play that I'll update over time. In case I also update the authors notes, as of right now it's April 23rd 2024 at like 6 in the morning. I'm also hoping that people will catch any mistakes still in here and inform me so I can fix them in the future lmao.   I feel like this is a huge step for my world, that's pretty neat. My mindset going into it was to focus more on descriptions and vibes rather than concrete rules and mechanics, just to get the ball rolling. A lot of that mindset came from this Chris Perkins quote in a video about writing adventures, "Adventures that are published aren't merely meant to be played; they're made to be read. And if you're going to make somebody read something, for fucksake, make it entertaining.". I just hope I was able to pull THAT off at least, even if the adventure isn't really easy/fun to run. That's all for now, have a good one!

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