Wandering Monsters — Frontier Fort

Let’s saddle up and head out in to the wilderness this week. Outdoor travel and exploration is a staple of Pathfinder. PCs may find themselves going days or weeks without any sign of civilization and a respite from the elements is always welcome. Today’s map is one such location. Forts of all kinds can dot the wilderness and this one is no different. For all you weary travelers, feel free to spend a night in the frontier fort.

As always, many thanks to the Pyromancers dungeon painter tool for helping me create this week’s map.

Frontier Fort

The tall wooden walls of this fort house a large courtyard with a sizable well in the center. A number of buildings dot the courtyard and a large stable rests at one end of the fort.


Click on maps for a full-size version.

The frontier fort fits almost anywhere required of it. Although it is designed as a wilderness themed fort, it is a relatively simple process to tweak it into something else. Changing the walls to stone makes a good mountaintop fort while more magically themed or treated structures serve well for a mage guild headquarters.

Fort Features

The fort walls are made of thick logs and are 15 feet high. The buildings within are 10 feet tall each. Climbing the walls requires a successful DC 15 Climb check. There are lanterns up on the ramparts kept at each corner. The interiors are lit with torches. Unless otherwise noted, none of the simple wooden doors are locked.

1. Entrance

The large double doors into the fort are left open during the day and barred at night. Breaking open the doors when they are barred requires a successful DC 25 Strength check.

2. Courtyard

This large courtyard is usually milling about with people throughout the day. A well in the center of the courtyard provides water for the fort. The well is 30 feet deep.

3. Barracks

The barracks serve as a dormitory for the fort’s residents. There is usually a spare bed available for any visitors to the fort. The barracks usually hold the residents’ personal items in footlockers under each bed. The map’s treasure is found here. A small latrine is next to the building, attached to the stables.

4. Main Hall

This open hall is the gathering area for everyone throughout the day. The kitchen provides food for all of the residents. At night, the hall is filled with the sounds of music and merriment.

5. Stable

The stable always has plenty of space for mounts. A very large stall in the corner serves larger or more unusual mounts.

6. Storage

This small storage shed houses the majority of the fort’s supplies. Any extra weapons or armor are kept here as well.


The following encounters can take place here.

Encounter Challenge Rating Creatures Treasure
Bandit Gang CR 3 4 brigandsNPC
Elemental Attack CR 5 2 medium water elementalsB1
Natural Invaders CR 7 2 dire wolves B1, grizzly bear B1, wasp swarmB1
This week’s Encounter Table makes use of Bestiary 1 and NPC Codex.

Bandit Gang (CR 3)

A small gang of bandits roams the countryside, waylaying any travelers to and from the fort. Lately, they have been less successful with their attacks and have grown desperate. Under cover of darkness, the bandits climb over the walls and attempt to steal from the storage house and barracks. If noticed, they spring into action, attacking aggressively. The swarm their attackers, surrounding them and hoping their numbers are enough to win.

Elemental Attack (CR 5)

Whether it has some tie to the elemental plane or was cursed, the well spawns a pair of mad water elementals. The two elementals start attacking the fort’s denizens and buildings, seemingly without any direction. If attacked, the elementals grow with rage and begin to join up for their attacks. One of the elementals creates a vortex within the well while the other attempts to push opponents into the whirlpool.

Natural Invaders (CR 7)

Angry with the incursion of the fort into the wilderness, a scornful druid calls a number of animals to attack the fort. When they attack, the dire wolves and the bear charge the front door, granting a cumulative +6 bonus to one of the creature’s Strength checks to break down the door if it is barred. Once inside, the bear charges the first person it sees. The wolves stay at a distance at first and then gang up on any larger combatants, trying to keep them pinned down by tripping them. The wasp swarm, with an almost eerie prescience, stays on any spell casters as best as it can.

That’s it for this week! If you use the frontier fort in your game, let me know!  If you have any request for a future Wandering Monsters, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com.

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder Lost Omens line and formerly on Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Nova his cat, and walks with his wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos. Consider checking his material on his Patreon at patreon.com/luisloza