I'm running Ghosts of Saltmarsh and my party really wants to explore the Dreadwood for a while. I wasn't quite sure how to handle that until I found What Crooked Roots via the reproductive rights bundle. These encounters convey exactly the unsettling nightmarish vibe I was craving.
What Crooked Roots: Folk Horror Encounters
A downloadable 5e Supplement
Welcome to the wilds.
Here you reap what you sow.
Inspired by the settings and themes of The Wicker Man, Over the Garden Wall, The Ritual and many other folk horror tales, comes What Crooked Roots: 15 folk-horror themed roleplay encounters created for Fifth Edition.
Mostly focusing on western tropes and anxieties, What Crooked Roots flips some expectations and reinvents others for a fresh but familiar series of scary scenarios. With a haunting range of encounters that vary in length and difficulty, you’re sure to find something that lingers with your party well beyond their travels…
- Explore cornfields growing something wicked.
- Meet beekeepers who hide a secret.
- Unearth forgotten, haunted groves.
- Crack a black egg or see if it hatches.
- Hear the whisper of something following in the shadows.
- Feast on the fruit with human teeth inside instead of seeds.
- Flee the Groat Man as it hunts you through an abandoned village.
- And much more!
The harvest is ready and the ritual always has room for one more...
- 15 Folk-horror encounters focusing on roleplay (some violence may be required).
- A sprinkling of fantasy to remove and reimagine harmful stereotypes typically associated with folk-horror stories.
- Lore to distribute as rumors, journals, dreams or other means as the GM sees fit within their world.
- Encounters you can slot in as your party travels through or explores rural terrain, adapting to most settings.
- Optional additions and roll tables to further customize encounters.
- 33-page, full-color, and bookmarked PDF with original folk-horror style artwork.
- Printer friendly and accessible PDF.
- High-resolution player handouts with color inversions to help save printer ink.
- Body horror and blood
- Allusions to cannibalism
- Allusions to pregnancy
- Allusions to stalking
- Animal hunting and harvesting
- Self-harm in a ritualistic setting
- Cult-like behavior
- Funeral for a child
Copies of What Crooked Roots are now available on Lulu Printing, Amazon, and many other sites. If you'd like a PDF, email a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll happily hook you up with the digital goods!
See all Sly Flourish has to say in the video below!
In order to download this 5e Supplement you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $7.90 USD. You will get access to the following files:
Support this 5e Supplement at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.
If you're in need and can't afford a copy of this supplement, help yourself to a community copy. Please consider leaving a rating if you do.
Every sale contributes at least 1 copy to the pool.
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.
We've made a cool review of What Crooked Roots over at out Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/Post/TTRPG-Review--What-Crooked-Roots-by-Cassi-Mothwin-H2H8CVSFX
I was invited to give a talk about folk horror on Twice Bitten's Fireside Chat podcast! In this 10 minute interview, you'll get the basics of how I interpret folk horror.
Oops! All Barovians recently ran the "Queen Beekeepers" encounter! Watch how the party reacted!
Having received this in the reproductive rights bundle I'm really interested in this, especially after hearing The Lazy D&D Talk Show Segment about it! I will try to remember to stop by again after I get a chance to give it a once over and update with my thoughts!
I'm glad you're interested! Thanks for supporting the bundle! I hope you enjoy What Crooked Roots and the other games and items included!
See an actual play through some of the content! This group is doing a playthrough of most of the scenarios!
I was so pleasantly surprised to find this in the bundle I got! I'm running a folk horror themed campaign right now, and these are so inspiring! Really reminded me to focus on small encounters, instead of fixating on the Big Horror. Thank you so much for making these, I'm so excited to share them with my players!!
I'm so glad to hear you're finding some use for it! Thank you for helping support Ukraine!
Hey! I'm planning on running some of these for my roommate, one-on-one; are there any adjustments you'd recommend for a balanced single player campaign?
Hey, there! Thanks so much for the question! It's hard for me to make a recommendation without knowing level and class, but I would adjust whatever you use to match up to your roommate's abilities. Lower DCs that might require multiple party members or remove them entirely. You might also have a traveler join your roommate (the ghostly guide could be good inspiration) to help them in tight spots. Just make sure the traveler fills in any gaps in the player's abilities. I hope this helps!
I'm looking through this now, it's super cool and very imaginative, great job!! Any suggestions on a folksy/folk horror adventure module to play with this supplement?
Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate your kind words!
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft has some great folk horror ideas and a setting. You might also look at Witchburner, a system neutral adventure and Reivdene, a system neutral setting. I can't promise complete compatibility, but I think everything complements each other really nicely.