The PCs come across a pyramid or some other type of tomb, containing-if they chose to break open the seals and enter it, some ornate and very valuable tomb treasures-and unfortunately one or more Bandage Beasts. They can be held off or indeed defeated using water, but the treasures of the tomb will be of no use to the PCs if they die of thirst in the desert before reaching civilisation again.
A huge scorpion the size of a horse, the apex predator in this area, arrives and attacks at once with it's armoured pincers and that fatal sting on the end of it's tail. If the PCs defeat it, armour can be made from it's body, and that deadly tail can be made into a nasty poisoned sword. These scorpions tend to live on the edge of deserts rather then in the centre of them, as there is more prey to be found that way for such a large creature to eat.
An underground source of water has soaked the sand above and turned it into quicksand. Assuming the PCs are not dragged down and killed by it, straining the sand properly yields drinkable fresh water-something very precious and life sustaining in a desert.
A trading caravan shows up with about a hundred traders, all of them armed against the danger of desert raiders. If the PCs are friendly and have money, interesting items to trade or both, they will happily trade in return and are reasonably honest. If the PCs get aggressive and/or try to attack them, they will fight back, and there are a lot of them who are not in a forgiving mood.
A dozen or so hooded raiders on fast camels show up and attack the PCs on sight. If the PCs survive the encounter they get the swords and whatever else the raiders have. If they wear their clothing, non raiders will either flee in fear or become very hostile
The PCs find an oasis with a whole community of desert dwellers living there. Access to the water is free but tightly controlled to prevent it being fouled or worse, poisoned. The PCs if they know where to look can find traders, information and somewhere safe to sleep here. If they get in a fight and win it, they will be persona non grata unless they can prove that they didn't start it.
The soldiers came in large numbers and heavily armed, and to get at the water quickly they blew it up. There was nothing the outnumbered oasis dwellers could do. The water flooded out and formed a huge pool. When the soldiers had drank their fill, filled their canteens and moved out, the oasis dwellers drank and gathered the water whilst it was still fresh. After a couple of weeks of sitting on the surface the water became foul, the water table dropped and killed the date palms, mosquitos arrived bringing malaria with them, and the oasis dwellers had no choice but to flee and hope to be accepted at some other oasis. Now the water has to be boiled to make it drinkable, otherwise it causes sickness and dehydration, and malaria is a danger to anyone who stays here very long.
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? Responses (3)
A lot of these are pretty basic ideas, nothing really out of the ordinary. But the exploded oasis is a really cool idea.
This could, perhaps should be fleshed out and expanded, or perhaps you could fold this into some sort random encounter table.