View Full Version : An idea for an interesting (?) encounter/module portion

2012-07-24, 07:49 AM
Okay, so your party has just encountered a villain that they failed to kill. They have claimed the spoils, if any, and they have learned about a greater host of enemies to the north.

They set out, armed to the teeth, possibly wounded, and in a great hurry. How great of a hurry is up to them, and they've got options per the movement rules, (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/alignment-description/movement) which they should be informed of. How tough you want to be in terms of distance and terrain is flexible, but forced marching in Pathfinder can kill a PC's horse.

If they're lucky, the players notice a homing pigeon (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/animals/raven) with a message capsule on its leg, coming from behind them. How high it's flying effects the Perception DC (+1 per 10 feet), and how hard it is to shoot, if weapon range is a factor.

You can afford to make it hard, even if you need the players to get the message and/or if you need the bad guys ahead to get it. Sending two or three birds in sequence can be (1) a way to give the players a second chance at seeing a really cool thing you made and some intel, (2) a way to challenge a party that just got the first bird really easily, or (3) a way to let the players know that the bad guys know what the players know about the bad guys. :smallbiggrin:

How long should the birds be in spotting and shooting range?

Anyway, so: your players have shot down a pigeon. You place them on the map as they gather around ("Hey, is this about where you guys are around the pigeon? :smallsmile:) This is when you pull out a small, twine(or ribbon, as appropriate for your villain)-wrapped tube of papers. The players open it, and discover that there are several small sheets-- one is a note, and one or more are well-inscribed EXPLOSIVE RUNES! (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/e/explosive-runes) You can vary the difficulty with the number and position of runes mixed in, and how hard it is to recognize one from a peek at the edge. DC 28 to detect and disable.

Are you a good and charitable DM? Perhaps they only got one bird, or couldn't help but blow up everything they got? You could (at your option) walk outside and burn the note partially, or tear it up (since EXPLOSIVE RUNES is force damage). A little puzzle for your players is a good way to let them salvage a loss.

Especially if they've taken damage, now is a good time to have an enemy who saw the pigeon go down arrive. Nothing like an ambush, especially since you already have their locations down.

Thoughts? Ideas on possible fluff, crunch, or additional elements?