A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Random Encounters

    Post interesting encounters that can be dropped into any campaign.

    1. Aarin the Lance

    A road cuts through a wooded lot which conceals a wooden bridge that crosses a stream. On the approach side of the bridge a variety of shields are hung from trees around a long, narrow meadow of level ground with short grass which has two parallel furrows about fifty yards long across it.

    (The number of shields equals the sum of all of the paladin levels of the character encountered, so a level 3 paladin would have 1+2+3=9 shields. The level of the knight should be no more than 1 level higher than the intended opponent for a tough encounter and no less than 3 lower for an easy victory.)

    On the center of the bridge a fully equipped knight sits astride a barded heavy warhorse. If there are no similarly equipped characters in the party the knight will back his/her horse off of the bridge and say, "You may pass."

    If there is a rider in heavy armor the knight will challenge the rider to a tilt on the 'Field of Honor.' In the case of multiple suitable opponents the knight will challenge 'the best of you,' and allow the party to choose who will face the knight.

    (The knight's armor is polished steel. The tabbard is white with a black hammer emblazoned upon it, and the shield is painted solid black. (The tabbard shows that the knight is a member of the order of the Knights Judiciary, an obsolete order devoted to protecting judges and courthouses. The shield indicates that the knight serves no lord.)

    None of the party will be allowed on the bridge if there is a suitable opponent, but the creek isn't in flood, so nothing stops them from simply going around.

    If the challenged party has no shield the knight will invite him to choose one from the trees. If the challenged party has no lance the knight will indicate a tree with a dozen blunt lances propped against it and invite the challenged party to choose one he likes. If the challenged chooses the knight's lance the knight will surrender it and take one from the tree.

    The knight will invite the challenged to take either end of the meadow and invite the highest charisma party member to call the start of the tilt.

    The match continues until one or the other yields. If the knight is unhorsed s/he will yield. If the challenged is unhorsed and does not yield, the knight will dismount and continue the match with longsword and shield.

    If the challenged yields the knight will demand his shield and his ransom. (Ransom is the cost of his armor.)

    If the knight yields s/he will offer to forfiet shield and ransom. Further, if the challenged is deemed honorable, (and there are no overtly evil characters in the party,) the knight will offer to serve as liege to the challenged for a month or until such time as the liege should cause conflict with the knight's sacred vows.

    (Of course, the party can simply attack the knight together rather than fooling around with the challenge.)

    The knight has a tent and corral on the far side of the bridge where provisions and other gear is kept. A small box has what wealth a paladin is allowed to keep, but the rest of the knight's wealth is gear and equipment.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    2. The Orange Tabby

    A very large, possibly feral, cat of the orange tabby breed struts by as if it owns the place. It will settle nearby and appear to eavesdrop on the PCs conversation.

    If the cat is treated kindly it will tolerate petting, but will ignore offers of food, (until the PCs backs are turned.) For the next twenty-four hours any PC that demonstrated kindness will enjoy a 5% (+1) Luck bonus to all dice rolls.

    If the cat is ignored it will go about its business after a while.

    If the cat is shooed off, threatened, or otherwise mistreated the PCs who engaged in such behavior will receive a -5% (-1) penalty to all dice rolls for the next 24 hours.

    (The cat is a servant of the god(dess) of luck, and is technically an outsider.)

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    3. A Cabin in the Woods
    A decrepit cabin which appears to have once been a prosperous farmhouse sits in an overgrown yard surrounded by a rotting fence. At first glance it appears to be abandoned.

    A shy, toothless old woman answers the door, (or can be seen peeking from a window if the party simply goes around the cabin.) If the party stops to speak to her, she will offer to share her 'chicken stew' in exchange for a few chores that she is too old and weak to do.

    She needs firewood cut, the roof patched, her herb-patch weeded, and other such chores done. She offers them silty well water to drink but her stew is delicious. Everyone who eats a bite, (she will be offended if a character refuses her stew,) will fall asleep in twenty minutes, and wake in chains in a basement dungeon.

    If some eat but others do not, the ones who refuse their host will discover that she is a hag, and that her 'wedding band' is actually a ring of Dominate Person.

    The ring is limited to only one domination at a time, but a victim can be released and another can be dominated after 24 hours have elapsed.

    She is, however, able to use any and all of her hag abilities normally. She will try to capture the characters who refused her meal, only killing as a last resort. She will chain the survivors of a fight as she does those who ate her stew.

    She will dominate the strongest and use the PC for menial tasks related to getting ready for a party. The party, on the night of the next new moon, will involve her and the other two hags of her coven, (who arrive in the nights before the dark of the moon.) Their plan is to sacrifice the PCs to the daemons they worship.

    The PCs should have two or three days to reverse their situation and deal with the hag(s) if they fail on the first try. Among the treasure accumulated by the hags is a scroll or depleted rod of Raise Dead to enable deceased characters to continue the adventure.

    This is a good encounter to use when a player misses game night and the party needs something to do so they don't begin the main adventure without a key PC.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-10-21 at 10:45 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    4. The Convenient Gnome
    When the party is desperate for a place to rest, they chance upon a solitary gnome wearing patchwork robes of many colors.

    If the encounter is hostile, the gnome will disengage and hide, but otherwise he is friendly and a bit too talkative. Either he has been alone too long or he likes the sound of his own voice.

    The gnome is a level 6 Alchemist/level 6 Illusionist, and has a brass ring of Shape Change (gnome.) His normal shape is an adult brass dragon.

    His dwelling is nearby, a hidden underground home and alchemy shop. Its entrance is so well concealed that only an expert search or spot skill is enough t6 spot it.

    The gnome has good wine, clean water, and a somewhat gamey stew that he shares, and a variety of low level potions for sale. After a night of conversation around a small fire everyone is invited to rest. The furniture is too small for medium characters, and the ceiling too low for large ones, but there is room to stretch out on the floor.

    In the morning the gnome and everything of value that belonged to him, (except the pot of cold stew,) will be gone. The PCs' gear and wealth is untouched.

    The party may continue to use the gnome's house if they wish. The gnome will not return.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    5. The Running Minstrel
    A bard, at the extreme of exhaustion, is trying to run down the road but only accomplishing a stagger-trot. S/he appears to be in extreme pain and is oblivious to the world until someone says something.

    Confronted, the bard clumsily tries to draw an epee, drops a harp on the ground, forgets the sword and falls down trying to recover the harp.

    From the ground the bard looks up and says, "Help me!"

    Apparently the Baronnet diMache is chasing the bard with an entourage of retainers after a servant caught the baronette's spouse in the bard's bed and told the baronet in a fit of jealousy.

    The spouse loudly claimed the bard cast a charm, which the bard denies, but the bard took to the road on a horse three days past.

    The baronnet has hounds, which can be heard baying in the distance. The bard says the horse died yesterday and that s/he ran through the night hoping to get away.

    The baronnet will arrive on the scene within the hour. The bard claims innocence and begs for aid.

    Will the party aid the bard? If so, how?
    Is the bard innocent? How can it be proven?
    If the baronnet catches the bard will there be an execution, or some less permanent punishment?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    6. The Cobbler
    As the party rests for the evening, an invisible presence steals their footwear. If the party does not notice, they will wake to discover their shoes, boots, and sandals cleaned, polished, and repaired, lined up along the edge of the campsite.

    If the theft is noticed and interrupted the shoes will be randomly scattered as the invisible footware filcher flees.

    If the party member spies on the thief it will be discovered that the shoes have been taken by a brownie master cobbler who analyzes the wear patterns of each shoe, then quickly performs alterations and repairs which transform the shoes dinto the most comfortable shoes each character has ever worn.

    If unobserved, or if the observer(s) leave the cobbler undisturbed, the brownie will have time to add a little embellishment. Roll 2d4 to determine the effect for each pair of shoes.

    2. +1 Dodge bonus to AC.
    3. +5 feet per round bonus movement.
    4. +1 to save vs. Slips, Trips, or Falls.
    5. Trackless Step
    6. +1 Climb Skill
    7. +1 Move Silently
    8. +5 feet vertical, +15 feet horizontal jump
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-10-26 at 09:36 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    7. A Riddle Goes Off the Rails

    While trying to get directions the party encounters a group of three people, one always tells the truth, one always lies, and the third tries to confuse them with misleading statistics

    8. Battle site

    The PCs stumble across the site where there has clearly been some kind of battle recently. Are the victors still nearby? Is the site now haunted?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Excellent additions, Bohandas. More please!

    9. A Matter of Perspective
    A very polite hill giant is camping beside the road. S/he invites the party to share a pot of mutton stew. It smells good and appears wholesome to any test the adventurers wish to try. It is, in fact, mutton stew. 'But I'm hoping for better soon.'

    The giant, Euger, appears to be knowledgeable about the nearby region and its inhabitants. Hir descriptions are filled with references such as, 'We used to call it Tamwallu which means Lake of the Sky before the humans named it Jadmin's Lake.
    If questioned, the giant will assert that giants have been displaced by humans who came into their ancestral homelands and drove them off of the best lands.
    Not long after a human posse will arrive and demand the right to kill the giant for stealing sheep. The giant admits to the deed, but claims that humans have driven off the local game leaving no other choice.
    The PCs must determine what to do with the situation because the humans are intent on killing and the giant will likely kill to survive.

    The truth: the giant's tale is a complete fiction. S/he is a marauder attempting to lure humans into the wilderness for the purpose of fine dining, and was surprised and intimidated by the adventurers' arrival.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-10-27 at 08:18 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lacco's Avatar

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    10. The Royal Beggar

    Adventurers are hailed by a beggar of almost coin-worthy royal profile. The man looks almost too clean - as if he just put on some mud stains on the relatively clean, non-smelling clothes. He panhandles the adventurers, asking for few coins, entertaining them with stories and just being pleasant. He also asks them if they are in any way involved with the royal court.

    If they decide to give him few coins, he reveals that he is actually a royal, who sneaks around the country to find out if people like him, and to find good people around him. The profile on one of the gold coins actually looks like the beggar. He then asks the adventurers to help him right some wrongs, and sends them on several quests, starting with easy ones, and maybe even asks them to lend him some money.

    If the adventurers investigate the man, they quickly find out he is an actual beggar, who lives on people lending him money. If they fall for his scam, he may pay some actors to lead them further.
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Avatar comes from the talented linklele.
    Formerly GMing: Riddle of Steel: Soldiers of Fortune

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Instead of having an adventure, from which a cool unexpected story may rise, you had a story, with an adventure built and designed to enable the story, but also ensure (or close to ensure) it happens.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    11.) The Serial Killer

    A man asks the PCs to help him mend a broken wagon wheel. If they agree to assist him he will lead them to a secluded place along the road and try to kill them

    12.) The Map

    The PCs discover a treasure map blowing past them in the wind or half buried in the soil. If they follow the map (the marked location is not too far off) they find only the buried corpses of the mapmaker's erstwhile companions, because it turns out that the real treasure is friendship

    13.) The Ecclesiastic

    The PCs are awoken in the middle of the night by the sound of raucous music. If they investigate thet will find it to be coming from a passing cleric of the local god of bards and rogues, who has sworn a vow to rock-and-roll all night and party every day

    14.) Aqua Teen Hunger Force

    A blonde haired warlock wearing a bright red cloak and carrying an ornate mug, and followed by a brownish aerobics ball that moves of its own accord, run into the PCs while being chased by some angry people.

    These are Warlock, Gorn Lord, and Mimic, a team of out-of-work adventurers of disreputable character. And is up to the PCs whether they want to intervene in the altercation on either end.

    These are Warlock, Gorn Lord, and Mimic are petty criminals who make their livings commiting middling crimes or abusively half-assing some odd job or another; whether selling magic items of dubious quality, ransacking and looting, creating magic items no-questions-asked, blackmailing more villainous ne’erdowells, abandoning the person who’s hired them as bodyguards, framing a random patsy when they tire of an investigation, or simply working at a local tavern and stealing from the till.

    Further details in spoiler


    Spoiler
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    “Warlock”
    HP 46 (13d6); Fiendish resiliance; DR 3/cold iron
    Male Human Expert 1/Warlock 12
    LE(LN) Meduim Humanoid (Human)
    Init +0; Senses: Detect Magic; Listen +1, Spot +7
    Languages: Comprehend Languages (written only); Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Infernal, Gnome
    Resist: Fire 5, ????? 5
    Fort +4 (0+4+0) Ref +4 (0+4+0) Wis +11 (2+8+1)
    Speed: 30 feet, Fly 30 feet (good)
    Ranged: Eldritch Hammer blast +9 (6d6)
    Ranged: Brimstone blast +9 (6d6 fire plus ignition)
    Base atk: +9
    SA: Eldritch Blast, Invocations
    SQ: Damage Reduction 3/cold iron, Detect Magic, Fiendish Resiliance, Imbue Item
    Invocations:
    Least- All-seeing Eyes, Beguiling Influence, Hammer Blast, Otherworldly Whispers
    Lesser- Brimstone blast(?), Fell Flight
    Greater- Dark Hand (See below)
    Abilities: Str 11 Dex 11 Con 11 Int 18 Wis 12 Cha 10
    Feats: Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Investigator, Jack of All Trades (CAdv), Magical Aptitude, Master of Knowledge (HoH)
    Skills: Bluff +6 (6inv), Concentrate +2 (2sk), Craft (Alchemy) +20 (16skill+4int), Craft (blacksmithing) +17 (13sk+4int), Craft (Weaponsmithing) +16 (12sk+4int), Diplomacy +8 (6inv+2syn), Gather Information +2 (2feat), Heal +5 (4sk+1wis), Intimidate +7 (1sk+6inv), Knowledge (Arcana) +27 (16skill+4int+1feat+6inv), Knowledge (architecture) +5 (4int+1feat), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +10 (5sk+4int+1feat), Knowledge (gepgraphy) +5 (4int+1feat), Knowledge (history) +5 (4int+1feat), Knowledge (local) +5 (4int+1feat), Knowledge (nature) +5 (4int+1feat), Knowledge (nobility) +5 (4int+1feat), Knowledge (religion) +27 (16sk+4int+1feat+6inv), Knowledge (The Planes) +17 (6sk+4int+1feat+6inv), Search +16 (4sk+4int+2feat+6inv), Sense Motive +17 (+16sk+1wis), Spellcraft +24 (+16sk+4int+2feat+2syn) +26 with scrolls (+16sk+4int+2feat+4syn), spot +7 (1wis+6inv), Survival +1 (1wis) +3 on other planes or underground (1wis+2syn), Use Magic Device +18 (16sk+2feat) +20 with scrolls (16sk+2feat+2syn)

    Eldritch Blast (Sp): The first ability a warlock learns is eldritch blast. A warlock attacks his foes with eldritch power, using baleful magical energy to deal damage and sometimes impart other debilitating effects.
    An eldritch blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet. It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An eldritch blast deals 1d6 points of damage at 1st level and increases in power as the warlock rises in level. An eldritch blast is the equivalent of a spell whose level is equal to one-half the warlock’s class level (round down), with a minimum spell level of 1st and a maximum of 9th when a warlock reaches 18th level or higher
    An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a warlock’s eldritch blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (eldritch blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a warlock’s eldritch blast by 2. See page 303 of the Monster Manual.

    Detect Magic (Sp): A warlock can use detect magic as the spell at will. His caster level equals his class level (12)
    Damage Reduction (Su): Fortifed by the supernatural power fowing in his body, a warlock becomes resistant to physical attacks, gaining damage reduction 3/cold iron.

    Deceive Item (Ex): A warlock has the ability to more easily commandeer magic items made for the use of other characters. When making a Use Magic Device check, a warlock can take 10 even if distracted or threatened.

    Fiendish Resilience (Su): A warlock knows the trick of fendish resilience. Once per day, as a free action, he can enter a state that lasts for 2 minutes. While in this state, the warlock gains fast healing 1.

    Imbue Item (Su): A warlock can use his supernatural power to create magic items, even if he does not know the spells required to make an item (although he must know the appropriate item creation feat). He can substitute a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + spell level for arcane spells or 25 + spell level for divine spells) in place of a required spell he doesn’t know or can’t cast.
    If the check succeeds, the warlock can create the item as if he had cast the required spell. If it fails, he cannot complete the item. He does not expend the XP or gp costs for making the item; his progress is simply arrested. He cannot retry this Use Magic Device check for that spell until he gains a new level.

    Dark Hand
    Greater Invocation
    The warlock may use Telekinesis as the spell. Additionally they may make a free attempt to telekinetically grapple any creature they hit with eldritch blast

    The other two members of the group refer to the warlock simply as “Warlock”. It is unknown if he really has no name or the others are simply too stupid to remember it. A scholar of all fields of study, Warlock is the brains of the group and its de facto leader. Except for when he is plotting the murder of a romantic rival or building an unsavory magic item for an even more unsavory client, he also is usually the conscience of the group (relatively speaking); he tries to steer the group towards adventuring and/or employment rather than outright stealing, extortion, and fraud.

    “Mimic”

    “Mimic”; Mimic Warshaper 1; Large Aberration (Shapechanger)HD 7d8+1d8+56; HP 92; Init +1; Speed 10ft; AC 15 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 15; Atk +9 melee (1d8+4, 2 slams); SA adhesive, crush, morphic weapons; SQ Darkvision 60 ft., immunity to acid, mimic shape, morphic immunities; AL CN; SV Fort +11 (+2HD+7con+2class), Ref +5(+2hd+1dex+2feat), Will +2 (+5HD-3wis); Str 19 Dex 12 Con 24 Int 8 Wis 5 Cha 10
    Skills and Feats: Climb +6 (2sk+4str), Disguise +10 (2sk+0cha+8rac), Escape Artist +2 (1sk+1dex), Listen +4 (3sk-3wis+2feat), Spot +2 (3sk-3wis+2feat); Alertness, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Focus (slam)

    Special Attacks:
    Adhesive (Ex): A mimic exudes a thick slime that acts as a powerful adhesive, holding fast any creatures or items that touch it. An adhesive-covered mimic automatically grapples any creature it hits with its slam attack. Opponents so grappled cannot get free while the mimic is alive without removing the adhesive first.
    A weapon that strikes an adhesive-coated mimic is stuck fast unless the wielder succeeds on a DC 16 Reflex save. A successful DC 16 Strength check is needed to pry it off.
    Strong alcohol dissolves the adhesive, but the mimic still can grapple normally. A mimic can dissolve its adhesive at will, and the substance breaks down 5 rounds after the creature dies.

    Crush (Ex): A mimic deals 1d8+4 points of damage with a successful grapple check.

    Morphic Weapons (Su): As a move action, a warshaper can grow natural weapons such as claws or fangs, allowing a natural attack that deals the appropriate amount of damage according to the size of the new form. These morphic weapons need not be natural weapons that the creature already posesses, for example, a warshaper polymorphed into an ettin (Large giant) could grow a claw that deals 1d6 points of damage, or horns for a gore attack that deals 1d8 points of damage.

    If the warshaper’s form already has a natural weapon of that type, the weapon deals damage as if it were one category larger. For example, a warshaper who used wild shape to become a dire wolf (Large animal) could grow its jaw and snout, enabling a bite attack that deals 2d6 points of damage (as a for Huge animal), not the normal 1d8. A warshaper can change morphic weapons as often as it likes, even if it is using a shapechanging technique such as the polymorph spell or the wild shape class feature that doesn’t allow subsequent changes after the initial transformation.

    Special Qualities:
    Mimic Shape (Ex): A mimic can assume the general shape of any object that fills roughly 150 cubic feet (5 feet by 5 feet by 6 feet), such as a massive chest, a stout bed, or a wide door frame. The creature cannot substantially alter its size, though. A mimic’s body is hard and has a rough texture, no matter what appearance it might present. Anyone who examines the mimic can detect the ruse with a successful Spot check opposed by the mimic’s Disguise check. Of course, by this time it is generally far too late.

    Morphic Immunities (Ex): A warshaper is adept at distributing her form’s vital organs around her body to keep them safe from harm. Warshapers are immune to stunning and critical hits.

    “Mimic” is an unusually dumb mimic prone to taking on non-apropos disguises or accidentally disguising himself as the wrong thing. The Gorn Lord is fond of tricking him into turning into offensive shapes that enrage onlookers and even more fond of tricking him into doing the dirty work for its half-baked schemes. When out adventuring he has the useful quality of being able to get the others into hard to reach places

    “The Gorn Lord”
    The Gorn Lord; CE Intelligent Everfull Mug (Magic Item Compendium pg.160; A mug that can fill itself with cheap booze 3/day; base price 200gp); Int 9, Wis 6, Cha 7; Speaks Common; Sight 120 ft and hearing; 10 ranks in Bluff, 10 ranks in Profession(Cook);

    Moderate Conjuration; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, Create Water;11700 gp

    The Gorn Lord is a magical white stoneware tankard with a carved face and an elaborately wrought golden lid. The tankard is intelligent but has a reprehensible personality, and left to its own devices it will swindle people, verbally abuse people, make inappropriate advances towards women (despite the fact that it lacks genitals), and attempt to trick people into injuring themselves. Its only useful trait, other than its ability to generate cheap alcohol, is its inexplicably extensive knowledge of cooking.

    Spoiler
    Show

    And these three are of course based heavily on Frylock, Meatwad, and Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force


    [/QUOTE]

    15.) Not A Serial Killer

    A man asks the PCs to help him mend a broken wagon wheel. He's actually a god or other magical being in disguise, and if the PCs help him they will recieve some minor blessing

    16.) IP

    The party encounter an altercation between a minstrel and some gangster thugs who claim to somehow "own" his music and are demanding that he give them all of his money

    17.) The Soundtrack

    For a day or so evey]rything the PCs do is meyteriously accom0anied by music of appropriate tone that comes seemingly from nowhere. After a day or so ot stops as suddenly and mysterious;y as it started
    Last edited by Bohandas; Today at 03:29 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    I love the beggar noble. But all of the additions are first class!

    18. The Angry Wizard
    As the party travels they enter a large magic circle drawn on the road which is virtually undetectable. When the party is about in the center of the circle a wizard jumps from hiding and shouts, "Ha! I've got you, Faerthwart!"

    The wizard chants and the circle glows blue, and just as the region begins to fade the wizard says, "Oops, I got the wrong guy. Sooorreee!"

    The party is teleported to a queen's crowded audience chamber where guards attempt to restrain them.

    If the party does not kill anyone, they will eventually be allowed to tell their tale, and if not otherwise wanted for a crime in the queen's realm, they will be let go.

    It turns out that Faerthwart was a courtier who broke an engagement to the queen's youngest and most self-indulgent daughter. Even the promise of rank and wealth were not enough to make him keep the engagement.

    Do any of the adventurers wish to become royalty?
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-10-28 at 02:26 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lacco's Avatar

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    19. Dakhbar The Wonderful (The Real Illusionist)

    A man in long, flowing robe, marked with a variety of occult symbols, with wide sleeves, and a large pointy hat stands on a small, wooden podium, surrounded by a small crowd. Various items lie on a table beside him.

    He entertains the crowd with tricks - he reads their minds to guess which card they saw, makes items appear and disappear, pulls small rabbits out of his hat... and in the end, he cuts his assistant into two pieces using a saw.

    When checked for magic, the man seems mundane and there are no traces of magic in what he does.

    20. The Caravan Out of Luck

    When travelling, the adventurers come upon a caravan, which seems to be going through a rough patch. The caravan master, a hulking, but friendly man wearing a fur coat, has a large wound on his leg (stepped into a bear trap), an arrow wound (mistaken for the said bear by a first-time poacher) and is barely standing, as he has not slept well for few nights (a particularly irritating owl seems to be following the caravan, hooting ominously every night is keeping him awake).

    The others are better off, but there is no single man or woman unwounded or non-sick. The quartermaster is lying in one of the wagons, with strong fever. Few others are coughing suspiciously. One of the wagons has its wheel broken, the other is pulled by a single ox (the other one got sick and had to be killed).

    Oh, and the road is blocked by a large tree, felled by a local lumberjack, who is slowly working through its mighty trunk with a half-blunt axe.

    They do not know what happened, although they will all state their troubles began a week ago, when they crossed a local marsh. Some of them will remember an older lady on the road, asking them to help with carrying a large bundle of sticks to her nearby home. They avoided her, as she looked like a witch.

    They are running out of supplies (some of them rotted away suspiciously fast, some got stolen overnight), are afraid of their own shadow and the bad luck seems to be contagious (e.g. the lumberjack's axe blunted too fast and if the adventurers talk to him, he'll hit his own leg).

    Spoiler: Issue
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    She was indeed a witch. And they have been cursed for not helping her out. The curse of bad luck will run out of steam by next full moon, or if they perform a sufficiently good deed. Or if they get blessed by a sufficiently strong cleric.
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Avatar comes from the talented linklele.
    Formerly GMing: Riddle of Steel: Soldiers of Fortune

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Instead of having an adventure, from which a cool unexpected story may rise, you had a story, with an adventure built and designed to enable the story, but also ensure (or close to ensure) it happens.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    HalflingPirate

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    21. The Marooned

    A pyrotechnic display in the sky draws attention to a speck that is falling at a long slant in the general direction of the PCs. As it gets closer it can be seen to be an inflated bag of some size, the skin of which flaps as if partially deflated.

    As it continues to fall the bag elongates and begins to appear as more of a tube with rounded ends, sagging in the center and flapping violently in the onrushing winds. At that point something attached to the underside becomes visible, but there is nothing to give it scale in the clear blue skies. It could be a mile away and thirty feet long or ten miles away and three hundred feet long.
    As it approaches the ground it appears to try to lift itself, only for the straining bag to burst, sending up a black smoke cloud. When it crashes the smoking lasts long enough to give the PCs a fix on the direction and to determine that it crashed about an hour off their current path.

    If the PCs investigate they find the object is nearer and smaller than they thought. The bottom part is a small boat which would hold about eight men if they sat shoulder to shoulder, but the space where two would sit is occupied by a metal and (broken) glass contraption.
    From this boat many ropes attach to the gunwales and to spreader-bars which guide the ropes around the burst and shreded bag, which at its longest would be less than thirty feet.

    There are two men on the boat, both wearing heavy, padded coats and trousers with thick boots and gloves. They wear strange helmets with clear visors which allow their faces to be seen. They are beardless and unconscious.

    Opening their visors will slowly revive them. They speak gibberish until the larger one takes a metal disc on a band and wears it on his forehead. Thereafter, that one can converse with the PCs, but he usually takes it off to speak to the smaller one.

    After half an hour the PCs determine the larger one was captain of a ship. The crew mutinied. The cabin boy rescued the captain and got him to a lifeboat, but the survival gear had been sabotaged. They were barely able to make the portal before they blacked out.

    They want an escort to civilization where they can hire an artificer to repair their boat. If the party refuses they will ask for a map and directions.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-11-02 at 07:29 AM.

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    22. The Lonely Elder
    Around lunchtime the party encounters an elder beside the road, apparently cooking soup. The elder invites the party to share lunch and news.
    If the party adds spices, meat, or vegetables to the soup, or offers bread or other sides, the elder will be pleased.
    If the party is reluctant to talk the elder will chat away trying to coax them into conversation.
    If the party refuses to share the offered lunch the elder will be unhappy and try to cajole the PCs into eating. If the party leaves before an hour has passed the elder will become angry, demanding they respect the laws of hospitality.
    If the party eats, shares food and drink, gossips, and stays for more than an hour, the elder will say goodbye, and then after they set out, the elder will shout, "Blue dyes! You can't lose! Remember! Blue dyes!"

    An hour later the party is ambushed by a bandit gang whose leader is a blue-robed sorcerer. When the leader is killed the bandits scatter and run away.

    If the party leaves the elder before the hour is up the ambush will not happen because the bandits will not have gotten set up. There is a small chance some of the bandits will be scouting or setting up, but the leader and the most important henchmen will be back at camp and completly unaware of the PCs' passing.

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    23. Psychopathic Sammy's Weapons Emporium

    A storefront is present in some incongruous place - In a tree in a forest, in the wall of a cave, inside a jail cell, that sort of thing. Inside is a store specializing in magic weapons. The proprietor is actually a disguised yugoloth arms dealer. He also sells to the villain and anything the PCs hock there may turn up again in the possession of a bad guy.

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    24. Dwarfs
    Seven well-armored dwarfs lead seven pack mules laden with mining tools and burlap sacks.
    The dwarfs are surly, rude, and too busy to chat. They will only answer questions about the road ahead. They will not exchange names or talk about their travels, work, or intentions. They certainly won't answer questions about what they have on the mules.
    If allowed, they will simply continue on their way. If defeated, they will be found to have provisions and tools on the mules, and what little treasure they own will be on their persons.


    25. Stray Dog

    A black and tan cur of about 80 pounds weight, (technically Small size, but average for working dogs,) wanders into the camp. It appears healthy and friendly, and will not approach characters or their mounts unless called.

    It has no collar or harness, and its short, smooth coat does not appear to require grooming. There is no way to determine if it is someone's pet or farm dog.

    It will appreciate petting and if any of the party do so the dog will probably try to sleep with the one who pets it.

    It has very few fleas and ticks, but it doesn't mind if they are picked off. A cantrip of vermin killing or cleanliness will be tolerated. Baths and potions or powders are not welcomed, and the dog will resist, but not bite.

    If the dog is fed it will bond with the one who feeds it as if the subject of a druid's Animal Friendship spell. Otherwise, the dog will hang around the party overnight and for 1-8 hours after sunrise before wandering off.

    The dog does not bark. It will growl and make an horriffic attack sound if attacked or if it fights in defense of the party or its friend. If wolves or other canines are howling it will wait, then join in with a truly powerful, bone-chilling howl which silences the other canines.

    If the dog befriends a party member, from that point on it may earn exp for its contributions. It levels as a ranger.

    If the dog is male it may sneak off at night when female canines are within a mile or so. (Farms and villages always have female canines, as do wolf packs.)
    If the dog is female and a male canine that is larger and stronger than she is nearby during her heat (every six months unless nursing) she will also sneak off. She will chase off weaker males. After 2-3 days she will return and 2 months later she will bear a litter of 3-12 pups. She will need a den for the first 8 weeks, during which she will only tolerate her friend handling the pups. A wagon or cart bed will serve if the party is traveling. Thereafter they can be given away or sold. At twelve weeks the pups no longer require a den. If kept, the male pups will begin to stray at about 9 months, with all having wandered away at a year. The females similarly begin to stray at 11 months, with the last being gone by a year and a half. A pup will not befriend a party member with whom it has grown up.


    26. Blackberries
    The party's progress is hindered by dense growths of thorny vines. If late spring or early summer, the vines will be covered in more blackberries than the party can possibly pick. Later in the summer a few hours picking will yield enough blackberries to satisfy a party of gluttons. By winter, enough dried berries dangle from the thorny vines to supplement a meal. In early spring, new growth and green berries are bitter and inedible.

    Great care must be taken to move through these briar patches. Movement of more than 1 mile per hour risks injuries from the thorns and subsequent itchy rashes. (1d6-20HP damage per mile traveled each hour in excess of 1. Each HP of damage inflicted causes a 5% cumulative chance to wake the next morning with a rash. The rash causes painful movement and inflicts 1 point temporary Dex loss every four hours until a DC 18 Fort save is made. Lost Dex heals at 1 point per day thereafter. Healing the rash magically also heals the Dex loss.)

    Vermin and the creatures that hunt them, (snakes, weasels, etc.) infest the briar patches. Herbivores such as rabbit and deer, and omnivores such as raccoons and bear, also stop by for snacks.

    Briars are seldom more than a few square miles in area, thriving in poor rocky soil and in forest burn scars or other areas that most plants have trouble colonizing.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-11-09 at 09:03 PM.

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    27. Cats

    A house which appears to be abandoned is infested with feral cats. As the party approaches several of the creatures will hiss and mock-attack, as if trying to chase the PCs out of their territories.

    An elderly human resides in the condemned structure and will invite the party in for tea. The once elegant furniture is dilapidated and almost every surface is covered in cat hair. The elder is friendly and chatty, and loves to talk about the cats as if they are people.

    All who drink the tea must save (Fort DC 20) or be polymorphed into a cat. The elder says, as they transform, that there is an antidote for those who obey for a year.

    The antidote is only a formula written in a book of alchemv. The elder is a level 11 alchemist, and the intact basement of the house has been converted into an alchemy research lab. After finding the recipe it requires a character with the brew potion feat one week to brew enough potion to restore the 60 or so transformed villagers, travelers, and adventurers.

    If the alchemist is still alive at this point some will want to impose the death penalty while others want the alchemist transformed into a cat.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-11-12 at 08:01 AM.

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    28. The Wannabe Warlord

    An Evil fighter has assembled 3 Lieutenants and 9 Sergeants along with 81 troops.

    The Captain, Lieutenants, two of the Sergeants, and eighteen of the troops are mounted and wear heavy armor and carry swords and shields.
    Two of the sergeants and eighteen of the troops wear heavy armor and carry swords and shields.
    Three of the sergeants and twenty-seven of the troops wear medium armor and carry pikes as well as carry bludgeoning melee weapons.
    Two of the sergeants and eighteen of the troops wear light armor and carry crossbows and shortswords.

    The Fighter also has three henchmen who are the same level, or are within a level or two of the Fighter: a cleric, a rogue, and a sorceror who are not always present.

    They will 'tax' the PCs for entering their territory. They offer to allow the PCs to continue on their way after the warlord's minions take everything of value, including their mounts. Their counter-offer is to kill the PCs and take their clothes too.

    A military camp should be set up with 9 groups of 4 three-person tents in a square around eight larger tents, one of which is used for storage. A guarded picket line for the horses is strung behind the back row of tents between the stake fence and the tents.

    1 in 3 of the troops and officers will be active guarding the camp while the remainder will be working or sleeping as the time of day dictates.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-11-12 at 08:04 AM.

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    28? Raubritter (Robber Baron)

    A figure on a horse, with whole entourage is seen in the distance. Men on horses, men on foot, and even a banner. If they notice you, a single rider, with a banner, will split from the group, riding towards the party, while the rest of the group slowly moves towards them at slower pace.

    A character that has the knowledge of heraldry will be at best perplexed by the banner, as it makes little sense (e.g. two pelicans crossed over a field of... fish?) and is of crude making.

    The rider stops within shouting distance and proceeds to greet the adventurers and ask them why are they crossing the area and what are their names. His reasoning will be, that they are passing through the lands of local baron (with relatively outlandish name for the area, e.g. Baron Rolf of the venerable and puissant house of Rolf) who invites them to his abode but will require them to pay a small fee for safe passage.

    IF the party is visibly armed or seems powerful, the robber baron will invite them to a dinner and will even ignore the fee - but they will witness his "work". Peasants robbed of their possessions, few dead bodies hung on the tree, a wagon turned over... and if they pass through the area multiple times, they may even catch him in action.

    He will try to get them to work for him or at least do some smaller quests.

    The robber baron himself will be quite charismatic, although there should be something villanious lurking beyond the appearance of a friendly chubby walrus-like-mustache-wielding knight.

    Important: while the baron's entourage should be appropriate to the locale, it should not be "level appropriate encounter"; the baron's forces have numerical advantage but should be really weak.
    Last edited by Lacco; 2021-11-12 at 02:52 AM.
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Avatar comes from the talented linklele.
    Formerly GMing: Riddle of Steel: Soldiers of Fortune

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Instead of having an adventure, from which a cool unexpected story may rise, you had a story, with an adventure built and designed to enable the story, but also ensure (or close to ensure) it happens.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    My apologies for the number mixup. I hope I have it straight.

    30. Wild Chickens
    "Why are these chickens crossing the road?"

    About 30 or so chickens are in the way of travel. They do not appear to belong to anyone, and they are not hostile, but they won't get out of the way.

    Some strategies might work, (like scattering feed on the roadside,) to get them out of the way, but directly causing them distress is a bad idea.

    The head chicken is a cockatrice. While calm it is no threat, but when excited it will try to turn what annoys it to stone.

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    31. Brownies
    On an otherwise ordinary evening in camp the usually alert guard falls asleep. No harm comes to the party, and in fact, when they wake their worn and stained gear has been cleaned and repaired.

    Nothing appears to be missing except for scraps such as the leftovers of the previous nights meal and the bits of materiel left over from making repairs. And whoever did this also made breakfast for the party from the party stock.

    If the party remains in the area they will find their camp chores done every night. If players take precautions they might stay awake and discover that brownies are using sleep spells and their natural stealth to do their work and paying themselves with scraps and forgotten items that PCs carry.

    If the party lets the brownies know they have been found out, they will vanish and never return. If the brownies are ignored and the occasional coin is 'lost', there is a chance that an adventurous couple will attach themselves to the party and continue to guard and clean the camp in exchange for things the adventurers don't want and the occasional 'lost' coin or item. The brownies use the scraps of their 'masters' to feed and clothe themselves. Thus, if one of the PCs buys material for a new dress, declares its purpose, and sets it out as if intending to work on it, the PC will wake to see a new dress made and ready to wear. The PC might see the brownies sporting caps, kerchiefs, or even, (if there was enough cloth left over,) a complete matching dress worn by one of the brownies. Indeed, they delight in wearing outfits which mimic the garb of their master. (Which explains the brownie wearing full plate mounted on a poodle.)

    It is important that the brownies be allowed to maintain the pretense that they don't exist. If the PCs do see them but pretend they didn't the brownies will continue to serve. As soon as the brownies are confronted they will vanish, never to return.


    32. The Snake

    A camouflaged constrictor, (yellow and green in grasslands, brown and black in swamps, gold and orange in forests, or whatever colors dominate the landscape,) lies along the path of the adventurers. It is about 1000 pounds and thirty feet long, with a four-foot long, three-foot wide, one-foot thick head leading a body that is about three feet thick at the widest, tapering to a tail-tip the size of a human fist. Its Hide ability and cammo coloration make it virtually invisible when it is not moving.

    The snake is very smart for a snake, (Int=3,) but still too dumb to distinguish a horse and rider as two creatures. It will attack a pack horse or a pony in preference to a larger horse with a rider because it wants to be able to swallow its meal whole.

    It will try to bite the head of its prey, then wrap its body around it to apply enough pressure to burst blood vessels in the victim's brain. While doing this it will ignore all external threats unless brought to less than 70% of its hit points. At that point it will seek to flee. If allowed, it will slither away to hunt another day. Otherwise, it will eat the prey animal, sans rider, but with whatever gear it was wearing, a process that will take 2d3 hours, then slither away to digest and sleep. While eating the snake is helpless, but it can regurgitate the meal in d6 minutes per hour of consumption.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-11-17 at 10:07 PM.

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    33. The Fort

    In an unexpected location a fort has been built. It appears on no map, and the locals said nothing about it. Even if asked after its discovery, they will be surprised and have no knowledge of it. And yet it appears to have always been there.

    The structure is built of native material in a style suitable to the environment, so an open plain would have a motte and bailey, a log pallisade in a forest, rocky hills might have a plaster and stone keep, or a mountainous region a block tower. Whatever the design, it appears to have been built using local craftsmen, in a style a hundred years old.

    In the day it appears empty, long deserted, but in good repair. At night it comes alive. Kind of.

    Its inhabitants are undead, of types and numbers suitable to the party. Assume the following as an example only:

    There were thirty guards, three lieutenants, and a captain in real life. They have become thirty skeletons, three ghouls, and a wight. Two thirds of them guard the outer wall, the remainder, lead by the wight, guard the entrance to the keep.

    The dungeon beneath the structure was a prison, and its thirty or so inhabitants are now zombies and skeletons, mainly still caged or bound in various torture devices. Some may wander under the direction of the jailor, which is a ghast.

    The first floor was barracks and kitchens, and is mostly empty save for a stray skeleton or two.

    The second floor was a chapel with officer and upsale quarters, and now serves as the feeding room for the ghouls and wights.

    Six ghouls with 1-3 cleric levels and a wight with 5 cleric levels reside here, and will gather in response to noise.

    The top floor is the home of three skeletal mages of 1-6 sorceror levels.

    There is also a skeleton of the same class as the party leader with 8 class levels.

    Assuming the party finds the boss creature's treasure, there is among it a blue sphere abont 4 inches in diameter which audibly shatters when it is brought outside the outer wall of the fort. When this happens the fort itself collapses, as if two-hundred years pass in two minutes. Wood rots, walls collapse, and undead or their remains crumble into dust.

    It may forever remain a mystery, or some writing may be found with the tale, told in one way or other. Example:

    Jailor's Journal
    Date = (200 years ago, a week or so before the adventure.)
    The wizard, stripped of his gear and shackled, proved less powerful than reports indicate. There is a large book, some jewelry, and other gear for the masters to examine. The most curious is a glass ball that appears unbreakable.

    Unfortunately, the wizard disclosed nothing on the thoughts or movements of the enemy under the first round of interrogation. As the fisst session ended he pronounced words I could not comprehend. The ground shook and the glass ball glowed blue for a time before the groundshakes and the glow faded. The ball remains blue, but does not glow.

    When I turned my attention back the wizard was dead. It must have been his own spell that killed him. I swear my work had not advanced to the point where death was a possible outcome.

    The next day

    The sky is insane! Day follows night follows day, faster and faster! Around me people fall dead, then rot and rise in moments! I would flee, but none can pass through the gate! It is as if we are inside a sphere hurtling through the days.

    I must flee!
    I must

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    34. An Encounter Stolen From A WayneradioTV AI Dungeon Video

    A secluded cottage of a spellcaster who is having her two newest constructs fight each other outside in order to test them. The spellcaster is of a cha based class and has average to below average intelligence and wisdom
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2021-11-26 at 12:33 AM.

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    35. The Wounded Adventurer

    On the side of the road sits a badly wounded adventurer. The adventurer begs for a potion or spell of healing because a band of evil adventurers tried to murder her for her share of the treasure.

    The party may,
    A. Ignore her and go about their business.
    B. Offer aid for free or profit.
    C. Attack and try to take her stuff.

    Later, the party encounters a group of adventurers. They ask the party if they saw the first adventurer, and if so, which way she went.

    They can:
    A. Tell which way she went, for free or profit.
    B. Keep her secret.
    C. Lead them on a wild goose chase.
    D. Attack the party and try to take their stuff.

    The truth is, the first adventurer stole the party treasure and took off. She was cornered, but managed to defeat the party tracker before fleeing again. All the party wants is the loot back.

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    ElfPirate

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    36. The Hunger Of/For The Crypt

    A group of 5 vampires have invaded the territory of a much more powerful vampire by using magical rings that hide them from her sight.

    Now the PCs have wandered into that same territory, and are being stalked by the interloper vampires, which should be stronger than them. The more powerful vampire is also patrolling her territory.

    Most likely, this will result in a fight with the interlopers as the PCs get close to the master vampire's keep. If they gain the upper hand, the vampires retreat. If the PCs are losing, they may be able to retreat to the keep, which will open its doors and let them in. If the PCs are in real trouble, the master vampire is attracted by the commotion and intervenes, in which case the interlopers flee in terror, but not before she manages to blindly grab one of them and drink his blood as though he were a human, killing him. She then invites the PCs into her keep, offering her hospitality and claiming she has an offer for them. The adventurers may also be able to avoid this initial fight with stealth, going directly to the keep.

    If the PCs enter the master vampire's keep, she offers them her hospitality, with living and undead servants offering food and drink. She introduces herself as Dhelar of Cairn Ty; a successful history check recognizes that this is an extremely archaic form of Common, with a literal translation of either "the hunger of the crypt" or "the hunger for the crypt", with a higher check also giving the better translations of "The Vampire" and "The One Who Consumes Vampires". She is infuriated by both the incursion of other vampires into her territory and her inability to solve it herself, and she wants the adventurers to help her solve it (she doesn't care how). As both payment and a means of evening the odds, she gives the PCs access to a host of weapons, scrolls, spellbooks, armors, and other magic items tailored for fighting vampires (trophies from the many vampire hunters she's eaten over the centuries; she is visibly unconcerned about these treasures being turned against her).

    (If the PCs don't encounter Dhelar at all and avoid the keep, she tracks them down after a night or two and makes the same offer).

    If the PCs accept, she doesn't care how they deal with the vampires. Possible solutions include just tracking them down and killing them, stealing/deactivating the rings that hide them from the Dhelar, luring them into a trap, etc.. If she plays a role in killing them, Dhelar of Cairn Ty catches them one by one and drinks them like living prey, which kills them in a couple of rounds. If not, she expresses disappointment that she wasn't able to sate her hunger on the interlopers, but is otherwise very pleased with the PCs (unless they did something to get her servants killed or otherwise soured her mood). Regardless, she keeps her bargain, letting the PCs leave in peace with their new gear.

    If the PCs refuse or avoid the keep altogether, she lets them, following them discretely to see if the interloper vampires attack them again.

    If the PCs attack Dhelar of Cairn Ty, she responds with annoyance and asks them to stop. If they continue, she animates chains to bind them and tosses them outside her keep to use as bait, as above. If, after escaping this, they attack her again, she gives up and attacks the offender(s) in earnest, most likely killing them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darths & Droids
    When you combine the two most devious, sneaky, manipulative, underhanded, cunning, and diabolical forces in the known universe, the consequences can be world-shattering. Those forces are, of course, players and GMs.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    37. The Cobbled Road

    An ordinary country road passes through a gate in an old stone wall around a farmer's field. Beyond the gate, which appears to have once been an estate house now fallen into a state of bramble-covered rubble, the road becomes a well worn cobblestone road wide enough for a farmer's cart.

    As the party travels, the cobbled road collapses into a small sinkhole that opens into a barrel-vaulted tunnel atop which the cobblestone road was built. The tunnel and road lead from what was once a gatehouse to the ruins of a small castle, then on to a second gatehouse at the far end, the ruins of which now have been reworked into a farmhouse and barn.
    Last edited by brian 333; Yesterday at 03:26 PM.

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    38.) The Gamers

    The party passes the ruin of a cottage. Inside several people sittong around a table playing some kind of game can clearly be seen through a large hole in a collapsing wall. The table is Boardy McGameface, a magical entertainment system, and the people have been there for several decades.

    Boardy McGameface: Intelligent Table of Feasting (Stronghold Builder's Guidebook p.84; Heroes' Feast 3/day) Int 19 Wis 10 Cha 19; Speech, Telepathy 120 ft, Read Languages and Magic; Blindsense and Darkvision 120 feet and hearing; Lesser Powers: Prestidigitation continuously*, Dancing Lights at will, Ghost Sound at will, item has 10 ranks in Diplomacy, item has 10 ranks in Perform(Oratory), item has 10 ranks in Sense Motive; Greater Powers: Minor Image at will; Ego 19

    *The prestidigitation ability allows gameboards and game pieces to be conjured

    39.) Epic

    Coming down the other side of the road, the PCs meet an exceptionally strong and sturdy looking farmer. This is Mediocrates, a true neutral 23rd level commoner
    Last edited by Bohandas; Today at 03:26 AM.

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