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A place to discuss, build, and share D&D modules & one-shots for any edition of D&D. Welcome!

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2

Whispers of Takhisis: Dragonlance Preludes Expanded now available on DMsGuild

My product Whispers of Takhisis: Dragonlance Preludes Expanded is now available on DMsGuild. It is a document which has rewritten each of the campaign's preludes to better explore the themes and subjects the originals introduced.

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/486563/Whispers-of-Takhisis-Dragonlance-Preludes-Expanded?filters=45469_0_0_0_0_0

Some features you'll find in the document:

  • A New Friend - Tips to include Ispin Greenshield, the eccentric yet kind Knight of Solamnia, into each prelude, who has an important part to play in chapter 3 of the main campaign.
  • Explore the Past – A set of simple but fun puzzles in Broken Silence to teach characters about Krynn’s dramatic history as they explore a lost temple to the gods.
  • A New Trial of the Barb – A brand new trial for spellcasters in Eye in the Sky. This replacement reflects the final Test of High Sorcery’s dangers while also providing a method to judge which order best fits each character.
  • Tarnished Knighthood – A new scene has been added into Scales of War to give characters the opportunity to learn more about the Knights of Solamnia, including the tale of the fallen knight, Lord Soth. 
  • A New Threat – Expanded scenes featuring the draconians to emphasize the threat that they pose to Krynn.
  • New Combat Encounters – Each prelude has its own combat encounter to allow players to try out their new characters for the campaign.

The document's appendixes includes even further resources for both DMs and players. There you will find:

  • Custom Visions from All of Krynn’s Gods- After hundreds of years of silence, the gods at last begin to grant their powers and blessings to those they consider worthy. Such an impactful event deserves a dramatic scene. This document aims to provide DMs that moment by providing a unique and custom vision for all of Krynn’s gods, including the Dragon Queen herself, Takhisis.
  • Character Campaign Hooks-  A second appendix provides a table of 20 different character hooks that players can chose or roll from to connect their character to places and NPCs within the campaign. Are they friendly fishing rivals with the mayor of Vogler? Abandoned apprentices of the evil mage Lohzet? Or could they be haunted by their experiences of a failed excursion into the region of Nightlund?

All content has been playtested and formatted for accessibility. Please give it a look if anything catches your attention!

0 Comments
2024/07/02
19:34 UTC

0

I’m looking for adventures written specifically to use the Loke Battlemats.

Any leads or links is appreciated. Thank you.

0 Comments
2024/07/02
13:39 UTC

2

Advent's Amazing Advice: Dragon of Icespire Peak, A Mini-Campaign Fully Prepped and ready to go! (Part 1 Phandalin)

Welcome back to Advent's Amazing Advice! The series where I take popular One-Shots, Adventures, Campaigns, etc. and fully prep them for both New and Busy DMs. This prep includes fully fleshed-out notes, music, ambiance, encounter sheets, handouts, battle maps, tweaks, and more so you can run the best sessions possible with the least stress possible!

We're back at it again with another Fully Prepped Mini-Campaign; Dragon of Icespire Peak, A level 1-6 Adventure that's a bit frosty! This is part of the Essentials Kit; released between Dragon of Stormwreck Isle and The Lost Mine of Phandelver all created by WoTC.

Dragon of Icespire Peak is a bit different from the other two I've prepped; not only is it more of a sandbox, but it also has the ability to be run with just one player which is a huge plus for those of you who can't get larger groups together! I'll be incorporating the recommendations from both Bob the World Builder and Sly Flourish along with my own tweaks to make this one of the best experiences you can have running this Mini-Campaign!

If you've used my previous notes you'll know that I take adventures such as these and do all the difficult and time-consuming book-to-session conversions so you don't have to! I do my best to include ambiance for every scene, custom battle maps, handouts when needed, spell sheets, encounter sheets, and more!

This may all sound familiar, but seeing as this is a Starter/Essentials Kit, I think it's important to reiterate:

  • Read the Adventure: I know surprising, but it can be extremely confusing when you don't know where everything leads to.
  • Consider the needs of your group: As you've heard or are about to hear a million times, every table is different. If you plan on combining this with a campaign, you'll have to make tweaks here and there.
  • These notes aren't meant to be the end-all-be-all: Tweak to your heart's content, and don't consider any of what's written to be set in stone. For me having notes like this helps give me the confidence to go off the rails and follow along with what my players want. It helps me understand where things are meant to go and why. Having that understanding allows me to guide the players and create other new and interesting stories. These are all things that will come with experience, though, so don't freak out and enjoy the journey!

Without further ado:

Included in The AAA Collection is:

  • A Word document with all my notes including links to music tracks for ambiance and fights
  • Custom Map of Phandalin

Over 5 dozen other Fully Prepped One-Shots, Adventures, and Campaigns: Click Here

As always, if you see something you think I can improve, add, change, etc. please let me know. I want this to be an amazing resource for all DMs and plan to keep it constantly updated! If you'd like to support me, shape future releases, and get content early feel free to check out my Patreon!

Cheers,
Advent

0 Comments
2024/06/28
16:59 UTC

5

The Blight of Morithal: A Multi-tiered One-shot Adventure for 5E is now Available on DriveThruRPG and FREE for a limited time!

Hello, fellow adventurers! Today, I'm excited to announce that The Blight of Morithal: A Multi-tiered One-shot Adventure for 5E is now available on DriveThruRPG and can be downloaded for free for a limited time!

This short adventure is designed to be played at 10th, 15th, or 20th level over the course of 4 to 6 hours. The beautiful 48-page PDF features a trove of unique content, such as:

  • A detailed adventure starting with a compelling call to action, followed by several combat and environmental encounters which culminate into a bossfight with Morithal, a powerful Zombie Dragon;
  • Lore and background information useful to run this either as a stand-alone adventure or integrate it within the broader scope of a campaign;
  • Different endings that can be triggered depending on the party's choices and actions, and useful to add additional dramatic tension to the game;
  • Scalable encounters and rewards, among which figures the Heart of Morithal, a new item of Legendary rarity, that can be obtained depending on the adventure's finale;
  • 11 new monster statblocks, along with knowledge checksvariant traits, an optional second phase for Morithal, and more;
  • Additional resources to quickly set up the adventure in any VTT environment, such as 11 tokens3 maps for different combat encounters, and 3 handouts to set the stage for different moments of the adventure;
  • And more!

The creatures and monsters found in this manual are part of a broader collection of content from The Grimoire of Curses, a massive compendium for 5E featuring well over 300 pages of content on the theme of curses and afflictions. If you like my work or you would like to expand on this, I suggest checking it out!

If you wish, you can also find all this content (and much more!) on my Patreon at an exclusive price. All this content is currently available starting at the Hero tier until the end of June, allowing you to enjoy well over 350 pages of 5E content for just a few bucks! By joining higher tiers, you will also be able to find more entries and enjoy other unique benefits.

That said, I'd like to wish a great day, and much fun in your "cursed" adventures!

0 Comments
2024/06/28
14:19 UTC

0

Need help with what to do regarding portals to the Abyss and Shadowfell.

Currently did the Icespire peak where my players will be fighting the dragon next sessions. They have a lot of magic items to easily sweep the floor with the young dragon. After the battle is where the fun begins. I made it so that the dragon is a "pet" to this Ice demon from the Tome of beasts. the problem arises is that I have a shadar-kai druid who has a fallen kingdom in Shadowfell while the demon is from the Abyss. should I make it that portals to both world open on a solar eclipse or should I seperate them with abyss opening during a blood moon and the portal to shadowfell opens during an eclipse.

pls be free to ask question about where im going and the players.

6 Comments
2024/06/26
09:09 UTC

5

The Grimoire of Curses, a 5E Compendium featuring over 300 pages of content, is now available on Patreon and DriveThruRPG and discounted for a limited time!

Hello, fellow adventurers! Today, I'm excited to announce that The Grimoire of Curses is now available on Patreon and DriveThruRPG! This massive compendium features well over 300 pages of content on the theme of curses and afflictions. This includes:

  • 10 new backgrounds for haunted characters;
  • 10 cursed races such as lycanthropes, revenants, and vampires, along with special rules and guidelines to handle these dark transformations and metamorphoses within your games;
  • Over 50 feats;
  • A collection of 40+ cursed magic items for your adventures;
  • A vast collection of curses (complete with ingredients, guidelines, and effects);
  • The Death Knight class, complete with 3 Dark Traditions;
  • 15 subclasses;
  • Over 75 new spells;
  • Over 70 monster statblocks, ranging from CR1/8 to CR30, all complete with Knowledge checks, variant traits, lairs, monster tactics, and designer's notes (along with detailed descriptions and artworks for each creature). This includes new statblocks for hags, swarms of undead, vampires, and a treasure trove of new creatures;
  • A new cursed condition;
  • Rules and guidelines to add unique curses to already-existing magic items;
  • Campaign ideas revolving around the content presented within the compendium;
  • Different d100 tables for cursed trinkets and locationsplot hookscursed rituals, and others;
  • Additional resources;
  • And more!

Additional VTT Resources are also included, featuring a total of 150 handouts, 60 tokens, 3 maps, and an exclusive token border, all ready to be used in your campaigns to set the stage for the adventure in any table or VTT environment.

The manual will be discounted for a limited time. The best value can be currently achieved by joining the Hero tier, unlocking the full manual for just a few bucks! If you wish, you can do so from the Membership page of my Patreon. This offer will remain available until the end of June.

Alternatively, you can find it either in the Patreon shop or on DriveThruRPG. The price of these options is higher, but the compendium will remain available for purchase for good there (even if both options will receive a slight price increase as well before the end of the month). If you wish to check out some previews of the compendium before delving into it, you can find these either in the apposite collection of my Patreon or by checking out the DriveThruRPG product page.

I'd like to wish you a great day, and much fun in your adventures!

0 Comments
2024/06/25
15:01 UTC

5

Elements Unleashed: Crafting, Character Options, Magic Items, Monsters and More for 5E - New Release!

Elements Unleashed has just been released. This compendium is brimming with elemental regions to craft and enrich your campaign world, as well as elemental character options and creatures.

Welcome to Elements Unleashed, your gateway to infusing your campaigns, worlds, and games with the raw forces of the elements. This guide brings vibrant elemental magic into every corner of your 5E adventures.

This compendium offers new content themed around acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder, air, earth, and water. From creating characters who embody these primal energies to introducing formidable foes and allies born from elemental power, Elements Unleashed provides everything you need to weave elements into your stories.

What's Inside?

Enchantment and Crafting Rules for Elemental Magic Items: Learn how to craft and enhance magic items with elemental properties, including costs, mechanics, and required materials tied to creature Challenge Ratings.

Dynamic Elemental Systems: Implement a communal pool of Elemental Damage Reactions, allowing players to combine their powers for devastating effects. Explore perilous Elemental Regions where elemental forces dominate.

Elemental Races, Classes, and Subclasses: Discover races like Chaosurges, Corrodraks, and Rockcraggers. Explore new subclasses and the versatile Synthetist class, mastering elemental energies in powerful ways.

Expanded Backgrounds and Magic Items: Choose from backgrounds like Champion of an Elemental God or Leyline Lorekeeper. Equip characters with over 100 elemental magic items and potions, from uncommon treasures to powerful artifacts.

Elemental Feats, Spells, and Creatures: Enrich your game with over 40 new elemental spells. Encounter a vast bestiary, including Greater Elementals, Elemental Lords, and numerous other beings capable of wielding elemental powers, from sprites to behemoths.

You can also find it for a special price in our Mythos Chronicles Ultimate Bundle featuring over 1000 pages of 5E content including this manual!

0 Comments
2024/06/24
21:37 UTC

9

If you're a pacifist enchantment wizard, whose goal is world peace through mind control, how do you stock your dungeon to get those pesky adventurers to leave you alone?

Hope my players don't see this. If the members of the Than ó i Velum are reading this, keep scrolling.

So, my party just hit level 10, and they've done a few jobs for this nice wizard. There's been a civil war brewing, and she had a plan to avert it. They just had to bring her an aboleth's brain, and plant some crystal magical transmitter/receiver thingies in the two rebellious towns. So they did that, and the mayors of those towns surrendered as soon as the Royal Fleet arrived on their doorsteps. Mysteriously, the towns seem a lot more peaceful, and everyone seems a lot more chill.

When they arrive back at the capital, they're going to learn that those two towns weren't the only places that the wizard planted her magical devices. Her goals may be benign, but can they live with her methods? Do they really want to leave this wizard in charge of the continent? At least when a noble ruler does bad things, they can be assassinated. (On that note, the previous ruler of the capital city was recently assassinated by the rebellious mayor, that's what nearly kicked off the civil war, and now a 19-year-old is in charge.) How can people fight a power that prevents them from fighting?

I think the adventurers are going to step in to undo what they helped do. The new ruler's younger sister has some fae blood, and is resistant to charms, so she's going to point them in that direction if they don't point themselves. It's been a while since we had a good dungeon, so when they arrive at the wizard's tower, I want them to find just that.

But, TLDR: How does this wizard stock her dungeon? I want all the mind-fuckery, minimal-to-no "monster tries to eat you directly."

11 Comments
2024/06/24
00:27 UTC

3

Requesting criticism/input on small part of a story

Hello!

I hope this is okay to post here, since it's not even one-shot sized. My group is currently playing a story set in a mine, where all of our characters are pursuing differing goals and we're opposed by difficult terrain, monsters and riddles. So far so good. The thing is, our DM gave some of us the task of making up a room in the mines to take over the DM role for that moment and only a few guidelines.

It's supposed to be something engaging "for everyone" (7/8 players) where they're supposed to solve riddles, swim/dive and if they're daring they can earn a magic ring. But if they get greedy, they're supposed to encounter a threat to their life. I'm struggling with it and would appreciate some else's insight.

What I have so far:

The players will enter a big room, obviously used for excavation purposes. They'll find that the mine shafts still accessible have collected water (where they'll have to swim and dive, if they enter). Either from inspecting some skeletal remains or interacting with a newt NPC, they'll learn that the mine shafts lead to a treasure (the ring).

My "riddle" so far would be that the miners wrote down the directions in a very vague way and when the players go into the mine shafts, they'll encounter forks, marked by runes. The riddle will tell them which one, but the runes are chosen in such a way, that they'll have to be exact on the wording of it. (e.g.: the first riddle speaks about animals but it also hints that they chew their food multiple times. The runes belonging to that are for farm animal in general and cow specifically)

They'd currently do this four times until they get to the chamber with the treasure (happy case). They will also find more gold/jewels peeking out from a collapsed hallway and if they decide to take that, the structure will destabilise and more water will start to pour in.

The way back will be made difficult by the silt they stirred up, whether they used a rope to mark their way and whether they brought the newt or not (it glows to help navigation. they can also catch it in a cage if they don't want to be friendly). If they were greedy, there will be the added threat of cold water, more difficult silt/navigation checks and I'll also be rolling to see if the water after every fork will have removed air pockets, so they might have to make more difficult diving checks.

From a technical perspective, I don't think it's too bad. But it's just repetitive, boring, and certainly not engaging up to 8 people. And I can't seem to come up with anything but this. I really want to keep the newt and they have to swim/dive, as per the instructions. But on everything else I'm pulling blanks. Riddles are not my forte.

I'd appreciate any hint or suggestion.

0 Comments
2024/06/23
16:43 UTC

2

The Festival of Aylin Fairpath (Free Solo MIni-Adventure!)

The Festival of Aylin Fairpath is the first chapter in the first book in the Ironholm series.

Download the chapter here for FREE: [https://www.patreon.com/posts/ih1a-festival-of-106720529]

For 1-2 level 1 characters. A GM is optional.

0 Comments
2024/06/23
15:11 UTC

3

How to poison/weaken a dragon...

Hey fellow gamers and DM's. I have a question for you for my upcoming story arc that I'm trying to "rationalize " (I jnow... stupid.. it'sDnD and magic) why a hidden dragon patron is becoming weaker/sick without their full knowledge that it's purposeful so that they can be captured.

Backstory: Eons past there was a battle between dragons and their desire to rule mankind. The Silver Dragon queen's forces defeated the Red Dragon King, forcing the Black or Shadow Dragon (next in Charge) into a surrender. The chromatic believed mankind will betray her as they are all petty. So part of the truce/agreement is that no more orchestrated conquering unless the mankind "Willfully betrays the Dragon Queen." So, to protect mankind, she decided to stay in human form (she had both an elf and human lovers/husbands). She has guided different peaoples through history as advisors, general, and leaders. Fostering a good set of people before handing the reigns back to a successor. She then "dies" or just disappeared into mythos. She currently is ruling another city and raising her adopted daughter. She is a patron of the Players Party, unbeknownst to them. The ultimate BBEG (followers of Lolth) need the Black/Shadow Dragons heart for a ritual to bring Lolth to the plane, darken the sun, and allow a Drow invasion. However, the Dragon hasn't been heard from nor found. Lolth has helped guide her followers to discover the Dragon Queens true identity. Now I've created a weapon... something created during the Dragon wars. A collar that can capture a Dragon and cut off its ability to use magic and polymorph. However, it needs to know the Dragon's TRUE name so that it will be locked to that Dragon. The creation of this device is considered a massive betrayal amongst all Dragon's, as only a Dragon could have devised such a weapon and guided mankind to make it. Lolth helps the Drow to discover her true name too, or provided it herself. The Drow manipulate humans (a religious group thinking they are doing good) into believing she's amassing power to rule people. She's already in charge of one of the largest lands and armies, and could possibly challenge for the throne. So, they have linked the collar to her and are about to capture. I have been RP the Patron as getting sicker, coughing more often, and just generally looking exhausted. She doesn't know why, and is curious is its because she's just so old even as a dragon.

Does anyone have any ideas what's making her weaker that might make sense thematically? Poison that her legendary resistance can't fight against? Could this be how tue collar works. The closer it gets to the target the weaker/more exhausted they become?

7 Comments
2024/06/22
19:10 UTC

2

How do I help my friend make an adventure module?

So my friend is planning on making a homebrew supplement based on allowing players to play as Dragons. You might have heard of the Demi Dragon homebrew (https://www.reddit.com/r/DnDHomebrew/comments/15iumef/the\_demidragon\_47\_adopt\_the\_form\_of\_a\_dragon\_with/). They want to make an adventure based on dragons. We want to use this to highlight all the cool things you can use with this race/class combination that he made.

We've tossed around a couple of ideas, but I think we need some advice on how to lay the groundwork and try and make a fun adventure that can be dragon themed and also know how to build the skeleton of an adventure.

0 Comments
2024/06/22
03:00 UTC

3

New Campaign Handout (example and discussion)

**Edit** Made this into a homebrewery page and had enough room for some ancestry info https://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/RzQdW7h00Eds

I'm currently working on a new campaign set in a homebrew world that I've been working on for a few years. I don't plan on running this campaign for a few months and I expect most of my players to be beginners. The following is my version of Matts Colville's Handout. The players will receive this prior to character creation well before we start playing.
my main questions:

  1. Is this too much info?
  2. is it clear the setting is on a moon?
  3. Is there enough intrigue or would this be confusing to new players?

any other criticism (or praise) is welcome

 In an age of uncertainty and unexpected peace, the powers that be have enjoyed a suspiciously long period of tranquility. On the scorching hot, desolate desert moon of Verm, preparations are underway for the grandest celebration in recorded history. In just a few months, Verm will commemorate the 500th anniversary of The Halting, a cataclysmic event that nearly wiped out all life on the moon. The inhabitants are eager to celebrate their rise from near extinction, though some whisper of the perils that complacency might bring.

The Rain Spire, a massive, magical tower of elvish design has been a huge success, blessing the land with regular precipitation for nearly 125 years allowing plant life to grow unassisted along its new, fertile river basins. 

The historically warmongering Redstone Empire has turned away from conquest and towards industry, going as far as striking arms deals with old enemies.

The Elvish Kingdom of Aqua’fell is far less exclusive, sharing their magic with all of Verm and allowing non-elf scholars to study in its universities.

Wyndfall is bustling with activity and visitors from across the realm as it prepares to host the quincentenary celebration.

The Faber Guild Federation produces the finest artisan goods in the land and continues to foster peace with a trading outpost in every major settlement. 

However, as civilization finds harmony, nature sows chaos. The boom of plant life from the Rain Spire and its rivers has led to larger, more fatal creatures, in greater numbers than ever before. Shifting winds cause massive, hard to predict sandstorms lasting days, allowing the goblin sand pirates cover and escape routes for destructive raids and other unforeseen events.  

You are an aspiring adventurer feeling ready (or being forced) to set foot into the world on your first journey. The community you belong to, be it a small village, royal family, craftsmen's guild, holy fellowship or otherwise has been invited to send one witness to hear testimony from the Order of the Omen Seekers. This secretive society of elder soothsayers go on months-long ritualistic voyages to the edges of Verm to read the fates before returning to share their prophetic findings with the witnesses from the chosen groups. Through some turn of events, you have been selected to take on this task. You may have fought for this privilege or won it in a lottery, been chosen at birth or hand picked by the local wiseman. Maybe you're the sole survivor of the invited group. Whatever the reason, it is now up to you to record the words of the Omen Seekers and bring them back to your people for further interpretation. Arrangements have been made to escort you and the other chosen witnesses to the secluded village of  Orphia located in the western badlands of the Somber SteppesWho are you?

I may also include a map and short letter from the Order itself.

Thanks for reading!

2 Comments
2024/06/21
18:16 UTC

10

I made a one-page adventure printable pamphlet

After a while I made a new one-page dungeon adventure.

Here is the free download file including a hand drawn map and the printable puzzle for players: https://sahaakgames.itch.io/the-forest-ruins-mystery

As it's a one-page info is very compressed and DMs will need to fill the gaps, using this pamphlet as a base to develop their adventure.

I played this one in my campaign for three lvl5 PC and it went pretty well, if someone has any suggestions or adjustments will be very welcomed.

Thanks for reading me!

2 Comments
2024/06/20
17:17 UTC

3

Need campaign ideas - Empire City Conspiracy - a 1982 NYC Murder Mystery

I am writing a dnd campaign, set in 1982 NYC. The party all starts from different poi’s in the south Bronx and converge on the dead body of a local active drug dealer. Other citizens call 911, and NYPD arrives arresting the group for murder; even though they’ve never met before tonight. They decide to work together to unravel who really done it. I’m looking for some ideas to add to it, anything is appreciated!

1 Comment
2024/06/20
01:58 UTC

5

Hi, is this a good place to place to vent? I hope so. If not, I'm sorry, please delete

So I'm working on a campaign and it has me grumpy.

It started as a few little cool thoughts that crossed my imagination at work, which led to me deciding to write(type) them down. As I typed, I had a few more ideas. And it occurred to me that my prospective players would need to get access to some of those ideas, so I came up with a scene. And as that scene developed, I couldn't quite figure out how an npc was gonna present that necessary information to the players.

So I decided that I needed to start from the relative beginning. I needed to go back to to when that historical info was present day. And for reasons that escape me right now, I decided to rewrite the origins of an entire species...

So in a second document, I started writing that stuff down. How they came to be, why the people who created them decided to do so. How they evolved to become what they became. Stuff like that. I was making backstory for the 5 paragraphs of info my players would need

So over the past month, month and a half, I've written 14 pages of basic outline (which includes important locations, groups, and npcs along with a skeleton of a plot outline) and 14 pages of backstory for the relevant lore (and expecting 5 more pages before we get to the one section that would be relevant to the players). But it's ok, I'm having fun building that story. Who cares if it's only for my enjoyment?

So now we're at today. I decide to start my second draft of the outline. I'm rearranging and expanding on all the notes about the plot that I made in the first outline. I'm 8 pages in and I realize something. Of those 5 paragraphs of lore that I was building up to, I probably actually only need 1 of them. And even then, I don't think I really neeeed that paragraph. But I need to need that paragraph so I can introduce my players to a dead npc who is supposed to reappear in the final battle and be really useful and dammit ima have to redesign the final battle now, aren't I?

.......

Blugh

4 Comments
2024/06/19
01:40 UTC

6

Adventure Day Encounter Calculator

You can find the tool here >>> Adventure Day Encounter Calculator on Google Drive

How many encounters can my players' party endure before needing to rest? How can I make an adventure challenging but not so challenging that it leads to a TPK? In short, how do I balance my adventures?

All DMs are forced to grapple with these questions at least weekly. And often, the issue of encounter balancing risks becoming a significant drain of time (at least for less experienced DMs, but not only).

Over time, I've developed a small tool, and I want to share it with you. You'll find all the instructions for its use inside.

What does the tool do?

  • Help you establish a daily budget of encounters based on the APL (Average Party Level) and the number of PCs in the party;
  • Assist you in spending the budget, distributing it among the different encounters that will take place before a long rest (or before the end of the adventure);
  • Calculate the Treasure Hoard that the PCs will collect throughout the adventure;
  • Provide tables of magical items (DMG) to include in the treasure (with a description of each item).

PS: To use the file, you need to copy it to your Drive (File > Make a Copy).

PPS: Please report any errors or issues in the comments so that I can fix them!

PPPS: Sorry for my poor english, but I am Italian 🤌😅.

0 Comments
2024/06/17
13:36 UTC

13

48 hours left to back Devabumi, a campaign setting inspired by Ancient India!

Hi, my name is Khan and I am the person behind Devabhumi. I am of Indian origin, and I have always been interested in non-European rpg settings. There is such a treasure trove of untapped stories, monsters, and legends in Indian Culture, which can provide fresh and unique content for your campaigns.

Devabhumi is a high fantasy TTRPG setting inspired by the history and epics of Ancient India. This setting features:

  • 100+ pages of lore
  • A karma mechanic
  • 6 new races
  • 20+ backgrounds and feats
  • And much more!

You can check out the Kickstarter here.

0 Comments
2024/06/17
12:48 UTC

3

Assault on Nocturne Keep - a level 5 DnD one-shot

[PWYW] Assault on Nocturne Keep (a level 5 one-shot)

Plot Twists:

  1. The Client's True Identity: The enigmatic sorcerer Morag, who hires the PCs to steal the Heart of Shadows from the powerful tyrant’s impenetrable fortress, is actually Valtor, said tyrant himself in disguise. He is using the players to “red team” his new security measures.
  2. Secret Motivations: The players are all only pretending to be evil — each has a secret good motivation. The players will be aware of this, but their characters will not be.

Includes:

  • Solo or Faction Motivation
  • Individual boons or items to help with the final confrontation
  • Roleplay/Moral Choice scenarios
  • Optional potions with powerful abilities and fun drawbacks.
  • A dungeon crawl
  • An epic showdown with a custom Action-Oriented final boss
  • Helpful DM tips that will make prep and running a breeze
  • A large dungeon map (Player and DM versions)

Art attributions:

Created in homebrewery


Previous Work:


Preview

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Assault on Nocturne Keep

A Heist One-Shot With a Twist

Valtor looked at the dead body of the thief. "Got almost half way - that's further than anyone in the past two decades." Turning to Radnor, his captain of the guard, he growled, "This is not acceptable. I want a plan for revamped security measures in my hands by morning. And it better be airtight." Radnor, his face drained of blood, simply nodded in acknowledgment. "Go get the Master of Secrets... I have an idea..."

Module Intro

Assault on Nocturne Keep is a level 5 adventure billed as an all-evil one-shot heist. However, there are two twists:

  1. The client, the enigmatic sorcerer Morag, who hires the PCs to steal the Heart of Shadows from the powerful tyrant's impenetrable fortress, is actually Valtor, said tyrant himself in disguise. He is using the players to "red team" his new security measures.

  2. The players are all only pretending to be evil — each has a secret good motivation. The players will be aware of this, but their characters will not be.

Adventure Summary

Valtor's Rise to Power

Valtor, once a cunning and ambitious sorcerer, began his ascent to power through ruthless manipulation and strategic alliances. His thirst for power was insatiable, and he quickly realized that brute strength alone would not be enough to dominate the land. He delved into forbidden magics and sought out powerful artifacts to augment his abilities.

The Heart of Noctis

The most significant find was the Heart of Noctis, a relic of immense power. It granted Valtor unparalleled magical abilities, allowing him to control and manipulate reality, instill fear in his enemies, and fortify his stronghold, Nocturne Keep, with nearly impenetrable defenses.

With the Heart of Noctis, Valtor quickly overpowered rival factions and brought the region under his iron-fisted rule. His enemies were either crushed or forced into submission, and those who opposed him faced a grim fate. Valtor's reign of terror was bolstered by the artifact, which not only enhanced his personal power but also spread a pervasive aura of dread throughout Eldoria. This was 70 years ago...

The Mission

Power can breed complacency, which leads to catastrophe. To avoid this, Valtor continually seeks ways to strengthen his defenses and anticipate threats. Recognizing that even the most formidable fortresses can have vulnerabilities, he devises a cunning plan to test and improve his security measures.

Disguising himself as an enigmatic sorcerer named Morag, he hires groups of mercenaries and adventurers to infiltrate Nocturne Keep. His goal is to use these unwitting operatives to "red team" his defenses, exposing any weaknesses and allowing him to refine his security protocols.

Band of Scum and Villainy

Valtor sets his Master of Secrets to gather the most tough, no-good, vicious, conniving, ruthless, devious, merciless, and cunning villains around. Unfortunately for him they are not as evil as they appear to be. They all have their own secret motivations (see Secret Motivation Section) - though they don't know about each other, and assume they have to keep their cover.

Gathering them together as Morag, he lays out the plan: they will each be paid 10k gold if they can get him the Heart of Noctis.

Sample Advertising Message

Assault on Nocturne Keep - a Level 5 one/two-shot adventure.

The Setting

The evil sorcerer Valtor has ruled Eldoria with an iron fist for 70 years. He was able to achieve this through the power afforded to him by the Heart of Noctis, a powerful artifact stored in the bowels of Nocturne Keep, Valtor's stronghold - located in the capital city of Tenebris.

The Mission

A mysterious figure named Morag is putting together a squad of the most notorious criminals, thugs, and villains to heist the Heart. Think Suicide Squad meets Assault on Precinct 13.

The Twist

Each of your characters is not actually evil - they will all have secret motivations assigned to them. Your characters will not know the motivations of the others in the party.

Character Creation

Ask the players to share their ancestry, class, and subclass ideas before creating their characters. Once you have this information, choose a secret motivation and boon/item for each player. As the game progresses, your characters may start guessing at the motivations of others, which should provide some fun roleplaying opportunities.

Characters should be level 5. It's highly recommended to let each character have one uncommon item and a healing potion.

Character Motivations

Choose (or roll for) motivations for your players. If you prefer, you can choose multiple motivations (or one from the factions and one solo) and present each player with a choice.

Faction Secret Motivations

#FactionDescriptionSecret Motivation
1The Iron ResistanceA group of rebels formed by disillusioned citizens, former soldiers, and ex-slaves united under a common goal.To incite a rebellion within the city, weaken Valtor’s forces, and ultimately bring about his downfall.
2The Purifiers; Allied with The Lightbringers; Opposed by The Shadow VeilA religious order devoted to cleansing the land of corruption and restoring its natural beauty and balance.They believe they can purify the Heart of Noctis and use it to heal the land blighted by Valtor’s magic, and restore Eldoria's natural order.
3The House of Dawn; Opposed by The Zhentarim.A noble family with a long history of leadership and governance, now in hiding due to Valtor’s rise to power.To reclaim their rightful place as rulers, restore peace and order, and end Valtor’s tyrannical rule. They wish to capture Valtor alive to stand trial for his crimes.
4The Green CloaksA circle of druids and rangers dedicated to protecting the natural world from any and all threats.To stop the spread of Valtor’s corrupting influence on the land and ensure the preservation of natural habitats.
5The Zhentarim; Opposed by House of DawnA powerful and influential foreign syndicate with interests in trade, espionage, and conquest.To destabilize Valtor’s rule and establish a foothold in his territory, potentially taking control themselves.
6The Shadow Veil; Opposed by The PurifiersA secretive organization working to dismantle dark magic and eliminate those who practice it.To destroy the Heart of Noctis as it's too dangerous to exist.
7The Lightbringers; Allied with The PurifiersA group of paladins and clerics on a holy mission to vanquish evil and spread the light of their deity.To cleanse the land of Valtor’s evil and restore divine order and light.
10The Whispering BladesA clandestine guild of master thieves who once thrived under Valtor’s rule, only to be performatively dismantled and imprisoned by him to demonstrate his "tough on crime" stance.To exact revenge on Valtor for his betrayal and to loot Nocturne Keep of its treasures to rebuild their guild.

Solo Secret Motivations

#Solo CharacterDescriptionSecret Motivation
1The RedeemerA former mercenary who once served as an enforcer for Valtor.You seek to atone for past crimes by performing heroic deeds and saving those oppressed by Valtor.
2The AvengerYour family was slaughtered by Valtor’s forces. Only thing keeping you alive is revenge.You aim to avenge the death of your loved ones by eliminating Valtor and his enforcers.
3The LiberatorAn escaped slave who endured years of suffering under Valtor’s regime.You strive to liberate the enslaved and dismantle the oppressive systems Valtor has put in place.
4The HealerA medic whose village was destroyed by Valtor’s forces.You seek to bring relief and restoration to those affected by Valtor’s cruelty and the land’s corruption by wielding the Heart of Noctis.
5The SeekerA treasure hunter who initially sought the Heart of Noctis for wealth.You aim to prevent the Heart of Noctis from being misused and to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
6The ScholarA historian who has uncovered the true origins of the Heart of Noctis.You seek to study the artifact and prevent its power from causing further destruction.
7The DefectorA former officer in Valtor's army who has seen too many atrocities.You aim to undermine Valtor’s rule from within by gathering intelligence and aiding the rebellion.
8The ReformerA former advisor to Valtor who believes he can be redeemed and his power used for good.You seek to capture Valtor and persuade him to use the Heart of Noctis to undo the harm he has caused. You believe he can be turned from a tyrant to a benevolent ruler.

Special Boons and Items

Along with the motivations, choose an appropriate boon or item to grant to each player (or create your own).

NameDescription
Arcane GrenadeA magical explosive device that disrupts the Heart’s resonance with Valtor. Once per day, a PC can throw this grenade as an action, requiring a DC 12 Arcana check to disable Valtor's Villain Action for one turn. Lore: Crafted by the ancient archmages of Eldoria, this grenade pulses with raw arcane energy, designed to sever the bond between the Heart and its wielder.
Sacred PrayerA special prayer that blesses the area, granting the effects of the Bless spell (without requiring concentration) to all allies against the wielder of the Heart of Noctis. Lore: This prayer, passed down through generations of clerics, calls upon the divine to protect the faithful and weaken the forces of darkness.
Heartstrike WeaponAn ancient weapon created as a twin to the Heart of Noctis. This weapon deals an additional 2d6 radiant damage to Valtor on a hit. The blade ignores Valtor’s resistances. Lore: Forged in the same fires as the Heart of Noctis, this weapon was intended to be its counterbalance, capable of piercing even the strongest magical defenses.
Arcane WardA special ability to nullify Valtor's Arcane Smite. When Valtor is hit with a melee attack that would trigger his Arcane Smite, a PC can use their reaction to create a magical ward, nullifying the additional damage and effects of the Arcane Smite for that attack. This ability can be used once. Lore: This ward, inscribed with runes of protection, was designed by the first guardians of Eldoria to shield against the most potent magical assaults.
Shattering StrikeA powerful strike that can damage Valtor's armor, making him more vulnerable. A PC can perform a Shattering Strike using a weapon. On a hit, Valtor's armor is damaged, reducing his AC by 3 and removing his arcane armor bonus. Lore: This technique, perfected by legendary warriors, channels brute force into a single, armor-shattering blow.
True Name RevelationResearch has discovered Valtor's true name - Calder Blackstone. Speaking Valtor’s true name in his presence forces him to make a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, he is stunned for 1 round. This ability can only be used once. Lore: Hidden in ancient texts and whispered in forgotten legends, Valtor's true name holds the key to shattering his formidable will.

Recruitment

The Pitch

Whether you heard from your underground contact, overheard someone talking in a tavern, or received a mysterious note, you find yourself in a private room in one of the finest dining establishments, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. The hooded figure before you makes a few movements with their hands while muttering under their breath—you feel something change in the room. Lowering their hood, they finally speak, "Now we can speak freely—we cannot be listened in on, nor scried upon—not even by Valtor himself."

"Thank you all for coming. My name is Morag—though I'd appreciate it if my name never leaves your lips outside this room. Each of you is the best at what you do—whether it's thievery, deception, or sheer ruthlessness, your skills are unmatched. That's precisely why I've summoned you here."

Morag, assuming that's his real name, is a fairly nondescript human man. He paces, looking at each of you in turn.

"I'm going to get straight to it—I need you all to get into Nocturne Keep and retrieve the Heart of Noctis. Succeed, and you will each be rewarded with ten thousand gold pieces. Questions?"

DM Note: Players may try getting fresh with Morag - he ignores any insults. If they try to get physical, you can try casting hold person, or have him teleport, avoiding the attacks.

Q & A

If the following questions are not asked, Morag will volunteer this information:

  • How do we get in? "There is a secret entrance to bypass the guards—after that, I have no knowledge of the defenses. But there will be defenses. The entrance is through a cellar of an abandoned house next to the keep."

  • What do you need the Heart for? "That's my business. If the ten thousand gold pieces are not enough for you, or if you're scared, you can back out now."

  • Can we use teleportation to get in or out? "No, teleportation is forbidden into and out of the keep. You'll have to rely on more conventional means."

  • How do we contact you once we have the Heart? "I will know when you have succeeded. Return to this location, and I will find you."

Other questions and answers:

  • What if we are caught? "Don't..."
  • Who else knows about this mission? "Only those in this room. Discretion is key."
  • What kind of defenses can we expect? "The usual for a fortress of this nature—traps, guards, possibly magical wards. Be prepared for anything."
  • What happens if we fail? "Let's just say failure is not an option if you value your lives."
  • Can we trust you to pay us? "I have more to lose by crossing you than you do by crossing me. You will be paid. I am advancing each of you one hundred platinum pieces now." The players are handed coin purses with platinum coins bearing the visage of Valtor.
  • Is there a time limit? "The sooner, the better, but there is no strict deadline. Speed is in your best interest."
  • What resources will we have? "You have your skills and what you can carry. Plan accordingly."
  • What does the Heart look like? "A dark crystal, pulsing with an eerie glow. You will know it when you see it."
  • What if someone else tries to take the Heart? "Eliminate any competition. The Heart must come to me."
  • Is there any additional information we should know? "Stay sharp and trust no one outside this room. Good luck."
  • Is the Heart dangerous? "Not on its own, it must be wielded."
  • What if we find other valuable items? "The Heart is your priority. Anything else you find is yours to keep, as long as it doesn't compromise the mission."
  • What if we need to retreat? "Failure is not an option. Plan your escape routes, but remember, success is the only acceptable outcome."

Off you go...

If the party continues talking, and the DM decides they have all the needed information, Morag simply says, "You have your mission..." and teleports out of the room. The party will need to head through the city to get to the keep. They may choose to shop—there are regular merchants, and if they want anything illicit, use the "Thieves’ Market" encounter below.

City Encounters (several cut for space - see PDF)

Choose one or more of these encounters as the party moves through the city to get to the keep. The players may decide how to react and whether to keep their cover. Provided are some possible NPC names in case the players ask. Feel free to adjust/add/remove NPCs.

Thieves' Market

While exploring a maze of narrow alleyways, the players come across a hidden entrance leading to an underground market. Inside, the Thieves' Market is a bustling hub of activity where stolen goods, contraband, and illicit items are sold. Vendors hawk their wares in hushed tones, and shadowy figures lurk in the corners, keeping an eye out for potential threats or opportunities. The air is thick with the scent of exotic spices and the sound of whispered deals.

  • Market Leader: Shade
  • Vendor: Malik
  • Informant: Whisper

Street Duel

In the heart of the city, the players come upon a crowd gathered around two hot-headed individuals, weapons drawn and eyes locked in a deadly stare. The tension is palpable as the duelists prepare to engage in combat, each believing they have been grievously wronged. The crowd murmurs in anticipation, placing bets on who will emerge victorious. The duelists, oblivious to the onlookers, are moments away from clashing steel.

  • Duelists: Hector and Alaric
  • Betting Leader: Rook

Merchant Scam

At a bustling market stall, a shady merchant loudly advertises "rare and powerful magical items" at suspiciously low prices. As the players approach, they witness a customer growing increasingly agitated, claiming that the item they purchased is a counterfeit. The merchant, slick and evasive, denies any wrongdoing and insists that the customer simply doesn't know how to use the item properly. The tension escalates as more onlookers gather, curious about the commotion.

  • Shady Merchant: Tobias
  • Agitated Customer: Felicity

Fleeing Spy

A disheveled man or woman suddenly dashes into the players' path, pursued by several heavily armed guards. The spy, panting and desperate, begs the players for help, claiming to have vital information that could change the fate of the city. The guards shout for the players to stand aside, declaring the spy a dangerous criminal. The spy's eyes dart around, seeking any possible escape route as the guards close in.

  • Spy: Lyra
  • Guards: Sergeant Davos, Private Lyn, Private Garth

Runaway Slave Couple

In a shadowy alley, the players come across a frightened couple hiding from patrols. The two runaway slaves beg for help to escape the city and gain their freedom. They are being pursued by ruthless slave catchers, who are not officially part of the city guard but are authorized to capture escaped slaves. Helping the couple would be a morally right action, but it also risks exposing the players to the slave catchers and jeopardizing their own mission.

  • Runaway Slaves: Jorin and Leena
  • Slave Catchers: Cormac, Darius, and Hram

If your players get into combat use Guard (MM p347) or Bandit (MM p343) statblocks

Nocturne Keep

Secret Entrance

The secret entrance to Nocturne Keep is hidden in the cellar of an abandoned house on the outskirts of Tenebris. Inside, a dusty staircase leads to a trapdoor beneath rotting crates, revealing a narrow, stone tunnel. The air is damp, with moss-covered bricks and the occasional drip of water. Flickering torches provide dim light, and the tunnels are eerily silent except for distant skittering. After navigating twists and turns, the tunnel opens into a larger, fortified passage, signaling the approach to Nocturne Keep's inner defenses.

DM Note: If you have a character that understands Thieves' Cant, this would be a perfect place to leave a clue about one of the early traps or enemies. Even if this trivializes that encounter, it will make them feel great, and there is plenty of danger left.

If there is no one who understands it, you can describe that there are mysterious symbols scratched on the wall. Don't let the players spent too much time on them.

The passage leads to a set of stairs leading down...

General Features

Unless otherwise specified:

  • The walls, floor, and ceiling are made of stone.
  • The ceilings are 10 feet tall.
  • Doors are reinforced wood, locked, and open inward. DC14 Thieves' tools check or DC18 Strength check (may alert guards).
  • Everburning torches provide illumination.

1 - Entrance

The stairs descend into a circular room. The room is empty, save for a few loose bricks and an empty rotting crate. An alcove to the west quickly reveals a secret door (no check necessary).

2 - Pillared Hall

The secret door opens into another circular room, this one much larger and filled with evenly spaced stone pillars. The ceiling here rises to 20 feet, giving the room an imposing atmosphere. Each pillar has carvings of various monstrous creatures (feel free to forshadow enemies). The eyes of these carvings seem to follow the players as they move through the room, creating a sense of being watched.

DM Note: This room is designed to lull the players into a false sense of security after they realize that nothing harmful happens here, making them more vulnerable to real threats later on.

Let the players spend a few minutes here, but don't let them waste too much time.

Red Herrings:

  • Faint Whispering: Characters with a high perception may hear faint whispering coming from the pillars. This is merely an enchantment meant to unsettle intruders.
  • Arcane Symbols: The runes and symbols on the pillars seem to hint at traps or magical defenses, but they are purely decorative and inactive.
  • Pressure Plates: Several floor tiles appear to be pressure plates, but stepping on them produces no effect. They are decoys meant to waste the party's time.

3 - Foyer

A large square room with several exits.

  • To the west: Stairs lead up, with flickering light and faint sounds of talking guards (MM p347).
  • To the south: A door leading to area 5.
  • To the east: A portcullis leading to a corridor. A lever is mounted on the wall near the portcullis.
Dangers:
  • The Lever: Pulling the lever does not open the portcullis; it activates an alarm instead. The portcullis can be opened simply by pulling it up, no check needed. A DC14 Investigation check will reveal the true nature of the lever.
  • Noise: Making any noise in this room will attract the four guards. If the alarm has not been sounded yet, one of the guards will attempt to flip the lever. This includes rooms 4 & 5 to a lesser degree. Keep an eye out on players using particularly loud spells.
  • Shift Change: If the guards are killed or disabled without triggering the alarm, a shift change will occur roughly midway through the adventure or at the end of the first short rest, during which the alarm will be sounded.
  • Alarm Consequences: If the alarm is triggered, roll a 1d4 in every subsequent room. On a 1, 1d6+2 guards will attack the party. This will also preclude the party from taking any short rests.

4 - Shadowy Sanctum

Past the portcullis, the corridor turns the corner and opens up into a square room, with another corridor leading north. Unlike the other rooms, this one is not lit by torches, though there are some torches further down the corridor.

Danger: When anyone reaches the middle of the room, four Shadows (MM p269) coalesce from the corners and attack.

4A - Pit Trap

The intersection of corridors in front of Room 6 contains a pit trap.

Trap Details:
  • Detection: DC16 Perception check to notice.
  • Avoidance: DC20 Dexterity check to avoid.
  • Damage: Falling into the spiked pit deals 2d6 bludgeoning damage from the fall and 1d6 piercing damage from the spikes at the bottom.
  • Poison: Players must pass a DC12 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for one hour.

5 - Animated Armor Assault

This rectangular room is lined with pillars, and a set of double doors leads to the north. Each corner contains a decorative suit of armor, with the set in the southeast corner being particularly ornate.

Danger: If the players attack the suits of armor or attempt to open the doors, the suits animate. The Animated Armor (MM p19) fights in a straightforward manner, while the Helmed Horror (MM p183) is more cunning, targeting weaker characters and spellcasters first.

6 / 6A - Obvious Secret?

This square room features three visible doors: one to the north, one to the east, and one to the south. The walls are adorned with faded tapestries depicting scenes of long-forgotten battles.

Secret Door:

There is a subtle hint that a secret door exists on the west wall. Players can notice a tapestry on the west wall hangs slightly differently compared to the others.

Detection:
  • Perception Check: DC10 Perception check to notice the oddly hanging tapestry, revealing the secret door to the west.
Beyond the Secret Door:

Upon opening the secret door, the players will see a plinth with what appears to be the Heart of Noctis resting on it. The Heart is a dark crystal, pulsing with an eerie glow, giving off a faint sense of dread. However, the heart and the plinth is actually a Mimic (MM p220) and will attack the players if they get within 5 feet. The first attack should be made with Advantage, assuming the players have not figured out the trap.

7 - More Red Herrings

This long rectangular room has doors to the south and west.

Distractions:
  • Perception Check: A DC10 Perception check reveals slightly different colored tiles on the floor. The tiles themselves are inert, serving only as a distraction and time waster.
Trap:
  • The open entrance into Room 8 is trapped with a scythe trap. A DC18 Perception check is required to notice the trap. Triggering the trap deals 2d10+5 slashing damage, halved on a successful DC14 Dexterity saving throw.

8 - Hidden Pressure Traps

This room has more of the discolored tiles seen in the previous room.

Distractions:
  • Perception Check: A DC10 Perception check reveals more of the slightly different colored tiles on the floor, serving as a distraction.
Real Traps:
  • Detection: The real pressure traps can only be detected with a DC18 Perception check. Barring someone finding them, anyone who makes it 15 feet into the room must make a DC14 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6+3 piercing damage from an arrow trap.
  • Trigger Mechanism: The traps trigger every 15 feet of movement unless the characters find them with a DC14 Investigation check.
  • Avoidance: Characters can also avoid the traps by falling prone and crawling, as the arrows fly at roughly 3 feet in height.

9 - Poisonous Passage

This room has small tubes roughly every 5 feet on the ceiling which can be noticed with a DC14 Perception check

Trap Activation:
  • The tubes are inert until someone passes the middle of the room (marked on the map). At that point, the room starts filling with gas, starting from the south, west, and east, driving the players toward the north (toward the pit trap in Room 11).
  • The gas advances at a rate of 10 feet per turn.
  • Anyone in the gas takes 1d6 poison damage per turn, unless they don't breathe. Covering their mouth and nose halves the damage.

10 - Gruesome Gaze

This large rectangular room has doors to the west and north.

Trap Activation:
  • Opening the north door and crossing the threshold activates a spiked log trap. The players make a DC14 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the trap deals 1d8 bludgeoning damage and 1d8 piercing damage, with no damage dealt on success. The trap is then rendered inert.
Additional Danger:
  • Once at least two people are in the room, a part of the ceiling in the center opens up, and a very pissed off Basilisk (MM p24) drops into the room.

11 - Pitfall Peril

This rectangular room has a door to the east, and openings to the north and west.

Pit Trap:

  • The opening to the west conceals a pit trap. A DC14 Perception check to detect, rolled with disadvantage if running from the gas in Room 9. Falling into the pit deals 2d6 bludgeoning damage.
Nasty Surprise

At the bottom of the pit is a Specter (MM p279).

Additional Danger:
  • The room also contains a Wight (MM p300) who floats in from Room 12.

12 - The Final Confrontation

A large circular room ringed by pillars. In the middle of the room is a large conference table. Seated at the table is Morag. There are also chairs for each of the players, with what appear to be coin purses on the table by each chair. The door to the south is made out of dark reinforced wood with glowing arcane symbols and chains crisscrossing it.

Morag/Valtor's Monologue:

Morag claps slowly. "Good job... very good job. I honestly was not sure you would be able to do it, but here we are." He nods for you all to sit down. "The money is right there."

He fixes each of you with a gaze. "You all now work for me. We start now - these defenses all need to be revamped and you will help me do this."

It's likely the players will start popping off at this point or asking what's going on.

Morag's face and figure change into the face you have seen on the coins you were paid with. Valtor growls out "You should be grateful I'm not flaying you all right now - but I am a magnanimous ruler. And I appreciate talent. I wanted to test the defenses of my Keep and found them lacking. You will join my guard and help me fortify this place."

Unless the players agree (unlikely), combat begins.

Valtor gets up and seems to gather energy from some external source - the Heart of Noctis, you would assume. His eyes flash a deep red.

Roll initiative...

Valtor, the Tyrant

Medium humanoid (human), neutral evil


Armor Class 20 (Arcane Plate Armor) | 17 if Shattered

Hit Points 199 (22d8 + 100)

Speed 30 ft.


STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
16 (+3)14 (+2)18 (+4)12 (+1)14 (+2)18 (+4)
___
Saving Throws Con +8, Cha +8

Skills Arcana +5, Intimidation +8, Perception +6

Damage Resistances Cold, Fire, Lightning

Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16

Languages Common, Draconic, Infernal

Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)


Magic Resistance. Valtor has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Arcane Resilience. At the start of his turn, Valtor can choose to end one effect on himself. This can include one spell or condition currently affecting him.

Actions

Multiattack. Valtor makes two attacks either with Arcane Blast or his Greatsword.

Greatsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 5) slashing damage plus 9 (2d8) cold, fire, or lightning damage (Valtor’s choice).

Arcane Blast. Ranged Spell Attack: +8 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d8) force damage.

Arcane Smite (Recharge 6). When Valtor hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, he can deal an extra 13 (3d8) force damage to the target, and the target must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Reactions

Shield (1/Day). Valtor can cast Shield in response to being hit by an attack or targeted by the magic missile spell.

Misty Step (1/Day). When Valtor is targeted by an attack, he can use his reaction to teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space he can see.

Counterspell (1/Day). When a creature within 60 feet of Valtor casts a spell, Valtor can use his reaction to attempt to interrupt the creature's spellcasting.

Absorb Elements (1/Day). When Valtor takes acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage, he can use his reaction to halve the damage and store the energy in his greatsword. The next time he hits with a melee attack, the stored energy is released, dealing an extra 2d6 damage of the absorbed type.

Villain Actions

Villain actions occur on initiative count 20 (losing ties). Each round, Valtor can use the following actions:

Round 1: Elemental Burst. Valtor releases a burst of elemental energy. Each creature within 20 feet of him must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 18 (4d8) cold, fire, or lightning damage (Valtor’s choice) on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Round 2: Dark Empowerment. Valtor draws power from the Heart of Noctis, gaining 30 temporary hit points. He also gains advantage on all attack rolls until the start of his next turn.

Round 3: Arcane Overload. Valtor releases a surge of magical energy. Each creature within 20 feet of him must make a DC 16 Strength saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 22 (4d10) force damage and is pushed 10 feet away from Valtor. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn't pushed.

DM Note: If your party is particularly strong and/or lucky, you can have a few Veteran (MM p. 350) guards join the fray. You can also tweak Valtor's HP on the fly. HP should be around 100+25 per character.

Tactics

Initially, Valtor fights multiple PCs, still hoping to cow them into submission. When it becomes clear there is real danger to him (especially once some of the boons or items are used), he will try to take down the most dangerous-seeming foe.

Running the Fight

  • Add Villain Actions to the Initiative Tracker. If Valtor and Villain Actions don't have any PCs between them in the initiative, move the Villain Actions to below the next PC in order.
  • Make sure to track the usage of your reactions as you only get one of each.
  • At the start of each round for Valtor:
    1. Use Arcane Resistance to remove the most dangerous condition or spell.
    2. Roll a d6 to recharge Arcane Smite if applicable.

After the Fight

Assuming the players win, let them roleplay what they want to do with the Heart of Noctis.

  • If they decide to destroy it:
    • "As the Heart shatters, you feel a tension around you dissipate, a tension you never even noticed. You breathe a little easier..."
  • If they decide to cleanse it and use it:
    • "A slow but clear feeling starts emanating from the Heart, counteracting Valtor's influence and cleansing the world around you..."
  • If they decide to use it as is:
    • "You hear a whisper in your mind, telling you that you can have whatever you desire; you just need to give in to it..."
  • If they can't decide, fade to black:
    • "We leave our heroes as they try to decide what should be done..."

If there is a TPK (Total Party Kill), describe them being sucked into the Heart of Noctis. Then give a brief cutaway to the various factions the players were a part of, showing them coming up with a new plan to take Valtor down.

2 Comments
2024/06/16
17:43 UTC

6

A Collection of 50 DnD Mini-Games / Let the Games Begin

Greetings, fellow Game Masters and Adventurers! 
As a Game Master, I understand the struggling need to devise unique encounters and create variety in my game sessions. Between slaying monsters and delving deep into dangerous dungeons, both characters and players need respite and an ease of transition from one daring adventure to the next. Including fun and interesting Mini-Games are a great way to break up intense roleplay sessions and combat encounters. 

I am very excited to announce that the compendium of 50 dnd5e mini-games and challenges that I've been working towards is currently live on Kickstarter! The book contains carefully designed instructions for running fun downtime mini-games, with interesting lore and detailed mechanics.

Check out the preview games: Pig Jousting, Tavern Drinking Contests, and Pickpocket Points.

Learn more & back the project now at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/avasadventures/let-the-games-begin-50-mini-games-for-dandd-5e

0 Comments
2024/06/12
11:03 UTC

14

Free Plug and Play DnD scenario that you can use on all levels and customize as you wish

Hi there! We are EverOn Games and we have just launched a unique DnD Adventure Toolkit for Game Masters. Why unique? Because it's not a 500 pages long adventure, but a set of modules that you can use and customize as you want, for any system, and on all levels! It includes everything you need, like adventure short blueprint, statblocks, NPC cards, battlemaps, adventure hooks, monster hunter diary, letters, etc.

You can check out our page - there is a free cheat sheet too, so you can just save it/print use it as you wish.

If you sign up, you will get the June release - Hunt Beyond the Grave PDF - for free. Next release cost is 2.99$ but you can unsubscribe at any moment if it's not for you.

Please check our page, we are starting out with this project, so we will appreciate it <3

https://everongames.com/

8 Comments
2024/06/11
13:08 UTC

7

HELP! I'm creating my first module, and I need playtesters! If you want to run a Heist one-shot in a trapped manor, please comment!

I need 4-5 different groups of playtesters. This is a one-shot for levels 4-6. Should take no more than 4 hours. I will include both the playable map that can be uploaded to your VTT of choice, as well as the DM version that shows where all traps are located. I need feedback telling me if it's balanced for that level of players, what they missed on the run through, and any general criticisms. Ideally, you would run this and get me feedback within a week, but that's not a hard limit.

I will credit any and all play testers and DMs. Thanks in advance!

If you are interested, let me know in the comments, and I'll direct message you to get your email, and send the adventure over!

2 Comments
2024/06/10
14:04 UTC

4

Crafting an intriguing mystery around graverobbing

I've had an idea for a small quest but I only have the beginning and the end. I'm struggling with the middle.

Long story short for the context/background: my players are currently in an area where necromancy magic is outlawed.

The beginning; they're asked to help out local law enforcement because there's been a string of graverobbing which has the locals scared that someone is looking to reanimate the dead.

The end; the graverobber is actually a scientist (I'm thinking a gnome or a dwarf) looking to reanimate life without using magic thereby using a loophole to claim he's not braking the law. He's not been found yet because he uses a magic item that allows him to cast disguise self. All this with culminate in the players fighting this scientifically reanimated corpse (think Frankenstein's monster as a boss fight).

What I'm struggling with is how to make the middle exciting. I don't want the players to be given the mystery then solve it immediately. I'd like to create some red herrings, other suspects and some plot hooks to get my players intrigued and invested.

If anyone is able to help out with some small ideas of how I can flesh out this quest I would really appreciate it!

4 Comments
2024/06/10
07:52 UTC

8

Advent's Amazing Advice: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle Fully Prepped for New and Busy DM's (The Complete Collection) Resource

Welcome back to Advent's Amazing Advice! The series where I take popular One-Shots, Adventures, Campaigns, etc. and fully prep them for both New and Busy DMs. This prep includes fully fleshed-out notes, music, ambiance, encounter sheets, handouts, battle maps, tweaks, and more so you can run the best sessions possible with the least stress possible!

Dragons of Stormwreck Isle, is a level 1-3 Adventure, the most recent Starter Set, and successor to The Lost Mine of Phandelver released by WoTC. In it, your players will sail to Stormwreck Isle, an island shaped by an age of conflict between Chromatic and Metallic Dragons. They'll be able to befriend kobolds, explore fungal grottos, fight those twisted by Orcus, and perhaps save the very island itself!

Have your players create their own characters or jump right in using the Pre-Gens that are built with backstories integrated into the plot!

If you've used my previous notes, you'll know that I take Adventures such as these and do all the difficult and time-consuming book-to-session conversions, so you don't have to! I do my best to include Ambiance for every scene, custom battle maps, handouts when needed, spell sheets, encounter sheets, and more!

This may all sound familiar, but seeing as this is a Starter Set, I think it's important to reiterate:

  • Read the Adventure: I know surprising, but it can be extremely confusing when you don't know where everything leads to.
  • Consider the needs of your group: As you've heard or are about to hear a million times, every table is different. If you plan on combining this with a campaign, you'll have to make tweaks here and there.
  • These notes aren't meant to be the end-all-be-all: Tweak to your heart's content, and don't consider any of what's written to be set in stone. For me having notes like this helps give me the confidence to go off the rails and follow along with what my players want. It helps me understand where things are meant to go and why. Having that understanding allows me to guide the players and create other new and interesting stories. These are all things that will come with experience, though, so don't freak out and enjoy the journey!

Without further ado:

Index & FAQ:

Dragons of Stormwreck Isle:

Over 5 dozen other Fully Prepped One-Shots, Adventures, and Campaigns: Click Here

As always, if you see something you think I can improve, add, change, etc. please let me know. I want this to be an amazing resource for all DMs and plan to keep it constantly updated! If you'd like to support me, shape future releases, and get content early feel free to check out my Patreon!

Cheers,
Advent

0 Comments
2024/06/07
16:58 UTC

2

1st Campaign DMing, the city/world of Ravnica as the setting. Any discussion or help is welcomed greatly.

So I wanted to get some suggestions and advice on a Ravnica DnD campaign I'm working towards.  I promised my wife that she won't be the forever DM if she  DMs our current campaign. I told her I will DM the next game so she can be a player. I gotta give myself alot of time to prepare, so im slowly getting things together now. It will be the 1st campaign I've ever DMed and would love to get some help from people in the communities.

My wife bought me the Magic the Gathering: Ravnica guide book.  I know more about the mtg worlds than I do DnD worlds. Especially Ravnica, I really get into the lore. It's going to be alot easier for me role-playing this world and knowing information about most things in it.

I plan to write my own campaign for it, so I wanted to here what characters and NPCs would be interesting to have involved from ravnica. I don't plan to involve all the guilds, likely only 3 or 4 max. One of which will be the Dimir guild. As the secret keepers, information holders, thieves, and assassin's of Ravnica, they will be the perfect guild to get a story move along.  I don't know what other guilds I'll have involved in the campaign, and part of that choice is once I find out what guild my PCs will be from, if from one.

So some suggestions on interesting characters to involve, advice for 1st time dm but been a player for a while, strange and interesting relics or stories I can build off of, and whatever else.  I'm new to this and will accept any help. I'm really excited for it. Ravnica is such a rich and vibrant world to build a story with.

So any interesting characters to involve, interesting concepts within ravinca society, pitfalls and plot holes to avoid when writing the campaign story, interesting events that has happened, and literally just anything. I'm willing to hear out everything anyone has to say. I haven't started writing anything yet, so the more inspiration, information, and advice I can get, the better.

I have a long time to prepare this campaign, so I wanna take my time and do it right and well.

Thank you all for any help given.

1 Comment
2024/06/04
15:58 UTC

6

Red Mask Inn: a scalable horror one-shot (levels 1-10)

[PWYW] Red Mask Inn: a scalable horror one-shot (levels 1-10)

This is my favorite thing I've written so far. My players who play-tested the adventure had a blast so I hope you all will enjoy it as well.


Upon entering a seemingly innocuous tavern, players quickly realize it’s not the refuge they expected. The innkeeper and his ‘daughter,’ the serving girl, are not what they seem. Beneath their facades lie malevolent beings with a taste for their guests. Facing both mental and physical trials, the players must outwit these monsters before they become the evening’s special.

The players will start their ordeal facing terrifying nightmares. Upon awakening, they must navigate a series of horror-themed rooms intended to weaken them before the ultimate showdown with the “hosts.” Victory over them will not be the end, as they must then escape the crumbling pocket dimension in which they’re trapped.

This module can serve as a standalone one-shot adventure or seamlessly integrate into an ongoing campaign. It’s adaptable to any location or setting and offers scalability for various levels. While the default tone leans toward the darker side, feel free to adjust it to suit your campaign’s ambiance.

This adventure may last between 3 to 6 hours, varying based on the extent to which you utilize the module’s content and your players’ decisions.

Includes:

  • 10 nightmares for your PCs
  • 10 horrifying rooms
  • An epic showdown with an action-oriented final boss "Red Mask" as well as his companion "The Hunger".
  • Instructions for scaling the adventure.
  • Helpful DM tips that will make prep and running a breeze
  • 3 battle maps created in Inkarnate
  • Custom Monster stat blocks and tokens

Art attribution:

Created in homebrewery


Previous Work:

What other DM's have said:

  • Tossed this lil adventure in our D&D world and the players had a blast with all the twists and turns. As a DM I enjoyed the fact that it was well written and easy to run, I didn't have to flip through a lot of mess to run it like I've had to do on some other adventures. Highly recommended. -Jason T via DMsGuild

  • Incorporated this last night into our campaign and had a blast. Biggest hits were the dream sequences, the library lore, bar potions, and the dynamic of having a family of commoners to protect. Players were also impressed with the lair and villain actions. I would recommend this to other DMs as it was easy to prep for, fairly simple to run, and the party had fun! -Ty R via DMsGuild

  • I gave my party trauma and trust issues with this one! It was great time! /u/Chibi_Disaster


Preview

Adding what I could fit into this post - had to cut some info to fit into the limit:

NPCs

  • Redd Traskin - At first glance: The welcoming face behind the bar, always ready with a drink and a story about his culinary adventures. Lurking beneath is a creature known as Red Mask: a malevolent being who ensnares victims with harrowing dreams, rendering them helpless before he claims and cooks them.

  • Nara Traskin - On the surface a seemingly aloof barmaid, introduced as Redd's "daughter", with a penchant for keeping to herself and often notably reserved. But beneath that exterior she is The Hunger, a fearsome entity with a singular, overpowering mission: to satiate her eternal appetite.

  • (Optional) Other guests - a young couple with a child

    • Brent Haskill (26) - Husband of the young couple, blacksmith, friendly, introverted
    • Raida Haskill (25) - Wife of the young couple, leatherworker, gregarious, warm
    • Breeni Haskill (7) - Daughter

Scaling the Adventure

Effect & Trap Damage

LevelLight DamageMedium DamageSerious Damage
11d4+1 (3)1d6+2 (5)1d10+2 (7)
21d6+2 (5)1d8+3 (7)2d6+3 (10)
31d8+2 (6)2d6+3 (10)2d8+4 (13)
41d10+2 (7)2d8+3 (12)3d6+5 (16)
51d10+3 (8)2d10+3 (14)3d8+5 (19)
62d6+3 (10)3d6+4 (17)4d6+6 (20)
72d6+4 (11)3d8+4 (18)4d8+6 (24)
82d8+4 (13)3d10+4 (20)5d6+7 (27)
92d10+4 (15)4d6+5 (19)5d8+7 (31)
103d6+5 (16)4d8+5 (23)6d8+8 (35)

DCs

LevelEasyMediumHard
1-3101418
4-6121620
7-10141822

The Inn at the Cross Roads

At the crossroads, a quaint inn catches your eye. Its simple two-story structure, with walls of weathered wood and a stone base, exudes a rustic charm. A single horse is tethered to a wagon nearby, hinting at the presence of other travelers.

A wooden sign, hand-carved and swinging in the evening breeze, reads "Red Mask Inn" in neatly scrolled letters. Below the name are two theatrical masks, the smiling Comedy and crying Tragedy.

DM Notes

For a one-shot adventure, consider giving the one-shot a different name than "Red Mask Inn" to serve as a red herring. Whether you're running a campaign or a one-shot, you can utilize the classic trope of the characters either meeting at the inn or using it as a place to rest and gather information.

Describe the inn as an unassuming, typical roadside establishment, creating an atmosphere of a routine stop for travelers. In a campaign, it's ideal to introduce this inn after the group has already faced some encounters in the days before. This timing helps to set the stage for what follows, making the inn seem like a normal, much-needed, resting point in their journey.

Inside the inn

As you push open the creaky door of the Red Mask Inn, you're greeted by the comforting warmth of a crackling fireplace and the rich aroma of hearty stew. The inn's interior is cozy, with wooden beams and a few round tables scattered across the room.

Behind the bar stands Redd Traskin, the owner and bartender of the inn. He's a robust man with a warm smile, busy polishing glasses but always ready to strike up a conversation. As you approach, he greets you with a jovial voice, "Welcome, travelers! You must be famished. Our stew today is particularly good, made with fresh herbs from the garden!"

Moving between the tables with a tray in hand is Nara, Redd’s daughter. She seems to be in her own world, efficiently serving patrons but with a distant look in her eyes. If players attempt to interact with her, she responds politely but briefly, maintaining a professional distance.

Seated at a corner table is a young couple with their child. The man, Brent Haskill, has the sturdy build of a blacksmith, while his wife, Raida, radiates warmth and friendliness. Their daughter, Breeni, is a bundle of energy, her eyes wide with curiosity as she looks around the inn. Breeni seems particularly interested in the adventurers, especially if there's a female-presenting member or someone who looks like a seasoned adventurer in the group. This presents a great opportunity for roleplaying and helps to engage the players with these NPCs.

Going to bed

Each room costs 3 sp per night. If your players are cautious, they may decide to set a watch. Ask for the watch order. For the first person on watch: if they ate or drank at the inn, they must make a CON saving throw against the HARD DC ___. Failure results in them falling asleep during their watch.

After some time if a player is not asleep because they (1) did not eat or drink at the inn, (2) succeeded on their Constitution saving throw, or (3) are immune to magical sleep (e.g. due to a feature like Fey Ancestry), they notice something peculiar. The lights in the tavern, if any were lit, suddenly dim, and the normal nighttime sounds from outside the tavern abruptly stop.

This player may try to help wake up the other players as they have their nightmares (see next section). This gives the players advantage on their saving throws.

Dreadful Reveries

Party members who fall asleep will experience nightmares. You can create unique nightmares (plumb your player's back stories or campaign events for ideas) or use the provided list for inspiration. Each dream culminates in a save attempt, allowing players to choose between a WIS, INT, or CHA saving throw, depending on their character's mental strengths. End each nightmare description with "Roll a mental save using your preferred stat." If they fail to wake up, they suffer LIGHT, or MEDIUM if they fail the check by more than 5, non-lethal psychic damage. If they roll a Natural 1 on their save, they gain one level of exhaustion. Either way on a failed save they slip into another dream. The initial save DC is set at HARD and should decrease by one level for each subsequent attempt. It is recommended to do not more than 3 nightmares. If another character is attempting to wake them or if they have abilities that aid in resisting mental effects, they may make the save with advantage.

Nightmares

  1. It's night. You are running through the woods. Brambles and thorns rip at your skin. Something is chasing you, and it's gaining. You hear it coming closer and closer. You stumble, fall, and it's on your back, ready to strike…
  2. You are on a ledge of a narrow cliff. The wind howls, and the rain buffets you. Lightning briefly illuminates the world, revealing jagged rocks hundreds of feet below. Your foot slips, your fingers lose their grip. You begin to fall…
  3. [Not for characters with water breathing] You are underwater. Seaweed tangles around your legs and feet as you try to orient yourself. There is no up, no down. Your lungs burn, and when you can no longer hold your breath, brackish, dirty water rushes down your throat…
  4. You are in a coffin. You don't know how long you've been here. You push up on the lid but the weight of the dirt above renders your effort futile. Your fingers bleed as you scratch through the wood, trying to reach the freshly dug earth. The air grows heavier, and you feel yourself slipping away…
  5. The stars above are beautiful. You try to keep fear at bay, hoping your ship will return. But deep down, you know they won't find you in the vast, uncaring ocean. As you hear a splash to your right, you turn to glimpse a notched fin that was heading in your direction submerge under the water...
  6. The reflection in the mirror isn't you. You chant this mantra, yet the creature in the glass tilts its head mockingly and whispers, “No, not you. Not yet!” Its gnarled hands creep forward, attempting to breach the barrier of the silvered glass...
  7. The cave-in is a minor setback. You've found an exit after an hour. A set of hand-holds lead up towards the surface. In your haste, you squeeze through a narrow ledge. Suddenly, you're stuck, the pressure on your chest blurring your vision and clouding your mind, fresh air just out of reach…
  8. You walk through city streets, unnoticed by the teeming crowd. A growing sense of wrongness intensifies as the figures turn toward you. You only have a moment to dread as you see their faceless heads, when they all then converge on you as one…
  9. After leaving the warm tent, the cold seemed bearable. But a stinging wind and swirling snow soon disorient you. It feels warmer; you shed layers, mistaking deadly cold for heat. You stumble into the soft snow, deciding to rest, just for a minute…
  10. It's twilight in the woods. A dead tree in a clearing, covered in birds, crows or ravens, hard to tell. More cawing, flapping wings, and suddenly, the birds take flight, sharp beaks and claws going for your eyes…

Players Awaken

Once all the players awaken, they will likely attempt to figure out their situation. Should they look out the window, they will see the outside world; however, this view is merely an illusion. Efforts to break through walls, floors, and ceilings will prove futile. Furthermore, utilizing teleportation magic, such as dimension door and plane shift, appears ineffective, except for local effects like misty step or dimension door to a visible location.

Upon opening the door, the players will discover themselves in a long corridor, extending hundreds of feet. The only doors in this corridor are those leading to the PCs' rooms, the room of a young couple, and a black door at the far end of the hallway. Horrified moans and screams emanate from the young couple’s room. If the players choose to intervene and break in, they will find the couple and their daughter inside, all of whom are also experiencing nightmares and can be awakened by the players.

As the PCs make their way down the hallway, they come across a collection of strikingly realistic portraits. Each one captures a different being - humans, dragonborn, gnomes, and more - from a wide spectrum of ages, genders, and races. The subjects are dressed in everything from opulent clothes to plain rags, and some are even armored, weapons in hand. But there's one unsettling similarity across all these portraits: every face is frozen in an expression of sheer terror.

At the end of the hallway, they find the black door, which is unlocked.

Rooms

Upon entering, the PCs have a series of rooms you will guide them through. You can either craft your own rooms or use those included in this adventure. Players might attempt to take a Short Rest in some rooms, and it's up to you whether to allow it or not. You want the PCs battered, but not spent for the final confrontation. If you choose to deny them the rest, narrate psychic pressure to move out of the room - leading to psychic damage on refusal.

The Library

As the party steps into a dimly lit room, they're surrounded by towering bookshelves. The books around them seem to be whispering secrets of forbidden knowledge. Each player needs to make a MEDIUM WIS saving throw to avoid taking MEDIUM non-lethal psychic damage from the eldritch knowledge trying to worm into their brain, with the damage halved if they succeed. Those players naturally drawn to knowledge, like Wizards and Bards, will find this more challenging and must make the throw at a disadvantage. Meanwhile, those less inclined towards books, like Barbarians or Fighters, will have advantage. It's up to you as the DM to decide these advantages and disadvantages based on your characters' proclivities.

DM Notes
  • Use this section as a chance to weave in some of your world's lore. It's a perfect opportunity for players to uncover hidden aspects of your campaign's universe.
  • While the books in this room can be physically taken, to avoid players hoarding countless volumes, consider describing how some books disintegrate into ash as soon as they're opened.
The Memory Gallery

In this sparsely furnished room, the walls are adorned with striking paintings of landscapes, ranging from mountain vistas to sunsets over the ocean, and serene forest clearings. As the PCs explore these paintings, focus on one PC and bring a distressing memory from their backstory to life, using the painting they are viewing as the backdrop. This scene then animates before the players. The PC at the center of this memory is faced with a HARD WIS saving throw, with the risk of taking SERIOUS non-lethal psychic damage upon failure, or half the damage if they succeed. Meanwhile, other PCs witnessing this scene must make an EASY WIS save to avoid LIGHT non-lethal psychic damage, suffering no damage on a successful save. Breeni’s past interactions with the affected PC could play a role here. Breeni may hug the PC, granting them advantage on their saving throw.

The Mirror Chamber

In the mirror chamber, walls lined with ornate, grimy mirrors reflect distorted and grotesque images of the adventurers. The air is thick, filled with the unsettling scent of iron and decay. Suddenly, their reflections lunge out of the glass, materializing into tangible, malevolent doppelgängers that attack, forcing the party to confront twisted versions of themselves.

Choose a character's favorite or iconic attack or spell and use it against each player. A single hit on the mirror version or the mirror itself is enough to destroy it.

The Dining Hall

The long wooden table is laden with rotting food: fruit covered in mold, meat moving with maggots, and bread so stale it looks fossilized, all set among goblets filled with a murky, clotting liquid that might have once been wine. Nearby, a platter holds what appears to be a human hand, its skin cooked to a crisp and its fingernails garnished with sprigs of wilted herbs. The foul stench of decay and spoiled meat permeates the room, mingling with the unsettling, almost palpable aura of dread. Players must make a MEDIUM CON saving throw. On a failure, gain the poisoned condition, lasting for 1d4 rooms.

The Hospital Room

Several linen-covered beds on the far side of the room are splattered with dried blood. Bone saws with jagged teeth and other cruel implements are neatly arranged on a side table, gleaming ominously in the torchlight. Drawers with various medical supplies are left half-closed. Several vials labeled as "Healing Potions" sit on a nearby shelf. A MEDIUM Arcana or Medicine check will determine these are actually poison (1d4+1 poison damage). The party may choose to remain here and use some of the supplies to heal up - can be used as a Short Rest opportunity.

The Bathroom

A decrepit wooden bathtub sits in the corner, filled with a stagnant, dark liquid that occasionally bubbles as if something lurks beneath the surface. Next to the bathtub, a stone toilet fixture stands as if hewn directly from the chamber's walls, its bowl filled with an unidentifiable, viscous substance that seems to churn of its own accord. Faint, grotesque sketches are etched into the stone around the toilet, depicting unsettling scenes that make you question the sanity of previous occupants. Blood spatters mar the cracked tiles, leading to a cracked tarnished mirror that reflects a distorted image of anyone who dares to look.

If anyone gets within 5 ft of the bathtub, tentacles will try to grapple them (MEDIUM Escape DC). The tentacles will also deal MEDIUM amount of bludgeoning damage on a successful grapple. Any damage to the tentacles (AC 12) will release the PC.

The Greenhouse

The greenhouse is a labyrinth of overgrown, twisted plants, their leaves unnaturally dark and thorns menacingly sharp. A misty, almost phosphorescent fog hangs low, casting a sickly green glow over everything, and making it hard to see what lurks in the corners. Amongst the flora, the party can spot several cages containing withered remains of animals and, disturbingly, a few humanoid shapes — all twisted in expressions of agony, as if the plants themselves had consumed them.

Monster encounter, balance for your party:

Level RangeMonster
1-3Twig Blight (MM 32)
Needle Blight (MM 32)
Vine Blight (MM 32)
4-6Shambling Mound (MM 270)
Wood Woad (VGtM 198)
Yellow Musk Creeper (TftYP 248)
Animated Tree (VGtM 207)
Assassin Vine (MM 22)
7-10Corpse Flower (MToF 127)
Tree Blight (CoS 230)

To make things more difficult for the players, you can also add an additional MEDIUM CON saving throw against the fog's effects, with the players taking LIGHT poison damage on failure. Altering the number of monsters is another effective method for adjusting the challenge level. Additionally, if you're looking to incorporate different types of monsters, don't hesitate to use homebrew or reflavored monsters.

The Bar

The barroom is dimly lit by tarnished chandeliers that cast ghostly flickers across worn wooden floorboards. A long, decaying bar counter dominates one side of the room. Its surface is stained and pockmarked, lined with bottles containing strange, discolored liquids. The stools around the bar are unsteady, emitting ominous creaks under the slightest pressure. Notably, one stool bears an unsettling stain, reminiscent of dried blood.

If players choose to consume any of the bottles, roll on the table below to determine the effects. Generally, it's not recommended to allow more than one potion per player (drinking more than one results in vomiting). If an effect doesn't apply to a character, or another player already drank the potion rolled, roll again. The effects last until the end of the adventure. A MEDIUM DC Alchemist Tools, Herbalist Kit or Arcana Check will reveal the properties of the potions. An EASY DC check may reveal partial properties.

#NameLiquid DescriptionEffect Description
1Reckless FuryA swirling red potion with fiery sparks.[Primary Melee Classes] Every melee attack is treated as reckless (attack is rolled with Advantage, but any attack against the player is rolled with Advantage as well until their turn).
2Luck be a lady tonightA two-layered liquid, gold over silver.Grants inspiration to the player, and GM gets to force disadvantage at a time of their choosing.
3Unstable TeleportA misty, shifting blue and gray potion.Gain the ability to cast the Misty Step spell at will. Roll 1d20 for uncertain destination, appearing in a location of DM's choice on 1-10.
4Size ShiftA violet fluid with bubbles.Changes creature size from Medium to Small. No effect on Small creatures.
5Spell RejuvenationA glowing, pulsating emerald drink.[Primary Spellcaster Classes] Restores one highest level spent spell slot but causes causes one level of exhaustion.
6Speed SurgeA quicksilver potion with streaks of lightning.Doubles speed but causes jitteriness, disadvantage on Dexterity checks and saves.
7Painful RetaliationA dark crimson liquid with a thorny vine motif.As a bonus action you can choose to harm a creature at will, causing MEDIUM psychic damage, but take half the damage yourself.
8Statue DefenseA solid gray potion with flecks of stone.As a reaction to taking damage, you can choose to become an invulnerable statue to negate the triggering damage. You are invulnerable and petrified until the end of your next turn.
9Charge of the BullA red potion with a swirling vortex.Gain a powerful charge attack: If you can move at least 10ft in a straight line, you can make an attack. If the attack hits, it is treated as a critical hit, and the target is knocked prone. If the attack misses, the player takes MEDIUM bludgeoning damage, is knocked prone, and lands 10 feet past the target.
10Clumsy MightA creamy potion with bubbles.Advantage on Strength checks and saves but disadvantage on Dexterity-based tasks.
The Stalking Statues

The room is a vast, dimly-lit chamber with four stone statues positioned in various states of distress; their faces contorted in silent screams or buried in their hands as if weeping. The flickering light from a dying chandelier dances across their features, casting ominous shadows that seem to move. Describe the chandelier as flickering in and out. In the darkness, the statues seem to move closer and closer.

You can treat this room narratively to unsettle the players, or turn it into an encounter. For an encounter, roll initiative (the statues always act at the end of the initiative order, and only on rounds when the lights are out). Every other round, either cover the map if playing in person, switch to a blank map on a VTT, or, if using theater of the mind, simply narrate the lights going out. The statues can only move in darkness, which is magical. Some players may have the ability to see through magical darkness. In such cases, the movement of the statues is visible to those players. Players who cannot see in the darkness can move but must declare their directions and distances. The door at the end of the room is unlocked when all statues are destroyed or by using the Knock spell.

Stalking Statues

Medium Construct, neutral evil


Armor Class :: 18 (natural armor) Hit Points :: 3 MEDIUM hits Speed :: 20 ft (can move only in darkness)


STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
14 (+2)11 (+0)13 (+1)1 (-5)3 (-4)1 (-5)
___
Damage Immunities :: poison, psychic
Condition Immunities :: blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses :: Blindsight 60 ft.
Languages :: None

Antimagic Susceptibility. The statue is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the statue must succeed on a CON saving throw against the caster's spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute. : False Appearance. While the statue remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal statue. : Dark Step. The statue can only move in darkness. It moves silently. It may not take the dash action. All attacks automatically hit.

Actions

Multiattack. The statue makes two melee attacks if the APL is 4+, and three melee attacks if the APL is 7+. : Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: automatically hits, reach 5ft., one target. Hit MEDIUM bludgeoning damage. : Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: automatically hits, reach 5ft., one target. Hit MEDIUM piercing damage. : Grapple. Roll Contested Athletics vs Atheltics or Acrobatics. The statue rolls with Advantage. Reach 5ft., one target. MEDIUM escape DC to break free.

Final Confrontation

Suggested flavor text - read in your own voice / tone: : You walk through the door to find yourself in a vast, open kitchen. The air is heavy with the scent of pots boiling over low flames, their contents a mystery. Shadows flicker and stretch across the walls, animated by the dim firelight.

Above, cured meats hang from hooks, swaying slightly in the draft. The countertops are littered with a variety of sinister-looking knives and butchery tools, their edges catching the light with an ominous glint.

At the center of this daunting scene stand Redd and Nara. Redd greets you with a malicious smile. “Now that you’ve been properly tenderized, it’s time for the main course!” he says. In a chilling display, he reaches for his face and peels it away as if it were a mask, revealing the ghastly sight of raw muscles, pulsing veins, and exposed nerves.

Next to him, Nara stands with an unsettling calm. Her hands begin to unnaturally stretch and contort, transforming into deadly claws. As she grins, her mouth widens unnervingly, unveiling a row of sharp, predatory teeth.

Monstrous Hosts

Redd Traskin, also known as Red Mask, and Nara Traskin, known as The Hunger, have hidden their monstrous nature for years by disguising themselves as the friendly innkeepers of the Red Mask Inn. They lure travelers with warmth and hospitality, only to ensnare them in a nightmarish trap. Through their powers of perception and emotion manipulation, they torment their victims in an alternate dimension, relishing the fear and suffering they create. All the while, they maintain their facade as ordinary innkeepers, continuing their sinister feast on unsuspecting guests.

Lair Actions


Initiative :: At initiative order 20, use one of the lair action options


Scalding Water: Boiling water erupts from pots in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a MEDIUM DEX saving throw, taking MEDIUM fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. : Slippery Floors: The floor becomes slick with oil and grease. For the next round, any creature moving across the floor must make a MEDIUM DEX saving throw or fall prone. You can avoid this by moving at half speed, but you must declare this before moving. : Whirling Blades: Blades whirl in a line 50 feet long and 5 feet wide. Each creature in the line must make a MEDIUM DEX saving throw, taking MEDIUM piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. : Flour Explosion: A cloud of flour ignites in a 30-foot radius centered on a point within the lair. Each creature in that area must make a MEDIUM DEX saving throw, taking MEDIUM fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

DM Notes

HP: The HP listed in the stat blocks are simply a guideline. Balance to your party, making sure that the combat lasts some time, but doesn't drag on too long. : Villain Actions: Red Mask utilizes villain actions. This is an action he can take at any point after a PCs action, but limited to one per round.

Red Mask

Medium monstrosity, chaotic evil


APLACHP
1-31430±10
4-61660±10
7-101890±10

Speed :: 30 ft


APLSTRDEXCONINTWISCHA
1-312 (+1)14 (+2)13 (+1)10 (+0)12 (+1)10 (+0)
4-614 (+2)16 (+3)15 (+2)12 (+1)14 (+2)10 (+0)
7-1016 (+3)18 (+4)17 (+3)14 (+2)16 (+3)10 (+0)
___
Condition Immunities :: frightened, charmed
Damage Resistances :: fire, acid, poison, necrotic
Senses :: darkvision 60 ft.
Languages :: Common, Deep Speech
___
Terrifying Unmasking. When the mask comes off, each creature within sight must make a WIS or CHA saving throw against an EASY DC. On a failed save, the creature becomes frightened for 1 minute. A frightened creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
:
Magic Resistance. Red Mask has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
:

Reactions

I think not! (3/day) As a reaction, Red Mask can choose to succeed on a failed check. However, this requires mental fortitude, so he takes MEDIUM non-lethal psychic damage to do so.

Actions

Multiattack. The Red Mask makes two melee attacks if the APL is 4+, and three melee attacks if the APL is 7+. : Misty Step. Red Mask can cast Misty Step at will as a bonus action. : Butcher’s Knife. Melee Weapon Attack: reach 5ft., one target.

APLto hit bonusdamage
1-3+4LIGHT
4-6+6MEDIUM
7-10+8MEDIUM

Villain Actions

How's My Cooking? Any creature that ate food in the tavern must make a MEDIUM CON saving throw or be incapacitated with retching as rotten, maggoty food comes back up. The effect lasts until the end of the affected creature's turn. : Time to Eat! Nara can move up to her speed towards a target and make a bite attack as part of the same action. : See What Awaits You! Red Mask unleashes a wave of mental horror, showing the victims horrific images of previous guests being butchered and eaten. Each creature within sight must succeed on an EASY WIS saving throw or take MEDIUM non-lethal psychic damage.

Tactics

The Hunger prefers hit-and-run tactics, targeting the least armored or most injured characters. If the characters try to focus fire on Red Mask, narrate The Hunger turning it's attention to the Haskill family.

She will try to Bite as at least one of her attacks to keep regenerating hit points.

Nara, The Hunger

Medium monstrosity, chaotic evil


APLACHP
1-31430±10
4-61660±10
7-101890±10

Speed :: 50 ft


APLSTRDEXCONINTWISCHA
1-312 (+1)14 (+2)13 (+1)10 (+0)12 (+1)10 (+0)
4-614 (+2)16 (+3)15 (+2)12 (+1)14 (+2)10 (+0)
7-1016 (+3)18 (+4)17 (+3)14 (+2)16 (+3)10 (+0)
___
Condition Immunities :: frightened, charmed
Damage Resistances :: necrotic, piercing, bludgeoning, slashing
Senses :: darkvision 60 ft.
Languages :: Common, Deep Speech
___
Voracious Perception. Once The Hunger has tasted the flesh of a creature, it can track the creature by smell, effectively gaining blindsight with a range 30 feet for that creature.
:
Wall Crawler. With spider-like agility, The Hunger adheres to terrain, crawling along walls and ceilings to approach its victims.
:
Fleet-footed The Hunger's rapid movements give it a speed of 50 feet, and enemies trying to make opportunity attacks do so with a disadvantage.

Reactions

Bloodthirsty Pursuit. If a creature within 30 feet of The Hunger uses a teleportation ability or spell to escape, The Hunger can use its reaction to immediately teleport to a space adjacent to the escaping creature.

Actions

Multiattack. The The Hunger makes two melee attacks if the APL is 4+, and three melee attacks if the APL is 7+. : Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: reach 10ft., one target. If target not armored, or on a critical hit, add bleed damage for 1d3 rounds. This damage does not stack on multiple hits, instead use the highest rolled value for damage and rounds rolled. This effect can only be removed by magical healing. : Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: reach 5ft., one target. On a successful hit, deal damage as normal, and The Hunger regenerates half of the damage dealt as hit points.

APLto hit bonusdamagebleed from claws
1-3+4LIGHT1d2
4-6+6MEDIUM1d4
7-10+8MEDIUM1d6

The Collapse

With the death of its hosts, the reality of this pocket dimension begins to unravel. This is a perfect time to deploy a Skill Challenge. Choose any of the following room descriptions, and let the players decide which skills they want to employ to navigate through the room. The focus here is on the Rule of Cool.

Ideally, these should be rooms the party have already encountered, but you can also introduce new rooms they haven't seen yet. The players can to select any Skill for their roll, as long as it fits the narrative context. Set the DC based on what they're attempting to achieve and its level of feasibility. Spells and other actions taken by the players should also have an impact, provided they logically align with the situation at hand.

Achieving one or two successful outcomes should be sufficient to pass through a room. In case of failure, introduce a complication, such as a character sustaining an injury, acquiring a level of exhaustion, or suffering a temporary condition like being frightened, poisoned, or even blinded. In such scenarios, other party members may need to assist the affected player.

DM Notes

Here you should aim to instill a sense of urgency and desperation. Monitor your players closely. As they approach their limits, consider making that room the final challenge. Remember, they don't need to complete every room you've planned.

Time to Run

Suggested flavor text - read in your own voice / tone:

As you land the final blow, a momentary stillness ensues, briefly allowing you to reflect on your victory. But there's no time for celebration. A low hum begins to resonate through the space, growing louder with each passing second. Around you, the walls and ceiling start to crack and splinter. Suddenly, a wall in front of you collapses, revealing one of the rooms you passed through earlier. Behind you, the ceiling is collapsing. The way forward is through...

[Note, I had to cut the descriptions of rooms on the way back to fit into char limit - see PDF]

Conclusion

As you burst through the door, you're back in the long corridor you first encountered as you woke up. At the far end, you glimpse the outside world. You sprint towards freedom as the corridor crumbles behind you, the destruction nipping at your heels. In a desperate leap at the last possible moment, you escape... and the sudden tranquility of the night envelops you. The quiet, so starkly contrasted with the preceding chaos, strikes you with its intensity. Surrounded by the serene sounds of the forest, the peace feels almost otherworldly, a surreal end to your harrowing journey.

You stand at a crossroads, where an old structure looms, clearly long abandoned. It leans precariously, a silhouette against the night sky. Moonlight filters through its collapsed roof, casting ghostly shadows across the crumbling walls. The scene, bathed in a silver glow, is both haunting and strangely serene.

Loot

Tucked away behind the inn, the adventurers might notice something peculiar about the compost heap — it seems to occasionally sparkle with the glint of metal and the shimmer of gemstones. Upon closer inspection and a bit of rummaging, they'll discover that this isn't just any old pile of refuse; it's a resting place for treasures that once belonged to the inn's unfortunate previous visitors.

You can use the rules for Treasure Hoard Tables from DMG p133 to see what the players can find.

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