Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Adventure Quickies

I like to keep a couple of small side "adventures" handy to give players something to do that doesn't owe anything to the main story arc of the campaign. These are even smaller in scope than the "side trek" concept, but seem to add a lot to the campaign and the idea of the campaign setting as a living, breathing place. Here's a couple of examples:

The Heirloom
Word gets around town about a magic item one of the PCs has recovered from the dungeon, and it is recognized as a family heirloom by a wealthy, influential member of the local citizenry. The local files a complaint in the courts, attempting to have the PCs arrested and the artifact confiscated. If the PCs handle this situation reasonably, the citizen may offer a replacement item, or better yet, provide them with a treasure map. Handled badly, outlawry or imprisonment could result.

The Dragon of the Deeps
A giant sturgeon (the average PC level +4HD) has been terrorizing fishermen in a local river or lake. The fishermen offer a reward for the PCs to hunt down and slay the beast.

Bragging Rights
A fighter of a level equal to the highest level PC+1 has heard of the PCs exploits and is jealous. He has traveled from far away to challenge the PC and assert his bragging rights. He will challenge the PC to a duel, and most of the local population will turn out to watch. If the PC wins, the fighter's companions will eventually travel to avenge him.

The Beneficiary
One of the PCs is notified that he has inherited a local brewery, one coveted by a wealthy competitor. A mysterious sealed door is found in the brewery's cellar.

The Coward of the County
One of the PCs is the subject of a lengthy song being performed by bards throughout the area, describing the PC's infinite cowardice. Who commissioned the song, and why?

What are some "adventure shorties" you've used in the past?

2 comments:

  1. The Heirloom

    I've used this one before. Years ago when playing AD&D 1e, my players had made it out of White Plume Mountain with two of the weapons. I decided that Black Razor was just to unbalancing for the campaign at that time.

    A Noble of the City State claimed that the sword was his. The party tried to run for it to avoid a confrontation or giving up the sword. A wraith sent/controlled by the Noble convinced the party to hand it over.

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  2. One of the PCs is notified that he has inherited a local brewery, one coveted by a wealthy competitor. A mysterious sealed door is found in the brewery's cellar.

    I love this. It's the "small keep" from the DOMT. Except with free beer!

    RE: The Heirloom: My most recent dungeon contained a dozen tapestries, each worth 100 gp. One of them was going to turn out to be a family treasure that had been buried a centuries ago with a prominent lord. Months after selling their dungeon loot, the PCs were going to be tracked down by the lord's descendants who would avenge the looting of their forefather's tomb. The fact that the PCs weren't the actual tomb looters was going to make it even more delicious...just try to convince the descendants that it wasn't you...

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