Monday, 29 January 2018

Ten More Random Urban Encounters

New year's resolution is to post here more frequently than once a month. So far this isn't going well.

11. 🐨 A band of albino furred goblins streams into the city (or is forced to camp outside depending on current political mood). They are excellent smiths, but have been forced to flee their mountain home because (roll 1d3):
“of the metal sickness”

  2. “the troglodytes took our home from us”

  3. “we don’t know, but every time we fell asleep we’d wake to find more of us missing”

12. 🌿 Angry mob forming over the Senate’s failure to pass a land redistribution bill. Mob’s anger is being stoked by 1d6 telepaths, whose psionic activity has a telltale hallucinatory smell of wintergreen.

13. 🕸️ Locals excited by a new shipment of fine silks, including magical light armor. Shipments are brought by masked men covered in loose, rubbery robes that conceal their entire body. The nobility do not wish to cause these men offense, and use secret police to disappear anyone who physically assaults them or unmasks them. In reality, they already know the nature of these men -- ice golems that function as telepresence robots for intelligent spiders -- and recruit the cleverer assailants as spies/scouts to find the spiders’ hidden city.

14. 🐉 A dragon swoops in, eats the mayor/king/princeps/etc., declares herself the new ruler. One temperamental greedy narcissist is much like another, so most people’s lives are unchanged. The party’s relationship with the ruling elite (if any) is reset, however, as the dragon wants supplicants and/or hired muscle, and the remaining nobility want the dragon gone (filling the vacuum themselves, of course).

15. 🖼 Guards stop and search a wagon carrying sacks of barley, find a large painting reported to be stolen (or so they claim). The painting is of course a magic door to another world.

16. 🎭 Famed playwright offers the party money for a true story from their adventures. He will pay 5 gp for an action story, 25 gp for a comedy/farce, or 50 gp for a tragedy. He is blessed by the gods with an uncanny ability to detect lies, and will simply give the party a wry, incredulous look (and refuse to pay) until they tell the truth. He will also travel to third parties to verify claims and add further detail. Directly deceiving him is very difficult (Deception DC 25), though it may be possible to cause the gods to rescind their blessing. The story will be put on stage in a month’s time, put an unflattering spin on the party’s actions, and become the talk of the city.

17. 🐀 A noble’s pet giant solenodon has escaped. He answers to Bubo, but attacks strangers, which the noble refuses to accept. Reward is 200 gp, and/or an ongoing contract to bring the noble more exotic pets. Use the following modified Brown Bear stats, or add burrow, echolocation and a venomous bite to a mammal of your choice:

Large beast, unaligned
Armor Class 11 (natural armor) 
Hit Points 34 (4d10 + 12) 
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft.
Str 19 (+4) Dex 10 (+0) Con 16 (+3) Int 2 (−4) Wis 13 (+1) Cha 7 (−2)
Skills Perception +3

Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 13

Languages --
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
Echolocation. The solenodon can’t use its blindsight while deafened.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 13 saving throw, taking 7 (2d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If the poison damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the target is stable but poisoned for 1 hour, even after regaining hit points, and is paralyzed while poisoned in this way.

18. 🦆 Ibis men from the Great Marsh, hawking their wares. Roll 1d6:
live snakes

  2. relics of forgotten faiths recovered from the peat. Fashionable among nobility with a taste for the esoteric, but each attracts the attention of a small god.

  3. hired labour. They can fly short distances and have keen eyes, but are noncombatants.

  4. woven reed charms worn around the throat, which purify water the wearer drinks.

  5. illegal narcotics refined from carnivorous swamp plants.
pressurised glass bottles of swamp gas.

19. 🚩Dockworkers' guild on strike. Loading and unloading of all ships is delayed as crews have to do it unassisted, and each operation has a 1 in 4 chance of a sabotage attempt. All imported goods double in price. The dockworkers are demanding hazard pay for handling dangerous magical reagents, and legislation to halt a rumoured “replace workforce with animated skeletons” programme.

20. 🍞Grain shortage caused by a slave revolt in the provinces. The free grain dole for the poor has been suspended and prices are skyrocketing. Canny PCs could win the love of the people and/or the Senate by traveling to the provinces and crushing the slave revolt, by finding/brokering an alternate food supply, by robbing the rich and redistributing their hoarded grain, by helping quell the inevitable riot…