Encounter Level 3 (600xp)
This is the first encounter of my current home DnD game. The campaign assumes that the PCs have lived in the same small frontier village (Tralvaile) for at least a couple of years and thus have come to know each other. Their abilities make the valued members of the community, be they a priest, a wizard, or a rogue – why they are respected is up to you and the players to decide.
The campaign starts with them arriving at the village’s inn and tavern (the Drunken Duck) for the evening’s relaxation before people retire for the night in preparation for another day’s hard work. Arriving in the inn two people stand out, a stoic middle aged man and a flirtatious young woman. The man appears to be a warrior of some sort, and the woman leans against him and flirts (though he is indifferent). Her attire is leather armour, and her white hair, white skin and oubliette like eyes make her the more exotic of the two. Nearby the village’s watch captain keeps an eye on the two of them, and he can give their names: Baldwin, and Faustine. Both are adventurers who pass through from time to time. Essentially this is to give the players some RP time before the encounter starts.
In my campaign I have a Paladin of Justice, which is an important plot point. The God of Justice’s major knightly order was functionally destroyed about 30 years ago, and the man Baldwin carries a sword marked with the holy symbol of that god.
Now onto the Encounter.
Read Aloud or Paraphrase
The evening is just warming up, the celebrations of the days end are just hitting their stride when suddenly a roof rattling sound shakes the inn, and in the sudden silence after it a scream is cut short, moments later battle cries and shouts in the giant tongue reach the inn.
In moments there is chaos as people rush to leave, to protect their families, and to fight the attackers…
What do you do?
- PCs should start inside the Inn (why there is a little interior tile on the large roof), and when they leave the inn on their initiative you can describe the scene of orcs and goblins attacking the village in force, the closest members of which are right outside the inn!
- For 4 PCs: Remove a Raider
- For 6 PCs: Add 2 Warriors.
Special: Knowledge Checks
When PCs make knowledge
checks to learn about the monsters in addition to information about the actual monster they should also be told the following.
Goblins (DC15): These goblins are members of a nearby tribe who live in the ruins of an elven village destroyed 20 years or so ago.
Orcs (DC15): These orcs seem to be scouts or similar from the distant tribe called the Durosh’kan. These orcs are greatly feared for they are unusually organised under the leadership of Jargesh, a half-orc sorcerer of great power. Whenever they act in force none survive who oppose them!
Features of the Area:
Illumination: Even though the attack happens at night, between light from the inn and light from various fires the attacking goblins and orcs are lighting the area is brightly lit.
Wagon: The wagon in the middle of the square can be moved with a DC10 strength check, otherwise it is impassible terrain and provides cover.
Horse & Cart or Ox & Cart: The squares with the horse and ox in them are difficult terrain. PCs or monsters adjacent to the horse or ox are subject to an attack at the start of their turn as the frightened animal lashes out. Attack: +5 vs AC Hit: 1d6+4 damage and target is knocked prone.
Stalls:These small stalls are difficult terrain, and provide cover. They can be set on fire by attacks that do fire damage. If this happens creatures adjacent to them for 2 rounds suffer an attack at the start of their turn (Attack: +3 vs Ref Hit: 1d4+3 fire damage) after which time the fire is burnt out and the stall is destroyed and no longer provides cover.
Stairs: Are normal terrain going down, and difficult terrain going up.
Special: During the fight describe glimpses and sounds of other battles taking place around the village to the PCs, be sure to mention that they see Baldwin and Faustine dispatching orcs handily, and while Baldwin is methodical, Faustine seems to relish the task laughing as she goes about it.
The goblins simply charge in and attack the PCs demonstrating little in the way of complex tactics. They will try and gain flanks but do little else (ie no attempts to avoid the defender etc). The orcs on the other hand will attempt to focus their damage on the party member who seems the most dangerous: controllers and ranged strikers being high on their list.
Ending the Encounter:
The encounter ends when all the monsters or all the PCs are defeated. If the Goblins and Orcs win they do not stop to kill the PCs, that is not their mission. If the PCs win they will witness other orcs and goblins fleeing the village, and is that a villager those orcs are carrying away?