One Shot | Gidads Keep

Start

You find yourself on couches next to a roaring fire. As you look around you, you see a sophisticated but tasteful room. The walls are covered with bookcases filled with encyclopedias and little gold covered chests. By the window a man in fine robes is sitting behind his monumental wooden desk, writing on a piece of parchment. Because of all the traveling you’ve been doing, you have become estranged from these comforts. Having become used to spending your nights on the ground and resting on rocks. As you are taking in the scene he stands up from his desk and joins you by the fire.

“Welcome travelers, as (one of the players) already knows my name is Gidad Percevale. Your colleague informed me of your abilities and as such I invited you here to my quarters to propose a quest of sorts to you. At the end of the road going north from this inn is a stone keep carved into the mountain. Long ago this used to house me, my family and my valuables. But it has become uninhabitable because of a dark creature having made it its new home. Since then I have sent many men into that keep to attempt to slay the beast or retrieve my riches. I have recovered a vast amount of my fortune because of this, but sadly none of the men that went in have managed to slay the beast. Because of its tactical position, I am tasked to find a way to make the keep habitable again. Therefore I propose to you (x amount of players) the following quest. Make your way to this keep and slay the shadow that lives within its walls. You may keep whatever ritches you find left behind and as insurance that you are sufficiently compensated for the successful execution of this task I am willing to pay each of you 1000 gold. Do you accept, or should I ask my men to find another group that is ‘actually’ willing to complete this task?”

*Gidad Percevale (Mysterious dignified voice, kind of condescending)

Gidad is a duke of this land, human with brown trimmed hair and emerald green eyes.

On the ground floor of the inn it is possible to buy equipment necessary to complete the task, think healing potions and such if they have the gold for it.

*Serf Ingerame (Big brawly but pleasant voice)

Serf is the barkeep/ shop owner of the inn that is always willing to help and fill up your tankard.

Outside the group is able to interact with people but they won’t give them any more information about the keep than they already have.

First battle

After embarking on their quest, ask the group for a marching order. Ask the person/ people in front to roll for a perception check:

  • 1 you walk face first into a branch and yell out of pain (take 1 point of damage depending on the group and level playing).

  • 2 – 10 you stay on track but notice nothing out of the ordinary.

  • 11 – 19 you notice a couple of figures in the middle of the road hunched over.

  • 20 you notice a couple of figures armed and hunched over looting a body that is laying on the other side of them on the road.

Depending on their role you describe the scene and either let them set up or role initiative to start the fight with these (group size) bandits.

List of names for the bandits:

  • Balthier

  • Zain

  • Camus

  • Reyson

  • Dante

  • Lennix

*Bandits (Variations of hooliganesc voices)

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Bandit stats:

Medium humanoid

Armor class 12 and hit points 11.

Speed 30 ft.

STR 11DEX 12(+1)CON 12(+1)INT 10WIS 10CHA 10

Passive perception 10.

Actions:

  • Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.

  • Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 80ft./320ft., one target.    Hit (1d8 + 1) piercing damage.

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After the battle the group is able to loot the bodies of the bandits and the body in the middle of the road.

  • On the bodies of the bandits they could find 26 gold, (x amount of bandits) Scimitars and light crossbows and a silver flask half full of whiskey.

  • On the body in the middle of the road they don’t find any gold, since the bandits had already taken this from it. But as you trace the body you (DM chooses which one based on group):

    • Notice that their hands feel weird and remove what is known as the Gloves of Thievery (Invisible while worn and +5 to dexterity (sleight of hand) checks and dexterity checks made to pick locks). (This one has preference seen as the rest of the level contains extra loot by lockpicking)

    • Accidentally knock the hat off the body, after which the body transforms from a brawly looking human into a stunted half-elf. As you pick up the hat, you discover the Hat of Disguise (While wearing this hat, you can use an action to cast disguise self spell from it at will. The spell ends when the hat is removed).

    • Notice their Boots of Elvenkind (Steps make no sound, regardless of surface. You also have advantage on dexterity (stealth) checks that rely on moving silently).

After the looting they get to decide what to do. If they continue on their journey down the road, you make them aware that there is only a couple of hours left before dark. So the group can decide to soldier on to arrive at the keep at night. Or make camp somewhere along the way to regain their health should they have lost any or spell slots should they have used any:

  • If they make camp along the road, ask them if they want to keep guard during the night. If yes then let them make perception checks, either way nothing happens. But I feel it’s good to keep them on their toes and make them aware that danger is around every corner. The next day they arrive at the keep.

  • If they soldier on during the night they arrive at the keep in the dark and make camp just outside its walls. Let them make perception checks, if anyone rolls higher than 10 they wake up during the night from ticking and crackling noises coming from within the keep.

Entering the keep

As the light touches the walls of the keep you start to realise the size of this enormous structure protruding from the mountain. It's dark coloured stone makes it look ominous. The windows of which there aren’t many are shattered and do not reveal much of the dark inside.

You are perched at the front gate of this monstrous looking place, knowing you have to enter it and kill whatever is inside. What do you want to do?

If they make a perception check:

For perception lower than 14:

  • You see the massive wooden gate in front of you. However due to weathering and probably the many men that have gone in here before you, it doesn’t look as sturdy as it used to be. If you are strong enough you might be able to break parts of it off. (Strength check with DC 16).

  • Also, in the wooden gate is a smaller door that looks like it could be picked by an average lockpicker. (Dexterity sleight of hand check with DC 10).

For perception 14 or higher:

  • On the second level you see a shattered window. This is the lowest window accessible in the keep. If you are equipped to climb and own 30ft of rope you could make this a point of entry. (Dexterity acrobatics check DC 14 to climb).

  • You see a hole in a “tower like” part of the wall. When you look closer you see that it used to be part of the fireplace system which you could use to enter the keep through one of the fireplaces of your choice, there are four levels you could enter. (Should the party choose this option and are not able to fly they will be able to climb up the chimney using a king Kuzco climbing technique, context link:

https://www.google.com/search?q=king+kuzco+climbing&sxsrf=ALeKk01jLkcJHSmQ66hRC85W6yQfLy52Tw:1611927449997&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiVzb3YocHuAhVNV80KHV4GDukQ_AUoAXoECA8QAw&biw=1265&bih=959

  • Let each member that is involved roll a D4. They can choose to make pairs or do it with more than 2 people at a time, however the same rules apply to groups bigger than 2 people. If one rolls a 1 and someone else rolls a 4 they are not in sync enough and slip back down together with the group should they be with more than 2 a time. If they roll the same number they get up more than one level if they choose to go higher than the first level. If they roll 2 different numbers, not 1 and 4 together, they are in sync enough to make it up one level. Rinse and repeat for the amount of levels they choose to go up).


Basic level guide

The beast is positioned at the second level of the keep. Because most men have been on the first floor, there are no more riches to be found there. However, should the party have been able to go up to the third or fourth level, they are greeted with some gold or gems and magical items that could help them with their fight. For every level of the keep they enter they have to make stealth checks to make sure the beast is not aware of their presence. On the first, third and fourth level the DC for these checks is 10, given the creature's passive perception. On the second level the DC is 17 given the webs on this level allerting it of any presence there. If a player doesn’t make the DC and is not on the second level the beast moves closer to the stairway to the second floor, making it an instant initiative should they go to the second level. If the party succeeds a stealth check before going to the second level the beast is unaware and they have a chance to enter the second level without instant initiative. If they make the DC 17 stealth check for the second level, they can perceive the beast without it knowing and set up to fight it. Depending on the difficulty the DM wants to create for the group, they can add as many normal spiders to the fight as they see fit to keep the fight interesting.

Level 1 (Considered dark)

The first floor consists of a great entrance hall, empty and dark. Through the darkness they can make out the occasional firm stone pillar rising like a tree from the hard stone flooring into the abyss.

While moving around the party can find body’s near the stone pillars of their previously attempted colleagues. The flesh already cleaned of their bones, leaving nothing but the skeleton and whatever daggers and basic armor they carried with them. Some bodies look mummified, wrapped into some kind of sticky substance.

At the end of this hall they will find the stairs that will lead them to the second floor of this keep.

Level 2 (Considered dark)

The second level is open, dark and covered in webbing. Through it all you can kind of make out shapes that look like tables and chairs, giving you the idea that this used to be the dining hall. As you move around you find yourself struggling somewhat due to the stickiness of the floor.

If stealthy enough they can locate the beast before it locates them. Once in battle spiders can come from any direction of the hall.

If your party uses the shattered window entrance, they will enter the small kitchen connected to the dining hall. This area is partially collapsed. One of the walls is caved in and has blocked half of the kitchen. On the floor are pans and cutlery scattered about. Entering this room will not require the DC 17 stealth check. However, whenever the party decides to leave it into the dining hall they will have to do a stealth check with DC 17.

Level 3

This floor consists of two rooms (DM can add more if they want to) and the stairway capable of going to the second and fourth floor. The second floor, looking dark and ominous. Players aren’t able to see much down there unless lit. However based on the amount of light they will see some or a lot of webbing. Some hopefully not implying to the party that the beast they were tasked to slay is a giant spider.

First room (Able to be accessed via the fireplace)

This room is lavishly decorated, but weathered by dust and time. Next to the fireplace you can see a giant bed with a canopy over it, the robes hanging from it partially ripped. On the other side of the room you see an engraved dresser holding up a shattered mirror next to the door.

If investigated:

Investigation 10 – 15

  • You find a little box in the dresser holding a couple gems (you may add to your inventory a moonstone, a quartz and two amethyst crystals together worth 300 gold).

Investigation 16 – 19

  • You find a medium sized box in the dresser that is locked (DC 10 DEX to pick or 15 STR to break). If opened you find it is holding a couple gems, but also a rust colored Bag of tricks (The owner of this can use an action to grab a fuzzy object from this bag and throw it 20 ft., after which they roll a D8 to decide which creature is summoned. This creature will act on the same term as the player and the player can use a bonus action to command it. It's friendly towards the owner and their companions “page 154 of dungeon master manual”).

  • Add 25 platinum to the little box in the dresser.

Second room

The second room is a similar lavishly decorated room as the other room on this floor. Containing an oriental looking rug, engraved wooden bed, closet and dresser.

If investigated:

  • Anything above 12 will grant the party a little bag containing 24 gold and 8 silver. 

  • Otherwise they find nothing

Level 4

This floor consists of two rooms (DM can add more if they want to) and the stairway capable of going to the third floor.

First room (Able to be accessed via the fireplace)

This room looks like an office as sophistically decorated as the quarters you started your journey in. As you enter you see a similar monumental wooden desk and filled bookcases lining the walls. Behind the desk you see shattered windows overlooking the road you used to reach the keep.

If investigated:

Investigation 10 – 15

  • In a little box on the shelves, you find 50 gold.

Investigation 16 – 20

  • In one of the drawers of the desk you find a strange glass container holding an orange liquid that flickers. The top of the containers seems to be filled with smoke that wafts out whenever you open it. (Potion of fire breathing “page 187 of dungeon master manual”).

Second room

When entering the second room, you see a giant desk covered in maps of the area. On the walls you see portraits of royalty and acclaimed generals. Except for the portraits you notice that this room is barely decorated and focused on functionality. Tracking the movements of enemy armies or positions of deadly creatures reported by their informants.

If investigated:

anything above 12 will grant the party a little bag containing 24 gold and 8 silver.

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Giant Spider stats:

Large beast

Armor class 14 and hit points 26.

Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 14(+2)DEX 16(+3)CON 12(+1)INT 2(-4)WIS 11CHA 4(-3)

Passive perception 10, Stealth+7, Blindsight 10ft., Darkvision 60ft.

Actions:

  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and target has to make DC 11 constitution saving throw, taking 2d8 poison damage on fail or half on success.

  • Web (recharge 5-6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30ft./60ft., one target. Hit the target is restrained by webbing. Can make a DC 12 strength check to burst free. The webbing can also be destroyed (AC 10, hp 5; vulnerable to fire; immune to bludgeoning, poison and psychic damage).

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Spider stats:

Tiny beast

Armor class 12 and hit points 1.

Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.

STR 2(-4)DEX 14(+2)CON 8(-1)INT 1(-5)WIS 10CHA 2(-4)

Passive perception 10, Stealth+4, Darkvision 30ft.

Actions:

  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 1 piercing damage, and target has to make DC 9 constitution saving throw, taking 1d4 poison damage.

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Ending

After the battle, the party is able to loot whatever part of the keep they haven’t looted yet.

Afterwards you make your way back without any further hidderence. You inform Gidad of your work, get paid and enjoy a well earned tankard of lager on the house.

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