Tis the Solstice – D&D 5e One-Shot

Tis The Solstice

This is my first one-shot and first time trying to homebrew.  I have no clue how this will go!

Background

The party finds themselves in Phandelver a few days before the winter solstice festival known as The Day Out of Darkness.  The town is a-buzz preparing for the celebrations, the buying, making, and giving of gifts.  The exchanging of the ancient relics is also part of the tradition  where the local town’s folk have been sharing their powerful relics as a means of ensuring equal power and experiences.

Overall Story

The adventure is essentially the following storyline:

  • The town is celebrating solstice 

  • They have a few issues in town

  • A Yeti attacks the town taking gifts

  • They pursue it and come to an evil Elf’s home trapped

  • They encounter the Yeti, and his precious loot

  • They encounter the final boss after working through traps

  • They destroy him and save christmas becoming local legends

Part 1: Solstice Celebrations

In town, it is covered in snow and everyone is excited for the annual celebrations.  The towns-people seem to mostly be at the local tavern.

At the local inn, Claw’s Tavern, the party finds themselves at a table, here to observe one of the largest Solstice festivals in Faerun, also rumored to leave one with a new sense and perspective, sometimes called the “Solstice Magic”.

The locals are talking and the following rumors can be heard:

Town Happenings

The Annoying Toy-Maker.  A table of parents can be heard commiserating about a visiting toy-maker who makes toys that play Solstice music loudly and at an off pitch.  All of the children in town want one and keep nagging.  They are overheard talking:

Complaining Parents

One human mother says “Can you believe those things? They never stop! I’ve heard Solstice Bells about 100 times and thats only walking through town.  I don’t think I could stand it one more time and Elda insists she MUST have one!”  

On and on they complain until one of the mothers, a half-elf, quietly says, “If only someone would find a way to make them go away.  I’d give them my family’s stash of Fire Potions!”.

The visiting toy maker is named Thomas Toymaker and is a Galven Magen.  He can be found selling in town.  If confronted, he can be bought out for 300g or will refuse to stop selling the toys.  The party can fight him.  If they do, he has 4 of the annoying toys (reskinned tridrone)attack the party as well. The toys make loud annoying solstice music.

Die Hardly  At another table you see an older Dwarven male excitedly telling two other middle-aged dwarves that just as he was coming into the Claw’s Tavern he saw a commotion around an outhouse, something about a fireball trap and not being able to move without blowing it up! 

If the party helps him, then he’ll give them his family’s prized luck blade.  He’ll then tip off the party to let them know he’s heard a rumor the evil Elf known as Buddy the Elf has grown resentful of the Solstice celebrations and is sending his goons to try and ruin things.  His house is to the north, just about a mile east down the triboar trail then north, also known as the cragmaw cave. 

Yonder the Red Horned Unicorn  As you walk through town you see some local kids teasing a local unicorn for having a red horn, cursed by an old hag never to be seen again.  The cure is simply to rid her of the curse but no one has spared her the favor.  If the party wants to help, they can ask around for someone who might sell a potion that can cure the curse and they’ll find one in town.  If they cure the curse, the unicorn casts bless on them for the duration of the adventure.

Part II: The Yeti Chase

As time dictates, about after 1hr into the 3hr session, at this point there should be the realization that all of the town’s gifts and ornaments were stolen by a giant Yeti and a small army of Yeti Tykes made quick work of things.

The party can check to see if they can find any tracks making a DC10 survival check.  The party then chases the Yeti following the chase rules from the DMG

Eventually the party will meet up with the Yeti and he will make a loud cry for his Winter Wolf, Fang.  Dndbeyond encounter is here.

Upon defeating the Yeti, the party finds a staff of fire and 2 healing potions.The party then notices just beyond the yeti is the house where the Yeti was clearly headed.  They also find Brass Knuckles (+1 attack/damage unarmed or monk weapons). And two scrolls of level 3 fireball – goods he’s been stealing.  

Part III: Home Alone

Read the below description of the house.  Here is a link to the map.

You find a modest home well lit down the path with a well kept garden and broad-leaf trees in front.  You see windows on either side of a double door which are all litt with candles and bright light behind them obscured by white curtains.

There are tracks in the snow of small yeti leading up to the closed front door and you find red and green ribbon strewn about in the snow.  Clearly this is where the gifts were taken.

The party can try to enter the house through the front door or through one of the windows.  Use the table below to determine what trap they face or narrate the sequence based on where they are in the home.

Traps Encountered Table

d8

Trap

1

Slips and falls twice on the ice-covered steps approaching the front door. Dex Save, DC15. Failed = prone, 1d6 bludgeoning damage

2

Right hand is severely burned when he places it on the searing-hot doorknob.  Perception check DC10, fail take 1d6 fire damage.  Can destroy or try to kick down the door.

3

Has his head burned by a blowtorch – DC 15 perception check for hidden pressure plate in floor, fail = 2d6 fire damage

4

Slips on Kevin's Micro Machines DC15. Failed = prone, 1d6 bludgeoning damage

5

Falls down after tripping on a wire, knocking him unconscious.  DC 12 perception check, on fail DC12 dexterity saving throw, on fail prone and takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage

6

Hit in the face with a heated iron DC 12 dexterity check. Fail take 1d6 bludgeoning damage + 1d6 fire damage

7

Steps on Christmas ornaments barefoot DC 15 constitution saving throw, fail = 4d4 piercing damage

8

Gets hit in the face with a paint can DC 15 dexterity saving throw, 2d6 bludgeoning damage, knocked prone

Navigating the house

Outside.  There is a small staircase leading up to the front door of a large home made of smooth flagstone and beautiful hardwoods.  The stairs are covered in a thick sheet of ice (see trap “1” above).  If the party tries to go in through a window after noticing the ice, run trap “7” above.

Entrance. The foyer is lavish with fancy chairs, expensive rugs, and a large piano against the back wall.  To the right is a dining room and to the left a sitting area.  If they search the bookcases and make a DC15 investigation check, they can find a scroll of silence.

If they move past the sitting area in the front, trap “5” is there with potential for multiple party members to fall prone.

Dining Room, All is quiet although on the table a big feast is laid out and the food still warm.  If a party member sits or takes any of the food trap “6” above is triggered.  If the party eats any of the turkey or cakes they get 1d4 temporary hit points.

Kitchen. The kitchen is large and there are some dirty plates about but no one is there, it seems empty.  The smell of fresh baked bread and turkey fill the air.  At the entrance to the kitchen from the dining room is a pressure plate for trap “3”.

Sitting Room. The sitting room has a well stoked fire going in the fireplace leaving the slight smell of burning oak crackling and popping.  There’s a plush sofa with extravagant stitching.  At the entrance to this room are small ball-bearings scattered across the floor, trap “4”.  

Bed Room Hiding under the bed is Kevin, the elf who seems to be all alone.  As the party enters, he’ll observe them before making himself known.  Kevin is an Enchanter and hates solstice because it means the days get brighter, the town is overly happy, and he just wants to be left miserably alone.

In a corner you find a huge pile of gifts and decorations from the town which had been delivered by the Kevin’s henchmen (Yeti Tykes which have since left).

Kevin is either found under the bed or will come out on his own and say “I’ve got you right where I want you!” At that point he yells in an unknown language and you see from the doorway a Snow Golem named Bumble, The Abominable Snowman, is standing there – roll for initiative!

Conclusion

If the party is successful, they go back to town and are revered as heroes for saving the festival.  Their pictures are painted and plaques hung in the tavern.  Food is always free and the citizens shower the party with gratitude and reverence.  

One of the locals, Nick Claus, makes a final toast:

Those monsters tried to keep us from having our festival but they can never take away our spirit or destroy our outhouses!  Let us remember that today is not about the gifts but the act of giving gifts, and sharing a warm fire with a full belly with those we care about the most, cheers!

    Written by /u/NerdyDudeGuy1981, template/formatting from u/alittlegnome.

    Map of Kevin’s House

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