Thursday, 31 March 2022

In Ten Towns - Random Encounters

There seems to be a decided lack of 'random stuff that happens in town' in the Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign. I think it's especially noticeable because so much of the module is centered on the goings-on in town. The whole aim of the first large section in the module is to get players invested in what's happening here. And largely the Towns should be the "safe zone" so that players learn to appreciate that safety... but that doesn't mean nothing interesting can happen there!

Roll whenever players spend a significant time in town, or whenever they are "between" adventures or adventure beats. 

  1. Three kobolds in a trenchcoat. They are 1- trying to buy medicine, 2- going to see a performance, 3 - interacting with another 3 kobolds in a trenchcoat, neither trio is aware that the other is not an actual human
  2. Travelling actors handing out fliers for a variety show ("Termalaine's Got Talent" or "Robilar's Travelling Circus" etc), they're also open for submissions. They've been stuck in the Dale since the snows came in, trying to make the most of it.
  3. Volothamp Geddarm, compiling info for his next book. 
     - wants to interview players about monsters encountered
     - Rerolls on this you meet a fan reading his book. If the PCs gave good interviews, the fan might recognize them and ask for an autograph.
  4. A witch hunter, going around casting Detect spells. Asks players: "Have you seen any invisible dwarves lately?" May be a Specoercitor or a Leveller.
  5. Member of the Arcane Brotherhood, in person or a servant.
    1. Avarice/one of the Black Sword cultists.
    2. Vellyene/ some of her kobolds
    3. Dzaan, or his simulacrum/ the wight
    4. Nas Lantomir, getting ready for her expedition to the Isle of the Solstice
  6.  A large, indolent owlbear wandering through town. Followed at a very respectful distance by a large group of town militia. It might want to break into food stores or disrupt daily town business, militia and PCs have to decide whether to let it chow down or gently try to shoo it away. If handle animal checks fail badly enough, it'll try to take somebody's arm.
  7. Chwinga (as wilderness encounter table)
  8. Militia horn blows! A call to arms! Roll to see what menaces town: 1 - orcs, 2- gnolls, 3 - reghed raiders, 4 - ice troll, 5 - duergar, 6 - adult white dragon. 
    • Raid: by the time PCs respond, raiders have started carrying off food or other supplies and trying to fight their way out. If a dragon, it has killed an axebeak, but the dragon is too small to carry off the whole carcass. 
    • Scout: Caught lurking near the edge of settlement, PCs can help run them off or hunt them down. If they get away with important info about defenses, a extra-large or well prepared raiding party will show up for some future random encounter roll.
    • Passing by: Bold or aggro militias may want to sortie out of town to remind 'em not to venture so close.
  9. Priestess of Auril (Sister Zlata, water genasi woman.) Conducting collection of names for the lottery, or delivering sermon about how lighting fires is a sin. One way to get out of entering lottery is to claim that you've already been in a lottery within the same month in another town--Zlata doesn't really have a way of checking, and although she might pretend she's casting Zone of Truth she doesn't want to waste the spell slot unless the PCs are being REALLY transparent in their lies. Another method is simply hiding. Anyone caught cheating will be punished, usually by having their name added ten times to the next lottery.
  10. Crowd getting ready to burn a frost druid (Aliissá, genderfucked, probably human). There is some disagreement, as the religious customs normally call for sky execution--but they're not sure if that will really work on a frost druid. 
  11. Contingent of paladin bounty hunters. Searching the Towns for an escapee from Revel's End. Led by Sir Fintan (human man), clad in magic porcelain half plate +1 that is resistant to cold. Probably won't bother the PCs unless they seem like criminals, but will hang around town for awhile and might interfere with other plot events for paladin-y reasons. Helping them catch their fugitive will get on their good side. The fugitive is a shifter, hagspawn, or dhampir Assassin
  12. Recruiter, looking to sign people up for the Wars in Hell. "Can't be any worse than up here!" Make it clear to players that this would remove them from the current campaign! Altho it might be a bit tricky for the recruiter to organize their departure
  13. A traveler from another plane. May be lost. Asks lots of strange questions.
    1. Alternate version of this world
    2. Modern day earth - or cyberpunk near-future
    3. Outer space/wildspace
    4. Dark Sun or Barsoom
    5. the most recent fantasy book you read
    6. Faerie
  14. Barfight spills out onto icy street. Default brawlers include Auspix (dragonborn agender, bristles like woody twigs on face) who has accused Bowwen (Eladrin male with a crescent tattoo on forehead) of cheating at cards. Bowwen actually was cheating, but in a totally different way than Auspix is accusing, and he's frankly offended that someone would think he's so clumsy as to fumble such a simple trick. "if I WAS doing that, we wouldn't be having this conversation, as you'd never have seen me."
  15. "Wagon of Wonders" selling cures for frostbite and hunger. Proprietor, purple-mustachioed gnome Jabble Fabblestabble, warm smile permanently etched on his face. Will also offer "business opportunities" to invest in his yeti oil pyramid scheme
  16. Tomaz (half elf) staggering into town, suffering frostbite after being lost for days. DC 15 Medicine check can help him recover, if the PCs have a way to get him into a warm space and provide him warm fluids. If the check fails, this is because his condition is worse than hoped, and more long term care of one week will be required (which a PC can also provide.) If the party is able to help him Tomaz feels he owes the party a favour, and offers them free accommodations at his house in the next town over
  17. Ice hockey game! Opportunity for players to play, blow off some steam, and possibly win a fancy pair of ice skates
  18. Suspicious local (Merswit, human, she has very large teeth) accuses party member of being three kobolds in disguise. She is hard to dissuade, as she doesn't want to "fall for their tricks." Stripping down to undergarments should do it, but any attempt less than that should require a Persuasion check with DC between 13 and 17 depending on the approach. Intimidation is only DC 10, but will result in Merswit spreading scandalous lies about the party behind their backs
  19. Something very out of season has happened (a tulip blooming as if it's spring, some birds suddenly singing in some bushes, a little creek breaking free of the ice to to tinkle and burble into the lake) and locals gather round to witness it before winter reclaims its grasp. Could grant renewed save to shake off madness, depression, curses, and especially effects related to winter. 
  20. News of the White Wyrm! - Arveiaturace flying across the dale in the twilight, shadow and pale wings across moonlit snow and dark skies. - Word that a ship bearing supplies intended for Ten Towns was taken by the dragon, with all hands lost. "I watched them go down, into the black water, or down the chute of er ivory gullet" moans the gaunt sailor. -An old woman with Reghed tattoos tells tales of the days when The White Wyrm and her wizard Meltherond came to the Dale. Implies bawdily throughout the tale that she and the wizard had intimate relations. "Meltherond had quite the Meltha-wand, if you catch my meaning" -according to the upstart braggart, the hoard of Arveiaturace is said to contain scrolls, potions, nameplates and figureheads and ships helms, and one frozen corpse from every ship or caravan she's ever taken down

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In Ten Towns - Random Encounters

There seems to be a decided lack of 'random stuff that happens in town' in the Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign. I think it's es...