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Two Thieves, By Night. A One Shot for a Reddit Community Worldbuilding Project

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Chris Nova


City Guard
City Guard
A reddit community called Roleit is working on a D&D project, creating their own world/realm within the D&D universe. There were looking for a one-shot to introduce players into one of the regions they are working on for their world. I figured I'd give it a try. Feedback is appreciated.

Two Thieves, By Night.

Setting: The town of Honshander

Honshander is a small merchant town on the coast with houses built into the cliff face. The houses are built strong and sturdy and have stood up against the harsh weather and water wear of the region. There are approximately ten thousand residents in Hoshander. Forty percent of the town is made up of upper class citizens. Rich citizens live on the higher levels of the cliffs. The roads leading to and from Hoshander are worn but there is lush vegetation along the forest edges of the road. Inside the actual town, the roads wind along the cliff side which make it very difficult terrain for wagons. Horses and other pack animals are used to transport goods for trade. Self-proclaimed “Merchant King” Tarik Donct is Steward of Honshander. Tarik is a former merchant who made a name for himself within the town and moved up the political ranks, making deals and acquiring wealth until he was at the top of trading. In Honshander, leadership respects wealth above all else, and he who is wealthy, is the right man for the job. Tarik is a shrewd negotiator and isn’t very liked by most people, but he respected for his wealth. Physically, Tarik is tall and broad with a very large midsection. His arms are large and solid, and he is as physically imposing as is his wallet.

The town, usually bustling with activity, has been relatively quiet as of late. Fewer merchants have been passing through and trade has dwindled to a crawl. There have been reports of theft just outside the town gates. Merchants have reported bandits ambushing wagons and breaking up caravans before they come within sight of the Honshander gates.

Tarik Donct has issued the following statement:

Adventurers, Mercenaries, Investigators for Hire
Our beloved town has been the target of thieves.
Bandits are ransacking caravans trying to bring much needed goods into our town.
This is not only affecting our businesses and our hard working traders,
But our craftsmen, farmers, and even our poorest are affected by this travesty.
I have prepared a hefty reward to any man or woman that restores order to the roads.
Interested parties, please inquire with Innkeeper Tan at the Drowned Stone Inn.
Signed,
Merchant King Tarik

This statement and reward was posted along sign posts surrounding Honshander and was handed to travelling merchants to pass the word along.

:: From here, Player Characters / DM will decide how they are involved with Honshander. Are they residents? Are they traveling adventurers that heard of the job posting? Did they encounter a caravan en route to Honshander, etc. ::

Drowned Stone Inn:
The Inn is a modest building with two floors. The first floor has a hearth and a large bar. The second floor has 12 rooms for rent. Tan acts as Innkeeper and Barkeep. Tan has worked the Inn from before Tarik rose to power. He knows a lot of the ins and outs in Honshander, but he does not willingly give out information. Tan comes from a lower class family and does not have much respect for the Merchant King nor many of the other higher class traders. Tan’s family were farmers. When Tan was still young, his family could no longer afford to feed Tan and his older sister. Tan was sent to work at the Inn waiting and bussing tables. His sister was sent to work in a more unsavory environment. Tan’s disdain grew over time, but he remains quiet as he feels this would keep his family safer. He sends the majority of his pay back to his family farm. Tan is required to send any interested adventures to see the Merchant King after offering them a night stay at the Inn free of charge with food and beverage.

If the players accept the offer and stay the night, the Merchant King closes the Inn to the public the next morning and meets with the players himself. He informs the players that a merchant had a lead on the whereabouts of the bandits who are assaulting caravans. The players should start their search by taking the road out of Honshander and traveling east. After four days’ ride (Tarik will offer horses), Players should take the fork and head north for a day. There, they will find a cave. The merchant told Tarik that he has seen the cave and activity around the cave but he dares not go in or even go near the cave’s mouth. Tarik encourages the players and tells them he trusts this merchants word and that they should start their search there. Tarik offers the horses, a week’s rations, and 10 gp at the start, and the rest of the monetary reward when they bring back proof that the problem has been resolved.

Roleplaying Tan:
Tan is quiet and stern. He speaks few words and does not engage in a lot of conversation outside telling the players what they need to know. If the players do not want to take the offer and stay the night at the Inn, Tan tries to convince them that it’d be in their best interest to stay. If they insist on not staying, Tan informs the Merchant King that they declined the offer and explains to the players that they are to return to the Inn in the morning. If they do not stay, the Merchant King does not meet them in person but gives Tan a letter to give them which states the information given by the merchant.

Roleplaying Merchant King Tarik:
Tarik is skilled speaker with high charisma. He loves engaging others in conversation. He exudes wealth and indulgence. His size, clothes, and demeanor demonstrate this. His voice is strong and booming and he commands respect while speaking. To players who make an Insight check of 15 or higher, Tarik appears sleazy and fake. He doesn’t appear to be lying so he really believes the information he was given by the merchant to be true.

Encounters while traveling:
The DM should roll 1d20 for every 12 hours players are on the road (at least twice per day, or more at the DMs discretion). The roads are pretty well traveled during the day but dangerous at dusk through the night. During the day, if the DM rolls an 18 or higher, roll 1d6 and use the encounter table provided, or create an encounter for the players. If the players travel from Dusk through the night and the DM rolls a 12 or higher, roll 1d6 and use the encounter table or create an encounter for the players. Use the Monster Manual for stats.
Encounter Table:
1: 4-6 bandits (depending on number of players)
2: 2-4 wolves
3: Players run into a merchant who sells common goods from the player’s handbook at 4 times the price.
4: An owlbear
5: Bandit Captain and 2 regular bandits
6: 4-6 goblins

When players approach the cave, they see the cave mouth carved into a cliff face. Surrounding the mouth of the cave, vines grow thick up the side of the cliff. Outside the cave, two bandits keep watch. The bandits are bored and players who make a successful stealth check and sneak up and surprise the guards. If the players take out the guards in one round, they can walk into the cave without any more resistance. After one round, one of the guards yells out to his companions inside OR the bandits outside hear the sound of combat and rush out to help the guards. 4 bandits run out and attack the players.
The inside of the cave is dark, however since it is inhabited by bandits, there are campfires and torches throughout. Players without darkvision can see as if they had darkvision, and players with darkvision can see 120ft instead of 60ft. The cave narrows once the players are inside and the walls are ten feet across. Players can walk two by two if they choose or single file. The cave leads straight for 120 feet and then branches off in two directions, forking left and right. Going the path toward the right, players with passive perception of 16 or higher, or choose to roll a perception check of 16 or higher (or a rogue actively looking for traps), notice a small amount of dust fall from the ceiling. Players who fail a perception check and/or continue walking trigger a trap collapsing parts of the ceiling on top of the party. Players take 1d6 bludgeoning damage from the falling rocks, and the collapse alarms 4 nearby bandits who rush to attack the party.
Players who take the left route encounter the 4 bandits but the left route is not trapped. Both paths end at the same place.

At the end of the fork, the path opens to a large room. The room is empty except for a dying campfire, 3 kegs, and 2 chests. If the players stop to check, the kegs contain ale, the chest on the right contains 20gp, however the chest on the left is a Mimic. The room is 60ft wide and 30ft from the entrance of the room to a drop off at the back of the room. There is an orange yellow glow visible if the players look into the drop but that is all that can be seen or heard. There is a rope ladder leading down to the room. The drop is approximately 20ft and empties into what appears to be another room. There are foot and hand holds in the rock face. Players who take the ladder do not have to make any ability checks, but if they choose to climb down not using the ladder they must make a successful DC 15 athletics check or suffer 1d4 falling damage.

When players get to the bottom, the enter a small room with a campfire and two tall men sitting alongside the fire. The men are dressed in black and their faces are concealed except for their eyes. They are expecting the players and do not seem at all surprised at their arrival. They introduce themselves as the Two Thieves. If the players decide to talk or question the Thieves, they offer answers without resistance. They show no fear in the face of the adventurers. If players ask about the attacked caravans, merchants, or wagons, The Thieves deny any participation in those acts. They explain their interest in starting a thief’s guild outside the borders of Honshander and that they have a “leave us along and we’ll leave you alone” attitude. The players have options at this point. If they choose to fight, The Thieves do not back down and the players roll initiative. They count as a rogue class, they wield two short swords each and attack twice each turn. Stats are at the end of this paragraph. If the players continue the conversation, The Thieves insinuate that the merchants themselves might be behind the attacks, vying for power over one another. They also explain that their thief’s guild would only steal from the very wealthy and corrupt and that they have no intention of harming those who are less fortunate. The players can then take this information back to the Merchant King, but since Tarik wants the issue resolved and he wants proof, he does not offer the rest of this reward for this information but sends the adventurers back out to question the merchants (which the DM could freehand at this point if he/she is comfortable or it can be continued at a later time in a different adventure).

Stats for The Thieves:
Rogue
Male Humanoid, Medium Build
Challenge Rating 3
Chaotic Neutral
Initiative +3
Armor Class 17
Hit Points 58
Two short swords. He attacks twice.
Melee weapon attack: +5 to hit, 1d6+2 piercing damage

Loot from the Thieves
Shortsword, +2
30gp

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John-Paul

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Dungeon Master
Dungeon Master
Looks pretty solid Chris. I'd like to think there is a merchant behind the scenes controlling things, maybe a political rival. It could also be a priest in town fed up with the greed in the region. Maybe he's using his church to brainwash and leverage people to take down the status quo. Maybe that priest is a doppelganger working for the drow or deep gnomes with a secondary agenda they are working for! There's no telling where the rabbit hole ends!

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Chris Nova


City Guard
City Guard
Thanks

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