Demonand Darkest Hearts System icon

Demonand Darkest Hearts System



НазваниеDemonand Darkest Hearts System
Дата конвертации30.10.2012
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1. /Darkest Hearts.rtfDemonand Darkest Hearts System

Demonand

Darkest Hearts


System: d20 Dungeons and Dragons
Requirements: 4-6 PCs of levels 2



This adventure is a short introductory adventure to the 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons game from Wizards of the Coast, although it can be adapted to any fantasy role-playing system. This can be set in any geographic location, although it is assumed to be in a small town or village. While no maps are provided, the only maps a DM may need to prepare are for one bar, and a small farm.



Requires the use of the Dungeons & Dragons(R) Player's Handbook, Third Edition, published by Wizards of the Coast(R). Dungeons & Dragons(R) and Wizards of the Coast(R) are Registered Trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, and are used with Permission.

This adventure is a short introductory adventure to the 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons game from Wizards of the Coast, although it can be adapted to any fantasy role-playing system. This can be set in any geographic location, although it is assumed to be in a small town or village. While no maps are provided, the only maps a DM may need to prepare are for one bar, and a small farm.



Opening: The Scalpel, a small tavern. The tavern's owner, Aaron, was once a physician's apprentice, and many people in this small town without a proper physician, come to him for ailments. Local lore has it that his spirits are great for curing headaches, fevers and colds.

Aaron, Human Bard 3; CR 3; HD 3d6+3; hp 17; Init +0; AC 10; Atk +2 melee (1d6, 18-20/x2, rapier); AL NG; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +7; Str 10, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 14, Chr 17
Skills: Alchemy +5, Bluff +7, Gather Information +6, Heal +6, Listen +7, Perform +8, Profession (Brewer) +8, Sense Motive +6, Spellcraft +2
Feats: Brew Potion, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Heal)
Spells (3 0-level, 2 1st level per day): 0-Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Mending, Prestidigitation; 1st-Cure Light Wounds, Identify, Unseen Servant

The characters are assembled in the tavern. One or more may have jobs here, especially if there are female PCs: Aaron usually has 2 or more female helpers hired, along with 1 large male for security.
He does serve food, and would love to have a halfling working in the kitchen, if one is in the party.

It is rather late, and the tavern is about to close its doors for the night. The night's been a good one for the tavern, as a group of travellers going to the region's capital have stopped for the evening, and drank quite a bit. They have all the rooms in the inn rented out, and have retired to bed.

Have the PCs have a few random conversations with the travelers before this. Make sure they meet Heron, a grizzled old man who once fought in a great war against the goblin hordes when they threatened a nearby province (according to your game world). He was actually captured by the goblins, and lived as a slave among them for 3 years before he was rescued by some adventurers. He speaks and understands goblin at a moderate level, and loves to share his stories about them. According to him, although he bears them no love, they are a capricious and amusing race that have a certain savage likeableness. The DM may want to make up an anecdote or two for Heron about goblin life.

Heron, Human Warrior 3; CR 2; HD 3d10; hp 22; Init +5 (Dex, Improved Initiative); AC 11 (Dex); Atk +3 melee (1d8+1, x3, shortspear); AL LN; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +3; Str 8 (old), Dex 12, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 14, Chr 13
Skills: Climb +5, Handle Animal +7, Swim +2, Craft (Pottery) +7
Feats: Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Weapon Focus (Shortspear), Weapon Focus (Short sword), Improved Initiative

After Heron and the other travelers have retired to bed, the PCs and Aaron should be the only ones left in the bar. After a few uncomfortable moments, the PCs should either be ready to leave, or retire to the common room of the inn. About that time, the door should fly open, and a woman runs in.

The woman is a beautiful brunette, with light brown skin, and very full dark green eyes. She has several nasty bruises around her face, with one black eye and some dried blood caked under her nose. She is wearing a long dress with full sleeves, which seems to be made of home-spun cloth dyed brown and green. There is a noticeable rip on one sleeve, and several dirt and other dark stains on the dress.

Kyla, Human commoner 1; CR 1; HD 1d4-1; hp 3; Init +1 (Dex); AC 11 (Dex); Atk +0 melee (1d3, x2, unarmed); AL LG; SV Fort -1, Ref +1, Will -1; Str 11, Dex 13, Con 9, Int 13, Wis 9, Chr 16

The woman barges in, and runs to the bar. "Aaron--you've got to give me some poultice and bandages. Richard's been hurt, bad. He's passed out now."

Aaron looks concerned, but gathers up some things from behind the bar for her, including a small bottle of clear liquid. If the PCs don't ask the woman what happened, Aaron will.

"Goblins attacked our farm! Richard tried to fight them off, but then more came and swarmed him. They beat him with their little fists over and over until he passed out!"

If questioned as to what the goblins wanted, or if they stole anything, Kyla seems confused. She swears she has no idea what the goblins wanted, but they did not steal anything. A very observant character (test vs. DC 20) may notice that she is not telling everything, but Kyla will not say much else, taking offense if the characters question her further.

If the characters ask her how she got hurt, she will pause, just briefly (best done in voice by the DM), and then say, "The goblins hit me."

Either way, if asked more about the goblins, she will say that her and her husband, Richard, have seen the goblins around their farm for the last couple of weeks. Problems got bad last week as the goblins stole and damaged crops, and even killed one of their cows. She will eventually ask the adventurers if they will come watch for the goblins. She doesn't have any money to offer them, but she says that she makes fine blackberry jam, and they can have all they want if they get rid of the goblins.

If the characters seem reluctant, Aaron speaks up, gravely saying, "I'll give you all 50 gold straight from my profits if you find out what's going on out there." (GM's note: He purposefully doesn't say, "If you kill the goblins." Aaron suspects something else may be up. Also--if the characters work for him, he might phrase his offer as, "I'll give you all a bonus of 10 gold each if you find out what's going on out there.")

The farm

Kyla and Richard's farm is about 4 miles outside of town. They own about 30 acres, which is largely planted with corn, with about 5 acres of pasture for a few cattle, and 5 acres devoted to different fruits and vegetables, like pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes. There is a small barn about 100 yards from the one-story wooden house.

If the characters go back to the farm with Kyla that night, they will see no goblins. However, Richard, who looks like he was beaten senseless (he was), stumbles out of the house as they come up. He is rather rude, not introducing himself, but instead grabbing Kyla by the arm and whispering to her. A PC with acute hearing may catch snippets of the whispers (test vs. DC 23): "Who are these people? Why did you bring them out here? I can take care of these little goblin buggers."

If the characters stay and wait out the night, Kyla will offer them the top floor of the barn to sleep in during the day. During the middle of the day, one PC will wake up to a scream from the house, which is 100 yards away. By the time they make it there, everything seems to be fine. Kyla explains that she slipped in some water (there is water on the floor) and hit her head on the fire-hardened clay countertop. She has a red mark on her forehead. She says she is fine, and asks them to go back to sleep, patting the character on the arm and thanking him for being concerned.

(GM Note: if the players have started to figure things out by now, and ask about Richard, she says that he is out in the field. If they look for him, he is not to be seen. He is actually hiding in the adjacent washroom from the kitchen, behind the door, listening. If for some reason characters try to go to that door, Kyla will not let them under any circumstances.)

The next night

Whether the characters stayed the previous night or not, the next night will be fraught with adventure. (If the characters for some unknown reason take their sweet time coming to the farm, not arriving for a few days, you can run this part then, or you could have the house burnt down, and Kyla gone, with Richard's skeleton found inside. That's beyond the scope of this adventure, but could be fun, especially to teach your players not to dawdle in town.)

About 3 hours after sunset on the next night, the characters should run into a solitary goblin. This is best done on the farm's edge, near the trees, but if your characters are staying near the house, or hidden in the fields, they could see movement a corn field, and go to investigate. Note that corn fields usually prevent seeing very far, as the corn is tall, and grown densely. If they encounter the goblin there, it should be a surprise--they won't see him until about 10 feet away.

What happens depends on what the characters do. The goblin, called Grit, will speak to them in Goblin first. "Please don't hurt Grit. Grit is a good goblin; he doesn't hurt Kyla." Even if the characters do not understand Goblin, they'll understand the name Kyla. If a character does understand Goblin, and replies, Grit will be extremely excited. "You are good people, like the goblins! Please don't let Kyla get hurt any more from the bad man. Grit wants to protect Kyla, but he makes her afraid. Kyla's not scared of good humans--please help her."

If the characters do not understand Goblin, and have not attacked, Grit will try to speak in halting Common. "Grit good goblin. No hurt Grit. Grit no hurt human. Grit hurt bad man. Grit no hurt cow and Grit no hurt Kyla."

Either way, if the characters talk to Grit and understand him, and do not act threatening, he will finish with telling them to watch the "bad man." He will then pull out a large dried leaf from his small sack and give it to a character (the one who spoke Goblin or was nicest to him. The leaf is folded, and has a grass ribbon tied around it. In Common: "Give Kyla. Pretty. Stop bad man hurt." In Goblin: "Give my words to Kyla. She is pretty. Please stop the bad man from hurting her." At this point, he will run off into the corn, or into the trees.

If the characters attack Grit at any point, the following will happen:

a) Immediately, two greenish balls of fire (magic missiles) streak out over Grit's head in an arc from behind, striking two of the characters.

b) The characters will see about 10 sets of eyes from the trees or corn. If from the trees, many of them will be perched up in trees--if in the corn, they will be all around the characters.

c) If the characters still attack, the fight begins. (Note--this adventure is for 1st or 2nd level characters, and they will lose this fight.)

Grit, goblin Bard 2/Monk 3; CR 5; HD 2d6+3d8+5; hp 30; Init +4 (Dex); AC 17; Atk +9 (1d4-1, x2, unarmed); AL CG; SV Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +9; Str 8, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 10, Chr 15
Skills: Balance +6, Climb +7, Disguise +5, Hide +12, Jump +9, Knowledge (Nature) +6, Listen +8, Move Silently +14, Perform +4, Tumble +11
Feats: Deflect Arrows, Weapon Focus (Unarmed), Weapon Finesse (Unarmed)
Spells: (3 0-level spells, 1 1st-level spell per day) 0-Dancing Lights, Daze, Flare, Resistance, Ghost Sound; 1st-Cure Light Wounds, Feather Fall

Goblin witch doctor, Sorcerer 3/Monk 2; CR 5; HD 3d4+2d8; hp 22; Init +6 (Dex, Improved Initiative); AC 16; Atk +5 (1d4-2, x2, unarmed); AL CG; SV Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +10; Str 6, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 11, Chr 17
Skills: Alchemy +3, Concentration +3, Knowledge (Arcana) +2, Spellcraft +4
Feats: Deflect Arrow, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse (Unarmed)
Spells: (6 0-level and 6 1st-level spells per day) 0-Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound; 1st-Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Sleep

Other goblins, 8-10 appearing, Monk 3; CR 3; HD 3d8; hp 18; Init +3 (Dex); AC 16; Atk +7 (1d4, x2, unarmed); AL CG; SV Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +6; Str 9, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 9, Chr 10
Skills: Climb +6, Hide +11, Jump +6, Listen +8, Move Silently +9, Tumble +7
Feats: Deflect Arrows, Weapon Focus (Unarmed), Weapon Finesse (Unarmed)

The goblins will not kill them, but will beat them to unconsciousness, strip them of all weapons, and leave the folded leaf on top of one of their bodies. The first one to attack a goblin will also have written on his forehead, in a childish scrawl, "BAD MAN", in a black, indelible ink the goblins make from mushrooms and spider urine.

Whatever happens, the players will be left with this folded leaf. If unfolded, they will find a very smooth, polished rock inside, oval in shape, and shot through with orange, green, and yellow of different hues. A goblin rune is carved into the rock--translated, it has a wide definition, meaning anything from "friend" to "body-shield," a term for when one goblin actually leaps over another's body to protect them from death. (GM's note: there is no goblin word for love. It is rather foreign to feral goblin society. While they are not necessarily cruel, evil monsters, they are polygamous in the extreme, and form friendships with one another, but not lifetime mating relationships.)

The leaf has some Goblin runes written on it in spider/mushroom ink:

"Kyla, spider-silk hair
Black-stone polish eyes
Twin pumpkin breasts

Grit will eat the bad man's blows
Long before you suffer them again."

The characters may not be able to translate this, but Heron, who is staying at the inn, can give them a rough translation. At this point, they should have things figured out--Richard beats his wife, Kyla. Grit, the goblin Lothario, has been watching Kyla and has fallen in love with her, although he is not quite sure what he is feeling. When he last saw Richard hit her, he and his goblin tribe burst in the house, beating Richard senseless. Grit's goblin tribe is unique in that they use a crude form of martial arts, and do not kill without extreme reason--they have not killed a living thing in over 5 years, since Grit took over. Grit is a pacifist, and only draws goblins to his tribe of like mind, which have usually been shunned from their own original tribes. Still--the other tribes do not attack them normally, as Grit's tribe can defend themselves very well with their ways of the fist and foot.

If the characters have not figured this out, have them keep watching at night. Soon, they will hear Richard shouting loudly in the house one night. If they investigate, Kyla will meet them at the door to the house. It is apparent she has been crying, and is holding it in now. When questioned, she says, "Richard doesn't like all these strangers around. He says he can take care of it himself, and he wants you to leave." Anything else they question her about, she replies, "I think you should leave. He wants you to leave." If they somehow get a look under her dress (which they shouldn't), she has multiple bruises and lacerations on her back, and has a freshly-broken rib.

If they do not confront Richard and do something with him at that time, the goblins will. As above, they will "rescue" Kyla, casting sleep on her and going to their tree-home in the forest, and burn down the house with Richard in it.

If the characters confront Richard at any time, there are two outcomes, depending on whether you want this to lead into a further plot:

a) Richard is a farmer, strong, but not invincible for the party.

Richard, Human Commoner 1/Fighter 3; CR 4; HD 1d4+3d10+4; hp 27; Init 0; AC 10; Atk +5 (1d6+1, x2, sickle); AL NE; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +2; Str 13, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 15, Wis 12, Chr 7
Skills: Climb +7, Handle Animal +4, Jump +7, Ride +6, Profession (Farmer) +9
Feats: Cleave, Expertise, Weapon Focus (Sickle), Improved Disarm, Power Attack

It is likely that any confrontation with Richard will escalate into combat. He will not be taken alive into town, where he knows that if convicted, the locals will beat him as revenge. (As in many small communities, vigilantism is very strong, extending even to the few constables, who will often let local men into a cell in order to "teach the boy a lesson.") If he somehow seems to be overwhelming the party, Grit and his goblins will burst in, scaring Kyla, who runs and locks herself in her bedroom.

If the party kills Richard without Grit's help, Kyla will not be happy, either. It will take her a long time to not blame herself, and she will be quite rude to the party, going so far as to hit them, yell at them, spit on them, and threaten them with butcher knives. Still--they should not let her be alone on the farm. Grit has a rather immature sense of love, and may try to capture her; also, she will be rather unstable, and may hurt or kill herself. The party should take her into town and put her in the inn--failure to do so will result in tragedy.

Further adventures may be establishing relations with Grit's tribe, or, if Grit captured Kyla, finding him, and teaching him what love really is--showing him that love means giving Kyla her freedom. In time, she may even like being with the goblins, although it's doubtful she'll return Grit's love. They would make good protectors for her, and she would make a fine druid in time.

b) Richard is a farmer, with a dark secret--the secret of necromancy.

Richard, Human Commoner 1/Fighter 3/Necromancer 3; CR 7; HD 4d4+3d10+7; hp 41; Init 0; AC 10; Atk +6 (1d6+1, x2, sickle); AL NE; SV Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +5; Str 15, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 16, Wis 12, Chr 7
Skills: Climb +7, Handle Animal +4, Jump +7, Ride +6, Profession (Farmer) +9, Concentration +6, Knowledge (Arcana) +8, Knowledge (Undead) +6, Spellcraft +8
Feats: Cleave, Expertise, Weapon Focus (Sickle), Improved Disarm, Power Attack, Scribe Scroll, Combat Casting
Spells: (5 0-level, 4 1st level, and 3 2nd-level per day) 1st-Cause Fear, Change Self, Chill Touch, Jump, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Ray of Enfeeblement, Summon Monster I; 2nd-Ghoul Touch, Invisibility

Kyla has recently found out about Richard's dark magics he conducts at night (which is why a cow was killed, if you remember that small detail from the beginning), and he became furious, thinking she would tell someone. If you use this option, he may actually become proactive towards the characters. He will cast Mage Armor before the characters get to the house, and will summon a monster if he has time.

They will probably not be able to defeat him, and the goblins will come to the rescue. At this point, he should escape into the fields and then into the forest, becoming an enemy for life of the characters. A dramatic chase scene would be appropriate, but they will not catch him. He will likely hurt at least one party member bad, which is where the goblins come in. Grit will heal anyone that is hurt.

Either way, if Richard is defeated, or is chased away, and Kyla is safe, Grit will confront the characters one more time, either in the house (if he is there) or finding them a day later (he is familiar with the town, and although he does not like to go there, he will disguise himself with a cloak and pretend to be a halfling or gnome in order to infiltrate.)

He thanks them, although what he exactly says depends on whether or not they speak Goblin, and whether or not Kyla is with them. If not, he says that he wishes she would be, but he will still watch over her and protect her. If she is, the scene will probably be tense, but Grit still thinks that the characters are good people, and he owes them. He will give them an amber gem, and a dagger of obvious goblin construction. He says, "You are good men, and this knife shows you are goblin friends." It is a Goblinfriend dagger and gives anyone keeping it on their person low-light vision. In addition, if shown to a goblin or group of goblins, the wielder will have a +2 on all Charisma-based checks. However, if the bearer is ever to attack a goblin with it, he will suffer all damage he would have inflicted, and be temporarily weakened, losing 2 levels for the rest of the day.

Experience

This adventure works best with the story award variant for handing out XP as detailed in the DMG. Split the following awards among the players:

300 for figuring out that Richard is abusing Kyla
300 for meeting the goblins with no combat
100 for getting the leaf poem translated
450 for resolving the problem with Richard, either by capturing him, or killing him without help (600 if he is a necromancer)
300 for resolving the problem with Richard with goblin help (450 if he is a necromancer)
300 for confronting Richard if he is a necromancer and escapes
200 for getting Kyla safely to town after Richard is arrested/killed

Other awards may be appropriate if the players figure out other background details or do interesting things in general. Anyone who ends up with "BAD MAN" on his forehead (this should last for at least 2 weeks) should be ridiculed.



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