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1001 Interesting Quests/Dungeons

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  • #16
    [Designed this adventure from random tables in The Tome of Adventure Design. Meant for urban or urban-adjacent environments. Could easily be fitted into places like Waterdeep or Balder's Gate, or the world of Ravnica (replace "generic legislator" with "Azorius legislator" and have the assassin's client be an Orzhov person or the like).]

    15) Octagonal Mansion of the Baboon Assassin [D&D, urban environment; short dungeon]:
    A legislator in the local government has been kidnapped, and is set to be murdered shortly thereafter. The culprits were a sapient, talking baboon, and the sorceress hired to provide magical muscle (she's mainly in it for a cut of the profit).

    Yes, really. No, we don't know where the baboon came from or how he got smart.

    The baboon is an assassin, accustomed to sneaking into buildings through means no normal-sized person could access and stabbing people with poisoned blades. But the baboon has been burned before by clients, who think they can withhold payment because he's "just a stupid monkey". He'll have you know he's a moderately intelligent monkey, brilliant by baboon standards. Desiring to actually be paid, he's hired the services of a sorceress, known to and feared by the local community, to help capture the target ran than just kill him. They and the intelligent baboon's pack of (non-intelligent) baboon family members have taken an abandoned mansion with an octagonal floor plan as a base of operations. There, they'll keep the legislator captive until the client sends a minion with payment. Only then will the lawmaker's life be forfeit. Meaning the party has that long to track them down and save him.

    Enemies: The head baboon has Rogue class features (like the ability to Sneak Attack and to take Cunning Actions). Combined with his climbing speed (30 ft) allows him to make use of cramped environments. The mansion itself is riddled with holes in the floors, walls, and ceilings, allowing him and his brethren to employ hit and run tactics. Moreover, the head baboon is armed with darts and a blowgun, both poisoned, and a Dagger of Venom +1 (deals added poison damage). If alerted to the presence of intruders, will send minions after them, while he plinks away with poisoned darts, or maneuvers into positioned to leap and stab with his dagger.

    About two dozen (non-sapient) baboons make their nest in the mansion alongside their intelligent leader. They venture out into the city regularly, to steal food and/or shiny objects. They attack in swarms, but are easily spooked into retreating. The attic level of the mansion is a nursery, and the group will fight to the death to defend their young.

    Alongside the apes, the villainous baboon has conscripted the help of humanoid laborers, who keep watch of the property and bring in supplies (mostly fruit and nuts). They are a mixture of human, goblin, and orc/half-orc thugs (though their composition can be changed to suit the setting). They are cowed enough by the baboon to work and to keep quiet about his criminal activity, but are disgruntled. They are easily intimidated or bribed into leaving, and will turn on the baboon if they sense weakness. They are lightly armed and armored, mostly with handaxes, hammers, clubs, daggers, and staffs (improvised from shovels and mops).

    The main minion in the baboon's menagerie is a sorceress (Sorcerer or Warlock). She is a source of infamy among the local population, and is partly dwelling with the baboons in order to have a safe place to bed during the night, away from authorities. Mostly, though, she's in it for the money; the baboon has offered a cut of the payment for the job. She doesn't much care for the apes, finding living in the mansion unpleasant due to noise and droppings. She takes residence in a private room with all the holes boarded up. She is a proud and vain person, and finds seduction an effective but tedious tool (assuming intimidation or magical coercion doesn't suffice). If the situation goes south, she will abandon the job and leave by the nearest exit. Her spells include Charm Person, Hold Person, and Misty Step.

    Treasure: The baboons have accumulated a pile of treasure, found in the attic. These include coins in all denominations, watches, rings, jewelry, and silverware. All mixed in with random junk and monkey waste.

    The major treasure of note is a magic mirror found in a storeroom, covered in a tarp. Those reflected in the mirror appear as skeletons dressed in their clothing. The Skeleton Mirror has no other properties, and could be worth a small sum of money to an interested collector.

    Complications: The party may encounter emissaries of the baboon's employer, come to deliver payment and see services properly rendered. They are a half dozen thugs, and a magic-user wearing an ornate mask, who is the employer's loyal retainer. If they encounter the party before they enter, and if the PCs look like morally dubious individuals, the emissary may offer to pay the party (or a single PC) to kill the legislator, offering a modest sum of money (well beneath what the baboon was promised) in return. If the PCs are hostile, though, the magic-user will retreat at the first opportunity, having no desire to die. If the emissary gets away, he will inform his master of events and the characters who interfered in their business.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 04-22-2020, 11:19 PM.