09 Feb D and D for Kids: The Other Side One-Shot
We played this as a one shot, which I then expanded into the start of a campaign, building the character of Fira Rowntree into a larger story.
A few things before we start:
- My daughter plays a Rogue called Kitty Queen, who has some homebrew abilities – namely that she is able to turn into a cat at will. Other than that, she’s a human, with her Animal Handling dialled up a bit. Hence the bit with the squirrels.
- I made this as an introduction to the idea of DnD for my daughter’s friend, so wanted to include a few of the things that can happen in a game. It’s a bit like those introductory / tutor levels on a computer game, where you have to practise jumping and aiming and moving.
- If you want to play this – make the rooms yours. They can contain anything that plays to your party’s abilities.
The Other Side
“You are on a road, it’s dusty and dry, mid-morning. You see a small wooden house ahead, tumbledown, broken windows. An old woman emerges and watches you as you approach.”
The old Lady is Fira Rowntree. She offers the team something to drink or eat. She is friendly, chatty and hospitable. Her house is full of strange objects, a lot of books, some things in jars, old masks, musical instruments. There are mirrors everywhere. A particularly large mirror in the living room has a motif at the top of a person with two heads, or two faces. There’s a collection of dolls on a shelf, red, green, blue and yellow. If anyone inspects (and passes the requisite investigation check) they’re reversible, with another face on the other side. Fira travelled a lot in her youth, but now she doesn’t get out much. She’s glad of the company, not many people pass by this way. She offers the party a drink, etc.
If the team want to look elsewhere in the house, Fira finds them and talks at them.
She eventually has to admit that she has asked the party in for a reason. She has a bit of a problem with GIANT RATS in her cellar, and she needs their help. She’s not wealthy, but she’ll pay 5 gold for every rat’s tail the team bring her from the cellar.
The entrance to the cellar is in the kitchen – the kitchen is piled high with dirty crockery and plates, flies buzzing around. A door leads to a wooden staircase into the cellar.
The cellar is much larger than the house upstairs. It’s a square space 30ft in each dimension. In one corner, the bricks seem to have crumbled away. Behind them the door slams, and cannot be opened (no force or magic has any effect). As soon as they are all in the cellar, the team are set upon by 4 giant rats, when the first is killed, the remaining 3 flee through the broken area in the corner. It’s a tunnel. The brick walls give way to earth, propped up with timber. The tunnel emerges into a lit stone chamber, with an archway at one end, two goblins are working on the arch, chiselling markings into it. The space inside the arch shimmers.
If attacked, the goblins flee through the arch. If the goblins are killed, the team are magically sucked through the portal.
The Other Side
A stone chamber, lit with flaming torches. The goblins (if not slain). A mosaic on the floor, showing two faces, one facing each way. The arch behind them is just stone, with a hexagonal hole above the arch. One of the goblins has a Red Key on them. If the party sustained any damage from the goblins, there might also be a Potion of Healing (2d4+2).
Through another archway is a corridor, there are four doors. Each has a different gemstone above the keyhole.
A torch-lit, long room; 30ft wide, but 200ft long. A table runs almost the whole length of the room, piled high with empty plates.
At the far end of the table is a GRIMLOCK, , eating what appears to be a dead giant rat. Behind it in a corner, is a wooden chest.
Make stealth checks for any movement entering the room, passing the Grimlock, and exiting the room. The Grimlock’s passive perception (13) is the DC.
Chest contains: A Warhammer (or another cool weapon that someone might like) and a blue key (also a Potion of Healing, if anyone sustained any damage.
A pen containing some highly intelligent squirrels to the right of the door. A hole (too small for any of the team to get through, but just the right size for a squirrel) is in the wall to the left of the door. A 40ft chasm across the whole middle of the room (the chasm seemingly has no bottom), and on the other side, a Yellow Key hanging on a hook. The hole is a tunnel, and leads to the other side of the chasm. Someone must pass a DC15 animal handling check, bond with a squirrel, and convince it to go and get the key.
The chasm is too wide for Mage Hand…
A chasm 25 ft wide (so within range for Mage Hand), with a Green Key lying on an ornate table on the other side. As soon as they are in the room, the team is attacked by a GHOST – resistant to non-magical attacks. This is the moment for those with magical abilities to do their thing.
It’s a large cavern, more than 60ft in each dimension. Totally dark. Two OGREs attack the party. One of them has a hexagonal purple gem on it, and (if there has been any damage) the other has a potion of healing. (2d4+2)
Back on the other side, they emerge from the cellar and Fira is waiting for them. She seems a bit shifty, and odd. She is actually a Necromancer who raises 3 skeleton rats from the cellar, which have the same hit points as the Giant Rats, but are resistant to all non-magical attacks.
OR perhaps Fira isn’t an end of level Boss, and actually just a sweet old lady…