Monday, January 17, 2022

d12 Nighttime City Encounters and Events for Old-School Essentials

New week, new random table!

This time, it's d10 nighttime city encounters and events for Old-School Essentials, and easily portable to similar rulesets such as Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Wizardry, or any other clone of OE, B/X, or BECMI Dungeons and Dragons.

Use them to spice up your campaign!

This table also is a preview of the extended version (with d20 results!) that will be featured in Candle, a special zine project I've gladly joined!

Writing these entries was a lot of fun. As usual with my other encounters/events tables, I've tried put enough meat to have a decently fleshed-out encounter, while keeping the text short enough to be read in a minute.

Some are fairly simple and may resolve in a few minutes, while others may spring a few hours of adventures, or even develop into a large plot. Just how I like it!

d10 Nighttime City Encounters and Events for Old-School Essentials

Roll 1d10 for an interesting night-time encounter for when the heroes stay up late in the streets of a large city.

  1. A naked young halfling (level 3) climbs down a rope from a window on the second floor of a rich building. He’s fleeing from the bed of an important local NPC’s wife, but will say he was the victim of a miscast teleportation scroll, or something... and he would gladly use a cloak. He is the son of the leader of the nearby halfling enclave, and their ambassador in the city.
  2. The group hears a 6 years old boy sobbing in a back alley. He got lost chasing his cat Smirk after sundown. He lives “near the temple” (can’t specify which). His father, a well-to-do tailor, is looking for him and might not like the looks of the group with his son (Reaction roll) and might call out for the guards. And the boy hasn’t found the cat yet! The father might as well offer to pay the group 50 gp to find the cat so as to convince his child to come back home.
  3. A group of 1d6+2 wererats have just pilfered from a weaponsmith’s shop a sword and shield for each of them, plus all the silver daggers available (12, now inside their bags). They are running in humanoid rat form to get back to their lair in the sewers, where another 1d6+2 wererats await. If they hear unusual noise, they set up an ambush (surprise on 1-4). In their lair, a large chest holds 9,000cp, 2,000sp a gem (500gp) and a piece of jewellery (1,200gp), but is trapped: six metal pipes can be seen at the bottom. Unless disarmed, opening the chest shoots d6 darts (1d4 damage) in front of it.
  4. A group of 1d6+6 cheerful, drunken young nobles (treat as normal humans, each with a jewel worth 900gp and 1d100gp in a pouch) are having a tavern crawl, accompanied by 4 sober bodyguards (level 3 fighters with chainmail and swords). Roll for Reaction, as they might invite the group to join the party, or find their mere presence and looks “offensive”.
  5. The nearest manhole begins to tremble as a pack of rats crawls out and bolts away in all directions, terrified. Seconds later, a carcass crawler emerges from the manhole! Down in the sewers is its lair, with the skeletal remains of a few humanoid victims and, under the dirt and goo, a necklace worth 700gp and a battleaxe +1.
  6. The group sees a large bat entering an open window. It’s a vampire looking for a midnight snack! If disturbed, it flies away and out of the city to leave the interlopers behind. If undisturbed, he returns to his hideout: a crypt hidden behind a secret passage inside a mausoleum in the city cemetery. The secret passage is protected by 4 gargoyles, and his coffin is guarded by 2 wolf-shaped iron living statues. A secret compartment inside the coffin holds 3,000ep, 2,000pp, 8 gems (200gp each), Potion of Giant Strength, Wand of Illusion.
  7. Two beggars are chatting and drinking wine near a fountain. If befriended, they may reveal interesting rumors about the local criminal underworld, or the not too distant dungeons.
  8. Four groups of 1d6 acolytes of a chaotic cult are sneaking to the hidden entrance of their secret underground temple, where a level 5 cleric is holding a midnight ritual. The temple includes a golden idol worth 10,000gp.
  9. A girl cries “Stay away! help, HELP!” in a back alley. She’s baiting the group to an ambush, as 2d4 bandits (leather, clubs) are waiting to surprise the group (1-4 on d6). They request the group to leave their gold so that no one gets hurt. If they don’t obey, the girl (and bandit leader, a level 3 magic-user) can use her spells: sleep (to knock out uncooperative victims), detect magic (to take any magic items from the victims), and invisibility (in case she needs a quick escape).
  10. A tiger prowls the streets! It has a jewelled collar worth 5,000gp, with the seal of an important local family. It is semi domesticated, so its Reaction roll is at +2. If captured and brought back unharmed to the rich owners, the group might receive a 500gp reward or some other benefit.
  11. The PCs are mistaken for someone else, as a robed man greets them and takes them to a secret meeting in a basement where 2d6 conspirators (treat as nobles) plot to overthrow the local ruler(s).
  12. A level 5 cleric warns the group to stay away from the area, as accounts of a ghost appearing at night around those streets have circulated for three days. What’s going on: the ghost is a wraith, the spirit of a librarian haunting his house and shop and wandering around it at night. He died five days ago after finding and accidentally reading a cursed scroll inside a book, which is still open on his desk, in front of his corpse (but its power is depleted). Inside his shop a chest holds 5,000gp and seven scrolls: spell scroll (knock, hold portal, wizard lock), spell scroll (dispel magic) spell scroll (haste, wizard eye, ventriloquism), spell scroll (ice wall), protection scroll (protection from lycanthropes), treasure map (the chest with “the treasure of the black bandit is buried under the oldest oak” of a not too distant forest, contains dozens of gems and jewels for 20,000gp, but is guarded by a spectre!), treasure map (“an iron coffer with the Djinni’s gold is inside the at the Azure Oasis”, and contains 37,000gp).

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