Kassoon

Dungeon Crawl: Thief Guild Ransom for D&D or RPGs

This adventure can be can be easily customized to a party of any size or level, or run as a level 3 adventure for 5 players. It can work as a small side adventure in an existing campaign, as a standalone one-shot, or the start of a new adventure. Use the links to the tools in their relevant section to customize the adventure to your party.

Lady Fort

Lady Fort is a human and elf village situated around a river. The deeply pious populace is a theocracy under the rule of Ridaro Horineth, a female elf who rules with an iron will. The elves permit humans and other races for their trade, but there is some tension, especially amongst those that don't fully share their religious views.

100 children have been kidnapped, almost all of the children in the village, by a criminal gang and taken into the forest where they're being held for ransom. The bandits raided a school disguised as priests and government workers and were all heavily armed. The local government refuses to negotiate with "godless outlaws" and instead enlists the party's help to recover them.

If the PCs agree to help, they can head into the forest following the footprints. If they need convincing, 200 gold each and they can keep anything they find.

After a half mile, the road becomes a muddy trail that meanders through the forest, descending gradually until the woods part, revealing a half-buried village in the mud, with sandstone walls being the only remnants. Only one house remains intact, which has a simple roof and door carved into the stone. A great wood of young chestnut and aspen trees sweeps through this part of the forest.

There's heavy wind, which gives disadvantage on sight/hearing checks, and ranged weapon attack rolls. The wind extinguishes open flames, disperses fog, and makes flight impossible.

The bandits have bribed a local green Faerie Dragon with baked goods and treasure to act as a sentry for their hideout. It's a DC 17 Perception to spot the dragon, which is invisible. If they attempt a diplomatic approach with the dragon, it's a DC 18 Persuasion check that requires making a generous offering of treats and treasure in order to convince it to let them pass. Otherwise, the dragon releases a dam that creates a flood.

Anyone in the path of the 20 foot wide and 20 foot tall flood must make a DC 13 Athletics check to avoid being carried away by the flood. Anyone that fails the save takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage as they're crashed against trees and boulders. After fulfilling its duty, the faerie dragon flees.

If the standing house is examined, it's empty except for a staircase leading down.

Dungeon Hideout

Enemy Patrol: 2 Zoblin Boss (CR 1: Nerzugal's Extended Bestiary p. 97), 1 Dust Mephit (CR 1/2: Monster Manual p. 215), 1 Quaggoth (CR 2: Monster Manual p. 256) [Hard, 950 XP rewarded] [Customize]
Chance of Encounter Per Rest: 25%

You can also generate different descriptions using the Description Generator. The dungeon starts in Room 6, with the finale in Room 19.

1

In the middle of the room are descending rows of yellow granite benches. The smell of rusting metal and sulfur are poignant within this dark chamber. Heavy fog clings to the floor, obscuring everything that lies less than two feet above it. Worn black drapes cover the windows of this circular room, and a heavy curtain hangs across an archway to the east. Double doors of bronze stand closed to the south.

There are 2 Magma Mephit (CR 1/2: Monster Manual p. 216), 2 Half-Ogre (CR 1: Monster Manual p. 238), 1 Bandit Captain (CR 2: Monster Manual p. 344) [Deadly, 1,050 XP rewarded] here. [Customize]

2

Attached to the south wall are two torch sconces. The nearest one holds a torch with a perplexing metal base. A table, a bench, and a writing desk have been badly damaged. Moss and leaves fill the staircase, making it difficult to see even the ceiling. A lit hallway to the south contains a set of bronze doors, through which you hear organ music. The west end of the chamber ends at a bronze door. Across the chamber, a set of double doors stands closed.

There are 2 Minotaur Skeleton (CR 2: Monster Manual p. 273) [Hard, 900 XP rewarded] here. [Customize]

In the west passage is an unlocked door.

In the east passage is an unlocked door.

In the south passage is an unlocked door.

3

Empty armor stands, a shelf of tools, and a rack of javelins that bear the same crest are hung neatly on the walls. A green cloth covers something atop a granite pedestal. A set of tight stairs cut into the rock wind up to the west, and two old bronze doors stand in a wall of dressed granite to the east.

In this chamber is a trap. An area is warded with a detect magic spell. When magic is detected within the spell's radius the trap is triggered which releases the spell stored within the trapped object.

Effect: +3 to hit against one target, Casts Minor Illusion centered on the trigger with a DC of 10 (if relevant)

Trigger: magic detection, activates when magic is detected in an area.

Countermeasures: A spell or other effect that can sense the presence of magic, such as detect magic, reveals an aura of divination magic around the area. A successful dispel magic (DC 10) cast on the area destroys the trap.

Casting dispel magic (DC 15) on the trap will cancel the stored spell. [Customize]

If the trap is triggered, a child appears begging to the PCs to bring the ransom.

4

Squat casks border the walls, their bands rusting. Cramped passageways lead off to the east and the west. A golden-brown carpet of mold covers an old skeleton in rusted plate in the eastern part of the chamber. A gate of wrought iron stands in the south wall.

An object in this chamber changes a characters alignment, personality, size, appearance, or sex when touched.

5

Thick dust covers the floor, and gossamer strands choke the passage. Torchlight flutters against the walls of this vaulted chamber. A dark archway leads out through the west wall. A door stands closed to the south.

In this chamber is a trap. This trap is activated when an intruder steps on a hidden pressure plate that drops a guillotine blade from a slit in the ceiling.

Effect: +8 to hit against one target, 9 (2d10) slashing damage

Trigger: pressure plate, activates when 20 or more pounds are placed on it.

Countermeasures: A successful DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check will spot the pressure plate, and wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from activating.

[Customize]

In the west passage is an unlocked door.

6 (Start)

The chamber has smooth walls and a floor made of murky brick. Crates sit next to a shrine, and a pile of broken rocks sit against the wall beneath it. Directly across from the shutters stands a set of double doors in the north wall.

7

The great arched window along the west wall is cloaked by dense green draperies, their golden tassels glinting in the light of four lanterns sitting atop short tables about the chamber. Several bookshelves are placed about the chamber. Behind the chamber, the hallway turns back to rough granite and turns to the east. A set of thin stairs cut into the rock wind up to the south, and two old bronze doors stand in a wall of dressed granite to the north.

There are 2 Riding Horse (CR 1/4: Monster Manual p. 336), 1 Kobold Dragonshield (CR 1: Volo's Guide to Monsters p. 165) [Easy, 300 XP rewarded] here. [Customize]

In the south passage is a locked door (DC 15). Key could be found on a nearby creature or furniture.

8

This chamber stands in deadly silence. A jagged, eight-foot-tall monument of black rock stands here, the stone laced with ore that shimmer with an odd light. An opening at the western end of the chamber continues into a tunnel, from which a sweltering wind moans. A plain bronze door is set into the east wall, and light seeps through its cracks.

Within this chamber is a cave-in, creating difficult terrain.

9

The floor is swathed in copper, and the rocky ceiling stands 45 feet high. You can hear the distant sound of a low moan and a droning buzz coming from far below. A bronze-framed bed fitted with leather straps stands near a wall. Frayed green drapes cover the windows of this circular room, and a heavy curtain hangs across an archway to the north. The west end of the chamber ends at a bronze door. A gate stands closed to the south.

Within this chamber is a cave-in, creating difficult terrain. a DC 15 Arcana check can identify the sound as ghostly echoes of past prisoners.

In the north passage is a stuck door (DC 15).

In the south passage is an unlocked door.

10

The walls are adorned with bones and skulls, arranged in a morbidly decorative fashion. The aromas of alcohol and well-oiled wood hit your nostrils as you enter. Poorly cured hide blankets are carelessly peppered over the floor. A bunk bed sits on the north wall between two doors.

In this chamber is a trap. This trap is activated when an intruder steps on a hidden pressure plate that makes flaming coals and brimstone fall through small slots in the walls and cover the floor.

Effect: Targets all creatures within a 10 ft. square area, flaming coals and brimstone fall into the area and cover the floor. Any target that starts or moves through the area takes 10 (1d10) fire damage per turn.

Trigger: pressure plate, activates when 20 or more pounds are placed on it.

Countermeasures: A successful DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check will spot the pressure plate, and wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from activating.

Enough water to cover the area will douse the flames and make the coals safe to cross. [Customize]

11

This black passage runs for 30 feet, connecting an archway to the west with an ascending brick staircase to the east. A smooth pillar of granite rises in the middle of the chamber, nearly touching the 25-foot-high ceiling. A door stands closed to the north. Above a door in the eastern wall is mounted the skull of a demon. Wells sit away from the double doors that give access to the chamber.

An object in this chamber wails loudly when touched.

In the east passage is an unlocked door.

12

This chamber is heady with the poignant scent of dust. This smooth walled chamber is gorgeously furnished and decorated compared to the rest of the mine. Its floor is covered in a heavy tapestry, and it holds a squat bookshelf, a small, majestic bed, a cramped table, and a tough mattress. To the west, great double doors hang slightly unbarred, and a steady bright light escapes through the gap. A steel stove is built into the south wall. A gate of wrought iron stands in the east wall.

In this chamber is Green Slime (Drops from above. DC 10 Dex, 1d10 acid damage, damage each round until removed. Nonmagical wood, metal weapon or tool used to remove is destroyed. Destroyed by sunlight, cure disease, cold, fire, or radiant)

13

A door creaks open to show a smooth chamber between rough masonry walls. Smashed morningstars, cracked and faded, stands in a small recess. Fluttering torches in copper sconces illuminate this chamber. Grand bronze gates hang on the stonework, moisture clinging to the rusted bars. Two gates exit the chamber to the north and west. The mouth of a side room leads into darkness beyond.

In this chamber is A Shrieker (Basic Rules pg. 309)

In the west passage is a stuck door (DC 15).

In the south passage is a locked door (DC 15). Key could be found on a nearby creature or furniture.

14

This chamber is heady with the strong scent of mold. Attached to the west wall is a steel plate that has an copper lever protruding downward. This dark passage runs for 30 feet, connecting an archway to the west with an ascending brick staircase to the east. An exquisitely carved bath rests at the west end between two doors. Cut into the wall is a small but strong-looking door of iron plates, about five feet tall and four feet wide. Wide rivets stud its surface, and a tarnished silver rune flashes on the door’s rusted face.

In this chamber is a trap. This trap is activated when an intruder steps on one of the alternating hidden pressure plates that makes a spike-covered wall suddenly swing across the target area, impaling anyone caught by it.

Effect: Targets all creatures within a 10 ft. square area, a spike-covered wall quickly swings out and impales targets, DC 20 DEX save or take 20 (4d10) piercing damage.

Trigger: alternate tiles, activates when 20 or more pounds are placed on alternating floor tiles.

Countermeasures: A successful DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check will deduce that the alternating floor tiles are pressure plates, and wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plates prevents the trap from activating. Alternatively, step on the safe floor tiles in alternating order.

[Customize]

In the north passage is a locked door (DC 15). Key could be found on a nearby creature or furniture.

15

Beyond the ramshackle bronze doors, a smooth chamber serves as a storage area. Demolished bones lie spread amid crumpled and crushed chain armor. A modest table made of a solitary granite slab dominates the chamber's center, and old tapestries cling to the walls. Beyond the chamber, the corridor turns back to rough granite and turns to the north.

If the chamber is searched, they find 1900 cp, 1200 sp, 80 gp,

50 gp valuables (300 gp total): Quartz (transparent white, smoky gray, or yellow), Sardonyx (opaque bands of red and white), 2 Bloodstone (opaque dark gray with red flecks), Citrine (transparent pale yellow-brown), Jasper (opaque blue, black, and or brown)

There are 4 Commoner (CR 0: Monster Manual p. 345), 3 Goblin (CR 1/4: Monster Manual p. 166), 1 Wight (CR 3: Monster Manual p. 300) [Deadly, 890 XP rewarded] here. [Customize]

16

Tall steps lead down into this long chamber, where the air is dense with the smell of mold. Plush, overstuffed chairs and cots are placed about the chamber. The fabric has weatherworn with age, and the patterns it depicts are nearly gone. 10 feet ahead, arched doorways lead south and east from each side of the hallway. In each arched doorway, a bronze door stands closed.

In this chamber is a trap. A pillar of light stretches the location. The trap is activated if the beam is broken by a creature or object and opens the walls, revealing two large mechanical grinders that close in and grind up anyone caught inside.

Effect: DC 20 to find, DC 10 to disable
Targets all creatures within a 10 ft. square area, grinders emerge from the wall dealing 13 (2d10) damage on a failed DC 13 DEX save.

Trigger: light beam, a beam of light activates the trap when broken. [Customize]

In the east passage (green) is a deep moat with a raised drawbridge that blocks the passage.

17

An exquisitely carved trophy pedestal rests at the north end between two doors. This dark passage runs for 25 feet, connecting an archway to the west with an ascending brick staircase to the east. A river spills from a slender crack to the west and crosses the chamber, disappearing into a tight, winding tunnel to the west.

There are 2 Flying Sword (CR 1/4: Monster Manual p. 20), 1 Flying Caltrop (CR 1/8: Monster Module p. 10), 1 Zoblin Boss (CR 1: Nerzugal's Extended Bestiary p. 97) [Easy, 325 XP rewarded] here. [Customize]

There is a puzzle: What is in seasons, seconds, centuries and minutes but not in decades, years or days? A: The letter ‘n’. Solving the puzzle lowers the drawbridge at the green passage.

In the west passage (green) is a deep moat with a raised drawbridge that blocks the passage.

18

A row of moist cots and dirty rags outfit this makeshift infirmary. The muddy windows allow very little light to enter this 60-foot-high chamber. The stony floor is draped with more than a dozen bundles of rotting leather, soiled fabric scraps, and torn pillows that serve as beds. A gate of wrought iron stands in the west wall. The mouth of a side hall leads into darkness beyond.

If the chamber is searched, they find 2500 cp, 1100 sp, 70 gp, Weapon of warning,

25 gp valuables (75 gp total): Black velvet mask stitched with silver thread, Carved bone statuette, and Small mirror set in a painted wooden frame

In the west passage is a locked door (DC 15). Key could be found on a nearby creature or furniture.

19

Three plain sconces hang by ropes from beams, each casting a pale glow. The curved north wall is fitted with two windows of leaded glass in steel latticework. A small indentation in the center of the floor contains four pulleys attached to taut iron chains that stretch up through a similarly sized hole in the moldy natural stone ceiling. Double doors of bronze stand closed to the east.

Guild Boss (See below)

20

The lingering dripping of ichor rings where it falls from stalactites down into a cloudy pool that fills the dank tunnel ahead. A balcony set into the east wall surveys the chamber and has three immense fountains atop it, with a gray velvet curtain behind them. The area is sprinkled with well-gnawed bones, vines, and droppings. Rubble is showered throughout much of this large chamber, caused by the partial collapse of the ceiling. A suit of armor, cracked and sleek, stands in a shallow corner. Pieces of rusty studded leather armor are littered about this chamber amid the rubble of destroyed granite excrement. A plain bronze door is set into the west wall, and light seeps through its cracks. A black archway leads out through the north wall.

In this chamber is a trap. A phrase etched on a wall is enchanted to trigger when read aloud, which causes webbing to shoot out of small holes in the walls, sticking to anyone in the area.

Effect: Targets all creatures within a 20 ft. square area, webs shoot out and fill the area, DC 10 DEX save or restrained until a DC 10 STR save is made to break them free.

Trigger: forbidden phrase, activates when etched runes are read aloud.

Countermeasures: A spell or other effect that can sense the presence of magic, such as detect magic, reveals an aura of divination magic around the phrase. A successful dispel magic (DC 10) cast on the phrase destroys the trap.

The webs can be set on fire to burn them away. Any creature within the burning webs takes 4 (2d4) damage per turn. Plugging the holes with cloth or other material will prevent the webbing from firing. [Customize]

In room 19, the players find the missing children as well as the rest of the bandits that kidnapped them. A DC 13 History check will recognize the bandits as members of the thieves guild. They repeat their demands for ransom, stating they want the artifact held by the village's ruler, Ridaro Horineth. If the players act like they're going to pay the ransom and inquire into the artifact's function, a DC 18 Persuasion can reveal that the artifact allows the holder to use Divine Intervention (as per the Cleric ability). However, once they figure out that the ransom is not forthcoming, they'll attack.

Use this for the encounter: Guild Boss. Additionally during the fight, different sections of the terrain will become submerged in water as the room is flooded. The combatants will call for a flood gate to be opened (north, east, south, or west) at the start of the round, and try to move away from that section of the room. At the end of the round, anyone caught in that half of the arena will need to make a DC 13 Athletics check to avoid being swept away by the water and crashed against the wall, taking 2d8 bludgeoning on a fail and submerged underwater for a round.

If the bandits are searched, the PCs find Wand of the war mage, +1 and Boots of elvenkind.

With the bandits defeated, the party will need to calm and organize the children, who are all very scared. With some gentle reassuring and guidance through the forest, they'll arrive back in town to be reunited with their families. Everyone in Lady Fort is grateful for the player's help and throws a feast in their honor. Additionally, the PCs each receive 200 gold.

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