No Prep Module: The Ruined City

This adventure can be run as a level 6 adventure for 5 players, or can be easily customized to a party of any size or level. 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.

Doncourt Point is somewhere between quaint and ancient. The halfling town is full of burrow homes and flowers, which spread out across the fields and over the tops of homes with a rainbow of color. It's the early afternoon as you arrive, and you immediately notice the streets full of homeless refugees. As you make your way further into town, you see that the refugees have taken over the pillory and stocks, using the platform as an open mic stage where people come up and tell jokes, show off odd talents, or sing.

  • The refugees in the streets will be very awed and curious of the adventurers.
  • As they talk with people, they will learn about how the refugees are from a destroyed city and they can't rebuild because there's a monster there.
  • Most haven't seen the monster, but if they keep inquiring they'll hear one describe it as a monstrous spider.
  • The city was destroyed by a school of magic that was in the city.
  • If the players show interest in the talent show, have someone invite them to perform whatever they want.
  • At various points, refugee pickpockets will attempt to lift some coins off different members of the party, or try to hook them into street cons like cups or three card monte.

Once the players have had their fill and leave, they're ambushed by bandits. 2 Ravenfolk Warriors, 2 Illusionists, a Svirfneblin, and 2 Kraul Warriors.

As you make your way down a small side street, you notice 7 figures emerge from around corners as they surround and approach you.

  • After the fight, halflings come out and talk about what a dangerous nuisance the refugees are.
  • If the party still doesn't seem interested in going to the ruined city and killing the monster, they can eventually learn that there's a reward by the local lord to kill the monster.

Once the party sets out, have them roll to navigate as normal.

You traverse up a large mountain that reaches high into the sky and above the cloud cover. You're able to ascend the mountain by foot for a couple hours, but about as it's getting too steep you come to a magical gondola. A large set of chains runs from the base and up the mountain, with small and wobbly-looking seats attached. A spell has animated the chain, and it moves along a loop continuously.

  • The chains never stop moving (like a ski chair lift), so players will have to jump on.
  • Have the players RP how their characters choose to handle it. There's no penalty for failure, but they may end up falling on their face a couple times.
  • The ride is safe (if unnerving) once on, and they arrive at the top and can disembark without incident (or fall on their face again).

You continue traveling down into a valley that cuts through the mountain, right at the same height as the clouds you saw from the base. The entire valley is filled with large fluffy clouds that float through and create a dense fog whenever you have to walk through them. You can't see when passing through a cloud, and have to sort of stumble your way through until you reach the other end.

  • Have the players decide how they want to navigate. They're completely blind when passing through a cloud, and may end up going in circles.

After passing through the dense fog of yet another cloud, you see a Cloud Giant currently locked in combat with a Fire Giant. The cloud giant spots you emerge from the cloud and shouts, "please! Help me!"

  • The players can choose to help or not, but they'll be attacked by the Fire Giant and his servants either way.

Fire Giant, 2 Warlocks of the Archfey, and 3 Wind Drakes.

The Fire Giant and Cloud Giant will mostly just fight each other, and once the party has taken care of the other monsters you can have the cloud giant win out over the fire giant with the party's help.

The Cloud Giant thanks for their assistance and then challenges them to solve a riddle. If they somehow managed to team up with the Fire Giant instead, he asks the riddle.

I lose my head in the morning. And get it back at night.

A: a pillow! Which is fluffy like a cloud.

If they answer correctly, they get Gloves of Missile Snaring. If they get really stuck, you can have them make intelligence saves for hints after enough time has passed.

You continue on back into the dense fog of the clouds in the valley. However as you're making your way through, you step upon a steep incline and slip!

  • DC 16 Reflex Save, those that fail land in the swamp and get covered in leeches.

Eventually you reach the ruins of the city, a crumbling crater of conjured catastrophe. The entire place has become a wild magic wasteland, with mana and magical energy crackling in the air chaotically. Deadly magical effects ripple across the ruins at random, occasionally blasting away at the already crumbled remains, only to a moment later rebuild them into perfect condition, before blowing them apart again.

  • Roll for wild magic surges on every spell cast (and just occasionally at random if they're not happening enough).
  • Have them make a couple skill checks to avoid dangerous zones of wild magic as they traverse the city, taking 2d10 damage on failure.

They then find the monster, a Spider of Leng. A Molten Spider and 2 Phase Spiders are also part of its brood.

The Spider of Leng already has stoneskin cast on it, and will prefer to stay at a distance and spits its venom at the party. The Gloves of Missile Snaring can be used to reduce this damage, and the spider should shoot frequently at anyone wearing them (but not exclusively).

Once the monster is defeated, they can return home. The refugees throw a party for the heroes on their return and begin the difficult task of clearing the wild magic zone and rebuilding their city.

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