Design 02: Leaving Town

Continuing the design of a D&D adventure.  This is the starting encounter, taking the players out of the city where they are starting out.  Feel free to drop them into any city, either one you create or one from any other adventure.

After the players all have their brand-new characters all created and equipped you can role-play a few of their attempts to find adventure – attempts that will all fail.  Ask the players where they go and what they’re looking for and allow them to visit several places in the city they are starting from.  At least twice they will get a glimpse of a man in his forties who is dressed in deep green and brown robes who will nod or smile at them as they enter or leave a building (you can give one or two of the more perceptive characters a roll to realize they have seen the man before that day).  Have them visit one more inn or tavern looking for work before they become too discouraged to search further.

It’s been a long, fruitless search today.  No matter where you look, people looking for help want adventurers with more experience than you have.  A few did seem interested in your help, but it quickly became clear that the help they wanted would probably be a one-way trip for you.  As you head down a main street, unsure of what to do next, a now-familiar man comes out of an alchemy shop and pauses when he sees you.  He chuckles to himself and approaches your group.  “Nobody looking for help from youngsters today?”  It’s the man dressed in deep green and brown robes that you’ve seen a few times today, now carrying some kind of package wrapped in brown paper and wrapped closed by some green ribbons.

The man is Twillington, a high level mage.  If the players are friendly enough he will invite them to a nearby tavern and buy them a round of drinks.  Twill talks with them about what they’re hoping to do, what (if any) experience they have already, and eventually offers to help them out with a simple job.

Twillington looks around at all of you, and taps his fingers on the small package he’s been carrying.  “I have an old friend who is currently staying in a small village named Asterview about a two day journey from here.  I was going to travel there to take him a package, but it may be uncomfortable for him to see me at the moment and he won’t be completely happy with me for delivering the package to him.  If you would deliver the package for me it would save us both some embarrassment, and Lefwynn may be able to help find you some work.  There’s no need to return to the city after you complete your trip, if you’re careful you will probably have an easier time adventuring away from the city until you’re a lot more experienced.”

Twillington reaches into the folds of his robe and pulls out some dust of some sort that he sprinkles onto the package, mumbles a few words, and his fingers dance over the ribbons until they briefly glow before returning to normal.

“There, that should help protect it a bit.  It would be a very bad idea for anybody but Lefwynn to unwrap the package.”

The party will probably ask how much they’ll get paid for the trip, which will totally amuse Twillington.  He will ask them how much they think it should be worth, and allow them to try and talk him into a price.  The most he will pay is 3 gold per character.  He will also stress that Lefwynn will probably be upset at first, but will eventually thank and reward the party as well.

Twillington will then draw them a rudimentary map that shows them following a main road out of town and turning off onto a smaller road that passes between two large maple trees that always have red leaves.  He insists that the trip should only take them two days, and suggest they have travelling gear (backpacks, sleeping bags, flint and steel, and a few days of rations).

Once the party agrees to the task he ask who will carry the package.

Twillington hands you the package.  “Any of you can carry this at any time, just don’t try to open it.”  That said, Twillington reaches into the folds of his robes and pulls out a small bag that he drops on the table.  “Here are a few treats for the road.  I always like to carry a few gumdrops for when my mouth gets dry.”  

Details on the bag will follow tomorrow.

Twill will stay his good-byes, bow to the party, wish them well, and head off.  The party is on their own from here:

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