Cover of The Mad Manor of Astabar

The Mad Manor of Astabar

You have few complaints this night as you rest in the common room of the Crooked Crow Inn. While winter has passed, the night air carries enough of a chill to make any hearth a welcome sight.

The village of Havehollow is typical for this part of the realm. Livelihoods made from farming and livestock with a few merchants and the Inn catering to travelers along the kingsroad. Good folk who know that hard work is what's needed to make it through harsh times.

As you finish your meal you notice a fellow traveler, a rave haired woman, walk to the front of the common room with lyre in hand. She plucks a few practice cords then breaks into song.

Seasons come and go
Moons wax and wane
Time seems so slow
To the spirits of Havehollow...

I am not the original creator! The original can be found here:

As a note, for Astabar himself I found he was an underwhelming boss for 1st level characters, reccomend making him have Flesh Golem stats

Published by One-Shot RPG

Written By
David Dudka
Published By
Indie Dev.
Publication Year
Battle Mats?
Includes Characters?
Levels 1–3
Found In
Part Of
Boss Monsters and Villains
Common Monsters
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ABadger has played this adventure and would recommend it.

Ran this adventure for 3 lvl 2 players, with some of the encounters scrapped so we could fit it into one day. We ended up playing for about 6 hours, but we're relatively slow players. They had a great time with all the different encounters and did some very creative problem solving, pitting the giant frog and giant butterflies against one another. They did not see Rivana's plot-twist coming at all and it hit pretty hard, especially since one of the players had been quite mean to her before.

You can use the imp's messages not just to create doubt about what they should be doing, but also create distrust between players. "Player X will betray you. I'm in her mind". "Player Y's a thief, he stole some of the jewels while you weren't looking. "You know they don't trust you any more. Can you rely on them in a fight?"

The total amount of gold and (magic) items is pretty huge, you could adjust that if you wanted to

I ended up rewriting the imp and Astabar encounters on the top floor, since they didn't make a lot of sense to me and Astabar seemed a little anticlimactic. I made the main attic difficult terrain, with the imp & poltergeists doing what they could to keep the players away from the door once they had the key: they dragged them backwards and used Discordant Whispers (with nerfed damage) to fit with the whispers from earlier. Once they managed to get the door to the study open the imp went wild, shrieking about how it had to protect its master. I significantly boosted the imp, adding HP, giving it some area control spells and making its poison give disadvantage on strength checks on a failed save. Astabar himself lay on the floor, emaciated and merged with the wand, but still alive, begging them to end his torment. They needed to do three successful strength checks (DC16) to break the wand loose from his grip and end the magic's effect on the manor, all while the imp was doing whatever it could to stop them. When they eventually managed, with about 10 HP left between them, the imp's bond of servitude was broken and it flew off. Astabar crumbles to dust.