The Siege of Castle Rend is an adventure for the fifth edition of the world’s first roleplaying game, suitable for five 5th-level characters. It takes place over four parts, and each part can be completed in one or two sessions of play, depending on your group’s playstyle and how long you like to play in a single sitting. If all goes according to plan over the course of this adventure, the player characters will expose an usurping lord, fight orcs, acquire a stronghold, defend it from an invading army, win the admiration of a town filled with potential vassals, and make political connections within the Barony of Bedegar. Of course, no adventure goes according to plan. The PCs will invariably throw these well-laid schemes into chaos, and they’ll have to improvise. But if we know how things would have gone if the PCs never showed up (or are cowards), it makes it easier for us GMs to improvise when things go off the rails.
"Monument of the Thunderer" is a desert half-dragon lair intended to challenge a party of four 7th-level characters. Near the city state of Makuria, on a small island in the middle of the Green Nuria River, an immense stone sculpture of a dragon watches over the mighty Red Cliffs and the waterfall that pours off them. The monument was built by ancient worshipers of the Mharoti conqueror known as Zulatil the Thunderer, but now serves as a base of operations for a band of sinister thugs who call themselves the Red Cliff Raiders.
Stormy seas rock your vessel, tossing her about like a toy in the jaws of a hound. Thunder rolls in the distance. Then, an arc of lightning splits the sky, and the sound like an exploding fireball all but bursts your eardrums. Your mainmast, struck by lightning, burns, splinters, and topples onto the deck like a felled oak. The last thing you hear is the cracking of wood as the deck explodes into splinters, and the ship is torn asunder. All goes black. You awaken in shackles, half-submerged in water, and surrounded by salmon-pink coral. You survived, but what fate awaits you now? The sound of soggy footsteps echo down the hallway. A creature approaches with an answer. This week’s encounter is Coral Colosseum, a combat encounter in which the characters must prove themselves as worthy gladiators to escape the clutches of a ruthless sahuagin baron. This encounter can serve as a follow-up to Encounter of the Week: Sharkfin Shipwreck, or as a stand-alone mini-adventure. It could also serve as an introduction to Ghosts of Saltmarsh, which releases on May 21st, 2019.
Within the darakhul city of Gonderif, at the nadir of a thousand‑foot‑deep chasm, is the site of a vile tournament where Gonderif ’s most rebellious slaves and war prisoners are forced to fight to the death—and through undeath after undeath—until only one living champion remains. Whether they came as captives or as liberators, the PCs must survive the Undying Tournament.
Several days ago, a colony of myconids were born from the gloom and rot of a swamp near a small fishing town. They found a place to form their new colony, and settled on a crumbling mausoleum in a long-forgotten graveyard. Their rapport spores have been spreading unchecked, and have begun to infect the dead buried underneath the marsh. These dead have risen as spore servants, which the myconids are using as watchdogs to protect their new home from unwelcome intruders—like the adventurers. In this encounter, the characters stumble upon an old country graveyard in the middle of a swamp. When they investigate, they fall under attack by the living dead! Once they fend off their undead assailants, an investigation of the mausoleum reveals the true villain behind the attack: a group of mycanoids that infested the corpses with their spores, turning them into telepathically controlled puppets. From here, the characters can either negotiate with the mycanoids or kill them. This encounter’s three acts are: The Discovery: the characters find an abandoned graveyard. The Trial: the characters are attacked by undead. The Revelation: the characters learn that the zombies are really mycanoid spore servants, and can try to reason with the mushroom-people or destroy them. Either way, there’s treasure!
An ancient palace constructed by the mighty Wind Lord Boreas has a new master: the gnoll sorcerous matriarch Odjanbago and her clan—the Archthieves. With the flying Sky Palace at her command, Odjanbago’s legendary clan of thieves and killers have cast a shadow of fear over the Southlands’ northwestern desert. All tremble in fear of the Archthieves, from the jinnborn tribes of the Dominion of the Wind Lords to the priests of Bastet in Nuria Natal. Even lords of Midgard’s Seven Cities grow uneasy at their mention. Whether they hail from the Southlands or elsewhere in Midgard, the PCs must shoulder the responsibility of ending Odjanbago’s reign of terror.
High tide is coming in in this week’s encounter: Sea Trolls in the Net, a tongue-in-cheek combat encounter about a troll troubling fishermen and getting tangled up in their net. This encounter works best when it can add flavor to a grim, seaside locale as a random encounter the adventurers stumble across while exploring. While exploring a blighted shoreline on some forsaken coast, the adventurers find a sea troll feasting upon fishing nets full of freshly caught fish while their fishermen flee from the shore.
Rennie and Linde are in search of their father, Petring, who they saw disappear into the crypts beneath town. The crypt is thick with supernatural shadow. Torches can be lit from a brazier of green faerie fire in the entrance that cuts through magical darkness. The torches burn rapidly, and the PCs must travel quickly to preserve their light until they reach the funeral pyre in the heart of the crypt. There they can learn the way to the Carrion Shrine of Qorgeth.
Within the jungles of Chult is a vast expanse of ash. While a red dragon is known to reside deep within the Land of Ash and Smoke, it is far from the deadliest of its denizens. Deeper still is a pit filled to the brim with pure evil. None who have sought out its secrets have survived to tell its tale. Will you be more successful than they? A 4-Hour Adventure for 11th-16th Level Characters
All Eyes on Chult is a 2–3 session adventure for player characters of 1st level. These characters will rise to 3rd level by the end of the adventure. It takes place in Port Nyanzaru, Chult just after two ships flying black flags enter the port under cover of dark. Though this takes place in locales familiar to players of the Tomb of Annihilation storyline and can be played as a side quest in Port Nyanzaru, it has no relation to the Death Curse nor any other major plot elements of Tomb of Annihilation. Instead, it focuses on two nefarious Faerûnian factions—the Zhentarim and the Xanathar Guild—working together to plunder Chult for their own gain.
In the city of Waterdeep rests a tavern called the Yawning Portal, named after the gaping pit in its common room. At the bottom of this crumbling shaft is a labyrinthine dungeon shunned by all but the most daring adventurers. Known as Undermountain, this dungeon is the domain of the mad wizard Halaster Blackcloak. Long has the Mad Mage dwelt in these forlorn depths, seeding his lair with monsters, traps, and mysteries—to what end is a constant source of speculation and concern. This adventure picks up where Waterdeep: Dragon Heist leaves off, taking characters of 5th level or higher all the way to 20th level should they explore the entirety of Halaster’s home. Twenty-three levels of Undermountain are detailed herein, along with the subterranean refuge of Skullport. Treasures and secrets abound, but tread with care!
As the adventurers depart Honeyfest to go on their next adventure, one or more of the characters may suddenly come down with a terrible sickness. To make matters worse, as they make to leave town (or visit the local apothecary), the market square is suddenly thrown into chaos by a plague wizard and his pet otyugh spreading filth!
The people of Feycircle believed the fairy ring for which their town was named protected them from the encroaching sands of the Western Wastes. When the ring withered, they learned they were right. Feycircle’s dewflecked pastures and verdant forests succumbed to the Wastes in an instant. Feycircle sank deep into the sands and was soon occupied by a tribe of fanatical dust goblins, a herd of dogmoles, and the giant worms that caused the blight. The PCs may explore the keep—the only structure remaining in the dusty sinkhole now called the "Pit of the Dust Goblins." Inside the keep is an entrenched gatekeeper who can divulge that two children remain in town, imprisoned by the goblins. The dust goblins have summoned and imprisoned a selang—a shadow fey—inside the blighted fairy circle. The goblins fear open combat and have laced the sunken keep with traps, and would sooner parley than fight.
This week’s encounter is April Showers and Foul Flowers, a combat encounter that could also become a puzzle for the druids and rangers in your party. While the characters travel through a beautiful meadow, smelling the scents of flowers and earth after a rain, the flowers at their feet spring to life and attack, threatening to entangle and devour them! These foul flowers were animated by the foul magic of a dark sorceress who infused the rain itself with her evil. The characters could fight back against the sorceress and her army of animated plants, or they could try to undo her spell and save the flowers—and the nymph that guards them.
While traveling along the Trade Way, the characters see a small hut on the side of the road, and a spiked barricade erected in the middle of the road. Two men with cudgels in their hands stand on either side of the road. These two brigands proclaim to be members of the Waterdeep City Watch, but any Waterdhavian with half a brain knows this to be a lie. The truth is that these are common highwaymen trying to fleece travelers and merchants with a phony road toll. In this simple encounter, the characters can employ whatever inventive tactics they want to pass the brigands. They may simply pay the toll, they may try to intimidate the bandits or appeal to their better nature by making a Charisma check, or they might resort to violence. Or, they may attempt something else entirely! Encourage creativity.
Welcome to Baldur's Gate, a city of ambition and corruption. You’ve just started your adventuring career, but already find yourself embroiled in a plot that sprawls from the shadows of Baldur's Gate to the front lines of the planes-spanning Blood War! Do you have what it takes to turn infernal war machines and nefarious contracts against the archdevil Zariel and her diabolical hordes? And can you ever hope to find your way home safely when pitted against the infinite evils of the Nine Hells?
Qorgeth’s fanatical undead followers await a messenger from their dark master. They whisper blasphemous prayers at blood drenched altars in total darkness, their profane chants calling Qorgeth’s demonic emissary to the mortal world. The unspeakable evil that now threatens Midgard’s Western Wastes was awoken by the well intentioned mistakes of a man named Petring, a loving father who was seduced by Qorgeth’s lies. It falls to a party of PCs to undo his cataclysmic mistakes and protect Midgard from the coming of a demon prince.
The characters will investigate a grim mystery in the elven village of Alkai Tor, hunt for answers in a lethal swamp, and finally confront a desperate killer in the Temple of Shattered Minds itself.