Friday, February 26, 2010

[Labyrinth Lord] Gnome Trouble: an Ashford Valley adventure

I published this one in December last year to announce the latest issue of my Switching to Guns 'zine and think it's a pretty good write-up.

Gnome Trouble: A Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Labyrinth Lord adventure set in the Ashford Valley

Get Ready:
A set of gnome brother triplets has been robbing places around town. The townsfolk have no idea that the gnomes are doing these crimes because they think there is only one gnome and he's quite the booze hound and party animal. The other two do the job while the party gnome keeps in the public eye.

Get Set:
The PCs come into town and take some rooms at a sleepy neighborhood inn. While there, they meet a gregarious and happily drunk gnome named Winkle (his full name is Roonwinkle). Before long, the gnome has the PCs joining him in wine, women and song. Meanwhile the other gnomes are robbing a nearby house.

In the morning, the PCs learn about the robbery. Suspicion immediately falls on the PCs (being the new folks in the neighborhood, because the gnomes have been around for about a week). The locals call the police and demand the PCs belongings be searched.

Over the next couple of days, more crimes occur. Each night, one of the gnomes parties hard (on the second night, Punwinkle does the deed, then Namwinkle on the third night, with Roonwinkle starting on the fourth night) and another home or business is burglarized. The gnomes quit after 4 robberies and then leave after a few days.

The police have no leads and the locals are getting more and more grumpy. One of them might take a pot-shot at one of the PCs, especially if they are flashing money around.

There are some clues that the PCs may learn from few of the friendly (to them at least) locals over the course of the following days. First, Winkle has been very friendly to everyone but the first day the PCs arrived was the first time he partied hard. He eats a lot, more than gnomes normally eat. He talks to himself (at least that's what the chamber maid says she hears through his bedroom door). And several of the neighborhood wives have seen two of the gnomes on two different streets at about the same time but haven't put it together. He also has a bad memory about what he did or talked about the night before (they don't always share their exploits with each other).

All these clues will require the PCs to wander around the neighborhood and talk to people who don't want to talk to them.

Notable NPCs:
The Gnome Brothers (Namwinkle, Punwinkle, Roonwinkle); No. Encountered: 1 or 3; Alignment: Neutral; Armor Class: 5; Hit Dice: 1d8; Hit Points: 6 each; Attacks: dagger (1d4) or short sword (1d6); Save: D1; morale: 8; Special abilities: smoke bombs (obscure the area), sleep drops (Save vs. Poison or sleep), and "red eye" drops (save vs. Poison or get very, very drunk).

The Gnome Brothers aren't evil, they're just thieves and grifters. They are very gregarious and love to have a good time and use their "red eye" drops to get others into the party without a moment's thought. Even though they are thieves, they avoid violence, using sleep drops or smoke bombs to make their escape.

Since they look and dress alike, it is impossible to tell them apart, but they don't always tell each other what was discussed or done the night before. They could be tripped up and found out by some clever thinking PCs. If they are caught, they'll make a run for it. Whether they turn out to be enemies or eventual friends of the PCs depends on the results of the interaction. In fact, the Gnome Brothers could be good allies against the Necromancer.

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