Adventure Alteration for the Kidnappings event in Stage 7:
Many of you may have run this already, but some may have not so I decided to post my version. My group is getting pretty tired of fighting Thugs and the usual in-town adversaries, so I'm altering this encounter a little. I've added a little made up local history and color as well, but it’s not really required for the encounter.
In my campaign, there is a neighborhood near the center of Eastway called The Clocktower. It is so named because it is dominated by a very large building that extends above all of the other buildings in the area and showcases a large clock that faces all sides and can be seen from as far away as the Seatower. It chimes on the hour and over time has become relied upon by the surrounding businesses. The first floor is home to a collection of about ten shops and a small cafe that are very quaint and a favorite afternoon shopping destination for wealthy Lower City wives not burdened by position. The first floor of the building has shops that line the perimeter of a large open court with an interior fountain. The ceiling rises very high and is surrounded with windows at the top to let the light in. The shopkeepers form a small alliance run by the owner of the building and watchmaker shop, Cedric Chesterfield. His timepieces are very exclusive and highly prized items. Some believe they must be powered by magic.
The second floor extends upward as a smaller square tower above the first floor and features four gargoyles perched at each corner. Cedric and his wife reside on this floor. A central spiral staircase rises into the clock tower to enable Cedric access for clock tower maintenance. This also leads to a balcony access door on the roof of the second floor and outside of the clock faces. Here, Cedric keeps a small coop of pigeons as a hobby. The drop from the balcony to the first floor roof is 20’. The first floor roof is a 10’ wide slate roof that skirts the perimeter of the building. The drop from the first floor roof to the ground is 30'. The clock tower itself extends a good 40' into the air above the balcony rooftop.
This encounter runs exactly as published except the Kidnappers are using the clock tower instead of the hat maker’s shop. I am running the event on a day that the Clocktower shops are closed. In an attempt to take advantage of Cedric’s pigeons and secluded rooftop for the exchange, The Guild has bribed Cedric to conveniently be gone for the day. He is not involved in the kidnapping and has no knowledge of what is going on. He is smart enough to not ask questions and decides to take his wife on the town for the afternoon and evening at the Guild’s expense.
When the PCs arrive at the shops, the doors are closed but not locked, despite the prominently displayed “Closed” sign. Inside, the small mall is dark and silent save the bubbling sounds of the fountain. A staircase on the far wall leads to the second floor. The second floor is the Cedric's residence and is very nicely furnished. A central spiral staircase rises into the clock tower overhead. At the top of the stairs there are double doors that lead out onto the balcony roof. Inside precarious ladders and walkways continue upward into the darkness to allow access to the clock's massive inner gear system.
When the PCs arrive on the roof, they find two Drow (Tough Thugs) standing in the southeast corner of the balcony flanking the victim, Omdarsh Nyach, who is bound in a chair with a dagger to his throat. (For direction purposes, north is the top of the map as displayed in the linked image.)
In my campaign, the PCs have been battling the Guild for quite some time and have had much success with Sleep spells. The Guild has begun to adapt to this tactic however, and have sent Drow for this assignment in response.
The Thugs have thought this through very carefully, and carry a little surprise for the PCs. The thugs will tell the PCs to drop the gold by the door and to back away around the corner of the tower. They will try to grab the gold and then bar the door from the inside to make their escape. One of them carries a scroll that activates a spell. This spell animates the four Gargoyles to come their aid, hopefully allowing them to escape. Even if the PCs cooperate and move away, they read the scroll when leaving. They attempt to make their way out a rear exit and to enter the sewer system as quickly as possible.
The Gargoyles animate immediately and attack. The door may be busted down with an Athletics DC20, but the Gargoyles will follow. They will also attack Omdarsh if left unattended, so protecting him is a concern.
Depending on the party’s level and number, you may need to alter the number of Gargoyles or lower their HP. You could also place a duration on the Gargoyle spell, after which the Gargoyles de-animate.
Combat Map (right side):
Visual Aid Image: