A couple weeks ago I posted about the Ground Level of the Ten Mile Tower as the beginning of an 11 part series detailing an exciting adventure in the Ten Mile Tower, a tower that stands over 10 miles tale and touches the stars themselves! I ran this adventure with my weekly gaming group to their delight (and mine), and now I present it to you in an exciting easy to digest format!
I had already decided that though the Ten Mile Tower has thousands of levels, each worth exploring in their own right, the tower is basically broken up into ten sections, each ruled over by a powerful leader. However, since I wanted to create a sense that the tower is filled with MANY different creatures, from the lowely bullywug to the noblest dragon, I didn’t want to bring out the big guns just yet.
The 1st mile up the tower is filled with goblins, orcs, bugbears, lizardfolk, and kobolds, standard fare for most adventurers in heroic tier. By paragon tier (this adventure is intended for level 11 heroes), there’s not much here that can challenge you. Exposing higher level heroes to monsters like this is fun since it reinforces how badass they’ve become. However, it’s also helpful to remind them that while a dozen kobolds can be dispatched with relative ease, a tribe of hundreds of kobolds is not going to be quite so easy:
The Kobold Queen!
The Kobold Queen can be found in her lair the first mile up the tower, surrounded by most of her tribe who reside in a giant hall that contains the only stairwell leading further up the tower. She is quite greedy (like any good kobold) and easily flattered. She demands payment from each player before they may proceed.
This is basically a puzzle/skill challenge: The players each need to give the Kobold Queen some form of payment to continue forward. Where appropriate, require the player to accompany the payment with a skill check (I usually set the challenge DC as a a Medium or Hard check about 4 levels higher than the player’s level as specified in the Errata’d DMG, thus mirroring the difficulty of a challenging fight).
- The default gift is 500GP, so if the players are feeling lazy they can pay their way through.
- Diplomacy could be used to bargain for a lower price.
- Bluff could be used to plead poverty as well.
- A risky (Hard!) Initimidate check might be used to get by without paying a gift.
Preferably though, the players would be encouraged to come up with clever gifts to bestow to the Kobold Queen. For example, one of my players callously volunteered their own squire to the Kobold Queen’s service in order to gain passage!
If the players get 3 failures, throw them to the wolves as in a normal skill challenge. I’d suggest an impromptu high complexity skill challenge simulating a battle with an entire tribe of kobolds. Initimidate can be used to frighten cowardly kobold warriors into submission, diplomacy can be used to beg for mercy, bluff can be used to carry out battle tactics, insight to predict where they will go next, history to recall past battles, or players can use plain old attack rolls to simulate killing scores of kobolds. Hopefully (?) it won’t come to that though!
If the players all pay their way, the Kobold Queen wishes them luck and gives them access to the next level.
Stay tuned to my next installment, Mile 2, where you’ll get to see a real honest to goodness combat encounter!