Most combat in adventures is usually tailored to the specific needs in that adventure. Occaisionally, you just need something to throw at your characters. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.
- A group of footpads jump your party, expecting to easily roll them for their coin.
- A gang of foreign sailors decide that the characters should be recruited to help man their ship. Thus, the sailors are interested in capturing rather than killing.
- The evening is quiet and all is going well in the tavern until a drunken dwarf decides that one of the players has insulted his honour.
- The characters enter a fighting ring/arena. As they look competent, they are challenged to test their mettle against the champions of the ring. Large numbers of armed spectators make it clear that this is a challenge that can not be refused.
- A sorceress has turned to crime in order to finance an addiction or other habit. She ambushes the characters using her magic to full effect. Passers by run away in fear. Should the city watch be nearby, the mage will use her status to have them arrested for something or other. After all, who would believe the word of a group of adventurers over that of a sorceress?
- An arrogant young noble challenges the characters to a dual over some slight, imagined or otherwise. The challenger has friends who are willing to join in should the characters group together, or the challenged character gains the upper hand.
- A toll station has been set up by a group of thugs on a bridge that the characters will need to cross. In the case of the characters the thugs have decided that a fair price is everything they are carrying.
- A group of city watchmen demands that one of the characters pay a fine for disturbing the peace. If the character pays, the watchmen revise that each character pay that fine. If at any point the characters object, the watchmen attack to take them into custody. Since these men are corrupt, they will not report the characters for fighting back.
- A large animal, preferably feral has broken out of the menagerie and is now down the street, directly towards the characters.
- A noble or wealthy merchant decides that the characters didn't show him the proper respect he feels he deserves. After they leave he sends a group of his bodyguards after them to teach them a lesson.
"The man who is too captious, walks in the shadow of death, and on the verge of his sepulchre." - Joseph Hamilton, The Duelling Handbook, 1829.
Additional Ideas (2)
- A drunk barbarian thinks that one of the characters has stole his horse. His friends are just as drunk and are backing up his friend's words with metal.
- They get their pocket picked but, when the pocket picker gets pinched, his guild is there to claim the purse and the caught pick pocket....with force.
- A character's horse steps on a sharp nail in the road and bucks running into a family knocking them to the ground. The father doesn't stop to ask questions or listen to excuses, he attacks immediately. Let's see if they can be gentle with him.
- Initially thinking the items were legit, a shop owner buys some of the character's booty. Soon after he finds out it is a forgery/fake/illusion and sends his brute squad after them for "compensation."
- A man jumps out of a doorway and knocks the characters off their horse, punches them in the face and is off before the character knows his ups and downs. Soon after some others come out of the building and the chase is on.
- A crazed leper is forcefully begging and trying to grab the players cloak to kiss> He seems legitimately sincere in his humbled comments and blissfully unaware that anything is wrong with him> After being treated rudely for a couple minutes he will suddenly turn crazed and lunge with a dagger>
- Their drinks have been drugged, but not professionally. They are conscience enough through the drugged haze to realize they are being rolled and robbed. the would be thieves are as inept at fighting as they are with drugs so it isn't that hard to escape...probably.
- A branch across the road. A detour through a tight trail with a trip rope. Some obvious signs of artificial camouflage on both sides of the road. Yet nobody is around.
- The sound of galloping horses quickly overtake the group. It would be a mini-stampede if it wasn't for the men controlling them. They wield large pikes and menacingly attempt to push the players off the road. If the players resist, it gets physical...fast. Unfortunately for the resisting players, these are the kings men and an even larger entourage plus one each king in a very big hurry.