A Grave Problem
The PCs are in a graveyard, when as they are passing a noble tomb with a certain symbol embossed on the door, the magic user in the party hears a voice from being the tomb door begging to be let out. What do the PCs do?
If the PCs choose not to move on and leave whoever or whatever it is trapped in there, the unseen spirit will explain that an enemy that he or she had in life has trapped the spirit within it's dead body a few days ago, when the entombment took place. It begs the PCs to open the tomb and the coffin as only then will it be freed to pass into the nether-lands of the afterlife. It promises that the PCs can take the grave goods with the body without any spiritual comeback that often happens to those who steal Funeral Gold and Grave Silver. If the body was a noble lady in life, it will have rings, bangles and necklaces upon it-if a knight, he was buried with his magical weapon (which can be anything from The Sword of Fire in a low-magic world to a highly magical weapon in a high magic world.
If the PCs to decide to open the tomb or coffin, one of three things could happen...
Option One-The undead spirit was telling the truth. When the tomb is broken into and the coffin opened, a glowing ghost appears, thanks and blesses the PCs, and vanishes. The PCs can loot the dead body without the looted items being cursed, although it would be wise not to show them too openly in the local area, as it's still illegal grave robbery.
Option Two- The undead spirit was indeed trapped in it's tomb but for a very good reason-it's a very dangerous form of undead. When freed it attacks the PCs, perhaps even being powerful enough to open the graves around it and summon lesser undead to join in with the attack. Or it thanks them, vanishes and it is not long before the PCs find it is stalking and killing various people including an NPC that they need to keep alive for some reason.
Option Three- There is no undead spirit trapped in the grave and it is magical ventriloquism. This can be anything from a student prank by a student at the nearby magical university to a trap to get them in trouble with local law enforcement for grave robbery to a booby trapped tomb that harms or indeed kills whoever dares open it that the PCs were tricked into opening.
Option 1b The family of the entombed sees the grave goods and either the authorities or the family task the adventurers w/ why this happened
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? Responses (6)
This is a great post, remind me of the adventure seeds in the back of Blue paperback Expert D&D manual from 6th grade. I love open ended pieces like this.
A byte size piece of Internet RPG intellectual property.
This idea has a good hook but I think some of the options could use work.
For example, in the first option all the PCs do is open a door and then the encounter is finished. Give them a quest, give them the name of whoever trapped the ghost in the tomb, have the thing send them on a quest that will fully release it; just opening the door shouldn't be enough, or maybe they need to go on a quest to obtain the macguffin that opens the door.
Option two is good, but also a little abrupt. Any PC worth their salt will be expecting that kind of betrayal. Have the thing lead them on a little, either making them believe it is benign until they lower their guard or have it try to blame some innocent that the PCs might end up going after.
Option three is really a whole lot of suboptions that could maybe use a little fleshing out as well.
I'll work on it, but at this moment in time real life is rather in the way.
Nice little side encounter 3.5/5
Very straightforward and usable. Good stuff.
Not a bad hook. I like the bit where it's a student prank.
I might also throw in that about a half day later, locals discover that the tomb's been opened (maybe someone coming by to pay respects), and as the buried person was a beloved pillar of the community, they freak out and start all manner of hue and cry.