5E D&D low level adventure

Hooked on Adventure — Fat of the Land

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Hello! We are introducing a new series here on the website. In Hooked on Adventure we’ll take inspiration from our 3D printed terrain and miniatures to create encounters for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons you can drop right into your game. In Cultivating Chaos we turned the Rural Chicken Coop into an engaging low level adventure for 5E D&D pitting adventurers against demonic forces to save a family farm. In this encounter strange disappearances and transformations lead back to a small farm with a dark history. To enhance the encounter we used Dungeonfog, an online map maker and authoring tool designed for Game Masters, to create a map image for the Rural Chicken Coop. Check out Dungeonfog and use the promo code NERDARCHY to get 10% discount on your first annual and annual-CL (Commercial-License) order here.

5E D&D low level adventure fey
This map and assets were created using Dungeonfog. Click on the image to add this Rural Chicken Coop map to your own Dungeonfog collection. [Map created by Nerditor Doug]

Fey Pig Sty 5E D&D encounter

Introduction

So many low level adventures focus on typical threats like orcs and mindless undead. Sometimes it is nice to have a bit of mystery especially when the characters are low level. They are new to the world and they are still trying to figure out their characters both mechanically and as individuals. But this is for players to work out in their own time, right? When it is game time the Dungeon Master should be free even at low levels to make up a new monster and show the players something they have never encountered before.

So I’ll create a new monster here, and I’ll take inspiration from the Rural Pig Sty terrain set piece. This can be an introductory adventure to get the party investigating a small town to uncover secrets currently going on and circumstances from generations past.

Environment

This is a farm adventure and for this one the the mystery is about the pig sty.

Level

1 — Medium

This is a low level adventure designed for four 1st level characters. If you wanted to run this one at higher levels or make it more challenging, increase the DCs of all the skill checks. For the potential combat encounter use any creature you like to provide a suitable challenge to the party, reskinned as Elareath.

Monsters

Elareath, fey spirit

Treasure

Ghost dust worth 100 gp to the right buyer

Heirloom necklace worth 50 gp

Description

Jethras never turns much profit from the family farm but he always manages to get by. His family worked hard and they made live modest lives. Jethras and his family are human though in just the right light you can see signs of elvish lineage like slightly pointed ears and brightly colored eyes. These features are much more prominent in his daughter. Her beauty as she reached maturity was known to all the boys her age.

Jethras raises pigs and lately two interesting things have been happening around town. Full grown pigs began appearing overnight. This has not really been a problem for Jethras up to this point. The second and much more alarming issue is people are disappearing! Protip: If you give both pieces of information back to back the chance for players to solve the mystery quickly and miss some of the fun and potential antics greatly increases.

What is really going on relates to Jetha’s family line. An eladrin fell in love with a human many generations ago. Some in the nearby town, especially the elders, still talk about it as they are a strictly human village. The eladrin met a dark fate because of prejudice from the town’s residents but the surviving family stayed. The spirit of the eladrin remains these many years later occasionally playing pranks but recently found an attachment to Jethras’ daughter Thrania. Thranias wears a simple golden wire necklace concealed close to her heart, an heirloom handed down through generations from the eladrin visitor.

When the eladrin woman Elareath was killed she was not wearing the necklace and became fixated on it in her afterlife, unable to pass on. Her fey spirit remained behind and she has been trapped watching generation after generation grow and eventually pass on, losing a bit of the fey blood each time. She never found any way of observing or communicating with anyone in the village, but being bound to the necklace she could not pass on either.

When Thrania came of age and began wearing the necklace Elareath finally found someone with whom to communicate. In Thrania’s dreams she meets and speaks with Elareath. The fey spirit began imposing herself onto Thrania and causing mischief.

A few days ago the people began disappearing. The population of the town is around 50 or so with occasional travelers wandering through. Each night when Thrania sleeps Elareath takes over and finds someone in town to lure back to the farm, to the pig sty where Elareath was killed all those years ago. There Elareath/Thrania changes the townsfolk into a pig.

fey spirit
A faerie guidemother from Magic: the Gathering’s Throne of Eldraine set looks perfect for Elareath the fey spirit. [Art by Mila Pesic]

Complications

For a low level adventure, it should be easy for the party to figure out the problem but putting the solution together might not be obvious. Feel free to use these skill checks to help the party along. The main issue is the people disappearing. The town is worried and there are very few clues to go on. There are no animal tracks and no bloodshed.

A successful DC 12 Intelligence (investigate) or Wisdom (Survival) check each day shows two sets of footprints heading towards Jethras’ farm. Only one set leaves the pig sty. Talk to Jethras politely or with a successful DC 12 Charisma (Persuasion) check and he admits how perplexed he is that pigs are showing up at his farm. He wonders if the gods blessed his family or if this a problem waiting to unfold. Be very careful here and remember some of the pigs are transformed townsfolk. Ethical and moral issues may arise if the pigs are slaughtered for food, for example.

Characters who speak with people in town provides opportunities for you to sow in some other potential plot lines. This can be the seeds to further adventures you want to run or misdirection away from the farm. For instance there could be a hag in the forest not too far away who has been known to take the naughty. Maybe it is the full moon and the townsfolk have been turned into werewolves and are leaving willingly on their own. Since no one knows what is going on, rumors and speculation may very well run rampant. This could lead to red herring investigations in town and the surrounding area.

Hopefully the conversation with Jethras and the townsfolk get players interested in the family farm and lead them to Thrania. If you mention Elareath she will talk about her dreams. A character who succeeds on a DC 13 Intelligence (Arcana) check discerns the nature of this magic and that the fey spirit has been causing this mischief to happen.

Going to the pig sty and calling out the name Elareath while holding her necklace forces the fey spirit to appear. If combat ensues use the stat block below for the fey spirit. Thankfully without Thrania’s body she does not have access to the powerful sorcery Thrania unknowingly possesses. Elareath turns mostly corporeal and appears like a transparent elven woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Thrania. She speaks with hatred and anger of the decades since her murder tethered to the pig sty as a restless spirit.

Options for resolution

  • Combat. if negotiations fail, which given the history are likely, either she will attack or the characters might attack first.
  • Social. After a lengthy conversation citing those who killed her are long since dead and buried with a successful DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check Elareath severs her bond to Thrania and the necklace and her spirit passes on.
  • Exploration. If negotiations fail, but none are willing to fight it out, a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Religion) check and an hour long ritual can break the bonded spirit to this world forcing Elareath to move along.

Thrania strongly wishes to learn more about the sorcerous power in her blood and desires training in the magical arts, if she learns of Elareath and their bond. She does not want to have more issues like this, and the idea of discovering magical power appeals to her as well. Perhaps this is the next adventure.

Whether Elareath is killed or passes on the transformed pigs resume their human forms once more. Neither Jethras nor Thrania want anything to do with the necklace any more and offer it to the players for their aid in solving this mystery.

Elareath, Fey Spirit

Medium fey neutral/neutral evil

Armor Class 14

Hit Points 26 (4d8 + 8)

Speed fly 40 ft.

STR 10 (+0)

DEX 18 (+4)

CON 14 (+2)

INT 12 (+1)

WIS 13 (+1)

CHA 16 (+3)

Damage Immunities poison

Condition Immunities poisoned, prone

Skills Perception +3

Senses Passive Perception 13

Languages Sylvan

Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Multiattack. Elareath makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d8) force damage.

I hope this provides a fun low level adventure or campaign starter for 5E D&D. Let me know if you run it and how it goes. Check out our Rural Pig Sty and explore other 3D terrain and miniatures here. Use the promo code HOOKED for 10% off your entire order. We had a lot of fun creating this Hooked on Adventure encounter and we’ll keep the series going, so keep an eye out for more of these.

Until next time, stay nerdy!

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Follow Ted Adams:
The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.

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