I could use some help, Tavern goers!

I could use some help, Tavern goers!

I could use some help, Tavern goers!

My offline game group is about to enter the city, and I need a good solid conflict to throw at them. They are attempting to find a woman who is hiding.

I have badguys also trying to find her, and the city itself is under siege.

But… I want a twist.

Give me something interesting about the city that will make all of this that much more difficult.

The city is a medieval version of san-francisco, so imagine a hilly-bay with high-walls and you’ve got your setting.

Any idea is welcome. 😀

14 thoughts on “I could use some help, Tavern goers!”

  1. Well if it’s like SF, do some event. Like Bay 2 Breakers, or Pride Parade, or Hardly Strictly, something where there are a lot of people, possibly in costume, where it wouldn’t necessarily be easy to find that one person. What kind of regional festivals do you have (or better ask your players for the festival and how the celebrations occur, then bring those in. Possibly a little skewed to provide better cover (if that’s actually what you want).

  2. The city has been inflitrated by a group of doppelganger spies working for the invading forces and several are using your woman’s apperance to lure your adventurers into a trap.And did I mention it is the custom in the city to wear heavy cloaks and a mask of your patron diety in time of war? Or the heavy fog that just rolled in….

  3. SPORES! The area of the city known as the Hat District has a fungal growth in the sewers that is infecting the people who live there. The woman is hiding somewhere in there, so the PCs constantly risk infection and direct attack from some who have been driven mad by the spores.

    Depending on how this plays out (“Hey, everyone is sick, what the hell? Can we fix this?”) you can end up having the woman nursing people back to health and generally being a savior of the populous, giving the PCs a moral dilemma (“she’s a good person, let her go!”). Or, fungus zombies! Fungus rats! Fungus birds! SPORES!

  4. I second the spores, but since it’s San Fantasisco, they should turn everyone and everything into sourdough. Also there should be privileged wizards working for sorcerous startups attempting to #disrupt the traditional adventuring narrative.

  5. By law, all doorways and gates in the city are marked with the sign of the Sage Baron Hickory, who rules from seclusion.  He can, and often does, transport anyone traveling through a marked entryway to any other marked portal within his domain. 

    When he speaks, it is through a hooded skeleton’s arrival, his jaw removed and replaced with a phonograph cycling a wax cylinder with his chosen message.  Whether he is ponderous, or simply delayed by the time it makes to craft such cylinders, is unknown, but he is slow to respond verbally even when he is interested in doing so.

    The people tolerate this rule because it’s hard to manifest their anger when they don’t know where Hickory is, because he often unexpectedly helps people get where they want to be, and because the people of the city have the best love lives they could hope for.  Hickory has a way with making sure future friends and lovers find each other, for his own quasi-nefarious purposes.

    He’s probably pretty apathetic towards the players unless they find a way to get his attention or some manner of leverage.  The woman reminds him of his cousin in her mannerisms and the way she wears her hair, so he’s giving a small fraction of his attention to keeping her out of trouble.  The party, showing up armed and ready to rumble, will probably end up in all kinds of situations that would in another city call for a guard squad or militia.

  6. The woman in the city has Garl’s Golden Tooth, a relic of the gnomish god of gambling and wealth, which is rumored to grant its 3 wealth-related wishes before disappearing into the void. She has made 2 of the wishes, and now (fabulously wealthy as she is) she seeks to auction the Tooth to the highest bidder. Of course, she’s not asking for money, but for favors, wonders, or miracles.

    Everyone and their mother wants the Tooth and its last wish, and most or more than willing to kill, lie, sell the city out to the invaders, summon demons, or whatever they need to either win the auction or simply steal the Tooth. She’s hiding in order to prevent that from happening.

    The PCs want her for some unrelated reason. But nobody believes them; they all assume the party is after the Tooth as well.

  7. Thanks everyone! 🙂 I took Yoshi Creelman’s idea and what we already had established (The royal family’s been murdered), and had the city entering into a time of mourning. Everyone in the city was wearing black robes, which the merchants were quick to sell for a few gold a piece. The characters are broke, so they made their way to the Temple District to get robes from the Paladin’s order. While there, they got the hint that the Temple is upto no good (greedy, corrupt), and may be poisoning the populous for their own gain. The players found the woman without issue (the Paladin has a mark on a piece of jewelry that she is wearing), but spies for the enemy (Thanks Mark Tygart) were near-by attempting to open the gate to the invading army. The heroes fought and bested the bad guys but nearly, quite nearly, lost the girl off the wall.

    Thanks for your help!

Comments are closed.