Stumped for something to do with your game? Last Minute Encounters is for you!
This is not supposed to be a fully-fleshed mini-module. Instead, it is intended to serve as inspiration when you’re having difficulty.
Ghalyeina’s Amazing Circus is intended for characters of 4th level.
Ghalyeina is an elderly Eladrin who runs a traveling circus. He has done very well for himself, having obtained extra-dimensional tents that are much larger on the inside than on the outside. The circus is best known for the fantastical beasts who perform in the center ring.
Act I – Show Time
Allow the characters to wander the town and circus.The idea is to inject some normalcy and down time. Some possible events:
- Promenade of people riding on giant ants (foreshadowing).
- Knife tossing or archery competition.
Act II – The Mean Streets
One of Ghalyeina’s critters has gotten loose on the streets. How will the PCs respond?
The lion is crazed and will fight until it gets to 10 or fewer hit points, at which time it will try to flee.
I would generally prefer to abstract out the crowd as a narrative, but you can use the following hazard:
- Throw out a few minion NPCs to represent important people in the crowd.
- One of the NPCs might be the child of someone important. Saving them could benefit the party. Not saving them could get the party in trouble.
- The lion might maul a NPC they know.
Act III – Infestation
The ants have escaped the circus and are hiding in caves beneath the city. The PCs are hired to kill them so they don’t breed down there.
Level 4 encounter (876 EXP)
4x Ant Drone [D]
2x Sundercut Ant [S]
2x Giant Ant (found in Compendium) [W]
- This fight takes place in small, cramped tunnels. You might want to use the lighting rules to heighten tension (and assume that the ants have low-light vision).
- Having the monsters come in waves can give the fight a swarming feel.
Act IV – Under the Big Top
Ghalyeina has died of old age and his creatures are going berserk!
Level 6 Encounter (1250 EXP)
1x Redfang Owlbear
2x Slithering Drake
2x Ardwor Rockling
It turns out that Ghalyeina had a magic item that allowed him to control the beasts. Anyone either in or adjacent to the glyph in the center of the ring can spend a standard action to make an Arcana check. What happens is up to you (In my game, I would allow the PCs to daze one creature per “level” of success (easy/medium/hard DC), with stuns or attacking allies counting for two).
- The monsters don’t like each other much more than they like the PCs. They might move away from one another or even attack.
- Bloodied monsters might try to flee.
- The monsters might go after bloodied characters in preference to anything else. They’re berzerking, after all.