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Goblin Hidey Hole

A tribe of goblins has recently moved into the area of a bustling village. They've been terrorizing the locals and stealing livestock. The PCs are paid by the village leaders to exterminate them.

Back Story

Approximately eighty years ago, a successful bandit leader and his band managed to amass quite a large fortune, which they poured into renovating their cavern home into a more livable complex. Their source of income was primarily a trade route running through the main portion of the canyon their home was part of. The local constabulary got quite sick of everyone passing through the canyon paying a heavy toll, so they setup an ambush and captured or killed the entire band, saving only the cook and their hired servants, who were back at home.

When the cook realized what happened, he and the servants packed up what valuables they could find and carry, leaving for more hospitable climes. They sealed the secret entrance behind them, fully intending to come back for the rest of the treasure when they could.

Ironically, they were waylaid by bandits on their travels and were murdered for their valuables.

The bandit hideout was never found, until just a few weeks ago.

As goblin tribes often do, one of the local tribes sent out scouting parties to patrol the edges of their territory and acquire food by hunting.

One of their long-range scouting parties discovered a well-concealed fortified complex built into the side of a ravine that branched off the main canyon. This was a matter of pure luck, because the secret entrance collapsed open onto one of the party (killing him) as he kicked a stone into the wall. After a brief exploratory trip inside, the main portion of the party stayed to guard the entrance and sent runners to their chieftain, with the suggestion of moving the entire tribe in.

The chieftain, intrigued by the thought, claimed the idea as his own, punished the scouting party for daring to think for themselves and moved the tribe in.

This ravine complex was at the extreme edge of the tribe's territory and the move brought them within easy striking distance of the village, who they're now harassing on a regular basis.

Adventure Synopsis

  • PCs are hired to wipe out the goblins
    • The villagers have no idea where they come from
  • PCs investigate
    • Option A: They capture a goblin and interrogate him
    • Option B: They shadow a hunting or scouting party back to the hideout
  • PCs assault the hideout and kill all goblins

Major Variations

  • There's a bounty posted for wiping out the goblins
    • This leads to fierce competition to find the hideout

Starting the Adventure

Possible hooks:

  • PCs come across a group of villagers being robbed by goblins
    • They rescue them and are hired to wipe out the goblins
  • PCs find a bounty poster for the goblin chieftain's head
  • PCs themselves are caught by surprise on the road and robbed by the goblins

Finding the Hideout

This may be a bit of a challenge, as the villagers have no idea where the goblins are coming from.

The PCs will have to either capture and interrogate a goblin or follow them home. Each option has it's difficulties. Clever players may find another way.

To interrogate a goblin, one will have to be taken alive and then given incentive to talk. This, of course, will require a common language.

Following them will require sufficient Stealth and/or Shadowing skill. Don't forget that the goblins have a scout with a telescope that watches all approaching groups, including members of the tribe, to make sure they're not being followed.

Concluding the Adventure

The PCs wipe out or drive off the goblin tribe.

If they produce proof of the chieftain's death, then they get the full reward from the villagers.

If they can't prove that he's dead, the villagers will only pay them half.

It's quite possible that PCs will take a liking to the bandit complex and decide to make it a more permanent home, since no one's living inside anymore.

Maps and Locations

Goblin Hidey Hole.png Dashed lines between rooms represent secret doors.

This facility has a complicated chimney arrangement, such that each room with a fireplace connects to the main chimney in the Kitchen.

There's a total of 47 goblin warriors, 50 goblin women and 50 goblin children living here.

Most rooms have dust on the floor; the goblins didn't bother to clean. The floors are rough hewn in all rooms except for the Main Hall. The bandits installed cobble stones there to hide their treasure, eventually planning to add them everywhere, but they never got around to it.

Ravine

The ravine is quite deep (about a hundred feet deep) and about three yards wide in most places. It's dimly lit at best during most of the day and is quite cool on a hot day. During the winter, it tends to get clogged with snow. When the bandits still lived here, they would normally spend the whole winter inside, leaving through the hidden escape hatch in the cloak closet if necessary.

If the door were functional, it would require a Vision-6 roll to even notice that it's there. It's a slab of rock that's been cleverly mounted on a pivot, allowing it to open outward like a drawbridge to a castle. Over the years, the winch and it's iron chain have rusted, which resulted in the death of a member of the goblin scouting party as the chain broke, dropping the slab instantly. The winch itself can be spotted with a Vision-8 roll; it's concealed under a rock on a hinge that rolls upward.

An observant individual will notice an odor of decay here, coming from under the slab-door; the poor goblin is still under it.

Above the ravine is a goblin that's been assigned to watch for intruders using a small telescope that was found in the hideout. He's a warrior with a Camouflage skill of IQ+2, Per+2 and he's painted his body to resemble the rock of the ravine. At a distance, the telescope can be spotted with a plain Vision roll, because he hasn't yet realized that it's giving away his position, due to the glass reflecting the sun. Closer up, a contest of his Camouflage vs. Vision is required, as he'll put the telescope away.

If the PCs are not cautious in their approach, he'll quietly raise the alarm and the PCs will be attacked in the Lobby by a group of 20+ goblins.

The exact number should vary based on how much time they have to prepare. If it's a minute or more, then the tribe's entire collection of warriors (37), plus the chieftain and his three personal guards will back off into the Main Hall and ambush them there.

Lobby

This rough-hewn stone room features a large desk with a collection of wall-mounted cubby holes behind it, all about two feet across. Some few of them have sacks in them.

The room is dimly lit by light coming in through the entrance and there's dust with small footprints everywhere.

The sacks on the shelves contain mummified food stuffs from years before. There were originally other sacks with yet to be categorized stolen loot, but the goblins took everything of value.

There's two groups of six goblins each, watching from the Waiting Room and the Cloak Closet. If they see the PCs enter, they'll attack and shout for a general alarm. This will bring the tribe's entire collection of combatants down on the PCs within a minute's time.

Waiting Room

This is a small room, with a set of comfortable looking chairs and couches. There's a small crack in the wall that lets in some minimal light and might serve as a window.

If anyone checks, the chairs and couches are not comfortable at all.

If the PCs were particularly sneaky, they can catch a group of six goblins lazily playing some kind of dice game on the floor here.

Fighting in this room should give the goblins plenty of cover, due to the chairs and couches and their small size.

There's a secret door here that leads to the Barracks. Spotting it requires a Perception-based Architecture-2 roll.

Cloak Closet

This is a small room, filled with racks and hangars for coats and cloaks. There's a small table at the back with what looks like a mouldering pile of clothing on it.

Concealed at the back of the room, behind the table, is a secret door that can be opened simply by pulling on the table; it's attached to the wall. The crack in the wall can be spotted with a Perception-based Architecture-4 roll if a light source is brought near; otherwise assess an additional -4 for the dimness of the room. It conceals a ladder that leads up the the escape hatch, which is disguised as rock that slides aside on a squeaky track. This can be spotted from the outside as a secret door with a Vision-4 roll.

This escape shaft was securely closed when the bandits left, but a design flaw in the hatch, up top, allows wind to blow in, slowly pushing the inside secret door open, which allowed the goblins to easily find it.

There's another secret door leading to the Servant's Quarters. It's much better concealed, requiring a Perception-based Architecture-6 roll to find.

If the PCs were particularly sneaky, they can catch a group of six goblins lazily playing some kind of card game on the floor here.

Main Hall

This is a large hall with weapons and shields mounted on the walls and a few full-size statues of men with weapons posed in menacing ways.

One statue in particular catches your eye, that of a tall man in expensive clothing, with an eye patch. His arms are folded across his chest and he's giving you a fearsome glare. Oddly enough, this statue looks more worn than the rest.

The room is lit by a series of chandeliers with small, glowing globes. You assume these are magical, because they do not flicker.

The floor is paved with cobble stones, unlike the lobby, which had a rough hewn floor.

There are scraps of cooked meat on the floor and the bones of some kind of animal that look well chewed.

The weapons on the walls are ceremonial and/or decorative in nature. They're all Cheap quality (p. B274) and Ornate at the +1 level (p. DF1:27, if anyone wants to steal them). There's three spears, four large knives, six small knives, a broadsword, a glaive and a thrusting greatsword. They're pretty, but not particularly useful. There's also a pair of medium shields that are simply Ornate (not Cheap), mixed in.

The statue of the man with the eye patch is the bandit leader. This statue is attached to a winch mechanism hidden in the pedestal beneath it that causes a section of the floor to lower and become a set of stairs. Turning it fully takes about five minutes of work. and leads to the hideout's Treasure Room. Spotting this mechanism without actually fiddling with the statue takes a Perception-based Architecture-6 roll.

The goblins have been using this as a communal meeting area. It's also where the warriors, women and children eat. The bones are from a cow they recently stole, cooked and ate.

Treasure Room

This small room has three niches in the walls that are occupied by stone boxes with high quality locks.

The room is two yards square, with a similar space of steep stairs. The ceiling is two yards high. This is important information for the trap (see below).

The boxes (use the stats for a Large Stone Box; see p. DF8:20) have Good quality Padlocks on them (see p. DF1:26) and are part of the walls.

The left box contains $57204.27 in mixed coinage.

The center box contains $80,450 in both cut and uncut gems.

The right box is enchanted like a Flask of Curses to deliver a level 1 Chain-Reaction Fireball after a five second delay. If one of the other two boxes are struck and damaged enough to be destroyed while full, the GM may wish to add 1d of fragmentation damage for that turn's explosion.

The box is also a mundane trap that causes a two-inch thick steel plate to nearly instantly snap across the entrance to this small room when opened (this would cause 3d damage to anyone caught in it's path and will take ST 30 to open; opening fully resets the trap and latches the plate in it's original place). The GM should ask for a Traps roll of the character that opens the chest, because there's a string attached to the underside of the lid that triggers the trap when it's been pulled more than a few inches. If they make the roll, they realize this and may cut the string with another Traps roll. If not, then the trap is sprung.

Regardless of how wide the box is opened, however, the fireball will go off after it's preset delay expires.

Barracks

This is a large room filled with beds and footlockers.

There's a heavy, vault-like door, with what looks like a high quality lock on it in one corner.

There's a large fireplace in the center of the room, with a nice, warm fire.

There's beds for thirty men and each footlocker has a padlock of the cheapest variety (p. DF1:26).

Five of the lockers have been broken into by the goblins, but there wasn't much of anything inside, anyway. If all of the remaining footlockers are opened, an odd assortment of mostly worthless personal items will be found, including $427.28 worth of small change, a Giant Bear Fabulous Animal figurine (see p. DF8:38) and the animated skeleton of a house cat that acts just like a living cat (including miming licking itself and rubbing it's ribs against the legs of those it likes).

The cat skeleton will take a liking to whoever opens the locker and follow them around, but will not fight for them or even obey them.

There's a secret door here that leads to the Waiting Room. Spotting it requires a Perception-based Architecture-2 roll.

There are twenty-four goblin warriors in this room, involved in various leisurely activities, such as sleeping, gambling, etc. Some are training by wrestling, fist-fighting or practicing with weapons. Every once in a while, a real fight will break out, most likely over some issue of pecking order.

Armory

This room houses a number of weapon and armor racks. It's mostly empty, as though most of the stored equipment was taken for use. There's a few knives scattered across the floor, which probably came from a rack that was crushed under a large chunk of ceiling.

This room looks to be slightly unstable.

Tucked into the corner is a well-equipped forge, as well as a complete set of tools for working with leather.

The ceiling could easily be repaired and reinforced. It was damaged in an earthquake about ten years ago. Until it's repaired, there's a slight chance of collapse if anything particularly jarring happens in the room.

Doing a detailed search will produce three large knives, one rusty broadsword, a broken medium shield and a mangled, but repairable, suit of plate armor. There's also a ST 20 crossbow with a broken string.

The leather working tools are a Backpack Tool Kit (see p. DF8:26).

Kitchen

This is a well-equipped kitchen lit by a cooking fire.

The kitchen is currently staffed by goblin women who will cower in fear at the sight of the PCs.

The chimney leads up to a fire pit above on the land around the canyon. It's commonly used by shepherds and seeing a bit of smoke come from it just makes people think it was recently used. It's a clever ruse that has never been figured out. Anyone checking the pit (or attempting to start a fire in it) will realize that's it's completely cool and that the smoke is coming from a grill set into the side of it.

The bandits always kept one of their number at the pit when they were cooking, tending a pointless fire, with some reasonable-sounding excuse to allay suspicion. The goblins are not so clever.

Servant Quarters

This is a collection of smaller rooms that seem to be outfitted for servants, with a room for the men, the women and a common area for down-time. The common area has a fire place.

This collection of rooms has some goblin women and children, who will all cower in fear of the PCs.

However, if the PCs harm the children in any way, the women will attack them with whatever comes to hand.

Dining Hall

This is a sumptuously decorated dining hall, complete with a long table and wooden chairs, lit by a large fire place off to one side.

The fire place looks like it may have once had a blocked flue, because there's evidence of smoke damage along the entire ceiling and the wall above it.

One of the chairs has been placed at the head of the table and seems to be better made and more comfortable, including a soft cushion.

There's a secret door leading to the Laboratory hidden behind the fire place. The entire fire place is mounted on a pivot and makes a loud, stone-grinding sound when moved. It's currently jammed, due to a lack of proper maintenance, requiring at least ST 14 to move. Until it's mechanisms are greased it will remain difficult to open. The mechanisms can only be greased from the other side. It can be spotted with a Perception-based Architecture-4 roll.

The smoke damage is from the fire that happened in the Alchemy Storage; the smoke had nowhere to go, but out into the dining hall. Eventually, it dispersed through the chimney, but poor airflow (the chimney wasn't designed to vent smoke coming from the lab) prevented this from happening quickly.

Anyone with a decent understanding of fire and smoke can make an IQ roll to determine that the fireplace was not the source of the smoke, but rather a secret room behind it.

The chieftain and his three personal guards are here, discussing matters of importance to the tribe.

Library

This is an extensive library, with shelf upon shelf of books. The room is well-lit by a chandelier with dangling, glowing orbs. These appear to be magical in nature, since they emit a constant, steady glow.

At a glance, the books are a mixture of fiction and various useful subjects, such as armor repair and weapon maintenance. You also notice a fair number of books on cooking.

Toward the back of the room is a small writing table with a collection of scrolls yellowed with age spread out on it. There's an oil painting of a roguish man with an eye patch mounted on the wall above and behind the desk.

When the goblins moved in, their chieftain gave explicit instructions that no one was allowed in this room. He wanted to preserve it as it was, so that he could figure out who the facility belonged to.

If the PCs investigate the desk, they'll find a collection of scouting reports, dated about 80 years ago. The most recent one describes a “caravan ripe for the picking” headed this way through the canyon. A History roll can bring to memory a group of bandits that used to regularly exact illegal tolls from the trade route that runs through the length of the canyon. It will also bring up the fact that their hideout was never found, until now.

The painting is of the leader of the bandits that lived in this facility. It's four feet tall, three feet wide and worth $8,400. It's weight is 9 lbs.

There are no books on magic in this library. All the books are mundane. If they're carted off to be sold, most are basically worthless, due to how common they are. The lot of them (excluding the manuals; see below) have a value of $1,000.

However, there are several manuals (see p. DF4:13) and maps (see p. DF4:14):

Skill or Language Points Notes Value
Accounting 2 Manual, Textbook $50
Administration 2 Manual, Textbook $50
Area Knowledge (Archipelago) 4 Map, Annotated, 80 years out-dated $200
Area Knowledge (Local Area) 4 Map, Annotated, 80 years out-dated $200
Armoury (Body Armor)/4 8 Manual, Thesis $200
Armoury (Melee Weapons)/4 8 Manual, Thesis $200
Armoury (Missile Weapons)/4 8 Manual, Thesis $200
Counterfeiting/4 4 Manual, Thesis, Obscure $200
Diplomacy 2 Manual, Textbook $50
Engineer (Combat)/4 4 Manual, Thesis $100
Forgery/4 4 Manual, Thesis, Obscure $200
Latin 6 Manual, Thesis $150
Meteorology/4 2 Manual, Textbook $50
Mind Block 2 Manual, Textbook, Obscure $100
Piloting (Broom)/4 2 Manual, Textbook, Esoteric $150
Poisons/4 4 Manual, Thesis, Obscure $200
Traps/4 8 Manual, Thesis, Obscure $400

Master's Quarters

This is a richly appointed bedroom with many expensive furnishings, including a large, four-post bed with silk sheets, three large tapestries depicting scantily clad women and a large rug made from a giant bear pelt.

Along one wall is a standing mirror. Next to that on in an alcove is a stone bust of a man with an eye patch.

Tucked into one corner is an attractive wood-framed paper privacy divider with a tub behind it, next to a fire place with a roaring fire and a large kettle for heating water, presumably for the tub. Against the wall behind the tub is a chest filled with expensive clothes.

Most of the furnishings are too large to remove, so no prices are provided (they were assembled by a craftsman inside).

The sheets, mattress and pillows from the bed are worth $10,200.

The three tapestries are worth $1,000 and weigh 18.75 lbs, each.

The mirror is a Tall Mirror (see p. DF1:26). The bust is of the leader of the bandits. He was particularly vain and liked seeing himself immortalized in artwork. It's worth $1,075 and weighs 412.5 lbs.

The rug is a Large Flying Carpet with Move 16, worth $238,920 and weighing 27 lbs. The bandit leader never realized it was a magic item.

The tub is $300 and 100 lbs.

The chest (see p. DF1:24) has a complete wardrobe of outfits for a Status 3 individual, worth $12,000. There's an assortment of eye patches, some of which are jeweled, worth $500. The chieftain has been dressing himself from this chest.

The chieftain and his personal guard have been living out of this room.

Laboratory

This is a particularly impressive alchemical and magical laboratory, with granite slab work benches and a variety of unusual equipment. There's light coming from small, glowing globes mounted on the ceiling.

One of the benches has a black scorch mark on it from some kind of explosion. There's glass fragments everywhere on the floor and a few burned books. It looks like the explosion destroyed a bookcase.

Along the back wall is a sturdy cabinet with a large shard of metal deeply embedded in the door.

In one corner is a door to another room, near the source of the explosion, that's been blown off it's hinges by the blast. It looks like there's quite a bit of smoke damage to the furniture, but it still seems serviceable.

Under the rules for inventions (see p. B473-474), this lab can be used for Complex potion work and Average magical work. It would have been capable of Amazing potion work, except for the fact that some of the equipment was left running when the bandits left. It eventually exploded and damaged a great deal of alchemical equipment in the lab.

The cabinet contains a number of concoctions: 4 Orcish Energy Brew (DF8:26), 1 Bane (DF8:37), 1 Euphoria Potion (DF8:37), 5 Acid (DF1:28) and 10 Minor Healing Potions (DF1:29). There were more potions, but the explosion jarred the cabinet enough that many of them were ruined; there's a dangerous, sticky mess of mixed potions that have become corrosive, inflicting 1 damage to anyone touching anything inside the cabinet without proper protection. It's obvious that some kind of viscous substance is all over everything inside.

Alchemy Storage

This dark room contains the charred remains of shelf after shelf of alchemical ingredients. It looks as though the explosion in the lab caused significant damage here.

It's clear that a fire raged in this room, but thanks to careful design and arrangement of furniture, it seems to have been confined to this room.

It's unlikely that anything useful survived.

This room is simply a charred mess. There's lots of ingredients here, but the only useable ingredient is an abundant supply of charcoal.

The door itself is a total loss, but could easily be replaced, if desired.

The bandit leader had been experimenting with black powder and stored a fair amount in this room. Fortunately, it wasn't very refined and simply burned at a very high temperature, instead of exploding.

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