This is a great one-shot adventure for both first-time players and DM’s to learn game mechanics. The setting is the Four Brothers Inn which is a bar in a seedier part of a medium sized trading town named Tarentum. All the players are orcs.
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The Four Brothers Inn is a 45×60 room. A large bar fills the whole back wall and there are four 5×10 tables in the room. The barkeep is a level one orc named Erastus Boozebringer and the room is fairly bustling with commoners of many races.
“The Four Brothers Inn is not a dark hive of villainy rotten with treachery, pickpockets, and poisoned daggers lurking in every alcove. But neither is it a place where the unaware go unmolested. The pickpockets are mostly tame, the daggers remain sheathed, the food is good, and the drinks potent. A crowd of the working classes, mostly human but not a totality, mill about drinking and laughing. They are blowing off steam and polishing off a dram or three. It is in this scene you brave orcs find yourselves with gold in your pocket and adventure on your minds.”
Explain to the players that they are longtime friends who have been on many adventures together where they have saved each other’s lives time and time again. Starting on the DM’s left and going clockwise. Ask each player one question:
- How did you save another player’s life?
- How did another player save your life?
- What was the last thing you all stole?
- Whose idea was it to come to the Four Brothers Inn?
The goal is to have the players invent small narratives for their characters and to foster communication and role play.
Have the players place themselves anywhere they would like to be in the bar and ask them what actions they would like to perform starting with the player immediately to the left of the DM and going clockwise around the table. Use this round to explore things like what stats do what and how to roll skill checks.
Maybe one player wants to drink a drink really fast (constitution check) Perhaps another wants to sing (charisma) for the assembled crowd or cheat (dexterity) in an impromptu dice game with NPC. Give them a bit of time to play around and get a feeling for game mechanics. Make everything a DC 13 difficulty.
After resolving their actions, start the next phase of the adventure by reading the following:
“The day has faded into night and the shadows in Four Brothers Inn have darkened to match the outside skies. With shocking rudeness, the door bursts open with a bang so loud it startles a bard playing in the corner causing him to break a lute string. The room falls silent as a figure in silvered armor steps in with sword drawn: Fingalas Forrestclad–local adventurer. His cold, imperious, elven eyes scan the room, before locking eyes on (choose a player). Sneering, he speaks,
“Orcs, my lord. Orcs in the fair city of Tarentum. My, my, my how far the neighborhood has fallen.”
DM note: Fingalas Forrestclad, in his mind, is the hero of this adventure. Use the Bandit Captain for his stat block
Fingalas is a rich local snot come to take out the orc trash before going on to rescue a princess or three. 3000 years old and arrogant, roleplay Fingalas as an 80’s preppy with a superiority complex. Have Fingalas harangue and verbally harass the players until they either attack or he finally initiates combat by saying,
“I’ve not come to waste words with orc scum! I’ve got princesses to save.”
Everyone who was in the bar not a player, Fingalas, or the bartender runs out the front. Roll initiative and begin combat.
As the battle flows, there are two lair actions that may happen.
If a player drops to half hit points, the bartender, Erastus Boozebringer, will throw them a healing potion that heals for 2d4+2 and can be caught as a reaction with a DC11 athletics check. Erastus has 4 potions total. Erastus will not join in combat unless attacked by a player and Fingalas will not attack him.
If any combatant, player or monster, rolls either a 1 or a 20, the sparks from their critical hit/failure starts a 5×5 fire within 15 feet of where the action took place. The fire grows by one square at the start of each round. Any character or creature that starts or ends its turn next to fire takes 1d4 of burning bar damage.
At the beginning of the third round, if a fire has not started via rolls, start one via the narrative power of the DM. The goal is to create pressure on the players; fighting a pitched battle in a burning bar is wonderfully cinematic.
When the players dispatch Fingalas, read the following:
“Fingalas’s eyes blaze with manic fury as he grasps the neck of (player who struck the last blow) but his strength is fading like the dark before the dawn. He speaks,
‘But I was going to save the prin…’ as the life of Fingalas Forrestclad, the least likable eldar in all the kingdom, comes to a close. The burning bar is empty but for you, brave orcs, and the bartender who speaks,
‘Fingalas Forrestclad, Pure jerk that one. How about a round on the house to celebrate your victory and the bar’s new name? Now and forever this haven will be known as The Four Orcs Inn in your honor. What will you have?”
Pointing at each player in turn, get the players drink orders. After they do, say as the Dungeon Master:
“But those drinks will have to wait for another time. You have played ‘Everybody is an Orc!’ Play of the game goes to (player who did the coolest thing) and thank you all for joining me”
Everybody’s an Orc!: Live from the Silver Key Lounge!