My PCs recently derailed a whole bunch of my planning through creative play – which is fine, the surprises make the game more entertaining for me this way – they ended up in the Slumbering Ursine Dunes and here are converted monsters for my own reference with abbreviated 5e stat blocks. For those interested, this is what happened:
My PCs ended up in Sigil at level 2~3. They were directed to an inn/hotel by the first person they met when they stumbled out of the shopkeeper’s wardrobe. I used the Troika starter adventure called Blackmange & Thistle which is an appropriately weird interplanar hotel.
Their room was on the 6th floor and they decided to take the stairs (as opposed to the elevator). On each floor there was a little encounter, one of them was with two “suspicious characters passing parcels” (relevant later) and another with a sleeping archmage whose dream was turning the stairwell into an interdimensional horror show. My PCs woke him up and ended the horror after overcoming some encounters/problems.
Later, while looking for a way home they had option A via a portal through a dangerous locale (Gardens of Ynn) or, talk to the archmage to see if he can help (the PCs came up with the second idea). They track down the archmage who accuses them of stealing pages from his spellbook.
The PCs realise that the “suspicious characters” they saw on the stairs may have been the culprits, and at the time the bard PC made a note of their appearance and what room in the hotel they went to. They told the archmage this who promptly retrieved his stolen spells via a swarm of imps. In gratitude, he was happy to plane shift them home (though they ended up far from home at least its the same planet).
It was the bard PC who had enough foresight to pay attention to the suspicious characters which paid off later and as the DM I felt the archmage would respect such an attribute which helped solve the crime. So he is happy to share spells with her – but I want to attach a task to each spell. The Archmage doesn’t live in my home-setting he lives in Sigil so he would be sending interplanar messages/couriers for what he wants.
Strange is the name of that ancient race, the Eldur. The tight-lipped followers of the Silent God are said to have coined the word, though its meaning, “where a God resides,” puzzles savants and sages throughout the Cantons to this day. Perhaps there is truth in the old folk tales of them as pitiless eaters of a long-forgotten deity, or perhaps it involves another of that race’s arcane cruel jokes.
Fey Ancestry. The eld has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put the drow to sleep.
Innate Spellcasting (Psionic). The eld’s spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 11). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- Masterwork Barbed Ceramic Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6+4 piercing damage.
- Self Loading Hand Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6+4 piercing damage and the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target is also unconscious while poisoned in this way. The target wakes up if it takes damage or if another creature takes an action to shake it awake.