Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Goblinplagued Barracks

The City of Dimwell has been falling for all of living memory. Every year the lights grow dimmer, the plague deaths mount, the carts bringing grain from the hinterlands thin. The few that remain are the impossibly hopeful, the willfully ignorant, and those with no other choice. Still, these unlikely few have kept Dimwell alive, a fading beacon against the encroaching night - until now. A new plague, unlike any other that the city has weathered, ravages the outer boroughs. Barricades cordon infected areas to die, and laborers spend what little time they have off-shift watching for carriers attempting to breach the quarantine. The Goblin Plague has come to Dimwell, and it shall never leave.

from Age of Conan
The Fortune Way Barracks used to be a nexus of brutal order against everyday chaos. Nobles' hired enforcers played at law and extorted the citizenry, the unchallenged top dogs in the neighborhood. When the plague came, the enforcers used it as an excuse to ramp up their wanton brutality, and tortured and executed anyone they suspected was infected - and anyone they could later claim was infected, as well. This infected them, and soon they found themselves under unending siege by the goblin horde.

Why in the world are you going there?
1. The heir to the House Redwick fortune and Lord Bluton of the Bluton Estate stationed a dozen of their finest men there, and one of the two needs you to bring back as many uninfected as you can. If some of the other lord's men go missing, well, perhaps that's the price of victory nudge nudge wink wink.
2. They say that below the Barracks lies a key to slaying the goblins. At least, they've heard agonizing goblin-screams from down below.
3. A wizard's apprentice knows their master had plans to cure the Goblin Plague once and for all. Last they heard, the wizard had gone to the Barracks to seek out hardy, able-bodied warriors to take samples of the stronger goblins to perfect the cure.
4. A widow wants you to kill the enforcers in the Barracks. They took her husband from her under suspicion of plague, and she knows exactly what they do to those they suspect of spreading the infection. Bring her husband's wedding band back if you can find it; she's sure they've kept it to pawn.
5. This is a first push to take back a relatively recently-fallen chokepoint, in a desparate attempt to turn back the tide. Once the Barracks are taken, reclamation of the entire neighborhood may begin, with the aid of the ballista mounted atop it.
6. The Commandant's wife is worried sick about her, and demands you bring her back no matter the costs, no matter whether the Commandant is dead or alive.
Related image
by Jesper Esjing
What's the Goblin Plague? It's infectious, and spread by fluids, including mucus, saliva, blood, and excrement. Its symptoms are quite mild - akin to a weak cold - but infected become irresistibly delicious to goblins. When a PC touches infected fluids with bare skin, they have a 1-in-6 of contracting the Goblin Plague. Infected humans rapidly give off goblin-attracting pheromones. Add 1-in-6 to the chances of encountering a goblin pack in each room for each PC who's been infected. Goblins are affected differently by the Goblin Plague. They don't contract it from the same vectors as humans, only on a 1-in-6 when they eat an infected non-goblin, and it doesn't make them delicious. It makes them... well, roll below and find out.

Oh no, a goblin caught the Goblin Plague...
1. Goblin violently explodes into d6 smaller goblins.
2. Goblin becomes irresistibly delicious to everything, goblins or not, and will transmit the Goblin Plague to anything that eats it.
3. Goblin messily metamorphoses into an ogre.
4. Goblin learns a random spell and fashions a pointy hat out of the nearest thing it can find.
5. Goblin constantly leaks infectious ichor that eats through armor and infects on damage (2-in-6 chance)
6. Goblin and all other nearby infected goblins become a Goblin King (like a rat king but goblins). Goblin Kings are very cunning, and have the incredible power to make goblins listen to them and obey.

Goblins can be infected multiple times. Yes, there are Ogre Kings that know magic. You should be glad they're as rare as they are.

First Floor
1. Main Hall: Covered in blood, ichor, and inedible corpse-remnants. Stairwell (2) in back of room, door on left to Mess Hall (3), door on right to Cells (4). Pack of goblins trying to push their way through an improvised furniture barricade to the Stairwell. If the PCs don't make it down into the Sewers and they come back down through here after making it to a higher floor, the Otyugh is here snacking on everyone who's died in this room.
2. Stairwell (Floor 1 to Floor 2): Blocked by barricade (10 min to clear). 10 min after barricade cleared, 0-in-6 chance of encountering pack of goblins in any room in Floor 2 (+1-in-6 for each infected PC).
3. Mess Hall: Large table with unfinished meals, fine silver cutlery, paintings on walls (cheap forgeries). Unsteady floor. If >1 person (or >3 goblins) walk on it, it collapses into the Sewer (13).
4. Cells: 3 cells, each with 4 bunks. 1 is open and covered in the remnants of its former occupants. Another has a hole under the bed that leads down to the Sewer (13) - 3-in-6 of the Otyugh being right below, lurking in the water with its mouth open for anyone else to fall down. Last is occupied by the goblin-mutilated corpse of a wizard, whose ravings are magically etched into the walls and floors. He was trying to cure his own infection. Close examination of his writings and the inside of his skull by the magically-inclined reveal the spell Speak With Disease.

Second Floor
5. Stairwell (Floor 2 to Floor 3): Blocked by barricade (10 min to clear). Door on left to Armory (6), door on right to Guards' Barracks (7). 10 min after barricade cleared, 0-in-6 chance of encountering pack of goblins in any room in Floor 3 (+1-in-6 for each infected PC).
6. Armory: Very well stocked, not well maintained. Weapons found here haven't been cleaned or sharpened, and will transmit goblin plague on 2-in-6. 1-in-6 of encountering enforcers here, wielding Armory weapons. A cache beneath the floorboards holds emergency travel rations and 20 gold, that only Commandant Liv knows about.
7. Guards' Barracks: Bunks 12. Stinks to high heaven. Enforcers here.

Third Floor
8. Stairwell (to Roof): Door is locked. Pounding is audible from other side if Ballista (12) has goblin pack.
9. Interrogation Room: Door locked and barred from the stairwell side. Broken window. Goblin pack inside, snacking on the corpses left in the room from the last "interrogations". As soon as the PCs walk in, the goblins mutate (roll Goblinplague for d4 of them). Room is full of assorted torture tools, and a box of jewelry confiscated from the prisoners. d6 wedding rings (pawnable for 5gp each, or returnable to spouses if you can find them), assorted earrings and fillings.
11. Officers' Barracks: Has balcony, desk with official seal, piles of unfinished paperwork, box of d6 luxury cigars. Commandant is here, with 2 very loyal, surprisingly uninfected bodyguards - the leaders of the contingents from House Redwick and Lord Bluton.

12. Ballista: On roof. 2-in-6 of encountering a goblin pack trying to figure out how to use it to fire each other (+1-in-6 for each infected PC).
13. Sewer: Large complex of sewage tunnels beneath the building. No entrance except from floor in Mess Hall (3). Pitch black. Otyugh is here. 2-in-6 of also encountering goblin pack (+1-in-6 for each infected PC). 2-in-6 of also encountering a squad of (very lost) enforcers.

Pack of Goblins! d6+1+(number of infected PCs) goblins (1 hp, unarmored, bite or claw for d4 piercing damage, transmits Goblin Plague from blood on teeth/claws on 1-in-6)
One is...
1. Goblinplagued! Roll on the Goblin Plague table. Ogre (6 hp, unarmored, smash (d6 bludgeoning, DEX save vs. knockdown), resist physical damage); Goblin King (hp equal to goblins in the king, gets attacks per turn equal to the goblins in the king, calls goblins from nearby whenever it takes damage equal to the amount of damage it took)
2. Wielding a random broken weapon (step down damage die, transmits goblinplague on 2-in-6)
3. Stacked on top of another one, wearing clothes, pretending to be a person
4. Riding a Doglin (4 hp, 2 armor, bite for d6 slashing damage, it's a goblin that likes being a dog more than it likes being a goblin)
5. Hiding to ambush you
6. Roll again, and apply the result to an additional goblin in the pack

Plaguemad Enforcers: 2d4 enforcers (4 HP, 2 armor, blade (d6 piercing, can parry) or halberd (d8 slashing, push 5') or short spear (d6 slashing AND piercing) or another weapon as you see fit)
One is...
1. Armed with a blunderbuss
2. In plate armor (6 armor)
3. Secretly 3 sneaky goblins stacked on top of each other
4. Protecting the adorable garrison dog at all costs (his name is Rumples)
5. Literate, and has a scroll of (d6: 1. Animate Object, 2. Contact Greater Power, 3. Enlarge/Shrink, 4. Prismatic Orb, 5. Protection from Disease, 6. Shatter).
6. Commandant Liv, out on patrol (8 HP, 4 armor, magic sabre (d6+1 slashing, on 6+ damage target DEX saves vs. Cutting Them Up, range 10'), Cleave, Push Through, and Reaver fighting style as Fighter). Both Redwicks and Blutons swear grudging loyalty to her, and will get along when she's looking. She wields a +1 magic sabre with a blade that cuts up to 5' beyond its point. She's named it Edgimus, speaks to it more than she speaks to her soldiers, and treats it like her child.

The enforcers all sniffle and drool; their spittle has black flecks - signs of long-term infection. They are all incredibly paranoid of further infection and the subversion of their defenses. Not immediately violent. When the PCs encounter a group of enforcers, roll to see if they're loyal to House Redwick or Lord Bluton. The two groups of hired lackeys are indistinguishable to PCs who don't have a reason to know otherwise, but each hates the other group with a burning passion, blaming them for the loss of the lower floors.

Otyugh (16 HP, unarmored, tentacle (d6 bludgeoning, grapples target, 15' reach), bite (d6 piercing, inflicts Goblin Plague), can make 2 tentacle attacks a turn)

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