Bandits' Abodes [The Vault #17]

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Whether a pirate ship,  Thieves' Forest, or hive of scum and villainy in a galaxy far, far away, the elements of subterfuge and lurking danger have been keys to adventure since time immemorial.   So far your Bandits have probably been fighting on your turf or the open road.  Let's take the standard highwaymen and let their trickery truly shine with 20 intriguing iterations that give them a little "home field advantage"... 

Alternatively (and as suggested in last week's Vault, "Tools of the Trade") a clever GM or author could allow some of these to be used by adventurers preparing to withstand a siege or defend a village. 

  1. _The Narrow Pass_ (#Narrow) It's like fitting a camel through the eye of a needle. > Only 1 adventurer with a :melee: ability can attack at a time. Of course, that also means only one non-Archer :bandit: can as well.

  2. _Trapdoor_ (#TrapD) Ackbar saw it coming... > A Notice :ranged: :roll: of 11 or above detects its presence. It either conceals a Tier II :loot: item or allows one enemy or obstacle to be circumvented.

  3. _Spiked Pit_ (#SPit) Finding one is often the beginning of a bad day. > An Athletics :melee: :roll: of 13 or above is necessary to leap over the pit. On a 12 or below suffer 4 hp of damage. On a 1 also lose the next action due to impalement.

  4. _"Guard" Shack_ (#GShack) Theft is worse when the government is the thief. > On the first round of battle up to two :bandits: suffer -1 from all damage.

  5. _Toll Bridge_ (#TBridge) Pay the toll or face the troll! > Cleverly concealed :bandits: surround the party from both sides, forcing them to take either +1 to damage this round or -3 to ability :rolls:.

  6. _Pillared Pathways_ (#PPath) The path to the next room takes you over a dark pit. You'll have to cross a dozen narrow wooden pillars to get there. > Make an Athletics :melee: :roll: of 7 or above to cross. If you fail, you perish.

  7. _Cistern_ (#Cistern) The bars preventing swimmers through to the castle's well look like they're old and ill-tended. > Make a :melee: attack successfully and two Swim/Hold Breath :music: :roll: s of 8 and 10 or above to gain entry.

  8. _The Impressive Vault_ (#Vault) Just look at the size of her knobs! > A Pick Lock :roll: of 12 or above cracks the code on the vault. Countless treasures (and perhaps a few traps) await you inside.

  9. _Supply Wagon_ (#SWagon) Drive it like you stole it... > If chasing the wagon, an Athletics/Ride :roll: of 8 or above gets you near enough to board it. On a 1 you fall off and suffer 2 hp damage. If driving the wagon and being pursued, a :roll: of 13 or above evades pursuit. Failure results in combat with two random Tier I humanoid enemies. A 1 on the :roll: adds a Tier II encounter card.

  10. _Palisade Screen_ (#Screen) Portable, spiked wooden screens have been set in your path. > Jump the palisades with a Ride :melee: :roll: of 9 or above. On a failure you're thrown for 3 hp damage.

  11. _Spider Hole_ (#SHole) This one is figurative, not literal... > On a Notice :ranged: :roll: of 8 or above you see the ambusher and deal +1 damage this round against it's occupant. On a failure take +1 damage this round.

  12. _Dank Alleyway_ (#DAlley) It's dark, and nasty...hey, does someone smell patchouli? > An Intimidate :influence: :roll: of 10 or above can frighten away the lurking ne'er do wells. Failure emboldens them. Add an extra Tier I Bandit to the encounter.

  13. _Drinking Hall_ (#DHall) Designed for revelry and contests of skill. > Axe Throwing. Darts. Gambling. Drinking contests. Pick your selection of role playing fodder or skill checks. Start a brawl if you want to.

  14. _Campfire_ (#Camp) They thought they'd gotten away. Show them differently. > During combat, on all rolls of 7, one of the Bandits stumbles into the fire and suffers 2 damage. On all rolls of 13, the same happens to an adventurer.

  15. _Forest Hideout_ (#Hideout) A camp camouflaged and hidden in the treetops. > All :bandit: Archers deal 1 extra damage each round and take -1 damage from :ranged: and :melee: abilities. If an adventurer makes a Climb :melee: :roll: of 9 or above, they can inflict +1 damage in future rounds with :ranged: attacks.

  16. _Tunnels_ (#Tunnels) They twist and'd be easy to get lost in here. > Unless a successful Knowledge :magic: :roll: is made of 11 or greater, you get lost in the tunnels or your quarry escapes.

  17. _Dead End Chamber_ (#End) There's only one way out... > The confined chamber hampers any retreat and any :magic: abilities that damage more than one target also damage an adventurer on odd rolls (1, 3, 5, etc.).

  18. _Pitchblack Cavern_ (#Pitch) There's no light here, and the dripping water quickly drenches you and dowses torches. > Unless a Perception :ranged: or :magic: check of 10 or above succeeds in the first round, the difficulty of all ability :roll: s is increased by 3.

  19. _False Floor_ (#FFloor) With a swift yank on a lever, the bandit makes the floor collapse beneath you. > An Athletics :melee: :roll: of 10 or above allows you to absorb the fall. Below a 10 and you suffer 2 damage.

  20. _False Wall_ (#FHall) Reinforcements come screaming out of the fake wall panel! > Add two Tier I :bandit: s to the Encounter.

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Honor Among Thieves [The Vault #15]

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All fairs ill when the land teems with lawlessness. Still, not all who come to thievery are evil. We hope the twenty plot seeds below will add depth to your Bandit-based quests:

  1. _FamineTide_ Starvation stalks the lands, driving even moral men and women to desperate means. Are the bandits evil? Are there merchants withholding food to drive up its price?

  2. _Gangwar_ The Crimson Band and the Blackguards have cast aside their uneasy truce. The streets run red with the blood of thieves and innocents alike. Someone must bring the strife to an end, one way or the other.

  3. _Cursed Cargo_ The adventurers best a band of thieves that seem all too willing to part with their sordid gains. Why, and of what consequence to the adventurers?

  4. _Lawless and Disordered_ A conspiracy threatens the fragile rule of the new monarch. If they cannot bring to heel the recent rash of unrest in the land, another lord may be able to usurp the throne. Who will the adventurers back?

  5. _Ill Gotten Gains_ The adventurers have just discovered that an old friend and respected pillar of the community was once a criminal, who started their legal business by stealing from former associates. Now the associates have found them. What will the adventurers do?

  6. _Contract with Death_ Someone has hired an assassin to slay one of the adventurers. Who and why?

  7. _Blood Money_ The authorities approach the adventurers unexpectedly and find stolen goods in their possession. How have they come to be there? Who is trying to frame them?

  8. _Bounty Hunting_ The adventurers return to the capital to find several criminals have amassed significant bounties, just waiting to be collected.

  9. _Making the (Roman) Peace_ Commerce depends on safe roads, something the realm certainly does not possess. Can the adventurers tame the space between settlements and restore prosperity?

  10. _Bribery and Corruption_ Common folk are preyed upon by those who have crafted the law to suit their greed. Will the adventurers join "the system" or fight against it?

  11. _Slave Trade_ Slavers prey upon the coastal lands, abducting many and taking them across the waters for sale in distant lands. One of the adventurers has recently lost a relative to them...

  12. _Drugwar_ A powerful and addictive drug has hit the streets. Spellsnuff temporarily gives common folk magical powers--to terrifying effect. Now even those of common means will go to great lengths to acquire it. > Draw a :magic: ability that can be used by the Encounter or NPC card, though not with reliability.

  13. _Ransom_ Someone dear to the adventurers has been abducted. Now the ransom note has been delivered. What will they do?

  14. _Fleshtrade_ The Hall of Lords has been blackmailed into legalizing prostitution. They say it's a "woman's right to choose". Now a brothel has opened next to the adventurers homes.

  15. _The Bookie_ A family member of one of the adventurers has willingly entered into some unwise...arrangements. Now they've come crying to their relative for protection and help.

  16. _The Fence_ The adventurers have come back from their last quest with a wagon full of loot. The problem is, the items they've gained have been made illegal, and the command has gone out all those in possession of them must turn them over to the crown. Will they comply or find those who can "move" their goods.

  17. _The Caravan_ A merchant caravan has hired the adventurers at an exorbitant sum. Why? What cargo could warrant such a fee? Are the goods legal? More importantly, what threat would require such countermeasures?

  18. _Lost and Found_ The adventurers have been hired to recover filched goods. But what happens when the adventurers discover their employers may not be the legitimate owners?

  19. _Bodyguarding_ The adventurers have been contracted to protect a VIP from kidnappers or assassins. Complications ensue.

  20. _Moral Hazard_ Washing up on distant shores, the adventurers are taken in and nurtured back to health by a band being hunted by the powers-that-be. Will they help the outlaws who claim to be backing the dispossessed, legitimate ruler of the land, or will they turn them over?

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Onerous Outlaws [The Vault #14]

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This week we'll begin adding some depth to the "Bandit" Encounter type, with twenty Titles to personify and modify your fearsome felons:

  1. _The Elusive_ They have a way of fading away... > When reduced to 0 or fewer hp, the adventurer who dealt the blow makes a :roll:. On a 10 or below, the Bandit avoids the attack and escapes instead.

  2. _Breaker of Chains_ No chains can hold them. > Deals +1 damage each round in combat, due to hideous strength.

  3. _The Shadow_ Known for striking first from the shadows. > Adventurers must make a Notice :ranged: check of 11 or above, otherwise they cannot use abilities the first round of combat.

  4. _Spell Thief_ A wizard turned criminal, excelling in stealing spells. > Once per round when an offensive :magic: ability is played, if the ability :roll: was below 10, the Spell Thief turns the effect back on its caster (it also doesn't strike the intended target).

  5. _The Craven_ Blusters when things go well, turns tail when they don't. > Flees when reduced to half hp. Update the Tier count.

  6. _The Lightning Lord_ Precise, quick tactical strikes are their specialty. > The first round of combat the Lord and his henchmen inflict +1 extra damage and take -1 damage.

  7. _The Tumbler_ Acrobatics are his forte. > Any ability :roll: less than 12 deals -1 damage against this agile foe.

  8. _Sneakhand_ His sleight of hand is superb. > On the first round of combat, choose one adventurer to :roll:. On a 10 or less, Sneakhand steals 1 :loot: item from the adventurers in the first combat exchange. He can then use it for his own benefit.

  9. _Snaremaster_ It's a trap! > The adventurers must make a Notice :ranged: check on the first round of combat. The adventurer with the lowest :roll: steps into the trap, and suffers -2 to hp and their first ability roll.

  10. _Riddler_ You wish they'd shut up and fight. > On a "solve riddle" check of 11 or above, adventurers deal +1 damage to the Riddler, but on a failed check lose 1 Persona.

  11. _The Brute_ Your blows only serve to enrage him. > Any round in which they take 3 or more damage, they Surge.

  12. _Master of Disguise_ They look so familiar...> On a failed ability :roll:, if it is the first round or a Surge round, the ability instead deals another adventurer damage.

  13. _Halfhand_ In this kingdom they take fingers every time a thief is caught. He's lost more than a few. > Deals -1 damage each round.

  14. _The Tongueless_ His tongue was removed for insolence. > Make a Persona check at the beginning of combat. If the :roll: was 10 or below, you are unnerved and make the next ability :roll: at -2.

  15. _Stumpfoot_ His foot was cut off as punishment for crimes. > This opponent surges every 4th round, not every 3rd.

  16. _The Swift_ He's sooo fast! > Surges every 2 rounds instead of every 3.

  17. _The Fallen_ Disgraced and disowned, even by fellow criminals. > On an Intimidation :influence: :roll: of 10+Tier Value, you can shame them, gaining a +2 to your next ability :roll:.

  18. _Thief Lord_ Truly he is a king of thieves. > The round after each Surge, add a Tier 1 Bandit and upgrade the Tier count.

  19. _The Poisoner_ They coat all their blades with it. > Any round an adventurer takes damage, the adventurer's next :roll: is made at -3.

  20. _The Widowmaker_ Women and children weep at mention of their name. > At the beginning of combat, adventurers make a Persona check. A roll below 9+Tier Value of the Widowmaker results in a loss of 1 Persona, so potent is the fear associated with them.

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