Friday, June 29, 2012

The Old Brewery, Den of Thieves

 The Old Brewry - Area 2 - The Den of Thieves

 GM's Note:  As a matter of play majority of the denizen's of the first level are not evil, simply the poorest and most pathetic of a the fantasy city's residents. They are weak and sickly, and frankly using them as a lesson about XP and alignment is not a bad idea. I would give the full (paltry & maybe a bonus) XP to Lawful characters for trying to help them (ineffectual though it will be) and full XP Neutral characters for bypassing them, Chaotics of course are simply in it for the money and thrills, but I still wouldn't give them XP for slaying scabrous children, feeble beggars and drunken wastrels. I would also provide an XP penalty for any character who engages in wholesale slaughter of these people simply because they are so feeble it doesn't even comport with the diabolic evil of a worthy anti-hero to kill them – it's just sad. It's so sad there won't even be consequences from local law enforcement.  Of course there are other nasty surprises related to the halt and the lame.
Jacob Riis - 1853

2. Den of Thieves - While this room contains thieves. The chamber is crammed with the lowest sort of petty pilferers and diseased kleptomaniacs, but most of its residents are simply the desperately poor. A huge, filthy, stinking chamber with tall ceilings lost in soot and darkness. Wooden Pillars with filthy sheets and assorted rags strung between them block the view, except for a gaping doorway at the far end. Several small fires provide the only illumination while the scent of rotting garbage and smoke sting the eyes of anyone entering.

The back half of the room is shadowed by the a loft (Area 7) 14' above the floor. Thick curtains drawn tight conceal the loft, but if the room below is quiet and dark dim light and soft hypnotic music will be noticed leaking through the curtains (they magically keep sound out, not in). A ramp leading down to the cellar used to serve as a way to roll beer kegs up from below for distribution and brandy kegs down below for aging. The huge wooden doors to the cellar are now barricaded (on both sides) by the mutually distrustful inhabitants and trash is piled five feet deep against them. Opening the doors would require much work including hacking the doors off their hinges.

The Den of Thieves is packed with the most disgraced and degraded representatives of Denethix's humanity and demi-humanity. They pay a silver piece to the guards to enter the den, and as such some have spent almost their entire lives in this room, begging for scraps from the more capable or hunting insects and other foul things to eat.

The denizens of this room will not attack except as a last resort but will beg for alms, bluster, scream incoherently, threaten, plead and pontificate at the PCs. They will do all of these at once and generally harmlessly impede the PCs progress through the room. If some of their number are attacked, the residents will rush the PCs trying to drag them down and/or push them aside and rush out the door. They are scrappy and dirty fighters and up to ten of them can attack a single PC. Den Dwellers not in the front line will throw filth and hard objects at the PCs if they make a moral check. Roll moral for each of the groups described below, as there are over seventy dwellers in this room. It is perhaps best to view this chamber as a social trap for the PCs, they should be able to negotiate their way through it, or distract the dwellers long enough to get by with a spell, thrown coins or even a good enough story. The PCs may note a lack of halflings in the room; halflings are not welcome and are discriminated against by the Den Dwellers because of poor relations with the cannibal halflings in the cellars.

The largely insane Prophet of Charix, God of Hopeless Poverty, huddles here amongst the lowest of Denethix's cast offs. He will only stop his mumbling sermon and take note of the PC's passage if they attack his 'flock', at which point he will cast fear and spiritual weapon (A disembodied, glowing, grasping emaciated arm) and use these spells to drive off the PCs while remaining concealed among the mass of beggars. If cornered he will use his feign death spell and become a powerful enemy of the characters - as implacable, unpredictable and cruel as poverty itself. They can expect attacks by packs of feral children, pickpockets or vermin in the future, and it's likely the next beggar they encounter will be the prophet with a disease spell to cast and run.
There is a very limited amount of treasure in this room. If the inhabitants are all slain or driven off an exhausting, filthy 2hr search will reveal 195 CP, 84 SP, 6 EP, 2GP, a small gem worth 10GP, a set of shell combs worth 10GP, and a pocket watch worth 10GP.

Halt and Maimed (22) AC 9, HD 1/2 (1 HP), #AT 1, D 1D2/1D2 ranged, MV ('40) Save F0, ML 6. Improvised clubs.
Able Bodied Drunkards (12) AC 9, HD 1-1 (3 HP), #AT 1, D 1D4/1D4 ranged, MV ('40) Save F0, ML 8. Improvised clubs or Rusted daggers.
Poxed Doxies (10) AC 8, HD 1-1 (3 HP), #AT 1, D 1D4/1D4 ranged, MV ('40) Save F0, ML8.  Daggers hatpins, & boned corsets.
Dwarven Outcasts (8) AC 8, HD 1-1 (4 HP), #AT 1, D 1D4, MV ('40) Save D1, ML8. Leather Rags, Improvised clubs or Rusted daggers.
Escaped Apprentices (5)AC 9, HD 1-1 (3 HP), #AT 1, D 1D4/1D4 ranged, MV ('40) Save F0, ML 8. Daggers.
Disgraced Elves (4) AC 9, HD 1-1 (2 HP), #AT 1, D 1D4/1D4 ranged, MV ('40) Save E1, ML 8, Improvised clubs or Rusted daggers.
Plague Carriers (4) AC 9, HD 1/2 (1 HP), #AT 1, D 1D2/1D2 ranged, MV ('40) Save F0, ML 5. canes/crutches. 20% cause disease on successful hit and 5% each round in melee.
Low ranked Thieves (3) AC 8, HD 1 (3 HP), #AT 1, D 1D6, MV ('40) Save T1, ML 8. Leather armor, Cheap short swords.
Drug Mule on the Lam(1) AC 8, HD 1 (7HP), #AT 1, D 1D8, MV ('40) Save F1, ML 8. Leather Armor, Scimitar.
Cast-out Burglar (1) AC 7, HD 2 (6HP), #AT 1(+1 to hit ranged), D 1D6/1D4 ranged, MV ('40) Save T2, ML 8. Leather Armor Short Sword, Sling.
One-armed Moktar (1) AC 8, HD 1 (6HP), #AT 1, D 1D8, MV ('40) Save F1, ML 8. Scimitar.
Insane Necromancer (1) AC 9, HD 3 (5HP), #AT 1, D 1D4, MV ('40) Save MU3, ML 6. Bone Dagger. Sleep, Magic Missile, Mirror Image.
Prophet of Poverty (1) AC 7, HD 5 ( HP 22), #AT 1, D 1D6, MV ('40) Save C5, ML 12. Studded scrap armor, Stone mace. Cure Light Wounds, Purify Food and Water, Fear, Spiritual Weapon, Silence 15', Feign Death.


  1. Does the den of thieves engage in purposeful mutilation or crippling to create more pathetic beggars? Are these guys associated with a wider thieves guild?

    1. Nah, The Den of Thieves is just a name (stolen from NYC's real Old Brewery - along with Murder's Row). It's not a Pynchonesque 'counter-force' like the popular conception of the Cour Des Miracles. The people there are just Denethix's poorest cast-offs. Though the prophet of Charix is not to be trifled with.

      The gangsters of the Peacock Syndicate, elven sellers of strange purple drugs, likely provided by a Wizard enemy of Denethix, are on the 2nd and third levels as well as partially running a gambling arena in the basement. I'd think any freak factories in Denethix would use slaves to create "slave beggars", but my party has had nothing to do with that part of the city.