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Wretched Latitudes - Random Encounters in a Fantasy City Slum Part 2

J Harper

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Wretched Latitudes Part 2

8 – Whining Beggar

A sniveling beggar appeals to the party for alms. If a PC shows charity to the beggar, 6 + 1d4 more beggars approach them in the next few minutes, accosting the party for coin. There's a 50% chance that a random PC will have his pocket picked (+3 Stealth check vs the party's passive Perception).

9 – Jeering Children

The party's presence attracts the attention of a band of young urchins, who proceed to harass them, insulting the PCs, calling non-humans various racial slurs, perhaps even throwing mud, stones or ordure at the party. The urchins will eventually grow tired of this sport after five to ten minutes. If chased off with violence, the party may (50% chance) be ambushed by the urchins 1d4 hours later, who will drop or throw bricks, heavier stones, and more loathsome and dangerous missiles from a safe height, or else the party may be tracked down by angry older relatives, who will attempt to beat and perhaps even lynch the PCs. In no way will the urchins attempt a stand-up fight. Use Commoner stats for them if necessary. For a lynch mob, use stats for Bandits as per the Agitator encounter.

10 – Peddler and Pickpocket

A street peddler has set up his handcart at a corner and is calling his cheap necessities to the local homemakers. He sells fruit, needles, threads, bits of cloth and other small but useful things that even slum dwellers need. He has attracted a small crowd of customers, but unfortunately an opportunistic pickpocket is taking advantage of this, quite willing to steal the few coppers a poor housewife or husband may have. There is also a 25% chance he may attempt to steal from a PC, using the small crowd for cover.

11 – Street Brawl

The party walks into the middle of a street brawl. What precipitated the brawl is up to the DM – street gangs fighting, a drunken argument, etc. - but the party probably will not care. They will either have to find away to evade it, or may even get caught up in it if the fight runs in their direction (25% chance).

6+2d12 bandits are involved in this row. They fight with cudgels, daggers, thrown stones and bare fists.

12 – The Tout

A tout approaches the party, offering, for a price, to show them the location of 'a wondrous den of pleasure, where even the largest appetites can be sated. Beautiful women, handsome boys, dream spices and royal liquors, all available for just a handful of silver'.

If PCs are interested, the tout either leads them into an ambush (a band of bandits, medium difficulty fight) or to some squalid brothel/drug den, at the Dungeon Master's discretion. Or perhaps the tout brings them to a place all together unexpected...

13 – Watch Patrol Raid

The City Watch rarely goes into the slums, but when they do, they go in force. The party finds a large force of guards (as per the Monster Manual), led and directed by 1d3 veterans, are raiding a tenement, dragging out various people and throwing them in a prisoner wagon. Inquisitive PCs will be warned off, told not to interfere with the activities of the law.

If the party interferes, they will at the very least be in for a Hard level fight, if not a Deadly one. Other repercussions may also be felt in the days following, at the Dungeon Master's discretion.

14 – Defenestration

A young man is thrown from a second story window, landing at the party's feet. The fall kills him instantly. The reason for this murder is up to the DM – a jealous lover, a criminal transaction gone wrong, quarrel with a friend, suicide, etc.

15 – The Grim Wizard

The party spots an ominous man dressed in a black robe and cowl, his face concealed by a mask carved from yellowing bone. He is accompanied by 4 bodyguards (use Thug stats from the Monster Manual) led by a Veteran. This wizard ignores the party, and will harshly rebuke them if approached. Use stats for either a Mage (Monster Manual) or a Necromancer (Volo's Guide). The wizard will not press a fight, but will also not hesitate to defend himself.

16 – The Ghoul

Make a Stealth check at +2 vs the party's passive Perception. If the check fails, the group will hear strange sounds – wet ripping, mastication, almost inaudible groans – coming from an alley. If they investigate, they discover a ghoul feasting on a freshly slain corpse.

The ghoul will flee if confronted. If chased, it may end up leading the party to a small crypt or dungeon complex, where it and similar unsavory creatures are lairing.

Final Notes - If you're in need of further inspiration for encounters in a fantasy city, I highly recommend the Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan, by P.C. Doherty. At least once a novel there is a scene describing the riotous street life of 14th Century London, in the days before the Peasant Revolt, and provide excellent fodder to steal for your campaigns. At least one of the encounters above was taken from these excellent mysteries.
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