Midnight Encounter

This TPK prelude is a midnight encounter which should serve as an introduction to other goblin encounters. This is a surprise attack that turns the usually uneventful act of getting a full nights sleep, recovering HP, and gaining back spells into a story driving moment.

This is a TPK post by Matthew the Evil GM. This encounter is designed to expose players to a risk of a dead character. TPK posts are partly generated and may not be the same the next time you refresh the page. The specifics are generated from your data and a seed. If you want to see changes, give the TPK a shuffle.


Where the encounter should take place

This encounter takes place during the night when the party is camped and sleeping. If there is an opening, goblin scouts will attempt a stealth rade. They have been watching the party and so will correctly guess if the party is setting traps or alarms.

If the party was wise enough to have people on watch make them roll perception. Regardless of what numbers they proudly (or nervously) call out tell them:

You see movement in the trees but you cannot tell if it is just shadows from the campfire or something more sinister. You study the shadows carefully but can make out nothing out of the ordenery.

If you are lucky, the player will go exploring to look for the threat and leave the camp unguarded. If that happens, be sure to note that the camp was stealthily looted. Let the party know that they have lost some provisions when the dust settles.

The attack

If the guard does not take the bait, have them roll perception again. This time it is a DC5 perception check.

You hear a series of twanging sounds like cheap bows being fired. Flaming arrows arc out of the distance and rain down on the camp.

Roll reflex.

Feel free to describe how the guard rolls heroically out of the path of some arrows. And then read them this.

Flames lick at everything they touch – your gear, tents, beds… Your camp is on fire! A second volley of arrows arcs overhead. Most of them miss but the red glow in the trees all around begins to grow bigger.

Roll some dice. Any dice. Don’t let the players see the results. Pick a player. Maybe use the dice rolls to do that.

You wake to the pain of a flaming arrow hitting your leg. You take (1d6 +1d6 fire) damage. Your bedding is on fire and it is pinned to you.

The fire

Now resolve the characters fighting the fire and flapping about. Remind them of the growing flames in the woodland around them.

Their bedding is largely ruined as are their tents. If the camp was unguarded their food and drink is also missing.

As their sleep has been interrupted healing, spell preparation, and all that is also affected. How much of a hindrance you want to make this depends on your GM style.

Searching for the attackers

Remember it is night time and the party needs to kit up and get away from the fire. After that, they will need to make survival checks to pick up the trail. As the ground is firm and it is dark (but not moonless) the DC is 18 (21 if you rule that it is a moonless night).

Eventually, unless the party is hopeless, you are going to want to relent and let them find or stumble upon the point of attack.

Goblin camp

You find yourself in the remnants of what appears to be a makeshift camp. The glowing embers of fires not long put out are dotted about. The underbursh has been trampled flat.

Allow the party to make perception (or survival) checks.

From what you can tell, a large group were recently here. You spot a number of damaged and discarded arrows as well as three ruined short-bows. There is no particular orgnaisation apparent from the remains of the camp. No care taken to pack away cleanly. Your investigation turns up pleanty of rubbish and rotten food tossed carelessly aside. However, you find nothing of value beyond the half eaten cat, some ragged and soild blankets, and a chard pile of ruined books. Whoever attacked you is now gone.

  • DC17 Perception Check: Find a rotten leather pouch containing 6 gp 4 sp.

Tracking the way the attackers went is a DC23 (26 if moonless) as the goblins have moved away carefully and covered their tracks well. If the party track the goblins, the next encounter will be an ambush.

This TPK encounter is for Pathfinder and other DnD 3.5 rules based games. For other systems some adaption may be needed.

Seed: 1713752294 (shuffle)

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