Monday, October 15, 2012

The Neighborhood at the Corner of Craft Street and Wagon Way; Part II

This installment presents a small warehouse with a rather unusual storage feature. Please see Part One for background on this series.

Building B - Warehouse
     This warehouse was gifted to a character by a relative. The relative was a former merchant who traveled the Sword Coast for years before finally retiring to an estate in Waterdeep.

     The warehouse was used to store personal mementos and curiosities that had mostly sentimental value. Basic furniture including a bed, wood burning stove, table and chairs results in an affordable, albeit unusual, home. The character who lives here pays 30 gp per year in property taxes. It is worth 2,000 gp.

     The warehouse is not very large, just 20' x 30'. In modern parlance it might be classified as a very large shed. Two sliding double doors provide access to the front. The double doors can be secured with a length of chain and a lock. They are wide enough to accommodate a cart. The floor of the warehouse has been paved with flagstones. Natural light streams in from two narrow windows placed rather high in the wall to dissuade people from climbing in.

     While the most valuable objects were boxed up and shipped to Waterdeep, a few remain. There is a large bearskin rug from the Icewind Dale. (On cold mornings, it's nice to stand on the rug in bare feet.) A stuffed owlbear slain in the Wood of Sharp Teeth stands in a corner. A massive, yet gorgeous, four-poster bed crafted in the Moonshae Isles is near the back door. On the wall behind it is a detailed tapestry depicting Baldur's Gate bustling port.

     The warehouse's most striking feature is a rather unique vault. Set into the floor is a 4' x 4' metal hatch. Two small holes are cut into the top of the hatch. From the holes emerge two separate lengths of chain. The ends of the chain are affixed to plates that are bolted to the warehouse floor. A lock secures the hatch door. Once opened, a 10' deep shaft is visible. At the ends of the chains are two locked, metal chests that measure 2' wide x 1' wide x 2' high.

     The chests are immersed in a Gelatinous Cube (pg. 278-279 Monstrous Compendium). The cube is 4' in all dimensions and remains in place provided it is regularly fed. To that end, there is a small chicken coop in the alley behind the warehouse. Next to the pit is a brazer, a pair of iron gauntlets and a small shovel. (To safely open the chests, coals can be placed in the brazier from the wood burning stove. A chest can then be cleared of acidic ooze while wearing the gauntlets.)

     Currently the chests are empty, their contents cleaned out by the PC's relative. When the relative owned the warehouse, he would occasionally rent out one of the chests as secure storage for small, yet valuable, items. He charged 1 gp per week and had a reputation for honesty by encouraging people to secure the chests with their own locks.

Encounter at the Warehouse
     One day the PC will receive a visitor seeking to store an item in the shaft. She is rather striking, with short brown hair, hazel eyes and an athletic build. She is confident and poised despite being rather short. Her leathers, daggers, bandolier of knives and fluid movements mark her as a Thief to all but the most obtuse.

     The young woman is named Tara the Swift. It used to be Tara the Chimney Swift when she was a young rogue in Waterdeep. She earned the moniker when she got stuck in a chimney while trying to execute a burglary. She spent a miserable day stuck in the narrow confines before her companions could free her. The chiding she endured as a result was unbearable. She eventually left the city and re-invented herself. Tara is no longer affiliated with a Thieves Guild. Instead, she has chosen a more legitimate path as an adventurer. The increase in status and legitimacy are welcomed, but the work is far more dangerous.

     On a recent job she procured a beautiful piece of jewelry. She hopes to sell it at some point, but currently wants to store it. It has been placed in a small wooden box, wrapped in paper and bound with twine. If asked about the contents of the packet, Tara will frown and say something to the effect of, "The previous owner wasn't so chatty. Is this going to be an ongoing problem?"

     If the PC proves himself to be honest and reliable, he will earn Tara's respect. Doing so may prove lucrative, as Tara often receives more job offers than she can handle. She would be more than happy to pass on leads, but would expect a finder's fee.

Tara the Swift, Female Human, Thief 5; Armor Class: 4 (Dex bonus, +1 leather armor), Hit Dice: 5d6, Hit Points: 17, THAC0: 17 (dagger) or 19 (off-hand knife), No. of Attacks: 2/1, Damage: 1d4+1  (+1 dagger) or 1d3+1 (+1 knife), Alignment: Neutral, Move: 12

Strength: 9, Dexterity: 17, Constitution: 11, Intelligence: 13, Wisdom: 10, Charisma:14

Thief Skills: Pick Pockets: 20%, Open Locks: 65%, Find/Remove Traps: 35%, Move Silently: 60%, Hide in Shadows: 45%, Detect Noise: 40%, Climb Walls: 60%, Read Languages: 0%

Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Forgery, Tightrope Walking, Tumbling

Saving Throws: Parlayzation, Poison, Death Magic: 12, Rod, Staff, Wand: 12, Petrification or Polymorph: 11, Breath Weapons: 15, Spell 13

Equipment: Thieves tools, +1 leather armor, +1 dagger, +1 knife (x3), 2 aquamarines (15 gp each), 10 gp, gold ring with pearl setting (25 gp)

Notes: Tara fights with two weapons. She wields a dagger in her right hand (main) and a knife in her left (off hand). Her THAC0s are calculated with her level, weapon bonuses and two weapon penalties factored in. Her backstab damage multiplier is x3.

Further Developments at the Warehouse 
     Living in a warehouse with a monster pit will invariable result in some interesting occurrences. One night while the PC gets out of bed to relieve himself, he steps on something gooey. Acid immediately begins to eat away at his flesh. The pain is excruciating and results in 1d2 hit points of damage. Until healed, the character will have their move halved. Investigation will reveal a tiny Gelatinous Cube that measures 1" in all dimensions. It would be kind of cute under ordinary circumstances. Evidently, the cube separated from its parent and squeezed out of the pit.

     Rumors travel quickly in Baldur's Gate, so the pit is not a perfectly kept secret. Once per month, a City Watch patrol will drop by to berate the character about not having a permit to own a dangerous animal. As a result, an immediate 1 gp fine is due. The 1 gp is used as the night's drinking money by the watchmen.

     In a more sinister twist, Nicole - who is Hargor's lieutenant (See Part I) - will inquire as to whether or not she can dispose of a body in the pit. She will pay the PC a 3 gp consideration. If she is rebuffed, she will be visibly irritated and walk off in a huff.


  1. Whew, these revisions are a bit more work than I expected. I like how they are coming out, though.

    In play, the PC who lived here - a druid - was quite restrained. No bodies were ever dropped in the pit. (He joking referred to it as a "corpse chute.") However, he did wonder if he could gather and sell the baby Jell-o Cubes that occasionally escaped from the shaft.

  2. Replies
    1. My players wondered if they could scoop bits of the G. Cube into glass jars then throw them at people.