An Old Widow's Fortune (5e Quest)

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Adventure Background[edit]

<- Describe the backstory to the adventure, explaining the setting and the forces which lead up to the current situation. Make sure to make clear what is and is not known by the public and the player characters.->

A Widow's Fortune is a D&D quest designed to be a player's first experience. It's meant to take players from level 1 to level 2. It's a sandbox story that is a great introduction to new players, the author has attempted to write in an explicit style, introducing game mechanics and story elements combined with opportunities for both roll- and role- playing, for the benefits of new Dungeon Masters and players.

The Story[edit]

After the players create their first level characters, allow them to walk the market of Morgraine City. The players can purchase any armor, weapons, or adventuring equipment here. Allow them to talk to shopkeepers and roleplay with each other, introducing themselves. Once they’ve finished, read:

We set our scene on the sunny streets of Morgraine City. Townsmen bustle, merchants shout, and the city wakes up. A carriage pulls up to the market square. A servant opens the door and helps out the newly widowed, Madame Lefevre. Landing firmly on her feet, she brushes her black gown, adjusts her veil, and begins to fan herself.

“Gerome, get my bag so that we may go in. It feels like the world is staring at me.”

Madame Lefevre might be the richest woman in the city. Her late husband was the cousin of the archduke of some province north of Scottshire, and she has royalty all up and down her bloodline. Lefevre and her servant make their way up the brick stairs of the bank and disappear behind the mahogany door.

A few moments later, a massive explosion resounds from inside the bank, and a black acrid smoke billows out of the bank's doors and windows. Madame Lefevre shrieks and a group of four bandits dressed as circus acrobats exits the bank, opens a manhole, and disappears into the town's sewers.

<- Give a quick run-down of how the adventure plays out. ->

The adventure consists of a choice for the players 1) embark upon a short chase that introduces the PC to the vast sewer network of tunnels, 2) stay and observe the scene at the bank during the aftermath of the bandit robbery, or 3) stroll slowly away from the crime scene.

Chase that Rabbit!

The players see the robbery unfold in front of them and take chase. As the players slide down the knotted rope dangling from the same manhole as the bandits used to enter the sewers, they encounter a larger system of tunnels then expected, the players catch a glimpse of the bandit band leaving delving deeper into the sewers - making a quick turn out of sight. A number of twists and turns later the party comes across a snagged bit of acrobat costume of the bandits that lead the players down an exit tunnel of the sewer system. The exit is a metal door, but the door has been left ajar as someone made a hasty exit.

Sewer Entrance/Exit to Low Town

As the players exit the sewer, they find themselves in a different, seedier part of town. The players realize that they have lost all trace of the bandits, but quickly discover they have stumbled into a welcoming party all their own.

The players then embark on an investigation process, gathering information, searching for clues, and deciding if, where, how, and with whom to assist.

Not so fast Padawan

The players watch the smoke clear and see two distinct scenes open before them. Quickly the town guard arrives and a small crowd form at the bank. Madame Lefevre enters into a loud and histrionic recounting of her harrowing experience. The players quickly pick-up what had transpired inside the bank minutes before from Madame Lefevre's performance. However, as the crowd disperses, the players notice a more discrete conversation Madame Lefevre has with her servant who quickly disappears into the streets.

Nothing to see here...

The players watch the smoke clear, take in Madame Lefevre's performance, and slowly leave the scene of the crime. This isn't the players' problem.

The plot thickens

As the players identify the key NPCs and gather more information on NPC motivations, the players' decisions can influence the balance of power within Morgraine City.


<- Provide a few different examples of how the party could be dragged into this adventure. This makes it easier for your adventure to be incorporated into an existing campaign. ->

  • The players could take the bait and chase the bandits exiting from the bank.
  • The players could watch the drama unfold as Madame Lefevre performs for the town guard and small crowd that has gathered.
  • The players could be approached by their church or guild to investigate the Widow's Lost Fortune.
  • Madame Lefevre could owe a debt to a player's family and the player has a letter with the seal of the land that confirms the debt.
  • Interested parties might "plant" incriminating evidence on the players to throw the town guard off the scent of the true criminals.
  • Important NPCs[edit]

    <- A description of important Non-Player Characters (NPCs) to the adventure. The section will include, Name, Description, Motivations, Plot Turns, Stats/Spells/Magic Items/Equipment, Background, and any other important characteristics (e.g., major possessions [lands, towers, castles, dungeons, etc.], wealth, steeds, followers, etc.) ->


    <- The NPC's name, any aliases, and picture if available ->


    <- Physical description, disguises, identifying characteristics, personality traits, race, profession (e.g., class, level), etc. ->

    • Race
      Race Description Attributes
      <-Race-> <-short description-> <-Special Abilities->
    • Profession
      No Class Level
      1 <-Class / Subclass-> <#>
      2 <-Class / Subclass-> <#>
      3 <-Class / Subclass-> <#>
      4 <-Class / Subclass-> <#>

    Plot Turns[edit]

    <- Describe the major plot elements that the NPC is involved, potential outcomes, favored courses of action, etc. ->

    Specifica Plot Actions[edit]

    <- Describe them and any impacts the NPC's action could have on the story. ->

    Stats / Feats / Spells / Magic Items / Equipment[edit]

    <- List how the scene can change over time due to character actions. ->

    • Attributes
      Ability Score Modifier Statistic
      STR - <#> <-Modifier-> AC - <#>
      INT - <#> <-Modifier-> HP - <#>
      WIS - <#> <-Modifier-> Alignment - <#>
      CON - <#> <-Modifier->
      CHR - <#> <-Modifier->
    • Feat
      No Name Description Damage, DC, Duration
      1 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      2 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      3 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      4 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      5 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      6 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      7 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      8 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      9 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      10 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    Level Name Description Damage, DC, Duration
    <-1st-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    <-2nd-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    <-3rd-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    <-4th-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    <-5th-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    <-6th-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    <-7th-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    <-8th-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    <-9th-> <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    • Magic Items
      No Name Description Damage, DC, Duration
      1 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      2 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      3 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      4 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
      5 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Mechanic->
    • Equipment
      No Name Description Notes
      1 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Notes->
      2 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Notes->
      3 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Notes->
      4 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Notes->
      5 <-Name-> <-Short Description-> <-Notes->


    <- Provide a background for the DM to understand how to play the NPCs, understand how they fit within the adventure setting, and any unusual about the NPC that could be of interest to the Player Characters or DM. ->

    Important Characteristics[edit]

    <- A synopsis of major possessions (e.g., lands, towers, castles, dungeons, etc.), wealth, guild/political connections, steeds, followers. ->


    <- Physical description, any disguises, personality descriptions, identifying characteristics, etc. ->


    <- A stage is a chapter or an important phase of the story. In a dungeon crawl, a stage would be one floor of the dungeon. In a more episodic, story-like adventure, a stage would be a series of connected scenes. ->

    Step or Location[edit]

    <- This is one scene in an adventure. In dungeon crawls, each room is a scene. ->


    <- List everything which has actual mechanical importance, like traps, lighting, climb DCs for walls, hidden stuff, etc. ->


    <- If the step is also a location, list the things that live there ->


    <- Describe them. If they're supposed to fight, give them a stat block, link to a creature entry, or give a page reference to the MM. ->


    <- List how the scene can change over time due to character actions. ->


    <- List any treasure the players might acquire, and how they would acquire it. ->


    <- What happens when the adventure is completed? ->


    This is a transcript of everything to be awarded the players, and the conditions attached to those rewards, at the end of the adventure. Think of it as a sort of checklist to make sure everything was covered.


    • Combat Awards
      Name of Foe XP per foe
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
    • Non-Combat Awards
      Task or Accomplishment XP per Character
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->
      <-Name-> <-XP->

    The minimum total award for each character participating in this adventure is X experience points.

    The maximum total award for each character participating in this adventure is X experience points.


    The characters receive the following treasure, divided up amongst the party. Characters should attempt to divide treasure evenly whenever possible. Gold piece values listed for sellable gear are calculated at their selling price, not their purchase price.

    Consumable magic items should be divided up however the group sees fit. If more than one character is interested in a specific consumable magic item, the DM can determine who gets it randomly should the group be unable to decide.

    Permanent magic items are divided up according to a system. See the sidebar if the adventure awards permanent magic items.

    Treasure Awards
    Item Name Sale Value
    <-Name-> <-XP->
    <-Name-> <-XP->
    <-Name-> <-XP->
    <-Name-> <-XP->
    <-Name-> <-XP->
    <-Name-> <-XP->

    [[<- Unique Magic Item ->]][edit]

    <- If the magic item exists only on this page, remove the header brackets, otherwise make the title a link to the page containing the item. <- Duplicate this section as many times as needed. ->


    <- This is an actual effect generated by you doing something that hurt people who still exist in the setting. Think of it is a boon, but absolutely horrible. ->


    <- In games which contain factions, this is where you would award renown for completing faction-related activities. ->


    Each character receives <-X-> downtime days at the conclusion of this adventure.

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