Adventure for Cresthaven RPG


Map by Daniel F. Walthall @Axebane


This adventure is designed to teach dungeon exploration to a new group of players. While the story is cliche, it is a good starting point to introduce low level monsters and situations and really the adventure starts at the cellar doors. 

This adventure is designed for a group of 5 players and one Dungeon Master – at the end the party should have gained enough experience to advance to level 2 or 3. It should take about 1-2 hours to complete. If you are new to Cresthaven RPG check out Playing the Game for a quick overview.

If you are NOT the Dungeon Master, STOP READING NOW. There is information in the adventure that is secret and for the Dungeon Master’s eyes only. I strongly recommend the Dungeon Master read through the DM’ing basics found here.

I recommend you read through the entire adventure before running it. There are rules dispersed throughout the locations.  On the formatting, items inside boxes or italicized are to be read to players, bolded items are rules or checks, lines with a grey bar to the left are stat blocks for monsters – except for the read aloud text, everything else (including the map) is for the DM’s eyes only.

Much needed caravans between Cresthaven and Darkwood have suddenly been the target of vicious goblin raiders. Recent scouts have reported seeing goblins by the Ruins of Darramoka. Heroes are desperately needed to investigate the ruins and possibly eliminate the goblin threat. Can you be those heroes, or are you content to remain in obscurity?

Quick note on Heroic Points. Everyone gets 3, even the DM. Learn about them using them here.

The adventure begins as the party approach the ruins.

You follow the old path to the gates of what was once a large manor house. Now all that remains is a burned out shell and two stone doors that lead down into the cellar. The ruins still seem to smolder as if something is burning deep below the ground.

1. Cellar Doors

Heavy stone doors. The doors to the cellar are closed and extremely heavy. Lifting the doors requires an Ability check (DC 10 vs Strength) to open. 

Ability Check: Roll d20 and add your Strength Ability Score and, if you have one,  your Ability Focus for that Ability Score. If it is equal to or greater than the target DC you find something.

Team Check: If the whole party tries lifting the doors you can use the teamwork rule: Attempting an action collectively allows for one check (non-combat), using the highest player’s ability score (with ability focus) AND advantage (roll 2d20 take the highest). If the check fails no additional attempt may be made by anyone in the party until somebody in the party goes up a level. As the DM you can fudge the target DC (10 in this case) to make sure the party can open the door.

Each attempt to lift the doors takes one segment (6 seconds). The DM should keep track of the time spent.

Upon lifting the large stone doors, finely carved stone stairs lead down in the cellar of this once rich manor house. The chamber opens into a large space lit from above by a single oil lantern. At the far end of the room is a door that is barred with four heavy stone blocks.

The cellar is dimly lit, with only a few candles providing light. Characters without darkvision will have disadvantage on Wisdom checks that rely on sight.

This room is a puzzle and requires four of the PCs to compress pressure plates in the floor at the exact same time to unlock the door. A successful search DC10 will locate the pressure plates and through trial and error they should be able to figure out the sequence.

2. Goblin Lookout

Upon entering you are jumped by a swarm of short, ugly humanoids that stand just over 3 feet tall. Their scrawny bodies are topped with oversized and hairless heads with massive ears and beady red eyes. Goblins! With a high pitched screech they attack the party!

The goblins are open to negotiations and bribery…

Negotiate: To negotiate with the goblins, roll a d20 and add the combined Charisma bonus of the party. Use the following table for results:

  • 1-3 Immediately Attack
  • 4-10 roll again and subtract 5
  • 11-16 roll again add 5
  • 17-20 Friendly / Receptive

Goblins (7): AC 13, HP 3, Damage 1d6 -1, Morale 5
Loot: 2d6 silver each. One of the goblins has an iron necklace with 5 holes in a star pattern.

There are piles of debris scattered around the area. Goblins and players can use these for cover, gaining a +2 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws against ranged attacks.

Morale Check. When a creature drops below 50% of their hit points they must make a morale check (Target DC 20 vs d20 + monster morale) or become broken.  If the last attack was with a natural 20, then the check is made with Disadvantage.

Broken combatants have two options:

1. Flee the combat.  Move away from combat at double normal movement speed. If a player character (or monster) has a ranged weapon readied in hand, they can make one free attack against the fleeing monster.

2. Surrender the combat. Literally throw down their arms and plead for their lives.

Searching: Roll d20 and add your Wisdom bonus and, if you have one,  your search bonus. If it is equal to or greater than the search DC you find something.

Team Search: If the whole party searches you can use the teamwork rule: Attempting an action collectively allows for one check (non-combat), using the highest player’s ability bonus AND advantage (roll 2d20 take the highest). If the check fails no additional attempt may be made by anyone in the party until somebody in the party goes up a level.

A successful search (DC 15) will reveal a secret door in the eastern wall. The secret door leads to a cache of weapons (mostly rusted out and broken short swords) if the search roll is 20 or higher, then the party finds a Long Sword +1.

3. Dining Room

This 25′ x 15′ room has a large marble fireplace in the eastern wall. A long, bare, wooden table runs the length of the room with 8 wooden chairs, 3 on each side and one at each end. Sitting in the end chairs, and two chairs on each side, are human skeletons dressed in rags.   They are sitting upright, but do not move. In front of each chair sits a golden goblet and dusty flatware.

Lighting a fire in the fireplace can improve visibility, removing any disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks due to low light.

Don’t forget to track time:

  • Searching a room: 1 turn per 30′ x 30′ space.
  • Map a room: 1 turn per 30′ x 30′ space.
  • Searching for traps: 1d4 rounds per attempt

If any character touches a gold goblet will discover that the “gold” goblets are actually tin, covered with yellow mold!

Yellow Mold: These molds are smaller than normal. For each goblet touched, roll d20: if the result is 10 or less, the mold releases a small cloud of spores, catching only the character disturbing the goblet. The victim takes 1d4 points of damage and must make a Save DC 11 vs Constitution or start choking, unable to do anything else for d6 rounds.

4. Oh No!

This room has two doors one to the west and one east. On the walls by the doors are four small round holes burrowed into the stone. Upon the last party member passing through the door into this room the door immediately slams shut trapping the party. From the top of the room, water begins to fill the chamber. Already the water is starting to pool!

The holes in the walls are actually an elaborate trap placed by the original owner of this ruin. In each hole are 5 stones in a pattern. Each stone lines up with the holes on the necklace from the goblins in area 2. Each time the players choose a hole and place the necklace, roll d20. On a roll of 10 or less, the necklace doesn’t fit, and the room begins to fill faster. Start a timer and if the party doesn’t sort out the trap in 5 minutes, the room fills up and they all drown.

Track time carefully in this scenario. Each attempt to place the necklace consumes one segment (6 seconds). The DM should update the players on the passing time regularly.

5. Beware!

This room has a barred and locked door leading into it. Upon it is a crudely carved sign with hard to read writing. 

The room is locked with a padlock (DC12 to pick) and the sign says, “Shh, the babies are sleeping!” in Goblin. The babies are actually two giant spiders (each about the size of a small car).

Reading Languages. If the character cannot read Goblin, a thief can make a Read Languages check (DC12) to understand the message.

Picking Locks. Locks may only be tried once per lock, and only if “Thieves Tools” are carried. The thief may not try again with that lock until gaining another Level of Experience.

UPON opening the door read:

This large chamber is covered in thick sticky strands of silk. There is a clear path to the center, but the corners are unreachable. 


Roll for surprise: DM roll d20 (+4 because Spiders get a bonus) vs the highest party notice. If the DM roll is equal to, or more than the notice, then the party is surprised and the monsters get a round to attack without the party attacking back.

If the party is successful read on, else the spiders attack with a free combat round.

Movement immediately catches your eye as two giant spiders descend from the ceiling and attack! Roll for initiative.

Giant Spider (2): AC 14, HP 10, Bite 1d8 (DC 10 vs Constitution or become poisoned).  Morale 5

Special attack: Web. Anyone attacked with web must make a DC10 vs Dexterity or become immobilized by the web. 

Immobilized – You cannot move on your own: your Speed is 0.

Poison – DC 10 vs Constitution or die in 1d6 rounds

Loot: There is a pouch in the spider’s web with 2d8 gold pieces as well as a silver necklace (worth 50 gold pieces)

6. Nest

Thick smoke fills the top of this room as a number of disgusting goblins lounge around on piles of straw and filth. Some sort of animal is roasting over a small campfire in the center of the room.

This is an EXCELLENT opportunity for the party to ambush the goblins. They’re too preoccupied with cooking to notice the party come in.

Ambush: Roll d20 and add the lowest Wisdom modifier in the party to establish the party’s hide DC. DM roll d20 – equal or greater than the party DC means the ambush fails. If successful the party gets one round of attacks without the DM taking any actions.

Goblins (7): AC 13, HP 3, Damage 1d6 -1, Morale 5

Loot: 2d6 silver each.

Goblin stash. 1 small silver key, and a locked metal box (DC15 to unlock and DC 10 vs Search to detect the poison needle trap). The box contains 4,000 copper pieces, 3,000 silver pieces, and 4 potions of healing (restores 1d8 Hit Points each)

The metal box is trapped with poison. Poison is DC 10 vs Constitution or die in 1d6 rounds.

7. Audience Chamber

This extremely large chamber is brightly lit by metal torches lining the walls. At the far end the floor is raised with a large stone throne in the middle. Just in front is a round table with five large, muscled humanoid creatures with  dull green skin, coarse dark hair, beady red eyes, and protruding, tusk-like teeth. As the door closes by itself behind the party, the creatures stop the dice game they’re playing and look up at the party. The biggest of the bunch, an all white monster, speaks out to the party, “Well well well… what do we have here?!?” 

These orcs are more intelligent than the monsters encountered thus far. They are willing to talk and negotiate with the party. 

Orc (4): AC 13, HP 7, Attack +2, Damage 1d8 +2, Morale 12

Orc individuals have 1d6 silver pieces on them.

Exit to the west and HIDDEN DOOR (DC15 Search) in the eastern wall. Hidden room contains 1,000 silver pieces, 4 gems (value 60 gp each), diamond necklace and matching earrings (100 gp), and 6 potions (unidentified keep their function secret) – 1 giant strength, 2 of water breathing, 2 of cure poison and 1 of invisibility. The treasure room contains various valuable items and gold. Remember to account for encumbrance when carrying treasure.

Unidentified Magic Items. Magic Items and Potions can be identified by a qualified magic user, typically in town at a cost of 1GP each. Potions have a single use and testing them will use them up.

The Ending

After packing all of your hard earned loot you return to town and the town elders greet you with a magnificent feast to celebrate. Looks like you were born to be an adventurer!

Now it’s time to distribute experience points and money. Each of the players should receive at least 2,000 experience points for clearing the dungeon plus 1 experience point for each gold piece of loot value collected. Don’t forget to reward exceptional roleplaying and good  thinking with bonus XP.


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