This could be your party if you try this adventure
Frequency: Very rare
No. appearing: 1-2
Armour class: –2/4/6
Hit Dice: 9
Percentage in lair: Nil
Treasure type: Nil
No. of attacks: 3
Damage per attack: 4-48/3-18/3-18
Special attack: 8’ jump (I'd like to see that)
Special defences: Nil
Magic Resistance: Standard
Size: L (9 ½’ tall, 12’+ long)
XP value: 2300 + 12/hp
This adventure is set in an area of semi-civilised countryside, having been won from the wilderness a few years ago. The party will encounter in the course of their travels a fighter who is under attack from a gang of ruffians led by a 2nd level assassin. If they can save him before he is finished off, they will find out that he is a 1st level paladin, who has only recently begun his career as a champion of good. He is a little headstrong and rather on the young side, only eighteen years old. What he possesses in charisma is counteracted by his youthful naivety. Nevertheless, in gratitude for his rescue, he will explain that he is on a Mission to save a village of halflings nearby which is under attack from a pair of bulettes. (if the DM is feeling nasty, the paladin could only know about one bulette and the other could make an appearance when the party is committed to battle).
Needless to say, this is not the full story (although it is as much as the paladin knows). The hobbit village stands slap bang in the way of the development plans of the local lord and it is he who has ‘encouraged’ the bulette to investigate those tasty little furry-footed snacks. It is up to the DM to decide if he has used MU and Cleric assistance to cast Speak with Animals and Charm Monster. If this is the case, it means the lord has the services of a 7th level magic user on which to call if things get tough.
The local lord is not evil as such, just a typical noble who has risen from the profession of adventurer to seize, pacify and now civilise this particular piece of territory. An attitude of seeing things as problems to be sorted out with a heavy hand has stuck with him since his adventuring days. However, in order to keep his territory, he has assimilated himself into the feudal structure and now has an overlord who is a good deal more civilised and honourable than his underling. The local lord knows that his behaviour must therefore be beyond reproach while his overlord is watching (which could be all the time, you know what these nobles are like). He will therefore wait until the bulettes have destroyed the hobbit village, tut sorrowfully and hire a band of adventurers to hunt the monsters down and kill them.
The party, if they make it this far, will only get their bounty on production of the bulette carcasses, which is a problem because, lurking in the wings is a band of impoverished dwarves, refugees from their mountain fastness (following an unfortunate incident with a fire giant clan) and now wandering the lands of men, trying to turn a quick gold piece. Currently indebted to a loan shark for some gambling debt or hastily borrowed loan, they will see the bulette carcasses as an opportunity to strip the scales off it and turn them into shields of +1 to +3 bonus, then sell them and make some much needed cash. Woe betide the party who gets in the way of these desperate (and still very handy with an axe) fellows.
Note - the Bulette is not to be mistaken for this woman, who is nevertheless a character in her own right.
Musings from a Man Playing Two Middle Earth Games - Let me lead off by saying I am not a huge Middle Earth fan. I've read the Hobbit a few times and the Lord of the Rings once. Seen the first three movies,...
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