Tuesday 28 June 2011

An Adventure for Every Monster - Brownie


MOVE: 12"
HIT DICE: 1/2,
% IN LAIR: 20%
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Save as 9th level cleric
ALIGNMENT: Lawful good
SIZE: S (l ½ feet tall)
Attack/Defence Modes: Nil
THAC0 20
XP value 65 +1/hp

Brownies are distant relatives of halflings, (perhaps half halfling, half pixie) but they are smaller and far less common. They are basically friendly to humans and their ilk (dwarves, elves, and halflings), but because they are shy, they are seldom seen and favour quiet, pastoral areas in which to dwell. If encountered on friendly terms, brownies can often (50%) be convinced to help lawful good characters. They are able to make or repair items of wood, leather, metal, etc. with ease. They are also good guides. Brownies can use the following spells once per day:

 protection from evil,
 ventriloquism,
 dancing lights,
 continual light,
 mirror image (3 images),
 confusion
 dimension door.

Brownies do not usually carry weapons other than short swords. They have exceptional senses in general, are never surprised and have 18 dexterity. Brownies are capable of blending into the landscape very quickly, in effect using natural cover and speed to become invisible (and escape if desired).
Besides their own language and the alignment tongue, brownies speak elvish, pixie and the language of sprites and halflings.

This adventure starts in a forest environment and moves on to a city.

The party is travelling through an area of woodlands when they are approached by a tiny figure who seeks to reassure them that he means them no harm and in fact needs their help.

He explains that he is a member of a brownie tribe and they have a problem. One of their number has recently disappeared without trace and the tribe has gone to great lengths to locate their missing relative. Some of the bolder brownies have followed the trail of a pair of roguish individuals who were seen in the area at the same time as the missing brownie vanished. The pair, posing as tinkers, complete with brightly painted handcart and trinkets, were tracked to a nearby city where they were seen entering a formidable looking building. The brownie trackers were unable to effect an entry, despite their magical powers and returned to the tribe to convey the bad news.

A good-aligned party (and especially one with a druid or ranger) may well decide to help the brownies without any more coercion being required but a more neutral party may need a little persuading – the DM might consider having the brownies kidnap a member of the party and hold them as surety to guarantee party co-operation. This might not necessarily be seen as a lawful good act but the brownies are desperate to rescue their colleague and consider it as an act designed to achieve the greater good.

The building is owned by a high-level magic user and collector of rare monsters and creatures of magical nature. The two rogues are his collecting agents, medium to high level thieves, who – armed with a substantial arsenal of traps and arcane devices – capture the monsters that he wants to add to his collection. Inside the building, there are a great many cells and cages, all protected by anti-magic and similar precautions (such as randomly spaced pillars and blocks of stone to prevent dimension door) and the outside walls are similarly protected against magical attack.

The captured brownie has already been added to the magical menagerie. The magic-user in question is a collector pure and simple and does not wish to harm his specimens. Nevertheless, he has installed several precautionary devices, including one which, in the event of the escape of any of the dangerous specimens, will seal the doors and flood the area with a potent poison to neutralise the threat to the population of the city. This contingency is initiated from the control centre and can be prevented by eliminating or incapacitating the security personnel.

Should the system controlling the specimen containment be overridden, it will probably cause every cell to open. This automatically causes the main doors to seal but no poison is released as a consequence. The party must then face the prospect of being sealed inside a building with dozens of dangerous magical animals on the loose.

If the party manages to find the brownie, release him, avoid the guards, keep the other specimens in their cells long enough to escape and avoid the wrath of the vengeful magic-user (phew!) they will be rewarded by the brownie tribe with as much wealth as they can muster, although this is not all that much, going by the treasure types. Better to have the brownies offer information to the party as to the presence in the forest of some ruins that promise a rich reward to those brave enough to enter. A handful of brownies may accompany the party if they do decide to investigate this report.

As a possible hook to further adventures, the DM may have the party uncover details and paperwork in the building’s control centre that give details of other members of a magical monster trafficking network. Depending on the alignment of the party, they may wish to track the individuals down and either stop them or offer their services as collectors.


  1. Nice use of a monster that probably doesn't get used very much. :)

  2. +1 to what Trey said. I like your take on adventures for the less common monsters. It's great reading for inspiring new ideas.

  3. Thanks for the memory jog!

  4. I love ventriloquism as a power. Rock on!