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Cities & Towns Adventure Locales 3

Cities & Towns Adventure Locales 3

The next great Kobold Press hardcover book is on sale! Weighing in at a hefty 256 pages, Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns is a homebrewer’s dream.

It’s full of advice on designing new settlements or expanding on existing settlements. Find summaries of government types in fantasy settings, rulers, NPCs, and cultists to poach for your game. Plus, more charts than you can shake a stick at to bring your worlds to life!

In addition to the book, check out Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns Map Folio. A dozen high quality maps await with ubiquitous adventure locales. These are big enough for minis, and you can draw on them with wet or dry erase markers.

Adventuring in the Map Folio

This example adventure shows how you can use maps from the Map Folio. Here, we’re using the City Ruins map to craft a one-shot. Follow along!

Adventure Hook

Forty years ago, careless adventurers briefly pierced the veil between the Material Plane and the Elemental Plane of Fire, causing Mount Harabuk to erupt. Residents of the nearby city of Peppekbirg evacuated with only the clothes on their backs. These refugees could never return due to the poisonous soot and monsters that followed in the volcanic wake. 

One refugee was the esteemed mage Senoran Parquinne, who left his research behind in his Peppekbirg townhome. Parquinne recently fell into an arcane coma, and his daughter Brena (elf commoner) believes that the cure lies in her father’s research journal.

As she must remain home to run her father’s business, Brena has sought brave adventurers (of approximately 8th level) to return to the ruined estate in Peppekbirg to retrieve the journal.

Peppekbirg Ruins

Brena was a small child when they fled Peppekbirg. She can give directions to her old neighborhood, but she doesn’t know where her townhome was. In the city, PCs who spend one hour navigating the ruins can locate her old neighborhood with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Survival) check.

The PCs find the streets littered with what its citizens left behind in their flight. This is an excellent opportunity to use the tables in Cities & Towns to put your stamp on this encounter. For example:

Peppekbirg was once a young, unplanned community that sprouted up as an inland port along a major river. The streets are now laden with ash-covered carts and wagons that hold still-serviceable tools.

The river is bogged with ash, and three dozen wooden ships are stuck in the former port. Magic in Peppekbirg was limited, although many arcane devices around the ruins may malfunction in the presence of the PCs.

While traversing the ruins, the PCs might encounter malfunctioning magical devices, which are excellent ways to introduce Deep Magic spells into your game. In the sky, a pair of young flame dragons (see Tome of Beasts) patrol the air, looking for anythone foolish enough to trespass on this metropolis-sized horde that the siblings have split.

Building Crawl

When the PCs reach the neighborhood, they must search each building to locate the Parquinne townhome. Select one structure on the map for the townhome; when the PCs enter any other structures, roll on the chart below.

14 dust mephits who followed the volcanic eruptionSRD
2Curiously empty
31d6 + 1 soot zombies of those who couldn’t escape in timeSRD, but see below
42 gnarljaks, to protect the owner’s belongings until they could returnTome of Beasts
51 ashen custodian, who reclaims the land by burning down abandoned buildingsTome of Beasts
61 lava elemental, a recent immigrant to the Material PlaneTome of Beasts 2, with changes below

For the soot zombie, use the zombie and add the following trait:

  • Puff of Soot. When the zombie succeeds on its saving throw when using the Undead Fortitude feature, fuliginous dust bursts from the zombie’s organs. All living creatures within 10 feet of the zombie must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or take 4 (1d8) poison damage.

For the lava elemental, use the fire-infused water elemental with the following changes:

  • The lava elemental doesn’t have damage resistance to cold.
  • Replace Water Form with Earth Glide from the earth elemental entry.
  • Replace the Scald action with the following attack: Lavaball. Ranged weapon attack: +5 to hit, range 60 ft., one target. Damage: 18 (3d10 + 2) fire damage. The lava elemental can’t use this attack if it took cold damage in the previous turn.

The Parquinne Townhouse

When the PCs locate the townhouse, they find two living soots (see Tome of Beasts 3) on the main floor. These elementals were drawn to the magic in the townhome, but they are blocked from the second floor by the arcane wards that Senoran cast on his home.

The living soots fight in tandem, using their Engulfing Sootstorm in the townhome’s cramped quarters. One seeks to constrict an opponent, while the other moves to occupy the same space as the grappled creature. The soots don’t fight to the death. A living soot who starts its turn with 50 hp or less disengages and moves away at top speed.

Upstairs, the Parquinne remains pristine due to the arcane wards. Senoran has an extensive library filled with rare tomes; the right buyer—possibly even Brena—could pay as much as 1000 gp for the rarer volumes.

The library is protected by a paper golem (see Creature Codex). It’s mainly a nuisance if it perceives the PCs as a threat, but the PCs can befriend it with a successful DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check. Once friendly, the golem will direct the PCs to the research journal that Brena commissioned them to find.


With the research journal in hand, the PCs return to Brena so she can try to revive her father.

About Benjamin Eastman

Benjamin L. Eastman was introduced to D&D by his four closest friends—who immediately betrayed his trust by sacrificing his first character to a demonic artifact. Undeterred, he’s played all manner of RPGs in the intervening years. In addition to writing Warlock Lairs and monsters for Kobold Press, he’s contributed to the Stargate RPG and Americana, and co-authored DMs Guild adventures including Baby Tarrasque. He is perhaps proudest of the bar brawl—his first published monster in the Creature Codex

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