Wandering Monsters — Noble Manor

We are keeping things classy this week. Adventurers at put on airs one point or another, or at the very least, end up dealing with those that do. Nobles are a staple for fantasy adventurers be they heroes or adversaries, so it’s not uncommon for adventuring parties to find themselves inside of a noble’s home at some point in their journeys. This week, we visit one such manor. Take your shoes off before coming in to the noble manor!

As always, many thanks to the Pyromancers dungeon painter tool for helping me create this week’s map.

Noble Manor

This sizable home is covered in ivy and marked with intricately carved statues on its rooftop. The grounds are surrounded by stone walls and accessed via an ornate metal gate.

 

Click on the maps for full-size versions.

The noble’s manor is easy to drop in most anywhere. Based on the map, it does not specify any kind of obvious terrain or location. The manor might be in a more remote site such as in a forest or on a hilltop, befitting of a reclusive noble. Instead, the noble call the center of a city home. Such a manor might stand tightly packed between other similar homes in a richer district, almost as a representation of a noble’s attempts at acquiring more power, but impeded by other similar nobles.

Manor Features

This manor is a one-story building fashioned from hearty oak. The porch and patio areas are made of worked stone and they are surrounded by iron railings. Inside, the floors are made of wood and the ceilings are 10 feet high. Unless otherwise noted, all of the interior doors are simple wooden doors with simple locks that remain unlocked during the day. The interior is lit by candles during the night. The surrounding walls are made of stone and the entry gate is made of iron.

1. Grounds

The manor grounds are dotted with small rose bushes and thin trees. The small pond in the front of the manor is about three feet deep. The stone porch leads up to the entrance of the manor where strong wooden doors stand in wait. The front doors are locked with an average lock. Around the back of the manor stands the patio. Large glass doors serve as means in and out here. The doors bear a simple lock and are kept unlocked during the day.

2. Foyer

The entryway for the manor contains a small coat closet and seating for guests.

3. Guest Rooms

The various extra bedrooms of the home are elegant without crossing into full decadence. The large beds are comfortable and each room contains a small desk and a wardrobe. A washroom is connected to each of the rooms.

4. Kitchen

This small kitchen contains only the bare essentials required for cooking simple meals as most meals are generally paid for and cooked elsewhere and then delivered to the home. A modest pantry stores enough food and ingredients to provide for a week’s worth of basic meals.

5. Dining Room

The large dining room overlooks the grounds and has enough space for up 20 guests. The walls in this room are especially thick as they serve as storage for. The walls hold four smaller tables and ten standing tables to replace the main dining table when accommodating for various events.

6. Study

The overflowing library contains tomes on various subjects. In particular, the library has a large number of volumes regarding architecture, obscure religions, and tales of magical beasts. The library provides a +4 bonus to Knowledge checks made related to these subjects.

7. Master Bedroom

The main bedroom is far more luxurious than the guest rooms. The bed sports sheets of fine silks and embroidered with silver thread. A large mirror rests between the wardrobes of the rooms. A secret compartment is built into one of the wardrobes and requires a successful DC 22 Perception check to notice. It is locked with an average lock and contains the manor’s treasure.

8. Lounge

Comfortable couches and chairs fill this lounge. A well-stocked bar offers a variety of spirits and wine for guests. These are worth 500 gp in total.

Encounters

The following encounters can take place here.

Encounter Challenge Rating Creatures Treasure
Thieving Trio CR 6 3 second-Story ThievesVC
Fey Wardens CR 8 6 domovoi house spiritsB5
Cannibal Coterie CR 10 10 heir apparentsNPC, Street ArtistNPC
This week’s Encounter Table makes use of Bestiary 5, NPC Codex, and Villian Codex.

Thieving Trio (CR 6)

A trio of thieves are in the process of breaking into the manor. The PCs may catch them in the act or may even be doing a break in of their own. The manor is currently empty. The trio enter from the back door on the patio and make their way throughout the home, separating to cover more ground. When encountered, a thief does her best to reunite with the rest of her crew to escape. If reaching a comrade seems unlikely, she will instead try to serve as a distraction to allow her allies to escape. The thieves are strictly in search of riches and will not attempt to negotiate.

If forced into the combat, a thief tries to keep her distance, firing with her hand crossbow while backup arrives. Once at least two thieves are in the fray, they do their best to find flanking opportunities. They keep an eye out for openings in combat to make their escape. If one of them has a sizable amount of loot, the others work to block attacks against her to allow her to escape.

Fey Wardens (CR 8)

When the residents of the manor leave for an extended period, they leave the protection of the home to a group of house spirits. The domovoi typically trod throughout the home, cleaning up and improving on the site. The spirits typically rise in the morning and scour the home for more projects before moving on the manor grounds, tending to the plants and the outside of the home. They are happy to speak with would-be visitors, explaining that the residents are away, but won’t allow anyone in to the manor. At night, the domovoi rotate watch in shifts.

When intruders make their way inside the manor, the domovoi are quick to raise the alarm. The majority of them move to defend the manor, using their telekinesis to fling tools and simple objects at the intruders. One attempts to slip away invisibly to locate the local authorities. The domovoi employ hit and run tactics, tossing an item and then moving away invisibly to keep the intruders overwhelmed. The house spirits defend the home to the death.

Cannibal Coterie (CR 10)

The local nobles hide a dark secret: they kidnap locals to serve as the main courses of their decadent events. The nobles meet regularly to delight in these depraved affairs, usually about once a month. A week before the event, the nobles determine their next meal, usually a traveler or someone else that won’t really be missed by the locals. The target is drugged and locked in one of the guest bedrooms, before eventually meeting their doom in the kitchen. The nobles enjoy their meal at a party taking place within the dining room. The leader of the festivities is the street artist, the head of the wicked society and owner of the home.

If their party is interrupted, the nobles are quick to attack. The heir apparents draw their blades and rush the attackers. They focus on particularly muscular or heavy PCs, hoping to use them for their next meal. The heir apparents throw themselves into the fray without any regard for their own well-being. The street artist stays back and uses bardic performance to bolster the others while keeping a distance. The leader makes use of his repertoire of spells to hinder the PCs in hopes that they are quickly overwhelmed by sheer numbers. If captured or the only remaining member left alive, the leader is quick to surrender, reduced to a quivering mess.

That’s it for this week! If you use the noble manor in your game, let me know!  If you have any request for a future Wandering Monsters, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com.

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a freelance writer from Lincoln, Nebraska. He has written for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Hugo the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

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