Random Encounters07/22/2002


"Shopping, darling ..." - Ex Marked the Spot Out



Buying magic items in a large city is something every player character wants to do at one point or another. It's exciting when, after the party's first big take, the PCs can walk tall into town and demand the most expensive and exotic items.

Not all campaign settings have stores with magic items for sale, but if yours does, then these random encounters might add a little spice to an otherwise mundane experience.

Ex

At one point or another, every adventuring party desires a map. It could be a map of the world, a region they're about to visit, or, of course, a map showing the way to a dungeon or other treasure trove.

The place to get maps is usually from a sage. Your campaign world may have guilds of cartographers or just have honest people with detailed, perfectly accurate, maps to sell at fair prices.

Stores that sell maps are unusual, but one such place is Ex, which is the spot with the most maps. It's owned and operated by Finneous Jackman, a sage who specializes in maps. He collected maps for years until his collection grew so large that he opted to sell off a few of the ones he didn't want so he could make space for more up-to-date maps. There was enough interest in his collection that now he owns a store for the trading, selling, and making of maps.

Most of the maps in the store are acquired, but some are made by Jackman himself. Jackman spends most of his time making new maps from old ones, combining details of existing maps, and making them more artistic and easier to follow.

As the PCs peruse Jackman's selection, they attract the attention of a ravid that has been skulking about the area. The ravid has worked its way into Ex through a broken window in the store's attic. When the ravid attacks and uses its animate objects ability, the PCs might very well think that the curse from Honest Goods (see Part 1 of this Random Encounter) has followed them to Ex. The DM should foster this notion if she wishes to tie these parts together.

The objects the ravid can use to animate are maps and the rods that the maps are draped over (used for easy organization and viewing).

Ravids (6): CR 5; Medium-size outsider; HD 3d8+3; hp 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25; Init +0; Spd fly 60 ft. (perfect); AC 25, touch 10, flat-footed 25; Atk +4 melee (1d6+1, tail slap) and +2 melee (1d4, claw); SA positive energy lash; SQ animate objects, flight, outsider traits; AL N; SV Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4; Str 13, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 12, Cha 14.

Skills and Feats: Listen +7, Move Silently +6, Spot +7; Multiattack*.

Positive Energy Lash (Su): A ravid can make a touch attack or hit with a claw or tail slap attack to infuse a target with positive energy. The energy produces an unpleasant tingle in living creatures and against undead foes (even incorporeal ones) it deals 2d10 points of damage.

Animate Objects (Su): Once per round, a random object within 20 feet of the ravid animates as though by the spell animate objects (caster level 20th). Each such object defends the ravid to the best of its ability, but the ravid isn't intelligent enough to give it specific commands.

Flight (Su): A ravid can fly as the spell (caster level 11th) as a free action. A ravid that loses this ability falls and can perform only partial actions.

Outsider Traits: A ravid has darkvision 60 ft. It cannot be raised or resurrected (though a wish or miracle spell can restore life).

Feats: *A ravid has the Multiattack feat even though it does not have the requisite three natural weapons.

Tactics

The ravid begins by animating a rod which begins beating up the PC nearest the ravid. After that, it animates a map sheet which uses its blind ability. The ravid alternates between animating a rod and a map sheet every round.

Map Rods (5): CR 2; Medium-size construct; HD 2d10; hp 11; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 14; Atk +2 melee (1d6+1, slam); SQ construct traits, hardness 1; AL N; SV Fort +0, Ref +0, Will -5; Str 12, Dex 10, Con -, Int -, Wis 1, Cha 1.

Construct Traits: A map rod is immune to mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), and to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. It cannot heal damage, but it is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain. It is not at risk of death from massive damage but is destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less. A map rod cannot be raised or resurrected. It has darkvision 60 ft.

Map Sheets (5): CR 2; Medium-size construct; HD 2d10; hp 11; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 14; Atk +2 melee (1d6+1, slam); SA blind; SQ construct traits, hardness 0; AL N; SV Fort +0, Ref +0, Will -5; Str 12, Dex 10, Con -, Int -, Wis 1, Cha 1.

Blind (Ex): A map sheet can grapple an opponent up to Large size. The sheet makes a normal grapple check. If it gets a hold, it wraps itself around the opponent's head, causing blindness until removed. The blinded victim cannot make Spot, Search, or Track checks and suffers a -6 circumstance penalty on other checks related to perception, such as Listen.

Construct Traits: A map sheet is immune to mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), and to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. It cannot heal damage, but it is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain. It is not at risk of death from massive damage but is destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less. A map sheet cannot be raised or resurrected. It has darkvision 60 ft.

Bringing the Parts Together

If the DM wishes to have the parts of the Random Encounter tied together, then the ravid was deliberately set loose inside of Ex by Cliodhna to sow suspicion amongst the PCs. Her motivation will become clear in future parts.

Coming in Part 3 of "Shopping, darling . . ."

An open air market may not be the best place to try to get a breath of fresh air.

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About the Author

Eric Haddock is a technical writer living in Renton, Washington, with his wife, Julia Martin, and Oracle and Ororo, their two cats. Eric runs Abashima Press, which is an imprint for himself and fellow authors in the Seattle gaming community. Eric is a former assistant editor of DragonMagazine and a game content writer for Xbox and PC games for Microsoft. In his spare time, he wallows in his addiction to Civilization III and takes care to shop online and avoid any unnecessary incidents at the store. . . .

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