Monthly Encounter #14: Amani Baba and the ten thieves (lvls 1-4)
Here at Tribality, we’ve decided to provide our readers with Encounters ready to be added to your table. I’ll be creating new ones monthly for you to have a big collection to look through when you run out of ideas for your game. If people end up liking them we may start releasing them in easy to print PDF format.
Don’t forget to comment feedback or possible variations for others to see and/or possibly implement when running this encounter. Without further ado, hope you enjoy it:
Amani Baba (she/they) is the leader of a thieves’ group that roam the desert in search of treasures. Many times have the nobles’ carriages been ransacked by them. However, what really interests Amani the most are the legends saying that tell of hidden treasures and powerful beings that can be bound to serve you. When she and the other thieves managed to defeat an adventuring party, they found out that the adventurers were carrying a strange map leading to a secret oasis.
The Star Oasis is in the middle of the desert with a single palm tree to mark its location, some rocks, and a star-shaped water pond. This oasis has been enchanted with magic to only appear once every ten years for a day.
Amani Baba and the ten thieves
The players can randomly find the Oasis or be informed in the following ways:
- A lord could have given the player characters a map to find and bring back the treasures found in the Oasis, with the promise they would give the lord one of the treasures that lie there (the lamp).
- Rumors have been circulating in taverns and pubs of an oasis that magically disappeared 10 years ago with plenty of treasures. Only Mad Carla knows of its location, but everyone thinks she is just speaking nonsense.
- A Wanted Sign claims to greatly reward those who bring Amani Baba back alive, indicating where she was last seen one day ago (near the oasis zone). Player characters may ask for directions.
- An herbalist claims to have gathered a few years back a herb that had magical properties. This strange herb can revive a fallen individual by rubbing it on their skin. She didn’t know at the time the powers of the herb and hasn’t been able to find it ever since. She draws a map for the players to that location, pleading them to bring them back one to revive her brother. They can keep the rest. The map points towards the oasis.
The Star Oasis
Depending on the amount of time the player characters take to get to the oasis they may arrive during the day or during the night. The Star Oasis is a day away from the nearest town.
Water pool: The water pool is 10ft deep and has some fishes swimming in it, as well as a tiefling skull on top of a jade elephant statuette valued 400gp
Secret Entrance: The secret entrance is made out of thick sandstone. It has AC20 and 60hp. A detect magic spell tells you that the secret entrance was modified with transmutation magic to be made even harder to break.
Bush: A DC14 Intelligence (Herbalist kit) or Wisdom (Herbalist kit) check shows this is an extremely weird kind of herb growing from the bush, possibly with excellent medicinal use. A DC17 Intelligence (Herbalist kit) or Wisdom (Herbalist kit) indicates this herb can revive a fallen humanoid with the same effects to the revivify spell. The bush has enough herbs for 3 uses.
Thieves: The 10 thieves are from a great variety of races, from halflings to dwarves and elves. They all are wearing light clothing and bandanas. They use the bandit stat block. Amani (she/they) dresses in a similar manner. Their skin is tanned and has a long ponytail coming from the highest section of their brown hair that comes below their back, only to be braided near the end. She uses the thug stat block.
If the player characters arrive at night time, it’s going to be 10 minutes til midnight. It was only Amani Baba who heard from the legends that the oasis disappears at midnight. Thus, she is planning to get this over as quickly as possible. Amani and 10 thieves came with 10 barrels full of dynamite to explode a secret entrance to a hidden room where a brass lamp lies. 4 barrels are placed on top of the secret entrance, while the other 4 are by the side in case they need more explosive power. A weird bush is planted near the palm tree as well, with very peculiar leaves.
Light: The oasis is only lighted by a torch being held by one of the bandits. The area is otherwise dimly lit from the moonlight.
Dynamite barrels: Dealing 1 fire damage to a barrel causes it to explode in a 10ft radius. All creatures in the radius must make a DC14 Dexterity Saving Throw or take 3d6 fire damage. On a success, the creature takes half the damage. Note that barrels may explode other near barrels, and if many explode at once, near creatures may take damage from more than one at once.
Reasoning with the thieves: Having heard great stories from the lamp, Amani lets player characters work with them with a DC14 Charisma (Persuasion) or Charisma (Intimidation) check. Failing means Amani doesn’t trust the player characters and asks them kindly to leave, resorting to violence if necessary. She will not share their knowledge of the place, and will have the thieves attack the player characters as soon as they find the treasures beneath. Amani surrenders when only 3 other thieves and them are left alive, pleading the player characters to just leave them the lamp.
Combat against the thieves is done in different phases, as some thieves will be positioning the barrels by the time combat begins. This means that 4 bandits will be by the barrels while the first 4 bandits attack. The other 4 bandits arrive by Initiative 20 of the next round, with Amani and the last bandit joining the fight on the last one.
Adjusting the encounter: If the PCs are level 3 or lower, have Amani Baba use the bandit captain stat block. Additionally, if the PCs are at lvl 1 or 2, have 3 thieves already dead from an accidental explosion by the time they arrive.
If the player characters arrive at day time, it’s going to be 10 minutes til midday. It was only Amani Baba who heard from the legends that the oasis disappears at midday. Amani and their bandits are at the time fighting against a marid coming out from a brass lamp. The marid has deceived one of the thieves into accidentally wishing for a hat and now refuses to grant another wish. There’s a hole on the floor near the star-shaped water pool, as well as a palm tree and a bush with very peculiar leaves near it. Amani is shouting for help, saying “this water creature” came out of nowhere and started attacking them as they were traveling. A DC13 Wisdom (Insight) check indicates she is lying.
Light: The oasis is fully lit by sunlight.
Wind. A strong wind is going on in the area, making all ranged weapon attacks to be made at disadvantage.
Broken secret entrance: The secret entrance was exploded with dynamite and is now a 10x10ft hole in the ground that leads to a room of the same size 20ft below.
Allying with the thieves: Amani will deeply thank the PCs for thanking them defeat the marid. She will then tell the PCs that she will leave all treasure behind as a thank you, only leaving with the lamp. Confronting her has she order the thieves to attack.
Allying with the marid: The marid is confused about why the PCs helped him, casts tongues on himself, and proceeds to say while chuckling that the thieves “fell for the oldest trick in the book”. He proceeds to tell the PCs that he will grant one wish for them with no tricks as a matter of thanks. After granting them the wish, he will tell the PCs to leave him again in the oasis if they don’t want to meet his wrath. Disobeying him makes the marid restore his full hit points and start combat against them.
- The marid is named Nubbaan and is a noble genie capable of granting one wish per individual or group of individuals if the marid so chooses. Nubbaan greatly enjoys confusing those who summon hum enough they end up wishing for something accidentally or something they didn’t really want. If he doesn’t manage to accomplish that, Nubbaan will try to bend the wish in a way to cause chaos or suffering to the wisher, as he loathes being bound by the lamp to obey those who summon him. For example, if someone whishes to be the richest man alive, Nubban may give that person all the money in the world, removing it from their original owners and leaving them a letter behind with the summoner’s descriptions.
- Dropping the marid’s hit points to 0 makes him return to the brass lamp. He may not be summoned for a week again as he recovers.
- Amani knows there’s a time limit to the oasis, and that they need to get out of it before the time runs out. Take this heavily into account when roleplaying them. She is cunning like a fox, and may try to leave the PCs in the oasis while she runs away with the lamp. If there’s a chance time is to run out with the PCs in the oasis, find a way to notify them, be it from Amani themself or Nubbaan. Nubbaan can be their ticket out if they get stuck in there, so try not to leave them without the lamp if they are to be trapped.
- Inside the secret entrance, there is a secret 10x10ft room with 1762pp 12500gp 7842sp 582cp, a golden rod worth 600gp, and 6 statuettes of tigers made from different materials each worth 200gp. Additionally, there’s a brass lamp that when rubbed releases a marid. Skeletons from 34 different people can also be found amongst the coins, no remains of their clothing or what they carried behind. Note that the player characters have a time limit if they want to take all this treasure, and may have to leave some behind.
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