The Witcher D&D: The beast (part 1)

Last time we’ve played the Witcher Dungeons & Dragons, we robbed a bank without a single fight. Today it’s time to change this with a whodunit detective adventure, where the players will encounter some resistance.

But if you’re completely new to tabletop role playing games, I suggest to start with our very first adventure.

Rewarded by the king

After deceiving Nilfgaard in the last adventure, the party (Letho the Witcher, Alex the criminal elf, Rhay the dwarven bard, Spark the craftsman and Sherga the mage) are summoned to king Radovid himself.

He informs them that they’ve saved Novigrad by providing false plans to Nilfgaard. And by destroying the bridge over the Pontar, the tide of the war is finally changing.

He rewards them with a well-earned vacation in Withywoods, a small quiet village nearby.

He has two small requests for the party:

  • Guard the peace at all cost, since his countryman deserve some rest after the war
  • Deliver a sealed message to the mayor

Quiet Withywoods

When our heroes arrive in Withywoods, they’re just in time for Winterfest. There’s a big bonfire in the center of the town, surrounded by merchant stalls. And everything is nicely covered in snow.

The mayor welcomes them, and invites them to the party after freshening up. He kindly requests them to demonstrate their skills to entertain his citizens. He also asks them to pay him a visit after the party, for a discreet conversation.

To freshen up, the players need to perform a Grooming & Style skill check against an average difficulty (DC14). Everyone succeeds, except for the witcher who fumbles (by throwing a 1). This means that he goes to the party with a totally unkempt appearance, giving hilarious results.

Entertainment at winterfest…

Each of our heroes come up with a creative idea to entertain the citizens

  • Rhay the bard performs a ballad (supported by Sherga’s Mind Manipulation spell to get everyone in the mood)
  • Letho the witcher challenges the strongest man to a fistfight
  • Spark the craftsman crafts a small bicycle for his parrot, and let’s him ride it
  • Sherga uses her Tanio Ilchar spell for fireworks
  • And Alex finishes with a seductive dance
Parrot on a bicycle
Parrot on a bicycle

They also meet some of the locals

  • Stijn of the crazy rabbit inn, who sells drinks
  • Andrew with some good food
  • Elsa buys and sells animal skins
  • Danny’s in the mood for a gambling game
  • Paul the bard has performed as well during the evening
  • Selwyn sells armor

… With a bloody end

After the party, they stop by Vincent the mayor, and he tells them that Joe the lumberjack was found dead earlier today. Next to the mayor, only two people are aware of this: Andrew who found the body while hunting for boar, and Jaana the healer. The news is kept quiet until the circumstances are more clear.

The party goes to Jaana to investigate the body, and they notice wolf-like claws (awareness check).

When they report back to the mayor, he gives them two clues:

  • The body was found in a clearing in the woods, where Joe was cutting trees
  • Paul the bard has seen something strange
Map of Withywoods
Map of Withywoods

The party gets 100 gold if they can give the head of the beast who killed Joe.

The players agree, in exchange for the information in Radovid’s letter. They learn that a dragon is sighted in the north, and that they are to investigate that after their ‘vacation’.

The clearing in the woods

When the party reaches the clearing in the woods, they see that all tracks are covered by fresh snow.

But they find a confused man in the woods. He claims that he used to be a wolf, but he was recently bitten by a man. During the day, he now shape-shifts into a man (a were-man!). Unfortunately, he can’t remember how the man looked like.

Any further interrogation has to wait, because the party is attacked by a pack of wolves. They manage to kill them, and bind the confused man to their carriage.

Wolves
Wolves

A strange creature

When they arrive back in Withywoods, they go straight to the bard to hear what he has seen. He describes a furry creature that entered a cave.

The party decides to investigate, but they see that the confused were-man has changed back to his wolf-shape, and is escaping back into the woods.

Conclusion

The main quest wasn’t finished yet, so this will continue in our next adventure. It was really fun here to see the creative solutions to entertain the citizens.

Overview of the Witcher TRPG game
Game overview

Combat can take quite some time, especially in a party of 5. It can take a bit the pace out of your game.

The inspiration for many of the character names is taken from the Ultima games. And Withywoods and Winterfest come from the great Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb.

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