Content of the article: "New DM, need advice on encounters for a tavern one-shot"
Hey guys! I'm a 2 year player of 5e, but I've never been in the hot seat before. I decided to overcome my nerves a little bit and run a 5th level one-shot for my friends (5 players). It's going to be lighthearted and comedic, so it will help take the edge off a little bit. The general idea is they are proprietors of a new tavern and inn business, it's their first Midsummer Festival as a business, and they have to survive a night with many rowdy guests and things generally going wrong (I'd like to thank reddit for the idea, it's pretty cute). They all have 300 gold for personal funds, an uncommon item, and a pooled 1000 gp for the business in case something goes wrong and they need to tap into the funds.
The problem I'm running into is figuring out how to go about combat and leading up to encounters. I sort of overprepared a few short encounters + combat ideas so I can know which ones to throw in? Some of the ideas were:
– A rival wine business across the way that's been around much longer is trying to sabotage their business for the day, hires a guy to go in and poison some beer in the cellar, and they have a standoff. (I saw that there were standard stat blocks for a deep gnome and thought maybe I could use that?)
– A mimic swallows a guest in their inn room! (I plotted maybe a high DC check to hear her shriek from upstairs with all of the noise going on).
– There's a problem with the food in the kitchen, and they have to fight a grey ooze (or… black pudding?)
– Band of rowdy orcs in the bar throws a javelin and breaks a bunch of glasses on the backbar (fun opportunity to head nextdoor and dip into business funds to buy more cups).
– In the cellar there's a swarm of bats? rats? and a cave fisher trying to eat it! (I thought a cave fisher would be funny due to it's alcoholic blood, it's just on theme and kind of silly).
Of course, I won't be throwing all of these at them! But I would like some advice on how to work around these combat encounters or if you all have any suggestions for improvement!
- I flinch and pull back whenever it looks like my PCs are in mortal danger – how can I overcome this?
- Players expecting every risk to have proportional reward?
- Encouraging Short Rests Instead of Having 6-8 Encounters
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