Play It Solo: Lost Mine of Phandelver – Phandalin
This is part 2 of Play It Solo for the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set 5th Edition adventure, Lost Mine of Phandelver.
It will be assumed that you have already played the first chapter of this adventure. If you have not, click here for Part 1.
For an overview of how Play It Solo works or if you want to refresh your memory, click here.
Due to the length of chapter 2, it will be broken down into two separate posts.
Chapter 2: Phandalin
Turn to page 14 in the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure booklet.
- Read the boxed text on the left column of the page.
Read the second shaded box on page 14.
Sildar advises you to secure lodgings.
The next day, he establishes himself at the townmaster’s hall, hoping to bring law and order to the town.
He encourages you to keep up the pressure on the Cragmaw goblins. If you can locate Cragmaw Castle and defeat or drive away the leader, he will reward you with 500gp.
Sildar recommends you search the lands around Triboar Trail. It’s possible that you will run into more goblin raiders and it would be a good idea to capture a few for questioning.
Aside from this, Sildar is worried that Iarno Albrek is currently missing. He disappeared near the ruins of Tresendar Manor while exploring the area, so that is where you should begin your search.
He would like you to bring him back, whether dead or alive.
Sildar describes him as a short, dark bearded human wizard in his thirties.
You may visit any place that interests you (see the ‘Places to Visit’ section below). Explore as much as you like, except you may only visit a couple of locations before it is time to secure lodgings.
If you have business here, this would also be a good time to wrap things up. If you know where you need to go, go to the relevant locations below.
Once you are ready to get some rest, decide where you will stay before you click on the spoiler box below to reveal the possibilities.
1. The inn
Go to the section ‘Stonehill Inn’ in this article below, under ‘Places to Visit’.
2. Camp outside the town
If you roll 17 or higher, a random encounter occurs. Refer to the ‘Wilderness Encounters’ table on page 27 of the Lost Mine of Phandelver booklet. Use the ‘Night Roll’ column.
If you did not have the presence of mind to put someone on watch, your potential opponent(s) will surprise you (see page 9 of the Starter Set Rulebook).
3. See if any of the villagers are kind enough to take you in for the night
Make a DC 10 Charisma check. Increase this DC by 5 if more than half your party is composed of evil characters.
If your party is totally composed of evil characters, this check automatically fails.
Success: After spending an hour or two knocking on doors and getting rebuffed at every turn, you eventually come across a friendly farmer who agrees to let you stay in his/her hayloft.
You may stay with Daran Edermath or Qelline Alderleaf (determine this randomly).
Go to the relevant section below (‘Edermath Orchard’ or ‘Alderleaf Farm’) once you’ve determined who you will be staying with.
Once you have rested, you may explore any of the locations below and interact with the various NPCs that call Phandalin home.
Places to Visit
Turn to page 15 and read the shaded box under ‘Stonehill Inn’.
If you wish to rent a room for the night, refer to the ‘Food, Drink and Lodging’ table on page 19 of the Starter Set Rulebook for pricing.
Other than that, you may also introduce yourself to the locals.
1. Toblin Stonehill
Toblen is a short young man and the current proprietor of the inn. If you wish to speak with him, consider what you might want to ask or discuss with him.
The spoiler box below shows possible questions you might think of and the answers he might give in response to your questions.
Remember that any questions you ask do not need to be exact. You could ask a different question and still arrive at the same answer.
1. How did you become the proprietor of this inn?
Toblin, being a friendly sort, is more than happy to speak with you for a while and tells you that he is from Triboar and originally came to Phandalin as a miner. That all changed when he recognised his talents actually lay elsewhere and that Phandalin, being a very new town at the time, gave him other business opportunities he did not previously consider.
As a result, he took full advantage and established the Stonehill Inn and he has been doing well ever since.
2. Any interesting news or stories?
Toblin relates with a certain amount of frustration – as much for his inability to do anything about the problem as the existence of the problem itself – that a gang of ruffians calling themselves the Redbrands have been making lives miserable for the townsfolk as of late.
It is not helped by the fact that the current townmaster, Harbin Wester, has failed to make any sort of stand against them, allowing the bandits to do as they please.
3. Where can the Redbrands be found?
Following from question 2, if you ask where the Redbrands can be found, Toblin tells you that many of their members frequent the Sleeping Giant tap house.
2. Other NPCs at the Inn
Aside from the innkeeper, you may also speak with the various patrons of the inn if you wish.
Decide what you might ask them before revealing the spoilers below.
1. Dig around for interesting rumours
Most of the townsfolk are not particularly interested in small talk, though they reveal a little about themselves.
However, they are quite happy to share rumours that they have heard.
To determine who you actually speak to and which rumours you pick up, go to the rumors section under the ‘Stonehill Inn’ section on page 15.
You’ll see there are 6 NPCs who may have an interesting tale to tell, so randomly determine which NPC you speak to by rolling 1d6.
Not all NPCs are willing to talk, therefore if the result of your 1d6 roll is an odd number, make a DC 10 Charisma (Persuasion) check in order to get him or her to speak.
If you had the presence of mind to buy a drink, reduce the DC by 5.
2. Ask where the Redbrands can be found
Following on from the conversations you may have had with the townsfolk, you may be curious as to where the bandits can be found.
Anyone can tell you the Redbrands frequent the Sleeping Giant tap house.
If you wish to confront the Redbrands at the Sleeping Giant, go to ‘The Sleeping Giant’ section in this article below.
This is the biggest trading post in Phandalin and you can generally buy anything you want here, except for weapons and armour and items costing more than 25gp.
Refer to the “Adventuring Gear” section on page 18 of the Starter Set Rulebook for a list of available items and prices.
Barthen, a balding man of fifty years with a lean build and a kindly manner, is the current owner of the store.
If you have business here or if you would like to speak to Barthen, consider what you might do or say before revealing possible outcomes in the spoiler box below.
1. Deliver supplies
If you have safely transported the supplies to Phandalin, you may leave them with Barthen, who will pay 10gp per character for the trouble.
2. Tell Barthen that Gundren Rockseeker is captured
Barthen is distressed at the news. He implores you to do what you can to secure the dwarf’s rescue as they have long been friends.
He also mentions that Gundren’s brothers, Nundro and Tharden are camped somewhere outside town and while he hasn’t seen them for a tenday, they should arrive at the town pretty soon.
3. Ask about Gundren
Barthen tells you that he considers Gundren a good friend and is more than a little excited about Gundren’s plan to uncover the lost mine of the Phandelver’s Pact in the hills nearby.
Make a DC 15 Intelligence (History) check. If you succeed, read the first two paragraphs under the Background section on page 3 to know more about the mine.
4. Ask Barthen how business is going for him/Dig for news or rumours.
Life is hard at the moment – no thanks to the Redbrands, a group of bandits that have taken residence here.
If you had the presence of mind to ask where they are currently based or if you tell him you intend to do something about it, he will point you to the Sleeping Giant tap house where it is quite likely you’ll run into a band of them.
If you wish to confront the Redbrands at the Sleeping Giant, go to ‘The Sleeping Giant’ section below.
Daran Edermath is the owner of this tidy little cottage which stands beside an apple orchard. Despite his advanced years, the half-elf is still in remarkably good physical condition.
If you wish to speak with him, think of some questions you might like to ask him before revealing what is in the shaded box.
1. I’d like to know more about you
Daran Edermath served as a marshal and herald in the lands of the Dragon Coast before retiring and returning to Neverwinter.
He has now made Phandalin his home and tends to his orchard of apple trees.
2. Anything interesting happening lately?
The Redbrands have been making the lives of the townsfolk miserable lately. It’s time *someone* went round to teach them a lesson, he says while casting meaningful glances at you, and if their leader, Glasstaff, can be neutralised, that should end their operations in short order.
3. Where are the Redbrands based?
Following on from question 2, he knows that members of the Redbrands have been known to frequent the Sleeping Giant tap house. More than that, he also tells you that their main hideout lies beneath the ruins of the Tresendar Manor.
If you wish to confront the Redbrands at the Sleeping Giant, go to ‘The Sleeping Giant’ section below.
4. Could we stay the night?
Daran agrees to let you stay in the hayloft, unless you refuse his quest (see below) or give any indication you are the unsavoury sort.
In the former case, a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check is required before he agrees to let you stay.
In the latter case, he outright refuses to let you stay in his property. Years of experience in the adventuring profession allows him to “recognise a ‘bad apple’ when he sees one”.
Actions in hindsight: make a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check. If you refuse or haggle the reward for his quest, increase the DC by 5.
If you give him any reason to suspect that you are of evil alignment, your attempt automatically fails.
- Success: Daran lets you stay.
- Failure: Daran would prefer it if you slept elsewhere.
Quest: Old Owl Trouble
Once you are done asking Daran whatever questions you wish to ask him, he has a favour to ask of you.
Read the section ‘Quest: Old Owl Trouble’ on page 16.
If you take this quest, click here, read the ‘Triboar Trail’ section and scroll down to the section titled ‘Old Owl Well’.
Turn to page 16 and read the shaded box under ‘Lionshield Coster’.
The current proprietor of this place is Linene Graywind. To speak to her, consider the questions that you may wish to ask her before revealing what is in the spoiler box.
It’s also possible you may have business here. If you know what that might be, click the spoiler box below.
Finally, you may buy adventuring gear here, including weapons and armour. Refer to the “Adventuring Gear” section on page 18 of the Starter Set Rulebook for a list of available items and prices.
1. Return the stolen goods
If you have picked up the stolen goods from the caves in the previous chapter and return them to Linene, you will earn her gratitude and promises of future aid should you need it, as well as 50gp to split among your party members.
2. Tell Linene where the stolen goods can be found
Even if you have not brought the stolen goods with you, you can still tell Linene where they can be found.
If you do this, she expresses her thanks and rewards you with 50gp as above.
3. Get to know more about Linene herself
She introduces herself as Linene Graywind, but reveals very little else after that, other than the fact she sells weapons to anyone who needs it – other than the Redbrands… and anyone else who might be a threat to this town.
“Hopefully, that won’t include you.” she says.
4. Ask about the Redbrands
Linene remarks that the Redbrands are nothing but trouble and that you should avoid them.
“Stay away from the Sleeping Giant tap house, if you know what’s good for you.”
If you decide to ignore her warning and confront the Redbrands at the Sleeping Giant, go to ‘The Sleeping Giant’ section below.
Phandalin Miner’s Exchange
Turn to page 17 and read the first paragraph under ‘Phandalin Miner’s Exchange’.
The current guildmaster is Halia Thornton. If you wish to speak to her, consider any possible questions you might ask her before clicking on the box below.
1. Do you know where Cragmaw Castle can be found?
If you ask Halia if she knows the location of Cragmaw Castle, she indicates that she has no idea.
However, she does have some useful information that she can share with you, but on one condition: you perform a task for her. For details of this task, see below.
Quest: Halia’s Job Offer
Halia, like most of the townsfolk, is having problems with a group of bandits called the Redbrands and knows that they can usually be found in the Sleeping Giant tap house. Their hideout is likely to be found under Tresendar Manor.
Unlike the other townsfolk, however, she is willing to offer you a reward of 100gp if you can eliminate the Redbrand leader, Glasstaff, and bring back any correspondence found in his quarters.
Once you have made a decision on whether or not to accept, click on the shaded box below to reveal possible answers you can give.
A female halfling called Qelline Alderleaf lives in this farm with her ten year old son, Carp.
You may speak to either as you wish. Some possible questions and responses are listed inside the spoiler box.
1. I’d like to know more about you (Qelline)
Qelline is a simple farmer and her kindly nature is readily apparent. Talking to her for any length of time gives you the impression that she is up to date with all the happenings in town, including the recent occupation of the town by the Redbrands.
2. I’d like to know more about you (Carp)
Carp shares his fascination with the life of an adventurer and hopes that one day, he might live out his dream.
Between indulging (or staving off) his questions to you about your adventuring career, you can see Carp is pretty spirited.
If you indulge Carp and ask if he has been on any ‘adventures’ of his own, go to question 5 below.
3. What do you know about the Redbrands (Qelline)?
Only that the whole town is unanimous in their desire to see the Redbrands driven out and that you can often find some of their members at The Sleeping Giant (if you wish to pursue this lead, see the relevant section in this article below).
Another thing Qelline tells you is that her son, Carp, has told her that he was almost caught by the Redbrands. She is thankful to Tymora that he is unharmed.
4. Any question related to the location of Cragmaw Castle or Wave Echo Cave (Qelline)
Qelline mentions a druid by the name of Reidoth who is also an old friend of hers.
Turn to page 18 and read the section titled Quest: Reidoth the Druid.
If you take this quest, click here.
5. Ask about the ‘secret tunnel’ that you heard rumours about during your stay at Stonehill Inn (Carp)
Turn to page 18 and read the section Carp’s Story.
If you wish to follow this particular lead, go to Tresendar Manor below. Carp will give you directions or, if you like, he can take you there himself.
6. Could we stay here for the night?
Qelline is willing to let you stay in her hayloft, unless you have been rude to her or are the unsavoury sort (her sharp intuition allows her to detect this).
Actions in Hindsight: Make a DC 10 Charisma (Persuasion) check if you have not been rude or are not evil.
Shrine of Luck
This humble shrine, dedicated to Tymora, is tended by an elf who is referred to as Sister Garaele by the locals.
You can speak to Garaele, if you like. Consider what you would like to ask her and click on the spoiler box for possible answers.
Otherwise, go to the quest below.
1. Ask to know more about Sister Garaele herself
Garaele is a scholarly young elf who tends to this shrine every day and offers prayer on the behalf of anyone who asks for it.
She seems very devoted to her goddess, almost to the point of obsession.
Garaele also keeps a close eye on happenings around town and reports any significant news to her superiors. She does not go into it any more than that.
2. Ask about the Redbrands
Garaele would love nothing more than to see the bandits driven out of Phandalin, but wonders if it will ever happen.
If you give any indication you intend to do something about it, she is thankful and prays for your success.
3. Any jobs that need doing/that you know about?
Quest: The Banshee’s Bargain
Once you’ve finished your conversation with Garaele or if you ask her if she has any favours she needs doing, she offers you this quest.
For details, turn to page 18 and read the section Quest: The Banshee’s Bargain.
If you pursue this quest, click here, read the ‘Triboar Trail’ section and scroll down to the section titled ‘Conyberry and Agatha’s Lair’.
The Sleeping Giant
- Turn to page 18 and read ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the second column of the page.
- Following on from that, turn to page 19 and read the section titled ‘Redbrand Ruffians’ and stop at ‘Developments’.
Combat here is pretty much inevitable and there is no avoiding it, even with a sky-high Charisma (Persuasion) check.
Once the encounter is resolved, divide 400xp between your party members.
Assuming you win, your victory is greeted by no small amount of jubilation.
Decide what you are going to do next before revealing possible options in the spoiler box below.
1. Charm any Redbrand you have captured
This is a good way to get some useful information from the Redbrands. If this is what you intend, consider what questions you might ask the Redbrands, then click here. They will cooperate fully.
2. Persuade (or threaten) them into revealing what they know.
Make a DC 10 Charisma (Intimidation) check or a DC 15 Charisma (Persuastion) check, depending on your approach. If you succeed, click here.
3. Find a suitable prison for the ruffians you have defeated.
Asking around, you learn that there is a small jail in the ‘Townmaster’s Hall’, so go to the corresponding section in this article below.
Turn to page 18 and read the shaded box under ‘Townmaster’s Hall’.
The current townmaster of Phandalin is a fat male human called Harbin Wester.
1. Ask to know a little bit more about Harbin himself
With a certain pompous air of authority, Harbin reveals that he is a banker and as the current townmaster, he serves as a judge in minor disputes as well as keeping all necessary records in relation to the town.
2. Ask about the bounty on the orcs
Harbin would like someone to head east on the Triboar Trail and investigate claims that travelers have been running foul of a band of orcs near Wyvern Tor.
“If you can deal with this problem,” he says, “I’ll reward you 100gp to split between you and anyone you know.”
Any attempts to haggle the reward fail.
If you pursue this quest, click here, read the ‘Triboar Trail’ section and scroll down to the section titled ‘Wyvern Tor’.
3. May I use your jail?
If you intend to throw a Redbrand into the cell, Harbin objects vehemently.
“Why did you even cross them in the first place?” he says, “Provoke the beast and it will surely bite!”
Harbin lets your ‘lack of discretion’ slide for now, but warns you in no uncertain terms that he will not tolerate further opposition to the Redbrands.
4. Ask about the Redbrands/Ask Harbin why he has taken a different stance compared to everyone else
Harbin points out the Redbrands are simply a mercenary group and not all that much trouble – as long as you don’t make them angry.
“The townsfolk simply aren’t used to how they operate. They will get used to them in time and appreciate the protection they give.”
Even without an Insight check, it seems like he is saying this to convince himself more than anything.
However, any attempt to change his stance falls on deaf ears.
5. Let me use your jail (or else…)
Following on from question 3, you may want to cow him into granting you permission to use the jail instead.
A attempt at diplomacy works too, provided you can come up with a good argument.
If not, use the DCs for the Actions in Hindsight below.
Actions in Hindsight: Attempting to intimidate Harbin isn’t particularly difficult, given his cowardly nature which will become very apparent (if it hasn’t already) the moment you threaten his well being.
However, you must still succeed on a DC 10 Charisma (Intimidation) check if you did not come up with this idea on your own.
Persuading him might be a little trickier. A DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check is needed for him to agree to let you use the jail.
Located in the east edge of town on a low hillside amid woods and thickets, Tresendar is an ancient manor that has been long abandoned. It appears more of a castle than a house.
Decide what you will do here.
1. Search the place for treasure
Having been abandoned for a while, it’s unlikely this manor would have remained unlooted for so long.
Therefore, you find nothing of value.
2. Enter and investigate the ruins
The search takes an hour or two, but you eventually uncover an entrance that leads downstairs.
There are signs of previous activity and tracks leading in and out of the entrance…
What do you wish to do?
3. If you have spoken to Carp about his ‘secret’
Click here (coming soon) and go to Area 8.
A Word About Joining Factions
It’s possible you may have been invited to join a faction after completing certain quests, but the adventure does not go into any detail regarding these factions.
If you wish to expand on this, you may wish to check out my review of the Mythic Game Master Emulator, an eBook that is ideal for fleshing out your solo campaign and generating side quests whenever you need them.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of Play It Solo. Look out for Part 3 coming your way soon.
Any questions or comments, positive or otherwise, please feel free to leave them in the comments box below.