Play It Solo: Lost Mine of Phandelver – Triboar Trail
This is part 4 of Play It Solo for the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set 5th Edition adventure, Lost Mine of Phandelver.
This chapter will focus on the exploration of the surrounding lands around Phandalin and the trail that will lead to many of the adventures outside the town.
It will be assumed that you have already played the first chapter of this adventure and progressed here via part 2. If you have not, click here for Part 1.
If you’re not familiar with how Play It Solo works or if you want to refresh your memory, click here.
Chapter 2: The Spider’s Web
Turn to page 27 of the Lost mine of Phandelver adventure booklet and start reading from ‘Triboar Trail’ until you get to the end of the page, but avoid looking at the map on page 5.
The sections below each focuses on one of the minor adventure sites within the surrounding lands. The time it takes to travel from the town to the following adventure sites (and vice versa) is roughly 2 days.
Once you’ve finished with one or all of these side adventures, click here to return to Phandalin.
Conyberry and Agatha’s Lair
Turn to page 28 of the adventure booklet and read the very first shaded box under the heading, ‘Conyberry and Agatha’s Lair’.
Decide whether or not you will enter the shelter. If you do, click the spoiler box below.
A home of sorts is sheltered within the dome of woven branches. It is sparsely furnished with chests, shelves, a table, and a reclined couch, all of it old and of elven craft.
Before you can take in your surroundings, the air grows cold and a powerful feeling of dread grips you. A cold, pale light flickers in the air, rapidly taking on the form of a female elf, her hair and robes waving in a spectral wind. She might have been beautiful once, but a hateful expression twists her features now.
“Foolish mortals,” she snarls. “What do you want here? Do you not know it is death to seek me out?”
Consider what you will do here before clicking the spoiler box below.
1. Attack or threaten the banshee
Agatha scowls at you and disappears, never to be seen again.
2. Tell Agatha that you seek answers
How Agatha responds depends on your attitude.
If you were rude and disrespectful, she disappears and doesn’t come back.
If you were respectful and polite, make a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check for the character doing the talking.
- Success: read the first shaded box on page 29 (literally the first few sentences on the page).
- Failure: “As if I would indulge a filthy mortal like you.” she sneers, before disappearing, never to return.
If you were successful, go to number 4.
3. Present to Agatha Sister Garaele’s silver comb as a gift.
Read the first shaded box on page 29 (literally the first few sentences on the page), then go to number 4.
4. Ask her one question
Before you can do this, you will need to persuade Agatha to help you (see numbers 2 and 3 above).
You may have been asked to speak to Agatha on someone else’s behalf. In this case, you should know what question(s) you need to ask Agatha.
In any case, consider what question(s) you wish to ask Agatha.
Once you have asked your first question, turn to page 29 of the adventure booklet and read the rest of the ‘Conyberry and Agatha’s Lair’ section to wrap up this mini-adventure.
5. Loot the place
Before you can do that, you must deal with Agatha.
Agatha begins combat by wailing on her first turn before using whatever means available to her.
You may find the monster statistics for the banshee in the Dungeon Master’s Basic Rules, which may be found here.
Even if you are victorious, you find nothing of interest.
Old Owl Well
Turn to page 29 of the adventure booklet and read the shaded box under ‘Old Owl Well’. Decide what to do next before clicking the spoiler box below:
1. Enter the watchtower through the front entrance
Zombies appear and attack you.
What will be your reaction to this? Decide, before highlighting the hidden text within the square brackets.
- Fight – [There are twelve zombies altogether. Begin combat as normal, but once 1d4 rounds are over, click here.]
- Run away (screaming) – [You outrun the zombies by quite a fair bit, but they don’t pursue you any further than the foot of the hill.]
2. Enter the watchtower by scrambling up the slope and slip through a gap in the wall
This is similar to number 1 above, but the difference is that the zombies do not notice you right away. Feel free to make Dexterity (Stealth) checks against the zombies’ passive Perception scores.
Regardless of the outcome, you may attack or fall back. See number 1 above for the results of each.
3. Call out to whoever might be in the tent.
4. Observe the place and see if there is anything unusual, hidden or amiss
A passive Perception score of 10 is enough to notice a deathly odour wafting from the tower. If not, you may make a DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice the odour.
5. Hurl a fireball at the tent
This is only possible if you’re a level 5 wizard. Roll damage and if [the result of your damage roll is 22 or higher, you kill whoever is in the tent and the 12 zombies are destroyed, provided they fail their constitution saving throws in order to stay in one piece (roll once for all of them to save time). Maniacal laughter is optional (and may be appropriate in a situation like this). However, all treasure is also destroyed, including the ring of protection.].
Turn to page 35 of the adventure booklet and read the shaded box on the top right corner of the page.
This section assumes you know what you came here for. If not, make the checks indicated just under the heading ‘Orc Camp’ on page 35 but rather than make a check per hour, make one per day. If you know what you came here for, assume you find what you are looking for after a few hours of searching.
Decide what you will do before clicking the spoiler box below.
1. Attack the orc
Roll initiative as normal. On his initiative, the orc flees back into the cave, disengaging if necessary. See ‘The Cave’ below for possible developments.
2. Call out a greeting to the orc and attempt to parley with it
The orc hurls its javelin at you before disappearing into the cave. See ‘The Cave’ below for possible developments.
3. Attempt to take out the orc while hidden
A rogue could attempt to snipe the orc and use his or her sneak attack damage, provided he or she is no more than 30 feet away. Other characters may attempt the same (though without the sneak attack damage).
For each character making this attempt, make a Dexterity (Stealth) check for each contested by the orc’s Wisdom (Perception) check.
Failure means you lose the element of surprise and must roll initiative as normal (see number 1 above).
4. Attempt to lure the orc out from where he is standing
How you attempt to do this is up to you. Let your creativity run riot.
You could for instance make a Charisma (Performance) check in order to imitate an orc and call him over to you – particularly if you are fluent in orc. This would be contested by the orc’s Wisdom (Insight) check.
Creating illusions of something that is attractive to the orc in order to try and lure him away, such as food, treasure and the like.
In short, be creative.
5. Charm the orc
Make the necessary saving throws for the orc as normal.
If he fails the saving throw, he will not attack you if you approach him and you may even get some useful information out of him.
Consider what you might want to ask the orc before highlighting the text in the square brackets.
[If you ask the orc what is in the cave, how many creatures there are in the cave, who their leader is or other questions to that effect, the orc is happy to tell you everything about his clan. Read the entire section under ‘Wyvern Tor’ on page 35 if you think to ask information about the orc and his clan, but avoid reading the ‘Awarding Experience Points’ section..]
[Tell the orc you want to see his leader and would like to offer him a tribute. The only condition is that he comes out alone. If you do this, you could isolate the leader from the rest of his gang, making him naught but easy pickings.]
Defeating the orc sentry
Once you have done this, it is time to explore the cave. See the spoiler box titled ‘The Cave’ below.
Incidentally, if you defeated the orc sentry and left this area without exploring the cave and cleaning up and disposing of the orc corpse, you may find a couple of sentries posted on your return. These orcs will be more alert than the original orc guard (i.e. they will be making Wisdom (Perception) checks rather than relying on their passive Perception scores).
1. Enter the cave
Read the rest of the ‘Orc Camp’ section, but avoid reading the ‘Awarding Experience Points’ section, since it contains minor spoilers. You should be able to figure out the amount of experience points awarded at the end of any potential encounter here on your own by referring to the relevant stat blocks.
Remember that the cave is likely to be unlit, since the creatures within do not need light to see properly (though it also means it favours characters using stealth, provided they too can see in the dark).
Combat will likely occur here, so roll initiative.
How the battle develops depends on which creatures you target first. Defeating the orc leader will mean you only have the ogre to deal with, since his minions will end up fleeing in the event that happens.
Obviously, this means you could simply target the leader and render the much of the encounter irrelevant by default.
To prevent this, you may assume that there is very little difference between the leader and a regular orc in terms of their appearance.
When resolving combat, roll 1d8, 1d6 or 1d4, depending on how many orcs are left. If the die shows up as 1, it means that an orc you target with a spell or attack is the leader.
If it is any other number, it means that you’ve targeted one of the minions.
2. Enter the cave quietly
Stealth would be a good option – for those who can see in the dark. The creatures in the cave have disadvantage on their passive Perception or Wisdom (Perception) checks.
If you have taken out the orc guard without alerting anyone else or allowing the orc guard to alert anyone else, use the passive Perception scores. Remember that their passive Perception scores will be reduced by 5 if the orcs are considered to have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks.
3. Set a few traps near the mouth of the cave
It’s up to you what constitutes as a trap in this case. Some examples may be revealed by highlighting the text in the square brackets below:
[A spike growth spell cast by a druid or a cleric with the nature domain would qualify and as long as your intended victims did not see you cast the spell, it would be difficult for them to detect.
Hunting traps could also work though the trap would have to be hidden, which may be difficult if the area is mostly rocky terrain (the adventure text doesn’t specifically mention this, but it is at least implied to be such).]
4. Lure out whoever/whatever is in the cave
You could do this by lighting a fire outside (you’ll need to gather firewood) and fanning the smoke inside. Assume that this cave is only small.
If you had the presence of mind to hide before anyone comes out, you may be able to discern the strength and numbers when they emerge, before you commit to combat.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of Play It Solo. Look out for Part 5 coming your way soon.
Any questions or comments, positive or otherwise, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.