As the party is walking through [town name here], they see some flyers laying on the ground, noting an upcoming release of “Blue Balls.” Upon further inspection, the flyer shows that realm-renowned franchise owners The Biggle Brothers are releasing a new product line of their patented ball bearings.
Walking further into town, the party is approached by a halfling with a large twirly mustache, who frantically identifies himself as Edward Biggle. He and his brother, the proprietors of Biggle’s Balls, have hit a snag with their blue ball-bearing release. The snag is the result of a supply chain issue. Edward, or “Ed” as he lets his friends call him, explains that while [town name here] is where they are hosting their release, they were supposed to get a shipment from headquarters two days ago.
Partway through the story, Tedward Biggle (much more rotund version of Ed with a great big bushy beard), joins up out of breath. He adds to the story that they need the party to go track down the shipment for them as they continue their marketing activities. The shipment was last seen east of [other town here]. The party must hurry as the release is tomorrow (or however many days you deem appropriate).
Note: This could be a fun one to use a real-life timer (maybe an hour or two hours), to really get the sense of urgency going.
Before parting, the Biggle Brothers both note that they have had a recent rash of imposters popping up, so the party should be wary.
If desired, they can begin to debate details that are important that only they, the real Biggle Brothers, would know. Think Abbott and Costello-style antics.
Note: The only difference between the regular ball bearings and the blue balls are that “the blue ones are blue, the others aren’t.”
Biggles and Baggles
Approaching [other town here] the party notes two rotund halflings at a market stall selling Baggle’s Balls. They introduce themselves as Theodore and Eodore Baggle, owners of Baggle’s Balls, a realm-renowned ball-bearing franchise.
If pressed for information, DC15 Persuasion or DC10 Intimidation, the Baggles will spill the beans on the balls that are in question. They are meager beings, but if neither works, they can easily be bribed.
While they hold that they are the original proprietors of the ball-bearing stall, they agree that the coincidence in name and occupation seems suspicious. They’ve been warring with the Biggle Brothers for some time now and when a new cart-load of blue balls showed up in [other town], they saw it as an opportunity to cost the Biggle Brothers a fortune.
“We didn’t order these,” they’d said, which was not untrue. The cart driver had shown the purchase order but eventually went back to [third town here] with their cart full of blue ball bearings.
Additional Intimidation or Persuasion can get more information from the Baggle Brothers about the exact route, cart driver appearance, etc. All depends on how detail heavy you want to get as the DM.
Heading to [third town here], the party hears screaming off in the distance. As they near the area of the screams, they see cart tracks, tracks of a creature, and so many blue ball bearings scattered across the road and leading into the woods.
Investigation or Nature check will reveal that the tracks belong to a pack of gnolls and trail off into the woods near the path.
Following the tracks and/or balls will reveal an abandoned cart with one of four boxes broken open. Further ahead, the gnolls are tying the cart driver up to a tree, barking about the blue balls (or berries as someone that speaks Gnoll could learn). The gnolls (how many is DM discretion) and their Gnoll Pack Lord are complaining about the inedible blue balls and getting a little too pokey with the driver, who is constantly screaming.
Remember that fighting on ball bearings (the area is covered in them) is difficult:
The party could interrupt and battle the gnolls to save the cart driver OR they can collect 75% of the blue balls by grabbing the three unbroken boxes from the cart. Each box contains 100 bags (or sacks) of 1,000 balls, so each box weighs 200 lbs. Watch those encumbrance levels! If they are at a heavy load or higher, they may not make it back in time!
If they choose to save the driver, they can explain the flub and have him drive the balls to [town 1 here], but they must tame the two horses that are losing their mind back on the main path.
Returning to the frazzled Biggle Brothers, the party will be met with gratitude depending on how many of the blue ball sacks they were able to return.
- 50% return, Biggle Brothers will give them one bag of 1,000 ball bearings
- 75% return, bag of ball bearings, and 50gp
- 100% return, 10 bags of ball bearings, 100gp, chance to own their own Biggle Balls stall if they so choose
- Gross income per day 20gp
- Stall upkeep is 20gp/month
- Restock fees 100gp/month