Preparing to call it a night in [town name here] the party sees several guards cordoning off a home. With a low-level persuasion check, the party can gain access to the scene inside the home where it appears a murder has taken place.
Inside the home, there are two bodies in the middle of the floor, each with some sort of wound that led to their murder (DM’s flavor). A policeman of sorts is setting up evidence markers around the scene, though there don’t seem to be many.
At the far side of the home, facing the wall is a male Kenku Cleric, mumbling to himself. If the party gets closer, they realize he is talking to the wall, asking questions about evidence, and responding in different voices. Each question is asked in the style of someone speaking to a group of children, echoing the tone and tenor of the primary policeman.
- “Do you know how many murderers there were?”
- “Ohhhh, did you say tttWWWWooooooo?”
- “Can you see where the murderers entered the home?”
- “The WiNdOwwwwwww, are you sure?”
Resting on a table, the party may also notice a taxidermied dog that’s been painted blue with spots. Steve will frequently turn and yell “what say you Blue?!”
The Decline of Detective Steve
If the party asks the initial policeman about this, he will scratch his head and go into some backstory about “Detective Steve.” Steve was a commander in the town guard until one fateful night when his family was caught in a tragic accident. Steve and his patrol had been tracking a wizard that made its way into town and was randomly turning townsfolk into furniture. They’d cornered him, but the wizard had taken Steve’s family hostage in order to get away.
One of the younger guards accidentally released the arrow from his bow, nearly hitting the wizard, who responded by turning Steve’s family into a living room set including a sectional sofa, coffee table, and really nicely stitched ottoman. The spell was unreversible and Steve began having delusions, talking to all furniture and walls during their investigations.
“He sounds insane, but dammit, he’s got a 100% solve rate.”
“Hey Chair!” Detective Steve shrieks in the voice of one of your party, interrupting the policeman. Steve continues squawking around the home, never looking at the individuals, but always looking at walls or inanimate objects, kindly questioning them about what additional clues or evidence they can see, then repeating loudly in clarifying questions.
At this point, the party is welcome to assist Steve in the investigation, but if left to his own devices, Steve will solve the case regardless.
As Steve further bounces chaotically around the room, he will continue connecting pieces of evidence, thanking the walls or inanimate objects for helping him along the way.
There are plenty of types of murder mysteries you could run through with Steve and your party, but here’s a solid starter pack (d100 table) from DnDSpeak.
Steve is completely bonkers. Chaotic neutral, he never talks to anyone living. Even as he hashes out details to the primary sergeant, or whoever is responsible for acting on his findings, he is always speaking to the floor, walls, or inanimate objects.
When he’s collecting evidence, he will doodle his notes into a notebook with an oversized pencil.
Steve will frequently begin skulking to a corner of a room only to abruptly turn to the wall and ask “a what?”
- “Steve skidoo, you can too” – when he’s solved the crime
- “Steve just got a letter, Steve just got a letter, Steve just got a letter, Steve wonders who killed them” – when he enters a crime scene
- “Hi out there, it’s me Steve! Have you seen Blue?” – if he forgets where he’s stashed his taxidermied dog
At your table you can play Steve up even more, bouncing around the room and eyeing the walls with one eye, head cocked up, revealing additional details about the murder.
Potential Party Implications
Outside of assisting Steve with any crime scene investigations, they could potentially look for a way to bring his family back from their furniture state, connect several broader crimes into one central crime, or just have him as someone they call on when they need to solve a mystery.