This can be an entertaining skill challenge to keep your party’s creativity sharp. Also, since it doesn’t involve traveling anywhere, it can be dropped in as a quirky sidequest during any city visit.
While in town, your party literally runs into the famous bard Xplizit (this is a play on the actual host’s name: Xzibit). He immediately drops a crate that he’s carrying, spilling various metal pieces and other strange baubles across the city street.
If your party stops to help him gather up his scattered supplies, he will thank you and apologize, explaining how he’s exhausted from running around the market trying to gather items for use in his body shop. Usually, he has a crew to help him, but they had some rancid cheese the night before and called in sick with food poisoning today.
If your party offers to help him out, he will be ecstatic and lead the party to his body shop.
Ride in Style
The party arrives at a pretty high-end body shop: the walls are decorated with a variety of strangely colored/shaped carriage wheels, a waiting room area has a plush piece of furniture and a shrine to Xplizit himself, showing off various memorabilia from his career as a successful bard, glowing globes float magically in the air and change between red, green, and blue light. Attached to the body shop is a small office, break room, and stables where a couple of horses are housed.
There are 3 customers waiting impatiently in the waiting room. Your party is tasked with completing each customer’s request in as creative a way as possible. Xplizit will provide any gold that’s needed to buy materials from the market as well as offer plenty of basics building supplies that he already has on hand and in abundance: metals, woods, fabrics, etc.
When the party has an idea, have them roll ability checks to determine the success of the fabrication/creation process. For example, if they decide to cut some fabric and make a fun costume for a horse, they should 1) describe the costume in detail and 2) roll a tools check (e.g. artisan’s, tinker’s, leatherworker’s, etc.). Xplizit has any tools the party may need, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that your players will have proficiency with any of them. Likewise, he will have small glass orbs that can be enchanted with minor illusions (so that concentration doesn’t need to be maintained and an illusion can exist on a ride indefinitely); however, only one of these special glass orbs can be used per customer.
If your party can think up ideas, and succeed on ability/tool check rolls, for at least 3 edits to the customer’s ride, then this will result in a “happy customer.” Anything less than that will result in a disappointed or, perhaps, even furious customer if everything falls apart.
Customer #1: Paint It Black
The first customer is a fearsome-looking half-orc. She’s dressed in expensive, ebony-black armor and is very no-nonsense in her delivery. The party isn’t quite sure if there’s real blood still splattered on her face from a previous battle, or if it’s just some well-placed makeup for the purpose of intimidation.
She will introduce you to her horse outside, a black stallion named NightMare, and make the following request: make my steed strike fear into all who gaze upon her.
Your party will then have 1 hour to work and adorn this horse with items, armor, and clothing to try and satisfy her request. Again, they can also assign it a spell globe for one continuous minor illusion spell.
Customer #2: An All-Natural Look
The second customer is a halfling druid. He is dressed in various furs and leathers and is carrying a backpack that’s almost as large as he is. Additionally, he will have a number of animals with him: some birds, a sleepy cat, and a happy dog (a small breed).
He shows you his “ride”: a small wooden cart that he pulls behind him on his journeys. It’s perfectly sized for him.
He will ask that you make his wooden cart more natural-looking and better camouflaged in the wilderness as well as request places for my animal companions to rest and be comfortable.
Again, the party has 1 hour to complete this task.
Customer #3: Paint with All the Colors of the Wind
The final customer is a wild and expressive woman, her personality veering into the realm of “manic.” She has a loud and grating laugh and finds everything incredibly amusing. She is decked out in colorful and gaudy clothes that are bedazzled with sequins, beads, and feathers.
She excitedly and proudly shows you her ride: a beautiful, but plain, carriage pulled by a single white horse. She will simply ask that you make the carriage (and horse, if you’d like) as gaudy and bright as she is, so that everyone around will notice it and feel her same level of joy about life <3. She will also request a built-in way to store and keep her herbal tea warm while traveling.
The party has 1 hour to complete this task.
To have a “happy customer”, the following criteria must have been met:
- The party made sure to include any/all parts of the customer’s request
- The party succeeded on ability/tool checks for 3 (or more) edits to the cart
Depending on how many “happy customers” you achieved, you will receive the following rewards:
- 0-1 happy customers: A “thanks for trying” and 10 GP
- 2 happy customers: 25 GP and Xplizit’s offer to sign a single item for each party member. Once an item/piece of equipment is autographed, it receives the “Signed by Xplizit” condition, increasing its value by 50% whenever sold to a shop.
- 3 happy customers: 50 GP, the same Xplizit signing offer as above, and the magic item “A Fresh Coat.” When this jacket is slipped onto a character’s figure, the jacket itself will turn invisible. The character chooses a color or pattern; immediately, all of their skin will magically change to the selected color or pattern until the coat is removed.