Nearing LeBoufia (or another town name) the party sees fields with strange markings. As they get nearer, they realize the markings are actually holes dug several feet deep into the ground, randomly arranged amongst the fields.
Further up the road they see a dirt-covered man with a crazed look in his eyes, hands bloodied, digging furiously about a foot into a new hole. If the party approaches the man, they hear him mumbling to himself any of these phrases.
- “The eyes of the spud are in every place, watching the evil and the good”
- “Behold, the eye of the spud is on those who fear it, on those who hope for his kindness”
- “I am the same as you are in the eyes of spud; I was cut off from the same bit of wet earth”
- “For it is a sign of grace if a man, desiring to do right in the eyes of spud, undergoes pain as punishment for something which he has not done”
Interrupting the man and/or removing his shovel will cause him to freak out, frantically attacking the party to get his shovel back. He will become more agitated and more violent, screaming, “We must gain relief through the agonizing labor of our hands, caused by the ground the spud has cursed.”
In the commotion, several other heads and townsfolk, similarly digging holes, with similarly bloodied hands, will pop up from surrounding holes. 10+ will climb out of their holes, murmuring the same lines as the man, attempting to get the shovel back.
As long as the shovel is returned, they will not get violent and will go back to their digging. They will not answer questions and seem to not really see or understand the party.
Making their way further into the town they will see anywhere between 10 and 50 more individuals (depending on desired town size).
What Is Spud, Baby Don’t Hurt Me
Inside the walls, the townsfolk seem normal enough. If asked about the hole-digging, the individuals will point the party to the center of town, and suggest talking to Mayor Tuber.
In the center of town will be a pedestal with a potato floating above, emanating a bright light. The potato is in a glass enclosure, hovering above an ornately crafted pillow. If anyone of the party goes up to the glass, they must roll a DC12 Wisdom check or be hit with an overwhelming urge to go dig holes.
As the party notices the floating starch, they will be greeted by a boisterous woman who identifies herself as Mayor Tuber. She is decked out in a pantsuit fashioned out of cloth and what appear to be potato peelings. She will corral the party, saying, “Isn’t it glorious?” beckoning the party back over to observe the rotating rhizome.
Again, the party will need to make a DC12 Wisdom check or feel the digging urges.
“I was running the inventory of our latest harvest, and it spoke to me.”
Mayor Tuber will detail how as she held the potato in her palms she could feel the power coursing through her veins before hearing a deep voice whisper “dig.”
She will continue to explain that her more loyal townsfolk have taken heed of the potato’s wishes and began digging to aerate the
Mayor, More Like DicTater
Bumping into other townsfolk, the party will learn of secret meetings hosted by the Mayor and her subordinates. One individual notes that they spied the mayor with a map of the town and a giant X written on it. The X was somewhere out in the fields, roughly where the party saw the townsfolk digging holes.
Another oddity about Mayor Tuber is that no one remembers her being voted in. She just showed up one day, placed the glowing potato in the center of town, and proclaimed herself mayor.
The real story (revealed however the party comes about it), is that Mayor Shiela Tuber is a treasure hunter who has done this in three other towns across the realm so far. The potato itself is infused with an enchanted gem that causes the glow and casts Suggestion on those who gaze upon it.
Shiela has managed to keep this a secret to the town, using her Charisma to persuade the townsfolk that nothing is wrong. She’s also managed to be a decent mayor in the process which is why many individuals haven’t complained much. Sure, they don’t enjoy that their friends and family are obsessed with obeying the potato, but past that things are pretty good in their town.
There are many ways to go about resolving this situation. Some key pieces you can use here:
- Holds a meeting in the town hall every evening, adding slash marks to the newly dug holes that didn’t produce any gold.
- If confronted about the map, Mayor Tuber will only confess if attacked or intimidated. If attacked, see her stat block below. She will also be aided by several bandits and one bandit thug.
- If she confesses, her confession then leads to a request to help her find the treasure, offering up half of the goods if they assist.
- The party could let her go about her business and leave the town, but where’s the fun in that.
- The Mayor may also burn the map up if cornered.
- The treasure itself is the hoard of Lord Murphy Starchington: a chest of 500gp, one taxidermied possum, five potato peelers, a recipe for potato soup, a bag of potato seeds, and a ring of rot.
- If the party is sneaky, it’s possible that the party could steal the map and find the treasure on their own, sneaking away with all the goods
- Additional scraps of map will reveal a portion of map similar to the following, the final location of the treasure is up to the DM. If it’s by the river consider tossing a bathing Owlbear at the party. If it’s in the woods, maybe an adolescent Treant. Regardless, as the DM you can make this as easy or hard on the party as you want.
What other ways might this encounter end? Can the party easily snag the treasure or are there complications along the way? Let us know how it goes with your party!
Mayor Tuber Stat Block
Medium humanoid (any race), any alignment (via u/dynath)
Armor Class: 13
Hit Points: 40 (5d8)
Speed: 30 ft.
Str: 9 (-1)
Dex: 14 (+2)
Con: 11 (+0)
Int: 11 (+0)
Wis: 12 (+1)
Cha: 17 (+3)
Saving Throws: Cha +6, Dex +5
Skills: Arcana +6, History +6
Senses: passive Perception 11
Languages: any four languages
Challenge: 6 (2,300 XP)
Bardic Inspiration. The bardic inspiration adds 1d8, and may be performed 4 per short rest.
Spellcasting: The bard is a 9th level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). The minsrel has the following wizard spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): Prestidigitation, Vicious Mockery, Message 1st level (4 slots): cure wounds, healing word, sleep, tasha's hideous laughter 2nd level (3 slots): shatter, suggestion, pyrotechnics 3rd level (3 slots): Hypnotic Pattern, bestow curse 4th level (3 slots): Freedom of Movement, Polymorph 5th level (1 slot): dissonant whispers
Rapier. Melee attack: +5 Hit: 5 (1d8+3) slashing damage.
Hand Crossbow. Ranged attack: +5 Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage.
Lute Improvised Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft, one target Hit: 3 (1d8-1) bludgeoning damage