“What did you call me?!” The party hears someone yelling as they pass by [anywhere]. They turn the corner as a halfling flies out of an establishment door, having been thrown. Landing hard the drunken halfling looks up, “Well, I mean it’s true isn’t it?” Exploding out of the doors is a well-dressed Fomorian. He stomps over toward the halfling, standing well over four times the halflings height.
A female half-elf runs out and pleads with the Fomorian. “He’s not worth it Billy, please, just leave it.” The halfling spits at the feet of the giant and skips away. The anger of the Fomorian fades to sadness and with an apologetic look and an exasperated huff, the giant ducks back into the tavern, bumping his head on the sign “Billy’s Booze and Biscuits.”
If the party investigates, the half-elf sees them and apologizes for the scene. She introduces herself as Brielle Brickart, “Grumbleguts, or Billy as we call him, is a sweetheart, but when he hears the F word, he loses it.” Brielle goes on to explain that several years ago, Billy terrorized the town, defeating hordes of the town’s best fighters and destroying several establishments.
In a shocking display, another group of adventurers managed to catch Billy and convinced him to stop. In a contract with the mayor they decided to have Billy pay off his debt by working at the tavern where he had recently unalived the barkeep, the only catch is he has an extremely short leash for violence. If caught doing great harm to anyone, he will be exiled or worse, catapulted into the sun. In return, the townsfolk agreed to never say the word Fomorian again.
“That was three years ago at this point. Most folks have moved past it, but there are a few who still hang on to the memory. Then there are those passing through who don’t know any better, like that little guy.” She sighs and politely adds, “come on in, I’m sure you could use a rest and a drink.”
DMs Note: Traditionally “Fomorians were a race of giant-kin hideously deformed by an ancient curse, considered to be the most hideous and wicked of all the giant races,” so play into the hideousness as much as little as you went when you talk about Grumbleguts.
A Gentle-ish Giant
The party meets Billy if they enter the tavern and he is extremely cordial. His finely tailored suit gives off a good impression and he’ll smile if complimented.
DMs Note: Billy plays as a fairly tragic character, but with ridiculous background. For years he had lived happily in the hills until one day he accidentally stomped on a travelling merchants sheep or some such thing. The merchant placed a curse upon him, giving him severe migraines and painfully dry eyes.
He claims he came to town to get a potion or some such thing to eliminate the dryness, but everyone immediately panicked and he had to defend himself. His take is that everything that happened was accidental and he would never intentionally harm anyone. He only gets angry when folks call him a Fomorian, because he’s not! He’s just a giant with a stroke of bad luck…or so he says.
As the party enjoys their time in the tavern, they hear a voice outside. “Awright Fomorian, come on out. We know yer in there!” Brielle looks up, panicking. She sprints outside to dissuade the man from using the F word, but he keeps up. Billy slams his giant fists on the bar and stomps toward the door. The party can attempt to stop him but the gentleman outside will persist (no rolls necessary).
Depending on if the party has encouraged him to keep a level head, Billy exits the tavern looking for a fight or looking to be diplomatic.
The Bigger They Are The Harder They Brawl
”Say it again,” bellows the giant. If the party exits the tavern, they will see a group of five humans and the halfling from earlier gathered around the tavern holding weapons. Two of them are holding onto chains that connect to an Abominable Yeti (or some other Huge beast). A few different ways this might go down, but first some additional information:
- The leader of this group identifies himself as Gregory Larpnar, the son of the barkeep Billy unalived all those years ago. He seeks revenge for his father AND because the random adventurers that signed the contract should have made Gregor the new owner.
- Gregory has planned this day for years and trekked into the mountains to find, trap, and train the Yeti to fight Billy and anyone in his way (insert Rocky montage here)
- If Billy participates in more than 2 rounds of combat, he faces severe charges as noted above
- Brielle can be leveraged as a ranged NPC helper in the fight if desired
- There are carts and crates strewn about on the street outside of the tavern as in the map below.
- The humans take on the Bandit stat block, with Gregory taking on the Bandit Captain stat block.
The party intervenes and puts themselves between Billy and the aggressors, attempting to come to an understanding. If they persuade Billy to stay out of it, they will need to fight the Abominable Yeti and the six humans.
If they defeat Gregory, the rest of the humans will run away, but the Yeti will get an immediate recharge of Cold Breath. Standard combat ensues.
The party can bounce. I mean, they don’t have much stake here, so if a battle must ensue, they can just dip out of town. They’ll get a reputation in town as the group of adventurers that abandoned their giant, but is that so bad?
The party could attempt to broker a treaty between Billy and Gregory, converting the ownership of the tavern over to Gregory and finding something else for Billy to do, or helping him leave the town (they’ll need to convince the mayor that Billy will never do any harm to the town again). In this particular case, the Yeti will get bored during negotiations and turn on everyone, including Gregory and begin attacking the lot of them.
Look, you’re super creative and your party is likely also super creative so there are definitely more options available, so figure out what works best for you and your table!
If the party got to a reasonable outcome that sides with Billy and Brielle, they will be rewarded with heavy discounts, a whole tray of warm biscuits, and a bag of 500cp.
If they get to a poor outcome, they will get nothing and be asked to leave the area.