D&D General Encounter Assistance : liberating a village

GreyBeardDM

Explorer
hello all

currently trying to flesh out an encounter, we paused last session in a village and I am trying to unpick what to do next, but post COVID brain fog has kicked in. Any help would be appreciated

facts:
  1. Village has been taken by 2 sets of bandits. One being the alpha bandit group. About 12 men in total
  2. They have some mcguffin to alert more
  3. Village is providing sheep for Alpha bandits dragon, dragon isn't close
  4. PCs have been and scouted out and visited local tavern
  5. This village was also going to be a base for more bandits but the PCs have stopped them arriving
  6. The PCs have access to a mustering of 30 men, but they are also needed in a few days time as they need to protect a ford crossing
Plan from PCs is to spend the night inside and then open the gates during the night - 2 guards against 4 PCs and then get their friendly army in.

Anyone got any ideas to flesh this out?
 

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GreyBeardDM

Explorer
What level are the PC, how strong is the opposition vs what the PC than muster, and what access to magic does the village and bandits have?
Good-ish
----------
5 level 8 PCs
30 men camped about an hour away

Not so Good
---------
6 thugs/bandits
6 veteran bandits
2 boss bandit types

they have the reinforcements of a dragon

also Main bandit boss has taken the ruler of the villagers family
 

Oofta

Legend
Think about this from the perspective of the villagers. Did they ask for help? Does everyone agree? Odds are at least some of the residents are supportive of the bandits out of fear or because they gain from the relationship. The mayor or perhaps a subordinate could be getting kickbacks or even using the bandits as a false flag operation. People in a dangerous situation will oftentimes not want to rock the boat because they see more danger from change than maintaining the status quo.

There are also multiple twists you could throw in of course. One of the villagers is really the dragon that's polymorphed themselves because they're bored and are having fun with the chaos. The bandits aren't in league with the dragon, they are being threatened themselves. There's an option to get help from a neighboring community or kingdom but it could come at a cost and so on.
 

GreyBeardDM

Explorer
Think about this from the perspective of the villagers. Did they ask for help? Does everyone agree? Odds are at least some of the residents are supportive of the bandits out of fear or because they gain from the relationship. The mayor or perhaps a subordinate could be getting kickbacks or even using the bandits as a false flag operation. People in a dangerous situation will oftentimes not want to rock the boat because they see more danger from change than maintaining the status quo.

There are also multiple twists you could throw in of course. One of the villagers is really the dragon that's polymorphed themselves because they're bored and are having fun with the chaos. The bandits aren't in league with the dragon, they are being threatened themselves. There's an option to get help from a neighboring community or kingdom but it could come at a cost and so on.
I do like the idea the villagers aren't wanting to be saved.

when the PCs try to open the gates, some of them will try to stop them for instance
 

Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
It's easy to take a location. The difficulty is HOLDING it, especially if people who live there don't want to be 'saved'.

There's always the possibility of some other landholder nearby deciding to annex the village, especially if it's useful/prosperous, but was too nervous to go against the bandits. However, once the bandits are handled and the 'saviors' are trying to rest/recuperate/figure out their next move, that's when they could come galloping in.
 

Stormonu

Legend
If a mere 12 men have taken the village, they likely have someone of import (or multiples) as hostages to keep the villagers from rebelling (sounds like they have the mayor's family - they might also have the village's children or others under watch/duress as well). The bandits may be lodging in individual's home - spreading them out but making certain families reluctant to risk moving against someone whose on their doorstep and possibly ready to kill them if they step out of line.

Houses or other buildings might be barred at night to keep the citizens from wandering about or being a nuisance. Barricades might have been erected to funnel any would-be attackers into kill zones or slow/prevent easy maneuvering (including magical barricades). New gates or walls may have divided or restricted access to parts of the village.

Traps or other hazards may have been erected - pit traps, areas of spike growth, darts/hammers/magic wards over doors, implements to set buildings on fire or fire carts to burn the village down in case of rebellion and the like.

Many of these might have been concealed, rendered invisible or otherwise disguised so that snooping around doesn't make them obvious until they come in play.
 

Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
If a mere 12 men have taken the village, they likely have someone of import (or multiples) as hostages to keep the villagers from rebelling (sounds like they have the mayor's family - they might also have the village's children or others under watch/duress as well). The bandits may be lodging in individual's home - spreading them out but making certain families reluctant to risk moving against someone whose on their doorstep and possibly ready to kill them if they step out of line.

Houses or other buildings might be barred at night to keep the citizens from wandering about or being a nuisance. Barricades might have been erected to funnel any would-be attackers into kill zones or slow/prevent easy maneuvering (including magical barricades). New gates or walls may have divided or restricted access to parts of the village.

Traps or other hazards may have been erected - pit traps, areas of spike growth, darts/hammers/magic wards over doors, implements to set buildings on fire or fire carts to burn the village down in case of rebellion and the like.

Many of these might have been concealed, rendered invisible or otherwise disguised so that snooping around doesn't make them obvious until they come in play.
Traps and misdirects are a very good call. ... and for some reason, it made me think of the defense of Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles. Or, if you're more serious... the death traps in the movie 13 Assassins. There's something satisfying about trapping the bad guys in a village you've turned into a killzone and then standing up and yelling 'TOTAL MASSACRE!' at them.

 




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