D&D 5E Of halflings and moonshine

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Maybe give it some sort of origin, I mean material component which is illegal somehow but it has to be something not to harsh, still acceptable by the halflings themselves.
Let us see, dryad tears? Treeant resin? Maybe a captured treeant, a dryad would be to harsh. Maybe something evil, a mind flayer or so, that one is really complicated, you know.

The best idea up there was the actual moonlight being part of the recipe. So maybe it is collected in some forbidden place or with a forbidden ritual which is dangerous but the Halfling in their naïve point of view do not see the danger in it.
The ritual to collect the moonlight goes wrong somehow and calls far realm creatures to the prime.
This might work out: Some rich merchant wants to get behind the secret of the recipe, he hires some kidnappers and only gets the naïve Halfling view on the ritual and the dark place. But the captured elder was the only one who could conduct the ritual without side effect. So as the merchant goes investigating the place with his hirelings he finds some dead halflings and something from the far realms.

Introduce your PCs here anyway you want; Hired by the halflings to look for the missing elder, hired by the halflings to look for the dead replacement ritualists, hired by the merchant as his goons, hired by the law to find out everything. There you go.


I too like the idea that the "magic" is somehow moonlight. Several ideas that jumped into head are:

1) a Local druid/druid circle (gang?) performs a ritual under the full moon that creates a liquid moonlight.
A: The halfling distiller stole a bottle and is now getting desperate to replace his dwindling supply.
B: The moonlight is payment from the druid(s) to the distiller who is extorting/blackmailing/threatening someone they love..
C: The moonlight is a "gift" from a druid as a symbol of (forbidden?) love.
D: The druids supply the moonlight because they want to share it with the world and the distiller is just a middleman who has no idea what the "secret" ingredient actually is.

2: The moonlight is secretly being supplied by a Fae because:
A: The Fae wants to see the mischief caused when the moonlight is suddenly not available.
B: The Fae is supply the moonlight to "get back"/defy the Fae court
C: It all part of a plot. Next year when the same full moon appears (for example first full moon after spring equinox) all who have consumed a sufficient quantity will become thrall/slaves/transformed of the Fae court.

Just some quick thoughts.


Thanks to everyone contributing, today it played out as this:

I decided to make the recepie a fae gift, and that it was brewed last 2 full moons. The effects included transportation to feywild for heavy consumers, instant uncontrollable form changer for lycantropes (basically injected full moon light, duh), and mild addiction. Green hags, secret societies, and smugglers are bying small batches for their needs.

1) players discovered the distillery, and deduced components which included sagebrush, treant sap, concentrated moonlight, and cucumbers (our local gag with halflings and cucumbers).
2) They broke in the house of the village elder who kept a small barrel to himself, and found out that a rival adventuring party of NPCs already kidnapped the elder (they were hired by a merchant and were of chaotic alignment). They managed to run away. Our heroes took treant sap with them as it was lying around.
3) On the way back to the village from the brewing site (in the forest) a pack of giant foxes attacked them. There was a werefox among them, but unwilling to show hybrid form. They used shatter and killed two of 4. Werefox and her companion fled.
4) Next morning when the party woke up from their rest near the village, they saw 2 foxes breaking tavern window and fleeing. (Werefox from before actually decided to try the famous brew and was stuck in her animal form after that)
5) After some tough negotiation, she told players she was a druid and that she was stuck in her animal form after drinking.
6) They started their journey back to the barkeep who hired them. After several hours werefox turned to her hybrid form and even convinced players that its first time like that for her, absolutely unknown state, honest. (Players are not extremely experienced)
7) by the time they got to the city she turned back to human form and even got some clothes from PC's.
8) Barkeep upon recieving list of ingridients, and a sample which they got earlier payed the party 2/3 of the sum and offered shelter for the "druid".
9) the rival party got caught with the kidnapped village elder by the guards and is now desperately trying to naughty word their way out of the situation with the guard captain.
10) a party member was bitten by a werefox, and doesnt know about it.
11) next full moon is tomorrow.
12) a certan secret organisation now has a batch of "instant were-juice"
13) PC's got themselves into some dangerous affair right before "tomorrow".
14) green hags now have the drink for their coven sabbath
15) fey are still waiting for "guests"
16) treant sap came from a battlefield between coniferous versus deciduous treants - a mighty fallen oak treant, guarded now by a dryad.
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