D&D 5E Oneshot idea - characters as little children


Hey guys,

In my Waterdeep Dragon Heist campaign I want to insert a little oneshot as the three urchins tell my PCs a bit about their backstory. The story should take place in Troll Skull Manor that once was onwed by a witch which made an orphanage out of it to secretly sacrifice/eat the children in the basement.

A few years ago, Squiddly and Nat (around 7-8 years only) are living their lives as street urchins but get thrown into the orphanage by the city watch. Jenks is already part of it since he lost his parents (who were traveling merchants) a few months ago.

The goal should be to find out the evil secrets of the witch, expose them to the city watch and get away from the orphanage. I want to create a little adventure with atmosphere of the players (who play the urchins) are helpless little children and must get creative to not get caught by the witch who could just kill them.

Any good advice for the story, encounter, puzzles, obstacles to overcome etc?

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Lord of the Hidden Layer
Obstacle: the kids can crawl under the bed to hide, the witch cannot follow. Then they discover the removable floorboard under the bed and a kid-sized crawl space that leads to a secret passage in the walls.


There was a terrific mini-setting by Robert J. Schwalb for True20 Worlds of Adventure called "Razor in the Apple" which might fit well for this, or at least serve as inspiration. It is a setting of childhood fantasy and horror, wherein kids fight monsters only they can see, ranging from the Thing Under the Bed (or In the Closet) to aliens, werewolves, or anything else the GM dreams up. The kids pit their imagination and their empowered toys (and faithful pets, in some cases) against these creatures of the night.


He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
I have ran a particular intro session for three different groups, where the characters start as 0-level children (a couple of years under the minimum starting age). Each get some small ability reflecting the class they have chosen to begin with, but otherwise they are quite helpless. The session starts with the characters playing a bit outside their village when they see a horse galloping wildly towards them, carryin a barely conscious girl. The girl pleads for help as she is being chased by some soldiers. The characters can see a dust cloud in the direction where the girl came from...

Each group handled the situation pretty much the same way. Hide, find someone they can trust, and decide to escort the girl to safety, while the soldiers search the village...


I had a side quest where the players played city guards on the wall when a hoard attacked. The BBEG flew to the wall and eventually killed all of them one at a time and I made a quote for each kill about how pathetic they were like the Emperor taunting Luke to pick up the saber and strike him down. The players weren't too attached to the guards and not shocked when they died, but they did grab onto hating the BBEG and using their new PCs to get back at him. It made each future encounter that much better.


DM: Then Timmy was eaten by the Giant Black Spider.

PC: Wait, if the kid was eaten by the spider in the oneshot, then WHO IS this kid im-

G.Black Spider whipping Trenchcoat off: SERPRIZE MUTHA-

BOTH PC and Spider tumble down the well because of that BLASTED Annoying Goose that is tormenting people.

Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

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