I once had a friend from the hills of Torkana. Straps was his nickname. Yes, he was a barbarian in the true sense of the word. Massive great axe and an attitude that put most people off him. I owed him of course, he had saved me from sure death at the fangs of a group of Gnolls in the Vesper desert.
One night I had secured us some work and all we had to do was meet the merchant at a tranquil little Tavern halfway between Lebina and Veil called the Blue Battleaxe Tavern. Well you see, while we were there the merchant accidentally spilled the barbarian’s ale all over him. So you see, that was the first time Straps got me arrested…
Pathfinder Encounter: Let’s negotiate (CR 2 or 7)
This encounter is actually designed as a social encounter but you know what is going to happen as soon as you throw down a map of a tavern. Adventurer’s can not help themselves but get into a fight!
Still, to the setup. The players are chasing an item of interest that will enable the next step of their current quest or perhaps it is an item that the PC’s have been told to return after it was stolen. The information they have received tells them that the item is in the hands of a wandering Bard who has recently been frequenting the Blue Battleaxe Inn.
Her name is Vera Latham and she has been using the Tavern as a staging point for raids on treasures that she teases information out of travelers from the nearby richer towns. Her troupe are stationed in Lebina but she chooses this Tavern so that she does not bring trouble to them with her actions. Her statistics are the same as the Wanderer from the Pathfinder GMG and are repeated below taken from the Pathfinder PRD.
Vera starts off at indifferent with the players if they outright ask her for the item. She sees the group as a possible fence for the item and attempts to sell it to them for 100 GP. She uses her bluff skill to try and convince the players that the item is more important than it actually is of course.
If the players take the time to make friends and get her to helpful (a Diplomacy DC 18 test followed by a separate Diplomacy DC 13 test) with the bard they will find her amenable to giving it away for a favor to be called in later. Vera is a great NPC to have on side as she spends a lot of time cultivating and farming rumors!
Of course they may try to chop her head off and take the item. If so this becomes a little harder as she is well liked in the Tavern. Throw what you like from the GMG like the Barkeep (CR 3) and a few Drunkard’s (CR 1) to boot!
WANDERER CR 2 Vera Latham
Human bard 1/rogue 2
N Medium humanoid
Init +2; Senses Perception +5
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +2 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 16 (3d8+3)
Fort +1, Ref +7, Will +1
Defensive Abilities evasion
Speed 30 ft.
Melee dagger +2 (1d4+1/19–20)
Ranged dagger +3 (1d4+1/19–20)
Special Attacks bardic performance 7 rounds/day (countersong, distraction, fascinate [DC 13], inspire courage +1), sneak attack +1d6
Bard Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +4)
1st (2/day)—silent image (DC 14), sleep (DC 14)
0 (at will)—dancing lights, lullaby (DC 13), mending, prestidigitation
Str 12, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16
Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 15
Feats Deceitful, Deft Hands, Dodge
Skills Acrobatics +7, Bluff +11, Disable Device +12, Disguise +13, Escape Artist +6, Handle Animal +4, Knowledge (local) +5, Perception +5, Perform (dance) +8, Perform (percussion) +10,Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +8
SQ bardic knowledge +1, rogue talent (stand up), trapfinding +1
Combat Gear scrolls of cure light wounds, disguise self, invisibility (2), smokesticks (2), tanglefoot bag, thunderstones (2); Other Gear leather armor, daggers (5), disguise kit, masterwork tambourine, masterwork thieves’ tools, mule and wagon, 25 gp
Boon A wanderer can smuggle an item or person into or out of a guarded city or encampment in their wagons or as part of their troupe.