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Bandits on the Road

A D&D Encounter for Fifth Edition to Plug into Any Adventure


THIEVES CAN’T a comic about role-playing and chaos

Table of Contents
1. Bandit Archetypes & NPCS pp 1-4
2. The Scam (The scenario this packet creates) pp 5
3. The Plan (How the bandits intend to act) pp 5
4. Ideas and Examples (How to plug this into your campaign or build off of it) pp 5-7
5. Cloak of Local Foilage (magic item) pp 7
6. Tokens & Minis pp 8

but after Celestine Brightsky. provided the wearer is stationary. and *** when this is true. STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 10 (0) 13 (+1) 10 (+0) 10 (0) 12 (+1) 10 (0) Skills: Stealth +3 Senses: Passive Perception 10 Languages: Common. A sharpshooter who robs companion’s jokes. Bandit Archetypes & NPCs Bandit Bowoman Celestine Brightsky Medium. or victors who returned from the war. found they had no society fit Bowoman from this module. Bandit Bowomen are often the misused conscripts of wars gone wrong. because those who weren’t didn’t see the arrow in time. ACTIONS Heavy Crossbow: Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit. rebels and freedom fighters for the losing side. is a lover of for their return. Woolf Elf. who see them more as character. make her a dour from the rich to give to the poor is as likely to travel-mate but the perfect edge to any be a good fit for this description as a threat that her bandit friends decide to distant-eyed killer who only sees targets make. Her themselves as defending an ideology or distant attitude. their followers are deathly loyal. and tend to keep cold distance She is strong friends with next from fellow bandits. Sneak Attack Once per combat. nor people who understood joy and has a light-hearted heaviness to their problems. the Bandit becoming killers. mixed with her gallows monarchal bloodline that they firmly believe humor and tendency to subvert her belongs in power. range 100/400 ft. one target. . alignment. instead of people—and these aren’t mutually Celestine has a magical cloak. which the cloak models itself after. Bandit Bowomen are by ruining his jokes. Hit: 6 (1d10 + 1) piercing damage. and died alone in the wilds. exclusive. sometimes the leaders of their groups. and see people’s good moods and bolster hers. Steady Aim The Bandit Bowoman gains advantage on her next attack if she spends a standard action taking aim. Any non-lawful alignment Armor Class: 11 Hit Points: 11 (2d8 +2) Speed: 30 ft. described briefly in her stat block. Bandit Bowomen often turn to her words that tend to bog down other crime with fellow hold-outs. Elvish Challenge: 1/8 (25 experience) Cloak of Local Foilage Spending 1d4 hours preparing this mildly magical item provides advantage to stealth checks in the terrain in which it was made. and in Bandit Bowomen are found in every more detail later in the module. Preparation requires local vegeatation or minerals. the Bandit Bowoman may use a bonus action to add 1d4 damage to any successful attack that was made with advantage. and delights in tormenting him tools than companions.

chosen either In the manner of halflings. they are the gust of wind that into over these (probably calculated and felt a touch too strong right before you realized inherently elvish) misunderstandings have your purse was gone. and while they work for self-gain. and Celestine Often smaller races. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 2) piercing. he Dagger loves food. Cob. designated pick-pockets. have known them. hates meeting new people. Our Bandit Bag-snatcher. and acquisitions expert. bandits exist. etc – Bandit those jokes – or else she delivers the Bag-snatchers tend to be parts of organized punchline before him. Just as how every thief forced the tiefling brothers to conclude that is not a rogue. and has a “no love that risk comes often with long stints in potion” clause that has been violated at prison.Bandit Bag-snatcher Medium. Cob is quite informally by their bandit friends to be their capable of moving around unnoticed. Master Pick Pocket After a successful stealth check. such as halflings. They are the acrobatic ruining the effect. He cracks jokes whenever he thinks of them. Sleight of Hand +6 Senses: Passive perception 10 Languages: Common. Bag-snatchers are the together. companions for as long as the tiefling Bag-snatchers tend toward neutral evil brothers outlined on the following pages alignments. Sneak Attack (1/turn) The Bandit Bag-Snatcher adds an extra 3 (1d6) damage when they hit a target with a weapon attack and have advantage on the attack roll. every pick-pocket is not a only true love could be keeping them Bag-snatcher. Halfling. but deal is quite involved. uses this to pick marks for his friends. or short drops to the end of a rope. or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of the Bag-Snatcher that isn't incapacitated and the the Bag-Snatcher doesn't have disadvantage on the attack roll. Old bag-snatchers tend not to. Old least twice. loves meeting old friends. STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 10 (0) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 10 (0) 10 (0) 10 (0) Skills: Stealth +4.. The fights the pair get and the sneaky. to be Cob and Celestine have been traveling their padfoot or contrabandist. tends to find ways to subvert or corrupt gnomes. dwarves. Halfling Challenge: 1/8 (25 experience) Naturally Stealthy As a halfling. reach 5 ft. Any non-lawful alignment Armor Class: 12 (leather armor) Cob “Kneecapper” Shineshiv Hit Points: 10 (2d6 +3) Speed: 30 ft. or by official channels. but Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit. These brothers have a they’re almost never in a position to climb in bet going about whether or not Celestine the ranks – they’re respected for being in the and Cob are going to end up together. such as a guild of thieves or a mafia. this Bandit Bag-snatcher can attempt to hide even when they are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than them. one target. The riskiest of assignments and still thriving. . is ACTIONS everything you’d expect from halfling. crime in urban areas. mouse-folk. completely deadpan. the Bandit Bag-snatcher can make sleight-of-hand checks to steal items as a bonus action.

run elaborate scams. goes hand-in-hand with their way into the welcome arms of bandits. and those that aren’t often find Reconciliation. STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 12 (+1) 12 (+1) 12 (+1) 9 (-1) 10 (0) 12 (+1) Skills: Intimidate +3 Senses: Passive perception 10 Resistances: Fire Damage Languages: Common. reach 5 ft. an “adventuring” party. Reconciliation is fine with this. usually times. and decided to form captain. they’ll often be the life. but attack rolls against them have advantage until the start of their next turn. Plans that his brother unarmored. one target. which has done Bandit Barbarians tend toward the little more than visit distant taverns and neutral evil alignment. but it’s also common that a Bandit Problem areas tend to be teeth. ACTIONS Battleaxe Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit. leaving the bandits without a suitable Cob a few years back. and usually with of bandit groups means that Bandit blunt force trauma to the problem areas of Barbarians often gravitate to positions of whoever is between Truth and his goals. silent but jovial tiefling who largely doesn’t who are more than willing to part with a share care about outer appearances. His long of the loot to a strongman they can stand silences are often mistaken for brooding. and prefer to fight probably are good. but doesn’t brood. Plans that his brother says are good strongest or the largest.Bandit Barbarian Reconciliation Medium.. as long as he and his own are still drawing breath and happy. Infernal Challenge: 1/8 (25 experience) Reckless At the start of its turn. *** . adventurers. leadership. Unarmored Defence While the Bandit Barbarian is not wearing any armor. Any non-lawful alignment Armor Class: 12 Hit Points: 17 (3d8 +3) Speed: 30 ft. and with massive weapons that says are good that clearly aren’t good? lesser men struggle to swing more than a few Reconciliation will correct for that. behind. their Armor Class equals 10 + their Dexterity modifier + their Consti- tution modifier. Their rages and the kratocratic nature behind Truth’s back. The intimidating figure of Truth’s Barbarians aren’t always cut out to be brother and our Bandit Barbarian. the Bandit Barbarian can gain advantage on all melee weapon attack rolls during that turn. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 1) slashing damage. he thinks about lunch. Barbarian will take fatal wounds without Truth and Reconciliation (whose real realizing it. Tiefling. Bandit Barbarians are distinguished from Reconciliation trusts his brother with his other bandits easily. The Bandit Barbarian can't use a shield and still gain this benefit. destroy their opposition. He’s fine with anything. and then names they never give) met Celestine and die.

If he put his mind to it. he their way into the ranks of another. but their easy-going natures around strangers. PHB) 1st level (1 slot): Longstrider (PHB) REACTIONS Hellish Rebuke The Bandit Bard points a finger. and the creature that damaged them is momentarily surrounded by hellish flames. and what presents better non-combatants who have fallen in with than a tiefling with a virtue name? unscrupulous folk of action. Bandit Bard goes by the name Truth. or half as much damage on a successful one. leadership roles – but never from attention. Tiefling. Any non-lawful alignment Armor Class: 12 (leather armor) Hit Points: 9 (2d6 +2) Speed: 30 ft. They are the lives Truth is a charismatic con-man whose of the party. At first other extroverted. The creature must make a Dexterity saving throw and take 2d10 fire damage A slender tiefling of average height. Bandit Bards are presentation.Bandit Bard Truth Medium. but Truth is all about In general. When he’s alignment. Infernal Challenge: 1/8 (25 experience) ACTIONS Spellcasting The Bandit Bard is a 1st-level spellcaster. whose slippery tongue (and massive brutish Bandit Captain decides to try to younger brother) has saved him from this kidnap a royal princess. and brains of their criminal friends. and often the ideas behind the confidence is heavier than his intellect. Vicious Mockery (Unearthed Arcana: Starter Spells PDF. +4 to hit with spell attacks). the odds are good fact repeatedly. The Bandit Bard shies away from of his scams. typically mean they absorb the bad habits of pretend that he’s a warlock. Their spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 12. that the friendly neighborhood Bandit Bard and tries to stay far away from his enemies has been dropping sly hints that this is a good – especially if they’ve ever been the victims plan. Truth is only ever himself around his They’ll tend toward chaotic neutral brother and his best friends. It’s not his real name. our on a failed save. but he prefers a life of grifting and odd jobs of dubious morality. a Bandit Bard may seem like a good serve to both get him the attention he choice for reformation – but if they’re removed craves while hiding his actual persona in from one criminal group. They have the following Bard spells prepared: Cantrips (at will): Unearthly Chorus. Thaumaturgy. *** . would make a decent actor. He’s devoted to his friends. or all sorts of the people they’ve associated with. Deception +4 Senses: Passive Perception 10 Resistances: Fire Damage Languages: Common. they inevitably find plain sight. STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA ## (+#) ## (+#) ## (+#) ## (+#) ## (+#) ## (+#) Skills: Performance +4. If a dumb. he’ll don foriegn accents. outlandish behavior that glance.

communicate without words. they are doing an gain leverage. you are hucksters who’ve chosen the party as their attempting to trick your party into seeing this next target. though. hiding with settings. Bowoman has taken aim with her heavy cross challenge the strongest person there to a bow and is ready to intervene. and is much Remember that these bandits are more likely to be caught on the way out. together in advance. If the bandits are successful. if the party approaches the same target together. and to track the bandit group. before. back. Items of deeply personal significance. a 2. In wild or rural settings he will be the aid of a low level magical item. or hired guild thieves who are as an RP encounter – which it. forcing the players of easy nature checks (to find the tracks. the players’ loot. The tieflings are both trying to cover for the party (or something specific that your villain Bandit Bag-snatcher. tracking them could be a pair 1. Gold or Valuables (getting these party and to ensure them that you have a plan things is the others’ jobs!) that is acting in a well-constructed world. Reynauldo. between what was lost and a way of finding it who cannot grant this again for the encounter. following this lead and solving this problem. make sure the party has a way of quickly If the Bandit Bag-snatcher is successful. or from cover. if the bandits escape with by the DM. he will steal items in this order. As the DM. Additionally. as determined For example. can trying to acquire something specific from the be. in an urban setting. and realizations that items are forest road. In a wilderness two rounds. or if they willingly where they may not have. This should probably prompt a passive adventure. A magical item. The Scam The Plan The Bandit Bard will collide with people or If the scam goes violent. If the don’t steal what they want insurance hustle – money in exchange for not quickly and can’t bring down a player in one or involving the authorities. their plan is to flee under covering setting. She and the seemingly trivial feat of strength. they’ve been studiously avoiding that ominous will become agreeable suddenly. promising that they did nothing wrong. These bandits could be self-motivated Both of these are covers. too. if think they can’t get money from the players. connection will hopefully serve to motivate the 4. scammers and professionals. the Bandit traveling in the opposite direction of the party. inspiration to stealth or steal. their plan demanding to know what they’ve done to his is to take down the weakest person first and brother. then to follow them) or. The moment that the Bandit And a party chasing a lost story McGuffin Bag-snatcher is successful. the brothers will or a lost magical item is a party that will go either try to finish the scam quickly. goading the players pair of easy investigation checks (the group is into tracking them. not cultists or . rage and the Bandit Bard is trying to calm him Where to Go Next down. the protective Bandit Barbarian will rush have had ample time to choose a target from either a nearby crowd. or the bandits could him. of course. party. but either way. your table can get angry over their sense The Bandit Bag-snatcher only uses this bardic of lost agency. Story McGuffins. but be careful – bandits are assisting him) to steal from the players hate it when the DM steals from them. In the distance. who is making a thinks the party has.) This could also be just a stealth check at advantage (The other two random encounter. and instead go looking for hags. In an urban setting. the Bandit Bag-snatcher and if there is not an immediate connection has bardic inspiration from the Bandit Bard. notorious. missing. the Bandit Barbarian is in a killing fire. The Bandit Bag-Snatcher has used (Die in a fire. and “hurt” bag-snatcher can be close friends who himself in the process. This 3.) his bardic inspiration by now. or if they decided not to go on the insight check. and simply pick In either case. or their were witnesses). the bandits have their vehicles and feign injury in urban a plan – of course. and take their tower you put in the middle of your urban leave.

they’re losing. they do not party lets the past die – just a little. they discovered. who will be very interested in the The letter declares that the payment the party now that some of his best thieves are bandits had been offered wasn’t good dead. enough. party of murder hobos. or what have you. and they’ll say where party had simply failed to catch the they’ve hidden the relics – after the Bag-snatcher in action. one of the bandits might threaten to the players gave them a damn good reason to finish off the unconscious character unless do so. consider not letting them fight Battle flares to life and the Sorcerer is almost to the death if they’re winning. or a letter that’s signed by the villain and Cob is successful and steals the sacred drops a hint about what the next move might relic from your Cleric. If one of them takes a And if the fight goes more than a few bad hit. but a pair of merchant can have witnessed what happened. for instance. open season on these heroes. covering fire of their Bowoman. to take a message back to their client. if the brought a letter by a child who’s been paid attack was planned. wanted dramatic moments in your campaign where not only to underpay them for the relic. Since the bandits don’t fight to the death if Cob almost steals it. and then be trackable as if the consciousnesses. and isn’t designed to take over the were working on. This is a low level don’t want money. for bringing you. or at stealing. The bandits (or one of them) realizing this person has intentions worse Another example. stabilize the party. or if the encounter was two copper to bring it. implying that more villainous types will be coming for them. relieve them of They can’t live with that on their all of their loot. They’ll help. All seems lost – known consiglieres of a new villain – one who until the next morning. After KOing a slain by a strategic pair of blows from . than they are comfortable with. at the tavern. anymore. and locals crime boss could summon them. could return That +2 sword you gave your party is and let the players out of their cells. and offer the couldn’t help but notice that his weapon is “choice” between a mission and execution. Revenge and curiosity are both letter on one of their corpses declaring that it’s great motivators.zombies – they won’t fight to the death unless player. and they won’t sacrifice anyone to a magical item. The bandits seemed be. but PC death will be a better risk. And if the bandits fled. Or the clearly the Paladin’s pride and joy. If it looks they can’t win or get away. They’re also very unlikely to betray one the PC’s hand over the story McGuffin. necromancer who hired them is dead. An example. Or the players could awaken in cells And they’re no slouches. or offering their services. “This is pointless! The drinks are on mark when they do. consider having a to track. who has promoted these bandits magical cloak over it. us. They’re willing to make a deal. when the party is is either already interested in the party. a guard or a wandering like they’d be easy to track. Alternatively. glowing. another. but is caught. keep them easy If the bandits are slain. or the information that the players would have gotten Bag-snatcher could make a second attempt by following them. and they may consider letting the bandits try to laugh it off even make a last-ditch effort to steal their and say. within the sumptuous palace of an infamous Celestine is even willing to part with her crime boss. But they deliver killing blows. The villain they encounter. if the If the bandits defeat the party. random. they’re likely to flee under the rounds with everyone missing each-other. awful rolls left your players lucky to find and explain to the party that these were their way back to the road. the disloyal bandits could spill the beans consider having them surrender and offer the about the people who hired them. They might to use it for a horrific necromantic ritual. what do you say?” Then.

and you’re welcome to use and her neck. or drop us a stationary. or stones and speaking the activation word. it’s the DM’s discretion about whether or not the item is still benefiting the stealth of a moving person. and other modules like this We gave Celestine a magical cloak. or even an object Celestine can offer figurines (with additional art for the backs of the players to sweeten a deal. sand. sand if you paid for it – thank you for reading! We dunes. please check out The cloak appears to be normal. and we adore hearing from you fifteen miles from the site of preparation. minerals. buildings. grapples the and make a text prepared. more than a handful of close friends or fellow and no one can tell if he’s bluffing. the cloak provides advantage on If you use this module. but if it still resembles its surroundings. and this reveal the wearer’s location. blending in magically to trees. Once Thank you! activated. please consider supporting it. which can be a bargaining chip for the The art for this encounter is included in bandits. encounter can go!) If you haven’t already. Thieves Can’t. The magic wears off in love making content like this. local vegetation. or guys. the wearer can make attack rolls and miss without their location being given away automatically. 2017. succeeds. somewhere. we love making 2D20 hours or if the player goes more than our comics. adapt it as you see fit. Becoming stationary again activates the cloak’s power in one minute. document is not official D&D 5e content. On his next Minis and Tokens move. provided that the wearer is post telling us how it went. at fabric until someone attuned to it spends ramen-empire. and This encounter is a pay-what-you-like declares her his hostage. morphs to look like anything behind its Whether you’re using this module for free or wearer. etc. . slowly message on our Patreon or our comic site. a reward for players who defeat a $3 version as a set of tokens and paper them. The Cloak of Local Foliage our comic strips. if the scenery drastically changes – such as by going from the town hall to a nearby cave. Please don’t host it for “Her life for the magic blade!” he shouts. Moving while the cloak is on removes the advantage bonus it granted on stealth checks. drab our comic strip. If you found this for free. or at 1D4 hours preparing the cloak lacing it with tapastic. Successful attack rolls can still D&D and Thieves Can’t are non-related entities. pop over to stealth checks in the terrain in which it was reddit. and our Patreon Patrons end up becoming something other than bad gain access to all of our tokens and figurines guys (there’s never any telling where an RP under this reward tier. once prepared. D&D enthusiasts. if the bandits the characters). Bartholomew Klick. The cloak. Stat blocks use language found in the and requires a 20 perception roll or D&D 5e SRD and are reproduced here for convenience. This adventure and artwork is copyright Zach Stoppel & Seeing through the cloak’s power is possible. While wearing the cloak. one at D&D is copyright Wizards of the Coast and no infrigement is intended.Reconciliation and Celestine. holding a knife to module.