Before I start them on a reflavored version of The Red Hand of Doom, I want to give them a quick yule themed session.
This friday I will have only 3 players, all lvl 5 now. A good cleric, a factotum, and a ranger with a snow leopard.
My initial idea was to have them investigate some odd wreaths that popped up all over the nearby town. Though I find myself not really knowing how to work on that idea.
I have a plot from the villian of the day's angle. Using both the holidays and the night as a cover, an evil druid has mounted a wreath on every door.
The wreaths are intended to all trigger at the stroke of midnight and attempt to strangle every humanoid they come across. If they are threatened, they are "programmed" to trigger early. If they feel it nessesary, they will all flock to the center of town and form a tendriculous. There the druid villian is disguised as a random traveller who is sitting and drinking in the tavern.
Now its obviously up to the players to decide how to progress, all they know is that the wreaths just appeared, and that the local authorities are concerned.
I'm thinking, if they choose to use gather information, they learn that the guards spotted someone smelling of incense and eggnog hanging a wreathe the night before, but that he escaped before they could detain him.
From there, they can try the tavern. If they manage to find the guy, they can confront him, but he will trigger the early activation of the wreathes in the hopes to distract them if he feels threatened.
If I feel them to be in trouble, I can have the half ogre bartender help them out. He will be a lvl 3 commoner with the fire breathing ability of that dragon disciple class from the dragon books. (Cant remember the names right now, both class and specific book. Not the mags.)
Do you think a group of 3 distractable lvl 5s can handle that in 4 hours?
What should I use as the base monsters for the wreathes?
What CR should the Druid be if he is teamed up with a tendriculous?