Panic Room


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DRAFTING One-Shot Adventure: Panic Room

This is a short adventure written for use with the [Brave Old World](/brave-old-world) role-playing game system. It is set in the [Teraum](/teraum) fantasy setting. This document is to be read by only the narrator.

The party has heard of an estate outside of town. Once home to a comprehensive spell library, the estate has fallen into disrepair, and adventurers who journey there are never seen from again.


I wrote this adventure for [The Delvers](/the-delvers) fiction, but with the intention of it being a fun adventure to run as a single session, or as part of a larger generic fantasy campaign. I originally created it as an entry into a competition for single-sheet Dungeons & Dragons adventures, in which it was a finalist, but have since rewritten it for the Brave Old World rules I later developed.

In the course of the adventure, the party may gain an understanding of magic and history, and collect a fair amount of supplies and mundane treasure. However, it is very likely the party will remove all magic from items in their inventory. Enjoy – [emsenn](


People in the area knew Lorrestar the Wizard for his passion for books, which he collected in his large home, colloquially known as Lorrestar's Estate.

Some time ago, a catastrophe occurred. Many of the spellbooks in Lorrestar's Estate cast themselves. Lorrestar was able to hide themselves in a panic room, but with their estate overrun by magic, they have been unable to leave.

To dispel the magic and unlock Lorrestar's panic room, seven fragments must be placed into a device in the estate's foyer. This triggers an effect that dispels all magic in the house, rendering all magic items within it, including the lock to the panic room, inert. (This includes items the party is carrying. A kind narrator may hint to this potential risk.)


The party takes a poorly-maintained road away from the main road. After walking for about a half-hour, through appropriate terrain, they see a three-story large wooden manor surrounded by a seven-foot high stone wall. The manor itself is in disrepair: the paint is faded and chipped, and the party can see ivy or vines growing up the facade. Risking an investigation here from the road would reveal ravens on the roof.

An iron gate would allow entry to the estate, but it is rusted shut. Attempting to force it risks drawing the attention of nearby wildlife. Attempting to climb the wall risks poisoning the climber on a hidden moss.

The Grounds

The party enters the estate grounds. They will see a narrow path leading to the porch, surrounded by grass as tall as the outer wall has grown all around the lawn, Someone knowledgeable about nature or magic would easily see that the growth is not natural. Entering the long grass risks getting cut by the sharp grass and will always result in the wanderer getting disoriented and walking back onto the path.

The house has a plantation porch wrapping it, and a simple wooden door that has several marks carved into it. Someone knowledgeable about magic might recognize the carvings as magic. Risking an investigation would reveal the runes are meaningless and likely exist to scare ignorant visitors.


Throughout the estate, there are bookshelves crammed with books, with some knocked on the floor. An observant party might notice there are more books than could ever fit on the shelves. A few books scattered on the floor are entirely blank. Someone familiar with magic would recognize them as spellbooks which have cast themselves.

First Floor

Graphical map coming soon!

<svg width="12rem" height="18rem" > <rect x="0" y="0" id="house-outline" width="12rem" height="18rem"/> <g id="servant-room"> <rect x="0" y="0" width="2rem" height="3rem"/> <line x1="2.2rem" y1="1rem" x2="2.2rem" y2="2rem" /> <text x="0.5rem" y="1.5rem">1</text> </g> <g id="kitchen"> <rect x="2rem" y="0" width="6rem" height="3rem" /> <line x1="5rem" x2="5.5rem" y1="3rem" y2="3rem" /> <text x="2.5rem" y="1.5rem">2</text> </g> <g id="larder"> <rect x="8rem" y="0" width="4rem" height="3rem" /> <text x="8.5rem" y="1.5rem">3</text> </g> </svg>


There are books scatter on the floor of the foyer, with There are books scattered on the floor of the foyer, with stairs leading to the second floor on the righthand side of the room. In the wall under the stairs, there is a strange device with seven slots. In one of the slots is a metal card with holes punched in it. This is fragment A. The hallway is blocked by fallen bookcases just past the first door to the dining hall, DC20 Strength check to remove. Tiny creatures may do a DC10 Acrobatics check to move past the blockade.

Sitting Room

The sitting room has several small chaises in it, and more books. As characters enter the room, the switch bodies with any living creature already there. The switch is undone when they leave the room.

Dining Hall

The dining hall has a molded and dessicated meal set at it. At the head of the table is a large gelatinous dessert with fragment B in it. As a character goes to retrieve the fragment, the gelatin grows to Medium size and comes alive.


There are 1d4 health potions in the cupboards, as well as many common magical reagents. Room Description

Servant Dining

A skeleton (the estate's servant) is seated at the table in this room. They are holding fragment C. The keycard may be removed on a DC25 Strength check. Regardless of success, the skeleton will animate, and the players will enter combat. At the end of each round, the skeleton will alternate between animated and inanimate. Players may defeat the skeleton, or succeed at a the strength check, to retrieve the card.


The larder is chilly and permanently dark. If they choose to search for the fragment while the room is dark, each search takes 1 minute, roll on the following table to see what they find. 1d6 Result 1 A tuba 2 47 handkerchiefs tied together 3 fragment D 4 Julia Child's The Joy of Cooking 5 An alchemy jug (DMG p. 150) 6 A mannequin which eerily resembles a party member


A staircase on the lefthand-side of the room leads down to the library. From this balcony level, the party can see fragment E on a table near the middle of the room, nearly directly underneath a large chandelier. Surrounding the table is a maze of bookcases. If they enter the maze to approach the table, they must pass a DC13 Wisdom saving throw or become lost for 1d12 hours and repeat the saving throw.

Second Floor

Stairs lead down from here to the foyer. A DC10 Perception check (or passive Perception of 15) will reveal the sound of footsteps from above. (Lorrestar, in his panic room.)

Hallway #1

Stairs lead up from here to the attic. The floor is worn red carpet, with large circular brown stains on it. If characters step on the red, they must make a DC12 Wisdom saving throw or take 1d4 fire damage. To move only on the brown stains, they must pass a DC10 Acrobatics check. (The floor is lava.)

Guest Bedroom

Any character who looks at the mirror above the dresser in this room must pass a DC10 saving throw or spend the next minute laughing at their reflection.


Fragment F is in a drawer of a desk in the study. DC18 Lockpicking, DC25 Strength to open. The key is on the vanity in the Master Bedroom.


As characters step onto the balcony, they see fragment G on the ground. A moment later they shrink to 1:12 scale and will be attacked by 1d4+2 ravens coming down from the roof. At this size, the fragment weighs the equivalent of 60 pounds, heavily encumbering most characters.

Master Bedroom

The key to the study desk is on a vanity. Taking a short rest on the bed has all the benefits of taking a long rest, but only one character may use the bed in this way at a time. A random party member must make a DC13 Wisdom saving throw or be compelled to take a short rest on the bed.


Include treasure of your choice, or use the roll table in the appendix.


The bathtub is full of algae-covered water, which may be useful if Lorrestar is aggressive and sets fire to one or more parts of the house.

Third Floor
Hallway #2

Stairs lead down from here to Hallway #1. As the party enters the hallway, a strong wind picks up and attempts to blow them back downstairs.

Storage #1 & #2

Roll for a treasure hoard for CR0-4 from the DMG, p. 137 to fill these rooms.

Panic Room

This room is locked until all fragments are placed in the dispel magic device in the foyer closet. Lorrestar is in a pocket dimension which opens into the panic room. Resolution Once the party has dispelled magic by placing the collected fragments in their slots, all magic in the house is dispelled: the skeleton de-animates, the pantry is no longer permanently dark, Hallway #1 no longer is lava, the wind in Hallway #2 ceases, the balcony no longer shrinks characters, the library is no longer a maze. Lorrestar may be friendly and thankful, or aggressive. If he is friendly, Lorrestar may teach characters History proficiency during downtime, and wizards may learn spells from his library. Lorrestar will also reward the players for any spell scrolls or books they bring him. (I would also award the party Lorrestar's XP value for completing the adventure.) If he is aggressive, Lorrestar may use misty step to jump around the house, taking convenient shots at the players until he has exhausted his spell slots, at which point he may attempt to flee the estate, to make a future appearance. If the estate is empty, the house may collapse due to age and the magic protecting it weraing off.

Making This Adventure More Difficult

To increase the difficulty of the skeleton encounter, have the skeleton regain all lost hitpoints and lose all conditions when it de-animates, and/or give the skeleton Second Wind or Action Surge. To increase the difficulty of the raven encounter, simply increase the number of ravens present in the fight as appropriate based on the encounter building guideines in the DMG. To increase the difficulty of a fight with Lorrestar, have him start combat with mage armor already cast on himself.


MIT License

Copyright 2019 emsenn

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.


Author: emsenn

Created: 2019-04-23 Tue 16:31