Rose Red and The Seven Dwarves

This adventure is designed for 1 to 5 characters of 1st to 10th level. It is a “find and escort home” adventure with heavy role play and exploration. There are two combat encounters with the option to add random encounters during travel. 

Rose Red and the Seven Dwarves

The Backstory, Snow White Upside Down

Rose Red, a runaway princess has taken up refuge with a small clan of dwarves. She ran away on her 13th birthday because she is secretly a Hag. She uses her magic to present herself as a beautiful young woman.

Not knowing the truth, the queen offers a huge reward for finding and returning the princess. She uses her magic mirror to scry for her daughter every day and gives out clues to bounty hunters.

Scenario 1: Rose secretly uses the time while the dwarves are away in the mine to plot the downfall of her mother, the queen. Her parents were responsible for hunting down and killing all the hags in the kingdom, and Rose is the last of her coven.

Scenario 2: Rose is on the road to redemption. Not having a coven has left her with greatly diminished powers. It also means that the kind and loving nurturing she received as a child and the kindness shown to her by the dwarves is overshadowing the hag’s evil nature. 

The seven dwarves, not knowing Rose is a hag, are supportive and protective of her. She takes over day-to-day management of the small keep the dwarves have built using stone quarried from their mine. At her suggestion, they setup an inn and take in a few guests here and there. While they keep mining, Rose focuses on managing the inn and protecting her identity. 

While speaking with a traveler from a far off land, Rose learned of about the Ki-Rin, a mystical beast that has the power to bring the dead back to life, even without a body. Realizing that the home land of the traveler is too far away for her to travel safely, Rose seeks advice from the dwarves.

On their advice, Rose plans to travel to the keep of a power wizard who is rumored to have the power to transform a people and monsters. Knowing the wizard will demand a huge price, the dwarves allow Rose to save all the money from the tavern and they regularly added gold and sliver from their mine to her treasure chest.

Scenario 1: Rose keeps her true identity hidden. She intends to ask the wizard to transfer her into a Ki-Rin so she can resurrect the other hags of her coven.

Scenario 2: Rose, wanting to be completely honest with the dwarves, reveals her true nature and her plan to the dwarves. She wants to have the wizard transform her into a Ki-Rin so she can use her power to resurrect the true princess.*

*Hags steal and eat female babies and then give birth to a duplicate, which they return to the parents. DnD lore does not say if the baby know it’s true nature or not and that it transforms into a hag on its 13th birthday.

The Hook

News from the Kingdom of Grimm reaches the party. The Princess Rose Red has been kidnaped. Queen Sneewittchen has offered a fabulous magical golden apple to anyone that can return the princess. Should the worst be found, the first to return proof of her death will receive a lesser reward. 

The queen uses her magic mirror to scry for the princess every day and provides whatever clues she can glean to the bounty hunters.

Running the Adventure

Depending on how long you want this adventure to run, there are several ways to run it.

If you want this to be a multi-session adventure, start the players off on the way to the castle where they must register to become official representatives of the crown. There they will be given a couple of clues as to the location of Rose Red along with a scroll that identifies them as officers of the crown. If they role play well and do well on their persuasion rolls, you may add a “free lodging and food” clause to the scroll.

If you want this to be a one-shot adventure, start the players off just before they get to the Seven Dwarves Inn where they will encounter Rose Red.

Once the party arrives at the Inn and recognizes the princess, Rose will agree to go with them peacefully as long as they escort her on a mission to deliver a treasure chest full of gold to a near by wizard first.

Getting To The Wizard's Castle

There is no road between the tavern and the wizard’s castle. The characters will need to travel overland, through the forest. They will encounter a road shortly before arriving at the castle. Along this trade road, the party will find a private gated road leading into the thick, dark forest. A small sign hangs on the gate that reads, “Trespassers Will Be Eaten.” A lot of spider webs can be seen hanging in the trees and any character that investigates will spot a set of 8 glowing eyes staring at them from deep in the woods. This is a permanent illusion placed on the entrance to the castle ground by the wizard to keep salesmen and pesky travelers from knocking on his door.

For the more determined trespasser/visitor, Pradler has setup three obstacles that anyone wishing to reach the castle must overcome.

SEE: Castle Pradler for more details

NPC Characters

The Seven Dwarves: Blick (the eldest), Snick, Flick, Plick, Whick, Glick, and Quee (the youngest). The dwarves each have their own unique personality. For the purpose of the game, consider that they are all fighters of the same level as the party members.

Broadrell Pradler: A very high level wizard, Pradler is know for helping those that prove to be brave and clever in the face of danger. He is Chaotic Good and frequently associates with some more nefarious characters. (Broadrell Pradler Character Sheet)

Sneewittchen: The queen is an interesting mix of formality and “I get what I want” spunk. Running a kingdom as a single mother isn’t easy and she has developed a keen sense of both people and politics. She is quick to reward those who do her favors and devious when dealing with her enemies. The Queen is a spellcaster and can use the following once per day: Poison Spray, Ray of Sickness, Charm Person, Zone of Truth, Locate Object, and Legend Lore

Rose Red is a Green Hag. Depending on which scenario you plan run, she is either a cunning evil character bent on revenge and resurrecting her coven or she is battling her inner demons and desperately trying to do what she feels is right to repay the kindness of the queen and the seven dwarves.

The Big Reveal

Scenario 1: With two scrolls of polymorph in hand, Rose will accompany the party back to the queen’s castle. The first chance she gets, Rose will slip away from the party and use one of the scrolls to transform herself into the Ki-Rin. She will immediately resurrect one of her two coven hags. The newly resurrected hag will use the second scroll to transform into a Ki-Rin to resurrect the third member of their coven. If the party is high enough level to be a threat to them, the three hags will attack the party. If not, they will return briefly to gloat. Rose will give the party her royal ring as proof they found her. The ring may be cursed or have some evil spell on it.

Scenario 2: With a scroll of True Polymorph in hand, Rose will accompany the party back to the queen’s castle. Along the way, the party will be attacked by bounty hunters. Rose will use the scroll to transform into the Ki-Rin and help the party defeat the bounty hunters. After the battle, she will heal any wounded PC’s and resurrect the true princess. Rose will tell her tail to the party and ask that they return the baby to the queen. 

The Reward

Upon return of the princess, the party will be presented with a magic golden apple. The apple has one of the following powers:

True Resurrection per the spell – 1 charge.
Remove Curse per the spell – 1 charge.
Greater Healing per the spell – 1 charge, regains 1 d4 charges to a max of 4 charges at dawn each day.
DM’s Choice – one spell effect of the DM’s choice.

Magic Gold Apple

Random Encounters

Roll 1d6 twice per day of travel. On a 6, the party encounters a band of bounty hunters. If the party is traveling with Rose Red, they will encounter bounty hunters on a 5 or a 6.

How to use this table: Roll 1d6 and add the total character levels -1. So 1 first level character could get anywhere from 1 to 6 while a party of five 5th level characters would get between 25 and 31. 

RollCreatureHPAvg Damage
6Awakened Shrub102
7Tribal warrior115
8Blink Dog224
10Blood Hawk74
11Giant Owl198
12Giant Wasp135
15Bone naga5810
16Goblins(2d6) 14 to 8410 to 60
19Swarm of Ravens247
21Giant Badger1310
22Needle blight116
23Constrictor Snake136
25Giant Wolf Spider1113
27Brown Bear3419
29Raiding Party(5+1d10) Warriors 55-16525-50
30Tigers(1d4) 37 – 1488 to 32
31Giant Centipede Nest(4+1d4) 16 to 3256 to 112
32Pegasus (2)11822
33Gobin Warband(6+1d6) 42 to 8435 to 80
34Giant Ape15744
35Young Green Dragon13642
36Hobbobin Warband(6+1d6) 66 to 13230 to 60
39Flesh Golem9313

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3 Responses

  1. Another great adventure! I am so excited to give this to the kiddos this semester! They are loving it! Thanks so much for all you do! You have impacted a group of elementary kids lives in a way they are talking about all the time!

  2. Hi! I’m trying to look for/create a low-no combat 8-9 week campaign for my Early Childhood Summer camp. My kids are 6-11, and will be splitting them up into smaller groups. I would love some tips and/or links to help get things started!

    1. Sydney,
      It’s hard to condense this into a reply, but here it goes.
      To get things started, ask the kids what cartoons, TV shows, and movies they like. Kids 6 to 11 are likely to have seen Avatar, The Last Air Bender, Owl House or the ongoing Delicious in Dungeons. Any of these are perfect for inspiration for the world and a campaign.
      I’m not shilling for Disney or Netflix here, but you could seriously learn a lot about plot progression, serial adventuring, character development… no, seriously, watch those!
      I can’t stress this enough, kids have a very limited attention span. Especially in this age group. With a random sample, you are practically guaranteed to get at least one ADHD kid, more than likely several. Plan for lots of breaks.
      You didn’t mention what the playtime duration will be. So here is some wisdom from experience.
      1 hour isn’t enough to do anything meaningful.
      3 hours is more than their brains can focus on anything other than a marathon viewing of SpongBob.
      Setup a snack area, and go with the flow. Expect the kids will wonder off and snack, chat, etc. When something important happens, every kid in the tri-state area with a character sheet will want to be part of it.

      Non-Violent low-combat campaigns require a lot more exploration and role playing. These can seem very boring to kids, so don’t be so quick to throw out the combat.

      Keep in mind “cartoon” violence where nobody really dies. I have several posts that mention that. Also consider using the 3-strikes method of combat. Search for that here on the site and you will find some interesting ways to handle combat so things don’t get slogged down.

      If you really want to stick with no-combat, consider the mystery McGuffin style play. Think of it as more Scooby Doo than Star vs The Forces of Evil, ok there’s another one for your watch list.

      A note on minis… if you are going to have combat OR exploration, paper token minis are a great, low cost solution. There are a lot of printable terrain, monster, and character options over at the Heck, you could have the kids make the terrain and monster pieces in the art class… it’s summer camp with kids, I am assuming that there is art.

      Good luck with the summer camp!

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