A Night at the Gala: A Beckettville One Shot Plot in Beckettville | World Anvil

A Night at the Gala - A Beckettville One Shot

“A Night at the Gala” is an opening adventure for level one players and introduces them to the oddities taking place within Beckett Suites.


This is a system agnostic one shot.
Want to play by yourself? Check out the solo here.
Suggestions for DnD 5e and CoC 7e are available.


It’s the night of the grand Festival Gala and something is ruining the party. Strange spills, audio system glitches, broken furniture, and devious smells threaten to drive away all the high society Beckettville citizens. As Beckett Suites employees, it is your duty to make sure everything is up to President Hiram Beckett's expectations. Will the party be saved or will the employees face expulsion to the Unspoken Zone?


Good evening, our most beloved citizens of Beckettville.

  Welcome to this season's Festival Gala! Tonight we have a delectable dinner and dessert provided by Brandy's Bar and phenomenal jazz music by our very own Marty Davis Quintet! Don't forget to stick around for the lottery at the end of the night! Special inspections begin tomorrow so be on your best behavior. Most of all, enjoy all that our glorious city provides!
— President Hiram Beckett

Welcome to Beckettville!

Beckettville is the last standing city in Middle America after The Extinction Event. Led by The Hiram Beckett Company and President Hiram Beckett, the citizens of Beckettville are perfectly happy and healthy as long as they remain inside the city.

A City Saved

During The Extinction Event, over 99% of the human population was destroyed by the mysterious mist and ooze. Locals were able to flee to Beckettville for safety but only the true believers were saved by the great deity Dolōrem and their prophet Hiram Beckett. For the last two centuries, President Beckett has kept Beckettville safe and secure from threat.

The Hiram Beckett Company

The Hiram Beckett Company is currently the world’s largest company by revenue as well as the world’s largest private employer, holding this position for over two centuries. Led by the illustrious Hiram Beckett, the citizens of Beckettville are provided all they need by his great company through subsidiaries like BecCo and BITS!


Beckett Suites

Beckett Suites has been a highlight of the Beckettville skyline since the 1920's. Currently the tallest tower in the city, Beckett Suites stands at 47 stories with 43 operating and available for public use. Built and decorated in art deco style, the hotel hosts high society and lavish events, including the Festival Gala held twice a year.


Employment at Beckett Suites


The Employees

This adventure was written for two to four players, but extra characters are given in the case of death or additional players. Some roles cover similar skills so be sure you have a well-formed team to tackle this adventure. If you need to create more characters, keep in mind the most useful skills will be centered around social and investigation.

The A/V Tech
The A/V Tech loves their job. Despite the many events at Beckett Suites, they very rarely need to update the sound and lighting settings and get to spend the entire event sneaking drinks and dinner from the buffet while ignoring the stuffy guests. If they want to keep their cushy job in events they need the Gala to go smoothly.

DnD: Intelligence or Dexterity based
CoC: Hacker
The Bartender
The Bartender has been working at Beckett Suites for nearly two years. They’ve just received their first accolade from their superior and are looking forward to becoming the lead bartender someday. They've been given the opportunity to debut their original cocktail recipe at the Gala as long as everything goes to plan.

DnD: Charisma, Dexterity, or Wisdom based
CoC: Bartender
The Bellhop
Spending their first few years of service as security at Beckett Park, The Bellhop was reassigned after an accidental death occurred on their watch. Now stationed at Beckett Suites in a newly assigned role, The Bellhop wishes to wipe away the stain and prove that they can still protect the city of Beckettville.

DnD: Dexterity or Strength based
CoC: Boxer
The Housekeeper
Caretakers are the lifeblood of Beckett Suites. The Caretaker has been an employee for over six years and believes they know the hotel like the back of their hand. They’ve aided in accommodations for the last nine Galas and will be receiving their Pin of Service after tonight’s party, if it happens.

DnD: Charisma, Dexterity, or Wisdom based
CoC: Butler, Maid
The Security
The Security had spent their youth dreaming of becoming an Archon. It was a bit of a blow to their ego when they were given a security job at Beckett Suites instead. They firmly believe that if they keep the Gala safe they will be noticed by their superiors and given a second chance.

DnD: Dexterity or Strength based
CoC: Soldier
The Server
The newest employee of Beckett Suites, The Server has only had two nights of training before the Gala. They believe it may be a staffing error that they are even here and they have decided everything must run as smooth as possible to avoid the mistake falling on their shoulders.

DnD: Charisma or Dexterity based
CoC: Waiter


Serious spoilers for Beckettville and A Night at the Gala below.


Information for Game Masters

Orange exclamation boxes are to be read aloud or paraphrased.


Managing Beckett Suites

The employees of Beckett Suites are compliant and easy to manipulate work with. If you need filler NPCs at any time, feel free to make your own. If employees step out of line, they are warned with a short holiday in the Neighborhoods to remind them how wonderful Beckettville is. Extreme insubordination is dealt with via expulsion to the Unspoken Zone.
Beckett Suites has standard hotel staffing in addition to a security force of Archons, our friendly neighborhood peace officers. Beckettville citizens come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, but they all have one thing in common: utmost loyalty to President Hiram Beckett and their deity Dolōrem.
Anything less is insubordination.


Uncoving the Culprit

Upper management are well-aware of the creature running loose in Beckett Suites but are under strict non-disclosure not to discuss it with anyone. Some low level staff hold superstitions and personal beliefs about the current situation but do not know exactly what is going on. The creature has left a trail of ooze and items around the map as it evades security.
Please check all maps of GM Only overlays and carefully read all clues before gameplay.


A Night at the Gala.jpg

The Set-Up


The Grand Ballroom

Beckett Suites. The height of class in Beckettville. Many pray to the almighty Dolōrem for the opportunity to step foot in this beautiful establishment. You are one of the honored individuals given the chance to work here. Unfortunately, you have all noticed oddities throughout your day. Dirty, broken dishes in the sink. Doors left ajar. Lights blinking out. You assume it's the additional stress of the Festival Gala tonight. You have all given up your day at the Festival to volunteer at the biggest event of the year.
  Gathering in the Grand Ballroom for a debriefing with your peers, you get to look upon the grandeur in the moments before the excitement. Dark hardwood floors inlaid with intricate mosaic designs sit against ornate plaster and limestone arches that support the wrap-around mezzanine. The true spectacle of the Grand Ballroom crowns the space: an elegant, Baroque-inspired mosaic depicting the symbol of Dolōrem stretching across half the ceiling.

  You stand in awe of the space, chattering amongst yourselves for a few minutes before the lights flicker out. The sounds of running boots, shouts, and furniture being tossed crash around you. As the Grand Manager turns the lights back on, you see the once immaculate room is now in disarray. Tables have been flipped, chairs are strewn across the dance floor, and a few employees have been knocked to the ground.

  For map of Grand Ballroom, please see "Foyer" map in Part 1.

  The players are free to begin searching for clues in the Grand Ballroom, but the NPCs are quick to remind them to finish re-setting the room as instructed. Most are hesitant to discuss anything more than setup and about their jobs during the Gala, but a group of three seem more shaken than the others. If approached, players with a successful investigation check will notice the NPCs have black stains where they were shoved by something.
Maintenance Worker
Believes the recent string of strange events is a vengeful spirit trapped in the hotel. This is a common rumor through the hotel and many believe there are a number of ghosts roaming the halls. They can let the players know they spirit ran off towards the lobby.
Believes the entire incident is a poor practical joke by a disgruntled employee. They know a member of kitchen staff was causing a bit of a stir the other day and think this was a stunt after they were fired by the hotel. They are angry that they have to clean the employee's room out later due to excessive mess.
Believes the strange events are a test from Dolōrem. If they can still throw the perfect Festival Gala, they are worthy of his blessings. If not, they will be struck down for their failures. They can tell the players that praying at the clock may offer them safety in troubled times.


Part 1

Brandy's Bar and Kitchen

The smell of spices, cooking meat, and whiskey fill the air as you enter Brandy's Bar. Wait staff are busy setting up tables and places for dinner and there's a loud ruckus from kitchen as food is being prepared.

Both the bar and kitchen are busy preparing for the night and most NPCs won't stop to chat. The head chef will try to kick the party out of the kitchen, but will stop to talk and scold them a bit first.

  Head Chef
Gourmand Ramsley is a big name at Beckett Suites and the celebrity chef of Beckettville. He doesn't have time for distractions and mistakes. Two days ago he fired a line cook for insubordination but isn't sure what happened after security escorted them out.



The Front Desk and Concierge

The beautiful mahogany and gold front desk is run a clean-cut attendant in a blue pantsuit. Papers are neatly stacked to the side against a board of keycards. By the side wall is a smaller matching desk staffed by a concierge, currently printing gala tickets for guests.
Front Desk Attendant
The front desk attendent strongly dislikes their job but does their best to hide it behind a sarcastically fake smile. They have the keycards for individual rooms.
The concierge has been working at the hotel for nearly a decade. They are irritatingly cheerful and are known for bending the rules if buttered up a bit. They have the keycards for the garage.
Fred is a long-term resident of Beckett Suites currently wandering the lobby. He's well-known by the staff for being incredibly friendly and observant. He'll tell the party he's noticed more security around than last year.


Beckett Suites Foyer

  The players are free to investigate the first floor in any order but it is likely they will check Brandy's Bar first.

Part 2


Floor 23

Floor 23 seems completely normal. A strange silence hangs in the air for a moment before it's broken by the sound of boots coming in your direction.

  Four Archons patrol floor 23. The Archons will leave if they believe there are problems elsewhere, or the players can attempt to stealth their way to room 2313.
Floor 23

Room 2313

Room 2313 would be a beautiful, luxurious living space were it not for the striking trail of black muck coating the floor before you. The faint smell of burning hair and rusting metal tickle your noses as you step inside.

  All players must make a mental save or go temporarily insane.

Room 2313


Part 3

Below Beckett Suites

The players have received the final keycard to go below ground and have made it to the elevator. Read as follows:
As the elevator descends below ground the familiar smell from Room 2313 fills the cage. The doors snap open as they have before, but now you almost expected something horrific standing in your way. Thankfully, you’re simply greeted with an empty parking garage dimly lit by the overhead fluorescents.

As soon as the players step out of the elevator, they are greeted by an abomination hiding just outside the door. The abomination will attack unprovoked with a surprise attack.

  All players must make a mental save or go insane.

Lurching from your left is what your minds can only fathom to be a human covered in tar. As it reaches for you, a third and fourth arm spring forward. Black ichor drips from the being, new faces and limbs gurgling from the newly formed puddles.

  The players have four rounds of attack before the elevator opens back up and a swarm of Archons appear. They destroy what's left of the creature quickly with their firearms before they open fire on the players.

Beckett Suite Parking Garage
Running This Battle

    • Players must Roll over 15 to hit.
  • Players may have picked up weapons along the way.
    Check the map for their damage amounts.
  • The abomination has 85 hit points and attacks with 'limbs' for 2d10 damage twice per turn.


The Wrap-Up

You are all surprised at the lack of pain. You feel light, but not gone. As your vision fades to black, you each think back on your goals for the day. Perhaps you wanted to showcase your new recipe, or prove you're worthy to work for the lofty Hiram Beckett Company. Was it worth it?

  Before you can fathom an answer, you awaken in a dusty living room. The furniture seems like it hasn't been used in centuries aside from the touch of your companions, or at least what is left of them. Limbs have started to dissolve into a sickly, black ichor that seeps into the cushions, collecting into a singular, growing puddle of filth on the floor. A single card sits on the coffee table stating:

  "Good news! Due to your diligence and loyalty, the Festival Gala is no longer in danger! We thank you for your service. Bad news! Your citizen ID number has been revoked. We regret to inform you the revision conditioning did not take. Get well soon!
-The Hiram Beckett Company."
All images obtained from Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay, NightCafe, or WikiMedia Commons, or created by Emily Armstrong.
All photo manipulations and graphic design by Emily Armstrong.


Author's Notes

This one shot is still currently being workshopped. I would appreciate any and all feedback, critiques, and comments you may have!

Please Login in order to comment!
Apr 19, 2022 23:38 by K.S. Bishoff

This came out really great!!

Come vist my worlds
Apr 20, 2022 02:08 by Emily Armstrong

Thank you!!

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Apr 20, 2022 02:51 by Devin

I love this! First, the color scheme and overall feeling of it is sublime. The story itself is great, I'd love to be a player trying to puzzle my way through. But more than anything the way you've used the maps and navigation and tools is totally inspiring!

Apr 20, 2022 03:39 by Emily Armstrong

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed and were able to find some inspiration!! There's so much amazing creativity on this site that has inspired every bit of this page! :D

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Apr 20, 2022 08:08

I love this intro and backstop. The use of spoiler buts works great. Just a really good one-shot.

Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
not Ruleplaying
not Rollplaying
Apr 20, 2022 13:35 by Emily Armstrong

Thank you!! First time writing a one shot but it was a blast :D

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Apr 29, 2022 08:45

The atmosphere of this adventure is really great! I love the setup with the gala, and an investigation built around it. I imagine the fight and the twist at the end to be quite satisfying. I do wonder whether the initial motivation for the characters to start investigating could be strengthened - it seems to me they would expect to get in quite some trouble for leaving their work to go digging for clues. I think the adventure would be quite fun to play!

If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise
Apr 29, 2022 13:34 by Emily Armstrong

Thank you! And thank you for pointing that out about the motivation, this was something I meant to come back around and fix up but completely forgot about hahah! I'm so glad you enjoyed the adventure and hope you've had a lovely time in Beckettville!

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
May 1, 2022 20:01 by Time Bender

Wow this was a really awesome read! Very dark ending, that I was not expecting, although I should have expected. XD

May 1, 2022 21:13 by Emily Armstrong

Thank you!! So pleased you've enjoyed :D

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Jan 3, 2023 01:40

I love this setting!!! I'm trying to figure out how to leave my long-ass review of playing this oneshot, because maybe my comment was too long.

Jan 3, 2023 01:41

Ah, yup, that's exactly what it is. Excuse me while I leave a huge comment chain (sorry).   I just made an account on here specifically to comment on your world here, because... I love it. I ran this oneshot with some IRL friends the day before yesterday, and we all had a blast. The only downside (we all agreed) is that we ended play with a shit ton of questions about the world and wanted more!! +

Jan 3, 2023 01:43

They asked me many things about the world when we finished, and I told them I had many of the same questions lol. I read every page on this World, clicked every link possible to see if there was lore I was missing, and I crave more... I'm really into the setting of Beckettville. [Wait, was it the emoji messing up my comment, not word limit?]

Jan 3, 2023 01:45

So sorry if you get a lot of notifs from this. Long comment ahead, but I'll summarize how the oneshot session went:   My friends are all pretty new to TTRPG, so I played with a very simplified D&D-esque system (no character sheets, lots of making things up on the spot). It was very goofy, but I played the horror elements straight, which made for a great contrast of tone.   Slutty Fiona - A half-orc housekeeper who ignored plot threads at every opportunity, did her job as told, and was only concerned with getting a raise at the end of the night. She sucked up to her Grand Manager, did perfect customer service, and when she finally asked for a raise at the end... she ended up being tossed to the Neighborhoods just like everyone else, seeing as she dared to ask for more pay.   Winston Guerilla - A dragonborn A/V tech who broke down immediately over the stress of keeping his job. He went to the bathroom, cried loudly, FaceTimed his wife who told him to get back to work, and then a complaint was filed about his commotion. An Archon came and took him away.   Jacqueküb Of-Continental RANCHES - A tiefling waiter cursed with eternal Customer Service Voice. If he tries to speak normally, he has to roll 1d4 damage. My NPCs kept being terrible customers to him and he just had to deal with it. A complaint was filed, and an Archon took him away.   Garf Yield - A half-elf man employed as a valet driver. He has a magic cane with a small decorative topper that transforms into the car he's last driven. The only one who followed plot threads—he discovered Room 2313 and the parking garage. His ending was the one exactly given in this oneshot. RIP   Larry DRINKS - Half-orc bartender who mostly minded his own business. An NPC asked him for an alcoholic ***tail with 0 calories so he gave her a glass of water with blue food coloring. He was in love with Garf Yield, so he came along like a sidekick to the parking garage battle and died immediately. I included him in the ending regardless, deciding the ooze might have revived him in a terrible state.   A running gag happened where every terrible customer/guest who didn't get what they wanted from the PCs would take a glance at their employee ID number, take out their phones, then type it in without saying anything. Revision conditioning was mentioned several times. Very funny to watch the PCs panic over all of it.   Anyway, I hope this comment serves as some motivation for your worldbuilding! I'm planning to run this oneshot again for a different group of online friends. I'd love to drop in even more lore and tidbits about Beckettville...

Jan 3, 2023 11:20 by Emily Armstrong

Oh my gosh, you have totally made my week! Thank you for such a lovely comment, this was amazing to read! I am SO happy you all had fun exploring a bit of Beckettville!!! And I have fantastic news: you've found Beckettville at the perfect time, I've been on a bit of a hiatus while I work on my other world but Beckettville content is coming hard and fast in the new year! I'll be releasing my 2023 roadmap for this world this week and there will be a ton of info coming out shortly (including a way to continue play after this one shot!). Big expansions on the way!   I am in love with the way your party played this one shot!! Hahahahah the goofy vibes are amazing, I'm a huuuge fan of mixing comedy and horror and it sounds like you all had a great time! Thank you sooo so much for this comment, seriously made my week hahah. I've been rereading and belly laughing all morning. The guest gag is hilarious and I hope others do something similar, exactly the vibe of Beckett Suites guests xD Thank you for playing my one shot and I hope the next game is a blast!! You'll *definitely* have more info about Beckettville soooon hahahah.

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Jan 3, 2023 21:26

Fiona was the funniest character to watch because we all joked that she was the only one who would get her good ending, but near the end, I thought of that cruel, capitalist twist for her (evil laugh). She was proudly minding her own business, aggressively folding sheets in a guest room many floors away from the parking garage battle, but capitalism ***s us all.   Good luck with Becketville going forward and have a great 2023! I'll be keeping an eye out with much eagerness.

Jan 4, 2023 05:42 by Emily Armstrong

Muahahahah amazing!! Fiona played it just the way Hiram Beckett would want them to~ utmost loyalty until the very end xD nobody ever truly escapes! hahahah If you ever have any questions, feel free to drop me a comment somewhere and I'll be happy to fill you in, direct you to the info, or let you know if it's still "under a nondisclosure agreement with the Beckettville government" hahah. Thank you again for such a lovely comment, the feedback was so so appreciated and such a wonderful confidence boost in this wacky lil world <3

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Apr 6, 2023 18:38

I'm creating my first one shot as a baby DM and I was curious what you had in mind for the lottery mentioned in the invitation. I'm trying to fill in some gaps I think my players will pursue and I think a fun dark revelation could be had there.

Apr 6, 2023 19:11 by Emily Armstrong

Hello! Whoooo have fun creating your first one shot! This was my first one shot I'd ever written and it was suuuch a blast to work on. The lottery is a bit of a spoiler for Beckettville, so caution reading further if you don't want very mild spoilers:   The lottery and the special inspections are tied together. Those selected by the lottery 'win' a special inspection from the counselors and archons, which means their homes and devices will be searched for any signs of rebellion or lapse in loyalty to the Hiram Beckett Company and Beckettville. Those who are found with 'displeasing content' in their homes or devices will be put through revision conditioning.   Thank you for checking out the one shot and best of luck!!

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Aug 9, 2023 22:44

Just finished running an expanded version of this story last night. Extended it to two sessions, made it a full murder mystery, and even finished off with a tense meeting between the players and Hiram Beckett himself. This was my first time DMing and having this exciting world to play around in made it such a blast! Me and my players all had a great time. We had a colorful cast of characters including an undercover, undead detective, an insane cleric who heard the voices of gods speaking to him (but it might've just been the opium), and a rabbit girl and water genasi who ran around doing low level crimes named Bunnie and Tyde. Watching them react to the slow unveiling of the cosmic horror aspects was both funny and really intense. I appreciate that you left room for us to expand by adding our own NPCs and context to the events going down. Really helped me bring it to life. All my players want to keep the campaign going, and I might just take them up on that offer. Great job with all of this!!

Dec 22, 2023 00:40 by Emily Armstrong

That sounds like such a blast, I love hearing how people have expanded on the story to best fit their tables :D Your characters are amazing ahahahaha Thank you for playing!!

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Dec 21, 2023 13:07

I've just found this today and spent the whole day at work Translating it to my native language and as an absolute Beginner dm, I have so many question Marks in my head. How would the Players now they should Go to room 2313, Floor 23, garage, etc...? What hints can they find? I also don't understand the ending – are the players thrown out of the City?

Dec 22, 2023 00:56 by Emily Armstrong

Hello! Thank you for checking out my one shot! If you click on the icon in the top right corner of each map, you can turn on GM pins and in those pins you'll find clues, items, info, and more that should help clear up a few things. In the Foyer map there are NPCs that can drop hints for the players about the floor and room, and in the room there is a note players can find that hints at going down to a basement level. The end does have the players thrown from the city into the surrounding Neighborhoods, a 'dead/abandoned' zone around the city. In this setting, being banished to the Neighborhoods is equivalent to being cast out from society and being cut off from people, clean food and water, security, and comfort. I have an article about the Neighborhoods on this wiki site if you'd like more information. If you are playing this in your own setting, you can use the ending as a quick way to move your players to the next point in your campaign instead. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! I'm happy to clarify anything :D

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Jan 17, 2024 07:55

Thank you, I probably didn't see it because I only had the website open on my phone

Jan 22, 2024 06:43

Hey, I have another question regarding the character creation. How would I choose the characters according to dnd rules? Can any class be used or do the notes for dnd only apply to the race?

Jan 22, 2024 16:11 by Emily Armstrong

The TTRPG recommendations under the character options list things like "Dexterity based" or "Charisma based" but these are just suggestions, the players can play any class they would like, although classes that are heavy on charisma or stealth will be very useful for this one shot.

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
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