The Confounded Composer Plot in Dragginscapes | World Anvil

The Confounded Composer


This adventure is written for 4-10th level PF2E characters. The adventure comes with six pre-generated characters and interwoven background stories from which the players can choose. The players can bring their own characters from another campaign and mix with the pre-generated characters as the GM sees fit.

Unique settings are used to allow the GM to fit into an existing campaign if desired.

GM Notes

Pre-generated Characters

The following pre-generated characters are provided to ease use of this adventure for "one off" play. The characters do have intertwined backstories to provide a starting theme to the adventure. They are broken into 3 sub-groups that are current adventuring partners. The pairs can be broken up to provide greatest flexibility of the party makeup with the following caveats to be observed (and even expounded upon) by the GM.
  • Braelynne Songweaver - Bard (Fighter's wife, former colleague of the Rogue) Braelynne Songweaver
  • Devlin Songweaver - Fighter (Bard's husband, brother of cleric) Devlin Songweaver
  • Rennara Anarra Songweaver - Cleric (Saved Barbarian's life from wounds when he was brought to order for healing, magical muse of Wizard, sister of fighter) Rennara Anarra Songweaver
  • Karababas Blynifierk Monigar - Barbarian (convert to Cleric's religion after Cleric saved his life) Karababas Blynifierk Monigar
  • Whitcomb Wrightwood - Rogue (childhood friend of Rogue, former colleague of Bard) Whitcomb Wrightwood
  • Dizeran Fapringio - Wizard (childhood friend of Rogue, magical muse of Cleric) Dizeran Fapringio

Party mix notes

  • If Braelynne is not used by a player, she is present at the crossroads, but otherwise engaged as a performer and unavailable for social or other encounters throughout this adventure.
  • If Braelynne is used (or one of the PC's is a bard) the player should act as host for the group while they are at crossroads.
  • If Devlin is not used by a player, then Braelynne can explain that he is off taking care of some family business, but expects to return to the crossroads in a few days time.
  • If Renarra is not used by a player, it can be explained that she is off on family business, possibly with, Devlin. Karabasas, if played, should be sullen about not traveling with Renarra and mention her absence often.
  • If Karababas is not used by a player, Renarra will often comment on her absent friend and protector.
  • if Whitcomb is not used by a player, Dizeran wil jokingly and sarcastically lament Whitcomb's absence with comments about protecting his coins and other possessions.
  • If Dizeran is not used, both Renarra and Whitcomb may comment on "the old geezer's" absence.


The famed clarinet player and composer Theodore Oliver Grimdilish is beginning a month long performance residence at Maso Crossroads . This is the first time he has undertaken such a residency and with three days until the premier is working feverishly to ensure all goes well. Usually Theodore works with a small traveling group (five) supplemented by local musicians (10-15) for his touring performances, but here he is putting the finishing touches on an epic sized 50 piece orchestra to accompany him in a brand new two-hour show.

The performance group is in their second week of rehearsals leading up to the premier on Friday and is working overtime. The group consists of Theodore's regular five touring group, plus 45 invited musicians, most of which are familiar with his music, having played at his tour stops and now gathering in this one place for a series of performances. Theodore has not attempted such a large scale production before. He has been working on this project for 6 months while maintaining his regular touring schedule up until ten days ago. The complexity and scale of the project have taken their toll on Theodore's mental health as he is currently showing signs of stress. Much of the orchestra itself is also suffering signs of stress, coping with the new arrangements from Theodore and his insistence that several new pieces will be introduced (weekly) throughout his residency.

Plot points/Scenes

Scenario Play


Player Introduction

The PC's have all been brought to the Maso Crossroads to spend a few days relaxing at the resort and to attend the premiere performance of Theodore Oliver Grimdilish in his long awaited month long residency. The characters all have a reserved seat for the premiere performance and a room at the The Maso Grand Inn on the 5th floor.


Meeting Helena and Theodore

Helena Kratky is the primary owner and manager of all operations here at the Maso Crossroads. She is a boisterous, confident, woman who, despite her checkered past, runs the crossroads firmly and honestly.


1) Meeting with Helena "Slany Pes" Kratky and introduction to Theodore Oliver Grimdilish

Questions players may ask

Who is Helena?
Helena "Slany Pes" Kratky is a boisterous gambler and former con woman who controls and owns most of the operations at Maso Crossroads. She explains that much of the crossroads and the The Maso Grand Inn reputation is at risk, pending the success of Teddy's residency.

Who is Teddy/Theodore?
Theodore Oliver Grimdilish is a composer and clarinetist of renown. He has been engaged to perform in residency at the crossroads for the next month.

What are the Sarinet?
The The Sarinet are a people (originally a family) of woodwind specialists in performance and accessory manufacture (primarily reeds).

Why not buy other reeds from a local supplier?
Teddy coughs at the suggestion, but explains that the reeds are custom made for him to meet his specifications. They are as essential as his instruments to the high quality of his performances.

I don't even practice with anyone else's reeds to avoid being associated with and endorsing another brand. I can make my own, from Sarinet blanks I have if I must, but I simply do not have the time to do so right now, says Teddy.

Who is the courier to be met?
Marklin is his name and he is a Sarinet bonded courier. No other should be in possession of or attempting to deliver MY REEDS. Teddy gives the players a letter proving that the PC's are acting on Teddy's behalf and a description of Marklin. Most importantly is the pin he wears on the collar of his tunic that discreetly identifies him as a courier for the Sarinet.

Could there be any trouble in making the exchange?
Helena explains that Sarinet made reeds are in high demand for their quality, so there is always the possibility of trouble. She also reveals that some visitors to the crossroads are present to take advantage of the noble clientele through the usual means of cheating and outright robbery. She prides herself on rooting out such characters, but no security is perfect.

Theodore's first errand

Assigns PC's the task to meet the courier, Marklin, and retrieve Teddy's allotment of coveted clarinet reeds. Originally to be picked up in Fermenville two weeks ago. Due to heavy rains making travel difficult around Fermenville, both the courier and Teddy could not make the appointed time of exchange. Thus, Teddy sent word to have the reeds delivered at the crossroads.

The meeting is today in an hour at the stables, so there is not much time. Marklin prefers to make these exchanges quickly, so he is likely to arrive and depart within a few minutes. If you are delayed, he will move on without completing the exchange.

It's not unusual for me to send a representative to meet Marklin for these exchanges, so he won't be surprised to meet strangers. However, he will require two forms of identification. Take this letter and one of you should wear this pin on your lapel.  

Meeting Marklin

When the PC's arrive at the stables, they will need an excuse for being there. They can, tell the truth, that they are awaiting a courier and the stable master will leave them alone. they can hide the truth and engage the stable master in trade discussions for buying, renting, or caring for horses (Diplomacy DC25) to satisfy the stable master. They can engage in Stealth (DC 27) to hide amongst the horses and stalls.

20 XP for distracting or hiding form the stable master.

Marklin arrives upon a chestnut colored mare and is easily identified by the description given by Teddy. A stableboy will meet Marklin first before the PC's can reach him. Marklin dismounts and provides instruction to the boy for water and quick rub-down of the mare's legs.

Marklin scans over all the people around the stables. There are 15 such people including the stable master and a couple stable boys. If one of the PC's is wearing the pin and is visible, Marklin will approach them. If the PC's had hidden themselves, then the PC wearing the pin must make themself visible and approach Marklin directly.

If the PC's had failed to hide or otherwise successfully engage the stablemaster, the stable master has forced them to leave the vicinity of the stables. The PC's will have to present themselves to Marklin as he leaves the stable upon his horse.

The visibility of the pin and display of the letter from Teddy is enough to pull two boxes approximately 8"x8"x8". Marklin explains that the boxes need not be treated gingerly, but should not be handled roughly either. If the PC's check, the box is locked. If the PC's try to open the box, there is a trap on both boxes.

Reed box, pin trap

Thug encounter

As Marklin calls for his horse to leave, figures approach with weapons drawn. "Hand over the boxes or be lizard bait," says one of the figures. Two of the thugs move toward Marklin, while the remaining thugs close in on the PC's.   8 Thugs (see Thug stat block)   During this encounter, Marklin will make a dash for his horse and attempt to ride away, but will not fight. It takes him two rounds to get his horse and mount and two more to ride off. Two of the thugs will focus on keeping Marklin from his horse or riding off, the remaining six, close on the PC's and the boxes they are holding. If in the fourth round, Marklin (see Marklin stat block) escapes or is reduced to 0 hit points (Dying 1) by the thugs focused upon him, these two thugs will then turn to engage the PC's. When 5 of the thugs have been defeated, the remaining three will drop their weapons and run off. 120 XP for defeating the thugs 40 XP for Marklin's survival (including his escape)   If the PC's capture one or more of the thugs they have no information to offer, other than they were just hired hands.

Back to Teddy

When the PC's catch up to Teddy in his suite at the inn, he appears even more nervous then at the previous meeting. He is visibly sweating as he quickly writes and seals several letters before he even realizes the PC's have returned. Teddy hands off the letters to an assistant and turns his attention to the PC's saying "You're back, already" with a forced smile. "Did the meeting with Marklin go well? Do you have my packages?"   Teddy breathes a sigh of relief when the PC's turn over the packages, and he hastily opens them to inspect for damage. He expresses his gratitude to the PC's for their help, and asks them to accept the the following gifts in appreciation.   Perception DC or Sense Motive DC will reveal that Teddy is worried about something more than just his reeds. If asked, directly Teddy claims that it is nothing for the PC's to worry about, that he has already spoken with Helena. If the PC's inquire further (Diplomacy DC 25) or attempt to goad (Intimidate DC 29) Teddy into revealing this latest concern, he hesitatingly reveals the following. "While you were away, we had a practice session for the upcoming performances. My concertmaster, Gregor Gregson, was conspicuously absent. I sent my two assistants to his room and to search areas within the inn where he might be. Upon completion of the practice session, the assistants reported that they were unable to find Gregor, but they did find this piece of parchment in Gregor's room."   Note: The following message uses concepts discussed in the following article: Using simple text cyphers in your games . Optionally, you can give the players a chance to break the code. A successful Society check DC 27, will reveal that the code uses a five letter combination of a's and b's is used for each character of the message. A successful Thievery check DC 27 reveals that the pattern of the a's and b's used is the table presented in the cited article above. This is a GM option, some groups enjoy the personal challenge to decode the message, others prefer to roleplay their characters to do so.   Teddy hands over the parchment, which appears to be little more than a scrap piece of paper with some indecipherable notations (Undercommon) upon it.   aabbabaaabaaaaaaaaab baabbaabbbaaaaabaabb aaabaaabbbaabaaaaaaabaabb aaaabaabaaaabababbbabaaabaabaa aaaabbaaabaabaaaaaaaababaaababaaaaabaababaabb aaaabbaaababaaaabbabaabba aabbbabaaaabbaa baabbabbba abbaaaabaa bbaaaabbbababaa ababaabbababbbababba babbaaabbbaabaabaaabaabaa babaaabbabaabbbaaaaabaaababbaaaabaaaaabb aabbbaabaa abaaabaaba abbaaabaaaabbabaabaa   If any of the characters know the undercommon language, roll Perception (DC 5) and if successful, hand them the following translation:   Grab that cheat before breakfast Bring him to me You know where Unharmed he is mine   If the PC's can't or fail to break the code of the message, they can seek help from Helena, who will provide the translation above.   While the PC's are reviewing the note, Helena enters Teddy's room. She looks at Teddy, then at you and asks if you were successful with the errand to meet the courier. After hearing the PC's answer, and seeing the message in the PC's hands, she then asks "What do you make of this? I'd hate to bother you on your vacation, but could I impose on you to help me look for Gregor?" She pauses a moment, then continues "I want to keep this information from leaking and don't want to trust my usual staff, they are not prepared for this kind of thing. I am sure we can come up with agreeable compensation for your efforts."   Award 40 XP when and if the players successfully break the code and get the translation.   Questions that might be asked of Helena or Teddy: Do you know Gregor and who might be after him? Teddy responds that he while he knows Gregor well, he is unaware of anyone with whom Gregor might have any troubles.   How important is Gregor to the upcoming performances? Teddy responds, that Gregor is essential to the success of the residence performances. Both as my friend and as my concertmaster. I have sent inquiries for a replacement performer and could promote another, but at such a late start this would have a profoundly negative impact.   Who would you promote?   To whom have you sent inquiries?     Need to rework the investigation clues and discovery from this point.  Need more elements to interweave and even multiple sources of similar and or conflicting information.  As investigation continues, the discovery of certain elements should add circumstances bonus(es) to later inquiries.  There could be more places and people with which to interact and investigate.   

Investigation at the inn

If the characters choose to investigate Gregor's room, Perception DC 27 or Thievery 29 reveals the following: Investigators and Rogues get a +2 circumstance bonus. Critical success: Success information plus another message is found that demand repayment of a gambling debt. Success: The room shows visible sign of a minor struggle, items knocked over, things out of place, etc. Failure: No information Critical failure: The room shows that Teddy may have had an overnight guest and amorous activities got a bit out of control.   If the characters make inquiries of the cleaning staff, Diplomacy DC 27 or Intimidation 25 reveals the following: Critical success: Success information plus Gregor did not appear to have any visitors when the room was prepared. Success: The staff had cleaned and prepared Gregor's room the night before. Failure: No information Critical failure: The staff hadn't seen Gregor in or near his room for the past 2 nights.   If the characters make inquiries of the casino and/or eatery's staff, Diplomacy DC 25 or Intimidation 25 reveals the following: Characters with bartending, customer service, or other food and drink related background gain a +2 circumstance bonus to above checks. Critical success: Success information plus information Gregor was seen in heated discussions with a couple local loan sharks. Success: Gregor was seen during off hours in the casino. Failure: No information Critical failure: No one remembers having seen Gregor in the casino and gambling.   If the characters make inquiries of the lobby staff, Diplomacy DC 29 or Intimidation 31 reveals the following: Characters with hotelier or customer service background gain a +2 circumstance bonus to above checks. Critical success: No additional information. Success: Gregor has been spotted entering the casino at all hours of the night. Failure: No information Critical failure: Gregor has been spotted leaving and returning to the inn at all hours of the night.   If the characters make inquiries of the theater staff, Diplomacy DC 27 or Intimidation 27 reveals the following: Bards and characters with theater or performance background gain a +2 circumstance bonus to above checks. Critical success: Success information plus during a late night practice two nights ago, he had two rather unsavory looking visitors. Success: Gregor has been seen and heard practicing at odd hours through the night. Failure: No information Critical failure: Gregor occasionally had romantic liaisons in the practice room.   Award the characters 20 XP for each of the above inquiries they make.   Returning to Helena for updates She explains that she her inquiries are still in progress, and unfortunately has nothing to share with the PC's, and she asks if the PC's have found anything.    

7) Follow up the leads produced in the interrogation of the staff and what is learned from Helena "Slany Pes" Kratky .

Conclusion Gregor is returned in time for the opening performance and it is spectacular. Helena is pleased with the PC's assistance and the opening performance, continuing her plan to expand and provide more shows to bring more visitors to the crossroads.
Plot type
Adventure mystery


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27 Dec, 2021 15:39

I keep re-reading this and I love that text cypher idea!

29 Dec, 2021 10:16

Thank you. if you haven't seen the full article you can check it out here: Using simple text cyphers in your games   I have ideas for a follow up article that could cover more cypher methods and ideas for usage in games.

29 Dec, 2021 13:39

Oh, I had missed that one, thanks!

10 Jan, 2022 14:49

Hi!   Nice article.  

  • Questions the players may ask: this came before the actual errands and cought me off guard. I would put those in the sidebar, maybe group the whole text by scenes and then have the questions for each scene in the sidebar?
  • typo: "hiding form the stable master" -> from
  • 21 Jan, 2022 21:14

    Thank you for you comments. I was "anticipating" the questions only as part of the original briefing, but I agree there should be no need of a time limitation for possible questions, since the characters are accessible throughout this adventure. Work will continue after the "hold period" for World Ember is over.