04 July 2020

A Crap Job - Free DnD Adventure for Level 4-6 Parties

So my first adventure! How thrilling. Every week, on a Saturday, I will release a whole (single session) adventure for D&D 5e. All of my adventures will be setting non-specific, and all will contain everything you need to run a thrilling game for your group!

This first adventure is a perfect fit for any urban setting, including cities and towns, and is 100% setting non-specific. I recommend running this for players levelled 4-6, though that (as always) is up to your discretion as DM. so without any further ado, let em present to you:


"A Crap Job"


If you plan on running this adventure, I recommend dropping a couple of hints in the sessions leading up to it. The first thing to do would be to let you players know that a certain area within the town/city they are in has begun to develop a bad smell. Describe how the air in the chosen area has begun to smell of raw sewage (maybe even ask for a con save or two, to avoid gagging?), and if any of them ask, let them know that it “has been brought to the attention of the [relevant authority].”

The second thing to do would be to have rumours begin to circulate that the team of sanitation workers (or whoever you want to have sent down to check it out) never returned, and that the local authority (mayor, lord, duke, king, etc.) has sent down a team of guards to see what is going on.

Just before the party are approached about the job, describe how the smell is getting worse, and that a few businesses in the area are having to shut down (maybe even pick a favourite merchant of theirs?), as no-one is wanting to enter the area of the city without dire need.

Eventually, spring the invitation to the party, either through a messenger from the local authority (if they are known to them) or through a posting on a quest board (or similar). Let them know that they will be required to investigate into the cause of the sudden stench across the city, and that they will report directly to the quest giver.

The “Quest”

Once the party has decided to accept the quest, have them report directly to the local authority (be it a mayor, duke, lord or even king - whatever works for your campaign), to be filled in the full details of the job.

The party will be informed that there is something living down in the sewers, and that they should be careful if they plan on taking the job. They will meet a single guard, who was the sole survivor of the team sent down to investigate, who will be a nervous wreck, muttering about “the stench” and “tentacles”. They will not get much more out of him. As a reward for completing the job, I would recommend about 300-600 gold, or a favour from the local authority (this could play well into your overall campaign, who knows?)

Getting Into the Sewers

There are two entrances to the sewers, one further north, and the other in the south. The northern entrance is on private property, and the party much succeed either a DC 14 persuasion check against the land owner, or break in during the night (DC 14 thieves tools check). If the party decide to take a different entrance, about 100 feet south of the private land, there is a second entrance that is completely unguarded, and on public property..

"Dungeon" Features

Raw Sewage

The sewers are filled with pools and streams of raw sewage. Should a PC enter one of these pools any deeper than their ankles without protective gear, they will suffer a penalty of -2 to all charisma (persuasion) and charisma (intimidation) checks until they spend at least 1 hour cleaning themselves and all of their gear.


The sewers are made up of a combination of stone walled passages, and smaller metal pipes. These pipes are roughly 3 ft. in diameter, small creatures can move through them normally, but medium creatures treat them as difficult terrain, and have to crouch/crawl to move through them.

Awful Stench

The stench in the sewers is being caused by the Sewer Monster living in room SM. The closer the players get, the stronger the smell will be.


S1 - Southern Entrance

This is the main entrance into the sewers that the player characters will likely take, coming from the public entrance. There is a small amount of walkway in here, with a stone stairway leading down into the sewage. Just opposite the stairs, built into the wall, is a pipe, leading to room S2. The sewage in this room is about knee deep on a medium creature (waist deep on a small creature).

S2 - Deep sewage canal

The sewage in this long canal like room is quite deep. The sewage appears to trickle in from pipes in both the north and south ends, and is about 3 feet deep. Medium creatures can wade through, treating this as difficult terrain, but small creatures will be unable to breathe, and have to swim. Either way, any creature entering this room will suffer the penalty described in the Raw Sewage section above.

There are three pipes leading out of this room, one to the north (S3), one to the south (S1), and one to the east (S6).

S3 - Northern Entrance

If the players decide to either persuade the land owner, or break in, they will enter in this room. There are two pipes leading out of the room, and the platform the PC’s enter on is surrounded on the east and south with a thin stream of raw sewage (about 2-3 inches deep).

The pipe to the south is slightly lower on the wall, and has a small, steady, stream of sewage running through it into room S2.

The pipe to the east side of the room is slightly higher on the wall, and functions as an overflow. It currently has no sewage running through it, and is completely dry.

S4 - Canal with Walkway

If the players enter from room S3, they will need to make a dexterity (acrobatics) check, DC 13, if they wish to exit the pipe and land on the path. On a failed save, they will fall into the canal of sewage below, roughly 5 foot below the height of the walkway. The canal is roughly 4 foot deep in this room, and requires a dexterity (acrobatics) check of DC 12 to climb out of.

In the canal there is a school of 1d6+3 Sewer Quippers (see statblock below). They are submerged in the water, and can only be discovered with a DC 16 intelligence (investigation) or wisdom (perception) check. Should a character enter the water, each Sewer Quipper will attack them once, as a surprise round.

The walkways in this room are covered in a thin layer of slime, built up from a sewage pipe that pours out onto the path. When characters walk around the pathway, they must succeed a dexterity saving throw, DC 12, or fall over, and into the sewage canal below.

There are three pipes leading out of this room, one into S3, one into S5, and one into S6. Climbing into any one of these pipes requires a DC 13 dexterity (acrobatics) check, or the character will fall into the sewage canal below. Players can aid one another with this task, granting one another advantage on the roll.

S5 - “Empty” Room

At first glances, this room appears to be empty. With a successful intelligence (investigation) or wisdom (perception) check, DC 12, the players will find a single Undead Finger (see stats below). If the players decide to search the room, they will also find 3 gp, 2cp and a single ruby earring, worth 75 gp. The only way into and out of this room is the pipe in the east.

S6 - Fungus Room

When players enter this room, the first thing they will notice is the smell. Unlike the rest of the sewers so far, sewage isn’t the only scent lingering in this room. It also stinks of death, decay, and mold. There are a number of different fungal growths on the walls in here, as well as two Violet Fungus (monster manual - p138) growing out of the body of one of the sanitation workers sent down a few days ago, and a floating shape, resembling a beholder (Gas Spore - mm p138 as well) blocking the exit pathway.

Should the players attempt to damage the Gas Spore, it will instantly explode, using its Death Burst trait. If they, instead, attempt to move it, have them make a DC 11 dexterity check, to see if they damage it in transit. If they succeed, it is moved safely, but will still make a touch attack against whoever attempts the moving.

The Body with the violet fungus growing out of it at the northernmost point in this room, and will remain inert and safe as long as the players stay at least 5 feet away from it. Should any player move within 5 feet of the body, however, the fungi will attack. A DC 16 nature check will reveal to the party that these fungi are dangerous.

There are three exits to this room: two pipes (east and west), and a lightly flooded corridor to the south. The pipe to the east of the room will lead the party to room S4, the pipe in the west will lead them to S2, and the passageway to the south branches off to both S7 & S9.

Let the players know that the awful smell seems to be emanating from the southern corridor, as it is coming from SM.

The corridor to the south splits off two ways, and the eastern passage within also has a pipe leading off to room S8. When the players walk down this passageway, let them know that they can hear something scuttling and squeaking further in, and see if they decide to take things stealthily.

The sewage in this corridor is only about 2 inches deep, and will not cause any problems to walk through, though any character attempting to dash in here will need to make a dexterity save, DC 13, or trip and fall prone, coating themselves in raw sewage.

S7 - Empty Room

In this room, the party will find the remains of a ladder that has collapsed with rust over the years, though any character with a flying speed will be able to fly up to the sewer grate above. It is stiff from disuse, and will require a DC 14 strength check to open, but can act as an emergency exit later, should they need it, as a rope or similar can be attached for climbing.

S8 - Rat Nest

If the players travel down the corridor connected to S8 with a pipe without travelling stealthily (stealth check DC 14), then the Diseased Giant Rats (basic rules - p378) in here will move towards them and begin to attack. They will, otherwise, remain in their nest. If the players enter this room, they will see 1d4+2 Diseased Giant Rats. The players will just believe these to be regular giant rats, though with a DC 14 nature check, they will be able to learn that they look ‘off’. One may be foaming at the mouth, or maybe a few are missing patches of fur, revealing rashed skin underneath (go wild).

If the rats are not triggered, due to a successful stealth check, they will be in here fighting amongst themselves over the remains of one of the guards from before. If they spot one of the players, they will automatically attack.

S9 - Ooze Room

As the players reach the end of the corridor, they will start to feel the sewage getting deeper, as the floor begins to slope downwards. They can easily climb up onto the stone platform here however, without needing to make a check. Once they are on the platform, describe the room.

There are two exits to this room, the corridor to the south, and a pipe to the north. Just from a quick breath in, they will be able to tell that the stench is emanating from the other side of the pipe. Dripping down over the opening to the pipe, there is some Grey Ooze (a DC 16 nature check will reveal that it is a living creature), blocking the opening to the pipe. If the party approach the Grey Ooze (monster manual - p243), it will lash out and try to attack them, alerting the Ochre Jelly (also mm p243) in the sewage below as to their presence.

This room is also a good place for the party to set up camp and take a short rest, before heading into the north pipe, into rom SM where the Sewer Monster resides.

SM - Sewer Monster Lair

As the players enter the monster’s Lair, the first thing they will notice is the Awful Stench. To emphasise how bad the stench is in this room, have each player roll a DC 16 constitution save, or subject them to the effects of the Sewer Monster’s Stench trait.

The Sewer Monster has made this room its lair, and lives deep inside the Raw Sewage pool in here. The monster’s body itself is about 5 feet under the surface, and is impossible to see, but will pull creatures under the water to its mouth to attempt a Bite attack against them. Creatures submerged this way are subjected to the effects of Raw Sewage mentioned above, and creatures cannot breath under the surface, even with the water breathing trait.

The monster will wait until all of the party have entered the room, and will make a single tentacle attack at the last member of the party to enter the room, as a surprise attack. This attack will be made at advantage against any creature with a passive perception of 15 or less. Following the surprise attack, the Sewer Monster will raise all of its Tentacles out of the pool of sewage, and initiative will be rolled.  

The majority of the fight will take place between the party and the tentacles, without the monster ever showing its body. When/if a player gets dragged under the water, they will be unable to see it, but can make attacks against the body at disadvantage, should they wish to attack it

If you would like to read a little more about the creation of the Sewer Monster, check the new post about it here.

The Map (without grid)
The Map (with grid)

Monster Statblock - Sewer Quipper

Monster Statblock - Undead Finger

Monster Statblock - Sewer Monster

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