Robbery at the Zur Höll

This is a very short encounter which takes place in historical Central Europe in the 15th Century. The action takes place in a ‘micro-setting’- within and around an isolated inn in the rural countryside.

There are six pre-generated characters included for use with this adventure, two PCs, three villain NPCs, and one neutral NPC (the Innkeeper) who can also be used as a PC or as an ally to them. This scenario is meant to be a quick combat encounter between your players and three bandits, so you can experience combat using the Codex rules. It also provides some opportunity for role play and stealth, so you can try out the use of skills based on the SRD (version of your choice). Note: This is the simple version of this mini-adventure, there is a more detailed version in the Player’s Guide.


A kidnapping and a ransom

“As you are waiting for breakfast, a young fellow enters the Inn. He is good looking and expensively dressed, of noble bearing, but seems also somewhat road weary. He wears a half armor under his clothing, and carries a war-pick in his left hand and a sword on his hip. He introduces himself as Johann Esbeck, a nobleman traveling west, before immediately walking over to the fire to warm his hands. Johann explains that he was several miles up the road last night when his horse pulled up lame. He had to walk all morning, unable to find anyone about to help him.” 
“You have been asked to bring a ransom payment to a notary in a town roughly two days ride from your starting point. At the end of a long day of travel through the forest, riding with an extra horse for the youngster, you arrive at a small hamlet, where you seek the well regarded Inn, Zur Höll. As you pass through the village, it is clear that the it has been sacked during the recent war. But soon you recognize the inn from its coat of arms: a grinning devil. It’s seemingly intact, and from the smoke coming from the chimney, occupied. So you ride up to the stables and turn your horses over to the stable boy, and walk in to have a glass of wine, slapping the dust of the road from your clothing.”  

The two PCs, Karl Bildfelt and Jan Ceskova, are representatives of a wealthy merchant family whose son has been kidnapped by a robber knight. Karl is a young agent, a low level diplomat authorized to take the ransom money to a representative of the robber knight and receive the boy in return. Jan is an older, reliable company employee who works as a bodyguard. His job is to make sure that Karl can get the kid back safely, and that the boy is returned unharmed to the city state where his family lives.

The inn in the woods

The inn is run by a man named Hans Peck. Hans has managed to keep it running during a perilous and nerve-wracking period that the hamlet was occupied by mercenaries. Since the mercenaries left, the village was abandoned, the peasants having already melted away to other towns and villages. Only wild animals and a few vagabonds remain. Enough travelers and merchants have continued to arrive on the road for Hans to do some business, and buy a few supplies, but there have also been several tense encounters with itinerant travelers and robbers.

A rainy day in the hills

The morning after the PCs arrive at the inn, the sky is cloudy and dark, and a soft rain is falling. The two PCs, having just spent a comfortable night, are chatting before the fire and discussing their route for the day ahead over a flagon of wine. 

Johann soon begins to chat with the PCs (Karl and Jan). He is curious where they are coming from, and where they are headed to. He also wants to know if they have a horse they might sell. The PCs can try a Sense Motive check, against his Diplomacy (+4).  He is hiding something and has ill-intentions.

Johann is actually a bandit, and he is casing the inn and the two PCs, with an eye toward robbery. He does not plan to stay long, and if the discussion becomes tense, he will leave, saying that he knows a farmer down the road who will sell him a donkey so he can continue his journey. Before leaving the area however he stops at the stable and takes a look at the horses. Then he saunters off down the road, and once around the corner, slips into the forest to meet up with his two accomplices, Lothar Gail and Wilhelm Gedult.

Player Characters

Jan Ceskova

Level 1 Bauer / Level 2 Artisan/ Level 3 Soldier       Saves: Will +1, Ref +6, Fort +4                 Init: +6

S-14, I-14, W-9, D-16, C-12, Ch-9               Age: 35

Passive Defense 14                                     MP 4                                

Hit Points: 36                                                Ehren: 20

Melee WeaponReachSpeedDefenseAttacksAPDamageNote
(Grapple)+5+4(Grapple)   Free Dice
Large Knife+7+10+8SCP/SP+41-6+2 
Bastard Sword+10+7+10SCP/CP 1-10+2 
Halberd+12+6+11CP/CP+32-12+2+3 Grapple

Feats: Counterstroke (interrupt opponent’s attacks), Half Staff (use polearm at grapple range), Kampfringen (no OA when entering grapple, defensive throws), Poll Axe Fighting (improved stats with polearm, factored in above), Ringen (Free Dice when grappling), Slip Thrust (Free Dice on thrusting attacks at Onset range)

Skill Bonuses: Battlefield Discipline +7, Intimidate +8, Run +8, Profession: Soldier +5, Spot +4, Hide +3, Sense Motive +3, Appraise +4, Listen +1, Diplomacy +1, Ride +1

ArmorDR PierceDR CutDR SlashBypassArmor Hardness DRArmor HP
Cuirass & Helmet14284271010

Has A fur hat, bear fur cloak, woolen garments over a proofed cuirass and a sallet helmet. Cash: 1 gold, 26 silver, 13 copper coins

Jan is a tough fighter. His most effective weapon is his halberd but he is good with his longsword and his knife as well. His favorite tactic is to use Slip Thrust to gain a Free Dice, allowing him to make a 3 MP Attack with his halberd, while maintaining range (staying at Onset) and still retain 2 MP for Defense or a counterattack. If he loses initiative, he will use his counterstroke MF to interrupt enemy attacks. He may also attempt a grappling attack using his halberd, gaining a Free Dice on any attempt to throw his opponent down (into Prone state) thanks to his Ringen MF. If anyone tries to grapple him he will throw them using his Kampfringen MF.

Karl Bildfelt

Level 2 Courtier / Level 2 Patrician             Saves: Will +3, Ref +4, Fort +2                Init: +4

S-12, I-16, W-12, D-14, C-11, Ch-14            Age: 27

Passive Defense 12                                     MP 3

Hit Points: 29                                                Ehren: 10

Melee WeaponReachSpeedDefenseAttacksAPDamageNote
Blocking Dagger+4+8+7SP/P+21-6+1 
Sidesword+7+9+8/+11SCP/CP 1-6+1 

            Second Defense value is due to Main Gauche feat when using dagger

Feats: Dead Eye (improved stats with xbow, factored in above), False Edge Cutting (improved speed of sword, factored in above), Main Gauche (combine dagger and sword defense, factored in above as second defense bonus)

Skill Bonuses: Diplomacy +7, Bluff +5, Profession: Spy +6, Gather Info +4, Riding +4, Sense Motive +3, Spot +3, Appraise +4, Battlefield Discipline +4, Span Xbow +3, Knowledge: Natural Philosophy +4

ArmorDR PierceDR CutDR SlashBypassArmor Hardness DRArmor HP
Fine Mail Corslet71421788
Missile WeaponRange Incr.Max RangeReadyAimedTo HitPrep TimeDamAP
Stirrup Crossbow40’500’+2+4Close (40) +8 Short (80) +6 Med (120) +4 Long (160) +22*1-8+1+3

* Prep time reduced due to goat’s foot spanner. To Hit bonus increased by +2 thanks to Dead Eye MF.

He wears a fine mail byrnie (worth 7 marks) under his clothing, and an iron cap under his hat. Carries a goat’s foot spanner, he has 12 war-bolts for this crossbow (+1 AP and +1 Damage), a purse with 100 gold coins in it (the ransom money). In his own purse he has 3 gold, 32 silver, and 6 copper coins.

Karl is a very good shot with his crossbow (thanks to Dead Eye MF) and is a good fencer. He will try to shoot first, and with his goats foot he can get a shot off every other turn.


Johann Esbeck (Villain)

Level 1 Knight / Level 2 Soldier                   Saves: Will +2, Ref +3, Fort +5                Init: +3

S-10, I-12, W-15, D-10, C-11, Ch-15            Age: 20

Passive Defense 11                                     MP 3

Hit Points: 26                                                Ehren: 8

Melee WeaponReachSpeedDefenseAttacksAPDamageNote
(Grapple)+2+3(Grapple)   Free Dice
Roundel Dagger+3+7+4P/P+41-6 
Bastard Sword+6+5+7SCP/CP+11-10 
War pick+4+5+6BP/P+61-8+4 Grapple

Feats: Counterstroke (Interrupt opponent’s attacks), Tactical Movement (Free Dice for movement or changing range), Ringen (Free Dice for grappling)

Skill Bonuses: Riding +7, Battlefield Discipline +4, Handle Animal +3, Spot +4, Appraise +4, Diplomacy +4, Hide +3, Profession: Lancer +1, Span Crossbow +2

ArmorDR PierceDR CutDR SlashBypassArmor Hardness DRArmor HP
Gothic Half Armor9182761010
Missile WeaponRange Incr.Max RangeReadyAimedTo HitPrep TimeDamAP
Stirrup Crossbow40’500’+2+4Close (40) +5, Short (80) +3, Med (120) +1, Long (160) -131-8+1+3

If he is defeated in combat, Johann has his weapons, his armor (which is worth about 4 gold coins), and 10 War-bolts for his crossbow (+1 AP, +1 Damage) plus 80 kr in cash, a gold signet ring with his family coat of arms carved into a garnet, worth 2 gold coins, and a silver chain worth 20 silver coins.

Tactics: Johann has given his crossbow to one of his confederates during his visit to the tavern but he will get it back when he gets into the woods. In a fight that is his first and favorite weapon. Once using the bow is no longer feasible, he will close to melee with his war-pick if his opponent seems to have armor, otherwise he will draw his bastard sword. He may attempt to grapple opponents with his pick.

Lothar Gail (Villain)

Level 2 Bauer / Level 2 Sailor                      Saves: Will +1, Ref +6, Fort +4                Init: +4

S-15, I-13, W-10, D-16, C-13, Ch-10            Age: 22               

Passive Defense 12                                     MP 2

Hit Points: 27                                                Ehren: 1

(Grapple)+3+4(Grapple)  Free Dice due to Ringen MF
Large hunting knife+4+8+5SC/SC1-8+2Broad butchering knife. Size S
Messer sword+6+7+7SCP / SCP1-8+2Size M
Morgenstern+9+3+6BP / BP+21-12+2TH, Size L

Feats: Ringen (Free Dice on Grapple), Bind and Strike (Free Dice for punch after bind)

Skill Bonuses: Climb +6, Intimidate +4, Swim +5, Balance +4, Battlefield Discipline +4, Profession Sailor +2

ArmorDR PierceDR CutDR SlashBypassArmor Hardness DRArmor HP
Arming Jack + Iron Cap510104210

If he is defeated in combat, Lothar has a tinder box, cash amounting to 50 Kreuzer, & gold necklace worth 1 mark.

Wilhelm Gedult (Villain)

Level 1 Outlaw / Level 2 Soldier                  Saves: Will +2, Ref +2, Fort +3               Init: +2

S-12, I-12, W-15, D-10, C-11, Ch-15            Age: 20              

Passive Defense 12                                     MP 3

Hit Points: 22                                                Ehren: 8

Arming Sword+6+6+5 (+7)SCP/CP1-8+1 +7 Defense with buckler
Spear+10+4+5SCP / P+21-8+1 
Buckler, iron+9+3+6B+21-3+1 

Feats: Feint (Draw off opponents MP), Shield Fighting (Combine shield and weapon defense, factored in as second defense for arming sword above)

Skill Bonuses: Riding +6, Intimidate +5, Spot +6, Battlefield Discipline +4, Bluff +4, Hide +4 Sense Motive +3

ArmorDR PierceDR CutDR SlashBypassArmor Hardness DRArmor HP
Light arming coat + Iron Cap3634110

If he is defeated in combat, Wilhelm has nothing but his weapons, armor, and clothes, including a pair of riding boots.

Hans Peck (Neutral)

Level 3 Artisan / Level 1 Bauer / Level 1 Scholar     Saves: Will +2, Ref +6, Fort +3                 Init: +5

S-14, I-12, W-10, D-16, C-9, Ch-13              Age: 34

Passive Defense 13                                     MP 3

Hit Points: 24                                                Ehren: 9

Melee WeaponReachSpeedDefenseAttacksAPDamageNote
Large knife+6+9+7SCP/SP 1-6+2 
Sidesword+8+10+9SCP/SP 1-6+2 

Feats: False Edge Cutting (better speed with sword, factored in above), Feint (draw off opponent’s MP), Hunter’s Lead (ignore defense bonus for movement), Patient Shot (Free Dice after aimed shot), Sidestep (Move away as an OA)

Skill Bonuses: Knowledge: Local Terrain +3, Appraise +3, Bluff +3, Move Silently +5, Sense Motive +2, Span Crossbow +5, Spot +2, Butchering +4, Gather Info +2, Intimidate +3

ArmorDR PierceDR CutDR SlashBypassArmor Hardness DRArmor HP
Light mail corselet51015677
Missile WeaponRange Incr.Max RangeReadyAimedTo HitPrep TimeDamAP
Heavy Arbalest (war-crossbow)60’720’+2+4Close (60) +7, Short (120) +5, Med (180), +3 Long (240) +141-12+2+4

When he thinks combat may be imminent, Hans Peck wears a light mail corselet and a light arming coat under his clothing, and an iron cap under his hat. His most important weapon is his heavy arbalest, a magnificent weapon he won in a card game from one of the mercenaries. The weapon is engraved with hunting scenes and is worth 3 gulden, the cranequin is decorated with silver astrological signs and is worth 2 gulden. He also has the following cash: 6 gulden, 33 shillings, 17 kreuzer, and 2 dinari

As soon as he is out of sight, Johann will meet up with his associates Lothar and Wilhelm, and recover his crossbow from Lothar. He will head to the storage shed, where he will get into a supported firing position from behind a pile of lumber.  The other two will approach the stable from the north, armed and ready to fight. Getting into position will take them about 10 minutes. Whatever the PCs do in this interval is up to them.

As soon as the two bandits enter the stable, Pavel the stable boy will immediately run off into the woods, without raising the alarm or telling anyone about the bandits. A PC looking out the window to the north will see him sprinting into the tree-line. If Hans is notified, he knows this means a robbery.

The Fight begins

The stable is fifty feet to the north of the Inn. Once they enter the clearing to head toward the stable, the PCs Johann will shoot at them. They can Johann in the shadow of the shed overhang (Spot DC 15). Otherwise they will find out when he shoots!

Shooting distance will be between 80’ and 100’ depending on which route the PCs take, Johann gets a Free Dice on every shot from the shed, as he is supporting his weapon on a pile of lumber. If shot at, he has 50% cover which gives him 2 Free Dice on Active Defense.

If the PCs move toward the stable, Lothar and Wilhelm will emerge to fight them, Lothar with his Morgenstern and Wilhelm with his spear. Johann will stay in the shed and stick with his crossbow initially, getting one shot every other round, and staying behind cover.

If Hans Peck gets involved in the fight, he may prove an effective countermeasure to Johann in the sniper role. His weapon has a better range, so that any target within 120’ counts as Short range (+5 To Hit) and any target within 60’ is Close range (+7 To Hit). He will shoot from a window in the Inn giving him Free Dice for a supported shot, and 50% cover (two Free Dice for Active Defense). Hans won’t come outside to fight, and if the bandits get the better of it, he will just close his shudders and shoot from triangular shooting holes built into them, until anyone suspicious goes away.


How the battle goes is up to you and your players. If they managed to recruit Hans to their side, victory is likely though not certain. It is up to you and your players if you wish to continue the fight by allowing your PCs to pursue them bandits into the woods, or if you want to end it as soon the bandits break morale and flee. If they do flee into the woods, they may form an ambush at some likely location deeper into the forest.