Draconic Negotiation: A short side-quest with a twist

This short side quest takes a common trope and throws it on its head. The method of resolution is up to the players and offers some unique opportunities.

Background

A job board posting requests the heroes negotiate with a small dragon to prevent it from trying to kidnap a small princess. The job board promises a hefty reward of 25,000g to anyone who is successful, but warns that there is a bigger, scarier dragon and that negotiation is the only option.

When the players seek out the employer, Wilfred Barnes, he explains that his 5-year-old daughter, Marissa, is constantly harassed by the “neighborhood dragon”, a a 6-year-old boy named Timothy Blades who enjoys dressing up and pretending he is a dragon. Timothy tries to “kidnap” Marissa when she is playing outside, but Marissa is not interested in playing along.

Wilfred has attempted to resolve the issue on his own by talking to Timothy’s parent, but Mr. Blades is a very large, very scary man and would not hear any of it. Wilfred tried talking to Timothy directly, but his father got angry and said if he ever saw Wilfred near his son again, he would make him regret it.

Wilfred doesn’t want to get Mr. Blades involved and would like someone to talk to Timothy to try to get him to leave Marissa alone.

Events

If you want to speed through this, you can flash forward to the players sitting on the stoop of a house next to a small child in a dragon costume. The players are discussing personal boundaries with the child. They need to just make one diplomacy check and the child will understand, otherwise he’ll go ask his parents.

If you want to take a little longer, they can find Timothy outside his home pretending to be a dragon, “terrorizing” other kids by chasing them, destroying sand castles, and stealing toys. The players have a couple options for resolving the situation.

  1. They can be direct with Timothy, telling him to leave others out of his game without permission. This will likely upset the child.
  2. They can pretend they are negotiating with a powerful dragon. Timothy demands sacrifice and tribute, or he will will continue ravaging the countryside.
  3. They can pretend to fight a powerful dragon. Run a combat with Timothy as a dragon. He makes things up as he goes along, and no one actually tries to hurt anyone. Regardless of if the players are victorious or not, Timothy has a blast and is willing to listen to requests.
  4. They talk to his father. Timothy’s father is an angry, bitter man who is unwilling to listen. His temper is short as he tries to deal with the loss of his wife and being a single father. He wants the best for his child, but also has no time for himself between his job and making sure his son is taken care of. If any of the stress can be relieved, he is willing to listen to the players.

If the players are able to convince Timothy to leave Marissa alone, or at least ask permission before including her in his games, they can return to her father for a reward. He pays them 25 gold, and if they question it he points out that the advertisement stated twenty five point zero zero zero (25.000) gold, not twenty-five thousand.

Michael McElrath

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