This is an in-betwener I ran when my crew was headed from a town to a river, escorting a wagon. I run DCC.
The trail heads through a notch between mountains. It’s about fifty meters long and three meters wide. Bandits have set up rubble in piles on top of logs, allowing them to send down boulders and trees at the entrance and the exit of the notch.
The bandits are waiting to use the rubble to 1) block the wagon and 2) separate the party/guardians from the wagon to make it easier to take.
An overgrown trail forked off the main road a few miles back. The overgrown trail leads about a half mile into the woods to a one-room cabin. Bandit guards with crossbows are in the trees about a quarter mile up the trail.
The cabin has glassless windows on three sides. It’s about 30 feet by 12 feet. With only one door. There’s a roof hole or chimney on the far side from the players the side with no window. There’s a fireplace/fire pit on the far side from the trail.
Bandits are level X fighters or thieves where X is a good level for bandits in your campaign. In mine they were level 2. There are two outside the front door sitting on stump stools. One is dozing off. Both have had some drink.
Inside the cabin are eight more bandits. Four are thieves in studded leather armed with bows and longswords. The other six are fighters wearing chain mail with longswords and shields.
Their boss is a level 3 wizard wearing a wicker head mask shaped like a crow and indigo silk robes. In my game, the wizard was an air-breathing octopoid manipulating a skeleton under the robes. Spells included color spray and mage armor. When disabled, it dove into the fire to create smoke as a distraction. It then went down the throat of a bandit, possessed him and escaped out a window.
At the first sign of trouble, the wizard will summon an invisible companion, as per the DCC spell with a spell check of 22: AC 20, 60 ft per move, can fly, 18 HP, all hits have a 50% chance of missing anyway, +5 attack bonus. It wields a magical spear detailed in treasure (the +2 has worn off). This is cool because the PC’s just see a floating spear.
If the wagon owners were captured alive they are bound, gagged and beat up in the corner. The wagon will be out back. There’s a small stable and if the horse(s) hauling the wagon are alive, they are in a small stable to the far side of the cabin.
Forged in the Land of Rising Sun
+2 hit & damage, melee or ranged
Communicates via Urges
Extra ‘+1 vs Lycanthropes or any human<->animal shape changer
Can detect water within 40 feet
Loses +2 bonus when wielder has spent 1 week in the presence of other sentient beings. Other benefits remain. Wielder must spend 1 month as hermit to regain +2 bonus.
Value to collector: 5,000 SP
Longswords and bows as what remained when the bandits were killed.
6 rings of turquoise and silver (worth 18 each)
1 prayer wheel
3 sutra texts in Chinese
1 scroll of invisible companion
5 healing waters (1d6+1 HP) 200 sp each
Assorted blankets, cookware, straw, food, drink, rope, etc.