Friday, November 7, 2014

The Gobbler

The Gobbler
A Thanksgiving Tale

Every year for the past six years, Giblet Turkey Farms and Slaughterhouse has suffered some great tragedy on the eve of Turkey Day.  Gunter and Drumstick Giblet have hired the party to protect their prestigious institution and get to the bottom of these mysterious matters. Through the night the PCs are visited by the Ghost of Turkeys Past, the Ghost of Turkeys Present, and the Ghost of Turkeys Future before coming face to face with the fearsome Gobbler.
Included in “The Gobbler:”
  • Six delicious turkey-based enemies
  • A bizarre yearly ritual of slaughter in the town of Pilgrim’s Rest
  • A mysterious new holiday themed curse
  • A new character race, the Awakened Turkey (only with purchase of the pdf)
  • Two sticks of butter and a dash of nutmeg
The Gobbler is a Thanksgiving one-shot meant for 3-4 second to fourth level PCs using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game ruleset.

Purchase a pdf of the Gobbler for 99 cents here! Includes the Awakened Turkey playable race!

Turkey Day in Pilgrim’s Rest

Turkey Day is an annual tradition in the quaint little town of Pilgrim’s Rest.  At noon, the eager townsfolk hurry out of their homes and down to the dozen or so turkey farms that line Pilgrim’s Promenade.  After purchasing the biggest turkey they can afford, they take their turkey to the town center for the Great Slaughtering, a sacrifice to the Mighty Turkey in the Sky.  Then, they take the remains home, throw the broken body in the oven, and settle down with the whole family to eat the corpse.  Other ceremonial dishes include eviscerated potatoes, liquefied squash, and pie.

For centuries, Giblet Turkey Farms and Slaughterhouse provided the biggest, highest quality turkeys known to Pilgrim’s Rest.  A family institution, Giblet Farms has been selling turkeys since the first great cull of ‘09.  But recently, the farms have fallen on hard times.  Every year for the past six year, Giblet farms has dutifully built up their turkey stores, feeding and housing the great fowl throughout the seasons.  Every year, Gunther Giblet, owner of the farms, insists that turkeys will be on sale this year for Turkey day with no problems.

And every year, some mysterious tragedy has befallen the farms in the night.  Giblet Turkey Farms and Slaughterhouse is unable to open on time the next day, and the farms are forced to sell their turkeys the next day at slashed prices.

The PCs have been hired to protect Giblet Turkey Farms and Slaughterhouse, and to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Gunther Giblet’s Office

Gunther’s waiting room is a bit small, but otherwise comfy.  Chairs, tables, books, and mugs are all halfling size, and the taller PCs must crouch to avoid touching the ceiling.  The walls, floors and chairs are all decorated in brown and orange, and the paintings all depict Gunther with some massive prize turkey caught in the wild.  A silver bowl of piping hot cider fills the room with a delicious scent.

Gunther is clearly running behind schedule, locked in some angry and increasingly loud negotiations with a young lady.   As the minutes tick by, the conversation behind the closed door reaches a fever pitch, until suddenly a dark haired halfling woman bursts out of the office fuming.  Her voice already hoarse from yelling, she stops, spins around, and screams “And you didn’t have to name me Drumstick!” before disappearing out the front door.

Gunther Giblet stands red faced in the room.  With a long sigh this round little halfling returns to his chair, leans back, rests his feet up on the desk, and begins to massage his temples.  His eyes are closed, but after a few moment he calls out “Next appointment please.”  It is the PCs’ turn.

The office smells strongly of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Just like in the waiting room, everything in here is brown, orange, and halfling sized.  The walls are lined with paintings of massive turkeys that Gunther himself has caught.

Directly behind Gunther is a huge painting of the halfling himself next to the largest turkey the PCs have ever seen.  In the painting, Gunther is scratched and pecked up from the hunt, but otherwise beaming.  Next to Gunther is a scowling halfling child who can only be Drumstick.

“She’ll come around.  The business has been in the family for seven centuries, and it is not going to stop with Drumstick.”  He sighs again. “She’s a vegetarian, you know.  Does it to spite me.”  A large bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon sits on the desk, and Gunther pours himself a small cup, then downs it.  “Stressful time of year.  I always try and see to it that I get as blotto as possible before Turkey Day.” He pours another glass, then raises it.  “Cheers.”

A look of recognition suddenly flashes in Gunther’s eyes.  “Oh!  You are the mercenaries that I hired to look into matters at the farm!”

Gunther will then engage in conversation with the PCs.  He is a very amiable and has done his research, talking with the PCs about their past adventures and public lives.

He will also explain the situation.  Every year on the night before Turkey Day, mysterious vandals wreck his farm.  He has hired previous mercenaries to look into the matter, but they have all, unfortunately, been brutally murdered on the job by inexplicable forces.

If the PCs ask about Drumstick, Gunther will explain that she is his daughter from a mother who died in childbirth.  Drumstick does not want to take over the family business, but Gunther is sure she will change her mind.  Gunther will dismiss any accusations aimed at Drumstick as preposterous.

Gunther will also dismiss any accusations aimed at his competition, insisting that turkey farming attracts only upstanding gentlemen, and they have all been very sympathetic.

After the first accusation, or fit somewhere else into the conversation, Gunther will exclaim “And don’t tell me it’s the Gobbler!”  When asked to explain, Gunther will roll his eyes. “A silly urban legend, nothing more.  Six years ago, I installed an automatic turkey slaughterer to speed things up on Turkey Day.  Put the live turkey in one end, get a perfectly de-feathered, beheaded, and cooked turkey on the other.  I’m very proud of it.

“Well, during the installation, one of the crew fell inside the machine.  Before we could turn it off, the poor fellow was de-feathered, beheaded, and cooked.  We sent his body home to his family but, due to a terrible miscommunication, they ate him for their Turkey Day dinner. We received a very kind letter the next day thanking us for the meal.

“In any case, some of my more superstitious workers now believe that his ghost haunts the farm, and that he is behind the accidents.  Totally gobble-de-gook if you ask me.  Hogwash!”

The PCs have no way of knowing this, but this entire story is just a red herring.  It is all true, but the man’s ghost moved on without issue, happy that he could feed his family one last time.

After determining payment (1,500gp a party member, unless the price has been negotiated higher) and resolving any other outstanding issues, Gunther sends the party directly to the farm to begin their watch. The PCs get to the farm as night falls.

The Giblet Turkey Farm and Slaughterhouse

The term “farm” is an overstatement.  The Giblet Turkey Farm and Slaughterhouse is a large warehouse.  Cubbyholes filled with massive turkeys fill the west and south walls of this 5 story room, and the noise is incredible. The top five feet of each of the four walls is devoted to windows which let in the night breeze and moonlight.

Along the east wall sits “the machine,” menacing and still.  It is 45 feet long and jet black, a coal operated conveyor belt of death. Spring loaded blades, shiny red tubes, and a square oven are all part of the hellish contraption.  A series of empty buckets lie below the machine, evidently for catching the unwanted by-products of the process.  They are, thankfully, empty.

The room is also littered with empty wooden crates, presumably for transporting live turkeys. The boxes are three feet tall, provide partial cover, and require a DC 10 acrobatic check to leap onto.  Inform the players that they should feel free to arrange the boxes however they like.

The only door in or out of the room is in the center of the north wall.  It leads to a series of small storerooms and staff rooms.

Allow the PCs to investigate and set up whatever defenses they like, including pushing the boxes around to make cover.  After that, time passes quickly.

The Warning

The turkeys slowly fall asleep, and the unbearable noise dies down.  All is silent for a time, and the hours tick by.

Then, around 11pm, a soft scratching noise is heard, as if something hard is being dragged across a stone floor.  The scratching noise grows louder and louder, until it is evident that something is about to burst in from the northern door.

Something does.

The door flings open, and a booming voice declares “Beware!”  The turkeys all wake up at the sound and begin to gobble madly.

In the doorway stands an extremely elderly half-elf.  He has a light dusting of white hair on his head and chin, and is missing one of his eyes.  The man is dressed in overalls, is carrying a mop and is dragging a bucket of water behind him.

“Beware!” Repeats the half-elf, if he is not subject to the prepared actions of the PCs.  “I am Derby, the night janitor, and I have seen your predecessors torn to pieces every year for the past 6 years!  Beware!  Tonight you shall be visited by three Ghosts: The Ghost of Turkeys Past, The Ghost of Turkeys Present, and The Ghost of Turkeys Future!  Only after shall you see the Gobbler before he takes your life.  You shall know him, for his gobbles shall shatter the very windows!”

Derby kicks his bucket over dramatically, raises his arms, then starts mopping the floor.

Derby is a fairly crazy half-elf.  He has been the night janitor for Giblet Turkey Farms and Slaughterhouse for nearly 100 years, and it shows.  He is ragged, beaten down, and with his fair share of scars from handling turkeys.

He moves extremely fast, mopping the whole of the room in just a minute or two.  During this time, he will answer any questions the PCs have.

Derby has never seen the ghosts or the gobbler.  He only knows about them from the screams of the mercenaries as they attempt to fight.

Derby knows that Drumstick hates the farm, but has never seen her act against it.

Derby was there the night that they installed the machine.  A halfing named Trypto Phan was sucked inside, and Derby is sure that the ghost of Trypto is the gobbler.

To other questions, Derby will give crazy and evasive answers.  When the PCs are done with him, or when two minutes have elapsed, Derby will take his mop and bucket and leave to clean the other rooms.  However, the PCs have explicit orders to stay in the main room.  If they follow him, they will discover him cleaning until about midnight, and then leaving to go home.

The Ghost of Turkeys Past

Within half an hour the turkeys have calmed down again.  Most have ceased their gobbling and all is quiet again.

At midnight, the town bell begins to toll.  It rings out, seeming to slow down as it counts up.  After the eleventh tone there is an extraordinarily long pause … and then a loud bang erupts from inside the room.  The machine chugs to life, spitting smoke and a foul stench.  The fires within the oven begin to glow red, growing brighter with every passing moment.

Then, turkey entrails start seeping out of the bottom of the contraption.  They quickly overflow their buckets, spilling onto the floor in a massive red and black puddle.  As the machine picks up steam, the entrails rise in a heap, forming a huge, Frankenstein turkey.  This fifteen foot turkey drips intestines, feet, and brains, and fixes two glowing red eyes on the PCs before attacking.

Upon the turkey ooze’s creation, all PCs should make a DC 12 Will save or become frightened for d6 rounds.

Ooze, Turkey      CR 5
XP 1,200
N Huge ooze
Init -3; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception -5
AC 5, touch 5, flat-footed 5 (-3 Dex, -2 size)
hp 50 (4d8+32)
Fort +9, Ref -2, Will -4
Defensive Abilities split; Immune ooze traits, slashing and piercing
Speed 10 ft.
Melee bite +6 (2d6+7)
Space 15ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Str 20, Dex 5, Con 26, Int —, Wis 1, Cha 1
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 13
Split (Ex) Slashing and piercing weapons deal no damage to a turkey ooze. Instead, the creature splits into two identical oozes, each with half of the original's current hit points (round down). A turkey ooze with 10 hit points or less cannot be further split and dies if reduced to 0 hit points.

After the destruction of the turkey ooze, the machine shuts off and all goes quiet again.  The remains of the turkey ooze slowly disappear.

The Ghost of Turkeys Present

Things remain calm until one o’clock.  The sudden chiming of the town bell wakes the turkeys, and they begin to gobble to each other.  Instead of dying out like for previous hours, this gobbling grows and grows, until it is insufferably loud.  All PCs should make a DC 12 Fortitude check or become deafened for d4 minutes.

Suddenly, the cages lining the walls of the room burst open.  Hundreds if not thousands of turkeys pour forth, with their minds set on revenge.

Place one turkey swarm on the south wall, one on the west wall, and one in the southwest corner.

Turkey Swarm       CR 2
XP 600
N tiny animal (swarm)
Init +0; Senses Perception +5
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +2 size)
hp 25 (3d8+12)
Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +2
Defensive Abilities swarm traits
Speed 30 ft.
Melee swarm (1d6 plus distraction)
Space 10ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 14)
Str 12, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB —; CMD
Feats Toughness, Great Fortitude
Skills Acrobatics +4, Climb +7, Perception +5
Distraction (Ex) Any living creature that take damage from a turkey swarm must make a DC 14 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round.

When the turkey swarms are dispatched, our heroes can see to their amazement that the cages are all closed once more, and the turkeys are still in them as if nothing has happened.  The turkey corpses littering the floors have all vanished.

The Ghost of Turkeys Future

Things are quiet again until the bell chimes two.  After the last chime dies out, there is a sudden flash of light in near the doorway.  All PCs should make a DC 12 Reflex save or become blinded for one round.

Three turkeys appear in the northern end of the room.  These turkeys are slightly taller than an average turkey, and they are dressed unusually.

The turkey in front grasps a longsword in one hand, and a steel shield in the other hand. He is dressed in full plate and sports a steel helmet. The turkey to his left wears a green cap and grasps a longbow.  The turkey to his right sports a pointed purple wizard’s hat and a long white beard.  In his wing he holds a staff.

The turkey in front gestures meaningfully to the PCs, and utters a confident gobble to his companions.  He then gives off a deep turkey warcry and charges the party.

Turkey Knight      CR 2
XP 600
Turkey Fighter 3
CG Small humanoid (turkey)
Init -1; Senses Perception +3
AC 22, touch 10, flat-footed 22 (+9 armor, +3 shield, -1 Dex, +1 size)
hp 34 (3d10+12)
Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +4 (+1 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 15 ft.
Melee longsword +7 (1d6+2/19-20)
Str 14, Dex 9, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 15
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 13
Feats Iron Will, Shield Focus, Toughness, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Intimidate +8, Perception +3, Sense Motive +3, Survival +6
Languages Turkish
Other Gear full plate, heavy steel shield, longsword

Turkey Archer      CR 2
XP 600
Turkey Fighter 3
CN Small humanoid (turkey)
Init +3; Senses Perception +2
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+6 armor, +3 Dex, +1 size)
hp 30 (3d10+9)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +1 (+1 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 20 ft.
Ranged composite longbow +8 (1d6+1/×3)
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 12
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 16
Feats Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Toughness, Weapon Focus (longbow)
Skills Perception +2, Ride +5, Stealth +6, Survival +5
Languages Turkish
SQ armor training 1
Other Gear chainmail, composite longbow

Turkey Sorcerer      CR 2
XP 600
Turkey Sorcerer 3
CG Small humanoid (turkey)
Init -1; Senses Perception +4
AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10 (-1 Dex, +1 size)
hp 22 (3d6+9)
Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +3
Resist acid 5, cold 5
Speed 20 ft.
Melee quarterstaff +3 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks bloodline arcana: celestial
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 3rd; concentration +6):
    1st (6/day)—bless, magic missile, shocking grasp, true strike
    0st (at will)—acid splash, daze (DC 14), drench (DC 13), jolt, mage hand
Str 12, Dex 9, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 17
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 10
Feats Eschew Materials, Spell Focus (enchantment), Toughness
Skills Appraise +7, Heal +5, Perception +2, Use Magic Device +9
Languages Turkish
SQ bloodlines (celestial)
Other Gear dagger

These turkeys, like their predecessors, disappear when they are killed.

The Gobbler

On the strike of three, the world seems to go dim. A distant, deep gobbling can be heard somewhere outside the building.  It grows louder and louder, with caged turkeys echoing the sentiment, until a single ear piercing gobble shatters the high windows of the room.  Then the door bursts open.

Gunther Gibblet stands in the doorway.  He gobbles to the heavens, clearly out of his mind with drink and pain.  As the PCs watch in horror, Gunther sprouts long brown feathers.  His nose elongates and hardens, and his halfling feet grow yellow and thin.  He howls as his arms extend and then fold back onto themselves.  The quivering mass grows.  And grows.  And grows. Gunther is no more. In his place, a massive, terrifying turkey stands.

There can be no mistake.  Gunther Gibblet is a were-turkey.

Gunther fixes merciless red eyes on the party and attacks.

Gunther Giblet, Wereturkey            CR 6
XP 2,400
NE Large magical beast (lycanthrope)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +4
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +7 natural, -1 size)
hp 76 (8d10+32)
Fort +10, Ref +9, Will +5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +12 (2d6+5/19-20 plus curse of the wereturkey), claw +12 (1d8+5/19-20 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Str 21, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 7
Base Atk +8; CMB +14; CMD 27
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Perception)
Curse of the Wereturkey (Su) A wereturkey’s bite infects a humanoid target with the curse of the wereturkey (Fortitude DC 14 negates).

       Wereturkey’s Curse
       Type curse, injury; Save Fortitude DC 14 negates, Will DC 20 to avoid effects
       Onset the eve of Turkey Day; Frequency on the night of every Turkey Day
       Effect target transforms into a wereturkey under the GM's control until the next morning

Resolution and Rewards

The result off all this nonsense varies widely depending on the player’s choices.  If Gunther is killed, then Drumstick closes the farm.  She hates the party for killing her father, but does not press charges.

If Gunther is simply subdued, then he returns to human form at daybreak with no memory of the night’s events.  He genuinely does not know that he is a were-turkey. Gunther has been getting “blotto” every Turkey Day eve for the past 20 years.  He wakes up the next morning completely hungover and usually in some strange place, with no memory of the previous night.  Because of this, he has no recollection of turning into a were-turkey, and does not think it strange when he wakes in torn up clothes.  He just assumes he’s a pretty crazy drunk.

Gunther received the curse from a magical turkey, the largest catch of his life and the one now immortalized in a picture on his office wall.  He will make this connection when told of his affliction.

A remove disease, remove curse, or heal spell will cure Gunther of his lycanthropy.  Otherwise, he will simply have to chain himself up every Turkey Day eve.

In any case, as long as Gunther survives the night, he will be thrilled with the PCs for cracking the case.  He will provide the PCs with whatever reward was promised and will even throw in a lifetime supply of turkey.  Though the PCs may have had enough of turkeys after the events at Giblet Turkey Farm and Slaughterhouse.

Purchase a pdf of the Gobbler for 99 cents here!
Includes the Awakened Turkey playable race!


  1. Does anyone know how to boost this for level 13 characters. Never ran a game before but might try it out on my friends. They are all level 13 and I doubt they would want to roll new characters just for this.

    1. The best way to do this would be to grab a few CR appropriate monsters from the bestiary and re-flavor them as the turkey horrors. The turkey ooze could be a carnivorous blob( The turkey swarms can become Mandragora swarms ( Etc. Then, all the delicious thanksgiving flavor can remain the same!