I really enjoy running holiday themed quests. They can be a nice way to inject a side quest into your adventure, or take a short break to run a short seasonal campaign. With Easter is just around the corner, I thought this would be a great time to share some ideas for an Easter themed adventure. Whether you are looking for an Easter D&D one shot, or just a bit of seasonal spice for your game, check out the hooks below. I’ve also detailed how I would run idea #1, the Easter Hag Hunt.
Here are some Easter themed adventure ideas for Dungeons and Dragons or other TTRPG of your choice:
- A coven of hags is delivering enchanted candy to lure children away from their homes. (Easter Hag Hunt adventure below!)
- Eggs are mysteriously appearing in the homes in a small village. What comes out of them? Where are they coming from?
- A were-rabbit has been plaguing the country side. Track it down and find out what it has been up to.
- Chocolate bunnies are coming to life and attacking children. Why?
- The town has a large scavenger hunt and the adventurers are invited to join in!
- A great fey spirit calls out for help, it has been captured and cannot deliver candy to the children as it does each year.
- Farmers eggs are disappearing! What’s taking them and why?
- Collect large eggs for egg decorating competition, the bigger the better!
- The town needs a roast for the festival, the adventurers must go on the hunt!
- A magical rabbit enlists you to break into children’s’ homes and hide candy.
- A demon has decided to disrupt a special holiday service at the local temple.
- Almiraj (bunnicorn) have suddenly invaded a small town and are eating all the crops!
Please leave a comment if would like to share some of your Easter adventure ideas, or if you have any feedback about Easter Hag Hunt! Also be sure to check out my 2022 Spring Giveaway!
Easter Hag Hunt
Core idea: A coven of hags is delivering enchanted candy to lure children away from their homes.
How Epic Fred would run it:
Step 1: Introduction and Setting
I would initially play this in the background of what the party is currently up to in order to plant the seeds. The town would be decorated for a spring celebration and NPCs would be hard at work preparing. The town could hold a celebration/dance or it could simply be something done by individual families. If choosing the latter, I would have the party invited to the home of one of these families to share in their meal. To add to the immersion, I’d include a local tradition that might seem silly to the players, such as melting a plate of snow over a candle during the meal.
This would be an opportunity to just have some fun with discussion and whatnot between the characters and the NPCs. If there are any children present, they would be fascinated by tales of adventure. During the meal/celebration, players would find out from NPCs that the children of the town are very excited as they have received gifts (in the form of candy and chocolates) from Qilenae the Spring Spirit (a local legend).
Step 2: Problem and Investigation
The next day, the town is in a panic. The party learns from local NPCs that many town’s children are missing. They left their homes in the middle of the night while their parents slept and did not return. From here my players would definitely ask questions, through conversation I would provide two clues: first, there is candy in/around the beds of the missing children, and second, the blacksmith’s daughter, Nelana didn’t go missing but won’t talk to anyone.
The party will likely follow a combination of three scenarios:
- Go talk to Nelana – Nelana is a 8 year old human girl who has not been speaking since the night before. With some gentle coaxing the party may be able to get her to speak to them about the missing children (persuasion DC 15). The DC could be reduced to 13 by offering the girl something to help relax her, such as an interesting bauble or a doll. Offering candy would cause her to become suspicious of the party and increase the DC to 18.
On successful persuasion Nelana tells the party that she saw “Qilenae” bringing around the candy. The other children saw her as a beautiful spring Eladrin, but Nelana could see that was really a gnarled old lady (Description should match the type of hags chosen depending on level). Nelana was scared and didn’t think anyone would believe her.
Nelana doesn’t know where the old lady came from except “the woods” and cannot inform further. Asking around to local NPCs could lead to the party learning that there is an old rumour of a witch in the woods but they’ve never seen her.
- Go to investigate a child’s room/the candy – If they ask to see the room of one of the children they would find very little out of place other than the partially eaten candy littered about. An investigation or survival check (DC 13) will show that there is no sign of forced entry or struggle. The candy and objects around the room (dropped toys, blankets pulled from the bed) would show a trail of the child leaving their room through the door or their window.
The candy will look and smell normal but is enchanted with dominate person (with a modified duration of 1 hour). This would be detected as enchantment magic if detect magic is used. If a player decided to eat the candy they would need to make a Wisdom Save (DC: depends on hag’s spell save, +2 if using a coven). On a successful save the character knows the candy is magical, but resists the effect. On a failed save, the character feels compelled to avoid their parents and travel into the woods to visit Qilenae. If not physically stopped, this player will travel directly to the Hag(s)’s hut. If the player takes any damage, they can reattempt the saving throw.
- Look for signs outside of where the children went – In this case I’d simply have the players search the town for signs of where the children went. How this would play out descriptively would depend very much on where the players choose the search. Outside the homes a DC13 investigation or survival check shows that there are no signs of anyone breaking in or of a struggle. If the party searches for a trail a DC 15 survival check (or DC 10 if they are aware of the candy from one of the first two items), allows them to find the trail of childrens’ footprints and bits of candy leading into the woods.
Step 3: Confronting the Hag(s)
How this plays out will depend very much on whether or not a character (or characters) ate the candy. The party follows the trail into the woods and makes their way to the hag’s house. This would take 15-20 minutes to make it sufficiently distant from the town. The house itself is a treehouse set well up off the ground (20ft) and looks to be made of candy and gingerbread. As they come into view, they are greeted by Qilenae the Spring Spirit standing in the doorway. Qilenae appears as a young elf with blue-green skin and long flowing green hair. Her hair is peppered with budding flowers and leaves.
Qilenae would feign ignorance about the missing children and offer the party gifts in the form of candies and chocolates, dropping a beautifully decorated basket the floats gently down to them. Any party member who is already under the influence of the candy will feel the need to encourage the others to eat it resulting in the same save as mentioned in Step 2. If at least two members of the party are under her spell, Qilenae will dispense with pleasantries and simply order them to attack the others and retreat inside her house. If the party refuses the candy and presses her about the missing children, Qilenae will lose her patience and summon monsters to attack and move into the house.
Encounter 1: Outside the House
I would use a forest battle map, such as this one and replace the fountain with the Qilenae’s tree. Alternatively, it would be very quick and easy to throw together a simple forest map in the free version of Inkarnate.
Monsters: For the sake of theme I would have the enemies be made of candy and sprout from the candy in the basket. So regardless of what creature stat block we are using, the creatures could fit the theme.
**Keep in mind when bringing monsters into play that any dominated players will use their turns to attack the others until the domination is broken.**
For a low level (1-4) party I would use a variety of blights. For example: two each of Needle, Twig, and Vine Blights makes for a medium encounter for 4 level 3 characters. If in doubt, this free encounter builder is a quick and easy way to get a decent idea of balance. If you use D&D Beyond, it also has an encounter builder.
For parties level 5-9 the smaller blights would not suffice alone. I would use Awakened Trees and compliment them with Vine Blights.
Moving on to levels 10+ I would start to move up to a Tree Blight (CR7, Curse of Strahd) or even up to an Animated Tree (CR9, Wildmount), though I would use them as size large rather than huge.
Epic Fred DM tip: When balancing encounters, try to compliment your strong creatures with a few weaker ones to spread out the actions and break up the initiative. This allows the fight to be more dynamic and prevents the players from steamrolling the monster!
Encounter 2: Climbing the Tree
After defeating the candy blights, climbing up to the house is the next obvious move. This is an excellent opportunity for an environmental encounter.
Qilenae’s treehouse is actually built on a corrupted treant and it will start to move once the players have climbed half way up (10ft). How I would roleplay this depends very much on the level of the party.
For a party under level 9, the treant would simply try to shake them off as they climb. To maintain their ability to climb up they would have to make a DC12 strength save, or fall from the tree (taking any applicable falling damage). Once the treant is moving, the stairs are difficult terrain. Every round that the players remain on the tree and not inside the hut, they must make the save again.
At level 9 and above the treant would use it’s slam attacks to try and knock the heroes out of the tree. I’d be sure to compare the treant’s stealth to the players passive perception to see if they are surprised. Each time a hero is hit with slam they must make a DC14 strength save or be knocked out of the tree.
The heroes can either run up to the hut (or fly/teleport), or defeat the treant. The treant does not fall if defeated but appears to calcify into rock candy.
Epic Fred DM tip: Encounters like this are a great place to have fun with descriptions. Use lots of descriptive words to depict exactly what is happening. The shaking of the tree, the way the rickety gingerbread stairs shift and wobble, the way characters behave based on their rolls. Strong rolls resulting in firm grip and deft climbing while a bad roll could have a character tumbling down the stairs and over the railing! As my players love to say, “Paint me a word picture!”
Encounter 3: Easter Hags!
Inside the hut the hags have not had time to entirely prepare for the heroes. Between their fast arrival and the shaking of the tree they cannot get the jump on the heroes. The room the heroes enter into is a ritual chamber, the hags have prepared a large cauldron in the center over a fire. The floor is marked with a variety of magic symbols and circles. The children are seemingly asleep along the back wall of the hut.
Qilenae would still be in her Eladrin form and may attempt to plead with the heroes before attacking.
Note: To properly prepare for your group, make sure you read up on the abilities of hags and hag covens. A single hag is dangerous, a coven is often deadly. Make good use of their spells so as to make sure they aren’t a pushover.
Against a low level (1-4) party I would use only a single Green Hag, and supplement her with either more candy blights, or gingerbread men (using goblin stats).
For levels 5-8 I would continue to use a single hag, but go up to a more powerful hag such as a Dusk Hag (CR6), Annis Hag (CR6), or Bheur Hag (CR7).
Beyond this, at levels 9 or above I would begin to use covens. Covens are always composed of three hags, they have a shared pool of spells and improved spell DC. Making use of their spells will be imperative to making the encounter feel challenging. Three Green Hags in a coven are considered a hard encounter for five level 9 characters. As you increase in levels above 9 you can swap the green hags out for one of the other variants, or include minions to increase the difficulty.
Epic Fred DM tip: If there is only one hag remaining and the party does not seem near death, most hags will attempt to escape. If the hag manages to get away, it’s a good hook for the future. Hags are conniving and plotting, they will surely seek revenge on the party eventually.
After the hags are defeated, the children will awaken from the sounds of combat. They are scared, but happy to see the heroes. The heroes can lead the children back to town, to much fanfare from the locals. The townsfolk would pool their coins (or useful/magical items) together and offer it to the heroes as a reward for their service!
I hope you enjoyed my Easter D&D one shot, Easter Hag Hunt, let me know below!