Encounters for the Back Pocket: The Warehouse

Hi all,

Keeping with the theme of running a table-top gaming site that tries to be entertaining, informative and helpful whilst also giving me things to write about from week to week, here is another ball for me to start juggling.

Rather than geographical locations, this series of articles will be outlining encounters and situations that should be system/setting neutral enough to fit in most games. Obviously some things won’t fit in every game (technology based encounters for example) but in most cases, a bit of re-writing on your part should suffice.

With that out of the way, let’s get this thing started.


Bubbles / Ryan

Encounter type: Combat.

Suggested number of enemies: 2 x player characters (minions of slightly below the abilities of the PCs) and 1 ‘boss’.

Encounter location: Warehouse.

The warehouse is a long, low ceilinged building. Most of it is taken up by a single room, full of shelves and shadows. At the far end, there is what could feasibly be an office or two.

 The main room is dimly lit but you can see movement in the shadows at the far end.

Special Rules

The room is lit by flaming torches (fantasy settings) or poorly maintained light bulbs. Play up the deep shadows by making anything relating to perception more difficult. Have NPCs dart into and out of the shadows, using the darkness and the shelves to hide from the PCs. The shadows work both ways though.

The rows of shelving filling the room are climbable, with about 4 feet of space between the top shelf and the roof. Creative PCs may wish to climb the shelves to get the drop on the NPCs. It is up to you if the shelves are full, what is on them/in boxes, and anything else related to the shelving. The PCs may try to push the shelves over to obstruct movement/destroy things. This should be possible, but it should not be easy. The shelves will fall in ten feet long sections and make a lot noise, enough to attract outside attention.

There are two offices. One contains a small armoury and a bed, the other is the office of the ‘boss’. The ‘boss’ starts this encounter in their office and will leave to join the fight when either the alarm is raised by one of their underlings or the PCs make any loud noises.

Along one wall is a large door, currently closed, and a hoist used for loading and unloading cargo. If you feel like it, this door may be replaced with a trapdoor in the floor to be used with boats pulling up under the warehouse.

Depending on how full the warehouse is, movement may be restricted by boxes and equipment scattered over the floor, and the shelves may be quite close together, allowing only one or two people to walk next to each other. Long sightlines (albeit dark ones) and cramped close quarters combat should be the theme of this encounter.

Suggested Hooks

The party has stumbled onto a smuggling gang who have an item they need.

A contact of the party has been kidnapped and is being held in the warehouse.

Something leads the party to the warehouse where they find someone they thought they could trust selling something personal to them.

The party seeks refuge in a seemingly abandoned warehouse. While they struggle with the toughs inside, the force chasing them gathers its strength outside.

The party have been roped into some shady dealings and are using the warehouse to conduct their business when an outside party enters.


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