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The Contract: Replayable One-Shot for D&D 5e
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The Contract: Replayable One-Shot for D&D 5e


A Re-playable One-Shot for 5e where no two games are alike
Now a Platinum best seller!

The Contract is a re-playable one-shot with more than 1,000 possible combinations. The DM rolls for key plot points like combat encounters and surprise endings; players roll at the beginning of the game for secret objectives that connect their characters to the story.

"It may be the best bang for your buck on the DM's Guild I’ve seen in a long time."
-Jake L.

The Matriarch of a harbor town knows that tonight, something evil and powerful will come to kill her Heir. If the Heir lives, that enemy's power will be broken. If he dies, the delicate peace she’s built on the wrong side of the docks will crumble into violence and chaos. So the Matriarch hires a party of capable adventurers with a simple directive: "My Heir lives until morning." But nothing is ever that simple, and nothing is as it seems. Can you survive the night?

For 3-5 players with first-tier characters (levels 1-4); takes around 4 hours to play.

This adventure is perfect for introducing new players to the game, beginning a new campaign, or just taking a night off your regular campaign.

For any questions or comments about this adventure or any of my other works, you can find me on Twitter @sparkotter

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Version 2 introduced new secret objectives, a new magic item "Sunder," and updated language to give players and DMs more options in playing the game.
Version 2.4 includes minor copy edits and an updated "More by the Author" section.
Version 2.5 introduces the "Keep it Rolling" discount - buying this product gives you 25% off every other DM's Guild product I've produced!

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Stephen M June 15, 2021 11:51 am UTC
Question about this adventure. It says that the players have like 3 hours to investigate. Does that mean that everyone is inside of the house together? Like it is a dinner party or something?
Customer avatar
Lucas Z June 16, 2021 1:37 pm UTC
When I ran this game in playtesting, players usually spent this time finding a defensible position in the house and pursuing secret objectives. With only three NPCs, the house feels eerily empty. That makes "The Long Watch" a great opportunity to build tension and set up the plot twists for later in the game.
Customer avatar
Sean B June 05, 2021 2:56 am UTC
Hey Lucas,
Very cool one shot! I’m just having a little trouble with the magic item Sunder being a boss and wrapping my head around it. There’s no motivation listed and one of my players knows the “boss” because of their objective. Was your idea that the player knows that Sunder is out to get the heir or just the player recognizes it when he sees it?

Customer avatar
Lucas Z June 05, 2021 2:06 pm UTC
You've got it right. I wrote Sunder to desire entropy and chaos, an anarchist weapon for whom killing the heir of an established family would be a great joy. It drives anyone who wields it toward that goal.
The players with twists who know the Boss would recognize Sunder and be at least a little familiar with its purpose - maybe they've heard of it, seen it in the hands of a revolutionary fighter, or touched it themselves at one point and felt its emotional pull toward entropy.
This Boss can be a neutral evil option, giving you an Assassin who is also a victim.

Thanks for playing, and I hope you enjoy it!
Customer avatar
Emily H June 06, 2020 5:25 pm UTC
Hi, I have a question about the Mooks - In the assassin table it says to use the Captain stat block, but right below where it explains who to use based on number of players, it says Veteran and makes no mention of the Captain. Which should I use? Thanks! Looking forward to running this soon.
Customer avatar
Lucas Z June 07, 2020 4:25 pm UTC
Thanks so much for asking! Use one Captain in each encounter to stay within the DMG's deadly XP threshold for each party. I'll update the adventure to fix this. So glad it's going to be at your table!
Customer avatar
Ben B March 26, 2020 1:03 pm UTC
I'm planning on running this adventure in a few days and have a question. Are you meant to roll for the boss and assassin separately, or should you match up the assassin with the appropriate boss? For example, if you rolled separately then the boss could be from the assassin's guild and the assassin from the cult of Umberlee, which feels strange.
Customer avatar
Lucas Z March 27, 2020 12:14 pm UTC
Thanks for the question, Ben! I wrote them as separate rolls because I think it's interesting to have that mystery as part of the game. You or your players can work out why the guild might have resorted to hiring a cult instead of going themselves; maybe they needed a fall guy?

It's totally up to your discretion, though - you can absolutely choose matching bosses and assassins. It depends on what your players would enjoy and how much time you have for the session.
Customer avatar
Daniel B October 31, 2019 7:37 pm UTC
Any VTT versions of this?
Customer avatar
Lucas Z November 02, 2019 2:51 pm UTC
Not yet; I'll have to consider that for the next update.
Customer avatar
Clare M August 25, 2018 11:55 pm UTC
Hi, can you tell me more about the plot points being determined randomly? Does the DM role for them? Do player decisions influence them? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Lucas Z September 01, 2018 2:45 pm UTC
Sure! The DM rolls on provided tables for key plot points like combat encounters and surprise endings. Secret objectives connect the players to the adventure, and players roll for them at the start of the game.
Customer avatar
Lucas Z September 01, 2018 8:19 pm UTC
I've updated the description to make this more clear; thanks for your question!
Customer avatar
Sam M June 11, 2018 4:57 pm UTC
What level range is this?
Customer avatar
Lucas Z June 22, 2018 11:59 pm UTC
Thanks for asking! I optimized it for 4th-level characters, but it works for parties in the first tier of play. I've updated the description to say so.
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File Last Updated:
December 28, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on March 30, 2018.