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Dragon Heist: The Haunting at Trollskull Manor
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Dragon Heist: The Haunting at Trollskull Manor


We’re all privy to the dark secret of Trollskull Manor—and soon your adventurers will be too. Alas, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist comes up short on providing an adequate haunting—it merely informs you of the presence of the poltergeist, and provides two brief descriptions of what can be done with him. That's it. No antics provided, no scenes.

The Haunting at Trollskull Manor is a short adventure balanced for four 2nd-3rd level characters for chapter 2 of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, and is designed to be completed in two sessions as the adventurers confront the ambulant spirit(s) that haunt the manor. It expands upon the grisly history of Trollskull, particularly the dark chapter it spent as an orphanage headed by a cannibalistic hag.

Spanning three acts, the first involves Lif the poltergeist's violent antics, leading to his eventual confrontation. Act II begins days or weeks later—just long enough for the adventurers to feel safe in their new home—when the ambulant dead return, heralded by several paranormal occurrences. The final act involves the return of the Hag-Shadow—a sliver of the hag's evil—as it seeks out to devour the last three ghostly survivors of her murderous past.

This adventure can be replicated in any campaign, for it bears few spoilers to Dragon Heist. Use it whenever you need a tavern or manor with a darkened past and tear away your players' safety blanket!

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Reviews (15)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Nicholas S July 01, 2021 9:53 pm UTC
I'm really looking forward to running this but i find it really strange to set the big bad guy to 19 hp, a crit from my level 2 rouge can hit that much i believe
Customer avatar
John W October 30, 2020 8:29 pm UTC
I ran part of this last night for my group and it was fantastic! I used the last act as a way of running a spooky Halloween session and I think it might be my favorite session of Waterdeep yet. My players were really creeped out. The mechanic of doors going to random places is exceptionally well done. It creates a feeling of isolation and helplessness that are perfect for the horror theme. Not only that, but it made dealing with Mama Esther much more challenging. I used stats for a night hag as my party is level 5 at this point. It wouldn't be a super difficult fight for the entire party, but when they can't get to the fight because normal things like doors aren't working right, and one or two members are left on their own to fight, it makes for a pretty scary adventure! My only recommendation for others running this is to not use the part where the party kills Lif. I think having a ghostly bartender is one of the coolest things about Dragon Heist! Since my party had not killed Lif prior, I had him make...See more
Customer avatar
Alexander G October 24, 2020 7:35 am UTC
I found it a pity, that the party had to destroy Lif, taking away the opportunity to have a ghostly taver waiter later on. So i had Lif fleeing to a secret attic in the Turret Peak, where he hung himself. Giving the body a proper funeral or coming up with other solutions (remove curse,...) drove the story foreward as if Lif was destroyed but kept him 'alive'.
Customer avatar
Laird B June 19, 2020 11:33 pm UTC
Just when I was going to give up on Dragon Heist, I introduced the players backup characters to this Side Quest, which helped reintroduce the players into a richer emotional background story involving the Trollskull Manor. The Haunting truly helped bring the players interest back into the primary adventures purpose with, "Lets do it for the children," and add a meaningful history to the Trollskull Manor.
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Jesse R September 15, 2019 5:35 pm UTC
How tied to the Manor is this? In other words, can I rename Lif and use it in another house in the city?
Customer avatar
Wyatt T September 17, 2019 5:49 am UTC
You absolutely can, yep. As long as you have an old manor in need of fixing up, a poltergeist, and a history of cannibalism, you're good to go.
Customer avatar
Gwithian E January 11, 2019 8:04 pm UTC
Are you going to make a printer friendly version at some point? I'm working this into my campaign, but have hesitated from printing as it's very... colourful. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Wyatt T January 11, 2019 11:06 pm UTC
I'll add a printer friendly version for you within 48 hours
Customer avatar
Gwithian E January 12, 2019 10:52 am UTC
Thanks a lot!
Customer avatar
Gwithian E January 14, 2019 5:14 pm UTC
Hi there, any updates on this? thanks :)
Customer avatar
Wyatt T January 15, 2019 8:28 am UTC
I uploaded a printer friendly version for ya
Customer avatar
Gwithian E January 15, 2019 1:03 pm UTC
Thank you very much !! :)
Customer avatar
Kenneth A November 18, 2018 11:19 pm UTC
Is this intended to be interspersed throughout the main Waterdeep Dragon Heist story. Or should I be having dedicated sessions for this? Based on the description, it sounds like I can start with the Act 1 violent antics, after which they may continue with the regular campaign or faction missions. Then several days or weeks (and perhaps sessions) later, I would add in Act 2. Is this correct?
Customer avatar
Mathieu M June 06, 2019 3:39 am UTC
It is mostly used in chapter 2 of Dragon Heist, I had them do a few side quests (factions and some hombrewed) and progressively implemented the Acts. Act 3 happened just the night before they intented to open the tavern! They were determined to get rid of the hag before their grand opening. Rumors in the area attracted a whole lot of guests and they ended up creating a drink named "Spirit on Tap"
Customer avatar
Robert F July 28, 2019 8:34 pm UTC
Seems like it’s intended to be interspersed throughout Chapter Two. But I ran this as the climax of Chapter Two in one game session, which required a few easy modifications to the narrative.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on November 01, 2018.