Kobold Alone | 1st-Level Holiday Adventure for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition (PDF included)

Kobold Alone Home Alone Holiday Christmas Adventure for D&D Fifth Edition

Happy holidays, everyone!

A few days ago, I got the wild idea to create a holiday-themed adventure. And not just any holiday-themed adventure, but one based on none other than the 1990 film, Home Alone.

If you aren’t familiar with the film, it tells the story of a kid named Kevin McCallister (played by a young MacCauley Culkin) who gets left behind by his family over the holidays. Being the only one at home in a time before cell phones, Kevin has to fend off a couple of burglars with nothing more than his wits and a bunch of clever traps.

I got to thinking: what if Kevin was a kobold? And what if the kobold had to fend off the house from a bunch of pesky adventurers? Thus was born Home Kobold Alone.

Design Notes for Kobold Alone

First thing’s first, I needed a map. So I relied on my pal Justin David Russell to create one. And create one he did, actually taking the time to watch the movie a few hundred times (I’m only half kidding about that) to get the exact details, layouts, and dimensions.

Take a look:

home-alone-map

Can you believe that? Holy shit, right! It’s got everything, all the way down to the furniture in the rooms, the zip-line between the tree house, and even the evil furnace in the basement.

Placing the Traps

One thing I wanted to make sure of when creating this adventure was that any players who played this map knowing full and well what this was (it only takes a few minutes to figure out it’s the house from Home Alone, I discovered) couldn’t guess where the traps were.

Obviously, you can keep it true to the original, but I realized it probably made a lot more sense to make it sort of a “buffet” of trap options.

Plus, the traps couldn’t be too hardcore. Low-level traps, even when rolling a d6, can be hell on 1st-level PCs. So I had to nerf the trap damage quite a bit to make it more comical than deadly.

Kevin Kobold McCallister

Next, we have our “protagonist”, Kobold McCallister. When designing him, there were a couple of things that I knew I didn’t want. I didn’t want him to get caught, so he had to have some killer action economy. And I didn’t want him knocked out with a few hits.

So I buffed up Kobold McCallister with some extra hit points (to also avoid cheesy sleep spells from zonking him out) and a couple legendary actions. A CR1 monster with legendary actions? Hell yes, I say. This is Kobold McCallister after all.

Loot and XP

Of course, the characters need to be rewarded should they defeat the little twerp. The house itself is crawling with goodies, just like in the film. In fact, there’s roughly a horde of treasure to be carted off from the McCallister estate!

As far as XP goes, one buffed up kobold surrounded by booby traps is probably enough to level any good 1st-level group.

Kobold Alone

Here’s the hook: through the grapevine, the characters learn that there’s a fairly loaded house on the southern part of a major city that’s ripe for the picking. Some believe that the people who own the house–who’ve just taken a lavish holiday trip to a foreign land–are people of disreputable value. In fact, rumor has it that the lord of the manor has ties to the criminal underworld; how else can he afford such a nice house with so many kids?

However, there’s one catch: supposedly, a kobold has snuck into the place and made it his own while they’re gone. And everyone knows just how much trouble kobolds can be!

Running the Adventure

Taking notes from the popular holiday film, Home Alone, Kobold Alone pits the characters against Kobold McCallister, a tricky Kobold that’s taken over the McCallister home. He will use his wile to lead characters through traps, hazards, and other “goodies” he has set up to ensure that they don’t rob the place of all its valuable art objects. To play this adventure, use the adventure hook above. Make sure you understand where all the rooms in the house are and be sure to plot out Kobold’s escape routes. Plus, don’t forget to load it up with traps (see the Traps section below).

Kobold Alone is a one-shot Fifth Edition adventure for 3-5 characters of 1st level.

The House

The McCallister Household is a massive two-story brick manor in a nice part of town. It has two fully furnished levels, a basement, and an attic. Plus, it’s got a spacious backyard complete with large oak and a treehouse.

McCallister-House-Numbered

General Features

Unless otherwise detailed in the description, the McCallister house has the following features:

Ceilings. The ceilings on the main floor of the McCallister home are 12-feet high. And the ceilings in the basement, second floor, and attic are 9 feet high.

FloorsThe floors in the McCallister household are made out of hardwood. Some of the floors have large rugs placed over top.

Walls. The interior walls in the McCallister household are mostly plasterwork and wood. The exterior walls are made of laid brick.

Doors. The interior doors of the McCallister household are thin, hollow wooden doors (AC 13, 10 hp). Typically, they are unlocked. If locked, they can be picked open with a DC 12 Dexterity using thieves’ tools check. The outside doors are much sturdier, thick wooden doors with strong deadbolts (AC 16, 18hp). Those require DC 15 Dexterity using thieves’ tools check to pick. The doors are DC 13 and 16 using a Strength check to break down respectively.

Light. The house is well-lit, using gas lanterns in sconces throughout the entire home except for the basement, which is dimly lit.

Time. Because of the small size of the home and the close proximity of the traps and Kobold McCallister, it’s best to run the adventure in 6-second increments once the characters enter the home.

Room Descriptions

Here are the basic descriptions for each of the rooms as keyed to the McCallister Household map above.

1 – Main Entrance

The main entrance to the McCallister is a sturdy door that’s usually kept locked. There is a short flight of steps (roughly 8) that rises to the door. Often, this flight of steps is slippery and requires a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to avoid falling prone when climbing it. However, just adding a couple of gallons of water can increase the DC to 13. Any creature that fails their check by 5 or more also takes 1 bludgeoning damage from the fall.

Treasure. There is a 3-foot tall cast-iron statuette at the foot of the stairs worth 10gp.

2 – Foyer

This is a small entryway into the home.

Treasure. There is a 10% chance of finding one art object worth 25gp here with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

3 – Main Entryway

This is the main entryway into the house. The stairs lead up to area #11.

Treasure. There is a 10% chance of finding one art object worth 25gp here with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

4 – Living Room

This is the living room. The fireplace is usually lit. There is a holiday tree in the northwestern corner. A grand piano is at the southwestern corner of the room.

Treasure. There are 1d4 art objects worth 25gp in this room. The characters can find these with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

5 – Den

The den is where the McCallister family entertains.

Treasure. There are 1d4 art objects worth 25gp in this room. The characters can find these with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

6 – Privy

This is a small privy for guests.

Treasure. There is a 10% chance of finding one art object worth 25gp here with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

7 – Breakfast Room

Connected to the kitchen, this is the informal dining area.

There are two flight of stairs here, one leading up to the second floor (area #12) and one leading down into the basement’s laundry area (area #23d).

Treasure. There is one art object worth 25gp here. The characters can discover it with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

8 – Kitchen

The kitchen is where all the food of the home is stored. The pantry and cabinets hold all the McCallister food supplies.

The door leading to the outside is on level ground, therefore there are no stairs necessary to climb (and avoid falling down) to enter. It has a small door that Small or smaller creatures can climb through with ease. A Medium creature must make a successful DC 13 Strength (Athletics) check to fit through it.

There is a laundry chute in the south wall. A Small or smaller creature can slide down the chute and land in area #23c. Climb back up the chute requires a successful DC 16 Strength (Athletics) check.

Treasure. There is one art object worth 25gp here. The characters can discover it with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check. In addition, there is enough food to create 42 days worth of rations.

9 – Sunroom

The sunroom is sparsely decorated.

Treasure. There is one art object worth 25gp here. The characters can discover it with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

10 – Formal Dining Room

Important meals are hosted here.

Treasure. There are 1d4 art objects worth 25gp here. The characters can discover it with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

11 – Upstairs Hall

The upstairs hall connects all the bedrooms.

The large flight of steps with the landing leads down to area #3. The stairs at the west end of the hall lead up to area #20.

Treasure. There is a 10% chance of finding one art object worth 25gp here with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

12 – Servant Stairs

This old staircase is hidden away with its own hallway. The stairways lead down to area #7.

Treasure. There is a 10% chance of finding one art object worth 25gp here with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

13 – Master Bedroom

The lord and lady McCallister bed here. The room has its own fireplace which is only lit when they are in attendance.

Treasure. There are 1d6+1 art objects worth 25gp here. Characters can find them with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check. In addition, they have hidden 1d6 x 10 gold pieces in the room.

14 – Master Bathroom

This room has a large tub as well as a separate, well-kept privy.

Treasure. There is one art object worth 25gp here. The characters can discover it with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

15 – Bedroom

This is the bedroom of one of the McCallister’s teenage children.

Treasure. There is one art object worth 25gp here. The characters can discover it with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

16 – Shared Bathroom

The McCallister’s teenage children share this bathroom which has a tub and a well-kept privy.

Treasure. There is a 10% chance of finding one art object worth 25gp here with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

17 – Bedroom

This is the bedroom of one of the McCallister’s teenage children.

Treasure. There is one art object worth 25gp here. The characters can discover it with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

18 – Recreation Room

The McCallister children share this recreation room.

Treasure. There is a 10% chance of finding one art object worth 25gp here with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

19 – Bedroom

This is the bedroom of one of the McCallister’s teenage children.

Treasure. There is one art object worth 25gp here. The characters can discover it with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

20 – Attic Room

This semi-finished attic room has an extra bed and is used as a guest room. A steel zip line connects the window over the bed to the treehouse in the McCallister’s backyard. The stairs here lead down to area #11.

Treasure. There is a 10% chance of finding one art object worth 25gp here with a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check.

21 – Attic Storage

This portion of the attic is completely unfinished.

Treasure. Should the characters search through all the storage, on a successful DC 16 Intelligence (Investigation) check they can find 1d4 magic items (roll on Magic Item Table A of the DMG p144).

22 – Tree House

The small treehouse in the McCallister’s backyard is 30 feet off the ground and accessible from a hatch in the center. A pair of large hedge trimmers is kept inside (treat it as a shortsword). A creature can use its action to cut the zip line with the hedge trimmers. Any creature that is currently hanging from the zip line or using it when the zip line is cut must make a successful DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) or take 1d6 damage for every 10 feet that they fall (it’s 30 feet down).

Treasure. There is no treasure found here.

23 – Basement

The basement is large and broken up into multiple areas.

23a – Basement Entrance

A short flight of steps leads down into the basement. The basement door is kept locked with a sturdy outside door.  The flight of steps is slippery and requires a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to avoid falling prone when climbing it. However, just adding a couple of gallons of water can increase the DC to 13. Any creature that fails their check by 5 or more also takes 1 bludgeoning damage from the fall.

23b – Under the Kitchen

The first part of the basement is here. It’s relatively sparse.

23c – Laundry Chute Deposit

The laundry chute deposits clothing (and whatever else) here. A large pile of clothes is kept here, breaking the fall of anyone that falls down the laundry chute (area #8).

23d – Laundry Area

The McCallister’s clothing is washed by hand here. The stairs at the north wall lead up to area #7.

23e – Furnace

The house’s old furnace is kept here. It can be quite intimidating at times.

Treasure. There is nothing of value in the basement.

Traps

Before you run this adventure, you will need to place traps throughout the house. It is recommended that you place a minimum of 6 traps throughout the house, but no more than 10. This does not include the zip line being cut nor the slippery steps at either side of the house. You may place any trap more than once.

Each trap that you can use in the house is detailed below:

Ball Bearings. These cover a square area that is ten feet on a side. A creature moving across the covered area must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. A creature moving through the area at half speed doesn’t need to make the save. Noticing the bearings requires a DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) check.

Caltrops. These sharp objects cover a square that is 5 feet on a side. Any creature that enters the area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or stop moving that turn and takes 1 piercing damage. Taking this damage reduces the creature’s walking speed by 10 feet until the creature regains at least 1 hit point. A creature moving through the area at half speed doesn’t need to make the save. Noticing the caltrops requires a DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) check.

Crushing Cart. This trap only works on doorways at the bottom of staircases (such as the door between area #11 and #20). The trap is triggered when a creature pulls a doorknob. The doorknob is attached to a rope that pulls a heavy cart down the stairs. The cart falls down the stairs and pushes past the door. Any creature within 5 feet of the door that triggered the trap must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d4 bludgeoning damage and become restrained by the crushing cart (escape DC 13). Discovering the crushing cart trap requires a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Disarming the trap requires a DC 13 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.

Dropped Heated Iron. This trap sets up a heated laundry iron and has it drop onto an unsuspecting creature below it. It can be dropped manually, or attached to a false cord, or done with a trip wire. If manually dropped, the creature that dropped it must make an attack roll versus the creature’s AC (with advantage if the creature doesn’t notice the iron first). If set up as a trap, the creature must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save or a hit, the iron deals 1d4 bludgeoning damage plus 1 fire damage. Discovering the trap requires a DC 12 Intelligence (Investigation) check.

Electrified Doorhandle. This trap can only be placed on door handles. Any creature that touches the door handle takes 1 lightning damage and must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of its next turn. Discovering the electrified door handle requires a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Disarming the trap requires a DC 13 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.

Flame Trap. This trap can only be placed on doors. Any creature that opens the door without first disarming the trap first must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 fire damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful one. Discovering the fire trap requires a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Disarming the trap requires a DC 13 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.

Glue and Feathers. This trap can only be placed on doors. Any creature that opens the door without first disarming the trap walks is covered in sticky glue. Then, the creature is immediately hit with feathers. It deals no damage. It’s just embarrassing. Discovering the glue and feather trap requires a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Disarming the trap requires a DC 13 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.

Grease. Slick grease covers the ground in a square that’s 10 feet on a side or on the rungs of a ladder. Each creature that attempts to walk through the area must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. A creature that fails its save by 5 or more also takes 1 bludgeoning damage or 1d4 bludgeoning damage if placed on stairs or a ladder. Noticing the grease requires a DC 13 Wisdom (Perception) check if on the floor or a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check if on stairs or a ladder.

Heated Doorhandle. This trap can only be placed on door handles. Any creature that touches the door handle takes 1 fire damage. Noticing the heated doorhandle requires a DC 13 Wisdom (Perception) check. Disarming the trap requires a DC 13 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.

Heavy Object Drop Trap. This trap can only be placed on doors. Any creature that opens the door without first disarming the trap has heavy, metal tools dropped on them. The creature must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 1 bludgeoning damage on a failed saving throw. Discovering the heavy object drop trap requires a DC 12 Wisdom (Investigation) check. Disarming the trap requires a DC 12 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.

Hunting Trap. This trap forms a saw-toothed steel ring that snaps shut when a creature steps on a pressure plate in the center and is affixed by a heavy chain to an immobile object, such as a tree or a spike driven into the ground. A creature that steps on the plate must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d4 piercing damage and stop moving. Thereafter, until the creature breaks free of the trap, its movement is limited by the length of the chain (typically 3 feet long). A creature can use its action to make a DC 13 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Each failed check deals 1 piercing damage to the trapped creature. Noticing the hunting trap requires a DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) check.

Staple Gun. This trap can only be placed on doors. Any creature that opens the door without first disarming the trap becomes the target of an automated staple gun. The staple gun makes a +4 ranged weapon attack against the creature’s AC. If the attack hits, the staple deals 1 piercing damage. Discovering the staple gun trap requires a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check. Disarming the trap requires a DC 13 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools.

Sticky Tar. This substance covers a square that is 10 feet on one side. Any creature that walks through the area must make a make a DC 15 Strength saving throw or stop moving that turn. Noticing the tar requires a DC 13 Wisdom (Perception) check.

Trip Wire. Any creature that passes through an area with a tripwire without first noticing it falls prone. Noticing a tripwire requires a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check. A creature can use its action to disable the trip wire.

Siege Weapons

In addition to the traps, Kobold McCallister can place a few “siege weapons” around the house.

Brick. If he is at least 10 feet higher than his targets, Kobold can make a ranged weapon attack using bricks. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 10 feet, one creature that is at least 10 lower than the attacker. Hit: 1d4 bludgeoning damage. Kobold has 4 bricks.

Swinging Can. Kobold can tie swinging heavy cans or buckets onto ropes and position them at the top of staircases. Using his action, Kobold can make a ranged weapon attack using the swinging objects. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 5 feet, one creature in a square directly below the attacker. Hit: 1d4 bludgeoning damage and the creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw with a DC of 8 + the damage taken or fall prone in its space. Once Kobold uses this attack, he must use his action to return the swinging can to its starting position.

The Protagonist

In addition to the traps, Kobold McCallister is quite the challenge himself. He is armed with weapons and is quite difficult to get a hold of. Plus, he’s familiarized himself intimately with the entire McCallister mansion, knowing all the best ways to run and hide.

Kobold McCallister’s Strategy

To make Kobold Alone fun, the best strategy is to keep Kobold McCallister out of melee range of the characters, laughing as he flees. Have him mostly use his pellet gun against those that get too close. And don’t forget that he’s got both Cunning Action and Legendary Actions to allow him plenty of distance between him and his pursuers.

Also, Kobold McCallister wants to make sure that the characters hit each and every one of his traps and hazards (multiple times, if possible).

Here are his statistics:

Kobold McCallister

Small humanoid (kobold), lawful evil


Armor Class 13

Hit Points 36 (8d6 + 8)

Speed 30 ft.


Abilities Str 7 (-2), Dex 16 (+3), Con 12 (+1), Int 8 (-1), Wis 7 (-2), Cha 8 (-1)


Skills Perception +0, Stealth +5

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Common, Draconic

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Cunning Action. On each of its turns, the kobold can use a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide actions.

Pack Tactics. The kobold has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the kobold’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the kobold has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.


Actions

Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.

Pellet Gun. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/90 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage.

Spider in Cage (1/day). The kobold throws a spider (MM p 337) at a creature within 20 feet of it. The spider lands on the creature and rolls initiative.


Legendary Actions

The kobold can take 2 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only on legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The kobold regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Move. The kobold moves up to its speed without provoking opportunity attacks.

Weapon Attack. The kobold makes a dagger or pellet gun attack.

Helpers

If you like, Kobold McCallister can get a little help. After all, nobody likes to see a poor, defenseless creature get picked on by a band of big, mean adventurers.

Creepy Furnace. If you want to give the radiator a magical twist (and something a little more interesting) treat it as animated armor with 0 movement. And instead of a slam attack, it can shoot flames as a ranged weapon attack. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 30 ft, one target. Hit: 5 (1d10) fire damage.

Old Man Marley. Old Man Marley (human male commoner, NG) is the McCallister’s neighbor. And he’s taken a liking to Kobold. He will come to Kobold McCallister’s aid if it looks like the little guy is in trouble. He is armed with a shovel (which works exactly like a club).

Town Guards. If the characters are particularly unsavory, Kobold McCallister will call the guards on them. 1d4+1 guards show up in 5 minutes (50 rounds) after the characters break in.

Iconic Quotes for You to Taunt Your Players With

It wouldn’t be a true Home Alone tribute without a few of the most awesome quotes from it. Be sure to lob these at the players as Kobold continues to sleep from their grasp:

“This is my house. I have to defend it.”

“Keep the change, ya filthy animal.”

“This is it. Don’t get scared now.”

“You guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?”

“Oh no, I’m really scared!”

“Okay, come and get me!”

 

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

I hope this little gift from me to you gets you and your D&D players into the holiday spirit. Below, I’ve included the PDF version of the adventure, absolutely FREE for you to do with as you please (just don’t go selling it commercially or anything).

Get the Kobold Alone PDF for FREE!

All that I ask is that you click the SHARE buttons below to spread that holiday cheer around.

Kobold art by Wizards of the Coast, photograph by Fox Entertainment Group. Cartography by Justin David Russell.

 

5 thoughts on “Kobold Alone | 1st-Level Holiday Adventure for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition (PDF included)

      1. Session went great! They instantly realized what it was and got a kick of all the iconic lines and traps. I gave Kobold McAllister the feat that gives him a couple cantrips as well and gave him Thaumatergy so he could use the ” Snakes / 1 2 …..10″ video line to try to scare them away. It was great fun. The PCs managed to loot a good bit of the house, but Kobold McAllister escaped into the neighbor’s back yard and Old Man Marley was waiting to head off the PCs allowing the tricky Kobold to escape. This could set up perfectly for a sequel next year. I’m thinking Kobold Alone 2… Lost in Neverwinter. I have pictures for you if you would like them. Let me know how/where to send them!

  1. I’m running this in Waterdeep for my players tomorrow. I know they are going to love it! Thank you for sharing your work! -Brian

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