As I was mentioning on google+ recently, I have a set adventure for people who have never played a fantasy RPG (or any RPG, for that matter) ever before. The main element of this little set piece is Clarence and his kobolds!
Clarence: 1st/1st Fighter/Thief Half-elf. H.P. 5, A.C. 8/7. Average characteristics. Leather armor, buckler, short sword, dagger (2), dart (9). 8 g.p., 4 s.p., 7 c.p.
Clarence is about 5'6" tall and weighs about 125 lbs. He has shaggy auburn hair worn a bit long and an unruly beard of the same color - with his features thus covered he appears to be Human only. He dresses in garish tights covered in clashing red and yellow stripes, a too-long tunic of black and white gingham with a purple sash, and a wide-brimmed green hat with a 2' long feather (much the worse for wear) jutting out behind him. He wears brown leather shoes with long, pointed toes that flap about loudly, carries a battered lute that appears to be water stained, and the battered hilt of a cheap dagger juts from his belt. At meals the reveals the slightly rusty blade that belongs to the hilt as he struggles to cut bread with its dull edge.
The party will almost certainly encounter Clarence in a tavern working as a *cough* 'bard'. He capers about, his knobby knees peeking from beneath his too-large robe, his bony elbows jutting out at awkward angles, his shoes making a slapping sound as he struts about. He plays his out of tune lute badly, recites overly-dramatic poetry in a nasal whine, and sings off-key in a thin, reedy voice. He tumbles, mainly to the floor, and juggles; two balls at a time; very slowly. And he tells great jokes.
He is a jester and comedian and not too bad at it, either. He arrived at the large village/small town on this frontier trading route a few months ago and has been making a circuit through the 4 taverns on town earning a simple living with his humorous antics.
The kobolds: 6 kobolds, each with H.P. 2 A.C. 7. 4 are armed with 3 javelins and a dagger each, 2 are armed with 6 darts and a short sword each. All have 1d4+1 s.p. This group of kobolds are survivors of a clan wiped out by adventurers and trust their new 'chief' fiercely.
How I use them: Casing merchants and caravans to rob is both too obvious and too daring - Clarence and his small band can't take a caravan. Instead, Clarence talks to the merchants to see which farmers have made good deals selling their produce and, if they are remote enough, he leads the kobolds on a raid to steal the money they just made from the departing merchants. Since Clarence is cautious, the raids are seldom, the farms remote, and the merchants long gone no one has yet come close to connecting the buffoonish comedian with the remote raids.
The kobolds make their home in the old mill of a small hamlet abandoned years ago. The locals believe the mill is haunted.
More to come!