Most factions are serious assistants or impediments to the party. This week, let's lighten things up with a faction we can play for laughs.
Darek is a charismatic, enthusiastic dwarf who leads a rag-tag adventuring party he's dubbed Darek's Delvers. Darek loves nothing more than diving into an abandoned dungeon, cracking into an old crypt, or exploring a long-abandoned temple for ancient treasure.
Unfortunately, he's terrible at it.
If there's a trap, he (or a member of his party) will trip it. If there's a sleeping monster, someone will knock over a statue and wake it up. If anything can go wrong for the party, it will. Every member of Darek's Delvers always rolls a natural 1 on any detect traps, disarm traps, or stealth roll.
Importantly, this isn't Darek's fault per se. He's not always the one tripping the trap or alerting the guard, but someone in his party will manage to do it.
Moreover, the group often manages to find something of value (often dragging it out of the complex along with the unconscious body of an unfortunate party member).
Every time the PCs encounter Darek, at least one of his previous compatriots will no longer be accompanying him, thanks to an untimely death, a particularly nasty wound, or simply getting fed up with the party's terrible fortune. Darek dismisses this behavior as insufficient bravery and always manages to rally his remaining troops into "one more delve."
Darek's Delvers are neither a friendly nor foe faction. They're a distraction and a chance for a laugh at the misfortune of others.
- Deep in a dungeon, the PCs come across Darek's Delvers mired in a quicksand pit trap. If the party rescues them, the Delvers will come along and fight competently. As soon as two different routes appear, Darek will lead his Delvers along the opposite path from the one the PCs pick. Repeat this every few adventures, with the Delvers stuck in a different type of trap or under attack by different monsters every time.
- The party is approached by Hilde Stormbrewer, who introduces herself as Darek's mother. She's worried about her son, and since her family struck a rich vein of mithril in recent years, she offers to pay the PCs handsomely if they'll accompany Darek on his next delve and ensure he lives. It's as simple as that, though the PCs may end up regretting it.
- The party is approached by Feylin Mianora, a wizard of some local repute. Darek drew her attention, and she believes he's cursed. She asks the PCs to accompany Darek on his next delve, taking along with them a magical amulet. The amulet will be able to tell if a curse is causing the ill-fortune, as long as it's within 30 feet of an unfortunate incident and it's able to "record" at least three of these incidents. Feylin offers a handsome reward if the PCs return with the amulet and it give her a definitive answer. This may lead to more work with Feylin, too.