View Full Version : From PC game to pen and paper(D&D 3.x)

2009-03-11, 05:57 PM
I was just playing NWN again for old times sake(:smalltongue:) and I decided to play the premium module kingmaker again, as I enjoyed it last time I played it.
While playing I though it would be fun to converted it to a mini-campaign for pen and paper D&D, this is done mostly as a thought exercise, but who knows, I might just run it someday. The player level in this campaign as designed is 3-9, but everything can be changed.

A lot would have to change though, I have some ideas but I could use some help.

WARNING! An awful lot of text awaits you in the spoilers, read at your own risk.

first I'll write something in several spoilers for those who are unfamiliar with this module, be warned that this contains spoilers that you may not want to know if you are ever going to play this module.
first a run down of what happens, this walkthrough might help as well. (http://www.gamebanshee.com/neverwinternights/kmwalkthrough/introduction.php)
The story is about a band of misfits who have been tracking a (evil) masked man to a keep he's laying siege to. The group decides to break the siege, and it is going fairly well until they confront the masked man, at that point a powerful wizard appears and blast both them and their enemies into oblivion, or so it seems. In fact everyone "survives", you wake up with a strange voice coming from a weapon telling you it resurrected you and that you now have to become lord of the keep you were trying to save. This weapon is magical and becomes more powerful as you level up, it talks to you to reveal a bit of the plot here and there.
The lord of the keep is chosen by the 9 guilds, you are allowed to participate in the elections because you helped saving the keep, but you're going to have to convince the guildmasters to vote for you on your own. All the help you get is a local scout, who can guide you to where ever you want.
You have two competitors, one paladin who right now leads the troops in battle and a shifty nobleman. To succeed you either need to convince 5 guilds to vote for you or convince 4 guilds to do so and make sure the rest of them are split 3 v 2
Once you convinced enough guildmasters to vote for you, you win the election and become the lord of the keep, you then procede into the endgame, which is basically a dungeon with the big bad in it and thus not very interesting.

Interesting plot points which help make sense of what happens and give an interesting twist to the story
While you are in the keep strange things happen, your talking magic weapon mentions a secret benefactor who's using magic to help everyone being more open towards you. Meanwhile you learn that you are not entirely normal yourself and that you have outsider blood and that a strange women was chanting your name and telling you to come here.

In the end it turns out you are the grandchild of an outsider who has plans for you and set the whole thing up to pit you against her other grandchild, the masked man, to see who was stronger.
You've also met your grandmother, she has disguised herself as an old woman who help you several throughout the module.

And very important of course are the guilds, I'll give a run-down of them here

Forester Guild
They are a "neutral" guild, they'll vote for the nobleman because they hate him the least, they are types that dislike the city but put up with it out of necessity. They'll vote for you if you can show them you are a cunning hunter, in game this is done by killing a manticore, preferably without harming it's hide.

Landowner Guild
Another neutral guild, the scout who guides you has contacts here and tells you they prefer actions over words. If you clean their land of goblins they'll vote for you and they will also postpone the election under the guise that they are still debating, so that you have more time to convince other guildmasters.

Merchant Guild
A nobleman supporter.
Run by a devious merchant who is evil but also against taxes and against taxes, which is why he is popular. In the game you discover he gained his position by a slander campaign backed by the shifty nobleman against the previous guildmaster. To gain their vote, you can either help the old guildmaster to get her position back or by bribing the new guildmaster for more money then the nobleman after doing some dirty jobs for him.

Mage Guild
The third neutral guild
The mage guild really only has a single member, a very powerful mage who almost killed you. She will vote for you if you ask her because she thinks you are interesting.

Military Guild
This guild obviously supports the paladin who is the leader of the military forces right now. This is a difficult guild to get to vote for you in the game, you have to get the guildmaster back together with his old love, the guildmaster of the nobles, who has unfortunately fallen in love with the nobleman also running for Lordship.

Noble Guild
They obviously support the nobleman, but if you can convince/prove that the nobleman is cheating on the guildmaster, you can this vote. Once you've done this you can hookup the noble guildmaster with the guildmaster of the military guild.

Priest Guild
The priest guild supports the paladin. The important people in the priest guild are the three head priests of the dominant gods*, the neutral god of battle and honour, the god of death and the god of trade. You'll need to convince at least two of them to vote for you in order to get this guilds vote. The priestess of death will vote for you because for some reason her mistress wants you alive, otherwise you would have died in the explosion. The merchant priest will vote for you if you donate a large sum of money, for obviously someone with so much spare wealth is favoured by his god. The guildleader and priest of war will only vote for you if you are a religious man**, willing to join their guild and showing your goodwill by doing a simple but time consuming task(help/feed the poor).

*whether these gods are dominant because the important priests support them or if the priests are important because they worship the dominant gods is unclear.

**cleric, perhaps favourite soul or other non-PHB class which is clearly a priest, a paladin could make a shot at it but is considered more of a warrior by the priests.

Thief Guild
A neutral guild who absolutely do not want to paladin to become the lady of the keep so they support the nobleman, if you hate thieves they'll never vote for you either. If you show that you release their importance by keeping the crime in check at an acceptable level, you can gain their vote if you rescue one if their members from prison. This can either be done by jailbreak or by convincing authorities to let him go. If you can't convince them of your acceptance of them, you can sign a legal document which says you will support their guild in certain measures.

Trade Guild
The default vote goes to the paladin.
The trade guild is a guild where they can get anything you need and more, they frequently employ adventurers to get what they need, so they are also a sort of adventurers guild. If you finish some quests for them, they will vote for you. In the game these quests include, killing kobolds who are stealing cattle, cleaning a mine of duergar(or at least their leader), and escorting an archaeologist through an ancient tomb filled with undead.

now for my suggestions

Fist of we need to get rid of the one character is teh man viewpoint, the easiest way to do this is by giving the entire party talking weapons and putting them in the same place as the old main character, this would force all the players to be orphans or adopted children another interesting thing to do is make the party partially or completely composed out of siblings.
By creating multiple protagonists, it would be wise to create multiple antagonists as well, this preserves action economy in the boss battle and it makes the competition fairer.

This however creates the problem of having only one lord of the keep but several players, the best way to solve this IMO is to have a party of max 3 PCs, this way one can be the lord, the other ones can be the second and third highest ranked persons, the one to execute the lords order and runs some of the daily affairs and the one who runs the military(the paladins job). The way I envision this happening is that when the elections are announced you get a chance to put yourself up for election, the players get some time to discuss among themselves who gets which role and then start campaigning for power and popularity. If the players do are not contend with this and multiple players want to run for lord then their task will become really difficult, I'd let them, but you will have to split the party in to multiple pieces, perhaps creating additional characters to play to support both sides played by the players who lead the other side.

Another big problem is the vast changes of player levels, the easiest way to solve this is by reducing the range so that you are level 3-5 while working to become lord of the keep and level 5-6 for the endgame(depending on how well you did).

Something very important to note about this campaign is that is will be strictly time based, I'm still unsure what the time range should be, the players should get a few days initially and the landowners guild should give them about three more and then it's directly on to the endgame. I'm as of yet uncertain about the exact value, but it should be clear that the players don't have to do everything in this model nor should they have the time to do so.

How can you help?
You can insert any idea you think might help this mini-campaign.
you can design appropriate encounters and/or quest.
You can help make the world feel more alive.
And perhaps the easiest, you can comment on my ideas.

In case you've read all the way through the spoilers, thanks, that was like 3 pages of text.

2009-03-13, 07:09 AM
mmm, still no replies, perhaps I should ask a more focused question.

I was planing to start this campaign off by telling the players about their weapons, their enemy and simply narrate the attack on the army that's laying siege on the keep. The actual first influence the players would have is when they wake up in a be tended by an old lady(the same one that helps them several times). At this point the players would learn the other players also have a talking weapon and that there will be an election for lord of the keep, one they will have to win.

This seems a good start into the story but feels a bit rail-roaded, what do you think?