View Full Version : My brain is numb, Need Ideas

2009-12-06, 12:51 PM
I just started my first campaign about a month ago and we've had a few sessions. The party, which is composed of all new players except for one, managed to fight through their first adventure. However there was quite a lot of collateral damage that I did not anticipate for. By collateral damage I mean about 30 civilians are dead at the PC's fault.

The reason I started this thread is because I'm quite sure what to do next with the PC's. Let me give a little bit of the background. The campaign takes place in my own created campaign setting. It is right on the frontiers land. There is a booming capitalist civilization to the south who just found a crossable pass across previously uncrossable mountains. However the pass is far to the north and they must first cross the wild grass lands. This is where the campaign takes place.

The first adventure had them rescue the daughter of a trade caravan leader who was kidnaped by a band of bandits. Cliche? yes I know. I am now at the point where they saved the girl and they are ready to move on to the next adventure. However I want them to have some consequences for the death of so many civilians. 30 of them died and to put it in perspective the largest town around os about 60 people.

Any Ideas, Comments, critic would be greatly appreciated.

Lord Loss
2009-12-06, 12:55 PM
Could you please give more background? Who were these civillians? which town were they from? Under what circumstances did they die? I may have an idea, depending on what happened

2009-12-06, 01:01 PM
Were the civilians unaffiliated with both the robbers and the trading caravan? If so, I'd say the PCs are wanted in whatever town they unleashed their fury on, and with a quite steep price. Any bounty hunters passing through might find it worth their while to keep an eye open for them (if not outright search them down, depending on the price you set). This gives you an opportunity to include characteristic and awesome killer parties at even intervals.

I certainly hope they weren't civilians from the trading caravan they had the mission from, because if so, they'd be hanged by noon the next day.

If the civilians were just a wandering caravan as well, there's not much of a justice system to draw on. I think I would call it tough luck for them and curse at life's injustice.

2009-12-06, 01:18 PM
Thanks for your quick reply.

Here is what happened. The party composed of 2 human druids, one human ranger, one dwarven fighter, one halfling, and my personal favorite one NE changeling rogue. The latter is played by the most experienced player and the others do not know that he is a evil or that he is a changeling.

The civilians were part of the caravan the was ambushed by a band of bandits. What happened was a caravan was coming from the south when they were ambushed only 15 kilometers from the town of swift current. It is the last check point before crossing the White Mountains to the north. Despite the attack the caravan arrived at the town late in the night. However during the attack the bandits apart from stealing goods, gold, and animals they also took the daughter of the leader as a hostage. The bandit figured that he could get more gold this way.

When arriving in town the caravan leader asked for help from anybody that was willing. Obviously the PC's were more then willing, "I get kill things and get shiny things. Alright sounds good." The next morning every abled man from the caravan escorted by the party and other fighters from swift set out to track down the bandits back to their lair. They succeeded in doing so. after abit of information gathering the PC's came up with a plan. They would send all the man from the caravan (mind that they were all 1st level commoners) around to attack from the south. They would attack first giving the PC's and the other fighters the opportunity to flank them from the north. By the time they got to the fighters most commoners were dead or dying.

In mid battle the PC's followed the bandit leader into a cave where they had a climactic battle and rescued the girl. When they came back out with the goods from the caravan and the girl all that was left standing was the caravan leader and a hand full of fighters from swift current. This is where we ended it.

I hope thats enough information

2009-12-06, 04:56 PM
Hm. The way I look at it, your PCs aren't directly responsible for the death of the caravan people. The caravan people were clearly willing to risk their lives for the girl's sake (I take it the PCs did give them a choice?), and well, things went as they went.

Way I see it, no one of those remaining in that caravan will like the PCs at all, possibly not even the girl they saved (then again, she's stressed and probably traumatized, doubly so by the slaughter, so there's no real telling what she'll do; she could just as easy see the PCs as her saving angels). The caravan traders could ask why they didn't rouse the guard in the city instead (but then again, maybe they wouldn't want to risk their neck for out-of.towners), or why they didn't employ some fancy magic, but in MY mind, the PCs were careless but ultimately without blame.

Naturally, this doesn't have to stop you from punishing them. "Justified" or not, the traders will be devastated, furious or on the verge of breakdown. Some will curse the injustice of life, but some will curse the travellers, who by all accounts should be the strongest part and able to prevent these things. Maybe later, a man or woman sworn to revenge can enter their lives somehow, either having trained to deadly skill herself, or having a band of thugs with her.

I'm not entirely happy with the solution, but it's the best I can do right now :P In the end, the caravan was on it's own, they did agree to the PCs plan and they did get the girl back. It was a steep price, but all the same. It's hard to come up with "punishment" for that; just imagine what you think the traders will feel like after all of that.

2009-12-06, 07:44 PM
Thanks for the ideas. I'll have to ponder it some more. I like the idea of someone swearing revenge on the travelers and having them come in at a latter date.

I thought of another point now. Since the majority of the caravan traders are dead there is no way for the caravan to get anywhere. Should the PC's have some responsibility to take the caravan across the mountains or should it just stay there until next season since they are a bit late in the season and there is no way they could chance the pass with so few people and so many animals (the caravans are essentially yaks with large packs).

Also does anybody have any good adventure modules for adventures in the wild?

2009-12-06, 11:22 PM
It doesn't really seem as if it were their fault...they did what they were asked to do and something bad happened while they were gone.

Why not have the caravan leader hire them as guards? He clearly needs to beef up his defense. Or, to thank them for saving his daughter offer them lucrative partnerships in the caravan if they replace his employees that were killed? Your game can become a merchant-adventurer game, traveling to exciting places past dangerous obstacles and making tons of money at each city.

2009-12-08, 10:46 AM
thanks for all the suggestion guys.

I have been doing some thinking and this is what I came up with. Since the death of the traders wasn't directly the player's fault the leader sees past it because his daughter is safe and sound. However not everyone feels this way. As Weimann suggested I will have one of the wives of the dead swear revenge on the players. She will hone her skills and re-enter the story line at another point. It would add some flavor I think and show that the world does not revolve around them.

As for the caravan, it can't really go anywhere without the players help. If they so choose to escort them across the pass then the caravan will go but if not then it will stay there. Probably sending for some more muscle from the previous town and not leaving until next season since winter is fast approaching and attempting the pass in winter is pure suicide.

The original Idea I had for the campaign had to do with a clash between the civilized lands in the south with the wild and natural lands in the north. the PCs are right on the frontier. At first I imagined the area much like the mongolian steppes, an arid waste land where concerned about survival superseded anything else. The clash was centered around a young but stubborn and powerful druid who saw the forthcoming death of the land. Although she is not powerful enough to challenge the entire advancement of the civilized world but she has found a way to do it. Long ago Killorens were the natural care takers of the reagion but a great war broke out and they were wiped out. But before their end the five elders imbued the power of the killorens in five different magic items which their secrets have long been forgotten. Whoever this druid, Katu, has found one and is looking for the others because when all combined it is legend to bring back the killorens and with their power she believes she is able to drive back this corruption.

I'm not sure how much I like it anymore and I'm not sure how to get it started if I did go along with this idea. The reason I don't like it is because at first I thought that the PC's would be against the druid but since most of them are from the area and nature based character, 2 druids and 1 ranger, the druids plans would come to fruition without any trouble except finding all these items.

Any ideas about this?

2009-12-08, 11:05 AM
Let the players do what they want with the caravan. Start by having the leader ask them if they would like employment as guards and/or scouts. Then either change the druid so that they are insane (either obviously or subtle), or have one or two of the objects in the possession of high/epic level characters of the civilised lands (say, the archmage of a wizards guild and the high priest of a powerful church). Make the players try to retrieve these artefacts, and after a few tries one of the owners wises up and teleports to the other side of the globe to deposits the item, erecting defences and casting long lasting anti-teleport spells. Then the PCs must spend time retrieving that item if they want to help the druid. Feel free to kill him at your leisure.