View Full Version : (4e) suggestions and opinions on n00b dm eberron campaign?

2010-03-27, 11:06 AM
So I'm dming for the first time - started just for my wife and son and expanded to a couple more characters that joined in. I hadn't played in over a decade and hardly remembered what I knew then, so it's been a huge learning experience for me, so I definitely didn't want to pile on adventure development on top of that. So, after a pretty meaningless couple of opening dungeon crawls and such to learn rules, we've been playing the "Seekers of the Ashen Crown".
I (and the less experienced of the players) are starting to get pretty comfortable with the mechanics, and we're nearing the close of the adventure anyway.

So, now I'm working on turning this into a full-fledged campaign and wanted to run some ideas by some more experienced players/dms/etc. Suggestions are welcome, as well as constructive criticism.

Super-quick summary of the module - adventurers are operating between sharn and the edges of droaam, recovering an artifact for the kech volaar goblin clan at the request of breland guard (due to breland's belief that the kech volaar coming to power would reduce incursions from darguun). Throughout, they've been opposed by other clans and emerald claw agents. Their kech volaar companions were killed and turned to undead, and just as the final components were recovered they were ambushed and some parts stolen. Now they will likely go to confront the primary agent of the emerald claw in hopes of recovering them - after which the module comes to an end.

My thought is to turn this into part 1 of 5 segments. Monsters, encounters, maps, skill challenges, traps - I can handle those and make them match the party and the situation. I love that part :)

The part I have more trouble with is the story. First, the whole setting is new to me, so I'm reading through the campaign guide absorbing all I can, but my memory is not the best, so detail is not my strong suit. And on top of that, I have many skills - writing stories is not one :)

So I'm thinking maybe I could set up the entire overall campaign to be a set of manipulations by servants of bel shalor to bring about a set of circumstances leading to his release - but of course that would not be apparent until the last segment, which would culminate in the confrontation with the aforementioned lord of dust.

In the meantime, the PCs would be drawn into setting after setting drawn into conflicts that destabilize regions of khorvaire. First in breland with the module we just ran, then in darguun -- their ally left a journal indicating that she intended to return the artifact to her advisor in rhukaan draal. My plan there is to have the players interact with the advisor, helping him to continue his goal to bring the peaceful kech volaar to power, but then have him assassinated by emerald claw agents in a way that clearly implicates breland - then have the PCs find information that similar plots will be taking place in droaam, with the intent of leaving breland under attack from both sides. Hopefully this could take them through about 10th level (right now they're 5th).

Next section I hope to give the PCs several options and follow the PCs through those decisions - Initially they'll likely attempt to stop the plot to incite violence from droaam, but in the process they'll get critical information about the emerald claw operations - They'll get details of similar plots throughout khorvaire, as well as details about their center of operations in karrnath - so the players will have the option to confront any one of similar plots, or take on the organization at its heart.

If they choose to take on the individual plots, I'll let them go from region to region as they wish until they get ready to head for the Karrnath. Once they do, they'll have gained intellligence in the process leading them to confront the blood of Vol directly.
On the other hand, if they choose to take on the claw immediately, they will have to confront claw operations in Karrnath directly in order to get this information.
Either way, eventually they'll come face to face with Lady Vol. In the course of the confrontation, the players will learn that she hoped to destabilize civilzation throughout Khorvaire to such an extent that, when coupled with the horrors already done with the Mourning, would incite the dragons of Argonnessen to intervene as they once did when they shattered the civilization of the giants. Then, she believes, she can come to control a continent of corpses, finally fulfilling what she believes is her destiny.

At this point I hope to have the players in the 20th lvl range.

Unfortunately, the destabilization has been generally successful, and wars break out across Khorvaire.

The next two sections I've not really fleshed out much at all - In the first half of the final tier, maybe the players will be working with (and/or against) the dragons to head off the need for draconic intervention. I think maybe a good way to work this portion would be tracing the cause of the mourning to an extremely powerful magical artifact in another realm that can be brought to bear on this realm across the planes - and the only means of preventing that from happening again would be to destroy the artifact. So at around 25th level that could be accomplished, resolving the dragons' concerns, and saving civilization on Khorvaire........

Except that this was all an elaborate mechanism by agents of Bel Shalor to bring about the destruction of the artifact - which in so doing, the players have triggered a chain of events prophecied to lead to the dissolution of Bel Shalor's prison. So, for the last task, the players must go to confront the lord of dust and his minions.

So **LOTS** of additional work to be done, but it's an initial outline anyway. Anything in there that conflicts with known eberron history? The one think I'm worried about is the mourning - it seems great efforts have been extended to keep the cause a mystery. I know it's up to me to make history as I see fit, but I'd prefer to keep consistent with existing documentation as much as possible. So I could make it so that the players are misled into believing that the artifact is the source of the mourning, when in fact it isn't, but then the dragon issue wouldn't truly be resolved...

Anyway, any thoughts?