View Full Version : I need Campaign Advice!: The Masked Ball

2010-11-26, 05:29 PM
I normally don't find myself asking for campaign advice, especially not twice in a single week (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=176890), but it's nearing crunch time and I'm out of ideas. You may note a tone of desperation in my typing.

I'm looking to run a non-combat encounter involving a party thrown to celebrate the return home of one of the PCs, playing an Eladrin princess. The other PCs are her (rather more rugged) guests in the city.
Ideally, I'd like the PCs to defuse a very dangerous situation without causing chaos while the princess probably remains blissfully unaware - this is a surefire way to guarantee the most chaos that is theoretically possible.
Masked balls are always interesting, if a little overdone, but I feel as though it'll be a nice change of pace from the dungeon crawls up 'til this point. Likewise, an assassin crashing the party would fit perfectly, but it lacks the memorable chutzpah I'm shooting for. What would you folk do, in my situation? How can I make a party turn into a night of deadly intrigue...sans combat?

2010-11-26, 05:36 PM
Have a couple of old rivals or villains (The town type, like the evil mayor or something) too come in and dress up. If their villainess even better if they flirt with a willing male pc. Being behind masks they may not recognize each other. Hell, if you keep the ruse up afterwards and they never get to be demasked, they might even send like letters or something. (With alias as names of course). Suck to be the PC that fell in love and or lust with a minor villian.

Start rumors up, both bad and good. Behind masks, people are far more willing to talk poo-poo behind people's backs. Learn people's true opinions.

Have small tiny contests like dancing, or speech, or even some meals if they're given prior notice. (Bring a dish and be judge!). Listen to various musics and maybe let them play music from their homeland or something.

2010-11-26, 05:41 PM
Ok, i am not sure if this idea is going to work out.

Make it a detective
- A party member finds a crumbled half-burned note which after they find out what is says, appears to be an order to assassinate the princess. There could be some minor hints on the note, like initials that are half visible. (Find assassin before he even makes an assassination)
- A poisonous dart is shot at the princess from a balcony, but misses. The PC's run to the balcony but they cannot find the assassin, is he still there in the party, who is he?
- something else

Then give them clues as they investigate.
"I look at the poisonous dart, do i find anything suspicious?"
(knowledge nature?), "As you smell the dart you recognise the poison, it comes from a rare plant located only in the far north..."
"Ok...now to figure out which guests are from the north or have connections there...."

You would need a few clues (5 or so) to narrow the list of guests down to either a select few (3?) and all of the clues to get just one.

If this is something you think might work out i wouldn't mind spending some time to give (and get) more ideas on how to make it work. It seems general enough that i (and others) can use it in any other campaign.

<edit> i now notice the assassination is not what you aimed for

2010-11-26, 06:01 PM
This immediately made me think of masque of the red death.

That might actually be a good idea. Some sort of monstrous being has chosen to attend the ball, safe in the assumption that he will be assumed to be masked. His goals are up to you.

2010-11-26, 08:34 PM
Hmm. Thanks, guys. That helps.

2010-11-26, 11:00 PM
this reminds me a great amount of the first and second acts of much ado about nothing.

2010-11-26, 11:02 PM
this reminds me a great amount of the first and second acts of much ado about nothing.

Except the important things all happened outside of the ball. You could delete that entire section and you would lost nothing but some characterization.