View Full Version : Asylum Adventure Advice/Input

2011-01-13, 05:56 AM
Hi there, everyone.

I have an ongoing 4E campaign which I'll be running another session for soon. I've started to work up the encounters and such, but I'm a little bit torn on what direction I want to take the adventure in.

I won't get into the backstory too ridiculously much to save you all from wall-o-text, but the basic idea is this: the players have found themselves at odd with a powerful conspiracy apparently working towards rather nefarious ends. So far they've managed to stumble into and foil a few of the conspiracy's plots, but they don't have the big picture on what their enemies are after or where they're operating from. However, one of the hooks they encountered was that a man with potential links to everything going on is held at an asylum for the insane and magically empowered. In spite of apparently having suffered mental damage from being forcibly separated from a magical artifact, they hope they can get through to him enough to get some cogent information and maybe a chance to strike back at their enemies finally.

So, they're headed for an asylum where everyone from senile old wizards to psychotic necromancer war criminals are held. What's more, I had actually planned from the start that the conspiracy would eventually hit this place and destroy it eventually, both to cause chaos and to close off the potential information leak. Thus, I have a couple of ways I could see this adventure going, and I'm just not sure which would be the most fun and entertaining. I see it coming down to a couple of options.

1) The conspiracy has already struck. The asylum is a devastated, burned-out wreck overrun by the undead and wild magic. This would probably end up being more of a classical 'dungeon crawl' in a lot of ways, which isn't necessarily a bad thing though my group does love a heavy social/roleplay component. My problem with this idea is that I do want them to be able to get some leads/clues and for them not to feel like the trip was wasted. Though the idea of the informant now being a trapped, insane spirit seems like it has potential.

2) The conspiracy has already struck, but they were more subtle. They've simply taken over the asylum, and are using it towards their own ends (probably tapping into the dangerous magic of the inmates in a couple of ways). Alternatively, they may have simply taken what they wanted but left the place sealed in some manner. Inmates running the asylum sort of situation, but the players have just popped the cork and have to deal with the aftermath. Again, I don't want to rob the players of the information they're after. I suppose the way to fix that here might be have the players try and rescue the man who was treating their informant/his records, in the hopes of finding out what he knew that way?

3) The conspiracy hasn't struck... yet. The PCs get there and manage to question their informant, but as the questioning is ongoing the enemy attack begins. The magical wards that keep the inmates from using their abilities collapse, and bedlam ensues. Our stalwart heroes must escape in the madness, and possibly even try and get the informant out with them. I guess my problem here is that it feels a little contrived: they've already 'just happened to be present at the exact same time' with the enemy twice before, and I'm not wanting to play that card too many times.

4) They just flat out get there first and get away before the enemy hits the asylum. This would be an extremely roleplay-heavy session, and while some of my players would love that, I think others might be a little irritated by it. I'm just not feeling the 'no action' angle... I don't want two of my players sitting there staring at me blankly and not getting what they enjoy, even if the other three are cheerfully chatting away.

I'm sorry if this hit the tl;dr barrier for anybody, but I also didn't want to give too little information. :smalltongue: I'd greatly appreciate any input from people, though, from 'this is what I'd enjoy' to 'here's a whole new angle you didn't think of.'

Thanks ahead of time.

2011-01-13, 07:38 AM
One option to avoid the 'just in time' thing would be for the conspiracy to have already hit the asylum, but underestimated some of the inmates. They've been fighting on and off for several days (or even weeks perhaps) already - the conspiracy controls some areas, various groups of inmates control other areas.
This way the group need to fight or negoitiate with a number of factions to find the guy they need before the conspiracy brings in reinforcements and finishes the job.