View Full Version : DM Help Halloween Quest: Finding journal pages?(Feedback and criticism, please!)

2015-10-21, 11:59 PM
Hello ladies and gentlemen. So, I'm planning a semi-creepy Halloween quest for a 5e game. The players are in a world built just for this campaign. They've been tasked with going to a noble's mansion (The Mansion of Lady Gwen and her new husband, Lord Delvar) and to rescue some research that may otherwise be lost or burned.

(Note: If all this sounds familiar to you, and you could possibly go by the character names of Melchior, Jean, or Infestas Rederre, read no further!)

They will discover the mansion empty of living creatures and occupied instead by patchwork animals with the wrong limbs. Technically,, these will be undead. There will also be a tree planted in the courtyard, blazing with all the colors of autumn. Upon it will be 3-4 apples which seem oddly perfect. If eaten, they cure any disease the target may be suffering from, along with some interesting RP related effects, such as seeing visions of a rushing grey river under a steely sky. The players already discovered last quest that a common trope among those returned from the brink of death is visions of a cold, grey river.

Lord Kyrin is a major antagonist of the players. He's upset that they defeated his arena champion in a highly esteemed event and has taken steps to ensure they never interfere again, including sending assassins. He is a noble and a political powerhouse who loves the machinations of politics and uses them to gain power for himself. He dislikes Queen Sylvia Desirie and wants nothing more than to overthrow her and replace her with someone more easily manipulated.

Lady Gwen The players do not yet know that she is a supporter of Queen Desirie, whom they sometimes work for. They may discover this, if they make inquiries. Lord Kyrin is doing his best to remove opposition to his machinations by taking out supporters of the queen- hence his appearance here.

Lucy, the Chief Librarian is the head of the Library of Kings, a storehouse of an immense number of books, scrolls, and artifacts. The library itself is almost a political entity of itself, making back-ally deals to secure rare books and to preserve knowledge from those who would hide or destroy it.

the Masks referred to in the first entry are the Masks of Monstrosity and will be available as magic items the players may find if they search the estate fully. Each mask grants a benefit, such as darkvision and damage reduction, but also carries drawbacks like the inability to sleep or use the persuasion skill. The masks also partially transform the wearer based on the mask. (grow fur, fangs, leathery skin, etc.) I have not yet decided what they will find and what the exact effects will be.

The Tree of Salvation is the formal name for the tree with the disease curing apples. It has the interesting side-effect of growing a new tree out of the corpse of whoever has eaten of its fruit.

Now, I give this background because I hope for them to discover how the mansion ended up in this state, and what the deal is with this tree. To facilitate this, I wrote a bunch of journal entries from the perspective of the women, Eliza, who caused these events. I put them in a google doc for ease of viewing and was wondering if you guys would be willing to answer a few question for me about them. I welcome all criticism and feedback, but the following questions are what I am most interested in.

1: Is this excessive? Did I do too much? If you, as a player or DM had to deal with all of this, would it be 'fun' or tedious?

2: Is there any part that you can see, whether you gave it a glance, skimmed it, or read through it all, that breaks the flow and would be irritating or useless to discover?

3: Do you think the players entertainment would be better served receiving all of the journal, or most of it, at once, or would it be more interesting to let them find it page by page?

THANK YOU in advance for any criticism you wish to offer, as well as for any effort you expend, even if only to tell me you hate it. :) Please be honest.


EDIT: so I've realized I was asking a lot of people-and also that my original post was a bit long winded and disjointed. For that reason, I would like to shift the course of my question to make it more general and less self-centered. :)

I wrote some journal entries for a halloween quest for my players. I was wondering if anybody had distributed journal entries during a quest before-in paper or read-aloud format- and what you found effective for story-telling purposes.

How much journal all at once is too much?

Is it better to scatter pages throughout the dungeon so the narrative continues as they explore?