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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Mini campaign-sidequest

    So, my players just finished an adventure(licensed material), so I was thinking of giving them a small sidequest. Since only one player wrote a backstory about his character, I thought of implementing him as the central character, or at the very least the reason why the sidequest happens.

    Now, bear in mind, this is my first time creating such an environment, since I usually just followed published adventures.

    Anyway, here's the gist of it:

    The characters are all pretty high level(15), and after the last adventure they'll go to a big city to spend their money. The character I was talking about is a wizard. In his backstory, he told me he came from Silverymoon, a half elf with a human farmer father and a whore elf mother. he lived with his father most of his life, but was always frail and weak and had more interest in books. He met an archmage(or mage) of high level in an antiquary which the before mentioned fellow owned, and the wizard grew fond of the kid and took him as an apprentice. He beat the crap out of his farmer who called him a weakling all his life as, by creating his first Bull's strength potion.

    Years later, he left to seek fortune, knowledge and glory and thus the 15 levels happened(we have been playing with the same group for over a year now).

    I was thinkiing, that when he's writing down new spells, a single arrow shoots through the room's window and embeds itself just besides him, and on it are two things. A message and an item. Now, this item would be something belonging to either his mother or father, some personal affect that he would recognise, and the message would basically be a letter telling him that his mother or father(still can't decide which one, to be frank, forgot if he told me the mother is dead or not) was kidnapped and that he must obey the instructions down to the letter or that the person would die.

    Now, since it's a high level campaign and there are clerics, there are magic's such as Discern Location and stuff, so that's why I was thinking of adding that they are being followed, that the walls have eyes too, and that they are basically under scrying all the time(or at least some of them, like the clerics and the wizard, basically people who could find the end instantly) and if they do cast the spell, or do stuff beyond the instructions in the letter that they get some sort of a retribution( a finger in the next "mail", or something like that).

    Now, here's where I am a bit perplexed. Should I make it a direct confrontation with the kidnappers or should I play it off some with them fighing other stuff to get clues? I was thinking of making clues in forms of riddles as the where they have to go next, but again, being high level that could be very much...neutralised.

    I already rolled and made the kidnappers who are led by an elf sorceror. I made it so that the elf was a fellow student of the same mage who grew jealous of the young half elf student and the attention and special training he got from the master, and that he attributes it because they were both mages and not sorcerors. The jealousy grew in the student, and he became a powerful man himself over the ages(level 15 sorceror-that prestige class that is a friend to the elves, forgot the name) and assembled a cadre of characters from various parts of Faerun(a chaotic evil dwarf scout-ranger who is the one responsible for the arrows, an evil orc barbarian, follower of Gruumsh who was in since one of the party members follows Corellon, an elven rogue who's in it for the money, and a cleric-shadow apprentice who bears a grudge since the party destroyed a plan for spreading the Shadow Weave in the last campaign).

    I was even thinking of making it a spin so that the elf guy is not really all that evil, but that the cleric has him under his control, that he worked on his jealousy and insecurities which made him easy to dominate and bend to his will.


    So, like I said, it's all very basic, and I want to give them a challenge. The members are pretty well equipped, though not overly optimised. They are: Mage, Ranger, Fighter, Cleric-Contemplative and one more Cleric. The only one overpowered is said cleric-contemplative.

    I made the enemy party level 14, with the exception of the sorceror, who's level 15 and equipped them with various stuff, also placed a mean trap of chained enervation in the main room where the final showdown will take place(though trivial probably since the wizard of the PC's party has Arcane Sight permanent on him, the same reason why I made that the rogue has Magical Aura cast on her so that the party couldn't see her hiding in shadows because her magical items glow like Betlehem)

    Any suggestions to make this more interesting? Should I just not bother, since the PC's will probably find a way, one way or the other to cut this as short as possible, with details and just go for the actual showdown or try to drag it out a while? It's basically buffer for the party so that they don't jump from one world altering campaign to the other, plus I want to move the party to level 16 before they start the next one.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Mini campaign-sidequest

    Also, to add to some sort of danger, since the wizard can see like everything with that bloody Arcane Eye, I was thinking of maybe making some good mechanical traps that would actually prove as a danger on their levels. Any good ones to recommend?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Mini campaign-sidequest

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkEternal View Post
    So, my players just finished an adventure(licensed material),
    I was thinkiing, that when he's writing down new spells, a single arrow shoots through the room's window and embeds itself just besides him, and on it are two things. A message and an item. Now, this item would be something belonging to either his mother or father, some personal affect that he would recognise, and the message would basically be a letter telling him that his mother or father(still can't decide which one, to be frank, forgot if he told me the mother is dead or not) was kidnapped and that he must obey the instructions down to the letter or that the person would die.
    I would go with father, it will make it more testing for the character, and aid a certain amount of character development. Make the trinket a personal affect of his mother's but it was bestowed to his father when she died (make it magical, thats always cool, cliches are good if used well.)

    if they do cast the spell, or do stuff beyond the instructions in the letter that they get some sort of a retribution( a finger in the next "mail", or something like that).
    If he chooses not to come to his father's aid do this:
    Have his dreams wracked with the nightmare spell, iirc it lets you create nightmares, so have the dreams be of horrific torture scenes that cause your mage to wake up (he won't be remembering many spells ;) and if he keeps resisting, send him all his fathers teeth.

    Now, here's where I am a bit perplexed. Should I make it a direct confrontation with the kidnappers or should I play it off some with them fighing other stuff to get clues? I was thinking of making clues in forms of riddles as the where they have to go next, but again, being high level that could be very much...neutralised.
    if you're worried about them locating the sorcerer by magical means, let them, have the sorcerer state a place and time for the rendezvous and have him create an ambush. Sure, they might know where the sorcerer is, but not his retinue. Have the clue be somthing which the PC will get instantly in terms of backstory content.

    I was even thinking of making it a spin so that the elf guy is not really all that evil, but that the cleric has him under his control, that he worked on his jealousy and insecurities which made him easy to dominate and bend to his will.
    Personally that just seems like a way to get a recurring villain back into the spotlight, if it works for you, sure go for it... Personally I would not add that cleric.

    So, like I said, it's all very basic, and I want to give them a challenge. The members are pretty well equipped, though not overly optimised. They are: Mage, Ranger, Fighter, Cleric-Contemplative and one more Cleric. The only one overpowered is said cleric-contemplative.
    Ever heard of black rain? There is a magical rain that prevents divine magic from being cast whilst this rain falls. If you don't want it to be that restricting, I would but this water running through certain areas of the rendezvous point or in a trap, to stiffle the cleric a bit. will catch them off guard. Might want to examine this further... analyse it carefully.

    I made the enemy party level 14, with the exception of the sorceror, who's level 15 and equipped them with various stuff, also placed a mean trap of chained enervation in the main room where the final showdown will take place(though trivial probably since the wizard of the PC's party has Arcane Sight permanent on him, the same reason why I made that the rogue has Magical Aura cast on her so that the party couldn't see her hiding in shadows because her magical items glow like Betlehem)
    I'll give you an idea, have the the rendezvous point in a sewer (my mind goes to, the sewers beneath the wizard tower, where wizard PC used to play with other apprentice wizards, it was forbidden but that doesn't stop your dashing PC from doing it as a boy.) It was forbidden for good reason too, some creatures that were used by this master in arcane experiments were abandoned to die down there (make them aquatic) have this trap set in the room where the ambush occurs!

    The Room is a drained resevior that is currently dammed, sewage water cannot enter because the sorcerer has halted the flow of using dams. The Sorcerer observes the enemy from the edge of the resevoir on a ledge which is atleast 30 feet up (they migh be able to fly upto him, so what? keep reading.) Have the rogue sneak up on the mage as if ready to sneak attack and have the sorcerer do his dying swan song of a monologue. and have him release the water flow (pressure plate located in front of him). Over time the chamber will fill with water and from the depths of the sewers, the aquatic horrors that his master experimented on are released into the water pool.

    If they try to fly up, the water is filling the room from pipes of sewage water that fall from the ceiling too, fast flowing water will bludgeon the players if they try and fly out. So they will have to kill the horrors in the water, fend off against ranged attacks shooting at them into the water, stop themselves from drowning and kill the evil mage :D. Have a single ladder located to the side of the pool that can be spotted easily but needs an accurate ranged attack to shoot the rope that holds it above the pit. The ladder will fall allowing the pcs to climb up to the ledge where the sorcerer is waiting.

    Whew... I hope that helps, if thats too much info I'm sorry.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Mini campaign-sidequest

    Alright, the mini campaign went well, I think. The guys thought it was pretty fun.


    Basically, the party was in Waterdeep for the time being, and just riding out of town for their next adventure. Camping in the forest, the fighter took his place for guard duty.

    In the middle of the night, a single arrow went through the air and embeded itself before his feet, a small pouch tied to it. When he woke up the others, they looked inside of it, only to find the wedding ring that belonged to the wizard's father and a set of instructions that if they try to contact any outside force, or try to do anything unsavory(a whole list of stuff), that he would get his finger in the next mail. And the body parts would only keep getting bigger.

    So, they had a set of instructions on how to find the place where they would meet the captors. Every mile they rode, they would find a different article of clothing or something. One branch, a belt would be hanging, again from the father, on the next an axe that the guy used to chop wood in the winter embeded into a tree, like a row of signs telling them they are on the right track.

    Finally, they found the place, an old keep-theater house near Waterdeep which was shut down. When they entered, they would be adressed by the sorcerer who appeared on one of the balconies, some fifty feet up, over the main stage.

    He adressed the wizard, started his monologue, and the other characters started to appear as well. First the dwarven scout on the other balcony, then the orc barbarian at ground level, all prepared to strike.

    At that moment the party's fighter used the special ability on his shield(aporter ability) to port behind the sorcerer's back where I told them then to roll initative.

    The fight started with the dwarf pulling on a lever, his side of the balcony, which made the floor where the rest of the party was to open up, and them to fall inside the water below, where I took that black rain idea. It was a huge pool of murky water, and inside of it a gargantuan dire shark swam. However, it didn't get much action, as both the wizard and the ranger had boots of flying so they went out, while the wizard also used some dimension hop spell or something on the cleric to get them out. Also, the liquid was Black Rain of some sort, so until the end of the encounter the cleric and the ranger had 80 percent failure chance on casting spells(couldn't cast at all in the water, and because they were not submerged anymore but wet, 80 percent until they got dry)

    The fight went fairly well, with a few close calls, and the good guys won, of course. I went with the cleric being behind it all, the party found his journal that described how, from when they managed to stop the Shadow weave, a small part of shadovars that remained wanted revenge so they started to gather information about the people, found the wizard's father and stole his posessions, since the old man was more trouble then he was worth for kidnapping.

    The only member that managed to get away was the rogue(managed to get lost in the confusion), who left a parchment with a dagger in it, hanging on the door, with a lipstick kiss on the surface and "Who knew there are some things more worth then money".

    I have no doubt they will try to find out who and where she is in the next campaign with Discern Location or something, but I'll cross that bridge when it comes to that.

    So yes, mission succesfull!

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