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BlazingTornado

BT's Sword, Sorcery & Weird Fantasy campaign (AKA help I'm in over my head)

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What am I doing? Why am I scaling the City State of the Invincible Overlord map so my players' tokens can explore it proper on Roll20?

 

Next I'll be adding Dynamic Lighting so they can't see the building's interiors.

 

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

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Followups to The Keep for me have included X2, Castle Amber, which was truly whacky but needed a ton of fleshing out for the Averoigne section, and Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.

 

If I ever play again I'd like to combine Saltmarsh with Bone Hill and take it in a Lovecraftian direction.

 

These are just suggestions, YMMV.

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KOTB was the start of the last campaign. It ran well beyond that into level 20.

 

I had considered Castle Amber for it (the cover art and premise of a castle full of mad nobles was appealing) but they lost me at the dimension travel, to be honest. Felt less like an adventure at that point and more a visit of Clark Ashton-Smith's setting.

 

Given the hook I gave them, I'm kind of stuck with road encounters and side distractions for the time being...

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I really want to figure out some overwhelming encounters that'd fit that flavor I'm aiming for.

 

Like... something they have no hope for beating but isn't out to kill them either.

Like some fey creatures that are just bothersome.

 

Or a tremendous dragon that just observes them for a while before taking off.

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Might be a bit much for levels 1-2.

 

Really considering having them meet that dragon and getting a face-full of his breath weapon.

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/67720-unpainted-minis-from-wizkids/&page=108&tab=comments#comment-1867837

 

On 9/9/2019 at 2:13 PM, Madog Barfog said:

If I ever play again I'd like to combine Saltmarsh with Bone Hill and take it in a Lovecraftian direction. 

I have some familiarity with Saltmarsh but not with Bone Hill. What would that be like?

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On 9/9/2019 at 11:48 PM, BlazingTornado said:

 

 

I had considered Castle Amber for it (the cover art and premise of a castle full of mad nobles was appealing) but they lost me at the dimension travel, to be honest. Felt less like an adventure at that point and more a visit of Clark Ashton-Smith's setting.

 

That's exactly what it is. Obviously Tom Moldvay was a fan of CAS, but the connection is pretty tenuous ( Castle Amber is French and that's it) and what really bugged me was that 4 adventures based on his writing were crammed into 4 pages. I wrote an expansion with more pages than X2 about adventuring in Averoigne; PM me if anybody wants it.

 

Regarding Bone Hill, it's exactly what U1 isn't. U1 has a great adventure but nothing is devoted to the town or environs. Bone Hill is a sandbox adventure with a great town and what's  around it, but lacks any "big" adventure.

 

Most DMs find they work well together.

Oh, I forgot to mention it should be easy to discard the Averoigne section of X2. I don't remember if there is anything the PCs need to bring back, maybe the mirror, but it should be easy to substitute some other mechanism.

 

I think X2 is definitely worth playing, and found it worked well in my campaign. I especially enjoyed the French manor and all that went on within it. Very creative.

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Well we finally got to session bloody 2, after a quick retcon to introduce a different PC to replace the mammoth. The fighter didn't fall for the bait of the animated plate mail armor, but the new cleric character sure did! ::D:

 

Nobody died but it was funny to hear my player go "Can we say I DIDN'T put on the armor because you tricked me."

I didn't kill his character obviously but it was funny to see everyone try to get that heavy plate armor off the character. I had it disassemble like an Iron Man 3 suit of armor and re-form a bit further away to finish up the encounter.

I think it might have been a mistake because everyone is still so used to vanilla D&D I had to tell them "ignore the rules, tell me from a real-world standpoint, what would your character do?" and then we figured the rules/rolls to apply. It all worked out in the end.

 

They were reeeeaaaaally on edge about looting the other corpse further down the road after that. XD

They took the stuff but were wary of the studded leather armor.

 

Next up was the specter that killed the cadaver they just looted... they could have outright skipped the encounter but I guess they wanted to fight it on their own terms instead of letting it surprise them? Admittedly it started out as a weeping spirit before they attracted its attention. Had to fudge the 3d6 damage dice on the ONE successful hit it landed. (3d6 for a CR1!!!!)

Next came the quickling who stole their black box. I had fun having it blow a raspberry at the player character on watch before scamping off. They ended up splitting the party because the aarakocra has a 50ft flying speed. And instead of getting the player characters back to rescue the poor sacrifice, she stuck around till one tried to light the bonfire and cast Create Or Destroy Water to dampen the wood and put out the torches.

So the leader cast Sleep on her. As she flew. 90 feet overhead. Shoulda died right there from fall damage alone but I decided to just let her crash at the player's feet (who thankfully decided they should catch up).

 

And then the best moment. As they made their way to the cultists' clearing, one of the minions was up on the damp wood pile, with the victim taken down, dagger raised for the sacrifice. So the Roman fighter chucks his javelin, at disadvantage, scores the hit, for exactly the damage needed to drop the cultist.

That is the Sword & Sorcery imagery I crave for this campaign. The cultist's arm raised, dagger in hand, at a sacrificial victim, and the hero throws a weapon in desperation and scores the killing blow from behind.

Heck. Yes.

 

The remainder of the battle went adequately. Had to avoid specific party-wiping spells like Sleep because 3/4 of the party were well sticking close to each other and they would've just slept as the cultists focused on the rogue, and then wiped the rest one by one. Honestly one or two strikes to a prone enemy would've done em in... The perils of low level.

 

 

So that leaves the bullywug camp, the harmless dragon that'll blow a reefer breath in their faces (inspired by this) and the swarm of killer bees and giant killer bee for next session.

 

Likely the last encounter before leveling up to 2 will be with a Maw Demon that a group of religious types were trying to transport before it broke out and slaughtered them.

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Sounds like you are having a good time. 

 

The hero's javelin toss was pretty lucky. Definitely enjoy it, but realize it might not work out as luckily in the future. I always recommend more than one way out of a situation in case the players miss one.

 

Your campaign is not something I can assist with, but I like your ideas. Maybe because of the cult, but it sounds very Lovecraftian to me, and I like that a lot.

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1 minute ago, Madog Barfog said:

The hero's javelin toss was pretty lucky. Definitely enjoy it, but realize it might not work out as luckily in the future. I always recommend more than one way out of a situation in case the players miss one.

He was hoping for at least a distraction if his roll was a miss, and I would have granted it. But the dice gods smiled upon us and it was not only a successful hit despite the penalty, but a one-kill blow.

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I'm re minded of the time, decades ago, when the game would have been a TPK except for the courage of the MU, who *grappled* the big bad guy, bare handed  - and won.

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