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BlazingTornado

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

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Been struggling to come up with more things along the road, those last three before level 3 and reaching the City-State...

 

But unless the cat rogue does something unexpected, the nobleman might just take off with the Black Box, as he's interested less in treasure in general and more in curiosities. Odd items, pretty items. He's rich, he doesn't need their gold, silver or copper, or even gems... but rare objects, unique objects, magic items? That's what he's hassling em for.

So I might have to wing it, I have no idea what they might decide to do if their macguffin gets stolen. Track them down? Head back to the Greyspire? Continue on to the City State?

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Never did update this, did I?

 

Well... The rogue encountered the noble and his posse, they seemed insistant on seeing what he had so he took the Black Box and used his Cunning Action to just dash all the way into the waterfall dungeon. Speaking of, the encounters there were fun, for me anyway. It was nice having the characters debate whether to save the kobold or go back and defend their horses and cart. Really loved playing up the freakyness of the fungus monster. The Berbalang bargaining was funny, it's always fun to do one of those "you may ask me X questions" and inevitably they're going to squander it. The druid wanted to know about Tsathoggua and her first question didn't involve a name... and before she could do a follow-up, the cleric asked if the "meep meeps" (Kuo Toa) were followers of that deity, which they weren't. Druid was not pleased. XD

 

The noble and his posse fought well. He, one of his goons and his ambush drake pet managed to get away so now they got a guy with connections and an axe to grind. That'll make staying in the City State of the Invincible Overlord fun. ::D:

 

The priest of Asmodeus wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but the set-up was still effective. Especially since the default party lead is basically dressed in Roman armor in an area that only a few generations ago drove back the Roman conquerors... so the young acolyte was at first scared of them on top of the Asmodeus priest desecrating her temple.

 

Next stuff I added were an abduction by some plant Blights during a rest in a small village... The kobold was the one abducted so one of the players was like "Nevermind the Black Box, this Kobold attracts just as much trouble, there's something strange about him" so the Blights might sacrifice him to their evil tree thing if the players don't save him in time.

 

After this whole mess (which they'll find out WAS because of the Black Box, the village's worship of a nature god had been enough to ward those Blights away from the villagers and the occasional travelers, but the Black Box made the PCs vulnerable), they'll encounter a Berserker on the road in a trance, when he breaks out of it he'll attack the PCs shouting worship to the demigod of Thule.

 

 

Haven't decided how the final encounter area before the City State happens but whether it's by cave-in in the road or by some magical teleportation, they're going to end up in the middle of an old buried labyrinth where they'll encounter statues, oozes, fiends etc. Since it's not linear I spread and repeated some encounters, and there's the chance at some magic items and trinkets if they poke around the right places.

A minotaur guards the exit, CR3 might be too much for them so they might have to figure out how to outsmart it.

 

After this, level 3 and the City State of the Invincible Overlord. So I'll have to start determining what happens then, aside from the delivery of the Black Box to the recipient...

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Heh. Late updating this again...

 

Okay so the blight thing went okay, emphasized the danger of the wilds as well as the evil the box attracts. Poor kobold died too, they did nothing to try and save him from the vine blight in the first round, so he was dropped down the tree. And then nothing in the next few turns to try and get him out. So yeah, evil tree consumed him... poor little fellow.

 

The berserker fight was fun as well. Dropped two PCs to zero hit points in rapid succession before the fighter hit it with a halberd killing blow.

 

The labyrinth was a good set-up but ultimately not as fun for the players as I'd hoped. Getting too many good dice rolls didn't help things, and they felt the RP opportunities were sadly limited... So this session I just pulled an "All a dream!" bit when a traveling entertainment troupe yelled at their corporeal forms to get off the f***in' road already. So one by one the heroes were pulled from the labyrinth as they were being flanked by dretches on one side and an ochre jelly on the other.

One of those few times "It was all a dream/hallucination" worked, I guess. They enjoyed roleplaying out the weirdness.

 

One awakened tree to fight later, and they ran into a haggard man who claimed to have been waylaid by bandits. They agree to take him to the City State, and they're immediately sprung upon by a fighter/sorcerer, and the haggard man reveals himself a magic-user by casting Charm Person on the rogue carrying the MacGuffin and asking to be handed it.  Unfortunatel a massively successful Guiding Bolt and a Magic Stone are enough to do him in, and the fighter/sorcerer flees. Thanks to Rules as Written, Charm Person doesn't expire after its caster dies so... With no direction from me the players basically did a whole bit where the rogue wanted to give his new buddy a proper funeral but you know... nobody bought a shovel at character creation. So they take the corpse with them until an hour passes and the rogue realizes he's been charmed and just unceremoniously punts the corpse off the cart and onto a road.

 

After that, they ran into a giant who initially paid em no mind till he smelled "scaredy cats". He tried to offer them "tiny things" that were useless for his size but through a mix of his broken speech and their "we are terrified and trying to be nice but are terrified" he ended up finding them rude and going on his way.

 

Final encounter on the road was another Thulean berserker, but this one had inherited infernal traits (a mixture of diabolical boons from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes and tiefling racial stats)... despite this AND an increased AC thanks to scale armor he was still not as effective as the first berserker. Even after giving him three rounds of basically not calculating damage on him. I was disappointed but hey, the players thought they were pretty badass after winning that.

 

Once they finally reached the City State of the Invincible Overlord, the cleric gave away a gold piece to each beggar that rushed them in the slums before the gates, and once inside proceded to wander aimlessly till I threw em a bone. They do that a lot in cities. Dropping off the MacGuffin at the wizard's place, they also realized meeting another group of adventurers that some people got sent out on decoy missions with imitation boxes. I ALMOST wanted to throw a twist that they were one of the decoys but decided to let keep the sense that what they carried was important by revealing that theirs was the genuine box.

 

 

 

One thing to note about this party: they suck at gearing up and making coin. Out of every corpse they either encountered or caused on the road, they looted two. First was the animated armor, second they got some armor, minor coin and a bottle of wine they haven't even opened to check the contents yet.

Every bandit, marauder, monster.... all with gear and coin... and they did not take any of it. Oh, and they sold the magic trident they found in the waterfall temple and did absolutely nothing with to a cataphract for a pitiful 50 gold pieces. I mean 50 gold is a decent sum in this setting but not for a magic trident.

 

 

Ah well. With this quest coming to a close I can hopefully figure some more substantial adventures than "deliver thing and weird things happen on the road".

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Man, the game is tomorrow afternoon and I still don't know what to run. All I got figured is a few social happenings in the City State, hardly enough for a four-hour game...

 

Nobody's really given me anything of substance regarding possible things they might want to do there (not helping that one player went absent the last two sessions)...

 

What kind of cool stuff could happen in or around such a mighty city, that might be fun for four 3rd-level characters?

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Have some kind of street festival or carnival? You could either let them run around all the games and competitions (also could be an opportunity for them to earn some coin) or the the thingamabob that’s used to start the festival goes missing ex: “Today we celebrate our defeat of the invades by honoring the lucky catapult shot that took out the invaders leader and ending the war.” Pulls back curtain,” it’s gone!” Our we can’t start the spring festival until we find the missing first seeds of the harvest.

also could have some thing like mardi grais where multiple groups have parades and events leading up to the big date and competition between the groups has stopped being friendly. 

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There's always "Character's pocket is picked, character notices, chase ensues."

 

If you know what the next story arc is, you can start laying the foundation now.

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3 hours ago, Xiwo Xerase said:

There's always "Character's pocket is picked, character notices, chase ensues."

That's a bit harder to pull off when two players have nonhuman races with speed boost features.

(I yearn for the opportunity to run this world as a humans-only campaign)

 

3 hours ago, Xiwo Xerase said:

If you know what the next story arc is, you can start laying the foundation now. 

That's the problem, I don't. It took me a while to figure out where the game was going last session too, but at least starting with Keep on the Borderlands gave me a sandbox with months of content... here I'm more flying by the seat of my pants.

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I may not be any good at running games that run on political intrigue. But at least I can give the players the impression that there's a lot of power players around with their own machinations.

 

I figure after a few days, maybe a few weeks, of downtime, they'll get arrested by some guards and taken away somewhere, where they'll meet one of the city's shadowplayers, along with one of the Overlord's top guards/enforcers, who are working together in a minor alliance because of an apothecary/trinket shop that opened up and some customers have been coming out behaving oddly, and the shadowplayer's agents that went in never returned...

 

So they want the players to go in and figure things out, will get rewarded well for their work, and if they refuse, well... they left a big ol' trail of bodies between Greyspire and the City State so it'd be very easy to pin many murders on them, to say nothing of just handing them over to the noble they encountered whose henchpeople they also killed.

 

(I'm stealing heavily from the setup from Spoony's Thieves World videos here)

 

So they're going to have to hit the shop, fight through the clerk and the guards without attracting outside attention or just infiltrate it, and hopefully find the secret path down to the "undercity" where the people who run the shop have discovered an ancient shrine to an elder evil and have basically been affecting some of their sold items to bind the buyers' life essence to the elder evil. In a show of power the evil will summon forth a servitor of some sort.

Hopefully they don't skedaddle out at the first sign of trouble and actually make progress and clear everything out.

Between this and Downtime I should have enough content for the next session at least.

 

 

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Well at least all the dungeon prep I did last week is being used this week, as social RP + downtime + my players playing difficult meant that we never really got adventuring done.

 

So that'll be that to look forward to.

Curious how they'll make it past the trinket shop into the catacombs beneath.

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9 minutes ago, BlazingTornado said:

Well at least all the dungeon prep I did last week is being used this week, as social RP + downtime + my players playing difficult meant that we never really got adventuring done.

 

So that'll be that to look forward to.

Curious how they'll make it past the trinket shop into the catacombs beneath.

Probably in a way you least expect.

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Well, they still haven't reached the dungeon part. They're still trying to figure out the right approach. Lots of RP and skill checks...

 

Speaking of disaster the rogue bought one of the shop front's non-eldritch-binding trinket, a small clay goat idol, and went looking for a counterfeiter to get it painted up to look jade as a jade goat idol was at the shop, and was one of the troublesome items, but as the rogue had previously arisen the suspicions of the guy running the shop in the boss's absence and he told him the item was not for sale.

(they can't afford the 50GP cost unless they pool a lot of resources anyway)

 

So he wants to break in to investigate at night BUT also to swap the item with the counterfeit one.

Of course, with his poor wisdom, when he hit a tavern on the rougher side of town to try and find someone who can lead him to a counterfeiter... he rolled a 1 on insight and basically announced his plans to counterfeit a valuable... to the setting's version of an undercover cop.

So he goes to jail, the rest of the party has to pay bail, and his little clay goat is not returned.

 

Like I said, I expect the disaster. They do not disappoint.

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