Sunday, 30 April 2017

DM's Workshop - Building the adventure

With the start of a new game upcoming I was wondering just what we would play. I have purchased many of the new 5E adventures and will want to play them, but we need a first adventure that sets the tone of our campaign world.

After seeing so many of my adventures and campaigns trashed (not even getting through some openings) I have decided to resurrect one in particular that I really had high hopes for. The first game I wrote for our first venture into 5E was called "Below the Mansion" and featured a Lovecraftian dungeon for the players to explore. This dungeon had a mystery to it's opening tale and a general feeling of woe. The fact that it was the end of a dying winter with snow and mud clinging to the earth beneath a deep overcast sky that constantly drizzled on the PC's who had to bundle up in cloaks for the trek to this ominous cliff side seeking this dark, abandoned mansion half fallen into ruin really set the mood for me.

The slight presence of the gnomes barely viable to greet and quietly leading the PC's into the mansion and down into the well, still made the place feel creepy and desolate. The dungeon itself was one of the best I think I have ever described, with it's cthulhu like decor of stone tentacles wrapping the walls and ceiling and the entire thing lit by a braziers red glow.

In the original adventure the PC's got only a few rooms in so not much was ever uncovered. This time around it's riddles, secrets and treasures can finally be flushed out by new players and their PC's. The story of course will have to change a bit, as the old story relied upon a PC's tale to get the party into the depths, but this time I have an even more tempting hook to get the PC's into this dark dungeon.

As we play d&d over the years we get to try things out and see what works and what dose not. One of the biggest success I have had is in finding a world that works perfectly for PC's to play in. All the failed attempts of populated worlds where the PC's would just hire guards or other NPC's to do the quest for them have been fixed by the world I now run (as that is not possible).

The main thing I liked about starting 5E was the idea that the PC's were friends before hand. Most times the PC's just meet up at a tavern, introduce themselves and move on, either not liking each other or not having bonds or ties to anyone in case they die or get in trouble. The attitude was always "who cares I don't know them". Now with the friendship idea, the PC's have a bond between them which in turn leads to looking out for each other, healing each other, helping each other with quests, story lines and such.

It is a great idea and mixing that with the start of a book I have just starting reading again "Dragons of Autumn's Twilight" you can see how a group of friends coming together one night to celebrate something is the perfect way to start off a quest line. As the PC's come to meet up with old friends, celebrate good times, they are met by someone who has a story they cannot refuse which leads to the mansion and the beginning of our first adventure.

Now that I have the adventure we are going to be playing and working on flushing out the dungeon once more. And I have the starting point for the PC's who will be friends and meeting up to celebrate good times with their friends. And I have the hook for the adventure along with an NPC I am thinking of who will start things off in the right way, I need to work on the tavern. I am pretty sure I have just the place to begin as well, with the release of the newest book "The Yawning Portal" we may return to our old friend at his tavern in our city where we did the original "Undermountain" Campaign as it seems a best fit all things considered.

As more develops, I will post more about our upcoming 5E game and be sure to set things up on YouTube when I can so you can watch along. Other projects I am working on are reliving our other unfinished campaigns with an all new group of PC's who've I rolled up on "Jade Dice" and have started writing as a full length story so we can finally see the end of both "The Wizard of Talisky" and finish "The Invasion" campaign with Gen the pathfinder.

The characters are terrific and flushing them out has give me many new ideas for the adventure. I will post more as I develop more and am also looking into just how Pateron works . . .  hmmmmm.