Dungeons & Dragons Online

A masquerade ball hosted by a cult, ending in a slaughter… Help with ideas!

Here's the overview:

The party has been hired to infiltrate a masquerade ball hosted by a cult. The ball itself is invite only, for the city's upper crust. To those not in the "inner circle," it is a decadent and debauched affair with "playful" mock rituals and ceremonies — similar to a fraternity that takes itself a bit too seriously. Those attendees who aren't initiated into the cult itself think of it as a brotherhood or social club, not a "cult." Beneath the mansion, however, the cult leader and his inner circle engage in much darker affairs. The gala is a way for them to recruit new initiates (membership is reserved for the rich and well connected) by observing the party-goers and noting their behaviors, temptations, etc.

The party is aware the gala is a cover, and know that the entrance to the secret chambers beneath the mansion are somewhere on the premises. They are tasked with infiltrating the masquerade and locating the secret entrance to put an end to the cult's leadership.

The twist: a rival cult will launch an attack on the gala — sealing the exits of the mansion with magic and unleashing a Demon into the mansion to law waste to the revelers (think Masque of the Red Death).

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Here's what I need help with:Filler material! The unleashing of the demon will provide a natural opportunity to search the mansion once it has been dealt with (as the cult's inner circle will retreat beneath the mansion and leave the otherwise defenseless nobles to be massacred), but I need some scenes to pepper in before the demon is unleashed — activities, social events, and other non-combat encounters to fill out an hour or so of play before the big event to let my players enjoy the fun of being outsiders in a masked gala of selfish, wealthy bastards while the explore the mansion. Gimme your best suggestions of fun, cool things to do in a masquerade ball before all hell breaks loose.

Inspiration / Rooms:The mansion's main rooms are:

  • The atrium — an open air inner courtyard with a fountain, benches, and statues. Mainly a place where people would go to talk, drink wine, and get some fresh air.
  • The Dining Hall — host to a feast befitting a hundred or so wealthy nobles.
  • The Ballroom — as described. A group of musicians will be playing, people will be dancing in their masks.
  • The Bathchambers — a large indoor pool, a heated tub, and a sauna.
  • The Library — Large shelves, private reading nooks and booths, deep and comfy chairs. A more private, quiet place.
  • Guestrooms — Eight well appointed guest rooms.
  • The Tasting Room — A room filled with shelves of expensive wines with a bar, stools, and booths. Also contains a staircase down to the wine cellar (which contains the secret entrance into the cult's inner sanctums).
  • And staff rooms, kitchen, toilets, etc — but these wouldn't be the main focuses.
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About the Cult: The Order of Oneisyphorous is, ostensibly, a social club of sorts. It is known as a brotherhood for the rich and well connected to rub elbows among peers, hold lavish feasts, decadent parties, and perform ritualized celebrations. Among the inner circle of the Order, however, an even darker truth emerges: their power and prestige is derived from their service to an infernal master. A devilish and greedy Amnizu, Oneisyphorous, has assembled their order for his own selfish ends. The influence and wealth of the brotherhood allows him to manipulate the affairs of the mortal world in order to become ever richer, more connected, and more socially powerful. Through these connections, he obtains contracts for the souls and servitude of wealthy mortals, and in exchange for their dark loyalties they are rewarded not only with a taste of the Amnizu’s infernal power, but with membership in an exclusive brotherhood that celebrates their base desires and degeneracy, makes them richer than ever before, and gives them incredible social power.

As a note, the Amnizu is not physically present. He communicates with the Order through a peacock that they keep beneath the mansion in a lavishly appointed chamber.

Source

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