Content of the article: "Groundhog Day"
So I've had the idea of this scenario and I wanted to include it in my campaign for a while. It was actually inspired by / stolen from that classic Stargate SG-1 episode: Window of Opportunity, but I figured more people would understand the gimmick if I said Groundhog Day.
The abridged preamble is the PCs have been tasked to track down an ancient and very powerful artifact that was broken into several pieces and scattered around the world a very long time ago. Many myths surround the artifact's abilities, it's rumoured that even the gods fear it and that's why it was scattered and hidden.
The scenario begins with the party stopping at a town for the night while resupplying and whatnot for their journey to elsewhere. They wake the next day to see the town is having festivities. The party is welcome to take part or try to move on. But if they try to leave town they will find it impossible, for example if they head due North they'll eventually find themselves to the South of town and heading North towards it.
Near the end of the day the town is struck by a massive disaster, I haven't decided what exactly yet but I'm thinking dragon raid but I'm not married to that idea. The encounter will be beyond the party's current capabilities, they can attempt to deal with it but they'll most likely fail.
Regardless of the party's initial reaction, or whether or not they survive, not long after the disaster everyone suddenly wakes up and the day begins again with the town festivities. The same thing happens every day exactly as before with the exception of any changes the party make happen, though obviously those changes have no effect on the next loop*.
The party can then spend these time loops to either figure out the best way to deal with the disaster or figure out how to stop the loop, or both
*Exceptions to the things reset each loop:
- The party remembers everything from previous loops
- As the party reveals the mystery they can level up if necessary, but can't infinitely grind levels
- There is also an NPC who remembers previous loops
The NPC is a priest who found the artifact fragment, he recognised it as a holy relic but not one of the only god he knows and worships, so he hid it away in his home to study it further in secret. Over a long time he discovered a couple of the artifact's secrets. It mentions something about erasing mistakes and a terrible yet vague price to be paid if the artifact is used, as it's only a fragment the majority of the words carved onto it are missing and even the "paragraph" on that fragment is incomplete.
When the disaster struck the original time, the NPC lost someone dear to them. They scrambled to the artifact and prayed to the unknown god for aid, and this whole scenario is the answer to that prayer.
Anyway, I was looking for some advice on how best to handle this entire thing, and for ideas for small events that happen in the time loop.
I feel I need to flesh out the town a lot more than usual and meticulously plan out the actions of the NPCs caught in the loop unaware, just in case the players decide to follow a different NPC each loop or something.
- My players stuck to the T&Cs of a mission, which lead to an unexpected turn in the session. Funny story but would also like some story advice or ideas please!
- To What Degree Do You Guide Your Players?
- My players let them selves be captured by hobgoblins after messing up, need some help
© Post "Groundhog Day" for game Dungeons & Dragons Online.
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