Content of the article: "One-Shot Advice (Long Post)"
Hey there everyone. Lately my creative juices have been kicking in and an idea I've had kicking around for a while has been to write a DND One-Shot. I've tried to keep things in bite sized paragraphs for ease of reading.
My main goals with it are to create an adventure for a party of five with pre-gen characters. Probably going to be like a fifth or sixth level adventure. My framework for the game is as follows:
Two Kingdoms are in the middle of a cold war, stocking up for the inevitable war.
The scroll of the tarrasque exists in this world in legends; it exists but can only created by finding three separate spell books.
Each spell book is coded; it requires the next in the series to decode it.
The enemy kingdom, unbeknownst to the Players kingdom, has gathered two of the three spell books, and are on the lookout for the third.
The enemy kingdom plans to leverage agents embedded within a cult within their borders (But not exclusive to their borders) to use this scroll of Tarrasque to wipe out the enemy capital before all out war is declared.
Using the tarrasque event as a means of deploying their armies across the border, they will conquer their neighbors in one swift blow.
The one advantage now that the players kingdoms has is that they've recently learned of the location of the third spell book, and are in a race against time to clandestinely claim it before their enemies learn of its location and move to retrieve it.
As I'm using pre-generated characters, motivations are not really a problem. Three of the five characters are in the employment of the kingdom; two are fighters in the army, one is a spy agent. The other two are siblings who have a family history with the Gods; both seeking out answers to their family history and the time period surrounding it. It makes them some of the foremost experts in the kingdom on the spell book as it comes from that era of history.
The spell book is located in the north in a neutral once prosperous nation. A pair of children were playing in an abandoned mine and stumbled across a new cave. From the descriptions they told back in town, it matches the description of the lost mobile tower of the Wizard who crafted the spell books.
The player characters are invited to dinner with their respective mentors (Who are also advisors to the Queen of the Kingdom). Unknown to them, it's a meal with the Queen where she lays everything on the line and initiates the quest.
Here's some of what I'm struggling with:
I'm planning this to be a one shot for semi-new players. I figure the dinner with the Queen will be a good role play opportunity for the players to kick off; chance to greet each other and discuss things (With help from the DM as their mentors are there). I'm thinking after the dinner should have a travel segment featuring a small encounter to allow the players to familiarize themselves with their combat abilities. Good idea?
Second scenario I face I believe should be meeting with the representatives of the town where the spell book was found. I'm thinking perhaps due to their nation's relative poverty, they've remained neutral in terms of the brewing conflict. With what the locals can tell from the interest they're seeing with the visitors, it's going to help sway which side of the war they'll ally themselves with, if at all. A good sort of social encounter I believe yes?
Then should come the dungeon crawl itself. I'm trying to envision how exactly this should play out. I mentioned earlier it being a mobile wizards tower; my thought was to make it a giant hollow earth elemental turtle. But I'm not committed to that idea. And with that said, how to make the encounters within feel relevant to the party given their level.
Finally, a villain. Something or someone to struggle against for the party. Should the dungeon crawl be the main draw of the story and basically end with succesfull retireval of the spell book, making it a more difficult and time consuming think? Or should I consider the dungeon crawl a more straightforward affair and smaller in scope to be considered the "Act 2" portion of the adventure, with "Act 3" the attempt to return home?
If so, a logical thing I could see would be the enemy stealing the spell book and the final act is stopping the cult from summoning the tarrasque?
So any advice would be appreciated 🙂
- New players need a guiding hand, how do you tell your players everything they need to know without telling them /everything/?
- New players need a guiding hand, how do you make them understand everything that’s going on without telling them /everything/?
- Ending LMoP with a TPK???
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