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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:50 am 
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Hello everyone!

I'm DM'ing a group that plays D&D 5th edition, and I'm trying my hand at writing my first scenario from top to bottom. I've gathered a pile of ideas, creative outbursts and general musings in a pile below. If someone could have a look and tell me what they like about it (and what they don't), I'd very much appreciate it.

Adventure Synopsis:
The characters are hired to discover the cause of the strange magical weather plaguing the area around a small city. As it turns out, the magical weather (musical sunlight, rain that falls upwards) is cause by the corona of "wild" magic surrounding a fallen Gnomish airship crashed in the forlorn mountain peaks a day or two's journey distant.

The airship in question is actually a trans-continental vessel owned and operated by Captain Orryn Truart, a Gnome. He and his crew are part explorers, part poachers and part slavers, and have spent the last few summers kidnapping exotic animals and monsters for sale to clients across Faerun. This year however, disaster has struck. The airship has crashed and the monstrous captives turned the tables on Truart and his men.

The players must discover the airship and probe its darkened hull to make sense it all. If they brave its dangers they should be confronted with a moral dilemma: who do they support? Captain Truart and his hapless slavers, or the Hag-Empress and her monsterous minions?

Bullet Points:
- The adventure starts in a bustling trading town of undetermined location. The setting is Faerûn, near an impressive mountain range.

- The characters are hired by officials from the temple of Waukeen to investigate the cause of bizarre weather patterns that have plagued the area as of late.

- The Waukeenar have attempted to determine the cause through magical means. They have received visions of a local mountain peak, Polliver's Lance, and urge the characters to investigate.

- Rumors in town reveal that the mountains around Polliver's Lance were once home to a fearsome dragon that terrorized the area decades ago. (This is a red herring to set the players on edge).

- A few hours beyond the city gates, the characters are assailed by bandits. (Que a short combat encounter).

- As they venture into the mountains, the characters witness strange portents and suffer odd maladies. They have entered the "fallout" area of the airship's magical corona. The night sees innocent characters grows beards of exploding feathers, their words turn to pink bubbles and statues at a wayside shrine weep candlewax.

- Once they have left the road behind, the characters encounter a Dwarven nobleman and his servants. He aims to hunt a fearsome creature never seen before in this area. His servants have set out bait for it, a great big wheel of smelly cheese. If they like, the characters can help him bring the beast down. (Que another combat encounter).

- The beast turns out to be elephant, which should come as a surprise. Following the beast’s tracks, the characters finally come upon the source of the area’s oddity: the crashed airship nestled high on the side of a mountain peak. A corona of swirling magical energy glows ominously around its fallen bulk. It is a sight at once stately and eerie.

- The surrounding mountainside is heavily tainted by magical residue. Rocks glisten like jelly. Patches of pink bristle writhe in the faint wind. Clouds form ominous, threatening shapes and candles wriggle. Here be magic, and it is wild. Any arcane spellcaster should be able to identify the effects as related to "wild magic". This fallout occurred as a result of the airship's "reactor failure".

- Approaching the ship, the characters see that it is largely intact, save for a gash in the hull halfway down the starboard side. This is where the elephant escaped.

- Climbing into the hull of the fallen ship, the characters enter a dark, cavernous hold. This room once held the largest creatures, like the elephant. It is now a jumble of ropes and cages.

- Elsewhere in the ship’s bowels, characters might come across a room where a semi-intelligent beast (Griffin? Owl bear?) has made a nest for itself out of sailcloth and smashed furniture. Loose pages from the captain’s log are also scattered about, containing clues to the ship’s purpose and crew.

- A tribe of escaped kobolds have formed a petty kingdom in one of the lower holds.

- A brazen Night Hag has seized control of the ship’s upper decks and now maintains her own horrible court on the bridge, torturing captured gnomes and demanding tribute from the kobolds below. Those that displease or bore her are “given to the sky” and thrown overboard through an open window.

- The Hag refers to herself as a mighty emperess and the kobolds as her loyal vassals. She should have a wheedling vizier of some sort, another intelligent beast or perhaps a turncoat gnome.

- Other parts of the ship are infested by malfunctioning security automatons and ravenous beasts. They may maul unwary characters with metal pincers or noxious gas once meant to detain escapees.

- Gnolls should be involved, possibly as wardens of the captured crew. Prisoners may be eaten.

- An emaciated Aarakocra hangs imprisoned from a lonely bulkhead wall, a witness to the gnomes’ evil. He was captured by Truart and his men on suspicion of spying, and they were absolutely right. The aarakocra's true masters are an open question, and could be a link to future adventures farther down the line.

Important NPCs:
A list of non-player characters, great and small, include:

- The Hag-Empress, her cruelty matched only by her wits.

- Her wheedling Vizier; a fawning, repulsive creature.

- The Gnome adventurer-captain, a hardened rogue.

- The Kobold chieftain, a resentful vassal of the Empress Above.

- The temple official, a woman of good intent.

- The bandit leader, a bold rascal.

- The Dwarven big-game hunter, all beard and cavalier attitude.

- The Aarakocra spy, sullen and suspicious.

- The Gnoll gaoler, giggling and mean.

The Airship (and all its various parts):
Upper part: Bridge (Controls and the main wheel), Promenade deck (Walk for pleasure), Quarterdeck (Officer’s Quarters), Saloon (For rest and relaxation), Stateroom (Captain’s quarters),

Middle part: Brig (Ship’s prison), Cabins (Crew quarters), Capstan (Equipment to wind heavy rope around), Forecastle (Front part of ship), Galley (Kitchen and eating room), Armory (Weapon storage),

Lower part: Bilge (Lowest part of ship), Fo’ward hold (Equipment bay), Sternward hold (Animal bay), Sickbay (Surgery and hospital), Muster station (Where the crew gathered for emergencies).

Interesting Beasts (that may be encountered in the ship's darkened corridors):
Carrion Crawler, Displacer Beast, Kobolds, Basilisk, Stirges, Tigers, Gnolls, Black Pudding, Griffins, Night Hag, Poisonous Snakes, Owl bear,

Possible Traps and Hazards:
Falling luggage and equipment, Stuck doors, Trapped chests, Weakened floorboards and stairs.

So, what do you all think so far? Does this have a chance of becoming a decent adventure?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:20 am 
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This sounds like a great adventure! Kudos to you for writing this all up.

If you're looking for more depth to this scenario in a larger campaign, may I suggest having one or more external factions interested in salvaging the airship? Once word gets out about the powerful magic in the area, local governments or organizations might well clash over claim to the crash site.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:56 am 
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Savael wrote:
- Rumors in town reveal that the mountains around Polliver's Lance were once home to a fearsome dragon that terrorized the area decades ago. (This is a red herring to set the players on edge).

This may set your players on edge, or it might encourage them not to want to do the mission at all. Depending on the level of this campaign, there may be some players who won't want to risk their character's lives right off the bat against a dragon.

~SE++

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