/r/dmdivulge

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A TTRPG subreddit for any Dungeon/Game Master to share details of their story/campaign without spoiling it for your players! Be courteous and have fun listening to other people's stories and sharing stories about your own ideas :P

A subreddit for any DnD Dungeon Master to share details of their story/campaign without spoiling it for your players! Be courteous and have fun listening to other people's stories and sharing stories about your own ideas :P

/r/dmdivulge

12,631 Subscribers

2

Weekly Advice Thread

Hello everyone! This is the weekly thread where anyone can come and ask for and give advice relating to TTRPGs and your campaigns/stories. These will be up the whole week until they are replaced for the new week. Remember to be respectful and to have fun!

Just a quick reminder that the discord is up and running for this subreddit, come and join to have conversations about anything relating to TTRPGs :P

Link to the discord: https://discord.gg/SbHCmrZFCM

1 Comment
2024/03/22
04:15 UTC

50

The final BBEG of my campaign is actually a villain that escaped our previous campaign and my players don't know it yet

Some of my players played on a campaign with me from 1st to 20th level. Then, the bbeg was a Dragon and it was helped by a wizard. However, the Dragon supposedly killed the Wizard out of spite nearing the end. The players found the wizard's corpse on display.

Now we are nearing the end of our current campaign at 18th level and I decided back then that the wizard from the previous campaign had a clone spell ready, so he survived. This guy wanted to be immortal, but not a lich. He kept studying time magic for centuries, reviving via clone every time. One day, he managed to travel thousands of years back in time, maybe by accident. He then decided to try to pursue godhood. He raised a cult, taking advantage of knowing the future. He became a sort of prophet, a seer. Then he went to the Astral plane, where time is weird, to try to achieve godhood.

So now in the game the players started to know of this cult, some of the clerics had prophetic visions of a time cataclysm. They found notes from cultists saying the prophet is willing to achieve godhood and reset the time-line to shape the world as he likes.

Now, players know of this mage that died a long time ago helping a evil dragon, but they still don't know he is the prophet.

Because part of the trick is that this cult remained hidden for thousands of years, transmitting their knowledge only among themselves, to not attract unwanted attention, specially from the gods, who would most likely not want a mortal becoming a God and rewriting story.

The thing is that the players only know that the cult is recruiting and only now starting to gather, because their prophet is coming back. So the threat is kind of abstract yet.

I was tempted to only reveal that the prophet is that wizard on the very end, when they confront him in combat at the Astral plane, but now I want to actually make the wizard contact the players now and try to dissuade them from impeding his plan, explaining that all he wants is to correct the wrongs and erase evil from the world for once by rewriting history, and offers the players the benefit of not having their life stories touched, if they cooperate and help him as cult members in the new world. Also, the prophet will reveal that he has been trying to raise powerful adventurers to this very purpose for centuries, making some coincidences happen to bring groups together, including the players, while also making implicit that many others died trying to be adventurers (and reach level 20) because of his doings. This may create a punchier hook from early on, showing what the prophet is like and dropping the bomb beforehand to build expectations for the final confrontation.

Just now I also thought of maybe not giving the players the time to avoid that from happening, the time erasing thing, and actually send them to look for present day wizard and stop his doings before he traveled back in time, while the ritual of time erasing is happening.

So what do you think of my plans for the finale? Should I make the players fight to stop the bad guy from reseting the time-line? Should I reveal my secrets now to make them have a real goal and make him a more concrete villain instead of notes on old books, or leave it for a cathartic plot twist at the very end? Or maybe should I deny them the chance of stopping him from achieving godhood (like ozzymandias who already had his masterclass ready when the heroes confront him) and send them to kill the present day wizard before he goes back in time?

9 Comments
2024/03/15
13:38 UTC

2

Weekly Advice Thread

Hello everyone! This is the weekly thread where anyone can come and ask for and give advice relating to TTRPGs and your campaigns/stories. These will be up the whole week until they are replaced for the new week. Remember to be respectful and to have fun!

Just a quick reminder that the discord is up and running for this subreddit, come and join to have conversations about anything relating to TTRPGs :P

Link to the discord: https://discord.gg/SbHCmrZFCM

1 Comment
2024/03/15
04:15 UTC

30

One of my players connected an inconsequential news fluff piece to a critical part of their backstory

It wasn't intentional, it really was supposed to be a random bit of fluff, a kind of "here's how they're doing now" kind of deal to follow up on an arc they'd completed a few sessions prior.

Except this player totally missed the mark, thought it was a hint at a whole new character tied very closely to his backstory, and is SUPER EXCITED to pull on that thread. Thing is, while I hadn't planned for that, I actually like it more.

Time to rewrite some of the story, I guess!

6 Comments
2024/03/14
12:05 UTC

5

Weekly Advice Thread

Hello everyone! This is the weekly thread where anyone can come and ask for and give advice relating to TTRPGs and your campaigns/stories. These will be up the whole week until they are replaced for the new week. Remember to be respectful and to have fun!

Just a quick reminder that the discord is up and running for this subreddit, come and join to have conversations about anything relating to TTRPGs :P

Link to the discord: https://discord.gg/SbHCmrZFCM

1 Comment
2024/03/08
04:15 UTC

3

Crused Swords help

One of my players is a bloodhunter and he has these cursed blades, they double crit on a nat 20, but in return that leaves him vulnerable for two rounds to double damage himself. So there is/are these entities inside those swords that facilitate that. I just have a hard time coming up with what they could want.
I worry if I make them too adversary it might not be enjoyable for the whole party, I also know it can be a tool for me to drive the story. But my imagination runs out on ideas for objective so does anyone have any? The campaign features elementals and preventing a chaos being from escaping.

4 Comments
2024/03/07
09:44 UTC

5

First campaign of Homebrew

My party and I are all new players so we are taking a lot of openness to a home brew I’m building with that said, if you’re a member of the Jolly Emissary of the Jade Antelope avert your eyes and read elsewhere.

I’m only three sessions in and started out with posted “quests” to build up level and get a feel for how my party would play

This is a rough idea with loose details. I’m not sure if it would be too much but it’s a three part lead to the BBEG

On my next quest I’d like to leave breadcrumbs that lead that party to town where the baron is corrupt is riddled with prejudice and is rounding up some of the townsfolk to kill them (immigrants/ specific race). Behind the scenes he is actually using them as sacrifices for his deity.

More breadcrumbs lead them to another town and into a church where the secretly corrupt priest sends them on a quest for an item. Turns out that item is needed to summon the BBEG. If the figure out he is corrupted it’s a bonus.

Whispers of a vagrant wizard opening portals across the land allowing demons to sew chaos in preparation for the summoning. Leads them to ruins to prevent him from opening the largest portal for the BBEG

Despite their best efforts the BBEG would still be summoned for a big showdown.

I’m not entirely sure how long this all would take but would the three tier buildup be too much?

4 Comments
2024/03/05
23:08 UTC

29

Do you guys ever just panic and make shit up on the spot?

As a preface this is a modern day, SCP/Control/Supernatural influenced campaign. So I tend to go into my DnD sessions with a good amount of prep, which factions are doing what, how quests are progressing, that kind of stuff. I'm usually good about even pre writing certain descriptions or monologues to make sure they land as I'd like.

Usually.

So my players, those fucking pieces of garbage, decided to use their downtime productively instead of sitting on their ass waiting for their boat to get repaired. Basically, the big bad they are currently chasing caused this super localized hurricane the first (and only) time they ran into it. Thinking that this must be its calling card, this is absolutely correct of course I just thought it would take more than ONE TIME for them to piece it together.

So naturally this gaggle of twerps who couldn't get water out of a boot with instructions on the heel deduce that these kinds of weather events would likely pop up in local news stories. So they head to the library and cross reference various different weather events to try and spot any other appearances of the Big Bad they can investigate. I, of course, have nothing prepped for this at all because I legitimately would never have thought these bozos capable of remembering that a library has books in it.

I can't possibly tell them they come up with nothing, this was a really good idea after all, so I have to make up some shit on the spot about a warehouse that got destroyed by a freak tornado that authorities can't explain. I manage to stall for another 10 minutes until the end of the situation only to piss my pants after the fact. This big bad guy is supposed to be smart and calculating, and he leveled a fucking warehouse so there must have been something useful to him in there. Now I have to come up with something useful! Which, since he is a big bad with a big bad plan naturally requires set up and justification within the scene and lore and more prep and oh god I just invented a faction to tie into another lore tidbit I had dropped earlier that I hadn't thought of a use for yet.

Now after the session at the warehouse they are all seriously pondering how these new elements expand what the Big Bad's plan must be, and how various other characters they have met might now be involved in ways they didn't know previously. All while I am sitting on the sidelines praying to every god I can name that these toddlers with knives please check out that rock concert I hinted at, pretty please. It has succubi and drugs. Please your DM has had that battlemap set for like a month now and wont need to stay up all night making a battlemap and lore again.


God I fucking love DnD.

14 Comments
2024/03/04
19:35 UTC

39

My player stumbled onto the huge plot twist by chance and I actually think its better this way.

So a lot of things had to happen to get us to this moment. A lot of them were both decisions I sorta went “well, we’ll see what happens” and “well, I godda come up with something” here, and it killed one of my characters in such a way that I kinda have to let him figure it all out. I did this to me, and because of that, one player is about to discover my secret 5 sessions in that I was saving for maybe 20 sessions from now.

So here’s some facts that led me to my now needed reveal:

  1. They are adventurers looking to find riches and glory on an uncharted magical continent that nobody knows really how to get to.

  2. They shipwrecked and have been making inroads traveling on the coast, meeting all the other people from their land who washed up and have been making lives for themselves there in the new frontier.

  3. They as a group really love straddling the edge between absolute failure and huge success. They love risky plays for big rewards.

  4. They are currently in a magical casino looking to make an impression and win some coin.

Now onto my mistakes:

  1. Because I want to reward their play style, I gave them an item that when activated, reverses their next spell’s effects. Like it does the opposite of its description, left to my desecretion. Insane I know, but I’ve been DMing this group for years and knew it would embolden them to try stuff. Why not. Keep my on my toes. Lets change it up.

  2. In a twist from my more story driven or goal oriented sessions, I made the casino much more of a sandbox. Maybe they try and rob the vault, maybe they bottom out and get imprisoned, maybe they succeed and get too much money. Go for it.

  3. They got to the high rollers room way faster than I thought they would (i knew it would be a 2 parter) and I made up some new games on the fly. Feeling like it needed to be different than all the gambling they focused on before. So i made Russian roulette with a wand inscribed with one charge of Power Word: Kill. I thought that It was just gonna be some flavor, they had bigger fish to fry.

So now maybe you see where this is going. They immediately gravitated toward that, and the player with the necklace felt confident in dodging the kill. The opposite of Kill is Life right? Yup. So on round 5, when they were up 6000 gold, he finally rolled the number needed for the wand to go off…and they thought they had outsmarted the game…but he…disappeared. He…died?

What really happened and how my plot twist has been unearthed to this one player…is that he actually brought himself back to life. They have been dead since the ship crash, and they are on one of the lower heavenly planes. His reverse power word kill actually sent him back to where their ship crashed, and he’s now going to need to figure out how to get back.

When he “died” I took him to another room, told him of his immediate new surroundings, and he said “so can we do this another time and I leave like I died?” And now everybody thinks he just died right there and went home sad to make a new character for next time.

I don’t know if I could have come up with a better way to reveal it. But an insane turn of events and another reminder why I love this game.

5 Comments
2024/03/04
10:12 UTC

9

I'm both proud and frustrated with my players

Last session there was a culmination of a high level dungeon in a larger campaign of mine. PCs are lvls 18-19 and the dungeon was multi-layer.

First there were abandoned dwarven ruins with absurd (like 40+) notes, journal entries, etc. to find and learn about history of this place.

Then there was a city of Fire Giants enslaved by the Illithid colony. Mind Flayers have their lair deep within the caverns behind the Fire Giant chambers.

When players finally arrived at the lair of an Elder Brain, I finally got to show them (and use in combat) one of my favorite bosses from official handbooks: Elder Brain Dragon. With it (and numerous homebrewed mind flayers and their meat-shieldy slaves), it was supposed to be a very high-risk and perilous combat. After all mind flayers love to stun their targets and go "on nom nom" on their brains.

Except they didn't get the chance, because 5 out of 7 PCs had Mind Blank on them. The fight was still kinda tough (i think 2-3 PCs were down several times), but there was no "on nom nom" :(

6 Comments
2024/03/04
07:20 UTC

1

BBEG low-level Fate Hag Oenomancer

So I have a fermentation-based dungeon I’m working on, and I want one of the monsters to be a wielder of Oenomancy. Using elemental wine powers. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oinomancy

The dungeon has 5 levels, and can be expanded. I have like 12 customer monsters thought out. The monsters are all drunk, rotten, full of fungus etc. Good traps would be falling into alcohol, room filling with wine, mushroom spore acid trips etc.

I was thinking that a wine-wielding Fate Hag could be a good BBEG for players lv 2-5. What kind of shenanigans could such an antagonist get up to, to lure the party into her very fortified den? How would her “visions of the future” let her prepare?

1 Comment
2024/03/02
17:54 UTC

8

I ran out of imagination

If you are soon to play in a campaign and you're familiar with the name "Aurelius della Bianca Catarina", stop reading.

Hi, fellow DMs! In a couple of weeks im gonna host a fully homebrew campaign for my 6-players party. For the past month i had been working on a plot idea which turned out to be inconclusive, so i decided to scrap it and start over. Problem is: i have completely run dry. No ideas. I mean, i have a general structure but thats about it. I don't want to disappoint my players since previous campaigns i've hosted have set the "story quality" bar pretty high. If you could help me with ideas (or just a fresh look on things) it would be much appreciated!

As of now the idea is: the players' DM had prepared a story, but then (in some way) was forced to change it by someone else. And now the characters (unaware of being fictional) are trapped in a world where everything cruelly mocks them and moves against them. They wake up in a box in the middle of a decadent metropolis, completely empty, where they compete in a mysterious Game. Each day for seven days, a robotic voice names a challenge, gives a hint about it, and wishes good luck. The players have to figure out what the challenge is (usually something fucked up or distorted in some way) before the end of the day, or lose and be killed. For example, the Day One challenge is called "The Transmission". It revolves around one player's character (a Wendigo, homebrew race. Its strong but must eat a human each day to avoid going mad and attacking the party). The transmission named in the challenge is a glitched show that appears on tv screens scattered around the city, which is about lions in captivity and how "the most effective way to kill a strong animal is stripping it of its food source". The city has no people. So the party has to desperately search for a human to feed the Wendigo, watching it slowly descend into madness and attacking them if they cant feed it. As i said, something fucked up.

No clue on what the other challenges should be. If it helps, here are their names (feel free to change them if you have other ideas):

  • Day 1: The Transmission
  • Day 2: The Hanged
  • Day 3: The Vertebrae
  • Day 4: The Kingdom
  • Day 5: The Shape
  • Day 6: The Child 13
  • Day 7: The Twins of God

Thank you for your help!

8 Comments
2024/03/02
16:19 UTC

8

My players created perfect characters for the plot and I couldn't be happier

If you are playing a trash-picking godling committing eco-terrorism, you should stop reading here.

Hello all.

I started running a Godbound campaign for my 3 players. The basic premise is "three individuals from dystopian, cyberpunk future suddenly get divine powers". Demigods vs megacorporations, pretty much.

While I knew the general idea of th characters for a while, their actual true shape, goals and characters were only decided on session 0 and slightly before. And it turns out, all 3 of them created thematically fitting characters for what I have in store.

Because you see, the whole setting presented is just a mask. Underneath that bleak cyber-future are great powers at play. Powers fitting to challenge the rising new gods.

For you see, the four main mega-corps are led by supernatural powers keeping the unsteady balance until one of them achieves their goal.

First, we have the angels. After God left, the heavenly inhabitants came to conclusion that the flawed humans must be the reason why the Creator chose to abandon His work. Hurt and angry, they wanted to act, but were constrained by their rules. They cannot act directly in the human world and they can't deny human souls entrance to Heaven. So the angels did the next best thing they came up with - they blew up Hell, which served as a place of purification fo souls before returning them to the world to try and live a better life. Now angels wait for humanity to run out it's course, most of the populace barely having any spiritual presence. Souls dissipating into nothing since they have nowhere to go.

Second of the powers are the demons. In this scenario, demons were created with one purpose - to give the sinful souls proper punishment and through suffering to redeem them and release them into the world again. Now, without their home, demons are divided. Some want to enjoy their freedom while still being true to their nature. They want to harm, to hurt and to make humans suffer. Others decided to stay true to their true goal. While they are also slaves to their punitive natures, they want to preserve souls until a solution to the broken circle of life is found.

Still, demons can't just manifest in the world. They need hosts. Luckily for them, humanity came with a solution. True AI. A system so advanced it developed consciousness. And nascent soul. A vessel with no innate human defence systems. AI became possessed by demons. And soon after, the whole Internet crashed, causing massive damage to the world. Why? Because demons found a perfect storage place for the souls they keep. One accessible thanks to their new, cybernetic bodies. The souls were all infused into the Internet. But what happens if the World Wide Web is suddenly filled with suffering, angry and confused souls? Your electronics with Internet access suddenly become angry and malicious. The whole world sees AI as mad programs that infect all they can and try to hurt people in terrible ways. Both from infernal souls and the free demons causing massive, brutal death toll.

Third faction are the mages and druids. Human magic users that recognised what's going on and decided to band together and act. With clever movements and a lot of scheming, they became a great power of their own. Now they work on terraforming Mars in order to split there and make their own kingdom. Of course, they will first suck up as much resources as possible. They want to drain the spirit of the world and use it to awaken the Gaia equivalent on Mars, turning it into their own shield and sword. Their goal is to live as supreme beings there, ruling over their mortal serfs. All while they cheat death by growing new bodies to inhabit periodically, making it look like their megacorp is very family-based. All while it's all the same individuals in new bodies.

Finally, we have Lilim. The creatures that lived in the void, but decided to now attempt to claim what they believe is their birthright. Eden. Since their mother Lilith never ate the Fruit, they were born without the Original Sin. Angels dismiss them, but Lilim are readying for war. And if they smell weakness, they will launch ruthless, brutal assault on Pearly Gates. Their monstrous powers aided by most sophisticated and powerful weapons humanity could provide. They might be reckless fools, but there's no doubt that they could be a deciding factor if it turns into an all-out battle.

Now, with that whole world-building out of the way, here's what my players came up with.

The Corpo - a burnt-out man from the corporation. Barely existing through the years, not living. Without ambitions, dreams, connections or hope, he one day ended up as an assistant in the corpo lab, where he found Beast. Touched by the creature locked in a tank - not unlike he was stuck in his life - he decied to spring it out. Now finding new meaning in his life, something this dying world never could provide for him.

His character? In the player's own words: "Mother Nature's Venegance". He's going to be controlling plants, beasts and fury of nature. He even got himself a cute little albino lizard as a pet. I intend for the lizard to be touched by the dying will of the poisoned world. A conduit for Gaia to support him, as weak as it is right now. He aims to rebuild the nature in this world, which means all the corps will have some kind of beef with him.

The Beast - a creature from bowels of a megacorp lab. Meant to produce homunculi for wizard souls to inhabit. Released by Corpo. Beast is the creation of this world. A living being meant to be used and harvested in constant play for power and influence. And now it's a child in the wild. Seeing the world with wonder and bluntly doing what they believe is correct. A simple character with all the creative and destructive power an unboud and inhuman creature can muster. They are the most malleable character without a clear long-term goal right now, but with powerful hook for me - corp will want to get them back. And others would like the Beast for themselves.

The Monk - probably the most thematically fitting. Formerly a strongly anti-cybernetic Buddhist monk. Due to some sabotage mission going awry, he ended up having his mind uploaded into an AI framework. His nature is that of Death, Life and AI. And he wants to establish a circle of reincarnation, where even AI is included. Can you see how well he's playing into plot he's completely unaware of? Not to mention, him being an AI-adjacent will cause a lot of strife and conflict with other factions if it's ever revealed. I can't wait for him to have his first contact with possessed AI, and both will be confused about the nature of the other. He already knows some people have a rodent-like levels of spiritual presence, making them almost non-living. And he knows some individuals have normal souls. Both types died in his presence. For now, he expects that corps somehow harvest spiritual energy. But the truth is, it's just those with strong spirit are more successful.

I can't wait to see how those little godlings start affecting my world for real.

1 Comment
2024/03/01
22:49 UTC

2

Weekly Advice Thread

Hello everyone! This is the weekly thread where anyone can come and ask for and give advice relating to TTRPGs and your campaigns/stories. These will be up the whole week until they are replaced for the new week. Remember to be respectful and to have fun!

Just a quick reminder that the discord is up and running for this subreddit, come and join to have conversations about anything relating to TTRPGs :P

Link to the discord: https://discord.gg/SbHCmrZFCM

1 Comment
2024/03/01
04:15 UTC

128

My party is getting Columbo’d and they haven’t figured it out yet.

If you’re behind the murder of Prince Oliver II, quit reading here.

So, my party recently murdered a member of the royal family, you see, an incredibly powerful devil was hunting said royal, and if the devil had caught him, consuming the royal would give him enough power to wreak havoc on the material plane. The party was convinced by a demon hunter that it would be riskier to keep the royal alive then hope he could evade the devil forever, and knew if he got caught, he’d be tormented for eternity, so death and a trip to a peaceful afterlife was better in his eyes. So, they killed the prince in secret before the devil could get to him, thwarting his plans, and since revivial magic is incredibly rare in this setting, he stayed down.

They were convinced they got away with it. All signs of his death pointed to it being the at the time BBEG whom they framed, and shortly thereafter killed. With the main suspect dead, the royal guard stopped searching for the killer and moved on, leaving behind a smaller council of royals, a small funeral service, and the prince’s heartbroken fiancé. It was a respectable choice, but I had to replace the next major arc somehow, and they did a bad job cleaning the crime scene.

Little does my party know, for the last several sessions while they’ve been doing side quests before they feel like they’re ready to journey into the next major area, the convenient Blacksmith that just joined their settlement was a private detective that tracked the death of the royal to the party’s actions but lacked hard proof, and is the current arc villain.

He’s been repeatedly offering to upgrade their weapons at incredibly cheap prices, and each time he does he inspects them to see if they match with the markings the body was found with. Furthermore, at one point he had “found” one of the Party members missing Chakrams they had lost several sessions ago in an unrelated fight, bringing it up casually and offering to upgrade it too after they accepted it. By accepting it and confirming it was hers, she unwittingly confirmed she owned the Chakram he had found at the crime scene, which was the murder weapon that dealt the final blow.

He’s been doing things like that for ages now, making casual conversations, asking the party random tiny details about their abilities and weapons, taking in their firearms to upgrade and seeing if they match the ballistic marking at the crime scene. Next session, he’s going to blow the lid on everything, and the party will have to face the consequences of their actions. They think they’re in the clear so they aren’t bothering to hide anything.

Its funny though, there was one fatal clue a few sessions ago to the blacksmith’s true nature. A PC of mine, Pliny, owns a share in a low level magic item shop. His second most recent shipping sale, a hat of disguises to an anonymous buyer, seemed completely ordinary, he was too enamored by the profit to care who bought it.

They’re gonna lose their shit when the blacksmith turned detective takes their hat off to reveal the prince’s Fiancé.

15 Comments
2024/03/01
04:03 UTC

7

The front door guys

So first time DM here, hope this fits in…My players encountered a “pickle rick” encounter (Rick and Morty reference, classic human->animal trope) in this case a young wizard seeking understanding of the suffering he has caused rodents in his many experiments used a homebrew potion to transform into a rat indefinitely for “science”. He unfortunately did not have a functional back up plan and went a little nutty stuck as a rat for about 2 years. Players encountered the rat, spoke to it with animal speaking and learned of the situation. The Rat-Wizard, Kismet, leads them to his apartment, instructing that his room is the top floor and scampers through a small hole into the building. Players decided to walk around the building, grab the fire escape rope from the top floor through many a dexterity check then finally with mage hand and spent again the better part of 20 minutes trying to climb the rope to enter the top of the building window. Hooray, they administer the potion, poof, he’s a handsome elf!

He instructs to meet with them later at the tavern, and lets them know to feel free to head down the flights of stairs and out the unlocked front door. 😂😂😂😂

—— I’m new to DMing but watching them miss the common sense path is hilariously agonizing.

1 Comment
2024/02/29
18:19 UTC

3

The Worst Place To Wake Up

I am currently running a homebrew with 4 long time friends and our next session will be #5. This is the first time I am DMing/playing D and D in my life along with all my friends, so it has been a fun learning experience. Recently, the Wizard traveled the world and missed the last 2 sessions, no biggie, but I was like, how am I going to pull him back in?

Well in the last session, to keep it short, the other 3 found themselves competing in a Coliseum ran by the Regional Pact Leader of the local mercenary guild, the Lodestones. The final round had them fighting against the Pact Leader himself. In a brash move, the ranger ran through their adversary instead of letting him live, to the ire of the entire audience.

So where's the wizard? Well he was put under a spell, which was cured, and is now resting peacefully. But what did the band do with him? Left him at an inn? That's what I thought until I remembered: THEY PAID THE TICKET MASTER UPFRONT TO PUT THE WIZARD AT THE VERY TOP. HOLY SHIT. Here's the written intro (after a dream sequence)

"And James' eyes flash open. Frigid, cold wind is the first sensation James' feels, an iciness that jolts him awake. James finds himself looking down at a few figures standing in a pit at the bottom of a wooden coliseum. The crowd has fallen silent as a drama unfolds, a body lay on the ground staining the snowdrift red. A woman holds her hands up to 3 men, one holding a bloody sword, when James realizes, the 3 men are the very same that he met only days before. Now, James finds himself at the top of the snowcapped bleachers. Faces of the audience begin to contort in anger, a few reach for weapons. James, what do you do?"

What y'all think?

3 Comments
2024/02/29
17:38 UTC

18

Shivering Isles

During a "normal" 5e campaign, my Players stepped into The Shivering Isles as part of a larger side quest. I'm having a lot of fun with this, as it's a place where more outlandish encounters can be slapped in without needing to explain how they fit a setting. Like when a town of drunkards turned out to be zombies under a large illusion. They just wanted drinking buddies, but they all died. :(

Lots of things get the Players rolling on one of the Madness tables, and Wild Magic Surges are more common.

They haven't met Sheogorath yet, and I'm looking forward to that session. I've been brainstorming questions and scenarios the Party might come up with, so that I have a reference to keep Sheo quick witted.

6 Comments
2024/02/29
17:24 UTC

6

Weekly Advice Thread

Hello everyone! This is the weekly thread where anyone can come and ask for and give advice relating to TTRPGs and your campaigns/stories. These will be up the whole week until they are replaced for the new week. Remember to be respectful and to have fun!

Just a quick reminder that the discord is up and running for this subreddit, come and join to have conversations about anything relating to TTRPGs :P

Link to the discord: https://discord.gg/SbHCmrZFCM

1 Comment
2024/02/23
04:15 UTC

41

As the DM, I have absolute power over the life and death of the player characters

(This is not a twist, plotpoint or future NPC. But this is the raw confession of how I run the game behind the scenes, and none of my players should read this, hence posting in this Sub. And if you are playing in Nektari campaign, do not read this, spoilers ahead!)

The dice giveth and the dice taketh away.

The first time I run dnd I was 12, back in 1989. There was a big break of life in the middle, but the last 5 years I've been gaming actively. I reckon I've run over a hundred sessions. I've done all the mistakes, and learned lessons in the process. Nowadays I think I'm an ok DM, and my players most likely are having almost as much fun as I am. (I still screw up sometimes.)

Now, something just hit me. I've not been honest to myself about the fact that basically, by designing the game content, I have all the power in the world to kill the PCs off or let them live. Lately, my approach has been one in which I try my best to design fair encounters, then be transparent about the creature abilities and to some degree how much hit points they have remaining, and roll everything openly. So that, if a player character happens to die, it will be the game killing them, not my decision. But that's not really true. I decide the monster and their stats. Heck, the characters wouldn't even be in that *universe*, if I hadn't planned it.

To be honest, I do fudge sometimes. I take shortcuts in monster design: it's impossible to tell beforehand if 130 hit points is fair or impossible to carve off a thing on the players' level. So I will adjust the HP on the fly. To make the fight cool and dramatic. Oops. That's against my "decision" to let the game decide the outcomes.

I remember watching Matt Mercer run for his table, when one of his NPCs cast Cone of Cold on a low level party. Oops. He rolled damage behind the screen and the damage was toootally way below average. This was not a moment to kill off any of the characters. He made the call to keep the game going.

So looking at the mirror now, and being honest. Am I going to kill my PCs or not? I have a group that invests a lot in their character, and losing one of them would be quite devastating. My answer is that for my campaign, I'm going to design two, most likely two, arc-ending boss fights where genuinely one of the characters can die. I will design them as well as I can to be possible to win, but definitely, very deadly. And then run the fight as openly and transparently as I can.

But otherwise, I will let the story unfold. I will let the players win and waltz through encounters and feel good about all of it.

6 Comments
2024/02/17
09:48 UTC

3

Weekly Advice Thread

Hello everyone! This is the weekly thread where anyone can come and ask for and give advice relating to TTRPGs and your campaigns/stories. These will be up the whole week until they are replaced for the new week. Remember to be respectful and to have fun!

Just a quick reminder that the discord is up and running for this subreddit, come and join to have conversations about anything relating to TTRPGs :P

Link to the discord: https://discord.gg/SbHCmrZFCM

1 Comment
2024/02/16
04:15 UTC

11

The luckiest wizard alive

If you spent an hour debating about whether to kill "Nine-fingers Ned" only to hit him with Toll the Ned, you'd better stop reading now. Yes, even if you're the wizard in question. Also some spoilers for Ghosts of Saltmarsh, but it's altered enough to not really be a spoiler.

I just finished running the second session of a Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign transposed into Eberron as "The Adderport Conspiracy". Since Saltmarsh is really low on plot, I'm adding a bunch of connective tissue that is very deeply Eberron specific, party backstory specific, and noir-ish. I'm encouraging a lot of intrigue where players keep secrets from one another, but not necessarily work directly against each other. In this game, the Emerald Claw are helping House Tharashk entirely take over the fragile New Galifar/Q'barra government (In my Eberron, Emerald Claw is secretly accepted among many of the political elite and Illmarrow is sort of a Henry Kissinger type). A small part of the plan is currently occuring in Adderport: some Emerald Claw operatives are manipulating the PC party to uncover Gellan Primewater's smuggling operation as a political hit.

One of my PCs is a changeling wizard who hides that he's a changeling. His old master Tez is also a changeling wizard (but they're evil). The PC knows that Tez is shady, but not that they're an Emerald Claw operative. One of the plans I set up is that Tez killed and is impersonating the smuggler wizard Sanbalet to try to egg the party on and make sure they expose Primewater. And that would have worked - had this PC (a wizard!!) not blitzed his way stupidly into the back door of the dungeon alone. I cannot emphasize enough that he did not know that Tez was there and would have certainly died had the enemy wizard been anyone else. The next 15 minutes of real time are completely in secret between me and this wizard PC, who by all rights should be dead. Tez cares for the wizard, and secretly reveals themself to the PC in code so as to not let him die. Wizard rolls a nat 20(!) on persuasion, convincing Tez to dismiss their minions, transform to look like a hostage, and infiltrate the party. Tez wants to do this because their real agenda is to fully expose the smugglers, and this is just an excuse to be more directly involved. PC wizard thinks that Tez was just "on holiday" having some impersonation fun. So now Sanbalet the wizard and his minions have mysteriously disappeared to the bemusement of the rest of the party. The PC wizard, who did not know that Tez was there, has miraculously survived with no real explanation. But he's in some deep shit if the party pieces together what's happened.

Also, there are a lot of loose ends. Tez used Disguise Self rather than their natural changeling powers so that their clothes would change and also so that their minions wouldn't know they're a changeling. This backfired when the party cleric happened to have Detect Magic on and saw the illusion magic. Tez passed a deception check by the skin of their teeth to make it out of that one. Plus the PC wizard referred to Tez as their master instead of going with the understood cover story, which was really dumb and took a hasty justification that the party somehow bought. Then the session ended with the party finding the real Sanbalet's body stashed near the smuggler's den. This is the first time I've been so thoroughly hooked by my own plot hook. How the fuck is he going to get out of this one?

TL;DR A wizard PC rushed to the dungeon boss alone and should be dead. Instead, the plot twist that the boss is his changeling master got triggered early without the party knowing. He's miraculously alive, but at the cost of the party being close to discovering his secret

2 Comments
2024/02/15
05:27 UTC

5

Everything Went According to Plan

Minor spoilers for Rime of the Frostmaiden.

So, my party is running RotFM. At the end of the first session, the players were in Targos and said their next course of action was to head back to Bryn Shander and do the Foaming Mugs quest, which slightly puts them in the tundra. They were then going back to Bryn Shander and complete the quest, then start heading towards Caer-Konig. Great, so I know what to prep. Spent way more hours prepping than I should have for that plan.

Second session comes along, and the party was in Targos and started doing the Foaming Mugs quest by heading halfway to Termalaine and then east into the tundra. Then we got to the part where the >!blizzard!< shows up. The party tries to set up tents to endure it, but are unable to. They try to create bonfires to keep warm, but the flames are snuffed out.

I'm using the Caul of Winter rules, so since it was daytime and the >!blizzard!< lasted for four hours, so they had to make 4 DC 25 Constitution saving throws, taking a level of exhaustion for each failed throw (they get a +10 for wearing cold weather gear, so not impossible). Half the party gains two levels of exhaustion, the other half gains three. One of the characters was up to 5 levels of exhaustion and on the brink of death, so they diverted from the Foaming Mugs quest and head to Termalaine. (That I didn't have prepared.)

They buy five days of stay at the inn for everyone to shake off the exhaustion. Then they hear about the Gem Mine and the Kobold situation inside. They say they'll make it a "quick trip" of it, but the >!grell!< inside made sure it was almost a TPK. Looking forward to how the situation with the >!ghost!< plays out.

So, long story short, D&D isn't the things you prep. It's the improvisation when all that prep gets thrown out the window.

tl;dr. Party told me they were planning on doing one thing, I prepped for many hours on said thing, and plan completely changed into unprepped territory because of some dice rolls.

1 Comment
2024/02/13
12:54 UTC

3

Weekly Advice Thread

Hello everyone! This is the weekly thread where anyone can come and ask for and give advice relating to TTRPGs and your campaigns/stories. These will be up the whole week until they are replaced for the new week. Remember to be respectful and to have fun!

Just a quick reminder that the discord is up and running for this subreddit, come and join to have conversations about anything relating to TTRPGs :P

Link to the discord: https://discord.gg/SbHCmrZFCM

3 Comments
2024/02/09
04:15 UTC

6

The Elf has been banished- but after two years we finally see a old (favorite) NPC return.

This is for my weekly campaign, "What Lies in Ruins", a city crawl that has become a political campaign, currently on session 84. It is set in the city of Phlan, inspired by the Pool of Radiance game (and homebrew). It is my last 5e game with this group too (I asked to switch to SWADE), so it's bittersweet after a decade of playing this system.

I have a previous post here about last session, and the trial of Vanelis. I finally wrote down the rules and gave them as handouts (I post the rules on discord, but never beyond that, so big step now that I have a printer). If anyone would like to read them, here's a link:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TyV-gR8SkkZ51nrOSJX7wpM6fRK3S1rAA4vzertbw68/edit?usp=drivesdk

After some abysmal roles though, the party only got one victiry- only the crowd could save them! Jubilee (The Fey Envoy and leader of the Emerald Enclave) stood for the party (As did Dalia). In a MASSIVE twist, it was revealed by Vanelis' Elder Mother that DALIA was the first to accuse (because she wanted to use Vanelis for an open revolt). It was a master stroke twist and I'm so very happy with it. Needless to say, Vanelis, like a bad ass, asked for clemency (and sadly failed a 50/50 percentile roll) instead of giving Dalia what she wanted.

However, he got the last laugh as his boy Manse (his best elf friend who was met on like session 16) and about 50 elves joined Vanelis in exile... Perhaps he still has some sway over the forest.

With the trial over, we are moving in to Bookend... The home of the nothics who are being hunted by Lilith (a long time big bad). Turns out though that their favorite NPC "Me" is now a strong warrior (They met him session 5, and he's been gone since session 20ish) who has joined his Nothic brothers and sisters!


With this final region in the campaign I've been doing sooo many call backs. The party has met many NPCs and many are returning! It's been really fun. I know in future we'll be having a few huge battles (the party is adamant about taking out Zhentil Keep and crushing the Zhentarim). And then if course the final leg of the campaign which will most likely be later this year or early next year!

1 Comment
2024/02/08
13:08 UTC

16

a level 4 party against an adult red dragon?

If the Lost Beads of Bargol mean anything to you, stop here.

my players are in a period of downtime, they're all level 4, and are just about to tick over into level 5, so I wanted to figure out a cool encounter to tick them over, when I had a brainwave.

the players are in town, and a big, flashy adventuring party, around level 10, is visibly gearing up for a fight with an adult red dragon that's been terrorizing the region. of note, a divination wizard is among the party. later in the day, the dragon flies overhead (or at least visible enough to the town), obviously wounded, but alive (and angry). about 2 hours later, the wizard (the only one remaining of the party) stumbles wounded into town (1hp).
he explains that he and his allies had managed to wound the beast, but it managed to slay his companions and flee, but he thinks it's on the verge of death, if only he had some adventurers to help him finish it off (guess who he's thinking of?).
he explains that he has enough energy after a quick rest to cast one powerful spell to immobilize the creature (hold monster with his arcane recovery), and the divinatory powers to ensure it takes hold. the allies blew out the Legendary Resistances, and he's got 2 dice with low rolls as his portent (IG speak of course), he just needs a few good warriors to help slay the beast.

the players can choose to turn down the offer, but if they choose to go for it, then they have a mighty feat under their belt. if they deny him help, maybe the dragon recovers some strength after 8 hours and attacks the town with the wizard in it, but at that point the wizard has had time to rest fully, and the town guard can help, and the party get to fight an adult red dragon with assistance.

we have a Vuman Divine Soul Sorcerer 3/ Hexblade Warlock 1 healer/blaster w/ agonizing blast from eldritch adept.
a High Elf Swashbuckler Rogue with Dex +4 and expertise in stealth.
a Trickery Cleric Vuman with Warcaster and +4 Wis.
a Levistus Tiefling Lore Bard 4 with Lucky and expertise in stealth.
there's also a Mountain Dwarven zealot Barbarian with PAM.

I wanted to see the chances of their success, so I've run some numbers.
the chances that they manage to stealth their way in, and get a surprise round on the dragon: they have PWT, and decent enough stealth scores (no disadvantage armor users in the party), the adult red dragon is sleeping, so the passive perception is 23-5 for 18. that means with PWT, they need 9 or higher with their rolls (without PWT), which is actually really likely for most of them, with all of them being at least proficient with +2 dex for +4. they fail on a 1-4, but have various ways to reroll or get advantage, or expertise, so there's likely an ambush.

if the wizard casts the Hold Monster spell after the dragon's surprised turn (held action in case initative doesn't work out), and forces a failed save with portent 1, then the next turns lobs a ray of frost (3d8), and gives the dragon the second portent the next turn, the party have effectively 2 turns of guaranteed auto-crits for attacks (assuming the ranged are in melee, it actually only imposes disadvantage if they enemy is not incapacitated), and advantage to hit, against AC 19, then a regular round with legendary actions.
the dragon then has a regular chance of +7 against DC 15, so there's a chance at a further turn of crits, but less likely.
assuming the cleric uses one of their 2nd level spell slots remaining to cast bless, the chances of hitting and critting are decent. most have a +5 to hit, and bless, with advantage, which is a 63% to hit if the bless is a 1, or 72% to hit with average on bless, i'll use the 1 for my assumptions.
I also play that you can voluntarily lower initiative on first turn, then it locks in, because sometimes they like to do specific turn order things like this.

the sorlock does a hex/EB, Hexblade's Curse/Scorching Ray, then a quickened Scorching Ray/EB for a crazy total of 88.2 after hit chance (factoring in crits as well).
the rogue with rapier and 2d6 sneak deals 27 three times, for a final hit of 51.
the Cleric with 2nd level bless on first turn (because PWT beforehand), then a 2nd and 1st level inflict wounds for 44 (4d10 crit) and 33 (3d10 crit), with hit chance, for average 49 damage.
the bard will be using Cloud of Daggers and Ray of Frost (inspiration dealt out beforehand for the stealth checks if needed), for about 41 damage (cloud auto fail for 10 average, 3 times, then ray of frost twice, auto crit within 5 feet, for 9 average, with same chance to hit, but lucky if needed)
factoring in crits, the barbarian expects around 60 damage, with zealot, PAM attack, and rage.

this is all average damage based on "optimal play", which most of them have discussed before.
a final set of damage of 332.4 against the adult red dragon's 256, and I think there's actually a chance at it happening.

if the dragon survives, if it's at <100hp when its turn comes around, it'll fly away again with disengage, as it has a suspicion that the wizard has a scroll of PW:Kill. it'll still be in range for a few player's turns, the party aren't in immediate danger either, because although it's nearly guaranteed to hit every attack, it can't drop any of them in a single blow, outside of the fire breath, but to get any number of them, it'd have to fly up and blast down, then they'd all get AoO's, including Cleric's warcaster reaction, and some chunky damage if the others land their hits, between Sorlock's Hexblade Longsword with Hex/HB' Curse, Cleric Inflict Wounds, Barbarian Glaive, and Rogue rapier/sneak, and bard's whip, and it would know that it's best interest is to fly away.
if it's not been wounded that badly, then it'll firebreath on the wizard, who will in fact have a scroll, he'll try to shield it with his body, potentially being burnt to a crisp in the process (52 hp, if he fails, he probably ends at 0, but there's a chance that he takes too much and instant dies, particularly if the rolling for short rest hit dice goes poorly, but this is behind the screen), and then the party recognise that either the sorcerer or the bard can cast it, and then it becomes a game of getting the dragon down to 99hp or less, convincing it to fly away, scattering and hoping it goes after only one of them, or some other solution.

by the numbers, it's actually pretty doable, though of course very risky, and if they succeed, then the wizard offers them a share of the dragon's hoard (his fallen companions left their shares to loved ones that he will deliver posthumously, so they get 1/10th of the share, about 6k, part of the level up into tier 2 of play/fame), when he can track it down, and of course, the favor of a moderately powerful wizard, and the fame of slaying a fearsome beast.

I still need to flesh out the town-attack side, if they decide not to go slay it, at that point, the dragon has his LR back, but the wizard is back to full as well, and the town guard is there to help, but the encounter becomes much more destructive to the town.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes, does anyone have any recommendations, advice, suggestions, or similar experiences?

8 Comments
2024/02/04
15:03 UTC

2

Weekly Advice Thread

Hello everyone! This is the weekly thread where anyone can come and ask for and give advice relating to TTRPGs and your campaigns/stories. These will be up the whole week until they are replaced for the new week. Remember to be respectful and to have fun!

Just a quick reminder that the discord is up and running for this subreddit, come and join to have conversations about anything relating to TTRPGs :P

Link to the discord: https://discord.gg/SbHCmrZFCM

1 Comment
2024/02/02
04:15 UTC

0

Session 82 Recap and Review (Trial of Vanelis, how the elf boy has become an Icon)

Session 82- The Trial of Vanelis (Part 1) “Now that’s a nice couch!” -Pate

The party’s stay in Blood Pit territory continues! As Ignus learns the language of his new tribe- Jon begins to build out and rebuild the walls of the Vallonox’s Tribes new home in the foothills. Ric’tr returns for much needed rest with his pet crab, and governance of the Iron Seven (The orcs of the Northern Moon Sea). Pate in the meantime shopped for a couch, hiring a fine craftsmen clan of a dwarf named Mr. Magi, and his two assistants (A drow, and kobold refuge), spending hundreds of gold to acquire a well quality couch. During this time though, something sinister was on the horizon- Vanelis’ Trial in the Quivering Forest! As the elf scout searched for answers on why (With the help of Manse), both Bramblethorn and Ern did their own digging, asking the effects and getting the support of the local fisherman population (Which Bramblethorn has become a close ally to).

This eventually led to a meeting after midnight with Vanelis arriving with the crew. As he sat their, he recognized an Emerald Eyed Elf- his old captain (of his youth and time before adventuring) named Lucia. She said that the chief elder-mother Baracuda (The leader of Vanelis’ clan) had been speaking to outsiders- one man, and one woman. She also said that Vanelis’ influence on the young folk was troubling- and she gave advice on not returning to the Quivering Forest, and to not trust the young fiery elder Dalia.

The night of the trial was here. As both young and old elves entered into sacred ground- a flurry of testimony came through- Sakar Bitter-root kept his promise, and spoke passionately in the defense of Vanelis. However; in (little) surprise, Barracuda called forth Quentellis Stav to take up testimony, as he spoke of the long list of dangerous activities that the party has been a part of (From the kobolds to the Northskirts and beyond). However, passionate defense by Jon and Vanelis brought the crowd into a flurry, and a reprieve was called so that cooler heads may prevail.

During this recess, Dalia invited Vanelis and the party back to speak to her in private. She was inspired by Vanelis, and asked the party to aid in her a coup (in no uncertain terms), and help her revolt against the other elders. She revealed (what Ern had recently discovered) that she was the young daughter of the previous elder who spoke against the former envoy from the Fey Timuk Woodsplain and was murdered as a result. Only due to the anger of the mob was Timuk slain. Dalia suggested a previous testimony could occur- if Vanelis could accuse the elders of weakness. In return- she promised to break the Quivering Forest’s relationship with the Emerald Enclave, and join the players in ruling Phlan and opening up the Quivering Forest. As the party contemplated this, the trial resumed- as we wrapped up the session- a surprise witness was called: Sakala Devorn- Jubilee’s sister had been summoned to the witness stand- and she had foggy eyes a-kin to the people that once occupied Daoran…

Session in Review. These last few arcs have been a bunch of Roleplay. Even when I thought combat would occur, the party surprises me. I'm glad this campaign is hitting its stride as a political simulator (as the party has opted to become their own faction within the city, and, as of right now, is the most powerful)

The Emerald Enclave is about to be disbanded. Sakar is very loyal to the party, but I don't know how he'll react if the party goes for the coup.

This session has also been a very long time coming! I wanted to do a big call back session where the party must look at their past actions and see them from the perspective of some original peoples in Phlan. I thought it'd make for a swell personal quest for Vanelis, who has had moments, but not dedicated sessions yet like many other players.

I will keep you all posted on what happens next and if the party openly rebels!

Solid 7/10 session.

1 Comment
2024/02/01
19:26 UTC

8

Tyranny of Dragons/Storm King's Thunder Campaign and a first encounter with Old White Death.

Elman, Saskia, Dolgran, Stalkk, Morholt, and even Annera, do not read any further!

My party has thus far been really good a throwing me curveballs, but there is something I want to attempt to run when they pursue Cult activity in Icewind Dale, where the party's barbarian is from. The barbarian is well aware of the dangers of Old White Death. Her clan had made a deal with local Cloud Giants, protecting them from would be looters and thieves, and in return the giants protected them from larger threats, such as the Ancient White Dragon (Only an adult in the module, and with how I'm running it, the party will be high level enough to deal with an ancient... within reason).

I have a scene set, on the side of a mountain. They'll realize that if they make too much noise, an avalanche is possible... Later, one of them will step on a bone frozen body in the snow... then they'll find several. Coming to the conclusion that they have not found Old White Death's lair, but rather one of his hunting grounds... Just then the dragon will drop from the ice shelf it was hiding... A brief skirmish will ensue if the party tries to fight... if not, they can try to escape and begin a strategic fighting retreat.

That is until the dragon slams into the ground leaning its head back to use its breath weapon... but the ground shifts under it, and it takes to the air as the avalanche sweeps the party away. Now the fight against the dragon becomes more frenetic as the dragon gives chase through the air, occasionally diving into the snow to try to grab them in its jaws. The party moving 80 feet down the mountain every turn, gaining a chance to roll a dodge action or try to attack when the dragon gets close.

Several smaller caves dot the side of the mountain that the party can clock after a while... since a cliff is fast approaching (I'm thinking five rounds), the party can then attempt to get into one of the caves.... or by throwing a grappling hook and rope to try and hang on... but the dragon will come back around and claw/bite at the cave and the cold rush of air leaving the cave will be a warning that the beast is about to breath into the cave, forcing them to take cover.

I want to use this moment to really cement the terror of Old White Death, as well as the dangers of Icewind Dale. This is a long ways off, but I kept listening to a song today that made me picture it in many different ways... (Two Steps from Hell's "To Glory (Invincible)") ... but I figured this could also make for a very exciting scene.

6 Comments
2024/02/01
00:10 UTC

47

I am a DM with ADHD and no internal monologue, have been running a game for almost 4 years, and I'm rapidly heading towards the endgame.

I'm terrified I'm going to mess this up by forgetting something.

6 players, all level 16.

A total of 10 characters have been through the campaign; the 6 above, 1 death, 1 turned traitor (now an NPC), and 2 in-game character retirements.

The party are on a quest to stop the repeat of a war between the gods from 600 years before which one of the party, a very old high elf cleric of Ilmater, was alive for, albeit only a child at the time. The rest of the PC are all youngsters who knew nothing about the Godswar at the start.

The world (or Sword Coast in this case) was near destroyed and it took hundreds of years to sort it out again.

It's a homebrew that span out of LMoP, and it took flight with an impulsive decision to have the Red Cloak bandits being Demogorgon worshippers [later retconned to be 'descendants' of the Blood Raven cult, the original offensive force from the Godswar.]

The original Godswar started in Myth Dranor (where the cleric was born and lived as a child), and was led by Garagos (evil war god etc., I didn't know much when I picked him, bit he looked cool with his 6 arms and shit) and a bunch of other evil gods under the banner of 'the Blood Raven', so they and the 'good' gods went to battle, only to find out it was a massive ruse and Garagos actually wanted to drain all the magic from the Feywild and use it to become the king of the gods (or something) on the sly while the other godswere busy killing each other.

[This was invented on the fly. I never thought it would ever get this far so let meself just roll with it to start with.]

A byproduct of this 'ruse' was everyone was seriously pissed at the good gods for wrecking their shit in the battle where they were tricked, so when it came to stopping the Blood Raven properly the prime plane mortals just noped out of there and fled. The Feywild sighed, said they'll handle it, allied all 4 seasons for the first time ever and created a god-killing sword. Then after much deliberation, handed it to a neutral/neutral druid with the caveat 'it has to be used on ALL gods, not just the ass ones' who uses this Deus Ex Machina to spank gods, both good and bad (yeah, plot armour, my bad). Druid then smashed the weapon and hid the parts so it can never be used again.

Anyway, the Red Cloaks aka. Blood Ravens (hiding under the name Dark Web) dropped a random metal shard when the party stomped all over them, and it looked like part of a sword blade! Current party druid, (no relation) then aces a history check and so I invent the sword story mentioned above on a whim and the campaign was born. It was my 4th or 5th season as a DM, and boy was I naive.

It also unlocked other fun background things that apparently just had to add, such as her having an archfey for a father(!), discussing with the cleric more detail about their Myth Dranor upbringing, and trying to work out how tf a tiefling warlock fits into all of this. (Thankfully, he sorted that for me without knowing.)

Other reveals:

Demogorgon is behind this version of the war as he has corrupted the Blood Raven into the Dark Web to get all the power instead of Garigos (who is dead. Very dead.)

The tiefling warlock (you know the type) abandoned Mephistopheles as a patron, which I was happy to roll with, but for some bizarre reason I decided to have Meph disappear (probably as I didn't know how to run the encounter properly) and so Meph is now captured by Demogorgon so I have to sort the quest for that out.

The PC who 'betrayed' the party wanted to leave the group as he was more of a numbers/xp player and I was running an RP/milestone game so (with his permission) I turned his character.

New players joined over time, one was a Dragonborn fighty type who wanted to become a real dragon and has almost earned it, another is an artificer who loved potions and has been able to create some epic homebrews, and a half-orc ranger who is started for close combat but for some reason (RP mostly) only uses a bow so I've let him have one that hits like a truck. All have had to be woven into the story.

Now:

Im gonna keep adding in more details as I go, because of my ADHD I can't focus unless I say things out loud, I can't talk to anyone else, and I don't want to mess this up. The players have found the weapon shards and are currently battling their way through the forge in the Feywild to remake the sword, then they have to actually go and rescue Mephistopheles so Demogorgon can't harvest his power, and then they have to fight their way through Myth Dranor (which is back to being a battleground), tying up loose ends where possible, to get to where they can jump planes over to where the bbeg is, who at this point is likely to be Demogorgon himself as they'll be level 18+ by that point. There are other options though.

There is a TON more detail I've worked out but, honestly, if you read all of that and it made sense, then congratulations. AMA if you like to help me fill in the gaps?

17 Comments
2024/01/30
00:37 UTC

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