I have been GMing a campaign of "Scion" for some years and my players have established a "School/University" for young scions (Legend 1-3), where they can "learn" to be heroes fighting titans. Up until now my plots were mostly "investigate this strange occurrence", "slay this titanspawn", "protect this new pupil", "find that rare substance" commonly initiated by other scions and adversaries.
Now the players would like to involve themselves more with the pupils, help them grow, etc, so the plots should be more focused on the institutional side of things. They still want to play their powerful characters (Legend 5-6). They don’t want to play any of the pupils, they just want to interact more with them and have the stories revolve more around the school. Do you have some plot ideas for that?
In an answer to another question I made the point that using non-standard variants of published monsters has been common practice since the early days of RPGs. This was based on my own experience, but I am certain I have seen the practice in published aventures. What is the earliest instance of a variant monster in a published adventure?
How I am defining the term "variant monster":
- A variant monster must be based on a published, official monster but differs from the official monster in a significant way. By significant way, I mean any change in physical statisics (including hit points outside the range normally possible) or a change in the monster’s physical description that might cause players to misidentify it or not notice it (example: red slime with green slime stats).
- Includes any monster with abilities not accounted for in its official description, such as a spell-casting medusa or a psionic basilisk.
- Includes any monster that behaves in a way that would normally be impossible for that monster (example: a sentient iron golem that acts on its own free will). But this does not include a creature that has been turned into a monster and still behaves as its natural self (example: a gnome trapped inside an iron golem’s body).
- Does not include new monsters that are not based on existing oficial monsters.
- Does not include new types of old monsters that receive a full description in the module and possibly later were published as monsters in supplements. Example: the drow (mentioned briefly, not statted in the 1e Monster Manual) was fully described and statted in the appendix of the first adventure in which they appeared (G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King) and was later published in the 1e Fiend Folio, so drow is not a variant monster.
- Does not include monsters that are physically and statistically the same as their official type but behave in an unusual way (e.g., a good-aligned red dragon or a cunning, educated ogre).
- Does not include monsters equipped in an unusual way.
So I’m running the lost mines of Phandelver as a new DM and we’re about 5 sessions in. I’ve noticed a pattern that seems to repeat itself: the players defeat and capture an evil NPC character that knows some information, that character is tied up and intimidated/tortured, then that character inevitably spills the information it knows.
This cycle is getting a bit repetitive and depressing. How can I, as a DM, encourage my players to try more diverse ways of obtaining information from uncooperative NPCs without withholding story-critical information?
There is an unofficial module on DMsGuild named "Shield of the Hidden Lord" by M.T. Black – who is one of the writers on the official adventure Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus, so I assume its lore is correct.
Pages 7-8 of the "Shield of the Hidden Lord" PDF include the descriptions of 4 frescos on the walls of area T2. These paintings reportedly depict Gargauth (presumably different key aspects or events relating to Gargauth).
What events or aspects exactly are depicted in each of the following frescos?
First Fresco. A handsome sage in amber robes sits on a throne with a pile of scrolls next to him. He is speaking to a group of kings and queens, who listen to him with interest and respect.
- I suppose this is just an illustration of Gargauth’s charming abilities. Is that the only meaning?
Second Fresco. The sage in amber robes looks at a city in the background. The city is burning, and soldiers fight in its streets. In the foreground are two snakes, twisted together.
- What city is depicted here?
- Who are the soldiers, and what organisations do they belong to? Why do they fight?
- What is the meaning of these snakes?
Third Fresco. The sage in amber robes rides a blue dragon over a dark forest. In a clearing in the forest is a unicorn with a broken, twisted horn.
- I found this dragon’s name: Rathguul. Is that right?
- Why is there a unicorn?
- A twisted horn is Gargauth’s holy symbol. But the module says that Gargauth’s holy symbol is a Knight of the Shield badge. What is right here?
Fourth Fresco. The sage in amber robes wields a rapier and fights a shadowy figure in dark armor. The shadowy figure wears a jeweled gauntlet.
- Why a rapier?
- Who is the figure? Bhaal?
Many years ago (24+) I had a set of 4 warhammer fantasy roleplay adventures split between 2 books.
Each adventure was to try and claim an elemental gem of power, the gems where tremendously powerful and when combined and at the end of the adventure it was suggested the world ended.
At the time I remember being told the adventure had been converted from a famous published D and D campaign.
I am trying to remember both the name of the WFRP adventure and the DnD campaign it may have been based on. If this is better split into 2 questions I am happy to ask B once A is answered.
I have bought my first DnD adventure, Dragon of Icespire Peak, mainly because I wanted a good opening adventure to introduce some new players to the game.
However the module uses milestone leveling with clear advice to increase to level 1 after quest 1 and then increase based on the successful completion of quests thereafter.
I am planning on this to be an opening intro to a wider campaign I have planned and have tweaked the setting accordingly however I generally run my campaigns based on experience points, largely because I run a very open world players can do anything including ignore the main story, type of campaign. I don’t have anything largely against the way players will level through the adventure but I don’t want them to get to level 5/6 and then suddenly start handing out XP as we move into my own material.
Are there any clear rules to converting the milestone based adventures into XP style games? I can easily work our roughly how much XP the various monsters will return and then work out what completing the quests/role playing bonus should give to allow the players to advance at roughly the same pace but are there any official suggestions as to how to do this?
Just to add some clarity, I will be running for 6 players, and these are mainly new players so I want to be able to use XP to reward role playing and good gamesmanship as well as just completing the quests and killing stuff.
Getting reading for GenCon and I’ve got a Lvl 5 Lizardfolk Paladin that I’d like to use in a series of Eberron games at GenCon. Other than some cursory googling, I don’t know much about Eberron besides that it’s pulpy, steam-punk DnD. I’ve been looking for something different and this sounds right up my alley.
I wonder if this particular character is the best fit for the setting though. From what I’ve read, deities work differently in Eberron. Would there be any reason, thematically and/or rules-wise, that a GM wouldn’t let me use this character?
I played and later GMed this adventure sometime between 2000 to 2003 and we were playing a hybrid of Shadowrun 2 and Shadowrun 3 (not all the 3rd ed books were out yet).
The adventure focused around a simsense star (or similar celebrity) the players have to protect.
I think in the start the players had to fake a kidnapping (for publicity) and someone else actually tries a real kidnapping at the same time (can’t remember if this was real or added by the GM).
Later in the adventure she is kidnapped by an insect shaman(?) and was/is to be used as a host for an insect spirit queen. The players are kitted up by the megacorp who wanted the star back and they enter and fight their way through the hive. The megacorp bugged all the gear the players borrows with simsense recording gear and in the epilogue the star dies and the megacorp turns the player’s hive fight into a simsense film.
I’ve started DMing a one-on-one D&D 5e adventure. The PC took the Observant feat and as a result, has really high Passive Perception and Investigation (20 and 18 at level 1!). If I use the rules from this question (“if passive perception is higher than the DC, the PC doesn’t have to make a roll to succeed”), then essentially every single perception and investigation check in the scenario I’m running is an automatic success.
In a group setting, that’d be OK: this makes the PC better at scouting, which is rewarding and fun, and it’s generally nice to be the only/first one in the group noticing things. In a solo adventure, however, I’m afraid that it’s going to be somewhat boring. There’s less of a “wow” effect to noticing small, hidden details when there aren’t people around to be impressed by it.
Should I just stop worrying about it, and simply be OK with my player basically automatically succeeding in every perception/investigation check without thinking twice about it? Or is there a way to tweak the mechanics somehow to make it cooler or more interesting?
awhile ago (last spring) I played a 5e AL adventure and received a story award, I believe it was called ‘home sweet home’, in which each adventurer recieved a home in the city the adventure took place in – but I don’t remember what the name of the city or adventure was.
Does anyone know, or know how to find out?