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Author Topic: SpectreShadows' Midnight campaign (soon to be CoS)  (Read 4275 times)
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Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 6

« on: September 09, 2011, 02:09:48 PM »

(Warning: Might contain spoilers to the Well of Rebellion and Crown of Shadow)

So, after a long time spent preparing for it, I finally started my first Midnight campaign. The players are familiar to the game but quite inexperienced and generally unable to optimize. Since they hadn’t played anything but Greyhawk before, my initial thoughts were “perhaps they aren’t suited for this setting”, but then I decided that their innocent blood was exactly what was needed to quench the thirst of Eredane’s orcish hordes.

Chapter 0: The machinations of a Lawful Neutral Dungeon Master.
The first thing I decided to sort out is how to allow player to pick fey races in a campaign starting in Erenland. So, I consulted the Tome of Sorrows to find any ideas and I stumbled on this:

Your valley is ruled by a Demon, summoned in ancient days, stranded on Eredane since the Sundering. Through complex wheeling and dealing he keeps the Shadow at bay, offering his Demonic Seed for Izrador’s Breeding Pits. All this benevolent Demon asks is that he may sleep with brides on the first night they are wed. His dark seed has permeated the entire valley.

And also this:

The Legate of your valley is a good man and the Orcish War Chief is sated so long as those above him on the ladder get their cut. The Legate teaches the children of the Shadow in the north, seeking to make peace in a terrible world. Everyone in town knows that your Legate isn’t the norm; everyone knows how lucky they are. The night before last the War Chief was killed by insurgents. Now an Orcish Host will make its way to your town in order to investigate. It is time to act; peace is over in this valley.

By combining these two ideas, I decided that the players would start off in a demon-infested valley, ruled by a benevolent demon, much more lenient than the legates, and thus allowing even the fey to thrive in his region.

Afterwards, I started thinking about their quest. I toyed with the idea of running the Well of Rebellion, but after a TPK in the Red Hand of Doom another “chase” adventure would seem like a stretch. So, I borrowed Part I: Koln and changed the rest of the adventure to my needs. First, I eliminated the “chase” element by having the legate run some errands for a couple of days before looking for the source of magic. Next, I shortened the trip to the Tearfall Caverns and turned it into a stroll through a demon-infested forest. Finally, I changed the ending but I won’t disclose my plans yet. My campaign was ready to begin.

Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 6

« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 02:14:37 PM »

Chapter 1: First reactions

I decided that I didn’t want to spend the entire first session just explaining the rules changes so I told the player’s that they wouldn’t pick a class (or heroic path) until they reached 500 xp. They players took that surprisingly well (or are planning a secret mutiny and I’ll lose the DM status pretty soon). However, I made some changes to the start-as-commoners rule. They could spend their skill points as if all skills were class skills, they temporarily had every proficiency in the game (but would lose this benefit once they had a class) and they all started with 5d4x10 vp worth of equipment. They also had to pick a trait (from Unearthed Arcana) and could pick up to one flaw in exchange for a feat.

Soon (aka in about two hours), my four players had completed their character and the party consisted of:
1.   A male Erenlander who wanted to become warrior.
2.   A female Erenlander who wanted to be a spellcaster.
3.   A sneaky female Elfling, raised by Halflings and hoping to be a rogue.
4.   A male Snow Elf, who aspired to be a wildlander.

Once the players give me their character back stories, I will elaborate more on their appearances, motives, manners, likes and dislikes.

They started out in the town of Koln, when a legate arrived for an unexpected visited. All of the town’s fey citizens where warned to stay hidden, while the legate had a chat with the mayor in public view. The first character to arrive on the scene was the Erenlander woman, who had left her equipment at home. Next came the Erenlander man, with a big sword strapped to his back. He remained unseen, at the back of the crowd. The Elfling hid in a narrow alley, while the Snow Elf disguised himself to hide his distinctive racial traits and followed the humans. When the legate ordered his orcs to start beating the mayor no one made a move, but once they left the place (no orcs where left in Koln to speed up play), the Snow Elf approached the mayor to offer some help.

About half an hour later, when the crowd had completely dispersed, the mayor called the citizens to the town square, to make a speech. He informed everyone that the legate was looking for a source of magic that apparently was detected nearby and that if the Shadow’s forces where to discover it, the valley’s demon lord would be removed from his administrative position and all his villages would now be under the direct control of the Order of the Shadow. To avert this, he asked for volunteers to make a perilous journey through the Demon Forest, to the Tearfall Caverns, where it is more probable for the source of magic to be located (the mayor knows of the resistance cell that operates there but did not mention that publicly). Out of bravery, stupidity or intent of tax evasion, our four heroes-to-be offered to risk their lives and make the journey.

After packing the necessary equipment, the characters set off. Once they had reached the forest and the sun was setting, all the characters started hearing voices in their heads, speaking in an incomprehensible language (Abyssal). Soon, the voice started speaking in Black Tongue, a language familiar to the group’s warrior. It asked for food, but did not want the meals the characters had to offer. Suddenly, the Snow Elf noticed the faint outline of a transparent flying creature approaching the warrior and combat began. The players fought a dretch and a quasit, defeating them both. In the process, they all got injured and the human woman actually reached -5 hp but her condition stabilized on its own. And so, the first session ended.

And now, a contest for our readers. Submit a demon of your own creation, complete with stat-block and description and win a cookie!
Doomed Hero
Avatar of the Witch Queen

Spell Energy / Taint +11/-4
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,907

« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 02:23:05 PM »

Here's one of my favorites

Jack Chick, Abdul Alhazred, and Aleister Crowley walk into a bar...

Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 6

« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 02:33:58 PM »

Very nice! Anyone else wants to participate with a cool demon?
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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: SpectreShadows' Midnight campaign (soon to be CoS)
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