Monday, October 9, 2023

Another Forbidden Foray

Time is getting closer to my Germany trip, and what free time I've had (not much) has been spent writing/designing my adventures I plan on running at Cauldron. Just finished the third one, mmm, Sunday morning. That's the one that's cut from whole cloth, a completely new delve into the yuan-ti's "Holiest of Holies." Came to about 11 pages, not including maps, pregens, and play-aids.

But I haven't been able to test it. Still had to re-run adventure #2 for the con. I was doing that on Sunday for four hours (well, 3 hours and forty minutes). It's still a killer, but at least this time it wasn't a total party killer. Threw an extra NPC into the party (a 6th level paladin, Fairburne, complete with magic armor and frost brand longsword), and the party was STILL nearly done in: four out of seven survivors, two of whom were "zeroed out" (though they were stabilized at -1 and -3 respectively), and the other two in single-digit hit points. And this is AFTER the group had already made a run at the thing and knew (somewhat) what to expect. Yeah, it's a bit of a ball-buster.

Fairburne did not survive, having been reduced to something like -18.

[for folks who don't remember my original post on the topic, I'm re-writing/re-purposing I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City for the convention. The pre-gens and NPCs, including Fairburne, are all being taken from those included in the original module...although players are, of course, allowed to bring their own characters]

Still, a win is a win, and the survivors are all 7th level now (well, except for Olaf Peacock, who's a 6th/5th/4th level bard), which is the minimum level I pegged for my third scenario, a little something I call "Shrine of the Demon Goddess" (catchy, right?). But I have to come up with enough NPCs to round out the party, and I'm running out of module pregens. It's a damn shame Daniel the cleric died, as he probably would have leveled up, and a raise dead spell would have come in real handy. I've got Gavin (halfling thief), Marcella (ranger), and X the Mystic (magic-user) all ready to go, but the only cleric left on the roster is Orrem, a 6th level canon, and I just don't think that's going to cut it in an adventure written for levels 7th to 9th. I suppose I could just boost him to level 7 (and that's probably what I'll end up doing), in the name of expediency...the party can always give him Fairburne's plate mail +1.

And expediency is the key word, here. Because more than running short on characters, I'm running short on TIME. I've got a little more than two weeks before I'm hopping aboard Iceland Air, and I need to figure out just what sort of monster I've created for scenario #3. A fairly beefy one, even for eight 7th level characters, from the looks of it (though not one without adequate rewards). When am I going to get a chance to run another four hour adventure session with our busy schedule?

Hm. Okay, just noticed the kids are out of school Friday ("teacher retreat"). Let's pencil that in.

All right, all right...apologies for yet another "throwaway" blog post, but typing this stuff up helps me organize the thoughts running 'round my head. The kids were pretty stoked about the adventure. We go weeks, sometimes, without playing D&D because of our incredibly busy schedules, and we all forget how much damn fun it is. Oh, the pleading last night to fudge dice rolls was in high demand...the attempts at wheedling...and, yet, everyone came through the thing richer and wiser (if not exactly unscathed), and happy. And excited. And rarin' to play more.  All thoughts of Minecraft and Fortnite and stupid video game garbage gone from their heads...the kids got up this morning and all they wanted to talk about over breakfast and the drive into school was Dungeons & Dragons: how they did, what's going to happen next, when can we set aside time for our next game. 

Lovely and delightful.

Okay, I've got to get to my morning chores. More later.

No yuan-ti were harmed (nor encountered) in the
running of this adventure scenario. This
will NOT be the case in the next adventure session.


  1. I feel like for a con game folks should die in large numbers. It's a one shot so push hard and damn the consequences.

    So...... 5 weeks in and nothing on the Hawks?

    1. *sigh*

      Just busy, man. Plus I was kind of invested in Mariners end-o-season drama. But really…just busy.

      For this particular Con, they are operating under the German version of the FlailSnails Conventions (“ADDKON”)…as such, I am hoping players bring their own characters, and I’d LIKE them to do well (usually folks are less proficient using pre-gens compared to PCs they’ve been playing for a while).

      My own players are using their own PCs, supplemented by pregen NPCs. Other than the TPK (!!), they’ve been…”fortunate” to bring their own characters through the thing. But they’re doing me a favor, showing me how to best run the thing.

      But, for the con, I want SOME folks to walk away successfully. After all, I’d like them to come back for Parts II and III.
      ; )

  2. Well yeah if it's flaisnail then maybe don't turn it up to 11. Heck that puts a whole new level of pressure to get the danger level just right. I don't know if I could sleep ;)