Need an idea for a good level 1-3 adventure


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  1. #1
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    Need an idea for a good level 1-3 adventure

    I'm looking for some early ideas for my next campaign and want a good low level adventure that can take players from the beginning of level 1 to level 3 or so. edited to add: I'm looking for a published module/adventure that I can borrow heavily from.

    The players will be starting in a small-ish border town of about 2,000. Mostly humans, but a few elves, half-elves and halflings around. No dwarves or gnomes, though.

    The town is generally pretty sleepy and not very wealthy, as the copper mine in the nearby hills dried up about 20 years ago and those that seek adventure when growing up generally decide to leave town. There are no really serious threats to the town, though the spring thaws often bring hungry goblin raiders out of the mountains. After a particularly harsh winter, some orcs from deeper in the mountains may join/lead the goblins... but, it's nothing the town militia cannot handle.

    As I had mentioned, the town is a border town. To the north is a neutral nation, but to the east is a hostile nation that the kingdom is at war with. Fortunately, there are mountains separating this border town from the hostile nation and the passable areas through the mountains are well to the south. The town itself is somewhat isolated from the rest of the kingdom, and about 2 days outside of town is an undermanned keep of bored king's men guarding the borders. Most of the men there are too old/injured to be involved in the war, or too green.

    The setting or edition doesn't matter - I am mostly looking for ideas, NPCs and maybe some decent maps so the players can hopefully use the town as sort of a base of operations as they go up in level. (small town near some hills and mountains) I don't want something that is too linear - meaning, the players must do Step A to get to Step B, and then must complete B before moving on to C. I would prefer something that would allow the players to do A, B or C to get to step D, or maybe can do E to skip over step D altogether.

    Thanks
    Last edited by NewJeffCT; Wednesday, 2nd September, 2009 at 12:50 AM. Reason: needed to clarify
    Valar Morghulis

 

  • #2
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    Just a seed:

    All of sudden the hostile nation is invaded. Unknown Creatures from Somewhere Else invade. Enemy nation's leaders are dead. A few refugees from a small town in the other side flee to the small town. Some tension. Diplomacy. Players are hired/ordered to see what happened there.
    F I G H T E R

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    Quote Originally Posted by avin View Post
    Just a seed:

    All of sudden the hostile nation is invaded. Unknown Creatures from Somewhere Else invade. Enemy nation's leaders are dead. A few refugees from a small town in the other side flee to the small town. Some tension. Diplomacy. Players are hired/ordered to see what happened there.
    that's a thought for down the road, and I had an idea similar to that. GMTA.

    However, I was thinking of an initial adventure as sort of a proving ground.
    Valar Morghulis

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    Here's a basic story arc that just sprang to mind. Feel free to use, abuse, modify or otherwise do with as you see fit.

    A gentlemen arrives in town one day seeking guides to the area. He hires the PCs to escort him to a hilltop outside of town, where they discover a few stones and the remnants of an ancient wall here and there. They guy reveals that he was once an adventurer from an ancient age, petrified by a medusa's gaze and only recently un-petrified. This place was once his home town, but in the intervening centuries, his homeland and perhaps even all mention of it has vanished.

    He hires the characters to search out places from this old town, finding ruins in various states of repair or occupancy. Perhaps the goblins and orcs dwell within the ruins of these ancient places. The characters begin to bring back relics of these ancient times, inspiring an interest in architecture in the capital.

    A trading consortium in the capital wants to corner the market on these emerging artifacts. They have a gnome illusionist go among the orc and goblin camps, posing as a wandering goblin shaman. He is spreading word of a coming age of war in which they will rise to prominence and enslave the humans of the region. At the right time, the consortium plans to manufacture just the right messianic figure to go in, unite the goblins and orcs, and get them to abandon the ruins in a war of conquest. While the orcs and goblins are attacking the humans, the consortium plans to sweep through the ruins and secure the relics therein, allowing them to corner the market.

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    some random thoughts off the top of my head (a quick brainstorm of sorts). they aren't fleshed out much but something might spark a more complete idea ...

    * reports of something being sighted at the abandoned copper mine. (leading to a dungeon crawl)

    * the harsh winter has led to more goblinoid types, thus, farmers in the outlying areas or just anyone whose livelihood depends on something just outside of town (like lumberjacks or what not) will need escorts

    * if you want to sacrifice the town, have the town raided (though this works best only after the PCs have been there a while to actually -case- about what happens to it/the people) but it could be a series of "take back the warehouse building" "take back farmer john's house" and so on with each location being reclaimed a new encounter setup. You'd also have to figure out how/why the majority of the townsfolk aren't helping (perhaps too weak in general)

    * The water supply is tainted (perhaps on purpose? Perhaps just run off from the old mine seeming in to the underground water supply). The PCs either (depending on the style your players like) investigate or simply go to find some new fresh water source, quickly, before people, crops, and livestock all die.

    * anything in their backgrounds that ties them together? related, or friends form childhood? etc. If so, maybe someone that was another one of their childhood friends is missing or something along those lines depending on the nature of their relation. (or maybe if they aren't even from the town, they each know person X for some reason in their background. And that person has suddenly stopped writing/contacting them/etc or didn't do something. So they are each coming to the town to find out what happened to their missing friend)

    edit:
    Scoobydoo inspired: three townsfolk discovered a new vein of copper in the old mine. Not wanting to share it, one of the three killed the other two and hid the bodies/moved the bodies elsewhere to make ti look like wild animals killed them (so that no one knows what was found). he also didn't return (so that everyone assumes he was killed as well). now he mines the copper (perhaps with some goblinoids he hired) and he tries to scare off anyone that comes near by making them think the mine is haunted.
    Last edited by fba827; Tuesday, 1st September, 2009 at 11:04 PM.
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    Dude, just pick up Sceptre Tower of Spellgard. I loved running that one, because I added so much to it, and the first half totally supports a loose style of play. Even the dungeon encounters themselves aren't so bad (but I skipped the Catacombs).
    Wik: Solving internet arguments since 1983.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wik View Post
    Dude, just pick up Sceptre Tower of Spellgard. I loved running that one, because I added so much to it, and the first half totally supports a loose style of play. Even the dungeon encounters themselves aren't so bad (but I skipped the Catacombs).
    Thanks - I might even have that one already, even though I haven't played any 4E.

    And, I wanted to add, I'm hoping to find a published adventure - 1E, 2E, 3E, 3.5/3.75, 4E, 3rd party, etc. Sorry for the confusion. The ideas have been great, but I mistakenly forgot to add that I was looking for something published.
    Valar Morghulis

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    Hi NewJeffCT,

    I have recently purchased Crypt of the Everflame and have to say that it would seem to fit in perfectly for what you are doing.

    From the blurb:
    Quote Originally Posted by Crypt fo the Everflame
    An adventure for 1st-level characters

    The young heroes of the town of Kassen are ready for their coming-of-age ceremony, an old tradition in which they retrieve a piece of the eternal flame burning in the tomb of the towns founder. Yet when they arrive there, they find only the corpses of their fellow townsfolk, dead bandits, and mysterious animated skeletons. The novice heroes must brave the traps and perils of the Crypt of the Everflame, discover the source of the corruption that has awakened an ancient evil, and defeat a menace that seeks vengeance against Kassen and its people.
    While the idea at first would seem a fairly well used trope, there are some nice touches involved that really bring the module to life. As a base adventure from which to springboard further adventures, I think this is pretty good. I don't think it will take character's to 3rd level though or if it does, it will be only just. I'm doing several modifications to it that I would be more than happy to share with you if you're interested.

    Best Regards
    Herremann the Wise
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    and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

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    You, of course, also have WotC's first published 4E adventure Keep On The Shadowfell now available for free download from the wizards.com website. It starts with a small town (Winterhaven) and has the eponymous keep that the party goes to (in addition to several other locations). 1st to 3rd level adventure.

    If you buy the KotS adventure in the store, you'll get the large poster maps that come with it... but if you're okay with drawing them out onto your wetboard or whiteboard, the downloadable one does have the mini-maps in it already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
    You, of course, also have WotC's first published 4E adventure Keep On The Shadowfell now available for free download from the wizards.com website. It starts with a small town (Winterhaven) and has the eponymous keep that the party goes to (in addition to several other locations). 1st to 3rd level adventure.

    If you buy the KotS adventure in the store, you'll get the large poster maps that come with it... but if you're okay with drawing them out onto your wetboard or whiteboard, the downloadable one does have the mini-maps in it already.
    I actually think I might have that one and not the other one I mentioned above. I'll blame old age for the memory lapse.

    Thanks for the idea, though.
    Valar Morghulis

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