D&D: Become Human
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  1. #1
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    D&D: Become Human

    In my hombrew setting there exists a mountain civilization called the Kingdom Underhill where Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings (oh my) coexist. Their government is a parliamentary monarchy, in a certain sense like Britain with a figurehead monarch, with a council of three elected officials, one for each race, that make most of the decisions. In recent decades, a brilliant Gnomish Artificer named Dr. Frankenstein invented the first sapient construct, bringing the Warforged into existence. Since the end of the war 20 years ago, the Warforged have begun to campaign for a place on the council, but there is of course resistance. The traditionalist Dwarves are obstinate, citing historical precedent and the need to maintain an odd number on the council to prevent ties. The Gnomes are fearful of the potential for AI overlords (the Gnomish leader is obviously named Musk) and similarly traditional. The Halflings are eager for a change of the status quo, since the other two longer lived races tend to be of like mind and thus the Halflings rarely get their way. Two Warforged factions are vying for influence, one led by the original Warforged named Owen (mispronounced 01) who seeks a peaceful resolution, the other led by Magnus, the Lord of Blades, a disillusioned war hero that wants to take the Kingdom by force.


    Once the introductory arc wraps up, my players will have free rein to go whatever direction they want, and if they choose to explore the Kingdom Underhill they will find it mired in civil unrest. I'm hoping to get some advice on how to run this sort of adventure. Are there modules anywhere that I can read to give inspiration, or has anyone run this sort of adventure before? I expect it to be mostly RP, which should be fun but I am admittedly not very good at it yet. I hope to take some improv classes soon to get better at reacting quickly and naturally. Anywho, any advice or resources y'all can provide would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



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    Justin Alexander's The Alexandrian.
    Look at the RPG categories over on the right side. Make sure to read about the Three Clue Rule, and Don't Prep Plots, and Node Based Design. Also take a look at his Dragon Heist Remix, it takes an approach to a dynamic groups of opposing powers you can use the ideas for your situation.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Justin Alexander's The Alexandrian.
    The guy that coined "dissociative mechanics?"

    Hard pass.

    Once the introductory arc wraps up, my players will have free rein to go whatever direction they want, and if they choose to explore the Kingdom Underhill they will find it mired in civil unrest. I'm hoping to get some advice on how to run this sort of adventure
    Players are more likely to engage with and care about this sort of situation if they have connections to the various factions.
    That means developing NPCs the players care about, which can be an up-hill climb.

    It also REALLY depends on the players and their attitudes, especially if they see an analogy to some RL controversies they have opinions about.

    So, it's likely to be ignored (oh, that kinda sucks, have we heard any rumors about treasure?) Or a source tension (politics are off limits, here, so no example).

    It's different if you telegraph that one faction is in the right and portray another as jerks, then it still might be a long campaign worth of trying to rouse the neutrals and expose the baddies, but it could be less fraught.
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Sunday, 2nd June, 2019 at 01:33 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    The guy that coined "dissociative mechanics?"

    Hard pass.
    No idea. Not familiar with the term. But, if you dismiss a person based on one idea of theirs then you are probably going to have to dismiss; Aristotle, Descartes, Thomas Aquinas, Confucius, Sun Tzu, Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, Monte Cook, etc

    You really should give yourself the opportunity to study widely and take what is of value from any source and dismiss just those ideas that you disagree with.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    No idea. Not familiar with the term.
    Join date 2015? I suppose that's possible. If so, yeah, you wouldn't get the reference.

    Lucky you.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    if you dismiss a person based on one idea of theirs ...
    ...you ignored the on-topic majority of my post...

    ...so, y'know be the change and all that...
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Sunday, 2nd June, 2019 at 11:39 PM.

  6. #6
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    Over reaction there Tony. OP I like your setup.

    I would recommend you have a small list of NPCs that matter 6 to 12, just a sentence, goals motivation etc.

    Each race could have a faction with perhaps two factions for the warfirged that other races can join.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    No idea. Not familiar with the term. But, if you dismiss a person based on one idea of theirs then you are probably going to have to dismiss; Aristotle, Descartes, Thomas Aquinas, Confucius, Sun Tzu, Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, Monte Cook, etc
    Having looked it up, it would have been quite an argument starter during the 4E era, but in reality it's a nitpicking philosophical viewpoint. Short version: "dissociative mechanics are all game mechanics that are cause by player decision, not character decision," such as the Lucky feat in 5E. He then goes to talk about why they're "not roleplaying," since it's only roleplaying when you have the character make decisions.

    While I think you are generally correct that dismissing someone based on one idea isn't great, it does give you a good idea into the general mindset the person has about a similar topic. A good example of this for me Jeremy Crawford (head 5E rules guy); I have found from his ideas that he and I fundamentally disagree on how 5E should be played.

  8. #8
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    It's a meaningless philosophical discussion.

    Role playing = character makes the decision

    Game = player makes the decision

    So a Role Playing Game has both.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zardnaar View Post
    Over reaction there Tony.
    I don't think so: IMX, a set-up like the OP can be full of potential, but fall flat if the players don't get invested in it. Yet, there's also a risk of one or more of them seeing it as an analogy to some RL issue that could offend them.

  10. #10
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    I've actually just gotten round to reading the original post!

    I would read Feet of Clay and Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.

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