5E Session 2 help.

So i am currently trying to get session 2 ready for my first campaign as a new DM I have three pages that i have worked up and typed up on my computer but am trolling around for a bit of feed back from my Fellow DMs. during this session i hope to get them to my town of Blackwater and try and get them to help the towns folk celebrate their guardian dragons 500th birthday and the towns folk do not know what to give the dragon. it is an ancient gold dragon who lives near the shoreline of the lake by the town. The dragon is lawful good by nature but i cannot find what they would find in the cave of the dragon as far as what my rogue in the group could possibly find in the lair of a golden dragon, in my monster manual. Any ,and all advice would be great i have a total of about six months put into these three pages plus the few maps that i have drawn up.
 

toucanbuzz

Explorer
A few ways you can approach this. First, your treasure hoards are found in the Dungeon Master's Guide.

(1) Randomly roll a hoard. Take the dragon's "challenge rating" and match that with the random "hoard" tables in the Dungeon Master's Guide. It's guidance, so you can pick the items as you see fit or take them randomly. It's to give you ideas, not to constrain you.

(2) I assume the dragon would be far beyond your player's combat capabilities. If you don't want to mess with them stealing from it, then don't have the dragon store its hoard in a cave. In older editions, dragons were powerful spellcasters. D&D has dumbed them down a bit, but there's nothing to say the dragon hasn't made arrangements over the centuries to store treasure in an extraplanar vault, accessible only by a drop of its blood and a passphrase, etc. A smart dragon might even keep a fake hoard, and a gold dragon might enjoy a moral lesson with anyone who thinks they should steal from a dragon.
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
1. What is going on? (Dragon's birthday)
2. Where is it? (Blackwater, Dragon's cave)
3. Who is involved? (Townsfolk, Dragon)
4. Why would the PCs get involved? (????)
5. When does this service the plot? (????)

You need some Townsfolk. You need a reason for the PCs to get involved, and what happens if they don't. You need some fun features for the Dragon. You need a few words to describe the town. Ditto for cave. You need some overall plot that this ties into.

A connection UP to the PCs. Connections SIDEWAYs to your world (details, worldbuilding, etc). And connections DOWN to the campaign plot.
 

pseudotsuga

Villager
I enjoyed reading this prompt, thx. All good advice up above.

Re: townsfolk having trouble choosing a gift for the dragon, I would suggest adding some structure. It’s a bit unclear and I might be misinterpreting but rather than have the townsfolk be simply uncertain, I would invent 2-3 “factions” in town. The groups disagree as to the best solution, but each have their own solid idea (and somehow need the PCs support… as NotAYakk says, Why are the PCs involved?). This creates a little gentle conflict/drama, but it also gives the players a clear decision point with 2-3 viable answers: who do they help/support? It’s exciting when the PCs come up with their own ideas full stop, but on their 2nd session in a new town, it’s unlikely they’ll have the resources, and without any structure it can frustrate players to trip around fishing for a “correct” answer.

Each faction can be quickly represented by one (or 2) signature NPC, and this also lets you flesh out the town bit more and insert the PCs into it politically. E.g. maybe the mayor’s team has the most clout but their gift idea is pretty uninspired, whereas the head of the mariner’s guild is clearly making a power play (but it’s a great gift). Someone else has had a wonderful idea, but it’s been discounted because that ruby circlet is buried in the old ruined tower, and who ever would be able to retrieve it? :) Different levels of risk/reward, and visible trade-offs to help the players weigh their options and keep them in the drivers’ seat. No more than 2-3 clear options to save your sanity. (And of course that doesn’t prevent the PCs from coming up w something better! it just gives everyone a safety net.)

Re: the dragon’s hoard, I love toucanbuzz’s idea of an extraplanar vault. But I find things like that are more fun if the players get to experience them too, so I’d probably keep at least some of the treasure visible/accessible, with the hint that there’s even more tucked away. IF you think it’s likely the rogue will try to steal something, then I’d roll one magic item in the DMG as a suitable temptation/reward but I wouldn’t do extra prep you won’t likely use (the same charts should give you a rough idea of the hoard’s size and you can easily handwave big piles of gold and jewels, ancient statues, encrusted bowls/goblets, etc etc, since the PCs are unlikely to be able to examine/count everything!). I’d also telegraph the risk involved in stealing from a 500 year old dragon as a brand new rogue, ha! Nobody likes to be stolen from, even (especially?) all-powerful good-aligned dragons, and you can emphasize the size of the dragon, their prickly sense of honour, etc. The risks from getting caught should be clear and at least equal to the potential reward: not necessarily combat/death (although it’s possible) but alienating a potential ally (and the townsfolk??) is a powerful in-universe consequence. In my group the thief is cautious. She would know it’s a very bad idea and would likely keep her hands in her pockets, so to save myself time I likely wouldn’t have prepped this. But if temptation got the better of her, then the players are driving the game and that’s when it comes alive. So kudos for not ruling out the possibility! Good DMing. In my case since I wouldn’t have decided on all the treasure beforehand I’d just roll on the spot to see what she found. That’s ok too!
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Have the treasure accessible but the PCs can't use it. It's cursed, poisonous etc.

Or the Dragon wants something like one of the villages youths or something.
 

Nebulous

Hero
i have a total of about six months put into these three pages plus the few maps that i have drawn up.
Just to clarify, you've spent 6 months writing three pages of the story and a few maps? It might help to find a pre-made module- there are literally hundreds - and add your ideas to it to help the process move along faster. The pre-made stuff is great for filling in big plot chunks that you might not think about. Especially when you're first starting out as a DM.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
Some questions I have after reading your summary:

What does the dragon want from all this?

What will happen if the villagers do not find a suitable gift?

What will happen if they do find a suitable gift?
 

aco175

Adventurer
Dragons do not think the same way we do. The dragon may live there and the town sprung up to part worship him/ part keep his protection as a crutch against the orcs or such. The dragon might not care about the town or the people and just wish to be left alone or he might come out every year and keep his presence known.

I might have the dragon wake and stir every 50-70 years. Like Haley's Comet, people remember last time the dragon stirred or the young have never seen or heard from him. The dragon may think one of the NPCs is his grandfather since it has been so long.

Any thing you do, you should have the PCs go on a quest for one of the factions. Maybe they want to get the circlet in the old tombs. Maybe they take the giant boar hunt instead. Bonus points if the players want their PC to go on different quests and need to figure out one.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
The 5e rules for treasure hoards are found in the DMG. Page 133 to be exact.

But if you'd like to see an alternative....

A Gold Dragon you say?
Here, roll up treasure from these charts. :)

This is what a Gold Dragons hoard looked like back in 1st ed.
They were listed in the Monster Manual as having Types H, R, S, & T
The treasure hoard charts went from A - Z, each entry telling you what the % chance was of it containing x type of loot (SP, GP, magic....) was.
For convenience I've translated the ranges it gave into the #/type of dice you'll need.

Type H
CP: 5d6 x1,000 - 25% chance
SP: d100 x1,000 - 40% chance
Electrum Pieces: 10d4 x1,000 - 40% chance (an ancient coin, no longer used. 2EP = 1GP)
GP: 10d6 x1,000 - 55% chance
PP: 5d10 x1,000 - 25% chance
Gems: d100 - 50% chance
Jewelry: 10d4 - 50% chance
Magic Items: Any 4 +1 potion, +1 scroll - 15% chance

Type R
GP: 2d4 x1,000 - 40% chance
PP: 10d6 x1,000 - 50% chance
Gems: 4d8 - 55% chance
Jewelry: 1d12 - 45% chance

Type S + T
Magic Items: 2d4 potions - 40% chance, 1d4 scrolls - 50% chance

This could well be a fantastic hoard. The most loot the characters will ever see.... Or you could roll those %s & get NOTHING! (I've done that before)

Assuming you hit any of these %s, does this seem excessive? Eh. I mean, it's not like your novice PCs are actually going to rob the LG guardian Gold Dragon. Right? So much of it can be mostly for show. And nothing says it must be easily portable (though that was the general idea back in 1st ed). So 40k GP for ex might take the form of several very difficult (or even impossible - what if Davinci painted a ceiling mural for a dragon?? Stupid valuable, but.....) to transport & sell pieces of art/sculpture. But then I'll often throw something like this into my own modern games just to see what stories develop.
 

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