D&D General What are you prepping for your next D&D session? (+)

Quickleaf

Legend
Players are leaving the capital pseudo-Egyptian city next session... hunting for a bastard heir in a land imperiled by demon cults... though they may want to tie up loose ends first. So I'm designing how overland travel looks in this campaign and I've been looking over various ways overland travel is handled, particularly going back to the roots of D&D to understand the Outdoor Survival board game that was recommended in the OD&D books & Tim Bannock's Old School Hacks Vol 1: Hexcrawling. Think I'm trying to merge the process-driven old school approach with a newer school character-driven approach.
 

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toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
Tracking political interactions at the annual Tournament as the PC Baron and his council seek to make a name with their city-state neighbors, putting future events on the game calendar (like the regent-King will marry House L, solidifying his majority to be named king, civil war to follow), and modifying my world as the PCs make their mark.

Since my PCs take notes, I will plant an NPC, a plot, or an idea months (real-life) in advance. Foreshadowing rocks when someone flips back through their notes and says "wait...that's so-and-so," or when it becomes clear the silver speck in the sky they saw 6 months ago (real-life) was a mechanical wonder built by their neighbors and on showcase during the Tournament. Instead of me having to explain anything, the player who took the notes explains to the rest what is going on.

Most recent session also included props for the Boasting & Archery contests, wherein non-competing players could play-act the NPCs so everyone is doing something (while also finding clever ways to follow the Tournament rule of "it's not cheating if you're not caught.")
 


toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
@toucanbuzz Sounds fun! I'm curious, what does your "Boasting" prop look like?
These were heavily borrowed from Paizo forums for the Kingmaker "War of the River Kings" module. There is one competitor not listed who is from the host city-state that customizes a boast about being a spy in the PC barony and uncovering all sorts of sordid, outlandish secrets (e.g. in our campaign, a graffiti artist paints the walls regarding lewd acts between the Baron and Stumpy, the town's 3-legged dog). Because of this, the script varies. It's also custom the host-nation loses the overall tournament competitions, so their "champion" tanked it despite being a skilled orator. It's expected as there's a magical item reward from the host city-state for winning the week-long tourney point total.

PC rolls randomly to see which order they go in.

I had players pick, based off a mild description of the boast, who they wanted to enact, and roll the checks. Each Boast has 3 parts: beginning (introduce yourself as someone to be respected, Intimidate check (can use CHA Score), middle (the fun stuff, Bluff), and end (finish in style, Persuasion). The DC is whatever sounds good, but I went with 15. At the end, every performer rolls a Performance (CHA) check.

Because cheating is allowed (it's only illegal if you are caught), one performer gets a +5 to all checks if his bard friend isn't caught roaming the crowd casting helpful spells.

Tally the # of successes (e.g. 0 to 3). Then, multiple this by the actual Performance check. If you had 0 successes, then final score is 1/2. At that point, you're probably salvaging pride and something about the story didn't resonate. Badly.

Highest score wins the heart of the drunken crowd.

Since it was the group's first time at a Boast, they didn't have time to script anything. That's fine. We summarized the gist, audience reaction based on rolls, and played it that way. Because he'd been magically boosted with Enhance Ability, it wasn't too close.
 

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TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Session yesterday was cancelled. So I get to work and prepare for the following sessions in advance.

I've given them some clues and rumors as to a mountain that used to be the mountainhold, Berk Stolz, under the rule of Clan Glasseyes. In the weeks prior to the Shattering (a cataclysmic event that broke the material plane in dozen of smaller planes), the dwarven clan inhabitating it left. Months following it, they went back but found their former halls sprawling with kobolds.

Pulling inspiration from Warhammer Fantasy, the halls are not infested with both Kobolds and Troglodytes that are coming from two different collapsed mine shafts deep under the hold, and they're fighting for control.

A local mayor already told them that he had promised the dwarves help, but doesn't have the resources to. If the players manage to participate in the mountains being cleansed, he'll give them 250 gold (on top of what the dwarves could potentially reward them with).

I've started doing some plans for the mountainhold itself. I've got some cool ideas, but it'll take a few more hours to turn this into something concrete.
 

pogre

Legend
I have some work ahead of me.

The Party has switched sides and has made a deal to join an orc army raiding the Southern Baronies in revenge for a raid on an orc village by an imperial noble. I thought they would talk the orcs out of attacking by doing a task for them. But, oh no, they decided the orcs were entirely justified and decided to cut a deal with them, and aid in the revenge raid.

So, now I am prepping the Baronies defenses from the orc army and the PCs!
 

not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
I'm prepping for a change of the style of play within the campaign.

For the past 2-3 months, I have been running a linear/railroad style campaign, essentially picking which adventures the group would attempt next. This allowed me to introduce specific NPCs and setting info (Mystara homebrew btw) to the players. There are other reason why I chose to run a linear style campaign for the initial four levels of play, but I don't want to digress. The point I am trying to make here is that the players are used to a linear style of play within this campaign. It's worth noting that they have little to no experience with tabletop RPGs, although they have plenty of experience with CRPG sandboxes.

In the coming weeks (Nov 1 or Nov 8), the group will travel to the Isle of Dread. After we wrap up tonight's finale, the PCs will get a year of down-time before they embark. I have one major adventure hook (find the Pale Countess) lined up for them, but otherwise they have the freedom to chose what to do next. While the Tanoroa villagers don't speak the common tongue, they are friendly and will provide a bunch of adventure hooks. The party just needs to find a way to communicate.
 

pogre

Legend
In the coming weeks (Nov 1 or Nov 8), the group will travel to the Isle of Dread. After we wrap up tonight's finale, the PCs will get a year of down-time before they embark. I have one major adventure hook (find the Pale Countess) lined up for them, but otherwise they have the freedom to chose what to do next. While the Tanoroa villagers don't speak the common tongue, they are friendly and will provide a bunch of adventure hooks. The party just needs to find a way to communicate.
I ran the Goodman Games version of X1 a while back and my group really enjoyed it.
 

Steampunkette

A5e 3rd Party Publisher!
Supporter
So I'm writing up the Lieutenants of the Bad Guy for the Blood of Ages campaign. I meant to do 2-3 lines per NPC.

Instead I'm writing 3-4 paragraphs of important character-driving pathos that gives them reasons to be the evil people that they are in a reasonable way. Some through devotion brought on by the aid given, some by greed or desire. Most through violence and trauma.

Giving them specific abilities, some of them crazy and unique, as a central idea for why they were chosen for their roles by the big bad (Some of them directly -changed- by him)...

Too much thoughts.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
The PCs are making their first foray into the ruins of the old dwarven city of Tyar-Besil via the underground stream at Rivergard Keep. I purchased the maps for Roll20 so most of the sites have already been prepared, making my job a lot easier. That said, any time there wasn't an available graphic for a specific creature type or NPC, they supplied a generic token with just a word label - so I'm supplying some of my own token graphics and testing out the dynamic lighting.
I've got up to 8 players if everyone is available, but the last couple of sessions have focused around 3-4 of them. So it has been going pretty well overall. Some of the encounters in the ruin are probably a bit much for them, but they're about as talky as they are fighty, so I think this will be interesting.
 

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