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

Starting a new arc for the campaign, Book 2: Exile.

Last session: PCs fled a demiplane fortress using a balloon-ish flying eldritch machine.
Next session: they crashed, hard, in the mountains. It's the fall of winter, they have to find shelter, food etc., and fix the balloon to get out of there, because something weird is hunting 'em in those frozen peaks, and it follows in the storm (living cold spells)...

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I am gonna prepare multiple pubs, drinks menus, a couple of interesting shops with stuff the PCs want to buy, and lots of stuff they don't know yet that they also want to buy it.

We've arrived at a town, and I want the PCs to spend (almost) all their cash.


I'm the Straw Man in your argument
After a random encounter with some Rakasta, the players have agreed to meet with the leader in a month. From there, the party will be escorted to the the encampment. I stole some ideas for their culture from the book Blood Song by Anthony Ryan. These are my DM notes for that meeting.

The Rakastas' religion is called simply "The Faith."

The Faith is a belief in the veneration of the dead, including one's ancestors, that are called The Departed. The Departed are seen as being able to intercede on behalf of the living, often as messengers. It is a way to respect and honour ancestors in their afterlives as well as seek their continued guidance.

The Rakasta that you meet here call themselves "The Order of the Hope," a religious faction whose sole purpose is to rediscover the temple and presumed resting place of Rajas'el-najar, who is dubbed "The Hope" by these Rakasta. It is said that his Departed soul has been resting in contemplation with all the Ancestors. It is prophesied that The Hope's rediscovery will bring "a golden age of peace and posperity guided by the Ancestors." These stoic fanatics are all warriors and believe themselves to be possible forerunners of a migration by the rest of their society. But, who knows? Messiahs are inscrutable and cats are fickle; and we're talking about a prophesied messiah cat-person here.

The concept of worshipping an Immortal is foreign to them.

[The PC's might witness this ritual at daybreak or sunset. It is often said in a group, but might be said alone.]
The Brothers and Sisters of The Faith learn call and response phrases:
When we pass into the Beyond our essence joins with the souls of the Departed to lend us their guidance in this life. In return we give them honor and faith

What is hope?

Hope is the heart of the faith. Abandonment of hope is a denial of the Faith.

What is death?

Death is but a gateway to the Beyond and union with the Departed. It is both ending and beginning. Fear it and welcome it.

What is the body?

The body is a shell, the cradle of the soul.

What is the body without the soul?

Corrupted flesh and nothing more. Mark the passing of loved ones by giving their shell to the fire.

Random tidbits of useful info as Role-playing rewards:

A lion's silhouette is carved into the rock face of southern badlands, small priests' tomb with a cache of cultural treasures was found there. A clue vaguely hints that the shrine is in the hills to the north.


"If you ever come upon a temple with an open lion's maw for an entrance, be warned. The temple is heavily trapped and can only be entered by someone who knows its secrets."

The Isle of Dread is known as "The Shifting Isles" to the Rakasta. According to their legends, the Isle of Dread can teleport to another part of the world. It teleported here several hundred years ago and will do so again. The reason for this teleportation is believed to be connected to the "Elemental Otherworld," but anything beyond that is unknown by the Rakasta.*

The Elemental Gates is something that the Goodman Games version has added to the adventure as an option. It is one of the few things that reviewers criticize, but I'm kind of intrigued by them. I have no idea how I will use these Gates, but they'll probably be involved with a epic finish to this campaign.


Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
This week's session ended up being mostly downtime adjudication - we had 2 players out, 2 late because of a high school band concert, 3 late because of a high school JV basketball game, and 1 late due to dance class.

But next week, NEXT week - they've got to deal with a dragon attacking their hometown. Running Age of Worms, just starting chapter 6 for those of you in the know...


Moderator Emeritus
Tomorrow I am running the encounter with 1000 Teeth from U2 - Danger at Dunwater for my remote - Revenants of Saltmarsh group -, which I don't really have to prep because I have already run it for my local group. But for that latter group (which meets again in early January) both a sidetrek type short adventure to take place in their recently purchased and still being renovated home and an adventure from Dungeon #32 (1994) - "The Wayward Wood" - I am sticking in before U3 - The Final Enemy to give them a chance to level up one more time and give them a druid focused adventure for the druid and build up the party's connection all the way around to the area where they've settled by introducing some other communities (firbolg, trolls, and treants).


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Well, I had two players who are moving out of state to their first home leave my campaign, and last week we had a Session 0 to introduce two new players to the world we've been playing in for the last year and a half, bring them up to speed on the story so far, and brainstorm characters. I'm now waiting on the results of that so I can start to plan character arcs. One of the lessons I learned last campaign when adding players in was that I would introduce their character arcs at the same rate of everyone else - but everyone was already deeper into their arcs, so we didn't really spend as much focus on them. This time I want to hit the ground running with arcs for them that are already somewhat blossomed and active. But I need to get their characters and background to start brainstorming that.

Plus this came mid-scenario, as they realized that the holidays were just too busy so instead of staying until the new year. So what the party is about to do, which is mid-action, needs to have a way to introduce the two new characters into it. Well, one of them - the other one will enter the same way the two characters will exit.

You see, one of the characters is a chronomancer. So I'm going to have a gash in space open, a visibly older version of him say "Damn causality, I need you", grab the two, and go to close the gash only to have resistance. Say "I need to balance the equation" and a dwarf gets pushed out.

The fun bit is that dwarves were genocided 650 years ago in the campaign. One of the new players will be playing a dwarf from before that happened.
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In a surprise move, I actually made a setting document for my players. It's 2 pages long and it probably amuses me more than it will inform them. I hope to start running the campaign soon, once we finish the Battle Of Fake Medieval Iceland which starts this Friday.

If you're interested, have a look at The Arc courtesy of the Homebrewery.
Well done, I like the summary format. And well written too. (y)


I'm the Straw Man in your argument
I just did a full write up for my players describing The Rakasta on the Isle of Dread



B/X Known World
Prepping more locations and rumors for my West Marches hexcrawl. Decided to drop a Spelljammer off in the mountains. Or maybe the PCs will see it crash. Decided to roll up the crystal sphere. Kept rolling more. And ended up making a spreadsheet to auto roll crystal spheres. I forgot how weird and wild those charts are. As the Spacefarer’s Handbook says, “In space, weirder is better.”

Voidrunner's Codex

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