Let’s Begin a Easy Homebrew Marketing campaign: Constructing a Subsequent Journey

It’s Could! Know what which means? It means it’s time to wrap this Easy Homebrew Marketing campaign s$&% up. Lastly. So, right here we’re. Penultimate lesson time. And far as I wish to say how superb it’s to truly see the sunshine on the finish of a f$&%ing collection for as soon as, I do know that’ll simply jinx it.

So, with out additional Lengthy, Rambling Ado…

Welcome again to Let’s Begin a Easy Homebrew Marketing campaign. The semester’s virtually over. I do know you’re able to graduate and get out into the true world of operating fake elf video games. And I’m prepared so that you can get the hell out of my hair so I can take pleasure in my summer time break. For 2 f$&%ing weeks. Then I’ve received to show a category about Cities or some s$&% like that.


At this level, your gamers are bumbling by their first journey. They’re in all probability near wrapping that s$&% up. And also you’ve received a City prepared for them. And that City ain’t simply floating in an unmapped, unrendered purgatory both. It’s received a area round it.

Excellent news? That City’ll in all probability hold them distracted for a session. So, they received’t be heading off instantly on their subsequent journey.

Dangerous information? You possibly can’t depend on utilizing that additional session’s price of time to plan your subsequent journey.

You’ve received to be able to launch that subsequent journey earlier than the gamers hit the City gates. It’s a part of the entire marketing campaign movement factor. Most of which I’ll cowl within the final a part of this collection. However there’s a factor about marketing campaign movement you’ve received to grasp proper now. And that’s The Journey Constructing Cycle.

Again on this collection’ second lesson, I launched this factor I known as Simply in Time GMing, proper? The concept of planning and prepping no multiple session forward of your gamers. Plan a session, run it, plan it, run it, and so forth. Perpetually.

Guess what? I lied. Once more. I’m mendacity loads on this collection, I do know.

Factor is, periods and adventures don’t at all times line up. Hell, they virtually by no means do. Most adventures require two or three periods to play by. And from time to time — as I’ll clarify within the final lesson — you additionally find yourself with these between journey periods from time to time. However don’t fear about that s$&% but.

Level is adventures often fill a number of periods. However you possibly can’t construct a three-session journey one session at a time. And the explanation’s fairly apparent. The journey’s starting has to arrange the ending. If the heroes are employed by a bunch of animal rights actions to slay a princess and rescue an enslaved dragon, that’s how the journey’s received to finish. You possibly can’t wait till your third planning session to resolve what the purpose is.

That stated, if there’s no f$&%ing approach the social gathering’s getting there this week, you don’t have to stat up the princess and map her Rainbow Tower at present, do you?

So, you find yourself doing large prep and little prep. If you understand you’re gonna want a brand new journey quickly — as a result of the heroes are about to complete an journey or they simply completed one — you do large prep. You provide you with the journey’s premise, its main battle, and determine its construction. That approach, what the journey’s about and the way it’ll in all probability play out. In broad strokes.

Then, you do the little prep. That’s the place you construct out the acts, fill in scenes and encounters, draw maps, stat s$&%, and so forth. And you may largely try this on a session-by-session foundation. Do it as you want it.

However extra necessary is doing s$&% as you’ve got the time. If the social gathering’s between adventures and also you’ve received a bunch of spare hours that weekend, you are able to do the journey’s large prep after which do the little prep for one, two, and even three periods. That’s cool. In any other case, you are able to do the large prep after which do one session price of little prep. Then fill in the remainder of the small print because the social gathering will get to them. That’s cool too.

I’ll discuss extra about this s$&% within the final lesson. And much more in an enormous, honkin’ future article that reveals all of the secrets and techniques of RPG construction you’ll ever have to know.

Should you truly need it.

For now, although, know you’ve received some large prep forward of you. You’ve received to provide you with a premise, main battle, and act construction to your subsequent journey. And also you’ve received some little prep to do too. You’ve received to prep the scenes and encounters for the journey’s first session.

And also you’ve received to do it earlier than the social gathering will get to City. Why?

Let me clarify, briefly, the Artwork of the Setup.

The Artwork of the Setup

This big-prep-little-prep s$%& ain’t nearly making the homebrew marketing campaign factor manageable. It’s additionally very important in making a marketing campaign really feel like a marketing campaign.

Campaigns want continuity, proper? We talked about that. And the stronger the continuity, the extra campaigny the marketing campaign feels. And in addition, the extra the world appears like a world. You by no means need the gamers to assume you’re simply making s$&% up as you go. Although you in all probability are. That doesn’t really feel like a continuity. And the world doesn’t really feel like a world.

Enter the Artwork of the Setup.

The Artwork of the Setup’s actually easy. It simply implies that the issues that occur in your recreation had been already going to occur earlier than they occurred.

Principally, the Artwork of the Setup is what leaves the gamers saying, “wow, you will need to have deliberate this s$&% out months in the past!” Or saying, “wow, this world appears like an actual world that exists past our adventures.” It’s about planting seeds that come to fruition later. It’s not the identical as making issues predictable.

I can’t go into an excessive amount of element about this s$&% at present. It’s the kind of factor that wants a complete article of its personal…

Simply know there’s two methods to drag off the Artwork of the Setup. And also you want each. As a result of they really feel completely different. And attain various things. First, there’s Deliberate Setups. That’s the place you intentionally insert particulars into your recreation that arrange future adventures. Second, there’s Improvisational Setups. That’s the place you are taking random s$&% you already inserted into your recreation and construct future occasions round them so it feels such as you set that s$&% up upfront. Although you didn’t.

Bear in mind all these random information you invented to your City? Guess what the hell these are? Go on, guess! That’s proper: they’re Improvisational Setups. S$&% you possibly can construct round later. They’re truly a well-implemented model of a gaming staple known as The Rumormill.

Facet Be aware: The Rumormill

Bizarre, discoverable information floating round city ain’t something new. They’re a staple of RPG Cities. Correctly applied — and the issue’s that nobody ever explains this s$&% so nobody implements them correctly — correctly applied, they serve three functions.

First, the random little rumors you’ve planted are an ideal supply of journey inspiration. Should you’re developing dry on concepts to your subsequent journey, you possibly can simply look again at your Rumormill and construct an journey round a rumor you planted.

Second, as I stated, they’re Improvisational Setups. When issues occur later that tie again to the Rumormill, you appear to be a planning genius. And your setting seems like an actual, interconnected world and never only a backdrop for player-character adventures.

Third, random little rumors empower the gamers to let you know what adventures to construct subsequent. How? Properly, if the gamers ignore a rumor utterly, they in all probability ain’t desirous about it for some purpose. But when they get actually into it? In the event that they attempt to study extra? They’re telling you it pursuits them for some purpose. So if that rumor become an journey, they’d in all probability take pleasure in it. And so they’d additionally really feel an enormous sense of company.

Company, engagement, and consistency… the place have I heard these three phrases earlier than? I’m fairly certain they’re necessary…

Improvisational Setup’s straightforward to drag off. Simply invent random s$&% and determine what it means later. However you possibly can’t reside on Improvisational Setup alone. Which is why that big-prep-little-prep strategy is so damned helpful. It allows you to embrace some Preplanned Setups. If the subsequent journey’s a dragon rescue earlier than the heroes get again to City, you can begin planting particulars for them to journey over.

However overlook all that planning crap. As a result of, actually, a second journey’s simply one other journey, proper? And also you already know methods to write an journey, don’t you? So, lesson over?

Get again in your seats. Lesson not over.

First, the patrons who hold this web site on-line would by no means pay me for a 1500-word article. So, I’ll fill this out with 3500 phrases of busywork if I’ve to.

However second, the second journey’s not simply one other journey.

Besides it’s.

As a result of I lied.

Once more.

See, it ain’t the second journey that’s completely different. You write the second journey the way in which you write the third, the fifth, and the thirtieth adventures within the marketing campaign. From right here on out, it’s the identical s$&%. Time and again. Welcome to Marketing campaign Hell.

Reality is, the first journey’s the completely different one. That one’s not simply one other journey. Simply because you possibly can write a first journey doesn’t imply you possibly can write a subsequent journey.

What’s the distinction? Properly, usually talking, the distinction is that the primary journey began with you thrusting a chunk of paper at your gamers and saying, “that is the journey, make characters to do that.” And then you definitely just about simply began the journey. Chilly. And you may by no means, ever try this once more.

Meaning, the second journey and all of your future subsequent adventures should take care of some s$&% the primary journey didn’t.


If you constructed that first journey, you didn’t should assume a lot about why the characters would give a s$&% about it. Why the heroes would wish to settle for the journey. I imply, certain, you thought somewhat about it. However you had some fairly sturdy benefits going into it. First, the gamers made their characters realizing that the primary journey was coming. So that they had been predisposed to take it on. And second?

Second, gamers are fairly tolerant of first adventures in new campaigns. They get that the primary journey’s going to be a railroad. It ain’t going to place up with loads of company and roleplaying bulls$&%. They get it intuitively if not explicitly. However they’re going to anticipate some form of say wherein adventures they do and which they skip from right here on out.

On the very least, they need adventures that make sense for his or her characters.

Thankfully, you made every participant commit a single motivation to paper. So that you’ve received some good information to work with now. Additional, each character has just a few different preinstalled motivations. All characters wish to survive, they wish to advance, they wish to defend what they care about, and so they wish to go on adventures with their buddies.

Facet Be aware: Preinstalled Motivations

You made each participant write down a personality motivation. A purpose why they do what they do. However these motivations ain’t the one causes characters do what they do. There’s 4 fundamental motivations that’ll push gamers — and their characters — into an journey. They fluctuate in power from character to character — and participant to participant — however they’re there. And so they’re helpful to know for causes I’ll clarify under.

First, each character desires to outlive and each participant desires their character to outlive. Meaning they’ll reply to threats. However don’t overlook that survival additionally means meals, water, shelter, and well being care. This implies most PCs will tackle any job that pays. Particularly in the event that they’re operating low on meals or want a illness cured or a curse lifted proper fast.

Second, each participant desires to see their character advance. To realize ranges, magical objects, new talents, s$&% like that. Each journey presents a possibility to advance by means of expertise factors and magical objects. However an journey may promise extra. Even wizards whose motives aren’t about rising their magical energy? They’ll nonetheless take the prospect to discover an archmage’s deserted tower if there’s the trace that a number of the archmage’s spell library is unbroken.

Third, each character and each participant desires to guard the s$&% they care about. So should you threaten one thing they care about, they’ll reply. Positive, some gamers — and a few characters — care about little or no. And the diploma to which they’ll threat themselves for these they care about varies. However should you can determine s$&% the gamers or the characters care about, you need to use them to inspire adventures.

Fourth, each participant — and due to this fact each character — desires to go on adventures with their buddies. That’s why they’re enjoying the f$&%ing recreation. So if everybody else is occurring an journey, they’re going to return alongside. Until they’re delinquent a$&holes who wish to smash the sport within the identify of roleplaying their characters. The longer the sport goes on, the stronger this motivation will get.


If you constructed that first journey, you didn’t have to fret an excessive amount of about the way it began. Due to that piece of paper you gave your gamers. Positive, you wrote a primary scene. And that was good apply. However you possibly can simply as simply have given the gamers a chunk of paper that stated, “cave stuffed with goblins; kill they a$&es” and began on the cave’s yawning maw.

To any extent further, your adventures want a hook. A scene wherein the gamers discover out what the hell they’re presupposed to do and the place the hell they need to begin doing it. An in-world, in-game scene. The scene could possibly be a easy expository dump whereby the mysterious stranger offers the gamers the deets. Or it could possibly be an interplay whereby the mayor mentions the goblins that simply attacked are holed up in a close-by smash.


No sane individual simply bites on a hook. They’re painful. And so they’re exhausting to see. That’s why hooks want large, fats, juicy worms wriggling away on the top. Lures entice the gamers’ consideration. And lures give the gamers a purpose to chew.

Lures may be easy and apparent. And so they can come caught proper on the hook. When the mysterious stranger approaches the social gathering and says, “if you’re trying to earn some coin, I’ve a job that wants doing.” That’s the lure. The hook comes when the gamers invite the stranger to sit down and clarify the job.

Lures may entice the gamers to return to them. Generally, the mysterious stranger doesn’t strategy the social gathering. He sits within the nook, looking at them and being all mysterious.

You can even make advanced, interactive lures that fill a number of scenes and encounters. Say, the social gathering sees smoke on the horizon. Literal smoke. They’re curious. Test it out. They discover a burnt homestead and a bunch of slaughtered peasants. And a bunch of untamed canines selecting over the stays. There’s a struggle. Then the social gathering finds the humanoid footprints — orcs by the look of them — main towards a distant, rocky hill. And it seems like they had been dragging one thing.

The smoke? The burnt homestead? All a part of the lure. The footprints? These are the hook.


You flung that first journey proper in your gamers’ faces. And, as I stated, it wouldn’t have mattered in the event that they’d began on the mouth of the cave. Or in the midst of the primary struggle. Level is that they didn’t have time to prepare. And so they didn’t want any.

A great journey, although? A great journey rewards forward-thinking intelligent clogs who take the time to arrange for his or her subsequent journey. Collect data and assets. Give you a plan. That form of s$&%. Thankfully, most subsequent adventures begin in City. Or close to sufficient that the characters can swing by City for information, provides, and assets. You’ve received to be able to reward that s$&% although.


Be sincere, you didn’t make journey a lot of factor in that first journey, did you? After all not. The PCs didn’t should stroll far. And also you in all probability simply narrated away the hike. Light out on the heroes setting out and pale up on them arriving. Proper?

It’s okay. You didn’t have a selection. You couldn’t truly adjudicate the journey s$&% since you had no concept what the panorama was like. You hadn’t mapped it but.

Properly, you’ve received a map now so that you’ve received no excuses. Good adventures contain precise journey. Journey that appears like a factor. Why? Properly, there’s a bunch of causes to not skimp on journey. There’s this gameplay loop factor and there’s this idea of the threshold I can’t clarify proper now and there’s this sense of the world factor I can also’t clarify.

Level is nice adventures contain precise journey. And why would you wish to run some other form of journey?


That first journey was a reasonably self-contained factor, wasn’t it? After all. How may it not be? There wasn’t something earlier than it. So, naturally, it got here out of the blue. And the remainder of the world didn’t exist if you wrote it. So there was nothing to attach it to.

However your subsequent adventures simply can’t get away with that s$&%. Each journey’s received to really feel like one other chapter in the identical story. That’s what makes a marketing campaign a marketing campaign. And each adventurer’s received to really feel prefer it’s taking place in a real-ish world. Since you don’t need the gamers to assume the world solely exists as an excuse for them to have adventures. Although it does.

That’s what all that big-prep-little-prep and Artwork of the Setup s$&% had been all about.

It’s time to construct your subsequent journey. And later, when it’s time to construct one other subsequent journey, you’ll do that s$&% once more. Thankfully, constructing a subsequent journey works loads like constructing a first journey. All of the s$&% I taught you? All of it nonetheless works. So, provide you with a premise, summarize the journey, break it into acts, fill the acts with scenes and encounters, then plan and stat and map all of the s$&% you want.

Besides now, you’ll break this s$&% down into large prep and little prep. And also you’ll match it in when that you must and when you possibly can.

And in addition besides now, you’ve received some additional s$&% to fret about.

I’m not strolling you thru your entire adventure-building course of once more. However I’ll present you methods to deal with that additional s$&% subsequent adventures want. The s$&% your first journey didn’t want.

Why Are We Doing This?

After you’ve received a premise — possibly after you’ve received a abstract too — ask your self whether or not the journey you’re constructing serves just a few of the characters’ motivations.

Be aware, I stated “just a few” and never “all.” You don’t should serve each character’s motivation with each journey. In reality, you shouldn’t. Although you must make certain each character will get a motivational payoff each few adventures.

Anyway, ask your self whether or not just a few of the characters — say half of them — have a purpose to pursue the journey’s purpose. Particularly given there’s a big-a$& main battle in the way in which. If the reply’s no, discover a method to sweeten the deal. Decide just a few motivations and alter the journey to pay them off.

PC in it for cash? Add an opportunity to receives a commission. Or at the very least, add an express point out of useful treasure. Possibly the evil princess stole the dominion’s platinum crown when she ran off together with her kidnapped dragon. Possibly Fantasy PETA’s providing to pay prime greenback for the dragon’s rescue.

Received a PC who’s in it for glory? Or to check their expertise? Play up the princess as an unbeatable powerhouse who slaughtered a dozen guards throughout her escape. Hell, have an NPC counsel the PCs are out of their league.

Received an explorer? Cool. Stick the princess’ Rainbow Tower within the coronary heart of an untracked, unmapped faerie valley stuffed with marvel.

Decide just a few motivations and add some express payoffs. And don’t overlook that each PC’s received a handful of preinstalled motivations too. Every so often, you possibly can base a whole journey round them. In any other case, they assist inspire the characters who aren’t getting an express payoff this time round.

Bait and Set the Hook

When you’ve received a premise and a abstract and also you’ve discovered the motivations in play — and possibly when you’ve discovered the act construction — it’s time to determine how the journey begins. So run by these 4 questions:

  • How do the characters know their purpose?
  • How do the characters know the place to start out?
  • How do the characters know the journey exists?
  • How do the characters know the journey serves their motivations?

The primary two questions are all concerning the hook. The scene that tells the PCs what they’re doing and methods to begin doing it. May very well be an NPC interplay. May very well be a mysterious location seen from a distance. May very well be a treasure map. All these issues supply a purpose — do that job for me or discover that location or discover the treasure — and a course.

The third query’s all about methods to get the gamers to the hook. What occurs within the recreation world to catch their eye? Proactive NPCs and posted notices get the job accomplished. Tripping over a homicide scene does too. So does planting a treasure map in a earlier journey’s hoard. The extra apparent you’re, the much less possible the fool gamers will miss it. However the extra delicate you’re, the extra your gamers will assume they discovered the job and selected it for themselves. So, take into account s$&% like overheard rumors, seen plumes of smoke, fights to interrupt up, crying widows to consolation, or anything that catches the characters’ eyes and says, “come, work together with me!”

That is the place your City prep actually pays off. Do not forget that record of helpful providers you got here up with? The s$&% you knew your gamers can be looking for once they hit City? Properly, Bait and Set your Hook so the gamers will spot it once they go searching for a kind of helpful providers. Or ship the gamers in the fitting course whereas they’re pursuing a helpful service.

“Aye, I can mend your sword. However, in the meantime, may you ship this to the Temple on Crying Widow Street? I’ll provide you with a reduction.”

The correct of bait can reply the fourth query. A crying widow presents an opportunity to assist others. A treasure map guarantees a method to purchase wealth. However the bait alone often received’t promise all of the payoff. That’s what the hook’s for. When you’ve received the assist others cleric listening to the grieving widow, a swaggering braggadocio can push that check my mettle character alongside.

“Don’t take heed to that crone. Should you go to Breakhero Ridge, you’ll get killed. Even I wouldn’t go there and I’m clearly far more traveled than you. Higher heroes than you’ve got challenged the ridge. Each final one’s useless now. Similar to that outdated bitty’s idiot husband.”

Properly Begun is Half Executed

Received your premise? Abstract? Act construction? Motivations? Hook? Lure? Nice! If you wish to be accomplished, you’re accomplished. Critically. That’s ok. Begin doing the little prep s$&% and let the gamers have at it.


Why cease at ok? Need to pull off some large mind, next-level GMing s$&%? After all you do.

Begin by giving your gamers an opportunity to tip the chances of their favor with some prep work.

Give you three issues — data, assets, allies, no matter — that’d be actually helpful to convey alongside. Not s$&% the PCs want to succeed. Simply s$&% that’ll give them an additional edge. Details about the massive boss’ strengths and weaknesses, for instance. Or data that’ll assist them prep the fitting spells. Or data that’ll assist them neutralize lesser encounters or discover hidden passages. Or helpful instruments. Mundane instruments, potions, scrolls, or bits of specialised gear. Or NPC companions. Hirelings, henchfolk, pets, no matter. Usually helpful companions or companions with particular, helpful expertise.

Something works. Simply provide you with three anythings.

Now, utilizing the identical methodology you used to Bait and Set the Hook, plant that s$&% in City. Catch the PCs’ eyes after which invite them to find useful assets. Simply don’t give the entire resolution away. Make the gamers determine that the factor they’ve observed may be helpful on their subsequent journey. Don’t inventory a store with hearth resistance potions for the journey to Lavaplop Rift. Simply present the gamers a potion maker and allow them to ask for fireproofing potables.

A great rule’s to make one of many three assets apparent and straightforward to search out. Make the subsequent tougher to search out. Make the gamers ask some questions. And don’t reveal the third. Make them hunt for it. Or present it to them, however make them overcome a problem to earn it.

If You’re Going Out Anyway…

Talking of massive mind journey design, how a few aspect quest? You already know, an elective additional goal with a payoff of its personal?

Simply keep in mind that a aspect quest has received so as to add some problem. It may well’t be one thing the gamers can do whereas they’re doing the journey. It’s received to contain a detour, a search, a plan, or a useful resource expenditure. Or all of the above. Or it’s received to up an present problem.

Suppose s$&% like defending a weak NPC tagalong. Or looking out a harmful swamp for just a few hours for a uncommon plant. Or capturing a monster alive as an alternative of killing it. Offering you don’t sap the additional problem by following the usual D&D guidelines whereby the gamers can deal nonlethal injury simply by saying, “I didn’t imply to kill it; I meant to subdue it” after it hits zero hit factors.

F$&%ing D&D.

When you provide you with a very good sidequest, drop it into City the identical approach you Baited and Set your Hook and planted your Doable Preparatory Payoffs.

Getting There’s Half the Hassle

Last item to consider — and this isn’t actually large mind, next-level GMing; it needs to be customary — final thing to consider is methods to make journey a factor.

As soon as the place the journey takes place, plot it in your map. Now, take a look at the map. Look the place the journey web site is. Have a look at the terrain round it. And the route the PCs will in all probability take to get there.

What may occur on the way in which?

Happenings on the way in which are available in two flavors. First, there’s Deliberate Encounters. If a visit’s prone to take at the very least two days, plant at the very least one encounter alongside the route. Identical as the way you’d plant an encounter in a dungeon room between the doorway and the boss room. The longer the journey, the extra Deliberate Encounters you wish to set. Particularly if you need journey to be an act unto itself and fill a session.

Now, provide you with at the very least three Issues — wandering monsters, random strangers, hazards, bizarre occasions, and unfortunate turns of fortune — that may come up on the highway. Each time potential, join them to the terrain varieties on the map. Bandits hang-out roads, hippogriffs hunt in hills, swamps have quicksand, humidity ruins tools and spoils meals, et cetera, and so forth.

Should you actually wish to do that s$&% proper, provide you with a listing of three to 5 Issues for every terrain area on the map the gamers’ll be trekking by. These lists will in all probability come up time and again.

When do you employ these Issues? Properly, make wandering monster rolls the way in which the DMG says you must, however use Issues as an alternative of encounter tables. Easy.

…And So On

And that covers the large prep to your subsequent journey. Aside from the wilderness encounters and Issues. These are technically little prep.

Regardless, with the large prep accomplished, now you are able to do the little prep to your journey’s first session. And you will get a leap on future periods if in case you have time. I’ll focus on that extra within the subsequent — and final — lesson.

Which is about doing all this s$&% again and again ceaselessly and ever.

I virtually f$&%ing forgot. I’ve received to provide you with a operating instance, don’t I?


Look, I’m not doing all of the adventure-building steps. I’m simply gonna briefly speak about how I’d make the motivation, hook, prep, and aspect quest selections, cool? I belief you to provide you with encounters and Issues by yourself.

Additionally, as a result of that is simply an instance, I don’t have an precise PC social gathering to work from. So, I’m simply going to drag some motivations out of my a$&. Cool?

Premise first. I would like flooded coastal ruins. I desire a manticore. Why? As a result of that s$&% sounds cool. Thankfully, I’ve received a swampy area just a few days downriver from City on my map. However what are PCs going to do there?

My City’s enjoyable information embrace a graverobber with a bronze medallion who died of a curse. And it’s flagged as unfaithful. So, clearly, he wasn’t a graverobber and he didn’t die of a curse. He was an explorer and he died of poison. And he’s survived by the girlfriend he meant to suggest to with the ring he discovered.

Drawback’s that he was pressured to flee the Sunken Wreck on the Drowned Coast to flee the manticore. He took a poison barb to the knee. In some way, regardless of all odds, he made it again residence. However he succumbed to the poison quickly thereafter.

And he left his backpack behind in his flight.

So, purpose? Journey to the Sunken Wreck on the Drowned Coast and recuperate Mavel’s backpack for his girlfriend.

Motivations. Let’s fake I’ve received a goody-goody who desires to assist individuals. He’ll be joyful to assist Mavel’s distraught lover by recovering his gear. Let’s additionally fake I’ve received a grasping guts who desires to amass wealth. If there’s a promise of extra treasure within the smash, she’s in. And let’s additionally fake I’ve received an explorer sort. He’ll be joyful to traipse by a distant swamp and discover a crumbling, mud-choked fortress.

How do the characters know their purpose is to recuperate Mavel’s backpack for his girlfriend? What if Mavel’s tormented ghost asks the characters to? How’s that for an superior hook?!

How do the characters know the place to go? Did I point out the tormented ghost?

Anyway, there’s the hook.

How do the characters know the hook exists? What lures them in? Mavel’s ghost may simply present up, however that appears lame. “Instantly, a ghost seems and fingers you a mission briefing.” That sucks. And there’s no company in that.

I would like a catalyst. One thing that connects the gamers to the ghost. Possibly that medallion.

Whereas the heroes are purchasing out there, the girlfriend’s making an attempt to promote the medallion. The customer’s not impressed. He tries to brush her off. Gives her a crappy deal. She’s getting agitated. Insisting it’s a treasure that her boyfriend found. She’s determined for coin. The customer sneers. He’s not desirous about shopping for junk from graverobber’s girlfriend. So she begins scream-crying that he wasn’t a grave robber. He was an ideal explorer. They had been going to be married. Possibly she will get violent. Throws one thing on the purchaser.

If it has to, this struggle’ll spill proper into the characters’ laps.


As soon as the PCs discuss to the girlfriend, she tells them how her boyfriend, Mavel, went off exploring and got here residence sick and feverish. He couldn’t even clarify the place he’d been. Simply that he’d discovered one thing for her. And a bunch of different treasures too. He was going to return for all of it when he received effectively. However he didn’t. The healer his girlfriend employed couldn’t assist him. He died.

Then, she reveals the PCs the medallion. Says it’s all he had on him when he got here again. She says she doesn’t wish to promote it, however she will be able to’t afford to reside and wishes the coin. Huge sob story for the goody-goody. Anyway, she doesn’t wish to half with it as a result of it’s all she’s received left of him. And she will be able to virtually hear his voice when she touches it. She considered taking it to the scholar within the tower — a factor that exists in City, bear in mind — to see what the symbols on the again imply. She fingers it to a PC.

And when the PC takes it, he hears a voice whisper “I left within the ruins… on the ocean… within the drowning land… should get it again to her…”

Hook, line, and sinker.

So what about prep? What three issues may assist the social gathering?

First, it’d assist to know concerning the venomous manticore. Particularly if the social gathering brings some antivenom.

Second, an NPC information may assist them by the swamp. Swamps are harmful.

Third, touring by boat downriver’s loads faster than strolling.

How may they purchase this s$&%? Properly, the ghost can’t inform the gamers every thing. But when the PCs ask for particulars about how he died, they’ll study the girlfriend had a healer deal with Mavel. Attempt to, anyway. The healer can reveal she pulled a barb out of his leg. She suggests it was in all probability poison that killed Mavel and in addition suggests the scholar within the tower may have the ability to determine the barb if the PCs can’t. And he can.

As soon as the PCs know they’re coping with a manticore, hopefully, they’ll assume to go to the already established potion maker out there for a counteragent.

As for the information and the boat? Properly, when the gamers are planning their journey, they’ll hopefully take a look at the map I gave them. They’ll see they’re going downriver and right into a swamp. By means of tutorial, I’ll counsel both {that a} boat may be a extremely helpful various to strolling or {that a} educated information could make trekking by the damaging swamp much less harmful. However I received’t counsel each. They’ll have to think about asking round for the opposite on their very own. Or go with out.

As for a aspect quest? Properly, given they’re hopefully checking in with the potion maker, he can ask why the social gathering’s so desirous about antivenom. If the gamers reveal their vacation spot is the Drowned Coast, then I can use the “discover the uncommon plant within the swamp” aspect quest I discussed above. They’ll have to maneuver off the river and inland from the salt marsh the place the Sunken Wreck lies. However as soon as inland, they will forage for the uncommon plant. The extra they carry, the higher the pay. However the extra they forage, the extra they threat Issues.

That covers my large prep. Now I can begin my little prep and prepare for particular person periods. Besides not. As a result of I ain’t truly operating this recreation.


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