Building a Campaign from the Ground Up Part 8

Good Wednesday, Readers,

Last week we went over the general scheme of things for the big prison escape. We left a lot open to flexibility and improvisation. This was done on purpose to help our DM understand that the characters need to help craft the story. The DM might ignore the advice but there’s only so much we can do.

I’m sorry I haven’t updated the google docs yet. I’m hoping I’ll get a chance this week. It’s at the point where it’s so far behind it’s become intimidating. I promise that by the end of this it will be in a usable form.  However, if any reader has a knack for throwing together these kind of things in a professional manner and would love to work on it, please let me know :D. I could always use the extra hand.

So, what’s next?  With our open escape plan, we took a lot of work off of our chests and threw it in on the DM. Sucks to be them I guess. But in all seriousness, we have some tidbits to add in the final product for that section—examples and some helpful tips for the DM. We’ll attack that much later. Right now we’re going to press forward with completing the chapter.

After talking with Minnie Torre about the great escape, the party will do one of several things: hop into the escape plan and figure out what they need to do, ignore the escape plan and try to figure their own way out, or ignore the escape plan with no desire to get out; possibly they really, really, really want to continue on as gladiators.  I know I’ve joked about this in the comments with a few of you already, but some party might actually like this idea and want to do it. If so, I’m thinking of building some sort of gladiator battle table that the DM can utilize to help arrange their various tiers of arena battle glory.

Anyways, assuming they don’t find the idea of endless battles enticing, they’ll probably want to escape. I guess they could mosey around and do absolutely nothing—at which point why bother playing at all? But to each his own. We’ve thoroughly prompted and lead the characters to take action, at this point it’s on them to take it. Now, they will probably try to help with the escape plan and join the others so we’ll delve into that. They could decide to escape on their own and abandon the others, which is fine, but that’s the kind of thing our DM will have to improvise. It’ll be at the DM’s discretion to either mold our ending to the party’s actions, or simply create a whole new outcome. Unpredictability is one of the greatest things in D&D. Like I’ve said before, it’s like crafting a story where your characters actually breathe and think; you just have to help narrate what the consequences are.

We find ourselves with the party having completed their escape plan prep work and meeting the others in the courtyard. However they get their or whatever they’ve changed will need to be incorporated in the scene at this point. We can prompt the DM to add those details in and provide him with some tidbits of scripts to toss around as necessary. In general we’ll tell the DM to have Minnie Torre greet them and make it known how excited she is to see them. We’ll also cue the DM to make sure he points out anything the party did to prep the area—E.G. if the party trapped the gate have Minnie Torre or another escaping slave praise or hound them about their craftsmanship.

After they’ve all caught up and spoke about thwatever it is they desire to speak about with Minnie, she says in hushed yell:

“We better get going. Quick, every “over the wall (or whatever else the plan turned into it)”. “Everybody” raise your ladders (if the plan was for each group to make their own ladders)”. Go  Go Go Go!

At this point the DM will begin describing the scene:

Countless slaves around you bundled in small groups each begin to “stand up ladders” that lay at their feet. The darkened sky fills with towering shadows. Excitement courses through your veins as you see countless men and women scale the bridges to freedom.

And we let the players decide what to do in our first TIMED EVENT. What’s a TIMED EVENT? Well it’s exactly what it sounds like. The players are in the act of escaping slavery, we can’t just let them take their sweet time now can we? Somebody in the compound, no matter how much preparation the slaves made, is going to notice and raise an alarm. Unless of course our party already murdered everyone in the compound or disabled the alarm system—never put it past your players to actually do these things; they just might.

So, to put them in the heat of the moment we’re going to clock them. We’re not going to tell them we’re clocking them—unless the DM really thinks it’s better that way—no we’re just going to clock them and have things happen at particular points in time. I haven’t quite nailed down how I want the timed event to work with what happens when. So I’ll leave that as the Poll of the Week. I look forward to your suggestions.

Next week we’ll define the parameters of our Timed Event Encounter  as well as our adventrurer’s trip to another  Shard. Then Chapter 1 will be done.

As always let me know any comments/ criticisms you have. If this format of developing things has worked so far, great! If it’s coming off ass a lot of writing fluff and etc then let me know. I can tailor my posts to better suit you guys.

Until Next Time,

Your Self Published Author


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