As I discussed in my previous post (click here for that), my two current projects are a little different. I’ve had my collection of magic items (and I get tickled pink to this day seeing people out there at ENWorld and RPG.net and GITPG and reddit and etc., etc. etc.) link to them and discuss using them in their games; I’ve had my starting collection of traps to spice-up and weird up your own campaigns (and traps are hard, buddy, let me tell ya’); and I’ve been enjoying the Building a Campaign series by our co-writer, Ben, and the visitations on the real meat of class origin and play-theory by our co-writer, Mike…
…but my world for the last month or so has been building awesome table-top gaming rigs with projectors and fleshing out the first module I have (and my play testers have) ever, ever, ever tried to make.
Because the fanbase for our little blog has been wonderful, and the interest has been flattering, I’ve decided to share some of the plots in our module project. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting up the maps, org charts, tables (random encounter tables for crimes, for npc’s, etc.), and the more detailed version of the Plot Matrix–but, for now, you can get a sense of the pace of the module by reading through these summaries (and hey, maybe you decide to use some as seeds for your own game plots).
The way to best think of this is that no party–not ever–will be able to do all the plots. Just won’t happen. The meat of this module has been that we find the middle ground between a sandbox and a linear module. PC’s can easily gather information while in a particular district (Gildt or Potters or Wetside, etc.) and Charisma-based or Wisdom-based rolls will get MORE or FEWER plot rumors. Those with Criminal Contacts or backgrounds that give them a constituency of information can get rumors of plots in any area (flavored to the source, of course).
The PC’s area always, as constables (guards), hearing about things… real plots, random crimes, etc. But, they can’t be everywhere at once. The grand murder of a Count by his seemingly possessed son, with the mysterious and dark witch-like counselor in his service being secretive… that could be a big XP arch of magical combat and hunting through the woods (turns out its not, and the boy was just in the throes of a deep personal psychosis). The legal petitioning of a cleric to be allowed to conduct services on the waterfront… that could be a big waste of valuable combat xp time (turns out it isn’t, and the cleric and his brothers raise water elementals in a ritual gone awry and the district needs saving).
The city is much different from the start and by the end. Factions (from the guards to the scholars to merchants to the nobles… many of them) will like or dislike or hate or revere the party with every new day’s worth of activity. Plots never stop coming, some resolve within the first day or two, some don’t even start until the last day. NPC’s are met and re-met and re-re-met through different plots and their disposition can make or break an investigation or combat (the thieves Guild that keeps getting busted for even minor crimes during the early days may be all the more aggressive against the PC’s or lead them astray from real serious ones later on).
We’ve so far only played through half our projected 36 plots. We’ve run through them a few times, as well, restarting the game and re-playing to see where it can go and how easily things can be done or missed. This next month, we’ll play through the other half and weave them all together.
Feel free to read the first dozen, and see what we’re building: