So. Matthew changed jobs. It’s mostly a good thing, but a new job comes with new schedule. New schedule means that on some Monday nights, he can’t run our Kingmaker game. The silver lining is that we know which Monday nights they are, and can plan accordingly. Instead of giving up the time we already carved out, I offered to run a short D&D campaign for the others. The offer was well received so here we are.
I’m using 5th Edition rules because I prefer 5th’s emphasis on role play and story. I’m looking forward to the new edition of Pathfinder because it seems Paizo has followed WOTC in an effort to streamline the system and that works well for me.
Since very early in my roleplay efforts, I’ve been a subscriber to Johann Four’s Roleplaying Tips.
When Johann and James Introcaso ran a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year for an adventure described as, “a clever mix of classic D&D adventure, sandbox, and hexcrawl in a post-apocalyptic setting you can easily drop into your world”, I backed it.
When I read it, it wasn’t something I wanted to drop into a world, but it seemed a solid story. There’s a little monster-slaying heroism, a little mystery and exploration and a little political drama all wrapped up in a fast moving storyline in a detailed (yet generic) setting with some great NPCs. So, I thought, I could run this and it would be quick, with minimal commitment and a good time will be had– you know that rosy image that you get pre-campaign . . .
Since Kingmaker posts will be slowing up as our Kingmaker game responds to real-world demands on time and energy, these posts will help hold the fort.
I have 3 players, all of which are in our Kingmaker game.
Kezia Yaska (aka Noruas) is a human druid. This is a character from a failed campaign, resurrected and reinserted here. Female.
Aang (aka Eneko, sort of . . .) is a Dwarven Monk. Male.
Rin Lightwind (aka Elysia) is a human cleric of Sune. Female.
I sort of randomly grabbed the Forgotten Realms pantheon without any real logic to the choice. I needed a Life and Light diety.
I wrote a little invitation/pitch for the campaign:
At the top of the world, on the Sardoon Sea, nestled between the Cold Peak and the Vinecrest Mountains, sits Luna Valley. The Valley is a northern frontier like any other, home to a few hundred inhabitants scattered in and near a dozen settlements or so.
Kezia is a refugee. She was part of a nomadic clan that was completely wiped out by the devastation. She came to Tomar’s crossing with her wagon and horses, found a place to house herself and her belongings at the only place in town with a large enough barn– the brewery– and set out looking for employment, lighting on Jorney’s Tavern.
Jorney doesn’t care for the refugees, but Kezia is a beautiful young woman and was looking for a job, not a handout. He’s also just a guy in a bad situation, not a bad guy. He was immediately smitten with her and agreed to let her work at the tavern singing for tips and to feed her while she was there.
The impulsive Kezia overheard Rin’s suggestion to Aang and immediately decided to help!
Meanwhile, the tavern was visited by two others: Sommeth Skullcleaver– the carpenter Aang works with. Sommeth came in and when he discovered that Aang and company were going out, offered to outfit them with whatever they needed. He couldn’t go with them, of course . . . he has a baby daughter and he’s widower and can’t bear the thought of someone else raising his darling girl. Oh, and did he mention that he may have a friend among the people taken prisoner by the bandits?
He, father that he is, reminded Rin to speak to her mother before leaving and bowed from the waist like a soldier upon being introduced to Kezia.
Also, Bjalien Viadis came in with a posting, which he carelessly put over Jorney’s own. He was looking for someone to go get the supplies. And the people. Mostly the supplies. And his niece. And the supplies. He’ll pay people to go get the supplies. And a greenskin head would be nice to have as well.
The company didn’t care for bringing heads back, for some reason.
Aang insisted that Rin tell her mother first.
They went to the Temple and Isperil made her appearance, old and limping. She can’t go on this quest! But when Rin pointed out that she could help with healing and such, Isperil agreed to let her go, hugged her warmly and told her she was proud of her. She then made a gift of 3 cure potions to the party and asked Aang to take care of her daughter.
That done, the party stopped at Sommeth’s and was outfitted with a wagon, his own large horse and weapons and armor. There they saw that Sommeth was providing firewood to the refugees.
The checked in with Huberg Greyborn for some information and were told that the goblins were organized, had bombs and a dragon. Huberg was curt but gentlemanly and took Kezia’s suggestion that he and his soldiers offer protection for the other refugees in return for food and such.
The party is trying to find employment for all, which is awesome.
They stopped at Brinner’s to get Kezia’s wagon and horses and were off.
They encountered a musk ox graveyard, some plants in the night that grew abnormally fast and tried to suck their blood, a mudslide that didn’t hurt anyone.
Then, following the sound of screaming, they encountered a severed head. The head had been uncovered by the melt and was speaking a language they didn’t know. It seemed that it used to be human and it did eye them as they approached.
Rin put it out of its misery with a spell and then Kezia, hearing the horses in distress, ran back to camp to catch sight of a white dragon there.
Players Don’t Read:
As written, the PC’s are supposed to get 9 quests right off the bat. I left out 2 intentionally, planning on bringing them in later and forgot 1. It’s nothing I can’t bring in later, thank goodness!
All in all, I was pleased with all of the NPC’s but I think I may have overplayed Jorney’s infatuation with Kezia a bit. No permanent harm done, I hope. The majority of what he had to offer was pretty solid.
I loved that Aang came up with an idea that was actually a quest in the adventure. He didn’t offer to take Jorney up on the job, but the job is out there.
I really can’t recall the reason I gave to the players that Sommeth came in. He’s a quest-giver, of course . . . but he’s a half-orc carpenter and a cool guy who will probably run for council and I wanted him to be sympathetic. So, I shamelessly played the ‘can’t leave my baby’ card. It worked quite well.
No one asked what Sommeth was doing with all of those weapons but I did let them know that he was the kind of man who went hungry for his daughter and shared what food he had with his horse. He was well-liked.
Isperil and Kadra also had quests but I took care of that off camera and gave the first one to Rin, which lead her to Aang. Since Isperil is Rin’s mother I’ve no concerns about getting sympathy for her, as needed.
Bjalin got a bit of interest as well. Jorney doesn’t care for him, and I told Kezia that he looked at her like a spreadsheet. This was enough to make him an object of curiosity, which is pretty perfect.
No combat yet, so it was a bit slow . . . but I think we left it at a good place. Next up, saving the horses. And the people!
I’m watching James Introcaso run this on YouTube as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqT4mYjzWt0&t=1s