Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dungeon Mastering: Examples of the D&D TV Season

After my D&D group finished the first episode of "Season 4" of our campaign, I thought I would present them with a few options for the upcoming sessions. Below is the list of "episode" summaries I sent. Hopefully, it will provide a sense of how a D&D campaign can be organized in a manner akin to an overly ridiculous television show. In the future, I'll take some time to write more about organizing a RPG campaign like it is a television show.

For context, it's important to understand that the group just broke out of prison after having been found guilty of three counts of murder (of a Lord of Waterdeep) and treason. This is the point in the grand narrative where they go from being brave adventurers working in the city to branded criminals trying to save the city from internal corruption.

The Magnificent Weathermen

Required Character(s): Chet Doppler
Optional Character(s): None. See Note(1)
Background: As things begin to calm down after the big breakout, Chet tries to figure out where Vince Candela, his arch-rival, has gone. Once he learns the real story, he puts together a team of friends and rivals from the Waterdeep Meteorologist's Guild to rescue their old comrade.
Note(1): This adventure is sort of a "one-off" featuring mostly new characters that aren't necessarily essential to the overall story.

Old School Ties

Required Character(s): Malvolio, Orsino
Optional Character(s): None
Background: Orsino and Malvolio sneak into Waterdeep to investigate a mystery from their youth at the Waterdeep Academy of Royalty and Noblemen. While there, they discover truths they were never meant to know.Note(1): This is likely a small party adventure, featuring only 2-4 players.

The Perfect Prison
Required Character(s): Archon
Optional Character(s): Gilderoy
Background: With everybody back together, Archon asks for assistance in determining the full extent of who is trapped within his psychic prison matrix and, if possible, find a way to separate it from the rest of the Blackstaff Core. This can undoubtedly end poorly.

Shadow of the Moon
Required Character(s): Darkscale
Optional Character(s): Ieuan, Nagda
Background: With all these new people onboard, life is getting cramped aboard the airship Scara. Archon and Onceval have discovered a legendary fortress hidden beneath the woods east of Neverwinter. However, those woods are home to the werewolf barbarian clans, some of whom still have ties to the Netherese.Note(1): This adventure begins the "Through Blood and Shadows" trilogy.

Till Death Do Us Part
Requires Character(s): Zane
Optional Character(s): Nasher
Background: It's a tough life having a spellscar that absorbs the essence of undead creatures. That kind of thing changes you. It changes Zane. Having absorbed Reapers, Dementors, and other undead monstrosities with his spellscar, Zane finds his own identity, his soul, in question.

The Smell of a Rat
Required Character(s): Paetr
Optional Character(s): Onceval
Background: Sent by Lord Neverember, an interesting young man comes to the (former) Waterdeep Adventurer's Guild with a potential ally: new, powerful monstrous warriors to join them in their fight against Thay. The downside? It's the Dustclaws, a Luskan gang.


Orsino's Night Out
Required characters: Orsino Fortinbras, Roderigo Fortinbras
Optional Characters: None. See Note(2).
Background: Onceval realizes that he requires the power of the actual Blackstaff to be able to defeat Len-Jes, Archmage of Waterdeep. When planning a mission to recover it, Orsino informs the team that not everything is as it seems. In flashback, Orsino tells the story of what really happened to the staff so many years ago.
Note(1): This adventure begins the "Legacy of Fortinbras" trilogy.
Note(2): This adventure is a "one-off" using the Leverage RPG Ruleset. With the exception of the Required Characters, the characters are all arbitrary.