Yes, it's a dungeon crawl, but I like the setting...kind of like a trek through Unseen University (see the Discworld books.)
Also, it seems a dungeon crawl because the University is all you really fleshed out. Give more work to the other locations and people of the city, and there will be more opportunity for different types of play. Go to Comment
Interesting idea, but it doesn't really stand to reason that armed raiders, unless OBVIOUSLY underage or poorly armed, would not be taken seriously by seasoned killers. I think a better way to teach this lesson might be to add a human dimension to a more obvious threat - like a troll wandering the countryside looking for a new home because his was destroyed by a cave collapse. You would make sure the players see the troll first, giving them the option of combat or parlay (or avoiding entirely). If they choose combat, punish them by making sure they get banged up (they don't necessarily need to die). If they choose to parlay, reward them by having the troll give them something special or perhaps promise to help them in the future for helping him find a new home. If they avoid interaction completely, you could make the situation more compelling by having a villager(s) come back in a panic saying that a troll had been spotted and the party is asked to help. Go to Comment
I agree with Anonymous. The choice should be up to the players - not the GM. If the GM attacks them with warriors - regardless of whether they're skilled or not, the party won't know that immediately - what party with half a brain wouldn't defend themselves? I mean come on. Think of today. If some guy jumped out of the bushes and started fighting you, you'd have little choice but to fight back. You might not hurt him, but you would defend yourself. The troll idea was good because this allows a choice - attack the troll, which is evil, or not. Then set up the consequences for the action. Yes, this doesn't fit into the plot as given, but the idea of his comment was to take choice away from the GM and to the players. It'd always better to have players get into trouble for their own choices rather than have the gm railroad them into trouble. This plot has a good idea which just needs to be adjusted slightly to incorperate that point. Go to Comment
I don't agree with the original Anonymous. If some guy jumped out of the bushes like the situation in the previous post, yes you would defend yourself. But when it was obvious that the guy couldn't hurt you too much; that you are that much better than him, will you pull out out your knife or pistol or fist or what have you and kill him? No, you wouldn't, and that is the point that this encouter is trying to make. And Strolen is right, adding a troll would strip the encounter of its human dimension. In fact, it would change the entire thing. Why would the tribe care if the troll was slaughtered? As the idea was given, they wouldn't. It IS an entirely different plot. Go to Comment
Although CP's point doesn't make a point...does it? Your idea is a whole other plot, and a rather cliche and boring one as far as that goes because there is no depth to it. How do you hadd a human dimesion by taking the human element out of it and adding a 'monster' that is almost always 'evil' and is always good to kill? It makes more sense to have human warriors in a morality tale. Seasoned warriors would IMMEDIATELY be able to tell experience when the first exchange is made and if they choose to kill them all it would indeed be simply a slaughter. I disagree with your post in its entirety. Go to Comment
An excellent, simple way to teach stab-happy heroes a lesson.
4/5, one point deducted just because it was just "bare-bones" adventure setup, with no story. Normally, that isn't that much of a problem, but this seems extra dry, if you will. Go to Comment
Although I am still new to this place, and haven't seen many plots, I shall still say that this is a pretty good mission/adventure for pc's that get high off of fighting for no good reason. I may use this I give this a 5/5 just because of how funny it could jeopardize the welfare of my pc's. Go to Comment
cruel and unusuall, excelent. The shear evil of your mind brings me great pleasure. However, i do think that this is a little unfair because what are they supposed to do. let the attackers kill them? There is a time to kill, and a time to let live. Go to Comment
sorry i tried to edit that i was supposed to say "if the players had the intellegence to not attack them wouldn't they also realise that retaliating would be a mark of hostility?" but it never got edited in, i suppose i never considered the posibility that they would have an explination if they just subdued them. Go to Comment
A fair point Captain! I was going to come back and add some story, but after reading Strolen's comment I decided not to. This is because Strolen has basically described my intentions when I wrote it: this is a one-off short mission to be plopped in anywhere, rather than a whole campaign story.
However, when I used it, the king who sent them was Lord Niavon of Torridon (see npc), and the timing was one month before his fateful invasion of Siluria (the one that drove him mad). This was a crucial part of his preparations for the war. The barbaric tribe was the Wyvern Tribe of Orcs, a large and powerful tribe (made up of five clans) located in the south-east foothills of the Rhaetian mountains. Go to Comment
No, they're not supposed to let the attackers kill them. They are meant to drive them off, subdue them, disarm them or otherwise force them to surrender. It says the attackers are youths who are new to combat; in other words level 1 warriors who the PCs should be able to subdue (without killing) easily -if they think of it. Wounding a couple is OK (and, as stated, would cause them to surrender), as is maybe killing one, but not butchering them all. The PCs are meant to be peace envoys to these people after all. Go to Comment
I've known groups of players that are just what this sort of scenario is supposed to address ("Kill 'em all, let the gods sort them out!"). I've also known groups that were the complete opposite ("We shouldn't attack until we're sure the pirates are going to betray us."). Either extreme is maddening for the GM.
On one hand, if your goal is to broker a cease-fire between two hostile groups, only a fool would start by slaughtering some of the other side to open negotiations. On the other hand, if it's not clear how dangerous the attacking group is, you can't blame the PCs for defending themselves. I've seen scenarios that expected the party to subdue attackers, despite the fact that the party was woefully ill-equipped for such a task.
I am not overfond of the "you meet too many of them to fight" situation. I've been subjected to scenarios that repeatedly surrounded me with overwhelming force to force me to parley. That can become a "rail job", especially when there are compelling roleplaying reasons why the characters wouldn't cooperate with the desired plot. They should at least have the chance to flee ignominiously (and fail the mission). Go to Comment
I love this! Combines dark (yet worryingly accurate!) parody with a fully workable and atmospheric setting for gaming. There is great potential for plots and interesting NPCs.
A couple more plot hooks
a) Exploit the town/gown rivalry: the people, fed up with the wizards and their unnatural research, take to the streets and lay siege/set fire to the colleges,
b) Maybe the players get lost in the library and can't find the way out. As readers of Terry Pratchett know, libraries can act as multidimensional plane-connecting conduits and you never know where they might end up (coincidentally, I'm currently running a campaign based in a library...),
By the way, what other colleges are there apart from Cornelius and Barnwell?