Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Prologue: Whispers in the Dark/Realms of the Masterminds Part I of II

"Catch a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime." - Old Saying

While many have been pestering me about posting new DnD stuff, it just hasn't happened.  My group has been very busy, and, suffice to say, the campaign has not been moving at the speed at which I envisioned.  However, I've been able to plan the next adventure for about two to three months, so I'm really looking forward to us sitting down in the next couple of weeks and cranking it out.

What does that mean for right now though?  I realized that planning wasn't enough; I wanted to play.  I also happen to have a younger brother who loves the game, and will most likely start DMing for his friends as he gets older (he's about half my age).

The DM's Guide and lots of material are great at explaining how the game works and how to build encounters and what not, but it doesn't help with ideas.  It doesn't help with running the game.  I read everything I could, and yet my early games were simple and didn't always necessarily give the players what they wanted.  I think the last few months have give me tons of new ideas and thoughts for what a Dungeons and Dragons game should have.  And those are the lessons I want to teach my brother.

So, here's another problem: how do you play DnD with two people?  Simple.  We work on our own story together, each person playing two characters.  Think of it like the video game Marvel Ultimate Alliance, or X-Men Legends.  A party is controlled, advancing the story in order to accomplish tasks.  That's basically what we're doing.  Treasure is totally random (rolling off a chart), so we are trying to challenge ourselves as best we can.

So, now that you understand how the game is working, let's dive into it.

---

This new tale begins in the Feywild, in a Goblin outpost called Feuerbrennt.  Deep in the prison cells, a new prisoner is being escorted in.  He's a young, half-elf man, clad in forest leathers and hunting gear.  His goblin guards place him in a cell, and walk out, hanging the keys on the wall.  Three other prisoners, a drow, an eldarin, and a halfling sit in other cells.
The prisoners sit in their cells, pondering their fate at the hands of goblins.
The half-elf mutters some words, and green light appears outside his cell.  A moment later, a large hamster with random tufts of green fur stands opposite the half-elf.  The creature sniffs the air and washes its face before looking at the half-elf.  The man proceeds to nod his head, and the hamster walks over to the wall, picking up the keys the goblins had left.
The half-elf and his animal companion.
Bringing the keys, the half-elf unlocks the door with no problem.  As he goes to leave, the drow across the room begins to speak with him.
"I wish for you to free me as well,"
The half-elf pauses for a moment.
"Why should I do so, drow?  Your people have brought nothing but hardship upon my ancestors.
The half-elf begins to walk away, when the halfling speaks to him.
"I wish to escape with you.  I have been waiting for somebody who can help.  Bahamut has surely led you here."
The half-elf nods at the small figure, who then proceeds to deftly pick his lock, stepping out of the cell.  In the torchlight, his shadows seem to swirl around him, at times turning into something that appears to be a horrific creature, then becoming nothing but a swirling mass soon after.
After a moment, the half-elf walks over to the eladrin, letting him out.  The eldarin bows respectfully.  The three begin to leave, when the half-elf hears a whisper next to him.
"You're forgetting me,"
Walking over to where the drow sat, the half-elf eyes him.
"Who are you?" he asks.
"Syn'Dral," the drow replies.  "And you?"
"I am called Ragnarok Senzez."
"If you allow me to escape with you, I shall aid you through this place," Syn'Dral says quietly, waving his hands and creating blazing sparks with magic.  The noise they create echoes off the wall, and goblin guards rush in from both entrances.
"Time to fight our way out!" the halfling growls, drawing two daggers he had recovered from the weapons rack.
Ragnarok hurriedly unlocks Syn'Dral's cell as the guards rush in.  Grabbing weapons, the group beings to battle their captors.
"Get them Llenherd!" Ragnarok shouts, and the giant hamster springs into action.  In short work, the first group of guards are down, leaving the party an exit point.  They all rush out into the next hallway.  
As they come to the next room, they are met by a few sneaking, glowing eyed fey creatures: Xivorts, twisted, mischievous beings.  Throughout the rubble, rats crawl as well.
The battle ensues.
In short time, the prisoners have defeated their foes.  Ragnarok begins to walk to the nearest door, when Syn'Dral stops him.
"Why are you choosing to go that way?  Perhaps I choose not to follow you."
Ragnarok pauses, Llenherd following close behind him.
"That is your choice.  Nevertheless, this is the way I go.  If you have any gratitude at all, you have yet to show it."

----

This starting game only ran two encounters, both of which were created by me to be relatively simple.  Our party made short work of them.  The other characters have not been introduced, because they have not introduced themselves to the party yet.  Just know that Ragnarok is being played by me, and Syn'Dral my brother.

At the end, I assigned my brother his encounter for our next session.  I gave him an XP budget, and told him to construct an appropriate encounter for Feuerbrennt for us to face using monsters from the books.  I will be constructing one as well.  We also touched upon our first lesson.

Lesson 1: Know your monsters.  Read the stat blocks beforehand and familiarize yourself with them.

I'm looking forward to this, as we're trying to add story and roleplaying, not just encounters.  This campaign will probably be updated a lot sooner than the others.  Hope you enjoy it!

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