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  1. #1
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Default Need Adventure Ideas (PnP)

    My PnP group meets in about 4 hours (as of this posting), and the time I had set aside yesterday for coming up with an adventure ended up being used for other purposes. So now I find myself with no adventure to run today, but I've still got a few hours. Ideas would be great.

    The setting is the old Hollow World boxed set if anyone remembers that one.

    The heroes have recently participated in a battle that left their base of operations in the Hollow World in ruin. Their commanding officers have assigned them the task of going for help, as they are now cut off from their surface world suppliers. However, they have been given the use of a flying galley in order to accomplish this mission.

    Having access to a flying ship means that many conventional encounters simply will not work - anything that looks like a serious threat on the ground can simply be ignored. Additionally, their mission in most cases will mean that they will lack any motivation to take a side quest - the mission is more important at this point. And, finally, I want to avoid adventures in which the flying ship would feature heavily - no fun coming up with an adventure only to have them overpower it with their ship and not really risk anything.

    So, does anyone have any ideas?
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  2. #2
    Community Member donfilibuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katana_one View Post
    Having access to a flying ship means that many conventional encounters simply will not work - anything that looks like a serious threat on the ground can simply be ignored. Additionally, their mission in most cases will mean that they will lack any motivation to take a side quest - the mission is more important at this point. And, finally, I want to avoid adventures in which the flying ship would feature heavily - no fun coming up with an adventure only to have them overpower it with their ship and not really risk anything.
    Based from the quote above: ship notices a distress call (maybe saw a flare from a flare spell).
    Might be a canyon sided by some heights, possible river rapids and forest canopy obscures the view.
    So you have to approach the landing site carefully, and actually send people to ground to investigate.

    All while having to keep the ship out of reach of approaching dangers but close enough to escape or defend.
    After all, you don't know what is down there, may be a lost traveller but may also be a wrecked ship.
    In which case, the site may be dangerous to your own ship, or have been shot down by a nearby ship or monster.
    May also attract unwanted attention, like a flying monster or another ship that see the flare.

    (edit)
    And naturally, gotta check what was that wreck or explorer doing there on the first place.
    Last edited by donfilibuster; 03-27-2011 at 09:01 AM.

  3. #3
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donfilibuster View Post
    Based from the quote above: ship notices a distress call (maybe saw a flare from a flare spell).
    Might be a canyon sided by some heights, possible river rapids and forest canopy obscures the view.
    So you have to approach the landing site carefully, and actually send people to ground to investigate.
    The only problem with this set up is as I outlined in the original post - the players could very well ignore this encounter completely on the chance that it might jeopardize their current mission. Otherwise, it's a good idea, and I had already considered the fact they might have to find a way through a mountain range that is high enough to be an obstacle.
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  4. #4
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Oh, and I should mention that the forces responsible for the destruction of their base of operations are still out there, and will be actively looking for the heroes. The heroes might be wary of anything that might be an enemy trap (although I'm not sure if I've made them paranoid yet).
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  5. #5
    Community Member donfilibuster's Avatar
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    Then they might spot and be approached by a rescue ship seeking the site if the wreck.
    They can learn the ship was taken down by wyvern riders or something and thus will be dangerous to face them alone.
    The rescue ship can assure the player's ship safety but need their help to locate and land the spot.
    And once down it can get interesting, maybe finding a hidden shrine.

  6. #6
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Yeah, not bad ideas.

    And after my last post I realized that I can always use the persistent threat of pursuing enemies to steer them in the direction I would prefer.

    I'm not too keen on the rescue operation, but not ruling it out entirely (another idea just popped into mind that I might want to explore later that can actually work with that idea - I just remembered another faction that is present in the setting that has access to air power), but I do like the idea of forcing them to ground somehow - high mountains to navigate around, and the known passes are being watched by enemy patrol ships. I can steer them into trying to find another passage that would severely restrict their maneuverability. Perhaps a parlay with natives to learn where such a passage might exist.

    Still looking for as many ideas as I can get before zero hour.
    Last edited by katana_one; 03-27-2011 at 09:43 AM.
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  7. #7
    Community Member spyyder976's Avatar
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    The ship is attacked by swarms of pterodactyls and pteranodons. Upon surviving the onslaught, a freak electrical storm appears out of nowhere. Later, a flying ogre mage and his hobgoblin and bugbear pirate friends on flying sailboards swoop in to plunder your ship and kidnap your wenches. To end the day, your ship's sails get hung on and ripped/torn by a massive stalactite/stalagmite (whichever's hanging down from the ceiling I can't remember), and your crew has to find some way to get up there safely and repair it enough so that you can land safely before crashing to the ground in the next few minutes. Getting it back off the ground the next day should be a task since the party will be attacked by small dinosaurs who are being hunted by medium-sized dinosaurs who are being hunted by a T-Rex. They finally take off, but then there's the issue of the anchor falling into the hot lava pool when a massive wind gust turns the ship over on its side. How will you now stop this airship once you reach your destination? If, that is, you can make it across the ocean of flying pirahna and dodge all the spears thrown at you from the natives in the jungle on the other side.

  8. #8
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyyder976 View Post
    The ship is attacked by swarms of pterodactyls and pteranodons. Upon surviving the onslaught, a freak electrical storm appears out of nowhere. Later, a flying ogre mage and his hobgoblin and bugbear pirate friends on flying sailboards swoop in to plunder your ship and kidnap your wenches. To end the day, your ship's sails get hung on and ripped/torn by a massive stalactite/stalagmite (whichever's hanging down from the ceiling I can't remember), and your crew has to find some way to get up there safely and repair it enough so that you can land safely before crashing to the ground in the next few minutes. Getting it back off the ground the next day should be a task since the party will be attacked by small dinosaurs who are being hunted by medium-sized dinosaurs who are being hunted by a T-Rex. They finally take off, but then there's the issue of the anchor falling into the hot lava pool when a massive wind gust turns the ship over on its side. How will you now stop this airship once you reach your destination? If, that is, you can make it across the ocean of flying pirahna and dodge all the spears thrown at you from the natives in the jungle on the other side.
    Lol!
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  9. #9
    Community Member jwdaniels's Avatar
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    Is there a crew on the ship other than the characters? There's always the option of a sabateur, especially if you do want to make them paranoid. Also, what about some sort of Lost scenario where a strange force causes them to crash land somewhere and they need to figure out how to leave? I'd suggest passing on the smoke monster, though...


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  10. #10
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Yes, there is a crew. A saboteur might work, but I've already hit them with a traitor in their midst last session. Not sure I'd want to hit them with betrayal again so soon.

    I like the Lost idea, but I will have to explore that for a later session I think (especially since I've only ever seen one episode). The clock is running out so I am probably going to keep it to a simple chain of semi-random encounters at this point.

    But they're likely going to be stuck in this setting for a few more sessions, so I can always use these suggestions later.

    Thanks for the replies, and feel free to keep 'em coming!
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  11. #11
    Community Member jwdaniels's Avatar
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    You could also have their commanding officers change their orders temporarily and ask them to assault an enemy base that they've just discovered to either take down the base or rescue someone that may have been captured when the players' base was destroyed.

    The other option is to just go with the previous mission - they need to blaze a new trail to the surface. This has the added benefit of being relatively linear (they have to follow the existing path for the most part, flying or no) and you can introduce new encounter types and possibly even foreshadow the next phase of the campaign with a new creature type.


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  12. #12
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses - I will keep them in mind for upcoming sessions.

    For those who may themselves need an idea in the future, allow me to share what I ended up going with:

    First, there was a random pterodactyl encounter, which really only served to break up the monotony of overland travel, but was fun enough since their tactics were to try to grab characters and crew from the deck of the ship and drop them to the ground below. The heroes drove off the hungry swarm, but opted not to follow them back to the nest to collect any of the previous victims' loot.

    Next, frequent sightings of enemy patrols in the distance served to convince them to look for an alternate route over a high mountain range.

    They discovered such a passage, but natives told them it was guarded by "fiery death on wings" and that they would be doomed to even try. Faced with a choice between fighting a known enemy with superior sky ships, or facing an unknown threat, they opted to clear out the "guardian" of the mountain pass.

    Inside a volcano overlooking the pass, they found the lair of a strange dragon - it's skin like molten rock. The dragon appeared to be guarding a strange altar. Lava pools around the lair were also randomly spawning fire elementals, to add to the challenge.

    Just to shake things up, I threw in a skill challenge (yes, I'm running 4e, but the idea could work for any edition) that had the potential to make the encounter easier. Turns out, the dragon was actually a white dragon that had discovered an ancient altar dedicated to the primordial forces of the elemental planes (or the elemental chaos if you're using the generic 4e setting). The elemental forces altered the dragon's form and made him more powerful. If the PCs could pass a series of skill checks, they could break the dragon's link to the plane of fire, and force him into his (less powerful) true form.

    Now, the scenario didn't play out as I planned. The PCs failed all of their skill checks regarding the altar, so they never figured out they could weaken the dragon. But that's ok. My dice decided that no fire elementals would spawn after the initial set up, so the PCs were able to concentrate on the dragon and brute force it in a matter of a few rounds.

    I was a little disappointed, but the players were quite happy and it all worked out since the session still ended on time.
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