The start of a quest...



Dec 15, 2007 17:41:11
Working on a DL quest and was just looking for some input, commentary, or ideas if anyone would be so kind.
Ok, so I'm devising a quest for 3 dudes that have played plenty of DnD but know very little about DL, which actually kinda works in the favor of the story teller, namely me. They know the basics (ie, basics of a kender, a very brief history [like a 20 min. synopsis], and a general knowledge of how the spell casting classes are used differently in DL)
This is set in the Age of mortals, though I'm not sure exacltly because I wanted to see wtf happens to Mina in "Amber & Blood"....but I'm not waiting till May to start this, so I'm just going to have to exclude whatever effect those books would have, for now.
I tend to let them beef up a bit since there are only 3 of them, they are currently playing 2 knights of Solamnia(well, squires for now) and a (soon to be) white robed wizard. They are only 2nd level right now.
It was easy enough to start them off in Solanthus and have them sent to investigate a small town which was having sudden illness problems. I made up some excuse about how since the magic and clerical powers are a new thing again, there just wasn't enough clerics to spare to every town that has a flu outbreak so investigating patrols have been sent out to the low priority towns ( small villages, etc) to see if assistance is required and how urgent it is needed. I placed this town directly South of Luinstat against the Garnet Mountains. At this point I used a DL conversion of "The Burning Plague" ( a free WotC adventure) and made the 'boss battle' against an Aurak draconian. now the Aurak way out powered them, but I played it down and after they did some damage, I had the Aurak yell something about the return of 'the ruler of Ansalon', use an invibility spell and escape. The draconian had been testing out a new potion that was intended to be toxic to all but draconians (they don't know that yet, but they found bottles of it)
They went back to Solanthus, reported in and we ended it there for now.
What I'm looking to do is to (of course) play out the test at the towers and the squire-to-knight transition...those I have worked out in my head, I was thinking of having the main plot be something about draconians gathering strength, being led by a group of Auraks who are trying to create a 'good' dragon orb or maybe several in an attempt to lure dragons of all different ages to sacrificial places to try an resurrect one of the Dragon Overlords with whom they swore allegiance to before the Overlords death.
I'm still in the planning stages as we probably won't get to play that quest again until after the first of the year.
I was thinking this will give me opportunity to bring in several different types and ages of good dragons (which I always find totally lacking in quests) It will let me introduce some really cool locations, as none of them are familiar with Ansalon, and I'll finally get to DM someone through 'the Test' which I've been waiting to do since I picked up the book last fall. I don't really want to advance them too far though, like 12-15 lvl, somewhere in that range so that I can use the characters in something a little beefier maybe with Onysablet in it down the line
I have no real intention of bring one of the Overlords back, I was kinda thinking the grand finale could be stopping the final sacrifice or something.
Like I said, I've just been brain storming and would like to hear someone elses thoughts that knows something of DL, or if this sounds totally absurd. Thanks.


Dec 20, 2007 14:59:00
Doesn't sound absurd at all. Sounds like fun!

Running them through The Test is a good idea, always a fun time. Sometimes too fun, overshadows some other plot points... :D

I've never played in or DMed an Age of Mortals campaign. My group likes the earlier Ages better (especially Dreams and Might). But imho, it sounds like you're doing great so far.


Dec 23, 2007 15:51:43
Thanks Gort. Got another question though, I'm compiling a list/page of things that a character should know in this time line and I'm just trying to make sure I do not miss anything crucial. For instance, anyone alive at this point would obviously know of the dragon highlords, probably heard of the destruction of Qualinost, the general behavior of kender, the basic story of Mina's campaign, the fact that the gods have just recently returned, and a little knowledge of the draconians, minotaurs, and Knights of question is two parts. One, does anyone know of a good source that summarizes the fifth age and its history. Two, Is there any major plot points I'm forgetting that a character in this timespan should be vaguely familiar with?
Or, should I simply let them find this stuff out totally as they go...maybe incorporate the learning process into the story line? It just seems a little wierd that their characters wouldn't know ANYTHING of, for example,the dragon highlords until they are confronted by something that talks or deals with the subject.
While it is a great opportunity to totally avoid the whole meta-gaming thing since they know very little, it also seems like it is playing a little too heavy on what they don't know. Just not sure how to handle the situation.


Jan 02, 2008 3:54:01
:D May I make a suggestion?

The best way to deal with large amounts of information is in two ways:

1. Show don't tell. If you can introduce history elements via the story, making it look like part of the adventure, the players have a chance to digest it all in-game and are much more likely to pay attention than if they are handed a massive printed tome of "what you need to know"; and

2. Bite-sized chunks. Tying into the above is the need not to overwhelm the players. Nothing turns a player off quicker than being expected to study for a game. Having said that, if you can convince any of them to read a pertinent DL novel before showing up, that could be handy.

I'd look at everything you want them to know and then ask yourself if they need to know it all. Can they slowly become accustomed to the setting and pick up information along the way? How about focusing on one key concept per gaming session and slowly build their knowledge. Inherent in that approach is that you give them a chance to express that knowledge in game. If they learned about the Highlords two sessions ago, have them meet someone who is loudly discussing the subject incorrectly. If a player is then able to role-play their way to correcting said individual , this would boost their confidence. Admittedly, this sort of a scenario needs to be planned carefully so that the player doesn't just let it slide because they feel they might not be able to confidently address the issue.

I remember running a War of the Lance Campaign with a group who only wanted to play DL and had no interest in the novels at all. They were a great group and it meant that they were completely in the dark about the whole plot - I admit that I shamelessly borrowed plots (I still attest that they fell into my pocket and I was going to return them) and the players were none the wiser.

Did they have fun? Yes. Can they give me a detailed history of the War of the Lance and name at least two Dragon Highlords? Not if their lives depended upon it.

Having said that, the idea of handing them a brief outline might not be out of the question if you think they'll pay attention to your hard work. Just remember that most players do not know how much effort the DM goes to on their behalf, and no plot ever survives contact with a group of adventurers. :D

Game hard!