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Player Warning - this is not a journal - please stay out!

I am starting this thread because I have seen several others get interesting feedback on ideas and questions for their campaigns from the fan community. And since my campaign ties in with several other projects such as the Alternate Mystara Timeline and the Books of the Known World, I thought it would make sense to have a place to post the things that don't really fit in elsewhere.

Spellweaver's Mystara Campaign

by Jesper Andersen

The Campaign

At the moment, the campaign is just 3 game sessions old, so very little has happened and the characters are still level 1. We play Pathfinder and the party at present consists of a Rockhome dwarven ranger (missile specialist), a human fighter (lore warden), a human conjurer specialist wizard (the fighter's twin brother, both from Biazzan in Thyatis), and finally a human Traladaran Summoner Synthesist (the summoner is a new class in Pathfinder).

When we started playing, I didn't relly know where to start the players out, so I more or less adopted Ville Lähde's Caravan Campaign plot, but made up all the NPC's in the caravan from scratch. The characters know that they are going on a possibly 7-month trip from Darokin through Ylaruam, Soderfjord Jarldoms, Vestland, the Heldannic Territories, Ethengar, Glantri, Broken Lands and finally back to Darokin.

The adventurers met at the Wizard's Pipe Inn in Darokin City before setting out but they all know each other as old friends one way or another. They left Darokin City in a 6-wagon caravan on Tserdain the 2nd of Vatermont in 1000 AC, heading for Selenica. Many of the wagons were run-down and needed maintenance, which they would get in Dolos, where the caravan would also pick up additional cargo.

On Vatermont 11th, the caravan reach the tiny hamlet of Farstead. The adventurers soon learn that the river coming from the southeastern hills is rapidly drying out, threatening the very existence of the small community. The adventurers manage to negotiate with the caravan leaders that the caravan is well enough protected that it can make it another 1 1/2 day to Dolos, while the PCs hike into the hills to discover what has happened to the river.

This was an adaptation of the scenario "Dovedale" from Dungeon Magazine 46, but I altered most of it except the basic plot line: the king of a local goblin tribe has kidnapped the nixie Unda, who is keeping the river feed, in order to make it easier to catch a fantastic talking trout called Savel, who lives in the river. The goblin king figures that when the water drops, it will be easier to catch the elusive fish that taunts him.

Long story short, the PCs set out and first visited some farmers, who could tell them that the local druid, who had kept the goblins a bay, disappeared 3-4 years ago and since then the woods had turned dark and evil. Following the tracks of goblin chick-thieves at the farm, the PCs go into the woods, fight 4 huge wood spiders (from Creature Catalogue) and finally find the druids cabin just before nightfall. None of them wants to risk a nighttime confrontation with an entire tribe of goblins.

They find the remains of the druid in his bed - apparently dead of natural causes. They loot his modest library of books, which immediately gives them the notion that Morfraith (the druid) was researching something important at the time of his death. They also find a magical staff with blooming buds at one end and all withered white wood at the other end. It takes them a while to figure out that this powerful weapon has the ability to wither someone, which then charges the staff's opposite end to heal someone (inspired by the staff from the Wanderer's Grave from the Darokin Gaz).

The next day the PCs locate the river and encounter Savel the talking Trout. He guides them to the goblins' lair, where they manage to sneak in through a back tunnel after first fighting off a nest of scary skull spiders that live in the remains of the goblins' victims. Inside the goblins' lair, the goblins and their wolves are sleeping, so the party stealthily tries to rescue Unda the Nixie from her cage. Unfortunately, the goblins wake up and a major battle ensues. I was certain that the party would either die or be captured, but through a perfectly timed Grease spell and using great teamwork tactics in a narrow corridor, they actually manage to kill 17 goblins - including the goblin "king" (tribal chief). The rest of the goblins then flee into their other tunnels and the PCs run as fast as they can down to the river.

With Unda back in her river, the water starts flowing again and the next day everything is back to normal. Unda gives each adventurer a kiss on the forehead, granting them "faiery luck" for a month and also gives them a bucket with 4 live clams, instructing the characters that when eaten, the live clams will grant Water Breathing for an hour. Back at Farstead, the PCs tell the villagers of the defeat of the goblin tribe and the death of their druid (the PCs decide to wrap the characteristic magical staff in cloth so as to not appear as grave robbers). The mayor of Farstead, Gavan, pays them a handsome reward for helping out the tiny settlement.

And so, the party is now on its way to Dolos, trying to catch up with the caravan there, which will leave on the 17th.

The Caravan

At the moment the caravan consists of 4 medium wagons, 1 large six-wheeled wagon (the home of Wulfrand Morris), and 1 small wagon (the kitchen wagon).

So far, the personas are:

Secrets on the trail

To keep the players guessing for as long as possible what the true scope of the journey is all about, there are a number of diversions planned:

The druid's books

The books that the player characters found in the cabin of the dead druid Morfraith are meant to wet their appetite and get them curious about plant lore, alchemy, minerals, gemstones etc.

I want this because I have recently purchased a number of downloads from with new rules for how to integrate herbs, plants, minerals and gemstones into the game and make these items more interesting as treasures and as items for use in craft and profession skills.

Especially, "Mineral Magic vol 1-3" is interesting to me, because it provides an alternative to lots of magical items in the game. Basically, by using the new feat Harness Gem and a difficult Craft Gems skill check, a player can make gemstone items with magical powers that mirror those of enchanted items that costs more. This means that gemtones can either be sold for cash - or you can try and cut the gem just right, perhaps turning it into magic or perhaps just ruining the stone and loosing all the value in the process.

To get their interest, I included a selection of books that the players would find that hinted that the druid was on to something. Now it is up to the player characters to find out what. If they are smart and read the books and perhaps talk to Franchesca, they will eventually be able to wield the power of gem magic themselves - sort of like crafting jewelery in World of Warcraft

The only problem is, that the mysterious sorcerer Whiteclaw is still out there. He managed to silence Greywand but he didn't get a hold of the journal. The longer the PCs hang on to the book and ask questions about gem magic - perhaps even use Whiteclaw's name - the faster he may track them down.