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D&D 3E
the pc's are members of a militia. their superior officer recieved… 
7th-Oct-2004 01:02 pm
boke1

the pc's are members of a militia. their superior officer recieved a request for aid from an elven grove to the north. they are busy with heavy orc raids and can only spare a few men, the party of 5 pc's. the party has just retrieved a rod, an elven artifact. they know it's poweful but have no idea what it does or how to use it. it was stolen by a half-elven necromancer who managed to convince a tribe of orc warriors that he was a god. the party has returned with the artifact to the elven grove it was stolen from, only to find the elves scattered and the forest infested with undead, mostly ghouls, some ghasts, and a dire boar zombie. they can't find the leader of the grove, a high level elven bard and he is presumed dead. the rest of the elves are in hiding (not fighting, this is a particularly pacifist group of elves). i had expected the party to return to their patron military group for reinforcements. they have no hope of clearing the entire forest of undead, who's number mount every time they kill another elf (ghoul fever and all). but they seem determined to stick it out in the forest which is fine with me. but, i hadn't planned for this and i get bored with constant hack and slash, so i need something interesting to run them through while they are in this corrupted undead grove.


suggestions?
Comments 
7th-Oct-2004 10:22 am (UTC)
Perhaps you can have the militia send scouts to look for the PCs and request they return to the fronts to discuss the situation with the captain?
7th-Oct-2004 10:26 am (UTC)
i might have to eventually. they seem to really like this forest.
7th-Oct-2004 10:30 am (UTC)
If they've been a way too long you can punish them for that. The orc situation could have got a lot worse at home and the militia struggled badly without them. "Why were you a way for so long! What were you thinking! If you'd been on patrol on the East wall then they'd never have breached the defenses and Brek would still be alive!"
7th-Oct-2004 10:30 am (UTC)
Either that or you can scare them off with a really powerful undead that they're obviously no match for, or possibly a lost soul telling them to leave the forest.

I always try to pull players out when they're somewhere they shouldn't be for too long. It's fine to let them wander because that's part of the game, but being fixated in a place you're not meant to be for too long usually doesn't have productive results.
7th-Oct-2004 10:36 am (UTC)
they don't appear to be able to recognize when they're outclassed. they aren't the "run away and think" type. they're more of the "i still have 3 hit points so i think i'll charge right in" type.
7th-Oct-2004 10:38 am (UTC)
lol! I like the way those two types of players were classified, haha.
8th-Oct-2004 09:23 am (UTC)
I think I lead that group through the High Forest once. Geeze, had to had overprotective centaurs watching their asses.
7th-Oct-2004 10:37 am (UTC)
Or weird them out and have one of the elves beg them to leave the forest :D
7th-Oct-2004 10:22 am (UTC)
Introduce a group of NPC ghoul hunters. You could even put a bit of conflict in there to begin with- it might be enough to encourage the PCs home or the two groups could team up and have a better chance. That'll put roleplay and diplomacy into the game.

Or let the players find something that suggests the rod can be used in the grove to clean the entire area. You can go the route of putting lots of puzzles in there too.

Or get dark. Have the powerful thing controling the ghouls (add one) offer to make a deal with the players. It'll call the ghouls off if the players agree to X. Have the players discover a rune, device, machina that'll purge the area of ghouls but also any wounded elf too. Would the players allow/help to kill a few elves for the good of the many.

Put in a twist; perhaps there are no ghouls at all and horribly the players have been tricked into slaying elves. That'll teach them for being so eager to hack first and think later.

Perhaps the ghouls can dig up an interesting grave. Okay, let's avoid unleashing yet another monster but perhaps the grave can contain relics which suggest the history of the players home or the grove is actually different from what they've been told.

Perhaps one of the players finds something in the grove which is uniquely personal to them; a stone carved with their parents name and their name (and for a sisnter twist, a date of death for all of them).
7th-Oct-2004 10:26 am (UTC)
Perhaps the ghouls can dig up an interesting grave. Okay, let's avoid unleashing yet another monster but perhaps the grave can contain relics which suggest the history of the players home or the grove is actually different from what they've been told.

in my campaign this one would work particularly well. thanks.
7th-Oct-2004 10:28 am (UTC)
Ah well. The trick is then to use that to leapfrog the game elsewhere. Perhaps the relic gives them a strong reason to leave the area - something they must go check out now. Perhaps it can be used to fend off the ghouls. Perhaps they can use it to fend off the ghouls but then they'll use it up and loose it as a valuable reference/proof to that the history they know is a lie. If they don't use it to fend off the ghouls and keep it as evidence they might have a lot of innocent elven blood on their hands.
7th-Oct-2004 10:33 am (UTC)
reference/proof to that the history they know is a lie.

ok, now you're creeping me out. GET OUT OF MY BRAIN!

heheh...
7th-Oct-2004 10:26 am (UTC)
Or perhaps an intelligent undead says that this is their land, the elves tricked the locals long ago which resulted in them being cursed and having to flee the area. Now they're trying to undo the wrong committed against them - perhaps they need to kill all the remaining elves (or those who were alive when the trickery took place/their descendants). I just love playing havoc with the D&D alignment system that way :D
7th-Oct-2004 02:29 pm (UTC)
I really like your "twist" ;) I think I may use that scenario.
7th-Oct-2004 11:42 am (UTC)
You could start dropping clues as to the root cause of the infestation.

You may be able to redirect them from the obvious targets, whiuch are symptoimes, to the root problem. It would also make them make moral decisions about short term harm and long term good, if you want to play it that way.
7th-Oct-2004 03:12 pm (UTC)
mmmm.....its an old idea, but what about the Resident Evil scenario? have one or more contract some disease that will eventually kill them snd turn them undead?

orrrr...throw in an NPC they can "rescue", then redshirt it...have it turn into said undead and have them spend a couple sessions trying to outrun it

(of course, if i read the party right, at least one will get the same disease in the fight that will inevitably ensue anyway, thus forcing them to retreat in order to get proper healing- disease can only be cured by a cleric of sufficient level to guarantee the party can't do it themselves)
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