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D&D 3E
I'm thinking about running a series of first-level mystery… 
22nd-Jan-2007 03:43 pm
Igor
I'm thinking about running a series of first-level mystery adventures, in the Eberron setting. Because it's cool, I'll at least be starting out in Sharn, the city of towers. Kinda steampunk-ish, with echoes of Chasm City.

I'm sitting here trying to think of plot ideas, and my mind's gone blank. Anyone have suggestions?
Comments 
23rd-Jan-2007 02:05 am (UTC)
Maltese Falcon, or rather the Lazaar Falcon
23rd-Jan-2007 08:34 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say i know what you mean about Sharn vs Chasm city - love Alistair Reynolds and that universe he's created. Really enjoyed Century Rain too, tho its a bit different.

As for Eberron ideas - the forgotten forge at the back of the book isnt a bad start. Then just go with any old Sam Spade idea - have a dame drop into the party's lap and take things from there. One idea that i saw on the WOTC site that i quite liked is that a halfling asks the party for elp and over a couple of adventures becomes their friend/benefactor. He then asks to meet them urgently and wont say why - at the rendezvouz, before he can say anything, he is assassinated with a poison bolt fired from a rooftop. The extra twist is that as soon as he dies, his body becomes a dragon. Was he a dragon all along, why was he directing the party, does it have links with then prophecy? Hope that migth kick start your imagination!
24th-Jan-2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
I think I'm going to grab the intro from the back of the book, and some of the stuff pyromancyr suggested, and use it to get them involved in the House Cannith split. I can do a lot with a good feud.. Might find a way to work your dragon idea into it, too! (Are the dragons encouraging House Cannith to divide? Do they support one faction over the others? Are the House factions instead being used as pawns in dragon politics?)
24th-Jan-2007 11:11 am (UTC)
hmmmm....if you're lookin for an intro, the party is each framed (or not....) for various offenses....you can make something up once you know races/classes...someone in the city watch, who is secretly working for a faction within one of the Houses, helps them escape....he's found out afterward and killed...by whomever is behind them gettin pinched to begin with......so now they are not only on the run for whatever they were blamed for, but murder on top of that as well....

they regroup somewhere down below....Fallen might be a good place....very few badges would wanna go there for any reason.....and from there they try to gather information about why they were framed...hmmm....another faction member from House (fill in the blank) tracks them down, helps them secure a hideout and passes along clues to who set them up (they're investigating as well, but figure a second set of eyes might help...and if the PCs can distract their quarry while the "real" investigation goes on, bonus...)

and during the search for who set them up, of course, they will be hunted, and people will be killed....and as rumors of a "serial killer" grow, the watch focusess more on the party....all the while, not realizing that there is a major robbery happening....

in the end, they discover that the ones that set them up were the very ones who were helping them all this time...
24th-Jan-2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
That's convoluted. I like it!
25th-Jan-2007 08:13 am (UTC)
and if written just right, guaranteed to keep your players guessing until the end...if they even find out who was behind it all to begin with....thr trick is to pass along just enough true info that when the BS is handed to them, they won't notice it till its too late....

the next issue will be does the House (whatever House you decide to place this splinter faction in) know of their activities...and if so, what's being stolen and why...could be that its something that is connected with the Draconic Prophesy.....perhaps either Phiarlan or Thuranni has it, and the other doesn't want them to have it.... they're natural rivals and not above using soemone to get what they want....

or maybe something a little more mundane but just as important.. a map perhaps, disguised as something else....I'm thinking maybe a statuette (have you ever seen King Solomon's Mines?) or a magically preserved tapestry or something similar.....at first glance it looks like nothing more than a minor relic recovered from Xen'Drik...but in "reading" it the right way, it tells how to find an ancient tomb/temple/treasury/etc.

you know, I've been racking my brain for scenario ideas for the RPGA...helping you gave me one hell of a plan of attack....

i s'pose thanks are in order
25th-Jan-2007 10:53 am (UTC)
The thanks run both ways. :)

*scribbles notes*
26th-Jan-2007 08:15 am (UTC)
something else occured to me....if you have a map-that-isn't-a-map, you need a way to read it...

now, just because most people would rather play a class that's more cheeseable....

make it perhaps a book....an epic story of some sort... poem....or if you REALLY wanna mindfuck them.....

music

even worse....music written out WITHOUT ledger lines...so all they see are dots on paper...

and without lyrics, which need to be found elsewhere...



no....first the map-that-isn't-a-map.......which can be identified easily as a Xen'Drik artifact....and its style or some other clue on it can point out where to search...which leads to a foray to the continent... where they find the lyrics, but to them at first glance looks lke a set of scrolls/a single scroll/ancient tome containing a story of some sort....but it can't be too obvious...heavy in metaphor that on the surface is just a story...or maybe a history....but maybe a clue in the first stanza can point them where they need to go....
as an example....or you can just yoink this....but don't be surprised if you see this, or something similar, in an RPGA scenario one day, if you play RPGA events...

In the cradle of Krylanin, my other half awits for me, to continue our journey as one...

but who is Krylanin? a long dead God? a ruler of ancient times? Maybe, it's the name of a Dragon.....

looks like they're heading back to Sharn (where they may or may not still be hunted) and Morgrave University(who might be willing to help, for a cut of whatever the PCs find), or Korranburg (where they might need to "work off" research fees)

Finally, after researching, and possibly needing to do some jobs to work of debt owed to one or the other (or if they're just rolling badly, both) they find out that Krylanin was a little known Dragon, who was a major part of stories in a couple ancient tomes recovered in Xen'Drik....from ruins that lay in a valley flanked on two sides by a pair of time-eroded mountains (that the same tomes refer to as the Dragon Peaks)...and there's the connection to leg three....

and in these ruins, in one of the more time-raped buildings, is a wall that holds what looks like a semi-random pattern of dots and lines, etched into the wall....for someone who might know (a bard perhaps?)it looks familiar.....when joined with the lyrics and performed at the right spot (another clue that could be found within the place where the music is found, or even in initial research) it becomes a key...that unlocks a long forgotten vault....treasure inside? or another clue, to something greater.....

but why would they even want to go through all this trouble anyway? blackmail by whomever set them up would be an easy answer....or even thinking that if they get whatever the two Houses are after, they can "negotiate" for their innocence...

OK, this went on longer than expected.....
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