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D&D 3E
"Fishing" for ideas 
27th-Mar-2009 09:35 pm
Here I am again asking if anyone has any ideas/inspiration for my game :p

I am currently running a nautical style game with the PCs playing pirates (a powerful level 7). They're currently headed back towards the town of Folum, which they have visited before, on their way to try and rescue a cleric who has been imprisoned for political crimes.

Now the town of Folum is set up as basically a defensive fort against Sahuagin raiders, a place for the local Keleran (an amphibious race based on the Darfellen in Stormwrack) to retreat to when being attacked. It's a town built high up on a cliff (like 150-200' up) against the sea, and has been heavily fortified and refortified over the years. The last time the PCs were in town (about 3-4 months ago in game time), a group of clerics were basically trying to stir the otherwise peaceful populace into raiding the Sahuagin themselves in an attempt to wipe out the race once and for all. The PCs met with these clerics (discovering they had divine magic, which was otherwise unknown to them), but then left town because they were being chased as pirates. When I asked the players if they were interested in coming back to the town, they had indicated that they might be curious to see what's going on (and maybe catch this one guy that tried to sell them out).

My original thought in having them go back to Folum was to have the town be beseiged by the Sahuagin--a couple seen of constant magical attacks, and then PCs have to try and fight their way back to their ship and get out of there. The problem is, the way I've set up the town, the ships are at the bottom of the cliff, and I see no reason the Sahuagin wouldn't just attack and destroy the PCs boat. I don't want to do this. So now I'm trying to figure out what to do. I'd really like to run a "Sahuagin raid" encounter, as it offers possibility to fight some monsterous creatures (which hasn't happened yet) and a series of fights would fit nicely into the spread of combat/non-combat style encounters I've been running. So I'm trying to decide what I want to happen.

There is the option of having the PCs come upon the town when it is under seige already, and just have them get attacked by the back end of the Sahuagin force. But then they wouldn't be able to get into town, which the PCs kind of said they wanted to do (though they didn't seem super eager, so they probably wouldn't be too upset. They're good players). This would also make it only a single encounter--I want to see how they hold up to multiple fights during a day, which hasn't happened yet.

My current thought is that maybe just as the PCs are about to leave town, the Sahuagin attack--and the race is on to get back to their ship before it is attacked and destroyed along with any other ships down there. But it's also possible that maybe the priests have finally mobilized the townsfolk, and there's an ad-hoc fleet out there to be attacked. Or maybe the fleet left a few days ago, but what comes back is instead a fleet of Sahuagin (though I'd imagine the priests might instead win--divine magic is supposed to be becoming a new power in the world).

Any suggestions? I'd like to have the PCs be able to play in town, and then have to fight a bunch of Sahuagin before leaving, but I'm having some problems making it fit. Remember, the PCs are pirates (not really the good guys), so having them "save" people is not very likely (though I could always play them up as the unintentional heroes, but I'm not sure I want that effect yet).

Thanks for listening! Just writing that out helped :)
28th-Mar-2009 05:04 am (UTC)
I'd drop hints to the players that since they're pirates and people are probably on the lookout for them AND their boat now, they might want to hide the boat a ways up the coastline or in a concealed cave. Then it becomes a race to the hiding spot.
28th-Mar-2009 10:46 am (UTC)
Perhaps the Sahuagin make contact with the PCs and try to get the pirates to act as their landwalking agents in their effort to bring the town down?

Plenty of room for double, triple, and quadruplecrosses.
28th-Mar-2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
And adding on to this idea, perhaps kidnapping the before-mentioned clerics is the first mission?

Then the players have to battle/infiltrate the town's defenses/fleet to kidnap the clerics (if they're genuinely doing so), or the sahuagin fleet attacks to kill the clerics/PCs after being betrayed...
28th-Mar-2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
The PCs are already on a bit of a mission (they've been hired to rescue this guy whose imprisoned in a magic prison, etc), so I'm looking more for a kind of side-track encounter than a complex ongoing adventure.

I was flipping through the MMs looking for possibly enemies, and came across the Siege Crab. Other than the fact that's is a siege crab, I think that will fit in perfectly--it's how the Sahuagin would be able to actually attack a fortified city, and it's powerful enough that it becomes "crap, maybe we should get out of here" moment for the PCs (which would be nice--they've been slaughtering pretty much all encounters up until this point :p).

So I think I'm going to go with that--the Sahuagin will preemptively attack, and the PCs will have to get back to their boat and get away (or come up with a way to defend the town if they want). Will be good times.

Thanks for the suggestions though--I think mostly I just needed to put my thoughts down in writing to organize stuff. :)
29th-Mar-2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
The only way to beat the Siegecrab is with Sheeptank!
28th-Mar-2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
May I suggest that upon seeing the PC's returning to town, the townsfolk muster up the courage to finally try and take a stand since the ones who initially attempted to incite them have come back.

Thanks to spies in the harbor, the Sahuagin have early warning and decide on a preventive counter-attack. They attack the harbor while the PC's are in town, destroying piers & ships as well as fighting the townsfolk.

What this essentially depends upon is the suspension of disbelief and acknowledging that the PC's (good or evil) are in the spotlight, and are thusly entitled to turns of fortune. Threaten their ship with destruction if they can't reach it in time, but string it out so that everything around their ship is going to hell.
The closer the Sahugain get to wrecking it, the more pressure they'll be under to get back and get away; if there is (as you mentioned) a (possibly more?) Siege Crab running rampant throughout the harbor, it doesn't have to defeat the PC's to win the day, it only has to put a gigantic hole in their hull. Faced with that choice, most pirates would up and run.
29th-Mar-2009 01:15 am (UTC)
This is a little off-topic/random quote, sorry, but I have to say it;

"Hit the crab's weak spot to cause MASSIVE DAMAGE!!"
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