Season 12 - session 0

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As we dont have a Season 12 forum as yet I have posted this here. (Mods - feel free to move this once Season 12 forum is created)

If your players are anything like mine they have been chomping at the bit for this new season of Encounters to begin and have all created their characters in advance. This means that session 0 is usually a very brief affair of seeing who's playing what and then nothing.

When I'm able to receive the adventure pack with enough time (not always the case in the UK, sometimes not getting it until the night of session 0 Cry) I like to create an intro encounter to get the players into the story.

Having read through the setup and first chapter of "Against the Cult" I have come up with the idea of having the party's caravan attacked by a small group of bandits. This reinforces Wyndell's fears. However, unless the party begin to struggle, I intend to have Sir Moonbrook hold himself and his squires back - allowing him to assess the capabilities of these heroes that have joined his cause in action.

Is anyone else planning on running an intro encounter, if so what ideas do you have?

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

I hadn't given it much thought, but it does sound like a nice idea. Personally, I might throw an immature anhkheg, or bulette at them, just because.

The bandit idea is probably the best, say a dozen or so. A portion would attack the PCs while the rest would attack Sir Moonbrook's men. You could probably use the Human Commoners/Berserker from D&D Next.
So far my plan is to use 3 human bandits (lvl 2 skirmishers HP 37; Bloodied 19 AC 16; Fortitude 12; Reflex 14; Will 12) backed up with 4 human minions (lvl 2 minion artillery HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minionAC 16; Fortitude 13; Reflex 14; Will 11).

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

Everyone at my store is doing it in D&D Next. Since they'll actually need to create characters, a roleplay encounter shouldn't be strictly necessary. Instead, I'm probably going to do props, like wanted poster handouts for bounty hunter PCs, a better definition of knight PCs' relationship to the local lords, that sort of thing.

If you want to increase the eerieness and pathos, you could use the same stats but make them insane locals -- farmers and hunters, antisocial types who don't live in Hommel Lane proper, who have been overcome by nightmares of Miska. If the players try not to kill them, they go unconscious and can't be awakened. Maybe Sir Moonbrook urges they be spared so that the evil in them can be purged. He lays on hands, and they wake up free of the taint. He sends them west to refuge, with whatever foodstuffs can be spared from the carts.

Then, when the same thing happens to Sir Moonbrook, there's no one to save him. Don't know if you have particularly bloodthirsty people at your store, but here in America I have some real sociopaths. This might actually make them feel it more when they witness his fate.

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D&D Next: VALOREIGN Home Game Development | General Campaign Stuff: Bawylie's Budget Dungeons

"D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger." -- TiaNadiezja

Thanks AlHazred, as I run for two tables (one after the other on Wednesday evenings) I might very well use your idea for one them.

One of the tables really gets into the RP aspect and I sent each an email to explain how they were recruited to Sir Moonbrook's mission. One of them actually replied in character, the rest were more 3rd person.

I like your wanted poster idea for the bounty hunters too.

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

For the wanted posters, I made the following:


  • Enda Yate: I made her a bandit leader; she showed up Halls of Undermountain, again as a brigand leader. I pulled that info to make the poster, using a sketch of Lidda.

  • Sartine Sorrowsworn: reputed witch, self-proclaimed agent of the Reaper; she was a character in P3 Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress. I used an image of a spooky shadar-kai woman.

  • Josephus Blaze: murderer, suspected lycanthrope; he is also from Halls of Undermountain.

  • Tiptoe: kidnapper; she's from MINI2-3 Raven Knights, a Living Forgotten Realms module.



All of these are other modules Shawn Merwin worked on. Something of an in-joke for my own amusement.

Not happy with the look of the new forums? Check out the Skin Your Forums thread for a solution.

D&D Next: VALOREIGN Home Game Development | General Campaign Stuff: Bawylie's Budget Dungeons

"D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger." -- TiaNadiezja

That is either funny or scary: not sure which.