This series of articles offers some of the design concepts that went into each of the Encounters Season 6 sessions. From weaving a story to sculpting an attack by a creature 8-9 levels higher than the PCs, the plan is to give you a sneak peek into the making of The Lost Crown of Neverwinter. If you're an Encounters DM, this information might be a helpful guide to running the encounters. If you're a player, you're certainly welcome to read these articles, but it might be best if you wait until the day after the week's Encounters session.
You can also catch up with Erik and ask him questions directly on the Wizards Community boards, where he hosts a thread specifically on "The Lost Crown of Neverwinter.”
Session 5: Journey to Blacklake
This session offers a chance to check out the city as well as the return of the plaguechanged creatures from session 1. It is the most straight-forward encounter in the adventure. Even so, the design here shows how to turn a pretty simple fight into a fun roleplaying experience. The trick here is setting and taking advantage of previous foreshadowing.
The heroes get a chance at the start of the session to see the city of Neverwinter, which provides the DM the opportunity to tailor the session to them. This can take as little or as much time as the adventure demands: it can be played up if the players enjoy exploration, or glossed over if the heroes want to get right to the battle.
While this intentionally seems like a random (albeit disturbing) encounter, it is placed here intentionally. The plaguechanged enemies here echo the creatures that showed up in session 1, with some significant differences in their powers. The intention in utilizing the plaguechanged creatures here is to keep the mysterious threat active in the players’ minds. This will pay off later in the season.
About the Author:
Erik Scott de Bie is a fantasy author and game designer in the Seattle area. In addition to his five Forgotten Realms novels, he worked on Neverwinter Campaign Setting and its related adventures, including The Lost Crown of Neverwinter. Find him on his website (erikscottdebie.com), facebook/twitter (@erikscottdebie), or ask him questions about Encounters Season 6 in the D&D forum.