I need your advice with my campaign.

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I have written a rough outline of the adventure I will take my players through. This is from the very beginning of the campaign.

I understand players always make decisions I can not think of, but that is why this is a rough outline of the path i want to take them down.

I want to know what you would do differently, gaps in the story that don't make logical sense, and basic help to keep the players on track.

I understand it is written in an odd manor and my spelling and grammar are horrible. I am focusing on the idea and i am counting on my impromptu skills for this story. 

Your original ideas are always welcome and if you like this idea I would be honored if you used it for your game.

This is based on DnD 3.5 lore and gameplay.



Novo'Agrim

dddd


The Adventure

The smell of the salty air has become common now for you all. This is the 11th and last day on the voyage to Novo'agrim. The monotony of the ship is starting to pull at your adventures spirit and your thirst will soon be quenched. 

You have been recruited from Sir Luga the 17th for work. You have all been specifically picked for the task, though you know not what it is. Some of you may be in it for the reward, others may be in it for the notoriety of working for Sir Luga, but it may just be the wind of fate that pushed you on to this ship. Either way the fate of Novo'agrim will be swayed by you (4) adventurers.

You each reside in your single cot rooms one floor below the deck when you here “Agrim ahead!” followed by cheers of the ships crew above.

On your way out of your room to the hall way you notice the hatch to the cargo hold that has been locked all trip is now open.

You open the hatch. You are instantly hit with the smell of feces and bodily odor. You look in the hold to discover a total of 20 elves, and dwarves alike, bound and gagged. Many look unconscious but breathing while others only cringe at the small amount of light that has been released into the room.

As you go on to the deck of the ship you notice the crest of Novo'arim large on the sail above. 

The crew (30) of the ship is exited and anxious to get off the ship. It shouldn't be more than an hour or two until you reach the port of Luga. 

The captain of the ship Kain comes out of the navigation cabin. No one has seen his face the since the beginning of the trip. 

The party confronts Kain about the secret door they discovered. In the middle of the conversation Kain raises a hand to stop the talking, and calls over a young round man. Kain questions the young man about his duty of keeping the hatch secured. The young man is very timid and in fear of Kain’s stone like demeanor. Even with out a threat from Kain the young man is pleading with him for forgiveness franticly. Kain nods with approval and motions for him to walk away. As a smile is about to form on the young mans face kain quickly grabs the man from behind and slits his throat. The young man falls over board, and Kain steals his smile and continues the conversation with the adventures. Kain reassures them that is would be best to forget what they have seen and continue to Lord Luga. 

Upon porting the party may shop and venture as they please, but the task will entice them to seek out lord luga. While shopping around you notice an elf elegantly dressed behind a noble, but the elf is bound with a collar and chain, which is also elegantly dressed.

You go to Lord Lugas Manor. There are guards out front. You show them the letter you each have calling you to his service. They escort you to the highest room in the manor. 

Lord Lugas room is elegantly designed, with gold trim around everything. Even his clothing has a gold trim. His body is covered in gold jewelry with fat jewels. There are elves dress a bit less then him bound by collars feeding him and serving him. He explains the task.

Lord Luga the 17th wants the party to aid in the battle of Trixton. Luga’s general on the battle front has requested troops. The last 2 movements of 50 men never arrived. Luga wants you to lead a few men and find the cause of the missing men and solve the issue. If you complete the task, Luga will give you an estate and 1000 gold for the completion of the task. If you sense motive successfully you will realize the bluff and even discover that he intends to kill you completion or not. Lugas charisma and bluff skill is very high and this would be difficult to discover. 

If the party does discover this and decides not to go on the task, then I am not sure how to motivate them…

On the road to Trixton the party will notice 2 of the men have vanished. Suddenly they are surrounded by 10 rouges. The rouges kill off any of the soldier marked with port Luga’s symbol. The rogues attempt to communicate with the adventures to explain the current political situation, and ensure them that the reward that Sir Luga has promised will not be true. The group will hopefully agree to hear them out. 

Nulhaven (city) is using his massive army to control the nation. He uses money to control Luga in exchange for drafting their young men to war. The old kingdom is assumed to have fallen. Nulhaven is capturing elves and dwarves for slaves. The rogues ask the adventure to help them take Trixton. They almost won but they had to bring men away from the battlefield to stop the influx of men. Now that they know no more troops are on there way, they can return and fight. The rogues ensure you that certn death is waiting for you even upon success of stopping the rogues. The rogues plead them for help and offer 100 each plus land in Trixton to do with as you please.

The party will then go with the rogues to help them. There will be a large encounter. 20 vs 20 outside the gates of trixton. The enemies will be easy but it will be fun to have a war type battle. At the end the General will have a mysterious stone in his possession. The gerneral was known for being a very nice man with high moral standard and would never kill innocence. 

Nulhaven has also taken as many mages as it can.

Upon entering the city there will be a few enemies to clear out. 

Trixton will be a destroyed in some areas, and the people tired. The head rouge will suggest to talk to the head mage left in trixton. The head mage does not know what the stone is but there is said to be an oracle deep in th ruins in the endless marsh. The party must go there and consult the oracle to discover the seceret of the stone and the secret of Novo’Agrim. 

The head mage offers a reward for finding the secret behind the stone.

The deep ruins will be the first major dungeon, that will have awesome encounters and traps and treasure…
End

I have many more ideas to keep the story going but this is what i have for the first play or two.

Your comments, criticism, and ideas will help me greatly.
Nice start, Dig... you put no small effort into getting your mini-campaign going and that always pays off in the end.

Couple of things I would caution about:
1) 10 Rogues is not a lot unless you have made them much tougher than your typical brigand.  Be careful when confronting players with obstacles they can (easily?) overcome with force.  In many groups, it'll be a natural reaction.

If need be, make sure they are significantly more numerous or tougher than the players, and then let them subdue rather than kill if it comes to a fight against the PCs.  Then they can parlay and explain their situation and certainly have proven they aren't out for blood.  Or, better yet, maybe you'll get them listening and discussing early on.

But honestly, most players that are part of a "caravan" or group, will defend it when it's under attack. So be prepared for that initially.  And make sure they are given pretty clear indications that their fight isn't a winnable one if it comes to it.

2) If I were playing, 1000 GPs and an Estate would raise all sorts of Red Flags of warning to me.  Rewards that are far too good make me highly suspicious of intent. I might allude to getting favor enough to earn a title and estate that goes with it, and offer a good reward (1000 GP, if that isn't outrageous in your campaign).  The lure of adventure and reward is almost always enough to get players interested.

That said, if they don't take the bait, they'll be still looking for something to do.  From there, I'd suggest that you have them move to Trixton because they've heard it's a good point to look for adventure and rumor.  Then, on the road, they can come across an encounter between Lord Luga's men and the bandits, starting the interaction between the two from there.

Sounds like you have a great start planned and with all the ideas you have stirring about the little grey cells, you'll keep players entertained for some time to come.

Good luck and let us know how it goes  
Yah the rogue encounter is a hard to sway the players to help them besides just having the main rogue just jump out and say "hey were the good guys, your helping bad guys" which is cliche. Maybe ill just have the rogues capture the PC's and then interrogate them to find out how many more troops are on the way. 
And through the RP talking the rogues gain trust and sympathy for the adventures and offer them all they can. And also when the rogues take them back to their camp maybe the players will see like 30 or more rogues walking about making it unlikely that they would make it out after bluffing and attacking the rogues.

I want to make the players suspicious with the redicuals reward. A lot of them are not real experienced and i think they will fall for the trap, but if they do decided to sense motive i would like to reward them with Luga acually lieing... But maybe the estate is a little much hahaMoney Mouth
Yah the rogue encounter is a hard to sway the players to help them besides just having the main rogue just jump out and say "hey were the good guys, your helping bad guys" which is cliche. Maybe ill just have the rogues capture the PC's and then interrogate them to find out how many more troops are on the way. 
And through the RP talking the rogues gain trust and sympathy for the adventures and offer them all they can. And also when the rogues take them back to their camp maybe the players will see like 30 or more rogues walking about making it unlikely that they would make it out after bluffing and attacking the rogues.

I want to make the players suspicious with the redicuals reward. A lot of them are not real experienced and i think they will fall for the trap, but if they do decided to sense motive i would like to reward them with Luga acually lieing... But maybe the estate is a little much haha

Devrik

Age 17

Neutral Good

Devrik is the leader of the rogues guild in Trixton. He never knew his mother, and his father was killed defending Trixton from being over ran by Sir Luga. Trixton had resisted being over ran due to the efforts of Devrik's father and guards of trixton, but they can not hold out much longer against the small militia camping outside the front gates. Devrik immediately took control of the guild and started a guerrilla warfare operation on the road from Luga to Trixton. His clan of skillful rogues were able to successfully escape Trixton without being noticed and have been holding up in the wilderness stopping any enforcements for the enemies to date.

His attitude is strong willed, due to his recent tragedy with his father. Even though he can be childish in his speaking, he shows marks of brilliance in his tactics on the battle field. Some times he is very arrogant, but he never forgets about his fathers attitude of always putting the guild first.

Once Devrik has time to cope with his fathers death and when he is not in battle, his attitude is very playful, often poking fun at others, but with no real hate. If he offends someone he is quick to be sorry.

--- Post Updated ---

Kain

Age 30

Lawful Evil

Swashbuckler

Kain is a Slave trader under the command of Sir Luga. He is exceptional in manipulation and leadership. Often times he uses fear to control his followers, but the followers that enjoy his evil ways respect him for his consistent attitude. He will follow through with any command given to him from sir Luga due to his massive pay, but mostly he enjoys being able to commit horrible acts of violence with out any repercussions. Very little is know of his past and he has a reputation of being born from Nerull himself, which of course is not true but he will play this reputation up when he finds someone who will believe it.

This is a very straight forward man that enjoys violence and control, if he loses his control of a situation, he very quickly loses handle on his personality and will go into a berserker type of decision making process.



Sir Luga 17th

Age 47

Lawful Evil

Aristocrate 

Luga is an evil manipulator under the order of Malisorth. He is motivated by greed and puts his people under large taxes and strict war drafts to please himself and his lord Malisorth. He is the 17th Hier to the throne of the Luga name. The Luga family has a long history in Nova Agrim and the first Luga was the first to develop the land of Novo Agrim. The family line has long been thinned from the Heroic stories of Luga the 1st. Luga the 17th is extremely self centered and cocky. He thinks he is the best especially when he has his followers to back him up on all of his decisions, when he loses his power he becomes very fearful and easy to manipulate (with fear). He is the controller of port Luga and is currently using his forces to try to take over Trixton under the command of Malisorth or Nulhaven.


Malisorth

Age 35

Chaotic Evil

Fighter

Malisorth is the leader of Nulhaven and the leader of a massive army. He is very fearful of magic, but he is using a magical elf to control his army. No one in his army is fighting with free will. This elf is in a constant meditative state that is causing any one with a magic stone to be controlled with the words of Malisorth. The elf in legends is described as a stone, but in reality it is this elf. Malisorth only thinks about control and power of every possible resource. He is a true megalomaniac, he believes that he is better then every race and even among humans he is naturally gifted. He betrayed his brother Singe and left him for dead, but Singe lived and now Malisorth is attempting to get to Brunston to finish his brother off. Nothing digs at Malisorth more then his brother living through his betrayal and is one of the drivning factors for this sudden increase in military activeness.
If I were playing this I would speak with one of the captives immediately.

Be prepared for this.

If the captives seem convincingly good natured I would free and arm them as quietly as possible.

Be prepared for this also.

Knowing that the ship holds slaves/captives/ what have you be prepared for a successful mutiny by the players or the repercussions of an unsuccessful one.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

How did your session go?

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Game night went really well. I did a random roll and the dice decided to start everyone as a slave on the ship. The PCs started out on lvl 4 cuz thats just what we do. They started breaking free (the rogue using splintered wood as a lock pick.) when a guard noticed their escape attempt. Three light armed guards appeared while the PCs were still in the cage. 2 of the guards drew their bows as threats to make the PCs stay still while a big tough guy entered the room to attempt to restrain the monk. B4 the big npc entered the cage the monk attempted to grapple him through the bars and failed. The big NPC unlocks the door and when he does the Sorcerer kill the 2 (lvl1)henchmen with a cone of fire instantly. The big guy then gets grappled by the monk and the fighter pc grabs the short sword dropped from the npc and finishes him off. The group finds their starting gear i let them pick b4 he game started. (the rogue included in his character background that a band of killers was after him for stealling a special treausre. I made the special treause the stones that the elf is using to control the NPCs in my plot.) The group then decides to try to lure any remaining npcs off the deck into the hatch below. The npcs on top do not realize that anything is amiss until they check on the fake torture screams that the druid is making. The PCs hide underneath the steps and attempt to surprise them but the thugs find them and run back up. The PCs follow knowing that they have few options and fight a massive 16 vs 5 encounter. The npcs are all lvl 1 (besides the captain) so they made easy/fun work of them. The sorcerer made the half orc monk double size will the monk was pinning an opponent ( funny stuff). The group kills the captain and finds another stone same as the Rogues treasure. Right b4 killing the final npc on the ship the thug blows up the captians quarters causing the ship to sink. a make shift floatation device was made with the druids warp wood and the rest swam to shore. 

They entered Port Luga and quickly realized the slavery happening there. They used the shackles that they had been bound in to pretend that the elfs and drow of the party were their slaves and found a tiny shack for the night. The monk and the rogue go looking for info. The rogue is a drenasi and shows of his air powers and the people of the town mistake it for magic. The next day the guards confront the drenasi and take him to lugas manor. Luga asks him for this favor in a demeaning manor really giving the drenasi no chance to say no. The elfs head out into the woods a day b4 the party head out to avoid conflict in town, and the rest wait until the morning. accompanied by 4 guardsmen (really young untrained men in armor) the PCs head out to find the cause of the missing troops that Luga has demanded. 2 guardsmen die on the way from giant spiders (no not the spider race haha not yet. ) and the other 2 end up disappearing right befor Devrik confronts them about why they are traveling with lugas men. The party end up showing the letter that luga gave the party about how they are to kill the cause of the missing men. Devrik convinces them of their inevitable death even upon completion(especially because of the drenasi being not human and of "magic") and Devrik trust the word of the lawful monk willing to help but doubts the others motives. Either way the group plans to stealth kill the militia outside of trixton instead of helping Luga. In the words of the monk " I'd rather help these men then the ones enslaving elves"...

and thats about how it went.. (minus a few things of course) it went really well and the players are developing a great path along my story.
Game night went really well.... (snip)...
and thats about how it went.. (minus a few things of course) it went really well and the players are developing a great path along my story.

Excellent, dig.  Sounds like you all enjoyed your session and the players are getting into the game.  All any DM can ask for.

Well done, Dig.   I like that you jumped to 4th level.  Did you notice anything "wonky" about characters at 4th level/gameplay at 4th?  Did you have any concerns while DMing the game?  Just curious.   It is terrific that you all enjoyed the game.

A Brave Knight of WTF

Awesome sir,

Thanks for sharing.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Well done, Dig.   I like that you jumped to 4th level.  Did you notice anything "wonky" about characters at 4th level/gameplay at 4th?  Did you have any concerns while DMing the game?  Just curious.   It is terrific that you all enjoyed the game.



Some of the players didn't utilize all of their feats from being lvl 4 ( the fighter specificly) but he is going to review more and as the game goes on his abilities will be second nature to him. I have a little bit of a hard time keeping everyone at equal decision making lvl. Of course there are natural leaders in the group that take control, but i want to really try to pull the quiet ones out and put them on the spot for a time or 2. I have 2 head strong players that are creating a very cool group dynamic. The one player (monk) took a leader ship role the last campaign we were in, and the other player (rogue) is new to our game sessions and is putting the monks dominating personality in his place at times. A very good balance for a group if i dont say so myself. I think the shy players will come out of their shell soon enough making it even more dynamic.

First, I love the concept, seems a little like the US Civil war where (from what i've read) that one group makes extensive use of slaves and are attacking another group in the same area. May I suggest a side plot curve so you have a backup if your main plot curve (which I think could use some Mind Flayers) is ignored or abandoned by your players. Have them deal with some other foreigners and eventually discover that another country is planning on using the strife to invade. This way it can bring the PCs back into the fold if they deviate and create a unique oppurtunity, try and form an alliance between the warring factions or side with the invaders.
On, maybe a sour, note if this is 3e I think you picked up the wrong DM forum because this is fopr D&D next, i'm not trying to be offensive just trying to point something out. I hope your campaign runs smoothily and that your fighter learns to use his feats. happy campaigning. Wink