I’m a relatively inexperienced DM, and this is my first effort at making a real campaign, so I thought I’d get some help here.
This campaign will by a Play-By-Post that’s focused largely on role-playing with some combat in a homebrew world (albeit a fairly generic one). The basic plot involves the princess of a mixed-race kingdom (who is secretly a warlock with a star pact) who wants to open a portal to the Far Realms. Unfortunately for her, the most convenient location for the portal is heavily guarded under a Dwarf kingdom, and since she can’t just ask to borrow it for a bit, she plans to start a war between her father’s kingdom and the dwarves. To that end, she secretly spreads rumors that the dwarves are planning a war and gets the local goblinoids to unite and attack her city, making it look like the dwarves paid them off. In order to unite the goblins, she has to find an artifact sword called the Hand of Bane, which marks the divinely appointed hobgoblin to unite the tribes and reestablish the empire.
So looking at the plan backwards, the princess finds the Hand, gives it to a hobgoblin warlord who unites the goblins to attack the city, making the city think the dwarves hired the goblins, making the city attack the dwarves, allowing her to access the portal.
At this point, I’m wondering if this plan would be totally hair-brained. If so, how can I make it work?
The first adventure will be loosely based on WotC’s 3.5 adventure, A Dark and Stormy Knight. It involves the party taking shelter from a storm in a recently-opened tomb which shows signs of a grave-robber recently coming through, although he didn’t touch any of the treasure. The path he took lead to the actual sarcophagus, which is empty, save for a clue to where the “real treasure” is hidden.
As I’m typing this, I’m realizing that I could just have them all be hired by a mysterious figure who wants to avert the union of goblinoids by taking the Hand before they can. This figure would be an agent of the princess who plans to turn the sword over to the goblins as soon as the PCs find it. Would this be a better first adventure?
A side-plot that I was thinking of including is a search for a legendary secret to making warforged. A wizard discovered the means of making them and used them with great success, but the secret to making them, as well as the entire army, disappeared when he did. This offers a side quest for a player who requested a secret villain quest as well as a player who would be interested in mechanical things.
Any thoughts on this as a basic plot line?