Looking for Ideas

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Scenario: The party is traveling in the Demonweb, and their way is blocked by the corpse of a Primordial that was killed and wrapped up in web by Lolth during the Dawn War. I figure there could be elementals living in or on it, and I remember reading in some manual that Lolth uses the interior of such corpses as prisons, which is an interesting idea. I'm looking for a creative challenge for getting past (or through) this obstacle that's not straight combat.
Spiders inject digestive enzymes into their prey. Using this notion, I would make this into a dynamic location (a gruesome dungeon called "The Digested Deity") filled with factions that are pursuing their own goals. Then I'd put a time limit on the PCs accomplishing something in particular. I'd create an overarching skill challenge (or multiple skill challenges) to govern the travel between different locations within the hollowed out remains of the deity with complications that would include venomous digestive processes still in progress eons later and the memories of a god slowly being dissolved from within over thousands of years. PCs show up and we play to find out what happens.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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Rival factions sounds interesting. One question I need to answer is why the prisoners can't leave.
Rival factions sounds interesting. One question I need to answer is why the prisoners can't leave.



I probably wouldn't need to know that to build the location. It's something that would likely be revealed as we play.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Well, it could matter in terms of the PC's being able to just walk in. Also, they have an NPC with them who would know at least some of the risks involved.
Be sure to ask the players about answers to these questions. Only they can provide answers they they can't possibly find objections to.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Well, it could matter in terms of the PC's being able to just walk in. Also, they have an NPC with them who would know at least some of the risks involved.



Depending on their motivations, rival factions could have any number of reasons for welcoming powerful, capable adventurers into the location. I could leave that blank and figure it out during play by asking the players how they got in. As to why those factions can't leave (or can't leave right now), I'd leave that blank and let the players fill that in for me, too. Just about anything would be reasonable, so I wouldn't need that detail to make the location work. It's basically just a dynamic location with X number of thematic (potential) encounter areas and maybe three goal-oriented factions tops, plus an overarching skill challenge or two.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

The idea of that sort of dungeon appeals, although what it puts me in mind of is Inside Lord Jabu-Jabu from Ocarina of Time, and I was trying to be less influenced by Zelda in this particular campaign.
The idea of that sort of dungeon appeals, although what it puts me in mind of is Inside Lord Jabu-Jabu from Ocarina of Time, and I was trying to be less influenced by Zelda in this particular campaign.



I don't know what any of that stuff is, so I have no specific comment. My guess is that your players wouldn't know or care as long as it's cool and exciting. What I've laid out is also a very small amount of prep for a large amount of run-time.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Be sure to ask the players about answers to these questions. Only they can provide answers they they can't possibly find objections to.



Just for you, I texted the player who is most interested in offering assistance, and least bothered by learning about future plot developments beforehand. Her suggestion for how the prisoners are kept inside is "residual primordial power, kept active by giant hamster wheels. Symbolically speaking."
I don't know what any of that stuff is, so I have no specific comment. My guess is that your players wouldn't know or care as long as it's cool and exciting.



It's a video game dungeon that takes place inside a giant fish. And, I'm actually okay with borrowing ideas that way in this case. Mostly I was just trying to get away from the overarching structure of those games, and the last three campaigns we've played (each with a different DM) has more or less followed it. It's a GOOD adventure template, but we were ready for something different.
Okay, I think I've got something workable (although new ideas here are still welcome of course).
The prisoners are lost souls who served Lloth in life, but failed her in some way. So she imprisoned them inside the corpse to live out false memories. Turning their greatest triumphs into a living nightmare for all eternity.

The PCs speak with the corpse from the beginning and it forces them to come face to face with each lost soul who has now taken on an element of some kind.

During these memories, the PCs work together to solve which element they're looking for in a memory from the soul's life. If the PCs can find the element and unleash it in the memory, they will free the soul.

Once all the souls are freed from the corpse, it collapses and the passage forward is opened/revealed.

You can make these events as complex or as simple as you'd like. Even using the elements in a subtle manner or use conflicting clues (red herrings). Have the souls speak to the PCs to help offer hints or clues. That said, do not give each memory one single answer. That will likely just frustrate the PCs. Or if you do, allow them to make checks/rolls to gain additional insight or answers.

For example:

Aoreth the Lost, soul 1. He remembers being sent on an errand into a forest to retrieve a pendant for Lloth. During this time, the fog of the forest set in and he found his way misguided. Despite many prayers to Lloth, he was ignored. He fought off many strange creatures (probably aquatic creatures) in the mist (the PCs will likely find they can't aid in the battles they witness), but eventually came to a bridge that gave way from under him. The PCs begin to watch him drown.

As for what you the DM can do to include some acceptable answers: Let the players find the amulet in the forest, drink the water of the river, save Aoreth (any number of ways, especially possible if they have to relive the memory with him more than once), or even something as dispelling the fog so Aoreth can fight for himself and find his way.

The reward is a freed soul, and the soul telling the truth of their greatest triumph and not the twisted version they saw before.

I think that would be plenty of intrigue and allows you to write several interesting mini-stories to follow. And it can be even more interesting if you split the party up during this time. Which would hopefully be the biggest indicator that they don't really need to do much combat. Or you could include combat in some scenes.

Basically, it's more about how they interact with the memories and change them than it is fighting until stuff is dead.

Anyway, just a suggestion. Feel free to mod it to your liking or disregard. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
The sci-fi show Farscape had an episode where the crew docked on a dead beast floating in space. The critter was now a mining town because it's blood formed incredibly valuable crystals. Of course there also were acid filled blisters in the beast which could rupture and kill miners and parasitic monsters roaming the caverns of its body.

Good times.
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