I'd love to yhear about the unusual things people are doing with MyRealms adventures. I've been messing around with thtem quite a lot lately, and had some great results.
Last night I ran a 4th-7th MyRealms adventure with a cruel twist: it included a mission to assassinate a frost giant who happened to be guarding the wreckage of the ship they were trying to secure- a frost giant that was way over the PCs level. Now- I wasn't going to fool around- if the players decided they needed to fight the Frost Giant (or if they somehow screwed up the assassination attempt)- I had the stat block of a real frost giant- level 12 skirmisher.. all set up. He had an AC of 28. It wasn't a solo, and this wasn't meant as a combat encounter, but if the players turned iit into that, I was prepared for a no-mercy beat-down on my 4 friends.
So the players reached the Frost Giants cave and found the wreckage of the ship they were seeking (swarming with chitine, by the way, but that was a later encounter). They surveilled the area from across the snowy valley and eventually noted the Frosty Giant coming home, spear in hand, dragging a mammoth carcass he had just killed. He goes to work flaying the carcass, cooking the meat, etc.
According to their research, the giant had lived alone a long time. He was hostile but lonely. He had raided many a caravan and village so he had some stuff.
One fatal flaw the players didn't figure out: the giant only spoke giant. and none of them spoke giant.
The PCs came up with a plan: 1) They had poison, provided by their patron, that was designed to kill giants. It was an ingestion type poison, and the giant would have to ingest the entuirety of what they had. Simply poisoning the water supply would not work, because the giant was unlikely to drink the entire water supply.
2) They had earlier killed some hippogriff and one of the PCs went to retrieve one of the dead ones.
3) Meanwhile, the monk slipped into the Frost giants own cave to look around. He noted all of the rooms and found a keg of brandy that the giant had taken during a raid- chilling on a bed of ice. He poisoned the brandy.
4) The drow bard decided to use the direct approach- as the giant sat on a boulder outside of his cave roasting a haunch of mammoth, the bard walked directly towards him, hailing him loudly.. she used words of friendship and a tensers floating disk- she dragged the hippogriff carcass to the giants lair, and used sign language (and a bit of bluff) to make it seem as if she had just singlehandedly slain the hippogriff, and asking to share the fire.
So between diplomacy and a bit of magical bluff, the giant shrugged, and cleared a space for her.
5) The bard and the giant had some halting sign language and grunty non-conversation, which the bard eventually ends by proposing a toast with her wineskin, which she drains impressively. And then she challenges the giant to a drinking contest and makes a big show of looking for more to drink..
6) At which point the giant goes in and gets the brandy. And drinks it. And then.. suddenly goes into convulsions and dies.
This was a lot of fun to roleplay- there was real danger- not only were the bard and the monk separated from the rest of the group by this time (the wizard and the fighter were standing by to launch a distracting assault in case everything went wrong, but it would have been several rounds before they could have gotten close enough). And the giant was more than dangerous. I thought the PCs came up with a very cool plan on their own. Their were other encounters like I said, but this was the capstone of the adventure, and it went off really well.
Tell us what you've done with MyRealms!
Pretty cool. Nothign fancy here. I just convert Dungeon adventures or published adventures to the Realms. I even sometimes nab some Pathfinder modules and convert them to 4e Realms.
Tricking the Frost Giant sounds like great fun and roleplaying.
I think one of the major benefits about the My Realms format
is you can go outside of the box from the normal LFR scenario.
Players can no longer assume 3 combats and a skill challenge.
I also like encounters where the characters can complete their
objectives through clever use of skills, or combat if they prefer.
RE: Going outside the box.
This happened during that adventure- the first fight was the big fight- it was a group of barbarian raiders mounted on hippogriffs (ie javelin dancers on hippogriffs). And the leader had a pet frost hawk that turned out to be pretty bad-ass.
I had the bard players kicking himself that they didn't have the right ritual (comprehend languages) even though it wouldn't have cost him much at all to learn it. Why not?" Because LFR never uses rituals."
Haha, not when I'm DMing
The main "evil" thing I do with MYREs is I do multiple of them per extended rest. Makes for a much harder and more resource-driven game than usual LFR. Though no TPKs yet (twice averted one by a 19 rolled on a death save that got bumped to a 20, though... may have to tone down next year when cards go away).
I also use a lot more minions (they're harder to use in a normal module without dragging the xp budget down) and have a lot more in-combat skill challenges while still having out-of-combat skill challenges. Back to the whole multiple MYREs for a bigger xp budget.
Very rarely we have entire sessions of nothing but roleplaying, but I try to avoid those because one of our players (who is a theater and improv lots of RP kinda player) chose to play a blow off steam and slay everything kinda character
We had a MYRE scenario for one of our Adventuring Companies, House Nelath. The scenario is called Fleet of Foot.
House Nelath is an adventuring company with the requirement that everyone must be a drow. So the author created a scenario specifically for a group of all-drow. He also added some really neat elements that would only be possible in a MYRE adventure, such as giving each PC a grimlock minion (a slave) to control.
The adventure was also a direct result of RP that happened on the yahoo list. There are positions within the Adventuring Company (Matron, Weaponsmaster, House Wizard, etc...), and I kicked it off (as the Captain of the Guard) by introducing through RP a variety of choices. The group then decided, via posts on the yahoo group, which option to choose, and the author took that and went with it.
The following is the first post that kicked off the plot:
The past couple of days weighed heavily on the Captain of the Guard. He was always somewhat fretful when needing to speak with the Matron, and the thought of whether this was a sign of weakness, or would be perceived as such, was always at the back of his mind.
Still, he thought it best to get her advice. She was incredibly wise, and she deserved to make these decisions.
Approaching the Seat of Authority, deep in the Orthae Har'olen caverns, Corwyn noticed the usual advisors, notable House members, and hanger-ons. And of course the Matron's bodyguard, Saw (OOC reference). "Sycophants, all of them", he thought bitterly to himself.
[OOC: Please feel free to place yourself in the crowd if you wish to chime in!]
"Honored Matron Greyanna, I have come to ask for advice. The issue is this: there are three opportunities that we can take advantage of, but I only have the resources and people to exploit one of them. I'm not asking for more influence or people, only guidance on which path to choose".
"First, a number of wood elves have been seen exploring in lands not far from ours. It does not seem as if they will find our abode, but this is a great opportunity to deter it. We have the initiative now, but if we wait till they discover us, on their terms, we will lose any chance for them to respect us. In short, we can seize the opportunity and slaughter or drive out the wood elves that are exploring nearby."
"Second, I've discussed with House Wizard Ranor the discovery of a tall stone menhir (OOC ref), not far from a Spellplague pocket to the north-east of here. It radiates magic, and inscribed at the base of the stone there is also some type of religious hieroglyph or marking -- though if it represents a deity it's not of any that I know of. If we can learn its secrets, this might offer us an advantage that we can exploit."
"Third, I'm told by High Priestess Dhjika that they have learned of a way to empower Wyvern Watch rituals so that they last longer than the normal 8 hours. Though the ritual will still end if it triggers, Dhjika has learnt that if we constrain a small evil fey known as a Quickling to the base of the ritual then it can sustain, or "quicken", the ritual forever. Well, as long as we continue to feed it and keep it alive. This would be a defensive boost, and would alert us to whenever anyone tries to approach our encampment. I can send people to go and collect some Quicklings for this purpose."
"All of these choices have possible consequences, which is why I thought it best to ask for your guidance on these matters. What are your thoughts on these options?"
OOC: As mentioned, this is for the plot of the MYRE scenario. They're potentially a little "dark", but hopefully within character for our House. If your PC wishes to be present, and wishes to chime in with questions or advice, please feel free to do so!
Fleet of Foot - continued...
Over the course of several posts, the group decided that they'd investigate further into the last option, looking into capturing some Quicklings in order to power rituals to help defend the House. The following is an IC report of the scenario after it occurred, explaining how it went.
PCs that had cameos as NPCs:
"I have dire news to report -- there is a shadow war going on in this very forest" exclaims Corwyn, Captain of the Guard of House Nelath.
Standing in front of the Matron, sitting on the Seat of Authority deep in the Orthae Har'olen caverns, Corwyn takes a breath, steadies himself, then continues.
"Excuse me, I forget myself. Honored Matron Greyanna, we have completed our mission to capture some Quicklings." Corwyn quickly glances around the cave, seeing the usual advisors, notable House members, and hanger-ons. And of course the Matron's bodyguard, Saw.
[OOC: Please feel free to place yourself in the crowd if you wish to chime in!]
"We left less than a week ago, as you know, after consulting with several members of the House on the particulars of Quicklings, their diets, and the best location to find them. There were 6 of us, with a grimlock servant for each House member, and two draft lizards."
[OOC: Each PC had a grimlock minion that they could equip and command. None survived... though 2 came close!]
"Soon after we left the dark loving embrace of the House we came upon a half-drow Bard. He was surrounded by a small gathering of gnomes who seemed to be enraptured with his antics. He introduced himself, in a most vile accent (OOC: a silly French accent), as 'Felipe the great Troubadour of Faerun'. He demanded to be allowed to join the House. Upon seeing our initial hesitation, he quickly turned belligerent, and threatened to reveal the location of the House if he was not admitted. We quickly decided this was unacceptable, and attacked Felipe. We managed to distract, evade, and kill enough gnomes that were blocking the path to finally reach Felipe, at which point we knocked him out. The gnomes then quickly scattered."
"We continued onwards, and eventually reached the area that Davorin had told us was the most likely place to find Quicklings. We laid our bait -- we decided to use Felipe in a bear trap -- and then hid in the bushes. Felipe did an admirable job of shrieking and moaning in pain, and a small mean-spirited quickling was quickly attracted by the siren call of a weak creature in distress."
"As we were about to attack, two of us noticed 3 more quicklings and a bog hag also approaching, quietly and steathily. It turned out that these were all adolescent quicklings, and we learned later that these quicklings had allied themselves with hags and were currently food-gathering."
"We sprung the trap, and after a fierce fight we managed to kill the hag and subdue 3 of the quicklings -- one of them managed to escape. Felipe also died, of course. All of the quicklings were female, as we half-expected. Quicklings congregate much as some animals might, with an alpha male in charge of a harem or pride of females. Other males occasionally fight it for dominance, and if they fail are forced out. Clearly then this was not the entire group of quicklings that we had just fought."
"Our druid was able to follow the tracks, and we followed it to what we hoped would eventually be its home or lair. Speaking of which I must report that Lilith Nelath, the swarm druid who was part of the mission, is... disturbing. She fought very well, and proved to be quite useful. But her ability to attack with swarms of spiders was a little too, umm, reminiscent of Lloth for my liking. I suggest we keep her under watch."
"In any case, we came upon a very odd scene. We found deep tracks in the ground crossing our path, as if something *very* heavy had been moved or dragged across the ground. The weight in the ground indicated that it was something like several large stones. There was also evidence of a fight. We saw misshapen bear-like foot prints, though too big to be a bear, and several humanoid foot prints. We also found broken arrows. It appeared as if this bear-like creature attacked the caravan, and was driven off. The tracks were two days old. We were not able to find out more than that."
"We moved on, and eventually came upon an entrance to a cave..."
Fleet of Foot, continued...
The continuation of the IC report:
"After investigating the odd scene", says Corwyn, "we moved on, and eventually followed the tracks of the wounded quickling to the entrance of a cave. Around the cave entrance we searched around for a bit, and we found lots of tracks of both small-sized humanoids as well as some medium-sized humanoids. We had already fought a howling hag in league with the adolescent quicklings, so we prepared ourselves for the worst and moved in."
"The cave proceeded for a while, and eventually opened up. At about roughly the same time that we heard the creatures in the large cave they heard and saw us too. There were two fully grown quicklings, the wounded adolescent quickling we had followed, a bog hag, and two spriggans. The hag was standing over a large boiling cauldron over a fire, and to the back of the cave there appeared to be a deep pit."
"The quicklings were dagger throwers, staying far back and throwing a constant barrage of daggers at us. We later learned that one was male as well, the alpha of the quicklings. The two spriggans tried to block our path, whereas the bog hag just waded into us with her long claws. This was a fearsome fight, or would have been had we not had Lilith with us, the spider swarm druid. She is a dreadful drow, and her very being reminds me too much of Lloth. But her powers proved decisive (OOC: used two dailies) and the fight quickly turned in our favor. We subdued the quicklings, and killed the rest. Nonetheless, several more of our grimlock guardians died."
[OOC: Only 2 grimlock minions were alive after this.]
"When we discovered the male, we were quite happy. It is our suggestion that we start a breeding program, much like we've done with the grimlocks. Also, in the pit we discovered a captured dryad, unconscious. When we revived her, she told us she didn't know what they intended with her. Perhaps they hoped to eat her eventually."
"In any case, she told us that a third hag, one covered in thorns, had taken most of the adult quicklings with her. There were about 10 adult quicklings who had left. She didn't quite follow all of the conversation, but it appeared that they were preparing for a big fight. Apparently the hags were often times whispering to each other, but the dryad did overhear the word 'Nilshai'. I don't know what that refers to though."
"Speaking of which, we brought the dryad back with us, she's currently held in my quarters. In looting the cavern we also found a crystal eye, a magic orb."
[OOC: Apparently there's always 3 hags in a coven, right? ;-) The "eye" was a nod to mythology, and turned out to just be a magical orb implement. Also, the "dryad" is whatever the 3.5e equivalent would be. Think of what you encountered in AGLA1-1, not the other 4E version.]
"We decided not to hang around. We had 6 subdued quicklings, 4 adolescents and a male and female adult, and had accomplished our task. So we exited the cave... only to see a Briar Hag and 4 adult quicklings, all bloodied, walking towards the cave entrance."
- "You fools, what have you done", shrieked the hag, "we need to be working together, not fighting each other".
"Unfortunately", continues Corwyn, "she didn't get a chance to say much more. There was a shimmering rising out of the ground, or so Lilith our druid claims, and then suddenly the Briar Hag was engulfed in a toothy three-mawed bite. She was almost torn in half and died instantly. We identified the creature as an Etheral Marauder. And elsewhere, eight Ethereal Filchers materialized into sight."
"The next fight was chaotic. The Ethereal Filchers initially left us alone, concentrating on killing the already-bloodied quicklings. The quicklings darted around, as their namesake, but the Ethereal Filchers were able to teleport and flank them every time. We only managed to save one of those quicklings. The Ethereal Marauder meanwhile, though already hurt (I'm guessing from having previously fought the hag and her quicklings), tore into us. In the end though we managed to prevail, and brought the ethereal creatures down. Unfortunately, our two remaining grimlock minions died."
"And therefore that brings us to now. We have much to decide..."
And this concludes the IC report. Some interesting new game elements, such as 3-way fights, controlling minions, etc...
You can also see from here that it set the scene for the bigger plot. Clearly something is afoot, but what is it? What are these "Nilshai" creatures? And what opportunities did the House lose by choosing this option instead of the other two options. Every choice has a consequence...
Finally, some of the elements in this scenario were never explained, such as the marks of stones being dragged in the forest. That's because that was actually a nod to yet another MYRE scenario that occurred in the same area (in Aglarond's Yuirwood forest) but with a different group of PCs.
I love the idea of kicking off the beginning of an adventure via an email-roleplay sort of thing. There have been times I've been at work and just idly thought "I'm bored at lunch, wouldn't it be fun to send an in-character email to some of the players.."
I think I might do that.
We recently had a con hurriedly oprganised to take the place of a larger con that fell down (long story there) - and the local gamesday organisers (together with our now Global admin bunny - thanks again Joe!) organised a workshop for budding My Realms writers.
We shared our ideas, listened (or lectured) on the various aspects of the writing task that each of us were experts in (some of us HAD experience and/or qualifications in writing etc) and most importantly brainstormed each potential writers self-identified "problem area".
The result at the con was an offering of over FIFTEEN "world premieres" of modules, ranging from knock-down and drag -em-out combat marathons (multiple stuns! ewww SHUDDER) to roleplaying that makes Hollywood look like a kindergarten play.
It was a blast, and we will be doing it again soon.
My own mod was aimed at an audience who enjoy puzzles, riddles and problem solving, and I knew I was on a good thing when a passer-by at the con commented that EVERY player at my table was standing and leaning with great tension over the "battle map".
The look on his face when he realised that the "super deadly combat" was in reality a seemingly simple 4 line poem was priceless.
We've done something similar at OwlCon here in Houston. Last year we offered a dozen or so linked MYRE adventures as part of our local story arc, primarily focused around several sea caves recently discovered just north of Djerad Thymar. We plan to continue this at OwlCon XXX in January, with I think eleven (at last count) MYRE modules being put together by all our hard working local talent. It looks like things this year will center around events in Sekras, a small town to the east of Djerad Thymar, situated near the mouth of the River of Swords.
We in Houston feel the same way. There's a fair contingent of folks here who traveled about quite a bit to hit different regions back in LG days, and we wanted to bring back a little of that feel. It's actually been very cool, though a lot (A LOT!) of work. With the advent of Comicpalooza, a new convention here in Houston, we're hoping to step up production a bit and have a few mods to offer for it in May as well, continuing the same story arc. We did get some positive reviews last year (shameless plug here) and are hoping we do as well this coming year. Come check it out! It's not "official", but it's fun!
Cross-posting this from the new official WotC Tymanther board--delete or replace with link if you're dying for bandwidth, mods. Original message follows:
Due to the overwhelming response to my first thread, I've decided to start up a whole new one so replies don't get lost. I just wanted to give a quick recap of the My Realms modules I ran at our last OwlCon, primarily for the benefit of players who will be returning this year (I can barely remember the mods I played last week!), but also to make the rest of you jealous.
A small island (Durbak's Rock, named for a hermit dwarf who lived there over a century ago), off the coast of Tymanther, had been abandoned since the Spellplagues, as shipping routes had changed with the restructuring of the Faerunian landscape. Pirate attacks on shipping trade between Tymanther and High Imaskar had escalated, and some ships reported seeing a light from the old lighthouse on Durbak's Rock. The PCs were hired by a representative of House Salva, a dragonborn mercantile house, to investigate. Outfitted with a small ship, the PCs were charged with landing on the gently-sloping eastern portion of the island, traversing its jungly width to the cliffs on the east side where the lighthouse was located, and investigating the sightings.
Upon arrival on the island, its wild nature became quite clear, as fey creatures, sometimes known as "Redcaps", beset the adventurers just as they were making landfall. Vicious battles ensued, with party members being punted up and down the sandy shore. Eventually prevailing, the parties
traversed the island, which seems to border closely on the Feywild.
Finding the lighthouse with little difficulty, it became obvious the installation was no longer abandoned. A large "No-man's-land" had been cleared around it, and barricades installed. A pair of caged tigers were spotted, and a mechanical construct patrolled the battlements. As the heroes approached, the arbalester raised a loud alarm, bringing the occupants out to do battle. The gnome Silas, along with his wife Shelley, tried in vain to defend their position, with the help of Silas' construct and the two large cats, but were eventually overrun. Shelley died in the fighting, but Silas escaped by jumping out a window, apparently to the rocky waterline a hundred feet below.
Examination of the area after the fight revealed that Silas, the gnome, had been working in conjunction with a group of pirates who were ensconced in a cavernous harbor below the lighthouse, supplying them with mechanical constructs in exchange for the trained tigers, and operating the lighthouse to aid them in navigation the deadly reef protecting the mouth of their hideout. The tigers also revealed some anomalys--a strange brand was found on the right rear paw of each, resembling three tentacles within a circle. They also seemed to be unusually docile when responding to the gnome's commands. Furthermore, the parties discovered the pirates stationed here were part of a larger, loose confederation planning to stage a large-scale surprise attack on several other groups of adventurers, near a group of recently-discovered sea caves up the coast. The pirates had been instructed to report to the Ship of the Gods, a volcanic island which sank beneath the waves in the Spellplague.
(check out some pics and a player review of this module--and OwlCon in general--at tailslap.blogspot.com/2010/02/ale-break-...
Pontoon Paradise :
Yeah, stupid name. Shut it.
In Durbak's Rock, adventurers learned that several groups of pirates were meeting at the Ship of the Gods to stage an attack. In a desperate bid to identify the mastermind of this plot, General Arrat of Djerad Thyman, through intermediaries, hired a group of powerful adventurers to investigate (and ideally put a stop to) these machinations--and quickly.
Sailing swiftly to the location, the adventurers found that, while the volcano may have (mostly) sunk, a small outpost had sprung up on the location nonetheless. An immense patch of seaweed, several feet thick, had somehow congregated about the site, and the pirates, enterprising wretches that they are, had covered much of it in wooden pontoon platforms, creating a semi-stable "land mass" to use, both for docking and for construction of several simple shelters.
Attempting to tie up to the local docking facilities, these paragons were beset by the aquatic guardians of the area: several sahuagin, one of whom was mounted on a dire shark. Swallowing ensued.
After this brief skirmish, the adventurers spoke with a seedy old fellow who appeared to be the local equivalent of an innkeep. Basically just a guy with a giant booze stash, he quickly coughed up what little information he had--a fellow by the name of Alistair was responsible for these shenanigans. Most of the pirate crews had already departed to launch their surprise attack, but Alistair remained, nearer the center of the pontoon city.
Of course, the PCs sought this fellow out. It turned out the volcano had not sunk entirely, but only a small portion still extended above the surface. That small portion, however, was enough for Alistair to use as an anchor for the seaweed patch, which he summoned with his Druidic powers. The PCs, arriving at the center of the camp, found the druid Alistair, in the company of Silas the gnome, performing ritual overwatch for the distant pirate crews. Breaking up the love fest, the PCs swiftly banished Alistair to another plane, kicked the crap out of his friends, killing the gnome in the process, and stood around in a circle waiting for the druid to eventually escape his extradimensional prison. Eventually he did...to his great dismay, his waiting party was patient. A veritable blizzard of pain rained down upon him, leaving him no option but to adopt the form of a raven and fly for his life. He didn't make it far. He was last seen sinking beneath the waves, covered in Magic Missile scars and sprouting arrows.
Investigation of Alistair's effects revealed he was operating under orders from someone by the name of Lord Trask. To what end is not yet known. Unfortuately, the druid's death also resulted in the breakup of the seaweed supporting the outpost, so any information regarding the motives of Alistair is now lost to the sea.
Hope to see all of you at OwlCon in January! We'll pick up some of these threads then.
(Also, hope to see all you other OwlCon authors post a little recap here, too!)
Some more of our Owlcon MYRE authors have put up info about their MYRE offerings from last year up in the "Official" Tymanther forums--check 'em out!
Tymanther sits amidst a broken landscape, strangers in a strange land. The
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