Author Topic: A DM's first Campaign: Session Logs  (Read 1249 times)

thecommandtent

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Reply #15 on: December 07, 2020, 07:52:56 PM

However, as newer players they seem to want a little more guidance and pointing in the right direction.  (To that end they befriended an NPC who has been "helpful" but more on that later) :)


This is where making several smaller modular encounter areas works well. (I am making the assumption that you are not running an adventure module)

Let's say you need the group to rescue a local villager from a band of goblins. You want them to find the goblins, defeat through combat or parlay the goblin threat, rescue the villager, and go back to reclaim the reward. Encounter 1: camp (3-4 goblins hanging around the campfire at night, convenient note/map on captured or dead goblin) location could be any location, i.e. hillside, forest, swamp. Encounter 2: cave/abandoned building (5-6 goblins spread out through the complex, 3 or 4 rooms, another note/map on goblin)...the note/map is the key piece. It guides the group but the actual location or encounter is just a limited choice.

So if they wander off into the wilds...they come upon a small group of humanoids at their camp. The next step follows the note/map.

The group lingers in town not sure where to go...they catch a glimpse of a small creature watching them but it runs off when noticed...following the creature along the local river to a cave or old abandoned building maybe it's a farm or a guard tower. Find a small lair. The next step follows the note/map.

It may help keep your prep down to a couple of options both could be an hour or two of gameplay. It also creates the illusion of choice for the players. Wander off following some clue from the locals end up at the camp somewhere, someplace outside of town. Ignore clues, get lost in town, pull them in with being watched by a creature to where you need them to go to keep the story going.

A couple of random encounter areas will have the same effect. Group wanders off into the dark, wilds, and ignores the local's plea to rescue the kidnap victim. Holy cow! You just stumbled onto an old shrine...the entrance and surrounding trees are covered with spiderwebs...(pull out small dungeon encounter area 1 or 2 and go on with life)

That makes alot of sense. I might try to incorporate that in my prepping, thanks!



thecommandtent

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Reply #16 on: December 12, 2020, 03:21:29 PM
Session 0

I gave all the players basic info on D&D and the races and classes, pointed them to some online resources and readings and then virtual sat with them to help brainstorm and then roll up their characters. Each of the players definitely has a different buy in but for first time players I thought they did a good job thinking through who their PCs would be.

PCs

Father-In-law playing a - Male Elf Paladin - Linolas Nailo - Of noble birth but disowned by his family. Upon returning to them as an adult found they had all been killed and his family estate destroyed and looted

Sister-In-law playing a - Female Human Ranger - Rowan Arroway Has a horse named Mithrial - Grew up in the outdoors and woods raised by loving parents who a week before the campaign started disappeared and left only a note saying they were not her parents but a wizard and sorceress who had raised her after saving her from giants who had killed her family and instructing her to find fellow adventurers and travel with them as she discovers who she really is

Brother-In-law playing a - Male Human Fighter - Lucan - Ex soldier who faces things head on but is haunted by those friends he saw fall in combat. Very tactically minded and wants to fight for good

Wife playing a - Female Half-Elf Rouge - Ember Villac - Street urchin w/ a pet mouse named Ralph, grew up on the streets of Vale without a family but was helped by a mentor who taught her how to survive on the streets and to help others in need.

*we usually only get in a 2 hour session each week so these are fairly short.

Session 1

The PCs having all seen a sign looking for Caravan guards and having met with the caravan owner, Thiago, are meeting him and the caravan just inside of the main gates of the city of Vale. The job is to safely escort the caravan west to the village of Greybridge with a payment of 15 gold upon safe arrival.

While waiting for Thiago to arrive they witness a troop of Vale's soldiers leaving the gates heading west to the Valley gate. They look like fresh troops well armed and neatly dressed.
The PCs (all being new to RPGs) tentatively/awkwardly introduce themselves to each other while they wait. (its the players first taste of roleplaying their characters and they do a pretty good job)

The 'caravan' turns out to just be 4 wagons, each with a driver. Thiago and a driver are in the first (which is a covered wagon) and each of the PCs besides Rowan is assigned another wagon to ride in. Rowan follows the wagons on her horse.  Wagons contain basic supplies as well as numerous unmarked crates.  When the PCs ask Thiago about them he says they aren't paid to ask questions just to guard the wagons. (unintentionally on my part they PCs are immediately suspicious of Thiago and what hes 'hiding'  I run with this theme a little in the next few sessions as you'll see

Greybridge is 5-6 days away depending on weather and Thiago pushes the 'caravan' from sunup to sun down.  First 3 days nothing of note happens although a few evenings the PCs on guard sense something watching them.  The third night the camp is attacked by a small pack of wolves and an old direwolf.  A hilarious sequence of events occurs as Ember, the rouge, who is on guard duty tries to quietly wake up the party upon seeing the wolves (nat 20 on perception) but instead ends up clumsily falling over everyone as she quietly tries to make her way around to them. (nat 1 on stealth)  In the end the party defeats the wolves, almost loses Rowan's horse and convinces a begrudging Thiago to give them some health potions to heal from the attack.(some great spontaneous RPing occurs on the party of the players here and I let them run with it to end the session

I let the players level up to level 2 after the evening



thecommandtent

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Reply #17 on: December 12, 2020, 04:05:07 PM
Session 2 & 3


The 4th day of travel brings cloudy autumn weather and a threatening storm on the horizon. The drivers of the wagons and Thiago all seem standoffish (and very unintentionally suspicious to the PCs) The PCs are able to help move the caravan along quickly and find a small homestead to weather the coming storm within.  The homestead has a few houses and buildings behind a rough palisade wall. Their wagons and Rowan's horse are all stabled by a young stable boy named Peter who is very proud of the job "his papa gave him"  The drivers all stay with the wagons but Thiago insist the PCs join him inside for dinner with the homestead family.  They meet the patriarch of the family, Elias, and are offered what little food the family can spare. After a bit of conversation they can hear the storm begin and the family's daughter Maya bursts in screaming that 'Peter was taken by huge monsters' while they were gathering apples for the horses outside the walls. (I am using Matt Colville's Delian Tomb adventure here, modified for my world)

The PCs offer to help find Peter and off they go into the storm.  They find what they think are goblin tracks in the mud and follow them into the Boar Woods. Rowan and Lucian are injured when branches fall from a tree but they eventually track the goblins to a meteor crater in the woods where they find 2 goblins guarding the door of an ancient dwarven tomb.  They party fails to sneak up on them and the goblins retreat indoors. The party rushes in and are ambushed by 3 goblins. They kill 2 and try talking w/ a wounded 3rd who pretends to help but tries to escape every chance he gets.

Eventually they kill the 3rd goblin, find gp and a scroll of magic missile under a incense pot the goblins use for a toilet. They also see a riddle on the wall but don't try and solve it.  They party now trying to be sneaky and surprise a group of goblins in the middle of performing some sort of ceremony in front of a large dwarven statue with Peter locked in a cage below it.  They defeat 4 goblins and a hidden bugbear and rescue Peter. (The Paladin PC ends up choking out the last goblin in frustration as it tries to escape 'through the wall' and RPs a good moment of shame and self reflection on his action  With Peter rescued the party rushes out of the tomb, not stopping to investigate the riddle or look for treasure (thus missing a secret room w/ skeletons and lots of treasure)  They take Peter back and Rowan and him seem to bond on the hike back to the homestead.


These were some good sessions that I was able to introduce alot of the basics of roleplaying to the group as well as have them make their own decisions on what to do next while giving them clear options.  The PCs struggle a little in how to approach what they found in the tomb, clearly ignoring the riddle and what I thought were obvious hints to what lay hidden within.  This could be to my lack of explanation or the players lack of RPG experience.



Metaldog

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Reply #18 on: December 14, 2020, 07:53:29 PM
Nice start, Tent!!  Really nice to see they are taking to the RP in RPG.

Lots of maps is a good thing - Panzerde


Bison

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Reply #19 on: December 15, 2020, 09:09:40 AM
They also see a riddle on the wall but don't try and solve it. [/i]

Haha, classic player response. Sounds like a great session and a lot of fun.



thecommandtent

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Reply #20 on: December 15, 2020, 09:11:18 PM
Nice start, Tent!!  Really nice to see they are taking to the RP in RPG.

Thanks! It was nice to have some RP especially for newbies.

They also see a riddle on the wall but don't try and solve it. [/i]

Haha, classic player response. Sounds like a great session and a lot of fun.

Thanks!



bayonetbrant

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Reply #21 on: December 15, 2020, 10:44:47 PM
@TCT -

Put 'em on everyone's Christmas lists!

https://fieldnotesbrand.com/products/5e-gaming-journals

Random acts of genius and other inspirations of applied violence.


Bison

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Reply #22 on: December 15, 2020, 10:56:14 PM
^ Cool find!



Metaldog

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Reply #23 on: December 16, 2020, 01:18:07 AM
That is pretty spectacular, brant!  Think I may have found my Christmas present to me.

Lots of maps is a good thing - Panzerde


thecommandtent

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Reply #24 on: December 16, 2020, 02:38:10 PM
That is pretty spectacular, brant!  Think I may have found my Christmas present to me.

Same here!



bbmike

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Reply #25 on: December 16, 2020, 02:47:20 PM
You can tell who doesn't visit the RPG Tools & Toys forum.  :2funny:

https://www.armchairdragoons.com/forum/index.php?topic=328.30

"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
-Sherlock Holmes

My Own Worst Enemy


bayonetbrant

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Reply #26 on: December 16, 2020, 02:57:18 PM
You can tell who doesn't visit the RPG Tools & Toys forum.  :2funny:

https://www.armchairdragoons.com/forum/index.php?topic=328.30

I mean, I wasn't gonna say anything....  :bigthumb:

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Metaldog

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Reply #27 on: December 16, 2020, 06:04:25 PM
Unlike the vast majority of frequenters, I have a day job NOT in front of a computer where I can waste the company time looking at things I am going to pay for with the money I am stealing from my employer by not doing the job I am being paid for and surfing the internet instead.  Sound like any of you? ;)

Lots of maps is a good thing - Panzerde


bbmike

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Reply #28 on: December 16, 2020, 07:06:02 PM

"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
-Sherlock Holmes

My Own Worst Enemy


Metaldog

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Reply #29 on: December 16, 2020, 08:37:00 PM
Sorry.  My bad attempt at humor.  None of you strikes me as the kind of people to shirk your duties.  Although, I will say that I generally know where many of you live and the time stamps on the posts tend to be at a time when I am working.  So you can't blame me for having some basis in fact for my sorry attempt.   :biggrin:

Lots of maps is a good thing - Panzerde