Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Postcards from the Flanaess
Adventures
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly
Denizens
Jason Zavoda Presents
The Gord Novels
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - Help Needed with an Adventure
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Help Needed with an Adventure
    Author Message
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 244


    Send private message
    Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:22 am  
    Help Needed with an Adventure

    I’d like some help from the community in designing a one-session adventure taking place in either the gnome village of Tulvar or Kron in the Kron Hills.

    The characters are four low-level faeries from Celene. One of the players told me she’ll be absent for the next game and wanted her character to wander off and spend the time relaxing in the nearby hot springs at Gallow’s Corner. Since she didn’t mention anything about letting the other characters know where she’s going, I had an idea.

    I’ll start the adventure by telling the players that their friend has disappeared. Once they begin an investigation to find her, the local gnomes tell them that many local gnomes have disappeared and send the party into the hills to raid a location where the prisoners are kept.

    This is mostly true—except the gnomes are fully aware that the fourth faerie has actually headed off to the hot springs. The gnomes do indeed have some of their people being held hostage at a location, and their hope is that the foreign adventurers will raid the place and free them without any loss of gnome life. If the PCs are successful, the gnomes will reveal the prank and reward them with a feast and knowledge of where their friend has been bathing all this while.

    What I don’t know, and would love some help in designing, is who or what has kidnapped gnomes and why, and most especially why the gnomes, or the supposedly allied soldiers of the Viscounty, haven’t taken care of the whole problem long before now.

    A few stipulations—
    1) I’d prefer the raid to be a combat or stealth encounter rather than a role-playing one, as we’ve done a lot of the latter of late. I’d like something legitimately dangerous.

    2) Brigands and the usual humanoid suspects don’t really inspire me (though they might with the right idea), and I don’t know why the gnomes or the Viscount’s men wouldn’t have dealt with such a threat themselves.

    3) One vague idea I had was that whoever is kidnapping gnomes might be based across the border in Celene, and so any attempt to free the prisoners would risk an international incident. But then I don’t understand what kind of kidnappers could be based in Celene that the government/border watch there would tolerate.

    Any ideas to flesh this out would be very welcome!
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

    Joined: May 29, 2018
    Posts: 1428


    Send private message
    Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:50 am  
    Re: Help Needed with an Adventure

    edmundscott wrote:
    I’d like some help from the community in designing a one-session adventure taking place in either the gnome village of Tulvar or Kron in the Kron Hills.

    The characters are four low-level faeries from Celene. One of the players told me she’ll be absent for the next game and wanted her character to wander off and spend the time relaxing in the nearby hot springs at Gallow’s Corner. Since she didn’t mention anything about letting the other characters know where she’s going, I had an idea.

    I’ll start the adventure by telling the players that their friend has disappeared. Once they begin an investigation to find her, the local gnomes tell them that many local gnomes have disappeared and send the party into the hills to raid a location where the prisoners are kept.

    This is mostly true—except the gnomes are fully aware that the fourth faerie has actually headed off to the hot springs. The gnomes do indeed have some of their people being held hostage at a location, and their hope is that the foreign adventurers will raid the place and free them without any loss of gnome life. If the PCs are successful, the gnomes will reveal the prank and reward them with a feast and knowledge of where their friend has been bathing all this while.

    What I don’t know, and would love some help in designing, is who or what has kidnapped gnomes and why, and most especially why the gnomes, or the supposedly allied soldiers of the Viscounty, haven’t taken care of the whole problem long before now.

    A few stipulations—
    1) I’d prefer the raid to be a combat or stealth encounter rather than a role-playing one, as we’ve done a lot of the latter of late. I’d like something legitimately dangerous.

    2) Brigands and the usual humanoid suspects don’t really inspire me (though they might with the right idea), and I don’t know why the gnomes or the Viscount’s men wouldn’t have dealt with such a threat themselves.

    3) One vague idea I had was that whoever is kidnapping gnomes might be based across the border in Celene, and so any attempt to free the prisoners would risk an international incident. But then I don’t understand what kind of kidnappers could be based in Celene that the government/border watch there would tolerate.

    Any ideas to flesh this out would be very welcome!


    1). A poisoned spring, perhaps from some natural fungi or from a race of normally subterranean mushroom people, has caused a dryad and a group of Satyrs to become Evil. The gnomes have been kidnapped and are being forced to work on the passageway that the mushroom people used to get to the surface. Th gnomes are resistant to the poisoned water but it makes them compliant and slightly dazed, so they arent trying to escape.

    2) rather than a poisoned pond there could be some toad-licking involved
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 26, 2002
    Posts: 447
    From: Canada

    Send private message
    Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:04 pm  

    How about a band of spriggans? They're to gnomes what drow and duergar are to elves and dwarves. They can morph between giant and gnome size, so they can do either frontal assaults or stealth attacks, and they have some nasty magical tricks that can drive your players crazy.

    They're violent pranksters, and there's no negotiating with them. You need to kill or be killed if you want to survive dealing with spriggans.

    As to why the authorities of Verbobonc and/or Celene haven't dealt with the spriggans themselves, patrols can't be everywhere at once. If they were, there'd be no need for adventurers! Spriggans are naturally stealthy and cunning, so they may have sneaked past the patrols and border watch. Or they may have traveled underground and only surfaced in the area where they've started their abductions.

    If you want to go with the international incident angle, I think a lot of the Celenese authorities would be willing to let your players crossing the border to rescue some kidnapped gnomes slide, particularly if they show proof that the spriggans were involved. If your PCs are fairies, the elves would be naturally better disposed to them than they would be to humans or dwarves. At least they would be in my Greyhawk-and the elves would even let the presence of a dwarf go provided it's clear the party is leaving with the rescued gnomes. You could also have the NPC gnomes vouch for your players too.
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2594
    From: LG Dyvers

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:05 am  

    A more difficult scenario would be one where the kidnappers are politically connected.

    For example, a young elven lord in Celene has been sending his advisor (a low-level wizard) to the gnome village as an ambassador. He uses Charm Person to convince a gnome to return with him to Celene and his Lord's abode. There, the gnome is poisoned with water from a magical spring that weakens his resistance to magic (so he fails his saving throws every day for the enchantment).

    So, the players have to discover how the gnomes are disappearing, then deal with the elven lord in his castle. Getting into Celene won't be a problem, since the players are fairies from Celene, but answering for any assault upon a nobleman might be more difficult to explain.

    SirXaris
    _________________
    SirXaris' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SirXaris?ref=hl
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 244


    Send private message
    Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:10 pm  

    Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I haven't decided on anything yet, but reading your responses helped focus my thinking a little bit.

    1) I'd rather the gnomes not be entirely innocent victims. Ideally, I'd love for the whole trouble (with whoever's kidnapping gnomes) to have started in the gnome village. This feels like a good reason not to get, say, Verbobonc soldiers involved.

    2) I've hesitated around spriggan because I worry I may have overused them as gnome antagonists in past campaigns. However, the mention of them reminded me of their shape changing and that made me wonder if some kind of gnome lycanthropes might fill the same role (are there werebadgers or weremoles or wereprairie dogs or whatever kinds of burrowing animals are there?)

    3) The fact that two of you have mentioned magical/poisoned springs makes me want to include that.

    4) The big question I still have is what the hell do the kidnappers want with the gnomes. Why aren't they killed or eaten? Is it a ransom? revenge on the gnomes? (In SirXaris' scenario, the gnomes seem to be just used as servants, which is interesting, but then I want to know why go to all the trouble of getting gnomes from across the border, when there are gnomes and a few humans in Celene.)

    5) While I love the idea of crossing the border into Celene, I don't want a faerie noble to be behind anything, because my players are very cocky about their social skills and will do anything in such a case to negotiate their way through. And I'd really like a desperate battle.

    6) I wonder if a gnome patrol did try to deal with the problem and never came back and now the village has even more people taken, but doesn't want to involve the Viscounty. And then these three naive faeries blunder into town.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 244


    Send private message
    Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:24 pm  

    I just remembered that the Kron Hills are infested with camprats, which are burrowing mammals.

    Could gnomes become werecamprats?

    That is as far as that idea has gone, and is perhaps terrible.
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2594
    From: LG Dyvers

    Send private message
    Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:05 am  

    edmundscott wrote:
    I just remembered that the Kron Hills are infested with camprats, which are burrowing mammals.

    Could gnomes become werecamprats?

    That is as far as that idea has gone, and is perhaps terrible.


    That idea isn't far-fetched at all, since they would be very similar to regular wererats. This may be a strain of lycanthropy that demi-humans - gnomes in particular - are susceptible to.

    If you want to pull one over on your players because of their social skills, let them follow the clues to the Celene noble's castle/estate, be welcomed in as guests, explore using their social skills to their hearts' content, then, at the evening meal, have them discover that the noble has been playing them the entire time and has poisoned their food with the same stuff he used on the gnomes from the village. That will force a desperate battle that may rage throughout the castle/estate.

    Perhaps the nobles' reason for the kidnappings is that he is secretly a follower of an evil god and is using the gnomes as sacrifices. Or, he is bribing a large band of Pomarj humanoids that has secretly camped just across the border in the Gnarley not to attack him. He thinks he can manipulate them to attack his neighbor, then claim lordship over that land when Celene sends forces to counter-attack.

    SirXaris
    _________________
    SirXaris' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SirXaris?ref=hl
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 244


    Send private message
    Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:57 am  

    One thing that occurred to me about Sir Xaris' elven noble idea is that "Tillahi's estate" is located in northern Celene on Anna's map, Tillahi being the elven countess who, at least in CY 579, is prisoner within the Temple of Elemental Evil.

    Now my adventure is happening in CY 576, so it's possible that Tillahi is already a prisoner there, and that one of the subfactions of the Temple has replaced her with someone/something who could be discovered by the faeries as an imposter.

    The problems I foresee are that the Tillahi's estate, while in northern Celene, is something like 75 miles as the crow flies away—which does seem like a long ways to be traveling to kidnap gnomes. (But maybe over the border it's less suspicious, I dunno?)

    The other idea, also not quite right, I had was that the enemy could be kech--which would make a terrifying battle--but again don't have any great reason for keeping gnomes alive.

    The weakest part of all my ideas is why are gnomes being kidnapped and why are they kept alive.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
    Posts: 30
    From: TregMallin

    Send private message
    Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:39 pm  

    edmundscott wrote:
    One thing that occurred to me about Sir Xaris' elven noble idea is that "Tillahi's estate" is located in northern Celene on Anna's map, Tillahi being the elven countess who, at least in CY 579, is prisoner within the Temple of Elemental Evil.

    Now my adventure is happening in CY 576, so it's possible that Tillahi is already a prisoner there, and that one of the subfactions of the Temple has replaced her with someone/something who could be discovered by the faeries as an imposter.

    The problems I foresee are that the Tillahi's estate, while in northern Celene, is something like 75 miles as the crow flies away—which does seem like a long ways to be traveling to kidnap gnomes. (But maybe over the border it's less suspicious, I dunno?)

    The other idea, also not quite right, I had was that the enemy could be kech--which would make a terrifying battle--but again don't have any great reason for keeping gnomes alive.

    The weakest part of all my ideas is why are gnomes being kidnapped and why are they kept alive.


    It could be that they need to be alive for The Ritual to work. And The Ritual can only be conducted "when the Stars Are Right" or "the Planes Align" or other egg timer for the adventure.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

    Joined: May 29, 2018
    Posts: 1428


    Send private message
    Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:34 pm  

    TregMallin wrote:
    edmundscott wrote:
    One thing that occurred to me about Sir Xaris' elven noble idea is that "Tillahi's estate" is located in northern Celene on Anna's map, Tillahi being the elven countess who, at least in CY 579, is prisoner within the Temple of Elemental Evil.

    Now my adventure is happening in CY 576, so it's possible that Tillahi is already a prisoner there, and that one of the subfactions of the Temple has replaced her with someone/something who could be discovered by the faeries as an imposter.

    The problems I foresee are that the Tillahi's estate, while in northern Celene, is something like 75 miles as the crow flies away—which does seem like a long ways to be traveling to kidnap gnomes. (But maybe over the border it's less suspicious, I dunno?)

    The other idea, also not quite right, I had was that the enemy could be kech--which would make a terrifying battle--but again don't have any great reason for keeping gnomes alive.

    The weakest part of all my ideas is why are gnomes being kidnapped and why are they kept alive.


    It could be that they need to be alive for The Ritual to work. And The Ritual can only be conducted "when the Stars Are Right" or "the Planes Align" or other egg timer for the adventure.


    Perhaps the gnomes just taste better fresh
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
    Posts: 30
    From: TregMallin

    Send private message
    Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:23 am  

    JasonZavoda wrote:
    TregMallin wrote:
    edmundscott wrote:
    One thing that occurred to me about Sir Xaris' elven noble idea is that "Tillahi's estate" is located in northern Celene on Anna's map, Tillahi being the elven countess who, at least in CY 579, is prisoner within the Temple of Elemental Evil.

    Now my adventure is happening in CY 576, so it's possible that Tillahi is already a prisoner there, and that one of the subfactions of the Temple has replaced her with someone/something who could be discovered by the faeries as an imposter.

    The problems I foresee are that the Tillahi's estate, while in northern Celene, is something like 75 miles as the crow flies away—which does seem like a long ways to be traveling to kidnap gnomes. (But maybe over the border it's less suspicious, I dunno?)

    The other idea, also not quite right, I had was that the enemy could be kech--which would make a terrifying battle--but again don't have any great reason for keeping gnomes alive.

    The weakest part of all my ideas is why are gnomes being kidnapped and why are they kept alive.


    It could be that they need to be alive for The Ritual to work. And The Ritual can only be conducted "when the Stars Are Right" or "the Planes Align" or other egg timer for the adventure.


    Perhaps the gnomes just taste better fresh



    Or as simple as that. :-)
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 244


    Send private message
    Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:24 am  

    Other than the doppelgänger, what monsters are there, from any edition, or any mythology, or any source really, that could plausibly impersonate someone as important as a Countess?

    I've never known quite how to play doppelgängers, because they don't seem to have intelligible agendas other than kill & replace.

    I'm loathe to use, say, a succubus because I'd have to nerf her so much to not TPK the party that it feels lame.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
    Posts: 30
    From: TregMallin

    Send private message
    Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:35 pm  

    edmundscott wrote:
    Other than the doppelgänger, what monsters are there, from any edition, or any mythology, or any source really, that could plausibly impersonate someone as important as a Countess?

    I've never known quite how to play doppelgängers, because they don't seem to have intelligible agendas other than kill & replace.

    I'm loathe to use, say, a succubus because I'd have to nerf her so much to not TPK the party that it feels lame.


    Have you considered a hag? They make a great nemesis for lower to medium level characters.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2002
    Posts: 854
    From: Sky Island, So Cal

    Send private message
    Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:13 pm  

    Ogre magi can polymorph at will into a bipedal form (it isn't specified whether they can impersonate individuals), can cast charm person, and their description indicates a preference for taking slaves and prisoners. Their cone of cold is truly fearsome for low-level PC's, but they get that only once per day. You might consider a juvenile oni (lower HD, less damage from the cone of cold) if an adult one is too powerful.

    Are your gnomes more berry-collecting, badger-talking wood gnomes, or more like master craftsfolk and machine tinkerers? If the latter, perhaps the oni offered them employment making jewel-encrusted kimono or clever machine traps for its lair, and is now loathe to let them go. The 'complicity' or embarrassment of the gnomes is that they should have known better than to accept the terms of the employment contract, which was made without the consent or input of the local gnome Laird or the Jewelers and Gemners Guild.
    _________________
    My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum




    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.29 Seconds