Monday is here and my 7th week of plots and adventure hooks. This week we are looking at three very different plots all of which are Adventures I have run before, 2 in my regular campaign and 1 as a one shot Adventure. So that’s what this week’s theme is about, one shots.
Now a one shot had been described as a few things with a few rules over the years but for me a one shot is a non-linear adventure that is either completely separate from the main campaign or at least parallel to the main story (see side quest). This means that the story of the adventure begins and ends within the bounds of the adventure that should look to be wrapped up in between 3 and 7 hours (1-2 sessions). That’s how I see them and I have run a series of one shots under the format of “adventuring guild offers coins in exchange for your skills ” to some great outcomes.
The hardest thing about oneshots is how we tie in the players into the adventure – how we hook the individuals – We will explore that on Wednesday night when we have the glorious twists that can help push things over the edge for our players into the realms of “oh, now we have to help.”
What calls from the woods
The party are travelling to their home town along a long stretch of road and managed to broker a ride with a caravan rider and his daughter, a priestess of the Chauntea, the goddess of life and bounty. About four days ride from their goal they started to notice the occasional shriek from a nearby forest. The caravan rider informs the party that the woods are called the Banshee woods due to the sounds that come from them. Many Clerics, sages and wisemen have studied the woods and they have never found a creature or reason for the noises but they believed it to be a phenomenon with the wind and the curled and twisted trunks of the trees.
As the party continued they ended up joining up with another caravan or two who also had heard the shrieks coming from the woods but had thought nothing of it. On the 2nd night of travelling with the now 3 caravans the party ran into a fourth group of wagons that had set up in a defensive position around a large bonfire. Approaching the caravan the uneasy travellers are eventually coerced into revealing that they had been camped here for two nights now with one or two of the members of their caravan disappearing every night, including all their horses found dead on the first night.
The Father and daughter not wanting to leave these people in need decided to stay with the group and, as the sun was setting, they would take any people that wanted to come with them to the city to their destination. The party is pleaded with to help guard the caravan in the unlikely occurrence of the people going missing tonight.
Later that night as the party was on watch the one closest to the forest seems to nod off. Without realising a scream comes from the camp – The preistess of Chauntea has gone missing and drag marks indicate she was taken from her tent and towards the forest. The party member closest to the forest remembers a vague dream-like vision of a woman floating across the grass between him and the forest before seeming to slide past them and into the tent with the priestess.
On eight legs they stride forward
The Party having reached their destination, the lost town of Mildover, they find the mining town in ruins. Situated between two peaks of the Spike, a series of tall, jagged mountains that rupture from the earth like spears erupting from the earth. Once a prosperous mining town it fell into ruin where it was discovered that the town’s local herbalist was actually a practitioner of dark magic.
As the town burned her the herbalist, Ingrid, cursed the town so that it would never prosper and with her dying breath she uttered a string of dark mutterings that summoned the dark things that scutter on webs of stolen breath.
Laughing at the curse, as the naive often do, the town went back to business. A week after the miners returned to their toil they started to notice more webs than normal were in the mines, along the beams and even some of the walls of older mine passages. When the first miner went missing they thought nothing of it, but when a second and third disappeared whilst in the mines the town became fearful. The skittering of long chitinous legs could be heard at night and the webs became thick like spun fabric. Not long after the fourth townsfolk went missing, the smith that lit the fires under the herbalist-come-witch, the town was deserted and eventually surrendered to webs.
The party is here to recover an artefact that the town left behind in their haste to leave the town.
A seige in the night
The party sitting down in the tavern, after a long week of adventuring, are approached by a wealthy merchant who has given them work in the past. The merchant has a problem. A farming village a few days travel from here has requested an unusually large order of military supplies. The merchant needs the supplies delivered but also wants to try and prevent any hostile actions that they may be planning as he has invested interest in what he suspects is the target of the farmers’ ire.
Upon reaching the town the Party notice that a hastily built wall has been built midway through a large field, on one side there is crops of corn and wheat and on the other side is what remains of the same crop, except great swaths of the harvest is cut off at the ground and huge boulders that seem to be the cause of the destruction have appeared in the field. Talking to the farmers they suspect a tribe of wood elves is ransacking their farms, destroying their crops by use of large boulders. One of the boulders even crushed one woman’s house who has yet to wake up from the ordeal.
The Farmers want to take up arms and defend their land in the easiest way they know, attacking and killing the elves to prevent future attacks.
Thanks for joining to look at this week’s adventure hooks. I hope you are, like my party were, excited to see what the adventure holds this week.
I will take this time to announe that next week will be a shorter week as I plan on taking some time off from writing (and work) but I will still endeavour to post something daily, but I will likely on post one adventure rather than a potential 2 or 4 options. Don’t forget to come back each day of the week to look at the NPCs, Twists, Maps and Encounters for this weeks adventure. And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe