Ideas for a prelude to war

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Pdiddy
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Ideas for a prelude to war

Post by Pdiddy »

My characters have seemed to lock onto a potential war between a decayed and wicked empire and one of its former vassal cities which is now a city-state that is prepared to defend its independence.

I have lots of ideas for hooks, encounters and adventures if/when the war actually breaks out but they seem to be enjoying the tension that permeates the region with the current "cold war" and I would like to keep that going for a bit longer. However, I am struggling a bit with ideas for the interim.

They are currently trying to escape a small city on the border of the evil Empire and are then planning on making their way to the city-state to give the Baron word of an agent of his that they came across. I would like the overland journey to be memorable but I am struggling for ideas.

Any suggestions?

jamesmishler
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Post by jamesmishler »

Is this in the Wilderlands or do you have your own map? Knowing what lies along their journey could certainly help...
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Omote
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Post by Omote »

Even though the characters are caught up in this plot you've devised, it's entirely possible while travelling through the wilderness to stumble upon and adventure that might not neccessarily tie into the main plot.

This could destract from the whole point of your campaign, or could be a much needed distraction from the "big picture."

Are you looking for a one-off, non-particular wilderness adventure, or are you looking for something to tie into the plot you;ve already created?

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Buttmonkey
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Post by Buttmonkey »

There's always the Big Chase once the PCs get out of the small city. Perhaps agents of the Evil Empire learn of the PCs' mission and send a band of assassings/monsters after the party in hopes of killing them before they reach the city state. Make the chasing villains too big for the party to tackle head on. This might lead the party to advance stealthily and stage hit and run attacks on the bad guys. It might also lead the party to take shelter in that dangerous-looking abandoned ruin up ahead. Once they are in, they can't leave because of the chasing horde of monsters and now they have to deal with the hideous evil they awakened inside the ruin.
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PayToFlay
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Post by PayToFlay »

This really does sound like a perfect time to go 'Blair Witch' on them. Running though the woods, trying to escape... suddenly, things don't look so familiar. This is the right way back, right? What was that noise? Why is there a pile of animal teeth? Those are animal teeth... aren't they? And what did you do with that note for the Baron? You still have it... right? RIGHT?

Heh... or you could have an interlude with a disenfranchised member of the dying regime. Maybe one who tried to get them to listen and change. A figure who in the future, might be worth revisiting to gain information on how the empire conducts its affairs.

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Post by CharlieRock »

How about an old "Seeking Shelter from the Storm" bit:

It is a fierce storm (force CON checks and stuff) and the PCs spot a structure not far off from the road that might give them shelter.

This could either be a Tower of Adventure, or some other dungeon (if you prefer dungeon crawls of course).

Or a Tavern that leads to a murder mystery. Soon after the PCs enter the Tavern a dead body is found in the cellar someone fetches the local Sheriff and a couple deputies and they begin questioning everyone. The suspicion may lay heavily on the PCs since they are the strangers in town. Of course the guy who is actually a werewolf and murdered the other guy in the cellar to keep it a secret may want the PCs to take the fall for it as well.
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PayToFlay
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Post by PayToFlay »

CharlieRock wrote:
How about an old "Seeking Shelter from the Storm" bit:

It is a fierce storm (force CON checks and stuff) and the PCs spot a structure not far off from the road that might give them shelter.

This could either be a Tower of Adventure, or some other dungeon (if you prefer dungeon crawls of course).

Or a Tavern that leads to a murder mystery. Soon after the PCs enter the Tavern a dead body is found in the cellar someone fetches the local Sheriff and a couple deputies and they begin questioning everyone. The suspicion may lay heavily on the PCs since they are the strangers in town. Of course the guy who is actually a werewolf and murdered the other guy in the cellar to keep it a secret may want the PCs to take the fall for it as well.

Oh! Oh! Oh! ORRRR...

Howzabout the tavern only appears during a storm, playing out a murder doomed to repeat itself until the PCs solve the crime... and release all the poor souls dragged into this mystery! If they, fail, well, at least they have a tavern to spend eternity in...

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Sir Osis of Liver
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Post by Sir Osis of Liver »

Is the city-state on a river/major waterway? It might be fun to have a "Death on the Nile" type adventure. They get on the boat for whatever reason (deliver an important communique to an ally, official request for help etc.) and you find out that there's an emissary from the other side on board as well. That emissary turns up dead, and all eyes are on the party. Perhaps the party rogue gets thrown in the brig, which happens to be guarded by some crazy big monster. Gotta make it so that they can't get off the boat, and what have you, but there are some different directions you can take.

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Post by Arazmus »

You could approach it like a 60's spy novel. Lot's of double dealing for the defectors, backstabbing, not knowing who to trust, always having to stay on the move...etc. Read the Bourne novels for inspiration. Assassins galore.
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