Slow Beginnings (or How do I Mix my Plot Lines and my PCs)

So, on Sunday, November 09, 2014, I ran the first game of my Iolta and Thrain campaign.  While it was not my first 5E game, it is still significant, because it is the first game in a campaign created using plot lines from a selection of modules.  I’m going to have an interesting time of mixing my planned plot lines with my PCs’ goals.  Let me attempt to explain my dilemma.

Provided Plot Lines (Taken From my Modules)

Restore the Monarchy – includes prophecies of reborn kings and pretenders trying to claim the throne

Get Help from the Druids – includes an overland journey and diplomacy

Defeat the Risen Evil – your standard stop Cthulhustyle story with ancient artifacts and dungeon crawls

These are all doable plot lines and would not require to much tinkering to build into a campaign arc, if I so chose.  Enter my PCs.

The Player Characters

Vadis Mal – male, human paladin – His family was betrayed in a power struggle and he was sold into the slave pits of Thulsa Set in Inverness.  During his time in the slave pits, Vadis was possessed by Spirit of Cernunnos and learned it was the Horned God’s will that all be free.  Vadis escaped; now, he and a fellow escapee have begun a campaign of punishing those who would enslave others (slavers, pimps, evil nobles, corrupt governments, etc).  (2014.11.14)

 

Stone – male, human barbarian – Captured as child, Stone was sold into slavery in Inverness.  He met Vadis in the slave pits of Thulsa Set and watched over him when the Spirit of Cernunnos came upon him.  When the revolt came, Stone fought alongside Vadis and now follows him in his quest to bring Vengeance upon those that would enslave others.

 

Ravah Rothardotter of Clan Uldra – female, dwarf fighter – Ravah was the last of four daughters born to Rothar Bloodaxe and his wife.  After her mother was killed in a fomori raid, Ravah was raised by her father alone.  He taught her to fight and named her his heir, since he had no sons.  Ravah served in the Dwarf Crown army and was recognized for her achievements; she reached the rank of sergeant before her father died.  While the clan elders recognized her as her father’s heir, they did it out of their respect for her father, not because they believed she was worthy.  Incensed, Ravah gave her holdings to her eldest nephew as a wedding gift and left the Dwarf Crown.  On her way out, she helped two escaped slaves flee Inverness; they were Vadis and Stone. (2014.11.14)

 

Winguard – male, elf/human bard – Found on the steps of the Brotherhood of Brie, Winguard was raised by the scholars and minstrels dwelling there.  He grew into a young man who believes that everyone should be responsible for his or her own fate.  Winguard seeks to establish a new political order based on one’s own personal responsibility.  He joined Vadis and Stone, after Vadis journeyed to Brie to find a bard to immortalize their campaign against the enslavers in song and verse and to promote the ideals of freedom. (2014.11.13)

 

Adran Silverleaf – male, elf wizard – Born and reared among the Shadow Crowns of Thrain, Adran came to Pellham 300 years ago to study the collected works of the Brotherhood of Brie.  He is beginning to master the arts of divination and is much intrigued by the Prophecy of Llywelyn’s return.  Adran left Brie before he was forced to choose a side as various groups debate the meaning of the Prophecy.  He is traveling with Winguard and the others for reasons that he has yet to reveal.  (2014.11.14)

So, here is what I done so far:

     1. Created or shifted game world elements to fit proposed backgrounds.

2. Couldn’t find my revised copy of the Prophecy of Brie and didn’t give my Players any info on it in game.

3. Added two new characters to the Sovereign Council.

4. Added monsters from a previous campaign to the swamp near the Mad Druid’s home.

5. Altered the personality of the Mad Druid.

6. Hand waved the knowledge of the “Hand of Loring” because I forgot to give the Prophecy of Llywelyn’s Return.

7. Created 3 dryad sisters, Oak Ash, and Thorn.

8. Added hell coin carrying fomori minions working for Thulsa Set which were sent after Vadis and Stone.  (2014.11.14)

So, now my question is, “How close do I hold to my provided plots and how much do I build on my Player’s plans?”  I expect I’ll do much more of the later and once again prove that I am poor at using modules.

Game On!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Slow Beginnings (or How do I Mix my Plot Lines and my PCs)

  1. I have a real love/hate relationship with plots. I pretty much always seem to have them, but I have decided that I have to willing to drop them instantly if (when…) the players go off in another direction. I also have a real problem in that the players often end up feeling sidelined if there is an overly obvious plotline. So rather than grand epics, I have short stories or one-off novels.

    Of course, I say that with my eye on the Age of Worms epic storyline for 3.5E… But I really want to see that play out for some reason – even knowing that it’s going to end up looking very different from the “stated storyline” because my players will find a way to mess with it.

    D.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That module about Loring the Lost is one of my favourites. I’m not a big fan of the sequel, but the first one (To Find a King) is excellent fun.

    Do you prefer your characters to be orphans / homeless, or is that their choice? It is a trope that I discourage in my players – I want them to have a home and a family that they care about.

    Anyway, sounds like fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I leave it to the Players to decide, but would prefer that they have some ties to the setting. Here is what I have from the Players: Valdis Mal has a surviving sister that he would like to find, Stone’s family should still dwell in the Greate Olde Woode, and Ravah Rothardottor has 4 older sisters all married and with children. I gave Winguard a foundling back story because of the race he wanted to be, a half-elf…not really a usual race in the setting. I agree with you, the second module seems awfully contrived, but I’ve worked into other sources and look forward to seeing, if my Players go there. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s