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I'm about to launch my first foray into self written adventures so am making this thread to put up my plans and hopefully get a bit of critique/advice if you guys can see room for improvement.
Kept out of the 4e thread as (a) that thread swallows posts very quickly and (b) hoping more people will post up ongoing stuff here and we can feed off each other.
4e. Crag Mountain aka 'The dwarf campaign'.
The campaign is based around the Crag Mountain Fastness, a major dwarf mine in the North Mountains.
The campaign is sequenced around the discovery by a maintenance team (the PCs) of a hidden underworld and prison, once the domain of an ancient race of advanced dwarves. They “delved too deep” and awoke terrors – spirit-demons ( hoodwraiths)
The opening of the hidden world finds they have been let loose once more for, thousands of years ago, they were captured and sealed within prison-globes by an alliance of intelligent races, now called the “ Ancient Alliance”. Many of the globes were smashed by an unexpected earth-movement (the Crag Mountain lords believe the machinations of an evil being as the location should have been stable).
The prison, though, was arranged around a pair of magical world-maps arranged around a portal: the world-maps give the locations of every wraith in the world and the other planes as well as the location of numerous portals (and their addresses). Using normal portal magic, a group can travel close to almost any wraith troublespot they can see on the worldmap.
The PC’s have been assigned to a Wraith-hunter team to deal with the ancient menace.
These portals make for a good 'DM of the month' swap around as the team get sent off to deal with the latest Wraith menace to show up on the map.
My Planned Session 1:
The party will arrive back in Crag via portal after their latest semi-successful mission. They will bump into another dwarf party who were just about to be dispatched through the portal on a mission. This party will turn out to be on their maiden excursion, lead by an overly cocky dwarf in ridiculously impractical but shiny and jewelled armour. One of the new party will slightly fan-boy squee over the arriving players as he has heard of their deeds, read about them in Axe and Crossbow magazine, and is desperate to be like them (we've just hit paragon so I though this would be a good way to show that we're starting to get some major recognition in the world).
Moving on from hopefully a brief but amusing RP encounter the players will be given a week in downtime to get some R&R and recover from their latest ordeals. When summoned for a mission they are sent after the other dwarf party as they were meant to check in after 48hrs but have not been heard from since they left. This is work below their station really, but they are the only ones available and the expedition team supervisor is being leant on by a Crag councilman who's nephew was the cocky bling dwarf.
Arriving through the portal they find themselves on a blank cliff face as the dwarf hold that was once here has been long since torn apart by massive earth movements. A rope left by the missing party leads across a 30ft chasm (is this big enough for a level 11 party?) to a potential path down the mountain they find themselves on. Was once two ropes for easy crossing, but one has snapped and dangles from the far side. If investigated, stump was clawed or bitten, not cut by knife.
Once half the party is over a vanity of manticores (geddit?) swoops in and attacks. If the party passes a hard perception check they will hear them coming, otherwise they will attack when someone is half over
Manticores being cowards will run when bloodied if any other manticores have died and the pack leader is gone. The pack leader requires two dead manticores and to be bloodied to run.
The party then travel down the mountain to a small idyllic farming village following an obvious trail left by the missing party. In the village they find that the missing party has been there up until yesterday hunting for clues to wraith activity but coming up empty handed, they didn't want to return as they were embarrassed at finding nothing and also enjoying the local hospitality. Comedy stories such as convincing priestess by constant badgering to allow them into the temple crypt to check for 'evil cult activity' and getting shooed out when prodding the bodies to see if they'll move. Left yesterday after picking up a lead from an elder as to a hidden path to a surviving bit of the old dwarf hold.
Climb back up mountain to find a large chasm with a rope leading down into the ruins of the dwarf hold as directed. Two dwarven figures standing at edge of chasm looking down. On approach these turn out to be the skin of two missing party members animated by virtue of being stuffed full of bugs (re-skin green hag from Monster Vault) and three awakened rot grub swarms (MM3) crawl from the chasm. Fight!