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Winter Woods Campaign 
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Mist Elf
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Post Winter Woods Campaign
I’m rebooting a campaign I ran several years ago. I’d originally set it in and around The Lost City of Barakus, which I was steadily converting on the fly from 3.5 to run with C&C. I love the player characters but feel like we’ve explored the setting pretty thoroughly, so I’m moving the campaign.

Friday I ran a sort of origin/farewell episode to give a few of the characters a reason for their departure. Only two from the original campaign were there, although a few more will join later. These were:

Koll, a barbarian from “the Red Jungles of Tandor”
Kalina, a lizard woman spellsword from tropical islands to the south. She was actually such a cool character that I worked her into my third Pathfinder novel. They’re both third level and very close to fourth.

It having been years since they’d played these characters I started with a simple opening and had them summoned to meet with their friend Stylus Kant, head of the wizard’s college in Endhome. They’d assisted him with several errands in the past.
Taking inspiration from the Vakhund C&C modules I read last week, I had some friendly (well, neutral-ish) goblins visiting the city from a distant goblin kingdom. Stylus Kant had permitted the nephew of the chief goblin envoy to go boar hunting in the nearby forests, along with some city guards.

Naturally, neither the guards nor the nephew had returned, and Kant wanted the player characters, who’ve explored this section of the woods pretty thoroughly, to go find them, in the company of some goblin bodyguards. I’d thought that another former player character, a druid, would be able to make it, and that would have made a little more sense, but this worked well enough.

The lead goblin bodyguard was a cheeky, talkative fellow. I’d thought about introducing a sub-plot where he’d attempt to slay Kalina the lizard woman for her lovely, chameleon like hide, but it never seemed to work, pacing wise, although I did have him subtly asking all kinds of questions about how many colors it could transform into and whether her hide could change after her death. Neither player seemed suspicious. The other goblins couldn’t speak common and were hulking brutes.

The rest of the adventure, apart from the enjoyable character interaction, was fairly straight forward. They found a wagon left by the missing being torn apart by owlbears, who were also tearing into the formerly picketed wagon horses. It turns out that two third level characters with initiative bonuses, one of them a very strong barbarian, out fought the owlbears pretty easily, which was a surprise to me. (I had the goblins hanging back, waiting to see if the player characters would get overmatched.)

The barbarian was able to follow the track of the missing boar hunters into the deep woods, where they wouldn’t have had any trouble with some wild boars if the goblins hadn’t decided to try to hunt some. That was merely a minor nuisance, as were the environmental obstacles of a deep cleft to cross.

Pretty soon after that the characters noticed that the ground was shaking rhythmically. As they closed on the source of the shaking they also heard music. They also saw the four sets of very large bare humanoid footprints. Koll, slayer of beasts, rightly identified them as belonging to hill giants.

The long and short – some elven lords and ladies had formed a ring of dancers, and they had been joined by a variety of forest creatures, trappers, woodsman, the missing boar hunters, and even the hill giants… all but the elves against their will, naturally. The player characters had wisely stopped up their ears with fabric, and then approached to speak with the elven lord and lady at the center of the disturbance.

They managed to persuade the elven lord and lady to allow the boar hunters to leave IF they each performed a song that was pleasing to the elves. If not, they would return to the land of the Fair Folk to entertain them there. As it happens, Koll’s player has joked numerous times that he has a splendid baritone and even worked it into the background detail of several adventures. Likewise, Kalina’s character has worked in that her character carries a small stringed instrument which she sometimes uses to play the music of her homeland.

It’s not as though either of them is supposed to be a bard, but their musicality has been part of their background from the beginning, so I ran with it, telling them to roll and roll well, choosing whether they wished to roll on their charisma or intelligence. Well, Kalina chose intelligence and played a song of her homeland, redolent with the feel of palm trees and exotic flowers and ocean breezes, and rolled a natural 20. Koll had to spend a hero point to re-roll, then produced an 18, which was a great success given that charisma was one of his primes.

In short, the elven lord and his lady were pleased and judged that the player characters had suitably impressed them. They released the boar hunters and the rest of the creatures as well, and returned to Fairy through a portal they opened in the midst of the air. The wildlife fled, apart from two of the giants. After dancing for two days they were rather hungry, but the characters dissuaded them from full-out attack with some clever role-play (and one good jab in a giant’s toe as well as the expenditure of a hero point to avoid the hand slap of an angry giant).

The characters returned with the missing boar hunters, and with hide intact, and a grateful Stylus Kant awarded them with a deed to a property he’s recently inherited from a distant land. This was a handout from the adventure Tower of the Scarlet Wizard, which I’ve placed in a distant land. The characters will gather their gear and head out of Endhome to relocate to the new campaign area, which I've based on John Stater's Hex Crawl, Winter Woods. Other player characters will join them either on the way or once they arrive.

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Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:13 am
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
Another great write-up. The campaign sounds pretty wild and crazy in a good way!

How long did this session take?

Enjoy the game,

Rhu. :)

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Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:20 am
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Mist Elf
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
Thanks, Rhu.

It was a short one -- only about 2.5 hours. These days it seems like 3-4 hours is the maximum length of what we play, and of course it was made a little shorter because there were only 2 players.

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Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:13 am
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
Nice write-up. My weak area is running NPCs that are vibrant and fleshed out, so it's interesting (and instructive) to read examples from GMs who do a nice job in that area.

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Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:02 pm
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Mist Elf
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
Thanks. I try to think of them as "guest stars" for the weekly installment. Sometimes they're a recurring guest star, sometimes they're just a one-shot. I've found if I give the players more than one or two NPCs to interact with at a single time it gets overwhelming for them to keep track of and for me to run. If there are more involved at a time than JUST one NPC, I give the primary speaking role to someone interesting and just a moment here or there to the extras in the background. Alternatively, I give them very clear and opposite viewpoints, so that the characters witness an argument, or very clear areas of interest and expertise that don't overlap... anything to make it easy for me to run and for the characters to tell apart and, most importantly, to enjoy interacting with.

I had a lot of fun running and can hardly wait to run the next game -- although it will have to be until my son's through with his semester finals.

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Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:06 pm
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
joneshoward wrote:
Thanks. I try to think of them as "guest stars" for the weekly installment. Sometimes they're a recurring guest star, sometimes they're just a one-shot. I've found if I give the players more than one or two NPCs to interact with at a single time it gets overwhelming for them to keep track of and for me to run. If there are more involved at a time than JUST one NPC, I give the primary speaking role to someone interesting and just a moment here or there to the extras in the background. Alternatively, I give them very clear and opposite viewpoints, so that the characters witness an argument, or very clear areas of interest and expertise that don't overlap... anything to make it easy for me to run and for the characters to tell apart and, most importantly, to enjoy interacting with.

That is very helpful. Thanks!

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tylermo wrote:
Your efforts are greatly appreciated, Buttmonkey. Can't believe I said that with a straight face.


Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:04 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
rosa345 wrote:
joneshoward wrote:
Thanks. I try to think of them as "guest stars" for the weekly installment. Sometimes they're a recurring guest star, sometimes they're just a one-shot. I've found if I give the players more than one or two NPCs to interact with at a single time it gets overwhelming for them to keep track of and for me to run. If there are more involved at a time than JUST one NPC, I give the [url]best poker stories[/url] to someone interesting and just a moment here or there to the extras in the background. Alternatively, I give them very clear and opposite viewpoints, so that the characters witness an argument, or very clear areas of interest and expertise that don't overlap... anything to make it easy for me to run and for the characters to tell apart and, most importantly, to enjoy interacting with.

I had a lot of fun running and can hardly wait to run the next game -- although it will have to be until my son's through with his semester finals.


I will remember it. Thanks, its really helpful



+1 to that ; Thanks for the write up and the ideas it feeds

Rosa, welcome to the boards and the chaos here in

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Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:51 pm
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
Lurker wrote:
rosa345 wrote:
joneshoward wrote:
Thanks. I try to think of them as "guest stars" for the weekly installment. Sometimes they're a recurring guest star, sometimes they're just a one-shot. I've found if I give the players more than one or two NPCs to interact with at a single time it gets overwhelming for them to keep track of and for me to run. If there are more involved at a time than JUST one NPC, I give the best poker stories[/color] to someone interesting and just a moment here or there to the extras in the background. Alternatively, I give them very clear and opposite viewpoints, so that the characters witness an argument, or very clear areas of interest and expertise that don't overlap... anything to make it easy for me to run and for the characters to tell apart and, most importantly, to enjoy interacting with.

I had a lot of fun running and can hardly wait to run the next game -- although it will have to be until my son's through with his semester finals.


I will remember it. Thanks, its really helpful



+1 to that ; Thanks for the write up and the ideas it feeds

Rosa, welcome to the boards and the chaos here in

Rosa is a bot and her post was spam. They have been using quotes to hide links. The bolded words in Rosa's quote are not in the original post. I deleted her post. I also removed the url from Lurker's post. It's what the spammers have been doing lately to insert links into post.

R-

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Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:12 pm
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
Rigon wrote:
Lurker wrote:

+1 to that ; Thanks for the write up and the ideas it feeds

Rosa, welcome to the boards and the chaos here in


Rosa is a bot and her post was spam. They have been using quotes to hide links. The bolded words in Rosa's quote are not in the original post. I deleted her post. I also removed the url from Lurker's post. It's what the spammers have been doing lately to insert links into post.

R-


She may be a bot, but I still agree.

Now, are we saying I'm naïve and fell for her tricks ... so I would fail as a Bladerunner. Is she at least a cute bot so I can use that as an excuse ?

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Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:18 am
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Post Re: Winter Woods Campaign
Lurker wrote:
Rigon wrote:
Lurker wrote:

+1 to that ; Thanks for the write up and the ideas it feeds

Rosa, welcome to the boards and the chaos here in


Rosa is a bot and her post was spam. They have been using quotes to hide links. The bolded words in Rosa's quote are not in the original post. I deleted her post. I also removed the url from Lurker's post. It's what the spammers have been doing lately to insert links into post.

R-


She may be a bot, but I still agree.

Now, are we saying I'm naïve and fell for her tricks ... so I would fail as a Bladerunner. Is she at least a cute bot so I can use that as an excuse ?

Whatever floats your boat, I guess...

R-

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Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:31 pm
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