Slaves of Troustar sets each player out on their own path. Each starting player discovers a poster inviting them to travel to Ac Rumb and join a party for adventure, fame and fortune.
Top Secret Note:When players first meet they will know nothing of each other and barely be able to tell what their companions look like let alone their race, class and background. This means that there can be no game Zero for the players and the Dungeon Master.
Instead, preparation for the game starts with a short correspondence between players and the DM. I recommend that after you receive a reply from the initial invitation you take some time and take a look at the map and history to place characters in the world.
Before the game, players are sent an invitation. The invitation contains a poster that their character finds and some further details on character creation.
Try an get the invitations sent out at least a week before you start your game. This will give you some time to prepare some of the characters backgrounds. Also make sure you get your players to respond to your invitation ASAP.
Below is a copy of a homebrew Hobo monster. I am using this NPC for my campaign Slaves of Troustar. In play-testing these stats came ups pretty go against my players who were level one, unarmed and unarmoured (long story).
Why there was no Hobo in the D&D Monster Manual 5e is beyond me. You really haven’t lived until you have got into a fight with a hobo.
The Hobo doesn’t really have much skill considering their constant state of inebriation. However, due to the numbing factors of the booze, their constitution is generally better than most commoners.
The only ability that the Hobo has is Why Has The Rum Gone which gives the Hobo advantage on attack rolls on any who have hidden or are in possession of their booze.
Fistycuffs is their weapon attack. As the name suggests, it is bludgeon damage from fists with a 1d4 Hit.
I modified a Challenge Rating Sheet created by Krispy KremeGuy if you want to give it a go yourself. It doesn’t Challenge Rate monsters with a CR of zero, but it is easy to modify.
Warlock – Eldritch Invocations – Mask of Many Faces(Disguise Self)
At first, I really didn’t think that non-combat spells were all that useful compared to the immediate need of a combat spell, particularly in what was turning out to be mostly a dungeon crawl. However, I wanted to stay true to my character so upon reaching second level my half-elf Warlock, Sagan Bra’el acquired the mastery of Mask of Many Faces.
In the D&D Player’s Handbook 5e p.107, Warlocks at level two begin to learn fragments of forbidden knowledge know as Eldritch Invocations. At this level you uncover two invocations and at higher levels you get more. Most invocations are available unless they have a prerequisite. For example, at level one,my character Sagan learnt the cantrip Eldritch Blast (p237). Eldritch Blast is a prerequisite for the Eldritch Invocation, Agonizing Blast (p110) which allows the Warlock to add its Charisma modifier to the damage it deals.
I send a message to my DM letting him know I am going for the Rod of Ruin. My note reads simply:
My mistress compels me to seek the Rod of Ruin, I have no choice but to follow her command.
Careful to make sure some of the metagamers in the group don’t see me, I slip the note to the DM. Distracted by the euphoric end to game, my companions don’t see the hand over.
Kalarel, the arch nemesis of our campaign, was almost dead and I made the first of my dex(stealth) rolls. Being a -1 on Dexterity was no help, but my mistress Silussa was looking down on me this day. My first roll was an 18 followed by my second, a 17. I send another note to my DM giving him the results and telling him I can make it to the Rod in two turns.
On our second round, Kalarel is toast. I can’t even remember how he died. I was too focused. I needed the rod and then I had to get to the portal to Orcus.
We continue our round according to initiative. I don’t move my character so the metagamers don’t know where I am headed.
I quietly whisper to my DM that I have made it to the rod while my companions attempt to examine the room and try and destroy the portal to the Underworld, and Orcus. I make a strength check of 15, plus 1 for my strength modifier. It should be enough. Let’s see what the Dungeon Master thinks.
I scratch out a note as the party attempt to make Medicine and History checks. They must get 8 successful check before they make 3 failures. They are up to 3 successes and 1 failure right now. I palm the message to the DM:
I’m gonna make a run for the mirror and try and jump through.
“So let me go down and take a look. I have this cool ability call Mask of Many Faces (a glorified Disguise Self, but for Warlocks) that I can cast at will and it lasts for about an hour. I reckon I can have a bit of a look around and case out the joint. You know, see what we might be up against.” I manage to get this out among the competing ideas of this massive party of seven. I’m starting to learn when there pauses are in this particular group and figure out what words to say to get them motivated to do a task – which is good because my charisma is supposed to be the shiz. So now, here I am and they have all stopped talking and are all staring at me waiting for me to explain.
Bugger, I don’t really know what to say. I often don’t get this far. Imagine if house cats could play Dungeons and Dragons. Come on, look deep. Think about their behaviour. That’s it. There you go, that’s us. We are far from a cohesive group of players. First, our characters are pretty diverse and the sheer number of chaotic good/neutral in our groups suggest that these lone wolf-kittens would much prefer to go it alone.
Okay, here goes, “Look, I will be extra careful and I certainly won’t engage.”
“If you start attacking something in there, I’m just going to leave you there to rot. I’m sick of people not following to plan and thinking they can take on any battle only to realise that they are, once again dead,” Our gruff dwarven cleric mutters, with no small amount of out of character irritance in her voice.
I empathise with her, I really do. We have a problem. Our party really finds it difficult to comprehend the concept of reconnaissance. You know, having a sneaky peak of the baddies, or maybe testing their strength a little before withdrawing (without having used a spell slot) to come up with a solid plan.
For some of our party, they blame our utter inability to follow instruction, which is hilariously ironic considering we are all teachers. And this is quite true, but I think there are a few other things at play here too and they all result in one thing – boredom.
So, I think it is pretty safe to say that no one really reads the first blog of a webpage. Okay, to be perfectly honest, for those of who you managed to drunkenly find the ass-end of a Google search and make your way to this deep dark section of the web, you really are a traveller, a hero of epic proportion charting the very reaches of society…or you are just lost.
Well, no one said life in fantasy land would be all candied unicorn turds and scantily clad gnomes. It takes hard work I tells ya! Hard work! And you of all people should know that to seduce a hag, always make sure you gift her with a new set of dentures – metaphorically speaking.
Confused? Me too.
So what have I been up to since last you saw me, you ask. Well, that’s a bit of a creepy question, champ, considering that you don’t even know me, but bugger it, this dwarfish grog is going down a treat, so I am happy to indulge.
First, I finally had a captive audience to learn and play Dungeons and Dragons with. No, I didn’t take the usual route of forcing my wife to pop out sufficient progeny and then painstakingly program them to love geeky shizzle (yep, the first izzle reference. *self five*) before they can finally be useful enough to play – or daddy is gonna get very cranky.
Much too sloppy, far too slow and way too prone to error and possible accidental deaths.