Game is on Sunday. I’ll spend the week imagining all these things in play. How they fit together. My timings. How the spirits and horrors are going to look – gonna need variations just to keep it fresh. What will the whispering say? What the exterior and interior looks like. All the creepy ambiance. All the ways I’m going to try and freak my party out. I have some time. Pre-imagining is key for my DM style. I can wing stuff, of course, but its never as good as something you’ve put a tiny bit of thought into. Even if its only a bare description and/or a general attitude/action. Sometimes that’s enough to spur some deeper stuff (sometimes not, but its better than going in blind).
My set up notes:
Events: In the Hills
- A Blot (a magically sealed entrance to the Underdark, guarded by an inactive Colossus). Lindale finds a +1 crystal sword (powers unknown at this time. Maybe good against spirits. Maybe some other plot device for the future. Dunno)
- Witness a Formian/Orc (Halfdagger Clan) battle – Choose a side or avoid.
- The Perimeter Mists (The insanity smoke)
The Cloister of the Mad
A pile of outbuildings crowded around a dome. The buildings are in severe disrepair. Plant life has entwined and encroached. All windows are broken. Mist
covers the entire area.
Tellurian hears whispering (frenetic) just outside the mist and his dog, Raphael, manifests and will not enter the Mist. (Minutes later Raphael manifests next to Tellurian. This is a hallucination). Any spells he casts in here will automatically incur a Wild Magic effect, and using the Wand of Wonder triggers two effects. At random, his spells will be cast at varying levels of power.
Barhador, upon entering the Mist, loses the highest leveled spells in his prayerbook. They simple vanish from his remembrances. As he nears the Asylum, he will lose more and more. Once inside the Asylum himself, he will have no spell access at all (Being inside the avatar of Golovkin’s (Insanity) sphere of influence cuts off Harlequine’s (Deception) ability to grant spells).
Lindale is reunited with Krenn, the badger. This is a hallucination, but Krenn will begin to abuse the fighter, and try and get him to confess his lie about his identity as well as general moaning about doom and death if Lindale doesn’t leave.
Click to see the Mindmap
This is my game plan.
I know its a confusing pile of shit, but this is how I have to plan out things sometimes. Just to keep track of all the balls I’m going to be juggling.
- The map of the Asylum is modular. They’ll enter the building from wherever outside, it doesn’t matter, and they’ll enter one of the Wings. From there I can make hallways appear and disappear at will and keep them away from the Dome for as long as I like. I think (ha!) I can get this done in one session, and I’d prefer that, because trying to carry-over tension and that synergy of fear is sometimes hard across multiple sessions. Better to have it in one punch, I feel.
See how we go.
- I’ll roll on the Events table when I need to ramp up the tension or escalate a situation. Or when the energy starts to flag at the table.
The names below the PCs are relatives/mentors/friends that I’m going to use as hauntings. Gonna pile on the guilt of them surviving while the rest perished in the forest fire.
The numbers in the asylum rooms are the numbers of the monster encounters found there. The necrosis carnex is an old 3.5 horror, and creepy as shit, and mongrelmen I can just wing some weird hybrid things, so that’s all good. Assorted spirits will be the hauntings I mentioned, as well as any phantoms, apparitions or ghosts that I need. Horror beasts are just that – nightmare fuel with no real stats, I’ll just wing something if I need it, but more than likely they will be RP encounters. The Jermlaine are old friends, if you’ve read my posts, you’ll know that well (there’s a Warstory about them in this sub), but I’m going to make them way more feral and put their faces upside-down. The rats, too. Sheet Phantoms and Ghouls are 2e undead. They lie in ambush in bedchambers, mostly, or abandoned laundries.
The “Screams, The Fire, Being In It” circled text is to remind me to have a group hallucination of the party inside the forest fire, not being burned, but seeing everyone running and dying, just like in Tellurian and Lindale’s visions.
The “Fake Dog” and “Fake Krenn” circled text is to remind me that they are there, and the “No Spells” as well, but I don’t think I’ll forget that.
The tiny map at the top is the basement below the Dome. I drew an oubliette as well, just in case they want to investigate one, I like to have things like that a bit more concrete in my mind. How did the prisoners live here? I added a water trickle about 3′ off the ground, figuring it’d take a minute or so to fill your mouth if you were thirsty. Don’t ask me why details like that matter to me, but there you go.
That’s pretty much it. Oh and I’ll be using the Amnesia soundtrack for ambiance.
Fingers crossed I don’t frack it up. Stay tuned for the session log.
UPDATE: I’m sorry to say this campaign has come to an end as my party (roommates) moved 4 hours away.