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 Postmortem of a small-lived campaign
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Posted - 19 Nov 2017 :  22:21:45  Show Profile Send Jaclyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Many years ago I ran a campaign in the Forgotten Realms setting. Small caveat: while I say it was in the Forgotten Realms setting, it took place on a small island continent that I added to the west of the Spine of the World, so you may or may not count that as part of the Forgotten Realms, but the original intent was to have the party overthrow the corrupt government of the island and journey over to Icewind Dale. With that out of the way, I'll continue on with my account of the campaign. The beginning plot was <sarcasm>HIGHLY ORIGINAL.</sarcasm> The party started off being jailed for some reason be it stealing too many coinpurses or just running into the wrong person at the wrong time of day. Mind you, at this point I had just started reading my novels, so I knew very little of the Forgotten Realms universe outside of the setting of The Icewind Dale trilogy. In my version of the Realms, all of the prisoners were loaded onto a boat and shipped off to the island I mentioned earlier. The beginning of the story was pretty much just Australia the D&D campaign. The story began with an account of the prisoners' journey from their initial imprisonment to the island. It involved very terrible conditions on the boat (being locked in cages and thrown slop as their only sustenance), then a small stopover on a tiny penal island, then back onto the boat to the island proper. The small penal colony was pretty much just a fortress with minimal guards, and everything run by the prisoners. They were responsible for farming their own food and making sure they didn't starve. The guards were left alone because without them, nobody would be able to get new shipments of goods from the mainland to replenish stocks of things that could not be grown or built on the tiny island without them. The party spent a few months at the penal colony until a ship came to bring them to the main island (I keep just calling it the main island because I never came up with a name that I liked). When the party eventually arrived at the main island, then were quite literally all shoved off the boat into the water, and then packs were thrown overboard with basic survival supplies in them. Everyone scrambled to get a pack and it was pure chaos until everyone eventually made it to shore. At the shore there was a large army waiting to greet them. The leader of the army introduced himself as a higher-up in the current government of the island. He said that they would be given the option to join forces with the government where they would be rewarded with gold, a place to sleep, and a steady supply of food. If they refused, they were to be left in the island to fend for themselves at their own peril. The ruling structure of the island was pretty much just a mafia-run affair, with the prisoners long ago banding together and getting rid of the original established government and taking over the island to rule for their own. The island itself was of a medium size and was dominated by rivers, forests, and bamboo groves. There were a couple curiosities, however. The main city was floating in a huge lake in the middle of the island that had a large outlet to the sea. There was also a much smaller island that floated above and by all accounts was full of mystical secrets. The main area that the party got dropped off at was just a tiny village whose only defining characteristics were two inns. The two inns were run by twin brothers, each renouncing their relationship to the other as they both thought they were the rightful heir to their father's secret mead recipe and believed the other to have stolen it. The party soon wandered through the village and started on their journey to the main city. Barring a tiger attack it was rather uneventful. Along the way they passed under the floating island and the warforged of the group (who I had let be a shapechange druid just because I thought it would be fun to have transformer in the party) turned into a bird and flew up to the island carrying some rope. He tied the rope off and the rest of the group climbed up it to the floating island. The floating island turned out to be a large colony of mages who had created the floating island so they could practice and hone their magic in peace and without fear of prosecution from the ever-changing tumultuous government structure. They met another warforged there who didn't have any life and was being used as a coat-rack. The party's warforged got very upset by this and upon touching him there was a large explosion of energy that flung him across the room, leaving him drained and bringing the previously lifeless machine to life. After this, they journeyed back down the rope and continued on to the city. Unfortunately, that's where my campaign ended. I was playing it through IRC with a small group of people from all different timezones. People stopped showing up, either because they got busy or because they lost interest. When people started not showing up to the point of not being able to run the campaign at the agreed upon time of the week, I started running dream sequence arena battles. One of my group quit because of what happened in one of the battles. They were in the arena and the barbarian of the group was examining one of the massive steel doors trying to devise a means of escape. I told him that even if he took a natural 20 he would not be able to budge the door. Queue him not listening and rolling until he got a 20 on his strength check. I gave him a hernia that could be cured with a cure light wounds spell (we had a druid who could do this) that gave him -2 strength and -1 constitution. He got so mad about this (despite the fact that it meant absolutely nothing since we had someone in the party that could immediately cure it) he ragequit. Because he decided to act so childish, I had his character collapse and subsequently die due to his self-inflicted injuries. Everyone else in the party agreed with my decision and said it was a fair thing to do, but alas, that is the last major event that happened before my campaign just stopped. I haven't picked up the mantle of Dungeon Master since.
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