Nathaniel Eliot (temujin9) wrote,
Nathaniel Eliot

d20 Monster: The Sinking Cities

The d20 Monster campaign grew out of several frustrations. While I've been able to get some gaming in during all of this, the adult campaign I'm in is intermittent and not really appropriate for a 13-year-old. I'd missed a whole lot of play time with my son while his mother was fighting me, and all the events of this last year have taken their toll on our previously scheduled game time (a Friday night card-game night). And I'm currently the only one available to run a game regularly at our house, but my last campaign fizzled when the plot got more complex than my ability to manage it.

So the simultaneous goals are:
  • Run a game enjoyable to a thirteen-year-old.
  • Run a game enjoyable to my adult friends.
  • Spend as little energy on prep as possible.
What emerged is a burlesque noir sandbox d20 blog mashup. It will be epic. It will be gritty. It will not be overly serious. It will have serious enemies, who will often try to kill the PCs for their presumption.

It's set in the center of the Sinking Cities, a huge metropolis cursed by She-Who-Lives-Beyond-The-Waves to a slow watery death for a failure to pay tribute. Largely abandoned by the Tawy, the Tengu/Yuan-Ti/Gnoll empire that built it on the backs of human slaves, the metropolis has become a haven for all kinds of monsters (including the human kind) and other miscreants unlucky enough to be dropped there.

Which the PCs (monsters of the non-human sort) have been, by the Overseer of Tawy, a ghoulish vizier to her majesty Hssspatia. In their first two days, they have tangled with lizard men, carnivorous vines, avaricious kobolds, and dangerous humans. They've made enemies of powerful guilds, and friends of fools and the downtrodden. They've been transported, held for ransom, hired for a posh party, assaulted, and tricked into a home invasion. None of them have died yet, but its only a matter of time . . .

(ObDad: Dylan understood the concept immediately, and is picking up the rules quickly. The first session was slow, but also competing for attention with Minecraft; second session he hit his stride. Watching him buff his flail with a bit of liquor and his ifrit's innate fire abilities, and then improvise passing a guard at the party a drink when collared, was great. He also ate a bee, got sat on by a fat lady, and smashed a window to help get party-goers out when the house they were in got attacked. Whoot!)

What will happen next? I have no idea. That's the point of a sandbox: the PCs have been given some starting motivations, and a setting that encourages single-session adventuring from a common point (thus allowing players flexibility in attendance without disrupting the game).

Now it's their job to provide the plot, while I make the setting react try to kill them.
Tags: family, gaming

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