So… not only did I just realize this week that I have only a week to finish planning my one-shot, but I also just realized I need to have something written for the blog. By the way, it is currently 6:15 PM on Friday. I blame laziness and procrastination… oh, wait :p
Anyways, I’m much more of a loose planner anyways and I have almost finished the characters, so the actual hard part is done. I built the characters so that money is a logical motivating factor for them, and gave one of them a specific thing to look for on the island I’m planning. All I have left is some remaining basic gear and sellable goods. Basic plans are as follows (BTW Spoilers for any Witt Guilders reading this, do not read ahead if you are planning on participating on Friday).
The game will begin with them arriving on the island of Calderon. They were approached by an old sailor named Shane who had recovered a journal belonging to the Pirate King, Brotan Gold-Eye. As they disembark from the small craft Shane calls out to the island “Another batch as promised”, and sinks the boat, disappearing. A small gruoup of Gnolls will break from the trees and run towards the party, beginning a small fight. Probably only have 4 to 5 of them. Shane is a Fiend Pact warlock, he made a deal with Yeenoghu to spare his life in return for keeping people away from the island and bringing two hundred souls to be hunted and killed by the growing pack. There will be a “Fang of Yeenoghu” on the island, who will act as the cult leader and be the “final boss”. The Fang’s are cool because if hyenas eat something killed by a Fang they become Gnolls. I’m roughly estimating the pack to be about 30 strong, too big for a frontal assault, but not too big that the players are going to get slaughtered no matter what they do. In addition to the Fang and Shane I want at least one pack leader as a second in command and a Ranger-esque human, who has joined the pack and kills and cannibalizes alongside them. I’ll probably name him Ghassan (Fourth name as reference, I’m on fire).
In addition to the pack, there is some wildlife in the area. After all it is a big tropical island with cliffs and all that. Probably throw a massive, scarred, owlbear into this. Something even the Gnolls fear that will be wildcard. Let’s throw in a cave full of Violet Fungus, those things are a bit fun (plants that move and decompose people). Signs of the Gnoll’s viciousness would abound. Desecrated corpses of human victims, maybe an Aarakocra (bird person) who was left in a cage and tortured to death, destroyed nests of griffons, a deserted village in the jungle, ect. Potential allies will include the Minstrel Flynn, who is hiding in the grove of a Dryad named Chime along with a Sprite couple named Thorn and Thistle, and the Yuan-Ti woman named Daliah (not her real name) who is hiding alone in the cliffs.
Flynn barely escaped the Gnolls, running into the forest while they laughed figuring they could easily catch the out of shape young man. Fortunately for Flynn, he accidentally stumbled upon Chime’s glade, which she, Thorn, and Thistle have been able to hold against the Gnolls by a combination of trickery, magic, and the Sprite’s sleep poisons. Thorn and Thistle don’t particularly like Flynn, viewing him as useless at best. However, Flynn is accomplished with a Lyre and charmed Chime with his music. Her glade, her magic, and her tree being were Thorn and Thistle live, she holds the true power at the moment. Chime is unable to venture far from her tree and won’t go confront the Gnolls. Thorn and Thistle might provide supplies or actual back-up, Flynn is only good for information (maybe) and possibly being talked into being a distraction for the party.
Daliah escaped as well, but she took a bow, arrows, and using her natural stealth and the caverns in the islands cliffs has been able to keep away from the Gnolls and even kill them. Or threaten other captives into giving her supplies in exchange for their lives. Daliah definitely wants off the island, and is accomplished as a fighter, but she is definitely self interest driven and would rather take the party’s supplies and continue hiding out than risk attacking the Gnolls.
The biggest problem for the players other than the Gnolls is getting off the island. Luckily the rumors of the Pirate Captain’s treasure being on this island are true. Shane’s father was a crewmate for the captain, which is why he ended up here and hunted by gnolls. The Captain’s treasure has actually grown slightly as the Gnolls have tossed any valuables held by their victims into the treasure room in their Temple home base. The treasure also contains a few magic items, including a folding boat the Captain kept for emergencies.The players could also escape by finding Shane’s back-up boat that he and Ghassan use to get back to the mainland so Shane can lure more people into the Gnoll’s trap. That boat is well-hidden though and not many people would mention it. Probably put it in a small hidden cove on the other side of the island.
The temple probably would not have traps, but their will be an alter and the players might get to witness a ritual killing that will result in Yeenoghu being contacted and talked to by his Fang.
Overall, a good base for a 4 hour adventure. Can lower the number of Gnolls if neccessary, and traps and features as well, but keeping it simple wold probably be best.