A session Prep entry… If you are a player in my Tuesday/ Wednesday game (Also if you are playing or plan to play Storm King’s Thunder…) you may want to stop reading. However, if you are the sort that opens their xmas presents a week early and re-wraps them in the still hours of the night, well read on. Who am I to judge.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND…
Some time ago our heroes defeated the dreaded giant overlord Guh of the hill giants. From her they obtained the Conch that will magically teleport them to the next chapter in Storm King’s Thunder (which I prepared). Instead they decided to tie up loose ends heading to the town of Womford to hunt “The Bat”.
No problemo… Fred Love over at the Dungeon Master’s guild had created The Womford Bat A Four Page Module. It is pretty helpful and just the right size 3 pages and a cover sheet. My mighty heroes defeated the bat, pissed off the zhentarim, and flew off into the night on their airship.
Where will they go next? To defeat the fire giants of course! But first they want to message some people. One of those people happens to be a favorite NPC, who happens to been abducted by cloud giants and is currently being tortured for information he does not have. So they go to his rescue and save him… gaining a flying cloud castle in the bargain.
< At this point I got a little impatient. THIS IS WRONG. Everyone is having a good time exploring the world I have set in front of them. They do not need to follow the plot of the module i am using. THE JOURNEY IS THE ADVENTURE!>
They plan to follow up on some other leads as they head northeast to the fire giant’s lair. On the way they decide to do some more messaging. They learn that the Dawn Titan has been stolen from the dwarves and go to investigate. mishaps happen, they get in a fight with some drow and learn that this is part of the fire giant’s evil schemes…
COMING UP WITH A PLAN
So what to do, what to do, what to do? First I start with an assumption: They are going to get on their airship and fly to the fire giant lair as fast as possible. Fingers crossed. I estimate how long that will take them, in this case 8 days by airship. Now usually I would roll 3d20 (morning, noon, and night) for each day of travel and plan an encounter for anything over 18. This time I had grown bored with the random aerial encounter table provided… So I asked the good people of Twitter for encounter suggestions and decided to read the land for likely encounter locations.
@MoondustMoth suggested a pod of flying whales spewing acid out their blowholes. I like it, it is not the sort of thing anyone will be expecting. However, they are traveling over the interior… but there is a swamp. I like the idea of a spectral whale rising from the swamp to assault the party with acidic ectoplasm. I picture it like the dragon firework from Lord of the Rings except; green, whale, and coming from the ground to the sky… but otherwise that is the scene I am going to channel.
By this point, I had remembered that Maag the dwarf cleric had mentioned wanting to keep an eye out for fire giant dig sites or artifacts. So yeah, there has got to be one of them. I will just reuse a previous encounter map. should be good to go. This could go anywhere, but I really want it out in the open so they can see it from the sky. I think I will have someone from the crew offer up a bunch of featherfall potions so they can “Parachute” in… that would be a cool moment.
Then looking over the map, there is Mithril Hall, they will probably want to stop there. the module does not give much info on it, but if they stop for supplies I will just improv the whole thing with a focus on dwarf culture. the goal is to not get them sidetracked. Fingers crossed.
My brave heroes will also be flying over One Stone, a Geoglyph of a pegasus in a forest clearing. turns out there is a premade encounter… 2 earth cultists riding bulettes, who attract 20 barbarians. Sounds like a good time! Then that is it, they will arrive at their destination.
Is this enough? I think this is likely more than we will get through in a session. If it is Great! saves me a little work next time. If it is not enough, I can give my Players room to fill with role playing opportunities… or throw another combat their way, fire giant scouts perhaps.