Playing a one-on-one D&D game at home with Janaki. The Bingo XP Variant doesn’t work for 1 player, so I whipped up a milestone XP sheet that we’ll use to futz with the timing of leveling up. As we do with the Bingo board, we’ll use it to open up that discussion of what we’d like to see in game and how we’d like to see Makaris the Druid challenged.
Makaris is a Tiefling Druid returning to her birthplace, the Tiefling capital of Asmodeen. Makaris has been away from her home for a decade after a job for her criminal family went bad. During that decade was a war with the Dragonborn and the treaty ending that war has just been inked.
Wrote a blog post about it, like to read it? Here it goes…
I used to just jot down ideas, knowing that when I covered an 8.5 by 11 piece of paper with names and ideas I usually had a good amount of game time. I’m enjoying tables lately.
Daydream about some cool places, some cool factions, some cool tensions and you can always roll a few if you don’t know what to do. Here’s what I might have in front of me before DMing such a thing:
Ancient Witch-Tree Coven
Ancient Standing Stones
Factions (roll twice if you want factions fighting – same result might be in-fighting)
Queen’s Elves, returning to lands they left long ago
Witch-Elves, sworn to fell trees, never left
Tieflings (with a keep and small castle town in Devil Gorge)
Gnomes, ply the river
Scattered human nomads, hither and yon
Something ancient has stirred
One faction’s forces is stalking the other from stealth
One faction’s forces is retreating desperately
Diplomacy among two factions is occurring
One faction is celebrating a holy day
Two factions are trading goods
Encounters do not have to be fights.
And here they are in layout. Sometimes things change from notebook to google doc to layout, which is neat.
Maybe I roll a few times to see what is going on before the game.
The Ancient Witch-Trees, Tieflings twice and a Holy Day.
Maybe a Tiefling assassin squad is waiting to ambush some Witch-elves but some of the Tieflings don’t want to attack them on their holy day, not wanting to upset the Witch-trees.
What are Witch-trees? No idea. I have an idea that their bark looks like bone… Creepy sentient trees…
I rolled the Witch-trees again but got the Satyrs and Gnomes and Factions Trading. Nah, just Satyrs and Gnomes trading on the river – pretty normal. Maybe they are gossiping about seeing some shady looking Tieflings moving toward the Witch-trees.
I’d grab some names for each faction type, maybe daydream about some NPC’s. Name the river. Daydream a bit about the Queen’s Elves and the Witch-Elves and the Tiefling Knight who runs the castle in Devil Gorge.
What do the humans who follow a nomadic path around the forest’s edge think of all this drama?
That is it. That is enough to start. If I need more I can roll and we haven’t even discussed linking the players to this mess.
That is a post for another day.
Make your own! Let me know how it goes at the table.