Since I know a lot of people here are excellent roleplayers, I would love your input on something I am cooking up!
So, my usual group of four players I run Descent into Avernus with, is missing one player next session.
I figured this was an ideal time to try making a one-shot game, where the players could try other classes and another setting, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to be something special.
So - Here is the basic idea - I wanted the players characters to die at the end - I figured, why not? This is the perfect opportunity to make that have some meaning and impact and a little bit of shock-value!
This is what I have so far
The players are heroes - returning from a 15 year war.
They are VERY strong compared to others- This means combat will be an easy out for them. Each have a secret that weigh on them, something they have done in the war
I only have about 3½ hour, which is what we normally play in.
1) On their way to the capital, still in enemy territory, they encounter a wealthy pig farming manor, and its owner, whose daughter has been kidnapped. He suspects the “dirty enemy” which so far has been described as “Evil, hut-dwelling, believers in old dark forest gods, and eater of children” and suggest a nearby encampment.
2) Enemy encampment IS dirty, smelly and bad looking filthy mess - PC’s are confronted by old warriors, who are EASILY dispatched by PC’s if fought. Some women kidnapped from them as well it turns out.
3) Trail leads into the mountains - Old shaman with two helpers travelling the mountain. Shamans killed a lot of people in the backstory I gave to PC’s. They are depicted as well. This is is mostly tired. Asks for mercy and help - Says if PC’s want to help him, he can be found on top of mountain, in cave.
4) Here, encampment of our heroes own soldiers, run by a wizard who has stolen the women. He wants to use them their souls in magic to unleash a devastating disease (Something that already has happened once) but on a larger scale, ending the “threat”.
Wizard offers money and bribes and appeals to sense of duty and honor. He has send most of his men out to scout for more victims, so PC’s can take the women and flee. Unless they want to help the wizard - Then they will get money, xp and fame, all they have to do is kill the shaman, who is messing with the ritual.
5) The Shamans cave.
Here the PC’s can either kill the shaman, or help him. IF the PC’s refused the wizard, and/or rescued the women, a small army is coming towards them and they have to stall them while the shaman works his magic.
During this fight, which is with a LOT of soldiers, but PC’s are WAY stronger than most of them, but there are a LOT of them, it turns out the only way to save the women from the ritual, is by sacrificing souls - This is done either covertly or openly as each PC dies in the defense.
At the end - The PC’s will have died, but the women are saved, the army is scattered, and the wizard is dead. OR of course, the shaman is dead, the PC’s are rich, but should be morally deplored by what they have enabled.
Anyways - This is what I have, and I kinda like it (Apologies to David Gemmel for the basic idea of the adventure) but I feel like I am missing a few key elements to really tell the story. I was thinking of giving each PC a secret, based on the war.
I would love some input on the above, and ideas to really hammer home the themes here, without becoming too over the top. I feel its close, but not quite too much yet.
Thanks in advance!