Dungeons and Dragons – The Heir Affair
Long horses and fickle fools
So we begin our tale, five strangers joined around a table for an evening of drinks, as they wandered into the street and drained the last dredges of their glasses a figure ran past them. Pursued by a band of ruffians; leaping or stumbling into action the party saved the figure. Only to find they were the youngest princess Inej, who then tasks them with an important mission. Protect her life, but the only way to do so will be to help her ascend to the throne.
And so the session began, with four players (unfortunately our Dwarf Paladin couldn’t make today, I’ll come up with a story reason for this) waiting in the Princess quarters to speak with her about their mission.
Here we swapped from me detailing the backstory to the actual role playing, as the princess introduced the world the party wrote notes, taking names of characters they thought might be important later. For some reason they are immediately distrustful of the princess’s advisor; as a DM never forget that players know their genre tropes, and a goateed royal advisor is sure to raise some eyebrows… which is why I then promptly named him Iago.
Inej tasks the party with picking up a new animal for the zoo, a fantastic creature with a long neck and spots that she’d tried to get the night before but had been set upon. The party agrees, although the druid raises an eyebrow at the idea of a zoo.
The party makes their way to the warehouse with little effort to collect the Giraffe, which is now officially called Long Horse within the universe. The dwarf who greets them immediately tries to overcharge them for the animal, now with such a heavy charisma party I thought this would be an easy task and that they could even negotiate him lower and pocket the remaining. Certainly this is what they attempted, although rushing between intimidates, hypnotism and winning friendships through stories, the party actually forgot to try and lower the price below the amount the princess had given them.
Well, at least they didn’t get ripped off.
While that situation could have ended in violence, they came out strong with some good roles and there wasn’t much danger to it. The walk from the warehouse to the zoo however I’d planned a few things, as they walk the long horse through the streets a curious crowd gathers, as our druid is half lizard fold and has a companion drake. She draws most of the attention, including a crowd of orphans. A successful perception later and none of her items are stolen.
Giving them a fetch quest with an animal was a gimmie to the druid, she easily kept the animal calm as the crowds jostled around them. However I had one last idea to throw at them, the Long Horse draws the crowd away from a local performer. A fool who finds friction from his fine new friends fiendishly stealing fans from him.
Meet Fredrick the Fool, an NPC who was very close to causing a fight, but thankfully was threatened away as he ran tumbled around and under the Long Horse and almost sent it running.
The Long Horse delivered, the crowds amazed, the bard successfully pulling in four coppers from a performance, the party has completed my planned session far quicker than I intended. While the princess did have more backstory and work information to deliver the mood was clear to continue, considering how easily they had avoided any possible fight I couldn’t just throw a random encounter from my prepared ones at them.
The mesmerist had a horse at a local stable so as they went to pick it up they stopped for food, one of the fun things with character backstories is they can only give you the major notes. The main plot points, which means there is a lot that the DM gets to add and play with. The barmaid that the mesmerist flirted with and made big promises too isn’t important enough to him to have made up, but it certainly was important to her. And so the team suffers their first damage as The Mesmerist is hit over the head with a frying pan.
He does successfully talk his way out of it, charming the barmaid Annabel, although he fails to remember what the ‘big promise’ he made was… although he has noticed he’s not been wearing his wedding ring.
Thus, with a mild concussion and horse in toe, the party retires for the night. Aware they need to try and sway one of the groups supporting the other heirs towards Princess Inej, the different groups they can win over are, the people, the military, the church, the nobility.
They’re going to need to work hard to succeed; we’ll see how it goes next session and if out friend Fredrick makes a return.
DM notes, while the party had a good time it was a bit unfairly weighted towards the charisma players. Our rogue really didn’t have much to do, and neither would the paladin, so I’m going to have to try and balance some other sessions in favour of them. Make sure that each of the players have time to shine.