Stream of Consciousness Game Prep

I'm trying something a little different this morning. Actually I'm doing something I usually do for creating things for my game, just in a public forum. I have a game in 4 hours, and I need to paint the next scene so the party will see something other than white when they arrive. Although a whiteout in late summer could also work, depending where the teleportation circle is...


OK, so what do we know from last game? There's this remote ex-dragon lair with a huge portal in it up in the mountains somewhere. And we've established there's a dwarven town nearby with a teleportation circle. What else is in the area? Why is it so remote in this age of teleportation?

What if there's a glacier? Yeah, I like that. A dwarf-founded town in a mountain by a glacier. Why the heck would that exist?

What if the dwarves maintained a flock of sheep to feed the dragon back before they went away? It's the mountains, so probably goats, not sheep. Cool. So shepherd dwarves. Where would they graze? There needs to be a valley nearby with at least =something= to graze on.

Is there direct access to the dragon peak? Since they can fly, probably not. I bet there's only one really dangerous road to the town and nothing to the gate. What if the glacier expanded and wiped out the road between the town and the dragon gate? That would need to be a few hundred years back, around the time the dragons left. Good. A little history goes a long way.

If the dragons left through the gate around 500 years ago, maybe a dwarf still lives who saw them leave. He keeps the memory and the flock alive, even though there's only one guardian left at the gate to feed. How would they get food to him? Something flying, for sure. A pseudodragon with a bag of holding could work. It flies in once a week to get supplies, maybe with a pouch of coins and a note in exchange for a week's provisions. Nice. Nobody's seen a dragon for centuries except for this one ancient dwarf who fills a bag of holding with food for a pseudodragon to deliver once a week. Love it.

Now about that dragon lair in the peak. If it's right next to the glacier, it's got some sheer sides - nearly impossible to climb. We'll let the party figure that out when they get there. Maybe some secret entrance down below? Possible. We'll see how they attack the problem in play.

And what if there's a tall cliff where the glacier calves of chunks into a valley? How does a glacier act with a sheer drop? I'll research that and modify as needed, but that'll be on the other side of the peak. OK, so I'll need a quick look in case they go with aerial recon, so I'm not retconning things later.

Right, so this session will be getting to the town. Dwarven is roughly German, so what would they name this settlement? Dragon is Drachen - too on the nose? Probably. We'll mine it for something shorter. Larder or pantry? Compound word, very long, Kammer is chamber, so maybe that? Drakammer maybe? I've used watch elsewhere already. Hm. Yeah, let's go with Drakammer. And I like the name Josten for the elder dwarf. Done.

I bet others would flock to Drakammer, since it's the only place in a hard patch of mountains. Who else would come here? Kobolds for the dragon? Definitely. Maybe goblins? They go everywhere, so sure. A couple of humans whose parents were rescued and they stayed? Love it. Elves? Probably not.

They have a teleportation circle, but do they have a Longstrider's Guild presence offering passage for a fee? Probably not. Not enough money to be made in the butt end of the mountains. But they'll need a mid-level wizard for sure. Is there a circle of mages here? If so, probably only a few. What if the humans are wizards? Yeah, I can get behind that. Maybe one family? Sure, let's call them Alpen: Beiren and Fingal Alpen are the matriarch and patriarch of the family. And maybe some goblin traders have a wizard on staff? I'm in.

Town dynamics, then. The party will get a vibe even if they're only in town long enough to ask questions and run off. The elder Josten leads the goatherds and coordinates the pseudodragon deliveries. There's gotta be a roost for the pseudodragons - flesh that out before the game. And the human wizard family is probably its own power structure, making some money by providing access to the outside world. They're not cruel, just ambitious and sitting on a gold mine.

What about mining? That makes sense. Would there be gold out here? Google tells me about Alluvial Gold Deposits, so let's jump on that bandwagon. They've found some iron for tools as well, and maybe something else? Something rare and new? Yeah, it's a secret so we can flesh that out only if someone finds out. There's some friction because "dwarves shouldn't herd sheep, they should dig!" What if there's a Forgefather tie-in with some of the temple politics they've seen elsewhere? YES. So the miners and the clerics make up a faction Who Know What's Best For Dwarves. But even then, some miners just want to work and not play morality police. Also, where does their coal and charcoal come from? It must be imported - there are precious few trees in the area. That's a source of worry for the miners and craftsfolk here.

Traders are transient, though I'm sure a few shops dot the cavern for food, tools, and climbing supplies. Maybe a weapon shop and armory. Is there a mayor? I'm sure somebody is stupid enough to want to try and keep the peace among everyone. Let's call her (searches for German Girl Names)... Luisa, which means "famous in battle". So she fought something off and everyone thought she would be the best leader. Perfect. Did she do it honorably? Was her win an accident and that's her secret. Yes, that works.

So what did she fight off? Let's look at mountain or cold critters. Stone giants? Naah, they're peaceful now since that last war 200 years back cost everyone so much. In fact, there's probably a small enclave nearby who are at least at a truce if not amenable to swapping favors. Canon accepted.

Two 100s in a row on the random Mountain Encounter table means Frost Giants. Egad. So maybe there was a patrol that Luisa managed to kill. I like the idea of a cave-in or avalanche that the giants started with their war cries, and then got absolutely pelted so Luisa could get the coup de grace. Yeah. Two frost giants got trashed a few years back, and now Luisa is shitting pickles that they'll send a war party to avenge them, so she's training a militia =hard=. And leaders of the militia could be another faction, mostly aligned with Luisa, but with their own differences since they come from all groups in Drakammer.

What else? A 67 on the Arctic Encounters table gives us Remorhaz. I can get behind that. Easy enough to spring them on the party as they navigate the rough terrain. Ehat else? Wyvern? Makes sense if they stay in town, because grazing goats. Bulette? Not a huge fan, but useful if we need something in a hurry. Air elementals? Yeah, if they're naturally occurring during a blizzard, that could be a fun encounter. We'll see how their luck holds on the way to the peak.

So what do we have after all that?

The party will jump in at the teleport circle, which is outside but sheltered under an overhang. A blizzard whips around them, and the circle stands unguarded. They stumble around and find the cavern entrance nearby into Drakammer, where they talk their way past the militia on guard.

Once they're in, they have precious few stores to visit. Roast goat and goat jerky are huge staple foods here, and there's a cavern where the flocks shelter from the storm. Maybe a magic item for sale? We'll see how the dice treat them when they get there. One of the wizards (the son Nevin Alpen and his sister Rin, who seems apologetic) will grill them on the use of the circle, maybe press them for a donation toward its upkeep? The mayor Luisa Jadeaxe will probably want to talk, and she'll get Josten Bloodface involved once the party lets on that they're heading for Dragons Peak. Josten can introduce them to the pseudodragons and their telepathic emotions.

If they linger after the storm passes and get bored, we'll have a wyvern attack the flock. If they start hiking toward the peak or to talk with the stone giants, we'll have a remorhaz encounter. If the weather turns on them, I'll throw a couple of air elementals at them in the storm. If they're interested, they can hear rumors of each (and how Luisa beat the frost giants) in town.

That should fill four hours and leave enough hooks for the next game. Not bad for an hour's work.

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