Slaver's Caravan - cool story hour account of actual play

S'mon

Mongoose
A great account of 'The Slaver's Caravan' adventure (from Thulsa's website) by StalkingBlue, player of the surviving PC:

http://www.randomlingshouse.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=52398

StalkingBlue played Jirrigan, a very scantily clad Cimmerian warrior-maid. I adapted the scenario a bit for a lone female PC, most of the Gorean stuff (riding lizards, red-silk girls) and the Netbook of Sex references (prostitute venereal disease %s) seemed somehow inappropriate... :wink:
 

Mijoro

Mongoose
Thanks for posting this. I'm in the process of adapting this adventure for my players - it's nice to see how it played out for other groups!
 

Style

Mongoose
S'mon said:
A great account of 'The Slaver's Caravan' adventure (from Thulsa's website) by StalkingBlue, player of the surviving PC:

http://www.randomlingshouse.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=52398
I'm about to start a Conan campaign, and I'm thinking about running this adventure. Unfortunately, that link no longer goes to the "great account" of that adventure. :(

Does anyone know where it can now be found, or any other accounts of that adventure?

Also, I've been reading the Messantia Box, and I'm thinking I want to send my players there shortly after the opening adventure. With that in mind, I was thinking of having the slave caravan depart from Dustbiter in Messantia instead of Shadizar, and then maybe go into the Poitain area for the Beggar's Feast, instead of Arenjun. Does that sound like a plausible substitute?

Your feed back will be greatly appreciated.
 

Aholibamah

Mongoose
I think it could be played out anywhere.

A few changes I made when I ran it:

- the slave girls generally aren't thrilled to be sold--I did depict one though as being concerned about what kind of person she was sold to. You could use the 'buy me' to indicate they know where they're going to be sold and are upset about it as well.

- change the weird riding beasts to horses.

- The author, Craig Tidwell, seems to be out of contact--I'm hoping he's doing okay. Anyway I have the pdf if anyone wants it. PM me if you do.
 

Style

Mongoose
Aholibamah said:
I think it could be played out anywhere.

Yeah, it's fairly generic. I will probably lessen the thieving encounters, since it's not happening in the city of thieves. I'll probably just use the "random" encounter of the drunks they run into in the streets who want to fight.

I may also remove the gladiator games and replace them with different games (boxing, wrestling, horse racing, archery, I'll think of something), as I plan on sending them back to Messantia after that, and I don't want to lessen the gladiator experiences I plan on having there.

Any ideas where this would take place in Poitain, and how long it'd take to get there?

Aholibamah said:
A few changes I made when I ran it:

- the slave girls generally aren't thrilled to be sold--I did depict one though as being concerned about what kind of person she was sold to. You could use the 'buy me' to indicate they know where they're going to be sold and are upset about it as well.

- change the weird riding beasts to horses.
I was thinking the same on both accounts.

Aholibamah said:
- The author, Craig Tidwell, seems to be out of contact--I'm hoping he's doing okay. Anyway I have the pdf if anyone wants it. PM me if you do.
It' available at the bottom of this page:
http://hyboria.xoth.net/adventures/index.htm
 

Aholibamah

Mongoose
I think your changes make sense--I encourage you to have a good time running this one.

I'm not sure about Poitain--why there anyway?
 

Style

Mongoose
Aholibamah said:
I think your changes make sense--I encourage you to have a good time running this one.

I'm not sure about Poitain--why there anyway?
It doesn't have to be Poitain. I just need a destination about a week or so up the Road of Kings from Messantia. Just glancing at the map and doing an extra rough estimate, I'd say Poitain is more like 2 weeks, but that should still be ok. I don't plan on role-playing every day of the journey anyway, so as long as it's not some epic length journey, months of travel, it should be fine.

I'm certainly open to suggestions for a good location for the Beggar's Feast, if starting at Messantia instead of Shadizar.
 

Style

Mongoose
So I'm playing Monday, reading over the adventure again, and doing my game prep. At the end, the author says there are two possible outcomes: the characters escape, or they're enslaved. Ummm, why not the players beat up and/or kill Dinak, the guards, and even Hamadras? I could very easily see my players put together a plan to catch Dinak and company off guard, taking them before they can be taken. And looking at what I have prepared for monday night, it seems like they would have a pretty good shot at victory.

I'm playing Savage Worlds, and in that system named characters are called "Wild cards" and un-named characters are "extras." Wilds cards are significantly better than extras. Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, and Darth Vadar are all wild cards. Storm Troopers are extras. If you get my meaning.

So anyway, there are four PCs, all wild cards. I made Unegen and Cillian Wild cards, as they are named, and will likely be roleplayed a bit and have some personality. So that makes 6 Wild cards on the side of the players. Dinak and Hamadras are wild cards, but Dinak is a merchant and mainly a non-combatant. After that, you have 6 caravan guard extras, and 4 guards from the mines, again extras. So you have 6 wilds cards verses 1 wild card and 10 extras. That is at least 50/50 odds, and probably better than that in favor of the PCs. If the PCs strike before the guards from the mine arrive, then you're looking at 6 wild cards vs 1 wild card and 6 extras. That would be a slaughter by the PCs.

Now, there are things I could change to make the odds more in favor of Dinak and Hamadras. I could make Dinak a total bad ass. I could increase the number of caravan guards. I could make Unegen and Cillian extras. But that's really not the point of this post. The point of this post is the following question:

Is there a reason not to allow for the PCs to win?

The adventures lists two outcomes, and them winning isn't one of them. Why not? Should I leave it as I've currently prepared it, knowing that if the PCs fight they have a good shot at being victorious, or should I alter the dynamics so that them winning is nearly impossible? And if the latter, again, please tell me why?

Thanks!
 

Aholibamah

Mongoose
The pcs can certainly win--mine did. However its assuming that they're low level characters and that it would be crazy to take everyone else on with just say the usual four or so adventurers.

It's an interesting adventure but it really did need modification. A good example of things that are a little requiring of improvement:
- lack of stats for the Stygian sorceror and companion
- the assumption of a pessimistic ending
- the peculiar and mysterious 'nobleman' that you never meet. I created the possibility of meeting this person if the pcs insisted on it.
- the stats for the slave girls--I couldn't help but wonder if some of them were going to be gladiators. Not that that's a bad thing, but I imagine that their demeanor would be a little different and the security would be better. (one of them has a 17 strength)I think he kind of did some of that at random.

Having said that it's a nice concept and I enjoyed running it. I would also suggest quickly thinking up some personality for 2-3 slave girls as well--decide a bit of backstory and that kind fo thing, even if it's just a variation on stufff from the novels/short stories in the setting. (I had more or less versions of Zabibi, Octavia, and Livia. So basically a temptress, a bitter enslaved aristocrat and a rather naive and timid girl enslaved from childhood)
 

Style

Mongoose
Aholibamah said:
I would also suggest quickly thinking up some personality for 2-3 slave girls as well--decide a bit of backstory and that kind fo thing, even if it's just a variation on stufff from the novels/short stories in the setting. (I had more or less versions of Zabibi, Octavia, and Livia. So basically a temptress, a bitter enslaved aristocrat and a rather naive and timid girl enslaved from childhood)

Good idea. Consider it stolen. :)

Another reason just occurred to me how the PCs could easily win. It's highly probably that at least one or two caravan guards will be killed when the bandits attack. So the numbers will probably be further skewed in favor of the PCs.

I guess if this happens, or if I decide I really don't want them to win, the easy fix is to increase the number of guards coming from the mines to pick them up, and to not give them the "heads up" that they will be betrayed until after those guards arrive.
 

Diabolus

Mongoose
I ran this fine adventure set in the old Judge's Guild Wilderlands setting in my last 3.5 campaign (I use Conan RPG too with this too, but these folks wanted to play generic 3.5) with the PCs traveling from Thunderhold down to the City State of the Invincible Overlord.

The story fit perfectly with the setting. Dinak scared the crap out of them (and what low level character wouldn't be intimidated by a pissed off dwarf on a riding lizard, like a bounty hunter...).

The players managed their escape and fled into the Dearthwood with Dinak and crew on their tails, fearing the Wild Orcs of the Purple Claw less than their fate as slaves to Hamadras.

They spent a good 6-7 levels terrified of Hamadras and his sway in the City State, unaware they could easily take him (and his goons) on.

Well done adventure!
 

Aholibamah

Mongoose
That sounds like it was a cool adventure. I found it very adaptable as well. Isn't it funny how psychology can create a villain better than stats do? So did you have other characters made into D&D races too? What did you do with the slave girls as far as that went?
 

Diabolus

Mongoose
The slave girls were just the slave girls. They didn't factor much into the story as the party (which had started the game as slaves of orcs) was more afraid of ending up as slaves and having to escape again than to rescue or even worry about others in slavery.
 
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