Guys I fucked up, and now I need to DM a one shot in a couple hours, what the fuck do I do?
It's in 5e, a party of 4 level 3 players, An arcane trickster, a rogue, a wizard (evocation), and a bard. What do?
The party is in a town and a mysterious man asks them to look into an apparent suicide that he believes a person he is hunting was behind.
The Victim was the heir to a new money family who made their fortune in healing potion distribution.
Cause of death, the victim stabbed himself in the artery with one of his mother's antique knives, on closer inspection,
it's a silver knife and not terribly sharp otherwise The man being hunted his a were-rat who managed to ingratiate himself to the heir before turning him and was using his condition as blackmail to get the heir to lace the potions with the wererat curse. On the eve of the full moon, the heir ends up killing himself with a silver knife rather than cursing the potions or turning his fiancee as his tormentor was urging him to do.
Same thing you always do when you want to do a one-shot: pull a heist.
There's some shit you want to get for somebody. The mission is simple, those bastards have that shit. The shit is the target, you've got to get access to that shit somehow, and get it out, preferably without leaving incriminating evidence or being noticed.
Give them their mission, and make things up as you go along. Don't just introduce problems to fuck them over, make complications, extenuating circumstances, and more problems that need to be solved. Give them a large part of the session to plan, buy supplies, set stuff up, and then have them execute it.
Could be a bank, vault, or wizard's tower they're robbing... Just make something up.
With the makeup of your party, it seems like you've got a pretty good composition for exactly this kind of job.
This is pretty genius, I like it
I love this one too, haven't decided which to use
But like, I don't want to kill them on my first time DMing this group, especially since they're all new players.
>But like, I don't want to kill them on my first time DMing this group, especially since they're all new players.
Then don't have them playing their characters in this one shot. Grab a one shot of a completely different system that comes with characters for them to play. Then it doesn't matter (much) if you kill them all because those characters will not be played after your session ends.
1. An evil wizard has set up some magical artillery and is shelling the town with exploding fireballs from a nearby mountain. The players are given horses and a promise of a reward if they go take him out. The wizard has minions and traps guarding the path to his location. Encourage the players to use ambushes, sneaking, persuasion, and climbing cliff faces and have the enemies do the same. Add encounters as needed and have a final showdown with the Wizard. Have his big magical Thing (cannon? shrine? Statue) do stuff during the battle, like slowly rotate while spraying jets of fire or levitating people.
2. While the players are travelling, an Ogre with a bag of treasure walks up and asks them if they want to fight to the death. If they yes, great! The ogre is really strong and the battle is fierce. If they all refuse, he explains that he was cursed by a Cleric and can only kill things that agree to fight him. Have a player make a knowledge roll for a way to break the curse. Ogre offers his treasure if they help him.
Ogre must be forgiven by the princess.
Ogre must eat the heart of (scary monster).
Obtain the Crown Jewels from the Ancient Pyramid.
3. A Dragon arrives in town with a hoard of kobolds and takes over. The players must help the Elder retrieve 3 artifacts to slay it, each hidden in town. The players must evade or mollify the dragon while moving around town. Have them fear the dragon until they are armed enough to fight back.
How soon is this session happening?
If it gives new players a bad impression, it'll hardly matter if it's not canon
they will associate DnD with what's often called out as being blatantly unfair traps and the DM Vs Players mentality.
Dunno how transferable this is but...
Teleportation error dumps the players in the temple to the Old Stone God, a vestige that recreates its temple and worshippers out of rock and mud. Fight animate dust, minor earth elementals and golem-like recreations of early hominids while trying to find a way out of the caverns the vestige now occupies.
Alright. Here's how it will go:
>TPK'd so hard in the ass they cannot even comprehend what happens
>What is this? This game sucks. We're out of here.
>No wait! It didn't actually happen! You can still play with your characters the next time!
>So we can get fucked over again? Yeah, no, this stuff seems stupid. We're out.
>Have a player make a knowledge roll for a way to break the curse
Knowledge roll fails, there is no adventure and they go "That sucks, dude" before parting ways.
Just say that one of them knows how to undo the curse. No sense in actually making it so that a random die roll might prevent the adventure from even happening.
Players like feeling like their rolls are useful. And who says the adventure ends if they fail? Test each character, make the DC, ez. Even if they all fail, they can go "Hey let's go ask this sage I know."