Monday, February 27, 2017

Weekend Gaming: New Blood and Would-be Queens

Huge gaming weekend this past weekend.

Friday night my youngest son ran his game of D&D ever for three of his friends.  It went great and the kids sounded like they had a great time.  One even showed up with a homemade character sheet with his character ready to go.  I guess his dad had helped him put it all together.

Sunday we played an extra long session of our 5e game.  The boys had just finished the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl and were headed to their next adventure when they saw a girl, potentially a snow elf, running across the tundra chased by Winter Wolves.  This was the start of the first mini-adventure "The Frost Giant Jarl's Daughter".

The adventure is obviously based on the Conan story, The Frost Giant's Daughter.  But there were other influences as well.   The first encounter was with the wolves.  Winter wolves are actually pretty tough in D&D5.  Next I had them run into the skeletons of long dead Frost Giants.  I didn't have minis for that, but I do have my collection of old AD&D toys.


They worked out well.  I included them as my homage to this famous Dragon magazine cover.



They chased the girl to a cave where they found her behind a wall of ice.  They were attacked by the brothers of the Frost Giant's Daughter then.

For this part I adopted a little bit of 4e as mentioned in this post.  This made the frost giants a little tougher and gave them some interesting and unique powers.


Finally, after defeating the brothers, the girl reveals herself to be the Frost Giant Jarl's daughter, and now the new ruler of the Frost Giants. I guess she was a Countess.


The adventure takes place right after G2 (I am calling it G2.5, but I guess G2.45 is a better code).  The party must cross a glacier to get to the next point in the series.

I went to 4e for help on crafting the encounters; a group of Winter Wolves, Frost Giant Skeletons and finally her two four Frost Giant brothers.  The Jarl's Daughter is a Frost Giant Ice Shaper from 4e.  She has/had ice powers and was the one that crafted the ice wall.


The adventure could end in two ways (well three if you count the PCs getting killed, but that was not a design goal). Either the brothers are all killed and the daughter entreats with the PCs to come to a truce or the PCs kill everyone.  The Daughter is quite powerful and I'd prefer the PCs not having to fight her.

I am thinking of working up the adventure for downloading.  The idea is to "be playable after any adventure dealing with Frost Giants but before moving on to Fire Giants".  This works with G2 and G3 and the Storm King's Thunder adventures.

After we did that the Order of the Platinum Dragon moved on to discover a Cloud Giant Castle full of Mountain, Fog, and Firbolg giants.  Basically all the AD&D Monster Manual II and Fiend Folio Giants.

Here the bastard daughter of the Storm Giant King and a Cloud Giant witch has taken control of a cloud giant castle and is dealing with the drow.  I based her on the 4e Eldritch Giant and made her a Cloud Giant warlock with a Primordial pact.  Her pact is with the Elder Elemental Eye.

For this adventure, I combined a number of "Cloud Giant" related adventures.


Again, both of these mini-adventures come from my misreading of "Storm King's Thunder" as "Storm King's Daughter".

Going through the Storm King's Thunder, Saga of the Giants, and Curse of the Cloud Giant Queen. I noticed a lot of similarities. Not that this is a big deal really; all the adventures are drawing on the same source materials. Namely the classic G series and the mythology in D&D about Cloud Giants.

The adventure in the Storm King's Thunder is nice and tight and I loved the masks.  The Curse of the Cloud Giant Queen has a great dungeon and some ideas as well. The Saga of the Giants' Cloud Giant Castle is also a nice adventure.



Reading them all over I got the idea of a floating castle in the clouds, ruled by a Cloud Giant Queen. I have always, always wanted to do a floating castle! She is supplying materials to the Frost and Fire Giants below.  Plus the Drow getting the Cloud and Storm Giants would be a huge coup.

The PCs were able to get in and defeat the imposter Cloud Giant Queen and free the Storm Giant King.  The Fog Giants gained control of the Castle again to get it back into the hands of Cloud Giants.  I decided that not all giants chafe under the yoke of larger giants; fog giants are happy to serve the cloud giants.

Given that so much of this cloud giant adventure was really a mis-mash of other people's work, I won't work that one up into anything to be used by others.

So now the Order has defeated Hill, Stone, Frost and Cloud giant enemies. They have faced Storm, Mountain, Fog, Firbolg, Ettin and Cyclops giants.  All that is left are Fire.

Next time we meet at the table it is G3 Halls of the Fire Giant King!

Will the Frost Giant Queen or even the Cloud Giant Queen return in my War of the Witch Queens? They were a witch and a warlock respectively.  Who knows.

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