View Full Version : Campaigns / Adventures GM's Resource - One Session mini Plots - Wilderness Travel

11-14-2010, 12:30 PM
I've seen many many sites which give campaign or story arcs, but none that provide a DM/GM with a 'one off' sub plot that is enough meat to fill in one session of play (4-6 hours).

I would like to create this thread in hopes other DM's/GM's players could contribute a small one session sub plot that could be used as a filler while characters are traveling on a trail, or through a wilderness. We can add other threads if this one is successful for: City/Village sub plots, etc.

This is more than just, 'a group of brigands attacks you', as a combat does not last a whole session. I will create the first post to demonstrate what I am looking for.

Everyone feel free to add to this as it could be a very valuable resource for DM/GM's who need something fast.

---------- Post added at 12:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:39 AM ----------

Encounter 1: Beginning the story
1) PCs see the final rider leave a sacked wagon with a screaming little girl (Poppy) straddled across the back of his horse tied up.

Encounter 2: Tracking
1) Wagon is empty but in good shape, the riders are easy to track because of the screaming girl (Poppy), and the weight of the horses. There are 6 riders.

Encounter 3: Find the camp
1) The 6 brigands (Olaf, Bergen, Seth, Reggie, Vince, Pete) are discussing what to do with the girl, and that Redd and the rest of the crew will be back in an hour or so.
a) One wants to use the girl (Poppy) as a cook and cleaner, as he is tired of doing all the cooking. he doesn't feel appreciated.
b) One wants to ransom the girl (poppy). One other tells him to ask her dead father in the bush 'over there' how much he is willing to give them.
c) The other says they will wait for Redd to come back and decide. He will be back soon as he brought the supplies and her mother to their base camp a few miles away. He mentions that they are lucky, because she (Rita - Poppy's mom) is a pretty one.

Encounter 4: Redd comes back
1) If the party tells the girl (Poppy) to wait in the bushes with them as they ambush Redd, she starts whimpering when she sees them giving away their surprise round.
2) If the party asks the girl (Poppy) to stay further away or hide, she is captured by one of the brigands prior to the ambush, and then they have to decide what to do next.
3) The brigands will flee to their base camp once down to 50% HP. If Redd drops they will immediately flee to their base camp.

Encounter 5: Poppy's mom.
1) There are way too many brigands in this camp to directly assault it, the PC's need to find a different way to deal with this.
2) Rita is located in one of the tents, and if the PC's are patient they will hear her scream, "Get away from me you beast!" from one of the tents.
3) If Rita is successfully freed, the brigands will figure this out quickly. They will break out in search parties consisting of 4 people in each. Use standard Ranger tracking techniques.

Encounter 6: Hunted!
1) The search party finds them, and a combat occurs. This could be one on horseback with crossbows and other implements, or something else.

The mom and daughter both are crying. The wagon had their life savings in it, and Rita's husband was the business minded one. They are broke and have no where to go. Now what? Do the PCs go back and raid the camp now that it is relatively empty due to search parties? Do they run into another search party on the way there? Do they bring back a few extra horses to their wagon, and fill it up? Lots of choices and options to fill in the rest of the evening...

Not just a simple brigand attack now, but also nothing to impact the campaign (or does it?). Good filler session.

11-18-2010, 09:56 AM
If the party manages to free both Poppy and Rita, and get away before Redd comes back, Redd is told of what the party has done and now they get to deal with Redd and his band of brigands searching for them.

The party brings Rita and Poppy to the next town, village, or city. After taking care of what they need to, obtaining supplies, talking with someone that may have information about their actual quest, or selling off some excess "treasure" items. They could be spotted in the street by a couple of the brigands who raise an alert to the others and the chase is now on amongst the streets. Or they could find out that the brigands are searching for them at the local tavern when they stop to get some food or arrange lodging for the night. Perhaps the tavern proprietor has been paid to send word if the party shows up and they happen to see the proprietor talking to a kid, slip him a coin, and the kid is off out the back. Maybe they enter the local general store to get supplies and walk in on 2 or 3 of the brigands shaking down the owner for "protection money". Being out numbered, the brigands try to get away and tell Redd that the party is in town.

Now, do Redd and his brigands confront the party in town, or do they wait and deal with them along the road?

11-20-2010, 10:04 AM
Many options can arise. That is the beauty of Role Playing games and the imaginations of the players! That is why I believe in general plot outlines vs too much detail because of the unpredictability.