Game Prep: Banestorm, Season 3, Pt 1

As stated way back when, my next Saturday Fantasy Grounds game is going to be the third “chapter” of our ongoing GURPS Banestorm game, “Embers of Defiance” once the current campaign, Earthfall, comes to a pause which will be, at the most, in 10 sessions from now so … late October. If last year is any indication, we’ll probably end up needing to take a hiatus due to half of the group disappearing for holiday reasons, though that might not actually be the case this year. Time will tell.

Anyway, as stated in my previous post, my character, Finn Sardock, was “lost” in a localized banestorm at the conclusion of the previous GM’s run, which left it wide open for me to run a short (hopefully) story arc that I have been jokingly calling “Season 3: The Search for Sardock.” We’ve lost some players since then, including the guy who played Zistral, our centaur guy, and our current location means the previous GM’s character, Haruki, is really far away; we’ll likely have at least one new(ish) player who currently does not have a character (though with the loss of Zistral, I’m going to be strongly suggesting that player run a rangery-type geared toward desert survival.)

In the previous run, the PCs headed into the Djinn Lands to answer a plea for help from a tribe of “Mohammedans” who actively sought their aid; this tribe was referred to as the “Fa’iel” since the GM was blatantly ripping off the Aiel from Wheel of Time and Fremen from Dune (who the Aiel were clearly modeled on as well.) Through some escapades, Finn (my PC) ended up sort of betrothed to the sheikh’s daughter, Ammerah, Arn found a cursed coin with a demon/fallen angel in (which the GM “borrowed” from the Dresden Files) and we discovered a “Lost City” populated by yuan-ti (snake people!) who were trying to free an imprisoned (and possibly crazy?) djinn. We foiled this but Arn was slain (possibly), and the before-mentioned localized banestorm happened; everyone fled it but Finn failed to escape and was lost.

My current plan is to being in media res with a fight … with Haruki and likely the potential scout/ranger guy arriving to discover the other new PC, Aramis, (who replaced Arn who “died”) defending a caravan against gnolls. Back in 2×12, Aramis and his master/employer/whatever agreed to escort a bunch of freed slaves to Castle Defiant and this is that caravan; as it stands, 3 of the active PCs for this run will be present, which leaves two players free to either run other NPCs or to help me with bad guys, probably the former. Afterward, the caravan survivors will press on to Defiant, leaving the other three PCs to enter the Djinn Lands.

I’d initially considered having Haruki & Co. traverse the desert to hook back up with the other PCs at the (no longer) Lost City remnants, but now, I’m trying to figure out a way to simply teleport them there … originally, Haruki was going to have been having dreams of Finn that felt too much like prophecy or magic, so he was pulled toward the city which is why he’s going there, but if I can figure out a way to transport all of the new PCs there…

Anyway, at the Lost City, they’ll learn that the symbol Haruki has been dreaming of in his Finn dreams is that of a local djinn and Ammerah will go with the PCs to this djinn in an attempt to rescue their lord, while her brother gets the rest of the Fa’iel to safety. The trip to the djinn will take some time and Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures is going to be used a bit; I also borrowed the random encounter thing from Dungeon Fantasy: Mirror of the Fire Demon to create my own random encounter table for the trip. As I don’t like the “roll once a day” or “roll for a random encounter per hex” thing, I’m currently leaning toward the following: each hex has a frequency of appearance of 6 for an event (becomes 9 or less once they exit the Great Desert and enter the Djinn Lands proper) and if an event comes up, I roll on the chart. I’m leaning toward having the players roll the frequency.

And once they reach the “Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls,” the real adventure begins…