Game Prep: Banestorm, Season 3, Adventure 1 (and Pt 3 of my Plan)

Long overdue part 3, though I’m mostly going to do quick outliney stuff so I can focus on the actual adventure notes I’ve compiled.

As I ended with Part 2, the PCs will have crossed over to a different world. Here they’ll discover Finn and learn that about 5 years have passed for him and Ammerah … also? They now have a newborn son, named after Finn’s father, Dane. Using the rod that Haruki is carrying, Finn will be able to create a Gate that will allow the PCs, Finn, Ammerah, baby Dane, and some locals to return … but it’ll take time to create and PCs will have to defend Finn during this time from “nightmares” and “beast-men” … who are just basically Fades and Trollocs from WoT.

When they pass through the Gate, they’ll find themselves in a great hall where the djinn have gone to war. Finn will be KO’ed by the strain, so someone (probably Haruki) will have to carry him. Zat al-Dawahi will briefly puppet Ammerah and task the PCs to get as many of “her” people to safety as they can manage. Soon after, Zat will be literally torn in two, thus birthing two new djinn.

The escape will mostly be using the Chase mechanics from Action 2, but will eventually get clear and make their way to where the rest of the Fa’iel are, now with even more mouths to feed. (Luckily, at that point, Finn will be present and able to pull some water from the air using weaving to keep them from dying of thirst. Also, en route, I’m likely going to reveal to the players that Zat al-Dawahi is not completely dead, but has sort of become part of Ammerah.

At the location with the rest of the Fa’iel, there is one last fight, this time with the djinn that the Fa’iel have been running from. I haven’t determined specifics just yet, but I want this to be a crazy, bugnuts fight. When his Vessel is slain, the djinn first tries to possess Ammerah but cannot – a hint that she’s already got a rider – then takes over a dying Rashid and bugs out. This leaves Finn the nominal leader of the Fa’iel through marriage.

Returning to Defiant will take some time but, upon arrival, they will see the flag of the Caithness king is flying, indicating that he’s present! And then, I smash-cut out and end my run.

Now, with regards to the notes for 3×01, which is Saturday, I’ve got some minor additional information to add.

The PCs

  • Aramis is an Aralaise duelist who uses an estoc and a main gauche. He was introduced during the previous run, but will become an active PC this run.
  • Brum is the dwarf fighter. He’s a mini tank.
  • Haruki is a Sahudese samurai type who suffers from gigantism and will learn during this run that he’s still getting bigger due to the magics used to make him large.
  • Ismir is a Fa’iel sand ninja who was part of the original expedition to Defiant where he was wounded. He’s now recovered.
  • Thorn is the 1/2-elf son of Gabriel and Merasiel, though he only suspects this to be the case at the moment. He uses a 2H sword and currently has magical wings so he can fly.

As stated in my notes for Part 1, I’m going to start out the game with a fight as Haruki and Ismir (plus a couple other characters for Brum and Thorn’s players) are scouting and happen upon a caravan being attacked by gnolls. This is where Aramis is and he’s the last fighting man still alive in this mess with everyone else being the slaves rescued by Finn & Co back in ep 2×12. Because it’s tactical combat, I expect this to eat up the majority of the session … which means that it won’t.

At Defiant, they will discover that Gestlin, the former master for Arn and Finn, has arrived and is trying to find out what happened to his apprentices. He’s also a weirdness magnet, so I’m going to play that up and make him earn that -2 reaction penalty. Once he learns they’re in the Djinn Lands, he grumbles a bit because he swore an Oath once to never set foot on those lands again, but figures a way around it (he thinks) but wearing a ring that causes him to float several inches off the ground, so he’s going to teleport there with Aramis, Haruki and Ismir (plus possibly a couple other Fa’iel?). Upon arrival, however, Gestlin is going to scream … and transform into a talking goat ala Fin Raziel in Willow. He’s going to be stuck in animal form for much of this and trying to talk Thorn (the only character with Magery active) to use his (Gestlin’s) insane magic rod to transform him (Gestlin) back. Luckily for me, Thorn is terrified of even touching that thing.

Conversation will be had with PCs being pointed toward Zat al-Dawahi and organizing an expedition to rescue Lord Finn, while the rest of the Fa’iel relocate to somewhere safer. PCs will only (initially) have a single camel to their number, so they’re going to have to hike. I’ve edited the map so there are 12.5mile hexes on it and there are about 17 such hexes between their starting point and ending point. I’m going to then, at the end of the session, have each player roll 3d6 in the box (so only the GM sees the results) four times, then review those. I’m treating an “incident” where I roll on the random tables shamelessly stolen and rejiggered from Mirror of the Fire Demon happening on a 6 or less for part of the way, then 9 or less for the rest. Having the PCs pre-roll these lets me plan for each hex. On foot, it appears (if I did my calculations correctly) that they’re going to basically be covering a hex (12.5miles) about every two days.

And to pad out the days where there are no random events, I have Gestlin’s Weirdness Magnet! And yeah, I’m going to shamelessly abuse that. I sort of expect the travel to Zat to take about two sessions, maybe three, during which time some events will happen – thanks, Gestlin!

Ideally, we’ll end the first session with the PCs venturing forth and beginning their long trek through the desert … but I may be surprised and we get further along so we end perhaps with the first planned Weirdness Magnet event: a dragon comes visiting…