Nerdarchist Dave here and it’s time to talk about some RPG encounter building. I’m going to make this a miniseries article containing four parts. On Nov. 15, 2014 Nerdarchy took part in the online convention called Brigade Con. Brigade Con is dedicated to tabletop roleplaying games. There was a ton of online games and discussion panels going on for just over 24 hours. Terrible Terrain was the name of the discussion panel we ran. Later in this article you can check out the video. In the meantime I’m going to elaborate on our discussion and break down the encounters more in depth.
Building a 5E D&D encounter
Our group has been playing a lot of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons as our game of choice right now. By combining campaign worldbuilding with our discussion panel for Brigade Con we were able to kill two birds with one stone. So we made our panel as an extension of the worldbuilding series we are doing over on the Nerdarchy the YouTube channel.
The premise of the panel is to discuss the final battle or encounter for three different points in a story arc. For the first part of this article I’m going to go into the premise of the story arc. Manipulation is the overarching theme of the story. We’ve got a pirate being manipulated by an organization. Next, the organization is being directed by Far Realm worshiping priest. Finally, the priest is thoroughly under the sway of an illithid acting as an agent of a conclave of illithids.
We designed our concepts as to accommodate a couple of different RPG playstyles
- Going from encounter to encounter kicking in the door and beating down monsters
- As a mystery or investigative adventure
The original concept had us going from nautical to port city to the Underdark, which worked, but we wanted to stay with a tighter and more cohesive story. We decided to ditch the Underdark and go back to nautical by introducing a psionic powered submarine for our final encounter. We also had it in our head if the arc were to continue it would go to an illithid run sea base.
A pirate is targeting merchant ships from the city of Ryller. It turns out this pirate is being paid to target specific ships that are rivals to the inner circle of the Gilded Trident. The Gilded Trident is a yacht club for wealthy aristocrats in the city of Ryller. The yacht club is the front for a secret society who wishes to gain control of the city through influence and power. They are receiving aid from a mysterious benefactor, Galseion Von Kresslerithe, who is secretly a mindflayer.
In the next article I’m going to break down the first part of the arc with pirate ship and it’s nefarious pirate captain.