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 Post subject: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:06 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock
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I'd like advice in finding, or writing from scratch, an adventure for a solo 1st level wizard. To be clear, I don't feel I need advice how to run a solo adventure, as I've run a number of them over the years--that's not the point of this thread.

My cousin would like to play an Elf Wizard. This will be his FIRST TIME with D&D (or any RPG), so I want to choose an adventure that 1) makes him say "Wow!,"* 2) is not overwhelming as far as setting and background info--ideally I'd like to verbally describe the setting in about 30 seconds to a minute, and 3) is suited specifically for a wizard.

He's late 20's, so I'd like to run an adventure that's not too childish or silly....dealing with "mature themes and situations" is fine. This does NOT necessarily need to be Pathfinder/3.5-rules based (or even D&D for that matter); I can convert rules from other RPGs.

Also, I figured I'd run a GM NPC bodyguard/fighter to accompany him, in case he gets into trouble, as wizards are not known for their rugged durability. I'm thinking a human fighter's stats, but 'reskinned' as a golem or automaton. This gives my cousin the option to point and say "Attack!" or "Defend!" and it'll carry out his orders, and yet the automaton won't be able to provide tactical or adventure-related advice (it can't speak).

I know my parameters are kind of narrow, but if anyone can think of a decent low-level adventure that fits my needs, I can convert it.

Alternately, if anyone wants to throw out a few wizard-specific "seeds" that I can use to create my own adventure...I'd be appreciative.



Thank you!

* This is actually kinda important to me.


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:36 am 
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I know TSR did a series of solo adventures for 2nd edition ("Wizard's Challenge", "Thief's Challenge", etc). I never played any of them, though, so I couldn't speak to their quality or usefulness.

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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:51 am 
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Why don't you use the Beacon at Enon Tor?

http://tower.newcenturycomputers.net/temp/beacon.pdf

Have your NPC fighter be a creation of Karthedon and thus a golem or zombie-like undead fighting machine.

Your friend's magic-user could be an old apprentice of Karthedon and is returning to visit his former master.

Just a thought.

(P.S.- I'd have your cousin's PC not familiar with the area by explaining that his PCs old master had retired, so to speak, and moved out to the country to "get away from it all.")


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:28 pm 
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JediOre wrote:
Why don't you use the Beacon at Enon Tor?


VERY nice! I'll likely combine this with another short adventure, since we'll have a weekend to game. I think it'll be a great intro to D&D for him!

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:29 pm 
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mythfish wrote:
I know TSR did a series of solo adventures for 2nd edition ("Wizard's Challenge", "Thief's Challenge", etc). I never played any of them, though, so I couldn't speak to their quality or usefulness.


Yep--I'll dig up the solo wizard adventure and see if it's worthwhile. Thanks for jarring that loose from my faded memory!


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:43 am 
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Ogrepuppy,

You could use DCC#0 Legends are made not born. It was designed for 6 apprentice level (0 level) PCs, but with further tweaking, you might be able to make it work for a wizard and his bodyguard.

The old module N1, Treasure Hunt, also might work, but it has a very specific set up, and was designed for 0-level PCs, finding their way and picking a class. You should be able to modify it for low level play. Its been years since I've read it, but it might be worth a gander.

Best of luck running the game. I hope you get him hooked, so we can add another tabletop gamer to the ranks!

arlanni


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:49 pm 
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I hope he likes D&D, too.

I was actually considering of using Halls of the Minotaur, partially because I've run the first 1/3 of it before....but I relized there's enough encounters all clustered together that a 1st level wizard will run out of spells long before we can finish even a portion of the adventure.

That, plus we'll only have a weekend (he lives over an hour's drive away)...and those bottles of rum and vodka won't drink themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Don't neglect the fact that, if an adventure appeals, you may be able to condense encounters, or even 'save' some of them for future play -- he won't know what's missing, and you'll get to use it later if he wants to play again. I'd say, stick with encounters that involve more clever work-arounds, rather than straight-up fights -- which might be more fun and save him from loss of too much HP. Fights are more fun when you have more people, and a few bad rolls in a fight can scupper an adventure with one character.

Thanks for letting me use the word 'scupper', btw.

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Ogrepuppy,

If you keep the NPC fighter idea and see fit to get that 1st level wizard a lowly wand of magic missiles with 20-odd charges, with a couple of healing potions, I'd say go all out!


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:13 am 
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JediOre wrote:
If you keep the NPC fighter idea and see fit to get that 1st level wizard a lowly wand of magic missiles with 20-odd charges, with a couple of healing potions, I'd say go all out!


He'll also need a chime of opening, as there are as many locks as there are combats in Halls of the Minotaur!!!

We'll see. Still tossing around options. I think bumping him to 2nd level is smart, as he gains hit points and additional spell uses per day. I'm also going to urge him to use a bow (so that he stays the hell away from enemies), as elves are auto-proficient with them.

I'll be using the Pathfinder Beginner Box, although the setting will be something I'm comfortable with (Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms, maybe--he won't know the difference).

I'm trying to kludge together a brief investigation/stealth/intrigue/assassination/problem-solving situation that includes opportunities for many of the spells a low-level mage casts: mage hand, read magic, detect magic, ray of frost, charm person, sleep, etc. Something brief that you might find in Mission Impossible 3 / Alias / 24 / Call of Cthulhu....yet that showcases the class' spellcasting abilities. A story of intrigue and betrayal, avoiding and/or bypassing combat (sleep/charm person), spying, stealing (mage hand). I'd prefer to use human/elven/dwarven enemies for this, rather than some of the 'standard fare' D&D monsters. Sadly, I pretty much suck at designing adventures. (Got suggestions, anyone?)

This will likely be followed up by a (published) mini dungeon-crawl that does have combat as well as 'standard fare' D&D monsters.

The automaton is going to be a mash-up between a walking suit of plate mail and C-3PO (which my cousin will enjoy as he's a massive Star Wars fan). Basically, a clockwork warrior that the other elves gifted to my cousin's PC to help bodyguard him in the wild and woolly human nations. (Stats of a human fighter wearing plate mail, but reskinned as a slow, uncommunicative warforged-type thing.)


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:33 am 
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
...Mission Impossible 3/Alias....yet that showcases the class' spellcasting abilities...

Oh. Just have someone with a bomb in them that he has to (1) kill, (2) remove/disarm the bomb (neutralize the alchemy?), and then (3) bring them back to life via shocking grasp... :mrgreen:

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:38 am 
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
Something brief that you might find in Mission Impossible 3 / Alias / 24 / Call of Cthulhu....


I think a 2nd level wizzo will be fine against this....

Image


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:41 am 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
Ogrepuppy wrote:
...Mission Impossible 3/Alias....yet that showcases the class' spellcasting abilities...

Oh. Just have someone with a bomb in them that he has to (1) kill, (2) remove/disarm the bomb (neutralize the alchemy?), and then (3) bring them back to life via shocking grasp... :mrgreen:



Damn. (I remember that episode, too....) I may have to run with that. Nice!!!

:twisted:



Oh, you were kidding?!?


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
...Oh, you were kidding?!?


I'm serious and kidding. It's called serding (not the guache 'kiderious"), and I assumed you knew...

But if those Alias episodes are under his belt, you could do worse than linger in territory that he's familiar with, but dressed up as Elves and Trolls and stuff (metaphorically speaking; unless literally dressing up as Elves and Trolls floats your boat). I think when I was first playing D&D about all we did was rip off movies, TV shows, etc. Then we learned the constituent parts that we needed and started Frankensteining our own adventures...

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:24 am 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
I'm serious and kidding. It's called serding (not the guache 'kiderious"), and I assumed you knew...


Ahh, Gnomie, I love when our posts spin off into Gnomeboy/Ogrepuppy stream-of-consciousness-land.....sometimes I think only we understand what we're saying. :lol:

Alas, my young, odd, brainy cousin has actually never seen Alias (to my knowledge) so I doubt he'd get the reference.


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:26 am 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
unless literally dressing up as Elves and Trolls floats your boat


With that kid, you just never know! Like me, he's a bit.....touched.

:mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:48 am 
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
....touched


*lays finger aside nose* I understand -- strictly with a ten-foot-pole, if at all.

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: DM/1-player session: adventure advice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:34 am 
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I visited my cousin and we rolled up a character, and he gave me some vague ideas about what he wants to do with the PC.

You can pick up on where I am with this whole mess HERE.


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