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Who the One-Shot is For

The GM should be moderately familiar with Tri-Stat dX and able to quickly manage rolls for players. d6’s are appropriate.

My players were completely new to roleplaying, so I provided all dice and characters. I had 2 hours total to run the scenario.

I gave out the Player Presentation to the players several days before the campaign, but some people didn’t bother to read it. This cost us a half-hour. Future GMs should also watch the presentation to see the plot.

House Layout

I just flow-charted this in a light-weight manner:

Entryway → Foyer → Banquet hall/ballroom → split to kitchen & stairs going up

Kitchen (has back door) → stairs down → cellar (kitchen supplies, food) → network of twisty passage, relics, furniture, guards (can fork and confuse as time allows) → children in cells (conditions up to GM) → stairs and door to side exit of house.

Stairs up → bedrooms, jewels, clothes. I let Emyth Emerald have a bedroom consisting of a large pallet/beanbag (treasure underneath, of course), which the players thought was cute.

NPCs and Challenge

Most people at the party should be an evil/devious/etc. friend of the major NPCs.

Guards/henchmen, hostile/suspicious people, and major NPCs can be sprinkled anywhere, as time permits for interaction and combat. I let the players spot most of the NPCs in the banquet hall/ballroom so they could approach them as desired.

Ways to push the pace on the plot:

  • Let one of the major NPCs (e.g., Philadoña) intend to go downstairs for a snack in “just a few minutes”.
  • Have Lady Daphne announce on stage that there’ll be an auction of some prime children in X minutes.
  • Have the dragon be outside for a stretch when the children get out.
  • Have the mind reader get suspicious and thicken security.
  • Have some of the children be brought upstairs (for auction or some other nefarious purpose).

I had the house tackily full of high-value items to give the feel of an inordinate amount of money.

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A New Home for Children MelissaAveryWeir MelissaAveryWeir