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Picking a Location and a Legend

Posted: Mon 13 Jan 2020, 22:31
by Mamuki
Hello All,

I need a bit of help.

So I am preparing my first game as a DM, for my family (son and wife) and I don't want our first session to be centered around the Hollows adventure. It seems too daunting for me. I don't have that much experience and I am not sure I can tackle that one yet. It is quite massive.

So I've thought that for our first Forbidden Lands session it will be great to let the players wander around the map and have some encounters and a short quest.

In the DM book it says:

Don’t plan too much. Don’t devise a grand intrigue for the first session. It will emerge later. Keep an open mind. 
Pick an adventure site from this book that matches a symbol close to the adventurers’ starting location, and note down which hex it is in. Figure out how the player characters can hear the legend about it. 

My problem is with this: "pick an adventure site from the book that matches a symbol close to the adventurer's starting location. Figure out how the players can hear the legend about it."

So I tell my players that they start the game on a certain Hex on the map. And then I simply pick a legend and tell them about it?

For example this legend:

It is said that when the Alderlanders invaded Ravenland, they sent the three siblings Vider to assassinate the leaders of the dwarves and elves. However, the elven masters ensnared the would-be assassins through their magic, slew them and bound their dark souls to three daggers.

I tell my players about the Legend of the Phantom Daggers and then tell them that the three daggers can be found in a cave or dungeon six-seven hexes away.

Is this going to work?

Of course, the cave is guarded by an undead wise Gryphon so they will have to either fight and kill him or talk to him / her.

Is that how 1) choose a location and 2) choose a legend for that location work?

Re: Picking a Location and a Legend

Posted: Tue 14 Jan 2020, 06:34
by pytheas
I don't think there are any hard and fast rules how to start your campaign. You can pick a starting location or you can ask your players to pick one, maybe prior to the first session.

I take the advice in the book to mean that you'd pick one of the fully developed adventure sites (of which the Hollows is one), rather than one of the artefacts, but there is nothing wrong with your proposed approach of you prefer that. To me Weatherstone looks like it is relatively straightforward to run (certainly easier than the Hollows). That might make a good starting point.

Re: Picking a Location and a Legend

Posted: Tue 14 Jan 2020, 08:02
by The1TrueFredrix
Yup, that would work. Do you intend they should meet the gryphon in the same session they set out on the adventure? If so I would make it only two to four hexes away as my players’s journeys are often interrupted by a random encounter than becomes the main focus for the session. 

Re: Picking a Location and a Legend

Posted: Tue 14 Jan 2020, 09:45
by Mr Oldtimer
Yes, I would actually advice to read through the random encounters in the game masters guide and pick one that sounds interesting. Prepare that one and throw it in before reaching their destination.