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Author Topic: Mistborn Campaign and Adventure Seeds  (Read 1218 times)
Bill Whitmore
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« on: August 28, 2012, 10:54:42 PM »

This was suggested in a couple of threads, so I thought I may as well start this since no one else had.

I'll start by throwing out the idea I had for a campaign if I ever run Mistborn but feel free to add any other campaign or adventure ideas.

As was mentioned in some other threads, one of the difficulties with running a Mistborn game is having to contend with canon source materials.  My typical way to do this is to pretty much ignore canon but the other method is to move the events of the campaign away from the locations that were in the books.  It was with this in mind, that I looked over the map of Scadrial and found the Southern Dominance, and specifically the Southern Islands.  That was when it hit me.  I could cross Mistborn with Pirates of the Caribbean.

Somewhere out in the seas of the Southern Dominance is an island that contains a port manned by free Skaa.  From this secret port, the free Skaa and their occasional noble allies scour the seas raiding House convoys.  The PCs are in charge of one of these pirate ships.

Adventure seeds in this setting:
   A) The PCs are hired by one of the houses to see to the protection of their interests on the sea.  In exchange, they are to be given a list of some very juicy targets of a rival house.  They come to find out that another group of pirates has taken a similar contract on what was to be the house targeted by their raids.  Will they uphold their contract and work against their brethren or betray their employers?

   B) Dealing with Skaa serving on board the raided ships can be problematic.  Not all Skaa readily embrace the life of freedom.  Taking one of these Skaa back to their home port could prove disastrous as even a single Skaa could report the location to the Steel Ministry.  Recently, just such an event was narrowly avoided when a disgruntled Skaa, one that couldn't handle the unstructured life of being free, tried to reveal the port to the Steel Ministry in exchange for resuming his old life.  Because of this, some of the pirate ships have begun killing everyone aboard the raided ships; Nobles, who can never be trusted, and Skaa, because it is better safe than sorry, alike.  This has caused a rift to form among the pirates with battle lines being drawn and everyone taking sides.  Where will the PCs stand when the 2 sides clash?

   C) The Steel Ministry largely, and correctly, assumes that the majority of reports of pirates on the sea stem from the secret war going on between the houses.  However, one Obligator has gone above and beyond the normal call of duty and has pieced together that many of the attacks have seemingly not originated from another House's actions and he has begun to suspect the truth; that there is an independent entity operating somewhere, though he has no idea that it is primarily free Skaa running the show.  He has been asking disturbing questions in the Southern Dominance and if he discovers the full truth, life could get interesting.  Will he discover the existence of the free Skaa port or can the PCs lead him away from the truth?

Edit:  If you have, or are looking for, Hemalurgical adversary ideas, refer to here.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 11:09:39 PM by Bill Whitmore » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 09:27:58 AM »

Very nice! I've thought corsairs for Mistborn would be a pretty cool idea, and Adventure Seeds are handy. Here's one I thought up:

D) The PCs are part of a ship's crew that is hired to take a wealthy noble to a new island estate. The noble and his steward dies at sea (mysteriously?/naturally?/intentionally?) and one of the crew gets the idea to impersonate the dead noble. After all, nobody at the destination knows the noble or even what he looks like. How does the rest of the entourage react? What could the crew do with this newfound power? What happens when visitors come?
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 11:38:41 AM »

Really good idea! both the thread and the proposed setting Cheesy
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Bill Whitmore
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 12:03:22 PM »

Very nice! I've thought corsairs for Mistborn would be a pretty cool idea, and Adventure Seeds are handy. Here's one I thought up:

D) The PCs are part of a ship's crew that is hired to take a wealthy noble to a new island estate. The noble and his steward dies at sea (mysteriously?/naturally?/intentionally?) and one of the crew gets the idea to impersonate the dead noble. After all, nobody at the destination knows the noble or even what he looks like. How does the rest of the entourage react? What could the crew do with this newfound power? What happens when visitors come?

Ooh, I like that one.  I'll add that to my list of seeds if I ever run a Mistborn campaign.

It occurred to me that, lacking gunpowder, ships in Scadrial wouldn't have cannons.  Ship-to-shop combat in Scadrial would be a much more personal affair than usual requiring ships to close to ballista and hand-held missile weapon ranges and eventually leading to melee combat during boarding actions.

Also, given the general lack of technological advancement, Scadrial has been using the same ship designs for about the last thousand years.  The question then becomes WHAT ship designs are in use?  Given the inspiration for this, I'd be using Age of Sail ships, but there is no reason you couldn't go with earlier ship designs.  A trireme could easily have Skaa rowers and may even fit the world's weapon technology level more closely.

Really good idea! both the thread and the proposed setting Cheesy

Thanks.  Hopefully we'll collect some other campaign ideas and adventure seeds to drop in here.
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 01:56:16 PM »

More of a what if scenario, and forgive me if this is in the book, I read it when I got the PDF however long ago and haven't finished my reread yet, and its also a big idea that can be played off with lots of smaller ideas.

What if the Lord Ruler wasn't really immortal, what if he died way back when and was replaced by Kandra on contract to various houses. Namely the 10 major Noble Houses. Each time a new Kandra is needed a new house is "in control".

Just something that popped in my head.
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 02:33:35 PM »

I'm gonna post here again the idea I'm considering to use in my next game.

My players seem to have decided a more social approach to help Skaa and fight against the Nobles. Apparently they want to wage a secret war against them. So far so good. My intention here is, after they choose a possible mark for their schemes, I'm gonna get this mark involved in an underground betting network.

The idea is that there's a network of fight clubs in which skaas are used as animasl, fighting one against the other, a little like galdiators, but in the eyes of the nobility, it's more like dog fights. There're a few of problems. First, the idea of anybody teaching Skaas to fight is reprensible and probably punishable. If the Steel Miniastry found out it would mean a lot of trouble.
Second, the Skaas are not the only combatants. There are also Koloss used as fighters.
And the third problem, the man in charge of all the operation is a corrupt Prelan of the Steel Ministry...

That's gonna be the starting point, at least for now.
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 07:37:21 PM »

Here's one I came up with because I don't like the standard stories available in regular Scadriel.  This gave me many many more options for what to do by making Allomancy and Feruchemy far more common.

The SouthPole
There is a huge metropolis on the south pole. Here The Lord Ruler tried something a little different. He let a free society work, learn, and experiment. Here the Terris people can practice freely, hemalurgy is studied in secret, Skaa and Nobles aren't all that different, and the city chooses its governors.

The city is tall. Building stretch 40 to 50 stories in the sky, some buildings are even above the mists. The lower levels are a putrid squalor, with the poorest people living at ground level. The richest live on the highest floors. Bridges stretch from building to building, many nobles never go below the 20th story-where most Skaa merchant shops exist. Ash filters down into the lowest levels of the city, filling the streets with around 2 inches of ash at a minimum. Buildings have wide sloped roofs meant to push as much ash away as possible, often leaving ash banks in the lowest levels of the city.

Below the city is a huge network of abandoned caves and mines carefully reinforced to stop the city from collapsing. These mines are rich in metal deposits and can practically be flown through by a talented mistborn or reckless coinshot. Most of the Allomantic metals have been discovered or refined through centuries of testing.

The party is intended to be a group of obligators sent to investigate crimes. There are a variety of gangs, at least one of which should be a hemalurgic cult preying on Skaa Mistings.(remember that in theory 1 in 16 people should be mistings here, but many don't snap until tortured into it by the cult.) There is an illegal trade in spikes, but ownership of a spike isn't actually considered illegal. Thus they have become a sort of lower class status symbol.

Atmospherically this city should feel a little like Gotham City, with the villains being insane criminals, the occasional politician, gangs, and sometimes higher authorities. I imagine Steel Inquisitors being something like the FBI is portrayed in Cop Shows. An obstruction in the form of an ally.

The area around the city should be fields worked and owned by the lower classes. There should be a smattering of farm towns around and some form of guard.

The mines should be dangerous, filled with terrifying Cave Mistwraiths, strange creatures pulled from lovecraft and D&D books(imagine a rustmonster...) They should also shelter a few criminals, some Koloss made by the hemalurgists, maybe some Kandra, some vagrants, a gang or three, and whatever else you like.

The city itself is a beautiful place to have Mistborn fight, leaping from roof to roof avoiding deadly falls and bridges. The lower levels should be dangerous places where Skaa thugs might break your bones for bread.

Kandra should live in all levels of the city, free of the contract but hiding their true natures. Many of them will be spies for somebody, but just as many might just want to eke out a living. They should culturally be tied to the spike trade.

In theory Twinborn and Ferring could exist here as well. A twinborn should be at high power and get one Feruchemical metal at 3 and Allomantic Power at 5 with a stunt.(I derived this from NPC character creation rules involving hemalurgy.)
A ferring should start with a 4 in their metal and a free prop for their metalminds.(As far as I can figure)
I'd avoid compounding for now as balancing it is hard and it should probably be a villain only thing.  THe best way to reflect it(as a villain) would just to give the twinborn a ratining in both powers and give them some rediculous number of feruchemical charges they can work with.(Between 500 and 1000)
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 10:40:50 PM »

Atmospherically this city should feel a little like Gotham City, with the villains being insane criminals, the occasional politician, gangs, and sometimes higher authorities.

"Who are you?"

"I'm Batman."

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Bill Whitmore
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 01:13:32 AM »

Atmospherically this city should feel a little like Gotham City, with the villains being insane criminals, the occasional politician, gangs, and sometimes higher authorities.

"Who are you?"

"I'm Batman."

 Grin

Then he spreads his mist-cape, pushes off his batarang and flies off into the night.
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 03:52:03 AM »

It occurred to me that, lacking gunpowder, ships in Scadrial wouldn't have cannons. 
I see wooden tubes from which Coinshots shoot steel balls.
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 10:20:29 AM »

Atmospherically this city should feel a little like Gotham City, with the villains being insane criminals, the occasional politician, gangs, and sometimes higher authorities.

"Who are you?"

"I'm Batman."

 Grin


And if you happen to stat out Batman he should be a Coinshot or Lurcher/Zinc twinborn.  Or powerless, but Scadriel Tech makes that difficult.
Then he spreads his mist-cape, pushes off his batarang and flies off into the night.
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2012, 07:23:12 PM »

I just picked up this game and am going to try to play with some friends.  I've never GM/Storytellered/Narratored before, so I am trying to keep things simple.  I have a few story seeds for my group.  I only have two people in my group, they are playing a Mistborn and a Kandra.  Neither are very combat focused.  They chose to be a thieving group.  They are based in the Western Dominance.  Most of these are short, but I don't plan on a long chronicle, since I've never done this.

1) The Blood house:
A noble plantation is rumored to be easy pickings.  The Nobles there have a reputation for instability.  One thief walked in the front door and was handed a few heirlooms by the Lady of the house.  However, a steel ministy outpost isn't far away from the nobles.  This could make the heist a lot more complicated for our Mistborn.  Maybe, if the character look hard enough, they will find that the nobles are guinea pigs for hematological experiments... Will they help the crazed nobles, or leave them to the Ministry?

2) A previous contract holder appears and recognizes our Kandra.  The crew is in the middle of an operation and the holder threatens to expose the group.  Can the group meet the extravagant demands of this loudmouth, or will they find a more permanent way of silencing him?

3) Lucky find:
The characters find a cache of the Lord Rulers metal.  They can keep it, trade it, or use it for themselves.  Unless another crew follows them back to it and tries to take it off them.  Or maybe the Lord Ruler's troops come to check on it.

4)The Backer:
The crew needs money to pull off a heist.  Surprisingly, a noble offers to help fund the crew.  He claims to want a better life for everyone in the Empire, but he really wants to break a little piece off the Empire for himself.  Do the characters help him?  He couldn't be worse than the Lord Ruler, right?

5) Underground Railroad
The crew meets a group of skaa in the wilderness that have escaped a measly plantation.  The skaa beg for the protection of the Mistborn, just long enough to get to a location where they have arranged passage.  However, taking the time to help the skaa will throw a wrench into the plans of the crew (maybe they were on the way to meet a noble from a rival house).  Is the promise of safe passage a trap?  Will the heroes give the poor skaa the cold shoulder, and what happens when they hear rumors of the escapees death if they chose that path?
 
6) Mirrors and Mist:
The crew sneaks into a large noble families manor to steal some Atium.  However, a violence inclined Mistborn is also after that atium.  If they talk to the Mistborn, they find that he believes all nobles should be put to the death (a view the crew does not share).  Do they use him as a distraction and try to grab the prize while the guards are busy?  Will they help this firebrand Mistborn?

7) The mistborn from above has been taken by the Steel Ministry.  Does the crew break its well-planned cover to free this dangerous maybe-ally?  If they don't, what happens when the Mistborn is converted to Minister and starts using his knowledge of them to hunt them down?

8 ) The Choking Seed: A plantation of Skaa has had enough of their cruel noble lords.  Egged on by some leaders of community, they are ready to start a revolt.  But, a major noble is visiting the plantation, and brought quiet a few talented fighters.  Will the characters help the skaa, or try to quench the rebellion, to save the lives of the innocent skaa who will be punished if an uprising occurs?  What if the skaa are never ready to rebel again after this?

9) The Steel Duel:
A noble (a mistborn) offers an honor duel with the Mistborn for the freedom of his skaa.  However, the steel ministry shows up to watch the duel.  That character cannot fight without revealing herself as Mistborn.  She has promised the skaa freedom, and if she backs down she has lost their trust.

10) Backstabber:
A noble is stealing some excess metal from the Lord Ruler.  The characters find out and choose to?

11) The kandra wants to live as free as a human.  But the kandra has lived many lives, and held many personalities.  He will have to face the question of his own identity, before he can consider himself equal to others.

12) Live Free or Live Kandra:
The Mistborn holds the Kandra's contract, but it is quickly running out.  He believes in the crew and their mission.  He hopes by helping the skaa live better lives, the kandra will also be worthy of better lives.  Does he tell the crew that his contract is up, or stay to help them fight, risking great social taboos from his fellow kandra?  If he stays, how does he explain his position when his mentor comes looking for him?


Any ideas or suggestions for which of these sound strongest?  Any tweaks to what I have?  Any other advice?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 07:29:26 PM by Yellowsquashbanana » Logged
Bill Whitmore
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2012, 10:00:21 PM »

Hello, Yellowsquashbanana and welcome to the boards.

Thanks for the list of adventure seeds.  Below, I offer some ideas I had about some of them and/or how I can adapt these to my campaign plans.

1) The Blood house:
A noble plantation is rumored to be easy pickings.  The Nobles there have a reputation for instability.  One thief walked in the front door and was handed a few heirlooms by the Lady of the house.  However, a steel ministy outpost isn't far away from the nobles.  This could make the heist a lot more complicated for our Mistborn.  Maybe, if the character look hard enough, they will find that the nobles are guinea pigs for hematological experiments... Will they help the crazed nobles, or leave them to the Ministry?
I like this idea.  A noble house that has been driven insane from experimentation.  It could be mad scientist who dabbled in self-experimentation originally but is now operating under Ruin's influence.

Quote
3) Lucky find:
The characters find a cache of the Lord Rulers metal.  They can keep it, trade it, or use it for themselves.  Unless another crew follows them back to it and tries to take it off them.  Or maybe the Lord Ruler's troops come to check on it.
Ooh, I really like this one.  If it is in a remote area, it may be hidden underground, beneath a Koloss camp.  The entrance is hidden and puzzle locked, which the Koloss can't decipher.  The interior of the vault is trapped in case anyone manages to elude the Koloss long enough to solve the puzzle.

My campaign just got an Isle of Death, that island from which no one has returned.

Quote
5) Underground Railroad
The crew meets a group of skaa in the wilderness that have escaped a measly plantation.  The skaa beg for the protection of the Mistborn, just long enough to get to a location where they have arranged passage.  However, taking the time to help the skaa will throw a wrench into the plans of the crew (maybe they were on the way to meet a noble from a rival house).  Is the promise of safe passage a trap?  Will the heroes give the poor skaa the cold shoulder, and what happens when they hear rumors of the escapees death if they chose that path?
Oooh, this fits perfectly into my campaign.

For most of the groups I played with they would help the Skaa as there is no compelling reason not to do so.  To make it a tougher choice, add something that causes some sort of complication if they decide to help.

For example, in my campaign, if this was to happen right after the rift is formed in their home port, escorting them there could also see them killed.  Then the group is stuck needing to decide between several unpleasant choices.  Take them to the "safe haven" they know about, which may not be safe any longer, leave them to try their alternate path to freedom, or abandon their current job to keep watch on the Skaa.

Quote

6) Mirrors and Mist:
The crew sneaks into a large noble families manor to steal some Atium.  However, a violence inclined Mistborn is also after that atium.  If they talk to the Mistborn, they find that he believes all nobles should be put to the death (a view the crew does not share).  Do they use him as a distraction and try to grab the prize while the guards are busy?  Will they help this firebrand Mistborn?

7) The mistborn from above has been taken by the Steel Ministry.  Does the crew break its well-planned cover to free this dangerous maybe-ally?  If they don't, what happens when the Mistborn is converted to Minister and starts using his knowledge of them to hunt them down?
For these, if you want the group to consider helping the firebrand Mistborn, you'll need to find some way to make the crew sympathetic to him.  If they have never met him before and he asks for the crew to help him kill all the nobles and steal their stuff, they're not going to have any inclination to help him.

If the firebrand Mistborn had some tie to the crew, maybe she's a relative of the crew's Mistborn or someone who may have helped the crew in a past job and is now looking for the PCs to return the favor, it would be harder for the crew to just dismiss her as crazy.  Whatever the connection, they'll be more affected every step of the way if it's a good friend or relative if they help her and have to deal with her violent tendencies or if they choose to abandon her and she gets captured, tortured, converted and starts hunting them.

Quote
8 ) The Choking Seed: A plantation of Skaa has had enough of their cruel noble lords.  Egged on by some leaders of community, they are ready to start a revolt.  But, a major noble is visiting the plantation, and brought quiet a few talented fighters.  Will the characters help the skaa, or try to quench the rebellion, to save the lives of the innocent skaa who will be punished if an uprising occurs?  What if the skaa are never ready to rebel again after this?

9) The Steel Duel:
A noble (a mistborn) offers an honor duel with the Mistborn for the freedom of his skaa.  However, the steel ministry shows up to watch the duel.  That character cannot fight without revealing herself as Mistborn.  She has promised the skaa freedom, and if she backs down she has lost their trust.
I like these two as they both offer some tough choices.

For 8, they can take their one shot at freedom (and in my campaign get transported to the one free settlement the PCs know about) but risk the wholesale slaughter of innocent Skaa should their scheme fail.  I am also imagining the Skaa didn't know that a major noble was coming and now the increased security is threatening to uncover the small cache of weapons they recently procured for this purpose.

Quote
10) Backstabber:
A noble is stealing some excess metal from the Lord Ruler.  The characters find out and choose to?
This is a bare bones idea but it could be interesting with some more meat.  What relations would the crew have with the noble?  If the noble is an ally, then the group may decide if its worth risking their own operation to run Obligator interference for their ally.  If it's an old enemy, they may be able to drop some hints to lead an Obligator who has been tracking them to their old enemy.

The last couple seem specific to the Kandra in your group, so I can't really speak much to those.

Thanks for posting these.  They have given me some good ideas to use if I ever run my own campaign.
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2012, 03:12:18 AM »

the mistborn in Mirros &Mist (nice title by the way) could be the mentor of the mistborn pc... When I was reading the comments from Will it reminded me of the short story at the beggining of the core book. Imagine if Gemmel had gotten himself in trouble in the first mistborn book... in a way which would have compromised Kelsier plans in the long run... that would have made for a very though choice...
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2012, 03:20:19 AM »

Coincidentally yesterday I was thinking about how the nobles learn to use their allomancy... It seema costumary to have all the young nobles put under stress to make them snapp. but what happens when they do? who teaches them how to best use their powers... this got me thinking about a noble Mistborn that it's just that... a teacher of Allomancy to the recently snapped nobles... Somebody that usually works in a very discreet way so the nobles can keep the advantage of nobody knowing their power or.if they even have... somebody that knows a lot about noble houses... and who would be a really good asset for a crew looking for a in...

there's something there... i've to keep thinking...

Also it can be a Mistborn Nun that starts singing for every silly reason... :-P
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