Old McDonald Had a Mole (Session Idea)

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IAmCadai's picture.
Assistant Storyhost - ASH1
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2 months 1 week ago
Old McDonald Had a Mole (Session Idea)

This is a small session, one off session I came up with some time ago. With a relatively low barrier to entry, the session would be more oriented toward character with either combat or animal co-operation skills.

A small farming community outside of Ramsalon is having trouble with a mole infestation. Creating holes in the fields and running the lay out of the lands, the farmers have decided to pool their savings together to hire helpers to drive off the moles. Players can come up with a variety of ways to scare off the moles or even kill them if they want, the farmers don't mind considering they are pests in their eyes. However, a sudden event makes the job more much difficult. It would seem that the farmers' mole problem was much larger than they thought, a hulking beast of one making its way out of the ground. Once our Mole King is surfaced, it would be played depending on how our PCs have been dealing with the runts of the liter.

A more aggressive stance will cause our Mole King to return the favor, attacking both NPC and PC alike. It would most likely be a non-lethal fight considering power levels and could act as a reputation builder for any heroes wishing to seem heroic without doing anything too dangerous. Attacking with mostly standard melee fighting, players would also need to make awareness rolls to determine its location if it digs underground during the fight. Assuming the Mole King is damaged enough it will most likely flee and take its lackeys with it.

A less aggressive approach will make our Mole King a more passive problem, simply crawling up to the surface to observe its lackeys or to lounge around. If players possibly have trapped the smaller moles, it would take a mildly aggressive stance, though not nearly as destructive if they'd taken a violent approach. Then again, if PCs attack the Mole King during its arrival, even if they'd already taken the care of the moles non-aggressively, it would return to the more violent stages review before. Completely passive or cooperative approaches to dealing with the moles will cause the Mole King to simply become a larger version of the farmers previous problem, requiring PCs to come up with a unique way to deter the Mole King.

The reward for the moles' being dealt with will be money along with a hearty feast as thanks. However, should things go south and the Mole King cause too much destruction before being defeat, the farmers will only give a smaller version of their previous offer.

Ideas? Thoughts? Comments?

Boblet's picture.
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2 years 1 week ago

FYI, I think because they haven't been used in over a year, rooms are in archived mode. However, there used to be a location for Farmlands. In setting terms, right beyond the outer wall of Ramsalon, covering from about Beth Bow region to eastern shore was a swath of forest cleared out and turned into farmland. Not enough to feed all of Ramsalon, but there is a farming area just, literally, outside of Ramsalon City.

Now as for the idea, well hell, not much to say there. chuckles You got it all figured out, the good and the bad. Yay. It is a nice one shot, combined with Kirsten's miniature horses and hunting bit, getting beyond the wall. Might be a one shot, but pending on how this plays out could lead to more. My opinion, overall nice little self contained (one shot) idea.

LadyKirsten's picture.
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3 days 17 hours ago
Very Snazzy!

Bast and I actually pulled the farmlands out of retirement. So it's a room again.

Otherwise this sounds really good. I like that there are different possible outcomes and that it could be reasonably peaceful, or reasonably violent, just depending on the players who actually end up going. Not just the players, but the characters they bring, actually.

My advice on this one, would honestly be to estimate slightly longer than you think it'll take when you actually write it up and get someone to help you run it. Open ended sessions usually take a bit longer, just because it usually leads to more decision making and actual discussion among the players. And I like the idea of a reward being adjustable. Just remember though, that simple farmers probably wouldn't have a lot of money to give out for something like this. So the starting amount of silver should be slightly low. You might even consider having it be 300 silver total, and then it's split among the players evenly. So if 6 people come, they get 50 silver each.

In any case, it sounds very good. :) You've got a really great idea here.

Madius's picture.
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4 months 2 weeks ago
I like it!

Solid setup! PCs have a chance to impact the outcome and you've accounted for a range of styles. I'd definitely recommend posting to the IC forums ahead of time with the "Help wanted" offer from the farmers so that you can kick off the session already at the farm with the details given :)

LadyK has a point on the payout, though 50s is a bit tiny to lure adventurer types out to help. Given that it's a community pooling their funds, 100s a person probably wouldn't be out of the question and might make for a stronger hook.

Great idea!